Don’t bring religion into the equation


by Sunny
24th June, 2008 at 10:46 am    

This is a guest post by Sarah, who blogs at same difference.

These are questions which have bothered every Muslim in England ever since September 11th, 2001. Why is there so much racism towards Muslims in Britain? Why does Islam have such a bad name in Britain?

The answer to these questions is that Islam has a bad name in Britain because of people like Alexandra DeGale, or Alex from BB9, as she will be better remembered.

She came on national television. She drank, she smoked, she wore short skirts. In her Big Brother profile, she described herself as a non-practising Muslim.

The difference between her and Mohammed, another non-practising Muslim BB9 contestant, who openly admitted to eating pork on launch night, is that she has terrible double standards.

On Tuesday night, Alex had a very long and very personal argument with Mohammed. Why? Because he decided to cross-dress on his birthday, then tell Big Brother that Alex made him feel uncomfortable when she didn’t participate. Alex heard the question, due to a technical fault in the Diary Room.

She then took Mohammed to ‘B-Block,’ better known as the non-luxury bedroom, and informed him that he was a Muslim man, and she was supposed to be able to look up to him. It was bad enough, she said, that they both came on national TV and drank and smoked, but by cross-dressing, he was a disgrace to Islam, and Islam has a bad enough name in Britain already. All this while I tried very hard not to punch the screen!

I have been, and will be, a Muslim all my life. I would not dream of eating pork, or cross-dressing, on national TV or anywhere else! But nor would I dream of accusing any Muslim who wished to do either of those things, on national TV or anywhere else, of being a disgrace to the religion!

My problems with Alexandra? Surely, being a convert from Christianity, and a non-practising one at that, she is the last person who has any right to accuse a person who has been a Muslim for 24 years of being a disgrace to his religion! On national TV of all places! If she wants to preach Islam, she should be a hijab-wearing, five-time- praying Mulyani- not a drinking, smoking, swearing, shouting, intimidating Big Brother contestant! If anyone is a disgrace to Islam, in my mind, that person is Alexandra. If you ask me, she has given our religion a far worse reputation in front of the British public than Mohammed ever will.

Last I checked, people went on Big Brother for a summer of fun. Sure, throw in some harmless bickering. That’s not avoidable. But this is Big Brother- not a mosque, temple, church or synagogue. As Mohammed put it to Alexandra- don’t bring religion into the equation!

On Wednesday, Alexandra was removed from the Big Brother house for unacceptable behaviour. All I can say to this- with pun intended- is thank God!


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  1. Gege — on 24th June, 2008 at 10:57 am  

    I completely disagree with you.

    Your argument is similar to those who seek to hold all black people responsible for knife crime.

    Intelligent people are able to understand that we are all individuals and should be treated as such. They do not blame white people whenever there is a share dealing scam or drunken violence, they blame the individuals.

    It is the unintelligent that seek to blame a group because of the conduct of an individual.

  2. Sid — on 24th June, 2008 at 11:04 am  

    What a load of cobblers. Where to start? This one will do:

    If she wants to preach Islam, she should be a hijab-wearing, five-time- praying Mulyani- not a drinking, smoking, swearing, shouting, intimidating Big Brother contestant! If anyone is a disgrace to Islam, in my mind, that person is Alexandra. If you ask me, she has given our religion a far worse reputation in front of the British public than Mohammed ever will.

    I know nothing of these BB characters you write about. But if your complaint that neither of them have no right to “preach” about Islam, whose authority do you have to then tell us that only a certain type of Muslim, who adopts particular symbols (‘hijab-wearing’) can?

    Are you not guilty attempting to lay down the same subjective standards that you’re accusing “Alexandra” and “Mohammed” of?

  3. Sid — on 24th June, 2008 at 11:09 am  

    And since when was skirt-wearing and smoking anti-Islamic? There are plenty of cross dressing lady boys in Istanbul, who have said the Shahada and like a bit of cock, who will take issue with that ignorant statement.

  4. sonia — on 24th June, 2008 at 11:12 am  

    good point sid, i thought this was a most bizarre post, don’t bring religion into it and then talk about what an ‘embarrassment’ to islam someone is. i’ll tell you what an embarrassment to Islam is if you all want to listen – but then again, many of you have heard me on this before. And it tends to be along the lines of what is generally an “embarrassment” to all of humanity – abuse of human rights. Of course i would use a stronger word than ‘embarrassment’ but then us Muslims are very concerned with appearance are we not!

  5. sonia — on 24th June, 2008 at 11:15 am  

    and Big Brother is surely meant to be a microcosm of society. if religion matters, then it shouldn’t be taboo on BB. ANd yes we should talk about religion.

  6. Don — on 24th June, 2008 at 11:30 am  

    meant to be a microcosm of society

    It is? We’re screwed.

  7. Nav — on 24th June, 2008 at 11:31 am  

    Good Lord, what tripe, woman.

    This is an example of the problem with new media, in my humblest of opinions.

  8. douglas clark — on 24th June, 2008 at 11:31 am  

    Sarah,

    Being in, I suspect, the minority who have only ever caught Big Brother whilst channel hopping, I am in no way competent to comment. But that’s never stopped me before!

    Can someone ‘just declare’ that they’re a Muslim? I suppose they can, at least as far as the media is concerned. Would it make my life easier if I declared myself a non practicing Christian? There are folk out there that think it would. It would however be completely meaningless. I’d be able to do whatever I wanted – oh, I don’t know, covet my neighbours handmaiden or something – and just say “hey, it’s OK, I’m a non practicing Christian”.

    It is, in other words, a completely information free self definition. It reminds me of the famous quote by St Augustine:

    Oh Lord, give me chastity, but do not give it yet.

  9. Unitalian — on 24th June, 2008 at 12:01 pm  

    This post makes me feel so sad, the assumptions – cleary sincerely held – behind it.

    - Why is there so much racism to Muslims in Britain?

    Really? Who says so other than Bob Pitt? More than against Jews? More than against Africans or West Indians? More than against Poles? If Islam is to be treated as a race, then wasn’t 7/7 the ultimate racist attack?

    - Why does Islam have such a bad name in Britain?

    Until 9/11 I can’t recall Islam even being on the radar of most British people, or at least any more so than Hinduism or Judaism – other minority faiths. It would have been frankly astounding if it did not come under the spotlight after that and the series of subsequent plots, which surely can’t ALL have been engineered by Mossad/MI5. Combine this with what are viewed by the majority of Britons as sometimes unacceptable views on women, gays, and the like, and its hardly surprising that islam – as represented by self-styled spokespeople, gobby students, poets and hairdressers – should become unpopular.

    To crown it all however, self-pity is a deeply unattractive characteristic. This combination of grievence and superiority is bound to make anyone unpopular, from the playground upwards.

  10. Ala — on 24th June, 2008 at 12:21 pm  

    Everyone is philosophising too much. I think her point is simple: don’t judge others, especially when you’re in no position to, and especially not on national television.

    I think her point about Alexandra, whoever she is, not being practising is to show her up for casting the first stone when she is not free of sin. Not to say that someone ‘practising’ has a right to judge either, but I think she just wanted to emphasise that she had huge double standards and was just using religion to cloak her homophobia.

  11. Sid — on 24th June, 2008 at 12:46 pm  

    thanks i’ll bear that in mind next time I feel I am in no position to judge or when I’m on national television. Otherwise, this article still makes no sense.

  12. TFI — on 24th June, 2008 at 12:59 pm  

    Great retorts Sid!

  13. sarah — on 24th June, 2008 at 1:34 pm  

    Thank you Ala. You have understood my point exactly.

  14. Nav — on 24th June, 2008 at 1:37 pm  

    Only one it would seem…

  15. Rumbold — on 24th June, 2008 at 1:43 pm  

    Sarah:

    People got confused because of this:

    “Why is there so much racism towards Muslims in Britain? Why does Islam have such a bad name in Britain?

    The answer to these questions is that Islam has a bad name in Britain because of people like Alexandra DeGale, or Alex from BB9, as she will be better remembered.”

  16. Nav — on 24th June, 2008 at 1:44 pm  

    Rumbold:

    Not so much confused as bewildered.

  17. Random Guy — on 24th June, 2008 at 1:59 pm  

    “Why is there so much racism towards Muslims in Britain?”

    Hmmm, I think I’ll pass on that one because it is glaringly obvious why. Oh, and also, I don’t want to get caught up in yet another pointless merry-go-round discussion with anyone else here about it. We all have our points of view and there is no absolute (well, actually there is – but thats another matter), only relativity.

    Rather than dissecting Sarah’s arguments paragraph-by-paragraph, I think a lot of you are actually missing the point here, and that is this – people declaring themselves muslims when they are not practicing what muslims are supposed to (and lets leave that interpretation as flexible a la “5 pillars”) and then getting media attention whereby the media defines them as muslims (and the public is not inquisitive or knowledgeable to dispute this), is a major factor in the whole Islamaphobia discourse.

    Neither of the two contestants on BB should be considered muslim in any way whatsoever save from the fact that they have had some affiliation with Islam in the past. If you want to call yourself a muslim, you need to practice the main aspects of Islam – with sincerity. If you do not wish to do so, make up some BS term for yourself like “moderate” or “lapsed”. “Non-practising” is not good enough. This will make it much easier for the rest of us in the current xenophobic and ignorant atmosphere perpetuated by most forms of media.

  18. Jagjeet — on 24th June, 2008 at 2:13 pm  

    “Im a non-practising muslim” isnt that a contradicition in terms??

    Its like me saying I have long hair but I cut it really short!!! Or im an alcoholic but I dont drink!

  19. David O'Keefe — on 24th June, 2008 at 2:31 pm  

    Aren’t we missing the point here? Alexa is an accountant, who got kicked out of BB after threatening to kill the rest of the housemates.

    Why is anyone taking anything she says seriously?

  20. Nav — on 24th June, 2008 at 2:44 pm  

    I, for one, don’t know who this Alex character is or what she’s done but having been privvy to volleys of self-pitying wails from Muslims who feel as if they’re being victimised over and above any other minorities in this country, I am gettin sick of it.

