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  • Technorati: graph / links

    MCB says something sensible shock!


    by Sunny
    5th February, 2006 at 2:21 am    

    BRITAIN’s leading Islamic body yesterday called on Sir Ian Blair, the Metropolitan police commissioner, to press charges against the extremists behind last week’s inflammatory protests in London over the “blasphemous” cartoons of the prophet Muhammad.

    In London, Inayat Bunglawala of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) said the extremists should be prosecuted. “The Metropolitan police should now consider all the evidence they have gathered from the protests to see if they can prosecute the extremists,” he said. [Times Online]

    About time they stood up to these idiots. Even Asghar “it’s a Zionist conspiracy” Bukhari of Mpac condemned the protest on Friday. Well I’ll be…
    [Hat tip Jay Singh in comments]


                  Post to del.icio.us


    Filed in: Current affairs,Religion






    171 Comments below   |  

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    1. GagWatch

      [...] Meanwhile, in the UK, The Times (via) reports that the Muslim Council of Britain has called on the Metropolitan Police to press charges against the extremists behind last week’s inflammatory protests in London. In London, Inayat Bunglawala of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) said the extremists should be prosecuted. “The Metropolitan police should now consider all the evidence they have gathered from the protests to see if they can prosecute the extremists,” he said. [...]


    2. Opinionated Voice

      [...] I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before. The cartons of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) were intentionally offensive, but justified and supported by non-Muslims as ‘freedom of speech’. The placards and slogans above were also intentionally offensive, but I don’t seem to hear the same non-Muslims accepting them as ‘freedom of speech’. Whatever side of the fence you are on, freedom of speech cannot be unliimited and unstricted unless one lives alone on top of a mountain. Even the Muslim Council of Britain accept this. [...]




    1. Bikhair — on 5th February, 2006 at 4:07 am  

      Pickled Pill Poppers,

      Certain ideas about Islam, though ignorant and terribly misinformed are circulating around about the concept of deception. Now this was espeically bandied about when the “American Fatwa” against terrorism was issued with the usuall dipsticks at the forefront. Whatever condemnation is made by Muslims, for many who want to hate Islam and Muslims, this will be dismissed as another episode in the practice of deception.

      When Muslims condemn terrorism we are accused by the jahils, both kafir and believer, as either liars or apostates. As a young man our Prophet had the kunyah (nickname) the truthful one. It is obvious that we have strayed very very far.

    2. Kulvinder — on 5th February, 2006 at 5:00 am  

      Its pointless them protesting about it in britain, but if this were denmark id see it as being perfectly fair.

      It would be moronic for Senor Blair to do anything, it’d just imflame the situation. The various muslim groups/councils have denounced them, leave it at that.

    3. nukh — on 5th February, 2006 at 7:48 am  

      My two and a half cents [half, since I have been quiet for so long] - In India, Hindus fear Muslims. That is the residue of 700 years of Muslim imperialism. It has not gone away even today, from Kashmir to Kanyakumari.
      You can see the same type of threats and intimidation being done in Europe to get Europeans to fear Muslims.
      That is the key. Get others to fear you and then you begin to dominate them, even if you are smaller in numbers or wrong in your views.
      You Europeans - Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Jews, Sikhs, Buddhists, Atheists and all the in betweens have to stand up. There is no alternate. Do not be bullied.
      Stand up now or repent later.

    4. laban — on 5th February, 2006 at 10:13 am  

      I heard them on the radio this morning saying that the protestors calling for murder should be arrested and prosecuted. Good for them.

      They seen to have more sense on this than PC Blair does.

      I noted that there were only 300-odd demonstrators calling for murder, yet the police were unable to do anything - other than pulling away members of the pblic who tried to grab the posters.

      Commissioner Blair is a bigger threat than HuT and all their mates if you ask me.

    5. Proud Brit — on 5th February, 2006 at 10:25 am  

      Someone said ‘the MCB has condemned them leave it at that’. So the government (a more senior body than the MCB ,I think anyhow,) condem the BNP so leave it that’ is fine is it. These idiots should have been arrested on the spot. How do we propose the arrests now when all the honourable threatening idiots were hiding their faces behind scarves. COWARDS. Let the muslim community hand these thugs over to show how moderate they are.

    6. StrangelyPsychedelique — on 5th February, 2006 at 10:49 am  

      I went in to photograph the protests on Saturday…rather a lacklustre affair urged on by the occaissional tooting of car horns, little kids on the megaphone and one loon who kept flipping the bird prompting a slight tiff.

      The police were quite jovial and supportive of Saturdays protest it seemed. By supportive I meant that they kept a ‘friendly’ presence.
      It was a far more passive protest than Fridays affair…

      I even got to stand in the media enclosure all by myself!

    7. David T — on 5th February, 2006 at 11:13 am  

      I disagree

      http://hurryupharry.bloghouse.net/archives/2006/02/05/dont_act_now.php

    8. David T — on 5th February, 2006 at 11:16 am  

      Oh, what the heck. I’ll do what I hate other people doing on Harry’s Place - cutting and pasting an article. But its mine, so I hope you forgive my laziness.

      It is possible to come up with some sort of offence for which the Al Muhaj demonstrators could be prosecuted. The most likely candidate is s. 4 of the Public Order Act - tryable in front of the magistrates only, maximum sentence 6 months. It wouldn’t be affray. I doubt it would be anything else: although one could probably - and clumsily - shoehorn it into some offence. You might even get a conviction in this climate…but you shouldn’t be trying.

      But that’s not the point. This isn’t an appeal for more law governing speech, but less. Demonstrators should be allowed to say whatever they think. I want to know what they think. More to the point, I want people in this country to know, generally, what sort of things extreme Islamists believe.

      In any event, banning them is futile. They are perfectly capable of recruiting one to one, in private, or over the internet. All a ban on jihadist speech does is to remove it from visibility: for the general population but not for its target audience, of course. It also reduces freedom of expression to a matter of public order, preventing offence, and ‘sending out the right message’. That is the worst of all possible worlds. It not only does damage to freedom of expression as a guiding principle for liberals. It also makes it more difficult to alert people to the dangerous nature of these beliefs.

      What should be investigated and prosecuted are the links between those who actually commit acts of terror and those who recruit them. It has been suggested, for example, that the two Mike’s Place bombers were on the fringes of Al Muhajiroun. These are the sorts of things which should be prosecuted. It goes without saying that they’re being investigated.

      We shouldn’t be wasting court time on a bunch of wankers who dress up as sucide bombers and stroll around in front of an Embassy. And we should be standing up for anybody arrested for protesting, peacefully, against those demonstrators.

    9. DrM — on 5th February, 2006 at 11:45 am  

      nukh

      Is your frontal lobe disconnected from the rest of your brain?

      Are you secretly contributing to this blog from an institution for the mentally….challenged?

      I wonder

      These caricatures make Arabs(the muslim ones) hate Europeans and take violent action. The paper (probably) knew this would happen.

      Hence, the paper is responsible (this is pure logic) and the editors should be prosecuted for inciting racial hatred and violence.

      It’s an open and shut case really, sort of like with Rush-die. Sadly, in Salmon’s times, we were ignorant and some of us supported him in the name of “free speech” but our culture has made some progress since then and we’ve moved on. These things r no longer acceptable

    10. SunnyFan — on 5th February, 2006 at 11:58 am  

      OMG Sunny had something positive to say about MCB. It’s normally a case of MCB = grumpy old rant from someone. Whats brought this on?

    11. seanT — on 5th February, 2006 at 12:04 pm  

      nukh, I don’t think you need to fear Europeans ‘submitting’ to Islam! We like a drink too much for that.

      What we DO need to fear is the rise of the Far Right in this country for the first time (and in continental Europe for the second or third times).

      At some point white resentment against the lunacies of political correctness, the succouring of ethnic minorities (especially Muslims), the seeming double standards applied by the law (arrest Nick Griffin for dissing Islam, let Muslim extremists asking for massacres strut the streets) is going to translate into actual VOTES. Its just human nature. People will vote for who they think best protects their particular interests, and who they think tells the truth.

      At the moment a lot of white people already think the BNP comes closer to telling the truth about Islam than any major party, and a lot of white working class people think the BNP would best protect their interests. Not saying that’s a good thing - but its a fact.

      Those in Britain who smugly think we are immune from a surge in Far Right support are kidding themselves. The British are not genetically nicer than the French or the Danes or the Italians. Or even the Germans. It’s just that our political system has so far managed to contain the resentments of everyone, within the bounds of democracy - BECAUSE we have a robust tradition of free speech, so people can let off steam, and because we have two big parties at either end of the political spectrum, which appear to cover most political views.

      Now the tradition of free speech is being threatened, and the two big parties seem to be meeting in the wishy washy middle, leaving those on the left and right out in the cold.

      Hence, we will, unless we are now very careful, see serious support for the BNP. They already got 800,000 votes in the Euro elections. People seem to forget that.

      Alternatively, and more seriously, we will see the emergence of a smart, but populist and semi-racist party, shorn of the skinheads and overt nastiness of the BNP, and without the unlovely backstory. Something like Vlaams Blok in Belgium or the Danish People’s Party.

      Talking of Europe, the situation there is even more advanced. As I say, there are already seriously big hard right parties over there. I expect these parties to grow in power; I also expect an end to all further Muslim immigration into continental Europe (this will either be done subtly or overtly). We may also see the introduction of laws designed to make life less ‘comfortable’ for Muslims - like the French scarf law, compulsory language tests, etc.

      How do we avoid all this in the UK, if we can or even want to avoid it?

      We probably need a Tory government, as Labour seems congenitally incapable of solving its own confusions over political correctness, ant-racism, free speech, etc.

      Note that the National Front, the old BNP, was doing well in Britain… until Margaret Thatcher came into power. Then the NF vote collapsed, as the patriotic white working classes thought their interests were at last being protected, by Maggie. One of the many good things about her reign was that she skewered the NF. Paradoxical, but true.

    12. Analytical — on 5th February, 2006 at 12:19 pm  

      I agree with David T - don’t ban them. The only consequentialist argument for stopping street protests by Al Ghurabaa (the nutters formerly known as Al Muhajiroun) is that their antics really wind up the non-Muslim majority. I was talking to my parents on Saturday (classic apolitical suburbanites) and they were ranting about the ‘Butcher those who insult Islam’ and ‘Islam will conquer England’ banners they’d seen on the evening news. If there had been fewer protesters (say, a dozen rather than 2-300) I would have assumed they were actors paid by either Nick Griffin or Chris Morris.

      I think we need to make a distinction between these clowns (who are really the equivalent of the American Nazi Party of the 1960s and 70s who used to parade through Jewish neighborhoods dressed in full SS uniforms - ie - psychologically disturbed provocateurs) and HuT, who are a lot more serious and disciplined, even if their ideology is ultimately just as demented.

      The benefit of the ’7/7 is on the way’ demo on Friday is that, for the first time since the cartoon controversy errupted, Muslims stopped feeling affronted and started feeling embarrassed. It was a necessary corrective for a group of people who are getting high on their own victimhood. I think the British Muslims who have made a public spectacle of how affronted they feel are being incredibly self-indulgent. They get an amazingly good deal in the UK. Sunnis can build mosques and practice their faith in a way that would be inconceivable in Iran. Shi’ites are free from the kind of routine persecution they suffer in Pakistan. FFS - there’s even a plan to provide Muslims with taxpayer-funded ‘faith’ schools. And all against a background of liberal anxiety not to hurt their feelings.

