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Ian O'Doherty: He admits it -- he's a hardliner

This column has come in for some stick in the past and apart from the usual mad threats from religious types -- it's amazing how many of these poor, superstitious fools seem to have missed that whole bit about 'forgiveness' in their Bible -- the rest of the hate mail tends to come from furious gay people who didn't like being slagged for their more outrageous behaviour.

But they might be better served having a pop at the Mayor of Moscow, who is not a fan of gay pride parades.

Eastern Europe wouldn't be exactly renowned for its tolerance of the gay lifestyle and, according to Mayor Yury Luzhkov: "A gay pride parade cannot be called anything but a Satanic act. We haven't permitted such a parade and we won't permit one in the future."

Then, further cementing his credentials as one of the great minds of our time, he goes on to say: "It's high time that we stop propagating nonsense discussions about human rights and bring to bear on them the full force of the law and justice."

Given the fact that we're currently having a debate about installing a proper Mayor with executive powers in Dublin, this is the perfect time to call old David 'Nelly' Norris to be elected -- if only to see how he would get on with his Muscovite counterpart.

WHAT WONDERFUL COMPASSION

Today is Holocaust Memorial Day and, as anyone who has been watching the History Channel recently will know, it's also the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

So, it's a good time to ponder the greatest crime against humanity ever committed, is it not?

Well, according to the lunatic fringe of the Irish Muslim movement, MPAC (Muslim Public Affairs Committee) it is most definitely not.

As they said in a typically whingey and truculent statement yesterday: "The 'Holocaust' memorial Day deserves our scorn, not support, because it venerates and remembers Jewish suffering and death to the exclusion of all others.

"It has become a tool in the hands of those who would shamefully exploit the suffering of the past to deligitimise all criticism of their present morally reprehensible and indefensible actions against the Palestinians."

And, to further prove their point, they go on to quote Iqbal Sacranie, former head of the Muslim Council of Britain who has always opposed the notion of a Holocaust memorial.

So that's the level of MPAC -- they're reduced to quoting a clown who not only refuses to condemn the fatwa on Salman Rushdie but went further by saying: "Death, perhaps, is a bit too easy for him. His mind must be tormented for the rest of his life."

And we're meant to listen to these idiots?

(By the way, notice the apostrophes surrounding the word Holocaust.)

WE'RE GETTING SOFT IN OUR OLD AGE

Right, joking aside -- this Saturday sees a one-off art exhibition in Dun Laoghaire with all proceeds going to an orphanage in Haiti run by an Irish nurse.

It takes place in the Dun Laoghaire Art Gallery, 102 Upper George's Street, Dun Laoghaire, and starts at 10am.

Refreshments will be provided.

Just go.

Irish Independent