    Change the flippin’ record.

    Jeez.

  21. Sofia — on 24th June, 2008 at 3:02 pm  

    Nav – if you don’t know who Alex is, or in what context this was written in, your comment is pretty ill informed.

    It is unfortunate that you have been subjected to ‘self pitying wails from muslims’..so are you sick of the person who wrote the article or Alex who you know nothing about? or was this just a general rant against the self pitying muslims?

  22. Nav — on 24th June, 2008 at 3:18 pm  

    Sofia:

    General rant against the Muslims.

  23. Sofia — on 24th June, 2008 at 3:35 pm  

    glad you got it out of your system…you could also go down to hyde park…

  24. Anas — on 24th June, 2008 at 3:46 pm  

    Muslims who feel as if they’re being victimised over and above any other minorities in this country, I am gettin sick of it.

    But Muslims are being victimised over and above any other minorities in this country.

  25. Nav — on 24th June, 2008 at 3:57 pm  

    Sofia:

    I might just.

    Anas:

    So do black people.

    And Jews.

    And gays.

    And Hindus.

    But I don’t see them complaining about their lot nearly as much… in my opinion the whole thing is very dangerous.

    When you start to play the victim card you effectively legitimise any resistance to perceived oppression and give credence to and justification for acts of terror at the extreme polar, for example.

    At least that’s the case in my humble opinion.

  26. Nav — on 24th June, 2008 at 4:04 pm  

    And Anas: where’s your proof?

  27. Sofia — on 24th June, 2008 at 4:58 pm  

    Nav – maybe you should separate those who have legitimate reasons for being alarmed versus your attention seekers…don’t lump everyone in the same basket

    If you’re looking for stats maybe try Runnymede trust as well as other orgs that have done plenty of research

    Maybe question what type of prejudice and the reasons why instead of jumping on a bandwagon.

  28. Nav — on 24th June, 2008 at 5:04 pm  

    Sofia:

    Here’s some research that I pulled up of my own:

    A third of black men in this country have their DNA recorded on national databases even though many have never actually been convicted of a crime.

    If they were Muslim men then you’d sure as hell have been told about that statistic.

    Blaming your woes now on ‘Islamaphobia’ is a cop-out pure and simple.

  29. Hermes123 — on 24th June, 2008 at 5:05 pm  

    Anas has no proof…Muslims have nothing to complain, atleast no more than any other minority in the UK. They are under the spotlight for obvious reasons, just as Black people were in the 60s and 70s because of the theatrics of the Black Power movement.

    So, stop winging and get those radical beardies to calm down and stop trying to convert everyone. Then there will be no bother.

  30. Nav — on 24th June, 2008 at 5:11 pm  

    Hermes123:

    Harsh but fair… like a good School Matron.

    I like me a powerful, older woman, I do :D

  31. Indrak — on 24th June, 2008 at 6:37 pm  

    #29: – and all those who were stopped on the streets had chips on their shoulders I recall. I didn’t learn tho’ whether the chip itself was unjustified, or merely is size.

    #30:So When the BNP switched from being ‘racist’ and signalled overtures to non-muslim ‘pakis’ as they’d all been known, your sort was doubtless what they had in mind.

  32. Ravi Naik — on 24th June, 2008 at 7:12 pm  

    “These are questions which have bothered every Muslim in England ever since September 11th, 2001. Why is there so much racism towards Muslims in Britain? Why does Islam have such a bad name in Britain?”

    You know, there are better places to find the answers to these questions than in one of the most superficial, banal, trashy programmes on TV. I can’t think of a worst programme on TV than Big Brother, I honestly can’t.

    And I don’t believe anyone is perplexed as to wonder why Muslims have a relatively bad name in Britain, or for that matter in Europe. Hint: it is not because some Muslims describe themselves as a non-practising, cross-dress, eat pork, drink alcohol or engage in double-standard trivialities.

  33. Sallama Hu'Alayha — on 24th June, 2008 at 7:32 pm  

    Is this meant as a polemical parody of Alexandra DeGale?

  34. marvin — on 24th June, 2008 at 7:45 pm  

    But Muslims are being victimised over and above any other minorities in this country.

    Reports suggests that Jews are four times more likely to get attacked because of their religion

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1537128/Jews-far-more-likely-to-be-victims-of-faith-hatred-than-Muslims.html

    But this isn’t a competition, so let’s not go there any further, please.

    You should take a leaf or two out of Sid’s book :D

    But, after all that, I f**** hated that Alexandra. That’s how we, the saddos who watched it, all feel!

  35. Nav — on 25th June, 2008 at 1:43 am  

    Indrak:

    Stop going off on tangents because you’re not capable of arguing the point at hand.

    Oh, and Anas: marvin just pwned your ass…

  36. Ali Abdullah — on 25th June, 2008 at 2:09 am  

    According to the Epsom Guardian, local Muslims have never heard of Alex before now!

    http://www.epsomguardian.co.uk/news/topstories/display.var.2361868.0.croydon_mosque_never_heard_of_muslim_alex.php

  37. Indrak — on 25th June, 2008 at 2:17 am  

    #35:
    I can but shan’t if you fail to attend with what’s already written.

  38. Nav — on 25th June, 2008 at 3:10 am  

    Indrak:

    Smokes and mirrors… stick to the topic.

  39. Sofia — on 25th June, 2008 at 9:47 am  

    So it comes down to stats..and yes there are plenty of muslims out there with chips on their shoulders as are there black, brown, gay, etc etc…I do think the article above went off on a tangent, but I still think some of the comments above are unjustified.

  40. Nav — on 25th June, 2008 at 10:38 am  

    Sofia:

    How so?

    If you feel some of the above comments are unjustified then can you please justify your stance?

    Or is that too much to ask these days?

  41. bananabrain — on 25th June, 2008 at 10:38 am  

    Why is there so much racism towards Muslims in Britain? Why does Islam have such a bad name in Britain?

    as islam isn’t a race, i presume that the “racism towards muslims” is directed towards the fact that the muslims in question are brown and black, which of course means it’s not about islam at all. if, on the other hand, you mean islamophobia, or prejudice against islam or something which is specifically about the religion, then people are hardly short of reasons, whether bigoted or reasonable, are they? either way, some complete pillock on a tv show about the intellectual equivalent of pond-life ought in the normal course of things to hardly be seen as representative, but if they actually start seeming so then surely that is illustrative of some sort of problem, isn’t it? the fact remains, however, that even without this sorry excuse for a human being there would still be an issue we would need to address.

    If she wants to preach Islam, she should be a hijab-wearing, five-time- praying Mulyani- not a drinking, smoking, swearing, shouting, intimidating Big Brother contestant!

    what rubbish. it is because of attitudes like that that foolish people have allowed virtually the entire world of islamic education to be outsourced to saudi fundamentalists for the last twenty years at least. it is precisely because of attitudes like that that mainstream orthodox rabbis kowtow to the narrow attitudes displayed in the ultra-orthodox yeshiva world. it is precisely because of attitudes like that that you have to be “tough on crime” and have things like a “war on drugs”. all this is is a *complete* abandonment of personal responsibility. if you don’t like it, *take it back*!!!

    If anyone is a disgrace to Islam, in my mind, that person is Alexandra.

    this alexandra person is nothing more than a butt for laughter. you might as well put her in the stocks. the *real* disgraces to islam are those bigots and fools who think that they can bully and threaten everyone else into going along with them.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  42. Nav — on 25th June, 2008 at 10:47 am  

    either way, some complete pillock on a tv show about the intellectual equivalent of pond-life ought in the normal course of things to hardly be seen as representative, but if they actually start seeming so then surely that is illustrative of some sort of problem, isn’t it?

    Has anyone actually pointed the finger at this woman for her behaviour and then attributed it to her being Muslim or having been Muslim etc. or is this just another example of paranoia amongst the Muslim community?

  43. Mark — on 25th June, 2008 at 10:55 am  

    Has anyone actually pointed the finger at this woman for her behaviour and then attributed it to her being Muslim or having been Muslim

    That would be ‘racist’ according to the persecution complex laden Musulmans.

    Despite the fact that Muslims aren’t a race.

  44. Nav — on 25th June, 2008 at 10:56 am  

    Mark:

    Oh? They’re not?

    According to the learned author of the above article… they are… you learn something new every day!

  45. Mark — on 25th June, 2008 at 11:00 am  

    Oh? They’re not?

    According to the learned author of the above article… they are… you learn something new every day!

    When it suits the Mohammedans, they play the race card.

  46. Anas — on 25th June, 2008 at 11:20 am  

    But Muslims are being victimised over and above any other minorities in this country.

    Reports suggests that Jews are four times more likely to get attacked because of their religion

    I’ll have to look into that. However, there’s no way you can tell me that there is any comparison with any other minority group to the constant level of demonisation of Muslims in the media, the internet, and politics since 9/11, Iraq, and 7/7.

  47. Mark — on 25th June, 2008 at 11:27 am  

    constant level of demonisation

    What about the constant demonisation of non-Muslims, pagans, Jews, Christians, women etc etc in the Qu’ran and Ahadiths?

    You willing to censor your books?

  48. Sid — on 25th June, 2008 at 11:28 am  

    When it suits the Mohammedans, they play the race card.

    That’s only because when it suits the BNP, they play the Mohammedan card.

    And there has already been at least one “high minded” commenter on this blog who let slip that they thought Muslims were against the 42 days en-bloc.

    Ignorance is a two-way street in these matters.

  49. Mark — on 25th June, 2008 at 11:35 am  

    That’s only because when it suits the BNP, they play the Mohammedan card.

    So now Muslims define themselves in accordance to BNP ideology?

    Ignorance indeed.

  50. sonia — on 25th June, 2008 at 11:38 am  

    6- Don. we are!

