“Let us,” R. S. McCain writes, “mentally transport ourselves back to the civil rights era, and suppose that a columnist used a phrase like ‘redneck savages’ or the ‘moral depravity of Mississippians’ to condemn violence against blacks“:
We might imagine that some would complain that this language unfairly implicated all Southern whites in the crimes of a hateful few. But there would have been no possibility of official sanction against such a columnist, as is the case with this British “Press Complaints Commission” that is investigating Melanie Phillips.
What is this commission? It was established in 1991 to stave off Parliamentary complaints about the media and is tasked with exercising “non-statutory self-regulation” in the press.
And what did Melanie Phillips do to merit this investigation? Well, in a “blogpost on the Spectator website“, she “referred to the ‘moral depravity’ of Arab ‘savages’“.
Now, if, if appears, she is referring to the Palestinian terrorists who, in the dead of night, snuck into a Jewish home and, in cold blood, murdered three Jewish children and their sleeping parents, well, then, the words she used accurately describe those terrorists. Such an act is one of moral depravity. Those committing it are indeed savages.
This is not to say that all Arabs are savages. Indeed, most are not. But, if cheering such a murder and praising its perpetrators does not strike us as morally depraved, then we have truly lost sight of the values of a civilized society.
Perhaps, some might Melanie Phillips’s language as suggesting that all Arabs are savages. If so, her critics should ask for a clarification and/or a correction, rather than grandstanding by filing such complaint.
And to note, as does McCain in his update, the complainant is not someone without an agenda:
Mark Steyn notes that the complaint against Phillips was brought by Inayat Bunglawala, chairman of Muslims4UK, “a man who called the blind sheikh behind the first World Trade Center bombing ‘courageous’ and Osama bin Laden a ‘freedom fighter.’”