❏Osama bin Laden: Claims to be Muslim and quotes the Koran
THE BBC has canned a script for its hospital soap Casualty, because the plot involved Islamic terrorists.
The decision was taken by a group called the “Editorial Guidelines Department” because it was felt the story line would “perpetuate stereotypes of young Muslims in Britain.”
Have you ever heard such utter tosh in your life?
For 30 or more years, since 1969, Ireland - and the North of the island in particular - suffered from what we still euphemistically call “the Troubles.”
Right from the start, movies and television dramas emerged containing plot lines involving Irish terrorists.
And that was fair enough. Irish terrorists were killing people. They were simply reflecting reality.
For a generation, Hollywood survived by portraying Eastern Europeans, Russians in particular, as evil monsters bent on world domination.
Eastern European cinema, conversely, portrayed the Yanks as overarmed, gun-toting lunatics, equally determined to rule the world.
In both cases, fair enough. That’s precisely what they were.
Cinema, television and indeed, theatre and the world of literature, has always drawn on conflict.
Should The Odd Man Out or Michael Collins have been cancelled for fear the Irish got upset?
Should Ken Loach not have made The Wind That Shakes the Barley for fear Britain got the hump?
Should Platoon or The Fog of War have been canned for fear Americans got annoyed?
Should The Sands of Iwo Jima have been left on the shelf for fear the Japanse mightn't have liked it?
Should Schindler's List and Sophie's Choice have been binned for fear they might make Germany unhappy?
You could go on and on, citing Zulu, Das Boot, The Bridge on the River Kwai, Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence and hundreds if not thousands of movies which could offend someone somewhere.
Right now, though, it seems, the world’s most vicious conflicts are to be ignored for fear of causing offence to Islam.
Let’s get things straight.
If the stereotype of young Muslims in Britain is being perpetuated, it is being perpetuated by young British Muslims who are drawn to extremism and fundamentalism.
It is perpetuated by those who bombed London on 7/7 and those who attempted to repeat the outrage a week or so later.
It is perpetuated by those who tried to bomb London and Glasgow again this summer.
And in the heel of the hunt, Osama bin Laden claims to be a Muslim and both he and his deputy regularly cite the Koran as justification for their murderous campaign.
The West, for want of a better term, has an unhealthy fear of Islam, or more accurately, extreme Islam.
We are told that we must respect Islam and accommodate it in every way.
And so we get utterly nonsensical comparisons between a woman wearing a crucifix to work and a woman wearing a full veil over her head whilst standing in the dock as a defendant in an assault case.
We are expected to bite our tongues when Islamic leaders spout hatred and urge violence.
We keep diplomatic relations with countries like Iran, which habitually hangs, in public, criminals and dissidents and permits the stoning to death of a young woman because a judge didn’t like her attitude.
We are told we must tolerate Islam in all its forms while Islamic nations such as Saudi Arabia permits no display, whatsoever, of Christianity or - and you hardly have to guess it Judaism. Tolerance is a one way street for Islam.
The fact of the matter is, that the carnage in Iraq, for which the US and Britain are not entirely blameless, is carried out by Islamic militants, encouraged by their clergymen.
The genocide in Darfur, is visited on the unfortunate people by Muslims because they are not Muslims.
Somalia is rent by Islam. Christians are regularly the subject of attack in Pakistan.
In many other Islamic countries, Christians practice their religion secretly for fear of persecution.
Islam is, of course, due respect in the same way Christianity, Judaism, Hunduism or any other religion is due respect.
But before it can gain that respect, it has to tackle the evil within. It has to respect other religions in the way it expects to be respected.
The West bows to Islam, not because of a fear of Mohammed.
It bows to Islam because of the fear of men, armed men, vicious men, misguided men who kill without mercy.
And fear of men will never, ever compare with a fear of God.