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  • 1984 massacre: still waiting for justice


    by Rumbold
    1st November, 2009 at 1:10 pm    

    Twenty five years ago around 4,000 Sikhs were murdered in Delhi after the death of Indira Gandhi, then prime minister of India. The prime minister had been assassinated by two of her Sikh bodyguards in revenge for the dispatch of troops into the Harminder Sahib (Golden Temple), the holiest site in Sikhism. Leaving aside the rights and wrongs of that conflict, what followed was quite simply a massacre. Mobs began to roam the streets in morning after the assassination looking for Sikhs, who were all too readily identifiable.

    In some ways, the 1984 anti-Sikh riots followed a depressingly similar pattern to other, older religious riots. While the exact extent of state control is unclear, the killers were enacting out what Natalie Zemon Davis called ‘The Rites of Violence’ (pdf). Professor Davis, taking the sixteenth century St. Bartholomew’s massacres as her example (and writing in the 1970s), argued that many religious riots were not characterised by random acts of violence, but rather followed certain patterns in which the violence is “aimed at defined targets and selected from a repertory of traditional punishment and forms of destruction.” Under Professor Davis’ formulation, the rioters, while not officially authorised, thought that they were acting for the good of the country, and had some supporters/leaders in a government.

    Religious massacres were often triggered by a fear that if they (the rioters) didn’t take action, they themselves would be attacked by ‘the other side’. Thus the Catholic killers on St. Bartholomew’s Day expected the Protestant troops outside Paris to attack them. In Delhi rumours began to spread that the Sikhs were poisoning the water supply and that trains full of dead Hindus were coming into Delhi from the Punjab (where Indian troops were battling Sikh separatists). Neither rumour was true, and the rumour about Sikhs celebrating Mrs. Gandhi’s death was never substantiated, but under those conditions rumour became fact, especially as police drove round the city advising residents not to drink the water and telling them about the trains.

    Another feature of the religious riot is the idea that the participants are somehow cleansing the world of heresy and sedition. This was often achieved by humiliating their victims using their own religious symbols. We can see this very clearly in the way Sikhs were killed and the way the mob behaved. Guru Granth Sahibs (the holiest book in Sikhism which is held to be the 11th Guru) were destroyed, something that would be unlikely to happen in an orgy of mindless violence. Male Sikhs who were being killed had their hair and beards cut, a deliberate insult, while burning seemed to be the favourite method of execution. A horrific death, but also a symbolic mode of execution as the fire is a purifying one (so the world was cleansed of Sikhs). Women were often raped, sometimes in front of their family. The other main method was hanging, an imitation of the way that the state executed its prisoners. Again, it would have been far easier to stab or slit people’s throats, but that wouldn’t have had the same value as a ritual. Men were killed more often than women, again suggesting reprisal for the Hindu troops killed in the Punjab.

    Like in France, popular speakers enraged the mob. In France, Catholic preachers called for the Protestants to be exterminated. In India, a government-controlled radio station broadcast slogans like “khoon ka badla khoon” (“blood for blood”). Sikhs contacting the police were told that they would “have to pay for your deeds.” As the example of France showed, a massacre didn’t have to be officially ordered, just so long as officials either assisted the rioters or stayed out of their way.

    Thousands of people were involved in the killings of Sikhs. It is comforting to think of an all-controlling power directing the mindless people, but sadly that was not the case. Many of the ordinary rioters will never be brought to justice (though a few have). But there is a still an opportunity to bring those who helped organised the massacres to justice. The killers had access to voter records, and it is almost certain that Congress politicians aided them. Yet twenty five years and ten commissions later and too few have been brought to justice. Too many of the important people involved in the massacres still have friends in high places. Whilst some of the victims’ families undoubtedly want revenge, for many more it is a simple question of justice. There are people still enjoying the fruits of high office while many of their victims’ families live in poverty. The want to see people be held accountable for their crimes, and only the Indian government and courts can do that.


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    1. pickles

      New blog post: 1984 massacre: still waiting for justice http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/6400


    2. Jamison’s Writing Blog » Blog Archive » Pickled Politics » 1984 Massacre: Still Waiting For Justice

      [...] Yep like the killing that led up to william wallace for eg: ” 1296 King Edward had become more and more annoyed that John Balliol, King of Scots was not supplying him with soldiers for his continental wars. Edward took his army to Berwick upon Tweed …… Lets have some biography … And a bit of justification. From you Bananabrain. Reza. persephone “You stated you liked Sikhs. But historically Sikhs did make war on those who did not allow them to practise their religion. …This Blog [...]




    1. Auntie Vera — on 1st November, 2009 at 1:35 pm  

      But surely such a massacre was what the Khalistan loonies, the very same people who bombed at least one airliner, wanted?

      Will someone here mention the assistance which the Pakistani I.S.I. rendered to the Khalistan fanatics?

      In the Khalistan era there was at least one homicide in Britain, too.

    2. fugstar — on 1st November, 2009 at 2:09 pm  

      Im wondering what london must have been like for catholics following the Gunpoweder Plot, that government blood letting barbarity that millions celebrate to this day.

    3. George — on 1st November, 2009 at 6:57 pm  

      The justice system was graciously bequeathed by the British. As usual with any abstract/moral principle, the Indians are unable to adapt it to their multi-ethnic, caste-ridden society. They just plod on with the Brit legacy.
      True the Sikhs have not secured justice but what about the 2000 Muslims slaughtered and 150,000 displaced in the Gujarat pogrom of 2002?
      On 17 Feb 09, the London Times headlined:
      “Judges face 466 years to clear cases in Delhi Court”
      “An annual report highlighted the failings of India’s judicial system. The Delhi Court heard 332,141 cases between Apr07 and Mar08 - on an average of 5 minutes per case. The courts work for only for 5 hours, 15 min a day and 213 days of the year. As a result, there was a backlog of 74,599 cases by the end of Mar08, including at least 600 that were more than 20 years old. At this rate of disposal, it would take about 466 years to clear the backlog. And since new cases are likely to arise.”

      Nationally, there are only 12 judges per million people compared with 107 for the US and 51 for UK. Simple cases often drag on for years, even decades because corrupt lawyers routinely bribe judges to adjourn proceedings over trivial details. The total backlog of cases is 29.2 million nationwide
      So who is to blame?
      Prashant Bhushan, Supreme Court lawyer and activist for judicial reform, said: “India’s inherited judiciary was not designed for the poor and illiterate. The poor can’t afford lawyers and you can’t access the system without lawyers.”
      But after 62 years, Indians don’t have the ideas how to reform and adapt the system. Always bereft of ideas.
      Why not ask Britain again for help?

    4. fugstar — on 2nd November, 2009 at 2:43 am  

      wtf? How would Britain be in a position not to make things worse than they already set things up to be?

