How British do we feel?


by Sunny
30th July, 2007 at 2:39 am    

BBC Asian Network (national digital radio station) is publishing a poll today, carried out by ICM, on identity issues. I detest polls because they try and reduce complex feelings into a simple answer and this is no different. They should be limited to very straightforward questions. But anyway, here are some highlights.

1) Thinking about your nationality, to what extent do you feel British?
Completely / a lot: Whites (73%) ; British Asians (59%)

The second figure on Asians is broken down in two ways:
Indians (62%) ; Pakistani (63%) ; Bangladeshi (62%) ; Other Asian (43%)
Christian (85%) ; Other 46% ; Sikh (77%) ; Hindu (46%) ; Muslim (64%)

2) Generally speaking, to what extent do you think that white British people treat you as British?
Total Asians: 50% … broken into:
Other (58%) ; Bangladeshi (33%) ; Pakistani (54%) ; Indian (48%)
Other (55%) ; Christian (50%) ; Sikh (64%) ; Hindu (47%) ; Muslim (49%)

3) To what extent, if at all, do you think that your own Asian culture is being diluted by living in Britain?
Total Asians: 75% … broken into:
Other (70%) ; Bangladeshi (80%) ; Pakistani (76%) ; Indian (74%)
Other (72%) ; Christian (88%) ; Sikh (82%) ; Hindu (70%) ; Muslim (76%)

4) Generally speaking, how satisfied are you with life in the UK?
Total Asians: 84% (!) … broken into:
Other (73%) ; Bangladeshi (90%) ; Pakistani (86%) ; Indian (86%)
Other (72%) ; Christian (77%) ; Sikh (90%) ; Hindu (80%) ; Muslim (88%)

Knocks stereotypes on their heads doesn’t it? I’ll be on Asian Network at 9am discussing this poll along with Aki Nawaz. I expect I’ll be the one advocating ‘Britishness’.
Full poll results: Whites / Asians.

Media coverage: BBC Online is trying to ape the Daily Express by running a negative slant (when it’s actually quite positive) and featuring a picture of two women in a niqab [now changed!]. Yeah, they represent British Asians don’t they!


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  1. Qualified success for British Multiculturalism « OurKingdom

    [...] 30, 2007 at 2:00 pm | In Britishness, Multiculturalism | Jon Bright (London, OK): Sunny over at Pickled Politics flagged up an interesting poll today on Britishness run by ICM. Standout result is of course the [...]




  1. Kulvinder — on 30th July, 2007 at 3:22 am  

    I responded in the ‘British Identity’ thread before you posted this :( but yeah the BBC’s take is odd. Its a bit like running the headline ‘Many people do not support Labour’ at the 2005 general election results. Which though technically correct is missing the point somewhat.

  2. Avi "Buffoon" Cohen — on 30th July, 2007 at 8:12 am  

    “Yeah, they represent British Asians don’t they!”
    So who represents British Asians then?

    Turbanned Sikhs? Sari-wearing Hindu ladies?

    There is no one definition of Asian let alone British Asian. If people choose to wear a particular style of dress there is nothing wrong in that.

    Asian Society is diversive and that is part of its beauty by trying to pin it down to what appeals to a narrow section is demeaning.

  3. leon — on 30th July, 2007 at 8:49 am  

    The BBC reporting on this is odd to say the least, no idea why they feel a they needed to go so tabloid with this one…

  4. Avi "Buffoon" Cohen — on 30th July, 2007 at 9:02 am  

    The Beeb like many news organisations is going the way of Fox News. Little investigative stories more cheap presenter based stories. To then appeal to people you spice up the title so you can get a story.

    Shove in an ethnic angle and away you go.

    Dumbed down news in an era where mass communication is cheap!

  5. bikhair aka taqiyyah — on 30th July, 2007 at 9:07 am  

    Sunny,

    I dont know why the heck Britain feels the need to ask itself these questions. Here in America you just are American whether you feel it or not. The law makes you American. I wonder if the 14h amendment has anything to do with it?

  6. DishDash — on 30th July, 2007 at 9:50 am  

    Why are we all lumped into the label Asian? The Asian experience personified in Pickled Politics has nothing to do with a large number of Bengalis, Pakistanis or Punjabis.

    And as for the opinion poll. Its time to no longer trust polls. For every poll that you lot and the media choose to highlight to say how disloyal brown people are, there’s one to counter the doon and gloom. But no one bothers to talk about those.

    http://media.gallup.com/muslimwestfacts/PDF/londonbrieffull041307.pdf

  7. Avi "Buffoon" Cohen — on 30th July, 2007 at 10:10 am  

    “The Asian experience personified in Pickled Politics has nothing to do with a large number of Bengalis, Pakistanis or Punjabis.”

    Well with statements such as this:
    “I’ll be on Asian Network at 9am discussing this poll along with Aki Nawaz. I expect I’ll be the one advocating ‘Britishness’.”

    They are coming in with an assumption that only they from the Asian Community can advocate Britishness!

    Aki Nawaz is a minority voice but the BBC use him a lot. This allows aspiring columnists to come across as mainstream, so it is hardly a fair debate.

    What people fail to remember is that the Asian and African experience have contributed much to Britishness over many centuries. By forgetting this and looking merely at simplistic figures allows media people to rattle on.

    This is why Asian and African people have coined the term Bounty for people that claim to represent the community but in reality they simply put a European spin on things.

    There are plenty of better and larger polls but they won’t get a mention because they contradict the story the media want to push as. Polls liek the one you highlight don’t get sensationalist headlines.

    Europe always has to have a bogeyman, it has been the Protestants, then the Catholics then the Jews and now the Muslims. Jews and Muslims have been villified for many centuries now, though the Muslim vilification is on going.

  8. DishDash — on 30th July, 2007 at 10:25 am  

    “Aki Nawaz is a minority voice but the BBC use him a lot. This allows aspiring columnists to come across as mainstream, so it is hardly a fair debate.”

    That applies as much to Sunny Hundal as it does to Aki Nawaz.

