What is wrong with the West Midlands Police? Just last month they had to pay out £100,000 over their handling of the Undercover Mosque fiasco, and now they are being taken to court by two Christian evangelists who were threatened with arrest for handing out leaflets in a Muslim area of Birmingham.
Arthur Cunningham and Joseph Abraham, both of whom are American, were talking to a group of young men in the Alum Rock Road area of the city when they were approached by a PCSO, who began questioning them about their beliefs. When he discovered their nationality, he, displaying the professionalism for which PCSOs are justly renowned, favoured them with a lengthy diatribe against George Bush, before telling them that as the area was a Muslim one, they were not allowed to preach Christianity there, that doing so constituted a "hate crime", and that if they did not desist they would be arrested. He also told them not to return to the area, saying, "you have been warned. If you come back here and get beaten up, well you have been warned".
As I've remarked before, it seems that incidents like this are happening on a weekly basis, if not more frequently. The West Midlands force has a particularly poor record, but officers from all police forces seem quite happy to use threats and intimidation in order to silence politically-incorrect views, and prevent politically-incorrect behaviour, a category within which promulgating Christian doctrine apparently now falls. I particularly note that, rather than make an effort to ensure that all people are safe to go anywhere in the country without getting beaten up, the PCSO in this case evidently feels that if Messrs Cunningham and Abraham were to get attacked, it would be their own fault, and no concern of his. No wonder dissatisfaction with the police is at record levels!
The PCSO's comments also indicate that, when Michael Nazir-Ali made his famous remarks about "no go areas", he was absolutely right. After all, the PCSO - who I rather suspect may have been a Muslim himself (update: he was) - made no bones about telling the men that if they preached Christianity in a Muslim area they were at risk of being assaulted. If that doesn't make an area a "no go area", then what does?
This, then, is Britain in 2008: a country in which Muslim preachers can incite murder with impunity, while Christian preachers are threatened with arrest for peacefully handing out leaflets; a country in which free speech is stifled to appease favoured minorities; a country in which certain areas become unsafe for non-Muslims, and our political and religious leaders turn a blind eye. And liberals still can't understand why we don't all embrace multiculturalism and "diversity"!
Hat-tip: Anon, in the comments