      So many people in India have better ideas, just organising them with significant pow wow to crush and superscede the White Studies Regime is taking a while.

    5. Reza — on 2nd November, 2009 at 9:10 am  

      I do wish people would stop going on about this.

      Trying to run down India. If I remember rightly Jai argued that India is a shining example of the enormous benefits of a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multi religious society. One that he hoped we could one day emulate. And in the unlikely event that Sunny & co get their way on open-borders immigration, one that we’ll no doubt see more and more in this country.

      Always the negatives. Why don ‘t we concentrate on all the millions of people that weren’t murdered in inter-ethnic violence? Why don’t people concentrate on all the benefits of a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multi religious society.

      4000 deaths is such a small price to pay for the cultural enrichment that comes from mixing different cultures and religions so that they can add such rich richness by enriching society.

      What’s more, you have the other benefit of diversity which, strengthens every society by making it more diverse, because as we all know, diversity is a source of strength because strength comes from diversity and diversity makes us strong.

      So hey, stop the negative vibes! Multiculturalism rules!

    6. Dalbir — on 2nd November, 2009 at 9:22 am  

      4000 deaths is such a small price to pay for the cultural enrichment that comes from mixing different cultures and religions so that they can add such rich richness by enriching society.

      A small price to pay for whom? Certainly not the families of the breadwinners that were murdered. I cant believe your flippant attitude.
      Would you be so callous if you had lost family members
      yourself Reza?

    7. Reza — on 2nd November, 2009 at 9:46 am  

      Dalbir

      “A small price to pay for whom?”

      It’s a small price for all the benefits multiculturalism my friend. The alternative would be having homogenous groups of people, with similar cultures and values, living in separate countries and not killing each other from time-to-time.

      Surely we couldn’t have that?

      Because such a society would no longer be strong as there would be no ‘strengthening’ effect from diversity. What’s more, its culture would cease to be rich as the enrichment that comes from different rich and diverse cultures combining to provide richness would no longer afford enrichment.

      Personally, I blame the inter-community conflict on the Daily Express. And those darned sneaky Joos!

    8. mandeep singh — on 2nd November, 2009 at 10:02 am  

      I guess reza is a muslim, if so try remembering ur babri maszid and 2002 muslim riots dear… in exact what r u talking about ? price for what ? what those innocent peoples did ? raping a 14 year old muslim girl that also by a gang in 2002 by HINDU’s, what price she was paying for dear ? your statements dont make any sense @ REZA… those statements have sole aim of hurting others feeling nothing else no logic in them. and can u tell me ur cultural enrichments has been achieved after 1984 riots ? is that 2002 muslim riots ? or babri maszid demolision ? ….. well “Rumbold” let me update you “not a single person has been punished till today” indian govt. is leaving all who are remaining… and the number is not just 4000 its more than 8000 (because indian govt. record dont hold the number of missing and unidentified peoples) sikh were first beeaten till they were half dead by sticks and briks till they wre half dead and then they were draged around streats with a rope in there neck and then burning tyre was put in there neck (now u cant identify them and no one other can) every body know this was the way hindu were using…

    9. irrelephant — on 2nd November, 2009 at 10:19 am  

      “The alternative would be having homogenous groups of people, with similar cultures and values, living in separate countries and not killing each other from time-to-time.”

      Of course, a society more congruent and homogeneous in it’s culture definitely results in less violence right?

      Bolox, if multiculturalism didn´t exist you would still have screwed up groups of people running around hurting each other…you can´t stop humanity’s propensity to act retarded.

    10. Reza — on 2nd November, 2009 at 10:35 am  

      irrelephant

      “Bolox, if multiculturalism didn´t exist you would still have screwed up groups of people running around hurting each other…you can´t stop humanity’s propensity to act retarded.”

      Really?

      Here’s something you can try at home.

      First make a list of all the major conflicts that are occurring in the world today or have occurred in recent times between reasonably “congruent and homogeneous” people living in the same space.

      Next to it, make a list of all the major conflicts that are occurring in the world today or have occurred in recent times between non- “congruent and homogeneous” people living in the same space.

      See what I did there?

    11. persephone — on 2nd November, 2009 at 10:46 am  

      “if multiculturalism didn´t exist you would still have screwed up groups of people running around hurting each other”

      Yep like the killing that led up to william wallace for eg:

      ” 1296 King Edward had become more and more annoyed that John Balliol, King of Scots was not supplying him with soldiers for his continental wars. Edward took his army to Berwick upon Tweed to teach the Scots a lesson. His men sacked the town and it is believed 15,000 people were killed. Berwick was to become an English town. The Scots fought back at the English army now besieging the castle at Dunbar but were cut to ribbons by superior forces.”

      I am sure other commenters can cite many more factual examples that go against Reza’s tunnel vision of only the non white/immigrant/muslim/islamic being non-homogeneous.

    12. irrelephant — on 2nd November, 2009 at 10:58 am  

      Yes Reza, very clever.

      OK, where are these “reasonably congruent and homogeneous” people? perhaps China? not much violence there…fairly peaceful last time I checked, of course if anyone does decide they want to be different, stand out or practise their own way of life they get anniahalated by the state.

      Where else, perhaps you could help me out here, I´m abit ignorant me…If i were to say, look at this country, prior the devil of multiculturalism it was to busy fighting other countries, any periods of lack of international conflict were marked by Civil war and/or domestic unrest.

      Heterogeneity results in conflict whatever happens whether it´s because of what football team you support or because of religion. Any society with so called ethnic homogeneity has found conflict through religion, any with religious homogeneity through ethnicity. I´m sick of using this word heterogeneity (mainly because i´m not sure how to spell it) but the fact is it’s inescapable, people will always find difference, difference implies supierority and the result will be conflict.

      but like i said I´m abit ignorant - perhaps you could enlighten me with some example of a homogeneous heaven without conflict?

    13. Rumbold — on 2nd November, 2009 at 11:22 am  

      Reza is trying to be sarcastic. He thus misses out the civil wars that erupted in the Roman Empire and pretty much every large and small state throughout history, whether over race, religion, money, dynasty, revenge, etc. People have fought throughout history when they felt that there was something to gain, or something to lose.

      The main reason why we don’t have war in developed countries nowadays is that the standard of living is better, and people are used to democracies with the rule of law.

      Mandeep Singh:

      Reza isn’t a Muslim. Could you please provide a link to the 8,000 figure? Most sources (including Sikh ones) estimated the dead at around 4,000. A few people have been punished, but they were people at the bottom end of the social scale.

    14. Reza — on 2nd November, 2009 at 11:28 am  

      Irrelephant

      China?

