He then provides a litany of examples of the savagery of even those Islamic states that are considered more progressive.
It makes for sick reading. He talks, among other things, of how a girl was given 101 lashes in Bangladesh for daring to be raped against her will by a barbarous, bestial subhuman who was then pardoned by the village elders. To add insult to assault, the girl’s father was forced to pay a fine.
He points then to Malaysia as a progressive Islamic state, but adds:
But try renouncing Islam in Malaysia and see how far you get: interminable court proceedings and the likelihood of a jail sentence at the end. Try, if you are a Christian, uttering the word “Allah”, meaning the Christian God, and count the seconds before your house is firebombed. Try being an overt gay. Malaysia is about the best Islamic democracy has to offer and it is a hugely admirable country in many ways – and indeed, some of the things which make it admirable have been devolved from Islam. But there are still sharia courts which will punish sexually abused women under the proximity laws and issue vicious prohibitions against homosexuality and apostasy.
He instances non-Islamic countries that are barbaric in many respects, such as Uganda for proposing the death penalty for some acts of homosexuality.
But by and large you cannot escape the conclusion that the most repulsive invasions of human rights that we see in the world today take place in countries where the national ideology is devolved from Islam. And the more directly or purely it is so devolved, the more primitive and savage it is.
As a consequence of the barbarism to be found in some Islamic states, individual Muslims “are being punished as a result of this confused dichotomy”, he says, adding:
They should not be. They should be allowed to believe whatever the hell they like, even up to and including the belief that primitive savages in some Bangladeshi village are within their rights to sentence a raped girl to 101 lashes, or that village elders in Somalia are within their rights to stone adulterous women to death.
Yes, it makes them savages, too, in thought if not in deed, but they should be allowed to believe that. You can’t legislate against the fact that some people are plain shitty. And, anyway, who can tell what they think?
However, Liddle adds:
But the government should not give credence to them by enacting legislation which says that Islam is tickety-boo and thus demanding of our respect. Nor, I would argue, should state schools accede to the views of local elders, who decree that Muslim girls should be dressed in headscarves, which are perhaps a gentle nod towards the subjugation which ends in some pit in Somalia with a woman pleading for her life and the rocks beginning to fly. In private, let them wear what they want, and it would be an infraction of human rights if, à la Jack Straw, we were to complain about the dress code of Muslim citizens. But we should not permit them in a place which has the imprimatur of the state. We should not say, in quasi official terms, we think this is OK.
The actions of the pitiless, sadistic animals we read about in these countries are, we must never forget, an interpretation of an ideology. And it’s an ideology that seeks to be seen as cuddly-wuddly in Western countries.
We should be very suspicious, and stop giving in to religions that demand ever more state recognition and social recognition for this or that.