What I would not do was make a police spokesman go down on his knees and grovel for supposedly causing offence by putting a picture of a dog sitting in a policeman's hat on a poster for a new non-emergency number. …
The idea that Muslims are offended by the very sight of a dog seems to derive entirely from one Dundee councillor, and even he didn't try to make out that he was upset, only that others “could” be. By rolling over and apologising, the police have made themselves look weak and inadvertently given the impression that Dundee's Muslims are an intolerant bunch intent on Islamifying the British way of life.Do writers for what was once, in its pre-Murdoch days, England's most respected and literate newspaper no longer have to know syntax? You do not mix a conditional tense ("would not do") with a past tense ("was"). But that's a side issue.
Clark, the columnist, obviously feels he dares not step out into the clear without first strapping on his flak vest and singing the multicultural company song: "If I were diversity officer at Tayside Police I would go to great lengths to avoid offending Muslims. I would make sure that they were not stopped and searched just for looking a bit shifty, and, nothwithstanding the Government's victory in the Commons, I would want to make sure that young Muslims were not driven into the hands of radicals by being incarcerated for 42 days without charge."
Take that, you racist Islamophobes! As though someone had suggested that a police "diversity officer" — Lord, how I hate that expression — should offend Muslims by not going to great lengths. As though he were bravely standing in the way of a howling mob demanding Muslims be stopped and searched "just for looking a bit shifty." This is what is known in slightly more rational circles than those our pundit inhabits as a straw man argument.
Next, he presents a one-off incident and generalizes as if it applies to every situation in which Britain's multi-culti commissars bow to the ground to avoid offending Muslim sensibilities. Maybe no one did complain about the advertisement. But there certainly are cases on record (see here and here) in which Muslims have been so offended by "the very sight of a dog" that they refused to perform the public service jobs they were licensed to do. The police diversity officer was hardly excessive in imagining that Muslims would wax indignant yet again.
And why would the police hire a diversity cop and all of Britain's officialdom go tippy-toe around anything to do with Muslim beliefs if they weren't afraid of trouble — complaints, political pressure, maybe even calls for the heads of infidels? Yet the clear implication of the article is that the problem is in the minds of non-Muslims. They're making the mountain Mohammed went to out of a molehill.
But the main reason why arguments like Clark's are despicable is that, under the cloak of sweet reason and criticism of the deepest fathoms of political correctness, they actually reinforce dhimmitude. He implies that his society should trim its discourse to please its most fanatical colonists. To him and people like him, it's axiomatic that Muslims must never be offended. The only thing that can legitimately be discussed is whether any speech or act really offends them.
Every day Muslims in a Western country are wound up about something the "Crusaders" do. A great many Muslims are "an intolerant bunch intent on Islamifying the British way of life," as Clark says with lofty irony.
So he reassures his Muslim readers that here's one good dhimmi who'll be their sword and shield, while assuring everybody else that all this carry-on would stop if only they'd quit expecting Muslims to run true to form. What a guy.