Now Douglas Murray wants “sensitivity” regarding Muslims


by Sunny
22nd August, 2010 at 11:08 am    

A debate on radio or TV between various panelists took place yesterday, featuring Maajid Nawaz from Quilliam Foundation and Douglas Murray of Centre for Social Cohesion.

Listen below

Thankfully – Maajid Nawaz made all the points I wanted to make – specifically highlighting Douglas Murray’s hypocrisy when it comes to Muslims. He didn’t want “sensitivity” shown to Muslims during the Danish cartoons furore – in fact he urged them to be published as a matter of principle. He wanted Geert Wilders to be let into the country as a matter of principle. And yet now he wants Muslims to “show sensitivity” in building some cultural centre several blocks away from Ground Zero 10 years after the terrorist attack – and even when the people building this centre are the kind of moderates Osama Bin Laden hates. What happened to those principles of free speech and right of religion now?

Then the discussion moves on to funding – and Murray asks why the money isn’t donated to Pakistan instead. Maajid makes the excellent point (which the panel then try and ignore) that the application was made several years ago.

It’s also amusing that anti-Islamists constantly rubbish the idea of ‘the Ummah’ and say Muslims in the west should be loyal first to their own countries. But as soon as a Muslim country is crisis-stricken, they mock Muslims for not helping their brethren enough.


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  1. sunny hundal

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  2. Peter Bolton

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  3. Naadir Jeewa

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  1. Shamit — on 22nd August, 2010 at 11:17 am  

    Good post Sunny.

  2. shariq — on 22nd August, 2010 at 11:37 am  

    Yup, I used to give Murray the benefit of the doubt, but his piece arguing against the park 51 cultural centre was ridiculous.

    You’re right to comment on the hypocrisy. Also, even if he believes against its construction for high brow reasons, not criticising those xenophobes against it also reeks of double standards.

  3. Sarah AB — on 22nd August, 2010 at 11:42 am  

    Yes good post – but maybe ‘anti Muslim bigot’ might be more appropriate than ‘anti-Islamist’ seeing as Maajid Nawaz is himself an ‘anti-Islamist’. He – and Alex von Tunzelmann – countered the (mostly pretty weak and inconsistent)arguments of Deech and Murray very well. Nawaz came over as consistent – he said he supported the rights of cartoonists to publish and of Wilders to come over here – it was Murray, as you say, who was being inconsistent. I think it was Alex von T who asked why Murray and Deech didn’t criticise Christian building projects for not giving the money to charities in poor Christian communities instead.

  4. halima — on 22nd August, 2010 at 11:42 am  

    Good post, I don’t give Murray the benefit of doubt whatsoever, and I hope to God that no public funds go to the Centre for Social Cohesion which he heads up. He shouldn’t be allowed to speak on diversity matters because he poisons the diversity agenda.

    http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/9714#comment-217375

    PS Some of us commented on this show yesterday…

  5. Sarah AB — on 22nd August, 2010 at 11:46 am  

    shariq – yes, I too thought maybe Murray’s notorious remark about Muslim immigration was an anomaly and anticipated that I *might* end up agreeing with him if he was offering a tempered critique of radical Islamism. But, as you say, if you’re going to criticise the building of the mosque you have to be really careful to distance yourself from bigots.

  6. Naadir Jeewa — on 22nd August, 2010 at 12:29 pm  

    Murray’s position reminds me much of this satirical take by Michael Berube:

    New York Times columnist Ross Douthat seconded Gingrich, writing that “the Museum of Danish Mohammed Cartoons would be the perfect vehicle to foster Muslim-American assimilation. The American experiment has always been about assimilating different ethnic and cultural traditions to the Anglo-Saxon mainstream. I went to Harvard, so when I tell you that the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 was crucial to the swift assimilation of Asian immigrants, or that the Johnson-Reed Act of 1924 gave time for immigrants to assimilate by keeping them out of the country, you can trust me. If they are going to move out of the pluribus and into the unum, American Muslims need leaders whose antennas are sensitive enough to recognize that the quest for inter-religious dialogue is ill served by throwing up a high-profile mosque two blocks from the site of a mass murder committed in the name of Islam. They need leaders who will build the Museum of Danish Mohammed Cartoons as a monument to Western ideals of freedom of expression.”

  7. johng — on 22nd August, 2010 at 3:06 pm  

    “It’s also amusing that anti-Islamists constantly rubbish the idea of ‘the Ummah’ and say Muslims in the west should be loyal first to their own countries. But as soon as a Muslim country is crisis-stricken, they mock Muslims for not helping their brethren enough.”

    This is very well observed and its worth remarking that the whole structure of this kind of an argument mirrors classical antisemitism. I also recall this argument being used in relationship to Arabs when prejudice of this kind was not dressed in mock religious clothing. You know the kind of thing. These Arabs don’t take care of their own you know, they’re sub-humans not like us, etc. These were generally remarks of mock concern about the Palestinians.

  8. James — on 22nd August, 2010 at 4:40 pm  

    What is interesting is Spittoon’s links to Murray. Houriya Ahmed works for his institute despite his bigotry and notorious comments about “Conditions for Muslims in Europe should be made harder”. All the while Spitoon spends its time attacking “Islamist extremists” while colluding with anti-Muslim extremists like Murray.

  9. Yakoub Islam — on 22nd August, 2010 at 6:06 pm  

    Funny, I never imagined Maajid Nawaz and Doug Murray disagreeing on much at all. But then again, if the Queezy Foundation had come out against Park51, it would have been the last straw as far as most Muslims are concerned. In fact, I’m surprised to discover a last straw for the Quackers Foundation even exists!

