It’s important to distinguish between behaviour that is criminal and that which is merely offensive.
Whether she has timed this to divert attention from the political shit in which she’s currently neck-deep I don’t know, but that’s irrelevant for the purposes of this post because I agree with the decision.
The organisation has been banned on the basis that it is simply a reincarnation of previously banned organisations that glorify terrorism.
In comparison to its criminal glorification of terrorism, Muslims Against Crusades has also been involved in the commission or planned commission of relative misdemeanours, including the burning of poppies and an anti-Armistice day featuring a ‘lack of silence’.
From a purely criminal perspective, I have little or no objection to these misdemeanours, which are publicity stunts at best and which, at a very heavy push, involve a minor case of arson at worst. Of course, that’s not to say I don’t find the behaviour difficult to stomach, or offensive. But that wouldn’t be a good enough reason to criminally proscribe this or any other organisation.
The wearing of poppies is a powerful act of solidarity in this country, a simple but touching collective act to demonstrate respect and admiration for war dead. Some time ago I heard someone say that the closest thing we have to sacred sites in the United Kingdom is our war memorials, and I suppose our treatment of and feelings towards the poppy is closely related to that idea.
That said, there shouldn’t be witch hunts against those who don’t wear poppies, because a failure to wear one doesn’t make you a bad person or mean that you don’t care about the sacrifices of war dead. It just means you’re not wearing a poppy. (Similarly, the act of wearing one doesn’t of itself make you a decent person).
And I’m fed up with people in the public eye playing their annual game of “who’s wearing the biggest poppy”, a toe-curling Darwinian/Freudian display of emotion and sympathy.
And taking things one stage further, I say that people even have the right to overtly display disrespect for the poppy. Why? Because it doesn’t harm anyone. The only reason we typically have so little opportunity to debate this right is that there’s a marginally higher probability of discovering rocking horse excrement as there is of finding a human so thick as pigshit who wants to claim and exercise this right. I guess dosing yourself up to the eyeballs on religion can sometimes have that effect on people, though.
The anti-Armistice day planned by Muslims Against Crusades is a perfect intellectual summary of the organisation and its followers: devoted adherents of the religion of peace showing their contempt for…peace.
I am entirely confident that these morons, both on an individual basis and also if they were to combine their collective brainpower at precisely the same time, would lack the competence to observe the irony of showing disrespect to the millions who perished to give them their freedoms of speech, of expression and of association; precious freedoms which they have consciously elected to harness for no meaningful ends and freedoms which they would so dearly love to deny to anyone refusing to submit to the charms of their inhuman death cult.
Anjem Choudary, the leading public figure in Muslims Against Crusades, has described the ban as an “abject failure of democracy” and he has accused the government of covering up the truth. This is standard operating procedure for extremists: invoking the vocabulary of human rights or democracy as a basis for outrage at not being permitted to breach the rights of others.
And in purporting to bring attention to atrocities committed against Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, Choudary fails to appreciate that Muslims are not only far more likely to have their human rights abused by their fellow Muslims than by non-Muslims, but to have those rights abused in the name of Islam.
When you see your enemies make such prize tits of themselves like this, and do so much damage to their own cause and consequently aid your own, they almost become your friends.
And some final thoughts on condemnation of Muslims Against Crusades from Julie Siddiqui of the Islamic Society of Britain, who said:
“In one sweep, Muslims Against Crusades display an unspeakable disregard for the feelings and common bond of our countrymen and women, a contempt and rejection of our hard-earned democracy and its institutions, a disdain for the majority of British Muslims – who do not share their views – and a violation of the example of the Prophet Muhammad.”
It’s pleasant to hear words like these from a Muslim organisation (though I personally think the prophet has things to answer for. Bad prophet, bad.) It would be more pleasant still to hear language like this more frequently from Muslim organisations. But forgive me for not getting misty-eyed or fawning over this prose, and claiming it’s an inspiring example of moderate Islam and inter-faith cohesion.
The statement from Julie Siddiqui simply articulates perfectly normal and rational feelings towards Muslims Against Crusades, that’s all.