What do Muslims want?


by Sunny
6th August, 2006 at 9:50 pm    

It’s not a question. Tomorrow evening Jon Snow presents a Dispatches programme titled ‘What Muslims Want‘.

Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow tackles one of the most difficult and controversial questions facing our country today: to what extent do Muslims in Britain pose a threat to this country and its values?

There is a growing fear that the 1.6 million Muslims in Britain are rejecting the majority liberal, tolerant beliefs in this country for a radicalised version of Islam in which violence can be justified. Dispatches has conducted the most comprehensive and rigorous survey to date of Muslim opinion in Britain, with startling results.

The problem is, I’m not sure Jon Snow is really the right person to ask this question, given an interview for today’s Sunday Times. In the article, he makes a few assumptions and statements that need better explaining. And in some cases those arguments need taking apart.

Conducted by NOP for Channel 4’s Dispatches, one of its most startling results suggested that Muslim integration into British society has effectively come to a halt. Immigrants have usually tended to become more secular and less religious than their parents by the second generation. But the survey shows Muslims have gone in precisely the opposite direction.

There are many lazy assumptions contained within this. Briefly:

1) …that by becoming religious in a largely secular society, people have stopped integrating. Does this mean the growing importance of religion, more specifically Christian evangelicalism, in America, mean they have also stopped integrating? Is it impossible for a religious person to be “integrated”? How does he define and measure integration?

The article offers this explanation: Their beliefs render many of them determined not just to be different but also to be separate from the rest of the nation. The issues that bring them into direct conflict with Britain as a whole include freedom of speech and how the “war on terror” is being fought at home.

Maybe, but this isn’t good enough. As a non-Muslim I and many others also have grave doubts about the “war on terror”. And while I support freedom of speech, opposition to this isn’t a Muslim issue – pretty much all other ethnic or faith minorities also have an issue with it (because they see FoS being used as a stick to push racism).

2) Religion has become the primary form of identity for many young Sikhs and Hindus too. Why? Many reasons. One main one being that many still have trouble connecting to a country where they are marginalised in the national conversation; don’t have many role models in senior positions; and continue to face racism.

A recent poll found that 32% of Britons agreed with, or were at least unsure about, the idea that non-white people were inherently “less British”. Integration is a two-way street ma’ brothas.

3) Yes our parents came to this country to fit in. The second and third generation don’t have that urgency because we are part of the furniture. We don’t feel we constantly need to prove our Britishness here. I hope Mr Snow comes to terms with this.

At one point I asked him and his two friends: “You’d like me to become a Muslim, wouldn’t you?” They said I’d be much better for it, and talked about the positive aspects of converting.
Erm… so? There are plenty of Christian Evangelicals and Jehovah’s Witness trying to do the same all the time. Does this mean they are not integrated?

An overwhelming number of British Muslims believe free speech should not extend to insulting their religion, and one-third would rather live under sharia law, as laid down by the Koran. A 29-year-old of Turkish Cypriot origin told me: “I feel that democracy altogether isn’t working as a system. I believe that man-made laws aren’t really the answer.”
Well I doubt anyone would want freedom of speech to extend to insulting their sensitivites. This is human nature. It doesn’t imply they hate the country.

Secondly, this sharia law thing is too reductionist. Ask them what it means and it probably refers to some aspects of marriage law, paying interest or leaving the inheritance. And my guess about not liking democracy is that they have Tony Blair and his foreign policy in mind. In that sense they are not very different to other youth of today, who don’t have much interest in participatory democracy either.

Other views are less reassuring. In our sample, almost one in four said the July 7 bombings were justified in the light of Britain’s support for the war on terror.
This figure keeps changing in light of how you phrase the question. I believe there was a recent poll when less than 10% of Muslims said 7/7 was justified.

The clearest conclusion is that they are deeply affected by external events in which they see their fellow Muslims being killed.
In this they are not different to Britons who are more affected when they see fellow white people in America being killed. People usually only care for their own. Sad fact of life. Muslims are no different.

Restarting any sense of integration is going to require real dialogue and understanding of what Muslims think if the deepening divide is to be bridged.
And we need a more nuanced approach to these issues too Mr Snow.

What Muslims Want on Channel 4 at 8pm tomorrow, Monday 7th August.


              Post to del.icio.us


Filed in: Current affairs,Media






218 Comments below   |  

Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Rolled-up Trousers




  1. Nav — on 7th August, 2006 at 12:29 am  

    Nice post. I disagree with you on one major point:

    “Well I doubt anyone would want freedom of speech to extend to insulting their sensitivites. This is human nature. It doesn’t imply they hate the country.”

    But he didn’t say that Muslim don’t want free speech to extend to that. He says Muslims don’t think it SHOULD extend to that. I don’t want people to go around saying atheists are necessarily immoral, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think they should be allowed to say it.

  2. Nav — on 7th August, 2006 at 12:43 am  

    Though, one could add that Muslims aren’t the only ones intolerant of people who insult their sensitivities.

  3. Bert Preast — on 7th August, 2006 at 12:59 am  

    Take the blinkers off, Sunny. Islam is a major problem, whereas christians, jehovahs witnesses, sikhs and hindus are not. None of these have factions that want to kill lots of people at random, and have done so. I have never heard the terms christophobe, jehovahphobe (though I quite like that one), sikhophobe, or hinduphobe. The differentiating factor is not race nor is it racism, it’s religion.

  4. Old Pickler — on 7th August, 2006 at 1:05 am  

    this sharia law thing is too reductionist. Ask them what it means and it probably refers to some aspects of marriage law, paying interest or leaving the inheritance.

    Ha! “Some aspect of marriage law”. Like polygamy, divorce by repudiation for men only, child rape = marriage, wife beating being permissible, and all the other horrors of sharia “family” – how cosy that sounds – law. “Some aspect of marriage law”, indeed. “Paying interest” – ie the Muslims shouldn’t have to pay it, so the taxpayer has to subsidise them in rented accommodation. “Inheritance”. Well, we know all about that. A woman gets half what her brother gets.

    Sod that. If that’s what Muslims want, it isn’t nothing. It’s a travesty of the equal rights that women in this, civilised, country have fought and died for.

    Integration is a two-way street ma’ brothas.

    No, it isn’t. Fit in, or flip off.

  5. Bert Preast — on 7th August, 2006 at 1:09 am  

    “Well, we know all about that. A woman gets half what her brother gets”

    Well obviously, it’s not all bad.

  6. Nav — on 7th August, 2006 at 1:41 am  

    Over here in Canada, we had the Sharia debate recently in my home province. Not surprisingly, the greatest opposition came from Muslim women. The government was very slow to act on the issue, but finally determined that Sharia courts would not be allowed. They were supported in this by the parties to both their Right and Left.

    Incidentally, when George Galloway spoke at the University of Toronto (they teach Shakespeare there, and it really wouldn’t be fair if they only took the good stuff Britain has to offer), the crowd was with him for most of his vile ranting. And then he demanded Sharia law be imposed in Ontario, alienating half of the crowd, including various politicians who had come to support him.

  7. Sunny — on 7th August, 2006 at 1:47 am  

    No, it isn’t. Fit in, or flip off.
    Scream as much as you want OP, but none of us are going anywhere. The rest of your post is the typical tripe. It’s not like I care about what you say, or you care about Muslim women, so why are you even bothering?

    Take the blinkers off, Sunny. Islam is a major problem, whereas christians, jehovahs witnesses, sikhs and hindus are not.
    I guess that depends who you ask doesn’t it? You have a very western centric view on this.
    But Bert Preast I expected a bit more intelligence from you. Yes certain Muslim groups are going around blowing people up. Hey, certain western govts are going around doing the same too.

    Nav – Though, one could add that Muslims aren’t the only ones intolerant of people who insult their sensitivities.
    That’s what I meant to say.

  8. Nav — on 7th August, 2006 at 1:52 am  

    Fair enough. I figured that’s what you meant, based on previous posts. I didn’t actually think that within the course of a few days you went from defending the right to film Brick Lane, to siding with the enemies of free speech.

    BTW, I just got around to listening to you on BBC Asia. It’s ridiculous that those opposing the filming of Brick Lane couldn’t even articulate what it was in the novel that offended them.

  9. Sunny — on 7th August, 2006 at 1:52 am  

    Nav – I was at a Guardian conference last year which was aimed at British Muslims and in one group we discussed the religious hatred law. Believe it or not our group actually agreed that the law should protect Muslims but not Islam in itself. I think if someone is being discriminated against because of their religion that shouldn’t be legal so my view was pretty consistent to theirs.

  10. Nyrone — on 7th August, 2006 at 3:07 am  

    Great post Sunny.
    I agree with much of what you’ve said.

    Though, I must confess that I’m actually quite relieved that this impossibly difficult programme/issue is being tackled by somebody as outstanding as Jon Snow, rather than some half-wit reactionary individual hell-bent on portraying all muslims in a certain light for his own sensationalist agenda. Jon Snow has displayed a fierce and rare independent spirit of thought throughout his commercial gigs at C4 with his pressing of the deputy IDF minister recently being quite a spectacle of inquisition within in itself.

    I trust Jon Snow had a field day going up and down the country mixing with Muslims from all over the UK, but as much as it’s already been stated already, you cannot simply lump all Muslims into one giant group.

    I suppose it’s the psychological desire to always define things and catergorize things that’s difficult to evade, but any attempt to draw a definitive picture of the Muslim pulse in this country on a 48min program is going to be a difficult task and one that has to give historical context to matters as well as relaying the different schools of Islamic thought.

    I was reminded of how different we all are when I was at the anti-war protest on Sat and I was Listening to the normally mild-mannered young Muslims screaming “We are all Hizbullah” at the top of their lungs. It was a lesson in the fluctuation of interpretation of Islam in this country and one that reminded me of how much some Muslims are shooting themselves in the foot these days. Did they really know what they were saying? They were chanting the name of a person who has publicly called for an extermination of all Jewish people. Not simply in Israel, but worldwide.

    Now, it’s possible that Jon Snow could capture some of these individuals conducting themselves as the antithesis of what they wish to represent, and in a heated political climate like this one, broadcast out a distortion into the public sphere that does not properly represent how muslims are feeling in this country, but how do you fit everyone’s views in? As said earlier, I find that a lot rests on how questions are put to people, and distortion of answers is easy to construct by simply posing inflammatory types of questions.

  11. Nyrone — on 7th August, 2006 at 3:07 am  

    @OP

    I’ve read a few of your posts from different threads now and remain firmly convinced that you know nothing about Islam, otherwise you wouldn’t use idiotic reasoning and arguments for propagating your xenophobic crap. I suggest that you broaden your horizons to understand the base-line differences between the religion, the people who follow that religion and the culture. You will find that they are 3 separate things, and people who drive planes into towers or bomb civilians are NOT Muslims. It goes against the ideology of Islam to do that stuff, and I know it’s hard to accept this but when you critisize the entire religion based on the actions of a few within it, you are partially responsible for the anger that wells up from real muslims that are angry their entire religion is being attacked because of some extremists.

    Why are you so quick to equate Sharia with child rape??? It’s bizzare, like you have no idea of even the basic principals of Islam and just sit around reading the daily mail and watching martin bright documentaries. Why not gain some basic understanding of what you are so readily available to attack and perhaps to talk to some progressive muslims about the religion? or would that go against your entire “Muslims are all club-wielding Nasrallah-esque child-raping Taliban Barbarians”

    NEWSFALSH: The Taliban are not Muslims…
    IDF = terrorists
    Hezbullah = terrorists

    We truly are never going to understand each other on this earth if we are so quick to condemn 1 billion people, point-blank wholescale based on judgements reached after ‘studying’ varying types of propaganda fed to us by spurious sources.

  12. temptation — on 7th August, 2006 at 5:14 am  

    Good stuff Sunny… i will def be watchin that tonight and then i will watch BB after just to lighten up…

  13. Bijna — on 7th August, 2006 at 7:14 am  

    > There is a growing fear that the 1.6 million
    > Muslims in Britain

    Not just Britain, but also in Holland, Belgium, Germany, actually everywhere.
    See this weblog: http://www.brusselsjournal.com/english

    Notice that the Britisch muslims come from Pakistan while the Dutch muslims come from Marocco, the French muslims from Algeria and the German muslims from Turkey. The only common property is religion.

    > ‘What Muslims Want‘.

    My experience is they want the sidewalk all for themselves.

    The London muslims, or should I say Londonistan muslims, want this:
    http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/pictures/20060805London01.jpg

  14. Nav — on 7th August, 2006 at 8:07 am  

    “Believe it or not our group actually agreed that the law should protect Muslims but not Islam in itself. I think if someone is being discriminated against because of their religion that shouldn’t be legal so my view was pretty consistent to theirs.”

    I agree. Is that what the language of the proposed law said, though? I don’t know one way or the other, but if it is, I’m surprised there would be so vocal an outcry against it. Doesn’t Britain already have laws that would make it illegal for, just as an example, an employer to discriminate against Muslims in their hiring practices?

  15. Nav — on 7th August, 2006 at 8:12 am  

    “The London muslims, or should I say Londonistan muslims, want this”

    I don’t think there’s anyone who can speak on behalf of all London Muslims. Not self-appointed community leaders, not some bastards at a rally, and certainly not LGF.

    If people at a rally represented everyone in the communities they come from, then you’d also have to say that the white middle class supports Hezbollah.

