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  • Technorati: graph / links

    Sunny the Islamophobe and “brown sahib”


    by Sunny
    13th June, 2006 at 4:10 pm    

    In my comment is free article last week, where I accused Inayat Bunglawala and Faisal Bodi of whining, both came on to respond in the comments. Inayat was civil as usual. Faisal Bodi was quite amusing as always, and typically bereft of any intelligence.

    He starts off with: “I have very little respect for people who designate themselves according to their ethnicity. Unlike religions, or philosphies, they’re not exactly a meaningful basis on which to build an identity or on which to construct your life.” That was his hilarious line of attack. He follows up with rambling posts that include lines such as:

    How do we help police? That’s the wrong question, Sunny. The problems police are facing in dealing with terrorism stem from bad legislation which turns every Muslim into a potential terorrist, just for believing that Palestinians have a right to self-defence or for supporting the violent overthrow of a tyrannical regime.

    And the Guardian pay this imbecile to write article for them? Anyway, that wasn’t the best bit. Near the end of every post, which grow shorter as he runs out of things to say, he throws in a slur:

    Good luck to you in your quest to break into the BBC’s Asian Network. With your views it won’t be long before they fast-track you for mainstream.

    However, the more you reveal about yourself the more you do come across as a punkahwalla.

    Keep this up and maybe you will get the “white” recognition you crave sooner than you think.

    I love that last one. Anyone else see the irony in someone not having respect for racial identities and then trying that whole “you’re a white man appeaser” routine?

    These sorts of attacks are neither surprising and nor uncommon. I’ve been called anti-Muslim, anti-Hindu, anti-Sikh, anti-white and I find them all hilarious because they usually come from the defensive religious nutters when they run out of anything to say. Then you move in for the kill.

    Faisal didn’t call me Islamophobic but someone else said this:

    Come on, Sunny, tell us what you think about the persecution of Muslims in the land of your fore-fathers, Hindustan?

    I said:

    When Narendra Modi came over to the UK in 2003 I was in Wembley protesting against his presence and gave an interview on Indian TV saying he was a bigot and complicit in Gujarat and not welcome here. I hope that answers your question.

    And I pointed to this. That shut him up. Anyone who has been reading me even for a short period of time should know I hate religious bigots, not any religion.

    To be sure, there are plenty of Islamophobes. And there are plenty of Muslims who hate Sikhs, Hindus, whites etc too; I met many at university. There is too much blind hatred in this world, I don’t want to add to it. The line I draw is never between “my kind” and “them”, but rather between the racists and the non-racists. It is that simple.

    But these tactics of calling someone an “Islamophobe” or a “racist” to shut down debate is becoming increasingly common to the extent they are in danger of losing currency.

    Within the Muslim community they call someone a “Qadiani”, a slur for Ahmadis. During the Danish Cartoons controversy the Daily Jang in London wrote an article saying they were partially responsible for the cartoons being printed. Now the Muslim Weekly has done something similar (via David T).

    The Sikhs are quite adept at this. Anyone they don’t like are Radhasoamis or Nirankaris or belong to some “baba sect” and the idiots from the ‘Sri Guru Granth Sahib Rescue Squad’ start making threats.

    Hinduism thankfully has too much diversity to try this trick, but anyone who criticises these religious groups is also branded anti-Hindu or anti-Indian, in the same way that many who point fingers at Israeli army brutality are branded anti-semitic or anti-Israeli.

    Their aim, every time, is to try and marginalise those speaking out. It is the oldest trick in the book.

    In my comment is free article all I did was say that Muslim commentators where whining. I did not say all Muslims where whining, only those who claimed to speak for them. Am I alone in saying this? Hell no!

    Muslim journalists, writers, filmmakers and activists are banding together to form a new organisation aimed at influencing the media to move beyond “easy and simplistic portrayal of Muslims” and build on issues relevant to British Muslims today.

    Called ‘Muslims for Secular Democracy’, the lobbying group is being headed by the journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown and supported by others such as Ghayasuddin Siddique of the Muslim Parliament, playright Nasreen Rehman, Sharq magazine editor Reem Maghrebi and scientist Ehsan Masud.

    The organisation says it aims to:
    - Challenge those who have a vested interest in promoting the ‘clash of civilizations’ narrative. These include some Muslim leaders and prominent white commentators they say.
    - Enable Muslims to become more aware of their autonomous rights and question Muslim leaders who set themselves up as ‘representatives’ or ‘experts’.

    As I said to Faisal in my reply: I’m not one person, I’m a movement. And we’re coming for you. (Just to clarify, I’m not part of the above group).


