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    Misunderstanding the BNP, again

    by Sunny on 4th August, 2009 at 3:29 pm    

    Edmund Standing, who wrote the farcial report on the BNP for a think-tank, has written another article for eGov Monitor offering lessons on how to ‘combat the BNP’. While some new and original thinking is sorely needed - all this article does is regurgitate more stupidity of the past.

    Let me summarise his article: the rise of the BNP can be blamed on Muslim organisations and ‘Guardianistas’. It’s their fault because they perpetuate “Muslim self-pity and a victim mentality” (apparently there is a religious brand of self-pity too) and “white liberal guilt”. Oh and also we “need to start addressing the concerns that have led to a significant number of people [voting BNP]“.

    As I’ve said before - the election of the BNP MEPs has brought out a bunch of self-styled commentators on race relations who have decided that the fault lies with the left and minorities themselves. Apparently, before the MCB came around we lived in a multi-racial utopia. The Guardian too apparently has such a stranglehold on the country’s media and politicians that it absolutely forbids any discussion of race, immigration and extremism. As a result, it’s obvious that people will be driven to the BNP because they can’t find anywhere that expresses their views.

    It’s also interesting that the only time Edmund Standing mentions Muslims with relation to the BNP is when he blames Muslim orgs. Earlier he defended this by saying that the BNP’s issue is still race, not religion. I suppose the fact that most Muslims are brown-skinned folks and can thus be demonised more easily is irrelevant? I suppose the fact there was prejudice in the past directed at Catholics and Jews because of their religion is also irrelevant?

    This sort of thinking isn’t just silly and easily dismissed - but it’s ideologically driven. It looks like the aim of people who write this guff isn’t to actually combat the BNP but simply bash the people they dislike (lefties, Muslim orgs). The BNP is simply used as the conduit for that bashing.

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    43 Comments below   |   Add your own

    1. CTerry — on 4th August, 2009 at 4:06 pm  

      One big thing about the BNP is who votes for it, typically white working class folk. If you look at BNP policies, many of them are simply anti-globalisation, they are pro-nationalisation, pro-protectionism, etc. To my mind the BNP is a white working class protest party at its essence, but their views can and should be challenged by the left. One common BNP line is that immigrants take all the council houses, in fact only about 4% of council houses goes to migrants. The problem is simply that there are so few council houses due to Thatcher’s selling of council housing stock in the 1980s (which I actually agree with, but view as mistaken in that there was no attempt to replenish housing stock once it was sold off). In short, the Labour Party can and should attempt to fight the BNP and aid social justice by building new council houses. In my area the local council is putting loads of money into ‘affordable housing’, which is great, as a young type I could personally stand to benefit from such a programme personally, but if we can build affordable housing, why can’t we build council housing for those who need it most?

      Soapbox over now.

    2. Soso — on 4th August, 2009 at 4:10 pm  

      The disgraceful slandering of anyone who dares criticise Islamist politics, or even specific aspects of Islamic doctrine as ‘Islamophobic’ and ‘racist’ is all too common, not just among Muslim activists but also among large segments of the so-called ‘left’, as is the manipulation of the discourse of anti-racism in an attempt to further an Islamist agenda.

      Such false accusations of bigotry and racism have been thrown at perfectly decent and anti-racist individuals, and have the potential to ruin their lives and careers. When the ‘race card’ or in this case the ‘religion card’ is played too often, people start to get fed up. There is a real danger that people are starting to feel ‘well, they’re going to call me racist anyway so I might as well vote for the BNP’. And it’s not just with the issue of Islam that this is happening.

      I see nothing unfair in what he is saying here. Critics of radical islam regularly draw accusations of bigotry/islamophobia, and SOME sections of The Left employ the language of anti-racism to promote islamist agendas.

      One other thing is at work as well. By allowing islamist loudmouths to spout their intolerance and hatred unopposed in the public sphere, the whole tone of what is acceptable/unacceptable speech has changed. Those shifting parameters have opened a breach into which the BNP has crept.

