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  • Multi-culturalism and Daniel Pipes


    by Sunny
    15th January, 2007 at 3:11 pm    

    As many of you may already know, London Mayor Ken Livingstone is hosting a conference / debate next week with the infamous “expert” on Middle Eastern affairs Daniel Pipes. The “Clash of Civilisations” and what it means to multicultural London - is what Livingstone has labelled it. More details here, and the list of speakers is here. Might be interesting to check out, I shall be there anyway.

    Update: I accept the point by some that by giving Daniel Pipes a platform, Livingstone is merely legitimising the annoying idiot but it may be good political car-crash debate.


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    1. Sid Love — on 15th January, 2007 at 3:33 pm  

      Describing Pipes as an expert in quotation marks is letting him off lightly. He’s a professional slander-merchant, McCarthyist blackmailer and a hatemonger.

      Christopher bhai lays into him here, and rightly so.
      http://www.slate.com/id/2086844/

    2. bananabrain — on 15th January, 2007 at 3:34 pm  

      perhaps our ken should have invited his good mate al-qaradawi again, then he’d have got a clash all right. i’m more interested in why he gets to spend an increasingly large amount of my council tax sucking up to that mangy old dictator castro.

      what ken has to contribute to any reasonable debate whatsoever is beyond me.

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

    3. Refresh — on 15th January, 2007 at 5:42 pm  

      An excellent line-up!

      Definitely worth going.

      What Daniel Pipes needs to answer is how much has been invested in his network of hate.

    4. William — on 15th January, 2007 at 8:18 pm  

      Using statemenst like “Clash of Civilisations” just conjures the idea of a grand narrative of enemies which feeds some peoples paranoias. Do we not have to be careful we don’t create problems by assuming them or make problems worse.

    5. Sahil — on 15th January, 2007 at 8:45 pm  

      Are you guys watching this Dispatches, its nuts!!!

    6. ZinZin — on 15th January, 2007 at 9:07 pm  

      It has not helped my islamophobia one bit.

    7. Sahil — on 15th January, 2007 at 9:10 pm  

      ZinZin I don’t blame you! These guys are bastards. How are they allowed to operate? My dad who is a muslim also watched it, and he was completely in disbelief! How can people who follow Islam say stuff like that? And encourage terrorism. These bastards should be in Jail, or fuck off to Saudi if they love it’s political system so much. I’ll bet you most Saudis hate their system right now!

    8. Bert Preast — on 15th January, 2007 at 11:05 pm  

      Say what you will of Pipes, he asks a lot of questions that remain unanswered. Though I prefer Spencer myself - he actually knows what he’s on about.

      As Livingstone hasn’t much of a clue either it should be a splendid battle of the demagogues.

    9. Refresh — on 15th January, 2007 at 11:17 pm  

      Bert

      I think you need to go to this event. I think you more than me - if you haven’t got a ticket I’ll let you have mine.

      On second thoughts if you are a disciple of Spencer, you can get your own. ;)

    10. Bert Preast — on 15th January, 2007 at 11:22 pm  

      Spencer answers my emails*. And he’s genuinely very knowledgeable on his subject. Not seen him proved wrong yet. Can’t fault the man.

      *When you put a subject line saying “Spencer you bastard, jihad my arse, will you shave if I promise to kiss you?”

    11. Bert Preast — on 15th January, 2007 at 11:37 pm  

      Bizarrely, not a single imam to whom I sent the same sort of subject line bothered to reply. :(

    12. lithcol — on 15th January, 2007 at 11:53 pm  

      Kemal Ataturk did the right thing putting Islam in its place, personal but not the publice space. You can’t reason with totaliterian thought. Why are the majority of Muslim majority countries ruled by hard men? No brainer really. Who would like to live in a country ruled by males ( pity the females ) who believe that laws laid down in the 7th century should be observed for ever?
      Pipes and Spencer are right on for their revelations concerning the thinking of fundamentalists. The West and many other countries around the world have advanced because individuals have questioned received wisdom.
      We are seeing the terminal decline of one of the monotheist religeons. Scary, however most of the world just doesn’t care. China and India certainly couldn’t care less. Europe is jumpy, however the majority in Europe realise how pathetic Islamiscism is, particularly women.

