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  • Technorati: graph / links

    Melanie Phillips and her columns


    by Sunny
    2nd November, 2009 at 10:12 am    

    Melanie Philips’s zealotry and ignorance frighten me. How did we produce a public commentator filled with such anger, venom and hatred, asked Ed Husain over the weekend. Good question. But that’s like asking how long is a piece of string. The sheer stupidity of the articles Mel writes for the Spectator knows no bounds.

    Ed carries on:

    In Melanie’s world, anybody – non-Muslim (Barack Obama) or Muslim (me) – who opposes her views on Israel is either an Islamist or “in the Islamists’ camp”. I reject Islamism on grounds of principle, experience, faith and political philosophy – and I refuse to pass the “Israel First” test. That is a perfectly coherent, normative political stance.

    The Israel First test, which she seeks to impose on British Muslims (as well as an American president), reeks of racism. Why is Israel more important than any other country in the world? With leading British Muslims increasingly supporting a secular state, democracy, women’s rights, gay rights and liberal pluralism, and opposing Islamist extremism – then still be attacked as “extremists” or “Islamist” because they don’t support Likud’s plans for Israel is bullying and uncompromising in the extreme. How dare she?

    Indeed. And I agree with all of that above. Her recent piece, trying to pour scorn on the people organising against Al-Muhajiroun, was also contemptible. Well done to Ed for writing this. Read the whole thing here.

    Update: Melanie Phillips has replied with:

    A number of anti-jihadis told me from the start that my support for Ed Husain was misplaced because he had never properly renounced Islamist extremism. To begin with, I defended him as a naif. Even when he came out with boilerplate bigotry against Israel, I put it down to the fact that he had been brought up in that kind of milieu. He was on a steep learning curve, I said. Everyone can change for the better.

    It was I who was naive.

    [my emphasis] As Ed said then, an Israel-test that he failed. Very predictable from a delusional woman.

    Update 2: Rhetorically speaking also has an amusing take-down.


                  Post to del.icio.us


    Filed in: British Identity,Islamists,Terrorism






    125 Comments below   |  

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs
    1. pickles

      New blog post: Melanie Phillips and her columns http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/6431




    1. Yakoub — on 2nd November, 2009 at 10:22 am  

      Mel has already replied to Ed, accusing him of grossly abusing her confidence by misrepresenting conversations between them “…in order falsely to blacken my reputation.” Can you blacken something that’s so black, it frequently gets mistaken for a black hole? Well, in the world according to Mad Mel, where Zionist historiographies are the only tale in town, and her word is sacrosanct, apparently so:

      http://www.spectator.co.uk/melaniephillips/5492961/ed-husain-and-me.thtml

    2. Boyo — on 2nd November, 2009 at 11:12 am  

      She is, seemingly, beyond reason. She was right to reject the bourgeois agenda of the Guardian, but it seemingly entailed such an effort that it sent her spiraling in to absurdity, particularly with her position on Israel, Obama, and Muslims. She has managed to make Oriana Fallaci seem even-handed.

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

      Melanie Phillips is a highly intelligent, articulate and thoughtful commentator. What’s more, her views are widely respected in the political mainstream. She’s a regular contributor on Radio 4, a sometimes guest on Question Time and Any Questions, she writes for newspapers from the Guardian to the Mail to the Spectator. She’s also authored a best-selling book, the excellent “Londonistan”.

      She does however let herself down sometimes with her paranoia that anyone that criticizes Israel in any way must be ‘anti-Semitic’. An attitude that I, as a firm supporter of Israel, have been on the receiving side of and have little time for.

      Nevertheless, she’s a national treasure. And someone who is far out of your league Sunny, when it comes to credibility, respect and influence.

      Thank god.

    4. Kismet Hardy — on 2nd November, 2009 at 11:31 am  

      Not a lot of people know or care, but I’ve been a columnist for a couple of Asian women’s magazines for the past 10 years or so. When you become a columnist, it does something to you. Something quite the opposite of bloggers. Where bloggers regularly cast out the net of validation hoping to reel in the odd thumbs up and grateful debate, columnists work out early on that to be successful, you have to be a bit of a cunt. The mailbox literally needs to bulge with hate mail so your boss (a la Jan Moir’s sugar daddy at Daily Mail) can rub his hands in glee knowing controversy sells. I bet your Melanie is okay in life really, with all her close pals chortling ‘what is she like’, but she knows as well as her boss that she wouldn’t be talked about right here, right now if she didn’t say exactly the kind of thing it takes to piss you off.

    5. persephone — on 2nd November, 2009 at 12:10 pm  

      @ 3 . I can see why Mel is Reza’s guru. There are many similarities.

      From the thrilling anger, old fashioned self-righteousness of tone, focus on finding a continuum between law-abiding, peaceful Muslim fellow citizens and terrorists, percieved as paranoid, hysterical and mad. Use of a hysterical tone that repels frank and thoughtful argument. Is aligned with a “denial industry” and fixates on the failures of multiculturalism (despite being from immigrant herself), cultural relativism and appeasement and has written “in support” of Geert Wilders.

      In 2003, she won the award for “Most Islamophobic Media Personality of the Year”.

      Reza, are you a parody of Mel?

    6. Reza — on 2nd November, 2009 at 12:18 pm  

      persephone

      “Reza, are you a parody of Mel?”

      No, but it’s very nice of you to say so.

      Mel ‘gets it’ to an extent, but she’s often reluctant to take what she ‘gets’ to its logical conclusion, hampered as she is by her reluctance to embrace the absolute heresy of universal ethno/cultural nationalism.

      And clearly it troubles her.

      Mel reminds me a little of myself, when I ripped up my Labour Party membership and renounced multiculturalism around 15 years ago.

      I’ve come a long way since then. I’m sure that given time, Mel will catch up.

    7. persephone — on 2nd November, 2009 at 12:23 pm  

      Reza, when did you emigrate to the UK?

    8. bernard — on 2nd November, 2009 at 12:24 pm  

      Might I ask, Reza, what you think about “libertarianism” and “free market” shite? Because it seems to me that to threaten to move global corporations to another country if they can’t write the tax code themselves isn’t very “patriotic”, but right-whingers never address this discrepancy in their worldview.

    9. persephone — on 2nd November, 2009 at 12:46 pm  

      Reza @6

      Don’t worry yourself about what Mel does.

      I rather think her focus and zeal is on pouring forth contentious ‘articles’ that create more publicity for paper and book sales. Well now it is.

      Her stance and ideals may change (again). After all it was a big move from her standpoint at The Guardian to that at The Daily (hate)Mail. A big move in credibility too.

    10. Reza — on 2nd November, 2009 at 12:58 pm  

      persephone

      “Reza, when did you emigrate to the UK?”

      If you don’t mind, I’ll be vague about my personal details. Suffice to say that it wasn’t recently. On Saturday, I got an email from an acquaintance who recognized me from one of my comments from PP that was posted by someone on Laban Tall’s blog.

      I’ve had a unique and colourful life and I’m from a weird and wonderful background of extremes. I have some relatives who might be very hurt by reading my views on Islam. Others that would find them a little too tolerant.

      So I’m sure you’ll understand that I value my anonymity.

    11. lfc4life — on 2nd November, 2009 at 1:12 pm  

      Anyone who takes mad melanie phillips or Ed jump on the government gravy train Hussien as credible or regard them as intelligent writers than i would direct them to the nearest mental hospital.

      They are both right wing neo-con clowns who are known for making exaggerated claims and outright lies.

    12. BenSix — on 2nd November, 2009 at 1:36 pm  

      What’s more, her views are widely respected in the political mainstream.

      Funny - from reading Reza’s posts, I’d gathered that he/she held the “political mainstream” in contempt. Is it, now, such a hallowed phenomenon that one can trot it out in an appeal to authority?

      She’s a regular contributor on Radio 4, a sometimes guest on Question Time and Any Questions, she writes for newspapers from the Guardian to the Mail to the Spectator. She’s also authored a best-selling book, the excellent “Londonistan”

      Noam Chomsky and John Pilger have both written for a wide variety of mainstream outlets, as well as publishing numerous best-selling books. If Reza’s at all consistent, this should grant them his/her automatic respect.

    13. Jai — on 2nd November, 2009 at 2:02 pm  

      Persephone,

      Reza, when did you emigrate to the UK?

      According to previous comments on this blog, “Reza” claims that he emigrated to the UK about 20 years ago. He also claims that he was very young at the time and is therefore unable to read/write Farsi, although he claims to have a conversational level of proficiency in the language (and apparently believes that speaking any language other than English in the UK is some kind of abomination, based on his horrified reaction when asked to translate a simple line of Farsi poetry).

      However, he has also repeatedly claimed that his children attend private school and he has used this assertion to support some of his arguments — but they would still be very young (pre-adolescent, at a guess) if he is indeed telling the truth about the previous two matters. Very big “if”, of course.

    14. Yahya Birt — on 2nd November, 2009 at 2:19 pm  

      Pure speculation of course, but would this spat with Melanie Philips and the recent one with Douglas Murray be connected in any way, shape or form with the forthcoming general election, political positioning-wise that is?

    15. Ravi Naik — on 2nd November, 2009 at 2:23 pm  

      Melanie Phillips is a highly intelligent, articulate and thoughtful commentator. What’s more, her views are widely respected in the political mainstream.

      That’s the problem, Reza. You think you and Mel are part of “mainstream”.

    16. Reza — on 2nd November, 2009 at 2:26 pm  

      So we’re not singing the same tune.

      Jai

      To be fair, I only believe that it is rude to speak a foreign language in the presence of people who don’t understand you. Like in the middle of a online debate. It’s bad manners. It’s something my father drilled into me as a child.

      I have no problems speaking Farsi to Iranians (although I am a little rusty).

      And why are you so obsessed with piecing together my background?

      I’m not at all concerned about yours.

      If you’re convinced that I’m an imposter who comes to an online blog to lie about being born in Iran and pretends to have kids in private school then surely I’m not worth debating with. Just ignore me.

    17. Refresh — on 2nd November, 2009 at 2:41 pm  

      Jai, it all suggests he was born c. 1982. Joined the Labour Party at the age of 5 or 6, on landing; tore up his membership card at around the age of 12.

