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  • Technorati: graph / links

    Melanie Phillips remains confused


    by Sunny on 13th March, 2009 at 1:10 am    

    Mel Phillips is an easy target - but the reason I highlight her editorials sometimes is to point out how hypocritical and bigoted she is. In the Daily Mail she writes (via rhetorically speaking):

    Not surprisingly, this enraged the rest of the crowd of decent, patriotic people who had turned out to welcome the troops home. Yet the only arrests made were among those who objected to the Muslim provocation, including a man who shouted something at them. Talk about getting things back to front! The police turn a blind eye to gross and offensive provocation which clearly poses a threat to public order, while arresting instead those who are thus provoked!

    Yet if anyone objects to any of this, they are called ‘Islamophobic’. Just think what the reaction would be if, say, a group of Ku Klux Klansmen in full regalia took part in a demonstration by neo-Nazis in a heavily ethnic minority area. Does anyone imagine that such a direct threat to public order would be permitted?

    Funny that, she is all for free speech even at the extent of ‘provocation’ when it concerns someone like Wilders. But when Muslims say nasty things she doesn’t like, then she’s hysterically calling for the police to arrest these people.

    Furthermore, the ‘Islamophobic’ card is pretty amusing as a strawman, given that the MCB, Inayat Bunglawala, British Muslims for Secular Democracy, Quilliam Foundation and several other Muslims condemned the march demonstration. No, Islamophobic is when you start advocating for free speech when its against Muslims but get all precocious when its them saying nasty things.

    There’s one interesting development though: only complete loons like Phillips are calling for locking these people up at this time. It seems to me that as controversies around free speech have become so prominent over the last decade or so, people are realising that it goes both ways. That, for me, is a good thing. The sooner everyone realises the importance of free speech the better.



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    55 Comments below   |   Add your own

    1. Roger — on 13th March, 2009 at 3:00 am  

      “Furthermore, the ‘Islamophobic’ card is pretty amusing as a strawman, given that the MCB, Inayat Bunglawala, British Muslims for Secular Democracy, Quilliam Foundation and several other Muslims condemned the march. ”

      They didn’t condemn the march. They condemned the demonstration.
      Remove after correction, please.

    2. Sunny — on 13th March, 2009 at 3:20 am  

      ah whoops, thanks for pointing out that mistake roger.

    3. Bert Rustle — on 13th March, 2009 at 7:17 am  

      This video, posted by EUCLID at Simon Darby’s blog http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9Jvft6wA-4 shows many women and older men denouncing those anti-march demonstrators, in marked contrast to much of the Drive-By Media coverage.

      The British Ministry of Defence has a Development Concepts And Doctrine Centre, which has published The DCDC Global Strategic Trends Programme 2007 – 2036.

      This document implies that civil disturbance is likely to become widespread in the future.

    4. billericaydicky — on 13th March, 2009 at 8:19 am  

      Actually the police have permitted the kind of demonstration Phillips is talking about. They have done it many times over the years most famously when they allowed the National Front to march through Southall in 1979 when Blair Peach was killed by them and in 1978 when they rampaged down Brick Lane attacking people and smashing shop windows.

      Interesting that Simon Darby’s blog is mentioned as the BNP are loving all this.

    5. dave bones — on 13th March, 2009 at 9:39 am  

      damn straight

    6. Letters From A Tory — on 13th March, 2009 at 9:59 am  

      “people are realising that it goes both ways”

      But that’s the point - it doesn’t. For Geert Wilders to be banned from the UK while Muslims who openly provoke other citizens remain firmly put hardly counts as equal treatment.

    7. Sofia — on 13th March, 2009 at 10:20 am  

      I don’t agree with these protestors, the same way I don’t appreciate the bnp..i find both equally offensive…and yet they do have the right to FoS..

    8. Sofia — on 13th March, 2009 at 10:22 am  

      not long ago there was a bnp rally in harrow…it didn’t get stopped..

