I was going to bang on about writing today, but important as writing is, it seems, when people’s lives are at stake, writing about writing seems frivolous; and stake is a good word in terms of the mediaeval imagery it conjures up. It appears that Asia Bibi is not going to be offered asylum in the UK despite having spent 8 years on death row following an accusation made by a religious nutter that, as far as I understand it, in the absence of any proof (duh!) she had insulted their prophet by upholding her own (Jesus is considered a prophet in the Islamic faith).
Theresa May should be ashamed of herself. She is the daughter of a vicar. It is in her power to help her. One of the central themes of the biblical Christian faith, across both the old and the new testaments, is that those of us who believe, worship a god of justice who upholds the protection of the week and the vulnerable regardless of what they believe. To give way to fundamentalists like this is to sacrifice the last shreds of British character in the face of those who would like to bring more terror to our land. Theresa May may well have said to these extremists: “We are afraid of you. We will give way to you.” It’s only going to fuel their fire. You can’t reason with psychopaths and religious nutters. It’s one thing for Imran Khant to behave in this way. It’s quite another for the Prime Minister of the UK to behave like this, and it makes a mockery of our asylum laws and what we in our democratic nation stand for.
We have given asylum to Muslim women who have fled death in their home countries (Malala and her family). We have given asylum to a number of Islamic nutters, many of whom have thanked us by radicalising young British men against us. Let’s hope Trump trumps up and gives Asia and her family asylum. It seems to me that there are double standards at play and that British attitudes to religious tolerance are becoming increasingly black (Muslim) and white (Christian). No one wants to appear white, even mixed race people. White is the new other that must be avoided at all costs – and if women like Asia Biba are to be the token sacrifice, then so be it. Stool-ducking anyone?