I’m not a British Muslim woman but…


by Sunny
28th September, 2007 at 2:52 pm    

… here is one saying:

Despite my disagreements with the political views of the government, I am enamoured of the fact that I can protest about their loathsome views. I won’t get arrested for lobbying, demonstrating, writing about my views or speaking out. Whether we Brits always live up to our values of fair play and justice is one thing, but I’m proud that as a nation we at least aspire to them.

The very best of British however, is being able to challenge stereotypes and having the opportunity to make Britain a better place. When Britain closes its eyes and its heart as it seems to be doing in understanding the issues of Muslims and of women, it is a disappointing and dark place to be. But being British means I have hope that we can make this a great nation. Being in a country where I can have the good fight, and be proud that I am doing my duty as a citizen is why I love being here.

That’s from Shelina’s article on her blog. She’s a columnist for Muslim News, where this will be published. If anyone is still confused as to how people can combine multiple identities – religion and nationality – in a way they feel comfortable, then it’s worth reading the whole thing. All very obvious stuff for most of our readers, I know, but it needs to be said sometimes. She even puts the Scottish to shame!


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  1. newmania — on 28th September, 2007 at 3:10 pm  

    Yes well thats all very well but it would also help if Muslims who apear to have benefitted from our open society would stop opening the heart eyes limbs and arterial veins of tube passengers and then claiming it has nothing to do with their community
    7.7 was dropped quickly , to the fury of the relatives, from the media, because of one Police mistake. So if the suggestion is that Islam is misjudged I say au contaire there is great resistance to condemnation where it is deserved .For example the increase of any anti-semitic attacks perpetrated by Muslims and nothing to do with the “White skinhead ” of legend . Where is the contrition , where is the apology to the Jewish community ?
    There is a no place for appeasment and I am yet to see Muslims themselves earning the right to a hearing by allingning themselves unambiguously with the core secular values of the country in which they live.Is that really so much to ask? Why , for example were Muslims in this country outraged at the suggestion they should fly the Union Flag on their Mosques? Heavy handed I admit …but when you come to think of it , what exactly is so disgusting about our flag?

  2. Sofia — on 28th September, 2007 at 3:21 pm  

    oh here we go again..why the hell should i have to apologise for something i haven’t done…i don’t agree with it, i tell ppl i don’t agree with it..do any of you know of a group called alef alif…its a jewish/muslim group..of course most ppl won’t have heard of it because its not in the public interest for Muslims and Jews to be seen as working to gether..so Newmania…plz don’t tell me that I need to “earn” the right to align myself to secular British values…ugh…you’ve managed to really fucking piss me off

  3. sahil — on 28th September, 2007 at 3:26 pm  

    “7.7 was dropped quickly ”

    What are you going on about?

    “where is the apology to the Jewish community ?”

    Those criminals are hopefully locked up. I don’t know why every Muslim should be responsible for every other Muslim’s actions? Maybe you should apologise for the BNP. Are you not just like them?

    “I am yet to see Muslims themselves earning the right to a hearing by allingning themselves unambiguously with the core secular values of the country in which they live.”

    Just step out of the clouds and you’ll see. Stop reading garbage and maybe you’ll see.

    “Muslims in this country outraged at the suggestion they should fly the Union Flag on their Mosques?”

    Which Muslims?? The funny looking ones or the crazy eyed looking ones?? Be more specific about which kind of nutter you are referring to.

  4. rupahuq — on 28th September, 2007 at 3:28 pm  

    Agreed. What a load of toss this first post is here. Most Muslims are regular people. No-one made this type of piss-poor generalisation about the “white community” or expected a similar issuing of apology after the naibomber tried to blow up Brick Lane/ Brixton/ Soho.

  5. Sofia — on 28th September, 2007 at 3:31 pm  

    http://www.aauk.org/ – this is the website of the group I was talking about
    newmania…quit reading the Daily Mail, talk to Muslims who are striving hard to make a difference and get off your goddamn moral high horse

  6. newmania — on 28th September, 2007 at 3:35 pm  

    ..why the hell should i have to apologise for something i haven’t done…i don’t agree with it, i tell ppl i don’t agree with it..

    You should try being white and British absolutely everything is our fault from Ireland to India and lets not forget slavery.We seem to put up with a far stupider idea of collective guilt than you do. Perhaps you can imagine how irritating it is to see ken Livingstine actually crying in front of Jackson and begging forgiveness for ‘slavery’. I don`t have a slave last time I looked( Note to self : beat wife more). Why are you always so much more thin skinned than anyone else is allowed to be ?
    If you think this teeny problemette is going to be dropped on the basis that some people find it uncomfortable think again!

    Arif sounds terrific by the way

  7. Rumbold — on 28th September, 2007 at 3:37 pm  

    Newmania:

    “For example the increase of any anti-semitic attacks perpetrated by Muslims and nothing to do with the “White skinhead ” of legend . Where is the contrition , where is the apology to the Jewish community?”

    You have missed the point, and Sofia rightly takes you to task on it. When white skinheads were beating up Jews I was not called on to apologise for it, because it was not of my doing. In the same vein, I doubt very much that Sofia and Shelina are the sort of Muslims who go round desecrating Jewish graves. Just because so of their so-called ‘co-religionists’ do it does not mean they are at fault.

    “Why , for example were Muslims in this country outraged at the suggestion they should fly the Union Flag on their Mosques? Heavy handed I admit …but when you come to think of it , what exactly is so disgusting about our flag?”

    I am proud to be one of Her Majesty’s subjects, but do not need to express my happiness by flying a flag- it is a bit too extroverted for the average Brit. How many non-Islamic religious buildings, including churches, fly the Union flag?

    ” am yet to see Muslims themselves earning the right to a hearing by allingning themselves unambiguously with the core secular values of the country in which they live. Is that really so much to ask?”

    By secular values I presume that you mean bishops in the House of Lords and the Head of State being the supreme governor of the Church of England? I agree that values are important, but it is not clear that the rest of the country is in alignment with them either.

  8. newmania — on 28th September, 2007 at 3:40 pm  

    naibomber tried to blow up Brick Lane/ Brixton/ Soho.