  16. Galloise Blonde — on 7th August, 2006 at 8:43 am  

    The Pew Global Attitudes study is thought provoking on this: as someone who’s just moved back to the UK from hijab-banning, Le Pen voting France, some of these figures are interesting: 74% of French muslims say there is no conflict between living in being a devout muslim and living in a modern society but only 34% of British muslims. 77% of French muslims say western values include respect for women against 49% of British muslims. If you don’t know, the traditional French christmas entertainment is the Crazy Horse nude review, watched by grannies and kiddies alike, so I think we can say attitudes on the ground are not entirely reflective of the social realities.OK, so cross country comparisons like this treat muslims like they are one great mass, and you can’t account for the differences between South Asians in the UK and North African Arabs in France. But it strikes me that the big difference between the UK and France is not cultural or or a better treatment of minorities by the state, but the level of support for US aggression. The personal is geopolitical.

  17. Chairwoman — on 7th August, 2006 at 9:16 am  

    Nyrone – I believe that the majority of Muslims want the death of Jews worldwide.

  18. Nav — on 7th August, 2006 at 9:29 am  

    Chairwoman: Come on. I believe that the majority of Muslims in the “Muslim World” are anti-Semitic. George Packer has written about how startled he was to find how deeply even Iraqis who were thankful for the American invasion hated Jews.

    But the majority of Muslims world wide wanting another Holocaust? Are you including French Muslims, British Muslims? Even the more successfully assimilated North American Muslims.

    Not just ridiculous, but offensively so.

  19. CJC — on 7th August, 2006 at 9:34 am  

    The most worrying aspect of this post is, as someone else has already said, Sunny saying “Well I doubt anyone would want freedom of speech to extend to insulting their sensitivites”.
    On the contrary, I think most people recognise that their own freedom of speech comes with the risk of being insulted themselves, and are more than happy with that tradeoff.
    But then I do remember Sunny tying himself in knots over the Motoons… :-)

  20. Old Pickler — on 7th August, 2006 at 9:52 am  

    you are partially responsible for the anger that wells up from real muslims that are angry their entire religion is being attacked because of some extremists.

    Better not say Muslims get angry and blow things up or…they may get angry and blow things up.

  21. Chairwoman — on 7th August, 2006 at 10:23 am  

    Nav – Not North Africans, I apologise, Jews live happily in most North African countries, and the King of Morocco financially supports a synagogue for Moroccan Jews in NW London. But British Muslims? Oh yes. French Muslims? After the murders by French Muslims of French Jews and the usual daubings, burnings and graveyard desecrations? I think so. Also the majority of Muslims the Middle East, Asia, a Indonisia and Malaysia. Starting to look like the majority to me.

    BTW, can you tell me the last time a group of western Jewish boys/men beat up a Muslim on his way home from the Mosque purely because he was a Muslim, daubed a mosque, set fire to one or desecrated Islamic graves?

    I’m sorry if you’re offended, but I’d swap that for looking over my shoulder any time.

  22. Leon — on 7th August, 2006 at 10:24 am  

    Not sure I’m going to bother with this programme; the title and advertising suggested a slightly tabloidesque programme. I think, going by the interview and quotes, Sunny maybe right that Snow isn’t the right person to do the dues.

    A question that comes to my mind is who is? Which well known tv/news presenter could do this subject justice?

  23. Bert Preast — on 7th August, 2006 at 10:51 am  

    Sunny – I don’t believe those people were massacred by the Tamils either for being muslims or for not being hindu. My view is admittedly westocentric, but I’m a westerner in the west and the problems in Sri Lanka do not affect me in any way – unlike the problems in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Kashmir etc..

    Is there a large amount of hindu support globally for the Tamil cause? Are hindu religious notables exhorting people to help in their struggle? Are hindu texts used to justify the actions? Are buddhists in other parts of the world in danger from angry hindus sympathetic to the Tamils? I wouldn’t know, but if there was I’m fairly sure I’d have heard something about it.

    You then say the reason why muslim groups – I presume you mean terrorists – go around blowing things up is because some western governments go around blowing things up. Iraq seems to be the major beef, which is rather odd when you think about it. Iraq wasn’t attacked for being a majority muslim country. The attack removed a very secular dictator and imposed a new and far more islamic looking government, and doubtless when the coalition troops leave an even more islamic looking government will pop up.

    So um, why did a bunch of north Africans blow a bunch of everyday people to bits in Madrid to protest it?

  24. AsifB — on 7th August, 2006 at 11:04 am  

    My Tardis isn’t working today, so I shall refrain from actually commenting on the programme.

    The interesting bit of Jon Snow’s article was where he says “today’s young British Muslims are less liberal and more devout than their parents.”
    This needs qualifying with either “some” or “many” but otherwise there is a lot to be said for a generation gap ‘My Son the Fanatic’ point of view
    - And Sunny rightly adds that ‘Religion has become the primary form of identity for many young Sikhs and Hindus too. …. many still have trouble connecting to a country where they are marginalised in the national conversation; don’t have many role models in senior positions; and continue to face racism.’

    So a big part of the Answer to the Question then is a lot less racism – in all its subtle and interconnected forms. Alas, I’m not sure having a programme called “What do Muslims want” necessarily helps illuminate matters much (partly because oh my gosh people largely get along don’t they? – does not sell so it publicises and de facto endorses the seperatist mindset that Jon Snow deplores) but will give it a go to see if he wears a tie.

    Leon – I don’t think any well known tv/news presenter could do this subject justice as everyone brings baggage. Meera Syal fits the well known catogery best methinks.

    (Saeed from the Apprentice and Amir Khan also come to mind – or That Choudhury guitar bloke from the Zutons and Inuit Bunglewallah – sorry I’ve been eating too much cheese before bedtime)

  25. Old Pickler — on 7th August, 2006 at 11:08 am  

    The Muslims who bleat about Iraq haven’t got any connections with Iraq. They don’t come from Iraq or have relatives there. Do British Jews kill/beat up Muslms because of what Hezbollah are doing? Do British Christians beat up/kill Muslims because of what Muslims in Iraq and Pakistan are doing to Christians?

    Anyway, I’ll be watching the programme with interest. Sharia law is incompatible with Western democracy. Any Muslims who say they want it here shouldn’t be here.

  26. Roger — on 7th August, 2006 at 11:16 am  

    “… by becoming religious in a largely secular society, people have stopped integrating. Does this mean the growing importance of religion, more specifically Christian evangelicalism, in America, mean they have also stopped integrating? Is it impossible for a religious person to be “integrated”? How does he define and measure integration?”

    An increasingly secular society in Britain, in fact. In the case of christian evangelicals in the USA, it looks as though the others are being excluded from society in many ways. Certainly there seems to be a separation. As both islam and some forms of christianity require people to behave in a way that separates and keeps them aware of their religious identity over other identities then, yes, they do encourage separation, as does the desire of muslims to live in a muslim society by muslim laws and to require others to live in ways that muslims find acceptable.

    “Religion has become the primary form of identity for many young Sikhs and Hindus too. ”

    An important difference is that not many sikhs and hindus see themselves as part of a word-wide religious community with interests in common and hostile or indifferent to the rest of the world.

    “Yes our parents came to this country to fit in. ”
    No they didn’t. they came for a variety of reasons. Many wanted to fit in; others found it easier to fit in. Many were never allowed to fit in. In the case of muslims, the insistence on separation inherent in islam- it is a matter of others fitting in with islam, not vice-versa- meant that as they became more insistent on the primacy of their identity as muslims they became less willing to fit in.

    “Well I doubt anyone would want freedom of speech to extend to insulting their sensitivites”
    Freedom of speech is worthless unless it extends that far. Good manners may make us polite about how we say something but if, for example, we think that a belief is deluded and murderous, then we ought to say so and ought to have the right to say so, just as the believer has the right to say how wonderful it is.

    “This figure keeps changing in light of how you phrase the question. I believe there was a recent poll when less than 10% of Muslims said 7/7 was justified.”

    If over 100000 muslims in Britain think that other muslims are “justified” in blowing a few dozen randomly chosen people to pieces because they dislike a government’s foreign policy it’s still pretty worrying.

    “The clearest conclusion is that they are deeply affected by external events in which they see their fellow Muslims being killed.”
    The problem is that many muslims are unconcerned about why their fellow-muslims are being killed. All it needs, in their view, is muslims being killed and it’s a someone else’s fault. On the other hand, when muslims do the killing it’s also someone else’s fault for provoking them.

    “Restarting any sense of integration is going to require real dialogue and understanding of what Muslims think if the deepening divide is to be bridged.”
    As long as muslims identify as muslims then I don’t think that integration is possible. We live perfectly well with other unintegrated communities- Jehovah’s Witnesses, mormons, moonies, some of the ultra-orthodox jews for example. It would be perfectly possible for muslims and everyone else to get by on a similar basis. The only problem is, it probably isn’t a basis that many muslims would accept.

  27. Roger — on 7th August, 2006 at 11:19 am  

    “Jews live happily in most North African countries, and the King of Morocco financially supports a synagogue for Moroccan Jews in NW London. ”
    Actually, chairwoman, if you look at what happened to Moroccan and other arab jews after the foundation of Israel you’ll find that the only reason “Jews live happily in most North African countries” is because there aren’t many left. The others were effectively driven out and their property confiscated.

  28. Chairwoman — on 7th August, 2006 at 11:33 am  

    Roger – excellent points on 26. The King of Morocco does support a synagogue in NW London, and I didn’t know about the property confiscation.

  29. Sid — on 7th August, 2006 at 11:45 am  

    Nyrone

    OP is the only person in the world more pathologically boring than Trisha. Which, by the way, is on right now. Wooohoo!!

  30. Leon — on 7th August, 2006 at 12:05 pm  

    The word integration pops up in that article; something about it seems a little robotic. What does it mean and how do you encourage it? The Home Office etc talk about community cohesion which is another term I have trouble with. Before Britain realised just how multi-ethnic it had become just how cohesive was its society? Weren’t there always prejudices between north and south Englanders or Scots and English?

    How do you measure integration (is it by perceptions, number of friends outside your commonly accepted background, the number of people accross the job spectrum, the number of mixed race kids each community produces?)? And is it possible with the levels of inequalities that exist in Britain?

  31. Sajda — on 7th August, 2006 at 12:17 pm  

    Despite the exceptions that can be made, the qualifiers, the counter-examples, I still think that there is a problem regarding the integration and attitudes towards integration of some in the Muslim community in Britain that is worrying, and is more deeply felt and troublesome than a few kids becoming interested in their religion. I don’t know how knee jerk shooting the messenger in an hysterical Inayat Bunglawala style does justice to the issues.

  32. Bert Preast — on 7th August, 2006 at 12:24 pm  

    I measure integration by how much we have to spend on security to ensure safety from the minority in question. Appearance, dress, food, class, amusing facial hair, and whatever else just doesn’t matter, really, does it?

    Well okay, perhaps how much is spent on translations matters a little. Basically, you get the idea. I’m a bit selfish with my dosh.

  33. Old Pickler — on 7th August, 2006 at 12:29 pm  

    Well let’s see what the Muslims on the programme actually say. If, as I imagine will be the case, they say they don’t want to integrate, then who are we to disbelieve them?

    An important difference is that not many sikhs and hindus see themselves as part of a word-wide religious community with interests in common and hostile or indifferent to the rest of the world.

    This is a very good point. If religious communities, for example convents, just want to keep themselves to themselves, that’s fine. But if they feel a bond with complete strangers in another country – a bond which overrides their loyalty to this country – then their loyalty should be questioned.

    Of course Muslims should not be assumed to be disloyal. But many openly admit that their loyalty to the Umma comes first. We should take their word for it.

    One day I’d like to be as interesting as Trisha.

  34. sonia — on 7th August, 2006 at 12:45 pm  

    Chairwoman – “Nyrone – I believe that the majority of Muslims want the death of Jews worldwide.”

    I daresay that’s similar to what i’ve heard from a few muslims – ” the majority of jews want the death of muslims..”

    i don’t know what sort of people you lot have been associating with!!

  35. sonia — on 7th August, 2006 at 12:48 pm  

    ho ho ho Old Pickler – and regardless what the few muslims on the programme say – what the fuck’s that got to do with anyone else? :-)

  36. sonia — on 7th August, 2006 at 12:49 pm  

    anyway i’ve been reading the home office’s ‘guide to citizenship’ and there’s a wealth of information in there i think i should repost. quite amusing reading i must say.

  37. Old Pickler — on 7th August, 2006 at 1:16 pm  

    regardless what the few muslims on the programme say …

    You wouldn’t get any non-Muslims saying July 7 was justified.

  38. Kismet Hardy — on 7th August, 2006 at 1:17 pm  

    Is George Galloway Muslim?

  39. Nyrone — on 7th August, 2006 at 1:20 pm  

    @ Chairwoman

    Do you mean UK or worldwide with reference to the majority of Muslims wanting all Jews dead? I can see why you would form that opinion, it’s easy to do so based on magazines and programs that tend to give ultra-exposure blanket coverage to minority extremist nutters who sprout that kind of anti-semetic rubbish, and leave out the overwhelming majority of Muslims who want to see a tolerant and peaceful society.

    I am not a Muslim myself, unlike the rest of my family members, but based on personal relationships with many Muslims in my lifetime, I have learnt that most of them are making a much greater effort to be peaceful, humanistic and compassionate people than an average Joe bloggs on the street.(The first time I met one of my now best friends, I remember that he would ALWAYS WITHOUT EXCEPTION share all the food he had for dinner with everyone in the room, I was struck by his common-sense humility in offering everything to everyone and I learnt much about the importance of truly sharing from him and the religion he followed)

    My question to you is how did you come to this final conclusion about the majority of Muslims wanting all Jews dead?

    @Old Pickler

    You seem to have purposely misunderstood me again:)
    Some of the dirt that you throw on Muslims collectively about issues like child marriages and such are much more cultural issues that revolve in circles due to the infinite stupidity of people, not necessarily because it’s written in the Koran.

