‘Let’s stop handling Islam with kid gloves’

“The failed action West Midlands police took against a Channel 4 programme exposing extremist Islamic preachers highlights our dysfunctional attitude to free speech…. The job of the police is to uphold the law but, deeming no law had been broken, they instead decided to be media watchdogs. They stepped wildly beyond their remit here.

“I think they did so in a public effort to seem sensitive to the Muslim community, which is apparently ‘demonised’ by the media (according to last week’s farcical report commissioned by Ken Livingstone). On the contrary: Islam is treated with kid gloves in Britain…. The police shouldn’t exceed their powers when addressing discussion of Islam. It only legitimises the misplaced sense of victimisation that extremists exploit in instances where they have no cause for complaint.”

Nirpal Dhaliwal (writing from another planet, apparently) in the Evening Standard, 21 November 2007