The reaction to my own article shows the problem. The Muslim Association of Britain (not to be confused with the MCB) said that what I had written was “repulsive”, composed out of an “arrogance borne by only the most zealous of racists”. Because of my “filth and drivel”, I should be dismissed from The Daily Telegraph, and the paper should apologise. Just in case the point was missed, the MAB reminded the paper of the lessons of the Salman Rushdie affair.
It also referred readers to a website, IslamOnline.net, which globalises the denunciation of my column with a Cairo dateline and offers a link to a discussion of what should happen to non-Muslims who insult the Prophet (“In Islam, it is well known that the punishment for the one who insults the Prophet is to be killed”¦ However, we Muslims are advised to be forgiving and pardoning.”)
Who are the Muslim Association of Britain? I’ve been looking them up. They have close links to the extremist Muslim Brotherhood, one of whose leaders, Qutb, advocated takfir, the branding of all Muslims as infidels unless they conform to sharia. Some MAB activists support Hamas and its policy of suicide bombing.
One of its senior chaps, Azzam Tamimi, has boasted of this “human bomb” against the Israelis: “We love death, they love life.” The IslamOnline website is the mouthpiece of Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi. It debates, among other things, whether the best treatment for homosexuals is 100 lashes or chucking them over a cliff, and Qaradawi rejects interfaith dialogue in favour of “the language of the sword and force”. The Taqwa Bank, of which he is a shareholder, has had its assets seized by the US Treasury because of its suspected terrorist links.
On the same programme on which Miss Mactaggart appeared (Radio 4’s Today), a spokesman for the MAB popped up to support the religious hatred law and said that people should not be allowed to shout things like “Bin Laden” at Muslims in the street. (By the way, why does he see that, from his point of view, as an insult?)
So here we have a body with activists who support the killing of Israeli Jews, telling people in Britain that they must stop displaying religious intolerance – all of this listened to respectfully by the BBC. I am trying to avoid the word “Orwellian”, but I can’t.
Read it all.