    You need to decide whether you are going to remain in shallow-land with your one brushstroke-fits-all policy or whether you are willing to delve deeper into understanding that true Muslim reformers are working hard to defeat all the cultural ignorance and stagnation that their parents and culture left them with.

    Can you not see that to call ALL OF these kinds of people stereotypically derogatory names is to demean them and not help them in their struggle to defeat the extremist and ignorant ideologies that are spreading fast within them?

    Do you want to do something to help provide the supportive seeds of reform, or are you quite happy sitting on your enormous pedestal making wild generalizations to the 1 billion people below? I think you need to make some Muslim friends to understand them better.

  40. raz — on 7th August, 2006 at 1:23 pm  

    “Islam is a major problem, whereas christians, jehovahs witnesses, sikhs and hindus are not. None of these have factions that want to kill lots of people at random, and have done so”

    LOL what bollocks. IRA? Srebrenica? Lord’s Resistance Army? Sabra/Shatila? Tamil Tigers? Gujurat? Ayodoha? Air India Flight 182? Where do you pull this nonsense from?!

  41. Kismet Hardy — on 7th August, 2006 at 1:24 pm  

    “You wouldn’t get any non-Muslims saying July 7 was justified”

    I dunno. When I went to the anti-war demo urging Blaire to stop poodling to Bush over Iraq, I heard thousands of non-muslims warning that, if he were to go ahead with the invasion, something exactly like July 7 was inevitable

    I doubt they’ve changed their minds

  42. Sunny — on 7th August, 2006 at 1:25 pm  

    OP – Borriing! Please fuck off now.

    Roger, a quick fisking of your post:
    In the case of christian evangelicals in the USA, it looks as though the others are being excluded from society in many ways. Certainly there seems to be a separation.

    What rubbish. They’re actually exercising more power at the polls. Remember the current debate to try and overrule abortion laws?

    An important difference is that not many sikhs and hindus see themselves as part of a word-wide religious community with interests in common and hostile or indifferent to the rest of the world.

    you don’t know much about young Sikhs or Hindus do you?

    In the case of muslims, the insistence on separation inherent in islam-

    How’s that?

    If over 100000 muslims in Britain think that other muslims are “justified” in blowing a few dozen randomly chosen people to pieces because they dislike a government’s foreign policy it’s still pretty worrying.

    Not as worrying as the vast majority of Israelis happily agreeing with the death of 900 Lebanese, and happy to keep supporting more military action.

    As long as muslims identify as muslims then I don’t think that integration is possible.

    Rubbish.

  43. raz — on 7th August, 2006 at 1:33 pm  

    Chairwoman,

    “I believe that the majority of Muslims want the death of Jews worldwide”

    Hysterical. This is just as absurd as the Hizb types who claim West/Zionists are out to destroy Islam. Get a grip.

  44. Saracen — on 7th August, 2006 at 1:39 pm  

    Sunny, good post.

    Though I think perhaps a few things might be raised. Firstly, the difference between integration on a personal level and the whole world-debate; I believe the two, though related, need to bee looked at separately.

    Firstly, let’s clear out the world-view business. This idea that people can’t feel a sense of belonging to an International community is utter tripe. Isn’t that how Israel was established, a bunch of unrelated peoples, with a common creed feel the need to be united, though in this instance, at the expense of others of course. The global community of Judaism suffers no such vilification, despite the fact that British citizens raise arms in Kubbutz or even undergo IDF training as Israeli nationals! But let’s not make it a one-sided thing. When the US is attacked, or Spain, or another white nation, the British feel it more than say, when the trains in India were bombed. It’s a natural phenomenon, that one is able to feel more for his own “type” than others. Muslims are agrieved because they bear the brint of current world suffering Human Rights Watch reported over 6 years ago, that over 100 million Muslim had died in the 20th century as a result of conflict, more often than not, the West was involved as an aggrevating party.

    But anyway, that whole debate isn’t going anywhere.

    What I want to raise here, is to do with why it’s difficult for Muslims to fully integrate on a personal level. Let’s start with a few basics: Muslims have a moral code that is of great importance to those who choose to be devout. Unfortunately much of Western culture is in contradiction, rather than do as the people at LGF would have you believe and destroy everything that contradicts, many choose to limit their integration, in order to maintain moral standards.

    As an example, much of British social culture centres around alcohol. Muslims do not drink, but for the devout, the rules go further, due to a prohibition in sitting at a gethering where alcohol is being drunk. The result: no pub lunches, no Friday afternoon socialising, and at least awkwardness with working lunches or dinner invites. Most just choose to make another excuse and disappear, since explaining these things can get difficult.

    Then there’s the issue of women, whatever Old Pickler might have you believe, a devout Muslim’s respect for women precludes involvement in much of what happens at a male-dominant workplace. The scoring of female staff, the visits to clubs, the viral porn emails, the Sun, et cetera. Now people can talk whatever rubbish they like, I’ve worked in the City, and there is no respect for women. The way you’re viewed has nothing to do with your performance or ability at the job, rather the tartiness of your clothes and shape of your body. It even happens in academia. Every new arrival is scored, and they see who can get her first. This culture is at odds with the moral standards of a Muslim, so again he’s left out.

    There’s more, but this gives a good example of why many Muslims don’t fully integrate. Of course people will now say that many Muslims don’t mind these issues, but is the point then, that unless a Muslim’s willing to give up his devout commitment to his Moral ideals, that he’s a traitor in some way?

    Finally, the point about Orthodox Jews, made by Robert, is just completely untrue. If you want to meet children who have never mixed with other than their type and know nothing about wider society, head to Golders Green. If people think the Muslims are ghettoised, they’ve not seen anything; most Muslims couldn’t do it any way, by virtue of their financial status. Of course, there’s not a problem in certain people doing it.

  45. sonia — on 7th August, 2006 at 1:43 pm  

    Let’s see now:

    diasporic jewish identity
    diasporic muslim identity

    hmm…any similarities?
    people wanting their own religious homelands? religious states?

  46. Old Pickler — on 7th August, 2006 at 1:43 pm  

    something exactly like July 7 was inevitable

    Inevitable doesn’t mean right. In saying that the non-Muslims knew that the response of some UK Muslims to a war in a foreign country would be to murder their fellow citizens.

    Nobody says it is inevitable that British Jews will murder their fellow citizens because of suicide bombers in Israel, or that British Hindus will murder their fellow citizens because of Mumbai. That’s because Jews and Hindus don’t murder their fellow Brits.

  47. Saracen — on 7th August, 2006 at 1:46 pm  

    From reading my comment, it sounds like I’m a girl, which I’m not, just to make things clear.

    Oh and of course Old Pickler’s other comments about Shariah law are laughable, given that most of those practices are culturally common amongst the unbeducated throughout the indian subcontinent regardless of religion. Similarly, FGM, in case anyone raises it, is common throughout Africa, and Islamic law has never allowed the practise. Some tribes in some Muslims countries continue the practise.

  48. Leon — on 7th August, 2006 at 1:47 pm  

    Jews just want teeeny weeny Israel. Muslims want the whole world.

    “What Christians Want” Starring Mel Gibson, coming to a cinema near you…

  49. Saracen — on 7th August, 2006 at 1:48 pm  

    Jews just want teeeny weeny Israel. Muslims want the whole world.

    And to displace a teeeny weeny number of lesser creatures, then complain when they bite!

  50. Zussy — on 7th August, 2006 at 1:49 pm  

    Human Rights Watch reported over 6 years ago, that over 100 million Muslim had died in the 20th century as a result of conflict, more often than not, the West was involved as an aggrevating party.

    What absolute rubbish. The level of Muslim self pitying victimhood is growing exponentially – it is amazing to behold. It amounts to a total lack of perspective and a willingness to view the world in the most basic maichean terms and come up with risible victimhood mongering and basic hallucinations like this. 100 million Muslims killed by ‘the West’ in the 20th Century?

    No wonder Muslims are losing grip on reality, and are plotting to blow themselves up on trains and buses and outside nightclubs, when this kind of abject rubbish and victim mongering passes for basic discourse amongst ‘moderate’ Muslims.

  51. Saracen — on 7th August, 2006 at 1:50 pm  

    “What Christians Want” Starring Mel Gibson, coming to a cinema near you…

    Now that’s a comment! Fantastic, Leon.

  52. zahed — on 7th August, 2006 at 1:52 pm  

    [i]Jews just want teeeny weeny Israel. Muslims want the whole world.[/i]

    Most Palestinians (and their supporters) just want to live where they are with full political/economic rights or be compensated for the homes they (or their parents/grandparents) used to live in. How “teeny weeny” Israel is won’t change these facts.

  53. Saracen — on 7th August, 2006 at 1:54 pm  

    OP, a bit like Tony Blair’s comments:

    At a Downing Street reception not long ago, a guest had the temerity to ask Tony Blair: “How do you sleep at night, knowing that you’ve been responsible for the deaths of 100,000 Iraqis?” The Prime Minister is said to have retorted: “I think you’ll find it’s closer to 50,000.” (source)

  54. Zussy — on 7th August, 2006 at 1:56 pm  

    Saracen

    So let me get this straight – Muslims need to preserve themselves from the poison of British society and that is why they don’t integrate? And because of flirting and the free mixing of the sexes in offices etc, British society is a den of vice and untermenschen who Muslims cannot allow themselves to be contaminated by. And because men and women play the mating game, any integration with British society will cause Muslims to become infected with the infidel wiles of decadent western society and become impure, right?

  55. Sunny — on 7th August, 2006 at 1:57 pm  

    OP – I’m deleting your absurdly racist comments on this thread now. Take the hint.

    Hysterical. This is just as absurd as the Hizb types who claim West/Zionists are out to destroy Islam. Get a grip.

    I agree with Raz, Chairwoman. That is a hysterical comment.

    “What Christians Want” Starring Mel Gibson, coming to a cinema near you…

    Hehe…

  56. Chairwoman — on 7th August, 2006 at 2:03 pm  

    Sonny – the really interesting point that no-one has brought up is why is this programme being made at all. No other group, minority or other, has ever been asked this question, or has so much airtime or so many column inches devoted to it.

  57. AsifB — on 7th August, 2006 at 2:03 pm  

    Old Pickler – All you’re doing is spreading hysterical generalisations. This is racist.

    Saracen – you sound thoughtful, but overly influenced by working in a macho City environment. I’m sure there are non-Muslims who are not fond of compulsory pub culture as well, so some sort of give and take is necessary. I am afraid it is often by seeking a spurious holier than thou purity (eg; avoiding places where alcohol may be served) that young Muslims become susceptible to extremist thoughts.

    I find your assumption that ‘everyone else’ goes around ‘scoring women’ somewhat offensive and/or revealing more about your own attitudes than a helpful insight.

  58. Zussy — on 7th August, 2006 at 2:08 pm  

    Well Saracen spreads as much muck and makes as many idiotic and bigoted generalisations as Old Pickler.

  59. Sunny — on 7th August, 2006 at 2:10 pm  

    the really interesting point that no-one has brought up is why is this programme being made at all.

    Chairwoman – because there are some Muslims blowing themselves up and now the rest of Britain is anxiously worried about how to deal with them?

    Consider this point too. It’s not really about the media saying: “Oh we’ve had these people live here for decades, let’s try and find out a bit more about them”. Because that would mean doing programmes on Sikhs and Hindus too. But nah, no one cares about them unless they’re blowing shit up. Until then you’re invisible.

  60. Leon — on 7th August, 2006 at 2:11 pm  

    the really interesting point that no-one has brought up is why is this programme being made at all. No other group, minority or other, has ever been asked this question, or has so much airtime or so many column inches devoted to it.

    Indeed, I suppose the lazy answer would be none of them have gone and blown up tubes and busess in this country?

  61. raz — on 7th August, 2006 at 2:15 pm  

    OT, in all this Israel-Lebanon crisis, has anyone noticed that the Sri Lankan fighting seems to have kicked off again? I think we need a PP update.

  62. Chairwoman — on 7th August, 2006 at 2:15 pm  

    Sunny – I’m sorry you find me hysterical. Perhaps it’s because I can’t run as fast as I once could.

    Saracen – How conceited of you to think you have the moral high ground. I too despise the pub culture, regret the lack of respect shown to women, prefer modesty, offer hospitality as do most people of my age. It’s a generation difference. I have always 100 per cent supported Muslim communities who have striven to exclude prostitution and the drug culture from their areas. But if you want to know about universal vilification, try being a Jew discussing Israel.

  63. Sunny — on 7th August, 2006 at 2:16 pm  

    He may make generalisations Zussy, but what’s so bigoted about them? Tell me… And being as racist as OP? Gimme a break.

  64. Chairwoman — on 7th August, 2006 at 2:18 pm  

    Sunny – yes I know it’s not a question, but obviously the question had to be asked for there to be an answer.

  65. Zussy — on 7th August, 2006 at 2:18 pm  

    Sunny Sikh and Hindus are hardly invisible. Look at high profile members of those communities ranging from Monty Panesar to Gurinder Chadha to Meera Syal and Sanjeev Bhaskar. Afro Caribbean communities have a very high profile, as do the Jewish community. When there were riots in Brixton, Toxteth and Handsworth in the 1980′s British society went out of its way to understand the problems facing young Afican-Carribean men in Britain. People wrote books, investigated, made documentaries on this very subject.

    But I can’t help thinking there is something darker, and dangerous going on here. Something inexplicable and irrational. A good start would be to have Muslim organisations stop demanding that British society change it’s fundamental principles to accomodate Islam, and more and more Muslims took a critical view of extremist elements who thrive off the attitudes of bigots like Saracen.

