Tabloid stories about “fanatical Muslims” are so common these days as to merit barely more than a passing glance, and are very often based on nothing but a fear-mongering agenda. The difference in the case of alleged threats against the Pakistani Café in Glasgow’s south side is that the accuser is a Pakistani non-Muslim.
According to the Daily Record, “Jimshaed Sharif, 50, says he has become a target for fanatical Muslims because he plays music and serves alcohol”. Anna Smith wrote in the News of the World: “So if ever we needed a wake-up call to the level of bigotry from Islamic fanatics who live among us, then the owner of the Pakistani Café in Glasgow has given us that. Jimshaed Sharif has shown the kind of raw courage that should be applauded by the stance he has taken against the extremists who have threatened him in the name of their twisted view of religion.”
It is the easiest thing in the world to smear someone as an “extremist”, “fanatic” etc. and these matters, for people interested in truth and fairness, need some scratching below the surface. For others, a person’s claim to have received death threats is enough of a guarantee of credibility.
The Record article included a tale about a young man campaigning for a “separate Muslim cemetery” who left and came back with over a dozen friends who “started causing a disturbance telling me I had to stop playing music and selling alcohol. It got so bad I had to call the police.”
That “young man” was me.
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