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  • Oh no, Amnesty working with someone else we don’t like!


    by Sunny
    3rd March, 2010 at 9:49 am    

    Here we go again. Harry’s Place has a blog post that berates Amnesty UK for ‘promoting’ the journalist Ben White. This is becoming all too typical of this row and goes to the heart of the problem. And that is - many of the people attacking Amnesty here are doing so simply because it works with people who’s politics they don’t like. And so the smearing takes place.

    In this case Weissman is appalled that White wrote something he didn’t like. And so, “Amnesty UK have a right to voice their opinion on East Jerusalem, but hiring Ben White to speak for them makes no sense.” — yeah I’m sure. What he means is: I can’t believe Amnesty is working with someone I don’t like, it just goes to show how much they love Islamists blah blah froth froth.

    Perhaps he could form a committee so that they could approve in advance who Amnesty should be allowed to work with. Oh wait, their mate is already trying that.

    It’s not only an attempt to shut down voices he doesn’t like - but is also very hypocritical. The same Joseph Weissman (under his pseudonym Seisemic Shock, I’m assuming) earlier wrote on Harry’s Place an article promoting Patrick Sookhdeo. The very same who contributed to a book titled ‘The Myth of Islamic Tolerance’, which was put together by Robert Spencer of the notoriously bigoted Jihad Watch and Dhimmi Watch blogs. And yet he’s now offering advice on human rights and dodgy connections.

    This ‘smear by twisted quotes’ is unfortunately becoming a trend on HP. Another common target is Mehdi Hasan - subject of a disgusting smear attempt last year. A few weeks ago ‘Lucy Lips’ wrote:

    Instead of Bright, we get Mehdi Hasan: a man who believes that non-Muslims are “kafirs” and like “cattle”, and who both praises and takes a face value the Supreme Leader of Iran’s ersatz anti-nuclear rhetoric.

    The first part of that smear has become predictable. The second part - criticising him for “praising” the Supreme leader of Iran - is even more idiotic. All Mehdi did was point to a fatwa by the Iranian leader against nuclear weapons. And even if he did “praise him” for being anti-nuclear, what the hell is wrong with that? I’d praise any nutjob who was against nukes.

    And these people set themselves up as defender of human rights. The mind boggles. All they see are Islamists under every bed and won’t stop criticising Amnesty unless it stops working with any whose views they find politically inconvenient.


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    1. pickles

      Blog post:: Oh no, Amnesty working with someone else we don't like! http://bit.ly/cP8tpe


    2. Malky Muscular

      RT @pickledpolitics: Blog post:: Oh no, Amnesty working with someone else we don't like! http://bit.ly/cP8tpe


    3. Joshua Fenton-Glynn

      rt @pickledpolitics Amnesty working with someone else we don't like! http://bit.ly/cP8tpe <spot on about Harry's place idiots as ever


    4. Milena Buyum

      RT @pickledpolitics: Blog post:: Oh no, Amnesty working with someone else we don't like! http://bit.ly/cP8tpe


    5. PlutoPress

      Nice piece on Ben White RT @pickledpolitics: Blog post:: Oh no, Amnesty working with someone else we don't like! http://bit.ly/cP8tpe


    6. Yakoub Islam

      RT @pickledpolitics Pickled Politics » Oh no, Amnesty working with someone else we don’t like! http://bit.ly/cOjtxy




    1. soru — on 3rd March, 2010 at 10:50 am  

      From an Amnesty press release, 2014:

      First, I would like to deal with the media reports that a helicopter bearing the Amnesty logo has been seen dropping phosphoros munitions on refugees.

      While this incident, if true, is regrettable, I would like to stress that Blackwater are an entirely legal and legitimate private military company. It would be entirely wrong, and in practise impossible, for Amnesty to screen in advance the organisations it chooses to work with.

    2. Sarah AB — on 3rd March, 2010 at 10:57 am  

      This piece, as I mentioned on another thread, seems highly objectionable.

      http://www.counterpunch.org/white0617.html

      I am prepared to accept that the Mehdi Hasan video may have been taken out of context but I don’t feel that you demonstrated that clearly in the piece you linked to.

    3. David T — on 3rd March, 2010 at 11:04 am  

      “And even if he did “praise him” for being anti-nuclear, what the hell is wrong with that? I’d praise any nutjob who was against nukes.”

      This is the point about the supposedly anti-nuclear fatwa by the Supreme Leader of Iran.

      The Supreme Leader of Iran - as his title implies - runs Iran. Iran is almost certainly developing nuclear weapons, but is claiming not to be doing so. Part of the subterfuge included a fatwa declaring the possession of nuclear weapons to be unlawful under Islamic law.

      The Senior Political Editor of the New Statesman praised that fatwa. That, to me, suggests that he believes that it is true.

      The reason that he believes that Iran genuinely is not developing nuclear weapons, I think, is that Mehdi Hasan regards the Supreme Leader of Iran as a trustworthy and respectable religious authority.

      You may find that a matter of concern. However, I think you don’t.

    4. cjcjc — on 3rd March, 2010 at 11:06 am  

      Counterpunch - wow, yes, that Ben White sure is a class act.

      And Hasan did say that non-Muslims are like cattle.
      Sorry about that, but he did.

    5. David T — on 3rd March, 2010 at 11:19 am  

      The defence of “cattle” and the use of the insulting term “kafir” is that Mehdi Hasan was calling for Muslims to “improve themselves”.

      But this is in the context of a discussion of why Muslims are being beaten by Israel - he concludes that we are being “out-thought” rather than “out-fought”.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUuhD3TysRc&feature=related

      In other words, the argument is that Muslims need to improve themselves intellectually, so that they can raise themselves above the level of the cattle like kafirs, and so that they can out-think Israel.

    6. cjcjc — on 3rd March, 2010 at 11:24 am  

      Is that better or worse?

    7. Britsmann — on 3rd March, 2010 at 11:33 am  

      #1 Supporting someone who says something you don’t like is the start of a slippery slope to collaborating in the use of chemical weapons to commit war crimes? Get a grip, you tool.

      #3 What a load of disingenuous pish.

      “The Supreme Leader of Iran – as his title implies – runs Iran.”

      The real picture of who holds what power in Iran is a lot more complicated than that. He’s not Kim Jong-il (and even that’s possibly a bad example).

      “is almost certainly developing nuclear weapons”

      According to what? Woman’s intuition? Or can you smell plutonium?

      “Part of the subterfuge included a fatwa declaring the possession of nuclear weapons to be unlawful under Islamic law.”

      So the people you’re forever claiming are fundamentalist maniacs bound by their own religious strictures actually don’t a shiny fucknut about their religion and would happily trample all over its rules as part of a not-very cunning plan to disguise the development a near-useless nuclear weapon? Hurrah for David “Columbo” Toube and his ability to see through the Ayatollah’s genius scheme.

      “I think, is that Mehdi Hasan regards the Supreme Leader of Iran as a trustworthy and respectable religious authority.”

