Comment policy restated


by Rumbold
29th July, 2009 at 9:14 am    

We at Pickled Politics do not take banning people lightly. We want to ensure that people can debate freely, and we prefer to let Picklers deal with any abusive commenters, since the well-reasoned arguments deployed by the former against the latter are the worst punishment one can dish out. We often prefer an ad hoc approach, deleting individual comments while letting the perpetrator comment in future. However, there comes a point when a persistently abusive commenter can only be dealt with by banning them. Thus the commenter known as ‘Munir’ is now banned. He will be deleted whenever he appears. Any other racists who do not listen to warnings, whatever their creed or colour, will also be banned.


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  1. Cauldron — on 29th July, 2009 at 10:53 am  

    Every blog has to draw a line in the sand somewhere, and your approach to this subject seems eminently fair.

    The only pity is that I guess we’ll never know whether Munir was for real or was just an agent provocateur.

  2. Boyo — on 29th July, 2009 at 10:54 am  

    I’ve a comment – why don’t you and the HPers actually meet face-to-face for a pow-wow before this Mehdi thing gets completely out of hand…?

    A hostelry in Euston perhaps…?

    It reminds me how I once broke up with a g/f by accident when a text message was completely misconstrued…. ;-)

  3. cjcjc — on 29th July, 2009 at 10:55 am  

    I’ve a comment – why don’t you and the HPers actually meet face-to-face for a pow-wow before this Mehdi thing gets completely out of hand…?

    That’s a good idea.
    I think at bottom PP/LC and HP agree about quite a lot.

    And it is literally impossible to maintain blog comment levels of vitriol face to face…

  4. Brownie — on 29th July, 2009 at 11:04 am  

    Kudos.

  5. Rumbold — on 29th July, 2009 at 11:15 am  

    Cauldron:

    Thank you. No comment policy can ever be completly consistant- which is okay, just so long as you let people know roughly what the rules are.

    Boyo/cjcjc:

    Who knows? Maybe secret talks are already underway, with Barack Obama’s blog envoy flying in tomorrow.

    Thanks Brownie.

  6. The Common Humanist — on 29th July, 2009 at 11:16 am  

    Thanks Rumbold. A sound move.

    Let civility reign.

  7. Jai — on 29th July, 2009 at 11:21 am  

    Good move, Rumbold. And keep an eye out for Munir trying to post under different aliases in order to circumvent the ban and pretending to be multiple commenters again. He’s pulled that stunt here countless times before.

  8. Don — on 29th July, 2009 at 11:23 am  

    Fair enough. But remember he does tend to use multiple identities.

    And, yes, the HP thing needs to be addressed. Some of the commenters are pretty appalling but that is inevitable with a very open comments policy. We’ve had some lulus of our own.

  9. Leon — on 29th July, 2009 at 11:51 am  

    I’ve a comment – why don’t you and the HPers actually meet face-to-face for a pow-wow before this Mehdi thing gets completely out of hand…?

    I wouldn’t take this pointless blog war so seriously. I met David T for the first time recently and got on well with him. We don’t agree on a number of things but that doesn’t mean we’re gonna have a punch up in person! But on the broader point yes real world meets do tend to add contexts that aren’t obvious on the net (it’s one reason why we have semi regular PP meets)…

    Regarding the comment policy and the new banning, as Rumbold said it isn’t something we take lightly, we’ve discussed this as editors of this site in some detail. It’s considered the best decision for the community that coalesces on this blog.

    That’s always been my view and the reason why I’ve no problem banning a commenter. If their behaviour has got to the point where they are disrupting the experience of the site for other people than they have to go. It’s not censorship, as they have the whole Internet to make their noise on.

  10. anobody — on 29th July, 2009 at 12:27 pm  

    Where munir lacked a bit of tact, he provided a balance to a lot of the rancid opinions held by some commmentators here. He will be missed.

    Can we have some guidance on those who insult commentators using mental disability as a base? Or is it okay to call people a nutjob, or schizophrenic, a psychopath?

  11. Brownie — on 29th July, 2009 at 12:38 pm  

    Look, on more than one occasion I’ve stressed the point at HP that I’ve no doubt Sunny and the rest of you are on the right side of the argument on the majority of the big issues. Most of these inter-blog spats are displays of macho bullshit and not much more, to be honest.

    It wouldn’t be like this if more women blogged. I seriously believe that.

  12. Carmenego — on 29th July, 2009 at 12:42 pm  

    @anobody

    What do personal insults add to a politics debate?

    Someone was called a c*** on another thread here recently, not only insulting to the person it was aimed at, but insulting to my delicate female sensitivities. I’d much prefer a well informed answer than a highlight of my possible mental instability!

  13. Carmenego — on 29th July, 2009 at 12:45 pm  

    @Brownie

    *Punches air in victorious fashion* Go feminism!

    I reckon most women would rather have an open debate in person as opposed to proving someone on the internet is wrong. Doesn’t explain why I’m here. I guess, like most people here, I just love being right!

  14. Katy Newton — on 29th July, 2009 at 1:11 pm  

    @Brownie: I’ve blogged here and on DK and I don’t think it’s so much that not enough women blog, as that not enough women comment. That’s changing to a certain extent at PP but the general tone of the comments box can still get rather testosterone-driven.

    A lot of the reason that I don’t comment as much as I used to is that I feel that a lot of the time people are more interested in settling scores or winning points than in finding consensus on serious or controversial issues. I don’t think that’s most people by any means, but what tends to happen is that the more sensible people give up on comments threads and they end up as troll playgrounds.