      So yes, both The Left AND Islamists are in part responsable for the BNP’s current success.

    3. ali — on 4th August, 2009 at 4:12 pm  

      The whole ethos of HP is “its the Muslims’ fault” . Its a bit rich for them to talk about victim mentality - they go on about events in Europe mre than 60 years ago to justify the actions of the strongest and onlu nuclear state in the Middle East

    4. Shamit — on 4th August, 2009 at 4:28 pm  

      Just to give it some context - this was one long article which we published in two parts in agreement with the author.

      This is the second part — if read together, I think it presents some good analysis and ideas.

      I don’t think it is as simplistic as this post makes it out to be — but that’s just my opinion.

    5. cjcjc — on 4th August, 2009 at 4:31 pm  

      One common BNP line is that immigrants take all the council houses, in fact only about 4% of council houses goes to migrants.

      The more subtle argument is whether immigrants take more than a fair share of resources, or whether, in the absence of immigration, those resources could all be deployed to support the “natives”.

      why can’t we build council housing for those who need it most?

      Indeed. But who precisely decides who is neediest?

    6. Adnan — on 4th August, 2009 at 4:48 pm  

      In the first article he criticises the disproportionate coverage given to Al Muj, in the second he falls into the same trap and vastly overplays the influence of the MCB and of Guardianistas. The second article is mainly a tirade against these groups - maybe he’s trying to get a job on the Daily Mail ?

      Solutions are only offered in the final paragraph and only there does he mention disillusionment with Labour.

    7. Sunny — on 4th August, 2009 at 4:54 pm  

      So yes, both The Left AND Islamists are in part responsable for the BNP’s current success.

      Ahhh yes - it’s the lefties who are to blame for racism! Before all this, in the 70s and 80s there was no racism clearly.

    8. Adnan — on 4th August, 2009 at 4:55 pm  

      “SOME sections of The Left employ the language of anti-racism to promote islamist agendas.”

      Which sections of the Left are promoting islamist agendas ?

      “One other thing is at work as well. By allowing islamist loudmouths to spout their intolerance and hatred unopposed in the public sphere, the whole tone of what is acceptable/unacceptable speech has changed.”

      This change is due to freedom of speech / “PC gone mad” arguments made on the Right rather than a few islamists.

    9. ali — on 4th August, 2009 at 4:56 pm  

      erm, the Stop the War Coalition perhaps? Have you taken a look at the Islamists who are involved with that?

    10. ali — on 4th August, 2009 at 5:04 pm  


      Your final para :

      “It looks like the aim of people who write this guff isn’t to actually combat the BNP but simply bash the people they dislike (lefties, Muslim orgs). The BNP is simply used as the conduit for that bashing.”

      So you mean to say that Standing, who has done numerous blogs over the last months for HP and others solely on neo-Nazis, is doing this simply to bash Muslims? Wow, he must be really devoted to hating them! He clearly has no intention of actually exposing British neo-Nazis, but spends all of his time doing this in order to bash Muslims….makes sense!

    11. Adnan — on 4th August, 2009 at 5:08 pm  

      So was it created to promote an islamist agenda or stop the war ? Nice try though.

    12. ali — on 4th August, 2009 at 5:12 pm  

      um, no, i never said that. It has, however, allowed itself to be hijacked by Islamist ideologues like daud abdullah (signatory of the Istanbul statement), mohammed sawalha (member of Hamas) and Ismael Patel (supporter of Hamas). But you already knew all that, right?

    13. Adnan — on 4th August, 2009 at 5:23 pm  

      “But you already knew all that, right?”

      I didn’t. Nice attempt at a smear though.

    14. Pickled Politics criticises Edmund Standing's Position on Combating the BNP | The Gov Monitor — on 4th August, 2009 at 5:30 pm  

      [...] Read more here: [...]

