Fanaticism goes mainstream

The argument quoted below could have come from several right-wing and ex-leftie commentators and pundits (including the usual suspects Steve and Mel…):

"Libby Purves argues that the Muslim love of family and tradition is ‘not so very unlike what the despised Middle Britain wants’. In our degraded and crime-ridden society, it is indeed tempting to reach out and find common cause with conservative-minded people who have some sort of spiritual life and sense of orderly behaviour.

"However — and with the greatest respect to people of that religion — the large-scale presence of Islam in our cities is one of the factors that has eroded the Britishness of Britain.

"In a country becoming as Balkanised as ours, with television media and an education system continually promoting multiculturalism and unlimited liberalism, it is little wonder that the framework which once held us together has fallen apart. The choice between an Islamicised Britain and the yobbocracy we have today does not seem to offer a great deal of hope."

It’s actually a letter in the Times from Stuart Millson, an ex-BNP member who hosted a lunch for Jean Marie Le Pen and now supports BNP offshoot The Freedom Party.

I’m increasingly fucking terrified. Not of a few hopeless idiots blowing themselves up: they’re a minor irritation barely worth worrying about (unless it’s your job to arrest them, obviously). No, the scary thing is that people’s irrational fear of these hopeless idiots seems to be pushing them towards the genuinely dangerous lunatics on the extreme right…

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155 thoughts on “Fanaticism goes mainstream

  1. Are you seriously saying that writing a letter, albeit one with somewhat reactionary views, is more dangerous than fanatics blowing themselves up in tube trains and actually killing people?

    You must have your priorities seriously mangled. Even the Observer, hardly a fascist newspaper, is pointing out the danger of unassimilated Muslims:,,1539661,00.html

    The tide is turning, and people like you, John, are going to be left behind.

  2. Quite: I’m fucking terrified that people like me, with sane beliefs that don’t centre around bigotry and fear of foreigners, may indeed be left behind.

    While AQ may well kill tiny numbers of people in future bombings (50/60,000,000 is a set of odds that doesn’t leave me particularly afraid), they’ve got no political support in this country and never will have. Since we’re a democracy, we have an army, and their military ability is negligible, being scared of them is silly.

    However, if mentalist hate-fuelled rightwing views were to become mainstream, then we could easily end up with a mentalist hate-fuelled rightwing government. This would pass laws that *genuinely* threatened our way of life.

  3. "The tide is turning"

    Not so sure about that, but as I pointed out on Thursday, and as you’ve eloquently highlighted here, these bombings are forcing out into the open the latent battle of ideas between old, racist Britain and the modern, multicultural, republican democracy the rest of us want. We’re just going to have to be that much cleverer to ensure our ideas win.

    Shouldn’t be that difficult.

  4. ‘Hell is Other People’ – can you clear up some confusion? Are you JohnB as in JohnB or what?

    I’m only just getting to grips with SIAW’s threesome, but now we have one person splitting into two.

    My brain hurts.

    Multicultural should not be confused with multiracial. Multiracial is fine, but multiculturalism is a failure, as Trevor Phillips acknowledges. It promotes tribal values instead of common British values. Women, of course, lose out as they are pressurised to adopt the reactionary values of familiy and ‘community’ rather than the enlightened values of the wider society.

  5. I am another JohnB. I hope that helps!

    Your remarks about multiculturalism are of course riddled with assumptions.

    a) Since when was Sir Trevor Phillips the ultimate authority on these matters? I find it rather suspicious when those arguing from your general position selectively cite figures such as Phillips.

    b) What are "common British values"? Would they include the massive Americanisation of British society since 1945 – supermarkets, Sunday shopping, consumer credit, presidential elections? What about Hassidic Jews in places like Stamford Hill? How do their traditions square with this issue of "tribal values’?

    c) Women losing out on "enlightened values". Hmmm. Well, since we’re generalising, it’s fair to say – because they’ve told me – that a great many, probably the overwhelming majority of Muslim women have no problem at all reconciling the practice of their faith with participation in 21st century secular society. Whether someone only goes to Mosque a few times a year to keep mum happy, or give their faith a more all-embracing place in their daily lives.

    British society, like any advanced plural society, is much more complex than you suggest. On the one hand, that is an excellent state of affairs which I guess you would agree is worth defending. On the other hand, it presents a challenge to us all in terms of how to understand it? How to make sense of the way in which different value systems accommodate each other? But that problem has faced us for thousands of years.

    Multiculturalism is a rightwing code word, and "arguments" against it tend to obscure – rarely with much success – the racism beneath.

  6. So Trevor Phillips is a racist now, is he?

    Multiculturalism is the view that all cultures are equal. This is, of course nonsense. Cultures that approve of veiled women, forced marriage and female genital mutilation are not equal to cultures that approve of equal rights for women.

    The self-segregation of Muslim communities has been appalling, both for the communities themselves and for the rest of society.

    Racism is a left wing code word, and it tends to obscure, rarely with much success, the vacuity of the arguments of the person making the accusation.

  7. > Multiculturalism is the view that all cultures are equal.

    No, how about: in a liberal, pluralist society we can’t declare that any particular culture is superior to another (within the law) and therefore one should allow different cultures to co-exist.

    Veiled women, in itself, is not a problem if it’s consensual. Forced marriage/mutiliation should be dealt with by the law and wouldn’t be compatible with a liberal society.

    If someone can tell me what British culture is (without alienating half the population at a time), then I might consider signing up for it…

  8. Wait! You’re missing the quintessential argument from the Decent Lefts’ Guru blog

    many of us are less worried about the activities of the police (kill rate: 1) than about those whose murderous activities they are trying to forestall (kill rate: 52).

    And after a bit of usual obfuscated mumbo jumbo, descent down to talk about

    the level of freedom and rights-protection we could afford in the past

    Now that a Decent Argument. But don’t mention the kill rate of crossing the street, they’d beat you up with Other Decent Arguments like ‘No Moral Equivalency’ within seconds.

    It’s the bombers you see, they’ve taken away our liberties. Can’t maintain all those human rights in a war. And they call it war.

    It’s just that the Eve’s of this world want to take away my liberties for their wars. Morons.

    "They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security."

  9. Jackie, you’ll have to forgive me, maybe I’m a little slow compared to you 20-something American internet marketing whizzkids. Specifically what is it about saying that all cultures are equal, and asking for a definition of "common British values", that makes one a "pussy", who would give in to terrorists?

  10. What’s with this "it gots to be consentual" crap? Who are you to impose your values on others? Misogynist patriarchy is a long standing cultural norm to many people, you racist imperialist.

  11. The thing that amazed me about the Eve post over at Normblog was the ease with which she characterized Yasmin A-B’s worrying about the vulnerability of her son to police action as "self-pitying". One only has to imagine the reaction at Normblog (or Mel P or Pollard or …) if a blogger or columnist were to use that very same language about worrying by mothers from non-Muslim ethnic or religious groups.

  12. And in other news, Harry’s Place’s david t has just linked to a loony article by the Times’s Anthony Browne(a sort of Mel P in drag) stating that Browne’s thoughts are a useful guide to the concerns of Harry’s Place.

  13. It isn’t a loony article – it’s spot on. It’s great that HP link to the Times, Telegraph and occasionally Mel P these days.

    Common sense is winning.

  14. Common sense isn’t always reliable as a guide to truth or action. And when the common sense is hateful, violent bile, I am happy to be uncommon, if saddened by the reactionary turn our society seems to be taking.

  15. Well, if you want hateful, violent bile, look no further than some of the stuff being spouted in the mosques.

  16. True. And you think the appropraite response is to engange in a hate war? What will that do, except accelerate and exagerrate the conflict, and the human destruction involved?

