It's been quite a week for Muslim nuisances. First off, we had the disgraceful spectacle of Anjem Choudary and his blood-curdling crew of Muslim fanatics attempting to spoil and disrupt the homecoming parade of our troops from Iraq. As the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Anglian Regiment paraded through the streets of Luton, a small group of supposedly outlawed al-Muhajiroun Muslim extremists waved offensive placards and shouted insults, successfully hijacking the event for their own publicity purposes. As usual, the police - cowed by politically correct meddling - stood by and did nothing. This unpleasant rag-bag of Islamist cranks now calls itself Ahle Sunnah al Jannah, which literally means "the majority of Muslims", yet, ironically, through their non-attendance, the majority of Luton's ordinary Muslims made it clear they wouldn't piss on Anjem Choudary if he caught fire.
Then we heard that just 16 days into his 12-week sentence for killing a man in a drive-by text incident on the M1, another Muslim self-publicist, Lord Ahmed, was released from his custodial sentence on Appeal. I wonder how the poor parents of the young Slovakian man Lord Ahmed killed as a result of his irresponsible and illegal behaviour must be feeling, knowing that their son's life merited only 16 days' detention of this privileged Muslim buffoon? This must be the lightest punishment that anyone has ever suffered for an unlawful killing. Do you suppose that Phillipa Curtis, who received a 21 month sentence in almost exactly the same circumstances, or the Portuguese lorry driver whose distracted fatal driving earned him a 3 year sentence will have their sentences similarly commuted? Don't hold your breath.
Both these incidents highlight, once again, how supine the political class in Britain has become when it comes to Muslims. And the more objectionable the Muslim, the more, it seems, they are indulged and accommodated, taken seriously and let off the hook. Political leaders, senior public servants and organisations like the BBC and Church of England are falling over themselves to be ever more sensitive to the feelings (read "demands") of Muslims, no matter how unreasonable, or how offensive they make themselves to the population at large. Even the National Secular Society, which would once have boldly championed the rights of the secular, now tip-toes around Muslims, fearful of being branded "racist" or upsetting its own far-Left subscribers - hence the reason that it will only have a pop at Islam whilst hiding behind the skirts of Maryam Namazie, the Iranian Communist (a co-traveller, perhaps, but not exactly a friend of freethought).
For most of us, respect is a two-way street. It is important that in a mature and free society like Britain, that minorities, including newcomers, are made to feel welcome and enjoy the same rights as anybody else in terms of being protected against any form of prejudice and discrimination. They have the right to live their lives as they choose, as do we. But those rights are conditional and reciprocal in nature and too many Muslims seem concerned only with the rights and well-being of Muslims, while a persistent few deliberately set out to offend, discriminate against, or even harm, non-Muslims. In my own area of North London, two local Jewish schools now resemble Army barracks in 1970s Ulster, following police warnings about hostile Islamist surveillance. Jews, gays, women and ex-Muslims have much to fear from Islam, the literal meaning of which is "submission". In their own countries this behaviour by Muslim extremists is shameful: when they choose to settle in other people's countries, often availing themselves of generous welfare benefits, it's a damn bloody disgrace and cheek.
Following the murder of two fine young soldiers in Northern Ireland last week, by dissident Irish Republican thugs, Anjem Choudary's insulting public display towards our troops in Luton was as badly-timed as it was in poor taste. Yet guess who was arrested? Not Choudary and his menacing crew of beardy-weirdy, bile-spewing Muslim brothers. No, under orders, no doubt, from the Home Office, it was those who took exception to this crass display of gratuitous offence who were carted off by the police. The Government is completely out-of-step with the feelings of the population at large on this issue. Just a couple of days later, in one of those rare, spontaneous and joyous moments of defiance that the British public does so well, the streets of Watford, Lincoln and Leicester thronged with some of the biggest crowds since VE Day, welcoming home the next returning battalions. This two-fingered salute was directed as much to the political class, one suspects, as it was to Anjem Choudary and his Islamist hatemongers.
If the Luton scenario sounds familiar, that's because it is. Think back to the demonstration against the Danish cartoons, when Islamist hysterics were allowed to threaten and incite hatred and violence, completely unchallenged by the police. One Muslim ghoul, wearing a fake suicide bomber's belt, was actually protected by the police when press photographers tried to photograph him. Think back again to hook-handed Abu Hamza's hate-filled preaching outside Finsbury Park mosque, when he and his followers took over and closed the road to public traffic week, after week, after week. Clearly, the laws that would apply if you or I were to obstruct the highway, or carry offensive placards, or incite hatred and violence, do not apply where Muslims are concerned.
In the case of Lord Ahmed's reckless texting that contributed to the fatal accident on the M1, the Appeal judge, Lady Justice Hallett, this week accepted his barrister's dubious claim that Lord Ahmed's "work in the community" might be "irreparably and permanently damaged" if he served his full custodial sentence. So what immeasurable good has Lord Ahmed achieved in the "community" thus far, to merit his custodial sentence being waived? Well his last "achievement" of note seems to have been successfully persuading our clueless Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, to ban Geert Wilders from entering Britain. His mission, to address peers at the House of Lords about what he sees as the dangers of Islamification, was duly cancelled.
Unlike the Pakistani-born Lord Ahmed, who was appointed a life-peer in 1997, Geert Wilders is a bona fide elected Dutch MP. But it seems that even free-speech and wide-ranging debate, among European politicians - even elected ones - must now be sacrificed to appease unelected Islamist officials like Lord Ahmed. Dubbed the "odious" Lord Ahmed by Freethinker editor, Barry Duke, he has previously criticised the knighthood awarded to Salman Rushdie saying that the author had "blood on his hands" and hosted a book launch in the House of Lords for the anti-Zionist author Israel Shamir.
So, who needs Shariah? Under British law, when it comes to Muslims, they already seem to have it all their own way, whether they want to incite hatred on our streets or close down freedom of speech with impunity. The official policy towards Muslims remains: appease, indulge, excuse.