  9. sofia — on 30th July, 2007 at 10:29 am  

    I think Sarfraz Mansoor raised an interesting point on the beeb: how we subdue parts of our “ethnicness” when in the mainstream is not just an Asian thing..but really a general experience amongst people of other cultures which are also in a minority..i.e we all downplay our cultural differences when in a mainstream setting as we are not trying to sell our individual cultures.
    Anyway I hate these polls..what are they trying to highlight…why don’t they define what the hell “Britishness” is in the first place. How about asking the indigenous Scots/Irish/Welsh what Britishness means to them? Then maybe compare that to the experience of 2nd and 3rd generation Asians who now reside in Scot/N.I/Wales.
    These simplistic polls are only there to provide stupid soundbites and never hold much weight…

  10. sonia — on 30th July, 2007 at 10:49 am  

    im confused how the poll managed to ask questions of ‘whites’ and ‘asians’ where was everyone else?

  11. sofia — on 30th July, 2007 at 10:50 am  

    well probably on the holiday sunning themselves in order to get browner…

  12. David T — on 30th July, 2007 at 11:01 am  

    I agree with Sunny that these sorts of polls are facile, and tell you nothing profound. For a start what it means to “feel British” isn’t something on which there is necessary a consensus. People may have answered “yes” or “no” for heterogenous reasons

    That said it is instructive that the corrolation of “feeling British” with Asian religious groups religion is as follows:

    Christian/Other (85%) ;
    Sikh (77%)
    Muslim (64%)
    Hindu (46%)

    So, what is it with these Hindus, eh? WHAT IS WRONG WITH OUR COUNTRY!!!!!!!! EH?

  13. Carl Harpin — on 30th July, 2007 at 11:16 am  

    “That applies as much to Sunny Hundal as it does to Aki Nawaz.”

    You’ll get told off for saying that. Such comment isn’t allowed here as Avi is finding out.

  14. Sunny — on 30th July, 2007 at 11:30 am  

    So who represents British Asians then?

    Turbanned Sikhs? Sari-wearing Hindu ladies?

    This is an article about cultural identity and cultural expression. Showing a picture of a small minority of women who like to negate their own identity is hardly relevant to the topic or the broad population.

    You’ll get told off for saying that. Such comment isn’t allowed here as Avi is finding out.

    I like to randomly delete or allow comments attacking me just to confuse and annoy you buffoons.

  15. sofia — on 30th July, 2007 at 11:33 am  

    I’m sure Sunny knows how to take a bit of criticism

  16. Carl Harpin — on 30th July, 2007 at 11:39 am  

    Obviously he starts to call people buffoons and doesn’t get told of by Katy for doing it.

    If you say anythign against him then the Sunny Patrol give you a ticket.

  17. Carl Harpin — on 30th July, 2007 at 11:42 am  

    Check this out:

    http://marketwatch.nytimes.com/custom/nyt-com/html-story.asp?guid={697921EB-1663-4041-8BD8-78B534F14A7C}&symb=&sid=&siteid=NYT&dist=NYT&osymb

    Apparently if you burn a book and call it art you don’t get maligned. Doubt many people will cover this.

    No doubt a few will applaud it.

    Won’t see the BBC cover this. Wonder if Sunny will allow a discussion?

    I find it appalling that a gift is destryoyed in suchg a way.

  18. David T — on 30th July, 2007 at 11:44 am  

    Oh, that’s a pity.

  19. Carl Harpin — on 30th July, 2007 at 11:45 am  

    “This is an article about cultural identity and cultural expression. Showing a picture of a small minority of women who like to negate their own identity is hardly relevant to the topic or the broad population.”
    Nonsense it is your opinion that they negate their identity. How people choose to dress is their own choice, surely.

    Have you ever asked if they feel thye are negating their identity.

    Niqab can be seen as cultural expression. After all people keep telling us it is cultural and not part of their religion.

    Why is a woman wrapping herself in rolls of cloth called a Sari defined as cultural expression? Who decides?

    How did the appearance on the Beeb go? Were you pro Britishness?

  20. Carl Harpin — on 30th July, 2007 at 11:46 am  

    Dave T – what’s a pity?

  21. 5cc — on 30th July, 2007 at 11:49 am  

    Talking of the Express coverage, it’s here in ‘We don’t feel British say Asians’:

    http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/14997/We-don't-feel-British,-say-Asians

    It is a bizarre way to represent the figures, but then this is the Express and not the BBC.

  22. David T — on 30th July, 2007 at 12:12 pm  

    It is a pity that somebody has destroyed a beautiful old Qu’ran in order to make an utterly facile political and artistic point

  23. David T — on 30th July, 2007 at 12:15 pm  

    There’s a guy who is being prosecuted for a ‘hate crime’ at the moment for having flushed a Quran down the toilet in New York.

    I wonder if – and hope that – this “artist” who says he has destroyed a $60K Quran is simply claiming that this is what he has done, in order to highlight the absurdity of prosecuting somebody for an act which expresses disdain for a religious/philosophical work. Frankly, you shouldn’t be prosecuted for destroying your own copy of a religious holy book in public. But it is a great pity if somebody destroys a valuable historical artifact to make a trivial political (or artistic) statement.

  24. Sunny — on 30th July, 2007 at 12:20 pm  

    Why is a woman wrapping herself in rolls of cloth called a Sari defined as cultural expression? Who decides?

    Because sari-wearers don’t justify it through religious injunction.

    Won’t see the BBC cover this. Wonder if Sunny will allow a discussion?

    I’m sorry, were you under the delusion that I’ll follow your editorial agenda? Banish the thought, just in case you were stupid enough to think of it.

    5cc- bizarre, it looks to me like the entire Express website content has been deleted. No? See their front page.

  25. ZinZin — on 30th July, 2007 at 12:24 pm  

    “That said it is instructive that the corrolation of “feeling British” with Asian religious groups religion is as follows:

    Christian/Other (85%) ;
    Sikh (77%)
    Muslim (64%)
    Hindu (46%)

    So, what is it with these Hindus, eh? WHAT IS WRONG WITH OUR COUNTRY!!!!!!!! EH?”

    DT- the shambo effect may have produced a marked decrease in Hindus “feeling british”.

    Reading those results it appears that the islamophobia myth has taken another beating.

