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Where are Sikhs and Muslims hiding?

Posted By Sunny On 11th November, 2005 @ 5:02 am In Religion, Race politics | Comments Disabled

Near where I work is Leeds Magistrates Court and Leeds Town hall. There was a buzz around the building a few days ago.

It was the trial of Nick Griffin, the UK leader of the fascist British National Party. So at lunch time, I took the opportunity of walking over to the Court building where I could see the press, the police, and the BNP activists protesting outside court. I even recognised some of them, from the physical confrontations we had 3 years ago in Halton Moor area of Leeds.

They recognised me. Being an [1] Amritdhari Singh with a dumalla, does make you stand out from a crowd. I read their banners, and listened to them chant their slogans, of ‘England for the English’, etc, etc. There must have been about 60 of them.

Continued…
Then behind me came a large crowd who were herded by the police. They were chanting “Fascists Out!” This was a crowd of about 500 people who were from Unite Against Fascism. This seems to be a coalition group of trades unionists, students, and other leftists groups. I decided to join them in their rally.

So we had a group of 60 Nazis, 500 lefties, and the largest group was by far the Police. Walking with the rally group, I realised out of the 500, I saw black people and no Asians. Everyone was white.

I began thinking. These people are doing Guru ji’s mission. Guruji taught us to stand up for the small communities, those oppressed, or bullied, from those who spread hate and bully. Yet, we never see Sikhs, or even Asians there. These people hound hatred groups like the BNP, to counter all their activities. They took time off work, and made the difference with their presence. Would we do that?

I remember at universities, we used to get approached by these groups for us to join, but Asians generally are so full of apathy. A couple of times before I mentioned it to Singhs as well that we need to counter the BNP. But Singhs just always tell me to Naam japp (pray), and not worry about it. But Sikhi is not about pacifism, but about Sant-Sipahis (Saint-Soldiers).

While standing there, I was joined by two more sardars (people with Turbans) who worked locally, and then two Muslim bibian (women) with hijabs. slowly our Asian representation grew. But we have to consider that if these people did not stand up for ethnic minorities, the BNP activity would go on unchecked.

They had so much literature about the growth of Islamopobia in UK, but no Muslims were present except the Muslim bibian who were bystanders like me. One of organisers said to me that we stand up for Muslims, but they do not bother turning up.


Comments Disabled To "Where are Sikhs and Muslims hiding?"

#1 Comment By Rohin On 11th November, 2005 @ 5:45 am

Shouldn’t it be where are Sikhs, Muslims and Hindus hiding? Or just Asians in general?

#2 Comment By shihab On 11th November, 2005 @ 6:47 am

and buddhists. don’t forget the buddhists. everyone else does.

#3 Comment By StrangelyPsychedelique On 11th November, 2005 @ 8:56 am

>>and buddhists. don’t forget the buddhists. everyone else does.

Buddhists are a forgotten bunch we are…I told Sunny I’d (pretend to) set myself on fire in protest at something or the other but…I guess it aint in me.

However I noticed a distinct lack of asian faces at two events in London during the summer:

1) The Rally Against Racism event in Trafalgar Sq (was it May Day…hmmmm), attended ,ironically by mostly whites, scattered blacks and very few asians. That was a big boo boo.

2) The London Vigil held following the July Bombings (Traffy Sq again). There were asians of course but given that we made a big deal about being ‘viewed with suspicion’ I’d have expected large numbers to come out and effectively say “hey look Im just as much a part of this city/country as you are…just brownish/tannish(!)”

There were many speakers , especially from the Muslim community and they spoke well - but I couldnt help but think “wouldnt it have been better for these people to be IN the crowd?” Mingling, listening - just BEING there imo would have been more important than making statements. People know that Islam is a religion of peace - what they would like to see is that their fellow Muslim/hindu/sikh citizens (for example) care about their society as much as they do.

Scream MELA!!! and asians will turn up in droves. Anything else and the numbers are thin.

I attended virtually every parade/rally/public event Ken Livingstone put up during the summer. Most had a theme of promoting integration/multiculturalism - but again the asians were thinnest in number.
Even the Melas take place away from general view in suburban parks. Afro Carribean, Chinese and South American events took place in such a way that white/black/asian/etc etc could sample in London’s ecclectic cultural makeup.

