If there is one question that most concerns the public around the question of radical Islam it is “What is the connection between the extremists and the moderates?” Leading politicians across the Western world have not been much help in answering this question, insisting as they do, that radical Islam has nothing to do with Islam and that the extremists are as far away from the moderates as it is possible to be. Yet the public senses that this is not the case.
Despite the amazing lack of public debate about the actual contours of the discussion, the public knows that something is not right about the analysis provided by Liberal politicians and others. Indeed, the public notices not only that there is some connection between the two (something Democrats in the U.S., among others, deny) but that the connection may be closer than anyone would like. A fine example of this was thrown up in the UK this week in the space of just 24 hours.
On Friday the London Evening Standard carried a story about the police launching a possible “hate crime” investigation into literature that the paper had discovered being handed out at a London mosque. The potential “hate crime” was not even the best known variety — a mean Tweet or a nasty comment — but the sort of thing we used to call “incitement.” The literature being handed out at a mosque in Walthamstow consisted of a booklet which insisted that “any Muslim should kill” anyone who insults the Prophet of Islam. Those who insult the main man “must be killed,” it repeated.