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by Rohin on 10th May, 2006 at 1:36 am    

I just caught the end of the most bizarre television show and shamefully it was on my favourite channel, Channel 4. Indian Finishing School takes four of the most reprehensible Brits and deposits them in “one of Delhi’s most prestigious finishing schools.” These four were nothing short of the absolute dregs of English society, including one who demonstrated his colonial-style racism as soon as some Indians started taking the piss out of him.

The ‘debutantes’ were required to spend a day doing the work of an average Indian, whatever that means. The chap in question was asked to shine shoes in Connaught Place, charging ten rupees a time. A businessman asked the price and our lad said “Ten rupees, you’ll never get a white man doing this again.” The businessman seemed non-plussed and decided to have some fun, yanking out a credit card and asking if the shoe shine boy took card. He replied “you’re Indian, you’re all poor, you don’t need a card.” The businessman then pulled out his mobile and started with “there’s this boy, he cleaned my shoes, listen can you bring ten rupees?” The English ‘boy’ walked off in a huff, claiming “back home I’d've taken his head off.”

One yobbo’s favourite pastime was ripping the piss out of Indian call centre employees when they called him. Confronted by three nice young men and one nice young lady in a Delhi call centre, he visibly shrunk. Of course he came over all apologetic and promised not to be rude to callers again. However instead of the Indian students showing the English the error of their ways, the work-shy bums led the well-behaved Indians astray, provoking behaviour the school’s teacher “has never seen from an Indian before.”

I don’t really see the point of this. But I hadn’t seen Delhi for a while and it brought back some memories. The show’s conclusion is tomorrow (Wed night) at 12.10am.



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134 Comments   |  


  1. Sunny — on 10th May, 2006 at 1:40 am  

    This whole idea of “let’s take some white people to India and see how it works out” is seriously getting on my nerves, although I didn’t watch this programme. Remember that appallingly lame Sky reality Tv series last year where these people learnt to drive in India? Grr…

  2. Sunny — on 10th May, 2006 at 1:41 am  

    And Narinder Minhas made this??? Shame.

  3. Rohin — on 10th May, 2006 at 1:44 am  

    It was called Road Raja. I was thinking of it as I wrote this. It’s the same fucking formula - some jokers go there and say (a quote from the next episode) “I can’t live like this, I would not wish this on my worst enemy” right in front of the person who DOES live like that. It’s tasteless.

  4. Bikhair — on 10th May, 2006 at 2:01 am  

    Rohin,

    I thought you Indians liked to be patronized by the white man? You rebellious second or third generators better appreciate the good company you are in.

    “Yes Sir!” “No Sir!” “Beddy good Sir!”

    BTW Sunny this website is looking pretty fruity these days. How far will you go to get rid of me?

  5. Rohin — on 10th May, 2006 at 2:33 am  

    “How far will you go to get rid of me?”

    As far as is necessary.

  6. Amir — on 10th May, 2006 at 2:42 am  

    Bikhair
    I think you’re really, really sexy (insofar as words on a screen can be deemed ’sexy’). I dunno why. You’ve just got this ‘angry Moslem feminazi’ charm to you.
    It’s very endearing :-)

  7. Amir — on 10th May, 2006 at 3:17 am  

    It’s tasteless.

    Yeah. I thought it was funny too!

  8. Bikhair — on 10th May, 2006 at 4:43 am  

    Amir,

    There is nothing worse than a sexually permissive Persian. But then again there are only sexually permissive Persians.

  9. mirax — on 10th May, 2006 at 6:16 am  

    Go for it, Amir! We all know that Bikki’s coy cyber flirting was leading up to just this end. About time too, the burka babe has hung around long enough fluttering her eyes.

  10. mirax — on 10th May, 2006 at 6:25 am  

    I’m curious- why would a finishing school send out its students to shine shoes? Is shoe-shining a highly valued socialite skill?

  11. neha — on 10th May, 2006 at 7:06 am  

    oh god no! Frankly I love reality tv - it’s entertaining on its non-shammy days. But sometimes it just pisses me off.

    Oh - and love the new look at PP!

  12. Vik — on 10th May, 2006 at 8:35 am  

    “Ten rupees, you’ll never get a white man doing this again.”

    Ironically one of my dadi’s favourite pasttimes has been to take a ride with one those gora rickshaw pullers on Piccadily circus.

  13. Bikhair — on 10th May, 2006 at 9:37 am  

    Mirax,

    My indiscretions, whatever they are, are conceiveable but atleast I know they are wrong.

  14. Katy Newton — on 10th May, 2006 at 9:48 am  

    I am an in-law! Thanks, Sunny. Not remotely related to the thread, I know. I was just very excited. But since I’m here, I will say that the attraction of those rickshaws is lost on me, and that reality TV is always exploitative and offensive, especially ones with a so-called cross-cultural angle. Like the American one with the Amish kids who went to live in a dorm with the Valley girls?

  15. El Cid — on 10th May, 2006 at 11:11 am  

    Dont worry about it Sunny.
    Trash TV is just another piece of the jigsaw

  16. Rohin — on 10th May, 2006 at 11:41 am  

    Amish in the City? Never saw it but it sounded mad. I think that’s more imaginative than just plonking people who aren’t going enjoy India in situations that will simply provoke them to be rude about it.

    Mirax I think the shoe shining was part of a day to make them understand the work of a regular Indian - kind of like the Apprentice. All the students had to earn their keep in various jobs. The girls cleaned dishes and sold chai, the boys shone shoes and worked in a call centre.

    ‘Course, I’d've told the guy to “go get your fucking spit shine box.” (for Goodfellas fans)

  17. DesiPundit » One More TV Show — on 10th May, 2006 at 12:03 pm  

    […] Pickled Politics on a tv show that might not please all of us Indian Finishing School takes four of the most reprehensible Brits and deposits them in “one of Delhi’s most prestigious finishing schools.” These four were nothing short of the absolute dregs of English society, including one who demonstrated his colonial-style racism as soon as some Indians started taking the piss out of him. […]

  18. Jay Singh — on 10th May, 2006 at 12:22 pm  

    Katy

    Those rickshaws are really good fun.

  19. neha — on 10th May, 2006 at 12:35 pm  

    Yes, and why am I an in-law? Raises in-law eyebrow

  20. Rohin — on 10th May, 2006 at 1:11 pm  

    Oh I think you’re classic mother-in-law material Neha ;) I don’t know how the in-laws were decided actually, Sunny please enlighten us.

    I wanted to be a London rickshawallah in my second year at uni. I slept all day and was awake all night so I figured I could earn some money and get fit (and inhale some fresh central London air). So I enquired with Bug Bug and did a few trips one night, but never pursued it further simply due to laziness. Hard work, but I thought it was great fun. Decent money, interesting people and places.

  21. Sunny — on 10th May, 2006 at 1:20 pm  

    Hehe. Ok well in-laws are kind of like your extended family. So all the ‘comrade’ links are people who write about politics, while the in-laws are extended family who have blogs about other things, that we like. So welcome to the extended PP family Katy and Neha ;)

  22. neha — on 10th May, 2006 at 1:28 pm  

    Wagging fat finger at Sunny This boy talks too big I tell you! Iski shaadi karado!

  23. Amir — on 10th May, 2006 at 1:33 pm  

    It’s Ali G. bruthva!

    SUNN-EI HWNDALEI AT DE’ GUARDIAN BLOG, MA FRIEND!

    The likeness is uncanny, me’ laddy!

  24. Sunny — on 10th May, 2006 at 1:53 pm  

    Neha - hahaha!

  25. Amir — on 10th May, 2006 at 2:47 pm  

    Attention everyone,
    As is now obvious, Sunny Hundal is making his case for those fine, anti-imperialist ladies down at the Guardian (Tariq Ali and George Galloway, by the way, are his nearest rivals for the attentions of virile Maddy Bunting). So now – as an ode to this finely-trimmed super-stud – let me introduce you all to the ‘2006 Sunny Hundal look-a-like competition!!’ Amassed from a short-list of 12, we have narrowed it down to 10 – yes, 10. Behold:

    Contestant 1.
    Contestant 2.
    Contestant 3.
    Contestant 4.
    Contestant 5.
    Contestant 6.
    Contestant 7.
    Contestant 8.
    Contestant 9.
    Contestant 10.

