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Me: *discussing a former acquaintance whose behaviour did not reflect her apparent religious values*  Charlie: I can’t believe she was a Muslim. She was the worst Muslim ever; apart from, like, Osama Bin Laden, maybe… Me: I swear, to that girl, the Quran may as well have been a sanitary pad. Charlie: Quranpon. Me: SanAllahtary […]

Unlike where I grew up, which had a decent(ish) mixture of races and cultures, the place I currently live is quite segregated; and as such, a lot of the people here have quite a myopic view on the subject of middle-eastern immigration.

“They should go back where they came from.”

There’s a famous, but often mis-quoted, phrase, that states that being born an Englishman is like winning the greatest lottery in the world. We have freedoms here, and in all of the western world, that so many could scarcely imagine. In this instance, I’m not talking about the right to eat food and drink clean water that people in so many starving third world countries don’t have. I speak of the many areas of the middle-east, where families have to worry about their children being blown apart on the way to school, where they have to worry about their livelihood, be it a shop or a farm or a restaurant or whatever, being destroyed or looted by thugs and armed terrorists. The ideal that a country exists where they can go, and not have to worry about their loved ones being forcibly drafted into extremist militia, being blown apart by stray bombings or terrorist attacks, must be as near a vision of heaven on earth as they may find, and a lucky few may earn enough or fight hard enough to earn safe passage to England or America or anywhere else where such liberties are granted. Telling them to go ‘home‘ is effectively sentencing them to a life or hardship and danger, simply because they weren’t fortunate enough to be born where you were.

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Being the pedantic arse that I am, I’m going to ask a few (presumably unanswerable) questions about the Islamic heaven, historically referred to as ‘Jannah‘. We all know a few of the key elements of this paradise, 72 virgins, giant palaces for everyone, rivers of milk and honey, and so on, and as I read into the writings on the subject, there were a few things I found somewhat unusual. So, here we go…

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