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A paradox

In all the acres of commentary in the press and elsewhere on those cartoons (death toll at time of writing, five, which is getting beyond a joke), I have not seen anyone mention this point, so I will get it in before I get bored of the whole affair.

There are two distinct reasons given in hadith why an image of Muhammad might be forbidden.

First, there is a general ban on images of living things as an attempt to rival God’s creative power. That can not be what is at issue here, since it is generally ignored outside mosques, even in Saudi Arabia (though the Taliban appear to have gone more or less the whole hog, to use about the least appropriate possible metaphor).

Second, reinforced by the prophet’s deathbed injunction not to set up a shrine or mosque over his grave, there’s the idea that religious worship through icons of saints, in the manner of the christian churches familiar to the early Muslims, constitutes an idolatry, or worship of the saint rather than God directly. So images of the prophet are banned in Islam because they may be revered idolatrously.

So the objection to the cartoons cannot really be founded in the Islamic image-ban. They are clearly neither idolatry nor invitations to it. On the contrary, the insistance that a mocking representation amounts to a gross insult to the prophet is much more like idolatry in that sense: a demand that the man be revered as incapable of representation as God.

Is what is really happening that the ‘insult’ is actually felt by individual Muslims (either at first hand, or in reaction to hearsay)? Those who feel themselves outraged are themselves threatened by the mockery, but wrap themselves in religiosity as a defence. In effect they are setting themselves up in the prophet’s shoes, attributing to him either primitive notions of honour that his disavowal of a shrine rather suggests he had surpassed, or God-like equivalence with the religion itself.

Now, remind me, who was insulting Islam?

66 comments to A paradox

  • It was never a joke to begin with and defending free speech against enemies domestic and foriegn is not something I will ever get bored with.

    But yes, that is an interesting paradox.

  • Indeed you do point out an interesting point. There is much that could be described as “blasphemy”, including the ‘cult’ of growing beards in the manner of The Prophet or of those who say that Mohammed was without sin, perfect, faultless etc etc., which is near as to worship as one can get.

  • I have – at the end of a little thought about Political Correctness – a little flippant aside on the topic of idolatry here.

    Interesting times I think.

  • Whenever Islamic scripture is interepreted by non-Muslims (e.g. yourself, Tony Blair) it seems to be peaceful and sensible. When interpreted by Muslim clerics to their followers, however, it seems often to lead to violence. Perhaps someone is needed to disintermediate Muslims from their scriptures? That seems to be a religious idea I have heard somewhere before. I understand Tony Blair will be looking for a job next year? Maybe he can take the Martin Luther role in Muslim history as he has been such a fan of moderate Islam? Presumably he knows some moderate Muslims, or he would never have praised them so highly, right?

  • Robert Alderson

    For reasons that I don’t understand there is resistance to translating the Koran into languages other than Classical Arabic. Classical Arabic is very different from the many different and mutually unintelligible dialects spoken in the Arab world and part of an entirely different linguistic family than the languages of Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Indonesia etc..

    The practical result of this is that millions of Muslims lack the tools to make sense of their own faith and come up with paradoxes like this themselves. The situation must be similar to that in Europe before the advent of printing and translations of the Bible into “vulgar” languages; a clerical elite can impose its own narrow world-view on an uncomprehending, blindly following mass.

    Part of any “clash of civilizations” might well involve translating the Koran into languages that can actually be understood and distributing them freely for people to decide for themselves.

  • Why not just declare Mohammed the Nephew of God and part of the Holy Quartet and have done with it? Making the Quran sacrosanct is in itself idolatrous. How can a man who received the Holy Word not be a god himself? To say he is a man is to admit that he and all his acts are capable of imperfection.

  • Verity

    Tom Paine – Tony Blair thinks Islam is peaceful because he is ignorant. He is ignorant of British history and he is ignorant of Islam – although doubtless he could reel off the titles of all the Rolling Stones albums.

