Yesterday 10,000 Muslims travelled from across Britain to the London offices of Google to demonstrate that they do not understand anything about the country they live in.
The protest was one of a number planned against a film uploaded onto Youtube some months back. One of the organisers, Sheikh Masoud Alam, described the film thus: ‘This is not freedom of expression, there is a limit for that. This insult of the Prophet will not be allowed.’
Sadly, for him, the Sheikh is wrong. What he terms ‘insult’ of a historical figure is most certainly allowed and judging by the quality of their argument, it seems unlikely Mr Alam and friends will persuade anyone of the contrary anytime soon.
Some banners carried by the demonstrators yesterday read: ‘Freedom of Speech = Hatred to Muslims?’ To be fair, that’s the sort of drivel you can read any day in the left-wing press, but it is a distinctly minority opinion. Others banners were more innovative, claiming for instance that Google ‘Supports Terrorism’. Some in the crowd, interviewed by journalists, took part in the usual threats and blackmail, one, for instance, telling a reporter: ‘If you push people too far you will turn the peaceful elements into violence.’ I have always loved this one: ‘Humour me by saying I am peaceful or I might become violent.’
Masoud and his friends hope to draw a million people to a demonstration in Hyde Park soon. I hope they fail. Not least because it seems like such a waste of a weekend. If those considering attending would just read the following paragraph they could save the time and either wash the car, spend some time with the family, or read something about British history or law.
Most people in this country are not Muslim. Therefore we don’t think that Islam is true. We don’t mind if you do, but most of us don’t.
I’m currently reading Salman Rushdie’s memoir, Joseph Anton. Isn’t it amazing that more than twenty years after The Satanic Verses affair this country still has people with no idea whatsoever about the country they are living in?
More Spectator for less. Stay informed leading up to the EU referendum and in the aftermath. Subscribe and receive 15 issues delivered for just £15, with full web and app access. Join us.