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  • Should I put an anglicised name on my CV?


    by guest
    18th April, 2009 at 11:53 pm    

    This is a guest post by Tze Ming Mok (former blog)

    I’m a recent transplant from New Zealand, formerly a political race-blogger and civil servant there. So, now I’m looking for crappy temp work rather than positive-discriminating-civil-service work. My expat-transition-agency and the EHRC hotline have no idea whether there have been any studies in the UK on name-racism in employment and CV-viewing.

    It was a big deal in New Zealand, where a key study showed that recruiters were more likely to find ‘Bobby’ Singh and ‘Harriet’ Lim a job than poor old Harjeet and Guilin. Here’s a brief story that I wrote for the NZ Human Rights Commisson: ‘A rose by any other name’. (Pakeha means white person in New Zealand).

    So, after this, all the NZ Chinese gritted their teeth and put white first names on their CVs if they were just looking for some crappy temp job. Which is now the case with me. I’ve heard about the case of the guy in Wales a couple of years ago who applied a second time with an entier fake CV using a Welsh rather than Pakistani name and got an interview. Do you have any links or info or studies that arose from that time that show the lay of the land?


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    1. pickles

      New blog post: Should I put an anglicised name on my CV? http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/4292


    2. pickles

      New blog post: Should I put an anglicised name on my CV? http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/4292


    3. Craig Connelly

      Pickled Politics » Should I put an anglicised name on my CV?: I’m a recent transplant from New Zealand, formerly.. http://bit.ly/NPIKk




    1. MaidMarian — on 19th April, 2009 at 12:08 am  

      ‘[you are] formerly a political race-blogger.’

      Oh dear.

      ‘I’ve heard about the case of the guy in Wales a couple of years ago who applied a second time with an entier [sic] fake CV using a Welsh rather than Pakistani name and got an interview. ‘

      Clearly that story and your identity politics didn’t put you off Britain then?

      ‘It was a big deal in New Zealand,’

      Well, you are a long way from NZ now - 3 options.

      1) Like my wife, you could get over the hang-ups and use the double-barrel, if it means that much to you.
      2) You could stop making before the fact moral condemnations of people (aka racism) and call yourself what you see fit.
      3) Call people with available jobs instead of the EHRC hotline.

      It would appear that you have no evidence of discrimination, and no one you spoke to has, but you are assuming it will happen.

      I suggest steering clear of a website called Comment is Free for a few months at least.

      Christ - these Sunday guest posts were going so well too.

    2. Tze Ming Mok — on 19th April, 2009 at 12:17 am  

      @MaidMarian: Well since this was just an email I dashed off to Sunny, asking his opinion, I didn’t bother checking back for typos. Meanwhile, it’s midnight on a Saturday and you’re trolling a left wing blog. I’m jet lagged, what’s your excuse?

    3. FaustoT — on 19th April, 2009 at 12:29 am  

      Dear Ming the Merciless, we are not a nation of racists……. :-)

    4. MaidMarian — on 19th April, 2009 at 12:36 am  

      Well - I kind of assumed that I didn’t need an excuse to comment on an internet talkboard. As to me being a ‘troll,’ I’ve been writing on here for the best part of two years - I agree with some things, not others. What’s your record writing on here?

      It is a testament to your small-mindedness that you think anyone who criticises you and your identity politics standpoint must de facto be a ‘troll,’ to be hectored, brow-beaten, undermined and silenced.

      I can only suggest you take questions about publication and spell-checks up with Sunny, not me.

      Returning to excuses, I’ve been out with my wife and friends for her birthday, come in and checked the e-mail for work purposes and happened upon your article whilst drinking my warm milk.

      I suggest if you are going to get all talkboard Van Damme you at least identify an actual troll.

      Jesus - judging by the self-evident chips on your shoulder, I would hazard a guess that the barriers to your employment may not altogether be connected to your name.

      Now good night.

    5. Tze Ming Mok — on 19th April, 2009 at 12:50 am  

      @MaidMarian: Sorry about my assumption. As you didn’t address the question I was asking in the original email to Sunny, which was basically ‘what is the situation in the UK?’, and instead got condescending, I did assume you were a troll. I probably should have looked at your full CV, clearly.

    6. Tze Ming Mok — on 19th April, 2009 at 12:55 am  

      Sorry about mini-flame war there folks. But if anyone has any links to actual studies on name discrimination in employment, or name-Anglicisation trends in the UK, that might be kind of interesting no?

    7. tanvir — on 19th April, 2009 at 1:37 am  

      I heard about a study being presented to the British Medical Association several yearas ago, where thousands of cvs were sent for doctors posts with similar qualifications but some with english names and some with foreign names and it concluded you were 7 times more likely to get an interview with an English name.

    8. Sunny — on 19th April, 2009 at 1:50 am  

      Not sure about the ‘oh dear’ about the political race blogger MM.

      We talk about race here all the time - so I guess I’m a political race blogger too. what’s the beef?

      I think Tze’s question is valid, though I did suggest to her that Britain was definitely better than NZ (though I don’t have much experience of NZ).

      there was an investigation by Five Live a few years ago whereby people with Muslim or African names were called back much less by employers - so I think that any concern cannot be dismissed so easily as a ‘chip on the shoulder’

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/3885213.stm

    9. billericaydicky — on 19th April, 2009 at 5:02 am  

      It wasn’tso long ago that in Northern Ireland and parts of Liverpool and Glasgow that a Catholic name would guarantee a lengthy stay on the dole.

      Tanvir,
      I don’t if you have recently had a stay in hospital but over the last three years I have been in for TB,prostate problems a very badly broken right leg and am now being investigated for cancer.

