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Damned, whatever you do

Posted By Rumbold On 10th September, 2007 @ 11:55 pm In Current affairs | 139 Comments

Those who are opposed in some measure to immigration have often attacked immigrants from a number of different angles.

Those who seek a new life in a country will be denounced as lazy benefit-claiming thieves one day, happily living off the taxpayers’ largesse while breeding like rabbits. The next day they will be branded as job-stealers, undercutting local workers by working harder for less money. Moreover, Johnny Foreigner is charged with warping ‘local’ culture, whatever that is.

These attitudes can be found in Britain but also in plenty of other countries. Two recent pieces highlight this situation very well.

The first is a report [1] in the Economist, highlighting the inequalities faced by many of the Chinese and Indian immigrants and their descendants:

Malaysia’s 50th birthday comes at a time of rising resentment by ethnic Chinese and Indians, together over one-third of the population, at the continuing, systematic discrimination they suffer in favour of the majority bumiputra, or sons of the soil, as Malays and other indigenous groups are called.

Malays get privileged access to public-sector jobs, university places, stockmarket flotations and, above all, government contracts.

Essentially, the Indian and Chinese immigrants were allowed to stay in the country and earn money in return for accepting that they, and their Malaysian-born children, could be treated as second-class citizens. This seems to me to be a racist policy.

It is one thing not to extend full citizenship rights to workers who have just come over to earn some money for a year or two, but quite another to penalise their children, born and brought up in Malaysia. Presumably, if the Indian and Chinese immigrants sat around doing nothing living off the state the Malaysians would be complaining about that as well.

The second story also concerns Indian immigrants, namely those who went (or returned) to Uganda after the fall of Idi Amin, who had expelled a number of them [2] in the 1970s:

In 1972, Idi Amin expelled the country’s wealthy Asian population and expropriated their assets. But in the1980s the exiled were offered compensation and many have returned to re-establish business empires that again dominate Uganda’s economy. Many thousand newcomers have joined them. Indians make up less than 1% of Uganda’s population. But they control some 40% of the economy.

There is resentment that the government appears to be favouring an Asian business. It has pitted the communities against each other. Ugandans feel that Asian business is given special treatment and has the ear of the government in a way they do not. Many Indians are not eligible to vote, but often donate money to support the political campaigns of Ugandan friends.

This, from [3] the BBC. Again, Indians do not have citizenship in this country. Here we have two examples of immigrants being attacked for doing well, and history is littered with other such examples.

In some senses then, it seems that immigrants are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. How can immigrants properly integrate themselves in societies when such attitudes prevail? Should governments in Malaysia and Uganda improve their treatment of immigrants, or will this inflame the so-called ‘native’ populations?

Are there any lessons for us in the UK?


139 Comments To "Damned, whatever you do"

#1 Comment By ChrisC On 11th September, 2007 @ 9:00 am

Hopefully the UK won’t make such obvious mistakes.

There’s a big difference between entrepreneurs and the unskilled.
Only racist idiots would object to the former - though obviously no special treatment should be offered.
(e.g. non-domicile tax status!!!)

#2 Comment By douglas clark On 11th September, 2007 @ 4:40 pm

Rumbold,

I’m not sure if anything much less than a full blown thesis would explain immigration trends.

If I remember correctly in the ’50s just as folk were departing the UK for Canada and Australia on assisted passages ‘to make a new life’, there were boats leaving the Carribean for the UK with immigrants with the same ambition.

Nowadays we see a net inflow into the UK, but the outflow is running at very high levels too. There are over a 1000 folk a day leaving the UK. As a half assed guess a lot of them will be retirees heading for the sun and sangria. Where, in due course, they will no doubt become a drain on the Spanish Health Services.

Hell mend me, but I have a more American attitude to immigration than most. If you want to live here, can contribute, pay your taxes and at least want to integrate a little bit, why not?

I don’t see many similarities with Uganda or Malaysia and I hope I never do.

#3 Comment By Rumbold On 11th September, 2007 @ 7:15 pm

ChrisC:

I agree with you about the problems of non-domicile tax status. It is not clear how having the super-rich resident actually benefits this country. If they want to invest in Britain, they can do so from abroad, and all they really contribute to the London economy is to push up house prices, the price of champagne and the price of footballers. Companies should be encouraged to set up in Britain with lower taxes, not individuals who pay little or no tax.

Douglas Clark:

“I don’t see many similarities with Uganda or Malaysia and I hope I never do.”

I agree with you, but I asked the question in case I had missed a connection somewhere. It is interesting how Brits emigrating are often portrayed as some plucky explorers bravely stepping into the unknown (i.e. Spain), but those who manange to cross twenty six war torn countries to get to this country are clearly shameless for not stopping in France (a perfectly understandable decision I think).

#4 Comment By douglas clark On 11th September, 2007 @ 8:03 pm

Rumbold,

Heh!

I don’t watch TV no more - although I’ll make an exception for the France -v- Scotland game - but during a terrible slide into sloth I’d watch daytime TV. It was all about Brits doing up houses in the Dordogne, or moving from Salford to Spain or emmigrating to Florida. It was seen as a good thing. Something to aspire to. We’ve been an emigrant nation for a hell of a long time.

Your comment about crossing twenty six war torn countries to get here really should only be used in the context of the other béte noir of the yellow press, the dreaded asylum seeker. A Blairite Catch 22 if ever there was one.

Me? If I was an asylum seeker and I got to France, I’d have stopped there. Maybe we should tell everyone that the streets of London are not paved with gold and the climate is shite. That’ll learn them.

#5 Comment By Rumbold On 11th September, 2007 @ 11:37 pm

Douglas Clark:

“Me? If I was an asylum seeker and I got to France, I’d have stopped there.”

But that is because you are from Scotland so do not know any better (just kidding).

“We’ve been an emigrant nation for a hell of a long time.”

Yes, but it is only post-WW2 that Brits have gone abroad just to live as normal citizens. Previously we left these isles because of religious, military, imperial or commercial reasons. The idea of buying a property abroad and living there when one retires is a new one, in historical terms.

#6 Comment By douglas clark On 12th September, 2007 @ 12:08 am

Rumbold,

Err, yes. I do know better, but I choose not to. The asylum seekers could have continued up through England and hit Caledonia, where they would be loved if they could kick a ball. It would be our only entry criteria.

Off on a tangent, sort of. It is said that after Scotland played a friendly against Brazil, in 1966 I think, that Jim Baxter took a shine to the young Pele, and took him out for some swallys (drinks) around the City of Glasgow. They ended up in Drumchapel at a party, allegedly, where Pele was quite taken by some young Scottish lassie. In folklore he bedded her.

Now, if she’d just fallen pregnant, history might have been different. So it they say. Personally, I’d assume the wee bastard would have chosen to play for Brazil.

Oh, this is crap.

Anyway, I’m trying to get myself up to hate the French right now as we have a very important game to play against them. Racial abuse is important at a moment like this, n’est ce pas?

Bugger it, it doesn’t even work for me. Although for the 90 minutes I’ll be screaming dogs abuse at them.

So OK, as a once off offer, England is better than France. That will last until they stuff us tomorrow, and then after a few days I’ll start fantasising about the ‘Auld Alliance’ again.

We are nothing but realists up here Rumbold, but our dreams are something else.

#7 Comment By douglas clark On 12th September, 2007 @ 12:16 am

“So it they say?”

Typo alert

“So they say”

#8 Comment By Jagdeep On 12th September, 2007 @ 4:27 pm

There’s a big difference between entrepreneurs and the unskilled

Loads of the Indian entrepeneurs who became hyper-successful businessmen and even millionaires were unskilled immigrants in the 1960’s. They only had their hands and wits to make a living from. Loads of businessmen from immigrant backgrounds through history have the same story from whatever ethnic origins.

#9 Comment By TheFriendlyInfidel On 12th September, 2007 @ 5:09 pm

Malaysia reserves the right to be horrible to non Muslims.

TFI

#10 Comment By Sunny On 12th September, 2007 @ 5:24 pm

Yeah, I’m with Jagdeep on this one. A lot of them just worked like mad with a bit of cash borrowed from family and friends. They didn’t come over as professionals. Especially not the Kenyan/Ugandan Sikhs.

#11 Comment By Rumbold On 12th September, 2007 @ 5:37 pm

Douglas:

“Anyway, I’m trying to get myself up to hate the French right now as we have a very important game to play against them. Racial abuse is important at a moment like this, n’est ce pas?”

A nice story about Pele. I cannot believe that you find it difficult to get worked up about the French- just think about the Napoleonic wars, or how they planned to invade you in the 1550s, or how they slaughtered thousands of your fellow Calvinists. Or that they are French; what did the Auld Alliance ever do for Scotland?

“Loads of the Indian entrepeneurs who became hyper-successful businessmen and even millionaires were unskilled immigrants in the 1960’s.”

Good point Jagdeep. This is why I am always unsure about turning away immigrants because of their perceived lack of skills- nobody knows what they are going to achieve. A labourer who moves from India to Britain might run his own shop, then his children might do medicine at Cambridge. You just never know. People who leave school at sixteen might be classed as unskilled, but then might end up as billionares or prime ministers.

TFI:

“Malaysia reserves the right to be horrible to non Muslims.

Sadly, in a nutshell.

Sunny:

Were there many Sikhs who went to live in Africa? I always think of African Asians who live in Britain (if that makes sense) as overwhelmingly Gujarati. I know you can be both, but I have only ever come across Hindu and Muslim families who had lived in Kenya and Uganda.

#12 Comment By Rumbold On 12th September, 2007 @ 5:40 pm

Jagdeep- you are meant to have your own section in #11; I did not mean to blend you with Douglas.

#13 Comment By Jagdeep On 12th September, 2007 @ 5:40 pm

Loads of Kenyan Sikhs.

#14 Comment By Jagdeep On 12th September, 2007 @ 5:40 pm

I don’t mind blending Rumbold, that’s multicultural innit

#15 Comment By Rumbold On 12th September, 2007 @ 5:42 pm

Jagdeep:

“Loads of Kenyan Sikhs.”

Interesting. Were they Punjabi families, or from everywhere originally?