    9. A Councillor Writes — on 13th March, 2009 at 10:27 am  

      Letters from a Tory @ 6 - of course, most of those Muslims who provoke other citizens are probably British citizens and therefore firmly entitled to stay put as loathesome as their views are.

      Considering the tempers that were raised, I would be interested to know why they were not at least moved on with “conduct likely to cause a breach of the peace”.

    10. Katy Newton — on 13th March, 2009 at 10:28 am  

      I didn’t like the little performance that these people put on, but I will assume that they live here and are British citizens until someone proves otherwise, and if that’s the case then I’m afraid they fall into the same bracket as the BNP - namely a home grown problem that we have to deal with here as opposed to shunting off to another country.

    11. Porritt — on 13th March, 2009 at 10:48 am  

      Ah, so now they’re the same as the BNP are they? You’d kick them out if they weren’t citizens?

      Pickled Politics is now Harry’s Place, with less irony.

      Sunny, if Melanie Phillips is confused, surely Sid is confused as well? Because they’re taking the same stance on all this.

    12. Sid — on 13th March, 2009 at 11:03 am  

      The group who protested call themselves “Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaah” which translates to ‘Adherents of the Community of the True Path of the Prophet’.

      If they think they represent the majority of Muslims then they are confused. And if you think that they are above criticism because they are brown skinned Muslims who represent thet majority of brown-skinned Muslim people in Britain then you are doubly confused.

      But I suspect “Poritt” is Bob Pitt who runs the execrable Islamophobia Watch which is really a site which apologises for and supports the beliefs of the likes of “Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaah”

      No, Islamophobic is when you start advocating for free speech when its against Muslims but get all precocious when its them saying nasty things.

      True Islamophobia is embalazoning these nutters and their sordid little cause on the front page of the Sun and then referring to them as “Muslims” thereby insinuating that the large majority of peaceful British Muslims actually agree with these people when really they would be much happier if “Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaah” all drowned at sea.

    13. billericaydicky — on 13th March, 2009 at 11:08 am  

      Sofia,

      The BNP have “rallies” as you call them somewhere in the country several times a week. The are all legal as Griffin and co are fully aware of the law and how the former extremism of the National Front only drove potential supporters away.

      One of the tragedies of all of this is that the demonstrators in Luton are almost certainly unaware of how British society views them and how they are handing votes to the BNP which has just established a branch in the area.

      This is the problem with all small extremist groups that live in little worlds of their own be they the far left,the far right or Islamicists.

    14. Sid — on 13th March, 2009 at 11:29 am  

      But Poritt, Muslims have never killed radical Muslim extremists. It has always, always, always been the other way round.

      Where have you been?

    15. The Common Humanist — on 13th March, 2009 at 1:49 pm  

      Porritt

      So you can’t tell the difference between HP hostility to far right reacitonary islamists and its support for progressive liberal muslims and the fact that it treats everyday muslims the same as atheists, christians, jews, sikhs etc etc etc??

      So am guessing you equate being a muslim with being a far right reacionary islamist…….which says volumes about you.

      How insulting is that to the 99% of British Muslims who don’t have those views??

    16. Anon — on 13th March, 2009 at 2:16 pm  

      Sid: the execrable Islamophobia Watch … is really a site which apologises for and supports the beliefs of the likes of “Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaah”.

      Yeah, right. IW is a site that reports the Al Muhaj provocation in Luton under the headline “Why do the media give publicity to these unrepresentative hooligans?”, denounces “the mindless slogans and behaviour of … an irrelevant bunch of nutters” and describes Anjem Choudary as “a self-publicising idiot”.

      Thank goodness we have someone like Sid to defend Enlightenment values (respect for empirical evidence and rational argument - you know, that sort of stuff) against these apologists for Islamist reaction.

    17. Lilliput — on 13th March, 2009 at 2:21 pm  

      Melanie is Jewish and as such has these radical Muslims calling for her death all the time. With this in mind she has the right to call for their expulsion - fairs fair isn’t it?

    18. Anon — on 13th March, 2009 at 2:45 pm  

      And while I’m not generally given to agreeing with billericaydicky, he’s right here.

