The Mythical Muslim


by Sid (Faisal)
30th March, 2009 at 12:00 pm    

There was a time during the Iraq invasion when I agreed with every word Gary Younge wrote in protest against that vile and illegal war. But I parted company with Gary after he started writing articles like this one on Islam and Muslim identity.

In it, Younge uses the rhetorical device of the ‘mythical Muslim’, which in his view is just that: myth. What is revealing is that if you bother to deconstruct what Younge’s views of Muslims are in this society, we arrive at his view of the “actual Muslim”. For if you are to believe Younge, an ‘actual Muslim’ is the only type that actually lives, breathes and eats as opposed to the “mythical Muslim” which is simply a figment of the government’s imagination.

Gary Younge’s ‘actual Muslim’ complies to this list of behaviours and attitudes:

  • He does not support gay rights, racial equality or women’s rights.
  • He does not support tolerance or parliamentary government.
  • He is ambivalent about the murder of civilians unless they are in Palestine, Afghanistan or Iraq only.
  • He does not want to be treated as a regular British citizen.
  • He raises his daughters to be meek and unassertive; they must wear a headscarf.
  • He does not believe in free speech nor the right to cause offence.
  • He feels he has the right to be offended but the believes he has no right to speak out.
  • Whatever an extremist is, on any given day, he is it.
  • He does not regard himself as British first, foremost and for ever.
  • He will retaliate violently against Britain’s right to bomb and invade by interpreting violent jihad as the true and only interpretation of Islam.
  • He will never condemn other Muslims no matter what their actions are.
  • He will never support the government on any issue whatsoever.
  • He must gain credibility with other Muslims only by representing their interests to the government.
  • His credibility is based on preaching against restraint and good behaviour.
  • Whatever a moderate is, on any given day, he is not it.

Is that list an accurate synopsis of your average Muslim in our society? Gary Younge, by being critical of the government’s attempts to draw out the antithesis of this stereotype, must certainly think so.

But then Younge contradicts his own rhetoric by redeeming himself with this:

Instead the government continues to approach Muslims as though their religion defines them. It rarely speaks to them as tenants, parents, students or workers; it does not dwell on problems that they share with everyone else; it does not convene high profile task forces to look at how to improve their daily lives. It summons them as Muslims, talks to them as Muslims and refers to them as Muslims – as though they could not possibly be understood as anything else.

Spot on Gary. Just as it is becoming increasingly common for journalists and opinion makers to encapsulate Muslim identity with the use of a shopping list of stereotypes. Which is why it is vitally important that Gary Younge  understands that the “mythical Muslim” is not as mythical as he thinks he is.


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  1. pickles

    New blog post: The Mythical Muslim http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/4004




  1. steve — on 30th March, 2009 at 12:10 pm  

    But surely, the MSM and blogs such as this one perpetuate the myth of muslim and islamism.

    Treat people as people first, do not accept that a religion is a realistic handle on which to hang your identity. Surely we, as a civilisation, have passed this now…seems not.

  2. MaidMarian — on 30th March, 2009 at 12:16 pm  

    Sid – ‘it is vitally important that Gary Younge understands that the “mythical Muslim” is not as mythical as he thinks he is.’ Spot on.

    Muslims make up (I understand) about 3.5% of the population – compare that to the sheer volume of comment and so on about them. For that matter, take out the number that are ‘integrated’ (yes – I know we need to ask whatever that means, but accept the sentiment!!) and who actively participate in UK civil society and the ‘problem’ number of is probably tiny.

    I do think though we do have to ask who is actually getting the benefit of the current situation, which seems designed to generate heat and not light.

    Those who peddle identity politics, and those silly enough to buy into it, should take a long hard look at themself.

  3. munir — on 30th March, 2009 at 12:17 pm  

    Gary Younge is an excellent writer and this piece is excellent. He understands Muslim’s views far more than Sid ever will.

    “Gary Younge’s ‘actual Muslim’ complies to this list of behaviours and attitudes:
    He does not support gay rights, racial equality or women’s rights.
    He does not support tolerance or parliamentary government.
    He is ambivalent about the murder of civilians unless they are in Palestine, Afghanistan or Iraq only.
    He does not want to be treated as a regular British citizen. ”

    No that is just your simplistic black and white extrapolation and distortion (re the last point Yonge said “He wants to be treated as a regular British citizen – but not by the police, immigration or airport security. “)

    With regards the murder of civilians the vast majority of Muslims condemn any killing of civilians not just in Palestine, Kashmir etc- Islamophobes only condemn when its Muslims doing the killing.

    “But I parted company with Gary after he started writing articles like this one on Islam and Muslim identity.”

    Is there any better recommendation for Garys writings?

  4. platinum786 — on 30th March, 2009 at 12:23 pm  

    I don’t quite think he meant it as you put it. I don’t think defining a group helps. When was the last time we had task forces on British [isert religious group here].

    Someone has to tell government, Muslim is only a part of my identity. It’s an important personal part, but again, only part. Some people feel it a larger part of their idenity, others feel it insignificant.

    I have varying political beleifs. I’m all for tough on crime and the causes of crime, yet I’m very liberal in my opinions on reforming prisoners and working with troubled young people. i like the idea of 4 months paternity leave for dads, yet I’m all for profiteering.

    I think homosexuality is unnatural and wrong, i’m not about to ruin someones Friday night by protesting about it in gay areas, i don’t care what people do in their spare time, as long as it doesn’t harm me.

    I want the women in my life to be strong and be able to take on the world, yet at the same time, i beleive in the cutural and religios values I ahve and I also would like them to be “conservative” in the way they dress.

    I think the world needs to take on International Terrorism, i don’t think war was the most effective way of doing it.

    What’s so hard in understanding we’re normal people with normal lives and normal views.

  5. fug — on 30th March, 2009 at 12:25 pm  

    I do love gary younge, he is an advanced human being able to communicate heightened understanding. Munir, Gary’s awesomeness is not a function of sid’s anal contrarianism. ITs about imagination

    Check this article from several years ago on “Why are all white men so aggresive?” its genius

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2004/dec/01/race.islamandbritain

  6. The Common Humanist — on 30th March, 2009 at 12:30 pm  

    Sid,
    Another good piece. Well put all round.

    Munir also falls for the same stique as Younge. Interesting.

    Why do the Hard Left (Younge) and the Reactionary Right/Islamist Right (Munir) insist that all muslims are or are at heart reactionary headchoppers, oppressors of women and non muslims, unsuited to civil liberties, democracy and the like?

    Baffling as most muslims I know or have worked with are eminently ammenable to such things.

  7. munir — on 30th March, 2009 at 12:58 pm  

    The Common Humanist

    “Why do the Hard Left (Younge) and the Reactionary Right/Islamist Right (Munir) insist that all muslims are or are at heart reactionary headchoppers, oppressors of women and non muslims, unsuited to civil liberties, democracy and the like? ”

    They dont you zionist idiot. You totally (deliberately) misunderstood my point.

  8. munir — on 30th March, 2009 at 1:00 pm  

    fug
    “I do love gary younge, he is an advanced human being able to communicate heightened understanding. Munir, Gary’s awesomeness is not a function of sid’s anal contrarianism. ITs about imagination”

    You are right-Gary is brilliant- nothing to do with Sid who is a nobody compared to him.

    “Check this article from several years ago on “Why are all white men so aggresive?” its genius

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2004/dec/01/race.islamandbritain

    Totally agree- its one of my favourite articles -absolute genius

  9. Sid — on 30th March, 2009 at 1:18 pm  

    You are right-Gary is brilliant- nothing to do with Sid who is a nobody compared to him.

    Not only am I a nobody compared to Gary Younge but according to him, I don’t even exist.

  10. fug — on 30th March, 2009 at 1:24 pm  

    munir, its a humourous exposition of a certain kind of white think.

    “…It’s time to flip the script, to lay bare just a hint of the assuming subconscious that infects the most common questions I have either been asked or heard. To ask the kind of questions of white, British people (some are just for Christians) that they often pose to “others” but are never asked themselves. I didn’t make these up because I wouldn’t know where to start. This is my world. For the next 500 words, you’re just living in it.

    Do you think of yourself as white or British or both? Does it worry you that you got your job just because of your race? Where are you from? No, but really? Since this is where you live, don’t you think you should try and integrate with other races more? Is your first loyalty to your God, or to your country? Is it true what they say about white guys? Given the genocide, slavery and colonialism unleashed in the name of Christianity over the last two centuries, do you feel your religion is compatible with democracy? Mr Grant, do you think of yourself as a white actor or an actor who happens to be white? I don’t mind white people, but if they want to live here then why shouldn’t they have to fit in with our traditions? Shouldn’t the police be doing more to tackle white-on-white crime? Given the objectification of women in your culture and the rise in teenage pregnancies, don’t you think it’s time to ban young girls wearing make up? What do you make of the tribal conflict in Ukraine? I thought you asked for flesh-coloured tights? Don’t you feel that this politically correct belief that we have to respect white people’s feelings has stifled honest discussion and debate? Isn’t it a shame that white people cannot pick more responsible leaders? What do you mean, you can’t Morris dance? Don’t you ever worry about being pigeonholed as a white person? Why aren’t you doing more to check the rise in Christian fundamentalism? Who are your community leaders? Why should we balance our belief in human rights with our tolerance for Christians? What do white people think about Jews? How would you define “white” style? Mr Amis, why do you write about white people all the time? Don’t you find that limiting? What are you doing for your people? Have you seen what the Bible says about women? Are you the token white guy? Don’t take this personally, but why are white men so aggressive? Now the Olympics are over, can we finally admit that white people are genetically equipped to excel in archery and rowing? What is it with white people and homophobia? You know what white women are like, don’t you? I understand that as a white person you come at this from a particular place, but can’t you try to look at it objectively for a moment? Why do you people have such a chip on your shoulder? Don’t get offended, I was only asking.”