#16 Comment By Rumbold On 12th September, 2007 @ 5:43 pm

Jagdeep:

“I don’t mind blending Rumbold, that’s multicultural innit.”

Safe.

#17 Comment By Jagdeep On 12th September, 2007 @ 5:53 pm

[4] Sikhs in East Africa

They have a reputation for being hard working, hard partying cool dudes.

#18 Comment By Sunny On 12th September, 2007 @ 5:54 pm

You two crack me up. What is this, a chapter from Londonstani?

Were there many Sikhs who went to live in Africa?

Gurinder Chadha is perhaps the most famous example.

#19 Comment By Rumbold On 12th September, 2007 @ 6:01 pm

Jagdeep:

Fascinating- I shall read through it in detail later. Thanks.

Sunny:

“You two crack me up. What is this, a chapter from Londonstani?”

Heh. I tried to read that once, but it did my head in.

#20 Comment By TheFriendlyInfidel On 13th September, 2007 @ 8:22 am

“You two crack me up. What is this, a chapter from Londonstani?”

Ah Sunny, remind me what you didn’t like about this book. The author? Isn’t that the same issue you had with “The Islamist” and the “The Fallout: How a Guilty Liberal Lost His Innocence.” You don’t like the message so you smear the authors instead.

Lazy thinking, or a bit a thick, I’m not sure which.

TFI

#21 Comment By Jagdeep On 13th September, 2007 @ 3:53 pm

TheFriendlyInfidel

What do you think ‘the message’ of Londonstani is? I would love to read what you think it is.

By the way, I think Sunny said somewhere that the author of Londonstani is a friend of his.

#22 Comment By Jagdeep On 13th September, 2007 @ 3:54 pm

Lazy thinking, or a bit a thick, I’m not sure which

Indeed TFI

#23 Comment By Nav On 13th September, 2007 @ 4:52 pm

It’s interesting that some of the world’s richest (and arguably less trigger-happy) countries are traditionally multi-ethnic.

So the Malays decide to treat those immigrant communities who contribute significantly more than the locals with disdain and blatant disrespect- they’re the ones who are paying the price with growth figures lagging rivals in the region.

#24 Comment By TheFriendlyInfidel On 14th September, 2007 @ 11:50 am

The message is simple for Londonistan, don’t let aggressive political parties setup in your major cities and then turn a blind eye at them planning and raising money for assinations of political leaders irrespective of whether they allies or enemies because it is utterly stupid to keep your enemies closer than your friends.

You can almost feel the spittle form on your face as you read poor Mel go mental at the sheer incomprehendable idiocy that lead to the above behavour by the British Government.

There are other messages in there two, like multiculturism can become a two edged sword and how morality needs a framework that prioritize between rights of the individual and rights of the group. Mad Mel claims that this should be based out of christianity as it is the root of the morality that built the institutions in this country (ironic considering that she is a Jew?). Personally I think that this would be swallowing a horse to eat a spider. Philosophy and statistical anaylsis should be used to create a better world, not adherence to religious belief.

The message of this thread is different, it is don’t expect “policitized Muslims” to stand up for the weak and against injustice if the perperiator is Muslim. It appears that because we are in a liberal democracy that tries to hold up high standards and attempts to allow people to attain wealth, have freedoms etc; where we fail to do so deserves criticism and complaint because of “hypocracy”. If a country states in its constitution that it is Muslim and non-Muslims have less rights; when they succeed to do so there is no hypocracy so it is righteous.

I read this on the times, the comments below are enlighting:

[5] http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article2280503.ece

————-
I applaud the Malay state government for what they are doing. Well done.

The crtics of Islam should realise that if the Malays were implementing a religion then their comments have some validity but Islam is a ‘Deen’, a way of life, as much as secularism is.

If we enforced the morals of Islam in the West we too would benefit from the reduction in teenage pregnancies, alcoholism and the related crimes, one parent families, reoccurrence of paedophilia, rape and murder by convicted paedophiles and murderers.

Freedom in every land is restricted - from where you can park your car to who you can have a sexual relationship with. Let’s all have an open mind and look at the benefits Islam brings. By its action what it does not allow is a great blessing.

It’s a shame that the God of Christianity and Hinduism has not provided means of implementing their faith other than singing songs and chanting - which questions their validity as being a real faith.

karim chowdhury, London,
————-
Really…why does it bother the non-Muslim buggers how Muslims wish to live and govern their countries? If they don’t like the Islamic laws, then they’re free to leave and live wherever they can find laws of their choice. The unnecessary ruckus over anything Islamic is the real cause of conflicts all over the world. It is time that non-Muslims should mind their own business if they really believe their claim of “live and let live”.

Abu Hussam, Karachi, Pakistan
——————————
It is none of your business Mr Taipei. Malaysia is a Muslim state and has the right to apply the Islamic Sharia. There is no reason for you to show this kind of hatred for Muslims. Have the Muslim leaders imposed their Islamic law on your country? You believe in same-sex marriage and many other things that are considered sinful in Islam, though we don’t organise crusades to conquer your countries, as what you do against the Arab and Islamic countries. You are ok with infidelity, fornication, buggery, same-sex marriage…etc but we as Muslims do not launch such venomous attack on those people who have different views; we try to breach and correct in a nice way. By the way the principles of Islam are similar to those of the Christianity. If your fathers of the old were still alive, they would differ with you over such irreligious ideology.

Ismail, Gaza, Palestine

—————————

If you wait until there is some bollocks discussion about whether Muslim girls can starve themselves of sunlight or some Calphilate loving brothers being busted and they will all be back screaming Islamaphobia and playing on the populations liberal guilt.

Churchill was right about Islam and Muslims, he just wasn’t bound by political correctness: “Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities …but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it.”

TFI

#25 Comment By Sofia On 14th September, 2007 @ 12:05 pm

Yes and Churchill was a bastion of social development..wasn’t he

#26 Comment By TheFriendlyInfidel On 14th September, 2007 @ 12:16 pm

Are you British Sofia? If you are he is your greatest war time leader and a source of great national pride. Had he not been successful you might find this land slightly less multicultural.

TFI

#27 Comment By Sofia On 14th September, 2007 @ 12:35 pm

I didn’t question his war time leadership, more his opinions on other “peoples”

#28 Comment By Nav On 14th September, 2007 @ 1:00 pm

The whole thing smacks of hypocrisy.

If we’re being told that non-Muslims living in Muslim countries should return to the Motherland if they don’t like the way they’re being treated then I should just advocate repatriating any Muslims in London who protest at objections from (Christian) locals against the building of mega-mosques.

#29 Comment By Sunny On 14th September, 2007 @ 1:10 pm

Are you British Sofia? If you are he is your greatest war time leader and a source of great national pride.

No TFI, get it through your head. Being British does not mean one has to lick Churchill’s arse. It’s called freedom to disagree with racist twats. After all, the British electorate voted him out didn’t they? Oh, but you’re only asking this question because we’re not white.

Word of advice. There’s no pointing complaining about multi-racial Britain on a multi-racial blog. Try the BNP site you’ll get a better reception there.

Lastly, I said Londonstani, not Londonistan. I suggest its you who learns to read properly.

#30 Comment By tfi On 15th September, 2007 @ 7:03 am

sunny, my comment is merely being a racist twat is only an issue if you are a white man. I don’t see many people damning the Malay’s for racism on this thread, just churchill.

Nice.

(sorry about the book confusion)

#31 Comment By tfi On 15th September, 2007 @ 7:11 am

Also why does the ‘product of his time argument’ not apply to Churchill? If he is a racist twat then is not Mo a dirty peado?

TFI

#32 Comment By Sid On 15th September, 2007 @ 10:07 am

“I am quite satisfied with my views on India and I don’t want them disturbed by any bloody Indians.”

Winston was a hero to most but he never meant shit to me.

#33 Comment By Ravi Naik On 15th September, 2007 @ 11:58 am

“Are you British Sofia? If you are he is your greatest war time leader and a source of great national pride”

Here is what Churchill said about Indians:

“I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion.

“Power will go to the hands of rascals, rogues and freebooters. All Indian leaders will be of low calibre and men of straw.”

So, product of time or not, you condescending little fuck, you do not have to give us lessons on national pride. We acknowledge his leadership in WW2, but that is about it.

#34 Comment By El Cid On 15th September, 2007 @ 12:06 pm

How did we get to Churchill?
For fucks sake Sid, Ravi Naik, et al.
What an intellectual dead-end.
Maybe we should have a pop at the entire Indian sub-continent for being based on a racist hierarchy for hundreds, if not thousands of years.
Let’s stay with the present, eh?

#35 Comment By Jai On 15th September, 2007 @ 12:52 pm

Maybe we should have a pop at the entire Indian sub-continent for being based on a racist hierarchy for hundreds, if not thousands of years.

“Hierarchy”, yes, unfortunately. Like most of the rest of the planet, incidentally. Unjust class, wealth and/or occupation-based social structures have by no means been confined to the subcontinent. Not by a long shot. Including Europe, let’s not forget.

However:

“Racist” ? In what sense was it based on “race” ?

#36 Comment By El Cid On 15th September, 2007 @ 12:57 pm

I’m not engaging in a tangential discussion. Start with the Aryan invasions and work it out for yourself from there. That’s it. C’est fini.

#37 Comment By Jai On 15th September, 2007 @ 1:04 pm

So, product of time or not, you condescending little fuck, you do not have to give us lessons on national pride. We acknowledge his leadership in WW2, but that is about it.

Well said, Ravi.

The guy’s leadership during wartime was superb and made a colossal difference to both morale and the ultimate success of the British effort, and that should be freely acknowledged and respected, but Asians cannot be expected to actually idolise someone who openly had a disgustingly disparaging attitude towards Indians in general.

We’re not masochists.

#38 Comment By Ravi Naik On 15th September, 2007 @ 1:17 pm

“Maybe we should have a pop at the entire Indian sub-continent for being based on a racist hierarchy for hundreds, if not thousands of years.”

I think you missed the point about Churchill. It is about someone insinuating that you are only British if you have national pride in a figure who was a bigot and a racist against people of Indian origin.

