The nation I live in is slowly waking up to the realisation that perhaps after all, some forms of descrimination are necessary in a liberal society, if not actually a democratic duty. Inevitably some of the newly roused are still in a semi-conscious, hypnagogic state and thus prone to make statements that will seem more than a bit flaky when recalled later on.
In the light of morning the multi-headed ism monster that we imagined tensed up inside our cultural closet seems less likely to jump out and tear apart anyone reckless enough to hazard a value judgement, to lay down a discrimination.
You can almost hear the sound of the bed springs in the mainstream media as commentators everywhere rub the sleep out of their eyes and lift themselves up...with perhaps just a parting thought about that relativist who could still be hiding under the bed.
There have always been people whose concept of freedom means freedom from the rest of us. America was effectively founded by such folk and today Belize is home to communities of Mennonites that found Alaska much too civilised for them. As the flow of eco-tourists to Central America's Caribbean coast increases they may soon be looking for another pristine wilderness to relocate to. The ascetic form of Islam contains within it that same rejection of the mainstream, but crucially without the urge to run away from places where God's rule on Earth has been suspended. Instead, they are obliged to unsuspend it in situ, wherever possible.
A cheerful focus on diversity may not have led, as the Daily Diana suggested earlier in the week, to Britain's inner cities becoming "sectarian hell-holes, where communities live in a climate of mutual suspicion and hatred", but as a political society we have rather carelessly permitted the thickening of distinctly-uniformed in-groups within our society that have a basic tendency to regard everyone else as the out-group. That itself is a form of discrimination, but not one that a liberal society should allow to hold sway within its borders.