Tuesday 5 January 2010

Marching misogynists

The trouble with free speech, and of course living in a democracy, is that you often have to listen to stuff you don't like. The one thing that you must always keep in mind, when faced with someone else's unpalatable viewpoint, is the strength of your own convictions, whilst trying to understand their position. I didn't like the idea of Nick Griffin being on question time, but I recognised the importance of allowing him to be on, even though I had no desire to watch it. I also don't like the idea of Muslims marching through Wootton Bassett, but not for the same reasons that the Daily Telegraph/Mail lynch mob might object. Highlighting the absurdity and futility of war is very laudable. Thousands of innocent lives are being lost and for no good reason. It is right to protest against the carnage and doing so in a place like Wootton Bassett will have maximum impact. But will it do any good?
I don't think so.

Islam4UK doesn’t seem like a very friendly organisation, unless you are some kind of mentalist, and whilst I disagree with their aims totally it’s not my main reason to object to what they propose. I object to what they are doing because they are doing it as a religious ‘collective’. To me a person’s religion is personal and not to be shoved in another person’s face. Marching in the name of humanity would be so much more preferable. These Muslims are missing two tricks here. One by identifying themselves by their religion, and in such an extreme way they guarantee to alienate a vast majority of the population, and secondly if they wish to take as much public opinion with them as possible they would be better off doing it within a secular political framework. Anti war groups are always going to be able to draw on more support and opinion than narrow overtly partisan organisation. Inclusive is always going to have more political success than divisive.


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