      You’re trying to imply that Hasan thinks the Ayatollah is some kind of diamond geezer because he recognises the position he holds. He simply understands that a religious-legal judgement made by the person qualified to make such judgements is valid.

    8. David T — on 3rd March, 2010 at 11:35 am  

      “He simply understands that a religious-legal judgement made by the person qualified to make such judgements is valid.”

      Do you think that a political editor of a newspaper ought to judge the direction of a state’s foreign policy, by reference to the religious-legal authority of its head of state?

    9. steve — on 3rd March, 2010 at 11:35 am  

      The reason that he believes that Iran genuinely is not developing nuclear weapons, I think, is that Mehdi Hasan regards the Supreme Leader of Iran as a trustworthy and respectable religious authority.

      and I THINK that the sleight of hand you used there is objectionable in the extreme. Nothing Hasan has otherwise said backs up your opinion here, it’s just pure smear.

      David Toube, can ou please settle this once and for all - do you post under the pseudonym ‘Lucy Lips’? Because only you and ‘Lucy’, even among the HP contributors, seem to believe that Hasan is some sort of extremist.

    10. steve — on 3rd March, 2010 at 11:37 am  

      the new statesman is not a newspaper.

      why do people associted with Harry’s Place keep on insisting that it is?

    11. cjcjc — on 3rd March, 2010 at 11:39 am  

      “the new statesman is not a newspaper”

      you’ve got that one right!

    12. Brownie — on 3rd March, 2010 at 11:51 am  

      And that is – many of the people attacking Amnesty here are doing so simply because it works with people who’s politics they don’t like

      Well that includes you when they’re working with Cage Prisoners, doesn’t it? You said CP, “leave a bad taste in [my] nouth”. So it would be fair to say that you don’t think it’s a good idea for AI to be working with CP, correct?

    13. Sunny — on 3rd March, 2010 at 11:54 am  

      but I don’t feel that you demonstrated that clearly in the piece you linked to.

      I think it does. It points out that the quote was actually something he was referring to in the Qu’ran and that the speech was actually very different in tone.

      If I read out a few homophobic tracts from the Bible in a speech - does it mean I’ve started believing them?

      As for the other link - yes you’re right, I do find that objectionable.

      I do find it annoying when people try and justify racism of any sort or voting for extremist parties in a democracy.

      I think, is that Mehdi Hasan regards the Supreme Leader of Iran as a trustworthy and respectable religious authority.

      Oh, this is just such tripe isn’t it?

      Let me put it this way. Israel’s foreign minister is now a guy that has been described as a “fascist” even on HP. Yet you’ve published several pieces defending the Israeli govt. Shall I assume then that you personally endorse Avigdor Lieberman?

    14. Sunny — on 3rd March, 2010 at 11:57 am  

      They’re not working with CP. Please keep twisting this around to your heart’s content but that doesn’t change the facts on the ground.

      When Amnesty works with the Catholic Church - do you think they start endorsing the Church’s views on everything? Incidentally, did you write a piece objecting to Amnesty working with the Catholic church? Simple yes or no will do Brownie.

    15. David T — on 3rd March, 2010 at 12:05 pm  

      If I read out a few homophobic tracts from the Bible in a speech – does it mean I’ve started believing them?

      Let me put it this way. Israel’s foreign minister is now a guy that has been described as a “fascist” even on HP. Yet you’ve published several pieces defending the Israeli govt. Shall I assume then that you personally endorse Avigdor Lieberman?

      If I read out a passage from the Bible about the hatefulness of homosexuality to God - let’s say, describing gays as “sodomites” who were “burning in their lusts for each other”, and then went on to say:

      “We believers must make sure that we’re not like the bestial sodomites”

      … yeah, I think that would be disgusting.

      No idea what your point is about Lieberman, but we’ve run pieces attacking him. We’ve never said that his religious or political views are “spot on”.

    16. Brownie — on 3rd March, 2010 at 12:20 pm  

      They’re not working with CP. Please keep twisting this around to your heart’s content but that doesn’t change the facts on the ground.

      What do you call collaborating on a briefing document that is then published in a AI press release that descirbes it as the work of “six leading human rights organisations”? Are you going into online print today to deny that this constitutes “working with”? Seriously? Is this your ‘Bill Clinton redefines ‘is” moment?

      Do you think CP can be accurately described as a “leading human rights organisation”? If so, why do they leave a bad taste in your mouth?

      When Amnesty works with the Catholic Church – do you think they start endorsing the Church’s views on everything?

      No I don’t. Similarly, I don’t think they endorse Begg’s view on everything or CP’s view on everything when they work with both. It’s never been part of my argument that they do, so this is the strawiest of straw men.

      Incidentally, did you write a piece objecting to Amnesty working with the Catholic church? Simple yes or no will do Brownie.

      No I didn’t, but then I haven’t written a piece objecting to AI working with Begg/CP, either. I’ve commented on pieces written by others. But to answer more fully, I don’t regard Begg and CP as remotely equivalent to the Catholic Church. I oppose the Church’s views on many things, but I also think there are many redeeming features. Not so with Begg, although I’m sure he loves his mother.

    17. saeed — on 3rd March, 2010 at 12:20 pm  

      please david.t stop it…

      we get it, you don’t like Hassans political views…but to try and make out hes a closet islamist is just laughable…

      instead of wasting time at PP why dpn’t you moderate your own blog…some of the comments on HP are disgusting…

    18. David T — on 3rd March, 2010 at 12:25 pm  

      I don’t think he’s a closet Islamist. I think he has a strong attachment to Shia political-religious figures.

      That is why he thinks that the Supreme Leader of Iran is (a) telling the truth about Iran’s nuclear programme and (b) praises his lying views as “spot on”.

      I think it is very odd for a political journalist to base his judgement of the head of state’s conduct on his authority as a religious scholar.

    19. steve — on 3rd March, 2010 at 12:26 pm  

      Maybe David toube isn’t reading the thread closely. to reiterate:

      I THINK that the sleight of hand you use in connection with Hasan is objectionable in the extreme. Nothing Hasan has otherwise said backs up your opinion here, it’s just pure smear.

      And David Toube, can you please settle this once and for all – do you post under the pseudonym ‘Lucy Lips’? Because only you and ‘Lucy’, even among the HP contributors (see Brownie’s silence on this on this thread), seem to believe that Hasan is some sort of extremist.

    20. Mehdi Hasan — on 3rd March, 2010 at 12:27 pm  

      Hilarious. I’m glad that you all have so much time on your hands that you can spend the entire morning speculating on whether I do or don’t hold certain views. Do you not have lives? Jobs?

      In that now-infamous and much-distorted “speech”, which Harry’s Place wrongly claims took place in London (got a fact-checker, boys?), I referred to Muslims AND non-Muslims as “cattle”, a common metaphor for groupthink (like “herd” and “sheep”). What I’ve never quite understood is whether HP’s repeated refusal to acknowledge this point is a result of their dishonesty or sheer stupidity.

