Three weeks now and our old friend, Farooq Siddique, the Evening Cancer’s outspoken ‘A Muslim in Bristol‘ columnist is still keeping his counsel on what is surely the big Islamic issue of the day. Namely what’s going on Iran?
Instead, Farooq, for the first couple of weeks,was rabbiting on about cricket’s 20/20 World Cup. Then this week he joined the national stampede – after Michael Jackson’s death – to add his own unique contribution to an oeuvre of such astonishing piffle that in the space of just a few days it’s collectively managed to become far and away the worst journalism ever published in British newspaper history.
For the record, Farooq tells us, “Michael Jackson was probably the greatest entertainer that ever lived. Of that there is little doubt.”
Which certainly a represents a radical departure for Farooq, who last autumn fired off column after column about Palestine in the wake of the Israeli assault on Gaza. So now why the sudden and complete silence on the Iranian elections – a globally significant event in the Muslim world?
Perhaps Farooq, without his usual international cast of pantomime villains – Zionists, neo-cons, the United States, the CIA, the IDF etc. – to blame is at a loss about what to say about it all?
Or perhaps like his ragbag of fellow-travellers – the Stalinists, stoppers, conspiracy nuts and Taliban with whom he has shared a platform in the past – he supports Mr Ahmadinejad and the hardline Iranian theocracy over the reformers?
I think we should be told.
Perhaps it’s also worth remembering that Michael Jackson’s music was banned for many years after Iran’s theocratic revolution in 1979 and as recently as 2005 Ahmadinejad ordered Iran’s state broadcasters to stop playing “decadent” western music and to favour “fine Iranian music” instead.