The future is here


by Sunny
19th November, 2006 at 5:17 pm    

The Guardian’s Comment is Free website today publishes a ‘Race and faith: a new agenda‘, a sort of a manifesto that I spearheaded and is signed by over 30 writers, commentators, journalists, academics and barristers. The list of signatories is expanding as we speak as emails keep coming in. The newly launched website for New Generation Network will have a full list from later today updated constantly.

I have also written an article for the Guardian’s comment pages introducing the document and laying out why this system of “community leaders” is hurting the people it is supposed to protect. Read that here.

Coverage elsewhere: Guardian news, Today programme, Five Live and Asian Network (11:15am)
(entire article re-written)


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Filed in: Media,Race politics






108 Comments below   |  

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  1. Robert Sharp

    Today in the media……

    Plenty of media activity scheduled for Monday, including a media putsch by Pickled Politics, and the airing of a documentary co-produced by… me.

    ……


  2. Serious Golmal » `MPAC Fond of Irving` Shocker

    [...] It’s time for us to pull the plug on this. [...]


  3. Ministry of Truth

    Nice Work, Sunny……

    Sunny Hundel’s new project, the New Generation Network, has certainly got off to a flying start with not one but two articles on Comment is Free to mark the launch of the project’s manifesto (and to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the…


  4. Clive Davis

    RACE RELATIONS UK…

    I’ve just been digesting the manifesto that Sunny Hundal, Dave Hill and others have published in the Guardian. It’s a dense read, long on aspiration and short on detail, admittedly. But, for me, this is the key para:The struggle for…


  5. Politics and Religion « Not Saussure

    [...] This week, the New Generation Network launched itself with a manifesto in the Guardian’s Comment is Free, along with an article by one of its founders, Pickled Politics’ Sunny Hundal. All very good stuff, or so it seems to me, particularly their dislike of communal politics – As Britons we want to be treated not as homogenous blocks but as free-thinking citizens with diverse views. [...]


  6. thermf.blogspot.com

    Sunny Jim stokes the fires of debate…

    Sunny Hundal has been busy blitzing the media with an interesting debate about minority (mis) representation. His ‘manifesto’ is published in today’s Guardian. More debate can be found at his comment is free site, and at Pickled Politics. Click here…




  1. miraxx — on 19th November, 2006 at 6:16 pm  

    >>Rest assured this is not a one-off. This is the start of a new movement that grew out of this very blog.

    Hmmn like your campaign against ‘honour’ killings in the UK? What’s happened to that?

  2. Sunny — on 19th November, 2006 at 6:25 pm  

    That will be part of this. And there are reasons why I couldn’t take that further for the time being, some of it to do with time and being one person running about 15 things. But I have something up my sleeve regarding that too.

  3. William — on 19th November, 2006 at 7:23 pm  

    Good stuff Sunny that you are doing all this work connected with these issues. I am looking forward to
    what the articles say etc.

  4. El Cid — on 19th November, 2006 at 8:10 pm  

    Funny you said mention that Miraxx!
    I’ll tune in tomorrow evening, if not earlier.
    Sounds promising.

  5. Nindy — on 19th November, 2006 at 8:20 pm  

    You are very much an iconoclast and I applaud you for the active work you are doing.

  6. Clairwil — on 19th November, 2006 at 8:25 pm  

    I feel giddy!

  7. El Cid — on 19th November, 2006 at 8:33 pm  

    Cor, I made a right pig’s ear of that one.
    Should have said:
    “Funny you mentioned that Miraxx”

  8. funkg — on 19th November, 2006 at 8:41 pm  

    I look forward to it.

    It may be a opportunity to normalize BME peoples attributes, quirks and experiences. Yes we care about US/UK foreign policy and the rise of fundamentalist ideologies, but we also have opinions on good schools, sports and what wines should we choose for our Christmas dinner?

  9. El Cid — on 19th November, 2006 at 8:53 pm  

    Funkg,
    This might be divvy, but what’s BME?
    (I was listening to Hi Tension’s British Hustle this morning, btw — def has rhe makings of a wicked remix)

  10. Sunny — on 19th November, 2006 at 9:17 pm  

    BME : Black and Minority Ethnic.

  11. PedanticLurker — on 19th November, 2006 at 9:37 pm  

    BME is the diversicrats’ acronym of the season.