    He also has a very trite mind. He has never said anything funny or witty. He doesn’t have an unusual way of looking at the world and he has absolutely no intellectual curiosity. He has been told (by “Sir” Iqbal Sacranie) that Islam is a religion of peace. That’s enough for Tony! To his dying day he will believe Islam is a religion of peace and will be vaguely puzzled by all the evidence to the contrary. But not puzzled enough to do any reading or investigate it.

  • Come come Robert.

    Allah only speaks classical Arabic.

    In much the same way that he doesn’t know about the North Pole (err… despite having created it)

  • The (civilized) world has finally seen the true face of Saudi Arabia’s brand of Wahhabism-Lite based on a sugarcoated version of their violent neo-medieval interpretation of Koranic Law, and backed wholeheartedly by corrupt Western leaders such as Dick Cheney and Jacques Chirac…

    I’m afraid the burning of the Danish consulate and ensuing invasion of East Beirut’s upscale Christian districts by hordes of rampaging Saudi-sponsored savages was only the “great rehearsal” of things to come, as Lenin used to say of the revolt of 1905.

    At least we won’t have the luxury of claiming we were not warned in advance by the sadist disciples of Saudi “thinkers” Nasiruddin Al-Albani, Abdul-Aziz Ibin Baz and other proponents of the final solution for Christians, Jews, Shiites and “secular dogs”…

    See wiki entry below for more edifying info on Saudi Arabia’s leading “Grand” Mufti

    Frightening stuff…

  • RAB

    Can I add another paradox here.
    According to an article in the Guardian today, a comon everybody love ya brother kind of piece, by Tariq (no not that one) somebody or other—ALL
    depictions of ANY of the prophets are forbidden.
    Prior to this who ha, when did you see a muslim protest about a depiction of Abraham or Jesus Christ.
    I grew up on the illustrated life of Jesus, so I have a picture on a page and now in my head, and I don’t feel the slightest bit idolatrous.
    But the bottom line serious point is, are some Prophets more sacred than others or do Muslims make up the rule as they go along?

  • Matt O'Halloran

    “I’m afraid the burning of the Danish consulate and ensuing invasion of East Beirut’s upscale Christian districts by hordes of rampaging Saudi-sponsored savages was only the “great rehearsal” of things to come, as Lenin used to say of the revolt of 1905.”

    Nah. It’s just a favourite ME sport, been going on for decades whenever they wanted to blow off without doing too much damage.

    In fact western embassies and consulates might as well serve as lightning conductors and Aunt Sallies, for all the good their overpaid occupants ever do for the nationals of their own countries who get into a jam in those infernal regions.

    I reckon Cartoongate is a nine days’ wonder, now playing itself out. In fact by forcing the main self-appointed spokesmen for Muslims in Britain to go on the record deploring violence and even calling for those who tout threats to be arrested, it has done some good in separating sheep from goats If the would-be respectable ones slip from this standard in future, we can nail them with their own words.

    The same hysteria and alarmism about the Islamic world was heard in the wake of the Salman Rushdie stormlet, and that was 17 years ago. And when Brixton went looting, we were told that there’d be black ‘uprisings’ every summer from then on. That was 25 years back.

    Some people are so jaded in our dull, peaceful, comfortable, welfarised, disease-free modern world that they secretly long for a ruck. More fool them. Us apathetics are in charge, and we are going to go on yawning and smothering discontent (ours and others’) until the whole world is bored to tears!

    PS: Lenin was totally caught on the hop by the overthrow of the Tsar in 1917, for all his hindsight about 1905. He had thought he would never live to see a Russian revolution.

  • APL

    Musselmen rampage because non musselmen don’t show the requsite respect for the musselmans religion.

    Question: Why should a non religious person have or indeed, pretend to have respect for a religion or for that matter a body of ideas that he holds to be manifestly false?

    ‘Respecting’ something you believe to be false (don’t even know how one can do this) must be a falsity of itself!

