Saturday, February 11, 2006

Tee Hee Hee

A Christian should not take pleasure in another's misfortune. But we are all sinners.

From the BBC:

Respect MP George Galloway received a rather frostier reception however, as he took to the stage to boos and cries of "Big Brother, Big Brother".

For God's Sake, Don't Forget To Look As If You're Sad !

Someone forgets to pretend as Whitechapel Stop The War celebrate the 100th British death in Iraq.

(and check out the spelling at Functional Illiterates Against The War)

How News Is Made aka The Mysterious Missing Christians

"Muslims and Christians in protest march" - says the Scotsman website about this afternoon's march against "Islamophobia".

The icnews network proclaimed on its many sites "Christian groups are also joining the United Against Incitement and Islamophobia rally in Trafalgar Square to present a united front."

ITN stated that "Christian groups are also expected to join the United Against Incitement and Islamophobia rally in Trafalgar Square." Chinese news sites talked about the "united front". "Christian groups are also taking part in the rally at Trafalgar Square." said RTE Ireland.

Sounds like a pretty moderate event, if Christian groups are supporting it. UK Christians aren't renowned for extremism - or indeed for anything much- nowadays.

Trouble is, according to the websites of the organisers, the Muslim Association of Britain and the Islamic Forum of Europe, only ONE Christian group is backing the rally - Pax Christi, a 'peace group' wholly focused on Palestine and the Middle East and with an anti-Israel and anti-western agenda. One of the trustees of its educational arm is Norman Kember, currently a guest of an unknown Islamic group, the Swords of Truth Brigade, in Iraq. In such a circumstance the Pax Christi people probably feel attendance would not be unwise.

Organised by: Muslim Association of Britain (MAB), Islamic Forum Europe (IFE), UK Islamic Mission (UKIM), Da’watul Islam UK & EIRE, Federation of Student Islamic Societies in UK & EIRE (FOSIS) & The Islamic Cultural Centre and The Central Mosque Trust, Minhaj – ul – Quran International (MQI); Islamic Society of Britain (ISB), Friends of Al-Aqsa & UK Muslim Shi’ite Organisations

In coordination with: Pro-Hijab, Muslim Women Society, Muslim Public Affairs Committee (MPAC), London Muslim Centre, Al-Manar Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre, Council of Mosques, MAB Youth, Stop the War, CND, Operation Black Vote, PAX Christi, YMO UK, YMUK, Muslimaat UK, Stop Political Terror, Institute of Islamic Political Thought (IIPT), North London Mosque, Muslim Welfare House, Mayfair Islamic Centre, Al-Habib Canning Town Masjid, Leeds Grand Mosque, Muslim College, Imans and Mosques Council UK, Muslim Directory

Supported by: Mayor of London & The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB)
& British Muslim Forum (BMF) Sponsored by: Islam Channel, ARY Digital,
Channel S, Muslim Weekly & IWitness

Where are all these Christians coming from then ? Presumably from this BBC report last Thursday.

"The rally, 'United against Incitement and Islamophobia', has been organised by the Muslim Council of Britain (not true - as shown on the website they are 'supporters' - LT), the Muslim Association of Britain and a number of Christian organisations."

It appears other journalists haven't actually looked at the sites of the organisers and are taking the BBC word as ... er ... gospel.

Today it appears from the BBC that support has grown.

"The event was organised by the Muslim Council of Britain and the Muslim Association of Britain, with the backing of a number of Christian groups, peace organisations and the Mayor of London."

Peace organisations, eh ? Other than the one Christian group ? I suppose the Stop The War Coalition, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Socialist Workers Party, could call itself a peace group in that it doesn't want our soldiers to kill people in Iraq. They want people in Iraq to kill our soldiers. And the other 'peace' organisation, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, is currently led by someone who thinks the development of nuclear weapons by Iran should not be a matter for the UN Security Council.

Funny ...

I didn't know the Swiss had published those cartoons ?

And Another One

You could devote an entire blog to "two months after his early release he ..." stories.

Hayes was jailed for five years in 1973 after he admitted raping two 14-year-old girls in Leeds.

In 1976, five months after his early release, he was handed a life sentence after being convicted of raping a 15-year-old girl at knifepoint in the city.

