/ Could Britain be on the verge of civil war ?

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handofgod on 20 Jun 2017
Apologises, I know the title is a bit daily mailesque; But I have to confess; I'm surprised at how long it's taken for a copy cat style attack by the far right on the Muslim community to be carried out.
Obviously, the sickening murder of Joe Cox last year was by a far right lunatic who had a warped understanding of what Jo Cox stood for but, the attack itself wasn't targeted at the Muslim community specifically.
The type of attack I'm referring to, is like the one we've seen at Finsbury Park mosque this week. An attack where an easily sourced weapon; a rental van, is used to ram into a group of innocent people with a sole purpose to cause maximum damage and loss of life.

Could we now be in a situation where a tit of tat mentality is adopted by both sides which see the Islamic terrorists up the anti and carrying out more attacks knowing this could lead to revenge attacks by the far right on the totally innocent Muslim community thus causing further diversion within our already troubled and fractured socieities.

I mean; it really wouldn't take much for rioting like we saw back in August 2011 to rage up and down the country again but this time in the name of islam.

In this day and age where nothing seems to shock anymore; I guess anything is possible.
Lemony - on 20 Jun 2017
In reply to handofgod:

No.

Hope that puts your mind at ease.
mullermn - on 20 Jun 2017
In reply to handofgod:

> Could we now be in a situation where a tit of tat mentality is adopted by both sides ..

The fact that you think there even are two 'sides' here reveals more about your thinking than you probably intended.
1poundSOCKS - on 20 Jun 2017
In reply to mullermn:

> The fact that you think there even are two 'sides' here reveals more about your thinking than you probably intended.

I think you can consider there being 2 sides. One "side" will use attacks on Muslims such as this, and the other "side" will use the recent attacks by Muslims. I'm not sure this is unreasonable. What does it reveal about anyone's thinking?
wintertree - on 20 Jun 2017
In reply to handofgod:

I thought this was going to be another Brexit thread...

> I'm surprised at how long it's taken for a copy cat style attack by the far right on the Muslim community to be carried out

So you have evidence that this attack was planned by the far right and not the work of a lone nutter then? As with potentially Islamist attacks, it is I think wise to wait for a later stage of investigations before jumping to such conclusions.
Chris the Tall - on 20 Jun 2017
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

> I think you can consider there being 2 sides. One "side" will use attacks on Muslims such as this, and the other "side" will use the recent attacks by Muslims. I'm not sure this is unreasonable. What does it reveal about anyone's thinking?

There are 3 "sides" - Islamic extremists, Anti-Islamic & racist extremists, and in the middle the vast majority of people who refuse to get drawn into these extreme groups.

Each time one of the two extreme groups commits an atrocity, the other celebrates, knowing it will generate anger which will drawn more people into their ranks.

If you want to bring it down to 2 sides, then you have those who are motivated by hate and ignorance, and those who are motivated by love and understanding. Pick your side
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 20 Jun 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

I reckon there are plenty of people who don't fall into either camp of being motivated by "hate and ignorance" or "love and understanding" . Not sure what to call them though. Maybe the "Not motivated by love or hate or ignorance or understanding......just money" ? ;-)

David Martin - on 20 Jun 2017
In reply to handofgod:

I don't know about extremists, but the two sides seem pretty unequal at the moment so I'm not sure about civil war. "White Van Man' just sounded like a bonkers loner, not drawing on any historical method or basis of support. Islamic extremists on the other hand tend to have extended networks of support, urging them on, and their means are celebrated. I can't see guys in removal vans being held up as martyrs and heroes for driving over worshippers any time soon.

We do seem to have an increasingly fractious relationship between the right and left though, which I find far more worrying.
GrahamD - on 20 Jun 2017
In reply to handofgod:

>I'm surprised at how long it's taken for a copy cat style attack by the far right on the Muslim community to be carried out.

I'm not surprised. Whereas racist and islamophobic attacks are pretty commonplace, the perpetrators are generally not suicidal.
Lemony - on 20 Jun 2017
In reply to David Martin:
> I can't see guys in removal vans being held up as martyrs and heroes for driving over worshippers any time soon.

Really? There's plenty of plaudits and aplenty of apologists for his actions on social media.


edit: for example the son of the bloke who hired out the van is being quoted as saying:
"It’s my dads company I don’t get involved, it's a shame they don’t hire out a steam rollers or tanks could have done a tidy job then"

Charmer.
Post edited at 12:43
Trevers - on 20 Jun 2017
In reply to wintertree:

> I thought this was going to be another Brexit thread...

> So you have evidence that this attack was planned by the far right and not the work of a lone nutter then? As with potentially Islamist attacks, it is I think wise to wait for a later stage of investigations before jumping to such conclusions.

I don't think he was specifically saying it was a coordinated attack. More that a few nutters from either end of the spectrum could whip up a lot of fear and tension.

Personally, I think the OP is right to worry about a large-scale repeat of the 2011 riots. This could well turn into a summer of discontent.
tom_in_edinburgh - on 20 Jun 2017
In reply to David Martin:

> We do seem to have an increasingly fractious relationship between the right and left though, which I find far more worrying.

The thing I find worrying is the chance of a knee jerk reaction to limit freedom of speech. Theresa May is starting to use the term 'Islamophobic' beside words like 'radicalised' which could have all kinds of consequences with her other penchants for controlling the internet and spying on everyone. It has nothing to do with violence or radicalization to have a phobia for Islam or North Korean communism, or religion in general . The path of outlawing 'Islamophobic' speech leads towards blasphemy laws.

Bjartur i Sumarhus on 20 Jun 2017
In reply to Trevers:

"Personally, I think the OP is right to worry about a large-scale repeat of the 2011 riots. This could well turn into a summer of discontent."

Hhmm. Interesting point actually. The 2011 riots were kicked off by the police killing of Mark Duggan. Demonstrations in Tottenham turned violent and then spread quickly throughout the UK with the police and shops being the main target.
Obviously the underlying problems of racial tension, unemployment, poverty, social divide still exist and the rise in gang culture probably added fuel to the fire.

If we see another nationwide mass unrest due to Muslim tensions with the rest of the UK due to continuing terrorist attacks, then the targets will be a lot softer than the police and shops and probably look a lot less like rioting and a lot more like a pogrom.
handofgod on 20 Jun 2017
In reply to mullermn:
Not sure what your implying by your comment but it doesn't take a genius to see that there are quite clearly two sides with the majority of population sandwiched in the middle. So guess there's actually even three sides;
- Islamic terrorists
- islamaphobic hard right wingers
And
- Us
Post edited at 13:24
handofgod on 20 Jun 2017
In reply to wintertree:
Of course I don't have evidence besides what soubdbites the media are batting about. But once again; it dosnt take a genius to workout the right winger nutter wasn't in Finsbury Park to break his fast for Ramadan
Post edited at 13:28
handofgod on 20 Jun 2017
In reply to Lemony:
Utterly shocking comments.
It has become commmon place to Muslim bash at any opportunity. It's as one MP quoted this week 'acceptable dinner table talk'.
At work, usually after an attack; colleagues really show their true colours and some of the dam right bigoted views surface.


Post edited at 13:38
plyometrics - on 20 Jun 2017
In reply to handofgod:

Riots? Quite possibly.

Civil war? No.
MG - on 20 Jun 2017
In reply to Lemony:

Bloody hell! If that's the sort of comment going round, we do have a problem with whatever the reverse of radical Islam is.
handofgod on 20 Jun 2017
In reply to MG:

Couldn't agree more.

Bjartur i Sumarhus on 20 Jun 2017
In reply to MG:

Yes we do, and if you think that's unusual or extreme and just reserved for the nutters of the EDL then I think you're in for another shock.
summo on 20 Jun 2017
In reply to handofgod:

I think there is more chance of civil unrest stirred up by mps like McDonnell or the unions, than anything from religious communities.
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 20 Jun 2017
In reply to summo:

Not sure about that. If you look at the Grenfell Tower fire, plenty of opportunity for civil unrest at the perceived total let down by the authorities/government to take seriously the pleas of the residents, resulting in vindication through a terrible predicted tragedy.

Not sure what McDonnell and the Unions could do that would be more volatile.
summo on 20 Jun 2017
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:


> Not sure what McDonnell and the Unions could do that would be more volatile.

You mean like calling for a million people to take to the streets on the 1st of July?
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 20 Jun 2017
In reply to summo:

I guess we will know the answer on July 2nd.
summo on 20 Jun 2017
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

> I guess we will know the answer on July 2nd.

Let's hope it does not turn into something like the May day events, smashing the place up.
jonnie3430 - on 20 Jun 2017
In reply to handofgod:

Are you sure it's not just the latest fashion trend, hipster has morphed to hatester?
FactorXXX - on 20 Jun 2017
In reply to Trevers:

Personally, I think the OP is right to worry about a large-scale repeat of the 2011 riots. This could well turn into a summer of discontent.

It's too hot at the moment, but the weather might be OK for rioting by the weekend.
Trangia on 20 Jun 2017
In reply to handofgod:

The only two "sides" are decent generally law abiding citizens, who form the huge majority of the population, and the pathetic losers who are criminals hiding behind the thin excuse of religious and cultural extremism, and actually only form a very tiny minority.
Trevers - on 20 Jun 2017
In reply to Trangia:

> The only two "sides" are decent generally law abiding citizens, who form the huge majority of the population, and the pathetic losers who are criminals hiding behind the thin excuse of religious and cultural extremism, and actually only form a very tiny minority.

Absolutely right. The depraved nutjob who carried out yesterday's attack has allied himself with ISIS, although I suspect he lacks the wit to understand this.
Jim C - on 20 Jun 2017
In reply to wintertree:


> So you have evidence that this attack was planned by the far right and not the work of a lone nutter then? As with potentially Islamist attacks, it is I think wise to wait for a later stage of investigations before jumping to such conclusions.

Oddly it was carried out by a guy who had a Muslim neighbour for whom he had recently carried out some DIY jobs for!
Does not sound like a far right type, but time will perhaps tell what his motives were.
TheDrunkenBakers - on 20 Jun 2017
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> The thing I find worrying is the chance of a knee jerk reaction to limit freedom of speech. Theresa May is starting to use the term 'Islamophobic' beside words like 'radicalised' which could have all kinds of consequences with her other penchants for controlling the internet and spying on everyone. It has nothing to do with violence or radicalization to have a phobia for Islam or North Korean communism, or religion in general . The path of outlawing 'Islamophobic' speech leads towards blasphemy laws.

Agreed. Im not racist but I deplore any organised religion including Islam, especially Islam. Am l islamaphobic. Will I be labelled if I speak out against Islam.
FactorXXX - on 20 Jun 2017
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

Will I be labelled if I speak out against Islam.

Your name will also go the list...
off-duty - on 20 Jun 2017
In reply to handofgod:

I think there are serious issues at the moment.

1)The 2 recent terror attacks by Islamist terrorists.

The drain on policing as a result of these incidents is staggering.
Having had a period of cohesion we now appear to be facing a backlash against terrorism which is being dismissed as Islamophobia and racism.
This is resulting in a divide between left and right becoming far deeper and more entrenched - because there are a large number of "the general public" who appear to align themselves as "against terrorism" and object to being written off as racist/fascist/nazis (in a similar way to those who voted Brexit).

2) The Grenfell tower disaster.

This is draining policing resources. It is being capitalised on by the left as a cause celebre and bring used shamelessly to attack the government and authority (and by extension the police).
It appears to be being used to instigate protest by the professional left wing protestors, which contain a significant minority who won't comply with any policing requests and who pose a real risk of damage and violent protest.
This fire-stoking is further heightening tensions between immigrant and non- immigrant communities (and thus more left/right polarisation).

3) The Finsbury mosque attack.

This is causing a significant drain on police resources. It offers the opportunity for the left to polarise further against the right. It offers the right (and that right of centre "general public" ) the opportunity to polarise further against both Muslims - as they see the safeguarding and additional patrolling being put in place, and against the left as they shut down debate by accusing everyone of being racist etc...
It further creates divide between Muslims and non-Muslims creating opportunities for backlash and hate.

4)This is all currently being done under the background of Ramadan with further focus on dangers and risks to Muslims and non- Muslims.

All the while there is a reduced police force working ridiculous shifts, and neglecting core policing as the next disaster strikes.

My personal opinion regarding this summer?
It ain't good.
David Martin - on 20 Jun 2017
In reply to off-duty:

I don't normally agree with you, but I share the sentiment.
off-duty - on 20 Jun 2017
In reply to David Martin:

> I don't normally agree with you, but I share the sentiment.

I think we agree more often than you might think ;-)

(Clearly someone doesn't like that though... )
Siward on 20 Jun 2017
In reply to off-duty:

A lot of sense there.

I'm increasingly concerned about the state of politics generally in this country. Society seems to be increasingly polarised, with adherents to one ideology or another almost religious in their fervent beliefs.

I think there is a real problem with social media and the echo chamber effect it has. It's so easy only to be delivered views with which one agrees, whilst being shielded from alternative points of view and to dismiss them as evil.

Then we get idiots like McDonnell exhorting people to ignore the ballot box and take to the streets. If he'd said that before the election my vote would have gone elsewhere.

I've been ruminating on this a lot recently, as have many of us I'm sure. My conclusions? They're difficult to formulate but I am becoming more and more antagonistic toward ideologues, party faithful of any hue included, who proclaim that they have it right and everyone else has it wrong. Those who preach from a position of certainty. I think true proportional representation may be the only way we can dilute the lunatics.

Martin W on 20 Jun 2017
In reply to Lemony:

> Really? There's plenty of plaudits and aplenty of apologists for his actions on social media.

> edit: for example the son of the bloke who hired out the van is being quoted as saying:

> "It’s my dads company I don’t get involved, it's a shame they don’t hire out a steam rollers or tanks could have done a tidy job then"

> Charmer.

Who has now had his collar felt: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-40347813

They can trace you from a disgustingly offensive posting on Facebook - who knew? Well, pretty much everybody except for this sad, dimwitted excuse for a human being, it would seem.
Mark Edwards - on 20 Jun 2017
In reply to Siward:

> ....I think true proportional representation may be the only way we can dilute the lunatics.

Would proportional representation really change anything? Isn’t that still pandering to the Political Parties?
How about a form of direct democracy where all the people can contribute to the direction of the country? Why leave it to the so called ‘political elite’.
Personally I think it’s way past time that we look for a 21st century alternative to the 19th century version so favoured by the Political Parties.
Electronic Direct Democracy is now possible as never before in human history.
Let’s take Brexit as an example. We were given a binary option to a complex problem. There are opportunities and there are risks. We are all going to either benefit from the opportunity or suffer from the fall-out. Shouldn’t we all have an option to express our opinions or just roll over and leave it to the established political parties who have their own agendas?


elsewhere on 20 Jun 2017
In reply to Mark Edwards:
> Electronic Direct Democracy is now possible as never before in human history.

Unlike bits of paper and stubby pencils, that process is opaque to anybody not able to verify the source code and all aspects of the implementation. It's also vulnerable to Putin, particularly when we have government keen on back-doors and against strong encryption.

1poundSOCKS - on 20 Jun 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> There are 3 "sides" - Islamic extremists, Anti-Islamic & racist extremists, and in the middle the vast majority of people who refuse to get drawn into these extreme groups.

You really think I can be bothered arguing how many sides there are?
L Darren - on 20 Jun 2017
In reply to handofgod:

For a civil war to break out there has to be enough people willing to join the cause. The evidence suggests that in relative terms there are only a handful of individuals in the Muslim and Non Muslim communities that see a cause for violence against each other. Therefore absolutely no civil wars, only people known as terrorists, who are in a bracket of their own, trying to kill innocent people who just want to get on with life in peace, and as long as it stays that way their cause will be in vain!
Lusk - on 20 Jun 2017
In reply to Darren:

Agreed, absolutely no chance of civil war.
Trouble is, this is classic rioting weather.
I bet the Police are getting really twitchy at the moment.
MG - on 20 Jun 2017
In reply to Mark Edwards:

>

> Let’s take Brexit as an example. We were given a binary option to a complex problem.

Which is exactly why direct democracy is a really rubbish idea. Governed by the latest tabloid headline would be diasterous.
abseil on 20 Jun 2017
In reply to handofgod:

I thought a war was an armed fight between large opposing groups? So my answer is - no, the UK is not on the verge of civil war.
Mark Edwards - on 20 Jun 2017
In reply to MG:
> Which is exactly why direct democracy is a really rubbish idea. Governed by the latest tabloid headline would be diasterous.

But not everyone reads the tabloids. Some people even feel confident enough to have their own ideas.

It seems to work for the Swiss and some American states so why couldn’t it work here?

Or are you really happy to leave all the important decisions to those whose total experience of life is what the whips tell them to do in the Palace of Westminster or on the EU gravy train?

Stichtplate on 20 Jun 2017
In reply to MG:

> Which is exactly why direct democracy is a really rubbish idea. Governed by the latest tabloid headline would be diasterous.

Where as May would never be swayed by a Daily Mail headline. LOL.
Mark Edwards - on 20 Jun 2017
In reply to elsewhere:

> Unlike bits of paper and stubby pencils, that process is opaque to anybody not able to verify the source code ...

Oh yes?
And walking into a community center and telling a stranger your address is such a secure method.


MG - on 20 Jun 2017
In reply to Mark Edwards:


> It seems to work for the Swiss and some American states so why couldn’t it work here?

The Swiss have some, limited direct rule that works to an extent. They are also Swiss. I don't think it works at all well in the US

> Or are you really happy to leave all the important decisions to those

...with a professional civil service to provide research, support and advice about complex decisions. Yes I am. Look at the mess they often make - why would ignorant (or even informed) voters who gave decisions brief consideration do better? It's a fantasy to think governing is better done by lay people - you wouldn't suggest it with any other role such as airline pilot, or solicitor or mechanic.

