Author of British Government Memo Insulting Pope Not Afraid for His Life
by Michael Williams
The upcoming visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the United Kingdom has been soured–to the point where some Vatican officials have considered calling it off–by a scabrously anti-Catholic memo written by a British civil servant and circulated among senior officials by way of “preparing” for the papal visit. The document suggested that an “ideal” papal trip would include the pope blessing a same-sex union, reversing the Catholic Church’s teaching on the ordination of women, opening an abortion clinic, and launching a brand of “Pope Benedict” condoms. Issued by the Papal Visit Team which was devoted to making the visit go smoothly, the document circulated through Britain’s Whitehall and through 10 Downing Street without raising an eyebrow–until it was leaked to the Sunday Telegraph. As commentator Damian Thompson wrote, “The Foreign Office is hideously embarrassed, because the insult to the Pope clearly wasn’t spur-of-the-moment schoolboy satire, but indicative of ignorant contempt for the Catholic Church…. None of the four-strong team is a practising Catholic, church sources are saying.”
In response, British officials quickly apologized, and announced that the responsible party had been verbally reprimanded, and shifted to other duties. Note that he wasn’t fired, he isn’t living in hiding under 24-hour guard, and that the streets did not fill with crowds of ranting Irish and Polish youths demanding his death. There hasn’t been an international campaign of violence and intimidation aimed at Englishmen. The bigoted bureaucrat was simply shifted to another job. Hmm…. It almost makes you think that some religions operate differently than others.
It later emerged that the author of the memo is Oxford-educated Anjoum Noorani, 31, whose official title was Head of the Papal Visit Team. According to the Daily Mail, “Mr Noorani is understood to be British Pakistani – but colleagues say he is not a Muslim.” The paper didn’t specify if Noorani is an ex-Muslim, or (which seems very unlikely) a member of the tiny minority of persecuted Pakistani Christians, whose family was lucky enough to escape. If he is a secularized Muslim, Noorani’s case suggests that the “best-case” scenario for Muslim assimilation in Britain is this: Those who give up their aggressive, intolerant faith in Islam will adopt instead the aggressive, intolerant secularism of the British elites–who use “multiculturalism” as a stick with which to beat just one set of institutions: those traditional to the West.