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Muslims should learn “art of peaceful dissent”

by Sunny on 5th March, 2006 at 4:09 pm    

Lady Kishwer Falkner yesterday:

Muslims should have “broader shoulders” when it comes to issues of free speech such as the Danish cartoons, a Lib Dem home affairs spokesman has said.

Kishwer Falkner, who is a Muslim, said her community must be “tolerant” and “learn the art of peaceful dissent”. She said freedom of speech was not just a Western concept but it was necessary in any pluralistic society.

She has also said Britain should repeal blasphemy laws, and there should be equal standards on freedom of speech - i.e. David Irving should not have been jailed and neither Ken Livingstone suspended. I agree.

I also consider Lady Falkner to be more informed, in tune with British Muslim sentiment and credible compared to Trevor Phillips, hence my reason for ignoring his speech last week. Another point that many hysterical ranters forget:

Sajj Karim MEP said Muslims in the European Union had “by and large” responded to the publication of the cartoons democratically, even though they had been offended by them.

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  1. Peter — on 5th March, 2006 at 4:38 pm  

    Must say I agree with all of that, Sunny - appalling individual though Irving is.

    But to be controversial I have just been blogging on the new conservative approach to immigration. Grateful for your comments


    I also have a piece on Aljazeera on Pigeon Post (via my signature that might be of interest.

  2. Peter — on 5th March, 2006 at 4:39 pm  

    Sorry Pigeon Post is


  3. Raw Data — on 5th March, 2006 at 5:17 pm  

    It’s a great idea. is it possible?

    Don’t the Moslems have such a tradition of focussing on their own submission — I won’t ghet into the implications of that — that they are psychologically incapable of taking criticism much less being self-critical?

    I am so curious to see if/how they are able to evolve psychically. Frankly, peaceful evolution doesn’t look very likely, though I hope I am wrong. But what other choice do they have?

  4. El Cid — on 5th March, 2006 at 6:46 pm  

    Hmmm, I wonder what a young Sir Trev would have thought back in the 1970s if he had heard a Powellite denounce Rastafarians with the words: “If they insist on breaking the laws of our land by smoking marijuana they should go back to where they came from.” Just a thought.

  5. El Cid — on 5th March, 2006 at 6:50 pm  

    Don’t get me wrong Sir Trev. I don’t see these issues in purely abstract terms. I like to be pragmatic. It’s easier that way.
    I welcome migrants, whether useful economic ones or needy refugees. But I also think they should learn to speak English before gaining the priviliges of citizenship, for the good of their children whose homework they should be helping them with and, by extension, for the good of all our children whose schools they will share.
    I also see no reason why we should welcome people into bosom who want our destruction.
    But I really don’t see why we should suggest that people who already live here and want sharia law should go home. The rules of engagement with militant Islam may have changed since 7/7 but not to that extent. Fascist fools they may be but they are entitled to their views.

  6. Arif — on 5th March, 2006 at 9:13 pm  

    Hmmmm. We should learn the art of peaceful dissent. Well, okay I think I do that . What next? Carry on being ignored?

    And who else should now learn peaceful dissent? Are we all pacifists now? Or will we be if Muslims lead the way?

    Politically active Muslims are generally so sensitive/oversensitive now, that anything that smacks of double-standards won’t be listened to much. So I assume this is a statement for non-Muslim consumption.

  7. Sid D H Arthur — on 5th March, 2006 at 11:54 pm  

    What Muslims really need is to develop a sense of discernment that lets them distinguish between issues that trully affect them and aim to stifle their civil rights, such as ID cards and the new Terrorism Laws, from ploys by media-savvy demagogues who wish to cause offence for a crude and pathetic publicity stunt.

    When they manage to decouple their collective outrage from the machinations of a bunch of wankers from the real issues that will affect their lives here and now pragmatically and not in the abstract Muslim-nation sense, we can finally say the Muslim community have “arrived”. That and getting to grips with regarding embassies as the first step to a holiday and not a symbol of the enemy of the faith, of course.

  8. Ismaeel — on 6th March, 2006 at 7:47 am  

    Well your comments show just how out of touch both you and Baroness Falkner are with mainstream Muslim opinion in this country. Whay one must ask does she say that Muslims have to learn the art of peaceful dissent. Were not all the demonstrations in this country peaceful. Before you mention Al-Ghuraba they did not actually perpetrate any violence and according to the Liberals this constitutes peaceful demonstration, it is only when it becomes violent that it is not. Interesting how lines are drawn by the Liberal commentators differently according to which religion you follow.
    Ismaeel Media Rep Muslim Action Committee

  9. soru — on 6th March, 2006 at 10:23 am  

    If i was going to pass a new law restricting freedom of speech, I would make it illegal to simply say ‘muslims’ when either ‘muslims in the UK’ or ‘muslims worldwide’ is meant.

    Doubly so if the actual meaning is ‘islamists’ , ’salifists’, etc.

    So much confusion and disagreement starts from that simple easily avoidable mistake.

  10. Al-Hack — on 6th March, 2006 at 12:20 pm  

    Ismaeel she looks like she is referring to Muslims overseas, not here.

  11. Jay Singh — on 6th March, 2006 at 12:28 pm  

    Hmmmm….calling for terrorist bombing, beheading and murder is peaceful protest? *scratches head*

  12. El Cid — on 7th March, 2006 at 9:28 am  

    Very revealing:
    Hmmmm. We should learn the art of peaceful dissent. Well, okay I think I do that . What next? Carry on being ignored?
    What do you want Asif:
    We should learn the art of violent dissent. Well, okay I think I do that . What next? Carry on being vilified?

  13. Don — on 7th March, 2006 at 3:50 pm  


    ‘Carry on being ignored?’ Are you really being ignored? That isn’t the impression I had formed.

    ‘And who else should now learn peaceful dissent?’ I don’t know. Most people seem to have the hang of it already.

  14. Arif — on 12th March, 2006 at 5:46 pm  

    I am trying to interpret the responses to what I wrote. And I think they only make sense if I am someone who supports aggressive militant positions.

    What I was trying to get across that I belong to the invisible Muslims who campaign peacefully and without distinction between abuses committed by or against Muslims and/or non-Muslims around the world.

    What is it about violent dissent that gets one set of Muslims recognised to such an extent that people assume they represent me, even on a broad-minded blogsite like pickled politics - but peaceful dissent is unrecognised to the extent that Muslims have to be lectured about it, as though we have much to learn from enlightened societies which have nuclear weapons and undertake regular wars themselves?

    So I’ll carry on my peaceful dissent, safe in the knowledge that people will continue to characterise me in the same terms as those people I argue against most often. I’m sure I’d suddenly become visible if I were more aggressive, and I’m sure that would be partly because serves the interests of those who want to stigmatise my views. It is understandable that people who want to continue their policies will want to suppress, then ignore, then stigmatise any criticism. It is a pity they do it so well, that genuine humanitarian concerns continue being sidelined.

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