What’s the point of supporting nutjobs?


by Sunny
24th February, 2009 at 10:07 am    

In recent times, I’ve stopped taking seriously some people who claim to stand for human rights and progressive values. We still face a serious threat from terrorism and atrocities are continually committed by governments across the world. So a consistent approach to these complicated issues is needed, not one hiding behind the veneer of respectability.

Take Patrick Sookhdeo, (apparently) director of Institute of the Study of Islam and Christianity (ISIC), which claims to be: “committed to human rights, religious freedom, equality and respect for all and stands against all forms of discrimination and incitement to hatred.”

This claim is a bit curious since Sookhdeo one wrote an article for The Spectator titled ‘The Myth of Moderate Islam’, critiqued here. He also contributed to a book titled ‘The Myth of Islamic Tolerance’, which was put together by Robert Spencer of the notoriously bigoted Jihad Watch and Dhimmi Watch blogs. Sookhdeo has been applauded by the BNP too for his warnings against the ‘The Islamization of Europe’ which, if translated to any other minority, would immediately be condemned as racist material. Anyway, anyone who knows how to use Google should be clear on where Sookhdeo stands stands on intelligent analysis – firmly with Melanie Phillips.

And yet, amusingly enough, this nutjob is being promoted on Harry’s Place as an innocent man who will save the Middle East by pushing through anti-apostasy laws. Let’s be clear – I believe in people being perfectly free to join and leave religions if they wish for fear from others. Now here’s the amusing bit…

Sookhdeo is director of the Barnabus Fund, which earlier called for Christians in Gaza to be saved (who cares about the Muslims eh?). That’s bizarre in itself since the people on Harry’s Place always complain that Muslims in the UK only care for their co-religionists in the Middle East. Apparently that annoyance doesn’t extend to Christians who do the same.

Presumably, Sookhdeo doesn’t believe moderate Muslims nor moderate Islam exists. They must all be wannabe terrorists. This is of course the narrative that Robert Spencer puts forward.

Furthermore, the Barnabus Fund is calling for the apostasy law to be abolished across the Middle East. A noble goal – but why the fuck would anyone in the Middle East listen to a nutjob who writes articles titled ‘The Myth of Moderate Islam’? It’s like taking advice from the Muslim Brotherhood on human rights in Britain.

More amusingly, the guest blogger on HP goes on to try and smear Ben White, a writer on Middle Eastern issues for the temerity to criticise Israel. Apparently, this article says he is a supporter of Hamas.

If asserting the Palestinian right to self-defence is being an apologist for Hamas, then David T of Harry’s Place is also a Hamas apologist, no?

Of course, neither are – but the smear-merchants who now regularly infect Harry’s Place aren’t interested in nuance. It’s all about throwing mud at people while pretending to stand up for human rights… by supporting more nutjobs like Patrick Sookhdeo… who just happens to contribute articles for Robert Spencer (himself has been condemned by David T and Brett of, erm, Harry’s Place).

Well done guys for not support whackjobs!


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  1. Flake off the old chip — on 24th February, 2009 at 10:13 am  

    Typical totalitarian strategy of the far-left: label opponents psychologically unsound and thereby obviate the requirement to debate their views.

    Excellent, Sunny, a bit flaky these days yourself, eh?

  2. Chris E — on 24th February, 2009 at 10:48 am  

    And your own argument is undermined by linking to nutjobs making completely ahistorical arguments?

    “The remainder of the essay, however, is an extensive effort to deny other Muslims the right to define themselves by rejecting extremist interpretations of Islam”

    and then goes on to lump the history of western europe and christianity together, the irony is palpable.

  3. Sid — on 24th February, 2009 at 12:11 pm  

    The Barnabus Fund is a nasty religious supremacist outfit. It has landed itself very much in the poo over underhand editorial practices it has used over the response it sent to the Fulcrum site of Ben White’s review of Sookhdeo’s toxic work of misrepresentation and fanaticism. Nicely dealt with here by Andrew Brown.

    Basically, on the Fulcrum site itself, the narrow-minded fanatics of the Barnabus Fund posted a long and measured response; but to their supporters they sent out a longer and much less measured version of the same thing.

    Unfortunately, Ben White got hold of that one, too, and now it is up on the Fulcrum site with the bits meant only for supporters highlighted in yellow. It’s a pity the ink is not green as well. It would fit better with the style of argument. “This is not a normal book review, but ideological propaganda camouflaged as a book review.” The Barnabas Fund response starts, in one of the bits omitted from their public reply: “White has an ideological axe to grind, and he has set up Patrick Sookhdeo as a fall guy in order to expound his own ideology and worldview.”

