Christian fundamentalists and British Muslims


by Sunny
20th May, 2008 at 5:00 pm    

Via Ministry of Truth, this is an excerpt from last night’s documentary.

I have some advice for British Muslim groups who might want to get involved in the controversy over the HFE bill and abortion: don’t.

Foolish people from a rent-a-quote Muslim group sent out a press release yesterday saying it hoped MPs would vote to end abortion. Apart from the obvious fact that the fools didn’t understand the legislation anyway, the point is that this debate is a poisoned chalice for Muslim groups.

There is no doubt that Nadine Dorries and her crew will try and enlist them in a broad coalition in her own culture wars. But the first thing we know about these nutjobs is that they’re outright bigots. The second thing we know is that they will try and use British Muslims for their own agenda when necessary (to get media attention for example) and demonise them when necessary.

To their credit, the MCB seems to have so far stayed away from passing any judgement on the bill. I hope they remain that way.

On other other hand, any attempt by British Muslim groups to loudly claim abortion is against their religion and that they’ll be encouraging all Muslims to write to their MPs opposing the HFE Bill, would be the best shot in the arm to the pro-choice movement. Then the media would finally start saying what a horror it is that men (Muslim men!!!) are trying to restrict white women from choice over their own bodies. The Daily Mail wouldn’t know what to do.


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Filed in: Humour,Media,Moral police,Muslim,Organisations,Sex equality






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  1. Katy — on 20th May, 2008 at 5:44 pm  

    I think we can safely assume that the Daily Mail hates white women who murder foetuses more than brown men trying to stop them. I read a charming editorial in it only today, riddled with factual inaccuracies and suitably apocalyptic language.

  2. Sid — on 20th May, 2008 at 5:49 pm  

    It’s not only Christian mentalists who use this tactic but also the Archbishop of Cantebury, as I said before. By appealing to muslims with the bogus claim that their religious concerns are the Church’s religious concerns and by giving the Shari’a a glowing endorsement, they would like to dragoon muslims into backing their agendae.

    But we know that the Church alternates between good cop (Rowan Williams) and bad cop (Michael Nazir Ali) regarding muslims when it serves their purposes.

  3. Unity — on 20th May, 2008 at 5:57 pm  

    Sid:

    That was an interesting argument if a touch over-egged for my tastes.

    I don’t think that the Archbish was trying to throw off the pretence of that religious and secular law are compatible, I think his motives were much more pragmatic and directed towards trying to co-opt other religions into an agenda which seeks merely to preserve the Anglican Church’s constitutional and legal privileges in the face of increasingly sceptical scrutiny.

    He was actually trying to play the equality card to shore up a position which is coming under fire and looking increasingly unsustainable.

  4. Don — on 20th May, 2008 at 7:07 pm  

    Unity,

    I agree completely, and said as much at the time. But I would not rule out Williams seeing Islam as a useful stalking horse for his wider agenda.

    Leave aside supernatural minutiae such as who ascended to heaven how, or which petty regulation the Creator of the Universe is most concerned with, and the social/ethical positions of all religious fundamentalists start to look very similar. Mostly about how women should remember their place and how gays are yukky. And show some respect, or else.

    They are natural bed-fellows, if their subtle scholars can just work out a way to make it all fit.

  5. Refresh — on 20th May, 2008 at 8:49 pm  

    You are suggesting the silencing of a whole people, presumably, in fear of how bigots may react. But you do not address the root of that bigotry. you are advocating cowardice.

    This is similar to your piece (‘Brilliant, Brilliant Article’) about how muslims should have kept out of the mayoral election* – because it backfired. That it will be used to heap abuse on the person or objective a muslim group may wish to support. But never challenge those that are wringing their hands waiting for the next opportunity for an anti-muslim tirade.

    This was the same argument we had in that mammoth thread on the archbishop. It seemed more important to show that Rowan Williams was using the bigotry against muslims to advance his own agenda. But did not and do not express concern that that bigotry exists and is deepening.

    Hypocrisy of the highest order.

    So I say, if muslims have a viewpoint they should speak up. Not be the shrinking violets some people seem to be advocating.

    After all it connects very well with a viewpoint others share across the spectrum.

    *I have further thoughts on your own stand in the mayoral elections which I would happily share with you, if you are interested.

  6. Refresh — on 20th May, 2008 at 8:51 pm  

    By the way, the bit I do agree with is that muslims should not to side with anyone. But to put their own viewpoint, and under no circumstance be taken in by the evangelist movement. Ever.

  7. Don — on 20th May, 2008 at 9:05 pm  

    It seemed more important to show that Rowan Williams was using the bigotry against muslims to advance his own agenda. But …

    The topic was Williams’ speech. Seems reasonable to focus on it.

  8. fug — on 20th May, 2008 at 9:23 pm  

    If a muslim person has something significant to say in that whole cluster of issues, why should they shut up? Muslim men and women will probably want to know what viewpoints exist and the people of appropriate expertise should be identified.

    You talk about a whole cluster of issues you know little but headlines about, yet its anyone else who is the ‘fool’.