The Diwali Show in traffy Sq last month however was great but that was an Asian-specific event just like Vaisakhi. For ‘other’ events I think we’re a little lazy.

Sorry I know this has less to do with the BNP but I think its important. From the eyes of a freshy (who has mostly a limited-to-London view) a crucial step in terms of integration is showing yourself - showing you give sh*t. No point staying at home and saying ‘yeah Im proud to be british this and british that’ if noone really knows.

Im not criticizing the asian community as such and there are various factors to everything - I just feel sometimes…we’re not trying hard enough.

#4 Comment By Saggal On 11th November, 2005 @ 9:33 am

Just wondering if the Sardar for ‘turban’, is the same sardar in Ziauddin Sardar?

I am not Asian.

#5 Comment By shihab On 11th November, 2005 @ 9:38 am

As someone who’s been apatheic (accent on the pathetic) for the years between the two Bush wars, I can appreciate why some Asians would rather go to a mela than a march.

I was once aggressively rebuked by Asian Dub Foundation because they were distressed by the lack of political furore raised by snoop, a magazine I used to edit, targetting young, drinking, shagging Asians. Why aren’t you talking about Satpal Ram and Ricky Reel, you twat, they demanded.

Because Asian people, I defended, don’t need to read about racism. Tell it to The guardian. For a lot kids who read the mag, racism and injustice was reality. They were getting spat on, beaten and all that bollocks, Not just by racists, but by their own community who wanted to crush their westernised spirits. If someone like that wants a bit of light relief from a mag while they sit on the bog, I think they’d rather read about Aishwarya Rai’s tits rather than a story about an Indian waiter that’s been beaten to death with a karahi.

Sure, Asians need to stand up for themselves. But that’s not to say an Asian who sticks two fingers up at the establishment and heads off to a party and gets laid is taking it, ahem, lying down…

#6 Comment By StrangelyPsychedelique On 11th November, 2005 @ 9:52 am

Interesting view Shihad but Im not so concerned about ‘entertainment’ (mela/Aiysh’s tits) over activism (rally). Im more concerned about simply being out there and taking part.
I just dont see asians doing that.

should they?

No one HAS to…but I think it would have gone a long way - especially at the London Vigil which was about showing solidarity - not protesting even.

#7 Comment By shihab On 11th November, 2005 @ 10:21 am

Oh I’m not saying they shouldn’t. I just understand why they don’t.

Bulbul is a waiter, working overtime to save enough cash for his mum to go to Sylhet before she pops it from diabetes, his kids want playstation for christmas, celebrating the birth of jesus what is the world coming to, and if that fat milwall bastard goes oh deary deary me one more time I’ll spunk on his balti, and oh what’s that you say? there’s a rally in town? yay.

but the spiky haired asian student with none of his problems should go. stub that skunk out, delete those ringtones and pick up a placard and do something to make bulbul’s life less shit.

#8 Comment By StrangelyPsychedelique On 11th November, 2005 @ 10:44 am

>>Bulbul is a waiter, working overtime to save enough cash for his mum to go to Sylhet before she pops it from diabetes

Erm yes I appreciate all that but that applies to society as a whole - not just Asians - plenty of people have to do the things Bulbul does and yet…they find time. Perhaps its only the rich and the spikey haired students who have time to mingle and ‘get out there’ , not Asians oh no - theyre a hard working bunch 24/7 with bigger priorities than partaking of the social fruit.

You probably dont know what the London Vigil was - you didnt need a placard, it wasnt a rally as such it was an assembly of people showing some spirit - and all for a couple of hours too.

Naturally your Bulbul character (who by your logic constitutes the vast majority of asians) is such an individualist that his mental assertions of being British-Asian are quite enough. Social shannigans are for other jobless types.

Although Bulbul did have time for the Mela and the Diwali shows - better those things he can relate to than the boring carnivals, parades and gatherings goin on.
Is that your understanding of why Asians dont take part as others do?

Again remember Im focusing less on the issue of political protest and more on the issue of intermixing versus staying in your own Bulbul corner.

