Just when you thought there were no mildly deviant but enjoyable activities left for the Islamists to take offence at, along comes the neighbourhood sharia watch committee in the Nigerian city of Bauchi.
Muslim youths in the city rioted after a court granted bail to five of 18 men who had been charged with the ‘crime’ of cross-dressing after being arrested in a hotel room (presumably the high heels made escape impossible).
All 18 face harsh punishment when – sorry if – convicted. "Any (male) person who dresses... in the fashion of a woman in a public place... will be liable to a term of one year or 30 lashes" said a spokesman for the local sharia police.
By way of explaining this madness, the BBC report informs us that ‘Nigeria, like many African countries, is a conservative society where homosexuality is considered a taboo.’ The BBC would have you think that ‘conservative’ is the operative word here. However, the reason Nigerians in that part of the country flog their cross-dressers, rather than simply picking fault with their choice of outfit, is not because it’s a conservative society, but because it’s an Islamic society.
At some point in the future the BBC and their fellow-travelers on the left are going to have to take sides, and decide whether their enthusiasm for Islam as some kind of imagined counterweight to the US and free market capitalism, and the associated desire to respect and promote it, outweigh their impulse to defend cross-dressers, homosexuals and sexual freedom in general.
However, it has to be said that in the case of Nigeria, Western governments bear a good deal of responsibility too. Just as with the Middle East our relationship with Nigeria is complicated by the fact that it’s a major oil producer, so we tend to give them a pass on human rights abuses.
The sooner we can wean ourselves off oil, and deprive the dictators of Africa and the Middle East of their ill-gotten fortunes, the better life will be for an awful lot of people, not least the persecuted trannies of Bauchi.