As the founder, chairman and STILL the only member of the Charles Martel Society for Multiculturalism, I’m happy to add my gravelly voice to the chorus of indignation about the new series Bodyguard.
The first episode features a young Muslim woman wearing an elegant hijab complete with that essential fashion accessory, a suicide belt.
The young lady is threatening to blow up the train she’s on, but fortuitously the eponymous Bodyguard is among her fellow passengers. He manages to engage the girl in conversation, thereby talking her into having second thoughts – this even though she must find his Scottish accent well-nigh incomprehensible.
The Bodyguard must have undergone sensitivity training because, rather than putting a bullet between the girl’s eyes, he treats her with sympathy and affection, hugging her in an avuncular fashion.
It turns out the suicide bomber was brainwashed into that activity by her husband, and the Bodyguard not unreasonably suggests that this probably betokens a certain deficit of marital love.
Now I can hardly keep my fingers on the keyboard, I’m so outraged.
For beamed at millions of viewers is a flagrant show of racist, neo-colonialist, misogynist and quite possibly homophobic stereotyping (both participants in the confrontation are straight, but homophobia has to be there somewhere).
First, no Muslim of either sex can possibly be brainwashed. Islam, as we all know, promotes free thought and uncompromising individualism, encouraging its adherents to engage in debate and even question some of the dogma – to the point of apostasy if such is the call of their conscience.
It’s also a religion of peace, as discovered by Messrs Bush, Blair, Obama, Cameron and Mrs May. I hasten to disabuse the reactionaries among us of any dissenting notions, and I don’t care how many murderous Koran verses they cite in support of their Islamophobia.
You show me your verses, I’ll show you mine, and mine abrogate yours, to use the Islamic term. And if you still insist that Islam isn’t exactly a religion of peace, any sensible Muslim would be within his right to cut your head off with a dull kitchen knife.
Nor is it relevant that, now our Irish friends are taking it easy, just about every terrorist act in Europe is committed to the accompaniment of a rousing “Allahu akbar!!!” The choice of accompaniment notwithstanding, such actions have nothing to do with Islam as such.
These libidinous youths are simply, to use a colloquialism, on the pull. They know that shouting “Allahu akbar!!!” while mowing down infidel pigs, and then themselves perishing in a hail of bullets, opens a door to an eternity spent in the company of 72 virgins.
Given today’s decadence, this is the easiest way of finding so many virgins without raiding kindergartens. But there are other ways too.
First, there’s nothing wrong with raiding kindergartens: this would constitute a righteous act of imitating the Prophet. Second, a genuflecting or, better still, doggie-style supplication to the deity may encourage Him to rebuild a few pre-ruptured hymens, which should be a doddle for the omnipotent Allah.
Of course the doctrinal promise would have to be modified to provide for reconstituted virgins but, as Archbishop Welby knows, religious doctrine must evolve with the times.
Those who insist that there’s nothing objectionable in depicting a Muslim suicide bomber because that short-lived career is exclusively reserved for Muslims miss the point, both artistically and existentially.
Artistically, they advocate crude, vulgar realism bordering on naturalism. Don’t they know that art, even as practised on TV, creates a reality all its own, allowing us to peek into the artist’s world, imaginary and so much more real for it?
Existentially, the same parallel reality is created by all those who shape our modern ethos: politicians, activists, writers, journalists, social workers, community organisers, teachers et al.
Who’s to say which reality is more real? Certainly not Plato, to whom, as Whitehead explained, the whole of philosophy is but a series of footnotes. The Greek taught that only our imagination is real, while what lesser minds see as reality is but so many shadows on a cave wall.
We’re all Platonists now, and it’s from this philosophical vantage point that we should rebuke the Bodyguard creators – and possibly send their names and addresses to the ISIS branch of the religion of peace.
That’s not to suggest that irate viewers do nothing but rebuke. Some of them tweet valid creative suggestions, such as: “In the current climate I don’t want to see a suicide bomber on a train cast as a young Muslim woman in a veil. They could have cast it differently.”
I agree wholeheartedly. And I’d go so far as proposing one possibility. To get back into my (and other viewers’) good books, the second season of Bodyguard should feature Jacob Rees-Mogg as a suicide bomber.
Admittedly this would present a challenge to the show’s costume designers, for a close-fitting Savile Row suit offers less room than a hijab for concealing a suicide belt.
But, as someone who used to work with London film crews, I trust their endless ingenuity. Perhaps they could use a flasher’s Mac, naturally custom-made.
Mr Rees-Mogg could be shown in the first-class carriage of the Orient Express, saying in that supercilious way of his:
“If you reprobates decline to comply with one’s entreaty, one shall feel compelled to depress this button and blow these entire premises to kingdom come, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. And pray do not even contemplate summoning police constables, for that would force one into precipitate action.”
This would allay all suspicions of Islamophobia and ultimately serve the actual, as opposed to shadowy, Platonic reality. I hereby offer my services to write the additional dialogue.