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UK gymnast learns mumbo jumbo is not to be mocked

UK gymnast learns mumbo jumbo is not to be mocked

A short parody of an Islamic prayer session, complete with ‘magic carpet’, landed Louis Smith in hot water after it was circulated online.

According to this report, the gymnast – who won a silver medal for Great Britain on the pommel horse in Rio – was videoed with fellow gymnast Luke Carson shouting “Allahu Akbar” and mimicking a praying pose.

He could now face disciplinary action after British Gymnastics said it would investigate footage published by The Sun.

Mohammed Shafiq, Chief Executive of the Ramadan Foundation, told The Sun:

We would have expected a lot better from an Olympian, who travels around the world and meets different cultures and communities and behaves in this abhorrent sort of way.

It’s outrageous somebody can mock any faith … I think he should apologise immediately and really reach out to the Muslim community and learn more about our faith. Our faith is not to be mocked, our faith is to be celebrated and I think people will be offended by this.

British Gymnastics issued a statement, saying:

It does not condone the mocking of any faith or religion and is appalled by such behaviour. Gymnastics is an inclusive sport and we are proud of members who portray the inclusive values of British Gymnastics.

Members who break our code of conduct can face suspension or expulsion from our organisation. We will be investigating the behaviours reported.

Smith apologised for the incident, which took place at a friend’s wedding. “I am deeply sorry,” he wrote in a message on Twitter.

I am not defending myself, what I did was wrong. I want to say sorry for the deep offence I have caused and to my family who have also been affected by my thoughtless actions.

I recognised the severity of my mistake and hope it can be used as an example of how important it is to respect others at all times. I have learnt a valuable life lesson and I wholeheartedly apologise.

Hat tip: BarrieJohn

39 responses to “UK gymnast learns mumbo jumbo is not to be mocked”

  1. barriejohn says:

    Another “grovelling apology”. I’m losing the will to live!

  2. 1859 says:

    Saving his professional skin.I wonder what (if anything?) he thinks in private?

  3. L.Long says:

    As a pro with a lot to lose you DO NOT mock ahole religions (meaning any)!

  4. Dionigi says:

    ” Our faith is not to be mocked, our faith is to be celebrated and I think people will be offended by this.”
    Yes I am offended that people think they have the right not to be mocked for their superstition.

  5. Trevor Blake says:

    “Our faith is not to be mocked.”

    Oh, my friend, but it is. You worship an invisible monster hat lives in the sky. You honor an illiterate horse thief as a leader. You recite magic spells as you circle around your wizard rock. It’s all silly.

    Well, the rapes and murders and bombings and kidnappings and child grooming and cousin marriage and sex slavery and acid attacks and the rest – I wouldn’t use the word silly to describe those. Contemptible, perhaps.

    But that flying donkey business, yes, silly – and mocked the world over.

  6. Daz says:

    “Our faith is not to be mocked, our faith is to be celebrated and I think people will be offended by this.”

    He’s right. I am indeed offended by the statement “Our faith is not to be mocked, our faith is to be celebrated.”

  7. Laura Roberts says:

    One of the few times childish behaviour actually makes me respect someone more. Then he ruined it by groveling.

  8. Harry says:

    What religious fundamentalists fear ….. mockery. They just can’t take it because they know it pricks their fragile bubble of faith in the unbelievable. Their only response is to scream offence, hate crime, discrimination because they know that to try and reason that their faith is justified is to invite certain failure and ridicule. And the gymnast guy should hang his head in shame that he apologised. And anyone who forced his apology by threat of disciplinary consequences needs to be relieved of their position. Islamists use suicide bombs, AK47, trucks and knives. Our only defence is to mock and ridicule.

  9. Harry says:

    I have just copied, in my own front room, the comical antics of Olympic medalist Louis and invite you all to do the same. And I am not going to offer apologies to any ramamadman halfwit numpty who thinks that I might be impressed by fundamentalist Islamic kicking and screaming.

  10. Harry says:

    News flash.
    Harry Parry, Chief Executive of the Ramamadman Mock Religion Foundation, told The Sun: “There is nothing more revealing about the fragility, foolishness and futility of the faithful than watching them scream, shriek and protest when they are confronted by ridicule and mockery. It’s like watching the take down of the playground bully by the collective pointing and laughter of a group of ex victims when they realise that the bully is a spineless moronic thug”.

  11. barriejohn says:

    You recite magic spells as you circle around your wizard rock.

    Trevor Blake: What are you talking about? This is a most sacred feature of the Muslim faith, and must be treated with the utmost respect.