  17. Actually, although Anthony Browne talks a lot of sense, he does look a bit like a loony.

    Hate is a constructive emotion when applied to hateful things.

  18. "If someone can tell me what British culture is"

    Since you asked:

    "But, the only thing that I can think of that would – for me – go some way to defining a sense of ‘British-ness’ would be a scepticism towards all attempts at defining something as nebulous as such a concept. Theorising about abstractions is something we British tend to prefer to leave to Johnny foreigner."

    Next question please.

  19. Tim – LOL!

    First sensible comment on the thread apart from my own, obviously.

  20. I don’t know what British values are, but I know what they’re not. They’re not Islamic ones, that’s for sure.

  21. I suppose you could make a case that worldwide conquest and genocidal murder of people who had a different race or religion to ourselves weren’t part of "British values" but you would have to ignore a fairly big chunk of the 18th and 19th centuries to do so.

  22. So Peculier any other no-nos? Jewish? Catholic? Atheist?

    As a committed atheist I find the idea of any organised religion at best ridiculous and at worst morally indefensible. I am offended by the place Christianity occupies in British society, and the general view that sees belief in some imaginary deity as the default position. There is a part of me that would happily see religious observance become punishable by law as a reckless undertaking which rots the mind and endangers others. But I respect the right of others to practice their faith. Surely it is impossible for me to do so unless I respect the rights of all believers. On what moral basis would you pick and choose?

  23. On what moral basis would you pick and choose?

    On the basis that Islam is crap. More to the point, it’s dangerous crap.

    Other religions can stay put. But I’d dearly love to see the back of Islam. Before you ask, not by ethnic cleansing of Muslims, but by Muslims seeing sense and converting away from Islam to anything else or nothing.

  24. "by Muslims seeing sense and converting away from Islam to anything else or nothing."

    But given that this cannot be brought about – directly at least – by legislation, what anti-Muslim (as laws to suppress Islam must have a deliberately disproportionate impact on the lives of Muslims) legislation would you like to see introduced to bring about this conversion?

    And why not use similar laws to suppress other religions, which, from an atheist point of view, are ‘crap’? Of course, from any theist point of view, atheism is crap…

    Sounds like you want to throw us back towards the institutionalised religious intolerance that Britain put into the bin long ago. In fact, religious tolerance is arguably one of the most prominent British values (considered relative to most other nations – certinly not as an absolute).

  25. Yes, but this shouldn’t extend to tolerating intolerance. Islam isn’t a religion; it doesn’t separate religion from politics and as such it isn’t compatible with democracy and secularism, unless it is rigorously constrained, as in Turkey and Singapore.

    The mosques and sermons should be strictly regulated as happens in Singapore and Turkey – a kind of mini-Kemalism.

    Anything outside the strict regulation should be seen as subversive political activity and treated accordingly.

  26. Hum that’s about the silliest idea I’ve heard this week (admittedly it’s only Monday and I haven’t scanned "Harry’s Place yet). What would happen is that young Islamic radicals would depart from the mosques and meet in their little secret places, rather like the bombers did. In any case, when you say "this shouldn’t extend to tolerating intolerance", you’re actually saying "we ought to censor non-violent, non-incitement political speech, but only for Muslims".

  27. "we ought to censor non-violent, non-incitement political speech, but only for Muslims".

    Fine by me.

  28. Well whether you are or not, since what you’re advocating is a policy of fascism and racism, you bloody well ought to be.

  29. Dsquared – Muslims aren’t a race – it’s an evil belief system combining the worst of communism and fascism with a dose of medieval barbarity thrown in.

    Were it the religion of blond Skandinavians, you and people like you would be flushing Korans down the toilet like they were copies of Mein Kampf.

  30. What nonsense. I have lots of friends who are blond (and blonde) Scandinavians, and I have never once suggested that they should be rounded up, have their political and religious opinions censored and be forced to work in labour gangs (which AFAICT is your current proposal, unless you are simply trolling which I doubt). I also own copies of the Koran, the Satanic Bible and Mein Kampf and would not flush any of them down the toilet except in direst dysentery.

    The reason for this, if I may be blunt, is that I’m not a fascist.

  31. "On what moral basis would you pick and choose?

    On the basis that Islam is crap. More to the point, it’s dangerous crap.

    Other religions can stay put. But I’d dearly love to see the back of Islam. Before you ask, not by ethnic cleansing of Muslims, but by Muslims seeing sense and converting away from Islam to anything else or nothing."

    OP, what would Mummy say if she knew you were using her computer?

  32. [i]OP: Dsquared – Muslims aren’t a race – it’s an evil belief system combining the worst of communism and fascism with a dose of medieval barbarity thrown in.[/i]

    So its Muslims now, rather than Islamists. Heigh ho.

    [i]Ibid: Islam isn’t a religion; it doesn’t separate religion from politics and as such it isn’t compatible with democracy and secularism, unless it is rigorously constrained, as in Turkey and Singapore.[/i]

    Malaysia? Indonesia?

    And anyway, which brand of Islam would you ban, or are you not really too bothered? Frankly, if atheists like myself extrapolated from Calvinism to Protestant Christianity, “you and your people" would be (rightly) hammering me for dodgy reasoning.

    [i](earlier) Old P: I don’t know what British values are, but I know what they’re not. They’re not Islamic ones, that’s for sure.[/i]
    Yeah. They’re also not Catholic, Buddhist, or Existentialist. Your point being?

    One of the academics being pilloried shortly after the July 7th bombings has said, IIRC, that the problem is not Islam but a stupid cargo cult version of Islam which unfortunately shouts loudest. So the decent long term strategy is to encourage moderate Islam. I dunno, I’m only a thick liberal but that kinda seems plausible to me….

    BTW, sorry if this comes across as a personal counter-rant. If some other people came on here to state the views you did I’d be more than happy to have a go at them too.

  33. What is it about Islam that you lefties like so much? Is it the wife beating? The fact that its prophet raped a nine year old girl amongst others? The stoning of gays? The shrouding and seclusion of women? The honour killings? The division of the world into superior (Muslim) and inferior (Kafir)? The jihad? The limb chopping? Dhimmi status for non-Muslims and death for non-Abrahamic religions? Or is it the rules, you know, not breaking wind at Mecca and other really important stuff? Or is it the total stagnation, the fact that the non-oil economy of the Middle East equates to that of Finland? The fact that the Muslim world has produced no original inventions, art, literature, music, or development in human rights for hundreds of years?

    What is it, then, lefties, that you want to defend?

  34. So OP, seeing as you’re clearly still up way past bedtime, what is your recommendation? Make Islam illegal? Put Muslims in camps? Enrol them in "re-education"? Compulsory conversion to another faith of their choice? Deportation? Electronic tagging? A compulsory subscription to The Spectator?

    Why don’t you actually go and speak to some Muslims? Maybe you could decide then how to continue your crusade.

  35. A compulsory subscription to the Spectator would be a good thing for everyone, Muslim or not.

    You lot really are getting hysterical, but then you are lefties and there isn’t a reactionary ideology you won’t defend, provided it’s anti-Western/American.

    No, no camps, no re-education – it’s you lefties who do that kind of thing. Just regulation of what can be taught as Islam. Same as in Turkey, where Ataturk knew the retrograde and violent nature of Islam and knew that if Turkey was to join the modern world, Islam had to be constrained.

    Muslims and their lefty apologists often bang on about Islam being a religion of peace, that it’s all about the 5 pillars of individual worship, that jihad is an internal struggle, etc etc. Well this would be allowed under my ‘modest proposal’. Islam could be everything that moderate Muslims and Muslims who aren’t moderate but pretend to be, and their lefty apologists claim that it is – a ‘religion of peace’.

