David Aaronovitch wrote last week in the Times:
I not only think that Jeremiahs such as Liddle, and Melanie Phillips, of the Mail, are wrong, I think their approach could lead us into utter disaster. For a fortnight now we have been discussing veils — so just how many veil-wearing teachers are there? Ten? Five? Just Ms Azmi? What’s the problem for the rest of us once we have (rightly) taken the decision that she cannot teach while looking like a Dalek? Why should a Muslim cab- driver who is (also rightly) being sued for not carrying a guide dog make it to the banner front page of the London Evening Standard? Or a single Muslim chemist who refused to prescribe a “morning-after” Pill get half a page in the Telegraph?
In each case where a minister or an opposition spokesthing has given an opinion on matters Muslim in the past two weeks, I have agreed with much of what they have said, while wishing that they had spread the news more evenly over the national agenda. The interventions in the space of a fortnight, from at least four members of the Government and David Davis, have helped to create an atmosphere of assault. Mr Davis has said, for example, that “there is a growing feeling that the Muslim community is excessively sensitive to criticism”. Maybe, but if everyone says it every day for a week, the sensitivity becomes justified. Try it at home if you don’t believe me.
Unfortunately it came in the same article as this unsubstantiated stat about 12-year-old girls:
...... there are several communities that practise Islam, and in some of them up to one tenth of the girls of school age go missing between primary and secondary school. They’re back in Pakistan getting betrothed ......
On the spate of Muslim stories, Unity and Sunny at PP had good write-ups on the recent story where the Sun claimed that "Muslim yobs" had daubed "F**K OFF" outside the door of British soldiers. Turned out that no Muslim had done anything of the sort. Alarm bells should have been ringing from when the story was first published in the Sun though. Their evidence:
Sources inside Windsor’s Combermere Barracks — where the officers are based — confirmed Muslims had made calls threatening the men.
When someone makes threatening and abusive calls, how on earth do you decipher what religion they are? “Oi soldiers, F*** OFF! By the way, peace be upon you, I’m a Muslim”.
And this week the Scotsman expressed the outrage of Scotland's leading bigoted QC Donald Findlay that a trial was deferred to a later date because two Muslim witnesses were celebrating Eid.
I've now spoken with some lawyers, and indeed trials do get deferred for a lot less. In any case, it is not going to bring down civilisation as we know it, no matter how alarmed readers of the Scotsman get about the "Islamisation of the UK" (their letters page can be a scary place). We're a big country with bags of tradition, we can be relaxed about this.
The reporter did not tell me that one of the Muslims in question was a terror suspect. I stand by my comments in the original article regardless - it is like asking a Christian to come into court on Christmas. It's up to others to determine how much they want to treat Muslims like untermenschen in insisting that they come in regardless.