UPDATED 12/2/12 8.07PM
Dear Mr Richard Prosser,
You recently called for a ban on Muslims travelling in aeroplanes, and while your fears are reasonable, I’d like to take a minute and explain why you’re nothing more than a xenophobe hiding in the undergarments of reason.
I, like you, would feel slightly nervous taking my seat on a plane only to find my in-flight companion was a Muslim muttering about destroying the West, setting fire to McDonalds and Britney Spears, and spending the rest of eternity deflowering virgins.
But, my dear Richard, I would feel the same way sitting next to a Catholic priest, or an Orthodox Jew.
(Chiefly because the man’s payot would probably droop all over my shoulders, and if there’s one thing that I can’t stand on aeroplanes, it’s the invasion of the personal space bubble)
Y’see, each of these people has been proved, historically speaking, capable of intolerable and despicable crimes: the Crusades, the Holocaust, the systematic oppression of Palestine, and countless acts of terrorism (9/11, 7/7, Madrid, Rwanda, etc) to name but a few.
Despite this, it’s inherently true that all Muslims, Catholics, and Jews are not terrorists.
And here’s where you make your mistake.
If we’re to ban all people “who look like Muslims” from travelling in planes, we swiftly enter the filthy quagmire of outright racism: judging potential commuters by the colour of their skin alone.
And you were doing so well up until that point! Instead, you go on to brand most Middle East nations with the blanket term “Wogistan”.
Presumably this means Thailand and Malaysia, too?
Now, I grant you that fundamentalist Muslims wouldn’t be hard to spot at the customs gate, but if a white, bearded chap (let’s imagine he looks something like Bob Dylan in the mid-80s) plops his bags on the conveyor belt, wouldn’t you let him through?
I’d like to think – correct me if I’m wrong – we’ve reached a stage in our society where the decision to ban someone from flying is based on their likelihood to blow the plane up, rather than something so damn trivial as their appearance.
These are the reasons why your idea is the most oppressive, and frankly, white supremacist opinion ever uttered from the mouth of an MP since John Banks stepped out of the closet as a Creationist.
But this is the price we pay for freedom of speech, isn’t it? Silly people saying silly things, simply because they have a platform.
It just so happens that your platform is a touch taller than Average Joe’s.
Let’s hope you fall further, too.
JamesUPDATE: A few comments below have berated me for pandering to PC opinions and defending Islamic extremism, when this simply isn’t true. If you read back through my older columns, you will find many points about the destructive nature of organised religion. I make no apologies for terror attacks, plain and simple. But these things have to be reasoned. Islam is not a violent religion, but a religion hijacked by violent people, just as every other belief system can be twisted in to a vehicle for foul actions. Either way, thanks for reading!