#9 Comment By shihab On 11th November, 2005 @ 11:12 am

I’ll stick with Bulbul. He’s like most Asians if we’re happy to say most Asians are too busy holding onto and protecting the niche they’ve carved for themselves. Bulbuls don’t have the time or the inclination to go to a vigil and hold a candle for peace because Bulbul hasn’t got the luxury of idealism or isn’t feeling bleak enough to cry revolution.

You might see me there, you might see many Asians on this forum there, but I don’t expect to see Bulbul there.

Call me a cynic, call me a twat, but I went to the poll tax and stephen laurence march and I felt good and I felt worthy, then I got a job, had kids, lost hair and whenever I felt sick of society, I found getting merry and making the world around me a happy place was more benefitial than carrying a placard. Like I say, I know people should. But I don’t blame people if they don’t

Understanding society is all about accepting Bulbul can’t be arsed with the same issues I get het up over

#10 Comment By StrangelyPsychedelique On 11th November, 2005 @ 11:35 am

Youre hanging onto this issue of political activism/idealistic rallying which given the context of the article youre right to do so.

Im asking you to deviate slightly from that. There was no need for candle burning or fist pumping (oh dear!) or placard carrying. Certainly not at the carnivals or the london marathon.
Or the London Vigil.
Or the VJ Day Memorial Event (echoes of colonialism perhaps scared Bulbul away).
Etc.

I am making the claim that Asians stay away more than they get involved in the society around them - and Im saying Ive noticed a physical absence. Im well aware that most pay taxes, have legit/important jobs etc that give them every right to be a part of British society than the next person.

Of course theyre making contributions as great as any other race/group that are not flouted out but I wouldnt call working in your quiet little niche/corner and stepping out for only your type of thing ‘integration’.
I wouldnt fault you at all - nobody has to do anything socially unless they feel inclined. But when you dont turn up, expect ppl to notice. Expect them to think “oh theyre different from us, I guess they dont feel the need to do what we consider socially valuable”.
As you say , quite correctly, they should “understand” why Bulbul aint around - but if he never turns up , whos going to tell them?

>>You might see me there, you might see many Asians on this forum there, but I don’t expect to see Bulbul there.

Not really…most seem to be in Bulbul’s position it appears.
Interesting that; maketh me proud.

#11 Comment By shihab On 11th November, 2005 @ 11:48 am

Maybe it’s because Bulbul (I’m beginning to dislike him, must be all that ghee in his hair) feels like a foreigner. Not just because society makes him feel that way, but because he’s proud to be from a specific region in a specific country far, far away (it’s interesting to note that most black people don’t call themselves nigerian or from chad or whatever, even afro-caribbean is quite a loose term - we don’t tend to say we’re from the sub-continent, for instance)

And if that’s the case, if you thought of yourself as a temporary squatter, you’d probably bung it out the window when you saw the landlord approach rather than confront him.

Just a thought…

#12 Comment By Siddhartha On 11th November, 2005 @ 1:17 pm

StrangelyPsychedelique:
Those are some fine, fine photos the flickr site linked from your handle. Are they yours? I’m totally impressed.

#13 Comment By StrangelyPsychedelique On 11th November, 2005 @ 1:18 pm

>>And if that’s the case, if you thought of yourself as a temporary squatter, you’d probably bung it out the window when you saw the landlord approach rather than confront him

Of course…ghee and all!

But - the majority of British Asians arnt like Bulbul are they? Im a little confused by Bulbul himself - is he a temporary or ‘new’ migrant? If yes then he isnt my concern (although im a tempie myself).
It is the sizeable number of established British-Asians that I see at melas but not so prolifically at other events.

So to rope this back to the article - Asians seem to take a passive view of everything from political activism (explained in your posts above) and larger public/social interaction (still a little hazy to moi). Little wonder then that there arnt that many of them marching against the BNP in the example highlighted.

But given the whole shebang of integration following the July bombings I think the issue is broader than dealing with racism - which is why I embarked on the whole London Vigil example.

hmmmmmmmmmmm…..

#14 Comment By StrangelyPsychedelique On 11th November, 2005 @ 1:21 pm

>>Those are some fine, fine photos the flickr site linked from your handle. Are they yours? I’m totally impressed.