      Does he not remind you of Amir? If I recall correctly he self-destructed after blaming his ‘turbanned’ housemate for posting rather crazy comments under his pseudonym late one evening.

    18. Refresh — on 2nd November, 2009 at 2:41 pm  

      Jai, it all suggests he was born c. 1982. Joined the Labour Party at the age of 5 or 6, on landing; tore up his membership card at around the age of 12.

      Does he not remind you of Amir? If I recall correctly he self-destructed after blaming his ‘turbanned’ housemate for posting rather crazy comments under his pseudonym late one evening.

    19. Reza — on 2nd November, 2009 at 2:46 pm  

      “Jai, it all suggests he was born c. 1982.”

      I wish! Mind, some people do say I look young for my age. I was at Uni around that time.

      Look, I’ll put all your minds at rest.

      I’m the Stig.

    20. Sunny — on 2nd November, 2009 at 3:12 pm  

      Pure speculation of course, but would this spat with Melanie Philips and the recent one with Douglas Murray be connected in any way, shape or form with the forthcoming general election, political positioning-wise that is?

      Doesn’t strike me as the right move then, given both are popular among neo-con Tories.

    21. Jai — on 2nd November, 2009 at 3:19 pm  

      To be fair, I only believe that it is rude to speak a foreign language in the presence of people who don’t understand you. Like in the middle of a online debate.

      Only if someone was speaking to you in Farsi and expecting a reply in the same language. The exact situation involved you being asked to translate something into English. Which bears absolutely no relation to the scenario you’ve just described.

      If you’re convinced that I’m an imposter who comes to an online blog to lie about being born in Iran and pretends to have kids in private school then surely I’m not worth debating with. Just ignore me.

      Almost identical words to a BNP member who had an identical writing style to you, voiced practically identical views, and was similarly prolific in commenting on this blog a few months ago. Interesting.

      “Jai, it all suggests he was born c. 1982.”

      I wish! Mind, some people do say I look young for my age. I was at Uni around that time.

      Which means that you certainly weren’t “too young” at that time to be able to remember how to read/write Farsi if, as you claim, you emigrated to the UK about 20 years ago. It would mean you were in your mid/late-twenties in 1989.

    22. Refresh — on 2nd November, 2009 at 3:56 pm  

      ‘you were in your mid/late-twenties in 1989.’

      Precisely!

    23. S — on 2nd November, 2009 at 4:27 pm  

      Melanie Phillips is obviously a nutter. The pertinent question is why do the spectator continue to host her insane ramblings after she long since left the shores of reason?

    24. Sunny — on 2nd November, 2009 at 5:55 pm  

      Jai - you know who Reza reminds me of? Remember ‘Amir’?

      Why do we always get the nutters who claim to be ‘ethnic’ and then spout the same crap as the BNP?

    25. Ismaeel — on 2nd November, 2009 at 6:22 pm  

      “Why do we always get the nutters who claim to be ‘ethnic’ and then spout the same crap as the BNP?”

      Ever thought it may be you that is provoking them and in some respects give fuel to their fire?

      A case in point is the recent two parter by Jai where he reinforced two widely discredited orientalist stereotypes of the legalistic exclusivist sepratist fanatic terrorist wahhabi vs the spiritual, universalist, anitnomian, integrationalist pacifist Sufi.

      Where does such dross leave a considerable section of the Muslim population who are legalist, exclusivist (in terms of salvation)spiritual (and explicity Sufi spiritual), intergrationalist not to mention anti-terrorism, pro-justice and just war and don’t consider any of this as incompatible with living here as active and participatory British citizens?

      It leaves them as easy targets for the BNP because supposedly liberal and left wing blogs such as yourselves are unwilling to recognise anyone other than secularised Muslims who share your values as being capable of living and coexisting in this society.

      In Sunny’s case this is because he wishes to dictate to Muslims which other Muslims they are allowed to talk to and work with and in Jai’s case it seems to be linked to a particular (perhaps unconscious) cultural bias linked to his religious background and its historical evolution.

    26. Ismaeel — on 2nd November, 2009 at 6:27 pm  

      p.s. I think its particularly bad form for Jai to attack Reza’s credentials on the basis that he refused to translate some farsi poetry, when he himself refused to offer even a single credible historical source for the collection of meems that passed for his articles on Sufism.

    27. Jai — on 2nd November, 2009 at 7:34 pm  

      Refresh, Sunny,

      Does he not remind you of Amir?

      Jai – you know who Reza reminds me of? Remember ‘Amir’?

      He reminds me of a number of people, some of whom are in the public eye and others who have previously commented on PP using various pseudonyms. The two groups are obviously not necessarily mutually exclusive.

      It’s also interesting that, for someone who claims to be such a highly qualified, wealthy and busy professional man, “Reza” has such an inordinate amount of free time to comment all day on practically every PP discussion thread going, day after day, week after week, month after month. Certainly compared to most of us who really do work in the private sector and who fall into the 40% income tax bracket. He’s by far the most prolific commenter on this blog.

      It’s almost as though pushing his agenda on PP is “Reza’s” real full-time job.

      Why do we always get the nutters who claim to be ‘ethnic’ and then spout the same crap as the BNP?

      Because they assume it’s an effective “Trojan horse” technique.

      As for the following gem from his post #16:

      It’s bad manners. It’s something my father drilled into me as a child.

      There was of course another recent incident involving a BNP member on Question Time making a similar immature, inappropriate, playground-style reference to people’s fathers.

      I’m sure it’s just a coincidence…..

    28. douglas clark — on 2nd November, 2009 at 7:45 pm  

      Jai,

      It is completely impossible to keep up with Reza. If there are any full time paying jobs commenting on Pickled Politics could you put my name forward?

    29. marvin — on 2nd November, 2009 at 8:13 pm  

      Even when he came out with boilerplate bigotry against Israel

      Yet Hussains understanding of Zionism is not a ‘homeland for the Jews’ but some pernicious ideology and a perversion of a Judaism!

      He said

      Zionism and Islamism are both political perversions of ancient Abrahamic faiths of Judaism and Islam… Prior to the Holocaust, Zionism was a pariah movement among Europe’s Jewish communities. Rabbis chastised Zionists for abusing religion and religious identity. And yet, with the inhumane onslaught against European Jews in the 1940s, Zionism gained acceptance and respectability.

      So Islamism is equivalent to Zionism! This is quite twisted actually….

      It’s the same mode of thinking I’ve encountered before, I’ve been told an otherwise sound bloke that Zionism is worse than Nazism!

      Does everybody here actually understand what Zionism is?

    30. marvin — on 2nd November, 2009 at 8:16 pm  

      Mel’s account of the private conversations sound rather more plausible than Ed’s I’m afraid. He’s under a lot of pressure. I can only begin to imagine some of the reactions Ed has had to put up with in recent years.

    31. London Muslim — on 2nd November, 2009 at 9:21 pm  

      Sunny/Jai

      There are a number of “Reza” trolls out there.

      http://londonmuslims.blogspot.com/2009/07/israels-internet-thought-police.html

    32. marvin — on 2nd November, 2009 at 9:31 pm  

      Reza is not a ‘troll’ and he’s not in the pay of mossad. Nor am I, but the paranoiacs on PP will never believe me.

      I think it’s out of line the way people are getting personal with their attacks on Reza.

      London Muslim, you seem to be a obsessed with the Zionism and it’s overarching Murdochite tentactles. What do you understand by the term “Zionism”?

    33. Ismaeel — on 2nd November, 2009 at 9:44 pm  

      Marvin,

      People know that Zionism is about achieving a homeland for the Jewish People. But Zionism as a political movement originating in the 19th century was a primarily secular nationalist movement which frankly cared little for religion or the rights to nationhood of the Palestinians. Since then there has emerged religious Jewish Zionism which is a fundamentalist orthodox movement that believes it’s alright to murder Palestinians in line with their interpretation of the Mizvot and Christian Zionism which believes in gettting all the Jews back into Israel and rebuilding the temple so Christ (AS) can return and the Christians can be raptured up to heaven.

      So Zionism (as opposed to Judaism) has earned itself a pretty bad name, although the original idea and it’s motivating factors are understandable and possible for one to sympathise with, it’s practical political manifestations have been pretty ugly.

    34. MaidMarian — on 2nd November, 2009 at 9:58 pm  

      Melanie Philips is a prejudice by numbers hack who is a product of a dumbed down media.

      It is not her fault that shrill sells and it is not her fault that journalists have to become what she has. It’s not her fault that journalists need to become panto-dames and it’s not her fault that TV needs rent-a-mouths. We as a society get the media we deserve. Pain me though it does - we deserve MP and we deserve Jan Moir.

      And Reza, ‘credibility, respect and influence,’ are not the same thing as, ‘high profile,’ however much MP and others like her want it to be. It is not her knee-jerk cries of anti-Semitism that lets her down. It is the way that she will have steam coming out of her every orifice in the Mail whenever there is mention of the BBC, but she will take their shilling to appear every time.

      That demonstrates that profile not principle matters more to her. But that is what ‘journalism’ today is all about.

      And given that she revels in the profile she has, I have no doubt that she would not mind me pointing any of this out.

    35. MaidMarian — on 2nd November, 2009 at 10:10 pm  

      Marvin (32) - ‘I think it’s out of line the way people are getting personal with their attacks on Reza.’

      I called him a knobhead. I called him that becaues he grossly misrepresented me and put words into my mouth. I think that was out of line.

      And I still think he is a knobhead. I also expect he has very sore shoulders.

    36. persephone — on 2nd November, 2009 at 11:05 pm  

      Jai @13

      Not only is Reza challenged by history, genetics, balanced debate, multiculturism, the iranian language but it also seems timeline as to his age. Theres a name for such a condition. Its called being a habitual porkie pie teller.

      “It’s almost as though pushing his agenda on PP is “Reza’s” real full-time job.”

      Well he’s certainly unlike other asian pharmacists who are too busy to spend so much time in commenting

    37. Shamit — on 3rd November, 2009 at 1:20 am  

      “She is a national treasure”

      by whose definition please?

      Reza - are you by any chance Colin Brown or his surrogate? you sound a hell of a lot like him - colin reincarnated as Reza. The anti-Muslim bigotry that you demonstrate makes me really wonder.

      Well, don’t you think this place is a bit out of your league. This audience would not fall for your fear propaganda.