    I don’t think this is just PP by any means. I like PP. It’s actually the only blog that I comment on at all these days.

  15. Random Guy — on 29th July, 2009 at 1:12 pm  

    I think your policy should operate on the basis that the individual in question refrains from repeating any slur. Now I am not aware of all the details of what happened with Munir, but at the end of the day he was a valuable contributor to many discussions and in my opinion, banning him outright is PP’s loss. I take it that the BNP fuckers who post here have similarly been banned?

  16. Adnan — on 29th July, 2009 at 1:13 pm  

    Carmenego @12

    Ironically, it was munir who was the target of that particular insult.

  17. cjcjc — on 29th July, 2009 at 1:16 pm  

    Munir was fun…let him return

  18. Jai — on 29th July, 2009 at 1:21 pm  

    Where munir lacked a bit of tact, he provided a balance to a lot of the rancid opinions held by some commmentators here. He will be missed.

    Let’s just remind ourselves of a selection of Munir’s activities, since he is being described as merely “lacking a bit of tact” along with “providing balance”, and accusations are being made about other commenters holding “rancid opinions”. Given Munir’s very long history of deliberately lying as much as possible (including deliberately making false statements about the alleged backgrounds and opinions of a very large number of commenters), the latter should of course be taken with an extremely large pinch of salt if Munir’ own remarks and fabricated allegations are being used as a basis for such opinions.

    From a recent comment by me, the second part of which was addressed directly to Munir:

    http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/5287#comment-172606

    Jai: Munir is a textbook example of what can eventually happen to a person’s mental state in extreme cases when they exploit religion (particularly when placing an overemphasis on “academic theological knowledge” and an ostentatious adherence to some of the rudimentary ritualistic aspects, whilst conveniently ignoring any religious injunctions to behave with respect, empathy and basic decency towards others) as a source of egotism and an attempt to hide & compensate for their own fundamental lack of any redeeming character traits, resulting in the development and manifestation of clearly-identifiable psychiatric illness.

    Munir: Like some of the Sikh Gurus you mean

    *****

    Jai:

    - Your continuous use of profanities (even in comments where you’re simultaneously quoting sacred Islamic religious texts), often to the point of extremely explicit gutter terminology,
    - Your continuous “poison pen letter”-style personal attacks across the internet against random commenters who are actually complete strangers to you,
    - Your continuous violation of the Islamic injunction to refrain from lying and to treat people with courtesy, kindness and respect,
    - Your continuous usage of your “adversary’s” alleged behaviour as a guideline (in fact, a convenient excuse) for your own disgusting behaviour towards them, irrespective of the actual Islamic teachings on appropriate conduct in such situations and frequently irrrespective of the fact that the perceived “insult” only exists inside your own head.
    - Your verbal abuse, bullying and harassment across the internet of anonymous women like Sofia, who you don’t even know and have never met,
    - Your continuous belittling and harassment of anonymous women like Chairwoman who is actually in her 60s,
    - Your persistent labelling of Jewish people as being “racist” by default, along with persistently and obsessively finding the flimsiest pretexts to insult Judaism and Jews in general when they have absolutely nothing to do with the main discussion,
    - Your claims about a widespread “Jewish conspiracy”,
    - Your remarks to Ravi about Hindus such as “why don’t you wear a red dot and burn yourself to death”,
    - Your subsequent remark that you would use “anti-Christian” insults against him next time,
    - Your constant references to “Hindu India” despite the fact that the country has one of the world’s 3 largest Muslim populations,
    - Your comment stating that you “feel no affinity towards Asians and actually don’t give a shit about them”,
    - Your remark that Sikh and Hindu policemen in Britain would “probably rape Muslim women if they were approached by them”,
    - Your comment to Amrit (another woman who is effectively an invisible stranger to you) where you called her parents “genocidal freaks”,
    - Your suspicious and extremely incriminating silence in response to my ridiculously easy questions about the history of Sufism in South Asia, (Note: — despite the fact that Munir had repeatedly claimed on previous occasions to be somewhat of an expert on the subject)
    - Your complete silence in response to my questions about your grasp (or lack of) high-level Urdu, Farsi, Punjabi and Sindhi along with your knowledge (or lack of) extremely famous Muslim Sufis and/or poets from both South Asian and Persian history, (Note: — see previous point)

    – Along with persistently and deliberately lying, and repeatedly pretending to be multiple commenters despite PP’s own systems confirming this to be the case and despite repeated warnings from PP’s editors to desist.

    Assuming, of course, that anyone defending Munir does not actually condone, agree with and support any of Munir’s own views & activities in relation to the above (all of which PP’s editors are fully aware of and condemn) and his corresponding behaviour towards multiple other participants on this website, including people who actually run the blog.

  19. Don — on 29th July, 2009 at 1:28 pm  

    I think a large part of the problem with munir was that he had increasingly come to hijack every damn thread and flood it with endless, aggressive comments which at times were pure flame-bait.

    Yes, there were times when he could provide a different perspective, but they had become rare.

  20. Jai — on 29th July, 2009 at 1:48 pm  

    Let’s just remind ourselves of a selection of Munir’s activities,

    Actually we can also add the following (out of numerous others):

    - Munir’s gleeful stereotyping of all Hindus as being “rat and monkey worshippers”.
    - Munir’s sneering remark about “Sikh piety” consisting of “being forced to have a certain name, carrying a knife with you at all times, and wrapping a rag around your head”.
    - Munir’s repeated “jokes” about Guru Tegh Bahadur’s torture, attempted forced conversion to Islam, and subsequent execution by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, a sequence of events which Munir condones and supports.

