Thursday, 12 July 2007

Cheers for that

The latest announcement from Al Qaeda about how doomed we all are in the UK came at the same time as the sentencing of the wannabe tube bombers. This sort of stuff is all over the news at the moment, with the Metro letters page taken up by a debate between muslims and non-muslims about whether the muslim community should be more vocal in its protests and denunciations of the terrorism that is done in its name. And of course the knighthood for Salman Rushdie, which AQ states as being the driver for its latest threat. So, as ever, I thought that I would share my thoughts on the subject.

Aside of my opinion of him, I fail to see why it was so urgent to knight Salman Rushdie, and the timing of it just adds it to the list of available material for people who believe that there is a western conspiracy against muslims. It is not as if his latest novel took the country by storm or anything. Why knight him if you weren't trying to piss anyone off? I am not arguing that we should have a politically-driven honours system, but surely we should have one that reflects (and is sensitive to) the country that we are in today?

On the other hand, Al Qaeda's use of that as the basis of a threat smacks of playground bickering. Does the fact that they are now scrutinising the Queen's honours list for potential offences mean that they have now forgiven their previous bugbears - the invasion of Iraq (twice) and Afghanistan, and the Israel-Palestine situation? Perhaps they should at least have mentioned that they were still angry about that lot too. Perhaps their next threat will be because not enough supermarkets stock halal food - the ultimate in consumer activism. Rather than picking the causes that most matter to them, Al Qaeda is still picking the most topical issue of the day, without regard to the importance of that issue, simply to get the greatest opinion (and presumably the most recruits). As he has now finished his diary, perhaps Alastair Campbell is now their minister without portfolio?

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