      Another example that could be cited is the NF’s homophobic protest at Brighton Pride 2007.

      In that case it was one of the Pride go-ers who was arrested, rather than the fascists.

      I also agree with “A Councillor Writes” that when the NF or Al Muhaj stage provocations like these the police should ask them to move on or face arrest.

      The relevant piece of legislation would seem to be Part I Section 5 of the Public Order Act.

    19. Sunny — on 13th March, 2009 at 2:56 pm  

      Not really Lilliput - because as far as I’m aware she’s never been personally threatened. To that extent I’m at ‘danger’ from them as she is. And anyway, don’t you believe in the rule of law?

      LFaTBut that’s the point - it doesn’t. For Geert Wilders to be banned from the UK while Muslims who openly provoke other citizens remain firmly put hardly counts as equal treatment.

      Louis Farrakhan, al-Qaradawi?

    20. A Councillor Writes — on 13th March, 2009 at 3:23 pm  

      I would hasten to add, that I only want protest moved on when the provocation is actually likely to or causing a breach of the peace. If it’s just a stunt that fizzles, then what’s the point.

    21. Refresh — on 13th March, 2009 at 3:35 pm  

      I think you’ll find Melanie is on a par with these idiots.

      Melanie wants to corner them and muslims generally as incompatible with values of the west, for the purposes of driving a wedge with the hope of ensuring eternal enmity and therefore a permanent alliance with Israel. How this is supposed to work long term I have no idea. It would certainly help with Israel’s prospective membership of the EU in the short term.

      It is as simple as that.

      On the other hand if you look at her moralising agenda you will see there is very little that they would disagree on - the west is losing is its moral compass is the argument what with all these teenage pregnancies, exponential rise in divorce rates, feral children etc etc.

    22. Sofia — on 13th March, 2009 at 3:36 pm  

      “One of the tragedies of all of this is that the demonstrators in Luton are almost certainly unaware of how British society views them and how they are handing votes to the BNP which has just established a branch in the area.”

      I agree with this…and find it quite scary..however I think it is excessive the amount of air time these 20 or so individuals have had…

    23. Andrew — on 13th March, 2009 at 3:42 pm  

      Free speech for members of Al-Muhajirun is all very well, but how will we feel if the BNP vote in Luton shoots up because of this? A lot of the blame, though, must fall on the right-wing tabloid press. Did a demo by just 15 (FIFTEEN) people warrant being on the front pages of the Express, Mail and Sun!? Obviously the likes of Mel are going to jump onto this like a shot!

    24. Sofia — on 13th March, 2009 at 3:46 pm  

      yeh i reckon all us non nutters should pay into a max clifford fund cuz we sure as hell need some good PR…

    25. Refresh — on 13th March, 2009 at 3:56 pm  

      ‘True Islamophobia is embalazoning these nutters and their sordid little cause on the front page of the Sun and then referring to them as “Muslims” thereby insinuating that the large majority of peaceful British Muslims actually agree with these people when really they would be much happier if “Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaah” all drowned at sea.’

      Apart from drowning at sea, I cannot disagree with this observation. It also raises questions about the agendas at work, for the media and this bunch of twerpers.

      Melanie Philips waits for these moments, for her its like waiting for a bus. and as you would expect all three arrive at the same time.

      Yes freedom of speech argument is strong even in this case, but the politics works against the vast majority of muslims and most of the country. The net gains are for Al Maj crowd, HP, Melanie Philips, the Sun, the Express and of course the BNP. Overseas Gert Wilders gains.

    26. Anon — on 13th March, 2009 at 4:18 pm  

      “A Councillor Writes” writes: “I would hasten to add, that I only want protest moved on when the provocation is actually likely to or causing a breach of the peace.”

      Absolutely. But the NF protest against Brighton Pride and the Al Muhaj demo in Luton were both pretty well guaranteed to provoke a breach of the peace.

      And in both cases it was the people who reacted to the provocation who were arrested, not the people who were responsible for the provocation in the first place. While I hesitate to echo Mad Mel, surely there’s something wrong with that?