  66. Arif — on 7th August, 2006 at 2:18 pm  

    Just to give me some clarity. What are the criteria for me (as an individual) to be considered integrated? All suggestions appreciated.

    We could then set up a scale of how integrated we are as a percentage and discuss at below what percentage score we should chuck people out/imprison/ostracise/start a moral panic etc.

  67. Zussy — on 7th August, 2006 at 2:19 pm  

    Sunny – do you not fiond anything bigoted about Saracen’s generalisations? Projecting British society as a poisonous well of filth from which Muslims must struggle to prevent themselves becoming contaminated? You don’t see anything bigoted in that at all?

  68. raz — on 7th August, 2006 at 2:20 pm  

    Chairwoman,

    The problem we have is that Muslims and Jews seem to be engaged in a contest to claim ‘most persecuted’ status. This perpetual victim complex is one of the reasons why Muslims and Jews today are struggling to live in peace.

  69. Saracen — on 7th August, 2006 at 2:20 pm  

    Zussy, that’s a load of tosh. You’re making it very clear that you believe those aspects of culture are in some way superior to what some choose as their moral standards. I said nothing of that which you posted. I maintain a moral standard I’m comfortable with, yes it means I sometimes choose not to mix in certain instances, that’s my choice.

    Rereading your post, I don’t think a thoughtful reply is due, you’re just ranting.

    AsifB, I’ve not only worked in the City, I’ve worked in academia, and contracted in standard companies. Not everyone is the same, by any length of the imagination, but prevalent cultures, in the vast majority of places I’ve been are as I described. The aim isn’t to judge individuals,but rather to make clear that faced with such a culture, it becomes difficult to integrate.

    For myself, I don’t have a problem in being open with my colleagues about certain things. When we go out for lunch together, they skip the alcohol. If they want a drink I don’t go, and it’s done with some respect. At no point do I force my way, and I’m not forced to cecede my convictions. But then the average IQ in academia is probably a lot higher than your typical Daily Mail reader.

  70. Sunny — on 7th August, 2006 at 2:24 pm  

    Zussy – How different are Saracen’s views than that of Melanie Phillips on this so-called moral degradation, tell me.

    Secondly, jst because some Sikhs and Hindus have done well in contemporary society doesn’t mean much. They’re merely gone into areas where the media fawns over them, and is then happy to give the impression it cares.

    No, I mean a real programme on ordinary Sikhs and Hindus on their lives. Or not a boring programme but something quirky and interesting, but about British Sikhs and Hindus. Recall anything?

  71. Zussy — on 7th August, 2006 at 2:25 pm  

    Saracen I wouldnt expect a thoughtful reply from you, because you are a conceited bigot of the highest kind, and thought is something beyond your grasp.

    In fact your reply shows what a bigot you are because you ascribe to me a sensibility in accordance with the things which you take to characterise British society in its entirety and essence and perceive that this is a form of belief in the ‘superiority’ of those kinds of things. The mind of a bigot swills with paranoia and crud, and the filth you see and fear contamination by is your own hatred and bigotry that you flap in.

  72. Sunny — on 7th August, 2006 at 2:26 pm  

    Chairwoman… so tell me – Why is Israel villified as much as you claim it is?

  73. Chairwoman — on 7th August, 2006 at 2:27 pm  

    One of the things we all have in common is that we are all either immigrants or the descendants of immigrants. Why here goodness alone knows. Surely integration means that we all mix in in the workplace and at school, sporting events (excepting cricket of course) etc., but continue with our diverse cultures and customs in the home and places of worship.

  74. Saracen — on 7th August, 2006 at 2:28 pm  

    Hillarity itself!

    At no point did I claim a moral high ground. Rather, I simply stated these as my morals, and let others be. The only ones claiming moral high ground are those who insist on me accepting their’s! What Zussy’s suggesting is because I don’t want to do the things she describes, I’m in some way forcing others to change. Why is it that proponents of liberalism are often more extreme than their adopted enemies? There is only one set of people in this discussion who are trying to force their moral code on others!

    That comment says more about you and your sexism.

    OP, I’ve seen it myself and squirmed, how this somehow makes me sexist is beyond me. It’s in my face. A new girl joins the office, first talk is about how she might look, is she fit, and so on. Once she arrives and walks out the room, all the talk starts, and people are egging eachother on. It’s not a figment of my imagination. It’s not everywhere but it’s significantly common. What’s the subject of the vast majority of “Friday Funtime” emails?

  75. Old Pickler — on 7th August, 2006 at 2:29 pm  

    a real programme on ordinary Sikhs and Hindus on their lives

    Does “Goodness Gracious Me” count?

  76. Chairwoman — on 7th August, 2006 at 2:31 pm  

    Sunny – Because people of all cultures wear blinkers andare literally unable to see the others’ points of view. I have no doubt on other sites Palestinians would get the same sort of stick.

    What has really interested me is how intransagent the young are, and how people don’t actually read what is written, but what they think has been written.

  77. Zussy — on 7th August, 2006 at 2:31 pm  

    Sunny

    Well hell yeah, Melanie Phillips is a a hysterical bigot too! So you can see why Saracen is a sanctimonious and generalising bigot – good.

    Sunny, the reason why Sikhs and Hindus probably have not had a programme devoted to them is that they dont blow themselves up on the Underground. You said it yourself. Plus, you seem to think that there is something wrong in them not having programmes devoted to them (although I do remember programmes on Sikhs at the time of one of their festivals a few years ago on BBC1)

    Go and speak to commisiioning editors about it – I expect that they would find relatively well integrated and forward looking communities doing quite well, progressing in British society give or take a few hiccups and backward incidents. Either way, I would rather that Sikhs and Hindus contribute through their excellence in business, sport, the arts, professions, journalism, and so promote themselves that way, rather than that they go down the route of stomping their feet and begging for attention and documentaries about them and blah blah blah. Nothing beats actual hands on definite and firm positive achievment.

  78. Saracen — on 7th August, 2006 at 2:36 pm  

    So OP’s way is either I sacrifice my moral code, else I burn in the hell of the disintegrated forever. Very nice. If you read carefuly, you’d see that I don’t tell people they mustn’t drink, but rather, that if they wish to drink, I’ll excuse myself – I can’t see a more polite way of doing it.

    Zussy, if you state that there is no way for one to have a dislike of aspects of British society and culture without thinking that British society is a den of vice and untermenschen who Muslims cannot allow themselves to be contaminated by. And because men and women play the mating game, any integration with British society will cause Muslims to become infected with the infidel wiles of decadent western society and become impure then I fail to see where you have left room for anyone to differ. Those comments are your’s not mine.

  79. Zussy — on 7th August, 2006 at 2:36 pm  

    Saracen you are a generalising bigot. Making generalising bigoted comments about an entire society does not mean trying to ‘force others to change’ – you can be a bigot and make stupid generalisations and crawl up in a foetal position it makes no difference the essential stupidity and chauvinism remains. Your defence is as scrambled and irrelevant and sanctimonious as your earlier post.

  80. Sunny — on 7th August, 2006 at 2:38 pm  

    The mind of a bigot swills with paranoia and crud, and the filth you see and fear contamination by is your own hatred and bigotry that you flap in.

    Zussy – [sarcasm] Could you try and fit more silly adjectives in there to give your statement a bit more punch? I didn’t quite get what you were saying. I don’t think it comes across that clearly, you know?

    conceited bigot of the highest kind? Let’s see… a neo-fascist versus someone who doesn’t like their work culture. Hmmmm… yes I can definitely see the parallels there. Don’t let anyone ever accuse you of exaggerating Zussy![/sarcasm]

  81. Old Pickler — on 7th August, 2006 at 2:40 pm  

    if they wish to drink, I’ll excuse myself

    Fine, but you can’t then complain about being excluded by Islamophobia or whatever, when you are excluding yourself.

  82. Saracen — on 7th August, 2006 at 2:41 pm  

    Well, unless you’re able to show me somwhere where I’m Making generalising bigoted comments about an entire society, I’ll leave it at that with you, Zussy.

  83. Chairwoman — on 7th August, 2006 at 2:42 pm  

    Saracen – actually you did. You don’t have to say ‘I claim the moral high ground’ for you to claim it by implication. You’re also quick to pick out the bit you don’t like, without commenting on how many things we agree on.

    There is the problem, the determination not to be conciliatory or to accept an outstretched hand, even if both hands are given grudgingly, it’s the first step to reconcilliation, and frankly I don’t see any of it here. I remember Yassar Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin shaking hands reluctantly in front of the White House, and I remember Golda Meir giving Anwar Sadat a present for his new grandchild when he boldly visited the Knesset, but what I’ll remember today is nearly everyone here giving everyone else the fucking finger. Now you’ve all made me swear, and at my age! Well done.

  84. Zussy — on 7th August, 2006 at 2:42 pm  

    Saracen don’t be fearful of what others call you. You want to portray British society as a stinking cesspool of wickedness which is contaminating to the purity of your Muslim soul.

    You didnt say that there are certain aspects of society you dislike – you represented it as the essence of British society.

    That is nothing less than generalising bigotry – and you are free to do so. If you cannot see the delineation between the two, you are blind and myopic and hysterical as well as a bigot. But just as you are free to represent British society as a stinking cesspit which threatens to contaminate your pure and unsullied Muslim soul, so am I free to characterise your deeply stupid, conceited and arrogant ignorant misrepresentation of British society as a form of bigotry.

    Comprendez? Good.

  85. Chairwoman — on 7th August, 2006 at 2:44 pm  

    OP – I’m not much of a drinker, and really hate being in the company of the drunk. Does this make me a biggot?

  86. Zussy — on 7th August, 2006 at 2:45 pm  

    Sunny I can’t hold your hand and take you through it all. If you can’t see Saracen’s spit and bile and bigotry and essentialising of British society then I can’t spoon feed you. Seriously.

  87. Chairwoman — on 7th August, 2006 at 2:45 pm  

    Damn finger slipped on bigot. I will write it correctly 100 times.

  88. Sunny — on 7th August, 2006 at 2:46 pm  

    Zussy – I don’t think you understood my Melanie Phillips reference. She is a bigot when it comes to Muslims, but her views on Britain are popular amongst Middle England, otherwise she wouldn’t be writing for the Daily Mail regularly.

    Hey, I didn’t hang around with white people much at university because we didn’t exactly fancy going to the pub that often. This changed later but I don’t see what’s so bigoted about saying you don’t fancy a certain lifestyle. I don’t expect you to fancy the Saudi Arabian view of the world either.

    The funniest is OP telling others they are sanctamoniously bigoted when all she ever does is come here and tell us how she comes from a superior culture and we are all backward.

    Anyway, if you guys can’t have a relaxed conversation, please go away.

  89. Chairwoman — on 7th August, 2006 at 2:47 pm  

    Oh yes, by the way, apart from Kismet Hardy, and of course, Katy, no one here displays any kind of humour or lightness at all.

  90. Sunny — on 7th August, 2006 at 2:48 pm  

    Now you’ve all made me swear, and at my age! Well done.

    Woohoo! Now you’re a true blogger Chairwoman.

  91. Chairwoman — on 7th August, 2006 at 2:49 pm  

    How can I hold the moral highground when I swear public?

  92. Kismet Hardy — on 7th August, 2006 at 2:49 pm  

    Re: post 90. And this is why katy and kismet hardy are happy to announce our engagement, which we plan to celebrate at Forest Gate B&B and Farm imminently. I’m a hopeless romantic, so it’s all a bit of a surprise. Don’t tell her. The rohypnol hasn’t arrived yet

  93. Leon — on 7th August, 2006 at 2:50 pm  

    Oh yes, by the way, apart from Kismet Hardy, and of course, Katy, no one here displays any kind of humour or lightness at all.

    Great steaming gonads you do talk some horseshit…I think PP has some of the best comedians on planet earth. Take OP (please take OP, please), not one entry from him/her leaves me with anything other than hysterical laughter. Comic genius if there ever was one…

  94. Chairwoman — on 7th August, 2006 at 2:50 pm  

    Kismet Hardy- why aren’t you still in the naughty corner?

  95. Zussy — on 7th August, 2006 at 2:52 pm  

    Sunny I don’t care what Melanie Phillips says – I am not defending her and what she says does not pertain to why characterising an entire society as rancid (as Mr Saracen does) because you don’t like the office culture or going to pubs is an extremely partial and conceited thing to do. If you dont see that, you dont see it.

    It’s like saying all Muslims are contemptible because some of them oppress their daughters and sisters.

  96. Chairwoman — on 7th August, 2006 at 2:52 pm  

    Leon – Whatever.

  97. Kismet Hardy — on 7th August, 2006 at 2:59 pm  

    Chairwoman, you’ve caused a rift between Leon and I. We will now have to engage in an alpha-male comedian battle whereby I will load up on all my bestiality gags and Leon will start to hump the lion of zion and there’ll be casualities on both sides and all our allies will desert us. Wars start because of women after all…

  98. Sunny — on 7th August, 2006 at 2:59 pm  

    It’s like saying all Muslims are contemptible because some of them oppress their daughters and sisters.

    Which is pretty much what OP, Roger and a few others were saying earlier. I’m not denying Saracen made some silly generalisations. Rather like Chairwoman saying that most Muslims want the extermination of all Jews.

    The only way out I can see is that rather than getting hysterical we try and refute points intelligently or challenge them properly. I only get annoyed with OP because she is like a persistent buzzing (and racist) fly that refuses to go away.