  9. Sid — on 20th May, 2008 at 10:02 pm  

    Unity, I too agree with you completely. But if Williams is using the Shari’a as an “equality card” he is doing so by using Muslim religious law as a decoy to draw support for non-secular legal practice, in the widest sense of the term, from Muslims and to evade scrutiny of the Church’s peculiar priveleges. I think we might be saying the same thing, except yes, I do prefer my arguments sunny side up.

  10. Sunny — on 21st May, 2008 at 4:03 am  

    So I say, if muslims have a viewpoint they should speak up. Not be the shrinking violets some people seem to be advocating.

    Refresh, you don’t understand politics. That is your problem. Neither do you understand the art of warfare.

    You pick the battles you can win and avoid the ones you can’t. But hey, if you want to be naive about everything, then go right ahead. Nothing new there.

  11. elaine — on 21st May, 2008 at 6:48 am  

    I question whether deeply religious people can be truly said to have a “view” on anything that is prescribed by their religion.
    And if the opinions of a group of people are perceived as simply what their religion has told them to think, then there is no point arguing/ discussing with them, and the only response has to be political, i.e. can this group of people be safely ignored or not.

  12. fugstar — on 21st May, 2008 at 11:50 am  

    sunny understands politics completely and has a right to be listened to , especially on suggestions for islamis stuff. not.

  13. Kismet Hardy — on 21st May, 2008 at 3:31 pm  

    Why do you never see young, intelligent women in those rallies against abortion? I think there’s a clue in ‘intelligent’ and ‘women’

    It’s no one else’s business.

    Always a time for a Bill Hicks quip:

    “You ever look at their faces? “I’m pro-life!”

    Boy, they look it don’t they? They just exude joie de vie. You just want to hang with them and play Trivial Pursuit all night long.

    You know what bugs me about them? If you’re so pro-life, do me a favour – don’t lock arms and block medical clinics. If you’re so pro-life, lock arms and block cemeteries.

    I want to see pro-lifers with crowbars at funerals opening caskets – “get out!” Then I’d be really impressed by their mission.”

  14. Northerner — on 21st May, 2008 at 3:35 pm  

    SUNNY: You pick the battles you can win and avoid the ones you can’t.

    That’s a little bit naive, right? Sometimes, politics is also about making a stand on an issue that may not win you support or anything else, but you need to have convictions, even if you don’t always win!!
    ——————–
    Also ELAINE: I question whether deeply religious people can be truly said to have a “view” on anything that is prescribed by their religion.

    I know that deeply religious people like secular people can still have opinions and independent thoughts even if they are religious. They haven’t made a Microsoft sotware programme of a standard good Christian/Jew/Muslim/Sikh ready to plug into the Xbox or Wii.

  15. Sunny — on 21st May, 2008 at 5:07 pm  

    That’s a little bit naive, right? Sometimes, politics is also about making a stand on an issue that may not win you support or anything else, but you need to have convictions, even if you don’t always win!!

    It is about that too. But you have to consider that you may win the battle or stand up for your views this time, but you end up losing the war.

    My point here was that my getting involved in this fight, the only thing that British Muslim orgs would invite is further bigotry towards British Muslims, without any gain. Is there any point to that?

  16. Morgoth — on 21st May, 2008 at 5:08 pm  

    Kismet, a-fecking-men. Here! Here!

  17. Morgoth — on 21st May, 2008 at 5:23 pm  

    Sunny, is it “bigotry” to point out whenever theocrats, of whichever stripe (after all, Islam is just a Catholic Heresy anyway) want to enforce their theology as law on everyone else?

  18. ZinZin — on 21st May, 2008 at 5:51 pm  

    “Refresh, you don’t understand politics. That is your problem. Neither do you understand the art of warfare.”

    Someone been reading their Sun-Tzu. 3500 years and its still going strong.

  19. Refresh — on 21st May, 2008 at 6:06 pm  

    Sunny, I think I do understand my politics.

    How long should a whole group of our society ‘keep their head down’? This is pandering to the bigots.

    I take the opposite view – if you have something to sensible to say, say it.

    And if it means that others concur with your message, even better.

    And politically speaking now is the time to speak out, so everyone can see that you have a rational position on issues which everyone else is talking about and that you are not the bogeyman created by US politicos, bloggers and the right wing press.

    I think there is a phrase which may also be 3,500 years old. ‘Better to die standing, then live on your knees’.

    What matters is that there is not just one way forward, and there is no point in having diversity if you cannot share in it or learn from it.

  20. fugstar — on 21st May, 2008 at 6:38 pm  

    i thought this was about abortion and biomedical research matters. The stuff of life and progeny itself.

    So its just another opportunity for the usual suspects to share their south asian religion issues with bed fellows secularised products of christian culture in the uk. fair enough, but why bring anyone else into it? aaah shared brownness.

    The faithful facing these difficult ethical problems look for enlightenment. not from sunny bunny, but from their own leaderships.

    A faithful girl facing the abortion scenario should have the best information and guidance avaiable, who really cares if badly echoed sound bites perturb the coconuts and sellouts?

    A scientist on the cutting edge who actually knows about the field and the alternatives would be better able to inform his/her community about the matter.

