Sunday, September 23, 2012

Thin Skins

Most normal people are quite rightly outraged that  death threats can simply pass unpunished in some parts of the world. In Europe, if I threaten someone with so much as a fish-slice I'm quite rightly brought before a magistrate and punished appropriately. The complete, utter fatuity of the Pakistani politician, Ghulam Ahmed Bilour - the Minister for Railways, of all things - offering a $100k bounty for whoever ends the life of the filmmaker responsible for "Innocence of Muslims", seen by nearly 13 million people, in what was once a reasonably civilised, almost postmodern, supposedly quite thoughtful society, beggars belief. In his own words: “We won’t tolerate such films” [so, don't make them, already...] and that the issue could only be resolved by killing the filmmaker and rich people should donate money for the purpose. We can only hope that rich Pakistanis have something better to do with their money. This is the same man who in July  suggested a confederation of neighbouring countries including Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. He said this confederation would promote co-existence since good relations are the guarantee of peace in the region. Also, it would free up the movement of people across the borders and facilitate trade. 
Of course it would. It would make AK47’s even more accessible and open up a variety of new routes for the heroin trade.
I only have one question to ask of the radicals. Why-please tell me - are you so very thin-skinned? If someone insults me or a member of my family, I don't harbour murderous thoughts towards them and even if I did, I'm not foolish enough to articulate them. This is childish nonsense and people who are secure in their own identity dismiss such things. Satire is jokes for grown-ups and is prevalent in free societies where you're not beaten or locked up for saying what you think. Islam needs a Reformation so that the moderates who wish to practise their faith in peace are no longer tarnished by the homicidal rage of the few who mindlessly swallow everything the imam tells them at Friday prayers.

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