A reply to Soumaya Ghannoushi


by Sunny
26th November, 2006 at 10:14 pm    

SoumayaI love reading articles by CIF’s Soumaya Ghannoushi. They’re so flowery and full of passion with long meaningless prose that stretches the the text unnecessarily. But she does it with flair and I like that, even if she dances around the issue like a Bollywood heroine without making a succint point. In a reply to our manifesto she ends with the phrase: “the camel laboured and gave birth to a mouse.” That actually sums up all her articles.

This is the problem when academics try and be journalists; it turns out to be all hot air and indignation without structure and reference points. She certainly gets the boys all excited.

The article has something about citizenship, not confronting structural inequalities, some bizarre reference to “Edmund Burke’s critique of the French revolutionaries”, says we are apparently in bed with the Sufi Muslim Council, labours about the CEHR and then plugs her own talk at the end. Hello? Is there a point hidden in there somewhere?

She seems to think we were lining up behind Blair (she’ll find we actually blame the Labour govt more than anyone); or promoting the SMC (no, we don’t want any sole representatives) or that we planned to write exclusively about the “structural” challenges we faced.

The last point betrays a fundamental misreading of our aims. The problems can be debated until the cows come home but to get anywhere you need a more effective and constructive conversation with parties that are geared towards the same goal.

Our central point has been that you cannot make alliances with bigots who do not have an interest in community cohesion. Our other point was that “structural problems” can be resolved but should not be politicised into being specifically about race or religion otherwise racists will use that against you and make statements such as “blacks are poor because they’re stupid” or “Muslims fight in gangs because it’s in their religion”.

Such nuanced points clearly missed Ms Ghannoushi by completely and she launched into a prose-laden tirade designed to protect the hegemony of her friends. That is hardly surprising but by doing so she only betrays the Muslim communities she claims to be looking out for.

I replied underneath her article, to which she replied, to which I replied. Then she ran away.


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  1. Jagdeep — on 26th November, 2006 at 10:29 pm  

    Too personal Sunny. Re-write if you are going to post this on CiF. I expect half the trick is to needle you personally; so go easy on criticising her prose style and stick to refuting the substantial points she distorts or misrepresents. As it stands this is a little playground catcalling and beneath you and your manifesto purposes. She is easy to take down without the personalised rhetoric. Do it.

  2. Anas — on 26th November, 2006 at 10:33 pm  

    She’s got such a pretty face.

  3. Tanvir — on 26th November, 2006 at 10:34 pm  

    The bickering put aside, well done Sunny. I could see the new generation thing as an accumulation of your work. I haven’t read it to sign it, but without making the post long, basically, the more making an effort to better our society the merrier.

    The ‘debate’ on Cif from the links off PP that i have skimmed at a glance looks so lame though. Why does one party need to belittle another in order to (what it seems like they are thinking) fight for survival or to establish themselves, and fight it out to the extent where it makes them both look bad. Its like if Pepsi, could present themselves as a ‘gap in the market for a better cola’ but instead opt to say ‘Coke taste like piss, and sponsors suicide bombers’

  4. Sunny — on 26th November, 2006 at 10:57 pm  

    Jagdeep this is not for CIF. This is just for PP. I don’t think I’m being too harsh… she is quite intelligent but you get the feeling she needs to write a 10,000 word thesis to make a point.

  5. El Cid — on 26th November, 2006 at 10:59 pm  

    I used to write like that, when I was at uni

  6. Jagdeep — on 26th November, 2006 at 11:03 pm  

    Cool Sunny. Just don’t get wound up into personal bickering too much. Her rambling articles remind me of that line from Shakespeare — a tale full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

  7. raz — on 26th November, 2006 at 11:05 pm  

    She looks nice. Would look even hotter without the hijab on :)

  8. El Cid — on 26th November, 2006 at 11:06 pm  

    Jay Singh used to quote Shakespeare

  9. El Cid — on 26th November, 2006 at 11:06 pm  

    :)

  10. Anas — on 26th November, 2006 at 11:22 pm  

    Lol, raz, that’s the point of the hijab.

  11. Don — on 26th November, 2006 at 11:25 pm  

    Very coquettish photo, wouldn’t you say?

    Mind you, match it with Sunny’s …

    You two should thrash this out face to face.

  12. Anas — on 26th November, 2006 at 11:28 pm  

    I prefer to think of it as enigmatic.

  13. Clairwil — on 26th November, 2006 at 11:43 pm  

    I think I could look at her forever.

  14. Sunny — on 26th November, 2006 at 11:50 pm  

    Hello! What about my brilliant reply? Instead you lot are more fixated with her picture. Grrr.

    Cheers Tanvir.

  15. Chris Stiles — on 27th November, 2006 at 12:08 am  


    Hello! What about my brilliant reply? Instead you lot are more fixated with her picture. Grrr.

    I think you are arguing with someone who sees most things through the lens of religion. See the crack about “religio-ethnic minorities” – as if the two are joined at the hip.

    So your argument will either be seen as a religious one – and therefore the anti-MCB style organisations she sees as a bulwark against oppression. Or it’s not a religious argument and therefore irrelevant (all those religio-* relationships, ya see)

    Try it. I suspect I’ll turn out to be right. I’ve been in the same situation in the past. For your pains, you get to wave a copy of this around.

  16. Douglas Clark — on 27th November, 2006 at 12:10 am  

    Sunnny,

    You’ve got to admit she looks quite coquettish.

    You have had as much difficulty as I had in interpreting what the f**k she was saying. She seems to think this, she seems to think that. We don’t actually know what she thinks. I, politely, challenged her and she didn’t reply. If you have been reading CiF for a while, you’ll know I have a major issue with commentators that don’t get down and dirty with us. Y’know, punters. I consider her views uninterpretable, and frankly inexplicable, I consider her lack of involvement in her point of view, inexcusable. I want a job with CiF. In fact I’d get my goldfish to do it.

    You Sunny, do the needful. Expect, no demand, the same of others.

    Clairwill, get a grip.

  17. Sid — on 27th November, 2006 at 12:26 am  

    I’m agree that I spent 10 minutes reading an article which says nothing at all. But I’m even angrier that I’m now commenting about nothing on a blog post which has nothing to say about an article that says nothing at all.

  18. Sid — on 27th November, 2006 at 12:41 am  

    More subsantial but just as deluded is the MaddyBunting article. Of all the things she’s written, nothing is as wilfully ignorant of the dangers of religion-based representation is this para:

    The problem is that by Hundal making “communal identities” (interesting to see the emergence of a more derogatory term originating from the sub-continent in place of the more commonly used “faith identity”) his main target, he will end up alienating many of the people he needs to engage. And he’ll get into a tedious turf war about race and religious identity, as many of the posts illustrate.

    The term she refers to is “communal identities” I guess, which she says is a derogatory term emerging from the subcontinent. I guess to Maddy, “communalist” is a term more offensive than the MCB inviting communalist politicians who have track record of killings and incitomh violence against minorities such as Delwar Hossain Saeedi.