    Rubbish the white working classes are constantly help up as the repository of every anti social inclination you can think of and can I just point out that politics is always about ‘Groups’ of people so to start complaining about “generalistations ” is about as redundant as fishes bathing suit.

  9. Kismet Hardy — on 28th September, 2007 at 3:40 pm  

    “You should try being white and British absolutely everything is our fault from Ireland to India and lets not forget slavery”

    My kids are half-white and fully British. They don’t have a chip on their shoulders

    Why do you?

    Is it maybe because your mother didn’t hug you enough?

  10. Sofia — on 28th September, 2007 at 3:42 pm  

    *sigh* i need some drugs

  11. Sofia — on 28th September, 2007 at 3:42 pm  

    newmania did you mention that your wife is not white? does she blame you for ireland, empire, slavery?

  12. Leon — on 28th September, 2007 at 3:45 pm  

    But being British means I have hope that we can make this a great nation.

    Ffs can’t people take some Constitution 101 lessons before banging on about Britain and Britishness??

    Once more, Britain is NOT a nation. It is a collection of nations which make up part of the United Kingdom.

  13. newmania — on 28th September, 2007 at 3:46 pm  

    Clever Rumbold but also slippery…unfortunately I have clients to deal with but you will have to take my word for it that your remarks are old territory and the cocked hat into which I was about to knock them will be attended to later

  14. Kismet Hardy — on 28th September, 2007 at 3:47 pm  

    I’ve always found this quite strange about people that want to uphold Britishness to the point of white fanatism

    They really don’t know the Englisg language very well, do they?

    Peckys Out, as the grafitti on my pub toilet pleads

  15. Kismet Hardy — on 28th September, 2007 at 3:49 pm  

    Englisg!?

    (Bollocks)

  16. sahil — on 28th September, 2007 at 3:53 pm  

    “cocked hat into which I was about to knock them will be attended to later”

    Are we in Texas?? Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.

  17. Jagdeep — on 28th September, 2007 at 3:53 pm  

    Clever Rumbold but also slippery…unfortunately I have clients to deal with

    Male escort?

    but you will have to take my word for it that your remarks are old territory and the cocked hat into which I was about to knock them will be attended to later

    Rumbold actually nailed it completely. It will be entertaining to watch you flailing, though.

  18. Jagdeep — on 28th September, 2007 at 3:55 pm  

    *sigh* i need some drugs

    Kismet should be able to sort you out.

  19. Sofia — on 28th September, 2007 at 3:58 pm  

    he’s already sorting me out with some freebie mags and lightenex…yay..sorted

  20. Kismet Hardy — on 28th September, 2007 at 3:58 pm  

    Crack anyone?

  21. Kismet Hardy — on 28th September, 2007 at 3:59 pm  

    Sofia, I’ll cure you of all your insecurities yet :-)

  22. Sofia — on 28th September, 2007 at 4:02 pm  

    erm..you may just traumatise me

  23. Kismet Hardy — on 28th September, 2007 at 4:06 pm  

    All the girls say that. Then, as if I’m deaf or something, they get their sodding lawyers to repeat it

  24. Jagdeep — on 28th September, 2007 at 4:22 pm  

    I think you need to send a copy of Asiana to Newmania as well Kismet.

  25. newmania — on 28th September, 2007 at 4:37 pm  

    Sofia ..No

    Rumbold ..Are you a white skinhead then? No you are not. The fact that every group is also part of another connected groups is really just a way of muddying the waters . The picure of the white skinhead referred to the constituency of people which now form the BNP. Would you say that they have been vilified or would you suggest that they are in fact to be taken as individuals and no member prejudged by the activities and views of the others ? Its not quite the same I admit but nor is your example.

    Many non Islamic buildings voluntarily fly the flag obviously my point is that for Muslims the suggestion was apparently a disgraceful. As I say clumsy possibly but if you are going to pretend to misunderstand the sort of feelings aroused to the country then you are really only wasting time . You know full well and it would be more productive to accept the point and look at where we go from here.

    Similarly if you are trying to suggest that the values of the West and this country in particular are so internally conflicting that to request adherence to them is pointless then you are being disingenuous to no purpose . There are very clear ways in which there are irreconcilable conflicts between the teachings of Islam and the requirements of Liberal Democracy. Perhaps one way is just to water down adherence to this religion to the point it can co-exist with devil worship , like Christianity, but in the short term I feel a more explicit example should be set . I suggest Muslim doves should speak up and criticise their own community and I do not hear enough of it not by a damn long way.

    Perhaps many are frightened ? I wouldn`t know , I `m pretty scared of our local Mosque Finsbury Park , but then it has been few years since a large cache of arms was found in it.I daresay it could just as easily have been the Methodists…. The local Paper takes no chances and self censors on islam , do you blame them ? You see Surveys in which astonishingly high proportions of Muslim youth (especially) hold terrifying opinions verging on the deranged.

    Whats to be done …blame everyone else ? Say its not me ?

  26. Mike — on 28th September, 2007 at 4:38 pm  

    Leon (12) is right

  27. Kulvinder — on 28th September, 2007 at 4:39 pm  

    . Why are you always so much more thin skinned than anyone else is allowed to be ?

    I hope this was an attempt at irony.

  28. Sofia — on 28th September, 2007 at 4:43 pm  

    Non Islamic buildings? I didn’t know bricks and mortar had a faith..

  29. Jagdeep — on 28th September, 2007 at 4:54 pm  

    Non Islamic buildings? I didn’t know bricks and mortar had a faith..

    My house was originally Church of England, but it converted to Buddhism after we had an extension and put in a conservatory.

  30. Sofia — on 28th September, 2007 at 4:59 pm  

    Jagdeep..haha..listen to you with your conservatory..i must say it sounds more methodist than buddhist…i see a whole new business springing up…”would you like to convert your house? does your house need a new more meaningful dimension? well come to us…House convertors is a new house conversion business looking to make your house….into a home….”