He was released on licence from Leyhill Open Prison in Gloucestershire in 1999. A High Court judge is to hold an investigation into why he was let out.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Swedish Political Party Site Shut Down by Government

From the BBC.

Swedish Foreign Minister Laila Freivalds described Kuriren's move as "a provocation" by "a small group of extremists".

"I will defend freedom of the press no matter what the circumstances" she said.

Sounds like it.

Levonline CEO Turkel Nyberg told the BBC News website his company had pulled the plug on the site after discussions with the foreign ministry and the security police.
"It seemed like it could be a bad for us and for others to have the site up. The problem was the content, which was these Muhammad pictures," he said.

I've got no idea what kind of stuff's on it, as I can't read Swedish. Can't see the pictures either. There's a mirror here.

Tee Hee

I think the keffiyeh should be black and white, but it made oi larf.

and not quite so amusing ... shouldn't this attack on Christians be a religiously aggravated crime ?

We're Doomed !

It's not just minority status that beckons for the Native Brits, and particularly the English.

"A view of multiculturalism where no single group is perceived as dominant is needed to prevent a repeat of the inner city riots of the 1980s, communities minister David Miliband argued this week."

Given that in the context of Miliband's speech 'group' has to mean 'ethnic group', his strategy appears to be 'let's build the former Yugoslavia - but manage it better'. Full text is here.

What 'groups' will then be competing for dominance, to answer Humpty
question 'which is to be master ?'. There'll be the natives, represented by the Conservative Party (stop laughing at the back). I think the events of the last week might be a pointer to the identity of a second group. Who will the others be ?

I wonder whether the project to centralise the police and squash the local authorities into 'regions' doesn't contain the seeds of a strategy to keep political control with the big cities - which the Brits are leaving at such a rate.

(The Scarman Trust is also at the heart of the Government's plans to steal 'unclaimed assets' - i.e. that post office account great-aunt hasn't touched for 25 years. The money will be filched from such acounts (belonging in the main to elderly natives) and channeled to ... let them say it.

"It is hoped that several £ billions will be channelled to communities as a result of the commission's work."

I don't think by 'communities' they mean Cotswold parish councils, or Welsh hill-farmers. Of couse, no sensible person could, or should, consider such a policy racist. But by the government's lights, and the law as currently interpreted, it IS racist, in that the effect is to indirectly disadvantage one ethnic group (elderly native Brits) in favour of young ethnic minority people.

Such indirect discrimination is hard-wired into many other areas of government policy. Natives living in the shires are taxed and the money redistributed to city (and Labour-voting) authorities . Schools in the cities get levels of funding which are only matched by the private sector, though much good it does them.

Were there a government proposal to take money from young ethnic minority people, and redistribute it to elderly natives, there'd be an outcry, sustained by pressure groups like the CRE and the 1990 Trust (funded by taxes), and amplified by the BBC (funded by taxes) and the Guardian (funded by taxes - see this post).

I shan't wait up for a mainstream politician to speak.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

More Snowdrops From The Curate's Garden

The Government is planning to send fewer criminals to prison, and let out more who are there.

"Prison reform groups backed the plans". Uh-oh. So will criminals, then. In fact the coverage on the BBC and the Today programme could have been written by the Howard League for the Abolition of Punishment.

"Among other proposals, Mr Clarke is set to say prisoners should be made to sign contracts pledging not to re-offend in return for help with housing and jobs on release."

Bwwuuaaaaaaah-ha-ha-ha ! The guy's a genius !

Elsewhere ....

the Government are giving Sinn Fein/IRA £500,000 of OUR money, "despite protests from all sides that ministers had come close to "blackmailing" them by warning that rejection might damage the peace process." In other words, 'give us the money or I'll shoot'.

Oh, and those new light-blue Tories are helping Sinn Fein/IRA too.

David Lidington suggested the five absent Sinn Fein MPs, including Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness, who represent the political wing of the Provisional IRA, could take an "alternative" oath with references to the monarch removed.

His proposal caused outrage among Unionists, who were already infuriated by the restoration of Sinn Fein's parliamentary allowances.

Why Abu Hamza stayed free so long.

The Church of England are on their knees again.

