This Times on Line story is about the London Mosque run by Abu Hamza who has been convicting of inciting his followers to kill nonMoslims. It’s really a fascinating story and one to remind us all that not speaking up in order to not offend is a real problem.
The authorities were wary of offending Muslim sensibilities, even in the case of Hamza. When police did finally raid the Finsbury Park mosque they treated the hotbed of terrorism with utmost respect.
“Every precaution was taken to avoid hurting Muslim sensibilities,” Lord Stevens, the former Metropolitan police commissioner, wrote in his autobiography. “All police officers who were to enter the mosque wore overshoes and headgear, and the raiding party included Muslim officers to handle copies of the Koran.”
Hamza had shown no such courtesy in his public rants. Instead he had described Britain as a “toilet” and urged his followers to turn it into an Islamic state. He had urged them to “bleed the enemies of Allah” and to “stab them here and there”.
Interestingly, one of the things that I needed to defend a lot after 911 and my support for the war was the constant argument you hear on the streets about how no one likes us in the world because of whatever, arrogance, power, stupidity, whatever. At some point you say, screw it, we are who we are and we need to do what needs to done in our own best interests whether it’s going to ruin your opinion of us or not. Frankly in many places the world’s opinion of us was ruined long before President Bush took office. He couldn’t have fixed it if he tried.