• Family

    • Ala Abbas
    • Clairwil
    • Daily Rhino
    • Leon Green
    • Liberal Conspiracy
    • Sajini W
    • Sid’s blog
    • Sonia Afroz
    • Sunny on CIF
  • Comrades

    • Andy Worthington
    • Angela Saini
    • Aqoul
    • Bartholomew’s notes
    • Blairwatch
    • Bleeding Heart Show
    • Bloggerheads
    • Blood & Treasure
    • Butterflies & Wheels
    • Campaign against Honour Killings
    • Cath Elliott
    • Chicken Yoghurt
    • Clive Davis
    • Daily Mail Watch
    • Dave Hill
    • Dr StrangeLove
    • Europhobia
    • Faith in Society
    • Feministing
    • Harry’s Place
    • IKWRO
    • Indigo Jo
    • Liberal England
    • MediaWatchWatch
    • Ministry of Truth
    • Natalie Bennett
    • New Humanist Editor
    • New Statesman blogs
    • open Democracy
    • Our Kingdom
    • Robert Sharp
    • Rupa Huq
    • Septicisle
    • Shiraz Socialist
    • Shuggy’s Blog
    • Stumbling and Mumbling
    • Ta-Nehisi Coates
    • The F Word
    • Though Cowards Flinch
    • Tory Troll
    • UK Polling Report
  • In-laws

    • Aaron Heath
    • Ariane Sherine
    • Desi Pundit
    • Get There Steppin’
    • Incurable Hippie
    • Isheeta
    • Neha Viswanathan
    • Power of Choice
    • Real man’s fraternity
    • Route 79
    • Sarah
    • Sepia Mutiny
    • Smalltown Scribbles
    • Sonia Faleiro
    • The Langar Hall
    • Turban Head
    • Ultrabrown



  • Technorati: graph / links

    The play should go on!


    by Sunny on 14th February, 2009 at 5:48 am    

    According to the Guardian, there’s a “storm brewing” over a play at the Royal Court.

    It has incestuous, pig-breeding, drunken Irishmen, snooty Frenchmen, farcical Jewish anarchists and the animated presence of a mad mullah ranting about how women must be subservient to men. It reminded the Daily Telegraph of the Carry On films and the London Evening Standard of “the slick, cruel, abusive style that Bernard Manning perfected ages ago”. Its director and writer may well have anticipated controversy, but shortly after opening at the National Theatre, England People Very Nice, a new play by the award-winning dramatist Richard Bean about successive waves of immigration to the east end of London, has been labelled racist and offensive by the communities it portrays.

    I call bullshit. The play must go on and I bet its actually lampooning the racism that immigrants face when they come into the country. Either way, I have no problem with such stuff - theatre is meant to provoke people.
    Meanwhile, another columnist said:

    This is an open vilification of the Jewish people, not merely repeatedly perpetrating incendiary lies about Israel but demonstrably and openly drawing upon an atavistic hatred of the Jews. It is sickening and dreadful beyond measure that the Royal Court theatre is staging this. It is not a contribution to a necessarily polarised and emotional debate. It is open incitement to hatred. In the Middle Ages, ‘mystery plays’ which portrayed the Jews as the demonic killers of Christ helped fuel the murderous pogroms against the Jews of Europe. With this piece by Caryl Churchill, the Royal Court is staging a modern ‘mystery play’. It is a despicable act.

    In case you haven’t figured that out - it’s Melanie Phillips, complaining about a different play at the Royal Court. This is her openly racist hypocrisy at its best: hysterical over Geert Wilders being turned back even though his film does pretty much the same, and yet complaining about the same towards Jews. And will she take back her claim that Lord Ahmed (who is pompous but anyway…) wanted to summon 10,000 Muslims? I highly doubt it. How else will she push her angry Muslim men stereotype?



      |     |   Add to del.icio.us   |   Share on Facebook   |   Filed in: Current affairs, Media, Middle East, Race politics




    23 Comments below   |  

    1. blah — on 14th February, 2009 at 9:20 am  

      Mad Mel really doesnt do things by halves does she?
      Maybe they should replace the play with her ranting for 1 1/2 hr -would be funnier than anything the original play could offer

      Her opening line is classic
      “This is an open vilification of the Jewish people”
      since she has made a career out of open vilification of Muslim people.

