The Media, Faith-hate and the Hero


by Sid (Faisal)
19th December, 2007 at 1:57 am    

By all accounts, race-hate attacks have increased linearly in the last few years here in the UK.

In 2004, a staggering 33,2374 victims of racially-motivated crime were helped by charities in England and Wales. Prosecutions were up 22% to 5,788 racial incidents in the 2004-2005 period.

Included, and often related, in these race-hate incidents are faith-hate incidents which have also risen sharply. Britain suffered the highest rise in anti-semitic attacks of any country in 2004, with 304 incidents (an increase from 163 the year before). Ninety two of these attacks took place in July, a month after the war in Lebanon began. France tops the list of countries with anti-semitic violence with Britain following close behind.

Some of these attacks are committed by Muslims, we know. Not to say that Muslims in the UK have not suffered bitterly from an increase in anti-Muslim attacks either. Since the July 2005 bombings, about 500 faith-hate and race-hate crimes have been reported. The crimes ranged from arson attacks on mosques to women being spat at in the street.

Certain sections of the media have also been singled out by both Jewish and Muslim groups for being responsible for demonisation which, they argue, lead to the increase in racially-motivated violence. I am yet to find a definitive study that demonstrates a categorical relationship between the media and incidents of racial/faith violence. I’m tempted to quote the well known statistician’s maxim “Correlation does not imply causation”. But is it a logical fallacy to speculate a causative relation between media and incidents of racial violence?

All pretty grim stuff. So to warm the multicultural cockles of your heart (or what’s left of them), here’s the happy story of Hassan Askari, who came to the aid of three Jewish people while they were being violently attacked in a New York subway recently:

Hassan Askari has been described as a “latter-day Good Samaritan” for coming to the aid of the three, who were attacked earlier this month.

A gang yelling anti-Semitic slogans had assaulted them on the city’s subway.

His intervention left him with a possible broken nose, a stitched lip, bruises and two black eyes.

Hassan, a slightly built accountancy student, saw the attack taking place on a crowded train when returning home from work one night. Mr Askari comes from the aristocratic Dhaka Nawab family of Bangladesh (they’re related to that PP bone of much contention and even more logical fallacies, the Great Mughals). Askari’s own grandparents were knighted by British monarchs.

The hero remained unassuming, “I have friends who are Jews, Christians and Buddhists and would have acted in the same way if they were victims of an unprovoked attack,” he said. He is due to be presented with a medal on Wednesday that will be handed to him either by or on behalf of the Mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg.

Rabbi Marc Scheier, from the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, who presented Mr Askari with a bravery award earlier this month, said he could tell from injuries sustained by one of the three victims that it was a “brutal and extremely violent” attack which would have required “immense courage” from Mr Askari to get involved in.


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  1. Boyo — on 19th December, 2007 at 7:51 am  

    “Correlation does not imply causation”. But is it a logical fallacy to speculate a causative relation between media and incidents of racial violence?

    No, but the seemingly relentless acts of actual and attempted terrorism, which the the press have a duty to report, cannot help but stoke public fears about Islam, which given the current events, cannot be described as irrrational. Sure there is tabloid paranoia – but tbh given the weight of actual events, they hardly need it. The talk is about “race/ faith” hate – surely 7/7 itself was its ultimate expression?

    This whole “victim” cult is unhelpful. When you even get the MCB boycotting Holocaust Memorial Day (I know, they have now recanted for PR purposes), it is hardly surprising that Jews are under attack. When even suposedly respectable Muslim groups are unapologetic about their contempt for British values – our attitude to Jews, gays, women and so on – it is hardly surprising young Muslim men plot to murder the “slags” at the Ministry of Sound.

  2. Sunny — on 19th December, 2007 at 8:24 am  

    When you even get the MCB boycotting Holocaust Memorial Day (I know, they have now recanted for PR purposes), it is hardly surprising that Jews are under attack

    So, the MCB boycotting HMD leads to more attacks on Jews? Funny thinking, that.
    What do you think is leading to more attacks on Muslims then?

  3. Roger — on 19th December, 2007 at 10:21 am  

    MCB boycotting Holocaust Memorial Day probably does not lead to more attacks on jews, but it may be seen as validating the underlying motives for attacking jews. Equally, the attitude to muslims expressed by some newspapers may have a a similar effect on attacks on muslims.

  4. Ismaeel — on 19th December, 2007 at 12:01 pm  

    “When even suposedly respectable Muslim groups are unapologetic about their contempt for British values – our attitude to Jews, gays, women and so on – it is hardly surprising young Muslim men plot to murder the “slags” at the Ministry of Sound.”

    Yes of course because there are uniform british values which everyone subscribes to without differentation apart from us pesky muslims who disagree with them and yes we disagree with every single one of them don’t we. I know why don’t we abolish all those political parties organisations, faith groups etc that don’t subscribe to our “British Values,” in fact let’s get rid of political and social debate all together because we’re all so unanimous in what values we hold.

  5. Boyo — on 19th December, 2007 at 1:05 pm  

    So, the MCB boycotting HMD leads to more attacks on Jews?

    Yes, I believe it makes anti-semitism “respectable”.

  6. Boyo — on 19th December, 2007 at 1:06 pm  

    “I know why don’t we abolish all those political parties organisations, faith groups etc that don’t subscribe to our “British Values,” in fact let’s get rid of political and social debate all together because we’re all so unanimous in what values we hold.”

    I don’t think we should do that Ismaeel, it wouldn’t be British ;-)

  7. Ravi Naik — on 19th December, 2007 at 2:19 pm  

    “Yes of course because there are uniform british values which everyone subscribes”

    Oh, let’s not get into generic rethoric. Can you give a concrete examples of mainstream values that you don’t subscribe to, or that you find offensive?

  8. Sid — on 19th December, 2007 at 2:38 pm  

    France has probably got the highest per capita rates of hate crime in the developed world. It has the highest incident of anti-Muslim hate crimes in spite of there being no precedence of a 7/7 type of terrorist bombing event. Also, it has the highest record of Muslims (of North African and Arab persuasion) involvement in anti-semitic attacks, in spite of having no MCB-like QUANGO body to boycott holocaust memorial events to make anti-semitism “respectable”. So I’m not sure either of these explanations provide a good enough pretext for hate crimes in general and in France in particular.

  9. Bert Preast — on 19th December, 2007 at 2:44 pm  

    Good job Hassan took a pasting. Gets him a medal instead of charges of ABH.

    On the media inciting these attacks I think there is an effect, but not a large one. This kind of people tend to read media that reflects their views rather than forms them.

  10. Bert Preast — on 19th December, 2007 at 2:46 pm  

    “It has the highest incident of anti-Muslim hate crimes in spite of there being no precedence of a 7/7 type of terrorist bombing event”

    eh?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1995_Islamist_terror_bombings_in_France

  11. Sid — on 19th December, 2007 at 2:49 pm  

    holy shit that must explain it then!
    Seriously tho, thanks Bert, I forgot all about the Paris Metro bombing.