      Nearly all of the nursing staff and every doctor who treated me was from Africa, Asia, the Phillipines or somewhere else except the UK. On the face of it it would seem that white people are being discriminated against in employment in the NHS. A my local GPs we have doctors from Goa, Egypt and India and a practice nurse from Hong Kong. All of the treatment I have received has been excellent.

      Also bear in mind that the EHRC came out of the CRE which spent thirty years persecuting white people and inventing racism.

    10. Golam Murtaza — on 19th April, 2009 at 6:56 am  

      So, Tze. You’ve been here five minutes and already you’ve been accused of engaging in identity politics, having hang ups, chips on your shoulder and of being small minded.

      Enjoying your welcome to Pickled Politics so far?

    11. Roger — on 19th April, 2009 at 7:52 am  

      You’d probably do better if you didn’t anglicise your name if you want the sort of work you describe actually; a general view of unemplyed English peple is that they are either unemployable or recalcitrant- join unions, want their employers to do what their contract says they will, check up on Health and Safety etc., things which employers aren’t keen on. You might do better if you made your name sound Polish, though.
      I don’t know about the Welsh case, but the real test there would have been whether an anglicised name did any better than a Pakistani name.

    12. MaidMarian — on 19th April, 2009 at 9:28 am  

      tanvir (7) - Applications to the NHS are difficult because there is an awful lot going on in the background. Many NHS jobs need professional registrations (GMC, GDC, NMC and so on). In addition some NHS careers require a particular UK exam as an entry point. The medical royal colleges run good ‘equivalence’ schemes to their exams, but many doctors do apply without first going through essential equivalence procedures. Good advice is available on all of these things, but my experience has been the doctors don’t take it. There is a ready assumption overseas (especially in India) that there are vast numbers of jobs in the NHS and it is just not true. It would be fair to say that the NHS should be more active in challenging this view.

      Previously, overseas doctors had a specific provision in the immigration rules allowing them to train on a work permit free basis, though since 2006 this has been removed and doctors are on an even footing with other professions captured by the work permit system. This was much to the annoyance of many in the NHS.

      Of course, having a foreign sounding name does not per se indicate whether or not a person studied/trained in the UK.

      Sunny (8) - Her question may be valid after the fact, not before she even started in the job market, that’s the point. In this case however, the article seems to be a priori moral condemnation and the cynic in me just wonders if John Smith sent you an e-mail about how Asian shop-keepers probably wouldn’t give him job interviews you would laugh it out of your inbox. Rightly.

      You I would say are a progressive blogger, not an identity politics one, though there is some overlap.

      Now if you will excuse me - it is orthodox Easter today and I am off to be cholked with incence and have some chap with a peard speak at me in latin slavonic for three hours.

    13. halima — on 19th April, 2009 at 10:23 am  

      whatever the reality, i think it’s important to use your name … and i don’t think the reality is that bad here. i would’ve thought if people discriminate on names, they would almost certainly discriminate by skin .. so better to save the energy and the hassle of preparing for an interview…

      interestingly in china they give all foreigners a chinese name, it’s a tradition and it’s quite nice.

    14. FaustoT — on 19th April, 2009 at 10:37 am  

      I’m not really precious about my name, although I have never used a “nom de plume” when applying for job applications.

      People do frequently mispronounce it, which I let slide generally as correcting them is too much effort.

      But saying that I do have colleagues who are fanatical about the pronunciation of their name and will not let a single error slide.

      Of course there are racist elements in our society, but I would not let them govern how you present yourself. By doing so you have given them a victory, however minor.

    15. A Councillor Writes — on 19th April, 2009 at 2:09 pm  

      I would hope that in the public sector or even the quasi-public sector, no one would give a toss about having an “English” name or not.

      I’ve been involved in a technical capacity with recruitment processes for over 20 years off and on for a range of public, quasi-public or private enterprises. I’ve never had race come up as an issue at any of them, a cultural issue has come up once, skill levels in the English language have come up a few times (after interview), questions have been asked about qualifications a few times and there have been work permit issues as well (I had a great candidate from Togo once, absolutely top-notch, but no work permit meant the company wasn’t interested).

      I have had Human Remains try to interfere a few times, usually to try and place a woman on the final shortlist. They constantly lecture on “diversity” in the office - we have 7 men and 3 women (not brilliant, but this is IT); we have 5 whites, 4 South Asians and one black, we even have a gayer (me). Needless to say, HR is solely made up of white middle-class women :-)

      My current process is simple, I’m probably offering a position which needs 2 or 5 years relevant experience. More rarely I’m looking for a graduate or 10 years. I take all the CV’s sent and look for people with the relevant amount of experience in an appropriate field. You ain’t got it, you ain’t even getting to the second sift. This, btw, is a blind sort, I don’t get to see any names at this point, although educational institutions can be a bit of a give-away. We usually get around 50-60 applications, although recently that’s gone through the roof - last one had over 190 CV’s.

      Then if I’ve got more than 12, I’ll do another sift and pick out the ones who have direct experience in the fields I require and eventually whittle it down to 12.

      Those 12 will then be sent to HR to be invited to take a technical test. Only at that point will I get to see the list of names.

      If you pass the technical test, you get to have an interview, if you don’t pass, you don’t. The technical test is marked blind and the person giving it takes no other part in the interview process. The first time the interview panel sees the candidates names is about an hour before the interview.

      It’s only failed us twice in nine years now, once where none of the remaining four “felt right” and once where we were ready to offer the job but the candidate threw in totally unacceptable conditions.

    16. Shafiq — on 19th April, 2009 at 2:11 pm  

      Although I don’t have much experience applying for jobs, I wouldn’t say there’s a systemic problem with racism in recruiting. There might be a few managers here and there that’d prefer English people, but that’s it.

      There’s no way I’d ever use an Anglicised name - my name is Shafiq, and it always will be whether people like it or not.

