The BBC decided that extreme Wahhabi and Salafi Muslims, who would ban all images of Muhammad, represented all Muslims.
It ordered its producers not to show the offending T-shirts. Nawaz left the studio in some disgust. He tweeted the cartoon of Jesus saying: Hey and Muhammad saying: How ya doing? and added: This is not offensive & I'm sure God
is greater than to feel threatened by it. God may not have felt threatened, but his supporters did. A Liberal Democrat activist called Muhammad Shafiq took it upon himself to organise a national and international campaign against Nawaz.
At the time we went to press, about 20,000 people had signed Shafiq's petition to Nick Clegg, saying that the tweet had caused an extreme amount of insult, hurt and anguish . The Lib Dems must stop Nawaz standing as their candidate in
Hampstead and Kilburn at the next general election, they demanded.
Nawaz told his critics he had merely said that he did not think the BBC should censor a mild cartoon. He then went to the core of what is wrong with extremist religion and Britain's thoughtless multiculturalism which, in the name of diversity
, spatchcock people into ethnic and religious blocks that deny their individuality. If you want to ban inoffensive images of the prophet, Nawaz said, then I am sorry, I am not that type of literalist Muslim.
In other words, neither community leaders nor multicultural bureaucrats could talk of the Muslim community whose taboos must be observed. There were many Muslim communities and ex-Muslims, too, and they should be free to argue
Shafiq denies that he is spreading fear and if you had not done the research you might believe him. Certainly, you could think him a man who can snuffle out offence where no one else can find it. You could think that the 20,000 or so who have
signed his petition are so desperate for reasons to censor that they will manufacture them. But this is a free country and they are entitled to their hysterias.
But to put it as politely as I can, Shafiq is not your standard Liberal Democrat. He is in charge of the Ramadhan Foundation, which has hosted speakers whose attitudes towards gay people and Jews are anything but liberal. To make sure that Nawaz
felt the full force of his critique, Shafiq slipped an aside into his open letter to Nick Clegg. He talked of Nawaz's expected, suspected, wanted reaction from the minority of unhinged in those communities . Nawaz was deliberately
soliciting attacks from the unhinged , apparently. He expected them. He wanted them. And if the unhinged should assault or kill him -- he had no one to blame but himself. Shafiq told me that he did not mean that Nawaz was inciting his own
murder, but I struggle see how else his followers can interpret his words.
...Read the full article
Comment: And all I said to my wife was: That piece of halibut was good enough for Jehovah
27th January 2013. See article
By now I'm sure you're aware of the fact that Maajid Nawaz, a Lib Dem PPC in
Hampstead and Kilburn, stands accused of committing the thoroughly heinous crime of causing religiously aggravated butthurt in the first degree, the suggested punishment for which appears to be political career death by change.org petition.
At the heart of this is, yet again, a completely innocuous Jesus & Mo cartoon which Maajid clearly considers to be anything but offensive, hence the tweet
...Read the full article
Update: In defence of Maajid Nawaz, blasphemy and (funny) cartoons of Mohammed
26th January 2013. From blogs.telegraph.co.uk
by Tom Chivers
I've been a fan of the webcomic Jesus and Mo for years. The idea is a simple one: the two religious figureheads J Christ and Mohammed share a
house and discuss matters of religious philosophy, often in arguments with a wise atheist barmaid at their local. It's funnier than I've made that sound.
It is, of course, irreligious and arguably blasphemous. ( In its very first edition or episode or whatever you call it , Mo points out that it's forbidden to depict him pictorially. Jesus asks what he's doing in a cartoon, reasonably enough, and
Mo claims he's a body double.) It's also very clever, informed by philosophical and religious argument, and -- as mentioned -- funny.
Update: LibDems tell both sides to shut up
29th January 2013. See article
See also Why I'm speaking up for Islam against the loudmouths who have hijacked it
by Maajid Nawaz
Two Muslim commentators involved in a very public spat over a cartoon of the religious character Mohammed have agreed to make peace with each
other, over their shared intention not to further tarnish the Liberal Democrats.
In a joint statement, posted by Lib Dem Voice, both Nawaz and Shafiq agreed to call off the war of words that has raged for days on social media and the blogosphere.
The Lib Dem members acknowledged they had conflicting views on depictions of Prophet Muhammad and that other Muslims did too. It acknowledged that other Lib Dems had the right to complain to the executive about the behaviour of either side.
The statement continued with worthless half truths claiming that both sides supported freedom of speech.
Offsite: University Islamic Society tries to stop talk because speaker didn't condemn Maajid Nawaz
30th January 2013. See article
Update: Free speech opponents demonstrate at Plymouth University
31st January 2013. See article
Update: Nick Clegg has his say
31st January 2013. See article
Nick Clegg has admonished one of his party's parliamentary candidates, Maajid Nawaz, for tweeting a cartoon of Jesus and Muhammad .
He said Nawaz was in his opinion wrong to retweet the cartoon, but defended his right to do so:
We simply cannot tolerate anyone in a free country -- where we have to protect free speech, even if that free speech might cause offence to others -- being subject to death threats and them and their family being put under extraordinary pressure
to recant what they said.
I would be the first to say that when you are dealing with issues of religion and deeply held faith, you have got to express yourself moderately and sensitively, and with respect one to the other. That is the corollary of free speech. However
strongly you feel either side of this debate, we cannot in any way be tolerant of that level of threat to someone who says something that someone else does not like.
He is not going to be dropped as a Liberal Democrat candidate. He has the right - as any Muslim, non-Muslim or anyone of any faith or none in this country has - to say things even if that causes offence to other people.