  31. Sofia aka Muslim Dove (flutter flutter) — on 28th September, 2007 at 5:00 pm  

    I’d like to build the world a home and furnish it with love..grow apple trees, and honey bees and snow white turtle doves…(that’s me baby)

  32. Boyo — on 28th September, 2007 at 5:03 pm  

    On the issue of Shelina’s article (as opposed to being trolled by newmania – I mean, at least my posts have the virtue of occasional originality) I think she posits what Umberto Echo would call a “moronic argument”, ie she creates this beastie – the wicked mainstream media out to get her – which doesn’t actually exist. I mean, where’s the links?

    She sounds like a nice person though, and good luck to her. Wouldn’t put my full name (if that’s what it is) at the end however. Unwise I would have thought.

  33. Jagdeep — on 28th September, 2007 at 5:06 pm  

    Jagdeep..haha..listen to you with your conservatory..i must say it sounds more methodist than buddhist…

    The consevatory is actually thinking of converting to Jehova Witness after being influenced by the greenhouse next door.

    I think she posits what Umberto Echo would call a “moronic argument”, ie she creates this beastie – the wicked mainstream media out to get her – which doesn’t actually exist. I mean, where’s the links?

    Umberto Echo?

    Dontcha mean ‘Eco’?

    I don’t think the argument is moronic at all.

  34. Boyo — on 28th September, 2007 at 5:08 pm  

    Well there’s always someone with a big nose who knows…

    Don’t blame me, blame Umberto.

  35. Boyo — on 28th September, 2007 at 5:09 pm  

    Ie, creating a false argument that you then challenge.

  36. Jagdeep — on 28th September, 2007 at 5:13 pm  

    Well it’s not really a false argument in the first place Boyo.

  37. Careless — on 28th September, 2007 at 5:29 pm  

    My house was originally Church of England, but it converted to Buddhism after we had an extension and put in a conservatory.

    Kind of amusing when someone tries to mock someone else and ends up looking ignorant instead.
    “Islamic” can be properly applied to art and architecture.

  38. Jagdeep — on 28th September, 2007 at 5:43 pm  

    Kind of amusing when someone tries to mock someone else and ends up looking ignorant instead.

    Try reading it in the context of Newmania’s spleen venting or else you just look ignorant yourself. Innit Sofia?

    “Islamic” can be properly applied to art and architecture.

    OK thanks for the lesson, see above.

  39. Jai — on 28th September, 2007 at 5:50 pm  

    Why are you always so much more thin skinned than anyone else is allowed to be ?

    Therein lies the crux of the problem. The word “you”, with the implication of group guilt, collective responsibility, and some kind of Borg-like lack of individuality on the part of the accused.

  40. Ravi Naik — on 28th September, 2007 at 6:10 pm  

    “By secular values I presume that you mean bishops in the House of Lords and the Head of State being the supreme governor of the Church of England?”

    Well, these links are symbolic. There is true separation between state and church. Many of the problems that muslims have in this country stem from not accepting secular/liberal values. That’s the only point of newmania’s rant that I agree with.

  41. pounce — on 28th September, 2007 at 6:58 pm  

    As somebody born into the Muslim faith. But wanted no part of it I was treated like a leper by the local Muslim community. Christ I would have got less stick if I had been caught touching little kiddies up. The fact remains as much as individual Muslims shout out they are British and proud of it. There are many more Muslims shouting them down as traitors to the cause. (In fact ex Muslims get less abuse off of so called racist whites than off their own kind)
    Yet as always when ever anybody tries to discuss the subject of polarised Islam, the idiots come out with the sarcastic remarks. And lets be honest here flying the Union flag is a bloody no-no anywhere near a mosque. (As they are on police cars in Birmingham or student digs in Nottingham) But hey never stops the faithful burning my country’s flag. I spent 22 years in the British army and I can count on one hand the number of Muslims who were prepared to die for the red, white and Blue. Pity I can’t say the same for a certain green flag.
    But back to the subject of Islamic female oppression (or the lack of it according to many) At Uni I used to see Pakistani females driven in by their men folk dressed from head to toe in black, then as soon as they are dropped off, they would visit the bogs and appear as normal beautiful young ladies (which they are) 5 mins later minus the ninja outfit. At home time they would do the reverse. So much for wearing the Burka, hijab as a basic human right.

  42. Anas — on 28th September, 2007 at 7:01 pm  

    Despite my disagreements with the political views of the government, I am enamoured of the fact that I can protest about their loathsome views. I won’t get arrested for lobbying, demonstrating, writing about my views or speaking out.

    I think they’re working on that.

  43. MoreCowbell — on 28th September, 2007 at 7:22 pm  

    I’m not an English white woman but…

    Muslims this and muslim that. And Muslim the other.

    Can you guys get a room with your religion and just keep the kinky stuff private? We don’t really want to be roped in to take part in your weird roleplay fantasy you’re trying to being to real life… Why introduce yourself as yet another faceless copy of a standard archetype, instead of yourself, the person. Is muslim the only description that fits you as an individual? Is there nothing more important to convey in your initial introduction?

    Give us all a much needed break already ;P

  44. Boyo — on 28th September, 2007 at 8:38 pm  

    It’s just the whole victim thing that gets me. Why is a Muslim any less a victim of racism than a Hindu or Jew? Or indeed just a Londoner. After 7/7 I like many other Londoners felt victimised by terrorists who murdered 52 of us, yet when has the intolerance, the anglophobia if you like, that resulted in actual mass murder, not just a few articles in the press, ever really criticised or questioned?

  45. Rumbold — on 28th September, 2007 at 8:55 pm  

    Newmania:

    “Are you a white skinhead then? No you are not.”

    Sunny is though.

    “The fact that every group is also part of another connected groups is really just a way of muddying the waters . The picure of the white skinhead referred to the constituency of people which now form the BNP. Would you say that they have been vilified or would you suggest that they are in fact to be taken as individuals and no member prejudged by the activities and views of the others ? Its not quite the same I admit but nor is your example.”

    I do not consider membership of the BNP to be a good thing, but I would not hold the actions of one BNP member to be representative of them all. Same with Christians, Muslims and Parsis. And Sikhs.

    “If you are trying to suggest that the values of the West and this country in particular are so internally conflicting that to request adherence to them is pointless then you are being disingenuous to no purpose.”

    I was not saying that they were contradictory, merely that few people in this country subscribe 100% to them. Why should Muslims be singled out?