      All this stuff is ultimately a charade. Muslims who come from elsewhere know that they are lucky to be here, even if they can’t always bring themselves to admit it. Leaving aside the non-religious aspects - especially the vastly higher standards of living - even in religious terms they’ve never had it so good.

      And as for younger, British-born Muslims, they are the victims of a broader and specifically western dystopia. Many kids undergo a search for meaning in this increasingly complex and bewildering society and youngsters from a Muslim background have a ready-made solution to the alienation that can afflict people of all sorts - a return to authenticity and faith. A few (a very few) might end up committing a 7/7 type attack but it has more in common with Colombine than it does with the Taliban.

      As I said in an earlier post, UK Muslims - especially ones who live in the north - are starting to wake up to the potential consequences of self-indulgent posturing. If the only backlash was white racist thugs counter-protesting then Muslims might be confirmed in their victimhood but I think they know that most British people are decent and when the decent majority starts seriously contemplating voting for the BNP - in direct response to Muslim aggression - that’s when the posturing has to stop.

      At the end of the day all of us - Muslim and non-Muslim alike - know the truth. Choosing to take public umbrage at a few silly cartoons in a Danish newspaper is the act of a pampered minority, not an oppressed one.

    13. Jay Singh — on 5th February, 2006 at 1:27 pm  

      seanT

      Do you think Cameron has the ability to appeal to the potential BNP voters and give them enough secure feeling to make them stay with the Tories in the same way that the Iron Lady did? Surely he is cut from the same touchy-feely cloth as Blair. David Davies is a little more ‘hard’ on this issue.

      I predict the BNP are going to do very well in the next couple of elections - this will be a wake up call for everyone.

    14. kulvinder — on 5th February, 2006 at 1:31 pm  

      So the government (a more senior body than the MCB ,I think anyhow,) condem the BNP so leave it that’ is fine is it.

      Yes darling. Its what grown ups do.

    15. Jay Singh — on 5th February, 2006 at 1:34 pm  

      Michael Muhammad Knight

      Most people are not Islamophobic - most people are indifferent to Islam. They are phobic about things like suicide bombing and demonstrators wielding placards in London saying that all those who insult Islam shall be beheaded, praising the London bombings, praising 9/11, saying that Europe will soon suffer a September 11th. They are also phobic of what they see as attempts to change the vital and essential freedoms of British culture like freedom of speech - to prevent criticism of Islam.

      This has nothing to do with Islamophobia - most people are indifferent to the religion, as they are indiffrent or neutral to most religion as long as it knows it’s place.

      It is the peripheral events engendered around Islam that cause criticism - and that makes me think that your advice is better dispensed to those individual Muslims themselves who seem to be in breach of the tenets you describe.

    16. Bijna — on 5th February, 2006 at 1:41 pm  

      And yes, model citizens dont burn embassies
      and dont carry unfriendly pacards.

    17. seanT — on 5th February, 2006 at 1:48 pm  

      Jay Singh.
      Yeah, no, I agree on Cameron. I’m sort of a Cameron Tory myself - libertarian, eurosceptic, patriotic, but in favour of the NHS… though i’m much less PC than Cameron, as may be obvious.
      All of which is a long-winded way of saying I want Cameron to do well, but i do worry that he hasn’t got the common touch like Maggie, and will leave the unskilled white working classes disenfranchised - they have been deserted by NuLabour and by the Lib Dems, and so no one really talks for them anymore.
      And that gives the BNP a huge window of opportunity, even wider after this week’s events.
      What Cameron could do is delegate the dog whistle to an underling - i.e. employ his own ‘Norman Tebbit’ to subtly say to the white working classes, ‘yes we know your feelings about immigration and we’re working on it’ (something Labour can’t do) - while appearing above the fray and nice himself, so all the anguished liberal middle classes can vote for him.
      Tricky though. But I hope he can do it - none of us want to see a BNP breakthrough.
      It’s ironic that the best hope for race relations in this country is the election of a plain speaking rightwing government, but there you go.

    18. kulvinder — on 5th February, 2006 at 1:49 pm  

      They are also phobic of what they see as attempts to change the vital and essential freedoms of British culture like freedom of speech

      Then they shouldn’t be calling for the protestors to be arrested for what they say, mang.

    19. Jay Singh — on 5th February, 2006 at 1:49 pm  

      One thing that has been a disastrous consequence of positioning Islam as a political creed in British life is the logic and rhetoric of this political culture rebounds back on Muslims themselves.

      In short, ‘Ummah Politics’, holding that Islam is the primary marker of identity for Muslims, insisting that politics is about the protection of Islam and the evangelism of Islam, and most of all insisting that Palestine and Kashmir are issues that people in Birmingham and Bethnal Green should be voting on, has led to a situation in which the rhetoric of victimhood and jihad has become forthright amongst Muslims themselves, to the extent of British society being located in a continuum of Muslim grievance.

      The idea that ‘Britain’ should be answerable to its Muslim politicians for its foreign policy has really damaged the political culture amongst some Muslims - it has diverted energy, caused sullen dissapointment and resentment when Muslim ‘demands’ are not met, given Muslim representatives an inflated sense of their importance - and worst of all - Ummah politics has led to the drawing up of boundaries between Muslims and the rest of Britain.

      Most people resent the formulation of such us-and-them politics. They also resent the implication that British society is cast as an oppressor, an active suppressor of Islam, situated in a grand narrative of Islamic identity and history and politics and ‘struggle’, so that even the price of fish has implications for the MCB and Palestine.

      This has been disastrous for Muslims in the UK. It’s logic and basic premise, when examined clearly, is extremely disturbing too, nased as it is on a worldview of collective culpability.

      Because if the ‘Ummah is One’, and an attack on one Muslim is an attack on all - the working out of this is logic is that an attack by one Muslim is an attack by all. Which is exactly what the BNP and others believe. This is a fists-up politics, stewing in its own victimhood, bounded by really disturbing dynamics of group and collective blame and guilt - it is disastrous.

    20. Bijna — on 5th February, 2006 at 1:52 pm  

      > Because if the ‘Ummah is One’, and an attack on
      > one Muslim is an attack on all - the working out of this
      > is logic is that an attack by one Muslim is an attack by all.

      Yes, it works that way.

    21. Jay Singh — on 5th February, 2006 at 1:54 pm  

      Then they shouldn’t be calling for the protestors to be arrested for what they say, mang.

      What does mang mean?

    22. kulvinder — on 5th February, 2006 at 1:57 pm  

      What does mang mean?

      http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Mang

      its 3 years out of date (in terms of omg lol 1337 craze)
      but i can’t be fucked to keep up with the kids on /. or the essay or whatever godforsaken place everyone hangs in now.

    23. Cinnamon — on 5th February, 2006 at 1:57 pm  

      Jay,

      A phobia is an irrational fear, which is a treatable medical condition — it is NOT political opinon!

      Also see: http://www.phobialist.com/

      And as for people being ‘indifferent’ to Islam, that ended with the islamic cartoon rage.

      Enter Islamoskeptiscism…

    24. Jay Singh — on 5th February, 2006 at 2:01 pm  

      Kulvinder

      Do you think that explicitly calling in banners and speech for the beheading of people, killing by suicide bombing, and explicit calls for murder, massacre and havoc is potentially an incitement to kill, maim, cause harm?

    25. Jay Singh — on 5th February, 2006 at 2:02 pm  

      seanT

      and will leave the unskilled white working classes disenfranchised - they have been deserted by NuLabour and by the Lib Dems, and so no one really talks for them anymore. And that gives the BNP a huge window of opportunity, even wider after this week’s events.

      I think you are right. This is a big worry.

    26. kulvinder — on 5th February, 2006 at 2:06 pm  

      Do you think that explicitly calling in banners and speech for the beheading of people, killing by suicide bombing, and explicit calls for murder, massacre and havoc is potentially an incitement to kill, maim, cause harm?

      If you believe in free speech (which is what everyone seems to be going on about) it shouldn’t matter what you, i or anyone else thinks. They should be able to say what they wish.

    27. El Cid — on 5th February, 2006 at 2:11 pm  

      Kulvinder,
      Freedom of speech is quite clearly demarcated in law.
      For example, you can’t go around undermining an individual’s personality/reputation because you could become liable to accusations of slander and be faced with a writ.
      Similarly, incitement to violence is another law-breaker.
      So yes, actually, one can call for these people to be arrested and at the same time be a strong advocate of freedom of speech. There is no inconsistency there, maing. None at all.
      (Maing is the correct spelling. I do the best Tony Montana accent in North London, so I should know).

    28. Jay Singh — on 5th February, 2006 at 2:14 pm  

      kulvinder

      Inciting people to murder and calling for people to be beheaded, slaughtered, and suicide-bombed is not free speech - it is incitement to kill and murder.

    29. kulvinder — on 5th February, 2006 at 2:20 pm  

      Freedom of speech is quite clearly demarcated in law.
      For example, you can’t go around undermining an individual’s personality/reputation because you could become liable to accusations of slander and be faced with a writ.
      Similarly, incitement to violence is another law-breaker.
      So yes, actually, one can call for these people to be arrested and at the same time be a strong advocate of freedom of speech

      Oh if we’re going on the current legal definitions then fine, i just thought this was all about a principled stance on someone being allowed to say or print what they wish. Nonetheless you draw your lines in the sand based on what you think is right, they do the same.

      You’ve set the limits where you feel comfortable with them, not on the actual principle itself. Nothing wrong with that, as long as you’re willing to admit to it.

      Im in favour of everyone being allowed to say whatever they damn well like.

      Maing is the correct spelling. I do the best Tony Montana accent in North London, so I should know)

      Urbandictionary and the internet disagrees with you.

    30. kulvinder — on 5th February, 2006 at 2:27 pm  

      Inciting people to murder and calling for people to be beheaded, slaughtered, and suicide-bombed is not free speech - it is incitement to kill and murder.

      ‘Insulting something you feel passionately about is not free speech - it is just wrong.’

      Do you see what i did there??!!?!

      Fine. Go ahead. Say they shouldn’t be allowed those placards because it bothers you, just don’t bring up ‘freedom of speech’ when advocating the cartoons.

      BTW Im going to germany and france to deny the holocaust, on the principle of freedom of speech.

      Not really, jails scare me.

    31. El Cid — on 5th February, 2006 at 2:28 pm  

      The law is the law, and if you don’t like it, then you can fuck off or go to jail. That’s social contract that enables freedom of speech, and it is the pricipled stand that I’m making.

      Y otra cosa cabron: no me digas a mi como habla un Cubano, ques no tienes ni puta idea, sabes?

    32. kulvinder — on 5th February, 2006 at 2:35 pm  

      The law is the law, and if you don’t like it, then you can fuck off or go to jail. That’s social contract that enables freedom of speech, and it is the pricipled stand that I’m making.

      OIC, well that incitement to religious hatred bill was only one vote away, just one. Never question the law, just accept it as it is and deal with it.

      :up:

      Y otra cosa cabron: no me digas a mi como habla un Cubano, ques no tienes ni puta idea, sabes?

      Ah tha ki gall hai? punjabi ni boll sakh dha?

    33. Jay Singh — on 5th February, 2006 at 2:37 pm  

      Fine. Go ahead. Say they shouldn’t be allowed those placards because it bothers you, just don’t bring up ‘freedom of speech’ when advocating the cartoons

      You have gone off on one Kulvinder. No comparison at all - and you are just being silly.

    34. kulvinder — on 5th February, 2006 at 2:41 pm  

      You have gone off on one Kulvinder. No comparison at all - and you are just being silly.

      Im hardly making a complicated point, you don’t accept complete freedom of speech. Well fine, then at least empathise with others that don’t. The only thing the two groups disagree on is what the limit is and how its decided.