I don’t see how not agreeing with this view has anything to do with caste system in India. There is absolutely no doubt that Britain is far more tolerant to its minorities than any other country in Asia or Africa.

#39 Comment By Jai On 15th September, 2007 @ 1:21 pm

Start with the Aryan invasions and work it out for yourself from there.

Let me get this straight. You think that the entire Indian social/caste system was based on light-skinned, Middle-Eastern-looking people dominating dark-skinned “Dravidian” people ?

And that this is clearly indicated visibly, even today, as one observes the progression from the “higher” caste to “lower” caste ?

And that it applies uniformly right across the subcontinent, regardless of the specific region, from North to South, with “Aryans” at the top everywhere ?

Wrong on all counts. It was based on occupation, not “race”. A stereotypically “Aryan”-looking Indian isn’t necessarily from a “higher” caste than someone who is darker and/or more “Dravidian” in appearance, even though — extremely broadly-speaking — some populations, particularly in the North, may have a very general bias towards the lighter types tending to be from the higher castes.

#40 Comment By El Cid On 15th September, 2007 @ 1:32 pm

Why don’t you write an article on the Indian caste system Jai, get it approved by PP, and then we can explore this matter further.

#41 Comment By Don On 15th September, 2007 @ 1:32 pm

Greatest Briton poll notwithstanding (and it should have Darwin!) Winston-worship is probably more pronounced in the US than in the UK. In many parts of the country, where Churchill is remembered at all it is as much for his urging the use of machine guns against striking miners as for the war years.

#42 Comment By Ravi Naik On 15th September, 2007 @ 1:41 pm

“It was based on occupation, not “race”. A stereotypically “Aryan”-looking Indian isn’t necessarily from a “higher” caste than someone who is darker and/or more “Dravidian””

Correct. Which means south Indian Brahmins can be darker than low-caste North Indians. Indians in general are highly mixed, and it is very normal for siblings to come in different shades.

The other common misconception relates to the origin of the Aryan invaders. For a long time, the British and Germans defended that these Aryans were Europeans, which was a nice convenient way to justify the British Raj - the new Aryan invaders. But it is now accepted that the Aryan invaders stemmed from Central Asia - and these people went East to India, and West to Europe. Thus creating the link between India and Europe - the so called Indo-european languages and cultures.

#43 Comment By El Cid On 15th September, 2007 @ 1:42 pm

I hear you Ravi.
But from what I can see, someone quotes for whatever reason a historical figure to make a point, and then that figure becomes the focal point, again. Deja vu maybe?
Many heroes are flawed, some badly — take Genghis Khan.

I see no difference between someone automatically referring to gasser or indian hater whenever Churchill’s name comes up to someone else saying paedo whenever the discussion turns to someone else.

#44 Comment By Sid On 15th September, 2007 @ 1:50 pm

In many parts of the country, where Churchill is remembered at all it is as much for his urging the use of machine guns against striking miners as for the war years.

And gassing Arabs. I think a statue or, at the very least, a memorial plaque on Edgeware Road is in order.

#45 Comment By El Cid On 15th September, 2007 @ 1:53 pm

Ha, bang on cue!

#46 Comment By Sid On 15th September, 2007 @ 1:56 pm

Wouldn’t want to miss one on Winny’s account, old boy.

#47 Comment By Jai On 15th September, 2007 @ 1:56 pm

Why don’t you write an article on the Indian caste system Jai, get it approved by PP,

El Cid, I have no interest in doing so, given the fact that both personally and as a Sikh I am dead against the caste system and everything it implies. It’s irrelevant to me, I’m sure it’s irrelevant to most authors and commenters on this website, and for you to have brought the topic up on an entirely unrelated discussion thread as an attempt to undermine some Asian commenters’ valid objections to Churchill’s attitude towards the subcontinent and its inhabitants was totally completely for.

It would be like Asian commenters on PP mentioning Conquistadors and the subjugation of the American continents’ original inhabitants if you objected to some nasty remark about Spanish people — it would be unnecessary, and highly unfair towards you.

If you really have an interest in this subject (or want to educate yourself further) then I suggest you browse through Sepia Mutiny’s archives, given that they regularly have debates and articles about this sort of topic over there.

Bottom line is the fact that referring to the caste system as being “racist” is false. It’s to do with class and historical familial occupations, not ethnicity.

#48 Comment By Jai On 15th September, 2007 @ 1:58 pm

totally completely for

Typo, should say: “completely uncalled-for”.

#49 Comment By Jai On 15th September, 2007 @ 2:10 pm

I see no difference between someone automatically referring to gasser or indian hater whenever Churchill’s name comes up to someone else saying paedo whenever the discussion turns to someone else.

Only if you expect the alleged victims of the alleged paedo’s attentions to have a warm attitude towards the alleged paedo due to his positive actions in other areas of his life.

Ditto for the descendents of the people Genghis Khan slaughtered or subjugated. Expecting them to regard him as a heroic figure would be a little unrealistic.

#50 Comment By El Cid On 15th September, 2007 @ 2:11 pm

It would be like Asian commenters on PP mentioning Conquistadors and the subjugation of the American continents’ original inhabitants if you objected to some nasty remark about Spanish people — it would be unnecessary, and highly unfair towards you.

Not necessarily, I have some strong views on Spain’s ignorance of its colonial past. Maybe I’ll write about them one day. I’m not into nationalist posturing. And if I find myself occasionally participating on this site, it’s because it occasionally encourages thinking outside people’s racial/cultural/nationalist bubbles.

Given the passage of time simplistic generalisations are clearly silly. But I also think the issue of race and caste in India has barely been explored.

#51 Comment By Jai On 15th September, 2007 @ 2:17 pm

But it is now accepted that the Aryan invaders stemmed from Central Asia - and these people went East to India, and West to Europe.

Michael Woods’ “The Story of India” series went into some detail about this a couple of episodes ago — in fact it mentioned archeological finds that I wasn’t even aware of, namely the settlements uncovered in Central Asia which bore similarities to ancient Iranian and Indo-Aryan societies. Ditto for the names of some ancient gods in those cultures.

The accompanying book goes into a hell of a lot more detail and I strongly recommend it to everyone with an interest in Indian history. It’s fascinating stuff, and each chapter considerably extrapolates the shorter summaries discussed in the parallel TV episodes. There’s a huge amount of information in the book which the TV series touches upon only briefly.

#52 Comment By Sid On 15th September, 2007 @ 2:21 pm

You could do worse than [6] start here.

#53 Comment By Ravi Naik On 15th September, 2007 @ 2:29 pm

“But from what I can see, someone quotes for whatever reason a historical figure to make a point, and then that figure becomes the focal point, again. Deja vu maybe?
Many heroes are flawed, some badly — take Genghis Khan.”

You make a good point, El Cid. In fact, every Nation needs heroes to inspire us. However, a narrative is usually formed which often conflicts with the real figure.

For instance, take Gandhi. It is now known that Gandhi was appalled by the fact that Indians in South Africa were treated in the same category as Blacks, who he consider beneath Indians. Obviously this conflicts with the common narrative of Gandhi, but he is a product of time, and so is Churchill and many others. And Gandhi went on to inspire Mandela and MLK.

My point was not to vilify Churchill because he was a racist, but that it is rubbish to say that you are only British if you consider him a “source of national pride”. Such litmus tests, of course, are cleverly designed for non-whites. And this is what pissed me off.

#54 Comment By Sid On 15th September, 2007 @ 2:36 pm

It’s this litmus test, Ravi, that comes from the same impulse that Rumbold’s original post about majoritorian muscle-flexing. The irony is that this impulse is now applied to Muslims in Europe in all manner of loyalty tests, echoed by TFI in this thread, that is spearheaded by Angry White Liberals. Brilliantly on this is [7] Mukul Kesavan.

#55 Comment By El Cid On 15th September, 2007 @ 3:01 pm

When you put it like that Ravi, I see your and Sid’s point. It’s a compelling point, although I don’t think you have to love Churchill to get a passport or be recognised as British (morons notwithstanding. You can’t do anything about morons, whatever society you live in)
My question is, is some majoritorian muscle-flexing justified in the face of a virulent, socially divisive, and violent strain of a politicised religion within our midst? If so, how much and what kind?
If not, what are the alternatives?

(Softly-softly Weimer Republic solutions need not apply)

#56 Comment By Ravi Naik On 15th September, 2007 @ 3:01 pm

“I’m sure it’s irrelevant to most authors and commenters on this website, and for you to have brought the topic up on an entirely unrelated discussion thread as an attempt to undermine some Asian commenters’ valid objections to Churchill’s attitude towards the subcontinent and its inhabitants was totally completely for.”

I would disagree. I think people of Indian origin have a lot of misconceptions about Indian history and the caste system, which certainly would deserve a thread. And I also, like you, recommend Michael Woods’ “The Story of India” series, which is very well made.

As an apart, I think we should be able to discuss any topic without our ethnicity being an issue, or made into an issue. It is very hard to be unbiased and talk objectively about a subject when it refers to us in some way. That is why it is important to have others to balance our view.

#57 Comment By El Cid On 15th September, 2007 @ 3:06 pm

Giles Tremlett’s Ghosts of Spain is an insight to modern Spain, not that anyone is asking.

#58 Comment By Sid On 15th September, 2007 @ 3:15 pm

My question is, is some majoritorian muscle-flexing justified in the face of a virulent, socially divisive, and violent strain of a politicised religion within our midst?

My solution, if anyone wants it, would be to follow the Indian solution of dealing with the hyper-pluralist multi-ethnic, multi-racial model. The West, at the moment, is following the Angry White Liberal model.


Towards the end of the review, Hitchens offers the West a ten-point programme for resisting Islamism. High on the list is this suggestion: “A strong, open alliance with India on all fronts, from the military to the political and economic, backed by an extensive cultural exchange program, to demonstrate solidarity with the other great multi-ethnic democracy under attack from Muslim fascism.”