      Anyway Im off to write an equivalent to Mel’s book “Londonistan” about the Jewish takeover of London and the threat to our civilization. Its called “Hymietown”. Think Ill get a publisher?

    2. blah — on 14th February, 2009 at 9:24 am  

      ” as a result of the malevolent misrepresentation of Israel’s actions in Gaza by Britain’s media and intelligentsia which are pumping out mind-twisting and ultimately genocidal Arab propaganda as unchallengeable truths. ”

      This women is insane

    3. blah — on 14th February, 2009 at 9:28 am  

      The lobby will almost certainly get this play banned.
      Sunny wrote a piece on the 20th anniversary of the Satanic Verses. At around the same times as the SV a play Perdition about zionist collaboration with the Nazis was cancelled from the Royal Court Theatre after the zionist lobby complained.

      As Perdition’s author Jim Allen said comparing the two “basically there are some communities you can offend and some you cant”

    4. billericaydicky — on 14th February, 2009 at 9:49 am  

      “The play’s the thing” some geezer once said. Good article Sunny and I am looking forward to seeing it on Monday, it looks like it’s booked up over the weekend.

      There is a great line in it ” I’m opposed to marriages between the Irish and Jews, you end up with a family of drunken burglars with a good accountant”! Now, coming from an Irish family on both sides and as someone who is politically active against the BNP in outer East London and Essex I do not find that offensive.

      I was surprised at the success of Father Ted because it was so Irish Catholic and I thought that many non Irish Catholics would not understand the way in which we take the piss out of ourselves. I have on my bookshelf the best 100 Jewish jokes and once again it is the Jews mocking themselves in the same way as Goodness Gracious Me and the Kumar’s at 42 did with Asians.

      The criticism is of course coming from the usual suspects all of whom have form for being PC. Quoted in the Guardian are two people who should be treated with extreme caution. One is an alleged “playright” from Bethnal Green called Hussain Ismail who is supposed to work with young people in theatre and acting. I have googled him and nothing comes up and I was wondering if anyone knew anything about him. He might be a member of the SWP as he is on their website slagging off the play.

      The other person is an ” East End” author who has only, to my knowledge, published one book ” Rainbow Hands” to say that it was dire is doing it a favour. I see that I spent the princely sum of £9.99 on it, should have gone into Weatherspoons and got ten pints of bitter even though I am a fully paid up lager lout!

      I think this one is going to be quite important as the battle lines are being drawn up as they have been over all black lists for elections, job discrimination against white people and all of the other race industry nonsense which has been fuelling the BNP. More power to your elbow Sunny!

      Morry and Becky are in bed. Becky says,” Morry, close the window, it’s cold outside” ” And if I close the window will it be warm outside ?”.

      Check out also the words of “MacAlpine’s Fusiliers” as sung by the Dubliners and Ian Dury and The Blockheads singing Billericay Dicky and you will learn more about the Irish and the white working class than the PC brigade will ever know.

    5. blah — on 14th February, 2009 at 11:17 am  

      The director of the first play Nicholas Hytner doesnt seem to mind offending groups he isnt part of - he for example put on “The Jerry Springer show” which offended Christians and Muslims

      He however wants to avoid stereotyping when it comes to HIS group “Openly gay, Hytner strove to avoid stereotypical gay characters in The Object of My Affection. The film was later criticized by some gay critics as a “commercial whitewash.”[2]”

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicholas_Hytner

      Likewise would he put on a play attacking Judaism?

    6. Rumbold — on 14th February, 2009 at 11:36 am  

      Blah:

      The pork post will be up later (about 2:15pm). Sorry about that (scheduling conflict).

    7. blah — on 14th February, 2009 at 2:25 pm  

      Mr Bean has some charming views

      From The Jewish Chronicle
      John Nathan
      January 29, 2009
      Richard Bean rejects the liberal orthodoxy of the arts. Ahead of his new comedy about immigrants, he tells us why multiculturalism doesn’t work.