    15. Yahya Birt — on 4th August, 2009 at 5:37 pm  

      Just to address what is the central argument of this approach, which I take to be that the true ideology of the BNP is essentially unchanged. Its core ideology is based on classic colour racism and anti-semitism. Islamophobia is essentially a tactical add-on, and not part of its “core” ideology but a repositioning for the sake of gaining more support.

      Now I think there are (at least) three problems with this.

      The first is the absence of any kind of decent theory of race. The old pseudo-science of racism helding that there are different races of humankind, and that these are different and inferior to each other. There is a hierarchy with one race on top, different and superior to all the others. There is a biological foundation to all this, but even in its classical articulation in the nineteenth century, this theory of race was never separated from cultural or civilisational aspects to these arguments either.

      Evolutionary science and particularly genetics has demolished any idea of separate races as such. Hence the basic ground of the argument has moved to a valuation of cultures/civilisations as different and inferior with one civilisation or culture see as different and superior to all the others.

      Another question is where do anti-Semitism and Islamophobia fit into this discussion? Neither classic biological racism nor its more common modern-day descendent have easily separated ideas and persons, or cultures/civilisations and “races”. The reason is that ideas are embedded in persons as identities and manifested as symbols that represent something of these identities in society; attacks on these identities or symbols can be overtly or only implicitly racialised in colour terms. Their main expression is more likely to fall within cultural not colour racism.

      This is why a violent/abusive attack on a symbol of a particular community can be perceived as an attack on that community itself. Context, tone and the overaching political stance within which it is presented obviously make a difference as to how one might evaluate it, but nonetheless this is quite commonly accepted. If someone leaves a pig’s heads impaled on the gates of a mosque or defaces or vandalised a Jewish cemetary in this country — it is quite rightly assumed that these are Islamophobic or anti-Semitic attacks. Neither Jews nor Muslims can easily be defined in pure racial or ethnic terms (a scan of the census figures would confirm this), yet at the same time, certain physical associations are made with both, e.g. large noses, beards and so on.

      The second problem I have with this argument is that it only asserts that when Nick Griffin attacks Islam as a cancer in Europe which should be removed by chemotherapy, an opinion he endorsed very recently, it is only a tactic. He really hates Muslims because they are dark-skinned foreigners or some other reasoning connected with biological or calssic racism.

      This fails Ockham’s test, i.e., that the simplist explanation is the true one. And the simplist explanation is that Griffin means what he says. And moreover that there is no clear dividing line between colour and cultural racism, and that a good case can be made for the BNP, its offshoots and antecedents have always advocated a mixture of both. Otherwise we have to present a convoluted argument that the BNP’s focus on Muslims is only tactial and they don’t really mean it.

      To make a third and final point. It seems obvious to me that there is great insensitivity in this argument. One is saying to the targets of this poisoness rhetoric that it shouldn’t be taken seriously and that in and of itself is highly presumptuous and condescending. And it should be added that to say that Griffin does mean what he says about Muslims does not or ought not be construed as a way to diminish or to sideline the BNP’s colour racism or anti-semitism, or for that matter, its attacks on Roma or asylum seekers.

      Perhaps we might do better to ask whether in the Islam-West controversy of the last two decades we have (all) created the political climate in which far-right Islamophobia finds considerable appeal among Europe’s disenchanted and disillusioned. This is complex and difficult terrain to unpack as we’ve seen in interlocking debates about multiculturalism, diversity, racism, fundamentalism, terrorism, nationalism etc.

      in peace, Yahya

    16. Rumbold — on 4th August, 2009 at 5:39 pm  

      I do think that there is some merit in the argument that certain elements of the race/religious industry have enhanced the appeal of the BNP. People who behave like Lee Jasper and the MCB are bound to. However, Edmund Standing exaggerates their importance, and as Sunny points out, we had racism before a race relations industry.

    17. ali — on 4th August, 2009 at 5:40 pm  

      smear who? i know that PP operate on a very loose definition of the word, but even then I dont know what you are talking about. Do you mean I am trying to smear you? If so, that would be quite hard given that i dont know who the hell you are!

