Friday, 10 April 2009

Torture Friday

I have always thought it strange that a day commemorating the torturing to death of an innocent man is called 'Good' Friday. I fear that this obsession with torture is what led to Christianity being the only religion to torture and kill people for not believing in it. Admittedly the Romans might kill you for not worshipping the Emperor, but as long as you paid lip-service to him they didn't care what you believed.

This morning on the news Mr Blair was assuring us that he worries every day about the numbers killed in Iraq, but he still thinks it was right to remove Saddam. Does he really believe it was legal under international law? And was it legal to refuse self-determination to Palestine when we were occupying it for 30 years? And was it legal to overthrow Mossadegh in 1953 when he nationalized Iranian oil? And was it legal to collude with Israel and France to invade Suez in 1956? And was it legal to impose crippling sanctions on Iraq in the 1990s? And is it legal to threaten Iran for its nuclear energy programme while turning a blind eye to Israel's nuclear weapons? Muslims can hardly be blamed for noticing that the victims of all these injustices were Muslim. Mr Blair and Mr Brown should issue an apology for all Britain's past mistakes.

We were also told that Mr Blair reads the Holy Koran every day; I wonder whether he has learnt Arabic now, after nearly two years as Peace Envoy to the Middle East. Anyway he should take notice of sura 41 verse 34: 'Respond to a bad deed with a better, and the one with whom you were enemies will be like a best friend.' He could start by talking to Hamas, not that their Kassam rockets were a very effective bad deed.

PS I write Koran, not Qur'an because Arabic Q is a sound that English-speakers cannot pronounce, and English QU is pronounced KW which is not appropriate. As for the apostrophe (glottal stop), most Arabs don't pronounce it in normal speech.

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