    “And I don’t believe anyone is perplexed as to wonder why Muslims have a relatively bad name in Britain, or for that matter in Europe. Hint: it is not because some Muslims describe themselves as a non-practising, cross-dress, eat pork, drink alcohol or engage in double-standard trivialities.”

    yeah. i guess its difficult for people to be critical of what they were brought up with, seems specially so when they think they’re in a minority and have to defend their ‘culture’. Critising the negatives of religion was much easier in Kuwait – more or less everyone was well aware of the extremes ( ha we were next to SAUDI – so We were DOUBLY! aware) and you wouldn’t get into the same ‘pickle’ one gets into here if you say the same things.

  51. bananabrain — on 25th June, 2008 at 11:40 am  

    Has anyone actually pointed the finger at this woman for her behaviour and then attributed it to her being Muslim or having been Muslim etc. or is this just another example of paranoia amongst the Muslim community?

    er… yes. that’s what sarah, the author of this piece, seems to be doing. on the other hand her finger-pointing actually seems to take the form of self-criticism and that can only be a good thing, up until the point where she completely draws the wrong conclusion that the only people who are representative of “muslims” are Big Beardy/Shrill Hijabi Types, an indication of how browbeaten the muslim community has been by the saudis over the years.

    However, there’s no way you can tell me that there is any comparison with any other minority group to the constant level of demonisation of Muslims in the media, the internet, and politics since 9/11, Iraq, and 7/7.

    anas, you quite simply can’t possibly pretend that that is an impartial point. this is your perception. i have another one. i might even concede that the “demonisation” of muslims is worse in the *mainstream* (as opposed to islamo-trot) media, but the actual attacks, verbal, physical and terrorist, are far more likely to happen to us – that’s what the stats say. ask yourself this – how much is the “security levy” at a muslim school? how much does the average muslim school have to spend on guards, cameras and fences? have a look here at the actual figures:

    http://www.thejc.com/Home.aspx?ParentId=m11&AId=60228&ATypeId=1&secid=11&prev=true

    hasmonean secondary school, which is five minutes walk from my house, has to spend £90k a year on security. that includes a security levy of £105 for every single child. ask yourself, anas, which is a better indicator of demonisation; the way you feel or the tangible costs of the threats we face. is it not scandalous that we should have to protect ourselves like this in a supposedly free and just society?

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  52. sonia — on 25th June, 2008 at 11:42 am  

    anyway if we want to blame someone for the bad image Islam has (with Muslims) if no one else – worldwide! – I would recommend we blame a) the Mullahs b) the Quran teachers “hujurs” parents send their little kids to, especially south asian parents.

    ne of the very good things about growing up in the Middle East is i was never subjected to one of these Hujurs because I was thought arabic as a second language in school.

    What with Mullahs doing the PR and Public Affairs, Is Anyone Really Surprised if a good impression is not given? No of course not. If you live in a Muslim Majority Country you can safely despise Mullahs without feeling ‘self-hating’ – whereas here, too many people seem to think Mullahs somehow represent something and their interest. WRONG!

  53. sonia — on 25th June, 2008 at 11:43 am  

    “one of the very good things”

  54. Sid — on 25th June, 2008 at 11:44 am  

    So now Muslims define themselves in accordance to BNP ideology?

    huh?
    Muslims are blamed as the race problem de jure by your friends in the BNP, because you don’t have the moral or intellectual courage to say that Muslims are predominantly non-white.

  55. sonia — on 25th June, 2008 at 11:46 am  

    8. Douglas, yep as you say.

    Yeah perhaps we are philosophising too much – but this is Pickled Politics, not Big Brother! Surely one should realise this is where we LOVE talking about religion and other yummy controversial topics. If people want zero level of interesting discussion, tune in to BB instead :-) ( god knows why people do, its so Bl**dy boring).

  56. Mark — on 25th June, 2008 at 11:47 am  

    sid

    I opined that Muslims are not a race. You retorted that because the BNP are racist and they don’t like Muslims, that makes Muslims a race.

    Can you not see the idiocy of your argument?

  57. Sid — on 25th June, 2008 at 11:54 am  

    Mark

    You can’t have it both ways. And try and understand the point I’m making here:

    Muslims are not a race. But Muslims like to behave and regard themselves as one. The writer of this article, for one.
    The reason primarily being that the large majority of Muslim immigration to this country came from Southasia. And Southasians are a race.

    By the same token, the BNP which is a political party which defines it’s ideology based on nothing other than the white race, and which regards Muslims as *the* race problem.

  58. Mark — on 25th June, 2008 at 11:58 am  

    Muslims are not a race. But Muslims like to behave and regard themselves as one.

    Looks like you’re the ones who want it both ways.

    Why do you keep bringing in the BNP? They are irrelevant to how Muslims define themsleves.

  59. Sid — on 25th June, 2008 at 12:02 pm  

    Why do you keep bringing in the BNP? They are irrelevant to how Muslims define themsleves.

    Because their articulation of the anti-Muslim stance is more “developed”, for want of a better word, than the average antipathy towards Muslims as such.

  60. Mark — on 25th June, 2008 at 12:15 pm  

    Because their articulation of the anti-Muslim stance is more “developed”, for want of a better word, than the average antipathy towards Muslims as such.

    So what? Nobody even listens to them (judging by their dismal support at elections) and they are seldom given a platform.

    You are using their anti-Muslim/Islam stance to define yourself. That is rather pathetic.

  61. Sid — on 25th June, 2008 at 12:24 pm  

    You are using their anti-Muslim/Islam stance to define yourself. That is rather pathetic.

    *sigh*

    No I don’t personally define myself by a bunch of ignorant knuckle draggers.

    Do you think it’s right to say you’re using “Muslims” to define your hatred of the “other”?

  62. Mark — on 25th June, 2008 at 12:30 pm  

    No I don’t personally define myself by a bunch of ignorant knuckle draggers.

    Then why are you continually using their ideology to excuse the fact that Muslims are defined as a ‘race’ in the thread starter?

    Do you think it’s right to say you’re using “Muslims” to define your hatred of the “other”?

    Not really. All I have said on the matter is that Muslims are not a race and shouldn’t be referred to as such.

    You are the one bringing in the BNP, theories of ‘the other’ etc in order to prop up some sort of persecution complex.

    It’s pretty cringing actually.

  63. Sid — on 25th June, 2008 at 12:31 pm  

    You are the one bringing in the BNP, theories of ‘the other’ etc in order to prop up some sort of persecution complex.

    Tell me where I propped up a persecution complex and I won’t call you a silly cunt.

    Then why are you continually using their ideology to excuse the fact that Muslims are defined as a ‘race’ in the thread starter?

    If you’ve read this thread, then you’ll see my comment way up at the top which debunks the “thread starter”.

    If you want to discuss the fuzzy line because the self-perception of Muslims as a race *in this country* and the use of racist material to demonise Muslims then you’re going to be use a lot more nuance and intelligence than you seem capable of, judging from your antagonistic thrusts in this exchange so far.

  64. bananabrain — on 25th June, 2008 at 12:33 pm  

    sid,

    i’m not entirely clear on why you seem to have decided that this chap mark is a bnp-ite. perhaps i’m missing something.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  65. Sid — on 25th June, 2008 at 12:43 pm  

    yeah, that was a mistake.

    I *should* have opened with:
    “That’s only because when it suits certain people, they play the Mohammedan card.”

  66. Mark — on 25th June, 2008 at 12:44 pm  

    Tell me where I propped up a persecution complex

    By bringing in the BNP, accusing me of belonging to it and then, having realised the stupidity of your assertion, downgrading your accusation to my dislike of ‘the other’, at the mere sight of me criticising Islam/Muslims.

    Without any consideration of whether or not I might be ‘other’ myself.

    If you’ve read this thread, then you’ll see my comment way up at the top which debunks the “thread starter”.

    Give yourself pat on the back sid.

    the use of racist material to demonise Muslims

    Give me one example, just one.

    i’m not entirely clear on why you seem to have decided that this chap mark is a bnp-ite.

    The reflex reaction of Muslims who feel that their world view is redundant is to cry ‘racist/BNP/Mossad/Zionist/Israel/America etc’.

  67. Sid — on 25th June, 2008 at 12:49 pm  

    Give me one example, just one.

    I get BNP literature pushed through my letter box all the time. It’s almost exclusively anti-Muslim bilge. Perhaps stragglers from Barking and Dagenham, I dunno.

    The reflex reaction of Muslims who feel that their world view is redundant is to cry ‘racist/BNP/Mossad/Zionist/Israel/America etc’.

    I’m sorry if I mistook you for a BNP clodhopper. But having your read your arguments I am willing to remove BNP from that epithet but just retain clodhopper.

  68. Mark — on 25th June, 2008 at 12:51 pm  

    I get BNP literature pushed through my letter box all the time. It’s almost exclusively anti-Muslim bilge.

    But you yourself have ‘debunked’ the theory that Muslims are a race. Hence, this is not racist.

    Examples please.

  69. Sid — on 25th June, 2008 at 12:52 pm  

    But you yourself have ‘debunked’ the theory that Muslims are a race. Hence, this is not racist.

    I have but the BNP clearly hasn’t.

  70. Mark — on 25th June, 2008 at 12:58 pm  

    But you yourself said:

    Because their [the BNP's] articulation of the anti-Muslim stance is more “developed”

    I agree. They know that they are not riding on the racist ticket anymore, hence Nick Griffin’s victory in a court of law stipulating that his views were not racist because Muslims aren’t a race.

    Given that, they know what they are doing.

    So your theory that they are simply being ‘racist’ towards Muslims is ‘debunked’ by your own assertion (above).

  71. Sid — on 25th June, 2008 at 12:59 pm  

    It’s interesting how the BNP can now use all the anti-Muslim techniques at their disposal in the same way as they and their precursors used anti-Asian and anti-Black prejudice in the past, and know that they are targetting swathes of non-white people. However, their techniques can be defended by people like Mark as being “not racist”. Quite a loophole.

  72. Mark — on 25th June, 2008 at 1:02 pm  

    I’m not defending anyone, simply pointing out the facts, as supported by a court of law and yourself.

