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“One is dismayed …”

But what is this? A former Archbishop of Canterbury daring to criticise Islam?

Muslims claim a former Archbishop of Canterbury who criticised Islamic culture is “recycling” prejudice.

Speaking in Rome, Lord Carey said Islamic regimes were authoritarian and committed to power and privilege.

Lord Carey said not enough moderate Muslim leaders had condemned suicide bombers “clearly and unconditionally”, the Daily Telegraph reported.

But Muslim Council of Britain secretary general Iqbal Sacranie said: “One is dismayed by Lord Carey’s comments.”

I just bet one is.

I cannot find the original Telegraph piece that this BBC report refers to, but I did come across this, from 2001, when Carey actually was the Archbishop. Which is interestingly different from what he is now saying.

The BBC report continues:

BBC religious affairs correspondent Robert Pigott said Lord Carey’s speech had probably been more balanced than the impression given by the newspaper.

(Not that the BBC ever gives an unbalanced impression of anything.)

“One of the things that underlines his concern is the growth of Wahhabism – a very radical part of Islam – which is becoming quite dominant in the developing world,” he told Radio 4’s Today programme.

“There was also a sense when Lord Carey was archbishop, that he was growing increasingly frustrated by the problem in Islam, as he saw it, of there being something of a lack of a hierarchy where leaders could say authoritative things which could in some sense be morally binding for Muslims in general.”

Which would be why President Bush doesn’t rely on “diplomacy” (that is to say, mere promises of future good behaviour from those in no position to keep them), but concentrates instead on hunting the terrorists down in their own back yards, and uses diplomacy merely to pressurise those who get in the way of that process.

The West is learning.

ADDENDUM: In the hilarious first draft of this, I attributed the paragraph about Bush chasing terrorists, as well as the paragraphs above that, to the BBC. The mother of all misplaced html commands, I think you will agree. I do not apologise, because this was too much of a laugh, and laughs are good.

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25 comments to “One is dismayed …”

  • nickmallory

    The coverage on the BBC this morning was focussed more on Muslims condemning Lord Carey, rather than explaining what he’d said – just in case people agreed with it presumably.

    The facts of the matter are obvious – most muslim states are authoritarian, the west does produce science, wealth and progress whille the muslim east has stagnated. In today’s climate you’re not allowed to think about whether something is true or not, only that it’s heretical to say it.

    The fact that something can be factually correct but not politically correct terrifies the BBC.

    The problem with too many self appointed spokesmen for Islam is that instead of saying, ‘yes, there’s some merit in this’ it’s always a blanket attack on his right to say anything. It’s exactly that lack of self criticism which is the problem.

    A speech such as this is always said to be ‘unhelpful to the debate’ when actually it’s just a contribution to it.

    Good for Lord Cary. I’m sure there won’t be much discussion about this on the BBC because they know most people who contribute to it would agree with the ‘incorrect’ view he’s expressing.

    We’ll have to make do with everyone parroting how islam is a religion of peace the next time a couple of hundred people get blown to pieces.

  • The Wobbly Guy

    The emperor has no clothes. Is that so difficult to say?

    It seems like everybody needs to be reminded of this time and again.

    The Wobbly Guy

  • Steve

    Seems to me if the chap is so worked up he should lobby the Queen for a Crusade. 😉

  • Steve

    Seems to me if the chap is so upset he should lobby the Queen for a Crusade.

  • Verity

    Here’s the link, chaps. (Link) If it doesn’t work, go to the Telegraph site and at the top it says Click here for today’s stories. Click there.

    Carey also said the Muslims hadn’t contributed anything to the world for centuries. He also said it was nice that they had passed on calculus and Aristotlian thought from Ancient Greece. (In other words they didn’t, as they claim, invent the study. They just relayed it.)

  • Susan

    Verity: The Byzantines preserved the ancient texts, and in a better format than the Muslims because the Byzantines spoke Greek and didn’t need to translate them from another language.

    When the remnants of the Byzantine Empire fell in 1463, scholars, scientists etc. fled and brought many texts with them to the West. This is the real genus of the Italian Rennaissance, NOT Islam as is frequently claimed and as even George Carey seems to have fallen for.

