The ‘demonisation’ of Anjem Choudary
This piece first appeared in the Freethinker in August, 2011.
EARLIER this week, following the acquittal of Dutch politician Geert Wilders on charges of inciting hatred towards Muslims, Talk Radio Europe, which is based in Spain, invited listeners to call in with their comments.
Before opening the phone lines, Tonight Show presenter Ritchie Allen announced that “a much maligned” UK-based Muslim spokesman – Anjem Choudary – would be joining him on the programme to discuss the issue.
Allen, to my utter amazement, intimated that his guest was the ongoing victim of a vicious smear campaign in the UK by the right-wing media – the Daily Mail and the Telegraph in particular – which had set out to “demonise” Choudary by portraying the “shariah judge” as a dangerous lunatic and firebrand.
This, suggested Allen, was unfair, and said he believed the brand of shariah Choudary wants implemented in the UK (and elsewhere) would apply only to fellow Muslims and would probably not include inhumane punishments such as the lopping off of limbs and stonings.
What planet is this man on?
Choudary has repeatedly stated that he strongly believes in the primacy of Islam over all other faiths, and that he want implementation of sharia law, in its entirety, in the UK – not just for Muslims, but for every man, woman and child in the country.
Every woman, whether Muslim or non-Muslim, would have to wear a traditional burqa and cover everything apart from her face and hands in public.
In matters to do with the judicial system and the penal code, one male witness is sufficient to counter the testimony of two females. People who commit adultery would be stoned to death.
I called programme immediately, and said that I was one of many who were delighted with the outcome of the Wilders trial, and pointed out that the case had to be seen in the context of the hugely negative impact Muslims have made on Dutch society over the past two decades or so.
For example, there has been an epidemic of Islam-inspired anti-Semitism in Holland. Large numbers of Dutch Jews are reportedly ready to leave the country. And, where Holland was once was one of the safest and most welcoming places in the world for homosexuals, an increasing number of homophobic attacks by Muslims had made numerous locations unsafe, “no-go” areas for gays and lesbians.
Islam, I pointed, had thoroughly muddied the waters of tolerance in the Netherlands.
Taking up my point about homosexuals, Choudary countered by stating that he “deplored” violence against gay people. I was about to ask him to explain why, in 2009, he had compared homosexuality to bestiality, and called for gays to be stoned to death, but I was shoved off air at that point.
Allen returned to the subject of Islam a few nights later, claiming that the “demonisation” in the West of Muslims might be compared to the treatment Jews has received in the past, culminating in the Holocaust.
I must say I like Ritchie Allen, and I assume from critical remarks he has made on air about the Catholic Church – and Christianity in general – that he is a lapsed believer. He comes across as a strong libertarian, which makes his unquestioning support of Islam – which Wilders correctly identified as a fascist ideology – all the more difficult to understand.