Emmett Tyrrell

 They have been very effective. As Mark Steyn pointed out in the Daily Telegraph, "In most circumstances it would be regarded as appallingly bad taste to deflect attention from an actual 'hate crime' [last week's bombings] by scaremongering about a non-existent one." Yet apparently, this has been going on for some time, and now Prime Minister Tony Blair is hustling through Parliament a so-called Racial and Religious Hatred Bill. If passed, it would send a person to jail for seven years if he is accused and convicted of authoring words found offensive by aggrieved religious and racial groups, for instance, I suppose, aggrieved terrorists. Opponents argue that it would protect Satanists and other unusual believers.

 How would it affect another journalist writing recently in a British paper, Charles Moore, former editor of the Sunday Telegraph and London's Spectator? Recently, he quoted a Saudi imam welcomed to Britain by Mohammed Abdul Bari of the East London Mosque. The reverend imam, a couple of years back in Mecca, described Jews as "scum of the earth," "rats of the world," "monkeys and pigs who should be annihilated." When the imam is criticized by the likes of Moore, Abdul Bari furiously defends him. Moore went on to quote the local Muslim Weekly's Sheikh Dr. Abdalqadir as-Sufi's writing that parliamentary democracy in Britain must be replaced by "a new civilization based on the worship of Allah," and his description of the leader of the Tory Party as "an illegal Jewish immigrant from Romania." He also referred to the "near-demented Judaic banking elite."

 In his trenchant article noting that Islam has yet to come up with a Gandhi or a Martin Luther King, Moore criticized another visitor to London welcomed by London's left-wing mayor, Ken Livingstone. The visitor, a world-renowned spiritual leader, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, supports suicide bombing in Israel, whipping homosexuals, and killing Americans in Iraq, civilians and soldiers alike. Research such as this could land Moore in a British calaboose if the Racial and Religious Hatred Bill is passed.

 In the West, certain groups have a knack for capturing the moral high ground and ending debate. When the feminists did this and the gay rights groups accomplished this, mischief ensued but nothing more damaging. If Islam's apologists for terror accomplish this feat, the world is in for more than mischief. London will be in for more carnage and America, too.

Emmett Tyrrell

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator and co-author of Madame Hillary: The Dark Road to the White House.
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