  19. soru — on 27th November, 2006 at 12:41 am  

    Personally, I think the prose style is not incidental, it’s at the core of the problem. Trying to express her political position using the vocabulary of marxism and sociology is like trying to explain the London Tube map through a Bollywood movie – the medium does not fit the message.

    You end up saying ‘structural factors’ again and again, like Flipper the Dolphin frantically honking and, well, flipping in an attempt to tell the Captain about the local villain’s lair and plans.

    Anyone trying to follow what’s going on needs someone to play the C3P0 role: ‘what’s that Soumaya, you think government without morality will not long endure the assault of the wicked’?

  20. Nav — on 27th November, 2006 at 12:53 am  

    Wait, so now Islamophobia Watch is calling YOU an Islamophobe? Asshats.

  21. Psychohobbit233 — on 27th November, 2006 at 2:00 am  

    What a beautiful girl. And anything she says goes, for the time being. Is this some sort of Muslim witchcraft?

    Only asking

    Apostate Catholic 233

  22. Desi Italiana — on 27th November, 2006 at 8:31 am  

    Shame on all of you for drooling over her beauty instead of paying attention to what she has to say. I’m not the least bit suprised that these comments cropped up.

    Anyway.

    “This is the problem when academics try and be journalists;”

    Hey! Don’t knock down FORMER academics who are trying to go into journalism! ;)

    I’m very familiar with her writings, as I’ve read them regularly on Al Jazeera. And I have to say that much of what she writes infuriates me, especially the way she always talks about “Muslims” as if they are some sort of coherent, monolithic community and that every self identifying Muslim puts their religion above everything else, much like how she does. I also don’t like the disproportiontate emphasis on religion and her use of “community” which is defined by religion in her mind. I take a lot of her writing as just passionate venting, I think; I don’t take writers like her seriously when she paints opposition to US foreign policy, espousal of the Palestinian cause, and many other things with Islamic colors, as in “they are MUSLIM causes.” I find that kind of mentality really counterproductive, and almost as shutting or turning away people who are 1)not Muslim but share her criticisms; and 2) from a Muslim background but do not put their religious identity as their primary marker of identity (as she does in her writings).

  23. Chris — on 27th November, 2006 at 8:53 am  

    Sunny would have to spend all day on CiF if he was going to reply to every (wholly predictable) attack on NGN.

    Even Madeleine “Think Tank” Bunting has got in on the act. Some MCB guy very active in the comments on that one as well.

  24. Sahil — on 27th November, 2006 at 8:55 am  

    Sunny I agree with Jagdeep’s post #1 & 6, don’t get too personal about this. I know you put a lot of work into the manifesto, but don’t get baited away from your natural style because of ineffectual arguments.

    About her points: well it’s the same as usual. We can’t do anything about community cohesion before inequality is solved. Well good luck. I would also say that MCB type characters perpetuate structural inequalities, because the government passes a lump sum to these lobbyists and then declares it has done it’s deed of the day for muslims.

    IF MCB et al was actually representative or had a substantial distribution network amongst muslims AND was interest in community development coupled with community cohesion, the govt could use them as service providers, but they’re not and hence should be removed.

  25. Lelia — on 27th November, 2006 at 9:58 am  

    Sahil,

    Well, you answered one question I had posed which I could not get an answer.

    What exactly is MCB role?

    I would still like more info about this. I have a feeling that this point is the true crux of the matter.

    For instance, what is the “lump sum” used for?

    I found it disturbing that one of the objections Ms. Ghannoushi seemed to have was to the notion of citizenship? Or did I misunderstand?

    I have the added disadvantage of being from the US, and therefore don’t know if my trouble stems from ignorance of the situation in the UK or if it has to do with Ms. Ghannoushi’s writing style.

    Sunny’s manifesto seemed like a great start to me…but who I am to know what is best?

  26. Chairwoman — on 27th November, 2006 at 10:54 am  

    Obviously senility is approaching, but I attempted to read her reply 4 times, but after the fifth line, a sort of grey mist rolled over eyes and brain, and I was totally unable to continue.

  27. PedanticLurker — on 27th November, 2006 at 11:04 am  

    Isn’t the point of the “we have to wait until racism ends before we change what we are doing” argument that racism will never end (since it seems to be part of the human condition), ergo the identity politics mavens are guaranteed permanent fiefdoms, and don’t actually ever have to examine their positions and thinking?

  28. Jagdeep — on 27th November, 2006 at 12:31 pm  

    You know, I wonder if she knows much about the nature of poverty in London and Birmingham, the two cities she namechecks — because it’s clear that ‘poverty’ in those cities is not reduced to Muslims, there are significant black and white underclasses there too. So what does the ummah and the evil of ‘secular fundamentalism’ have to do with that?

  29. Electro — on 27th November, 2006 at 2:14 pm  

    It should be obvious to you, Sunny, that Soumaya isn’t interested in either reading or misreading what you’ve written. Her only use for non-muslims rests in their temporary ability or susceptibility to being used to promote the objectives of her extremist constituency.

    She is neither a jounarnalist nor an intellectual, but merely a grunt-worker apologist for the Islamist agenda.

    What’s the point in replying to her when her dialogue consists of wordy masquerades designed to hide, disimmulate and deflect from her cleric-master’s game-plan.

    Why dignify such dishonesty with a reasoned response? Her status, and that of her extremist pals, rests largely on their ability to attract attention and to gain and maintain a legitimate “activist” profile via that attention.

    She’s NOT there to reform anything; she merely picks up the strands of ANY current political narrative, which for the moment are *leftist* and then weaves those strands into a veil behind which she can hide and push her radical wahabbist agenda.

    For Soumaya the answer to ALL social problemes is simply more Islam. PERIOD!

    Every response you write, then, that is directed specifically at her or her associates will merely become another platform from which to disseminate even more empty-headed Islamo-propaganda.

    Leftist secular principles and Islam, as now practised over much of the globe, are simply incompatible.

    Thus the more one discusses and sticks to clearly defined “civil” goals for faith communities, goals the hard-core Islamists can’t possible condone, the more incoherent Soumaya’s “reflections” will become.

    Flush her out, throw the dishonest skank off-balance, make it so that she no longer knows on which foot to dance.

    So if you must respond to her, please do it with that aim in mind.

  30. leon — on 27th November, 2006 at 2:16 pm  

    See the crack about “religio-ethnic minorities” – as if the two are joined at the hip.

    Unfortunetley there is some evidence to suggest they are. Minority Ethnic people (apart from mixed race) tend to place religion high up on their lists of important things than the white majority in this country. That said the conflation for political purposes is often complex and can confuse the issue of race relations etc.

  31. Jai — on 27th November, 2006 at 4:41 pm  

    =>”Shame on all of you for drooling over her beauty instead of paying attention to what she has to say. I’m not the least bit suprised that these comments cropped up.”

    Bleh. It’s human nature and, within limits, a perfectly normal male reaction. Stop being so politically-correct, Desi Italiana. Where do you think you are, Sepia Mutiny ? ;)

    We don’t care about all that stuff here in Ingerlaanda….