    I await the panel’s verdict.

  26. sonia — on 10th May, 2006 at 2:59 pm  

    i don’t know what it is with TV nowadays. I only watch TV very rarely nowadays, thank goodness - and i can see im not missing much.. ‘reality tv’ - shudder.

    going off-topic, its just reminded me of what i did see on telly last night - Newsnight - and Paxo grilling the US Ambassador about the so called ’special relationship’. the funny bit was when he said, oh you want us to take that seriously -when you lot won’t even pay the congestion charge!

    heh.

  27. sonia — on 10th May, 2006 at 3:01 pm  

    “I can’t live like this, I would not wish this on my worst enemy” right in front of the person who DOES live like that. It’s tasteless.”

    yup you said it rohin.

  28. sonia — on 10th May, 2006 at 3:05 pm  

    i do find it funny when bikhair pops up.

    though i wouldn’t say she was much of an ‘angry moslem female’ ring to her ..just more of an ‘ah im a ‘fair -skinned’ arab and ive found a bunch of ‘hindia’s’ to try and ‘imperialize’ since i imagine they’re all below me in the global food chain’ kind of attitude.

    :-)

  29. sonia — on 10th May, 2006 at 3:07 pm  

    must polish up the old arabic.

  30. Justforfun — on 10th May, 2006 at 3:13 pm  

    Sunny - From your pic on “Comment is Free” I feel free to comment ;-)

    Did you box when young?

    and if you are over 40 - you really ought to get rid of the goatie !! We’ve all been there and its time to move on - I too had the effected facial sculptures, even the full Mormon Beard and shaved lip, but I had no need for the henna die as it is for some reason already red !!- bizarre but true. But I approve of the 6mm alround clip as I have this lice resistant cut as well but my reason is my kids ;-)

    Justforfun

  31. Sunny — on 10th May, 2006 at 3:17 pm  

    Amir - enough of the taking thread off-topic now. Please leave that for the weekend open threads.

    Justforfun - I’m 28.

  32. sonia — on 10th May, 2006 at 3:24 pm  

    the covent garden rickshaws and the wallahs are fab.

    hmm i seem to be generally fond of rickshaw - wallahs - they’re the nicest people i’ve ever met in bangladesh.

  33. Vikrant — on 10th May, 2006 at 3:27 pm  

    what am i then… permanent guest eh?

  34. Vikrant — on 10th May, 2006 at 3:29 pm  

    btw can anybdy suggest some good proxy servers….my stepdad has sort of firewalled my net connection.

  35. Rohin — on 10th May, 2006 at 3:32 pm  

    What is this obsession people have developed with Sunny and his face? If it was complimentary I wouldn’t begrudge mah bro getting some praise but people are just discussing his facial hair and what moisturiser he uses. You’re all weird. Especially you Amir.

    Sonia, Bikhair isn’t an Arab. She’s white. You know, zeal of the convert and whatnot.

  36. Vikrant — on 10th May, 2006 at 3:38 pm  

    Bikki is also yank at that. American and Wahhabi…. sumtotal of utter ignorance.

  37. sonia — on 10th May, 2006 at 3:38 pm  

    gosh how bizarre that she’s managed to pick up the unpleasanter side of some middle-eastern types ( and they weren’t necessarily muslims either! ) still i know what you mean about ‘zeal of the convert’ etc..

    yeah what’s all this fuss about a goatee? ah they must all be jealous!

  38. Justforfun — on 10th May, 2006 at 3:45 pm  

    Sunny - 28 eh . Well I suppose you knowwhat your doing and what’s fashionable with the youth ;-)

    - Getting back to the thread.

    These sort for programmes are cringe making but I think they ought to include more 2nd and 3rd generation Indians and Pakistanis in the group so they get a good learning experiance of how life is tough, really tough in India and not to have some romantic illusions about the place. How many know people here know people who have tried to return and could not take the change? It would be quite interesting to discuss.

    Justforfun

  39. Sid — on 10th May, 2006 at 3:47 pm  

    I thought Bibi Bikhair was black American, newly married to a nice cuddly Saudi Wahhabi type. Zeal of the reverted. Sheeeeeeeeeeeeyit.

  40. Sunny — on 10th May, 2006 at 3:53 pm  

    I need to get the Guardian people to replace that silly picture, they’ve mangled it. I don’t have a goatee like that now anyway. It’s changed again :)

    Vikrant - you’re that family member who reckons he’s too smart for his boots and therefore everyone wants to avoid. They can run but they can’t hide :(

  41. Justforfun — on 10th May, 2006 at 3:55 pm  

    Sunny - Please tell me you’ve dyed it pink like the the Big Yin ;-) . That would be good.

  42. Rohin — on 10th May, 2006 at 3:59 pm  

    Oh, you may be right Sid. I never really paid attention. I just knew she was a conrevert.

    Justforfun, I’ve seen some stuff like that. With ‘BBCDs’ (I’m sick of that term now, I think BBDs is fine) going to their ancestral home, struggling to converse and saying “wow this is amazing” and then going to their hotel. I wonder what proportion of British desis have their families in cities and how many are from more rural origins. I never see programmes where BBDs go and see their cousins in Mumbai and have a nice time. India is two things to British TV - Bollywood and backward. I’m not one of those people who gets annoyed with India’s poverty being shown, I hate that type - who get annoyed with filmmakers like Ray/Mehta/Nair. As long as the poverty exists, I can’t complain about it being shown. But I would like another side to be shown too, my visits to India are nothing like many of my friends who spent 6 weeks in some village.

    I remember when one of God’s most irritating creations, Konnie Huq, went to see her grandma in a Bangladeshi village. It was painful to watch, she was so ill-at-ease and although my Bengali skills are only marginally better, I still want to laugh at her. I thought it was awful TV, especially for Blue Peter. Kids will now just assume that’s Bangladesh.

  43. Vikrant — on 10th May, 2006 at 4:07 pm  

    I hate that type - who get annoyed with filmmakers like Ray/Mehta/Nair.

    Then again Rohin arent you Styajit Ray great-great-grandson or something?

    They can run but they can’t hide :(

    Muhaha…. i make sure our family isnt all pink.

  44. Sid — on 10th May, 2006 at 4:18 pm  

    Actually I’m planning on going to Bangladesh in 2008. Take the kids to see the motherland, kind of thing. My plans is to drop IT for a year or two to build a massive Corbusian sprawl a lá Grand Designs.

  45. Jay Singh — on 10th May, 2006 at 4:25 pm  

    They did a really stupid programme a few years ago where they sent Bernard Manning to Bombay - it was embarassing.

  46. Rohin — on 10th May, 2006 at 4:35 pm  

    Oh God yeah, I remember that. What the FUCK was the point of that? I think some of these producers get a kick out of provoking racism. Now they can laugh at the racist jokes they tell behind closed doors, out in the open. It’s not THEM being racist, it’s SOMEONE ELSE.

  47. Jay Singh — on 10th May, 2006 at 4:40 pm  

    Those crazy guys at Channel 4!

  48. Justforfun — on 10th May, 2006 at 4:43 pm  

    Rohin - Understand what you mean about dropping the C from BBCD but that is the whole point. I think for most who think they can somehow return and integrate back are really deluding themselves and remain confused. Better to go back for a while and realise where you really belong and them make the best of life.

    PIOs from Britain and the US don’t have a good press in India and can be a like the lamb to slaughter as far as business etc goes, while it is always brushed under the carpet but caste/class issues can be diffucult to surmound when one returns with wealth that is above peers who have stayed behind. Indians in the UK in particular compared to other immigrant groups did not flee India for political reasons but for economic wealth, so the dynamic for returnees is different compared to returnees to other countries where the reason for initial flight was political repression.

    Personally I dread the day my Mum and Dad pass on and selfishly I dread having to deal with the beauracracy of the Indian Tax Office that will then land on my shoulders and I have to get my PIO card just to go and handle everything. But I suppose the new PIO card is a step forward and I can plan my retirement :-)

    Justforfun

  49. Sid — on 10th May, 2006 at 4:46 pm  

    awww lighten up guys. Whats with racist jokes if they’re being relayed by some losers and Bernard fucking Manning?

