The Sikhs are at it too


by Sunny
27th May, 2006 at 6:13 pm    

It’s a competition and all religious nuts are invited! Too much time on your hands? Having problems getting laid? Mis-interpreted your religion and thought that rather than spreading peace and love, it may help you get over your penis-size insecurity? Thinking only you know the truth and everyone else has to be educated? Then we much be talking about you.

With Muslims and Hindu nuts grabbing all the limelight of late, we here at Pickled Politics thought it would only be prudent to let you know that the Sikhs brothas are not far behind.

A co-conspirator to our revolution sent me an email yesterday, saying he got this sent by email:

“Our eternal Guru (Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji) is being disrespected at the Ek Niwas institution in Wolvehampton, Ek Niwas is an institution that promotes so called unity of all faiths – although the main theme of the place is based upon Hindu concepts, parkash of Guru Ji takes place at this institution and alongside Guru Jis parkash pooja (rituals) of Hindu Gods take place

The Akal Takht, the temporal authority for Sikhs worldwide, has already issued a Hukamnama (command), stating that no pooja/rituals of any other religion can take place in the presence of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji

If this isnt enough – at an Ek Niwas function members of the institution do bhangra and giddha in the presence of Guru Ji – which is totally disrespectful!!!! This isn’t the first time this issue has arisin over Ek Niwas, it has been brought up many times over past years but Guru Jis disrespect is still happening today!!!

This is completely unacceptable and against the basic principles of Sikhism.

This issue of disrespect needs to be raised and stopped before we find ourselves in a much worse position in years to come. The following link shows footage of an Ek Niwas function whichs shows all of the above taking place.”

Yes, it is the return of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib ‘rescue squad’.

Our informant adds:
“Now whilst I dont know much about this Ek Niwas centre it appears to be some sort of multi-faith centre where they have the Hindu scriptures as well as the Koran, Bible and the SGGS as well as Hindu ‘idols’.

Speaking frankly I’m quite against all these organised religions. Having said that I can’t see how this centre is doing any harm. It appears the presence of the SGGS together with these ‘idols’ has offended some Sikh groups and from what I’ve heard they plan some sort of “rescue mission”. I’m sure you will agree, after the Islamic cartoons episode and recently the MF Hussein paintings furore this kind of publicity is the last thing we want.

In light of this I was wondering if you could use your connections to find out more and possibly even do a write up on PP on this.

The topic is being discussed at http://www.sikhsangat.com/index.php?showtopic=18012&st=48. Whilst this site does seem to be a meeting point for these internet warriors you may find it useful to get any info regarding if/when any “action” will be taken by these ‘twats’.”

—————–

So there we have it. Anyone know more about this venue or what the SGGS ‘rescue squad’ are up to these days? It may be worth contacting the venue and warning them.

Jay Singh wrote a great article for us a few months ago on these idiots bringing British Sikhs into disrepute.


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  1. mediawatchwatch.org.uk » Sikh-ing offence

    [...] Pickled Politics reports that a group of Sikhs are now trying to grab some of the offended-religionist limelight. [...]




  1. Pali Kaur — on 27th May, 2006 at 6:36 pm  

    What is there to do about this? Just intenecine squabbles amongst Sikhs. If you dont believe then why try and get involved in the debate between one sect of Sikhs and another? Religions are always squabbling and fighting internally. You’re not going to be able to make a contribution to this debate. Its just petty gurdwara politics.

  2. Groucho Marx via Roger — on 27th May, 2006 at 6:41 pm  

    Guranteed to bring about ~”unity of all faiths”: all together now- aone, a-two and a-three…

    I don’t know what they have to say,
    It makes no difference anyway —
    Whatever it is, I’m against it!
    No matter what it is or who commenced it,
    I’m against it.

    Your proposition may be good
    But let’s have one thing understood —
    Whatever it is, I’m against it!
    And even when you’ve changed it or condensed it,
    I’m against it.

    I’m opposed to it —
    On general principles I’m opposed to it!

    Chorus: He’s opposed to it!
    In fact, in word, in deed,
    He’s opposed to it!

    For months before my son was born,
    I used to yell from night till morn,
    Whatever it is, I’m against it!
    And I’ve kept yelling since I commenced it,
    I’m against it!

  3. Don — on 27th May, 2006 at 6:55 pm  

    I’d have an opinion, if I could be bothered to work out what he’s talking about.

    Don’t mean to be facile, but I seriously doubt this guy has a girlfriend.

  4. inders — on 27th May, 2006 at 6:59 pm  

    This Ek Niwas centre is a place of worship for the sect/cult of Baba Balaknath. These arn’t new issues between orthodox and non-orthodox Sikhs. A full description of the premises at Wolverhampton is available here (as well as a history of Baba Balanak followers):

    http://www.art.man.ac.uk/CASAS/pdfpapers/skanda.pdf

  5. Jai — on 27th May, 2006 at 7:22 pm  

    I agree with Pali Kaur. This is an internal matter — if Sikh tenets do not allow the Sri Guru Granth Sahib to be installed in the presence of idols (which they don’t, considering that the SGGS represents the historical human Sikh Gurus who explicitly condemned idol-worship), then Sikhs have the right to remove it as per their religious beliefs, as long as they do not break the law while attempting to do so.

    If they were demanding that the non-Sikh icons be removed then it would be a different matter, but this is not the case.

    This particular “controversy” is a non-issue.

  6. Jai — on 27th May, 2006 at 7:25 pm  

    *SGGS represents the historical human Sikh Gurus

    Not in the form of an idol — it contains their teachings in the form of hymns, which people are meant to refer to if they want to find out about the Gurus’ teachings directly, as per Guru Gobind Singh’s instructions shortly before his death.

  7. Katy Newton — on 27th May, 2006 at 7:41 pm  

    “With Muslims and Hindu nuts grabbing all the limelight of late, we here at Pickled Politics thought it would only be prudent to let you know that the Sikhs brothas are not far behind”

    And that’s not all!

    Some of us are tired of people being rude about Moses too!

  8. mirax — on 27th May, 2006 at 8:52 pm  

    >then Sikhs have the right to remove it as per their religious beliefs, as long as they do not break the law while attempting to do so.

    Very tricky for the Khalsa Sikhs, Jai, since there is no legal way they *can* enter someone else’s property and remove the granth. It is somewhat intolerant of the Khalsa sikhs to insist that only their possession of the SGGS/interpretation/practise is correct. Why put it on the net for a download(and any sort of potential abuse) if it is so important to preserve its physical sanctity? This reminds me of the ahmaddi persecution in many muslim countries: the orthodox denying the heterodox subgroup any shared religious identity or space. Btw the Ek niwas priest, a Jat Sikh, apparently already lives under police protection due to THREATS from the sikh groups in the area.

    Thanks for posting that article Inders. The ek niwas fellas ,to me anyway, appear oddly endearing for their eclectic universalism and apparently mindboggling interior decor. Rather like the Malaysian teapot cult (again a liberal universalist breakway from mainstream sunni islam). Alas the giant concrete teapot is no more due to the rampages of the orthodox “faithful”.

  9. mirax — on 27th May, 2006 at 9:09 pm  

    …talking of eclectic universalism, the SGGS itself contains a substantial amount of compositions of Hindu bhaktas, Muslim divines, Sufi poets etc. Ironic or what?

  10. Amir — on 27th May, 2006 at 9:41 pm  

    The funny thing about this puerile spat is the utter un-Sikhness of it.

    I mean,… I’m no ‘expert’ on the ins and outs of the Guru Granth Sahib (on the contrary: I know comparatively little about Sikhism vis-à-vis Islam, Christianity and Judaism), but it’s a well-known fact amongst ordinary folk such as myself that Sikhism does not discriminate on the basis of faith, gender, class, education, or caste (i.e. there are many paths to God). For example:

    (1.) Anyone is allowed to come and visit the Gurdwara, just so long as they obey the religious etiquette and desist from hassling worshippers.

    (2.) There is no priestly super-class, as there is in Catholicism or Shia Islam in Iran.

    (3.) Being a ‘Sikh’ in itself is no guarantee of salvation. Christians, Hindus, Muslims, Jews and so forth have the same right to liberty as a Sikh – this is consistent with two other axioms: God’s spirit (i.e. His Will pervades all living creatures) and human equality (equality before the law).

    On a micro level, these co-called ‘rescue squads’ are surrendering to one of the five thieves, anger (Kr’odh), which doesn’t bode well for the afterlife. Their loss, I suppose.

    Amir

  11. Amir — on 27th May, 2006 at 9:41 pm  

    By ‘afterlife’, I mean ‘next life’ [correction]

  12. Jai — on 27th May, 2006 at 9:47 pm  

    Mirax,

    There’s a certain etiquette that is meant to be adhered to when in the presence of the physical form of the scriptures (ie. not the “on-line” version, although some people have actually suggested that perhaps this should also apply to the latter). Remember that Guru Gobind Singh himself collated the finalised version of the scriptures, and left instructions with regards to how the book should be treated.

    And yes, the SGGS does include compositions by non-Sikh individuals; however, these were incorporated into the scriptures only if they were in line with the Gurus’ own teachings on spiritual matters. The Gurus supported freedom of religious worship for people of all religious affiliations as per any individual’s own beliefs and the right for an individual to have “freedom of conscience”, but not when this contradicted Sikh principles — for example, the Gurus actively defended the right of people of all faiths to live without unwarranted religious persecution (the 9th Guru even gave his life for this principle), but simultaneously they condemned practices such as sati, the caste system, idolatry, certain negative ways widows were treated, infanticide (especially of female babies), and so on. They did the same for practices in other organised religions which did not correspond with their own views on spirituality and human ethics.

    Since the SGGS consists of the Gurus’ own teachings on what consists of appropriate religious conduct (amongst a range of other matters too), it is not correct to place the scriptures in a situation which contradicts what the Gurus taught in these matters and, indeed, which they did not allow within gurdwaras during their own lifetimes.

  13. Jai — on 27th May, 2006 at 9:50 pm  

    Amir,

    =>”On a micro level, these co-called ‘rescue squads’ are surrendering to one of the five thieves, anger (Kr’odh),”

    You’re making assumptions here. They may well be motivated purely by a desire to ensure that proper etiquette is adhered to, rather than any “anger” on their part.

  14. Robert — on 27th May, 2006 at 9:55 pm  

    This particular “controversy” is a non-issue.

    Absolutely Jai, but it is still worthy of comment. I would respectfully suggest that a better use of the time these folk are spending on their rescue plans, would be to hang out in aforementioned community centre. They could talk to the people who ask them why, when everyone else has some kind of idol or symbol on show, they have a book. Then they might have an opportunity to tell some of those people what is in the book, and how they can expect to be treated by Sikhs as a result.

    This looks like a classic case of a fundamentalist approach to scripture, being counter-productive. By their actions, this Rescue Force are portraying their faith as exclusivist and insular, which (as Amir points out) is the opposite of what Sikhism is supposed to be about.

  15. Amir — on 27th May, 2006 at 10:11 pm  

    Jai – fair cop.

    But what about these guys?

    I’m sure a few of these incendiaries are taking a keen interest in the aforementioned religious display. Non?

  16. Ismaeel — on 27th May, 2006 at 10:15 pm  

    “The Gurus supported freedom of religious worship for people of all religious affiliations as per any individual’s own beliefs and the right for an individual to have “freedom of conscience”, but not when this contradicted Sikh principles — for example, the Gurus actively defended the right of people of all faiths to live without unwarranted religious persecution (the 9th Guru even gave his life for this principle), but simultaneously they condemned practices such as sati, the caste system, idolatry, certain negative ways widows were treated, infanticide (especially of female babies), and so on. They did the same for practices in other organised religions which did not correspond with their own views on spirituality and human ethics.”

    Ah Jai, you finally managed to answer one of my questions on Sikhism, though obviously not by me, but by someone else, when your religious views were being taken to task, what goes around, comes around as they say. Allahu Akbar.

  17. Amir — on 27th May, 2006 at 10:20 pm  

    Ah, Ismaeel!
    You’ve finally emerged from the bat cave – the catacombs of the MAC!

  18. Ismaeel — on 27th May, 2006 at 10:22 pm  

    the bat cave??
    Not exactly more like a pleasant countryside manor

  19. Ismaeel — on 27th May, 2006 at 10:23 pm  

    though the MAC cave has a certain ring to it….
    some more MAC-tastic news coming within the next week i do promise : )

  20. Amir — on 27th May, 2006 at 10:34 pm  

    Countryside manor?
    Ah yes – of course. Silly me. It’s only the middle-classes who can indulge in religious propaganda and Ummah-identity-politics.

    In VS Naipaul’s book ‘A Million Mutinies Now,’ the author interviews a young Hindu fanatic. The man explains his supremacist ideology, and then Naipaul asks the man’s father, who happens to be sitting there, what he thinks. The old man explains that he works at a factory from morning till night and doesn’t really have time for these kinds of ideas.

    Extremist ideology is a leisure-time pursuit.

    And by the way, I suggest that you learn a bit more about Islam before you start haranguing Jai for information. :-)

  21. Amir — on 28th May, 2006 at 12:03 am  

    Ismaeel
    For PP’s pleasure, I have recited a few recent extracts from your now-notorious blog:

    But i digress, I’m actually against the teaching of Britishness in schools…Foisting value systems and historical narratives on people will not help them integrate…religious tolerance, freedom of speech etc are not special magical British values.

    Of all the unpatriotic, anti-British drivel you could possibly churn out, this is sky high on the multi-culti scale. For starters, nobody is saying that liberty and the rule of law possess some ‘magical’ transcendent power (?), but it is (historically speaking) unique to our British way-of-life. Liberty has existed in this great nation of ours before a single country acquired the vote. Starting with Magna Carta, and its magnanimous Clause 39 which provides the right to jury trial, moving to the Habeas Corpus Act and the 1689 Bill of Rights, these documents said ‘This is what government shall not do’. Why, then, should we not teach our children to respect the wisdom and forethought of our forefathers as encapsulated in these documents? And what about those brave men and women who perished during WWII defending this country, its history, its people, and the concept of ‘democracy’ itself from the scourge of Nazi imperialism? We require these prescient, historical narratives to realize the ideals and aspirations embedded in past experiences of our communities, seeing our efforts as being, in part, contributions to a common good. They provide a source of meaning and hope in peoples lives.

    Your response…?

    …religious pluralism, freedom of speech and debate, liberty in the private sphere, the rule of law, seperation of powers were all instituted in the Muslim world by the Prophet of Islam (SAWS) himself.

    Yes, they were. In an ‘aqd (a contract) between the Caliph and ahl al-hall wa al’aqd (the people who have the power of contract), who give their bay’a (allegiance or consent): the Caliph received his bay’a in return for his promise to discharge the terms of contract. In the dominant paradigm, both ruler and ruled are God’s agents (khulafa’ Allah) in implementing the divine law (in spite of the fact that no sentient being has access to God’s consciousness). In a not-so-dissimilar way to Magna Carta, Islamic jurists discussed the limits to be placed on lawmaking power of the state, in part under the rubric of public interest (al-masalih al-mursalah) and blocking the means to illegality (sadd al-dhari’ah).

    But guess what Ismaeel? These liberties have largely been eroded away! The Arab world is a political desert with no real political parties, no free press, few pathways for dissent. It is for this reason why the Mosque has become a haven for radical clerics and their supremacist ideologies. Importing foreign stuff – Cadillacs, Coca Cola and McDonald’s – is easy. Importing the inner stuffings of modern society – a free market, political parties, accountability and the rule of law – is difficult and dangerous. Nasser’s pan-Arabist dream fell flat on its heels. Socialism produced bureaucracy and stagnation. And rather than adjusting to the failures of central planning, the economies never really moved on. The republics calcified into dictatorships. Third World ‘nonalignment’ became pro-Soviet propaganda. Arab unity cracked and crumbled as countries discovered their own national interests and ‘totalitarian’ solutions.

    Amir

  22. Robert — on 28th May, 2006 at 4:48 am  

    How quickly we go off topic.

    But hold on. We British like to claim Rule Of Law and ideas of Liberty, Freedom and A Sense of Humour as our very own. But that ain’t so, Amir… These concepts have been advanced just as far by other nations too. “Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité” etcetera. “We, The People” etcetera.

    The truth is that the values we all hold dear have been advanced by many different people from all cultures throughout history. No one culture or country can claim ownership. We can take pride in the British contribution, but why not simply rejoice in a wider, human success?

  23. Ravi4 — on 28th May, 2006 at 8:35 am  

    Jai – you’re missing Mirax’s point, at least as I understand it. Whatever the rules within Sikhism about the treatment of the SGGS, by making it available publicly – for download but also for sale as a physical item – there has to be an acceptance that the purchaser/downloader will treat the SGGS in whatever way they please (within the law).

    Presumably Ek Niwas acquired its copy of the SGGS in a legal way (eg it wasn’t stolen from a Gudwara). So they are entitled now to display the SGGS in their centre, and allow visitors to “do banghra” or whatever in its presence. It is of course the right of any Sikh (or anyone else) to protest and make any objection they wish to about the treatment of the SGGS – so long as they make their objections in a way which remains within the law. “Rescuing” the SGGS (eg removing it from the centre) without the express voluntary/uncoerced consent of Ek Niwas would as far as I can see be a simple act of theft, and thus a criminal offence.

