36 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Siddharth  |  February 1st, 2006 at 10:04 am

    I find myself in agreement with the racists, fascists and misanthropes of LGF and Harry’s Place in thinking that this was indeed a stupid bill that needed quashing. It also sends a bowl of turds Blair-wards and I’m always in favour of that!

    The decision cuts both (or more precisely, all) ways. It basically means that people can call the fascist ideology that underpins Zionism for what it is without being called anti-Semitic.

    Similarly the BNP can be called a bunch of racist white con-genital inbred trash - and hey presto - I’m not a racist!

  • 2. Jay Singh  |  February 1st, 2006 at 10:11 am

    It was a bad law. It is good that they have been defeated.

    The question was - is there existing legislation that would have dealt with the deliberate whipping up and incitement to cause hatred and violence against Muslims and the answer is yes. There have been examples of people being prosecuted for this - just after September 11th a person was prosecuted for putting up a poster saying all women in burqa carried bombs under their robes. The Liberal Democrats pointed out how existing law could be tweaked to give greater protection without this vague and slightly sinister legislation.

  • 3. Don  |  February 1st, 2006 at 11:24 am

    Sid,

    I think you might want to look at the details of the existing laws before indulging yourself.

  • 4. SajiniW  |  February 1st, 2006 at 11:26 am

    Trying to confuse race and religion is playing into the hands of those trying to play the race card.

    Britons should keep the intellectual freedom to question religion and philosophy; it’s been one of the traditions that’s kept us tolerant over the years.

  • 5. DavidP  |  February 1st, 2006 at 11:37 am

    Just a few thoughts off the top of my head.

    The right, even under oh-so-cuddly, I will back the government when I think it is right, David Cameron, is solidly against this bill, whereas 25 years ago it would have been in favour of enforcing laws against blasphemy (insulting the Christian religion).

    The left is divided: some seeing the need to extend the laws against race hatred to hatred on the basis (or under the pretext of) cultural identity; others opposing this in the good old cause of secularism.

    If left and right still mean anything, that is.

  • 6. bananabrain  |  February 1st, 2006 at 11:37 am

    sidd -

    they can call zionism what they like. it doesn’t help them understand what it is. yes, we have zionists who behave in a racist and sometimes even fascistic fashion, but frankly, mate, i have a way better zionist education than you do. i grew up in a zionist youth movement and spent my gap year in jerusalem on a zionist youth leadership course. we weren’t taught what you seem to think. zionism has made some damfool mistakes, like all movements for national self-determination (and indeed everywhere where the british used to run the place, then drew a line down the middle and pissed off back to blighty, all of which are now sources of international instability and horridness) but, in essence, all it really means is the right for the jews to live in their own country. israel is where we are from. ask the tibetans if they’ll still want to live in tibet as tibetans in 2000 years and you’ll get the same answer. the question is whether this project can succeed without doing terrible harm. so far it has not - but that doesn’t mean we should abandon the project.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  • 7. Jezza  |  February 1st, 2006 at 11:51 am

    hey banana brain - the messiah will not save you . it was all a lie . he he . shush dont tell anyone. im off to join the caliphate youth leadership course .

  • 8. mirax  |  February 1st, 2006 at 1:12 pm

    Yeah, just fuck off Jezza.

    Sid, I cannot say it better than bananabrain just did. I think it a pity that your anti-semitism, oops!, sorry, anti-zionism seeps through ever so often.

  • 9. Sunny  |  February 1st, 2006 at 1:24 pm

    I don’t think slandering really is necessary between such articulate people. Anti-semitism would be Sid hating Jewish people because of their race, and I don’t think he does that.

    I might agree with the right of Israel to exist but I don’t think you can equate the two at all. That is trying to blur the lines of two different meanings. Though I also agree with Bananabrain in that there is a lot of propaganda around these days.

  • 10. Siddharth  |  February 1st, 2006 at 1:27 pm

    mirax

    Its unfortunate that you should presume as much.

    Given that some of the key people in my life (teachers, friends, an old boss (hello Arthur), girlfriend(s) etc.) and at key moments have been Jewish, and not say Hindu or Muslim or what have you, I don’t regard myself anti-Muslim or anti-Hindu or anti-religionist in any way or form. But I’ll leave you to pre-suppose that for me.

  • 11. Chris  |  February 1st, 2006 at 1:36 pm

    The word “fascist” is certainly used far too frequently!