  21. Christian Fundy — on 21st May, 2008 at 7:34 pm  

    Then the media would finally start saying what a horror it is that men (Muslim men!!!) are trying to restrict white women from choice over their own bodies.

    So I take it there are no white Muslim women, and that all Muslim males are brown?

    Muslims, like Christians, can be any colour, Sunny.

    Abortion has become a sick joke.

    When the issue first emerged, and the ‘right’ to abort a foetus ‘won’, the commmon wisdom said that it was “empowerment” for women.

    However, nowadays over 80% of the abortions performed world-wide are performed for one reason, and one reason only; to ELIMINATE a healthy female foetus.

    In India and China aborting females ( in the hope the next foetus will be male) is now so common that the ratio of males to females is completely out of whack.

    Do women posting here ( like Elaine and katy) realise this?

    Left-leaning individuals are never very good at thinking through the “law-of-unintended-consequences” angle.

    In Third world countries this feminist “empowerment” is now used mostly to kill unwanted females.

    10s of millions of unwanted females.

    And in the developed world women often undergo abortions in order to please and to keep their boyfriends.

    “Empowerment”.

    Well done girls!

  22. Sunny — on 21st May, 2008 at 7:34 pm  

    How long should a whole group of our society ‘keep their head down’? This is pandering to the bigots.

    Pandering to which bigots? Stop writing in cliches Refresh, use your brain once in a while!

    If someone was attacking Muslims here, then yes, speak out. Haven’t got a problem with that. My point is here is that in politics its never wise to shoot your mouth off if its gonna hurt your candidate or lose you your goal. Your silly idealism is not surprising but most people who go further up the political food-chain don’t work like that.

    First, its important for you to understand that.

    Second, what would Muslims lose by not speaking out? You want to put yourself on the side of the Christian Concern for our Nation?

  23. Sunny — on 21st May, 2008 at 7:35 pm  

    In Third world countries this feminist “empowerment” is now used mostly to kill unwanted females.

    Erm, are you an inbred?

    Its precisely because the countries don’t value females that female babies and foetuses are aborted.

  24. dave bones — on 22nd May, 2008 at 12:37 am  

    I didn’t realise you were so hot on the abortion thing but I’ve only been around here a short while. My favourite US Republican blogpal is extremely pro-life. I sort of surprise myself being so in the middle about such an emotive issue. Maybe I am naive too. I don’t think I am pro-life or pro-choice. I think abortion is a tragedy. I’ve known people who have had abortions like they are contraception. Real world the idea of illegal back street abortions for those who can’t afford to fly to a country where it is legal doesn’t bare thinking about, but I’ve seen enough pro-life arguments in Republicanland to think that there are people on either side of this issue who could learn from each others perspective. They are not going to though. They hate each other.

  25. Sunny — on 22nd May, 2008 at 4:05 am  

    My favourite US Republican blogpal is extremely pro-life

    ha ha, yeah I saw that earlier. Quite amusing… given the Republicans there are also liable to see all Muslims as terrorists.

    I think abortion is a tragedy.

    Well, I think eating animals is a tragedy too. But I don’t force people to become vegetarians :)

  26. Refresh — on 22nd May, 2008 at 10:36 am  

    If what you proposed isn’t pandering to bigots, ie keep your head down because they will only use it against you isn’t pandering, I don’t know what is.

    Agree, keeping quiet does get you up the food chain.
    Equally attacking people can do the same, look at Hazel Blears.

    Should muslims clear the platform so everybody else can speak for them? And for how long? And how long before muslims become insular again?

    They should, without a doubt, be out there speaking off their concerns ie participate fully in what is a democracy. They should be joining Friends of the Earth, and creating an equivalent etc. etc.

    If I speak in cliches, its often out exasperation.

  27. Cover Drive — on 23rd May, 2008 at 7:15 am  

    I question whether deeply religious people can be truly said to have a “view” on anything that is prescribed by their religion.

    I feel far more threatened by the growing numbers of irreligious drunken youngsters on Friday and Saturday nights than the few religious fundamentalists we have in this country today. Binge drinking, lack of respect for elders, teenage pregnancies, single parent families, neglected children, hundreds of thousands of aborted foetuses every year…where are things heading?

    Religion has been practiced by people for thousands of years, so stop knocking it. It deserves some place in society. Man is not infallible. We are not all great scientists or professors who rely on deep thought and reasoning. Religion does provide some basic discipline and moral guidance. Give it respect for that at least.

  28. Londoner — on 28th May, 2008 at 2:32 pm  

    A hypothetical right-wing counterpart of you would have told American Muslims the same in reverse: stay quiet about the Iraq war because you’ll only empower a bunch of anti-religious communists who believe in gay marriage. This is a country where the killing of cats and dogs is widely viewed with horror, and where some people even think meat is murder; a fetus’ life might arguably not be worth as much as an adult, but surely it’s worth more than a cat’s! Maybe trying to reduce the 200,000 fetuses killed each year is more important for Muslims than avoiding marginally strengthening the political hand of some Johnny-come-lately evangelical Christian group.

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