In Hitchens’s bizarre world, the world’s largest pluralist democracy, home to the third-largest Muslim population in the world, would make common cause with the likes of Amis and Steyn whose prescriptions for saving civilization include systematic discrimination against Muslims, collective punishment, deportation and strategic “culling”. Hitchens argues that it’s important for liberals to stake out this rhetorical position because he doesn’t want anti-Islamism (his term for being anti-Muslim in a respectable way) to become the monopoly of fascists. Muscular liberals like Amis and Hitchens would deny them that space.

By a grotesque ideological sleight of hand, Hitchens would join the West to this great “multi-ethnic democracy” using arguments that are only used in India by parties that would, if they could, create an ethnic, Hindu supremacist state. This convergence is not an accident: by making prejudice respectable, by short-circuiting due process, by presuming collective guilt instead of affirming the presumption of individual innocence, Hitchens and Amis have become what they pretend to pre-empt.

It’s not a nice picture: Milosevic, Le Pen, Nick Griffin, Bal Thackeray, Praveen Togadia, Narendra Modi, Mark Steyn, Martin Amis and Hitchens bringing up the rear. Captions occur to me: Group Portrait with Rabies, perhaps, or Christopher and his Kind.
Top

#59 Comment By El Cid On 15th September, 2007 @ 3:21 pm

My solution, if anyone wants it, would be to follow the Indian solution of dealing with the hyper-pluralist multi-ethnic, multi-racial model.

Could you expand on your ’solution’ please, because most of your post was about what you don’t like.

#60 Comment By El Cid On 15th September, 2007 @ 3:21 pm

In the British context, please.

#61 Comment By Rumbold On 15th September, 2007 @ 3:40 pm

“The guy’s leadership during wartime was superb and made a colossal difference to both morale and the ultimate success of the British effort, and that should be freely acknowledged and respected.”

I think that Jai says it best, as one can consider Churchill a hero for his war years without agreeing with his other views.

With regards the caste system, though it was not originally intended to delinate people based on skin colour, the fact that the lower castes are more likely to be working in the fields has meant that, to a certain extent, castes are now divided by skin tone. The darkest Aryans and darkest Dravidians, if examined on a state-by-state basis, will tend to be members of the lower castes.

#62 Comment By Sid On 15th September, 2007 @ 3:48 pm

Could you expand on your ’solution’ please, because most of your post was about what you don’t like.

Best to simply copy and paste the conclusion of Pankaj Mishra’s article:

Gandhi’s warning came during the interwar years in Europe, when liberal democracy proved feeble before demagogic nationalism. It is no less relevant today, as opinion-makers berate what appears to be the latest of many minorities Europe has found indigestible. Intellectuals may balk at learning from a supposedly inferior Asian country. The lesson, however, from an embattled and resilient Indian liberalism in the 61st year of India’s existence is clear: liberal values will prove their superiority by not collapsing before the challenge of pluralism and political extremism.

#63 Comment By Rumbold On 15th September, 2007 @ 3:54 pm

Sid:

Though I hope that you are right, this seems more of a desire than a concrete solution. Are you saying that India or Britain has dealt more successfully with their minorities? Both countries have had, and continue to have, communal problems, but neither seem likely to collapse into a cesspit of xenophobic bigotry. Or do you think that the British government is at present following the multi-ethnic, multi-racial model (I would say that it broadly is)?

#64 Comment By El Cid On 15th September, 2007 @ 4:05 pm

It don’t make sense given what happened to the Weimer Republic and given the results of British appeasement. As it stands, it’s sheer nonsense.

Look Sid, if you’ve got some original , practical ideas then I’m all ears. I’m not here to score points. But if you think that that article says it all, then we’ll have to leave it there. Because it says now’t to me except to demonstrate that secular India has thus far managed to do things differently. But then its only 60 years old — what experiences can it draw upon. The same as Britain’s?
Apples and pears mate, and I’m not talking stairs.

#65 Comment By Sid On 15th September, 2007 @ 4:15 pm

I think the overriding point that both articles makes is that the language used by European muscular liberal intellectuals on the Muslim issue smacks of the shittiest rhetoric used by the most xenophobic, fascist tendencies of Indian communal politics.

Kesavan:

To an Indian, this isn’t language that even the Bharatiya Janata Party would use in public. It’s the rhetoric of explicitly fascist parties: the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, the Shiv Sena, the Bajrang Dal. This ideological convergence in the ideas of the muscular European liberal and the militant Hindu fascist isn’t an aberration.

The issue is that other non-Muslim liberals have not found the voice nor the courage to call these intellectuals up on their borrowing of facsist rhetoric. So far its been browns and blacks and an assortment of white bleeding heart softies. Political parties have more often than not encouraged these ideas and even benefitted from them. Although this hasn’t yet led to a “cesspit of xenophobic bigotry”, it’s come uncomfortably close.

#66 Comment By El Cid On 15th September, 2007 @ 4:34 pm

So it’s the rhetoric you don’t like?
What, like when some commentators here have referred to Islam’s inherent militant/violent/fascist qualities?
If so, I’ve had a pop at people over that in the past, and I’m white and no bleeding heart liberal.
If not, perhaps you can furnish me with a few examples.

In the meantime, there can be no denying that within Britain’s moslem community there is a serious security risk represented by preachers of violent jihad and their followers. Plus all those who have trained in al qaeda camps.
I don’t think you are against the idea that this needs to be tackled head on and that British society is justified in wanting the state to do so. So how do we do it without offending the wider moslem community? (Or at least keep you happy, because some moslems will probably take offense come what may).

#67 Comment By Sid On 15th September, 2007 @ 6:32 pm

you obviously haven’t read the articles on the Muscular Liberal intellectuals I linked to. Examples are therein.

#68 Comment By tfi On 15th September, 2007 @ 6:41 pm

Firstly i would like to tip my hat to Ravi for accurately pin pointing out the logic in choosing Churchill in my attempt to wind up Sofia. Although i’m miffed with the “condescending little fuck” retort, i’m actually quite tall.

However since we are agreed that Churchill was racist by todays standards (if not then as well) can one or two of our Muslim posters restore my faith in the human condition by expressing the same level of dissatisfaction with Malaysia’s attitude towards non Malaysian citizens, and non Muslims in general.

Further to this i would be elated if some where able to critique the role of Islam in this racism, prejudice and discrimination.

TFI

#69 Comment By El Cid On 15th September, 2007 @ 6:41 pm

pah!

#70 Comment By Sid On 15th September, 2007 @ 6:52 pm

Further to this i would be elated if some where able to critique the role of Islam in this racism, prejudice and discrimination.

you obviously haven’t read the articles on the Muscular Liberal intellectuals I linked to. Examples are therein.

#71 Comment By El Cid On 15th September, 2007 @ 7:27 pm

Tfi, do you mind, I was trying to have a conversation here. Don’t take us down your stupid clash of civilisations route.
Sid, I’m disappointed in you. Stop being such a slippery politician. I am genuinely interested in your views, not trying to corner you into saying something you might later regret. Why not toss something up, see where it lands? Or at the very least correct some of the things I’ve assumed of you in previous posts, if they are wrong.

#72 Comment By tfi On 15th September, 2007 @ 7:52 pm

El Cid, Your apparently private conversation doesn’t seem to be linked in any way to Malaysia and its discrimination. Nor do I see how I am leading to a Clash of Civilisations thesis. Perphaps you know my mind better than I.

Sid, I’ve no interest in reading your link what so ever. If you have a point of your own to make, please voice it here in your own words.

TFI

#73 Comment By Sid On 15th September, 2007 @ 8:20 pm

I was only responding to your need to be “elated” with examples of Muslim racism, which clearly you don’t want to know about because your only interested in scoring the cheapest of points and reinnforcing your prejudices. I’d recommened the links agian, because Amis and Hitchens are your intellectual torch bearers, whether you know it or not. I thought my gentle barb would highlight these preconceptions but I think Ravi has done a better job of calling you for what you are better than I could have done.

#74 Comment By Ngugi Wa Tiongo On 15th September, 2007 @ 10:09 pm

I was only responding to your need to be “elated” with examples of Muslim racism, which clearly you don’t want to know about because your only interested in scoring the cheapest of points and reinnforcing your prejudices.

So, should we just ignore Muslim “racism” (although this isn’t the right word for it, because it is based on religion rahter than race)?

Should we turn a blind eye to the terminology of Islamic bigotry? The word ‘kuffar’ being a prime example.

Should we ignore Muhammed’s blatant racism (re: the real story of Bilal)?

OR should Muslims be exempt?

#75 Comment By Sid On 15th September, 2007 @ 11:39 pm

So, should we just ignore Muslim “racism”

Nope. However, if Malays are racist as a race or as a nation then they should be taken up on their racism. But to insinuate, like TFI has, that Islam has a bearing on their racism, or that Muslims are more racist because of the affect of Islamisation then should be regarded as a laughably reductive and stupid charge. After all, would you suggest that Europeans in general or Churchill in particular was racist because of the effect of Christianity? Or that Eurpopeans have a tendency towards anti-semitism because of the New Testament? We can further; did the European slave trade occur because of some racist undertone in the Old Testament? These charges are quite ridiculous when re-purposed in a European Christian context, aren’t they? So why do people feel so comfortable making them in the case of racist Muslims?

#76 Comment By Rumbold On 15th September, 2007 @ 11:49 pm

Ngugi Wa Tiongo:

“So, should we just ignore Muslim “racism” (although this isn’t the right word for it, because it is based on religion rahter than race)?”

The reason that I did not mention Islam in the article was because it was not relevant. The Malays are discriminating along ethnic lines, and if Indian Muslims moved to Malaysia then they would still be treated as second-class citizens.

#77 Comment By Ngugi Wa Tiongo On 16th September, 2007 @ 10:39 am

to insinuate, like TFI has, that Islam has a bearing on their racism, or that Muslims are more racist because of the affect of Islamisation then should be regarded as a laughably reductive and stupid charge

I’m not so sure. Mohamed himself displayed a quite blatant racist attitude towards Bilal, and let’s not forget that the Islamic slave trade (which is still live and kicking in Arabia and Muslim Africa) is run along race lines (no prizes for guessing who the slave is and who the master is).

After all, would you suggest that Europeans in general or Churchill in particular was racist because of the effect of Christianity?

No, because European racists tend to be political fascists rather than Church going Christians.