    Of course we’re going to appreciate her, imagining stolen moments with the flashing-eyed Eastern beauty in the haveli’s courtyards amongst peacocks and fountains, after sneaking into the zenana in the dead of night, while the stars twinkle in the inky-black sky and secretly smile their knowing approval, the Lamp Of The World unveiling her glowing luminescence as the tropical wind gently stirs the palm trees, amidst dreams of rapturous glimpses of romance and whispers of jannat and houris and Birds of Paradise, the rabab being played forlornly in the background by the Nawab’s court musician echoing breathless passion and unending tumbles into Pyrrhic love…..

    Okay I think I got a little carried away there.

    Actually that hijab/headscarf just focuses all the attention on her pretty face, which kind of defeats the original objective.

    Sorry folks, I don’t have anything constructive to add to the debate and I haven’t read her article (yet), but I just felt like being badmaash for a moment. Stop complaining — it’s cold, dark at 4.30 in the afternoon, and frikking November.

  32. Jai — on 27th November, 2006 at 4:43 pm  

    Apologies to Soumaya if she’s married and/or offended.

  33. sabinaahmed — on 27th November, 2006 at 5:26 pm  

    Chairwoman
    I too had exactly the same experience,trying to read that article,I put it down to the fact that i was not as educated,had a doctorate,etc. And consoled myself that somebody who also has a PhD will understand it.
    I feel it is unfair that this manifesto has become an intellectual football,rather than something every one should hear about and take notice.
    Jai, what prose! Took me back to the thousand and one Arabian nights i read ages ago!
    It is so unfair that if you are beautiful, you get loads of people commenting on your article,but if you not then nobody does. Wipes tears, and sniffs.

  34. William — on 27th November, 2006 at 6:16 pm  

    Must admit reading her article reminded me of clever lefties and Social Scientists (Very eloqent yes)the pupose of which is to try make the study of humans and human populations into a science. As such we get groups of people taxonomised and categorised like great lumps of matter to be studied, reduced, analysed, identified, objectified and placed in relation to other large object categories and then predicted. Ok maybe some of it may have some limited use e.g. maybe by research we could dicover that Bangladeshis don’t do so well in school so maybe we can then have a policy to correct that. The remedy decided by outside objective observers?? But it seems to me that’s as far as Social Science goes. Anything else is trying to fit human beings into some box or other. It can be innocent and silly at it’s worse it can be dehumanising.

    By the way she is pretty!!!
    However some vidoes I have seen of her ranting she sounds ugly

    Jai 31

    “Actually that hijab/headscarf just focuses all the attention on her pretty face, which kind of defeats the original objective.”

    I agree entirely. It’s a bit like when some feminists cut their hair off because it’s too feminine. Just showed their face off instead.

  35. Lelia — on 27th November, 2006 at 6:28 pm  

    sabinaahmed:

    Glad to see I’m not alone in my confusion. but now that I think of it, its her confusing writing style that garners the comments rather then her looks. It is designed to make people feel inferior. Not sure I like that too much…

    I think it is NOT advisable for men to comment on her looks when discussing this issue, but people are human. At least no one has done it on CIF.

  36. Desi Italiana — on 27th November, 2006 at 6:31 pm  

    “Bleh. It’s human nature and, within limits, a perfectly normal male reaction. Stop being so politically-correct, Desi Italiana. Where do you think you are, Sepia Mutiny ?”

    I vociferously protest being called “politically correct!” I doubt that 1) if this were a male writer in question, there would be a picture up, and 2) if he had been handsome, the initial comments would have been about him being hot.

    It’s interesting to note that her looks are noted first, rather than what she is saying.

    “It is so unfair that if you are beautiful, you get loads of people commenting on your article,but if you not then nobody does.”

    No– what’s unfair is that if you are attractive, people notice that first and then MIGHT comment on your article :)

    “She is neither a jounarnalist nor an intellectual, but merely a grunt-worker apologist for the Islamist agenda.”
    Apologist for the Islamist agenda? I don’t see how you are saying that; what I see is # 22.

  37. Jai — on 27th November, 2006 at 6:38 pm  

    Desi Italiana,

    =>”2) if he had been handsome, the initial comments would have been about him being hot.”

    Browse through SM’s archives. They’re filled with thread after thread containing female commenters remarking on the “hotness” of various male desi figures which the articles may be discussing for one reason or another, even if the main article isn’t necessarily about the guys’ looks.

    But yes I agree that in this particular instance, it’s inappropriate to focus too much on Soumaya’s attractiveness.

  38. Jai — on 27th November, 2006 at 6:38 pm  

    Desi Italiana,

    =>”2) if he had been handsome, the initial comments would have been about him being hot.”

    Browse through SM’s archives. They’re filled with thread after thread containing female commenters remarking on the “hotness” of various male desi figures which the articles may be discussing for one reason or another, even if the main article isn’t necessarily about the guys’ looks.

    But yes I agree that in this particular instance, it’s inappropriate to focus too much on Soumaya’s attractiveness.

  39. ZinZin — on 27th November, 2006 at 6:41 pm  

    Does Ms Ghannoushi have a job in academia? as she is not listed as a member of staff at SOAS.

  40. justforfun — on 27th November, 2006 at 7:07 pm  

    We have to have an opinion -but as it is already noted – its next to impossible to work out what Soumaya Ghannoushi is saying …so we might as well comment on her appearance.

    Personally speaking – the lipstick is far too red and too much eye makeup. I think – is it someone in drag? I note the adams apple is hidden – so a tip from the wise – no matter how many beers you’ve had, make sure there is no adams apple? You have all been warned.

    By the way – has Sunny updated his picture yet? We always give him hassle about it. Such a cute look and a similar look to the camera as Soumaya Ghannoushi.

    William – not sure about feminists cutting off their hair just to show their faces. However I have to say I think Sinead O’connor is beutiful, not my usual type but… Just the other day I downloaded some pictures of her.. to show to my daughter, because I wanted to re-assure her that once I had shaved her head – to get rid of the lice from school – she would be just as beutiful as before, if not more so. Unfortunately the wife intervened so I shaved my own head!

    Justforfun

  41. raz — on 27th November, 2006 at 8:16 pm  

    JUSTFORFUN FANCIES SUNNY!!!!!!!!!!!! HAHAHAHA

  42. William — on 27th November, 2006 at 8:28 pm  

    justforfun

    I wasn’t saying that feminist cut their hair with the motive of showing their face I was just saying similar to Jai that something can have the reverse effect.

  43. pfm — on 27th November, 2006 at 9:23 pm  

    she is well fit!

    mashallah!

    *ahem*

  44. pfm — on 27th November, 2006 at 9:26 pm  

    ha ha ha just read the thread again!

    yeh raz she is very beautiful, lucky husband eh ;)

    sunny serves you right for putting up such a lovely pic!

    lmao! all these years ive known you, i thought u would have known better!

  45. bikhair aka taqiyyah — on 27th November, 2006 at 10:43 pm  

    Anas,

    She is cute but the sisters at my school are crazy fine.

  46. Desi Italiana — on 28th November, 2006 at 12:11 am  

    *sigh*

  47. Refresh — on 28th November, 2006 at 12:41 am  

    Sunny, it looks as if you’re trying to re-create the ‘ambience’ of her original thread on CIF.