    If this story is confirmed, then it certainly looks worthy of adding to the growing litany of competitive victimhood which our “community leaders” seem intent on inflicting on us, and which PP should be highlighting and working against …

    Roger – absolutely right. Britain has made a great contribution, but the values are universal. Otherwise, why else do people around the world keep choosing them whenever given a genuine choice?

    By the way, anybody seen Nick Cohen’s article on the Asia House exhibition?

    http://observer.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,1784662,00.html

    It doesn’t give credit to the debate that PP has stimulated.

  24. John Browne — on 28th May, 2006 at 10:33 am  

    the UK was the only main European country to have a legal system not based on Roman Law, but Common Law. This Common Law has now spread to the USA and other nations influenced by the UK.

    this is really how it started:


    Henry 2nd (ruled 1154-1189) established royal courts at Westminster and divided England into circuits, over which his judges travelled and tried the more important civil and criminal cases in county courts. The judges did not impose a law from above, but brought together the traditional law they found in the different parts of the country to create one law that was common for the whole nation. To establish what the law of a district was, the traditional practice of trial by a jury of local people was revived.

  25. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 28th May, 2006 at 11:19 am  

    “Too much time on your hands? Having problems getting laid? Mis-interpreted your religion and thought that rather than spreading peace and love, it may help you get over your penis-size insecurity? Thinking only you know the truth and everyone else has to be educated? Then we much be talking about you.”

    Sounds exactly like someone I know.

  26. Roger — on 28th May, 2006 at 12:07 pm  

    “religious tolerance, freedom of speech etc are not special magical British values.”
    I hope not. I hope that every country in the world would teach that they are absolute values. Unfortunately, not all do.

  27. Amir — on 28th May, 2006 at 1:01 pm  

    Ravi and Roger,
    I vehemently disagree with you both on this woolly-headed ‘let’s celebrate the world’ nonsense (another example of the dominant Marxist narrative known as ‘political correctness’). We’re British. And we live in the United Kingdom. Thus: we learn about our own history – first and foremost: the good, bad, and the ugly. Lest we forget, a nation isn’t just a piece of populated turf. It’s a community of memory, and groups of strangers who share a morally-significant history. For how can we be grow up to be conscientious citizens if we haven’t a clue how Britain came to be what it is?

    Of course, we can appeal to democracy, liberty, economic equality, and so forth by appealing to universal principles (cognitively and emotively). But that’s the preoccupation of a philosopher, not a historian in a British school.

    If Tony Blair had paid a bit more respect to the wisdom and courage of our forefathers, then he might not have been so trigger-happy with his illiberal legislation. Courtesy of New Labour, we now have a Civil Contingencies Act that, once an emergency has been declared, gives the government the power to cancel existing laws, to order citizens to move or to stay where they are, in short, to act like a dictatorship. We have a succession of Terrorism Acts that give police officers enormous arbitrary authority they never had before, a power they have already begun to abuse. Meanwhile, a measure passed in 1986 in a wild attempt to curb bad behaviour at football matches, the Public Order Act, is increasingly being used to prosecute people whose public statements are thought by police officers to be likely to cause ‘offence’ to others. In several cases, objectors to homosexual equality laws have been prosecuted or threatened. And what about the impending inclusion of ID Cards? Or CCTV face-recognition? Or those insidious DNA-databases? And those silly, puerile quangos that Ken Livingstone and his multicultural brigade have installed to thwart the democratic process and subvert the will of the British people (irony of all ironies, even suspending Livingstone himself!).

    Our British traditions are precious things, and it is very difficult to restore them once they are lost.

    Amir

  28. Ismaeel — on 28th May, 2006 at 1:16 pm  

    Amir,

    i see in your rush to brand me as an extremist and promote yourself as a great patriotic progresssive liberal, you have enitrely missed the point of my piece.

    I never claimed the concepts of rule of law etc still existed in the Muslim world, that is largely because all Muslim states follow un-Islamic ideologies including those claiming to live by the Shariah.

    My point was that the historical narrative of why these freedoms are so important cannot be found in the history of the Muslim peoples because they didn’t need to have to go through centuries of warfare and political wrangling to get them. In other words it is patronising to lecture Muslim children about the great advances in liberty etc in Britain as though their religion doesn’t teach these things and they have to be educated in Britishness before they can understand them.

    I also put foward a more workable way foward of reviving the concept of the social contract, but i know you’re not really interested in my ideas but rather more interested in proving how integrated you are and how extremist and disloyal i am….so so boring.

  29. Ismaeel — on 28th May, 2006 at 1:17 pm  

    Amir

    your last post is exactly what i was complaining about in the post on my blog you were attacking. You’re a strange chap really you are

  30. Ismaeel — on 28th May, 2006 at 1:24 pm  

    Oh and Amir, when i said like a countryside manor, i meant like one, not actually one.

    I’m not involved in Islamist politics, please please know what you’re talking about before you start hurling accusations about.

  31. Ismaeel — on 28th May, 2006 at 1:32 pm  

    Amir:
    “both ruler and ruled are God’s agents (khulafa’ Allah) in implementing the divine law (in spite of the fact that no sentient being has access to God’s consciousness). ”

    and i have to learn more about Islam…seems you don’t even comprehend Prophethood or wilayat.

  32. John Browne — on 28th May, 2006 at 1:36 pm  

    Amir,
    In a sense you are over stating the power of Tony Blair.
    As I have already stated the UK is partially “ruled” by COMMON LAW (literally 12 man/woman jury system).

    Parliament can legislate new laws all it wants
    but they find it difficult for any of these new laws to stick if they go against strongly ingrained common law, Judges simply throw the cases out.

    John

  33. Amir — on 28th May, 2006 at 1:40 pm  

    Ismaeel
    Great stuff – now that you’ve made your position clear, we can engage in a debate:

    Statement I: I’m not involved in Islamist politics

    Statement II: …it is patronising to lecture Muslim children about the great advances in liberty etc in Britain as though their religion doesn’t teach these things.

    (I) and (II) are incommensurable. You say ‘I’m not an Islamist’, but conversely, and in an almost schizophrenic like manner, you scoff at the secular education of British children – accusing our curriculum of being ‘patronising’ to Moslems. In other words: you find national/local history in a semantically secular context (i.e. no theological tit-for-tat) repulsive. And why do you deem it necessary to ventriloquize our Moslem children? Is it not conceivable that young British Moslems might actually enjoy learning about British History?? Cos, ya know,… they have a huge part to play in our future.

    Amir

  34. Ismaeel — on 28th May, 2006 at 1:48 pm  

    Amir,

    British History is already taught to school children, i’m not suggesting it shouldn’t be, nor did i say it was repulsive to learn it, i myself enjoyed learning it at school. What i was talking about was the introduction of a subject called Britishness where “British Values” were taught to all as values which are perculiarly british and which they need to learn to be part of this nation. Actually this was all pretty clear from my post, but sadly you have gone down the road of so many at PP at deciding what i actually am: an extremist radical Islamists, why? because i was involved in organising a protest against the Danish cartoons and suggesting a solution to the problem, and then reading everything i write through your pre-judicial lenses.

    Sad…so sad.

  35. de silva — on 28th May, 2006 at 2:00 pm  

    It’s a competition and all asian liberal nuts are invited! Too much time on your hands? Having problems getting accepted? Mis-interpreted your ideology and thought that rather than spreading multiculturalism and free speech, it may help you get over your racial inferiority complex? Thinking only you know the truth and everyone else has to be educated? Then we must be talking about you.

  36. Amir — on 28th May, 2006 at 2:14 pm  

    My lenses are not muddied at all, Ismaeel.

    I read your blog everyday (although there hasn’t been a post in quite a while).

    I know exactly what you stand for.

    But you persist in using these self-pitiful slight-of-hands (i.e. ‘so so sad’, ‘you’re so odd’, ‘Me? An extremist? Preposterous’, etc.) to smoothen your brazen politics. British history is taught at primary & secondary schools – yes. But it is only taught superficially, against chronology, and in a variety of unimaginative ways (i.e. reading textbooks and reciting boring facts). This whole debate about ‘British values’ has been radically misinterpreted and smeared by the politically-correct left-liberal elites. By ‘values’, Tony Blair was thinking more along the lines of the rule of law, fair play (i.e. trial by jury), liberty (freedom of assembly, free speech and expression, the right to own private property, the right to run for office, etc.), sympathy with the underdog (sociologists and anthropologists, for example, have shown that the British people are always challenging power and prodding authority-figures: this is a very healthy attitude), and the ‘privateness’ of British life (i.e. minimal state interference: read George Orwell’s famous essay on the English People).

    What you and your ilk seem to forget is this: democracy isn’t just a piece of paper with a bunch of ‘rules’ written on it. Democracy is a culture: narratives, texts, symbols, and unconscious metaphors that describe the country we inhabit and our role in it. Without the culture, the rules are useless.

    Amir

  37. Amir — on 28th May, 2006 at 2:29 pm  

    Mr Browne – point taken.
    It’s nice to see another contributor with good historical insight and a respect for tradition. I salute you sir.

  38. Ismaeel — on 28th May, 2006 at 2:36 pm  

    Amir,

    my brazen politics…ho hum.

    What Tony Blair was thinking about, now you have direct access to his consciousness because all i have read and see on tv was discussion of teaching the tradition of free speech, the value of liberty and of democracy.

    Me and my ilk, who are my ilk pray tell? I never suggested democracy was a piece of paper with a bunch of rules written on it, i know exactly what democracy and it’s variants are on a global scale because strangely enough i actaully have a politics degree.

    You can’t teach a culture to someone or force them to adopt it. Most children of immigrants take their parents culture from them as well as adopting some of British culture as well and mix the two in varying measures in a way which they feel comfortable with.

    The origins of this debate in part are to do with integrating Muslims because of the fear of their alienation and involvement in terrorism. My point if you care to listen to it is this, Muslims who know the teachings of their religion and know about the culture of this country can solve the tensions these identitys can have through the concept of a social contract. Trying to ram British culture down their throat will not rectify these tensions but may instead create an either/or situation where young Muslims feel they have to choose between being Muslim and being British because values such as Free Speech and Liberty are portrayed as being perculiarly British.

  39. raz — on 28th May, 2006 at 2:46 pm  

    Guys you are going hopelessly off topic.

  40. Ismaeel — on 28th May, 2006 at 2:55 pm  

    Indeed, what i want to know is how Sikhism squares it’s religious tolerance whilst condemning individual practices and beliefs of other religions without saying your religion is wrong.

    If Sikhism says you can achieve salvation or liberation by being a Hindu, but then say that Sati, Idoltry etc are wrong, does that mean that if you’re a Hindu who practices these things does that mean you won’t be liberated. What about Hindus who worshipping a number of gods and godessess, i presume Sikhism sees that as wrong as well.

    Is it only a Sikhified form of Hinduism whose adherents can achieve Liberation, in that case why not just become a Sikh?????

  41. Jai — on 28th May, 2006 at 2:59 pm  

    Ravi4,

    =>”Whatever the rules within Sikhism about the treatment of the SGGS, by making it available publicly – for download but also for sale as a physical item – there has to be an acceptance that the purchaser/downloader will treat the SGGS in whatever way they please (within the law).”

    Correct, although obtaining an original Gurmukhi-language “hard copy” of the SGGS is not as easy as one may think so it does raise the question of exactly how this group got hold of one and who sold it to them (assuming it’s not a “loan” from someone). You can’t just walk into a shop in (for example) Southall, Birmingham, or Ilford and buy one off the shelf.

    Regarding downloaded versions, your point is correct there too — indeed, one of the reasons many Sikh websites put English translations of the scriptures on their websites is so that the teachings are easily available for anyone interested in reading them. However, I believe that the “maryada” (etiquette/decorum) really applies only to the original, untranslated, hard-copy version in the traditional form.

    An affiliated situation I have mentioned a couple of times here and on Sepia Mutiny is the way supposedly-Sikh (or Hindu Punjabi) fictional characters are sometimes shown on Indian TV serials praying towards paintings of Guru Nanak and referring to him as “Waheguru” (ie. God), actions which do not actually have anything to do with Sikh tenets and which were in fact explicitly condemned by the historical Gurus. However, since the sale of such paintings is fairly unregulated, this is an unfortunate consequence. I guess the same principle applies here as the points I previously made on the MF Husain threads, ie. one would hope that people obtaining such items would self-regulate their behaviour and exercise enough consideration to not behave towards the items in a manner contravening Sikh decorum. Human nature being the way it is, of course this unfortunately does not always happen.

    However, as mentioned before, the sale and distribution of the SGGS in its traditional form is considerably more strictly regulated than this.

  42. Jai — on 28th May, 2006 at 3:02 pm  

    Amir,

    =>”But what about these guys?

    I’m sure a few of these incendiaries are taking a keen interest in the aforementioned religious display. Non?”

    Probably, although I can’t really comment on those people. Using violence to remove the SGGS without even attempting to exhaust all other peaceful (and legal) avenues as per Robert’s example in post #14 would be totally against the principles of the religion.

  43. Jai — on 28th May, 2006 at 3:04 pm  

    Robert,

    Re: post #14

    =>”I would respectfully suggest that a better use of the time these folk are spending on their rescue plans, would be to hang out in aforementioned community centre. They could talk to the people who ask them why, when everyone else has some kind of idol or symbol on show, they have a book. Then they might have an opportunity to tell some of those people what is in the book, and how they can expect to be treated by Sikhs as a result.”

    Well done, my friend — you’re absolutely spot-on. In fact, your suggestions are 100% in line with what would actually be the correct Sikh way to go about these things ;)

  44. Ismaeel — on 28th May, 2006 at 3:06 pm  

    Jai,

    please explain to me whether the following is a Sikh belief: that when an individual becomes sufficiently enlightened he becomes one with God, both here and once liberated from earthly life.

    I have been told this and I know of several Sikhs who attempt to worship certain Shaykhs that i know saying that they are gods because they have helped them with certain problems they were facing. Of course these Shaykhs prevent them, but the explanation given is the “Sikh belief” given above.

  45. Jai — on 28th May, 2006 at 3:38 pm  

    Ismaeel,

    I’m going to try to answer your questions briefly because this is going too far off-topic, and also because I think neither one of us want another unnecessary altercation like last time. However, I think your motivations are sincere and you’re just trying to get an understanding of these concepts within Sikhism, and I actually don’t think you’re a malicious person at heart at all, so in the spirit of friendship and mutual understanding I will do my best to answer your queries (but briefly, again). Especially as you were kind enough to answer my Sufi-related questions so thoroughly, which I greatly appreciated.

    =>”Indeed, what i want to know is how Sikhism squares it’s religious tolerance whilst condemning individual practices and beliefs of other religions without saying your religion is wrong.”

    1. It leaves the final decision to the individual concerned as to whether they wish to continue their particular religious practice/belief, if the practice/belief is viewed as either having no spiritual benefit or (depending on the specific issue) is forcefully condemned.

    2. …..Unless the practice/belief hurts an innocent third-party when put into action against that third-party. Infantice is one example of this. Attempting to force someone to convert to another faith is another example.

    =>”If Sikhism says you can achieve salvation or liberation by being a Hindu, but then say that Sati, Idoltry etc are wrong, does that mean that if you’re a Hindu who practices these things does that mean you won’t be liberated.”

    Yes (meaning “No, you won’t be liberated”). There are some basic conditions regarding one’s own conduct (and behaviour towards others) which are “mandatory” in the sense of facilitating spiritual awareness and potential liberation — some of these are just to do with our own personalities and behaviour in our day-to-day lives, but of course it can overlap with certain religious practices too. Sikhism regards this as being the “key” to acheiving liberation, rather than necessarily any specific religious path. Of course, different religions have different effects on different people, as per their own personalities and interpretation of their religion’s principles — with some people the effect can be positive, on others it can be negative. Different strokes for different folks. But the “core” personality traits, mental/emotional self-discipline, and ethical conduct are mandatory for genuine spirituality and to genuinely being to facilitate liberation, first and foremost, and regardless of everything else.

    =>”What about Hindus who worshipping a number of gods and godessess, i presume Sikhism sees that as wrong as well.”

    Well, wrong in the sense of being misguided (or “lower down the ladder of spiritual awareness”), rather than it being any grave sin. Being a malicious person or an arrogant jerk is regarded as far worse than polytheism (and having a far more detrimental effect on the person concerned), although of course both are misguided and counterproductive. It’s a matter of priorities.

    =>”Is it only a Sikhified form of Hinduism whose adherents can achieve Liberation, in that case why not just become a Sikh?????”

    Because of what I explained previously — it’s not necessarily one’s religious beliefs which will help or hinder one’s attempts to gain Liberation (although, again, it depends on the specific person as different religions have different effects on different people), but certain personality traits and general conduct in one’s life, especially with regards to how we treat other people. Let’s call this “X”; therefore a Hindu (or anyone of any religion — or none) who practices “X” will gain spiritual enlightenment and ultimately liberation (sooner or later, if not necessarily in this lifetime) regardless of their “outer” religious affiliation. As their spiritual awareness increases, they will automatically realise the futility of certain unnecessary/misguided religious practices and will end up seeing the same, identical “truth” in the end.

