Demos report: The Edge of Violence


by Rumbold
19th April, 2010 at 8:14 am    

I have been reading Demos’ recently published report, The Edge of Violence: a radical approach to extremism. The report focused on radicalism and terrorism in Muslim communities in Europe and Canada, and examined the relationship and difference between non-violent radicals and radicals who are terrorists. The reports shows the difference between non-violent radicals (who, for example, might call for a Caliphate but don’t advocate a violent revolution) and radicals who become terrorists or support terrorism in the West. With these findings, the report’s authors make some recommendations on how Al-Qaeda inspired/linked terrorism can be combated the West, and how British Muslims can be turned from this path; this is what I am going to focus on.

The report found that non-violent radicals (henceforth radicals) often have a greater understanding of Islamic jurisprudence to support their views, while terrorists tended to quote and misquote selectively from a few sources, including the Qur’an. The authors recommend a greater focus on open debate about Islamic theological issues, as has been tried in countries like Saudi Arabia. This would take place not just in the media but at a local level, in town halls, mosques and in similar venues. This seems like a good idea, as we rarely see experts in Islamic theology on our screens or in our newspapers, with the media preferring to give space to extremist voices who then become representative of Islam in the eyes of some on the public. We on Pickled Politics have found that this has worked with the likes of the BNP, who like to avoid detailed challenges to their policies and ideologies, instead preferring to focus on broad, simplistic slogans.

What should be the role of the government in all this? The authors caution against too much government interference in some areas; ministers and the state need to be careful not to try and define what Islamic ideology is. As they recognise, Muslims too closely associated with the government can be painted as Western dupes. Yet there is still a large role for the government, from counter-terrorism to funding certain groups.

Demos’ report does make a number of criticisms of the present strategy. It argues that current Prevent model, which aims to stop Muslims turning to terrorism, is spread too widely; counter-terrorism measures should be kept clearly separate from policies designed to reduce poverty, as there is little evidence that poverty in the West makes Muslims more likely to turn to terrorism.

Part of terrorism’s appeal in the West has always been that it is seen as an act of rebellion against the system, and this understandably attracts people who want to rebel. Once again, the authors recommend open and informed debate as part of the solution, rather than cracking down. The more Al-Qaeda is seen as a mysterious and dangerous brand, goes the argument, the more attractive it will be to disaffected youth. The response should be to challenge it, to mock it, and to point out the comic errors of many of its devotees. In short, make it a laughing stock. There is also plenty of overlap between the way some terrorists act and the way some gangs act, so the authors recommend using successful anti-gang initiatives to target terrorists too.

There are a number of other recommendations, from the creation of a US-style Peace Corps (where the state would pay for Muslims to go out to Muslim lands to work as volunteers there) to mandatory English standards for imams. The report generally envisages a greater role for Muslims themselves in counter-terrorist activity, whether as informants or as calming influences. Its most controversial aspect is the role it envisages for radicals.

As the report makes clear, its ‘radicals’ do not advocate violence in the West, or in any non-Muslim lands. Yet a number of those interviewed support the right of Muslims to fight against NATO forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, though most did not encourage non Iraqi/Afghan Muslims to travel to these lands to fight. Whatever you think of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, given the widely publicised murderous behaviour of the two main ‘resistance’ forces (the Taliban and Al Qaeda) and their frequent use of suicide bombers to deliberately murder civilians (mostly Muslim ones), this is disturbing. If those fighting NATO troops actually were a national resistance, and tried their best to minimise civilian causalities, such support would be understandable, but they are not.

In fairness to the authors, they are trying to investigate how a perfect British counter-terrorist strategy would function; they make explicit reference to this, and are at pains to point out that they are not interested in what is moral, but what works. Their argument is that for many terrorists, the radical voice is more convincing and given that these radicals denounce terrorism in Britain, the British government should use them to help steer terrorists/potential terrorists away from violence.

The authors are perhaps correct. Successfully defeating a group driven by ideology usually involves drawing more moderate members of that group in the sphere of the state (such as happened with the IRA). It is difficult to defeat terrorists using purely military means (the recent war in Sri Lanka shows that you have to be willing to inflict significant civilian causalities in a short period). Yet it still leaves a bad taste in the mouth, and in some ways is a return to counter-terrorist policy in the 1990s, when Islamist radicals were largely left to their own devices providing they weren’t openly calling for jihad in Britain.

I would recommend reading the executive summary and suggestions; it is an interesting piece with plenty of good ideas about how to tackle a very thorny issue (and could provide some tips for other counter-terrorist policies, such as those dealing with white supremacists). I would have like to have seen more criticism of how the media help to demonise and stereotype Muslims, but that was probably outside of the report’s remit.

I do however remain unconvinced by their stance on radical participation; for those who have denounced suicide bombings, then it is probably a good idea to bring them on board to help steer Muslims away from terrorism. For those who are ambivalent or supportive of people who deliberately target crowded market places to kill as many civilians as possible, then they should be kept away from any official position of power.


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  1. pickles

    Blog post:: Demos report: The Edge of Violence http://bit.ly/bvTDG2


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    Reading: Demos report: The Edge of Violence: I have been reading Demos’ recently published report, The Edge of Vio… http://bit.ly/9GH6y7


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  1. Gsirrah — on 19th April, 2010 at 10:53 am  

    It would indeed be interesting to apply this logic to far right extremism, although I fear Demos might not like the results. Would they really want to empower “non-violent radicals” like the BNP to challenge the violence of Combat 18?

  2. soru — on 19th April, 2010 at 11:21 am  

    Isn’t this basically a return to the ‘go bomb someone else’ strategy of the 1990s?

  3. sofia — on 19th April, 2010 at 11:32 am  

    Why are radicals those who call for a Khaliphate?

  4. boyo — on 19th April, 2010 at 11:44 am  

    Undoubtedly a useful contribution and probably on the money vis reducing actual violence.

    The “problem” is another kind of blowback – by supporting “peaceful” radicals one is achieving many of the goals of the terrorists (harder-line preaching and practice for example, even more worryingly the likelihood of further self-segregation by the Muslim community).

    What’s more important therefore for England? Chronic terrorism alongside a diverse Muslim population that ranges from hardline to liberal, or no terrorism but a more segregated and politically coherent Muslim block that asserts its identity more firmly not just on its own people but Britain as a whole?

    What’s the “progressive” response to that? ;-)

  5. sofia — on 19th April, 2010 at 11:53 am  

    what muslim ‘community’ ..it really pisses me off when people talk of a ‘community’ like we’re some ‘muslim block’..there is no COMMUNITY..maybe if people got past piss poor labelling then that would actually be a step forward

  6. cjcjc — on 19th April, 2010 at 12:22 pm  

    Why are radicals those who call for a Khaliphate?

    Indeed.
    Fascists would be a more accurate term.

  7. damon — on 19th April, 2010 at 12:48 pm  

    sofia, don’t your last two posts contradict each other a bit?

    From wikipedia:
    ”The term caliphate (from the Arabic خلافة or khilāfa) refers to the first system of governance established in Islam, and represented the political authority and unity of the Muslim Ummah.”

    First, wanting a caliphate is quite radical isn’t it?
    And that word Ummah means community I thought.

