The Muslim holy month of Ramadan has arrived, and this year it coincides with the time when daylight is at its greatest extent in the Northern Hemisphere. This makes the requirement for followers of The Prophet to fast from dawn until dusk that much more difficult. But it does make uninformed bigotry so much easier to do, which means it is an obvious target for pro-am motormouth Katie Hopkins.
Viewers may want to look away now
Lazy and bigoted stereotyping of Muslims begins with the headline: “'Tis the season of bombers and Uber drivers who haven't eaten for 20 hours - welcome to the Midsummer madness of Ramadan”. Bombers. This is not an isolated incident, as we soon get “Ramadan, the month of conquest and jihad according to ISIS”. That Ms Hopkins wants us to think of Muslims as some kind of “other” is then added to the mix of prejudice.
“Non-Muslim workers begrudge the extra breaks and time off. Watching some get special treatment whilst you sit at your desk covering for their absence is no fun”. Listen up, secular people! It’s about “them”, and “they” are getting something your aren’t! And it’s bad for employers: “Why are personal matters employers' problems? Since when did I become responsible for your religion?” Since when did she employ anyone?
Then Katie switches tack to exaggerate about the effects of fasting: “I am expected to accommodate the needs of those who are weak and dizzy because they believe they aren't allowed to eat a cheese sandwich”. A word in your shell-like Ms H: fasting for less than 24 hours is highly unlikely to make anyone “weak and dizzy”.
And won’t they think about the children? “The madness of the thing is that fasting is put before progress, too. Thousands of kids will sit exams with their brains addled by hunger … Exactly how you are supposed to write about the water cycle in an urban environment when you are stuck in an exam hall without a drop to drink is beyond me”. Hello Katie! Everyone taking that exam is stuck in an exam hall without a drop to drink.
But Katie’s main “concern” is terrorism: “Ramadan typically coincides with a spike in terror violence. The new target of choice is Europe”. Let’s take this one nice and slowly. The attacks in Brussels earlier this year did not take place during Ramadan. Nor did those in Paris last November. Nor did the July 7 bombings in London. Nor did the March 11 bombings in Madrid. And no, Ms Hopkins, nor did the September 11 attacks in New York City and elsewhere in the northeastern United States.
Yet on she drones: Ramadan for some “will be a call to jihad, seen as having special significance during a month in which self-sacrifice is supreme. Martyrdom during that month will hold a special allure to some of the half-starved … Britain and Europe will act as generous hosts to all of this chaos, accepting a religion which is not our own”. A religion that is “not our own”. Like, oh I dunno, Judaism perhaps?
Had Katie Hopkins had her intemperate rant against Jews, she would no longer have her column at Mail Online. But because she targets Muslims, it’s considered acceptable to peddle bigotry and she gets away with it. And that’s not good enough.