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IdleRich
03-02-2006, 09:54 AM
I wondered what everyone else thought about all the fuss regarding this. It seems to be a classic instance of rights (freedom of speech) vs responsibility (not to offend) and shows the difficulty of reconciling liberalism with fundamentalism and vice versa, by which I mean saying "live and let live" won't do when the very act of living can mortally offend someone else.
It also seems strange that Islamic countries have demanded apologies from the leaders of Denmark, France etc when surely the nature of a free press means that these leaders have no jurisdiction over the papers. Or are they expected to apologise for having a free press?
Also interested in the fact that no British papers (as far as I'm aware) have published the pictures, is this due to reasonable desire not to offend or is it just fear?
Anyway, I'll stop rambling there but I would like to see what everyone else thinks?

droid
03-02-2006, 10:25 AM
I totally support the right of anyone anywhere to take the piss out of any religion, so I dont think the cartoons should be banned or censored, and its interesting to note that many 'moderate' Muslims have come out in support of free speech in this case - the cartoons have even been printed in Jordan!

What bothers me about the cartoons themselves is their utter crassness, and seemingly deliberate attemp to offend. Depicting Mohammed as a terrorist plays up to the Islamophobic and totally unfounded view that all Muslims are inherently terroristic... the Christianophobic equivalent would be a cartoon featuring Jesus torturing prisoners at Abu Ghraib or bombing a marketplace at the controls of an F-14... and even with the well known anti-semitism of Muslim and Arab cartoonists, I have yet to see a cartoon featuring Moses as a Shin-Bet agent, or David tatooing Palestinian prisoners at Ansar...

In my opinion, the editor of the original paper that pubished the cartoons should have exercised the same judgement he uses every day to weed out falsified and/or blatantly bigoted articles or letters rather than to put out something that is deliberately provocative and promotes an extremely prejudiced and utterly irrational view of Islam.

But hey - they're out there now - and even though I disagree completely with the message they send, I dont think they should be censored either.

milkandhoney
03-02-2006, 10:37 AM
What bothers me about the cartoons themselves is their utter crassness, and seemingly deliberate attemp to offend. Depicting Mohammed as a terrorist plays up to the Islamophobic and totally unfounded view that all Muslims are inherently terroristic... the Christianophobic equivalent would be a cartoon featuring Jesus torturing prisoners at Abu Ghraib or bombing a marketplace at the controls of an F-14... and even with the well known anti-semitism of Muslim and Arab cartoonists, I have yet to see a cartoon featuring Moses as a Shin-Bet agent, or David tatooing Palestinian prisoners at Ansar...

that's almost exactly what i thought until i was alerted to the actual details of the situation. originally the cartoons were commissioned to explore a growing concern in denmark that fear of violent reprisals from radical islam was compromising freedom of expression. it was described as 'a test of danish free speech in the face of religious fundamentalism'. it wasn't, as i had thought, simply a case of an idiotic cartoon being printed in a newspaper.


i find it quite funny how arab nations think they're going to make any sort of impact by boycotting danish produce, a lot of which is dead pig and alcohol...

droid
03-02-2006, 10:45 AM
that's almost exactly what i thought until i was alerted to the actual details of the situation. originally the cartoons were commissioned to explore a growing concern in denmark that fear of violent reprisals from radical islam was compromising freedom of expression. it was described as 'a test of danish free speech in the face of religious fundamentalism'. it wasn't, as i had thought, simply a case of an idiotic cartoon being printed in a newspaper.

Hmm.. so it was designed to offend as many Muslims as possible and then printed as an attempt to deliberately provoke? :confused: Why not the hypothetical anti-semitic cartoons instead then? Why pick Islam?

Much as I admire the commitment to free speech, that seems like a remarkably insensitive thing to do considering the fact that Europe is (at least tangientally) engaged in the illegal invasion and occupation of a Muslim country...

IdleRich
03-02-2006, 10:51 AM
I think you're right Droid. You are allowed to print things like that but why exactly did they want to? "I disagree with what you're saying but I will fight to the death for your right to say it" in other words.
On the other hand, if an Islamic country printed one of those cartoons you mentioned would there be Christian fundamentalists burning that country's flags? Possibly but it does seem particularly strange to take revenge on all Danes for the actions of one newspaper.
I haven't read many moderate Muslims on this however, you say that a Jordanian newspaper printed the pictures but that was only to show everyone "how offensive they are" and the editor has since been sacked.
I must say I'm not sure how the newspapers in German, France etc have reprinted the cartoons. Is it in a spirit of "freedom of speech demands we print these" or have they just appeared in columns that report the story in a more matter of fact manner?

milkandhoney
03-02-2006, 10:54 AM
Hmm.. so it was designed to offend as many Muslims as possible and then printed as an attempt to deliberately provoke? :confused: Why not the hypothetical anti-semitic cartoons instead then? Why pick Islam?

Much as I admire the commitment to free speech, that seems like a remarkably insensitive thing to do considering the fact that Europe is (at least tangientally) engaged in the illegal invasion and occupation of a Muslim country...

yes i think it was totally idiotic too but meanwhile i really do think that their concern that western european values are being compromised by radical islam is legitimate. however surely they could have chosen more sensitive ways of exploring this issue...

i think they probably chose islam as a target rather than judaism because there haven't recently been any high-profile cases jews being involved in violent retributions on artists or writers whose work they considered anti-semitic.

IdleRich
03-02-2006, 10:54 AM
I was agreeing with your first point there Droid, not your second which was written as I was writing.

droid
03-02-2006, 11:10 AM
I haven't read many moderate Muslims on this however, you say that a Jordanian newspaper printed the pictures but that was only to show everyone "how offensive they are" and the editor has since been sacked.


Just saw that myself... :(

Paul Hotflush
03-02-2006, 11:24 AM
It also seems strange that Islamic countries have demanded apologies from the leaders of Denmark, France etc when surely the nature of a free press means that these leaders have no jurisdiction over the papers. Or are they expected to apologise for having a free press?

Presumably, yes. Popular Islam in the middle east isn't compatible with freedom of any kind, as far as I can see.

Pearsall
03-02-2006, 11:34 AM
Anyone who has yet to see them can see them here (http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/698).

the original context of the publication was the fact that a Danish author of a children's book on the life of Mohammed couldn't find an illustrator for fears of violent reprisals by Islamic zealots (a fair judgment, I'd say!)

so, Jyllands-Posten commissioned thirty cartoonists to provide their own images of Big Mo, twelve actually provided them, and those twelve were published. Immediately, a group of Muslims in Denmark tried to take the paper to court (which the state prosecutor refused), and a group of ambassadors from Muslim nations demanded an official state apology from the Danish PM (which he refused, saying that he has no control over the private press). the story sort of percolated away in Denmark without really hitting the outside world until December, when a group of Islamists left Denmark to tour the Arab world, bringing with them not only the original twelve cartoons, but a variety of other materials they had collected (or even created themselves?) that were far more offensive. (see this story (http://service.spiegel.de/cache/international/0,1518,398624,00.html)).

Now, of course, the whole thing has blown up (well, not literally. Yet). Frankly speaking, my opinion of Islam can be characterized as "it's fucking nuts", so none of this is particularly surprising to me.

Would I personally have published the cartoons? Well, in the context of the original debate in Denmark, I would probably have published the most innocuous four or five of the original twelve, to prove the point. Some of the others are just belligerently offensive, which doesn't mean that I think they should be banned, but merely that if I was the editor in question I wouldn't have printed them, just because I wouldn't want to be aggressively a dick. Of course, on a webforum like this I have often had fairly harsh words to say about Leftist Multicultists, but that is a different proposition, and a newspaper should be more sober and reflective than the sort of stuff you'll say in the course of a shit-talking argument on the net.

droid
03-02-2006, 11:35 AM
Presumably, yes. Popular Islam in the middle east isn't compatible with freedom of any kind, as far as I can see.

Not only that - but they hate our freedoms as well....


http://www.subvertcentral.com/forum/images/smiles/yawn.gif

jasonh
03-02-2006, 12:09 PM
Not a very good idea to publish the cartoons, but I would defend the right to do so to the hilt.

I wonder if Islam is a religion that has a major problem with representations of God? Christianity isn't (witness any church window). Maybe this is part of the problem...

A lot of the protestors have had a major sense of humour bypass. The fact that there were protestors outside the BBC waving signs saying "The West - Bin Laden is coming for you!" just because the BBC showed a brief glimpse of one of the cartoons was not the best idea, particularly with the BNP getting away with murder (figuratively) yesterday. Incidents like this give the hate mob more ammunition, if any were needed.

IdleRich
03-02-2006, 12:12 PM
Not only that - but they hate our freedoms as well....

I guess that that's what I was asking really. Liberalism cannot just tolerate a fundamentalism that hates it can it? Is it possible for these different views to be reconciled?
The Danish newspaper was originally printed in Denmark and seen only by Muslims who had, to a certain extent at least, chosen to live or remain there which seems to imply some kind of implicit acceptance of the secular laws of the country and freedom of speech. They then use this freedom of speech to make their points which I find somewhat galling although of course that is the consequence of having that freedom, some people are going to say things that I disagree with and I have to accept that just as they do.
I know that in Holland the anti-immigrant parties base their attack on (Islamic) immigrants on their lack of "Dutch tolerance" with some success at times. This is unlikely to happen here of course because, as I understand it, the BNP and their ilk are rampantly homophobic and as an intolerant as anyone else. To whom exactly do they expect to appeal?

droid
03-02-2006, 12:12 PM
I wonder if Islam is a religion that has a major problem with representations of God? Christianity isn't (witness any church window). Maybe this is part of the problem...


Images and representations of Mohammed are forbidden in order to prevent any kind of Idolatry... or so i hear.

Paul Hotflush
03-02-2006, 12:30 PM
the BNP and their ilk are rampantly homophobic and as an intolerant as anyone else. To whom exactly do they expect to appeal?

The Burberry brigade.

IdleRich
03-02-2006, 12:35 PM
Don't get me wrong, I think it's great that the BNP hate so many people that they can never get anywhere in what is basically a popularity contest. I would be a lot more worried if they campaigned along the lines of Pim Fortyn List (must be wrong spelling) in Holland. I can see how their idea of restricting immigration of people who challenge the traditional Dutch ideas of tolerance can appeal to more than just extremists. Their message is, on the face of it at least, not "let's get rid of people who are a different colour" but "let's get rid of people who oppose rights for women and homosexuals".

bassnation
03-02-2006, 12:36 PM
The Burberry brigade.

racism isn't solely confined to the working class / underclass. look at griffin himself.