  21. Jai — on 29th July, 2009 at 1:51 pm  

    - And Munir’s support of the Taliban’s public whipping of women as “appropriate punishment” for alleged “transgressions”.

  22. Shamit — on 29th July, 2009 at 2:20 pm  

    Jai

    Let it go mate.

    All of us who come here regularly are aware of Munir’s vicious comments and I think all of us here including the editorial team had given him a lot of leeway for his insightful comments in some occassions.

    But recently his behaviour, as Don suggested, was getting tiresome (like some of the BNP trolls) and yet the retaliation was much more civil than that had been accorded to Colin Brown et all.

    So, we all know it and as Leon put it very well — the experiences of the vast majority of visitors was being ruined due to incosiderate commentary by Munir on almost every thread.

    Though I would miss some of his more humourous and intelligent comments — but as many have said they were becoming too few and far between.

  23. billaricaydickey — on 29th July, 2009 at 2:35 pm  

    Couldn’t agree more. Might I suggest one of my restaurants in Brick Lane, then I could make some money from it! Good idea for the debate. Sunny! Use your famous organisational skills to arrange the venue.

  24. chairwoman — on 29th July, 2009 at 3:02 pm  

    “I met David T for the first time recently and got on well with him.”

    What a coincidence Leon, so did I :)

  25. Sofia — on 29th July, 2009 at 3:12 pm  

    Finally…I think it’s so sad when people like Munir who had the capacity to debate, often chose to insult, degrade, condemn and belittle people. He was given enough of an opportunity to get his points across in a civil manner…

  26. Imran Khan — on 29th July, 2009 at 3:21 pm  

    Chairwoman – ” “I met David T for the first time recently and got on well with him.”

    What a coincidence Leon, so did I :)

    Look the Chief Rabbi met Abu Hamza and said they got on well and you wouldn’t think those two could get on well!!

    That isn’t the point. Most people get on well over a cup of tea and a sociable chat.

    So DaveT is a nice person and so you got on well with him.

    But that doesn’t make change the opinion many people have of the approach of HP?

    I’m sure if I met DaveT we’d get on well but that doesn’t get away from the fact that approach he takes on his blog isn’t what many many people find acceptable.

    I’ve been accused of being a racist on HP in the comments so now you’ve met him and he is a nice bloke and all does that help justify the attack on me on that blog?

    Its the hysteria about comments and the responses and the hysterics to issues that people like and its not a complaint about the person.

  27. Boyo — on 29th July, 2009 at 3:27 pm  

    It’s good not to talk? ;-)

    The idea is doing so may address some of these issues.

    As the philosopher Sting said:

    ‘The Russians love their children too.’

    Mind you Bernard Ingham used to make me tea when i sat next to him at the Daily Beast. What he wrote however used to make my eyes water…

  28. Leon — on 29th July, 2009 at 3:51 pm  

    Imran Khan, and you think that simply condemning rather than meeting face to face will change anything?

  29. Halima — on 29th July, 2009 at 3:57 pm  

    I wouldn’t ban Munir but would moderate his comments.

    I’ve taken issue with one or two things he’s written but it seems that some PP folks get bogged down with individuals too much – and stray from the issue.

    Munir makes important points and sometimes in a belligerent way – but lately i think some picklars have taken on a belligerent style – and it’s not just Munir adding to the shift. It’s quite a few PPs who are regulars here and whose opinions I respect a lot despite the aggro on display.

  30. Imran Khan — on 29th July, 2009 at 4:07 pm  

    Leon – “Imran Khan, and you think that simply condemning rather than meeting face to face will change anything?”

    For someone who makes a comment about the likes of me and then won’t say what the likes of me are you have some cheek to make the statement above.

    Anyway did you actually read what I said above? I seriously doubt it because I was referring to the difference between a social meeting such as Chairwoman and DaveT had and a meeting to discuss issues. Most people get on well at social meetings.

    I would love DaveT to meet Muslims – the ordinary ones whose lives are made hell by the hysteria of the right and neocons and he can then realise what life is like for them.

    I’d also like the Muslim nutcases who spout hatred to meet the people they spew about so they can get a dose of reality.

    My point was and remains that nice tea meetings such as the meeting between The Chief rabbi and Abu Hamza haven’t progressed the reduction of antisemitism so if we meet then it needs to address real issues and not how many sugars do you take!

    Anyway if DaveT is up for a meeting that would be good.

  31. Imran Khan — on 29th July, 2009 at 4:11 pm  

    Oh and Leon I didn’t say simple condemn – I said that was a step.

    I see I am now a target for venom as I questioned a beloved blog and blogger’s approach.

    The likes of me are affected by that blog and its a shame it isn’t taken seriously. You want the Muslim community to take antisemitism seriously and I support that wholeheartedly.

    But equally then take seriously the issues Muslims face as a result of the hysteria generated by members of your community instead of telling me what nice people they are.

  32. Edna Welthorpe — on 29th July, 2009 at 4:18 pm  

    Well, I genuinely will miss Munir’s erudition.

    He was deliciously evasive when I tried to back him into a corner as the Salafist he is at heart ["I'm right and you KUFFARS are all wrong and you will all go to HELL!"] by directing PP readers to the Imam Hayati case in Canada:

    http://ezralevant.com/2008/12/chrc-its-ok-to-say-gays-should.html

    Then I attempted to explain that there’s still hope [sometime in the future] by linking to a fine piece by Dalrymple in CITY JOURNAL:

    http://www.city-journal.org/html/14_2_when_islam.html

    But it does seem odd that here and on other sites there are totally sane people who assume that everyone but everyone who does not – or who used to but no longer does – subscribe to 2 core beliefs is “a BNP troll”

    CORE BELIEF #1
    Mass immigration is wonderful. Even immigrants from vile and savage places should be welcomed. The more the merrier. Everyone who says different is a vile racist and fascist beast.

