He talks of how his daughter has come home from Sunday School, or from having listened to her gran too intently, and told him she was covered with Jesus's blood and that he, her dad, was sad since he lost Jesus.
He was a bit taken aback, but observes, "But disquieting though all of this was, it didn’t occur to me to have my daughter arrested."
Then he gives the background to how a Muslim community support officer employed by West Midlands Police told two Christian evangelisers to piss off or they'd get beaten up. Not by him, it seems. Not as specific as that, you understand. But they just might find themselves on the wrong end of a few fists and boots.
The overzealous officer "is pretty well established within the National Association of Muslim Police. He has addressed government ministers and read to them from the Koran, apparently. Lucky government ministers."
The two evangelists have lodged a complaint, but Liddle doesn't think much will come of it. "So far the police have steadfastly refused to apologise and merely mentioned that one of the officers involved will be given a refresher course in ‘hate crimes’. Of course, the officer should be sacked immediately." He goes on:
[I]t is from our admittedly rather wishy-washy form of Christianity that we draw our fervent belief in the freedom of speech and the freedom of conscience. And that following from this, it is the job of a police officer to protect that freedom of speech (so long as it is not inciting violence against one or another group or individual). It is no use attempting to curry favour with our Muslim minority by employing extravagantly bearded police officers if they won’t sign up to some of the most important laws on the statute book. A Muslim police officer is not at liberty to ignore the laws which do not accord with his faith; if he does that, he is no better than a semi-official vigilante, a uniformed gangster. What would be his reaction if a local bookshop started selling the works of Salman Rushdie?
Quite! There would probably be a riot of MoToons proportions if that book were to be sold in a "Muslim area". It would be interesting to test it, though.