There's a limit to the amount you can say about fish with swivelly eyes you know

When I think about what goes on in Melanie Phillips' head, which is mercifully infrequent, I can't help but hear the sound of an out of tune calliope in a deserted fairground where a grinning little girl repeatedly stabs a dirty rag doll in the face with a bradawl. Probably says as much about my sanity as it does hers, but anyway. Just thought I'd share.

I've got bored again and delved into Melanie's website. Her diary entry from 28 November is titled 'Now Muslims oppose the Olympic mosque'. You can guess what she's going to say, but anyway, a little quote:
Now that Muslims themselves have added their explicit voice to the local protests against the Tablighi Jamaat mosque, will the government finally listen? Or will it continue its policy of abandoning Muslims – along with everyone else – to the extremism that so threatens them, and which it has so consistently and shamefully appeased?
But . . . but . . . I thought the mosque was proof of how Muslims are evil and want to take over the world. Not poor helpless people who can only survive with intervention from our superior western princilpes. I'm confused.

I'm not really. The thing is, if you can ignore that Muslims are actually a large group of people - some with different opinions to others - then you can take any comment from any Muslim and apply it to the whole group as proof of what Muslims want. Which is handy for Mel.

It can become extremely useful if you want to demonise the whole group. It completely obviates the need for engaging in any argument or working hard to find out facts yourself. You can say, 'Muslims are shrewd and perspicacious and want to take over the world,' because one little subset of them might have said so, at the same time as saying, 'actually, Muslims are poor and oppressed,' because another little subset of them doesn't like another subset - who may or may not be a part of the first 'shrewd' lot - although you can safely assume they are, because the ones doing the accusing are Muslims, and therefore clearly represent what all Muslims think. Except the first group. And the third. Those groups represent what all Muslims want at other times, when you want to argue Muslims aren't poor and oppressed. My head hurts.

Not wanting to get all wanky, but it's the entire Western representation of Muslims in microcosm. Muslims are fearsome and nasty and must be stopped at the same time as being poor and desparate and needing our help.

I wonder if it hurts Melanie Phillips' head as much as mine. Muslims want this, no they want that. Muslims want to build an enormous mosque. Muslims want to take over the world. Muslims want to MURDER US ALL IN OUR BEDS! Oh, when will we help the poor Muslims? I wish she'd make up her bloody mind. And stop stabbing that rag doll so ferociously. It's creeping me out.

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