    Anyone care to help me here?

  • Matt,

    “I reckon Cartoongate is a nine days’ wonder, now playing itself out. In fact by forcing the main self-appointed spokesmen for Muslims in Britain to go on the record deploring violence and even calling for those who tout threats to be arrested, it has done some good in separating sheep from goats If the would-be respectable ones slip from this standard in future, we can nail them with their own words.”

    I disagree. They have given no ground at all. They have condemned the violent protestors in London, but there has been NO self examination whatsoever without which there can be no “resolution” to the conflict.

    Given some of the views that MCB et al have publicly expressed, I suspect (nodding to the imputation of bad motive) that this is for PR purposes – they know that the rest of the world has spotted some of the nutcases on their side.

  • OT: This just up at Pub Philosopher.

    Looks like a scary bunch to me. We rather desperately need an sort of CND type “candles and bobble hats” type really really peaceful and inclusive march if we are going to drive home the advantage and hold the moral high ground.

    Who is good at organising these sorts of things.

    “What do we want?”
    “To be all nice and cuddly”
    “When do want it?”
    “Whenever suits really.”

    Can you imagine what the BBC (and the MCB) will do with a sea of George Crosses (or worse)….

  • Jacob

    No point in going into theological points and Koran studies. The Muslims aren’t really guided by the Koran but rather by the sentimental incitings of their Imams.

    Adoption of Islam is some kind of group psychological act – it is Us vs. Them – or a matter of sentimental identity mark and group adoption. It is the same with all religions, though perhaps less vehement.

    In the 1960ties the Black Panthers adopted Islam to mark their difference from mainstream society, and to protest, not out of deep piousness and theological conviction.

    It is not the Islamic religion that is hurt by these cartoons, it is a slight of the Muslim identity. It is their honor that was trampled, not the Koran. It is their personal honor which derives from the group honor. It does not matter what the Koran says on picturing the prophet – it is the intention of the paper – which was – explicitly – to throw a mild insult at them.

  • J

    “For reasons that I don’t understand there is resistance to translating the Koran into languages other than Classical Arabic”

    Well, look what happened to the Bible when they started translating it into Latin – it changed rather dramatically, partly though entropy and mistakes, partly through the desires of the translators. And if you look at the n-hundred versions of it in English alone, it’s a bit of mess.

    So, by keeping the Koran untouched, they avoid some very real problems – but of course create others, namely that the book is less accessible, and that while the book may not change language, the language itself changes meaning over time.

    So while Islam has not avoided fragmentation and theological drift, they’ve avoided it much better than Christianity. Now, whether that’s a (practically) good or bad thing is rather a moot point, but theologically it’s got something going for it. In many ways, the, err, adaptable nature of christianity has done much to help it spread, as the adaptible nature of Roman religion helped assimilate conquered nations.

    Of course, in some ways the immutability of Islam is a strength – one can’t help but be impressed by the, how shall we say – esprit de corps – shown by it in recent years. I don’t think the Roman Catholics of Kerala or Korea have much to unite themselves with the Baptists of Alabama, but the world brotherhood of Islam does seem to have some genuine existence.

    That said, it was noticeable how little the Middle Eastern countries (or any other Islamic countries) seemed to care about the Muslims in the Balkans getting the soundly abused by various Christian factions.

  • I really don’t think this is the time to self-censor the symbol of your country, but that’s up to you English.

  • konshtok

    no paradox
    the muslims aren’t outraging over the image of muhamad but over the mocking image of muhamad
    I don’t know who started the meme that this is because of the graven image prohibition
    but look at the signs the nutters are carrying
    it’s the mocking stupid
    and yes this is a nine days raging
    anyone remembers the piss quran of gitmo?
    several people died in riots then too

  • Millie Woods

    Amen, Verity, amen. Like most of those with PPE degrees Tony is a charter member of ignoramuses are usbut deludes himself that he has gravitas..

