Whenever I hear an American talk about why the US needs to be “more like Europe,” I invariably, soon after, run across a story like this:
SCOTLAND YARD has bowed to Islamic sensitivities and accepted that Muslims are entitled to throw shoes in ritual protest â€” which could have the unintended consequence of politicians or the police being hit.
News of the concession by the Metropolitan police has come to light amid a series of trials of more than 70 mostly Muslim demonstrators who were charged with violent disorder after last yearâ€™s Gaza protests outside the Israeli embassy in London.
Aquib Salim, 21, an IT student at Queen Mary, London University, who was involved in a shoe-throwing incident, is almost certain to avoid a prison sentence as a result.
Chris Holt, Salimâ€™s solicitor, said he was likely to get a suspended sentence after he pleaded guilty to a single charge of throwing a stick at police lines.
â€œThe court accepted that the earlier shoe-throwing incident was simply a ritual form of protest and therefore not a criminal act of violence,â€ Holt said.
Judge Denniss agreed that the act of shoe-throwing should not be considered in a charge of violent disorder against the student because it was â€œa symbolicâ€ political gesture.
The ruling would have been different had the shoes been thrown at Judge Denniss.
So violence, provided it’s part of your religion, isn’t illegal. What could possibly go wrong? In any case, Muslim demonstrators are happy about the ruling that is likely to cost them their soles:
The concession has already been taken up enthusiastically by Muslim demonstrators, who pelted Downing Street with shoes in protest at the Israeli bombing of Gaza last year.
Dozens of ski-boots and clogs were also hurled at the US consulate in Edinburgh in a related protest, in which three policemen sustained minor injuries.
So the next time somebody whips a shoe at you, understand that it might be an important part of their religion, and if you duck, you might be accused of Islamophobia.
By the way, Muslim shoe-throwers don’t only dislike Downing Street:
Where’s the Hope & Change?
In other UK news, female Muslim doctors will be allowed an exception to the surgical “no sleeve” hygiene rule.
Yeah, let’s be more like Europe!