Mo-toon fever in Oldham

The BBC reports that some fool – probably a BNP activist – put the turban-bomb Mo-toon up in an Oldham council housing office where many Muslims work.

Now, it’s pretty clear that this was an act designed solely to provoke and offend staff at the office, and as such it should be condemned. However, the reaction of the management, and subsequently of the Greater Manchester Police, not only plays into the hands of the extremists, but betrays a typical confusion when it comes to matters of race and religion.

Greater Manchester Police – perhaps still smarting after the BBC documentary which revealed endemic racism in the force – are treating the matter “extremely seriously”:

Greater Manchester Police treat any incitement of racial hatred extremely seriously and robustly investigate any such incidents that are reported to us.

We will not tolerate any acts of racial discrimination and are committed to working with local communities to tackle any issues that may arise.

Religion is not race. It was just a cartoon. Take it down and rise above it. By making a fuss you’re playing into the hands of extremists on both sides.

6 Responses to “Mo-toon fever in Oldham”

  1. Marc Draco says:

    Well said monitor. Pity you’re not running the police.

  2. Marcus says:

    That provokes the question, “Who is running the police?”.

  3. Andy A says:

    Seems most people can’t get their heads around the nuance here, if nuance it is. It’s been said in these pages several times that there’s a difference between racism and criticising a religion. Now there’s this other dichotomy: the difference between doing something to claim freedom of expression (hurrah for that) and doing something (as this idiot did in this office) clearly to provoke. If the Danish toons had been there simply to provoke, I’d have been tut-tutting (even so, the reaction from Muslims was out of all proportion in the West – they know the Western way if they live here, so there’s no excuse). But they weren’t: they were there to make a point about how hard it is to find illustrators, and, more importantly, how we’re self-censoring (which is worrying).

    Another conflation is that of ‘right-wing rag’ and ‘well it must be crap, then, mustn’t it?’ You would get very var in argument lessons with that kind of ‘reasoning’. I find I probably agree with some things the BNP say. The difference is that I don’t mind saying it, because people on here will see what I’m getting at. I agree with some things Tony Blair says, some things David Cameron says. (I even agree with some of the things I say! :-)) It doesn’t mean, of course, that I’m a BNP, Blair or Cameron supporter.

    I don’t support Muslim ideology, but I’d go with Monitor here and say that this act was deliberate provocation. Shit shovels behind the stable block, anyone?

  4. Libero says:

    You chickened out dude. You should have said you supported the placing of those cartoons on the wall in front of the Muslims. Why are you such a lame chicken? It is freedom of speech.

  5. Rana says:

    It’s sad we got to the point that it’s a morality vs. freedom of speech issue and that some people who CLAIM that they’re not racist or against any religion at all are saying such horrible things and expecting people to have no opinion and agree with whatever nonsense they’re saying behind the excuse of freedom of speech. It’s sad that people who are educated and think that they know everything really don’t and are just brainwashed with their governments’ opinion and still think they have their own opinion!! You want to insult people, go ahead but don’t try to go further by trying to convince others that it’s moral and that’s it’s right, because a 5 year old would know that it’s not.