  26. Carl Harpin — on 30th July, 2007 at 12:26 pm  

    The bigger question is why is this called Art and not boooking burning?

    Strange the lack of outrage and quiet acceptance.

    His aim to to desecrate Holy Books from the Abrahamic Faiths. So far he has marked a bible with ink, don’t know if it was antique. He burned a Qur’an so I expect a Torah is next.

    It is very sad that valuable historic documents are destroyed in the name of Art and this isn’t condenmed as book burning.

    Anyway I digress from the purpose of this thread. It would be interesting to discuss this.

  27. Carl Harpin — on 30th July, 2007 at 12:31 pm  

    “I’m sorry, were you under the delusion that I’ll follow your editorial agenda? Banish the thought, just in case you were stupid enough to think of it.”
    It was a suggestion. Sheesh.

    “Because sari-wearers don’t justify it through religious injunction.”
    Niqaba and Sari are both forms of expression. A nun’s habit is a form of religious injunction and is widely accepted.

    But the question remains who dictates norms of dress?

    People may view the Sari itself as being a barrier.

  28. 5cc — on 30th July, 2007 at 12:33 pm  

    One thing the figures show is that White Scottish people are just as likely to feel a little or not at all British as Asians generally, and White people in the South East are twice as likely to say they don’t feel British at all.

    It would be interesting to know how many Asians in the poll respond saying they don’t feel British because they feel more English/Scottish/Welsh.

  29. sonia — on 30th July, 2007 at 12:41 pm  

    the law here makes you British too Bikhair! amendment or no amendment.

    perhaps the difference is that in america, non-conformity is not tolerated.

  30. sonia — on 30th July, 2007 at 12:46 pm  

    ( i mean if you’re a British national you’re a British national end of story, same way if you’re an American citizen, you’re an American citizen)

    and of course, everyone is so pathetically grateful to have been let into what they perceive is the ‘land of the free’ – they’re hardly going to complain when they get there. Seems people have not very high expectations.

  31. sonia — on 30th July, 2007 at 12:47 pm  

    or, rather, the question of even thinking of not conforming with the mainstream, doesn’t arise -for most people. and if it does, immediately you’re outside the box.

  32. sonia — on 30th July, 2007 at 12:48 pm  

    5cc yes – good point about your last point in your post.

  33. David T — on 30th July, 2007 at 12:55 pm  

    Anyhow, the BBC has changed its coverage, and removed the picture of the veiled women.

  34. Carl Harpin — on 30th July, 2007 at 12:56 pm  

    In the same vein, PM Brown has called for a Cultural Offensive against Militant Islam:

    Calling for a battle of ideas and not just bullets Brown is urging Bush to launch a Cultural Agenda as well.

    Building links with Foundations, Trusts and Civic Institutions to counter a threat.

    This following the Pope’s Envoys remarks last week that Europe’s Cultural Identity was being attacked by Islamisation of Europe.

    Seems to be a lot of talk about Culture.

    It is also apparent that some people feel that some cultures are superior than others.

  35. Carl Harpin — on 30th July, 2007 at 1:01 pm  

    “Anyhow, the BBC has changed its coverage, and removed the picture of the veiled women.”
    Maybe Sunny had a word with them this morning ;-)

  36. Carl Harpin — on 30th July, 2007 at 1:03 pm  

    An excellent article in The Independant:

    http://comment.independent.co.uk/columnists_a_l/yasmin_alibhai_brown/article2816660.ece

    Not the sort of thing many people consider when bashing Muslims for all sorts of things including Niqab, which apparently we are told doesn’t represent Asian Culture.

    The article is a sad review but many will support the methods used and then wonder why there are differences in society.

  37. sid — on 30th July, 2007 at 1:05 pm  

    Yeah the veiled woman is out but focusing on the “coconut” word is in. Quality BBC.

  38. soru — on 30th July, 2007 at 1:23 pm  

    ‘People may have answered “yes” or “no” for heterogenous reasons’

    Yes, it could be any of:

    No, I am Welsh

    No, I am a citizen of the world, nationalism is just diluted fascism

    No, I only got here 2 years ago, still have a house and bank account in my home country, and plan to return when my current contract ends

    No, I don’t want to be associated with those bastards who massacred my ancestors at

    No, I don’t want to be associated with those drunken warmongering slags

    Only the last is any kind of problem, and I don’t think you learn much about the number of people in that category by mixing it together with all the others.

    The real number to watch is recruitment rates for the British army: people who fit the profile for joining that, especially as officers, but choose not to, are the ones who may decide to join one of the competing organisations.

  39. Sunny — on 30th July, 2007 at 1:30 pm  

    But the question remains who dictates norms of dress?

    People may view the Sari itself as being a barrier.

    Who said anything about a barrier? One is a cultural form of expression, the other religious. If you can’t understand that then there’s no real point trying to even humour you ‘Carl Harpin’.

  40. Carl Harpin — on 30th July, 2007 at 2:00 pm  

    In your opinion it is a cultural form of expression some peole view it as a national dress and others as religious. Hence many people wear a Sari on religous occassions such as visits to the Temple.

    Many Hindu women wear western clothes most of the time, and wear Sari’s to Temple.

    The Niqab is a religous form of dress but it is still a form of dress like other religous forms of dress.

    Some Hindu’s wear other forms of religous dress to stay away from modern dress so who decides what is representative of Asian Culture.

    If you can’t understand that there is no point in trying to humour you.

    Why do you have to be so difficult ‘Sunny’?

  41. BevanKieran — on 30th July, 2007 at 2:06 pm  

    As a British Other Asian Other I don’t feel these polls tell me anything at all, nice waste of taxpayers money. The only use would be show to people that with regards to matters such as identity with country etc that there is not a dividing line between Hindus/Sikhs/Muslims, This was already shown in a previous poll comissioned recently by Eastern Eye. (Again, nice waste of taxpayers money, perhaps the BBC would like to commision some research into the equations of motion or the possibility that Sun isn’t orbiting around the Earth.)

    I agree with Soru about the greater importance of Army recruitment (where Fijians and Nepalese are the predominant minorities rather than British Born Asians. Also there is a dividing line with regards to inter-ethnic marriage if you were to separate South Asian (Hindu, Sikh and Muslim) and East Asian communities (most prominently British Born Chinese).

