» What happens to politics after the Sun dies? http://bit.ly/aQ09ue - (my latest article for New Statesman) 4 hrs ago

» The NY Times has decided to 'licence' FiveThirtyEight - the daddy of political stats blogs http://bit.ly/9KQ4n3 4 hrs ago

» Jon Cruddas submitted his nomination for Diane Abbott at 7pm tonight http://bit.ly/9BJxlG 4 hrs ago

» At the 'Reclaiming the F Word' book launch, co-written by @cathredfern in central London. Packed out. Published this week 7 hrs ago

» At the 'Reclaiming the F Word' book launch in central London. Written by 7 hrs ago

Twitter profile


  • Family

    • Earwicga
    • Liberal Conspiracy
  • Comrades

    • Andy Worthington
    • Angela Saini
    • Bartholomew’s notes
    • Bleeding Heart Show
    • Bloggerheads
    • Blood & Treasure
    • Campaign against Honour Killings
    • Cath Elliott
    • Chicken Yoghurt
    • Daily Mail Watch
    • Dave Hill
    • Dr. Mitu Khurana
    • Europhobia
    • Faith in Society
    • Feministing
    • Harry’s Place
    • IKWRO
    • Indigo Jo
    • MediaWatchWatch
    • Ministry of Truth
    • Natalie Bennett
    • New Statesman blogs
    • Operation Black Vote
    • Our Kingdom
    • Robert Sharp
    • Rupa Huq
    • Septicisle
    • Shiraz Socialist
    • Shuggy’s Blog
    • Stumbling and Mumbling
    • Ta-Nehisi Coates
    • The F Word
    • Though Cowards Flinch
    • Tory Troll
    • UK Polling Report
  • In-laws

    • Aaron Heath
    • Ariane Sherine
    • Desi Pundit
    • Douglas Clark's saloon
    • Get There Steppin’
    • Incurable Hippie
    • Isheeta
    • Neha Viswanathan
    • Power of Choice
    • Sarah
    • Sepia Mutiny
    • Smalltown Scribbles
    • Sonia Faleiro
    • The Langar Hall
    • Turban Head
    • Ultrabrown



  • Technorati: graph / links

    Cherie Booth either hates Muslims or is on drugs


    by Sunny on 4th February, 2010 at 6:39 pm    

    There better be another explanation for this story (via Tim Fenton, who is similarly exasperated):

    A secularist group has lodged an official complaint against Cherie Booth QC after she spared a man from prison because he was religious. Shamso Miah, 25, of Redbridge, east London, broke a man’s jaw following a row in a bank queue.

    Sitting as a judge, Ms Booth - wife of former Prime Minister Tony Blair - said she would suspend his sentence on the basis of his religious belief.

    His religion is completely unimportant in this sense and this is a completely idiotic decision that will only further give the impression that Muslims are afforded special rights that others are denied. Cherie Booth must either hate Muslims or smoking something. What a fuck up.

    Update: MTPT has a more measured and legalistic view. He makes a good point that the custodial sentence and the unpaid work punishment is along the lines of what is legally handed out anyway.

    But the point isn’t that. The point is that for the likes of the Daily Mail and right-wing blogs - this is an easy to way to further the narrative that Muslims get special treatment. And so it feeds into existing prejudice and frankly I’d have hoped our judges had more braincells to realise how this may be interpreted by others.


         
            Post to del.icio.us


    Filed in: Religion






    44 Comments below   |  

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs
    1. Dpoc41

      Cherie Booth either hates Muslims or is on drugs http://bit.ly/b0RNeC


    2. pickles

      Blog post:: Cherie Booth either hates Muslims or is on drugs http://bit.ly/aajGVR


    3. Radical Muslim :: ..Some Things Never Change.. :: February :: 2010

      [...] was the religion in this case the Islamophobic hairs are standing up on the backs of Tim Fenton, Pickled Politics and the Daily [...]




    1. Rumbold — on 4th February, 2010 at 6:43 pm  

      Great minds think alike (albeit with different words). I have deleted my post on this.

    2. MiriamBinder — on 4th February, 2010 at 6:47 pm  

      I cannot help but feel/hope that there is a lot more to this then at first meets the eye. Surely the woman cannot be THAT ruddy naive/stupid!