    And let’s not even get into the contributions of the Celtic Monks and the Carolignians to Western civilization. Fact is, the Dark Ages were not as Dark as everyone paints them and there was plenty being developed and done in the West that had nothing to do with Islam.

    Re: Carey. He’s just committed the ultimate tranzi heresy: Defending the West. Oh, lord, will the fur fly now. Good on you George — but let’s hope he at least succeeds in directing some attention to the awful persecution suffered by Christians and other non-Muslims in places like Pakistan, Indonesia and Egypt.

  • Verity

    Susan, yes, has Carey just taken a truth drug or something? What gives?

    I didn’t know that about the fall of the Byzantine empire. Thank you.

    No one has yet commented on this Dr Sacranie who has muttered darkly that Dr Carey had no right to utter the words Prophet and the Koran in the same sentence. I think his words were meant to bode ill, although I think the words of Dr Carey bode iller – for the pinko tranzis.

  • Verity

    Ooh, er – a furious person called Manzoor Moghul, chairman of the Federation of Muslim Organisations in Leicester has just vented. To say he is outraged is putting it too mildly. To say he is dated, likewise.

    Poor ol’ Manzoor said: “”This is a disastrous statement from the former archbishop. He has fallen prey to the campaign tactics of racists in this country.” Oh, woe is us! Manzoor has played the race card! Run away!

  • Mark Ellott

    In Britain, we have freedom of speech – unless, it seems, we upset Muslim sensibilities.

    From the comments I have seen, Lord Carey has merely pointed out a few home truths – better late than never. However, we can’t have that, can we?

    FFS this really really pisses me off! Let’s call a spade a spade here…Islam is a nasty, suppressive, misogynistic, brutal medieval belief system. So, is one suitably dismayed?

    Ah, I feel better for that little rant 😉

  • Susan

    Actually Verity, Carey when Archbish of Canterbury did try very hard to get some relief for Christians under duress in Muslim lands, particularly those of former British colonies such as Pakistan. I believe he was stymied in his efforts by certain powerful establishment figures, such as the one whose initials are C-PoW.

    Byzantines had a very sophisticated society. Their contributions are shamefully ignored by the West. The much bally-hooed Islamic mosque architecture with the rounded domes is based on Byzantine church designs as can clearly be seen in the Aya Sophia (built 100 years before Mohammad.)

    The Byzantines unfortunately became absorbed and divided by various bitter Christian theological disputes and thus were weakened fatally, and their civilization became prey to Islam, which overran and destroyed a great deal of Byzantine history, artwork etc.

    The late Byzantines remind me of today’s Western Europeans, with the huge bureaucracies and the endless tranzi bickering about minutia.

  • Chris Goodman

    Calculus was developed by Newton and Leibniz in the C17th.

  • The Wobbly Guy

    Or was it algebra? I know the Indians had something to do with that, not the muslims…

  • Wot be this, then, about me not bein’ able to say corn ‘n profit in one sentence. Blasted camel-shaggers never heard a pig fart in their whole lives.

  • Guy Herbert

    Is it Islam that’s paralysing? Or is it the Arab culture that’s bound up with it that is arid?

    My impression (which may be mistaken) is that the greatest cultural achievements of the Islamic world (not counting the religion itself) do not to emanate from its Arab core, but from other areas where there were rich civilizations already and the umma, despite itself, promoted intercultural contact: Iran, Northern India, Anatolia, Iberia.

  • David Mercer

    I find it a bit ironic that the lack of hierarchy in most of Islam is one of the things the good Archbishop objected to. There is a case here for the resiliance of some extreme libertarian notions. For instance, that lack of hierarchy is most pronounced in Shia Islam, where the source of theocratic law is of course your Imam (or equivalent, not sure if that’s a Shia or Sunni term). The twist is that you can pretty freely choose which mosque to go to, and that mosque’s leader is who you are bound to for any religious judgements.

    Huh, guess we have another example of a stable kritarchy (or similar structure) in modern times. If the leader lacks followers, they lack standing to render any judgements, as the jurisdiction you’re under is voluntary.

    Branches of Shia Islam (most particularly Sufis) are indeed very peaceful people more than capable of living in pluralistic societies. Wahabism is indeed the rot on the tree (radical Sunni Islam). The bad patch in Iran the last 25+ years is what gave Americans the idea (I shared it for a long time) that Shia was the main problem. Woops, turns out that was what looks to be turning out to be a blip with the Persians, and the houses of Saud and Wahab are the really big deal.