      Nothing works better at keeping a lid on inter-ethnic violence than brutal, oppressive, totalitarianism. And even then China’s had more than its fair share of inter-ethnic violence. Don’t you read newspapers?

      We saw this with the former Yugoslavia and former Soviet Union.

      Remember what happened when totalitarianism ended?

      However hard I look, I just can’t seem to find any evidence that multi-ethnic/cultural/religious societies are more peaceful, cohesive and harmonious than homogenous ones.

      And whenever I look at a conflict anywhere in the world, I see that conflict being between different ethnic, cultural or religious groups living in the same space.

      A coincidence?

    15. Kismet Hardy — on 2nd November, 2009 at 11:33 am  

      Oh come on the film wasn’t that bad. Well, it kinda was. But I think Orwell would’ve been more upset by the porn version of Animal Farm than by John Hurt’s performance. Plus the Eurithmics soundtrack, if a little dated now, was of the time.

    16. Reza — on 2nd November, 2009 at 11:37 am  

      persephone and Rumbold

      Oh dear. To try to find examples to refute my observation you have to go back to the 13th century and the Roman period.

      Some people might read something into that.

      (Shakes head in disbelief)

    17. TajUK — on 2nd November, 2009 at 11:38 am  

      ‘I do wish people would stop going on about this.’

      ‘Always the negatives. Why don ‘t we concentrate on all the millions of people that weren’t murdered in inter-ethnic violence?’

      Reza, the reason people are still addressing this issue is because there hasn’t been any justice for those involved. To simply say that we should all look away is to advocate an ostrich approach; it’s not grown up and it leaves a painful, unaddressed legacy.

      ’4000 deaths is such a small price to pay for the cultural enrichment that comes from mixing different cultures and religions so that they can add such rich richness by enriching society.’

      I found this statement callous in the extreme. It’s a ridiculous attempt to quantify human suffering, but I’d like to follow it to a logical conclusion: How many deaths are an unacceptable price to pay?

    18. Reza — on 2nd November, 2009 at 11:44 am  

      TajUK

      “How many deaths are an unacceptable price to pay?”

      Not one.

      I was making a point that may have gone over your head. Sorry if it sounded callous.

      That inter-community violence is, always has been and always will be inevitable when you have 2 large ethnic, cultural or religious groups living in the same space.

      Look at any major conflict, anywhere in the world today, for an example of what I mean.

    19. Jai — on 2nd November, 2009 at 11:47 am  

      TajUK,

      Reza is being sarcastic. He claims to be an ex-Muslim person of Iranian origin who regards himself as “fully assimilated and integrated” into British society, and is — somewhat ironically — obsessively opposed to any kind of internal ethnic, cultural or religious diversity either in the UK or in any other countries in the world.

      Reza,

      However hard I look, I just can’t seem to find any evidence that multi-ethnic/cultural/religious societies are more peaceful, cohesive and harmonious than homogenous ones.

      In which case, as someone allegedly of Iranian ethnicity, your very presence in the UK is undermining the peace, cohesion and harmony of British society, is it not ?

    20. irrelephant — on 2nd November, 2009 at 11:48 am  

      I dont disagree with you Reza, however, there is no such thing as a society which hasnt got ethnic/cultural/religious diversity…there has been however attempts at creating such societies…I don´t think I need to give you a history lessson here..i’m sure you can work that one out for yourself.

      Multiculturalism is a fact of life - it isnt some construct of a left wing conspiracy that has taken over our minds for the last 60 years but somthing that has always existed and has always created conflict. to create a society that is peaceful without such problems we would have to live in a totalitarian state…

    21. irrelephant — on 2nd November, 2009 at 11:49 am  

      (which of course wouldnt actually be peaceful)

    22. Jai — on 2nd November, 2009 at 11:52 am  

      Multiculturalism is a fact of life –

      Something Reza should be well aware of, as someone who claims to be such an ardent admirer of the historical Persian emperor Cyrus the Great.

      I don´t think I need to give you a history lessson here

      Before any assumptions are made about Reza not needing history lessons, bear in mind that Reza believes Pakistan is an “ethnically and culturally homogenous country”, and that “Muslims in India haven’t assimilated in even a thousand years”.

    23. Reza — on 2nd November, 2009 at 11:52 am  

      Isn’t it a sad incitement of the unquestioning, bovine acceptance of intellectually bankrupt multiculturalist dogma that meaningless statements like the ones below are taken seriously rather than being laughed at as the joke they are.

      “…a small price to pay for the cultural enrichment that comes from mixing different cultures and religions so that they can add such rich richness by enriching society.

      What’s more, you have the other benefit of diversity which, strengthens every society by making it more diverse, because as we all know, diversity is a source of strength because strength comes from diversity and diversity makes us strong.”

      Scary.

    24. irrelephant — on 2nd November, 2009 at 12:01 pm  

      “Isn’t it a sad incitement of the unquestioning, bovine acceptance of intellectually bankrupt multiculturalist dogma”

      That was epic and semi inducing.

      Do me a favour and give me an example of a homogeneous and peaceful society please? I´m pretty certain that such places only exist in the wet dreams of religious extremists, fascists, communists and all the other one-size-fits all numpties.

    25. magistra — on 2nd November, 2009 at 12:02 pm  

      Reza,

      Of course I’m sure you’re well aware of the vicious war that goes on in Canada between the French speakers and the English speakers all the time. I mean, a country with two national languages cannot hope to be peaceable, can it? And to imagine that the French and the English could live peaceably together when they’ve fought each other for centuries is ridiculous.

      As for multiple religions within one political unit, both the Persian and Roman empires managed to sustain that for substantial periods of time and the US isn’t doing too badly on religious conflicts.

      The other question is, of course, how do you get these homogenous communities that you admire so much? It sounds a bit like unscrambling eggs. Or do you really think that Edward I was right when he expelled all the Jews from England and that it was a mistake to let Jewish people back in?

      And of course, if you’re really an ex-Muslim (and thus probably brown) then I’m afraid a homogenous community means kicking you out of this historically white country. Sorry about that, because you may well have been born here and feel yourself entirely British, but it’s for the good of homogenity, you see.

    26. irrelephant — on 2nd November, 2009 at 12:02 pm  

      What the hell is multiculturalist dogma anyway? sorry I didnt get my copy of the multiculturalist bible - must have missed that meeting.

    27. irrelephant — on 2nd November, 2009 at 12:14 pm  

      Again we fight because we can’t help it, Whatever you do, the most base animal element of society will always separate itself into tribes and have a barny whether they are the neo nazis and muslim fundamentalists, Socialists and capitalists or mill wall and west ham (just saw green street)

      I would say that this country HAS lost through increasing diversity as have many other societies, BUT it has gained much more, and if it can manage all those negative factors it has the potential to become an example of humanity’s rising above it’s animalistic tribalism..