    3. Moi — on 4th February, 2010 at 7:02 pm  

      This has more to do with Cherie’s religion. And her belief that anyone of any religion is more likely to be a “good person” than those without religion. An opinion not supported by the facts.

      Cherie Blair is a Catholic. This report is disturbing, and I hope that she receives some sort of sanctions for what she has done.

    4. Don — on 4th February, 2010 at 7:12 pm  

      Not stupid. You don’t get to be QC without pretty high cognitive abilities. Unfortunately there are some follies only the clever can attain.

      A judge, when sentencing, rightly takes into account the defendant’s character. Cherie clearly considers religiosity to be evidence of good moral character. I seriously doubt that this is a conclusion based on examination of the evidence.

      If the guy is so well versed in right and wrong, surely she should have thrown the book at him. A mere heathen, on the other hand, can’t be expected to know that smacking someone in the face is not an appropriate way to settle minor social discords.

    5. Sunny — on 4th February, 2010 at 7:39 pm  

      Heh, good point Don, well made.

      Rumbold - sorry mate I didn’t see your post! David O Keefe said on Twitter he couldn’t find it… heh

    6. Rumbold — on 4th February, 2010 at 8:20 pm  

      Heh. No problems Sunny. You beat me by a minute.

      There is nothing wrong with citing a person’s actions, which may be motivated by religion. But to cite a person’s beliefs is just wrong. Having a particular belief doesn’t make you a better or worse person. I might believe that people should be nice to one another, but if I don’t act on by belief, it is a useless belief.

    7. Sunny — on 4th February, 2010 at 9:13 pm  

      I’ve updated the post

    8. Teehee — on 4th February, 2010 at 9:27 pm  

      Cherie Booth isn’t a Judge and isn’t allowed to sit as a Judge. She cannot sentence anyone. She does not have the power to do so. She is a Human Rights Lawyer, ONLY.

      What a pile of crap this story is.

      BUT - If she were a judge, she would do something that stupid. I wonder how many years she would want to give an atheist [but then again, anyone who is not of your own religion, is an atheist - ie a non believer].

    9. Benjamin Gray — on 4th February, 2010 at 9:31 pm  

      @teehee - Cherie Booth is a Recorder, a part-time Judge.

    10. Boyo — on 4th February, 2010 at 10:34 pm  

      intelligence should not be confused with insight.

      the Blairs are plainly very intelligent, yet combined i suspect they have considerably less insight than your average X Factor contestant

    11. Kulvinder — on 4th February, 2010 at 11:15 pm  

      The fact is both Tony Blair and his family are probably far far more religious than most britons; campbell et al rightly kept it out of the papers as it’d get him out of office pretty quickly.

      Theres an aspect of the TB/GWB relationship that we can’t really empathise with, and thats both have deeply held religious convictions and based their political judgements on them.

      I think Cherie Blair - like Tony Blair - just has a fairly big blind spot about these matters wrt the public. She obviously didn’t appreciate how it would come across.

      But yes i agree that the main problem here is it adds more fuel to the ‘muslims get special treatment’ narrative.

    12. Roger — on 5th February, 2010 at 6:20 am  

      ” the custodial sentence and the unpaid work punishment is along the lines of what is legally handed out anyway.”

      Then why did Booth say she was suspending Miah’s sentence “on the basis of his religious belief”? Going by names, his victim, Mohammed Furcan, was every bit as muslim as Miah.
      Incidentally, if that’s what Miah does when he’s just had a good dose of religion, what’s he like when he hasn’t?

    13. Cauldron — on 5th February, 2010 at 6:23 am  

      Considering that CB is the spouse of an astute (albeit venal) politician I am shocked at her actions. As comments on this thread show, even the political left has figured out that this kind of gesture politics is meaningless and counter-productive.

      Considering that CB is a member of the legal establishment, I am not shocked. I don’t get the impression that the legal establishment feels any obligation to take into account public sentiment. Indeed, because the general public tends to believe in the concept of retributive justice whereas most lawyers believe in the concept of rehabilitative justice, the legal establishment’s first instinct is to do the complete opposite of what public opinion would like.

    14. Matthew Taylor (MTPT) — on 5th February, 2010 at 10:44 am  

      First off, Cherie Booth certainly is a judge - she’s a recorder, a kind of part-time fee paid judicial appointment. While she hears less serious cases than full time Circuit Judges, she still hears the cases.