    13. Bert Preast — on 16th January, 2007 at 12:05 am  

      Ataturk was my most favourite muslim ever.

      “Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives… you are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets where they lie side by side here in this country of ours… You the mothers who sent their sons from far away countries, wipe away your tears. Your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. Having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.”

      Brings a lump to my throat every time. Why have we forgotten his example of respecting valour and promoting reconciliation rather than vendetta?*

      *yes, I know he was a bastard to various peoples and not much better than most others of his time. But that quote was pure Churchillian so I love him.

    14. bikhair aka taqiyyah — on 16th January, 2007 at 12:57 am  

      Bert Preast,

      Obviously I am not a fan of Spencer because I think he doesnt know enough Islamic fiqh to make the statments that he does. His understanding of Islamic jurisprudence isnt grounded in enough knowledge of the religion to make many of the claims he makes. I dont think he knows how vast the literature is and that traditionally it was considered. For instance, a collegue of Jaun Cole made the point that he uses one book of fiqh principly, The Reliance of the Travellors, to come to the conclusions he makes about Muslims and Islam.
      He has an over reliance on translated works. I am not sure he speaks Arabic. It would be unwise to use a book of fiqh used by sufis to explain “wahhabi” theology and vice versa. There are books and scholars that some Muslims rely on more than others. Its important when studying Islam to know Muslims and know Muslim peoples and their religious traditions that can quite often be contradictory because of the different scholars and religious movements that they place thier particular emphasis on.

      Let him sit in the circles in Yemen somewhere for another 25 years and then we can seriously consider him.

      Also if you are interested in speaking with an Imam who will answer your questions, I can give you a few links. I can give you directions to a Mosque in either Brixton or Birmingham that are really good. MAny of them brothers that run the place have studied and are so brilliant, especially in Birmingham. Interested let me know.

    15. bikhair aka taqiyyah — on 16th January, 2007 at 12:58 am  

      You guys can come see Mr. Pipes at SOAS. He will be there talking about threats to Isreal. Might be good.

      On another note, he used to be an ok scholar not he is just gone bat shit. Too bad. I think this Isreal thing is making him a bit crazy.

    16. bikhair aka taqiyyah — on 16th January, 2007 at 1:01 am  

      Bert Preast,

      By the way what was the question you wanted answered?

    17. Bert Preast — on 16th January, 2007 at 9:56 am  

      When is Qaradawi?

      As I said, Spencer answers emails. Most emails he gets from muslims are rather short and to the point, so you should have a crack at debating with him.

      And do you really think he’d survive 25 years in Yemen with the questions he asks? Do you think only a believer can be an authority on fiqh?

    18. bikhair aka taqiyyah — on 16th January, 2007 at 1:07 pm  

      Bert Preast,

      “And do you really think he’d survive 25 years in Yemen with the questions he asks?”

      Why wouldnt he? What assumptions are we making about Muslim peoples or Yemenis in particular? My point is that you will find serious scholars in some of the places I can mention. I dont believe he is very serious. I dont believe that his audience neccesarily demands seriousness. Fact of the matter is that if he did spend sometime in Yemen he would have to be more serious.

      “Do you think only a believer can be an authority on fiqh?”

      Interesting question. I guess not, but it isnt a coincidence that the most prominent scholars of Islam have been Muslims themselves. I believe he refers to books written by believers.

      What were your questions and are you interested in hooking up with some peoples to answer those questions. I am interested in what you and they would have to say.

    19. Bert Preast — on 16th January, 2007 at 1:18 pm  

      Because apostacy is a capital crime in Yemen? I certainly don’t blame him for not fancying his chances.

      His usual audience does not indeed require seriousness. Which is why I asked you to join the audience and cross examine him.

      My main question is why did islam need to reject the UNDHR and produce it’s own version?

    20. zahed — on 16th January, 2007 at 2:21 pm  

      Daniel Pipes’ research is motivated by only one thing: is it good for Israel? As for Robert Spencer, Ali Eteraz had a theological brawl with him last year(see http://theanchoressonline.com/2006/04/10/muhammed-turned-the-other-cheek).

      Basically, Pipes has a problem with Muslims (politically) more than Islam (theologically), Spencer the other way around (or maybe in equal measure).