  12. davetheslave — on 19th November, 2006 at 9:45 pm  

    Good luck Sunny, the country undoubtedly needs a new discourse in minority relations, and it’s reassuring there’s someone as eminently sensible as you willing to take on the task. By launching in the Guardian/CiF, is there not a risk that you’re preaching to the mostly converted? I understand that CiF is the most visited political discussion site for the UK, but it is decidedly wooly liberal/left leaning. Maybe a simultaneous launch on a number of xenophobic, ethnocentric right-leaning blogs such as Guido, Ian Dale or Labourhome would have been a good idea? Anyway, it’s an exciting initiative and I’ll be looking forward to following it and chipping in my 2 cents.

  13. El Cid — on 19th November, 2006 at 9:52 pm  

    Does BME include immigrant whiteys?

  14. PedanticLurker — on 19th November, 2006 at 10:06 pm  

    Does BME include immigrant whiteys?

    No, they’re ‘People of Pallor’ (maybe). :)

  15. El Cid — on 19th November, 2006 at 10:31 pm  

    Or even WME (I hope not)
    In any case, I wouldn’t assume black and brown people care more about US/UK foreign policy and the rise of fundamentalist ideologies than white people — unless they are muslim of course. That they care as much about sport is also generally accepted.
    Hwr, I think I know what funkg is trying to say, if I think BME sounds a tad exclusive, when everything funkyg has said before has been very inclusive.

    P.S. I reckon this one will go nice with South Asianified-Christmas Turkey (scroll down)
    http://www.oddbins.com/products/ProductDetail.asp?rating=4&productCode=34932&addRating=Yes&Submit+Rating.x=52&Submit+Rating.y=7

  16. Sid — on 20th November, 2006 at 12:14 am  

    I feel like breaking into
    “People get ready, there’s a train comin’”

  17. Soozy — on 20th November, 2006 at 12:19 am  

    How many of the signatories supported the publication of the Danish Mohammad cartoons?

  18. SP — on 20th November, 2006 at 7:56 am  

    I read the article – excellent. Congratulations.

  19. Jagdeep — on 20th November, 2006 at 10:47 am  

    Yikes! Someone on the Guardian thread says this:

    Oh dear. The discussion between Sonny Hundal and Inayat Bunglawala on ‘Today’ this morning was a fairly dismal augury of where this debate might go.

    What did Sunny say to upset Mr Bunglawala, or vice versa?

  20. Jagdeep — on 20th November, 2006 at 11:00 am  

    You know, I’m with you in spirit Sunny! Only one thing — whilst it is good that religio-identity politicians are put back into their box and told to stop being such victims and hysterical, it is not a bad thing to have groups that can lobby for religious issues (just as long as they are one among many and not taken to be ‘representatives’)

  21. Jagdeep — on 20th November, 2006 at 11:03 am  

    Sunny is getting grief from some Hizb ut Tahrir people on CiF who are in grief because he persecutes them, and Bunglawala is very upset too.

  22. Leon — on 20th November, 2006 at 11:11 am  

    I believe the words I’m looking for are “And so it begins…”

  23. Sid — on 20th November, 2006 at 11:21 am  

    New Generation Network sounds a bit like a Prince spin-off. Good luck to the NPG team nevertheless…

  24. Anas — on 20th November, 2006 at 1:18 pm  

    Sunny I think you’ve hit on something here: the playing up of divisions within British society in the current climate is at the very least problematic. For a start it gives arseholes like the BNP more ammunition to use in order to further their facist race-hate agendas. Promoting solidarity and a sense of shared greivance between people of all colours, religions, creeds against the clowns in charge is definitely the way to go. I’m really looking foward to there being some good debates on this as it’s a very important issue.

    Are you going to be on TV today or this week, Sunny?

  25. El Cid — on 20th November, 2006 at 1:28 pm  

    Now that is a manifesto that I can sign up to, definitely — and so I have.

    I hope Jasper Lee and Dianne Abbott get the message too. It ain’t enough just to work for you’re own community.

  26. El Cid — on 20th November, 2006 at 1:39 pm  

    actually that’s unfair on Lee — sorry Lee

  27. voltaires_priest — on 20th November, 2006 at 1:46 pm  

    Very, very good stuff, Sunny. It’s great to see people getting stuff like this out there, which cuts across the growing religious sectionalism in politics and which throws into stark relief the claims of religious conservatives to represent any current of opinion other than their own.

  28. funkg — on 20th November, 2006 at 3:48 pm  

    Promoting solidarity and a sense of shared greivance between people of all colours, religions, creeds against the clowns in charge is definitely the way to go

    Brilliant point Anas, it’s a shame that certain forces don’t want to go along with this.

    Hey El Cid, I have got my PC almost up and running so maybe I will try that Hi tension remix myself, unless someone gets there first!