  10. joe90 — on 23rd August, 2010 at 11:46 am  

    That was a very strange radio debate you had Alex von Tunzelmann & nawaz exposing murray as a complete hypocrite. Then in one section ruth deech complained muslims wanted a play banned in birmingham and the Alex von Tunzelmann correcting her by saying it was parts of the sikh community who wanted it banned, hilarious. Right wing team of murray and deech = epic fail.

  11. organic cheeseboard — on 23rd August, 2010 at 12:13 pm  

    Murray asks why the money isn’t donated to Pakistan instead

    I guess he’d be happy to donate the entire income of the ‘centre for social cohesion’ to be donated to Pakistan relief as well?

    i really wish the BBC would stop letting him and his cronies appear on the radio. They’re bigots pure and simple.

    They’re entitled to their beliefs but getting him on to discuss Islam is genuinely like getting Nick Griffin on to discuss immigration – their solutions to both issues are the same, ie send them all back where they came from.

  12. Jai — on 23rd August, 2010 at 12:49 pm  

    This is very well observed and its worth remarking that the whole structure of this kind of an argument mirrors classical antisemitism.

    Agreed.

    And good article, Sunny. Overlaps nicely with my own own recent two-part article about the “Ground Zero Mosque”.

    ************************************************************************

    The following is an absolutely superb segment by Keith Olbermann on MSNBC, discussing the “Ground Zero Mosque” manufactured controversy and its wider ramifications. I can’t recommend this clip strongly enough — it’s definitely worth watching in full:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZpT2Muxoo0

    Sunny, this clip deserves its own PP article, at your discretion.

  13. Ravi Naik — on 23rd August, 2010 at 1:25 pm  

    Yup, I used to give Murray the benefit of the doubt, but his piece arguing against the park 51 cultural centre was ridiculous.

    Me too. I have to say I am genuinely shocked and offended that this particular issue is being debated at all. And I have no problems in calling “extremists” to anyone who thinks the cordoba cultural centre should not be built on the grounds that it offends. What a travesty!

    What is the difference between this, and claiming Asian people should not use the tube station or buses because it offends or scare some people after the 7/7 bombings?

  14. abdul abulbul emir — on 23rd August, 2010 at 1:38 pm  

    Mrs A says.

    Abdul I have a good idea.

    Why not ask Trevor Phillips to donate some of his £70 million annual spend at EHRC to help the poor people in the Old Country ?

    Don’t be silly woman I reply. He has to continue his persecution of BNP and to line his own pockets before the coalition throw him on the scrapheap.

    Now that nice catholic boy Tony Bliar might be able to spare a few bob……

  15. Shatterface — on 23rd August, 2010 at 1:39 pm  

    Stephen Fry said it best: ‘So you’re offended? So fucking what?’

    That goes for those ‘offended’ by cartoons and those ‘offended’ by the GZ Mosque alike.

  16. Refresh — on 23rd August, 2010 at 3:07 pm  

    I have to say, I am puzzled that anyone saw in Douglas Murray anything but an extremist. Perhaps its the posh lisp in his voice that throws people.

  17. Bored in Kavanagasau — on 23rd August, 2010 at 3:37 pm  

    http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/1310

    The Muslim Public Affairs Committee’s (MPAC) own Zulfi Bukhari explains in a podcast why the Mega Mosque project was badly conceived from the start.

    This is partly amusing because Islamophobia Watch branded anyone declaring this view to be a racist. Curiously, they’re now a bit silent that one of their own is arguing this has badly impacted community relations. Arif Ahmed made the same point recently on Pickled Politics.

    Debates over the building of mosques acceptable here but not in the U.S?

    http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/1288

    Do we need really another mosque in East London?

  18. Kismet Hardy — on 23rd August, 2010 at 3:41 pm  

    “Do we need really another mosque in East London?”

    Dunno, but we definitely need another pie shop in east london. It’s just curry shop after curry shop near where I work and the only decent pie shop in shadwell is always shut

    No more curry shops! More pie shops! No more curry shops! More pie shops! Especially pie shops that serve liquor not gravy!

  19. Yakoub Islam — on 23rd August, 2010 at 5:17 pm  

    @Kismet

    When I lived in Stoke Newington in the early 1990s, there was a Turkish shop that served beautiful bread wraps for a £1. More of those shops, surely.

  20. BenM — on 23rd August, 2010 at 9:43 pm  

    Douglas Murray is a dreary little dweeb.

  21. Refresh — on 24th August, 2010 at 12:27 am  

    ‘Stephen Fry said it best: ‘So you’re offended? So fucking what?’ ‘

    Yes he did. And subsequently realised he too could be offended, and took action.

  22. douglas clark — on 24th August, 2010 at 1:30 am  

    Much to agree with amongst the comments here.

    I agree with Shatterface, (and by association, or is that the other way around, Steven Fry?)

    ‘So you’re offended? So fucking what?’

    That needs to be drummed into so many people it is worth repeating…..

  23. simon woolley — on 24th August, 2010 at 6:46 pm  

    I thought the whole programme was appalling. 4 of the 6 questions were negatively focused towards Muslims and Islam. I wrote about on our blog. http://www.obv.org.uk. The whole debate felt like one of those loaded questions,’ ‘Do you still beat your wife? Or rather, ‘Is there anything good that comes out of the wicked Islamic world?

    Murray-the Melanie Phillips mark 2 -was in his element spewing bile, whilst moderate voices were on the back foot. Shameful of the BBC, truly shameful.

  24. joe90 — on 25th August, 2010 at 4:28 pm  

    post #23

    I think the episode of “Any questions” on 20-08-10 was a muslim bashing special edition.

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