Maajid Nawaz, a Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate has received death threats after posting a picture of a "Jesus and Mo" t-shirt on Twitter. He posted his controversial tweet on Sunday morning after two audience members wore the shirt for the taping of BBC’s The Big Questions.
The image has caused fury among some members of the Islamic community who believe images of the prophet Muhammed are forbidden.
Mr Nawaz, who heads up the anti-extremist Quilliam Foundation, tweeted an image of the t-shirt along with the words: “This is not offensive and I’m sure God is greater than to feel threatened by it.”
But it sparked an immediate backlash, with Twitter user Sahara7865 writing: “Maajid Nawaz set on joining ranks with Rushdie on the fatwa-scale.”
Another tweeted: “Have spoken to someone in Pakistan. They will have a surprise for him on his next visit. He is used to surprises in Pak.”
And one user added: “I would be glad to cut your neck off, so your kufr [unbeliever] friends won’t be amused by your humour. In sha Allah [if Allah is willing] may my dua [act of worship] get accepted.”
Outspoken Mohammed Shafiq, from the Ramadhan Foundation, said he would be making an official complaint to Lib Dem central office.
Hang on. If images of the prophet Muhammed are forbidden how do Muslims know that the "Jesus and Mo" image of the prophet Muhammed is the prophet Muhammed? If it is not an accurate visual representation of Muhammed then it is not an image of Muhammed and therefore it is perfectly allowable. If any Muslim can state categorically that it is an accurate portrayal then that Muslim has been breaking Islamic law by looking at pictures of Muhammed and it is that naughty Muslim who should be in trouble not the Jesus and Mo cartoonist. Secondly, if I understand correctly, Muslims are anti any depiction of human beings so why isn't every portrait painter in the UK the subject of a Fatwa? Thirdly, does Annoyed of Mecca really mean it when he says "I would be glad to cut your neck off"? Surely that would be a very messy operation. I would suggest that he simply cuts the head off. Much simpler. Much better use of the English language.
Anyway, Maajid shouldn't worry himself that his tweet will lose him the election. With his (young) Omar Sharif looks my guess is that he's got the female and gay vote well and truly in the bag, whatever their religion or lack of.