We've had exploding shoes, and exploding underwear. Now it's exploding ink-cartridges concealed inside a computer printer in the cargo compartment of a plane - the latest way for Al-Quaeda to tell us that they don't like us. And yet, amazingly, the word "Islamophobia" is still one of the most fashionable in the vocabulary of the trendy and media-conscious. What on earth can it mean?
In psychiatric terms, "phobia" means an irrational, ungrounded fear, a fear that is without cause, based on delusions. However, for people living in Europe or America, a fear of Islamic militancy and extremism is not irrational or delusory. It is well-founded, a fear surely based on abundant evidence.
PETN is the newest toy of those who regard it as a religious duty to blast passenger planes out of the sky and ignite the largest and most populous buildings they can find. Instead of trying to improve the conditions of life in Yemen or Somalia, they dream of an afterlife where they will be rewarded for detonating devices in mid-air. They also don't mind kidnapping idealistic aid workers, who go to Afghanistan to try to help the civilians struggling to survive.
Niceness and tolerance are the answers of the politically-correct classes. But niceness and tolerance do not always work on militants. Offered a home and a vote in this country, some of them prefer to stab their MPs with a dagger.
What worries me most about the case of Roshanaura Chaudry, the fanatic who tried to assassinate Steven Timms, Labour MP for East Ham, was not just that she resorted to the tactics of Charlotte Corday, but that when arrested and charged with attempted murder, she had the cheek to deny the jurisdiction of the British court. What country does she think she is living in? What right has she got to live here if she does not acknowledge the validity of British laws? If she wants to live under Sharia law, why doesn't she go to Iran or Saudi Arabia or wherever the prevailing regime shares her views?
There she can enjoy the sight of women who refuse to wear their burkas being flogged, imprisoned or even hanged in the middle of the street. She'd be locked up if she even attempted to comment publicly on political matters.
I doubt very much if this militancy would really stop if we withdrew our troops from Afghanistan. I feel that nothing more can be gained from that war (even supposing anything at all has been) and I am not going to wear a poppy this year, as it may be taken as a sign that I support it. But I suspect that even if the state of Israel were wiped out tomorrow, that would not placate Islamic militancy. There are fanatics who really want to impose their system on the entire globe and don't care how they do it.
It is the people who say we have no cause to be fearful who are being irrational.
Can we do more than light candles?
25 minutes ago