    Anything else – this ‘I feel the pain of my ‘brother’ in Afganistan’ stuff is nothing short of treason and subversion and should be treated as such.

    If Muslims are all you idealistic lefties claim they are, they will lose nothing. If they are a fifth column then they’d better watch their step. But you guys say they aren’t so what’s the problem?

  36. What’s got me hysterical is trying since yesterday until now to drag that answer out of you, instead of yet more inane generalisations. What you fail to understand – or admit to understanding, I’m not sure which – is that what I and others seek to defend is not Islam, nor any religion in particular, but the freedom to practise any faith and none. I hold no brief for Islam, in fact I share your view about many disagreeable aspects of it. But once we go down the road of proscribing religious observance or political expression then the terrorists have won.

    "Modest regulation" of religion by the State? I’m afraid my understanding of ethics and politics doesn’t extend to being able to comment on that one way or the other.

  37. What you fail to understand is that Islam doesn’t share your view about tolerance of religions.

    It is precisely because Islam is illiberal and intolerant, that I dislike it.

    If ever Muslims become a sizeable minority, and wherever Islam holds any political power, free speech, women’s rights etc suffer. Islam uses free speech and tolerance in the West, not because it is pro-tolerance, but solely in the service of Islam. With Islam in power, tolerance and free speech are down the toilet.

    Even though Muslims are a mere 3 to 4% of the UK population, they have been prime movers in curtailing the British tradition of free speech by means of the vile religious hatred legislation. Just imagine how little freedom of expression there would be were this aggressive, prosletyzing and domineering religion to grow any further.

    Therefore constrain. Proscribe. Limit. Otherwise we will all be the losers.

  38. Well before you get too carried away, here’s some more numbers for you:

    Percentage of the population describing themselves as Muslim in the 2001 Census: 2.7 (not 3-4% as you claim)

    Number of Muslims extrapolated from YouGov poll by Daily Telegraph and endless rightwing columnists & bloggers as being supposedly "sympathetic" to Islamist terrorism: 100,000

    Number of UK Buddhists (2001 Census): 144,000

    Number of UK Jedi Knights (2001 Census): 329,000

  39. I’d heard the figure was 1.6 million Muslims, so, OK 2.7%.

    Rather enforces my point. They are only a small minority, but they aren’t half demanding. What right have 2.7% of the population got to change our traditions of free speech with this stupid religious hatred law?

    And if it wasn’t for Muslims, there’s no way this law would have been put forward.

  40. And if it wasn’t for Muslims, there’s no way this law would have been put forward.

    Ah, but it has one big advantage! It would land you in jail, not us.

    But if all you funny guys and gals are as innocent as you claim to be, youll loose nothing. If you are a fifth column on the other hand then you’d better start watching your step.

    As they say, nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition! (least of all, me)

    NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition! Our chief weapon is surprise…surprise and fear…fear and surprise…. Our two weapons are fear and surprise…and ruthless efficiency…. Our *three* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency…and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope…. Our *four*…no… *Amongst* our weapons…. Amongst our weaponry…are such elements as fear, surprise…. I’ll come in again.

  41. No, the scary thing is that people’s irrational fear of these hopeless idiots seems to be pushing them towards the genuinely dangerous lunatics on the extreme right…

    Um. I am not sure that fear of terrorists killing transit passengers is entirely "irrational". Wouldn’t irrational fears be fears of things that are not going to happen? Like, say, Britain suddenly becoming an all-white all-Christian country, after 400 years of not being one?

    And, of course, other than a single crazy letter published in the Times, I’ve seen no evidence that the BNP or its various offshoots are any more "mainstream" than they were last month.

    If you have any proof that some racists are about to do something that will result in dozens of deaths, you should contact your nearest police station ASAP. If you have proof that some racists are about to say something racist… I have proof that the Pope is a Catholic. How afraid should I be?

  42. On the basis that Islam is crap. More to the point, it’s dangerous crap.

    Other religions can stay put. But I’d dearly love to see the back of Islam. Before you ask, not by ethnic cleansing of Muslims, but by Muslims seeing sense and converting away from Islam to anything else or nothing.

    Cute. Let the civilised world know when you’re capable of telling the difference between fundies and religious people, hmm? ‘Cos the former are just a bunch of dickheads who hide their dickheadness behind the name of a god, and if you’re fooled by this, you should be ashamed of yourself.

    In the meantime, please stop slandering my friends and colleagues. Kthnx.

  43. No, Lorna, I won’t stop criticising Islam. I don’t care if your friends and colleagues are Muslims. Islam stinks.

    Or maybe you think it’s ok for a 53 year old man to have sex with a 9 year old girl?

    That’s what Mohammed did.

    Just one of the reasons why Islam stinks.

  44. Incidentally, I look forward to the Decent Left condemning Old Peculier’s view. They do, after all, only condemn fascists and theocrats, and not Muslims at all.

  45. Right, yes, because religious intolerance pisses me off, obviously I condone paedophilia. Or something. Or not. Grow up and get an actual argument.

    Mohammed != all Muslims. Al-Quaeda != all Muslims. Which bit of this do you find difficult to understand?

  46. Quite – I’m not having a go at ‘all Muslims’. I’m having a go at Islam, and its founder Mohammed.

    Most of your Muslim friends and colleagues will know nothing of Mohammeds paedophilic rape of 9 year old Aisha. If you tell them about it they will be shocked and upset, because the fact that they are human beings overrides the fact that they are Muslim. But a true Muslim regards this paedophile rapist murderer as the perfect man for all time.

    Your Muslim friends and colleagues are just in denial about the real Islam. If they knew what it was, they’d run a mile. And anyone who behaved in this day and age as Mohammed behaved would be locked up.

  47. So you get to define true Islam, now? And true Islam is of course defined as something you get to criticise. Neat trick. Remind me to try that next time fundie Christians are pissing me off.

  48. Next time fundie Christians fly planes into buildings, chop people’s heads off, blow people up on tube trains, stone rape victims for adultery, perform female genital mutilation demand a global caliphate – let me know, and maybe I’ll believe you are capable of independent thought rather than knee-jerk, reflexive, mindless leftist moral equivalence.

  49. fucking Python "gags"

    It is either that or Shakespeare. (British culture, that is.)

  50. As opposed to the kind of knee-jerk, reflexive, mindless equivalence that equates an entire religion with the actions of a few dickheads, you mean?

  51. (For the hard of thinking: I wasn’t equating various types of fundamentalism. I was equating various types of religious intolerance, and I was right to do so.)

  52. Lorna – Mohammed’s rape of his ‘wife’ – nine year old Aisha – did it happen or not? The authentic hadith say it did. Not me, the religion says it happened.

    You were once a nine year old girl, as I was. Can you imagine a dirty old goat of 53 forcing himself on you? That is Mohammed, whom Muslims revere as a prophet. And I’m not making this up. Either prove to me that I am making this up, or don’t bother arguing with me, just look the other way.

    If Islam took root wherever you live, your rights as a woman would be down the toilet. Your rights as a women come from Western civilisation. Islam gives women no rights at all.

    You don’t have to believe me. Read the Koran. Read the Hadith. Find out what kind of a man this Mohammed was – a child molester amongst other things.

    Or stay in denial, if you like. Stay in la la land.

  53. *Sigh* but the fundies are also religious, right? Or is it good religious bad religious sort of thing? Or maybe the fundies aren’t religious after all? And have you noticed that the muslim mass murderers always get cute little descriptions such as ‘fundies’, dickheads, losers and are described by LLLeftists as petty little criminals who don’t pose a real danger, while people who point out the ‘not so peaceful’ aspects of Islam are unequivocal danger to society.