    17. Dalbir — on 19th April, 2009 at 6:39 pm  

      As a teacher I have heard comments such as “my name is too strong for them” (by an African student with a long name) and “they will assume I am a terrorist and not call me” from some Muslim students when talking about CVs.

      I remember a conversation during the close of my final year at uni when we were all vigourously sending CVs around. My Afro-Caribbean friends told me how they would get calls from recruiters along the lines of “Oh George, that’s a nice Christian name.” We all knew what was being implied and that was 9 years ago, way before 9/11.

    18. MaidMarian — on 19th April, 2009 at 7:24 pm  

      halima (13) - I had a few Chinese friends and they all regarded it as a type of tradition (not sure how deep its roots are!) to take a ‘local’ name. One friend liked Guiness and spent a day in Ireland, so he called himself Sean.

      I also liked his friend, Elvis.

    19. Kismet Hardy — on 20th April, 2009 at 12:56 am  

      You can’t lie on your CV. I know this because they called to check whether I really attended a Russian Typhoon Class when I put down ‘submarines’ as one of my hobbies. If I’d told the truth, I could have got the job as captain of the Plongeur

    20. justforfun — on 20th April, 2009 at 7:59 am  

      Tze - I think you will face far more descrimination if you are a woman of child baring age who does not yet have children, than because of your age. 30-36 is the most difficult time I would guess.

      Dalbir - I have a ‘Christian’ (really old fashioned Jewish old testament) and a common Pakistani ‘Muslim’ (but really iranian zarathusti) but I’m neither; as I keep having to explain as I tuck into the beer,ham sandwiches and prawn volavants at office functions. Well meaning people keep trying to stop me sinning and hindering my progress down the buffet of life. This discrimination is at alot of levels when one starts to look!

      Whats in a name? Cultural identity? It doesn’t have to be. In fact it can mark you out to your own ‘tribe’ as they seek to round up political votes and power.

      justforfun

    21. Golam Murtaza — on 20th April, 2009 at 8:50 am  

      @justforfun

      Your situation reminds me slightly of a guy who was in my year at university. He was of Egyptian origin and had a name which many assumed to be Muslim. Actually he was atheist but of Coptic Christian origin. I remember during his first year he had to fend off some rather pushy invites from members of the university Islamic Society.

    22. damon — on 20th April, 2009 at 12:28 pm  

      I feel (slightly) disrespected sometimes because some people I know quite well (and are Indian passport holders working in the NHS or for a care home for the elderly), use their real first names amongst themselves, but a different name that they use for the wider society.
      So I’m calling someone ”Martin” for example, when that’s just an approximation of part of his family name … when his real name is Bhanuprasad (or something like that).
      Tell me how it’s pronounced and I’ll call the guy by the name he’s known by with people of Indian origin too.
      I (sometimes) feel like I’m considered a ”gora”

      Just on New Zealand for a moment. The last time I was in Auckland, I did a couple of visits to some areas with high Maori and Pacific Islander populations.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Auckland
      In Otara I walked around the commercial center - and almost every single business was being staffed by either people of Chinese origin, or Indian.
      So maybe Polynesian and Maori people fare even worse than Asian people in New Zealand.

    23. justforfun — on 20th April, 2009 at 12:34 pm  

      Golam - ah memories of the Islamic Society at Uni - I’d forgotten about them - this was over 25 years ago mind. Freshers fair I think it was called - I too was collared as I walked by - as I had a similar beard - the vantiy of youth eh - all fuzzy and a patchwiork on the face - what was I thinking! But no free beer at their stand - so I think I moved on pretty sharpish to the free beer at the Real Ale Club. But like your friend - I should probably have got to know the girls - they were going to Uni to get away from home - if you know what I mean ;-) Ahh memories

      justforfun

    24. Jai — on 20th April, 2009 at 12:35 pm  

      Dalbir,

      We all knew what was being implied and that was 9 years ago, way before 9/11.

      After 9/11 (in fact, for quite some time afterwards), a negative reaction by recruiters to names presumed to be Muslim was something which I and most of my Asian friends encountered, even if in reality the names concerned were Hindu, Sikh etc. I think that many English people can spot when a name is Asian but they can’t necessarily differentiate between the religious affiliation the name denotes, so the default assumption (especially these days) is frequently that the person concerned is Muslim. Of course, the assumption that anyone who really is Muslim would automatically be some kind of jihadist nutter or sympathetic to them is even worse.

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

      Regarding anglicised names amongst Asians in general: One thing I will say is that there is sometimes a difference in the level of “inclusiveness” towards people if they have names of foreign origin, particularly if one has a particularly unusual name (even more so if it’s regarded as difficult to pronounce). And I have noticed a subtle difference in how Asians are treated depending on whether they call themselves “Harry” or “Harinder”, for example. Maybe there’s also an assumption that the other party will be more westernised if they have an anglicised name.

      I guess this is common sense and a matter of basic psychology; at some level, people are obviously going to find themselves more amicably inclined towards someone — and “bonding” with them — if they appear to have some fundamentals in common and (on the surface, at least) are perceived as being from the same cultural background, eg. name, clothing etc. It’s just a factor of the way people’s minds work and how they find themselves responding to others. Tribalistic stuff.

      For a relatively high-profile example, would “Monty” Panesar be embraced by many sections of the general British public as much as he has been if he insisted on being called by his real first name instead, ie. Mudhsuden ? It’s a rhetorical question but you can understand my point.

    25. Amrit — on 20th April, 2009 at 1:04 pm  

      Well meaning people keep trying to stop me sinning and hindering my progress down the buffet of life

      WONDERful.

    26. Shamit — on 20th April, 2009 at 1:08 pm  

      Excellent analysis Jai.