      In 2004 Al Muhajiroun were forced to call off a demonstration in Trafalgar Square after Ken Livingstone threatened them with prosecution. If Ken could do that, why can’t the police?

      Both the NF and the Al Muhaj demos were covered by the “abusive or insulting” provisions in the Public Order Act, so in both cases the police were empowered to take action against them.

      Of course, allowing fascists to stage such provocations while clamping down on Islamist extremists - which I imagine is the policy Mad Mel advocates - would be counterproductive.

      And, incidentally, I think the police should have invoked the Public Order Act to suppress the February 2006 Al Muhaj demo in London against the Danish cartoons.

      Instead, the police allowed the demonstration to go ahead and then charged a few of the participants with incitement to murder, which I think was well over the top.

    27. Jai — on 13th March, 2009 at 4:19 pm  

      One of the tragedies of all of this is that the demonstrators in Luton are almost certainly unaware of how British society views them and how they are handing votes to the BNP which has just established a branch in the area

      Maybe. On the other hand, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of them are actually well aware of the above and, in relation to the first part, they enjoy the attention and notoriety, and in relation to the BNP, they simply don’t care.

      It’s obvious that Anjem Choudary, Al-Muj, and people with a similar mindset (including some people who occasionally comment on PP) either refuse to acknowledge or possibly just don’t give a damn about the fact that, by their own actions, they’re playing a considerable role in exacerbating hostility towards Islam and Muslims along with reinforcing prejudice towards Asians as a whole. They are very much a part of the problem that they complain so vociferously about.

      Too much arrogance, egotism and self-centredness. That’s basically what it all comes down to.

    28. munir — on 13th March, 2009 at 4:45 pm  

      Jai
      “It’s obvious that Anjem Choudary, Al-Muj, and people with a similar mindset (including some people who occasionally comment on PP) either refuse to acknowledge or possibly just don’t give a damn about the fact that, by their own actions, they’re playing a considerable role in exacerbating hostility towards Islam and Muslims along with reinforcing prejudice towards Asians as a whole. They are very much a part of the problem that they complain so vociferously about.”

      I dont doubt that such actions cause increased hostility towards Muslims - rather I question WHY they should. Jai you are obsessed with how such things make people negative towards Asians/Muslims but the only people it does so are the bigoted.

      Any who holds an entire group responsible for the actions of individuals within it is an idiot and a bigot. You only excuse such people because they say it about Muslims.

      Essential you are making apologies for their bigotry and blaming the innocent (Muslims not involved).
      Thats truly disgusting, and implies acceptance of their views that all muslims should be held responsible for what individuals do.

      You are instead of attacking the hostility and prejudice implying its understandable. Yet you claim not to be anti-Muslim!!!

      I dont know anyone amongst my non-Muslim friends who considers AL-Muj other than a bunch of loonies . They dont judge me or other Muslims based on what Al muj do - so why do you?

    29. Refresh — on 13th March, 2009 at 5:19 pm  

      Munir,

      I think what Jai is trying to say is that regardless of how things should be, there is the real world out there, where hostility against muslims is already being stoked up. Offering ammunition to your enemies, on a plate is not the way to go about things.

      What is also needed is a counter-campaign against bigotry and the ease with which people fall into that mode. This aspect is probably better handled on Sunny’s ‘The ‘not in our name’ card’ thread.

    30. Jai — on 13th March, 2009 at 5:42 pm  

      Wrong, Munir — Refresh’s explanation in #29 above explains my stance perfectly. I’m blaming Al-Muj for adding fuel to the fire and increasing hostility towards innocent Muslims and Asians from people in British society who are already bigotted and/or ignorant towards members of these groups. It’s all about having to live in the real world.

      So why does the bigotry from such people matter ? Why should people with an ‘attitude problem’ towards Asians & Muslims not be regarded as a ’sidelined extreme minority’ that we can ignore and just get on with our lives ?

