After yesterday’s blog with Chris Dangerfield was posted, Becky Fury – winner of at least one genuine Malcolm Hardee Comedy Award – asked if she could give a response.
So I met her last night in London’s East End, just off Brick Lane.
“What made you want to respond to the blog?” I asked her.
“I basically,” she told me, “wanted to do some self promotion…”
“Oh God,” I said.
“…and I had some ideas about politics,” Becky continued.
“Good grief,” I said. “You didn’t want to have a go at Chris Dangerfield for perceived Islamophobia?”
“Well, that’s no use at all,” I told her. “You just wanted a chat.”
“Yes,” she laughed. “I just wanted to be validated. Do you want me to talk about Islamic Fundamentalism?”
“It’d be something,” I told her.
“My friend actually taught Jihadi John,” Becky said. “He was basically a kid in remedial maths at school.”
“And he went to my college,” I told her. “The University of Westminster… Well, it was The Polytechnic in my day.”
“When he was at school,” said Becky, “he was a kid that nobody liked. He had B.O. and bad breath. He was basically a disenfranchised kid and this idea of running off to become an Islamic Fundamentalist was obviously quite attractive. Then he got turned into this character in tabloid newspaper mythology. But he was basically just a kid from remedial maths who didn’t get on with anyone.”
“Well,” I said, “beheading people certainly works as a bid for attention.”
“He was basically pissed-off,” said Becky. “Maybe if they had had better pastoral care in his local London borough he wouldn’t have done that. And then there were all those girls running off to find this hunky Jihadi John in Syria and, when they get there, they just find that it’s Muhammad, the smelly kid from remedial maths and they think: Well, we might as well have just stayed in Tower Hamlets and met him and our mums wouldn’t have been quite so pissed-off.
“Obviously, you don’t want to encourage any type of religious fundamentalism. You can pick on one as being worse but, if you do pick on one as being worse, you make it worse and it turns it into something that becomes more dangerous because you have given people something to join in with. After they started trying to ban the burkha, lots more Moslem women started wearing burkhas because they were told they should not be allowed to do it. That’s what happens when you try to put a lid on things.”