    Have I been in the university bubble for too long or is the supposed use of the term “coconut” being blown out of proportion.

  42. Sunny — on 30th July, 2007 at 2:13 pm  

    Some Hindu’s wear other forms of religous dress to stay away from modern dress so who decides what is representative of Asian Culture.

    Ok this will be the last I’ll post on this silly side topic. My point was that the niqab was not even vaguely pan-Asian cultural form of dress. It is a religious garment worn by a very small minority of hardcore religious nutjobs.

    A sari would be more representative because its worn by a much bigger percentage of women, and its not religious but cultural garment (wearing to religious occasions doesn’t make it a religious dress). It’s a bit like putting on Sheikh Omar Bakri when writing an article about how Muslims feel.

    And yes, I refer to them as nutjobs as I do with any who take their religious interpretation so seriously as to negate their own visual identity. If you have a problem with my intepretation don’t bother replying as I’m not care what you think of my view.

  43. David T — on 30th July, 2007 at 2:14 pm  

    Didn’t Faisal “Pieman” Bodi called Sunny a “coconut”. Not a wise move, as it turned out…

    Many Hindu women wear western clothes most of the time, and wear Sari’s to Temple.

    Many Christian women wear jeans most of the time but odd floral print dresses with hats to Church.

  44. Carl Harpin — on 30th July, 2007 at 2:20 pm  

    “If you have a problem with my intepretation don’t bother replying as I’m not care what you think of my view.”
    Bit touchy this boy. If you don’t agree with him then he jumps down your throat.

    “Many Christian women wear jeans most of the time but odd floral print dresses with hats to Church.”
    Yes the Sunday Best. Hence it is difficult to even say what British Dress is same for Asian. They may have picked another form of dress but it does remain a fact that people wear the niqab in Asia and hence it can be seen as representative of that dress.

    You can identify the Pope by his dress and his Cardinals by their dress and this is seen as a European expression. Similarly the Orthodox Churches adopt different dress.

  45. sofia — on 30th July, 2007 at 2:23 pm  

    ok so I know he said don’t bother replying if we don’t agree with his opinion, but then aren’t these discussion boards supposed to be about ppl expressing their opinion?
    I personally am not too comfortable with people covering their faces for whatever reason, unless you’re in the middle of a desert sand storm..but I do think that calling them “nutjobs” is not really constructive.

  46. Carl Harpin — on 30th July, 2007 at 2:33 pm  

    “ok so I know he said don’t bother replying if we don’t agree with his opinion, but then aren’t these discussion boards supposed to be about ppl expressing their opinion?”
    It doesn’t look like it. I wonder if he mentions his approach to discussing Politics on the BBC and CiF when he is there! It looks like people who disagree find it quite difficult to be heard.

    “I personally am not too comfortable with people covering their faces for whatever reason, unless you’re in the middle of a desert sand storm..but I do think that calling them “nutjobs” is not really constructive.”
    In the name of religion people do all sorts of things. Some Christian men stay celibate, Some Jewish women shave their heads and wear a wig, Some Hindu men remove themselves from society, Sikhs don’t shave their hair.

    So people do what they feel is right. To define people as nutjobs is far from constructive but this is how politics treats people and why columnists can write about groups of people.

  47. Rumbold — on 30th July, 2007 at 2:38 pm  

    ” It’s a bit like putting on Sheikh Omar Bakri when writing an article about how Muslims feel.”

    How does one put on Sheik Omar Bakri? Like a scarf?

    I agree with David T about the destruction of the Qur’an. How sad to destroy it just to make a point.

  48. sofia — on 30th July, 2007 at 2:42 pm  

    Yes I understand that people do what they think is right, however, I know lots of people that wear a niqab and I personally find it really disconcerting. You will probably think this a generalisation but I do think that often women who choose this way of life are then saying this is the right way of dressing. As a muslim I have never come across normative texts saying that niqab is compulsory. What I am worried about is a type of “hijacking” of a religion and its followers. Going back to the point about it being representative of Asians, women in niqab would probably laugh in our faces for calling them Asian. They’d probably say nations don’t exist, blah blah and say they were Muslim first and foremost…so being representative of any ethnic group would be laughable.

  49. sonia — on 30th July, 2007 at 2:55 pm  

    i hear you sofia..

  50. Kismet Hardy — on 30th July, 2007 at 2:57 pm  

    I want to start a website but I can’t be arsed due to lack of talent, but if anyone starts it up, I’ll join it

    http://www.coconutshy.com

    About British Asians that have endured and grown from being termed coconut by ‘proper’ Asians who hate jews and beat wives and couldn’t spell tagore to save their cars, you know?

    So yeah. If you build it, I’ll come

  51. David T — on 30th July, 2007 at 2:57 pm  

    Sikhs don’t shave their hair

    Some do.

    Anyhow…

    … can anybody guess what popular childrens’ game this picture symbolises?

  52. BevanKieran — on 30th July, 2007 at 3:01 pm  

    Didn’t Faisal “Pieman” Bodi called Sunny a “coconut”. Not a wise move, as it turned out…

    I was thinking of a suitably offensive response to this term (OK…Pieman is good in the case of Bogey) and a “Kipling” came to mind: an individual who displays and/or cultivates a narrow and culturally prejudiced ethnocentrism. (Based on the fact you can get liberal ethnocentrism …PP being a good example).

    It is a pity that somebody has destroyed a beautiful old Qu’ran in order to make an utterly facile political and artistic point.

    One that should be prosecuted. I think the ideas or statements inside the Quran could be attacked but I think there are issues with preserving world heritage. For instance the Grand Mufti in Egypt has commented recently on the heretical nature of ancient Egyptian sculptures. Common sense and the tourist industry should be enough protection but I think extra protection could be provided by countries that would guarantee world heritage beyond their own national borders. The collections around Bloomsbury’s museums (particularly the Petrie for Egyptian collection) were founded partly on this principle (and am assuming quite a bit of plain theft as well).

    Reminds me to start a Facebook ‘campaign’: Plonk a Pyramid in Putney.

