Kevin Myers: If Pastor Jones is mad, what do you call these Muslim fanatics?
It’s interesting how Pastor Jones was presented in the western media as a nut-job.
But the many Muslim governments who threatened the US government about the violent consequences if he went ahead with his threat to burn the Koran were not so characterised - even though they came up with the usual old line: We are a people of peace, but if that man burns some paper, there'll be killings.
Just let me break this news to you gently. Things could get much, much worse. Come back in two years' time and perhaps you'll see what I mean.
For in 2012, the Islamic world will be celebrating the 1,400th anniversary of the appearance of the Angel Gabriel to Mohammed — a visitation that turned him into a prophet and changed the world.
What emotions will that anniversary unleash in the Islamic world? How will Muslims commemorate the events of 9/11 in the year 2012?
It's all pretty much one-way traffic and some of it is quite bizarre. Turkey has just passed a referendum which will finally curtail the political power of its army.
But the Turkish army is the one guarantor of secularism in Turkey. Only a truly dogmatic form of post-Christian Euro-liberalism would have imposed the moral and political values of Scandinavia on an Islamic country like Turkey.
To remove the army as the final guarantor of Turkey's secular constitution is like the Alpine countries condemning dams and telling the Netherlands to get rid of theirs. Or like the EU insisting on a universal freedom of procession right across the EU, from Lisbon to Lyons to, ah, Lurgan . . .
The one-size-fits-all theory — it doesn't work, does it? Many Turkish liberals opposed the referendum proposals from the Turkish government, in part because they see the thin end of the wedge of Islamic power replacing that of the army.
If the EUrologists have their way, Turkey will be in the EU within a decade or so; and then what? What are the consequences of the mass movement of Turkey's Muslims into western European cities?
It'll all work out in the end, is the generally accepted piety, which continues: once European Muslims come to enjoy the tolerance of European institutions, they'll behave just like European Christians.
Which is just fine: but what is the guarantee that European Muslims will start conforming to the norms of Europe? And where is the model for such optimism?
Where do Muslims in numbers behave like tolerant western Christians/secularists do everywhere, from Argentina to Austria to Australia?
For one of the characteristics of any Muslim society is that it never seems to mutate into a post-Muslim society.
The great politicalisms of the world — communism, fascism, Nazism — have vanished.
Christianity is virtually dead as a political force everywhere outside the US, but all societies that were Islamic 500 years ago remain Islamic today.
Intolerance of visible, vibrant diversity is one characteristic of all Islamic societies everywhere. Another is intellectual and economic failure.
Across the Islamic world, there is not a single university of merit — nor an aircraft manufacturer or pioneering IT company, or even an indigenous and successful car factory (though Turkey and Malaysia were for a time talking about manufacturing an ‘Islamic car', which is not merely beyond parody, but also a cruel reminder of why the words ‘Islam' and ‘technology' do not naturally seem to fit into the one sentence).
This is not unrelated to the other truth: that Muslims across the world are queueing up to enter the Western-secular world that Islam simultaneously professes to despise.
But why is it only the Christian-secularists who have this immigration? How many Muslim immigrants do China and Japan accept every year?
And, of course, western societies usually pass through paroxysms of guilt with the arrival of these aliens and assure them they can do whatever they want.
So honour killings of Muslim women in Britain were categorised as ‘culturally sensitive crimes’ and went uninvestigated for years. Somalis take Somalia — including the joys of female circumcision — wherever they go.
Moreover, I would really love to know whether Muslims in any British cities with large Muslim populations ever sell their homes to non-Muslims. Or is property, once owned by Muslims, henceforth always to be inhabited by their co-religionists?
Pastor Jones is a mad crank. Agreed. So what do you call those who threaten homicidal violence over the deluded antics of such a creature?