And there is more. The Home Office also depicted me quoting what I brazenly misrepresented as Islamic supremacist aspirations:
We will control the land of the Vatican; we will control Rome and introduce Islam in it. Yes, the Christians, who carve crosses on the breasts of the Muslims in Kosovo — and before then in Bosnia, and before then in many places in the world — will yet pay us the Jiziya [poll tax paid by non-Muslims under Muslim rule], in humiliation, or they will convert to Islam….
Horrors. That is bad: to suggest that Islam, which every right-thinking person knows is tolerant, pluralistic, and peaceful, has imperialist ambitions to conquer and subjugate Europe – clearly such a view would incite hatred against Muslims, and I have to admit that under the circumstances I understand why the Home Office banned me.
And – I am abashed to admit – it gets even worse. The Home Office also quoted me thusly:
There is no doubt that one’s devotion to jihad for the sake of Allah and one’s will to shed blood, smash skulls, and chop off body parts for the sake of Allah and in defense of His religion constitute an honor for the believer.
Now, that’s just going too far. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) recently sponsored a huge ad campaign designed to show that jihad was walking on the beach with a loved one, or dropping off the kids at soccer practice. Everyone knows that the one thing that jihad is not is warfare against and murder of those who don’t believe in Islam. Only hate-filled Islamophobes contend otherwise, and that’s why I was banned from the United Kingdom.
I feel so ashamed.
Except that there’s one catch. In reality, I didn’t say any of those things, and none of them are in the letter to me from the Home Office. Those are all the words of Mohammed al-Arifi, a Saudi cleric who just last week was admitted into Britain without any difficulty.