    Sid, the self promoting boring muslim that post holocaust zionised jews love to admire.

  11. Sunny — on 30th March, 2009 at 1:28 pm  

    Gary Younge, by being critical of the government’s attempts to draw out the antithesis of this stereotype, must certainly think so.

    Or more likely – he’s saying this is the stereotype that the government is looking for.

  12. Sid — on 30th March, 2009 at 1:31 pm  

    No he is saying that the government is searching for a myth, the opposite of the reality. In short, he’s peddling stereotypes.

  13. Shafiq — on 30th March, 2009 at 1:39 pm  

    I don’t understand why people care that I’m Muslim.

    I also don’t understand why the government spends so much time trying to understand what I think, why, and how they can change it.

    Or why loads of people dislike me because they dislike my beliefs (even though they don’t know what they are).

    Or why they insist I should be more like them but don’t tell me what ‘like them’ consists of.

    What I certainly don’t understand is why the government funds any Muslim group claiming to ‘represent me’, and then, stops talking to them as soon as they something out of the party line.

    What is with the obsession with my religion? Over the past few months, I’ve started developing a siege mentality, Gary Younge makes a good point, showing how people think that somehow Muslims are different from other Britons – we’re not!

  14. Sunny — on 30th March, 2009 at 1:40 pm  

    So the government has the ‘right’ stereotype?

  15. munir — on 30th March, 2009 at 1:49 pm  

    Sid
    “No he is saying that the government is searching for a myth, the opposite of the reality. In short, he’s peddling stereotypes.”

    Gary Yonge is a friend of the Muslim community who when all about are attacking Muslims is willing to defend us. You are not.

  16. cjcjc — on 30th March, 2009 at 1:52 pm  

    If everyone conformed to the “stereotype” in the article we’d all be a hell of a lot better off.

  17. munir — on 30th March, 2009 at 1:53 pm  

    MaidMarian

    “Muslims make up (I understand) about 3.5% of the population – compare that to the sheer volume of comment and so on about them. For that matter, take out the number that are ‘integrated’ (yes – I know we need to ask whatever that means, but accept the sentiment!!) and who actively participate in UK civil society and the ‘problem’ number of is probably tiny.

    I do think though we do have to ask who is actually getting the benefit of the current situation, which seems designed to generate heat and not light.”

    I think we know very well- at the forefront of demonising Muslims and putting their every error on the front page are zionist extremists like Richard Desmond and Mel Phillips

    ‘Whatever makes the Arabs/Muslims look bad makes Israel look good’

    “Those who peddle identity politics, and those silly enough to buy into it, should take a long hard look at themself.”

    Couldnt agree more. Time to disband the British Board of Deputies and the Beth Din courts.

  18. KT1 — on 30th March, 2009 at 1:53 pm  

    I don’t see anything wrong with what Younge is saying. Could it be, Sid, that you’ve made the same migration from left to right as already witnessed by the transformations of men like Nick Cohen and Christopher Hitchens? Namely, you are still an ardent believer in freedom of speech and liberal values, except when it has anything to do with Islam?

  19. munir — on 30th March, 2009 at 1:54 pm  

    cjcjc
    “If everyone conformed to the “stereotype” in the article we’d all be a hell of a lot better off.”

    Yep its all the Muslims’ fault. Why bother going to HP when HP comes to you!!

  20. cjcjc — on 30th March, 2009 at 1:57 pm  

    Liberal values do not include tolerance/acceptance of illiberal ones…except on the pages of the Guardian of course.

  21. munir — on 30th March, 2009 at 2:00 pm  

    cjcjc
    “Liberal values do not include tolerance/acceptance of illiberal ones…except on the pages of the Guardian of course”

    Or for liberal advocates of a “Jewish” state

  22. Honest Question — on 30th March, 2009 at 2:12 pm  

    Over the past few months, I’ve started developing a siege mentality, Gary Younge makes a good point, showing how people think that somehow Muslims are different from other Britons – we’re not!

    If you aren’t so different, why is ‘diversity’ so all-important?

  23. douglas clark — on 30th March, 2009 at 2:26 pm  

    Sid,

    I’ve had a quick read through Gary Younges’ article. On his first few paragraphs, where he defines his Mythical Muslim:

    That’s not a mythical Muslim

    - it is more of a mythical ‘subject, UK‘ as fantasised by the Westminster Village-

    They would apply exactly the same standards to anyone, black, brown, white or grey.

    They want everyone to be tick-tock men, meeting and matching into their own happy little jigsaw of a perfect society run by mandarins. And, oh if it were true, how much easier it would be for the mandarins!

    There are potential solutions to achieving this perfect subject race. None of them are particularily nice.

  24. Shafiq — on 30th March, 2009 at 2:33 pm  

    If you aren’t so different, why is ‘diversity’ so all-important?

    It’s not. But then again, I can’t change the fact that I’m brown, or the fact that until the age of 3, I spoke a different language.

  25. Imran — on 30th March, 2009 at 2:34 pm  

    Sid, I think there is a big flaw in your argument here.

    Younge has given a list of characteristics which would add up to the government’s ‘mythical’ Muslim.

    You have listed the opposite of all those characteristics, and said that Younge is therefore saying that the ‘actual’ Muslim is one who lives up to those opposites.

    As you point out, that isn’t an accurate picture of Muslims in our society – but it’s also clearly not what Younge is saying.

    He’s not claiming that his ‘actual’ Muslim is the ideological opposite of the Government’s ‘mythical’ one, which is what you appear to have inferred.

    I wouldn’t want to speak for him, but if the point he’s making is that very few -individual- Muslims in Britain correspond with the Government’s alleged vision of an ideal ‘Muslim community’, it’d be hard to disagree, surely?

  26. halima — on 30th March, 2009 at 2:41 pm  

    I tend to like Gary Younge, too, on most issues, mostly because he’s more in touch with the street and the sentiments in working class and disadvantaged communities. I think far too many writers on identity don’t get what it means to be both a minority and poor – and this is the understanding he brings.

    Respect.

    Sorry, Sid, it’s late, but did Younge actually say those things on that list? I find it really hard to believe?

    It sounds to me that you’ve made a lot of assumptions and let your imagination run? i see this when people often argue when with me on matters that I’ve never spoken about, but because they are actually projecting an attitude they’ve come across in someone else..

  27. Sid — on 30th March, 2009 at 2:45 pm  

    I wouldn’t want to speak for him, but if the point he’s making is that very few -individual- Muslims in Britain correspond with the Government’s alleged vision of an ideal ‘Muslim community’, it’d be hard to disagree, surely?

    I think that what you’re saying is spot on, but I don’t believe that that’s what Younge is saying though.

    For a start, he criticises the government for looking for a list of features that define a type of Muslim that is ‘mythical’.

    And then criticise the government for defining Muslims in terms of their religion only when engaging with them.

    So he is critical of the government’s egagement of the MCB but does not think that the Muslim who does not identify by religion alone exists.

    Self-contradictory? You bet.

    I think there *is* an ideological opposite to Younge’s “actual Muslim” and I believe that he can be engaged through means other than just his religion.

  28. munir — on 30th March, 2009 at 2:48 pm  

    HonestQuestion
    “If you aren’t so different, why is ‘diversity’ so all-important?”

    It isnt.

    Everyone must be a white Anglo-Saxon heterosexual Protestant who supports ridiculous overseas wars.

    Or else.

  29. douglas clark — on 30th March, 2009 at 2:58 pm  

    Shafiq @ 13,

    What is with the obsession with my religion? Over the past few months, I’ve started developing a siege mentality..

    I dunno. It is people like you I feel are being played upon, something rotten. You are asked to explain – by Honest Question @ 22 – what is different about you?

    I personally think that is a dishonest question. An honest question might have been what is the same about you?

    There, it seems to me anyway, to be a cheat mode in this game of life, people can have a go at you, viz Honest Question, as though he, she or it held some sort of mythical trump card.

    The answer to the brain dead Honest Question is that we are all different. Each and every one of us.

  30. Refresh — on 30th March, 2009 at 3:06 pm  

    This post is a dishonest concoction.

    Why can’t bloggers quote people correctly without moulding everything around what they would like them to have said to fulfill some higher purpose – whatever that may be.

    Gary Younge is excellent.

  31. platinum786 — on 30th March, 2009 at 3:08 pm  

    I wonder how the Irish dealt with all this when their community was seen as terrorists or terrorists-to-be.

    I can understand Shariq’s point of view, a lot of things nowadays are Muslim this Muslim that, but at the same time, maybe it’s just the circles I am in, the blogs I read?

    The need for diversity is not a Muslim-exclusive need. We have a lot of different cultures in our society, it’s important to understand them, so we can get along. It’s like how some schools plan inset days on Eid, or the police are aware some Sikhs can’t wear cycle helmets over their turbans (as turbans tend to be pretty large).

  32. Sid — on 30th March, 2009 at 3:13 pm  

    I think it’s pretty callow and cowardly calling another person’s interpretation a “dishonest conconction” when you have have absolutely no intention or interest in arguing what is being said other than to call names, isn’t it. But there you go, nowt new there.

