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What answer were you expecting?

Diana Darke, writing in the Guardian, asks,

Britain used to ask Muslims to move here. What happened to us?

In the current climate of Islamophobia, I wonder how many British people are aware of a series of films made in the early 1960s, which were expressly designed to encourage people from Arab countries to come to Britain to work or study. The four films, all in Arabic, were made on behalf of the Foreign Office, and all begin with a mosque skyline and melodic chants of “Allahu Akbar”, the start of the Muslim call to prayer. They are unapologetically religious, eager to show Arabic-speaking Muslims how welcoming Britain is, how Islamic institutions exist in Britain to cater to their cultural and religious traditions, as a friendly home from home.

I truly, literally hesitated to post this Guardian article that purports to combat hostility to Muslims because it is so obviously certain to infuriate people against them. In the end I did post it because the phenomenon of its existence is worthy of examination. Why do the writers of such pieces do it? Why does the Guardian facilitate them? What answer were they expecting?

106 comments to What answer were you expecting?

  • What answer were they expecting?

    وَعَلَيْكُمُ السَّلَام

    Probably. Isn’t that what the defeated kufr are meant to say?

  • Paul Marks

    Oh those terrible examples of “Islamophobia” – Prime Minister Gladstone and Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Both of whom committed the terrible crime of telling the truth about Muhammed-Mohammed and Islam.

    This article would not matter if it was just the “Guardian” – a newspaper written by lunatics for lunatics. But a watered down form of this is also what Prime Minister Theresa May, and the rest of the establishment, believe.

  • If they’re anything like their counterparts in the US, they hate Muslims just as much as conservatives do–they just draw a different conclusion from their hate. After Republicans recycled 1930s Nazi propaganda to invent paranoid fantasies about how Muslims want to destroy civilization, the liberals, who want civilization to be destroyed, embraced the fantasies and started cheering for the Muslims who they imagine want to destroy everything they (the liberals) hate.

  • CaptDMO

    Lest we forget: -phobia=irrational fear or hatred.
    What does Islam’s instruction manual say?

  • The Pedant-General

    ? It’s posted on “Comment is Free”, but with no comments allowed…

  • TDK

    It’s a curious article. It specifically calls out

    the “hostile environment” presided over by Theresa May and David Cameron since 2010, years before Isis declared its caliphate in Raqqa in 2014, also has much to answer for.

    but there’s no mention of 9-11, the tube bombings or Ariana Grande.

    Wilful blindness.

  • NickM

    T P-G,
    One of the great mysteries of the online world is The Guardian comments policy. It makes no sense whatsoever.

  • Stonyground

    The comments are closed because they don’t want people pointing out reality to them.

  • neonsnake

    TDK – right? It really is curiously odd.

    I mean, there are a few obvious reasons why Islamophobia is on the rise, that aren’t exactly difficult to point to. 9/11, 7/7 are both well before 2010, if my grasp of how time works is correct. Why no mention of Bin Laden, or Al-Quaeda? Or the Iraq war, and Blair’s rush to get involved?

    After Republicans recycled 1930s Nazi propaganda to invent paranoid fantasies about how Muslims want to destroy civilization

    And prior to 2010, our New Labour government over here in the UK did exactly the same, using the paranoid fantasy as an excuse to constantly erode our civil liberties from 2001 onwards – all well before Cameron and May. “Travelling While Muslim” became a lottery well before May and her hostile environment. The list of Islamophobic views held by New Labour and used as excuses to enact new laws disproportionately targeting Muslims is immense.

    Disclaimer: I’m not making any excuses for May or the Conservatives. Only that to hold her and them to blame while ignoring the years before 2010 is intellectually dishonest; does the author actually think that everything was rosy for Muslims in the UK until 2010? I blame New Labour far more than the Conservatives for anti-Muslim sentiment.

