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Failing to challenge racism

Posted By Al-Hack On 15th August, 2006 @ 2:24 pm In Race politics, Other racists | Comments Disabled

…getting their chadors in a twist about big swarthy men with tea-towels on their heads…” is what Julie Burchill said [1] last week. Not long after, Marcus from Harry’s Place [2] reckons Melanie Phillips and Julie Burchill will save western feminists. When Sunny challenges Marcus on Burchill’s racist statement, Brownie defends her with these pearls of wisdom:

The paragraph in which Burchill writes about “big swarthy men with tea-towels on their heads” doesn’t mention Muslims, only Islamists. Her phraseology is, at worst, a little ignorant, but racist or bigotted it ‘aint.

You may have noticed that Julie Burchill is a woman and the people to whom she is referring would therefore consider her - purely by dint of her gender - subordinate, unequal before the law and inferior generally . If this in turn means she is rather less disposed to the niceties of public discourse when handling such hot topics, I, for one, won’t be criticizing her.

Is this how the neo-lefties will eradicate racism?
Let’s paraphrase shall we - “You see, when I used the term sand-niggers, I was only referring to the terrorists! Surely you’re not on the side of terrorists are you?” - yeah, that makes sense. You see, because Burchill is apparently only reserving her racism for Islamists, it’s ok to use this term. Why should other Arabs or Sikhs with turbans be offended? She isn’t calling them rag-heads is she?


Comments Disabled To "Failing to challenge racism"

#1 Comment By Kismet Hardy On 15th August, 2006 @ 2:46 pm

I can’t see why the marriage of Julie Burchill and Tony Parsons didn’t work.

Both are Sensationalist Hopelessly Innacurate Try-hards

#2 Comment By TheFriendlyInfidel On 15th August, 2006 @ 3:11 pm

One must look at the CAUSES of racism. It the policies preparated by our minority communities that cause the upset from which racism orginates.

I’m obviously joking, but I’m sure that you can see the parallel arguement I’m drawing from, and know those that agree with it, would agree to this.

TFI

#3 Comment By jonz On 15th August, 2006 @ 3:13 pm

Al-Hack

As a muslim you should really be making a post saying

Failing to challenge extremism

But of course you get to the root of all evil here, and that is saying “towel head”.

Typical Muslim response to anti-terrorim raids - an attack on those critcising terrorists.

Pathetic really.

/honkey boy

Let’s try and focus on what’s really offensive - plots to commit muder on an unimaginable scale. No real surprise the only peep we have out of you since the arrests is to attack the Islamo critics…

#4 Comment By Kismet Hardy On 15th August, 2006 @ 3:18 pm

Proof if proof were needed that sensationalist soundbytes do eventually convince people it’s all true

‘murder on an unimaginable scale’

They said it. You bought it.

But then imagination does play a huge part in how you react to things these days, eh?

#5 Comment By j0nz On 15th August, 2006 @ 3:20 pm

What’s your point Kismet? Are you too in denial? Do you think the British authorities and the British public have collectively imagined the terrorist threat?

How very patronising.

#6 Comment By leon On 15th August, 2006 @ 3:24 pm

Yeah well, racism is fine if it’s against ones enemies…

#7 Comment By leon On 15th August, 2006 @ 3:25 pm

That was sarcasm before any plum starts bleating.

#8 Comment By TheFriendlyInfidel On 15th August, 2006 @ 3:35 pm

bleat! bleat!

Chill dude.

TFI

#9 Comment By jonz On 15th August, 2006 @ 3:47 pm

Metropolitan Police Chief Superintendent Ali Desai, a Muslim, has warned the idea could create a new offence of “travelling whilst Asian”.

He said intelligence could be used to examine travel history, how a ticket is purchased and the persistency to travel.

But he told BBC 2’s Newsnight: “It becomes hugely problematic when it’s based on ethnicity, religion and country of origin

How bizzare that Muslims cannot see how a 20 year old Muslim fanatic is millions times more likely to blow up an airoplane than an 80 year old christian granny?

Well of course I guess it all makes sense if you believe that US air force or Mossad did 9/11 and MI5 did 7/7

#10 Comment By g On 15th August, 2006 @ 3:48 pm

if those two mentalists are the saviours of western feminism then western feminsim is well and truly buggered. And I love the way Jonz twists Burchill’s racist statment round to make it seem as if Al Hack is a staunch supporter of terrorism.

#11 Comment By jonz On 15th August, 2006 @ 3:48 pm

[3] http://news.sky.com/skynews/article/0,,30000-13537570,00.html

#12 Comment By Al-Hack On 15th August, 2006 @ 3:53 pm

You know j0nz, a middle-aged white man is much more likely to kill you in a traffic accident than a 20 yr old Muslim terrorist. Let’s take them off the streets too.

#13 Comment By g On 15th August, 2006 @ 3:53 pm

no tickets or passports: [4] http://msnbc.msn.com/id/14320452/

#14 Comment By jonz On 15th August, 2006 @ 3:53 pm

Can I just point out to an English person brought in less diverse areas of the country that a white turban does indeed look like a tea towel wrapped around the head, and does look quite ridiculous. If you are a Muslim and you find that highly offensive, then, well tough!

I find it incredibly offensive the amount of British Muslims who believe terrorism is justified and that absolve Muslim brothers of any responsiblity with regards to Islamic extremism.

I’m sure if the fashion in England was to wear bowler hats, and that an English icon they hated wore a bowler hat the Arab/Asian press would never go so far as to mock that

#15 Comment By leon On 15th August, 2006 @ 3:55 pm

if those two mentalists are the saviours of western feminism then western feminsim is well and truly buggered. And I love the way Jonz twists Burchill’s racist statment round to make it seem as if Al Hack is a staunch supporter of terrorism.

Yep and yep. Tedious stuff as his attempts to set the framework for this discussion.

#16 Comment By jonz On 15th August, 2006 @ 3:56 pm

You know j0nz, a middle-aged white man is much more likely to kill you in a traffic accident than a 20 yr old Muslim terrorist. Maybe we should take them off the streets too.

You are in denial Al-Hacker. You do realise that those 24 arrested were all Muslim, don’t you? But I guess that’s only because of the Islamophobic nature of the security services…

#17 Comment By leon On 15th August, 2006 @ 3:57 pm

I think it’s time to initiate a ‘don’t feed the troll’ policy.

#18 Comment By g On 15th August, 2006 @ 3:59 pm

Unlike turbans, bowler hats don’t carry any religious meaning and if mocking of bowler hats is the worst racism white people have to put up with they should count themselves lucky.

#19 Comment By jonz On 15th August, 2006 @ 3:59 pm

I think it’s time to initiate a ‘don’t feed the troll’ policy.

Another typical PP response to shutdown legimate debate. Of course if you feel unable to rebutt any of my arguments then please do feel free to ignore my comments.

Just need someone to call me a biggot and racist to feel like this is truly PP.

#20 Comment By bananabrain On 15th August, 2006 @ 4:00 pm

this isn’t about this thread, really, but i think everyone should read this great piece by brendan o’neill on sp!ked-online:

[5] http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php?/site/article/1481/

b’shalom

bananabrain

#21 Comment By Sylvie On 15th August, 2006 @ 4:01 pm

Excuse me for interrupting this thread, but I just read something extraordinary in the Guardian. Ruth Kelly held a meeting with Muslim leaders yesterday and one of the participants said that a way to advance the cause of integration was to initiate:

“Islamic laws to cover family affairs which would apply only to Muslims”

[6] http://politics.guardian.co.uk/terrorism/story/0,,1844421,00.html

Now, am I alone in thinking that there is something sinister and deeply wrong about using the current situation to push British society to accomodate sharia law and call for Islamic public holidays? What is Dr Syed Aziz Pasha’s real agenda?

Is it just that these individuals are selfish leaders of communalist Islamic organisations who want British society to change to accomodate Islamic ‘demands’ (who the hell are they do ‘demand’ anything?), who want special priveliges, and shamelessly see this as an opportunity to ‘demand’ their agenda be advanced irrespective of what is really needed? In which case, does that not make them incredibly craven? And can it not be made more clear that individuals like this are not interested in integration and equality? How long can we degrade language and speak of integration and equality whilst these communalists use this approach?

And in what way are they not riding piggy back on the fascist extremism of the terrorists?

Is there not something deeply sinister about this sentence, spoken by Dr Syed Aziz Pasha?