      Hull-born Richard Bean is one of the most exciting British playwrights to have emerged over the past decade or so. There may be those who disagree with this statement. But if they do, it is because they believe Bean to be not one of, but without doubt the funniest and most profound British playwright writing today. He also perhaps the only prominent British playwright who is prepared to challenge left-wing orthodoxy. And he has provocative things to say about what he regards as the failed experiment of multiculturalism — the sort of territory normally occupied by commentators like David Aaronovitch and Melanie Phillips.

      Bean’s work has been scooped up by the most important new writing venues in London, including the Royal Court and the National. But he has had nothing before on the scale of England People Very Nice. This is his latest play, a sweeping historical comedy that charts five centuries and four waves of race, religion and immigration in Bethnal Green, in the East End of London — the Protestant Huguenots, the Catholic Irish, the Jews and the Muslim Bangladeshis.

      It tells a London story that begins in 17th century Spitalfields and ends in a post 9/11 world with second generation immigrants fired up by radical Islam.

      Perhaps surprisingly, the story Bean has chosen to tell in the 19th- and 20th-century Jewish section of his epic is not one about Jewish tailors, Yiddish theatre and anti-Mosley riots, but Jewish anarchists and revolutionaries. The elite of Anglo-Jewry are seen looking sceptically at the influx of Yiddish-speaking Jewish refugees from the Pale. “Look at these Luftmensch [people with no skills or income],” says the Chief Rabbi. “Our mission is to turn these Jews into English Jews,” says Rothschild.

      Later, the Jewish anarchists are seen stirring up trouble with their own establishment by picketing a synagogue on Yom Kippur while eating ham sandwiches. Bean may be irreverent but the events in his play are rooted in fact. And so are the jokes. The question is whether people will laugh.

      “That’s a difficult one ” says Bean, who may have given up a career as a psychologist to write plays but has the look of a man who could take care of himself in a fist fight. And there aren’t many, or any, other playwrights about whom you could say that.

      “You know that kind of thing when people go in and say: ‘Do I have permission to laugh?’” continues Bean, who has also worked as a stand-up comedian.

      But it is a serious question. After David Hare’s Gethsemane, which was accused of antisemitism, the National’s artistic director Nicholas Hytner said he feels as if he’s “treading on eggshells”.

      If there are complaints, they are as likely to be prompted by Bean’s depiction of radicalised Muslims as much as anyone else. But do not expect any political correctness. Bean is the man, after all, whose play satirising suicide bombers was rejected by the Soho Theatre. “I was told it was rejected because they said they couldn’t defend it politically,” he says contemptuously. “If I’d written a pro-Hamas play, no problem.”

      So is part of the problem that we have lost our sense of humour in this country? “Agh, you’re telling me,” he answers. “I mean for 15 years we’ve had tolerance and sensitivity training in this country. What this country needs is de-sensitivity training.”

      And there is another question: it has only been a couple of years since Hytner, who is directing Bean’s play, told the JC that if he were to ever stage a play that appeared to be critical of an ethnic minority, it would have to be written by a member of that minority. “I’m not a member of any group,” says Bean. “Well, I am. The ‘wet liberal whites’, that’s me. But I consider them [the immigrants in his play] to be English. I’m English, they’re English. If I can’t write about my fellow Englishmen I might as well pack up and go home.”

      When this is put to Hytner, he qualifies his point. He says: “I’d be sceptical of a play that purported to come from within a particular ethnic minority — a play that offered a first-hand account of the experience of the community — unless it came from within the community. Sceptical, not terminally hostile. Is Porgy and Bess, for instance, treif? Many African-Americans think it should be. I don’t. Richard’s play doesn’t make those claims. It is, as he says, about the English.”

      To this, Hytner is keen add that the cast is at least in part made up of actors of Jewish, Irish and Bengali origin, which adds to the integrity of the production.

      But however authentic the portrayal, and however funny the play turns out to be (and the script is very funny indeed) there is detectable in it a deadly serious anger. Anger, for instance, about multiculturalism.

      “There are two types of multiculturalism in this country,” says Bean. “There’s the ephemeral — which is music, food, clothing; those kind of things which enriched the culture of this country. And they’re lovely. But then there is the second level of multiculturalism, which personally I don’t want in this country. I want this country to have a clear culture which is based on the rule of law. British law. We are all equal before the law — men, women, homosexuals. And I don’t want to see little cantons set up where — and this is genuine multiculturalism — you can beat your kids or your wife if you come from a culture where corporal punishment is still allowed. Frighteningly, there are now sharia courts set up around the country. There were six guys up for beating their wives, they took the option of going up to the sharia court, which told them that it was really very naughty. To me, that level is multiculturalism is not going to be acceptable.”