  4. seismicshock — on 24th February, 2009 at 12:12 pm  

    Yo Sunny: you’re really showing your pro-human rights credentials by standing with Islamists in your opposition to a man fighting for minority rights of persecuted people in totalitarian states! Congratulations!

    There’s plenty of evidence White supports Hamas, Hezbollah and any other terrorist organisation that attacks Israel. In fact just google ‘Ben White Israel’ and you’ll read enough to convince you that White is no ordinary critic.

  5. Sid — on 24th February, 2009 at 12:20 pm  

    Yo seismicshock,

    there’s lots of evidence, in fact it’s plain to see, that Sookhdeo is a religious supremacist who has constructed a closed world of hatred very much to mirror the Islamist one.

    It is strange that Edmund Standing has posted another superb exposé on Harry’s Place about the BNP’s new-found love of Israel and Jews in order to reinforce support of it’s rancid worldview of Islam and Muslims. And yet, here *you* are advocating the same by championing Patrick Sookhdeo.

    You may think you’ve rode in on a high horse of moral superiority but it looks like the knackered old pony of anti-Muslim bigotry to me.

  6. seismicshock — on 24th February, 2009 at 12:41 pm  

    Hold on a second – I’m not saying I support every single view of Sookhdeo, as I made clear in the original post. However I do think it’s important that those who are critical of Sookhdeo’s worldview are at least equally aware of the worldview of those who are criticising him, such as Ben White, the journalist who understands antisemitism, and Bryan Knell who exclusively blames Israel for the lack of peace in the Middle East. Is that fair?

  7. Sid — on 24th February, 2009 at 12:46 pm  

    Not exactly, because in your rush to criticise Ben White, there has almost no criticism of Sookhdeo’s anti-Muslim bigotry for balance. I think even you will admit that.

  8. seismicshock — on 24th February, 2009 at 12:47 pm  

    “The Barnabus Fund is a nasty religious supremacist outfit.”

    The Barnabas Fund defends persecuted minorities in totalitarian regimes. It doesn’t advocate religious supremacy in these countries, instead calling for religious equality between Christians and Muslims – a position which I’m sure Pickled Politics would support.

  9. seismicshock — on 24th February, 2009 at 12:50 pm  

    Look at Sunny’s post – any criticism of White’s anti-Jewish bias?

    I think Sookhdeo has a religious opposition to Islam but only a political opposition to Islamism.

    Plenty of people are religiously opposed to Christianity (i.e. atheists), without calling for Christians to be killed or hounded. Yet the same people are often vocal to keep Christianity out of politics, but who would accuse them of “anti-Christian bigotry”?

    You can be critical of a religion without turning that criticism against the followers of religion.

  10. Sid — on 24th February, 2009 at 12:52 pm  

    The Barnabus Fund is a right-wing evangelical Christian pressure group which uses its position to portray Islam as a terrorist ideology and all Muslims as radicals. We don’t support that at Pickled Politics. Your motives are less clear, however.

  11. seismicshock — on 24th February, 2009 at 1:00 pm  

    But you haven’t answered my point in comment #9, you’ve just stated what you believe about the group.

  12. seismicshock — on 24th February, 2009 at 1:03 pm  

    Also you haven’t answered my point in comment#8!

  13. Aslan — on 24th February, 2009 at 1:04 pm  

    Not doing a bad job of being smear-merchants your selves!

  14. seismicshock — on 24th February, 2009 at 1:08 pm  

    Sid I’ve just read on your post:
    http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/3337

    “Secularists, liberals and religious moderates of all stripes can and should unite to fight against religious extremism in all the monotheistic religions.”

    I suppose you’ll be supporting the Barnabas Fund’s call to end the apostasy law in Islamic states?

  15. Random Guy — on 24th February, 2009 at 1:10 pm  

    Wow Sunny, [going by some of these responses] looks like you really smoked out the nutjobs this time

    o_O

  16. Sid — on 24th February, 2009 at 1:10 pm  

    But you haven’t answered my point in comment #9, you’ve just stated what you believe about the group.

    I have patently answered it.

    Plenty of Muslims are opposed to Islamist politics as well. I personally write dozens of posts about it right here on PP.

    My actions and my politics contradicts everything Patrick Sookhdeo says in his book “Global Jihad”:
    http://www.barnabasfund.org/?m=7%238&a=543

    You are championing a religious supremacist and a right-wing anti-Muslim organisation of religious fanatics. You’re in the same political space as the Vlaams Belang and the BNP. But you already know that.