    “Many non Islamic buildings voluntarily fly the flag obviously my point is that for Muslims the suggestion was apparently a disgraceful.”

    I would not appreciate Johnny bureaucrat telling me to ‘be patriotic’ either- some taxpayers’ money-consuming sociologist lecturing me. No thank you.

    ” I suggest Muslim doves should speak up and criticise their own community and I do not hear enough of it not by a damn long way.”

    Society would benefit if more moderate Muslims criticised some of the actions of the Islamists, but they should not be expected to apologise for them, as they were not at fault.

    “I`m pretty scared of our local Mosque Finsbury Park , but then it has been few years since a large cache of arms was found in it. I daresay it could just as easily have been the Methodists.”

    Finsbury Park mosque was an extreme example, and the main protagonist there is behind bars.

    “You see Surveys in which astonishingly high proportions of Muslim youth (especially) hold terrifying opinions verging on the deranged.”

    If I were a Muslim I would be sick of people asking me to prove my loyalty and questioning me on terrorism, so when these survey people come round I would tell them that I want to re-introduce the Caliphate, even if I believed the opposite. It is a form of rebellion for most (though there are a few genuine psychos around).

  46. nodn — on 28th September, 2007 at 9:16 pm  

    Sunny- I’m sure this is the second post of hers you’ve posted in a week! when is she going to be allowed to post here herself?

  47. Sofia (3rd wife) — on 28th September, 2007 at 9:28 pm  

    Just for the record, i’m a poor oppressed 3rd wife of a nasty Muzzi man…he beats me with his baseball bat miswak and then makes me cook him biryani..boohoo…I also have to live in his Islamic building (terraced house in alum rock)…and I don’t even have an extension…

  48. Sofia (3rd wife) — on 28th September, 2007 at 9:30 pm  

    Pounce, why were you treated like a leper by the local muslim community?

  49. newmania — on 28th September, 2007 at 11:34 pm  

    Rumbold

    Weak weak weak the last part pitifully so and you know it

    I ask those in a position to help to stop blaming everyone else and denying we have problem and do something about it ,. What do I get… the predictable defensive apologists . Perhaps it is understandable but we need more
    Your point about Finsbury Park Mosque is ill informed .It was not a few individuals it was and is a proportion of the community who are just where they were . Police surveillance has made the Mosque a bit hot but there is a lot of activity in the local college and the two of the bombers came from exactly that background . Noone knows who should be in prison although plenty are being tracked . Meanwhile the far left Liberal Council continues to fund community separatist projects along old style identity politics lines little better than Enver Hodge who has gone “ Barking”

    Zia haider Rahman quoted the NOP Poll showing that 45% of Muslims worldwide believed that the 9.11 attacks were a conspiracy concocted between Israel and the US and remarked that there is little reasons to suppose the proportion is markedly less in Britain . UK Polls show 25 % of British Muslims believe the government and the security forces were involved in 7.7. And amongst young males the proportions are far higher. Incidentally a MORI Poll showed that 68% of ethnic minority members believe we have too much immigration . Interesting
    According to British official s up to 16000 Muslims are actively engaged in or support terrorist activity,. Up to 3000 are estimated to have passed through Al Qaeda training camps with several hundred thought to be primed to attack the UK at any time . Lord Steven s suggested the true number was as high as 4000 with groups already trying to infiltrate the security services These boys are British through and through not radicalised abroad . It is a well known fact that London is the centre of European terrorism and when America mentioned it everyone went into denial again. There are about 2 million Muslims in the country by the way so the proportion is small but not so small as to be insignificant

    In this context can you see that when Labour’s cretinous mayor Livingstone embraces Sheil Yusuf al Qardawi who tells Muslims it is their duty to turn themselves into human bombs Londoners are entitled to feel they are lead by a mad man A mad man moreover that subscribes enthusiastically to the warped view that Iraq was the fault of a crazed super power and not caused by Muslim aggression.

    There is a strongly held view amongst Muslims in Britain that when their values conflict with the host culture then that host culture must back away and allow Muslim mini states their separate development. The pressure for the legal recognition of Islamic family law for example The requirement for halal food politicised dress codes and a de facto alternative legal system are all thing s up with which we cannot put .
    No other immigrant community has declared itself at war with its own country in this way and ordinary Liberal minded people have become so terrified of being branded a racist that they are cowed into silence when outright condemnation is the only possible response. Can nobody here see the irony of a religion that’s denies basic rights to women , homosexuals their right to life , protected under a human rights banner?
    Zia Haider Rahmar , brown chap and human rights lawyer put it like this “ Chief amongst the agents of change are Muslims themselves . Moderate Muslims must speak out ..we should not be afraid of causing offence” This surely is the challenge for Liberal British Muslims , to put aside their own prejudices , see things as they are and start helping.

    Incidentally no this is not a subject about which I am obsessed . Id say it occupies about 3% of my filing system.
    Finally on this site the contributors ,who are clearly thoughtful people havbve a problem . You cannot energetically define seperate identity from the white English majority and yet express outrage when anyone has the temerity to address that seperate identity. You have eaten your cake and now you cannot have it.Our identities are about reponsibilities not just coffee table games

  50. Sunny — on 28th September, 2007 at 11:41 pm  

    Give us all a much needed break already ;P

    Don’t remember forcing anyone to read this blog. Of course, if I was Prime Minister then that would be different but thank your lucky stars I’m not. Don’t like it, don’t read it.

    Why is a Muslim any less a victim of racism than a Hindu or Jew?

    No one said they were. But there is a rather lot of tripe spouted on about Muslims and Islam (newmania being a great example) than Sikhs or Jews.

  51. newmania — on 29th September, 2007 at 1:52 am  

    Tripe is it ?Well I would be pleased to be wrong

  52. douglas clark — on 29th September, 2007 at 2:46 am  

    Newmania,

    What about 49% of folk in New York City that were polled by Zogby considering that the the US government “knew in advance that attacks were planned on or around September 11, 2001, and that they consciously failed to act”. Presumeably 49% of the folk in NY are not Muslims. (August 2004)

    Or, oh bugger it, here’s the link:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/9/11_opinion_polls

    The point being that a lot of non Muslims also subscribe to narratives that are not the one you’d want them to follow. Whilst you could reasonably argue that Americans that believe this shit have a slightly more sophisticated conspiracy in mind, it is still, very much, at odds with the official story, is it not?