Stichtplate on 20 Jun 2017
In reply to MG:

I'd rather trust 40 million people with a series of complex decisions than a handful of people with huge egos and delusions of grandeur.
bouldery bits - on 20 Jun 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> If you want to bring it down to 2 sides, then you have those who are motivated by hate and ignorance, and those who are motivated by love and understanding. Pick your side

Can I pick the side motivated by cake?
ads.ukclimbing.com
Timmd on 20 Jun 2017
In reply to Siward:
> A lot of sense there.

> I'm increasingly concerned about the state of politics generally in this country. Society seems to be increasingly polarised, with adherents to one ideology or another almost religious in their fervent beliefs.

> I think there is a real problem with social media and the echo chamber effect it has. It's so easy only to be delivered views with which one agrees, whilst being shielded from alternative points of view and to dismiss them as evil.

I've noticed this on Facebook and Youtube, you get some youtube videos of the 'Heroic Englishman does x' kind, and there's loads of hatred in the comments towards Muslims, the middle class, immigrants, the left, gay people, and liberals. Some of my pro Remain friends on facebook didn't seem to be able accept that people could have voted for Brexit for reasons which weren't bigoted and ignorant or anti Europe, too, they couldn't see beyond the image they'd created of who Brexit voters were/are.

It's rather worrying.

> I've been ruminating on this a lot recently, as have many of us I'm sure. My conclusions? They're difficult to formulate but I am becoming more and more antagonistic toward ideologues, party faithful of any hue included, who proclaim that they have it right and everyone else has it wrong. Those who preach from a position of certainty. I think true proportional representation may be the only way we can dilute the lunatics.

I think I agree with proportional representation as being a good way forward.
Post edited at 22:29
GrahamD - on 20 Jun 2017
In reply to Stichtplate:

> I'd rather trust 40 million people with a series of complex decisions than a handful of people with huge egos and delusions of grandeur.

I certainly wouldn't. I can't think of anything worse than mob rule. In any case you still need someone to implement the will of the people. Most people couldn't be arsed
Stichtplate on 20 Jun 2017
In reply to GrahamD:

> I certainly wouldn't. I can't think of anything worse than mob rule. In any case you still need someone to implement the will of the people. Most people couldn't be arsed

I'm not suggesting mob rule, I'm suggesting involving people directly in their own governance. Our current system seems to be devolving into rule by grotesques and media whores.
Or are you happy with the direction our current version of democracy is taking us?
elsewhere on 20 Jun 2017
In reply to Mark Edwards:

> Oh yes?

> And walking into a community center and telling a stranger your address is such a secure method.

Not so easy for Putin to do that.

SenzuBean - on 21 Jun 2017
In reply to MG:

> Which is exactly why direct democracy is a really rubbish idea. Governed by the latest tabloid headline would be diasterous.

I don't see why there couldn't be a hybrid approach. You either decide to be represented by a representative, or you decide to vote for yourself (on EVERY issue).
If you miss a vote - too bad. This would allow there to be basic comprehension testing before voting on an issue (if you need a driving license to drive a car, then you damn well should need some vetting before voting on the future of the country) - if you didn't know, and didn't bother to research for the 'basic comprehension test' (for example) that there are elected MEPs representing the UK in the EU - your vote is invalid. The fact that you can transfer to a representative should (ideally) mean that having comprehension tests on individual voters is not seen as being controversial, as if you're not smart enough to pass these you still get full voting rights by choosing a representative.
Unfortunately I know damn well this won't happen. The concept of "rights" in the West has become detached from that of "responsibilities" - i.e. society doesn't believe that when they have a right (e.g. the right to vote on issues), they also have corresponding responsibilities that must not be neglected (e.g. the responsibility to know what the hell you're voting on).
David Martin - on 21 Jun 2017
In reply to Lemony:

> Really? There's plenty of plaudits and aplenty of apologists for his actions on social media.

Haven't seen the same myself. But I was referring to an entire swathe of Muslim society which, if not supportive of ISIS, at least views questioning of Islam as grounds for death. I don't think the usual keyboard warriors found on internet forums quite matches in organisation and size a wide-spread religious dogma with state support.

> edit: for example the son of the bloke who hired out the van is being quoted as saying:
> "It’s my dads company I don’t get involved, it's a shame they don’t hire out a steam rollers or tanks could have done a tidy job then"
> Charmer.

Maybe I'm a bit dark, and I'm not saying I endorse, condone or support his view in any way. But I found the comment somewhat amusing. No filter, zero fvcks given. Probably a toerag, but it sounds like it may have been a bit tongue-in-cheek.
GrahamD - on 21 Jun 2017
In reply to Stichtplate:

> I'm not suggesting mob rule, I'm suggesting involving people directly in their own governance. Our current system seems to be devolving into rule by grotesques and media whores.

> Or are you happy with the direction our current version of democracy is taking us?

I'm not happy, no, but I see the greater involvement of a generally uninformed populace as a leading to greater rule by grotesques and media whores.

What we actually need is more strategic leadership and far less pandering to opinion polls and for people to back that strategic view.
Lemony - on 21 Jun 2017
In reply to David Martin:
> Maybe I'm a bit dark, and I'm not saying I endorse, condone or support his view in any way. But I found the comment somewhat amusing. No filter, zero fvcks given. Probably a toerag, but it sounds like it may have been a bit tongue-in-cheek.

Good, and I'll assume that you'd give the same benefit of the doubt to him if he were a muslim endorsing the London Bridge attackers.
Post edited at 09:49
seankenny - on 21 Jun 2017
In reply to David Martin:

> Haven't seen the same myself. But I was referring to an entire swathe of Muslim society which, if not supportive of ISIS, at least views questioning of Islam as grounds for death. I don't think the usual keyboard warriors found on internet forums quite matches in organisation and size a wide-spread religious dogma with state support.

> Maybe I'm a bit dark, and I'm not saying I endorse, condone or support his view in any way. But I found the comment somewhat amusing. No filter, zero fvcks given. Probably a toerag, but it sounds like it may have been a bit tongue-in-cheek.

Zero f*cks given if you're a white person, endorsing a dangerous dogma if you're not. Oh, the double standards!
Thrudge on 21 Jun 2017
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:
> The thing I find worrying is the chance of a knee jerk reaction to limit freedom of speech. Theresa May is starting to use the term 'Islamophobic' beside words like 'radicalised' which could have all kinds of consequences with her other penchants for controlling the internet and spying on everyone. It has nothing to do with violence or radicalization to have a phobia for Islam or North Korean communism, or religion in general . The path of outlawing 'Islamophobic' speech leads towards blasphemy laws.

I agree. 'Islamophobia' is now illegal in Canada; the term is specifically used - not merely inferred - in the legislation. The legislation does not define 'Islamophobia', leaving it open to interpretations that include any criticism of Islam. It is, in effect, an Islamic blasphemy law, not to mention a massive and successful assault on free speech.

The Canadian law is not an aberration, it's of a piece with a worldwide movement to impose a global ban. The Organization for Islamic Cooperation, a pressure group of Muslim majority nations within the UN, has for years campaigned to have 'Islamophobia' categorised as a crime against humanity.

Hands up everyone who'd like a UK law that can send you to jail for criticising a religion? (Put your hand down Theresa, I wasn't asking you).
Thrudge on 21 Jun 2017
In reply to MG:
> Which is exactly why direct democracy is a really rubbish idea. Governed by the latest tabloid headline would be diasterous.

There's an excellent satirical film on this topic, "The Rise and Rise of Michael Rimmer" with Peter Cook as the lead.
jkarran - on 21 Jun 2017
In reply to Thrudge:

> Hands up everyone who'd like a UK law that can send you to jail for criticising a religion? (Put your hand down Theresa, I wasn't asking you).

I'd like laws against inciting violence robustly upheld, blind to colour and creed.

With care I believe they could be extended slightly to take the heat out of the growing problems of polarisation in our society facilitated by widespread and public 'criticism of religion' if that's what you choose to call it, it being today's respectable face of what was once more bluntly and just as shamelessly known as Paki bashing. It's something I thought we might have moved past but alas no, we have troubled times ahead.
jk
tom_in_edinburgh - on 21 Jun 2017
In reply to jkarran:
> With care I believe they could be extended slightly to take the heat out of the growing problems of polarisation in our society facilitated by widespread and public 'criticism of religion' if that's what you choose to call it, it being today's respectable face of what was once more bluntly and just as shamelessly known as Paki bashing.

The problem is a large group of people acting on an irrational set of ideas prevalent in one geographic region which conflict with another set of irrational ideas prevalent in our geographic region.

Passing laws to stop people pointing out that religious ideas are irrational isn't going to solve this problem. We can send spacecraft to Mars, clone animals and build artificially intelligent systems, we really don't need this two thousand year old mumbo-jumbo any more.
Post edited at 11:54
jkarran - on 21 Jun 2017
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:
> The problem is a large group of people acting on an irrational set of ideas prevalent in one geographic region which conflict with another set of irrational ideas prevalent in our geographic region.

That's your interpretation. It isn't mine.

> Passing laws to stop people pointing out that religious ideas are irrational isn't going to solve this problem.

I don't suppose it would and wouldn't support such a law.

> We can send spacecraft to Mars, clone animals and build artificially intelligent systems, we really don't need this two thousand year old mumbo-jumbo any more.

Outside of a few repressive cultures need doesn't come into it.
jk
Post edited at 12:02
Thrudge on 21 Jun 2017
In reply to jkarran:
> I'd like laws against inciting violence robustly upheld, blind to colour and creed.

I agree.

> 'criticism of religion' if that's what you choose to call it, it being today's respectable face of what was once more bluntly and just as shamelessly known as Paki bashing.

I think this is hysterical nonsense. It is wildly inaccurate, wilfully blind, and plays directly into the hands of Islamists. It is, in fact, in agreement with them.

Criticising a religion does not make one a racist, or a violent thug. Religions are sets of ideas. No idea deserves special status as untouchable or unquestionable. Giving them such status leads directly to totalitarianism.

Regarding Islam specifically, why should it merit special status? Christian doctrine is routinely mocked in the west; many of it's most deeply held and cherished beliefs are derided, dismantled, and discarded by everyone from Dave down the pub to high profile and highly respected public figures like Dawkins. Yet no one bats an eyelid. No one demands new laws to ban their speech, no one labels them racists, or 'haters', or 'Christophobes'. No one goes on marches to shut them up, no one kills them for denying Christ, and no one receives credible death threats for critical comments.

Perhaps I've just answered my own question. Perhaps Islam deserves special status because if we don't grant it there's always going to be a ready supply of its adherents willing to commit mass murder to bring us into line, and their media-savvy allies to chastise us as racists and oppressors.
jkarran - on 21 Jun 2017
In reply to Thrudge:

> I think this is hysterical nonsense. It is wildly inaccurate, wilfully blind, and plays directly into the hands of Islamists. It is, in fact, in agreement with them.

I disagree.
jk
wintertree - on 21 Jun 2017
In reply to jkarran:

> With care I believe they could be extended slightly to take the heat out of the growing problems of polarisation in our society facilitated by widespread and public 'criticism of religion' if that's what you choose to call it, it being today's respectable face of what was once more bluntly and just as shamelessly known as Paki bashing. It's something I thought we might have moved past but alas no, we have troubled times ahead.

I hope the laws are not extended in this direction.

If there is a growing problem with racism, this should be tackled though existing or future legislation on the grounds of racial discrimination. If there is a growing problem with people being unfairly discriminated against because of their religious beliefs, this should be tackled though existing or future legislation on the grounds of racial discrimination.

Legislation against criticism of religion is a fundamental threat to the core concepts of a liberal democracy. We are already walking this dangerous path. Consider for example the media self-censoring criticism - and even non critical content of certain forms - of one particular religion due to some combination of fear of violent repercussions from a small minority and pressure from aspects of the state.
Post edited at 13:15
Timmd on 21 Jun 2017
In reply to Thrudge:
There's very much that I agree with in your post, along the lines that Islam should be as open to criticism as any other religion, but would you agree that criticising Islam can be a more acceptable mask for anybody who is already going to be intolerant of people very different from them, too?

It strikes me that there's a shade of grey, on the one hand there's jkarran's perspective, and there's what I agree with in your post about no religion being beyond criticism on the other, and there's the people in the middle who may enjoy the chance to be 'acceptably intolerant' - for want of a better way of putting it.

Chances are if it wasn't for the people who are intolerant at heart, it could be easier to safely be critical of Islam without the risk of emboldening anybody who'd want to intimidate the average Muslim in the street etc.
Post edited at 13:36
seankenny - on 21 Jun 2017
In reply to wintertree:

But I've seen quite a lot of criticism of Islam. Haven't you?

David Martin - on 21 Jun 2017
In reply to Lemony:
> Good, and I'll assume that you'd give the same benefit of the doubt to him if he were a muslim endorsing the London Bridge attackers.

I'm not going to pretend to be traumatised over isolated cases, any more than I'll pretend to be traumatised by the death of someone I don't know in a road accident hundreds of miles from where I live.

"Five Lions"-esque plots like this, or the half arsed attempt by the airport terminal attacker in Scotland, do strike me as amusing. A quiet chuckle at ultimately ineffectual attempts at grand terror gestures may be a more sensible response than yet more "outrage".

I certainly don't reserve that view for one race/religion over another. In fact I was watching a clip recently of a couple of would-be British-Muslim zealots/Jihadi's, themselves being shown footage of ISIS executions while they dined on KFC at home in Luton somewhere. Asked to comment, their responses were a concern...and I was obviously supposed to be brought to within spitting distance of writing a letter of disgust to the editor of some red top. I was more amused by their banality and the way they themselves were a little uncomfortable by what they saw.

It's a bit sad if we're getting to the point where what elicits a laugh starts getting policed, and anything other than outrage implies some bigoted or dastardly thought process.
Post edited at 13:52
Thrudge on 21 Jun 2017
In reply to jkarran:
> I disagree.

Of course, and I'd be interested to hear your arguments as to why.

I'd also like to ask a question, if I may. Would you regard it as racist if I were to criticise Christianity? (I'm white, BTW).
THE.WALRUS - on 21 Jun 2017
In reply to jkarran:

" 'criticism of religion' if that's what you choose to call it, it being today's respectable face of what was once more bluntly and just as shamelessly known as Paki bashing. "

What utter drivel.

I thought 'the left' had moved away from labling anyone who disagrees with their point-of-view of view as a yob, or a racist, or a (fill in as applicable)_____ist. Clearly not.

If there's one thing we've learned from recent events, it is that closing down the debate like this is one of the root-causes if the problems were experiencing.

David Martin - on 21 Jun 2017
In reply to seankenny:
> But I've seen quite a lot of criticism of Islam. Haven't you?

Possibly not enough. And it seems Islam ultimately holds the final trump card, as in the prophet images issue, with a ready militia willing to resort to violence.

There are few areas of culture in the UK that I can think of that are out of bounds for ridicule. Those that are sacrosanct are usually so as a result of sound rational reasoning, safety, or are open to discussion, and not based on ludicrous ancient scriptures. We had the enlightenment for a reason.

I don't harbour any particular dislike of Islam but, compared to most other dominant religions here, it does leave itself and its followers open to derision given the rules and precepts it potentially imposes on those who aren't its adherents.

We are happy to discard old harmful elements of our own culture, and will attack cultural traits that often go hand-in-hand with Islam (e.g. FGM, capital punishment, etc.). But when it comes to suggesting underlying theocratic rationales that may give rise to those extremes, we're suddenly at risk of being labelled Islamophobic.
Post edited at 14:10
Timmd on 21 Jun 2017
In reply to THE.WALRUS:

> I thought 'the left' had moved away from labling anyone who disagrees with their point-of-view of view as a yob, or a racist, or a (fill in as applicable)_____ist. Clearly not.

If that's a bad thing, generalising about 'the left' probably is, too?

> If there's one thing we've learned from recent events, it is that closing down the debate like this is one of the root-causes if the problems were experiencing.

I agree.
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 21 Jun 2017
In reply to THE.WALRUS:

"If there's one thing we've learned from recent events, it is that closing down the debate like this is one of the root-causes if the problems were experiencing."

hurling the "racist" grenade is the last refuge of the retreating baizuo ;-)
jkarran - on 21 Jun 2017
In reply to wintertree:

> If there is a growing problem with racism, this should be tackled though existing or future legislation on the grounds of racial discrimination. If there is a growing problem with people being unfairly discriminated against because of their religious beliefs, this should be tackled though existing or future legislation on the grounds of racial discrimination.

I agree, that is essentially what I was attempting to convey, it appears I was not clear enough when I suggested care was needed but that the law may be proving slightly inadequate at present.

> Legislation against criticism of religion is a fundamental threat to the core concepts of a liberal democracy.

I agree and I don't think I've stated or implied otherwise.

My point is that for many the racism of the past which never went away but grew socially unacceptable has found a new outlet in the form of religious prejudice which we still widely accept. Prejudice and legitimate critique are not the same thing.
jk
Thrudge on 21 Jun 2017
In reply to Timmd:
> would you agree that criticising Islam can be a more acceptable mask for anybody who is already going to be intolerant of people very different from them, too?

Yes, I would agree, in fact I think it would be foolish to argue otherwise. Although I would add the caveat that ideas need to be separated from individuals. If Hitler told me grass was green, I would not vehemently defend the position that it is in fact blue. Likewise, if Martin Luther King told me fish rode bicycles, I wouldn't conclude that it must be true because, hey, he's a great guy. My analogies are little crude, but I hope they get the idea across adequately.


> It strikes me that there's a shade of grey, on the one hand there's jkarran's perspective

I don't think it's accurate to characterise Mr Karran's position as a shade of grey. He states quite clearly that he equates criticism of religion with racially motivated violence. That seems to me to be a view on the extreme end of a spectrum.

> Chances are if it wasn't for the people who are intolerant at heart, it could be easier to safely be critical of Islam without the risk of emboldening anybody who'd want to intimidate the average Muslim in the street etc.

