“When events such as last Thursday’s occur, two things happen, usually within hours if not minutes: first, spokespersons for Islamic lobby groups issue warnings about an imminent backlash against Muslims…. In most circumstances it would be regarded as appallingly bad taste to deflect attention from an actual ‘hate crime’ by scaremongering about a non-existent one. But it seems the real tragedy of every act of ‘intolerance’ by Islamist bigots is that it might hypothetically provoke even more intolerance from us irredeemable white imperialist racists. My colleague Peter Simple must surely marvel at how the identity-group grievance industry has effortlessly diversified into pre-emptively complaining about acts of prejudice that have not yet occurred.
“Among those of us who aren’t Muslim, meanwhile, there’s a stampede to be first to the microphone to say that ‘of course’ we all know that ‘the vast majority of Muslims’ are not terrorists but law-abiding peace-loving people who share our revulsion at these appalling events, etc. Mr Blair won that contest on Thursday, followed closely by Brian Paddick and full supporting cast. If ‘of course’ Mr Blair and Mr Paddick and the rest do indeed know that ‘the vast majority of Muslims’ do not favour terrorism, is that because they’ve run the numbers and have a ballpark figure on the very very very slim minority of Muslims who do? And, if so, what is it? 0.02 per cent? Or two per cent? Or 20 per cent?”
Mark Steyn in the Daily Telegraph, 12 July 2005