  53. BevanKieran — on 30th July, 2007 at 3:09 pm  

    Anyhow…

    … can anybody guess what popular childrens’ game this picture symbolises?

    Musical Chairs?

  54. David T — on 30th July, 2007 at 3:10 pm  

    and a “Kipling” came to mind: an individual who displays and/or cultivates a narrow and culturally prejudiced ethnocentrism.

    I LOVE “Kipling”: particular as it implies (as I’m sure you intended) that somebody may also have something of a fondness for very sweet cakes.

    Do me a guest post for HP on “Kiplings”, please!

  55. David T — on 30th July, 2007 at 3:11 pm  

    Musical Chairs?

    No, not musical chairs. Try again.

    Come on – “say what you see”!

  56. Kismet Hardy — on 30th July, 2007 at 3:18 pm  

    Kipling wrote a book about a jungle boy that ultimately went back to a village girl because being wild is not in human’s nature, which is quite Asian. There’s this other book called Tarzan that does sort of the same thing, except he gets a hottie blonde

    This is all I know

  57. Kulvinder — on 30th July, 2007 at 3:20 pm  

    Rather hilariously i’ve just realised more sikhs ‘feel’ british than ‘white people’. Damn you white people why don’t you go back to where you came from.

  58. David T — on 30th July, 2007 at 3:23 pm  

    Poland?

  59. soru — on 30th July, 2007 at 3:24 pm  

    Manzoor’s CiF article

    In response to the last bit, is there some kind of food product that is black on the outside but brown on the inside?

  60. David T — on 30th July, 2007 at 3:27 pm  

    Dark chocy Mars bars – the special edition.

  61. Kulvinder — on 30th July, 2007 at 3:31 pm  

    Poland?

    Or the North pole its one of the two.

  62. Kulvinder — on 30th July, 2007 at 3:42 pm  

    nb

    The breakdown of the figures shows the pattern to be quite complex; 62% from an indian background ‘feel british’ but only 46% of hindus do. I’m not really sure why its meaningful that 9% more ‘white people’ feel british than muslims – or that 4% more sikhs feel it than white people.

    If the BBC is advocating some kind of threshold on a desirable % its headline would make more sense. As it is just over a quarter of all white people ‘don’t feel british’; it would be as meaningless to make a statement/headline ‘many white people do not feel british’

  63. Don — on 30th July, 2007 at 3:42 pm  

    ‘ more sikhs ‘feel’ british than ‘white people’’

    I’d identify as British, but I know a lot who would call themselves English, Scots, Welsh or Irish first.

  64. BevanKieran — on 30th July, 2007 at 3:51 pm  

    “Banana” is used as the equivalent “coconut” for BBC’s which I think would be quite a compliment for guys. This then leads then back to a better use of “coconut” as in hairy Indian guy which then leads to the question:

    What’s white and hairy? (excluding Polar Bears). I would say Parsnip but I fear we are entering a never-ending cycle of phallic/food itemy insults. Better stick to the sweets.

    David

    No idea!! I’ll try Facebook!

  65. David T — on 30th July, 2007 at 3:54 pm  

    I’m very disappointed.

    It is an obvious visual pun.

  66. Don — on 30th July, 2007 at 3:57 pm  

    Haydn Sikh? Shame on you.

  67. Sunny — on 30th July, 2007 at 4:01 pm  

    ok so I know he said don’t bother replying if we don’t agree with his opinion, but then aren’t these discussion boards supposed to be about ppl expressing their opinion?

    Express your opinion by all means sofia. Just don’t expect me to reply everytime. I didn’t want to derail the thread, or spend my time wasting on Carl Harpin’s own agenda… who keeps coming here accusing me of being Melanie Phillips lackey or not writing about Israel/Palestine enough. I don’t have time to waste on trolls.

  68. sid — on 30th July, 2007 at 4:05 pm  

    17% of white people in the North don’t feel British? These polls were probably conducted areas with high densities of Ozzie backpackers and Polish builders.

  69. David T — on 30th July, 2007 at 4:07 pm  

    Don

    Haydn Sikh? Shame on you.

    We have a winner!

    (sorry about that)

  70. sid — on 30th July, 2007 at 4:09 pm  

    this radio4 programme by a well known coconut tarvelling amongst other cocunuts in their vernacular should be interesting.

  71. sid — on 30th July, 2007 at 4:13 pm  

    I thought that was Harjit Singh(s) Debussey.
    ok, not a popular children’s game…

  72. Carl Harpin — on 30th July, 2007 at 4:21 pm  

    “spend my time wasting on Carl Harpin’s own agenda… who keeps coming here accusing me of being Melanie Phillips lackey or not writing about Israel/Palestine enough. I don’t have time to waste on trolls.”

    Did I mention that here. No.

    It is just another example of you being difficult with people.

    That was said once and in terms of another discussion. With respect you cannot let things go. Your ego is getting the better of you.

    No one has mentioned Israel/Palestine or Melanie Phillips but to excuse your rudeness to people you bring up things from way back. So where in this thread was that discussed or an agenda set? Blimey, either show the evidence from this thread or stop bringing up previous discussions to excuse your behaviour on this discussion.

  73. Sunny — on 30th July, 2007 at 4:31 pm  

    So where in this thread was that discussed or an agenda set?

    In case reading is a problem for you ‘Carl Harpin’, you’ll see that I said the few times you come on here to comment, you always accuse me or someone else of having an agenda against Muslims by bringing up Mad Mel or I/P etc. So it explicitly refers to the past. You can’t write stupid stuff here and expect to be treated with courtesy.

  74. Katy Newton — on 30th July, 2007 at 4:36 pm  

    HA!

    I was absolutely nowhere near getting that pun. I hate everyone.

  75. Katy Newton — on 30th July, 2007 at 4:36 pm  

    Carl Harpin and Avi Cohen are TOTALLY the same person :-D

  76. Carl Harpin — on 30th July, 2007 at 4:40 pm  

    “You can’t write stupid stuff here and expect to be treated with courtesy.”
    Read the web, other people say the same about the slant of the site.