  54. Old Peculier – you haven’t showed that it’s relevant to Islam today. (Incidentally, the age of consent for girls in seventeenth-century Britain was twelve. Why aren’t you kicking up a fuss about that?)

    Maxima – All fundies justify their views with religion, but not all religious people are fundies. It’s not a difficult concept to grasp. Don’t worry, I describe all fundamentalist dickheads as such, not just Islamic ones.

  55. It’s not a difficult concept to grasp. Here’s another concept (as Abdel Rahman al-Rashed put it): It is a certain fact that not all Muslims are terrorists, but it is equally certain, and exceptionally painful, that almost all terrorists are Muslims.

    All fundies justify their views with religion. (Excluding stalinists, nazis, moaists, anarchists..)Yes, Islam.

  56. It is a certain fact that not all Muslims are terrorists, but it is equally certain, and exceptionally painful, that almost all terrorists are Muslims.

    So, given the first bit of that sentence, why bring it up while taking issue with me, when I’m criticising Old Peculier’s attack on Islam in general? As for the second bit, got a source for that? Other than a random bloke saying so, I mean.

    <cite>(Excluding stalinists, nazis, moaists, anarchists..)</cite>

    Those well-known religious fundamentalist groups, yeah.

  57. >
    > but it is equally certain, and exceptionally painful,
    > that almost all terrorists are Muslims
    That’s just plain bullshit. Almost all terrorists are Muslims? Hell, not even "almost all" suicide bombers are muslims. Between 1980 and 2003, over half of all suicide terrorists were non-religious. The single largest group employing the tactic during that period were the Tamil Separatists in Sri Lanka (Hindus).

    Robert Pape’s study on the subject is available online somewhere (I recall skimming it a while ago). This article from the Washington Post outlines the primary findings though.

    And nor do the numbers for non-sucide attacks show any particular Islamic bias. Once again, the majority of terrorist attacks occur in India, Sri Lanka, and Nepal. Nepalese make up the single largest group (22%) of terror victims (outside of Iraq*) and they’re being murdered by Maoist atheists.

    So the claim that "it is equally certain, and exceptionally painful, that almost all terrorists are Muslims" is just a nasty lie. It’s not borne out by the facts at all.

    * NOTE: Iraq has been excluded from all of the above and it does indeed skew recent figures (post invasion). However despite Dubya’s rousing "Mission Accomplished" speech in a flightsuit from the deck of a carrier, I would argue that a war is still being fought in Iraq. If we are to include warfare in the numbers (and we would have to include collateral damage from US/UK attacks in those numbers of course)… then I guess everyone is overshadowed by the Christians and Animist conflicts in Central Africa over the past 20 years.

  58. I see the old Islam debates we used to have on Harry’s Place have partly moved here, with OP, D^2 etc debating.

    What the Islamophobes fail to realise [as Lorna points out] is

    Islam = !Muslims

    People describe themselves as ‘Muslim’ for many reasons. One of them being that they come from ethnic groups [such as Arabs, Kurds, East Bengalis, Sindhis etc] that have historically been Muslim. Because of this, there is often an overlap between Islamophobia and racism when people in Europe & India criticise Islam. The USSR used to describe certain ethnic groups (like the Chechens) as "historically Muslim nationalities" and they used to describe people of Jewish origin as "of Jewish nationality" – realising that religious & ethnic identity overlap for many people.

    Obviously, religious believers believe their religion is eternal and unchanging. Part of the criticism that we (as non-believers) can level at belivers is that religion is _not_ eternal & unchanging. It is a social construct and thus can change as society, technology, politics & the economy changes. As such, islam is not some huge monolithic evil as the islamophobes claim. It has, in practice, changed over time [regardless of what some belivers might think]. The same can be said of Christianity. There are some very progressive strains of X’ianity. They have emerged over time [like the liberation theology movement of S America]. Reactionary strains have also emerged, especially when the religion is a state religion [as Christianity was in the west for 1500+ years]. I don’t blame all the crimes of Christianity on all Christians and so i don’t see why OP should blame all the crimes of Islam on all Muslims.

  59. Old Peculier – you haven’t showed that it’s relevant to Islam today. (Incidentally, the age of consent for girls in seventeenth-century Britain was twelve. Why aren’t you kicking up a fuss about that?)</I.

    Yes, Lorna. Seventeenth century Britain. The age of ‘consent’ (yeah right) for ‘marriage’ for girls in Iran was nine, following the pervy prophet’s revolting example. Do you know when this was finally raised to 13? 2002. Yes, 2002.

    So the evil of Islam, stonings, floggings, child rape and all that is alive and well today. You just don’t get Quakers pulling this stuff.

    But don’t worry, Lorna, close your eyes and go back to sleep.

  60. I think John covered stoning recently. "child rape"? … And I thought the priesthood had a monopoly on that … The age for marriage was 9, eh, now how old was Beatrice? And why should Jerry Lee Lewis have all the fun? Flogging? < insert public school joke here > etc.

  61. I don’t think anybody disputes that Iran is a human rights nightmare. It does not therefore follow that all Muslims are the same. Really, it doesn’t. That’s the evil of Iran, not the evil of Islam. See my previous comment about learning to tell the difference between fundamentalists and common-or-garden religious folks.

    (Regarding really slow approaches to enlightenment, do you know when rape within marriage was finally criminalised over here? Islamic countries don’t have a monopoly on that shit.)

  62. But it isn’t ‘the evil of Iran’ in a vacuum. Those laws were brought in in 1979 specifically because they were Islamic.

  63. Before Iran was an Islamic republic it was a ruled by pretty vile, secular, capitalist-supported regime. This regime tortured and murdered countless Iranians. This is about the historically existing Iran, not some Islam in a vacuum that you seem to want to paint the picture.

  64. So what. Those laws were Islamic. After the revolution they could have introduced better laws, but because they based the constitution on sharia the country became even more of a hell hole than it already was.

    The fact that bad things happened in Iran under the Shah doesn’t in any way make Islam less evil. Wherever Islam plays a significant role in a country, that country is a hell hole.

  65. Old Peculiar – you are not alone (at all..) but think you are wasting your time trying to convince the ‘see no evil hear no evil’ brigade. Come away from the dark side and let them carry on chattering. All the chattering of the last decade or 2 has, as demonstrated here, left us with no idea of who the hell we are anymore and no way forward. If that isnt failure dunno what is. Bunch of fiercely immovable lefties who like very much to assume all right wingers are mentalists ‘and other stories’, think you are best off leaving them alone. Your points on Islam would have been theirs 20 years ago, banging on about womens rights etc when now they are happy to let this, never mind the rest, go unchallenged. In fact they positively encourage women to accept their lot for the sake of religion. Any attempt to drag this religion into the 21st century is doomed to failure because we musn’t move forward at all. Why challenge bigots like these and the islamonazis anyway, whatever really. Its so obvious they have screwed up here that they are literally tying themselves up in knots trying to fix it from reading this. Bla bla bla. Stay away from their mess.

  66. Look, OP. You argue over at HP that as religion is voluntary, you should be free to be a religious bigot. As this is the case, why are you trying to free them from a voluntary chosen belief system. Or do you acknowledge, as I do, that these women are oppressed, but they are also Muslims, and they do hold that belief freely. Which is to say, as freely as we hold any belief, or make any choice – in a causal universe. Thus, if I am trying to free Muslim women from the bounds of patriarchy, I do not condemn Muslims, or call for special laws against them, or urge our government to turn Muslims away at our ports, as these women are themslves Muslims.