    Sunny I listened to your interview on radio 4, it was amazing how those who claim to speak for a community and who shout the loudest can totally set the agenda. I not trying to being biased but I clearly thought yours was the voice of reason, it’s a shame (simpson?) like with most presenters was more interested in the sound of his own voice.
    The point I was trying make regards a new agenda for faith and race, was that why does everything around the issues of race of faith have to be around terrorism or racism? Do Muslims not concern theirselves with issues of global warming and sustainable energy, or is that a white middle class concern? What about the issue of toxins in our food, and the argument in favour of organic food (Organic Halal anyone?)

  29. Jai — on 20th November, 2006 at 4:29 pm  

    Well-written document, Sunny. I’m not exactly a big fan of Gurpreet Bhatti as you know, but I do like Ziauddin Sardar and Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, and I think your manifesto captures a lot of relevant issues very well. In particular, I thought the part mentioning that “community leaders” are not necessarily democractically elected to represent their co-religionists/co-ethnics was a very important point.

    By the way, regarding Sid’s comment above:

    =>”New Generation Network sounds a bit like a Prince spin-off. Good luck to the NPG team nevertheless….”

    I thought exactly the same thing ;)

    Very best of luck.

  30. ZinZin — on 20th November, 2006 at 4:35 pm  

    Hard to disagree with the thrust of NGN’s manifesto.

    I am concerned about this signatory; Rohan Jayasekera (associate editor, Index on Censorship magazine).

  31. funkg — on 20th November, 2006 at 4:38 pm  

    Excellent Jai,

    Anything forum that equates itself with Prince is right up my street sign me up quick! Anyone know the Prince track ‘Lets Work?’ That could be a starter…..

  32. Jai — on 20th November, 2006 at 4:48 pm  

    Funkg,

    Given what’s going on in the world today, I think “Sign O’ The Times” might be a better choice…..

    However, in reference to the name of this thread, there’s actually a Prince song called “The Future”, from the Batman soundtrack.

  33. Chairwoman — on 20th November, 2006 at 4:53 pm  

    Sid # 17 – Picking up passengers from coast coast…

  34. Douglas Clark — on 20th November, 2006 at 6:34 pm  

    Anas,

    Just been reading over the comments on CiF. It does seem to me that a huge number of people are stuck in a time warp of grievance politics. Which might have led to Respect on the one hand and the BNP on the other?

  35. Anas — on 20th November, 2006 at 6:50 pm  

    I don’t think you can compare Respect with the BNP.

  36. ZinZin — on 20th November, 2006 at 7:01 pm  

    Anas
    Both of them are parties which claim to represent racial(white)/religious (Muslim) groups so a comparision can be made of the BNP and Respect.

    In the MC group dynamic the BNP represent whites and Muslims are represented by Respect. I believe the term is communalism that describe such politics.

    Like Sunny this is the kind of thing that i want to see end. Respect/BNp are also part of the problem.

  37. Anas — on 20th November, 2006 at 7:09 pm  

    As far as I’m aware Respect are an anti-war party and don’t claim to exclusively represent Muslims. So, how can you lump them in with communalist organisations, ZZ?

  38. Rav — on 20th November, 2006 at 7:12 pm  

    Respect are blatantly communalist, a link up between the SWP and the Muslim Brotherhood front organisation the MAB

  39. ZinZin — on 20th November, 2006 at 7:19 pm  

    Anas
    Respect has its only parliamentary seat in Bethnal Green which unsurprisingly has a large Muslim population. Galloways tactic in unseating Oona King was by using Anti-semitism along with the war issue.

    Respect is an amalgamation of SWP/MAB. I can not be more explicit than that. The SWP have jettisioned Gay rights and womens rights in favour of veils, burkhas and killing apostates.

  40. Anas — on 20th November, 2006 at 7:30 pm  

    I thought that the Stop the War coalition was a good example of different communities getting together and uniting under the banner of a common greivance.

  41. Anas — on 20th November, 2006 at 7:34 pm  

    Emmm, I think you’re doing Galloway a big disservice here. Where did he use anti-semitic tactics? I don’t think even Oona King has alleged this.

  42. ZinZin — on 20th November, 2006 at 7:37 pm  

    Anas
    They get 2million on one march and then a few weeks later they get a few hundred. They know how to undo such good work quite quickly.

    Then again its SWP/MAB again and who wants to join them Opposing the war is one thing joining an Islamist political grouping is another.

  43. Steve — on 20th November, 2006 at 7:39 pm  

    I love the picture on Clive Davis’s blog that he linked to above of a Sikh kid watching an England game with his white mates. Is it soppy to be moved by that?

  44. ZinZin — on 20th November, 2006 at 7:43 pm  

    Anas
    It is impossible to do George Galloway a disservice.

    Read Emma Brookes interview with Oona King 12/9/05.

