Tom Chivers at the Telegraph (sad how sometimes the Telegraph is better than the Guardian and the New Statesman) is a fan of Jesus and Mo.
I’ve been a fan of the webcomic Jesus and Mo for years. The idea is a simple one: the two religious figureheads J Christ and Mohammed share a house and discuss matters of religious philosophy, often in arguments with a wise atheist barmaid at their local. It’s funnier than I’ve made that sound.
Except it sounds quite funny…but yes, it’s even funnier than that.
It is, of course, irreligious and arguably blasphemous. (In its very first edition or episode or whatever you call it, Mo points out that it’s forbidden to depict him pictorially. Jesus asks what he’s doing in a cartoon, reasonably enough, and Mo claims he’s a body double.) It’s also very clever, informed by philosophical and religious argument, and – as mentioned – funny.
But. Despite all that, there are people who get in a rage about it.
I’d love to be able to report that the fears of well-meaning liberal milquetoasts are overblown and that actually British Muslims are far too grown-up to get upset about a line drawing on a website. And, of course, the huge and overwhelming majority are. But a few – and it is mainly Muslims – are not.
I’m not sure. Unless by “get upset about” he means “get upset enough to do anything about”…In that case he would be right, and maybe that is what he means.
So to the upshot.
Nawaz received numerous death threats [“I would be glad to cut your neck off, so your kufr [unbeliever] friends won’t be amused by your humour. In sha Allah [if Allah is willing] may my dua [act of worship] get accepted”], and Mohammed Shafiq of the Ramadhan Foundation, Muslim commentator Mo Ansar and George Galloway, the Respect MP for Bradford, all called for him to be dropped as a PPC.
(UPDATE: Mo Ansar has got in touch since this piece was published, saying that he hasn’t called for Nawaz to be dropped, only for “1. Full investigation by LibDems 2. Apology from Nawaz 3. Whatever sanction LibDems see fit“. I’d hardly call that a great advertisement for liberalism anyway, but he’s also called for people to sign this petition to have Nawaz sacked. He says this is different from actually calling for Nawaz to be sacked. I am happy to make this clear, while also admitting that exactly how it is different is a bit beyond me.)
It’s not different at all and Mo Ansar is being a chickenshit.