    I am not at all clear why you expect non violent Muslims to apologise to you for violent Muslims. I’d assume they are just as scared of the violent nutters as you obviously are. And probably, in their case with better reason.

    Reality check. It is pretty obvious to even a non expert like me that the Met and the security forces will be crawling all over Finsbury Park Mosque. It is also pretty clear that there are careers to be had in building up security threats, including but not exclusively in promulgating numbers that make little or no sense, for we cannot judge the scale of the threat independently of folk who have a vested interest in building it up.

    You also conflate things. AFAIK halal food has been available in the UK since, at least, the 1960s, and it’s close brethern kosher food has been available since the year dot. Women dressing in ridiculously asexual clothing was a feature of rural UK communities within living memory. Scotland has a de facto seperate legal system, did you know that? And no, I am not in favour of the barbaric nature of some Islamic forms of ‘justice’. In fact I am totally opposed to it. I’ve never, physically, met a Muslim that did subscribe to it, but there you go, I’ve probably led a sheltered life.

    Surprised I am in Yoda speak that this only occupies 3% of your brain, what the hell is fermenting in the rest of it?

    Oh, and in case you hadn’t guessed, I am white and I am Scottish. I have almost always seen myself as well, y’know, not English. According to the more strident English nationalists I am eating the cake to the tune of 50 billion a year. On the other hand, 50 billion a year is cheap when you look at it. Did you think we’d provide, near as dammit, your whole government for nothing?

  53. douglas clark — on 29th September, 2007 at 2:49 am  

    “I am white and I am Scottish”

    Shit.

    “I am grey and I am Scottish” would be nearer the truth.

  54. newmania — on 29th September, 2007 at 8:37 am  

    I`m not sure how relevant the ” knew in advance” thing is as they did , know in advance . Its just that they knew of thousands of possible threats and in the overheated atmosphere of the time I suspect this poll is misleading . I was in New York shortly after 9.11 and there was a conspiracy a day . I think you must also recognise that my example forms part of a political world view consistently held and all embracing. That is why I can quote to you endless Polls of Muslim opinion each more dispiriting than the last. All of them seem to question the initial assumption that there was no connection between commonly the views of ordinary Muslims and he actions of a violent few. The vast majority of Irish nationalsist are not violent and lovely people and yet it would be absurd to claim there was no tacit support for the IRA amongst ordinary Sinn Fein voters and no connection between the ends of the spectrum, . I think those of us who do not really know , wonder if that might be a better model . If it is not then you must admit some people are going to great lengths to make it seem so.

    I think on halal food the point is the aggressive campaign to ensure it is provided in schools which is somewhat different to the Jews ( who brought huge numbers of cakes in their lunch boxed at my school) .
    I didn`t say I expected anyone to apologise for anything …or did I …., although my beloved leaders are constantly apologising on my behalf for the activities of the empire builders ….I agree it’s a stupid extension of collective guilt . I was suggesting that those in the community who can ; should be criticising the activities of some and the attitudes which ferment this sort of thing . That what I meant anyway, not always engaged in knee jerk defence and against the country

    I am well aware that Scotland has a legal system that is separate and the £30 billion (actually )budgeted for the Barnett formula and as a Conservative I am exceedingly aware of the gerrymandering activities of the Labour Party over devolution. Personally I am sad to see the end of the UK but its certainly coming and I would like to se English votes counted as fully as Scottish ones in the interim. Scotland clearly wishes to be self governing and we accept that it has that right .

    Whether we wish to be negotiating with areas of the UK about the possibility of “Sharia “ law , having some legal status or “ Parliaments” set up in opposition to ours by recently arrived communities is a somewhat different thing and in my view not something a coherent and settled country should have to up with. We hear these things from Muslim leaders and what we do not hear is Muslims saying no , they do not subscribe to this separatism they wish to follow a religion but quite clearly within the laws and customs of the country. I am delighted to detect , that there are Muslims who seem to want to live primarily in the wider English community … which is news to me and not the experience of everyday life .

    I write my own , comparatively useless blog( compared to this awesome endeavour ). … you have to keep up temd to sound as if I think I know everything but I am usually proved to be a bit thick……..sorry.

    Its called Newmania

  55. Rabbit — on 29th September, 2007 at 11:13 am  

    Leon (12). If you’re complaining about us being described as one nation ‘cos it ain’t correct, then I object to this whole citizenship nonsense. We’re not citizens, but subjects of her majesty the queen. SUBJETS, you ‘ere me?

  56. Rumbold — on 29th September, 2007 at 8:49 pm  

    Newmania:

    I think that Douglas deals excellently with your points so I will not just parrot what he said. However, I was not sure what you meant by this:

    “You cannot energetically define seperate identity from the white English majority and yet express outrage when anyone has the temerity to address that seperate identity. You have eaten your cake and now you cannot have it.Our identities are about reponsibilities not just coffee table games.”

    Rabbit:

    We are subjects of Her Majesty, but I believe that there is some ghastly Labour-EU law that also makes us citizens. Disgusting.

  57. newmania — on 29th September, 2007 at 9:48 pm  

    Rumbold I was just noticing that when I said the only ethnicity that counts in England is English it was remarked that others had more complex and divided identities. When I address remarks to that supposed other identity …( Islamic for example ) everyone says , its nothing to do with me and I`m as English as you are .,….well how can both these positions be contemporaneously true
    As an Englishsman I would accept notional responsibility for English actions in some sense even if I did not agree with them . As in “We did this or that”.We should not have bombed Dresden…. I objected to the BBC refferring to”The British Troops” in the Falklands, they were ‘our’ troops. Our actions in the Opium wars were reprehensible …etc.

    This other identity however seems to be one you wear or discard according to convenience.I have no wish to gratuitously upset anyone but I read Nick Coen writing on the silence about Saudi money flowing into Mosques and the influence of radical groups on growing numbers of Mosques and I wonder why British Muslims are so unwilling to criticise what is happening ? Theres not a lot of point in me doing so and I expect someone like Melanie Phillips will also be disregarded as she is Jewish.( Her book Londonistan )

    Perhaps its this way . While I campaign agaist a raft of new Labour horrors and I often feel the country is a basket case hell hole I would not admit as much to anyone foreign. As far as they are concerned it is still the best country in the world and infinitely better than theirs !