    In Dublin at the mosque for friday prayers it certainly feels like a community when the hundreds of guys all squeeze in there. And keep turning up and turning up until no more people can fit inside.
    And outside afterwards all standing around talking and shaking hands.

    But they’re are nearly all first generation immigrants from north African and the middle east, and their culture is very sociable like that (it seems).

  8. boyo — on 19th April, 2010 at 1:08 pm  

    Sophia’s point is a fair one – it may not necessarily be radical to yearn for a Caliphate. There is a question however, how well those who do so fit in to the English community ;-)

  9. douglas clark — on 19th April, 2010 at 1:26 pm  

    boyo @ 8,

    Dunno about that. At one point I thought a world government was the answer. Didn’t seem particularily controversial to hold that opinion. ‘Course I probably just saw it as just Westminster on a world platform. None of the baggage that appears to come with the Caliphate…

  10. platinum786 — on 19th April, 2010 at 1:38 pm  

    A few points I want to pick up on.

    As the report makes clear, its ‘radicals’ do not advocate violence in the West, or in any non-Muslim lands. Yet a number of those interviewed support the right of Muslims to fight against NATO forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, though most did not encourage non Iraqi/Afghan Muslims to travel to these lands to fight. Whatever you think of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, given the widely publicised murderous behaviour of the two main ‘resistance’ forces (the Taliban and Al Qaeda) and their frequent use of suicide bombers to deliberately murder civilians (mostly Muslim ones), this is disturbing. If those fighting NATO troops actually were a national resistance, and tried their best to minimise civilian causalities, such support would be understandable, but they are not.

    You don’t have be a lunatic to support the right of Afghans and Iraqi’s to fight occupying forces. Whenever people from the western world talk about the wars and wish to support their opinion they disregard all the negatives of occupying forces and start with terms such as “Whatever you think of the wars” etc. It’s an innocent term that brushes aside mass murder. Yet if a Muslim is to oppose the occupation of a Muslim country and support even morally the right of the occupants of that land to fight the occupiers, the morality of the occupant resisting is put under the spotlight. Afghanistan is a country run by warlords, wether they wear military fatigues, or sit in parliament or in caves sporting turbans. Who cares about the morality of the Taliban? The likes of Karzai and Dostum and Ismael Khan are hardly any better. Some use god as an exucse for their crimes, others power and others wealth (Karzai family drug running). Nobody wanted to know about the morality of the Northern Alliance when they supported you take Afghanistan, why should those opposing that occupation give a damn about the morality of those resisting the occupation.

    Both points of view are wrong, they make a mockery of human life, so why the holier than thou attitude?

    Who says all Taliban are bloody thirsty religious fanatics? What about those who protect US convoys in exchange for dollars? what about those who work government jobs and then fight the same government on the weekends? The only reason you could have to over simplify such a complicated issue is to hide the truth, or hide from the truth.

    Secondly, ummah and Caliphates. I want one of those, what’s your problem with it? It’s odd how many of you are all bothered by it. You don’t even know what one is, you simply assume you do.

    Ummah does mean community, and yeah Muslims do exist as a community, but the reference to Muslim community wrt extremism is stupid. It’s like saying the white community has an issue with asbo’s and the black community has an issue with knife crime. Some parts of those communities do, however the same issues expand across other communities, and other parts of the community are untouched by these issues.

    As for caliphate. We can’t have one in England you’ll be pleased to know, it’s not a muslim majority state.

    Funnily enough it’s probably closer to a model of one that a lot of Muslim countries. You all hear about cutting of hands for stealing, but nobody is ever told of the criteria to have a welfare system in a state to eliminate the need to steal. In britain i don’t think anyone needs to steal to survive, is the same true in Pakistan? or Sudan? or Afghanistan? even Saudi Arabia.

    I don’t see why people are so concerned about a single state across the majority Muslim world, with laws based around the socially acceptable standards of that society (their religion). Kind of what the EU is becoming with secularism.

  11. boyo — on 19th April, 2010 at 2:41 pm  

    “Who says all Taliban are bloody thirsty religious fanatics? What about those who protect US convoys in exchange for dollars?”

    Well, they’re probably not bloodthirsty religious fanatics? ;-)

    “You all hear about cutting of hands for stealing, but nobody is ever told of the criteria to have a welfare system in a state to eliminate the need to steal. In britain i don’t think anyone needs to steal to survive, is the same true in Pakistan? or Sudan? or Afghanistan? even Saudi Arabia.”

    So you’re saying that limb removal is necessary because people are so desperate? “Even in Saudi Arabia”?!

    The trouble with the Islamist argument is that, like Marxism, it cannot be properly addressed because the Islamist will always say – “well that’s not proper Islam”, right Platinum?

    Trouble is, it never will be, Or it will always be someone elses fault – and you can guess who that will be…

    And so what’s the problem with the Caliphate? To a Westerner my guess is that it is the Islamist’s vision of one – where half the population (and never mind the gays) will be reduced to second class status, inequalities and inadequacies that lead to, say, theft will be addressed by the knife, and when it all turns to crap (if that isn’t crap enough already) it will never, ever be the fault of the rulers but the West.

    Good enough for you, or am I “misunderstanding” your righteous vision? ;-)

  12. earwicga — on 19th April, 2010 at 2:51 pm  

    The trouble with the Islamist argument is that, like Marxism, it cannot be properly addressed because the Islamist will always say – “well that’s not proper Islam”, right Platinum?

    Is this not addressed in the OP?

  13. platinum786 — on 19th April, 2010 at 3:15 pm  

    So you’re saying that limb removal is necessary because people are so desperate? “Even in Saudi Arabia”?!

    I think your confused by what I meant. I was stating the opposite. How can you justify mutilation for theft, IF you as a state are not providing for the survival of the citizen?

    As for “it’s not proper Islam”, again the problem is you making assumptions. If a state was to be created, do you really think it’d be right wing religious nuts who’d be at the centre of such a union? Also nice little dig at the marxists, they may same the same thing about democracy and FPTP or our “anti terror” laws where your guilty till your not Muslim.

  14. sofia — on 19th April, 2010 at 3:15 pm  

    Damon I was actually asking a question …did you not see the question mark? I was asking this because it would make a lot of muslims ‘radicals’ so I just wanted some clarification…

    The reason I hate the use of the term ‘muslim community’ is because it leads to the assumptions that feed into policies and discourse that don’t always work…such as ‘talking to leaders of the muslim community’

    So being part of the European ‘community’ implies that we should all be analysed in the same way??

    I love the way ‘British Muslims’ need to be prevented from violent extremism….I’m muslim and I’m British in no particular order, i’m also female, Asian and disabled..again in no particular order..why do I need to be prevented from violent extremism and why should I be defined by one identity?

    The very fact you get people on here who happen to be muslim saying they don’t agree with certain interpretations of Islam means there is no such thing as one community. It is a set of communities held together by basic common beliefs…there is space and flexibility within that to have a difference of opinion.

  15. Shatterface — on 19th April, 2010 at 3:59 pm  

    ‘Funnily enough it’s probably closer to a model of one that a lot of Muslim countries. You all hear about cutting of hands for stealing, but nobody is ever told of the criteria to have a welfare system in a state to eliminate the need to steal. In britain i don’t think anyone needs to steal to survive, is the same true in Pakistan? or Sudan? or Afghanistan? even Saudi Arabia.’