  12. Ismaeel — on 19th December, 2007 at 2:52 pm  

    “Oh, let’s not get into generic rethoric. Can you give a concrete examples of mainstream values that you don’t subscribe to, or that you find offensive?”

    My point my dear boy is that there are no mainstream values as such. There are laws yes, but you will find a broad divergence of views amongst many sectors of society.

  13. Boyo — on 19th December, 2007 at 4:08 pm  

    “My point my dear boy is that there are no mainstream values as such. There are laws yes, but you will find a broad divergence of views amongst many sectors of society.”

    Ahem… so would you say this applies to British society alone Ismaeel, or to all societies?

    Are there French, American or Indian values? Or are we just a random hotchpotch of polygot individuals?

    Indeed, is there any such thing as society? And who the hell makes these laws anyway? I think we should be told.

  14. S — on 19th December, 2007 at 4:56 pm  

    “Indeed, is there any such thing as society? And who the hell makes these laws anyway? I think we should be told.”

    I think you’ve put your finger on a trope that annoys me– i.e. when people refuse to acknowledge that there maybe British values that differ from those of other nations or peoples.

    As you say it does remind me of Thatchers famous ‘no such thing as society’ speech. I’m sure the fact they are mouthing conservative philosophy doesn’t cross their mind.

  15. Don — on 19th December, 2007 at 5:26 pm  

    ‘…there are no mainstream values as such.’

    You are going to have to expand on that, as it stands it just sounds vapid. I’m sure you have a rationale, but unless you are more explicit it doesn’t make much sense.

    For example, a mainstream value might be, oh, ‘Thou shalt not steal’ (I’m sure I heard that one somewhere). As it stands your post implies that burgling your neighbours house while they are at a movie is just a divergence of views rather than a breach of values sufficiently widely held as to be considered mainstream. You didn’t mean that, did you?

    A few more spring to mind;

    Thou shalt not beat up on the elderly and infirm for kicks.

    Thou shalt not piss in the public water supply.

    Thou shalt not use the expression ‘dear boy’ unless you have actually been knighted for services to the theatre.

    Of course, people do these things but they are not merely expressing divergent views, they are breaching mainstream values.

  16. Ravi Naik — on 19th December, 2007 at 5:46 pm  

    “…there are no mainstream values as such.”

    YES, it is obvious that there are mainstream values, and these are reflected in the laws that we have and the degree in which we enforce these laws.

    An example of a mainstream value is the egalitarian view that women should have the same rights and opportunities as men. Another value is religious freedom: that everyone has the right to follow their religious path… or discard religion all together.

    Not all adhere to these values, but they are shared by the vast majority of people in this country, something that does not happen, for instance, in many Islamic countries.

  17. Ismaeel — on 19th December, 2007 at 9:41 pm  

    “Not all adhere to these values, but they are shared by the vast majority of people in this country, something that does not happen, for instance, in many Islamic countries.”

    That’s right because they’re all ruled by western backed elites.

    As for mainstream values being shaped by the majority of people in this country, i think that’s a very debatable topic. For example do those with a greater share of power over the instruments of print media and broadcasting not also have a greater influence over the views of most people in this country. Aren’t most of these people and for that matter most politicians from an Oxbridge background and themselves thus socialised into a certain set of values. Do we not elect governments most often on less than 40% of the vote which itself is often less than 70% of the whole population. Doesn’t our first past the post system even further distort the issue of representation.

    So in short yes clearly things like murder is wrong, theft is wrong etc are enshrined in law and embraced by the overwhelming majority. But what about something like adultery, not a criminal offence or even illegal, yet i would suspect most people still think it’s wrong and causes myriad social problems. They’re are also major cultural differences, most Asian families for example believe in the advantages of arranged marriages whereas most white people see it as anathema, however less than 150 years ago they were common amongs the indigenous population, as was racism. So values change and this weak idea of some sort of engrained eternal set of values which this mythic British people have always held is just nonsense. British people even living 70 years ago wouldn’t recognise the values we hold now.

  18. Bert Preast — on 19th December, 2007 at 9:45 pm  

    There’s that ‘do unto others’ thingy.

    I think that’s the base of mainstream values. Which is good.

  19. soru — on 19th December, 2007 at 9:54 pm  

    spite of having no MCB-like QUANGO body

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conseil_Fran%C3%A7ais_du_Culte_Musulman

    ‘While CFCM has no special legal standing, it is the de facto representative of the French Muslims before the national government.’

    They don’t boycott Holocaust Memorial Day, as it isn’t held in France.

    http://www.holocausttaskforce.org/teachers/educational_reports/country/france.pdf

  20. Ismaeel — on 19th December, 2007 at 9:57 pm  

    “Thou shalt not use the expression ‘dear boy’ unless you have actually been knighted for services to the theatre.”

    I think you’re assuming quite alot.

  21. soru — on 19th December, 2007 at 10:01 pm  

    So values change and this weak idea of some sort of engrained eternal set of values which this mythic British people have always held is just nonsense.

    British people even living 70 years ago wouldn’t recognise the values we hold now.

    You can’t talk about values changing over time without acknowledging they exist. You can’t truthfully say ‘my car is rustier than it used to be’ if you don’t own a car.

    So a statement like
    ‘there are no mainstream values … There are laws ‘ is flat wrong.

  22. Don — on 19th December, 2007 at 10:08 pm  

    ‘less than 150 years ago they were common among the indigenous population, as was racism. So values change …’

    Yes, hopefully for the better.

    ‘something like adultery, not a criminal offence or even illegal’

    So how about just mind your own damn business?

  23. Ismaeel — on 19th December, 2007 at 10:08 pm  

    ” You can’t talk about values changing over time without acknowledging they exist. You can’t truthfully say ‘my car is rustier than it used to be’ if you don’t own a car. So a statement like
    ‘there are no mainstream values … There are laws ‘ is flat wrong.”

    I never said there weren’t any values, i said there is no such thing as identifiable “British values” held by a majority of British people apart from the basic universal values such as “do not steal, do not murder etc. Therefore the idea that any group can be singled out for being contemptuous of “British values” is very tendatious indeed.

  24. Don — on 19th December, 2007 at 10:18 pm  

    ‘I never said there weren’t any values,…’

    Yes you did. You just said ‘My point my dear boy is that there are no mainstream values as such..

    You said nothing about universal values, in fact you were quite explicit on the point.

  25. Ismaeel — on 19th December, 2007 at 10:32 pm  

    ” ‘I never said there weren’t any values,…’
    Yes you did. You just said ‘My point my dear boy is that there are no mainstream values as such..
    You said nothing about universal values, in fact you were quite explicit on the point.”

    I think you’ll find you’re splitting hairs old man.

  26. Sunny — on 19th December, 2007 at 10:54 pm  

    Boyo, you failed to answer my other question:

    What do you think is leading to more attacks on Muslims then?

    And if the HMD makes anti-semitism more acceptable, that means criticising Muslim organisations or boycotting them makes attacks on Muslims acceptable too… does it not?

  27. Laban — on 19th December, 2007 at 10:59 pm  

    Any source for those figures ? Or indeed for the charities which helped them ? Does that mean Victim Support offering counselling ?