They are indeed mine Siddharatha - many thanks!
Hopefully as events come up Ill be able to link a few relevant ones to pickledpolitics.

Feel free to comment - helpful criticism is always welcome!

#15 Comment By Col. Mustafa On 11th November, 2005 @ 2:58 pm

“Scream MELA!!! and asians will turn up in droves. Anything else and the numbers are thin.”

hehehe, thats quite true.
Its a difficult one, i mean even i don’t attend any of these rallys, i dont know why as i spend most of my time reading about these issues.
I feel as though i should though, i have many white friends that are activists i suppose, they actually take time out to organise events, spend their money on it, defend everything possible.
Im there to an extent, but not really.

As for the average asians that i have met or know through the course of life, most of them aren’t even aware that there is a rally or protest march.
There more into what club there gonna goto on the weekend, or the latest mobile phones.

But then there just following the trend of being a student in this country or just being a kid.
But saying that many students protest, i have seen an increase in muslims taking part but thats understandable being that they feel kind of picked on.
Sunny is right though, there should be more asians in general standing up for thier rights, but not loads of asians turning up to start a fight with the BNP though.

As long as the asians know that there going to protest and not fight just because theres a whole bunch of them in one place with the excuse to just let loose.

That same protest that sunny talked about in leeds, imagine if a whole bunch of students from the surrounding unis of mostly asian origin decided yeh were gonna go and proptest against this.
I have a feeling a fight breaking out would be far more likely than if they were all white protesters.

Im not saying that asians are prone to violence, but you know tensions would be higher given the BNP protesters and Asian protesters are in the same place, i should say young asian men in particular.

#16 Comment By Sunny On 11th November, 2005 @ 5:01 pm

I have a feeling a fight breaking out would be far more likely than if they were all white protesters.

That’s an excuse col mustafa.

In fact I would go as far as saying that Asians are just downright lazy and useless when it comes to getting off their arses and getting involved in legitimate democractic protest, rather than just spouting on about it.

I remember just before the big anti-war march in london two years ago. The local activist in Southall (a Sikh guy) saying that plenty of leaflets about the anti-war march were given out at the local mosques, and many people said they were very interested in coming to the meeting and organising protests.

When it came to the crunch - nothing. The same Muslims who keep complaining about the war can’t be asked to protest legitimately against it outside. Grrr….

#17 Comment By Uncleji On 11th November, 2005 @ 5:12 pm

because there are some fools who believe that the BNP are our friends. The following was posted on a discussion group, needless to say the geezer got a rather short shrift from the other members.

“Thanks for the details and the witnessing of the trial of a BNP
patriot.

Please exercise caution in involving the Sikh Community in the
politics. BNP may form the future government in the years to come if
there are more bombs like 7th July. You can not trust your certain
friends who blasted Delhi on Diwali day.BNP looks favourably towards
the Sikhs.

Kindest regards, in politics there are wheels within wheels.

Pritam Singh Rangar
Refugee from Pakistan, 1947,(Like Manmohan Singh PM India, and Ex. PMs
Ik Gujral,Advani,etc)setlled in London”

#18 Comment By Sunny On 11th November, 2005 @ 5:30 pm

Lol. I saw that. But I didn’t post it because he was thankfully shot down by the moderators and others. It is scary though that some idiots actually believe this rubbish.

#19 Comment By Uncleji On 11th November, 2005 @ 6:06 pm

Saggal regarding Sardar the answer is yes, I think its arabic for commander or chieftan

#20 Comment By Jeet On 11th November, 2005 @ 7:23 pm

Saggal

‘Sardar’ is the nickname used for Sikhs who wear a turban - it denotes how they appear as chieftans or leaders. The root word may be similar to where Zia Sardar’s name comes from. He is Pakistani whilst Sikhs are from India.

#21 Comment By Robert On 11th November, 2005 @ 7:55 pm

‘England for the English’

Being a white English man, I am never a target for this kind of hate. However, I am reminded of the time I was once threatened by a drunk man on the Isle of Mull, who told me to fuck off home.