  73. bananabrain — on 25th June, 2008 at 1:41 pm  

    oh, come on, you two, this is rapidly turning into a nit-picking tangent from the actual issue.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  74. Ravi Naik — on 25th June, 2008 at 1:45 pm  

    I agree with Sid, the BNP does protect itself against accusations of racism by using codewords for non-whites, such as “immigrant” and “Muslim”. And using codewords for white, such as “Christian”, “British identity”, and so forth.

    And I also agree with Mark – if I understood him correctly – that just because the BNP follows that narrative, that we should necessarily follow it ourselves. People here do talk about Muslims as brown race – just look at Sunny’s “Browns should switch to Tories” with the rationale that it unfairly targets Muslims.

  75. douglas clark — on 25th June, 2008 at 1:57 pm  

    Sarah,

    I very much liked your post about Sheriff Chaw and his partner Fatou Singateh. I tried to comment on your blog, but there doesn’t seem to be a way of registering. Anyway, perhaps you should cross post it here?

  76. sonia — on 25th June, 2008 at 2:13 pm  

    people are hung up on ‘race’ because its considered wrong to be racist. but replace “race” with “group” and there you go. its ok to be ‘groupist’ in society…

  77. Sid — on 25th June, 2008 at 2:19 pm  

    Ravi

    But mark is patently wrong. Muslims see themselves as a “race” but not because of the BNP. In the broadest terms of self-perception of Muslim identity:

    If you were to say “Muslim!” to a Saudi he would think “Arab!”
    If you were to say “Muslim!” to an Iranian he would think “Persian!”
    If you were to say “Muslim!” to a Southasian he would think “Pakistani/Bangladeshi/Mauritian!”

    This happens, and has happened historically, irrespective of the BNP!

    If anything, it is the BNP who benefit from this contradiction. It is they who see Muslims as a race because they don’t see the world by anything else. They can continue to ply their heinous racist activities against “Muslims” whilst benefitting from the protection of the definition the term. In some ways, they’re not as stupid as they look.

  78. sonia — on 25th June, 2008 at 2:26 pm  

    many ‘groups’ of people dont like other ‘groups’ of people..that much should be obvious throughout history! there are different things that bind ‘groups’ together and are used towards a ‘group construct’ – race is certainly one of them but not the only dimension.
    and of course the construct of groups is so often in ‘competition’ to another ‘group’ that it all starts getting very unpleasant for individuals.

  79. sonia — on 25th June, 2008 at 2:26 pm  

    SO let us coin the term ‘groupist’ and be done with?

  80. Mark — on 25th June, 2008 at 2:28 pm  

    It doesn’t really matter about what has happened historically sid. As your post demonstrates, the plain and indisputable fact of the matter is that Muslims are made up of many different races.

    Also problmeatic for you is that if you define Muslims as a race, then Muslims themselves are racist for not allowing beleivers to marry out of the ‘race’.

    Hence you are no different to the BNP.

  81. Sid — on 25th June, 2008 at 2:32 pm  

    It doesn’t really matter about what has happened historically sid. As your post demonstrates, the plain and indisputable fact of the matter is that Muslims are made up of many different races.

    No one is disputing that Mark. But identity is more complex than race alone. A person does not self-indetify in racial terms. It is only outsiders, particularly those with a political agenda, who do that.

  82. Mark — on 25th June, 2008 at 2:33 pm  

    I notice that you have skipped over the second paragraphe of my last post, why so? Truth hurts I guess.

    But identity is more complex than race alone. A person does not self-indetify in racial terms. It is only outsiders, particularly those with a political agenda, who do that.

    Thanks for proving my point.

  83. Indrak — on 25th June, 2008 at 2:54 pm  

    bananabrain
    #51: you are mistaken if you count what you say/cite as objective – ..as though the amount the US spends on ‘security’ or ‘defense’ is a causal consequence of ‘threat’.

    Same for you or anyone who is satisfied with quoting crime statistics pertaining to groups of differing demographics, let alone magnitudes.

    #64:
    you’re not missing something, y’re adding it.
    Such that it suits Mark and his ilk, who then asserts:
    “The reflex reaction of Muslims who feel that their world view is redundant is to cry ‘racist/BNP/Mossad/Zionist/Israel/America etc’.”

    The bnp is an excellent example for it shows the transmutation of hatred predicated on race to a [thus-far, and in relative terms] more credible variant. If there is any case at all it should be predicated on religion or rather idealism per se, though empirically speaking, all of 3 these judeo-christian types have a good deal to answer for.

    Why don’t you, Mark and others of that ilk ponder on the fact that racism became discredited not because it was ‘unpleasant’, but because it’s irrational –
    Do you get that?
    That’s a rhetorical question: reactionaries, being not as intelligent as they like to think, still require a vessel for their hostility.
    Another good reason for citing the bnp is that their change was overt to coincide with a nascently exploitable hostility from other non-whites.
    That is as unsurprising as it is disgusting, for as discrimination towards groups has attenuated, many of their members happily occupy reactionary positions in exchange.

    So muslims who formerly suffered hostility in common with non-whites now have it from more than one direction.
    Many already came from reactionary backgrounds, so it’s obvious that the tendancy to reteat into the religion has grown.
    Let alone the international dynamics, leading to a resonant condition.

  84. Sid — on 25th June, 2008 at 2:55 pm  

    Sorry for not framing this in terms of black and white. :)

  85. douglas clark — on 25th June, 2008 at 3:04 pm  

    Sonia, is groupist not just another word for communalist? And whatever happened to the ummah in Sids’ description?

    In any event, I have no idea what a race is. And I doubt very much anyone here does either. Without accepting some pretty iffy ideas from the Nazis, at least.

  86. soru — on 25th June, 2008 at 3:45 pm  

    SO let us coin the term ‘groupist’ and be done with?

    ‘Bigot’ works, for the kind of person who wilfully goes around believing impossible things as an act of hostility.

    It fits nicely those people who are more than merely ignorant, prejudiced, or biased, but not actively a thug, terrorist or fascist.

    And it is neutral as to what exactly they are bigoted about. It is perfectly possible to spot when someone is being a bigot against some group, even when that group is not something that is naturally morally neutral or apolitical, say islamists instead of muslims or browns.

  87. bananabrain — on 25th June, 2008 at 3:59 pm  

    @indrak:

    #51: you are mistaken if you count what you say/cite as objective – ..as though the amount the US spends on ’security’ or ‘defense’ is a causal consequence of ‘threat’.

    are you talking about the united states or the united synagogue? the difference between the two is that there is a multi-billion-pound defence industry and hundreds of thousands of jobs that depend on one, whereas the other is nothing but a hassle and a cause of stress and considerable inconvenience. it’s not about crime statistics, it’s about the physical and emotional cost of the protection that the authorities say we need and that they’re not able to give us – and there i am speaking from empirical experience. nobody is making any money out of our security worries and i can assure you that we certainly resent having to pay for it and spend time on it. do you think i actually want to stand outside the synagogue on a security rota rather than be inside praying? we’re already paying over the odds for where we live, what we eat and everything else, why the hell are we being forced to do something that as citizens and taxpayers we have every right to expect the state to take care of? this never used to happen – it has only started since 9/11 and the realisation that instead of the lunatic fringes of the right wing who have, by and large, ceased to be a threat for us, we are now forced to worry about a small minority of the muslim population that have been so radicalised that we have had to turn our schools and places of worship into fortresses. the worst thing is that they don’t even have to do anything aggressive – it is enough for someone to stand opposite a school with a video camera.

    If there is any case at all it should be predicated on religion or rather idealism per se, though empirically speaking, all of 3 these judeo-christian types have a good deal to answer for.

    and what precisely do you mean by that?

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  88. Unitalian — on 25th June, 2008 at 4:56 pm  

    How funny, I thought this trail had stalled at 38. I come back and it’s in the eighties.

    Anas –

    “Reports suggests that Jews are four times more likely to get attacked because of their religion…”

    “I’ll have to look into that. However, there’s no way you can tell me that there is any comparison with any other minority group to the constant level of demonisation of Muslims in the media, the internet, and politics since 9/11, Iraq, and 7/7.”

    - I think your attachment to grievance makes me sadder than young Sarah. How much more of a “comparison” would you like than getting your teeth kicked in?

    You talk as if 9/11 and 7/7 were human rights festivals or something – they were acts of mass murder perpetrated in the name of Islam. There have been many subsequent plots, so it is hardly surprising that our sensationalist media should seize on Muslim extremism and go with the odd dodgy story. But equally programmes like Undercover Mosque not only demonstrate the problems we have in the UK, but the lengths the authorities will go to stifle proper reporting.

    So there’s lots of talk about Muslim extremism because it’s a “good story” – look at us waffling on here. But it doesn’t mean we’re out to get you – on the contrary, it’s the Jews that are getting gotten, and innocents of all stripes on tubes and busses and aeroplanes.

  89. Indrak — on 25th June, 2008 at 5:06 pm  

    #87:
    I both maintain what I wrote logically,
    and readily concede wrt what you say;
    ..I detest calls made by a certain type for others to publicly disavow ‘terrorism’ or ant-semitism when the call is actually an admonishment to bolster reactionism,
    yet I wld suggest, say, some liaising whereby people undertook partaking in others’ patrols – if only symbollicly – I’d consider it myself if I lived near..

    As for the 2nd part, I added it at the end and allowed subjectivism to enter, yet again stand by it: empirically, these creeds proclaiming the word of god have coincided with a lot of trouble.

  90. bananabrain — on 25th June, 2008 at 5:19 pm  

    yet I wld suggest, say, some liaising whereby people undertook partaking in others’ patrols – if only symbollicly – I’d consider it myself if I lived near.

    this is precisely the sort of thing i would like to start suggesting; it would flow naturally from, say, twinning initiatives….?

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  91. Indrak — on 25th June, 2008 at 5:43 pm  

    #90:
    well,this is new to me so ..:
    I’m anti-religion, and wld’v esuggested sikh gurdwaras to start with, but they seem to be following suite in stridently going backwards and were always direly administered at best [tho did help the miners in north, and in theory wld be ideal, that's their raison d'etre].