  17. Sid — on 24th February, 2009 at 1:11 pm  

    I suppose you’ll be supporting the Barnabas Fund’s call to end the apostasy law in Islamic states?

    Given your right wing religious supremacism and your political overlaps thereof, there’s more chance of you joining Hamas than of me joining the BF.

  18. Sid — on 24th February, 2009 at 1:16 pm  

    Also you haven’t answered my point in comment#8!

    See #10!

  19. seismicshock — on 24th February, 2009 at 1:18 pm  

    What are you talking about? What ‘right wing religious supremacism’ have you read on Seismic Shock? I’m pro-human rights for all. I know plenty of Muslims are opposed to Islamism, and some of them work alongside Sookhdeo.

    Comment #19 isn’t an answer to a question. Sid, you are palpably incapable of answering direct questions, instead attempting to cast me as “BNP”, ignoring the anti-fascist anti-BNP nature of Seismic Shock.

    My actions and my politics contradicts everything Patrick Sookhdeo says in his book “Global Jihad”

    So you’re pro-jihad?

  20. seismicshock — on 24th February, 2009 at 1:19 pm  

    Sid – I’ll ask you again:

    Do you support the Barnabas Fund’s call to end the apostasy law in Islamic states?

    Please directly answer the question!

  21. Sid — on 24th February, 2009 at 1:20 pm  

    You’re championing Patrick Sookhdeo and the Barnabus Fund. That makes you an anti-Muslim bigot and ideologically supportive of religious supremacism, as far as I’m concerned.

    So you’re pro-jihad?

    how pathetic.

  22. seismicshock — on 24th February, 2009 at 1:21 pm  

    Patrick Sookhdeo has a purely theological opposition to Islam: but a political opposition to militant Islam: and he distinguishes between the two.

  23. seismicshock — on 24th February, 2009 at 1:23 pm  

    Sid – you said you were against everything in Global Jihad. I really doubt that! Again your refusal to answer questions directly and your haste to label me as ‘right-wing’ is odd.

  24. Sid — on 24th February, 2009 at 1:23 pm  

    Do you support the Barnabas Fund’s call to end the apostasy law in Islamic states?

    Please directly answer the question!

    seismicshock,

    Get this in your head:

    OF COURSE I’M AGAINST APOSTASY.

    But why should I support a group of Christian religious fundamentalists and anti-Muslim bigots to showcase my denial of the Apostasy law?

    And furthermore, Why Do YOU?

    Answer that please.

  25. seismicshock — on 24th February, 2009 at 1:26 pm  

    Quite the loaded question.

    You don’t have to support Barnabas Fund yourself, but I hope you realise they’re at the forefront of these calls, and I’m sure persecuted minorities gretly appreciate this.

    As I said before, Patrick Sookhdeo has a purely theological opposition to Islam: but a political opposition to militant Islam: and he distinguishes between the two.

  26. seismicshock — on 24th February, 2009 at 1:27 pm  

    Because I believe in human rights and equality for all irrespective of culture, nationality or belief.

  27. Sid — on 24th February, 2009 at 1:28 pm  

    No he patently does not distinguish between the two.

  28. Sid — on 24th February, 2009 at 1:29 pm  

    But now its your turn to answer the question I asked you in #26.

  29. seismicshock — on 24th February, 2009 at 1:30 pm  

    Do you think he calls for all Muslims to be opposed, brutalised, killed or treated as second-class citizens? If you do then I doubt you’ve read his work.

  30. seismicshock — on 24th February, 2009 at 1:30 pm  

    Answered in #27 & 28.

  31. Sid — on 24th February, 2009 at 1:35 pm  

    Gosh, we do have some awful nutters come and comment on this site but an apologetic religious supremacist who thinks the sun shines out of Patrick Sookdeo’s arse is definitely up there.

  32. Sid — on 24th February, 2009 at 1:39 pm  

    The Barnabus Fund and Sookhdeo’s thesis is this:
    Let’s have more Christian bigotry and religious supremacism to counter Islamic bigotry and religious supremacism and call it Human Rights!

  33. seismicshock — on 24th February, 2009 at 1:51 pm  

    Sid, I don’t think Sookhdeo is as extreme as you’ve made out, and I don’t think he’s the same as Spencer. I would like to have a discussion (will come back later) in-depth about this.

  34. Sunny — on 24th February, 2009 at 2:01 pm  

    to a man fighting for minority rights of persecuted people in totalitarian states!

    lol! this is the funniest evasive tactic evaaaar!