      Finally, patrotism isn’t your monopoly — most of us, if not all, love this country deeply. So run along and find an audience who might take you even half seriously.

      Or do you wish to be treated like Colin brown?

    38. Sunny — on 3rd November, 2009 at 3:43 am  

      marvin - to be honest if I expected Mossad to pay people, they should pay people who are a lot more convincing than you. You’d make them look worse mate. Get rid of that chip on your shoulder yeah, no one cares.

      It leaves them as easy targets for the BNP because supposedly liberal and left wing blogs such as yourselves are unwilling to recognise anyone other than secularised Muslims who share your values as being capable of living and coexisting in this society.

      Ismaeel - that’s bloody hilarious. Now, apparently, the BNP is getting popular because people like myself are promoting secular Muslims. Now I’ve heard it all.

    39. Auntie Vera — on 3rd November, 2009 at 5:01 am  

      The tide is turning!

      Even Postman Pat, the Deep Thinker from the GPO Sorting Room, now thinks that the Blair-Brown mass immigration project was - er - “maladroit.”

      Well, now that Neather has let the cat out of the back, he WOULD say that, wouldn’t he?

      [to quote Mandy Rice-Davies here]

    40. douglas clark — on 3rd November, 2009 at 6:10 am  

      Sunny @ 38.

      That is so disappointing. I’d hoped that almost everyone that commented here was being paid by Mossad or the BNP or something. Surely at least Reza is being paid by someone?

      Perhaps Mossad, perhaps the BNP or maybe the EDL?

      We moneyless commentators demand to know!

    41. douglas clark — on 3rd November, 2009 at 6:21 am  

      Perhaps we could call pistils at dawn?

      http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hibiscus_Pistil.jpg

    42. Ben — on 3rd November, 2009 at 6:34 am  

      “…The Israel First test, which she seeks to impose on British Muslims…reeks of racism. ”

      Racism has got nothing to do with it. And noone is imposing anything on British Moslems. But Moslem attitudes are important to Jews, and when they are hostile, we oppose them.

      As a major force in international politics, with a quarter of the world’s population, Moslems have a power and influence only equalled by the Christian world. For Jews, who play a negative role in the foundational stories of both of these religious civilizations, it is very important that Moslems stay away from extreme interpretations of religious scripture and doctrine. For Israelis, who are opposed by pan-Arabist and pan-Islamist doctrines, it is very important that the rights of minority states in the Middle East like Israel be acknowledged and accepted by the Moslem countries.

    43. douglas clark — on 3rd November, 2009 at 6:52 am  

      Ben,

      Would you be a less bright light in the chandalier that Ben-Six?

    44. Reza — on 3rd November, 2009 at 7:58 am  

      The sheer twattery of some of you is astonishing.

      So pathetic.

    45. qidniz — on 3rd November, 2009 at 8:49 am  

      So pathetic.

      … that it’s entertaining.

    46. Andrew — on 3rd November, 2009 at 9:23 am  

      “Pure speculation of course, but would this spat with Melanie Philips and the recent one with Douglas Murray be connected in any way, shape or form with the forthcoming general election, political positioning-wise that is?”

      “Doesn’t strike me as the right move then, given both are popular among neo-con Tories.”

      Is it possible that Ed has an eye on the General Election, which has to be held by the first week of June next year at the very latest. If/when the Tories win - which is very likely - an early act is likely to be the cutting off of funds for groups like the Quilliam Foundation. I suspect that he may be angling for a role in the Labour Party in opposition, and taking on people like Melanie Philips and Douglas Murray would help. The only thing is - what’s he going to do about Michael Gove who is a QF trustee?

    47. asquith — on 3rd November, 2009 at 9:25 am  

      Melanie Philips’ assertions on drugs get fisked:

      http://www.leftfootforward.org/2009/11/rwhy-melanie-phillipss-is-nutts-on-drugs/

    48. Reza — on 3rd November, 2009 at 9:50 am  

      quidniz

      “… that it’s entertaining.”

      Yes, but scary too. Some of the twattish behaviour is by people who come across as having above average intelligence (persephone, you suprise me).

      This debate has become a microcosm of the problems we have debating issues regarding multiculturalism and immigration in this country.

      First we have the ‘ethnic’ nepotists like Sunny, who clearly are motivated by an envy and resentment bordering on hatred of the ‘indigenous’ peoples and cultures of this country. And behind every one of his posts is a theme: “what’s best for me and MY people”.

      Then you have ‘white’ competitive altruists like Douglas, so eager to demonstrate their altruism that they become self-hating and irrational and happily embrace denial so long as they’re rewarded with a pat on the head from an ‘ethnic’ nepotist.

      Then added to the mix you have the sundry deniers and conspiracy theorists that resort to Godwins Law, the ad hominem and er, conspiracies.

      When they can’t win an argument, they’ll begin by accusing the debater of being a ‘Nazi’ or a ‘racist’. When that fails, they’ll attack the person rather than the argument. And finally, they’ll see a grand conspiracy.

      And there you have it. The debating integrity of the left:

      1. “You Nazi!”. 2. Personal attack. 3. Conspiracy theory.

      Is it any wonder that support for the left is in freefall, here and throughout Europe?

    49. persephone — on 3rd November, 2009 at 10:16 am  

      Reza

      How does a hard working tax payer find the time to comment so much. Surely all this posting during core dispensing hours impedes your running a pharmacy business?

      And you, of all people, taking issue about personal attacks… You sway from being ever so polite to abuse. I wouldn’t even mind if some of it was witty.

    50. Reza — on 3rd November, 2009 at 11:26 am  

      persephone

      Yes, I have been guilty of ‘getting personal’ in the past. However, I’m intelligent enough to realize that this diminishes the debater and his or her argument. And on occasions when I have ‘got personal’ without justification, I’ve apologized. Obviously, I’m not going to apologies for highlighting the character flaws of people whose sole method of debate is to personally attack those that disagree with them. They vindicate my criticism.

      I value my anonymity and will continue to be vague about my background and care little if dim people choose to read some grand conspiracy into that.

      My views may seem extreme. But I believe that the views of many on this site are extreme. However, I do try, really try, to put my views thoughtfully and back them up with evidence. And whilst I’m rational enough to accept that few ‘lefties’ here will suddenly realize the error of their ways, I do hope that some might question the intellectually weak and irrational stance that people like Sunny take. It’s wrong for people like that to be unchallenged. But I know that lefties feel safest when they shut out opposing views so that they can spend their time agreeing with each other.

      I’ve long understood that ‘leftism’ is like a religion, often based on little more than faith. And like all ‘believers’ lefties feel personally threatened when their views are challenge. That’s what makes them so hostile.

      It’s interesting.

      Finally, studying pharmacy doesn’t mean that one must work in the pharmaceutical industry.

      And that’s all I’m going to say on that aspect of my background. Read into that whatever you wish to.

    51. Reza — on 3rd November, 2009 at 2:41 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.

    52. Jai — on 3rd November, 2009 at 8:02 pm  

      Persephone,

      Not only is Reza challenged by history, genetics, balanced debate, multiculturism, the iranian language but it also seems timeline as to his age. Theres a name for such a condition. Its called being a habitual porkie pie teller.

      Exactly.

      However, I’m intelligent enough to realize that this diminishes the debater and his or her argument.

      But apparently he’s not intelligent enough to realise or acknowledge when he has lost the argument time and time again, or the persistent inconsistencies, distortions, contradictions and factual errors in his own assertions, or the way this persistently exposes the lies in his “cover story”, or the fact that not everyone contradicting him is a “leftie”, or the transparent “divide & rule” tactics he’s deploying in relation to Muslims vis-a-vis Hindus, Jews and Sikhs, or the fact that “prophesying” is not an interchangeable term for “proselytising” (and that “prothletising” is not the correct spelling of the latter, unless he’s ‘typing with a lisp’), or the fact that most of his pronouncements are meaningless rhetorical soundbites that usually bear little relation to reality and rarely withstand proper scrutiny.

      “Reza” could be politely described as “misinformed”, except for the fact that his continuous dismissal of detailed counterarguments in matters ranging from history to politics to religion to ethnicity implies that his actions are actually deliberate and calculated. You and I both know that the accurate description “habitual porkie pie teller” would be just one of several terms for such a person.

      Either way, I think someone grossly overestimates his own intelligence and grossly underestimates everyone else’s. Not that we would expect much more when someone starts dropping the veneer of using “saleable” terms and instead blurts out terms such as “host nation”, “client state”, “parasite” and much else besides.

      Eventually, the mask always slips and, as you said, the truth always comes out.

    53. MaidMarian — on 3rd November, 2009 at 8:20 pm  

      Reza - I don’t suppose for a moment that you do, but…

      Do you not hold out the faintest possibility that the people who disagree with you do so not out of some dogmatic defence of an ideological position or because of some personal social agenda, but that they happen to have a different stance to you?

      Similarly, do you not hold out the possibility that there are actually some good people put out by the way you put words into other peoples mouths, spew out some straw man and quote ‘evidence’ which is usually some sort of news story?

      Or does your dogma prevent you thinking like that? Just out of interest.

    54. douglas clark — on 3rd November, 2009 at 10:10 pm  

      Reza @ 48,

      Then you have ‘white’ competitive altruists like Douglas, so eager to demonstrate their altruism that they become self-hating and irrational and happily embrace denial so long as they’re rewarded with a pat on the head from an ‘ethnic’ nepotist.

      Fascinating. I just take people as I find them. And, generally speaking, I find most of the authors around here (and most of the commentators too) to be well worth reading. I’m quite happy being me and I’m only occasionally irrational - that latter point being open for debate I suppose….

    55. Naadir Jeewa — on 3rd November, 2009 at 10:18 pm  

      “competitive altruists”

      Ergh. The smell of pop evolutionary psychology.

      Crooked Timber nailed that one shut.

    56. Don — on 3rd November, 2009 at 11:36 pm  

      I love “competitive altruists”. Ready, set,go … damn, you win again. Oh, thanks very much.

    57. BenSix — on 4th November, 2009 at 1:30 am  

      Reza,

      I, for one, couldn’t care less about your background. In fact, the price of jam could occupy me longer. Your performance in this thread, however, has been bloody funny, and for that I thank you.