      Secondly, Sunny’s casual assertion that the point isn’t that she did what she was supposed to do is just silly. She has an obligation to explain why she passes the sentence she does, specifying any factors which she took into account. That obligation exists to try and improve public understanding of the CJS. If you sat through a day at a Magistrates Court or a Crown Court sentencing session, you would find people pleading their religious nature - as evidence that their offence was out of character, as evidence that they will not re-offend, as evidence that they have the necessary support mechanisms to help them avoid reoffending.

      A couple of people query the fact she took religion into account at all. If you want it discounted you should not be writing on this blog, or supporting complaints to the Office for Judicial Complaints: you should be starting a campaign to change the law, and revise the Sentencing Guidelines.

    15. Refresh — on 5th February, 2010 at 11:24 am  

      You really need to look at it from past responses from judges.

      No one would blink an eyelid if a defendent chose to offer in mitigation the fact that he is a regular churchgoer and is well respected by the congregation and that his behaviour is out of character.

      My guess is, that is what has taken place. Except the defendent is a muslim.

      So you have the wrong target and for so many reasons.

      One of those you should be looking to take to task is the National Secular Society, unless of course they can demonstrate that they have a record of taking action in the case of the churchgoer.

      Perhaps there is a possibility of taking an action against them for their bias.

      You could have blamed the defendent for offering such mitigation, but then it does fall into the category of self-censorship right down to the point of self-harm.

      Paul Dacre’s your man, as probably is Cherie Blair’s husband.

      Who else needs this narrative to run and run?

    16. douglas clark — on 5th February, 2010 at 11:53 am  

      Refresh,

      I’d agree with your first three paragraphs, it is known as pleading, I think.

      But is ought to be unacceptible. Least, that’s what I think.

    17. Refresh — on 5th February, 2010 at 12:17 pm  

      Douglas,

      Yes you are right its pleading, not mitigation.

      I am not sure its unacceptable. For this simple reason - that the defendent offers his background as a form of evidence of his general good character.

      And if his background was that he was the secretary of a thriving badminton club, respected and entrusted, that too could be presented as evidence of his good character.

      It is not necessarily a question of faith, more one of his standing amongst his peers. And I would argue the National Secular Society needs a kick between the legs for not seeing the obvious.

      Its just as well his victim was also a muslim. Just imagine…

    18. Faisal — on 5th February, 2010 at 12:39 pm  

      But the point isn’t that. The point is that for the likes of the Daily Mail and right-wing blogs – this is an easy to way to further the narrative that Muslims get special treatment. And so it feeds into existing prejudice and frankly I’d have hoped our judges had more braincells to realise how this may be interpreted by others.

      How does it do that given that the victim who had his jaw broken and denied justice was a Muslim? Anyone spared a thought about him on here? Oh I forgot, Muslim victims are only significant when the victimiser is non-Muslim.

    19. Kulvinder — on 5th February, 2010 at 6:06 pm  

      How does it do that given that the victim who had his jaw broken and denied justice was a Muslim?

      I don’t quite follow the point you’re trying to make, the argument is the tabloids would make a case for muslims getting ’special treatment’ with regards to sentencing irrespective of who the victim is.

    20. Faisal — on 5th February, 2010 at 7:00 pm  

      In order to do so, the tabloids would have to excise the essential detail of the victim’s religion. You remember the victim don’t you? It was the Muslim who was denied justice by Judge Blair for having a less favourable (religious) background than the Muslim who broke his jaw.

    21. MiriamBinder — on 5th February, 2010 at 8:08 pm  

      A minor detail such as skimping on the facts is nothing to some of the more insalubrious of our media

    22. Kulvinder — on 5th February, 2010 at 8:47 pm  

      In order to do so, the tabloids would have to excise the essential detail of the victim’s religion.

      well the sun for one has no problem buying into hoaxes like the ‘alan sugar hitlist’ so im not really sure why you don’t think theyd ‘excise’ other material.

    23. Faisal — on 5th February, 2010 at 10:56 pm  

      Why isn’t this issue being picked up as an example of Islamophobia, from the viewpoint of the victim, Mohammed Furcan, by the liberal Lefties here, I wonder?