    Simply being a Sikh is not enough to achieve liberation. However, it is regarded as being an “accelerated” path — but only for those who practice it properly and with sincere intentions.

    I hope this helps ;)

  46. Jai — on 28th May, 2006 at 3:46 pm  

    Ismaeel,

    =>”the following is a Sikh belief: that when an individual becomes sufficiently enlightened he becomes one with God, both here and once liberated from earthly life.”

    Yes, but not in the sense of actually becoming God. This is an important distinction. It just means that the person’s soul no longer experiences spiritual “separation” from God — in the sense of being fully aware of God’s presence and Will within them and in the universe, and in the sense of this perception/awareness no longer being clouded by the person’s own ego etc.

    The term used is “Akal” — loosely translates as “immortal”. Metaphorically, the person “dies whilst still alive” and is as immersed in — and as aware of — the reality of God as they would be if they actually died (ie. in the afterlife).

    =>”I know of several Sikhs who attempt to worship certain Shaykhs that i know saying that they are gods because they have helped them with certain problems they were facing.”

    I’m afraid these people are wrong. A Sikh is supposed to worship the One, Formless, Immortal God and absolutely no-one else — and certainly not other human beings, dead or living.

  47. Sunny — on 28th May, 2006 at 3:49 pm  

    If Sikhism says you can achieve salvation or liberation by being a Hindu, but then say that Sati, Idoltry etc are wrong, does that mean that if you’re a Hindu who practices these things does that mean you won’t be liberated. What about Hindus who worshipping a number of gods and godessess, i presume Sikhism sees that as wrong as well.

    Ismaeel, funny attempt at trying to turn things around when you know perfectly well that Islam also condemns worshipping idols.

    A quick theological distinction for yourself and others before it turns into a religion slagging match.

    Sikhism does not condemn Hinduism but idol worship – and the two are different. Hindus are not obliged to worship idols, and many sects don’t (and in the Bhagwad Geeta I believe Krishna says you should eventually move on from idols anyway since they’re there purely to focus your thoughts).

    What Sikh Gurus condemned was a move towards rituals, superstition and idol worship in a way that includes these idiots attempting to “rescue” the SGGS. The book has become an idol to them and thus to them it cannot be put in a place along with idols, which might as well make it a big statue of Guru Nanak. But of course they won’t get it.

    This is not a non-issue Jai because it comes down to those same issues of tolerance and understanding. the SGGS is openly available to buy in India and I don’t see why people are allowed to interpret it and use it and place it where they want to. It is not “owned” by a self-styled group of keyboard warriors.

  48. Jai — on 28th May, 2006 at 3:52 pm  

    =>”Infantice is one example of this.”

    Apologies, typo in post#46 : should have said “InfantiCIDE”.

  49. Amir — on 28th May, 2006 at 3:54 pm  

    Ismaeel,

    (I) You can’t teach a culture to someone or force them to adopt it. Most children of immigrants take their parents culture from them as well as adopting some of British culture as well and mix the two in varying measures in a way which they feel comfortable with.

    Yes – precisely! It’s all about inter-pollination. But you need a common and credible national identity to “pollinate with” in the first place (thus binding everyone together in the public sphere). All of us here possess a heterogeneity of identities: one day I’m a local boxer, the next day I’m playing football with my mates (or cricket if it’s good weather), the next day I’m reading Michael Oakeshott (my conservative political identity). The reason I describe myself as anti-multicultural is that I urge the state to promote a national culture. We have every right to practice our chosen/given faith, wear exotic clothing, practice indigenous etiquette, etc., just so long as we share some things in common (language, history, public spaces, sport, some values). There’s no compulsion to be patriotic, but it should (nevertheless) be actively encouraged by the state. If people do not ‘share’ things in common, then they do not see themselves as fellow citizens. If we do not see ourselves as fellow citizens, then we do not care for each other’s welfare. If we do not care for each other’s welfare, the state must increase its power to protect us. This is happening already.

    (II) Trying to ram British culture down their throat will not rectify these tensions

    What nonsense. Who said anything about ‘ramming’? Teaching a national history is not ‘ramming’. It’s teaching.

    (III) …feel they have to choose between being Muslim and being British because values such as Free Speech and Liberty are portrayed as being perculiarly British.

    This is the type of pro-multiculturalist spiel I despise. No intention whatsoever to integrate: religion trumps national identity (instead of co-existing in harmony). The only reason you call yourself ‘anti-multicultural’ Ismaeel is because you’re an Islamic absolutist and you despise the secular state.

    (IV) Me and my ilk, who are my ilk pray tell?

    Hizb ut-Tahrir.

    Amir

  50. Amir — on 28th May, 2006 at 4:04 pm  

    Just look at that picture of Amir Khan next to the PP logo (when it pops up)

    For me, Amir Khan is the embodiment of British patriotism.
    And this lady too.

  51. John Browne — on 28th May, 2006 at 4:04 pm  

    Religious tolerance is quite an interesting subject from the point of view of Christians.

    From near the beginning, European Christianity was about the most intolerant religion. Now, IMHO, its evolved into becoming the most tolerant religion.

    So how did this evolution occur?

    John

  52. Amir — on 28th May, 2006 at 4:17 pm  

    John – read Max Weber’s The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism

  53. inders — on 28th May, 2006 at 4:19 pm  

    European christianity ?

    More to do with Europe, less to do with Christianity.

  54. Sunny — on 28th May, 2006 at 4:24 pm  

    feel they have to choose between being Muslim and being British

    There’s no need to choose, people can be both. Anyway, can Amir and Ismaeel please finish the off-topic discussion, because its distracting from this issue.

  55. jamal — on 28th May, 2006 at 4:43 pm  

    Yes.. all groups have their deviants.

    There is no need to choose between being Muslim and being British because if you are both then that is that. Each will have different levels of importance in given situations depending on the choices of the individual.

    Though im also wondering what “european christianity is”?

  56. xyz — on 28th May, 2006 at 4:55 pm  

    When discussing Sanatan Dharma or Hinduism, I wish people would stop hurling around Semitic-like words like idolatry, polytheism and the like. These words cannot be perfectly equated to the Hindu’s own sense of why and how and what they worship and they cannot be merely grafted on to another tradition. Those are the perjorative words (from the viewpoint of the people who use them) of people who cannot or do not want to completely understand belief systems different to their “exclusionist”, “narrow” view of the world. There’s nothing wrong with idol worship, polytheism etc., but there is when you describe it as “idol worship” “polytheism” “rituals” etc. From the ancient Egyptians, the Incas, the Mayas to Hindus, Shintos, animists and others -none of them ever saw or described themselves in these terms or with these words in the sense that those who think these are “wrong” mean them.

    The dictionary describes idolatry as an excessive devotion to something, someone or some way. Seems to me all religions are then “idolatrous” and “ritualistic.” Oops!

  57. Amir — on 28th May, 2006 at 4:56 pm  

    Jamal,
    Can you also be British and gay, or should that be illegal (in your opinion)?

    Oh wait, your homophobic blog is listed on Sunny Hundal’s ‘Comrades’?

    [Objecting to homosexuality on religious grounds is one thing, but using (/abusing) state power to ban their marches is quite another. Tut, tut.]

    Tut, tut for linking to him. :-(

  58. raz — on 28th May, 2006 at 5:23 pm  

    “Tut, tut for linking to him”

    Amir, this is the second time you’ve complained about Sunny linking to another site. Has all the anti-censorship stuff we’ve been talking about recently gone over your head? Cut it out. The fact that both Harry’s Place and Lenin’s tomb are linked here should show you that Sunny links to a wide spectrum of views. I certainly despise some sites on the list, for instance the (IMO) bigoted ‘Sepia Mutiny’, but I’m not trying to get it deleted from here. Chill out. If you don’t like it, don’t read it.

  59. Don — on 28th May, 2006 at 5:50 pm  

    Gay marchers beaten up by skinheads, tear-gassed and dragged off by cops and militia. To regard someone who gloats at that as a comrade is indeed a wide spectrum.

    Amir was raising a point, not urging censorship, certainly not of the ‘respect me or else’ variety we have been discussing.

    Does this sound familiar?

    ‘On one side stand all the bigots who hate, despise and look down on others based on their race, religion, caste, sexuality and nationality. And there are others who choose to reject that hatred. Whose side do you want to be on?’

  60. jamal — on 28th May, 2006 at 6:07 pm  

    Amir

    Of course YOU can be British and Gay, you dont need my permission.

    Marches are banned, restricted and regulated for many reasons, as was the gay one you refer too. article

    Ill let you know that ive been posting on sunnys sites for some time, and as Raz said, its is the variety of views that is pertinent. If it was not, then this discussion would be over already.

    Don, why be a drama queen. The facist element was one aspect of the situation, which occured after the fact. The march had already been ban. They went ahead anyhow. Would you be so diplomatic if it had been ‘another’ group?

  61. Amir — on 28th May, 2006 at 6:08 pm  

    Raz,
    If these ‘comrades’ are designed to represent a multiplicity of views, then why doesn’t this site link up to StormFront, the Branch Davidian Waco Cult, or Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh?

    Simple: because ‘comrade’ doesn’t mean ‘multiplicity of views’ – it means ‘comrade’. I have every right to know why a respected journalist and writer is associating with such people (In one of his questionnaires, Jamal gives his conspiracy-mad audience a choice between ‘Islam’, ‘Zionism’, ‘Oil’, and ‘New World Order’ as causes for the Iraq War; just below that there’s a handy link to a 9/11 MOSSAD/CIA conspiracy site. Jamal also has a banner with Ahmedinejad’s ‘A World Without Zionism’ logo. Says it all really.) Aren’t these the sort of individuals we’re meant to be fighting/challenging/competing with, but, paradoxically, giving them the respectable status of ‘comrade’? Forget Lenin’s Tomb (the guy isn’t that harmless anyway, … he’s well-intentioned, but uninformed), this Jamal character is explicitly supporting an apartheid status for homosexuals. Let me re-direct you to the ‘mission’ of this blog:

    On one side stand all the bigots who hate, despise and look down on others based on their race, religion, caste, sexuality and nationality. And there are others who choose to reject that hatred. Whose side do you want to be on?

    My questions, therefore, occupy a legitimate area of discussion, since, as you can see, they pertain to the very meaning of Pickled Politics.

    And before you tell me to ‘cut it out’, reconsider the stance you are taking: preaching to me about the dangers of self-censorship (incidentally: I have no control whatsoever over the content of this site: I am merely lobbying), but telling me to shut up at the same time????

    [Thank you Don,…]

  62. Amir — on 28th May, 2006 at 6:19 pm  

    Jamal

    Marches are banned, restricted and regulated for many reasons

    What, coz the protestors are batty boys?? Wow, yes, of course, that’s a perfectly legitimate reason to ban a march. I mean, we wouldn’t want those ‘drama queens’ exercising their equal right to protest/speak/express themselves, now would we?

    You don’t have to like what homosexuals do or how they feel about other men, but there’s a line crossed when you explicitly deny their basic human rights.

    Replace the word ‘Gay’ with ‘Hindu’, and I can guarantee you that there’d be an absolute uproar (and rightly so) from Hindus who visit this sight.
    Period.

  63. Don — on 28th May, 2006 at 6:20 pm  

    Jamal,

    ‘Drama queen’?

    ‘Would you be so diplomatic if it had been ‘another’ group?’

    Yes. Next question.

  64. Ismaeel — on 28th May, 2006 at 6:21 pm  

    Jai and Sunny
    thanks for your answers, your concept of akmal is similar to the Sufi concept of Fana wal Baqa (extinction in Allah and subsisting through Allah )

    Sunny,
    yes i know Islam condemns idol worship, wasn’t for a second suggesting it wasn’t.

    Amir,
    I don’t know much about Amir Khan so i won’t comment on him, as for Saira Khan, she has all but in name turned her back on Islam, so if that’s what your view of an integrated Muslim is, you mean it is one where the Islam is taken out.

    As for religion being more important that nationality, of course it is, it defines our relationship with Allah (SWT) and with humanity at large, rather than with a few myths and traditions which loosely hold a large diverse population together in a common spirit of jingoism.

    I didn’t say Muslims have to choose between Islam and being British i said that the policies of this government are pushing them towards it. Please remember that it was Adolf Hitler who was the first to introduce citizenship classes and we all know where that ended up.

    What’s more all this discussion of Britishness is typically unbritish, a sense of British culutre does exist and as i said people pick and choose from it what they want including indigenous white people who are COE or agnostic. Inventing a set of principles which are “British” thus is both arrogant in asserting that these principles are some special British domain when in fact many if not all are universal and also exclusive in implying that if you don’t accept all of these values or if you feel being British is something else or more than these that you are not properly British.
    To put it simply you cannot codify culture it is something in continual development and changes with time, each new set of immigrants brings something new to the table and changes the mix. Look at certain parts of our major cities.
    My ilk are HT are they, lol, i cannot even be bothered to refute this one AGAIN!

  65. Sunny — on 28th May, 2006 at 6:29 pm  

    as for Saira Khan, she has all but in name turned her back on Islam

    How do you know… is she a personal relation? I might think that you’re attempting to pass judgement on someone else’s piety here Ismaeel, given Saira openly sees herself as British Muslim. And we all know what is said about “brothers” who decide they’re knowledgeable enough to pass judgement on others.

    On Jamal – by linking his blog I’m not saying I agree with all his views, as is the case with HP, Lenin and plenty of others. We here at PP have our own views and ideology, and you guys are more than welcome to point fingers when we don’t follow our own declared rules and values. Needless to say though, I don’t agree with Jamal and neither do I think he’s really thought through his idea of being against opression fully.

  66. Ismaeel — on 28th May, 2006 at 6:33 pm  

    Sunny,

    i have read interviews with Saira Khan, where she is quite open about how she views her faith, she calls herself British Muslim, as she views herself as a cultural Muslim, another good example of this phenomenon is your journalist colleuge Safraz Manzoor who has several times in the Guardian disavowed any Islamic faith but still calls himself a British Muslim.

  67. Don — on 28th May, 2006 at 6:34 pm  

    Ismaeel,

    You are of course right that it is ludicrous to attempt to set up exclusively British ‘values’ (although I’m not sure who suggested that these values be exclusive, rather than widely held values to which Britain, in general, subscribes.)

    One key British value (but not exclusively British) to which I subscribe is that no bugger gets to tell me how to be British.

    But the Hitler line is never helpful, it’s been heard too often as any easy sound-bite on anti-smoking, vegetarianism, etc. Unless you are actually making a comparison (which I’m sure you’re not) it just winds things up.

  68. Ismaeel — on 28th May, 2006 at 6:41 pm  

    xyz,

    so let me get this straight , a Muslim can’t say that Hindus who perform Idol worship are idol worshippers or polytheists, which in arabic is the same thing: Mushrik- one who attributes partners to Allah (SWT), because that’s not how Hindus view their practices and beliefs but then it’s quite alright for non-Muslims to call Muslims fanatics, Islamists, fundamentalists despite the fact that Muslims don’t view their practices and beliefs as such.

    Whether idols in Hinduism were originally meant to be just a place of focus or not is irrelevant, most Hindus I have encountered and indeed many Sri Lankan Buddhists and as i have mentioned even some Sikhs have mistaken the means for the goal and ended up worshipping the idol itself. Yes Sunny i am aware many Hindu sects do not worship idols, i in fact mentioned that myself on this site a few days ago.

  69. Ismaeel — on 28th May, 2006 at 6:43 pm  

    Don,

    unlike Hitler’s vegetarianism, painting etc, citizenship classes were part of his political programme, so i think it is slightly more relevant.
    Also the fact that this country is creeping towards a very scary form of authoritarianism has been commented on by many recently, so i don’t think the Hitler comparison is inapt.

  70. Amir — on 28th May, 2006 at 6:56 pm  

    Sunny,

    Needless to say though, I don’t agree with Jamal and neither do I think he’s really thought through his idea of being against opression fully.

    Which begs the question: why do you link to him in the first place? I, personally, would never tolerate a ‘comrade’ who takes schadenfreude in the banning of a Gay Rights March (and explicitly approving of it). On your mission statement you also say:

    On a macro level it has become a closed system dominated by community leaders, so-called representatives, ‘race relations experts’ and self-serving politicians.

    Jamal (and you can check for yourselves) has hyperlinks to the anti-Semitic MPACUK and the Muslim Association of Britain [MAC], an auxiliary of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Horrifyingly, he even endorses the Web Site(IslamOnline.net) of anti-Semitic, pro-female-circumcision, pro-gay-stoning, pro-suicide-terrorism Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi.

    If you guys at PP have your ‘own ideology’ (so to speak), I’d like to know whether this fits in with your general worldview?

    Amir

  71. Sunny — on 28th May, 2006 at 6:57 pm  

    disavowed any Islamic faith but still calls himself a British Muslim.

    It is for them to call themselves what they want and for god to judge them, not you. I thought that is what the religion taught, and I thought this is what you said earlier that you do.

    The danger, as you’ve seen on your own blog, is that when you start becoming condescending of people and intolerant towards their views – you’ll attract nutters who will make the same accusations towards you.

    Ismaeel the chameleon, someone called you right? The intolerance you show towards others will bite you in the butt sooner or later because someone (more pious) who does not share your views will also happily call you all sorts of names you call others. It is a slippery road my friend.