    35. El Cid — on 5th February, 2006 at 2:47 pm  

      Jay,
      Considering how easy it was for Kulvinder to wind up someone like me, a white second-generation immigrant who would never shift right of centre when push came to vote, you could well be right with your BNP prediction.
      I still think the main parties have a tried and tested ability to neutralise alienated white working class anger by adjusting their immigration or law&order policies, so I’m not overly concerned.
      There’s no way the BNP would do a Le Pen — however hard Kulvinder’s lot try.

    36. El Cid — on 5th February, 2006 at 2:48 pm  

      there should be a “However” at the start of my second sentence

    37. kulvinder — on 5th February, 2006 at 2:48 pm  

      Wheres my lot?!?!??!!

    38. Jay Singh — on 5th February, 2006 at 2:52 pm  

      Kulvinder

      No, seriously dude, you really have gone off on one - your stance is ridiculous.

    39. kulvinder — on 5th February, 2006 at 2:52 pm  

      No, seriously dude, you really have gone off on one - your stance is ridiculous.

      Why?

    40. El Cid — on 5th February, 2006 at 2:56 pm  

      If you become an apologist for people who would bomb packed tube trains in your own homeland, massacre or behead those who would offend your religion, then you are not THAT different from them in my book.

      And before you say my uncompromising view is no different from the placard holders, then reflect on the fact that the right to life supercedes all other rights, even freedom of speech.

    41. Don — on 5th February, 2006 at 2:57 pm  

      cinnamon,

      Nice link.

      Yeah, the overuse of ‘phobia’ does need to be addressed from time to time. It is a slick way of saying ‘if you dislike what I represent, it simply reflects some pathological flaw of your own.’

      However, Jay makes (yet another) interesting point about ‘Ummah politics’. Following from that point, when the muslim community is defined in purely religious terms, it is tempting for the government to feel that those issues alone are the ones to be addressed. Lousy housing? educationally disadvantaged? socially excluded? Ah, but look how much we respect your religion. But of course, for extremists no amount of respect will ever be enough.

      So we get Jack Straw awkwardly muttering ‘Peace be upon him’ after mentioning the prophet, and making statements whose clear sub-text is ‘Yes, it’s annoying, but you can’t expect these people to engage in a real debate. Just don’t tease them, they can’t control themselves.’ It’s infantilising and futile. Besides, as the cartoons have not been published in Britain, why does a British Foreign Secretary feel obliged to comment?

      This is one of the few issues where I have revised my own view in light of the discussions I have followed and I have been heartened by the level of debate here and elsewhere. But several things bother me. Even on PP there has been a distinct shortage of comments by muslims. I exclude Bikhair (who has been remarkably rational and coherent), Sid (who popped in but was clearly pissed) and the odd visiting ranter. Maybe I’m wrong about that. The main worry is that people who seem otherwise cool-headed are drifting dangerously close to ‘Yes, the BNP are scum, but they have a point about Islam.’

      Isn’t that what the extremists want? To reinforce the stereotype of the hysterical, grievance-obsessed, homicidal muslim so that an intimidated Joe Public will turn to the ‘strong leader’? If that happens we are all seriously fucked.

    42. seanT — on 5th February, 2006 at 2:59 pm  

      37. You may be right that the BNP wouldnt do a Le Pen, the BNP are too tainted by the skinhead past, and too full of violent nutters.
      But the door is wide open in the UK for a NEW party, with nice suits, that would be openly anti-immigration and very patriotic and populist and appeal to lots of people, without ever being openly racist. Like Pim Fortuyn. A guy like him could get tons of votes in the UK.
      Unless the Tories plug the gap.
      Actually, I quite liked Pim Fortuyn. Great shirts.

    43. kulvinder — on 5th February, 2006 at 3:01 pm  

      If you become an apologist for people who would bomb packed tube trains in your own homeland, massacre or behead those who would offend your religion, then you are not THAT different from them in my book.

      Im sure ‘they’ wouldn’t like me supporting the BNP’s right to say what it wants, or that Nick Griffen’s trial was a joke and im glad he was found not guilty.

      Neva mind, ill sit here on my own.

      And before you say my uncompromising view is no different from the placard holders, then reflect on the fact that the right to life supercedes all other rights, even freedom of speech.

      Weelllll. Not really, im pro-choice and support euthanasia.

    44. seanT — on 5th February, 2006 at 3:03 pm  

      Don, when did Jack Straw say ‘peace be upon him’?
      Is that true? Why doesn’t he actually go the whole hog and take a second wife?
      Can you imagine him crossing himself in public, or saying
      ‘Jesus Christ our Lord’?
      The man is a joke.

    45. Jay Singh — on 5th February, 2006 at 3:03 pm  

      Kulvinder

      I really don’t know what to say to you if you cannot see why I think your point is ridiculous - and I think this discussion is getting into tail-chasing.

    46. kulvinder — on 5th February, 2006 at 3:04 pm  

      But the door is wide open in the UK for a NEW party, with nice suits, that would be openly anti-immigration and very patriotic and populist and appeal to lots of people, without ever being openly racist.

      Would they be eurosceptic as well? From the Referendum party to Veritas they came, we saw, they went.

      Britain has never been a country of revolution, the BNP, the far right or the radical muslims/religious nutters won’t do anything. Don’t worry about it.

    47. kulvinder — on 5th February, 2006 at 3:05 pm  

      I really don’t know what to say to you if you cannot see why I think your point is ridiculous - and I think this discussion is getting into tail-chasing.

      Ok ill say you’re ridiculous as well and we’ll leave it at that. :)

    48. Jay Singh — on 5th February, 2006 at 3:06 pm  

      Following from that point, when the muslim community is defined in purely religious terms, it is tempting for the government to feel that those issues alone are the ones to be addressed. Lousy housing? educationally disadvantaged? socially excluded? Ah, but look how much we respect your religion.

      Spot on Don.

      This is the politics that has been cultivated - educational underachievment and unemployment? Well, it can all be viewed in the context of British Islamophobia, and why ask questions and sort things out if we can have a debate on Palestine instead.

      Blame the Zionists for Muslim underachievment in the UK.

      OK - but how does this explain the success of high achieving Muslims, or other minorities who succeed despite prejudice and racism?

      When you take the debate onto the terms and grounds of entrenched interest groups all you get it Ostriches with their head in the sand.

    49. Siddharth — on 5th February, 2006 at 3:14 pm  

      >>Reading the comments from Sunny, and other Muslims here brings hope

      >>Sunny is not a Muslim.

      Oh shit! There goes my hope…

      Sunny does not have to be a Muslim to represent his point of view. Sunny has presented a balanced and detached view of this whole episode when other commenters on both sides were losing it. The reason why events like this are dangerous is because they spill over into the community and all ethnic communities bear the brunt. This is why Sunny’s comments are as valid as anyone elses.

      The Muslim community view in the UK has been pretty balanced on this one. The Media have been solid. Hats off to both sides.

      Those who have fared badly in all of this is o too banly “Liberal Left” and the “Far Right” have gone into a non-sensical attack and provoke mode - which doesn’t do anyone any favours.

      Could comment at length, but the its the weekend, and I for one intend to enjoy with my family and friends, rather than getting too hot and bothered by ranting beards and right-wing shit stirrers. For now.

    50. Don — on 5th February, 2006 at 3:17 pm  

      Kulvider,

      You are just being contrary. Philosphically you have a valid point, but you are trying to apply it where it just doesn’t fit.

      Yes, freedom of speech is never absolute and we all draw our own lines. For example, if I remark to my neighbour ‘I think your lawn needs cutting.’ he might feel I have crossed his line by criticising his husbandry. If he stands outside my window screaming ‘ I hope your children die of cancer.’ I may feel he has crossed mine. They are not morally equivalent. So we get a rough concensus on where the line is, and it develops and shifts. Your rather extreme relativistic position is might be interesting in a purely academic debate, but in the real world urging the slaughter of your fellow citizens is on the far side of any reasonable line.

    51. El Cid — on 5th February, 2006 at 3:50 pm  

      seanT, can you leave the party politics behind eh, or at least temper it? Are you on a vote winning crusade or sommat?
      I have been tempted to comment on a few occasions, but have desisted. Don’t really want to go off a tangent, na’at a meen Tory Boy?

    52. Jay Singh — on 5th February, 2006 at 4:05 pm  

      This guy under the name of Michael Muhammad Knight seems to be a troll - a google reveals:

      http://knight.progressiveislam.org/

      Who is American - this troll uses British colloquialisms.

    53. seanT — on 5th February, 2006 at 4:12 pm  

      El Cid. I’ll say what i like - but feel free to abuse and deride me. S’free speech. Nah mean?

      Kulvinder , you replied to this,

      But the door is wide open in the UK for a NEW party, with nice suits, that would be openly anti-immigration and very patriotic and populist and appeal to lots of people, without ever being openly racist.

      With,

      Would they be eurosceptic as well? From the Referendum party to Veritas they came, we saw, they went.

      Britain has never been a country of revolution, the BNP, the far right or the radical muslims/religious nutters won’t do anything. Don’t worry about it.

      This, I think, this is absurd complacency. Which is my point. The BNP got 800,000 votes in the Euro elections. 800,000.

      I agree that Britain has been immune to radicalism and revolutions in the past, but that in no way means it will be in the future. In the past we haven’t been a multiracial society, with significant Muslim groups. Things can change.

      The only way to stop this is to vote TORY! Vote TORY! Vote TORY! Hooray for Maggie! Hooray for Dave!

      I jest, El Cid.

    54. El Cid — on 5th February, 2006 at 4:14 pm  

      the thought had crossed my mind, but r u sure? I didn’t notice any UK colloquialisms Unless u mean tout suite) and Americans can sometimes come across as slightly,um, different.

    55. Siddharth — on 5th February, 2006 at 4:37 pm  

      Regarding the Munira Mirza article linked to by Mirax
      http://www.spiked-online.com/Printable/0000000CAF58.htm

      Well its good piece and its got all the all the right sentiments. But unfortunately i found some of her conclusions to be somewhat specious.

      The article seems to base itself on this sentence:
      There is no denying that the media’s special sensitivity to the issue is because it is about Islam.

      Well yes and no. But first of all, lets be clear that its true that eveyone is agreed on the fundamental of Freedom of Speech here and no one is protesting that.

      If Freedom of Speech is to be tested on Islam, why does she sontrast the reaction to the supposedly non-reaction that Christianity generates when it is satired in the West? Islam is not the only religion active in the West nor is it diametrically opposite to Christianity. So its a syllogism to say that if such and such a feature is true of Chrstianity then why not Islam? Or vice versa.

      Is she suggesting all religions should be equal to up to the right to be ridiculed? And is a “good religion” one that generates NO REACTION when ridiculed? Well I should coco, because it will be interesting to see whether her theory bears testing.

      What other religion shall we start on today Ms Mirza?

    56. Desi RasCaL — on 5th February, 2006 at 4:57 pm  

      mcb r dumb…that inayat banglawala doesnt no whats happening around him

      Sir Iqbal Sacranie…well hes even worse..he wanted to b a lord in the house of lords..but he got a knighthood instead..they are all in their for the status/money…they dont giv a monkeys about the muslims in the uk

      get rid of them!

    57. Bikhair — on 5th February, 2006 at 5:26 pm  

      sean T,

      “nukh, I don’t think you need to fear Europeans ’submitting’ to Islam! We like a drink too much for that.”