"The Church of England has voted to apologise to the descendents of victims of the slave trade."

There must be a few people in the world to whom the Church of England has yet to apologise, but the only ones I can think of are the English people.

And a police officer in Bournemouth has told people not to bother reporting thefts worth less then £75, and that they can't detain suspects because of Human Rights legislation.

Dorset police have enough on their plate arresting elderly Christians.

Oh - and Labour want to scrap next year's council elections. They already know what's good for us - they can save us the trouble of voting.

Looks like everything's back to normal in Britain.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

"opinion pieces without any opinion "

Small Town Scribbles has a wonderful template for "MSM columnists wishing to write about the cartoon issue without incurring death threats "

Absolutely spot-on and hilarious. Read the whole thing.

(in fact, never having read the blog before, I see I'm missing a major talent. I love this Solentish aside).

"(I'm doing a lot of blogging today. It's because I need to clean the bathroom)"

Hat-tip - Bob from Brockley.

UPDATE - there's more !

Excuse me, can you show me the way to the Egyptian embassy ?

So, these cartoons then. The ones so bad no British paper will show them 'cos they're scared - sorry, out of cultural sensitivity ?

They were only published in Egypt.

In a major newspaper.

In October, during Ramadan.

In full.

And not a dog barked.

It took a tour by imams from Denmark, armed with pictures of Frenchmen, to get a good intifada going five months later. Those people have, with their fakes, deliberately stirred up hatred to damage their adopted country. They should be arrested and deported.

Freedom for Egyptians has the story, Sandmonkey has scanned the newspaper.

Words fail me.

Hat-tip - Talking Hoarsely.

"No-one's got a bomb. Yet."

New Humanist took a look at Friday's protest.

The whole event was not, of course, a protest: it was a massed threat.

Pugree-tip : Drink-Soaked Trots

Que ?

Professor Of Moral Equivalence

At Middle Aged Curmudgeon :

"What with the f****** nob ends setting fire to embassies on the one hand and the f****** nob ends demanding that the BBC show the cartoons on the other, the only place to be is in the wimpy liberal middle ground pleading in vain for calm."

He's nailed it. Threatening people with death and setting fire to buildings is EXACTLY the same as writing to the BBC. Faced with these two extremes, the tolerant centre's the only place to be.

Department of the Bleeding Obvious

Every now and again a Guardianista gets to tell the truth about the betrayal of the despised white working class.

A new book discusses (among other things) how the welfare state is kinder to a poor immigrant than to a native. How else do new arrivals live in Britain's most expensive city ?

Kate Gavron and Geoff Dench :

"There was also a more general dismay at the way that British society appears to be changing. The evolution of the welfare state had turned it from a mutual aid society writ large into a complex, centralised and bureaucratic system, run by middle-class do-gooders, "those big-hearted ones who've got their own big houses and make these rules", as one interviewee put it. The system, it was felt, gave generously to those who put nothing into the pot, while making ordinary working people who did contribute feel like recipients of charity when drawing their entitlements.

Interestingly, few respondents saw the immigrants themselves as being at fault. Few whites, for example, deny that Bangladeshi families endure greater real poverty than themselves. A number who strongly resented the present welfare system were nevertheless friendly with Bangladeshi neighbours. What they object to is the way this need is allowed to over-ride rights and claims arising out of an earlier, more directly exchange-based welfare state ethic. Respondents hostile to immigrants were no less condemning of white people who they considered to be living off the system.

For if what one gets out of the state is determined solely by need, rather than what one has put into it, then a little dignity has been taken out of citizenship. Dependency is encouraged, the principle of reciprocity has gone, and welfare has simply become a new form of charity."

School Campaigners Disrupt Catholic Mass

"Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, in a speech at Mansion House in London last night called for Christians and Muslims to show each other mutual respect, vital to a healthy society."

What's all that about respect ?

