Scotland Yard did its job in arresting five “terrorists.” The press has not been so alert. First reports spoke of “London street sweepers” as though they might have been from a chorus of My Fair Lady or Mary Poppins . Then they had to allow that they are Algerians. Very slowly has the word “Islamist” begun to appear in tiny print.
Yet when a grandstanding fundamentalist preacher in Florida ruminated about burning the Quran, headlines even referred to him as a “priest” as if to give the impression that he might be an agent of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. If the “London street sweepers” were members of an underground Wesleyan chapel, it would not have escaped the attention of the “Manchester Guardian.” But even the media must admit that there are not many Algerian Methodists.