Paul Hotflush
03-02-2006, 12:37 PM
Didn't say it was, but that's where the biggest concentration is (whatever various middle-class hand-wringers might insist).

bassnation
03-02-2006, 12:38 PM
Didn't say it was, but that's where the biggest concentration is (whatever various middle-class hand-wringers might insist).

well, they have rushed into the old labour heartlands to pick up people disaffected by labours move to the right (ironically), so i take your point.

there is, however, a long tradition of anti-racism from the working class - cf. the reaction in the east end to moselys blackshirts. this should not be forgotten.

Asger
03-02-2006, 12:55 PM
Just a quick note


Images and representations of Mohammed are forbidden in order to prevent any kind of
Idolatry... or so i hear.

Apparently the Koran only contains a dogma forbidding images of Allah, not Mohammed. Up untill 1940 Mohammed was freely illustrated, with and without his face, but from that point the interpretation of the dogma started to include Mohammed.

droid
03-02-2006, 12:55 PM
I guess that that's what I was asking really. Liberalism cannot just tolerate a fundamentalism that hates it can it? Is it possible for these different views to be reconciled?


I was actually being sarcastic there... I dont believe that the vast majority of Muslims 'hate our freedoms', any more than I believe the vast majority of Christians support the executions of abortionists, or acts of 'Christian' terror such as the Phalange massacres in Lebanon, IRA/UDF bombs in Northern Ireland, or torture in Abu Ghraib... 'They hate our Feedoms' is a ridiculous soundbite designed for the vacuous and repeated only by the unredeemably brainwashed.

Overblown as it may be, I think some of the reaction to the cartoons HAS to be down to the fact that many Muslims in the Middle East feel like they are under physical and psychological attack from the West (and theyd be right to a large extent IMO) - the predictable reaction to which is to ignore their own internal problems and focus on the external attack - turning to the only things that seem to offer any kind of resistance, ie: extremism and religious conservatism.

Not that Im justifying this reaction - merely pointing out that its utterly predictable...

Logos
03-02-2006, 12:57 PM
Two things I've found interesting about this:

- perhaps I am naive, but a lot of people seem to have a lot of time on their hands to demonstrate in the streets, which probably wouldn't be the case if enough people had jobs etc

- I'm quite surprised (and saddened) that some of the leaders of Muslim countries can't understand that a free press means the government can't tell you what to print, and can't punish you either. Even if you broke the law as a newspaper it would be the prosecuting authorites, which are distinct from the executive, who would prosecutue.

borderpolice
03-02-2006, 01:01 PM
well, they have rushed into the old labour heartlands to pick up people disaffected by labours move to the right (ironically), so i take your point.

there is, however, a long tradition of anti-racism from the working class - cf. the reaction in the east end to moselys blackshirts. this should not be forgotten.

given that imperialism itself is a form of racism, where was the east end working class when britain enslaved most of the rest of the world?

matt b
03-02-2006, 01:05 PM
Two things I've found interesting about this:

- perhaps I am naive, but a lot of people seem to have a lot of time on their hands to demonstrate in the streets, which probably wouldn't be the case if enough people had jobs etc.


eh? please clarify...

matt b
03-02-2006, 01:06 PM
given that imperialism itself is a form of racism, where was the east end working class when britain enslaved most of the rest of the world?

as far as i know, the working classes didn't really have the ear of government during the 19th century.

maybe this was due to laziness on their part.

bassnation
03-02-2006, 01:08 PM
given that imperialism itself is a form of racism, where was the east end working class when britain enslaved most of the rest of the world?

in the east end, living in slums and dying of cholera, i would imagine.

the first victims of imperial oppression were at home, working themselves into an early grave making the tools that allowed the empire to expand.

do you think these people had any say or benefited in any way from the empire?

IdleRich
03-02-2006, 01:11 PM
- "I'm quite surprised (and saddened) that some of the leaders of Muslim countries can't understand that a free press means the government can't tell you what to print, and can't punish you either. Even if you broke the law as a newspaper it would be the prosecuting authorites, which are distinct from the executive, who would prosecutue."

Spot on.

Regarding "Hating our Freedoms" whatever that means, I'm sure or at least I hope no-one thinks that applies to all (or even a large proportion of muslims). I'm just saying that there is a clash between two ideologies when one says "everyone can do and say what they want" and the other says "in that case we will use the right to say what we want to tell you what you shouldn't do", cue much handwringing etc. Basically, can a society that tolerates (horrible word) homo-sexuality, tolerate people who won't tolerate it?

Pearsall
03-02-2006, 01:12 PM
the BNP is growing (and will grow) because there is always going to be a market for hard line anti-immigration politics in times of tremendous demographic change (like now), and there will always be a market for identity politics.

it's pretty simple stuff!

Pearsall
03-02-2006, 01:14 PM
the BNP is growing (and will grow) because there is always going to be a market for hard line anti-immigration politics in times of tremendous demographic change (like now), and there will always be a market for identity politics.

especially victimological identity politics.

matt b
03-02-2006, 01:18 PM
it says more about how unsure many people are of their faith than owt else

borderpolice
03-02-2006, 01:19 PM
do you think these people had any say or benefited in any way from the empire?

In the beginning, they didn't have any say, but they didn't protest either. The benefitted massively, by way of a higher standard of living as would have obtained without imperialism. European and American industrialisation was paid for by the exploitation of the rest of the world, especially through slavery. Later, certainly in the 20th century they did have a partial say, but they didn't say anything. as far as i remember, near universal male suffrage was introduced in the 1860s.

matt b
03-02-2006, 01:23 PM
No, they didn't have any say, but they didn't protest either..


you are joking? the majority of the population didn't have a vote. there were massive popular movements throughout the 19th century that fought for, amongst other things universal suffrage, which would allow people to have a say in such things.



The[y] benefitted massively, by way of a higher standard of living as would have obtained without imperialism.

please, please provide evidence- have you not come across things like the rowntree report, the work of edwin chadwick etc?

if i were you i'd focus my ire at those with power, not those who get shat upon.

bassnation
03-02-2006, 01:32 PM
In the beginning, they didn't have any say, but they didn't protest either. The benefitted massively, by way of a higher standard of living as would have obtained without imperialism. European and American industrialisation was paid for by the exploitation of the rest of the world, especially through slavery. Later, certainly in the 20th century they did have a partial say, but they didn't say anything.

i think you need to read up on the history of 19th century england if you think that they had massively higher standard of living. the poverty easily equalled anything found elsewhere in the empire.

whilst its true that the ill-gotten gains from the empire funded many things in the uk, the working class did not see very much of it.

borderpolice
03-02-2006, 01:33 PM
you are joking? the majority of the population didn't have a vote. there were massive popular movements throughout the 19th century that fought for, amongst other things universal suffrage.


male suffrage was introduced in the 1860s. universal suffrage in the 1920s i think. this should have lead to an immediate abolishment of the UKs empire if the working class had had any interest in abolishing imperialism, i.e. if it had not been racist. thge suffragettes even stopped their protests to help the british war effort in 1914, i.e. to support imperialism.



the work of edwin chadswick etc?

I'm afraid I know chatwick only as a reformer campaigning against child labour and improvement of public sanitation. in any case he was a civil servant, hardly working class.


if i were you i'd focus my ire at those with power, not those who get shat upon.

what makes you think i don't. but the nature of belief is that numbers matter, hence working class beliefs matter.

borderpolice
03-02-2006, 01:35 PM
i think you need to read up on the history of 19th century england if you think that they had massively higher standard of living. the poverty easily equalled anything found elsewhere in the empire.

you need to read up on the history of imperialism. it neither began nor ended in the 19th century. and english workers were not subjected to widespread slavery.




whilst its true that the ill-gotten gains from the empire funded many things in the uk, the working class did not see very much of it.

given that i work in an educational institution in the very heart of the London's East End, that was founded by rich victorians in the 19th century for the betterment of the working classes, i find such statements problematic.

matt b
03-02-2006, 01:38 PM
male suffrage was introduced in the 1860s. universal suffrage in the 1920s i think. this should have lead to an immediate abolishment of the UKs empire if the working class had had any interest in abolishing imperialism, i.e. if it had not been racist. thge suffragettes even stopped their protests to help the british war effort in 1914, i.e. to support imperialism..


that assumes that the system was actually democratic in any meaningful way.

so you think that all members of the working classes were racist?


I'm afraid I know chatwick only as a reformer campaigning against child labour and improvement of public sanitation. in any case he was a civil servant, hardly working class..

his 'Report into the Sanitary Conditions of the Labouring Population of Great Britain' provides clear evidence that the w.classes were not living it up in the mid 19th century.



what makes you think i don't.


all the words you write?

bassnation
03-02-2006, 01:40 PM
you need to read up on the history of imperialism. it neither began nor ended in the 19th century. and english workers were not subjected to widespread slavery.

being trapped in poverty and having no say in politics is a kind of slavery in itself. are you really telling me they had the choice to walk away if they didn't like it?

i find the view that the british working class are all uniformly racist to be highly offensive, not to mention inaccurate.

IdleRich
03-02-2006, 01:41 PM
"suffragettes even stopped their protests to help the british war effort in 1914, i.e. to support imperialism."

Surely WW1 was about more than British Imperialism?

john eden
03-02-2006, 01:41 PM
In the beginning, they didn't have any say, but they didn't protest either.

Aside of course from all the work by the communist party, as detailed in books like Joe Jacobs' Out of the Ghetto, which tells the story of anti-fascism and internationalism in east end working class communities.