  • mike

    What I find most distatestful is that these vocal muslim “leaders” play the race card when someone has the balls to tell the truth about their religion & then criticise them without trying to refute their claims.

    I went into a mosque once (I was invited by a muslim friend to an end-of-ramadan chowdown) and I was fine until I saw the women huddled in a corner behind a screen. This made me immediately uncomfortable, and suddenly to dislike Islam.

  • Verity

    Mike, yes, they’re saying Dr Carey “has fallen victim to racists”. In other words, his views could not possibly be sane. Mad racists have burrowed into Dr Carey’s brain and over-powered him.

  • Tuscan Tony

    Having arrived recently from Mars/Jupiter/wherever, Earthlings, I’d like very much to know what is meant by the term “racist”? If I understand correctly from the context in which it is generally employed, it seems to be principally a word used by Person A when they can think of no logical response to a statement by Person B, because Person B is, most unfairly and irritatingly, correct.

    Am I right?

  • Verity

    Tuscan Tony, the word “racist” is the magic bullet that kills debate dead in its tracks and catapults the accuser in one effortless bound onto the moral high ground. No intellectual or moral muscle required.

    As in the case of little 92-year old lady in an NHS hospital who was left unattended and with unchanged bloody socks on her feet for two days. When people started railing against the NHS, Tony Blair personally resolved the debate by simply announcing that the little old lady was a racist (because she’d made an intemperate comment, as little 92-yr patients in hospital are wont to do). Case closed. Bloody socks were too good for her.

  • Tuscan Tony

    Verity, thanks, very helpful. Saying “Racist” is thus the verbal equivalent of trying to avoid losing the argument by simply pulling a gun and blowing one’s protagonist away, rather like John Cleese and the banana-wielding attacker of the 1970’s sketch.

  • Verity

    Tuscan T – I haven’t seen that sketch, but I don’t think the analogy is apt (if it is, I am confident that someone will leap in to correct me). If you blow someone away, dat person be daid. There is no moral judgement attached. If you call someone a racist, you have attacked their inner self; their soul. You have accused them of inadequacy as a human being. So it is a moral judgement designed to crush and shrivel the soul and hold the “racist” up to ridicule, while the accuser has thrown a mantle of self-righteousness around his own shoulders.

    And it is a charge that is impossible to deny, because then you’re playing into the accuser’s hands. Denying it hotly by saying, “I’m not a racist!” only demonstrates how seriously the accused takes the charge. Trying to prove through argument that one is not a racist has a similar effect. If you ignore them, the accuser will come back to it immediately with, “So you don’t even deny being a racist?”

    As I said, it’s a magic bullet, but it isn’t intended to kill the accused; it is intended to kill the debate and not just rob the accused of credibility, but to discredit anything he says thenceforth. (The BBC will eagerly seize the epithet and put it in front of your name for the rest of your life.) And to be seen so doing. That is important. To parade a spurious moral triumph while stifling free speech. It’s very vicious. A tactic the Left finds quite exciting, which is why they employ it ceaselessly. John Cleese and his gun are benign in comparison.

  • Tuscan Tony

    The Banana Sketch:

    J Cleese is an instructor educating the unworthy/ignorant as to how to defend themselves against attack by persons armed with assorted vegetables/fruit. He persuades (finally) someone to rush him wielding a banana, then demonstrates the response to such an attack by pulling a Colt 45 (or whatever) and wasting (blowing away, whatever) the individual, much to the chagrin, pique and disconsolation of the fellow students.

    The remaining students, rather like the recipients of the “racist” slur, fall silent and are in confusion at the grossness of the riposte.

    So now you know. Pretty good analogy, methinks!

  • Verity

    Tuscan T – I assumed something along those lines when you mentioned John Cleese+sketch+banana+blowing away. No, I don’t think it’s an apt analogy at all, for the reasons I wrote.

  • Tuscan Tony

    Verity – as they say- I am but the dust under your chariot wheels. Having said that, I prefer to be red than dead. Unfashoinable, heretical even, but at least one always has tomorrow to change ones mind!