    18. Soso — on 4th August, 2009 at 5:40 pm  

      Ahhh yes – it’s the lefties who are to blame for racism! Before all this, in the 70s and 80s there was no racism clearly.

      I nowhere said or even implied that. What’s happened is that rabid Islamists have been allowed to make outrageous hate-filled statements and have been aided in doing so by SOME elements on the left. That ‘breach’ of what was once considered acceptable speech, that change in the social atmosphere, makes it possible for Far Right organisations to APPEAR more mainstream.

      And you have to admit, Mr Hundal, that the actions and words of some extremists clerics creat not ‘racism’ per se, but rather deep apprehensions on the part of ordinary Britons regarding Islamist aims and ambitions.

    19. Edna Welthorpe — on 4th August, 2009 at 5:49 pm  

      Back in the fifties and sixties there were a few nutters and nuisances like Moseley the Elder and Colin Jordan yelling about ‘coloured’ immigration and nobody listened. It was SO silly; skin colour is visible but of no importance, compared to - say - street crime, “Indian hemp” and pimping, which were the REAL perceived issues about West Indians back in those days.

      The important issues for Britons [and the Irish] are:

      * National identity
      * Social integration and social behaviour
      * Overcrowding
      * Conflict for resources between those who have been here for 12,000 years [or a mere 400 years, like the Flemings, or even a mere century like the Ashkenazim or a mere sixty-odd years, like the Old Poles] and those newly-arrived.

      Mass Third World immigration has changed the face of Britain with it the face of British politics, just as pre-Powell Tories [and a few other people] warned right back in the sixties.

      It is amusing to note that almost anyone who expresses ungoodthinkful thoughts on this site or on HP or on that self-evident oxymoron ‘Socialist Unity’ is immediately denounced as a BNP troll. If this were even slightly true, there’d be enough BNP trolls to form a signifant pressure group [American rightist groups in the paranoid Cold War years even had clubs of 'Patriotic Letter Writers' who infested newspaper readers' pages; this was long before the Internet.]

      In fact, what truly amazes ME is just how many literate and articulate people there are these days who are in broad agreement with the BNP line on mass Third World immigration, not so much just here on this site but all over the internet.

      If Billericay Dickie has been banned, he should be unbanned at once.

    20. Sunny — on 4th August, 2009 at 5:50 pm  

      So you mean to say that Standing, who has done numerous blogs over the last months for HP and others solely on neo-Nazis, is doing this simply to bash Muslims?

      I’ve written numerous articles attacking the BNP and Islamists too. That must mean I’m above criticism now. Woohoo!

    21. Rumbold — on 4th August, 2009 at 5:55 pm  


      I disagree with Edmund Standing on a number of things, and I don’t like Douglas Murray, but it is hardly fair to question Edmund’s anti-BNP commitment. Yes, he downplays the actual hatred for Muslims too much for my liking, but he has done sterling work exposing racist extremists. We need people like him.

    22. ali — on 4th August, 2009 at 6:05 pm  


      What are you on about man! Maybe you missed my point: you claim in your ‘piece’ that the only reason Standing writes about the BNP is so as to indirectly attack Muslims. I am simply pointing out the absurdity of your claims that a man would spend ages researching and uncovering online nazi networks not because he wishes to expose them and resist them, but because he hates Muslims. Its just doesnt make sense, and that, my friend, is why you are rarely able to formulate a good article - your arguments are simply too weak even when they do make sense!

    23. Yahya Birt — on 4th August, 2009 at 6:06 pm  

      How frustrating: I just typed out a comment and when I posted it, it disappeared.

      I have three problems with this arguement which I take to be that the BNP’s core ideology is classic colour racism and anti-Semitism; Islamophobia is a tactical (not a real) addition.