      As for the Iranian nukes line, yes, the fatwa from Ayatollah Khamenei does say nukes are “haram” or forbidden, and it is a fatwa he has reiterated in recent days. Whether he is telling the truth is for each of us to decide. HP have made up their minds - but the IAEA and the US intelligence community disagrees with them. But then HP, as Sunny’s pointed out, is not interested in the truth, only smears.

    21. David T — on 3rd March, 2010 at 12:38 pm  

      ” Whether he is telling the truth is for each of us to decide. HP have made up their minds – but the IAEA and the US intelligence community disagrees with them. But then HP, as Sunny’s pointed out, is not interested in the truth, only smears.”

      What is YOUR position, Mehdi? My reading of your comment is that you believe that the Supreme Leader of Iran was telling the truth, and that Iran is not building nuclear weapons. Is that correct?

      The US Intelligence community has revised its position, and takes the view that Iran is indeed developing nuclear weapons. Do you disagree?

      So has the IAEA.

      My question is this. Do you believe the Supreme Leader of Iran is, in fact, preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons?

      Do you base this view on the Supreme Leader’s religious authority?

    22. David T — on 3rd March, 2010 at 12:43 pm  

      ” I referred to Muslims AND non-Muslims as “cattle”, a common metaphor for groupthink (like “herd” and “sheep”). What I’ve never quite understood is whether HP’s repeated refusal to acknowledge this point is a result of their dishonesty or sheer stupidity.”

      First of all, here is your speech:

      “The kaffar, the disbelievers, the atheists who remain deaf and stubborn to the teachings of Islam, the rational message of the Quran; they are described in the Quran as, quote, “a people of no intelligence”, Allah describes them as; not of no morality, not as people of no belief – people of “no intelligence” – because they’re incapable of the intellectual effort it requires to shake off those blind prejudices, to shake off those easy assumptions about this world, about the existence of God. In this respect, the Quran describes the atheists as “cattle”, as cattle of those who grow the crops and do not stop and wonder about this world.”

      1. Why did you use such an offensive term - “kafir” - coupled with the description of “kafirs” as people of “no intelligence” and “cattle”?

      2. Do you agree with the description of “kafirs” that you quoted to your audience? If not, why did you repeat it to them?

      It isn’t an answer to say “this is in the Quran”.

      There is loads and loads of objectionable stuff in religious books. Most people ignore the obnoxious stuff.

      However, you made a sermon of it - and the message was that Muslims must not be like “kafirs” - specifically, that it was important that Muslims should not be “out-thought” by non-Muslims.

      If this is what you believe, I am amazed that you can look your non-Muslim colleagues in the eye. What a disgusting sentiment for a person to express.

    23. Sunny — on 3rd March, 2010 at 12:52 pm  

      No idea what your point is about Lieberman, but we’ve run pieces attacking him. We’ve never said that his religious or political views are “spot on”.

      The point is simple - do you support the Israeli govt or not? If yes, then can we assume you support Leiberman or not? After all, he is part of it. You’re using the same logic with Hasan so let’s hear it.

      Brownie: But to answer more fully, I don’t regard Begg and CP as remotely equivalent to the Catholic Church.

      Yeah I thought so. One rule for Muslims and another for Christians then.

      David T: I think he has a strong attachment to Shia political-religious figures.

      ooooooh scary!

      I think it is very odd for a political journalist to base his judgement of the head of state’s conduct on his authority as a religious scholar.

      Oh rubbish. He’s not basing his judgement on anything other than what the guy said. You don’t like the Iranian leader - neither do I - but discussing what he says, whether negatively or positively doesn’t really mean you endorse his entire agenda.

      On the other hand if you think there are Islamists under every bed…

      2. Your point was that Muslims must not be like “kafirs” – specifically, that it was important that Muslims should not be “out-thought” by non-Muslims.

      I’ll remember that when you say that the next time you think your values are superior. No doubt it will mean you want to shit on everyone else in the world.

      It’s amazing that you can read such an innocuous speech as some kind of hate speech.

      No one took that smear attempt on HP - other than the trolls there - seriously. It was a sorry hatchet job and just confirmed the view of your detractors that you’re less interested in truth and intelligent discussion and more in smearing people you don’t like.

    24. Sunny — on 3rd March, 2010 at 12:53 pm  

      Also - could you please also explain why Harry’s Place published a piece praising and supporting Patrick Sookhdeo?

      Will there be a retraction or apology for that? Or do you think he’s a nice fellow with acceptable views?

    25. David T — on 3rd March, 2010 at 12:54 pm  

      “I’ll remember that when you say that the next time you think your values are superior. No doubt it will mean you want to shit on everyone else in the world.”

      Are you mad?

      Do you not think that the values of liberal democracies are better than the values of totalitarian theocracies?

    26. KB Player — on 3rd March, 2010 at 12:58 pm  

      Mehdi Hasan:-

      In that now-infamous and much-distorted “speech”, which Harry’s Place wrongly claims took place in London (got a fact-checker, boys?), I referred to Muslims AND non-Muslims as “cattle”, a common metaphor for groupthink (like “herd” and “sheep”). What I’ve never quite understood is whether HP’s repeated refusal to acknowledge this point is a result of their dishonesty or sheer stupidity.

      I do remember the controversy:-

      http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/dissident-voice/2009/07/islamic-extremists-muslim

      In the section from the speech quoted prominently (and, once again, out of context) at Harry’s Place, I seem to refer to atheists as “kafirs”, as “people of no intelligence” and as “cattle”. In fact, I am quoting from the Quran - where the word “kafir” simply means “non-Muslim” or “non-believer” and it is in this sense (in fact, in its atheistic sense), and no other, that I used it.

      As someone in the comments box said, why the “seem”? You did in fact, use those words. And presumably, when you quote from the Quran, you agree with what it says – as devout Muslims do, just as devout Christians, when they quote the Bible, quote the bits that they think are telling and applicable.

      Actually, I’d started writing a comment that this whole “cattle” thing should be dropped and that HP were over the top in doing what – three? posts about it until I saw you had turned up. And that you should be judged generally on what you write at the NS and everywhere else rather than those remarks. However this “Muslims AND non-Muslims” defence is not one you made at the time, as far as I can remember. It was the “quote from the Quran” defence that you used at the time.

    27. joe90 — on 3rd March, 2010 at 1:08 pm  

      Leave them nutcases at harry place to fester in their own hate bile no one takes notice of them. They only come out and bark when the racists and hardcore zionists have some anti muslim or anti palestinian nonsense to spew.

    28. saeed — on 3rd March, 2010 at 1:11 pm  

      Brownie: But to answer more fully, I don’t regard Begg and CP as remotely equivalent to the Catholic Church.

      http://www.secularism.org.uk/32964.html

    29. Paul Moloney — on 3rd March, 2010 at 1:12 pm  

      Mehdi, your speech is up on YouTube for anyone to see. Can you explain how this video was “distorted”, exactly.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4hpfqFt-0Q

      P.

