Barking mad


I spent yesterday in Barking. The sun was shining and lots of people were out and about. On Tuesdays the town centre hosts a market and yesterday it was very busy.

As I was walking around I came across a stall which stood out from the rest. It was flying a large Islamic flag on a pole and had numerous religious books, clothes, and miscellenia on display (the possible symbolism of the stall’s flag can be read about here).

The stall-keeper was a white man with a huge ginger beard wearing Islamic dress. Whilst his appearance was certainly eccentric, he was giving everybody a big proselytizing smile and seemed friendly enough.

I wanted to ask him whether he thought it really was a good idea to be trying to sell t-shirts with the words ‘SOLDIER OF ISLAM’ written upon them.

Doesn’t this just serve to confirm people’s prejudices about your religion, I would have suggested.

Why are you deliberately portraying the ‘religion of peace’ in a militant manner?

Do you think your stall has managed to win over more converts to Islam or more converts to the British National Party?

But since I myself was trying to conduct a public opinion survey on people’s attitudes to terrorism and multiculturalism in the nearby vicinity I thought it would be best to avoid any controversy.

Maybe next time!


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