From the Daily Record :

A priest yesterday launched a pulpit attack on Muslims who disrupted a Mass at a Catholic school.
Father John Gannon labelled parents who withdrew children from the service at staggered intervals as "extremists".
And MP Mohammad Sarwar also condemned the demo, rejecting claims that Muslim pupils were forced to attend Mass at St Albert's Primary in Pollokshields, Glasgow.
The Glasgow Central Labour MP said the actions did not represent the wider Muslim community.
He said: "It was totally unnecessary to disrupt a religious service, especially when the head teacher made it clear she doesn't force anyone to take part in this Mass."
The Campaign for Muslim Schools last month called for the school's faith to be changed to Islam.
Almost 80 per cent of the 350 pupils are Muslim, while 13 per cent are Sikh.
The walkout from Friday's Mass involved about a dozen children and was led by SNP councillor Bashir Ahmed.
Father Gannon, who was celebrating the Mass at the school, said parents who did not wish their children to be present could have given the school advance notice.
In his sermon yesterday at St Albert's Church, he accused them of "deliberate and sustained" disruption.
He added: "The vast majority of the parents, of all faiths, remain supportive and respectful of the school."
Father Gannon said the Campaign for Muslim Schools alleged pupils were forced to attend Mass and those who did not had to stand facing a wall.
He added: "It is a waste of breath to refute this rubbish."
Sarwar said he was satisfied no children were forced to attend Mass. He added: "Seventy-eight per cent of pupils are Muslim. If only 10 people have taken their child home, that shows this action was not representative of the wider community."

Brian Fitzpatrick, chairman of St Albert's parish council, said he was "appalled" by the protest.
He said: "It doesn't matter if you are Catholic, Jewish or Hindu, you do not go into a place of worship and disrupt it. You don't use children as a political stunt."
Councillor Ahmed was unavailable for comment.

A Catholic Church spokesman said Glasgow City Council were responsible for the running of St Albert's.
He added: "Where a majority of children at a Catholic school are now of a different faith, the decision on whether the school remains Catholic is entirely up to the local authority."

Daily Herald :

Father Gannon criticised the parents' actions during his Sunday sermon at St Albert's Church. He spoke of how a dozen protesters gathered just before Mass started.

He said: "Had this been about attendance at Mass, they would have followed the regulations and given the school advance notice, as indeed one person did.

"By their deliberate and sustained disruption it is clear that their intention was to show their contempt for the Christian faith.

"It was especially ironic that they chose to deliver this insult on the day Muslims throughout Europe were expressing outrage at the disrespect shown to their prophet."
Bashir Ahmed, the local SNP councillor, denied reports that he led the action, but refused to comment further.

The Death Of British Industry

Disaster as another vital manufacturing plant relocates to China.

At its peak, The Creative Christmas Company, in Langley Park, County Durham, employed 40 people and had a £2m turnover.

It will now move to smaller premises and become an import business with its three remaining staff.

The company was founded 10 years ago by Tom Baker, who has been making tinsel since 1978.

He said: "The Chinese currency is linked to the dollar, the dollar has got cheaper every year, we have been having cheaper holidays in America and enjoying that, but it also has the effect of making their products from China cheaper."

It's not just a question of the immediate job losses. Vital technical know-how will also be lost. You can't create skilled tinsel makers with two weeks training. Not only that, but the supporting industries won't be there. If there was war with China (and if there are any Christians left) the nation's trees will be bare.

Latest BBC news counts - "factory close job loss" - 1,001 stories, "factory open new job" - 425 stories - and most of those are about new jobs overseas.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Double Standards

In today's Times :

Double standards in dealing with Islam

Sir, I applaud the BBC’s news treatment of the Danish cartoons (report, Feb 4). On its website, however, the cultural cringe is evident and double standards obtain. In its history of Islam we read: “One night in 610 he (Muhammad) was meditating in a cave on the mountain when he was visited by the angel Jibreel who ordered him to “recite” . . . words which he came to understand were the words of God.” This is written as fact, no “it is said” or “Muhammad reported”. Whenever Muhammad’s name is mentioned the BBC adds “Peace be upon him” (pbuh), as if the corporation itself were Muslim.

How different, and how much more accurate, when we turn to Christianity. Here, Jesus’ birth “is believed by Christians to be the fulfilment of prophesies in the Jewish Old Testament”; Jesus “claimed that he spoke with the authority of God”; accounts of his resurrection appearances were “put about by his believers”.

WILL WYATT Chief Executive, BBC Broadcast, 1996-99

Is Saddam Sacred ?