    I’m not sure that even begins to make sense. Are you saying that, because people in Pakistan and Afghanistan are desperate due to a lack of welfare provision it’s *more* necessary to lop their hands off?

    ‘I don’t see why people are so concerned about a single state across the majority Muslim world, with laws based around the socially acceptable standards of that society (their religion). Kind of what the EU is becoming with secularism.’

    Er, not even slightly. The ‘acceptable standards’ by which governments in Europe are measured are those of the people actually living there, not those of Bronze Aged prophets of non-existent superbeings.

  16. sofia — on 19th April, 2010 at 4:03 pm  

    Shatterface…i think what is being said, is that chopping of hands as punishment cannot be used if the person was for example stealing to feed themselves…this is just an analogy which can be extended to lack of welfare for the most needy in society.

    As for acceptable standards…haha…we are democratic to a point…

  17. sofia — on 19th April, 2010 at 4:04 pm  

    cjcj…what if the khalifate was brought in through a democratic vote?

  18. cjcjc — on 19th April, 2010 at 4:12 pm  

    That’s known as the “tyranny of the majority”.

    What if capital punishment was brought in thus?

    What if the expulsion of all Muslims was?

    See what I mean?

  19. sofia — on 19th April, 2010 at 4:18 pm  

    well seems to me that us democratic nations do a lot under ‘tyranny of the majority’…sometimes we even bypass it and call it ‘national security’

  20. cjcjc — on 19th April, 2010 at 4:23 pm  

    Perhaps – though we manage to hold back from doing away with democracy altogether and replacing it with clerical fascism, don’t we?!

  21. sofia — on 19th April, 2010 at 4:52 pm  

    lol…we just get rid of democracy when it comes to ‘intelligence’ accusing people of terrorism…so a ‘little’ bit of undemocratic behaviour is ok. As for clerical fascism..i want that as much as I want war, hunger and pollution. You define people and think you know what they want. That’s your choice, but then don’t condemn others for doing the same to you.

  22. Naadir Jeewa — on 19th April, 2010 at 5:33 pm  

    Also nice little dig at the Marxists, they may say the same thing about democracy and FPTP or our “anti terror” laws, where you’re guilty until you’re not Muslim.

    I love it. FPTP is problematic, so let’s replace the entire liberal order with a caliphate.

    I myself, will stick with a preference for the alternative vote and PR for the lords.

  23. damon — on 19th April, 2010 at 5:34 pm  

    platinum 789

    Ummah does mean community, and yeah Muslims do exist as a community, but the reference to Muslim community wrt extremism is stupid. It’s like saying the white community has an issue with asbo’s and the black community has an issue with knife crime.

    I agree – whilst taking Sofia’s point @5 too.

    The Khaliphate idea interests me, but I’m really not sure want wanting it (by a western muslim) might mean.
    Is it something like what Tablighi Jamaat advocate?

    That ties into Boyo’s question @8, and the idea of whether what he said there is a legitimate question or not.
    I know there are people who think that it is not.
    And that it’s nobody else’s business if evangelising movements gain sucess on the ground.

    Like with Maori’s in New Zealand converting to Mormonism after having been evangelised by the missionaries … whatever kind of Islam, Judaism or Christanity people might be signing up to in England, is really nobody else’s business.

    If that is an argument that might be put, then it is an interesting one.

    One that it seems that secular liberals often chicken out of, but you get muslims like Yasmin Alibhai-Brown getting really passionate over. And usually completely against the conservative evangelising trend.

    And whilst I don’t always agree with Yasmin AB, in this area I often think she’s right.

  24. Thomas Byrne — on 19th April, 2010 at 5:41 pm  

    Thanks for writing on this Sunny. (I did link it to you after all. ;) )

    It’s worth going back to read the report on Prevent as it shows up that it fails on both fronts – that it alienates those it’s supposed to help, and there’s resentment from other communities, white and non white that they get funding allowing the BNP to jump onto the ‘fair’ funding bandwagon. Alienation because of foreign policy is a key point as well, despite the chap from the Quilliam foundation trying to dismiss that comparing here to American, as you can imagine that’s to be expected given the different perceptions the American media have of issues in the Middle East.

    The Tories are going to reform it that the funding goes on need and how effective it is, hopefully you can get that across to your side!

  25. Thomas Byrne — on 19th April, 2010 at 5:42 pm  

    Ah, I just realised it wasn’t Sunny writing this, silly me. :P

  26. Sarah AB — on 19th April, 2010 at 5:54 pm  

    I do think that Islam gets scrutinised disproportionately – eg people fret that Muslims want to convert people when I’m sure the same is true of Catholics – and people also fret that Muslims – or radicals perhaps I should say – want to change the nature of society in an unacceptable way, but perhaps don’t focus so much on the equally radical views of some far left parties.

    But having said that I think I agree, so far, with the arguments against Sofia – but I’d like to hear what she understands by a Caliphate. Could countries opt out like they can from Europe? Would the people of each country be free to vote for a party which favoured such an opt out? If Clerical fascism is bad then how exactly would life in a Caliphate be different? What would life be like for apostates, Jews, gays etc in a Caliphate?

    @platinum @13 – does that mean it would be ok to cut someone’s hand off for theft in a society with a reasonable welfare state? The UK for example?

  27. boyo — on 19th April, 2010 at 7:09 pm  

    Golly Sarah AB every time you post I am reminded of what life would be like in Cameron’s Britain.

    I think I‘d actually prefer to hang out in Platinum’s Caliphate.

  28. Sarah AB — on 19th April, 2010 at 7:15 pm  

    @boyo – how worrying – I’ve never voted anything except Lib Dem or Labour – actually after casting an eye over comments by Dan Dare and IAE on another thread I think I might join you in the Caliphate!

  29. Dan Dare — on 19th April, 2010 at 7:23 pm  

    You’d look very fetching in a burqa Sarah, trailing the regulation ten paces behind your master along with your fellow sisters-in-law.

  30. IAE — on 19th April, 2010 at 7:38 pm  

    Sarah AB @ # 28

    What comment is that you object to then Sarah? And why couldn’t you address it in the appropriate thread with reasoned debate instead?

    “You’d look very fetching in a burqa Sarah, trailing the regulation ten paces behind your master along with your fellow sisters-in-law.”

    And God forbid, Dan, that someone might find her just a little too opinionated and uppity for Islamic society, falsely accuse her of adultery, get another man to lie to confirm it as enough to secure a conviction because a woman’s word and testimony is worthless and then bury her up to her waist as a circus waits to perform after her husband, father and sons join the whole community in stoning her death.

    I seriously suggest you watch this shocking true story for a little insight into that world you find so amusing Sarah AB.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1277737/

    Wake up.

  31. persephone — on 19th April, 2010 at 8:12 pm  

    @8 “There is a question however, how well those who do so fit in to the English community”

    This word ‘fit’ is interesting…

    I often feel that way about jehovahs witnesses. Not a good show to knock on a strangers door on a Sunday morning. And then further poor manners by dropping a leaflet through the door if you ignore them – when they did the latter again recently I was tempted to open the door and ask them why arbitrary leaflet dropping is going to saving the world or humankind – a la environment,that is.

    And I don’t think it fitting when people push in queues.

  32. Ravi.Nk — on 19th April, 2010 at 8:25 pm  

    … life would be like in Cameron’s Britain.

