Although I’m sure this is happening in numerous parts of the Middle East and Africa at least ten times a day and twice as much on Sundays, hearing the same thing taking place in parts of the world that bore witness to the Enlightenment and other events that thrust society into the modern age is a little different, and a lot more unsettling.
[Islamic "scholar" Abdul Qadir] Jilani, who is based in Walthamstow, east London, said in the offending programme: “The matter of insulting the prophet does not fall in the category of terrorism.
“Those who cannot kill such men have no faith.
“It is your duty, the duty of those who recite the holy verse, to kill those who insult Prophet Mohammed.
“Under the guidance from Islamic texts it is evident that if a Muslim apostatises, then it is not right to wait for the authorised courts; anyone may kill him.
“An apostate deserves to be killed and any man may kill him.”
Again, this is happening right now in the UK, from a supposed Islamic “scholar” – and I put the word in quotes because I refuse to accept that anyone who deserves that title would have such a distorted world view so as to call for the murder of people who don’t buy in to their particular interpretation of make-believe.
Ofcom’s response is not – at least as far as I’m aware – to contact authorities to initiate a criminal investigation and make arrests, or to prevent Jilani and people who think like him from having a platform from which to spread such a violent and brutal interpretation of Islam. Their response is to slap them with a fine. I’m sure that this will prevent them from doing it in the future.
After receiving a less punishing fine earlier in the year for breaching Ofcom’s rules on political statements, DM Digital’s CEO Dr. Liaqat Malik expressed his disappointment with the way Ofcam makes its decisions:
“There are cultural differences and I think Ofcom doesn’t understand that. Some of the Ofcom committee members should be picked from the Muslim community,” he said.
In a way, I could understand that having people with Muslim backgrounds working in a broadcasting regulatory agency that deals with Islamic stations on a regular basis. That part makes sense, if only to help explain the rules and maybe certain … intricacies … of secular law that may be lost on some of the guests they have on these shows.
However … if the intent is to try to “stack the deck”, so to speak, with people who share some amount of sympathy and similar political and religious ideology with those who call for the murder of apostates, then we’re going to have a serious problem. Again, given how this resulted in only a fine, I suspect there may be a problem already.