    As expected there were plenty to question her english, ethnicity, religion, terminology, history, logic etc. but none really addressing the weaknesses she pointed out in your manifesto.

    Its a shame your own response on that thread, partially recreated here, is the response of school yard gang.

    I am not convinced by your approach. If you had paid more attention to what she was saying than your own defense, you might have added to the meaning of your manifesto.

    An opportunity you missed, which is a tragedy, was the one which could have challenged all the bigotted responses she’d recieved and gone on to disagree with the points that you don’t share with Soumaya.

    Its not too late – challenge the bigotry wherever you find it – but don’t use strategic periods of silence to strengthen you’re own hand.

    I happen to think – the manifesto is ‘depressingly timid’ – lest hope it is because it comes from a committee. And I have a feeling Soumaya is saying pretty much the same thing – the manifesto demonstrates no analysis.

    By the way I do think – the ‘communalist’ tag is another depressing innovation for British politics.

  48. Sunny — on 28th November, 2006 at 1:29 am  

    but none really addressing the weaknesses she pointed out in your manifesto.

    Um, try reading the original article Refresh. I’ve answered her here and on CIF. She never replied back. What do you want me to do now? She doesn’t have a bloody point – accusing me of supporting Blair while blatantly missing the fact that we criticise the Labour govt the most.

    Thanks for asking us to challenge the bigotry wherever we find it. That is exactly what we state and your friend is defending. And yet you’re not convinced of my approach?

  49. Refresh — on 28th November, 2006 at 1:41 am  

    Sunny, I’ve no idea whether she replies or not. Not quite the measure of the argument.

    I did read the original and the comments. I did not miss your contribution and her response (I think she responded to your first note). But that’s not my point.

    What have you really answered? Ridicule maybe. Answer? No.

    I am not convinced by your approach – what you state and what you do is going to be the measure surely.

    Watching others being attacked by bigots is not the way.

    And what is the meaning of this – “and your friend is defending”?

    No Sunny, I’ve a feeling you may end up being the weak link in your own manifesto.

  50. Desi Italiana — on 28th November, 2006 at 1:49 am  

    Ok, I finally read the three links you provided. I may be totally off the mark, but below is what I think based on what I read:

    I think what she is trying to say is that your “manifesto” focuses on abstract concepts of citizenship; and citizenship itself is an abstract notion, and people’s location is rooted in socio-economic-political context. What she is then implying is that “citizenship” doesn’t exist period; look at the “structural inequalities.” She is saying: include more concrete dynamics, and to wed the abstract and theoretical with the real (socio-cultural-economic context with is characterized by structural inequalities). If I were to return to my academic days [ahem], I would have probably responded that one can needs to see how citizenship is practiced; and just because she doesn’t identify what she calls the abstract notions of “citizenship” in the real world doesn’t mean citizenship doesn’t exist; but that citizenship is present, it is being practiced in a different way, and we should identify what it is and how it is played out. There is plenty of room for bringing in “structural inequalities” and the concrete because in this kind of analysis you would be using empirical stuff to hypothesize, not the other way around: using theory and hypothesis to make assertions about the empirical. To chuck “citizenship” is grave, since “citizenship” obviously means something for millions of people- both objectively and subjectively- and has implications and bearings on people’s “socio/cultural/economic” situation and “structural inequalities” (as she likes to call it).

    She is saying that there is a missing link to your manifesto.

    So, um, can you provide a link to your manifesto? Sorry, I’m a bit late in the game.

    (Sidenote: I didn’t realize that she herself put up a picture of herself on her site; so I guess she wants to, er, make herself familiar with readers…..)

  51. Sunny — on 28th November, 2006 at 1:50 am  

    Refresh: paragraphs 4 – 6 above. And the replies on the CIF thread. If you think that is not answering her points then I’m not going to bother further. You can accuse me of being juvenile or unnecessarily vindictive or missing her point. But you’re just accusing me of not answering her point, which is as vague as to be useless.

    Desi: http://www.new-gen.org/manifesto/

  52. Refresh — on 28th November, 2006 at 3:43 am  

    Sunny, I would argue that Soumaya’s response is much closer to Shamit Saggar’s ‘A makeover is not enough
    There is something a bit old-fashioned about how race and faith concerns are debated in Britain’ – than you deduced.

    Shamit of course being another friend of mine.

  53. razib — on 28th November, 2006 at 7:39 am  

    she should wear a niqab! her fit face is distracting the men. what did she say anyway?

  54. sonia — on 28th November, 2006 at 11:24 am  

    In any case – not getting in the middle of all this ‘quibbling’. But in my opinion it’s clearly silly to pretend that there isn’t a lot of idealism about everywhere. I can’t see that it’s a serious criticism to say something is full of ‘lofty idealism’. Hell no doubt that was said about the idea of ‘human rights’ and is often still said. So what? Many people could say because the reality on the ground is that the ideal of human rights doesn’t ‘exist’ for more people – others shouldn’t bother talking about it. eh? Well perhaps that could be a dystopic viewpoint – but in that case well why wouldn’t you just be hiding under your duvet and waiting for it all to end. ( well you could be doing that and having the last word on the matter!)

    Anyway – my two cents is i’ve heard a lot of things – and i hear a lot of people bashing each other with comments like ‘lack of substance’ and what have you. Seems like if there was really a lack of substance one wouldn’t bother saying anything about it! Methinks the reality is that people have positions they want to protect – and these kinds of comments are all about that.

  55. sonia — on 28th November, 2006 at 11:36 am  

    But fundamentally – I think some interesting things are coming out which people seem to be avoiding. Which is the question of hierarchy. The point about ‘community leaders’ – i think – was all about about the leaders bit – not the community bit. As far as i can see a lot of people are getting het up because they see their organizations under ‘threat’. In my personal opinion, i haven’t got any problems with people organizing themselves into groups – simply – the more the merrier. no one should be thinking oh yeah im the ‘leader’ over that lot. of course that tends to happen ( powerful institutions eh!) but then they can’t expect others to be pleased about that. Bottom line – more people involved – flatter social networks – more chance at equality and human rights and ‘other lofty ideals’ etc.

    {Of course the Leadership thing is what always gets me and always has – im not a ‘follower’ so naturally i think that.}

  56. Kismet Hardy — on 28th November, 2006 at 11:45 am  

    “she should wear a niqab! her fit face is distracting the men. what did she say anyway?”

    Sorry but that’s fucking hilarious

  57. El Cid — on 28th November, 2006 at 12:02 pm  

    I don’t believe I’m going to say this, but…. Who would have thought it, me?? 40-years old and still thinking about jack and danny every hour of the day.. but lads.. what the fuck does the fact she is female and arguably attractive (not to me anyway… well.. ok maybe a bit) got to do with what she says? Nothing. Absolutely nada.
    You want a woman to treat you seriously, then treat her seriously. And stop looking at her tits.
    No seriously, show her more respect.

  58. Jai — on 28th November, 2006 at 12:11 pm  

    Okay, I’ve had a chance to read through Soumaya’s article. The impression I basically get is that she objects to the declaration of aspiring to universal human rights and equality because, as she sees it, such rights and equality do not exist “in real life”, and that therefore it is pointless to espouse such ideals because they do not do anything to address the injustices present within society in its current form.

