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BILAL ZAFAR: CAKES

  
RING O’BELLS

  

 

It is sometimes said that saying far-right advocates are a bit dim, and don’t know what they are voting for, is an unfair conceit put about by the Left, or the ‘liberal elite’ as I believe everyone who doesn’t agree with Katie Hopkins is now called. Bilal Zafar’s adventures on the twittersphere put this theory hilariously to the test. One day, he receives a joke tweet from his brother to him about a fictitious Muslim-only bakery in Bristol. This relates to Bilal’s chosen Twitter handle, ‘Zafarcakes’. Zafarcakes; sounds like Jaffacakes; joke, geddit? You’d be amazed how many people didn’t. Zafar is a comedian. He doesn’t own a bakery. He doesn’t live in Bristol. Nevertheless, tweets from outraged right-wing islamophobes start to come in. Bilal decides to tease them a little; and the whole act consists of his showing us, with the aid of screen projection, how this develops. Despite the apoplectic abuse as it comes in, his responses from his mythical bakery are never to attack or challenge their views, merely to be more and more obviously ridiculous to try to see when they will twig that this is all a joke. They never do. Occasionally they will block his responses, as when he comes up with an actual fact that they don’t like. For instance one rabid EDL member actually heads a campaign called ‘boycottmuslimbusinesses’, while being also a rabid supporter of a premier league football team with several Muslim players, and a billionaire Muslim owner. Bilal sends him a photo of them. Blocked. The amiable and well-timed delivery of all this, and the contrast with the spittle-flecked rage, and utter, utter stupidity of the online assorted Ukippers, US gun lobbyists and others, never fails to be hysterically laugh-provoking – while at the same time quite chilling. These people get to vote, after all. Brilliant stuff.

  

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                                                                                         John Christopher Wood