    PP should probably consider setting up a general election thread.

  33. BenSix — on 19th April, 2010 at 8:35 pm  

    I don’t see why people are so concerned about a single state across the majority Muslim world, with laws based around the socially acceptable standards of that society (their religion). Kind of what the EU is becoming with secularism.

    Because secular liberalism – in theory, at least – allows people to speak, write and act in accordance with their will. A people under Islamic law, however, is forced to meet the strict, intrusive standards of another’s doctrine. For a lot of people, this won’t be a problem – it’s a doctrine that they’re sympathetic with. Decide it’s not for you, however, and you’re buggered.

  34. Sarah AB — on 19th April, 2010 at 8:35 pm  

    I find it completely ludicrous that two apparent BNP supporters should suddenly become so anxious about women’s rights

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-552692/Sacked-The-BNP-candidate-said-women-like-gongs–need-struck-regularly.html

  35. IAE — on 19th April, 2010 at 8:49 pm  

    Sarah AB @ # 34

    “I find it completely ludicrous that two apparent BNP supporters should suddenly become so anxious about women’s rights”

    Really? Why is that then, Sarah?

    Because the very first word of that blaring headline you linked to rather gives away the game: SACKED.

    The report then goes on say…

    “Richard Barnbrook, the party’s London leader, said Mr Eriksen’s views were ‘totally and absolutely abhorrent’ and he would be disciplined.”

    … and so he was; he was sacked immediately.

    So what was your actual point Sarah?

    (Add to the swift action against this fool the high number of female BNP councilors already and female candidates in the forthcoming election and I think the real attitude of that party is demonstrated amply.

    By the way, I am rather surprised that you are a Daily Mail reader.)

    So that distraction out of the way Sarah:

    Which comment is that has you all hot and bothered?

    Why didn’t you address it on the appropriate thread?

    And what do you think of the very true scenario I have described above? Something you still find attractive and amusing?

  36. Niels Christensen — on 19th April, 2010 at 8:56 pm  

    The reason why a Caliphate seems ridiculous to most western europeans is of course that we have lived side by side of the communist eastern europe. And funny enough there are strong rhetorical similarities between communist new speak and islamist newspeak. Both create their own world through a closed language and shun the reality that don’t fits in.
    The best cure is watching ‘Das Leben das Anderen’
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Das-Leben-Anderen-Martina-Gedeck/dp/B000GNOOQ2

  37. KB Player — on 19th April, 2010 at 8:59 pm  

    BenSix@33

    Yeah, imagine if the EU was how Europe used to be – Christendom, with an immensely powerful religion calling the shots.

  38. Sunny — on 19th April, 2010 at 9:01 pm  

    That’s known as the “tyranny of the majority”.

    Hold on, you were only last week arguing for the targeted assassination of Awalaki – and now you’re concerned about the majority vote? What a joke.

    Several US states have the death penalty. AFAIK no one calls them fascist states.

  39. Rumbold — on 19th April, 2010 at 9:06 pm  

    Heh BenSix.

    Sofia:

    Calling for a Caliphate does make one a radical. It doesn’t mean that said radical is a threat to society, but calling for the introduction of a theocratic state is radical.

    Platinum786:

    As I said in my piece, I have no inherant objection to the principle of a national liberation army, as it is perfectly understandable why people would want to fight those who they saw as invaders. But to voice support for the present anti-NATO forces is just wrong; these forces have killed more Iraqis and Afghans then the Americans/NATO ever will.

  40. Dan Dare — on 19th April, 2010 at 9:24 pm  

    SarahAB @34

    I find it completely ludicrous that two apparent BNP supporters should suddenly become so anxious about women’s rights

    This may come a complete revelation but even BNP supporters have mothers, daughters, sisters and wives too you know.

    Why would anyone with their female relatives’ welfare in mind greet the prospect of an Islamic caliphate in Europe with the warmth and eagerness that you appear to be doing?

  41. Ravi.Nk — on 19th April, 2010 at 9:44 pm  

    This may come a complete revelation but even BNP supporters have mothers, daughters, sisters and wives too you know.

    Are you saying that Nick Eriksen – the BNP trooper who said there is no such thing as rape attacks against women because they should be enjoying it – does not have a mother, or that he can’t possibly be sexist because he has a mother – and possibly a wife, sister and a daughter?

    Both assertions seem absurd.

  42. KB Player — on 19th April, 2010 at 9:55 pm  

    I’d campaign for a Caliphate. That means all the clerics, fanatics, misogynists and theocrats will be in one place, while the liberals, scientists, artists, feminists and writers – the dissidents in fact – will all flee to the West. A gain all round. I mean, a place where Anjem Choudary would like to move to is obviously a place where most sane people wouldn’t. In the 1930s gangs of intellectuals fled from Nazi Germany and occupied Europe and greatly enriched the creative and intellectual life of the UK and USA. Bring on that Caliphate!

  43. IAE — on 19th April, 2010 at 10:02 pm  

    Naik @ # 41

    Eriksen was immediately fired by the BNP for his idiotic and hugely offensive remarks and he did not represent that party in his utterances nor its membership anymore then, say MacLennan represented the Labour party or its members with his comments last week of OAP’s being ‘coffin dodgers’, ‘slave-grown’ fruit being the best or the various expletives used to describe political figures.

    So what is your actual point? That anyone can be a misogynist?

  44. Ravi.Nk — on 19th April, 2010 at 11:21 pm  

    So what is your actual point? That anyone can be a misogynist?

    That having a mother, a daughter, a sister or a wife doesn’t make you less likely to be a misogynist.

    Calling for a Caliphate does make one a radical. It doesn’t mean that said radical is a threat to society, but calling for the introduction of a theocratic state is radical.

    Totally agreed.

  45. damon — on 20th April, 2010 at 1:01 am  

    What would interest me most platinum786 would be what to make of change in any part of society that was going more this way …. like how boyo mentioned it in post 8:

    Sophia’s point is a fair one – it may not necessarily be radical to yearn for a Caliphate. There is a question however, how well those who do so fit in to the English community.

    To dismiss it as nobody’s business? And describe all this talk that went on about a so called ”megga mosque” in East London, as negative islamophobic comment?
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article6991808.ece
    Much of it might have been islamophobic – but it’s OK (isn’t it) to be against those who want to spread salafism into the wider population?

    It sounds though perhaps like that’s where things move over into Harry’s Place territory. So it becomes easy to dismiss anything said from that qurater.

  46. question — on 20th April, 2010 at 2:08 am  

    Where do Orthodox Jewish men who every morning say “”Blessed art thou, O God, for not making me a Gentile, a slave, or a woman” fit into this whole misogyny debate?

  47. Sarah AB — on 20th April, 2010 at 7:01 am  

    @DD and IAE – my comment about the Caliphate was obviously facetious – I joined the thread at 26 to ask implicitly critical questions – though they were genuine questions as I couldn’t square some of the other things sofia was saying with her interest in a Caliphate.

    DD – you revealed something of your true attitude to women in the way you addressed a female commenter on the BNP thread – 324 and 330 for example.