    It’s fairly similar to the disagreements I had with Anti-Knee-Jerk recently on PP regarding male-female equality within Sikhism.

    I think she’s missing the point. Declaring such ideals means you have a goal to work towards; it may not include a detailed roadmap for precisely how to achieve the realisation of those ideals “on the ground”, but it’s a start. Disparaging the ideals because they supposedly do not correlate with the current situation is a cynical attitude and circular logic; you have to be realistic and pragmatic, sure, but one cannot undermine such goals and fundamental principles if one is basing one’s points of references on the present corrupt and unjust state of affairs. Just because something is bad now, it doesn’t mean that desiring a better tomorrow is pointless or that one shouldn’t attempt to figure out how to achieve it; to take such a negative stance is counterproductive and pessimistic.

    For the BAs & Project Managers out there, you’ll know what I’m talking about when I mention concepts such as “As-Is Scenarios/Current State Model” and “To-Be Scenarios/Future State Model”. What Soumaya appears to be saying is that formulating the latter as a better, even ideal situation (and a viable target to aim for), is pointless due to the present nature of the former. I’m using a little jargon myself here, but I hope this makes sense to everyone reading this.

    I also got the impression that Soumaya objects to the notion of seeing everyone as a fellow human being first and foremost, with the same inherent rights and intrinsic worth, rather than subdividing people into racial and religious groups. I don’t know enough about her to comment on exactly why she make take this perspective (Sunny — you’re the best person to explain this) — maybe it’s her upbringing and/or social circles, and maybe her interpretation of her own religion is also a major reason. With regards to the latter, it would explain a lot, at least if she really is as “fundamentalist” as some of the commenters on her thread appear to claim.

  59. Refresh — on 28th November, 2006 at 12:42 pm  

    Jai, do you really believe she is saying that?

    Surely you are not assuming she is a ‘fundamentalist’, simply because some bigotted pillocks are keen to smear anyone with a ‘funny’ name.

    Even Sunny got closer to it than you.

    What she is saying is that – even though (in her example) the French revolution talked about and its ethos rests on liberté, égalité, fraternité, in reality it limits this space ‘for its own’.

    Its the definition of ‘its own’ which is the battleground.

  60. Chairwoman — on 28th November, 2006 at 1:00 pm  

    Well said Rodrigo. Judicious use of mascara and yeshadow should certainly not prevent a woman being taken seriously.

    Jai – good points.

  61. Chairwoman — on 28th November, 2006 at 1:01 pm  

    Damn, should have read ‘eyeshadow’.

    Come on Sunny, put a preview on to stop me being a prat.

  62. Jagdeep — on 28th November, 2006 at 1:04 pm  

    Its the definition of ‘its own’ which is the battleground.

    I agree. The Islamists like Ghannoushi need to address their own narrow conceptions of ‘its own’, rectify their prejudices, their bed-wetting hysteria about ‘secular fundamentalism’, and then progress may be made in introducing them to the real world.

  63. Jagdeep — on 28th November, 2006 at 1:06 pm  

    And yet Chairwoman, ‘yeshadow’ has a certain charm and imagery to it.

  64. SoumayaG — on 28th November, 2006 at 1:15 pm  

    Sunny,

    your reply to my article posted on your blog is quite revealing. Its vulgar tone is worthy of the gutter press. Its message is clear: You either agree with me, or I shut you up any way I can, by ridicule as by personal abuse. You Sunny are interested in neither debate, nor dialogue, but in publicity and sel-agrandisement.

    You speak of bigots while your words drip with bigotry and arrogance.

    You claim to be after public debate, while you lack the most basic requirements for dialogue: respect of your interlocutor.

    You are a travesty of a journalist, too grotesque to be read, or replied to.

  65. sonia — on 28th November, 2006 at 1:26 pm  

    okay time out folks – this is getting silly now. we are all grown ups aren’t we? isn’t it possible to respect differing positions/opinions without getting personal?

  66. leon — on 28th November, 2006 at 1:28 pm  

    Well said Sonia.

  67. Chairwoman — on 28th November, 2006 at 1:31 pm  

    sonia – don’t you think she fulfills rule one of the true pickler?

    When all else fails, hurl personal abuse at your opponent.

  68. Anas — on 28th November, 2006 at 1:33 pm  

    I bet Soumaya looks even prettier when she’s angry.

  69. Anas — on 28th November, 2006 at 1:34 pm  

    Sorry, I can’t help myself with that Submit Comment button sometimes.

  70. Chairwoman — on 28th November, 2006 at 1:35 pm  

    And modestly wears more make-up :-)

  71. Chairwoman — on 28th November, 2006 at 1:35 pm  

    We know, Anas, we know.

  72. Jagdeep — on 28th November, 2006 at 1:35 pm  

    ‘Bed-wetting hysteria’ indeed.

  73. Ravi Naik — on 28th November, 2006 at 1:36 pm  

    After reading Soumaya’s post a few times so as not to miss any subtleties, it seems clear to me that her article makes a point as to why the manifesto will stand the test of time.

    Her main objection is that the manifesto does not provide an explanation to the social inequalities in Britain, and therefore a context on which to apply the principles described in the document. But I believe there is little consensus on this subject, and I find her reasons, religion and race, to be an oversimplification. Hence, had the manifesto embarked on her suggestion, it would had been easily dismissed.

    In any case, if the manifesto is any indication of our new progressive generation, then I believe we are in good hands. Well done.

  74. Sid — on 28th November, 2006 at 1:36 pm  

    uh oh, I know you’re a serial arseflap Anas, but have some respect.

  75. soru — on 28th November, 2006 at 1:45 pm  

    Well, it turns out Soumaya can actually write a comprehensible sentence when she tries.

    Now all she needs to do is set out her political position in similarly clear language, and everyone will know where they stand.

  76. Ravi Naik — on 28th November, 2006 at 1:54 pm  

    “I bet Soumaya looks even prettier when she’s angry.”

    And I bet you look prettier when you don’t post your sexist and anti-semitic rants.

  77. Refresh — on 28th November, 2006 at 1:56 pm  

    After all of this, I had to read the article again.

    Soru, here is her political position:

    “The only way we can achieve an actual and concrete embodiment of the lofty principle of citizenship is through the activation of ethnic and religious minority-based organisations and engagement in a common struggle on the ground bringing together a diverse broad coalition of different forces, ethnic and religious groups, civil liberties and human rights organizations and political currents. Only through this common effort to combat structural inequality, under privilege, segregation, and religio-ethnic prejudice – which are the real obstacles to social mobility and integration – can we bridge the vast distances between the abstract and the concrete. Only then can we speak of citizenship.”

  78. sonia — on 28th November, 2006 at 1:56 pm  

    yeah i guess – Chairwoman! but so much for objective dialogue. but i think it goes both ways – i wasn’t just referring to the lady.

    Pickled Politics does get very childish sometimes.

  79. Refresh — on 28th November, 2006 at 1:57 pm  

    Now the question is how big a gap is there between what she has said and what the manifesto is supposed to be?