  • Itellyounothing

    A small but impactive group of tightly knit kashmiri organised crime groups raping working white girls might also have had some reputational affect on wider Islam once they were found out……

  • NickM

    Stony,
    Oddly enough I don’t think that is it. Whether they allow comments is utterly random.

  • TDK

    does the author actually think that everything was rosy for Muslims in the UK until 2010?

    Worse: she picks a film made in the 1960s (pre-Rivers of Blood, concurrent with P*ki-bashing and just after the Notting Hill Riots) as the “welcoming time”

  • neonsnake

    (pre-Rivers of Blood, concurrent with P*ki-bashing and just after the Notting Hill Riots) as the “welcoming time”

    I hadn’t thought of it that way, but yes, of course you’re right.

    And from the films’ dates, they were all produced Macmillan’s time, so…what’s her point? I mean, it seems obvious to me that the article is an excuse to bash the Tories, but presumably she thinks the Tories of the early sixties were less Islamophobic than today? Undoubtedly true, but they weren’t a religion you could really demonise to the same degree in 1961, so that seems to be a trivial observation.

  • Pat

    So we are told a government office made and distributed films intended to attract Muslims to come to Britain.
    Quite clearly this was not mentioned to the populace, for whom this comes as a surprise.
    No, Britain did not invite Muslims here.
    Rather a branch of government lied to both the British people and the Muslims.
    Anyone involved in that lie deserves to be shot at minimum.
    And the Muslims should be grateful at the tolerant treatment offerred to what as far as the British knew were uninvited guests.
    I assume of course that said films were actually made and distributed – I have only the author’s word for that.

  • Henry Cybulski

    Ken Hagler,
    What invention of “paranoid fantasies about how Muslims want to destroy civilization” are you referring to? I seem to recall certain non-invented things happening all over the place: 9/11, 7/7, the Madrid train bombings, the Bataclan Theatre massacre, destruction of pre-Islamic and non-Islamic art and artifacts, and on and on and on, way too numerous to list.

  • TDK

    Tories of the early sixties were less Islamophobic than today? Undoubtedly true, but they weren’t a religion you could really demonise to the same degree in 1961

    Hard to recall now, but in the 1980s, pre-the Rushdie affair, Muslims were regarded as the “good immigrants” – they were perceived as hard working, more integrated and less likely to be in trouble with the law. In fact I recall articles in the Conservative Press arguing that whereas the West Indian community was never going to vote Tory, Muslims might be brought on board.

    I don’t recall the Ray Honeyford controversy doing much to dent this view at the time, but it will have contributed. I think the big shift was when people started burning the Satanic Verses in the street. Then it became clear that things weren’t going right.

  • AndrewWS

    I’d like to see some evidence that these films actually existed. I know the Government actively encouraged immigration from the Caribbean by way of such films, and it encouraged immigration from Pakistan and India (no idea whether films were used) but I’m rather sceptical about the use of films with an explicit religious dimension to encourage Arabs, not least because of (IIRC) the lack of mosques and comparable institutions in the UK in the early 60s. For example, the mosque nearest to me (I live within walking distance) opened in the 80s, as did the one in Regents Park in London. The one in Woking is much older, but I wonder how many people went there in the early 60s. This is one of the comments the Grauniad does not welcome.

  • neonsnake

    AndrewWS They’re these, I’m assuming.

    Without knowing Arabic, I’m unsure how religious they are – despite what the article says, the one film I skimmed doesn’t open with mosque filled skylines, and it appears to focus as much or more on business and work opportunities as it does on prayer (presumably that part is an assurance of freedom of religion).

  • bobby b

    I would guess that Ms. Darke’s article wasn’t written for a target audience consisting of anyone here.

    It’s leftist/Remain cheerleading, reminding the faithful that all of the current problems stem from those damned hateful conservative governments since 2010.

    If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the accepted truth. (If it weren’t for conservative hate, the Muslims would still be our friends.)

  • AndrewWS

    @neonsnake

    How utterly fascinating. Thank you.

