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”

Blinded by contempt

It is that time of year when some Muslims celebrate the birth of the Prophet, peace be upon him, while others occupy themselves with condemning them. So enter Exhibit A. Some mischievous folk claim that the photo below shows Muslims following the Christians handspan by handspan, by setting up a Christmas Tree in their mosque to mark the mawlid. Continue reading “Blinded by contempt”


The crucial element of this video begins at 12 mins and five seconds.

Confirms my conspiracy about the growing army of flat earth conspiracists too, who have turned it (and the associated cover up) into an an article of faith, which they speak about at every opportunity. Distraction therapy.

Record player

You ask me why I keep returning to this topic, like a broken record, skipping on the same track over and over again. It is because of posts like this, just shared with his 27,000 Facebook followers and 7,200 followers on Twitter, its impact soon to be multiplied by the multitudinous shares and likes: Continue reading “Record player”

Dear friend

You may assume, because I once wrote an article critical of a so-called islamist turned reformer whose path crossed with mine in my youth, that I am a champion of the ardent activists who stand against him. But you would be wrong.  Continue reading “Dear friend”

To be trustworthy

Faith does not mean forwarding every piece of spurious crap you receive on WhatsApp, believing everything you read on Facebook, or liking every Tweet shared by a Muslim personality. You still have to verify the information you receive, even if it comes from a trusted friend.  Continue reading “To be trustworthy”

Sheikh of the interwebs

Sheikh of the interwebs has a following to propagate; twenty-two thousand and rising (he’s small-fry today, but tomorrow the world). A populist controversy daily keeps the disciples coming back for more: he’s a champion of the new voiceless, an advocate for forgotten reactionaries. Social media is manna from heaven: the glue that holds together a career giving lectures and writing articles, pending the advent of a proper job. To rest on your laurels is suicide: fail to cultivate your following on social media and you are nobody. A nobody with no influence; what a horrible thought, when there is just so much to say.

Ah, but listen for the sound of silence. There goes the sheikh with his minuscule following far from these virtual worlds, who shuns controversy, but nevertheless speaks the truth to the populist masses. Perhaps there is one we could learn from, as he toils by day in honest employment, and teaches at night to a humble circle of gentle friends. May God preserve us from the groupies and vast followings that teem on the interwebs, from being led awry and from leading others astray. May God preserve us from the lust for fame that this medium nurtures, from the pursuit of likes and mentions, retweets and shares, from seeking out a multitude of fans, who hang on our every word, whether we speak the truth or not. May God preserve us from the new sheikhs of the interwebs, and from the worst of ourselves.