      I’d say for that to be acheived would be worth it…but you’re right, when these ideas become dogmatic it becomes nearly impossible to manage the real problems that arise with multiculturalism.

    28. Jai — on 2nd November, 2009 at 12:17 pm  

      Oh dear. To try to find examples to refute my observation you have to go back to the 13th century and the Roman period.

      Some people might read something into that.

      On the other hand, Reza, to try to find examples to refute the assertion that internally diverse societies are not necessarily inherently more prone to conflict and that internally homogenous societies are not necessarily inherently more peaceful, you have to completely ignore any counterexamples from all over the world stretching back not only centuries but millennia. And you have to completely ignore the fact that, according to your hypothesis, your own presence in Britain, as an allegedly “ethnic Iranian”, is disrupting the peace and internal cohesion of British society.

      And, of course, you have to claim that you’re of Iranian origin and that you “hate the BNP” whilst promoting the BNP’s own arguments, claiming that the basis for your stance is “culture” and “identity”, not “race” — something which Nick Griffin has been deliberately using as a Trojan horse for his agenda and which he has been caught on camera admitting to, as per that speech to the American Friends of the BNP in the presence of KKK leader David Duke which was quoted to him verbatim on Question Time.

      Some people might read something into that.

    29. Jai — on 2nd November, 2009 at 12:18 pm  

      Oh dear. To try to find examples to refute my observation you have to go back to the 13th century and the Roman period.

      Some people might read something into that.

      On the other hand, Reza, to try to find examples to refute the assertion that internally diverse societies are not necessarily inherently more prone to conflict and that internally homogenous societies are not necessarily inherently more peaceful, you have to completely ignore any counterexamples from all over the world stretching back not only centuries but millennia. And you have to completely ignore the fact that, according to your hypothesis, your own presence in Britain, as an allegedly “ethnic Iranian”, is disrupting the peace and internal cohesion of British society.

      And, of course, you have to claim that you’re of Iranian origin and that you “hate the BNP” whilst promoting the BNP’s own arguments, claiming that the basis for your stance is “culture” and “identity”, not “race” — something which Nick Griffin has been deliberately using as a Trojan horse for his agenda and which he has been caught on camera admitting to, as per that speech to the American Friends of the BNP in the presence of KKK leader David Duke which was quoted to him verbatim on Question Time.

      Some people might read something into that, “Reza”.

    30. persephone — on 2nd November, 2009 at 12:22 pm  

      “What’s more, you have the other benefit of diversity which, strengthens every society by making it more diverse, because as we all know, diversity is a source of strength because strength comes from diversity and diversity makes us strong. Scary.”

      Reza, as a person who claims to be in a mixed race relationship with mixed race children you are setting yourself up as saying that your own family is scary and weak.

      Your poor wife and kids - I hope (if they exist) that they do not read your comments.

    31. Rumbold — on 2nd November, 2009 at 12:23 pm  

      Reza:

      Japan and China, arguably the two most racially and religious similar socities from the past 500 years, have suffered long civil wars in that period.

    32. Parvinder Singh — on 2nd November, 2009 at 12:34 pm  

      Rumbold, excellent article and spot on.

      It’s not only just that members of the ruling Congress (I) party and top police chiefs, named repeatedly by survivors and various reports as organisers of the massacres allowed to get off scot free, but the Indian state itself refuses to recognise the enormity of the event which they refer to as a ‘riot’ and its own complicity.

      The other day, I had the pleasure of listening to Manoj Mitta, Senior Editor at the Times of India, who just arrived in the UK from India. He was shocked that in India, while there is state-wide commemoration of the death of the late Indira Gandhi, no mention or acknowledgement of the thousands of Sikhs killed.

      The ruling party has even gone to the extent of labelling those who raise such issues as ‘unpatriotic’ ! See http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20091101/punjab.htm#9

      Since the events, evidence from then serving policemen and other eyewitnesses revealed senior leaders of India’s ruling Congress (I) party held meetings on the night of 31 October, attended by senior police officers, to fine tune the plan, a Kristallnacht for India’s minority Sikh community. These same leaders were later rewarded with cabinet posts in subsequent governments.
      See http://www.journalism.co.uk/66/articles/534389.php

      What kind of government does this to its own people? On the one hand, it preaches secular ideals, while on the other, playing on time in the hope people would forget one of the largest massacres in post-independence India and its part in the subsequent cover-up.

    33. Reza — on 2nd November, 2009 at 12:43 pm  

      persephone

      “Reza, as a person who claims to be in a mixed race relationship with mixed race children you are setting yourself up as saying that your own family is scary and weak.”

      You just refuse to get it, no matter how many times I make the point.

      Race is irrelevant.

      Culture, religion and ‘ethnicity’ aren’t.

      I don’t believe that a society will inevitably be harmed by adding different people to it.

      It’s simply a question of numbers.

      If the people are ‘assimilable’ then they can be added as long as the rate is low enough and slow enough for those people to have time to assimilate. If that doesn’t happen then you end up with parallel societies.

      If the people aren’t ‘assimilable’ (ie Jews, Sikhs, Muslims and Hindus) then the numbers must be small enough so as not to create a duo-cultural society. Furthermore, the groups must be willing to integrate and accept the indigenous host culture and values and not to seek to change them through political or other means. The Jewish and Sikh communities are good examples of this attitude. The Muslim community is a very good example of the opposite attitude.

      A majority culture with small minorities living within it is not necessarily a problem.

      The danger arises when the society becomes duo-cultural.

      As virtually every conflict in the world today demonstrates.

    34. Jai — on 2nd November, 2009 at 12:53 pm  

      If the people are ‘assimilable’ then they can be added as long as the rate is low enough and slow enough for those people to have time to assimilate. If that doesn’t happen then you end up with parallel societies.

      If the people aren’t ‘assimilable’

      The use of the term ‘assimilable’ is specifically from the BNP’s 2005 General Election Manifesto.

      Again, some people might read something into that, “Reza”.

    35. irrelephant — on 2nd November, 2009 at 12:57 pm  

      You keep saying this “as every conflict in the world today demonstrates”

      What conflicts are you referring to exactly?

      As for accepting the hosts values…when do they stop becoming the hosts exactly? I was born in the UK and consider myself British, My family has fought in both world wars for Britain, All of my family have worked, work now or have the intention to do work for the betterment of Britain so why should I be considered at this stage still an immigrant living in a “host” society.

      your statements seem to be rather generalist…where exactly have the sikhs not retained their own Identity distinguished from that of the ethnic british? they´re certainly not taking of their turbans to join the Army or the police.

      how far are they supposed to assimilate according to the Reza measure?

