In Britain we are seeing worrying signs of a new Islamic assertiveness, with condemnation by self-appointed Islamic leaders of every perceived insult to Islam, demands for special treatment for Muslims in schools, hospitals and the workplace, and the acceptance of sharia law for the settlement of family disputes.
But this phenomenon is not confined to Britain, or even Europe. It is part of an international campaign, orchestrated by the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), demanding the worldwide acceptance and adoption of Islamic norms and values.
For the past 30 years, the OIC, which represents all 57 Islamic States at the UN, and which many observers see as the rebirth of the global caliphate, has been pushing for global recognition of the special status for Islam....
Now, the OIC is pushing for new international law that would be binding on all states, to make defamation of religion – or blasphemy – a criminal offence worldwide. For the Islamic states there is no distinction between religion and state, and sharia law is deemed to be God’s law, so any criticism of sharia law is itself considered blasphemy, punishable by death. This means, to take just one example, that not only is homosexuality punishable by death under sharia law, but so too would be any call for the law on homosexuality to be liberalised....
This new, Islamic-inspired intolerance is spreading beyond the Islamic world and is beginning to affect the daily lives of millions. It has created a climate in which even nominally Christian countries feel able to introduce draconian antigay legislation. In Uganda, for example, under draft legislation before parliament, homosexuality is falsely characterised as “a threat to the traditional heterosexual family” and same-sex attraction as “not an innate characteristic”.
You can read the whole article here, and I'd urge you to do so. What these bullies want is to pick, with impunity, on women, gays, followers of other religions, non-believers and, most of all, anybody who dares to think independently, rather than being told what to think or believe. Anyone who dares to challenge the bullies' agenda is labelled "intolerant". Good evening Mr Pot, have you met Mr Kettle?
This isn't a "Clash of Civilizations", though. The sort of bigotry promoted by the Organisation of the Islamic Conference isn't a million miles from the casual discrimination commonplace here in Britain within living memory, as the BBC reminded us reminded earlier this year:
Gordon Brown has said he is sorry for the "appalling" way World War II code-breaker Alan Turing was treated for being gay.
A petition on the No 10 website had called for a posthumous government apology to the computer pioneer.
In 1952 Turing was prosecuted for gross indecency after admitting a sexual relationship with a man. Two years later he killed himself....
Alan Turing was given experimental chemical castration as a "treatment" and his security privileges were removed, meaning he could not continue to work for the UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ).
Britain, in the 1950's and most of the 60's Private sexual acts between consenting men were illegal. Undercover policemen cruised the nation's public toilets on the look out for "immorality". Abortion or attempts to "procure a miscarriage" were illegal except under the most extreme circumstances. Landlords greeted immigrants from the Caribbean and Ireland with signs saying "no blacks, no Irish, no dogs". The Bristol bus company operated a colour bar, refusing employment to blacks or Asians. The Lord Chamberlain's Office protected public morals by censoring theatre scripts.
This wasn't a different civilization. It was the same country, since changed by the tireless campaigning of people who weren't content to see random groups of people being picked on for being "different". There is a varied group of people, united by the belief that different cultures are unchanging, monolithic, incompatible with one another and pure. This group feel that belonging to one culture or another is the most important defining characteristic of a human being. This group includes religious fundamentalists of various persuasions, people who see identity politics as an end in itself, (rather than just a means to highlight and overcome discrimination) and post Cold-War Warriors in search of an enemy.
This group is wrong - the truth they are afraid of is that change does happen to cultures and that people can escape from their assigned pigeonholes. Many of the clashes that matter happen within and across civilizations. History shows that it's not a quick, easy or painless process, but it's happened before and it can happen again - which, I suspect, is what really frightens the bullies of the OIC.