      Would love to come to this conference, though i am still recovering from my Haji cough (*cough*)

    21. Bert Preast — on 16th January, 2007 at 2:47 pm  

      Yes, whereupon Spencer pointed out several gaps in Eteraz’ fiqh, no?

    22. bikhair — on 16th January, 2007 at 4:38 pm  

      Bert Preast,

      “Because apostacy is a capital crime in Yemen? I certainly don’t blame him for not fancying his chances.”

      Except he isnt a Muslim, no?

      “My main question is why did islam need to reject the UNDHR and produce it’s own version?”

      Why did Islam or why did some Muslims? I like to make those kinds of distinctions. It was probably rejected because the whole idea is unIslamic. Islam already has its ideas and dont need new ones. The idea that it needed to produce its own version is unislamic as well.

    23. Bert Preast — on 16th January, 2007 at 4:46 pm  

      No, he’s a christian. How can we be sure that a christian in Yemen is permitted to criticise islam? Would you honsetly say he’d be safe to do so?

      Here’s the UNDHR:

      http://209.85.135.104/search?q=cache:ZNHA1i72Oa0J:rightstraining.fahamu.org/ocw/learning-for-change/introduction-to-human-rights/content/pdfs/UNDHR.pdf+undhr&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=9

      Which bits of it are unislamic? And the islamic version comes from the OIC. Can you think of a bigger islamic organisation?

    24. Bikhair — on 17th January, 2007 at 1:45 pm  

      Bert Preast,

      Doesnt matter how big Islamic organizations are. Look at Indonesia the biggest Muslim country but you wouldnt regard them as being the most influential, especially considering how much dough the Peninsula has. Its not qauntity its qaulity. Read some hadith. They will tell you that most Muslims arent on it anyway.

      Also Bert, he wouldnt be going to Yemen to be critical. He would be going their to learn, to gain knowledge. He runs a site called Jihad Watch. Therefore most of what he reports about we fall under the category of Jihad. THere was on article where, unfortunately, some young children, girls mind you, were beheaded in Indonesia. If he understand what jihad was, why would he classify that as jihad? Anytime a Muslim acts out violently it is called jihad. This is where I think he is mitaken, ignorant, or maliciously propagandistic. Cutting off the heads of young girls isnt immitating Prophet Muhammed or any of his Companions, where Muslims are supposed to get thier understanding of the Islamic religion, which would include jihad, so why, if he was such an expertise would he catergorize that as a jihad, as opposed to an act of evil, banditry, murder, etc.

      To regard such an act as Jihad, something all Muslims are obligated to, would mean that Muslims are obligated to slaugher children. God forbid.

    25. Bert Preast — on 17th January, 2007 at 2:50 pm  

      The OIC is a politicaland religious organisation made up of all muslim countries. So I’d call them influential. You can’t compare the quran or hadeeth as neither is an organisation and both heavily influence the decisions of the OIC anyway.

      To my mind and also, I suspect Spencer’s, it is necessary to ask critical questions to gain or improve knowledge.

      Why are you unable or unwilling to answer my questions, and trying instead to debate the meaning of jihad?

    26. bikhair aka taqiyyah — on 17th January, 2007 at 7:51 pm  

      Bert Prest,

      “The OIC is a politicaland religious organisation made up of all muslim countries. So I’d call them influential.”

      I am sure they are influential but that isnt the point. It doesnt matter how influential they are. THey didnt exist 200 years ago and Muslims should still have the same religion as before. I’ve never heard of these people. But I have heard of Prophet Muhammed and his Companions. They should be the most influential for the Muslim.

      “You can’t compare the quran or hadeeth as neither is an organisation and both heavily influence the decisions of the OIC anyway.”

      I dont know how influenced these guys are by the Quran and hadeeth. I hope they are. However if they feel the need to create thier own Islamic Human RIghts thingy, I suspect they have other influences as well that they cant exactly regard as Islamic.

      “To my mind and also, I suspect Spencer’s, it is necessary to ask critical questions to gain or improve knowledge.”

      Critical questions? Perhaps he needs to be a bit more discerning with his sources. Thats my worry.

      “Why are you unable or unwilling to answer my questions, and trying instead to debate the meaning of jihad?”