Presumably you have either read this and discounted it, or are simply mouthing off about things you know nothing about?

borderpolice
03-02-2006, 01:44 PM
so you think that all members of the working classes were racist?

no, but statistically, the majority didn't have a particular problem with colonial exploitation. many were only too happy to exploit the benefits in a variety of ways.



his 'Report into the Sanitary Conditions of the Labouring Population of Great Britain' provides clear evidence that the w.classes were not living it up in the mid 19th century.

i didn't claim they were. i claimed that they were better off than there class mates in the colonies. the "Sanitary Conditions of the Labouring Population of" the colonies was probably not even worth studying.

borderpolice
03-02-2006, 01:46 PM
Surely WW1 was about more than British Imperialism?

it was essentially about imperialism, not all of which was british. that's fairly obvious.

matt b
03-02-2006, 01:48 PM
no, but statistically, the majority didn't have a particular problem with colonial exploitation. many were only too happy to exploit the benefits in a variety of ways..


why are you assuming they had any sort of say in the matter? can i blame you directly for the invasion of iraq?


the "Sanitary Conditions of the Labouring Population of" the colonies was probably not even worth studying.

not the fault of the working classes though, was it?

borderpolice
03-02-2006, 01:51 PM
being trapped in poverty and having no say in politics is a kind of slavery in itself.

i agree with that. my point is and has been: the working classes have no t done much against racism, in the UK and elsewhere.



are you really telling me they had the choice to walk away if they didn't like it?

more than the colonised.
a rather large number become colonisers themselves, theirby exploiting britishness and whiteness. what's that if not racism? and who manned the imperialist armies?



i find the view that the british working class are all uniformly racist to be highly offensive, not to mention inaccurate.

i too. you would never find me making such a stupid statement.

bassnation
03-02-2006, 01:51 PM
why are you assuming they had any sort of say in the matter? can i blame you directly for the invasion of iraq?

and where are these statistics, these 19th century opinion polls that confirm the working class liked and supported the empire?

droid
03-02-2006, 01:54 PM
Regarding the US - there were huge popular and/or socialist movements in the US throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries including massive Union actions to improve labour conditions and large scale protests against the Spanish-American war, the Invasion of Haiti, and America's involvement in the WW1. Though largely irradicated by violent repression and anti-communist fanatacism by the 1950's its legacy can still be seen today in the US's welfare system and many of their employment laws - despite the many and persistent rollbacks of these gains by right leaning governments down through the years...

matt b
03-02-2006, 01:54 PM
i agree with that. my point is and has been: the working classes have no t done much against racism, in the UK and elsewhere.

we know, but you've provided no evidence for such a view, whilst evidence suggesting you are wrong ghas been offered up.



google search rudolph rocker

john eden
03-02-2006, 01:56 PM
i agree with that. my point is and has been: the working classes have no t done much against racism, in the UK and elsewhere.

Not done much... like what? Waving banners and sloganeering?

What is the class composition of most victims of racism?

What class are most people who marry (or have kids with) someone of another race?

What is the class composition of people who have, day to day, confronted and challenged racism? It's not liberal do-gooding middle class students/social workers/politicians, is it?

borderpolice
03-02-2006, 01:56 PM
Aside of course from all the work by the communist party, as detailed in books like Joe Jacobs' Out of the Ghetto, which tells the story of anti-fascism and internationalism in east end working class communities.

Presumably you have either read this and discounted it, or are simply mouthing off about things you know nothing about?


I have not read this book, in fact i have never heard about it before.
but i know the history of marxism and communism quite well. as much as I appreciate the internationalism of this part of the political spectrum, it has to be said that (1) this internationalism was imposed from above, i.e. from the middle class thinkers who invented marxism. lenin for example thought the russian proletariat were chauvinistic to the core and needed reeducation. (2) the rise of fascism is inseparable from the disasterous russian revolution and in particular its degeneration into stalinism.

IdleRich
03-02-2006, 01:58 PM
"It was essentially about imperialism, not all of which was british. that's fairly obvious."

My point is that you can hardly say Suffragettes were supporting Imperialism by stopping action during WW1.

john eden
03-02-2006, 02:00 PM
I have not read this book, in fact i have never heard about it before.
but i know the history of marxism and communism quite well. as much as I appreciate the internationalism of this part of the political spectrum, it has to be said that (1) this internationalism was imposed from above, i.e. from the middle class thinkers who invented marxism. lenin for example thought the russian proletariat were chauvinistic to the core and needed reeducation. (2) the rise of fascism is inseparable from the disasterous russian revolution and in particular its degeneration into stalinism.

I disagree with this, and furthermore it seems to me that it has nothing whatsoever to do with the working class 100 years ago in the east end.

borderpolice
03-02-2006, 02:01 PM
What is the class composition of people who have, day to day, confronted and challenged racism? It's not liberal do-gooding middle class students/social workers/politicians, is it?

the british empire no longer exists. it was lost on the battlefield in two world wars. it was not the british working class that caused this loss.

now that slavery and imperialsm are no longer acceptable politics in the UK, it's easy to be against it.

borderpolice
03-02-2006, 02:03 PM
My point is that you can hardly say Suffragettes were supporting Imperialism by stopping action during WW1.

My point is that it is unavoidable to say the Suffragettes were supporting Imperialism by stopping action during WW1. compare thesuffragettes with the russian socialist position for example.

there would have been no WWI if the UK had dismanteled or promised to dismantel its empire in a coordianted way.

borderpolice
03-02-2006, 02:04 PM
and furthermore it seems to me that it has nothing whatsoever to do with the working class 100 years ago in the east end.

you are right, i was carried away. sorry.

droid
03-02-2006, 02:04 PM
now that slavery and imperialsm are no longer acceptable politics in the UK, it's easy to be against it.

Shit! I mustve missed that meeting!

Why didnt you mention this 3 years ago? We couldve avoided this whole Iraq thing.. :D

john eden
03-02-2006, 02:05 PM
the british empire no longer exists. it was lost on the battlefield in two world wars. it was not the british working class that caused this loss.

Ah - so we have the German working class to thank for it!

bassnation
03-02-2006, 02:06 PM
the british empire no longer exists. it was lost on the battlefield in two world wars. it was not the british working class that caused this loss.

that doesn't mean that working class people didn't protest, didn't have a view or benefitted. a lot of british people are also still angry about the empire, the kind of ire that comes down through generations. our ancestors were also victims, remember.


now that slavery and imperialsm are no longer acceptable politics in the UK, it's easy to be against it.

and conversly, its easy for you to judge those people without understanding anything about the realities of their lives.

borderpolice
03-02-2006, 02:09 PM
Ah - so we have the German working class to thank for it!

yes. unfortunately, they didnt replace it with something better (at least in the second war). which confirms my point: working class and racism are easy bedfellows.

if you are down you are only too likely to kick somebody else.

borderpolice
03-02-2006, 02:12 PM
and conversly, its easy for you to judge those people without understanding anything about the realities of their lives.

having lived in some of the poorest third workd countries, i believe to have
a sound grasp in the reproduction of oppression.

john eden
03-02-2006, 02:14 PM
yes. unfortunately, they didnt replace it with something better (at least in the second war). which confirms my point: working class and racism are easy bedfellows.

if you are down you are only too likely to kick somebody else.

I think we might be getting somewhere we can agree.

Nobody is denying that working class people have been racist in the past (and are now), but I think this ignores the role of those higher up the social spectrum who were all too happy to divert anger away from themselves. The role of middle and upper class fascists like Moseley and Griffin is exactly this - and they are merely are the most visible and least subtle.

Given the diet of bullshit people are fed, what is remarkable is the persistence of tolerance and anti-racism in working class communities throughout history.

bassnation
03-02-2006, 02:16 PM
having lived in some of the poorest third workd countries, i believe to have
a sound grasp in the reproduction of oppression.

accepted, but you are still judging people who lived a hundred years ago in a very different world whos views and history you admit you haven't studied.

Paul Hotflush
03-02-2006, 02:23 PM
The link between the "working class" and racism is pretty simple: racism for the most part is borne out of ignorance (obviously not entirely though, before the pedants on this board get going). Therefore the least-educated section of society (i.e. the working class or whatever term is applicable today) tends to have the highest concentration of people holding those views. This is hardly a class-prejudicial conspiracy...

bassnation
03-02-2006, 02:32 PM
The link between the "working class" and racism is pretty simple: racism for the most part is borne out of ignorance (obviously not entirely though, before the pedants on this board get going).

lol, very good paul.

tell me, are you able to present an argument without it containing at least one derogratory epithet directed towards people who disagree, or is it totally beyond you? its all a liberal conspiracy, maaaan!

D7_bohs
03-02-2006, 02:38 PM
Working -class people are the ones who, by and large, tend to have to compete with immigrants for jobs/ resources and housing while the middle- classes avail of the resulting depression in labour costs (particularly for domestic servants). It's not surprising that some people feeling their ability to survive in already tough situations being put under further pressure react against the perceived cause; what is surprising is that, by and large, at least in Britain, and, touch wood, so far in ireland - where mass immigration is a very recent phenomenon - is that working class culture is generally able to adapt quite quickly - unlike the middle class intelligentia who agonise about those nasty prole racists while ensuring that they themselves live far away from any potential culture clash.

..... and Paul; how many working class people do you know? if, as i suspect the answer is none, or few, then surely you stand convicted of the ignorance you accuse them of....

Paul Hotflush
03-02-2006, 02:40 PM
If you believe that all "middle class" people live in gated complexes in St Johns Wood, that might seem logical.


what is surprising is that, by and large, at least in Britain, and, touch wood, so far in ireland - where mass immigration is a very recent phenomenon - is that working class culture is generally able to adapt quite quickly

Tell that to half the people in Yorkshire.

And, in answer to the second point, the fact that you ask me how many "working class" people I know suggests to me that you yourself know very few people who fall into the category that you presumably imagine the term "working class" describes, and that probably you're unbearably ashamed that your parentage precludes you from fitting into it yourself.

bassnation
03-02-2006, 02:47 PM
i like how randomly off-topic this thread has become.

Paul Hotflush
03-02-2006, 02:49 PM
Yeh I was hoping to offend someone with comments about Muslims rather than boring old working class people.

john eden
03-02-2006, 02:51 PM
Yeh I was hoping to offend someone with comments about Muslims rather than boring old working class people.

LOL - nice one for liberals to agonise about there...

"OMG I was so outraged about what he was saying about working class people that I forgot to be outraged about what he was saying about Muslims. Does that make me racist?"

:D

D7_bohs
03-02-2006, 02:54 PM
If you believe that all "middle class" people live in gated complexes in St Johns Wood, that might seem logical.

And, in answer to the second point, the fact that you ask me how many "working class" people I know suggests to me that you yourself know very few people who fall into the category that you presumably imagine the term "working class" describes, and that probably you're unbearably ashamed that your parentage precludes you from fitting into it yourself.
that's so wrong, but I'm not going to start dividing my friends up by socio- economic background and race and going into my own history to answer your point. Instead, I'd like to apologise for the ad- hominem point I made about you; it was stupid and I'm sorry. However, i think you should wonder whether the assumption you make that education is automatically a prophylactic against ignorance and racism really stands up - i know i've encountered breathtaking prejudice from people working in higher education; enough not to assume hat you seem willing to accept as a given.

Paul Hotflush
03-02-2006, 03:02 PM
However, i think you should wonder whether the assumption you make that education is automatically a prophylactic against ignorance and racism really stands up - i know i've encountered breathtaking prejudice from people working in higher education; enough not to assume hat you seem willing to accept as a given.

Apology accepted.

I never for a minute said education was an automatic racism cure (look at Nick Griffin ffs). But if you’re not educated you’re less likely to be able to form a framework in which to rationalise your feelings about people who are different to you (in whatever way, colour, religion, gender, political stance etc).

matt b
03-02-2006, 03:10 PM
Tell that to half the people in Yorkshire.


woah! even for you, a crass generalisation!