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    1. Serious Golmal » Blog Archive » His Religious Identity

      [...] In a minor CiF comments box turf war, “Muslim journalist”, Faisal Bodi, left a pugnacious note on a post by Sunny Hundal, who is rightly perturbed to have the “brown sahib” epithet thrown his way. Bodi’s comment opens with this nugget: Sunny, I have very little respect for people who designate themselves according to their ethnicity. Unlike religions, or philosphies, they’re not exactly a meaningful basis on which to build an identity or on which to construct your life. You never see “whites in the media” or “white professionals”, do you? [...]




    1. Leon — on 13th June, 2006 at 4:16 pm  

      OI! Steal my thunder why don’t you? I just posted a fairly nice dates for the diary post and along comes Sunny, sledge hammer in hand with this. I tells ya, it just aint right…:P

    2. mekaal patel — on 13th June, 2006 at 4:16 pm  

      sunny, i dont want to know what religious backgroud you are from. you can be of any religion or any belonging.
      but what stands out in your comments is you want recognition - for your own ends and for wahetver other purposes. your comments are often of phobic nature and it seems like at time you are coming off the trolley. faisal bodi has a genuine point to make when he says the bad legislation has made things worse for muslims - and asians in general.

    3. sonia — on 13th June, 2006 at 4:24 pm  

      well if i were going to go around calling anyone an ‘islamophobe’ it wouldn’t be sunny. that’s for sure! and the comment about the ‘white’ recognition is SO typical. really people do just project their own fears and inadequacies don’t they. someone i once met who espoused similar thinking suggested i would only ever be a ‘brown person’ (an asian person.obviously to this person brown was somehow equated to inferior and he expected me to share in his inferiority complexes//!!.)

      “To be sure, there are plenty of Islamophobes. And there are plenty of Muslims who hate Sikhs, Hindus, whites etc too; I met many at university. There is too much blind hatred in this world, I don’t want to add to it”.

      too right. too many people are anti-west and anti-muslim in some crazy blanket ways. and they tend to be single issue types as well who only ever bang on about the same thing. no wonder we can never get ahead with proper understanding, debate and analysis with kind of nonsense going on.

    4. Sunny — on 13th June, 2006 at 5:02 pm  

      but what stands out in your comments is you want recognition - for your own ends and for wahetver other purposes.

      Meekal - so what do you think Faisal wants? A fucking nobel peace prize? He has worked for the Islam Channel, Al-Jazeera etc and now writes freelance and spouts his views.

      I set up my own magazines, said what I want to say and what I feel, and now write freelance articles with my views. How is it any different?

      This is another stupid point. Possibly the most stupid of them all - “Oh Sunny you’re only saying it to get known”.

      I mean, duh! I wouldn’t be saying it if I didn’t feel like saying it and I’m not writing it for a personal diary. How exactly does anyone else have more right to say what they want to? I’ve never stopped anyone from setting up their own blog and magazine to say what they want to. Why should I care? You get recognition if you’re good enough and that is the end of that.

      Please don’t feed me this “you’re only doing this to appease white people” rubbish you fucking inbreds. Yes this is really how I think and I make no excuses for it.

      Leon - sorry mate! No more posts from me today, promise!

    5. mirax — on 13th June, 2006 at 5:10 pm  

      “I have very little respect for people who designate themselves according to their ethnicity. Unlike religions, or philosphies, they’re not exactly a meaningful basis on which to build an identity or on which to construct your life.”

      That line is eerily familiar. Didn’t Ishmael write that on PP and get into the most godawful wrangle with nearly everyone else?

      It is a compliment to be attacked by various south asian religious nuts, Sunny; you must be doing something right.

    6. sonia — on 13th June, 2006 at 5:15 pm  

      yes its silly to go on and on about recognition. i mean if someone wanted recognition for the hell of it surely they’d just try their hand at being a celebrity or get into the big brother house. not go and do an extremely difficult job..

    7. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 13th June, 2006 at 5:27 pm  

      We all went to school together, we play on the same fooball teams, we club together, drink together. We are all brothers and sisters of the planet. We should beware those that seek to divide us, and celebrate those that seek to unify us.

      TFI

    8. scary spice — on 13th June, 2006 at 5:35 pm  

      Brown Sahibs? Check this one out.

      http://leninology.blogspot.com/2006/06/wanted-loyal-natives-to-discuss-empire.html

    9. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 13th June, 2006 at 5:37 pm  

      but what stands out in your comments is you want recognition - for your own ends and for wahetver other purposes. your comments are often of phobic nature and it seems like at time you are coming off the trolley. faisal bodi has a genuine point to make when he says the bad legislation has made things worse for muslims - and asians in general.