    Here’s another link with more about BNP policies:
    http://www.nothingbritish.com/02/there-is-nothing-british-about-misogyny/

  48. bananabrain — on 20th April, 2010 at 9:25 am  

    Where do Orthodox Jewish men who every morning say “”Blessed art thou, O God, for not making me a Gentile, a slave, or a woman” fit into this whole misogyny debate?

    this is nothing to do with misogyny and everything to do with ignorance. it is about what we call the “yoke of Torah”, in other words, the obligation to observe the 613 miswoth or commandments. i am thankful for having been born into the covenant which obliges me (although, with some of the people here around the place, i often wonder why) but nonetheless, as a free-born jewish man:

    1. i have the opportunity to demonstrate my love of G!D by observing 613 commandments, rather than the 7 demanded of non-jews.
    2. i have the opportunity to demonstrate my love of G!D by observing the positive time-bound commandments (such as the set timings for morning, afternoon and evening prayers) from which women are exempt. (some people also note that, as a jewish man, jewish women – or mrs bananabrain at any rate – are consequently available to me, hurrah!)
    3. i have the opportunity to demonstrate my love of G!D free from the demands of any master or sovereign but the Divine, which a slave would not be able to do.

    therefore, i thank G!D for Enabling me to have the opportunity to fulfil the commandments concerned.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  49. douglas clark — on 20th April, 2010 at 2:33 pm  

    IAE,

    Try, you worm, checking out who you are debating with at 47.

    You can do that by clicking on her name.

    You are more stupid than stupid.

    In fact, you make stupid look good!

  50. Sarah AB — on 20th April, 2010 at 4:46 pm  

    Cheers Douglas! – Not that I’d claim having a PhD in Eng Lit helps much when it comes to politics necessarily …

    IAE – I unequivocally condemn such horrific acts of violence – I think my original questions to sofia and platinum reflect that – I’m not saying they wouldn’t condemn them too though of course.

  51. Dan Dare — on 20th April, 2010 at 4:56 pm  

    @47

    In mitigation I’m going to cop the Sarah AB plea – I was only being facetious.

    I wasn’t really. My response to Persephone’s silliness was because she was obstinately claiming to be something she isn’t, not because she is female.

    I’d be just as rude to any male who acted as gormlessly, just ask Dougie.

  52. persephone — on 20th April, 2010 at 6:19 pm  

    Dan dare @ 47

    “because she was obstinately claiming to be something she isn’t, not because she is female.”

    Can you confirm what I was claiming to be that led you to make the sexist remarks referred to?

    Sarah AB @47 thanks for highlighting that type of behaviour

  53. Sarah AB — on 20th April, 2010 at 7:31 pm  

    Perhaps I was unnecessarily delicate in not naming Persephone – but we aren’t talking about an allegation of a serious crime which may or may not have taken place – we are talking about something which is both completely certain and comparatively very trivial – schoolboy smut.

    I tried to comment a bit earlier but something went wrong so I’ll try again to say …

    Thanks Douglas!

    and

    I completely condemn acts/punishments like the one highlighted in your video IAE, though I didn’t watch it. That should have been fairly obvious from my earlier comments on this thread, surely? I’m sure pretty much everyone commenting here condemns it too – though I’m still waiting to hear back from Platinum wrt mutilation for theft …

  54. Sarah AB — on 20th April, 2010 at 7:32 pm  

    I hope I haven’t been banned. I’ll try again.

    Perhaps I was unnecessarily delicate in not naming Persephone – but we aren’t talking about an allegation of a serious crime which may or may not have taken place – we are talking about something which is both completely certain and comparatively very trivial – schoolboy smut.

    I tried to comment a bit earlier but something went wrong so I’ll try again to say …

    Thanks Douglas!

    and

    I completely condemn acts/punishments like the one highlighted in your video IAE, though I didn’t watch it. That should have been fairly obvious from my earlier comments on this thread, surely? I’m sure pretty much everyone commenting here condemns it too – though I’m still waiting to hear back from Platinum wrt mutilation for theft …

  55. Sarah AB — on 20th April, 2010 at 8:15 pm  

    Reposting. Excuse any duplication.
    Perhaps I was unnecessarily delicate in not naming Persephone – but we aren’t talking about an allegation of a serious crime which may or may not have taken place – we are talking about something which is both completely certain and comparatively very trivial – schoolboy smut.

    I tried to comment a bit earlier but something went wrong so I’ll try again to say …

    Thanks Douglas!

    and

    I completely condemn acts/punishments like the one highlighted in your video IAE, though I didn’t watch it. That should have been fairly obvious from my earlier comments on this thread, surely? I’m sure pretty much everyone commenting here condemns it too – though I’m still waiting to hear back from Platinum wrt mutilation for theft …

  56. douglas clark — on 20th April, 2010 at 11:09 pm  

    Fred Nimbus @ 56,

    If you don’t know your arse from your elbow, well maybe you should shut the fuck up?

    I, for one, do not welcome the BNP as a ‘voice’ on here.

    I can deal with them, as can regular commentators. It just seems to me that your claims for legitimacy, your claims that they have a ‘point of view’ ought to be taken to task.

    They are dirty, dirty, political opponents, and they have nowt to do with reasonable debate.

    My, I suspect BNP stalker, Joan, had this to say about me:

    Whats wrong Clark you cunt? I thought you liked being a cunt. You put out like a cunt. You act like a cunt. You talk like a cunt. You look like a cunt and your mother was a cunt.

    You are a cunt.

    I rest my case.

  57. Jai — on 20th April, 2010 at 11:20 pm  

    (continued)

    “Dan Dare”,

    A response to your latest comment on the following thread : http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/8316#comment-201084 .

    Well it really depends on the definition of indigenous. You have chosen to settle on ‘who was here first’ as the one and only true definition, since it suits your political objective.

    Actually that is simply a logical extrapolation of the BNP’s own definition. It is on the basis of “being here first” that you would like to able to claim for people descended from Angles, Saxons, Normans and Norse Vikings greater entitlement than, for example, non-white British citizens, since it suits your own political objective.

    Yet Celts were in Britain long, long before Angles, Saxons, Normans and Norse Vikings, and therefore it stands to reason that the BNP should correspondingly acknowledge that –- again, as a logical extrapolation of the BNP’s own reasoning –- people exclusively descended from Celts have a far, far greater claim to “indigenousness” and the corresponding entitlement than anyone who is descended from the latter groups.

    You would like to be able to claim for recent Afro-Asian entrants the same entitlement as people whose genetic ancestry in these islands stretches back millenia.

    The only people whose genetic ancestry in these islands genuinely stretches back millennia are those exclusively descended from Celts.

    But, unfortunately for your cause, that is not the definition that holds in ‘mainstream British discourse’, by which I mean from the perspective of the great majority of the native population, who would tend to have a more pragmatic interpretation.

    You are no more of a position to unilaterally make assertions about “the perspective of the great majority of the native population” of Britain than Bal Thackeray of the Shiv Sena and his fellow Hindutva ideologues in the RSS and the Bajrang Dal are in any position to unilaterally make accurate assertions about “the perspective of the great majority of the population of India”.

    In fact, you and your alleged colleagues at the BNP are no more of a position to unilaterally act as self-appointed spokesmen for “indigenous British” people than Anjem Choudary is in a position to unilaterally act as a self-appointed spokesman for Britain’s Muslim population. And yet you unwittingly continue to reinforce the BNP’s intrinsic similarity to Al-Muhajiroun with every single thing you say and do on this blog.