      1. It is incoherent with regard to what racism actually is by way of a false division between biology and culture/civilisation. Classic colour racism based on nineteenth-century pseudo-science always had a cultural or civilisational element to it. Now disproved by genetics to be absolute nonsense (there is no such thing as “race” scientifically speaking), the ground has shifted to most contemporary racism having a cultural basis, but older psysiological distinctions have not been erased, just justified in cultural terms. So rather than there is a hierarchy of distinct and inferior races with different civilisations (as well as primitives and barbarians) we have a distinct and inferior civilisations that map on to so-called “races”.

      The idea of cultural racism recognises that persons and ideas or symbols, or “races”/”peoples”/”nations” and cultures/civilisations, are not easily separable. Islamophobia and anti-semitism are both contemporary forms of cultural racism. If someone sticks a pig’s head on the gates of a mosque or defaces and vandalises a Jewish cemetery, both are recognised as forms of cultural racism and attacks on the symbols of these communities. Neither is easily categorizable as purely racial, but these are the sorts of behaviours that we need to stand against and need not get into an intellectual muddle about.

      2. There is the insensitive and condescending presumption that those who are the targets of the BNP’s abuse shouldn’t take it seriously. Nick doesn’t really mean it when he says Islam is a cancer that should be removed from Europe: it’s just a tactic. This fails the test of Ockham’s razor: the simplest explanation is most likely to be the truest one. The onus on those to prove that he doesn’t mean what he says, and I’ve yet to see evidence that that is the case. That isolated quote from 2000 at some far-righ convention with David Duke is hardly the “smoking gun” it is made out to be.

      3. It seems obvious to me that politically this is a disabling argument. A group (Muslims) who are being attacked by the far right are effectively been sidelined and their legitimate concerns marginalised by this line of argument. It serves no good political purpose and could actually be quite insidious. Equally this is not a zero-sum game. To say that the BNP has targetted Muslims is not to say that they still don’t want to affirm their anti-semitism and classic colour racism.

      As has been said before, we are struggling here was complicated and interlocking debates about national identity, multiculturalism, fundamentalism, terrorism and so on. These won’t be sorted out by a simple-minded return to classic 1970s anti-racism.

      in peace, Yahya

    24. Yahya Birt — on 4th August, 2009 at 6:10 pm  

      ali: do you want that in the twitter version?

    25. ali — on 4th August, 2009 at 6:12 pm  

      lol, could I please? i have the attention span of a new born gold fish, thank you.

    26. Yahya Birt — on 4th August, 2009 at 6:15 pm  

      Three problems with this argument:

      1. Racism today is more about culture than biology: the BNP knows this and exploits it.

      2. To say the BNP’s Islamophobia is only tactical is insensitive/condescending to Muslims and harder to prove than taking it at face value.

      3. It marginalises Muslims in an anti-racism alliance that should be inclusive. This alliance has to deal with racism in all its modern forms, including Islamophobia.

    27. CTerry — on 4th August, 2009 at 6:27 pm  

      I have to agree that some sections of the left do ally, disconcertingly, with Islamists. Stop the War coalition has been mentioned, but I feel George Galloway and RESPECT also fall into this category. By all means campaign against Islamophobia, by all means ally with muslim opinion, but alliances with Islamists undermine the argument. I would however say that this is more a tendency of the radical left, that the mainstream, liberal left, and should not be used as a stick to beat the entire left with.

    28. MaidMarian — on 4th August, 2009 at 7:02 pm  

      CTerry - Sort of, what was actually more depressing about the left’s unholy alliance with the islamists was the extent to which some were prepared to relativise it all away - even the suicide bombings.

      The leftisit idea of a ‘grievance’ that ‘legitimised’ suicide bombings was poor politics and no doubt hardened attitudes. The people who vote BNP probably had their ideas before the left/islamist alliance, but I can’t escape the feeling that they had their feelings reinforced.

      What was most worrying was how the left would preference perceived Islamic victim hood. White people of all and no faiths were angry about Iraq, as were pensioners, Black people and so on - yet I would guess that a white pensioner suicide bombing campaign in protest over Iraq would not have been so readily offered support from the left.

