In recent years the West has fallen over itself to accommodate Muslim sensitivities. In Britain, the BBC boss says Islam should be treated differently from other religions. American publishers pull books that might offend Muslim sensibilities. Television stations censor images of Mohammed. Why does the accommodation always run one way?
Moderate Muslims would surely understand tolerance is a two-way street. They might agree the building of a mosque at Ground Zero is a political, rather than a religious, point. Instead, there is just silence. Always silence.
That void is filled with voices that profess to be moderate but a closer look suggests they may not be; voices such Feisal Abdul Rauf, the imam who wants to build the Ground Zero mosque. When he spoke at the Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre in Adelaide in 2005, organisers lauded him as a man who has "dedicated his life to building bridges between Muslims and the West". In his "interfaith" address, Rauf described America as worse than al-Qa'ida. A moderate would acknowledge the atrocities Muslims have committed against Muslims and non-Muslims in the name of Islam. Rauf condemned the London bombings of 2005 as against Islamic law. A moderate would condemn terrorism and acknowledge the problem: Islam is used to fuel the violence. Asked about suicide bombers, the imam said there are always people willing to kill themselves, those jilted by lovers, those failing to get academic tenure and so on. A moderate Muslim would recognise that, once again, Islam is used to incite suicide bombers who kill innocent people.