      For example, you claim that “behind every one of [Sunny's] posts is a theme: “what’s best for me and MY people”“. This, of course, applies perfectly well to the nationalism you claim to hold, but to Sunny? Not so much. You are, after all, commenting on a piece where he criticises somebody for opposing Muslims. Sunny, as you probably know, isn’t a Muslim.

      Later, you criticise “leftists” for using “ad hominem“. Well played, sir! You either lack any semblance of self-awareness, or — well,
      just watch this film.

      Moreover, while you cheerfully claim that “‘leftism’ is like a religion” - Good God, sir, never heard that one before - you deploy - in the space of one thread! - appeals to authority, ad hominem and bare assertion. Is this a joke, or do you have a Daily Mail lodged in your throat?

    58. persephone — on 4th November, 2009 at 1:56 am  

      “For example, you claim that “behind every one of [Sunny's] posts is a theme: “what’s best for me and MY people”“. This, of course, applies perfectly well to the nationalism you claim to hold, but to Sunny? Not so much. You are, after all, commenting on a piece where he criticises somebody for opposing Muslims. Sunny, as you probably know, isn’t a Muslim.”

      Its a certain type of person who perceives & lumps all non white/brown people together. I am surprised for a self proclaimed Iranian to have done so. I wouldn’t be surprised at a BNP/far right sympathiser doing so.

      Sometimes the assimilated iranian halo slips awry

    59. bananabrain — on 4th November, 2009 at 12:08 pm  

      reza:

      I was under the impression that you defend sharia law

      people have the option to resolve disputes in whatever alternative forum they wish - whether at acas, a beit din or a sharia court, as long as they are not compelled to do so. people are also entitled to live their personal life by whichever moral code they choose as long as it does not harm anyone else. insofar as sharia law fits those definitions, i defend it.

      support that Islam is morally equivalent with religions such as Judaism and Christianity.

      that is far too vaguely phrased a position for me to respond to it in any meaningful fashion. obviously, morally speaking. there are going to be things we agree on, but similarly, there will be things we disagree on too. however, i know enough about sharia to know that it contains enough self-moderating mechanisms for it to be a liberal, empowering, community-enhancing, highly moral system if people will only wish to learn how to make it so. sadly, most muslims are just as morally chauvinistic and blinkered as most jews and christians.

      You also seem to think that there are no possible disadvantages of a rapidly increasing Muslim demographic.

      a muslim demographic, no. an intolerance and stupidity demographic, that’s a problem. but that isn’t restricted to muslims, it includes everything from the bnp to the far left to fundamentalist atheism. some muslims are part of the solution to this, just as some jews are also, sadly, part of the problem.

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

      i am not blind to this. why do you think i write for the spittoon?

      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.

      the thing is, reza, that judaism has been through more historical development as a diaspora culture than islam has, approximately 2,000 years of it. you only have to look at the vast array of hues, accents and customs in judaism to see this. consequently, our distinct peoplehood, history and values must be the result of religion, not ethnicity. that is what i share with a polish or an ethiopian or a yemeni or a german or a portuguese or an american jew - but we don’t look alike and you would be hard put to see what we share, culturally. are we “distinct” - yes, but not in the way you seem to think. ethnically or racially, not at all. in this, we are no different from the english - and i would certainly argue that there is such a thing as english culture if not “indigenous” englishness.

      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.

      i think there’s something in what you say, albeit i don’t find it necessary to go so far as to call for public denunciations - that, to me, smacks of the ritual chanting of “death to israel” that is demanded of the iranian jewish community by its government - and about as pointless. i would only go so far as saying that calling for harm for engaging activities which are not illegal under UK law should be penalised in some way. the trouble is how to do that in such a way that it doesn’t single out muslims and make them feel marginalised, which i think is important to avoid.

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

    60. qidniz — on 4th November, 2009 at 3:08 pm  

      however, i know enough about sharia to know that it contains enough self-moderating mechanisms for it to be a liberal, empowering, community-enhancing, highly moral system if people will only wish to learn how to make it so.

      In view of such muddleheaded albeit well-intentioned wishful thinking, I seriously doubt that you know much at all about sharia.

    61. bananabrain — on 4th November, 2009 at 3:38 pm  

      perhaps, qidniz, i know more sensible, better-educated and humane muslims than you do.

      if a muslim is an arsehead, they’re going to use islam to be an arsehead about. if he’s jewish, he’s going to use halakhah to be an arsehead about. if he’s an atheist, he’s going to use philosophy and science to be an arsehead about.

      the challenge is to get these people to stop being arseheads in the first place.

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

    62. Reza — on 5th November, 2009 at 10:29 am  

      bananabrain

      “…i think there’s something in what you say, albeit i don’t find it necessary to go so far as to call for public denunciations …”

      But that’s exactly what we do with ‘racism’.

      All public organisations have an ‘Equal Opportunities’ policy.

      Adherence to this policy is always a condition of employment.

      I recently helped a friend fill out an application for a teaching job in a state school.

      The policy for that LEA stated that the applicant will (from memory) “value and celebrate the home culture and language of every child”.

      For f*cks sake! How draconian is that. How dare someone be ‘ordered’ to “celebrate” foreign languages and value, unconditionally, all alien cultures?

      My suggestion for Islamic schools and Mosques is far less unreasonable than an ‘Equal Opps’ policy.

      It would simply require a declaration that the organisation publically opposes those views, attitudes and behaviours that are unacceptable and even illegal in this country.

      A final question bananabrain.

      Do you believe that Israel could exist with a Muslim majority?

    63. bananabrain — on 5th November, 2009 at 11:24 am  

      But that’s exactly what we do with ‘racism’.

      no, it’s exactly what the sort of people who like public denunciations and media grandstanding do with racism.

      All public organisations have an ‘Equal Opportunities’ policy. Adherence to this policy is always a condition of employment. I recently helped a friend fill out an application for a teaching job in a state school. The policy for that LEA stated that the applicant will (from memory) “value and celebrate the home culture and language of every child”.

      ok, so that’s a poorly drafted policy. change the policy, not the idea of having a policy at all. it’s there for a reason. if the function is not served, the solution should be altered.

      My suggestion for Islamic schools and Mosques is far less unreasonable than an ‘Equal Opps’ policy.

      i disagree. in my kid’s jewish primary school, they are expected to educate the kids about other cultures and they duly do so. it doesn’t mean they have to make a big song and dance about it in public. do you expect them to turn up with supportive banners at a gay pride rally or something?

      It would simply require a declaration that the organisation publically opposes those views, attitudes and behaviours that are unacceptable and even illegal in this country.

      the same could be achieved by having them sign up to a declaration saying that they support and enforce all relevant UK legislation about racial, religious and sexual discrimination - but the point is that that is unnecessary. the legislation is already binding on them and they have consented to that indirectly in various different ways. all you are talking about is gesture politics and i have no time for that.

      Do you believe that Israel could exist with a Muslim majority?

      if the entire population was able to coexist and have a decent standard of living and no systematic discrimination, then, yes, why not? the state of israel is not a religious entity for me and even if it were, there would (if everything was correctly implemented) be no reason for muslims to fear discrimination. the trouble is is that such a contingency is a remote one, given the people involved.

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

    64. Reza — on 5th November, 2009 at 11:46 am  

      bananabrain

      “…if the entire population was able to coexist and have a decent standard of living and no systematic discrimination, then, yes, why not? the state of israel is not a religious entity for me and even if it were, there would (if everything was correctly implemented) be no reason for muslims to fear discrimination. the trouble is is that such a contingency is a remote one, given the people involved.”

      So you mean, “yes” in a theoretical, idealistic fantasy world, but “no” in reality.

      You know, I agree with you on the likely consequences of massive democratic change in Britain.

      I don’t see why it couldn’t turn out peachy, but fear it mightn’t “given the people involved”: human beings.

    65. Reza — on 5th November, 2009 at 11:55 am  

      Whoops!

      I meant to write “massive demographic change”.

    66. bananabrain — on 5th November, 2009 at 12:38 pm  

      no, you’re making false equivalences. immigration into the uk is not the same as demographic change from inside the borders of another state which, in any case, isn’t actually an island, is already divided and in more or less a constant state of war. apples and oranges, reza.

      there is more than one answer to what you’re saying - in fact, you’ve just made the case for people needing to learn how to cope with those that are different from them without needing to change them - whether you are talking about disgusted-of-tunbridge-wells or angry-abdul-from-bradford, problems can be avoided simply by learning the following:

      OH, SO YOU’RE NOT THE SAME AS ME. WELL, AS LONG AS YOU DON’T WANT TO FORCE ME TO BE THE SAME AS YOU, I WON’T TRY AND FORCE YOU TO BE THE SAME AS ME.

      jews in israel aren’t interested in forcing arabs to become jewish, arabs in israel aren’t especially interested in forcing jews to become muslim (or christian) but both jews and arabs have within them groups that would like to make their own “side” homogeneous. it is that that i think is utterly wrong, misguided and ultimately a desecration of the Divine Name. the situation is very different here.

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

    67. Reza — on 5th November, 2009 at 1:45 pm  

      bananabrain

      “OH, SO YOU’RE NOT THE SAME AS ME. WELL, AS LONG AS YOU DON’T WANT TO FORCE ME TO BE THE SAME AS YOU, I WON’T TRY AND FORCE YOU TO BE THE SAME AS ME.”

      That’s possible when the ‘different’ populations are in a minority. However, when the ‘minority’s’ numbers become very large, then it is not unreasonable for that minority to expect to have a strong political and cultural influence on society. For example, if there was to be a massive non-Muslim immigration to Iran, it’s not unrealistic for those non-Muslims to demand an end to the compulsory hejab law for women. And whilst I feel that this would be a good thing, many Iranians might be very pissed off by that.

      Similarly, you must ask yourself what would happen here if the Muslim demographic became 20%, or 40%. I would hope that that population wouldn’t force me to be the same as them. However, I would expect that certain aspects of Muslim culture would be applied in a way that would affect my life. For example, eating in public during Ramadan might become frowned upon. Opposition towards same-sex civil partnerships might rise. My kids could find themselves celebrating Eid at school.

      The society we have is the result of its demographic. Democracy is controlled by demographics.

      And you simply won’t have the same society with different people in it.

      “…the situation is very different here.”