  45. Anas — on 20th November, 2006 at 7:52 pm  

    King doesn’t directly accuse Galloway of anti-semitic tactics in that interview (which I remember reading now). He’d have probably sued her if she did.

    I’m not Galloway’s biggest fan, but I think compared to other politicians he’s a lesser evil. His radio show is pretty good.

  46. ZinZin — on 20th November, 2006 at 7:57 pm  

    Anas
    He is the litigious type fortunately he uses this path wisely.
    As for lesser of two evils this man is a friend of Saddam Hussein not to mention a stalinist and apologist for islamic fundamentalism.
    I have listened to his radio show for a few minutes and a caller aked him why his party only campaigned in “coloured areas”. If Talksport listeners know his game how come it has escaped an intelligent man like yourself?

  47. Anas — on 20th November, 2006 at 9:11 pm  

    Come on, ZZ, you can’t tell me you didn’t punch the air when you heard that Galloway had unseated King?

  48. ZinZin — on 20th November, 2006 at 9:17 pm  

    Read #26 again please. Only change BNP to Respect.

  49. Anas — on 20th November, 2006 at 9:29 pm  

    Oh well, your loss.

  50. Nick — on 20th November, 2006 at 9:34 pm  

    Broaden it out a bit – say separate state and church, state funding for religious schools etc – and you’ve almost got yourself an electoral manifesto…. Well I would vote for you.

  51. Douglas Clark — on 20th November, 2006 at 9:44 pm  

    Anas,

    Sorry it took so long to get back to you.

    I agree with Zinzin that both the BNP and Respect are working communalist agendas. The former looks to the grievances of a class and race, the white working class, the latter to a religion, Muslims largely. The problem that I have with both of them is that they seem rather like the Zionist lobby, in that they trawl the media and the internet looking for things to be upset about. Then they both seem to apply their own spin to the ‘facts’ in front of them. I am not saying they are morally equivalent, what I am saying is that their tactics are identical.

    The difficulty here is that they are both political parties. These are not simply pressure groups. They are worse than that.

  52. davetheslave — on 20th November, 2006 at 9:48 pm  

    The launch seems to be going very well, the debate at CiF is as mature as I have seen there on issues of race and/or religion. Sunny, you seemed very nervous on the Today program this morning, and a seasoned operator like Inayat is going to mop the floor with you (as he sadly did, then posted the result to CiF). Might I suggest that it could be beneficial for the whole NGN project if you don’t take so much on that it leaves you unravelling at both ends? Surely there much be some other media savvy signatories? Good luck!

  53. Don — on 20th November, 2006 at 11:21 pm  

    Sunny,

    Congratulations. A very impressive launch. I see you have held the top two slots on most active CiF articles for pretty much the whole day.

    Nick,

    I’m guessing you meant end state funding for religious schools etc.

  54. Refresh — on 21st November, 2006 at 12:32 am  

    Depressingly timid manifesto. Given the driving force behind the divisions being created within our society you continue to follow the line that its down to personalities and do not recognise the greater impact of government policies – domestic and foreign, economic and social.

    Even more depressing is the thought that the remainder of the team behind this could not raise their voices to have these elements included.

    Oddly enough I agree with Jagdeep. Yes Jagdeep of all people. To think that there are no viewpoints to be considered (amongst many) other than yet another self-appointed group, is plain silly.

    We should be all depressed – I have a feeling that we are heading for an Asian version of the Euston Manifesto.

  55. Sunny — on 21st November, 2006 at 12:48 am  

    Refresh: You seem to have a position to start with, and then work backwards to construct a point around what we’re trying to say. If you read the manifesto properly, and the my article, you’ll see our whole premise is this is a problem with govt policy. Honestly, I thought you would at least try and read this properly before coming out with the most bizarre arguments.

    Jagdeep: it is not a bad thing to have groups that can lobby for religious issues

    which is exactly what we’ve said. Have lobbies, and treat them as lobbies, not representatives.

  56. Douglas Clark — on 21st November, 2006 at 1:16 am  

    Sunny,

    Ffs get some sleep! The idiots will be here tomorrow, and the next day, etc, etc.

    Still, a good start.

  57. Refresh — on 21st November, 2006 at 1:19 am  

    Mr Clark – idiots?

  58. bikhair aka taqiyyah — on 21st November, 2006 at 1:24 am  

    miraxx,

    “Hmmn like your campaign against ‘honour’ killings in the UK? What’s happened to that?”

    Stop drinking all that haterade. WHen was the last time your lazy ass did anything?

  59. Benjamin — on 21st November, 2006 at 1:29 am  

    Oh no! Not another statement of principles, another manifesto: there’s quite a few of those floating about the interweb.