      Sorry, I agree with you when you say the general position on multiculturalism has become unthoughtful but the rest of what you say seems to be unfounded and reactionary.

      Again could you please tell me of this utopia where (now to use your new point of argument) this “duo culture” doesnt exist and there is peace and harmony.

    36. persephone — on 2nd November, 2009 at 12:59 pm  

      Reza @32

      “the groups must be willing to integrate and accept the indigenous host culture and values and not to seek to change them through political or other means. “

      You in the above sentence (like the BNP) mention indigenous – part of their tactical use of more ‘saleable’ language for race. I’m afraid your real motives always out.

      Also, if your focus is on assimilating your children to the ‘host indigenous culture and values’ why are you teaching them about persians such as Cyrus the Great as you commented on another post?

      All this flailing about does no good for your credibility.

    37. Rumbold — on 2nd November, 2009 at 1:10 pm  

      The problem with Reza is that he has already made up his mind. He made an assertion which was then proved false. Yet he continues. We could furnish him with a hundred exampels, and people have always warred with one another over religion, land, money, power, women, slaves, insults, fear and so on.

      Parvinder Singh:

      Thank you. India’s government is never going to recognise the full scale of the massacre because it would put more pressure on it to actually help the victims’ families and prosecute some of the elite. It might also make them financially liable.

    38. lfc4life — on 2nd November, 2009 at 1:44 pm  

      I doubt you will find justice for sikh masscacres from 1984 recently we saw another massacre in gujerat, india and the state minister who was accused of masterminding the massacre was freely roaming the streets of britain and hailed as some kind of economic messiah!

    39. lfc4life — on 2nd November, 2009 at 2:09 pm  

      Sikhs will not get any kind of justice regarding massacres from 1984 in my view. There was another masscre of mostly muslims in Gujerat within India recently. The mastermind of that masscre minister modi was freely roaming britain several times hailed as some kind of economic messiah.

    40. Reza — on 2nd November, 2009 at 2:13 pm  

      Jai

      “The use of the term ‘assimilable’ is specifically from the BNP’s 2005 General Election Manifesto.

      Again, some people might read something into that, “Reza”…”

      You just don’t give up, do you Jai. The BNP do not consider that a black person is ‘assimilable’. I do.

    41. Reza — on 2nd November, 2009 at 2:13 pm  

      Rumbold

      “He made an assertion which was then proved false. ”

      Did I miss this? Someone mentioned an example from the 13th century and the Romans (who ironically forbade ‘interbreeding’). Then someone mentioned China as an example of multi-ethnic harmony. But someone else cited the same country as an example of a homogenous society that has experienced civil war (obviously someone who doesn’t understand the Uygur or Tibet situation).

      Then someone mentioned that civil wars also occur in homogenous societies. Yes they can. But that doesn’t disprove the propensity of duo-cultural societies to end up killing each other.

      Rumbold, I’ll make it easy for you as I did with irrelephant in Post 10:-

      “First make a list of all the major conflicts that are occurring in the world today or have occurred in recent times between reasonably “congruent and homogeneous” people living in the same space.

      Next to it, make a list of all the major conflicts that are occurring in the world today or have occurred in recent times between non- “congruent and homogeneous” people living in the same space.”

      Try it.

    42. Jai — on 2nd November, 2009 at 3:25 pm  

      the Romans (who ironically forbade ‘interbreeding’).

      As an example of an outright lie, that’s on a par with Reza’s previous assertions about how “Pakistan is an ethnically and culturally homogeneous country” and “Muslims in India haven’t assimilated in even a thousand years”.

    43. irrelephant — on 2nd November, 2009 at 4:30 pm  

      Reza, I ask again…where in the world is “homogeneous” and conflict free? it’s impossible to make your list when it’s impossible to fulfill the criteria because - perhaps as testament to my ignorance - such a place does not exist.

    44. Reza — on 2nd November, 2009 at 5:45 pm  

      Jai

      -”As an example of an outright lie…”

      ‘Liar, liar’ really diminishes a debater.

      This is what I was thinking of:

      “Interesting facts and information about the Roman Marriage:

      Romans were not allowed to marry non Roman citizens or foreigners”

      http://www.roman-colosseum.info/roman-life/roman-marriage.htm

      I also remember reading that there was a treaty between the Romans and either the Huns or Gauls that forbade sexual relations between the two groups. Don’t have time to link evidence but will sometime if future if I can be bothered to find it.

    45. bananabrain — on 2nd November, 2009 at 5:46 pm  

      If the people aren’t ‘assimilable’ (ie Jews, Sikhs, Muslims and Hindus) then the numbers must be small enough so as not to create a duo-cultural society. Furthermore, the groups must be willing to integrate and accept the indigenous host culture and values and not to seek to change them through political or other means. The Jewish and Sikh communities are good examples of this attitude. The Muslim community is a very good example of the opposite attitude.

      ahem - i am not convinced that the jewish community “accepts” the “indigenous host culture and values” - after all, we do not accept christian festivals, we wear distinctive clothing, eat distinctive food and pursue a distinctive culture - we only “accept it” insofar as we do not wish to convert everybody else. many of us do not approve of things like television (i don’t include myself in this, incidentally) or clubbing (well…) but we’ve got no problem with other people having them insofar as it doesn’t infringe our right to be who we are.

      there is a difference between being “integrated” and being “assimilated”. you don’t appear to understand the difference. i am the former, but i am definitely not the latter - and if i was expected to be, i would have to find somewhere else to live.

      if you must object to something, object to unversalism and moral relativism, object to evangelicalism or proselytisation - but do so in a consistent fashion and apply the same rule across the board to christian evangelists and eurocrats, to right-wing and left-wing ideologues. using lazy, misleading and downright daft terms like “indigenous” is not a road you want to go down with me.

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

    46. Dalbir — on 2nd November, 2009 at 7:53 pm  

      Reza

      I recall seeing a Time Team programme only a few months ago which showed carved stones plaques, commissioned by Roman Legionnaires here in Britain. Some of the soldiers were from places like Croatia, Syria etc. and had wives from different countries including here.

      Besides I don’t see how this is related to 1984 and the patent ignoring of state organised murder.

      If anything, these events have caused a wedge between communities and actually work against the cohesion you mention.

    47. Jai — on 2nd November, 2009 at 8:19 pm  

      Romans were not allowed to marry non Roman citizens or foreigners”

      The exact quote from that website is “Romans were not allowed to marry non Romans citizens, foreigners”. I see that some of the syntax results in it being open to misinterpretation.

      Meaning, the term “foreigner” (and the term “non Romans citizens” [sic]) refers specifically to people outside the territory of the Roman Empire and who were not Roman citizens. If someone resided within the Roman Empire, they were not regarded as a “foreigner”.