  33. douglas clark — on 30th March, 2009 at 3:21 pm  

    munir,

    Excellent rant at 28,

    So can I take it you’ll be on the next Gay Pride march?

    Thought not.

    How does someone like you attempt to suborn the gay community into your rant? You are against the heterosexual community, fair enough, but what’s the options?

    Ehh!

  34. douglas clark — on 30th March, 2009 at 3:32 pm  

    If I were a woman, I’d take enormous offence to some tit on the internet assuming that just because he said he was Muslim, say, that he’d a right.

    Seems to me to be what some of the ass fuckin’ muthafuckas think it is their right.

    Assholes.

    There.

  35. Sid — on 30th March, 2009 at 3:34 pm  

    douglas, have you been drinking from the same well as ‘The dude’?

  36. Refresh — on 30th March, 2009 at 3:35 pm  

    ‘But there you go, nowt new there.’

    Don’t you think it gets a bit boring that after 3 years of posting that you are still stuck on this one.

    Name calling? Not really. I just think your posts have taken on the HP house style. Usually I find it difficult to engage with you when, you know at some point or another someone somewhere will be found lacking as a consequence of being of the left or an islamist or whatever.

  37. Sid — on 30th March, 2009 at 3:39 pm  

    Usually I find it difficult to engage with you when, you know at some point or another someone somewhere will be found lacking as a consequence of being of the left or an islamist or whatever.

    Not in your case though. In all the years of posting, you have not managed to lift your comments above the level of choleric whinge.

  38. soru — on 30th March, 2009 at 3:41 pm  

    I wouldn’t want to speak for him, but if the point he’s making is that very few -individual- Muslims in Britain correspond with the Government’s alleged vision of an ideal ‘Muslim community’, it’d be hard to disagree, surely?

    ‘Alleged’ is the key word here. It does seem to me that Younge wanted to disagree with something, so he made up something he could disagree with. His underlying position is more anti-MCB than the government, but he didn’t want to write that article.

    At root, this is a discussion of who qualifies to get a few thousand pounds of taxpayers money to run a youth club. Probably not many people would be interesting in that discussion, but I am not really sure that excuses the level of dishonesty seen from those trying to make the discussion more lively. I mean:

    comments its deputy secretary, Daud Abdullah, made about supporting Palestinians

    Now, if Abdullah had actually been ‘supporting Palestinians’, and got censured for it, that would be a much more interesting story, one with a understandable narrative and obvious villains.

    It’s almost a pity it’s not true – things would be so much easier and simpler…

  39. Insert pompus name here — on 30th March, 2009 at 3:41 pm  

    Yep its all the Muslims’ fault.

    No, no, no Munir, it’s the exact opposite. It is NEVER a Muslims fault

  40. Sunny — on 30th March, 2009 at 3:42 pm  

    Are you folks just going to bicker again?

  41. Sid — on 30th March, 2009 at 3:46 pm  

    ‘Alleged’ is the key word here. It does seem to me that Younge wanted to disagree with something, so he made up something he could disagree with. His underlying position is more anti-MCB than the government, but he didn’t want to write that article.

    I think that’s absolutely right. There is a critique of MCB in there, couched in a critique of the government for being unable to engage Muslims other than through theologians and clerics.

  42. Refresh — on 30th March, 2009 at 3:47 pm  

    Sid,

    perhaps. I just can’t get over the number of permutations of the same old stuff you keep coming up with.

  43. Sid — on 30th March, 2009 at 3:47 pm  

    Who’s forcing you to read it Refresh?

  44. douglas clark — on 30th March, 2009 at 3:49 pm  

    Sid @ 35,

    You haven’t answered my comment at 23.

    Please do.

    You haven’t taken up the fact that munir is a complete idiot.

    Please do.

    You can’t, apparently see how this thread is heading down the toilet.

    Please do.

    Possibly right on the old well stuff….

  45. Refresh — on 30th March, 2009 at 3:51 pm  

    Sid,

    ‘Who’s forcing you to read it Refresh?’

    That is a fair point.

    What is your compulsion for writing it?

  46. douglas clark — on 30th March, 2009 at 3:53 pm  

    If I were religious, or not even, I’d take enormous offence to some tit on the internet assuming that just because he said he was Muslim, say, that you was his bitch.

    Seems to me to be what some of the ass fuckin’ muthafuckas think is their right.

    Assholes.

    There.

  47. Sid — on 30th March, 2009 at 3:54 pm  

    What is your compulsion for writing it?

    I don’t write it, it writes itself. :D

  48. douglas clark — on 30th March, 2009 at 3:58 pm  

    Och, Sid,

    You are only a happy bunny when you think the world is against you, that’s it, isn’t it?

  49. Sid — on 30th March, 2009 at 4:03 pm  

    I would never presume to be such a preening egotist, douglas clark. You’re obviously mistaking me for someone else. :)

  50. Refresh — on 30th March, 2009 at 4:05 pm  

    ‘I don’t write it, it writes itself.’

    Its beginning to show.

  51. Sid — on 30th March, 2009 at 4:08 pm  

    Its beginning to show.

    thank you but I cannot return the compliment.

  52. bananabrain — on 30th March, 2009 at 4:35 pm  

    i see this battle is still going on and on and on. apparently, if you aren’t a snivelling, apologist weasel, you’re a swivel-eyed, genocidal goon. well, sid is neither. this thread says it all, doesn’t it, what a pointless, doctrinaire exercise in labelmongering. talk about a dialogue of the deaf.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  53. Chris Baldwin — on 30th March, 2009 at 4:35 pm  

    “What is revealing is that if you bother to deconstruct what Younge’s views of Muslims are in this society, we arrive at his view of the “actual Muslim”.”

    I think you’ve misinterpreted this piece. Gary Younge says that the government wants all Muslims to have the characteristics he lists in the article. He thinks that such a Muslim does not exist. I don’t think it follows that he thinks all Muslims are the antithesis of this ‘mythical Muslim’.

  54. Sid — on 30th March, 2009 at 4:46 pm  

    I don’t think it follows that he thinks all Muslims are the antithesis of this ‘mythical Muslim’.

    I don’t think it follows that he thinks all Muslims are the antithesis of this ‘mythical Muslim’ either.

    But I do think he wants it both ways. The characteristics he lists in his article is a synopsis of Muslims who do not self-identify in terms of their religion. These people exist – I know they exist because I know quite a few myself. And yet, he says that these are mythical Muslims. Sure they’re not the majority but they do form a sizeable politicised minority of the “Muslim community”.

    He then proceeds to criticise the government for dealing with the MCB after admitting that the only type of Muslims are the MCB-types.

    So he is essentially anti-MCB Muslim but can’t bring himself to actually say so. Because obviously, he doesn’t want to alienate his pro-Islamist fan base, no doubt.

  55. Refresh — on 30th March, 2009 at 4:52 pm  

    ‘but can’t bring himself to actually say so.’

    I don’t think that wrote itself, it appears to have the human touch: part silly and part presumptious.

  56. Sid — on 30th March, 2009 at 5:02 pm  

    You mean like his part pro-Islamist and part far-left fan base?

  57. Sid — on 30th March, 2009 at 5:09 pm  

    Refresh, you accused David T and HP of lying a few days ago for suggesting that the MCB are funded by the government. Well here is the “excellent” Gary Younge on the MCB:

    People generally don’t make a living out of being Muslim and those who do should not be on the government payroll. The most obvious response to news that Blears was threatening to cut funding to the MCB was to say: “We shouldn’t be funding the MCB anyway.” Governments should not be in the God business. The fact that it funds the Church of England creates inequality. But the proper response is to stop giving the C of E money, not fund other religions.

    Do you think you can manage a critique of the above Younge quote, without delving into nasty personal snipes?

  58. Refresh — on 30th March, 2009 at 5:37 pm  

    Sid, this comes up time and again. I do recall wanting to understand from DavidT whether there was funding of the MCB, and it was clear that there was none. If things have changed, then lets have it.

    I cannot speak for Younge, unless he knows different, no one has yet provided a reliable statement which says the MCB was funded. I presume Younge too has fallen into the trap of accepting this to be fact when it isn’t.

    I have concerns where groups, associations, umbrella bodies or whatever seek and obtain government funding. It naturally undermines their independence. And as we will see shortly with the voluntary sector, it leaves them without the means for independent policy making and survival when the funding goes.

  59. Imran Khan — on 30th March, 2009 at 6:54 pm  

    Sid – All communities pay taxes and are entitled to government money. Its that simple.

    What you won’t address is that Blears is lying about what was signed when she said it was a call to target Jews worldwide.

    Now the MCB only gets money for projects and these are approved by the Government.

    The simple fact is that Blears is lover of a war tank whose agenda on Muslims is clear from another thread.

    Will she now in light of their dodgy reporting also be drawing up guidelines for engagement with think tanks and their ability to keep receipts.

    Also why do you not worry about the neocon influence on the likes of Policy Exchange where they are influenced by foreign organisations?

    The MCB may not be the best organisation out there but is it any worse than the others? They are all the same.

    Blears has a love affair for Sufi Organisations becaise Policy Exchange have told her that they’ve been told by their master in the neocon world that Sufi is the way to go. Now thats hardly adhering to the ideals she subscribes to.

    Also as leading Jewish writers have pointed out she isn’t making similart demands of their community organisations. They can see she is being unfair and unjust and I fail to see why you can’t.

    Its clear she has whipped up a storm and it is all about a meaningless gesture document that in fact attacks Arab governments more than anything else.

    She has lied to people in her statements and that doesn’t concern you as much as the MCB Funding.