      So let me get this straight, Europeans love alcohol too much to submit to Islamic pressure, but they hate/fear Islamic pressure to such an extent that they will submit to far right wing nationalist?

      You know all these cherished Western Values you guys keep talking about seem very very precarious.

    58. Concerned — on 5th February, 2006 at 5:28 pm  

      Well read every1′s comment just want 2 say that read the following article-

      These cartoons don’t defend free speech, they threaten it
      Simon Jenkins

      I think, therefore I am, said the philosopher. Fine. But I think, therefore I speak? No way.

      Nobody has an absolute right to freedom. Civilisation is the story of humans sacrificing freedom so as to live together in harmony. We do not need Hobbes to tell us that absolute freedom is for newborn savages. All else is compromise.

      Should a right-wing Danish newspaper have carried the derisive images of Muhammad? No. Should other newspapers have repeated them and the BBC teasingly “flashed” them to prove its free-speech virility? No. Should governments apologise for them or ban them from repeating the offence? No, but that is not the issue.

      A newspaper is not a monastery, its mind blind to the world and deaf to reaction. Every inch of published print reflects the views of its writers and the judgment of its editors. Every day newspapers decide on the balance of boldness, offence, taste, discretion and recklessness. They must decide who is to be allowed a voice and who not. They are curbed by libel laws, common decency and their own sense of what is acceptable to readers. Speech is free only on a mountain top; all else is editing.

      Despite Britons’ robust attitude to religion, no newspaper would let a cartoonist depict Jesus Christ dropping cluster bombs, or lampoon the Holocaust. Pictures of bodies are not carried if they are likely to be seen by family members. Privacy and dignity are respected, even if such restraint is usually unknown to readers. Over every page hovers a censor, even if he is graced with the title of editor.

      To imply that some great issue of censorship is raised by the Danish cartoons is nonsense. They were offensive and inflammatory. The best policy would have been to apologise and shut up. For Danish journalists to demand “Europe-wide solidarity” in the cause of free speech and to deride those who are offended as “fundamentalists . . . who have a problem with the entire western world” comes close to racial provocation. We do not go about punching people in the face to test their commitment to non-violence. To be a European should not involve initiation by religious insult.

      Many people seem surprised that a multicultural crunch should have come over religion rather than race. Most incoming migrants from the Muslim world are in search of work and security. They have accepted racial discrimination and cultural subordination as the price of admission. Most Europeans, however surreptitiously, regard that subordination as reasonable.

      What Muslims did not expect was that admission also required them to tolerate the ridicule of their faith and guilt by association with its wildest and most violent followers in the Middle East. Islam is an ancient and dignified religion. Like Christianity its teaching can be variously interpreted and used for bloodthirsty ends, but in itself Islam has purity and simplicity. Part of that purity lies in its abstraction and part of that abstraction is an aversion to icons.

      The Danes must have known that a depiction of Allah as human or the prophet Muhammad as a terrorist would outrage Muslims. It is plain dumb to claim such blasphemy as just a joke concordant with the western way of life. Better claim it as intentionally savage, since that was how it was bound to seem. To adapt Shakespeare, what to a Christian “is but a choleric word”, to a Muslim is flat blasphemy.

      Of all the casualties of globalism, religious sensibility is the most hurtful. I once noticed in Baghdad airport an otherwise respectable Iraqi woman go completely hysterical when an American guard set his sniffer dog, an “unclean” animal, on her copy of the Koran. The soldier swore at her: “Oh for Christ’s sake, shut up!” She was baffled that he cited Christ in defence of what he had done.

      Likewise, to an American or British soldier, forcibly entering the women’s quarters of an Arab house at night is normal peacekeeping. To an Arab it is abhorrent, way beyond any pale. Nor do Muslims understand the West’s excusing such actions, as does Tony Blair, by comparing them favourably with those of Saddam Hussein, as if Saddam were the benchmark of international behaviour.

      It is clearly hard for westerners to comprehend the dismay these gestures cause Muslims. The question is not whether Muslims should or should not “grow up” or respect freedom of speech. It is whether we truly want to share a world in peace with those who have values and religious beliefs different from our own. The demand by foreign journalists that British newspapers compound their offence shows that moral arrogance is as alive in the editing rooms of northern Europe as in the streets of Falluja. That causing religious offence should be regarded a sign of western machismo is obscene.

      The traditional balance between free speech and respect for the feelings of others is evidently becoming harder to sustain. The resulting turbulence can only feed the propaganda of the right to attack or expel immigrants and those of alien culture. And it can only feed the appetite of government to restrain free speech where it really matters, as in criticising itself.

      There is little doubt that had the Home Office’s original version of its religious hatred bill been enacted, publishing the cartoons would in Britain have been illegal. There was no need to prove intent to cause religious hatred, only “recklessness”. Even as amended by parliament the bill might allow a prosecution to portray the cartoons as insulting and abusive and to dismiss the allowed defence that the intention was to attack ideas rather than people.

      The same zest for broad-sweep censorship was shown in Charles Clarke’s last anti-terrorism bill. Its bid (again curbed by parliament) was to outlaw the “negligent”, even if unintended, glorification of terrorism. It wanted to outlaw those whose utterances might have celebrated or glorified a violent change of government, whether or not they meant to do so. Clarke proposed to list “under order” those historical figures he regarded as terrorists and those he decided were “freedom fighters”. The latter, he intimated, might include Irish ones. This was historical censorship of truly Stalinist ambition. By such men are we now ruled.

      That a modern home secretary should seek such powers illustrates the danger to which a collapse of media self-restraint might lead. Last week there were demands from some (not all) Muslim leaders for governments to “apologise” for the cartoons and somehow forbid their dissemination. It was a demand that Jack Straw, the foreign secretary, commendably rejected. It assumed that governments had in some sense allowed the cartoons and were thus in a position to atone for them. Many governments might be happy to fall into this trap and seek to control deeds for which they may have to apologise. The glib assumption of blame where none exists feeds ministerial folie de grandeur, as with Blair’s ludicrous 1997 apology for the Irish potato famine.

      In all matters of self-regulation the danger is clear. If important institutions, in this case the press, will not practise self-discipline then governments will practise it for them. Ascribing evil consequences to religious faith is a sure way of causing offence. Banning such offence is an equally sure way for a politician to curry favour with a minority and thus advance the authoritarian tendency. The present Home Office needs no such encouragement.

      Offending an opponent has long been a feature of polemics, just as challenging the boundaries of taste has been a feature of art. It is rightly surrounded by legal and ethical palisades. These include the laws of libel and slander and concepts such as fair comment, right of reply and not stirring racial hatred. None of them is absolute. All rely on the exercise of judgment by those in positions of power. All rely on that bulwark of democracy, tolerance of the feelings of others. This was encapsulated by Lord Clark in his defining quality of civilisation: courtesy.

      Too many politicians would rather not trust the self-restraint of others and would take the power of restraint onto themselves. Recent British legislation shows that a censor is waiting round every corner. This past week must have sent his hopes soaring because of the idiot antics of a few continental journalists.

      The best defence of free speech can only be to curb its excess and respect its courtesy

    59. Analytical — on 5th February, 2006 at 5:30 pm  

      Munira Mirza’s point, if I understand it, is that when Christians are offended (Jerry Springer, etc) the establishment - inc. the BBC - either ignores them or curtly tells them that freedom of expression is sacred. On the other hand, when Muslims are offended the same institutions and people rush to appease them. I think that Jews used to get similar consideration - when they were favoured by the left - but are now second only to Christians in the ‘fuck off you wankers’ list.

      Bottom line - if you’re a client group of the left (Muslims) you are instantly appeased. If you’re in an ambivalent position (Sikhs, Hindus) you’ll get some attention. But if the left doesn’t like you then you can forget it.

      The fact that a group like the MAB, with its attitudes towards gay and womens rights, can be taken up as a partner by the far left speaks volumes for the moral and ideological confusion that runs through the full spectrum of the left, from Galloway to Straw (PBUH).

    60. seanT — on 5th February, 2006 at 5:38 pm  

      Simon Jenkins is an asshole.

      Nukh, er, you miss my point.. Which is: White westerners will vote for far right parties when only those parties seem willing to admit the “truth” about immigration etc, or to protect their interests. The craven attitude of Labour (sorry to get partisan, El Cid) on this cartoon row shows that THEY are not willing to defend free speech, majority feelings etc. Will the Tories? Who knows.

      But if they don’t then yes, I think we will see the advance of the BNP, or some other new far right party. As I have already said ad nauseam.

      So it won’t be a collapse in western values that will lead to the advance of the right, it will just be democracy doing its thing, reflecting the will of the people. Obviously I hope that a moderate rightwing party will answer peoples’ fears before a far right party gains a foothold.

      Anyway. Enuff. I want to be optimistic. The only people threatening western values at the mo are the Islamonazis and their apologists in the West. They will lose, because freedom is an essential hunger of the human spirit, and cannot be defeated.

      And it was a great game of rugby today.

    61. Jay Singh — on 5th February, 2006 at 5:45 pm  

      Can people just post a link with the first paragraph instead of posting the whole article please?

    62. Concerned — on 5th February, 2006 at 5:53 pm  

      Sorrry really sorry won’t do it again!!!
      This is the link-

      http://islamiblog.blogspot.com/2006/02/forget-what-islam-says-about-principle.html#comments

    63. Kay — on 5th February, 2006 at 5:56 pm  

      After reading all your comments, i don’t know why everyone is so sceptical about Labour.
      They have, in my opinion, opened greater doors of opportunities for ethnic minorities with perhaps the intention of creating a sense of inclusion and integration.
      Besides that, they’ve definetly enabled Britain to enjoy a ‘steady/stable’ economy, whereas if a right-wing party ever came into power I think that London would perhaps loose its attractions interms of investments into the capital etc.

      With regards to the cartoons reactionary saga & the MCB comments, I’m completely ambilivant to the situation.

    64. Concerned — on 5th February, 2006 at 5:56 pm  

      As for the last article please read it here only. Thank you.

    65. David T — on 5th February, 2006 at 6:02 pm  

      Read Prof Norm on Simon Jenkins

      http://normblog.typepad.com/normblog/2006/02/defence_by_dump.html

    66. Siddharth — on 5th February, 2006 at 6:09 pm  

      I have made up my mind I am not going to keep my mouth shut when I go to my inlaws tonight for dinner

      VS Naipaul. What brings you to PP?

      I don’t know how much sicker ot lower they can go.

      Seeking to lay blame on those who advocate Freedom of Speech is backward and obscurantist. All religions are free to be pilloried and no one can say otherwise. Fuck off back to the slums of Herefordshire you backward toe rag.

    67. Kay — on 5th February, 2006 at 6:10 pm  

      What the hell is the world coming to?

      Everyone group (race,religion, nationality) are just spending tooo much being spiteful to their counterparts.
      Not mentioning re-enforcing the imperialist ideas of race, every group believes that they are more superior than the other.
      Why all this bickering on religious grounds?
      Why can’t be be civilised and live happily ever after?

    68. Al_Mujahid_for_debauchery — on 5th February, 2006 at 6:29 pm  

      Michael Muhammad Knight: Are you are famous American MMK of MWU! and now progressiveislam.org fame?

      I clicked on this link,

      http://www.westernresistance.com/blog/archives/001570.html

      Jeez!

      If the Danes had published and the Europeans had re-printed this cartoon, there would be rioting in all major European cities.

    69. kulvinder — on 5th February, 2006 at 6:39 pm  

      They are not morally equivalent

      Morality isn’t an absolute concept, theres nothing wrong with your neighbour prefering his lawn to your kids.