    I suspect that ‘mainstream Indian discourse’ would have a similar perspective on what constitutes an indigenous Indian.

    The only genuinely indigenous Indians are those descended from what you termed “Negritos”.

    And the only people in India who think otherwise, irrespective of your plucked-out-of-thin-air “suspicion”, are predominantly-ostracised fringe organisations such as the Shiv Sena, the RSS and the Bajrang Dal. Once again, they are of course your near-exact counterparts in India, and are reviled, rejected and ridiculed by the vast majority of India’s 1 billion+ population.

    You seem to have a habit of making reckless assertions and then being unable to support them when challenged.

    The Indian government would certainly seem to concur, since it will issue ‘Persons of Indian Origin’ certificates and ‘Overseas Citizenship of India’ status to anyone who meets the necessary criteria of ‘Indian-ness’, based principally on ancestry.

    More accurately, it refers to anyone who was born in a territory that became part of India after 1947 or who has at least one Indian parent. In fact, spouses of PIOs are also entitled to be issued with PIO certificates, irrespective of their own ethnicity.

    All of which is a very far cry indeed from the BNP’s own fixation with “genetic ancestry stretching back millennia.”

    I believe if you look back at the earlier thread, and read a little more attentively, you might discern that what you are characterising as ‘complimentary remarks’ about Hitler were in fact citations from the historical record.

    I doubt most of your target audience would be interested in ploughing through a thread consisting of nearly 500 comments in order to extract the relevant information. For the benefit of this website’s wider readership, please expand on the specific policies originating in Hitler and the Third Reich which the BNP should adopt and publicly declare inspiration from, again using the requisite historical German terms as and when required.

    I don’t propose to discuss the Third Reich with you since debating such such matters with a historical illiterate

    “Psychological projection” at its finest.

    But, if it’s complimentary remarks about Herr Hitler that you are after, then I will leave you with the words of Winston Churchill.

    … Those who have met Hitler face to face in public, business, or on social terms, have found a highly competent, cool, well-informed functionary with an agreeable manner, a discerning smile, and few have been unaffected by a subtle personal magnetism. Nor is this impression merely the dazzle of power. He exerted it on his companions at every stage in his struggle, even when his fortunes were in the lowest depths …. One may dislike Hitler’s system and yet admire his patriotic achievement. If our country were defeated I hope we should find a champion as admirable to restore our courage and lead us back to our place among the nations. [WSC writing in September 1937]

    If the BNP leadership feels that Hitler has been unfairly misrepresented, the forthcoming public release of the BNP’s new General Election manifesto (presumably in the presence of the media) would be the perfect opportunity to set the record straight once and for all. In fact, that’s exactly what Nick Griffin should do, and he should also make sure that he quotes the complimentary remarks about Hitler above by Churchill verbatim and in full, including an emphatic reference to both the source and the year in which they were written.

    Don’t you agree ?

  58. douglas clark — on 21st April, 2010 at 3:51 am  

    Just to say,

    Thanks for the policing around here. I was getting more angry than reasoned.

  59. sofia — on 21st April, 2010 at 9:37 am  

    Sarah post 26 – personally if any ‘muslim’ country called for a Khalifate at the moment, I’d run a mile in the opposite direction. I’m glad you asked questions around apostates etc, as I think this discussion or debate has not happened…I’m probably more in favour of a debate around what a modern khalifate would look like since it would cross continents and cultures…what I wanted to point out is that advocating something that no one has actually defined or studied properly is ridiculous..i could dream of a muslim utopia which doesn’t exist, but it doesn’t make me a radical…most of the people who go on about khalifates wouldn’t have a clue as to how it would work in the modern world. I also think these concepts which exist in normative pan Islamic history/culture have been completely taken out of context and simplified to the point of stupidity..terms like ‘Islamist’, ‘Khalifate’, ‘Jihad’ etc etc have connotations that are completely alien to my understanding of them.

    Just a quick point about the ‘mega’ mosque in east london…a lot of muslims were against this building, me included. I don’t think we need any more mosques in this country right now..what we need is to sort out the ones that exist already…not another one run by a particular ‘sect’…having said that, I believe the discussion around the proposal had racist undertones.

  60. Paul Moloney — on 21st April, 2010 at 10:22 am  

    My jaw is literally dropping here at the sight of presumably intelligent people living in a liberal democracy attempting to defend an religious and gender apartheid system. That is what a caliphate would be. If you’re arguing from a position of ignorance, then I suggest you educate yourself. Start with the Hizb Ut-Tahrir draft consitution for one (now removed from their site but still accessible via the Wayback Machine):

    http://web.archive.org/web/20070927200116/http://www.hizb-ut-tahrir.info/english/constitution.htm

    “No one is permitted to take charge of ruling, or any action considered to be of the nature of ruling, except a male who is free (Hurr), i.e. not a slave, mature (baaligh), sane (‘aaqil), trustworthy (‘adl), competent; and he must not be save a muslim. ”

    P.

  61. Ravi.Nk — on 21st April, 2010 at 10:37 am  

    My jaw is literally dropping here at the sight of presumably intelligent people living in a liberal democracy attempting to defend an religious and gender apartheid system. That is what a caliphate would be

    I feel like using the h-word, but I need to be absolutely sure you are a guy.

  62. sofia — on 21st April, 2010 at 10:53 am  

    oh dear – Paul…I’m presuming that your post is in reference to what I wrote?

    I didn’t mention HT and I think members of HT need to grow up. Instead of sounding off though, when was the last time you had an indepth discussion around what a modern khalifate would look like? no one gets past the rhetoric to actually analyse how this would work..

  63. Paul Moloney — on 21st April, 2010 at 11:01 am  

    Well, when discussing the concept caliphate, one can only base it on previous actual examples of it (the Ottoman Empire) and theoretical examples of it proposed by actual organisations (Hizb’s example).

    If your idea of a caliphate is indistinguishable from liberal democracy, then what exactly is the point of it? But I’m willing to hear how you can have a caliphate which offers complete equality between Muslims and non-Muslims, and also which offers religious freedom (including the freedom to leave ones religion or to have none). If you know of such a system proposed by any serious body, please include a reference link.

    P.

  64. sofia — on 21st April, 2010 at 11:25 am  

    once again paul you refuse to read what i’ve written and actually get past your own thoughts. When debating with ppl you should try and get rid of your own pre conceptions and start from scratch. Starting with, this is not in my opinion a liberal democracy (IN PRACTICE)…you can keep telling yourself that but when push comes to shove, I don’t think incarcerating people for ‘national security’ reasons without the accused’s right to have access to evidence is a characteristic of a ‘liberal’ democracy. I don’t think this is a liberal democracy where people from poorer backgrounds, or those who have more melanin in their skin still die of diseases and illnesses at a faster rate than people with less melanin in their skin and more money in their bank accounts.

    If you actually read what I wrote, you would have noticed that I actually think there has been no debate and that there should be. Both within muslim communities and outside..however I very much doubt this will happen as the idea of ‘reform’ sounds alarm bells in some circles and non muslim rhetoric refuses to grow up or move on or even remain intelligetn when it comes to discussing muslims

  65. Paul Moloney — on 21st April, 2010 at 11:48 am  

    Um, Sofia, you managed to completely ignore my questions. Yes, real liberal democracies are imperfect; I doubt anyone disagrees on that point. However, that’s not a good reason to put an even more imperfect system in place.