    Apparently old Sunny founded this particular lark – the New Generation Network. Mmmm. Sounds like a govt quango of some sort.

    Whatever it is, Sunny, make sure you rule with a rod of iron. I think these sort of things need the smack of firm leadership…

  60. Douglas Clark — on 21st November, 2006 at 1:46 am  

    Mr Refresh,

    If the hat fits, etc. However, not necessarily you. What I was suggesting is that he needs some sleep.

    Sunny is attempting the nigh on impossible here. He has to fight off simultaneous criticism from, oh, lets list them shall we? :

    Racists.

    Cynics,

    Communalists,

    Vested interests, e.g. the MCB, and,

    timewasters.

    That is quite a challenge, ( if anyone wants to add additional categories, feel free ).

    And, by the way, I do disagree with your analysis. I wouldn’t have signed it if I thought it was wrong.

  61. Nick — on 21st November, 2006 at 7:03 am  

    Don – ha ha, yes.

  62. Jagdeep — on 21st November, 2006 at 11:41 am  

    Sunny, I know, your manifesto takes all of that into account. What you are doing is important. Even if people don’t agree with certain clauses, the overall meaning of it is that people need to open up to more voices, and the communalist leaderships need to be challenged. How that is done is the next stage, but already the opposition from some of them shows how nessecary it is to state this plainly, and at the very minimum, by challenging this, and them, you can at least re-orient debate on matters like that.

    Do not be downhearted by the portentous and pompous whining of Eeyore’s on this thread and elsewhere — you have the humility to acknowledge that you may not have all the answers but you do ask the right questions. And that’s how things might slowly change.

  63. El Cid — on 21st November, 2006 at 12:24 pm  

    Include Nick’s point #56 and you’ll lose my vote

  64. El Cid — on 21st November, 2006 at 12:25 pm  

    …for the record

  65. Anas — on 21st November, 2006 at 2:15 pm  

    Excellent piece in the Guardian today by Naima Bouteldja on the Dutch govt’s plans to ban the burka/face veil and the wider trends that move signifies. Basically it just reinforces my view that the whole veil thing is essentially a non-issue, nothing else than a means of scapegoating an unpopular community. A 150-200 years ago it would have been Jews or Catholics.

    In each European country, veil mania seems to follow a similar pattern: a public statement by a prominent politician results in a frenzied political and media response, conveniently diverting attention away from unpopular government policies or political crises.

    France provided the political laboratory. In April 2003, the headscarf row came out of nowhere; within a year it had been outlawed in state schools. No serious demands to ban the headscarf had ever come from teaching bodies, students or the public. It simply wasn’t seen as a problem before April 2003: of the 10 million students in French state schools, only 1,250 wore the headscarf.

    So who or what sparked “l’affaire du foulard”? Françoise Lorcerie, the editor of The Politicisation of the Veil in France, Europe and the Arab World, points the finger at France’s interior minister, Nicolas Sarkozy, who, in a generally well-received speech to the Union of French Muslim Organisations in April 2003, sparked uproar in the hall when he reminded the audience that wearing the headscarf on national ID card photos was “unlawful”.

    Within days, commentators and celebrities were demanding the banning of the headscarf in schools. In 2003, three French papers (Le Monde, Lib̩ration and Le Figaro) published 1,284 articles on the subject. By contrast, the hotly contested plan to reform social security Рa genuine national debate that brought tens of thousands on to the streets Рregistered only 478 times.[Funny that!]

    Responding to a climate of his government’s own making, President Chirac set up the powerful Stasi commission, named after its Catholic chair, to investigate “how secularism could be enforced in the republic”. MPs of all parties kept up the pressure, introducing parliamentary bills to ban the headscarf. Public opinion then turned, from being almost evenly divided at the start of the campaign to 76% in favour of a ban within a year. Partly as a result of this extraordinary diversion, the Raffarin government was able to face down large-scale public opposition to pension reform.

    For Pierre Tévanian, the author of Le Voile Médiatique, the headscarf “unveiled another genuine problem”, later confirmed by last November’s social explosion in the French suburbs: “an ingrained postcolonial racism that crosses all social divides and political formations, even the most progressive.” Most alarmingly, the veil and headscarf debate intertwined seamlessly with issues of law and order, women’s oppression and international terrorism.

    Until last week, the European debate had been confined to the idea of banning items of Muslim dress in public institutions. The Dutch government’s proposed ban on both niqab and burka in all public spaces takes things to a new and disturbing level. The implication is clear: niqab or hijab-wearing women, and through them European Muslims, are being asked to submit not to the law of the land, but to each country’s dominant way of life.

