Sid and I disagree on a number of things – we had very different perspectives on Iraq – but we are comrades when it comes to the issues that really matter.
So I wish to communicate my most sincere sympathy over the following passage, which appears in an excellent article by Andrew Gilligan in the Standard, announcing the decision of Boris Johnson to end funding to Azad Ali’s Jamaat-e-Islami dominated Muslim Safety Forum.
But, oh dear! Lookie here!
On 1 December, after the Mumbai attacks, Mr Ali engaged in repeated exchanges on his blog with a moderate Muslim calling himself “Sid”. Sid said the attacks were “an act of Islamist terrorism, pure and simple”. Mr Ali replied: “We disagree quite clearly,” describing the attacks as “crimes”.
This is the second time that Sid has featured in a tabloid newspaper. For I can now reveal that he is the person mentioned in the Daily Mail piece about my tussle last year with Hackney Council:
“One friend was so disgusted with Hackney for trying to segregate Muslims and non Muslims that he suggested that he take his little daughter swimming with us, just to prove the point.”
I now go to the non-segregated baths, where children and adults of all ages, ethnicities, and belief systems exercise happily together.
I know that Sid will be teased by some of the crueller element at Pickled Politics for all this.
He can take it.