    So let me ask again with respect to _your_ idea of a caliphate:

    1. Would non-Muslims have equal voting rights to Muslims?
    2. Would all positions of public office be open to non-Muslims?
    3. Would there be freedom of religion, including the right to not practise religion and to convert?

    P.

  66. sofia — on 21st April, 2010 at 11:57 am  

    Paul…in my idea of a Khalifate – yes to all of your questions.

  67. Paul Moloney — on 21st April, 2010 at 12:03 pm  

    So what are the main differences between _your_ idea of a caliphate (which differs considerably from the standard definition of that political system), and liberal democracy?

    P.

  68. sofia — on 21st April, 2010 at 12:09 pm  

    Well in my personal opinion it would have basic principles of Islamic jurisprudence

    I’m so glad you said that liberal democracies are imperfect because it annoys me that somehow they are promoted as the perfect way in which to live. Would you call America a liberal democracy?

  69. Paul Moloney — on 21st April, 2010 at 12:16 pm  

    “Well in my personal opinion it would have basic principles of Islamic jurisprudence”

    So it would be democracy + Sharia Law for muslims? So it’s simply a more liberal Malaysia, in that case (in Malaysia, Muslims are forbidden to convert to another religion).

    But that’s not actually a caliphate by any definition.

    “Would you call America a liberal democracy?”

    I think Sweden would be a better example, but as I said, there is no such thing as a perfect system since there are no perfect people.

  70. sofia — on 21st April, 2010 at 12:19 pm  

    You didn’t answer my question re: America..it was a yes/no answer??
    As for sharia law..you again misread what I wrote..i said islamic jurisprudence…:)…

  71. Paul Moloney — on 21st April, 2010 at 12:23 pm  

    No, I wouldn’t call America a liberal democracy. (I have no idea why you are sidetracking the discussion like this. I live in the Republic of Ireland, and I presume you live in the UK. What’s the US got to do with this?)

    So please explain the difference between Sharia law and Islamis jurisprudence.

    P.

  72. Ravi.Nk — on 21st April, 2010 at 12:41 pm  

    Well in my personal opinion it would have basic principles of Islamic jurisprudence.
    I’m so glad you said that liberal democracies are imperfect because it annoys me that somehow they are promoted as the perfect way in which to live.

    It is not the perfect way, but it is objectively the best way compared to other sorts of governments. The US is governed by a liberal democracy.

    What sort of basic principles of Islamic jurisprudence do feel are lacking and can improve the lives of all British citizens?

  73. Paul Moloney — on 21st April, 2010 at 12:48 pm  

    Sofia, here’s an article on Islamic jurisprudence:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiqh

    “Fiqh is an expansion of the Sharia Islamic law—based directly on the Quran and Sunnah—that complements Shariah with evolving rulings/interpretations of Islamic jurists.”

    So, according to this, Islamic jurisprudence is an extended version of Sharia law, dealing with things like daily prayer, ablutions, and so on. Do you agree with this definition?

    (Hope to continue this after lunch.)

    P.

  74. sofia — on 21st April, 2010 at 2:25 pm  

    i think the key word is ‘evolving’..it’s not stagnant …it is not simply an extension..its like saying statutes are simply extensions of the law..what is currently happening is the bastardisation of jurisprudence into some dumbed down version for the Daily Mail to get their quotes from.

    Ravi – I do not this America is a liberal democracy at all for reasons I’ve mentioned before.

    Also, there are areas of economics, Islamic reform, personal law that would be covered in a country that espouses Islamic teachings.

  75. sofia — on 21st April, 2010 at 2:27 pm  

    sorry meant to write ‘think America is a liberal democracy’ instead of ‘this’ …furthermore, I think that many so called ‘liberal democracies’ market themselves as such whilst sweeping their fascist tendencies under the carpet…something they accuse other non democracies/theocracies/dictatorships of doing.

  76. sofia — on 21st April, 2010 at 2:28 pm  

    and again sorry but wrote ‘country’ instead of khalifate

  77. sofia — on 21st April, 2010 at 2:31 pm  

    Paul, the only reason why I asked about America was to highlight other political systems that are given a bit more time to develop their ideas and evolve…the moment you mention khalifate, people automatically assume, instead of actually questioning what this means.

  78. Paul Moloney — on 21st April, 2010 at 2:40 pm  

    “the moment you mention khalifate, people automatically assume, instead of actually questioning what this means.”

    I’m willing to accept that, but 4 hours after my original post, we are still nowhere nearer an understanding of what a caliphate to you actually means. Instead, you seem more intent on explaining why American isn’t a liberal democracy.

    I’m here with an open mind; please tell me what a caliphate is, and why I, as a non-Muslim, would be better off living in one than in a liberal democracy.

    P.

  79. sofia — on 21st April, 2010 at 3:02 pm  

    gosh…’going on’ is a bit extreme…I mentioned it again only because you didn’t answer my original question with an answer..you went on to sweden…and then because Ravi mentioned it.

    I’m not saying you would be better of living in a khalifate…i’m just saying that those people who want one should not automatically be called radicals without at least asking them what it means to them…

    I also do think I made it clear what I think it would be…I haven’t yet really sat down on a sunday afternoon with my iced liptons contemplating it in detail..to tell you the truth I don’t really think about it much..only when it’s brought up in some dumbass newspaper misquoting someone..the ‘muslim world’ (for want of a better phrase) has more pressing arguments to have right now..the idea of a khalifate is as I said above (post 59 ‘I wanted to point out is that advocating something that no one has actually defined or studied properly is ridiculous’..)a non starter…what i’ve mentioned above is more about having a system of governance that was flexible enough to allow for difference but unifying enough to bring together those muslim majority lands that want to be governed thus.

  80. Paul Moloney — on 21st April, 2010 at 3:18 pm  

    “’going on’ is a bit extreme”

    Well, you’re brought it up in your last six comments. I would consider that “going on” about it.

    I actually thought you were a supporter of the idea of a caliphate since you (a) don’t think it’s a radical political idea and (b) don’t seem to have much time for liberal democracy. Sorry if I misunderstood that.

    Although “radical” is often used as a perjorative, it need not necessarily be. In the case, the idea of a caliphate in Europe is a radical idea.

    P.

  81. sofia — on 21st April, 2010 at 3:21 pm  

    I didn’t bring it up…I was clarifying points/ repeating questions

  82. sofia — on 21st April, 2010 at 3:25 pm  

    and as for supporter…for all the reasons mentioned I think there are more pressing issues to deal with (with regards to muslims)…especially around reform in the ‘muslim world’ womens issues etc. Believe it or not, there other things I am interested in apart from my ‘muslimness’…

  83. Paul Moloney — on 21st April, 2010 at 3:28 pm  

    “and as for supporter…for all the reasons mentioned I think there are more pressing issues to deal with”

    Do you mean you do support a caliphate, but would place it at a lower priority to other changes?

    P.

  84. sofia — on 21st April, 2010 at 3:30 pm  

    Also, I would say in the context of this discussion, the term ‘radical’ even associated with ‘non radical’ was in the same sentence as ‘radicals who are terrorists’ ..I find the way we debate these issues has become really simplistic…once you start labelling people like this you onto a losing battle…liberal muslims, radicals, terrorists, muslims with terrorist tendencies, moderates, extremists, Islamists blah blah blah..and none of these words have actually helped.

