Call me intolerant and I’ll hit you

"Anyone who describes Islam as a religion as intolerant encourages violence" – Pakistan Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam.

Can this gem be genuine?   It's been widely quoted in the media, and is included in a more extended quotation of the lady's remarks in an article in the Canadian website "Enter Stage Right", which doesn't look as if it's made it up.  On the other hand, the Pakistani Islamic Republic News Agency, avoiding quoting Ms Aslam in direct speech, says only:

Pakistan's Foreign Office on Friday deplored Pope Benedict's remarks against Islam.

Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam in a statement regretted that a respected religious leader of his stature had made partisan remarks against Islam.
She said the pope's statement proved that he was unaware of the life of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him).
She said the pope's highly controversial and regrettable statement could fan religious disharmony.

Sadly, I can't find an authoritative source for the alleged quotation.  But it has appeared all over the place, even taking pride of place in the outrageously irreverent and readable 'popbitch' newsletter.  So even if the spokeswoman has been misquoted, she has now been misquoted so widely that it has become part of the received wisdom that she said it.  Come on, Tasnim, deny it, and spoil our day!


1 Response

  1. Bondwoman says:

    or, if you, like me, are prepared to accept that there is a certain "acceleration" process going on whenever an "official spokesperson" gets quoted, maybe "make our day". Because, ideologically, I personally want a scenario in which "peace reigns". Maybe I'm being too sentimental. Maybe I've had too much wine….

    Brian agrees:  We'd all like peace to reign (most of us, anyway).  Sadly there's no magic wand available to help make it happen, although a glass or three of wine may well serve a useful purpose.  Cheers.