Henry Porter has a real must read column up in the Observer. He takes a look at the tolerance of intolerance in Britain. His judgment of it is harsh, indeed.
Imagine the Archbishop of Canterbury or any senior Anglican clergyman giving a sermon which suggested that homosexual men should be thrown off a mountain; that they were no better than filthy dogs. Imagine another priest rising in another church to preach that children should be hit for not praying, that women were deficient, should walk behind men and only go out with their man's permission. Consider what the reaction would be if a third joined in by saying all Jews were born liars.
The media would be trembling with indignation for weeks. Questions would be asked in the House and the archbishop called to account for the state of his church. There would be demonstrations, commissions of inquiry and Baron St John of Fawsley would be summoned from retirement.
But when these statements are made in British mosques and recorded by a secret camera for a Channel 4 Dispatches programme, it seems nobody takes much notice. This might have been because Undercover Mosque was broadcast three weeks ago, as the nation was obsessed with Jade Goody's behaviour on Big Brother. While Goody has the power to cause an international incident, it seems that weekly attacks on women, gays and Jews raise little interest.
I suspect the lack of outrage has a lot to do with the degree of separate development that has taken place in Britain while so many of us were living the multiculturalist dream. Whatever Muslims say, the standards that most British institutions live by simply do not apply to the missionaries of Saudi fundamentalism who, as demonstrated beyond doubt by this documentary, are attempting to poison relations between Muslims, Christians and Jews in Britain and to establish what amounts to a separate community under Sharia law.
Porter points out the unhinged conspiracy theories that dominate among younger Muslim males in Britain. Terror arrests are seen as a plot against Muslims. Bombings by islamists, more plots. The list goes on and on. But there are also hopeful signs with some people in the Muslim community standing up against the islamist extremists.
There is a twisted set of double standards in place that allows the extremists a free hand to spout venomous hatred with impunity. The West cannot simply continue to allow that double standard to exist in the name of multiculturalism.