Narking For Jesus And Mohammed: Maajid Nawaz And The Offended Twitter Contest
MAAJID Nawaz has been abused on Twitter. The professional offence takers have been taking offence and gnashing their teeth and vowing bloody vengeance in 140 characters or less. (Plus ca change.) The IB Times: reports:
A would-be Liberal Democrat MP who published an image of the Prophet Mohammed on Twitter has been targeted by online abuse. Maajid Nawaz received threats of violence – including beheading – and an online petition was started against his bid to become MP in 2015. It happened after the former Muslim radical and co-founder of Quilliam, an anti-extremism thinktank, drew the ire of critics by publishing a cartoon of the prophet of Islam on his Twitter timeline.
A tweet can get you beheaded. Well, if it can get you arrested and jailed in the UK, anything’s possible. Nawaz posted a drawing of Jesus and Mohammed taken from the comic strip Jesus and Mo. He said:
…I didn’t post it on here gratuitously. Rather, a week ago the BBC Big Questions featured a long-shot of this cartoon. I posted that image here to explain how, as a Muslim, I didn’t find this particular image offensive and think God is bigger than to find offence at such a bland cartoon…
The image shows depicts Muhammad standing next to Jesus (or is it Jesus standing next to Mohammed?) and asking “How Ya Doing?”. Scary stuff. Anorak reported on how two students were banned by the LSE for wearing t-shirts bearing the image. Nawaz overlooked other images of the two religious figures drinking beer, being lewd and, somewhat inevitably, shacking up together. The cartoons are monocular, not all that funny and pretty badly drawn. They are typical student stuff.
It was predictable that Nawaz’s tweet would go down badly with some people. He sets himself above and apart from the gurning, bearded loon in the precinct behaving as his ‘bad Muslim’. Nawaz is ok telling other Muslims how they should behave. Yep, and he’s the liberal.
Mohammed Shafiq, a rival commentator from the Ramadhan Foundation took the bait:
We will notify all muslim organisations in the UK of his despicable behaviour and also notify Islamic countries.
That should be work of satire. But it isn’t. Shafiq is beyond parody. He reminds me of Flavio Briatore, who as one of the money men backing Queen’s Park Rangers football club was filmed responding to fans who booed him with the wonderful line: ”
“I want the names of who is booing me, or I sell the club!”
Of course, this has the potential to be more serious than that. Sahfiq the nark might tell Pakistan, where accusations of blasphemy have deadly results.
But really it all seems like a lot of vain men making a bit of noise to be noticed. Instead of competing to be the most offended, could the tweeters and abusers not wonder why they are offended – and what this episode says not about Jesus and Mo but about them?