JK Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books, has condemned and mocked the tweet from Rupert Murdoch which insisted that even peaceful Muslims must bear responsibilities for jihadist attacks: “I was born Christian. If that makes Rupert Murdoch my responsibility, I’ll auto-excommunicate,” she tweeted overnight.
The News Corp boss’s tweet a day earlier said that “maybe most Moslems” were peaceful but all must be held responsible “until they recognize and destroy their growing jihadist cancer”.
It was promptly retweeted more than 4,000 times, and marked as a “favourite” by more than 2,000 people. It also attracted much criticism on Twitter, which increased when he followed it up with a tweet attacking political correctness: “Big jihadist danger looming everywhere from Philippines to Africa to Europe to US. Political correctness makes for denial and hypocrisy.”
In response, Rowling sarcastically offered to take responsibility for the atrocities of the Spanish Inquisition: “The Spanish Inquisition was my fault, as is all Christian fundamentalist violence.” She added “Oh, and Jim Bakker” – a reference to the American televangelist, whose new year message included bitter attacks on “these people” (Muslims) and claims that God had revealed to him that the US military will never win another war, as a result of the US backing abortion, secularisation, and breaking the Ten Commandments.
In follow-up tweets Rowling cited a recent study suggesting that eight times as many Muslims as non-Muslims had died in terrorist attacks. She also praised “the courage and compassionate actions” of Lassana Bathily, the Muslim employee of the kosher supermarket which was the target of the second siege in Paris, who hid Jewish customers from the gunman by leading them to a basement chiller room. His actions, she wrote, “remind us of what ‘humanity’ ought to mean”.