The intolerance shown by the Mail and its readers following the appointment of Aaqil Ahmed as head of religious programming at the BBC was noted here yesterday. Well, today it's spread to one of their columnists - not Mad Mel, but Stephen Glover.
Why can't the BBC understand that we are STILL a Christian country? he thunders in a rant to get Middle England trembling.
He says that the appointment is 'not a joke, I can assure you,' as if those impertinent Muslims shouldn't dare expect any publicly funded jobs.
He goes on: 'Let me say at once that I have nothing whatsoever against Mr Ahmed, who is, I am sure, an excellent broadcaster who may have much to contribute to the coverage of religion'.
Saying you have 'nothing against' someone is a clear indication that you do, and even that snide 'I am sure' is deeply unpleasant.
Then Glover shows us the depth of his research on Ahmed's CV: Some say that he has done a good job producing religious programmes in his present job at Channel 4, though he has been accused of intellectual shallowness, and last year some Roman Catholic priests alleged he had commissioned documentaries that appeared to contain a pro-Islam bias.
Glover produces this pathetically feeble piece of judgemental bullshit based on what he thinks 'some' people have thought, and then accuses someone else of shallowness?
'My quarrel is not so much with Mr Ahmed as with the BBC', he says, having just dismissed everything he has done.
But then Glover produces an argument so at odds with what he's writing, I'm (still) struggling to work it out. He writes:
Despite being required under its charter to provide religious programming, and despite being funded by licence-payers who overwhelmingly describe themselves as Christian, the Corporation has been increasingly pursuing what can only be, at best, described as a non-Christian agenda and, at worst, as an anti-Christian one. Do I exaggerate? I don’t believe so. Religious programming on the BBC has dwindled over the past ten years, and what remains is usually anodyne.
So the appointment of a Muslim as head of religious programming is an insult in a Christian country, and yet he admits that religious (by which he means Christian) programming at the BBC hasn't been much good for the last ten years. So what the hell is he worried about?
He admits that Ahmed's predecessor was a Methodist preacher. Glover says, based on no evidence at all, 'I imagine that having a Methodist preacher at the heart of the BBC was more than it could stomach'.
But Glover has just himself said that while this Methodist was in charge, the BBC was running an 'anti-Christian' agenda and 'anodyne' religious programmes. Yet Glover appears to think he should have kept his job. The contradictions here are so self-evident it leaves you speechless.
Towards the end he says: 'For all I know, Mr Ahmed may prove himself remarkably sympathetic to the sensibilities of Christians in his new job. One cannot, however, count on that, and it is interesting that he has said there should be more coverage of Muslim matters in the media'.
For all he knows? He doesn't appear to know very much at all. As mentioned yesterday, Ahmed commissioned the eight, hour-long programmes entitled Christianity: A History, a series the Mail was happy to plug at the time.
The idea that Christians are capable of producing programmes on other faiths but Muslims are not ('one cannot...count on that') is frighteningly intolerant.
And when there is the kind of ignorance and scaremongering about Muslims that Glover is indulging in here, and which his paper does almost every day, more coverage telling some truths about Muslims wouldn't be a bad idea.