    CORE BELIEF #2
    Everyone will be as happy as clams in a multi-racial and multiculti Britain [Ireland, Canada, France, Sweden etc.,] and everyone who says anything different is a racist fascist beast!

    THIS may be of interest:

    http://www.amren.com/ar/2007/02/index.html

  33. Edna Welthorpe — on 29th July, 2009 at 4:24 pm  

    Francophones can click on the Ezra Levant link I gave above and a second click a minute later will take them to the entire text of Iman Hayiti’s very clear exposition of core beliefs in French.

    Iman Hayiti is a graduate of the Madinah Theological Faculty and it may be assumed that he is writing *ex cathedra* and with the equivalent of Papal Infallibility.

  34. Don — on 29th July, 2009 at 4:28 pm  

    Edna,

    Could you point to one or more regular contributors who have that philosophy?

    I don’t think you are a BNP’er (although I suspect you to be a Tory) but you did make your debut by being deliberately provocative during one of our periodical infestations of BNP trolls.

  35. Don — on 29th July, 2009 at 4:29 pm  

    periodic. Damn.

  36. Shamit — on 29th July, 2009 at 4:33 pm  

    “Could you point to one or more regular contributors who have that philosophy?”

    I second Don.

    Halima makes a good point – yet sometimes calling as one sees it could be deemed belligerent. But maybe I should take a step back or two before I respond especially when something riles me up.

  37. Jai — on 29th July, 2009 at 4:37 pm  

    Shamit, Sofia,

    Though I would miss some of his more humourous and intelligent comments — but as many have said they were becoming too few and far between.

    Finally…I think it’s so sad when people like Munir who had the capacity to debate, often chose to insult, degrade, condemn and belittle people. He was given enough of an opportunity to get his points across in a civil manner…

    Munir is a tragic example of someone whose out-of-control arrogance, extreme sadism, and dehumanisation of anyone who opposes or disagrees with him has effectively destroyed his capacity for decency and has completely twisted his considerable intelligence, not to mention his sanity.

    He’s also made it extremely clear that not only does he feel absolutely no common human empathy or affinity towards Asians in general, but the only fellow human beings in the world that he gives a damn about at all are other Muslims, and even then, only if they’re “the right type of Muslim” and never “dare” to question, contradict or oppose him, otherwise they’re as much of a “justified” target for his hatred and sadism as everyone else. It’s identical to the kind of mentality & attitude that the worst, most fanatically extreme racist white supremacists often have towards non-white people and Jews.

    What a horrific, tragic waste of intelligence. What a horrific, tragic waste of potential. And what an absolutely nightmarish, disastrous, horrific waste of a life.

  38. Jai — on 29th July, 2009 at 4:39 pm  

    Imran,

    the hysteria generated by members of your community

    “Time out”, as they say across the Atlantic.

    Imran, before you go any further (and bear in mind that most of the time I think you’re a very decent guy and make some brilliant points — and you’re a far, far, far better example and role model as a practicing Muslim than Munir is) — exactly which “community” do you think Leon is a member of ?

    I think you might be making some erroneous assumptions based on his name, but I’ll let you answer the question first.

  39. Andy Gilmour — on 29th July, 2009 at 5:01 pm  

    A comment moderation policy, however tediously time-consuming, would improve things no end…

    I’ve been avoiding this site for a while because I got fed up with the pointless “Eff off you c**t”-type replies that were starting to proliferate on any ‘contentious’ threads.

    Not naming any particular double-barrelled names, of course… :-)

    Don’t mind even the BNP types, so long as it’s argument rather than insult.

    Munir did seem to have become a lot more “out there” over the last year…ho hum.

  40. halima — on 29th July, 2009 at 5:11 pm  

    Shamit

    I think you and Rumbold are probably the calmer voices on PP.. I meant generally we’ve all taken a slightly combative turn which might scare off by-standers who want to cruise by and dip into a discussion on …

    On other hand – some playful combat is fun and keeps the site going so..

    I’ve particularly missed the weekend threads..where everyone can take time out – and feel at ease with other picklars .

  41. Don — on 29th July, 2009 at 5:32 pm  

    Halima,
    Yeah, bring back weekend threads. We need recipes and gardening tips and general frivolity. Katy and Clairwil, you had that really working, I miss it.

  42. Don — on 29th July, 2009 at 5:35 pm  

    Not that recipes and gardening and frivolity are a woman’s role. I didn’t mean that. Obviously. Really, really obviously.

  43. chairwoman — on 29th July, 2009 at 5:59 pm  

    Imran – I met David T at a social event.

    FYI there were Muslims, Jews, people of mixed race and other groups there. The largest ethnic group were Muslim. We all had fun.

  44. anobody — on 29th July, 2009 at 8:26 pm  

    Jai, you’re coming across a little obsessive. You have not only managed to type the content of your case file on munir, but also diagnosed him with specific mental illnesses. A lawyer and a doctor.

    I don’t hold any affinity with South Asians – although I love my curry. Is that a crime? I have special care for the welfare of other Muslims too. Is that a crime?

    Why were you so concerned about munir’s ethnicity? Maybe you’ve made some erroneous assumptions based on his name?