    What about an Ahmedi mosque? – they’ve always had to contend with similar.

    Otherwise, at an individual level. But as I think, the issue of the palstinians looms ever more..

  92. Cover Drive — on 25th June, 2008 at 5:51 pm  

    What about non-Muslim minorities in Muslim countries? Many of them are having a genuinely having a tough time (e.g. Copts in Egypt, Suriani and Armenians in Turkey, Chaldeans in Iraq). What Muslims allegedly suffer here pales into insignificance compared to those minority communities. At least you’ve got whole industries here to protect your rights and ensure political correctness.

  93. Nav — on 25th June, 2008 at 5:55 pm  

    And Cover Drive knocks it out of the park: I’d love to see the reply to that one…

    Practice what you preach and all that.

  94. soru — on 25th June, 2008 at 6:34 pm  

    A group containing me of about the same size and generality as ‘Muslims’ would also contain Mugabe, the Russian generals who destroyed Chechnya, and for that matter Hitler.

    I don’t feel particularly obligated to identify with or apologise for any of those. I don’t see you can make any sensible kind of political or moral argument about a group that big and diverse.

  95. Sid — on 25th June, 2008 at 6:34 pm  

    What about non-Muslim minorities in Muslim countries? Many of them are having a genuinely having a tough time (e.g. Copts in Egypt, Suriani and Armenians in Turkey, Chaldeans in Iraq). What Muslims allegedly suffer here pales into insignificance compared to those minority communities. At least you’ve got whole industries here to protect your rights and ensure political correctness.

    I absolutely agree that the level of human rights abuses being committed in Muslim countries against minorities simply do not compare in scale and level of atrocity to that here in the West. However, Muslims being dragged into Belmarsh on 42 days, for example, are not the Muslims raping and murdering minorities in, say Bangladesh.

    One set of anathema does not override another. You might also want to address the contradiction of asking Muslims to stop thinking in GroupThink and then accuse them of abuses as a Group.

  96. Unitalian — on 25th June, 2008 at 7:02 pm  

    Sid, how many Muslims have been dragged to Belmarsh for 42 days? You talk as if it’s a daily happening.

    I suppose the likes of Sarah and Anas already think it is.

    At the end of the day, it’s about balance isn’t it.

  97. Unitalian — on 25th June, 2008 at 7:11 pm  

    And on a more serious note Sid, you are quite right about group think. With respect to much of the debate around this issue, often NOTHING appears to be relative.

    Forty-two days judicated detention grows into the equivalent of Guantanamo or the gas chamber to a Bradford jihadi who then feels justified in plotting to blow some poor blighter’s legs off on a number 73.

    Communal violence on the Indian sub-continent claimed (and continues to claim) thousands of lives, which is presumably one of the reasons why the parents and grandparents of today’s radicals found the UK attractive and why, on the whole, they tend to hold less extreme positions than their off-spring. So why then has it emerged – and it is a form of communal violence – in Britain? Shouldn’t the parents and grandparents, the mosques and schools, be saying – hold on, let’s put this in proportion…? Let’s not forget our history…?

  98. Desi Italiana — on 25th June, 2008 at 7:54 pm  

    Yaar, this post is something else… titling the post “Don’t bring religion into the equation”, and then injecting your own bizarre equation based on religion.

  99. sarah — on 25th June, 2008 at 7:59 pm  

    Douglas clark: Thanks a .lot! I already suggested to Sunny that it should be cross posted to LC, but he doesn’t think it’s a blog post for some reason! To comment, you need to register with wordpress.

  100. Anas — on 25th June, 2008 at 8:04 pm  

    #

    You talk as if 9/11 and 7/7 were human rights festivals or something – they were acts of mass murder perpetrated in the name of Islam. There have been many subsequent plots, so it is hardly surprising that our sensationalist media should seize on Muslim extremism and go with the odd dodgy story. But equally programmes like Undercover Mosque not only demonstrate the problems we have in the UK, but the lengths the authorities will go to stifle proper reporting.

    So there’s lots of talk about Muslim extremism because it’s a “good story” – look at us waffling on here. But it doesn’t mean we’re out to get you – on the contrary, it’s the Jews that are getting gotten, and innocents of all stripes on tubes and busses and aeroplanes.

    Perpetrated by whom in the name of Islam? When Israel commits murder and collective punishment against civilians in the name of a Jewish state does that make every Jew responsible and therefore make attacks against them justifiable? Dubya claims he had a special hotline to God when he invaded Iraq, does that make all Christians liable for the hundreds of thousands killed there? No. But apparently when a few dozen out of 1 billion Muslims commit acts of carnage, the environment of hostility, prejudice and stereotyping among mainstream commentators against Muslims in general becomes completely understandable and a proper reaction. I mean it’s not just a “perception” — some of the stuff the likes of Littlejohn and Philips get away with regarding Muslims — painting them as some kind of traitorous fifth column preparing to swamp the civilised West and establish a Khalifat — is pretty close to the paranoid anti-Semitism race hate of 19th Century Europe. And yet somehow this hysteria against Muslims is just a “good story”, in an environment where innocent Muslims are vulnerable to retaliatory attacks, .e.g., http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/crime/article2246685.ece is acceptable, because apparently there are no Muslim innocents?

    And what about non-Muslim minorities in Muslim countries? Muslims in the UK, most of whom are of South Asian origin, are now responsible for the treatment of Christians in Iraq, Turkey and Egypt (Turkey is of course secular, and Egypt like Saudi Arabia is a major major British/Western ally so maybe all the Harry’s Place scum infecting the place should shift their FP priorities a bit if they’re so worried about the human rights records in those countries)? WTF? This thread is getting murkier and murkier.

  101. Desi Italiana — on 25th June, 2008 at 8:05 pm  

    Ala:

    “I think her point about Alexandra, whoever she is, not being practising is to show her up for casting the first stone when she is not free of sin.”

    Not ‘free of sin’?????

    “Everyone is philosophising too much.”

    It’s not about ‘philosophising’, it’s about pointing out what is not making sense, though you somehow see Sarah’s “point”, but then again, your own comment that I quoted above makes no sense either.

    “I think her point is simple: don’t judge others, especially when you’re in no position to, and especially not on national television.”

    What is the criteria for judging who is in the position, please?

  102. Sid — on 25th June, 2008 at 8:14 pm  

    Communal violence on the Indian sub-continent claimed (and continues to claim) thousands of lives, which is presumably one of the reasons why the parents and grandparents of today’s radicals found the UK attractive and why, on the whole, they tend to hold less extreme positions than their off-spring. So why then has it emerged – and it is a form of communal violence – in Britain? Shouldn’t the parents and grandparents, the mosques and schools, be saying – hold on, let’s put this in proportion…?

    Unitalian, your comments, as usual, pregnant with innuendo and ignorant non-sequiturs continues to inject the thread with the blog equivalent of passive violence. What examples of communal violence have you seen in Britian that comes close to the Hindu-Muslim violence that led to the destruction of the Babri Mosque? Or the million or so deaths that surrounded the events of the Partition in 1947? Or the utter carnage of the violence of anti-Muslim riots that broke out in Gujarat in 2002 resulting the untried deaths of a thousand Muslim peasants?

  103. douglas clark — on 25th June, 2008 at 9:57 pm  

    Sid,

    I didn’t read it that way at all.

    I read it that folk that had come here from the sub-continent were only too happy to get away from that sort of thing. And that, on the whole that first generation had been happy to live here peacefully. Or at least within the law.

    What Unitalian appears to be saying is that second and maybe third generation immigrants or citizens or whatever we call them are not constrained by the experiences of their parents or grandparents and seem more radicalised and willing to use violence. That would appear to me to be indisputable. Clearly 7/7 and even 9/11 are small beer in comparison to what has gone on elsewhere, but is it not a legitimate concern to ask why?

    I am a lot less sanguine than he is about 42 days, but there you go.

  104. Sid — on 25th June, 2008 at 10:27 pm  

    douglas, I think you’re point is sound and is deserving a blog discussion all of it’s own. Why do the progeny of particular immigrant groups resort to violence which their previous generation forbears recoiled from? I blame the parents myself.

    But here the phrase *communal violence* was used. I don’t see violent scenes of mob wars spilling out between Hindus and Muslims on the streets of Leicester. Is this another Amis Caveat I’ve missed?

  105. douglas clark — on 25th June, 2008 at 11:29 pm  

    Sid,

    Heh!

    I blame the parents myself.

    Right back at you mate:

    Philip Larkin – This Be The Verse

    They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
    They may not mean to, but they do.
    They fill you with the faults they had
    And add some extra, just for you.

    But they were fucked up in their turn
    By fools in old-style hats and coats,
    Who half the time were soppy-stern
    And half at one another’s throats.

    Man hands on misery to man.
    It deepens like a coastal shelf.
    Get out as early as you can,
    And don’t have any kids yourself.

    ——————————————————–

    ‘Course your right about the lack of communal violence.

    For which I am truly grateful.

    I’d ask you to at least read what Amis had to say. There is, it seems to me, to be a lot of sense in amongst the anger. You may disagree, but it is a basis for debate.

    I’m copying what I said a while ago on the other thread only ’cause I think it is as relevant here:

    Well,

    I might as well be honest about this. In the immediate aftermath of 7/7, I felt a lot more aggressive than Martin Amis lets on here.

    When you are attacked, directly, immediately, you are thrown back onto the old, old concepts of fight or flight. Given that there was nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, given the nature of the threat, the only option is fight. Which certainly, and perhaps to the terrorists advantage, means that you come out saying the most extreme things. The most visceral things. And, in the immediate aftermath, folk were talking about a civil war between Muslims and Whites. They were talking the language of conflict.

    That is what fear and adrenalin do for you. It is a deadly mix.

    Fortunately, the follow up 22/7 attack was a complete failure.

    Sanity started to prevail.

    But there is little point in denying that, at the moment, at the second, a tribalism took over.

    I have never encountered anyone here that would have deserved the anger I felt that day. But the anger was real. I am not proud of it.