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

      However, if you go by cricketing examples — we had a captain called Nasser Hussain who was very successful as a Captain and was treated like such even by the tabloid media.

      Another Asian sports star who gets almost fanatical support in very white parts of the country including in Scotland is Aamir Khan —

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

      I guess success often defines how you are treated — and I agree many times the bar seems to be set to be a bit higher for Asians or other minorities.

      We must also acknowledge that compared to continental Europe we are a far more inclusive society — not perfect but definitely on the right track.

    27. Shamit — on 20th April, 2009 at 1:14 pm  

      In Singapore and across South East Asia, you would find most Chinese people having a Western forename which they do not use in their passport but in clearly a part of their identity in all spheres of life.

      Now, why would the majority population in a country do that — especially in Hong Kong and Singapore - when asked I was told it helps them do business around the world.

    28. Ravi Naik — on 20th April, 2009 at 1:45 pm  

      We must also acknowledge that compared to continental Europe we are a far more inclusive society — not perfect but definitely on the right track.

      Shamit, it really depends on what “inclusive” means. I certainly think that England is far more tolerant than continental Europe in regards to other cultures and communities. In places like France or Italy, not belonging to the mainstream culture means you are an outsider. On the other hand, a 2nd or 3rd gen would most likely be accepted as a local, than of a separate community. In England, you would always be an Asian even though you were born here, and speak no other language than English.

    29. justforfun — on 20th April, 2009 at 1:45 pm  

      You mean Bruce Lee was not white - OMG !! I thought he was from OZ with a name like Bruce , and the rest was makeup.

      I’m going to get my feet level with my head - I feel all dizzy.

      “when asked I was told it helps them do business around the world.” - having your cake and eating it is also another way of putting it. As Damon mentioned - its the Moari and Pacific Islanders who are the victims of colonization and here we are worried about in-equality within the ranks of colonizers. But thats who we are - all love and good will, concerned about injustice where ever it raises it head :-)

      justforfun

    30. damon — on 20th April, 2009 at 1:48 pm  

      If what Dalbir said and Jai said (in his reply Jai) is right - then that makes me a bit sad as it seems like we still have so far to go. To be honest (as a white guy from London) - I thought 9/11 and 7/7 passed over pretty well where I live. It’s not like people going to mosque had to be worried about how they dressed (was it?).

      Jai’s point about “Harry” or “Harinder” reminded me of ” Hari Kumar (Harry Coomer)” from The Jewel in the Crown (TV version) where when he’s forced to go back to India because his father has died bankrupt. He says that at least he may hear his name pronounced correctly (in India) after years at English public school.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Jewel_in_the_Crown_

      Muhammad Ali?
      Muhammad (various spellings) is the 2nd most popular boys name in the UK.

      I feel slightly left out that I amongst the Indian people who live around me, call this guy whose name is IBEY - I’m the only one who calls him by some ”christian” name. (It’s what he goes by in wider society). I (when I remember) him Ibey too.

    31. justforfun — on 20th April, 2009 at 1:50 pm  

      “In England, you would always be an Asian even though you were born here, and speak no other language than English.” - bollocks. In good Anglo - Saxon.

      justforfun

    32. Jai — on 20th April, 2009 at 3:55 pm  

      Damon,

      when his real name is Bhanuprasad (or something like that).
      Tell me how it’s pronounced

      Bh-ah-noo-pr-uh-sahd.

      He says that at least he may hear his name pronounced correctly (in India) after years at English public school.

      It’s actually pretty refreshing to hear one’s name being pronounced correctly, especially after extended periods in the company of people who know damn well they’re mispronouncing it but can’t be bothered to make the effort to say it correctly (and, even worse, actually expect the other party to answer to the mangled version of their name, without correction or complaint).

      Sometimes it can be a subtle form of bullying with racist undertones too, but that’s a slightly different issue.

      To be honest (as a white guy from London) - I thought 9/11 and 7/7 passed over pretty well where I live.

      Well there have been lots of subtle and ongoing ramifications; it’s not just about people smashing windows, trying to break down the front doors of Asians assumed to be Muslims or shouting at them from outside the house or across the street, even though all of those have occurred too.

      It hasn’t been a great time for Asians of all backgrounds, trust me. “Slumdog” may be a nice positive short-term change, but in terms of two-way integration and amicable acceptance, unfortunately we’ve come a long way from what appeared to be very positive progress indeed by the late ’90s. In some quarters, after 9/11 and again after 7/7 it didn’t take long to start completely undoing the results of efforts to facilitate a generally positive stance towards Asians in mainstream British culture that had been achieved during the previous 20-30 years and during the 90s in particular.

      It’s not like people going to mosque had to be worried about how they dressed (was it?).

      If you’re referring specifically to attire then Muslim women wearing hijabs/burkhas etc, in some cases male Sikhs with turbans and beards, and older-generation Asian women from all religious backgrounds amongst whom wearing salwaar-kameezes, saris etc on an everyday basis is more prevalent have all had to deal with negative reactions, particularly in the mid-term after 9/11 and 7/7. These things are even worrying every time someone like Anjem Choudary shoots his mouth off and there is a high level of media coverage involved (as occurred last month).

      Muhammad (various spellings) is the 2nd most popular boys name in the UK.

      Only amongst Muslims, because it’s a very common name among them. It doesn’t mean that people from other backgrounds are naming their children “Muhammad” or that the majority English population necessarily has a positive disposition towards it.