  45. Rumbold — on 29th July, 2009 at 8:38 pm  

    Jai has helpfully provided some examples, but just to reinforce what he said:

    We only ban people who are consistantly and viciously abusive. Yes, Munir did on occassion have some good points to make, but the torrent of abuse he directed at anyone who disagreed just got too much. Deleting his comments on occasion proved useless, as he failed to heed the warnings.

    His presence was becoming detrimental to far too many threads.

  46. Jai — on 29th July, 2009 at 9:21 pm  

    Anobody,

    Rumbold has clarified the issue and I consider the matter closed. Perhaps you should ask yourself why you feel the need to persist in obsessively defending Munir and to continue attempting to deflect attention away from his abhorrent behaviour — indeed, to excuse and justify it — despite the fact that an extensive list of examples of Munir’s extremely offensive remarks and ideas (many in his own words) has been provided.

    Or, perhaps, you simply agree with Munir’s attitude towards Hindus, Jews, Sikhs and women of all backgrounds and his subsequent treatment of them, along with his own interpretation of Islam and his attitude towards Muslims who disagree with him. Given the fact that PP’s editors have received multiple formal complaints about Munir offline, possibly that is the simplest explanation. In which case, you should have the guts to admit it, rather continuing to try to excuse and defend the indefensible, and taking the somewhat transparent step of trying to point any accusatory fingers of blame towards myself.

    But at least we all know where you stand now.

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

    Rumbold,

    Thanks for #45, mate. Very well said.

  47. anobody — on 29th July, 2009 at 9:59 pm  

    Jai,

    Easy. Put on some Sufi beats and chill.

    I’m not defending munir – you’re the only one playing lawyers and doctors here. I have said before there is a lack of tact, and I will add for you Jai, that some of it is distasteful. Apologies for my lack of vocabulary, and failure to exhaust more adjectives.

    I have asked you two specific questions around ethnicity and affinity? These are not loaded questions. I want to know because I don’t see the importance of ethnicity or having affinity towards an ethnic group. I was hoping you could provide an alternative to my own thoughts on the matter.

    But at least we all know where you stand now.

    Oh really? I suppose you’ve sharpened up a pencil and are halfway through page one of your A5 pad already.

  48. Imran Khan — on 29th July, 2009 at 10:14 pm  

    Chairwoman – “Imran – I met David T at a social event.

    FYI there were Muslims, Jews, people of mixed race and other groups there. The largest ethnic group were Muslim. We all had fun.”

    Chairwoman I am not criticising DaveT as a person. At a social event I am sure he is gracious. I’m sure if he invited me for a coffee in North London he’d be good to talk to. BTW if DaveT does invite me then coffee and one sugar!

    That is not the point though.

    I am criticising the way he runs his blog and the manner of the writing on the blog.

    I fail to see why then you keep defending DaveT the person when I am criticising his writing?

    What I do find worrying is that rather than discuss a serious issue of concern for a Muslim you are simply diverting the subject?

    If there are serious concerns for Jews from the Muslim community then there are also serious concerns from Muslims with regards to the Jewish Community.

    Whilst you are busy selling the positives of DaveT to me, on his blog I been called a number of names because I commented on Sunny’s article with one poster saying I was a racist. Is that acceptable to you as you seek to paint a picture of DaveT?

    So simply for highlight some issues and daring to criticise a blog I am being defined as a racist and not single person has said anything about this.

    His sidekick has said that they will sue Sunny though I don’t know if this is a joke.

    But does any of this concern you?

    Is that a viable way to conduct community debate?

    How do you expect to build relations when the concerns of Muslims are dismissed and simply put we are just have to address issues that concern the Jewish Community.

    To be honest I am so fed up I really don’t feel like sayng much more here or anywhere else and I’ll leave the building of community relations to people that have the HP approved appoach and then in a decades time Bananabrain will still be saying that there was this attack or that attack.

    Building better relations takes two sides to listen and not one to lecture.

  49. Boyo — on 29th July, 2009 at 11:11 pm  

    “before you go any further… exactly which “community” do you think Leon is a member of ?”

    heh. yeah, i’m certainly neiether welsh or jewish (as commonly presumed, as if only jews can defend jews) or even a boy ;-)

  50. Sunny — on 29th July, 2009 at 11:11 pm  

    Building better relations takes two sides to listen and not one to lecture.

    Heh – you can say that again Imran. I don’t suppose some people will listen though.

    When are we going to hear this ‘reasoning’

    I’ll come to it when I get the time. Why, are you uncomfortable about the question being asked?

  51. Ben — on 30th July, 2009 at 5:35 am  

    As an infrequent participant in the comments section, I hesitate to comment on this matter. However, I will do so, since almost every time I have made a post I was subjected to an abusive tirade by Munir, sometimes repeated over several days.

    It is important to understand that the Munirs of this world are significant, and that we must be aware of their opinions, their influence, and their capacity for action. We do no good service to anybody if we sweep them under the carpet and pretend they don’t exist.

    Furthermore, banning Munir is the thin edge of the wedge. PP runs the risk of ending up as a mutual-admiration society, not a forum for vigorous and animated debate.

  52. Boyo — on 30th July, 2009 at 7:24 am  

    “It is important to understand that the Munirs of this world are significant”

    Sad but true – extremists always punch above their weight. Compare Bolsheviks and Mensheviks…

  53. Jai — on 30th July, 2009 at 10:18 am  

    Anobody,

    I guess that the very first sentence of my post #46 hasn’t registered with you, but to reiterate:

    Rumbold has clarified the issue and I consider the matter closed.