  72. Sunny — on 28th May, 2006 at 6:59 pm  

    If you guys at PP have your ‘own ideology’ (so to speak), I’d like to know whether this fits in with your general worldview?

    Short answer – no. But similarly I do not share views by Melanie Phillips, Scott Burgess and many others linked by leftie blogs.

  73. Ismaeel — on 28th May, 2006 at 7:03 pm  

    Sunny,
    yes it will be for Allah (SWT) to judge but the Prophet (PBUH) has left criteria for us to determine who is and who is not considered a Muslim.

    I have only condescended and been intolerant to views that are too bigoted for words. Otherwise i have merely disagreed and stated the reasons why.

    Also i haven’t called anyone any names.

  74. Roger — on 28th May, 2006 at 7:10 pm  

    Amir said “Our British traditions are precious things, and it is very difficult to restore them once they are lost.”
    Some of our British traditions are precious things. Others deserve to be lost completely. Some contradict one another. I’ve said elsewhere that we need to learn our own history- “how we got here”, but one of the reasons we got here was as a result of the dominant philosophies- conscious or unconscious- of the past.
    To take examples “democracy, liberty, economic equality” are valuable and- it can be argued, except perhaps for the last- longstanding british traditions. On the other hand they are mutually contradictory aspirations- if you increase one you have to decrease one of the others. Eighteenth century England wasn’t regarded as a haven of liberty because it was a democracy for example but because no-one interfered with other peoples’ behaviour unless it directly impinged on themselves.
    Equally, the rsetrictive acts being introduced now are part of the long tradition of coercive acts passed to deal with alleged threats to the nation. Look at the acts passed by Elizabeth against catholics, the acts of the Stuarts, the varius acts in the Napoleonoc wars, the Official Secret acts, the Defence of the Realm Acts- all part of the Great British Tradition of hastily passing laws in alleged emergencies and finding them so useful that they are retained long after the emergency ends.

  75. Roger — on 28th May, 2006 at 7:20 pm  

    “As for nationality being more important that religion, of course it is, it defines our relationship with our neighbours and with humanity at large, rather than with a few myths and traditions which loosely hold a large diverse population together in a common spirit of bigotry.”

    “If you guys at PP have your ‘own ideology’ (so to speak), I’d like to know whether this fits in with your general worldview?”
    Perhaps it’s better to have a negative ideology- decide and define what is not acceptable, not what is. It’s also useful to have access to the more appalling opinions actually. It’s easy to think that you’re exaggerating or misunderstanding what people think until you find out that, yes, those are their actual opinions.

  76. Ismaeel — on 28th May, 2006 at 7:30 pm  

    Amir
    “If we do not see ourselves as fellow citizens, then we do not care for each other’s welfare. If we do not care for each other’s welfare, the state must increase its power to protect us.”
    Exactly that’s why i was positing the idea of a new social contract, an idea which you do not wish to examine.

    “The only reason you call yourself ‘anti-multicultural’ Ismaeel is because you’re an Islamic absolutist and you despise the secular state.”

    I don’t know what you mean by Islamic absolutist, i don’t despise the secular state, though i’d prefer a truly Islamic state, until one emerges then Britain is one of the best options open to me. I’m anti-muticulturalist in the sense of it being government enforced ideology, i’m not against a multicultural and multifaith society and neither is Islam.

  77. Ismaeel — on 28th May, 2006 at 7:32 pm  

    Nationality defines your relationship with your neighbours and humanity at large? does it really? That’ll explain all the nationalist wars fought since the inception of the nation state mainly between people who were genuinely neighbours until these false notions of constructed nationhood were thrust on people.

  78. Roger — on 28th May, 2006 at 7:33 pm  

    “a Muslim can’t say that Hindus who perform Idol worship are idol worshippers or polytheists, which in arabic is the same thing: Mushrik- one who attributes partners to Allah (SWT), because that’s not how Hindus view their practices and beliefs but then it’s quite alright for non-Muslims to call Muslims fanatics, Islamists, fundamentalists despite the fact that Muslims don’t view their practices and beliefs as such.”
    If Arabic cannot distinguish between idol-worship and polytheism, so much the worse for Arabic. You use English, Ismaeel, and can distinguish between them, so it would be better to do so rather than pretending you can’t. You also make a false analogy when you compare this with describing muslims as “fanatics, Islamists, fundamentalists”. Not all muslims follow those practises and so are not so described and, equally, many other muslims do regard muslims who are particularly enthusiastic about following the more strict interpretations of islam as “fanatics, Islamists, fundamentalists”. You can certainly describe hindus who say that hinduism teaches intolerance of other religions and forces behaviour on other people as fanatics, bigots and fundamentalists and any other offensive and accurate terms you want to use.
    Finally, whatever your and other muslims opinion of polytheism and idol worship you have chosen to live in a country that does not object to either [especially if what is worshipped is the queen's head on pieces of metal] and have to behave accordingly, regardless of the orders you allegedly received from god.

  79. Roger — on 28th May, 2006 at 7:36 pm  

    Religion defines your relationship with your neighbours and humanity at large? does it really? That’ll explain all the religious wars fought since the inception of religion mainly between people who were genuinely neighbours until these false notions of religion were thrust on people.

  80. Ismaeel — on 28th May, 2006 at 7:39 pm  

    Roger
    “Not all muslims follow those practises and so are not so described”
    err what practices would they be then???
    “and, equally, many other muslims do regard muslims who are particularly enthusiastic about following the more strict interpretations of islam as “fanatics, Islamists, fundamentalists”.”
    It’s important that you explain what you are talking about.
    ” You can certainly describe hindus who say that hinduism teaches intolerance of other religions and forces behaviour on other people as fanatics, bigots and fundamentalists and any other offensive and accurate terms you want to use.”
    Oh thank you very much, but i’ll pass.

    “Finally, whatever your and other muslims opinion of polytheism and idol worship you have chosen to live in a country that does not object to either [especially if what is worshipped is the queen’s head on pieces of metal] and have to behave accordingly, regardless of the orders you allegedly received from god.”

    Oh thanks for telling me that Roger, there i was just about to go off and bomb neasden temple. I was actually born in this country, i didn’t come on a boat or a plane. I as an english man have the liberty to object to idol worship just as you have to object to my faith. However i would advise doing so with some civility.

  81. Ismaeel — on 28th May, 2006 at 7:42 pm  

    Roger

    “Religion defines your relationship with your neighbours and humanity at large? does it really? That’ll explain all the religious wars fought since the inception of religion mainly between people who were genuinely neighbours until these false notions of religion were thrust on people.”

    Actually history will tell you that there have been far fewer genuinely relgious wars than nationalist/tribal/racial and ideological wars and that the latter have undoubtadly been far more damaging in terms of body counts and general destruction.

  82. Amir — on 28th May, 2006 at 7:42 pm  

    Sunny,

    I’m sorry, mate! :-) But you’ve dug yourself a deep hole here, and I’m not going to offer you a ladder (just yet):

    But similarly I do not share views by Melanie Phillips, Scott Burgess and many others linked by leftie blogs.

    If you drew some sort of moral equivalence between the MPAC and the Mafdal Party, for example, you wouldn’t be exaggerating.
    If you compared Yusuf al-Qaradawi to Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kook, you wouldn’t be far off…
    But to compare these lunatic asylums to Melanie Phillips and Scott Burgess is so off-the-mark it beggars belief.

    Since when has the ‘Daily Ablution’ supported female genital mutilation, wife-beating, the execution of homosexuals, destruction of the Jewish people, suicide bombing of innocent civilians, and the punishment of rape victims who do not dress with sufficient modesty?

    Amir

  83. Roger — on 28th May, 2006 at 7:58 pm  

    “there have been far fewer genuinely relgious wars than nationalist/tribal/racial and ideological wars”
    As distinct from superficially religious wars?

  84. Roger — on 28th May, 2006 at 8:12 pm  

    “It’s important that you explain what you are talking about.”
    I’m talking about the kind of behaviour that gets people accurately described as fanatics, Islamists and fundamentalists.

    “Oh thank you very much, but i’ll pass [describing hindu fanatics, bigots and fundamentalists as fanatics, bigots and fundamentalists].”
    Why? Do you prefer to describe all hindus as idol-worshippers even though not all hindus regard thenmselves as idol-worshippers?

    “Oh thanks for telling me that Roger, there i was just about to go off and bomb neasden temple. I was actually born in this country, i didn’t come on a boat or a plane. I as an english man have the liberty to object to idol worship just as you have to object to my faith. However i would advise doing so with some civility.”
    I’m a very kindly chap, Ishmaeel.
    Who said you were going to bomb Neasden Temple? No doubt some of your more fanatical, Islamist and fundamental co-religionists would like to do so, however. Whether or not you were born in this country you and they are still obliged to obey its laws, even if you think that islamic laws governing the treatment of polytheists and/or idol-worshippers- real or according to Arabic linguistic deficiencies- are preferable. Why does your definition of civility allow you to call hindus idol-worshippers or polytheists, even if it isn’t true, whereas it doesn’t allow me to call muslims fanatics, Islamists and fundamentalists even if it is true?

  85. John Browne — on 28th May, 2006 at 8:15 pm  

    Hi,
    I posted that I thought European Christianity had become the most tollerant religion of all.

    I was going to explain why I thought that, but unfortunately its such a long reason it would take pages and pages (every thing from Black Death to Karl Marx) that instead I’ll give a few hints to my thinking.

    1. Marriage and Family.
    Romantic Love/Sex V Arranged Mariage
    and childcare.

    Europe always had the edge here, long before Jesus.
    The only Sikh woman I knew to talk to, fled from one end of the country to the other as she was very scared of her husband and her and his family. I’m sure her fear was related to culture and religion (there was a Sikh play recently about violence to women that had Sikhs up in arms ). Forced marriage (a form of rape) is still common in asia, cultural marriages to keep family fortunes together (eg marrying cousins) is also relatively common. All these things make an intollerant home life. Circumcision is a force put on a child by an adult (a form of repression – lack of tollerance to let the child think for itself).

    2. Racism.
    This in fact is the bad face of early Christianity. It relates to early saxon heroism – all standing together and dying together (eg Hastings, Harolds men stood by and died with him). The flip side to this heroism is an intollerance to others who are different. This form of racism took a huge knock at the battle of the Somme in World War 1 and was destroyed by the Japanese in world war 2 and Hitlers antics.

    Modern Christianity arose on the battle fields of the Somme and in the home.

    Joh

  86. Ismaeel — on 28th May, 2006 at 8:43 pm  

    Roger,

    if people worship many gods they are polytheists, if they worship idols, they are idol-worshipers, many Hindus do both. Nowhere have i said that all Hindus are polytheists or idol-worshippers.

    No-one said i didn’t have to follow the law of this country, what i objected to your condescending statement that i and others chose to live in this country, we did not, we were born here and it is our home of birth.

    My definition of civility can be found in the proclamation of global civility on http://www.globalcivility.com

  87. Ismaeel — on 28th May, 2006 at 8:47 pm  

    Roger
    i also note that you have not defined what amounts to a Muslim being rightly labelled a fanatic, extremeist or fundamentalist or islamist for that reason.

  88. inders — on 28th May, 2006 at 8:55 pm  

    Dear John,

    How exactly is the battle of Hastings related to:
    a> racism?
    b> early christianity?
    c> this issue?

    Or how can you even discuss modern liberal Europe exclusivly concentrating on religion ? It seems to me that modern liberalism is more to do with a lack of religious faith rather then any reformation of it. Starting with the end of devine right in the magna carta and the english bill of rights, carrying onto various revolutions on mainland europe, and the declining power of the catholic church in europe.

  89. Ismaeel — on 28th May, 2006 at 8:57 pm  

    Sunny,
    back to an earlier point you made about the SGGS, respecting one’s holy book does not mean you have made it an idol.
    As a Muslim i regard the Qur’aan with much reverance and it usually remains on the highest shelf in my room when it is not being read. As a Muslim i have to read the Qur’aan in a state of ritual purity (wudu) and not leave it near my feet or on the floor. It would certainly not be acceptable for it to be in a place where idols are worshipped or a rave was happening.
    So although i am not a Sikh and i do not agree with the Sikh religion, i do understand their being upset at disrespect being shown to the SGGS.
    Idoltry from an Islamic understanding and it is the understanding i am using is to worship something other than Allah (SWT) in other words devoting one’s life and actions towards something other than him. I don’t believe this is what Sikhs are doing with respect to the SGGS, rather they are showing respect for it as their final Guru, as Muslims show respect for their Prophets(AS), Awliya, the Qur’aan and hadith.

  90. Amir — on 28th May, 2006 at 8:57 pm  

    Ismaeel

    Your so-called ‘Proclamation of Global Civility’ (a shady euphemism for ‘do as we say’) is a sinister attempt to curtail freedom of speech. It basically says: If you use bad language, draw offensive cartoons, or defame our religion,… you should, as a matter of ‘principle’, be silenced, censured, fined, or thrown in jail. It’s explicitly Stalinist.

  91. Ismaeel — on 28th May, 2006 at 9:01 pm  

    Amir
    Ismaeel

    “Your so-called ‘Proclamation of Global Civility’ (a shady euphemism for ‘do as we say’) is a sinister attempt to curtail freedom of speech. It basically says: If you use bad language, draw offensive cartoons, or defame our religion,… you should, as a matter of ‘principle’, be silenced, censured, fined, or thrown in jail. It’s explicitly Stalinist. ”

    Amir you made this same stupid unsubstantiated accusation before and as before i challenge you to show me where in the text of the proclamation or in any of the literature, press statements, interviews etc on this issue, you draw this inference.

  92. xyz — on 28th May, 2006 at 9:03 pm  

    Ismaeel,

    My point is that the Semitic idea of polytheism, idolatry as you see it does not really explain or adequately account for the practices it attempts to describe. Centuries ago if you had encountered a Mayan or an Incan and called them a polytheist or an idolator, they would have given you a blank stare or just laughed at the incomprehension on your part. Muslims are free to interpret their faith as they see fit, in and of themselves and debate amongst themselves, but trying to tell everyone else (non-Muslims) that that is the only way is intolerant to me, even if it is a central tenet of your faith. I don’t call them fanatics or extremists unless they apply those beliefs to everyone (and I would do the same with Hindus). The Dalai Lama preaches Buddhism in the West, but he never encourages people to convert to Buddhism. In fact, quite the opposite. This is very different from the historical attitude of say Islam or Christianity.

    So I guess in the end, maybe you’re right. Go ahead and call Hindus idolators or whatever and look down on it, that’s ok if you see it that way. Fair enough. They (Hindus, Buddhists, Shintos etc.) generally (with some exceptions) are not interested in getting others to worship like them or believe that theirs is the only way. But by the same token I can find religions that do this and have a belief in only one “savior” exclusionist, narrow-minded and bigoted. Throughout history they have been more obsessed and inclined with getting others to worship like them or believe as they do. If you read Jonathan Kirsch’s “God Against the Gods” , I come down firmly on the side of the latter. To me it doesn’t matter if the idol becomes the final object of worship or is the final object of worship. The divine is everywhere and in everything. And if a person wants to make that the final object of worship, who is anyone to tell him that’s wrong? The very act of worshipping it invests it with whatever their concept of divinity is. I also personally feel that Islam and Christianity and all religions are indeed idol worshipping religions full of ritual. The only difference is that some feel their idol and their rituals should be the standard over others.

    I realize now that you can never wrap your head around the ideas and philosophies etc. that find expression in idol worship or polytheism or animism or whatever you want to call it. Likewise, I can never wrap my head around any strictly monotheistic (in the Semitic sense) faith or practices such as strictly forbidding images. To me that’s unnatural. So I shall retract my earlier post as I see now that it was really pointless in the context of this discussion and unnecessary. Thanks.

  93. Ismaeel — on 28th May, 2006 at 9:11 pm  

    xyz

    i perfectly understand Hindu concepts of worshipping God in everything and viewing the world as illusory etc. However Islam regards those beliefs as misguided and as the Sufis have explained when one reaches a certain spiritual state then it is possible to see everything having the involvement of the Divine in it, but that it is important to distinguish between this concept and the idea of everything being part of the Divine. For this very reason Allah (SWT) has forbidden the creation of images of animate living things to prevent one investing divine properties to created matter.
    Islam is a religion that seeks to invite everyone to accept the creed that there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah (SAWS) but it does not accept forcing people to do so.

  94. Katy Newton — on 28th May, 2006 at 9:19 pm  

    Blimey, I’m almost afraid to look at this thread, you’re all being so rude to each other.

    I appreciate that I am not a member of any of the religions under discussion and will probably be told to go away because I don’t understand, but shouldn’t it be possible to discuss these issues without descending into arguing over whose religion is better? Or is the lesson that we’re learning from this thread that the answer to that question is no?

  95. xyz — on 28th May, 2006 at 9:19 pm  

    Ismaeel,

    I guess we agree to understand each other’s belief sytems but both find certain tenets in each other’s belief systems misguided. Thanks.

  96. Ismaeel — on 28th May, 2006 at 10:00 pm  

    xyz,

    fair enough

  97. Ismaeel — on 28th May, 2006 at 10:01 pm  

    Katy

    i think on the whole it’s been fairly civil from the actual religious here, it’s the non-religious who are generally being quite rude.