Paul Hotflush
03-02-2006, 03:13 PM
Yeh, that's probably fair.

Pearsall
04-02-2006, 12:48 AM
London, today

http://www.samizdata.net/blog/~pdeh/protest_muslims_intolerant_clip_mrez.jpg

Pearsall
04-02-2006, 01:17 AM
More!

http://michellemalkin.com/archives/images/hell002.jpg

http://michellemalkin.com/archives/images/holo.jpg

http://michellemalkin.com/archives/images/911euro.jpg

http://michellemalkin.com/archives/images/behead.jpg

http://michellemalkin.com/archives/images/slaybutcher.jpg

http://michellemalkin.com/archives/images/massacre.jpg

http://michellemalkin.com/archives/images/annihilate.jpg

http://michellemalkin.com/archives/images/hell.jpg

If these were white Christians, there is no way they could have even assembled with signs even slightly as provocative, let alone marched...without being arrested en masse!!!!

Un-fucking-real.

infinite thought
04-02-2006, 01:28 AM
MI5 wrote those banners! They're all in the same handwriting...'Dear Mr Daily Mail, which headlines would you like? Exterminate...no, massacre...um, perhaps a beheading and a butchering...all those who insult Islam!'

Ness Rowlah
04-02-2006, 03:34 AM
I have one question for those who have a wide cultural and philosophical reach:
Is "freedom of speech" strictly a Western concept?

As for not having pictures of the prophet Muhammad there was a
mention on p43 in The Times on Thursday.
These are as stated not found in the Quaran,
but in the Hadith 5:338 (M's sayings) - http://muttaqun.com/pictures.html


"Angels do not enter a house in which there is a dog or a picture." He meant the images of creatures that have souls.


In the same article it is mentioned that you find [at least] one similar
clause in the Bible - the second commandment states exactly this - http://www.keyway.ca/htm2003/20030319.htm



"You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I The Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate Me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love Me and keep My Commandments." (Exodus 20:4-6 RSV)

bassnation
04-02-2006, 04:50 PM
If these were white Christians, there is no way they could have even assembled with signs even slightly as provocative, let alone marched...without being arrested en masse!!!!

fucking nuts.

does this represent typical muslim opinion? i found the cartoons to be crass and not really that funny, but i think i'd draw the line at some critcism rather than beheading the culprits.

Pearsall
04-02-2006, 08:58 PM
fucking nuts.

does this represent typical muslim opinion? i found the cartoons to be crass and not really that funny, but i think i'd draw the line at some critcism rather than beheading the culprits.

well, these are the outer edge characters (well, at least as far as the ones who are willing to say this stuff publicly). but their views are not wildly off those held by a sizeable chunk of the Muslims in Britain.

check out the results (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/graphics/2005/07/23/npoll23big.gif) of a poll conducted by the Telegraph after 7/7. Sobering reading. (Original article here (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml;jsessionid=4M4NYRNGUW3UHQFIQMGSM5WAVCBQ WJVC?xml=/news/2005/07/23/npoll23.xml&sSheet=/portal/2005/07/23/ixportal.html) ). Of course, this stunning refutation of the 'it's only a tiny band of extremists' line has been memory-holed.

Paul Hotflush
04-02-2006, 09:16 PM
LOL @ 'it's only a tiny band of extremists'.

Anyone see the kids in Gaza chanting "the only god is Allah"? It's like the 3rd Reich!

milkandhoney
04-02-2006, 10:14 PM
check out the results (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/graphics/2005/07/23/npoll23big.gif) of a poll conducted by the Telegraph after 7/7. Sobering reading. (Original article here (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml;jsessionid=4M4NYRNGUW3UHQFIQMGSM5WAVCBQ WJVC?xml=/news/2005/07/23/npoll23.xml&sSheet=/portal/2005/07/23/ixportal.html) ). Of course, this stunning refutation of the 'it's only a tiny band of extremists' line has been memory-holed.

which statistics from that poll in particular worry you?

i didn't see anything that contradicts the idea that it's only a small minority of british muslims who support violent or terrorist acts in the name of islam.

Pearsall
04-02-2006, 11:31 PM
which statistics from that poll in particular worry you?

i didn't see anything that contradicts the idea that it's only a small minority of british muslims who support violent or terrorist acts in the name of islam.

Well, the idea that nearly 1/3 agree with the proposition that "Western society is decadent and immoral, and Muslims should seek to bring it to an end" is the big one. Most, sure, say that this should be done peacefully, but how sure can we be that that won't change?

Pearsall
04-02-2006, 11:36 PM
Plus, nearly a quarter can 'sympathize' with the 7/7 bombers.

k-punk
05-02-2006, 12:56 AM
Well, the idea that nearly 1/3 agree with the proposition that "Western society is decadent and immoral, and Muslims should seek to bring it to an end" is the big one. Most, sure, say that this should be done peacefully, but how sure can we be that that won't change?



Plus, nearly a quarter can 'sympathize' with the 7/7 bombers.


Yeh, sign me up for Islamophobix anonymous, those figures are absolutely TERRIFYING...

To be serious now, that is uh an interesting spin on those figures, to say the least...

The 'sympathy' issue: even posed a question as vague and broad as 'do you have ANY sympathy with the feelings and motives of the bombers', only 24% assented. That is surprisingly low, given that one imagines that presumed feelings of alienation, frustration, anger at Blair's foreign policy are actually very widespread, and not only amongst the Muslim population. Note: the question did not ask 'do you sympathise with their ACTIONS?'

As for the laughable question 'how sure can we be that that won't change?', well, how sure can we be that anything won't change - and we are being asked to believe that extremist views are held by a majority of muslims NOW, so speculation about how views might change in the future doesn't really cut it. (btw I wonder how many fundamentalist Christians would think that 'Western society is decadent and immoral?')

Pearsall
05-02-2006, 07:56 AM
If you don't think it is significant that 1/3 of British Muslims think Western civilization should be destroyed, then I am not sure what to say really. And yeah, things change over time, but the current trend ain't exactly towards greater happy-clappy friendship-bracelet multicultural utopia, is it?

Given that no European country has managed to really integrate their Muslim populations, no matter what their approach, whether multiculturalism (Britain, Sweden, Belgium, etc), 'pillarisation' (Holland), individualist assimilationism (France), ignoring it and hoping it will work itself out (Germany), my personal inclination is to question whether any of the new prescriptions will actually work, and to worry that nastier stuff is on the way, especially if the regional economy badly falters, too. It's not like the history books are lacking in episodes of inter-communal conflict.

This recent episode doesn't exactly provide many answers as to how reconcilable our differences with the Muslim world really are, either.

Given the events of the last several years, and the fact that even beyond the ghastly racist West there have been quite a number of conflicts between Muslims and non-Muslims in recent years (in places as different as Nigeria, India, Indonesia, the Phillipines, Thailand, Ivory Coast, etc etc etc), I just don't believe it any more that all will be well if we just 'embrace diversity'. If you aren't worried about the future, that's your call, though.

milkandhoney
05-02-2006, 09:43 AM
If you don't think it is significant that 1/3 of British Muslims think Western civilization should be destroyed, then I am not sure what to say really. And yeah, things change over time, but the current trend ain't exactly towards greater happy-clappy friendship-bracelet multicultural utopia, is it?

Given that no European country has managed to really integrate their Muslim populations, no matter what their approach, whether multiculturalism (Britain, Sweden, Belgium, etc), 'pillarisation' (Holland), individualist assimilationism (France), ignoring it and hoping it will work itself out (Germany), my personal inclination is to question whether any of the new prescriptions will actually work, and to worry that nastier stuff is on the way, especially if the regional economy badly falters, too. It's not like the history books are lacking in episodes of inter-communal conflict.

This recent episode doesn't exactly provide many answers as to how reconcilable our differences with the Muslim world really are, either.

Given the events of the last several years, and the fact that even beyond the ghastly racist West there have been quite a number of conflicts between Muslims and non-Muslims in recent years (in places as different as Nigeria, India, Indonesia, the Phillipines, Thailand, Ivory Coast, etc etc etc), I just don't believe it any more that all will be well if we just 'embrace diversity'. If you aren't worried about the future, that's your call, though.

so what exactly do you suggest we do?

jenks
05-02-2006, 10:32 AM
from lenin's tomb:

"But Orientalism and antisemitism were never separated at birth. They are conjoined, two forms of the same sickness."

http://www.leninology.blogspot.com/

dunno what i think - i start off:
course am all for freedom of speech.... but those cartoons are racist but... of course all faiths should be able to cope with being mocked but... i did want griffin to be sent to gaol for being racist but.. i do believe in freedom of speech but... and so it goes

martin
05-02-2006, 10:46 AM
Well, this is inconvenient. I've just found out I'm going to the Angola v Iran match in Germany this summer, and I wanted to knock up a banner of an Angolan child soldier holding the World Cup aloft with his boot on Mohammed's head. Guess I'll just have to get a load of Angolan flags and sew stars of David across them with ANGOLA YIDS slogans

k-punk
05-02-2006, 11:44 AM
If you don't think it is significant that 1/3 of British Muslims think Western civilization should be destroyed, then I am not sure what to say really.

But who DOESN'T think that western civilization is immoral and decadent and should be brought to an end? This view is not only held by Muslims. As I said before, I'm more worried about the eschatological fantasies of the US bible belt, i.e. people who actually do have power in the world. Only 11% of British muslims were prepared to commit to a CONDITIONAL endorsement of violence, i.e. 'IF necessary by violence'; presumably even fewer would actually act violently.


And yeah, things change over time, but the current trend ain't exactly towards greater happy-clappy friendship-bracelet multicultural utopia, is it?

Depends on how you measure trends really. And the onus was on you to prove that things would get worse, that all, most or a significant proportion of those not now pledged to violence would change their views or, more importantly, their actions.


Given that no European country has managed to really integrate their Muslim populations, no matter what their approach, whether multiculturalism (Britain, Sweden, Belgium, etc), 'pillarisation' (Holland), individualist assimilationism (France), ignoring it and hoping it will work itself out (Germany), my personal inclination is to question whether any of the new prescriptions will actually work, and to worry that nastier stuff is on the way, especially if the regional economy badly falters, too.

What do you mean by successful integration though? And are the problems to do with religion or poverty? What are you suggesting actually? That there's some innate and inevitable tendency towards violence in Muslim people? What is your account of how this tendency got there? Is it biological, cultural?


It's not like the history books are lacking in episodes of inter-communal conflict.

