Earlier this week it was reported that Facebook were sending a team to Pakistan to discuss the concerns of Pakistani officials regarding ‘blasphemous’ content on the social media platform. Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has previously described ‘blasphemy’ as an “unpardonable offence”.
The fact that Facebook is even entertaining this sort of thing deserves no small amount of opprobrium, but it should come as a surprise to no-one that Pakistan would be heavily engaged in this area.
The Louis Smith saga reached its predictable (and depressing) conclusion today when it was reported that he would face a two month’s ban from British Gymnastics.
The British athlete was filmed mocking the Muslim call to prayer whilst mucking around in private with friends. The mobile phone video footage found its way to the tabloids and you can guess how it went from there.
This very public blasphemy trial included many a public apology from Smith. Death threats naturally followed and damage control inspired visits to local mosques ensued. Not to mention sinister Muslim ‘community leaders’ declaring that their faith is ‘not to be mocked’.
Oh, how Mr. Smith must have longed for the days where they just killed you for insulting religion. In 2016 it’s much worse than that unfortunately – they make you grovel on ‘Loose Women’.
This is just one more incident in a larger collection which confirms to the British public that freedom of expression has been lost, or rather surrendered, where one particular religion is concerned.
And worse still, we’re imposing it on ourselves. Why is a largely non-Muslim society so eager to enforce Islam’s dogmas and injunctions?
We’re constantly being told just how tolerant and peaceful Islam is, yet which other ideologies will guarantee you credible death threats if you say or do the ‘wrong’ thing in its direction?
It seems it’s no longer enough to simply be asleep to the threat of Islamofascism – we must now actively participate in it too.
Stephen Knight is host of The #GSPodcast. You can listen to The Godless Spellchecker Podcast here, and support it by becoming a patron here.
Mo Shafiq is a former member of the Liberal Democrats who runs ‘The Ramadan Foundation’ in the UK. From what I can gather the latter role consists of little more than having a website and calling yourself a ‘foundation’.
Shafiq enjoys a steady media presence though, wheeled out as the ‘moderate’ talking head for whatever Muslim hot topic is the flavour of the day. The behaviour and views of Shafiq reveal two possibilities however: 1. That the bar for what is to be considered ‘moderate’ has been set so patronisingly low, or 2. Media outlets are failing to adequately research or question those they deem suitable enough to represent a community.
There’s one particular flavour of monotheism that makes the ‘free press’ and media broadcasters considerably more nervous than others. I’ve already reported on the baffling BBC editorial guidelines on showing (or not) depictions of Islam’s prophet Muhammad. Not to mention the panic that filled a Sky News studio when Caroline Fourest attempted to do just that.
I recently wrote about the British Imam from Bradford who openly proclaimed his support for Malik Mumtaz Qadri, a man who gunned down a Pakistani governor named Salman Taseer in the service of ‘blasphemy’. Qadri was executed for this crime last week1, sparking outrage amongst many Muslims who consider Qadri be more of a martyr than a murderer.
Over at The Daily Beast, anti-extremist Maajid Nawaz laments the support for Qadri amongst his fellow Muslims and highlights a number of examples from so-called ‘moderates’.