To read Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch website regularly is to get an unsettling daily dose of real-life Islam-related horrors. But on April 4, Robert posted a half-hour audio that was even more disturbing than the bulk of his usual offerings. The audio records the visit by a couple of British police officers to the home of a British subject who had apparently been reported to the authorities for posting anti-Islam comments on social media. The householder in question greeted the cops with surprising – perhaps nervous? – cheeriness, and for a half hour he earnestly, willingly, and good-humoredly answered their indefensibly intrusive and insulting questions about his opinions. Among them: What were his political beliefs? What did he think of Islam? Did he hate Muslims? Was he a racist? Was he a Nazi?
It quickly became clear that this man – whose name we never learn, unless I missed something – is anything but a racist or Nazi or hater of any kind. On the contrary, he is a thoughtful citizen who, after considerable study, has come to some sensible conclusions about Islam. He made it clear that, unlike his visitors, he had read the Koran, had acquainted himself with the major specifics of the life of Muhammed, and knew the basics of Islamic theology. He was, it emerged, a strong opponent of Islam for precisely the right reasons, including (as he mentioned) the fact that it commands believers to do harm to infidels, Jews, and gays.
Yet even as he spelled out these indisputable truths about Islam, the police officers responded as if he was imagining it all. They suggested that he might want to sit down for a conversation with an Islamic scholar, who could clear up what they seemed determined to view as his misunderstandings. They insisted, moreover, that they were not the Thought Police – even though there is no other word for police officers who show up at the home of an innocent citizen to interrogate him about his personal opinions.