    30. Sarah AB — on 3rd March, 2010 at 1:13 pm  

      Mehdi - I don’t think it makes the speech (much) better to note that you also refer to Muslims as ‘cattle’. Is it not the implication that you think non muslims are cattle because they are ‘kafirs’ whereas muslims are cattle for quite different reasons - because they fall short in some clearly defined area (such as child labour). It’s a bit like someone saying ‘Americans are like cattle because they don’t have universal free health care - oh and by the way I think Muslims’ (or Jews or Christians or whoever) ‘are cattle too’. I don’t think this makes you an Islamist - I just think it makes you rather rude!

    31. Cjcjc — on 3rd March, 2010 at 1:19 pm  

      I would also be worried if the political editor of the NS was wrong about what the US and IAEA thought about Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

    32. David T — on 3rd March, 2010 at 1:24 pm  

      I don’t really mind about the ‘kafir’ stuff. If a religious bigot wants to express bigotry about members of other religions, it reflects badly on him.

      What I am more concerned by is the fact that the Senior Political Editor of the New Statesman appears to believe that Iran is not developing nuclear weapons, despite the recent evidence that indicates that it is.

      My specific concern, now, is to find out if the religious authority of the Supreme Leader of Iran plays any role in Mehdi Hasan’s assessment of Iran’s nuclear policy

    33. Mehdi Hasan — on 3rd March, 2010 at 1:37 pm  

      David T - are YOU mad? Listen to the speech - I’m condemning Muslims for not going to secular comprehensives and not learning from non-Muslims and yet you claim the “message was that Muslims must not be like “kafirs”?!?!? Mad! Mad! Oh, and the IAEA don’t believe Iran is building nuclear weapons. That’s a plain lie on your part. You’re also wrong on the US intelligence view. Here’s Dennis Blair, head of US intelligence, testifying to Congress on 2 Feb 2010:

      “We continue to assess Iran is keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons in part by developing various nuclear capabilities that bring it closer to being able to produce such weapons, should it choose to do so. We do not know, however, if Iran will eventually decide to build nuclear weapons.”

      So another distortion (lie?) on your part. I think it’s best we end our discussions because you don’t seem to be able to read English.

      KB Player - go back and read my post at the link you yourself copy and paste above. I clearly said, at the time: “you will note that I also refer to unthinking Muslims as “cattle” in the same speech, which was addressed primarily as a critique of my co-religionists.”

      Paul - listen to the whole speech before passing judgement.

      I wish I’d never entered this damn thread. I think I’ll head back to covering Michael Foot’s death on the NS site. Debating with you lot is like being in Salem. See ya…

    34. saeed — on 3rd March, 2010 at 1:46 pm  

      i feel sorry for mehdi…i really do…

    35. Paul Moloney — on 3rd March, 2010 at 1:46 pm  

      “Paul – listen to the whole speech before passing judgement.”

      I have.

      P.

    36. cjcjc — on 3rd March, 2010 at 1:50 pm  

      So have I.

      If I had played it to my (now late) lifetime NS subscribing lefty Dad and told him that he was listening to an NS editor, well, gobsmacked wouldn’t do his likely reaction justice.

      He wouldn’t have liked that Sturmer-style cover either.

    37. Sunny — on 3rd March, 2010 at 1:50 pm  

      David T - I see you ignored my question about Patrick Sookhdeo. Once again.

      Do you not think that the values of liberal democracies are better than the values of totalitarian theocracies?

      But I thought you said that if someone asks Muslims to learn from liberal democracies, they were encouraging them to “out-thought” the west?

      You either want Muslims in the ME to learn from the west or you don’t. But you’re trying to have your cake and eat it too - by saying liberal values are better (I agree) but also condemning Mehdi Hasan for saying the same. Unbelievable.

      Paul - why not link to the whole vid then? Perhaps people can me up their own minds then. But of course, HP chose not to do that. I wonder why.

      My specific concern, now, is to find out if the religious authority of the Supreme Leader of Iran plays any role in Mehdi Hasan’s assessment of Iran’s nuclear policy

      Don’t forget to clean that froth off. It doesn’t look very pretty.

    38. Sunny — on 3rd March, 2010 at 2:00 pm  

      and told him that he was listening to an NS editor, well, gobsmacked wouldn’t do his likely reaction justice.

      What did your dad say when you told him you were a climate change troofer? Or have you not told him yet?

    39. cjcjc — on 3rd March, 2010 at 2:06 pm  

      Haha

      Alas he’s no longer with us.
      But he was skeptical of all establishment ideas and could sniff out a scam a mile away, so I suspect he might have been a troofer too!

    40. David T — on 3rd March, 2010 at 2:06 pm  

      1. Come on - your speech is very clear on this point. Your argument is that the Quran calls kafirs “people of no intelligence” and like “cattle”. You then go on to argue that Muslims should improve themselves so that they are not “out thought” - specifically by Jews!

      2. Yes, the position of the US is that Iran is gearing up to produce nuclear weapons: and may or may not actually produce them. The US is proposing increased sanctions on Iran to try to prevent it from producing those weapons.

      The IAEA position is that, in fact, Iran has a undisclosed programme to create a nuclear warhead. The US did, for a short period of time, believe that Iran had paused its nuclear weapons programme. It now accepts that it was wrong.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/19/world/middleeast/19iran.html?em

      Yet, your position is that, in the face of this evidence, Iran isn’t gearing up to produce nuclear weapons.

      You praised the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Supreme Leader’s fatwa, in a sermon. That makes me think that part of your reason for believing that Iran is not building nuclear weapons is that you regard the Supreme Leader as a credible religious authority.

      I note that you are basing your argument, above, that Iran is not preparing to build nuclear weapons on a misrepresentation and misreading of the position of the US and IAEA. You are entitled to get that wrong - although it doesn’t reflect well on your expertise in this area

      What I want to know is why you praised the Supreme Leader of Iran, to a religious audience, in a religious context.

      Is part of your reason for believing that Iran is not developing nuclear weapons, a fatwa produced by the Supreme Leader of Iran, whose religious authority you respect? It sounds to me that this is your view.

    41. soru — on 3rd March, 2010 at 2:09 pm  

      @33 The quote you give seems to precisely match the wording of ‘developing nuclear weapons’, as opposed to building, or indeed launching them.

      This is obviously one of those matters where what, say, the Iranian ambassador will say has, quite understandably, no relationship other than the coincidental with the truth.

      I juat think it’s useful if that line or argument is correctly labelled with ‘the Iranian ambassador says’, rather than ‘all right-thinking and liberal human beings think’. ..

    42. Kulvinder — on 3rd March, 2010 at 2:21 pm  

      regard the Supreme Leader as a credible religious authority.

      He is a credible religious authority, surely? I’m not a muslim let alone a shia muslim but id have taken it as granted that his religious authority is beyond dispute?

      The fact that hes a theocrat is obviously another matter…

      For what its worth i consider his opinions regarding nuclear weapons to be highly relevant and would personally have no problem in repeating them to advocate a point of view; in doing so i wouldn’t consider myself to be one of his ‘followers’ - anymore than id consider myself a catholic if i pointed out something the pope had said.