  • The Pedant-General

    Henry,

    “I seem to recall certain non-invented things happening all over the place”

    I believe the approved phraseology is now “some people did something”

  • neonsnake

    If it weren’t for conservative hate, the Muslims would still be our friends.

    It’s crazy, isn’t it? We had a Labour government all the way from 9/11 to 2010!

    If you want to take the view that “we haven’t helped matters in our attitudes towards, and the way we treated ordinary Muslims”*, then why not include those nine years? It’s not like it’s not fashionable in left-wing circles to disown Blair and Brown’s New Labour as being not quite cricket – you can easily do it and still retain (and enhance!) your left-wing credentials.

    @AndrewWS – no worries. I didn’t do anything more than skim one of them, and then later skimmed another and it did indeed open with lots of shots of minarets and mosques, so who knows? If you fancy spending an hour and twenty minutes of your life watching something in grainy Arabic and glean any more insights, I’d be interested to know what you see!

    @TDK – I had to google Ray Honeyford, so on anecdotal evidence, I’d say it had little effect (I’d have been seven year’s old at the time). I do remember the Salman Rushdie incident as it happened, though, I think that was my first exposure. That aside, everything you say about them being regarded as hard-working etc rings true at gut level.

    *I take this view. It’s perfectly possible, and more importantly, factually correct, to draw a line between Islamists and the rest of the Muslims.

  • We had a Labour government all the way from 9/11 to 2010! (neonsnake, May 10, 2019 at 5:22 pm)

    From 1997 actually.

    On the one hand, Diana could ask, “What more could that Labour government have done?”

    – They imposed hate speech laws – and made it very plain how they would be enforced. In October 2002, postgraduate student Mr Hudaid hailed September 11 as a “great day”, praised Osama bin Laden as a “great man”, and thought all Americans “deserved to die”. He was prosecution witness against engineer Mr Scott, who was convicted of holding contrary views that he had not discussed with Mr Hudaid in a sufficiently unsimilar manner.

    – Blair and co used a lot of their usual skills – deceit – to facilitate rapid immigration of muslims. Merkel may have put them to shame but I think you have to give them an award for effort.

    – Rotherham council – and not only them – did what they could to ensure that our laws did not bear too onerously on muslims. And when they arrested fathers for trying to rescue their daughters from the gangs, you could not accuse them of failing to go above and beyond in punishing all forms of hostility to muslims.

    On the other hand, Cameron and May put much effort into matching the standards Labour set. I think it’s very – if predictably – grauniad-like of Diana to suggest they were not trying. They certainly acted like people more interested in Diana’s approbation than that of their voters. However it is difficult to meet Diana’s stern standards of anti-Islamophobia.

  • Why do the writers of such pieces do it?

    Firstly, to virtue signal – to proclaim their eliteness and our inferiority. Secondly, in support of that, they do it because

    it is so obviously certain to infuriate people against them

    How can they be elite if we do not demonstrate our un-elite attitudes? How can they demonstrate the need to silence us if we are not provoked into making the occasional uncouth noise? IIRC it was in Natalie’s copy of “The Vision of the Anointed” that I read Thomas Sowell’s analysis of this behaviour, with many an example, in the pre-9/11 period. This is the same thing post-9/11.

    If the British government’s policy since 2010 had been to create an inclusive, multicultural society rather than a hostile, nationalistic one,

    says Diana Darke. Actually that was what they have been trying to do since 2010 – as they were before, under Labour – but they took too many of their ideas of how to do it from the Darke side, which is related to why our society is not quite as ‘unhostile’, and ‘anti-nationalistic’ (in her sense of those words) as she wishes, though give them credit – they achieved much.

  • Sean

    Tolstoy was (and is) right. See Indian independence and/or the southern (democrat) states of the US. It works (do not resist evil).

