Standpoint: for Christian fundamentalists and bigots


by Sunny
31st May, 2008 at 10:40 am    

I’m writing a longer article on how crap Nazir Ali’s article in Standpoint is, but there’s no surprise that the usual suspects on the right are getting a hard-on over it. The thing is, Nazir Ali’s point was actually made by Melanie Phillips ages ago and it was taken apart then. After all, it wasn’t long when she asked in all seriousness: “How long will it be before Christianity becomes illegal in Britain?”

When Lord Nazir Ali is headlining your magazine then you know its rapidly going to become the house journal of Christian Concern for our Nation, Nadine Dorries MP and assorted Melanie Phillips fans (aka nutjobs). And in case you haven’t yet spotted the magazine’s recurring theme yet, there’s this gem from one Michael Burleigh:

Many of the 1.6 million Muslims living in Britain, for example, still do not seem to fully appreciate the outrage that a finger-jabbing minority causes at home and abroad with each escalating demand for Islamist enclaves.

That’s right folks – all of Britain’s Muslims are to blame for the way they allow some extremists to behave! No, there’s no stereotyping here. There’s no attempt to lump them all together. They’re just all to blame for the way that a “finger-jabbing minority”, otherwise referred to as “those uppity Muslims who don’t appreciate how lucky they are being allowed to live in Britain.” If any brown person gets too big for their boots, just blame the ethnics for letting the “finger-jabbing minority” get out of hand.


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  1. johnbarnes — on 31st May, 2008 at 3:53 pm  

    Sunny you’ve finally lost it. You have no idea what you are talking about anymore and your most recent offerings likening the Anglican Church to some sort of Christian Al-Qaeda have been some of the most ridiculous drivel I’ve come to see on your blog.

  2. BenSix — on 31st May, 2008 at 4:23 pm  

    Nope, Sunny is quite right. Imagine the (perfectly justified) reaction if The New Statesman were to print an article saying “many of Britain’s Jews still do not seem to fully appreciate the outrage that a finger-jabbing minority causes at home and abroad with each escalating demand for Zionist enclaves”. Burleigh’s piece takes a serious issue and reduces it to assertions, generalisations and insinuations.

    I’ll comment further when I finish this bloody revision.

    The blog title is a bit long, though, Sunny.

  3. BenSix — on 31st May, 2008 at 5:26 pm  

    I’ll just have a quick poke around Burleigh’s more ‘progressive’ notions:

    “The application of military force and diligent police work is indispensable to defeating the insurgency.”

    This is just a protracted Burleigh buzzword. How does one apply this force? How do forces engage with the police? How does the presence of forces affect communities?

    “Local people balked at such Islamist customs as breaking the fingers of smokers or shooting anyone selling alcohol.”

    This is either ignorant or deliberately silly. I hate all forms of Islamism – and any alignment of religion and politics, in fact – but it’s not a monolith and it can’t be dealt with as such. Consider, for example, the vast difference between Hassan Hanafi and Sayyid Qutb. This kind of statement is obfuscatory and complicates an issue that Burleigh is attempting to ‘defeat’.

    “Many of the 1.6 million Muslims living in Britain, for example, still do not seem to fully appreciate the outrage that a finger-jabbing minority causes at home and abroad with each escalating demand for Islamist enclaves.”

    This is a particularly nasty asserted generalisation that Sunny has commented on above.

    “Like perennial students, New Labour favours debate and dialogue.”

    Which begs the question, what does Michael Burleigh favour? The strange thing is that he doesn’t mention it, but in his above comment and his criticism of ‘pro-free speech arguments’, we could be forgiven for wondering whether he’s getting all Martin Amis on us.

    “In dealing with the Muslim Council of Britain, the British Government unwittingly accepted as “commun­ity” interlocutors men who, in line with salafi-jihadi propaganda, blamed Islamist terrorism primarily on British foreign policy, while failing to condemn unequivocally suicide bombing outside the UK.”

    This is patently ridiculous. The Muslim Council of Great Britain have not failed to condemn those who “do not care who they kill”, but have speculated on the motivations of the terrorists. If one wishes to openly criticise the Council, which many of us do, one must directly and honestly do so, not make snide insinuations.

    Ending on a high:

    “Giving “hope” to potential jihadist recruits in foreign countries should assume tangible forms: installing fresh water systems or building schools, as well as substantial practical assistance for the victims of such natural disasters as earthquakes or the Asian tsunami, which the leading Islamist cleric Sheikh Yusuf al-Qara­dawi claimed was God’s punishment of materialistic Indonesians and Malaysians.”

    I entirely agree, although if he’d pursued a point he could have offered practical notions.

  4. frank mccallister — on 31st May, 2008 at 6:54 pm  

    What’s wrong with Nadine Dorries? As far as I’m concerned she stands up for those who can’t stand up for themselves. Instead of sitting at a computer filling cyberspace with flatulent opining, Nadine walks the walk. Like you, eh Sunny.

