Monday, 8 November 2010

Sunday Express Exclusive: Muslims "do Muslim stuff"

Step aside Woodward and Bernstein, the intrepid Express duo of Jarvis and Bhatia have an "exclusive" that puts your lightweight Watergate "investigation" to shame:

Really? Could that be the relatively well-known ritual called Matam that appears in the papers on a semi-regular basis and which crops up in most secondary RE lessons? The one where people self-flagellate? But what's that you say? Those pesky Muslims are doing their filthy Muslim business IN BRITAIN????!?!?!
ISLAMIC fanatics are mutilating themselves at British mosque in a bloody ceremony carried out only yard from a busy high street.

How very dare they! This is Britain, I don't want their unusual religious habits rammed down my throat!
Huge wooden screens were put up around the mosque to keep the event secret and prevent passers-by on busy Romford Road seeing the bloodletting.

Oh. Still, at least the Express's crack reporting duo has tracked down this enormo-story in double-quick time.
The Sunday Express visited the mosque last week and learned that the ceremony took place last December.

Right. So the mosque didn't tell anyone about the event, took steps to avoid people seeing it and nobody has complained at any point in the ELEVEN MONTHS since it happened? Hang on, there is one "witness", who of course remains anonymous:

"There was blood everywhere ... I was told it was part of a religious ceremony but the anti-western sentiment was clear. If the public had seen it they would have reported it to the police."

And yet the not-at-all-entirely-made-up Express "witness" didn't report it to the police? And what about that "anti-western sentiment"? Any evidence of that at all? No? Oh well. Surely now that the Express have brought this awful, awful abomination to the attention of the authorities, something will be done about it?
Scotland Yard said it was aware of the annual Ashura event at the mosque but had no knowledge of the bloodletting which it said it had no power to ban.

A spokesman said: “If it is on private property and no offence is being committed this is not a matter for the police. The Ashura is an annual community event which has taken place in Newham for many years.”

Newham Council said it had no knowledge of the Matam taking place and the Ministry of Justice said self-flagellation was not an offence.

Hmmm. I think self-flagellation in the name of religion is a bit crackers - and that applies to the Catholics who do it, too - but if you want to do it that's up to you. The Muslims in this story did what they did behind closed doors, on private property, having taken steps to make sure other people couldn't be upset by seeing a rather bloody spectacle. What they were doing is not against the law, the police have known about it for years, and nobody has ever complained.

So what, exactly, is the (page 12 lead) story here? Is this an "exclusive" because no other paper would go near it? Well, maybe the Mail...

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Yes, I can't imagine the Express starting an article with the phrase "Catholic fanatics" when talking about their version of self-flagellation.

They'd probably use the phrase "Devout Catholics" instead.

Not at all biased against Muslims...(!)