      Indeed there was an undertone of racism to the way in which some seemed to think it was ‘natural’ and ‘to be expected’ for muslims to react by killing others.

      The left lost its way in the early part of this decade - I suspect it did not convert people to the BNP, but it hardened opinion.

    29. asquith — on 4th August, 2009 at 8:10 pm  

      I’ve just thought something tho.

      The Greens got much more support than the BNP, despite not having half the coverage or the sympathy from right-wing scum in the media.

      When will politicians go out of their way to win Green voters back over? When will they bend over backwards to put the environment at the top of the agenda rather than talking toss?

      What about all these disillusioned white middle-class people who put their cross there, are they to be ignored because their views don’t fit in with right-whingers with an axe to grind?

    30. Edna Welthorpe — on 4th August, 2009 at 9:10 pm  

      Would the BNP have gained more voters with a not-so-obviously nutty Stage Vicar candidate?

      Someone with photogenic appeal like the cutie who won?

      These days there are herds of smart graduates who support some - at least - of the BNP message.

    31. Sunny — on 4th August, 2009 at 9:18 pm  

      What leftwing alliance with the Islamists??

      Some of us briefly joined under the banner of the SWTC to protest against the war. Since then those fruitloops from the SWP have seen declining support.

      Firstly, the SWTC is not the SWP. Secondly, Galloway is not of the left, and neither does he represent anyone. He used to be part of a small section of the hard left.

      Lastly - blaming the socialists is a nice diversionary tactic. Still doesn’t explain racism though.

      Nice comment Yahya - spot on.

    32. Katy Newton — on 4th August, 2009 at 9:25 pm  

      Sunny, it’s really grotesque to see you devoting so much energy to denigrating someone who’s outing the BNP. I don’t understand why you judge Standing’s articles on the basis of what he says about Muslim organisations. You yourself have said that faith and ethnic organisations, including Muslim organisations that you have named, do their communities no favours by claiming to speak on their behalf. So why you’re getting so aerated about him criticising them, I do not know.

    33. Katy Newton — on 4th August, 2009 at 9:29 pm  

      I don’t agree with Standing, by the way. I think the BNP’s Islamophobia is entirely genuine, albeit at the moment it might tap into a certain sort of voter’s paranoia and in that sense be a tactical advantage. I’m just not sure why you keep trying to get people to think that he must be a big fat racist himself, that’s all.

    34. MaidMarian — on 4th August, 2009 at 10:11 pm  

      asquith (26) - Possibly, though I would suggest that there is an argument that the Greens actually do quite well out of having a lower level of media coverage. If their policies received the levels of scrutinty that the main parties receive it may well prove off-putting.

      Sunny (28) - I’m not blaming ’socialists.’ I’m blaming those on all parts of the political spectrum who recklessly joined in in indulging Islamic victimhood to the extent where, apparantly, my morning train could be bombed.

    35. damon — on 4th August, 2009 at 11:11 pm  

      I thought it significent that he did a link to Graeme Archer’s article on Conservtive Home.

      There’s a lot of links in all these articles, and a lot of reading to be done. But as Edmund Standing praised that article, I focused on it.

      Is it true that the left created a ”race industry”?

      He talks of ”thought crime”. Is this rightwing nonsense?
      He has a pop at Billy Bragg and that kind of ”concert in Victoria Park” anti-racism.
      As someone who has fallen out with some of those (in my opinion very PC) people on another internet forum, I had some sympathy with that view. The kind of people who are quick to cry ”racist” but would refuse to even acknowledge the merit in an article like this one below:

      I ended up having feelings about those anti-racist white liberals in a similar way that the Tory mentions.
      (Because, in my opinion, the Spiked article was a good one.)

      There is that disdain for the working class white van man with his Saint George’s flag, as we saw from Joseph Harker in the Guardian.