“They should understand our problems, then we will understand their problems.”

Meaning the government should bend to the agenda of Islamic communalist organisations before said organisations deign to ‘understand’ the governments problem with terrorist psychopaths bombing as many people as they can out of the sky and in trains? And what does this say about how they perceive themselves as not being part of this society enough to see it as a problem?

Is this not the most vile example of crass communalist opportunism you have seen? Such arrogance and impudence, such myopia and demands for special priveliges. People like this do not believe in equality, they use weasel words.

Can just one person tell me if it’s just me who is thinking these thoughts, and is outraged by this?

#22 Comment By jonz On 15th August, 2006 @ 4:02 pm

Unlike turbans, bowler hats don’t carry any religious meaning and if mocking of bowler hats is the worst racism white people have to put up with they should count themselves lucky.

Piss off with your “well it’s religious” so it has special meaning. That is very insulting. I am an atheist. I have right to mock everything religous. A human right in fact.

How dare you say that it’s ok to mock the white man, but not the brown man because he’s religious.

#23 Comment By Kismet Hardy On 15th August, 2006 @ 4:02 pm

Denial shpenial.

A lot of these terror threats and imminent loss of life is a product of your imagination

Unimaginable scale my arse. You’ve already accepted it

It’s a small scale. A handful of cretins who, until proven to be as dangerous as you imagine, are nothing but that

#24 Comment By leon On 15th August, 2006 @ 4:02 pm

Another typical PP response to shutdown legimate debate. Of course if you feel unable to rebutt any of my arguments then please do feel free to ignore my comments.

Oh do fuck off, you fly off the handle, twist fairly straight forward views with your absurd logic and expect to be treated with respect? You’re nothing but a fucking troll, mate.

#25 Comment By jonz On 15th August, 2006 @ 4:07 pm

Well Leon, I apologise for inadvertently calling you a d***head on the other thread. I do think Mathew Parris has the tendency, though.

#26 Comment By Yakoub/Julaybib On 15th August, 2006 @ 4:08 pm

Julie Burchill is one of those strange contradictions, which have echoes in contemporary middle class culture, despite her claims of working class heritage. She takes strident moral positions on many issues but she is quite clearly decadent. She attempts to justify political stances on topics about which she is at best informed about only in the most partisan of ways.

Burchill respresents the worst junk of media culture, for whom personal integrity is only as a polemical tool. People read her primarily because they enjoy the thrill of the controversy her words always seek to generate.

To claim she is a feminist, or indeed anything worthy, is to make a sick joke. Her writing is beneath contempt.

Wasalaam

TMA

#27 Comment By g On 15th August, 2006 @ 4:12 pm

i’m not saying racism towards whites is acceptable but crowing about the mocking of bowler hats in comaprison to mocking a turban is pathetic. The point is that the majority of men wearing a turban will be of a certain colour (ie brown). Burchill is labelling all turban wearers as terrorists because of their headgear and their skin tone and you consider this acceptable?

#28 Comment By leon On 15th August, 2006 @ 4:13 pm

Well Leon, I apologise for inadvertently calling you a d***head on the other thread. I do think Mathew Parris has the tendency, though.

Fair enough, I aint got any problem with someone who takes a strong opposing view but flying off the handle and trying to conflate a number of different stories (and derailing threads) just aint on in my opinion.

People come here to discuss and debate not to fight rear guard actions against over agressive types.

#29 Comment By Kismet Hardy On 15th August, 2006 @ 4:13 pm

Bandwagon jumping little cunt

#30 Comment By Kismet Hardy On 15th August, 2006 @ 4:15 pm

(burchill, that is)

I still have slime on me from her chav appreciation cobblers

#31 Comment By leon On 15th August, 2006 @ 4:15 pm

Bandwagon jumping little cunt

WHAAAT!?!?!?

;)

#32 Comment By Kismet Hardy On 15th August, 2006 @ 4:18 pm

I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said that.

She’s not strictly little.

(by the way, I’m a big believer that cunt shouldn’t be an offensive word to women. Most men are cunts etc. Worried about backlash.com)

#33 Comment By Sunny On 15th August, 2006 @ 4:21 pm

I’m appalled to think the HP crowd take Julie Burchill and Melanie Phillips seriously just because they are apparently the only polemicists to take Muslim fanaticism seriously. I sincerely hope this isn’t what the broader left is going to be reduced to.

j0nz, calm down a bit mate. By all means be an atheist. Rohin is an atheist but we don’t discriminate against one of the PPers. The point is that if you don’t challenge white racism, then you only give more ammunition to brown racists who will say this society does not want them and rush in the arms of crazy idiots. We either challenge racism in every form, from all sides, or we retreat to segregated groups and turn up the heat until there are mass riots on the street.

Given your comment above, I see Burchill’s racist little tirade has had the impact she wanted anyway. It’s too bad Brownie can’t see racism when it hits him in the face.

By the way, how many times would j0nz like us to say Muslim orgs are inept at challenging extremism before it gets through your thick head?

#34 Comment By Alison On 15th August, 2006 @ 4:36 pm

No ‘g’ crying racism over religion is ‘pathetic’. Since when is religion a race?

Brownies defence of her is admirable. A turban looks like a ‘tea towel’ and hysterical overeations ensue ALL round. She is hated because she dares to strongly criticize Islam. So any laughable attempt to paint her as a ‘racist’ was inevitable.

Here she is on catholics (incidentally am I then as a catholic some kind of ‘child molester’ - should i be decrying this as racism?)

“Those Catholics; if they’re not canonising Nazis, they’re raping children. The extent of child abuse by Catholic priests and monks in Ireland will probably never be known, but the current investigations into the terrible crimes of the Christian Brotherhood children’s homes - about half a million children are thought to have been raped in them over the past 50 years - goes quite a long way to convincing one that the Catholics heard the phrase “Suffer little children” slightly the wrong way. “

#35 Comment By Don On 15th August, 2006 @ 4:38 pm

Speaking of conflating stories, is this thread really just supposed to be about Burchill and HP’s response? Bit thin.

But as racial profiling and the shameless opportunism Sylvie highlighted have already been raised, let’s branch out.

Personally I think campaigning for a bankie for moslems is a very reasonable idea. (Although linking it to ‘anger’ and ‘grievances’ and extremism is pathetic.)We have fewer public holidays than most EC countries, I’m happy to offer, say, one per major religion. I’ll bet the Rasta one will be more fun than the moslem one, but another half dozen days off per year can’t hurt. Presumably I’d get double time for showing up on those days, just as (I assume) jewish or moslem employees who choose to work Christmas get bonus pay.

I’m averse to Christmas myself ( to the point that the kids have affectionatly nicknamed me ‘here-comes-the-miserable-git-now)but at least the christians - or christmasians - put on a bit of a show; lights, costumes, displays, songs. If the religious bankie came with a social obligation to give the rest of us a good time then it could well be a positive step. I’d definitely favour this one;

[7] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Songkran

always been a favourite, although April might be a little early.

Favourite festivals anyone - preferably not from your own calender?

As for trying to slip sharia in to the current situation, tasteless and arrogant.

#36 Comment By BevanKieran On 15th August, 2006 @ 4:40 pm

If we are disregarding the context of offensive descriptions, shouldn’t we be even even-handed and excoriate Julie Burchill for the term “super-creepy British Jews” which also appears in the article.

#37 Comment By Alison On 15th August, 2006 @ 4:43 pm

Incidentally I just wondered when we can start decrying Madonna as a ‘racist’ for having a woman in a pseudo burqa dance around on stage in a cage - only to rip that black shroud off and parade around in her gorgeous glittery bondage number. Id hate to think she was suggesting all muslim women are caged thereby sterotyping akin to ‘racism’… or taking the piss out of the burqa (God forbid). Or worse still suggesting bondage was better than Islam. Post?

#38 Comment By BevanKieran On 15th August, 2006 @ 4:46 pm

Don

If children got organized, they would be the strongest lobby for the shameless commercialisation (with accompanying bankies)of all religous festivals, increasing there present quota by potentially 400%.

#39 Comment By jonz On 15th August, 2006 @ 4:47 pm

I don’t mind respecting the Quakers and Methodists and withholding judgment on the Jews, Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists, but I’m damned if anyone is going to demand that I respect any religion that believes that contraception is a sin (Catholicism) or that the word of one woman in a court of law is worth half the word of a man (Islam). Frankly, I would just as soon respect fascism.