  • Verity

    What is weird about this translation problem is, they have millions of kids learning the koran by heart in a language they can’t speak. But they learn it phonetically? Why? If they don’t understand the words they’re learning, what on earth is the point? They are bonkers. They even have contests in reading the Koran with emotion for school kids and these kids are emoting their little brains out in a language of which they do not understand a single word.

    These people should stay in Islamic countries where they can be with their own kind because being in the West only confuses them.

  • Midwesterner

    For reasons that I don’t understand there is resistance to translating the Koran into languages other than Classical Arabic.

    The same thing happened in Christianity. Eventually, church ‘trade secret’ in the form of the latin bible was broken.

    I don’t know, hmm…. did the popularization of readable translations have any effect on the power of the ecclesiastical authoritarians?

  • guy herbert


    Like most of those with PPE degrees Tony is a charter member of ignoramuses…

    Blair took a second in Law. My experience of PPE graduates (having worked with several) is that they are by no means ignoramuses, though your mileage may differ.

  • Robert Alderson

    Of course, the translation and wide dissemnation of the Bible resulted in conflict and schism within Christendom but the end result was that it Christians “grew up” and it was a lot harder for one small closed shop of reactionary fundamentalists to make out that they were the “true” voice of Christianity.

  • A nice dissection of the Muslim argument. Though it is understandable that their primary argument is a fall back to authority, in this case the fall back to a rule they themselves have made, in an effort to quash debate, it is not persuasive.

    What is as interesting is their spotty record in applying their rule where it is relevant to judging works that, one might think, does amount to idolatry. Islam Online (not necessarily the ultimate authority) addressed a question regarding Drawing and Photography (I tried to link but can’t get it past the spam filter — it’s in my post.)

    In keeping with that POV, Amir Taheri broached that subject in 2004 wrt Saddam’s numerous glorifications to himself. In the same vein, I’d ask why is it Muslims aren’t outraged with portrayals of Assad, Arafat, Qaddafi, or (insert your favorite dictator here).

    I could accept the rebuttal that these are imaginings of egotistical secularists, but, after doing more digging, I can’t take them seriously if they don’t even indicate misgivings about wall art portraying Ayatollah Khomeini.

  • Like most of those with PPE degrees …

    Fairly moronic remark actually.

    I would be very curious to see what Muslim commenters think of Guy’s thesis and I have asked a couple to comment… we will see if they bite.

  • veryretired

    You can point out contradictions and conflicts and paradoxes until the cows come home, but it doesn’t matter one bit.

    This whole thing is political theater. The outrage is manufactured. The demonstrations are staged. The phony sensitivity is just one more instance of Muslims playing the victim card and waiting for the multi-culti crew to buckle.

    This whole thing has Iran’s and Hezbollah’s fingerprints all over it, esp. the phony demos in Syria and Lebanon. It is an obvious attempt to intimidate European countries, esp. Denmark, who will soon be very involved in dealing with Iran’s nuke program in the UN.

    Having said that, these “outrage” riots are actually a good thing for a very simple reason.

    Every time the Islamic world goes bonkers over some meaningless BS, while ignoring real travesties and injustices in their own societies, the ordinary people in the rest of the world lose another piece of whatever concern and empathy is left for the Muslim point of view.

    The guys I have lunch with every once in a while have reacted to this last idiocy with a shrug and the time honored phrase, “F— ’em if they can’t take a joke.”

    It is, in a very real sense, the penultimate dismissal.

    The final epitaph consists of, “We warned them. They just wouldn’t listen.” Heard it quite a bit in August of 1945.

  • Chris Harper

    For reasons that I don’t understand there is resistance to translating the Koran into languages other than Classical Arabic.

    This one is easy.

    Firstly, as the Koran itselt testifies, classical Arabic is the language Allah uses when speaking to his Angels.

    The Koran itself is the literal word of Allah, as dictated by the Angel Gabriel th the prophet and any translation from the Arabic turns this into just the word of man, and this is a blasphemy.