    Blears as a Minister for Communities has hardly engaged with any community especially the Muslim community and she is just a provocateur for Muslims. She never listens to them and treats them as people do a dog telling them when to sit, stand and roll over.

    She is the single reason that community cohension has failed and I’ve seen her on Question Time and she is arrogant.

    Blears is part of the problem and your love of Dave T’s writing is clouding you seeing that. When Pro-Israel writers acknowledge she is wrong then you can’t keep blaming the MCB.

    She is not treating all the organisations fairly and that will have a negative impact on fractured community relations.

  60. Sid — on 30th March, 2009 at 8:40 pm  

    Imran Khan

    Unlike Refresh, I think non-government agencies are perfectly entitled to receive government funds *as long as* they are aiding policies which are democratic, pluralist, non-communal and do not push religious identity politics above the collective interests of civil society.

    The MCB or its spin-off groups like Minar, would deserve to have their funding switched off if they were to breach the criteria for receiving funds.

    Government initiatives like the PVE and Contest 2 help to ensure that Muslim groups which set up grassroots projects are managed by individuals who agree to these criteria.

    Gary Younge writes a sentence in there which I completely agree with:

    Governments should not be in the God business.

    But to which his conclusion is wrong:

    The fact that it funds the Church of England creates inequality. But the proper response is to stop giving the C of E money, not fund other religions.

    The C of E and the MCB as institutions are not comparable. One is a religious institution and the other a (potentially) democratically representative NGO. A democratic secular democracy should ideally *never* siphon taxpayer’s money into religious institutions that are manifestations of state religion. So the C of E is out.

    But it can fund NGOs, think tanks etc, as long they stick to the rules of the game.

    Ms Blears was correct to threaten Minar of discontinuing funding because Daud Abdullah signed the Istanbul Declaration. But she was wrong to force the MCB to fire Daud Abdullah for signing it.

    And as for Daud Abdullah, well, he’s just a complete tit, isn’t he?

  61. blah — on 30th March, 2009 at 9:42 pm  

    Chris Baldwin
    “I think you’ve misinterpreted this piece. Gary Younge says that the government wants all Muslims to have the characteristics he lists in the article. He thinks that such a Muslim does not exist. I don’t think it follows that he thinks all Muslims are the antithesis of this ‘mythical Muslim’.”

    Precisely- youve summed up Sids misunderstanding exactly

  62. blah — on 30th March, 2009 at 9:51 pm  

    Sid
    “I don’t think it follows that he thinks all Muslims are the antithesis of this ‘mythical Muslim’ either.

    But I do think he wants it both ways. The characteristics he lists in his article is a synopsis of Muslims who do not self-identify in terms of their religion. These people exist – I know they exist because I know quite a few myself. And yet, he says that these are mythical Muslims. Sure they’re not the majority but they do form a sizeable politicised minority of the “Muslim community”.”

    Did you actually read what Gary Yonge wrote?
    You clearly didnt since you are simply responding to your own misunderstanding and parody of what he wrote.

    Or are you suggesting a sizeable politicised minority of the Muslim comunity exist who “abhor the murder of innocent civilians without qualification – unless they are in Palestine, Afghanistan or Iraq” want to be harrased by the authorities, wouldnt mind there daughter wearing anything as long as its not hijab, thinks Muslims should be offended ut should speak out against any offense, defends Britains right to bomb and invade any Muslim country

    That is the mythical muslim Yonge says the governemnt wants and you claim actually exist in substantial numbers,

    Youre nuts to claim this.

  63. Sid — on 30th March, 2009 at 9:52 pm  

    Chris Baldwin:

    I think you’ve misinterpreted this piece. Gary Younge says that the government wants all Muslims to have the characteristics he lists in the article. He thinks that such a Muslim does not exist. I don’t think it follows that he thinks all Muslims are the antithesis of this ‘mythical Muslim’.

    He clearly thinks that the mythical Muslim does not even exist – which means that *only* it’s antithesis does:

    And so it is that the mythical Muslim will prove as elusive as weapons of mass destruction or the beacons of democracy that Iraq and Afghanistan were supposed to become.

  64. Cabalamat — on 30th March, 2009 at 9:58 pm  

    Is that list an accurate synopsis of your average Muslim in our society?

    Clearly some of the items on the list are an accurate description of how some British Muslims think.

  65. blah — on 30th March, 2009 at 10:10 pm  

    Sid

    “He clearly thinks that the mythical Muslim does not even exist – which means that *only* it’s antithesis does:”

    How so? Just because something doesnt exist doesnt mean the only thing that does exist is its antithesis. You are suggesting people can only be at extremes of an argument without any nuace.

    Take the issue of headscarf- Gary Yonge’s MM is happy for his daughter to wearing anything BUT hijab- from which you extrapolate the absurd notion that Gary Yonge
    is saying all Muslim men want to force their daughters to wear hijab- as if no other option exists.

    Gary Yonges mythical Muslim and your take on his “mythical muslim” which you have constructed by bastardizing his arguments are two entirely seperate beings

  66. Sid — on 30th March, 2009 at 10:14 pm  

    In any case Gary Yonges mythical Muslim and your “mythical muslim” which you have constructed by bastardizing his arguments are two entirely seperate beings

    Well obviously. He doesn’t even think the MM exists and I’m saying we do.

  67. blah — on 30th March, 2009 at 10:27 pm  

    wow what a dishonest twit Sid is

    I wrote ” Gary Yonges mythical Muslim and your take on his “mythical muslim” which you have constructed by bastardizing his arguments are two entirely seperate beings”

    and Sid quoted
    “In any case Gary Yonges mythical Muslim and your “mythical muslim” which you have constructed by bastardizing his arguments are two entirely seperate beings

    taking out my phrase “your take on his” which pointed out how Sid had distorted and created an Aunt Sally from Yonges argument

    “Well obviously. He doesn’t even think the MM exists and I’m saying we do.”

    Great to know you are identifying yourself as a Muslim now. Werent you the Sid who described himself as “tehnically an apostate” ?

    And according to the takfiris at HP you arent a Muslim
    (Im not saying you arent BTW)

    http://www.hurryupharry.org/2009/03/12/poor-old-sid/

  68. Sid — on 30th March, 2009 at 10:32 pm  

    Great to know you are identifying yourself as a Muslim now. Werent you the Sid who described himself as “tehnically an apostate” ?

    Yeah, the keyword being “technically”. But then technically, you commit zina with your mother for benefitting in some form or another from riba.

  69. blah — on 30th March, 2009 at 10:37 pm  

    Sid
    “Yeah, the keyword being “technically”. But then technically, you commit zina with your mother for benefitting in some form or another from riba.”

    1)I dont deal in riba
    2) I would never describe myself as “techinically commiting zina with my mother” (which incidentally is for people who DIRECTLY deal in Riba)- why would you describe yourself as “technically an apostate”?

  70. Sid — on 30th March, 2009 at 10:44 pm  

    You don’t have to deal in riba, you merely have to benefit from it to technically commit zina with your mother, which you do simply by dint of owning a house, a car, a pension or even a credit card. And I stress technically.

    I am technically an apostate because I don’t believe the Islamic state is required by shari’a.

  71. blah — on 30th March, 2009 at 10:53 pm  

    “You don’t have to deal in riba, you merely have to benefit from it to technically commit zina with your mother, which you do simply by dint of owning a house, a car, a credit card, a pension or even a credit card. And I stress technically.”

    Says who? You arent to blame for riba unless you purposely deliberately deal in it ( and even then when it is daroora eg if you dont buy a house on interest youll be homeless). “Benefitting” isnt wrong and “benefitting” from it is such a nebulous concept anyway. If I enter a building build on riba to shelter from the rain am I dealing in Riba? Thats absurd

    Its amazing that Sid claims to be a moderate Muslim while adopted extreme fiqhi positions which even the most extreme Mullah would gawp at and reject.

    What he’s saying is like saying that someone who is forced by the law to pay taxes that then go to bomb Iraqis is as to blame as someone who of his own bat buys weapons to be dropped on Iraqis. (the Al Qaida/London bombers argument)

    And BTW I dont have a house, paid for my car without interest and dont have a credt card

    “I am technically an apostate because I don’t believe the Islamic state is required by shari’a.”

    again on whose authority?
    You are very odd Sid.

  72. Sid — on 30th March, 2009 at 11:00 pm  

    Its amazing that Sid claims to be a moderate Muslim while adopted extreme fiqhi positions which even the most extreme Mullah would gawp at and reject.

    Bravo, you’ve arrived at exactly the point I wanted you. Yes these are extreme fiqhi positions but nonetheless Shari’a can be extended into these extremes by technically extreme interpretations.

    But it was fun watching you jump through loopholes to extract yourself from the technical ignominy of technically committing zina with your mother.

  73. persephone — on 30th March, 2009 at 11:10 pm  

    @ 4: “I want the women in my life to be strong and be able to take on the world, yet at the same time, i beleive in the cutural and religios values I ahve and I also would like them to be “conservative” in the way they dress.”

    Its interesting how the mindset behind this sentence wants a woman to have certain personal qualities but infers that these should not put into jeopardy their religious/ cultural values, particularly dress.

    As if being strong & able to take on the world is mutually exclusive to being religious, cultural & dressing ‘conservatively’.

    There was a film where the men turned their women into their ‘ideal’ woman – it was called The Stepford Wives. Only thing is, it was a horror film.

  74. douglas clark — on 30th March, 2009 at 11:19 pm  

    Sid @ 49,

    I would never presume to be such a preening egotist, douglas clark. You’re obviously mistaking me for someone else.