    The lesson of the French experience is compelling: the banning of the headscarf in schools in 2004 was never intended to make France a more integrated society. As well as the ban on “conspicuous religious symbols”, the Stasi commission made 25 other recommendations for “promoting secularism and tackling discrimination”, including the incorporation of slavery and colonisation in the teaching of French history. The government ignored almost all of them.

    The more governments and media foment hysteria over headscarves and niqabs, the more it seems a pan-European Islamophobic consensus is being built, as politicians search for scapegoats for social problems and pretexts to legislate in the “war on terror”. The anniversary of the uprisings in the French banlieues is a reminder that this strategy will lead only to disaster.

    It demagoguery pure and simple, people. The irrational fears and prejudices of the majority are being played up to yet again in order to divert them from what’s really going on with Iraq, with the NHS, with poverty and deprivation, and like a bunch of sheep people go along with it. Wake up!

  66. Jagdeep — on 21st November, 2006 at 2:44 pm  

    Anas, provide the link, you don’t have to cut and paste the whole article, and then people can read it and make up their own minds. An excerpted paragraph is fine.

  67. Steve — on 21st November, 2006 at 2:51 pm  

    The piece by Naima Bouteldja has to be countered by the fact that there are an awful lot of people like her who are in denial about the creep of Islamist extremism amongst Muslims in Britain and Europe, and who try to shut down debate by making threats of violence and disorder.

  68. Anas — on 21st November, 2006 at 2:53 pm  

    Best not mention that though.

    Yes, because it’s fairly irrelevant to the point that’s being made.

    Anas, provide the link

    I did give a link and blockquoted an excerpt(just a long one), but sometimes it is helpful to highlight parts of an article you think are important for people who can’t be arsed to read the whole thing.

  69. Jagdeep — on 21st November, 2006 at 3:04 pm  

    Anas, you excerpted nine paragraphs. You can provide the link and a summary. Cut and pasting 600 words out of consideration for people who ‘can’t be arsed to read it’ is unnessecary. The point she covers has been made as part of the manifesto that Sunny has made this thread for the discussion of.

  70. soru — on 21st November, 2006 at 3:05 pm  

    ‘Basically it just reinforces my view ‘

    Well obviously it does so, that was the reason it was written.

    The gaping hole in the structure of her argument is that there is literally no mention of the activities of Islamist political and terrorist groups. Apparently, people just span a wheel and decided which minority they were afraid of.

    That’s not all that surprising when a quick google finds this article by her, which claims that the Paris subway bombings were not done by those who claimed they did it, and were tried and convicted for it, but by some shadowy government agents.

    If someone doesn’t believe HuT and so on exist as anything other than puppets of the security services, then that’s their privilege, there’s certainly nothing anyone can say that will convince them otherwise.

  71. Jagdeep — on 21st November, 2006 at 3:16 pm  

    DogTherapist, your comments are abuse and you should apologise to Anas.

    Anas, it’s just that if everyone cut and pasted 600 words from articles things would get constipated and threads would be clogged up to the teeth. Also you should respect people to make up their own minds to either read or not read a linked article, describing people as not being ‘arsed to read’ it is slightly insulting.

  72. Anas — on 21st November, 2006 at 3:22 pm  

    Yeah, OK, I get it any article written by anyone Muslim (or with a Muslim name) on the exploitation of the veil issue by European Governments, or indeed any issue relating to Muslim, non-Muslim community relations, should begin with a disclaimer, like the following:

    I wish to make it clear that in criticising non-Muslim politicians or organisations I in no way endorse the activities of Islamic millitants, nor wish to excuse them or underplay the extent of their nefarious schemes. On behalf of my fellow Muslims, I most humbly apologise for any attacks that have been carried out by my Muslim brothers. I promise I will take every opportunity to mention Islamic terrorism even when it is not directly relevant.

    Signed
    [Place signature here]

  73. Anas — on 21st November, 2006 at 3:25 pm  

    Fair enough, Jagdeep, it was a little long, I got a little too excited. I’ll bear it in mind for the next time.

  74. Anas — on 21st November, 2006 at 3:27 pm  

    By the way, posting a huge chunk of someone elses work doesn’t make you a cultural critic and posting it in red just makes you look like a dick.

    I’m puzzled, why red specifically? Have you got something against that colour, does the fact that it’s associated with Communism bother you?

  75. Sunny — on 21st November, 2006 at 3:28 pm  

    I’m with Anas here…. the spread of Islamic religious extremists is not the same as women wearing the niqaab/hijaab/burkha. The two are seperate issues. And anyone who thinks banning the garments is magically going to sort out terrorism has their head in the sand like the French with their notion that if you don’t talk about race then racism will go away.