    33. damon — on 20th April, 2009 at 4:22 pm  

      I can’t agree with the ”Slumgog’ thing that was the frontpage of the News of the World tabloid yesterday.
      The people I live with are a both NHS workers from the Indian Punjab.
      I mostly get my information from talking to them, as we (they) are cooking in our shared kitchen.
      A male Sikh NHS psycytrist doctor, and a Brahmin (younger) female NHS nurse. They work around the clock, and don’t experience this racism that i’ve read about.
      I’ve asked them. They’re too busy working and living to notice anyway.
      That’s how it’s seemed to me - every night at 11pm the kitchen fills up with the smells of Punjabi cooking. -
      thankfully I’m seen as a bit of a charity case and a bowl of last night’s food is left aside for me.

    34. Jai — on 20th April, 2009 at 4:38 pm  

      Damon,

      It depends on the specific location. If your housemates live and work in areas with a high density of Asians then they will be less likely to experience racism directly.

      Asians, including medics (indeed, including very senior doctors), in geographical locations with relatively few Asians (or indeed non-white people in general) present compared to the aforementioned “high density” areas sometimes have less pleasant experiences.

    35. Jai — on 20th April, 2009 at 4:44 pm  

      Shamit,

      However, if you go by cricketing examples — we had a captain called Nasser Hussain who was very successful as a Captain and was treated like such even by the tabloid media.

      Another Asian sports star who gets almost fanatical support in very white parts of the country including in Scotland is Aamir Khan —

      Good point. Nasser is half-English, though. Although I don’t know if the average Brit is aware of that.

      Here’s another example: Would Mark Ramprakash have won “Strictly Come Dancing” if his first name was “Manjinder” instead ? Hell, let’s take it to the max — What if his name was actually “Mohammad Ramadan” ?

      Hmmm…..

    36. Ravi Naik — on 20th April, 2009 at 4:56 pm  

      Here’s another example: Would Mark Ramprakash have won “Strictly Come Dancing” if his first name was “Manjinder” instead ?

      Yes, he would. I mean, the name Mark Ramprakash is already pretty “ethnic”.

    37. blah — on 20th April, 2009 at 5:42 pm  

      Jai
      “Well there have been lots of subtle and ongoing ramifications; it’s not just about people smashing windows, trying to break down the front doors of Asians assumed to be Muslims or shouting at them from outside the house or across the street, even though all of those have occurred too.”

      Comments like these which Jai has made a number of times are highly revealing. Its as if attacking Muslims isnt wrong; what is wrong is when non-Muslims are mistaken for Muslims and attacked.

    38. Jai — on 20th April, 2009 at 5:58 pm  

      Comments like these which Jai has made a number of times are highly revealing. Its as if attacking Muslims isnt wrong; what is wrong is when non-Muslims are mistaken for Muslims and attacked.

      Clinical paranoia is a recognised psychiatric disorder, Blah/Munir.

      And that’s before we address the fact that your baseless accusation is contradicted on this very thread just a few comments previously in #24, as follows:

      Of course, the assumption that anyone who really is Muslim would automatically be some kind of jihadist nutter or sympathetic to them is even worse.

      But considering that you are now on record, in your own words, as not only repeatedly and deliberately making bigotted, gratuiously offensive remarks about Jews and Hindus but now also Sikhs, despite the fact that Sunny Hundal — the editor and owner of this website — is a Sikh himself, and considering that you are still pretending to be multiple commenters, the sincerity of your motivations and the validity of any statements you make on Pickled Politics has very little credibility indeed.

    39. blah — on 20th April, 2009 at 6:05 pm  

      Jai
      “But considering that you are now on record, in your own words, as not only repeatedly and deliberately making bigotted, gratuiously offensive remarks about Jews and Hindus but now also Sikhs,”

      Now who’s being paranoid?

      “despite the fact that Sunny Hundal — the editor and owner of this website — is a Sikh himself, ”

      I have nothing but the uptmost respect for Sunny. He is a man of deep integrity and fairness. Its Muslim haters (as much as you try and conceal it) like you I cant abide.

    40. Jai — on 20th April, 2009 at 6:08 pm  

      Ravi,

      Yes, he would. I mean, the name Mark Ramprakash is already pretty “ethnic”.

      Well, we’re mainly talking about first names, although you’re obviously absolutely correct about Mark’s surname.

      By the way, I replied to your comments on the ‘Afghanistan/marital rape’ thread earlier today, in case you missed that. Sorry for not getting back to you quicker but I didn’t have access to the internet during the weekend.

    41. Jai — on 20th April, 2009 at 6:31 pm  

      Blah/Munir,

      Now who’s being paranoid?

      Let’s look at some examples of your remarks. Here’s an extremely stereotyped and somewhat camp outburst about Hindus……

      http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/3469#comment-152801 :

      (Clasps hands in joy) Ohhh it would have been sooooo wonderful. Many more Muslims who now be worshipping Shiva/Rats/Monkeys/Cows rather than being evil monotheists.

      And your very recent (and very revealing) comment about Sikhs:

      http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/4241#comment-158868

      Because true spirituality is wrapping a rag round your head, being forced to have a particular name and carrying a knife with you at all times.

      What do you think Sunny thinks about your remark above ?

      I have nothing but the uptmost respect for Sunny. He is a man of deep integrity and fairness.

      Attempting to play divide & rule, eh. It’s not going to work. Perhaps you should ask Sunny what he really thinks of you.

      Its Muslim haters (as much as you try and conceal it) like you I cant abide.

      Sunny and I have very little areas of difference in relation to our attitudes towards Muslims. Ask him. We’re on good enough terms that we have a long history of extremely friendly correspondence offline.

      And as for calling me a “Muslim hater”, well it’s correct if you believe that only the most hardline Wahhabis/Salafis along with the Taliban are really Muslims and are following the “correct” interpretation of Islam. Do you think they’re “real Muslims” compared to everyone else, following the “right” version of Islam ?