    43. cjcjc — on 3rd March, 2010 at 2:27 pm  

      Is the Vatican developing a nuclear capability?

      The question is whether an editor at a (previously secular, lefty and serious) magazine is letting this theocrat’s “authority” influence his opinion.

      I might expect an editor at The Tablet to take note of the pope.
      Not so much a catholic editor at the NS.
      But I understand that secularism is no longer much in vogue on the left.
      Pity.

    44. johng — on 3rd March, 2010 at 2:33 pm  

      The increasing salemisation of debate by those like David T seems to combine a diminished audience with shrinking critical facilities (everyone knows that HP is now the haunt of US ultra right Republican lunatics) and a panic about the forthcoming elections, leading to the usual race to the right. But witnessing the extraordinary exchange with David T (where its fairly clear that Mehdi Hasan was extolling the virtue of using your loaf, and pointing out that in the Koran when referring to the defects of unbelievers, it was their absence of critical facilities that were attacked) was a new kind of low for me.

    45. Kulvinder — on 3rd March, 2010 at 2:35 pm  

      Is the Vatican developing a nuclear capability?

      Given it took them several centuries to express ‘regret’ at galileo’s treatment, i don’t think they’ll be delving into the sciences in such detail.

      That said id consider the vatican’s AIDS policy to be doing more ‘actual’ harm to the world than iran developing nuclear weapons. Even if theiy did develop them i don’t forsee them using any.

    46. Refresh — on 3rd March, 2010 at 2:41 pm  

      DavidT, I think its high time you demonstrated evidence of an authoratative religious figure in Israel and any other nuclear tipped state, declaring nuclear weapons to be an abomination against mankind. Or somesuch.

      By the way you may be many things but mad isn’t one of them.

    47. Chris Williams — on 3rd March, 2010 at 2:44 pm  

      Lips or not?

    48. soru — on 3rd March, 2010 at 2:49 pm  

      Supporting someone who says something you don’t like is the start of a slippery slope to collaborating in the use of chemical weapons to commit war crimes?

      err, the thing Caged Prisoner seems to be about is, very exactly, defending those accused of war crimes. And not the on grounds of ‘they didn’t do it’, or ‘you can’t prove it’, but at least ‘it wasn’t a crime: war is war’ and sometimes ‘they deserved it’.

      That’s a pretty exact match for, say, those americans who think Blackwater contractors should be legally immune to any charges arising from their time in Iraq.

      Amnesty (does it need saying: rightly) wouldn’t cooperate with such a group. They wouldn’t hand out their stickers to Blackwater PR guys. Above all, they wouldn’t make statements saying ‘private military companies are (arguably) legal in some circumstances under international law, and so as a political campaign organisation we can’t possibly be expected to make a political decision as to who we work with’.

    49. RR — on 3rd March, 2010 at 3:11 pm  

      yo thicko david toube, you say “The IAEA position is that, in fact, Iran has a undisclosed programme to create a nuclear warhead.”

      the iaea have said nothing of the sort, you liar. here’s the link to the actual iaea report that your prowar nytimes distorts and misquotes.

      http://isis-online.org/uploads/isis-reports/documents/IAEA_Report_Iran_18Feb2010.pdf

      unless you can find me where in this report it mentions iran building nuclear warheads, you (& the nytimes) owe us all an apology. and to hasan too.

      “hurry up” david we r waiting, u prat

    50. soru — on 3rd March, 2010 at 3:32 pm  

      Did someone not read past the first few pages? Extracts from that report, section E. Possible Military Dimensions:

      Altogether, this raises concerns about the possible existence in Iran of past or
      current undisclosed activities related to the development of a nuclear payload for a missile.

      whether the engineering design and computer modelling
      studies aimed at producing a new design for the payload chamber of a missile were for a nuclear
      payload;

      it is
      important that Iran engage with the Agency on these issues, and that the Agency be permitted to visit
      all relevant sites, have access to all relevant equipment and documentation, and be allowed to
      interview relevant persons, without further delay.

      And from the conclusion:
      The information available to the Agency in connection with these outstanding issues is extensive
      and has been collected from a variety of sources over time. It is also broadly consistent and credible in
      terms of the technical detail, the time frame in which the activities were conducted and the people and
      organizations involved.

      It is interesting that that clearly goes beyond anything that the CIA are saying publicly. Presumably they are leaving it to the IAEA to make the running on this, as obviously few would believe anything they say…

    51. cjcjc — on 3rd March, 2010 at 3:45 pm  

      Oh dear, RR, looks like you owe the apology

    52. Chris Williams — on 3rd March, 2010 at 4:04 pm  

      Hmm, ‘possible existence of’ does not equal ‘has proved’. Me, I get my info from armscontrolwonk and thus I’m pretty sure that Iran has an a-bomb project, which may or may not be on hold right now. YMMV.

      Lips or not, Toube?

    53. Sunny — on 3rd March, 2010 at 4:08 pm  

      Funny, David T has vanished since I repeated my question about Patrick Sookhdeo.

      So I’ll do it again.

      Does David T endorse Patrick Sookhdeo’s views on Muslims? If not, why was he praised on HP? And should we really be taking advice on human rights from someone praising Sookhdeo?

      Answers would be nice.

      so i wouldn’t consider myself to be one of his ‘followers’ – anymore than id consider myself a catholic if i pointed out something the pope had said.

      It’s actually unbelievable such a simple point is so hard to grasp by some people. Unless of course you have conspiracy theories to peddle.

    54. Refresh — on 3rd March, 2010 at 4:16 pm  

      ‘Funny, David T has vanished since I repeated my question about Patrick Sookhdeo.’

      Possibly. I rather think its because I took away his one remaining excuse - that of diminished responsibility.

    55. cjcjc — on 3rd March, 2010 at 4:23 pm  

      What are Sookhdeo’s crimes?

    56. Brownie — on 3rd March, 2010 at 4:29 pm  

      Sunny,

      How can you have the cheek to ‘chase’ others for answers when you consistently dodge the CP question and what used to be the “bad taste in your mouth” that, since it was pointed out AI worked with CP as far back as 2007, seems to have improved?

      I’ve answered every question you’ve asked of me, directly. So if CP leave a bad taste in your mouth, do you think its right that AI sohuld be describing them as a “leading human rights organizaion” and collaborating with them on briefing documents?

      To quote you, a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ will suffice.

      One rule for Muslims and another for Christians then.

      Because I don’t think the Catholic Church and CagePrisoners are equivalent? I prefer raspberries to broad beans but it doesn’t mean I think all fruits are better than all vegetables.

      I think you need to give this some more thought, Sunny. Once you’ve answered the questions about CP, of course.

    57. soru — on 3rd March, 2010 at 4:37 pm  

      Hmm, ‘possible existence of’ does not equal ‘has proved’

      yesh, but the two things are hardly related by the phrase ‘nothing of the sort’.