  98. Sunny — on 28th May, 2006 at 10:12 pm  

    but shouldn’t it be possible to discuss these issues without descending into arguing over whose religion is better?

    Katy, I doubt it, when the lives of certain people is based around popularising their religion.

    Ismaeel – what’s your day job, out of interest? Or is planning to force the world into a declaration of ‘global civility’ a full-time (and clearly thankless) task?
    btw, you also said:As a Muslim i regard the Qur’aan with much reverance and it usually remains on the highest shelf in my room when it is not being read.

    That’s idolatory pal. What is important is the words inside the book, not those pieces of paper. Treating a piece of paper with respect is like treating a statue of Lord Ram with respect.

    Amir – need for a ladder thanks :)
    But to compare these lunatic asylums to Melanie Phillips and Scott Burgess is so off-the-mark it beggars belief.

    A bit of a jump surely to assume that because I link to Jamal, and he links to MPAC, that I supprt FGM etc? If you show me MPAC supporting all those above mentioned practices, go for it. I await with interest.
    On Qaradawi – much as I also think he’s a jumped-up twat, I’ve never seen IO support all those. Again, by all means let’s see the evidence.

    But that doesn’t mean the reference to the other two is untenuous. MP and SB are happy to justify the American govt’s bombings in Iraq, happy to justify Gitmo, happy to talk about bombing Iran, happy to deny climate change and the rest of destruction that comes with it, happy to demonise millions of Arabs and Muslims etc etc etc.

    Not the same as justifying FGM and killing homosexuals clearly, but that isn’t to say that the deaths of a whole diff bunch of people is not being justified.

    Anyway, I’ve just finished watching the latest episode of Lost. That shit is getting interesting!

  99. Sunny — on 28th May, 2006 at 10:13 pm  

    it’s the non-religious who are generally being quite rude.

    poor baby Ismaeel…. :( awww…

  100. Ismaeel — on 28th May, 2006 at 10:19 pm  

    Sunny

    “Ismaeel – what’s your day job, out of interest? Or is planning to force the world into a declaration of ‘global civility’ a full-time (and clearly thankless) task?
    btw, you also said:As a Muslim i regard the Qur’aan with much reverance and it usually remains on the highest shelf in my room when it is not being read.

    That’s idolatory pal. What is important is the words inside the book, not those pieces of paper. Treating a piece of paper with respect is like treating a statue of Lord Ram with respect.”

    Of course it’s the words inside the book which are important that’s why i’m not going to let them be disrespected. It’s not idolatry anymore than if i kiss my Shaykh’s hand or stand up for him out of respect.

    What is my day job? Not that it’s any of your buisness or of any relevance i’m a secondry school teacher teaching GCSE RE and History amongst other things. So much for Amir’s theory about me despising people being taught secular history.

  101. Ismaeel — on 28th May, 2006 at 10:21 pm  

    Sunny,
    thanks for reinforcing my point.

  102. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 28th May, 2006 at 10:26 pm  

    it’s the non-religious who are generally being quite rude.

    err … fuck you?

    Picture of “he who must not be drawn” coming up …

    :)

    As you can see, he’s a good mood, as it’s a bank holiday.

  103. Ismaeel — on 28th May, 2006 at 10:29 pm  

    TFI

    not content with your ravings over on the march for free expression and various graffiti on mine, you have now stalked me here…gimme strength

  104. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 28th May, 2006 at 10:29 pm  

    So much for Amir’s theory about me despising people being taught secular history.

    Surely that depends on what you teach in those lessons.

    Do the kids laugh at your beard?

  105. Ismaeel — on 28th May, 2006 at 10:32 pm  

    TFI,

    i look after my beard and it looks very nice, my students are all Muslims as well.

  106. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 28th May, 2006 at 10:35 pm  

    LOL, I’ve been reading this blog for a long time Izzy, its one of my favourites. It gives a balanced view point, lots of intelligent debate, some religious weirdness but well argued and described for us non-religious types.

    I’m glad to note that everyone here sees you for the war mongering supremacist absolutist fundamentalist Islamic nut job that you truly are.

    BTW I noted on another thread that you claimed that you knew what happened to the “MFE lot” while giving an evil cackle and stoking your beard / cat / ego.

    What did you say to Peter that made him go quiet?

    Oh, and you never thanked me for giving you the last word.

  107. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 28th May, 2006 at 10:37 pm  

    look after my beard and it looks very nice, my students are all Muslims as well.

    So you are teaching them all about secular history?

  108. Ismaeel — on 28th May, 2006 at 10:39 pm  

    TFI,

    i gave you the last word if you remember, are you drunk or something.

    I didn’t say anything to Peter to make him go quiet, when i spoke to him in Oxford he seemed to have his own reservations about the MFE blog. Also he is a big chap and would hardly have been intimidated by the likes of me and Maulana Arif

  109. Ismaeel — on 28th May, 2006 at 10:40 pm  

    “I’m glad to note that everyone here sees you for the war mongering supremacist absolutist fundamentalist Islamic nut job that you truly are.”

    No i think that would only be you and Amir and perhaps Sunny’s distorted perceptions.

  110. Ismaeel — on 28th May, 2006 at 10:42 pm  

    So you are teaching them all about secular history?

    Yes, GCSE boards tend to examine on secular not religious history

  111. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 28th May, 2006 at 10:44 pm  

    BTW I’ve posted here several times, but under different pseudonyms, I just thought that if I used this one you might be pleased to see me.

    You’ll be pleased to hear that I’ve got all concerned about the water shortage and bought one of those “water savers” for the toilet.

    I named it Ismeaal.

  112. Ismaeel — on 28th May, 2006 at 10:46 pm  

    TFI

    you are so so so sad.

  113. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 28th May, 2006 at 10:47 pm  

    No i think that would only be you and Amir and perhaps Sunny’s distorted perceptions.

    Yep, just those people that have taken the time to listen to your arguments and assemble a holistic understanding of your view points have come to that conclusion. Whereas those that haven’t bothered scratching the surface just think you’re a prat.

    Gosh, we non-religious types are SO RUDE.

  114. Amir — on 28th May, 2006 at 10:49 pm  

    Ismaeel

    Challenge accepted

    [The Principles of the Proclamation of Global Civility…cough, cough]

    Tenet (1): We recognise that individual and collective human dignity is a fundamental right and that the desecration of such through insult, denigration or humiliation is morally and ethically wrong.

    To summarise this axiom in one sentence: any human being that behaves obnoxiously (swearing, jeering, ad homonym insults, provocative cartoons, obscene humour, etc.) – regardless of context – is being immoral (and, I presume, unlawful). In any case, what’s the difference between individual and collective dignity? What if, for example, your ‘collective dignity’ (the absolutist tenets of the MAC) conflicted with my sense of individual dignity, that is to say, I found your ideas morally repulsive, inconsistent, draconian and anathema to my way of life. Is it fair to say, given my unerring opposition, that your collective identity has breached the Proclamation of Global Civility? Am I allowed/entitled/obligated, therefore, to censure you and your blog if I found it ‘offensive’ and ‘denigrating’? How would we legislate this? A Saudi-esque, Iranian-esque ‘Morality Police’ to keep people in check and up to ‘civil standards’? [Moreover, hasn’t it occurred to you that the militant atheist is routinely ‘offended’ by what he/she perceives to be the irrational and ahistorical psychology of religious belief. Is he/she protected under the Proclamation?]

    Tenet (2): Passionate emotions must be harnessed and channelled through good manners and etiquette to civilise any debate in our diverse society.

    It would appear that the signatories of the Proclamation are Vulcans from the Planet Vulcan or half-robotic Borg from the conformist ‘Collective’. Basically, this axiom stipulates that it is desirable to eradicate emotion from the human psyche, public discourse, and our democratic culture. Is this a desirable goal? Achievable? Or even enforceable? But, more frighteningly, what if it were enforceable? How bone-chillingly horrid (lobotomies, emotion arrests, soma pills, etc.) Do you realise, Ismaeel, that some of our most intimately-held beliefs are acquired through a non-cognitivist process (i.e. through emotions)?
    [Deliciously and paradoxically, isn’t is true that the emotion called ‘offence’ – the crux of this Proclamation– is itself a strong and pervasive emotion? Yet according to tenet 2, it would be possible to arrest an angry, offended individual on account that he/she did not sublimate (you say ‘channelled’) the offended emotion through ‘good manners’ and ‘etiquette’ (or what Isa/Jesus called turning the other cheek).]

    Tenet (3): Reckless and malicious expressions leads to vilification and demonisation of each other and our communities.

    How do you define ‘reckless’ or ‘malicious’? And in any case, don’t you know that it is a good thing to have ‘recklessness’ and ‘vilification’ at the behest of public opprobrium? The great John Stuart Mill, for example, said that silencing an opinion “robs the human race”, because “if the opinion is right, we are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, we lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.” False opinions – even grossly false ones, like Holocaust denial or creationism – have a valuable function, because “he who only knows his own side of the case know little of that.”

    Tenet (4): Our interdependency is the rule and not the exception. It is essential for us to have a sincere insight of each other that should lead to sustainable civility resulting in harmonious existence.

    This sounds all nice and utopian and politically-correct, but it actually has a sinister underbelly. Ismaeel is here displaying what the philosopher Leszek Kolakowski has identified as the inherent totalitarianism of Marxism: the dream of a total unity, in which such particularist characteristics as nationhood are assumed to be evidence of ‘false consciousness’. Kolakowski’s argument, in a nutshell, is that it is not possible to have more freedom, more equality and more justice if at the same time one aims at a unified human society.

    Amir

  115. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 28th May, 2006 at 10:50 pm  

    you are so so so sad.

    Come’on Izzy, get creative you’ve used that one on Amir once in this thread already. Are you one of those “valley girls”? do you say “like” a lot?

  116. Ismaeel — on 28th May, 2006 at 10:50 pm  

    TFI,

    whatever you like, really, whatever makes u happy

  117. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 28th May, 2006 at 10:58 pm  

    whatever you like, really, whatever makes u happy

    Seeing as you brought it up, in no particalar order: Bacon sandwiches, Beer and Pictures of naked women. They all remind me of the great creator him/herself. Especially naked women, God! he knew he doing.

    BTW Amir, good reasoned attack but that won’t stop the Izzy-iator.

  118. Ismaeel — on 28th May, 2006 at 11:04 pm  

    Amir,

    “Ismaeel

    Challenge accepted

    [The Principles of the Proclamation of Global Civility…cough, cough]

    Tenet (1): We recognise that individual and collective human dignity is a fundamental right and that the desecration of such through insult, denigration or humiliation is morally and ethically wrong.

    To summarise this axiom in one sentence: any human being that behaves obnoxiously (swearing, jeering, ad homonym insults, provocative cartoons, obscene humour, etc.) – regardless of context – is being immoral (and, I presume, unlawful).”
    *Yes he is being immoral and no, not therefore acting illegally, as we have made clear in all our discussions on this topic, that we’d like people to sign up to the proclamation as a voluntary self-regulating set of guidelines.

    ” In any case, what’s the difference between individual and collective dignity?
    * The dignity of groups as well as individuals, i thought that would be quite clear.

    “What if, for example, your ‘collective dignity’ (the absolutist tenets of the MAC)
    * You have yet to prove that they are absolutist

    conflicted with my sense of individual dignity, that is to say, I found your ideas morally repulsive, inconsistent, draconian and anathema to my way of life. Is it fair to say, given my unerring opposition, that your collective identity has breached the Proclamation of Global Civility? Am I allowed/entitled/obligated, therefore, to censure you and your blog if I found it ‘offensive’ and ‘denigrating’? How would we legislate this? A Saudi-esque, Iranian-esque ‘Morality Police’ to keep people in check and up to ‘civil standards’? [Moreover, hasn’t it occurred to you that the militant atheist is routinely ‘offended’ by what he/she perceives to be the irrational and ahistorical psychology of religious belief. Is he/she protected under the Proclamation?]
    * We didn’t mention being offensive, you have introduced this word, we specifically used the word insult which has a much more specific meaning as different opinions are always going to be offensive though not deliberatly insulting.

    Tenet (2): Passionate emotions must be harnessed and channelled through good manners and etiquette to civilise any debate in our diverse society.

    It would appear that the signatories of the Proclamation are Vulcans from the Planet Vulcan or half-robotic Borg from the conformist ‘Collective’.
    Basically, this axiom stipulates that it is desirable to eradicate emotion from the human psyche, public discourse, and our democratic culture. Is this a desirable goal? Achievable? Or even enforceable? But, more frighteningly, what if it were enforceable? How bone-chillingly horrid (lobotomies, emotion arrests, soma pills, etc.) Do you realise, Ismaeel, that some of our most intimately-held beliefs are acquired through a non-cognitivist process (i.e. through emotions)?
    [Deliciously and paradoxically, isn’t is true that the emotion called ‘offence’ – the crux of this Proclamation– is itself a strong and pervasive emotion? Yet according to tenet 2, it would be possible to arrest an angry, offended individual on account that he/she did not sublimate (you say ‘channelled’) the offended emotion through ‘good manners’ and ‘etiquette’ (or what Isa/Jesus called turning the other cheek).]

    * Again you seem to quote words then change their meanings, channeling emotions are not the same as eliminating them, in fact it is quite different indeed and again we didn’t use the word offense.

    Tenet (3): Reckless and malicious expressions leads to vilification and demonisation of each other and our communities.

    How do you define ‘reckless’ or ‘malicious’? And in any case, don’t you know that it is a good thing to have ‘recklessness’ and ‘vilification’ at the behest of public opprobrium?

    The great John Stuart Mill, for example, said that silencing an opinion “robs the human race”, because “if the opinion is right, we are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, we lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.” False opinions – even grossly false ones, like Holocaust denial or creationism – have a valuable function, because “he who only knows his own side of the case know little of that.”

    **No being reckless, malicious and villifying individuals and communities does not benefit anyone and is very different from silencing an opinion which is based on a logical, coherent argument backed up with evidence expressed in a civil manner.

    Tenet (4): Our interdependency is the rule and not the exception. It is essential for us to have a sincere insight of each other that should lead to sustainable civility resulting in harmonious existence.

    This sounds all nice and utopian and politically-correct, but it actually has a sinister underbelly. Ismaeel is here displaying what the philosopher Leszek Kolakowski has identified as the inherent totalitarianism of Marxism: the dream of a total unity, in which such particularist characteristics as nationhood are assumed to be evidence of ‘false consciousness’. Kolakowski’s argument, in a nutshell, is that it is not possible to have more freedom, more equality and more justice if at the same time one aims at a unified human society.

    * No Ismaeel is not a) because he did not write the proclamation and b) because it has nothing to do with Marxism or Kolakowski but on the understanding that we live in one rapidly shrinking world where we depend on each other’s resources and co-operation. This doesnt require everyone to believe in the same things or share the same views, but to express their disagreements civily.

    Amir, all you are doing is proving my earlier point that you are out to “prove” that MAC are mad fanatical supremicists seeking to control everyone’s thoughts and speech without even the vaguest scrap of evidence. Your wild interpretations of the proclamation only serve to validate my view.

  119. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 28th May, 2006 at 11:10 pm  

    Amir, all you are doing is proving my earlier point that you are out to “prove” that MAC are mad fanatical supremicists seeking to control everyone’s thoughts and speech without even the vaguest scrap of evidence. Your wild interpretations of the proclamation only serve to validate my view.

    Why don’t you prove it the other way and support freedom of expression “I may disagree with what you say, but will fight for your right to say it” etc?

  120. Ismaeel — on 28th May, 2006 at 11:15 pm  

    TFI
    “Why don’t you prove it the other way and support freedom of expression “I may disagree with what you say, but will fight for your right to say it” ”

    I do with the caveat that you do it civily.

  121. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 28th May, 2006 at 11:15 pm  

    This doesnt require everyone to believe in the same things or share the same views, but to express their disagreements civily.

    Perphaps you ought be more clear on how you see this working:

    (a) who decides if someone has been “uncivil”?
    (b) what is done with those that are “uncivil”?

    Would you borrow a few lessons from Saudi? or Iran? Perphaps a light stoning? A few lashes of the whip? A strong ticking off? 10 hail Mary’s? 10 hours of enforced James Blunt? How does the MAC see this system put into operation?

  122. Ismaeel — on 28th May, 2006 at 11:17 pm  

    TFI

    yawn.

    As i have made clear on so many occasions to you and so many others we want people to adopt these principles on a VOLUNTARY AND SELF-REGULATING BASIS

  123. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 28th May, 2006 at 11:19 pm  

    BUT DON’T WE ALREADY IZZY?

    Isn’t that exactly how the world already works?

  124. Ismaeel — on 28th May, 2006 at 11:23 pm  

    TFI,

    recent events have shown how people are rapidly moving away from civility and instead taking entrenched polemical opinions and just hurling abuse at each other. This is true of people from all backgrounds.

    The idea of the Proclamation was to encourage people back to that sense of civility after the cartoon crisis. The deliberate and malicious misrepresntation of the proclamation by so many because they stereotyped any actions by Ulema as necessarily supremicist and intolerant, has merely reinforced in my mind the need for the proclamation to be adopted by people.

