Thursday, October 19, 2017

London Under Sharia Law

As an American expatriate, I am very often asked what it’s like living in London under the Muslim mayor Shadiq Khan, whose first action after taking office was to declare sharia law. The short answer is that it has its ups, and its downs too. Where once the miniskirted dolly birds of London were celebrated in every magazine (except some the stuffier financial and scientific ones) and on every early-evening television newsmagazine, it quickly became rare after Mr. Khan’s coronation to glimpse so much as a female ankle, as local women took to dressing no longer to inspire the lustful thoughts of men (and, to be fair, some lesbians). The most one can reasonably hope for in the London of 2017 is an occasional glimpse of wrist. No fewer than three new “lads’ mags” specialising in wrists have appeared on the newsstands since Boris Johnson evacuated the mayor’s office.

Poundland and its archrival The 99p Store now gives away packages of disposable razors with any purchase, as men, forbidden to shave, no longer buy them. With characteristic resiliency and the panache that had once made Carnaby Street the centre of the universe, male Londoners have developed the bewhiskered, flannel-shirted style called lumbersexual, though not in the hearing of Mayor Khan’s omnipresent thought police, recognisable from their MKOTP logo baseball caps. On the BBC television programme Dragons Den, on
which entrepreneurs try to get snooty tycoons to bankroll their ideas for businesses, a hundred hirsute boyos have introduced shampoos and conditioners formulated specifically for facial hair. The musical group Mumford & Sons introduced the lumbersexual look to the whole world, which, prudently, almost unanimously spurned it, except in a few craft breweries and determinedly old-fashioned (vinyl) record shops in Brooklyn, LA’s Silverlake,
and Portland, Oregon.

.As you might imagine, Mayor Khan’s ban on alcohol hit the city’s publicans and
sommeliers hard, and alcoholism, heretofore ranked third among Londoners’ favourite recreations (just behind defiantly refusing to queue for buses and trains anymore, and refusing to pronounce foreign place names properly, but ahead of football, alcoholism denial, and football hooliganism), fell out of the Top 5 for the first time since 1931, though alcoholism denial strangely hasn’t relinquished its hold on the public fancy. A great many pubs have been converted to mini-mosques, though few have troubled themselves to amend their signage. A recent article in the weekly lifestyle supplement of the Telegraph amusingly compiled a list of the most incongruously named mini-mosques. The Goose & Syringe, in Wandsworth, a favourite meeting-place of foie gras producers, topped the list.

Though publicans and so on have of course been very vocal in their disgruntlement, they are in fact considerably more gruntled than those formerly in the business of selling Prophet Mohammed-branded merchandise — coffee mugs, key rings, fridge magnets — in the popular-with-tourists West End. A great many of these latter businesses have been taken
over by the big retail names that clog every high street, mall, and airport. Exactly what London needed, in view of the woeful paucity of soulless boutiques selling identically boring, hideous clothing!

That which nearly all Londoners love about sharia is the public beheadings and stonings in Leicester Square every Saturday afternoon. In a city in which tickets to the latest Hollywood sequel or prequel can cost £20 (around $25 in real money), free entertainment is avidly cherished, though of course there are nay-sayers who deplore the high cost (£7) of
the halal popcorn on offer at these events. Some who have tried sneaking their own non-halal refreshments in have been beaten so badly with sticks as to be unidentifiable except via their dental records.

Sharia is cruel, but fair.

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