      Obviously, this is deep Spook Country, so who knows what’s really going on. But what it looks like is the IAEA has some documents which make some specific claims that go well beyond what the CIA is (publicly) saying. Iran says they are forged, IAEA says ‘if that is the case, and it may very well be, it will be very easy for you to disprove them by letting us visit these additional sites, and interview these people’.

      If any self-appointed defenders of the Iranian regime at that point go all ‘oh look, over there! The Pope on a unicycle!’, then whatever is actually going on, one thing is clear. _They_, at least, believe Iran has a nuclear weapons program: you don’t resort to the Chewbacca defence if you are aware of a better one.

    58. Brownie — on 3rd March, 2010 at 4:49 pm  

      For what its worth i consider his opinions regarding nuclear weapons to be highly relevant and would personally have no problem in repeating them to advocate a point of view; in doing so i wouldn’t consider myself to be one of his ‘followers’ – anymore than id consider myself a catholic if i pointed out something the pope had said.

      It’s not a case of being a ‘follower’; it’s about whether and how much credibility should be attached to anything the Supreme Leader has to say on the matter.

      If you can’t see what’s wrong with citing the Supreme Leader’s denials as evidence that Iran is NOT developing a nuclear weapon, then I don’t think I can help you. I’m not sure anyone can.

      But this is what Hassan did and this is what DavidT is pointing out. Hassan disagrees with the assessment of the IAEA (he might not have realised this given he clearly wasn’t familiar with the IAEA assessment) and he at least in part bases that view on the fact the Supreme Leader of Iran denies Iran is engaged in the kind of activity that the IAEA says it is.

      This woUld be worth noting even if Hassan were not the politcal editor at the NS.

    59. David T — on 3rd March, 2010 at 4:57 pm  

      Who is Sudoko? What is your beef with him again? That he wrote a chapter of a book edited by Spencer? What did it say?

      Sorry, I know next to nothing about this bloke. I’ve looked him up and he seems to be a Muslim who converted to Christianity, and who campaigns for converts whose lives are threatened by their former co-religionists.

      I have also googled his picture and he appears to be quite brown, so I am VERY reluctant to criticise him in any way on this blog.

    60. Sunny — on 3rd March, 2010 at 5:02 pm  

      Nice bit of obfuscation there David T. We’re happy to criticise racists on this blog - including the Brown ones.

      Do you want me to dig out some quotes by Sookhdeo? Perhaps that will jog your memory.

      Brownie - I already made my feelings clear about CP on this early thread:
      http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/7492

      Now, answer my questions? Why is HP praising a known anti-Muslim bigot?

    61. cjcjc — on 3rd March, 2010 at 5:05 pm  

      Yes - that was the best thread.
      What happened to the Sunny of that thread?

    62. Brownie — on 3rd March, 2010 at 5:07 pm  

      Sunny,

      I’m not asking you about your feeling towards CP. I know how you feel about CP. You told us. You said they “leave a bad taste in my mouth”.

      Those questions again:

      So if CP leave a bad taste in your mouth, do you think it’s right that AI should be describing them as a “leading human rights organizaion” and collaborating with them on briefing documents?

      So you see, pointing me in the direction of a thread where you don’t address either question is no answer at all. But I think you know this already.

    63. David T — on 3rd March, 2010 at 5:12 pm  

      “Why is HP praising a known anti-Muslim bigot?”

      Tell you what. Write the article explaining who this man is and why you have a problem with him, and I’ll tell you what I think.

      The only information I have on him is that he is a man who has converted from Islam to Christianity, receives death threats for that reason, and campaigns for other Christians in a similar situation.

    64. Chris Williams — on 3rd March, 2010 at 5:14 pm  

      Lips?

    65. Brownie — on 3rd March, 2010 at 5:17 pm  

      Arseholes?

    66. Chris Williams — on 3rd March, 2010 at 5:19 pm  

      To the uninitiated - sorry I keep banging on about this question, it’s just that I think it’s possible that David T is in fact the same person as ‘Lucy Lips’ (oh my sides) who posts on HP, and if this is true, then he’s both making an argument in one place and popping up somewhere else in disguise to defend it. This is felt to be unfair.

      Why must David T deny that he is LL, if this is fact not the case? I hear you ask. The answer is easy. DT is a Saucey decent, and according to their standard of argument, anyone who has ever done anything substandard, ever, must RENOUNCE this or be tarred with the brush of badness for ever, or as long as is politically convenient for the government. Personally I feel that this level of debate is ridiculous, but if DT wants to dish it out, he needs to be prepared to take it.

    67. Kulvinder — on 3rd March, 2010 at 5:32 pm  

      If you can’t see what’s wrong with citing the Supreme Leader’s denials as evidence that Iran is NOT developing a nuclear weapon, then I don’t think I can help you. I’m not sure anyone can.

      For clarification i can’t see whats wrong with pointing out the remarks of the man in ultimate charge of the iranian government.

      At best the argument against seems to be little more than but hes a religious leader. Well yes, that is the point of a theocracy. More shame on him, if hes lying, it’ll do little more than highlight the apparent hypocrisy of theocrats.

      Trying to avoid the statements of the person who will ultimately decide on the issue is facile, suggesting those who do bring up those statements are theocrats a malignment and the propositon that those who merely disagree, ‘don’t understand’, besides the point.

    68. Brownie — on 3rd March, 2010 at 5:59 pm  

      This is felt to be unfair

      Careful, Sunny will call you a ‘waaambulance’.

      DT is a Saucey decent, and according to their standard of argument, anyone who has ever done anything substandard, ever, must RENOUNCE this or be tarred with the brush of badness for ever.

      Sort of. If you’ve done or said something that your average gaggle of random persons might agree is objectively ‘bad’, then until this is renounced there is a entitlement to assume that you stand by whatever it was that you said or did.

      I suggest this reflects the way most people would process events, but feel free to dissent.

      I’m guessing you have Begg and his pre-Gitmo proclamations in mind? The analogy is that pre-2001 Begg was a self-avowed Arsenal fan. In recent years, he’s refused to confirm or deny that he remains an Arsenal fan or repudiate his Arsenal-supporting past, but on more than one occasion he’s been seen hanging around the Emirates Stadium on a Saturday afternoon wearing a red and white scarf.

      Our relative positions are that we’ve concluded he remains an Arsenal fan whereas you think he might just as easily be a Cowdenbeath supporter.

      It’s a free country…just about.

    69. Brownie — on 3rd March, 2010 at 6:05 pm  

      Trying to avoid the statements of the person who will ultimately decide on the issue is facile, suggesting those who do bring up those statements are theocrats

      Er, it’s not a question of whether such statements can or should be avoided, rather how much credibility you attach to them. You can treat the comments with the contempt I suggest they deserive, or you can attribute great importance and use the statements to underpin a particular argument. Hassan is doing the latter, by the way.

      And who has levelled the “theocrat” accusation? We’re not suggesting those who place great stock by the proclamations of the Supreme Leader are “theocrats”; we’re suggesting they’re either fools or knaves.

    70. Earwicga — on 3rd March, 2010 at 7:50 pm  

      @ Brownie re. your comment at 68.