    I have read a lot of what Martin Amis has had to say in the fallout from 9/11 in particular.

    I do not agree with his analysis, the cheap “Muslims say we let our kids drink and have sex, but Muslims let their kids blow themselves up”, kind of stuff, but where I do have a modicum of sympathy with him is in his general analysis that Mohhamed Qutb is a completely backward person. One that appears to have been adopted by Saudia Arabia for internal reasons and one that they now export. One that see’s women as men’s subjects.

    Better brains than mine ought to at least read what Amis had to say here. It at least deserves a reply:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2006/sep/10/september11.politicsphilosophyandsociety

    Err.. It is quite long.

    His essential criticism is that Islam has been hijacked by backward folk, like Mohhamed Qutb, and that that is the brand of Islam that has the advertising spend – Saudi money – behind it. I think that that deserves debate. It is equalled by the Christian Right in America who outspend normal Christians over there in order to lobby their, equally backward position.

    Take care.

  106. Unitalian — on 26th June, 2008 at 8:29 am  

    Anas – you can’t have it both ways – Muslims one moment, South Asians the next.

    Douglas/ Sid – yes, that’s what I meant.

    Sid – Well thank heavens we don’t have that level of violence, but the principal remains the same. 7/7 was an example. Had they been successful, the subsequent plots would have upped the numbers. I resent your insinuation that I am insinuating something… well, racist. The fact is that members of a specific community are targeting members of another community violently because of what they are. One cannot compare it to Northern Ireland, for example, which was a traditional war over land. Why not call it what it is – by failing to do so aren’t we doomed to repeat the same mistakes? We should make the current state of affairs an ending, not a beginning.

  107. Sid — on 26th June, 2008 at 8:40 am  

    Well thank heavens we don’t have that level of violence, but the principal remains the same. 7/7 was an example. Had they been successful, the subsequent plots would have upped the numbers. I resent your insinuation that I am insinuating something… well, racist.

    I don’t think you have a clue what “communalism” means because the terrorist attacks of 9/11, 7/7 or Madrid are as far as you can get from the definition of that term. The violence in Ireland was communal in nature but when the IRA started detonating bombs in London, that term no longer applies. Unless this is ignorance or just wilfull obtuseness on your part, I’m afraid you’re going to stick to my outright statement that you’re insinuating something…well, racist.

  108. Refresh — on 26th June, 2008 at 10:05 am  

    Douglas

    ‘What Unitalian appears to be saying is that second and maybe third generation immigrants or citizens or whatever we call them are not constrained by the experiences of their parents or grandparents and seem more radicalised and willing to use violence. That would appear to me to be indisputable.’

    I not afraid to say, and am thankful that it is disputable in its entirety. These are lot of people who you loosely cast as potentially violent.

    The vast majority are trying to get on with their lives. The biggest mistake for the 1st generation immigrants has been that they didn’t understand or appreciate their self-worth and as a consequence did not participate politically early enough. And political parties saw them as mere cannon fodder and only at election time.

    If they had been politically conscious then I believe we would have had a much more mature political outlook by now.

    I don’t want to be too harsh on them either, for they too were just trying to make a living like the rest of the country (and world).

  109. Unitalian — on 26th June, 2008 at 10:52 am  

    How would you define communal then Sid?

    My mistake re Ireland however – I agree that is communal. I was thinking about it only in terms of the British mainland.

  110. persephone — on 26th June, 2008 at 11:10 am  

    I’m glad that I did not watch BB

  111. soru — on 26th June, 2008 at 11:26 am  

    How would you define communal then Sid?

    It kind of has to have more than a room-full of people who know about it in advance, or participate as it happens. Probably a village-worth, as a minimum. Some of the stuff that happened, pretty much unplanned, at IRA funerals would qualify, as would some of the killings in the early years before the IRA adopted terrorism as an explicit strategy (partly as an perceived alternative to disorganised communal violence).

    Can you clarify whether you just don’t know what the word means, or you are explicitly saying that the implications of using that word are true, there were communities of thousands or more actively involved in the 7/7 attacks?

  112. sonia — on 26th June, 2008 at 12:16 pm  

    Communal seems to be a word used to mean all sorts of different things! when people in india talk about ‘communal violence’ i thought it was a weird way to refer to what they reallly meant. i mean if you heard the term communal sex, you wouldn’t think, ah that’s sex between people of different ‘communities’ would you? you’d think it meant group sex or something. communal violence to me only suggests violence that a group of people are participating in..! nothing about who is doing what for what reason. perhaps they should call it ‘groupist’ violence. i really think my terminology should be used, it would make things so much clearer :-)

  113. douglas clark — on 26th June, 2008 at 12:19 pm  

    Refresh,

    Perhaps I took it too far, but it seems to me to be the case that at least some second and third generation Muslims do have more radical views than their parents or grandparents. Whenever I see photographs of Hizb ut-Tahrir members I am always struck that the vast majority appear to be under thirty. Perhaps you would argue that Hib ut-Tahir are not radical but they certainly seem to me to be.

    Of course I agree that the vast majority of Muslims just want to get on with their own lives, and that media demonisation is wrong.

  114. Sid — on 26th June, 2008 at 12:28 pm  

    communal violence

    i think the correct form is *communalist*.

  115. sonia — on 26th June, 2008 at 12:52 pm  

    well communalist still doesn’t express that either. And it is usually only used in that context in South Asia.

    and always has a negative context! Communalism – the noun – as far as i’m concerned – from which the adjective communalist is derived, has more of a positive connotation. well for me anyway. wikipedia puts it well – “Communalism describes a broad range of social movements and social theories which are in some way centered upon the community.” as wiki also cleverly points out – Communalism(SOuth Asia) has a different edge. clearly its down to how people understand communities in the indian subcontinent.

    “Communalism is used in South Asia to denote attempts to promote primarily religious stereotypes between groups of people identified as different communities and to stimulate violence between those groups. The sense given to this word in South Asia is represented by the word sectarianism outside South Asia.”

    so there we go.

  116. sonia — on 26th June, 2008 at 12:54 pm  

    now we can start referring to ‘sectarian violence’. communalist violence just sounds WEIRD and wrong – but perhaps it’s right after all- linking the “belonging to community’ with the violence – perhaps is a sensible linkage to promote.

  117. sonia — on 26th June, 2008 at 12:55 pm  

    105 – douglas, Amen to that verse!

  118. Ravi Naik — on 26th June, 2008 at 12:57 pm  

    “What is the criteria for judging who is in the position, please?”

    Only the righteous ones can judge, and those who do not follow the righteous way… that is the “hijab-wearing, five-time- praying Mulyani- not a drinking, smoking, swearing, shouting” edicts… are not in a position to judge others.

    Of course, you and your secularist ways, will no doubt ask who decides who are the righteous. But can you imagine a world where people followed their own conscience and not blindly follow everything their conservative and bigoted religious leaders tell them to do or to think – or be damn in hell, or judge others because they choose to lead their own lives according to their own paths, without being called bad Muslims or whatnot? Scary.

  119. Sid — on 26th June, 2008 at 12:59 pm  

    well communalist still doesn’t express that either. And it is usually only used in that context in South Asia.

    Well grammatically you can’t have communal violence in the same token that you can’t have communalist toilets. :)

  120. Sid — on 26th June, 2008 at 1:00 pm  

    Of course, you and your secularist ways, will no doubt ask who decides who are the righteous.

    oooh “secualarist” used as a slur. That’s told her.

  121. sonia — on 26th June, 2008 at 1:05 pm  

    desi makes good points.

    anway, if you dont want to judge people, fine, then why write a post singling one person out? is that not judging? and a contestant on BB for goodness sakes..!

    all our opinions are judgements. its enforcing it onto them thats a problem.

  122. Unitalian — on 26th June, 2008 at 1:38 pm  

    Communal violence – violence between communities.

    I don’t think numbers have anything to do with definition. If members of one community attack members of another community because of their identity, that is a form of communal violence in my book. Killing 55 people is a pretty violent thing to do and as I said, many others would have been killed had the plots succeeded.

    Also of course, to a lesser extent (in terms of violence, if not scale) the riots in Bradford and Oldham would also be examples.

    So that’s my definition, but I’m not a dictionary ;-)

  123. soru — on 26th June, 2008 at 1:46 pm  

    i mean if you heard the term communal sex, you wouldn’t think, ah that’s sex between people of different ‘communities’ would you?

    That’s because it doesn’t mean that.

    ‘Communal’ in front of violence just means violence that all or most of a community is involved in together. It’s still communal violence if, like a medieval witch-burning, it involves someone who would ordinarily be considered part of the community.

    Communal sex, communal worship, communal discussion all use the word the same way.

    I suppose a ‘Communalist’ is perhaps somone who actively promotes or advocates that kind of stuff as a deliberate political theory. More likely it’s just the same word with ‘ist’ on the end to sound more posh.

  124. Sid — on 26th June, 2008 at 1:47 pm  

    Unitalian

    If members of one community attack members of another community because of their identity, that is a form of communal violence in my book. Killing 55 people is a pretty violent thing to do and as I said, many others would have been killed had the plots succeeded.

    1. By suggesting that you are saying that the 4 Extremists bombers did so as *representatives* of *their* community.

    2. That the black, brown, muslim people who died as a result of the indiscriminate violence of the attack belonged to the target community.

    Now try and unpack your logic and tell us who you regard as consensual members are of this terrorist communty are. (Judging from your earlier entries I hav a pretty good guess who you mean, but I’ll let you use your own rope).

    And who are you identifying as the target community?

  125. bananabrain — on 26th June, 2008 at 4:57 pm  

    @indrak:

    I’m anti-religion, and wld’v esuggested sikh gurdwaras to start with, but they seem to be following suite in stridently going backwards and were always direly administered at best [tho did help the miners in north, and in theory wld be ideal, that's their raison d'etre].

    i would be very interested in jewish-sikh collaboration, but actually that is practically harder than it looks in london, as the jews tend to live in the north and the sikhs out west. besides, i think it’s more important to have muslims involved, although i would think that a muslim-sikh collaboration would be incredibly valuable.

