Painting Islam as some kind of “otherness”, rather than saying that yesterday’s attacks were the work of two or three individuals who claimed to be doing their deeds in the name of Islam - which is something rather different - could lead to Very Bad Things. So, while some have no problem dumping on all those Scary Muslims, others just remain on the periphery, perhaps prodding anyone with a Qur’an.
One of the first category, to no surprise at all is Douglas Murray, whose first intervention was short and to the point. “The same offer as always: ‘say my religion is peaceful or I will kill you’”. Exactly when was this ultimatum given? It was’t, but then, Doug Murray The K is the one who said “Conditions for Muslims in Europe must be made harder across the board” and even advocated some demolition of mosques.
The taint of bigotry never leaves Murray. Elsewhere, James “saviour of Western civilisation” Delingpole, after his initial Tweeted expletive, had a prediction. “The Charlie Hebdo massacre will not dent the political class’s complacency one iota”. Not that’s he’s suggesting that anything should happen as a result of the shootings, you understand. He wouldn’t dream of it. After all, Del Boy is a libertarian.
But while Delingpole is saying nothing useful - no change there, then - good Catholic Cristina Odone demands “Please let us hear from Muslim leaders all over the world condemning this wicked massacre in the strongest terms”. And to which I call bullshit: did anyone demand that one prominent Christian stand up and condemn Anders Breivik? Ah, but Christians are always “lone wolves”, and Scary Muslims are “otherness”.
Sadly, the temptation to jump on the bigotry bandwagon has not prevented Damian Thompson, clueless pundit of no fixed hair appointment, and who, I have been reliably informed recently, is “one of the good guys”, from blaming slebs: “I’m assuming that freedom-defending celebrities with huge followings will Retweet Charlie Hebdo cartoons [Stephen Fry]”. Yes, it’s now Stephen Fry’s fault. Why? Who knows? And who cares?
But for a return to unvarnished bigotry, nobody smears better than the odious flannelled fool Henry Cole, tame gofer to the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines at the Guido Fawkes blog, who has told “Jews, Catholics, Muslims, white people, black people. Everyone attacked by Charlie Hebdo, yet who reacts like this?” Two or three armed thugs, unless you’re trying to smear the whole of Islam with the taint of “otherness”.