    24. MiriamBinder — on 5th February, 2010 at 11:32 pm  

      Maybe because it hasn’t anything to do with it?

    25. Shatterface — on 6th February, 2010 at 3:21 am  

      Presumably this took place outside a Sharia bank if religion was so important to him?

    26. Faisal — on 6th February, 2010 at 10:38 am  

      Maybe because it hasn’t anything to do with it?

      What a dishonest answer. The very reason you are protesting Cherie Blair’s judgement is because you think the tabloids will pick it up as “an easy to way to further the narrative that Muslims get special treatment”.

      My question is, why isn’t the victim’s issue whereby he has been judged against and denied justice in spite of having his jaw broken, a way to “further the narrative” of brushing violence against Muslims under the carpet?

    27. Kulvinder — on 6th February, 2010 at 11:06 am  

      My question is, why isn’t the victim’s issue whereby he has been judged against and denied justice in spite of having his jaw broken, a way to “further the narrative” of brushing violence against Muslims under the carpet?

      Because he hasn’t been judged ‘against’ nor ‘denied justice’; noone has claimed she went against the sentencing guidelines.

    28. Faisal — on 6th February, 2010 at 12:10 pm  

      It is a denial of justice, the victim was ruled against because he was deemed to be less religious than the defendant. If this is not a case of bad sentencing, what else do you think it is about?

    29. Kulvinder — on 6th February, 2010 at 1:02 pm  

      I have no idea what the hell you’re on about.

    30. Ravi Naik — on 6th February, 2010 at 1:05 pm  

      Why isn’t this issue being picked up as an example of Islamophobia, from the viewpoint of the victim, Mohammed Furcan, by the liberal Lefties here, I wonder?

      What a strange question. Do you believe this is a case of Islamophobia? If not, why would anyone else?

    31. Faisal — on 6th February, 2010 at 1:19 pm  

      Oh dear.

    32. MiriamBinder — on 6th February, 2010 at 7:13 pm  

      @ Faisal # 25 - Do get a grip my dear. The sentencing may well be used as justification by Islamophobes (as if they need any justification for their irrationality) but it was hardly caused by Islamophobia …

    33. Faisal — on 6th February, 2010 at 7:32 pm  

      Does the victim’s treatment, the sentencing not the offence, also “feed into existing narratives” for you?

    34. MiriamBinder — on 6th February, 2010 at 8:04 pm  

      As I don’t buy into existing narratives it doesn’t really matter where they feed into …

    35. Faisal — on 7th February, 2010 at 9:34 am  

      Sure you don’t.

    36. MiriamBinder — on 7th February, 2010 at 10:44 am  

      @ Faisal # 34 - Far be it from me to tell you how you should or shouldn’t think dear. If it pleases you to wander around in cloud cuckoo the conspiracy theorist land … you wouldn’t be the first one to do so, nor the last I dare say.

    37. Faisal — on 7th February, 2010 at 10:52 am  

      The conspiracy theories all seem to be coming from your side, Miriam dear.

    38. MiriamBinder — on 7th February, 2010 at 11:11 am  

      You really need to get a grip Faisal … You’ll be seeing pink elephants in tutus next ;)

    39. Dariа — on 7th February, 2010 at 11:22 am  

      if it has nothing to do with his religion (actually it has) that it’s discrimination of non-religious people.

      what this post means anyway?

    40. Dariа — on 7th February, 2010 at 11:31 am  

      |||She added: “You are a religious man and you know this is not acceptable behaviour.” |||

      I wonder, how she sees the word “religious”, the meaning of it? “active mosque-goer but explodes easily in conflicts”?

      non-religious person don’t know what is acceptable and what is not and they should definetly go to jail?

      true believer would not only know what is acceptable - he wouldn’t behave like that.

      I guess she told the victim “and if you a religious person you should forgive him and let him go”?

    41. Faisal — on 7th February, 2010 at 2:12 pm  

      Coloured elephants in tutus works better as a euphemism for the selective “Islamophobia” peddled by the opportunists, race-specialists and the various dupes under the Progressive London tent, it could also be said. Don’t you think, Miriam dear?

    Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

    Pickled Politics © Copyright 2005 - 2009. All rights reserved. Terms and conditions.
    With the help of PHP and Wordpress.