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Wife-beating? That's fine - unless you're a Muslim

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    Wife-beating? That s fine - unless you re a Muslim Mark Steel Wednesday, 9 July 2008 The Independent
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 9 10:30 AM
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      Wife-beating? That's fine - unless you're a Muslim
      Mark Steel
      Wednesday, 9 July 2008
      The Independent
      http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/mark-steel/mark-
      steel-wife-beating-thats-fine-ndash-unless-youre-a-muslim-862898.html


      The Sun newspaper has come over a bit modest. Following a Channel 4
      documentary about media reporting of Muslims, the paper accepts some
      of its stories were "distorted". But they're not doing themselves
      justice. They weren't distorted - they were entirely made up. For
      example, a story about a Muslim bus driver who ordered his
      passengers off the bus so he could pray was pure fabrication.

      But if reporters are allowed to make up what they like, that one
      should be disciplined for displaying a shocking lack of imagination.
      He could have continued, "The driver has now won a case at the Court
      of Human Rights that his bus route should be altered so it only goes
      east. This means the 37A from Sutton Coldfield will no longer stop
      at Selly Oak library, but go the wrong way up a one-way street and
      carry on to Mecca. Local depot manager Stan Tubworth said, 'I
      suggested he only take it as far as Athens but he threatened a
      Jihad, and a holy war is just the sort of thing that could put
      a service like the Selly Oak Clipper out of business'."

      Then there was a story about "Muslim thugs" in Windsor who attacked
      a house used by soldiers, except it was another invention. But with
      this tale the reporter still claims it's true, despite a complete
      absence of evidence, because, "The police are too politically
      correct to admit it." This must be the solution to all unsolved
      crimes. With Jack the Ripper it's obvious - he was facing the East
      End of London, his victims were infidels and he'd have access to a
      burqua which would give him vital camouflage in the smog. But do
      the pro-Muslim police even bother to investigate? Of course not,
      because it's just "Allah Allah Allah" down at the stations these
      days.

      Maybe Muslim newspapers should retaliate by publishing their own
      made-up stories. So it will be reported that "Barmy PC teachers in
      Leicester have banned children from playing Noughts and Crosses,
      claiming the cross reminds Church of England kiddies of the
      suffering undertaken by Lord Jesus. A spokesman for the Board of
      Education said, 'We have to be sensitive. Which is why we've
      replaced the game with 'Noughts and Hexagons'. We did look into
      calling it 'Noughts and Crowns of Thorns' but decided Hexagons was
      more appropriate."

      Or, "Doctors have been told that patients are no longer to be
      referred to as 'stable', as this is offensive to followers of Jesus,
      who was said to have been born in one. So medical staff have been
      informed they must use an alternative word, or if they can't think
      of one just let the patient die."

      The most common justification for ridiculing Islam is that the
      religion is "backward", particularly towards women, as a fundamental
      part of its beliefs. The Sun's old political editor suggests this as
      a defence of his newspaper's stance, saying that under Islam, "women
      are treated as chattels". And it's true that religious scriptures
      can command this, such as the insistence that, "a man may sell his
      daughter as a slave, but she will not be freed at the end of six
      years as men are." Except that comes from the Bible - Exodus,
      Chapter 21, verse 7.

      The Bible is packed with justifications for slavery, including
      killing your slaves. So presumably the Sun, along with others who
      regard Islam as a threat to our civilisation, will soon be
      campaigning against "Sunday Schools of Hate" where children as young
      as seven are taught to read this grisly book. And next Easter
      they'll report how, "I saw a small child smile with glee as he
      opened a Cadbury's egg filled with chocolate buttons. But behind
      his grin I couldn't help but wonder whether he wanted to turn me
      into a pillar of salt, then maybe sprinkle me on his menacing
      confectionary treat."

      In his defence of making stuff up, the Sun's ex-political editor
      spoke about the amount of domestic violence suffered by Muslim
      women. But there's just as much chance of suffering domestic
      violence if you're not a Muslim, as one of the 10 million such
      incidents a year that take place in Britain. Presumably the anti-
      Islam lobby would say, "Ah yes, but those other ones involve secular
      wife-beating, which is not founded on archaic religious customs, but
      rational reasoning such as not letting him watch the snooker."

      And finally the Sun's man defends the line of his paper by saying
      that, after all, these Muslims "are trying to bomb our country". So
      it's their civic duty to make stuff up - the same as keeping a look-
      out for spies during the Second World War.

      So we should all do our bit, and every day send in something, until
      the press is full of stories like "Muslims in Darlington have been
      raising money for semtex by organising panda fights." Or "In
      Bradford all nurseries have been ordered to convert their dolls'
      houses into miniature mosques so that Muslim teddies have somewhere
      to pray."

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