  58. Bleh/Morgoth — on 30th September, 2007 at 2:54 am  

    Let’s face facts here – Spirit21 is defending the practise of veiling which in any form whatsoever is a completely barbaric, misogynistic and medieval practise that has no place in a civilised, secular world.

    All forms of the veil and all other unwanted religious intrusions (of whatever kind) into the public sphere should be banned forthwith, and if the mentally-ill (i.e. the religious) don’t like that, tough titty. This is the 21st century, NOT the seventh.

  59. Sunny — on 30th September, 2007 at 4:22 pm  

    and if the mentally-ill (i.e. the religious) don’t like that, tough titty. This is the 21st century, NOT the seventh.

    I know this may be hard for you to understand Bleh, but freedom of expression, including religious expression, is central to democracy and individual liberty. You have no right to dictate how others live their lives in their private spaces as you have no right to dictate who people choose to have sex with. Learn to live with it.

  60. Don — on 30th September, 2007 at 5:22 pm  

    ‘All forms of the veil and all other unwanted religious intrusions (of whatever kind) into the public sphere should be banned forthwith, and if the mentally-ill (i.e. the religious) don’t like that, tough titty. This is the 21st century, NOT the seventh.’

    Ever meet a guy called Tingey? You would like him.

    How exactly would you go about banning all forms of religious intrusion, if you include symbolic dress as an intrusion worth banning?

    A lot of people choose to encumber themselves with religious accessories, and a significant number would probably be prepared to die for the right to continue doing so. So, in practical terms, what does ‘banning’ these things that piss you off actually mean? Simplistic splenetics aside.

    My position on full facial covering has been stated, I am aware of half a dozen discrete reasons for it and find none of them positive. But hoping to erode co-ercion is a different matter to wanting to ban freely chosen expression, however much you may disagree with the ideas expressed.

    I gather that you consider yourself an atheist, a secularist, a rationalist? Add a penchant for banning and censoring, include a fantasy-based lust for power and a remarkably unsophisticated view of the world, factor in an unwarrantedly supercilious attitude.

    You really are lowering the tone.

  61. Bleh/Morgoth — on 30th September, 2007 at 6:35 pm  

    I know this may be hard for you to understand Bleh, but freedom of expression, including religious expression, is central to democracy and individual liberty.

    I disagree. Freedom of Expression does not include public expressions of brainwashing or religious propaganda. Let them keep it in their own homes, NOWHERE else.

    You have no right to dictate how others live their lives in their private spaces as you have no right to dictate who people choose to have sex with. Learn to live with it.

    Sunny, the religious dictate vast portions of our lifes – ever tried going shopping on Sundays, for example? If they wish to worship their pathetic right-hand-path ideologies in their own homes, so be it. But how dare they make a mockery of a millenium or more of technological and rational progress by strutting their mental illness in public!

  62. Bleh/Morgoth — on 30th September, 2007 at 6:38 pm  

    So, in practical terms, what does ‘banning’ these things that piss you off actually mean?

    Don, it means bootstrutting the whole human race out of their dependicies on superstitions and dogma into a bright new world of rational thought. Those who insist on clinging onto their pathetic superstitions, well, natural selection will take care of them just as it did many other species over the course of this planet’s history.

  63. Don — on 30th September, 2007 at 7:09 pm  

    in practical terms

  64. Ravi Naik — on 30th September, 2007 at 7:45 pm  

    ” But how dare they make a mockery of a millenium or more of technological and rational progress by strutting their mental illness in public!”

    Technological and rational progress have not solved the fundamental questions of human existence. So, religion does not have to be irrational, not even in the context of science.

  65. Ravi Naik — on 30th September, 2007 at 7:49 pm  

    Wearing full veil should be banned – it is more to do with a backward culture than religion. To me, that is as extreme and disrepectful as walking naked in streets, which is prohibited by law.

  66. Boyo — on 30th September, 2007 at 8:20 pm  

    “Learn to live with it.”

    Well, we all do, but I wonder if the “freedom of expression” thing is a bit bogus?

    One person’s freedom of expression after all is another’s freedom to get his 12 year old daughter to walk around in a burqua.

    We used to send kids up chimneys and put criminals in stocks, but this is all now banned. I’m sure the chimney sweeps would have expressed content at their labour, but that did not necessarily mean it was right – yet is this any more abusive of children than raising your females to consider themselves effectively second class to males and marrying them off when they reach puberty?

    Some people here profess to be socialists. Socialism I always understood to mean a belief in equality underpinned by reason. Reason would dictate that the veil was a symbol of inequality, if not prejudice against the equal rights of the female (as laid out in the Qu’ran and through cultural practice).

    Equal rights legislation exists to enforce equality in the workplace, so surely there is a case to enforce it in our schools and ban the veil for reinforcing notions of inequality on impressionable minds?

  67. opposite — on 30th September, 2007 at 8:27 pm  

    Why should different dress codes point to inequality? Women wear bras, men don’t. Doesn’t make either better or worse. Equality does not mean sameness.

    As for the wonderful technological innovation of the last thousand years, I believe the first and second world wars are a wonderful testament to that.

    And Hiroshima?

  68. newmania — on 30th September, 2007 at 9:19 pm  

    As a Conservative there is lot that I find to admire about Muslim life as perceived via the media . I like the respect they have for community and family and the intolerance of crime and disloyalty. I understand well how aspects of the Western world seem decadent and shallow . Its true , we do live shallow lives and think about our mortgage than our soul. I cansee also that the way women are depicted in the media must appear a travesty of love and human relations . Of course the truth is that real people are not much like the pictures but there is an emptiness about it all that I can readily imagine being repulsed by.

    There are many qualities I admire about the Jews as well but they have been far more succesful at finding a way of retaining an idenitity without subracting from the cultural capital of the country they live in.There does also seem to be an overtly polticised Muslim movement with whom little dialogue is possible . I must say , this site , which I noticed was very near the top of the UK blog league is a marvellous way of finding common ground . It occurs to me that even if agreement is not possible ( and why should we all agree) the process itself is immensely helpful .

