You can call Catholics 'barbaric' people with 'nasty dogmas'. You can call the late John Paul II (peace be upon him), a man who was afraid of nothing and no-one, least of all of sinners, "one of the most implacable homophobes of all time" and his succcesor (peace and long life be upon him) "rabid".
But call Islam a 'barmy doctrine' and the forces of righteousness will descend.
"A gay magazine which described immigrants as "criminals of the worst kind" and Islam as a "barmy doctrine" has been condemned as racist by other gay rights groups. According to the magazine of the Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association (Galha), Islam is growing "like a canker" in the UK through "unrestrained and irresponsible breeding"."
(GALHA Secretary George) Broadhead wrote in the magazine: "What is wrong with being fearful of Islam? (There is a lot to fear) ... What does a moderate Muslim do, other than excuse the real nutters by adhering to this barmy doctrine?"
He described his article as "slightly over the top in wording maybe but basically we're saying Islam is homophobic".
He told the Guardian: "There may be people who think of themselves as moderate but we've yet to see them coming out and condemning their fundamentalist counterparts. If they want to follow a belief that we think is execrable it's up to them - it's a question of religion per se and the damage it can do in extremist form in theocracies where gays are not just put in jail but whipped and tortured."
Unrestrained and irresponsible breeding - didn't they used to say that about Catholics ?
(via Khan Sahib)
UPDATE - Islam strikes back. Notice the BBC deliberate inaccuracy - Iqbal (which means 'prestige' or 'status') Sacranie actually said civil partnerships were harmful.
Ben Cohen (no relation) he say
"It is therefore no different to say: “homosexuality is wrong” to saying: “Islam is wrong” or: “Jews should be expelled” or: “send back the blacks”. All are offensive and all can no longer be tolerated in our modern society."
That's the trouble with this PC stuff. We can all agree that white straight, middle-class males are dreadful, and the only minority it's cool to abuse, but what when the poor oppressed classes don't agree ? After all, Islam says that uphill gardening is wrong, as do all major religions. Yet apparently it's wrong to say Islam's wrong, and such behaviour should no longer be tolerated 'in our modern society'. What's a girl to do ?
Big Ben then gets a bit threatening.
"As a liberal, I could say to Sir Iqbal: “I disagree with you but I tolerate the right for you to be intolerant.” However, I’m not sure that we can continue be tolerant of those who show so little respect for our liberal way of life."
We're used to the annual invasion of General Synod. In Ben's shoes I'm not sure I'd consider disruption of Islamic conferences - these guys don't turn the other cheek.
I am old enough to remember a couple of episodes seemingly forgotten, yet which would have been all over the media had white Christians been organising it - the mobilisation of Muslims to drive prostitutes off the streets in Balsall Heath (Brum) and Lumb Lane in Bradford. I only know about these episodes because I've lived in both areas - there may be more.
"At the height of the picket, Amin had 500 people on the streets every night, armed with notebooks to take down the numberplates of kerbcrawlers and posters which warned, 'Your wife will get to hear of this.'
'The Muslim community had the will-power, the determination and the cohesion to act,' says Ward. The Christian community was split over the need to be compassionate towards the prostitutes' problems, an approach which baffles and infuriates the Muslims. As a result, Ward was the only clergyman to give the campaign his backing.
(I imagine 'the Christian community' in practice meant 'the clergy' - most of the (Irish Catholic) Christians of Balsall Heath would have been on board - LT)
Meanwhile, the police were watching the pickets with concern. 'We were afraid of a backlash from the pimps,' says community liaison officer Sergeant Steven Bruton. 'We thought any day one might wind down his car window and blast away at the pickets with a gun. We were afraid the prostitutes might get assaulted. And we were afraid there might be riots. When it first started, the picket attracted a lot of people from all over. We thought the hotheads might have a go.'
"SIR - It was interesting to read the latest police initiative in tackling vice problems in Bradford (T&A, August 29).
I noted with interest the Editorial comment referring to the previous "red light district" of Lumb Lane, analysing the 1994/95 events. It was in keeping with the true sense of Bradford's best political correctness in referring to "a degree of community action to improve the situation in Lumb Lane..."
Actually this so-called "degree of community action" was vigilantism, violence and a form of gender/racial cleansing instigated primarily by Asian youth against working white women.
However, with Bradford's traditional "Nelson's eye", the authorities, including the media, permitted such scandalous attacks to be made against these vulnerable girls without condemnation or intervention. "
"One central aspect of the disturbances in the mid-1990s was that local residents had become weary of the long-standing busy trade in ‘kerb-crawling’ prostitution along Lumb Lane which is one of its main traffic arteries. Indeed, as a result of vigilante action from within the Asian community, this dimension of Manningham’s night-life has now disappeared and street prostitution in the city is situated and organised elsewhere."
If I were Mr Cohen I'd stop worrying about 'respect' and start worrying about the gay clubs of Leicester and Burnley.