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Saturday, June 24, 2006

Does too much tolerance breed contempt?

This story tells us things we need to know. Here's the gist:-

'Public opinion in Britain is mostly favourable towards Muslims, but the feeling is not requited by British Muslims, who are among the most embittered in the western world, according to a global poll published yesterday.'

The details are here.

On Saturday the Grauniad hit back by commissioning its own research. A random sample of one British Muslim (an al-Jazeera TV presenter, as luck would have it) finds the Pew survey incredible. So possibly the people Pew talked to weren't real Muslims at all. A bit like 9/11 (17% of British Muslims believe that Arabs were involved). Oh, the fiendish cunning of the you-know-who's (clue: 32% of British Muslims think they're OK)!

Seriously, though. This head-in-sand response is just pathetic. Certainly we need to examine what the survey is telling us very carefully, without jumping to conclusions. But there is absolutely no excuse for ignoring it. There's a problem which is global in scope, and Britain's approach to it appears to have backfired rather spectacularly. What's to be done?

A week before the poll was published the we learnt from the Grauniad that the use of the word 'continuum' here is evidence of hysteria:-

'[Islamists] are fuelled by an ideology that itself is non-negotiable and forms a continuum that links peaceful, law-abiding but nevertheless intensely ideological Muslims at one end and murderous jihadists at the other.'

I think the writer can be forgiven for saying 'told you so'.

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