I agree, except that there's an omission here. If we could wave a magic wand and make the intolerant disappear, we would by definition be safer from emboldening those who would intimidate Muslims in the street. We would not, unfortunately, be any safer from Islamists or their sympathisers - unless the wand made them disappear, too.

On a related note, I'd like to counter the notion (this is not a notion I attribute to you) that we are somehow an intolerant and/or inherently racist society. Britain is one of the most ethnically, religiously, and culturally diverse nations on the planet. We are, relatively speaking, a very crowded little island and though packed in cheek by jowl we on the whole get along very well together. This is not a nation of angry white supremacists bearing down on poor beleaguered Muslims, despite what liars from terrorist front organisations might claim on the television and in the press.

I think our history of tolerance is something of which we can rightfully proud. I'm not denying any of the racist incidents in our past, but I am saying that they are aberrations in an overall very good picture.

I also think we should be much prouder than we are of our intolerance. Our intolerance of fascism, of totalitarianism, of religious authoritarianism, and of racism. Next time you're in the pub, try announcing your views on the supremacy of the white race in a voice loud enough to be heard across the room. In a pub packed shoulder to shoulder with white people, you'll get lots of dirty looks, no end of arguments, and you'll certainly be barred. You might even get punched. By white people.


Thrudge on 21 Jun 2017
In reply to THE.WALRUS:
> If there's one thing we've learned from recent events, it is that closing down the debate like this is one of the root-causes if the problems were experiencing.

I agree, and I think we've learnt something else very useful, too. We've learnt not to shut up (or even care) if someone calls us racist without any justification. The term has been so overused and unjustly applied so many times that it's now heading for the status of a playground insult. Give it another few years and it's going to be as effective as countering an argument with, "Well, YOU'RE a smelly idiot". The crypto-fascists of the left have shot their bolt on this one :-D
Pursued by a bear - on 21 Jun 2017
In reply to handofgod:

> I mean; it really wouldn't take much for rioting like we saw back in August 2011 to rage up and down the country again

If the current pleasant weather continues for a month or six weeks, that should do it.

> but this time in the name of islam.

Or because of wealth disparities, or as a consequence of another housing disaster, or just because too many young people have been too hot for too long and are angry about something they can't quite put a name to but they're angry, right, and they're hot, and let's start a riot because we're angry and hot and someone's got to take our young angry hotness seriously, right, and they're going to pay for letting it get to this and ... (assume this carries on until some rascally drunk young person smashes a shop window or starts throwing things at a patrol car).

> In this day and age where nothing seems to shock anymore; I guess anything is possible.

Well, not quite. I suspect that an outbreak of everyone being altogether reasonable about things remains as distant as ever. But riots, quite possibly. Civil war, no.

T.
jkarran - on 21 Jun 2017
In reply to Thrudge:
> I don't think it's accurate to characterise Mr Karran's position as a shade of grey. He states quite clearly that he equates criticism of religion with racially motivated violence.

No I don't. I believe those who historically indulged openly in racist thought, behavior and language have found a socially acceptable outlet in the 'criticism of religion'. Others may legitimately critique religion and religious practise but behind those people with legitimate concerns (I'd consider myself one of those by the way) lurk others harboring harmful prejudice.

> I also think we should be much prouder than we are of our intolerance. Our intolerance of fascism, of totalitarianism, of religious authoritarianism, and of racism. Next time you're in the pub, try announcing your views on the supremacy of the white race in a voice loud enough to be heard across the room. In a pub packed shoulder to shoulder with white people, you'll get lots of dirty looks, no end of arguments, and you'll certainly be barred. You might even get punched. By white people.

I agree but try instead anouncing your views on the risk posed by Muslims and in today's world you'll find a few willing to mutter something against you and look away and plenty willing to cheer you on. It's not an unusual conversation to overhear even in my rather gentrified locals.
jk
Post edited at 15:01
wintertree - on 21 Jun 2017
In reply to jkarran:

> My point is that for many the racism of the past which never went away but grew socially unacceptable has found a new outlet in the form of religious prejudice which we still widely accept. Prejudice and legitimate critique are not the same thing.

That I can ageee with, and I see it as a problem because the reaction against racially motivated religious prejudice against personal belief could lead to further limitations on open examination and criticism of organised religions.
Thrudge on 21 Jun 2017
In reply to jkarran:

> No I don't.

In which case, my apologies for misunderstanding you and thanks for clarifying.

> I agree but try instead anouncing your views on the risk posed by Muslims and in today's world you'll find a few willing to mutter something against you and look away and plenty willing to cheer you on. It's not an unusual conversation to overhear even in my rather gentrified locals.

I don't have empirical evidence, but I think you're probably right about this. It's not hard to see why this is the case, though. For over a decade now, there has been a global terror campaign conducted with the aim of imposing Islamic law on non-Islamic nations, and it has been quite successful. The war isn't over by a long way, but those prosecuting it have made very significant gains. There's also an increasing awareness of the darker parts of Islamic scripture, such as the urgings to jihad, hatred of the Jews and unbelievers, the detestation of gays, and Mohammed's paedophilia.

If Islam gets a bad reputation based on its scripture, the terrorism of some of it's adherents, and the vile intolerant beliefs of many of its non-terrorist followers, then it's neither unusual nor unreasonable for people to discuss it in negative terms. (I was going to say "it's not unusual", but there was a danger that I might break into song).
THE.WALRUS - on 21 Jun 2017

> I agree but try instead anouncing your views on the risk posed by Muslims and in today's world you'll find a few willing to mutter something against you and look away and plenty willing to cheer you on.

Are you suggesting that we should not speak-out against FGM, ISIS, Jihad, the murder of non-Muslums, the public execution of homosexuals etc etc?



Timmd on 21 Jun 2017
In reply to Thrudge:

> I don't think it's accurate to characterise Mr Karran's position as a shade of grey. He states quite clearly that he equates criticism of religion with racially motivated violence. That seems to me to be a view on the extreme end of a spectrum.

I didn't at all say his point of view was a shade of grey.

> I agree, except that there's an omission here. If we could wave a magic wand and make the intolerant disappear, we would by definition be safer from emboldening those who would intimidate Muslims in the street. We would not, unfortunately, be any safer from Islamists or their sympathisers - unless the wand made them disappear, too.

That's true enough.
seankenny - on 21 Jun 2017
In reply to David Martin:

> But I've seen quite a lot of criticism of Islam. Haven't you?

> Possibly not enough.

So let me get this right. We've had an endless parade of tabloid splashes about Islam. We've had smart articles from scholars and experts in the broadsheets. We've had politicians and conferences and Prevent and think tanks and government task forces and books and pamplets, all critical of Islam. We've had the War on Terror and invading Iraq and white supremecist violence against Muslims.

And yet *still* not enough criticism for you? And you're claiming to be part of the rational Enlightenment project?

Thrudge on 21 Jun 2017
In reply to Timmd:
> I didn't at all say his point of view was a shade of grey.

I accept your rebuttal and apologise.

In my defence, I plead that my interpretation was a reasonable one based on what you wrote, and not a willful misinterpretation. I fully understand that in written communication on a forum one has to strike a balance between excessive brevity that's open to misinterpretation, and excessive explication that's going to make one sound like a Russian novelist. I often err on the latter side, myself.

Thanks for putting me straight.
off-duty - on 21 Jun 2017
In reply to seankenny:

> So let me get this right. We've had an endless parade of tabloid splashes about Islam. We've had smart articles from scholars and experts in the broadsheets. We've had politicians and conferences and Prevent and think tanks and government task forces and books and pamplets, all critical of Islam. We've had the War on Terror and invading Iraq and white supremecist violence against Muslims.

> And yet *still* not enough criticism for you? And you're claiming to be part of the rational Enlightenment project?

I think your examples above are confusing criticism of Islamic terrorism with criticism of Islam.
Which is either ironic, or symptomatic of the inability of many on the left to being able to see the nuance in the "man in the pub's" disquiet at terrorism whilst they are happy to associate with Muslims.
Timmd on 21 Jun 2017
In reply to Thrudge:
> In which case, my apologies for misunderstanding you and thanks for clarifying.

> I don't have empirical evidence, but I think you're probably right about this. It's not hard to see why this is the case, though. For over a decade now, there has been a global terror campaign conducted with the aim of imposing Islamic law on non-Islamic nations, and it has been quite successful.

Which countries have adopted Islamic law as a result of Islamist terrorism?

> The war isn't over by a long way, but those prosecuting it have made very significant gains. There's also an increasing awareness of the darker parts of Islamic scripture, such as the urgings to jihad, hatred of the Jews and unbelievers, the detestation of gays, and Mohammed's paedophilia. If Islam gets a bad reputation based on its scripture, the terrorism of some of it's adherents, and the vile intolerant beliefs of many of its non-terrorist followers, then it's neither unusual nor unreasonable for people to discuss it in negative terms. (I was going to say "it's not unusual", but there was a danger that I might break into song).

There's many Muslims who'd wish to point out the difference between Muslims and Islamists, I'd perhaps be careful not to group Muslims and Islamist terrorists together too readily. Regarding the darker parts of the Koran, I'm minded to think about the differences between Christians in Africa who are intensely homophobic, and those in the UK, like a gay friend's parents who are wholly accepting of him. As an ex Catholic, too, I've possibly more of an insight than some into the cognitive dissonance that can take place in religious people, or the 'shades of grey' which can exist. Meaning that while people can be nominally a Muslim, a Christian, or a Catholic, it doesn't follow that they strictly follow everything in their holy book, so that what people pick out to focus on can be as much down to their personalities and how 'good' they are already (and what helps to make life make sense to them), which is why you get some bigoted American or African Christians saying gays are going to hell, and some British ones not doing. I don't think it's implausible that the same may apply to Muslims, meaning that finding out what it is they believe as people, or follow from the Koran, could be a better thing to do than to assume they follow the darker passages due to them being Muslims.
Post edited at 23:50
Timmd on 21 Jun 2017
In reply to Thrudge:

No worries
THE.WALRUS - on 22 Jun 2017
In reply to handofgod:
To go back to the Op; I suspect that Civil War is highly unlikely, but there is potential for something far worse than, say, the Duggan Riots...i.e. several thousand misguided idiots setting things on fire and chucking bricks at each other and the police for a couple of weeks.

Following critisism of their failure to prevent the Manchester Attack, MI5 announced that they are currently monitoring 23000 suspected Islamist terrorists and sympathisers nationally...and have thwarted a dozen or so mass casualty attacks over the last couple of years.

Whatsmore, 600 or so of the 23000 are military trained veterans of the conflicts in Syria and Afghanistan who have combat experience and competence.

Some, as we saw in Paris, have levels of training, experience and capability more akin to Special Forces than 'four lions'.

They have access to weapons and their stated intent is to kill as many of us as possible.

MI5 and the police have made no secret about the fact that they cannot stop all of the attacks. Some will succeed.

On the other side of the fence, we have a growing number of increasingly violent, racist, Islamophobic white people.

'Prevent' have expressed their concern that the numbers of these people are on the increase - with 40% of all referals since the Manchester attack being violent, white, Islamophobes (where previously, the number was negligable).

Whilst they are less well organised and less capable than the Islamists, they demonstrated their ability to kill and injure at Finsbury Park.

They (he) have also announced their intent - to kill muslims.

All this against a background of hatred, mistrust, polarisation and mass murder....and social media on both sides pushing for more violence and attacks.

As if this wasn't bad enough, the police force and domestic security service have been squeezed, underfunded and diminished in the name of austerity to the extent that even the Commander of the Met, usually a nodding-dog standing in line for an OBE, has spoken out.

There is potential for much more than a few weeks of riots here.

If there are any more 'white van attacks', marauding knifemen or suicide bombs at childrens concerts I suspect we are likely to see the kind if civil unrest and damage that will not be easy to repair....a prolonged campaign of tit-for-tat murder, perhaps. Troops back on tbe streets? Curfews?

I get a sense that we are in new territory, with no obvious light at the end of tne tunnel.
Post edited at 01:55
summo on 22 Jun 2017
In reply to THE.WALRUS:

Also the more Corbyn and McDonnell stir up anti capitalist / Tory unrest, like yesterday, the more police are drawn away from other duties.

Organising a peaceful march is one thing, but McDonnell trying to incite a million people onto the streets, some of whom will probably turn violet must be committing some sort of offence.
David Martin - on 22 Jun 2017
In reply to summo:

It's a shame really. As much as the election and its campaign did wonders for exposing May and her companions for their incompetence and blinkered approach, Labour's success and subsequent behaviour is vindicating some of stories the right-wing press came out with about Corbyn.
Doug on 22 Jun 2017
In reply to summo:



> ... some of whom will probably turn violet must be committing some sort of offence.

is it now an offence to change colour ?

(sorry couldn't resist)
summo on 22 Jun 2017
In reply to Doug:

> is it now an offence to change colour ?

> (sorry couldn't resist)

I go red with rage at so called smart text sometimes, so of course it's fine.
FactorXXX - on 22 Jun 2017
In reply to Doug:

is it now an offence to change colour ?

I wonder if the real extremists turn ultraviolet?
seankenny - on 22 Jun 2017
In reply to off-duty:

No, I really am not. There's plenty of criticism of Islam in all those sources I've mentioned. Note that I'm not saying whether those criticisms are justified or not, merely that there's a lot of it.

Of course evidence suggests that people with non-white sounding names don't get such good jobs, or paid as muc, so perhaps the man in the pub isn't quite as comfy being around Muslims as you suggest.

As for "disquiet at terrorism" - I'm reasonably left wing and think it's barbaric and disgusting. I know you think I don't get the difference, the nuance, but really it's not that difficult a concept to get, what you're suggesting, is it? I'm simply saying that the lines aren't as clear as you believe they are.

> I think your examples above are confusing criticism of Islamic terrorism with criticism of Islam.

> Which is either ironic, or symptomatic of the inability of many on the left to being able to see the nuance in the "man in the pub's" disquiet at terrorism whilst they are happy to associate with Muslims.

Jim Fraser - on 22 Jun 2017
In reply to handofgod:

Civil war would probably be cheaper than Brexit so you could probably sell it to the Tories since they don't care how many people die.
jkarran - on 22 Jun 2017
In reply to Thrudge:
> In which case, my apologies for misunderstanding you and thanks for clarifying.
> I don't have empirical evidence, but I think you're probably right about this. It's not hard to see why this is the case, though. For over a decade now, there has been a global terror campaign conducted with the aim of imposing Islamic law on non-Islamic nations, and it has been quite successful.

It really hasn't!

> The war isn't over by a long way, but those prosecuting it have made very significant gains.

We're not fighting or losing a religious war.

> There's also an increasing awareness of the darker parts of Islamic scripture, such as the urgings to jihad, hatred of the Jews and unbelievers, the detestation of gays, and Mohammed's paedophilia.

See it's this sort of thing I have some concerns about.
jk
Post edited at 10:15
jkarran - on 22 Jun 2017
In reply to summo:

> Organising a peaceful march is one thing, but McDonnell trying to incite a million people onto the streets, some of whom will probably turn violet must be committing some sort of offence.

We have a right to organise and engage in peaceful protest, whether that's alone or with a million fellow protesters. It's a vital part of our democracy. Organisers have responsibilities but you're making a very serious allegation of criminal offence. Back it up, what criminal offence has the shadow chancellor committed?
jk
summo on 22 Jun 2017
In reply to jkarran:
> We have a right to organise and engage in peaceful protest, whether that's alone or with a million fellow protesters. It's a vital part of our democracy. Organisers have responsibilities but you're making a very serious allegation of criminal offence. Back it up, what criminal offence has the shadow chancellor committed?

Peaceful protest is fine, stop the war against Blair being an example.

The group's McDonnell is verbally calling to arms don't have a peaceful track record and even this new groups name would draw in people who think they can over throw an elected government at any cost. Offence, something related to inciting violence or criminal damage, perhaps terrorism as it is for his own political aims, of forcing another GE. I'm no lawyer though, but either way it is seriously wrong of a senior politician to be calling people onto the streets in a war of hate against any elected government. It will only end in trouble and this coming from the party that claims folk should talk, not fight.
Post edited at 11:14
jkarran - on 22 Jun 2017
In reply to summo:

> The group's McDonnell is verbally calling to arms don't have a peaceful track record and even this new groups name would draw in people who think they can over throw an elected government at any cost. Offence, something related to inciting violence or criminal damage, perhaps terrorism as it is for his own political aims, of forcing another GE.

So call it in. You wouldn't want to be complicit in supporting terrorism by failing to report your fears to the authorities would you. Police anti-terrorist hotline on 0800 789 321.
jk
summo on 22 Jun 2017
In reply to jkarran:

> So call it in. You wouldn't want to be complicit in supporting terrorism by failing to report your fears to the authorities would you. Police anti-terrorist hotline on 0800 789 321.

> jk

I'll leave it to the London luvvies when the haters start smashing up shops, cars etc.. of Labour voters, not just the evil rich tax avoiding Tory elite.
Timmd on 22 Jun 2017
Thrudge on 22 Jun 2017
In reply to Timmd:
> Which countries have adopted Islamic law as a result of Islamist terrorism?

In terms of changes to the law, to the best of my knowledge, only Canada has actually written something into the legislature.

In terms of imposing Islamic blasphemy law through terror and intense political pressure: most of western Europe and, to a slightly lesser extent, the US has been affected. None of these countries - many of whom have long and proud traditions of freedom of the press and free speech - would republish the Danish cartoon of Mohammed. They took this position because to publish would run the risk of their staff being murdered. Likewise, the Charlie Hebdo murders. The threat is made plainly and simply - insult our prophet and we will kill you.

It's also worth remembering that a coalition of Islamic nations sent a delegation to the King of Denmark demanding that he change the law to prevent any future blasphemous publications. They backed up their demands with a threat to destroy the Danish economy.