      Yes it is at the moment. But given the situation in Israel, how can you reassure me that I should have no concerns about the Muslim demographic here becoming very large.

      And if your answer is “that’s not going to happen”, then what is the objection to people like me who simply say “we must take steps to ensure that it will NEVER happen”.

    68. bananabrain — on 5th November, 2009 at 2:22 pm  

      reza,

      i follow your argument. but if it requires me to descend to the level of denying people the freedoms i myself expect - and exercise responsibly then, i’m afraid, i will not so do. i will find any reasonable alternative. i cannot be a good jew, a democrat, a defender of liberty in the best english tradition and at the same time one who demands something of muslims i am not myself prepared to comply with and that, i’m afraid, is what you are saying.

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

    69. Reza — on 5th November, 2009 at 3:15 pm  

      bananabrain

      I’m depressed by your last comment.

      Because it appears to vindicate the charge from some people on the far-right that the mere presence of Jewish people prevents Europeans from being culturally confident and nationalistic, despite the overwhelming evidence that most of them want to be. It also smacks of the attitude “what’s best for the Jews”, rather than “what’s best for society”.

      Or what’s best for “the common good” as Jonathan Sacks describes in his excellent book “The Home We Build Together”.

      I am encouraged by the increasing number of Jewish commentators like Melanie Phillips who now seem to realise that the liberal and tolerant policies that Jewish people have traditionally supported are leading to in an increasing illiberal environment for them as British culture and values are undermined through moral equivalence, massive uncontrolled immigration and appeasement of intolerable foreign cultures, values and belief systems. They are arguing that there is no contradiction in being Jewish and supporting the right of European nations to be culturally confident and nationalistic.

      And having enough faith and trust in the British people to reassure them that cultural confidence and nationalism will not lead to gentiles taking up pitchforks and chasing them down the street.

      I strongly urge you to read “The Home We Build Together” by Jonathan Sacks.

      Here’s an interesting review from the Guardian (albeit with a predictable leftie prejudice):

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2007/nov/18/society

      “…It is that British society has become too willing to give equal status to competing claims to ‘the truth’. It has divided into factions, based on religion, politics, gender and sexual orientation, which compete to enforce their rights over one another. Such competition, says Sacks, jeopardises the moral consensus that makes civilised co-existence possible. Multiculturalism, in other words, is tearing us apart.”

      I don’t agree with everything the book says, but Sacks perfectly explains how and why Multiculturalism IS tearing us apart as a society.

    70. BenSix — on 5th November, 2009 at 4:41 pm  

      Because it appears to vindicate the charge from some people on the far-right that the mere presence of Jewish people prevents Europeans from being culturally confident and nationalistic, despite the overwhelming evidence that most of them want to be.

      One comment from bananabrainappears to vindicate” Kevin MacDonald? And, by the way, very classy to imply that he’d fear “gentiles taking up pitchforks and chasing [him] down the street“. (Remember, kids, it’s the Left that’s hostile and irrational.)

    71. bananabrain — on 5th November, 2009 at 5:29 pm  

      it appears to vindicate the charge from some people on the far-right that the mere presence of Jewish people prevents Europeans from being culturally confident and nationalistic, despite the overwhelming evidence that most of them want to be. It also smacks of the attitude “what’s best for the Jews”, rather than “what’s best for society”.

      i don’t know what that’s supposed to be based on. there is a massive spectrum here with “everything is equally valid” at one end and “all deviation from the norm must be suppressed” at the other. i am at neither end, either for society at large or for my own community. i have stated in several places that i think there is very definitely such a thing as english culture and that i believe i share it and am part of it (i’m doing so by commenting here in fact!) i do not see how, for example, buying my meat in the kosher butcher prevents mr-average-white-bloke from going to see united on saturday afternoon. i’m not telling him he can’t. we’re not in each other’s way. so what is the problem? this is at its most practical level the everyday meaning of liberty. in israel, in some areas, the streets are empty of cars on the sabbath and people walk in the street. for me to demand the same thing here for my religious convenience would be an intolerable intrusion on the liberty of my fellow citizens. for me to support the north-west london eruv is not, because most of them don’t even know it is there and even if they do, can’t see how it affects them one way or another - probably because it doesn’t.

      i think mel phillips makes a good point from time to time. however, most of the time i find her shrill, blinkered and reductionist - but then again, she is a journalist after all. i share few of her views. but as i have pointed out many times here, at least she doesn’t want me dead.

      having enough faith and trust in the British people to reassure them that cultural confidence and nationalism will not lead to gentiles taking up pitchforks and chasing them down the street.

      i agree about the cultural confidence, but not about the nationalism. i detest nationalism. i have no problem with patriotism; that’s why i wear a poppy, that’s why i stand up for the national anthem and that’s why i treat the queen, the flag and other national institutions with respect. however, i am intelligent and mature enough to recognise that an american will feel the same way about his institutions, even if i prefer my own to his. i can be proud of my country without feeling the need to do others’ down - that, to me, is the difference between patriotism and nationalism - the hostility to out-group is not something i want to be part of as a jew, a londoner, an englishman, a briton, a european - except of course as regards the french (oops!)

      i do not give equal status, as you suggest, to all competing claims to the truth. some have more merit than others. in this, i suspect i have more in common with the views of rabbi sacks than you do.

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

    72. qidniz — on 5th November, 2009 at 10:19 pm  

      the challenge is to get these people to stop being arseheads in the first place.

      In a nutshell: Sharia requires Muslims to be, as you put it, arseheads. That so many Muslims are not is a credit to their humanity and not, as you would like to believe, to Sharia and Islam. (In this connection, the explanation of al-wala’ wa’l-bara’ in Section w59.2 of the Reliance of the Traveller is worth reading.)

    73. Shamit — on 6th November, 2009 at 12:47 am  

      BB@71 -

      The second part “i agree about the cultural confidence, but not about the nationalism. i detest nationalism. i have no problem with patriotism; that’s why i wear a poppy, that’s why ……the french”

      I reckon that is among the very best comments I have read on this blog.

      Very well said.

      We should have more comments like that on PP.

    74. Naadir Jeewa — on 6th November, 2009 at 1:04 am  

      @72, I can’t help but promote the ideas of the founder of my degree course, but the idea that the Sharia requires Muslims to be arseheads has been debunked many a time, especially at the historical level.

    75. douglas clark — on 6th November, 2009 at 1:12 am  

      Shamit @ 73,

      With the greatest possible repect to you:

      The second part “i agree about the cultural confidence, but not about the nationalism. i detest nationalism. i have no problem with patriotism; that’s why i wear a poppy, that’s why ……the french”

      Nationalism is not, necessarily race based. It would be kind of hard to argue an Indian or American nationalism based on race, unless one saw all Indians as one race or all Americans as one race?

      Some forms of nationalism are open to inclusion. My own party, the SNP is standing a candidate Mohammed Said in the Glasgow Central constituency where, to stand a chance he will have to go well and truly beyond an ethnic vote. In other words, fot the SNP to succeed in that election both the PPC and the electorate have to show mutual trust.

      That would be the antithesis of the exclusive nationalism of the BNP. It is inconceivable that these people would ever stand an Asian candidate is it not?

      I am finding this idea that people should be defined by their patriotism, when it is absent criticism, quite bizarre.

      Is patriotism not the last refuge of the scoundrel or some such? Old Sam Johnson I do believe.

      Anyway, the French are OK.

    76. Naadir Jeewa — on 6th November, 2009 at 1:27 am  

      With @75 on this.

      Britain’s been unique as being one of the few European countries with civic (/liberal) nationalist parties such as the SNP and Plaid Cymru.
      Eastern Europe, particularly, suffers from a parfit of ethnic nationalist parties.

      This has been known as the ethnic vs. civic nationalism dichotomy.

      There’s been a huge debate as to why this has been the case, and why the situation might be beginning to change in the UK and US.

    77. douglas clark — on 6th November, 2009 at 1:40 am  

      Naadir,

      Could I refer you to at least one other separation that doesn’t seem to me at least to be particularily ethnic?

      The division of Sweden into Sweden and Norway. From circa 1814 until 1905 they were a single, albeit loose nation state. They split up without a great deal of disharmony as far as I can tell.

    78. Shamit — on 6th November, 2009 at 1:46 am  

      Most Asian Britons consider themselves British Asians rather than Scottish, Welsh And English. We prefer the term british - And I am part of that majority.

      I view myself as British and while I do respect some of the social views held by both SNP and Plaid Cymru -I am very much for a UNITED KINGDOM - and so forgive me if I find the views of both those parties very parochial as well as a bit naive.

      And all of the major National political parties of the United Kingdom embrace multiculturalism and are Nationalist in the exact same way as the SNP. It has got nothing to do with race.

      However, forgive me if I do not like a political party that wants to break up my country — call it nationalism, patriotism what you will? I don’t wish my country to be torn apart.

    79. Shamit — on 6th November, 2009 at 1:56 am  

      I also don’t view patriotism to be something one should frown upon and as BB said very well - I can be proud of my country without putting down another. And there is nothing wrong with loving your country - I wonder why anyone would look down upon it?

    80. douglas clark — on 6th November, 2009 at 2:10 am  

      Shamit,

      Jolly good. How many Asians living in Scotland have you actually spoken to? I have found it nowhere near as clear cut as you choose to present it. Most appear to see their religion as their defining charcteristic, but many then opt for Scottish as a secondary identity, not British.

      I am quite willing to bend the knee to actual evidence, but not to your polemic.

      Incidentally, the most parochrial and naive people you can find in the UK live within a twenty five mile radius of Westminster. For they think that that is all of it. It is not.

      I am not trying to suggest that the Labour, Liberal or even Conservative Parties do not embrace multiculturalism, but it is not the only criteria for identity. I think scale has a bit to do with it too, and not just saying it as a mantra but actually practicing it.

      As I cannot for the life of me recall what your political views actually are I’ll need to take a rain check on that last paragraph.

    81. Shamit — on 6th November, 2009 at 2:28 am  

      The polls and the voting trends for the past 20 years Douglas. I was not trying to argue with you or have a go at you.

      I was just stating experiences and some figures and obviously i no fair few asians in scotland. believe me the auntie raaj is strong there too. And I am going to a belated Diwali party in Aberdeen next weekend a tradition you might say.

