Headline of the week just has to be this one on the BBC website: ‘Bristol mosque bacon attack accused appear in court.’ This concerns four individuals who were charged with racially aggravated behaviour for verbal abuse and – no, I am not making this up – throwing bacon sandwiches at the Jamia Mosque in Totterdown.
I am not referring specifically to this case when I question the logic and indeed the common sense of throwing bacon sandwiches at anything. I am aware that muslims are not fans of bacon sandwiches because of their religious superstitions. There is no law that says muslims should be forced to consume pig products, nor that they should be prevented from practising their religion in any peaceful they so choose.
The alleged sandwich throwers presumably did not throw the sandwiches in order to cause structural damage to the property. Rather that they wanted to upset the occupants of the mosque by bombarding them with a type of food their religion prevents them from eating. I am not sure I understand that at all.
Now there is nothing I like more than a nice bacon sandwich (no sauce on mine, thank you). I know that the act of killing an animal in order to provide me with my breakfast does not rank highly on the moral scale of eating, but it does taste nice. Personally, I do not have a religious superstition myself which is just as well since I am as fussy as you can get food wise as it is.
What, I wonder, goes through someone’s mind when they want to attack a mosque. “Hmm. Let’s think about this one. How about a house brick? That will have the effect of damaging something or someone, maybe both, if attaching innocent people in places of prayer is your bag. No, I’ve got a better idea. There’s a Tesco Expres just up the road. Let’s pop up there and see if we can’t get hold of a few bacon sarnies. That’ll show them!”
In a previous life, I paid a visit to this particular mosque and really enjoyed my time there, apart from forgetting to take my shoes off when I went into the building, accidentally swearing at one point (“Oh shit”) as I forgot to take my shoes off, blaspheming at another (“Oh God”) as I was putting them back on again before I left the building; yet the Imam and his assistants could not have been more pleasant, kindly serving us with cups of tea and plates of cakes and biscuits. At no time did I think to myself that this would be a far better place if only if had some bacon thrown at it.
When I left the mosque, I wondered what all the fuss was about. I did not understand anything about the religion – but then, I am not interested in any religion so that’s hardly a revelation – and to be fair they weren’t exactly trying to proselytise me, unless that was what all the tea and cakes were about.
I have simple advice for anyone who is thinking of decorating any kind of building with food: either eat the food (I believe that’d what you’re supposed to do with it) or save the money and donate it to a charity of your choice, maybe a food bank.
Whatever happens, well done to the BBC for summing up this sheer stupidity by coming up with the headline. Priceless, I reckon.