  125. jamal — on 28th May, 2006 at 11:28 pm  

    “Jamal (and you can check for yourselves) has hyperlinks to the anti-Semitic MPACUK and the Muslim Association of Britain [MAC], an auxiliary of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Horrifyingly, he even endorses the Web Site(IslamOnline.net) of anti-Semitic, pro-female-circumcision, pro-gay-stoning, pro-suicide-terrorism Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi.”

    Amir, this is how you show your bias. I also have links to christian, jewish and anti-islamic blog sites.

    Nevertheless, the time you have spent checking out investigating my links is a bit suspicious. If thers any crime in your area, I hear the police are always looking for informants.

  126. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 28th May, 2006 at 11:35 pm  

    Nevertheless, the time you have spent checking out investigating my links is a bit suspicious. If thers any crime in your area, I hear the police are always looking for informants.

    Wow, that’s terrible. Helping the police solve a crime. I couldn’t think of a worse slur!

    Hey Amir, I hope that you disabuse the police and lie to the authorities. That would be better than helping them.

  127. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 28th May, 2006 at 11:43 pm  

    So Izzy your agruement is: “Gee, wouldn’t it be great if we all just got on?”. That I’m fine with.

    But say another newspaper published a story that satirized Islam or Mohammed, say took the mickey out of the number of virgins or something, or that Mohammed was a war monger, a pedo or something, when this was AFTER they signed your declaration. What would you recommend if your suggested self regulation failed?

    Would you give up? Would you look to find someway to enforce a punishment on them? Would you demand an apology?

    How much of this is your religious duty to defend “the” prophet and how much is you looking to make the world a better place?

  128. Amir — on 28th May, 2006 at 11:43 pm  

    Ismaeel,

    Are you living on another planet? Have you any idea how the cartoon crisis became a ‘crisis’ in the first place? By ‘people’, I take it you’re referring to the 11,000 Danes who are expected to lose their jobs as a result of an ethnic boycott? By ‘people’, do you refer to Scandinavians who have been abducted and violently attacked in Gaza, the West Bank, Libya, and Iraq? By ‘people’, do you include our clambaked embassies, offices, churches and businesses? Or maybe you are referring to the editors at Jyllands-Posten – or intellectuals like Irshad Manji, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and Salman Rushdie – who have had to wear bullet-proof vests? Ask yourself this, Ismaeel: how ‘civilly’ do you think ethnic minorities are treated in Moslem countries compared to non-Moslem countries? But alas, it is ‘we’ who have to worry about ‘our’ civility, isn’t it?

    Theologically, what you don’t cite or talk about is how Prophet Muhammad (Pbh) in his teachings urged his followers to respect the laws and traditions and customs of the lands they chose to live in freely. And yet, what we have seen vis-à-vis Denmark is a gross violation of the Koran’s precepts on civic responsibility. It was those arrogant Danish mullahs who patiently hawked these cartoons around the world until they finally provoked a malicious response against their host country. For good measure, they included two cartoons that had never been published in Denmark or anywhere else. One of them showed the Prophet Muhammad as a pig, and the other showed the Prophet Muhammad engaging in anal sex with a dog. The hypocrisy here is shameful, nauseating, and unpardonable.

    Amir

  129. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 28th May, 2006 at 11:46 pm  

    The hypocrisy here is shameful, nauseating, and unpardonable.

    /

    ONLY THE WEST IS CAPABLE OF HYPOCRISY!!!

    /

  130. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 28th May, 2006 at 11:46 pm  

    Damn the silly hyper text eating my post …

  131. John Browne — on 28th May, 2006 at 11:57 pm  

    ..Just to clarify, you are looking at the tollerance of society I was looking at the tollerance of a religion. I was at Mass tonight. When I was a kid the congregation was mainly made up of Irish, Italians and Poles. Now its about 15% chinese, 15% South American, 15% Filipino, 5% Indian, 5% pakistani, 5% Afro-Carribean. The Change has occurred very recently, in my own short life time.

    ..Just to clarify, racism was connected to 1066 as the main claiment to the throne was a Viking and the seconary claiment was French. The ordinary soldier went with the saxon Harold who easily had the worse claim. They stuck together against outsiders – to heroic lengths.

    ….just to clarify on circumcision,

    The Qu’ran does not mention it at all – so why do it?

    Moses, the founder of Judiasism, circumcised no one (its written in black and white):
    Joshua Ch5 v5 “ALL the people born in the 40 odd years in the desert had not been circumcised” (thats from the beginning of Moses to his death).

    It makes you laugh, Christian denominations agonise over the rights or wrongs of sprinkling water on kids (Baptism) or should you wait until they are 18. Cutting skin of a kid is a whole different ball game.

    John

  132. jamal — on 29th May, 2006 at 12:33 am  

    “Theologically, what you don’t cite or talk about is how Prophet Muhammad (Pbh) in his teachings urged his followers to respect the laws and traditions and customs of the lands they chose to live in freely.”

    The prophet also said to condemn what is bad!!

    Since you find the acts of Danish Imams nauseating as do i, why not also attribute this to Jyllands-Posten also?

    The word ‘biased’ comes to mind.

  133. Amir — on 29th May, 2006 at 1:32 am  

    Jamal
    There was already an opprobrium against the Jyllands-Posten when it had initially published the Muhammad cartoons. Danish Moslems were given sufficient page-space to voice their protests about the desecration of the Prophet. In fact, the ‘Mo Toons’ were so uncontroversial at this point that the Egyptian newspaper El-Fagr re-printed every cartoon during the holiest month: Ramadan. No protests. No ‘spontaneous’ violence. No genuflections from the Arab League. Surprising that, eh?

    Be that as it may, if you believe that violence is a ‘just’ response to free speech and expression (no matter how hurtful or offensive), then you have a very warped sense of morality. Regrettably, the Islamophobic petulance of the Jyllands-Posten was rightly trumped by the vortex of violence and hatred and gangsterism that took root in early February.

    Amir

  134. Amir — on 29th May, 2006 at 2:01 am  

    By ‘trumped’, I mean it in terms of media attention.

  135. Don — on 29th May, 2006 at 3:00 am  

    Ismaeel,

    Civility is a wonderful thing and I’m all in favour of it. Take a look around, you’ll find it everywhere. Most of us didn’t need that rather patronising proposal, particularly since the real problem here is a growing religious conviction that butchering fellow citizens on the street is a legitimate form of debate. Or at least threatening same.

    These adherents (and they cover the teritory, but with Islam a strong front runner) are not signing up for your charter; they are in another place. Civility? They’ve moved on.

    But the rest of us should examine our discourse, lest it offend? Well, thanks for the thought, but I can define my own principles. And if I think it appropriate to offend, I’ll do so.

    So to whom is this charter relevant?

  136. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 29th May, 2006 at 5:56 am  

    the real problem here a growing religious conviction that butchering fellow citizens on the street is a legitimate form of debate. Or at least threatening same.

    Here, here.

    Step 1 Prophet is offended.
    Step 2 Izzy’s personal version of Islam requires that the insulters are punished and the offenders never do it again.
    Step 3 Freedom of speech is identified as in defendence of step 1.
    Step 4 Attack Freedom of speech by disallow it to cover “insulting” behavour
    Step 5 Get moment of ludicity, broaden scope of 4
    Step 6
    Step 5

  137. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 29th May, 2006 at 6:02 am  

    What? stupid computer not letting me finish the post.

    Step 6 Attack any defence of free speech.

    Basically, Izzy believes in the right for you to say what you like about anything, accept for when he perceives his prophet to have been insulted. When that happens you ought expect death threats, violence, persecution etc.

    After all, its only fair that for speaking your mind you must wear a bullet proof vest and live under police protection for the rest of your live.

  138. Ismaeel — on 29th May, 2006 at 8:43 am  

    Again a whole new bunch of ludicrous comments not based on anything i have said.

    Nowhere have i advocated violence and nowhere did i say that the Proclamation is not equally applicable to EVERYONE- it after all being a GLOBAL proclamation, therefore we are encouraging EVERYONE: Christian, Muslim, Jew, Hindu, Agnostic, Liberal whatever to sign up to it.
    Certain people have expressed we already are sufficiently civil in the west, i disagree, there is a move towards greater and greater incivility in the west.

  139. Ismaeel — on 29th May, 2006 at 8:48 am  

    Oh and Amir, i have mentioned several times on this blog and elsewhere that Muslims must follow the laws of their country of residence, but does that mean they are not allowed to protest or hold dissident opinion to their governments, no of course it doesn’t. According to your logic Muslims are owed less rights than normal citizens.

    You are right originally the cartoons didn’t cause mass demonstrations because the arab world preferred to boycott in a peaceful way, it wasn’t until 12 newspapers across europe republished the cartoons on the SAME day that we saw mass demonstrations to calculated and deliberate provocation and abuse of the image of our beloved Prophet (PBUH).

    Oh and TFI,
    defending the honor of the Prophet (PBUH) and making the world a better place go hand in hand for any Muslim, because all the teachings that can make this world a better place find their origin in him (PBUH).

  140. John Browne — on 29th May, 2006 at 10:29 am  

    Ismaeel,
    The other side of the coin is that traditionally Christianity has been in semi-continuous war with Islamic nations and other foreign religions. the Teutonic Knights and Knights Templers had to make a last stand fight outside Warsaw to stop Gengis Khan’s grandson from taking over the whole world in one super state. All the Christian knights were killed. Luckly Khan died too.
    From the South East we have invasions via Turkey that were only stopped at Vienna. From the South West we’ve had invasions by Moors into Spain.
    846AD some Muslim Arabs arrived in a fleet at the mouth of the Tiber, made their way to Rome, sacked the city, and carried away from the basilica of St. Peter all of the gold and silver it contained.
    You tell me, in this “golden age” of Islam (800s) was that a nice thing to do to your neighbours most holy church?

    John

  141. Ismaeel — on 29th May, 2006 at 10:42 am  

    John,

    Muslims are forbidden from attacking or ransacking churches.

  142. Roger — on 29th May, 2006 at 11:48 am  

    “if people worship many gods they are polytheists, if they worship idols, they are idol-worshipers, many Hindus do both. Nowhere have i said that all Hindus are polytheists or idol-worshippers.”
    No, Ismaeel, you said: ” a Muslim can’t say that Hindus who perform Idol worship are idol worshippers or polytheists, which in arabic is the same thing: ”
    I pointed out that you use English and you can differentiate between them in english. In fact they are not the same thing in any language: it is merely that Arabic uses the same word for two different things and it seems makes some people unable to distinguish between them.

    “No-one said i didn’t have to follow the law of this country, what i objected to your condescending statement that i and others chose to live in this country, we did not, we were born here and it is our home of birth.”
    And? You can choose to live here or elsewhere if you would prefer to. You obey the law; others of your co-religionists- for equally quranic reasons- do not feel obliged to obey the laws of this country. You are entitled to want to change the laws of this country that you consider wrong. In all honesty, however, you should also make it plain that you want to change the whole basis on which the laws of this country are made. Your obedience to laws you disagree with is difference in kind, not in degree, to the obedience of others.

    “My definition of civility can be found in the proclamation of global civility on http://www.globalcivility.com
    I’m afraid it seems to me a fine collection of truisms, cliches and nonsequiturs.

    “i also note that you have not defined what amounts to a Muslim being rightly labelled a fanatic, extremeist or fundamentalist or islamist for that reason.”
    It is a variable line and they are different qualities. All believing muslims- like all believers- have greater or lesser amounts of these qualities. These definitions are approximate: A fanatic is someone who is absolutely certain of the truth of their belief. A fundamentalist is someone who relies entirely on the quran and- where necessary- the hadith as the whole basis of truth. An islamist is someone who thinks that the whole basis of government and law should be derived from the quran and hadith and the alleged past example of muslim rulers.

  143. Jai — on 29th May, 2006 at 11:54 am  

    Taking this back to the main topic……

    Ismaeel has actually very accurately summarised the key points with regards to treating holy books with reverence in his posts #90 and 101. Not handling the books too “lightly” helps to engender respect in the reader for their contents. It’s just a matter of self-discipline, along with basic decorum as per the religion concerned. If you don’t have sufficient respect for the holy book to adhere to this (and one would not necessarily expect members of other faiths/atheists to have the same level of reverence for it), not even as a courtesy to any members of that religion who are in the vicinity, then don’t acquire the holy book and don’t go near it elsewhere. It’s as simple as that. (This particularly applies to the books in their original untranslated form).

    There is a difference between treating something as sacred and treating it as an idol.

    When Sikhs bow to the SGGS — what is termed the “Matha Tek” — they are not actually bowing to the physical book itself, but are showing deference to the contents of the book. The writings are regarded as sacred and, in a manner of speaking, a manifestation of God; not in the “idol” sense, but in the sense that the meaning (and the source) of the words renders them divine in their essence.

    In treating the SGGS this way, Sikhs are only following the precendents and instructions of the Sikh Gurus, who themselves physically deferred to the scriptures during their own lifetimes.

    Sunny, for one reason or another you may not agree with this etiquette, but this is an integral part of the faith and something Guru Gobind Singh himself adhered to, especially when he formally declared the SGGS to be his eternal successor shortly before he died. Meddling in the practices of other religions without having a hell of a good reason to do so is potentially a very counterproductive step to take. You can state your case and make your objections known, and hopefully let the people concerned make up their own minds, but attempting to actively interfere in such matters is an unwise and possibly misguided course of action.

    Of course, for their part the Sikhs concerned should ideally discuss the issue with the Ek Niwas centre and politely explain matters — rather than attempting anything by force — as correctly suggested by Robert previously on this thread in post #14.

  144. Roger — on 29th May, 2006 at 12:30 pm  

    “Muslims are forbidden from attacking or ransacking churches. ”
    But not from turning them into mosques.

  145. inders — on 29th May, 2006 at 12:43 pm  

    on a unrelated but relevent note, during teh times of the gurus, how many people were literate in the Punjab ?

  146. John Browne — on 29th May, 2006 at 12:46 pm  

    Ismaeel,
    I think it has become common practice.

    If you want to be concidered a Holy Man or a Good Man
    or indeed a Liberal Man TO OTHER RELIGIONS or to ATHIESTS, you have have something ON YOUR WEB SITE (preferably on the Front Page)
    saying (words to this affect – aka Pope John Paul 2):

    “I ask forgiveness for the crimes committed by Catholics against: Jews, the Crusades, against the Orthodox Church, against PRotestants etc etc.”

    Liberalism starts of from the premise that YOU HAVE BEEN WRONG and you are OPEN.

    I would like to see more muslim web sites APOLOGISING for the WRONG that they have done in the past to other religions and to women etc etc. Perhaps then I will listen to something they have to say.

    John

  147. Sunny — on 29th May, 2006 at 2:07 pm  

    nowhere did i say that the Proclamation is not equally applicable to EVERYONE- it after all being a GLOBAL proclamation,

    Then Ismaeel, you should try and get your friends from Hizb ut Tahrir, who are apparently your signatories, to be a bit more civil too. First they have material asking Jews to be killed on their website, and then they sign a document asking others to be civil. Forgive if I find that slightly hard to swallow. That you’ve allied yourself with HuT is one of the main reasons for no one to take you seriously.

    Jai – a person can treat their own copy of the SGGS how they want to. I’m not fussed. If they want to worship idols, that’s up to them. I’ve had the same discussion with my bro and I still maintain that if you’re not treating a stone statue and a book any differently then they’re both idols.

    But apart from that, the actions of these ‘rescue squad’ twats is not very different to those in Kashmir/Pakistan etc who go on a murdering rampage when a rumour spreads that someone has descerated the Qu’ran. Previously they’ve come to blows with people and I believe someone recently got killed around the issue too, in west London.

  148. Ismaeel — on 29th May, 2006 at 4:54 pm  

    Liberalism starts of from the premise that YOU HAVE BEEN WRONG and you are OPEN.

    * Does it really, where do you get that idea from, i studied liberalism and it’s major thinkers for a year as part of my degree course and never came across that premise.

    I would like to see more muslim web sites APOLOGISING for the WRONG that they have done in the past to other religions and to women etc etc. Perhaps then I will listen to something they have to say.

    *The Pope was apologising on behalf of his position as head of the Catholic Church and all those who held that position before him. The individual or collective wrongs of Muslims around the world are not for me or any other Muslim to apologise for. I don’t believe in apologising for things i havent done and things that have been done in the name of my religion but have contravened our religious laws. Sorry but all this apologising for past wrongs done by other people who have little connection with me except we share a faith or race doesn’t cut any ice with me.

    Sunny, as an aside where do HT incite people to kill Jews?

  149. xyz — on 29th May, 2006 at 5:14 pm  

    [The Pope was apologising on behalf of his position as head of the Catholic Church and all those who held that position before him.]

    The last pope also didn’t really extend his apology to all those victimized by the Catholic Church. He pretty much restricted it to fellow Semites. So his “liberalism” had its limits.

  150. Sunny — on 29th May, 2006 at 5:25 pm  

    Ismaeel – see this discussion:
    http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/398

  151. Ismaeel — on 29th May, 2006 at 5:37 pm  

    Sunny,

    what the articles amount to as that at some point several years ago HT distributed anti-Jewish literature, they have since withdrawn this literature and no longer endorse it, is that not a sign that they have changed their views????
    I couldn’t see anywhere in the literature provided where it said to kill Jews indiscrinantly, it rather seemed to be calling on the Arab nations to go to war against Israel after they have first re-established a Caliphate.