> There's many Muslims who'd wish to point out the difference between Muslims and Islamists, I'd perhaps be careful not to group Muslims and Islamist terrorists together too readily.

FWIW, I'd broadly agree: Muslim does not equal Islamist. I can't remember who coined the phrase, but it is apt: "Not all Muslims are terrorists, but most terrorists are Muslim". I think it's undeniable that Islam is problem for the west.


> cognitive dissonance... nominally a Muslim, a Christian, or a Catholic, it doesn't follow that they strictly follow everything in their holy book...

This is also my position.

>finding out what it is they believe as people, or follow from the Koran, could be a better thing to do than to assume they follow the darker passages due to them being Muslims.

I agree, and I don't assume all Muslims follow the darker parts of the Koran - in fact it's quite obvious that the majority don't. My intention in pointing to these darker passages is to partially explain why so many in the west dislike Islam; at it's very core is a bloodthirsty paedophile with a message of 'convert or die'. Understanding - let alone accepting - the extreme reverence for Mohammed and the constant exaltation of him as a model Muslim is, to their great credit, impossible for most people.
jkarran - on 22 Jun 2017
In reply to summo:

> I'll leave it to the London luvvies when the haters start smashing up shops, cars etc.. of Labour voters, not just the evil rich tax avoiding Tory elite.

So just to be crystal clear, are you now saying you don't believe John McDonnell has committed a terror offence in calling for protest despite previously claiming he had? Or do you stand by your accusation of serious criminality but can't be arsed to report a terror suspect to the authorities?
jk
THE.WALRUS - on 22 Jun 2017
In reply to jkarran:
Which parts of...

There's also an increasing awareness of the darker parts of Islamic scripture, such as the urgings to jihad, hatred of the Jews and unbelievers, the detestation of gays, and Mohammed's paedophilia.

...do you have a problem with?

These are all well documrnted aspects of radical Islamic belief and the teachings of the Koran.

Spurned by the vast majority of Muslims , but adhered to by the radical few....
Post edited at 13:20
Thrudge on 22 Jun 2017
In reply to jkarran:
> It really hasn't!

I'm afraid it has. Please see my response to Timmd for some examples. Here are a few more examples of the effects of terrorism:

1) UK jail sentences of up to 9 months for leaving bacon sandwiches outside a mosque. *Jail* for offending religious feelings. Youths spraying graffiti on churches receive no such punishment.

2) Sharia courts (over 80 in the UK) where wife beating is frequently covered up as a 'personal and religious matter'.

3) Credible death threats for public figures who speak against Islam.

4) The knee-jerk reactions of many westerners to criticism of Islam, responding with 'racist' and 'Islamophobic' while determinedly avoiding rational discussion.

5) The idea that 'Muslim' is somehow a race rather than an ideology.

6) The stampede to the microphones by western leaders after every terrorist incident to chastise us with the mantra of "Islam is a religion of peace", when it plainly is not. (Top tip to politicians: stop listening to 'community leaders' and read the Koran and the haddith).


> We're not fighting or losing a religious war.

Whilst I'd agree that we're not fighting, we are most certainly losing. We are losing our liberty to critique ideas, we are losing a cultural identity that is predicated on freedom of thought and expression and religion. We are losing
arms, legs, heads and lives to bombers and axemen, and we are losing minds to a totalitarian religion.

As for it being a religious war, those prosecuting it tell us endlessly that it is.


> See it's this sort of thing I have some concerns about.

May I ask why?
Post edited at 13:25
THE.WALRUS - on 22 Jun 2017
In reply to jkarran:

It doesn't have to be a criminal offence to be wrong.

Hijacking the Grenfell disaster and causing massive upset to the victims, deliberately antagonising the police at a time when they are stretched beyond breaking point and putting further pressure on the other emergency services, at a time like this, is a disgrace.

McDonall, and his dimwitted supporters, should hang their heads in shame.
radddogg - on 22 Jun 2017
In reply to Darren:

> Therefore absolutely no civil wars, only people known as terrorists, who are in a bracket of their own, trying to kill innocent people who just want to get on with life in peace, and as long as it stays that way their cause will be in vain!

My conclusion > there will always be nutters so there is no real way to eliminate the threat. These things happen mainly in the large cities so avoid them where possible and you'll be ok. Sad but c'est la vie.

Timmd on 22 Jun 2017
In reply to Thrudge:
> In terms of changes to the law, to the best of my knowledge, only Canada has actually written something into the legislature.

> In terms of imposing Islamic blasphemy law through terror and intense political pressure: most of western Europe and, to a slightly lesser extent, the US has been affected. None of these countries - many of whom have long and proud traditions of freedom of the press and free speech - would republish the Danish cartoon of Mohammed. They took this position because to publish would run the risk of their staff being murdered. Likewise, the Charlie Hebdo murders. The threat is made plainly and simply - insult our prophet and we will kill you.

> It's also worth remembering that a coalition of Islamic nations sent a delegation to the King of Denmark demanding that he change the law to prevent any future blasphemous publications. They backed up their demands with a threat to destroy the Danish economy.

That is concerning, I agree. I somewhat hope that over time Muslims may become more relaxed about things like this, as they live in the west for longer, especially as there's pretty shaky ground for Muslims to mind about pictures of Mohammed. I have the desire to make pictures of him and try and argue the case, but I'm reticent about it.

> FWIW, I'd broadly agree: Muslim does not equal Islamist. I can't remember who coined the phrase, but it is apt: "Not all Muslims are terrorists, but most terrorists are Muslim". I think it's undeniable that Islam is problem for the west.

So what do you want to happen, for Islam to be wiped out from the West? Given the success of Catholicism and the Protestant religion being wiped out from the UK and Europe...............

Going off on a tangent slightly, if, globally, most women are killed by men, does that make it similarly undeniable that men are a problem for women? I just ask as a reminder of the effects which generalisations can have.

> I agree, and I don't assume all Muslims follow the darker parts of the Koran - in fact it's quite obvious that the majority don't.

Yes, I like to hope that the goodness of human nature generally wins through.

> My intention in pointing to these darker passages is to partially explain why so many in the west dislike Islam; at it's very core is a bloodthirsty paedophile with a message of 'convert or die'. Understanding - let alone accepting - the extreme reverence for Mohammed and the constant exaltation of him as a model Muslim is, to their great credit, impossible for most people.

But Muslims are here, and so is what may become a more western interpretation/practice of Islam. I can't help thinking that it's the essential desire of most people to live in peace, and most people's generally good nature which needs to be harnessed in solving any issues.
Post edited at 13:49
lummox - on 22 Jun 2017
In reply to THE.WALRUS:

Au contraire, piniped. Trying to either bury or distract from the shameful attitude to social housing which contributed to this tragic fire is a disgrace. There are many who should hang their heads in shame.
summo on 22 Jun 2017
In reply to jkarran:

Let's wait and see, it's not the 1st of July yet. Let's see what the groups he is appealing towards do on the day. If he gets his million that is a massive policing head ache when they clearly have other things on at the moment, perhaps the Labour party will foot the policing bill and any damage caused?

If you incite violence for religious reasons then that is now an Offence, what about political?
lummox - on 22 Jun 2017
In reply to summo:

Again, if you have any evidence that the Labour party is inciting political violence, take it the police.

Best of luck.
Thrudge on 22 Jun 2017
In reply to Timmd:
> I have the desire to make pictures of him and try and argue the case, but I'm reticent about it.

And with good reason...

> So what do you want to happen, for Islam to be wiped out from the West? Given the success of Catholicism and the Protestant religion being wiped out from the UK and Europe...............

Wiping out Islam in the west - if it could be done with a magic wand, sure. In practical terms, no. Regarding what I want to happen, I'd like to see Islam being taught it's place in the west, just as the Catholic and Protestant churches were. This means no special legal privileges, and no special social consideration. I'd like to see Sharia courts banned (I regard wife-beating as a criminal matter, not a personal or religious one). I'd also like to see swifter deportation of visiting terrorists (the Abu Hamza fiasco was a national disgrace). And those who wish to fight abroad for Isis or similar groups should be permanently prevented from returning rather than allowed in with a shrug of the shoulders and a 'hey, what can you do?' Finally, I'd like our politicians to develop a more robust attitude towards cultural takeover.

> Going off on a tangent slightly, if, globally, most women are killed by men, does that make it similarly undeniable that men are a problem for women? I just ask as a reminder of the effects which generalisations can have.

No, I don't think it is similar. What you say is true, of course, but in most cases the law is applied to those men who kill women. A parallel legal system which can and has hidden wife-beating behind a curtain that says, "Back off - it's my religion" is not acceptable, in my view.

> Yes, I like to hope that the goodness of human nature generally wins through.

I share your optimism about human nature, but I'd argue that goodness occasionally necessitates confronting and defeating ideas, and in extreme circumstances, people. Malevolence is not defeated by trusting in the good. I think we need policies, laws, and robust social and ideological engagement to counter a very serious problem.


> But Muslims are here, and so is what may become a more western interpretation/practice of Islam. I can't help thinking that it's the essential desire of most people to live in peace, and most people's generally good nature which needs to be harnessed in solving any issues.

Again, we're mostly of the same mind on this, except that I don't share your optimism that a reformed and more amenable version of Islam is coming any time soon. Recent polls amongst Muslims in the UK show widespread support for the idea that the UK would be better off under sharia law, and over 40% of Muslims expressed anything from a degree of sympathy to full support for the Charlie Hebdo murderers. This is not a state of affairs that's leaning towards libertarianism, democracy or freedom. In fairness, it has to be said that those expressing such views are simply following scripture.
Post edited at 14:30
summo on 22 Jun 2017
In reply to lummox:

When you encourage people to march and labelled it 'day of rage' I'd suggest that isn't exactly sending out a peaceful message?
lummox - on 22 Jun 2017
In reply to summo:

..because marching is inherently not peaceful ?
jkarran - on 22 Jun 2017
In reply to Thrudge:
> I'm afraid it has. Please see my response to Timmd for some examples. Here are a few more examples of the effects of terrorism:

You weren't discussing the effects of terrorism, your patently absurd claim, the one which I challenged was that some shadowy islamist force has successfully waged a violent war to impose Islamic law on western countries. Name some!

> 1) UK jail sentences of up to 9 months for leaving bacon sandwiches outside a mosque. *Jail* for offending religious feelings. Youths spraying graffiti on churches receive no such punishment.

Hate crimes should be dealt with seriously, you trivialise with the bacon but this is harassment and intimidation in a world and country where people are still beaten to death for their otherness. Harassment should be taken seriously, especially when aggravated. You'd expect it to be were you on the receiving end. Graffiti on a church may or may not constitute a hate crime, in my experience it's usually petty vandalism. We enjoy a right to practice our religion (or none) freely, that should be protected as should the right of people to live free from fear of violence, all people. Human rights are your rights. Not an example of islamic law imposed on a western country.

> 2) Sharia courts (over 80 in the UK) where wife beating is frequently covered up as a 'personal and religious matter'.

Sharia courts are not courts of law, they are a system of arbitration to which people submit freely. If they do not submit voluntarily then the law of the land can and should protect them and punish those who abuse their position. Not an example of islamic law imposed on a western country.

> 3) Credible death threats for public figures who speak against Islam.

And actual murder of an MP who spoke for unity and peace. Violent delusional bellends exist in all walks of life. Not an example of islamic law imposed on a western country.

> 4) The knee-jerk reactions of many westerners to criticism of Islam, responding with 'racist' and 'Islamophobic' while determinedly avoiding rational discussion.

As discussed already, much of what is said is racist. I've been discussing with an aquaintance today the far right meme he's sharing reveling in the recent attack on worshipers in London and attacking the Muslim mayor of london as a terrorist appeaser. This attitude stems not from what these people have said or done nor who they are as individuals but because they're different, muslim. It is hateful prejudice dismissed as legitimate criticism of a violent dangerous religion. Not an example of islamic law imposed on a western country.

> 5) The idea that 'Muslim' is somehow a race rather than an ideology.

Race. Religion. They're protected characteristics. Excuse my sloppy language if it's me you're moaning about, this isn't really my thing and i'm not a good writer. Not an example of islamic law imposed on a western country.

> 6) The stampede to the microphones by western leaders after every terrorist incident to chastise us with the mantra of "Islam is a religion of peace", when it plainly is not. (Top tip to politicians: stop listening to 'community leaders' and read the Koran and the haddith).

If it weren't, if what you seem to believe were true we'd be f*****d, there's millions of them! But we're not. You know what, they're almost all like you and me, they care about their jobs, their families, their pets, they're disgusted by senseless murder, they're not brainwashed killers just waiting for a star and crescent 'bat-symbol' to be projected into the night sky before tearing us all limb from limb in an orgy of brainwashed violence. Not an example of islamic law imposed on a western country.

> Whilst I'd agree that we're not fighting, we are most certainly losing. We are losing our liberty to critique ideas, we are losing a cultural identity that is predicated on freedom of thought and expression and religion. We are losing
> arms, legs, heads and lives to bombers and axemen, and we are losing minds to a totalitarian religion.

Tosh. What are you doing here if not freely critiquing ideas? Which of the tabloids shies away from vilifying Islam on it's cover at least once a week? Try for a moment to put yourself in the position of someone who actually is in a minority where they live, a minority which means they're subject to everyday expressions of intimidation, violence and hate from the petty to the deadly then wonder who's actually freer to express themselves.

> As for it being a religious war, those prosecuting it tell us endlessly that it is. > May I ask why?

I suppose it serves to recruit the gullible and the lost. My question to you is why would you seek to assist them in that task by perpetuating and bolstering that narrative?
jk
Post edited at 14:57
jkarran - on 22 Jun 2017
In reply to summo:
> Let's wait and see, it's not the 1st of July yet...
> If you incite violence for religious reasons then that is now an Offence, what about political?

That would be a serious offence. The violence does not have to occur for incitement to constitute an offence so I'm not sure why you suggest we wait. Liable is also an offence of course.
jk
Post edited at 14:56
tony on 22 Jun 2017
In reply to summo:

> When you encourage people to march and labelled it 'day of rage' I'd suggest that isn't exactly sending out a peaceful message?

John McDonnell is explicitly calling for peaceful demonstrations. From that well-known lefty rag, the Telegraph:
Mr McDonnell said people have every right to be “angry” but not “violent”.
He said: "Today people may call it a Day of Rage or whatever, they have got the right if they want to be angry, but they haven't got the right to be violent.
"All protest has got to be peaceful and if you want to see what effective protest is all about I tell you follow the lead of Gandhi, not others."
Thrudge on 22 Jun 2017
In reply to jkarran:

Re your constant, "Not an example of islamic law imposed on a western country" - I think you're taking an overly literal (and entirely unwarranted) view of what I said. I stated clearly at the outset that Canada was the only western nation I knew of that had written such a law into the statute books.

I then went on to list examples where western nations and media outlets had implemented policies, applied existing laws, or acted in ways *which bow to Islamic blasphemy law*. I really don't know how I could make this clearer.

> some shadowy islamist force has successfully waged a violent war to impose Islamic law on western countries. Name some!

Name some countries? I already did - most of western Europe and the USA. Name some Islamist forces? Isis, Boko Haram, Hammas, Hizb ut Tahrir, the Muslim Brotherhood. Name some violent acts of war? Well, we can all do that...

> Hate crimes should be dealt with seriously, you trivialise with the bacon but this is harassment and intimidation in a world and country where people are still beaten to death for their otherness.

'Hate crimes' - in most cases the bleat of the infantile. Bacon is not a 'hate crime' and does not deserve jail. That's a very silly idea.

The UK is a country were people are still beaten to death for their otherness? Well, I suppose that's true, but it's a *very* rare phenomena and it is both punishable by law and rigorously prosecuted. Can we say the same of Islamic nations? I think you are aware that we cannot.

> Sharia courts are not courts of law, they are a system of arbitration to which people submit freely.

They are courts of religious law and a great many Muslims take their religion very seriously and thus submit to them. But to say that they submit freely can not be always be justified. If a battered wife wishes to complain, her religion, her peers, and her community will compel her to go to a Sharia court rather than a legal one. Not least, her husband - who's testimony is worth twice that of any woman - will compel her to attend a Sharia court in preference to a legal one. Can such a woman seriously be held to have decided 'freely'?

> And actual murder of an MP who spoke for unity and peace. Violent delusional bellends exist in all walks of life.

Indeed they do. Would you care to offer your views on why so very many more spring from Islam than from any other religion?

> If it weren't, if what you seem to believe were true we'd be f*****d, there's millions of them!

I'm not sure what it is you think I believe, although if you read my responses to Timmd I think I've been pretty clear about it.

> You know what, they're almost all like you and me, they care about their jobs, their families, their pets, they're disgusted by senseless murder, they're not brainwashed killers just waiting for a star and crescent 'bat-symbol' to be projected into the night sky before tearing us all limb from limb in an orgy of brainwashed violence.

Yes, I did know that. This little fantasy is something you've conjured, not I. Quite how you're mapping it onto my comments, I'm not sure.

> Tosh. What are you doing here if not freely critiquing ideas? Which of the tabloids shies away from vilifying Islam on it's cover at least once a week?

Oh dear. This really is a very weak argument indeed. We are hidden away in an insignificant little corner of the internet, so the risk I am taking is negligible. Perhaps I could illustrate this with an example. Let's say I walk around London with a billboard with a picture of Jesus on it and something derogatory written on it. I'd be widely ignored. If I were to walk around with a billboard with a picture of Mohammed on it and the word 'Mohammed', I'd almost certainly be attacked, very possibly by a mob, and I would most certainly be risking my life.

> Try for a moment to put yourself in the position of someone who actually is in a minority where they live, a minority which means they're subject to everyday expressions of intimidation, violence and hate from the petty to the deadly then wonder who's actually freer to express themselves.