      If you’re interested in reading more credible sources about Roman society, I suggest Rubicon by Tom Holland as an initial primer. It’s based on about 150 academic references along with numerous authenticated historical records from the Roman period itself.

      As for “interbreeding”, numerous high-profile examples include the fact that Julius Caesar himself had a son by the distinctly non-Roman Cleopatra and (more pertinently) the fact that at least four of the later Roman emperors were of North African ancestry.

      There was a considerable amount of intermarriage which occurred between large numbers of individuals from various groups as they fell under Roman rule and whose members were granted Roman citizenship.

    48. Rumbold — on 2nd November, 2009 at 9:54 pm  

      Reza:

      Did I miss this? Someone mentioned an example from the 13th century and the Romans (who ironically forbade ‘interbreeding’). Then someone mentioned China as an example of multi-ethnic harmony. But someone else cited the same country as an example of a homogenous society that has experienced civil war (obviously someone who doesn’t understand the Uygur or Tibet situation).

      China didn’t suffer a civil war then? I had better ring round the history departments:

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

      As did Japan.

      The point is Reza that people have always warred with one another. Over, yes, race and religion, but also money, power, land etc. You claim that it is a homogenous society that prevents civil war, but America, one of the most ethnically diverse countries, hasn’t suffered a civil war for 140 years or so (at that was mainly over constitutional issues). The Congo on the other hand has seen years of strife, but not over race or religion. Sometimes minority groups do cause conflcit. Other times they don’t. The only conclusion we can draw from that is that, at times, race and religion have been a factor in a civil war.

    49. Reza — on 3rd November, 2009 at 10:04 am  

      Jai @ 47

      I happily concede this point to you and withdraw my point regarding Romans forbidding interbreeding.

      I thought I recalled reading about a treaty with one of the barbarian tribes that forbade it, but cannot find any evidence to support it. So I must have been mistaken.

      And I believe that truth is everything.

    50. Reza — on 3rd November, 2009 at 10:31 am  

      Bananabrain

      Unfortunately your position is an example of where Jewish people end up defending the indefensible out of a paranoia that a less tolerant environment may backfire on them.

      But as we can see, many Jewish commentators are realizing that the liberal and tolerant policies they once supported have resulted in a very illiberal environment as tolerant British culture and values are undermined through P.C. moral equivalence, massive uncontrolled immigration and appeasement of intolerable foreign cultures, values and belief systems.

      I have a lot of time for Jewish values and culture. And it is wrong to draw parallels with Islamic values and culture.

      Of course Jewish people are ‘unassimilable’. You’ve spent thousands of years avoiding assimilation, sometimes against inconceivable odds.

      And yes, frum Jews don’t necessarily accept British values and culture. But neither do they oppose non-Jews from having them. And crucially, Judaism is not prothletising. Quite the opposite. I doubt that there is a single Jewish person that dreams of a Jewish Britain, operating under Jewish law. That can’t be said for Muslims.

      This attitude I believe comes from the respective religious texts, which I’ll give here from memory:

      Jacob said [to the Jews] “work for the prosperity of the people you live among, for in their prosperity you will have prosperity. Work for the peace of the nation you live within for in its peace, you will have peace.

      Islam takes a very different approach (again, from memory):

      “When living among the unbelievers, obey the laws of the unbelievers and do not make war on them as long as they allow you to practice your religion and do not drive you from your homes”.

      These are crucial differences. And they demonstrate just how dangerous it is to expect Islam to be treated the same as Judaism in Britain.

    51. irrelephant — on 3rd November, 2009 at 10:35 am  

      homogeneous population? example? pretty please?

    52. persephone — on 3rd November, 2009 at 10:58 am  

      Reza

      “Islam takes a very different approach (again, from memory): When living among the unbelievers, obey the laws of the unbelievers and do not make war on them as long as they allow you to practice your religion and do not drive you from your homes. These are crucial differences. And they demonstrate just how dangerous it is to expect Islam to be treated the same as Judaism in Britain.”

      You stated you liked Sikhs. But historically Sikhs did make war on those who did not allow them to practise their religion. From your own account you do not seem to think that that makes Sikhs dangerous to Britain. In fact you hold them up as a beacon as to how ‘integration’ needs to work. Why are you discriminating?

    53. douglas clark — on 3rd November, 2009 at 11:04 am  

      Reza,

      Did you insult me on another thread? I think you probably did.

      BB and I don’t agree about anything much. But I have always found him to be a fair and friendly person. That counts with me. I try to reply to him much in the same way as he replies to me. Without malice.

      Doesn’t mean we agree. From my point of view it is about respect.

      You should try it sometime.

    54. douglas clark — on 3rd November, 2009 at 11:14 am  

      Rumbold,

      but America, one of the most ethnically diverse countries, hasn’t suffered a civil war for 140 years or so

      Is hardly a strong arguement.

      Anyway.

      What about the civil war in England?

      Are we precluded from talking about that?

      Just because it was a while ago.

      I baggsies Cavaliers, you can have Roundheads. :-)

    55. douglas clark — on 3rd November, 2009 at 11:19 am  

      Rumbold,

      but America, one of the most ethnically diverse countries, hasn’t suffered a civil war for 140 years or so

      Is hardly a strong arguement.

      ‘Strange Fruit’ was a song of the 1950′s was it not?

      Anyway.

      What about the civil war in England?

      Are we precluded from talking about that?

      Just because it was a while ago.

      I baggsies Cavaliers, you can have Roundheads. :-)

    56. douglas clark — on 3rd November, 2009 at 11:20 am  

      Apologies for the kind of double post. Read the latter, not the former.

    57. bananabrain — on 3rd November, 2009 at 11:25 am  

      Unfortunately your position is an example of where Jewish people end up defending the indefensible out of a paranoia that a less tolerant environment may backfire on them.