  50. Zak — on 10th May, 2006 at 4:50 pm  

    I caught a bit of it as well..I really didn’t see the point..

    Although I still acn’t see why they don’t have a Presidents apprentice show for Pakistan..I can imagine some General looking at a quivering spineless politician and saying you’re fired..(with a choice of exile or hanging each time)

  51. Rohin — on 10th May, 2006 at 4:54 pm  

    I don’t want Bernard Manning on TV. Unless it’s a show about whipping a fat man unless he dances.

    I was going to get my PIO card (hell I used to have an Indian passport) but they want me to pay £twohundredandsomething. Sod that. At least for now. My point about the ‘C’ was that ‘confused’ is just a dumb word. ‘Clueless’ would be better. I was happy with NRI, but that seems to have fallen out of favour. I’m an NRI but I’m not British born, so what’s my title? 1½ gen is just lame.

  52. sonia — on 10th May, 2006 at 4:59 pm  

    justforfun - there are plenty of indians who live in India and don’t share the same lifestyle as the majority of indians. those folks wouldn’t be able to ‘comprehend’ the reality of actually living the life of ‘most’ indians.

    should be interesting to discuss indeed.

  53. sonia — on 10th May, 2006 at 5:02 pm  

    i guess what im saying is the interesting thing about india or the subcontinent in general ( there are other such places in the world as well..of course) is the level of realities in the place - coexisting side by side..and the range of such realities. its psychotic.

  54. Sid — on 10th May, 2006 at 5:05 pm  

    Very true Sonia. The elites’ view of povery has been covered in this book by Naomi Hossain.

  55. Justforfun — on 10th May, 2006 at 5:07 pm  

    Clueless - much better.

    I think NRI is fine for those born in India and have still kept their Indian Passports but I know most gave them up as just to much hassle. You sound as if your like my elder brother - he’s not British born and when his children were born out of the UK, but luckily in the EU he registered them as their Mum’s nationality and so that when they turn 18 they can claim UK citizenship and their children (his grandchildren) will by birth then be British, but if he registered his children as British at birth, then their children (his grandchildren) would not be be able to claim UK citizenship by birth. Strange world we live in eh.

    I have no such problems except the £200 fee :-)

    Justforfun

  56. Justforfun — on 10th May, 2006 at 5:16 pm  

    Sonia - I agree with everything you say - however there is an element of the being born into it and for the the “elite” and the “others” it is just as it has always been and any changes within the social pecking order is gradual for the most part. as families move up or down the scale because it is for the most part families that move up or down the scale, and not individuals. I of course leave out the rejected indivuals who have been rejected by their families and for them India must be an intolerable hell.

    As you say to those on the outside India appears psychotic but for those born to it , its normal. Its is amazing what the human mind can be trained to accept.

    Justforfun

  57. Amir — on 10th May, 2006 at 7:30 pm  

    Sunny, you said…

    This whole idea of “let’s take some white people to India and see how it works out” is seriously getting on my nerves.

    That’s hardly consistent with your pro-multiculturalist grand narrative, is it Sunny? :-)
    [Actually, if you replace ‘white’ with ‘Moslem’, and ‘India’ with ‘England’, then it could just as easily appear on Stormfront.org. Wey hey!]

  58. Bikhair — on 10th May, 2006 at 7:48 pm  

    Pickled Posers,

    Sorry guys I am not some self hating Muslim girl. Yes I am a revert, yes I am black, yes I am American, and no I am not married to a Saudi. What do you think I am, stupid?

    You know you guys are the worst of the haters of Islam and Muslims because while you pretend to protect our right to believe you resent us for it every step of the way. Typically liberal.

    Now, draw whatever conclusions you like about my profile, my reversion, my blackness, my Americaness, and my husband who isnt Saudi. You all are a bunch of neo-Imperialist trying to bring civilation and hygiene to your backward cousins. Making sure we are all nice and clean before the company arrives, least we embarrass you.

  59. Bikhair — on 10th May, 2006 at 7:53 pm  

    Rohin & Vikrant,

    BTW, I have a particular distate for you guys. Anyone else wanting on the list- be my guest.

  60. Jay Singh — on 10th May, 2006 at 8:09 pm  

    Did you know Malcom X was gay Bikhair?

  61. Don — on 10th May, 2006 at 8:24 pm  

    Is it a particularly long list, Bikhair?

  62. Bikhair — on 10th May, 2006 at 8:38 pm  

    Jay Singh,

    No I didnt know he was gay. Gayness is one of those horrible but forgiveable sins. Disbelief is not.

    Don,

    It is getting there. Its Vikrant and Rohin that I cant stand as they are the most condescending and hysterically intolerant people I have come across.

  63. Amir — on 10th May, 2006 at 9:01 pm  

    Bikhair [Please read this]
    I don’t care if you’re black, white, pink, polka-dot, etc. – if you’re a convert, revert, converted revert, whatever. And it doesn’t concern me in the slightest that you wear a burka or a banana suit – religious attire is a choice for the individual. And, to forestall any further misunderstanding: I meant no disrespect when I called you ‘sexy’. It was a flippant, jovial remark. Nevertheless, I am concerned by some of the things you say. For example:

    Post #13My indiscretions, whatever they are, are conceivable but atleast I know they are wrong.

    ‘Wrong’? On who’s authority? Allah’s authority? Huh. The dour, puritanical version of Islam that you and your ilk preach has nothing to do with Islamic scripture. Shari-iah, for the most part, is not explicitly dictated by God. Rather, Shari’ah relies on the interpretative act of a human agent for its production and execution (fiqh). If there was an objective truth to everything, God would have made such a truth ascertainable in this life (note: musawwibah jurists – and, to a lesser extent, scholars from the mukhatti’ah school-of-thought– subscribe to this piecemeal view of morality (bukm mu’ayyan)). Human beings are not charged with the obligation of finding some abstract or inaccessible, legally correct result. Rather, they are charged with the duty to diligently investigate a problem and then follow the results of their own ijtihad (judgement or opinion). Put differently, Shari’iah as conceived by God is flawless, but as understood by human beings is imperfect and contingent. You, by stark comparison, take God’s law into your own hands. A grave sin, indeed.

    Post #8There is nothing worse than a sexually permissive Persian. But then again there are only sexually permissive Persians.

    Well, to begin with, I’m not Persian. But you are, nevertheless, correct to label me as ‘sexually permissive’. I enjoy sex - don’t you? As long as it’s consensual (i.e. no preying on drunk students or under-aged teenagers, for example) and safe (contraception) and mutually exclusive (no cheating with your best mates’ sweetheart…etc) – then there’s nothing at all unethical about pre-martial sex. And if it’s with someone you love-to-bits, then sex is even more rewarding.

    Amir

  64. Bikhair — on 10th May, 2006 at 9:33 pm  

    Amir,

    I will not respond to your response of my post#13. Thats a bermudea triable I wish not to sail in. With regard to post#8, you should have known I was just kidding. Who says puritants cant be funny? I will never agree with you however that sexual permissiveness is ok, consentual or not. It doesnt make for noble men, dignified women, or strong and stable societies.

    “You, by stark comparison, take God’s law into your own hands. A grave sin, indeed.”

    I’ve never.

  65. hijabi — on 10th May, 2006 at 9:57 pm  

    hey sunny, u from maida vale college? and u jai

  66. Sunny — on 10th May, 2006 at 10:22 pm  

    This conversation is getting silly now.

    Bikhair - There is nothing to be said about you being black or being American or Muslim. If anyone dislikes you on that basis alone then they’ll have to take it up with me.
    But I think you misunderstand these guys. Sure we all make generalisations about being American, as you may do about “non-believers” and they make fun of your hardline beliefs, as they would do of anyone.

    You say: You all are a bunch of neo-Imperialist trying to bring civilation and hygiene to your backward cousins.
    Actually we are trying to pull are own metaphorical families into self-criticism - an element of discussion we believe they have lost. Maybe I can explain this a bit more later.