    The Bible, on the other hand, is recognised by both Christianity and Judaism as the words of men, although inspired by God. The Bible is NOT the literal word of God. There have, from time to time and place to place, been laws against translating the Bible into the venacular, but there has NEVER been a theological objection to doing this.

    What I question is why, if God is perfect and the Angels are perfect, do they use such a sloppy medium of communication as a human language. Surely they should use a language where misunderstanding and alternative interpretation is impossible.

    Unless the whole thing is complete bollocks of course.

  • Somewhat OT: Chris, careful who you’re lumping together. Most Jews may believe that the entire Bible is “the words of men,” but the traditional belief (which is held by many communities today) is that the Torah (Pentateuch), the first five books of the Bible, were dictated by God Himself to Moses.

    And there was indeed a theological objection to the translation of the Torah into Greek (the Septuagint [sp?]), for many of the same reasons the Muslims now cite. The Talmud states that when the translation was first attempted, three days of darkness descended on the world.

    That said, it’s obvious that Gabriel could not have dictated the Quran in Arabic. Arabic is closely related to Aramaic, and the Talmud clearly states that the angels cannot understand Aramaic 🙂

  • Chris Harper


    I am happy to be corrected. Learning is good.

    I was unaware of the objections to translating the Septugaint, although I can believe it. Jews can be a bloody minded and stiff necked lot. Suppose that’s how they survive.

    Tell me, if Angels can’t understand Aramaic does that mean that they are less than perfect?

    Surely, if Allah was all that is claimed for him surely (human) language would be superfluous? Wouldn’t He simply create understanding in the minds of the Angels?

    And what sort of juvenile omnipotence would get a kick out of humans grovelling before him anyway. This demand for worship strikes me as being just further evidence that the Mighty Mo was simply smoking too many mushrooms.

  • Chris,

    Your point about the medium of human language is very pertinent. The use human speech is an irrational medium if it is to last for all time and be clear, concise and not open to misinterpretation. I have put this argument before to one very analyitical, dogged sort but all I got was a branch into some other topic – a tactic I called “firing countermeasures” like some sub trying to shake a torpedo. The fact that it is Arabic Imperialism is lost on so many.

    As to ‘too many shrooms’, I do recall that Jesus met the devil in the desert and found him out. Maybe someone else did not recognise him…It would explain alot, as “Old Nick” is quite partial to the long game and the slow burn.

    Anyhow below is some rant from “tajdeedmail”. Note the non-sequitur extrapolation upon extrapolation, presumption upon presumption to suit their cause. This is the slippery mindset that is polluting mankind.

    Tajdeed: “A tiny nation like Denmark would not antagonise a population of over one billion, unless it knew that it can do it with impunity. Earlier, the Danish Prime Minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, refused to meet the ambassadors of eleven Muslim countries regarding the offensive cartoons published by Jyllands-Posten. Thus, the Danish government knowingly allowed the publishing of the offensive materials, with total disregard for their Muslims citizens at home and the Muslims abroad. The criminal act was initiated by Denmark without provocation. It constituted declaring war on Islam and Muslims. They deserve a response of war accordingly, burning of the embassies in Syria, Lebanon, Indonesia are signs that future responses will be through deeds as well as words.”

  • guy herbert

    It is a chain of non-sequiturs in an analytical logic that insists on examining the nature of institutions. But one of the problems is a wholly collectivist, emotive, magical mindset where individuals, incidents and institutions are merely expressions of the feelings of super-personal masses. And those feelings are projections of very simple emptional reactions without either care for consequence or conception of multiple orders of intentionality.

    Gustave leBon, thou shouldst be living at this hour.

  • John K

    Blair took a second in Law.

    I thought the Dear Leader got a Third?

  • I agree with veryretired: it’s a great mistake to these demonstrations seriously (except as a security problem) on an intellectual level.

