Rupe’s downmarket troops at the Sun have just scored another exclusive – they have secured a photo of someone carrying their shopping home from their nearest Tesco. You think I jest? There it is, under the by-line of Stephen Moyes, a bloke walking along the pavement. But this is no ordinary bloke (no, he didn’t visit M&S as well): this is Anjem Choudary.
But, so what? Why should anyone care what Choudary puts in his Tesco basket? And this is a fair question, but the Sun has decreed it to be of greatest importance. “Mad Müller” screams the headline, followed by the explanation “Hate preacher goes shopping for yogurt”. Yes, inside the one-trip plastic bag can be seen a pack of Müller fruit corner. Worse, it’s a toffee hoops one.
Er, big deal. So what’s the story? “HATE preacher Anjem Choudary turned into the Mad Müller when he bought a yoghurt yesterday ... He strolled to the shops to purchase snacks including the Fruit Corner and Walkers’ Sensations crisps”. So? Oh, I get it, he’s getting benefits. So is the Sun suggesting he buy Tesco own brand instead? Well, no. It’s just ranting about his being allowed to walk those streets.
Haven’t the Murdoch hacks missed their golden opportunity here? For starters, there’s Muslims and Müller yogurt. Yes, Sun readers, one of your favourite snacks is Halal! The sheer horror of it! Like all that meat you don’t want to be served! And those Walkers crisps – they’re Halal as well! You’re buying Halal food and enjoying it! You’re eating the same things as Muslims!
You think I once again jest? Halal isn’t just about chicken takeaways, you know. It covers all foods, especially processed ones. Like crisps, and the toffee hoops in that yogurt. Muslims – especially if they are observant – will check to make sure that no pork or animal blood by-products get into the food they eat. So if Anjem Choudary buys it, you can be pretty sure it’s Halal.
And those Tesco bags must also be Muslim friendly. Be afraid, Sun readers, of the advance of Sharia into your supermarkets! So perhaps it wasn’t such a golden opportunity the Murdoch hacks missed: just think how disoriented and frightened Sun readers would get if they had been told that Müller yogurt and Walkers crisps were produced in accordance with the rules laid down in the Qur’an.
Alternatively, Rupe’s downmarket troops could stop trying to run Muslim scare stories at every opportunity and concede that followers of The Prophet are human beings too, but that might not sell as many papers, and that would never do.