    I do see though that some of the piss-taking against you gets silly (who cares if Malcolm X was gay) but you have to take it as humour rather than seriously. It’s when we discuss events such as people blowing up in Egypt, that things get serious. But you’re also prone to jokery, throwaway comments, so why get so uptight girl?

    Anyone know if hijabi is for real?

  67. Amir — on 10th May, 2006 at 10:43 pm  

    Bikhair
    If I were to give a simple formula or recipe for distinguishing between what I consider to be ‘admissible plans for social reform’ and inadmissible Islamic blueprints, I might say:

    Work for the elimination of concrete evils rather than for the realization of abstract goods. Do not aim at establishing happiness by political means. Rather, aim at the elimination concrete miseries

    And this is where we differ. I, on the one hand, yearn for the elimination of concrete miseries: poverty, malnutrition, state and sub-state terror, social inequality, etc. You, on the other hand, try to realize abstract personal dispositions, like ‘virtue’, ‘strength’, and ‘nobleness’ (ironically: your view of the world is not-so-dissimilar to the atheistic philosophies of Aristotle, Goethe, and Nietzsche!). Here, one must pause for a brief re-capitulation:

    Comment #62 Gayness is one of those horrible but forgivable sins. Disbelief is not.
    Comment #64 I will never agree with you however that sexual permissiveness is ok, consentual or not. It doesnt make for noble men, dignified women, or strong and stable societies

    Here, in a nutshell, is what we call perfectionism (or paternalism). Perfectionism = moral absolutism. Moral absolutism = Allah’s perfection.

    A very, very grave sin… indeed.

    Amir.

  68. Justforfun — on 10th May, 2006 at 10:48 pm  

    hey sunny, u from maida vale college? and u jai

    Anyone know if hijabi is for real?

    I only whisper - shhh - Child Support Agency

    Justforfun

  69. Amir — on 10th May, 2006 at 10:56 pm  

    Bikhair
    A very, very grave sin… indeed.

    Okay, now I’m assuming the role of preachyness! :-) Bikhair, let me put it to you this way: try to have a little more intellectual humility. Even when we solve a problem to universal satisfaction, we create, in solving it, many new problems over which we are bound to disagree. This is not to be regretted.

  70. Jay Singh — on 10th May, 2006 at 11:10 pm  

    I get very offended when Bikhair calls us Pickled Pocket Pickers and other such slanders.

  71. Justforfun — on 10th May, 2006 at 11:24 pm  

    Amir - Work for the elimination of concrete evils rather than for the realization of abstract goods. Do not aim at establishing happiness by political means. Rather, aim at the elimination concrete miseries

    And this is where we differ. I, on the one hand, yearn for the elimination of concrete miseries: poverty, malnutrition, state and sub-state terror, social inequality, etc. You, on the other hand, try to realize abstract personal dispositions, like ‘virtue’, ‘strength’, and ‘nobleness’

    Your first paragraph is very well put and as I read it I thought this was a very good pragmatic way of seeing the world and making this godforsaken rock a better place. However, would you think that to acheive these good deeds by the hand of man, (because personally I don’t believe God ever does anything and is the greatest underacheiver in the universe) then every man has to have some sort ‘personal abstract disposition’ to drives these deeds. Or is it a question of a few good men who set the moral tone and then the rest can follow. The latter sounds alot like a revealed religion or a totalitisian statist structure.

    Anyway - agree with your sentiments if I understand you correctly - the world will become better by many simple people each doing a good deed rather than a few reaching a heightened moral stance and then trying to drag up the world to their level.

    Justforfun

  72. Katy Newton — on 11th May, 2006 at 12:03 am  

    Everyone’s gone all off-topicky, but I am here to change that (sort of):

    1. I saw the Bernard Manning in India debacle. Did anyone else think he was going senile? He seemed very confused. It didn’t make him any less revolting though.

    2. Rohin, I like your “beat a fat man unless he dances” format, but - tragically for Bernard - if he tried to dance in front of me I would be forced to beat him with a stick until he was dead.

  73. Don — on 11th May, 2006 at 12:27 am  

    ‘Or is it a question of a few good men who set the moral tone and then the rest can follow. The latter sounds a lot like a revealed religion or a totalitisian statist structure.’

    That’s quite a leap.

    Like you, I think Amir has given a cogent proposal for how an individual can live in the world, recognise the anti-human and try, as best they can, to oppose or at least alleviate that.

    If you’re going from that to a ‘totalitisian statist structure’, I’m afraid you’re going to have to join the dots for me.

    I think I agree with your main point, but that one just went over my head.

  74. Sunny — on 11th May, 2006 at 12:43 am  

    if he tried to dance in front of me I would be forced to beat him with a stick until he was dead.

    hahaha!

  75. Rohin — on 11th May, 2006 at 1:48 am  

    Hey hey Vikrant, we’re number 1 on the Bikhair hate list! High five bro, high five!

    Don’t worry Bikhair, the feeling is more than mutual. And being called condescending makes my day.

    “you pretend to protect our right to believe you resent us for it every step of the way. Typically liberal.

    Haha, you don’t like liberals? Good luck with the conservatives, I hear they lurrrve extremist Moslems. Jay I don’t know how serious you are, but Bikhair’s ham-fisted (and yes I choose my meat deliberately) attempts at humour with “Pickled Poopers” or whatever piss me off too. You’re not funny Bikhair, nowhere close. In fact I’m delighted I’ve pissed you off, up to now I wasn’t sure if I came across too friendly. I mean every word I say.

  76. Amir — on 11th May, 2006 at 2:03 am  

    Rohin,
    Hey dude, don’t be too harsh on her - she’s not a bad person. Underneath that up-tight exterior, I’m sure she’s got a heart of gold. Bikhair’s just got a very one-dimensional and ahistorical view of her religion – that’s all.

    Besides, I think she’s got a lot of gusto – it’s always nice to have an alternative perspective (even if it’s a fundamentalist one!). As much as I disapprove of her ethical views (and interpretation of the Koran), I think we should all try to persuade her with rational argument… as opposed to guttersnipe abuse.

  77. Amir — on 11th May, 2006 at 2:08 am  

    If anyone here deserves abuse… it’s me. For my obsession with Sunny’s facial hair. I just, err, I just, err, can’t get it out of my mind!!

  78. Rohin — on 11th May, 2006 at 2:09 am  

    I hardly think I’m guttersnipe. Amir you haven’t been around here all that long, you aren’t familiar with the Bikhair of olde. I’m disappointed in myself that I’m even interacting with her, I went for a long time entirely ignoring everything she wrote. The crusaders had ‘gusto’. Osama bin Laden has ‘gusto’.

  79. Amir — on 11th May, 2006 at 2:42 am  

    Rohin,
    That’s true. Compared to yourself, I know very little about the bloggers on this site. However, I would say one thing: she’s reading the Web site.

    By exposing her to alternative viewpoints and conflicting bits of information, we may provoke some kind of ‘cognitive dissonance’ (jargon alert!) in her brain. According to psychologist Lawrence Kohlberg, for example, discussion of these dilemmas promotes development to ‘higher stages’ of moral reasoning by showing the benefits of alternative beliefs.

    Rohin – you’re a very smart guy: witty and acerbic. Rebuke her arguments rationally. To do otherwise is to do an injustice to your own intelligence.

    I think Bikhair has ‘gusto’ because she’s willing to have a discussion (and take flak in the process) on a Web site that defines itself against her. Compared to those ignorant cowards at Stalin’s Tomb and Jews sans frontieres (who never expose themselves to alternative information), Bikhair has guts.

  80. Amir — on 11th May, 2006 at 3:05 am  

    Yeah,
    And that’s another thing bra’: how can Sunny lecture us all on treating ethnic minorities as ‘individuals’ and not ‘communities’ when his own Web site has a hyperlink to Lenin’s Tomb – card-carrying members of the RESPECT Party!? That’s like, ya know, preaching to people about the fight for Palestinian self-determination, and then – under the heading ‘comrades’ – linking up to the Likud Party or Mafdal!?

    Picklers get all ‘high’ and ‘mighty’ about Melanie Philips and David Hirsh (i.e. their flippant use of the pejorative ‘anti-Semitism’), but those ‘comrades’ at Lenin’s Tomb can’t finish a sentence without accusing someone or something of being ‘racist’ or ‘Islamophobic’. Why the double-standard?