[8] http://website.lineone.net/~jon.simmons/julie/jb990925.htm

#40 Comment By Jagdeep On 15th August, 2006 @ 4:48 pm

Alison

I understand the point you are making. But let me give you an example of what I mean. In America there are regular crimes of violence commited against Sikh men who are wearing a turban. The assumption is that they are ‘Muslim fundamentalists’. The first ‘backlash’ murder was of a Sikh American who was shot dead in the petrol station he owned. Incidences of stabbings, shootings are the ones that make the news. The low level racist abuse, spitting, and verbal aggression that is not reported is a constant.

That is America. Whilst it is undoubtedly less so in the UK, it is still an ever present concern, and every Sikh, practising and non practising, will know a member of their family who has been abused in the street with taunts of ‘rag head’ or ‘tea towel head’ alongside the usual epithets of Paki bastard etc etc etc

Now, that is not the norm, in fact it is abnormal, and people like Monty Panesar show how integrated Sikhs are and how tolerant Britain is. But for you to miss the genuinely racist connotations in the language, if not the intent of those words, then you must at least consider that others do. Suggesting that people are trying to shut down debate is bad faith and wrong. I have commented here before and spare no quarter in criticising the attitude of some Muslims and some aspects of multiculturalism and the refusal of some to criticise aspects of multiculturalism.

So, to sum up, the phrasing did have a dimension resonant of racism. I hope you can trust me on that, and wish that Julie Burchill desists from using the phrase again. There is plenty top criticise without giving ammo to your own critics by being so inflammatory. If you don’t want to accept this insight my apologies, but I speak as someone who knows how it feels to be spat on, called a Paki raghead, and see elderly Sikh men hounded like a dogs, simply because they wore a turban and looked different.

Just wanted to contribute and say that those critics of extremist Islam do themselves no favours when they take the approach of intemperate language.

#41 Comment By Jagdeep On 15th August, 2006 @ 4:54 pm

Don

The ’suggestion’ of a national holiday for Muslims is an example of how some Muslim leaders are totally living on a different planet from the rest of us. At a time like this, to ask for that, and consideration of Muslim family laws being instituted, shows a set of priorities, and an agenda and level of opportunism, that is as revealing, as it is egregious. I wouldnt want a Muslim Bank Holiday, nor a Sikh or a Hindu or Jewish one. Muslim leaders need to back down and somebody needs to metaphorically slap some good sense into them.

But the suggestion of a Rasta Bank Holiday has some appeal.

#42 Comment By Kismet Hardy On 15th August, 2006 @ 4:57 pm

I dunno about Muslim Bank Holiday, but it’s certainly open season for ‘em at the mo

#43 Comment By soru On 15th August, 2006 @ 5:05 pm

bananabrain: that article by Brendan is good, especially:

‘you could say that a reasonable response to the Charles Manson murders in the late Sixties would have been to allow Manson to join the Beach Boys’.

Plus, it only mentions ‘politics of fear’ about 3 times, which must be a record low for a spiked piece.

#44 Comment By Alison On 15th August, 2006 @ 5:08 pm

Jagdeep - Speaking as someone who has been out and about with a few people of Latin roots - they too came under attack on a few occasions for being mistaken as Asian (’de facto’ muslim) so Im well aware of what you speak about (well.. to a degree anyway).

Nevertheless Julie Birchill is well known for her vitriolic style and has ridiculed many religions. She was not speaking out of turn in that respect and Brownie is right to highlight this as neither ‘racist’ nor ‘bigotted’. It does the debate on racism no favours when people choose to label someone who is notoriously outspoken as a ‘racist’ for stereotyping religion and making one remark which we would do better to construe as ignorant. Im sure if you put your argument to her in this respect she migt even acknowledge it might be misconstrued.

Nevertheless i suspect the tendancy here is to castigate her for these remarks because she is outspoken on Islam. Fatuous remarks earlier up the thread underline this (..’BNP’…’cunt’). Equally ignorant in response and adding nothing to the overall debate on how to tackle the issues you describe.

#45 Comment By Jagdeep On 15th August, 2006 @ 5:35 pm

Alison

Perhaps those criticising her for her remarks are more annoyed by her no-holds-barred attitude to Islam, I can accept that might be possible. But at the same time, she made a mistake in using that language because it is a turn of phrase that has some genuinely nasty connotations in terms of racial epithet. At the end of the day, we should make arguments without inflammatory turns of phrase like that. So yes, I understand where you are coming from too.

#46 Comment By Old Pickler On 15th August, 2006 @ 5:41 pm

Julie Burchill and Melanie Phillips are fab. I wish I could be half as good as them.

Ironically, what Brownie said is what I’ve been saying at HP for ages. HP is finally seeing sense. It even links to Theodore Dalrymple’s book “Life at the Bottom”, and you can’t get much more sensible than Theodore Dalrymple.

Burchill courts controversy, of course. She likes to go against the prevailing orthodoxy, which, at the moment states that Israel is evil and that you can’t criticise brown people who treat women like shit. Well it isn’t and you can.

#47 Comment By sonia On 15th August, 2006 @ 5:48 pm

well TFI it’s true = one should look for the causes of racism! of course people seem to time and time be confused about the two-pronged approach - being able to say something is not quite right and therefore look for the causes! ( oh wait, isn’t that what science is all about? or medicine? hmm we see symptoms that are dodgy..wonder what caused it?)

:-)

#48 Comment By Kulvinder On 15th August, 2006 @ 6:12 pm

Still don’t know much about Julie Burchill, hey ho. Anyway Melanie Phillips is great, infact Melanie Phillips makes me want to convert to islam, ’cause apparently all the ‘white girls’ don’t have any morality and throw themselves at muslim guys.
:up:

Youtube is down but ill link to it when its online.

:(

I have right to mock everything religous. A human right in fact.

Sort of. There are laws that haven’t prevented anyone ‘mocking’ religions but basically it comes down to what you mean by ‘threatening’. It isn’t beyond the bounds of all possibility for a judge in the future to look in a dictionary say hmmmm and direct a jury a particular way. Id guesstimate it might revolve around the synonym ‘menacing’. They confused everything regarding ‘indecent photographs’ by saying copying was making. Obviously in a sense it is, but the context of the word adds something that wasn’t originally meant. Anyway European Convention isn’t the all encompassing brilliance you take it as, you haven’t got a ‘human right’ in the sense i think you mean. There are laws against blasphemy in other european nations, you haven’t even got freedom of speech in the american sense.

The way convention has been interpreted recently they’d probably have allowed 50/60s style american segregation to continue if it existed here (’well Ms Parks did have a negro section to sit in, the only problem was asking her to move not the segregation itself’)

#49 Comment By Kulvinder On 15th August, 2006 @ 6:46 pm

Incidently i agree with Don i wouldn’t normally think its worth commenting on, especially if you’re commenting on someone else commenting. I wouldn’t say Julie Burchill was racist in the sense i use the word, but it was almost certainly a willfull ignorance. I take her comments, before and after less seriously because of that. But if she wants to reduce the merit of her argument its her business.

Anyway like i said i had to look up on wikipedia who she was, and assuming she is correctly quoted in this its all very amusing

She moved at the beginning of this year because when she asked for a rise, the Guardian offered her a sofa. ‘They said, “We can’t give you no more money” - lying bastards - “but we’ll buy you the biggest bestest sofa you’ve ever seen.” And I said, “Well, I’ll think about it.” And I put down the phone and I thought, “That was an insult!” Because it was saying: You are a white working-class woman who may have come up in the world but basically you’re sitting on your fat ass all day, eating chocs and watching Trisha. Which I do - but they don’t have the right to say it.’

Shes a Mcfatty Mcfat fat who got her knickers in a twist because she was too fat for them.

#50 Comment By Sunny On 15th August, 2006 @ 6:54 pm

I don’t care if Julie Burchill is known for making stupid remarks or known for shagging donkeys. This is low-level racism that Sikhs end up facing more than Muslims, and it doesn’t even matter who its aimed at to be honest.

My brother wears a turban. So next time Julie Burchill calls him a tea-towel-head, I should expect he tell her clearly he is not Muslim and she can reserve her stupidity for someone else?

That she is an annoying cow is already clear. It is more worrying when so-called lefties start tolerating such racism just because its supposedly aimed at Islamists.