The victim card. Sorry, but I'm afraid you're very much behind the times with this one - like the 'racist' grenade, it simply doesn't work any more. To be fair, I don't doubt that the circumstances you describe exist, for a vanishingly small number of people. And it's no less deplorable for being a small number. But we cannot pretend that this is common - let alone the norm - in this country. Conversely, we can say that it is a common experience for Jews and Christians in Islamic nations.

If we're going to put ourselves in the positions of others, I think that's a great idea. Empathy is very useful. Try to put yourself in the position of someone who's been stabbed in the head by a religious nitwit for the crime of being holiday in London. Try to put yourself in the position of someone who's wife has been machine-gunned as she lies next to you on a beach in Morocco. Try to put yourself in the position of someone whose 9 year old daughter has had her legs blown off for attending a concert. Try to put yourself in the position of Lee Rigby's parents, knowing that your son had his head cut off in the street for the glory of Allah. Then explain how these things are in any way comparable to 'getting a mean look' or name-calling.


damhan-allaidh on 22 Jun 2017
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Alexander de Tocqueville would agree:

"A majority taken collectively is only an individual, whose opinions, and frequently whose interests, are opposed to those of another individual, who is styled a minority. If it be admitted that a man possessing absolute power may misuse that power by wronging his adversaries, why should not a majority be liable to the same reproach? Men do not change their characters by uniting with one another; nor does their patience in the presence of obstacles increase with their strength.For my own part, I cannot believe it; the power to do everything, which I should refuse to one of my equals, I will never grant to any number of them."

Whenever I reread Democracy in America (which seems to be every other week at the moment), I am horrified afresh at what's happening to our governments.
damhan-allaidh on 22 Jun 2017
In reply to Thrudge:
Try putting yourself in the position of an MP or Congressman doing their job and being shot by a white nationalist. Or a Muslim leaving a mosque at 1 in the morning during Ramadhan and being run over by someone in a white van. Or a black person being pulled over by the police in the US and being shot. Or a young Muslim women hanging out with her friends at a fastfood joint and being beaten and raped for being different. Or a group of black people worshipping in a church being murdered by another white nationalist.

Not really sure what point you're trying to prove by cherry picking the internet. People are violent, mentally ill, hateful - religion and culture are bagatelles. I have spent most of my life hanging out with and, shock horror, even making love to Muslims. Still here.

Edited for spelling.
Post edited at 16:50
jkarran - on 22 Jun 2017
In reply to Thrudge:
> I think you're taking an overly literal (and entirely unwarranted) view of what I said. I stated clearly at the outset that Canada was the only western nation I knew of that had written such a law into the statute books.

You said: "I don't have empirical evidence, but I think you're probably right about this. It's not hard to see why this is the case, though. For over a decade now, there has been a global terror campaign conducted with the aim of imposing Islamic law on non-Islamic nations, and it has been quite successful."

Obviously I could read whatever I wanted into that but the logical thing for me to do would be to take your words at face value, that a 'global terror campaign' had been 'quite successful' in imposing 'Islamic law on non-Islamic nations'. Comprehension was never my strongest subject so apologies if what you meant by that is something completely different.

> I then went on to list examples where western nations and media outlets had implemented policies, applied existing laws, or acted in ways *which bow to Islamic blasphemy law*. I really don't know how I could make this clearer.

You could have said that rather than that they'd succeeded in implementing Islamic law, that would definitely have been clearer, I'd have understood what you meant and in some very limited ways I'd have agreed with you.

> Name some countries? I already did - most of western Europe and the USA.

That have implemented Islamic law?

> 'Hate crimes' - in most cases the bleat of the infantile. Bacon is not a 'hate crime' and does not deserve jail. That's a very silly idea.

Bollocks. Try being on the wrong end of one.

> The UK is a country were people are still beaten to death for their otherness? Well, I suppose that's true, but it's a *very* rare phenomena and it is both punishable by law and rigorously prosecuted. Can we say the same of Islamic nations? I think you are aware that we cannot.

Can't think of one I've visited without functioning rule of law and prohibition of murder. Happy to hear of examples.

> ...If a battered wife wishes to complain, her religion, her peers, and her community will compel her to go to a Sharia court rather than a legal one...

You say "the community will compel" like muslims aren't of their sports clubs and work places, of their towns and counties, aren't British. The law of the land exists to protect people from these abuses. I don't deny abuses happen but domestic abuse and the desire to cover it up is not by any stretch confined to religious communities. Plenty more will use religious and other forms of arbitration willingly to settle disputes.

> Indeed they do. Would you care to offer your views on why so very many more spring from Islam than from any other religion?

Killers? I'm not convinced of the premise so I'll pass awaiting evidence.


> Yes, I did know that. This little fantasy is something you've conjured, not I. Quite how you're mapping it onto my comments, I'm not sure.

It was in response to this: "We are losing our liberty to critique ideas, we are losing a cultural identity that is predicated on freedom of thought and expression and religion. We are losing arms, legs, heads and lives to bombers and axemen, and we are losing minds to a totalitarian religion."

> Oh dear. This really is a very weak argument indeed. We are hidden away in an insignificant little corner of the internet, so the risk I am taking is negligible.

The Daily Mail is one of the biggest internet news providers globally and their address is available from google: Associated Newspapers Limited, W8 5TT. Judging by their frequent and inflammatory anti muslim headlines they don't seem cowed.

> The victim card. Sorry, but I'm afraid you're very much behind the times with this one - like the 'racist' grenade, it simply doesn't work any more.

Which is a problem. It's not acceptable for ordinary people to be sworn and spat at, pushed, kicked and beaten for how they dress or what they worship but you dismiss this as 'playing the victim card' like it's trivial, this is the world we've created but we don't have to live its consequences every day.

> Conversely, we can say that it is a common experience for Jews and Christians in Islamic nations.

In some countries, certainly. Surely you're not saying this to imply tit for tat reciprocity is somehow justified?

> Empathy is very useful. Try to put yourself in the position of someone who's been stabbed in the head by a religious nitwit... Then explain how these things are in any way comparable to 'getting a mean look' or name-calling.

They're acts of violence on a continuum, they are in that way comparable. As you're well aware violence against minorities goes far beyond 'dirty looks' still today. I wonder do you think I approve of appalling random brutality in response to the racism and bigotry minorities in Britain suffer? I shan't bother listing a load of non-islamist inspired acts of violence/terror people suffer, I'm sure you're aware there are far too many.
jk
Post edited at 16:57
summo on 22 Jun 2017
In reply to tony:

Perhaps he is toning down the rhetoric about it now, after having some legal advice? ;)
Thrudge on 22 Jun 2017
In reply to damhan-allaidh:
> Not really sure what point you're trying to prove

OK, I'll have another bash at it. The argument seems to be "non-Muslims do bad things, too, so hey what's the difference?"

As I see it, the difference is this: those Muslims who choose violence, or hold intolerant views on gays, women's rights, and religious and political freedoms, have sound scriptural authority for their beliefs and actions. Many of these beliefs and actions are incompatible with western liberal democracy. The Koran is a very bad book and Mohammed was a very bad man, not a shining example to be revered.

That's the basis of what I'm saying. I'm also saying that there is a large militant faction in the Muslim world which has a terrorist wing and a publicity wing. Both wings share the aim of implementing a cultural takeover of the west for religious reasons. The start of this is effective (please note I do not say legislative) implementation of Islamic blasphemy law through social pressure, political pressure, threats of violence, and acts of terror.

That makes my position clearer, I hope.
damhan-allaidh on 22 Jun 2017
In reply to Thrudge:

The Bible is also a very bad book. Read Leviticus and Paul, for starters. Paul was NOT a nice man, either. It is important to understand history when trying to make sense of what's happening now. Iraq, Turkey, Egypt and Iran at the beginning of the 20th century indicate things didn't necessarily have to be the way they are now. Jordan has managed to do a remarkable balancing act. Syria is a dire lesson in how the West misunderstood the history, politics, culture, religion and colonial impact.

Western foreign policy weakened modernising leaders to more easily carve up the declining Ottoman Empire. These leaders were often seen as too energetic and autonomous for western requirements. The resulting power vacuum and culture wars paved the way for extremist organisations like the Muslim Brotherhood to take root and flourish. Civilisations under existential threat, as the Ottoman Empire, became in the 19th and 20th often become more conservative in their beliefs. There's no space to start on Wahabbism here.

An Islamic Response to Imperialism gives an early an very personal insight into one man's experience of the rise of the West and the decline of the old eastern polities. Munif wrote excellent novels charting western influence in Saudi. Try to Soueif s Map of Love for a window into Egypt. Obviously, there are many excellent history books, can recommend if you are interested
Thrudge on 22 Jun 2017
In reply to jkarran:
> Obviously I could read whatever I wanted into that but the logical thing for me to do would be to take your words at face value, that a 'global terror campaign' had been 'quite successful' in imposing 'Islamic law on non-Islamic nations'. Comprehension was never my strongest subject so apologies if what you meant by that is something completely different.

You've understood me correctly there. However, the bit I was disavowing was your image of a seething mass of Muslims poised to turn on us.

> You could have said that rather than that they'd succeeded in implementing Islamic law, that would definitely have been clearer, I'd have understood what you meant and in some very limited ways I'd have agreed with you.

I accept the rebuke and will try to be clearer next time. Sloppy language on my part, sorry.

> That have implemented Islamic law?

No. As I keep explaining, that *in effect* have had Islamic blasphemy law imposed upon them.


> Can't think of one I've visited without functioning rule of law and prohibition of murder. Happy to hear of examples.

Unfortunately, those laws are Sharia law. I'm sure you know this already, but let's do a few examples: a woman in Pakistan beaten for declaring herself a Christian and mobs demanding her death; a woman in Afghanistan beaten, stoned and burned alive, having falsely been accused of throwing a Koran in the bin; women buried up to the shoulders and then stoned to death for adultery in Saudi; little girls having their clitoris and labia cut off for religious reasons in Somalia. It does you no credit at all to pretend that these cultural and legal practices are in any way equivalent to the situation in the west.


> You say "the community will compel" like muslims aren't of their sports clubs and work places, of their towns and counties, aren't British.

I'm sure they are of those things and of others besides. But you seem to be ignoring the primacy of religion and the seriousness with which many take it. It's not as if I were to dabble in left wing politics and join the Labour Party - it is a mental and emotional commitment that is far deeper and more profound.

> Killers? I'm not convinced of the premise so I'll pass awaiting evidence.

Not killers, terrorists. And the evidence is already in.

> It was in response to this: "We are losing our liberty to critique ideas, we are losing a cultural identity that is predicated on freedom of thought and expression and religion. We are losing arms, legs, heads and lives to bombers and axemen, and we are losing minds to a totalitarian religion."

I have stated facts there and backed them up with arguments and examples in previous posts. None of which justifies a belief in the opinion you imagined for me of a seething mass of Muslims ready to explode.

> The Daily Mail is one of the biggest internet news providers globally and their address is available from google: Associated Newspapers Limited, W8 5TT. Judging by their frequent and inflammatory anti muslim headlines they don't seem cowed.

Good for them But would they print a cartoon of Mohammed? No. None of the UK press did. On the topic of critiquing ideas and cultural identity, please note that I said we are losing them, not that they had been completely lost. The erosion is well under way and shows no sign of slowing.


> In some countries, certainly. Surely you're not saying this to imply tit for tat reciprocity is somehow justified?

No, I'm saying religious minorities in Islamic nations are treated far worse than Muslims in the west.

> They're acts of violence on a continuum, they are in that way comparable.

This is a very poor attempt at sophistry, not to mention terrorist apologetics. Mass murder is in no way comparable to bacon on a doorstep or racial abuse.


> As you're well aware violence against minorities goes far beyond 'dirty looks' still today. I wonder do you think I approve of appalling random brutality in response to the racism and bigotry minorities in Britain suffer? I shan't bother listing a load of non-islamist inspired acts of violence/terror people suffer, I'm sure you're aware there are far too many.

I've addressed the "non-Muslims do bad things, too" nonsense in my response to damhan-allaidh, so I'll refer you to that answer, if I may.
Thrudge on 22 Jun 2017
In reply to damhan-allaidh:
> The Bible is also a very bad book.

It certainly is. The difference is, there is not currently a worldwide Christian terrorist network attempting to enforce Christian fundamentalist values in non-Christian countries.

> An Islamic Response to Imperialism gives an early an very personal insight into one man's experience of the rise of the West and the decline of the old eastern polities. Munif wrote excellent novels charting western influence in Saudi. Try to Soueif s Map of Love for a window into Egypt. Obviously, there are many excellent history books, can recommend if you are interested

Thank you for the book recommendations. If you'll forgive me, I'll pass on the novels - I already have a stack of those to read - but I'd be interested in your recommendations for history books.
THE.WALRUS - on 22 Jun 2017
In reply to lummox:

> Au contraire, piniped.

There certainly are grave problems with the system of social housing in the UK.....not that the rabble of yobs and professional protestors who have gathered under 'day of rage' banner would know anything about it.

As usual, they're nothing more than a bunch of lobotomised thugs who fancy a scrap with the cops.



damhan-allaidh on 22 Jun 2017
In reply to Thrudge:
Will do! When I have access to a PC will do this properly, but Yapp's series The Making of the Modern Near East is a good start. He's not Mary Beard, and I've seen them referred to as 'technical manuals' but they are thorough and painstaking.
Post edited at 19:31
off-duty - on 22 Jun 2017
In reply to seankenny:
> No, I really am not. There's plenty of criticism of Islam in all those sources I've mentioned. Note that I'm not saying whether those criticisms are justified or not, merely that there's a lot of it.

Sorry but you are. There is criticism of Prevent from some within the left and within the Muslim community but Prevent isn't a criticism of Islam.
You suggest there are tabloid splashes critical of Islam? Really? Rather than critical of Islamic terrorism? I can't say I've seen any.

Anti-islam think tanks? Which ones?
The War on Terror and the invasion of Iraq were about attacking Islam? I know that's what ISIS would like to promote but that is your genuine belief?

> Of course evidence suggests that people with non-white sounding names don't get such good jobs, or paid as muc, so perhaps the man in the pub isn't quite as comfy being around Muslims as you suggest.

Is there racism in the UK? Yes of course there is. Can the man in the pub distinguish between Islamic terrorism and Islam. Yes,in my opinion.
And if I am wrong then simply suggesting he is racist isn't going to help that understanding.


> As for "disquiet at terrorism" - I'm reasonably left wing and think it's barbaric and disgusting. I know you think I don't get the difference, the nuance, but really it's not that difficult a concept to get, what you're suggesting, is it? I'm simply saying that the lines aren't as clear as you believe they are.

I'm not saying they are clear. Quite the reverse. I'm suggesting that there is a significant proportion of society that can separate Islamic terrorism from Islam and objects to being told they are racist, or too stupid to understand the complexity, or simply too stupid to understand, full stop.
Post edited at 21:45
damhan-allaidh on 22 Jun 2017
In reply to Thrudge:
None of these are that recent, but most are classics/seminal texts:
Albert Hourani's A History of the Arab Peoples
Postmodernism and Islam: Predicament and Promise by Akbar S Amed (another one that's a bit tough going but worth the effort).
Edward Said's work can be a bit marmite with people, but Orientalism and Culture & Imperialism are quite thought provoking and insightful but like Bernard (below) has a definite stance and agenda.
On the opposite side of the marmite coin is anything by Bernard Lewis who writes about the Middle East from an unapologetically neocon perspective
The Crusades through Arab Eyes by Amin Maalouf

Also:
Islam: a Short History by Karen Armstrong
From the Holy Mountain by William Dalrymple (ok, it's a travel book, but it talks about eastern Christianity and adds an extra dimension. Simon Schama's History of the Jews would also make a good complimentary text.

I was just having a heated discussion with someone in my kitchen about the Islamic Enlightenment this evening and afterwards discovered this had just been published in the New York Review of Books - can't vouch for either volume but the review is interesting. NYRB seems to have awful URLs: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2017/06/22/islamic-road-to-modern-world/?utm_medium=email&utm_ca...

Happy reading.

Regarding you comment about Christianity. Perhaps not now, but Christianity has been a violent and sectarian ideology in the UK in the past, and elements of that are alive in the west of Scotland and NI today. In America, I see (and have direct experience) of communities that try to force their ideology on others. For example, fundamentalist Christians are trying to infiltrate and destroy Amish communities, there is the Westboro Baptist Church and myriad other ways fundamentalist Christians are trying to impose upon secularism and other faiths. I think with enough political destabilisation in the US (more of what we are seeing at the moment) more violent ideologies could be given space and nourishment to grow and spread. I think, and sincerely believe from the evidence I have at my disposal, that two world wars and a century and a half of western foreign policy created the ideal conditions for more extreme forms of religious ideology to gain the upper hand in the middle east.
seankenny - on 22 Jun 2017
In reply to Thrudge:

> It certainly is. The difference is, there is not currently a worldwide Christian terrorist network attempting to enforce Christian fundamentalist values in non-Christian countries.

That's exactly what Christian fundamentalists in the US would say they are doing. And naturally people like Anders Brevik and the far right definitely see themselves as an international movement.

> Thank you for the book recommendations. If you'll forgive me, I'll pass on the novels.

I'd seriously consider works of imagination from the people living inside the societies you claim to know about or be interested in. If you read "The Yacoubian Building" you'd find yourself with a great deal of sympathy for Islamist terrorists.

I appreciate that might be a bit much for you open minded rationalists.
Thrudge on 23 Jun 2017
In reply to damhan-allaidh:

Wow! Thank you for the recommendations , they are very much appreciated.


> Regarding you comment about Christianity. Perhaps not now, but Christianity has been a violent and sectarian ideology in the UK in the past, and elements of that are alive in the west of Scotland and NI today.