  152. Roger — on 29th May, 2006 at 6:03 pm  

    “Liberalism starts of from the premise that YOU HAVE BEEN WRONG and you are OPEN.”
    Where did you get that idea from?
    Liberalism begins with the idea that you cannot be certain of anything. Contemporary liberal phiosophies begin with Popper’s idea that nothing can be proved, only disproved. Even if you have never been wrong up to now that does not mean you are not wrong now.

    “they have since withdrawn this [antijewish] literature and no longer endorse it, is that not a sign that they have changed their views????”
    Not necessarily. Does the fact that the BNP say they aren’t racist mean that they aren’t racist? In each case they may have very good tactical or strategic reasons for lying in public.

  153. Sunny — on 29th May, 2006 at 6:06 pm  

    Ismaeel, you seem to be trying to deliberately be disingenuous. I also linked to another news story (unfortunately now expired) reporting that a HuT member in Europe had been caught distributing literature against Jews and calling for European Muslims to ‘join the jihad’ in Iraq against the west. Who is going to take you seriously on civility when you’re in bed with a lying organisation that has no respect and does not even recognise even basic British insitutions, including the necessity of being British citizens and voting. According to them voting is haraam. You think I don’t know any HuT ‘brothers’ and feel they contempt they have for the west? Pull the other one.

    As Roger says above, all they do is keep changing their words like chameleons to make themselves presentable. Are you similarly so willing to believe the BNP’s Nick Griffin when he says he is not racist?

  154. Jai — on 29th May, 2006 at 6:08 pm  

    Sunny,

    =>”I still maintain that if you’re not treating a stone statue and a book any differently then they’re both idols.”

    Huge difference, my friend. Sikhs do not worship the SGGS or pray to it, and do not regard it as an “image” of God either.

    So in that sense, one is treating it very differently indeed to a stone statue if the latter is supposed to represent God. The SGGS does not represent God and is not treated as such.

  155. Jai — on 29th May, 2006 at 6:13 pm  

    PS: =>”the actions of these ‘rescue squad’ twats is not very different to those in Kashmir/Pakistan etc who go on a murdering rampage when a rumour spreads that someone has descerated the Qu’ran.”

    Please refer to Robert’s post# 14 and my own post #44.

  156. John Browne — on 29th May, 2006 at 6:19 pm  

    xyz,
    His liberalism also extended to giving the “Black Madona” picture back to the Russian Orthodox Church. Returning the remains of St John Chrysostom to Istanbul (after 800 years). I think his thinking was basically:

    “if they hate us for something, I’ll apologise and try to make some token amends”.

    IMHO, this is the right approach. We can’t undo the past (especially if its nothing to do with us personally), but we can make token gestures.

    I particularly liked the idea of having an ex-nazi as a pope, this gives two signals,
    1) its not pretending that nazism had nothing to do with religion, and
    2)its also giving a signal that even nazi’s can be redeemed. Its a nice redemption story, a bit like the Shawshank Redemption – there is always hope for us all, even Nazi’s.

    I write here because I am a reactionary against the dictatorship of the liberal elite. In a sense I’m a “new liberal” – a reactionary.

    John

  157. Roger — on 29th May, 2006 at 6:21 pm  

    Ah, yes, the wicked liberal dictatorship. You can’t claim you were only obeying orders because they don’t give you orders.

  158. xyz — on 29th May, 2006 at 6:42 pm  

    [IMHO, this is the right approach. We can’t undo the past (especially if its nothing to do with us personally), but we can make token gestures.]

    John, I was only pointing out that he was willing to make even token gestures to some but not to others.

  159. John Browne — on 29th May, 2006 at 6:45 pm  

    Roger,
    The power of the media. The liberal elite.

    “Friends” – the TV show – the thick one is catholic the college professor is Jewish. A joke or dig?

    The media made Blair and now they are making Cameron.
    So who really is in charge?

    Its noteworthy that the Big Three Media tycoons in the 1980s were all partically Israeli or Jewish (Murdoch – mother was an Othodox jew), Black married a jew and owned a good slice of Israeli media (making it impossible for the Daily Telegraph to be anti-Israeli for business reasons) and of course Maxwell. The Sun Mirror, Times and Telegraph.

    What is particularly scarey is that it was quite likely that Maxwell was an Isreali spy (see wikipedia). The Israeli atomic bomb spy seemed to be caught more by the british press then the Israeli secret service.

    John

  160. John Browne — on 29th May, 2006 at 6:47 pm  

    xyz,
    Perhaps Hindu’s were not so upset about the forced conversions of Goans. I’m sure if there was strong anti-catholic feeling in Goa then a pope will try to make amends. This also goes for forced conversions and killings of Aztecs.

    Orthodox Christians actually hate Catholics (STRONGLY).

    John

  161. Jai — on 29th May, 2006 at 7:13 pm  

    John Browne,

    =>”the thick one is catholic”

    Without wishing to go too far off-topic, the “thick one”, ie. Joey’s lack of intelligence is not depicted as having anything to do with his religious affiliation. In fact, his Catholic background is barely mentioned. He’s just shown as a “dim hunk”, not a “dim Catholic hunk”.

    With regards to the “Jewish college professor”, Ross is intelligent because he is from an affluent background and had an exemplary high school and university education where he presumably performed brilliantly in terms of academics. (However, his mother is consistently and conspicuously shown as regarding his sister Monica as not too bright). Chandler was also shown as extremely intelligent (albeit with certain neuroses) — in fact he was also depicted as being the most financially successful of all the characters — yet his religious beliefs were a total non-issue in the show.

    With all due respect, you may be reading too much into all this.

  162. xyz — on 29th May, 2006 at 7:27 pm  

    John,

    Actually I was thinking specifically of Goa and the Goa Inquisition when I wrote that. The last pope refused to apologize for it. It came up during his trip to India after he made controversial statements during his trip there. I’m not saying he had to make a token apology. He had every right not to, but considering his apologies for the Spanish Inquisition and to other Semites, that’s why I brought it up. To him, I guess, some people or some acts are more worthy of even a token apology. Others are less worthy of or deserving of even token, fake apologies.

    As for forced conversions, this pope (who has lovingly called Hinduism a “defective” faith that is “morally cruel” and offers “false hope” ) and the last one scream persecution anytime anyone tries to bring up the topic of forced conversions. I just think you’re giving the pope way too much credit when it comes to these apologies, which are basically hollow and made for expediency.

  163. Katy Newton — on 29th May, 2006 at 8:01 pm  

    John Browne

    How your nasty allegations about Jews are in any way relevant to the topic at hand is genuinely beyond me.

    “Its noteworthy that the Big Three Media tycoons in the 1980s were all partically Israeli or Jewish (Murdoch – mother was an Othodox jew), Black married a jew and owned a good slice of Israeli media (making it impossible for the Daily Telegraph to be anti-Israeli for business reasons) and of course Maxwell. The Sun Mirror, Times and Telegraph. What is particularly scarey…”

    … is that people like you still persist in trotting out these tired “Jews taking over the media” allegations. Your thinly disguised attempts to sell Christianity to we poor benighted heathens who read this blog are bad enough. Please try to refrain from out and out antisemitism.

  164. Ismaeel — on 29th May, 2006 at 8:02 pm  

    Sunny,
    The name Hizb-ut-Tahrir is used by a number of different parties around the world usually linked together by a common desire to restore Caliphate but little else. For example in Indonesia HT promote voting, whilst in this country there are two organisations that call themselves HT and the now deceased al-Muhajaroon was a splinter group from HT when Omar Bakri got kicked out.
    It’s almost like saying that Communists worldwide are the same etc.
    On that note the March for Free Expression had communists and homosexuals speaking at their demo yet no-one suggested they were all therefore communists and homosexuals.
    Similarly we had HT as part of our demo, we also had a wide range of Sunni and Shia groups and mosques represented. Your fixation on the inclusion of HT just highlights your obsessions, not the actual diverse make up of MAC and it’s narrow remit on the question of Global Civility.

  165. John Browne — on 29th May, 2006 at 8:16 pm  

    KatyLied,
    I do not think attacking someone elses faith or indeed their intelligences services can count as being anti-semitic especially since you could hardly call European jews semitic in a racial sense (many have blond hair and blue eyes).

    I actually SERIOUSLY do believe (nothing to do with race) that Maxwell was likely to have been an Israeli spy.
    Why?

    1) Nearly ALL countries use media types for intelligence purposes.
    2) ”
    Regardless of the controversy surrounding his death, Maxwell was given a funeral in Israel that would have befitted a head of state, as described by author Gordon Thomas:

    …On November 10, 1991, Maxwell’s funeral took place on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, the resting place for the nation’s most revered heroes. It had all the trappings of a state occasion, attended by the country’s government and opposition leaders. No fewer than six serving and former heads of the Israeli intelligence community listened as Prime Minister Shamir eulogized: “He has done more for Israel than can today be said” (Gideon’s Spies: The Secret History of the Mossad, St. Martin’s Press, 1999)[5]. ”

    3) ”
    A British MP asked a question about Hersh’s claims in the House of Commons, which meant that British newspapers were able to report what had been said without fear of being sued for libel. Maxwell called the claims “ludicrous, a total invention,” but he sacked Nick Davies, and just days later, was found dead[3].£

    4) ”
    Ben-Menashe also claimed that, in 1986, Maxwell had tipped off the Israeli Embassy in London that Mordechai Vanunu had given information about Israel’s nuclear capability to the Sunday Times, then to the Daily Mirror, (Vanunu was subsequently lured from London, where the Sunday Times had him in hiding, to Rome, whence he was kidnapped and returned to Israel, convicted of treason, and imprisoned for 18 years.)

    5) Mordechai became a Christian after all these goings on.

    Answer me this, would you be happy is 70% of all Jewish newspapers were owned by Catholics or Muslims (or hindus)?

    John

  166. Katy Newton — on 29th May, 2006 at 8:26 pm  

    KatyLied?

    What on earth does that mean?

  167. Sunny — on 29th May, 2006 at 8:33 pm  

    John – what is this ‘KatyLied’ rubbish? Can you not have a conversation without reducing yourself to lame playground names?

    I do not think attacking someone elses faith or indeed their intelligences services can count as being anti-semitic

    Well you might not, but we do. Blindly and stupidly attacking any faith or group here is not tolerated. No exceptions.

    And no, I don’t want this place to regurgitate the same old ‘Jews control the world’ rubbish. Take it somewhere else. Stick to the topic please.

    Ismaeel: HT when Omar Bakri got kicked out.
    It’s almost like saying that Communists worldwide are the same etc.

    Yes yes, I know HT’s history in this country, thanks.

    On that note the March for Free Expression had communists and homosexuals speaking at their demo yet no-one suggested they were all therefore communists and homosexuals.

    That is because the march wasn’t called the March for Communists and Homosexuals.

    However if someone called themselves part of Hizb ut-Tahrir one may legitimately expect their members to follow the vaguely same ideology. If you’re going to use analogies, try being more intelligent in the future.

    Your fixation on the inclusion of HT just highlights your obsessions
    What stupidity. So if I formed an alliance which included GW Bush or Daniel Pipes you think no one is going to pick that up to talk about which camp I lie in? Does your brain not work on bank holidays?

  168. Kismet Hardy — on 29th May, 2006 at 8:34 pm  

    All women lie.

    I remember once being told by a girl that she would go out on a date with me and to pick her up at 8 o’clock the next day but when I arrived with a big punch of flowers and romance in my hearts she didn’t live there anymore

  169. Katy Newton — on 29th May, 2006 at 8:35 pm  

    “Answer me this, would you be happy is 70% of all Jewish newspapers were owned by Catholics or Muslims (or hindus)?”

    I really don’t know what to say to that. I don’t care who runs Jewish newspapers. It wouldn’t bother me if non-Jewish people wrote for them and if a non-Jew decides he wants to run a Jewish interest newspaper then good luck to him. I’m more interested in why you feel that Jews shouldn’t run British papers. Why not? Do you not class Jews as British citizens?

  170. Kismet Hardy — on 29th May, 2006 at 8:44 pm  

    When Ethnic Media Group (then owned by a Bangladeshi man) bought Caribbean Times and New Nation, there was a huge uproar among the black staff, but it worked fine because the Bangladeshi owner in question gave them complete carte blanch because he figured he wasn’t qualified to comment on the content. Which did the papers little good, until they hired a Afro-caribbean (Michael Iboda) to be in charge and they found their direction again.

    The same thing happenned when George Galloway decided to run his own Asian paper (East – how come no one talks about that?) with the notable difference that no one gave a shit so it sank

    If there’s a point to the above tales, I’ll let you know if I find it

  171. Ismaeel — on 29th May, 2006 at 9:59 pm  

    Sunny,
    That is because the march wasn’t called the March for Communists and Homosexuals.

    *Er no and our demo wasn’t called the demonstration for HT’s political agenda either

    However if someone called themselves part of Hizb ut-Tahrir one may legitimately expect their members to follow the vaguely same ideology. If you’re going to use analogies, try being more intelligent in the future.

    *If someone called themselves Communists you’d expect them to follow vaguely the same ideology, seeing as they’re are many variations then i think both in Communism and HT worldwide as political banners then i think it was a fairly good analogy.

    Your fixation on the inclusion of HT just highlights your obsessions
    What stupidity. So if I formed an alliance which included GW Bush or Daniel Pipes you think no one is going to pick that up to talk about which camp I lie in? Does your brain not work on bank holidays?

    *Again back to my original point people in the march for free expression camp had communist and gay speakers, yet no-one suggested they lay in the Communist and Gay activist camps. Get a grip Sunny, how come you get all irrational whenever someone dares to challenge your narrow minded views. G W Bush is on the security council and in the G8 and various other mainstays of the international order, should all the other countries involved in those thus pull out because of his inclusion. Why are we being linked exclusivly to HT by you and not say Q-News or the IMO or Stop Political Terror or any number of other groups, Imams and Mosques we represent who hold views which run contrary to much or all of HT’s programme. However they agreed to come together on the basis of this one faith issue and issue this proclamation.

  172. Ismaeel — on 29th May, 2006 at 10:04 pm  

    Blindly and stupidly attacking any faith or group here is not tolerated.

    Unless it’s Sunny and the faith is Islam and the group happens to be any Muslims who don’t accept to be 100% assimilated into his “liberal progressive” worldview.

  173. Ismaeel — on 29th May, 2006 at 10:06 pm  

    or for that matter Sunny and any faith and groups belonging to it who don’t meet his “liberal progessive” criteria who he then just slags off and stereotypes.

  174. Kismet Hardy — on 29th May, 2006 at 10:13 pm  

    Are calling Sunny Shiite?

  175. Sunny — on 29th May, 2006 at 10:16 pm  

    Unless it’s Sunny and the faith is Islam and the group happens to be any Muslims

    Stop your whining Ismaeel, if I had anything against Muslims in general then we wouldn’t have more Muslims readers than you or Muslim contributors to the site. I hate bigots, whatever religion they belong to. And that includes the likes of HuT, who you keep making feeble excuses for.

    The MFE included communists, gays etc because they combined under a banner of free expression. If they did not believe in free expression, by definition they would not be there.

    Except you want us to believe that an organisation like Hizb ut Tahrir believes in ‘global civility’ when I know what those idiots are like in person, and have known their people for years. This is what is so farcical about you and your organisation. Anyway, enough of the time wasting. You’re not gonna get anywhere with the lame proclamation so why am I even wasting my time.

  176. Ismaeel — on 29th May, 2006 at 10:18 pm  

    Stop your whining Ismaeel, if I had anything against Muslims in general then we wouldn’t have more Muslims readers than you or Muslim contributors to the site.

    ooooohhhhhh

  177. Ismaeel — on 29th May, 2006 at 10:22 pm  

    The reality is Sunny just as i said, your contributors are exactly those Muslims who fit your liberal progressive criteria, there’s no real diversity of worldview from the contributors here. As for your Muslim readers, they are hardly all cheerleaders for you and your ideas are they? Except Amir and he is definitly a “liberal progressive”

  178. Kismet Hardy — on 29th May, 2006 at 10:24 pm  

    I’m a Sunny Muslim

    Boom boom

    (Ismaeel you know you’re cracking up at my fabulous sunni/ shi’ite wordplay)

  179. Ismaeel — on 29th May, 2006 at 10:27 pm  

    Kismet
    the best one i heard was a letter to the Guardian which said

    “I cannot believe the great british public cannot still distinguish between Sunni and Shiah, they made that one great single “I’ve got you babe” back in the sixties and then broke up”

    Also we used to have a Sunny car at university which we used to call the Sunni. Sad i know.

  180. Kismet Hardy — on 29th May, 2006 at 10:33 pm  

    Superb

  181. Sunny — on 29th May, 2006 at 11:11 pm  

    your contributors are exactly those Muslims who fit your liberal progressive criteria, there’s no real diversity of worldview from the contributors here.

    Well, why would I want a bunch of idiots or bigots writing for me?

  182. Ismaeel — on 29th May, 2006 at 11:27 pm  

    your contributors are exactly those Muslims who fit your liberal progressive criteria, there’s no real diversity of worldview from the contributors here.