    I didn’t say anything in this thread so to bring it up again in this thread was simply to excuse your own behaviour. It appears to be a problem for you to let things go. You wildly accuse people of being trolls when it is you who won’t let things settle.

    I didn’t say anything disrespectful to you in this thread and you have been continually rude and continue to be.

    You’ve asked for polite meaningful comments which I have tried to do.

  77. Carl Harpin — on 30th July, 2007 at 4:41 pm  

    I would say you and Rainy are the same person. You are always near by to comment when the Sun don’t shine quite so bright.

  78. Katy Newton — on 30th July, 2007 at 4:42 pm  

    Sunny ALWAYS shines bright.

    He is very shiny.

  79. Katy Newton — on 30th July, 2007 at 4:44 pm  

    I like you too, Carlavi Cohenpin. I am sure you are very shiny too.

  80. Carl Harpin — on 30th July, 2007 at 4:46 pm  

    Katy – I thought you said personal insults are not allowed but you and Rainy seem to have a lot of leeway? Double standards?

    I like you too Katy Sunny Rainy Newton nee Hundall :-)

  81. Sunny — on 30th July, 2007 at 4:49 pm  

    Read the web, other people say the same about the slant of the site.

    I’m sorry you’re under the delusion I care about what other nutjobs with blogs say about me. Banish the thought.

    It appears to be a problem for you to let things go.

    Yes, I cry at night thinking about the hurtful things you say about me Mr Harpin, the upstanding member of the community that you are *sob*

    Anyway, moving on to back on topic…

  82. Carl Harpin — on 30th July, 2007 at 4:58 pm  

    “I’m sorry you’re under the delusion I care about what other nutjobs with blogs say about me. Banish the thought.”
    What an ego.

    “Yes, I cry at night thinking about the hurtful things you say about me Mr Harpin, the upstanding member of the community that you are *sob*”
    You have your fair share of responses Mr. Hundall and Ms. Newton does as well.

    Back to the topic indeed.

  83. Don — on 30th July, 2007 at 5:11 pm  

    Harpin/Cohen,

    You showed up here full of insults, whinges and complaints, make a couple of borderline relevant comments to ‘prove’ your non-troll status, and then bore the hell out of everybody by whittering on about how hard done by you are.

    Stop cluttering the place up with your fragile sensibilities.

  84. Jai — on 30th July, 2007 at 6:26 pm  

    I expect a lot of Asians are perfectly fine with feeling British until some white person deliberately does something to indicate that they think the Asian concerned is “foreign”/”different”/”not one of us” etc, at which point they’ll feel more than a little self-conscious, irritated, and “unaccepted”.

    Integration’s a two-way street, folks. Not everyone in this country’s as decent as Don and Katy, for example, although what kind of family environment an Asian person grew up in and the kind of social circles they move within also play a huge part in how British (or not) they regard themselves as being.

    However, those statistics do indeed overturn some stereotypes. If you believed the hype during the last few years, you’d assume that members of the Pakistani Muslim community would feel the least British and the most alienated from the UK.

  85. Jai — on 30th July, 2007 at 6:30 pm  

    I expect a lot of Asians are perfectly fine with feeling British until some white person deliberately does something to indicate that they think the Asian concerned is “foreign”/”different”/”not one of us” etc, at which point they’ll feel more than a little self-conscious, irritated, and “unaccepted”.

    Clarification: If, on an individual and a wider level, members of the majority white community regard Asians as being “fully British” and as “one of us” — and treat them as such — that will play a part in how British the Asian person will feel.

  86. soru — on 30th July, 2007 at 6:39 pm  

    Would a brown person who hung round with lots of white people and picked up their habits and slang, but secretly was a sleeper agent for the Chinese government be a free range egg: brown on the outside, then a white layer, and a yellow core?

    Who could you insult by calling them a neapolitan?

  87. Don — on 30th July, 2007 at 6:46 pm  

    Vikrant,

    Time for a wikki article on confectionary-based terms of intra-communal abuse?

  88. Katy Newton — on 30th July, 2007 at 9:16 pm  

    You know what we never do? Thread hugs.

  89. Katy Newton — on 30th July, 2007 at 9:48 pm  

    Not everyone in this country’s as decent as Don and Katy, for example

    I don’t know if I am a good example, because although I consider my family to be pretty well integrated we are still Jews, with many practices and beliefs that are rooted in East European and/or Middle Eastern culture, and therefore “other” as far as most English people are concerned.

  90. Katy Newton — on 30th July, 2007 at 9:49 pm  

    But be that as it may, I certainly agree with you that more people need to be like me. Um, and Don, obv.

  91. A Councillor writes — on 30th July, 2007 at 9:50 pm  

    A neapolitan would have to be a black gay man who likes to act white, surely.

    I think all this is just polling silliness. For instance as a person of half-Welsh, half-American parentage, I have always defined myself as British rather than English. But culturally I’m very, very English.

    Is it bad and wrong for me to say that I do like people to have an identity (i.e. Irish, Jewish, Pakistani, Brummie, Londoner …) but I don’t like politics which are solely based around that identity.

  92. Rumbold — on 30th July, 2007 at 10:23 pm  

    Jai:

    ” Not everyone in this country’s as decent as Don and Katy, for example.”

    Indeed. One may even run into the sort of nutjobs who point out that the use of an apostrophe in ‘country’ was improper. Madmen.

  93. Katy Newton — on 30th July, 2007 at 10:35 pm  

    Rumbold,

    I beg to differ. Nothing wrong with that apostrophe. “Country’s” in Jai’s post was just a contraction of “country is”. Perfectly acceptable. Hurrah for Jai!

  94. Rumbold — on 30th July, 2007 at 10:44 pm  

    It does not work in that context Katy. Think about it.

  95. Rumbold — on 30th July, 2007 at 10:55 pm  

    You could only use ‘country’s’ in a possessive sense,

    E.g. that country’s flag is…

  96. Katy Newton — on 30th July, 2007 at 11:11 pm  

    Um… no, you are wrong, Rumbold. Sorry.

    “Not everyone in this country is as decent as Don and Katy”

    contracted to

    “Not everyone in this country’s as decent as Don and Katy”

    is grammatically unobjectionable. The apostrophe replaces the “i” in “is”.