      It is also an anger based on the treatment of his nine-year-old daughter, who goes to school in Bethnal Green. “Seventy per cent of her class are Bangladeshi and she has no Bangladeshi friends. They don’t want to know her. She doesn’t want to know them. Isn’t that terrible? It’s frightening. That’s just not the way it should be.”

      http://www.thejc.com/articles/interview-richard-bean

    8. blah — on 14th February, 2009 at 2:58 pm  

      The Guardian has an interesting selection of views here
      http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/2009/feb/14/national-theatre-immigration-play

      Here are what the critics are saying - the comment from Quentin Letts is yet more proof of the Mails Muslim obsession

      What they said: critics divided

      Nicholas de Jongh, Evening Standard

      I have never had a more uncomfortable or unpleasant experience at the National theatre. Bean’s play … appears intent upon defaming refugees to England in terms of the malevolent stereotypes and caricatures you find in the Sun. Its invective is often funny, but in the slick, cruel, abusive style that Bernard Manning perfected ages ago.

      Quentin Letts, the Daily Mail

      That tabernacle of tolerance, the Royal National theatre - HQ of the multiculturalism-is-compulsory brigade - has opened a show which takes a satirical swipe at Muslim immigrants … Where this energetic, imaginative production wimps out is in identifying the cause of this problem: multiculturalism … Still: a giant, mad mullah, foaming on the back wall down at the South Bank. This is quite a breakthrough.

      Michael Billington, the Guardian

      Bean’s new work … leaves a sour taste in the mouth. Far from rejoicing in London’s ethnic diversity, it manipulates a series of comic stereotypes like a misanthropic 1066 and All That.

      Charles Spencer, the Daily Telegraph

      At a time when Gordon Brown’s ill-judged phrase about “British jobs for British workers” has come back to haunt him … Bean’s new play could hardly be more timely. It strikes me as wise, brave and true, but there are bound to be some strident voices who condemn Bean as racist.

    9. Concerned Asian Playgoer — on 14th February, 2009 at 4:05 pm  

      This would not be a problem, except that Bean has a past record of lashing out at Muslims in his plays. In fact this is his third play in a row in which he kicks out at Muslims. In his last play, he named a pet dog Muhammad. In the one before that, he painted Turks in the crudest stereotypes and vilified them as he argued against their entry into the EU. With him, Muslims are developing into an obsession. Here’s a full response to Ian Shuttleworth, the FT’s play reviewer.

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/theatreblog/2009/feb/13/national-theatre-play-racist

      Sorry Ian Shuttleworth, as much as I enjoy reading your reviews in the FT and elsewhere, I have to call your bullsh*t on this.

      Let’s take this one by one, shall we? Richard Bean has written his third play in a row which has a critical take on Muslims.

      - In the Club - where he kicks Turkish people and the Turkish nation, and hides that with a sweet little love story between a hijabi muslim girl and a white boy

      - The English Game - where he kicks Muslims again, and christens a pet dog Muhammad

      - England People - again kicks Muslims ad infinitum.

      Once, twice, and now thrice with the kicking of Muslims? Is this some kind of a creative dead end for him? Nothing else to write about? Or rather is this the only subject that he can write about and wants to write about now?

      Maybe Bean wants to explore the “Muslim question” like Ibsen mined the topic of Nordic gloom. Who knows? I think it’s a case of Muslim-obsession bordering on paranoia, looks like a clear pattern. Bean strikes me as that breed of white people whose hatred of Muslims has taken off since 9-11 and 7-7 (ref US right-wing bloggers) and he has no other way of reacting to the “brown peril”. So he takes up his poison pen. He certainly doesn’t have a nuanced neuron in his head.

      As for equal-opportunity offending, he knows he can’t bash just Muslims at a big venue like the National, which is just what he did on the fringe in Hampstead and Kingston. Do you reckon he could have staged The English Game in Stratford? Or even at the Arcola? I very much doubt it. Barely-veiled racism would have a more receptive audience where he went in Surrey. So I’m sorry if your blather about northern bloke vs southern toff doesn’t cut any ice here. This has nothing to do with north vs south, and everything to do with white vs brown, English vs Muslim.