    What about an Ahmedi mosque? – they’ve always had to contend with similar.

    most jews don’t know enough about the ahmadiyya to know what they’re dealing with and how that might affect their dealings with other types of muslims. personally, i have always found them to be kind of annoyingly in your face about their founder to the extend that would be bound to get on jewish groups’ tits. with that said, there are places where it has worked.

    Otherwise, at an individual level. But as I think, the issue of the palestinians looms ever more..

    actually, you’d be surprised; I/P tends to not be the issue until it becomes the “elephant in the room”, but by then you should know each other well enough to start talking about it without yelling. the thing is to build the friendship first and deal with the difficult issues later.

    @ anas:

    Perpetrated by whom in the name of Islam? When Israel commits murder and collective punishment against civilians in the name of a Jewish state does that make every Jew responsible and therefore make attacks against them justifiable? Dubya claims he had a special hotline to God when he invaded Iraq, does that make all Christians liable for the hundreds of thousands killed there? No. But apparently when a few dozen out of 1 billion Muslims commit acts of carnage, the environment of hostility, prejudice and stereotyping among mainstream commentators against Muslims in general becomes completely understandable and a proper reaction.

    i realise this may be difficult for you, but just forget about I/P for a second. BRITISH jews are threatened by BRITISH muslims and, unless you are completely kidding yourself, it is *not* always just about I/P. sometimes it is, of course, but the jihadis are *abundantly* clear that they have a problem with jews wherever they are and did, moreover, before 9/11, iraq or even the end of the oslo process. moreover, israeli diplomats in the UK have far more security available to them than jewish citizens. i’m not even concerned about the 1,000,000,000 muslims in the world. i’m concerned about the 13% of 2,000,000 *british* muslims who think it is justified to kill jews, who are not separated from me by a border. of this, even if 1% of that 13% are genuinely interested in attacking jews and don’t really care about I/P other than as a shibboleth, that is still 2,600 citizens of this country who just have to get in a car. the point here should be that it is a scandal that we should be forced to have ram-proof gates, barbed wire and bag searches at SCHOOLS against these lunatics. i was in belfast a month or so ago and the thing that struck me most was how much the fortified police stations resembled jewish schools.

    and your solution – blame it on western foreign policy? the same old blackmail: “if you do as we say, we won’t feel we need to be violent extremists”.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  126. Unitalian — on 26th June, 2008 at 5:00 pm  

    Like I said Sid, I’m not a dictionary. You’re good at asking questions, why don’t you answer one for a change – who do YOU think the bombers, and the other 2000 people supposedly actively engaged in plotting acts of terrorism – were and are targeting?

  127. Sid — on 26th June, 2008 at 5:17 pm  

    You’re good at asking questions, why don’t you answer one for a change – who do YOU think the bombers, and the other 2000 people supposedly actively engaged in plotting acts of terrorism – were and are targeting?

    Oh I’m sure if I were to answer “White Christians” to your question I would tick all your checkboxes? I guess they like you think all Tube travellers are White Christians just as you clearly suppose all Brown Muslims are Terrorist sympathiser if not wholesale advocates.

  128. Nav — on 26th June, 2008 at 5:35 pm  

    Sid:

    You’re fighting a losing battle.

    Oh I’m sure if I were to answer “White Christians” to your question I would tick all your checkboxes? I guess they like you think all Tube travellers are White Christians just as you clearly suppose all Brown Muslims are Terrorist sympathiser if not wholesale advocates.

    Just quit answering your own questions and let others have a say- you’re just Straw-Man-ing now… nobody here has said that they accuse all Muslims of being sympathisers of violence against non-Muslims!

  129. Sid — on 26th June, 2008 at 5:40 pm  

    Nav, if you want to define and clear up Unitalian’s particular defintion of “communal” in terms of the 7/7 attacks, then knock yourself out.

    Telling me to stop asking questions because *you’ve* run out of arguments is extraordinarily feeble. Strawman to strawman.

  130. Nav — on 26th June, 2008 at 5:47 pm  

    Sid:

    It’s incredibly difficult to argue with someone who’s so clearly wrong so yet stubbornly insistent that they’re right and nigh on impossible to illustrate to them just how blindly erroneous their views are but hey ho.

  131. Sid — on 26th June, 2008 at 5:55 pm  

    yeah I know what you mean, but that’s why it’s worth the struggle with this chap Unitalian. I like needling these ideas out. If you find this disturbing, look away now.

    But if you’re going to say I’m “clearly wrong”, get on the keyboard and extrapolate with words where I am wrong rather than dismiss this argument simply because you’re too lazy to engage, havn’t read the comments or cannot bear to have your own preconceptions blown out the water. That’s just arrogance. Not to mention intellectually tawdry. I thought better of you.

  132. Nav — on 26th June, 2008 at 6:08 pm  

    Sid:

    If you ever thought better of me then you were plainly wrong to- I’ve never asked for your admiration because I’ve never felt the need to justify my confidence via your approval.

    Not that I give a flying one what you think, you understand.

    And feel free to examine any ‘preconceptions’ you’ve inferred that I have… not that you’d be able to convince me otherwise with regards to any of them, mind…

    And when exactly did I ever claim to be an astute academic, Sid?

  133. Refresh — on 26th June, 2008 at 6:13 pm  

    Nav

    Sid has a valid point. Communal is what has been bandied about and it needs to be nailed.

    I am sure given Indian history, it must be nailed.

    Furthermore, given that the learned Enoch Powell relied on his perceptions of communal violence in pre-independence India to form his views and his Rivers of Blood speech, this cannot be taken lightly.

    I am with you Sid.

  134. soru — on 26th June, 2008 at 6:16 pm  

    who do YOU think the bombers, and the other 2000 people supposedly actively engaged in plotting acts of terrorism – were and are targeting?

    They were radical Islamist terrorists, targetting british civilians. I don’t think any regular here would even consider that a controversial statement, though there might be some disagreement over the ‘why’, as opposed to the ‘who’ and ‘what’.

    I can’t even work out what you are trying to insinuate, what relevant view you think people here have that would be revealed by an answer to that question.

  135. Refresh — on 26th June, 2008 at 6:17 pm  

    And its an utter disgrace that anyone should attempt to present the Bradford and Oldham riots as communal violence. How about Toxteth and the many others in the previous decade? Those were normal and these communal?

    Someone is playing a pretty sharp game!

  136. Nav — on 26th June, 2008 at 6:17 pm  

    Refresh:

    I wasn’t disputing anything to do with the communalist vs communal debate but points he and I exchanged earlier about ‘Islamaphobia’ rearing its ugly head post- 9/11 and Muslims in this country and elsewhere blaming their lot on being discriminated against rather than them not pulling their fingers out.

    I am with you Sid.

    Are you going to hold his hand next?

    Will there be ‘moisturiser’ involved thereafter?

    It’s like a car crash… I’m not sure I want to watch but I can’t help but keep my eyes on the situation unfolding before me… o_O

  137. Unitalian — on 26th June, 2008 at 6:25 pm  

    I was just playing you at your own game Sid, which you clearly don’t like.

    If I choose to define communal violence as violence by people who regard themselves as reprentatives of one community upon what they see as being representatives of another community, then that’s my affair.

    I’m happy to fess up to making a mistake – as I did with regard to the Troubles – when it is clear I have. A relatively uncommon commodity here, I think.

    “Oh I’m sure if I were to answer “White Christians” to your question I would tick all your checkboxes? I guess they like you think all Tube travellers are White Christians just as you clearly suppose all Brown Muslims are Terrorist sympathiser if not wholesale advocates.”

    Of course you haven’t answered my question. Can you give me an example of where I have stated, or you believe I have implied, that I believe “all Brown Muslims are Terrorist sympathiser if not wholesale advocates”?

    That’s quite a proposition, and i would be surprised if you could find evidence for it as it is completely untrue.

  138. Unitalian — on 26th June, 2008 at 6:38 pm  

    Soru – you have to read the thread.

    Refresh – Bradford and Oldham were clashes between communities. Toxteth and Brixton were clashes between one community and the police. The Notting Hill riots of the 50s however would probably fit my (albeit controversial) definition being clashes between the white and West Indian community, unleashed by the whites.

    If you go back to my original point, i was drawing attention to a certain pattern and suggesting steps to break it. If you are disputing this, then fine – explain why. I am happy to be convinced. However, most comments have simply tried to label me a racist, which is of course in itself racist when there is no evidence for doing so.

  139. Ravi Naik — on 26th June, 2008 at 6:39 pm  

    “The fact is that members of a specific community are targeting members of another community violently because of what they are.”

    Sorry, this makes no sense. You simply cannot call “communal violence” when attacks target no specific community, but instead target any civilian regardless of what community they belong to, including people from black, brown and Muslim backgrounds. Furthermore, these attacks stem from groups of psychotic little shites, and I would not consider these as an example of a “social community”. Terrorism is a form of warfare that targets governments by attacking innocent civilians… it is not communal violence.

  140. Indrak — on 26th June, 2008 at 6:43 pm  

    Refresh #135:
    What’s sharp..? In St pauls, Toxteth.., even TV media reported from the off reported them as not demarcated by race, with more surprise than my tender years understood.
    That’s why the establishment’s bowels went into spasm, notwithstanding the Thatcherites’ non-identifying with it.
    Now all are against the concept of multiculturalism, but back then it was predicated on the forced recognition that the white monolith no longer obtained.

    By the time of the 2nd set, dynamics had coralled different demographics, in line with the the current reactionism.

  141. Cover Drive — on 26th June, 2008 at 6:45 pm  

    However, most comments have simply tried to label me a racist, which is of course in itself racist when there is no evidence for doing so.

    I know the feeling! Sometimes it’s like talking to a brick wall except worse because you get a whole lot of abuse back about presumed prejudices.