  97. Katy Newton — on 30th July, 2007 at 11:13 pm  

    Unless you are going to say that a sentence like “The cooker’s broken” (contraction of “the cooker is broken”) is also grammatically incorrect?

  98. Katy Newton — on 30th July, 2007 at 11:13 pm  

    No! HA! I am right as always! Hurrah for me. I thank you.

    :-D

  99. Hyder Abbasi — on 30th July, 2007 at 11:41 pm  

    “And yes, I refer to them as nutjobs as I do with any who take their religious interpretation so seriously as to negate their own visual identity. If you have a problem with my intepretation don’t bother replying as I’m not care what you think of my view.”

    Sunny, this is incredibly shocking and I must say quite petulant too. I certainly didn’t expect this from you. I’ve read many of your articles on CiF and have agreed with most of your views. I think you’re a very articulate and intelligent individual and it wouldn’t surprise me if many British Asians viewed you as a role model.

    But I think your reference to Muslim women that wear the niqab as ‘nutjobs’ is highly insulting and very parochial. You’re really in no position to judge if the niqab is an aberration of Islamic Law. You’d have to consult a qualified Muslim scholar.

    I’m sure there are veiled women that lead successful careers here in Britain and abroad.

    “A sari would be more representative because its worn by a much bigger percentage of women, and its not religious but cultural garment (wearing to religious occasions doesn’t make it a religious dress). It’s a bit like putting on Sheikh Omar Bakri when writing an article about how Muslims feel.”

    But how can you prove that more Asian women wear a sari? If this is just from assumptions that I would say that British Asian women wear the sari a lot less these days. Especially the younger generation who prefer to wear jeans, skirts, etc.

    I spent three years in Leicester and can’t ever recall a young Asian woman wearing a sari. I saw plenty of hijabs though.

    Actually, the niqab is very popular in India and Pakistan and has been so for a very long time.

    Muslim (and even non-Muslim) women have been wearing the veil for centuries, to the present day. So to argue that it is only a ‘minority of hardcore religious nutjobs’ is simply untrue and fallacious.

    Besides, culture is constantly evolving and thus I believe the hijab (not the niqab) IS representative of what many, many Asian women wear in Britain today.

  100. Sunny — on 31st July, 2007 at 1:14 am  

    You’re really in no position to judge if the niqab is an aberration of Islamic Law.

    I didn’t judge it an abberation. I also support their right to wear it. I just fundamentally, and in every way, disagree with any justification for it. I’ve had all the discussion, believe me. I’m perfectly entitled to call people who I think take religion too far in such a dogmatic way as ‘nutjobs’. Like I said, I’ve had the theological discussions and I completely disagree with them.
    But then I also think Pat Robertson’s evangelical crew and the Christian Zionist crew are religious nutjobs. I’m an equal opportunity nutjob-insult-thrower.

    But how can you prove that more Asian women wear a sari?

    My point was about cultural v religious garments. If you want, replace sari with shalwar kameez.

  101. Rumbold — on 31st July, 2007 at 9:44 am  

    Katy:

    “No! HA! I am right as always! Hurrah for me. I thank you.”

    People should write ‘country is’, and ‘cooker is’. It looks better, but I suppose that you are technically correct. This time…

    How is your mother?

  102. soru — on 31st July, 2007 at 9:56 am  

    ‘half-Welsh, half-American parentage, I have always defined myself as British’

    I guess that makes you a vanilla and egg sandwich.

  103. Jai — on 31st July, 2007 at 10:22 am  

    Katy, thank you very much for your kind defence of my honour in my absence. I’m feeling more British already ;)

  104. Rumbold — on 31st July, 2007 at 10:38 am  

    *Hangs head in shame*

  105. Katy Newton — on 31st July, 2007 at 11:16 am  

    *squeezes Rumbold’s shoulder sympathetically*

    Happens to the best of us.

    But there is nothing more British than an argument over grammar! THREAD HUG, Jai and Rumbold!

  106. Katy Newton — on 31st July, 2007 at 11:17 am  

    My mother is doing very well indeed, thank you Mr R. I shall do an updatey sort of thread this evening. (Pickled Politics: Current affairs and Chairwoman updates. Oh yes.)

  107. Bleh — on 31st July, 2007 at 11:23 am  

    Actually, the niqab is very popular in India and Pakistan and has been so for a very long time.

    No, no and thrice no, Hyder (#100).

    The Niqab is completely a Saudi/Wahabbist tool. One can track the flow of Saudi oil money quite closely by examining the uptake of the niqab in a particular geographic locale.

    Traditionally in India/Pakistan veiling took two main forms: either casual sari-type scarves adjusted to loosely cover the lower part of the face or else the chadri/burqa style covering the whole body.

    And besides, Sunny or anyone else can critise the Niqab and/or Islamic Law just as he/she can criticise Ronald McDonald. Its called Free Speech, innit?

  108. Rumbold — on 31st July, 2007 at 11:42 am  

    Glad to hear about your mother Miss N.

    I shall never make another grammar intervention again, unless it is to tick off a troll. Now I have nothing to do.

  109. Jai — on 31st July, 2007 at 12:12 pm  

    But there is nothing more British than an argument over grammar!

    Oh yes there is. It’s when you’re waiting on a packed platform at Liverpool Street station as the tube arrives, the guy right in front of you hesitates to get on the Central Line, hovers, then suddenly moves backwards and steps on your foot, and YOU mumble “Sorry”.

  110. Jai — on 31st July, 2007 at 12:18 pm  

    Or, or (wait for it), when the woman in front of you takes a lifetime to actually get onto a ridiculously packed train, squeezes into one of the only remaining spaces left, and you see that there’s just enough room to accomodate you, but she took so damn long to decide whether she’s getting on the tube that the damn doors shut just after she jumps on, AND YOU DON’T SCREAM AT HER THROUGH THE WINDOW WHILE SHAKING YOUR FIST.

    Or when your pizza arrives cold at Pizza Hut and you don’t complain about it to the waiter or send it back; you just frown and eat it anyway. And give the waiter a tip at the end like the sucker you are.

    Or……you get the idea.