    So firstly you’re supporting someone who only cares about Christians in the Middle East. Secondly, he’s in league with Robert Spencer!

    How the hell does he have any credibility? Please carry on shrieking, it’s hilarious!

  35. Sid — on 24th February, 2009 at 2:19 pm  

    The thing is, I actually used to read seismic’s blog but now I know he supports clerical fascists, I’m not so sure.

  36. Sunny — on 24th February, 2009 at 2:21 pm  

    In fact just google ‘Ben White Israel’ and you’ll read enough to convince you that White is no ordinary critic.

    Is that your evidence? My god, are you son of Robert Spencer?? I thought no woman would come near that fool but he must have spawned a wannabe little critter!

    I’m disappointed that Harry’s Place gave space to such a lame smear merchant such as yourself, who has absolutely nothing to say other than scream and shout “fascist” at anyone who doesn’t agree with Robert Spencer, but that’s their editorial line these days I suppose.

  37. saeed — on 24th February, 2009 at 2:23 pm  

    Just look at some of the comments Over at HP at a Tatchell article about Hicham Yezza…Do people really take HP seriously…

    http://www.hurryupharry.org/2009/02/24/abusing-anti-terror-laws/

  38. Tom Griffin — on 24th February, 2009 at 2:46 pm  

    Further to Sid’s point about the Vlaams Belang, Sookhdeo was one of the speakers at the Counterjihad Europa conference in Brussels in 2007.
    http://counterjihadeuropa.wordpress.com/experts/

    This was a rapprochment between Islamophobic extreme zionists and the European far right so noxious it was repudiated by Little Green Footballs.
    http://tinyurl.com/6a4ec9

    RUSI had an interesting article on the movement last year:
    http://tinyurl.com/c8etk9

    Another attendee at the same conference was Andrew Bostom who featured in a recent issue of Democratiya. Interesting how often these guys turn up in circles which identify themselves with the left.
    http://tinyurl.com/bu7ujr

  39. seismicshock — on 24th February, 2009 at 3:01 pm  

    Right, Sid –

    Regarding Sookhdeo, my understanding on his approach to Islam is that it is from a religious point of contention rather than a political opposition to Islam itself. However I do accept that many of those politically opposed to Islam itself will call on Sookhdeo’s opinions. I said in my original post that I don’t agree with all of his politics, and I haven’t said anything to change that.

    There’s no place for extremist views against Islam, however I do think Sookhdeo’s doing a good job at combatting Islamist persecution of Christians. I maintain my opinions about Ben White and Bryan Knell, and have no association with Robert Spencer, nor have I ever read his blog.

    I think Edmund Standing’s article on responsible criticism of Islam is worth reading in order to frame our discussion:
    http://www.hurryupharry.org/2009/02/14/on-responsible-and-irresponsible-criticism-of-the-quran/

    What do you think?

  40. seismicshock — on 24th February, 2009 at 3:14 pm  

    Sunny, rather than go round the houses about whether Ben White is antisemitic or anti-Zionist or whether that matters etc. I make a point over at my blog, which is that Ben White sees Hezbollah as a national resistance movement and not an Islamist movement. If you consider Sookhdeo as unfit to write on jihad because of his opinions on Islam, I can’t see how a man who casts Hezbollah as nationalist not Islamist is fit to write on jihad.

    http://seismicshock.wordpress.com/2009/02/22/when-is-jihad-not-jihad/

  41. Sid — on 24th February, 2009 at 3:19 pm  

    I think it is perfectly possible to be critical of the tenets of Islam. I am wiriting on those lines on this blog all the time, and if you stick around long enough you might see another post from me on that subject.

    However, I also think you have a dug a hole for yourself by supporting a clerical fascist like Sookhdeo and you are now trying to claim that he represents a “responsible criticism of Islam”. You could also argue that Veert Gilders represents responsible criticism of Islam. But the fact is one of these men stands for the repatriation of Muslims from Europe and the other offers theological reasons why all Muslims are inherently terrorists and therefore good candidates for repatriation as espoused by the other. This is why they were both speaking at the CounterJihad Europa conference in Brussels in 2007, as Tom mentions above.

    I place him and the Barnabus Fund in the same category as Omar Bakri Muhammed and the Hizbut Tahrir.
    But you can continue to delude yourself into supporting this man if you think he represents *your* interests. But you don’t fool me for a second when you try the line about “minority rights of persecuted people in totalitarian states”.

  42. seismicshock — on 24th February, 2009 at 3:26 pm  

    Sid, why so suspicious? That’s exactly what the Barnabas Fund does. This language “you don’t fool me for a second when you try the line…”, it’s unneccessary.