    “Your name is also on the list.”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/teenage-boy-christian-arrested-sharing-blasphemous-facebook-post-in-pakistan-nabeel-chohan-kaaba-a7321156.html

  12. Tom Petty says:

    The headline “UK gymnast learns mumbo jumbo is not to be mocked” is wrong.

    This is the correct headline.
    “UK Olympic Medalist Gymnast forced by officials, too weak to stand up to islamist bullying, to apologise for mocking islam”.

  13. Newspaniard says:

    Bloody Sun! Is it run by islamofascists? If it had to run this article, at least it should have laughed along rather than cost this guy his career. I think I’ll try and comment on the article, if I can find it. The author was probably some religious nut anyway. Do the page 3 girls all wear burkas in the Sun?

  14. Great Satan says:

    He should have told the muslims to go F*** themselves – no apologies for democracy – no surrender to islam !

  15. barriejohn says:

    Great Satan: He probably wants to ensure that he still gets TV work in the future!

  16. andym says:

    Not entirely on the same subject, but I’d say pretty relevant to this. Most of the ultra-sensitive loudmouths , I suspect have an agenda to turn any religious mockery into a hate crime.

    http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2016/10/try-turn-whole-life-one-big-hate-crime/

  17. Brian Jordan says:

    “British Gymnastics” would have it in for him, for opening the door to mockery. After all, “won a silver medal for Great Britain on the pommel horse” is a rather tempting target!

  18. The Left is to blame for all this. Political correctness and identity politics were created by Leftists so as to further their own ideological agenda. The Leftists use minorities in the same way they once used the working-classes, and for the same reason. And Islam likewise uses the Left to further its own agenda.

    Fuck Islam. Fuck the Left.

  19. Allahu Akbar! These are two words you do NOT want to hear screamed out whilst you are flying in an aeroplane or travelling through a tunnel on an underground train.

  20. barriejohn says:

    MFR: At least the Left were prepared to DO something about the rights of minorities, unlike so many right-wingers, who have consistently assured us that they have had “loads of gay friends”, etc, but never did anything for them.

  21. Broga says:

    Mumbo Jumbo: I heard a two nuns being interviewed on the World Service. They were asked why they became nuns. They “got the call” and it became clear what God wanted them to do. I have heard this before. However, one of them who had a stable relationship with a boyfriend, said she felt God “was nudging me” to become a nun. God’s message does seem to be tentative.

    They seemed pleasant, likeable sensible women and yet had decided on lives of chastity, poverty and obedience. All the things the top honchos of their church do not follow themselves.

  22. It is important to the Left that minority groups should base their sense of identity primarily on their ethnicity, skin-colour, religion, gender, sexuality, etc. It is also important to the Left that minorities should feel grievance, dissatisfaction and resentment. If they felt contentment, satisfaction, and a sense of allegiance and duty to the society of which they are a part, and in particular if they base their sense of selfhood and identity on the nation-state to which they belong, they can be of little use to the Left. And what of the working-classes? Strangely, for reasons unknown (titter) the Left abandoned them long ago.

  23. AgentCormac says:

    ‘I think people will be offended by this.’

    Here we go yet again – any bloody excuse for a good bit of offence-taking.

  24. Personally, I rather enjoy offending–and being offended in return. Offence, whether given or received, generally tends to give me a highly pleasurable intellectual and emotional buzz. I’ve even been known to go on anti-Semitic sites pretending to be Jewish myself. Needless to say, a good time was had by all. Would that Muslims could share my sense of humour. But no–all you get from them is dire threats and the most foul and loopy imprecations.

  25. Gymnasiums are solely for the use of neurotics, narcissists and homosexuals. (I posted this comment in the Guardian last year. It was of course removed. I also posted it in the Daily Wail and the Daily Repress. It was also removed from both publications. Shame on them all! I will NOT be silenced!)

  26. Angela_K says:

    The only reason this guy apologised is because he didn’t want to be blown up, beheaded or stabbed to death – all activities you rarely hear the little snowflake muslims complain about.

  27. Malcolm Reid says:

    You can ridicule someones football team with no problem. You can ridicule some ones political beliefs with no problem, but when it comes to religion, you must respect their beliefs – why? No one has the right not to be offended.

  28. Laura Roberts says:

    @barriejohn: ignore MFR; I know I do. My guess is, it’s a young teenager trying to sound clever.

  29. Vanity Unfair says:

    How can we be sure that his grovelling apology is neither ironic nor sarcastic, given that the standard Muslim prayer attitude is, itself, indistinguishable from grovelling?

  30. barriejohn says:

    Laura: I take it all with an enormous dose of NaCl!

