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I never thought I would find a good word to say about any Labour politician, let alone Foreign Secretary David Miliband. Miliband is utterly ignorant about Islam and much more besides, and has no idea how ignorant he is. Supporting Jacqui Smith’s ban from the UK of democratically elected Dutch MP Geert Wilders over a film he hadn’t seen, he burbled:
"We have profound commitment to freedom of speech but there is no freedom to cry 'fire' in a crowded theatre and there is no freedom to stir up hate, religious and racial hatred, according to the laws of the land."
So I was surprised, gobsmacked even, to read in the newsletter of the Barnabas Fund that he has been one of the few Western politicians to speak out against the law of apostasy:
It is astonishing how few Western politicians seem ever to have spoken out to condemn the Islamic law of apostasy, the law which specifies a range of punishments including the death sentence for adult Muslims who leave their faith
But one exception is Britain’s Foreign Secretary, David Miliband. In the House of Commons on 7 October 2008, responding to a question about human rights in Iran, he said, “We deplore the way in which the Iranian Parliament is also now discussing a draft penal code that would set out a mandatory death sentence for the crime, quote unquote, of apostasy. If adopted, that would violate the right of freedom of religion, which is also an important basis of any civilised society.”
The trouble is, Miliband probably thinks the “crime” of apostasy is an Iranian invention, not part of Sharia law. Can’t he see that his punishing of Geert Wilders for the crime, quote unquote, of speaking out against Islam, helps promote Sharia law, of which punishments for apostasy are but one part?
Save your postcards – no answers needed.