    With regards to your own points:

    I have asked you two specific questions around ethnicity and affinity? These are not loaded questions. I want to know because I don’t see the importance of ethnicity or having affinity towards an ethnic group. I was hoping you could provide an alternative to my own thoughts on the matter.

    You’re oversimplifying and decontextualising what the problem was in the specific case of this individual. However, it’s interesting that, out of a very long list, you either signficantly downplayed or completely ignored all the other examples of Munir’s entrenched hatred, hypocrisy and bigotry, along with his total lack of respect for other people in general.

    And if you’re going to take a religious angle on this, the fact that much of his behaviour which had allegedly been conducted in the name of Islam (whilst deliberately and repeatedly violating many of the religion’s humanitarian ideals and injunctions) was not only heavily & repeatedly condemned by other practising Muslims on this blog, but apparently also resulted in PP’s editors receiving formal complaints from Muslims offline because of it, should all tell you something.

    I do not wish to discuss Munir and his problems any further. Most of us here have had enough of that arrogant, racist, bullying thug who also happens to openly support the Taliban’s violence towards women, and was attempting to push an explicit agenda to impose his own extremist interpretation of Islam on other Muslims and simultaneously exploit this website as a medium for malevolent racist propaganda by trying to whip up as much hatred as possible towards Jews, Hindus and Sikhs.

    Oh really? I suppose you’ve sharpened up a pencil and are halfway through page one of your A5 pad already.

    That would be based on the erroneous presupposition that I felt you were a worthwhile use of my time ;)

    …..And just to make my primary point yet again, in case there is still any confusion about the matter:

    Rumbold has clarified the issue and I consider the matter closed.

    Cheers.

  54. chairwoman — on 30th July, 2009 at 11:17 am  

    “I fail to see why then you keep defending DaveT the person when I am criticising his writing?”

    I am not defending anything for goodness sake! I was just clarifying the circumstances!

  55. Leon — on 30th July, 2009 at 11:47 am  

    Yeah, bring back weekend threads. We need recipes and gardening tips and general frivolity. Katy and Clairwil, you had that really working, I miss it.

    Yeah me too…

  56. justforfun — on 30th July, 2009 at 12:33 pm  

    anobody – Oh really? I suppose you’ve sharpened up a pencil and are halfway through page one of your A5 pad already.

    LOL anobody – Jai and I are oldtimers here and – I’m afraid thats probably an underestimate :-) – but don’t take it personally – he has files of all sorts on everyone.

    anyway – talking of recipes –

    Personally I always thought of munir as a peppercorn in a vanilla icecream. After the first shock and possible damage to the dentures – sometimes the dish is improved and the mind re-invigorated after what can have been a stoggy meal – but perhaps as Don has said, there came to be be too many pepper corns for peoples taste.

    justforfun

    By the way – pepper corns in a vanilla ice-cream is a great combination – not just a joke recipe I’ve made up. This is however my own creation – A little milk in bowl, then placed wheatabixes, pour on whisky to taste, then clotted cream to cholesterol limits and then Demerara sugar. Allow to soak for 5 minutes. Then share with friends and pets.

  57. anobody — on 30th July, 2009 at 12:34 pm  

    Jai:

    Rumbold has clarified the issue and I consider the matter closed

    Easy fella. If you didn’t go off on another one I would’ve felt a little bit more convinced.

    I also feel the issue is closed. However my subsequent questions still stand. Why is necessary to hold affinity to your ethnicity? I have not decontexualised what you have said. Even in your own context in post 37, it doesn’t sit easy with me. I was hoping you could clarify the matter.

  58. Anas — on 30th July, 2009 at 12:40 pm  

    Haven’t been here for ages so I’ve missed out on the whole Munir thing.

  59. justforfun — on 30th July, 2009 at 12:51 pm  

    Anas – welcome back

    When did you get out? :-)

    Munir v Sid – Segal v Van Damme – good for Sunny’s ratings.

    justforfun

  60. Sunny — on 30th July, 2009 at 1:03 pm  

    I agree with Ben on that point. I don’t think there’s any point in having a mutual admiration society. I used to think that was the way forward but I’m no longer persuaded by that necessity.

  61. Sunny — on 30th July, 2009 at 1:05 pm  

    PS – I’m not sure our ratings change much really. They change when some big website links here, but mostly they’re pretty stable. Most people who read PP don’t actually comment. They just read the headline post. So to that extent I think the impact people like Munir had was minimal on our overall figures.

  62. justforfun — on 30th July, 2009 at 1:17 pm  

    Oh well – I liked the Munir/Sid show – is it now on another channel? I do hope so. Each saved me a lot of typing and editing and typing and editing etc.

    “I used to think that was the way forward….” – just a suggestion – Left Wing Right Wing … very 20th century. There are otherways forward.

    justforfun

  63. Imran Khan — on 30th July, 2009 at 3:40 pm  

    Chairwoman – “I am not defending anything for goodness sake! I was just clarifying the circumstances!”

    Ok sorry :-)

  64. Anas — on 30th July, 2009 at 5:17 pm  

    I got time off for good behaviour jff :)

  65. Imran Khan — on 30th July, 2009 at 7:10 pm  

    Actually as we are discussing banning people then why is Shamit allowed to get away with his excessively rude behaviour towards Muslims, and his smearing of me in line with Faisal’s claim which he dropped by Shamit continues.

    Why ban Munir and not Shamit?

    Was Munir banned for being a Muslim who was deemed to cause trouble and Shamit is allowed off scot free.

    Where is the consistency?

    If you attack Muslims then thats seen as free speech and if you reply in the same or stronger thats seen as a cause for banning.