      That could have been directed at AHA …

    10. Rakhee — on 13th June, 2006 at 5:46 pm  

      Meekal - sorry but you’re on a site called ‘Pickled Politics - Current Affairs for a PROGRESSIVE generation’. It’s run by someone who believes strongly in news and politics impacting asian people and contributed to by people who feel the same.

      In order to progress, you need people who want to be heard. Sunny (and others) on this site are finally cutting through the crap to understand the complicated race, cultural and political issues to ultimately try to make change.

      Ain’t no shame in it. And if you think there is, well then yes, perhaps this isn’t the right place for you to be voicing your opinions.

    11. Sid — on 13th June, 2006 at 5:50 pm  

      Come on Sunny, are you surprised? You should be surprised that you don’t get a whole lot more in the way of projectiles from the Faisal Bodi’s of the world. Treat it like water off a duck’s back as you advised me when I was receiving flack for being “Taqiyyah” by a Hindu poster here.

    12. Fatwadodger — on 13th June, 2006 at 6:06 pm  

      Hmmm, disturbing stuff. Also quite shocked at how MECO (who by all accounts seem to be doing some sterling stuff) have been drawn into this sub-continental sectarian crap.

      And - “I have very little respect for people who designate themselves according to their ethnicity. Unlike religions, or philosphies, they’re not exactly a meaningful basis on which to build an identity or on which to construct your life.”

      Er right. So people who unquestioningly and dogmatically follow a religion or philosophy (political Islam and Communism/Facism spring to mind) are building their life on a more meaningful basis?

      Isn’t it a similar need for belonging and that whole tribal group identity thing that brings young white men into the NF or young Muslim men into unquestioning acceptance of the need to blow up innocent civilians?

      Plus I don’t think Sunny does define himself according to his race. Being interested and discussing issues relating to your race doesn’t mean you look at the world through a racial lens.

      Dianne Abbott said something pretty clued up once - she was talking about the whole Shabina Begum Jilbab debacle, and asked why the MCB was so obsessed with this issue, without any kind of concern for the fact that Muslim women are amongst the most highly educated yet most underemployed people in Britain. Clearly, anthing that affects the welfare of Muslims is only an issue when it melds well with the concerns of the political Islamists (men in jobs, women making babies or possibly as tokenistic figureheads demonstrating how ‘feminist’ they are).

      Sunny - just one thing re: the Ahmadi wikipedia thing - wikipedia says “However main-stream Muslims saying the Kalima are referred to as “Kafirs” in the context of their non belief in Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as a prophet, the Mahdi and Promised Messiah” - this isn’t true. I tried to edit it but Wikipedia put it back. All Ahmadis believe that no-one has the right to call anyone who calls themselves a Muslim non-Muslim.

    13. sonia — on 13th June, 2006 at 6:12 pm  

      good points fatwadodger.

      well the ahmadis are right on the last point. mainstream muslims ought to think the same thing - otherwise i don’t see how they can feel they’re so different to a bunch of Popes excommunicating everyone left right and centre for some imagined heresy or other.

    14. mirax — on 13th June, 2006 at 6:31 pm  

      > All Ahmadis believe that no-one has the right to call anyone who calls themselves a Muslim non-Muslim.

      They are absolutely right but are not going to win the argument anyway with mainstream Sunni Islam.

    15. Refresh — on 13th June, 2006 at 7:00 pm  

      Sunny, I would not worry at all about the comments.

      You work pretty hard, and I welcome your inputs. A bit of controversy here and there does not go amiss. Lets face it I only heard of Pickled Politics after the Birmingham riot thing.

      To really progress PP you need to move up a gear - get away from personalising matters. And give up on the fence-sitting. (I think I said the Stop Whining thread wasn’t your best, and it was one such exercise). The spat with Faisal Bodi should stay as that. I see that you are now a bit more amenable to the other guy. Who knows, and I don’t know the root causes of the acrimony that seems to be filtering through.

      I would be happy to see you move onto topics which don’t keep coming back to religion, but impact Asians in general.

      I do believe that there was a downward spiral on PP (which I genuinely believe could have been terminal) when every other thread was about muslims, until wisely Jay suggested there should be a week off religion, and I think it allowed PP to regenerate. I have a feeling another such week is due.