Next people will starting bandying around the word Paki and say they’re only referring to terrorists or potential terrorists. I can really see how that is going to improve dialogue and community relations.

excoriate Julie Burchill for the term “super-creepy British Jews” which also appears in the article.

Not really. I’ve used the term ‘Chavlims’ on here and if anyone accused me of Muslim racism on the basis of that I’d laugh in their face.

#51 Comment By Old Pickler On 15th August, 2006 @ 8:01 pm

I think Julie Burchill was wrong to talk about tea-towel heads, though compared with the anti-Semitic stuff that spews out of mosques, this is fairly mild. However, it is absolutely right and proper to call burkhas and niqabs “dalek costumes” or “ninja outfits”.

If anyone here can’t see the difference, they need to read a bit of Simone de Beauvoir, who, despite being French, talked a lot of sense - albeit in French.

That’s if there are any feminists here.

#52 Comment By leon On 15th August, 2006 @ 8:11 pm

However, it is absolutely right and proper to call burkhas and niqabs “dalek costumes” or “ninja outfits”.

Why is it ‘right’ to refer to them like that?

#53 Comment By Old Pickler On 15th August, 2006 @ 8:17 pm

Because they are a form of vile oppression of women. Ridicule is a good weapon against tyranny. Muslim men need to be shamed by ridicule into telling “their” women not to wear them.

And the idea that women choose to wear them is absurd - outside of Stockholm syndrome.

#54 Comment By Old Pickler On 15th August, 2006 @ 8:18 pm

And if women do choose to dress like black ghosts they deserve nothing but mockery for being so brain dead.

#55 Comment By Katy Newton On 15th August, 2006 @ 8:40 pm

And if women do choose to dress like black ghosts they deserve nothing but mockery for being so brain dead.

I wouldn’t want to dress that way myself but plenty of religions proscribe modest dress for both men and women. Orthodox Jewish men and women cover their hair (admittedly for different reasons) and dress modestly. As far as I’m concerned people can dress whatever way they want for whatever reason they want as long as they’re exercising their own free will and not hurting anyone else.

As for what Julie Burchill said, I think it’s pretty vile, myself. It’s a free country; if you want to be racist you can, and if someone wants to publish you being racist they can, and I wouldn’t change that even if it does result in people saying things that I loathe. But you can’t expect other people to approve of it or like it. Free speech means that you can say what you think, but it also means that other people can say what they think of what you’ve said, and if they don’t like it you’ve just got to put up with it. I’m not going to try to stop Julie Burchill from using her right to free speech to flaunt her prejudice, but I’m not going to praise her for it either.

#56 Comment By eteraz On 15th August, 2006 @ 8:43 pm

when i served as islam expert in the ann coulter chat room i heard the same thing: that the term ‘rag head’ referred to the islamists and not to me since im not an islamist.

#57 Comment By Alison On 15th August, 2006 @ 8:47 pm

Sunny you are totally overeacting.

Burchill again:

“Really, can there be two more different types of women on earth,despite their ostensibly similar ethnic appearance, than the striking Sikh/Hindu ladies in their gorgeous saris, with their triumph of human
spirit over humble beginnings and cultural oppression — and dour, dark-draped Muslim women..in thrall to a religion which disrespects them so much that in a court of Sharia their word is worth half that of a man…

So I was especially interested in the recent Gate Gourmet ruckus. And I must say, it gave me no pleasure to see exactly what I have been predicting for years: that is, that the result of bringing in endless
cheap labour from Eastern Europe would have the most disastrous effect on those nearest the bottom of the pay hierarchy….And now we’ve seen the effect of white immigration; gentle, dignified, sari-clad women
chased by armed policemen across a Heathrow car park because they had the nerve to protest against the sacking of 670 of their number…”

She’s plainly direct and outspoken. But you’re way off on castigating her as a ‘racist’ and if anything you lessen the impact of the word if you parade her (based on a silly error) as such - an unnecessary witch hunt on this occasion. With the usual sexual inuendo that accompanies a lefty bashing of outspoken females.

Brownie and Harrys Place at least highlighted her error and correctly ‘called it’.

#58 Comment By eteraz On 15th August, 2006 @ 8:48 pm

the problem is that you can’t really call it ‘racism’ since its rooted in ideological classifications. we need a term for when u lump the good in with the bad. i think bigotry is a whole lot better.

#59 Comment By TheFriendlyInfidel On 15th August, 2006 @ 9:04 pm

I’m with Jagdeep.

These guys are higher than Ringo during the 70s.

“Another planet” doesn’t even come close.

TFI

#60 Comment By Refresh On 15th August, 2006 @ 9:16 pm

Sunny,

Have you removed Lenin’s Tomb from the PP links?

#61 Comment By Chairwoman On 15th August, 2006 @ 9:24 pm

Jagdeep - as I understand it, the ‘Bank Holiday for Muslims’ was exactly that, that they should be allowed to take those 2 days off in the same way as Christians take Christmas and Easter. I have to say that, providing other minority religions are also allowed to take their major festivals off, I think it’s a good idea.

If, however, it’s Islam only, I would be very much against it.

#62 Comment By Clairwil On 15th August, 2006 @ 9:25 pm

“Muslim men need to be shamed by ridicule into telling “their” women not to wear them”

I’d prefer it if men muslim or otherwise were ridiculed for even contemplating ‘telling’ a woman what to do.

#63 Comment By Old Pickler On 15th August, 2006 @ 9:40 pm

Orthodox Jewish men and women cover their hair (admittedly for different reasons) and dress modestly

The big difference is that there is nowhere in the world where they are compelled by law to do so.

As nobody here understands my aversion to the dalek costume in particular, I will have to spell it out. In Afghanistan, In Iraq, in all Muslim countries to a greater or lesser extent, Muslim women are forced to cover up. If they don’t they will often be beaten by the police or killed, or raped and then killed for being raped either by process of “law” or by their fathers or brothers.

For a woman to put on this disgusting outfit voluntarily is to betray other Muslim women who would throw it off at the drop of a hat if they had the option. They also betray normal women, saying, in effect, “Rape someone else.” Such women are despicable.

The men, who, directly or indirectly are driving this, are, of course, more despicable.

#64 Comment By Katy Newton On 15th August, 2006 @ 9:57 pm

It’s the coercion that’s wrong, not the dress itself. There are undoubtedly at least some Muslim women who choose to cover up out of religious observance. I wouldn’t want to take the right to do that away from them.

#65 Comment By Kulvinder On 15th August, 2006 @ 11:01 pm

I will have to spell it out. In Afghanistan, In Iraq, in all Muslim countries to a greater or lesser extent, Muslim women are forced to cover up.

I’ve never understood the term ‘muslim’ country since its such a broad term it allows the person to justify its use in almost any context, are we talking islamic laws, certain aspects of islamic culture, a certain percentage of muslims?

For the sake of argument ill only deal with Afghanistan and Iraq. Although there probably is a continuation of local attitudes and custom to women wearing the Burka its hardly forced in the manner it was under the Taleban, as for Iraq you might get a greater percentage of women in the south wearing it but there isn’t a law requiring it.

Heres the Mel phillips clip, i don’t think effectively calling all ‘young women’ whores is the way to gain support for your ideas, anyhoo if anyone can tell me where to find said wenches id be much obliged

[9] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmnopQWgCyg

#66 Comment By Refresh On 15th August, 2006 @ 11:04 pm

“They also betray normal women, saying, in effect, “Rape someone else.” Such women are despicable.”

Laughable logic from someone taking on the mantle of feminism.

#67 Comment By Refresh On 15th August, 2006 @ 11:16 pm

Here is something from a U.S. Department of Education funded initiative:

[10] http://www.womeninworldhistory.com/sample-13.html

“Women activists in the Muslim world are less preoccupied with what women wear than with securing other freedoms such as access to education, better health care for their families, or wider opportunities for work. Commonly they argue for women’s rights under the supposition of a culture-specific struggle, focusing on the implementation and activation of human rights claimed to be granted by Islam. Feminist consciousness and action may indeed exist in greater measure with the wearer of Islamic dress than with one who wears up-to-date Western style clothes!”

#68 Comment By Refresh On 15th August, 2006 @ 11:18 pm

Apologies for the cut-paste, but there is more (by the way I am learning things too):

“What constitutes modest clothing has changed over time. Like most customs, what women wear has reflected the practices of a region and the social position of the wearer. The veil itself predates Islam by many centuries. In the Near East, Assyrian kings first introduced both the seclusion of women in the royal harem and the veil. Prostitutes and slaves, however, were told not to veil, and were slashed if they disobeyed this law.