      But, What do political views have to do with patriotism?

      And why are you sort of challenging me aggressively rather than have a discussion - did i offend you by saying that I do not wish my country to be torn apart? Thats the majority British view. Thats what all the polls say including N. Ireland. Sorry I did not mean to offend you though.

      Are you just angry because the majority of the population do not buy into your party’s policy of breaking up the United Kingdom — now I am being cheeky.

      By the way, a few weeks ago you were congratulating me for defending the left weell. Especially my views on why left matters and what the left has achieved especially when many find no differences between the left and right. Do you recall that? If I have to define myself I would say left of centre - and I can find that thread too if you wish.

      Douglas - I respect your views on the SNP but I respectfully disagree.

    82. douglas clark — on 6th November, 2009 at 2:35 am  

      Shamit,

      OK, Keys.

      ;-)

    83. qidniz — on 6th November, 2009 at 6:09 am  

      but the idea that the Sharia requires Muslims to be arseheads has been debunked many a time, especially at the historical level.

      I see no “debunking” at the offered link (a review of a book), and I have no idea what “historical level” is supposed to mean. (What are some other “levels”? And why are they “levels”? What makes one “above” or “below” another? Sounds like ten-dollar verbiage to impress the natives and the unwashed.)

    84. damon — on 6th November, 2009 at 9:50 am  

      Blimey Douglas, this line is a bit strong.

      ‘Incidentally, the most parochrial and naive people you can find in the UK live within a twenty five mile radius of Westminster’.

      That’s a whole lot of people you’re talking about.
      More than half of the UK’s ethnic minorities live there too.
      But we’ve got broad shoulders down here and are used to a bit of anti-London bias.

    85. persephone — on 6th November, 2009 at 10:10 am  

      Not sure why the UK’s ethnic minorities was brought into this when discussing Westminster. They have little power in what decisions are made there as their representation (in places of influence) is in the minority.

      On a level I agree with Douglas. I was a Londoner/within the 25 mile radius for most of my life. In some areas of life its very apparent. Especially work. If you are looking to work in the City (and a lot of Londoners always mean the centre of London/square mile by that – as if there is no other city in the UK …) but have only worked in the regions it is perceived as not being of the same calibre, a bit ‘out in the sticks’ mentality.

      On the occasions I’ve lived away from London I did see another aspect too in that people in the regions outside of London/25 mile radious do not see their world and needs (particularly renumeration) as all consuming.

    86. Reza — on 6th November, 2009 at 10:17 am  

      bananabrain

      I agree, more-or-less with everything you’ve written in Post 71 above, except for your view that nationalism is necessarily xenophobic. For me “nationalism” means ‘belonging’ to a nation of people that share a similar culture and values rather than a xenophobic label.

      I believe that a ‘nation’ can embrace a degree of pluralism and can tolerate or even accept ‘alien’ cultures and values, but it must assume certain ground-rules. And that’s where ‘multiculturalism’ falls down. Because multiculturalism doesn’t recognize a dominant culture, it loses the concept of ‘ground-rules’. That leads to the existence of parallel societies, poor integration, little cohesion and a very vague and confused idea of what it actually means to be English, or even British.

      Finally, given the tenor of your comments, I can’t understand why you won’t admit to sharing my concerns that a massive growth of the Muslim demographic in this country might cause problems for our society.

    87. bananabrain — on 6th November, 2009 at 11:13 am  

      @qidniz:

      In a nutshell: Sharia requires Muslims to be, as you put it, arseheads.

      then that is where you and i disagree. what makes certain muslims (and certain jews and certain christians) claim that their arseheadery is religiously-mandated is the result of what we jews call hashkafah or world-view. i personally believe that it is the result of monolithic, essentialist interpretation of religious traditions (i.e. “we’ve got it right”, as expressed in islam by the idea of being the only sect saved from the “fire”) but these are in all cases in my experience attributable to human interpretation.

      That so many Muslims are not is a credit to their humanity and not, as you would like to believe, to Sharia and Islam.

      sometimes, perhaps. but what do you do when you come across someone like, for example zaki badawi, may his memory be for a blessing, who one can hardly describe as ignorant of such things and draws from them support for his humanity?

      but the idea that the Sharia requires Muslims to be arseheads has been debunked many a time, especially at the historical level.

      precisely.

      Nationalism is not, necessarily race based.

      agreed. you only have to see a bunch of english jews taking the piss out of french or american jews, or a bunch of australian or scottish jews taking the piss out of english jews and you’ll understand that.

      I am finding this idea that people should be defined by their patriotism, when it is absent criticism, quite bizarre.

      well, perhaps, but i also completely agree with you about the “last refuge of the scoundrel” - but it does not therefore follow that all patriotism is caused by scoundrels waving the flag.

      Anyway, the French are OK.

      i see the “auld alliance” is still up and running *grin*

      Eastern Europe, particularly, suffers from a parfit of ethnic nationalist parties.

      you mean a surfeit, right? yes. they haven’t yet figured this out.

      your view that nationalism is necessarily xenophobic.

      well, it’s inherently competitive and that’s not necessarily a bad thing (for example, it allows a vast array of creativity on the subject of germans and beach towels) but it is all too easily misused and therefore, for me, requires caution if not strong suspicion.

      For me “nationalism” means ‘belonging’ to a nation of people that share a similar culture and values rather than a xenophobic label.

      i think that’s kind of what i mean by “patriotism”. is this a semantic quibble, now?

      I believe that a ‘nation’ can embrace a degree of pluralism and can tolerate or even accept ‘alien’ cultures and values, but it must assume certain ground-rules.

      indeed. i just view the ground rules differently from you.

      Because multiculturalism doesn’t recognize a dominant culture, it loses the concept of ‘ground-rules’.

      no, multiculturalism is on one of the extreme end of the spectrum and, of course, i told you i wasn’t on either end. i am probably closer to that end than the other end (because, ultimately, that end doesn’t put me in conflict with a majority, but rather with a bunch of competing minorities) but ultimately i believe the two should be in dynamic equilibrium.

      Finally, given the tenor of your comments, I can’t understand why you won’t admit to sharing my concerns that a massive growth of the Muslim demographic in this country might cause problems for our society.

      it would if the muslim demographic were coterminous with the arsehead demographic and that i do not agree with. i actually have a far bigger problem with the extreme left, the extreme right and extreme scientism because there are far more of them than there are extreme muslims, but only the extreme left seem prepared to make common cause with extreme muslims.

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

    88. qidniz — on 6th November, 2009 at 11:50 am  

      then that is where you and i disagree. what makes certain muslims (and certain jews and certain christians) claim that their arseheadery is religiously-mandated is the result of what we jews call hashkafah or world-view.

      The issue is not how arseheads might justify their arseheadery (never mind the opportunity for divagating whataboutery if it were). The issue is arseheadery necessarily entailed by sharia.

      i personally believe that it is the result of monolithic, essentialist interpretation of religious traditions

      You have (at least) five broad traditions to choose from. The end result is the same.

      but what do you do when you come across someone like, for example zaki badawi, may his memory be for a blessing, who one can hardly describe as ignorant of such things and draws from them support for his humanity?

      I remain unimpressed.

    89. damon — on 6th November, 2009 at 11:53 am  

      Ah, perhaps Douglas wasn’t refering to ‘the people who live within 25 miles from Westminster’ but that within that radius you can find a lot of those horrible City types and bankers and home counties snobs.
      There I’d agree, (though I do remember that Kelvinside in Glasgow had some of those too).

      It’s funny how people can be awfully sensitive about perceived slurs. If I was to say that some of my least favourite people lived within 25 miles of Ibrox Park, it could be taken a couple of different ways.

      And persephone, just on ”The City”. It’s called that because that’s what it’s called. The City of London.
      It has distinct boundaries.

      As for who has power and is represented in places of influence, I don’t see why ethnic minorities are less represented than many other people.

      Is it that the Liberal Democrats have no ethnic minority MPs because they’re a bit racist, or that not enough ethnic minority people join the party and become party hacks to the point where they get chosen to stand for winnable seats?

    90. Refresh — on 6th November, 2009 at 12:11 pm  

      Qidniz

      Bananbrain’s essential point is being missed

      ‘if a muslim is an arsehead, they’re going to use islam to be an arsehead about. if he’s jewish, he’s going to use halakhah to be an arsehead about. if he’s an atheist, he’s going to use philosophy and science to be an arsehead about.

      the challenge is to get these people to stop being arseheads in the first place.’

      You can be one with or without a religion.

    91. douglas clark — on 6th November, 2009 at 12:18 pm  

      Damon @ 84,

      Well, it’s probably just as well I didn’t use the analogy that Westminster is a black hole and that it seems to drag everyone near at hand over it’s event horizon then? Some people could deliberately misinterpret that. ;-)

      You are quite right about some of these Kelvinside folk though….

    92. qidniz — on 6th November, 2009 at 12:29 pm  

      Bananbrain’s essential point is being missed

      b’brain’s “essential point” (@61) is irrelevant. He introduced it in response to @60 in order to indulge in some convenient whataboutery.

      You can be one with or without a religion.

      No doubt. And just as irrelevant. Generalizing about religion wasn’t the issue either, b’brain’s attempt at that kind of whataboutery notwithstanding.

    93. Refresh — on 6th November, 2009 at 12:30 pm  

      So we are in for a battle of the ‘Whatabouters’, are we?

    94. qidniz — on 6th November, 2009 at 12:35 pm  

      So we are in for a battle of the ‘Whatabouters’, are we?

      I would hope not, except that b’brain seems determined to take any further discussion exactly there.

    95. Reza — on 6th November, 2009 at 1:47 pm  

      bananabrain

      “…it would if the muslim demographic were coterminous with the arsehead demographic and that i do not agree with…”

      So are you saying that is it simply a coincidence that all Muslim majority countries have a very poor record when it comes to tolerating non-Muslims (especially Jews), having freedom of speech and assembly etc?

      I’m a regular visitor to Iran. The level of anti-Semitism there is staggering. Even among my relatives and the educated metropolitan elite of North Tehran, I hear claims about “The Jews” that make me gag.

      Would it surprise you that I often hear repeated, the conspiracy theory that Ahmadinejad is being propped up by Jews to divide or discredit Islam and justify an attack on Iran?