      Because they’re not just confined to the BNP, but also constitute an increasingly large number in the rest of society these days who are less virulently — but still, to a sufficiently destructive degree — racist towards Asians and prejudiced & paranoid about Muslims, either because of their own character flaws or because they just haven’t had sufficient interaction with people from these groups for their ignorance and misinformed assumptions to be resolved. The latter in particular constitutes a very large number indeed.

      We’re all having to deal with the consequences in our personal and professional lives — those of us who participate on this website, our friends, our families, everyone — including our parents, many of whom are now what would be termed ‘elderly’ and just want a quiet life, and certainly did not come to Britain so that their safety and wellbeing in this country would be ruined by (mostly much younger) belligerent fellow Asians with a psychotic attitude towards their religion and non-Muslims a few decades later.

      The rest of your remarks are pure paranoia and based on erroneous extrapolation and guesswork. I judge you purely on your own individual behaviour and ideas, Munir.

    31. Don — on 13th March, 2009 at 5:54 pm  

      I dont doubt that such actions cause increased hostility towards Muslims

      Which was Jai’s point.

      - rather I question WHY they should.

      Tribalism, fear, ignorance, the high visibility of the nutters as against the low visibility of the moderates (as presented by the mainstream media)… . It’s not rocket science.

      Jai you are obsessed … Psychologist, are we?

      …the only people it does so are the bigoted.

      You think bigots can be safely disregarded?

      You only excuse such people…

      you are making apologies for their bigotry

      Thats truly disgusting, and implies acceptance of their views…

      …instead of attacking the hostility and prejudice implying its understandable

      One example of that? To understand the dynamics of bigotry is not to find bigotry understandable. Sounds counter-intuitive, but it’s true.

      Yet you claim not to be anti-Muslim!!!

      Stylistic tip, take it or leave it. Exclamation marks should be used sparingly. One is usually too many. Three is always too many.

      They dont judge me or other Muslims based on what Al muj do - so why do you?

      You are really quite dishonest in the way you frame your arguments, aren’t you? Why is that?

    32. links for 2009-03-13 « Embololalia — on 13th March, 2009 at 6:02 pm  

      [...] Pickled Politics » Melanie Phillips remains confused Funny that, she is all for free speech even at the extent of ‘provocation’ when it concerns someone like Wilders. But when Muslims say nasty things she doesn’t like, then she’s hysterically calling for the police to arrest these people. (tags: melaniephillips dailymail iraqwar) [...]

    33. Ros — on 13th March, 2009 at 6:46 pm  

      The big tragedy and injustice in the Brit media is that the Jews have lots of columnists to promote their cause (Nick Cohen, Abrahamovich, Phillips, Friedman,Desmond (owner of Daily Express). The Muslims have none.
      Here is a snippet from Matthew Norman’s diary 19Jun06
      Melanie Phillips is the ultra rightwing ranter-in-chief at the Daily Mail. She is in need of anger management classes and unless she learns to calm herself down, there’s not knowing where all the fury will lead. She believes with the utmost righteous certainty that her trenchant prose has the answers to all the most intractable social and geopolitical problems.

      She is author of a new book Londonistan: How the Mealy-mouthed, Bleeding heart, Woolly minded Liberal Elite, delivered us into Bin Laden’s grasp (Frothing Foment Press, 2006 - £15.99).

      In the book, this old Jewish girl gets in a frightful, semi-paranoid state from start to finish. Jackie Ashley who interviewed MP about her book, suggested it was faintly bonkers to claim that current levels of anti-Semitism are redolent of Weimar Germany in the 1930s. Melanie at once compares the suggestion as Stalin’s tactic of dismissing critics as insane.

      A little humility can be nice. This constant hysterical raging cannot be good for health.

    34. Don — on 13th March, 2009 at 7:24 pm  

      The big tragedy and injustice in the Brit media is that the Jews…

      Yeah, yeah. Don’t really need to read any further, do I?

      BTW, Nick Cohen is not jewish. Idiot.