    This is where Sunny is missing the trick.

  80. sonia — on 28th November, 2006 at 2:02 pm  

    A lot of the us vs. them has been creeping in i’ve noticed. if someone ‘new’ comes along particularly – it can get very school-yardy.

  81. Anas — on 28th November, 2006 at 2:04 pm  

    Hey I’m not anti-semitic, and the “pretty” comment was intended to be an ironic in the style of many of today’s comedians such as that Jewish bastard Sacha Baron Cohen (see?).

  82. Anas — on 28th November, 2006 at 2:04 pm  

    to be ironic, not an ironic

  83. Refresh — on 28th November, 2006 at 2:08 pm  

    Sonia

    “A lot of the us vs. them has been creeping in i’ve noticed. ”

    Absolutely – its at the root of the problem. And perhaps the basis of the publicity its generated.

    Yes very childish – and I don’t mean the lady.

  84. soru — on 28th November, 2006 at 2:12 pm  

    refresh: so, to you, that actually means something?

    You could look at a specific proposed law, organisation, revolution or war and predict her opposition or support for it, based on that text?

  85. Jagdeep — on 28th November, 2006 at 2:16 pm  

    Soummaya’s rhetoric is grounded in Islamist perceptions and divisions of the world —Refresh is a broad supporter of these divisions. The quotation he provides is a rambling set of abstract agitations, with the money line being — “Only then can we speak of citizenship”

    This means ‘Only when I and other agitators decide will the struggle be over, until then, any attempt to embrace or engage with British society is a negation of the ‘struggle’

    However, the struggle is never ending, as Soumayya herself describes, it involves a collosal tussle with ‘secular fundamentalism’ itself.

    Never ending war.

  86. Refresh — on 28th November, 2006 at 2:22 pm  

    Jagdeep

    “Refresh is a broad supporter of these divisions.”

    Utter tosh!

    Miraxx,

    I have no knowledge of what you say. I will read and make a judgement on what I read.

    I read her article and made my view known. Its probably the only one of her’s I’ve read.

    As for improving my game, by that I presume you mean play your game?

  87. miraxx — on 28th November, 2006 at 2:22 pm  

    >> it involves a collosal tussle with ’secular fundamentalism’ itself.

    Yes, this is a recurring theme of hers. Quite the reason why I dislike and distrust her ilk.

  88. El Cid — on 28th November, 2006 at 2:22 pm  

    Trotsky’s permanent revolution?

  89. Sunny — on 28th November, 2006 at 2:23 pm  

    Brilliant. Soumaya only replies with insults rather than addressing the points made above or on her own article.

    I’m the one displaying bigotry now? Beautiful.

  90. Refresh — on 28th November, 2006 at 2:23 pm  

    Sorry Miraxx, just re-read your post. You meant for Sunny to improve his game.

  91. Jai — on 28th November, 2006 at 2:25 pm  

    =>”Jai, do you really believe she is saying that?”

    Yes.

    =>”Surely you are not assuming she is a ‘fundamentalist’, ”

    I never assume anything. I just provided one possible explanation, amongst several others.

    =>”Soummaya’s rhetoric is grounded in Islamist perceptions and divisions of the world”

    My thoughts exactly. She doesn’t agree with a “coalition” based on our common human identity first and foremost (and the associated rights, ideals & fundamental equality irrespective of race or ethnicity), because her own religiously-based worldview doesn’t support such a perspective.

  92. Anas — on 28th November, 2006 at 2:25 pm  

    I think people like Jagdeep who endlessly blather on about some vast Islamist conspiracy also present a hindrance to community cohesion. When will Sunny write a manifesto against them?

  93. miraxx — on 28th November, 2006 at 2:26 pm  

    >>As for improving my game, by that I presume you mean play your game?

    It was meant for Sunny. He needs to rein in his macho panjabi stylistics – he knows that, I have told him this before on totally unrelated topics. Don’t worry, no ones’ in a game meant to keep you out, in other words, no conspiracies!

  94. Jai — on 28th November, 2006 at 2:30 pm  

    Post #64 by Soumaya herself was a considerable overreaction on her part, I think, especially as Sunny himself didn’t actually personally attack her (not to the same vitriolic extent, anyway) even thought he obviously disagrees with some of her views.

    She’s taking it very personally.

  95. miraxx — on 28th November, 2006 at 2:31 pm  

    >>Soumaya only replies with insults rather than addressing the points made above or on her own article.

    You cannot seriously bemoan that your own prose gave her the escape clause. Read your own entry : the references to bollywood, exciting the boys at IW, or ‘running away’ were uncalled for.

  96. Sunny — on 28th November, 2006 at 2:31 pm  

    Refresh: I’ve already answered that point (yor interpretation of her article) a few times.

    Firstly, building this “broad alliance” is not possible when people don’t trust you. How broad have the alliances been so far on these issues? Pitiful. Will womens organisations, those representing homosexual rights, sikh, hindu groups march alongside people who (are perceived to) hate them?

    Given the current crop of “alliances”, this is obviously not the case. So in theory Soumaya has a point that we need to build broad alliances to challenge structural inequalities and prejudice. But you cannot do that when the person at the front does not believe in universal equality or anti-prejudice! It is bizarre that a point so simply made is going right over your head. And her head but then she never listens to anyone.

  97. Jagdeep — on 28th November, 2006 at 2:33 pm  

    Anas, I don’t ‘blather on about Islamist conspiracy’ — I critique the Islamist worldview. You can comprehend that, I am sure – try to do it.
    If you feel pain because you are in sympathy with that accord articulate it without any of the ‘community cohesion’ theatrics and bollocks.

  98. Sid — on 28th November, 2006 at 2:33 pm  

    Well the chorus of sexist rants that’s followed the atricle may have made her take it personally. Its been like a walk through a toned down harry’s place thread on this one. Albiet without the full syllabus of wingnuts.

  99. Ravi Naik — on 28th November, 2006 at 2:33 pm  

    “the “pretty” comment was intended to be an ironic in the style of many of today’s comedians such as that Jewish bastard Sacha Baron Cohen (see?).”

    You sir are no comedian.

    “A lot of the us vs. them has been creeping in i’ve noticed”

    That is just a symptom of people having different ideas and agreeing with each other. This is normal and healthy, and one would expect that in Pickled Politics. I hope the goal is not forcing everyone to agree with an ideal, but rather finding common ground based on rational and sensible thought.

  100. El Cid — on 28th November, 2006 at 2:36 pm  

    He’s right you know.

  101. El Cid — on 28th November, 2006 at 2:40 pm  

    Sid is, that is (not that Ravi is wrong)

  102. Jagdeep — on 28th November, 2006 at 2:40 pm  

    Trotsky’s permanent revolution?

    Something like that — which makes all the sheen about community cohesion and bridge building disingenuous — they despise the country and society to begin with. There is no end to this. It is a laying down of markers — those that disagree are against the struggle, collaborators, kulaks. Sunny is a kulak, anyone is a kulak who does not subscribe to the belief system that underlies their agitation. Remember the footstomping ‘There can be no talk of citizenship until….’