    Like many, I suppose, I am fed up with trying to ‘understand’ Islam and Muslims. In fact I think it’s time they started trying to understand us a bit more.

    But, please, let’s not dignify their behaviour with serious ‘why are they doing it?’ questions. Next stop: why, oh why, do they hate us (sob).

  • Midwesterner

    Chris, Mastiff addressed the Jewish perspective on biblical infallibility. I’ll address the fundamentalist Christian one. Many, if not most, fundamentalist Christians DO believe it was dictated by God and that translations are only translations. When there is conflict between various translations, they compare them to the original.

    The hierarchy is generally, first, original greek or hebrew, second, respected and ‘proven’ translations, and, lastly, the paraphrases (modernizing of older forms of english).

    My father’s statement when I argued against infallibility with him was that ‘God protected the writers from error.’

    Hopefully needless to say, we disagreed on that.

  • Verity

    TimC – a prime example of taqqya and kitman.

    It is childish manipulation of facts. These people are mental children. “I am saying it so it must be true.”

  • Young Fogey

    I see the Cardiff Student newspaper – http://www.gairrhydd.com – has been spiked.

  • A man may be clever, reasonable, moderate and peacful, but a mob is always stupid, unreasonable, extreme and violent. Its the law of the lowest common denominator. At the moment it seems to me that the power lies with those who are manipulating the mob and feeding the violent beast that it is to further their own ends. There is no way that this is simply about a percieved insult, or freedom of speech. There are deeper motives at work and the mob (on both sides) is merely doing what it has been told to.

  • Millie Woods

    Perry, since I value content in university courses I’ll stick by my comment. If you look at what passes for politics, philosophy and economics in most PPE curricula today you will see that traditional political science, philosophy and economic studies take a back seat to Brecht, Germaine Greer and Mao and their clones. Sad but true and moronic!

  • Pete_London

    Esward Lud

    There is certainly an intellectual case for not taking the demonstraitons too seriously. They are akin to children throwing tantrums.

    I’m still smiling at a thousand hypocracies, the latest being ‘suicide belt man’. These buffoons have long told us that western society is decadent, debauched, debased, that we allow too many freedoms. We are told that islam’s strict demands for an honest and pure life are the antidote to this. Well, it turns out that our pure, pious demonstrator in a suicide belt is a convicted crack dealer.

  • Pete_London

    Millie Woods

    Frankly I’d have been surprised if PPE hadn’t been worked over by Gramscian Marxists.

  • Perry, since I value content in university courses I’ll stick by my comment.

    I know some pretty damn clever amd well rounded Oxford PPEs

  • David L Nilsson

    The comments box on the post about the Trafalgar Square rally is screwed.

  • Chris Harper


    Certainly there are fundamentalists who see the Bible as the literal word of God, but these people are outside the mainstream of traditional Christian thought.

    The problem is that ALL Muslims, to be Muslims, MUST regard the Koran as the literal word of Allah. And this is core and central to all Islamic belief.

    What you describe as the approach of the fundamentalists is normal Biblical scholarship, standard practice across all traditions.

  • guy herbert

    Well, it turns out that our pure, pious demonstrator in a suicide belt is a convicted crack dealer.

    Well at least he’s done some good for society…

    Do you suppose that people who have been convicted of crimes (even things that shouldn’t be crimes) are incapable of reform? That somehow their views are of less value, being their views? That having been once convicted of invalidates your right to demonstrate?

    You are Tony Blair and I claim the Westminster Gazette prize.

  • Verity

    David L Nilsson – I would assume not screwed, disabled.

  • Pete_London

    guy herbert

    Are you so twittish as to be incapable of recognising chutzpah and 28 carat hypocrisy when it’s laid before you?

    No, don’t bother, I’ve just seen again that you think crack dealers are performing a service to society. If you think that then you’ll think anything. I like a debate as much as anyone, but not with arseholes.