    Well, why would I want a bunch of idiots or bigots writing for me?

    *Finally admitted it, anyone who doesn’t fit your worldview is an idiot or a bigot, well done Sunny keep digging.

    As for your earlier assertation that we should accept that Communists support freedom of speech, well u may have known a few HT activists over the last few years, but the world has known communism for the last century and we all know what happens to freedom of speech, especially religious freedom of speech when they come into power, a brief look at Marayam Namazie’s Iranian Communist party would do should they ever get the reins of power there proves they are no exception.
    So if HT have signed up to the proclamation then if u feel they have done something since then which has breached it’s principles next time you’re in a debate with them.

  183. Ismaeel — on 29th May, 2006 at 11:27 pm  

    Kismet,

    thought u’d appreciate it

  184. Sunny — on 29th May, 2006 at 11:36 pm  

    anyone who doesn’t fit your worldview is an idiot or a bigot,

    English, do you know it Ismaeel? I said I don’t want anyone bigoted writing for me. Doesn’t mean everyone else is like that.

  185. Ismaeel — on 29th May, 2006 at 11:38 pm  

    Sunny, i made a statement in english about people only writing on here who shared your viewpoint, you responded by quoting those words and saying well u didn’t want bigots or idiots writing for you. I think anyone can make the clear inference there if they can grasp the english language.

  186. John Browne — on 29th May, 2006 at 11:40 pm  

    Katy and Sunny,
    I must apologise for my typo. There is another user on the ADVFN web site (stocks and shares) who I speak to a lot.

    This user is called KatyLied (named after a Steely Dan Rock Album).

    Sorry, force of habit.

    The other thing about media bias and spies, I make no apology, there is bias and spies do exist. For example it is becoming clearer that the Wilson government actually did give atomic secrets and help to Israel.

    But I take your point – I have overstayed my welcome. I’ll not write here again. Thankyou for the platform and good luck with your board and ideas.

    God bless you all

    John

    John

  187. Sunny — on 30th May, 2006 at 12:02 am  

    For example it is becoming clearer that the Wilson government actually did give atomic secrets and help to Israel.

    Maybe, but that has nothing to do with going into conspiracy theory land where you end up demonising a race or a religious group. It happens far too often with everyone these days, and this platform is to spread the love, not spread the hatred.

    Ismaeel – I don’t think you get it. This is like a campaigning magazine/blog. The view here are diverse but progressive. People can oppose us in the comments but I’m under no obligation to let bigots write for me. That is slightly different to you, letting bigots like HuT join your compaign. Which is one of the reasons why I will not be supporting it. Fareena Alam and Q-News, yes. We frequently support her on here. HuT – no. And everyone knows why. End of story.

  188. Ismaeel — on 30th May, 2006 at 12:10 am  

    Yes and Q-News support us, in the full knowledge that HT were also involved, so where does that leave you Sunny old chap?

  189. Ismaeel — on 30th May, 2006 at 12:13 am  

    and the views here are not diverse, please you all stick to the same let’s apologise for everything to appease the liberal press line.

  190. Ismaeel — on 30th May, 2006 at 12:14 am  

    and this platform is to spread the love, not spread the hatred.

    you could have fooled me.

  191. Kismet Hardy — on 30th May, 2006 at 12:32 am  

    Let’s explain this through song, shall we?

    Liberal
    Soundtrack: Let it Be

    Hardcore religious
    Soundtrack: There’s Only One Way of Life (and That’s the One Written in this Book that my Dad Forced me to Accept When I Was Too Young to Know Better but Seems to Have Made me Bitter Now that I’m Older)

    Longer than a Meatloaf song title

  192. Don — on 30th May, 2006 at 12:35 am  

    Sunny, Ismaeel,

    A Venn diagram would be helpful at this point.

  193. Al-Hack — on 30th May, 2006 at 1:37 am  

    Ismaeel no one is forcing you to read this website are they? We appease only ourselves with the offers of money and free sex this website brings us (not) and have contempt for wannabe Kalim Siddiqui’s like yourself ‘old chap’.

  194. Amir — on 30th May, 2006 at 1:51 am  

    Ismaeel

    Except Amir and he is definitely a “liberal progressive”

    Now, this is one for the scrapbook. ‘Liberal’ is a total misnomer. I’m anti-abortion, pro-marriage, against multiculturalism and a loyal patriot; I’m pro-capitalist, pro-globalisation, anti-Communist, anti-immigration, and a vehement supporter of the minimal state. More controversially, I support the death penalty (insofar as there are strong independent juries and an unrestricted press), flogging in schools (today’s kids have no discipline), enforced castration for serial rapists, and long-term prison sentences for murderers and irresponsible drivers (Prince Naz, in my opinion, should have been jailed for at least five years). For me, a free society punishes lawbreakers harshly, but leaves the law-abiding alone as far as possible. If laws change, they should do so incrementally: tradition is all-important.

    I would urge, however, that the label ‘progressive’ remain. I support gay rights, animal welfare, environmentalism, organic food, stem-cell research, evolution taught at schools (no creationism), and an absolute conception of free speech and expression (including the right to insight violence). On social, cultural, and moral issues, I think the current attitudes to prostitution and narcotics are hypocritical, counter-productive, and implicitly totalitarian. Both, in my opinion, should be legalised (albeit in an incremental way – nothing too ‘brash’ or ‘radical’).

    Sunny, on the other hand, is an admirer of Ken Livingstone (and probably Tony Benn). New Labour is more electable because of its image, presentation and tactics. But it has never changed its objective. It wants a socialist, egalitarian Britain – but through cultural revolution, taxation, education and political correctness rather than through state control of industry. Nationalisation was actually abandoned by Labour in the late 1950s, when it switched to support comprehensive state schools as its main weapon. Today, New Labour’s arsenal now includes multiculturalism, devolution, and a laissez-faire approach to immigration. (That is why, for instance, Red Ken is so disrespectful towards Jewish Londoners – it will curry favour with new Moslem voters in Tower Hamlets and Bethnal Green & Bow. Divide-and-rule.)

    I have a soft spot for Sunny because he’s a vocal critic of community thugs and religious gangsters. That transcends the Left/Right divide between us.

    Amir

  195. Don — on 30th May, 2006 at 2:28 am  

    Amir,

    Agree with you on eight out of twelve specifics.

  196. Ismaeel — on 30th May, 2006 at 8:48 am  

    Kalim Siddiqui wannabe??? oh how i’ve been misunderstood

  197. Ismaeel — on 30th May, 2006 at 8:49 am  

    Amir,

    people on the right are also liberals in the wider sense of the word.

  198. Ismaeel — on 30th May, 2006 at 8:50 am  

    No, no-one is forcing me to read this website, but it does amuse me to do so.

  199. Roger — on 30th May, 2006 at 12:34 pm  

    “It’s almost like saying that Communists worldwide are the same ”

    They hold very similar ideologies. With muslims that Ismaeel would approve of- as with communists- I think that the major difference is probably whether they can do what they all would like to do, not whether they like to do different things.

  200. Khalsa (Pure) — on 31st May, 2006 at 2:56 pm  

    As pointed out by the posts before, The worship of idols is not permitted in Sikhism.

    I’ve now addressed Ek Niwas followers 2/3 times if a copy of the Bible/Koran/Torah Scrolls are kept on the premsies as they do claim to bring all religions together, but conviently they seem to avoid answering my question.

    If they do not have them on the premisises, then the question arises, why have other faiths rejected to them installing the mentioned scriptures!

  201. Singh — on 31st May, 2006 at 5:31 pm  

    Sunny,

    You refer to the people rightfully concerned as ‘idiots’
    Have you ever heard of ‘Guru Maniyo Granth’ or ever considered why Guru comes before Granth Sahib.?
    Ever heard of Reht Maryada.?
    Ever heard of Guru Khalsa?
    Please think before making comments out of shere ignorance

  202. HighCommissioner — on 2nd June, 2006 at 8:13 am  

    Sunny you are being a bit unfair.

    The Sikh and Ek niwas issue has been going on for a year at least. Negotiations have taken place but the Baba of Ek Niwas refuses to remove the Guru Granth Sahib.

    It is like placing the Koran in a Hindu temple, or a the Bible in a mosque.

    If people want to worship idols, fine, but why bring other religions into it. By having the Guru Granth Sahib Ji in the mandir, Sikhism is being associated with worship of idols, which it absolutely rejects.
    Not only that, established Sikh prayers, such as the ardas, have been altered in order to incorporate the views/beliefs of Ek Niwas. It is like having a centuries old Christian or Islamic prayer being altered.

    The ironic thing is that the congregation of this mandir pay their respects to the Guru Granth Sahib Ji by bowing before it. Then they proceed to do the exact things that the Guru Granth Sahib Ji rejects – idol worship. When you ask them why they do this, they do not seem to reply.

    Re bowing to the Guru Granth Sahib Ji.
    The Guru Granth Sahib Ji was itself bowed to by the last human Guru. So, the Sikhs are just following his instruction.

  203. mirax — on 2nd June, 2006 at 9:01 am  

    Wow, the khalsa brigade has arrived!

  204. Your Humble Servent — on 2nd June, 2006 at 9:52 am  

    Sunny,

    In your eyes was Guru Gobind Singh (10th living Guru of the Sikhs) a twat for bowing in front of Guru Granth Sahib Ji and proclaiming a “book”(as you put it) as an eternal Guru to the Sikhs?

    You enjoy spreading rumours and lies about current sensitive Sikh issues in the UK. As a supposed journalist you do not contact any Sikh bodies/groups to get their version of events. Instead you seem to have your own agenda to discredit any religious groups as backward & stupid.

    These “Granth Sahib twats”, as you call them, can be contacted on sikhalerts@yahoo.co.uk. The Ek Niwas issue is being dealt with by a newly formed committee of elder British Sikhs who are in dialogue with local councillors, the police and MPs to help resolve the matter.

    I wish you all the success as a journalist, however please attempt to portray both sides of the story.

    Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh!

  205. Katy Newton — on 2nd June, 2006 at 10:02 am  

    “I’m anti-abortion, pro-marriage, against multiculturalism and a loyal patriot; I’m pro-capitalist, pro-globalisation, anti-Communist, anti-immigration, and a vehement supporter of the minimal state. More controversially, I support the death penalty (insofar as there are strong independent juries and an unrestricted press), flogging in schools (today’s kids have no discipline), enforced castration for serial rapists, and long-term prison sentences for murderers and irresponsible drivers (Prince Naz, in my opinion, should have been jailed for at least five years).”

    Oh, Amir, and I thought you were so cuddly. :-)

  206. sonia — on 2nd June, 2006 at 10:37 am  

    he’s not very clever either! -( or taking the piss!) as it sounds like he’s picked his ‘anti-this and anti-that without thinking much about the relationship between them. a ‘minimal state’ that goes about doing all the things he wants it to…well it must be very busy is all i can say. ;-)

  207. sonia — on 2nd June, 2006 at 10:39 am  

    “Religions are always squabbling and fighting internally.”

    oh look – and they’re not the only ones! sounds like general human behaviour to me – and certainly very eerily similar to the game of politics.

  208. Roger — on 2nd June, 2006 at 12:36 pm  

    BUt people tend to get far more murderous when they have religion to aggravate them.

  209. sonia — on 2nd June, 2006 at 12:56 pm  

    do they? surely religion is one example of a belief – why fool ourselves that other beliefs are any less dogmatic? communist states for example were ‘against’ religion – they wanted the State to be the people’s ‘religion’ in a sense – it’s hardly as if they were somehow more peaceful because they weren’t religious.

  210. sonia — on 2nd June, 2006 at 12:57 pm  

    bottom line – you can kill for anything if you believe in something enough. if you want to call that belief a kind of religion – sure.

  211. Roger — on 2nd June, 2006 at 1:07 pm  

    The kind of needs and feelings which are met and inspired by religion do seem to make people- or allow people- to be much more likely to want to kill or injure people than they otherwise would be. I’d say that one of the reasons communism, nazism some forms of nationalism are so murderous is because they combine religious exclusionism into their political beliefs. As long as christianity made political as well as religious claims it encouraged people to murder for religio-political reasons.
    Agreed, religion can be an excuse as well as a reason for violence, but the end-result is the same. The problem is to find a way for people to get the benefits of religious belief without other people- it’s usually other people- getting the damage caused by it.

  212. vijaydeep Singh — on 2nd June, 2006 at 2:21 pm  

    Gurfateh

    In Nirmalas and Udasi orders we may have Idols within the premesis and Guru Granth Sahib Ji along side.

    Only thing here is that is it OK in the respect of Idols that scriputres like holy Bible,Holy Kuran,Holy Vedas or Guru Granth Sahib be kept with the idols,which are anyway condemed the same scriptures.

    Strange thing over here is that Baba Balak Nath himslef was not an idolworshiper but a Great Yogi worshippinbg formless Nirankar.

    There is a possiblity that idol worshipers also get salvation but there seems to be no need to bring contradictions closer.It will do more divisions.

  213. curious? — on 2nd June, 2006 at 4:42 pm  

    Sunny,

    Ain’t you that journalist person who was on channel 4 news over the behzti episode in Dec ’04???

  214. mirax — on 3rd June, 2006 at 2:58 am  

    >>Ain’t you that journalist person who was on channel 4 news over the behzti episode in Dec ‘04???

    Watch out Sunny! Looks like a few angry, brawny sikhs have you in their sights…

  215. Jai — on 3rd June, 2006 at 11:45 am  

    =>”BUt people tend to get far more murderous when they have religion to aggravate them.”

    Only if they can find something in the religion concerned to motivate/justify/excuse their actions, or are able to manipulate (or misinterpret) the principles of the religion correspondingly.

  216. HighCommissioner — on 5th June, 2006 at 7:59 am  

    Ek Niwas – surprise surprise there is no Koran kept in this place. Wonder why?

    Anybody can purchase a copy of the Koran, take it home and place it amongst idols. A Hindu could do this for some warped reason. However to do this in a public place of worship would surely be considered inappropriate. However this is exactly what is happening at Ek Niwas in respect of the Guru Granth Sahib Ji.

    Apparently a meeting has been arranged for Tuesday by the local leaders to discuss the issue and hopefully resolve it.

  217. Eternal Khalsa — on 5th June, 2006 at 7:49 pm  

    Well, as for the death threats received by the Head of Ek Niwas – those who made the threats should be warned. Nihang Khalsa Ji’s will forever defend those, who without doing any harm to others are receiving such nonsense and threats of harm from other so called ‘Sikhs’ who think that their way is best.

    I have been to Ek Niwas and their daily practice is anything but disrespectful.
    Disrespect by the way, for those ignorant ‘Sikhs’ out there who want to make threats, comes from ill-intent born in the mind and heart. Not by any outward show or form of worship. Let this be known, for it has been said and written by all the Guru Sahib Ji’s.

    Those who cannot reason with their intellect, who cannot love others despite their cultural/religious background, cannot want for peace among humanity…those who simply turn to evil threats and potential force – a message for you guys – God’s eternal army awaits devils like you.

    Jo Bole So Nihal
    SATSRIAKAL

  218. Your Humble Servent — on 6th June, 2006 at 11:44 am  

    “Eternal Khalsa” my dear friend,

    Everyone thinks their way is the best. We can only try our best to sit together and resolve the situation. Unfortunately there are angels and devils amongst us all.

    Please do not participate in these immature taunts in anticipation of some kind of reaction. It will not do the volatile situation any favours.

    Please let the amicable dialogue between the Ek Niwas leader and the British Sikh community leaders take place and respect the resolve they come up with.

    Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh!

  219. skang — on 22nd June, 2006 at 5:55 am  

    all i have to say about this is that ek niwas is a very respectable devine, it has not disrespected guru granth ji in any shape or form. nothing is wrong if sangat asks for blessings infront of guru ji before the chanda is presented. ek niwas means all is one and thats what guru nanak ji said. please don’t be so mean to ek niwas show some respect.

    skangs new zealand

  220. Lol Singh — on 25th June, 2006 at 5:12 pm  

    Congratulations to Ek Niwas – A New Sikh Gurdwara To Be Opened.

    Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ke Fateh

    Respected Sungat,

    I have been informed that Ek Niwas are going to open a new Sikh Gurdwara.

    You might ask why?

    People said the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji (SGGS) held at Ek Niwas was being disrespected. This was certainly not the case. Mata Ji has been doing it’s seva for the past 42 years. The SGGS has been fully respected.

    With Sikh Leaders requests for the SGGS to be taken away from Ek Niwas, it is unmistakable that this will never happen.

    The immense respect that Mata Ji has for the SGGS it is impossible for it to be taken away from her. With so much love and affection she has for the SGGS, a Gurdwara will be built as a compromise. This will take a lot of effort and money but will be worth it due to the full respect of the SGGS by Mata Ji. This is such an honourable thing to happen.

    I have heard that the Sikh Leaders have objected to the opening of the Gurdwara by Ek Niwas. This is rather confusing due to the compromise that is inherent. But what is fascinating is that I have spoken to Sungat from lots of areas and other Gurdwaras who all give their support.

    I personally give Good Luck to Mata Ji for her sheer determination and respect for the SGGS for taking this decision to build a Gurdwara. God Bless her

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