Not since the latterly departed Jeremy Beadle was in his pranksterish pomp in the 1980s has a bearded man been on the receiving end of such undeserved opprobrium.
As I said some time ago in 'What fucking business is it of yours?' and 'Sunday bollocks', journalists are unlike most of the rest of the population in that they regard the opinions of churchmen and faith leaders as being unduly more important than those of laymen or ordinary folk. Where to turn when you don't know who to speak to about a moral issue? Some god-squad will do the trick for a quick turnaround when you're on deadline.
And, if you're really crafty, get someone on the bonkers looney nut-nut end of the scale rather than the woolly cup-of-tea-and-a-biscuit fraternity to make sure that opinion's as controversial as possible. Or alternatively, if someone is rather mild and woolly, conciliatory and inclusive like Williams, then well fuck it and just misquote him, take what he says out of context and pretend he's said something he hasn't.
Here's the dilemma. Il Papa, for example, can make a long and worthy speech that goes on for ages, but some wily bastard can take a sentence, or even a clause, out of context and make it sound like he's said something he hasn't. As was the case when Benedict XVI said something about climate change that the Mail decided was attacking the 'climate change prophets of doom', when in fact it was doing nothing of the sort, not that that stopped the cheeky lying fuckers from pretending he had.
Williams must know this by now, but what can he do? He can't zip his beardy gob shut; it's kind of important for a religious leader to talk about stuff about faith. So, unfortunately, even when he tries to look intelligently, inclusively and ecumenically at the idea of sharia law being applied to certain limited things on these islands, he faces a torrent of lies, bullshit, abuse and disgraceful misrepresentation. The nasty little cunts at the Telegraph, Mail, Express... all of them crept out of their shit-stained hack hovels and typed up utter stinking wank-rags of lies.
It went something like this. Williams: 'Sharia law when applied to certain things might be inevitable at some stage'. Hack: 'I want to crush children with rocks and make everyone wear a burkha, says bonkers beardy bastard'. An easy mistake to make, I'm sure you'll agree.
I do have sympathy for Williams, as you can tell. I just think religious figures are in a no-win situation unless they come out and say they're being lied about, which he clearly has been. It's no good going back into your shell and hoping it'll all blow over; it won't. I also wonder what people expect. Williams is leading a religion that teaches about Noah's Ark, miracles, water into wine, Lazarus being brought back to life, Jesus's resurrection, Lot's wife being turned into salt, a made-up Nativity story that didn't happen that way, the Pentecost, that mad acid-trip shit in Revelation... and then, at the same time, he's expected to be a voice of reason. Isn't there something a little bit odd about that? Yet - and here's the point that saddens me - it turns out Williams is actually rather intelligent and is trying to build bridges with other faiths at a time when religious and racial divisions are being whipped up by total lying bastards in the press. So, he's on a hiding to nothing.
I won't dwell too long on the reaction to Williams, but as usual I feel it necessary to read some of the citizen journalism on the subject to show you just what a meaningful, insightful and intelligent response has been garnered by asking the Great British Public what they think about this religious matter. Can you guess? Let's try the BBC's Have Your (Reactionary) Say first:
If muslims want to move to and live in our country perhaps they should "face up to the fact" that a part of being a citizen of this nation is that they are subject to our laws and practises just as we would be if visiting muslim countries
Imagine the reaction if you were to go to Saudi Arabia and suggest such an idea ?
Yet more PC madness steamrolling over our culture and traditions
The Guv'nor, Wirral
The Guv'nor is one of my favourite BBC HYS cuntsticks, if indeed 'favourite' is the right word. Every time any discussion comes along, you can guarantee this fuckwit will come along and jizz all over any reasoned debate. Who is saying that Muslims are trying to opt out of British justice? Is that what sharia law really is, particularly in the context of what Rowan Williams was discussing? No - but why do motherfucking shit-stains like The Guv'nor think it is? Because they're led to believe that sharia = Saudia Arabia, torture, executions in football stadia, hands chopped off, people being crushed under walls, etc etc. But what is this wanker saying, that Saudi Arabia is a good or bad example? Should we be more like it or not? I don't know, but more than a thousand utter cuntwads have recommended this comment on BBC HYS. As I argued in 'The BBC's Have Your Say messageboards are a crock of shit', very reactionary and hateful comments like this get jumped on immediately and given hundreds of 'approves'; anything more reasonable gets left alone or flamed immediately.
NO WAY, I am NOT a muslim and will not be held to muslim laws EVER.
Er, is anyone actually saying that? No. But never mind! It's anti-Muslim, so press the 'approve' button!
Actually the archbishop is right, muslims should not have to choose between cultural or state loyalty, if they don´t like the UK laws they can always go to one of the lovely and luxurious countries that does follow sharia law.
I'd like to hope that 995 people approved 'gone4good' because they approved of the fact that they approved of the fact he'd gone for good. No such luck. Another ex-pat who's fucked off to Spain but loves commenting on anything in the UK that pisses off their tiny shrivelled walnut-like brain.
The interesting thing is where this impression of sharia law comes from - that somehow, in total defiance of the Treaty of Rome (hated by the HYS regulars, by the way) among other things, Muslims will be able to opt out of British law as and when they see fit, and that everyone will be OK with that. Is that really what is being proposed? Is that really what's going to happen? Is it really criminal law that we're talking about rather than some civil matters? Is it really sharia law that allows people to be stoned, or a wicked interpretation of Islam using religion to justify cruelty?
Oh, but does it matter? Does it fuck. Anything to trot out the same anti-Muslim arguments, the same lies, the same bullshit drivel against anyone who might be slightly different in any way whatsoever.
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Hello. I'm a Bristol-based writer and soon-to-be-redundant journalist. You can read more about me and the Enemies site here, or follow me on Twitter. Email me if you like - antonvowl at live dot co dot uk
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