What about the Hindus? This thought occurred to me the other night while watching an evening of documentaries about Islam on BBC4. By the end, the viewer was left with the distinct impression that we would all still be living in mud-huts if Muhammad's mother had remained a virgin. We learned that Muslims had been behind the invention of pretty much everything from modern medicine, writing and literature to culture, bouncy castles and, I think, eating.
But what this farce of bad TV and worse history did remind me of was that if, say, the Hindu community had only been fortunate enough to produce four young men willing to blow the hell out of Londoners and provided a clerical and political class willing to make excuses for them, then the BBC might credit Hindus with inventing the modern world. The government would be pumping tens of millions of pounds into their community events. Young people would be taught Hindu scriptures with resources from the public purse. The Guardian would be bowing its collective editorial knee before their deities. At Christmas, the most rabidly genocidal Hindu leader available would doubtless broadcast to the nation on Channel 4. When you stand back and look at it, the problem for all the other religions is that they just can't seem to provide the eager young foot-soldiers that Islam can.
But pumping out fawning pro-Hindu propaganda would not be the ultimate gift to that community if they could get their act together. Changing the past is easy. Any totalitarian can do that. Changing the future is the real prize. If only they could find four young suicide bombers, then self-appointed Hindu leaders could dictate British foreign policy first-hand to the government.