    16. Ismaeel — on 13th June, 2006 at 7:28 pm  

      Sunny,

      some constructive criticism, I think you need to be a little bit self-critical and then you would probably avoid such encounters. My personal problem with you is you stereotype first, ask questions later, you did this with MAC. You also can be extremely rude. I have called you Islamophobic before, i have a slightly more nuanced view now. I think you’re genuinely ill-informed about all religions and about people who are religious without being fanatics. This came out especially in the discussion about the Guru Granth Sahib where you asserted it was idolotrous to treat the book with respect.
      Also your egoism can really put people off “I’m a movement” man get over yourself.

    17. j0nz — on 13th June, 2006 at 7:33 pm  

      Refresh know’s everything, I hope you take heed of what he’s saying Sunny

      /irony

      But these tactics of calling someone an “Islamophobe” or a “racist” to shut down debate is becoming increasingly common to the extent they are in danger of losing currency.

      I find this quite an amusing sentence, I have been called a racist and a fascist in order to dismiss my view points here on PP in the past few days!

      More taqiyah from Sid as usual prentending to be the normal everyday Muslim guy ..when he really goes to Khalifah meeting to take over world… (I jest of course)

    18. mirax — on 13th June, 2006 at 7:36 pm  

      Oh very good news about the new group,MSD, Sunny.The more diverse the voices, the better. Also this group has very healthy representation from muslim women, excellent!

    19. j0nz — on 13th June, 2006 at 7:38 pm  

      #16 You are a parody Ismaael

    20. Bikhair aka Taqiyyah — on 13th June, 2006 at 7:45 pm  

      Jonz,

      What exactly is taqiyah? Nevermind my name just answer the question and if you give me a link I’m gonna shove it down your throat.

    21. j0nz — on 13th June, 2006 at 7:57 pm  

      Al-Taqiyah, from the verb Ittaqu, means linguistically dodge the threat. Politically it means simulate whatever status you need in order to win the war against the enemy

    22. xyz — on 13th June, 2006 at 8:09 pm  

      “Treat it like water off a duck’s back as you advised me when I was receiving flack for being “Taqiyyah” by a Hindu poster here.”

      Unfortunately Sid, I’m going to have to point out that you started it by referring to me as “you Hindutva types” in one of our first exchanges in fact I think our first) in February. :) So having branded me soon after one of my very first posts on this site, it’s understandable that our subsequent exchanges haven’t been the best.

      Sunny’s post is in the right spirit, but I would add that the labelling and attacks go both ways and all ways. It’s not just a one-way street. And I was also called a terrorist and Hindutvadi by another noted poster in that same discussion in February. I only responded to that. So it seems the self-described “progressive” (another very tricky label) side is not beyond initiating the Pavlovian labelling and boxing people into tricky categories.

    23. Refresh — on 13th June, 2006 at 8:10 pm  

      “I would be happy to see you move onto topics which don’t keep coming back to religion, but impact Asians in general.”

      Oops hadn’t accounted for the j0nz.

    24. Amir — on 13th June, 2006 at 8:20 pm  

      Sunny,
      What did you expect from a hamster-faced Islamist?

      Faisal Bodi seems to think that one’s ethnicity is an symptom of false consciousness. But why, then, does he go on to use an ethnic slur against Mr. Hundal? I’m a firm believer in calling a spade a spade. And for me, the pejorative ‘brown sahib’ is explicitly racist. Rather like Mr. Jigaboo. Underlying the insult is an ingrained assumption that there’s something shameful or treacherous about associating with white-coloured people and adopting ‘their’ ways.

      If a Caucasian or atheist or Christian or Tory were to use the ‘Uncle Tom’ trope, I can assure you that the pax Guardianista would be the first to make a stink about it. The strange paradox of our culture is that political correctness scorns enlightened Islam and seeks to remove it from our public consciousness. Yet it gives a free pass to unreformed, ferocious Islam, which is actually much harsher than any other creed in its condemnation of the things that political correctness loves, and much less tolerant of dissent.

      Faisal Bodi is a sack of shit.
      And a racist one too.

      Amir

    25. Bikhair aka Taqiyyah — on 13th June, 2006 at 8:42 pm  

      jOnz,

      “Al-Taqiyah, from the verb Ittaqu, means linguistically dodge the threat. Politically it means simulate whatever status you need in order to win the war against the enemy.”

      Well jonz, I assume that you believe it to be a practice condoned by Islam so, I would to know what evidence you can provide that makes it permissibile for Muslim use. Now if it some kind of pre Islam, jahiliyah practice than we need not to discuss it any further. Basically I need to know what it means from an Islamic perspective.