  81. Ravi Nailk — on 11th May, 2006 at 8:04 am  

    “Rohin – you’re a very smart guy: witty and acerbic. Rebuke her arguments rationally. To do otherwise is to do an injustice to your own intelligence.”

    There are essential parts in being a progressive or a fundamentalist that cannot be resolved rationally. Furthermore, there are some people which you can cordially disagree, and others who can’t. It’s a waste of time to talk with people who are in the latter category.

  82. Vikrant — on 11th May, 2006 at 8:52 am  

    Yeppie I’m on the list. Damn Bikki i cant quite forgive you for that porno-links joke. I cost me my fucking county council library card and gave the poor old dear at the library a nasty heart attack. Hmm… i’m feelin pretty poetic but wont bothering composing one, lest Sunny comes and deletes yet another fine example of my poetic prose.

  83. mirax — on 11th May, 2006 at 9:16 am  

    Bihkair,
    I was teasing you in my post #9. I’m sorry if I was too unkind- I don’t like being part of a pack and usually resist the temptation.

    That said, when you flaunt your hardline religiousity onsite, taunting and insulting other muslims as well as us kaffirs(often with undisguised relish), you can hardly complain of victimisation which is what your post #58 basically amounts to.

  84. mirax — on 11th May, 2006 at 9:21 am  

    Vik, please desist from any poetic endeavour! We still haven’t recovered from Amir’s efforts. What’s it with you teens/barely out of teens males being so into bad poetry? Shouldn’t you be out binge drinking or vandalising public property or some such healthier pursuits?

  85. Justforfun — on 11th May, 2006 at 9:29 am  

    Don - when I wrote
    …Or is it a question of a few good men who set the moral tone and then the rest can follow. The latter sounds alot like a revealed religion or a totalitisian statist structure.

    I had a picture in my mind of Amir’s comment where there was on the one hand MANY people doing simple things to make the world a better place and on the other hand I thought …. but before I immagined the other hand , I thought mmm - how do the ‘many people’ get to know what are the simple things to do. Are we born that way or has it been a slow process of human social darwinism of sorts, where societies that are generally fitter and more humane eventually survive. If Darwinism works for biology does a similar process exist in social development - but this is a whole other topic? So on the other hand , is this world getting better because a FEW men have had inspired thoughts of a superior moral dimension like random events over time and then passed these on the rest of the population who then follow or made to follow it it like sheep. Then it struck me - what I had imagined as a possible scenario was uncannyly like I would describe a religion or a totalitarian state. Religious and secular prophets(leaders) have visions and then get others to try and live up to those visions. Or on a more mundane level the trend in the modern media to not report things but to actually try and just promote ‘opinions’ that we the ignorant public can then just spout as our own.

    Thinking it through perhaps I think I stretched the point too far - but I like to look at both ends of any spectrum of possibilies because it usually leads to the solution in middle somewhere - possibly the engineer in me. I’m sorry I have rambled on and as you can see I have not really thought through things but rather I just spewed my thoughts onto the page so as to get a better picture in my own mind.

    Justforfun

    (PS the capitals were just my way of not losing the importance of Many and Few in the general Mash of text)

  86. Clive Davis — on 11th May, 2006 at 10:25 am  

    GONE NATIVE…

    PP also links to yet another bizarre manifestation of reality TV. I seem to be the only person in Britain not hooked on The Apprentice (everyone else in this house is a fan). But I wish I’d seen this:…

  87. sonia — on 11th May, 2006 at 11:31 am  

    “where societies that are generally fitter and more humane eventually survive”

    ha - or we could ask the opposite - do societies that kill off everyone else survive!

  88. Amir — on 11th May, 2006 at 1:24 pm  

    Mirri…

    Vik, please desist from any poetic endeavour! We still haven’t recovered from Amir’s efforts.

    [cough, cough…]
    Mirax, me smirax’
    I’d shirax thee any day with me’ jirax
    up ya pirax, Mirax!

    Miraximous Piraximous
    I spotted thee in an ocean with a hippopotamus
    Smouldering like ‘Spinoza’s Conatus,’
    Miraximous!

  89. Sakshi — on 11th May, 2006 at 1:30 pm  

    Well I use to get the same feeling while watching ‘Goodness, Gracious, Me’ in Sydney during my uni days. I mean…(most) times they were acurate but then at times they would just go too-over board with their acts. My Aussie flamates would laugh their heads off…and I would spend hours explaining them…that we dont always ride on elephants.

  90. Justforfun — on 11th May, 2006 at 2:07 pm  

    Sonia - ha - or we could ask the opposite - do societies that kill off everyone else survive!

    That is one strategy of surviving, amongst many :-) but why ask the question?

    Are all societies that exist today the result of killing off previous societies? Take any snap shot in history - the societies then, had they all killed off their anticedents. I am not sure about that — Societies that are not around today have fallen by the wayside due to either:
    - intervetions by their neighbours, be that violent or peacefull emulation.
    -climatic change
    -environmental change that is either self or naturally inficted.

    So over time there are many chance and technological events that can ‘kill off’ benevolent societies and chance and technological events that promote violent societies.

    However we now live in a time when the study of history and the environment there are far fewer known unknowns than eanytime in history but still many unknown unknows …. as my good friend Donald Rumsfeld said it better than I can
    “As we know, there are known knowns. There are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns. That is to say, we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don’t know we don’t know.”

    Are we evolved from chipanzees or Bonobos I suppose is the simplest question. Does the peace in our genes outweight the violence ? It would be good to know so we can take appropriate measures :-)

    Justforfun

  91. Rohin — on 11th May, 2006 at 2:39 pm  

    Amir, point taken (and thank you for the kind words). But as Ravi says, sometimes there is no sense in trying to argue with certain people. I decided Bikhair was one of them a long time ago, but instead of further disagreements, I shall simply return to my previous strategy of ignorance. Yes it’s a word.

  92. Jai — on 11th May, 2006 at 3:07 pm  

    Amir, your presence was sorely needed here on PP a couple of weeks ago (more on that in a minute).

    Your thinking is clear and your intentions are obviously very well-meaning; however, to extrapolate what Rohin has said, one does need to know which battles to fight and which to walk away from.

    Of course, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t “try anyway”. The best way is to state one’s case and then let the other party make their own decision. It is impressive to see that you have been voicing your disagreement with some aspects of Bikhair’s perspective calmly and within ethical boundaries.

    If you have some spare time, take a look at this recent debate on PP to see “how not to do it” (I’m referring to the other party I was talking to, not my own approach), and how matters can escalate quite wildly out of control. (link: http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/453#comments ). As I said, your input would have been greatly appreciated there, but perhaps this precedent can be viewed as a case study in the worst possible way to debate religious concepts.

    There is no point arguing with someone who does not have the capability to really “listen” (nor the intention of doing so), but as I said before, I guess sometimes we have to try anyway ;)

    (This is just a general comment and not necessarily in relation to Bikhair).

  93. sonia — on 11th May, 2006 at 3:24 pm  

    oh yes justforfun i agree - the human psyche adapts. it has to.

  94. sonia — on 11th May, 2006 at 3:26 pm  

    hmm Bikhair..

    “Yes I am a revert, yes I am black, yes I am American, and no I am not married to a Saudi. What do you think I am, stupid?

    You know you guys are the worst of the haters of Islam and Muslims because while you pretend to protect our right to believe you resent us for it every step of the way. Typically liberal.”

    now why do your refer to everyone here in the same breath? ha i think its pretty obvious there are plenty enough folks here of ‘different stripes’!!

    well anyways whatever you are, i don’t care at all :-)

  95. sonia — on 11th May, 2006 at 3:40 pm  

    “Put differently, Shari’iah as conceived by God is flawless, but as understood by human beings is imperfect and contingent.”

    finally - some sense spoken. i always thought- when these mullah types drone on about ’shariah’-( as if it was somehow conceptually different to any other kind of ‘law’ society (aka humans) chooses to put into place!!) that it was well funny that they were arrogant enough to think somehow they were perfectly capable of ‘delivering God’s justice in some “divine” way’. I mean - assuming one accepts that somehow shariah is ‘different’ to normal law - ooh cos it’s ‘divine’ - yeah well still, how is it being ‘implemented’> through humans - obviously! it ain’t like there’s some mountain somewhere you stand and ‘God delivers judgement’ and then goes home or whatever. I mean - that’s so bl**dy obvious.

    all these nasty old men who bang on about shariah and islamic states - pah i say to them - you’re a bunch of dirty old men seeking power. why the hell should i trust you?