    “But is it a logical fallacy to speculate a causative relation between media and incidents of racial violence?”

    While I beleieve that in the end the responsibility for racist assaults has to lie with the perpetrators, a year or two back Yasmin Alibhai Brown wrote an Evening Standard piece wondering if the hefty coverage given to white racism led to ‘retribution’ :

    “I have talked to some black and Asian inmates serving time in prison for such (racist) crimes: most justify their actions as collective retribution for attacks on “their people”. A knife for a knife, they think, will make for a better world.”

    http://dogwash48.blogspot.com/2006/10/unintended-consequences.html

    The strange thing is that it’s nearly always racist attacks by whites which get big media – and it’s not black or Asian-owned media doing most of the reporting but the Guardian and Beeb or even the Mail in the case of Stephen Lawrence. Look at the difference in the coverage of the racist murders of two young black Christians – Anthony Walker and Isiah Young Sam.

    Or google for media coverage of John Payne, now an epileptic after being attacked with a machete by a racist gang for being a white guy in the wrong (Asian) area. Some of his attackers were sentenced last week, but coverage is almost non-existent.

    t could perhaps be argued that the remarkable disproportion between the coverage of racist murders where the victim is white (minimal coverage) and non-white (major coverage extending in some cases over years) reflects the severity of the problem. Perhaps black and Asian people are being murdered much more often than white.

    The Home Office figures (table 3.6) don’t seem to bear this out.

    http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs05/s95race04.pdf

    Over three years 2001-2004 there were 38 homicides of blacks, 28 of Asians, and 22 of ‘other’ where the principal suspect was white. For blacks the figures were 87 homicides of whites, 12 of Asians, 11 ‘other’, for Asians 37 homicides of whites, 7 of blacks and 6 of ‘other’, for ‘other’ 29 homicides of whites, 4 balck, one Asian.

    This kind of data is notoriously difficult to analyse, because of the geographical distribution of ethnic groups. For example, if 95% of the white population lived in areas where they never saw a black or Asian person, it would be unfair to conclude that zero racist murder in those areas equalled zero propensity to racist murder.

    But what they can show is conclusively is that in all murders which could POTENTIALLY be racist, white people are over-represented in the victim class and correspondingly under-represented in the ‘principal suspect’ class.

  28. Boyo — on 19th December, 2007 at 11:23 pm  

    Sunny: “And if the HMD makes anti-semitism more acceptable, that means criticising Muslim organisations or boycotting them makes attacks on Muslims acceptable too… does it not?”

    I think there are more attacks on Muslims largely because of the increased climate of fear engendered by terrorism. Isn’t that obvious? The press may play a small part in this, as I acknowledged in my first response, but I doubt it is the principal cause.

    I disagree with your second point – boycotting a day specifically designed to commemorate the attempted genocide of the Jews is different to critcising the MCB for boycotting that day, is it not?

  29. Boyo — on 19th December, 2007 at 11:25 pm  

    I should probably clarify: fear, ignorance, and the opportunism of extremists (both Islamist and racist).

  30. Ravi Naik — on 19th December, 2007 at 11:33 pm  

    “I never said there weren’t any values, i said there is no such thing as identifiable “British values” held by a majority of British people apart from the basic universal values such as “do not steal, do not murder etc. Therefore the idea that any group can be singled out for being contemptuous of “British values” is very tendatious indeed.”

    What about religious freedom (the right to choose any religion) and women equality – these are not universal, are they? Aren’t these mainstream values shared by the majority of the British people?

    I would advise you think carefully before you write, as so far you have been full of contradictions as pointed out by soru and Don.

  31. Don — on 19th December, 2007 at 11:53 pm  

    ‘I think you’ll find you’re splitting hairs old man.’

    No, I think you’ll find that is to the point.

  32. Ismaeel — on 20th December, 2007 at 12:07 am  

    “What about religious freedom (the right to choose any religion) and women equality – these are not universal, are they? Aren’t these mainstream values shared by the majority of the British people?”

    Indeed but it doesn’t undermine my original point that these are not some weird set of unique British values which are held in contempt by Muslims.

  33. Sid — on 20th December, 2007 at 12:25 am  

    I haven’t been able to find a by-race breakdown of anti-semitic of perpetrators of anti-semitic attacks anywhere except this article. Its by the Daily Mail, but it *is* dealing with published figures as opposed to the usual fare of shit and bluster. Sadly the figures are a parralel of the situation in France:

    White attackers were responsible for anti-Semitic incidents in fewer than half of those where the colour or racial background of the perpetrator was identified. More than a third, 37 per cent, of attackers whose background was known were Asian or Arab.

    Since 1984, when the recording of anti-Semitic incidents by the trust began, white attackers have been in a minority only last year and in 2004.

  34. soru — on 20th December, 2007 at 12:47 am  

    Indeed but it doesn’t undermine my original point that these are not some weird set of unique British values which are held in contempt by Muslims.

    Well, you can’t hold something in more contempt than claiming it doesn’t exist. That’s always a very risky conclusion to come to – you may just not understand it.

    In particular, you seem to be in danger of claiming that non-muslim people have no concept of values or morality.

    If so, that’s one of those twisty self-refuting things: if more british muslims agreed with that, then half of what you say would be right, and the other half wrong. Instead, it is the other way around – the vast majority wouldn’t sign up to that statement, and the small numbers who would really can be said to be out of order every bit as much as the BNP, or those groups who consider torture or terror acceptable if sanctioned by some ruler or document.

  35. Ravi Naik — on 20th December, 2007 at 1:30 am  

    “Indeed but it doesn’t undermine my original point that these are not some weird set of unique British values which are held in contempt by Muslims.”

    It seriously undermines your point that “there is no such thing as identifiable “British values” held by a majority of British people apart from the basic universal values”. So, now you agree that there are non-universal values that are shared by the majority of British people.

    Moving on to your “original” point, you are now making the mistake of assuming that every Muslim has the same set of values, just because they follow the same religion. Many British muslims will follow mainstream values, other’s don’t. Those who follow radical Islam (or ultra-conservative interpretation of Christianity, etc) will most likely hold in contempt the progreessive values of the majority.

  36. Ismaeel — on 20th December, 2007 at 10:51 am  

    “It seriously undermines your point that “there is no such thing as identifiable “British values” held by a majority of British people apart from the basic universal values”. So, now you agree that there are non-universal values that are shared by the majority of British people.”

    Ummm no, those are universal values- so yes there are no such things as unique British values, and as seeing as neither you or anyone else here can seem to prove otherwise with anything approaching an example, i think my original point stands.

  37. Ismaeel — on 20th December, 2007 at 10:58 am  

    “Moving on to your “original” point, you are now making the mistake of assuming that every Muslim has the same set of values, just because they follow the same religion. Many British muslims will follow mainstream values, other’s don’t. Those who follow radical Islam (or ultra-conservative interpretation of Christianity, etc) will most likely hold in contempt the progreessive values of the majority.”

    Ummm no, i was responding to Boyo’s point where he suggested we all had the same un-british values and secondly as i’ve already pointed out there is little on which to build this idea of majority values let alone progressive values of the majority.