    Shamit has made some wild accusations repeatedly against me in particular and no one says a word and no threat of a ban.

    So where is this enforcement? Someone please explain why he is able to get away with this repeatedly?

    I have asked him repeatedly not to talk to me but he won’t stop so why should I have to put up with his harassment?

    Just because he is part of the in crowd doesn’t permit such behaviour. So lets see another ban then for unfounded allegations.

  66. Imran Khan — on 30th July, 2009 at 7:18 pm  

    I see someone has deleted Shamit’s comments but that doesn’t detract from the need to enforce the policy fairly. Its happened repeatedly and if you ban Munir (which isn’t going so well anyway) then you need to ban Shamit as well.

    Deleting comments isn’t enough.

    Lets see a consistent policy.

  67. Imran Khan — on 30th July, 2009 at 7:20 pm  

    Sorry wrong thread – his comments are still there.

    So a policy statement would be appreciated please about why he is allowed to get away with it?

    Has he the friends in right places?

  68. Shamit — on 30th July, 2009 at 7:22 pm  

    “why is Shamit allowed to get away with his excessively rude behaviour towards Muslims”

    I do not attack Muslims or the religion or make personal attacks when they are unwarranted. Show me where I have attacked Muslims.

    I don’t like hypocrites and you are one. I have said shit about Modi, the Catholic Church, the Hindu Caste system — the only organised religion I have not attacked is probably Sikhism.

    So grow up Imran. You are a little hypocrite and you always were and no one calls you on it. You do not mediate between communities – you are the hell raiser under the veneer of respectability.

    if that gets me banned – I would walk away with my head held high..Go on cry baby…Tsk Tsk Tsk

  69. Leon — on 30th July, 2009 at 7:23 pm  

    The policy will be consistent as much us possible and by our criteria.

  70. anobody — on 30th July, 2009 at 7:30 pm  

    How come munir’s post was deleted?

  71. Imran Khan — on 30th July, 2009 at 7:52 pm  

    Leon – if its consistent then why is Shamit allowed to carry on without any proof?

    “So grow up Imran. You are a little hypocrite and you always were ”

    Come on then if I said this then you’d be all over me. When I last asked you for moderation you said you wouldn’t take orders from the likes of me, thus attacking me instead of the perpetrator who I believe was Shamit at the time as well.

    Here we are again and nothing.

    So what is the policy????

  72. Imran Khan — on 30th July, 2009 at 8:02 pm  

    “How come munir’s post was deleted?”

    Because he isn’t part of the crowd like Shamit so he can’t get away with personal abuse like others can.

    The criteria is if you are mates with the editors then you are exempt and if you are not mates and Muslim then you’ll be banned.

    I am getting called all sorts and its all acceptable and the friend of the editor is allowed to continue.

  73. Imran Khan — on 30th July, 2009 at 8:03 pm  

    I also like the way when a Muslim contributer is attacked then most people stay quiet and the editorial team a MIA and if anyone else gets attacked they will respond at some point.

    Thank you folks.

  74. Leon — on 30th July, 2009 at 8:05 pm  

    Sorry I ain’t playing that game! You don’t like the decisions we make there is a simple answer: fuck off.

  75. Rumbold — on 30th July, 2009 at 8:05 pm  

    Imran Khan:

    We banned Munir because he was consistantly spewing out deeply unpleasant abuse. I don’t care for Shamit’s language on occasion, but it is hardly the same thing. And as for banning Munir because he is a Muslim, that is just wrong. Since I have been here, less than half a dozen people have been banned, and Munir is the first one of them to be Muslim.

  76. Imran Khan — on 30th July, 2009 at 8:06 pm  

    Leon – “Sorry I ain’t playing that game! You don’t like the decisions we make there is a simple answer: fuck off.”

    ah yes you want me to fuck off because you won’t stop your friend from his abuse. That is great and fair policy.

  77. Imran Khan — on 30th July, 2009 at 8:08 pm  

    Rumbold – “Imran Khan:

    We banned Munir because he was consistantly spewing out deeply unpleasant abuse. I don’t care for Shamit’s langaue on occasion, but it is hardly the same thing. And as for banning Munir because he is a Muslim, that is just wrong. Since I have been here, less than half a dozen people have been banned, and Munir is the first one of them to be Muslim.”

    Hardly the same thing. I am being called a hypocrite, saying I am lying about my name and thats not the same thing.

    Its nonsense that you are allowing abuse to continue without so much as a warning to your friend.

    Saying you don’t care for his language is a far cry because its not just language now is it? He is making statements he can’t prove or support about a poster and you are letting it go.

  78. Rumbold — on 30th July, 2009 at 8:13 pm  

    Well, you are Avi Cohen (or vice versa). So Shamit is right on that.

  79. Don — on 30th July, 2009 at 8:17 pm  

    grow up and hypocrite are fairly common currency in any debate, scarcely a reason to get excited.

    It’s clear Shamit dislikes you and doubts that you post in good faith, but I have yet to see him attack any religion as such, as distinct from criticising certain aspects of several. If you could provide a link to a specific example of a comment which warrants banning it would be helpful.

    To go from ‘Shamit is mean to me’ to ‘PP is islamophobic’ is ridiculous. Munir was here for years, mostly exchanging invective with one of the then editors and he wasn’t banned for that. Nor was he banned because he was a muslim, as you have repeatedly claimed. You yourself repeatedly begged him to ease off, be less offensive, stop abusing people’s religions (abuse, not criticism). But in the end he was deemed to have become too much of a liability to the site. That’s all.