From the BBC.

A town in Belgium has banned an artwork of Saddam Hussein for fear that it will put off tourists and offend Muslims.
The piece, called Saddam Hussein Shark, shows the handcuffed ex-Iraqi ruler suspended in liquid and wearing nothing more than underpants.

The mayor of Middelkerke, Michel Landuyt, said the work could "shock people", including Muslims.

Rumours that the mayor is changing the town's name to Middelmosque are unconfirmed.

Elsewhere - the Nigerian state government in Kano sounds a fun place.

The BBC's Ado Saleh in Kano says some 200 people, including the 40 state parliamentarians, attended the flag burning.

They shouted "Allah Akbar" (God is great) as Kano's parliament speaker Balarabe Saidu Gani set the flags alight, he says.

When was the last time you saw Michael Martin firing up a flag, eh ?

"Order, order. Has anyone got a light ?"

Five Excellent Posts

Scott, doing what he does so well.

Shuggy's back. "I guess I'm just not leftwing enough." Comes to us all.

Christie Davies at the Social Affairs Unit looks back at Bezhti and rioting Sikhs.

S.J. Masty at the same place, reporting from Afghanistan.

And how could I leave out Mick Hartley.

"So, the fuss about the Religious Hatred Bill was all for nothing. It's not needed. As this cartoon affair clearly demonstrates, no one, and certainly not the UK press, is going to do anything to offend Muslims from now on. Muslims have set the terms of the debate: they decide what it is that offends them, and from then on it's a line we can't cross - ostensibly because of our civilised concern for their delicate sensibilities, but in reality because we're scared."

"But what's been most depressing this past week has been the abject performance of the British press. It would have been one thing if they'd come out with it and said, well, frankly, yes, there is a question of freedom of expression, and it would be appropriate perhaps to show solidarity with our Danish colleagues, but there are people out there with violence in mind, and we have families and safe secure lives, and really, who needs the aggravation. Not very inspiring perhaps, but at least honest. But this smug weaselly self-righteous whining about how the cartoons weren't very good anyway, and how freedom of expression comes with responsibilities etc. etc. - it's been a fairly nauseating experience all round"

As a commenter points out, the British press and the BBC were quite happy to inflame Muslim sensibilities with stories of flushed Korans, Guantanamera 'torture', fake snaps of abuse, Abu Ghraib, secret renditions etc.

But of course, the consequences of such stories were for squaddies in Basra or Afghanistan to face. Not for them.

UPDATE - he's done it again ! Another Hartley classic, on the famous baby-eating Sharon 'toon.

It's perhaps worth recalling Tim Benson's words at the time his society decided to give the Cartoon of the Year award to the Sharon baby-eating picture:

Mr Benson said the cartoon was a criticism of Mr Sharon and his policies, not a harangue against Jews ... do they not want people to have the freedom to express themselves? ... You couldn't meet a nicer guy than Dave Brown. Cartoonists depict George Bush and Tony Blair in exactly the same way ... you can like or dislike a cartoon, but how can I censor a competition in which cartoonists submit their work? The cartoon was chosen because of its impact.

Stirring sentiments, and one can indeed sympathise: how can you censor cartoonists in a society based on the principles of free expression? Well in this society, as it turns out, it's very easy. You threaten them.

Via Dutch blog Zacht Ei, news of a cartoon competition. Links from the story are NOT guaranteed work-friendly.

Just how much contempt does "Sir" Ian Blair have for us ?

IMHO, it's so deep that no one has yet reached the bottom. Even this chap would find it tricky.

I'd missed the story that Met officers actually tried to stop the press photographing the 'suicide bomber' on Saturday.

"Move along, nothing to see here"

"Nice van"

(pictures from the Telegraph story)

Today's Mirror has a believeable police source.

Police said they did not make arrests for fear (my emboldening) of inflaming the volatile situation.

A Special Branch source told the Mirror: "Officers were told not to make arrests except in the most severe circumstances."

He said Metropolitan Police chief Sir Ian Blair "thought it would be bad if TV images went around the world showing his officers getting into scuffles with young Muslims".