  • Mr Black

    There seemed to be an international movement in the 60’s, I assume run by the communists, to have the western world open it’s doors to the poor, uneducated peasants of the 3rd world, most of whom would be permanent wards of the welfare state or could be expected to vote for more welfare and socialism. It happened everywhere, almost simultaneously and we’ve been suffering from it ever since.

  • Lord T

    Could it be we now have more experience to call on.

    I’ve tried several foods and after I’d tried them I made a point of avoiding them.

    Could it be the same here expect of course our protected politicians haven’t actually tasted anything yet despite making it compulsory for us.

  • neonsnake

    From 1997 actually.

    Of course; I only used 9/11 as the date from which anti-Islamic feeling went mainstream.

    On the one hand, Diana could ask, “What more could that Labour government have done?”

    I tend to the view that Blair and co weaponised and fostered anti-Islamic feeling in order to push through ever-increasingly authoritarian views, whilst shrugging and implying “We don’t WANT to do this, but, well, them Muslims, amirite? You’re going to have to accept a loss of freedom, I’m afraid…”

    All the while paying lip-service to the fiction that they were trying merely to protect Muslims. I found the whole thing very mealy-mouthed. Think Jack Straw and his “It should be incumbent on those who profess Islam to challenge the fanatics who cite Islam as a justification for appalling acts of violence.”, or Hazel Blear and her “It means that some of our counter-terrorism powers will be disproportionately experienced by the Muslim community”.

    Of course, you might be right and I’m reading too much into it.

    However it is difficult to meet Diana’s stern standards of anti-Islamophobia.

    Agreed, because her view is that all Muslims are peace-loving hardworking entrepreneurs that TDK alluded to. Which is fine, that indeed encompasses most of them. But she treats all of them the same, as one homogeneous block with no individuality (one wonders where she gets that from?), and ignores the indisputable fact that Islamists are barbarous terrorists.

    I struggle sometimes, to understand why people aren’t able to draw that line. We don’t group most other peoples together in such a way, it seems that Islam is a huge blind spot (for both left and right, to be fair to the left).

  • We don’t group most other peoples together in such a way (neonsnake, May 12, 2019 at 10:40 am

    On the contrary, that’s exactly what political correctness does do. The PC work hard – and with much success – to enforce the habit on the wider community. Part of their success is with communities they patronise. I discuss in the rest of this comment some things specific to the muslim situation, but a huge part of political correctness is to make membership of their patronised and hated groups into the trigger warnings of all our politics.

    After WWII, the German community in Czechoslovakia was expelled. They complained about this, but made the mistake of choosing as their spokesmen people who had been very involved in wartime expulsions of Czechs and other Nazi actions, so got very little sympathy. That community would have been wiser to reject their wartime leaders and seek out wartime resisters.

    The muslim community has a marked tendency to choose as its representatives people who seem very OK with PC actions on their behalf. The Ray Honeyford affair was mentioned above. When his death (2012) caused a brief remembrance of it, spokesmen for Bradford’s muslim community were still defending getting rid of him. Things would be different in the UK today if their 2012 response had been instead to say “He was trying to improve our children’s education. We are so sorry we got rid of him.” (Some community members may think this, as some Czech-born Germans may have opposed wartime actions, but they are not chosen as community leaders.)

    More generally, PC hatred of free speech catches muslims in a point of cultural moral vulnerability. Arriving, often somewhat recently and in numbers large enough to defer assimilation, from countries where demanding respect from dhimmis is an ancient and very-little questioned demand, they are ‘protected’ (you will understand my quotes) by the hate speech laws from pressure to adopt the more free-speech-oriented customs of the host country – and the PC assure them they are righteous to refuse those customs. When the Grande bomber’s teacher attempted to tell the class that it was wrong to make terrorist bombs, the future bomber threatened to report him for hate speech – and the teacher was rightly concerned at this – whereas there is no record of Abedi himself ever having cause to fear those laws.

