Deliberately provocative?

Good luck to them.

The Committee for Ex-Muslims promises to campaign for freedom of religion but has already upset the Islamic and political Establishments for stirring tensions among the million-strong Muslim community in the Netherlands…Similar organisations campaigning for reform of the religion have sprung up across Europe and representatives from Britain and Germany will join the launch in The Hague today. “Sharia schools say that they will kill the ones who leave Islam. In the West people get threatened, thrown out of their family, beaten up,” Mr Jami said. “In Islam you are born Muslim. You do not even choose to be Muslim. We want that to change, so that people are free to choose who they want to be and what they want to believe in.”

That seems fair, doesn’t it? That people should be able to choose what if any religion they believe in and what they don’t? It seems fair to me.

I wonder if it seems fair to the reporter (David Charter). He says some odd things…

The threats are taken seriously after the murder in 2002 of Pim Fortuyn, an antiimmigration politician, and in 2004 of Theo Van Gogh, an antiIslam film-maker…Jami…denied that the choice of September 11 was deliberately provocative towards the Islamic Establishment.

It’s pretty tendentious to call Van Gogh ‘an antiIslam film-maker.’ And what is ‘the Islamic Establishment’? Why is it capitalized? Why is David Charter worried about putative provocations to it? Why does he ask a question that seems to imply that if there is an Islamic Establishment, it ought not to be ‘provoked’ by suggestions that people should be free to leave a religion? Why does he think it provocative, and deliberately provocative at that, to remind this Establishment of September 11? Why does he seem slightly hostile and suspicious toward Jami instead of toward this apparently quite touchy and coercive ‘Islamic Establishment’?

Maybe it’s just good skeptical journalism, but some of the wording does seem a little…warped.

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