That sounds par for the course. Reminds me of Labour Minister Denis MacShane explaining (with commendable honesty) why not enough was done before 7/7.

“My generation of Labour MPs don’t want to indulge in anything that smacks of Muslim typecasting or hostility. And as we tried very hard not to be like Norman Tebbit or the more ugly tabloids, it’s fair to say we failed to work out an adequate political response to Islamist politics in the UK.”

There are calls for a Free Speech demo in London on Saturday. Just you wait. If anyone has placards with cartoons on, they'll be in the vans before you can say 'dhimmi'.

Labour MP - "he's a nice boy really"

Again, it would be funny if it wasn't so serious.

Here's the non-provocative and wonderfully named "suicide bomber" Omar Khayam a day or two back.

Omar Khayam from Bedford, who was photographed wearing what onlookers described as a suicide bomber's harness, said he had no regrets about his style of dress, telling a national newspaper: "I didn't go there to cause anyone any harm. I went along just to attend a protest. Yet I have been branded a suicide bomber overnight.

"Did I say, 'Kill Jews?' No. Did I have racist signs on me? No. So why this reaction?"

"I would do it again to make a point. I could have gone along and held up banners or something, but this made the point better."

I think some people got the point.

Strangely, by yesterday Omar had decided to don the winter garment of repentance. As Bedford Today reported :

Bedford man sorry for suicide bomber protest
22-year-old admits his actions in London were wrong
A protester who dressed as a 'suicide bomber' at a Muslim demonstration in London has apologised for his "insensitive" actions.

Omar Khayam, 22, of Ford End Road, Bedford, spoke out at his home after being tracked down by a media frenzy.

Mr Khayam said: "I wouldn't have done it again. I do not want to provoke any violence, I just wanted to make a point using my right in freedom of speech."

Hundreds of banner-waving Muslim extremists demonstrated on Saturday against a Danish newspaper's cartoons depicting the Islamic prophet Muhammad.

Mr Khayam explained his actions in a statement on Monday and said: "I found the pictures deeply offensive as a Muslim and I felt the Danish newspaper had been provocative and controversial, deeply offensive and insensitive.

"Just because we have the right of free speech and a free media, it does not mean we may say and do as we please and not take into account the effect it will have on others.

"I did it to make a point but did not mean it in a way to offend people, families or victims of terrorism."

Mr Khayam added: "I do not condone these murderous acts, do not support terrorism or extremism and would like to apologise unreservedly and wholeheartedly to the families of the victims. I also apologise to the British Muslim community.

"I understand it was wrong, unjustified and insensitive of me to protest in this way."

Asif Nadim, chairman of the Jamia Masjid Gulshan Baghdad Mosque, in Westbourne Road, Queens Park, condemned Mr Khayam's actions on behalf of the Muslim community.

Mr Nadim said: "This is extremely serious and damaging but I hope people in general do realise this is not the way to go about expressing freedom of speech.

"It is all very well wanting to be different but this has to be done in an acceptable manner. His manner of protest was extremely offending and unacceptable.

"I hope he understands the significance of this and hope other people listen to that. This is totally unacceptable behaviour and was totally out of character."

Patrick Hall, MP for Bedford and Kempston, said: "It has got out of hand. But he is sincere and has apologised.

"This was a highly provocative and foolish protest. But he is not a member of extreme organisation.

"Now he has thought he has seen how he got it very wrong and he is trying to repair the damage that has been done."

As reported in the Telegraph, Mr Hall was speaking outside Khayam's house at a hastily organised press conference.

Mr Hall, with his background in town planning and local government, is obviously a worldly-wise type. It didn't occur to him to wonder - why this change of heart ?

We know now.

He was sentenced in 2002 to five and a half years for dealing coke. He's out 'on license' under the 'supervision' of our wonderful probation 'service'.

According to the Daily Mirror, 'sources' are claiming he 'dealt for Islam'. Don't know how likely that is.

"He told people that he would use the money from drugs for the cause, meaning radical Muslim groups. He has obviously become even more radicalised since he got out."

Khayam - who apologised yesterday for dressing as a suicide bomber at a London demo - was jailed in 2002 for possessing crack cocaine with intent to supply. He was freed on parole last year after half his six-year sentence.

