I saw a piece on the BBC today about Respect Party founder George Galloway, who is calling for a planned march through Tower Hamlets on Saturday by the English Defence League (EDL) to be banned. That may or may not be necessary, I have no idea, although I am sure the appropriate authorities will have their opinion and hopefully take the appropriate action. I am not an EDL supporter as you will know if you give this blog anything more than a cursory glance.
To give you a small background perspective, I have now started to follow Tweeters that I would usually rather not read about. Two days ago I started following Nigel Farage, reasoning it was better to know your ‘devils’ than ignore them. I duly received a tweet from UKIP’s leader this morning saying that today is the 20th anniversary of the foundation of his party. I sent a curmudgeonly tweet back saying that this milestone served to demonstrate the tolerance of the great British public. Well I hope Mr. Farage has a better sense of humour than his understanding of foreign affairs, or I will feel his wrath no doubt. Incidentally, why do so many people call Mr. Farage a ‘kipper’ when he is much better suited to ‘flounder’?
So when I read about garrulous George’s latest march – well George is certainly energetic, even if a political stooge to Islam’s peace-loving followers – I decided to follow him on Twitter, hoping to ask him why he was always banging on about Islamophobia, after all, I am an ex-Muslim and I ought to know his reasoning. I didn’t get the chance because garrulous George has banned me, yes, banned me! Back came the message “You have been blocked from following this account at the request of the user”. A pre-emptive strike no less. Maybe old gee-gee is learning from Obama.
My point is that people have a right not to like Islam, don’t they? In the same vein they have a right to free speech. I mean, I detest the Catholic church but I don’t see the followers of the Church of Rome yelling Catholiphobia, a word I coined about a decade ago, at atheists like me. Roundly I detest all religion really, although I am not nasty about it. The other day an old lady approached me in the town as I was getting into my car with my 12 year old son. “Would you like to read these two magazines?” she asked. “Sure” said I, but as soon as they were in my hand I saw that they were religious matter. I approached the group that she was with, some two or three yards away, handing back the magazines whilst asking them “rather than inviting people to read these magazines, why don’t you hand them over whilst meekly observing ‘if you don’t join us you’re going to burn in hell’?” The old lady and one of her companions laughed. They clearly have a sense of humour, which is more than we can say for garrulous George.
In April 2012, to celebrate his re-election to the House of Commons, the in-house magazine for parliament ‘The House’ wrote a lengthy article in his honour, commenting that “George Galloway is perhaps the most experienced ‘newbie’ MP you’ll ever meet”. It’s a very sympathetic article but it’s a shame they didn’t re-title that edition ‘The Louse’ thus fully honouring Galloway’s character.