      nonsense. what am i defending that is indefensible? i criticised your use of the word “indigenous” (and i’m not too happy about “host culture and values” either) because i don’t see a clear dividing line between english or british “values” and “culture” - there are some things which are english which are not jewish - black pudding (oh, all right, shakespeare if you like) springs to mind. there are some things which are jewish which are not english - talmud study, for example - but there is a *vast hinterland* of values, objects and behaviours that we share, from humour to manners. there is, for example, a jewish sunday league for footballers. there are very few jews that have seen it that don’t recognise just how devastatingly accurate the satire of “life of brian” is. there is a kashrut supervisor for marmite. there are even some things that are distinctively british-jewish, like the office of the chief rabbi, many of the tunes used in synagogue or the limmud conference. all of these things arose from a tolerant environment. i am indeed defending pluralism as it makes such things possible. but pluralism, for me, is not about saying that all things are equally valid - but that all things have a place within the system. if every british jew shared the values and displayed the behaviours of some of the ultra-orthodox sects, we wouldn’t be held up as exemplars of integration by the likes of you. if every british jew shared the values and displayed the behaviours of the liberals, it wouldn’t be long before we weren’t actually recognisable as jews any more. the only reason it works is because the system is a portfolio, or an ecosystem if you prefer - it is its biodiversity that allows it to flourish. if the system gets out of whack for some reason, if one element unbalances it, then we have a problem. it is your contention, presumably, that the intolerant elements and interpretation of islam have done precisely that and, of course, you are entitled to this opinion. in some ways i share the view, that bigoted, insular discourse has been allowed to get out of control for far too long and has been indulged by society and government. where you and i part ways, however, is where you assert that a) these views are an essential part of being a muslim and b) that the situation cannot be removed without essentially repressive and coercive means. with this i fervently disagree and, more to the point, i don’t think that it is only restricted to islam - i would foresee my life becoming extremely unpleasant if the same level of bigotry and hostility to my way of life exhibited by the followers of richard dawkins became ubiquitous and indulged by the body politic - nick griffin, of course, goes without saying. what i object to is not islam, but lack of balance. what you appear to object to is islam. to quote ben goldacre:

      “actually, it’s a little bit more complicated than that.”

      Of course Jewish people are ‘unassimilable’.

      no, we’re not. we just understand that if assimilation gets out of control as, arguably, it did in germany in the early C20th or the US during the baby boom, the system gets out of whack and requires correction - but this must happen from within.

      And yes, frum Jews don’t necessarily accept British values and culture. But neither do they oppose non-Jews from having them.

      if you can tell me what “british values and culture” are and how they’re different from jewish values and culture, then perhaps we might have somewhat to discuss - but, of course, these are not two distinct entities and never have been - just put a bunch of scottish reform jews together with a bunch of london chasidim - or me with a bunch of german jews! - and see how well your contention does then.

      And crucially, Judaism is not prothletising.

      you mean proselytising. yes, we’re not - but you are. you are proselytising for assimilation as if it were a universalist solution - and we already know that it ain’t.

      These are crucial differences. And they demonstrate just how dangerous it is to expect Islam to be treated the same as Judaism in Britain.

      it is not beyond the wit of man to come up with a legislative solution that penalises and rewards behaviour rather than making it contingent on a particular religious label, to be awarded by whichever dubiously accredited body. that is the failure of your understanding.

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

    58. bananabrain — on 3rd November, 2009 at 11:27 am  

      am i getting moderated or caught in the spam filter or something?

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

    59. douglas clark — on 3rd November, 2009 at 11:30 am  

      Probably you are just being buggered up. Much like me. It is not deliberate, it is a fuck up….

      They’d tell us if they didn’t like us.

    60. douglas clark — on 3rd November, 2009 at 11:41 am  

      On the subject of which.

      Who is Effendi, and why do you share a web site with him or her?

      Lets have some biography…

      And a bit of justification.

      From you Bananabrain.

    61. Reza — on 3rd November, 2009 at 12:03 pm  

      persephone

      “You stated you liked Sikhs. But historically Sikhs did make war on those who did not allow them to practise their religion. From your own account you do not seem to think that that makes Sikhs dangerous to Britain. In fact you hold them up as a beacon as to how ‘integration’ needs to work. Why are you discriminating?”

      Yes, I’ve liked most of the Sikhs I’ve met. As I’ve liked most of the Muslims I know. And sometimes ‘pretend’ to be related to.

      I don’t know as much about Sikhism as I do about Islam, Christianity and Judaism. To be fair, I know little beyond the average layperson who reads more than most.

      So I can’t really comment convincingly.

      But what I do know is that Sikhism doesn’t seem to be prophesying. It doesn’t seem to have a history of imperialism, forced conversion and cultural aggression. And Sikhs do not, in any significant numbers, hope for an eventual Sikh Britain operating under Sikh law.

      Also, their numbers are small.

      But however ‘nice’ Sikhism seems to me, I’m certain that if the Sikh population here was to rise to 20%, 30% or 50%, then we would have the inter-community violence that inevitably occurs in all duo-cultural societies.

    62. persephone — on 3rd November, 2009 at 12:14 pm  

      Reza

      “I don’t know as much about Sikhism as I do about Islam”

      Given that there has been some major interplay between the two on many levels I am surprised.

      As to duo-cultural that is just a false construct which I will comment on (later) when I have the time

    63. bananabrain — on 3rd November, 2009 at 12:18 pm  

      douglas,

      on the effendi thing, i’m not getting involved. i don’t know everyone who contributes to the spittoon, nor am i responsible for everything they do. as always, i speak only for myself. i think the spittoon is a valuable platform and it’s doing good work. as you know, i have always objected to bad language and personal attacks in comments and will continue to do so, but there is really no point you hassling me about this.

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

    64. bananabrain — on 3rd November, 2009 at 12:23 pm  

      trying again with this post:

      Unfortunately your position is an example of where Jewish people end up defending the indefensible out of a paranoia that a less tolerant environment may backfire on them.

      nonsense. what am i defending that is indefensible? i criticised your use of the word “indigenous” (and i’m not too happy about “host culture and values” either) because i don’t see a clear dividing line between english or british “values” and “culture” - there are some things which are english which are not jewish - black pudding (oh, all right, shakespeare if you like) springs to mind. there are some things which are jewish which are not english - talmud study, for example - but there is a *vast hinterland* of values, objects and behaviours that we share, from humour to manners. there is, for example, a jewish sunday league for footballers. there are very few jews that have seen it that don’t recognise just how devastatingly accurate the satire of “life of brian” is. there is a kashrut supervisor for marmite. there are even some things that are distinctively british-jewish, like the office of the chief rabbi, many of the tunes used in synagogue or the limmud conference. all of these things arose from a tolerant environment. i am indeed defending pluralism as it makes such things possible. but pluralism, for me, is not about saying that all things are equally valid - but that all things have a place within the system. if every british jew shared the values and displayed the behaviours of some of the ultra-orthodox sects, we wouldn’t be held up as exemplars of integration by the likes of you. if every british jew shared the values and displayed the behaviours of the liberals, it wouldn’t be long before we weren’t actually recognisable as jews any more. the only reason it works is because the system is a portfolio, or an ecosystem if you prefer - it is its biodiversity that allows it to flourish. if the system gets out of whack for some reason, if one element unbalances it, then we have a problem. it is your contention, presumably, that the intolerant elements and interpretation of islam have done precisely that and, of course, you are entitled to this opinion. in some ways i share the view, that bigoted, insular discourse has been allowed to get out of control for far too long and has been indulged by society and government. where you and i part ways, however, is where you assert that a) these views are an essential part of being a muslim and b) that the situation cannot be removed without essentially repressive and coercive means. with this i fervently disagree and, more to the point, i don’t think that it is only restricted to islam - i would foresee my life becoming extremely unpleasant if the same level of bigotry and hostility to my way of life exhibited by the followers of richard dawkins became ubiquitous and indulged by the body politic - nick griffin, of course, goes without saying. what i object to is not islam, but lack of balance. what you appear to object to is islam. to quote ben goldacre:

      “actually, it’s a little bit more complicated than that.”