I cannot disagree, although in the case of NI (I assume you're referring to the IRA conflict) I'd argue that the basis of it was far more about political and national allegiances than it was religious affiliation. I wouldn't even attempt to deny the religious divide, but the motivations were "in the UK or out of the UK" rather than "my God's better than your God".


> In America, I see (and have direct experience) of communities that try to force their ideology on others. For example, fundamentalist Christians are trying to infiltrate and destroy Amish communities, there is the Westboro Baptist Church and myriad other ways fundamentalist Christians are trying to impose upon secularism and other faiths.

We are in agreement here. I deplore their religion as a whole, their ugly and literal interpretation of that religion, and their attempts to impose it on others. I would however, point out that they do not have a global terrorist militia imposing it with guns, knives and bombs, so they are not directly comparable with the Islamists.

> two world wars and a century and a half of western foreign policy created the ideal conditions for more extreme forms of religious ideology to gain the upper hand in the middle east.

You seem to be a lot more knowledgeable than I on this particular matter, so I would tentatively and very broadly accept this assertion. And I would add two things that in no way contradict what you claim:

1) That the current problems spring in large part from the fact that Islam is an inherently violent and intolerant religion, as evidenced by its scripture.

2) That western foreign policy in the middle east cannot reasonably be described as the sole, or even the primary, cause of global jihad, but that Islamic fundamentalism can.

That's sort of by the by, though. My main point would be to thank you for the education.





seankenny - on 23 Jun 2017
In reply to off-duty:

> Sorry but you are. There is criticism of Prevent from some within the left and within the Muslim community but Prevent isn't a criticism of Islam.

> You suggest there are tabloid splashes critical of Islam? Really? Rather than critical of Islamic terrorism? I can't say I've seen any.

Here's the deal. Whenever you read Islam or Muslims, replace it with Judaism or Jews. Give it a go and report back.

> Anti-islam think tanks? Which ones?

So you're saying there are no think tanks which publish anti-Islamic screeds?

> The War on Terror and the invasion of Iraq were about attacking Islam? I know that's what ISIS would like to promote but that is your genuine belief?

To be fair, I'm not entirely sure what I think of invading Iraq (too early to tell) but there was a definite anti-Islam element to the War on Terror. Naturally it was too big and complex a "thing" (event? movement? ideology?) to be that alone, or not to contain other strands, but that was part of it. Don't you remember all those "can these people's minds even *cope* with democracy" type articles in apparently serious newspapers?


> Is there racism in the UK? Yes of course there is. Can the man in the pub distinguish between Islamic terrorism and Islam. Yes,in my opinion.

Well, let's hope so.

> And if I am wrong then simply suggesting he is racist isn't going to help that understanding.

Hmmm. So you're saying that non-white people are fair game for having their failures - or the broader failures of their culture - rubbed in their faces, but we must tread very carefully around the sensitivities of white people?



Thrudge on 23 Jun 2017
In reply to seankenny:
> That's exactly what Christian fundamentalists in the US would say they are doing. And naturally people like Anders Brevik and the far right definitely see themselves as an international movement.

US Christian fundamentalists are claiming to operate a global terrorist network to enforce their values on non-Christian nations? I'm pretty sure they aren't claiming that. And very sure that if some of them are then they are utterly deluded and factually incorrect.

Brevik was proven to be a paranoid schizophrenic at trial. If every Islamist is mentally ill, then it might be an idea to see what they have in common. Unfortunately for your argument, what they have in common is a fundamentalist interpretation of Islam. Does this interpretation mean they are mentally ill? I would argue not.

> I'd seriously consider works of imagination from the people living inside the societies you claim to know about or be interested in.

I do not in any way denigrate works of the imagination - in fact, I have an overwhelming fondness for them. But my spare time is limited and my ignorance is substantial, so works of history are a better and faster corrective than novels.

As for claiming to 'know about' societies, if 'know about' means 'having a reasonably comprehensive knowledge of', I make no such claim. I do, however, claim that the examples I've used are factual and indicative of the nature of those cultures, and that they are attributable to Islam. These are low key, obvious, and unremarkable observations, I would have thought. And we do not require a thorough knowledge of the middle east to find them barbaric and repulsive.

> If you read "The Yacoubian Building" you'd find yourself with a great deal of sympathy for Islamist terrorists.

I very much doubt it, but perhaps I am less easily led than some. If you read "Mein Kampf", would you find yourself with a great deal of sympathy for the Third Reich? Is morality really so arbitrary?

> I appreciate that might be a bit much for you open minded rationalists.

Well, you've certainly got that right.
RomTheBear on 23 Jun 2017
In reply to Thrudge:
> 1) That the current problems spring in large part from the fact that Islam is an inherently violent and intolerant religion, as evidenced by its scripture.

True, so is Judaism and Christianity (if not worse, depending on how you measure it)
Post edited at 00:50
seankenny - on 23 Jun 2017
In reply to Thrudge:



> I would however, point out that they do not have a global terrorist militia imposing it with guns, knives and bombs, so they are not directly comparable with the Islamists.

No, violent Christianity isn't comparable at all...

www.newsweek.com/christian-fundamentalists-us-armed-forces-national-security-threat-613428%3famp=1


> 1) That the current problems spring in large part from the fact that Islam is an inherently violent and intolerant religion, as evidenced by its scripture.

You do realise that by putting literal interpretation of scripture as the primary goal or focus of religion, rather than say the lived experience of its adherents, you are taking exactly the same approach to religion as fundamentalists?
seankenny - on 23 Jun 2017
In reply to Thrudge:
> US Christian fundamentalists are claiming to operate a global terrorist network to enforce their values on non-Christian nations? I'm pretty sure they aren't claiming that. And very sure that if some of them are then they are utterly deluded and factually incorrect.

They would certainly see modern America as a "non-Christian" nation and want to enforce their values on it. I don't see that as any different from Islamists, who have frequently been very parochial in their aims. (But clearly not always.)


> Brevik was proven to be a paranoid schizophrenic at trial. If every Islamist is mentally ill, then it might be an idea to see what they have in common. Unfortunately for your argument, what they have in common is a fundamentalist interpretation of Islam. Does this interpretation mean they are mentally ill? I would argue not.

Actually what a lot of hem have in common is a particular upbringing and background, but NOT interest in religion or religious knowledge.

> I do not in any way denigrate works of the imagination - in fact, I have an overwhelming fondness for them. But my spare time is limited and my ignorance is substantial, so works of history are a better and faster corrective than novels.

Well, maybe.

> As for claiming to 'know about' societies, if 'know about' means 'having a reasonably comprehensive knowledge of', I make no such claim. I do, however, claim that the examples I've used are factual and indicative of the nature of those cultures, and that they are attributable to Islam. These are low key, obvious, and unremarkable observations, I would have thought. And we do not require a thorough knowledge of the middle east to find them barbaric and repulsive.

So you don't know much about these societies, or their histories, or works of imagination, or languages, but you know something about "the nature" of these places.



> I very much doubt it, but perhaps I am less easily led than some. If you read "Mein Kampf", would you find yourself with a great deal of sympathy for the Third Reich? Is morality really so arbitrary?

> Well, you've certainly got that right.

Here's a thing. Read the novel and see what you think and feel. Isn't that the very essence of enlightenment rationality which you are claiming to uphold?

As for your Third Reich point, have you read that passage from Paddy Leigh Fermor when he meets the SS in a pub in pre-war Germany? If not, I suggest you do.
Post edited at 01:07
Thrudge on 23 Jun 2017
In reply to RomTheBear:
> True, so is Judaism and Christianity (if not worse, depending on how you measure it)

Well, not *quite*. Perhaps I should start with a bit of background to put my remarks into context. I'm an atheist. I think religion generally is bad (a claim that needs some qualification, but that's beyond the scope of this thread) Christianity is a thoroughly unpleasant religion to put it mildly, and Islam is even worse.

So, why do I slightly quibble with your point? Two reasons:

1) The nature of Christian and Islamic scripture.

The Old Testament is violent, intolerant, ugly, bigoted and staggeringly immoral. It was superceded by the New Testament (a farcical dodge, IMHO, but that's by the by) which is somewhat more moral. Still vile, but it does enshrine the Golden Rule ("do unto others") and there's some love and peace stuff.

The Koran is violent, intolerant, ugly, bigoted and staggeringly immoral. There's also some love and peace stuff. The doctrine of abrogation - which is standard in Islamic theology and well supported by mainstream Islamic scholars - states that where two passages in the Koran conflict with each other, the later passage takes precedence and overrules the earlier one. The Koran is arranged chronologically, rather than thematically: passages written first appear first, later passages appear later. Unfortunately, the love and peace stuff is mostly in the earlier passages. It is superceded by the increasingly violent and intolerant later passages. This makes the Koran an even more repulsive text than than the Bible, which is quite a feat.

2) The current problems

Islamists have a global terrorist militia and an associated PR wing who have made very significant gains in imposing their will on entire nations in the west.

Christian fundamentalists have nutjobs with sandwich boards who are widely derided, and they've managed to sneak creationism into the school curriculum a couple of times in the US before being soundly batted back by the legislature.

For these two reasons, I'd say Islamists and Christian fundamentalists are not directly comparable. The former are a credible civilizational threat, while the latter are a pest.
off-duty - on 06:27 Fri
In reply to seankenny:

> Here's the deal. Whenever you read Islam or Muslims, replace it with Judaism or Jews. Give it a go and report back.

This doesn't make any sense, and comes across as an attempt to shut down argument by shouting"You're just a racist".
Unless you mean there is some sort of anti-Jewish PREVENT scheme, or tabloid articles slagging off "The Jews" ?
(But I'd settle for an explanation of how these things are anti-Islamic as you originally claimed)


> So you're saying there are no think tanks which publish anti-Islamic screeds?

Government think tanks? Not that I'm aware of, but I'd happy to see examples of the multiple think-tanks you know of that are anti-Islamic?

> To be fair, I'm not entirely sure what I think of invading Iraq (too early to tell) but there was a definite anti-Islam element to the War on Terror. Naturally it was too big and complex a "thing" (event? movement? ideology?) to be that alone, or not to contain other strands, but that was part of it. Don't you remember all those "can these people's minds even *cope* with democracy" type articles in apparently serious newspapers?

This again appears to be a massive conflation of Islam the religion with Muslims the followers of that religion and Iraqi/Afghans, the population of that country.
And - no, I don't remember mainstream news articles suggesting that people were too stupid to cope with democracy. I think there were almost certainly articles pointing out the incompatibility of a religiously governed country with democracy. But surely that's a no-brainer, and a valid criticism of any religious ideology that doesn't divide faith and state.


> Well, let's hope so.

> Hmmm. So you're saying that non-white people are fair game for having their failures - or the broader failures of their culture - rubbed in their faces, but we must tread very carefully around the sensitivities of white people?

No. I'm saying that dismissing the man in the pub as a racist because he disagrees with terrorism is wrong. Undoubtedly within that there are those who conflate Islamic terrorism with "all Muslims" but it appears a he'll of a lot more complex than that - and unfortunately, but not perhaps unexpectedly, some of those doing that conflation are the "ordinary Muslim on the street".
The answer to that confusion isn't to go around saying - if you disagree with Islamic terrorism you are a racist, but unfortunately if you have that viewpoint and are working class with a football/pub background that is exactly what is happening.

The good thing about your comment is your acceptance there are bad things about "their culture". But that doesn't make YOU a racist....
RomTheBear on 07:22 Fri
In reply to Thrudge:
Sorry mate, nice effort with your post, but it's just made up islamophobe bollocks taken of the internet.
The reality is that the scripture are full of shite whether you look at the bible or the Quran.

It doesn't f*cking matter. The vast majority of Muslims don't bother reading the Quran, they don't know what's in it, and they don't care. Same for most Christians and Jews with the bible.

You can make far fetched arguments about Islam being "worse", but it doesn't hold true when you actually analyse the scriptures, and it's easily empirically disproven by the fact that for most of history Christians behaved as badly as Muslims did.
At the end of the day, it's just a matter of politics. I'm sure humans woul find ways to kill each other even under the doctrine of Rastafarism.
Post edited at 07:22
Mike Highbury - on 07:46 Fri
In reply to seankenny:
> OD: Is there racism in the UK? Yes of course there is. Can the man in the pub distinguish between Islamic terrorism and Islam. Yes,in my opinion.

> SK: Well, let's hope so.

Look Sean, you're going to have to defer to OD's experience here because I've a suspicion that he spends far more time in the pub than you do.
seankenny - on 09:26 Fri
In reply to Mike Highbury:

> Look Sean, you're going to have to defer to OD's experience here because I've a suspicion that he spends far more time in the pub than you do.

It certainly appears that way.
seankenny - on 09:42 Fri
In reply to off-duty:

I do like how you can have a debate, make careful replies and then, when you dare suggest that some people are indeed bigoted fools, be accused of shutting down debate. It's the go to answer, the unthinking woman's riposte, and quite clearly not true. I've merely suggested a little experiment.

As for your other points, they are mostly too tedious. I mean "government think tanks". Everyone knows that think tanks are non-governmental organisations. That's generally their point, and yes, there are a lot of dodgy ones. Here's an example for you:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Center_for_Security_Policy

You suggest religious countries and democracy are basically incompatible as if it's axiomatic but really, this has confounded thinkers for hundreds of years. I suspect you didn't cover this in much depth at Hendon...

What is interesting is that you seem to think we are suggesting someone is racist because they dislike Islamist terrorism. No one has ever said that. It's quite the opposite of my view. But do carry on arguing that if you want to look like you're bending the facts to fit what you believe is true.
Stichtplate on 09:51 Fri
In reply to RomTheBear:

Got to hand it to you Rom , you're consistent. Utter bollocks with an overtone of faux intellectual superiority, as per usual
Stichtplate on 10:03 Fri
In reply to seankenny:

Sorry Sean but as soon as you wrote that you had read a novel and it gave you some sympathy for Islamist terrorists you completely lost any respect I had for your viewpoint.
Any ideology that seeks to glorify blowing up little girls at pop concerts doesn't deserve sympathy or understanding or anything really other than what those 3 wankpuffins in Borough Market finally got.
tom_in_edinburgh - on 10:07 Fri
In reply to RomTheBear:

> The reality is that the scripture are full of shite whether you look at the bible or the Quran.

This is true but you are highly unlikely to get killed for saying that the bible or the pope are full of shite. Islam is still behaving the way Christianity used to behave in the middle ages.
seankenny - on 10:14 Fri
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Sorry Sean but as soon as you wrote that you had read a novel and it gave you some sympathy for Islamist terrorists you completely lost any respect I had for your viewpoint.

> Any ideology that seeks to glorify blowing up little girls at pop concerts doesn't deserve sympathy or understanding or anything really other than what those 3 wankpuffins in Borough Market finally got.

The thing is, Islamist terrorism is a pretty broad phenomenon and the current wave is quite different in character and aims to earlier types. As I'm sure you realise, the novel I mentioned is about Egypt in the 80s/90s, when violent Islamism took a very different form - far more similar to what we in the west would recognise as "regular" political violence, such as attacks on government targets and politicians. Vile, but not quite the nihilistic horrors we have seen in Manchester or Paris.

The thing with novels, which is why religious fundamentalists hate them, is that they can give insight and sympathy into vile people committing terrible acts.

Anyhow, the Yacoubian Building, it's a good book and very much worth a read if you're interested in this subject, rather than showing off how indignant you are.

Thrudge on 10:27 Fri
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:
> This is true but you are highly unlikely to get killed for saying that the bible or the pope are full of shite. Islam is still behaving the way Christianity used to behave in the middle ages.

Precisely. Criticism of Islam seems to provoke in some people unreasoning bleats of 'racism' or 'lack of cultural understanding' or 'Christians do bad things, too'. It's dodge, dodge, dodge all the way down the line. Don't acknowledge where the terrorism comes from, don't acknowledge that Islamic nations are often barbaric compared to western ones, don't acknowledge that Islam is a problem for the west.

It does make me wonder what provokes these desperate evasions. Is it fear - appease the crocodile and maybe it won't eat me? Is it the racism of low expectations - brown people can't be expected to meet the moral standards of us fine white people? Or a slier and slightly more sophisticated racism - they're not wrong, they're just different?
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Stichtplate on 10:28 Fri
In reply to seankenny:

Not showing off or indignant, just weary. Novels are great for helping to develop empathy for others when you're a child but now I just read them for fun . If I want to seriously inform myself on something I tend to stick to the factual rather than the imaginary. You should also try to distinguish between factual and imaginary with regard to Patrick Leigh Femor, a great writer and well known fantasist as are many of his ilk , from Ryszard Kapuscinski to Bruce Chatwin.
seankenny - on 11:12 Fri
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Not showing off or indignant, just weary. Novels are great for helping to develop empathy for others when you're a child but now I just read them for fun . If I want to seriously inform myself on something I tend to stick to the factual rather than the imaginary. You should also try to distinguish between factual and imaginary with regard to Patrick Leigh Femor, a great writer and well known fantasist as are many of his ilk , from Ryszard Kapuscinski to Bruce Chatwin.

The thing is, I have also informed myself with the factual, and they say the same things about that particular type of Islamism. The dividing line between "superior" facts and "inferior" imagination is pretty blurry if the work of imagination is well done.

As I pointed out above, denigrating the role of feeling and imagination in understanding the world is a bit of a fundo trick. Good art can reflect society back at us - it's no coincidence that leading historians like Hobsbawm or Schama write a lot about art and culture in their books.

Perhaps you're scared of finding a degree of sympathy with The Monsters?



jkarran - on 11:23 Fri
In reply to Thrudge:

> It's dodge, dodge, dodge all the way down the line. Don't acknowledge where the terrorism comes from, don't acknowledge that Islamic nations are often barbaric compared to western ones, don't acknowledge that Islam is a problem for the west.

It took a while but your true colours are really shining now!
jk
off-duty - on 11:24 Fri
In reply to seankenny:

> It certainly appears that way.

Hmm. With the implication being what exactly...?

