Friday Ephemera
Embarrassing Improvements

Religion of Peace, Fluffiness, etc.

Tonight sees the return of Channel 4’s extraordinary Undercover Mosque investigation. Sara Hassan, whose covert filming is featured in tonight’s programme, reports on what she found in one of Britain’s “most respected centres for moderate Islam.” 

In a large balcony above the beautiful main hall at Regent’s Park Mosque in London - widely considered the most important mosque in Britain - I am filming undercover as the woman preacher gives her talk. What should be done to a Muslim who converts to another faith? “We kill him,” she says, “kill him, kill, kill… You have to kill him, you understand?”

It’s heartening to see the wisdom of Muhammad still shining upon the world.

Adulterers, she says, are to be stoned to death - and as for homosexuals, and women who “make themselves like a man, a woman like a man... the punishment is kill, kill them, throw them from the highest place.”

I’ve remarked before on how the enthusiasm for sacralised murder never quite fails to jar. And despite repeated exposure to such impressive piety, I still can’t help noting that the quoted sermons feature the word “kill” no fewer than nine times. However, the news isn’t all bad:

These punishments, the preacher says, are to be implemented in a future Islamic state. “This is not to tell you to start killing people,” she continues. “There must be a Muslim leader, when the Muslim army becomes stronger, when Islam has grown enough.”

Naturally, as with most things Islamic, inconsistencies abound.

Regent’s Park Mosque has a major interfaith department, which arranges visits from the Government, the civil service, representatives of other religions and thousands of British school children a year. I watched as an interfaith group was brought in to meet the mosque’s women’s circle for a civilised exchange. But when the interfaith group wasn’t there, the preacher attacked other faiths, and the very concept of interfaith dialogue. One preacher said of Christians praying in a church: “What are these people doing in there, these things are so vile, what they say with their tongues is so vile and disgusting, it’s an abomination.” As for the concept of interfaith live-and-let-live: “This is false. It does not work. This concept is a lie, it is fake, and it is a farce.”

Doubtless these inconsistencies will be resolved “when the Muslim army becomes stronger.” Allah willing, of course.

Please, read the whole thing.

Undercover Mosque: the Return is broadcast tonight at 8pm. The original Undercover Mosque documentary can be viewed in full here.

Update: Via The Thin Man, here it is.

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The phrase that comes to mind is “business as usual”. Unfortunately, it’s also business as usual with regard to airbrushing Islam’s founder and his “exemplary” exhortations to hatred, supremacism and violence. The reporter, Sara Hassan, is implausibly naïve and appears to believe that what she finds is somehow unrelated to Muhammad and his teachings. Perhaps registering this connection - and what it implies - would make a moderate Muslim’s faith seem somewhat misplaced, perhaps grotesque. And so it isn’t registered.

Related: Act Casual, Say Nothing, Dialogue, A Fear of Ideas, Naming the Devil