      Of course Jewish people are ‘unassimilable’.

      no, we’re not. we just understand that if assimilation gets out of control as, arguably, it did in germany in the early C20th or the US during the baby boom, the system gets out of whack and requires correction - but this must happen from within.

      And yes, frum Jews don’t necessarily accept British values and culture. But neither do they oppose non-Jews from having them.

      if you can tell me what “british values and culture” are and how they’re different from jewish values and culture, then perhaps we might have somewhat to discuss - but, of course, these are not two distinct entities and never have been - just put a bunch of scottish reform jews together with a bunch of london chasidim - or me with a bunch of german jews! - and see how well your contention does then.

      And crucially, Judaism is not prothletising.

      you mean proselytising. yes, we’re not - but you are. you are proselytising for assimilation as if it were a universalist solution - and we already know that it ain’t.

      These are crucial differences. And they demonstrate just how dangerous it is to expect Islam to be treated the same as Judaism in Britain.

      it is not beyond the wit of man to come up with a legislative solution that penalises and rewards behaviour rather than making it contingent on a particular religious label, to be awarded by whichever dubiously accredited body. that is the failure of your understanding.

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

    65. Reza — on 3rd November, 2009 at 2:42 pm  

      “nonsense. what am i defending that is indefensible? “

      I was under the impression that you defend sharia law and support that Islam is morally equivalent with religions such as Judaism and Christianity. You also seem to think that there are no possible disadvantages of a rapidly increasing Muslim demographic. And considering you’re a Jew, I think you’re deluding yourself:

      “EU official: Half of European anti-Semitism related to radical Islam”

      http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1201867280106&pagename=JPArticle%2FShowFull

      This should also worry you:

      “The European Union’s racism watchdog has shelved a report on anti-semitism because the study concluded Muslims and pro-Palestinian groups were behind many of the incidents it examined.”

      From The Financial Times 
November 22-23 2003

      http://www.tomgrossmedia.com/mideastdispatches/archives/000152.html

      “i criticised your use of the word “indigenous” (and i’m not too happy about “host culture and values” either) because i don’t see a clear dividing line between english or british “values” and “culture”…”

      Imagine, bananabrain, how offended many Jews would be at claims that there was no such thing as a distinct Jewish people and no shared history, culture or values.

      “in some ways i share the view, that bigoted, insular discourse has been allowed to get out of control for far too long and has been indulged by society and government. where you and i part ways, however, is where you assert that a) these views are an essential part of being a muslim and b) that the situation cannot be removed without essentially repressive and coercive means.”

      Indeed we do agree and disagree on both those points.

      “it is not beyond the wit of man to come up with a legislative solution that penalises and rewards behaviour rather than making it contingent on a particular religious label, to be awarded by whichever dubiously accredited body. that is the failure of your understanding.”

      Notwithsatnding my view that demographics are the Achilles heel of democracy, I would go along with that.

      For example, I would make it contingent on an Islamic organization receiving recognition, respect, government discourse or public funds for it to publically denounce support for killing apostates, homosexuals and people who have sex outside of marriage here or anywhere else.

      The fact that many Muslim organizations don’t do this (or skirt around the issue by saying they “support a ‘moratorium’ on hudud punishments” aka Tariq Ramadan) is no less outrageous to Nick Griffin claiming that the KKK are “totally peaceful these days” on Question Time.

    66. Paul — on 3rd November, 2009 at 2:44 pm  

      But surely such a massacre was what the Khalistan loonies, the very same people who bombed at least one airliner, wanted?

      Its interesting that the first response to this thread by ‘Auntie Vera’ is a virtual knee-jerk apologia for what was effectively a pogrom of genocidal intensity perpetrated by functionaries of the Congress party against innocent children, women and men. It is obvious that Auntie Vera believes in collective punishment, murderous collective punishment of innocent children, women and men. It is obvious that were an individual of Auntie Vera’s ethnic group to commit a crime or offence deemed to be answerable by collective punishment, even if he or she would not like it, Auntie Vera would understand if his or her mother, sister, daughter was raped and then murdered, his or her male relatives mutilated and then set on fire in front of his or her eyes, and then Auntie Vera him or herself would understand and empathise with those that slit her or his throat, raped him or her, and poured petrol over his or her body and set him or her alight to die the most painful death imaginable.

      All of that would be understandable, right, Auntie Vera? The context is one you accept and assert, so you would be happy to bear the sins of those individuals you shared an ethnicity with, happy to have your family raped and exterminated like insects in order to assuage the impulse of collective punishment, right, Auntie Vera?

      That’s the upshot of it all. The other reason is that you are a snivelling, cowardly piece of moral excrement who renders apologia for murderous genocide and rape of innocents, a piece of moral cowardly scum.

      Which is it, Auntie Vera? Let us know, you are either the neo-Jagdish Tytler, or the future sacrifical lamb to your own murder for something you have nothing to do.

      Either way, you are an ethically illiterate cretin.

    67. douglas clark — on 3rd November, 2009 at 3:22 pm  

      Paul,

      So, were there Khalistani lunatics or not, as Aunti Vera averred?

      Genuine question. I have no idea.

    68. persephone — on 4th November, 2009 at 1:46 am  

      Reza

      Getting back to you from earlier.

      You make much about different values, culture and now duo culture. Most of it is used to construct the barrier of difference.

      Values are largely human values which are common across all religions. (And yes a minority misinterpret or seek to apply outdated scriptures literally today which do not work for the modern values of the majority.)

      Culture is hard to define - consider the answers on a post on PP a few weeks where we sought to define British culture.

      Culture is undefinable because it is actually just personal tastes which are unique, can change over time/age/experiences and therefore too variable to quantify or ‘set’ as culture. And the only purpose of defining a groups personal tastes would be to dictate what others personal tastes should be. That then encroaches onto personal freedoms. That then creates the cyclical debate over whether subsuming personal freedoms is against our values & culture.

    69. persephone — on 4th November, 2009 at 9:57 am  

      “I don’t know as much about Sikhism as I do about Islam, Christianity and Judaism. To be fair, I know little beyond the average layperson who reads more than most.

      So I can’t really comment convincingly.”

      In that case why , I repeat, discriminate if you do not have the knowledge & ability to comment convincingly.(you don’t have to state the latter literally BTW)

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