In 2005 ‘the Author‘ started producing the Jesus and Mo cartoons. Now, obviously it is against the rules of Islam, worthy of extreme death, to draw or depict the Prophet Mohammed, so the Mo that appears next to Jesus is of course, a body double. The cartoons are sort of atheistic humour, and over the years have developed a cult following.
Then, last year, it all kicked off. The Freshers Fair at the London School of Economics was attended by students wearing Jesus and Mo t-shirts. The Students Union forced the security services there to have the t-shirts removed or covered, lest they cause offence. So much for being free to wear what they want to wear.
This bubbled away. Then, on one of the BBC’s flagship God-bothering discussion TV programmes, more students appeared and were wearing them. Muslim apologists seized on the opportunity to be outraged and demanded the t-shirts be covered. Strange really, considering the debate was about the right of Muslims to force their women to wear veils.
The extremely moderate and sensible Maajid Nawaz of the Quillium Foundation later tweeted a copy of the content of the t-shirt, which was just the standard Jesus and Mo single frame of Jesus saying ‘Hi’ and Mo saying ‘How you doing?’. It wasn’t even a contentious full cartoon like this:
Well, of course, Twitter was immediately full of death threats aimed at Mr Nawaz and the usual organised ‘outrage’ burned into the night. Various self-appointed Islamic spokesmen came forward to wag their fingers and demand an apology. An orchestrated online petition reached 20,000 signatures demanding Nawaz be deselected as the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for a North-West London constituency.
Here’s the thing. The bottom line is that religion, especially Middle Eastern originating religion, is funny. And extremely stupid, volatile and dangerous. Christianity on the whole, except for parts of North America, has become very muted and is no longer behind the rounding up and killing of people because they are witches. The sting has gone out of its tail, and it is almost a parody of itself.
Not so with Islam. Islam remains a religion that can be interpreted by those who already have a violent nature to be a licence to freely perform acts of cruelty, viciousness and subjugation of others (especially women). Christianity is slowly dying, and so has no threat value to anybody’s lifestyle choices in the UK. Not so with Islam. Islam remains a very strong ‘religion virus’ mainly because it was the third version of the Middle Eastern religions to be constructed and it built on the weaknesses of Judaism and Christianity.
I am hopeful that Maajib Nawaz is a calm and moderate voice in the Islamic movement. Islam will become the most practised religion in this country within the next two years. There is no evidence from any other part of the planet of Islam entering a secular or other society and just keeping itself to itself. It pretty soon gathers momentum and starts imposing Islamic law on the population. That’s you and me.
Within the UK this is going to go one of two ways. The first way is that freedom will disappear and rules will stop us from doing what we used to do and we will be subjugated and have to live under Islam. The second is that the moderates will shoehorn a more peaceful and learned Islam into the UK and it will sit along all other religions, but will allow the growing and larger atheistic or agnostic population to get on with their lives unhindered.
A lot could be learned about tolerance from Jesus and Mo who live happily together here.