    I do think the veil is a bad symbol but Conservatives are always highly wary of critiscing one aspect of a system without understanding the whole . Montaigne delighted in reminding those who though they knew best how different societies around the world worked in quite astonishingly diffrent ways but each of them worked .It is only socialists that think you write donw the truth of men and society in a little book.

    Better understanding must be the way forward but I cannot drop from the positon an implacable opposition to those who hate the country and wish harm to its subjects. I still feel that Muslims themsleves should be doing more to correct their own problems. Noone else can and not all the evidence of deep seated antipathy to the UK can be press bias

    ps I am suspicious of rationalism .Rational eugenic theories lead to some of the worst atrocities in our history and rational Marxism similarly. Rationally speaking why not euthenasia ? How irrational the rationalsits have been

  69. Sunny — on 30th September, 2007 at 9:59 pm  

    Freedom of Expression does not include public expressions of brainwashing or religious propaganda.

    Err, yes it does Bleh. that’s the whole point. Public expression of religion, which does not harm others or physically intrude on others, does not give the state the right to dictate what people should be wearing and what kind of clothings are not allowed.

    What next? You could ban dreadlocks which you find offensive. Want to lock up people who smell badly? Take up Morgoth’s law! He’ll clean our society of any undesirable elements.

    I’m afraid a central point to the liberty that the enlightenment argued for was that people could dress how they wanted to without the state or any religious body dictating it.

    Now you want to swing the pendelum the other way by making atheism the dominant ideology that dictates how others should act.

  70. Bleh/Morgoth — on 1st October, 2007 at 1:58 am  

    Now you want to swing the pendelum the other way by making atheism the dominant ideology that dictates how others should act.

    Yes. Completely and utterly.

    In the same way the pendulum has swung against slavery. Or paedophilia.

  71. Bleh/Morgoth — on 1st October, 2007 at 1:59 am  

    Rationally speaking why not euthenasia?

    If someone freely wishes to do so, then why not?

  72. Sunny — on 1st October, 2007 at 2:10 am  

    In the same way the pendulum has swung against slavery. Or paedophilia.

    I’m afraid the example is terrible… and doesn’t support your argument.

    By being religious or having faith, a person is only affecting themselves… whether they choose to dance around a fire, get married around it or draw pictures of it. Same with wearing religious garments.

    We have laws against paedophilia and slavery because they involve the subjugation of others against their will. You’d have to prove convincingly that most people who believe in god etc don’t actually want to believe in God. Heh.

  73. Ravi Naik — on 1st October, 2007 at 2:44 am  

    “Those who insist on clinging onto their pathetic superstitions, well, natural selection will take care of them just as it did many other species over the course of this planet’s history”

    Yes, dinosaurs were known to be very religious and full of pathetic superstitions….;)

  74. opposite — on 1st October, 2007 at 10:46 am  

    We have the highest rates of depression, binge drinking is on the increase in both men and women, single parenthood is up as is teenage pregrancy, drug use is rising, we have the unhappiest children on the planet…

    The ‘improvements’ of technology and atheism aren’t making the quality of people’s lives any better. In fact, the lack of meaning that they are providing is setting people on a path to self-destruction.

    If the principle of survival of the fittest comes into play it will be the poor, miserable, depressed creatures that have been created by the very rejection of anything that can’t be measured by a ruler.

    But by that account you probably don’t consider yourself to have a heart or compassion either.

  75. Bleh/Morgoth — on 1st October, 2007 at 11:00 pm  

    By being religious or having faith, a person is only affecting themselves…

    No.

    Take for example, the veil. It is saying, to every man “I wear this because if I don’t, I think you will rape me.”

  76. Sunny — on 1st October, 2007 at 11:11 pm  

    It is saying, to every man “I wear this because if I don’t, I think you will rape me.”

    Started reading minds have you? And anyway, a person can think what they want to.

    What do you want, the government to regulate what people are thinking? Even if you physically outlaw the niqab, it won’t stop prejudice. In the same way, I wouldn’t want racist nutjobs behind prison for not having done anything physically threatening. I thought you were a libertarian Morgoth. Turns out you’re quite the ‘the state should tell you what to think and wear’ fantasist.

  77. Ravi Naik — on 1st October, 2007 at 11:31 pm  

    Sunny, I do not understand based on your remarks, if you think that some forms of vest can be considered a human’s right violation.

  78. douglas clark — on 1st October, 2007 at 11:38 pm  

    Morgoth,

    Personally, I don’t like the niqab. But there are a hell of a lot of things I don’t like, that I have to tolerate. Why? Because ‘I’ am not ‘them’. I doubt very much that the woman wearing a niqab in my local supermarket was actually in fear of being violated. Quite why she chose to wear it is, frankly, up to her, hopefully. But fear of violation in the Sainsburys Fruit and Veg isle strikes me as the least of her worries. It is verging on totalitarian to suggest that dress should be conscripted into the new paradigm that, if there is a subject, then there must be a law for it.

    I was quite sickened with this comment you made earlier, perhaps you’d care to withdraw it?

    “Those who insist on clinging onto their pathetic superstitions, well, natural selection will take care of them just as it did many other species over the course of this planet’s history”

    You have a complete misunderstanding of what natural selection is about. It is not, as you seem to think, predetermined towards progress, it is, in fact, predicated on the idea that environment shapes species.

    Dawkins has said the obvious. That whilst he is a scientific Darwinist, he is not – three cheers! – a social Darwinist. Neither am I. We have a brain which we could use to ameliorate the bad side of evolution, rather than seeing it as a proto fascist excuse for evil.

    I am, frankly, quite irritated at you.

  79. douglas clark — on 1st October, 2007 at 11:50 pm  

    Ravi Naik,

    Well, string vests are an affront to humanity, are they not? Perhaps we could agree on that? Can’t find a picture of Rab C Nesbitt, but it has to be at least an issue for the UN.

  80. Ravi Naik — on 2nd October, 2007 at 12:29 am  

    “Personally, I don’t like the niqab.”