    The banning of the burkha is an illiberal and stupid move. The comparison to Turkey is irrelevant because we are not bloody Turkey!

  76. Anas — on 21st November, 2006 at 3:34 pm  

    The insinuation that no Muslim will criticise Turkey or Uzbekhistan because they are Muslim majority countries is completely bonkers. These are countries headed by regimes that are enforcing secularism upon largely unwilling populations, so why would they incur the loyalty of Muslims worldwide?

  77. Anas — on 21st November, 2006 at 3:40 pm  

    How was it plagiarised, DogTurd? Anyone who had any sense in their noggin would have realised I was quoting from the article I had mentioned because:
    a) it was in blockquote font
    b) I added a comment in square brackets as is the custom with quoted material
    c) errr, the bloody context of the rest of what I wrote in that post

  78. Jagdeep — on 21st November, 2006 at 3:46 pm  

    Fair enough DogTherapist, but you should try and register your displeasure without calling him a dick. It just makes people turn away from you and not listen to your points. Soru makes a case against that article quite effectively without calling Anas a dick.

  79. soru — on 21st November, 2006 at 3:49 pm  

    Yeah, OK, I get it any article written by anyone Muslim (or with a Muslim name)

    Nothing to do with whether they are Muslim or not, it’s simply that discussing these political issues without mentioning those political actors is like discussing 20C South American history without mentioning the USA.

    I suppose you could conceivably make some kind of coherent argument that actually the USA was, ultimately, irrelevant in SA history: it only provided some marginal technical help to local elites that probably would have ruled anyway, or whatever.

    But that’s not the same as simply not mentioning them as a factor, hoping the reader doesn’t notice. That’s a sufficiently duplicitous angle that you would suspect anyone trying to make it to be in the pay of the CIA.

  80. Anas — on 21st November, 2006 at 3:54 pm  

    RE: post #80 I don’t know if it’s Uzbekistan or Turkmenistan that I meant, I know at least one of those Central Asian states places a very heavy restriction of the practise of religion, it might be both.

  81. Anas — on 21st November, 2006 at 4:03 pm  

    Nothing to do with whether they are Muslim or not, it’s simply that discussing these political issues without mentioning those political actors is like discussing 20C South American history without mentioning the USA.

    No, a better analogy would be if every article on the history of South America in the 20th century, no matter its specific subject matter or audience was required to explicitly mention the US at least a dozen times, regardless of its specific relevance or irrelevance to the topic at hand.

  82. Sid — on 21st November, 2006 at 4:06 pm  

    I’m with Anas & Sunny on this one.

    soru, your point in #83 is sound and perfectly true as a standalone post. But as an argument in defence of the position that the issue of “the veil” & the issue of “the growth of Islamist tendencies” are related its a non sequitur.

  83. Jagdeep — on 21st November, 2006 at 4:20 pm  

    Bunglawala has written a truly pathetic response to Sunny on CiF — good reading for anyone who doubts that at some level Hundal is on the right lines.

  84. Anas — on 21st November, 2006 at 5:35 pm  

    That’s not all that surprising when a quick google finds this article by her, which claims that the Paris subway bombings were not done by those who claimed they did it, and were tried and convicted for it, but by some shadowy government agents.

    If someone doesn’t believe HuT and so on exist as anything other than puppets of the security services, then that’s their privilege, there’s certainly nothing anyone can say that will convince them otherwise.

    Have you actually read the article (I was going to past it on here but…)? She makes a very plausible argument for the Algerian government’s involvement. It’s not the first time I’ve heard of that government’s infiltration of Algerian Islamist groups or of a Western government’s support for terrorist groups or state terror (boy there’s been no shortage of that).

    What I fail to understand is how the claims made in that particular article translate to a blanket dismissal of the threat from all or most Islamist groups and in particular to Nadia’s denial of HuT as anything other than a front for the UK govt?

  85. Anas — on 21st November, 2006 at 5:38 pm  

    Couldn’t be more off topic, but RIP Robert Altman.

  86. Leon — on 21st November, 2006 at 5:39 pm  

    The comparison to Turkey is irrelevant because we are not bloody Turkey!

    That line actually made me laugh out loud in the office, now I have to explain why to the curious folk nearby…:D

  87. Anas — on 21st November, 2006 at 6:10 pm  

    Have you actually read the article (I was going to paste it in here but…)?

  88. soru — on 21st November, 2006 at 6:28 pm  

    She makes a very plausible argument

    If you find that kind of thing plausible, I’m not sure there’s much to be said.