  96. sonia — on 11th May, 2006 at 3:44 pm  

    hijabi sounds like a repetitive bot to me! ;-)

  97. Rohin — on 11th May, 2006 at 3:45 pm  

    Hey, I like the Warrior banner, very cool.

  98. sonia — on 11th May, 2006 at 3:52 pm  

    justforfun - i don’t know very much about social darwinism - it has dodgy antecedents and im not really sure what i think of it. apart from that in my mind, someone like Samuel Huntington has overtones of social darwinism. it seems like a simplistic set of theories to me…too much of this linear thinking kind of business.

    my comment was meant flippantly. :-)

  99. sonia — on 11th May, 2006 at 3:55 pm  

    its called being non-partisan..:-)

  100. sonia — on 11th May, 2006 at 3:59 pm  

    now how does this work - ” Web site that defines itself against her”. what so PP defines itself as being against Bikhair specifically?! ;-) hmm hardly the case. id say more the other way around! its well known a bunch of right wingers hang around on lefty blogs to slag them off and vice versa. sure one still has to have the appetite/gusto for a slanging match..

  101. Don — on 11th May, 2006 at 6:08 pm  

    Despite her continued rudeness, I still have hopes for Bikhair. In the last couple of months she has made several comments with which I could not disagree, and has significantly eased off on the religious jargon. Compare that with her debut which, if I remember correctly, was a bizzare justification for stoning adultresses. I can see why Rohin has just had enough, but Amir is right, she’s still here and still reading.

    BTW, I’d like to second Jai on welcoming the valuable perspectives Amir has brought.

    Jai, on the other thing, let it go, man, let it go.

  102. Amir — on 11th May, 2006 at 6:20 pm  

    Jai and Don
    Thank you very much for those kind words! [blush, blush] Let me tell you something about Ismaeel vis-à-vis two of his most recent blog entries.

    Quote 1: An excerpt from Ismaeel’s review of Tariq Ramadan’s Western Muslims and The Future(09/05/06):

    The third problem is he doesn’t deal with the important issue of building strong leadership: political, spiritual and intellectual. These three problems turn on the weakness of his work which is his enamourment with the western concept of liberal-democracy.

    Whatever his definition of a ‘strong’ leader, one thing is clear: there cannot be very many of ‘him’ in a community. Ismaeel considers Islam a branch of politics, and it is not surprising, after his disdain for pluralism and democratic procedure, to find that he considers a theocratic state the best form of government. Imams can be ‘strong’, but ordinary citizens would be laughable if they attempted to live up to such a pattern. The democrat, on the contrary, usually holds that the most important goods are power and property; he cannot, therefore, acquiesce in a social system which is based on ‘God’s chosen few’. Ismaeel, in effect, wants to see the Islamic faith Catholicized vis-à-vis the imposition of a Khomeini-lite religious hierarchy.

    Quote 2: An except from Ismaeel’s review of Tariq Ramadan’s documentary Muslim Reformation (01/05/06):

    He [Abdul Wahid of Hizb-ut-Tahrir] told Tariq (and rightly so in my opinion) that this idea you need to bring a new interpretation of the Qur’aan to satisfy the west reflects a colonised mind.

    Like the doctrine of National Socialism, Ismaeel oscillates between ‘strong’ leaders and ‘magnanimous’ individuals (spiritual guardians) and ‘strong’ and ‘stable’ civilizations. He believes, like Carlysle and Mazzini, that duty to one’s ‘clan’ should be placed above democracy: the simple vote of a majority does not constitute sovereignty, if it evidently contradicts the supreme moral precepts: the will of the people is sacred when it interprets and applies the moral law; null and impotent, when it disassociates itself from the Koran. This was also the opinion of Mussolini (albeit in a secular context).

    Ismaeel, is, well, err,…dangerous.
    His political philosophy will only serve to poison the minds of young, alienated and impressionable Moslems.
    Amir

  103. Bikhair — on 11th May, 2006 at 7:21 pm  

    Pickled Politrix,

    You know the only reason why you people are giving Amir a pass is because he gives you guys an ethnic cover for your immorality. He is an extremist. He wants ethnics or whoever his target audience is to be morally weak and spiritually dubious. I have not changed my stance on the punishment for adultery unless new revelation has come. Besides it isnt my stance to begin with.

  104. Amir — on 11th May, 2006 at 7:33 pm  

    Bikhair,

    He is an extremist. He wants ethnics or whoever his target audience is to be morally weak and spiritually dubious.

    Okay,… but first of all – please tell me – what does it mean to be morally weak and spiritually dubious? How do I embody these sins? What should, in your opinion, be done to people ‘like me’?

    Elaborate – and maybe we can have a discussion.

  105. Bikhair — on 11th May, 2006 at 7:34 pm  

    Rohin,

    Most people here disagree with me but they arent disrespectul and hurtful.

    “Hey hey Vikrant, we’re number 1 on the Bikhair hate list! High five bro, high five!”

    You have no manners and you will stay in the corner until you learn your lesson.

    “you pretend to protect our right to believe you resent us for it every step of the way. Typically liberal.

    “Haha, you don’t like liberals? Good luck with the conservatives, I hear they lurrrve extremist Moslems.”

    What are the conservatives position on Muslims? Malcom X was right about conservatives that at the very least they come to you as a wolf with their teeth showing while the liberal comes to you as a fox with all smiles, though his intentions were the same.

    “Jay I don’t know how serious you are, but Bikhair’s ham-fisted (and yes I choose my meat deliberately) attempts at humour with “Pickled Poopers” or whatever piss me off too.”

    From this point forward when I want to address everyone, I will just use Pickled Politics. You have to admit that some were funny.

  106. Bikhair — on 11th May, 2006 at 7:42 pm  

    Amir,

    Morally weak with regard to sexual practices. Spiritally duibious and your explainations about Shariah which I have to be honest with you, didnt read in its entirety. I hate long post. Muslims need to know haram and halal and not feel good.

    What do I think should be done to you? For first mistake was asking me for my opinion on such matters since the punishment for those who engage in and make permissible acts of fornication or adultery have been established. If you have any bit of faith left, you should hate the sins you commit. No one is asking you to be perfect but dont be proud of being in error.

    If I were a fornicator, or a homosexual, I would hate what I did even if I did it because it shows that I have some faith and some notion of right and wrong. I wouldnt fall in love with my actions and make them permissible for me. Allah azawajal, will still love you inspite of His anger, His disapproval, or His ordained punishments for those or any sin, except kufr and shirk.

  107. mirax — on 11th May, 2006 at 7:49 pm  

    >>he gives you guys an ethnic cover for your immorality. He is an extremist. He wants ethnics or whoever his target audience is to be morally weak and spiritually dubious.

    Ha! That’s it! I was wondering what was so beguiling (and dangerous) about Amir. The man would obviously be loathe to stone adultresses; how much more extremist can one get? If only we ethnics all had your clarity of mind and kindness of heart!

  108. Don — on 11th May, 2006 at 7:51 pm  

    Spoke too bloody soon.

  109. Amir — on 11th May, 2006 at 8:20 pm  

    Bikhair,

    1. My sexual practices

    Secular response: Under the pretence of guarding public morality (i.e. fornication, adultery, homosexuality, etc.), the government could pass arbitrary laws forbidding many forms of public assembly; under the guise of protecting orthodoxy, it could pass laws to punish creative expression; under the guise of protecting individuals from slander, it could suppress many forms of political and social criticism, and it could imprison or execute political dissenters, claiming that they are sowing fitna (discord and social turmoil).

