Rod Liddle continues to rant incoherently about the Hutton Inquiry that comprehensively battered the show he used to produce, Radio 4’s Today Programme. In tomorrow’s Spectator, he contributes a similarly incoherent, but stimulating, piece about the relationship between the nominally Christian West and Islam. His argument is roughly along these lines:

  • Young Islam is radically different from ageing Christianity.
  • We are justifiably afraid of that difference.
  • We need not fight Islam because, in the long term, it cannot compete with capitalism on a free market planet.

It’s wrong, but register with The Spectator‘s unnecessarily confused Website and do a search for the article yourself—linking to the magazine’s drunken weave of pages is a mug’s game. Here’s a sample:

“If we are going to be phobic, here is something that we have a right to be phobic about. Fear of and aversion to Islam is as good a description of the mindset of our Western, Christian-lite societies as it is possible to get. Perhaps more than anything else, we are averse to the numbing certitudes and absolutism of Islam, something absent from most Christian doctrine (even from mainstream Roman Catholicism) for the best part of a century.

Not so long ago, I rang up the (moderate) Islam Information Centre and asked what would happen to me, an unbeliever, when I died. “You will go to hell,” replied the friendly and helpful young press officer, “where you will be continually doused with boiling water.” There was no malice in his reply, it was simply a matter of fact. I asked the same question of the Church of England and its response was, “Umm, sorry, haven’t a clue. We can’t be sure, mate. It’s all a bit of a mystery, death.”