After an absence of some months I do declare I am once again on my anti-religion kick. This is brought about by two things: firstly sixteen people have been sentenced to death in Iran for, among other things, “waging a war against God”! Now I don’t suppose there is anything new in this idea but never has it been put forth so blatantly as a judicial reason for murder. What it really means is “waging a war against us” and we’re not having it so we will set an example to anyone else foolish enough to stand up to us and we will put it all down to God. God is so weak he needs Ayatollahs and Imams to defend himself against a few puny mortals?
The second thing is, yesterday evening we watched another episode of “Yes, Prime Minister”, this one titled “Bishop’s Gambit” and it was a glorious, witty, hilarious, wicked send-up not just of religion but in particular the Church of England. Like most churches a multi-billion pound corporation. Bearing in mind what is happening in Iran to sixteen people who have possibly done nothing more than speak their mind or carry a banner or two or shout slogans from rooftops, though of course I have no firsthand knowledge of their supposed misdemeanours and I don’t know the ins and outs of the case, the programme set me to wondering what would happen if a similar programme was made about Islam. Actually it doesn’t need any imagination at all to know what would happen when one thinks that Islam has produced al Qaeda and the Taliban and remembers the matter of the Danish cartoons, the riots that followed someone allegedly tearing up a copy of the Koran, the fatwa again Salmon Rushdie and more and more and more. There would be violent demonstrations, riots and more peaceful banners reading “Behead those who disrespect Islam” etcetera. There are those fanatics who would love to import Shia law into non-Muslim countries, they actually talk about it so, if successful, they would also import stonings, beheadings, amputations floggings, all the barbaric punishments meted out in the name of their god. We are in the twenty-first century, most civilised countries have given up the death sentence, man has gone into space where people used to think there was heaven, and Islam is still in the Middle Ages. Islam might be a great danger to the western world with its fanatics, suicidal and otherwise, but it is obviously, unlike the Christians who seem to be able to laugh it off and Jews who can make jokes about themselves, so weak it cannot stand up to a bit of chaff. Why? What would happen if someone produced a television comedy about an Ayatollah or an Imam? I shudder to think.