Meanwhile, 'ours' are full of sweetness and light. If it weren't for those towel-heads (who by the way we have just got back from bombing to kingdom come in two of 'their' countries), we could go back to our own peacable history of pogroms, holocausts and world wars, I suppose.


This recent episode doesn't exactly provide many answers as to how reconcilable our differences with the Muslim world really are, either.

Of course if you posit a monolithic 'Muslim' world that is a priori intolerant and bent on apocalypse, what could be the solution?


Given the events of the last several years, and the fact that even beyond the ghastly racist West there have been quite a number of conflicts between Muslims and non-Muslims in recent years (in places as different as Nigeria, India, Indonesia, the Phillipines, Thailand, Ivory Coast, etc etc etc), I just don't believe it any more that all will be well if we just 'embrace diversity'. If you aren't worried about the future, that's your call, though.

Surely some perspective is required. Take the situation in the UK. The UK bombs two 'Muslim' countries, killing thousands. There are some terrorist reprisals on the UK mainland, killng about fifty. Who is more of a threat to whom here? To really believe that the causation of these tensions is religious and not socio-economic is to buy into the very theocratic logic you presumably oppose.

And what then do you want? Mass deportations? What about the Muslims who were born here? Banning of the practice of Islam? Camps for those who resist? Or would you just be happy continuing to bomb poor people in faraway countries and to issue Enoch Powell-style Jeremiads about white man's burden?

Don't get me wrong, however. There are clearly infantile tendencies within certain currents of Islam; those with a confident faith could surely have laughed off or ignored such trivial caricatures. But I, for instance, would not be surprised if Infinite Thought's suggestion about MI5 involvement in those protests was warranted. They seem a little convenient to me. Once again, though, how many people were involved: a hundred, at most, judging by the pictures. And how many people were involved worldwide, from the vast population of muslims? A tiny, tiny minority.

Yoghurt Sothoth
05-02-2006, 06:22 PM
Not sure of the veracity of this, but...

Imams showed pedophile Mohamed
The Danish newspaper, EkstraBladet, has obtained a copy of the secret case file, which Islamisk Trossamfund (Danish Islamic Community) has distributed on their "road show" in the Middle East: (Viste pćdofil Muhamed - the text is in Danish but the article links to all 43 images).

It turns out that the 12 drawings in JyllandsPosten weren't sufficiently bad - at least not to justify a trip to the Middle East - so the imams have inserted a few extra images to make sure their trip wasn't a waste of money.

http://bibelen.blogspot.com/2006/01/imams-showed-pedophile-mohamed.html

Paul Hotflush
05-02-2006, 08:48 PM
But I, for instance, would not be surprised if Infinite Thought's suggestion about MI5 involvement in those protests was warranted. They seem a little convenient to me.

Most of that post was hilarious, but this really does it for me.

Pearsall
05-02-2006, 09:27 PM
Apologies, I've been busy today. I'll tone down the sarcasm, and be more serious. Honestly.


But who DOESN'T think that western civilization is immoral and decadent and should be brought to an end? This view is not only held by Muslims.

Well, I would disagree strongly that this is any kind of majority or mass view held by Westerners in general.


As I said before, I'm more worried about the eschatological fantasies of the US bible belt, i.e. people who actually do have power in the world. Only 11% of British muslims were prepared to commit to a CONDITIONAL endorsement of violence, i.e. 'IF necessary by violence'; presumably even fewer would actually act violently.

Two points: (1) the actual political power of the fundamentalist Christians is, in my opinion, overstated. They are a vote farm for the Republican party in the way that blacks are for the Democrats. In power the Republicans pay little more than lip service to their fantasies; for the most part the last twelve years of Republican control of Congress has relentlessly about servicing corporate interests. That's my take. (2) (and this relates to one of your later points, too) Committed minorities are of greater importance than apathetic majorities in setting the agenda. As an example, see the US government's hard-line position on Cuban relations over the last forty-five years - essentially dictated by the exile leadership in Miami, because they are the ones who care. More particularly on this topic, it is not so simple a matter as saying "well, even fewer would be prepared to act violently", because what characterizes violent movements are a relatively small pool of people prepared to commit violence, larger groups of active supporters, larger yet numbers of sympathizers, and larger yet numbers of those who feel passive on the issue.



Depends on how you measure trends really. And the onus was on you to prove that things would get worse, that all, most or a significant proportion of those not now pledged to violence would change their views or, more importantly, their actions.

Well, it is impossible for me to prove that things will get worse, because I can't predict the future. All I can do is try to make an informed guess as to how things will turn out.

I am pessimistic, though. Why am I pessimistic? Well, I see evidence of greater polarity between the West and the Muslim world (I will return to your question about monoliths later), as well as greater internal polarization between Muslims and non-Muslims within Europe.

How so? Internationally, we see: the American military occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, the festering sore of Israel-Pakistan, recent election triumphs by Islamists such as the election of Ahmadinejad in Iran, the landslide victory by Hamas, the far-better-than-expected results by the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and the triumph of sectarian religious parties in the Iraqi elections (of course, much of this success is attributable to domestic issues, particularly corruption), and the current imbroglio over the cartoons, which in some cases has a strong whiff of dictatorial types fanning the flames of popular passions.

Internally to Europe, I see several main causes of concern. One is the growing strength of far right parties across most Western European nations, as a by-product, in my opinion, of the fear of the consequences of demographic change, which has been explicitly linked to the growth of the Muslim minorities by a number of these parties (for instance, this article (http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0IMR/is_3-4_79/ai_113139422) is quite good on how the Danish People's Party became the third biggest party in Denmark). Two, changes in communications (particularly the internet and satellite television) have not only facilitated the spread of Western ideas and concepts to the rest of the world, but have also brought ideas from the rest of the world to the West. In the context of the Muslim minorities of Europe, this has meant more direct contact with the wellspring of Muslim orthodoxy in the Middle East. Third, Islam has become tied in with identity politics (http://www.spiked-online.com/Articles/0000000CA816.htm), which means that these identity crises become tied in with the wider issues. For instance, Islam has begun to supercede ethnic ancestry as the cornerstone of identity ('French Muslim' for 'French Arab', or 'British Muslim' for 'British Asian'). In cases like the French riots, the rioters are identified (and identify themselves) as 'Muslims' when they may be 'Muslim' to the degree that many Troubles-era Ulster gunmen were 'Protestant' or 'Catholic' (ie not much at all), but this identification ties in with the wider issues.

The creation of DIY Salafist ideology is also important, especially when it is adapted and acted on. Finally, actual violence in the name of Islam within Western Europe has changed things. It is a new phenomenon, something that few people probably thought of only fifteen years ago, and it has already changed the political and social landscape. My opinion is that more of these attacks are coming, and that the process of polarization will continue to worsen. Of course, I could be wrong.


What do you mean by successful integration though? And are the problems to do with religion or poverty?

Successful integration generally means achieving parity economically and educationally, but also means things like success in politics and high rates of out-marriage (particularly for the second-generation). With regards to Muslims within Europe, we see that these things are not happening; that unemployment rates are well above the national averages (particularly for young men), that educational achievement is abysmal compared to national averages, high proportions live in poverty, inter-marriage rates are low, and housing segregation, in some places more than others, is on the increase. The seeming intractability, involving different ethnic groups in different European societies, is at least partly to do with the effects of the religion, as well as to discrimination (although racism is not the whole explanation; if it were, why do Hindus and Sikhs perform so much better in employment and education than South Asian Muslims?)


What are you suggesting actually? That there's some innate and inevitable tendency towards violence in Muslim people? What is your account of how this tendency got there? Is it biological, cultural?

Well, it is not biological, because 'Muslim' is not a biological category. Islam is a religion with a strong theocratic strand, sharia, and there are plenty of people who believe in its implementation, and a portion who are prepared to use violence to impose it and enforce it. Numbers and proportions may vary from place to place, but it is clear that you can pick out arguments from the Koran to make the case that violence in the cause of the Islamic state is justified (for instance, consider the Abu Hamza case, where the defence hinges on the fact that Hamza was merely quoting and interpreting the Koran and the Hadiths in the speeches for which he is being charged).

Are all Muslims indelibly inclined to violence? No, clearly not. Can the case be made that, at least at this point in time, there are more Muslims than members of other religions that see violence for religious purposes as justified? Yes, I think so.


Meanwhile, 'ours' are full of sweetness and light. If it weren't for those towel-heads (who by the way we have just got back from bombing to kingdom come in two of 'their' countries), we could go back to our own peacable history of pogroms, holocausts and world wars, I suppose.

I wasn't excluding European history from that point at all. The history of inter-communal violence in Europe is truely gruesome.

Pearsall
05-02-2006, 09:27 PM
Surely some perspective is required. Take the situation in the UK. The UK bombs two 'Muslim' countries, killing thousands. There are some terrorist reprisals on the UK mainland, killng about fifty. Who is more of a threat to whom here? To really believe that the causation of these tensions is religious and not socio-economic is to buy into the very theocratic logic you presumably oppose.

Well, quite clearly the West has an overwhelming edge in terms of arms; but I am not worried about a conventional war, but rising instability within Europe.

I don't buy the 'it's all socio-economic' line, as it goes. People are willing to kill for a lot of reasons besides money. Consider Omar Saeed Sheikh (http://www.guardian.co.uk/pakistan/Story/0,2763,755772,00.html), who orchestrated the killing of WSJ correspondent Daniel Pearl in Pakistan. He was the son of successful businessman, attended public school, and graduated from LSE. Did he join the jihad for socio-economic reasons? Or Omar Khan Sherif (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/2993513.stm), who tried to blow himself up in Israel a couple years back; his father was a successful businessman in Derby. And you can go through lots of the other characters through the years, from OBL himself to the 9/11 hijackers and so on, and see that many of them were not from the bottom of society.


And what then do you want? Mass deportations? What about the Muslims who were born here? Banning of the practice of Islam? Camps for those who resist? Or would you just be happy continuing to bomb poor people in faraway countries and to issue Enoch Powell-style Jeremiads about white man's burden?

Nah, just a reduction (not moratorium) in immigration (it would probably have to be across-the-board, not just of Muslims) to give Europe more time to assimilate and employ those already here, and to figure out how best to react to this historic change. America's drastic reduction of immigration in 1924 played a major role in integrating the tens of millions of European immigrants (and their children) who had arrived in the previous several decades. This would be similar.

Also, more fancifully, I'd like to clamber out of the snakepit of Middle Eastern politics, get out of Iraq and Afghanistan, close the bases in Saudi Arabia and Qatar and whatnot, disengage from the internal machinations of the various states, and adopt a more neutral stance vis-a-vis the Israelis. Do business as needed, but no more.

k-punk
05-02-2006, 10:34 PM
Well, I would disagree strongly that this is any kind of majority or mass view held by Westerners in general.