  • pommygranate

    hearing that Hafeez Hanzmissing has been given 7 years

  • guy herbert

    Hm. I’d always thought chutzpah was a vaguely positive characteristic.

    I’m very careful what I think.

  • Verity

    At the very least, the crack dealer isn’t a devout Muslim, that’s for sure, and therefore his pretence at having been so hurt by the cartoons that he was driven in his despair to do something outrageous is just a self-seeking, infantile lie. Quelle surprise.

  • Would it not be germane at this point to focus on the life of the er, Prophet.?I cannot repeat some of the things he is Said to have done here as it would contravene good taste,but if we accept he actually did these things the actions of his followers start to make sense.

    He was an epileptic apparently.Hence his rabid effervescing followers are just aping the master.

    For Islam read Moonies.

  • APL

    Verity: “At the very least, the crack dealer isn’t a devout Muslim,…”

    But if he is selling crack to infidels then he is doing gods work. Which makes him a very devout musselman

  • guy herbert

    …the crack dealer isn’t a devout Muslim, that’s for sure…

    We can’t be sure, was my point. Lots of people undergo prison conversions or recoveries of faith.

  • Verity

    APL – I stand corrected.

  • pommygranate: Don’t you mean Abu Hamster?

  • Millie Woods

    So do I, Perry, so do I.
    The operative word in my rant was’ today’. Some of my best friends are PPE grads from Oxford (honest) but they got their degrees long ago when their course work was solid and serious.
    Things are not the same today. To cite another example from the front lines of academic sophistry – one can claim to be studying and teaching linguistics like that Mona something or other in Manchester or the other female twit at another red brick degree mill who shills for the Palis non-stop and spews forth anti-semitic drivel as linguistic study. The same people use Chomsky’s political tosh in their courses and the poor beleaguered students who think they are getting an education don’t know enough to realize they are being exploited big time.
    In my opinion Tony Blair – my comment about him started this whole thing – is a typical PPE know-nothing delusional enough to believe he is a great thinker. The fact that he has a law degree is irrelevant. To quote the car guys of US radio fame – Q. What do you call someone who graduates bottom of the class at Yale Law? A – your honour.
    Law degrees – PPE degrees from Oxbridge – I remain unimpressed. The well known advice about evaluating through words and deeds is still worth heeding and Tony Blair, PPE and law degrees, notwithstanding doesn’t make the cut.

  • Midwesterner

    Chris Harper,

    Certainly there are fundamentalists who see the Bible as the literal word of God, but these people are outside the mainstream of traditional Christian thought.

    I think you’ve got it back a-wards. It is outside the mainstream of MODERN Christian thought. And further more, I’m guessing you probably don’t attend a statisitically average church in the bible belt.

    My original comment about the translation of the bible applied to a time when virtually all Christian thought believed the bible to be the infallible, transcribed word of God. That, combined with a latin-only version of the bible, gave eclesiastical authoritarians control of Christianity very similar to the situation we have today in Islam.

  • Latest on the “Abu Hamster” trial is that we have another bearded sack (I believe Omar Bakri) railing from abroad saying that Hamster could not get a fair trial in a non Muslim court, with non-Muslim judges with non-Muslim jury and with non-Muslim law.

    Right, this needs to be answered.

    First and foremost, this is an act of projection – Muslim courts under Sharia would not provide fair trials for non-Muslims by their own admission so this person thinks that our courts would act as disgracefully as his would. Wrong.

    Secondly, it is, IMHO, the first stage in the attempt to somehow get Muslims tried under Sharia courts in the UK and have some kind of dual system. Separate courts will therefore need the MCB to rule on law and very soon bim-bam-boom we have a parliament of “elders” and a separate law, government and then revenue (as they would demand zakat and other separateness in taxation). Next step is to get primacy of that law over our own and then we are where we would deserve for letting it happen.

    Shameful. It is almost worth getting Omar Bakri to return just so he can be on Newsnight and also make a prize tit out of himself and his poisonous mind-bending mischief.