  38. Ismaeel — on 20th December, 2007 at 11:01 am  

    “Indeed but it doesn’t undermine my original point that these are not some weird set of unique British values which are held in contempt by Muslims.

    Well, you can’t hold something in more contempt than claiming it doesn’t exist. That’s always a very risky conclusion to come to – you may just not understand it.

    In particular, you seem to be in danger of claiming that non-muslim people have no concept of values or morality.

    If so, that’s one of those twisty self-refuting things: if more british muslims agreed with that, then half of what you say would be right, and the other half wrong. Instead, it is the other way around – the vast majority wouldn’t sign up to that statement, and the small numbers who would really can be said to be out of order every bit as much as the BNP, or those groups who consider torture or terror acceptable if sanctioned by some ruler or document.”

    I think you have misunderstood me, my point was
    a) there is no such thing as unique british values clearly identifiable as being held by the majority of the british people different to universal values held by people of different cultures and faiths
    b) If a) is true therefore it cannot be said that they can be held in contempt of by most Muslims as was Boyo’s original point.

  39. Ravi Naik — on 20th December, 2007 at 11:33 am  

    “Ummm no, those are universal values- so yes there are no such things as unique British values”

    It is true that women equality and religious freedom are not unique British values, but they are not universal either considering several societies – including Islamic ones – do not adhere to those. I mean, you can try to weasel out, but that is a fact: both of these are non-universal values that are identified by the majority of British people – so called mainstream values – that clash against those who follow backward values.

    a) there is no such thing as unique british values clearly identifiable as being held by the majority of the british people different to universal values held by people of different cultures and faiths
    b) If a) is true therefore it cannot be said that they can be held in contempt of by most Muslims as was Boyo’s original point.

    (a) is clearly not true. However, given the fact that there are progressive Muslims and radical Muslims, progressive Christians and radical Christians, progressive Atheists and radical Atheists, it follows that religion itself gives you little indication about your values, although one group can be over-represented in our society. Hence, it is still valid to ask whether the majority of British Muslims follow mainstream values or not (and I have no reason to believe they aren’t) – but I think you and Boyo have not given a conclusive answer: Boyo by making generalised comments without backing up with evidence, and you by being in denial about the existence of mainstream values.

  40. Morgoth — on 20th December, 2007 at 11:36 am  

    a) there is no such thing as unique british values clearly identifiable as being held by the majority of the british people different to universal values held by people of different cultures and faiths
    b) If a) is true therefore it cannot be said that they can be held in contempt of by most Muslims as was Boyo’s original point.

    Well, for a start, we Brits (of whatever ethnicity and of almost all religions and none) don’t tend to hide our women away in death shrouds and we don’t consider them the root of all evil and blame them for slaking our obviously uncontrollable lusts. We also tend to think that whatever holes someone chooses to stick their knob into is their own business, rather than insisting on dropping walls onto people just because they prefer one type of sex to another. And we also rather like to mercilessly take the piss out of religious and authority figures and self-promoted “prophets”, as opposed to rioting because someone published a cartoon in another country. And most of all, we tend to think that the modern world is more relevant and important than the violent deluded ramblings of a minor thug living 1400 years ago in another continent.

  41. Ismaeel — on 20th December, 2007 at 12:01 pm  

    “It is true that women equality and religious freedom are not unique British values, but they are not universal either considering several societies – including Islamic ones – do not adhere to those. I mean, you can try to weasel out, but that is a fact: both of these are non-universal values that are identified by the majority of British people – so called mainstream values – that clash against those who follow backward values.”

    including Islamic ones- yeah whatever Islamic societies you may be referring to- as far as i’m concerned there doesn’t exist an Islamic society on the face of the earth, Muslim societies yes, Islamic no.
    Islamically freedom of religion is respected and women have equality but not in a western liberal sense, but in a sense that recognises the different and complementary natures of man and women rather than the unnatual attempts in modern liberalism to suggest men and women are in essence the same.
    Regardless the point is these values are still not “uniquely British” in that most European countries and liberal democracies uphold these values in their laws, but the question which you still haven’t provided a satisfactory answer to is whether you can prove in any satisfactory way that these are actually the values held by a majority of the people given what i said at 17.

    Margouth, i am not going to dignify your uncivil comments with a response

  42. Ismaeel — on 20th December, 2007 at 12:06 pm  

    “(a) is clearly not true.”

    Clear to whom, you it seems, yet you seem unable to furnish any examples as to what you mean.

    As to whether Muslims all share the same values in this country, i think anyone could tell you they don’t, i was never arguing that in the first place, rather i was making the point about (a) above and secondly I was pointing out that it actually undermines both liberalism and democracy to try and bully people with the idea of some sort of “british values” which everyone has to be integrated into. This is actually just pure and simple Nationalism and we all know where that ends up.

  43. Ismaeel — on 20th December, 2007 at 12:07 pm  

    Eid Mubarak, by the way as PP seems to have overlooked it is Eid-ul-Adha today (or yesterday if you follow KSA rather than the moon).

  44. Morgoth — on 20th December, 2007 at 12:18 pm  

    This is actually just pure and simple Nationalism and we all know where that ends up.

    If you live in this country, you adapt to and you adopt our means and customs and speak our language. Its as simple as that. No ifs and no buts.

    Basically what Trevor Philips, no less, said.

    No fake attempts to press the “nationalism” button of the regulars here. If you cannot adapt to the cultural and behavioural norms of this country, then why the fuck are you here?

  45. Sid — on 20th December, 2007 at 12:28 pm  

    To piss off congenital twats like you, Nick Griffin and Martin Amis?

  46. Ismaeel — on 20th December, 2007 at 12:28 pm  

    Morgoth,

    I was born and raised here, I get along with 99% of all the people i met of all cultures and faiths without having to adapt to “British means and customs” whatever that means, I feel i am as British as the next man, however i do not know what these “British values” are meant to be, no-one can give me a clear unequivocal answer.

    If I speak to my grandfather for example who served in India during WWII he might talk about decency, duty and good manners, ask someone of PP they’ll talk about progressive values which my grandfather may raise eyebrows about and he is a white anglo-saxon Catholic.
    Many people think it is essentially British to go out and get drunk or otherwise wasted on the weekend and sleep around. Others would think that binge drinkers and players are a public nuisance.

    So please please someone define these British values that we all have to subscribe to and why and then please explain how somehow practicing religious Muslims do not subscribe to them.

  47. Ravi Naik — on 20th December, 2007 at 1:26 pm  

    “Islamically freedom of religion is respected and women have equality but not in a western liberal sense, but in a sense that recognises the different and complementary natures of man and women rather than the unnatual attempts in modern liberalism to suggest men and women are in essence the same.

    I guess those who leave Islam, the apostates, and religious minorities in some countries may differ.

    But let’s explore that second part. Given that you don’t share the mainstream value of women equality as in the western liberal sense – what would you *change* in Britain in relation to women – you know – to naturally capture the complementary nature of men and women, as Muslim societies do so well in you view?

  48. Boyo — on 20th December, 2007 at 1:55 pm  

    “please explain how somehow practicing religious Muslims do not subscribe to them.”