No, it is, presumably, held by a significant minority in the west. But in any case, the point is that - as the YouGov figures show - it is not a majority view held by muslims in general either.

Personally, I'm distressed that only 30% of any group want western civilization to end.


Two points: (1) the actual political power of the fundamentalist Christians is, in my opinion, overstated. They are a vote farm for the Republican party in the way that blacks are for the Democrats. In power the Republicans pay little more than lip service to their fantasies; for the most part the last twelve years of Republican control of Congress has relentlessly about servicing corporate interests. That's my take. (2) (and this relates to one of your later points, too) Committed minorities are of greater importance than apathetic majorities in setting the agenda. As an example, see the US government's hard-line position on Cuban relations over the last forty-five years - essentially dictated by the exile leadership in Miami, because they are the ones who care. More particularly on this topic, it is not so simple a matter as saying "well, even fewer would be prepared to act violently", because what characterizes violent movements are a relatively small pool of people prepared to commit violence, larger groups of active supporters, larger yet numbers of sympathizers, and larger yet numbers of those who feel passive on the issue.

Point partly taken re: fundamentalist christians, though surely issues like abortion/ stem cell research/ Terri Schiavo indicate the influence of the Christian right, to say the least.

I accept what you are saying about the importance of committed minorities in the case of violent movements, but you have now shifted the grounds of the debate. The original issue was: do those protesting on the streets of London demanding the beheading of those who insult Islam represent majority opinion amongst Muslims? Quite clearly, if we are using the YouGov statistics as a yardstick, no matter how you interpret them, then such views, far from being ubiquitous amongst Muslims, are actively opposed by most believers.

It is a quite separate issue how much of a threat committed groups with minority support pose. But I should have thought that one thing that was essential in the struggle against any such groups and their claims for legitimacy would not be to exaggerate the extent of the support they command; far from opposing them, that is doing their work for them.




How so? Internationally, we see: the American military occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, the festering sore of Israel-Pakistan, recent election triumphs by Islamists such as the election of Ahmadinejad in Iran, the landslide victory by Hamas, the far-better-than-expected results by the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and the triumph of sectarian religious parties in the Iraqi elections (of course, much of this success is attributable to domestic issues, particularly corruption), and the current imbroglio over the cartoons, which in some cases has a strong whiff of dictatorial types fanning the flames of popular passions.

Surely most of these issues are territorial and or economic, not essentially religious - once again, to group these conflicts together under the aegis of a struggle between Islam and secularism is to do the work of the Islamists for them. The problem is not straightforwardly the Islamists, but the support the Islamists gain as a result of the US occupation etc. One conclusion is obvious: end the US occupation.


Internally to Europe, I see several main causes of concern. One is the growing strength of far right parties across most Western European nations, as a by-product, in my opinion, of the fear of the consequences of demographic change, which has been explicitly linked to the growth of the Muslim minorities by a number of these parties (for instance, this article (http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0IMR/is_3-4_79/ai_113139422) is quite good on how the Danish People's Party became the third biggest party in Denmark). Two, changes in communications (particularly the internet and satellite television) have not only facilitated the spread of Western ideas and concepts to the rest of the world, but have also brought ideas from the rest of the world to the West. In the context of the Muslim minorities of Europe, this has meant more direct contact with the wellspring of Muslim orthodoxy in the Middle East. Third, Islam has become tied in with identity politics (http://www.spiked-online.com/Articles/0000000CA816.htm), which means that these identity crises become tied in with the wider issues. For instance, Islam has begun to supercede ethnic ancestry as the cornerstone of identity ('French Muslim' for 'French Arab', or 'British Muslim' for 'British Asian'). In cases like the French riots, the rioters are identified (and identify themselves) as 'Muslims' when they may be 'Muslim' to the degree that many Troubles-era Ulster gunmen were 'Protestant' or 'Catholic' (ie not much at all), but this identification ties in with the wider issues.

The creation of DIY Salafist ideology is also important, especially when it is adapted and acted on. Finally, actual violence in the name of Islam within Western Europe has changed things. It is a new phenomenon, something that few people probably thought of only fifteen years ago, and it has already changed the political and social landscape. My opinion is that more of these attacks are coming, and that the process of polarization will continue to worsen. Of course, I could be wrong.

Yes, all of these things are serious problems - but they are not essential and not necessarily permanent. It didn't require Islamism to make the Far Right in Europe an abomination; what needs to be unpicked is the deadly and symmetrical logic whereby the Far Right gain support because of Islamism and vice versa. Partly that means resisting the claim that BOTH would make that Islamist eschatopolitics are the dominant voice of Islam.

The question of identification is contingent upon the current political situation, and the vacuum where anti-status quo politics should be. If there were a non-religious form of idenfication for the disaffected young, Islamism would not have quite the appeal it does to many young Muslims.

(cont'd below)

k-punk
05-02-2006, 10:35 PM
Successful integration generally means achieving parity economically and educationally, but also means things like success in politics and high rates of out-marriage (particularly for the second-generation). With regards to Muslims within Europe, we see that these things are not happening; that unemployment rates are well above the national averages (particularly for young men), that educational achievement is abysmal compared to national averages, high proportions live in poverty, inter-marriage rates are low, and housing segregation, in some places more than others, is on the increase. The seeming intractability, involving different ethnic groups in different European societies, is at least partly to do with the effects of the religion, as well as to discrimination (although racism is not the whole explanation; if it were, why do Hindus and Sikhs perform so much better in employment and education than South Asian Muslims?)

I agree with all of this, and myself, in the aftermath of 7/7, drew attention to many of these facts. But they do not seem like a reason to attack Muslims or to paint them as dangerously violent. On the contary. It suggests that these problems need to be reframed as socio-economic rather than religio-ethnic. For instance, the complex reasons why Muslims under-achieve need to be understood and dealt with.


Well, it is not biological, because 'Muslim' is not a biological category. Islam is a religion with a strong theocratic strand, sharia, and there are plenty of people who believe in its implementation, and a portion who are prepared to use violence to impose it and enforce it. Numbers and proportions may vary from place to place, but it is clear that you can pick out arguments from the Koran to make the case that violence in the cause of the Islamic state is justified (for instance, consider the Abu Hamza case, where the defence hinges on the fact that Hamza was merely quoting and interpreting the Koran and the Hadiths in the speeches for which he is being charged).

Are all Muslims indelibly inclined to violence? No, clearly not. Can the case be made that, at least at this point in time, there are more Muslims than members of other religions that see violence for religious purposes as justified? Yes, I think so.

I can go with some of this; though what is meant by 'religious ends'? Many Christians (and especially American Christians) are clearly happy to endorse violence - the fact that the violence they endorse is for economic and or territorial end rather than for 'religious purposes' doesn't make it any better and whether such violence is 'for religious purposes' is largely a question of interpretation. No doubt many in Iraq and Afghanistan see the bombing to which they were subject as 'violence for religious purposes', happily justified by the 'Christian' populations of the west. I don't of course need to point out that people can and have justified more or less anything on the basis of the Bible.

See, what troubles me is partly that this Muslim scourge/ Eurabia thesis has only two real practical political consequences: garnering support for yet more draconian immigration laws and acting as a justification for the bombing of Iraq and Afghanistan. One person who won't be losing any sleep about these all-too-convenient demonstrations of rabid Islamist intolerance is Tony Blair. Which is why if MI5 weren't involved in organizing them, they might as well have been.

Ness Rowlah
06-02-2006, 12:30 AM
Surely most of these issues are territorial and or economic, not essentially religious - once again, to group these conflicts together under the aegis of a struggle between Islam and secularism is to do the work of the Islamists for them.

Isn't Western European secularism (as in a separate church and state, not as in religious freedom) a myth? France clearly is secular, the rest of Western Europe probably not.

Denmark and Norway (the frontrunners of this riduculous fight and those whose embassies were first torched) are Christian countries, not secular ones. The monarch has to be Christian (constitution), both countries have a state church (officially 80%+ are Christian in both countries) and the Danish prime minister is a Christian (Stoltenberg of Norway is an atheist, I suspect one of the world's very few stateleaders who is).

England is not secular (seats in House of the Lords, HM Queen as governor etc) and Scotland is not secular.

Most Eastern European countries seem to be secular though - so why do we bang on about secularism when Christianity is part of the State in so many Western European countries?

Wrong
06-02-2006, 07:32 PM
But who DOESN'T think that western civilization is immoral and decadent and should be brought to an end? This view is not only held by Muslims.

And it's interesting how a number of right-wingers have responded to a perceived lack of outrage against the Muslim "attack on free speech." The problem, according to the right, is that the Western left are immoral and decadent for not opposing those who call them immoral and decadent.

I, for one, think the problem is that the West isn't nearly decadent enough; or, rather, there's a kind of, as Žižek would say, "decaffeinated decadence," a decadence that needs to be maintained by constant, grim, work from all concerned.

bassnation
06-02-2006, 07:35 PM
And it's interesting how a number of right-wingers have responded to a perceived lack of outrage against the Muslim "attack on free speech." The problem, according to the right, is that the Western left are immoral and decadent for not opposing those who call them immoral and decadent.

I, for one, think the problem is that the West isn't nearly decadent enough; or, rather, there's a kind of, as Žižek would say, "decaffeinated decadence," a decadence that needs to be maintained by constant, grim, work from all concerned.

i'm with you on that - and if it annoys the bigots then all the better.

borderpolice
06-02-2006, 08:01 PM
Isn't Western European secularism (as in a separate church and state, not as in religious freedom) a myth? France clearly is secular, the rest of Western Europe probably not.

Denmark and Norway (the frontrunners of this riduculous fight and those whose embassies were first torched) are Christian countries, not secular ones. The monarch has to be Christian (constitution), both countries have a state church (officially 80%+ are Christian in both countries) and the Danish prime minister is a Christian (Stoltenberg of Norway is an atheist, I suspect one of the world's very few stateleaders who is).

England is not secular (seats in House of the Lords, HM Queen as governor etc) and Scotland is not secular.

Most Eastern European countries seem to be secular though - so why do we bang on about secularism when Christianity is part of the State in so many Western European countries?


your analysis show mostly that you misunderstand the state-religion connections and differences, and hence some of the real loci and mechanisms of power. It is true that some european states my be formally non-secular, but that's largely irrelevant. what matters is the permeability between religion and politics, and in two ways.

* how acceptable, how successful are religeous arguments in political discussions?