    Islamic response: The whole idea of ‘hating yourself’ irrationally as an imagined service to Allah is a form of glorifying masochism and of self-abasement before power. It is the same pattern as that of the Russians who made confessions of guilt when prosecuted by Stalin. And yet, it is the Koran that says “Allah makes excellent everything which He creates.” It is also Allah – not Bikhair – who shall judge me, because (a) it is Allah’s will; (b) I am Allah’s creation; (c) I am one with Allah’s oneness. To accept an orthodoxy, as you do, is to violate the sovereignty of Allah. To judge and to chastise me, as you do, is to ventrioloquize Allah. A most grave sin indeed.

  110. Jai — on 11th May, 2006 at 8:26 pm  

    (Don — Apologies in advance but I have to refer Amir to the following thread too. However, I do get your point and agree with what you’re saying. ;) )

    Amir,

    Ismaeel is not only dangerous, he is also possibly mentally unstable; in any case, he certainly has no problem with using extremely unethical and psychologically manipulative tactics. I drew him to your attention not only to make you aware of what’s been going on here before you joined us, but as a point of contrast with your own highly-civilised approach to discussing these matters. Again, it’s a shame you weren’t here earlier, as his fellow Muslim, considering that he claims to be acting in the name of Islam and as a representative of Muslims as a whole, and is doing so not only here on the internet but in the wider world as well. It would have been good to have had your input in countering his various claims and actions on religious grounds.

    (The argument didn’t stop there: Check out this shorter thread, and scroll down to post 32 onwards. http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/459#comments ).

    This is what we are having to deal with, and tragically this is the kind of individual who aims to represent Muslims in general and claims to have an accurate interpretation of the religion’s tenets.

    Once again, thank God there are Muslims like you around, Amir.

  111. Sid — on 11th May, 2006 at 9:13 pm  

    Excellent stuff in #102 Amir

    His political philosophy will only serve to poison the minds of young, alienated and impressionable Moslems.

    We all know that thats already the case. The misinterpretation of Koranic scripture in the form of cod revolutionary ideology aimed at the Man which then gets picked up and dessiminated by otherwise intelligent kids to fuel further emotions of alienation and low self esteem is a phenomenon we’ve touched on frequently here. I don’t a Muslim kid who hasn’t gone through that phase in some form or another.

    I think it would be worthwhile for you to reevaluate people like Mark Elf of Jews sans F. There’s a guy who has seen past the ‘clan’ and sapped its ethno-religious cache to present a world view that his critics call self-hatred. In actuality there is an element of Spinoza in his debunking of received/conditioned loyalties that he has the wit (or balls) to reject. In that sense, from a reading of your posts, you probably have more in common with Jews Sans than you realise Amir, which is why yours is a very valuable opinion to have around here.

    Ismaeel is a cheerleader. Even Norman Geras, when you get beyond his smooth, modulated, ultra-polished delivery is desseminating the message of the cheerleader. Geras and Ismaeel are at diametric extremes ideologically, but in the context of their message, they’re distinctly the same type.

  112. Vikrant — on 12th May, 2006 at 12:13 pm  

    Ok… i’ve decided… i’m not getting into falme wars with Bikki anymore… she simply doesnt have enough cranial capacity to engage in a civilised dialogue. I guess all that Wahhabi stuff in her brain has left her with barely enough electrical energy to light a 10 watt power bulb.

  113. raz — on 12th May, 2006 at 12:26 pm  

    “Geras and Ismaeel are at diametric extremes ideologically, but in the context of their message, they’re distinctly the same type”

    Nail.Hammer.Head.

  114. Xerxes — on 12th May, 2006 at 1:06 pm  

    Sid

    Where is the Muslim Spinoza? Does he exist? Read the reports of 7/7 in all the newspapers today and tell me that Muslims in Britain offer hope and not death to the world. As soon as a Muslim comes up who does not toe the party line they are subject to death threats, called apostate, Uncle Tom, described as villainous Zionist collaboraqtors and other stupid givvering trash. There is no comparison to Jews Sans Frontiers as far as this is concerned - he gets criticised, Muslim dissenters get killed. Comparing Geras to fundamentalist trash and scum is neat rhetorical sophistry but there is no real comparison.

  115. raz — on 12th May, 2006 at 1:21 pm  

    “Muslim dissenters get killed”

    Which British Muslim dissenters have been killed?

    Also, if you think Muslims are the only ones who don’t tolerate dissent, two words - Yitzhak Rabin. Even the great Ariel Sharon, a man who dedicated his whole life to defending the Jewish people from evil, was not safe from death threats from fanatical Jewish extremists.

  116. Roger — on 12th May, 2006 at 1:53 pm  

    “Where is the Muslim Spinoza?”

    Remember, Spinoza too was expelled from his community for what he said. That community only wanted to impose its laws on its own members, remember: muslims think taht they have the right to impose their rules on everyone. People like Bikhair are very handy; when we are discussing things with a civilised muslim it is easy to forget just what their beliefs if rigorously carried out would lead to- and there are other muslims who want to carry those beliefs out rigorously. Bikhair very usefully reminds us of that fact.

  117. Justforfun — on 12th May, 2006 at 2:01 pm  

    Raz - I don’t think anyone has yet been murdered in the UK but was Xerxes refering solely to Britain or in the world in general? I remember seeing a programme on Islam just perhaps 2 weeks back where a Moroccan (or was it Algerian) muslim in Britain travelled around the muslim world looking to see what sort of reformation was taking place, and the rather depressing conclusion I drew was that no matter what reforms occur here in the West, it would mean diddly squat if there was no reform in the vast majority in the ME and Asia. So I would conclude its the dissenters in the ME and Asia who have the most influence but also the most to fear.

    Anyway as an aside - last year in Bradford ,was not a man from Pakistan and his family, including three children, firebombed while they slept? Of course he had gone beyond dissent and was an apostate. Luckily they survived and are now in hiding. Sorry I can’t remember his name. And I will apologise if I have misrepresented the incident.

    Justforfun

    PS the killing of people who convert is not the sole preserve of Islam, plenty die in India for converting away from Hinduism. Although its the conversion to Christianity rather than the dissent or apostacy that seems to be the main factor I think , but I’m no expert.

  118. raz — on 12th May, 2006 at 2:14 pm  

    Justforfun,

    Xerexes had specifically mentioned Muslims in Britain in his post. Also, Jews Sans Frontiers is a British blog, so it makes sense to compare his experiences to British Muslims. As far as the rest of the world goes, of course Muslim dissenters are in danger, but as I have shown, even great Jewish leaders like Rabin and Sharon are not safe from this kind of fanaticism. And also your own example of Hindus being killed in India.

  119. Justforfun — on 12th May, 2006 at 2:35 pm  

    Raz - re-reading Xerxes I can see that he may have meant the UK but the treat of death still exists - take Mr Rushdie for instance.

    Anyway when a religion tries to justify itself by refering to similar bad in other religions it does not do much good for itself but only fosters complacancy.

    A question though - was Rabin murdered by his co-religionists for religious reasons or political/nationalistic reasons?

    Justforfun

  120. raz — on 12th May, 2006 at 2:40 pm  

    “take Mr Rushdie for instance”

    Well, he’s still alive, isn’t he :)

    “Anyway when a religion tries to justify itself by refering to similar bad in other religions it does not do much good for itself”

    I agree totally. All religions on earth are guilty of accusing others instead of looking within.

    “A question though - was Rabin murdered by his co-religionists for religious reasons or political/nationalistic reasons?”

    Religion and politics/nationalism are always intertwined. The world has always been that way.

  121. Justforfun — on 12th May, 2006 at 3:11 pm  

    Raz- Religion and politics/nationalism are always intertwined. The world has always been that way

    :-) well thats the point - I had hoped that Religion could be kept out of Politics but unfortunately in the West we seem to be being dragged back into the Middle Ages where politics and religion were one and the same.

    It’s taken us 3500years since a bronze age shaman called Zarathustra set us free from mumbo jumbo jumbo mumbo when he had the inspired idea of ‘the future’ where the world did not have to be like the past. No longer was man at the whim of Gods. Mankind alone is responsible for making the future better. Now it seems we want to abrogate our responsibilities to a collection of moth eaten dictation notes cobbled together by various people over the years and told to believe they are the works of God and then bowdown to people who revel in combining religious understanding and power.