  • 12. Siddharth  |  February 1st, 2006 at 1:39 pm

    Incidentally Mirax:

    Can I ask what made you react to my critique of Zionism (which was incidentally addressed far more elegantly by bananabrain) and not the intentional piss-take-racism of white people in my jibe at BNP in (1)?

  • 13. Rohin  |  February 1st, 2006 at 1:40 pm

    Fuck all y’aall religious mofos! FUCK YOU! Religion SUXXXxxxxXXxxx! Atheism pwns religion! w00t!

    You can’t prosecute me, ner ner ner.

  • 14. Siddharth  |  February 1st, 2006 at 1:43 pm

    Rohin
    You fucking atheofascist! Fuck off back to [insert country of origin].

  • 15. Vikrant  |  February 1st, 2006 at 1:47 pm

    wee Rohin bro speakz0rz 1n 1337. Yea atheism pwns man.

  • 16. Lover, not figher  |  February 1st, 2006 at 3:49 pm

    It doesn’t mean that Martin over at Islamaphobia watch has to put comments on his blog …

  • 17. Steve M  |  February 1st, 2006 at 4:40 pm

    Siddharth,

    You mention ‘racists, fascists and misanthropes of LGF and Harry’s Place’. I rarely visit LGF so can’t comment but I’m interested in your comment about Harry’s Place? Do you find racism and fascism amongst the contributors or just in the comments sections? My impression is that any racism is quickly stamped on. Am I wrong? Please illuminate.

  • 18. Siddharth  |  February 1st, 2006 at 5:13 pm

    Steve M:
    Yeah, I find the co-posters on HP, or should I say Melanie’s Place, to be a clued-up, informative, intelligent, reasonable and likeable group of people. However, I can’t extend the same compliments to some of the commenters, who are clearly using HP as a medium to voice their racism, and with many, their loathing of Islam, now that Islam bashing is new vernacular for vanilla racism.

    These views are certainly not stamped out and are even encouraged. I’m pretty sure tho that some of the articles are written to encourage that sort of thing, and flung down to the baying commenters, who do the rest. There was one who made a particularly snidey racist remark to PP’s very own Sunny. To be fair, the guy apologised, sort of. But was back on the next day waxing his views of race and IQ!

    Still, its a great place if you want to wind up a bunch of jumped up Zionists.

  • 19. Siddharth  |  February 1st, 2006 at 5:17 pm

    Hey come to think about it, all my esteemed writers (Roth, Bellow, Miller, Stan Lee), favourite artists (Jacob Epstein, Rothko, Jasper Johns, Warhol), hero-worshipped architects (Libeskind, Richard Meier, Philip Johnson, Walter Gropius, Mies van der Rohe, Frank Gehry) and beloved funnymen (Groucho, Allen, Lenny Bruce, Jon Stewart), amongst many many others, are all Jewish. I took classical Arabic lessons from an old Jewish gentleman in Gants Hill. And Jean, our next door neighbour, who is often our baby sitter, and is the sweetest old lady you’ll ever meet, is Jewish. All these are people have added more to my intellectual makeup than any other ethno-religious group I can think of.

    But none of this detracts from the fact that Zionism is underpinned by elements of fascism. As is the falangism of extremist Islamic fundamentalism.

    Mark Elf of Jews sans Frontieres clears it up:

    I think it’s time to say that most public (that is institutional and media amplified) allegations of anti-semitism are false. It does cause a problem because some allegations of anti-semitism are true. I think given that false ones seem to outnumber true ones then we shouldn’t expend too much energy trying to discover which is which. Instead I think we should focus on forms of racism that are really harming people’s lives. Anti-semitism isn’t one of them. Zionism is.

  • 20. Steve M  |  February 1st, 2006 at 5:35 pm

    Instead I think we should focus on forms of racism that are really harming people’s lives. Anti-semitism isn’t one of them. Zionism is.
    So, anti-semitism is acceptable because it doesn’t harm people’s lives while Zionism is nought but a racist ideology. That’s ‘cleared it up’. Thanks Siddharth. Hey, just because the man’s a Jew doesn’t mean he doesn’t talk out of his arse.

  • 21. Siddharth  |  February 1st, 2006 at 5:52 pm

    Is antisemitism as palpable and damaging today as it once was? Is it as visceral, widespread and damaging as that towards the African or, specifically, the Somalian community?

  • 22. Tanvir  |  February 1st, 2006 at 6:02 pm

    I haven’t read all the comments posted so far so apologies if i repeat anything anyone else says, but I wonder whether insulting and disrespecting religions should be made unlawful in the western democratic world. I just dont think it suits countries such as Britain.