    I also think you’ve missed the nature of my post on HP, which was to analyse and comment upon the motives of those opposed to Sookhdeo, as I perceive the CRIB group to be more interest in appeasing political Islamism than in Muslims (see the links on the HP post about Bryan Knell).

    I do genuinely admire Sookhdeo’s work with the Barnabas Fund – it seems your criticism is more geared towards Sookhdeo’s Institute for the Study of Islam and Christianity – would that be a fair comment?

  43. Sunny — on 24th February, 2009 at 3:27 pm  

    This was a rapprochment between Islamophobic extreme zionists and the European far right so noxious it was repudiated by Little Green Footballs.

    Oh dear oh dear!!

    If LittleGreenFootballs is saying an event is noxious, then it really must involve Nazis. And this is an event that Sookhdeo was one of the speakers?

    Now your reputation and your pathetic defence of Sookhdeo is really shot to piece isn’t it seismicshock?

    I don’t see how you’re going to lecture anyone about human rights and progressive values when you’re supporting such nasty people.

  44. Sunny — on 24th February, 2009 at 3:28 pm  

    Thanks for the link Tom!

  45. Sid — on 24th February, 2009 at 3:28 pm  

    seismicshock, are you here to rehabilitate the Vlaams Belang too?

    The nexus of groups representing Zionist extremists, Evangelical Christians and far right fascist groups is a growing phenomenon in Europe. And now the BNP seems to sensed a change in the air and going in that direction too. Would you say that’s fair?

  46. seismicshock — on 24th February, 2009 at 3:30 pm  

    I don’t think Sookhdeo’s arguing that all Muslims are inherently terrorists, but instead argues that a literal interpretation of some verses of the Quran would lead the reader to embark upon jihad.

    If Sookhdeo has said that “all Muslims are inherently terrorists” then of course I disagree with that, however to my knowledge he hasn’t said this. You’re welcome to show me if and when he has.

  47. seismicshock — on 24th February, 2009 at 3:32 pm  

    No.

  48. Sunny — on 24th February, 2009 at 3:35 pm  

    I don’t think Sookhdeo’s arguing

    You don’t think???

    You weren’t thinking ealier when you were licking Sookhdeo’s arse really, were you??

    If he was Muslim you’d have written an article damning him for going to a conference that even LGF thinks is hosted by noxious people. But because he’s a brave “anti-jihadist”, like yourself, you’re willing to downplay all that.

    This is too amusing and too funny to watch.

  49. Sid — on 24th February, 2009 at 3:36 pm  

    Did you know about the Counterjihad Europa conference at which Geert Wilders and Patrick Sookhdeo were invited speakers?

  50. seismicshock — on 24th February, 2009 at 3:41 pm  

    It’s a shame that neo-Nazis and fascists will use any criticism of Islam they can get their hands on, as Sid pointed out in his comment linking to Edmund Standing. The BNP’s “pro-Israel” stance is a front for fascism, as I suspect is Vlaams Belang’s. I didn’t know that Sookhdeo had spoken alongside Wilders, no.

    I’ve previously noted that BNP uses Christianity as a front group for politics:
    http://www.hurryupharry.org/2009/02/17/trojan-horse-theology/

  51. seismicshock — on 24th February, 2009 at 3:43 pm  

    Sunny, I’d refer you to comment #42.

  52. Sid — on 24th February, 2009 at 3:48 pm  

    The BNP are in highly in favour of your man Sookhdeo too. But you must already know that.

    So given everything you know, why *exactly* is a Harry’s Place regular submitter supporting Sookhdeo? Come on, give us the truth now.

  53. seismicshock — on 24th February, 2009 at 3:50 pm  

    Sid – the BNP is also highly in favour of Israel, it doesn’t make Israel automatically wrong! I doubt the BNP genuinely love Sookhdeo that much as 1) he is a brown man and 2) he emigrated to Britain from Guyana.

  54. Sid — on 24th February, 2009 at 3:53 pm  

    seismic, oh dear. what a stupid thing to say.

    The BNP support Sookhdeo and Israel for reasons of self-interest and to support their anti-Muslim bigotry. I quote Edmund Standing:

    For Griffin, the contemporary rise of Jihadism and Islamism provides the perfect opportunity to ‘take advantage of’ for political gain and it is precisely for this reason that he has started making statements against anti-Semitism and taking a superficially pro-Israel stance. The vast majority of British citizens don’t buy into the kind of anti-Semitic drivel that was formerly central to BNP ideology, but many ordinary people have become fearful of Muslims in the aftermath of 9/11, Madrid, and 7/7. For Griffin, this fear represents the BNP’s biggest hope yet for converting people to its cause. By de-emphasising racism and playing up the notion that the BNP is the one great British bulwark against Jihadism the BNP has discovered a trojan horse issue to mask its real agenda. The BNP’s ‘pro-Israel’ turn must be understood in this context and seen for the cynical and shallow political trick that it is.