    No, och well, OK then.

    Yeah,

    Gary Younge is very good at being Gary Younge. Oor Gary makes his bucks out of writing as though he speaks on behalf of some sort of silent majority. He speaks as though he has never engaged his brain with his beliefs.

    Y’know, belief should follow thought, rather than guide it?

    Which I think, at your best, is the exact opposite of you. You do engage your brain before you write. And people generally, the fugs, the munirs and the rest of the folk following the Microsoft 2.0 – engage belief before thought – will be your enemies until hell freezes over. But, and this is the point, David T works on Microsoft 2.0 too.

    I do think you brain – and it is a fucking good brain – guides what you believe.

    As someone – maybe Ravi Naik, or Jai – said elsewhere, we have to trust the people we believe in. We have to take it as read that they are not bullshitting us. So, rather than know the absolute details of climate change, say, or the Pakistan / Bangladesh split, folk like me want to read stuff from experts and not have to think .

    So, I have come to trust what you have to say.

    Seriously.

    However, that is subject to you keeping your critical faculties intact. My spidey sense says that the Sid I admire, and I do admire you, should not sell his soul to David T.

    You, can blow me away if you want. But give me credit for at least caring about what you think and say.

  75. douglas clark — on 31st March, 2009 at 10:27 am  

    No reply from Sid.

    Ain’t that a laff?

    Or a cop out?

  76. Sid — on 31st March, 2009 at 10:38 am  

    Thanks douglas for #74. Sorry for the delay in replying but it has made me think quite seriously on the nature of bonds and affiliations we strike with others on t’internet.

    One of the things I’ve discovered over the years is blogging brings me face to face with broadly two amorphous norms.

    Those with whom I share a common culture and religion but absolutely no common ground in ethical or political values, such as the the fugs and the munirs.

    Then there are those with whom I very little cultural or religious background but share the same political, ethical and human values and those are people like yourself and David T.

    Then there is everything in between which is where we share likes and dislikes of people on a visceral level. I think you might have arrived at a dispeptic conclusion of David T but I think you’ll find our values are mutually shared.

  77. douglas clark — on 31st March, 2009 at 11:16 am  

    Sid,

    I have always seen you as someone to believe in.

    I think you might have arrived at a dispeptic conclusion of David T but I think you’ll find our values are mutually shared.

    David has opinions that are exclusively Jewish, and frankly daft. This is the idiot who thinks that London based groupiscules of political thought actually matter. This is the David T that signed the Euston Manifesto.

    Frankly, I quite like David T, but I wouldn’t agree with a word he said over tea and cakes. You, on the other hand….

  78. King King — on 31st March, 2009 at 11:19 am  

    Those with whom I share a common culture and religion

    I thought you were technically an apostate? Not that anyone really cares, but hell, it’s another oddity in your pack of odd-cards.

  79. Sid — on 31st March, 2009 at 11:23 am  

    See the discussion on the term “technical” in comments #68-72. You will find it’s a hand-me-down conferred by those on whom the same extreme interpretations can be turned. Like tables. ;-)

  80. Sid — on 31st March, 2009 at 11:47 am  

    David has opinions that are exclusively Jewish, and frankly daft. This is the idiot who thinks that London based groupiscules of political thought actually matter. This is the David T that signed the Euston Manifesto.

    And you could say my opinions are “exclusively Muslim, and frankly daft” or Sunny is “exclusively brown, and frankly daft”. But I guess that kind of dismissive crap comes with the territory.

    I don’t share any of the Euston Manifesto ideas with the pro-war left, and you will remember that I was one of the most vociferous critics of that here on PP.

    However, I do share an unapologetic anti-fascist and anti-Islamist agenda with David T.

  81. cjcjc — on 31st March, 2009 at 12:46 pm  

    What are “exclusively Jewish” opinions?

  82. munir — on 31st March, 2009 at 12:52 pm  

    Sid
    “Then there are those with whom I very little cultural or religious background but share the same political, ethical and human values and those are people like yourself and David T. ”

    These “political, ethical and human values” in David T’s case include supporting the bombing of Iraqs Muslims and the herding of Gazans into a ghetto then slaughtering them (which even liberal zionists balked at). The key theme being that Muslims should get killed
    Also the continual obsessional demonisation of Muslims who dare defend the Palestinians, which is David T’s raison d’etre.

    What you share with David T is a rabid dislike of Muslims and non-Muslims who seek to defend other Muslims or get rights for Muslims. David T does this because he is a rabid zionist apologist for Israel , you do it because of your involvement in Bangladeshi politics so you are happy to contribute to Islamophobia in Britian for your own personal/political agenda.

  83. Sid — on 31st March, 2009 at 12:57 pm  

    What you share with David T is a rabid dislike of Muslims and non-Muslims who seek to defend other Muslims or get rights for Muslims. David T does this because he is a rabid zionist apologist for Israel , you do it because of your involvement in Bangladeshi politics so you are happy to contribute to Islamophobia in Britian for your own personal/political agenda.

    I have absolutely zero involvement in Bangladeshi politics. No more than you have of Israeli politics.

    But what I do note about you is your willingness to excuse Islamists’ involvements in crimes against humanity and that nasty Southsian regionalism – which transfers to a rabid hatred of Bangladeshis as third-class “Hindu-ised” Muslims and untermenschen. You’ve got that one down, haven’t you? That brand of fascism is commonly held especially by Southasian Maududi indoctrinated Islamists such as yourself.

  84. munir — on 31st March, 2009 at 1:00 pm  

    Sid

    And you could say my opinions are “exclusively Muslim, and frankly daft”

    but YOU (no one else) defined yourself as an apostate – so how can your opinion now be “exclusively Muslim” ?

  85. Sid — on 31st March, 2009 at 1:01 pm  

    The same way you can be a puritanical Islamist in spite of benefitting from riba.

  86. munir — on 31st March, 2009 at 1:47 pm  

    Sid
    “But what I do note about you is your willingness to excuse Islamists’ involvements in crimes against humanity and your typical Southsian regionalism – which in your case transfers to a rabid hatred of Bangladeshis as third-class “Hindu-ised” Muslims and untermenschen. The fascist attitude are commonly held by Islamists such as yourself”

    You are a complete liar

  87. King King — on 31st March, 2009 at 1:53 pm  

    Sid, grow up. Respond to the accusations that you share an explicitly pro-war and pro-Israel agenda with David T/HP Sauce/Nick Cohen/Martin Bright etc etc, rather than bleat about whether or not you are a Muslim. We don’t care. It’s like what Douglas Clark said, David T is a loon: are you an apologist and admirer of loons, Sid?

  88. Sid — on 31st March, 2009 at 1:57 pm  

    munir,

    yeah, right. splendid retort.

  89. Sid — on 31st March, 2009 at 1:58 pm  

    King King,

    Have you considered changing your first name to ‘Wan’? It would be far more fitting.

  90. munir — on 31st March, 2009 at 1:59 pm  

    Sid
    “The same way you can be a puritanical Islamist in spite of benefitting from riba.”

    1) I am not an “Islamist” (sic)
    2) I dont deal in Riba
    3) The person who purposely deals in Riba is still a Muslim albiet a highly sinful; one- the apostate is not

    huge difference

  91. Sid — on 31st March, 2009 at 2:02 pm  

    2) I dont deal in Riba

    Sure, you don’t deal in riba. ;-)

  92. munir — on 31st March, 2009 at 2:12 pm  

    Sid
    “munir,

    yeah, right. splendid retort.”

    Since when do your outright lies require a retort ?

  93. munir — on 31st March, 2009 at 2:13 pm  

    Sid
    “Sure, you don’t deal in riba. ”

    Sure you dont hate Muslims

  94. Sid — on 31st March, 2009 at 2:14 pm  

    munir,

    This is getting a tad boring, I’m sure you’d agree. So either shape up or fuck off.

    If you’ve got anything further add to the topic of this article then post it. Anything else will be smoked.

  95. Jai — on 31st March, 2009 at 2:27 pm  

    You are a complete liar

    Since when do your outright lies require a retort ?

    That’s pretty rich coming from someone who has already been categorically proven to lie repeatedly on this blog…..Not least the ongoing pretence of being multiple commenters (including repeatedly switching between “Munir” and “Blah” during the past couple of days alone) despite already being busted for this not only by other commenters but also by people directly involved in running this website, and despite (falsely) claiming that he does not lie to non-Muslims “as per Islam’s teachings on the matter”.

    Sure you dont hate Muslims

    Sure, you don’t hate non-Muslims, Munir/Blah/Anjem/Whatever. Of course not.

  96. douglas clark — on 31st March, 2009 at 4:04 pm  

    Sid,

    I’m sorry to find myself on the side of the likes of munir. Given our history could you at least be honest for a minute and wonder why?

    Your post at 80 is a call to arms for me. David T is, and always has been. an Isaeli apologist. That is almost all that Harry’s Place does for a living. Recall the breaking of a shop window being compared to Kristalnacht? That is a nutter. And you are a damn sight better than that.

    You’ll be telling me next that Nick Cohen is right, when the Nick Cohen I genuinely cared about died around about the time he co-wrote the Euston Manifesto.

    ‘Tis you sir, that is losing it.

    And I really don’t care what colour your skin is. That was a pretty cheap dig, wasn’t it? But I do care about your politics and how someone I respect – you – finds themselves allied to someone I can’t stand, David T.

    There you go.

  97. fugstar — on 31st March, 2009 at 4:14 pm  

    Bengali in platforms.

    how bizzare.