    Just look at the issue with the cartoons of the prophet mohammed (pbuh). Just look how media in other European countries followed suit, trying to go ahead in an act of defiance, but really, what are they doing? I see it as arrogance, a stamping of fists of ‘our superior value of ‘freedom’….. our ‘freedom to insult’ so we will insult.

    The Muslims shouldn’t be going nuts about it like they are, it is disliked to have images of god and the prophets (pbuh)..so let the newspapers face their own judgment to God, surely they are displaying their own vulgarity, insensitivity, and are just jumping at the excuse to continue their deadman-VanGogh sentiments….. but let them show how crude they want to be, why demand they hide their inner sentiments. With regard to the cartoon images published by the french and germans, why were they itching to further insult Muslims? There was no pressing need or a need for their public to see these pictures? It was just purely for kick in the face purposes.These sentiments are everywhere, you can even see it cloaked in the compositions of editors of this blog. In their countries it is their right to insult us Muslims, so let them, surely there is only one way to show the manners and respect Islam teaches us. They are given the opportunity to behave like cockroaches, and they took it. Big deal. They are just showing the colours of their heart.

    I think outlawing the offending of religions is quite pointless, how are you going to police it? Only the mainstream media can be watched, and half of the columnists wouldnt have much to write about, Richard Littlejohn will move to to the States and there will be a huge shake-up of the media industry.

  • 23. Don  |  February 1st, 2006 at 6:06 pm

    ‘Is antisemitism as palpable and damaging today as it once was? ‘

    Setting the bar kind of high there, Sid.

    Is it as widespread as that towards the Somalian community?

    Anti-semitism not really harming people’s lives?

    WTF are you talking about?

  • 24. Don  |  February 1st, 2006 at 6:29 pm

    Tanvir,

    I tend to agree with your conclusions. It’s never pleasant to have your beliefs mocked, but it’s going to happen and as far as I can see you have four options;

    a. Get violent.
    b. Kick up a huge fuss and demand respect.
    c. Respond in kind.
    d. Dignified contempt.

    You seem to have picked d, the most mature option. Although c can be fun, once you get into it.

  • 25. Siddharth  |  February 1st, 2006 at 6:34 pm

    WTF I’m saying is what many senior-citizen Jewish people have told me, and that is this:

    The writing is on the wall, Muslims and Africans in Europe are heading towards a social meltdown, similar to what the Jewish community faced in the start and middle of 20th Century. It is the periodic unleashing of animosity on a massive scale that certain quarters of the European mentality is prone to, which the Jewish peoples know about, only too well.

    Muslim communities should stop regarding Jews as enemies and build bridges to learn from the actions they have taken to build their communities up. Similarly, Jewish communities should reach out and touch the beleagured Muslim communities, rather than continually make them the scapegoat for all the antisemitism that comes from them and the wider community.

    Am I talking out of my arse? Am I projecting paranoia? I don’t know, but its worth a discussion.

  • 26. Steve M  |  February 1st, 2006 at 7:19 pm

    I agree with you that more bridges between Jewish and Muslim communities would be a positive thing. Perhaps the attempt to build bridges is one reason why PP attracts quite a few Jewish commenters and, I’m sure, even more Jewish readers.

    Muslims and Africans in Europe aren’t inevitably heading towards a social meltdown. If Christians, Hindus, Jews, Buddhists and Sikkhs can live together happily then why shouldn’t Muslims as well?

  • 27. Cinnamon  |  February 1st, 2006 at 7:40 pm

    Sunny asked: ‘What does this mean in practice now?’

    I’m not sure Sunny. But it isn’t good

    With the hysteria over a few danish caricatures (which no doubt strongly contributed to the MP votes going this way as well) the public mood is on sub-zero for tolerance of Islam In Europe, the freedom of speech is just as sacred as Mohammed is in Arabia, if not more.

    We fear any kind of God(s) a lot less than fascism, and free speech is the one weapon against it that has real teeth.

    The entire thing about proscecuting or otherwise harassing people over what they say has spectacularily backfired -

    Griffin is standing like a hero, and for once, the man is in public tune with what he is saying. He rehearsed to sound like he is making eminent sense. The worst outcome would be his conviction I feel. And btw, more than ‘we hate the BNP’ and some noisy emotional slogans is needed here to go against this.

    Hamza is using the Islam and the Koran as defense for preaching violence.

    Muslims demonstrate worldwide to forbid free speech and hold the feta cheese to ransom and want to blow up whatever and whoever is in reach. And in the process, they made sure that everyone now has taken a look to see for themselves at what is so offending(nothing much btw), talk about negative PR at its worst…(!)