    All very un-American.

  111. Rumbold — on 31st July, 2007 at 12:45 pm  

    Or when you have just been hit by a bus and someone asks how you are, and you reply “fine thank you.”

  112. Kismet Hardy — on 31st July, 2007 at 1:53 pm  

    Uninterestingly perhaps, in Asian speak, ‘bus’ is the word for ‘that’s enough’. So if you say I’ve had enough and then get hit by a bus, you can’t really complain

  113. sonia — on 31st July, 2007 at 2:32 pm  

    i agree with Bleh in 108. ironically the niqab is as much a “foreign” cultural influence (if that’s how you want to think of things) as the ‘corrupt western’ cultural influences. to south asians i mean.

  114. A Councillor writes — on 31st July, 2007 at 2:37 pm  

    Jai @ 111 – and don’t forget to grizzle and whinge about the bad experience at Pizza Hut for weeks afterwards. That’s truly British.

    soru @ 103 – Vanilla and egg sandwich, I like that.

  115. Random Guy — on 1st August, 2007 at 9:52 am  

    I completely disagree with the “Wahabbi/Niqab” theory bleh posted in 108. But then again, I am well-travelled enough to know that he has no idea what he is talking about.

  116. Bleh — on 1st August, 2007 at 10:17 am  

    Random Guy, Veiling is an, ahem, “speciality subject” of mine. I’m very very well aquainted with the history and practises of the subject, and I assure you, I am correct. I’m sure there are various academic references out there on the way, for example, veiling practises change when sizeable elements of the male population go to the Arabian Peninisula for work purposes and then come back to their native lands infused with Salafist memes.

  117. The Dude — on 1st August, 2007 at 11:00 am  

    Red, White and Blue Jelly Beans liberally sprinkled on a sticky wicket, is what does it for me. Kevin Pietersen being called British is another.

  118. Random Guy — on 1st August, 2007 at 11:58 am  

    While I don’t doubt that you can empirically prove your assertions, calling it a “Wahabbist” Tool (whatever the hell that means) is a step too far. You say you are a specialist – fine, lets work off that assumption. Give me your facts and figures for whichever countries you are working from. Prove that you are not just adding to the whole Saudi-Wahabbi theory that has been floating around for so many years now (and which the rabid media monkeys only got a hold of since the Iraq War).

    I just get highly suspiscious when generalisations like that are bandied about.

  119. Bleh — on 1st August, 2007 at 1:20 pm  

    Well, Random, what else would you call Saudi theology, compared to say, the traditional Shiism of Iran or Sufism, or the Islamic/Anamistic mixture traditionally prelevant in Indonesia?

    If you look at veiling practices at the turn of the century and then now, in various countries, the spread of Saudi-style dress is blindingly obvious – for example, Somalia, Egypt, Jordan, Indonesia and so on. Whereas previously there was a wide variety of dress (and colours), now it is dominated by the same old niqab/khimar/jilbab combo, usually in black.

    Its not so much generalising as pointing out the bleeding obvious (I believe something like 80% of the Imans in the US, for example, are Saudi-funded) the role of Saudi petrodollars in spreading its self-declared “true Islam” across the globe, almost always to the detriment of local varieties of Islam and local cultures – the most obvious sign of which is veiling, the second form being the sudden “I’m more Arab than thou” manifestation in Saudi-exposed converts.

  120. Random Guy — on 1st August, 2007 at 3:07 pm  

    Bleh, are you muslim? It doesn’t sound like it at all. Are you aware of the 4 schools of Sunni Islam? How would I classify Saudi Thelogy???? That is a genuinely mystifying question. Anyway, I see you conviniently omitted the majority of muslims in your Sufi/Shiism/Animism classification, and it just so happens that Sunni is what I would classify Saudi Islam as – in a very broad manner and not taking into account the variations within the 4 schools – if I really had to. Remind me why exactly these classifications have to be made?

    Obviously as the birthplace of the Prophet (pbuh) Saudi Arabia has held a prominent place in Islam. Naturally, there is a huge amount of Islamic scholarship and learnedness that comes from that region. To turn around and link that to petro-dollars is at best an oversimplification and at worst a gigantic twisting of perception as to how the Islamic world actually works. Arabia/the Middle East is the birthplace of Islam. Is it not obvious that the traditions there will be adhered to more strictly??? What the hell does oil and the imaginary wahabbism that you refer to have to do with that???

    But then again, obtuse theories can come from (a) ignoring historical context (b) commenting from outsided an entire culture/community/religion (c) trying to make a bite-sized representation of something that has been evolving for the last 1400 years.

    One question though, you say “Whereas previously there was a wide variety of dress (and colours), now it is dominated by the same old niqab/khimar/jilbab combo, usually in black”

    What are your timeframes in reference to that comment? What does ‘previously’ mean?

  121. sahil — on 1st August, 2007 at 3:38 pm  

    Random Guy and interesting link concerning your question:

    http://www.malaysia-today.net/Blog-e/2005/01/sufi-muslim-takes-on-wahhabism.htm

  122. Bleh — on 1st August, 2007 at 3:45 pm  

    Random, to answer your question, if you look at the differences between say 1900, or even 1960 and now in women’s dress in various countries, you’ll notice an obvious difference.

  123. Random Guy — on 1st August, 2007 at 4:08 pm  

    Bleh, where do you obtain your evidence/figures from? I am curious as to how you are so well-informed about muslim conventions in the 1900s…until you convince me that you have some genuine evidence I will not agree with you. I can think of many countries which directly contradict your 1960/now hypothesis (Egypt for example). I think that we are talking at cross purposes here.

    Sahil, that link was interesting.

  124. Bleh — on 1st August, 2007 at 9:23 pm  

    Random Guy, here is one source in particular: http://web.mit.edu/cis/www/mitejmes/issues/200507/MITEJMES_Vol_5_Spring.pdf

    I’m also a member of several mailing lists dedicated to veiling matters.

  125. Random Guy — on 2nd August, 2007 at 9:00 am  

    Can you reference an article? Unfortunately, it still does not answer the question of credibility (of sources, evidence, counter-arguments etc.) regarding any of the allegations you are making…

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