Monday, October 23, 2006

Sign of the Times

Well, I did warn:

The consequences of giving preferential treatment to extremists like the MCB for a decade, of deferring to the real or imagined sensitivities of a small section of the population, and thereby causing genuine resentment, dislike and even hatred of all Muslims generally within society, then reversing the position and releasing a constant stream of remarks, initiatives and policy changes that feed this cultivated dislike could be horrendous.
And now:
Two men have been arrested on suspicion of racial assault after four men were attacked in a mosque last night.
Muslims are widely perceived as combining aggression with a victim complex born out of paranoia. Pretty much every non-Muslim population in the world feels under assault from radical Islam. It's a very dangerous situation because if one fifth of the world's population is Muslim, four fifths are not.

One infrequently commented-on quality of satire, criticism, mockery and abuse is that they act as a safety valve. If people are denied those outlets for their feelings, then the pressure builds until there is an explosion. Recent attacks on free expression have had this effect.

These recent attacks on free expression are as much to blame for assaults on people coming out of mosques as any idiotic special privileges accorded to Muslims by the government and the police. The fatuous habitual cries of "Islamophobic", used to stifle debate and criticism, have made matters much, much worse.

Dialogue, honest criticism, debate and equal treatment for everybody, regardless of race, sex, gender and religion provide the only way forward.

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