  80. Imran Khan — on 30th July, 2009 at 8:18 pm  

    Rumbold – “Well, you are Avi Cohen (or vice versa). So Shamit is right on that.”

    Proof? This is just nonsense to defend your own friend.

    You are standing by and allowing him to call me a hypocrite and a liar and that isn’t on.

    You know its unfair and you are just going along with it.

    Its a disgrace. I’ve simply defended my faith and that has his back up.

    You choose to ban one person who is Muslim for similar things and are turning a blind eye when it happens to Muslims.

    Its not the first time he’s done it and you are not even bothering to warn him.

    I can’t be bothered with this nonsense.

  81. Imran Khan — on 30th July, 2009 at 8:20 pm  

    Don – “To go from ‘Shamit is mean to me’ to ‘PP is islamophobic’ is ridiculous.”

    Thats nonsense. He is calling me a hypocrite and a liar and I didn’t say PP was Islamophobic. I said the editorial policy was selective which is a big difference.

    If you are happy for certain people to be allowed to be abusive then its sad.

    How difficult is it to say your friend is in the wrong and warn him?

  82. Rumbold — on 30th July, 2009 at 8:23 pm  

    We can produce an IP address for ‘Imran Khan/Avi Cohen’ if you wish. It is the same number. And you know it.

  83. Imran Khan — on 30th July, 2009 at 8:27 pm  

    Thats nonsense – IP addresses are dished out and don’t remain common if you knew anything about networking.

    Most companies offshore to India where firewalls are run at call centres.

    Go ahead that proves nothing except that the same range is used across a set of firewalls.

    You’ll do anything to defend your friend and tolerate anything from him.

    This is nonsense. He is being abusive and you are having a go at me instead of even bothering to enforce your own policies. Its selective based on friendship thats all.

  84. anobody — on 30th July, 2009 at 8:29 pm  

    I guess it’s okay to use foul language on occasions but don’t do it consistently, as you get banned.

    Can someone define the length of time between occasions, and also how often is doing something consistently?

  85. Imran Khan — on 30th July, 2009 at 8:32 pm  

    “I guess it’s okay to use foul language on occasions but don’t do it consistently, as you get banned.

    Can someone define the length of time between occasions, and also how often is doing something consistently?”

    If you are mates with Leon and Rumbold then it looks like its ok to do it as often as possible because they’ll overlook it. Bless.

    You only get banned if you are not part of the editorial teams friends.

    The crazy way things are going I’ll get banned to protect Shamit!

  86. Don — on 30th July, 2009 at 8:36 pm  

    Selective against muslims. Not a difference at all, really.

    I’m not happy with anyone being abusive, just accepting of the fact that feelings sometimes run high.

    And if you are, in fact ‘Avi Cohen’ then your objection to the terms liar and hypocrite falls rather flat.

    For what it is worth, I suspect that you are, that you arrived here as a borderline troll and stayed to become a commenter who has frequently made worthwhile contributions, not all of which I agreed with. That’s fine by me.

  87. Imran Khan — on 30th July, 2009 at 8:37 pm  

    Rumbold – This might help you:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IP_address

    IP Addresses are allocated and reused because there is so much traffic and a threat of exhaustion of the networks. Thus traffic is only tracable for a period.

    Its lovely that you’ll go to any length to protect your friend instead of asking him to stop his abuse but its hardly consistent editorial policy. But then again sharing ip information with said mate is dubious I guess and that without possibly knowing how these ranges are reused well!

  88. Imran Khan — on 30th July, 2009 at 8:40 pm  

    “For what it is worth, I suspect that you are, that you arrived here as a borderline troll and stayed to become a commenter who has frequently made worthwhile contributions, not all of which I agreed with. That’s fine by me.”

    Ah it gets better. From borderline troll to commentator eh?

    All the protectors are now out to save Shamit!

    This is farcical. Instead of saying he’s gone over the line its just abuse me and defend him at all costs.

    Why wasn’t Munir given that slack then? Oh yes he didn’t befriend the right people.

    How about just banning me then to save Shamit?

  89. Don — on 30th July, 2009 at 8:53 pm  

    ‘Save Shamit’ I want that on a T-shirt.

    Ah it gets better. From borderline troll to commentator eh? Yes. I remember when you showed up, can’t remeber the dates, it was some I/P thread gone nasty. You and Avi and a couple of others. Some were obvious trolls, you were borderline. Over time I thought you became increasingly reasonable and actually engaged. You have had moments of excellence, but yes, that’s my impression.

    Actually, I do owe you an apology.

    And if you are, in fact ‘Avi Cohen’ then your objection to the terms liar and hypocrite falls rather flat.

    Because even if you are Avi, you could not reasonably be called a liar. You have never, as I recall, denied it. You have insisted that it can’t be proved, but never denied it.

  90. Leon — on 30th July, 2009 at 9:00 pm  

    Can someone define the length of time between occasions, and also how often is doing something consistently?

    No because what’s happening here is the usual moderation policy trolling. Wankers like IK love to pick holes in every little thing done to try and pull things apart and cause arguments. That’s why I’m not playing his stupid games.

    We do our best on here, we don’t ban often and we don’t ban easily. We try to be fair as best we see it, we account for the longer view but we wont allow wankers to use our good intentions against us. Nor will be dictated to who we should and should not ban.

    If you don’t like that state of affairs there
    are over 100 million other blogs you can fuck off too.

  91. Leon — on 30th July, 2009 at 9:02 pm  

    Anyway, this thread has served it’s purpose and will not be used by idiots for their own disruptive agenda.

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