      Seems you have to spend more time playing whack-a-mole with trolls than debating with serious people these days. No reflection on the mods, who have to tread a line between encouraging various voices and dealing with an infestation of fleas.

    35. Ros — on 13th March, 2009 at 7:41 pm  

      Dear Don,
      I can see you are hurt.
      Steady, man. I was just quoting a mainstream journalist.

    36. Amrit — on 14th March, 2009 at 12:59 am  

      Seems you have to spend more time playing whack-a-mole with trolls than debating with serious people these days.

      Amen.

      I must put hand on heart here and say to the trolls: WHY do you insist on looking at blogs full of those tricksy things, words, that lead to the even tricksier sentences and paragraphs? I mean, most of y’all’s thought processes seem to go like this about 90% of the time:

      OMG CRITICISM MUSLIMS ISLAMOPHOBIA BIGOTRY SUPPORTERS ZIONIST CONSPIRACY JEWS DOMINATION MUSLIMS OPPRESSION

      Only single words/concepts are sinking in at a time. Post #28 is a glorious example of this. Only someone as off their rocker as well, Mad Mel is, could accuse Jai of being an apologist for bigots.

      Still, I guess if I lived with one or two words echoing around my head at a time, the resultant noise ‘up there’ would fill me with misguided, impotent fury too.

    37. Sunny — on 14th March, 2009 at 1:14 am  

      Don:
      http://nickcohen.net/2009/02/12/jesus-im-turning-into-a-jew/

      TBH though, most of those writers don’t write about Muslims all the time. It’s only Mel Phillips who is obsessed by them.

      Free speech for members of Al-Muhajirun is all very well, but how will we feel if the BNP vote in Luton shoots up because of this?

      Well then Muslims in Luton will have to build bridges and find ways to collectively (Muslim and non-Muslim) to undermine the BNP.

      Such is the work of civil society.

    38. douglas clark — on 14th March, 2009 at 2:01 am  

      Amrit,

      Great post @ 36.

    39. Leon — on 14th March, 2009 at 2:10 am  

      Seems you have to spend more time playing whack-a-mole with trolls than debating with serious people these days. No reflection on the mods, who have to tread a line between encouraging various voices and dealing with an infestation of fleas.

      Yeah…

    40. Ysabel Howard — on 14th March, 2009 at 7:52 am  

      I picked up Choudary’s ravings in the London Evening Standard. Could we all be getting too serious here? The obvious answer to the demand every female Brit wear a burkha is for us all to strip down to our undies, in the street if it’s summer, in all inside public places if it isn’t. I really do not think 90% of British males would have a problem with this utterly peaceful response to screaming insanity.

      I really loved the bit about one male witness being able to counter two female ones. The rest of it was pretty good too.

      As a propagator of the ideology of the guys trying to kill British soldiers,this Choudhary person is aligning himself with Queen’s enemies. The nearest parallel I can come up with is a tiny number of Blackshirts disseminating Nazi propaganda and insisting the swastika fly over Downing Street as a troop train pulled into Victoria in October 1939. I suppose they could be interned but they’re too ridiculous. There is also the offence of treason, one form of which is being adherent to the Queen’s enemies in her realm. [I had ancestors who ran around in the 30s singing the praises of Mother Russia. It's a free country, but we were not at war with the Soviet Union at the time.] I think maybe some people need to get the hang of the idea the response to this demo and the views voiced therein is frank loathing and something has to be done about these guys, understand the false allure of the BNP is that they say they will do something, while, er, umm, you guys worry about the BNP or Mel or the adverse effect on normal Muslims, or anything but the lunatics themselves. I think they have to be met head-on, not with the law or other force, but with derision. My own small contribution is to repost the pic of Lil Kim modelling the correct wear of the burkha. C21st Britain has no time for any of this screaming crap. That surely should be the message from Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

    41. Ysabel Howard — on 14th March, 2009 at 7:52 am  

      I picked up Choudary’s ravings in the London Evening Standard. Could we all be getting too serious here? The obvious answer to the demand every female Brit wear a burkha is for us all to strip down to our undies, in the street if it’s summer, in all inside public places if it isn’t. I really do not think 90% of British males would have a problem with this utterly peaceful response to screaming insanity.