    And there we have it.

    I’ve been lurking a while, impressed by the way Don, Ravi etc took on Issy in a far more clinical way that I could have – you’ll know that’s not my style, sadly – but finally the cat is out of the bag.

    By the quality of his sophism I clocked him as a fairly standard strain of Islamist – clean to define “practicing religious” Islam within his own narrow lens.

    But he’s hoisted on his own petard at #41: “Islamically freedom of religion is respected and women have equality but not in a western liberal sense, but in a sense that recognises the different and complementary natures of man and women…”

    Well that’s YOUR view Issy, but what is the UK if it is not a Western liberal society? What is a Western liberal society? Well, a continuation of the precepts of Rome (which separated law and religion) and shaped by 1,000 years of Christian culture for starters.

    British values – along with a fondness for the pub (read “public house” which arguably evolved from the Viking long house in a country where the water was bad so they drank beer) – grew from these, and its milestones were historical hiccups like Magna Carta, the English Revolution, the fight against facism etc.

    This is the iceberg which we may take for granted but are nonetheless substantial and actually extremely successful, as evidenced by the relative success of the Anglo Saxon model in the world. Equality and tolerance grew out of this but was NOT a given – had Islam been triumphant would we still have the same tolerance for gays? Had Germany won WW2 would there be a Jew left in the world?

    British values exist, and they very much matter.

    As to the claim elsewhere that I was tarring all Muslims with the same brush, that’s untrue. I wrote: “When even suposedly respectable Muslim groups are unapologetic about their contempt for British values – our attitude to Jews, gays, women and so on – it is hardly surprising young Muslim men plot to murder the “slags” at the Ministry of Sound.”

    My point was they set a bad example. I’m sure the vast majority of Muslims, Jews and Poles in the UK subscribe to British values. But they are British values. Ok, by way of Rome.

  49. Boyo — on 20th December, 2007 at 2:04 pm  

    There are plenty of other British values btw to add to the “freedom outside the law” thing of the MC. Our tolerance of others because of Cromwell’s Act of Toleration, our free market ethos because we’re an island of traders, on and on, the development of parliamentary democracy. These were not “given” or even universal – eg the difference between citzenship and law in the UK and France – they are specific.

  50. Boyo — on 20th December, 2007 at 2:05 pm  

    Oh, and I’m quite fond of the Queen too. Lovely lady. Did you know she is now our longest reigning monarch? Three cheers for you ma’am!

  51. Ismaeel — on 20th December, 2007 at 2:10 pm  

    “But let’s explore that second part. Given that you don’t share the mainstream value of women equality as in the western liberal sense – what would you *change* in Britain in relation to women – you know – to naturally capture the complementary nature of men and women, as Muslim societies do so well in you view?”

    Seeing as i’ve clearly delineated between Islamic societies and Muslim societies above, it would be fair to say that i don’t believe that Muslim societies are doing so well at implementing Islamic precepts.

    However saying that it is worth noting that despite all the media hype there is far less violence towards women and rape in the Muslim world than there is in Europe and the US, this is because of the respect a woman is given in her primrary role as a wife and mother, whereas western “liberation” has reduced women to sex objects- objectified in pornography and used by men for their lusts by the legitimisation of sex outside of marriage. Most one-parent families are headed by women, i wonder why. I would like women not to be pressured into feeling that they cannot be a worthwhile member of society unless they have a career and they look like some supermodel as well as being a mother, wife etc

    Now i’m sure i’m going to be attacked on this, doubtless it was a “cunning” set up by Ravi, but the problem is many feminists and people of all different cultures agree with me.

  52. Jai — on 20th December, 2007 at 2:12 pm  

    It is true that women equality…..are not unique British values

    To be honest with you, technically that’s a relatively recent development in British history too, something that began early in the 20th century, escalated due to the social impact of WW2, and became much more mainstream from the 60s onwards.

    I think it could be more accurately defined as a modern British/Western value, rather than necessarily one which has been intrinsic to Western society throughout the last 1000-2000 years. The matter has fluctuated, though, eg. in some ways the Victorian era was more conservative than period which preceded it.

    You’re obviously going to have localised differences, but in some matters such as the amount of “skin” a woman was expected to show in polite society, her ability to go around unchaparoned, the amount of knowledge & freedom she was expected to have in, er, certain physical matters, there wasn’t necessarily such a huge difference between the norms of those times and attitudes elsewhere in many parts of the “non-Western world”, including some of those which are stereotyped as still being excessively conservative about such things to this day.

    Once upon a time “the Orient” was stereotyped as being debauched, licentious etc, remember. Funny how times change, eh ;)

  53. Ismaeel — on 20th December, 2007 at 2:20 pm  

    “but what is the UK if it is not a Western liberal society?”
    Well firstly it’s a constitutional monarchy as you urself have noticed, it is also has an established church which has disproportianate privilages if this were truly a liberal society.

    What is a Western liberal society? Well, a continuation of the precepts of Rome (which separated law and religion) and shaped by 1,000 years of Christian culture for starters.”

    Really that is a fascinating skewering of history if i ever heard it, the Romans were heidous barbarians who preferred dictators to democracy and Christianity legitimised the idea of Kingdoms by Divine Right, it also stifled scientific inquiry, religious pluralism and free speech- all major aspects of a liberal society.

    Yes beer did evolve because our water was bad, what’s our excuse now, we prefer to continue living like barbarians?

    What is the real history of Liberalism I wonder, was it because a) after the reformation all the different sects couldn’t stand one another, excommunicated one another and fought bloody wars against each other and persecuted their religious minorities.
    b)Scientific Inquiry and philosophy was reintroduced into Europe from the -shock horror- Muslim world
    c) As a result liberalism took hold in many european countries and the USA through a number of bloody revolutions and civil wars as what was seen as the best way to protect the rights of religious and intellectual minorities initially.

    Sadly we have come so far from a proper historical understanding of liberalism and we are left instead with chauvanistic eurocentric myth dreamt up by Boyo instead.

  54. Ismaeel — on 20th December, 2007 at 2:22 pm  

    “You’re obviously going to have localised differences, but in some matters such as the amount of “skin” a woman was expected to show in polite society, her ability to go around unchaparoned, the amount of knowledge & freedom she was expected to have in, er, certain physical matters, there wasn’t necessarily such a huge difference between the norms of those times and attitudes elsewhere in many parts of the “non-Western world”, including some of those which are stereotyped as still being excessively conservative about such things to this day.”

    Not to mention not being able to vote, inherit and at one time in the Catholic Church not even entitled to an immortal soul.

  55. The Common Humanist — on 20th December, 2007 at 2:31 pm  

    Pure Class.

    ““Islamically freedom of religion is respected and women have equality but not in a western liberal sense, but in a sense that recognises the different and complementary natures of man and women…””

    Not in the Western Liberal Sense……k, so that” be not at all them – AKA shut up and know your place women and if you step out of line my skycult book says I can bray thee.

    Religious freedom, aye right, pull t’other one. So when can the Methodists build a Cathedral in Saudi?
    There are mosques and synagogues in Jerusalem and Bethlehem. When will the ‘Religion of Peace’ allow same in the Hijaz?*

    (Spelling?)

