While the rest of us were applauding the withdrawal of Condoleezza Rice’s invitation to visit Masjid Al Hidayah in Blackburn, Melanie Phillips saw it as another example of intimidation by Muslims hostile to western values:
“The decision by the Blackburn mosque to cancel the planned visit by Condoleezza Rice is utterly unacceptable and deeply troubling. A mosque spokesman has said that it was cancelled not through dislike of Dr Rice but because of the threat by Muslim anti-war protesters to invade the mosque, thus compromising the safety of the visiting dignitaries. What an appalling state of affairs where the safety of the Foreign Secretary and a distinguished overseas visitor cannot be guaranteed against the threat of violent disorder. Aren’t we all supposed to be engaged in a war against this kind of menace to life and liberty?
“… the fact is that British Muslims are British and should afford Dr Rice – a principal member of the government of our major ally – an elementary degree of courtesy. After all, if the US government is to be treated in this way over the Iraq war, logic dictates that these British Muslims would regard the British government with identical hostility over its own part in that war. And that is a very troubling thought indeed. It implies that some of them do not identify themselves as British but adhere to a hostile set of values.”
Mel pursues this theme on her blog: “in Britain anti-war hysteria has institutionalised a Big Lie that the US is waging war not on behalf of the innocent but against them…. It is the big propaganda lie of the enemies of freedom and democracy, promulgated by those who have every interest in bringing about the defeat of the west – both radical Islamists and the extreme left, now in close and unholy alliance with each other in the Stop the War Coalition and elsewhere – and now fast becoming the accepted unwisdom of those who opposed the war for more respectable reasons. The result is a madness which is consuming British public debate. Welcome, Condi, to Londonistan.”
Londonistan? What’s that got to do with Blackburn? Well, nothing really, except that it’s the title of Mel’s new book, and she couldn’t resist the opportunity to give it a plug.