“England for the English, Scotland for the Scots” he said. Since I had been [2] doing some reading I was quick to respond:

“If you want purity, why don’t you go home and fuck your sister?” I said. I was pretty pleased with that. Thankfully, he was more pissed than I was so I escaped a bottling.

Now I know this kind of crap doesn’t compare with the BNP, but Hanif Kureishi’s quote that “multiculturalism is the idea that purity is incestuous” is a very poweful argument against this kind of racism. And if they don’t get the subtleties of the argument, its a great insult.

#22 Comment By Sunny On 11th November, 2005 @ 9:34 pm

“multiculturalism is the idea that purity is incestuous”
Hmmm, that confuses me. What is he getting at? Lol, that retort was funny though!

#23 Comment By Robert On 11th November, 2005 @ 10:08 pm

I think the full quote is: Multiculturalism is the idea that one may be changed by other ideas; the idea that purity is incestuous.

Geneticists tell us that diversity makes for a more robust species. Kureishi is applying the same thinking to ideas, cultures, Ways Of Life. Not survival of the fittest culture or idea, but the merging and evolution of that idea. The BNP’s philosophy, on the other hand, is one of purity, statis and stagnation.

#24 Comment By Mokum On 11th November, 2005 @ 11:20 pm

The Arabic s-d-r root (warning, I’m no scholar) is something like “origin, emanation, appearance”. Hence half a bloody page of other meanings in the dictionary, but the root rules and it can lead straight to “leader”.

The Beeb asked Sardar about his surname a while back. Interesting story. He said:

“…it means ‘leader’. Believe it or not my grandfather actually fought on behalf of the Raj and his original name was Dorani. After he fought many battles - I think he fought in the Boxer Rebellion, and he also fought in Burma - it was decided that he should be knighted. But in the early ’20s you couldn’t actually knight an Indian subject. So he was given a substitute honour. So instead of ‘Sir’ he was called ‘Sardar’. So our surname became ‘Sardar’. In fact what happened was that the family split in two. There was one part of the family not very happy with the idea of calling themselves ‘Sardar’, especially an honour given, because the grandfather was in their mind a traitor. And the rest of the family kind of identified with Britain. So I come from the part of the family that identifies with, with Britain, and we are called ‘Sardar’.

How many Sardar v Dorani stories are there? Millions, I reckon. Sure, some people may not care to demonstrate just because they are lazy. Deep down, though, maybe people are still torn over Britain when it comes to taking a strong public stand, even when their rights as Britons are at stake. If so, yeah, grr, but I’m confident. Another five years or so of globalisation will probably sort this out for the better. The identity song is on fast forward right now :-)

#25 Comment By Sunny On 12th November, 2005 @ 2:47 am

Cool story!

Robert - I agree with that entirely. In fact this is what is so great about having multiple-cultures. Picking and mixing is the way forward. I hate the sometimes Asian idea of ‘preserving Asian culture’. Sheesh. If you like it, then you’ll preserve it.

#26 Comment By StrangelyPsychedelique On 12th November, 2005 @ 9:05 am

>>Sheesh. If you like it, then you’ll preserve it.

True. I have family spread out all over the world from the US to hong kong and i find theyve all managed to negotiate a nice balance between the society they live in now and the culture they were born into. They feel equally comfortable going to a diwali show as they do a town parade.

Part of true integration imo is being able to move fluidly between your own culture and the one most dominant in your (new) home society. Or in the case of London - the multiple other cultures.
I dont think you need to drink beer/eat chips or feast on jerk chicken to prove your integrated worth but just taking part and showing up makes all the difference.

It also makes all the difference to the other members of the society we live in. Minorities may have no obligation to please anyone else but it is part of the gesture that tells others about how we see this society.

I can also understand if Asians are working too maniacally hard (Bulbul example above) or cannot relate to anything that happens in the public sphere but thats bullcrap.

We dont need to prove to anyone about how integrated we are but if we want to fight racism, dispell stereotypes etc we have to get out of the little corners and be a little more active.
Tis a simple part of a biger issue perhaps but unless you gel the apathy I doubt you’ll get very far.