Or that Eurpopeans have a tendency towards anti-semitism because of the New Testament?

Again, you are confusing religion with geographical location. Not all Europeans are Christian.

We can further; did the European slave trade occur because of some racist undertone in the Old Testament?

Yes - sons of Ham and all that jazz - but so what? We were talking about Islam.

So why do people feel so comfortable making them in the case of racist Muslims?

Because they’re true.

#78 Comment By Kulvinder On 16th September, 2007 @ 12:22 pm

I’m not so sure. Mohamed himself displayed a quite blatant racist attitude towards Bilal, and let’s not forget that the Islamic slave trade (which is still live and kicking in Arabia and Muslim Africa) is run along race lines (no prizes for guessing who the slave is and who the master is).

This didn’t address his point.

#79 Comment By Sid On 16th September, 2007 @ 12:31 pm

Ngugi

What sort of measures would you advise on a macro and/or micro level to keep Muslims in check, given their propensity for racism as a result of observation of a “virulent, socially divisive, and violent politicised” religion?

#80 Comment By tfi On 16th September, 2007 @ 12:51 pm

I believe that most politicised Islamic commentors to be the worst sort of hypocrites. They talk about rascism, but don’t care about Stephan Lawrence. They talk about the need religious freedom, but claim exclusion for Saudi. They claim that freedom of sp

#81 Comment By Ngugi Wa Tiongo On 16th September, 2007 @ 12:53 pm

This didn’t address his point.

I think you’ll find it did. He said:

to insinuate, like TFI has, that Islam has a bearing on their racism, or that Muslims are more racist because of the affect of Islamisation then should be regarded as a laughably reductive and stupid charge

I gave an example of the “perfect” Muslim, Mohammed, and gave an example of his racism towards Bilal (a black convert to Islam).

What sort of measures would you advise on a macro and/or micro level to keep Muslims in check, given their propensity for racism as a result of observation of a “virulent, socially divisive, and violent politicised” religion?

It depends; in Britain, they are bound by largely secular laws so any propensity towards racism/polygamy/fascism etc will be dealt with accordingly.

In the Muslim world; it is not for me to tell Muslims how they should treat their non-Muslim citizens or their black Muslim slaves (in Sudan, Saudi Arabia and Moritania for example).

But then it is not for Muslims to tell other governments (Israel, China, India etc) how they should treat Muslims. Sounds like a fair deal to me.

#82 Comment By tfi On 16th September, 2007 @ 1:12 pm

I believe that most politicised Islamic commentors to be the worst sort of hypocrites. They talk about rascism, but don’t care about Stephan Lawrence. They talk about the need religious freedom, but claim exclusion for Saudi. They claim that freedom of speach should be limited, but demand its protection for peachers of hate. They chasitize the west for it slavery, but ignore todays trade entirely. The list goes on and on. My “preconceived perceptions” are based from observable evidence.

Churchill was right, individuals show great virtues, humbility, charity and hospitably to name a few. But Islam acts as a retrograde force and does so today.


Perphaps Churchill’s views on India is insulting today, but much that he was critical of then is simply not true today - it has moved on: the caste system is dying, a strong democracy has formed and the economy is booming - much to admire for any thinking conservative.

However what he had to say about Islam rings true today as much as ever as it hurtles back towards the the 14th century.

They say that you cannot help someone unless they admit that they have a problem, can you see any problem in Islam? For instance I can and will admit to them in “The West”, is insight and selfawareness only a feature of non-Muslims?

Prove me wrong, speak out about the treatment of non Muslim’s in Muslim cultures.

TFI

#83 Comment By tfi On 16th September, 2007 @ 1:25 pm

Ngugi Wa Tiongo tell me about Bosnia? Does your view apply there? Germany? France? Here? What the forest gate brothers? Do you believe that the USA has the right to start moniting all Mosques?

TFI

#84 Comment By Kulvinder On 16th September, 2007 @ 1:26 pm

I gave an example of the “perfect” Muslim, Mohammed, and gave an example of his racism towards Bilal (a black convert to Islam).

Oh please; if you can’t make a valid point why bother?

Its moronic to insinuate that muslims are inherently ‘more racist’ because of islam. Turning this into a question of Mohammed when the context was muslims today is pointless.

#85 Comment By Ngugi Wa Tiongo On 16th September, 2007 @ 1:28 pm

Perphaps Churchill’s views on India is insulting today, but much that he was critical of then is simply not true today - it has moved on: the caste system is dying, a strong democracy has formed and the economy is booming - much to admire for any thinking conservative.

Well, if any of what you said about India was true (which it isn’t), then that’s called progress, not conservatism.

Churchill, to borrow a phrase form Edward Said, was a “racist, imperialist and almost completely ethnocentric”. There is no gettng away from that.

As for India, the caste system is still in full fruition, the democracy is weak (as it has always been) - the current PM wasn’t elected and any government is always fragile because it relies on coalitions - and the number of mass murders the various governemnts have been implicit in makes a mockery of democracy.

As for the old “the economy is booming”, have you actually sat down and though about what this means?

It means, simply, that India has opened up to oversees investors who see in India cheap labour and cheap resources - and the mosy important thing is that none of the new wealth filters down to the poorest (the lower castes). The so called “economic boom” is simply widening the gap between rich and poor.

Your analysis of India and Churchill’s racism is woefully inaccurate.

#86 Comment By Ngugi Wa Tiongo On 16th September, 2007 @ 1:33 pm

Its moronic to insinuate that muslims are inherently ‘more racist’ because of islam. Turning this into a question of Mohammed when the context was muslims today is pointless.

Not really. When even the most moderate Muslims on the planet cannot see Muhammed for anything other than a perfect example to follow today, then Muhammed’s actions are very much relevant.

Is it a coincidence that in Iran the legal ae for a girl to get married is 9?

Is it a coincidence that polgyamy is permissible in Muslim society (it happens in the UK too btw)?

Is it a coincidence that Muahmmed’s disgraceful treatment of Bilal after Bilal had saved his life is mirrored by the treatment of black people in the Muslim world?

I think not.

#87 Comment By Kulvinder On 16th September, 2007 @ 1:49 pm

Not really. When even the most moderate Muslims on the planet cannot see Muhammed for anything other than a perfect example to follow today, then Muhammed’s actions are very much relevant.

Can you tell me how many muslims have slaves?

Is it a coincidence that in Iran the legal ae for a girl to get married is 9?

It isn’t its 13 (the age of marriage); obviously i couldn’t care less if it was 9. What does this have to do with the discussion?

Is it a coincidence that polgyamy is permissible in Muslim society (it happens in the UK too btw)?

Is there some point to you mentioning polygamy? Why would i have a problem with people living the way they wish?

Is it a coincidence that Muahmmed’s disgraceful treatment of Bilal after Bilal had saved his life is mirrored by the treatment of black people in the Muslim world?

Since there are black muslims yes. Why don’t you ask them.

#88 Comment By Kulvinder On 16th September, 2007 @ 1:50 pm

I think not.

Oh i quite agree.

#89 Comment By Ngugi Wa Tiongo On 16th September, 2007 @ 2:33 pm

Can you tell me how many muslims have slaves?

No. Numbers are irrelevant; it’s the sanctioning of slavery in Islam - and the fact that slaves are invariably black - that I was pointing to.

It isn’t its 13 (the age of marriage); obviously i couldn’t care less if it was 9. What does this have to do with the discussion?

The point is that Muhammed’s actions, contrary to what you said, do have an impact on the way Muslims lead their lives today.

That includes his race and religious prejudices.

#90 Comment By Kulvinder On 16th September, 2007 @ 2:44 pm

No. Numbers are irrelevant; it’s the sanctioning of slavery in Islam - and the fact that slaves are invariably black - that I was pointing to.

Can you tell me how many muslims have slaves today, else the entire discussion is pointless. If you can’t contextualise this to the present day what relevancy does it have?

Slaves haven’t ‘invariably been black’ and it is grossly ignorant to claim so. In excess of a million europeans - white europeans - were taken into slavery by Barbary pirates. The fact white europeans of today don’t feel the need to constantly mention it is largely because of a recognition that trying to excuse your personal failures on the events of past centuries is pathetic beyond words.

The point is that Muhammed’s actions, contrary to what you said, do have an impact on the way Muslims lead their lives today.

How does it have an impact?

#91 Comment By Ngugi Wa Tiongo On 16th September, 2007 @ 2:56 pm

Can you tell me how many muslims have slaves today, else the entire discussion is pointless. If you can’t contextualise this to the present day what relevancy does it have?

I doubt the Saudis, Sudanese or Moritanian governments release official figures of how many slaves are in the service of Muslim masters.

But the context you are looking for is staring you in te face: slavery exists in Muslim societies today. My argument is that exists precisly because Islam stipulates that it can exist.

Slaves haven’t ‘invariably been black’

I never said they were. I said that in the parts of the Muslim world where slavery is practiced, black people are invariably the enslaved.

How does it have an impact?

Polygamy, age of mariage for minors, racism, mysogyny, warfare, you name it.

#92 Comment By tfi On 16th September, 2007 @ 3:09 pm

It is unfair to call Islam inheritenly racist, as much as it is for Muslims to cry racism as Islam is fairly blind to race unlike religions such as judaism which require a bloodline. However it often seems to indulge in predjudice towrards non Muslims or ‘lesser Muslims’

TFI

#93 Comment By sonia On 16th September, 2007 @ 3:12 pm

well i would say it is very likely that remaining vestiges of the idea of the master-slave relationship, and particularly in the concubinage context, has something to do with the high rate of employers raping their maids in countries like Kuwait. of course, they probably don’t see it as rape but a privilege that their ancestors had and why shoudln’t they!!

#94 Comment By Kulvinder On 16th September, 2007 @ 3:21 pm

I doubt the Saudis, Sudanese or Moritanian governments release official figures of how many slaves are in the service of Muslim masters.

So the answer is you can’t actually give me present day context, and your argument is based on citing the past and vaguely pointing to the present.

I never said they were.

No. Numbers are irrelevant; it’s the sanctioning of slavery in Islam - and the fact that slaves are invariably black - that I was pointing to.