    70. Concerned — on 5th February, 2006 at 6:47 pm  

      Well this wud be offensive but well truth is always bitter…………………. christians make fun of Jesus(PBUH) and crack jokes on it and hindus make jokes on bhagwan (yeah i’v heard loads of them from my very conservative hindu frenz) ……..and muslims respect thier prophets and love them with their whole heart and soul.They can never dream of saying a single word against even Jesus(PBUH) coz he was our prophet also.So naturally when u luv sum1 and sum1 says nething bad bout him/her u wud not like it. And it is the case of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) who is the most Loved and Respected Person for muslims.
      Well if other religions are in the habit of making fun of their religion so don’t expect muslims 2 be the same.For them religion is the top priority.
      Sorry for the blunt remarks.

    71. Jay Singh — on 5th February, 2006 at 6:51 pm  

      Concerned

      You should apologise for your appalling spelling and literacy rather than for your ‘blunt remarks’.

    72. Al_Mujahid_for_debauchery — on 5th February, 2006 at 6:54 pm  

      “Concerned

      You should apologise for your appalling spelling and literacy rather than for your ‘blunt remarks’.”

      ROFLMAO!

    73. Analytical — on 5th February, 2006 at 6:58 pm  

      Thanks for that, Concerned. You say, “if other religions are in the habit of making fun of their religion so don’t expect muslims 2 be the same” which is a very fair and reasonable position.

      Just don’t tell us what we can and cannot say - particularly in our own countries. If I want to say that Muhammed was a paedophile that’s up to me. If you don’t like it - switch off.

    74. A friend of the real Mike Knight — on 5th February, 2006 at 6:59 pm  

      No, that poster is not the real Michael Muhammad Knight.

      As a friend and colleague of the real Mike Knight, I particularly liked the first post which is a cut and paste from Ibby Hooper’s CAIR’s action alert. As many of you know Mike has challenged Ibby Hooper to a wrestling match to sort out their “differences.” Mike is in training right now for his super slam match against the indefatigabley thick Ibby.

      As for progressive porn-stars Tarek and Irshad, perhaps the match should be transformed into a Royal Rumble. Mike will come in first and toss each of his ideological opponents over the top rope until he stands alone, the Champ.

      Well done MMK poseur whoever you are!

      The real Mike’s blog is on: http://knight.progressiveislam.org

    75. Sunny — on 5th February, 2006 at 7:14 pm  

      Have just had an email from the Michael Mohammed Knight who assures me that the one above is an imposter. So I’ve deleted all those comments and some related ones. Please keep the discussion friendly :)

    76. Siddharth — on 5th February, 2006 at 7:21 pm  

      I found the Prof Norm a little a dull and self-gratulatory.

      Suffice to say, the best part of his article on Simon Jenkins was the link to Simon Jenkin’s article itself.

      http://www.timesonline.co.uk/newspaper/0,,176-2025511_1,00.html

      Its on the zone, as Don would say.

    77. Siddharth — on 5th February, 2006 at 7:22 pm  

      Sorry, I meant the Prof Norm article was dull self-gratulatory and not Prof Norm himself. I’m sure he’s the life and soul of a party.

    78. Jai — on 5th February, 2006 at 7:28 pm  

      Someone further up this thread mentioned that (paraphrasing) “Surely the Danes knew enough about Islam before they published those drawings”.

      I don’t think this is necessarily the case. The “HARDtalk” show on the BBC News channel interviewed the editor of the Danish newspaper a couple of nights ago and asked him exactly the same question. The editor responded — quite indignantly — that he does not understand why the mere depiction of Mohammad (even if the picture’s not offensive) should trigger such a violent reaction, when “there are pictures of Mohammad freely available in Iran — so obviously Shias, at least, don’t have a problem with it” (or words to that effect).

      I may be wrong, of course, but I suspect that the paintings he was talking about are actually of Ali, not Mohammad.

      This whole debacle could have been triggered by a horrendous case of mistaken identity.

    79. Siddharth — on 5th February, 2006 at 7:33 pm  

      Jai

      We’ve covered the Iranian iconography in a different thread. The point being, even if the icons are of Ali, the cartoons are not directed at Ali - they’re piss taking Mohammed. No mistaken identity there.

      There’s a difference between an icon of Guru Gobind Singh and a piss-taking cartoon of Guru Gobing Singh with a fizzing bomb in his turban. Surely there can be no defence of that by suggesting indignantly in a HardTALK interview, that icons of the Guru exist, so whats wrong with a cartoon.

    80. Jay Singh — on 5th February, 2006 at 7:38 pm  

      Siddharth

      Do you think the response would have been different, had the depictions of Mohammad been just straightforward protraits as we see of Jesus or the Gurus?

    81. mirax — on 5th February, 2006 at 7:59 pm  

      “Do you think the response would have been different, had the depictions of Mohammad been just straightforward protraits as we see of Jesus or the Gurus?”

      I actually addressed this point in a much earlier thread. Newsweek magazine did publish one such depiction (of turkish provenance, with Mo’s face occluded) in 2002 to accompany an article entirely respectful of Islam. The end result : mass protests in some muslim asian countries, banning of the magazine.

    82. Al_Mujahid_for_debauchery — on 5th February, 2006 at 8:00 pm  

      “Do you think the response would have been different, had the depictions of Mohammad been just straightforward protraits as we see of Jesus or the Gurus?”

      I think there would have been no reaction to banal pictorial representations of Muhammad.
      In Iran, Muhammad is commonly depicted and its a part of their popular culture.

    83. Jay Singh — on 5th February, 2006 at 8:02 pm  

      There is definitely an element of stamping on Muslims faces in some of the reactions and comments out there over this - a lust to humiliate.

    84. Analytical — on 5th February, 2006 at 8:03 pm  

      Who cares? The cartoons were drawn by non-Muslims for a non-Muslim newspaper in a non-Muslim country. If Muslims had accepted the absolute right of the Danes to publish whatever they want but asked all concerned respectfully to avoid publishing images they find hurtful then I, for one, would have been inclined to grant their request.

      However, ranting, demanding and threatening should get you nowhere. On principle.

      Where the hell do these freaks get their sense of presumption? Probably they’ve been emboldened by previous craven behaviour (eg - the Rushdie affair).

    85. Jay Singh — on 5th February, 2006 at 8:08 pm  

      Analytical

      I care because I wished to say it based on my observations.

    86. Analytical — on 5th February, 2006 at 8:17 pm  

      Jay - what you describe as “a lust to humiliate” is actually a lust to tell a bunch of presumptious bastards to BACK OFF! Who the hell are they to tell me what I can and cannot say? Who the hell are they to victimise and terrorise those who stand up to them? Who the hell are they to impose limits on expression based on a demented theocratic ideology that none of us subscibe to?

      You know, I saw a photo of a young lady outside the Danish Embassy in London holding up a sign saying ‘Please do not attack our Prophet. He is love’ and I felt warm and conciatory towards her. But when I see the maniacs with their homicidal placards I certainly DO want to stick it to them - if only to prove to them that their crude attempts to set limits on my free speech will fail.

      This is not theoretical posturing - ask Theo Van Gogh.

    87. Al_Mujahid_for_debauchery — on 5th February, 2006 at 8:20 pm  

      Analytical,
      You are consumed in hatred and vitriol.
      Dont let them (madmen protesting) get to you, though I suspect, they already have.

    88. Jay Singh — on 5th February, 2006 at 8:20 pm  

      Analytical

      Chill out, bwana.

    89. Analytical — on 5th February, 2006 at 8:31 pm  

      OK - I’ll chill. But I won’t compromise with fascists. And nor should anyone else who values our free society.

    90. seanT — on 5th February, 2006 at 8:36 pm  

      I’m with analytical. There is a lust for battle in certain western circles… but only because we feel we’ve backed down, culturally, too often…

      Rushdie, Behzti, now this…

      As analytical says. This is a western magazine, in a western country, with western values and a western readership.. why the Fuck should it bend to Muslim values? This is our culture, butt out.

      If we marched into Saudi, saying you must have pubs and topless darts competitions and… churches… I’m sure they’d tell us to fuck off. And quite right too.

      I’ve travelled widely in Islamic countries and I admire many things about those countries.. but there’s no getting around the central truth here. Muslims are trying to impose their pre-Enlightenment values on us from afar and the rest of the argument is just sophistry and bullshit.

    91. Jay Singh — on 5th February, 2006 at 8:47 pm  

      seanT

      Tell us about what you have admired in Islamic countries.

    92. seanT — on 5th February, 2006 at 8:57 pm  

      Jay Singh…
      Yes, i should, because I am probably coming across as Islamophobic here - and I ain’t. Really!

      In my time I have been to quite a few Muslim countries - Morocco, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Bosnia, Turkey, The Lebanon, Malaysia, Azerbaijan, Palestine and Indonesia. I even lived in Egypt for a few months.

      Egypt and Syria are two of my favourite countries… quite extraordinarily hospitable places. Very very friendly, kind, welcoming, full of dignified people.

      I think that’s a key good thing about Islam, at its best it gives people a dignity, a sense of self worth, their own place in the universe. I truly admire that.

      Also I admire the honesty that Islam engenders. I remember once I was stranded in no-man’s land twixt Egypt and Israel (a long story) - i didn’t have the entrance visa fee to get back into Egypt so I was in real trouble. But an Egyptian border guard leant me the money, because, he said ‘Allah would want him to’. It was a lot of money for him, but he gave it up for me. I was incredibly grateful, and lucky - and when I got home I sent the guy the money and he sent me a photo of him and his family. It was a touching transaction. And Islam had something to do with that guy’s lifesaving sense of obligation to a stranger, I am sure.

      So, yeah, I sincerely admire some aspects of Islam (just as there are things about it I deplore); even more i admire the people of the Islamic world, whom I have met.

      Which is what makes this argument all the more depressing. I have no desire to change the Islamic world, to tell Muslims how to behave and what to do. I respect their desire to live as they wish - why can’t they extend the same courtesy to me, to understand that free speech is a sacred part of MY culture?

    93. Analytical — on 5th February, 2006 at 9:00 pm  

      Jay - may I answer that? It’s something of a cliche for Islamaphobes to say how much they admire Islamic art (rather like anti-semites saying they admire Jewish business acumen!) but in my case it’s true.

      The most beautiful building I’ve ever been in is the Alhambra - and the most beautiful one I’ve ever gazed upon is the Taj Mahal. A culture that can produce such sublime, transendental creations can never be dismissed.

      However, if a bunch of bible-punching rednecks in Alabama threatened to string up a ho-mo-sexual for offending the dictates of Leviticus I wouldn’t allow my admiration for Chartres Cathedral to stand in the way of telling them to go fuck themselves.

    94. Jay Singh — on 5th February, 2006 at 9:01 pm  

      seanT

      That was a really nice and heartfelt post - thanks.

    95. Sunny — on 5th February, 2006 at 9:02 pm  

      Who cares? The cartoons were drawn by non-Muslims for a non-Muslim newspaper in a non-Muslim country. If Muslims had accepted the absolute right of the Danes to publish whatever they want but asked all concerned respectfully to avoid publishing images they find hurtful then I, for one, would have been inclined to grant their request.

      This is silly. There are plenty of Muslims, and not all of them of Arab/African extraction, who are part of Europe - they have a right to be offended.
      Secondly, people all over the world have the opportunity to view the images because of our globalised culture. Its as ludicrous as saying christians should not get offended if christians in the ME are persecuted, after all its their right to do anything?

      Thirdly, this is that classic imperialist line - not only will we do whatever we want to offend you, but we shall also dictate if you have the right to be offended.

