Letter to the Enfield Gazette.
Michael Lavender writes (Gazette, 9 September) that ‘there exists a religion, one of the fundamental tenets of which is that it should be the only religion on the planet’.
Right. That would be Christianity, I presume. When I was a child I was forced to collect money for missionaries so that they could go to foreign lands and ‘convert’ the heathen. I am still bitterly ashamed of this; it is one of the reasons why I have been an atheist for most of my adult life.
Any honest study of the historical record will show that Christianity has been more intolerant than Islam. It was Christians who burned Giordano Bruno alive for saying the earth goes round the sun.
Likewise I deplore Omar Bakri Mohammed’s condemnation of homosexuals reported in the same issue. I also deplore similar attacks by Christians. Who brought in Clause 28, which denied free speech to gay people? It was Margaret Thatcher’s government, which to the best of my knowledge did not contain any Muslims.
There can be no possible justification for the terrible atrocity in Beslan. Yet those who condemn it must also condemn the oppression imposed on the Chechen people from the days of Stalin in the 1940s till today. Many thousands, including children, have been killed in repeated Russian attacks.
Yet the Western press and politicians, so skilled in selective indignation, have had little to say about it. Why? Because Putin agreed to support Blair and Bush in their invasion of Iraq.