Bum Fresh

A concerned (presumably) Muslamic citizen warns us this weekend not to buy Marks and Spencer’s aloe vera toilet paper, because on opening the packaging for his purchase in his car, he realised it is imprinted with Allah’s name in Arabic.

As you’d expect, this video clip has now been shared thousands of times on Whatsapp and social media, even beyond these shores, prompting self-congratulatory hilarity amongst anti-muslim bigots and victimised laments from worried Muslims in equal measure.

Marks and Spencer, meanwhile, insist that their aloe vera toilet paper is (naturally enough) imprinted with a motif which resembles an aloe vera plant. I think we can clearly see who is to blame.

Yes, aloe vera itself, for having spiky, curvy leaves, which when viewed from the side, vaguely resembles God’s name when inked in Arabic calligraphy, a bit like miraculous cirrus clouds observed from afar.


Oh dear, Gillette is facing a backlash for encouraging men to behave like gentlemen. A victory for beardos everywhere, who sincerely proclaim that the problems of the world will be solved when men grow beards, forgetting:

O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of God is the most righteous of you. Indeed, God is Knowing and Acquainted. — Qur’an 49:13


Something biblical is afoot. It’s a sign of the times. It heralds the imminent arrival of the dajjal. It’s divine punishment for the Saudi war on the Muslim Brotherhood. It’s a curse on the House of Saud for their devastating war in Yemen. It is a warning to the custodians of Islam’s holiest sites to return to authentic, traditional Sunni Islam™ or else be afflicted by the ten plagues of Egypt.

In short, it is whatever you want it to be, when you take the copywriter’s spin at face value. “Swarms of locusts invade Mecca, for the first time in history,” reads the viral message landing in WhatsApp, forwarded by both the learned and wise, and the village idiot.  Continue reading “Locusts”


When the annual Islam Awareness Week reduces our religion to the hijab and the beard without fail, it is not surprising that when a woman removes her hijab she feels the full weight of the condemnation of the community, whilst a man associated with hypocrisy and sexual impropriety is defended to the last. When those who promulgate religion refuse to talk about morality, piety and godliness, it is no surprise that the masses have nothing to contribute but vapid platitudes. This is what happens when those promoting awareness are those most in need of awareness.

Talk radio

Even though I consider myself a liberal snowflake, James O’Brien’s show on LBC is extremely hard-going. Unlike his truncated rants frequently liked and shared on Muslamic social media, for his apparently piercing insight and compassion, listening to his show is like wading through treacle. He is so tiresome to listen to, and so repetitive and self-absorbed, speaking at length between calls and then constantly interupting when he finally allows his callers to speak. I’m sorry to admit, however much I agree with him, that I prefer listening to the broadcasters on the right with whom I disagree. At least they get to their point and don’t bore you to tears. Ah, but not my old friend, who still behaves exactly as he did 20 years ago, although his arguments have changed. Another self-absorbed bore. Oh, but give me a right-wing demagogue any day: their callers are far more entertaining. At least you will die from the adrenaline rush of disagreement, rather than senseless boredom. Such is the joy of talk radio.

Looping samples

I used to love a cappella music, until the nasheed business butchered the artform, with its mediocre vocal harmonies becoming the backing track for every viral Muslamic video published online. Whoever would have thought that substandard a cappella renditions would become the themetune of popular Islam?