  98. Sid — on 31st March, 2009 at 4:23 pm  

    douglas clark,

    So you’d have more respect for me if I ally with genocidalists like munir and fugstar?

    You’d have more respect for me if I stand with people who applaud the bombing of innocent Iraqis in terror attacks that mean to destroy any chance of the creation of a unified (Shia, Sunni and Kurdish), democratic Iraq, free of theocracy and religious sectrarianism?

    That’s kind of shocking douglas. Surely you’ve not thought this one through?

  99. douglas clark — on 31st March, 2009 at 5:00 pm  

    Sid @ 98,

    You’d have more respect for me if I stand with people who applaud the bombing of innocent Iraqis in terror attacks that mean to destroy any chance of the creation of a unified (Shia, Sunni and Kurdish), democratic Iraq, free of theocracy and religious sectrarianism?

    Of course not. But a genuine opportunity to achieve that is not going to come through allying yourself with the likes of David T. For goodness sake, the only worthwhile post I’ve ever made here was about the devastation and ultimately rape of Iraq by the nutters who signed up to PNAC.

    I do not, never have, never will, agree to something on the basis that it is the lesser of two evils. Especially when it was founded on a lie. Much as I find a million dead Iraqis’ shocking. An inconvienient truth. What sort of democracy is based on that?

    I find that shocking.

    Or, equally, what we read here about Gaza.

    Yes, I have thought about this.

    To what extent do you think David T is about bringing democracy, free of theology and religion to Gaza? I’m not holding my breath.

  100. douglas clark — on 31st March, 2009 at 6:15 pm  

    Sid,

    Just in case it wasn’t clear, although I thought it was, I do have enormous respect for you. I wouldn’t bother at all if I didn’t.

    If I recall correctly, which I probably don’t, you were one of the three people that write here that I thought ought to be elected, and who I would work across party lines to see that happen.

    Sunny, Sonia and you.

  101. Don — on 31st March, 2009 at 6:40 pm  

    Been off-line for a couple of days (damn BT) and am now catching up.

    Actually, the second part of that article is pretty good but the first three paragraphs are badly flawed. Younge presents a number of characteristics which are far from uncommon among the limited number of british moslems I know, but then undercuts them with a sneer.

    He abhors the murder of innocent civilians without qualification Well, that’s not so unusual - unless they are in Palestine, Afghanistan or Iraq.

    Why the caveat? Does he really believe that the government thinks that there are significant numbers of people, of whatever stripe, who do not abhor the murder of innocent civilians? There may be some, but one would not want to break bread with them.

    He wants the best for his children As do we all. and if that means unemployment, racism and bad schools, then so be it. Again the undercutting sneer. Nobody worth the time of day has a ‘so be it’ attitude towards unemployment, racism and bad schools. I am no fan of our current government, but I think Browne is wrong to imply that the price of engagement is a supine acceptance of deprivation and injustice.

    And so on.

    Stripped of those caveats the ‘mythical’ muslim becomes a much more familiar and actual figure in our society. Sid’s antithetical figure may represent a few deranged extremists but Younge’s rhetorical flourishes do indeed imply (certainly unintentionally) that if the first is mythical the opposite is reality.

    I suspect (I hope) that Browne meant that muslims who do identify as British, who support democracy, tolerance, free speech etc are being asked by the government to accept further restraints upon their conscience; restraints which no-one could find tolerable. If so, then he might have done better to present a case for that being so. I have a lot of respect for Browne, but those three paragraphs were not of his best work

    Douglas,
    For what it is worth, I haven’t visited HP in a long time – it was seldom a pleasant experience – but the David T you describe is not one I recognise from his comments here.

  102. douglas clark — on 31st March, 2009 at 6:57 pm  

    Don,

    It is the entire tenor of HP that I find, err, difficult. The David T that comments here occasionally, is a different mode of the David T who believes in the Starbucks = Kristalnacht stuff.

    He is incredibly knowlegeable on left wing groups and jihadists for instance.

    Perhaps because of that, I quite like David T, in the sense that you’d quite like an eccentric aunt, or somesuch. But you do not base your philosophy around your eccentric aunt now, do you?

    Just saying.

  103. Refresh — on 31st March, 2009 at 7:13 pm  

    Don,

    ‘but the David T you describe is not one I recognise from his comments here.’

    That may well be because on PP he wouldn’t go without challenge. At home, so to speak, he can let his hair down.

    I will never forgive him for his less than spectacular expose of a Hackney swimming pool. Of which he is still proud. And not til today did I know he had Sid in tow when he engineered yet another anti-muslim rant by the Daily Mail.

  104. Rumbold — on 31st March, 2009 at 7:24 pm  

    Refresh:

    David T was wrong to make such a big thing about the swiimming pool. And he should have just told the Daily Mail where to go when they asked him about it. However, that doesn’t mean that everything he does is wrong, and he does sometimes highlight some pretty unpleasant characters.

  105. Refresh — on 31st March, 2009 at 7:29 pm  

    Rumbold, it was calculated. Right down to him having his beard shaved for the photoshoot.

    As for exposing unpleasant characters – he unearths so many no one keep up and have the energy or the inclination to check out the facts. I’d say its pretty dangerous to measure everyone against his worldview.

    I do not recall ever seeing anything from him which suggests he is working towards lowering any tensions. On the contrary, he would happily move us on to bombing Iran.

    I also do not recall anything of substance on Gaza whih would suggest he has any inclination towards a humanitarian based politics.

  106. Rumbold — on 31st March, 2009 at 7:30 pm  

    I don’t doubt it was planned.

  107. Don — on 31st March, 2009 at 7:50 pm  

    Planned? Well, I doubt he arranged for the situation to arise in the first place. Having encountered it, I don’t doubt he gave it some thought before acting, wouldn’t you? The Mail side of things rankles, I agree, but presented with that situation it is not unreasonable to respond. So you plan a response and tidy up for the cameras. What’s so unreasonable about that?

  108. Refresh — on 31st March, 2009 at 7:58 pm  

    Don, if his concern was what he claimed all he had to do was pick up the phone and call the management of the pool. He was advised to do just that. But no it was story that had to go national.

    And if you recall, it still turned out to be an error. Something he could have clarified with that phone call, without risking the jobs of Hackney employees. And of course immense discomfort of very many fellow citizens.

    A sodding swimming pool in Hackney! I ask you. I am sure it would not be a national story in your book either. And you certainly wouldn’t have planted it.

  109. douglas clark — on 31st March, 2009 at 8:09 pm  

    Don,

    You are a genuinely nice guy. Can I tell you a short story?

    After the missus and I split up, one of the things the kids liked doing was going swimming. So, that is what we did, of a Sunday. For some reason, renovation or something, we weren’t able to go to our usual baths. We went instead to one in Maryhill. On arrival I was told that it was a ‘women only’ day, by a woman who actually seemed to take succour from the fact that she was knocking back a man.

    Me.

    I was, and am, completely pissed off that my kids couldn’t do what they wanted to do because someone, somewhere, had decided to be sexist.

    Is this worth recalling? Probably not. But the point is that my disappointment was personal rather than a cause celebre as it was with Mr T.

  110. Rumbold — on 31st March, 2009 at 8:18 pm  

    Don:

    As Refresh and Douglas says, Daivd T didn’t make up the story, but nor should it have become a national story.

  111. Shafiq — on 31st March, 2009 at 8:26 pm  

    Don, I think you misunderstood Gary Younge’s article.

    He’s pretty much spot on when he says the government wants Muslims to have those characteristics including the sneer bit. He’s not implying that the opposite is true, just saying that their are double standards involved. For example:

    The government says most Muslims are opposed to the killing of innocents (which is true) but doesn’t seem to understand why they get so worked up about what happens in Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan – Aren’t they civilians too?

    I don’t think he was accusing Brown of having an ‘I don’t care’ attitude, just that he’s not doing enough to address the problems Muslims face.

    There are bits of Younge’s article I disagree with, but he is quite accurate on a number of points.

  112. douglas clark — on 31st March, 2009 at 8:36 pm  

    Shafiq,

    Can I refer you back to my original post here? Just for fun. I seem to be a bit of a pariah right now, but what I said at 23, seems to me to mix and match with what you are saying.

    Yes / No ?

  113. thabet — on 31st March, 2009 at 8:46 pm  

    “All communities pay taxes and are entitled to government money. Its that simple”

    Err, ‘communities’ don’t pay taxes in a liberal democracy. I think that was the millet system in the Ottoman Empire…

    And I don’t think entitlement to ‘govt money’ is so ‘simple’ to determine.

  114. Don — on 31st March, 2009 at 8:48 pm  

    Douglas,

    I have no problem with sessions at pools catering for different groups. Cards on table.

    If a couple of sessions are set aside for women who feel uncomfortable and leered at, or a couple of sessions when people who don’t want whooping kids all over, or who want to stolidly flop with other stolid floppers, or who want to train without stolid floppers in the way, that’s not unreasonable in my book. Naturist session? If there is a demand and it doesn’t inconvenience the rest of us.

    It’s socially negotiable. Just put it on the schedule.

    Making it a national story? Yeah, going a little far, but a legitimate issue that needed to be addressed.

  115. Adnan — on 31st March, 2009 at 9:07 pm  

    Don @101 – this is my reading of bits of the article.

    1. “He abhors the murder of innocent civilians without qualification – unless they are in Palestine, Afghanistan or Iraq.” i.e. the mythical Muslim will abhor the death of innocent civilians but shut up about it happening Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq so as not to rock the boat regarding the foreign policies of the UK and her allies.