    It is easy enough to present Christ in support of free speech. He was tried and condemned for things said, not for anything done. Mohammed, by contrast, is quite an obstacle to reconciling Islam with free speech both by example (e.g. killing dancing girls for laughing at him) and by precept (e.g. his rules for dhimmi). If a religion’s institutions become arrogant and oppressive, one can reform it back to its founder quite easily (philosophically speaking), but reforming it away from its founder is hardly possible.

    While the PC block such other social pressures as could help, concern about islam and about PC and about their interaction will remain rational, over and above the general concern we feel about what the PC are doing to our society.

  • neonsnake

    First – great post, Niall! Very thoughtful. I’m going to take some time to mull it over before responding properly.

    On the contrary, that’s exactly what political correctness does do.

    I agree, mostly. Whilst we don’t have strictly the same feelings on PC culture, we’re in agreement on this (see my “one wonders where she gets that from?” in the comment you replied to)

    By “we”, I meant us. What you call PC, and I will call left-wing for want of a better term, is not “us” 🙂

    “We”, I believe, treat people as individuals and evaluate them on their individual actions. “They” put people into boxes and deny them individual agency.

    I’ll return once I’ve given it some more thought.

  • Paul Marks

    Ken Hagler is a liar.

    You, Mr Hagler, are a liar Sir.

    The Republicans did not “recycle 1930s Nazi propaganda” against the Muslims – firstly the National Socialists (including Mr Hitler himself) were largely pro Islam – which they admired as a WARRIOR religion (unlike Christianity which they regarded as weak), bent on CONQUEST. They also admired the Islamic hatred of Jews – hence the alliance between the National Socialists and the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem.

    As for the Republicans – President Bush and others made endless PRO Islamic statements after 9/11. Coming out with the “religion of peace” (Islam actually means submission to Allah – not peace) and all the other nonsense. According to the “Neocons” the problem was a few nasty dictators and “extremists” who had “perverted” and “twisted” the noble religion of Islam.

    Anyone who suggested that the problem might be the beliefs (the principles) of Islam (NOT a few nasty terrorists and “extremists”) was ATTACKED by the neocons – most of whom were Republicans. As according to the neocons spreading democracy to the Islamic world would solve the problem – because ordinary Muslims (and Islam itself) were GOOD. The Neocons offered no evidence at all for their theory of the goodness of Islam – they just ASSUMED it and screamed “racist” at anyone who pointed out that they were in error.

    In short most of what you wrote in your comment was a lie Mr Hagler.

    And Islam itself? Have you read Gladstone’s comments on the Koran? Have you examined the evidence and arguments of David Wood and other opponents of Muhammed-Mohammed and Islam?

    I suspect that you have not done so Mr Hagler – because I suspect that as well as being a liar, you are also ignorant.

  • Paul Marks

    Ken Hagler’s comment was up for FOUR DAYS without anyone pointing out that the comment was a PACK OF LIES.

    Do people not even read the stuff that is put here?

  • Paul Marks

    14 centuries of Islamic attacks – from the massacres personally ordered by Muhammed-Mohammed in his conquest of Arabia, to the conquest of the Middle East, to more than a thousand years of raiding against Christians at sea and in coastal towns (leading to Thomas Jefferson sending forces to North Africa), to the massacres (of the Greeks and Bulgarians and many others) in the 19th century, to the mass slaughter of Christian civilians by the Islamic Ottoman forces in the First World War – and on and on.

    And all this is turned into “Republicans recycling 1930s Nazi propaganda” to feed “paranoia” – when it was actually the Republicans, led by President Bush, who claimed that the problem was NOT Islam – but was actually a few nasty dictators and radicals who had “perverted” and “twisted” the noble “religion of peace” (a mistranslation of the word Islam). So they, the Neocons, could argue that spreading democracy to the Islamic world would solve the problem as Islam was really good.

    I do not believe I have ever read a comment on Samizdata as blatantly dishonest as the one Ken Hagler wrote on this thread.

    Still Americans can see for themselves now – with the Islamic Members of the House of Representatives who have been elected by the Islamic populations let into the United States.

