Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Learning to shut up

Having gone after piglet, ice cream and hot cross buns, British Muslims are now going after foolish sex toys. Here's Mark Steyn on what this all means:

The issue is not 'freedom of speech' or 'the responsibilities of the press' or 'sensitivity to certain cultures.' The issue, as it has been in all these loony tune controversies going back to the Salman Rushdie fatwa, is the point at which a free society musters the will to stand up to thugs. British Muslims march through the streets waving placards reading 'BEHEAD THE ENEMIES OF ISLAM.' If they mean that, bring it on. As my columnar confrere John O'Sullivan argued, we might as well fight in the first ditch as the last. But then it's patiently explained to us for the umpteenth time that they're not representative, that there are many many 'moderate Muslims.'' I believe that. I've met plenty of 'moderate Muslims' in Jordan and Iraq and the Gulf states. But, as a reader wrote to me a year or two back, in Europe and North America they aren't so much 'moderate Muslims' as quiescent Muslims. The few who do speak out wind up living in hiding or under 24-hour armed guard, like Dutch MP Ayaab Hirsi Ali. So when the EU and the BBC and the New York Times say that we too need to be more 'sensitive' to those fellows with 'Behead the enemies of Islam' banners, they should look in the mirror: They're turning into 'moderate Muslims,' and likely to wind up as cowed and silenced and invisible.