  5. thabet — on 31st May, 2008 at 8:51 pm  

    Michael Burleigh is prone to just making up ‘facts’.

  6. Roger — on 31st May, 2008 at 10:03 pm  

    “many of Britain’s Jews still do not seem to fully appreciate the outrage that a finger-jabbing minority causes at home and abroad with each escalating demand for Zionist enclaves”.

    A Zionist, by definition, wouldn’t demand an enclave in Britain. In fact, a minority- who may soon become a majority- of Britain’s jews are creating jewish enclaves; however, they don’t go in for finger-jabbing so no-one- or hardlt anyone- complains. The fact that they don’t insist on other people fitting in with their prejudices helps.

  7. BenSix — on 31st May, 2008 at 11:08 pm  

    frank,
    She’s a liar with unpleasant associates. Admittedly that’s true of most politicians but it’s true of her more than most. See Liberal Conspiracy, Bloggerheads, Ministry of Truth.

    Roger,
    A fair comment, but I didn’t want to think about a more apt prejudice.

  8. BenSix — on 1st June, 2008 at 12:06 am  

    (Just to clarify, I mean ‘prejudice that people typically feel towards..’, not ‘hey, actually I HAVE got a few problems with..’).

  9. Suburban Tory — on 1st June, 2008 at 12:40 pm  

    Looks like the Telegraph has found one of those Muslim no-go areas that don’t exist. Nice to see the West Midlands Police Force protecting the public from those nasty Christian Evangelists.

  10. BenSix — on 1st June, 2008 at 1:20 pm  

    Important things to remember from The Telegraph article:

    “West Midlands Police, who refused to apologise, said the incident had been “fully investigated” and the officer would be given training in understanding hate crime and communication.”

  11. Avi Cohen — on 1st June, 2008 at 1:24 pm  

    johnbarnes – I think you’ll find in fact that he is correct. The way the church and the right wing is going to to demonise and blame minorities for everything and at the top of the list is Muslims.

    Take for example:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/7427206.stm

    Michelle Malkin’s demands for the withdrawl of an ad featuring Arab attire.

    Malkin falsely claims this is linking to extremism.

    How would Malkin or Phillips take it if Muslims demanded the withdrawl of Christian or Jewish attire due to issues in that region? The Torygraph would complain loudly about freedom of expression. But America is having orgasms due to Malkins bigoted claims about an advert.

    Conversely Nazir Ali is too stupid to realise then that if his cliam is true that Britian is built by a Christian Identity then Nazir Ali is to blame for the expulision of the Jews and I’d like him to apologize and pay compensation to the Jewish Community.

    What you fail to get is that this is a nasty strain of blaming people and being xenophobic due to the failures of your own organisation.

  12. Suburban Tory — on 1st June, 2008 at 3:10 pm  

    Ben

    Why has the WMP not apologised. Do they agree that preaching the gospel is now a crime? Will the WMP now pay compensation to the two men concerned? When will Pickled Politics stop demonising Christians?

  13. BenSix — on 1st June, 2008 at 3:17 pm  

    “Why has the WMP not apologised.”

    Police apologies are very rare. One must also note the phrasing of the article: ‘refused’ may merely mean ‘did not give one’.

    “Will the WMP now pay compensation to the two men concerned?”

    Possibly, if the men felt like taking them to court.

    “When will Pickled Politics stop demonising Christians?”

    Well, you’d have to take it up with Sunny or Rohin, but attacking the actions and views of certain ideologically motivated fanatics is not demonising an entire demographic.

  14. Suburban Tory — on 1st June, 2008 at 3:57 pm  

    The worrying thing about the West Midlands incident is that the WMP have failed to protect two men carrying out their lawful business in the face of threats from some local Muslims. The Christian Institute has taken up the case and demanded a full apology and damages. The WMP is happy to defend Islamic Hate Speech re: Channel 4 Dispatches but the preaching of the Gospel is now a hate crime – welcome to a World Turned Upside Down.

    Agree with what you say about “attacking the actions and views of certain ideologically motivated fanatics is not demonising an entire demographic”. Sadly, this doesn’t stop leftists and Islamists shrieking about Islamophobia/racism when people like Nick Cohen/Melanie Phillips etc. criticise Islamists.

  15. Sunny — on 1st June, 2008 at 4:11 pm  

    When will Pickled Politics stop demonising Christians?

    There’s a difference between Christian fundamentalists and ordinary Christians.

    johnbarnes, our resident BNP troll, I’m glad you disagree. Otherwise I’d be worried.

  16. BenSix — on 1st June, 2008 at 4:13 pm  

    “The worrying thing about the West Midlands incident is that the WMP have failed to protect two men carrying out their lawful business in the face of threats from some local Muslims.”