      Would it shock you that many, many people I’ve spoken to believe that Hitler was supported by Zionists as a conspiracy to create the ideal conditions for the establishment of Israel?

      Would it disgust you just how many Iranians believe that the Holocaust was either a lie or grossly exaggerated?

      For f*ck’s sake, the ‘Protocols’ is seen as an important historical book in Iran, as it is throughout the Arab and Muslim world.

      I avoid these subjects in Iran because I don’t want to disrupt polite dinner parties with acts of violence against guests.

      But I put it to you, if millions of Iranians came to England from Iran, would you expect them to simply leave those views behind and embrace this country’s values?

      Of course not.

      We can’t possibly expect to have the same society with different people in it.

    96. persephone — on 6th November, 2009 at 2:57 pm  

      “ It’s funny how people can be awfully sensitive about perceived slurs.”

      I still see no reason for the explicit introduction of ethnic minorities – no question of it being ‘perceived’ when the comment was literally made in connection to “most parochrial and naïve people”. All people can be parochial and naïve regardless of ethnicity.

      “Is it that the Liberal Democrats have no ethnic minority MPs because they’re a bit racist or that not enough ethnic minority people join the party and become party hacks to the point where they get chosen to stand for winnable seats? “

      I don’t think its due to racism but a lack of involvement in politics regardless of which party. As there is similarly, under representation by women.

    97. Jai — on 6th November, 2009 at 3:29 pm  

      I’m a regular visitor to Iran…..Even among my relatives and the educated metropolitan elite of North Tehran,….

      Would it surprise you that I often hear repeated, the conspiracy theory that Ahmadinejad is being propped up by Jews to divide or discredit Islam and justify an attack on Iran?

      Would it shock you that many, many people I’ve spoken to believe that Hitler was supported by Zionists as a conspiracy to create the ideal conditions for the establishment of Israel?

      Would it disgust you just how many Iranians believe that the Holocaust was either a lie or grossly exaggerated?

      It neither surprises nor shocks me that “Reza” would make such anecdotal claims based on his alleged inside knowledge.

      Considering that “Reza” has already been caught out repeatedly lying about how many years ago he allegedly emigrated to Britain from Iran along with his alleged age at the time (and he keeps changing the story), his statements about Iran and the Iranian people have little credibility. Let alone his motivations for making them.

      But I put it to you, if millions of Iranians came to England from Iran, would you expect them to simply leave those views behind and embrace this country’s values?

      “Reza” has previously boasted about how well integrated and assimilated his alleged Iranian relatives in the United States are, a country which did indeed successfully absorb a large number of Iranians after the overthrow of the Shah in 1979 and has an extremely successful and well-integrated first-and-second generation Iranian population, particularly in Los Angeles. In fact, in his own words, “Reza” has claimed he has “many relatives in LA” and that “Iranians in the US are, by and large, true Americans”. (see: http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/5857#comment-178461).

      Yet more inconsistences and contradictory statements by “Reza”, who has added the BNP term “alien cultures” to the long list of recognisable BNP buzzwords he’s already used.

      That “assimilated Iranian” halo hasn’t just slipped awry, it’s continuing to be exposed as a fake and is lying shattered on the ground.

    98. bananabrain — on 6th November, 2009 at 3:54 pm  

      @qidniz:

      i count as friends a number of eminent jewish activists who themselves counted zaki badawi as a close friend and i trust that they would not have continued to do so if they had any concerns about this. that’s the best i can really do on arguments over hearsay.

      as for “whataboutery”, you were the one that started on whether it was islam that made muslims arseheads. i simply addressed that argument.

      as you know, i generally disagree with refresh, but in this case, i appreciate his intellectual honesty.

      @reza:

      the views about jews and zionism held in the islamic world are not a surprise to me. many of them are also held here by the extreme right and the extreme left. islam cannot be blamed for this - i suggest you read bernard lewis’ “semites and antisemitism” which goes into this in some detail.

      But I put it to you, if millions of Iranians came to England from Iran, would you expect them to simply leave those views behind and embrace this country’s values?

      the iranians i know here (which includes my present and last next-door neighbours) have done exactly that.

      you seem very keen to convert me to your point of view. i’ve told you where my opinions lead me - thus far and no further.

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

    99. persephone — on 6th November, 2009 at 4:00 pm  

      “That “assimilated Iranian” halo hasn’t just slipped awry, it’s continuing to be exposed as a fake and is lying shattered on the ground”

      Its quite funny when he makes a faux pas without realising it. The reverse of the Coopers in Goodness Gracious Me when they try to act British. Not sure if it is more compassionate to ignore or point it out to him when it re-occurs.

    100. Reza — on 6th November, 2009 at 4:05 pm  

      bananbrain

      Fair enough. I see where you’re coming from, although I wish I shared your faith and optimism for the future. Thanks for the debate.

      Jai

      There’s a Simpson’s episode where Marge says to Lisa, “Remember when I made fun of Homer’s Sherlock Holmes hat? He sulked for a week then closed his detective agency.”

      That’s what you remind me of.

    101. Refresh — on 6th November, 2009 at 4:46 pm  

      Qidniz, I think its fair to say that you view yourself above the ‘arsehead’ classes.

      That is your prerogative.

    102. Shamit — on 6th November, 2009 at 5:32 pm  

      Reza

      So has BNP accepted you as a member yet or are you still pledging?

      You sound like an errand boy for the BNP. Or are you just bloody thick?

      Whatever it is - I find it increasingly bizzare that someone from an immigrant stock would use such language and be so bigoted.

      And before you go on your screwed up theories, I do believe that immigration should be controlled and those who do not like our way of life could fuck off.

      But nutters are in all religions so I am not going to castigate all Muslims for a few nutters. So stop this Muslim baiting — its just pissing everyone off.

      Every thing you say is directed towards the Muslim community. Why is that? I guess Perse’s reference about GGM is spot on.

    103. Naadir Jeewa — on 6th November, 2009 at 6:04 pm  

      b’brain.

      Yeah, I did mean surfeit, thanks.

    104. Reza — on 6th November, 2009 at 6:07 pm  

      Shamit

      You think my theories are screwed up? That’s your prerogative.

      But your assumption that anyone who dislikes Islam and fears the rapidly growing Muslim demographic must be aligned with the BNP is pretty stupid.

      You must realise that my views are not unique. I could list a dozen best-selling books written by credible and widely respected authors that share many of my opinions.

      Geert Wilders shares many of my views. Hate him as much as you want, but realise this: his party is currently the most popular in the Netherlands and if there was an election there tomorrow, he could very well be Prime Minister.

      Finally, accept that Islamophobia (NB the dislike of the ideology, not the people, and I don’t consider this word to be a badge of shame) is not confined to ‘white’ Europeans or the BNP. Ayaan Hirsi Ali is an Islamophobe. As is Wafa Sultan. Google them and have a read.

      So I’m sorry if my views piss you off. I have no ill will towards individual Muslims, not even towards (peaceful) Islamists. I simply want Islam to remain a small, alien minority value system that doesn’t impact on my life and freedoms. And I believe that having more Muslims here makes more Islam inevitable. That’s why I oppose it.

      More and more people across Europe are coming round to my way of thinking. Get used to it.

    105. douglas clark — on 6th November, 2009 at 7:29 pm  

      Reza,

      The idea that Shamit would need to Google to find out who any of these characters are is ridiculous.

      This whole topic has been a major source of discussion here on PP for years and years. And Shamit brings an intelligence to the debate that goes a bit beyond Google.

      IIRC Shamit was a co-sponsor of the ‘Questions for the BNP’ stuff that appeared here.

    106. Jai — on 6th November, 2009 at 8:01 pm  

      Persephone,

      Its quite funny when he makes a faux pas without realising it. The reverse of the Coopers in Goodness Gracious Me when they try to act British.

      Very true on both counts. What’s even more ridiculous is how he ignores people identifying his numerous faux pas and blindly carries on, obsessively pursuing his Trojan Horse agenda, even after he’s been repeatedly exposed as a pathological liar.

      Of course, that’s the kind of intellectual incompetence you’d expect from the type of people who go on Question Time and ramble on about “17,000 years of history involving indigenous Britons after the end of the Ice Age” in front of millions of viewers, even though the last Ice Age actually ended 12-13,000 years ago. They can’t even get that basic fact right.

      Or make ludicrous outbursts the next day about how London was “no longer a British city” and has been “ethnically cleansed of English people”, even though nearly 70% of London’s population was confirmed to be white (including nearly 60% white British) during the last ONS census three years ago.

      I guess some people believe hyperbole, distortion and emotive rhetoric override reality when they have an agenda to push. Something “Reza” knows all about, of course.

    107. Reza — on 6th November, 2009 at 8:26 pm  

      F*ck me Jai, now you’ think I’m Nick Griffin!

      “…that’s the kind of intellectual incompetence you’d expect from the type of people who go on Question Time and ramble on about “17,000 years of history involving indigenous Britons after the end of the Ice Age”…”

      He must be turning in his ill-fitting suit.

      Look, if you’re convinced that I’m a white BNP member using a pretend identity as a “Trojan Horse” then I really don’t know how I can help you.

      I tried my best though (see the end of this post):-

      http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/6471#comment-183901

      Look mate, I’m starting to worry about your health. Just ignore me if you think I’m a charlatan.

      Or take a hot drink with ab nabat* to calm you’re nerves.

      *Ab nabat is crystalline sugar, sometimes with saffron threads in it, which is dissolved in warm water and drunk to relieve stress, stomach upsets and something called “saardi” (literally “cold-i”) that opium smokers get. In fact my (pretend) Iranian grandmother used to give me ab nabat for virtually any ailment when I (pretended) to live in Iran as a child.

      From now on, I’m going to regularly throw in a morsel of obscure Iranian trivia, just for you. Honestly, this isn’t ‘tahrof’, I mean it. I really do care about your mental well-being.

      Mochakerham azizam.

    108. Jai — on 6th November, 2009 at 8:36 pm  

      Jai

      There’s a Simpson’s episode where Marge says to Lisa, “Remember when I made fun of Homer’s Sherlock Holmes hat? He sulked for a week then closed his detective agency.”

      That’s what you remind me of.

      Good for you, “Reza”.