- and the fact that slaves are invariably black -

what?!!?!?

Polygamy, age of mariage for minors, racism, mysogyny, warfare, you name it.

Whats wrong with polygamy? Britain doesn’t have a problem with ‘marriage for minors’ our age of consent is below the age at which you’re considered an adult. Neither does any European country have any problem with it.

Racism, misogyny and warfare aren’t limited to nor determined by Islam. The various onflicts that exist in sub-saharan africa particularly in central and southern africa aren’t linked to Islam in any demonstrable way.

#95 Comment By sonia On 16th September, 2007 @ 3:29 pm

well if you want to know the problem with polygamy in the Islamic context Kulvinder i’ll tell you :)

it isn’t polygamy in the first place actually - technically its polygyny - i.e. only multiple wives are allowed. not multiple husbands, or partners.

authority only allows men to take multiple wives, and the man in question, does not have to offer his partners - the women, equal freedom i.e. they have to put up with him as their only sexual partner.

if people want to have an open relationship i.e. they can accept their spouse/partner will have other sexual partners, spouses etc. - fine with me. But if they can’t deal with it the same way back, i.e. if their partner does the same thing! - and legislate accordingly - well in my opinion - its authority weighing in on one side. which isn’t particularly free or liberal or anything - its just - i want this, i’ll have it, but you can’t have it.

of course, i can see why some men wouldn’t have a problem with that, seeing as it favours them - but hey.

its very clever of the mullahs - legistlation that allows men possibilities of multiple sex partners without them having to worry about their wives getting bright ideas about multiple male lovers..

#96 Comment By Kulvinder On 16th September, 2007 @ 3:35 pm

If the women want to live like that in this country its no business of mine, or anymore than it would be for any other type of relationship. If you’re asking me to cast moral aspersions on other countrues; well thats something thats borderline if not outright cultural imperialism.

#97 Comment By Ngugi Wa Tiongo On 16th September, 2007 @ 3:37 pm

So the answer is you can’t actually give me present day context

I give you the contexts of three Muslim majority countries where slavery is prevalent and invloves black people as slaves. If you choose to ignore this for the fourth time, then so be it.

sonia has also given you the context of Kuwait.

what?!!?!?

I entered this conversation after the insinuation that Islam isn’t a racist ideology and that its followers aren’t influneced by this racism.

I am giving you a crystal clear example of how racism, legitimised through Islam, manifests itself in Muslim societies.

Whats wrong with polygamy?…

I didn’t say there was anything wrong with it. You asked how Muhammed’s actions have an impact on today’s Muslims and I told you.

It’s really quite simple if you read your own posts.

#98 Comment By Kulvinder On 16th September, 2007 @ 3:50 pm

I give you the contexts of three Muslim majority countries where slavery is prevalent and invloves black people as slaves. If you choose to ignore this for the fourth time, then so be it.

If we’re going to bastardise the word slavery to the extent where ‘indentured servant’ now inhabites the same conceptual framework as forced lifetime employment we might as well include everything from asian sweatshops to african housemaids. Far from ignoring your point im questioning its legitimacy. I don’t think the saudis are sending raiding parties to africa inorder to kidnap black people and enslave them.

I entered this conversation after the insinuation that Islam isn’t a racist ideology and that its followers aren’t influneced by this racism.

And i entered it because i agreed that the idea muslims are more racist because of islam is absurd, and that your post that i highlighted didn’t address the point (something you seem to do all to well)

I am giving you a crystal clear example of how racism, legitimised through Islam, manifests itself in Muslim societies.

And im pointing out the lack of saudis raiding africa for black slaves.

I didn’t say there was anything wrong with it. You asked how Muhammed’s actions have an impact on today’s Muslims and I told you.

Why on earth did you raise that point then?!?! Why bring it up?? You were trying to make a point about how muslims are more racist because of islam and suddenly for whatever inexplicable reason decided to mention polygamy? If theres nothing wrong with it its besides the point.

#99 Comment By Kulvinder On 16th September, 2007 @ 3:51 pm

nb not only do i not believe the saudis are raiding africa i don’t believe they’re doing it in the name of islam.

#100 Comment By Don On 16th September, 2007 @ 4:28 pm

Kulvinder,

Aren’t you splitting hairs? I would have thought that for the sake of argument ’slavery’ is a reasonable term to use for any form of involuntary servitude.

And involuntary servitude is widely recognised as being common in KSA:

‘Saudi Arabia is a destination country for men and women trafficked for the purposes of involuntary servitude and, to a lesser extent, commercial sexual exploitation. Men and women from Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Kenya, and Ethiopia voluntarily travel to Saudi Arabia as domestic servants or other low-skilled laborers, but subsequently face conditions of involuntary servitude, including withholding of passports and other restrictions on movement, non-payment of wages, threats, and physical or sexual abuse. Women from Yemen, Morocco, Pakistan, Nigeria, Ethiopia, and Tajikistan were also trafficked into Saudi Arabia for commercial sexual exploitation; others were reportedly kidnapped and forced into prostitution after running away from abusive employers. In addition, Saudi Arabia is a destination country for Nigerian, Yemeni, Pakistani, Afghan, Chadian, and Sudanese children trafficked for involuntary servitude as forced beggars and as street vendors.’

[8] http://gvnet.com/humantrafficking/SaudiArabia-2.htm

As for it being sanctioned by religious leaders, opinion seems to be divided. Some certainly do,if the wiki entry is at all believable.

[9] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_and_slavery#Slavery_in_the_contemporary_Muslim_world_2

Involuntary servitude happens all over the world. It could be happening in the next street to any of us. But KSA is a world leader in the field and, inasmuch as clerical opinion is divided, can be reasonably seen as having a religious dimension.

#101 Comment By sonia On 16th September, 2007 @ 4:28 pm

good points don

#102 Comment By Kulvinder On 16th September, 2007 @ 4:40 pm

Aren’t you splitting hairs? I would have thought that for the sake of argument ’slavery’ is a reasonable term to use for any form of involuntary servitude.

Only if we include military commissions as being a type of slavery.

The entire point of slavery is a gross violation - a forced compulsion to work where you don’t want to with the only remuneration being geared towards keeping you alive and nothing else. As much as the type of work or the conditions of work may appall in situations where indentured servitude takes place it is vastly different in concept to slavery (and hence to the entire islam/racism discussion above).

Someone who joins the army signs a contract that is very very binding with little of the freedoms enjoyed by other professions. Even in this country breaking the terms of that contract can at the very least lead to you losing any benefits you’ve worked for. Nevertheless noone is press ganged or abducted to join, and as i say thats only in this country. If you want to include military service in other countries let alone national service as forms of slavery go ahead, ill admire the consistency if not the logic.

Personally slavery has a definitive meaning in my mind, trying to mix it with other concepts serves no purpose.

#103 Comment By Don On 16th September, 2007 @ 4:47 pm

Only if we include military commissions as being a type of slavery.

Actually, I take it as a type of red herring.

#104 Comment By Kulvinder On 16th September, 2007 @ 4:47 pm

Involuntary servitude happens all over the world. It could be happening in the next street to any of us. But KSA is a world leader in the field and, inasmuch as clerical opinion is divided, can be reasonably seen as having a religious dimension.

Leader in what sense? How is what happens in KSA demonstrably worse than a chinese peasant from the countryside arriving in an industrialised city and having to work 15hr days just to stay alive? Is your idea of ‘voluntary’ limited only to withholding passports? Or even nepalese children ariving or being sold to india to work in fairly terrible conditions.

None of those examples has anything to do with Islam and i don’t see why their life is ‘better’ than a main in KSA. Putting the onus on islam is just a cop out, if suffering was that simplistically linked to one religion we’d have solved the problem a long time ago.

#105 Comment By Kulvinder On 16th September, 2007 @ 4:52 pm

Actually, I take it as a type of red herring.

You mean the army lets you break your contract whenever you wish? (assuming a suitable notice period is given) Or that you have comparative freedoms to the rest of the british workforce? (like going on strike)

The army is simply another employer to me, saying ‘ah but’ its special in this way whereas these other companies are bad is splitting hairs.

Saudi Arabia doesn’t force anyone to come and work in their country, and as much as i may find their employment practices questionable i find no comfort in tutting ‘ah islam’ when the low inflation/cheap goods i’ve enjoyed for the last few years has been because of equally bad employment practices.

#106 Comment By El Cid On 16th September, 2007 @ 5:08 pm

If the women want to live like that in this country its no business of mine

Hmmm. Aren’t you taking your cultural relativism a bit far Kulvy? Does it sit comfortably with your love of the individiual spirit?

Out of curiosity:
Ngugi Wa Tiongo are you black?
Kulvinder are you moslem or come from a moslem family?

#107 Comment By Kulvinder On 16th September, 2007 @ 5:14 pm

Hmmm. Aren’t you taking your cultural relativism a bit far Kulvy? Does it sit comfortably with your love of the individiual spirit?

I’m not sure if you’re asking in relation to women in this country or abroad. If the former it sits comfortably; if the latter less so. Nonetheless i choose to respect the sovereignty of other nations no matter how much i disagree with their habits.

Kulvinder are you moslem or come from a moslem family?

Its in the name, but no im not muslim.

#108 Comment By Kulvinder On 16th September, 2007 @ 5:16 pm

nb my answer was in the sense of women in this country choosing polygamy and those in other countries being forced into it.

#109 Comment By Don On 16th September, 2007 @ 5:50 pm

Kulvinder,

As part of his wider argument, with which I do not necessarily agree, Ngugi Wa Tiongo claimed that slavery was prevelant in KSA, and sanctioned by Islam.You dismissed this as ludicrous, laughable etc, with a mocking remark about not seeing any Saudi raids into Africa.

I pointed out that in fact conditions very analogous to slavery are widespread and that clerical opinion is divided, with some senior scholars being emphatic that it is correct practice. It isn’t the non-issue you dismissed it as.

Some sort of philosophical debate about the ‘free’ nature of the citizen soldier was a total red herring.

Of course the problem is widespread, and it isn’t only a problem when it exactly matches the ‘definitive’ meaning in your mind. But Ngugi Wa Tiongo was making a specific point. I can’t speak for his motives, but there is data to support it.