  55. seismicshock — on 24th February, 2009 at 3:55 pm  

    Well exactly, that’s the point I’m making.

  56. Sid — on 24th February, 2009 at 3:56 pm  

    The important thing is that they *support* Sookhdeo. :D

  57. seismicshock — on 24th February, 2009 at 3:57 pm  

    If the BNP’s support for Israel, Sookhdeo, etc is so clearly opportunistic and insincere, then it’s not worth recognising. Just as you can’t delegitimise Israel by saying the BNP supports Israel, you can’t do the same with Sookhdeo. If, however, Sookhdeo supports the BNP then you’ve got a case – to my knowledge he doesn’t.

  58. seismicshock — on 24th February, 2009 at 4:00 pm  

    Interesting:
    http://209.85.229.132/search?q=cache:bp8tUUrVUfMJ:https://www.barnabasfund.org/news/archives/article.php%3FID_news_items%3D138+barnabas+fund+bnp&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=3&gl=uk

    It has come to our attention that members of the British National Party (“BNP”) have recently set up the Christian Council of Britain, whose website carries links to the websites of Barnabas Fund and the Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship and a website about the history of the Church of Scotland. This implied association has been made without either our knowledge or our consent and we are taking steps to have the links removed. For the avoidance of doubt we wish to make it totally clear that Barnabas Fund, the Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship and the Church of Scotland are not and never have been associated with either the Christian Council of Britain or the BNP.

    Barnabas Fund
    The Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship
    The Church of Scotland

    22nd March 2006

  59. seismicshock — on 24th February, 2009 at 4:01 pm  
  60. Sid — on 24th February, 2009 at 4:01 pm  

    When Sookhdeo speaks at an anti-Islamic conference of extreme Zionist groups, evangelical Christians and the far right fascist groups such as the Vlaams Belang as they did in Brussels in 2007, would you say that that’s a mutual support group?

  61. seismicshock — on 24th February, 2009 at 4:07 pm  

    I’d agree it’s a shame and certainly wouldn’t want to attend one of those conferences myself, Vlaams Belang being particularly objectionable.

    As I’ve mentioned before, as a brown man and an immigrant I find it hard to believe that Sookhdeo would knowingly support a fascist party – perhaps he was unaware of the other participants, although I do agree it’s probably a good idea to check who you’re sharing a platform with.

  62. Sid — on 24th February, 2009 at 4:12 pm  

    I think you know you’re being evasive. I think a clerical fascist like Sookdheo knew perfectly well who he was sharing a platform with and why. And it is because he publishes hostile books and articles titled “The Islamisation of Europe” that he is courted by other fascists to speak at such conferences.

  63. Sunny — on 24th February, 2009 at 4:16 pm  

    I’d agree it’s a shame and certainly wouldn’t want to attend one of those conferences myself, Vlaams Belang being particularly objectionable

    LOL! Yeah it’s a shame Nick Griffin goes around supporting fascists and racists but other than that he is quite the anti-jihadist you know. Why not support him?

    Idiot.

    You’re desperately trying to dig yourself out of a hole which is being filled with more rubbish the minute you type something. Please take your Sookhdeo worship somewhere else. You’ve been pwned.

  64. seismicshock — on 24th February, 2009 at 4:25 pm  

    Like I said, I don’t agree with all of his politics, and I did draw attention to that in the HP post. I think you’ve avoided my comment #42 although realise you may have missed it. I am principally aware of Patrick Sookhdeo in his capacity as the director of the Barnabas Fund, rather than as a political actor.

    I think Sookhdeo approaches Islam principally from a theological point of view, and as a Christian he is inevitably going to claim that Islam is wrong and thus be critical of the religion.

    I am aware that the Far Right is using criticism of Islam to proclaim themselves as defenders of free speech, which they’re patently not.

  65. seismicshock — on 24th February, 2009 at 4:31 pm  

    Sunny, I don’t understand you – you’ve barely engaged with the discussion, you’ve interspersed the comments section with insults, you’ve ignored all my points, and you’re deliberately trying to make an association between myself and the Far Right despite my unambiguous rejection of it. You’ve also missed the main thrust of my blog post which was to draw attention to the motives of those opposing Sookhdeo in CRIB rather than to defend all of Sookhdeo’s actions.