    26. Sid — on 13th June, 2006 at 9:05 pm  

      From Dean’s World:

      Still, it’s quite amusing (you have to laugh, otherwise you have to get angry) how modern Islamophobes have turned that all that into a sort of generalized “taqiyya is the Koranic doctrine that muslims can lie about anything if it helps them in their jihad to murder or enslave everyone on the planet” bull-crap.

      Taqiyya is exactly the same manner as an anti-semitic slur as in “lazy nigger” or “sneaky Jew”.

      When Bikhair uses it for her alias she’s attempting to reclaimed the word in the way “nigger” and “paki” has been reclaimed. She gets it. As opposed to the people who are still using the word in anger, so to speak, who reveal themselves to be either ignorant or bigoted. So, be careful how you use the word j0nzi.

    27. Fatwadodger — on 13th June, 2006 at 9:31 pm  

      Great points Amir re the whole Liberal political correctness thing. The fact is that the jolly nice people at the Guardian don’t know enough about Islam to tell self-styled ‘moderates’ that they are well, er, not.

      Also, I’m trying very hard to be highbrow and not resort to name calling…

      But that ‘hamster-faced’ description had me laughing out loud.

      Plus it is a bit hypocritical of me since I refer to Bungalow-wallah as Gollum.

    28. shariq — on 13th June, 2006 at 9:37 pm  

      Amir, I think your point about the paradox of political correctness is a really interesting one. I’ve spent some time thinking about it but have some questions.

      The primary one is that pc culture does draw the line at things like forced marriage, violence, terrorism etc. So it seems the question isn’t so much that multiculturalism can’t make judgements, but that outside a small sphere of core rights it is unable to do so.

      Having said that I do think the point about the non-recognition of enlightened religion is a problem. However I think this is as much to do with the dominant discourse of Dawkins, which also sidelines a lot of enlightened Christian thought as well.

      I also think its possible that both Conservatives and Liberals both make the same mistake in their attitudes towards ‘enlightened Muslims’. For both it seems that they don’t really believe that such Muslims are actually Muslims and either see them as agnostics or actually fanatics in disguise.

      Finally both sides make the mistake of thinking that integration can only come about taking these illiterate, uncultured migrants and giving them western culture and education. In response to Melanie Phillips I think one can make a strong argument that integration in previous generations was actually down to traditional values possessed by these immigrants.

      After all if the Melanie Phillips argument is correct and the decline of the state is modern, how does that explain the fact that right now both Hindus and Afro-Carribeans are both very well integrated. On the other hand Muslims for instance were far better integrated (i hate using this word so many times but alas) than Black Britains 30 years ago.

      Conversely and this is something which has been discussed at lentgh at PP, the left doesn’t seem to recognise that people such as Faisal Bodi are actually often power grabbers not reflective of the wider community, and that most fall in this broad ranging middle. Anyways thats enough for now, look forward to responses.

    29. mirax — on 13th June, 2006 at 9:39 pm  

      The very recently popular use of the word ‘taqiyyah’ to denote a particularly muslim sort of deception/dissembling being practised on the non-muslim world is quite ironic in light of its origins. I believe it is shia and other “heretic” muslim groups facing harsh reprisals from the sunnis who initially practised telling less than the full truth about themselves in order to stay alive.

      I see absolutely no need to use this word- if you feel an individual is being less than honest, there are a lorryload of good old English words you can use.

      >>Taqiyya is exactly the same manner as an anti-semitic slur as in “lazy nigger” or “sneaky Jew”.

      Not really. Don’t overreact. It is a (lazy and stupid)slur and buys into the ‘global muslim conspiracy’ bullshit a bit too much for my taste but it is not a racist epithet and I honestly don’t see what there is to be ‘reclaimed’.

    30. xyz — on 13th June, 2006 at 9:40 pm  

      [As opposed to the people who are still using the word in anger, so to speak, who reveal themselves to be either ignorant or bigoted. So, be careful how you use the word j0nzi.]

      Pot, meet kettle.

    31. Sid — on 13th June, 2006 at 9:51 pm  

      mirax

      Not wholly my over-reaction. I read the same sentiments made by David T on the useage of ‘taqiyyah’ over at HP. He had to do that to keep the rabble in line, so to speak. Thought I’d pitch it here to see who bites.
      snap! ;-)

    32. Fatwadodger — on 13th June, 2006 at 10:05 pm  

      Spot on Shariq. I think that PP is one of the few places where people actually get this. It’s getting it out to the wider media that’s the issue. The problem is that the only people I’ve seen outside of the ‘Asian community’ who are actually willing to speak out on this kind of thing are people like Nick Cohen - who is of course immediately branded as a neo-con or Islamophobe. I don’t agree with everything he says, but a lot of the time I think it’s because being Muslim myself I get defensive when I feel that an ‘outsider’ is saying the same things that I say all the time.