#27 Comment By El Cid On 12th November, 2005 @ 10:54 am

I am reminded of the time when the BNP/NF staged a rally at the Finsbury Park Mosque (actually it’s the North Central London mosque in Finsbury Park, but why bother with the facts when you can taint all the mosques in the area with a world-infamous label that sends journalists into a frenzy).
The locals — a mix of mainly second-generation greek, irish, jamaican, turkish, spanish and west African plus native english and a few Asians — just wouldn’t have it and were quick to join the smattering of organised leftish protest in order to confront them. I think for most it was a turf issue as well as political.
The thing that struck me was the reaction of the local moslems. There is a strong Algerian community in London N4. And to be honest I wouldn’t **** with them. There are a tough bunch. The fact they didn’t get involved was probably down to ignorance (they are first-generation immigrants, speak little english, were probably bemused by these bald-headed angry white guys, and just wanted to keep their heads down after all the attention they had received post 9/11. A few are probably also illegals, I would venture).
But what made me laugh were the 20 or so radical Asian hoodies linked to Hamza and Bakri who were always there on a Friday — mostly 15-20 year-olds.
“Hold me back, Hold me back!!” What a bunch of cowardly c****, was the consensus view of the local ethnics. They were evidently scared and bottled it. You could see it in their faces.
Only when they were sure that the police had given them overwhelming protection did they give it the big’un — to the police!
It’s obviously easier to kill innocent people on the London underground than it is to stand up to the enemy face to face.

#28 Comment By Col. Mustafa On 12th November, 2005 @ 2:37 pm

Im not making excuses for Asians, merely creating the scenario in my head.

This particular rally, i could imagine say instead of those 500 unionists, students, leftists being 500 asian students, leftists.
Now out of the leftists lets say theres about 120 of them, and 280 random students that are just going cos everyone else is going, and about 100 rudeboy type macho mentality ones that are going because the BNP will be there.

Even though the numbers of the macho men are lower they would ruin the rally by trying to cause trouble, then you would get at least some of the random 280 people joining them, but the lefties would probably try and calm, the situation, make them see reason if they can, or just leave, go somewhere else away from the trouble and rally there while also complaining about rude boy dickheads.

It could turn out different as well, you could get 500 asians that all just want to rally in peace and just stand up for thier rights.
I see that happening more in the near future as even now were talking about it, and theres alot more clued up people out there that just want to help and not cause trouble.
I don’t wanna generalise the fight scenario as i dont know for sure, but to stop that from happening you would need strong rally leaders that know the sort of people coming to the rally.
But even that won’t stop a whole bunch of asians hearing about BNP, researching how many will be there; gang up at least 1 and half times the number of people, try and find some materials that they can throw, get petty in there cars; listen to natural born killers by dre and cube before hand; maybe then smoke spliffs and get too high and forget about what they were doing in the first place; or proceed to go down to the rally and cause trouble.

#29 Comment By Col. Mustafa On 12th November, 2005 @ 2:52 pm

Now if its just a rally where no opposition is in view.
Then you just dont get alot of asians showing up because yeh they are lazy.
Especially the younger lot, they would rather do something else as the life they live doesn’t coincide with what the rally is about.
Even if it has something to do with the racism, ethnic minorities or whatever the average asian living around the place is not getting affected by racism.
Therefore they don’t see it as an immediate response for them to rally about it.
Look at your average uni, i dont see many asians talking about how they have to stop racism or do more animal rights; they might talk about it here and there because one person mentioned it, but thats as far as it goes.

Even with your average muslim youth you talk to, they will mention the war and how muslims are dying and what not but only for a abit.
If you talk about it too long like i do with many of them they prefer to not go into too much depth about it, and start talking about something else. Like Arsenal, or how many fit birds there were at the last place they went to.

Its about getting people aware, and that some protests or rallies can make a change, or atleast not let the opposition get the edge over them.
Also the attitude that hippies are always protesting anyway, so whats the point in them doing it.

I think it comes down to image as well, the asians you will see at the random protests or rallies are never roodies, but asians that like to stay away from the typical image of an asian young male or female.

#30 Comment By Sunny On 12th November, 2005 @ 3:12 pm

It’s obviously easier to kill innocent people on the London underground than it is to stand up to the enemy face to face.