    I can’t see evidence of threats from local Muslims, I’m afraid, though the WMP apologised for their intervention into the Dispatches case.*

    Nick Cohen and Melanie Phillips are essentially elevated neurotics; desperately afraid of Muslims and the ‘preferential treatment’ that they receive. You could do worse than visiting Phillips’s charming recent piece ‘The Islamisation of Britain’. She’d love your story.

    Besides, I was a Christian for fifteen years and all my family are religious, so I’m confident that I’d notice rabid prejudice.

    * http://www.west-midlands.police.uk/OnlinePress/pressreleases.asp?id=1400&c=16

  17. Suburban Tory — on 1st June, 2008 at 5:23 pm  

    If the Christians had not been threatened why did the PSCO allegedly say “You have been warned. If you come back here and get beat up, well you have been warned.” This statement, if true, does seem to imply that threats to the two preachers had been made.

    Yes, I’m well aware that WMP did eventually apologise to Channel 4 over the Dispatches case. Let’s hope that if the facts stated by the Christian Institure are correct that they also apologise in this case.

    Would Sunny concede that Alum Rock is an example of a Muslim No-go area that the Bishop of Rochester was talking about.

  18. BenSix — on 1st June, 2008 at 5:44 pm  

    “If the Christians had not been threatened why did the PSCO allegedly say “You have been warned. If you come back here and get beat up, well you have been warned.” This statement, if true, does seem to imply that threats to the two preachers had been made.”

    If threats were made by muslims then why aren’t they mentioned? PCSO’s do not have the training, experience or powers of Police Officers, and can suffer from incompetence. You may remember last year’s story that several of them had been found to be under-18*

    “Would Sunny concede that Alum Rock is an example of a Muslim No-go area that the Bishop of Rochester was talking about.”

    I certainly wouldn’t. While the WMP have not apologised, they have stated that they will censure the PSCO, which constitutes an admission that the two men were not guilty of hate crimes.

    * http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-474976/Five-police-forces-admit-using-teenage-community-bobbies.html

  19. Sunny — on 1st June, 2008 at 6:04 pm  

    Would Sunny concede that Alum Rock is an example of a Muslim No-go area that the Bishop of Rochester was talking about.

    What drugs are you taking? Sometimes I like to detach myself from reality and maybe yours would help. Once incident, which is all over the place anyway, does not make into a ‘no go’ area unless you’re desperate to come up with something to justify previously held prejudices.

    Also, what about white no-go areas dominated by NF types?

  20. Suzy — on 1st June, 2008 at 6:57 pm  

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. This is all a part of how not just Muslims, but Asians of all backgrounds are going to be demonised and placed firmly into the role of minority scum who are to be blamed for all that ails British society.

    I don’t really like religiosity of any kind, but blaming the decline of Christianity on the fact that Muslims are more observant in proportion to a declining practising Christian base places Muslims in the corner as the cancer at the heart of not just Britain, but Britain’s ‘ancient Judeo-Christian Civilisation’, no less.

    The gloves are off, and the Right are scenting blood like hounds on a fox hunt.

  21. Suburban Tory — on 1st June, 2008 at 7:03 pm  

    Sunny

    Sorry, don’t do drugs. Never have.

    There are clearly areas in the UK that are no-go areas for all sorts of reason (white racism, Postcode gang culture etc.).

    These white no-go areas you talk about. How many NF types actually live there – or is it just a small minority of people there who have that attitude. The same is probably true in Alum Rock, parts of Tower Hamlets, Manningham etc. It only takes a few young thugs on the street to make a place a no-go srea. It’s not wrong for the Bishop to point that out.

    So don’t bash the Bishop.

  22. Sunny — on 1st June, 2008 at 8:23 pm  

    It only takes a few young thugs on the street to make a place a no-go srea. It’s not wrong for the Bishop to point that out.

    So you admit there are white no-go areas? What are the Bishop and yourself doing to help resolve that?

  23. Sid — on 1st June, 2008 at 11:47 pm  

    Suburban Tory: It only takes a few young thugs on the street to make a place a no-go srea. It’s not wrong for the Bishop to point that out.

    Can you show us where the Bishop Nazir-Ali has pointed out white no-go areas. I must have missed this.

  24. Laban — on 1st June, 2008 at 11:57 pm  

    Suzy – “I don’t really like religiosity of any kind, but blaming the decline of Christianity on the fact that Muslims are more observant …”

    I don’t think the good Bishop is saying that at all.

    What he’s saying is that the spiritual and cultural vacuum left by the decline of Christianity will be and is being filled by Islam. After all the decline of Christianity – especially among the ruling elite – predates the arrival of Islam here. You can if you wish disagree with his thesis (I think he’s spot-on but a secularist might not agree) but I don’t see how you can turn that into an attack on Islam, let alone all that nonsense – from your head – about “Muslims as a cancer”.