  56. Ismaeel — on 20th December, 2007 at 2:38 pm  

    TCH or should i say TFI

    it is indeed the Hijaz and as you know it is an exception to the rule of religious tolerance within Islam as a special place for only Islamic worship. The fact that there are churhes and synagogues in a country which up until relativly recently historically speaking was ruled by Muslims for over 1000 years ( and many of those buildings- well the Churches at least, because the Byzantines weren’t too fond of synagogues) shows that tolerance has always been a feature of Islamic teaching unlike the history of European Christianity and indeed Western Liberalism towards non-Christian faiths until again relativley recently (last hundred years if that).

    And TFI, i’m sure u’d love to have that kind of relationship with a woman, but u’ll find that is not the reality for most Muslim woman.

  57. Boyo — on 20th December, 2007 at 2:52 pm  

    “Really that is a fascinating skewering of history if i ever heard it, the Romans were heidous barbarians who preferred dictators to democracy and Christianity legitimised the idea of Kingdoms by Divine Right, it also stifled scientific inquiry, religious pluralism and free speech- all major aspects of a liberal society.”

    Moving quickly on, eh? I would suspect you were a troll, if I didn’t think you were just an idiot. And if anyone wanted any confirmation:

    “However saying that it is worth noting that despite all the media hype there is far less violence towards women and rape in the Muslim world than there is in Europe and the US…”

    Your Islamism is an empty vessel Issy. It might impress young men who don’t know any better, and old men who should, but you should employ it elsewhere: a university campus perhaps?

  58. Ismaeel — on 20th December, 2007 at 2:55 pm  

    “Moving quickly on, eh? I would suspect you were a troll, if I didn’t think you were just an idiot. And if anyone wanted any confirmation:

    “However saying that it is worth noting that despite all the media hype there is far less violence towards women and rape in the Muslim world than there is in Europe and the US…”

    Your Islamism is an empty vessel Issy. It might impress young men who don’t know any better, and old men who should, but you should employ it elsewhere: a university campus perhaps?”

    When you can’t beat them with any real evidence to back up your arguments, just insult them and label them, that will prove the superiority of your values if nothing else does eh Boyo?

  59. Boyo — on 20th December, 2007 at 3:05 pm  

    No, I really meant you were stupid: dismissing the Romans as “heidous barbarians who preferred dictators to democracy” and failing to understand the point I was making: the fundemental importance this has for British values. The difference, for example, between the form of government that evolved in the West and Islamic society, which does not make the distinction between the laws of man and God.

  60. Ravi Naik — on 20th December, 2007 at 3:06 pm  

    “What is a Western liberal society? Well, a continuation of the precepts of Rome (which separated law and religion) and shaped by 1,000 years of Christian culture for starters.”

    Boyo – it is a historic fact that, in Europe during the Middle Ages, Christians did the most horrific acts against non-Catholics. Muslim societies at that time were far more progressive, tolerant and scientifically advanced, then any country in Europe. But that changed in the last 400 years. And now Western societies are the front-runners.

    I think is disgraceful that we are still framing this as Christian vs Muslim, when it is really a clash between Progressives and Fundamentalists.

    And yes, Western liberal values are recent – not long ago, women could not vote, and virulent racist notions were prevalent in our society.

    “Now i’m sure i’m going to be attacked on this, doubtless it was a “cunning” set up by Ravi, but the problem is many feminists and people of all different cultures agree with me.”

    You shoudn’t be afraid to say what you think, Ismaeel. As long as you are consistent with what you say.

    this is because of the respect a woman is given in her primrary role as a wife and mother, whereas western “liberation” has reduced women to sex objects- objectified in pornography and used by men for their lusts by the legitimisation of sex outside of marriage.

    Equality is not about forcing women to become like men, but to give them the choice to raise a family, to pursue a career (and thus become independent of anyone), or both which seems to be the rule these days.

    Another mainstream value is sexual liberation, where we accept that each adult individual is responsible for its own sexual life, whether for pleasure or for pro-creation, and not having society dictate when, how, and with whom.

    In many societies, it is prevalent the idea that women should only be mothers, and thus are restricted education and opportunities that prevent them to become emancipated and independent, which makes them more vulnerable to abuse and little options to escape.

    As for pornography, let’s face it, we are sexual beings. Sexual repressed societies, where even masturbation is seen as a sin, are most likely to be dysfunctional. I mean, the fact that in some societies women need to be completely covered or risk being raped or ostracized, tells you pretty much everything.

  61. Ismaeel — on 20th December, 2007 at 3:07 pm  
  62. The Common Humanist — on 20th December, 2007 at 3:18 pm  

    WTF? Who is TFI?

    I have enormous respect for previous periods of Islamic tolerance and learning thanks. Now, it seems to be ebbing away, like Christianity in reverse.

    Over the centuries gradually Christianity became more tolerant and we can see a journey from Medieval Barbarism to Christian humanism, through to the Enlightenment and the Modern Era of (broadly speaking) tolerance and gender equality.

    Some populations and strands of thought in Islam appear to be going in the opposite direction whilst at the same time there are many muslims who are either participating in modernity or would like to if given half a chance by the reactonary islamists.

    I know the ‘medievalism’ vs ‘having some shred of human kindness’ debate is a feature of organised religion but it does seem to result in violence so very easily within the Islamic World.

    Islamists often remind me of Marxists and Falangists / Nazis (bear with me, its not the reference you are thinking). By this I mean all three groups adhere to ideologies that claim absolute truth/infalility/an eternal message and to have histories weight on their side.

    As often events prove otherwise these sorts of groups are confronted with the bald fact that they aren’t infallible etc etc etc and the result, in typical human style, a high degree of violence and propensity to find violent solutions first rather then last.

    Its why Islamists (as opposed to everyday Muslims, who are the same as the rest of us) are characterised by such violence and hatred – the world is at odds wityh their worldview, so innocent people must die to make up for said Islamists mental inadequacies.

    TCH

  63. Boyo — on 20th December, 2007 at 3:18 pm  

    “It is a historic fact that, in Europe during the Middle Ages, Christians did the most horrific acts against non-Catholics. Muslim societies at that time were far more progressive, tolerant and scientifically advanced, then any country in Europe. But that changed in the last 400 years. And now Western societies are the front-runners.

    I think is disgraceful that we are still framing this as Christian vs Muslim, when it is really a clash between Progressives and Fundamentalists.”

    Er… what has any of the above argument got to do with my argument? Sorry if I’M being stupid…

    Ditto – Issy.

  64. Ismaeel — on 20th December, 2007 at 3:20 pm  

    “Equality is not about forcing women to become like men, but to give them the choice to raise a family, to pursue a career (and thus become independent of anyone), or both which seems to be the rule these days.”
    And thus become independent of anyone! This gets done to the nub of it, human beings are interdependent, we need each other and the major problem of liberalism is that it emphasises on the individual to the expense of the family and society- also although this equality may be in theory what you say it is certainly not so in practice.