    2. “He wants to be treated as a regular British citizen – but not by the police, immigration or airport security.” i.e. will put up with extra hassle from these bodies because of the “times we’re in”.

    3. “He wants the best for his children and if that means unemployment, racism and bad schools, then so be it.” – he is supposed to be passive about obstacles to getting the best for his children.

    Also, loved the bit about why Younge is using “He” so much – “Like all religious people he (the government is more likely to talk about Muslim women than to them) …”.

    Also, liked “He believes in free speech and the right to cause offence but understands that he has neither the right to be offended nor to speak out. Whatever an extremist is, on any given day, he is not it.”.

    “The Home Office pledge to challenge those who “reject parliamentary democracy, dismiss the rule of law and promote intolerance and discrimination on the basis of race, faith, ethnicity, gender or sexuality,” is laudable. But, in a period that has seen the Catholic church stained with endemic child sex abuse and the Church of England rent asunder over homosexuality, the idea that Muslims should be singled out is laughable. Given the rise of the British National party in areas where Labour once dominated, you would think the ministers might launch such a challenge closer to home. And if these are “shared British values” then opposition to war and torture are no less so.”

    So my reading is that the mythical Muslim, according to this article, is somebody who does not rock the boat, not the antithesis of Sid’s position. The article is attack on the government’s attitude to Muslims rather than a description of an “actual” Muslim type as outlined at the start of this article.

    Anyway, my tuppence worth.

  116. douglas clark — on 31st March, 2009 at 9:12 pm  

    Don,

    Which is why I kept my anger to myself. I am not a complete and utter idiot, well I would say that, wouldn’t I? There is always another side to the story, isn’t there?

    Doesn’t mean that the victim, me, in this instance, can’t make a case against sexism, even if it is coming from women. And what’s not to say that women might ogle at you? (They definitely don’t ogle at me.)

    You argue a good case, so you do. It was just that it interrupted an otherwise pleasant Sunday afternoon. So there you go. Women that are not worth a leer write rules about entryism.

    Can we make it to the front page of the Daily Mail?

    I shared this story with you, simply because I have never made out it was important. It is just that my personal experience reflected Mr T’s experience, and what I did with it….

    Which is a tad different, don’t you think?

  117. Refresh — on 31st March, 2009 at 9:57 pm  

    ‘ I seem to be a bit of a pariah right now,’

    On the contrary, a voice of reason bursting to get out, I would say.

  118. douglas clark — on 31st March, 2009 at 10:31 pm  

    Refresh,

    Ta.

    The point of this whole effort is to get oor Sid to split with that idiot David T.

    I am not holding my breath. As you will know, from past experience, Sid is incapable of admitting he is wrong about anything. It is he that loves his own voice above that of others. So, this is not an easy gig. Sid is wrong, but what chance do you have of contradicting his inner voice?

    Bugger all, I’d have thought. David T has traduced oor Sid. And oor Sid is happy about that.

    Still, it has to be fought, all to play for, and friendship I like to think, to lose. ‘Cause, just ’cause, he is a damn sight better than being a tool for David T.

    Least, that’s what I think, anyways….

  119. Refresh — on 31st March, 2009 at 10:48 pm  

    Douglas, you capture the situation perfectly.

    ‘Sid is incapable of admitting he is wrong about anything.’

    I dare say.

    There is one thing that’s worth trying. Not really a psychologist, but I think it might work. We could show him abundance of affection. ‘We heart Sid’. That sort of thing.

    And then there’s always the nuclear option.

  120. Don — on 31st March, 2009 at 10:49 pm  

    Women that are not worth a leer write rules…

    Not sure about the Mail, maybe the Star. Smiley face thing.

    Adnan,

    Totally agree with the second part of your post.

  121. douglas clark — on 31st March, 2009 at 11:03 pm  

    Refresh @ 119,

    Without being a complete gay, I think I have told Sid that I respect him. Here’s an example:

    Sid,

    Just in case it wasn’t clear, although I thought it was, I do have enormous respect for you. I wouldn’t bother at all if I didn’t.

    If I recall correctly, which I probably don’t, you were one of the three people that write here that I thought ought to be elected, and who I would work across party lines to see that happen.

    Sunny, Sonia and you.

    I will stand corrected, perhaps the third name there should have been Rumbold, but I don’t think it was, back then.

    I am not willing to call a draw here. Sid is bloody well wrong, and it is time he grew up and admitted it when he is bloody well wrong. He can’t do it and we should let him off?

    Nope.

  122. Don — on 31st March, 2009 at 11:06 pm  

    In thirty words or fewer, what is Sid wrong about?

  123. blah — on 31st March, 2009 at 11:21 pm  

    Sid
    “Bravo, you’ve arrived at exactly the point I wanted you. Yes these are extreme fiqhi positions but nonetheless Shari’a can be extended into these extremes by technically extreme interpretations.”

    They arent extreme fiqhi positions- they are invalid ones since they make people responsile for something not in their countrol-

    but why would you extend extreme fiqhi positions by technically extreme interpretations for the purpose of declaring yourself an apostate? which is what you did

    “But it was fun watching you jump through loopholes to extract yourself from the technical ignominy of technically committing zina with your mother.”

    No it wasnt because as mentioned before to you I dont deal in Riba or the things you mentioned (credit cards etc) so it doesnt apply to me and you will have to answer for making such a grave accusation against me (that I commit zina with my mother)

  124. Refresh — on 31st March, 2009 at 11:21 pm  

    ‘In thirty words or fewer, what is Sid wrong about?’

    I need a drink.

  125. Refresh — on 31st March, 2009 at 11:25 pm  

    blah,

    ‘you will have to answer for making such a grave accusation against me (that I commit zina with my mother)’

    Quite frankly, although I don’t know the term zina, I am amazed you haven’t already rearranged Sid’s visage.

    It just doesn’t sound very nice.

  126. Refresh — on 31st March, 2009 at 11:43 pm  

    Sunny I think you should ban Sid.

    I’ve just looked up the term and I wish I hadn’t.

    Is this what passes for intellectual debate? The man needs help, and you need to recover some editorial control.

  127. fug — on 31st March, 2009 at 11:55 pm  

    Sid’s taken a leaf out of you know who’s magical realist intelectual self-pleasurement manual and used the strong islamic valued condemnation of riba to give somebody and incestuous insult. its telling.

    can always rely on him to use a genocidalist slur on me. his 71 syndrome is a sad fact which poisons and bleeds into the words that so carelessly slip his fingers. it causes him to exude jionijom in alliance with zionism.

    i think he’s miffed by this particular article because he has fashioned himself to be that very mythical muslim that my man Younge lampoons so effectively.

  128. Sid — on 1st April, 2009 at 12:26 am  

    Don

    Absolotely brilliant take on Gary Younge’s article at #101. I have long thought you deserve a writer’s account on this blog.

    Also Adnan’s comment on #115 is superb:

    So my reading is that the mythical Muslim, according to this article, is somebody who does not rock the boat, not the antithesis of Sid’s position. The article is attack on the government’s attitude to Muslims rather than a description of an “actual” Muslim type as outlined at the start of this article.

    Gary Younge’s “actual Muslim” is an identikit representation of your textbook Muslim Islamist, as such. I’m sure you will agree that we all see versions of him in real life and even, gasp, commenting on these very pages. These inviduals are so close to self-parody that poking fun at them seems a little cruel. I of course refer to individuals such as munir and the unfortunate fugstar.

    Gary Younge’s cynical put-down of the mythical Muslim shows how out of touch he has actually become, living in Washington and filing op-eds for the Guardian in between translatlantic flights and getting pissed in the Virgin Business Class lounge, while trying to maintain he’s down with the peeps on the street.

    Fuck him.

    The mythical Muslim, as opposed to Gary Younge’s tawdry parody, is a secular Muslim who is politicised, well-read, well-integrated, regards himself as British first and foremost and is very sure that he does not fit Gary Younge’s indentikit piss take.

  129. Sid — on 1st April, 2009 at 12:45 am  

    I’ve just looked up the term and I wish I hadn’t.

    Is this what passes for intellectual debate? The man needs help, and you need to recover some editorial control.

    Refresh, you had to look up zina to find out what it means and you call yourself a Muslim? How long are you going to keep up the pretence of being holier than thou when bananabrain and David T, both Jewish men, know more about the minutiae of Islam than you do.

    If you had to look up ‘zina’ then you have no idea why I used it to smack munir (or was it blah, who cares its the same silly buffoon), when he tried to go all takfiri on me and insinuate I’m an apostate. When clearly, he benefits from zina which means:

    يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ لاَ تَأْكُلُواْ الرِّبَا أَضْعَافًا مُّضَاعَفَةً وَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ
    3:130 O you who have believed, do not consume usury, doubled and multiplied, but fear Allah that you may be successful.

    وَأَحَلَّ اللّهُ الْبَيْعَ وَحَرَّمَ الرِّبَا
    2:175 Allah has permitted trade and has forbidden interest

    The seriousness of interest is compared with waging war with God and His Messenger. There is no other known sin that God has declared war against the sinner. This seriousness is being reinforced by the Prophet when he was reported to have said, “A dirham of riba which a man receives knowingly is worse than committing adultery thirty-six times” (Mishkat al-Masabih). In another tradition, the Prophet said, “Riba has seventy segments, the least serious being equivalent to a man committing adultery with his own mother” (Ibn Majah).

    Now go and google that Refresh, and get some Muslim in yer.

