I heard a so-called moderate Muslim leader on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this week saying that because Briton was a country which guaranteed free speech, it was OK that those alien creatures spat abuse and hatred at our troops earlier this week.
He does have a point.
Free speech, if it means anything at all, means just that. It means that if someone has an opinion that you find wrong or disgusting or stupid, as long as the perpetrator doesn’t urge violence, then we have to accept it.
But it seems to me that this also illustrates another very important point. People like the extremist Muslims gathered in Luton on Wednesday with their ridiculous, medieval beard uniforms and wives disguised as binbags, demonstrably are of an alien culture. Traditional or extremist Islamists believe in a philosophy which is incompatible with ours. It abhors our freedom of expression, our belief in the importance of the individual to be heard, and to develop his OR HER talents to the best of their ability. We respect religion, but expect the church to keep out of politics. We don’t stone adulterers or hang homosexuals.
Britain has a broad range of immigrant cultures, but almost all of them have one thing in common; they revere our democratic and parliamentary culture. It was why people came here in the first place. What marks some noisy Muslims out as different is an apparent hatred and contempt for what is British. In a normal world, the right of free speech, although sometimes harsh, could never have produced the kind of scenes we witnessed in Luton because Britons might be divided on many things, but would have a common respect for our armed forces. This was our citizens in our uniform doing our work. This is one of the common factors about being British.
This does of course beg the question: why are these people here, if they hate us so much? If they love what Winston Churchill called Mohammedism so much, you would think they would be anxious to take a fuller part in its manifestations somewhere else.
One thing more; the next time Mohammed or Abdul moan to a BBC reporter about British foreign policy in Iraq, why won’t the reporter simply ask “Would you prefer the serial killer Saddam Hussein was still in place, murdering innocent Iraqis?”
I think we would witness the collapse of a few bearded stout parties.