Beyond the Near East, the practice of hiding one’s face and largely living in seclusion appeared in classical Greece, in the Byzantine Christian world, in Persia, and in India among upper caste Rajput women. Muslims in their first century at first were relaxed about female dress. When the son of a prominent companion of the Prophet asked his wife Aisha bint Talha to veil her face, she answered, “Since the Almighty hath put on me the stamp of beauty, it is my wish that the public should view the beauty and thereby recognized His grace unto them. On no account, therefore, will I veil myself.”

As Islam reached other lands, regional practices, including the covering of women, were adopted by the early Muslims. Yet it was only in the second Islamic century that the veil became common, first used among the powerful and rich as a status symbol. The Qu’ramic prescription to “draw their veils over their bosoms” became interpreted by some as an injunction to veil one’s hair, neck and ears.
Throughout Islamic history only a part of the urban classes were veiled and secluded. Rural and nomadic women, the majority of the population, were not. For a woman to assume a protective veil and stay primarily within the house was a sign that her family had the means to enable her to do so.

Since nomad women rarely veiled, in the early stages of those Islamic countries with nomadic roots, women often were allowed to go unveiled, even in town. In the years of the early Safavid dynasty, women were unveiled, although the custom was changed by late Safavid times. Among the Turks, who came into Anatolia as nomads, Ibn Battuta in the fourteenth century saw what he called a “remarkable thing. The Turkish women do not veil themselves. Not only royal ladies but also wives of merchants and common people will sit in a wagon drawn by horses. The windows are open and their faces are visible.”

Worth a read -

#69 Comment By Don On 16th August, 2006 @ 12:41 am

Refresh,

Yeah, this blogging lark can really introduce you to fascinating new knowledge, but I don’t think it’s a good idea to minimise what a very large number of women are going through at this moment.

It’s only those who are a few steps back who can get perspective; the bad stuff is very real and I doubt the women involved are contemplating it’s Assyrian origins.

#70 Comment By Refresh On 16th August, 2006 @ 1:04 am

Don, in the end human existence is about evolution.

If you read the piece then you would see that there is not the necessary argument within Islam which supports complete covering of women. Its cultural and was of its time and place.

Unless of course someone can point me to something which counters it.

It happens to be a reasonable link to what Katy actually says above - about jewish women wearing modest clothes.

Don’t dismiss the cut-paste outright.

The question of feminist movements and advances are not going to come out of the west - it will come from the developing world. And it will be like most things, for economic reasons and not cultural. Burchill and Philips and certainly not OP will be nowhere in sight.

I recommend you read the link - you will not be disappointed.

#71 Comment By Sid On 16th August, 2006 @ 1:05 am

If this thread is about the words attributed to Brownie from Harry’s Place, I’d say that the underlying point he makes, that gender prejudice is always one place behind racial prejudice in the political correctness charts, is meaningless.

But having said that and notwithstanding Brownie not being a white woman, his premise is more often true than not in multicultural Britain.

#72 Comment By Refresh On 16th August, 2006 @ 1:09 am

Don, I should have said:

it will come from the developing world. And it will be like most things, for economic reasons and not cultural except for the speed of change.

#73 Comment By leon On 16th August, 2006 @ 1:55 am

I think this thread demostrates the need for more female writers on PP…

#74 Comment By Don On 16th August, 2006 @ 1:55 am

Refresh,

‘in the end human existence is about evolution.’

You’ll get no argument from me on that score. Evolution is an article of faith with me (irony alert).

‘…not the necessary argument within Islam which supports complete covering of women. It’s cultural and was of it’s time and place.’

I think you misunderstand me, I have never suggested otherwise and I do appreciate the distinction.

I’m just saying that there are women facing death, acid, mutilation, beatings and bullying as part of their daily routine, and waiting for economic forces to deal with that is inadequate. I’m probably just being argumentative at the moment.

‘Burchill and Philips and certainly not OP will be nowhere in sight.’

Thanks be.

#75 Comment By Sunny On 16th August, 2006 @ 2:39 am

Alison:

“Really, can there be two more different types of women on earth,despite their ostensibly similar ethnic appearance, than the striking Sikh/Hindu ladies in their gorgeous saris, with their triumph of human
spirit over humble beginnings and cultural oppression — and dour, dark-draped Muslim women..in thrall to a religion which disrespects them so much that in a court of Sharia their word is worth half that of a man…

I don’t need theology lessons from Burchill, or that patronising bullshit about Sikh/Hindu women in their gorgeous saris. People like you and Burchill have no clue. Do you know how bad sexism is in Hindu societies? There’s what is called the Manu Smriti which puts the rights of women even below the Untouchables in the caste order. There is fucked up sexism in all societies and all religious texts. You think Hindu and Sikh women don’t face domestic abuse? Hah.

It’s this kind of racist patronising rubbish that annoys me. Burchill thinks Sikh/Hindu women are liberated and Muslim women are opressed, going by whatever limited knowledge she possesses, and then I’m supposed to buy this tripe?

As Katy and Clairwil have said, the first point is to let women be in a situation where their dress is not politicised. Sikhs wear turbans (or tea-towels as she calls them) and some Muslim women wear hijabs. And yet a big deal is made out of the latter and not the former. When will you people realise the more you politicise it, the harder you make it for those women to make a completely stress free choice?

She’s plainly direct and outspoken. But you’re way off on castigating her as a ‘racist’ and if anything you lessen the impact of the word if you parade her (based on a silly error) as such - an unnecessary witch hunt on this occasion.

It’s a racist slur. There aren’t any two bones about it. Do you see any brown person on here saying its all fine and dandy? Why not go ask a Sikh or a Muslim man with a turban how they feel about it?

With the usual sexual inuendo that accompanies a lefty bashing of outspoken females.

Typical comment. Yes, we’re brown men who do not like outspoken women because its not in our culture. Regular readers of this blog will know why I’m not even going to bother dignifying that.

Brownie and Harrys Place at least highlighted her error and correctly ‘called it’.

No Brownie didn’t. He played it down and said it was harmless. I’m not going to shy away from challenging low level bigotry (good point Eteraz) just because there’s crazy terrorists around.

#76 Comment By Bikhair aka Taqiyyah On 16th August, 2006 @ 8:25 am

Old Pimple,

“For a woman to put on this disgusting outfit voluntarily is to betray other Muslim women who would throw it off at the drop of a hat if they had the option.”

So a Muslim woman is living not for herself, assuming she chooses to wear hijab but for a wider comunity of women? So she cant live for the men but she can certainly live for the woman? This isnt about choice for you is it OP, this is about supremacy and authoritarianism? Please dont talk about options because you have made it very clear that you arent concerned with options but strict adherence to what you believe it correctly female.

On another note I suppose women who dont have sex before they are married are betraying women who given the chance will screw anything that says hello.

#77 Comment By alison On 16th August, 2006 @ 8:35 am

Sunny

Brownie highlighted it and condemned it as ignorant, a single remark - even you have conceded it is more correctly ‘low level bigotry’ in your final sentence because you know full well Burchill is no racist. It is you who politicize her remarks in so doing.

You raise an interesting point about dress. However the dress is politicized first by Islam where it is compulsion by law.

Incidentally at what point did i accuse you of being a ‘brown man who does not like outspoken women’?

I refer to liberals and the left (note use of phrase:’a lefty bashing’?) Ironically you then go on to accuse Burchill of being patronising and fudging the issues.

#78 Comment By Old Pickler On 16th August, 2006 @ 10:08 am

Of course I can’t pass a law banning the dalek costume, though for girls under 16 I’d ban any kind of hijab as child abuse.

However, I reserve the right to ridicule this tent, to treat the women who wear it voluntarily with the contempt they deserve.

#79 Comment By Alison On 16th August, 2006 @ 10:26 am

Sunny - my response to you appears to be missing, did it go through or shall i repost. I dont want it to appear twice…

#80 Comment By Refresh On 16th August, 2006 @ 10:50 am

Don, you are no more argumentative than most.

And that is probably because we are discussing some very big issues - which allows everyone to pick their fight from any corner at any time. No black and white stuff here, but plenty of prejudices, bigotry and agendas.

Perhaps this is the real world.

I am more intrigued by those that masquerade as progressives.

