Today’s edition of the Mail on Sunday has published a story about the threats and vilification that Sadiq Khan has been subjected to since he voted in favour of allowing civil marriages for gay couples.
A religious leader called Mufti Muhammed Aslam Naqshbandi from somewhere up North has allegedly declared that Sadiq Khan (as well as the other Muslim MPs who voted for the Bill) are apostates and need to renew their vow of faith. On online forums there have been some more sinister threats made. I am not in the least surprised.
My post last week commending Sadiq for voting in favour of equality for gay couples resulted in some real vile types emerging from the woodwork to denounce my alleged ‘apostasy’ in the comments section.
So, it is worth reiterating that the Equalities legislation we have seen passed in parliament the UK over the past decade offers greater protection to all minorities including faith groups to help ensure they are treated fairly and not discriminated against. That is an important achievement.
It is worth contrasting that achievement with the kind of ‘Islamic state’ that Sadiq’s detractors would prefer us to live in. In their dream state, not only would gay couples not be allowed the same right to have a civil marriage as straight couples, they would be hounded (and perhaps much worse) by the state for declaring that they were gay in the first place. And they would not stop at interfering in the lives of gay couples. The books we read would be vetted. Movies would be vetted for ‘immorality’. Members of other faiths would not be allowed to promote their religions. Other Muslims deemed to hold ‘deviant’ views would be harassed, lose their jobs etc. In short, it would quickly become a repressive police state.
So, bravo to Sadiq Khan for taking a courageous stand. It could be that many Muslims watching from the sidelines might be encouraged to take a stand against those who want to use religion to deny others their most basic human rights.