    A country is not lines on a map – geography and climate do not determine politics and culture. What matters is the PEOPLE – what they actually believe (what their principles are).

    Principles matter – and can not be replaced by sport and pop music (as so many modern “thinkers” appear to believe). If there had been a serious effort to convert the immigrants to a different set of principles (a different world view – not Islam) then things might have gone differently – as beliefs are NOT determined by “race”. But even the suggestion of arguing for a different world view (trying to convert the immigrants to a different set of principles) was rejected as “Islamphobia”.

    So now, because of the lack of any serious effort to convert the immigrants (or their children) to a different set of principles (a different world view) we face the disaster that is unfolding in so many European countries – and, now, in parts of the United States.

    Just a couple of quick questions for Mr Hagler.

    Do you believe that any man who leaves Islam should be killed – yes or no?

    And.

    Do you believe that any person (man or woman) who “mocks” Muhammed-Mohammed should be killed – yes or no?

    If your answer is “no” to either of these questions – then you are in CONFLICT with Islam, whether you want to be in conflict with Islam or not.

  • neonsnake

    It is easy enough to present Christ in support of free speech. He was tried and condemned for things said, not for anything done. Mohammed, by contrast, is quite an obstacle to reconciling Islam with free speech both by example

    Certainly. I’m no longer religious (born-again atheist, as it were), but I used to be, and Jesus Christ was basically the man. His Dad, on the other hand, can be shown to have been something of a nasty piece of work, depending on how much cherry-picking and quote-mining you’re up for. Personally, I’m not up for quote-mining, so I tend to take Christians at face value, and make judgements on how they act, rather than what set of rules they purport to follow. Because we’re human, we discriminate, and then we evaluate – I (rationally or irrationally) expect from Christians some resistance to certain characteristics of mine, which are strongly spoken against in the Good Book, and are cause for being put to death on my part. Spoiler: I’m still alive, despite my abominable acts, and in fact have rarely (not “not ever”) had cause for concern, since most Christians don’t actually follow every law in the Bible. Same holds for Jews.

    And the same for Muslims. I have more concern, since Muslims tend to be more devout, more fundamental, but I have rarely (again, not “not ever”) had cause for concern.

    There are many different translations of the Koran, or more properly annotations to the Koran, which change or distort the meaning drastically. Korans of a very violent nature can be found from Saudi Arabia (annotations in English), and I believe that the majority of English translations originate in Saudi Arabia. But they’re not the only translation, and, like Christians, Muslims also cherry-pick and quote-mine, and choose which bits to ignore and which not to. Hence, I’m still alive and very much not-stoned to death.

    I know that doesn’t really address the PC side of the debate; however the broader point is that my philosophy and way of life requires me to judge things and people as they actually are, not as part of a homogeneous mass. I attempt to apply that to all religions, even those whose “instruction manuals” I disagree with fundamentally (which includes all three Abrahamic religions).

    (I’m not always very good at living by that requirement, but I strive to make the effort)

  • Paul Marks (May 13, 2019 at 10:03 am), you are quite right that Ken Hagler’s comment (Ken Hagler, May 9, 2019 at 11:40 pm) has marked departures from fact. Amongst many other points (quite a few of which you’ve made), Nazi and Muslim leaders got on like a house on fire – or should I say like a synagogue they’d set on fire. Their common desire to kill Jews united them. The Mufti and Adolf made an agreement that the Nazis’ sole interest in Palestine, when Rommel reached it, would be to kill all the Jews there. (As they never did, the SS muslim unit was recruited largely from muslims in Europe.)

    I saw Ken Hagler’s comment but was too busy with work to comment myself that day. When I had time, I preferred to respond to the less absurd comments, assuming such low-hanging fruit as Ken Hagler was about to be plucked by someone. Perhaps others felt the same. Or perhaps they felt it was trolling – just confused enough in its broad-ranging accusations to be a mess to engage (so perhaps intentionally so – though never doubt how strange some views can genuinely be).