  99. Leon — on 7th August, 2006 at 3:04 pm  

    Chairwoman, you’ve caused a rift between Leon and I. We will now have to engage in an alpha-male comedian battle whereby I will load up on all my bestiality gags and Leon will start to hump the lion of zion and there’ll be casualities on both sides and all our allies will desert us. Wars start because of women after all…

    ROFL! I will invoke the spirit of Bill and win hands down!:P

  100. Old Pickler — on 7th August, 2006 at 3:04 pm  

    Or lick them?

    Right I’m off now, you’ll be glad to hear.

  101. Leon — on 7th August, 2006 at 3:05 pm  

    Oooh bollox we should probably behave, we’re derailing a very good thread….

  102. Kismet Hardy — on 7th August, 2006 at 3:05 pm  

    I’ll definitely win on the horn stakes. Even you give me the horn old pickler

  103. Kismet Hardy — on 7th August, 2006 at 3:06 pm  

    See Leon has already started putting me in my place by calling me a derailer

    In the name of civilisation, I admit defeat

  104. Leon — on 7th August, 2006 at 3:06 pm  

    Even you give me the horn old pickler

    Scary.

  105. Leon — on 7th August, 2006 at 3:08 pm  

    See Leon has already started putting me in my place by calling me a derailer

    In the name of civilisation, I admit defeat

    Victory is mine! *puts Bill Hicks back in his coffin*

    Ahem, anyway…what Muslims want and stuff…

  106. Kismet Hardy — on 7th August, 2006 at 3:12 pm  

    Muslims don’t want to be seen as one. My dad doesn’t want to be tarred with the same brush as a jihadist, a jihadist thinks my dad is a liberal wuss.

  107. Rakhee — on 7th August, 2006 at 3:19 pm  

    Leon: A question that comes to my mind is who is? Which well known tv/news presenter could do this subject justice?

    What about George Alagiah?

    Apols if he’s already been suggested but haven’t got time right now to read the entire thread…

  108. Arif — on 7th August, 2006 at 3:20 pm  

    Zussy, I think you are over-reacting slightly to what Saracen wrote. Whatever his unspoken opinions, what he wrote seemed very carefully unemotive – saying that a devout Muslim might choose to limit their integration in order to maintain their own moral codes.

    Do you think someone who has religious beliefs which makes them uncomfortable with sexist banter and pubs is a bigot?

    Do you think if their discomfort comes from non-religious ethical beliefs it would be more or less bigoted?

    Do you think if the discomfort was purely personal and not related to any moral or religious reasoning this would be more acceptable?

    It seems to me that you feel that if people have a different moral code, there is an implied attitude of moral superiority, and this implies to you disgust with people who have different codes.

    In a religious belief system, the opposite could be the case, as judging other people or taking an arrogant attitude towards others would itself be something you would want to minimise for the sake of your own soul.

  109. sonia — on 7th August, 2006 at 3:23 pm  

    66. good point arif.

    historically of course no one would consider ‘integration/assimilation’ as anything other than literally just that – i.e. mixing of gene pool.

  110. Arif — on 7th August, 2006 at 3:30 pm  

    Sonia #109. So far only Chairwoman has given me criteria for measuring integration:

    1. Mix at your workplace.
    2. Mix at school.
    3. Mix at sporting events.

    However Saracen has raised important points about what can be counted as mixing: do I have to think, speak and act like others in those places to be considered integrated, or can I just do my work, do my studies and watch the sportspeople in my own way?

    I still want more clarity about what I am being asked to do.

  111. AsifB — on 7th August, 2006 at 4:07 pm  

    Hmmm. To be honest from the heated tone, I’m probably more interested in reading Kismet’s gags, or thinking of someone better than George Aligiah for Leon. (Terry Jones and Michael Palin have been doing sterling work treating Muslims as humans for ages mind)

    But in the spirit of engagement, I’ll ignore most of the Zuzzy and Saracen except to say that Z is perfectly right to point out Saracen’s “100 million” quote as plain silly and reflecting the damaging ‘victimhood’ mindset.

    Arif – I think the mixing at work, school and play is enough to be getting on with – its surely only take a little common sense to know where the boundaries are.

    Providing veg food, kosher/halal meat and soft drink options at work dos= sensible
    Respecting and providing prayer/meditation spaces= positive

    Demanding a ninja costume as school uniform because you don’t think the special salwar kameez that your Musim headmistress has negotiated with a 95% Muslim PTA = arrogance and stupidity that only suits nutters plus those who want to criticise/stereotype all Muslims as nutters

    - ditto the Alton Towers Muslim Fun day story (though that’s partly down to the perhaps well meaning but ignorant attitudes of the Alton Towers management – did they really believe no Muslims had been to their theme park before?

    etc

    close dwon Alton Towers (and giving Islamaphobes

  112. Chairwoman — on 7th August, 2006 at 4:17 pm  

    Arif – To a degree I think that places of work and study develop their own lingua franca so everybody tends to have work and school personas that differ from how they are socially and at home. Yes, of course you do things in your own way, if you all go out to lunch, Muslims won’t drink, they, and Jews probably won’t eat meat, pretty much like vegies. You’re all out doing the same thing, together, but differently. I realise that’s an over-simplification, but it’s the first example that comes to mind. as for sport, well that’s a minefield in itself, if you’re competing individually then it’s every person for themselves, if it’s a team game, then hopefully there will be some esprit de corps, if you’re watching football or rugby, then I assume that you and the group you’re with will all support the same team.

    Think like the others? Oh please, at work you only have to pretend to think like the boss in front of him, unless you are the boss, in which case everyone has to pretend to think like you. Places of study, you have to display original thought. Sport, well, actually I don’t understand the ethos of sport.

    Sorry I can’t be more helpful.

  113. Saracen — on 7th August, 2006 at 4:43 pm  

    I can’t quite get why AsifB thinks I’m encouraging victim mentality. The only point of that 100 million quote was to show why people may have some sort of global “groupie thing”. I didn’t delve into that whole ummah discussion for a reason.

    Anyway back on topic: I think it takes a person who is willing to be open with others, mix with those at work and college, etc… I’ve found that there’s nothing like being completely honest when it comes to points of difference. Intelligent people seem willing to agree to disagree.It definitely makes a hige difference when workplaces are accommodating, and people don’t get stuck having to pray in the shower-room because there’s no provision.

    But conversely, you get some Muslims who fight so strongly on petty issues, that they turn the whole thing into a joke. Take the ones who got a primary school to drop the Three Little Pigs because it was offensive. For goodness’ sake, we can’t eat pig; it doesn’t mean the word should be erased from the dictionary. Or that council that banned all pig-like desk-toys. Even worse, the workers who insisted that their employer install those sickly floor-toilets.

    Unfortunately, it’s these instances that make the normal public think minorities are a bunch of losers. I think if everyone just accepted that Muslims (or otherwise) are a minorty, and will remain so, things would be better. Put our effort into gaining the rights and provisions that are essential to our identity, like time-off for prayers, the right to have places of worship and so on, and leave the rest alone. Then maybe we could get on with integrating.

  114. Arif — on 7th August, 2006 at 4:53 pm  

    Saracen, I agree with you.

    Chairwoman, it seems to me that integration, as you describe it, appeals to me if I think of it as doing your own thing, but doing it politely.

    The crunch might come if institutions push you out because they don’t like your way, however polite you try to be about it. In that case, would you argue that the person pushed out should change themselves to be acceptable, or set up their own institutions where they can feel accepted, or something else?

    All a bit hypothetical, I know, but I like to learn from others by discussing the underlying principles which motivate us.

  115. Saracen — on 7th August, 2006 at 4:59 pm  

    Actually on integration, how do people view teaching your children a language other than English? I’ve been thinking about this recently. Some friends say that their kids will pick up English anyway, so they speak to their kids in their ethnic mother-tongue to preserve that. And anecdotally, this seems to be true. Kids whose parents speak to them in English almost always lose their mother-tongue, or at least make a fool of themselves when using it. Of course some will say this is unacceptable, English should be their mother-tongue.

    But then turn it round and ask whether it’s wrong for a Spaniard to speak to his kids in Spanish or a Frenchman in French, the response doesn’t seem to be the same. Are some languages inferior to others?

  116. Sunny — on 7th August, 2006 at 5:06 pm  

    I got no worries on teaching my kids another language than English, though I think if they’re living here their mother tongue should be English. Nothing wrong with them knowing Hindu, Punjabi, Gujarati, Urdu or Arabic.

  117. AsifB — on 7th August, 2006 at 5:07 pm  

    Saracen – I’m glad to agree with you about “Three Little Pigs” -which fits in with what I was saying about the Luton school uniform case – and its correct that it is these types of “instances that make the normal public think minorities are a bunch of losers.”

    To be clear, the reason why I think you are steeped in a damaging victimhood mentality is that in post no. 44 you said “Human Rights Watch reported over 6 years ago, that over 100 million Muslim had died in the 20th century as a result of conflict, more often than not, the West was involved as an aggrevating party.”

    The 100 million figure is very poor research on your part (or bollocks to be strictly correct) – are you sure someone was not talking victims of all conflicts or WW2 plus Chairman Mao ? To get to 100 million , you need conflicts and genocides of that order.

    And yes, I did try looking at numbers for ‘Muslim victims’ and Muslims do contemporarily form a high proportion of world refugees – but 20th century conflict deaths ? – 1 million Algerians died in the 50s and 60s during the struggle for independence ( a high >7% of population at the time), Pol Pot and Stalin were pretty merciless to Muslim minorities and at least a million people died in the Bangladesh War of Independence in 1971 – perhaps half a million during Partition in the Indian sub-continent So it looks as though the Iraq Iran war of the 1990s (with perhaps 2 million) is the biggest single conflict death (and yes the West did love selling arms to both sides) _ Still no where near 100 million though is it!

  118. AsifB — on 7th August, 2006 at 5:08 pm  

    That should of course say 1980s

  119. Chairwoman — on 7th August, 2006 at 5:11 pm  

    Arif – this isn’t an easy question to answer. It actually depends on why an institution would push you out. If it’s because they don’t like your beard – unreasonable. If it’s because you’re preaching, well not many people want to be preached at at work, and this coul cause dissent, therefore one should back off.

    I have noticed over the years that workplaces have become less indulgent of one’s religious practices. When I was young, there was no question that I was allowed to take Jewish High Holy Days off. These days people have to take them as part of their holiday entitlement. Perhaps that’s because people have more holiday now than then, I don’t know. This however reflects upon time for prayer during the working day. A devout person who prays several times a day while others are working will eventually cause resentment, though it won’t be the praying initially that causes the problem, just the time taken, eventually it will be the praying that’s slandered. I think the Department of Employment should look into this and set some guidance. Before anyone shouts bigot at me, this would also apply to Orthodox Jews who are required to pray 3 times a day.

    Really each case has to be judged on its’ own merit. I do however understand everyones concern, the average Brit thinks we’re all weird.

  120. Saracen — on 7th August, 2006 at 5:15 pm  

    AsifB, I’ll have a gander, but don’t forget about the victims of Colonisation up and down the lands.

    Though, on another note, I’m not in complete agreement with you on the school dress issue :) I think the school made big meal out of something that wasn’t so serious. Let people wear what they want. But let’s leave that discussion before derailing things again. We’ll stick to 70% agreement.

    What about language? I think mother-tongue will always be the language of the country you grow up in, since that will always be what you’re most comfortable with.

  121. Chairwoman — on 7th August, 2006 at 5:17 pm  

    Sunny – there is no such thing as a child learning too many languages. It’s really important that children are taught their ancestral tongues (forgive the flowery term), otherwise how will they communicate with their overseas relatives. They should also be able to speak some English when they go to school, or they will be at a disadvantage. This really only applies to the first child, subsequent children will learn English naturally from their older siblings.

  122. Saracen — on 7th August, 2006 at 5:26 pm  

    Couldn’t agree more, Chairwoman. I’ve found that most who may speak to their kids in another language, still prefer others to speak in English; that way, as you say, the child is ready for school.

    On a separate note, some Child Development research suggests that if taught early, children are easily able to command 4 languages. If left later, it becomes much more difficult. Past a certain age, it becomes a process of translation, rather than a self-sourced understanding; if that makes sense.

  123. AsifB — on 7th August, 2006 at 5:32 pm  

    Saracen and Chairwoman – I agree what you say in posts no. 120 and 121 makes sense to me.
    except on the victimhood score – if you find bigger numbers , you’ll also find bigger numbers of victims and percentages for non-Muslim groups – Congo, Latin America, SE Asia etc

  124. Sunny — on 7th August, 2006 at 5:43 pm  

    I agree with everyone on languages… my point was merely to say English should still be paramount. In addition to that I say learn anything and everything.

    Saracen – I’d say there were far more black African and Hindu/Sikh Indian victims of British colonisation than Muslims. The 100 million figure, as AsifB points out, is bollocks.

  125. Saracen — on 7th August, 2006 at 5:51 pm  

    The point was never to compare to others, or belittle the suffering of other groups. the 20th century was a big mess for everyone. I can’t trace the source, so I’ll take it back until I do. But the point still stands that the victim-mentality is a big part of what makes people feel this international link.

  126. Roger — on 7th August, 2006 at 6:59 pm  

    A counterfisk, Sunny:

    “In the case of christian evangelicals in the USA, it looks as though the others are being excluded from society in many ways. Certainly there seems to be a separation.

    What rubbish. They’re actually exercising more power at the polls. Remember the current debate to try and overrule abortion laws? ”
    Precisely. In the USA the evangelicals are trying to create the terms which decide what sort of society it is and whether people are integrated. They are trying to detrmine the conditions for integration. Not a very pleasant prospect, i agree, but they don’t have much effect in Britain yet.

