First posted: 29th March, 2010
As for ‘chanting against the Prophet Mohammed’ I know that if you say anything bad about Mohammed there tends to be riots and even killings. Should we give in to these things? Was it a good thing that the film maker Theo van Gogh was murdered for being critical of Islam or that Salman Rushdie was sent into hiding for saying something ‘bad’ about Mohammed? What about the riots in Pakistan, after the Koran- in-the-toilet affair, that left many people dead? Is this what Adrian Goldberg is afraid of or does he actually know a lot about Mohammed? I know that Mohammed, in his later life, was essentially a warrior who conquered a hell of a lot of other people’s land. I know that he personally beheaded over a hundred people and massacred a community of Jews at Khaibar. No doubt Muslims, or some Muslims (but not Islamists, who agree with these facts), will dispute these events. That’s fair enough. But should I be banned from saying such things when Europe and Britain has had, so far, a three-hundred-year-long tradition (going back to Hume and further) of the criticism of religion that, in 2009, seems to be suddenly coming to halt (actually, it goes back to the ancient Greeks)? However, it is not coming to a halt. Only in the case of Islam is it coming to a halt because liberals and pious multiculturalists are scared of saying anything out of line when it comes to Islam. Perhaps for good reasons. So the New York Times can say it was a good thing not to publish the cartoons of Mohammed and on that very same day feature photos of an art exhibition which featured the Virgin Mary covered in excrement.
In addition, if the EDL didn’t think that ‘Islam is a threat to us all’ it wouldn’t be protesting, would it? So I’m not sure what Goldberg’s point is.
As for the ‘tiny majority who want to wreak havoc in the name of Allah’. Well, there is a hell of a support network behind this ‘tiny majority’. There is a vast system of mosques which have been shown to support such people. There is a network of Muslim organisations like the Muslim Association of Britain who work as apologists for the terrorists and go on to sympathise with - and rationalise - their actions. We have councillors like Salma Yaqoob in Birmingham who also rationalises and sympathises with the terrorists. Plus a growing army of young inner-city Asians and a host of middle-class Asian and Arab students who are far more extreme than their parents. And even when the MAB and Salma Yaqoob speak out against terrorism, that must surely be just a face-saving exercise because they do not want to commit political suicide – at least not for now!
Is Islam a ‘great religion’ as Goldberg wrote? Perhaps he meant ‘great’ as in ‘big’ and ‘with a long tradition’. What if he meant ‘great’ as in ‘exemplary’? Does he think that all religions are, by definition, good things? That is, it is impossible for a (monotheistic?) religion to be bad? What about Catholicism during the Inquisition? (It is probably the case that less people were killed during the entire Catholic Inquisition, which was a very bad time, than have died in the last year or less of the Global Jihad.) What about Calvinism during its most fundamentalist and pious period when Calvin himself wanted to build glass houses so he and his religious police could see what everyone was doing? What about the Sudanese Islamo-Arabic jihad against black Christians and animists which claimed over a million lives in the 1990s (we are still counting)? And the numbers game doesn’t prove anything either. Yes, there are millions of Muslims. In the 1930s there was probably over a one hundred million Nazis in Europe (as well as a hell of a lot of Hitler supporters in the Arabic Islamic world). There were millions upon millions of Stalinists and Maoists at one point in history. None of this gets us to the truth or morality of these ideologies and religions.