      The UHDHR, is unIslamic because it doesnt come from the Quran and the sunnah. Very simple. I am not debating the meaning of jihad I am debating Spencers understanding of it since for him, it is just muslims behaving badly. This is why I say he doesnt have any knowledge of what he is talking about. The particular act I was referring to wasnt Jihad but since it appeared on his site, and his site is Jihad Watch, he seems to think it is. Therefore his understanding of Jihad should be debated. I am critical.

    27. Bert Preast — on 17th January, 2007 at 8:10 pm  

      The OIC ARE muslims. And I am quite sure they’d agree with you that the prophet and companions are far more influential than they could ever be. Dangerous not to, if we’re honest. Unfortunatley neither Mohammed nor his companions were around to give the okay or not on the UNDHR, so it was left to the most influential islamic organisation available at the time. The OIC.

      Why does their refusal of the UNHDR make you think they were under influences which were not islamic, when in the same post you assert that “The UHDHR, is unIslamic because it doesnt come from the Quran and the sunnah”?

      Spencer routinely shows his sources, all of which are recognised by islamic scholars. Which is why he’s very difficult to pick apart. I think he probably has a greater understanding of the meaning of jihad than either of us.

    28. Bert Preast — on 17th January, 2007 at 8:16 pm  

      “Therefore his understanding of Jihad should be debated. I am critical.”

      Then debate him. He’s answered my emails. If your questions are interesting you’ll get a mention on his site, though you might not like what he says. He won’t try to hide the argument though, and is happy to debate anyone who thinks they’re hard enough. If you send him questions and he ignores or tries to hide them tell me and we’ll go for it - the internet’s great like that. But you’ll have to come up with something he can’t answer or is wrong about first.

    29. Bert Preast — on 17th January, 2007 at 11:38 pm  

      Bikhair wrote: “Also if you are interested in speaking with an Imam who will answer your questions, I can give you a few links. I can give you directions to a Mosque in either Brixton or Birmingham that are really good. MAny of them brothers that run the place have studied and are so brilliant, especially in Birmingham. Interested let me know”

      Missed this. My email is dave mabbott at g mail stop com. Without the spaces and it’s a dot rather than a stop in modern parlance. I’m sure you can work it out. The directions won’t be much use as Birmingham is 2000 miles away, but if they’d like to consider my questions by email I’d be honoured.

    30. bikhair aka taqiyyah — on 19th January, 2007 at 1:26 am  

      Bert Preast,

      It would be hard for me to believe that he can find an Islamic opinion that says it is an act of jihad to behead little girls.

      “Spencer routinely shows his sources, all of which are recognised by islamic scholars. Which is why he’s very difficult to pick apart.”

      Again, judging from what he considers jihad on his website it is quite easy to pick him apart. Similar to the case above how can he prove that that was an act of jihad? I know he cant. No such authority exist. Ask him for me about this particular episode and report back to me. Thanks. I will get back to you with the emails.

    31. Bert Preast — on 19th January, 2007 at 10:42 am  

      He probably can’t find an islamic opinion - that’s why he refers to the murderers as “misunderstanders of islam”. They certainly believed they were engaged in jihad, and it seems they were members of Jemaah Islamiyah. Now is where you show me the islamic authorities raging at JI for their misunderstanding of the meaning of jihad.

      And if it’s not jihad, what is it? Simple sectarian violence? Random lunacy?

    32. sonia — on 19th January, 2007 at 10:50 am  

      sigh! alas those of us who are stuck in offices..do report back pls sunny!

    33. sonia — on 19th January, 2007 at 10:52 am  

      i dont see how giving people ‘a platform’ is ‘legitimizing’ them. not in an ‘open society’ anyway. isn’t that the whole point? otherwise it would be a bit repressive surely.

    34. bikhair aka taqiyyah — on 19th January, 2007 at 10:08 pm  

      Bert Preast,

      IT doesnt matter what these people believed what they were doing. Islamic authoriries dont need to rage at JI specifically because thier behavior is nothing more than the lack of knowledge of Islam too many Muslims have. I can show you Islamic authorities raging against that.

      If you cant find a precedence for it, than it ceases to be Islam and becomes your worthless opinion, ignorance, arrogance, sin, etc.

    35. Bert Preast — on 19th January, 2007 at 10:36 pm  

      You need to show me islamic authorities raging against the tactics of the JI in order to address my point. I am well aware of the existence of islamic authorities raging against a lack of knowledge of islam - can I call them wahabis?