      So he did the clever thing. He made sure to bash everyone, but I’m pretty sure that the marks he really wanted to hit were the Muslims, the Bangladeshis and the Somalians and the Pakistanis. No one worries about Huguenots now.

      Also, I am not surprised by your stalwart defence of the man. Theatreland is nothing if not a clubby place. The web of interconnections and incestuous relationships goes very very deep. For an Asian man who goes to see about 100 plays every year, it is very interesting to observe this world from the outside in. Happily, the amount of beautiful high-quality productions is amazing and for me, London theatre is easily the most rewarding experience that this city has to offer. For every cheapskate like Richard Bean, there’s someone like Tena Stivicic who’ll write a play like Fragile which explores the authentic immigrant experience in the most punishing detail. Or even Rikki Beadle-Blair who wants to explore developing inter-racial relationships in a play like Familyman.

      What they don’t do is take Bean’s bigoted posture of beating all Muslims and cloaking it with equal opportunity bullsh*t.

      Oh also, re clubbiness, guess who was the interviewer in that Q&A session in Kingston? None other than the new script director of the NT (or something like that, I think he was called Chris Cooper or something like that). And here’s the wonderful thing. It was evident that they were great buddies from way back when. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if you knew them personally as well. It’s that kind of world.

      And just because you did not like the swearwords I used in a personal blog doesn’t whitewash Richard Bean’s insistent bigotry.

      Thanks, and hope to read more your work in the FT.

    10. Concerned Asian Playgoer — on 14th February, 2009 at 4:09 pm  

      So Sunny, if he was really lampooning racist views that would be one thing. But having actually seen most of his recent work, I can tell you it’s not that simple. A viewing of these plays will reinforce the view that this guy has a big chip against Muslims.

      Which is fine. He has his right to piss on Muslims. We have a right to call him out for the bigot and Muslim-hating racist that he really is. Hence our protest Facebook page as well.

    11. Sunny — on 14th February, 2009 at 10:11 pm  

      I have no problem with anyone lashing out at Jews, Sikhs, Muslims Hindus or three eyed vegetarians, in plays.

      That’s called artistic license. I get concerned when that translates to govt policy based on some idiotic assumptions, but other than that - I don’t care who this guy is sympathetic towards or not. Asking for it to be banned would be more stupid.

    12. billericaydicky — on 17th February, 2009 at 10:59 am  

      Having now seen the play and thought about the whole thing I think that the reason why Concerned Asian Playgoer gets so irate on behalf of Muslims and other racial groups and faiths do not is a because of a kind of collective paranoia/persecution/inferiority complex. Having said that I’m a bricklayer not a shrink so what do I know about already?

      I have an excellent book by Bernard Lewis called The Crisis of Islam which is the best explanation I have found anywhere of the Juhadi mindset. I think, for what it’s worth that, is that extremist Muslims are suffering from a huge inferiority complex which comes from a variety of reasons.
      1) Although some Muslim countries are very wealthy the majority of Muslims around the world are extremely poor. Whereas the blame for that was always laid at the doors of the conservative corrupt rulers of those states by secularist and left wing groups like Fatah and the PLO the failure of the Marxist inspired Arab groups to overthrow either Israel or any of the the existing Arab regimes led to the eclipse of that ideology and opened the door to Jihadism.

      2)Although billions have been spent on the latest Soviet and Eastern European military hardware in four set piece wars,48/56/67/73 the Israelis have wiped the floor with vastly, at least on paper, superior Arab armies.

      In his brilliant Six Days Jeremy Bowen shows how in the build up to the June 1967 attack Arab radio mounted a war of rhetoric that was guaranteeing the Arab people that the Jews were going to be thrown into the sea and the Palestinians returned to their lands.

      In fact all Arab miltary leaders as well as Western and Israeli intelligence knew that there was no possibility of an attack on Israel succeeding and the bombast wasjust that. What was catosrophic was that even by day three when the Eygptian air force was smashed to pieces the Voice of The Arabs was claiming victory.