(Question for either of you)
Stichtplate on 11:30 Fri
In reply to seankenny:

> The thing is, I have also informed myself with the factual, and they say the same things about that particular type of Islamism. The dividing line between "superior" facts and "inferior" imagination is pretty blurry if the work of imagination is well done.

> As I pointed out above, denigrating the role of feeling and imagination in understanding the world is a bit of a fundo trick. Good art can reflect society back at us - it's no coincidence that leading historians like Hobsbawm or Schama write a lot about art and culture in their books.

> Perhaps you're scared of finding a degree of sympathy with The Monsters?

Religious fundamentalists don't denigrate the role of feelings and imagination, they base their entire world view on them . As for historians writing about art and culture, I don't understand your point.
off-duty - on 11:32 Fri
In reply to seankenny:

> I do like how you can have a debate, make careful replies and then, when you dare suggest that some people are indeed bigoted fools, be accused of shutting down debate. It's the go to answer, the unthinking woman's riposte, and quite clearly not true. I've merely suggested a little experiment.



> As for your other points, they are mostly too tedious. I mean "government think tanks". Everyone knows that think tanks are non-governmental organisations. That's generally their point, and yes, there are a lot of dodgy ones. Here's an example for you:


Well a debate would involve you actually answering the points I raise. The sum total of which appears to be ONE think tank you've found via wiki.
Instead we get you claiming that calling people bigoted racists without any actual evidence is a "reasonable position".


> You suggest religious countries and democracy are basically incompatible as if it's axiomatic but really, this has confounded thinkers for hundreds of years. I suspect you didn't cover this in much depth at Hendon...

I wouldn't say it's axiomatic but it's a fairly fundamental problem about whether a country is governed by the will of the people via democracy or the will of God.

The relevance of my police training (which wasn't at Hendon incidentally) being what exactly?
Is a full CV and detailed breakdown of my daily work required to have a view.
Because to be quite frank, currently your response to me challenging your unsupported claims has been to go all ad hom and scream "racism".

Which rather demonstrates my point. So thanks.

> What is interesting is that you seem to think we are suggesting someone is racist because they dislike Islamist terrorism. No one has ever said that. It's quite the opposite of my view. But do carry on arguing that if you want to look like you're bending the facts to fit what you believe is true.

Great. We agree.
damhan-allaidh on 11:50 Fri
In reply to Thrudge:
Slow day at work:

It’s not really trying to dodge the issue, or evade responsibility. If we can agree that both Christianity, Judaism and Islam contain problematic texts and people, we have to try and understand why there are different trajectories in their development and how we came to be at the place we are now.

In my previous comment, I was sort of alluding to Northern Ireland, but I agree with you, religion there is more about superficial identity politics rather than deep theology. I was more thinking further back in Britain’s past when it was more of a theocratic state, and there was a lot of religious persecution. This was disrupted, and the trajectory altered by things like the Renaissance and the Enlightenment – the development of modernity and the acceptance of secularism. During this time, British and more broadly European culture was in the ascendance, partly driven by advances in technology and education that the Islamic world had enjoyed a few hundred years previously – the Ottoman Empire was on the backfoot and feeling both attracted and apprehensive of European modernity.

The point is, I accept there are internal features that may foster Islamic extremism that I will get to at the moment (but as you’ll see further below, some of them are not absent from our society), one thing we really dodge, dodge, dodge down the line is western foreign policy mistakes – we don’t learn and we keep making them and exacerbating the issue. The long duree is important – history matters.

Part of the reason foreign policy fails is that we don’t understand the differences in the organization of Middle Eastern societies. They are collective, we are individualistic. I work a lot with students from the Middle East – my conversations with them individually and this book: Counseling and Psychotherapy with Arabs and Muslims: A Culturally sensitive approach by Marwan Dwairy, have been invaluable in understanding the differences. As you point out above, argument from authority is a significant feature, and that is problematic. It’s not always been as rigid as it is now seems to be in some contexts (there’s a whole separate debate about whether or not the door to ijtihad is opened or closed, if it is, the reasons why).

Social dependency, submissiveness, interconnectedness and conformity are seen as signs of social maturity in Arab and Muslim cultures– quite the opposite of some Western European cultures. Mosayra (‘getting along’) is the expressing of conforming opinions and attitudes in public to meet the expectations of others (and avoid conflict) – even if you disagree and this causes significant cognitive dissonance and anxiety - in public, you agree.

Tribal and familial relationships take precedence over individual needs, adding an extra layer of complexity that we don’t often deal with these days in western European cultures. Attempts to force western style democracies and the social structures that support them don’t really take these things into account.

Other things:

• Dynamic of Marxist ideologies joined with conservative Islamic thinking

• The points in this article on white Christian extremism are worth pondering:
http://www.newsweek.com/homegrown-terrorism-rising-threat-right-wing-extremism-619724 The potential exists within our societies too – it just needs the destabilizing influences for growing space. I think the interference of the Russians in the US election is an effective analogy for understanding the impact of US and European meddling in Middle Eastern Affairs: A foreign power using outside populist influence to create an unstable and ineffective government, providing opportunities for people who promulgate the worst aspects of conservative and Christian ideology.

• Several generations of young people growing up brutal, conflict riven countries. This is where empathetic imagination comes in handy. Imagine being a young man or woman born in Baghdad in 1990 – really imagine what it’s like being Muslim, what’s your life like? What do you see on a daily basis? How do you spend your days? What is your education like? Imagine the differences between being a young person from an educated middle class family in Tehran whose mum wore bikinis in the 70s or a being from a poor family from Esfahan.

Many Muslims in my social circle who are not from Britain are critical of the short-comings they see in their own societies. Some friends, British and international Muslims, describe themselves as 'cultural Muslims' others are on a spectrum of 'strictness' in how they adhere to Islamic teachings. Many of them take a very critical and appraising approach to Islamic scripture - others don't. Frankly, everyone I know is quite moral, ethical and compassionate. It is very much like religion in our own society - a lot of variation. A big difference is, we got rid of the idea of theocracy (sort of) awhile ago; America seems keen to re-adopt it.
Post edited at 11:52
seankenny - on 11:53 Fri
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Religious fundamentalists don't denigrate the role of feelings and imagination, they base their entire world view on them . As for historians writing about art and culture, I don't understand your point.

And there I was thinking fundos tried to kill writers, destroy images, close cinemas and ban music. Must have got that wrong.

My point is that engaging with the art of a foreign or past culture is a really important part of understanding where they're coming from.
seankenny - on 11:58 Fri
In reply to damhan-allaidh:

Super post, thanks. Did you also post that link to the NYRB last night? It was a very interesting article.

I found "The Mantle of the Prophet", a book about the Iranian revolution, very good for understanding the background to modernity in traditional Muslim societies and the forces that drove the events of 1979. Well worth a read.
tripehound - on 12:04 Fri
In reply to handofgod:
It is not the terrorist attacks that we should fear but our reaction to them.
Post edited at 12:05
seankenny - on 12:11 Fri
In reply to off-duty:

The thing is, we both seem to agree that racism exists - you've said so yourself (apologies if you haven't, I'm on my phone, scrolling agh etc). So we're looking at what it is. I've pointed out when I think it occurs, you've told me I'm stifling debate. I mean, really?

As for the think tank thing, you claimed there was no such thing as an anti-Muslim think tank. Well, the only rebuttal we need to that line of argument is one counter example (the whole black swan argument which you might be familiar with). But of course you really want a list of them, don't you? And you want to vet the sources - Wikipedia apparently isn't good enough.

Well, that's a task I'm not going to undertake because life is limited and your posts are a bit dull.

As for religious regimes, surely the growth of early democracies out of fundamentalist Protestant regimes gives one pause for thought?

I mean, as it happens I hate theocracy and I hate religiously inspired politics. But my point was this: there were big questions over democracy and the Middle East in the early 2000s that claimed the problem lay in the very nature of Islam itself, rather than in religiously infused polities with particularly histories. To me, those arguments seemed to have an anti-Islamic bent rather than an anti-religious bent. They singled Islam out as the major problem, rather than the complex mix of religion, social structure, history, etc that to me was a more realistic picture.
Stichtplate on 12:20 Fri
In reply to seankenny:
> And there I was thinking fundos tried to kill writers, destroy images, close cinemas and ban music. Must have got that wrong.

No, that is correct. It's also true that their entire fundamentalist viewpoint is based on the thoughts of a bunch of creative fantasists (goes for all religions IMO).

> My point is that engaging with the art of a foreign or past culture is a really important part of understanding where they're coming from.

And my point is that I have absolutely no desire to understand where fundamentalist wankpuffin child killers are coming from. Neither do I want to better understand paedophiles, rapists or the torturers of animals.
Some behaviours are simply beyond the pale and any engagement with them should be from a position of opposition, not sympathy.
Post edited at 12:24
jkarran - on 12:33 Fri
In reply to Stichtplate:

Empathy and sympathy are different things.
jk
Thrudge on 12:34 Fri
In reply to jkarran:
> It took a while but your true colours are really shining now!

An implied slur demonstrates nothing, except that perhaps you don't have an argument. Feel free to point out where I've been factually incorrect.

Thrudge on 12:41 Fri
In reply to off-duty:
> The relevance of my police training (which wasn't at Hendon incidentally) being what exactly?

Allow me to assist by phrasing it in words you might understand:

1) You is a dum copper.

2) While you wuz at Hendon lurning how to beat up black peeple and falsify arrest riports, yeah, they dint have no libry so you dint read books.

3) Sean has red lots of books and he's even told you what they are so shut up, innit?


;-)
Stichtplate on 12:48 Fri
In reply to jkarran:

> Empathy and sympathy are different things.

> jk

I understand the difference. Could you explain your point?
krikoman - on 12:52 Fri
In reply to Stichtplate:

> And my point is that I have absolutely no desire to understand where fundamentalist wankpuffin child killers are coming from. Neither do I want to better understand paedophiles, rapists or the torturers of animals.

Why not? if you understand their issues, and they won't all be the same, you might be able to prevent a lot of what they do.
Thrudge on 12:57 Fri
In reply to damhan-allaidh:
> It’s not really trying to dodge the issue, or evade responsibility. If we can agree that both Christianity, Judaism and Islam contain problematic texts and people, we have to try and understand why there are different trajectories in their development and how we came to be at the place we are now.

FWIW, I wasn't suggesting that you were doing any dodging. 'Elucidating' would be a better description. Totally agree on the second sentence.

> ...Northern Ireland... [all the way to] ...European modernity.

Agreed on all points.

> ...one thing we really dodge, dodge, dodge down the line is western foreign policy mistakes – we don’t learn and we keep making them and exacerbating the issue. The long duree is important – history matters.

Tentatively agree.

> Part of the reason foreign policy fails is that we don’t understand the differences in the organization of Middle Eastern societies.

I'm happy to accept this.

> Several generations of young people growing up brutal, conflict riven countries.

Without condoning it, I can understand how someone in that situation could turn to extremism, especially when it's so readily to hand. The reasoning is sound, but only as far as it goes; it does not account for the many Islamists born and bred in Europe, the US, and Canada.

> Many Muslims ... a lot of variation.

This is also my position. (Are you paying attention, Mr Karran?)

> A big difference is, we got rid of the idea of theocracy (sort of) awhile ago; America seems keen to re-adopt it.

The situation in America is indeed worrying and has been for many years, although my view is rather more optimistic than yours. The Americans have very robust traditions of freedom of though and speech and they frequently defeat the fundamentalists in the battle for hearts and minds - not to mention in the courts.

seankenny - on 12:57 Fri
In reply to Stichtplate:
> No, that is correct. It's also true that their entire fundamentalist viewpoint is based on the thoughts of a bunch of creative fantasists (goes for all religions IMO).

The problem is that when you read about the thinkers who created these viewpoints, they come across as serious guys wrestling with big problems in their societies. I find their solutions abhorrent, but I don't think fantasists nails it.


> And my point is that I have absolutely no desire to understand where fundamentalist wankpuffin child killers are coming from. Neither do I want to better understand paedophiles, rapists or the torturers of animals.

> Some behaviours are simply beyond the pale and any engagement with them should be from a position of opposition, not sympathy.

But how can you deal with them effectively if you don't try to understand them. This shit is important - don't you want to know where these people are coming from? And... isn't Four Lions kind of funny?
Post edited at 12:58
jkarran - on 12:58 Fri
In reply to Stichtplate:

My point is that you don't have to sympathize with someone to understand what motivates them and in the case of terror, what is likely to motivate those who will come behind them. Understanding their situation, worldview and motivations leaves you better placed to decide how the problem is best tackled and to recognise when you're being played by others to further an agenda.
jk
Stichtplate on 13:16 Fri
In reply to seankenny:

> The problem is that when you read about the thinkers who created these viewpoints, they come across as serious guys wrestling with big problems in their societies. I find their solutions abhorrent, but I don't think fantasists nails it.

I have read about them and TBH, they come across as serious arse holes wrestling with big personal problems, mainly of a psycho-sexual nature. For instance, getting all hot under the collar at at mid western church dance in the 1950's , doesn't strike me as a reasonable motivation for instigating a movement intent on destroying western civilisation.

> But how can you deal with them effectively if you don't try to understand them. This shit is important - don't you want to know where these people are coming from? And... isn't Four Lions kind of funny?

You really don't have to understand them to deal with them effectively as evidenced by the police armed response team at Borough Market.
Yes Four Lions was funny but what Abedi did definitely wasn't.
Stichtplate on 13:20 Fri
In reply to krikoman:

> Why not? if you understand their issues, and they won't all be the same, you might be able to prevent a lot of what they do.

I find it difficult to prevent my daughters leaving wet towels on the bathroom floor, let alone tackling global terrorism.
damhan-allaidh on 13:45 Fri
In reply to seankenny:

Thanks for the recommendation - that looks really good, I'll defintely get ahold of that. Looking for some summer holiday reading The Iranian Revolution is not something I've explored much, and most of my personal interactions have been with people who would have had a different reaction to having to wear chador than that of Mottahedeh's aunt (!). Her relief at begin allowed to wear the chador and go out in public again reminds me of a comment a former lecturer of mine, Leila Ahmed, made on the BBC a number of years ago. I forgot the exact discussion, but it was undoubtedly about feminism, Islam, sexual expression and religious dress code. I just remember Ahmed asking the question, "What's so liberating about wearing a miniskirt?" Can't quite explain it here, but it did make me pause, and still does. Glad you enjoyed my post. Thanks.
krikoman - on 13:49 Fri
In reply to Stichtplate:

> I find it difficult to prevent my daughters leaving wet towels on the bathroom floor, let alone tackling global terrorism.

I know why they do it, to wind you up. The question is, why do they want to wind you up?
Sir Chasm - on 13:51 Fri
In reply to damhan-allaidh:

Perhaps it isn't the wearing of a mini skirt that is liberating, but the fact you have the freedom to wear it if you want. Rather than have a bunch of old men tell you what you can and cannot wear.
damhan-allaidh on 13:55 Fri
In reply to Thrudge:

What are we arguing about still!? ;-)

I think the 'Islamists' born in US, UK, Canada are a result of structural racism in society - see all those Daily Mail headlines all lined up which reinforces a particular nasty kind of identity politics, mental health issues, and a stew of whatever other factors lead people into criminality. They are Dylan Roofs, Andreas Breviks, Adam Lanzas, Alexandre Bissonettes, the men who made up the Crusaders in Kansas, Robert Louis Dears, John Russell Housers, Larry Steve McQulliams, Jerad and Amanda Millers, Justin Bourques, Frazier Glenn Crosses, and James T Hodgkinsons who happen to have some link to Muslim identity.

The reason I am less optimistic about America is that this is the first time a hostile state actor has interfered directly in American affairs. The other reason is that, having read Democracy in America, it seems scarily prescient and alarming in detail in pointing out why and how things were going to go wrong. I hope you are right, though!
Stichtplate on 13:55 Fri
In reply to krikoman:

> I know why they do it, to wind you up. The question is, why do they want to wind you up?

It might be because I'm a capitalist running dog imperialist oppressor , or perhaps they just think I'm a bit of a dick? Fair enough either way really.
;-)
damhan-allaidh on 14:02 Fri
In reply to Sir Chasm:

Women also subscribe to and perpetuate or encourage (depending on your point of view) Islamic dress codes, it's not just men. I think there were questions about the relatively perceived value is dressing for sexual allure or dressing modestly. If it is truly a women's choice, why should one way of dressing be valued over another?

Another good book: Revealing Reveiling by Sherifa Zuhur
http://www.sunypress.edu/p-1309-revealing-reveiling.aspx
Sir Chasm - on 14:10 Fri
In reply to damhan-allaidh:

But it isn't about valuing it, it's about what is permitted. If you believed there was a free choice in what to wear then you wouldn't need to make the burkha, chador etc. compulsory because people would choose it anyway - if they wanted.
damhan-allaidh on 14:17 Fri
In reply to Sir Chasm:

I think, again, history is important. For example, both Ataturk and the Shah made it illegal for women and men (well, definitely Ataturk for men, not so sure about the Shah) to wear traditional dress - including head coverings, face coverings etc. They saw traditional forms of dress as backward and a hinderance to modernity. Crucially, they were both worried about what westerners thought, which I think was a mistake. People saw the state, the secular state, attacking their identity and traditions. Probably better off to leave it and focus on enhancing education and employment opportunities, rather than pissing people off and causing them to dig their heels in.

Compulsory wearing of Islamic dress (Iran) or a context which often makes it awkward not to (Turkey) is a reaction to the forced banning of it earlier in the century. (also think banning of the tartans in the 18th century.)
Sir Chasm - on 14:43 Fri
In reply to damhan-allaidh:

That may well be the case (what is it a reaction to in Saudi?) and of course history is important, but how they arrived at the point of compulsory wearing of Islamic dress doesn’t change the fact that it is now compulsory, there is no choice. In which case asking "What's so liberating about wearing a miniskirt?" is a strange question given that not many people are compelled to wear mini skirts. If you think people, as a reaction against past bannings, would choose to wear Islamic dress when they were free to do so then why do you need to make it compulsory?
Thrudge on 14:50 Fri
In reply to RomTheBear:
> Sorry mate, nice effort with your post, but it's just made up islamophobe bollocks taken of the internet.