#81 Comment By sonia On 16th August, 2006 @ 10:55 am

Heh heh Refresh, that’s refreshing honesty and some good points :-) yep we’re all just about equally argumentative around here, and we’ve clearly all got our own agendas, that’s for sure. just like the real world..

#82 Comment By sonia On 16th August, 2006 @ 11:18 am

well i must say bikhair’s got some good points in no. 76. ! a woman should not have to consider anyone else in what she wears - that applies equally to the conservative crowd and the not-so-conservative voices. it should be her business, and her business alone. ( of course same applies to a man!) where society gets off thinking they should have some say ( one way or the other) in an individual’s attire i don’t know.

#83 Comment By sonia On 16th August, 2006 @ 11:22 am

sylvie - your point way above -no. 21 i think. yep very selfish of these so-called ‘leaders of Muslims’ - what right do they have to think they’re speaking on ‘behalf of Muslims’ - yeah i don’t know - and i’d thank them not to suggest Sharia is something ‘muslims’ want - how would they know, not as if they asked every muslim what they think or even if muslims want representation other than wot everybody else has got. very messy situation. very unpleasant too.

everyone seems to be using this situation to try and impose their authority on someone else in this society.

#84 Comment By Alison On 16th August, 2006 @ 11:33 am

Sunny

At no point did I infer ‘brown men’ who don’t like gobby women. I made it plainly clear I referred to the Left. It didn’t enter my head that you would even assume the latter. Because of this you fudge the issues a bit and assume the same patronising tone of which you accuse Burchill, frankly.

You do raise an interesting point about politicizing dress. I think its Islam which does this before anyone else. You can accuse people of politicizing any number of issues and wash over their remarks as ‘unhelpful’ but challenging the issue is important. The vote was only achieved by politicizing the issue and challenging the norms – and this included challenging a number of women who felt that speaking out about politics was shameful.

The passage above relates to her admiration for women standing up to Gate Gourmet, not domestic abuse. Her style might be a bit wistful but patronising towards them it isn’t, justifiably towards muslim women who ‘adopt the veil’. I can’t see burqa’d up women doing likewise so I’d agree with her. (Unless you count marching out in support of Hiztbollah or Al Qaeda).

You have conceded yourself that it is more akin to bigotry than racism in your last sentence. Burchill is no racist. I don’t think Brownie downplayed it – he called it ignorant and levelled the correct amount of criticism at this remark rather than this post which hysterically condemns her.

Sonia - ‘a woman should not have to consider anyone else in what she wears’? except Allah & Mohammed of course. Equally noone is allowed to challenge ludicrous religious impositions either.

#85 Comment By sonia On 16th August, 2006 @ 11:35 am

anyway ‘tea-towels’ ( that always makes me laugh i have to say - i don’t know that i’d call it ‘racist’ in any case) don’t have a religious significance. cultural rather. the traditional dress in the middle east for men is to have a flowy thing ( usually white cotton )on their head ( yes i know my description is pretty bad) and some places have it with the red and white checks. of course after the Intifada waving the ‘tea-towel’ about seemed to have become one way to signify support for the Intifada..maybe that’s where this focus on the tea-towel comes from. I must say i find it amusing rather than ‘threatening’

what would people say when they found out the rest of the outfit ( the long white thingie!) the blokes wear is called a ‘dishdasha’ ( okay my transliteration prob. ain’t the best in the world!) ho ho i can see a few jokes coming along ..tea-towels and dishdasha’s.. Kismet - any puns there?

a little bit of humour for what generally becomes a very humourless affair…

#86 Comment By Jai On 16th August, 2006 @ 11:39 am

=>”and in India among upper caste Rajput women.”

Brief off-topic clarification: Long-term commenters on PP will know that we’ve had this debate before, but it’s worth mentioning that this custom was adopted by Rajput women (and upper-caste women from multiple other north Indian communities) after the Islamic arrival and directly due to Mughal influence in particular. Neither the custom of veiling one’s face nor living in gender-derived segregation existed within the North Indian aristocracy/royalty until then.

This is not a matter of pointing the finger or blaming anyone, just correcting an inaccuracy in the extract Refresh has kindly supplied.

Also, in response to OP’s suggestions about “ridicule”: This is not the right way to “win hearts & minds”. It is one thing to admonish the Muslim men concerned for their hypocrisy (since they do not veil themselves) and for their supposed lack of self-control that would cause them to be “inflamed” by any woman who is not “modestly dressed”; however, ridiculing the women concerned would be both counterproductive and insensitive, as it would cause the women to become defensive and more entrenched in their viewpoint; the person doing the ridiculing would also be perceived as being malicious in their intentions and inhumane in their mentality, and would therefore have no credibility from the perspective of the women to whom the ridiculing is addressed. It would also give further ammunition to those who would opportunistically use it as alleged further evidence of the hostility towards Islam and prejudice towards Muslims.

With regards to the women, at least, sensitivity and providing positive motivations for them to come to the conclusion that excessive veiling is unnecessary in this part of the world would be a more constructive course of action. Of course, they have the right to continue the practice if it is fully voluntary, as Katy correctly stated in post #64; in this particular instance, where no maliciousness is involved and no harm is being done to any innocent third-parties, the women concerned have “the right to be wrong”.

Good debate everyone, and spirited arguments by Sunny. Carry on.

#87 Comment By Refresh On 16th August, 2006 @ 11:40 am

Old Pickler

” though for girls under 16 I’d ban any kind of hijab as child abuse.”

Where do you stand on abuse of the male child?

#88 Comment By Refresh On 16th August, 2006 @ 11:42 am

Old Pickler

In particular male circumcision as a form of child abuse?

#89 Comment By Average White Bloke On 16th August, 2006 @ 11:49 am

I made a small gesture against racism today in a comment at CrossOfStGeorge.

The original article and comment are [11] here.

Or here if my HTML fails:

[12] http://crossofstgeorge.net/news/blog.php?subaction=showcomments&id=1155599235&archive=&start_from=&ucat=5&

These bigots are a facking disgrace to the human race and an embarassment to other English people (like me).

#90 Comment By sonia On 16th August, 2006 @ 11:56 am

isn’t it funny how when people talk about australia and ‘integration’ and ‘adaption’ they completely fail to remember how the ahem - original immigrants - failed to do that completely? If they want their example to be followed i don’t think too many people would be happy!

#91 Comment By Refresh On 16th August, 2006 @ 12:15 pm

Good point Sonia.

If there could be a term and lifestyle which could adequately allow people to air their bigotry (and tragically act on it) without challenging the underlying principles of a fair and just society then no one could possibly object. Could they?

But that is impossible - as they are diametrically opposed. The alternative is to move on to the Nazi model. Which has been tried and tested, an advanced society acting out its savagery.

#92 Comment By Alison On 16th August, 2006 @ 12:31 pm

Do you think Peter Sellers and Sophia Loren were racists when they made The Millionaress in the 60s? Sellers dons ‘brownface’ makeup and says ‘Goodness Gracious Me’ a lot. It is parodied in the latter day BBC sitcom which ridicules white stereotyping and indeed Asian cliches. Defuses a lot better than condemning people as ‘racists’. And yes Sonia in view of the ‘dishdasha’ or however you spell it. v funny.

(When as kids someone played a shepherd in the school nativity the teacher used a tea-towel and head band. Oops)

#93 Comment By sonia On 16th August, 2006 @ 12:42 pm

well personally this sort of thing i don’t worry about. there’s a hell a lot of it going around and its not one-way traffic. people make fun of certain types of accents - plums in the mouth -and all that sort of thing - ..

of course its not really about the particular phrases -but the underlying ideas and intentions - if someon’s bigoted, they’re bigoted regardless of whether they’re expressing it in non-PC language. And there are a lot of funny jokes/expressions around that don’t really have underlying ‘nastiness’. i’m not demeaning other people’s reactions to this - by saying this - by the way! -the usage of the term tea towel wasn’t a big deal to me in this particular case. That said, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t any underlying nastiness in this case - i guess all im saying is often the underlying nastiness can be expressed just as much in a ‘PC’ way and does that make it any less nastier> probably not.

#94 Comment By Refresh On 16th August, 2006 @ 12:44 pm

Alison, include also intent.

Its racist. Why do you persist?

Unless of course you can come up with something to be racist against arabs and muslims exclusively.

Not easy is it.