  66. Sid — on 24th February, 2009 at 4:31 pm  

    Personally I think its a grave situation when Harry’s Place is publishing articles by someone who champions a clerical fascist. But there you go.

    Was David T abroad at the time?

  67. Sunny — on 24th February, 2009 at 4:32 pm  

    Were you aware of his dalliances with Robert Spencer before writing in his support?

    Were you aware of attendance at the conference above before writing in his support?

    A simple yes or no will do.

  68. seismicshock — on 24th February, 2009 at 4:37 pm  

    So Sunny and Sid – does it make any difference to you whether I agree with Sookhdeo in all my opinions or not, or is it easier to claim that HP supports Sookhdeo rather than to actually engage in the issues at hand in the HP post?

    I’m surprised that Sunny so quickly dismisses the Barnabas Fund’s noble cause of trying to alleviate the suffering of persecuted minorities, especially as PP believes that oppressive totalitarian religious bigotry should be opposed.

  69. Ravi Naik — on 24th February, 2009 at 4:38 pm  

    I think Sookhdeo approaches Islam principally from a theological point of view, and as a Christian he is inevitably going to claim that Islam is wrong and thus be critical of the religion.

    Rubbish. It is one thing to believe that your religion is the right one, another to trash people for following a particular religion. Allowing terrorists and murderers to define a religion followed by millions of people around the world, is not a theological point of view, it is demonisation of the worst kind.

    Sookhdeo is as much of a nutjob as those he is criticising.

  70. seismicshock — on 24th February, 2009 at 4:39 pm  

    Sunny, regarding Robert Spencer, no I wasn’t aware, nor was I aware that he’d shared a platform with Vlaams Balang – I’m against that.

  71. Sunny — on 24th February, 2009 at 4:42 pm  

    that Sunny so quickly dismisses the Barnabas Fund’s noble cause of trying to alleviate the suffering of persecuted minorities

    I have to say, I love it when people come up with such Orwellian speak because it just illustrates how bereft of intelligence this entire ‘pro-war decent-left’ edifice has become.

    Let’s assume Al-Qaradawi were to launch a campaign to support gays in Britain from homosexuality. Would you wholeheartedly join that campaign? Answers on a postcard. Along with the answers to the questions I asked above, that you’ve completely evaded.

  72. Jai — on 24th February, 2009 at 4:44 pm  

    “My enemy’s enemy is my friend”.

    Think it through.

    Nothing new under the sun, as Sting nearly once said.

  73. Sunny — on 24th February, 2009 at 4:45 pm  

    Sunny, regarding Robert Spencer, no I wasn’t aware, nor was I aware that he’d shared a platform with Vlaams Balang – I’m against that.

    So you were supporting someone, and smearing someone else, without doing a simple google search? It’s right there in Sookhdeo’s Wikipedia entry.

    You now expect me to believe this was an honest mistake? I’m afraid I don’t, because you’ve already tried smearing Ben White simply because he has the temerity to criticise Israel.

    It’s actually quite clear that you’ll support anyone who criticises Muslims and will smear anyone who criticises Israel.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if someone from HP asks you to do a smear job on me soon enough.

  74. seismicshock — on 24th February, 2009 at 4:46 pm  

    I answered your questions in #70. Can’t Sookhdeo (let’s move this beyond Sookhdeo, can’t anyone) be critical of a religion whilst believing in universal human rights? As far as I know, Sookhdeo doesn’t call for violence against other religions, whereas Qaradawi does.

  75. seismicshock — on 24th February, 2009 at 4:46 pm  

    Why, what have you got to hide?

  76. Sunny — on 24th February, 2009 at 4:46 pm  

    And despite everyone pointing out what Sookhdeo has done or written, you still claim to support his Barnabus Fund! Amazing. And quite hilarious.

  77. Sid — on 24th February, 2009 at 4:49 pm  

    So Sunny and Sid – does it make any difference to you whether I agree with Sookhdeo in all my opinions or not, or is it easier to claim that HP supports Sookhdeo rather than to actually engage in the issues at hand in the HP post?

    Sorry I’ve lost my patience now. So fuck off you little twerp and take yourself to the altar of the Right Reverend Patrick Sookdheo, and take the other clerical fascists with you!

  78. seismicshock — on 24th February, 2009 at 4:49 pm  

    Because, Sunny, my post wasn’t principally concerned about the rights and wrongs of Sookhdeo, but rather about the rights and wrongs of those opposed to him in CRIB, which is what the HP post is about (although you’ve ignored this).

