When I see the word “interfaith”, I tend to suspect “idiocy” is a better description. I wish it weren’t so. But all too often that term is mild, if anything.
Consider a new case in point:
Faith leaders from across Greater Manchester met to discuss how communities can tackle terrorism in the wake of the Manchester Arena attack.
Leaders from the Jewish, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist and Hindu faiths joined their Muslim friends at The Werneth Suite Conference Centre, in Oldham, on Friday night.
They were also joined by the honourable Shaykhs of the Sufi Shrine in Pakistan as guests of honour.
Shaykh Naqeeb ur Rehman and Shaykh Hassan Haseeb ur Rehman have worked for years to promote peace and campaign against terrorism. They visited the UK as a show of solidarity with the British people.
Here they are, all happy clappy. Rehman fils is on the left and Rehman père is second from right.
Oh dear. Now have a look at “honourable” Hassan Haseeb ur Rehman on video. Excited and agitated, he is shouting his support for Mumtaz Qadri, the man who murdered Pakistani politician Salman Taseer in 2011 for “blasphemy” and was executed by Pakistan for his crime last year. A big picture of Qadri is on the wall behind Rehman. His father is seated beneath it, watching his ranting son with approval.
Here he is firing up the crowd at Mumtaz Qadri’s funeral. His father was there too, paying his respects to the murderer.
This Newsnight report by Secunder Kermani explains the depressing background to the Mumtaz Qadri story.
Pakistan’s religious minorities, liberals and secularists are facing utterly horrific hate campaigns. And here in Britain we fete the haters. For “peace”, you see. Oh yes, of course.
Reading on about the Oldham meeting, one finds another rather obvious indicator that something is quite wrong here:
The Counter Terrorism Conference, organised by The Ramadhan Foundation, sought to address what can be done to bring communities together and address terrorism.
Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of the Ramadhan Foundation, said: “The Ramadhan Foundation in partnership with the Shaykhs of Eidgah Sharif are hosting this important conference to send a clear message against terrorism. Those that carry out these evil crimes, finance them or support them are enemies of the whole of humanity.”
Shafiq and the Ramadhan Foundation have an awful record. The thoroughly noxious hate preacher and Hitler fan Yusuf al-Qaradawi, for example, is “a man of moderation and widely respected through the world”.
And yet Shafiq wants everyone to “reflect on our language”. Ho ho.
Yet none of this matters. Greater Manchester worthies, police officers, and Labour MP Afzal Khan were keen to meet the Rehmans, as you can see.
Enough is never enough.
“So you think some politicians should be shot? Jolly good!”
Afzal Khan MP doing his bit for Labour