      “He [Uthman] offered Islamic justifications for the attacks [of 9/11], which both Feroz and I argued fiercely against. We said that it was unlawful in Islam to target a place where there are women and children, or uninvolved civillians.”

      “But the Prophet, peace be upon him, prohibited Muslim armies from deliberately targeting women, children, old men, priests, and civilians in general; he forbade the burning down of trees. He outlawed the use of torture, causing death by fire, and the mutilation of enemy dead. … There’s nothing conducive to fearing God in killing women and children, Uthman. The criminals, Muslim or not, are not our teachers. When they commit rape against our women, like in Bosnia, are you now telling me that we also should rape their women in retaliation, “transgressing against the transgressor”?”

      Guess the author. The date was 2004.

    71. The Common Humanist — on 3rd March, 2010 at 8:30 pm  

      For myself I think Mehdi was caught having it all ways.

      Yes, he did criticise Muslims for not integrating etc which is to be welcomed.

      But he also did as David T describes, use base insults and be pretty effing offensive to non-muslims. Calling people who are none muslims cattle is pretty shite.

      Cake and eat it moment for sure. Gets to be a sound progressive and an reactionary Islamist in the same speech.

    72. mostly harmless — on 3rd March, 2010 at 10:58 pm  

      Hey Chris - I asked DT on the GG fascist post if he and LL were the same person - the post didn’t stay up for long!

    73. Joseph W — on 4th March, 2010 at 12:31 am  

      Regarding Patrick Sookhdeo: I knew about Sookhdeo principally through his campaigns calling for the abolition of the apostasy law, and his defence of persecuted Christian converts in Muslim-majority countries. As a Jewish Christian, I’m well aware that the Israeli Far Right are pushing for equivalent apostasy laws against Jews who change their beliefs, and so I feel a strong affinity with Muslims who change their beliefs to those which differ from the state religion.

      In addition, I doubted the motive of those who opposed Sookhdeo, given their simplistic and theologically-driven position on Palestine - not least Ben White’s definition of Hezbollah as a nationalist not Islamist party whom Christians may pray for to have victory.

      I wrote about Sookhdeo as I knew him principally as an activist against the apostasy law, and I was unaware of his work with Spencer, whom I definitely don’t endorse. In turn of course Spencer’s alliance with the fascists of Vlaams Belang are outrageous. It’s fair enough that you pointed that out, but then again i don’t stand by each of Sookhdeo’s public statements and theological beliefs any more than you stand by all of Ben White’s.

      Considering you say you’d “praise any nutjob against nukes”, and you consider Sookhdeo a nutjob, then I trust you’ll at least praise his stance on the apostasy law - as I did.

    74. Brownie — on 4th March, 2010 at 1:49 am  

      So no answer on the questions of AI’s partnership with CP in 2007, at least this side of your jaunt to the far east.

      Well, have a nice trip and I look forward to your responses when you return. Or absent those, I look forward to throwing back in your face every demand to answer questions that you make of others.

      Bon voyage!

    75. earwicga — on 4th March, 2010 at 2:08 am  

      @ Brownie re. 70

      The author is Moazzam Begg.

    76. steve — on 4th March, 2010 at 8:37 am  

      I think it’s possible that David T is in fact the same person as ‘Lucy Lips’ (oh my sides) who posts on HP, and if this is true, then he’s both making an argument in one place and popping up somewhere else in disguise to defend it. This is felt to be unfair.

      not just unfair - if true, it would be a disingenuous attempt to pretend that there is more than one person who thinks Mehdi Hasan is some sort of extremist. As it stands, the only two people who believe what David Toube is saying are David Toube and some bloke who calls himself ‘Lucy Lips’, whose other posts on HP Sauce are both written in the same style and share the same obsessions that David Toube has previously manifested - Toube also posts on HP Sauce a lot less than he used to.

      So Mr Toube - do you post as Lucy Lips? And if so, why?

    77. Shatterface — on 4th March, 2010 at 9:20 am  

      Hasan: ‘Hilarious. I’m glad that you all have so much time on your hands that you can spend the entire morning speculating on whether I do or don’t hold certain views. Do you not have lives? Jobs?’

      I’ll leave it to others to judge if you are a fellow traveller with Islamists but you are clearly a snob.

    78. Chris Williams — on 4th March, 2010 at 9:50 am  

      Brownie (back so soon? How was the Kush?), would that I were only referring to Begg: in fact, as we both know, the will-you-condemnathon has a long and inglorious history in the annals of Deceny.

      David Toube, are you the sock-puppett ‘Lucy Lips’, or not?

    79. Brownie — on 4th March, 2010 at 11:05 am  

      “He [Uthman] offered Islamic justifications for the attacks [of 9/11], which both Feroz and I argued fiercely against. We said that it was unlawful in Islam to target a place where there are women and children, or uninvolved civillians.”

      But as for those *involved* civilians…

    80. earwicga — on 4th March, 2010 at 11:55 am  

      The second quote quite clearly says

      “and civilians in general”

      As for the “uninvolved civillians” - that would include everybody on the planes so that rules out Moazzam Begg endorsing anything about 9/11. And terrorism against any civillian.

    81. Brownie — on 4th March, 2010 at 2:22 pm  

      As for the “uninvolved civillians” – that would include everybody on the planes so that rules out Moazzam Begg endorsing anything about 9/11.

      Oh, I’m well aware there has never been a public endorsement of 9/11 from Begg.

      And terrorism against any civillian.

      Nope. A quick lesson in logic for you: if you believe there is such a thing as “uninvolved” civilians, then a necessary corollary is that you accept the existence of “involved” civilians. The qualifier “uninvolved” has no relevance otherwise.

      What could he mean by “involved” civilians, I wonder? Hmmm…

      Of course, Begg/CP could clarify their beliefs by answering the questions Kerbaj posed before the Times ran thier article. They chose not to do so. Maybe they were busy with huan rights related activity, but I’m drawing my own conclusions.

    82. Asim Abbas — on 4th March, 2010 at 3:25 pm  

      Is there a loop on this issue, it’s like a sin wave, everyone gets there knickers in a twist about what was said and who was supported, it all dies down, the knickers un-twist only for people to start twisting once again!!

      The Common Humanist: “Gets to be a sound progressive and an reactionary Islamist in the same speech.” That is quite an achievement if that was the intention. I’m not sure how it is even achieveable - I was at the speech in Manchester and at no point did I get the impression he was trying to insult or condemn. By taking it out of context, which everyone seems to do, it is easy to take it that way.

      The main point which I’ve made elsewhere and others have too is that like any religion, if you deny the existence of God - you are worthy of being condemned. Now as atheists you may find that offensive - but honestly, why do you care? You condemn those who believe in God all the time.

      Also, it was surprising to see how many people took offence to the use of the term “Kaffir,” I guess I missed the part of life where that became an offensive word - but if that’s the situation then fair enough.

      Lastly, with regards to Khameni and support for his fatwa, like Sunny says, even if a nutjob was against nuclear weapons I would support the claim, regardless of it’s veracity.

