London mayoral candidate Livingstone calls Prophet Mohammed's ...

The Commentator 21 March 2012
By Robin Shepherd

All across western Europe, the continent’s growing Muslim populations are starting to have an increasing impact on the shape and tone of political and cultural life. There have been some spectacular examples.

Last year’s trial in the Netherlands of Dutch politician Geert Wilders for insulting Islam was one. To all intents and purposes he was tried under Islamic Law, establishing a precedent that his eventual acquittal cannot wipe away.

The Danish Cartoon affair of 2005 and 2006 which provoked unrest in Europe and riots around the world was another. The response from leading European politicians to the publication of heretical (in Muslim eyes) pictures of the Prophet Mohammed was typical of a generation of leaders who are frightened of their Muslim populations:

"I believe the re-publication of these cartoons has been unnecessary, it has been insensitive, it has been disrespectful and it has been wrong," said then British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw. French President Jacques Chirac called them "a provocation". (...)