You can’t do much about your reputation. A bad reputation can follow you like a shadow and place you at a considerable disadvantage in all your future endeavours.
Some movements, philosophies or ideologies are deemed so despicable that no affiliate or former member can ever dissociate themselves from the body’s loathsome reputation. But inexplicably, others with an equally ignominious record do it with ease.
Double standards exist. Some people can’t do a thing right, while others, apparently not for want of trying, just can’t put a foot wrong.
Take Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra, representing the sunny-side of Islam. The commissioning editors of the BBC happily disregard all negative factors associated with the religion of peace, and give Shaykh Mogra a platform on radio 4 to preach to us every morning for a whole week, as though certain unmentionable issues had never raised their ugly heads. For instance Islam’s approach to women, to sex and to the non-believer; not to mention, literally, the antics of a certain publicity-seeking band of poppy-burning beardies, the Muslim Council of Britain’s duplicitous record, Islam’s inherent antisemitism, oh, and Islamic-inspired terrorism.
Ibriham Mogra can shayke off (sorry) all association with that nasty stuff and quote passages from the Koran as though butter wouldn’t melt in his beard. He evidently believes these unfortunate things are ‘nothing to do with me, guv.’
In stark contrast, certain other ideologies or movements are deemed ‘beyond the pale’. An individual associated with any of these despised bodies is automatically pushed into purgatory. Take the Nazi. Can there be a benign Nazi? At one end of the spectrum we have Goebbels and co., and at the milder end, the ‘gullible victim of propaganda’ and the ‘only following orders’ brand of Nazi. All are permanently regarded as personae non gratae, with the exception of one reformed Nazi who has made a convincing case by publicly denouncing his former incarnation and reinventing himself as the Pope. According to Wiki, Joseph Alois Ratzinger was “an unenthusiastic member” of the Hitler Youth all along, so that’s okay.
There’s little prospect of exoneration for Israel however. As far as the BBC is concerned Israel’s pariah status is set in stone. It is unremittingly portrayed as ‘beyond the pale’, and is seen by the BBC as indomitably fiendish, even though most of the evil-doing the BBC finds so unforgivable is a construct of their very own.
Organisations like the BNP can’t rehabilitate themselves. No matter how plausible he tries to be, Nick Griffin was caught on camera being racist and antisemitic, and his denials and ostensible changes of heart aren’t fooling anyone.
Similarly, Tommy Robinson has a lot of work to do on the EDL’s image before he’ll be able to distance himself from its reputation for thuggery and racism.
Incidentally, when the BBC set attack-dog Paxman onto ‘Tommy Robinson’, I doubt Paxo suspected he was in for a profound pasting. But that’s what he ended up with. The BBC was so confident that Robinson’s guilt-by-association was enough to crush him, that they didn’t bother to do any pre-interview research. In the event Paxo stabbed wildly and spuriously in all directions, and had to resort to making those faces. It probably wasn’t that particular humiliating fiasco of an interview that deterred the BBC from putting the good Shaykh up for a similar grilling before setting him up with a week’s worth of Prayers for the Day. But surely, if all things really were equal, they’d give Tommy a regular spot on the radio and send the Shaykh in for a couple of rounds with Paxo.
The BBC can brush aside the evil-doings of his religious compatriots, such as terrorism, wife beating, honour killing and gay-bashing, but can’t overlook alleged skinhead thuggery.
Every morning, for seven glorious days, Shayhk Mogra has been quoting some incomprehensible passages straight from the Koran for our edification.
On two occasions he assumed our fond familiarity with the Hajj, and an episode entitled “Kick Racism Out” contained the following:
“Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “O people, indeed your Lord and Sustainer is One and your ancestor is one. All of you descend from Adam and Adam was made of earth. There is no superiority for an Arab over a non-Arab nor for a non-Arab over an Arab; neither for a white person over a black person nor a black person over a white person except the superiority gained through righteousness. Indeed the noblest of you to God is the one who is most conscious of God.”
I wondered momentarily if the above-mentioned exception does subtly bestow superiority upon very ‘righteous’ Muslims, which by sleight of hand exempts me and the other kafir from being considered their equal. But I was all wrong, because he continued:
“Dear God, cleanse our hearts and give us the strength to be more righteous. Enable us to respect all human beings as equals and as members of Your family, amin.”
(‘Amin’ is Muslim for ‘Amen’)
Somehow Shaykh Mogra feels able to pick and choose which bits of the holy Koran he condones, and which bits he rejects. One of the latter is the death penalty for apostasy, which he says is outdated and old fashioned. But, would you adam an’ eve it, he’s sticking with the literal interpretation of the creation? “ All of you descend from Adam and Adam was made of earth.”
His Pollyanna version of the ROP doesn’t mention the Jihad. But he’s not your typical Islamic cleric. Hizb ut-Tahrir calls him a ‘government linked sellout’ and, on apostasy: “Even the kafir reporter knows more on Islam sharia then[sic] Mogra!”
I’m afraid today’s prayer really takes the biscuit. It’s called Caring for Women.
If the BBC can pretend that Islam’s record of caring for women bears any relation to this sermon, I’d like to know how.
The next passage has something of the literary style of Enid Blyton about it:
“He who supports three daughters or sisters by educating them and being merciful to them until they become self sufficient, God will make Paradise compulsory for him.” A man then asked, “What about two daughters or sisters, will the same apply to two?” Another asked, “What about one daughter or sister?” Muhammad said, “The same applies to one daughter or sister.”
(I don’t know how respectfully Noddy and Big Ears treated women, but they had a very unPC reputation with regard to golliwogs.)
“He who has a daughter and looks after her and does not disgrace her, nor does he prefer his sons over her, God will admit him to Paradise.”
Disgrace her? How? Oh never mind. Next week’s Prayers for the Day are by Alison Twaddle.