    So, I’m going to bet that Labour will never dare to use this law, because the amount of crazyness and emotions unleashed on all sides is a worse outcome than the original problem.

  • 28. Jay Singh  |  February 1st, 2006 at 7:48 pm

    Cinnamon

    I fear you are right about the Griffin trial - it should not have happened.

  • 29. Steve M  |  February 1st, 2006 at 8:01 pm

    I think that the problem with the Griffin trial was that it was based on a pretty pathetic documentary. A decent crew should have obtained far more incriminating footage on the b*stard.

  • 30. Bikhair  |  February 1st, 2006 at 10:03 pm

    Don,

    “You seem to have picked d, the most mature option. Although c can be fun, once you get into it.”

    I gotta ask how will Muslims respond in kind? Will we mock Jesus or Moses? That wouldnt be right. The only thing Muslims can do is just ignore it. In the meantime I will be starting a business of professional Muslims threateners who will threaten publications and people for a nominal fee (bomb threats are extra) in order to create a media frenzy to either boost sales or boost public stature.

    Is anyone here in need of a threat from a bonafide Muslim? Our slogan: “When your career is in a mess, dail a threat”

  • 31. Bikhair  |  February 1st, 2006 at 10:07 pm

    Pickled Pajama Wetters,

    Unfortunately I would have to agree with you about this religious bill. While I, and Islam dont respect freedom of speech because the preserving the honor and dignity of the religion and its Prophets and their companions are more important, it wouldnt be right that I couldnt slander Sufis, Shias, Hizbis, and Takfiris.

  • 32. Siddhartha  |  February 1st, 2006 at 10:46 pm

    The pro-War Left has always been keen on letting us know that anti-War Left became bedfellows with “Islamofascists”. Knowing full well that Fascism is strictly speaking a Modern European supremacist ideology and therefore incongruous with the traditional eastern roots.

    The irony with the Nick Griffin judgement which is now a case in point for the free speech vs Islamist denial of publishing religiously offensive cartoons, is that, in the blink of an eye, the pro-War “Left” is now firmly in missionary position with the the very very Far Right.

    Note how the comments on any given Harry’s Place comments thread sound exactly like they were lip-synched by a certain BNP stalwart.

    Harry’s Place is actually Nick’s Toilet.

  • 33. Don  |  February 1st, 2006 at 11:13 pm

    Now that I come to think of it, moslems are prevented from responding in kind, as the are unable to abuse Moses or Jesus. Well, feel free to have a pop at Voltaire, Mary Wollstonecraft, Tom Paine or Charles Darwin. Promise not to be offended, as long as you take the trouble to read them first.

  • 34. mirax  |  February 2nd, 2006 at 8:00 am

    Siddarth,
    I made the comment above after having previously encountered an anti-zionist/Israel rant from you many months ago. I pulled you up on that at that time but did not really pursue it then. I take your word for it that you have many close jewish connections, probably far more than i have and you are not at all an antisemite. But to buy into the simplistic fascist-zionist- landgrab- that -is-Isreal narrative as you seem to have and to question the relative threat of anti-semitism as you did above just lowered you in my estimation. Not that my opinion of you counts for anything. Please carry on.

  • 35. Siddharth  |  February 2nd, 2006 at 10:27 am

    mirax,

    without knowing what you’re specifically referring to (”encountered an anti-zionist/Israel rant from you many months ago.”) in context, I can’t really defend myself.

    My personal bugbear is the plight of Palestinians. This often comes across as antisemitism to many. And still more use it refelexively as something to use against me in arguments (Hello j0nz, Eric et al) to misrepresent. As for antisemetism being played up more than than other racisms per se, I stand by my argument. That does not make me antisemitic, since I agree with other Jewish people who have said and continue to say the same thing.

    We are all guilty of over-egging our personal outrage every now and then - and this comes across as a personal bigotry. Not long ago you seemed to damn the entire population of Pakistan because of the treatment of Hindu minorities.

    Neither of us are bigots so lets bury the hatchet on this one. Personally, I think we’re on the same side than not.
    My estimation for you has not fallen btw, if that means anything to you.

  • 36. Sunny  |  February 2nd, 2006 at 5:10 pm

    I will be starting a business of professional Muslims threateners who will threaten publications and people for a nominal fee (bomb threats are extra) in order to create a media frenzy to either boost sales or boost public stature.

    I don’t frikking believe it. Bikkhi is developing a sense of humour. So PP must have had an impact on her :D

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