  130. Sid — on 1st April, 2009 at 12:51 am  

    In thirty words or fewer, what is Sid wrong about?

    don’t all rush at once.

  131. Refresh — on 1st April, 2009 at 1:00 am  

    I guess your defence is context?

    Very clever, and very offensive. That is all there is to say.

  132. Sid — on 1st April, 2009 at 1:11 am  

    Are *you* an apostate Refresh?

  133. Refresh — on 1st April, 2009 at 1:29 am  

    No. Not that its any of your business.

  134. qidniz — on 1st April, 2009 at 5:37 am  

    That’s Q2:275, btw, not :175. And, as usual, Ibn Kathir explains in extenso.

  135. cjcjc — on 1st April, 2009 at 7:09 am  

    “Without being a complete gay”

    What would be wrong with that?
    Or are you an incomplete one?

  136. Sid — on 1st April, 2009 at 9:46 am  

    No. Not that its any of your business.

    Good answer Refresh. Remember that response the next time some takfiri Muslim accuses you of being an apostate, as blah/munir has done repeatedly on this thread.

    Remember to say that to him, instead of urging him to re-arrange my face, when I effectively tell him to fuck off and mind his own business, which should be the only response.

  137. Jai — on 1st April, 2009 at 9:51 am  

    Munir, when you’re switching between online aliases (most frequently “Blah” and “Munir”), are you consciously aware that you’re doing it, or do you find yourself suffering from inexplicable memory blackouts ?

  138. munir — on 1st April, 2009 at 10:30 am  

    Oh look Sid has deleted the post where I mention that he called HIMSELF an apostate (no one else certainly not me) and accuses me of doing so

    Shameless Shameless Lies Sid

  139. munir — on 1st April, 2009 at 10:32 am  

    “Munir, when you’re switching between online aliases (most frequently “Blah” and “Munir”), are you consciously aware that you’re doing it, or do you find yourself suffering from inexplicable memory blackouts ?”

    When you are applying different standards to Muslims and non-Muslims do you notice your doing it?
    Or is it your inbuilt prejudice against Muslims?

  140. Jai — on 1st April, 2009 at 10:39 am  

    When you are applying different standards to Muslims and non-Muslims do you notice your doing it?

    Do YOU notice when YOU’RE doing it ?

    Or is it your inbuilt prejudice against Muslims?

    Or is it your inbuilt prejudice against non-Muslims ?

    *******************************

    Why are you repeatedly switching between usernames when absolutely everyone else here, including the people running this website who have access to the relevant systems, is perfectly aware that “Munir” and “Blah” are the same person ?

    It’s a serious question. Are you actually blacking out when this happens due to suffering from some kind of multiple personality disorder, or is it just a matter of you believing that everyone else here really is that stupid ?

  141. Shafiq — on 1st April, 2009 at 10:42 am  

    @ Douglas Clark

    Sorry, I missed that post.

    @ Sid

    You seem to think that Gary Younge’s actual Muslim is antithetical to being integrated, politicised and well-read. I have immense respect for my religion, and I try to follow it as best I can, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not proud to be British or that I have no interest in Politics, which what you seem to be insinuating in your post 128. The point is that this ‘mythical Muslim’ does not make up a significant part of the Muslim community.

    As for your continuing debate with Munir about Riba’ (I don’t even know how that started off), dealing in Usury, although a grave sin, does not take you outside the fold of Islam, and does not mean that you’ve now committed adultery with your mother – it means both are as bad as each other. It’s quite obvious that Prophet (SAW) liked his metaphors.

    As for benefiting from Usury, I’m not quite sure what you mean by that. Yes, my parents got an interest-based mortgage and justified it theologically on the principle of the lesser of two evils – It’s better to deal in Usury than be homeless.

  142. Anas — on 1st April, 2009 at 10:46 am  

    Sid, you’re hanging around too much with David T and the Harry’s Place lot, and its not having a positive effect to say the least.

    I know they’ve flattered by making you their safe cuddly, wee Muslim mascot. But if the price of keeping them happy is posts like the above where you completely distort Younge’s argument because you think you’ve found an opportunity to flag another supposed instance of liberal soft sentimentality and gullibility toward the evil Islamist threat, you’re better off keeping well away from them.

  143. Sid — on 1st April, 2009 at 10:51 am  

    Shafiq

    You seem to think that Gary Younge’s actual Muslim is antithetical to being integrated, politicised and well-read. I have immense respect for my religion, and I try to follow it as best I can, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not proud to be British or that I have no interest in Politics, which what you seem to be insinuating in your post 128. The point is that this ‘mythical Muslim’ does not make up a significant part of the Muslim community.

    No that just simply makes you, in Gary Younge’s world, a mythical Muslim. We exist don’t we? Let’s make that clear to Gary Younge.

  144. Sid — on 1st April, 2009 at 10:57 am  

    Anas

    That’s rather unfair. I notice your comment is high in “playing the man” and low in “playing the ball”. But where you have bothered to play the ball, you say:

    posts like the above where you completely distort Younge’s argument because you think you’ve found an opportunity to flag another supposed instance of liberal soft sentimentality and gullibility toward the evil Islamist threat, you’re better off keeping well away from them.

    That’s a complete misreading of my criticism of Gary Younge’s article. Gary makes some sound judgements in the second half of his article but his abuse of Muslim identity in the first half is a classic strawman to attack his bugbear, the government. Frankly I can do without being Gary Younge’s rhetorical device since its clear he’s not really that bothered about representing normal, non-extremist Muslims in this society.

  145. Rumbold — on 1st April, 2009 at 10:58 am  

    Douglas:

    Thank you for the kind words. But I think that you are being unfair on Sid as well (as are you Refresh). We are lucky to have a civilised grouping here, which allows us to discuss issues with fevour, but without resorting to abuse. Look at what would happen if we followed the example of Munir/Blah. Jai has done sterling work in exposing him, but he still carries on blithly.

  146. Anas — on 1st April, 2009 at 11:20 am  

    Sorry Sid, I think you are distorting Younge’s piece here. You claim to be one of his mythical Muslims, but from what I’ve read on PP by you on Iraq and I/P, most of which I agree with, you certainly do not fit the following criterion:

    He abhors the murder of innocent civilians without qualification – unless they are in Palestine, Afghanistan or Iraq.

    In fact taken together most of Younge’s criteria for this mythical Muslim are utterly absurd and yet they correspond to the totality of the government’s demands on the community. They need a spokesman, a quisling, who’ll bend over and take it with a smile but who, at the same time, maintains his respect and standing in the community. The counterpoint to this absurdity is not as you want to make out the ‘actual’ Muslim whose attributes you list above, but the reality which is much more complex. I’m sorry but Younge seems to be far more in tune with Muslim opinion in this country than you do.

  147. Sid — on 1st April, 2009 at 11:30 am  

    Anas, So you actually think that Younge’s list of attributes of the mythical Muslim, which he presents as an absolute, do not exist in any shape or form? Whole communities exist which make a lie of Younge’s absurd notion of the Muslim which he discounts.

    And that makes him more in tune with Muslim opinion in this country than I am of my own identity? I hardly think so.

  148. Anas — on 1st April, 2009 at 11:49 am  

    OK Sid you know Muslims who allow their daughters to wear what they want, as long as its not a headscarf (?!?!) AND feel completely comfortable with the fact that their community suffers from high unemployment, racism, and bad schools AND believe they have a duty to apologise for every atrocity committed by any Muslim anywhere but consider themselves to be British first and foremost AND who supported the war in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Israel’s last few slaughters AND (this is the biggy) who still command respect amongst the wider Muslim community which will give its full attention to the pronouncements of this select few?

    Where are these people, these magic Muslims, Sid and why are they so well hidden that me and most Muslims I know have never heard of them?

  149. chairwoman — on 1st April, 2009 at 12:22 pm  

    “What are “exclusively Jewish” opinions?”

    cjcjcj – Not thinking that without Jews and Israel the world would be a better place.

  150. chairwoman — on 1st April, 2009 at 12:25 pm  

    “To what extent do you think David T is about bringing democracy, free of theology and religion to Gaza? I’m not holding my breath.”

    Hey Douglas, you’re completely off the mark here. I know of no Jew more secular than David T.

  151. Rumbold — on 1st April, 2009 at 1:01 pm  

    Munir:

    Sid doesn’t delete your posts. You just get caught in the spam filter a lot.

  152. Ravi Naik — on 1st April, 2009 at 1:58 pm  

    Can anyone count the number of times “David T” has been mentioned here? Is he the Mythical Muslim? :)

  153. Sid — on 1st April, 2009 at 2:04 pm  

    Rumbold

    Judging from the fact that he posts under half a dozen different aliases from the same IP address, I’m not surprised. No loss though.

  154. Refresh — on 1st April, 2009 at 2:05 pm  

    Rumbold

    ‘We are lucky to have a civilised grouping here, which allows us to discuss issues with fevour, but without resorting to abuse.’

    What he said to Blah is stomach-turning. It is abuse in the extreme.

  155. Sid — on 1st April, 2009 at 2:13 pm  

    Refresh, if you google a little bit more, you will understand that reference is a Prophetic saying about the significance of the crime of usury.

    If you think that is “stomach turning” and “abuse in the extreme” you need to deal with that as a Muslim.

    Just don’t shoot the Messenger. ;)

  156. Refresh — on 1st April, 2009 at 2:18 pm  

    Sid, go get some help.

  157. Sid — on 1st April, 2009 at 2:27 pm  

    Refresh, your callow dishonesty and lack of integrity is noted.

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