A few days ago I did some reflecting here on the steady rise of sharia in Britain, as exemplified by the BBC’s frank admission of its unwillingness to mock Islam, the harassment of an air passenger for an innocuous remark about hijab, and the see-no-evil response of a BBC reporter to mass displays of pro-sharia aggression in Luton.
Alas, the evidence of Britain’s decline and fall in the face of Islam just keeps on coming. This week’s case in point is that of Darren Conway, who on March 6 was sentenced to a year in prison for posting anti-Islamic materials in the window of his ground-floor apartment in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire. As the BBC puts it, he was “convicted of a religiously aggravated public order offence for putting anti-Islamic literature in his window.”
For once, the language used by the BBC was restrained and objective in comparison with the rhetoric employed by local news organizations covering the story. Here’s how the website This is Lincolnshire began its report:
A Gainsborough man who plastered his front window with vile anti-Islamic hate literature has been jailed for a year.
Darren Conway, a self-confessed supporter of right-wing organisations, was given a 12-months’ sentence at Lincoln Crown Court.
Note the way in which the reporter deploys the words vile and self-confessed. The very inclusion of such language in a supposedly objective news report means that what we are reading here is not, in fact, anything of the kind; what it is, rather, is an effort by the writer and the website to signal to their audience that they’re on the “right” side of this issue. The use of such language is a gesture of dhimmitude, an implicit statement of submissiveness, a tacit communication of acceptance of the sharia-based notion that, yes, criticism of Islam is vile and should be punished. And it is a plea: don’t hurt us. Similarly, note the use of the words offensive, inflammatory, and racist in this opening sentence of the article about Conway in the Worksop Guardian:
The offensive actions of a Gainsborough man were blasted by a judge as he was jailed for displaying inflammatory racist posters in the front window of his flat.
The word racist occurs frequently in the articles about the Conway case. Although most of the descriptions of the items posted in Conway’s window are very sketchy, there is nothing in any of them to indicate that any of the materials were genuinely racist; it seems pretty clear that when the reporters writing about Conway employ the word racist, they are making the now familiar equation of Islam criticism with racism.
Exactly what did Conway post in his windows? The most extensive description I could find was in the Worksop Guardian, which said that he had put up “posters, literature and photographs which attacked the Prophet Mohammed and the Muslim religion,” “slogans such as ‘Jihad works both ways,’ ‘no surrender,’ ‘Muslims are the most hateful of them all’ and a letter confirming that he was a member of the BNP.” Another source tells us that the materials “contained derogatory comments about Islam” and “promoted the BNP,” while “one poster showed a picture of an English Defence League demonstration.”
It would be useful to actually see the items Conway posted, so as to determine for oneself just how “vile” they were, to discover whether anything was, in fact, racist, and to find out if Conway called for acts of aggression or for somebody’s murder or anything like that. If he did incite violence, there might be good reason to put him behind bars; but I have not found any suggestion anywhere that this was the case. (Conway himself has been quoted as saying, “I have no problem with Muslims, although I do believe the Islamic faith is very much flawed but as for people who follow it I have no personal problem with.”)
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