By Mo Dawah
As the premier spokesman for self-appointed community leaders in the media, and one of the leading campaigners for religious freedom in Britain — where religious freedom is defined in its classical sense as freedom to obey and do as I say — I am very passionate about the issue of how to enrich society by making it scared.
Recently, the BBC Asian Network asked, ‘What is the right punishment for blasphemy’? This is a very important question, and the response to it unleashed a tsunami of bigotry so great it got right up my nose and raised my blood pressure to Mount Vesuvius levels, as British people said, ‘There should not be any punishment for blasphemy’.
Imagine you are a young, isolated, alienated man who believes he should be free to slit someone’s throat for blasphemy, and you say he cannot, and the state shall not do so either, nor place the blasphemer in a cell with porridge and turmeric as his only meal for several years for offending the community. Think of how alienated that young victim of anti-blasphemy bigotry will become. Instead of just wanting to slit your throat, he’ll want to cry about it too. And that shall all be your fault.
Simply asking this question has exposed the need for a comprehensive effort by all progressive people in Britain to atone for their prejudices against blasphemy lynchings.
The essence of this issue is that opposing blasphemy codes, or being a blasphemer, is a form of discrimination, hate, bigotry and leprosy.
Blasphemy-o-phobia is the leading scourge of our time, and a failure to address discrimination against blasphemy punishment could lead to consequences that can only be left to your imagination, because if I were to describe them, it would lead to me being arrested.
As progressive activists we must embrace oppressive activists too, or else we are not being inclusive, and we betray our efforts against the greater oppressor, which is our blasphemy-o-phobic society that seeks to stifle those who wish to stifle it.
Let us also not forget that the Alt-Right are also Blasphemy-o-phobes, as are racists, paedophiles, rapists, Trump, UKIP, the Daily Mail, and the AIDS virus. But even worse than that, liberal secularists are also highly phobic of blasphemy, particularly females who defy community instructions and laws.
It is only right, then, that as progressives we signal our rejection of the politics of fear and division, by supporting those who promote fear and division and blasphemy codes.
We owe it to future generations, especially the necks of our grandchildren who may be tempted by blasphemy, to fight against Blasphemy-o-phobia. Stereotyping blasphemy as wishing to control conscience, speech and thought could lead to a rise in people wishing to control your conscience, speech and thought.
At a time when the most vulnerable people in our society — extremists who wish to harm our society — are living under suspicion of wanting to harm our society, now more than ever we must look to protect the feelings of those who would embrace our values, if only we discarded our values to make room for those hostile to our values.
Blasphemy-o-phobia threatens to tear our society apart by opposing those who wish to tear our society apart. We owe it to peace and harmony to surrender to those who believe in neither. It is only by accommodating those who wish to use us for accommodation that we can become squatters in our own accommodation. Tolerance towards those who compromise our values is the only way we can ensure tolerant values.
Blasphemy is a form of terrorism against feelings, and so for a more inclusive society, we must purge ourselves of our innate hatred and bigotry towards those who would punish you for satirising and mocking those who promote religious hate and bigotry.
So let us choose the politics of hope over the politics of fear. In standing up against Blasphemy-o-phobia — the irrational fear of those who wish to harm you because you offend their precious feelings — we choose hope.
We hope that we won’t have to fear those who wish for us to live in fear, forever.
Mo Dawah is a community leader, inter-sectional Jihadi, Trans-Sharia campaigner, advocate of the “Censorship is Free Speech” student campaign, Counter-Anti-Extremist, Machete-Secretary of the Beheading Civil Rights org DECAP, and promoter of Inter-Faith obedience.
You can follow him on Twitter.