  142. Unitalian — on 26th June, 2008 at 6:56 pm  

    RN – that’s a fair point, although I wonder if they were targeting “the government”. Aren’t the 7/7 bombers made from the same mould as the Bali bombers, for example? I think this touches on one of my earlier arguments – that the IRA (in the UK) had political objectives. Islamicist terrorists appear to hate the non-Islamic community simply for being what it is, and if any Muslims happen to get caught up in their attacks then so be it. If that’s a faulty understanding, then I’m sure you will correct me. ;-)

  143. Refresh — on 26th June, 2008 at 7:06 pm  

    ‘Bradford and Oldham were clashes between communities.’

    Not so. It came out of a demonstration against the BNP’s planned march through Bradford.

    The demonstration itself consisted of all the various communities that make up Bradford. It was intended to keep the BNP off the streets.

    The BNP tactic was no different to what the NF used to do in the 70s. They planned to march through mainly non-white areas to instill fear. And always in their wake would be people brutally beaten in the side-streets. Away from prying eyes. Its not for no reason they are seen as Nazis.

  144. Refresh — on 26th June, 2008 at 7:08 pm  

    The stupidity of it was how the rioters handed the BNP a propaganda coup. And so it was repeated across those mill towns of the north.

  145. Sid — on 26th June, 2008 at 7:23 pm  

    Unitalian:

    Speaking of answering questions, it seems you have refused to answer the ones I asked in #124, in response to your disgusting statement you made in #122:

    I don’t think numbers have anything to do with definition. If members of one community attack members of another community because of their identity, that is a form of communal violence in my book. Killing 55 people is a pretty violent thing to do and as I said, many others would have been killed had the plots succeeded.

    Which is to suggest that if a bunch of Muslim extremists detonate themselves in a crowded train in London (London! not Reykjavik), and for that matter in Aldgate East, that the only people of any importance who died were the pious white Christians like yourself. And that’s why it is tantamount to a “communal” attack.

    Hence you disregard the dozens of non-white, non-Christian people who died that day.

    Christopher Hitchens is right. You born-again Christian god-worriers really do think that the universe revolves around you and that the firmament has been arranged for your singular benefit.

  146. Unitalian — on 26th June, 2008 at 7:23 pm  

    Well, that was my understanding. The Wiki entry gave me a different impression. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bradford_Riot

  147. Refresh — on 26th June, 2008 at 7:25 pm  

    I should add the then Home Secretary reinforced BNP’s success by putting 100% of the blame on the rioters. I remember thinking how could he know – he cannot see. And he must rely 100% on someone telling him what was going on on the telly.

    And of course add to that the Blair doctrine of triangulation ie what they could get away with; they blamed the rioters without a mention of the BNP’s well-publicised march. And managed to appear tough but blind.

    That was one success which New Labour handed to the BNP on a plate.

  148. Unitalian — on 26th June, 2008 at 7:29 pm  

    Calm down, calm down Sid. You’re starting to sound like an Inquisitor at a Stalinist show trial. Or Dave Spart.

    I think I’ll leave your comment to speak for itself, though I’d appreciate it if any sane person can explain to me why, how or where in that “disgusting” statement I refer to white Christians.

    Thanks.

  149. Unitalian — on 26th June, 2008 at 7:40 pm  

    BTW Sid, if it’ll calm your nerves, I think you’ll find my answer to your question in 142. I suppose we’ll have to wait for your answer to mine, you christianophobic you. I’m not a Christian, btw, and I don’t know what your hang up about white people is?

  150. soru — on 26th June, 2008 at 7:41 pm  

    that the IRA (in the UK) had political objectives. Islamicist terrorists appear to hate the non-Islamic community simply for being what it is,

    It’s not so different. Republican terrorists found the thought of living under the british state inherently abhorrent, amoral even if successful, and so a fate they would do anything to avoid. They certainly absolutely hated the Brits, and despised the Prods. Which, as it turns out, clouded their judgement enough to make them pick a strategy that had very little, if any, chance of attaining their stated objectives.

    Islamists are pretty much the same: they want a state perhaps organised differently, but more importantly named differently, with a different source of legitimacy. The main differences between the movements are:

    1. the demographics
    2. the fact their overseas supporters don’t speak English, so you don’t tend to hear them explaining themselves much
    3. there is no Muslim equivalent of the Pope and the catholic Priesthood, so they can claim religious as well as political backing

    Hate can make you stupid, so you follow a stupid strategy. But it’s still a strategy.

  151. Refresh — on 26th June, 2008 at 7:50 pm  

    That Wiki entry seems to go out of its way not to mention the BNP – but refers to the NF throughout.

    And there were no battles between 60-100 Asian youth of Pakistani origin and the majority white community.

    The entry is a clear rewriting of history to suit an agenda.

    ‘Well, that was my understanding. The Wiki entry gave me a different impression.’

    Its surprising that you had one understanding which coincided with mine, but then changed it based on a wiki entry.

  152. Ravi Naik — on 26th June, 2008 at 8:10 pm  

    “where in that “disgusting” statement I refer to white Christians. “

    Sid has this annoying habit of being a jackass from time to time, pay no notice to his shameless flamebaits.

    “I wonder if they were targeting “the government””

    The bombers did make a video which was shown a year after the bombings where they claimed that it was the government invasion of Iraq that made them do that.

    “Islamicist terrorists appear to hate the non-Islamic community simply for being what it is, and if any Muslims happen to get caught up in their attacks then so be it.”

    I am not entirely sure what motivates the highest spheres of Islamic terrorists, though I know that they create and disseminate a distorted narrative of the world to young people – not unlike the white racist narrative – in order to destabilise governments in the West through attacks to its civilians. I do agree with you that there is hate: hate of those who do not follow their psychotic view of Islam, and that includes moderate Muslims. My only disagreement with you is the use of the term “communal violence” because
    on one side, I don’t believe these terrorists can be considered a community – they are a group. And on the other side, their target is too wide and diverse to be considered one community… they are attacking the whole country, no? That’s my understanding.

  153. Nav — on 26th June, 2008 at 8:12 pm  

    Ravi Naik:

    Sid has this annoying habit of being a jackass from time to time, pay no notice of his shameless flamebaits.

    *AHEM*! :D

  154. Sid — on 26th June, 2008 at 8:47 pm  

    where in that “disgusting” statement I refer to white Christians.

    Oh yeah, I forgot, when you write a sentence like this:

    The fact is that members of a specific community are targeting members of another community violently because of what they are. One cannot compare it to Northern Ireland, for example, which was a traditional war over land. Why not call it what it is – by failing to do so aren’t we doomed to repeat the same mistakes? We should make the current state of affairs an ending, not a beginning.

    And then use the word “communal” specifically in reference to the 7/7 attacks, you think you can hide behind an ignorance of the meaning of the word “communal”, then that’s pretty shameless.

    Now I more than expect lashes of clever snarkery from my fellow debaters from time to time, but it never fails to appall whenever I come up against the worst kind of moral cowardice. What exactly does are the communes you’re referring to? Do you have an Amis qualifier at hand?

    I don’t know what your hang up about white people is

    See what I mean?

    By the way, I’m writing from the Bailey on Holloway Road, sipping cold beer. So I’m perfectly calm. Cheers! ;)

  155. Unitalian — on 26th June, 2008 at 9:17 pm  

    Hey, I’m not the one that brought race into it! But never mind. Funny though, I used to live around the corner from the Bailey. If I wasn’t now in Italy I might pop around and seek out the chap with the laptop, for a friendly pint!

  156. Indrak — on 26th June, 2008 at 9:38 pm  

    Unit.ln:
    I was considering asking you some questions,
    but as a possible prelude,
    may I ask where in Italy you know, or are you just visiting?

  157. nusrat — on 26th June, 2008 at 10:02 pm  

    Sarah –

    Who are you to dictate who may or may not teach about Islam.
    I am a Muslim [female], by birth, and consume pork, drink alcohol, have pre-marital sex, pray sparingly,and have performed the Haj pilgrimage.
    According to you, I should not talk about Islam, right?
    If you ask me, the reason Muslims feel discriminated against is because of our own actions.
    Because of our refusal to truly condemn violence by our co-religionists.
    We protest when the media bunches us together following a bomb blast, Yet we make common cause with every Muslim issue under the sun.
    We seriously need to take a look at ourselves, before blaming others.
    And people like you need to stop becoming self appointed representatives for the “ummah”. Really.

  158. munir — on 28th June, 2008 at 4:15 pm  

    Though its heart is in the right place this really is a poor article. No decent human being judges wrong action by a person as a blanket condemnation of that persons whole group.(then I forgot nusrat)

    “My problems with Alexandra? Surely, being a convert from Christianity, and a non-practising one at that, she is the last person who has any right to accuse a person who has been a Muslim for 24 years of being a disgrace to his religion! On national TV of all places! If she wants to preach Islam, she should be a hijab-wearing, five-time- praying Mulyani- not a drinking, smoking, swearing, shouting, intimidating Big Brother contestant! ”

    Well yes and no. Anyone can speak but Islam (as with other religions) has always been best preached not through words. In Islam its not allowed to publically humiliate someone – if they are commiting a sin they should be privately advised in a polite way not as you say, on national tv. God ordered Moses (pbuh) to go to Pharaoah who had claimed divinity for himself the worst sin and “speak to him gently” (Quran). The Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) never publically criticised anyone ;but spoke in general terms about wrong things e.g “what do you think of a person who does such and such”

    If anyone is a disgrace to Islam, in my mind, that person is Alexandra. If you ask me, she has given our religion a far worse reputation in front of the British public than Mohammed ever will.”

    nusrat

    “If you ask me, the reason Muslims feel discriminated against is because of our own actions.
    Because of our refusal to truly condemn violence by our co-religionists.”

    but unless we are commiting the violence are selves why on earth should we apologise? since when is collective guilt a part of Islam? we dont have original sin we have “no soul shall bear the burden of another” .

    Its a libel to say that Muslim scholars havent spoken out on terrorism http://www.unc.edu/~kurzman/terror.htm
    but the point surely is why should Muslims have to do something not demanded of from any other group?

  159. sarah — on 1st July, 2008 at 12:38 pm  

    Thank you all for your comments. They are interesting to read!

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