      As mentioned repeatedly before, and as confirmed by numerous examples on this blog, I’m a great admirer of historical Muslim saints such as Bulleh Shah, Nizamuddin Auliya, Amir Khusro, Baba Farid, Mian Mir, Rahman Baba, and the late Sufi singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan along with his nephew Rahat saab. Now if you think that makes me (and anyone else like me) a “Muslim hater”, then that means that you don’t regard any of these individuals as “real Muslims”…..Which is highly revealing, both in relation to your interpretation of Islam and your attitude towards all of these exalted Muslims. And, of course, your pathological hatred of non-Muslims. (Much as you try and conceal it).

    42. ClaireM — on 21st April, 2009 at 7:42 am  

      @justforfun - think you are spot on about the woman of childbearing age thing. I know people socially who will admit they don’t. They wouldn’t care about culture, religion, colour or pretty much anything else. Not to say that there are plenty that are [insert your preferred discrimination here] idiots. Women who might take off are the most unwanted though.

      Oddly my name is almost unpronounceable in Italian - I lived in Rome for three years. I tended to use the Italian version - just seemed polite to people trying to get to know me. Did feel odd though - and it’s a completely different thing from feeling like you need to conceal your identity.

    43. justforfun — on 21st April, 2009 at 9:35 am  

      “Women who might take off are the most unwanted”

      Thats it exactly - employers look to see who can do the job and do the job for a reasonable length of time. It costs alot to recruit (plus all the hidden costs) and its not a something they want to do often.
      Tze will find that that is why she is being rejected -not because of her name - and who are the people in HR depatments - white females who already have kids and know how the score. I’ve sat in pre-interview selection panels and ‘foreign’ names were not rejected - I ensured that - but HR overuled when looking at ages and gender and women of child baring age were rejected as too risky especially when other candidates were available - like younger females or males - say 22- 27 who would do the job for a number of years.

      Amrit @ 25 - glad you liked it - yes - one of my better efforts at randomly hitting the keyboard. My medication is kicking in. At these PP meets - is there food?

    44. Rumbold — on 21st April, 2009 at 9:50 am  

      Blah/Munir:

      It is fascinating that every time Jai criticises what you say, you accuse him of being anti-Muslim. Jai is no more anti-Muslim then you, and they have failed to prove any of your claims. Please, stop. It is embarrassing.

    45. damon — on 21st April, 2009 at 10:37 am  

      jai @34 said: ”It depends on the specific location. If your housemates live and work in areas with a high density of Asians then they will be less likely to experience racism directly.”

      One married couple of the people I was talking about, both Indian national young(ish) doctors (and in the last three years since I knew them have always worked in different towns and cities - only meeting up at the weekends usualy) have worked recently in London, Swindon, Cambridge, Hull and Lancaster.

      I have asked about their experiences of England (and it’s been pretty positive from what I’ve been told).
      I’m kind of at my limit though now for asking them about their experiences as ”Asian” people in the UK - as (the guy who lives in my house) - is already thinking that my interest in issues to do with the ethnic minority experience in London and the UK is somewhat odd.
      He’s joked with me as much: ”Why are you always going on about that stuff?”
      I’ve told him about Pickled Politics (he’s a Sikh) - but he always tells me he’s too busy for internet forums.

      (And if he’s reading this on the quiet, I’ve probably said too much personal stuff already).

    46. Jai — on 21st April, 2009 at 11:11 am  

      Damon,

      Being a doctor can indeed make a difference due to the status factor, but not always. Speaking as someone who has grown up amongst such people due to his father being a doctor, as are the majority of the resulting “family friends” network (most of the parents’ generation along with large numbers of their kids).

      But again, as with all occupations, it depends on one’s specific location and the type of people one is interacting with both in the workplace and outside it.

    47. Jai — on 21st April, 2009 at 11:25 am  

      Rumbold,

      It is fascinating that every time Jai criticises what you say, you accuse him of being anti-Muslim. Jai is no more anti-Muslim then you, and they have failed to prove any of your claims. Please, stop. It is embarrassing.

      Thanks for #44. His silence in response to my post #41 is very revealing, especially in relation to my repeated questions about which interpretation of Islam he regards as being “true” and (most of all) his attitude towards those famous Muslim saints and Sufi singers I’ve listed, which includes individuals who are extremely respected amongst South Asians of all religious backgrounds.

    48. Rumbold — on 21st April, 2009 at 12:00 pm  

      No worries Jai. I can only keep highlighting your lack of anti-Muslim feeling. Sadly, Blah/Munir only sees what he wants to.

    49. Amrit — on 21st April, 2009 at 12:25 pm  

      Amrit @ 25 - glad you liked it - yes - one of my better efforts at randomly hitting the keyboard. My medication is kicking in. At these PP meets - is there food?

      Sadly not of the free variety, although I have come bearing snacks in the past.

      *coughs* I think perhaps Blah/Munir needs to get glasses. Or antipsychotics. Seeing shit that isn’t there? That is DANGEROUS, blad. As one of my pupils might say.

    50. Ravi Naik — on 21st April, 2009 at 1:10 pm  

      Because true spirituality is wrapping a rag round your head, being forced to have a particular name and carrying a knife with you at all times.

      What do you think Sunny thinks about your remark above

      People have different definitions of what “true spirituality” is, and one should not blame Blah Munir for believing that Islam is the only true spirituality path. It should offend no Christian, that some people would claim that Jesus was a magician who converted water to wine, or that there is no God, no true spirituality, and that saints were just a bunch of old fools with a lot of time on their hands.

    51. damon — on 21st April, 2009 at 1:26 pm  

      I think I agree with Ravi Naik above.

      Jai @ 46 too. I have to agree … but i wish these threads hung around (active) for several weeks - not just a few days.