      Are you going to answer my question now?

    36. Jim Zackey — on 20th January, 2007 at 9:12 pm  

      Pipes declared today at the World Civilization Conference in London that Western civilization could only be better off after a total victory over “Barbarism”.

      If it takes $8billion/month to fight in Iraq,
      how much money and lives are needed to fight Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas?
      If instead the money for Iraq i.e. $2billion/week or $11billion/hour was spent on winning hearts and minds
      a network of 365 x 24 x 4 years would have seen hospitals, clinics, bridges, schools, colleges and universities built.
      So are those who advocate escalating the conflict, actually serving America’s real interests?

    37. bikhair aka taqiyyah — on 21st January, 2007 at 12:45 am  

      Bert Preast,

      THese scholar rail against the general behavior of these people. What was ur question?

    38. Bert Preast — on 21st January, 2007 at 4:54 pm  

      Bikhair, the question was this -

      Here’s the UNDHR:

      http://209.85.135.104/search?q=cache:ZNHA1i72Oa0J:rightstraining.fahamu.org/ocw/learning-for-change/introduction-to-human-rights/content/pdfs/UNDHR.pdf+undhr&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=9

      Which bits of it are unislamic?

      Your initial answer was “The UHDHR, is unIslamic because it doesnt come from the Quran and the sunnah. Very simple.”, which I’m not happy with. Surely some bits while perhaps not coming from quran and sunnah are entirely compatible with both? So which bits cause the problem?

    39. Bert Preast — on 21st January, 2007 at 4:55 pm  

      “If it takes $8billion/month to fight in Iraq”

      Do the people coming up with these figures think soldiers work for free when outside Iraq?

    40. bikhair aka taqiyyah — on 21st January, 2007 at 7:28 pm  

      Bert Preast,

      All of it. if it doesnt come directly from the Quran or the Prophet is cant be islamic, it is something else. do urself a favor go to these sites and look up bidah- innovation, u will then have an understanding of what is and isnt islamic.

      http://www.salafipublications.com
      http://www.salafiaudio.com
      http://www.fatwaislam.com
      http://www.bakkah.net
      http://www.therighteouspath.com

    41. Bert Preast — on 21st January, 2007 at 7:47 pm  

      I’m sure I don’t know much of what is and isn’t islamic. But from what I’ve gleaned from the differences between the universal declaration of human rights and the Cairo declaration of human rights in islam, holy muslim men have more rights than muslim men have more rights than muslim women have more rights than non muslim men have more rights than non muslim women have more rights than anyone who rocks the boat.

      Whereas the UNDHR, not liking to complicate things, just gives equal rights to everybody. Unless islam can manage to reform itself and accept that, we’re doomed to eternal conflict aren’t we? So why not just accept it? After all, beyond not being found in the quran and sunnah, what’s actually wrong with it?

    42. Bert Preast — on 21st January, 2007 at 8:00 pm  

      I hit the first of your links there and searched “bidah”. No dice. So I went to the page for non muslims interested in learning of islam.

      Under “misconceptions about islam” I find this:

      “For example, Islam clearly teaches that a woman is a full-person under the law, and is the spiritual equal of a male”

      and this:

      “Why Two Women Witnesses?”

      It’s no wonder we’re a bit confused really, is it?

      For the curious you need two female witnesses to equal on male because of “And get two witnesses of your own men, and if there are not two men then a man and two women such as you choose for witnesses - SO THAT IF ONE OF THEM ERRS, THE OTHER CAN REMIND HER… [Baqarah 2:182]“, and because women have PMT and can’t think or something. They even have a scientific study using phrases such as “significantly more often” rather than quoting any actual figures.

    43. Nyrone — on 22nd January, 2007 at 10:41 pm  

      Hmm, the opening debate of the event was rather electrifying. I thought Salma Yaqoob held her ground rather well to Daniel Pipes and Mr Douglas.
      I also thought Inayat Bunglawala posed a rather brilliant question at the end during the Q&A.

      Sunny, if you are reading this: How come you left half-way through the debate on progressive colonialism? I could spot that goatee from a mile away! The debate really kicked into 5th gear after you left, it was heckle mania:)

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