  103. Anas — on 28th November, 2006 at 2:44 pm  

    Jagdeep post 98:

    Anas, I don’t ‘blather on about Islamist conspiracy’

    Jagdeep post 103:

    Something like that — which makes all the sheen about community cohesion and bridge building disingenuous — they despise the country and society to begin with. There is no end to this. It is a laying down of markers — those that disagree are against the struggle, collaborators, kulaks

  104. Jai — on 28th November, 2006 at 2:44 pm  

    =>”Well the chorus of sexist rants that’s followed the atricle may have made her take it personally.”

    I’m not sure, Sid. Nobody here has been obscene or really “crossed any lines”. I said before that commenting on a person’s looks (regardless of whether they’re male or female) without simultaneously having anything constructive to add about the points they’re arguing isn’t really appropriate in a serious discussion, but remarking that the person concerned is unusually good-looking (especially if it’s the first time you’re seeing a photo of them) isn’t exactly an insult. If someone here said a writer was ugly then it would of course be a different matter.

    It could have been much worse. However, as it stands, a couple of blokey comments saying she looks “pretty” doesn’t constitute a “sexist rant”.

    It would, of course, have probably helped matters if her article was a little more readable. I managed to extract what I felt she was getting at, but obviously some other people here understandably had some difficulties entangling the various convoluted statements and therefore couldn’t really say anything apart from “Hmm, fit girl”. Hence the tangents into inappropriate banter.

  105. Jagdeep — on 28th November, 2006 at 2:48 pm  

    There is a brilliant response on CiF from a chap called OrwellsGhost – I urge you to read it in full. It takes them down in full. Here is a taster:

    The idea that the SWP or militant Islamist parties such as the MAB represent common universal values is just what Yaqoob says it is-a claim.The SWP ( presumably the “non-Muslims referred to here )has only formed the Respect Coalition in order to transform itself from a largely fringe radical Trotskyite revolutionary sect into the vanguard of a broader popular front that posits the Muslim community as some new post-colonial “Wretched of the Earth” across the whole Muslim diaspora in Europe and whose struggle against imperialism unites the Umma from London to Cairo, from Paris to Baghdad and the Gaza Strip.

    Let there be no misunderstanding:ideologues like Yaqoob and Ghannoushi fear integration because it would undermine their militant power political strategy.Obviously, their pan-Islamic Utopianism contradicts the reality, but it helps to create the pathology that comes with writing of Muslim alienation as a necessary stage in the struggle.

    This is just two paragraphs, I urge you strongly to read the whole thing.

    OrwellsGhost lays the smackdown

  106. Sid — on 28th November, 2006 at 2:49 pm  

    Are you commenting on something without reading the material again Jai? I’d like to remind you that sexism has a broader definition than just saying “hmmm fit girl”. I’m not the only one who thinks so either, check out miraxx’s points on Sunny’s language. El Cid’s resction on #57 is apposite as well.

  107. Anas — on 28th November, 2006 at 2:49 pm  

    Oh yeah and don’t forget Miraxx’s insinuations about Soumaya’s secret MB affiliations above, either. It can’t be that she just disagrees with what she perceive as the NGN’s unwarranted shift of emphasis. No, she (and other Muslim critics) are railing against a threat to their clandestine Islamist agendas.

  108. Jagdeep — on 28th November, 2006 at 2:51 pm  

    Anas you really don’t get it do you?

    That is a critique of the basic Islamist worldview — a POLITICAL position articulated in religio-political terms, a critique of Soumayaa Ghanoushi and other ideologues basic position.

    Can you understand that? Obviously not. It’s a distinction too fine for you isnt it?

  109. Anas — on 28th November, 2006 at 2:53 pm  

    Yes, but does regardless of whether it’s accurate or mere Islamaphobic hysteria, does it address her (and Salma’s) actual criticisms of NGN or is it merely ad hominen?

  110. Jagdeep — on 28th November, 2006 at 2:55 pm  

    Anas, I was referring to your contribution in post number 104. I was not speaking for Sunny.

  111. Jai — on 28th November, 2006 at 2:59 pm  

    Sid,

    =>”Are you commenting on something without reading the material again Jai?”

    I have no idea what you’re referring to by using the word “again”. There is no precedent for me commenting about something on PP without comprehensively reading the source material beforehand.

    I made it clear much earlier in this thread that my first post was an offhand good-humoured parody of the remarks about her looks that had gone before, along with some of the admonishments which had followed.

    I also made it clear that my subsequent posts were submitted after I had read her article. I stated this explicitly.

    =>”I’d like to remind you that sexism has a broader definition than just saying “hmmm fit girl”. ”

    Given my recent arguments with Anti-Knee-Jerk about this same issue, I’d like you remind you that lecturing me about this is considerably inappropriate.

    Don’t make mountains out of molehills. As far as I can tell, nobody here on this thread has dismissed Soumaya’s opinions purely because she is a woman.

  112. Sunny — on 28th November, 2006 at 2:59 pm  

    Anas: her links to the Muslim Brotherhood are certainly not secret. She is the daughter of Rashid Ghannoushi, the head of the Tunisian franchise of the Muslim Brotherhood: the Al-Nahda Movement.

    http://www.ihrc.org.uk/show.php?id=1216

    The proof of Ghannoushis links are on the web (their names are sometimes spelt differently): Rashid, Raschid, Rashed, al-Ghannoushi/Ghannoushi/Gannoushi, Soumaya/Sumayyah

    See Sheik Ghannoushi’s dedication to his kids in the book here (to Sumayyah)
    http://groups.google.co.uk/group/soc.religion.islam/browse_thread/thread/9a7851258f016c42/c2ca7f259db8ea4d?lnk=st&q=Ghannoushi+Sumayyah&rnum=1&hl=en#c2ca7f259db8ea4d

  113. Sid — on 28th November, 2006 at 3:03 pm  

    Jai

    This is you in #112:
    I have no idea what you’re referring to by using the word “again”. There is no precedent for me commenting about something on PP without comprehensively reading the source material beforehand.

    This is you in #31:
    Sorry folks, I don’t have anything constructive to add to the debate and I haven’t read her article (yet)

    And as for not recognising the silly sexism – don’t tell me you’re claiming cultural illiteracy?

  114. miraxx — on 28th November, 2006 at 3:04 pm  

    >>Oh yeah and don’t forget Miraxx’s insinuations about Soumaya’s secret MB affiliations above, either

    Eh, direct challenges have been posed on practically every Ghannoushi article at CiF for her to clarify her MB links. There’s a strong whiff of dishonesty about her refusal to do so. Myself, i make up my mind based on what i read and unfortunately, i have read too many of her articles- she’s too islamist for me.

  115. Refresh — on 28th November, 2006 at 3:08 pm  

    Sunny what have you unleashed:

    See Jagdeep’s

    “Something like that — which makes all the sheen about community cohesion and bridge building disingenuous — they despise the country and society to begin with. There is no end to this. It is a laying down of markers — those that disagree are against the struggle, collaborators, kulaks.”