    52. Jai — on 21st April, 2009 at 2:09 pm  

      Sadly, Blah/Munir only sees what he wants to.

      My thoughts exactly, Rumbold.

      Seeing shit that isn’t there? That is DANGEROUS, blad.

      As is continuing to switch usernames even after repeatedly being identified as the same person by this website’s moderators, and then affecting ignorance of previous statements one has made online. That kind of cognitive confusion involving distorted perceptions of reality is actually a symptom of severe psychotic illnesses such as schizophrenia.

      People have different definitions of what “true spirituality” is, and one should not blame Blah Munir for believing that Islam is the only true spirituality path.

      Or, more accurately, believing that a certain interpretation of Islam is the only true spirituality path.

      There are — and have been for a long time — other interpretations around, some of whose proponents included the saints and Sufi singers I’ve listed at the end of #41 above, and whose ideas and conduct were very different indeed to the Taliban, the more extreme Wahhabis, Anjem Choudary et al, and indeed our friend Blah/Munir.

      It should offend no Christian, that some people would claim that Jesus was a magician who converted water to wine, or that there is no God, no true spirituality, and that saints were just a bunch of old fools with a lot of time on their hands.

      Correct, but if someone were to make such remarks directly to you with the intention of gratuitously and sadistically hurting you and — more to the point — in response to you having criticised and condemned the Taliban and Al Qaeda for their psychopathically warped notions of God, religion and spirituality (as was the case in this situation — see the other thread for more details), then it’s a pretty damning indictment of their own moral code (or lack of it) and, more pertinently, it lets the cat out of the bag in relation to where their own sympathies actually lie.

      There is such a thing as claiming to act in the name of God but treating your fellow human beings as though (in the metaphorical sense) you’re actually inspired by Satan instead. Whether you’re a member of the Taliban or, indeed, one of their supporters commenting on an internet discussion forum.

    53. Ravi Naik — on 21st April, 2009 at 2:46 pm  

      There is such a thing as claiming to act in the name of God but treating your fellow human beings as though (in the metaphorical sense) you’re actually inspired by Satan instead. Whether you’re a member of the Taliban or, indeed, one of their supporters commenting on an internet discussion forum

      I think you are fighting fire with fire, by using a religious language to argue against Islamists. God, Satan, saints, “true spiritual” are subject to personal interpretation, and it is a losing battle to debate on those terms, as Blah has demonstrated when he said what he thought about Sikhism and Hinduism.

      Instead, it is best to debate within a secular framework. The human rights declaration is a good place to start.

    54. damon — on 21st April, 2009 at 3:03 pm  

      It seems that the police were taking note people’s ethtic minority names here:
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/7317060.stm
      Maybe there were too many people with funny sounding names all living and hanging about the same streets of north London.
      I remember (a year ago) walking up Blackstock road and seeing a leeflet in a shop window decrying that police raid on the businesses of that road.
      It said something about the Algerian community being upset by police activity.

    55. Curious Joe — on 21st April, 2009 at 4:31 pm  

      A sad state of affairs to have to change your name to get a job interview. I would never do it - if you are good at what you do and the job you have applied for how can you be refused? If you are and you feel you have been discriminated against you would ask the recruiter why wouldn’t you?

      Postmodern Racism - its now more difficult to detect racism especially in the workplace since postmodern racists have a layer of policy and equality legislation to hide behind. Couple that with the employment of a smiley ethnic to ‘race proof’ and you may find theres no way into a job. Maybe calling myself John Tetley instead of Shahin Ali Murtaz Sidhu wouldn’t be a bad idea after all…

      “Postmodern Racism and ‘The Voice’: Join the Club” at http://www.paki-tin.blogspot.com

    56. Jai — on 21st April, 2009 at 6:02 pm  

      Ravi,

      I think you are fighting fire with fire, by using a religious language to argue against Islamists.

      Well, my use of the word “Satan” was purely metaphorical (I don’t believe any such entity exists), but yes you’re right about the deliberate use of religious language on my part.

      God, Satan, saints, “true spiritual” are subject to personal interpretation

      Yes, although it’s relevant in this situation as the individuals we’re “debating” with claim to be acting with divine support — not only over and above the rest of us but more than other Muslims who have different interpretations of Islam. We’ve all noticed the suspicious silence from Munir/Blah in response to my repeated questions about which version of Islam he regards as “true” and which Muslims he regards as being closest to God — and, most of all, the complete silence when presented with numerous venerated historical Muslim saints from South Asia along with some famous Sufi singers.

      They’re very simple questions, especially the second one: If Munir/Blah and other so-called Muslims with a similar mindset believe that Bulleh Shah, Nizamuddin Auliya, Amir Khusro, Baba Farid, Mian Mir, Rahman Baba, and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan were “unIslamic”, “heretics”, “apostates”, “frauds”, or any other similar terms one could use, along with “less spiritual and not as close to God as the Wahhabis/Salafis, the Taliban, etc etc”……then they should have the guts to come out and say it. Let’s hear it directly from them.

      as Blah has demonstrated when he said what he thought about Sikhism and Hinduism.

      His outbursts have actually been very useful in demonstrating his attitudes towards members of those religions, especially as someone who claims to be from the exalted minority who are closer to God than anyone else and, unlike the rest of us, are the recipient’s of God’s approval & support and will allegedly end up in Paradise. Not exactly the kind of behavior one would expect from such farishtay on earth, virtually angels in human form.

      Instead, it is best to debate within a secular framework. The human rights declaration is a good place to start.

      You’re actually right, but the problem is that such declarations and the concepts enshrined within it would be viewed by the other parties as man-made, secular, and therefore without any legitimacy or credibility.