Putting the onus for slavery on Islam? No, I’d be more likely to put it on religion in general, but I think I’d be on shaky ground even there.

‘Saudi Arabia doesn’t force anyone to come and work in their country…’

Whatever ‘Saudi Arabia’ as an entity with agency means in this context, possibly not. But a lot of people arrive there without informed consent. My definition of slavery may not be as definitive as yours, but the whole consent thing features large.

#110 Comment By tfi On 16th September, 2007 @ 8:20 pm

Zanzibar complain about KSA raids for slaves today. If I wasn’t on my mobile I’d provide some links.

TFI

#111 Comment By tfi On 16th September, 2007 @ 8:20 pm

Zanzibar complain about KSA raids for slaves today. If I wasn’t on my mobile I’d provide some links.

TFI

#112 Comment By Sid On 16th September, 2007 @ 8:48 pm

I asked:

“would you suggest that Europeans in general or Churchill in particular was racist because of the effect of Christianity?”

I got:

No, because European racists tend to be political fascists rather than Church going Christians.

Which is as not just evasive but also misinformed. I’d suggest a reading of [10] this for an understanding of Christian doctrine on British common law.

As for the question of Semitic faiths influencing racist tendencies of non-Semitic cultures, I think South Asian Muslims are marginally less racist than Arab Muslims. Whether that’s overtly to do with religion, or “Arabisation”, I can’t say.

As for Europe, are Europeans racist, erstwhile slave traders because of the influence of Christianity? Did slave-tading fall out of favour, economically and morally, because of the decline of Christianity in the West?

#113 Comment By El Cid On 16th September, 2007 @ 8:56 pm

Did slave-trading fall out of favour, economically and morally, because of the decline of Christianity in the West?

Nah

#114 Comment By soru On 16th September, 2007 @ 9:05 pm

If we’re going to bastardise the word slavery to the extent where ‘indentured servant’ now inhabites the same conceptual framework as forced lifetime employment we might as well include everything from asian sweatshops to african housemaids.

In Mauritania in particular, the key element of true slavery - that the police and courts enforce slave status - does seem to be present. For example:

[11] http://www.antislavery.org/archive/submission/submission2002-mauritania.htm

One case involved a 13-year-old girl who escaped from an encampment where she and her mother lived and worked for a camel herder in Tagant. She went to the town of Atar to stay with her grandmother, but the police detained the girl and eventually returned her to the encampment.

Sudan is a different case - there are (disputed) claims that a key part of the war in the south (before Darfur, which is rather different) was slave raiding.

[12] http://www.meforum.org/article/449
In 1983-84, Numayri initiated a policy of arming some Baqqara tribal militias (of the Riziqat and Misiriyiah tribes of southern Darfur and Kordofan) and unleashing them on the Dinkas of northern Bahr al-Ghazal. Indeed, slave raids against the Dinka became an instrument in Khartoum’s war effort. When the Baqqara won access to automatic weapons from the state at that time, the balance of power between them and the Dinka was fundamentally changed. Bands of Baqqara militiamen, known as murahhilin (resettlers) began to attack Dinka villages and cattle camps, stealing cows, goats, grain, women and children, removing them as booty, killing adult males, and burning in their wake the huts and property they could not carry away.
.

#115 Comment By soru On 16th September, 2007 @ 9:26 pm

I think the overriding point that both articles makes is that the language used by European muscular liberal intellectuals on the Muslim issue smacks of the shittiest rhetoric used by the most xenophobic, fascist tendencies of Indian communal politics

Of all the ways of arguing a point available to anyone, I have to admit that that is the one I find most empty and valueless. Take two groups, declare they are using ’similar language’, and therefor are the same. Consequently, things that are true of one are true of the other.

Take two countries, one where the tax rate on the wealthiest is 90%, another where it was 10%. The group opposing raising tax in the first country to 95% would very likely use the same language (incentives, flexibility, whatever) as a group in the second country wanting to drop it from 10% to 5%.

If you take any point whatsoever made by a modern human rights activist, you could, with sufficient research, find a statement by some crusty old 19C racist that sounded superficially similar, mentioned some of the same place names.

If the documents exist, you could play the same game with any other two groups, say swedish social democrats and Pol Pot, fascists and environmentalists, bankers and clowns. As a method of debating politics, it is about as helpful as calling people you disagree with pooheads.

#116 Comment By Sid On 16th September, 2007 @ 9:35 pm

Yeah, but see, using abstract hypotheticals doesn’t really cut it, soru. Especially when you can’t use the same to defend your own stance.

Ahmadinejad uses some ugly anti-semitic language. Does that make him a fascist? Muscular Liberals are arguing that it does. I’m sure you agree with them.

#117 Comment By soru On 16th September, 2007 @ 10:05 pm

I’m sure you agree with them

I think you will find that is a perfect non-hypothetical example of how that style of thinking has lead you to a false conclusion.

The question of whether Iran is more of an illiberal democracy, an authoritarian regime, a theocracy, a fascist state, or whatever, is best answered by doing the equivalent of finding out what the tax rate actually _is_. Not by doing literary analysis of speaches by supporters and opponents of the regime.

On the other hand, if you do accept that argument style, how do you avoid concluding Ahmadinejad is a Nazi? Is it pure hypocrisy, you don’t want to think that so you don’t? Or do you have a get out clause that explains how that argument applies to Amis but not Ahmadinejad ?

#118 Comment By Sid On 16th September, 2007 @ 10:16 pm

For someone who prides himself on being a sticker for language, it’s funny that you should confuse the issue by suggesting I said Nazi. I said does that make Ahmadinejad a Fascist. And I’d say that the impulse, as defined by his use oflanguage, is the same of that of Fascism. Is Ahmadinejad a Fascist, I’d say yes - but not of the superior race, genetic scientist variety.

Is Amis? Well he wrote this:


“There’s a definite urge—don’t you have it?—to say, ‘The Muslim community will have to suffer until it gets its house in order.’ What sort of suffering? Not letting them travel. Deportation — further down the road. Curtailing of freedoms. Strip-searching people who look like they’re from the Middle East or from Pakistan… Discriminatory stuff, until it hurts the whole community and they start getting tough with their children… They hate us for letting our children have sex and take drugs — well, they’ve got to stop their children killing people.”

Given that that passage could have been written by Nick Griffin, I’d say he has some pretty fucked up ideas which are endorsed by his mate, Christopher Hitchens, poster boy of the Muscular Liberals.

#119 Comment By Sid On 16th September, 2007 @ 10:34 pm

On the charge of hypocrisy, here’s a [13] post I wrote on Ahmadinejad where I likened him to the Fascist Genocide-denial merchants of East Pakistan/Bangladesh. The parallels are uncanny and the politics are the same. So I’m not defending Ahmadinejad by any stretch and god knows where you assumed that. You on the other hand would like to use clever semantics to defend bastards like Amis and Hitchens or at least lend them legimitacy in the abstract. The hypocrisy, if any, seems to emanating from your side of the table.

#120 Comment By soru On 16th September, 2007 @ 11:13 pm

And I’d say that the impulse, as defined by his use oflanguage, is the same of that of Fascism.

And the language used by fascists is certainly indistinguishable from that used by Nazis, so how can you coherently say he is one not the other? Either language use defines group membership, or it doesn’t.

Nick Griffin is a neofascist because he is the leader of a gang of thugs that beat up, or threaten to, blacks and muslims. If he successfully managed to go 5 years without publically saying anything obnoxious, that wouldn’t make him not one, as long as he maintains his unarmed militia. Structure of violence, and secondarily structure of economics, trumps rhetoric every time.

Amis’s quote looks to me to be a bit of devil’s advocacy, not a serious proposal. However, a hypothetical Amis seriously arguing for, voting for, arbitary detention of muslims would be, objectively, pretty similar to someone who spoke up as supporting the [14] status quo in India:

arbitrary and selective enforcement on the basis of religion, caste, and tribal status; violations of protected speech and associational activities; prosecution of ordinary crimes as terrorism-related offenses; and severe police misconduct and abuse, including torture. In most states, prolonged detention without charge or trial appears to have been the norm, rather than the limited exception.

If someone used impeccable liberal and anti-racist language to praise that situation, the words used would not change their actual politics.

#121 Comment By Sid On 16th September, 2007 @ 11:41 pm

If someone used impeccable liberal and anti-racist language to praise that situation, the words used would not change their actual politics.

Oh you’re good. But isn’t that a beautifully elliptical way of saying that Amis arguing for strip searches of Muslims is OK (or just a bit of devil’s advocay!) or Nick Cohen’s defence of rendition and deportation of people to torture cells is fine.

By your logic, Western Fascism cannot be anything but anomalous or vestigial Liberalism whereas Islamic or Indian Liberalism cannot be anything but soft-core Fascism. Sorry, Nazism. ;-)

#122 Comment By Kulvinder On 17th September, 2007 @ 12:51 am

I pointed out that in fact conditions very analogous to slavery are widespread and that clerical opinion is divided, with some senior scholars being emphatic that it is correct practice. It isn’t the non-issue you dismissed it as.

But it isn’t slavery.

His point was that muslims are more racist because of islam his ‘evidence’ was specifically the case of ‘black’ indentured workers in KSA. Far from being a red herring my analogy with the army and the sweatshop workers in China or India was meant to point out we benefit from equally appalling conditions without calling it slavery. Islam doesn’t promote anything that makes it inherently worse in the present day - in terms of worker exploitation.

#123 Comment By Kulvinder On 17th September, 2007 @ 12:54 am

In Mauritania in particular, the key element of true slavery - that the police and courts enforce slave status - does seem to be present. For example:

I’m not sure what that has to do with the discussion.

[15] Even the BBC puts the words slavery in speechmarks in this article

#124 Comment By Kulvinder On 17th September, 2007 @ 12:55 am

nb sorry slaves

#125 Comment By soru On 17th September, 2007 @ 1:09 am

Oh you’re good.

Why thank you.

But isn’t that a beautifully elliptical way of saying that Amis arguing for strip searches of Muslims is OK (or just a bit of devil’s advocay!) or Nick Cohen’s defence of rendition and deportation of people to torture cells is fine.

