Sunday 10 July 2016

Maryam and Mona

On a similar theme, this morning's Sunday featured a discussion between Professor Mona Siddiqui (of Thought For The Day fame) and Maryam Namazie from the Council of Ex-Muslims in Britain. 

As the Independent has been reporting, more than 200 individuals and human rights groups have signed a letter branding Mona Siddiqui's official inquiry into the role of sharia courts in the UK (set up by Theresa May) as a "whitewash" because of the appointment of an Islamic scholar (ie. Mona) as chair and two imams to its advisory board. 

Sunday is to be commended for featuring both sides of the argument though Ed Stourton unquestionably put tougher questions to Maryam than he did to his old Today colleague Mona (suggesting where his sympathies lay in the debate).  

I'm not sure that Maryam Namazie did full justice to herself here. Ed's points against her - that there were lawyers on the board (despite what she seemed to be saying), and that she might have waited until the inquiry actually began before voicing her objections and should instead welcome and encourage it - weren't successfully parried (in my view). 

Mona Siddiqui, however, didn't do herself any favours either. She sank in my estimation by quickly and repeatedly resorting to ad homs

She'd barely begun speaking before she described the criticisms as "arrogant". She then called them "arrogant" again later. And later still she called them "arrogant" again. (And she clearly meant Maryam).

Quite how she thinks such repeated insults help prove her suitability for the "chairpersonship" of the inquiry (as she kept calling it) is beyond me...

...and such 'not very nice' behaviour isn't what's expected from a Thought For The Day type (except, perhaps, for John Bell or Giles Fraser). 

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