      I really loved the bit about one male witness being able to counter two female ones. The rest of it was pretty good too.

      As a propagator of the ideology of the guys trying to kill British soldiers,this Choudhary person is aligning himself with Queen’s enemies. The nearest parallel I can come up with is a tiny number of Blackshirts disseminating Nazi propaganda and insisting the swastika fly over Downing Street as a troop train pulled into Victoria in October 1939. I suppose they could be interned but they’re too ridiculous. There is also the offence of treason, one form of which is being adherent to the Queen’s enemies in her realm. [I had ancestors who ran around in the 30s singing the praises of Mother Russia. It's a free country, but we were not at war with the Soviet Union at the time.] I think maybe some people need to get the hang of the idea the response to this demo and the views voiced therein is frank loathing and something has to be done about these guys, understand the false allure of the BNP is that they say they will do something, while, er, umm, you guys worry about the BNP or Mel or the adverse effect on normal Muslims, or anything but the lunatics themselves. I think they have to be met head-on, not with the law or other force, but with derision. My own small contribution is to repost the pic of Lil Kim modelling the correct wear of the burkha. C21st Britain has no time for any of this screaming crap. That surely should be the message from Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

    42. Amrit — on 14th March, 2009 at 12:06 pm  

      Thanks Douglas, it’s true though. The way trolls are, they really ought to bring in standardised testing for blog access. It could be like those anti-spam checks, but involving a full paragraph of text. Either that, or blogs should carry warnings, like they do when they have mature content.

      WARNING: This blog has full paragraphs of text and ongoing connection between all ideas expressed in one point at a time. If you are unable to handle this, (i.e. you wish to inflate one idea apart from its compatriots, or deliberately misread/misrepresent what is written), please do not continue.

      Ysabel Howard:

      I think they have to be met head-on, not with the law or other force, but with derision.

      EXACTLY! Point and laugh, people, point and laugh.

    43. Jai — on 14th March, 2009 at 3:26 pm  

      Amrit, Refresh, Don — thanks for your support, everyone, very kind of you (you too, Douglas — I’m assuming your stance is the same as these folks, based on your remarks about Munir on the other thread).

      I had a few more thoughts but perhaps it would be best to see what Munir says in response first, assuming of course that he responds at all.

    44. chairwoman — on 14th March, 2009 at 6:08 pm  

      Jackie Ashley who interviewed MP about her book, suggested it was faintly bonkers to claim that current levels of anti-Semitism are redolent of Weimar Germany in the 1930s.

      I’m not a fan of Melanie Phillips but it doesn’t feel ‘bonkers’ from where I stand (or sit to be accurate).

      And before everybody starts disagreeing with me, may I point out you’re not where I am.

    45. qidniz — on 14th March, 2009 at 7:21 pm  

      Ahl al-Sunnah wa ‘l-Jama’a

      How exactly was this phrase used? Did those placard bearers use it to describe themselves or to name their organization?

      That is, were they stating the obvious in a deliberately obscure way (in effect, laughing at those who wanted to know); or were they indulging in outlandish presumption (in effect, deliberately discrediting themselves among other Muslims)?

      No one seems to have picked up on this. I’d guess this is because of a lack of familiarity with classical Islamic sources, where Ahl al-Sunnah wa ‘l-Jama’a is a very well-known code phrase.

    46. The Ink Slinger — on 14th March, 2009 at 7:57 pm  

      “only complete loons like Phillips are calling for locking these people up at this time.”

      Sadly not, Sunny.

      The normally sane David Davies (Monmouth, not Haltemprice and Howarden) has, we’re afraid, drunk the populist kool aid.

      See our comments here

    47. Ravi Naik — on 15th March, 2009 at 9:41 am  

      Funny that, she is all for free speech even at the extent of ‘provocation’ when it concerns someone like Wilders. But when Muslims say nasty things she doesn’t like, then she’s hysterically calling for the police to arrest these people.