      Lastly, the Danish paper was asked politely to apologise or withdraw the cartoons for a long time. This happened in Oct remember?

      The line was crossed only recently when the violent protests took place. Before that, they had a legit right to boycott whatever and be angry (even if I don’t share that anger).

      So enough of this brainless rhetoric, please.

    96. Al_Mujahid_for_debauchery — on 5th February, 2006 at 9:03 pm  

      “Rushdie, Behzti, now this…”

      Aha!
      The lovely conflating of the Behzti controversy with the Rushdie/Danish cartoon controversy.

      The above statement capsulated the sentiments of a lot of the people who are purportedly defending the Danish right to free speech.

      For fellow desis who are convoluting in uncontrollable mirth and schedenfreude over this ‘Muslim’ incident, this should be a cause for them to pause and think about who is ‘us’ and who are ‘they’.

    97. Al_Mujahid_for_debauchery — on 5th February, 2006 at 9:05 pm  

      *schadenfreude

    98. Analytical — on 5th February, 2006 at 9:17 pm  

      My God! Sunny, have you lost the plot? Let me run through your utterly wrong-headed response to me.

      “There are plenty of Muslims, and not all of them of Arab/African extraction, who are part of Europe - they have a right to be offended.”

      Absolutely correct. They have the right to be offended. They also have the right to express that sense of being offended. They even have the right to request an apology and/or withdrawal. If they want to boycott, then we can’t stop them. So far, so good.

      But if the newspaper makes it clear that it has no intention whatsoever of paying attention then that’s the end of it.

      Sunny, please be crystal clear on this point. The problem comes when Muslims assert that that the newspaper has no right to publish the cartoons. Then we’re in a different world. Tell me you’re hurt. I’m listening. Tell me I shouldn’t do it. Thanks for the advice. Tell me I cannot do it and you can fuck right off.

      What aspect of this do you disagree with?

    99. seanT — on 5th February, 2006 at 9:22 pm  

      97. Conflating?
      Well… for me, as a European, they are all examples of free speech that have been menaced or denied by non-European religions, because the non Europeans have felt religously offended. So yeah, for me they are very similar, and go in the same pigeonhole.

      The pigeonhole of being mightily annoying. I’m bored of this now. They’re burning down embassies in Syria. People are going to die. Turkey will never join the EU. All because of some fucking cartoons. Stupid.

    100. Sunny — on 5th February, 2006 at 9:25 pm  

      I don’t believe it - SeanT having something nice to say about Muslims.. just hope your supporters on HP don’t end up reading this eh Sean ;)

    101. seanT — on 5th February, 2006 at 9:25 pm  

      Yeah, Sunny, you keep banging on like this.

      NO ONE IN THE WEST DENIES THE RIGHT OF MUSLIMS TO BE OFFENDED, NOR TO PROTEST, PEACEFULLY.

      Do the capitals help? Is that clear now? You keep setting up this straw man but, dude, no one is interested. We agree with you, for what it’s worth.

      The real question, the question you keep shirking, the question you keep avoiding with this bizarre diversionary tactic, is - was the Danish magazine within its rights in publishing the cartoons? Would you defend that right?

      That’s the only question here.

    102. Sunny — on 5th February, 2006 at 9:31 pm  

      The problem comes when Muslims assert that that the newspaper has no right to publish the cartoons. Then we’re in a different world.

      That part I don’t disagree with. News papers have the right, but they should exercise that judgement using brains. Why did the New Statesmen have to apologise for putting the star of David on Europe? I didn’t see the press rush out to support that. Neither did Muslims say much when the Spectator put ‘Eurabia’ on its front cover with the Crescent with it.

      My point the press have and does have freedom. We are both non-negotiable on that. But the press pretending it exercises the same rules with everyone is ludicrous. Having a dig at Muslims is acceptable these days, while having a dig at Jews/Israel isn’t. And there are many more examples to show this. Everytime a big controversy happens over freedom of speech (JS:TO) for example, I don’t see newspapers in Europe rushing forward in solidarity. Making fun of Jesus on the mainland is still very much a taboo.

    103. seanT — on 5th February, 2006 at 9:32 pm  

      Ah, sunny, now you’re being nice and I feel guilty for haranguing you.

      Re Islam, it is possible to have mixed and conflicted feelings about something as vast as a worldwide religion….

      !

    104. Al_Mujahid_for_debauchery — on 5th February, 2006 at 9:33 pm  

      “non-European religions”
      Ah! The irreverent mixing of bearded Muslims with turbaned Sikhs.
      Hell! they both are dark skinned and non-european looking, so they must revere the same false god of intolerance.
      Orientalism at its very best!

    105. Jay Singh — on 5th February, 2006 at 9:35 pm  

      seanT

      I think a lot of your rage is displaced racial unease. We all agree that these issues are serious and we are on common ground. But when you go generalising without discrimination, people just want to stick their middle finger up at you and tell you to fuck off.

    106. Al_Mujahid_for_debauchery — on 5th February, 2006 at 9:37 pm  

      “I think a lot of your rage is displaced racial unease.”

      Couldn’t have said it better.

    107. Analytical — on 5th February, 2006 at 9:48 pm  

      There are double standards, Sunny, but they run in the opposite direction from the one you suggest. When JS:TO was broadcast Christians protested by (a) sending thousands of pro-forma emails and letters to the BBC and (b) holding peaceful pickets outside TV centre. They were ignored.

      Do you imagine for a microsecond that an opera that mocked Muhammed would have been commissioned? written? performed? broadcast?

      Do you imagine that taxpayers money would ever be used to buy a work of art entitled Piss Muhammed, featuring a Koran dipped in urine?

      The double standards are all one way.

      As for Jews, as far as I’m aware they haven’t slit the throat of the Editor of the New Statesman in the middle of the street. They have not bombed a tube train because the UK’s foreign policy doesn’t suit them. They haven’t paraded around London with placards reading ‘Judaism will conquer Europe’ or ‘Behead those who insult Moses’.

      And if 19 Zionist maniacs have flown a plane into a skyscraper in a western capital in the last few years I must have been asleep.

      When Sikhs went too far by using violence to close the play in Brum it resulted in massive soul searching within the community. I doubt they will ever behave like that again.

      We all take offence - but (in the west at least) it’s almost always Muslims who react like complete psychos.

    108. Sunny — on 5th February, 2006 at 9:55 pm  

      was the Danish magazine within its rights in publishing the cartoons? Would you defend that right?

      Yes it was within its rights. I would defend the right itself, but not the Danish newspaper’s actions. I believe it did it purely to antagonise people, and given its right-wing history and the anti-Muslim atmosphere in Denmark, it had an ulterior motive.

      Would you defend a newspaper publishing a bunch of anti-semitic jokes?

    109. Analytical — on 5th February, 2006 at 9:56 pm  

      Must defend Sean against your smear, Jay.

      “I think a lot of your rage is displaced racial unease.” Are you trying to close down debate by imputing racist motives to guys like Sean who are angry with those who are incapable of behaving in a civilised manner?

      I don’t know Sean but I’d bet a pound to a penny he despises the (invariably white) violent arseholes of the Animal Liberation Front. They need to be confronted too. The only difference is that those of us who intend to go to Oxford later this month to protest in favour of the right of the University to build the lab will be able to do so without being accused of racism, imperialism, orientalism or any other spurious charge thrown around by some of the characters here.

      Jay - don’t mean to be flippant but I think a lot of your rage is displaced anti-racist unease. In the case of Sean I suspect it’s ill-directed.

    110. Jay Singh — on 5th February, 2006 at 10:00 pm  

      Analytical

      Sorry dude, anyone who reads my posts, even on this thread, will know that I am the anti-Christ as far as the culture of ‘anti-racism’ is concerened - I don’t give it the time of day. You will have to get more subtle than that.

    111. Jay Singh — on 5th February, 2006 at 10:01 pm  

      Oh yeah - I’m not in a rage either Analytical - I am cool as fuck tonight.

    112. Analytical — on 5th February, 2006 at 10:01 pm  

      “Would you defend a newspaper publishing a bunch of anti-semitic jokes?”

      If Jewish extremists had threatened people with violence, cut their throats, bombed tube trains and then told newspapers that any attempt to publish anti-semitic jokes would be met with more violence then, yes absolutely.

      And even if none of these things had happened I’d still support the right of a newspaper to do so, although I’d personally boycott it thereafter.

    113. Kay — on 5th February, 2006 at 10:01 pm  

      We all take offence - but (in the west at least) it’s almost always Muslims who react like complete psychos

      Generalisation?!
      Thats a very derogatory comment to make, so OK you’re entitled to your opinion but thats such a generalisation nailing muslims.
      Surely thats not fair.
      In every group that reacts, there are always a ‘handful’ that take to the extreme whether it be sikhs, christians, hindus, jew etc.

    114. Sunny — on 5th February, 2006 at 10:02 pm  

      As for Jews, as far as I’m aware they haven’t slit the throat of the Editor of the New Statesman in the middle of the street. They have not bombed a tube train because the UK’s foreign policy doesn’t suit them. They haven’t paraded around London with placards reading ‘Judaism will conquer Europe’ or ‘Behead those who insult Moses’.

      And those bunch of idiots have been condemned by everyone, and unfortunately the police lets them run around willy-nilly. There are far-right fascists in every country, except they would get arrested out in the open. For some reason though the police lets these idiots walk around no problems. That is an issue with the police.

      When Sikhs went too far by using violence to close the play in Brum it resulted in massive soul searching within the community. I doubt they will ever behave like that again.

      Hah! you think? Don’t be so sure.

    115. Analytical — on 5th February, 2006 at 10:03 pm  

      Jay - and my broader point about being just as full of rage towards the ALF as proof of non-racist intent?

    116. Jay Singh — on 5th February, 2006 at 10:07 pm  

      Analytical

      As long as somebody decries without discrimination that the actions of the ALF are an example of the class/race/cultural background of the activists as a whole being a threat to the entirety of British society through their actions - without discrimination or exception, then there will be a comparison.

      Note, Analytical, I am not accusing you of anything.

    117. Sunny — on 5th February, 2006 at 10:08 pm  

      The only difference is that those of us who intend to go to Oxford later this month to protest in favour of the right of the University to build the lab

      Stupid analogy - I am opposed to the lab but that doesn’t mean i support animal lib terrorists.

      And even if none of these things had happened I’d still support the right of a newspaper to do so, although I’d personally boycott it thereafter.

      The violent actions by nutters aside (since almost all Muslims have still been peaceful on the issue, specially in Europe), I would do exactly the same as you. Boycott the paper - which is why I have no respect at all for JP on this issue.

      And that is exactly my point. If this was JP running anti-semitic cartoons - there wouldn’t a competition by other papers to print them so they can stand up for freedom of speech, because being anti-semitic is taboo. Not so making fun of Mohammed.

      thank you for making my point for me. That’s what most of us on PP have been saying all along.

    118. Analytical — on 5th February, 2006 at 10:14 pm  

      If Sean or I lived in the USA I suspect we’d be at the forefront of battles against the Christian Right (Sean, if I’m misrepresenting you then speak up!). If any Creationist freak tried to get Intelligent Design put on the curriculum at my daughter’s school I’d go nuts.

      On reflection, where you may have half a point, Jay, on the issue of ‘race’ is this: I take particular exception, above and beyond the issue at hand, to someone who doesn’t come from Britain, and who doesn’t understand the principles upon which our society was built, turning up at Heathrow and then telling me what i can and can’t do in my own country. I said ‘race’ rather than race because I don’t give a shit if they are Pakistani or Polish.