#95 Comment By sonia On 16th August, 2006 @ 12:45 pm

my personal opinion is that people constantly being race-conscious can also be construed as a type of racism - it all depends on your context. so talking about ‘failing to challenge racism’ isn’t all that straightforward in my humble opinion.

of course by saying that i’ve probably stuck the cat amongst the pigeons so methinks i’ll amble off now! :-)

#96 Comment By Shameel On 16th August, 2006 @ 12:52 pm

I think there are bigger ishoos to worry about than the words of Bitchall. I mean she’s a polemicist at best, or a rabble-rouser. For some reason though, I’d rather Sunny’s sexism point (75) had been made by a woman. It sounds too much like a gentlemen sticking up for the ladies, when the ladies are probably well capable of doing this for themselves. All very unfair, doubtless, on my part.

#97 Comment By Alison On 16th August, 2006 @ 1:41 pm

Refresh…Im persisting because I have an alternate point of view and this is a debate (as if you need that pointing out!).

What was Peter Sellers intent then? To be really really evil and bigoted …or stupidly ridicule through a stereotype. Which is in itself easy to weigh in and counter without such bitter condemnation (eg making a massive mountain out of a mole hill)

As for intent in this situation I think Brownies other point that she has always argued against Islam as a feminist means she is less likely to be ‘disposed to the niceties of public discourse when handling such hot topics’. Well put.

I agree ‘constantly being race-conscious can also be construed as a type of racism’, its labelling basically.

The threads all yours Refresh! bfn

#98 Comment By Sunny On 16th August, 2006 @ 1:56 pm

Alison:

Bigotry is not very different to racism. I see racism as a subset of general bigotry and xenophobia.

I made it plainly clear I referred to the Left. It didn’t enter my head that you would even assume the latter.

Well, OP does this quite often here. Anyway, the leftie bit is a generalisation too. There is nothing to indicate we do not like gobby women. We just hate bigots like Burchill and Phillips. Their sex or religion or class have nothing to do with it.

You do raise an interesting point about politicizing dress. I think its Islam which does this before anyone else.

How so? It’s the white commentators who keep making a big deal out of it, as if a girl wearing a hijab is the end of the world.

The vote was only achieved by politicizing the issue and challenging the norms

Bad analogy. Where is the obvious discrimination here? Aren’t feminists supposed to be pro-choice? Whether for abortion of dress?

The passage above relates to her admiration for women standing up to Gate Gourmet, not domestic abuse. Her style might be a bit wistful but patronising towards them it isn’t

It is a stupid and patronising comparison. And your attempts to make it focus on particular contexts is even more laughable.
Burchill is apparently only calling Islamists -tea-towel-heads. Burchill is apparently only praising Sikh/Hindu women in the context of them protesting during the GG fiasco. What about Muslim women in hijabs protesting against something? Would Burchill praise them so too? And she is apparently only criticising Muslim women in a full veil. Oh and apparently there’s no attempt to praise one over the other just because of their religion, using some silly examples.

Either you’re clutching at straws trying to defend Burchill here or she writes columns that don’t make any sense.

I don’t think Brownie downplayed it – he called it ignorant and levelled the correct amount of criticism at this remark rather than this post which hysterically condemns her.

Ignorance usually leads to bigotry but it’s not an excuse enough. I’m not aware of everything regarding Christianity, Judaism or Islam but I don’t go around making bigoted statements against their followers.

Jai makes a good point above: “Also, in response to OP’s suggestions about “ridicule”: This is not the right way to “win hearts & minds”. … however, ridiculing the women concerned would be both counterproductive and insensitive,

The fact is this. You, OP or Burchill aren’t really interested in womens rights. You’re using them as a stick to beat Muslim women, but pretending that you care by playing up Sikh and Hindu women, as if they suffer no abuse.

Women rights is not an end in itself, merely a way to denigrate someone else because of their faith, and based on your own ignorant assumptions.

#99 Comment By sonia On 16th August, 2006 @ 2:16 pm

challenging religious imposition is absolutely right..ho ho ho

#100 Comment By Alison On 16th August, 2006 @ 3:11 pm

Sunny,

‘Well, OP does this quite often here’.

Thats no excuse Sunny. You then go on to talk of generalising.

Is your basis of discrimination religion or race?
You are perfectly entitled to make any statements against the co religionists of any of those faiths - and you should be able to do so without fear of being condemned as a ‘racist’ or ‘bigot’.

In now going off down the ‘bigotry’ path you are decrying anyone as such. Religion is not a race. You are shutting down the debate by shouting ‘heretic’ with such a barrage of verbal intimidation.

Bigotry, like prejudice, implies that you don’t know about something, and that, if only you did, you would feel more positive about it.

In May a man firebombed several Asian shops in Stockwell south London but you insisted it wasn’t racism that motivated the attacks even though the police indicated that it was (and several commenters here thought you were way off when you said it wasnt). But you come out fighting vociferously against racism when some outspoken critic of islam makes one silly ignorant remark?? Then you speak of condemning racism:

“We either challenge racism in every form, from all sides, or we retreat to segregated groups and turn up the heat until there are mass riots on the street”

Presumably only if it applies to ‘white racism’ then …or notoriously gobby women you dont particularly like?

“Womens rights is not an end in itself, merely a way to denigrate someone else because of their faith, and based on your own ignorant assumptions”.

And based on this entirely ignorant assumption you conclude im not interested in womens rights.

I am and always have been an outspoken critic of the catholic churchs stand on abortion and contraception - that doesnt mean i hate all catholics and wish to use this as a stick to beat them with. How absurd.

“It’s the white commentators who keep making a big deal out of it, as if a girl wearing a hijab is the end of the world”.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali isnt white and neither is Yasmin Alibi Brown but oh..hang on a second as I recall AHA isnt admired at PP either. How convenient.

Lets get this straight. You can only contribute to the argument on womens rights if you aren’t white, outspoken (which instantly means youre a bigot) and believe the hijab isnt ‘a big deal’ or the ‘end of the world’.

Yasmin Alibi Brown has been openly critical of the burqa and questioned those who support it as having a
‘pernicious ideology propagated by misguided Muslim women who claim the burkha is an equalizer and liberator’. Yikes. Presumably in so doing she is a bigot.

‘The fact is’ nothing, Sunny. There is no fact in your presumptions at all.

#101 Comment By Sunny On 16th August, 2006 @ 3:19 pm

In now going off down the ‘bigotry’ path you are decrying anyone as such. Religion is not a race. You are shutting down the debate by shouting ‘heretic’ with such a barrage of verbal intimidation.

Religion may not be race but that doesn’t excuse it at all. Bigotry is bigotry whether it is based on country (hating all Indians, Pakistanis, Americans etc), on culture (hating all Jews), on religion (hating Muslims), or race (hating black people). If it’s irrational xenophobia and bigotry, I am against it. I hope that clarifies our stance.

I’m not shutting any debate down. We’re having a debate here aren’t we? By all means defend Burchill but she is still viewed as a bigot by us here because of what she says. That is a fact, not an attempt to shut down any debate. She can carry on saying what she wants to and we’ll carry on making judgements on what she says.

Presumably only if it applies to ‘white racism’ then
We are against racism towards white people too.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali isnt white and neither is Yasmin Alibi Brown but oh..hang on a second as I recall AHA isnt admired at PP either. How convenient.

And the point of this idiotic statement is? I’ve already outlined the problem I had with AHA in a previous article. Please read it again.

Yasmin Alibi Brown has been openly critical of the burqa

Again, silly analogies. YAB is against the burqa being forced on women, as I am. I’m not comfortable with the idea anyway, and would not have them at schools etc but I support a woman’s right to wear them if that is what she wants. I expect YAB agrees with this. You’re just twisting her words.

#102 Comment By Refresh On 16th August, 2006 @ 5:00 pm

Alison, the question was more to do with Burchill’s, Phillips’ and OP’s intent. Not Peter Sellers.

As for Sellers’ Goodness Gracious Me gag - it fell to Meera Syall, Sanjhav Baskar et al to finally bury the stereotyping through humour. And of course with the passage of time with a prevailing progressive political outlook which flowed from the whole 60’s freedom movement - what you might call Lefty. Not the ‘freedom and democracy’ movement of today.

HP in that sense is a betrayal.

