Tuesday, October 22, 2013

24 years after Rushdie, Islamists put Brits once again under police protection

[Originally posted at NOW]

Heresy hunters have a tendency to reserve their most concentrated and toxic venom for precisely those deviants whose doctrinal improprieties are the slightest. When Salman Rushdie, in a moment of delirious desperation after nearly two years of fatwa-induced fear for his life, allowed himself to be persuaded by an Egyptian fraudster into converting to Islam, the effect on his would-be murderers in Tehran was worse than had he done nothing at all. Supreme Leader Khamenei, who alone had the power to revoke the assassination order issued by his predecessor, responded that the fatwa would forever remain valid even “if Rushdie became the most pious man of all time,” while the Iranian state press howled that the novelist’s death was now imminent. So far from earning him leniency, his membership in the club only placed him in redoubled peril.

And so it has proven – on a far broader scale – with Islam’s 21st century holy warriors, who may well despise the Jews and the rest of the kuffar, but with nothing like as much conviction as they loathe their Muslim rivals. Just last week it was reported that yet another Salafist in Gaza had shunned battle with the Zionists, preferring to make his way to Syria via Turkey to fight the true jihad against the “nusayri” regime. And then we learn that Somalia’s al-Shabaab has chosen to mark the festival of Eid al-Adha by threatening several prominent British Muslims, including an imam, whom it said had “mutilated the teachings of Islam” by failing to endorse things like the wanton slaughter of shoppers in Kenya last month. In an eerie symmetry – and a sign of how much progress has been made in 24 years – it transpires that at least three of these men will be placed under Rushdiesque police protection.

I happen to be an atheist, and one of the school that says we’d be better off without faith of any kind, no matter how secularized or ‘moderate’. All the same, to abandon fellow foes of extremism in their hour of need would be no less shameful than the silence of many Muslims (and indeed non-Muslims, for that matter) after 1989 who couldn’t stomach Rushdie’s godlessness. The British government must be urged to put every necessary resource at the assistance of Mohammed Ansar, Usama Hasan and Ajmal Masroor, no less than it must do everything in its power to confront and defeat the abominable thugs who would kill the rest of us the moment after they were done with them.

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