    Do you think it’s right for Ben White to write a review on global jihad, considering his opinion of Hezbollah as national resistance and not Islamist?

    See #40 and please answer.

  79. Javan — on 24th February, 2009 at 10:42 pm  

    Sookhdeo is also patronised by the Ministry of Defence’s very own Defence Academy where he claims to be a Senior Fellow. He has also spoken at the Academy’s ‘Understanding Islam’ annual symposium organised jointly with Cranfield University. It seems in the defence and security policy world, he passes himself as an advisor.

    A few links:

    recommended here by Major General Tim Cross:
    http://www.sant.ox.ac.uk/centres/cross-paper-ht08.pdf

    Speaking at a Royal united services institute for defence and security studies event here:
    http://www.rusi.org/downloads/assets/FLW_Programme_19_May.pdf

  80. Ysabel Howard — on 24th February, 2009 at 11:06 pm  

    When you ditch the Enlightenment, when you ditch the Marxist critique of religion as an opiate, and instead operate in the frame of reference of Muslims outraged at something or other, as politicians frequently do, when you react as though offending the precious sensibilities of the devout were an evil, unheard-of, rather than the foundation of a free country, you may, I think, be reasonably said to be ‘Islamicizing’ Europe. Take the cartoon. What are we talking about? A guy who killed a lot of people and wrote a book that in places advocates killing more people. When you ditch reference to fact. Paine, Diderot, Voltaire, Marx, Lenin, Engels smashed religious supremacy, made it OK, in this respect, to have a mind of one’s own. Perhaps the problem is that too few people read French:

    “Their horror increases when you tell them that you can see daily in Catholic countries priests and monks who fresh from a bed of incest without having washed their hands soiled with impurities make these hundreds of gods, eat and drink their god, shit and piss their god. But when they consider that this superstition a hundred times more absurd and blasphemous than any of those of the Egyptians is worth to an Italian priest 15 to 20 million in revenue and the domination of a country a hundred miles wide and long, they all want to take arms and kick out this priest who has taken over the Palace of the Caesars. I don’t know if I’ll go on the trip because I’m a peaceful sort, but when they’re settled in Rome I’ll certainly pay them a visit.” Voltaire, Dictionnaire philosophique, Transubstantiation

    “England is multi-denominational. ‘In my Father’s house are many mansions.’ An Englishman, as a free man, goes to heaven by the path he chooses.

    “However, although everyone may serve God in his own way, the real religion of the country, the one from which money is made, is the Episcopalian Church, known as the Anglican Church or simply the Church. In England and Ireland no-one can be employed without being one of the Anglican faithful. This compelling proof of Anglican teaching has converted so many Non-Conformists that today barely a twentieth of the nation lies outside the bosom of the Established Church.

    “The Anglican priesthood has retained many Catholic rites and especially that of receiving the tithe with meticulous care.” Voltaire, Lettres philosophiques: Letter 5 Concerning the Church of England

    Etc. ‘Mediaeval mildew’, said Lenin, ‘spiritual booze’ (Socialism and religion). Ooh, you can’t say that, and must never ever indicate in any way you think it.

  81. Random Guy — on 25th February, 2009 at 9:43 am  

    Ysabel @ 80: Yeah yeah, some people worship God, you worship Marx – whats the difference? You swap one opiate for another and preach hate and intolerance in a different way.

    [SARCASM]Well done, you are SO englightened. Here, have a cookie.[END SARCASM]

  82. douglas clark — on 25th February, 2009 at 10:40 am  

    Well, Marx was probably wrong about almost everything, but ‘religion being the opiate of the masses’ was probably hitting the bulls eye on the dart board whilst blindfolded. Stopped clocks telling the right time comes to mind…

    Oh!

    In case you didn’t realize, I’m not a Marxist.

    What would that be like? Would you have to stare off into the distance as he seems to do in all of his portraits? What is that about?

    Och, maybe that was Lenin. Who cares?

  83. Random Guy — on 25th February, 2009 at 11:26 am  

    I think he hit the nail on the head with the ‘opiate for the masses’ part. But I agree – who cares?

  84. qidniz — on 2nd March, 2009 at 5:31 am  

    The Salafi corner heard from, originally posted to some other thread, randomly (in apparent sympathetic keeping with the “review” itself.)

  85. Ibn Abbaas — on 2nd March, 2009 at 11:29 pm  

    qidniz, your suggestion that dar al-kufr is ‘revisionist’ typifies the compounded ignorance of many like you who have no idea about Islamic theology.

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