      And then he bangs on about Whitechapel Road (near Brick Lane). I’m driving up and down it every day at the moment, on the way to Newmarket in Suffolk where I do a delivery.
      Tonight I passed the East London Mosque bang on 7pm (when you can park on a single red line) and as I knew from reading Harry’s Place that a controversial Sheikh from Saudia Arabia was speaking there tonight, I pulled over for a look at was going on.

      The whole block around the Mosque was very busy with people. More like friday prayers than a tuesday evening.

      I went in to the main hall and sat down for ten minutes as someone was speaking, but it wasn’t the main speaker.
      Anyway, it is slightly disconcerting to be a white guy in amongst such a Bangladeshi scene.
      No one paid me any heed of course, but still, for an area with such a white working class history (the war, the 50’s then the Kray twins and all that) it’s quite a transformation in 30 years or so.

      The point Sunny’s making is a difficult one. Is it right to bash Standing for his wide ranging argument here? I’d say it might take more than three days and a hundred or so posts to get to the bottom of this. But by then, the focus has usually moved on.

      Prrsonally I think the BNP get too much publicity, and people over analise their thinking. They’re just twats.
      Maybe we should be happy with the fascists we’ve got in the UK. At least they’re pretty useless.

      For whatever success they might score in elections, I think that fascism has very shallow roots in modern Britain.
      The soil is not fertile for them.

    36. Sunny — on 5th August, 2009 at 12:35 am  

      I don’t agree with Standing, by the way. I think the BNP’s Islamophobia is entirely genuine, albeit at the moment it might tap into a certain sort of voter’s paranoia and in that sense be a tactical advantage

      Which is what I’m saying. It’s just annoying to find people who are willing to indulge this tripe, is what my point is.

      I would never dream of saying Standing is racist. But he has a political agenda I do not share (playing down anti-Muslim bigotry, blaming the left).

      As a final point - it’s easy to point and laugh at the knuckle-draggers. They are an easy target. It’s the racists in suits who claim they are not racist while fully sprouting opinions matching those of the BNP I’m worried about.

    37. Yakoub — on 5th August, 2009 at 11:08 am  

      It’s good, in this context, to look at anti-Semitism just before WWII, and then just after. Just focus on one discursive field - my degree is TRS, so let’s look at Catholic biblical exegesis for this period. Before the war, most exegesis would engage in a fair bit of Jew blaming - I mean, who killed Jesus? Then, whoops, post-war editions, all this stuff is edited out. Can’t be having that, people said, look where it led.

      Well, hopefully Standing’s kind of barely disguised anti-Muslim racism, made respectable in a climate where Islamophobia is politically legitimate, won’t lead to a holocaust. But where will it lead exactly? Anywhere good? Anywhere peaceful and productive? Does he think MCB are going to disband, while all us Mussies become timorous clones declaring our unremitting adoration for Ed Hussein? Send me a list of your demands, Standing. Go on, give us a laff.

      The problem is, people like Standing don’t actually understand “culture” in the anthropological sense of the term. They have no idea whatsoever about how communities exist, beyond the kind of journalistic essentialising prevelant among sensationalising Daily Mail hacks. If Standing wrote about Westminster politics with the same level of intellectual incompetence that his ilk bring to the topic of Islam and Muslims, their blogs would receive less hits than Andy’s Underpant Collection. It’s genuinely pathetic.

    38. Lord Binky — on 5th August, 2009 at 12:35 pm  

      # 37 Yakoub cannot have it both ways:

      “Anti-Muslim Racism” is oxymoronic.

      Someone who detests Islam is wary about all Muslims, including Albanians, Bosnians, Scandinavian converts ['reverts'] to Islam and everyone else who is Muslim. S/he might attempt “to love the sinner while detesting the sin” of Islam but skin colour would hardly enter the picture.

      Someone who is a genuine real racist detests people of another colour [or perhaps only blacks or only browns or only yellows or only redskins] but probably isn’t bothered about what such people do or do not believe.

      Thus it can be stated that not all racists are Islamophobes and that not all Islamophobes are racist.