    “Another mainstream value is sexual liberation, where we accept that each adult individual is responsible for its own sexual life, whether for pleasure or for pro-creation, and not having society dictate when, how, and with whom.”

    Even if that is harmful to him/her self, his/her partners, offspring, parents, the rest of society who end up paying through their taxes for unwanted children and who disproportionatly end up committing crimes and ending up in prison later in life?

    “In many societies, it is prevalent the idea that women should only be mothers, and thus are restricted education and opportunities that prevent them to become emancipated and independent, which makes them more vulnerable to abuse and little options to escape.”

    This is true and is not what i am advocating.

    “As for pornography, let’s face it, we are sexual beings. Sexual repressed societies, where even masturbation is seen as a sin, are most likely to be dysfunctional. I mean, the fact that in some societies women need to be completely covered or risk being raped or ostracized, tells you pretty much everything.”

    Like in the USA where a woman is raped every 90 seconds, oh hold on a minute that’s right everyone wears what they want, sleeps with whoever they want and watches as much pornography as they want in the land of the free, home of the brave and rape is higher in that country than practically anywhere else.

    In an Islamic society marital sex is actually seen as a rewardable good deed for both men and women and both are encouraged to marry young so as to fufil their sexual desires and not take them out in degrading ways such as mastarbation or extra-marital sex or degrading and expoloiting women through pornography- treating them like a public toilet.

  65. The Common Humanist — on 20th December, 2007 at 3:25 pm  

    ““However saying that it is worth noting that despite all the media hype there is far less violence towards women and rape in the Muslim world than there is in Europe and the US…””

    Well, blaming and punishing the victim is certainly one way to keep reports of sexual violence and hence the stats down….

    Get real. Sexual violence as a weapon and means of social control (Hudood Laws anyone?) is all too common in the Islamic World.

  66. Ismaeel — on 20th December, 2007 at 3:25 pm  

    “Er… what has any of the above argument got to do with my argument? Sorry if I’M being stupid…”

    so are we dear fellow, so are we. It’s called reading between the lines- your british values are not unique, not euro or christo- centric. The only thing u’ve come up with so far which is unique perhaps is the pub and HM the Queen.

    TFI (your TCH disguise isn’t too good) i agree in the main with what you’re saying, but i don’t see the relevance.

    Anyway i’m off to enjoy the rest of my Eid. Have fun.

  67. Ismaeel — on 20th December, 2007 at 3:27 pm  

    RE: post 66 and my comments about what TCH said it wasn’t regarding what he said at 65

    bye

  68. The Common Humanist — on 20th December, 2007 at 3:27 pm  

    Ravi,

    Your post @ 60 is all excellant and very well said.

  69. Sid — on 20th December, 2007 at 3:28 pm  

    ah the zeal of the converted. what’d we do without them…

  70. The Common Humanist — on 20th December, 2007 at 3:39 pm  

    Ismael

    “And thus become independent of anyone!”

    The Islamist desire to control women laid bare.

    To say that that is a frankly ridiculous and infantile attittude to 50% of humanity would be a huge understatement to say the least.

    Humans are social animals, we need each other but the decisions made regarding that need should be made on the basis of a free choice, not imposed ala your or an islamists extreme interpetation of Islam.

  71. Boyo — on 20th December, 2007 at 3:46 pm  

    Bye bye Issy. Better luck next time.

  72. Deep Singh — on 20th December, 2007 at 3:57 pm  

    sid @69 stated:

    “ah the zeal of the converted. what’d we do without them…”

    Please expand.

  73. soru — on 20th December, 2007 at 4:02 pm  

    I think is disgraceful that we are still framing this as Christian vs Muslim, when it is really a clash between Progressives and Fundamentalists.

    Precisely right.

    Historically, both Mo and the Romans moved things from A to B, from a situation that had less in common with the present and one that is more like it.

    A progressive would say that movement, that progress, was the interesting thing. The Romans developed better sewers, Mo limited slavery and polygamy, so we copy them by doing similar things. If we are in place C, we should move on to D.

    A Roman fundamentalist, who thought the Romans were perfect, would be all about reintroducing crucifiction and decimation. Boyo presumably wouldn’t go that far, though maybe morgoth would…

    Fundamentalism is always about saying a particular arrangement of society is right, other ways of living are wrong. So if we are in place C, that is wrong, and we should move back to B as soon as possible.

    As if Mo could somehow have set up the 7C arab empire as a liberal democratic welfare state with universal literacy and health care, but decided not to.

    While you can look at the US and spot eagle imagery, the word ‘senate’, and a lot of other things that have some kind of Roman root, a progressive would say that any value there is modern society is measured by the distance travelled from that origin.

    Take circumstances, adapt to them, and the result is something better adapted to those circumstances. That thing will be neither purely relative, a matter of preference, or an absolute universal truth. It will just be something that, in conext, works better than the alternatives.

    That adaptation, together with improving circumstances brought about by science, technology and economics, is progress.

    If anyone really thinks British culture and values don’t exist, it is perhaps the first of the many topics they will need to come to understand on their path to correcting that misapprehension.

  74. Boyo — on 20th December, 2007 at 4:20 pm  

    “I think is disgraceful that we are still framing this as Christian vs Muslim, when it is really a clash between Progressives and Fundamentalists.”

    Personally I’m with John Gray on “progress”. I had simply tried to describe the development of British values and how they differed from other values. I was not particularly trying to make a value judgement.

    I did slip up at one point however by infering our society would be different had different historical conditions prevailed, which gave the likes of Issy room to try to wriggle away from their original proposition, which had comprehensively been trashed.

    Different societies have provided different minorities with different benefits at different historical junctures. Jews were doubtless treated better in Germany than in England pre-Cromwell, for example. Although there have been few societies where it has been good to been gay in until now.

    OFF TOPIC but I tire a bit of the heinous medieval Christians tag – Muslims were just as bad, but in different ways. Certainly the Muslim Conquest claimed at least as many lives as the Crusades and the barbary of the Ottomans was quite spectacular. The only real difference I believe, is that on the whole the West has at least made an effort to express its guilt, while to Islam it is still largely seen as a source of pride.

  75. The Common Humanist — on 20th December, 2007 at 4:28 pm  

    Boyo,

    In medieval terms the Islamic World could be said to have been typified by both miliary imperialism and barbarism coupled with a sophisticated approach to learning, science and the arts.

    I am not sure the same could be said of Europe at the time – we had violence aplenty but a much lower level of arts and science.

    However, when I was doing some reading on the Crusades I discovered that one of the things that appalled Muslims about the Franks was the liberated nature of Frankish women and this was in the 1100′s. Interesting.

    TCH

  76. Sid — on 20th December, 2007 at 4:30 pm  

    However, when I was doing some reading on the Crusades I discovered that one of the things that appalled Muslims about the Franks was the liberated nature of Frankish women and this was in the 1100’s.

    Not to mention their aversion to taking a bath once in a while.

  77. Boyo — on 20th December, 2007 at 4:41 pm  

    “I am not sure the same could be said of Europe at the time – we had violence aplenty but a much lower level of arts and science.”