      The other issue is that I think the younger generation of Muslims, rather than moving forward and away from these politically motivated groups, have, like the media, often been conned into thinking they are moderates.

      I had a debate with someone on ‘comment is free’ who called me an Islamophobe because I was critical of the MCB and it’s links to Jamaat Islaami - he insisted that the MCB are the voice of moderate Muslims. He had never been to the sub-continent and told me to leave my ‘Awaami league’ politics ‘back in Bangladesh’. I’m actually of Pakistani heritage, born and raised here, but have worked in Pakistan (on gender rights) so he was pretty wide off the mark.

      I was even fooled myself when the MCB first came on the scene - I remember some of their early press statements and thinking, ‘great, some moderates to really represent us’ but this was before they let the mask slip, and my opinion soon changed.

      Plus supporters of Faisal Bodi and his ilk are very organised and very loud. Before the Panorama programme on the MCB went out for example - all MCB supporters were sent an email telling them to email the BBC and complain (I know as I’m on their mailing list), and after the programme there were a massive number of complaints, I think it was in the region of 300.

      For us progressives this is a real challenge - there are some attempts to organise http://www.pbm.org.uk and the new group by Yasmin Alibhai-Brown (who the MCB don’t regard as Muslim, as she’s Ismaili - a fact that was shockingly approved of by a white female liberal writer in the New Statesman - I wil track down the link and post it later).

      To top it all off, liberals haven’t got a great reputation when it comes to organising (we tend to ask too many questions).

    33. raz — on 13th June, 2006 at 10:21 pm  

      I am the only Shia here (as far as I know) so I claim all rights of Taqiyyah on PP :)

      I LOVE INDIA. JAI HIND!

    34. mirax — on 13th June, 2006 at 10:24 pm  

      I was reading CiF earlier this evening. Sunny advertised YAB’s new group and one of the very first reactions was that she was of ‘no use’ since she had no cred at all with muslim youth, the demographic most at risk of turning radical. What is the point of this ‘utility’ argument?

      She is not claiming to speak for them or even *to* them, is she? Hell, she is going to speak up for herself and a group similar to her- what’s wrong with that? It is the we-rock-the boat-us-sassy-firebrands kind like Bodi who forever claim a constituency they don’t quite possess.

    35. raz — on 13th June, 2006 at 10:29 pm  

      I’m not really a big fan of Yasmin ‘We Muslims’ Ali-Brown.

    36. mirax — on 13th June, 2006 at 10:30 pm  

      #34, good one raz! But it aint easy, you know this dissembling business- you have to keep it up forever now. Again, Jai Hind!

    37. mirax — on 13th June, 2006 at 10:32 pm  

      #35 I don’t know her much, Raz but I thought she was more of an individual than a spokesman?

    38. raz — on 13th June, 2006 at 10:37 pm  

      mirax, YAB doesn’t represent any group, but having read some of her stuff in the Independent, she does often seem to speak for others. The ‘We Muslims’ bit is a not just a joke - she often uses that kind of of phrase in her writing as if we all think alike.

      Oh yeah

      INDIA ZINDABAD!
      PAKISTAN MURDABAD!
      HAIL GANDHI!
      CURSE JINNAH!

      (is that good enough?)

    39. Alec Macpherson — on 13th June, 2006 at 10:46 pm  

      ==> I have very little respect for people who designate themselves according to their ethnicity. Unlike religions, or philosphies, they’re not exactly a meaningful basis on which to build an identity or on which to construct your life.

      That ain’t just wrong in principle, it’s wrong in definition. ‘Ethnicity’ means more than one’s racial make-up. It is linked to one’s cultural traditions and religions and philosophies.

    40. Refresh — on 13th June, 2006 at 11:08 pm  

      Mirax, Bikhair makes a very valid point.

      Society (any society) is not a fixture. Fashion and cultural mores change. There is a false premise that we as a society for example have accepted homosexuality and it has been always thus. It has not.

      Influences come from all directions. The biggest of course is television (or shall we say media).

      We will be influenced and we have the opportunity to influence. Whether its types of food we eat; commodities available in Tescos; music we used to listen to and what we listen to now. All these are up for grab.

