Neoconservatism – why we need it

I've discovered a most interesting book of that title by a recent graduate of Magdalen called Douglas Murray. He has also contributed to the Social Affairs Unit website; one of his pieces is about 'the problem with Islam'. He talks about the appalling self-censorship which has descended on the 'liberal' arts, with their tradition of 'challenging preconceptions' and free expression, when it comes to anything that even might offend Muslims:

'I know what "controversial" art means in 2006. The anti-Christian stuff is taken as read, and has become (though artists seem not to have realised this) quite interminably dull and passé: modern art-galleries are filled with images which are meant to make us "question", "re-evaluate" and "ask troubling questions of" the Church, sexuality and other pressing issues. Gilbert and George and co. constantly display their genitals, but you don't have to look closely to notice they're not big enough to tackle any really hot issues of the day, such as, say, the tendency of Muslims to kill you if you say something they don't like.

We are currently offered a deal by representatives of the Muslim faith: "Say my religion is peaceful, or I will kill you"'.

How refreshingly honest, for once. It's not that any sensible person sets out to offend Muslims or any other group gratuitously, but as Murray says, sometimes people need to be offended, and that it one of the democratic 'rights' we thought we had in western societies, until our political masters started deciding otherwise (viz. Jack Straw's pathetic cringing on the Danish cartoons issue.)


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