    All true – they weren’t called the dark ages for nothing – but really, that wasn’t my point.

    I’m well aware there were street lamps in Cordoba etc during Islam’s period of intellectual enquiry, but this built on 2000 years or so of art, science and literature from the West, which itself built on Egyptian and Persian learning.

    Although, actually, I DO believe current Western values are superior in many respects from those of other cultures, I was simply challenging the post-modern myths that the Crusades, actually a somewhat belated, short-lived, and unsuccessful (not to say self-defeating in the case of Byzantium) defensive action were some unrivalled crime by Christians against Muslims, when the truth was, to say the least, rather more… opaque.

  78. The Common Humanist — on 20th December, 2007 at 4:44 pm  

    Sid,

    Aye, quite.

    The Franks must have made quite an impression………and odour!

  79. Boyo — on 20th December, 2007 at 4:45 pm  

    Actually, I think the interesting question is why, given its military power and intellectual flowering, Islam lost the lead.

    I have an opinion, but I would be interested in yours.

  80. Sid — on 20th December, 2007 at 4:47 pm  

    A brilliant and solidly researched and factual reading of the Crusades is Amin Malouf’s The Crusades Through Arab Eyes

  81. Boyo — on 20th December, 2007 at 4:48 pm  

    I love Amin Malouf. I mean, as a writer.

  82. Sid — on 20th December, 2007 at 4:50 pm  

    I love him too. I mean, as a Maronite Christian.

  83. Boyo — on 20th December, 2007 at 4:53 pm  

    Oh I can’t stand Maronite Christians.

  84. Sid — on 20th December, 2007 at 4:55 pm  

    I hear the ladies are hot.

  85. Ravi Naik — on 20th December, 2007 at 4:58 pm  

    “Like in the USA where a woman is raped every 90 seconds, oh hold on a minute that’s right everyone wears what they want, sleeps with whoever they want and watches as much pornography as they want in the land of the free, home of the brave and rape is higher in that country than practically anywhere else.”

    Two points:

    1) There are many states in America which are a very conservative. If there is a correlation between ‘liberal’ values and the number of rapes, then we need to distinguish between different states.

    2) There is a fallacy in looking at rape figures across the world and concluding that the West has more rapes than other countries. These figures correspond to reported rape cases, not the actually number of rapes. See the difference?

    Remember when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in New York that Iran does not have homosexuals, only Americans have them? Exactly.

  86. Sid — on 20th December, 2007 at 5:01 pm  

    reported or not, every 90 seconds, if true, is fucking appalling for the “Free World”, by any standards.

  87. The Common Humanist — on 20th December, 2007 at 5:16 pm  

    Boyo:

    Case Study: Ottoman Janisseries.
    Throughout the 14th to the end of the 16th Centuries an elite military force that proved a fearsome enemy on the battlefield. Known for innovative tactics, including the early use of large numbers of very well made Damascus wheellock muskets, as well as matchlock ones.

    However, by the end of the 1600s had fallen behind the Western Armies – the Janisseries refused to fire in volley or learn to manouver like the Spanish Tercios and then later the French Musketeers – result – rapid eclipse for the Ottoman Empire and a long retreat and transformation into the ‘sick man of europe’ of the 1800 and 1900′s.

    Why is a good question.

  88. Desi Italiana — on 20th December, 2007 at 6:34 pm  

    Ravi:

    “2) There is a fallacy in looking at rape figures across the world and concluding that the West has more rapes than other countries. These figures correspond to reported rape cases, not the actually number of rapes. See the difference?”

    There is also a fallacy in comparing numbers to see where reported rapes are less and giving the impression that it’s not as serious of a problem in the West and/or. And mind you, the number of rapes in the West might be underreported as well– we don’t know whether they are or not.

    P.S. Are people debating on how liberal a society is an indication of things like rape occurring? I’m asking because I haven’t read the entire thread.

    ***

    TCH:

    “Get real. Sexual violence as a weapon and means of social control (Hudood Laws anyone?) is all too common in the Islamic World.”

    This is what you think, that it happens all too often in the Islamic World. It happens here too. This is a post I am working on for PP.

  89. Ravi Naik — on 20th December, 2007 at 7:56 pm  

    “There is also a fallacy in comparing numbers”

    I think we can conclude that such reports tell you little about the real number, as well as how liberal or conservative views towards women affect them. This is reinforced at the bottom of the table: “Total recorded rapes. Crime statistics are often better indicators of prevalence of law enforcement and willingness to report crime, than actual prevalence”.

    Another important thing to remember is that countries have different definitions of what constitutes rape. Many will not consider rape when a man is married to its victim, and others would only consider as such when there are four witnesses. All in all, rape and violence against women is a big problem in the West, no doubt about it. But the difference is that in other countries they can get away with it much easily.

  90. Sid — on 20th December, 2007 at 8:15 pm  

    Are you saying that reported rapes in all countries of the world will suddenly reach USA figures if
    prosecutions
    legal barriers
    reported numbers
    access to police
    become qualitatively equal to the USA?

  91. The Common Humanist — on 20th December, 2007 at 8:30 pm  

    Desi,

    You are right, of course they do, I was reacting to Ismaaels asertion that it doesn’t happen in the Islamic World, when of course, human cultural groups usually exhibit the same problems. Supremicists of any stripe, Ismaael in this case, will try to state the opposite.

  92. Ravi Naik — on 20th December, 2007 at 8:37 pm  

    “Are you saying that reported rapes in all countries of the world will suddenly reach USA figures”

    Well, very unlikely considering the US has 300 million people, and not many countries have that many people. :) But yes, I do believe that there is serious under-reporting in the non-Western world, in particular in societies where women are treated as second-rate citizens.

    By the way, in terms of crime and social justice, I would not put the US in a pedestal, much to the contrary.

  93. Sid — on 20th December, 2007 at 9:38 pm  

    Well, very unlikely considering the US has 300 million people, and not many countries have that many people.

    Comparing per-capita figures, would USA be as high? And in a per-capita model, would rape be the same across socities if all those parameters remain equal?

  94. Ravi Naik — on 20th December, 2007 at 10:19 pm  

    “Comparing per-capita figures, would USA be as high? And in a per-capita model, would rape be the same across socities if all those parameters remain equal?”

    The US is actually in 9th place when considering per-capita model. Saudi Arabia well, it is in last place.

  95. Sid — on 20th December, 2007 at 10:31 pm  

    Last of 65 countries, but yes, I see your point.

  96. Don — on 20th December, 2007 at 10:33 pm  

    Apparently there are an estimated one million foreign domestic workers in KSA. None of whom are being raped.

  97. Boyo — on 21st December, 2007 at 4:46 am  

    “Saudi Arabia well, it is in last place.”

    Well, they certainly don’t encourage self-reporting!

    Ho ho ho.

  98. Ravi Naik — on 21st December, 2007 at 9:30 am  

    “Ho ho ho.”

    Christmas reached early this year for Boyo. ;)

  99. Golam Murtaza — on 26th December, 2007 at 1:00 pm  

    This thread ROCKS.

    ‘Morgoth’? Is that some evil location from Tolkien’s Middle Earth?

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