April 24, 2008

You doth protest too much

I am unconvinced of the existence of omnipotent desert-born sky ghosts, but if people want to believe in them and wear the badges, then let them be, I say.
Religion is responsible for some of the most resilient brands in history, plus some awesome patent protection. Their brand directors tend to stay in their jobs for life and follow strict dress codes. Being a brand loyalist is usually pretty harmless, although switching brands occasionally raises eyebrows.
It was therefore a shame to see a touch of religious nuttership in my sleepy village. Every piece of street furniture has one of these stickers. The odd thing is that the target of this spite attack doesn’t actually exist. A nearby neighbour occasionally travels about 30 miles to the nearest mosque. He told me this in the pub. Over a pint.
And there’s the Turkish family who run the kebab shop on the high street (opposite the quaint Norman church), but bearing in mind the contents of their shopping trolley, spotted in Asda one parched summer’s day a year or so ago, I’d hardly label them as committed members of that faraway mosque.
This campaign, should it occur in Wembley or Bradford, would be inflammatory and whip up some nasty feeling. The reaction at Sleepyville? Any angry marches by outraged Christians worried about a Saracen invasion? No, just a letter in the local paper complaining about the eyesores spoiling our lamp posts.

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