      You remind me of a certain person recently on Question Time when he repeatedly denied making a certain speech in the US in front of David Duke even though the event was caught on video, then claimed he’d been “misquoted”, and then came out with a ridiculous excuse when his exact words were quoted back at him.

      Or, to give another example, you remind me of a saying from the northern half of the Indian subcontinent, which roughly translates as a person stubbornly continuing to insist he’s still standing up even though he’s fallen over in front of everyone.

      Of course, it’s pointless to expect familarity with South Asian culture and society from someone who claims to be Iranian but attempted to promote outright lies such as “Pakistan is ethnically and culturally homogeneous” and “Muslims in India haven’t assimilated in even a thousand years” despite the long history of interaction between the subcontinent and Persia and the fact that modern-day Iran is the immediate western neighbour of Pakistan.

      Hubris is a major character flaw, “Reza”. So is being pathological liar.

      As several people here have noted, you’re continuously lying so much that you can’t even keep track of your own lies. The really ridiculous thing is that you think anyone still believes your cover story in relation to your background, sympathies and motivations.

      Which pretty much sums up your activities on this website from start to finish. I see that you really do believe that if you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually believe it. Unfortunately for you, other people are frequently a little smarter than you presume them to be.

    109. damon — on 6th November, 2009 at 9:28 pm  

      Persephone, I mentioned ethnic minorities, as when I first read what Douglas said, I thought he was having a pop at all Londoners. Saying we were the most parochrial and naive people in the UK. But Im sure he wasn’t saying that.
      Since living in Scotland in the 90s I’ve been a bit touchy about pronouncements from Scots about ”the English” (and Londoners and how were were Tories etc).
      Thnkfully it was said mostly in jest, but not always.

    110. douglas clark — on 6th November, 2009 at 9:31 pm  

      Completely Off Topic

      I am experimenting with whether or not my web site will appear here. And whether it will be the right web site or not.

      If you see lots of stuff about BMSD or summat, then that would be the right one. If you cannot see anything at all, I’d really like to know that too.

      The content is a bit poor so far. I’d just like to know if you can see it.

      Sorry Sunny, didn’t mean to mess up a thread…

    111. douglas clark — on 6th November, 2009 at 9:33 pm  

      Hmm…

      Apparently not. Any experts around? Leon?

    112. douglas clark — on 6th November, 2009 at 9:40 pm  

      Test

    113. douglas clark — on 6th November, 2009 at 9:41 pm  

      Well that didn’t work.

    114. douglas clark — on 6th November, 2009 at 9:45 pm  

      Try again:

      http://www.blogger.com/profile/11422060678908705962

    115. Naadir Jeewa — on 6th November, 2009 at 9:46 pm  

      Doug, try copy and pasting the full URL as:

      http://dougiesplace.blogspot.com/

    116. douglas clark — on 6th November, 2009 at 9:47 pm  

      Oh! Maybe I am coming to the end of this.

    117. douglas clark — on 6th November, 2009 at 9:48 pm  

      Nearly there. Still goes to profile rather than post.

      Bloody hell.

    118. douglas clark — on 6th November, 2009 at 9:50 pm  

      Well? You are supposed to be my chums. Help me out here!

      Any ideas how I can bypass a ‘wow here I am’ screen and go directly to what I want to say?

      These are test screens btw. I love you all….

    119. Naadir Jeewa — on 6th November, 2009 at 9:51 pm  

      Use the URL in 114!

      Or maybe it’s this 5 minutes comment delay thing

    120. Naadir Jeewa — on 6th November, 2009 at 9:57 pm  

      The convention is to post your homepage in the “website” field (i.e. http://dougiesplace.blogspot.com/ ), and post a link to a particular post in the comment body, which should be http://dougiesplace.blogspot.com/whatever

    121. persephone — on 6th November, 2009 at 11:42 pm  

      Damon @ 109

      No worries. We can all let something touch a raw nerve at times.

      persephone

    122. qidniz — on 7th November, 2009 at 6:56 am  

      i count as friends a number of eminent jewish activists who themselves counted zaki badawi as a close friend and i trust that they would not have continued to do so if they had any concerns about this.

      It really looks like your activist friends paid attention only to things they wanted to see. If that’s the case, presenting unfavorable evidence to them will not make any difference, because in actuality nothing would ever have.

      that’s the best i can really do on arguments over hearsay.

      Hearsay? Hiskett quoted Badawi in a published book; Badawi could have demanded a retraction or maybe even sued for libel! Much of the same passage is also quoted in a Spectator essay by Anthony Browne. Your activist friends may have been bamboozled by Badawi’s abjuring of violence, but the quote clearly marks Badawi as an Islamist of classical stamp (serenely supremacist and hegemonist, and so secure in his certitudes that he could indulge in condescension towards kafirs.)

      As for Rubinstein, his reservations about Badawi go back to 1991 (which is the same era as Hiskett’s book of 1993), so it wasn’t just a case of badmouthing the dead.

      as for “whataboutery”, you were the one that started on whether it was islam that made muslims arseheads. i simply addressed that argument.

      No, you addressed a straw man of your own imagining: that a Muslim arsehead is so because of sharia. (A ridiculous contention, as Refresh also noted, since one can be an arsehead for any number of reasons. The issue is not to explain why a Muslim arsehead is an arsehead. It’s the role of sharia in promoting arseheadery — tautologically but necessary to emphasize in this context, of the sharia-inspired kind — among Muslims.) And all to change the subject:

      You claimed (@59) to know enough about sharia to conclude that it “contains enough self-moderating mechanisms for it to be a liberal, empowering, community-enhancing, highly moral system”. To circumvent your attempt (@61) to whatabout your way out of having to defend that claim, I stated a counterclaim (@72) that sharia enjoins arseheadery (your word, to save on unnecessary digressions) on Muslims; i.e., that what the 21st century would commonly recognize as a (worthily) moral system is impossible in sharia, and conversely, much of what sharia inculcates is not likely to be recognized as moral outside Islamic circles, empowerment and community enhancement notwithstanding. (Once again, I woud urge you to look into al-wala’ wa’l-bara’ as, if not anything more, a taster of what sharia teaches.)

      To circumvent any further whataboutery, let me state my understanding of what seems to be the motivation for it. The subtext here seems to be a slippery slope argument of the form “if we don’t defend sharia, we can’t defend halakha; and insofar as halakha promulgates an acceptable if not exemplary moral system, it becomes necessary to advance that sharia cannot but do the same, as the basis for a supposed common reason to defend either both or none.” (I can’t address an argument of this form, as I don’t know enough about halakha, but I find the notion that sharia propounds a moral system up to modern standards dubious in the extreme.)

    123. douglas clark — on 7th November, 2009 at 9:42 am  

      Oops!

      I thought this thread was dead. Sorry for messing about on it. Could I just thank Naadir Jeewa for the help and assistance?

      As you were…

    124. bananabrain — on 9th November, 2009 at 3:00 am  

      It really looks like your activist friends paid attention only to things they wanted to see.

      they're not in the habit of doing so.

      If that's the case, presenting unfavorable evidence to them will not make any difference, because in actuality nothing would ever have.

      you don't know the people involved, or you wouldn't make such a silly comment.

      No, you addressed a straw man of your own imagining: that a Muslim arsehead is so because of sharia.

      that's your straw man, not mine. sorry. you can't bring something like that in and then make out like it was me that was trying to argue such a thing. you either haven't understood what i'm saying or you're deliberately misconstruing me, for what purpose i cannot imagine.

      The issue is not to explain why a Muslim arsehead is an arsehead. It's the role of sharia in promoting arseheadery — tautologically but necessary to emphasize in this context, of the sharia-inspired kind — among Muslims.

      i agree that that is the issue, but sharia must be coopted to assist in the solution, as without this, it will be used as a barrier to change, as is currently happening. you obviously don't believe such a thing is possible, but i do, partly because of my experience with knowledgeable muslims of goodwill and partly because of my similar experience with halakhah.

      I stated a counterclaim (@72) that sharia enjoins arseheadery (your word, to save on unnecessary digressions) on Muslims; i.e., that what the 21st century would commonly recognize as a (worthily) moral system is impossible in sharia, and conversely, much of what sharia inculcates is not likely to be recognized as moral outside Islamic circles, empowerment and community enhancement notwithstanding.

      i understand your concern, but the same claims are made about halakhah and they are just as mistaken. to anyone with a deeper understanding of the system concerned these things can be overcome by people of good will - not easily, but steadily.

      The subtext here seems to be a slippery slope argument of the form “if we don't defend sharia, we can't defend halakha; and insofar as halakha promulgates an acceptable if not exemplary moral system, it becomes necessary to advance that sharia cannot but do the same, as the basis for a supposed common reason to defend either both or none.” (I can't address an argument of this form, as I don't know enough about halakha, but I find the notion that sharia propounds a moral system up to modern standards dubious in the extreme.)

      i wouldn't call it a slippery slope argument - within the uk context, halakha only requires definition as an alternative framework for conflict resolution, like acas. however, i *would* call it one of good faith. people i trust (i dare say you would argue that i shouldn't trust them, but there you go) have tried to show me that such things are possible and i believe they have done so in good faith and that they could succeed, because i have seen such a possibility in other systems. fundamentally, i trust people, not systems. human systems serve the agenda of the humans in them and, partly because of the adaptability of humans, systems tend to reflect that. besides, i don't defend halakha on principle, i defend it because i understand its objectives and that, as a system, it contains the seeds of its own evolutionary survival. i'll give you a hand - there is a principle within halakha which states that “the law of the land is the law”. that is a very powerful principle. there's another principle which states that “the will of the majority prevails, but the dissenting minority opinion must be preserved” - the subtext being that it might some day become the majority opinion and, in that case, it would prevail. both are kosher opinions, but the decision goes only one way. i'm aware that there's a sharia equivalent of the first and i seem to remember that there's one for the second, but can't recall it at present.

      as for “al-wala' wa'l-bara'”, i've not got a book budget right now - could you provide a web link, or summarise the argument? you're welcome to come over to the spittoon and do so as a guest contributor.

      finally, you may well “find the notion that sharia propounds a moral system up to modern standards dubious in the extreme”, but many people think the same of halakha and, generally speaking, they are so far mistaken as to provoke incredulity when they find out how stuff actually works - when not interpreted and implemented by arseheads, that is.

      b'shalom

      bananabrain

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