  85. sofia — on 21st April, 2010 at 3:33 pm  

    84 not ‘a khalifate’ rather my definition of one..and yes..I wouldn’t actually label it a priority at all.

  86. Jai — on 21st April, 2010 at 3:38 pm  

    And Jai why are you addressing comment to a man you are now so afraid of you have to censor?

    On the contrary; only Sunny, Rumbold and Earwicga have the facility to delete comments or ban commenters from this website. For my part, I have not asked for “Dan Dare” to be banned or for his comments to be censored.

  87. Paul Moloney — on 21st April, 2010 at 3:56 pm  

    “not ‘a khalifate’ rather my definition of one”

    An answer so Jesuitical, I can only presume you’re a Catholic priest.

    Put it this way; would your definition of a khalifate have a Caliph?

    P.

  88. sofia — on 21st April, 2010 at 4:50 pm  

    :) …I’m sure there would be a head of state…and if you want to use the arabic term then yes…but in my version i would probably want a similar set up to constitution, rights, voting, a parliamentary system of some kind…representatives and ministers etc

  89. Treenhunter — on 21st April, 2010 at 5:00 pm  

    It should now be clear that the proprietors of Pickled Politics have so little confidence in the legitimacy and defensibility of their own party line that any voices of dissent must be stifled.

    Dan Dare has been banned because of his inconveniently subversive and essentially irrefutable views. PP’s management has been been egged on to take this cowardly step by the yapping and yelping of their pathetic lapdog and house Uncle Tom, Little Dougie McQuisling.

    If anyone wishes to engage with Mr. Dare in an open and uncensored environment he can be reached at majorityrights.com. Simply announce yourself in any current thread there.

  90. Paul Moloney — on 21st April, 2010 at 5:11 pm  

    “I’m sure there would be a head of state”

    Could the head of state be a non-Muslim?

    P.

  91. Tony — on 21st April, 2010 at 7:24 pm  

    Jai

    “On the contrary; only Sunny, Rumbold and Earwicga have the facility to delete comments or ban commenters from this website. For my part, I have not asked for “Dan Dare” to be banned or for his comments to be censored.”

    Maybe so, but banned he is and so he cannot answer your comments, which is not really fair to my mind at least, knowing that he wont be able to.

    And exactly why is he (or the other chap) being censored in any case? I didnt see anything wrong in what they were doing in regards to behaviour, more that they seemed to be dangerously eloquent in thier arguments.

    Certainly the rude and aggresive behaviour of others seemed to be cause for censorhip.

    Do you agree with censorship Jai?

  92. Jai — on 21st April, 2010 at 9:23 pm  

    And exactly why is he (or the other chap) being censored in any case?

    Best to take that up directly with the people who actually have the facility to ban commenters and delete comments, and whom you believe to have implemented these measures on “Dan Dare”. Contact forms for PP’s editorial team are available via the top-left-hand side of this website’s screen.

    Do you agree with censorship Jai?

    What I certainly do not believe in is dictating to the editors of privately-owned blogs what they should and should not display on their own websites, whether it involves articles or comments on the subsequent discussion threads. This applies equally to Pickled Politics and, for example, Majority Rights, a website which is quite literally the Western equivalent of an extremist Hindutva forum.

    In a free and liberal modern society such as Britain in 2010, the owners of privately-run websites are fortunate to have the full right to not only display whatever material they wish to (within the boundaries of the law) but to also delete material as they see fit. The facility and freedom to run one’s own websites according to one’s own wishes is a triumph of modern society and very much something to celebrate, regardless of individual political views and sympathies. Any attempt to remove this fundamental right from the people concerned itself constitutes a form of censorship, irrespective of the validity (or lack of validity, as the case may be) of the website owners’ actions and irrespective of how much one may personally disagree with their decisions.

    Any further objections or opinions regarding this matter should be taken up directly with the aforementioned editors. As I stated earlier, I had absolutely nothing to do with “Dan Dare”’s alleged banning, and it is therefore inappropriate to pursue this issue further with me.

  93. Rumbold — on 21st April, 2010 at 9:29 pm  

    Nobody is being deleted (apart from IAE and his masks). I would like to apologise to anyone else caught in the filter.

  94. Dan Dare — on 21st April, 2010 at 9:47 pm  

    @93

    Over the past several days a number of my posts have been either delayed for several hours or have not appeared at all.

    The few posts that did appear have been removed.

    If this one makes it through intact and without undue delay then the apology is accepted.

    Written and posted at 21:45 21.04.10

  95. Tony — on 21st April, 2010 at 10:11 pm  

    Jai, Well Fair enough then, but it was a simple question.

  96. Tony — on 21st April, 2010 at 10:15 pm  

    Jai, Fair enough then mate, but it was a simple question.

    Rumbold,

    You say that no one is being deleted but then say someone is.

    I simply asked why, because I read this site quite often but never really bother to comment because it would appear to be pointless to do so if you are not in full agreement with certain individuals who appear to be free to be as rude and obnoxious as they like to people that they rapidly dehumanise provided they only do to people that disagree with the vibe of the post.

    I read pretty much all of the comment by IAE and not once did I see any bad behavior or intemperate language from him, but lots of well balanced, well, rather longs essays more then comments I guess.

    So why was he banned? For simply disagreeing with you?

  97. Tony — on 21st April, 2010 at 10:16 pm  

    Jai,

    OK. Fair enough, but it was a simple question. I will ask.

  98. Tony — on 21st April, 2010 at 10:17 pm  

    Rumbold,
    You say that no one is being deleted but then say someone is.

    I simply asked why, because I read this site quite often but never really bother to comment because it would appear to be pointless to do so if you are not in full agreement with certain individuals who appear to be free to be as rude and obnoxious as they like to people that they rapidly dehumanise provided they only do to people that disagree with the vibe of the post.

  99. Tony — on 21st April, 2010 at 10:18 pm  

    Odd. Anyway this was the last bit of what I wanted to say.

    I read pretty much all of the comment by IAE and not once did I see any bad behavior or intemperate language from him, but lots of well balanced, well, rather longs essays more then comments I guess.

    So why was he banned? For simply disagreeing?

  100. Sarah AB — on 22nd April, 2010 at 8:18 am  

    I think that’s a bit unfair Tony – I often disagree with people commenting/posting here and I don’t find that a problem. Re censorship/deletion of posts – it’s up to the editors of the blog what they want to do – personally I find discussions and arguments on blogs more interesting and instructive when commenters’ political views aren’t *too* polarised.

  101. sofia — on 23rd April, 2010 at 9:43 am  

    90 – I think it would be a bit silly a non muslim being head of state of a khalifate..a khaliph is a bit more than just a head of state, so maybe the term is a little restrictive..the distinction of a khalifate is the non separation of religion and state…how would a non muslim leader espouse that? and why would a non muslim want to lead a khalifate?

  102. bananabrain — on 23rd April, 2010 at 12:13 pm  

    well, if nobody else but a muslim is allowed to be head of state, i would consider that discriminatory, same way as if a jew, a catholic, or a woman were not allowed. i find it annoying enough that you can’t get elected unless you’re tall and have executive hair.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

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