What are two of the finest things about British culture? Yes we have so many to choose from, but to sample a couple let me tell you about (i) our humour and (ii) freedom of speech. Yes, for several hundred years the Irish, the Scots, the Welsh and the English all got along, despite their differences, in small part due to their ability to poke fun, demonise and ridicule one another. And they did this without taking offence and realising, whatever one might say, that being insensitive to quips and insults is a sign of maturity. Then came Islam and we find that no small minority of it has a serious grudge to bear with these key two aspects of our culture, to the point of trying to destroy them.
Let me give you a ludicrous example. A few days ago AV voting campaigner Ben Donnelly was dismissed from his campaigning post for a statement on the internet site twitter that said: ‘Says in the Holy Qu’ran the Prophet used to get his neighbours to vote by AV which of his 4 wives he’d shag each night’. One may have to pause at this point to smirk (assuming one is not being watched). Now here is the interesting part: Labour MP Khalid Mahmood called for Donnelly to be referred to the police. Yes, the Labour MP has a job in the mother of all Parliaments in Britain. The Parliament that supposedly embodies the spirit of freedom through which it was formed in the 17th C, by Parliamentarians fighting against a tyrant King. Doesn’t this incident not just show what sort of imbeciles now line its green benches? Another Mr. Shafiq, the Chief Executive of the Ramadan foundation, described the joke as ‘disgusting’ . A spokesman for the Yes campaign joined in saying that these comments will not be accepted. So the ‘cultural terrorism’ begins. This term being used to signify an unjustifiable, arbitrary, interference and curbing of key aspects of our own culture, by these cultural terrorists who have no idea how important free-speech (and related humour and mockery) is to the functioning of a tolerant free society. The latter, with no irony, is so important for minority groups to live and contribute to life here. This, of course, is not the first of this sort of incident.
If there is any action to be taken it is to defend our culture against this small band of minority cultural terrorists who seek to use their own individual sensitivities to silence us all, that time is now. This is before this gets any worse and this non-physical violence against our values is permitted to continue to grow. As Karl Popper pointed out in one of his books (The Open Society and Its Enemies: The Spell of Plato):‘Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them’.
Within this statement of Popper’s is the rationale to fight anyone who behaves like a tyrant, curbing the freedoms of others for his own individual comfort. We must stop that most intolerant of beings who can’t stand others poking fun at him, his football club, his religion or the way he fries his eggs by telling him that we won’t put with his childish sensitivities. So many intolerant bullies get away with this, often playing the victim card for themselves. We must have the courage to say please, please grow up and join the 21st Century and be free. If our MP’s and Government won’t do this- we have little chance of preserving this salami slicing of our freedom and culture by these cultural terrorists.
Can the public please wake-up and stand-up for our freedom of speech and humour before accusations using that most broadest and Gestapoeque term ‘Islamophobia’ turn our country into a police-state from a free tolerant society? Wake-up and support us in UKIP, who will go where the other political idiots can’t due to their appeasement and myopia on this most pressing of issues.
Copyright Abhijit P.G. Pandya 2011 (3rd Feb 2011)
Copyright Birkenhead Society 2011.