      On alcohol, on smoking, on pornography, on marriage, etc you name it things are changing. And yet we seem to believe that we are holding onto something that has been there from the stone age (poetic license).

      This is also true in just about every other country.

      The battle is quite serious, it will decide how we will view our own bodies (and of course someone else’s and in what pose), it will also determine whether we want our pre-packed salad washed in spring-water or grow our own. It will decide whether our kids will despise the young girl who does not have a ‘playboy’ rucksack.

      So when we talk about defending values there are plenty of issues that will need to be settled. However primacy will be placed on whether our economy is strong enough for us to even think about these things. And hey you know we elect people to deal with those issues - and in the final analysis if they deem it worthwhile to rely on child labour to dig for cobalt so we can have our mobile phone upgraded every 14 months; then you know what? We will accept it.

      Now - for all those crusaders for democracy and freedom and all those seeking Sharia - understand what both of you actually promise, but never deliver.

      The primary function in both cases is economic, eradicating poverty, advancing knowledge and spreading justice peace and harmony - if you do not see that then - you can all piss off.

      Carpet bombing for peace ain’t it; stoning for adultery isn’t it either.

      I might just come to accept stoning of the elite for their corruption; and hanging for war criminals.

      But I don’t believe in corporal or the death penalty.

      Bikhair - good post.

    41. mirax — on 13th June, 2006 at 11:17 pm  

      >>Mirax, Bikhair makes a very valid point.

      Where? What???

      I would respond that long post Refresh if I only understood what you are wittering about.

    42. Alec Macpherson — on 13th June, 2006 at 11:27 pm  

      ==> I would respond that long post Refresh if I only understood what you are wittering about.

      I think it has something to do with the link between buying bland tasteless strawberries from Tesco’s in January and turning commuters into human confetti.

    43. Refresh — on 13th June, 2006 at 11:27 pm  

      Oh dear.

      Bottom line is that we all hope to influence how our society operates and develops; whether we are informed by our religion or culture. Nothing stays still.

      But over-riding all of that is our economic position.

      If we need to go to war for economic reasons - that’s what we will do. And that is what happens - wars are economic.

      What is the point in having torture on your menu when you are pushing for freedom and democracy; and why do you even think amputation and stoning is acceptable when the real thugs are the corrupt elite who determine life or death of people based on their position on economic ladder.

      [Sorry wrong thread - blushes; slopes off looking for the correct one - thinks about reposting on the correct one]

    44. Refresh — on 13th June, 2006 at 11:29 pm  

      Apologies to all. Trying to run two different browsers, one of which doesn’t seem to like me posting on PP (now I know why).

    45. Alec Macpherson — on 13th June, 2006 at 11:31 pm  

      That still doesn’t explain in which weird parallel universe Bikhair made a valid point.

    46. Refresh — on 13th June, 2006 at 11:34 pm  

      Its a surprise.

    47. mirax — on 13th June, 2006 at 11:36 pm  

      Yeah I guessed you were responding to my comments to Bikki re Bari’s recent words. But your own riposte is so off the track and irrelevant to what I said, that I really wonder what you are smokin’ Refresh…Dr Bari will be highly displeased if he knew!

    48. mirax — on 13th June, 2006 at 11:40 pm  

      Oi Alec, quit knocking Bikki! She just earned solid brownie points from me for slagging off Faisal Bodi as a fitnah merchant in CiF ;-)

      (Bodi didn’t seem that much of a fitness buff going by his chubby pic…but what do i know eh?)

    49. Refresh — on 13th June, 2006 at 11:43 pm  

      I guess it was more about what Bikhair had said.

      Yes I guess Dr Bari may well be.

      (it wasn’t a riposte).

    50. justforfun — on 14th June, 2006 at 9:30 am  

      Sunny - Good article. Thanks for continually shaking the apple tree to see what falls out. Always a good strategy. Its very enlightening.

      I’ll take your word on YAB as being a good thing, as all I have to go on is my prejudices whene ever I read her stuff :-) .

      Raz - the heat must be getting to you — because your begining to talk a bit of sense - heh I even agree with you about YAB :-) - except I know nothing about her Islam, but it gets my goat when she says “We Asians” - Perhaps its just because she reminds me of my Mum (and I probably have inherited it) - the ability to have an opinion on anything whatever the issue, combined with the ability give it with out embarrassment at the lack of knowledge! Still there is medication available.

      Justforfun

    51. Jai — on 14th June, 2006 at 10:05 am  

      Re: The “Islamophobic” slur.