    The Queen should not be the “Defender of the Faith” but rather “Hammer of the Faiths”. I think I’ll write to my MP with the idea :-) - Look now Raz - you got me all riled up ;-)

    Justforfun

  122. Jai — on 12th May, 2006 at 3:22 pm  

    Sid,

    Good points about Ismaeel. I realised that backtracking wouldn’t necessarily be an option for him as it would undermine his public credibility as a supposedly devout Muslim and, particularly, as a representative/spokesman for the MAC.

    However, my suspicions about him being psychotic aside, I think it’s good that he was so honest about his true opinions and personality, both with regards to his attitude to Sikhism and the unscrupulous (not to mention hypocritical and psychopathic) methods he was willing to deploy against other people in order to further his own agenda. Anyone wishing to see the “the true picture” can read the evidence for themselves simply by accessing PP and reading Ismaeel’s own words in black and white.

  123. Sid — on 12th May, 2006 at 3:28 pm  

    Where is the Muslim Spinoza? Does he exist?

    Sure he does. His name is Amir and he comments here on PP. ;-)

  124. Sid — on 12th May, 2006 at 3:46 pm  

    Xerxes

    Everything else you mention regarding Muslims about in #114 is absolutely true. In fact, you’ve probably understated yo9ur case. But what you fail to mention, either because of ignorance or bias or what have you, is that there is a sizeable groundswell of Muslims who are taking on the extremist co-religionsists in their midsts. If you haven’t seen their blogs, websites and ideas then you should.

    As for Geras, I’m sure he’s a lovely bloke but if you’re Liberal and an apologist for American belligerance you’re at risk of being labelled a imperialist in Liberal clothing.

    He also seems to be unwilling to accept any criticism of Israeli policies of aggression or human rights abuses against Palestinians. How does that make him any different from Muslims who are unwilling to accept (or are in a state of strategic denial of) the endemic problems in the Muslim world. In other words, how different is that from Ismaeel’s own brand of clannish conceit?

    In fact, looks to me that Ismaeel and Geras are joined at the hip!

  125. Sid — on 12th May, 2006 at 3:56 pm  

    Roger: muslims think taht they have the right to impose their rules on everyone. People like Bikhair are very handy; when we are discussing things with a civilised muslim it is easy to forget just what their beliefs if rigorously carried out would lead to- and there are other muslims who want to carry those beliefs out rigorously. Bikhair very usefully reminds us of that fact.

    Yeah, Jews control the world and Muslims want to convert everyone to Islam AND then take over the world.

    Come out of the dark Roger, its nice and warm out here.

    Sheeeeeeeeeeeeeyit Bikhair. You just gave our gameplan away. ;-)

  126. sonia — on 12th May, 2006 at 4:39 pm  

    “muslims think taht they have the right to impose their rules on everyone.”

    he heh some muslims do sure. and so do lots of atheists, and other folk. religion is only one type of belief system - that involves divinity. does anyone seriously think if you haven’t got an opinion on divinity you haven’t got any ‘belief systems’? if anyone did think that - that to me would represent an idiotic dogmatic belief in itself, identical to any dogmatically held ‘religious’ beliefs.

    :-)

  127. sonia — on 12th May, 2006 at 4:44 pm  

    lots of people don’t tolerate dissent - why look at what happens to protestors in the States.

    :-)

  128. Justforfun — on 12th May, 2006 at 5:06 pm  

    Sonia - ;-)

    does anyone seriously think if you haven’t got an opinion on divinity you haven’t got any ‘belief systems’? if anyone did think that - that to me would represent an idiotic dogmatic belief in itself, identical to any dogmatically held ‘religious’ beliefs.

    I like it - Does anyone seriously think that dogmatically held ‘religious’ beliefs are not idiotic -therefore once an idiot, why not idiotically
    believe that if you haven’t got an opinion on divinity you haven’t got any ‘belief systems’?

    So now the solution is to remove idiocy from the population (by upping the exam pass rate perhaps)and our religious problems will be solved. :-) - I just wish it were that simple :-(

    Justforfun

  129. Roger — on 12th May, 2006 at 5:56 pm  

    Sid:
    “Yeah, Jews control the world and Muslims want to convert everyone to Islam AND then take over the world.”
    You’ve got it the wrong way round, actually. Take over the world and then everyone will gradually take to islam.
    It’s hard to generalise about several hundred million people, I agree, but i can remember years ago a colleague explaining to me that I really ought to become a muslim because I’d go to hell if i didn’t and that- as I’m an agnostic- he’d regretfully have to kill me if i didn’t accept islam come the glorious ummah which was any day now. Now, this was an intelligent, educated man and he was perfectly certain of what he said. Ever since then I have thought that if the quran says something it’s as well to think that muslims take it absolutely literally. They may not, but just to be on the safe side, and it isn’t going to take many people like my friend or Bikhar to make things very unpleasant from the best of motives.

    Sonia: “does anyone seriously think if you haven’t got an opinion on divinity you haven’t got any ‘belief systems’?”
    i think it’s better- and I try- to have a nonbelief-system. I don’t know what is true and right but most of the time you can be pretty sure about what is wrong and untrue.

  130. Bikhair — on 12th May, 2006 at 6:54 pm  

    Roger,

    “People like Bikhair are very handy; when we are discussing things with a civilised muslim it is easy to forget just what their beliefs if rigorously carried out would lead to- and there are other muslims who want to carry those beliefs out rigorously. Bikhair very usefully reminds us of that fact.”

    Shut up you idiot. What do I remind you of? Be very specific.

    “It’s hard to generalise about several hundred million people, I agree, but i can remember years ago a colleague explaining to me that I really ought to become a muslim because I’d go to hell if i didn’t and that- as I’m an agnostic- he’d regretfully have to kill me if i didn’t accept islam come the glorious ummah which was any day now.”

    Apprently it isnt hard to generalize. Are you expirienceing hot flashes right now? I cant imagine anyone would say that to someone who was supposed to be their friend. They Ummah already exists Roger so he should have already killed you for not converting. Are you stupid? What kind of people do you hang out with? Are you sure you didnt dream this up?

    Here is some advice dont come blogging while you are menstrating because you are being completely unreasonable and emotional.

  131. mirax — on 12th May, 2006 at 9:31 pm  

    >>why look at what happens to protestors in the States.

    What happens to them?

  132. Mani — on 13th May, 2006 at 5:32 am  

    hehehe this show was class

    i really liked part 2

  133. Roger — on 13th May, 2006 at 2:45 pm  

    “Shut up you idiot. What do I remind you of? ”
    You- and other religious enthusiasts reminds me very specifically that “there are other muslims who want to carry those beliefs out rigorously”.
    Those beliefs include the imposition of muslim social customs and muslim prejudices about sexual behaviour and the imposition of an islamic religio-political system on everyone for the benefit of evryone.

    ” I cant imagine anyone would say that to someone who was supposed to be their friend.”
    I didn’t say Faisal was a friend. He was a colleague at work. Logically, however, if you like someone and think they are going to be horribly tortured for ever if they continue holding their present beliefs and living in the way those beliefs would encourage then that may well seem the lesser evil. After all, isn’t one of the justifications for muslim punishments of chopping and lopping supposed to be that it cleanses the criminal of the sin and so enables them to get to paradise? Unfortunately we’ve had no reliable assessment of the success rate yet.
    “They Ummah already exists Roger so he should have already killed you for not converting.”
    You forget, that there are many varieties of muslims and not all agree with you that the ummah exists or- if it exists- that it exists as it should.

    “Here is some advice dont come blogging while you are menstrating because you are being completely unreasonable and emotional. ”
    Ahem.

    I don’t think that many muslims go in for this sort of weird nonsense, but the problem remains that any muslim might start thinking about what they believe, instead of merely believing, and draw logical conclusions from their thoughts and act on them. It’s a problem with every revealed religion.

  134. Shane — on 18th May, 2006 at 8:47 am  

    Hi Just thought that I would add something - You state in this discussion that I would not let my worst enemy live like this - Yes I did say that - But it WAS NOT in the face of the person I was stopping with. It was said in a seperate interview outside of the ‘House’ in which they Lived. And i am no denying the fact that I would not let my worst enemy live there…..

    Shane (From Indian Finishing School)

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