"What a telling snapshot of the war between the West and those who would ‘destroy our way of life’. Yesterday Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda’s second-in-command, released a crackly audio recording in which he denounced the Queen of England and Tony Blair for honouring Salman Rushdie with a knighthood. So, here we have a terrorist who’s stuck in a dugout criticising a Queen who has long since ceased to have any real power for awarding a writer who made a perceived insult against Islam 18 years ago with an order of chivalry for his contributions to an Empire that does not exist.
This is not so much a clash of civilisations as a load of symbolics. It’s a war of gestures between a mythical British Empire and a YouTube terrorist with a chip on his shoulder."