    How do any of your ideas actually help Muslim women?

  67. Alison – a bit of common sense. Yes, you’re right, talking to this lot is like wading through treacle, though some people at Harry’s Place are beginning to get it.

    Andrew – the only thing that will help Muslim women is getting rid of Islam. Being a woman and a Muslim is like being a turkey and voting for Christmas.

  68. Indeed, Andrew. To my mind, if religion is freely chosen then women (should they wish to) have the right to convert to Islam. Am surprised that OP seems to object to that right.

  69. This is the doctrine of "false consciousness" and to be honest it was never all that convincing when it was used by the Marxists and feminists who invented it.

  70. And what gives OP the right to decide what’s best for other women, Muslim or otherwise? These pakis too dumb to decide for themselves, is that it?

    For the third time, I wish you’d go and actually speak to a few Muslims before claiming you know what’s good for them!

  71. Two close friends of mine went through hell when their father, having been prettly liberal and secular, suddenly got Islam badly. So I know what I’m talking about. And it’s nothing to do with ‘Pakis’, as you so rudely put it, being ‘dumb’. Islam isn’t a race. It’s Islam that’s dumb, not the people who suffer from it.

  72. OP: Here you write, "Islam isn’t a race"

    But in this comment, barely 24 hours previously, you clearly imply a racial element to Islam:

    > Muslims and Hindus are the same race and come,
    > mostly from the same backgrounds.
    > Hindus are a control group for Muslims.
    > Hindus have integrated very well. Muslims haven’t
    > and one or two are blowing themselves up.
    > Clue: Islam.
    I’ve no doubt that you can split some hairs and say that the second comment never actually said that Islam was a race. But at the very least it sounds as though you’re a little confused on the matter.

  73. OP, that is not representative of the experience of Muslim women. Most women who are Muslim are Muslim, simple as that. I would say choose*, and indeed, you would say – as you repeat endlessly as a justification for your anti-Muslim bigotry – choose to be Muslim. What of these women. Do you abandon them to what both you and I might see as an oppressive social system? Or do you acknowledge that this social system exists, and that the women who are in this social system are part of it (‘choose’ it) in just the same way that the men are, and that, if we want to increase human freedom, we have to begin with this as our grounding. Rather than rejecting whole swathes of people.

    If you cared about women, you would care about Muslim women. As it is, you reject them, insult them, suggest that they are in essence a threat to us all, and call for them to be suppressed in British society.

    *But the idea that you choose to believe something is laughable. Beliefs are not chosen.

  74. Beliefs are not chosen

    Rubbish. Course they are.

    Jim, the point about my comparison with Hindus is that PC lefty types are fond of explaining Muslim failure, violence, fanaticism etc by saying it’s to do with the ‘racism’ of the British people, which makes them feel ‘alienated’ and all that stuff.

    However, being of the same race as most British Muslims, Hindus will have experienced the same ‘racism’, ‘alienation’ and all that, yet they do well, they don’t bang on about ‘our Hindu brothers in Kashmir’ and they don’t blow themselves up on buses.

  75. Actually Old P, it is interesting to note that in India there is a tradition of Hindu nationalism & it has often taken violent form.

    For example, there were pogroms against Muslims in Gujerat in 2002.

    Also, one of the founders of the RSS [one of the groups that feeds into the Hindu right-wing ultra-nationalist BJP] famously said (in the 1930s) that Hitler was taking the right approach to dealing with Germany’s "semitic problem" – the Jews – and that Hindus could learn a lot from this when dealing with India’s "semetic problem" of the Muslim community [he seemed to think that they (Indian Muslims)were ‘semitic’ by virtue of some of them having some Middle Eastern blood and having adopted a Middle Eastern religion – not a view that i think holds water]. So, Old P, in fact Hinduism can be as sinister as Islamism in some cases. However, your islamophobia seems to blind you to that fact.

  76. Except, as I’ve already pointed out but which seems not to generate an acknowledgement from you (as it may upset the beliefs you yourself have chosen to adopt), Hindus are responsible for more suicide bombings, and as much terrorism, as are muslims (and ostensibly atheist Maoist guerrillas in Nepal are responsible for more deaths than either).

    Of course, their conflicts don’t have anything like the same impact on upstanding white christians living in the wealthy west. So I guess it’s irrelevant and can be safely ignored. Is that right?

  77. GL – I was talking about British Hindus versus British Muslims.

    Once Hindus had settled in here and assimilated a lot of that crap was ditched. British Muslims have clung onto the crap from the home country, and in some cases, second, third generation are more reactionary than their parents. The common factor is Islam, since other factors are the same for British Hindus as for British Muslims.

  78. OP, 2nd generation non-Muslims may be better ‘integrated’ than 2nd generation Muslims. This could be due to religion or it could be due to the different areas of the country they live in and differences in education or socio-economic status.

    Anyhow, i note you are changing the subject from some kind of universal sinister threat posed by Islam to specific comments about 2nd generation immigrants to Britain as you are clearly unable to back up your facts about fanaticism being a uniquely islamic quality [in light of the evidence from the RSS in India and other instances].

    Jim’s point on suicide bombers is an interesting one as well. It is, i suppose, a form of unthinking racism that people think of islamic fanaticism as more of a threat because it is killing Americans, Britons and Israelis and yet they do not seem to display the same kind of outrange when (secular) Tamil nationalists kill Sri Lankans or (secular) PKK fighters kill Turks etc……

  79. OP, well then, here is the challenge – choose to believe something that you do not already. For example, you could choose to believe that Muslims are not a threat to ‘our way of life’. But you cannot make this choice. You may come to believe something other than what you do now, but you cannot choose what you will believe.

    Honestly, are you fucking retarded? If beliefs are the subject of free choice there could be no possible correspondence between what we hold to be true and the external world. The input of the real world would alwayts be overridden by choice. Such a philosophical position would make you, OP, an extreme relativist. Is this what you are?

    Or are you simply a numbskull who is happy to shout at the top of her lungs about things that you know nothing about, and have spent very little time considering?

  80. And also an acausalist – the ultimate rejection of reason. My god OP, I didn’t realise that you hated Western Civilization. But, if you hold the philosophical positions that you seem to, then you reject Western intellectual values in a far more profound manner than any Mufti or Imam.

  81. Honestly, are you fucking retarded?

    Always good to have a reasoned, civilised debate.

    I don’t believe that all or even most Muslims, living in Britain, just to narrow it down, are a threat to our way of life. But Islam is a threat to our way of life, and if a moderate, or half-hearted Muslim gets a bad dose of the true Islam, that is definitely a threat.

    Of course we can choose our beliefs. And we can change them. People change their political affiliations during their lifetimes, usually becoming more right wing as they acquire more sense. There’s hope for you yet, Andrew, as I suspect you are fairly young.

  82. An acausalist? Is that better or worse than ‘fucking retarded’ or ‘simply a numbskull’?

    And if you believe in causality or whatever it is, then my ‘f*cking retarded’ or ‘numbskullian’ nature has been pre-caused by something, so you shouldn’t criticise me for it.

  83. Yes, people choose their beliefs but not in circumstances of their own choosing, OP. That is what is meant by taking a causal view [which is the basis of the ‘Western’ science & rationality you praise so much].