* how easy is it for religeous personal to cross-over into positions of political influence.

the answers to such questions can be measured in various ways, but it seems unavoidable to say that in north-western europe, religion is not very relevant, in the sense of not having a direct, reliable influence on politics. in the middle east that is quite different.

borderpolice
06-02-2006, 08:13 PM
For instance, the complex reasons why Muslims under-achieve need to be understood and dealt with.

well what are these complex reasons?


If there were a non-religious form of idenfication for the disaffected young, Islamism would not have quite the appeal it does to many young Muslims.

and exactly why can they not become homeboys, christians, atheists, pornstars or trainspotters?

Ness Rowlah
07-02-2006, 01:27 AM
the answers to such questions can be measured in various ways, but it seems unavoidable to say that in north-western europe, religion is not very relevant, in the sense of not having a direct, reliable influence on politics.

And I think the opposite is the case - the previous Norwegian prime minister was a leader for the "Christian People's Party" (the party is not just Christian in name+Bondevik is a Lutheran priest), both Tony Blair and his successor Brown are deeply Christian and the Christian Democrats (CDU) is a massive political influence in German politics.

To me this is the Christian God and religion having a direct and reliable influence on top level north-western European politics. Maybe not in the everyday debate and as badge to be worn - but surely the Christian God has an influence on politics if Blair and bundeskanzler Merkel (the daughter of a priest) both say their prayers to him.

bassnation
07-02-2006, 10:29 AM
And I think the opposite is the case - the previous Norwegian prime minister was a leader for the "Christian People's Party" (the party is not just Christian in name+Bondevik is a Lutheran priest), both Tony Blair and his successor Brown are deeply Christian and the Christian Democrats (CDU) is a massive political influence in German politics.

whilst both blair and brown are religious, they are extremely careful never to bring their faith into politics. the furore that happens every time theres even a hint of this makes it politcally dangerous to do so.

on the other hand, i think religion is on the move once again - bouyed by things like the recent hatred bill and the popularity of faith schools. you can literally see the bigots coming out of the woodwork - sikhs demanding an end to plays by a female sikh playright, christians demanding an end to a range of things including jerry springer the opera and of course the recent row about the prophet. they seem to becoming more and more sure of themselves.

i think its time for people who believe in secularism to become more militant.

we are in danger of following fundamentalists on both sides of the fence into a new dark age where the search for truth is forgotten and the powerful create their own reality.

matt b
07-02-2006, 11:09 AM
bassnation said...



otm, as always!

anyone watch newsnight last night? religious fundamentalist in 'unable to have civil debate' shocker.

IdleRich
07-02-2006, 11:34 AM
"Anyone watch newsnight last night? religious fundamentalist in 'unable to have civil debate' shocker."

No, what happened?

Paul Hotflush
07-02-2006, 11:46 AM
Yeh I watched that. Irritatingly, I found myself agreeing with the UKIP guy...

matt b
07-02-2006, 11:52 AM
No, what happened?
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/newsnight/4687270.stm



had a 'discussion' with, amongst others, one of the organisers of ther protests in london. what a nice fella-
discounted the views of 3 other muslims because two of them were women who didn't have their faces covered and the other was a male muslim who didn't have a beard.

when asked why he demands sharia law in the uk he replied (i paraphrase) 'when living in the jungle you don't live like the animals' (terrible metaphor, no?).


he kept talking over people (constantly) and when asked to be quiet and let someone else talk, he kept saying 'but we're having a discussion'.

the other people in the studio just looked shellshocked!

in other news: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/newsnight/4687270.stm

matt b
07-02-2006, 11:53 AM
Yeh I watched that. Irritatingly, I found myself agreeing with the UKIP guy...


what that we can 'no longer celebrate christmas' and other bullshit statements?

IdleRich
07-02-2006, 12:35 PM
"had a 'discussion' with, amongst others, one of the organisers of ther protests in london. what a nice fella-
discounted the views of 3 other muslims because two of them were women who didn't have their faces covered and the other was a male muslim who didn't have a beard.

when asked why he demands sharia law in the uk he replied (i paraphrase) 'when living in the jungle you don't live like the animals' (terrible metaphor, no?)."

I wish I'd seen it, I love watching idiots like that completely remove any credibility from their own arguments be they Muslim, far right or whatever. It seems obvious to me that the censoring the BNP and co is counter-productive, give 'em enough rope I say.

matt b
07-02-2006, 12:41 PM
I wish I'd seen it.

might be viewable by following the first link on my previous post

IdleRich
07-02-2006, 12:56 PM
Not at work I fear, I have to at least pretend to do some work.

borderpolice
07-02-2006, 04:05 PM
And I think the opposite is the case - the previous Norwegian prime minister was a leader for the "Christian People's Party" (the party is not just Christian in name+Bondevik is a Lutheran priest), both Tony Blair and his successor Brown are deeply Christian and the Christian Democrats (CDU) is a massive political influence in German politics.

While i agree that the christian democrates are a force in german politics,
it is not particularly due to their (alleged) religious affiliation. where
does Merkel for example justify any of her particular politics in religious
terms. I don't know anything about norwegian politics.


Blair and bundeskanzler Merkel (the daughter of a priest) both say their prayers to him.

For a start you assume that they do, that it's not just a media strategy.
in any case, what they do in private is irrellevant here, as it's not observable to you or me. (unless you are blair or merkel). Stalin was essentially a trained orthodox priest, yet, i i wouldnt classify his wonderful reign as particularly adhering to what is touted to be christian values.

in any case, you is there a particularly pronounced exchange of personel between the state apparatus and religious bureaucracies?

borderpolice
07-02-2006, 04:49 PM
on the other hand, i think religion is on the move once again

Unfortunatly you are right. let's give this slow power grab a snappy name:
what about "bin-ladenisation"?

k-punk
07-02-2006, 07:43 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by k-punk
For instance, the complex reasons why Muslims under-achieve need to be understood and dealt with.



well what are these complex reasons?

I don't know, I'm not familiar with the research beyond knowing that muslims under-achieve. But 'muslims under-achieve' is not an explanation, it calls for an explanation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by k-punk
If there were a non-religious form of idenfication for the disaffected young, Islamism would not have quite the appeal it does to many young Muslims.



and exactly why can they not become homeboys, christians, atheists, pornstars or trainspotters?


Well, I didn't put my point especially well, but what I meant was that there should be a political, rather than a religious outlet for their disaffection.

Incidentally, I know certain types of Protestantism aren't particularly demanding, but perhaps it's going a little far to say that Christianity is non-religious?

k-punk
07-02-2006, 07:44 PM
Yeh I watched that. Irritatingly, I found myself agreeing with the UKIP guy...

Never...

bassnation
08-02-2006, 01:49 AM
Unfortunatly you are right. let's give this slow power grab a snappy name:
what about "bin-ladenisation"?

yeah thats good - but unfortunately and disproportionally the biggest assault on secular ideals is coming from the christian fundamentalists who are challenging everything from evolution right through to writing angry green-ink style letters to nasa demanding that they postfix every mention of the big bang with the word "theory" as if this somehow levels the playing field for god. (one wonders how this squares with george bushes apparrently new-found obsession with science. what would a science that follows all of the rules in the bible (earth is 6000 years old, etc) produce in terms of useful products?)


got no problem with people having issues with the big bang, ultimately it might be discarded - but i'll be damned if i'm going to give a supernatural entity creating the world from nothing equal space.

thing is, spiritually speaking theres nothing about the big bang theory that disproves god - in fact if i was a fundamentalist i'd be pinning all my hopes on it being true - its so similar to many creation theories that its spooky. isn't it a flawed strategy to pick semantic holes and peddle falseholds about scientifically verifiable facts? surely its better to go with all that and still belive, lot less effort.

anyway, wandering off the point somewhat (little bit drunk, and on a tuesday too!).

we need a word which is applicable across all religions and is suitably catchy.

borderpolice
08-02-2006, 12:46 PM
we need a word which is applicable across all religions and is suitably catchy.

no, better be focussed.call the fundanetal christians taliban, the radical muslims bushits etc. The rhetorical strategy is to get them to have to justify themselves. It is not the secularists who should defend themselves.



yeah thats good - but unfortunately and disproportionally the biggest assault on secular ideals is coming from the christian fundamentalists


exactly they would find being described as taliban rather hurting.

borderpolice
08-02-2006, 12:51 PM
I don't know, I'm not familiar with the research beyond knowing that muslims under-achieve. But 'muslims under-achieve' is not an explanation, it calls for an explanation.

sure. but requiring an explanation is trivial. and what's more, one can predict what kind of explanations will be adumbrated by whom. such analyses usually tell more about the analyers then the subject of analysis.



If there were a non-religious form of idenfication for the disaffected young, Islamism would not have quite the appeal it does to many young Muslims.

but the point is that there are, prima facie. i have listed some. there's no shortage of possible alternative tribes.

geto.blast
08-02-2006, 08:09 PM
my 2 cents:

what a gross debate.. having to choose between "respect" for religion's crazy kinks and some right wing newspaper's right to expression.

i m sitting this one out :]

k-punk
08-02-2006, 10:45 PM
sure. but requiring an explanation is trivial. and what's more, one can predict what kind of explanations will be adumbrated by whom. such analyses usually tell more about the analyers then the subject of analysis.

Requiring an explanation is trivial? So your story is that Muslims under-achieve because they are Muslims. How productive.




but the point is that there are, prima facie. i have listed some. there's no shortage of possible alternative tribes.

Haven't we been here before? I answered that point in my last post.

borderpolice
09-02-2006, 12:08 PM
Requiring an explanation is trivial? So your story is that Muslims under-achieve because they are Muslims. How productive.

rubbish. i didn't say anything to this effect. of course i didn't rule it out as a partial explanation either. religious belief is surely a determining factor in one's setting of educational and professional goals -- max weber has famously exapanded on this, and amish refuse to let their children have higher education. now whether similar explanations would be worhtwhile for Islam I have my doubts, if only because it's such a vast cult with over a billion followers. but the fact remains that the usual explanations: racism, poverty don't apply as other groups seemingly starting out in similar situation have taken different career trajectories.






Haven't we been here before? I answered that point in my last post.

I can't say that
saying "there should be a political, rather than a religious outlet for their disaffection." isn't an answer at all, since there are plenty of political outlets. i also don't see in what sense organisations like al-kaida are not political.

Ness Rowlah
09-02-2006, 01:52 PM
Egyptian paper published cartoon in October 2005.

This is quite interesting - the Egyptian paper Al Fager published some of the cartoons in October last year (http://freedomforegyptians.blogspot.com/2006/02/egyptian-newspaper-pictures-that.html). Among them the "bomb in turban" one. Guess this one will spread like wildfire through the blogosphere and then be picked up by mainstream media tomorrow.