    Douglas, this is not a question of your personal taste in fashion. And no one is defending that there should be a fashion police.

    But the niqab is a misogynist construct, and completely out of place in a liberal society. It hinders any integration in our society at large, and work opportunities, not to mention it is a health hazzard.

    I understand it is very difficult to make laws to forbid these type of things, but I am sure with some imagination, the government can provide incentives for people to stop using such backward and offensive attire in public.

  81. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 2nd October, 2007 at 12:34 am  

    Gosh I love the way that opposite bangs on about the evil of modern technology on the internet! I wonder if he has a phone, a debit card, eats food in a city, drinks fresh tap water and uses antibotics! The cruel injustice of this modern world.

    One might argue that its all this modern technology that is supporting these ridiculous population sizes and that over crowding is making people unhappy.

    Oh! if only the black death would return and we all could wear sandles and live in caves!

    TFI

  82. Sunny — on 2nd October, 2007 at 12:45 am  

    But the niqab is a misogynist construct, and completely out of place in a liberal society.

    Many argue that porn is also a misogynist construct. I look forward to you guys running a campaign to ban that too.

  83. douglas clark — on 2nd October, 2007 at 1:05 am  

    Ravi Naik,

    You said this:

    “the niqab is a misogynist construct, and completely out of place in a liberal society. It hinders any integration in our society at large, and work opportunities, not to mention it is a health hazzard.”

    Well, are tattoos a good thing? Or how about the lunatics with studs everywhere? These are apparently expressions of freedom. Personally, I would send them all to hell. The fact that I can’t is what we call plurarlism. I might hate it, and I do, but it is not my business to restrict folk from being mongers, now, is it?

    Sometimes you just have to accept that human beings are idiots.

  84. Ravi Naik — on 2nd October, 2007 at 2:39 am  

    “Many argue that porn is also a misogynist construct. I look forward to you guys running a campaign to ban that too.”

    Apples and oranges. :) Porn is a multi-million industry with well-paid actresses (men are paid very poorly). If anything, porn exploits men.

    “Well, are tattoos a good thing?”

    I cannot imagine for a moment that a woman would want to wear a niqab, on a very hot day, in a park, in London when the vast majority of women around are not, not to mention how unconfortable it must be. I would be less troubled if she had a choice, but I feel there is pressure to keep the same practises as back home. In that sense, it falls in the camp of misogyny, as it effectively segregates and isolates women from society.

    I am not for creating laws that ban niqabs. But I do wish the government could find ways to effectively discourage them.

  85. Sunny — on 2nd October, 2007 at 3:25 am  

    If anything, porn exploits men.

    Funny, most feminists don’t see it that way. The point is simple – if you want to ban things you think are sexist or you find offensive, then why not let others in on the act? The law, after all, should treat everyone equally.

    And lastly, I think both of you misunderstand the definition of a ‘liberal democracy’, especially the first word.

  86. douglas clark — on 2nd October, 2007 at 5:05 am  

    Ravi Naik,

    When you quoted me here:

    “Well, are tattoos a good thing?”

    I thought you were about to engage with my admitted prejudice. Of course, you did no such thing. I might just as easily have argued that I don’t like chavs, or shell suited wee naffs. Or Buckfast enhanced juvenile delinquency.

    Taking the arguement forward, and given my prejudice, which is genuine by the way, I cannot for a moment believe that a women want’s to have a tattoo. It is a quite obvious social construct, a ludicrous fashion statement if you will. It is an attempt by otherwise sensible females to be ‘liberated’. Hah! It is mutilation as fashion. But is it Art? No, it is not.

    They would argue that it is their freedom to deface themselves, and I am sure that they are right. But is it a freedom too far? Should we not have a law?

    Try engaging with that. In the context of the niqab.

    I can be just as illiberal in my own way as are the anti niqab faction. Keeping shtum about my prejudices might have stood me in good stead, if you see what I mean.

    I am writing this whilst eating prawns. Surely Sunny, or someone, ought to impose a ban on that sort of behaviour? Pretty obvious degraded behavior, huh? Unless you’re Australian, where it is, probably, a cultural imperative.

  87. Sofia — on 2nd October, 2007 at 10:12 am  

    I find it odd that someone with such apparent “liberal” views can ban an individual expression of religion that is not harming anyone else. I don’t really think that niqab is necessary,but would defend the right of a woman to express her religion in this way.

  88. Ravi Naik — on 2nd October, 2007 at 11:27 am  

    “Funny, most feminists don’t see it that way. The point is simple – if you want to ban things you think are sexist or you find offensive, then why not let others in on the act? The law, after all, should treat everyone equally.”

    So you are suggesting that we – the “banning” kind – mix all issues together in unison? :) In reality, porn exists only (legally anyway) in liberal societies, not repressed ones. And this tells me everything I need to know about the issue of porn. But if feminists do want to ban porn, than that’s their call.

    Ironically, there is a big number of feminists who do oppose the niqab on the same grounds as I do.

    “And lastly, I think both of you misunderstand the definition of a ‘liberal democracy’, especially the first word.”

    Perhaps. To me, it is a form of government that emphasises on the protection of individual rights and freedoms. And I see the niqab as a violation of those rights and freedoms. You don’t – you see it as a an expression of that freedom.

    Objectively speaking, the niqab effectively curbs integration, job opportunities, and isolates women from society. It says misogynism all over. I don’t see how that empowers women or facilitates integration in our society. And I haven’t seen anyone disagree with me on these points, and yet…

    We all agree that education empowers people, and for that reason education is compulsory – for males and females – up to a certain age. What if there is a religious/cultural edict that says that women should not be educated? What right has the government to force this group to be educated against their will (or their parents)? So, is it a violation of freedom, or instead, inforcing that freedom? After all, having no education will not give you the freedom to choose your career, and forces you to be dependent on someone else.

  89. Kismet Hardy — on 2nd October, 2007 at 11:43 am  

    I’m not a British woman I’m a British woman’s son, I’m only fucking peasants till the British women come…

  90. Kismet Hardy — on 2nd October, 2007 at 11:57 am  

    (that’s a wordplay on a famous tongue twister, in case it isn’t famous enough abd anyone thinks I’m being too crazy for a tuesday)

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