    “An important difference is that not many sikhs and hindus see themselves as part of a word-wide religious community with interests in common and hostile or indifferent to the rest of the world.

    you don’t know much about young Sikhs or Hindus do you?”

    I go by the ones I know. I would say that young sikhs and hindus tend to use their religious identity descriptively; muslims tend to use it prescriptively.

    “In the case of muslims, the insistence on separation inherent in islam-

    How’s that? ”

    This, among other reasons: “as both islam and some forms of christianity require people to behave in a way that separates and keeps them aware of their religious identity over other identities then, yes, they do encourage separation, as does the desire of muslims to live in a muslim society by muslim laws and to require others to live in ways that muslims find acceptable.”

    “If over 100000 muslims in Britain think that other muslims are “justified” in blowing a few dozen randomly chosen people to pieces because they dislike a government’s foreign policy it’s still pretty worrying.

    Not as worrying as the vast majority of Israelis happily agreeing with the death of 900 Lebanese, and happy to keep supporting more military action.”

    The IDF is not blowing up Lebanese at random. The tube bombers were. Israelis are not “agreeing with the death of 900 Lebanese”; they think that the death of nine hundred- or more Lebanese- may be necessary as a side-effect of stopping Hizbullah firing rockets at Israel and kidnapping israelis. I think they are wrong too, but that is a rather different thing from killing people without any attempt to determine their “guilt”.

    “As long as muslims identify as muslims then I don’t think that integration is possible.

    Rubbish. ”
    Why? One of the important about islam is that muslims are muslims first. They must eat, wash, dress and generally behave in a way that dientifies them as muslims and separates them to some degree from others. Agreed, many don’t actually practise that, but the ones that do are the ones we need to bother about, the ones who define islam.

    One problem for muslims in a nonmuslim society is that muslims are taught thay they’re the ones that decide the rules, but they will tolerate a few people who don’t obey them fully, such as other monotheists, as long as thgey behave properly submissively. when they find that they live in a society that doesn’t tolerate some things they approve of and has no objection to what they regard as dreadful sins it leads to problems. The same applies to colonisation- muslims are taught that they’re the ones supposed to do the conquering (or liberating), not vice-versa.

  127. Kulvinder — on 7th August, 2006 at 7:57 pm  

    Sharia law is incompatible with Western democracy.

    Ideological authoritarianism has become increasingly incompatible with British democracy (the concept of ‘western’ is wholly arbitary). Certain aspects of Sharia are against British law and hence can’t be practised but that isn’t really unique – other ideologies political or religious share that.

    As for the programme, well it doesn’t really say anything new does it? Jon Snow would probably have been making a documentry about the pending destruction of British society at the hands of mods and rockers in the 60s. Life isn’t that interesting; people will grow up people will grow old and laugh at the ‘threats’ of the past whilst screaming at whatever the new source of armageddon is.

    BTW the discussions on ‘integration’ always amuse me greatly as noone can adequately define what ‘culture’ is in an objective enough manner to be useful, well the law aside.

  128. Sunny — on 7th August, 2006 at 8:32 pm  

    Go away John, your comments will continue to be deleted.

    This programme is annoying me too. Yeah so many Muslims are conservative. Shock horror! I’m disappointed Jon Snow’s been sucked into this moral panic sort of journalism.

    They found a bunch of kids who trot out the same old arguments (Sharia is great! Democracy doesn’t work! I want to scrounge on benefits!) and make a documentary out of it…. just great.

  129. Leon — on 7th August, 2006 at 9:07 pm  

    Two things that struck me about this programme; the lack of statistical context, he should have been more rigorous in comparing ‘Muslim’ attitudes to British attitudes in general. Also, there were no religious comparisons, how do the figures compare with people from other religions for example?

    My biggest bugbear and the biggest flaw was the premise; the whole programme took the Islamic religion too seriously. It lacked a rational view on religious practice and thought that can explain a lot of the lunacies of various religions like Islam (like the crap about gays “god created Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve” pleeeeease…)…religions are fairy tales for adults in my view and treating them that seriously gives them more power than they deserve.

  130. Katy Newton — on 7th August, 2006 at 9:13 pm  

    Democracy doesn’t work! I want to scrounge on benefits!

    Don’t you think it’s a shame that British people think that way, Sunny?

  131. Chris Stiles — on 7th August, 2006 at 9:25 pm  


    They found a bunch of kids who trot out the same old arguments (Sharia is great! Democracy doesn’t work! I want to scrounge on benefits!)

    .. who I just saw described elsewhere as ‘chavlims’.

    It’s quite right to highlight the dangers of generalisations – but don’t some of the current set of ‘problems’ mean that some of those generalisations work?

    I mean either there is a problem and the generalisation of ‘People with particular interpretations of Islam AND a taste for violence’ exists, or it doesn’t exist and there isn’t a problem. If it’s a problem at the individual level, how is that different from ‘the human condition’, ‘life is pain, cuh’, etc ?

    Nuance always exists but it isn’t the only thing that exists.

  132. Sunny — on 7th August, 2006 at 9:26 pm  

    Katy I think you misunderstand my point.

    As a journalist I can go out there and find a whole range of dunces from every race and religion who stay things that they haven’t thought through properly or are expected to say (when they are supposed to “represent”) and what not.

    This whole idea that democracy doesn’t work and we shold all move over to some mythical Islamic system does not stand up except in the minds of Hizb ut Tahrir people and their supporters. And it is easily destroyed through intellectual argument. Maybe Jon Snow found a Hizb guy and interviewed him (and not declared it).

    I can find you people who believe Elvis is alive, Tupac is alive, there is a global conspiracy against Sikhs / Hindus / Muslims / Jews / Christians, that the space flight to Nasa was made up etc etc.

    I’m with Leon that it was just lazy journalism. Attitudes held by many Muslims are not different from evangelical Christians in America. And getting some dunce off the street to declare that he feels its not right to contribute to this country right after he had free education isn’t difficult too.

    Take an example on the other side of the spectrum. Read this excellent article in the LA Times.
    http://www.latimes.com/features/magazine/west/la-tm-gonewild32aug06,0,2664370.story

    If you thought the views of those women who want to be in front of the camera for ten seconds and show their breasts were wierd, are you then not integrating?

  133. Sunny — on 7th August, 2006 at 9:32 pm  

    Chavlims! Just the word I was looking for! I was going to use the words brown/black/white trash but Chavlims is perfect.

    If you want intelligent discussion, then Jon Snow should meet some intelligent Muslims from City Circle or others who are making things happen. Not some guy in a council-estate planning a global Islamic takeover from his apartment block.

  134. Simon Benjamin — on 7th August, 2006 at 9:39 pm  

    “They found a bunch of kids who trot out the same old arguments”

    I agree. This documentary has done nothing to expand on what we already know:

    Muslims are religious… never, really?!

    There are conservative Muslims… sincerely? I never would have guessed.

    There are extremists… chak de phutta, what here in good ole blighty?

    And so on, and so on.

    The title itself is misleading. “What do Muslims want?” Well, you know, there are a lot of Muslims with different sentiments.

    It has done little do engage the public in discourse over Britain and it’s Muslim citizens.

  135. Kulvinder — on 7th August, 2006 at 11:01 pm  

    Democracy doesn’t work! I want to scrounge on benefits!

    Don’t you think it’s a shame that British people think that way, Sunny?

    Actually i increasingly don’t think democracy works, unfortunately i haven’t come up with an alternative so can’t really tell anyone what to do but i really don’t think it works. The democratic system (in Britain and America) has degenerated to a situation where two alternatives are provided to a solution regardless of individual thought. Labour and the Tories fight it out to ‘win power’ then proceed to rapidly bring in as many laws as possible in order to stay in power. The concept of democratic representation has resulted in nothing more than your tribe coming in and applying as many ill thought out laws as possible. The fight is for the power of the law not the people, the prize is making the tribe that lost live their life as you dictate. When the competitiveness of those two parties is taken away the winning party is happy to turn on everyone regardless of affiliation. The limit of Labour’s intellectual consideration when the tabloids start screaming is to draft legislation.

    I don’t agree with his solutions but he does have a point, a cookie for anyone who can tell me who wrote this in which book.

    Political struggle that results in the victory of a candidate with, for example, 51 per cent of the votes leads to a dictatorial governing body in the guise of a false democracy, since 49 per cent of the electorate is ruled by an instrument of government they did not vote for, but which has been imposed upon them.

    I’ve also never understood the ‘benefit cheat’ hatred. Ill be taxed regardless of what anyone does, so i couldn’t really care less what they do or don’t do.

  136. Old Pickler — on 8th August, 2006 at 1:10 am  

    In fact the programme went out of its way to show Muslims as ordinary people getting on with their lives. It was right to do this, because that is what most Muslims are. There was much to be positive about here.

    However, there are questions, and the programme was right to raise these questions. A sizeable minority of Muslims want to see sharia law in the UK. A sizeable majority are opposed to freedom of speech when it comes to “insulting” the “prophet”.

    When I raised these issues here, my comments were deleted and I was called a racist. But in the programme, a Muslim – I think of Indian extraction – raised the very same issues. He asked a radical (dickhead) Muslim why, if Britain was so bad, he wasn’t living in Egypt.

    You can gloss over the issues all you like. But they won’t go away. And maybe some Muslims would prefer support for reform and criticism rather than defensiveness and playing the race card.

  137. Bert Preast — on 8th August, 2006 at 11:06 am  

    Leon wrote: “Two things that struck me about this programme; the lack of statistical context, he should have been more rigorous in comparing ‘Muslim’ attitudes to British attitudes in general. Also, there were no religious comparisons, how do the figures compare with people from other religions for example?”

    The figures do not compare well at all, and make it quite clear that there’s a significant gap between muslims and everyone else. Have a look at the Labour Force Surveys or this:

    http://www.eumap.org/topics/minority/reports/britishmuslims/sections/labour/8_ukmuslimlab.pdf

  138. Kismet Hardy — on 8th August, 2006 at 11:08 am  

    “And maybe some Muslims would prefer support for reform and criticism rather than defensiveness and playing the race card.”

    Surely it’s time to introduce a religion card?

  139. Rakhee — on 8th August, 2006 at 11:11 am  

    An unusually long comment from me today but I saw this last night and I have to say I was shocked and dismayed at how Jon Snow presented it, for the following reasons:

    Hypocrisy. The programme clearly made the point that Muslims need to integrate more in Britain but it was called WHAT MUSLIMS WANT. How can you blame Muslims for feeling separate from others when they are differentiated against, especially in mainstream media? If you take a group of people out of mass population and make the point of examining them as if they are some sort of scientific experiment, don’t expect them to go back in to the masses exactly the way in which they came in and fully integrate. Just by labeling them a different group, you begin to draw the line of separation.

    Negativity: Within the first 10 minutes (and then throughout the entire hour) I was hit with a barrage of negativity. Words like: poor, secluded, segregated, terrorism, isolated, secular, separate, Bin Laden, Bush and deprived came at me at full force. People underestimate the power of the media today and programmes like this do NOTHING for the great and good of British Muslims or indeed ethnic minorities. Whichever way you look at society, there are always bad apples. Crime in whatever form is prevalent throughout the UK. Separating one group and then continually associating them with things like terrorism will only achieve one thing. There was even a fabulous shot half way through of a plane which looked as though it was going in to a building. WTF? How does this achieve any progress?

    One-sided perspective: Jon Snow said it himself “For most part, Muslim Britain does not speak with one voice”. Well why was it (to Sunny’s point) that he didn’t speak to city Muslims or ‘Modern Muslims”? To my mind there was only one voice in that documentary and it was utter shite.

    I’m not saying there are not problems here and that Muslims cannot do things to help themselves.

    However, I for one look forward to the day when the balance tips and ethnic minorities across the board are seen in more of a positive light then they are right now.

    *HUMPH. OF THE HIGHEST ORDER*

  140. Arif — on 8th August, 2006 at 11:46 am  

    One useful thing brought out by the documentary was by its comparison with survey results among Mulsims a few years ago.

    It found that views had shifted significantly. Maybe that is not good news in the sense that the programme suggests the shift was in directions that should alarm non-Muslims. But it is good to show that these views are responsive to something.

    There is a current of thinking among people who seem to me to be particularly hostile to Muslims, which is arguing that all the bad things that some Muslims do is a direct result of genuine Islamic theology, and this both explains Muslim people’s opinions and justifies a kind of separation of civilisations.

    Here is clear empirical evidence that something else is going on. That it is not Islam as a religion which leads to conservative or radical opinions, since these opinions change much more sharply over time than religious texts. There is something else going on. Probably too complex to cover in a short sensationalist documentary.

  141. sonia — on 8th August, 2006 at 12:02 pm  

    Very good point Arif.

  142. Leon — on 8th August, 2006 at 12:27 pm  
  143. Chairwoman — on 8th August, 2006 at 12:29 pm  

    I was shocked by last night’s programme. I was shocked to find that it took an hour to say absolutely nothing new whatsoever.

    My opinion remains the same, we are all entitled to practice our diverse religions/cultures/whatever you want to call its, as long as doing so hurts no one. We all have to learn to put up with other peoples not understanding ‘our’ ways, and not understanding that their freedom of speech is anathma to some of us. Because something is contrary to our religions doesn’t make it unacceptable for someone not of our faiths to say/do it. We are all the tail, and there aren’t enough of us to wag the dog.

    No doubt this will annoy a whole slew of you, but it can’t be helped. It’s an opinion formed over many years, and it’s mine. So there!

  144. Leon — on 8th August, 2006 at 12:32 pm  

    Anthonys conclusion is brilliant: “Yes, a minority of Muslims believe bizarre things, but then a minority of non-Muslims do to!”