  116. Anas — on 28th November, 2006 at 3:09 pm  

    Jagdeep, how do your supposed demonstrations of Soumaya’s Islamist affiliations address any of the points she has made? I’m disturbed at how easily these conspiratorial accusations can be thrown around so easily. Oh Soumaya’s the daughter of a prominent MB member, that must mean she’s part of some vast Islamist conspiracy to undermine Secularism.

  117. Jai — on 28th November, 2006 at 3:09 pm  

    Sid,

    =>”This is you in #31: Sorry folks, I don’t have anything constructive to add to the debate and I haven’t read her article (yet)
    ” etc

    Which was followed by the first sentence of my post #58:

    “Okay, I’ve had a chance to read through Soumaya’s article.”

    Please read other commenters’ posts carefully before deciding to accuse them of various allegations. Thank you.

  118. Alex Cleaver — on 28th November, 2006 at 3:09 pm  

    Sunny, you’re a ghastly chauvinist. And judging by the responses to this post, so are many of your readers!

    How dare you call yourself progressive.

  119. Anas — on 28th November, 2006 at 3:11 pm  

    The whole point of sexism was that women were being judged as human beings based on their looks, that’s not the case here. Her article is being and has been addressed separately of that.

  120. Jagdeep — on 28th November, 2006 at 3:12 pm  

    Refresh, you don’t half make me smile sometimes.

    The world asks, yeah? And? So what? It’s a fairly straightforward representation of that ideology’s precepts. Get over your pompous self.

  121. Sid — on 28th November, 2006 at 3:15 pm  

    Jai, Didn’t stop you from posting lad-trash in #31 in spite of not reading Soumaya’s article though dude. ;-)

    I didn’t accuse you of sexism, if you read carefully. But you were the one who jumped up in defence of the sexism in this thread.

  122. Electro — on 28th November, 2006 at 3:15 pm  

    Its not too late – challenge the bigotry wherever you find it – but don’t use strategic periods of silence to strengthen you’re own hand.

    Do you mean, Refresh, that we should call Soumaya on the carpet for her fascisto-theocratic obsessions?

    The skank isn’t interested in dialogue or reasoned responses; her only concern is the protection and sheltering of her clandestine islamist agenda.

    Other than that there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING under her headscarf.

    Were one to hold a rally in support of Pakistan’s reformed rape laws, do you think Soumaya would attend?

    No, Soumaya would be “out of town”.

    Were one to hold a rally supporting the right of Iranian women to dress as they please ( Soumaya’s big on “choice” ya know), do you think she’d attend.

    No, Soumaya would be “out of town”.

    Were one to hold a rally denouncing Saudi Arabia’s lack of relgious freedom, do you think Soumaya…the fearless advocate for relgious freedom….would attend?

    No, Soumaya would be “out of town”.

    So why dignify and legitimise this women’s agenda of theocratic enslavement with a reasoned response? Our reasoned responses to her ill-reasoned “thoughts” constitute the fuel, the carburant of islamist propaganda. All Soumaya can do is kite her Bronze Age programme on the back of the progressive narrative, and in order for her to continue to do so she absolutely needs our participation in the “debate”.

    Let her toddle off and seethe in silence.

  123. Refresh — on 28th November, 2006 at 3:17 pm  

    Jagdeep, its your ingrained bigotry I am worried about.

  124. miraxx — on 28th November, 2006 at 3:19 pm  

    >>The whole point of sexism was that women were being judged as human beings based on their looks, that’s not the case here

    Er, I wouldn’t pointers on what sexism is or isn’t from the likes of Anas. His take on the death penalty just blew me away:

    One of the stupidest grounds for defending capital punishment has to be the oft-quoted rationale of “a life for a life.” I overheard one old geezer arguing for the death penalty to another on exactly this basis in the local Salvation Army store while I was rumaging for bargains. Now I’ve heard this quote plenty of times before, but maybe because of my currently reduced mental capacity it stuck with me and the more I thought about it, the more it became a completely moronic thing to say. If I kill someone and am then executed, well then surely someone is then going to be actively responsible for taking my life, which makes them a candidate for having their lives terminated by the logic of “a life for a life”, and so on, and so on…where does it stop? No, if you are going to kill someone, it has to be because God told you to or has given you permission.

  125. Anas — on 28th November, 2006 at 3:20 pm  

    Jagdeep should write a book, the protocols of the Elders of Islamism.

  126. Jagdeep — on 28th November, 2006 at 3:21 pm  

    Anas

    Well, I am amazed at the concern you show against ad hominem attacks on individuals given your recent displays of sniping at Chairwoman, ostensibly for her ‘position on Israel’. Four words: Hypocrite, kettle, pot, black.

    But the comparison does not stand because (a) this is not ad hominem (b) her points have been addressed repeeatedly on this thread and on CiF.

    Let’s get one thing clear — this is not an assertion of ‘conspiracy’ — it is a simple and plain statement of an ideology. It is describing and criticising the ideological position from which assertions are made. I have stated this more than once now, but you seem unable to grasp this — I assume it is because you don’t want to accept it, but I can’t keep saying it again and again everytime you scramble and fumble a response.

  127. Anas — on 28th November, 2006 at 3:22 pm  

    erm, Miraxx, thanks for reading my blog and everything but that wasn’t meant to be taken seriously.

  128. Jagdeep — on 28th November, 2006 at 3:23 pm  

    Refresh, you are a bigot. I am very concerned about your deep rooted in-built hardwired bigotry. Blah blah blah. Bigot bigot bigot bigot. Blah blah blah.

    See? Two can play at this game. I am doing it as a parody though. You seem to actually mean and believe it.

  129. Jai — on 28th November, 2006 at 3:25 pm  

    Sid,

    =>”Jai, Didn’t stop you from posting lad-trash in #31 in spite of not reading Soumaya’s article though dude.”

    Mountains, molehills, context, satire, etcetera.

    =>”But you were the one who jumped up in defence of the sexism in this thread.”

    No, I just said that saying a woman is pretty does not automatically make the man concerned a “sexist”. It’s not an insult, and neither does it automatically imply that the man is ignoring the woman’s intellectual faculties & opinions and is reducing her to her physical appearance, even though his comments may obviously be inappropriate. It depends on the context in which the man makes such statements and his motivations for doing so, along with how the woman herself feels about the guy making the remark.

    If a man completely ignores the woman’s opinions and just says “She’s pretty”, it can mean he either is sexist or he just doesn’t have an opinion himself on her views.

    Angelina Jolie has appeared on television numerous times talking about her charity work, and the fact that large numbers of guys may end up just ogling her instead of listening to her views doesn’t automatically make them misogynists. In some cases, yes, but in others, not necessarily.

  130. Sid — on 28th November, 2006 at 3:28 pm  

    Jai

    twist turn smoke screen
    waffle waffle waffle

  131. miraxx — on 28th November, 2006 at 3:28 pm  

    >>but that wasn’t meant to be taken seriously.

    Now you say! But one never knows with you.

    BTW Jagdeep is a bigot only so far as you and refresh equate all muslim people with islamic extremism – surely I have heard you two strongly protesting that that is wholesale ‘demonisation’ ?

  132. Refresh — on 28th November, 2006 at 3:35 pm  

    Miraxx, I am sure you are trying to say something profound. Not sure what it is.

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