    At least in that article, she is making her claim explicit, rather than sliding over it as something not to be mentioned. Now, maybe it doesn’t need to be mentioned a dozen times, or in every context, but when someone writes 5000 words on the topic of ‘why do they hate america?’ without once mentioning the word ‘CIA’, then it’s reasonable to point out they were kind of wasting their time if they were trying to persuade anyone south of the Rio Grande of their point of view.

  89. Anas — on 21st November, 2006 at 6:38 pm  

    Talking of the CIA

  90. Don — on 21st November, 2006 at 6:47 pm  

    I think soru has a very sound point. Nobody is obliged to apologise for anything they are not personally responsible for. I have no intention of apologising for slavery, the raj, or what happened to the Tasmanians; I was nowhere near the place at the time. However, I recognise that the way I am perceived in some places has historical roots – and pretty iffy ones at that.

    By all means point out that a ‘climate of fear’ has led to scapegoating and grandstanding, that much is observably true. But don’t imply that this fear and distrust is a purely irrational feeling that arrived out of nowhere; it has been assiduously cultivated over a long period of time mainly by radical islamists and more latterly by bandwagonning bigots.

  91. Anas — on 21st November, 2006 at 6:55 pm  

    Ultimately though, Don, prejudice is based on irrationality. In this case on the tarnishing of a whole community, its customs, and its beliefs due to the actions of a tiny minority.

  92. Don — on 21st November, 2006 at 7:13 pm  

    Sure, but a smart and hard working minority who have been seeking exactly that end. Irrational prejudice is part of humanity, why it erupts in a particular way and at a particular time & place has specific causes. This specific irrational prejudice has been prodded into life deliberately. And, once lurching around, has been exploited and nurtured by despicable parties on both sides.

  93. sunray — on 21st November, 2006 at 9:52 pm  

    The story below does have a point to what Sunny is making.
    I hope you get it.
    Its funny as well.

    “The Iranian ambassador to the UN had just finished giving a speech and walked out into the lobby where he met the United States ambassador John Bolton.

    They exchanged pleasantries and as they walked the Iranian said, “You know I have just one question about what I have seen in America.Ambassador Bolton said, “Well anything I can do to help you, I will.”

    The Iranian whispered, “My son watches this show ‘Star Trek’ and in it there is Chekhov who is Russian, Scotty who is Scottish, and Sulu who is Chinese, but no Iranians. My son is very upset and doesn’t understand why there aren’t any Arabs or Muslims on Star Trek.”

    Bolton laughed, leaned toward the Iranian ambassador and whispered back, “It’s because Star Trek takes place in the future.”

  94. Anas — on 21st November, 2006 at 10:34 pm  

    …And that’s why the world loves America so much.

  95. Sid — on 21st November, 2006 at 10:38 pm  

    I’ve written an animation screenplay for a spoof of the Carry On team doing a Star Trek episode. Its called Carry On Up Uranus. Lots of “Asian” characters. ;-)

  96. El Cid — on 21st November, 2006 at 10:44 pm  

    Weren’t the Romulans a bit Asian?
    Funny enough they also had a controversial cloaking device ;)

  97. El Cid — on 21st November, 2006 at 10:45 pm  
  98. Anas — on 21st November, 2006 at 11:32 pm  

    Weren’t the Romulans a bit Asian?
    Funny enough they also had a controversial cloaking device

    There’s gonna be a funny wee guy pop up any minute and reprimand you for not differentiating between Muslims who wear the veil and Hindus, Buddhists and Sikhs, who don’t in your amusing star trek related comment.

  99. Douglas Clark — on 22nd November, 2006 at 12:14 am  

    Err.. I’ve just called out Inayat Bunglawala for the second time. Does anyone here think the arguement is worth pursuing? Anas? Jai? El Cid? Cid? Leon? Anyone???? If so where are you?

  100. Leon — on 22nd November, 2006 at 9:56 am  

    I commented on his piece on CiF…

  101. El Cid — on 22nd November, 2006 at 4:58 pm  

    Anas, thanks for allowing me special dispensation in the cause of humour

  102. Jai — on 22nd November, 2006 at 6:44 pm  

    =>”doesn’t understand why there aren’t any Arabs or Muslims”

    Not true. Dr Julian Bashir from DS9 was of Middle-Eastern ethnicity. Not sure if he was a Muslim, though.

    =>”Weren’t the Romulans a bit Asian?
    Funny enough they also had a controversial cloaking device”

    So did the Klingons, who were partly based on (somewhat exaggerated versions of) Sikhs, amongst various other “warlike” groups.

    From Prince to Star Trek. That’s quite an off-topic tangent to this thread.

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