It's easy to laugh these two and wonder about the state of mind of their followers who believe in such things. They are of course not alone. Some people still believe the Earth is flat and others say the moon landing was a hoax. These may be less harmful but do illustrate how the human mind can refuse to accept reality.
Then there's religion.
In this country most people grew up with a local church and (mostly) friendly Vicars who formed part of the community. A minority turned to priests of the Catholic faith. Satirising religion was not a problem as programmes like All Gas & Gaiters or The Dave Allen Show were broadcast without too much of a fuss.
There was of course the late unlamented Mary Whitehouse and her followers but there atavistic approach to life was gradually beaten back.
Then a group of people burned the Satanic Verses.
It's likely that until then most people in this country didn't really give Islam a second thought. Now commentary on the rise of Islam(ism) is everywhere, every day as Hate Preachers and terrorists appear in our midst as some kind of satanic nightmare themselves.
The discovery of the identity of "Jihadi John" as the press described him has also focused our attention back to our seats of learning where it appears something quite unsavoury has been going on.
In an article for the Washington Post Avinash Tharoor, a former student at the University of Westminster observes:
Despite boasting an inspiring academic staff and vibrant student life, the university has a dark side to its campus culture. The ideological climate feels conducive for radicalization; even though the university never intended this, it seems to be a place where extremism can fester. I don’t know if that climate is what turned Mohammed Emwazi into Jihadi John, but Westminster was probably a factor in his radicalization.....
I recall a seminar discussion about Immanuel Kant’s “democratic peace theory,” in which a student wearing a niqab opposed the idea on the grounds that “as a Muslim, I don’t believe in democracy.” Our instructor seemed astonished but did not question the basis of her argument; he simply moved on. I was perplexed, though. Why attend university if you have such a strict belief system that you are unwilling to consider new ideas? And why hadn’t the instructor challenged her? At the time, I dismissed her statement as one person’s outlandish opinion. Later, I realized that her extreme religious views were prevalent within the institution.
This takes us right back to the start of the wave of Islamism that began with the burning of Salman Rushdie's novel.
A number of people on the left decided to publish a statement defending Rushdie and the right of free speech and like many others I sent a contribution to add my signature. Imagine my surprise when it was returned with a letter that explained they had decided not to go ahead with their statement as it could be constituted as "racist".
Since when was religion a race and in any case how can defending an Asian man against err.. other Asian and Middle eastern men be described as racist?
At the time the big "Islamist" threat came from Iran. The Ayatollah had taken power and the anti-imperialist brigade began it's subservience to the Islamists.
In Iran itself the Trotskyist United Secretariat of the Fourth International (Tariq Ali's mob at the time) had already split into two groups. One was "pro-hijab", the other anti hijab.
Over time other trots such as Workers Power gave "critical support" to the Taliban, that well know progressive group in Afghanistan with one of their more deranged members suggesting they would literally join the fight if they had the ability in a shameful letter to the Weekly Worker.
The rest is history as we saw the Socialist Workers Party join George Galloway in a rush to ally themselves with sections of the Muslim community, which didn't last but has resulted in the Borough of Tower Hamlets becoming a fiefdom for Islamists. That turned out well.
The new Left Unity organisation even debated support for ISIS at it's conference last year.
The seeming alliance of the far-left with the Islamists took a new turn this week with John Rees (Counterfire/Stop the War) leading a press conference for Jihadi Johns apologists in the Cage outfit a supposed "charity" for "human rights".
As yet another atheist blogger, Avijit Roy is murdered in Bangladesh for "insulting Islam", the so called anti-imperialists of the left show no sign of changing their dangerous strategy.
The far-left are assisting the rise of a new fascism.
You know who the culprits are.
Stand up to them and build a progressive secular alternative.