    For example, someone may have been a middle-of-the-road moderate conservative. They may then turn into a raving German nationalist. This is partly their choice but partly due to the fact that, if they lived in 30s and 40s Germany, they would have been subject to a lot of propaganda from the regime there at the time. Also, they would have suffered from bombing by Allied airforces and may have had friends and relatives who died on the Eastern Front. These are the causal factors that may turn someone into a German nationalist. They don’t just appear out of nowhere, there is a chain of cause and effect

  84. No, I do believe that you idiocy has been caused by something. This is a necessary belief if we are to hold to the idea of an understandable universe. If you stupidity were acausal (or if anything else were acausal) it would mean that ‘objects’ (in the widest sense of the word) were capable of popping into existence at utterly random (in the strictist sense of the word) times.

    That does not mean that I shouldn’t criticise you. Acknowledging that something has been ’caused’ does not stop someone taking remedial or preventative measures. Acknowledging causation in human action would not, as some dingbats suggest, stop people being imprisoned or punished for crimes, though it would demand that we properly consider the moral/political reason we undertake such action.

    If you can choose your beliefs, choose to believe that the sky is red, the grass is blue, squares have 6 sides. Or simply choose to believe that Islam is not a threat. You do not believe in these things – and you do not, not through choice, but by the imposition of the external world – the cultural/social and the physical/natural.

    Changing your mind on something is not the same as ‘choosing’ to change your mind. What kind of fuckwit chooses to change their mind. How does that work? "I believe X=3, but I think, despite this belief, I will choose to believe that X=4." This is an impossibility. It simply cannot be done. The existence of a belief in something renders it an impossibility that you could choose to believe something else. You can come to believe something else.

    Or you can go cacking senile, as you must have done, Old Peculiar.

  85. You could choose to read a bit about Islam and that might change your mind.

    You could also choose not to make assumptions about me.

    Many Muslims know a bit about what a bastard Mohammed was, but they literally <B>choose</B> to turn a blind eye to that knowledge, because the whole edifice of belief would crumble, and it’s easier to stay in their comfort zone. Brave apostates like Ali Sina at chose not to ignore the niggling voices in his head about the depraved character of Mohammed and Islamic doctrines. So he examined Islam critically and objectively – living in Canada, rather than his native Iran, he was free to do this – and left the religion, which is an inevitable, ‘causal’ if you will consequence of seeing it for what it is.

    Andrew, feel free to disagree with me, but do not call me stupid. I’m far from stupid.

  86. OP, you may not be stupid, but in your last post I think you confused causal for logical. Causality in human action does not mean that people act logically. It is simply the assertion, logically necessary for us to hold to Western reason, that this universe is a causal one. Not all the causes in human action need be conscious, or even psychological, but they nevertheless must be there, from a logical point of view.

    I could certainly choose those things. At least from a common-sense view of human action. That isn’t to say a logically consistent view of human action.

    You have yet to tell me how you can choose what you believe in. Or, given that you hold that religious belief is freely chosen, how you plan to free Muslim women.

    I challenge you. Concede that you cannot choose you beliefs. Or ditch this silly facade you place out front of your hatred of Muslims – "its all for the women" – if you will condemn Muslim women – who, unless you argue that there are sex differences in the fundamentals of the acquisition of belief – have chosen Islam and thus should be suppressed, rather than freed.

  87. "Causality in human action does not mean that people act logically."

    This, indeed, is a fundamnental plank in the modern philosophy of knowledge. A scientist, say, may arrive at a belief through non-logical causes, even counter-logical causes. The work of logically justifying this belief is done after the work of arriving at that belief. The context of discovery, so to speak, is different to the context of justification.

  88. Muslim women haven’t chosen Islam in that they are born into Muslim families, but here in the West they are free to leave it. Islam is an abhorrent belief system, when you actually get to know a lot about it. (Of course, most Muslims don’t.)

    Here in the West, Muslims have access to the truth about Islams’ violent and discriminatory doctrines, about the depraved character of Mohammed and about other, better, belief systems.

    And here in the West, there are no legal sanctions for leaving the faith, though, of course, there may be family problems.

    So Muslim women living here have at least the potential to free themselves from the shackles of this evil ideology, and it would be a good thing if they did, in my view.

    Does that answer your question?

  89. OP, you rightly conceed above that people don’t really choose their religion in most cases but acquire it from their family and their community [hence my reference to ‘historically Muslim nationalities’ in a comment above]. This is why Islamophobia sometimes overlaps with racism as some (Asian) Muslims feel that being criticised for having the religion they do is as bad as being criticised for being the colour they are [as neither the decision to be the colour they are or the religion they are has been consciously chosen by them earlier in life].

    It is interesting that you are now finally differntiating between Muslims and Islamist fanatics, although you are doing so in an odd way [when you say most Muslims don’t know a lot about Islam].

    If fascism rises again in Europe [as it is already doing in France & Austria] then it will be mainly anti-Muslim rather than anti-Jewish as in the past. In such an athmosphere, generalised hatred of Islam will turn into generalised hatred of Muslims. You are one of those who is pouring fuel on the flames.

  90. Nonsense.

    The hatred is coming out of the mosques, not from me. Islam is the nearest thing on the planet to fascism, and you would see this if it were not the relgion of an ethnic minority in the UK.

  91. Yes, of course. But there are still atheist, Christian, Jewish etc. women who believe in their inferiority compared to men – sometimes explicitly, sometimes subconsciously. And this belief in inferiority may well be as much the result of enculturation by fellow women as through the machinations of men (of course, all taking place on the foundation of centuries of patriarchy). As such I would rather they did not hold these beliefs. But I am not willing to use the force of law to suppress the women who hold these beliefs on the grounds that this will free them. You constantly use the freeing of women as a justification for your anti-Muslim rants. But in Britain, the only women who are oppressed by Islam are those who are Muslims. Passing laws which make these women, who you argued till you were blue in the face had chosen to believe in Islam, part of a persecuted and feared minority will hardly work to free them. My point is, if you really care about the plight of Muslim women you do not launch into rants which delegitimise their entire existence and brand them as a security threat. You are going to have to accept that Muslim women are Muslims, and while you might liberate some though apostasy, this – given what we all know, and what you hint at in the post above – about the enduring nature of religious belief (and not just religious belief) in the face of evidence and argument – is not the way to liberate the mass of Muslim women.

    By the way, would you write: "Muslim men haven’t chosen Islam in that they are born into Muslim families". And where does this leave your idea that beliefs are chosen?

  92. OP – once again you make a generalisation without any knowledge of the facts.

    "Islam is the nearest thing to fascism" – what a load of nonsense.

    Isn’t the BJP in India quasi-fascist? Le Pen in France? Haider in Austria? Fini in Italy? Some of the opponents of Chavez in Venezuala from the white elite? The Hutu militants in Rwanda who committed genocide? The regime of Mugabe & his ZANU-PF party in Zimbabwe?

    These seem to me to be far more like manifestations of ‘fascism’ than ‘Islam’ in general. Of course, maybe OP isn’t bothered when non-Muslims join/support fascist movements – maybe it is only Muslims she opposes

  93. I meant that they are choose to continue in the faith when they have an option of leaving it. Leaving it would be the sensible, logical thing to do as it’s crap. But they choose not to, just as some people choose to remain in the BNP when leaving it would be the right thing to do.

    I’m not talking about persecuting Muslims, women or men, I’m talking about government regulation of Islam to keep this doctrine within limits that are compatible with the civilised, British way of life. Such regulation is not necessary for other religions, because other religions aren’t a problem.

  94. OP, it seems you are a fan of Stalinist control of religion. Stalin definitely took a tough line against Islam (and Christianity). He sent clerics who didn’t accept Soviet power to the gulags. Is that really a precedent you want to follow?

  95. No, not religion generally, just Islam, because Islam is political and potentially subversive. No gulags, but prison for clerics who incite hatred yes.

    Gulags are a lefty thing anyway.