  • Verity

    TimC – Why do you sound surprised? Surely this was obvious when the Muzzies were allowed to set up their (snigger) Parliament?

    Omar Bakri is a fundamentalist tit-nit. He’s a primitive who believes this shit.

    It is the Iqbal Sacranies that are in the long game. Start thinking of ways to disable them. In fact, you should have been thinking of this 10 years ago, because definitely, the British government will start allowing Muzzie terrorists to be tried under their own desert, tribal laws. Did you think Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, the laughable Jack Straw et al were on the side of the British electorate? Cat Stevens is already advising T Bliar in No 10, as is a barrister who practises out of a public housing estate and believes the world is ruled by a junta of Jews and Free Masons.

    Better get moving fast.

  • guy herbert writes:

    “I’m very careful what I think.”

    How, perhaps. What, I would dispute on neurological grounds.

  • guy herbert


    Secondly, it is, IMHO, the first stage in the attempt to somehow get Muslims tried under Sharia courts in the UK and have some kind of dual system.

    There’s an act of projection there, too, I think. One can’t impute a plan that makes sense in rational terms to fringe loonies such as Bakri and abu Hamza and their poorly educated followers. Still less can one rationally envision a single strategy with disparate Muslim organisations in on it. (Though it seems plenty of westerners do, seeing Islam as like a secret alternative catholicism or para-state; rather as bureaucratic investigation agencies construct ‘organised crime’ in their own image.)

    Part of the problem is the absence of a heirarchy, unity, or structured doctrine within (particularly Sunni) Islam that allows strange individuals to set themselves up as imams with law-giving roles. This allows the weird and violent to choose an authority that suits them, and weakens the conservative forces in the community.


    Cat Stevens is already advising T Bliar in No 10, as is a barrister who practises out of a public housing estate and believes the world is ruled by a junta of Jews and Free Masons.

    Sources, please.

  • Matt O'Halloran

    Well, the USA was once run by a man who believed in Armageddon and had an astrologer advise him on all major decisions, and he didn’t do so badly.

  • John K

    I think Ronnie only had the astrologer to keep the missus quiet. At least he didn’t have to undergo a Mayan rebirthing ceremony or sleep under a crystal.

  • Verity

    Guy Herbert – Immediately after 7/7, Tony Blair scampered around to placate and reassure … not the British, but the Muslims. He formed a Muslim Advisory Panel to advise him. On it are Iqbal Sacranie, Bunglawangla, Cat Stevens in his latest incarnation, Yusef Islam, and some odds and sods invited in for political purposes (Tony’s; not Britain’s) or because they are sufficiently disconnected from reality. This barrister is in the latter category. I looked him up last July, out of curiosity, but as his name hasn’t surfaced since, I really can’t remember it and I’m not going to research it all over again. It’s one of those Islamic names that are indistinguishable from other Islamic names. He’s written a book about the Jewish/Free Mason conspiracy.

  • Matt O'Halloran

    John K: Although the Gipper did come to believe he had fought in WW2 instead of making training films in Camp Hollyweird. Like George IV thinking he’d been at the Battle of Waterloo.

  • Verity

    Here’s something on Blair’s ridiculous, and I would say traitorous, “advisory panel” but this fellow isn’t mentioned. Delving into the ragbag of my mind, I now think he may have a Muslim first name and his last name if Johnson. I also have the feeling that he’s from S Africa. (Link)

  • Verity

    It’s Ahmad Thomson and he says the Holocaust never happened, and he’s advising Tony Blair. I couldn’t be bothered to trawl through it all, but I remember from when Blair appointed this bizarre panel that he had written a book about how the world is run by Jews and Freemasons. Sounds totally qualified to be advising the Prime Minister of Britain on terrorism. Every bit as qualified as Yusef Islam (banned from entering the United States). The jacked up Iqbal Sacranie’s another one.