In other news:
Arshad Misbahi of the Manchester Central Mosque confirmed his views in a conversation to John Casson, a local psychotherapist.Peter Tatchell is quoted as saying:
Casson said: "I asked him if the execution of gay Muslims in Iran and Iraq was an acceptable punishment in Sharia law, or the result of culture, not religion.
"He told me that in a true Islamic state, such punishments were part of Islam: If the person had had a trial, at which four witnesses testified that they had seen the actual homosexual acts."
"I asked him what would be the British Muslim view? He repeated that in an Islamic state these punishments were justified. They might result in the deaths of thousands but if this deterred millions from having sex, and spreading disease, then it was worthwhile to protect the wider community."
"I checked again that this was not a matter of tradition, culture or local prejudice. 'No,' he said, 'It is part of the central tenets of Islam: that sex outside marriage is forbidden; this is stated in the Koran and the prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) had stated that these punishments were due to such behaviours.'"
Muslim and gay people know the pain of prejudice and discrimination. We should be working together to challenge homophobia and IslamophobiaWell, yes they should. But of course, Tatchell's stance has caused him to be accused of Islamophobia, and to be targetted by the Workers' Revolutionary Party front, Islamophobia Watch.
One of the more honourable reasons why the hard left has been unable to deal with Islamist hate speech is their wish to continue with the sort of analysis of the world they maintained up to the end of the Cold War. This is a dialogue of power and powerless, wealth and poverty, minority and majority.
Yet many evil movements come from the powerless and poor; the BNP's membership isn't drawn, on the whole, from the class of suave and accomplished boomers, but rather from the anonymous ranks of the unsuccessful and the poor. Nazism rose during a period of national shame at the humiliating terms of the Treaty of Versailles.
This blinkered vision has in fact rendered the labour movement powerless in the face of the current wave of Islamic supremacist aggression. It remains to be seen how much damage this will have caused. But when the media gets over its reluctance to show pictures of Hitler-saluting Hezbollah, while RESPECT marches in their support, the damage could be vast, and long-lasting.
First, though, we need a realignment in the media. It might be coming sooner than you think.