      Spot on.

      The sooner everyone realises the importance of free speech the better.

      True. But the devil - as they say - is in the details. Before we champion free speech, we need to have a coherent definition of free speech, and hate speech.

      On a pragmatic note, and as part of brown folk, I am more concerned about the effect speech, rather than the speech itself. Giving a more open platform to the BNP affects me very little, because all they do is whine, and they uglier they get, the more off-putting they are to mainstream. But the effect of those 20 Muslims is larger - they definitely increase the membership of the BNP. Does it mean that I want to shut them up? No, but I reserve the right to be offended and angry by these inbreds.

    48. Andrew — on 15th March, 2009 at 12:12 pm  

      Am I correct in my understanding that the name that they now call themselves - Ahl al-Sunnah wa ‘l-Jama’a - is actually the correct term for Sunnis?

      If so, it’s like an IRA splinter group calling itself the Catholic Church!!

    49. qidniz — on 15th March, 2009 at 1:13 pm  

      Am I correct in my understanding that the name that they now call themselves - Ahl al-Sunnah wa ‘l-Jama’a - is actually the correct term for Sunnis?

      Basically, yes. Though, as with practically everything else in Islam, it’s all tangled and mixed up and argued ten different ways to Sunday.

      The terminology came about during the sectarian conflicts in the early centuries of Islam. Ahl al-Sunnah wa ‘l-Jama’a and the shorter Ahl al-Sunnah were used for those who wanted to identify with traditionalist orthodoxy (Ahl al-Shi’a, by contrast, meant “people of the faction”!)

      But there was more to the usage. An old tradition has it that Islam would split into 73 sects, but only one would find favor on the Day of Judgement. So, who were this Saved Sect, the al-Firqan al-Najiyya? Well, any sectarian worth his salt would argue that it was his own sect, and therefore it was incumbent on him to claim that his sect was the, ahem real, Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l Jama’a, i.e. the authentic “people of the way [of the prophet] and the [original] community”.
      In modern times, the Salafis are best known for this self-aggrandizement.

      So, on the one hand you find sober treatises using the phrase, correctly, to refer to Sunnis in general; and on the other hand you find sectarian tracts using the phrase, polemically, to anoint themselves.

    50. qidniz — on 15th March, 2009 at 1:28 pm  

      If so, it’s like an IRA splinter group calling itself the Catholic Church!!

      Heh. Something like that. Clearly they were taking the piss.

      Now the kuffar in their ignorance may take these clowns’ word for it and seriously believe that an organization would give itself this name, but what about the rest of the Muslim community?

    51. thabet — on 15th March, 2009 at 2:06 pm  

      “One of the tragedies of all of this is that the demonstrators in Luton are almost certainly unaware of how British society views them and how they are handing votes to the BNP which has just established a branch in the area.”

      They are well aware of what they are doing.

      Anjem Choudary is an odious prick, but he is not stupid. He knows how to the play the media game.

    52. Sunny — on 15th March, 2009 at 2:57 pm  

      And before everybody starts disagreeing with me, may I point out you’re not where I am.

      chairwoman - and the same goes for Muslims who complain of Islamophobia and media demonisation….no?

    53. chairwoman — on 15th March, 2009 at 3:47 pm  

      Sunny, I one hundred per cent agree with you.

      Jews don’t hold a monopoly on prejudice, we just get fed up with being told that we have over active imaginations.

    54. Sunny — on 15th March, 2009 at 4:50 pm  

      But Mel Phillips seems to think Muslims have an over-active imagination.

      In fact she thinks they’re taking over these Isles!

    55. chairwoman — on 15th March, 2009 at 5:53 pm  

      Sunny I was taking issue with the quotation from Jackie Ashley’s interview with Miss Phillips that was mentioned by somebody called ‘Ros’.

      It was she, allegedly, who said Miss Phillips was ‘bonkers’ in her appreciation of the current levels of anti Jewish feeling.



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