    In fact it’s a travesty of what what the guy said nearly (but not quite) as great as translating “Muslims do not seem to fully appreciate the outrage” into “all Muslims are to blame” as Sunny does.

  25. Sid — on 2nd June, 2008 at 12:59 am  

    erm, Sunny is actually absolutely right. The Bishop attempts to use generalisations and appalling straw-man specifics to back them up. He begins by suggesting the general problem is Islamic radicalism (which cannot be argued) but then points to Muslim no-go areas as the specific manifestation of that problem. Sorry, inner city blight is not the cause of Christian decline since white no-go areas also exist.

    He claims that multiculturalism is a major problem (no argument there) then suggests that the adhaan (or call to prayer) is causing Christian values to be eradicated. He is in effect saying Christianity is in decline and Islam is the next enemy after communism.

    Happily Marxism, in its various forms, has been shown to be the philosophical, historical and economic nonsense that it always was. But we are now confronted by another equally serious ideo­logy, that of radical Islamism, which also claims to be comprehensive in scope. What resources do we have to face yet another ideological battle?

    So no, its not a polite call to debate Islam as Laban is trying to suggest. Nazir-Ali’s thesis is quite clearly: Islam is the next battle and Muslims are the enemy. Onward Christian Soldiers!

  26. peter — on 2nd June, 2008 at 9:28 am  

    There are several rhetorical devices routinely deployed by the ‘liberal’ apologists for islamism. 1, is the ‘you’re tarring 1.6 billion people with the extremist brush!’ aka, the synecdoche defence. 2, is the ‘but there are other religious extremists!’ defence, which is closely related to the ‘what about Christian fundamentalism!’ defence. Then, there are the ‘yes, I don’t like islamism but it’s not useful to criticise it at this time because of the backlash!’ crowd, the ‘it’s all driven by racism and poverty!’ crowd… etc. All these standpoints are diversionary nonsense, as is the piece upstairs. But then, someone whose quality of argument includes phrases like ‘getting a hard-on about’ and ‘nutjobs’ is clearly not up to the task he sets himself.

  27. BenSix — on 2nd June, 2008 at 9:38 am  

    peter,

    There is a rhetorical device routinely deployed by those unwilling to construct a logical refutation. 1. Constructing strawmen.

    This piece isn’t an apologia for Islamism, it’s an expression of support for those who are accused of being indirectly responsible for Islamism.

  28. Sid — on 2nd June, 2008 at 11:22 am  

    Bishop Nazir-Ali is determined to lay the blame of the decline of Anglicanism on those ungodly darkies but mostly on the vile, wicked Mohammedans.

  29. sonia — on 2nd June, 2008 at 11:38 am  

    ok time-out. clearly what the bishop is bemoaning is the lack of religiosity ( and thank goodness for that) and given he is a bishop that is hardly suprrising. and it’s pretty obvious they’re always having a go at each other – and it might be true from their perspective that if you’re not believing in this, you might be believing in that. After all, they are competing for souls to save and souls to threaten hell with. Of course they’re going to get competitive! No wonder they want more.

    obviously they’re not getting that what they are revealing in this kind of tit for tat is how ridiculous they are revealing themselves to be. either way, its pretty obvious that at this level, religion is bigoted, end of story.

  30. sonia — on 2nd June, 2008 at 11:40 am  

    and religions have spent longer time fighting with other proponents of religion, than they have with anyone else – as history shows us. which ought to point to the problems of the desire to have a monopoly on god.

  31. Soso — on 2nd June, 2008 at 4:49 pm  

    Bishop Nazir Ali is correct.

    Sunny has difficulty when contradicted by other brown people whose ideas dovetail with what many whites already know.

    And this, because Nazir Ali can’t be accused of ‘racism’

    The current mania is to ennoble Muslims with the mantle of the ‘New Jews’ and to compare their present, largely self-imposed marginalisation with that of the dynamic Jewish community in 1930s Germany.

    I’ve checked and rechecked history texts, but there is NO evidence whatsoever that the Jews in 30s Germany flew bi-planes into office towers, blew up subways or bombed commuter trains in the name of The Talmud.

    Sunny needs a long and intense session of de-sensitivity training.

  32. Sid — on 2nd June, 2008 at 5:54 pm  

    And this, because Nazir Ali can’t be accused of ‘racism’

    He can, however, be accused of positive racism. Or perhaps the error of applying unequal opportunity. We’re certain that there are many of constituents of “Anglican” no-go areas who are offended at being passed over the Bishop’s no-go area review.

    We’re certain the Bishop Nazir-Ali has not been prejudicial but is simply oblivious of white no-go areas because he has not gone to them for understandable reasons. We urge the good Bishop to go to these areas and correct this oversight as soon as possible.

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