      The leaders knew they were beaten and yet were telling the Muslim world that they had shot down dozens of Israeli aircraft and their armoured columns were advancing into Israel. When the news of the surrender and the loss of further Arab lands to Israel became known the entire Muslim world suffered what can only be described as a collective nervous breakdown from which it has yet to recover.

      The explanation for the defeat came from, the Arabs were now told, a conspiracy involving the West with the usual suspects the British and French but now including the USA as well. The Muslims were lied to and the lies have continued to the present day.

      Whatever Islam achieved in arts and architecture, particularly in Spain, are long forgotten. Until the discovery of oil Islam, from the loss of Al Andaluz in 1492, began a slide from which it has collectively and in terms of the living conditions of over ninety per cent of its population failed to recover.

      The mind set can be summed up in the statement signed amongst others by Bin Laden and faxed to the London based newspaper Al-Quds al-’Arabi, in 1998.

      Every thing that has befallen Muslims is the fault of a huge conspiracy by Christian Crusaders aided and abetted by Jews. Involved in this overthe years are secularising local leaders like the Shah of Iran, Nasser, the Hashemite dynasty of Jordan and the rulers of the gulf states and Saudi Arabia which have allowed the Christian armies onto the holy Islamic soil of Saudi itself.

      From where the secularists of the Diaspora after the establishment of the state of Israel blamed corrupt rulers and the west,the culprit is now only the west in its many forms, democracy, pluralism, women’s rights. All of this has to go and the Muslim world will not be at piece until a new Caliphate imposes a theocratic state from somewhere around the eighth or ninth century CE.

      Islam has yet to have a renaissance or enlightenment. It will be many years before these happen if they happen atall and until then all we can do is hold the fort.

      The problem is that unlike the defeat and retreat of Muslim armies in France in 732 and at the gates of Vienna nine hundred years later tey are amongst us in the shape of the tube bombers and the likes of Concerned Asian Playgoer who seems to think that Bean and Hyntner are a part of an anti Muslim Jewish conspiracy.

      One of the reasons why the Irish and the Jews do not find this play offensive is that we feel comfortable with ourselves. I was made aware when growing up that only two nations had taken their independence from the British Empire by force of arms, the USA and the Republic of Ireland. And if ever a people have overcome oppression it is the Jews. In their eyes Muslims are suffering and it has to be someone elses fault.

      Have to finish there as some BNP watching has come up but a great play and everyone should see it. Its success will bound up with the old slogan that there is no such thing as bad publicity!

    13. munir — on 17th February, 2009 at 11:18 am  

      “I have an excellent book by Bernard Lewis called The Crisis of Islam which is the best explanation I have found anywhere of the Juhadi mindset”

      lol. I stopped reading at this point. I think you should stick to bricklaying.

      You do know that Bernard Lewis is a strong supporter of Israel dont you? Presumably you just believe whatever you read and dont consider potential biases of teh author. LOL

    14. Refresh — on 17th February, 2009 at 11:20 am  

      ‘Have to finish there as some BNP watching has come up ..’

      You make it all very exciting. Are you in camouflage most of the time?

      It all sounds very ‘Son of Rambo’.

    15. munir — on 17th February, 2009 at 11:22 am  

      billerackydicky
      “One of the reasons why the Irish and the Jews do not find this play offensive is that we feel comfortable with ourselves”

      So why did Jews find Caryl Churchills play offensive ?

      “I think that the reason why Concerned Asian Playgoer gets so irate on behalf of Muslims and other racial groups and faiths do not is a because of a kind of collective paranoia/persecution/inferiority complex.”

      You have presumably never heard of Melanie Phillips
      LOL

    16. munir — on 17th February, 2009 at 11:53 am  

      Bilericydicky
      ‘Have to finish there as some BNP watching has come up ..’

      Refresh
      “You make it all very exciting. Are you in camouflage most of the time?”

      Haha. He probably has a garage full of canned food, survival magazines and rifles ready for the impending civil war or muslim takeover.

    17. Jai — on 17th February, 2009 at 12:23 pm  

      Until the discovery of oil Islam, from the loss of Al Andaluz in 1492, began a slide from which it has collectively and in terms of the living conditions of over ninety per cent of its population failed to recover.

