by Rupert Insider
The debate was triggered in France a few years ago when Muslim students were forbidden to wear their religious veils instead of normal school uniforms. And now its come to Britain. Muslims and non-Muslims struggle to articulate the complex values involved. There is sensitivity on both sides.
Luckily for Koptalk, their Pie-eater-in-Command has a long-standing and pious interest in Islam.
He advertised for information about it on the usenet groups as long back as 1997. He was especially interested in the paraphenalia – posters, cloaks, and beads and hats. No doubt, if he had been a female, he would have been interested in a veil – a Hijab or Burka.
“I am intersted in the Islamic religion & believes. Does anyone know any publications that list places where I can buy Islamic theme posters and some beads for chanting / praying ? I live in Scarborough, North Yorks and any help in getting me in to this religion is most welcome.
You can email me or send any literature to me via snail mail to :
PO Box 145
Moving isn’t it? And he had replies from devout Muslims who wanted to help him understand their religion.
Knowing what we do now, we might wonder if he was feigning an interest back then for a petty fiddle. Maybe he thought he saw a niche Muslim market on the net from which he could make a buck. Those suspicions were reinforced when he talked about starting a site about terrorism.
Earlier this summer he told us several times about his long telephone calls with a Koptalk poster who lived in Lebanon. Oldham presented himself as an enlightened soul whose sensitive, humanistic approach could restore mutual respect to both sides in the Middle East conflict.
So it would be interesting to see what he contributes to the Muslim veil debate behind the closed doors of Koptalk’s Gold Club.
This is what he posted yesterday:
Just had a Muslim lady knock at my front door: I refused to open it and only spoke through the letterbox to see how she liked it. (Lighten up!)
He earned a couple of guffaws from his sycophants for that one and was encouraged to add another:
A mate of mine is from Doncaster. He said one of the funniest things he ever saw was outside a Mosque. Apparently while everyone was worshipping inside the dustbinmen came along and removed every single pair of shoes from the footpath and outside the Mosque and put them in the back of the wagon. He swears its a true story.
(Had this been a Christian related story, I’d also have posted it).
Wasn’t that funny!
You might wonder what Muslim’s veils have to do with LFC. Well about as much as the question whether Hitler was a Christian or whether George Bush is a fool or Attila the Hun gay (I made that last one up).
But these and any other number of outlandish topics are now the meat and drink of Koptalk forums, complete with supporting video clips from mainly USA news channels. They are the kind of questions loved by the single-issue, conspiratorial theorists who usually pester Yahoo public forums until they are banned.
But Koptalk is a private club. You pay £30 to be protected from that kind of thing. And Oldham boasts on his home page that the new, slimmed down Koptalk is more mature and controlled than it ever was before. It’s moderated 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
The fact is, he will take any kind of a poster now and any kind of a post that will put £30 in his pocket and a few hits on the net traffic charts.
LFC and football is just a hook to bring them through the door – after that he sells ’em soft porn and adult date-finding, betting, pirated CD’s and regalia and the illusion of being interested in their views. He tells them unfunny jokes, acts the clown, rants and rages – anything to keep them talking. Talk is money.
And if the nutters go quiet he’ll start a thread entitled Ban Religion, like he did yesterday.
“If we banned religion and got rid of all faiths….what kind of impact on the world would this have?”
John Lennon asked the same question in “Imagine” but people accepted his sincerity. He wasn’t selling £30 memberships to in a poky web site. And he was from Liverpool.
I said “nutters” – that may be a bit harsh – but I have to wonder about the motivation of those willing to pay for Oldham’s pies and peas and Steve’s sage stuffing when they could get all the news and information about LFC free from other more respected sites administered by true supporters of LFC.
I suppose if you’re the kind of person who is convinced that the world needs to know how you would handle the Six Nations talks with North Korea or how you would bomb the shit out of Iran, then you probably would be willing to pay any site owner who would allow you to rant on even if it was a site for pigeon fanciers.
And Koptalk is very liberal in that respect. The only banned topics are (a) mention of this blog (b) mention of other rival sites, especially EST 1892 (c) questions about Oldham’s non-existent book (d) and any telling criticism of him or his site.
Its a veritable Tower of Babel in there – posters from Africa weighing in about Hitler, and Americans going on about the relative right-wing or liberal bias of Fox News and CNN and ex-pats in Hong Kong glorifying rampant capitalism.
All that’s missing is a Liverpudlian or two nattering about LFC.
The madam of this whorehouse is a Little Englander pantomime dame with a broad Yorkshire accent who uses Koptalk podcasts and internet broadcasts to mock the accents of Turkish and Pakistani shopkeepers and who complains about the number of foreigners in her street and how there are no more English left in London.
But at least she has the good sense not to mess with the Irish.