When officials capitulate to assumed Muslim sensibilities and beg forgiveness for the most innocuous of "slights," it reflects the Western world's deteriorating self-confidence as much as it does the growing strength of lawful Islamism. Case in point: a police force apologizing for having distributed postcards with the picture of a German shepherd puppy:

A postcard featuring a cute puppy sitting in a policeman's hat advertising a Scottish police force's new telephone number has sparked outrage from Muslims.


The advert has upset Muslims because dogs are considered ritually unclean and has sparked such anger that some shopkeepers in Dundee have refused to display the advert.

A complaint was issued by Mohammed Asif, a Dundee city councillor and member of the Tayside Joint Police Board. "My concern was that it is not welcomed by all communities, with the dog on the cards," he said. A police spokesman quickly waved the white flag: "We did not seek advice from the force's diversity adviser prior to publishing and distributing the postcards. That was an oversight and we apologize for any offense caused."

However, a follow-up article suggests that the widespread "outrage" and "anger" is largely in Asif's mind. Mahmud Sarwar, a trustee of a local Islamic cultural center and mosque, said, "I've not heard anything about that from members of the community." He also appealed for his neighbors to display the ad because it is in the public interest. "There is not a dog — it is just a picture," he concluded.

Writing in the New York Post, John O'Sullivan describes the players common to embarrassing tales such as this one:

First, there are the Islamist radicals who invent or exploit most of these trivial "outrages" to sow irritation among the majority and fear among the Muslim community. ...

The second villains are our own officials in Britain and here. If they were to treat complaints like those in Tayside with robust contempt, the complaints would peter out, the Muslim community would feel less isolated — and the ordinary public wouldn't get needlessly steamed up.

Instead, they've been miseducated to see Islamophobia, xenophobia, homophobia, racism, sexism, and classism under every lamppost.

Weakness invites attack — a truth as relevant to the cultural arena as it is to the military one. Our leaders would do well to keep this in mind as they contemplate the challenge of Islamism.