The hate that dare not speak its name


Politicians have contorted themselves in recent years to avoid mentioning the i-word. It was the same story after Reading, London Bridge, Manchester and every other Islamist atrocity. The ideology that has inspired the murder of 40 innocent people on British soil in the past five years alone remains nameless to our political leaders.

A cloud of obfuscation covers the country. Consider yesterday's discussion in the Commons. It was unnerving in its unreality. Yes, some fine tributes were paid to Amess, and who didn't let out a cheer when Boris Johnson announced that Southend-on-Sea would be granted city status, something Amess campaigned for throughout his parliamentary career. And yet there was an elephant in the chamber. A great, stonking beast whose presence MPs refused to acknowledge as they instead told stories of personal abuse or called for a tightening of the laws governing what can be said online. The beast's name? It's that political-religious ideology that begins with the letter 'i'. Are we allowed to name it out loud? Judging by its absence from political discussion over the past four days, it seems not.

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