#103 Comment By Alison On 16th August, 2006 @ 5:01 pm

I dont think its a ’silly’ analogy and neither am I ‘twisting her words’. My comment was that she has QUESTIONED it - and those who support it eg within the context of a liberal society. Examining whether we are right to assume it as a wholly open choice given the implications for some women:

[13] YAB

Really Sunny its no more ‘idiotic’ than your assumption that my supporting womens rights is a closet means to randomly ‘denigrate’.

I think the debate evolved into you trying to invalidate my pov on womens rights on the grounds of some perceived ‘bigotry’. I was challenging this - not your right to make judgements on Burchill, though yeah I think Brownie nailed it better. And there are bigger issues out there as i mentioned above.

I remember your argument on AHA that she was merely pandering to a willing audience - her opinions therefore invalid.

Ill leave you to it. I have to go.

Cheers

#104 Comment By Sunny On 16th August, 2006 @ 5:19 pm

though yeah I think Brownie nailed it better. And there are bigger issues out there as i mentioned above.

This point about ‘there are far bigger issues’ doesn’t really work for me I’m afraid. As I said above, we challenge low leve racism too, and we will absolutely keep challenging slurs like ‘tea-towel-head’ coming back into normal use.

You may not like that. I’m not fussed. You may not think it is a bigoted remark. Again that is invalid since we, who have been on the receiving end of such remarks, think so.

YAB questioned whether some of those women wearing a Niqaab were forced to. She has absolutely a right to ask that, as would I. That is very different to what other supporters such as OP above want to do - that is simply ridicule those women. Yeah I can see how that’ll help.

Burchill’s pathetic attempt at using religion as a stick is patently obvious when she uses the GG issue as a way to pitch Sikh/Hindu women against Muslim women. In case you weren’t aware, there were Muslim women in that protest too. Most Muslim women don’t even wear hijabs.

And now you’re making some pathetic attempt to change this into a womens rights issue when you can’t even bring yourself to accept it is a straightforward bigoted slur.

And I absolutely did not say AHA’s opinions were invalid. Again, you’re reading to suit your own agenda.

#105 Comment By Kismet Hardy On 16th August, 2006 @ 5:32 pm

AHA’s opinions were invalid?! So hunting high and low was a futile excercise based on lies. Hm. I’m going to check my TV to see if the sun is really always shining

#106 Comment By Alison On 16th August, 2006 @ 5:56 pm

‘reading to suit your own agenda’.

As are you Sunny incidentally as Burchill simply isnt a racist. (Im not quite sure why you feel the need to use ‘pathetic’ ’silly’ ‘bigot’ ‘laughable’ to endorse each of your own arguments btw unless you do admire OPs tactics?!)

It is AHA who strongly advocates the tactic of ridicule btw.

I am not OP.

And YAB looks much more deeply at the issue than you suggest.

‘change this into a womens rights issue’

Not at all. I was addressing your own use of ’slurs’ with respect to womens rights issues (which you brought up) and my being a persona non grata (or hiding behind them). I think that is very clearly stated above.

‘accept it is a straightforward bigoted slur’.

I think i also made that point clear earlier - i view it the same way Brownie does and think he handled it better.

I will correct the remark about AHA - you did, i think, suggest she panders to an audience. My take on that is that in so doing her arguments arent somehow valid eg they should be treated as circumspect.

Not to ’suit my own agenda’ more an interpretation of your argument. Feel free to correct that.

Cheers

#107 Comment By Sunny On 16th August, 2006 @ 6:05 pm

as Burchill simply isnt a racist.

Alison - many of us have repeatedly highlighted why it is a racial slur that causes offence. I don’t have any need to repeat that. If you or Brownie don’t see it as that - it is up to you.

However, most of us here do and have said so why. I still see her as a racist bigot. Like I said, I’m not asking you to agree with me but you haven’t put one argument forward that makes me think twice about that.

So we shall have to agree to disagree.

#108 Comment By leon On 16th August, 2006 @ 6:45 pm

AHA’s opinions were invalid?! So hunting high and low was a futile excercise based on lies. Hm. I’m going to check my TV to see if the sun is really always shining

Hahah! Did you ever see the Family Guy piss take of Take On Me?

#109 Comment By Refresh On 16th August, 2006 @ 9:21 pm

I hate having to do this, repeat my question I mean, but I really am intrigued by Old Pickler.

OP, do you consider male circumcision a form of child abuse?

#110 Comment By Don On 17th August, 2006 @ 10:42 am

Re male circumcision,

[14] http://www.slate.com/id/2125225/

#111 Comment By Imli On 18th August, 2006 @ 1:46 am

Gah, there is nothing racist about ’swarthy men with teatowels on their heads’. It is a funny, ironic description, at best really — swarthy means of dark complexion, and whilst I would not use turban material as a teatowel, the concept of wearing it does look to be a bit silly to most westerners, especially since they are worn in a hot climate, and there are many jokes about overheating brains underneath all those hijabs, burkas and turbans[1].

We also laugh at stupid and vain women who wear miniskirts and sheer tights with high heels in bitter winter when there is snow and ice, quite openly — because it is funny, despite them totally hating it(which makes it even more funny btw). Humour is often a sadistic affair, deal.

Otoh, ‘Nigger’ on the other hand is racist, because of what the word once meant, just as you don’t mess around with the word ‘Judenschwein’ — there is no joke that you can possible make up with this, and nothing much that it can be equated with either. You could not even equate ‘nigger’ with ‘Judenschwein’ — think about it, both have a huge deep meaning and to use this is to cheapen it, just like the fashion of trying to use the word ‘Holocaust’ for a range of unjustices. (Btw, many black people think that blacks who call each other ‘nigger’ are simply uncool idiots. The word has not been rehabilitated at all. It’s fighting talk.)

To drag a this kind of heavyweight abuse concept into this and equate it with an ironic quip into the discussion to show that you somehow have a feeble point is quality (not). You basically Godwin’ed yourself there.

:P

Imli

[1] And as someone who has as much, if not more hair than most Sikh men, I also think that wearing a turban on top of that is risible, because you simply overheat uncomfortably and your body loses most of its heat through your head and in a hot climate this really is a helpful feature. So yeah, after careful consideration of the facts, it not only looks stupid, but it also is stupid. For balance… at the last Kinkfest I was at, there was a woman in the heat wearing a full face blow-up goat helmet-mask, fanning herself. Guess what? I was rotflmao — didn’t see her ethniticity since she also wore latex gloves.

I’m sorry if my uncharitable assement of the physical reality of certain occasions offends anyones religious or sexual preferences *smirk*

#112 Comment By Imli On 18th August, 2006 @ 1:50 am

Oh yeah, I of course support the right of anyone to wear what they like, be it hijabs, turbans, burkas, goat masks or pirate costumes as long as it is truly voluntary and the sole and free decision of that individual.


Article printed from Pickled Politics: http://www.pickledpolitics.com

URL to article: http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/711

URLs in this post:
[1] last week: http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/699
[2] reckons: http://hurryupharry.bloghouse.net/archives/2006/08/13/sisters_not_doing_it_for_themselves.php
[3] http://news.sky.com/skynews/article/0,,30000-13537570,00.html: http://news.sky.com/skynews/article/0,,30000-13537570,00.html
[4] http://msnbc.msn.com/id/14320452/: http://msnbc.msn.com/id/14320452/
[5] http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php?/site/article/1481/: http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php?/site/article/1481/
[6] http://politics.guardian.co.uk/terrorism/story/0,,1844421,00.html: http://politics.guardian.co.uk/terrorism/story/0,,1844421,00.html
[7] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Songkran: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Songkran
[8] http://website.lineone.net/~jon.simmons/julie/jb990925.htm: http://website.lineone.net/~jon.simmons/julie/jb990925.htm
[9] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmnopQWgCyg: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmnopQWgCyg
[10] http://www.womeninworldhistory.com/sample-13.html: http://www.womeninworldhistory.com/sample-13.html
[11] here: http://crossofstgeorge.net/news/blog.php?subaction=showcomments&id=1155599235&archive=&s
tart_from=&ucat=5&

[12] http://crossofstgeorge.net/news/blog.php?subaction=showcomments&id=1155599235&archive=&start_from=&ucat=5&: http://crossofstgeorge.net/news/blog.php?subaction=showcomments&id=1155599235&archive=&s
tart_from=&ucat=5&

[13] YAB: http://www.alibhai-brown.com/archive/article.php?id=68/
[14] http://www.slate.com/id/2125225/: http://www.slate.com/id/2125225/