Yes, there have been some attacks on Muslims which are totally reprehensible. But does that mean the subject of Islamic extremism is to be totally off limits? In any event, such attacks are just as likely to be the result of frustration with the failure to address the problem; or (as Phillips himself also observed) the entirely separate influx into the country of East Europeans who are — dismayingly — deeply prejudiced against black or Asian people, and would be so whatever may or may not be said in public about them.So, Muslims are attacked because people are frustrated with not being able to address the problem of Islamic extremism because Muslims won't allow them to. In other words, it's Muslims' fault that they're attacked. Nice one. And it's immigrants doing it anyway. Racist much?
Ugly? Bullying? ‘A trial of one particular community’? Surely, it’s those who draw attention to Islamic extremism who are mostly on the receiving end of ugly bullying. Any mention of ‘Islamic terrorism’ produces instantaneous denunciation as an ‘Islamophobe’, racist, bigot and all the rest of it — backed up by the implicit threat of violence, a state of affairs which started with the fatwa against the life of Salman Rushdie. As a result, the British media are now so cowed and intimidated they refuse to publish much vital discussion about Islam, to the terrible detriment of free and vital debate.Question for Melanie Phillips: If the media is so cowed it's not possible to criticise Islam, howcome you've got a job? You say, "There is a huge problem of Islamic extremism in Britain, very little is being done about it, and until Straw’s comments about the veil it wasn’t even discussed." Presumably, you're aware of the book 'Londonistan', the sole purpose of which is to discuss Islamic extremism. You know, the book you wrote. How was that book released a few months before Straw's comments if it wasn't discussed?
The idea that the media is too cowed to criticise Islam is an idiotic confection. I mean it as a serious point - if it was true, Melanie Phillips would be out of a job.
In itself, that wouldn't be such a bad thing, I suppose.