  96. Imprisoning clerics – sounds like the potential for a gulag to me. Your ideas do sound rather sinister & authoritarian

  97. Well – remember Sheikh Faisal who said it was fine to kill Jews and Hindus? He’s banged up. Quite right too. Nothing sinister about that.

  98. Locking up people like that chap for incitement to racial hatred is one thing, locking up people whose religion who disagree with is quite another

  99. OP – since you have defined a whole religion as inciting hatred, this implies you favour the Stalinist solution of locking up believers _for being believers_.

    He claimed to do it because of the need to protect the country against counter-revolutionaries. You claim to want to do it to protect "British values" against eeeeeeeeeeevil Muslims

  100. What is this ‘true Islam’ you refer to, OP? I don’t know if you’re religious, but I’m not, and so I don’t accept that any religion exists independently of its practitioners. Is all the misogynistic and homophobic stuff in the Bible ‘true Christianity’, and if modern Christians choose to interpret it more liberally, are they not ‘true Christians’?

    Rather than telling moderate Muslims that their interpretation is false and that the radical fundamentalist one is correct (in which position you stand with Al-Qaeda, btw), do you not think we should be encouraging the liberal interpretation?

  101. As Simon says, the one thing OP agrees with bin laden on is that the al-Qaeda interpretation of Islam is the only correct one.

    I note that Old P has failed to respond to my points about other ‘fascisms’ and ‘semi-fascisms’ when she made the stupid statement that "Islam is the closest thing to fascism in the modern world". As usual, she makes anti-Islamic statements of which Le Pen & Nick Griffen would be proud and fails to follow them up with evidence.

    Her hatred of the left is also so great that she sometimes stops her usual rants against Muslims. I remember inviting OP to condemn the US-backed mujahedeen forces that fought the communist govt in Afghanistan in the 80s. She did not do so.

    The very NATO powers she praises and supports have backed the medieval obscurantists when it suits their geopolitical agenda. And she supports this.

  102. Hmm. this from someone who claims to want a civilised, reasoned debate.

    So why don’t you fuck off back to your posh friends and stop wasting everyone’s time with your second-hand, childish, ill-informed, abusive, bigoted, patronising, Euro-centric, sexist, racist sub-sixth form substitutes for ideas then?

  103. Ha ha ha. OP claims _she_ is outnumbered by loonies.

    I think what is more the case is that, for some reason, some of the HP right-wing trolls (Colt, logan, terrance etc) have decided not to post here. So, instead, we get a more sensible debate rather than the abuse, racism and islamophobia and general ignorance that sometimes clogs up the HP comments boxes.

  104. So why don’t you fuck off back to your posh friends and stop wasting everyone’s time with your second-hand, childish, ill-informed, abusive, bigoted, patronising, Euro-centric, sexist, racist sub-sixth form substitutes for ideas then?

    So this would be your idea of civilised debate, then?

    I haven’t got any posh friends, unfortunately, though I wish I had some. Most of my friends are well-informed, though.

    So, Hell is Other People, anyone who disagrees with you is a bigot.

    Sexist? That’s a laugh – it’s you lot that sell women’s rights down the river in the name of multiculturalism.

  105. OP, it is you that are selling rights down the river. You are selling the rights of Muslims down the river in the name of anti-sexism and "British values". Just as Stalin sold religious freedom down the river in the name of the Stalinist Soviet regime.

  106. Hi OP! I have to say your perseveance with posting is commendable, even if I disagree with most of your posts.

    I guess my question is whether you think all theocracy and fundamentalism is evil, or whether there is something intrinsic in the Qu’ran that makes it so much worse than, say, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Mao’s Little Red Book, Gideon slaughtering the valley of unbelievers, etc.

    To be honest, if you want my own take on religion find a copy of The Streets of Ashkelon – but just because I think unthinking religious fervour is a potential force for evil, that isn’t a valid argument for damning a particular religion.

    The Prospect article you link to is interesting, thanks, but it ends by saying

    “Muslims must reform their approach to Muhammad’s teachings if we are all to coexist peacefully"

    which isn’t the same as saying “Islam is a busted flush". Why not give Islam time and incentive to evolve? almost all the atavistic misogyny that the article points out can IIRC be found in the Old Testament if you look hard enough. Perhaps I’m missing something, but from my own (cultural and ethnic background) Judaism, Christianity and Islam all have the same roots; it’s 2000 years of politics that has led to differences in the relative ratios of nutters to moderates in each faith.

    Incidentally, Mr Huis Clos … calm down a bit. I’m guessing most people here don’t know the first thing about each other, and things seem heated enough without personal libel, surely? Otherwise *we* – and of course I must be one of a left-wing gang, because we’re all the same innit? I’m wearing sandals and stroking my beard as I speak – lose the debate.

  107. do not call me stupid. I’m far from stupid.

    Anyone else reminded of Kevin Kline’s character in A Fish Called Wanda?

  108. Anyone else reminded of Kevin Kline’s character in A Fish Called Wanda?

    Constantly. Oh, you mean in this thread? Well, maybe Aristotle was Belgian…

  109. Old Peculiar –

    Iranian President-Elect Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad: "Is There Art that Is More Beautiful, More Divine, and More Eternal than the Art of Martyrdom?"

    The following are excerpts from a speech by Iranian President-Elect Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad, which aired on Iranian Channel 1 on July 25, 2005.

    Ahmadi-Nejad: We want art that is on the offensive. Art on the offensive exalts and defends the noble principles, and attacks principles that are corrupt, vulgar, ungodly, and inhuman.

    Art reaches perfection when it portrays the best life and best death. After all, art tells you how to live. That is the essence of art. Is there art that is more beautiful, more divine, and more eternal than the art of martyrdom? A nation with martyrdom knows no captivity. Those who wish to undermine this principle undermine the foundations of our independence and national security. They undermine the foundation of our eternity.

    The message of the (Islamic) Revolution is global, and is not restricted to a specific place or time. It is a human message, and it will move forward.

    Have no doubt… Allah willing, Islam will conquer what? It will conquer all the mountain tops of the world.

    Funny how for centuries religion has been at the heart of almost every single major problem on the planet. Yet Britain figures it can house them all side by side because we feel a bit ‘modern’ and a bit ‘tolerant’ and peace will prevail.

    Islam = Fascism.

    Have any of the ‘men’ above who suggest muslim women in islamic states love their lot and chose this rather than freedom actually looked into the human rights issue therein?

    When Saudi women tried in the early nineties to stage a small protest by driving out in their cars which they had secretly learned to drive – against the rules of this ‘religion’ to show their superiors (men) they could drive and be muslims at the same time, they were dragged out and beaten to within an inch of their sorry lives.

    Islam = fascism

  110. But Alison, the men posting on this site know better, as all men do, and will put you in your place, as they have done with me. According to the Koran, we are deficient in intelligence to them, and how could Mohammed, the murdering rapist paedophile, be wrong?

    Insecure leftist men love Islam, because they can’t stand uppity women. Under the guise of multiculturalism and anti-racism they will accuse any woman who protests against the misogyny of Islam, of racism. When those arguments fail, as you have seen on this site, they resort to abuse.

    Alison, it’s great to hear a voice of sanity in this desert of moonbattery. You may want to think about posting at Harry’s Place – google it – where the tide is beginning to turn and people are starting to ‘get it’.

  111. I see Alison & Old P are actually claiming that women who are Muslim aren’t really so and that somehow they are speaking on behalf of all women by ranting about Islam.

    Well, the way I see it, women choose their religion [conditioned by their social background, life experience etc] just as men do. Old P on the other hand, patronisingly claiming to speak on behalf of all Muslim women, claims they are all deluded and misguided and oppressed.