      Anyway, I wait for the next untwisting and twisting circle - usually takes around 3-4mths.

    83. Kulvinder — on 4th March, 2010 at 4:34 pm  

      Hassan is doing the latter, by the way.

      Yes, so?

      And who has levelled the “theocrat” accusation? We’re not suggesting those who place great stock by the proclamations of the Supreme Leader are “theocrats”; we’re suggesting they’re either fools or knaves.

      Oh please, grow a backbone, if you want to make an accusation stand by it. The inference both in this thread (#40 etc) and previously has been that Mehdi Hasan is an islamist.

      Inferring he is one whilst appearing shocked when others criticise the tone taken is little more than cowardice.

      Have the courage of your convictions.

    84. Brownie — on 4th March, 2010 at 6:07 pm  

      Kulvinder,

      I haven’t called Hassan an “Islamist” for the very good reason that I don’t believe he is one. (Believe me, if I did think him one, my backbone is sufficiently strong to carry the burden of calling him one.)

      None of the HP authors has called him an “Islamist”. You’ll struggle to find evidence to the contrary because it doesn’t exist. In fact, from one of the three posts about Hassan last year:

      “Hasan is not an Islamist. Indeed, he has clearly written and spoken of his opposition to the idea of an “Islamic State” as well as criticising Wahhabi and Takfiri groups.”

      So even when we say something explicitly, you still manage to misrepresent us as having said the opposite. You must have to work hard to become this adept at dissembling.

      Of course, Hassan used the same tactic. In repsonse to our series of posts about him, he replied using his own blog space at the NS site. Did he engage with our points? Why no, he defended himself against charges he was an “Islamist”. Indeed, such charges were levelled at him by some commenters, but not by HP or its authors.

      Not everyone noticed that Hassan sidestepped the points made in our blog posts and instead chose to respond to accusations levelled at him by some wingnut commenters, but some of us did. Of course, Hassan dressed this up as a “response” to HP, when of course it was nothing of the sort. It’s like me tackling a post by Sunny on PP by writing a counter at HP that focuses exclusively on something Douglas “mad as a March Hare” Clark says in the comments.

      Dishonest, in other words.

    85. Brownie — on 4th March, 2010 at 6:13 pm  

      Thanks for the link to Hasan’s “response”, by the way. It reminded me that his “response” to a series of articles where we stated explicitly “Hasan is not an Islamist” was an article with the title “Who are you calling an Islamist?”.

      You couldn’t write this, but he does anyway.

    86. Stanislaw — on 4th March, 2010 at 10:54 pm  

      “an article promoting Patrick Sookhdeo. The very same who contributed to a book titled ‘The Myth of Islamic Tolerance’,”

      Islamic tolerance IS largely a myth, and it’s not bigotry to state it; it’s merely dishonesty or ignorance to deny it. There have been times and places where Muslim treatment of Christians and Jews was better than the other way round, but there have also been plenty of times when it has been worse. muslim rule in supposedly enlightened Spain, for instance, was often very brutal towards Jews and Christians, and the Moors were expelling Jews from Spain long before Isabella and Ferdinand did.

      Can any of you seriously deny that Muslim countries on the whole are less tolerant of non-Muslims than non-Muslim countries on the whole are tolerant of Muslims?

      The man you cheaply refer to as a bigot, Sunny, is someone who converted from Islam to Christianity and is subsequently under death threat for apostasy.

      In any case, even White’s critical review of Sookhdeo’s book doesn’t make the case that he is a bigot. Your attempt to suggest Sookhdeo is some kind of equivalent to Awlaki and co seems to proceed from a mix of desperation and ignorance.

      I’d like to see you make an actual case against Sookhdeo using his own words. Perhaps you can point to where he advocates killing or subjugating Muslims, for instance, or where he rants about Jews, or praises terrorism, or calls for a war against Muslim.

      His work is to gain for Christians in Muslim countries freedom from persecution. In case you still don’t know about that, here’s are a few cases of such persecution, including a Christian couple sent to jail for 25 years for ‘touching the Koran with dirty hands’. Another Christian in Pakistan has just been jailed for life for sending a blasphemous SMS.

      http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Punjab:-Christian-couple-touches-Qur%E2%80%98an-with-dirty-hands,-gets-25-years-in-prison-17778.html

      Shame on you, a self-styled progressive, for trying to smear as a bigot someone who works to end obscene human rights abuses like this and who has never advocated violence.

    87. Kulvinder — on 4th March, 2010 at 10:59 pm  

      “Hasan is not an Islamist” was an article with the title “Who are you calling an Islamist?”.

      ‘Oh please, grow a backbone, if you want to make an accusation stand by it. The inference both in this thread (#40 etc) and previously has been that Mehdi Hasan is an islamist.

      Inferring he is one whilst appearing shocked when others criticise the tone taken is little more than cowardice.’

    88. Brownie — on 4th March, 2010 at 11:27 pm  

      Is this a first? Harry’s Place being accused of NOT calling someone an Islamist when they think that person is one?

      I don’t think you’re going to get much support round these parts for an argument that Harry’s Place is overly coy about calling a spade a spade. I’ll say it again: if we thought Hasan was an Islamist, we’d call him one. Rest assured.

      Oh, I think you need to acquaint yourself with the definition of “infer”, by the way.

    89. Kulvinder — on 5th March, 2010 at 12:33 am  

      Oh, I think you need to acquaint yourself with the definition of “infer”, by the way.

      I’d be happy to; in return you need to look up the colloquial use of ‘loon’.

    90. douglas clark — on 5th March, 2010 at 12:48 am  

      Brownie,

      I note a propensity for the ‘we’ pronoun coming from you these days. What are you, the voice of Harry’s Place? (With the disclaimer obviously, that the comments column ‘may contain nuts’?)

      And you are not, by me at least, being accused of calling a spade a spade. You are being accused by me of running a site which throws mud around in the hope that some of it will stick.

    91. The Common Humanist — on 5th March, 2010 at 12:58 am  

      Asim

      So what is the context he is using then?

      Having watched the vids it seems pretty clear - takes the audience to task over integration then goes off on the non muslims are cattle riff.

      People keep banging on about how the context is important and this makes the speech not insulting to non muslims but I haven’t actually seen an explanation and certainly Mehdi hasn’t bother. Indeed, as Brownie points out he answers one of the nutters in the comments section. Nice smoke and mirrors. If he wasn’t having it both ways, why the reluctance to explain?

      If a non muslim or white person at a position of power at a leading progressive newspaper had said something similar about muslims would people on PP be so sanguine?

      I rather suspect not (and rightly so) so why the lower standard here?

      Cheers

      TCH

    92. Asim Abbas — on 5th March, 2010 at 1:16 pm  

      TCH:

      He also calls muslims cattle as well in defining their ignorance - so how do you explain that?

      Also, what is your view on atheists? If you are a muslim, surely you agree that to deny the existence of God is the greatest sin and worthy of condemnation??

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