Fitna

is Arabic for ‘unbelief” and is also the title of Geert Wilders’ iconic documentary for which an invitation to screen it in the House of Lords was overturned by the outrage of a Muslim peer, arguing that it would plunge the country into riot and anarchy.

I have seen it and, like the prophet Ezra, sat down, appalled. Not least because it is shocking – deliberately and provocatively so – but also because an invited EU politician was summarily turned around and scooted back to Holland. Our own version of the First Amendment seems to have suffered a bloody nose. Ironically, fomenters of hatred, violence and terror are quite at liberty, it seems, to use the shelter of their mosques to inflame the population of Europe, including the UK. Gaza won the media battle hands down, Israel remains languidly undecided about who should lead it; Islamic infrastructure grows in strength and influence.

Meanwhile,Wiley-Blackwell, a major academic publisher, has recalled copies of ‘Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization’ and scrapped the print run after critics said the entries were “too Christian” and “too anti-Muslim and not politically correct enough for use in universities.”  I had rather supposed that the purpose of a university education was about teaching people to tell the difference between valid argument and a load of rubbish.

Perhaps I was wrong.

In times of economic uncertainty, a new class of poverty emerges, willing to believe the most persuasive speaker, regardless of the validity of the argument. I wonder whether the prophet Ezra would have shared the same view.

No image this time. In case I get into trouble.

 

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