    V. Unfair: Even if (as we must all suspect) totally insincere, it’s the fact that it was necessary that’s so depressing. It’s as if they got their pound of flesh.

  31. RussellW says:

    “….learn more about our faith”.

    Muslims really can’t be serious when they say that. The more people learn about Islam the more Islamophobic they become. I’m offended by Islam, so why don’t Muslims learn more about my lack of faith?

    It’s an interesting intersection of two enormous wastes of taxpayers’ money, religion and Olympic athletes, may both disappear into history.

  32. Dave H says:

    Poor lad. A one way pommel horse to hell.

  33. andym says:

    Increasingly , the Spectator is the only publication discussing “Islamophobia” rationally

    This article on this subject is about how the word has now been changed to mean not just fear of Muslims, but of Islam itself.

    http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2016/10/must-freedom-mock-islam/

  34. Stonyground says:

    “Gymnasiums are solely for the use of neurotics, narcissists and homosexuals.”

    Yes this is an absurd statement but why does it need to be censored? Is it not far better to let it stand and let it be refuted? I have a well equipped weights gym at home and use it regularly. Neurotic? not in the slightest, I’m very well balanced and don’t have hang-ups about anything. Narcissist? Well maybe a little, I am 58 and have an excellent physique and I am fairly proud of it. Homosexual? No I’m straight although a bit kinky.

    Regarding the apology, it sounded like a textbook save my career type apology, verging on mockery. I think that it is disappointing that people who have said something that is unpopular but true feel the need to apologise. But in this case I think it was probably the sensible thing to do.

  35. RussellW says:

    Stonyground,

    “in this case I think it was probably the sensible thing to do” Yes, Smith is probably generously financed by the UK taxpayer, this is an exercise in PR as much as free speech.

  36. Les says:

    I object. I have a right to be not offended, and paradoxlly the right to offend. There appears to be a serious misunderstanding that both a ‘believers’ and ‘non-believer make.’
    If you offend me, personally, I have the right to protest, complain and ultimately attempt prosecution through the state apparatus. If, I, have offended you, personally, you have the right to the same process… That’s democracy, that’s freedom.
    However, where we fail, is when we allow an offense to exist on the grounds of religious or any other personal ideology to form or permit grounds for ‘any offense.’
    Religion, political, social, race, gender, or indeed any ideological concepts should never be a basis for causing offense. (this list is not meant to be exhaustive or exclusive)
    If we want to live in a truly free and pluralistic society we must accept all, with one provision, that it never leads to repression or violence, if it does, remove the perpetrator, not the concept or the ideology… except of course if that concept or ideology can be proven beyond doubt to be totally opposed to the long term well being of the human race… again this particular point is open to debate.
    In summary, if a ‘religious’ person has been offended, that’s their problem.
    To me, it proves a point, that person has serious problems/doubts about their own faith/religion.
    Therefore, I pose the question… can your ‘god’ not defend itself?
    The answer I give, is ‘obviously not’ that is why you have to get so angry, upset and spew veiled threats, or even worse.

  37. andym says:

    Sport UK has some Draconian demands in its funding contracts. Recipients are more or less barred from saying anything derogatory about anyone, or importantly , their beliefs. Ahead of its time I suppose , because that seems to be the way society is fast heading.

    As pointed out here, it seems athletes would be in breach of contract for criticising someone’s Nazism.

    http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/punishing-smith-would-be-an-attack-on-free-speech-7jwcnp2tq

  38. barriejohn says:

    Another article on the subject:

    http://www.secularism.org.uk/blog/2016/10/the-demonisation-of-louis-smith–this-is-how-a-de-facto-blasphemy-law-works

    The very public castigation of the British gymnast is illustrative of the troubling return of blasphemy. As the former Strictly Come Dancing winner has discovered – and to his immense cost – Britain’s bourgeoning ‘culture of offence’ is ensuring that any action deemed likely to offend religious sensibilities, but particularly Muslim sensibilities, is strictly taboo.

    …Mohammed Shafiq has form when it comes to whipping up hostility against people lawfully exercising their right to free expression. Back in 2014 when Maajid Nawaz tweeted a Jesus & Mo cartoon with a message saying he wasn’t offended by the depiction of Mohammad, Shafiq threatened to “notify all Muslim organisations in the UK of his despicable behaviour and also notify Islamic countries.”

    …However well-intentioned, over-reactions like those we’ve seen this week to Louis Smith’s mockery of religion have a disastrously chilling effect on free speech. It plays into the hands of the Islamic world’s professional offence takers who would like nothing more than to see all criticism of Islam silenced once and for all.