Friday, November 30, 2007

The business in the Sudan makes me despair. I could just about take the Sudanese authorities citing 'rules is rules', and giving her a mild, but nonetheless unjustified jail term. This was aided by the sight and sound of most high-ranking British Muslims shaking their heads very sadly and very publicly, stating that the whole thing is a terrible misunderstanding and a ghastly mess, thus confounding the 'all Muslims are dangerous' lobby and doing much to defuse tension. My tolerance is, however, tested by the reported thousands of protesters marching on Khartoum demanding that Gillian Gibbons be shot. If that's your idea of a solution, I think the governments of the world should get together and make lack of perspective a capital offence, with full extradition.

I understand the importance of respecting other people's beliefs, just as I expect them to respect my utter lack of faith. In this case, I've seen nothing to indicate that the poor woman did anything other than go out of her way to respect the predominant faith of her adopted home. Unless I've misread the situation wildly, it seems to have gone something like this. Teacher says "What shall we call the bear?". Class of children says "Muhammad, miss". Teacher says "You know that's not really allowed". Class of children says "Pleeeeeeeeease, miss, or we'll hold our breath until we keel over". Teacher, quite understandably, says "Oh, all right then". Teacher then sends letter to parents explaining that the children chose the name, that she tried to explain that it wasn't on, but just you try reasoning with 30 anklebiters with a rudimentary understanding of collective bargaining. Parent dobs her in. All the nutters come out to play.

The only bad thing I've heard from the Gibbons side of the affair was professional Scouser and proven ambulance chaser Pete Price on the wireless last night, talking loud and saying nothing about his imprisoned friend. Surely he can't know everyone on Merseyside personally?


Shaun said...

Oh, Louis, I do love that you call it, "This business in the Sudan". It makes me think of Gordon, the Mahdi, and Kitchener's expedition steaming up the Nile. Like you were out of an A.E.W Mason novel.

Of course, 'Chinese' Gordon only got stuck in Khartoum because he thought he was on a mission from God. He was a Protestant fanatic - a member of the Clapham Sect: the first Neo-Cons.

So, we've got some previous in the region.

(Just discovered your blog. Good innit)?

Five-Centres said...

It's absurd. And people wonder why islam is considered humourless and over-reactive.

LF Barfe said...

Hi Shaun. There's nothing that isn't improved hugely by being phrased in Rawlinson End-ese, I find. So we have a religious nutter of our own to blame? Marvellous. Personally, the only religion I have any time for is Judaism, and that's primarily because they gave us Jack Rosenthal and matzo crackers.

Thanks for the parcel, by the way. It's fab.

Clair said...

If we are such a despicable country, I wonder if the Sudanese who are making these demands will want to take our aid any more?

LF Barfe said...

Indeed, Clair. The Sudanese government should denounce the extremists as a matter of politeness and knowing which side your bread's buttered on.

Matthew Rudd said...

When's the next biblical famine due?