    119. seanT — on 5th February, 2006 at 10:20 pm  

      Thanks for the support, Analytical, but really I don’t mind being called ‘racist’, ‘racially uneasy’, ‘Orientalist’, ‘editor of Der Sturmer’ - I’m used to it, as it is the only way the Left deal with people who are prepared to talk about immigration, you get called it all the time. Water, duck’s back, fuck it, etc.

      Also, if enough people like me learn to ignore this dreary and tedious slander, then it will lose all force (I think it is losing force already), and we can all get over it, and have a proper and open debate. Which we sorely need.

      Where do I object is people saying ‘I am in a rage’! I’m sitting here, all chilled with a bottle of claret, on a Sunday evening. I’m enjoying having these debates actually, and its a nice way to keep the brain sharp - i’m a writer and I’ve just finished a novel, and I don’t want my mental muscles to turn to flab while i’m ‘resting’.

      So, no - I’m not ‘in a rage’! I just like arguing, and I’m quite passionate about ideas. Is all!

      On a more serous note, I think it’s good that a libertarian rightwing Tory like me comes to an ‘Asian’ blog like this and puts his point of view - and we have a good argument - because this way both sides, perhaps, get to hear opinions they don’t normally encounter, and it helps everyone understand the issue.

      Perhaps, in time Jay et al will realise that plainspeaking rightwingers with worries about immigration and identity are not actually Nazis - just different - and plainspeaking rightwingers like me will realise that not all Sikhs, Muslims, etc, are machete weilding maniacs determined to impose religious law on the UK.

      A result all round

      You’re right about the ALF, tho. Can’t fucking stand them. Moral narcissists, cranky obsessives, solipsistic fascists. And dangerous, too.

    120. Jay Singh — on 5th February, 2006 at 10:23 pm  

      Analytical

      But do you make an effort not to extrapolate an understanding that the Polish (!) denier of what you can do in your own country is not the totality of Polish experience in your country?

      I see dynamics here that remind me of the IRA campaigns - Irish being considered as the cancer within after the Birmingham Pub bombings, London bombs, even with the old rebel song rhetoric in the pubs in Liverpool and Kilburn and they always found an Irishman to chant for the IRA. Not an exact fit I agree - but the dynamics.

      I can think of other analogies too, but I can’t be bothered to go into them.

    121. Al_Mujahid_for_debauchery — on 5th February, 2006 at 10:28 pm  

      I find the countless allusions to the WEST, defense of WEST, Non-Westerners, WEST under siege pretty interesting. Where crimes against America on 9-11 are adopted as crimes against the WEST.
      Lets drop this farce and come out in the open. Lets talk about ‘racial solidarity’. Yes, not something only touted by the crazed xenophobes but alluded to by the genteel society of the WEST, not as racial solidarity of course (gasp!) but as the euphemistically named WEST.

    122. Jay Singh — on 5th February, 2006 at 10:28 pm  

      seanT

      Trust me, it’s not like I have not ‘encountered’ your view before! I don’t even think we are that far apart on some things. But generalisation without discrimination will always lead people to tell you to fuck yourself - it really is not a big thing to understand.

    123. Jay Singh — on 5th February, 2006 at 10:30 pm  

      You’re right about the ALF, tho. Can’t fucking stand them. Moral narcissists, cranky obsessives, solipsistic fascists. And dangerous, too.

      You’re not a big Morrisey fan, then?

    124. Al_Mujahid_for_debauchery — on 5th February, 2006 at 10:31 pm  

      Anyway, it was nice hearing from Analytical, seanT, Sunny and Jay.
      I gotta go now to a Super Bowl Partyyyyyyy.
      Go Steelers!

    125. Sunny — on 5th February, 2006 at 10:40 pm  

      On a more serous note, I think it’s good that a libertarian rightwing Tory like me comes to an ‘Asian’ blog like this and puts his point of view -

      We welcome people of all persuasion SeanT, as long as they don’t start throwing insults at each other or cross boundaries of debate. Saying that, there are plenty of Asians against more immigration and on the right, so its not like we’ve dealt with your viewpoints before ;)

      Al-Mujahid, good chatting to you mate.

    126. seanT — on 5th February, 2006 at 10:40 pm  

      124. Is Morrisey ALF? That’s depressing. I’m a big fan of the guy. I once say next to him in Liberty as we BOTH bought Oliver Sweeney shoes and I felt VERY cool. Momentarily.

      Then again Morrisey has been accused of being a British Nazi - all that homoerotic Union Jack stuff. so maybe that’s why I like him.

      Joking! Sheesh!

      As regard analogies for our present situation, i think a better one is Catholics in Elizabethan England. Most Catholics just wanted freedom to worship in a protestant country - though they might have deplored aspects of the host country.

      A not insignificant minority of English Catholics were so passionate about their faith they were prepared to use violence to impose that faith, and to further their political aims.

      The result was pogroms. Not a happy precedent.

    127. Jay Singh — on 5th February, 2006 at 10:51 pm  

      Morrisey recently said he understood ALF terrorism because the animal testers had been warned to stop it.

      I think the 1970/1980′s IRA comparison works - unnaceptable things done by members of a minority community - Irish people treated like a fifth column - bad shit all around.

      The Protestant/Catholic Elizabethan analogy really does not work at all - that really was a case of a state suppressing a minority and given the real threat of Catholic Spain invading England and the risks to Elizabeth - the whole dynamics and context were completely different.

    128. seanT — on 5th February, 2006 at 10:58 pm  

      128. Shame about the Morrisey. Still doesn’t make Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others any the less great.

      This is my last post, so I’ll be brief. But I really disagree with you on the IRA analogy, i think it’s lazy. The IRA wanted a specific goal - Brits out, a united Ireland - they could be negotiated with, ultimately.

      Moreover, they didn’t want to overthrow the British state, and they had limits to their terrorism (however brutal).

      The Catholic analogy works for me, cause we’re talking a very sizeable religious minority, from several countries, easily disgruntled, with extreme and fanaticized elements, plotting to actively take over the state, and prepared to go to almost any lengths to do it. Plus they were very fond of beheading, and other nasty forms of death.

      But I agree it’s not perfect. Heck, they’re all analogies. And now, with that, I must depart. It’s been a good Sikh/libertarian Tory crossover evening, as ever.

      Respect to all.

    129. El Cid — on 5th February, 2006 at 11:43 pm  

      Interesting, passionate, informative, it is. Seamless and consistent, it flipping ain’t. As long as we are all aware of that, then fine.
      Don’t give me that subtle shit… Just get the next round in.

    130. Sunny — on 6th February, 2006 at 12:20 am  

      Heh, you’ve become more combative of late Mr El Cid ;)

    131. Siddharth — on 6th February, 2006 at 12:39 am  

      Heh heh. Its interesting noting the difference in the comments left by BNP trolls on Pickled Politics and Harrys Place.

      On PP, they’re angry, guttoral, issuing racist ranting directed at the wogs.
      On HP, they’re pleasantly chewing the cud in a meeting of minds.

      This cartoon business exposed blogs, views, and personal politics in stark relief, I tell you. I’m chuffed by the solidarity of right-minded people on this.

      This weekend made me proud of being British again.

    132. Siddharth — on 6th February, 2006 at 12:45 am  

      I wonder if Nick Cohen is going issue any self-righteous rants about how the cultural relativism of the ProWar-Left has resulted in thems sharing the same ideological turf and becoming bedmates with the Far Right in the UK.

      I’m not going to hold my breath.

    133. Siddharth — on 6th February, 2006 at 8:19 am  

      Hitchens twitches his lace curtains for the benefit of the cartoon-lovers, the Daily Mail Readers and Harry’s Place frothers here.

      The question we put to him and his reactionary suburban afficianados is: Would it have been a Freedom of Speech issue if they’d been antisemitic cartoons? And if so, when are you going to put your money where your mouth is and publish some in solidarity with Voltaire and the Jyllens-Posten?

    134. El Cid — on 6th February, 2006 at 8:36 am  

      On PP, they’re angry, guttoral, issuing racist ranting directed at the wogs.
      To be honest, aprt from a few trolls, I haven’t really detected this Sid. But I could be wrong. I do do other things aside from participate on PP, although it’s addictive. Any specific examples that come to mind?

      Also, I maintain that having a pop at a race is not the same as having a pop at an ideology/religion, even if it’s not a great bridge builder in the current climate. And surely, it is the OTT reaction, not the cartoons that are the problem.
      Jim Davidson might be a cunt, and you may want to boycott his products, but torching the house of someone who lives down the road from where he was born and threatening to behead those who would laugh at his ‘jokes’, is…. well, unacceptable.

      Hmmm mmm mmm. Loved that Lurpack on me toast this morning, with sweet pickled herrings on the side. Shame Danish salami is so shit compared to Italian and Spanish.

    135. Pauline Corine — on 6th February, 2006 at 9:36 am  

      Bonjour, can ou tell me why you worship the prophet Muhammad when he was a self confessed paedophile ? According to the Koran Muhammad consumated his marriage to his wife Ayesha when she was just 9 years of age, having married here at 6 years of age. Please no insults just a civilised debate si vous plait………yours, Pauline

    136. kulvinder — on 6th February, 2006 at 10:14 am  

      Muslims don’t worship Muhammad.

    137. Bilal McDaniel — on 6th February, 2006 at 10:18 am  

      I hope this has nothing to do with Islam.

      ANKARA, Turkey — A teenage boy shot and killed the Italian Roman Catholic priest of a church in the Black Sea port city of Trabzon on Sunday, shouting “God is great” [“Allahu akbar!” —ed.] as he escaped, according to police and witnesses.

      Officers were searching for the boy aged around 14 or 15, according to a police official who declined to be identified because of rules that bar Turkish civil servants from speaking to journalists without prior authorization.

      The police official would not say if the attack might be linked to the printing in European newspapers of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, which has caused anger in Muslim countrie

    138. Bilal McDaniel — on 6th February, 2006 at 10:23 am  

      Pauline Corine

      You have to understand that this was quite normal back then. Even though you might find it a bit odd that the Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) consumated his marriage to Aisha who was only nine years old and he was in his fifties. But we shouldn’t judge the past by our own standards and moreover I think your being a bit Eurocentric in judging the “other”. You should read the late Edward Said’s “Orientalism” to understand your very incorrect thinking.

    139. seanT — on 6th February, 2006 at 11:12 am  

      Sunny - you’re famous!

      Page 7 of The Times. May I be the first to extend my sincere congratulations… etc etc…

    140. Jai — on 6th February, 2006 at 11:20 am  

      Siddarth,

      Re: post 79

      (Apologies for the delay in replying, by the way — it was the weekend etc)

      I know exactly what you mean, but my point was that the editor of that newspaper was using the very existence of supposed-paintings of Mohammad in Iran as being justification of the drawings. It wasn’t to do with the fact that they were deliberately insulting — he was trying to counter the basic principle of not depicting Mohammad at all by using the example of Iran.

      *shrug* I guess we won’t know exactly which Iranian paintings he was referring to unless he (theoretically) points them out to everyone, in which case the response can be “Those are of Ali, not Mohammad” (or vice versa, as the case may be).

    141. Jai — on 6th February, 2006 at 11:34 am  

      With regards to the whole “Freedom of Speech” issue, people on both sides of the fence (especially various international newspapers who are now deliberately showing those cartoons as a “point of principle”) have to bear in mind the following point:

      “Freedom of Speech” is not a stand-alone concept, certainly not in any mature, civilised, enlightened context. FoS has to be accompanied by “Duty to behave responsibly” and “Obligation to use Common Sense”.