      On a related note, members of the Taliban in Pakistan have now declared the entire Pakistani legal system as “unIslamic” and are demanding the implementation of Swat Valley-style Shariah Law throughout the entire country. They’re even saying that if they were successful in their aims, they’d be happy to allow OBL to live there, with full freedom of movement.

      Report from CNN: http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/04/21/pakistan.taliban/index.html?iref=mpstoryview

      (Rumbold, this might be a good topic for another PP article on the matter too, although it’s obviously been covered here to some extent previously).

    57. MaidMarian — on 21st April, 2009 at 6:53 pm  

      Curious Joe (55) - ‘its now more difficult to detect racism especially in the workplace since postmodern racists have a layer of policy and equality legislation to hide behind.’

      Quite right - let’s have a good old-fashioned witch hunt. Who needs such post modern concepts such as evidence and the like. No, an assumption of guilt is the only way forward.

      That’s a very postmodern chip to have on your shoulder.

      Forget John Tetley - I suggest Cotton Mather.

    58. Golam Murtaza — on 22nd April, 2009 at 5:56 am  

      @MaidMarian - Curious Joe simply said racism is harder to detect that it used to be. I don’t see anything in his post which recommends witch hunts or automatic assumption of guilt.

      I also believe that a vast amount of subtle racism is impossible to prove and punish without risking injustice. My solution to that? I don’t have one.

    59. MaidMarian — on 22nd April, 2009 at 11:57 am  

      Golam Murtaza (58) - You don’t think that Curious Joe’s sentiments were not of automatic guilt? Granted, he hid it well behind the postmodern language of obfuscation.

      Race equality policies are a smokescreen, ethnic employees are ‘smiley’ tokens - presumably Curious Joe/Cotton Mather thinks I as a white person should just apologise for having the temerity to exist.

      Postmodern racism may be difficult to detect, chips on the shoulder are not.

    60. Dalbir — on 24th April, 2009 at 1:12 pm  

      Sorry for the late responses, being worked like a slave……anyway

      Justforfun #20

      The thing is that for many people the name is an identifier. For many (not all) it is integral to their identity. I understand your point that it is used negatively in some cases, especially when it comes to power politics.

      I often wonder about my own “tribe” and how they have managed to demarcate their own identity in such a short space of time. Names played a big part in this. Conspicuously belonging to a group has long been an integral part of my faith/culture (depending how you look at it). To be honest I like it like that, because at its best, it forces you to deal with the world without having to take the sycophant route. There is an issue with some strands of Anglo-Saxon culture that does project forces, both subtle and direct, aimed at trying to shape you towards a perceived acceptable image. In the face of this such identifiers are invaluable to keep your own sense of self. Of course many English people are accepting of differences, but some have a subtle xenophobic streak that makes them hostile to this. This is possibly something cultural in my opinion. Growing up, I have often heard comments like, “he’s alright, he’s one of us” from friends. Now that I am older I understand the significance of such comments. If I wasn’t “one of you” would that make me unacceptable?

      “If what Dalbir said and Jai said (in his reply Jai) is right - then that makes me a bit sad as it seems like we still have so far to go. To be honest (as a white guy from London) - I thought 9/11 and 7/7 passed over pretty well where I live. It’s not like people going to mosque had to be worried about how they dressed (was it?).”

      Don’t be sad. In many parts of London major progress has been made. We can now generally go about our business without attempts to “bash” us. And I like the fact that the majority of Asian students I meet have very rarely been abused as “Pakis” or had shite thrown on their doorstep, as was not unheard of in the “good old days” of the 70s/80s.

      I must agree with Jai (#24) though. I very unfortunately left a job a few weeks before 9/11. Prior to this my mobile would constantly ring with job offers (via recruiters) in the the very incestuous industry I worked in. After the attack, I didn’t even get return calls from recruiters for jobs that fitted me like a glove. hhhmmmmm

    61. damon — on 24th April, 2009 at 2:47 pm  

      On that last paragraph by Dalbir .. I just presume that as many people with South Asian sounding names didn’t have this experience.
      But maybe that’s because they were not trying to move into new areas where they were unknown.

      But, (for example) what if you asked this guy:
      http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php?/site/author/Duleep%20Allirajah/
      …. if he’d noticed change after 9/11 - and he said he’d not noticed a thing .. what then?

      Guys who look like this:
      http://www.bangladeshinfo.com/news/images/feature10.jpg do I’m sure, suffer more discrimination in England than people like the guy I highlighted in my first link.

    62. Dalbir — on 24th April, 2009 at 3:38 pm  

      I appreciate your comments Damon, of course all experiences vary. But I do find it strange that I was receiving calls from recruiters up until a few days before the attack and absolutely nowt after. It doesn’t matter anyway, old news.

      One thing such events and recent ones have led me to believe in is the development of a strong global “Asian” economy largely (not completely) independent of the western one. That way we may have some sort of insulation from changing western fortunes and perceptions of us. Many of the latter seemingly engineered by the media for negative purposes.

      BTW, I’m glad you posted that last image. I’m wondering if anyone would see this guy

      http://solarider.org/my-pics/uptej-singh-11-11-2006.jpg

      any different to the guy whose image you posted?

    63. damon — on 26th April, 2009 at 1:03 pm  

      Dalbir - I only just saw your post above today.

      I’m sorry if you did feel you were facing some kind of fallout from 9/11. If you were that sucks.
      I’m sure there was a lot of it going on and I’m sure it varried hugely from place to place, and depended on the kind of work you were doing or looking to move into.

      As for the image I posted and then the one you did, I must admit I feel more favorably to the Sikh guy, only because the one I posted does look more provincial (if I’m not being too rude about him).
      It’s not about favoring one religion over the other - just the ‘prejudging’ that we humans are always doing.

      It’s wrong of me to read too much into a single image of a person …. but we all do it (don’t we?).

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