I am perfectly happy, as an ex-serviceman, for Anjem Choudary of Islam4UK and any demonstrators he can organize, to march through Wooton Bassett. We either live in a democratic, multi-cultural society or we don't. Where more Muslims attend Friday prayers at mosques up and down the land, than do C of E members at church on Sunday, then perhaps it is time to realise how this country has changed. They are fellow Britons are they not?
We must not allow our respect for our dead servicemen and women, who died serving their elected Government's political wishes in Afghanistan, whilst under equipped, under-manned and ill supported by that very same Government, blind us from the reality of war. The 'enemy' dead and severely wounded were Afghans fighting on their own soil; the many hundreds of innocent civilians caught up in the conflict who have lost their lives or who have been maimed , were just ordinary people trying to eke out their lives in the best way they could. Are they not all victims? In an odd way, Mr Choudary reminds us of this dismal reality.
Of course Islam4UK are being deliberately provocative. So how should we respond? We stoke the fires that give warmth to racism in this cold land if we demonise our fellow Muslim subjects of Her Majesty, however misguided we think some of them are.
Yes, let Mr Choudary carry mock coffins through Wooton Bassett to remind us that the victims of war are not just 'our own brave heroes' but let him do it in a town that has empty streets as the good people of Wooton Bassett shut up their shops, close their doors and draw their curtains closed.
A far more emphatic comment is thus made than the pathetic posturing of a Prime Minister who as Chancellor and then Prime Minister has under-manned, under -equipped and under- paid our young men and women sent to Afghanistan to die and be maimed, purely to satisfy his predecessor's posturing on the world stage alongside a discredited US President called Bush.