      Otherwise the repeated claim to “have the right to say absolutely anything, regardless of how offensive it is” just turns into some kind of schoolboy mentality where one deliberately makes provocative statements and actions without wanting to deal with the potential negative consequences, ie. “I will say whatever I want, and furthermore I want to get away with it”. If you knowingly make an inflammatory statement, and are aware that the target finds it grossly offensive, and you subsequently say “Well, I know that you are insulted by this, but I am going to exercise my right of freedom of speech by making this statement just as a point of principle”, the message that sends to the target (rightly or wrongly) is that you don’t give a damn about them and have no respect or consideration for them at all.

      Now, with regards to what is happening in various quarters of the media worldwide, this may not necessarily be the intention, but this is how it will be interpreted by large numbers of Muslims everywhere (and, furthermore, it will confirm many people’s worst fears about the “West” having no consideration for their sensitivities or beliefs at all — which is exactly what OBL and other jihadists want them to think).

      We have the ‘right’ to exercise freedom of speech — NOT the ‘obligation’ to do so.

      By the way — before any lurkers or new visitors to PP (who may not be familar with my previous posts or “personality”) start attacking me, let me emphasise that I think the fanatics with those placards should indeed be arrested, and that the various riots worldwide are a completely inappropriate and counter-productive response to the cartoons.

    142. Jai — on 6th February, 2006 at 11:37 am  

      And PS, to clarify my background for new visitors, I am a Sikh.

    143. Jay Singh — on 6th February, 2006 at 11:43 am  

      A view from Denmark - read it for context:

      http://www.bookish.dk/?p=894

    144. El Cid — on 6th February, 2006 at 12:10 pm  

      Jai, what’s the point in arresting them?
      A convinction is far from certain and would give them even more PR.
      I’m gonna continue banging my drum; the most sensible thing to do is to deprive these cunts the publicity they crave. End of story. They are unrepresentative and misrepresenting 99 percent of British muslims with views that a reckless media simply laps up in order to keep a story running (or should that be shit stir).

    145. Jay Singh — on 6th February, 2006 at 12:15 pm  

      El Cid

      I would defer to mainstream Muslim opinion on whether to arrest them or not - and mainstream Muslim opinion says arrest them!

      But your point about not giving them publicity I agree with - but then the media exists for moments like this, it is not interested in anything but the money shots.

    146. El Cid — on 6th February, 2006 at 12:24 pm  

      Jay, I’m just not convinced that they would get convicted.
      “Incitement to murder” Against whom in particular?
      Is there a lawyer in the house?

    147. Old Pickler — on 6th February, 2006 at 12:32 pm  

      You have to understand that this was quite normal back then. Even though you might find it a bit odd that the Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) consumated his marriage to Aisha who was only nine years old and he was in his fifties. But we shouldn’t judge the past by our own standards and moreover I think your being a bit Eurocentric in judging the “other”.

      Odd? Odd??? That’s one way of putting it.

      This argument is utterly spurious. Muslims believe that Mohammed was the perfect man, the role model for all time, hence this absurd fuss about the cartoons.

      By what standards other than Eurocentric ones should we judge a rapist paedophile? By primitive standards that excuse such vile behaviour, or by civilised ones that condemn it?

    148. El Cid — on 6th February, 2006 at 12:34 pm  

      So, having committed the ultimate sin of REPRINTING these piccies (much like the amazing Secret Policeman), these two brave and truly liberal muslims have been arrested.
      Discuss.

    149. Old Pickler — on 6th February, 2006 at 12:37 pm  

      And Jordan is supposed to be a moderate Muslim country.

    150. Col. Mustafa — on 6th February, 2006 at 12:47 pm  

      They’ve been arrested for using common sense and showing restraint.

      I see things getting worse; not better.

    151. Cinnamon — on 6th February, 2006 at 1:30 pm  

      Jai,

      you said:

      “We have the ‘right’ to exercise freedom of speech — NOT the ‘obligation’ to do so.”

      True, but, this is equally true:

      We have the right to exercise our freedom of religion — NOT the ‘obligation’ to do so.

      :) :) :)

    152. Don — on 6th February, 2006 at 2:20 pm  

      Cinnamon,

      Actually, religion does involve obligations. The trouble lies when those obligations clash with the obligations of a secular society.

    153. Jai — on 6th February, 2006 at 2:43 pm  

      El Cid,

      =>what’s the point in arresting them?
      A convinction is far from certain and would give them even more PR.”

      Well, they should be arrested because they’re breaking the law. I agree about the possibility of a lack of conviction (especially considering last week’s events regarding the BNP), but you never know for sure until you actually try.

      =>”“Incitement to murder” Against whom in particular?”

      As in, who are they inciting ? Other Muslims. Who do they wish to murder ? The rest of us.

      Some commenters in the news have drawn a very good analogy: If large numbers of BNP supporters were holding protest marches and holding placards aloft stating that (for example) Muslims here should be massacred in revenge for 9/11 or 7/7, they certainly would not be allowed to get away with it and arrests would quickly follow. This would be a correct and appropriate response.

      I therefore do not see why Islamists behaving in the same way should not be similarly prosecuted. Yes, there is a risk that a conviction will not follow, and yes you will create (metaphorical) martyrs out of them — but that’s a risk you have to take, and you cannot hesitate in taking these actions just because some similarly misguided people may decide the jihadists are heroes for their cause.

    154. Rohin — on 6th February, 2006 at 3:03 pm  

      SeanT, what does the Times say about our lad? I don’t think I’ll be able to find a copy today, not till later anyway. Is it online? Me and Sunny in the Times in one week eh? (ok mine wasn’t in print I don’t think)

      We need more Muslims-inciting-violence-offended-by-vikings controversies Sunny, if we’re gonna become as famous as we crave deserve would like.

    155. Old Pickler — on 6th February, 2006 at 3:07 pm  

      There’s a section on page 7 entitled “Bloggers debate the protests”.

      “Sunny at pickledpolitics.com:

      I don’t see any Muslims protesting against al-Jazeera by showing all those bloody tapes”

    156. Pauline Corine — on 6th February, 2006 at 6:29 pm  

      Merci Bilal, just so i understand that all Muslims do recognise that Mohammad was a paedophile. But i would have thought that due to his holy status he would be able to rise above pleasures of the flesh with a child…..merci beaucoup

    157. Sunny — on 6th February, 2006 at 6:34 pm  

      That was a bloody old comment! I don’t think I wrote that recently…

    158. Cinnamon — on 6th February, 2006 at 7:53 pm  

      Don,

      if every religion is taken seriously instead of being viewed as a mild form of insanity by the majority of people in the West, then religion would be regulated like porn, alcohol or nicotine.

      The first thing to go out of the window would be the freedom to claim that their deity is the only worthwhile one, and if taken to the logical bitter end, no religion will be legal anymore, or, censored into an even more meaningless pile of deluded ideas than they are already.

      So, asking others to respect ones’ religous BS is not possible, ever, all we can do is allow people to be crazy as long as they doesn’t bother anyone else or try to make them conform to their weird ideas.

      Likewise, asking anyone impartial and sensible to adjudicate in this matter is impossible, since the arguments only make sense if one believes in the premises, and unfortunatly, this is exclusive of one another.

      So, if in doubt, the safest way is to remind people that the freedom of religion is conditinal of this being self-contained, and that a christian can eat a bacon bagel if they want, a muslim can eat halal meat in milk sauce, and athists like me get to eat whatever they bloody like, without having some demented busybody on my case… oh dang, I forgot the NHS/Labour religous decree about about me and my cat not getting obese … heh.

    159. Don — on 6th February, 2006 at 8:09 pm  

      Cinnamon

      Tend to agree. Someone on another blog once said of the religious, ‘If God told you to kill your child, would you do it? If not, then you don’t really believe.’

    160. Bilal McDaniel — on 7th February, 2006 at 2:26 am  

      Old Pickler and Palune,

      You two must be paid up members of the BNP. Why don’t you crawl back underneath your rocks. I will not waste my time debating non-believers about the life of the Prophet(pbuh)

    161. Jay Singh — on 7th February, 2006 at 2:38 am  

      There is someone who trolls here as a white convert to Islam - he impersonates Yusuf Smith, Yahya Birt, Michael Muhammad Knight, and I suspect, ‘Bilal McDaniel’

    162. Bilal Mc Daniel — on 7th February, 2006 at 2:47 am  

      Whoa Jay!

      I have been a Muslim revert for over ten years, what have I written that makes you think that I am some pathetic troll. Morover, how do you know the ethnicities of the names you mentioned I always thought that Yusuf Smith was Jamaican. I think, and a few brothers might concur, that an apology is in order.

    163. Jay Singh — on 7th February, 2006 at 3:04 am  

      Bilal McDaniel

      Don’t make me laugh dude - you’ve been sussed. And I never apologise - you have some strange obsession and trollery - weirdo.

    164. Bilal Mc Daniel — on 7th February, 2006 at 3:27 am  

      Jay,

      “you’ve been sussed”

      I’m sorry I don’t speak scouse, could you please articulate yourself in English.

    165. Zenab — on 7th February, 2006 at 4:51 pm  

      Old Pickler and Palune,

      First let me clear that muslims worship ONLY and ONLY Allah the Almighty.But ,after Allah,the Almighty we respect and love with our whole heart and soul Prophet Mohammad(PBUH).
      On Him the Holy Quran was revealed,He spread the message of peace in the world of Jahiliyah-The pre-Islamic Arabian age of ignorance, marked by barbarism and unbelief. Islam came to end this evil age, according to its view.,He spread Islam not through force but through his moral conduct and superb character.
      I know telling u all this is worthless coz only a muslim can truly feel the love and faith towards him.
      As for his marrying Hazrat Aisha(PBUH) so that was a part of culture and it had its own wisdom and purpose ordained by Allah.Also,in ISlam marriage is done by the consent of girl so no point of force. ….And may i ask u how many books have u read on His life that u are using bad words for him????
      And if u all truly wanna know about his marriage and character then kindly read this-

      http://www.islamonline.net/English/In_Depth/mohamed/1424/index.shtml

      On this web page go to misconceptions and there u will find lots of articles related to these silly questions.

      THANK YOu

    166. Zenab — on 7th February, 2006 at 5:10 pm  

      Also the above comment is ONLY for logical and understanding people.Who have a real quest to know about Prophet’s life.the link that i have given encompasses all aspects of his life including common misconceptions regarding Him.And it is not for those stupid oafs who just want 2 throw dirt on him and ask dumb ques.
      So after reading the content of that link i urge u all 2 stop
      arguing on His life and character and get on with your life.
      Thank You.

    167. Bilal Mc Daniel — on 7th February, 2006 at 6:41 pm  

      Assalam Alaikum Zenab

      Don’t let the ignrorance of KKKonservatives like Old Pickler and Palune bother you. When they hear or read about stories about Aisha they only let their western, Orientalism type thinking blind them to the true wisdom of what went on between Muhammad(pbuh) and Aisha. Inshallah they will open up their hearts one day.

    168. Zenab — on 8th February, 2006 at 3:16 pm  

      Walekumassalam
      Inshallah.

    169. El Cid — on 8th February, 2006 at 3:35 pm  

      Someone on another blog once said of the religious, ‘If God told you to kill your child, would you do it? If not, then you don’t really believe.’

      Don, that’s the story of Abraham and Isaac. It’s in the Quran and in the Old Testament. I hate that story.
      What a vain, selfish, paranoid, cunt of a God.
      Luckily, he/she/it seems to get a bit more easy going and loving in the New Testament.

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