Thursday, January 15, 2009

Self-appointed spokesman for 'moderate' Islam apologises for calling Harry a 'thug'

Mohammed Shafiq is the spokesman for the Ramadan Foundation, which purports to represent young, moderate British Muslims. He's been omnipresent in the British media in recent days, condemning Prince Harry for using the word 'Paki' to describe an Asian fellow army officer. In several interviews, however, he apparently forgot that he was supposed to be the voice of reason, and called Harry a "thug". Now, just like Harry, he's apologized.

Shafiq normally does a better job of playing the 'moderation' game - so, for example, he was vocal in his condemnation of Sudan for arresting Gillian Gibbons, the British teacher who allowed her Sudanese pupils to name a teddy bear Mohammed. Shafiq has a good feel for mainstream public opinion, and doesn't try to defend the more outrageous behaviour of his co-religionists. But, as I've written in this piece on the Harry row for Pajamas Media, the mask slips when the issues become more nuanced (the article also touches on the double standards of other Muslim 'activists', and the media).

Shafiq has attacked Tony Blair for having the temerity to suggest that some British Muslims should do more to integrate, and the Pope for merely quoting a 14th-century emperor who was critical of Islam. He also criticized the decision to award a knighthood to Satanic Verses author Salman Rushdie, on the grounds that Rushdie’s exercising of his right to free speech was offensive to Muslims, and has condemned the publication of The Jewel of Medina, a 'racy' book about the Prophet Mohammed by U.S. author Sherry Jones (I wrote about that row here). Before the Harry story broke Shafiq was accusing the Israelis of behaving like Nazis in their assault on Hamas terrorists in Gaza.

And now the mask has slipped again. Like Harry, Shafiq has discovered the pitfalls of opening your mouth without first engaging your brain.

1 comment:

hellosnackbar said...

Shafiq as you so correctly described
is a posturing apologist for the death cult.
At one time even Pakis called each other Pakis.
Perceived insult is part of Paki culture these days.