&catherine
09-02-2006, 05:40 PM
my 2 cents:

what a gross debate.. having to choose between "respect" for religion's crazy kinks and some right wing newspaper's right to expression.

i m sitting this one out :]

What you say should make the choice clear, then. The position that should be taken is one that is outside of the 'don't let superstitious, primitive Muslims take away my right to slander them!' / 'the West's values are incompatible with Islam' binary.

What this third position would be is a harder thing to say - though I think it certainly involves moving away from depicting this cartoon 'controversy' as one part of an unavoidable clash between the dictates of Islam and the 'enlightened' values of the West. As Mark k-punk points out, this plays right into the hands of both the fundamentalists and the xenophobic Westerners. This third position will not be 'for' Islam or 'against' it - Islam - and indeed, Christianity, Judaism - will be irrelevant to it.

The debate needs restructuring, in other words. We must make other options, and not react against those that are presented by two very distasteful sides!

k-punk
09-02-2006, 07:07 PM
rubbish. i didn't say anything to this effect. of course i didn't rule it out as a partial explanation either. religious belief is surely a determining factor in one's setting of educational and professional goals -- max weber has famously exapanded on this, and amish refuse to let their children have higher education. now whether similar explanations would be worhtwhile for Islam I have my doubts, if only because it's such a vast cult with over a billion followers. but the fact remains that the usual explanations: racism, poverty don't apply as other groups seemingly starting out in similar situation have taken different career trajectories.

Racism is clearly not anything like a fully adequate answer because of the relative achievements of Sikhs, Hindus etc. I'm not calling for 'that' kind of explanation - what I want to know is, if it IS the religion that accounts for the under-achievement, what specific features of the religion are involved? And can anything be done to counter these effects?




I can't say that
saying "there should be a political, rather than a religious outlet for their disaffection." isn't an answer at all, since there are plenty of political outlets. i also don't see in what sense organisations like al-kaida are not political.

Al Qaeda pursues political aims for religious ends. It does not have a political program that is separable from Islam (even though, I hasten to add, it is possible to separate Islam from Al Q). What I am asking for is a political outlet that will channel alienation, frustration etc in the service of THIS-WORDLY political ends. There's a mass movement that's doing that? Show me where...

borderpolice
12-02-2006, 03:31 PM
Racism is clearly not anything like a fully adequate answer because of the relative achievements of Sikhs, Hindus etc. I'm not calling for 'that' kind of explanation - what I want to know is, if it IS the religion that accounts for the under-achievement, what specific features of the religion are involved? And can anything be done to counter these effects?

I am somewhat sceptical about using religion to explain non-religious phenomena. there is the well-known contention, which i'm being told -- though have not checked myself -- has an empirical basis, that monotheisms have a problem with tolerance of other world-views, especially other religions. polytheisms can simply add the sacral personae and ritual to their own set (of course even monotheism has some facilities for this, pace the incorporation of germanic rituals in the christmas festivities, or the conversion of african gods into saints, like senhor do bomfin in bahia, who is really one of the yoruba orishas)). but otherwise? firstly, there are way too many believers (with their private interpretations of doctrine) for the big cults. whatever you say as the core of religion X, there's somebody who says: no, you got it wrong ... it seems in fact that part of a religion's dynamic identity is just this ongoing polemos about exactly what that religion is about. in any case, it seems pretty clear that what is touted as doctrine by the religious bureaucracy has often only tenous connections with what the majority of believers make of it -- this is easily empirically testable. moreover, there is the even bigger problem that pervades all social science, that it seems impossible to account for people's behaviour from their self-descriptions. In particular, from person's self-description as follower of sect X, one can virtually never predict that person's behaviour in non-religious context (like politics, education, art, sexuality).


What I am asking for is a political outlet that will channel alienation, frustration etc in the service of THIS-WORDLY political ends. There's a mass movement that's doing that? Show me where...

what you are in effect asking for is form muslim youth to stop being religious, or rather, you want a political machine that spits out atheists when you input muslims.

droid
16-02-2006, 11:27 AM
Michelle Malkin equating the Danish Cartoons with the new Abu Ghraib pictures:


Watching the news in my hotel room before my speech, I just saw CNN air a few of the new, highly inflammatory Abu Ghraib photos now making the rounds.

No pixelation of the nude prisoners in the photos. No disclaimers about paying respect to members of the US military who will be endangered by publication of the pics. The Washington Post used the opportunity to republish Abu Ghraib photos and video it obtained in April 2004.

Readers have been e-mailing all day the question the MSM needs to answer:

Why the Abu Ghraib photos, but not the Mohammed Cartoons?

We're listening...

She really is a nasty piece of work...

http://www.michellemalkin.com/

BTW - I havent found a direct source, but Ive read in several newspapers now that an original set of cartoons featuring Christian imagery was rejected by the original publisher on the grounds of the being 'too controversial'... :confused:

Can anyone confirm?

basmala
19-02-2006, 12:50 AM
I might be the first muslim to participate in this discussion and the first thing I want to say is that I m really disappointed at how people who claim to respect human rights and freedoms are reacting towards other people's rights and freedoms!!
I grew up hearing that Europe-especially the northen countries is a heaven for the freedom of speach and respect of people's beliefs and choices in life. Maybe muslims are overreacting when they burn the facades of some ambassies but it's easy to criticize other people's anger when you are cool. Now, if you try and put yourself for a moment in our shoes by imagining that someone could insult something that you hold for the most sacred of things just to have fun, then how would you feel? That the thing we hold for so sacred does not make sense to you is part of our personal freedom and that no one should insult it is our undiscutable right. If anyone does no agree with me, she or he should reconcider the definition she or he has of freedoms and right because that's a vision that covers only himself!!

sufi
19-02-2006, 01:22 AM
i kept off this thread so far as it became very ignorant quite quickly, that just seems to me to be symptomatic of how this whole furore is cooked up by haters & extremists... :(

minikomi
19-02-2006, 01:35 PM
Michelle Malkin equating the Danish Cartoons with the new Abu Ghraib pictures:



She really is a nasty piece of work...

http://www.michellemalkin.com/

BTW - I havent found a direct source, but Ive read in several newspapers now that an original set of cartoons featuring Christian imagery was rejected by the original publisher on the grounds of the being 'too controversial'... :confused:

Can anyone confirm?


Yep.. heard bout this on the wireless, it's true.

bassnation
19-02-2006, 07:49 PM
I might be the first muslim to participate in this discussion and the first thing I want to say is that I m really disappointed at how people who claim to respect human rights and freedoms are reacting towards other people's rights and freedoms!!
I grew up hearing that Europe-especially the northen countries is a heaven for the freedom of speach and respect of people's beliefs and choices in life. Maybe muslims are overreacting when they burn the facades of some ambassies but it's easy to criticize other people's anger when you are cool. Now, if you try and put yourself for a moment in our shoes by imagining that someone could insult something that you hold for the most sacred of things just to have fun, then how would you feel? That the thing we hold for so sacred does not make sense to you is part of our personal freedom and that no one should insult it is our undiscutable right. If anyone does no agree with me, she or he should reconcider the definition she or he has of freedoms and right because that's a vision that covers only himself!!

i found the cartoons to be crass and pointless personally. and i agree with sufi that there are people on both sides who want to keep this boiling over for their own purposes. we should not give them the satisfaction.

however, there is no indisputable right not to be offended. there are many things i find offensive, and pretty much up there right at the top is the idea that a baying mob can dictate what people say or think about religion.

if someones faith is strong, then how does a sleight or insult to easily provoke and defeat? shouldn't it be robust enough to deal with criticism? by the same token, its fine to critcise the cartoonists and various publishers - and this is the way to deal with this idoicy - using the same freedom of speech that allowed it in the first place.

HMGovt
20-02-2006, 06:01 PM
http://homepage.ntlworld.com/jonsky7/images/world.jpg

droid
27-02-2006, 11:42 AM
Dont know why I didnt think of this earlier... :D

http://jesusandmo.net/strips/2006-02-03.jpg

More:

http://www.jesusandmo.net/

droid
27-02-2006, 12:48 PM
Oh no!! :D

http://jesusandmo.net/strips/2006-01-26.jpg

These are waaaay funnier than that Danish pap...

scottdisco
09-01-2010, 06:36 PM
http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/images/2008/05/15/jew_hatred_moderate_uae.jpg

http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/images/2009/01/08/muslim_nazis.jpg

http://www.fraudfactor.com/scandals/ca_ag_lawyer_art/images/ff_arab_press_propaganda-2_032.jpg

http://medienkritik.typepad.com/photos/uncategorized/cartooniran_1.jpg

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_uPzsiWdvLoQ/SPN8OmA-8LI/AAAAAAAAAxs/4gICASGY2yI/s400/mcobama.JPG

http://www.honestreporting.com/images/cartoon4.gif

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/42/116358079_bcad779b89.jpg

polystyle desu
10-01-2010, 04:53 PM
Thanks Scott, those were quite ... vivid ;
And well, how about if Christians in one's Muslim country start to also say "Allah" ...
... http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/11/world/asia/11malaysia.html?hp

We need to hear more from the moderates ...

Mr. Tea
18-01-2010, 01:18 PM
Odd, isn't it, that those lovely Islam4UK chappies tend to be somewhat less vocal about the muder of Muslims when it happens in this (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/8464763.stm) kind of violence, rather than the kind supposedly meted out by the Third Lancashire Baby-Rapers on a daily basis...

craner
19-01-2010, 01:38 PM
I think Daniel Pipes has finally gone insane (http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=NjI0MTYxNjQxNThjMDQ0ZWU5ZTJiNDk4YzY4MWIxYTA=). I got to the words "world-historic figure" and almost blanked out. And this coming from somebody who can actually stomach Bat Ye'or.

Sectionfive
09-03-2010, 04:58 PM
Fucking hell

http://www.rte.ie/news/2010/0309/waterford.html

vimothy
09-03-2010, 05:54 PM
I think Daniel Pipes has finally gone insane (http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=NjI0MTYxNjQxNThjMDQ0ZWU5ZTJiNDk4YzY4MWIxYTA=). I got to the words "world-historic figure" and almost blanked out. And this coming from somebody who can actually stomach Bat Ye'or.

Ah, I'm an avid Pipes watcher. I missed this!

Pipes doesn't even identify the problem correctly. This:


That Islamic challenge consists of two components: on the one hand, an indigenous population’s withering Christian faith, inadequate birthrate, and cultural diffidence, and on the other an influx of devout, prolific, and culturally assertive Muslim immigrants.

Sounds scary but is basically total bullshit. Since Pipes falls at the first hurdle (diagnosis), his prognosis is irrelevant even before it is insane.