My point is it is what it is. You could read it as hypothetical musing, and so new labour-style rhetorical judo: acknowledge a right wing argument in principle, then explain why it’s not the right thing to do here and now, in this specific case. You could read it is straight, and so authoritarian conservative. You could read it as a polite euphemism for what he ‘really’ means, and so fascist. Try hard enough, and you could read it as being about decimalisation.

Whichever way you read it, your understanding won’t be improved by comparing it as a literary text with some speech by someone else coming from a different political and economic environment, without taking account of those differences.

The Unabomber and the White Rose network both had pretty similar ideas about how much the society they were living in sucked. You won’t find out which of them was right by comparing their use of metaphor and simile.

#126 Comment By Sid On 17th September, 2007 @ 1:17 am

yawnsville daddy-o!

By the way, your use of cheesey moral relativism in #115 has not gone unnoticed. That is to say, Western Muscular Liberal practice of illiberality (torture, lack of due-process etc) is somehow way better than the Foreign/Islamic/Indian illiberal practices (torture, lack of due-process etc).

#127 Comment By soru On 17th September, 2007 @ 1:22 am

I’m not sure what that has to do with the discussion.

In that article, the relevant quote is ‘the owner, Wang Binbin, had been arrested’. In a true slave state, it wouldn’t be the owner arrested for slavery, but the slaves arrested for refusing to accept their ownership.

I do think that makes an objective difference, although obviously avoiding slavery doesn’t make an economy good, in the same way avoiding beating your wife isn’t a sufficient condition to be a good husband.

#128 Comment By Kulvinder On 17th September, 2007 @ 2:51 am

No i meant i don’t know what it has to do with KSA and/or islam.

#129 Comment By douglas clark On 17th September, 2007 @ 7:17 am

Sid,

@ 126. I thought the fact that we could be something other than ‘Western Muscular Liberal’, and complain about it, makes our society somewhat better. I happen to agree with you that we excuse our own excesses. I take it that that is what you meant?

#130 Comment By tfi On 17th September, 2007 @ 7:31 am

Iis being a hypocrite the worst crime there is Sid? For instance if Malaysia stipulates in their constitution that they are an Islamic state, they then can freely discriminate against non-Muslims as that is what they state what they will do and they do it. Whereas in England we consider ourselves to be liberal, therefore if we ‘discrimate’ against, say, Muslims by objecting to a mega mosque, we become hypocrites?

Thus we attempt to hold up liberal principles and ‘fail’ where instead Malaysia doesn’t bother with liberal principles at all. Therefore England is worst than Malaysia because we are hypocrites and they are not?

As for slavery there is plenty of sex slaves in the UK who are held with threats against thier families. Would you argue that these girls are also indentured workers and therefore there is no moral responsibility for us to act at all?

Do Islamis societies get a free hand to do what they wish, while the rest of world is judged by twisted Islamic philosophy?

TFI

#131 Comment By tfi On 17th September, 2007 @ 7:53 am

The reasoning seems to go like this:

1) if an islamic society decides to discriminate against non-muslims that is there Islamic right by their own stated principles. If non-Muslims don’t like it they can convert or leave.

2) if a liberal democracy decides to discriminate against muslims that is an afront to its Liberal values. If Muslims don’t like it they can cry ‘Islamaphobia’ and accuse the state of hypocrisy.

3) if a Muslim disagrees with the above statements and sees the value in liberal democracy and believes that Islamic societies should be secular and not discrimate against non-muslims, they become non-muslims like Ed Hussian

4) if a liberal considers the hypocrisy in the first two statements and questions why those that don’t believe or see the worth in liberal values at it should be protected by them, they become non liberals?

Its a funny old world.

TFI

#132 Comment By douglas clark On 17th September, 2007 @ 7:56 am

tfi,

The clearly ridiculous stance of nations that have the word ‘Islamic’ in their title does not justify their singular defence of a particular belief system, or their medeivalist cruelty. It would be a mug that thought that was a good idea. Anyone?

It is probably as ridiculous as having peers who are bishops sitting in the House of Lords. WTF?

#133 Comment By TheFriendlyInfidel On 17th September, 2007 @ 12:19 pm

Don, although still ridiculous, the latter is a much less so than the former.

I think it is interesting that when Sid bangs in post #75 that he compares the sins of “our” fathers to excuse the sins of “his” brothers.

Oh, I forgot, there is a thread on the Iraq war going on. Time to bash the west for hyprocasy again …

TFI

#134 Comment By TheFriendlyInfidel On 17th September, 2007 @ 4:42 pm

The clearly ridiculous stance of nations that have the word ‘Islamic’ in their title does not justify their singular defence of a particular belief system, or their medeivalist cruelty. It would be a mug that thought that was a good idea. Anyone?

Bueller? Anyone? Bueller? Anyone? Anyone?

TFI

#135 Comment By Sid On 17th September, 2007 @ 4:53 pm

I think it is interesting that when Sid bangs in post #75 that he compares the sins of “our” fathers to excuse the sins of “his” brothers.

Rewind selector!

Keep up TFI. I think you’ll find that what you’re postulating/insinuating is “my brothers” are inherently racist because of their religion. But you’ve unable to admit that “your fathers” might also be racist because of theirs. The operative word being “might”. See my post #112.

#136 Comment By TheFriendlyInfidel On 17th September, 2007 @ 5:14 pm

Rewind selector!

That made me laugh, thanks Sid! I’m in a bit of a grumpy mood today.

inherently racist because of their religion

You can accuse Islam of many things, but racist isn’t one of them. It is truly an equal opportunities religion, I’ll happily give you that.

I would argue that is it can be inherently prejudice. As an external observer there seems to be an awful lot of energy being wasted discussing who is / isn’t good Muslim, and being a better Muslim is something to look down upon “lesser” Muslims. The Saudis seems especially prejudice and there seems to be a great deal of strange “my bloodline is traceable to the prophet therefore your my bitch.” stuff going on which is all tied up with “Izzat” that I simply don’t understand.

Besides I was asking really interested in this whole hypocrisy argument. We are at post 135 and so far no “politicized” Muslim poster has stated that it is unfair that Malaysia persecutes non-Muslim Malaysians.

TFI

#137 Comment By Sid On 17th September, 2007 @ 5:24 pm

Muslim poster has stated that it is unfair that Malaysia persecutes non-Muslim Malaysians

No one has admitted that poo smells on this thread either. Must we re-invent the wheel each time we deal with racism?

#138 Comment By TheFriendlyInfidel On 17th September, 2007 @ 5:28 pm

But you’ve unable to admit that “your fathers” might also be racist because of theirs.

Incidentally I’ve no issue calling my forefathers racist by today’s standards - they were without a shadow of a doubt and many white English remain so today.

I’m not sure if it is tied up with religion as much as a belief in general superiority of the British system, i.e. “For King and Country” more than “Christ and Christianity”.

I would feel about my forefathers if I’d not sat down and listened to the Nihal show on “is it OK for an Asian girl to date a Black guy?” and not one Asian guy phoned up to say “yes” despite Nihal begging someone to do so. Meanwhile a there was a long progression of women calling in to describe heart rending stories of family violence for them dating a black guy. At the end of the show he did get a text and was elated that a “brother” had spoken out against the violence these women had described.

The most “amusing” caller really couldn’t understand why it wasn’t racist to prevent Asian women from breeding with “black man” because “mixed race” children are “ugly”.

Afterwards I discussed it all with my part Jamaican flat mate told me some horror stories about his mates in Birmingham. had dated Asian girls and got into all sorts of nasty trouble.

TFI

#139 Comment By Don On 17th September, 2007 @ 6:10 pm

Both islam and christianity are universalist, proselytizing religions and so, in principle, very much non-racist.

However, that doesn’t seem to have stopped their adherents from being as racist as anyone else - probably more so taking into account the anti-semitism which both have harboured at varying times. And the sacred texts can, of course, be mined to justify any vileness either wants to perpetrate.

With a few saintly exceptions the religiously devout, even when the religion in question is theoretically racially inclusive, are necessarily locked into an exclusivist mind-set; us against them, the virtuous and the saved against the depraved and the damned. The perfect petri dish for breeding the bacilli of racism.

I would not deny that the anti-racist movements which have developed over the last half century of human history have included many devout and dedicated christians, any more than I would deny that at various times in history, if you wanted to minimise persecution for race or belief, you would be well advised to seek out an islamic state. But taken as a whole, neither religion has covered itself in glory on this issue.


Article printed from Pickled Politics: http://www.pickledpolitics.com

URL to article: http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/1365

URLs in this post:
[1] in the Economist: http://www.economist.com/displaystory.cfm?story_id=9724393
[2] in the 1970s: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expulsion_of_Indians_in_Uganda_in_1972
[3] the BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/6981864.stm
[4] Sikhs in East Africa: http://www.sikh-heritage.co.uk/heritage/sikhhert%20EAfrica/sikhsEAfrica.htm
[5] http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article2280503.ece: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article2280503.ece
[6] start here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,2168865,00.html
[7] Mukul Kesavan: http://www.telegraphindia.com/1070208/asp/opinion/story_7363367.asp
[8] http://gvnet.com/humantrafficking/SaudiArabia-2.htm: http://gvnet.com/humantrafficking/SaudiArabia-2.htm
[9] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_and_slavery#Slavery_in_the_contemporary_Muslim_world_2: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_and_slavery#Slavery_in_the_contemporary_Muslim_world_2
[10] this: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0521545161/qid=1116420753/sr=2-2/ref=pd_bbs_b_2_2/002-1013854
-6315249

[11] http://www.antislavery.org/archive/submission/submission2002-mauritania.htm: http://www.antislavery.org/archive/submission/submission2002-mauritania.htm
[12] http://www.meforum.org/article/449: http://www.meforum.org/article/449
[13] post : http://golmal.pickledpolitics.com/2006/12/06/iran-holocaust-denial-masterclass/
[14] status quo: http://www.abcny.org/pdf/ABCNY_India_Report.pdf
[15] Even the BBC puts the words slavery in speechmarks in this article: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/6733045.stm