Ain’t that the truth El Cid ! :D

i dont see many asians talking about how they have to stop racism or do more animal rights;

Mustafa - I think its also laziness and pure apathy. We’re all good at complaining, but that’s about it. Its not just Muslims - same with Hindus and Sikhs.

Though coming back to the original topic header, for Rohin, I didn’t mention Hindus because I think in general they’re the most politically active bunch and are the first to stand up to the Hindu-right.

#31 Comment By El Cid On 13th November, 2005 @ 12:53 pm

Col Mustapha,
If I was paranoid, which I’m not, and politically correct, which I try not to be, I might think that your ref to “macho mentality” was a dig at hispanics.
But of course you didn’t mean that, did you? he he.
I’m just being devil’s advocate here but.. do you think the poll tax would have been dumped if we hadn’t had the poll tax riots?
…..and do you think the anti-war march in 2003 would have had a bigger effect on govt policy if it had carried with it the threat of serious social instability?
…. and do you think that Gandhi’s non-violent message would have succeeded in bringing about India’s independence if there hadnt been the threat of something worse in the backdrop, with Britain weak after years of war? and and and and…

#32 Comment By Dave On 13th November, 2005 @ 5:59 pm

Could there perhaps be another big reason why not as many Asians and Blacks go to support these anti-racist marches/protests than you would expect.
Could it be that despite what the ‘community leaders’, Politicians, Journalists and other people with vested interests in identity Politics say, our country isn’t actually anywhere near as racist as we are constantly being told? and therefor its not a big concern for a lot of people.

I’ve not been reading this blog for long but from what I have seen of Asian blogs the threat of the BNP seems greatly exaggerated.
If I read tomorrow that the BNP had bombed a Mosque or Temple I would be very very supprised, if I read tomorrow that some ‘other’ group had bombed the underground again I would not be supprised at all.
Thats not racist, just realistic, and I think in their ‘hearts’ most Asians and Blacks know that full well.

The problem with community leaders and this New Labour government is that their views on racism seem to come from when they were young, ie 20-30 years behind the times. I think young peoples attitudes towards race relations would be very different.
I’m not saying we are perfect and no country can be, but I think most of the race-baiters are wrong and doing it for their own gain.

#33 Comment By Sunny On 13th November, 2005 @ 9:32 pm

Dave - I think the BNP are over-rated and yes they are a uesful whipping boys sometimes.

Saying that however, the threat is not uniform. Up north in deprived areas such as Burnley and Oldham and Keithleigh they try their best to use events to spread their rubbish.

The chances of the BNP bombing a Mosque are low because they’re smartened up their look, if not their ideology. That doesn’t make them any more acceptable, though I agree that racism has become such a taboo area that the BNP has become quite sidelined.

Though they mutate like the rest of society and now focus on immigration and Islam as their favourite subjects to spread their traditional brand of hatred.

#34 Comment By Dave On 13th November, 2005 @ 10:33 pm

Yes the BNP have hatred, but they are hardly the only ones, many on the far-left of the Labour party hold a lot of hatred towards ‘rich’ people for example.

I didn’t suggest the BNP were acceptable but, the question is how dangerous they actually are.

#35 Comment By Sunny On 13th November, 2005 @ 10:55 pm

It depends on how much willingness they have in putting their words into action I guess. Many Muslims do not like the Iraq war but they do not blow themselves up in protest (taking a train carriage or two with them).

The BNP have changed their policy of forced repatriation to voluntary repatriation I think, but they’re pretty good at stirring up hatred and trying to set people off against each other, and raise communal tension. We also have to look a the BNP off-shoots like the NF, Skrewdriver crew, Red-Watch, C18, RVF etc etc.

#36 Comment By Siddhartha On 14th November, 2005 @ 11:43 am

Sunny: Great post. But I am rather looking forward to the day when Blacks and Asians influence politics far more than the usual ethnic bugbears, important as they are, of race-politics and inner city poverty.

PS: Your late night lancing with the usual HP trolls has me in stitches this morning


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URLs in this post:
[1] Amritdhari: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khalsa
[2] doing some reading: http://www.thelip.org/?p=121