      Muslim culture and civilisation was actually on the way towards reaching its apex in the subcontinent at this time due to the rise of the Mughals, and this continued for approximately 200 years. It’s worth remembering that, during his period, the subcontinent (along with China) was responsible for 50% of the world’s GDP. Even after the Mughal Empire subsequently began disintegrating, the royal state of Hyderabad (far bigger than the current city of the same name, and I believe that the Nizam was still one of the wealthiest men in the world until sometime during the 20th century) and cities such as Lucknow were still flourishing centres of Muslim culture well into the 19th century.

      Similarly, the Persian Empire was powerful, wealthy and influential for hundreds of years after the fall of Al-Andalus thousands of miles in the West, and its main trading partner at the time was India. I believe there’s currently a high-profile exhibition at the British Museum. And let’s not forget about the Ottoman Empire either.

      It’s correct that, in terms of global influence and dominance, “the Islamic world” (for want of a better term) has indeed been in decline compared to the heights of the pre-colonial/medieval period, and that this is certainly one motivating factor behind the “grievances” of Bin Laden and others with a similar mindset; however, the time period stated in #12 is inaccurate by several centuries and does not account for events in huge regions to the east of the areas discussed.

    18. Rumbold — on 17th February, 2009 at 12:38 pm  

      Excellent points from Jai in (#17). The Ottoman Empire actually expanded its borders post-1492, as did the Mughals, while the Persians consolidated. Only the Arabs regressed (in terms of empire). THe real decline of Islamic empires doesn’t really begin until the 18th century, with the slow death of the Ottomans and the fracturing of the Mughals.

      I know very little about Bernard Lewis’ politics, but he has always struck me as quite a poor historian. He is very good at documenting certain areas of the Islamic wolrd, but then conflates those areas with the entire Islamic world. The best example is his The Muslim Discovery of Europe. Good on the Arabs and the Ottomans, but he fails to mention the Persians and the Mughals more than a handful of times.

    19. munir — on 17th February, 2009 at 1:32 pm  

      To add to Jai’s excellent points its worth remebering that less than 100 years ago the Ottomans were still ruling parts of Southern Europe and were a fairly substantial power

      “It’s correct that, in terms of global influence and dominance, “the Islamic world” (for want of a better term) has indeed been in decline compared to the heights of the pre-colonial/medieval period, and that this is certainly one motivating factor behind the “grievances” of Bin Laden and others with a similar mindset”

      I dont agree with this analysis. After all most Muslim countries are (nominally) independent. The justifiable grievances Bin laden exploits are based on the invading of Muslim countries and killing of Muslims (eg Iraq) , the occupation of Muslim lands which wish to be free (eg Kashmir Chechyna) and the US/Western support for corrupt dictatorships in Muslim lands.

      Wanting to control your own land isnt the same as wanting to control the whole world

    20. billaricaydicky — on 18th February, 2009 at 2:11 pm  

      Well I have certainly rattled a few politically correct anti white cages out there, which of course is exactly what I was trying to do.

      Good to get the debate going and the BNP watching children is to do with a number of by elections happening which require effort. There are some seriously sad little people out there and I will keep rattling your cages. Always remember the axiom ” that was then, this is now” Given the chance virtually every Muslim in the world would be in Europe or the States. In the words of a Bangladeshi friend and business partner about Muslims who continually slag off this country, ” If they don’t like it here fuck off and live somewhere else”.

      Pip pip!

    21. munir — on 18th February, 2009 at 2:28 pm  

      billeracydicky

      ” If they don’t like it here fuck off and live somewhere else”.”

      Thank you Dick for raising the level of debate here on PP.

    22. munir — on 18th February, 2009 at 2:30 pm  

      billeracy dicky

      “Given the chance virtually every Muslim in the world would be in Europe or the States. ”

      Seems to me non-Muslim Europeans are far more desperate to get into Muslim countries. They spend billions and amass huge armies to do just that.

    23. Pages tagged "snooty" — on 18th February, 2009 at 6:46 pm  

      [...] bookmarks tagged snooty The play should go on! saved by 16 others     rmoore1994 bookmarked on 02/18/09 | [...]

    Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

    Pickled Politics © Copyright 2005 - 2009. All rights reserved. Terms and conditions.
    With the help of PHP and Wordpress.