Were you taught “British values” at school? I missed that one. Nor did any school I attended take “measures to combat extremism”. Nor was any objection raised to the wide circulation of a book which encouraged stoning to death as a punishment, or songs describing holy war (that’s the Holy Bible, and Onward Christian Soldiers, in case you hadn’t twigged the references).
What's f***ing wrong with kicking a few Muslims, c***?!? Er, with the greatest of respect, Mr Jay
No, there’s nothing extreme or frightening about Christianity, folks – only Islam. Because that way lie Scary Muslims, and today the obedient hackery of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre have picked up the baton handed to them by Andrew “transcription error” Gilligan and the Telegraph. For the Dacre doggies, the “Trojan Horse” plot is real, and is coming to get us all. Well, maybe.
“The damning verdict on Trojan Horse schools: Shocking Ofsted report reveals culture of fear, segregated boys and girls even Christmas banned at schools Islamists plotted to control” thunders the headline, following up with “A campaign by hardline Islamists to take control of state schools was laid bare yesterday”. This is magnificently dishonest: no evidence of any “campaign” was found.
But Dacre and his lawyers have clearly taken the view that it will be worth their while to smear anyone involved with any of the schools criticised, however tangentially, even if they muster sufficient funds to take the Mail to the cleaners, and so readers are told “The plotters unmasked”. There is even a “terror link”, except there isn’t: someone’s brother was convicted. So guilt by family tie, then.
There are instances of religious conservatism in some schools, but what is being alleged is not this, but “extremism”, which is code for “terrorism”. This is made clear by Daily Mail Comment, the authentic voice of the Vagina Monologue, tells “Anyone who wondered why young Britons go off to Syria to fight for the enemies of our peaceful and tolerant way of life should wonder no longer”.
One might also allow oneself a wry smile at the idea of a newspaper so willing to spread intolerance on the basis of religion and culture, and urge mass jailing of the criminally inclined, talking of its ideal world as “peaceful and tolerant”. But then tolerance, miraculously, appears: “the exposure of a conspiracy by a fanatical minority must be no occasion to attack Islam itself”.
Just as Dacre pushes Andrew Pierce forward to prove his paper isn’t homophobic, and Jon Steafel and Alex Brummer get wheeled out to defuse talk of anti-Semitism, here is the fig leaf to cover the accusations of plotting, conspiracy, and false connections to terrorism that have all the hallmarks of Islamophobia. Dacre judges that subsequent damages payments will be outweighed by more sales and clicks.
And the Mail doesn’t care if it does damage in the meantime. No change there, then.