"Islamophobe bollocks": silly shouty nonsense, where's your argument? "Taken off the internet". Yes, in part. Used judiciously, the internet can be an excellent source of information. I've also gleaned info from books, and from articles in newspapers and magazines. Then I've synthesized the lot by rejecting what I find dubious, modifying what I think to be slightly in error, and accepting what I find to be true. That's how I arrive at my opinions. I don't, as you suggest, read something then regurgitate it.

> The reality is that the scripture are full of shite whether you look at the bible or the Quran.

Well, there's good stuff in there as well, but I'd broadly agree with you.

> It doesn't f*cking matter. The vast majority of Muslims don't bother reading the Quran, they don't know what's in it, and they don't care. Same for most Christians and Jews with the bible.

It does matter. Because millions of people adopt vile immoral beliefs directly from their religion, whether they study the texts or not. You won't find a doctrinally motivated Christian with an abiding hatred of bees, or a Muslim determined to wipe out the mallard. But you'd find plenty if the Bible said, "Kill the bees, for they are of Satan", or the Koran said, "Strike thee at the necks of the mallard, and all green headed birds". The texts may not matter to you and I, but they matter profoundly to those who believe in them.

> You can make far fetched arguments about Islam being "worse", but it doesn't hold true when you actually analyse the scriptures, and it's easily empirically disproven by the fact that for most of history Christians behaved as badly as Muslims did.

Please see my earlier remarks on the doctrine of abrogation. In brief, the later passages of the Koran overrule the earlier ones and the later ones are overwhelmingly violent and intolerant. In a similar way, New Testament overrules the OT but there is a key difference: the love and peace stuff is mostly in the NT.

Christian savagery in medieval times in no way justifies Islamist savagery now.

> At the end of the day, it's just a matter of politics.

It's partly a matter of politics. But it's primarily a matter of religion. Those committing the savagery continually tell us so.

RomTheBear on 15:22 Fri
In reply to Thrudge:

> "Islamophobe bollocks": silly shouty nonsense, where's your argument? "Taken off the internet". Yes, in part. Used judiciously, the internet can be an excellent source of information. I've also gleaned info from books, and from articles in newspapers and magazines. Then I've synthesized the lot by rejecting what I find dubious, modifying what I think to be slightly in error, and accepting what I find to be true. That's how I arrive at my opinions. I don't, as you suggest, read something then regurgitate it.

What you've done is essentially called cherry-picking. I think we're going to need a lot of fruit pickers shortly so it may become an useful skill, you never know !


> It does matter. Because millions of people adopt vile immoral beliefs directly from their religion, whether they study the texts or not.

They adopt the beliefs of those who interpret the texts for them. And unfortunately it is the case that many of those doing so in the middle east are politically motivated. You could give them Peppa the Pig as a sacred book they'd still come up with some reason in it to promote violence to further political ends.

> Please see my earlier remarks on the doctrine of abrogation. In brief, the later passages of the Koran overrule the earlier ones and the later ones are overwhelmingly violent and intolerant. In a similar way, New Testament overrules the OT but there is a key difference: the love and peace stuff is mostly in the NT.

I know very well what you mean and heard this argument countless times. As I said, it doesn't stand to scrutiny. Do you think Muslims have all degrees in theology ? The vast majority has probably not read any of it, they don't know what's in it, therefore it doesn't really matter. Same for Christians.
Thankfully most practitioners of monotheist religion are utterly ignorant of their own religion.

> Christian savagery in medieval times in no way justifies Islamist savagery now.

Medieval times only ? I think you could find plenty of atrocities committed by christians in modern times.

When an american drones wipes out a couple of families in Iraq, you can bet that those affected will blame it on this evil ideology of the west.
When an idiot blows himself up amongst kids in Manchester, you can bet that those affected will blame it on this evil ideology of the east.

Question of opposing perspectives, and they are obviously both incorrect, the reality is just that you have human beings using spurious myths and beliefs in order to justify violence against fellow humans. This is not religion specific and in fact not specific to religion.

> It's partly a matter of politics. But it's primarily a matter of religion. Those committing the savagery continually tell us so.

And you swallow, and swallow, and swallow...

seankenny - on 15:43 Fri
In reply to damhan-allaidh:


> I think the 'Islamists' born in US, UK, Canada are a result of structural racism in society - see all those Daily Mail headlines all lined up which reinforces a particular nasty kind of identity politics...

But many posters on here simply refute your picture of this aspect of British society. It's all just a healthy response to terrorism, as far as they are concerned.

As for Mr/Ms Thrudge, he/she has yet to engage with the idea that scripture is not the be all and end all of religion, and that saying so actually puts you in the same camp as the Islamists.
Thrudge on 15:57 Fri
In reply to RomTheBear:
> What you've done is essentially called cherry-picking. I think we're going to need a lot of fruit pickers shortly so it may become an useful skill, you never know !

Nope, what I've done is evaluated evidence from both sides (I've heard a *lot* of religious apologists) and drawn my own conclusions.

> They adopt the beliefs of those who interpret the texts for them.

I agree. And those relating the texts often emphasise - with impeccable religious justification - the intolerant and domineering aspects. Again, I refer you to the doctrine of abrogation. BTW, it is not quite fair to say they 'interpret' the texts. Islamic doctrine deliberately gives very little wiggle room indeed for interpretation - the view is, the text is a message from God and not to be tampered with. This isn't conjecture on my part, it is completely standard in Islamic theology.

>You could give them Peppa the Pig as a sacred book they'd still come up with some reason in it to promote violence to further political ends.

This is genuinely amusing, but it isn't true. Peppa Pig does not urge death to the infidel, the genocide of the Jews, or the classification of women as second class citizens and chattel, or jihad. The Koran and the haddith do, unfortunately. Not by interpretation, but by direct statement.

> Do you think Muslims have all degrees in theology ?

Of course not. What they do have is imams and other commentators to relate scripture to them. And that scripture is extremely unpleasant. I don't see what is so difficult to grasp about this.

> Medieval times only ? I think you could find plenty of atrocities committed by christians in modern times.

Committed in the name of Christianity by a global militia conducting a religious terror campaign? Surely we would have heard about this on the news?

> When an american drones wipes out a couple of families in Iraq, you can bet that those affected will blame it on this evil ideology of the west.

Quite possibly. Does this justify us depicting it as Christian terror? No.

> When an idiot blows himself up amongst kids in Manchester, you can bet that those affected will blame it on this evil ideology of the east.

Yes. That's because the people doing the bombings and stabbings and van murders and shootings and beheadings tell us they're doing it for religious reasons. Again, I don't see why this is so hard to understand.

> And you swallow, and swallow, and swallow...

I'm intrigued as to what you are implying here. You seem to be claiming that I'm being duped. Are the murderers lying when they claim to act in the name of Islam? Are the media lying to us when they say that's what the terrorists are saying? In what way am I being misled, and by whom?
Thrudge on 16:01 Fri
In reply to seankenny:
> But many posters on here simply refute your picture of this aspect of British society. It's all just a healthy response to terrorism, as far as they are concerned.

I haven't seen anyone claim that. Could you give examples, please?

> As for Mr/Ms Thrudge, he/she has yet to engage with the idea that scripture is not the be all and end all of religion, and that saying so actually puts you in the same camp as the Islamists.

Sorry, I missed that question, I must have been inattentive. Would you like to expand on it before I respond, or should I just have at it? BTW, I'm pretty sure I haven't claimed that scripture is the be all and end all of religion.

damhan-allaidh on 16:02 Fri
In reply to Sir Chasm:

Saudi is different because it isn't Turkey and it isn't Iran - completely different cultural, political, religious and social contexts. Veiling and seclusion of was a common feature in Judaic, Christian, and pre-Islamic societies in the Middle East (and Greece) - although it was mainly limited to those higher up the social scale. Veiling and seclusion demonstrated that you were rich enough to allow the women of your family to not have to work; rural and nomadic women tended not to be veiled because they were labouring. In other areas that Islam moved into further east, women did not wear veils for a long time, because unlike the Fertile Crescent and Arabia, it wasn't part of the local culture.

It's not the actual clothing worn, it's the relative value judgements attached to them. I think she was trying to point out that there is nothing culturally or morally superior about the mini-skirt as clothing, and that there is actually a lot of peer pressure on young women (and although not the topic covered by the discussion, young men as well, just to be fair) in Western societies to conform to certain modes of dressing.
Sir Chasm - on 16:20 Fri
In reply to damhan-allaidh:

> Saudi is different because it isn't Turkey and it isn't Iran - completely different cultural, political, religious and social contexts. Veiling and seclusion of was a common feature in Judaic, Christian, and pre-Islamic societies in the Middle East (and Greece) - although it was mainly limited to those higher up the social scale. Veiling and seclusion demonstrated that you were rich enough to allow the women of your family to not have to work; rural and nomadic women tended not to be veiled because they were labouring. In other areas that Islam moved into further east, women did not wear veils for a long time, because unlike the Fertile Crescent and Arabia, it wasn't part of the local culture.

> It's not the actual clothing worn, it's the relative value judgements attached to them. I think she was trying to point out that there is nothing culturally or morally superior about the mini-skirt as clothing, and that there is actually a lot of peer pressure on young women (and although not the topic covered by the discussion, young men as well, just to be fair) in Western societies to conform to certain modes of dressing.

You're right, it isn't about the actual clothing. And it isn't about mini skirts being morally or culturally superior (because I doubt anyone has actually made that claim). It is about, as I've repeatedly said, the imposition of what can and cannot be worn and the removal of the freedom to choose.
And looking around Leeds, for example, your peer pressure appears to be remarkably ineffective in its imposition of compulsory mini skirt wearing, people appear (they may have been forced I suppose) to have chosen all sorts of different clothing.
seankenny - on 16:43 Fri
In reply to Thrudge:
Scrolling upthread and having a read isn't so hard, surely?

And whilst you haven't listed out things in numerical order, you do seem to get quite excited about scripture. Attentive readers of Karen Armstrong - also mentioned on this thread so some people will get this - will see a devotion to logos over mythos.

If this means nothing to you then there are plenty of clear expositions online.
Post edited at 16:46
Thrudge on 17:28 Fri
In reply to seankenny:
> And whilst you haven't listed out things in numerical order,

No idea what you mean by this.

> you do seem to get quite excited about scripture.

No, the excitement is something you project onto me. I am entertained by lively debate, though, and I get a bit of fun out of puncturing the pompous and pretentious along the way, so perhaps that's what you've misinterpreted as 'excitement'.

> Attentive readers of Karen Armstrong - also mentioned on this thread so some people will get this - will see a devotion to logos over mythos.

OK.... I haven't read Karen Armstrong. I have listened to one of her lectures. She went on and on about the beauty of Islam, lost in wonder like a little girl enamoured of the fairy castle. Didn't strike me as a sound thinker. Did strike as me as possibly being heavily 'medicated'.

> If this means nothing to you then there are plenty of clear expositions online.

The Koran and the haddith are online, too. Be sure to shut your eyes when you get to the naughty bits.
Thrudge on 18:08 Fri
logos and mythos

Note to off-duty: don't worry your troll-like brain over these things. They're like Mars bars and Twix, innit?

Stichtplate on 18:18 Fri
In reply to Thrudge:
> logos and mythos

> Note to off-duty: don't worry your troll-like brain over these things. They're like Mars bars and Twix, innit?

You don't have to flaunt your ignorance you racist buffoon. They're right next to Mykonos and very nice this time of year.
;-)
Post edited at 18:19
FactorXXX - on 18:48 Fri
In reply to Thrudge:

Note to off-duty: don't worry your troll-like brain over these things. They're like Mars bars and Twix, innit?

I thought they were types of climbing shoe?*

*Apologies for mentioning climbing...
Thrudge on 19:24 Fri
In reply to Stichtplate:

<applause> Brilliant!
off-duty - on 21:46 Fri
In reply to seankenny:

> The thing is, we both seem to agree that racism exists - you've said so yourself (apologies if you haven't, I'm on my phone, scrolling agh etc). So we're looking at what it is. I've pointed out when I think it occurs, you've told me I'm stifling debate. I mean, really?

What I think is stifling debate is the crying of racism when the "man in the pub" tries to comment about Islamic terrorism.

> As for the think tank thing, you claimed there was no such thing as an anti-Muslim think tank. Well, the only rebuttal we need to that line of argument is one counter example (the whole black swan argument which you might be familiar with). But of course you really want a list of them, don't you? And you want to vet the sources - Wikipedia apparently isn't good enough.

> Well, that's a task I'm not going to undertake because life is limited and your posts are a bit dull.

Actually what I wanted is for YOU to back up your claim :-

> So let me get this right. We've had an endless parade of tabloid splashes about Islam. We've had smart articles from scholars and experts in the broadsheets. We've had politicians and conferences and Prevent and think tanks and government task forces and books and pamplets, all critical of Islam. We've had the War on Terror and invading Iraq and white supremecist violence against Muslims.

Specifically in this case clarify the think tanks (plural) that were critical of Islam, not just Islamic terrorism.
In response you've posted a link to a wiki article about a US think tank, I must confess I'm not familiar with it's work (not having realised your comment above was referring to the whole world rather than just the UK). I agree from the comments on the article it appears it's criticism of Islamic terrorism does appear to extend into further criticism of other aspect of Islamic ideology and as such be reasonably called an anti-Islamic group.

I have no issue in relation to your source for the think tank being Wiki. I'm just surprised that having made such a sweeping generalisation you have had to resort to google and a link to Wiki, rather than knowing of these several think tanks and being able just to direct readers to their sites.

In relation to black swans, you made the assertion that there were several think tanks. I fear one black swan does not make a bevy.

> As for religious regimes, surely the growth of early democracies out of fundamentalist Protestant regimes gives one pause for thought?

> I mean, as it happens I hate theocracy and I hate religiously inspired politics. But my point was this: there were big questions over democracy and the Middle East in the early 2000s that claimed the problem lay in the very nature of Islam itself, rather than in religiously infused polities with particularly histories. To me, those arguments seemed to have an anti-Islamic bent rather than an anti-religious bent. They singled Islam out as the major problem, rather than the complex mix of religion, social structure, history, etc that to me was a more realistic picture.

Again, my response was in reply to your original comment :-
Naturally it was too big and complex a "thing" (event? movement? ideology?) to be that alone, or not to contain other strands, but that was part of it. Don't you remember all those "can these people's minds even *cope* with democracy" type articles in apparently serious newspapers?

So you appear to be backing down from tabloid articles saying "can these people's mind's even *cope* with democracy" and replacing it with "arguments" rather than "articles", which, "in your opinion", "seemed" to be more anti-Islamic than addressing the complex mix in these areas.
I'm not sure I recollect publications quite that facile in main stream media. Perhaps I'm reading different tabloids from you.

Thanks also for the comment regarding the quality of my posts. I do find it frustrating to have to lower myself to the level of the person I am discussing with, so when faced with a battery of ad hom, intellectual pomposity and verbosity, I find it best to continue in my lumpen, ill-educated, racist, thick plod manner.
Thrudge on 00:01 Sat
In reply to off-duty:

Lumpen, ill-educated, racist, and thick you may well be, but do not despair, sir. A little light fiction might be all you need to set yourself on a more righteous path. Allow me to supply a small dose and consider it my gift to you - a hand up from the gutter, which you may appreciate even if you don't understand it. Here is my little fiction:


The Secret Diary of Sean Kenny (age 22 and three quarters)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear Diary,

Today I encountered some people on the internet who are not as intelligent as I. It was a very gratifying experience. I first became aware of their inferior intellect when I listed all the books I have read and nobody responded with a list of all the books they have read. They are obviously afraid, and haven't read any books.

I addressed them in the lofty tones I imagine an Oxford don would use (because I will be one when I'm grown up, and I shall have a gown and drink sherry). This seemed to work very well, because pretty much everybody was too afraid to respond to me.

I also managed to humiliate a fellow calling himself "Off Duty", who is a policeman and therefore more suitably employed shooing the peacocks away from my bins than answering back to his betters. When I said logos and mythos, he actually thought they were chocolate bars and tried to eat them!

I think I shall masturbate tonight while imagining how I will explain my intellect to Helena Bonham-Carter, who will be so impressed she'll slowly take off her elbow-length yellow silken gloves and give me a sort of up and under look, and a conspiratorial smile.

Afterwards, I might send an encouraging email to my brother in arms Mr Karran, who is an unlettered prole, and I expect he smells of bacon, but his heart is in the right place.
THE.WALRUS - on 01:52 Sat
In reply to Thrudge:

I must say, I'm rather a fan of OffDuty...and have been for some time.

Interesting to see that, once again, the UKC illuminati have resorted to insults because they aren't smart enough to defeat his arguments or mature enough to have a difference of opinion without getting personal; despite all the books they've read!

Quite impressive from a humble plod...little more than an automaton in a uniform!

Anyway, I once read Horrace the Hungry Catterpillar, and I get through the Daily Mail gossip page most days (at work). Does this get me any cudos? Or would I have to go for something more high-brow / with longer words before anyone takes me seriously?
seankenny - on 10:13 Sat
In reply to Thrudge:

That's not a bad effort!

I showed it to a friend who laughed and said: "That guy *really* wanted to hurt your feelings," and of course he's right. You felt belittled so you spent your Friday evening writing fanfic about someone on the internet that you've never met.

Are you feeling better now?




Thrudge on 11:42 Sat
In reply to seankenny:
> You felt belittled


Projecting again, Sean? ;-)
Post edited at 11:46

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