Here is the problem when it comes to the aftermath of events such as beheading of one of our soldiers in Woolwich recently. It is not that almost every Muslim community spokesperson didn't come out and say that the beheading was bad. That is what they have done before and will continue to do after – and quite rightly so. It is of course a pretty low place to position the bar. Applauding anyone for coming out against beheading is just a symptom of a malaise: "Hurrah – you're for us keeping our heads."

But the other part of the horror is that there are too many people – far too many people – who although they would condemn this attack in London, might not condemn another such attack were it to have happened somewhere else .

Some years ago, around the time Western hostages were being beheaded in Iraq, I ended up doing a number of telephone interviews for a radio station from somewhere in Africa. It was called "Radio Islam" or the like. Anyhow – the striking thing was that they were always scrupulously polite. They even kept trying to give me a doctorate I didn't have – "so, Doctor Murray," and so on. But my relationship with them ended when they called one day to ask if I would debate beheading. I think it was after the American hostage in Iraq, Nick Berg, had just been beheaded in an al-Qaeda snuff-movie.

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