      Of course, there are some people who really and truly have both sets of hatreds in their hearts simultaneously but they tend to be the dumbest of the dumb.

      An unswerving non-racist Islamophobe would be happy to approve a one-on-one exchange of every Muslim in Britain for a Christian Tamil or Keralite, jet-black though many of them are.

      An unswerving racist would be happy to exchange every person of a dusky hue - irrespective of confessional identity - for a Bosniak, Albanian or Pomak.

      There! Now write it out and memorise it, Yakoub.

    39. abdullah — on 5th August, 2009 at 12:56 pm  

      Lord Binky

      Someone who detests Islam is wary about all Muslims

      kind of exposes the “I hate Islam not Muslims” canard

      including Albanians, Bosnians, Scandinavian converts ['reverts'] to Islam and everyone else who is Muslim. S/he might attempt “to love the sinner while detesting the sin” of Islam but skin colour would hardly enter the picture.

      What exactly is the “sin” of being a Muslim ?. Is it like the “sin” of being Jewish or Hindu ?.

      Im positive you’ll say “believing in terrorism, forced marriages, FGM” and other such media driven lies about Islam and Muslims

    40. Lord Binky — on 5th August, 2009 at 1:02 pm  

      Someone who detests Judaism is wary about all Jews.

      Now substitute:

      Christianity / Christians
      Zoroastrianism / Parsees
      Shintoism / Shintoists
      and so on until you run out of -isms …

      To ‘be wary of’ is not necessarily to hate.
      I am wary of large dogs that growl but I do not actively hate all canines.

    41. abdullah — on 5th August, 2009 at 1:08 pm  

      Lord Binky

      The funny thing is have you actual met a Kosovan or Bosnian Muslim? They are deeply secular often Muslims in name only (you know the type of Muslims you always go on about how all Muslims should be)- you are far more likely to find a Kosovan in a nightclub or pub than a mosque. Yet you still detest them- because they are Muslims or have Muslim names!

      This tells Muslims all we need to know about “if you assimilate, theyll accept you”.
      They wont - so why bother?

    42. Lord Binky — on 5th August, 2009 at 1:13 pm  

      Abdullah -

      NEVER try to win any dispute by misrepresenting what the other person said!

      Please list all belief systems and their real or alleged flaws. [You might find it hard to say much bad about Seventh Day Adventists and Quakers but you CAN try!]

      If a bloke detests one belief system, he is probably wary of those who embrace it [whether they were born into it or converted]

      A ‘true’ Muslim believes the stuff that the Chief Preacher in Makkah believes, right? The one currently in the U.K., I mean.

      Which would include all HE spouts about the beastliness of Jews, Christians, Hindus and probably Shintoists.

      A non-Muslim would obviously be wary of such a person.

      Cultural issues like FGM*, cow-loving, pig-hating, lobster-eating are minor trifles.

      Anyway, who except anthopologists and nutters had even heard of FGM until a few years ago?

      *FGM is not a Muslim monopoly. Some benighted Christians in Egypt and East Africa did it until recently and probably some are still going in for it.

    43. damon — on 6th August, 2009 at 1:04 am  

      Yakoub @ 36. Would you tell us what exactly you see as ”Standing’s kind of barely disguised anti-Muslim racism ….”

      You may well be right, but wading through all this stuff (and the new Blog Wars thread) is not so easy.

      I think I agree with him (Standing) when he criticises parts of the more shrill left.
      I wouldn’t go blaming ethic minorities themselves for giving the BNP a wider profile as Sunny seems to be suggesting is being done by some people (in the links he made at the top of this thread).

      From that thread titled ”The “race industry” and blaming the left for racism” on June 18th:

      First, the “race industry” is a bunch of civil society organisations started by activists who were pissed off being constantly demonised and decided they had to organise themselves politically. Anyone who blames the “race industry” for the rise of racism, than actual prejudice is hilariously deluded.

      … the race industry”is a bunch of civil society organisations started by activists … ”

      That’s the place to start this discussion IMO.

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