    For whatever reason, given the choice between Rafsanjani & Ahmadnejad in the dodgy Iranian presidential elections [where you could only choose between theocrats] most Iranian men _and_ most Iranian women voted for Ahmadnejad.

    I don’t suspect most Islamic women particularly agree with OP & Alison and their self-proclaimed feminist justifications for Islamophobia. This is because they realise that, when Islamophobia is stirred up, be it in India, in Europe or in America, Muslim women suffer as do their husbands, brothers, fathers and sons. For example, in the 2002 pogrom in Gujarat [stirred up by the Hindu Islamophobes in the BJP, RSS, VHP and Shiva Sena – details on for those who are interested] thousands of Muslim women were raped and hundreds were murdered. This is the logical conclusion of Islamophobia [just like any other extreme nationalist or religious doctrine].

    If Alison is as "anti-fascist" as she claims, then she might have something to say about anti-Islamic components to fascism in Europe & South Asia. European fascism, in the 1930s, was ultra-nationalist and anti-Jewish [feeling they didn’t have loyalty to the nation-state]. Modern European fascism, though, is ultra-nationalist and anti-Muslim [feeling they are all 5th columnists and aren’t loyal to the nation-state].

    Indian fascism, which secular progressive forces like Congress and the Communists have always struggled against, has always been anti-Muslim [as the right-wing Hindu nationalists feel Muslims in India are "foreign" elements who do not fit into the ideal of a culturally & racially pure nation that they idealise]. Details on

  112. I see Old P claims that facts are "boring". Nice to know she is interested in ideas, facts and exploring reality rather than just repeating prejudices!

    I first thought Andrew B might have been a bit hasty in condemning you [earlier in the thread] and agreed with HellBlazer that civil debate was best. However, i can see that you aren’t interested in facts and are just interested in repeating your own prejudices and bellowing them at the top of your lungs.

  113. If you aren’t bothered, i am surprised you spend your time posting to innumerable threads on blogs.

    I can see that you ignore evidence that doesn’t suit your case and just shout "boring" like a child. It is thus impossible to have a proper debate with you. I am sure you would be outraged if i said evidence about the sinister nature of the Iranian regime was "boring" and yet you use to the same arguement when claiming that the anti-Muslim fascism that is growing in Europe and in America is "boring".

    I suggest you grow up, develop some maturity and then only go back to posting on the internet

  114. GeriatricLabour
    Think you need to have a beer and calm down, your argument was unconvincing waffle and throwing your toys out your pram does nothing to help you. Did you ever stop to think how close communism and fascism were in the 30s and how people jumped ship with seeming ease between the 2 back then? Islam is the new fascism. Note the word ‘new’ meaning it doesnt have to be associated with your notions. Im amazed you can sit there and justify the lack of human rights for women in these states where women suffer unspeakable cruelty – as ‘because they chose it’ – because they want it. Rapist: she asked for it.

  115. "Note the word ‘new’ meaning it doesnt have to be associated with your notions."

    In other words, when you say ‘new fascism’, you mean something that is not related to fascism?

    "Im amazed you can sit there and justify the lack of human rights for women". Well, this amazement seems to spring from stupidity. Both GL and myself are condemning OP for her violently anti-Muslim rants. If you are trying to help Muslim women, no good will be done by discriminating against and demonising Muslims.

    "’because they chose it’". If you read this thread, rather than simply attaching yourself to the anti-Muslim position, you would find that it was the anti-Muslim rhetoric of OP that built its argument around a philosophy of mind that has people ‘choosing’ what they believe.

    It was GL and myself who argued that as it makes little sense to talk about people choosing their beliefs, the oppression of Muslims (and, necessarily, Muslim women) in the name of liberating women is laughably counterproductive. Or, at least, it would be funny if this kind of rhetoric is not the beginning of real fascism – the marriage of Western ‘Enlightenment’ and reason to a belief in the inferiority of others, thus legitimating their suppression and oppression.

    Yes, some strains of Islam so fit this – but importantly they lack the Western ‘Enlightenment’ groundings. We have plenty of home-grown fascists to deal with. And, while, on an indivisual level, Islamic theorcrats willing to use violence to impose their views are far more frightening, it is only our home-grown fascism that will ever shape the make up of Britain. They are far more dangerous – and if you do not understand this argument, consider say, the Falangists. An individual Falangist will be a far better person than Harold Shipman, say. But Harold Shipman is not a threat to the freedoms of this nation, even though he killed hundreds. Likewise, authoritarian politicians that scapegoat ethnic groups are far better people that say, Osama bin Laden. But Osama will not shape this country. We do that, and so the greater danger than a Sharia-state (a fantasy possibility that, tellingly, exists only in the minds of extreme Islamists and the British right-wing) is thatm we allow some proto-fascist ideology become acceptable political currency.

  116. Alex, you clearly have a problem with reading comprehension.

    Read the articles I have linked to and you can see that, in countries like India domestic movements akin to fascism have taken an anti-Muslim turn and raped & murdered thousands of Muslims. European fascism, in its modern Nick Griffen, Le Pen, or Haider form, is also anti-Muslim.

    Your attempts to slur myself and those who agree with me with ‘fascism’ for standing up to Islamophobic bigots is akin to Stalin conquering the Baltic States and Eastern Europe in the name of "anti-imperialism".

  117. Alex, you clearly have a problem with reading comprehension.

    Read the articles I have linked to and you can see that, in countries like India domestic movements akin to fascism have taken an anti-Muslim turn and raped & murdered thousands of Muslims. European fascism, in its modern Nick Griffen, Le Pen, or Haider form, is also anti-Muslim.

    Your attempts to slur myself and those who agree with me with ‘fascism’ for standing up to Islamophobic bigots is akin to Stalin conquering the Baltic States and Eastern Europe in the name of "anti-imperialism".

    A further point, Alex, if you look at history, you will see that the regime of Stalin was very much like a lot of other European dictatorships in the era. This does not mean that ‘communism’ is the same as ‘fascism’. It means _Stalinism_ has similarities with fascism. To claim Stalinism is the sole form or definition of communism is as stupid as saying that bin Laden is the sole correct manifestation of Islam or the conquistadors and Inquisition are the sole correct manifestation of Christianity.

  118. But Alison, the men posting on this site know better, as all men do, and will put you in your place, as they have done with me. […] Insecure leftist men love Islam, because they can’t stand uppity women.

    Dude. Did I get hormones and surgery and lose my adoration of stroppy women and nobody told me? I dunno, I turn my back for a minute

  119. Zzzz dull.

    I’m just posting this to get the number of comments up to 150.

    None of you have read the Koran except me, so none of you know what you’re talking about except for Alex and Alison.

  120. None of you have read the Koran except me, so none of you know what you’re talking about except for Alex and Alison.

    Yeah, I just live with a secular French-Moroccan guy who happens to have grown up reading the Koran, so his opinion clearly don’t count for anything.

    Good grief, OP, would you just once start debating some of the points people raise rather than asserting the same bloody point over and over again? You still haven’t produced anything to justify your implication that I’m on the loony left (not true) and love Islam (very much not true, as it happens).

    I just happen not to dislike Islam significantly more than I dislike the Old Testament (and as I think I said before, Judaism, Christianity and Islam all come from the same root as far I’m aware).

  121. "none of you know what you’re talking about except for Alex and Alison. "

    Alex & Alison appear to share an email address.

    Waiting for Mary Rosh.

  122. Two of your correspondents call Trevor Phillips Sir Trevor Phillips. They are in good company as google search would show. However Mr Phillips is still plain Mr Phillips.

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