The insider, who knew him at Springhill Prison, Bucks, added: "It was well known that Omar made a lot of money from drugs. He was part of a large crew in Bedford. His street name is Skinner and there are a lot of drug users in the town who know him through these connections".

Monday, February 06, 2006

Israel 2 - Yemen - (minus) 13

Good shot, lads.

Bloody bad show, chaps.

Other news : Austria ? They haven't even got a cross on their flag. Is this whole thing an Iranian plot ?

More Stewart Lee

A commenter writes :

Stewart Lee had a BBC comedy series about 10 years ago called "Fist of Fun" which included various parodies of Christian parables. In one of the shows he read out a letter from a viewer asking if he would dare mock other religions like islam in the same way, his reply was something like-

"We respect all religions, particularly those with guns"

At least he was honest back then.

The hitherto little-known (i.e. doesn't link to me) Dr Feelgood gets a slap in too.

So, if I read this correctly, he is actually claiming that Christianity was 'asking for it' because Christians don't respect Jesus the way Muslims respect Mohammad. This totally misses the point of satire - isn't the very point of satire to prick egos? Why should I acknowledge him as the bigger man for picking on the smaller target? Whatever you think of the cartoons, they do engage with Islam 'on its own terms' - those terms being that Mohammad should not ever be displayed. They engaged with that, and challenged it.

It Would Be Hilarious If It Wan't Serious

Police are apparently 'gathering evidence' to see if there's been an offence of incitement to murder.

"Lord" Harris of the Metropolitan Police Authority, a man who knows all about creative interpretation of the law, compared the demo with BNP and National Front demos of the past. After all, some people were offended by them, weren't they ? Hear him at Today (RealAudio).

I well remember those days, demonstrating against the NF, as they marched past with their "Massacre Foreigners" banners.


Police searching for evidence on Friday.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

An Experiment

Go down to the Theatre Royal, Plymouth, currently staging "Jerry Springer - The Opera". Take a few mates.

Cover your faces with scarves so you can't be identified by cameras.

Walk up and down in front of the theatre, holding up placards saying "Butcher those who mock Jesus", "Kill those who insult Jesus".

See if the police will walk calmly alongside you, not arresting you but preventing any annoyed theatre-goers from snatching your placards.

Neatly Put

From a letter to the Times by James, who's posting some good stuff.

"Although you give a reasoned defense of your decision not to publish the Danish cartoons, overall, the British Press's hesitancy to take an unequivocal stand against censorship by a religious group should put to rest anyone's doubts of the efficacy of the death penalty as a deterrent."

UPDATE - Drinking From Home doesn't rate Stewart Lee either. Great link to this site of Images of Mahomet as well. Wait 'till they find out he's sculpted on the US Supreme Court building, near the great Sir William Blackstone.

Did you know that an alleged Al-Quaeds guy (operating from Britain, of course) was plotting to blow up an image of Mohammed ?

"This Fascist element in our community"

I can't find this story anywhere on the Web, but BBC radio news is reporting that Dr. Ghayasuddin Siddiqui of the Muslim Parliament of Britain used those words to condemn Friday's murderous marchers.

The BBC seem to be spinning calls for the arrest and prosecution of the marchers as a Tory initiative, but it's good to see Shahid Malik and David Winnick on the side of the angels, not to mention the Muslim Public Affairs Committee saying that Friday's demo should have been stopped.

I note that while no arrests were made on Friday, a couple were made on Saturday.

Police later said two men had been arrested near the embassy during the protest.

"They were arrested to prevent a breach of the peace, after a search by officers found leaflets including cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed," a Met spokeswoman said.

Calling for people to be beheaded is one thing. But a cartoon of Mohammed ? - that's going a bit too far. You have to see these things in their cultural context. There's a report here. The guy dressed as a suicide bomber was ignored.

Peaceable, non-provocative protester - not to be arrested.

Ths man may have cartoons ready to detonate at any time. If he's about to hand them out, 7 or 8 head shots are appropriate.

PS - for how long has it been mandatory in the Met and on the BBC to call Mohammed 'the Prophet (note capital P) Mohammed' ? I haven't noticed Jesus being referred to as 'the Lord Jesus Christ' lately.