      The next time someone tries using that as an unscrupulous tactic to shut down a non-Muslim, I guess one could consider hitting back with the term “Kafirophobic” (only when appropriate, of course).

      It would be particularly effective towards the HuT/jihadist types.

      You never know, it might catch on.

    52. sonia — on 14th June, 2006 at 10:45 am  

      this thread has made me smile quite a bit.

      #39 - Alec Macpherson - spot on.

    53. Paul Moloney — on 14th June, 2006 at 12:09 pm  

      “If a Caucasian or atheist or Christian or Tory were to use the ‘Uncle Tom’ trope, I can assure you that the pax Guardianista would be the first to make a stink about it.”

      Oh indeed, they wouldn’t. Lenin over at Lenin’s Tomb has made the same comment numerous times; here’s one time about a secular Muslim at a free of speech march:

      http://www.haloscan.com/comments/lenin/114331284537253650/

      “Dave - it’s always good to have an Uncle Tom present, so I don’t doubt he got good cheers. But as I left at 3.15pm (it was getting boring) I must have missed that.”

      P.

    54. Robert — on 14th June, 2006 at 12:22 pm  

      However, the more you reveal about yourself the more you do come across as a punkahwalla.

      What is a ‘punkahwalla’? Isn’t that a trendy noodle bar?

    55. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 14th June, 2006 at 12:28 pm  

      “punkahwalla” - slang, Musical style influenced by punk and Paul Weller.

    56. Sunny — on 14th June, 2006 at 1:59 pm  

      Punkah in Hindi/Urdu is a fan, a hand-held fan usually. Wallah is a person who does something. Hence I think Punkahwalla means the guy who stands there fanning someone else (presumably a white person going by Bodi’s other remarks).

    57. raz — on 14th June, 2006 at 2:29 pm  

      punkah wallah is a colonial term, it refers to the servant in India who used to manually fan the British officers, etc.

    58. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 14th June, 2006 at 2:42 pm  

      Is there another word for a servant in India that fans flames?

    59. Sid — on 14th June, 2006 at 2:45 pm  

      Last known pop cultural usage was in the great 70s BBC sitcom It ain’t half hot mum.

      There were two “native” characters, the punkawala Rumzan and the charwala Muhammad.

      By using this term, Bodi is implying uncle-tomism. Sellout is probably a term he reserves for his Muslim detractors. Wanker.

    60. Jai — on 14th June, 2006 at 4:11 pm  

      =>”Is there another word for a servant in India that fans flames?”

      “Chamcha” is probably the closest equivalent. It basically means ‘sycophant’.

    61. Alec Macpherson — on 14th June, 2006 at 8:06 pm  

      That’s interesting. I’d previously known it as “spoon” - I can see a link.

      SUNNY ==> Punkah in Hindi/Urdu is a fan, a hand-held fan usually. Wallah is a person who does something

      There was also a line from the not_very_good_transvetite Emily Howard in Little Britain (on R4, before it prostituted itself for telly and became rubbish): “Fan-wallah, I wish to take some tiffin!”.

    62. j0nz — on 15th June, 2006 at 12:33 pm  

      The next time someone tries using that as an unscrupulous tactic to shut down a non-Muslim, I guess one could consider hitting back with the term “Kafirophobic” (only when appropriate, of course).

      Infidelophobia is a pretty widely used term already :)

    63. El Cid — on 15th June, 2006 at 1:55 pm  

      Funny how this sort of thing also plays out in non-Asian circles. It’s a desperate ploy. “Play the white man!” “You some kind of wigga of sumfink” or “You’re an Uncle Tom, Bounty Bar, Choc Ice, etc”. “Why you not talking black?”
      Anyway, I think you got Mr Bodi banged to rights when you highlight the deep contradiction between his assertion that ethnic identity is less important than religious identity and his accusation that you are “playing up” to the white man.
      Basically, what he is saying is that to be proper Asian, let alone Moslem, you must defend your bred’ren at all times and not stray too far from the “religious cum ethnic consensus” as he sees it. It’s the kind of self-serving and intellectually dishonest thinking that would get OP frothing at the mouth.
      Personally, I’m kind of glad that I have more in common with many of the posters here than I do with many white people. Equally, it’s no great sin if you are Asian and have more in common with some white people than you do with many fellow Asians.
      As Funkadelic once sang: Free you mind and your ass will follow.

    64. fug — on 22nd June, 2006 at 1:52 am  

      Sunny Bhai,

      You seem quite irrelevant to the essential currents of this debate, where you carry a kind of ‘bystander’ value similar to an elder granny walking the other way down the high street during a diamond heist.

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