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Jan 22 2014

“Liberal”? Hahahaha

Drat. I’m seeing people reporting that the LibDems have issued a statement saying “yes yes free speech but all the same respect respect respect and Maajid was a naughty boy” (that’s a rough paraphrase). The trouble is I can’t find a source for the statement, which is irritating.

Maryam quotes it in a post from a few hours ago.

It’s not surprising that the Liberal Democrats have again sided with Islamist values at the expense of Muslims, ex-Muslims and others.

Not surprising but frustrating nonetheless.

In the latest saga, they have decided to admonish their candidate Maajid Nawaz who has received death threats for merely stating the obvious: he – like many Muslims – is not offended by Jesus and Mo cartoons. Muslims are not a homogeneous bunch after all but are treated as such by the LibDem Party.  To them, Muslim values are considered one and the same with Islamist values: medieval, intolerant, and forever offended… Which is of course why they are more concerned with a cartoon causing “unnecessary offence” then death threats made against Nawaz by one of their own members, Mo Shafiq, who has effectively incited violence against Nawaz through his deliberate use of the term ‘Gustakh-e-Rasool’, which means ‘enemy of the prophet’. It’s the same lack of concern they have shown when another of their members Salah Al Bandar threatened Nahla Mahmoud with death by calling her a “Kafira” and “Murtada” who has offended Islam and brought “fitnah”.

After all, in the world according to the LibDems, death threats is what “Muslims” do. But saying a cartoon isn’t offensive to Muslims – as Nawaz did – well that just shows a lack of sensitivity…

Really. Why are there so many people in a rage about a cartoon image of a couple of guys named Jesus and Mo saying hi and not at all in a rage about threats threats and more threats?

But about this statement.

In a statement, they write: “The Liberal Democrats are a party of respect, tolerance and individual liberty. We fundamentally believe in freedom of expression and as such defend Maajid’s right to express his views. But as a party we urge all candidates to be sensitive to cultural and religious feelings and to conduct debate without causing gratuitous or unnecessary offence.”

That’s infuriating, but where did they say it?

Harry’s Place also quotes it, but also without a link or source. Where are people quoting this from? It’s annoying, and bad blog etiquette, to post a bit of news like this and not include a link or even mention a source. I’ve asked everyone I can think of, but it’s nearly midnight over there so it’s hopeless. Chris Moos told me it was from the Evening Standard, but I can’t find it there.

So if anybody knows where it is, please share the link.

At any rate. Whatever the source is, if the LibDems officially said that, then that’s outrageous. Out fucking rageous.

7 comments

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  1. 1
    Stevarious, Public Health Problem

    “Why are there so many people in a rage about a cartoon image of a couple of guys named Jesus and Mo saying hi and not at all in a rage about threats threats and more threats?”

    Because in the minds of the ragers, the death threats are coming from animals barely more intelligent than dogs – but the guy with the shirt should have known better than to dangle a steak in front of them.

  2. 2
    Ophelia Benson

    Eh? In the minds of the ragers, the death threats are coming from brave colleagues.

  3. 3
    karmacat

    Wow. Talk about blaming the victim. If Maajid were a rape victim, the lib dems would be saying he should have worn a burka

  4. 4
    opposablethumbs

    causing gratuitous or unnecessary offence.

    Death threats. Their own member is getting death threats. And that’s not offensive? The Lib Dems need to rethink their priorities a bit …

  5. 5
    Iain Walker

    I’d kind of like to know what the source is too, since I’d like to get in touch with my MP (Julian Huppert, LibDem MP for Cambridge, who’s a fairly outspoken humanist and secularist, and whom I’m hoping might be willing to take a stand on this) and I’d really like a reliable source to cite. Google has so far availed me not.

  6. 6
    Ophelia Benson

    Chris tells me it’s a statement they gave to the Evening Standard, which quoted only a small (and irrelevant) part of it.

  7. 7
    notyet

    As with all religionists, being on a first-name basis with your particular version of the Almighty Gawd means that whatever is important to you becomes a priority in the universe. Minor infractions of arbitrary rules trump death threats every time. I have always seen this faux humility as “I am nothing and God is everything but since God and I are besties, you should do what I tell you to do”. On the bright side, as an ex-Mormon, the phrase “Gustakh-e-Rasool” takes on a wonderful meaning and is going on a T-shirt post haste.

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