    :D

  145. Sid — on 8th August, 2006 at 12:35 pm  

    gosh that is a good point Arif.

  146. Bert Preast — on 8th August, 2006 at 12:42 pm  

    Why can’t muslims go with the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, like everybody else does? Why did they feel the need to write their own declaration? Have any other religions opted out and done this?

  147. mscorlib — on 8th August, 2006 at 1:17 pm  

    Given that all of this antagonism, hatred, mistrust, and fear emanates from different groups of people being brainwashed (largely from childhood) to suppress their critical faculties, and accept as absolute truth a particular set of fictional tales, which have been passed down the generations since time immemorial – don’t you think it’s time we all grew up and repudiated religion for the utterly destructive, non-sensical lie that it is?

    It is simply a means for the powerful to keep their subjects unthinking, robotic, and unthreatening; and is a catalyst for violence the world over.

    The manner in which the participants in this discussion talk about groups of people as separate entities, abstracting away entirely their common humanity is truly sad and risible.

    This RUBBISH will continue until we all wake up and learn to think for ourselves.

  148. Bert Preast — on 8th August, 2006 at 1:49 pm  

    My name is Bert, and I am a pointless talking monkey.

    See how easy it is?

  149. Kismet Hardy — on 8th August, 2006 at 2:19 pm  

    What does that make me bert?

    Now you’ve gone and tipped me into the abyss of introspection I dare not gaze into lest it gays back at me

    Shit. I’m gay

  150. Chairwoman — on 8th August, 2006 at 2:28 pm  

    Kismet Hardy – Every time you leave the naughty corner you get into more trouble.

  151. Old Pickler — on 8th August, 2006 at 2:55 pm  

    Why can’t muslims go with the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, like everybody else does? Why did they feel the need to write their own declaration? Have any other religions opted out and done this?

    Two main reasons. They cannot, as the UDHR does, include freedom to change one’s religion, because conversion out of Islam (apostasy) is against sharia. Also they cannot give everyone equal rights because under sharia women and non-muslims are “differently equal”, ie inferior.

    Kismet, can I come in the naughty corner with you? I’ll wear my dunce’s cap as a precaution.

  152. Bert Preast — on 8th August, 2006 at 3:39 pm  

    Don’t panic Kismet. Though doubtless inside every leftie there’s one of those despicable gayers struggling to get out, you’re not gay.

    You just think you are ‘cos you can’t get a shag. :(

  153. Kulvinder — on 8th August, 2006 at 4:21 pm  

    A sizeable minority of Muslims want to see sharia law in the UK. A sizeable majority are opposed to freedom of speech when it comes to “insulting” the “prophet”.

    Why does it matter what they want to see in the UK? They’re allowed to practise whatever ideology they wish and if they want to live under a Sharia system they have a right to do so (as long as the law isn’t broken). The idea of Sharia suddenly being implemented across the UK on the whole population is fantastical nonsense.

    In addition freedom of speech arguments are a little pointless in this country since no such right exists, its the whim of the Prime Minister and faceless CPS officials whether something should be ‘allowed’ to be said or not. Im more than happy for screaming at Allah and burning the Quran to be made legal in this country (at present you’d most likely be prosecuted for incitement) but i also have no problem with Abu Hamza saying whatever he wishes to say.

  154. Bert Preast — on 8th August, 2006 at 4:49 pm  

    Kulvinder – I’ve no problem with sharia compliant mortgages and stuff and don’t buy this thin end of the wedge rubbish. However, polygamy etc. ARE illegal in the UK. If you think there are muslims ghettotes in the UK now, give those that wish it sharia and they become practically different countries. There is no way it could work without one side or the other getting aggrieved.

    People need one clear set of laws to function under admittedly something that neither UK or sharia has managed to get right yet but having two differing sets of unclear laws is a certain recipe for a catastrophe.

    If you think it can or should be done, I’d be interested to hear how you think it’d work?

  155. Kismet Hardy — on 8th August, 2006 at 5:18 pm  

    Bert Preast, I wear tampons. The dry-weave top sheet is really comfortable. They have wings

  156. Bert Preast — on 8th August, 2006 at 5:22 pm  

    Okay mate. You don’t know the difference ‘twixt tampon and towel. Seems you are gay after all. :*(

  157. lucy — on 8th August, 2006 at 5:25 pm  

    See, I thought the doc was nuanced in the range of opinions it showed and people it interviewed; it did, at times, seem to have an agenda (shock! horror! controversial opinions! threat to Britain????!!!) but at other times was prepared to undermine this. jon snow was on the whole a careful and thoughtful presenter.

  158. Katy Newton — on 8th August, 2006 at 5:34 pm  

    Winged tampons?

    *shudder*

  159. Kulvinder — on 8th August, 2006 at 7:23 pm  

    However, polygamy etc. ARE illegal in the UK.

    Polygamy shouldn’t be illegal as long as all parties consent.

    I don’t mean the implementation of Sharia law as anything remotely equal to British law, rather the acceptance under British law that as long as its legal consenting adults are allowed to live under whatever ‘rules’ (for lack of a better term) they wish.

  160. Old Pickler — on 8th August, 2006 at 7:44 pm  

    Polygamy shouldn’t be illegal as long as all parties consent.

    What kind of “consent” does a 16 year old girl with domineering father and brothers give?

    Some things are wrong because they are contrary to public policy.

    Marriage brings tax breaks. Tax breaks, by definition, are funded by taxpayers. Why should I and other non-Muslim taxpayers fund an outdated institution like polygamy, which belongs in the desert and the jungle?

  161. Old Pickler — on 8th August, 2006 at 7:46 pm  

    Winged tampons?

  162. Bert Preast — on 8th August, 2006 at 9:56 pm  

    Polygamy isn’t the British way, and if people are floundering to define British culture it’s one of the things we can point to. With the exception of sailors of course, but they’re a bunch of savages whose mission in life was to seek out new lands and roger everthing there senseless. But I believe this was not exclusive in any way to British sailors.

    I might be wrong, but I belive it has been so for some 1600 years or more. Concubines apart, of course, but again that isn’t in any way exclusive to the British.

    Our society just isn’t set up for it, and you’re not going to make us believe that it offers anything positive to the women involved. Would you like to be one of four husbands? Or do you think women don’t have our pride?

  163. Kulvinder — on 8th August, 2006 at 11:41 pm  

    What kind of “consent” does a 16 year old girl with domineering father and brothers give?

    Exactly the same consent she gives at present?!?! im unsure what your point is.

    Some things are wrong because they are contrary to public policy.

    Everything has been ‘against public policy’ at some point, slavery, universal sufferage and same sex laws to name a few. Its hardly a worthy intellectual argument to state that something is wrong simply because it is illegal.

    Marriage brings tax breaks. Tax breaks, by definition, are funded by taxpayers. Why should I and other non-Muslim taxpayers fund an outdated institution like polygamy, which belongs in the desert and the jungle?

    Taxation invariably results in a situation where you fund something you disapprove of a similar argument could be made by those who don’t wish to have children. Im not sure what benefit there is in that kind of analysis apart from stating there shouldn’t be any taxes or social welfare.

    Polygamy isn’t the British way…Our society just isn’t set up for it, and you’re not going to make us believe that it offers anything positive to the women involved. Would you like to be one of four husbands? Or do you think women don’t have our pride?

    Since i believe a definition of sexuality along binary ‘hetero-homo’ lines with only mono partners to be little more than misplaced simplification i don’t really understand what the bigdeal with allowing people to live as they wish. If i took a fancy to it i wouldn’t have a problem with being in a bi-sexual four way relationship with a legally recognised display of commitment.

    To say it ‘isn’t the british way’ would infer divorce or extra-marital relationships should be illegal. Its perfectly legal for me to marry a woman or have a civil partnership with a man and have however many live in partners i wish. If the sanctity of marriage is to be protected i don’t really see why divorce or sexual liberation is tolerated (in the sense its legal).

  164. Sunny — on 8th August, 2006 at 11:50 pm  

    Polygamy isn’t the British way, and if people are floundering to define British culture it’s one of the things we can point to.

    Bert, did you ever do English history?

  165. Old Pickler — on 8th August, 2006 at 11:57 pm  

    Polygamy is not the British way. Divorce, affairs etc happen, of course, but they are about people falling short of an ideal.

    If the ideal is immoral in the first place, as polygamy is, that is far worse.

    None of you men – surprise surprise – have pointed out the obvious about polygamy. In Islam it is permitted for men but not polyandry for women. My god, if you tried to make polyandry legal, the Muslims would be exploding, perhaps literally. Can you imagine for one minute a typical Muslim man tolerating his wife taking another husband?

    Tolerance, though, is a one way street where Islam is concerned.

    Of the two, polyandry is the lesser of the two evils. Polygamy brings with it overbreeding at the expense of hard-working taxpayers.

    I pay enough tax as it is. Why should I support a man with four 16 year old wives and their ever-expanding brood? Why?

  166. Katy Newton — on 9th August, 2006 at 12:00 am  

    Sunny, when did Britain do polygamy?

    I’m not in this debate; I’m just genuinely interested in the answer.

  167. Old Pickler — on 9th August, 2006 at 12:08 am  

    Never, is the answer.

    Kulvinder mentions slavery etc as things that were once legal, but which an enlightened society moved on from and abolished.

    Polygamy is simply a step backwards. Societies that practise polygamy are, with no exceptions, oppressive to women. Women in Britain have fought for their rights. Why should we tolerate something backward and oppressive in the name of multiculturalism? And why stop at polygamy. Mohammed had slaves, including sex slaves. Some cultures chop off women’s genitals. Who are we to judge.

    Bloody get real.

  168. Bert Preast — on 9th August, 2006 at 12:12 am  

    Kulvinder wrote: “Since i believe a definition of sexuality along binary ‘hetero-homo’ lines with only mono partners to be little more than misplaced simplification”

    So Bert surrendered.

  169. Bert Preast — on 9th August, 2006 at 12:17 am  

    Kulvinder wrote: “To say it ‘isn’t the british way’ would infer divorce or extra-marital relationships should be illegal. Its perfectly legal for me to marry a woman or have a civil partnership with a man and have however many live in partners i wish. If the sanctity of marriage is to be protected i don’t really see why divorce or sexual liberation is tolerated (in the sense its legal).”

    Now here I have you. You’re thinking of the French way.

    To be serious, there do indeed exist polygamous relationships. It’s just that we have the decency to keep them quiet. It’s only civilised. There’s just no reason for them to be legit in a 50/50 male/female society.

    How about the other bits of sharia? Fancy a bit of homosexuality, do you?

  170. Sunny — on 9th August, 2006 at 12:17 am  

    Divorce, affairs etc happen, of course, but they are about people falling short of an ideal.

    Polygamy simply legitimises what is of course quite common, and was common in British history. How many wives did Henry VIII have again?

    Not that I’m fussed about polygamy for the reasons that Kulvinder mentioned above. Every single Muslim woman in the UK I know is against it and it’s for them to decide and the law to legislate.

    Who are we to judge.
    Of course you don’t want to judge OP. You only come here every day and tell us how uncivilised us brown folk are and no one takes a blind piece of notice.

    All you do OP is build straw-men and bash them down to make yourself feel better.

    It’s a tactic not dissimilar to a HuT argument: “Western society is full of loose women who have no respect for themselves and people drinking 20 bottles of Stella a day and puking up etc.”

    I mean if it makes you happy OP you can keep verbally masturbating here but it makes not one iota of difference in adding to the debate.

  171. Bert Preast — on 9th August, 2006 at 12:19 am  

    Sunny, Henry VIII had the common courtesy to kill his wives before marrying the next fany piece.

    It’s good to be da king.

  172. Kulvinder — on 9th August, 2006 at 12:19 am  

    Polygamy is not the British way. Divorce, affairs etc happen, of course, but they are about people falling short of an ideal.

    What ‘ideal’? if its some vague notion of a nuclear family same sex partnerships should have been kept illegal (let along gain the same tax status as heteromarriage). Even if we accept ‘an ideal’ its only worth protecting if you punish those that fall short.

    None of you men – surprise surprise – have pointed out the obvious about polygamy. In Islam it is permitted for men but not polyandry for women. My god, if you tried to make polyandry legal, the Muslims would be exploding, perhaps literally. Can you imagine for one minute a typical Muslim man tolerating his wife taking another husband?

    Tolerance, though, is a one way street where Islam is concerned.

    Since i believe a definition of sexuality along binary ‘hetero-homo’ lines with only mono partners to be little more than misplaced simplification i don’t really understand what the bigdeal with allowing people to live as they wish. If i took a fancy to it i wouldn’t have a problem with being in a bi-sexual four way relationship with a legally recognised display of commitment.

    Tolerance, though, is a one way street where Islam is concerned.

    Unless ive completely misread your arguments all you seem to have done is ‘define’ an intolerance in islam (for the benefit of your point) and equaled it by stating relationships outside your norm shouldn’t be sanctioned. Potkettleblack.

    I pay enough tax as it is. Why should I support a man with four 16 year old wives and their ever-expanding brood? Why?

    Why should someone younger than you support you in old age on an unequal footing when the burden on them is greater? (CoL,avg age considered)

    If you were arguing against all tax you’d have a point (and id probably agree with you). If you accept the premise of taxation you have to accept the universal inability to control how and where its spent.

  173. Bert Preast — on 9th August, 2006 at 12:20 am  

    And I’d have no problem with polygamy if I really thought muslims wanted it in the name of sexual liberation. But let’s face it, that’s not the case, is it?

