Oct. 10, 2016
- Mohammed Shafiq was quoted in the Sun saying of Smith: “I think he should apologise immediately. Our faith is not to be mocked, our faith is to be celebrated and I think people will be offended.”
- Shafiq does not explain why his faith should not be mocked. Nor does he seem to know anything about the right of free people in free countries to do or say whatever we like about Islam or any other faith whenever we feel like it.
- There is nothing special about Islam that means it cannot be mocked. In fact, it would be a very good thing (both for Muslims and everyone else) if it were mocked rather more.
- But there in that sentence is the implicit threat again. All insist that their faith “should not be mocked.” And for those who say they are moderates, and are presented as such by the press, it seems to be exceptionally useful that they do not have to be much more explicit than this.
- But in this not-so-subtle intimidation do we not see precisely that thing which most worries the public? That despite what our politicians say, the allegedly vast chasm that separates the extremists from the “moderates” seems at times to be almost paper-thin.