  174. Katy Newton — on 9th August, 2006 at 12:23 am  

    Henry VIII had six wives, but if memory serves he was only married to one at any given time. (Grey area re his divorce from Katharine of Aragon, but certainly he only intended to be married to one at a time.)

  175. Kulvinder — on 9th August, 2006 at 12:27 am  

    Kulvinder mentions slavery etc as things that were once legal, but which an enlightened society moved on from and abolished.

    Im quietly confident compylsory monohetero-homo relationships will be looked upon with distain by enlightened society in the future.

    To be serious, there do indeed exist polygamous relationships. It’s just that we have the decency to keep them quiet. It’s only civilised. There’s just no reason for them to be legit in a 50/50 male/female society.

    If they already exist why shouldn’t they be legit, they’ve already impacted society and the way we live won’t be affected by making them legal.

    How about the other bits of sharia? Fancy a bit of homosexuality, do you?

    If im attracted to the man in question yes?!!?

  176. Kulvinder — on 9th August, 2006 at 12:30 am  

    Henry VIII had six wives, but if memory serves he was only married to one at any given time. (Grey area re his divorce from Katharine of Aragon, but certainly he only intended to be married to one at a time.)

    IIRC and i may be wrong, his divorce wasn’t recognised by the pope, he was married to his first wife and committed polygamy with the rest. Declaring yourself the leader of your own religious movement as a means to bypass Catholic law is pretty :cool:

  177. Old Pickler — on 9th August, 2006 at 12:34 am  

    Henry VIII was not a polygamist. He was a serial monogamist.

    Polygamy is a disgusting form of discrimination against women.

    Are we seriously, on a website that purports to be liberal, discussing this neanderthal practice and claiming that it should be legal?

  178. Kulvinder — on 9th August, 2006 at 12:34 am  

    And I’d have no problem with polygamy if I really thought muslims wanted it in the name of sexual liberation. But let’s face it, that’s not the case, is it?

    Saying you’ll only agree to give someone a right if and only if they agree to your socio-political/ideological/philosophical outlook is kinda tyrannical.

    I couldn’t really care less whether they practise it in the name of free sex or Allah.

  179. Kulvinder — on 9th August, 2006 at 12:38 am  

    Henry VIII was not a polygamist. He was a serial monogamist.

    Catholic Canon would probably beg to differ.

    btw i forgot to add that

    ‘Saying you’ll only agree to give someone a right if and only if they agree to your socio-political/ideological/philosophical outlook is kinda tyrannical.

    I couldn’t really care less whether they practise it in the name of free sex or Allah.’

    is the reason im thinking beyond democracy (read above)

  180. Old Pickler — on 9th August, 2006 at 12:38 am  

    OK, then, if this is about tolerance, let’s poll Muslims. Let’s see how many Muslim men would want to see polyandry legalised. For the ill-educated among you, that is women having more than one husband.

    Muslim men want to legalise polygamy because the regard women as inferior. They do not want to do it in the name of “live and let live”, all relationships are valid tolerance.

    Or do they?

    Well, let’s ask them. Are they “cool” with their wives and daughters marrying more than one husband? As we are supposed to be “cool” and “tolerant” and “live and let live” about Muslim men having more than one wife?

    Well?

  181. Bert Preast — on 9th August, 2006 at 12:39 am  

    So in sharia, anything goes sexually?

  182. Bert Preast — on 9th August, 2006 at 12:41 am  

    Old Pickler: Has polyandry ever been legal anywhere?

  183. Old Pickler — on 9th August, 2006 at 12:42 am  

    Every single Muslim woman in the UK I know is against it

    They had the good fortune to grow up in the UK, which – at the moment – restricts Islam.

    If Islam were given free rein, they would not be in a position to be against it or vote against it. In Muslim countries they are not.

  184. Kulvinder — on 9th August, 2006 at 12:43 am  

    @OP I think thats a rhetorical question, regardless i don’t really see the point in asking it since any laws dealing with that would have to give men and women equal rights, even if they didn’t they’d be challenged under european convention and equality would be established.

  185. Sunny — on 9th August, 2006 at 12:43 am  

    Well?

    Why not ask how many British non-Muslim men want Polyandry legalised too at the same time?

  186. Kulvinder — on 9th August, 2006 at 12:44 am  

    So in sharia, anything goes sexually?

    I think you’re asking me (im im wrong i apologise!). I don’t really know what Sharia does and doesn’t permit, im not a muslim im a sikh.

  187. Sunny — on 9th August, 2006 at 12:45 am  

    If Islam were given free rein, they would not be in a position to be against it or vote against it. In Muslim countries they are not.

    Another straw-man, more verbal masturbation OP. One can quite easily argue, and bizarrely enough most HuT types do, that those countries in the Middle East are “Muslim countries” in name only, and not in action.

    Btw, I believe there’s a television programme in the States right now, and on Channel 4 about an American man with four wives.

  188. Old Pickler — on 9th August, 2006 at 12:47 am  

    Has polyandry ever been legal anywhere?

    Before Mo got his claws into it, polyandry was sometimes practised in pre-Islamic Arab societies.

    By and large, no. In backward, primitive cultures, male strength determines female oppression. Women are only treated as anything like equals in the West, where monogamy is the legal requirement.

    I’m not actually advocating polyandry. But I just find it very telling that Muslim and Muslim apologists advocate polygamy in the name of tolerance – ie we in the West should tolerate an oppressive, backward custom. But of course it is not about tolerance – as is obvious when you broach the subject of “their” women having the same rights.

  189. Sunny — on 9th August, 2006 at 12:47 am  

    I think I’ll invent a straw-man and start knocking it down just for jokes.

    Shall we talk about Catholic priests and paedophilia?

  190. Sunny — on 9th August, 2006 at 12:48 am  

    Muslim apologists advocate polygamy in the name of tolerance

    Who has done that?

  191. Old Pickler — on 9th August, 2006 at 12:51 am  

    Btw, I believe there’s a television programme in the States right now, and on Channel 4 about an American man with four wives.

    And? So dozy Mormons practise a primitive, backward and outdated, oppressive custom? So what?

    Polygamy is illegal in the US too – and rightly so. Those are not legal wives.

    But what is your point. Men in America rape nine year old girls. Some get away with it. In Iran, until recently, all got away with it because, folllowing the example of Mohammed, it was legal.

  192. Sunny — on 9th August, 2006 at 12:51 am  

    How I love winding up Old Pickler…

  193. Sunny — on 9th August, 2006 at 12:52 am  

    Why not ask how many British non-Muslim men want Polyandry legalised too at the same time?

    You didn’t answer my earlier question. If you’re proposing to go out there and do soem research, please ask this question in your poll too, thanks!

  194. Bert Preast — on 9th August, 2006 at 12:52 am  

    Kulvinder: Is polygamy permitted for sikhs?

  195. Old Pickler — on 9th August, 2006 at 12:53 am  

    Catholic priests and paedophilia?

    That old chestnut.

    At least paedophilia is illegal. In Islam raping a nine-year-old is allowed under sharia – Mo did it.

    Sunny, by the way, you are really handsome – I’ve seen your pic. Just get the brain to match.

  196. Old Pickler — on 9th August, 2006 at 12:55 am  

    more verbal masturbation OP

    Is there another kind?

  197. Sunny — on 9th August, 2006 at 12:55 am  

    At least paedophilia is illegal.

    That doesn’t deny the fact the Church looked away and swept it under the carpet for decades.

    Just get the brain to match.

    Thanks OP, I’ll try my best. Gonna go shopping tomorrow.

  198. Sunny — on 9th August, 2006 at 12:56 am  

    Is there another kind?

    You’ll have to ask Kismet Hardy. He’s the resident (s)expert.

  199. Kulvinder — on 9th August, 2006 at 1:00 am  

    Kulvinder: Is polygamy permitted for sikhs?

    Probably not.

    btw im confused how adjectives like ‘primitive backward’ etc are relevant here, if Britain had widespread tradition of multiple partner relationships and legislation was brought in specifically to stop that it would be logical to call it ‘backward’ (though that wouldn’t make it a sound argument). As it is its little more than naming calling to people who live differently to you.

  200. Bert Preast — on 9th August, 2006 at 1:02 am  

    Who’s that Pakistani imam literally risking everything to expose child abuse in the madrassas?

    Aha! Aamer Liaquat Hussain. Now there’s a man far braver than any of the catholic priests were – but it’s still being very much covered up, isn’t it? In fact, so covered up that this is somewhere I’d really expect people to have known about this.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/4084951.stm

    Child abuse is not a catholic thing. Seems it’s an unfortunately universal human trait.

  201. Bert Preast — on 9th August, 2006 at 1:03 am  

    Kulvinder: I didn’t call polygamy primitive or backward. I just said it isn’t very British.

  202. Kulvinder — on 9th August, 2006 at 1:07 am  

    I didn’t mean you :)

  203. Bert Preast — on 9th August, 2006 at 1:08 am  

    Sorry. That was rather unBritish of me, then.

  204. Sunny — on 9th August, 2006 at 1:10 am  

    Bert, already covered here actually:
    http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/379

  205. Bert Preast — on 9th August, 2006 at 1:13 am  

    So why does half the world blame paedos on catholic priests? And how is that any sort of justification for the behaviour of other religions anyway?

  206. Sunny — on 9th August, 2006 at 1:25 am  

    I told you I was building a straw-man to knock it down, didn’t I? I’m just playing the game you and OP are ;)

  207. Bert Preast — on 9th August, 2006 at 1:27 am  

    Twister?

  208. peter — on 10th August, 2006 at 9:04 am  

    Hey – perhaps we’ll do away with the ‘all white men are paedophiles particularly Catholic priests’ counter-rhetoric now that One of the Forest Gate Two is a nonce. Allegedly.

  209. Refresh — on 10th August, 2006 at 9:09 am  

    Allegedly, and convenient.

    And are you serious about ‘all white men are paedophiles particularly Catholic priests’ counter rhetoric?

  210. Bikhair aka Taqiyyah — on 10th August, 2006 at 9:20 am  

    For the record it isnt in a womans nature to want to be with more than one man. This only occurs when she begins to imitate men thus proving their superiority.

  211. Leon — on 10th August, 2006 at 10:55 am  

    A considered view of the prog: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,1840858,00.html

  212. sonia — on 10th August, 2006 at 11:02 am  

    “For the record it isnt in a womans nature to want to be with more than one man. This only occurs when she begins to imitate men thus proving their superiority.”

    Shows how much you know about women!Ha.

  213. dr_AZ — on 10th August, 2006 at 2:16 pm  

    what do muslims want?

    i dont konw about the others but i want a bugatti veron and a million pounds

  214. Chairwoman — on 10th August, 2006 at 3:12 pm  

    dr_AZ – now I know what Muslims and Jews have in common.

  215. Kam — on 11th August, 2006 at 1:36 pm  

    This argument will go on for a long time….
    Basically if msulims want to live with sharia law then they should go back to the plenty of muslim countrys that have it implemented.
    UK is a free country, it has allowed several immigrants into this country no matter what creed, religion, or colour and allowed them to settle improve their way of life and build a better life for them and their kids. Now what muslim country allows that.
    all religions in this country need to integrate into society.

    Now tell me why is that a large aoumnt of muslims are on benefits,
    Muslims come to the UK, dont want to work, want free houses, which they get, paid benefits to live off, kids are educated, education is free, and yet they are still going on about their law, i mean bollocks to them who do that, simply piss off back where you cam from and see what you get there.

    Uk has opened arms to let immigrants in, they have the rightto have foriegn policies of their choice as they are the ones who always welcome refugees.

    If you dont like it muslims sodd off back where y acame from.

  216. Gen — on 11th August, 2006 at 2:26 pm  

    I don’t think that any Christian, Jew, of any other believer would disagree with most of the opinions voiced in the programme: if you believe in God, then you’re bound to believe his authority is higher than any human authority, and if you follow strict interpretations of religious writings (as most believers do), then you’re bound to come up with homophobic, illiberal, sexist views…It’s not because of ‘Chirstianity’ or ‘Judaism’ that certain freedoms were gained, but due to struggles by women, gays, and victims of colonialism to name but some.

    For me the Muslim Question (to paraphrase Marx) is a political not cultural question: one concerning justice not religion: do Muslims (defined as persons particularly positioned in cultural, ideological and geopolitical terms, not as believing/practising a certain religion) suffer injustices? How can we redress these? ‘Muslims’first and foremost want justice and they’re not alone in this

  217. Admeister — on 16th August, 2006 at 2:28 am  

    There are some very good posts here and is encouraging to see people discuss it in intelligent ways rather than I’m a Muslim so I’m right or this is England and a historically Christian country so be thankful for a stable country or go back, closed points of view.

    I think a big problem is religions are following writings hundreds, if not thousands of years old, and do not fit 100% into today’s educated society, e.g. would we see it fit that all black people should be slaves if someone in the UK wrote a new holy book 200 years ago? The majority of white people would see that as fine then, I doubt anyone, and rightly so, would do so now.

    Islam has some very good points, but also some not so great ones, as does Christianity. I don’t think there is an answer to this one, because of extremists (e.g. white British invading countries and forcing locals to convert or today’s terrorists) and people dividing themselves by religion or race etc rather than combining as humanity.

    I believe the Bible and Koran and all other religious texts should be used as a guide for our lives because they are all fundementally good, and not to live, die and kill by their exact word.

    I almost wish we could right down all the pros and cons of each religion and make a new book of the pros e.g. Islam’s respect for women and Christianity’s equal rights for women, but then who would decide.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Pickled Politics © Copyright 2005 - 2010. All rights reserved. Terms and conditions.
With the help of PHP and Wordpress.