    It is very tedious to have to rebuff insolent lies – see, for example, Natalie’s request for a range of ways to illustrate that, “We didn’t win so we demand a rerun – and no, you certainly cannot do the same”, is unfair. But you know even better I that politics is the unending fight against those who are full of it – and full of them.

  • I know that doesn’t really address the PC side of the debate; however the broader point is that my philosophy and way of life requires me to judge things and people as they actually are, not as part of a homogeneous mass. (neonsnake, May 13, 2019 at 11:02 am)

    Firstly, in one sense, we both claim that. I did not write my poem to homogenise the migrants Merkel imported. I specifically say the majority will not kill Jews. I nevertheless say that Jews in Germany will be endangered. And I describe a mechanism connecting the two statements. (If we could trust the honesty of German state statistical classifications – alas, on this subject we very much cannot – we could over time form some opinion of whether trends are confirming or correcting me. Such assessment is of course also handicapped by Hitler leaving a very small and somewhat cautious data sample – another point mentioned in the poem.)

    Secondly, you doubtless understand as well as I do that many an RAF and US flyer who torched Hamburg in 1943 knew that each bomb stick had a statistical chance of killing a German who never voted for Hitler, a baby who had no opinion of Hitler, and/or a Jew hiding in a cellar who loathed Hitler. They nevertheless treated the inhabitants of Hamburg as one homogenised mass. Ideally, one avoids politics getting to the state where one must do this. Hitler’s aim was to turn the German nation into a political unit – something that he could use as a homogenised mass to others – even though it was far from that in fact. Would-be ethnic leaders, community organisers and suchlike all experience strong temptations to do exactly the same as far as they can – it comes with the territory (if you’re going to represent a group, it’s easier to treat the group as homogenous). If such leaders yield to temptation, and have enough success, you may one day have as much choice as those flyers did about whether you treat their group that way too. So I think about statistics and political processes and about how, whether and when they are metastatising into that form. (It is not the same as wishing they would – though the PC thinking pushed on all of us aims to forbid thought by making it look like it.)

    I know that doesn’t really address the PC side of the debate

    And I have largely ignored the Christian and Muslim side, since we agree on the founders & free-speech contrast. I remark in passing that while it is technically true that translations of the Koran are many, the original arabic version from which one translates has a great deal less variety, very early muslim efforts having ensured this.

  • bloke in spain

    Did the British public know the Foreign Office was putting out these films? Or would have approved of them, if it had? Somehow, I doubt it. It’s seems a strange idea the Foreign Office somehow reflects the attitude of the British people. The Foreign Office has long been the Government department that represents the interests of foreigners.

  • APL

    Feeling a bit queasy about Islam?

    “I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.”

    Quran 8:12

    It’s entirely proper you should do as Allah has commanded. Don’t forget to welcome the nice moderate moslem as he/she pops around to decapitate you and cut your fingers off.
    In that scenario, I guess losing your fingers is the least of your worries.

  • neonsnake

    Don’t forget to welcome the nice moderate moslem as he/she pops around to decapitate you and cut your fingers off.

    Sure.

    Look, I’ve been mates with muslims for the best part of 40 years, since I started playschool. I have and still do work with, for and have employed muslims. I had a muslim housemate for two years at University. And I’ve never had a problem, my fingertips remain resolutely attached, and I’m not about to start judging my mates on the actions of a bunch of nutters and extremists.

    If I’m wrong, I’m wrong. Hey, maybe they’re like Edo-period Grass, it was all a ruse, and they’re going to rise up at some point when the order comes down the line and behead me.

    But I’d rather live my life giving other people the benefit of the doubt, when the entirety of my lived experience is that they deserve it.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “There are many different translations of the Koran, or more properly annotations to the Koran, which change or distort the meaning drastically. Korans of a very violent nature can be found from Saudi Arabia (annotations in English), and I believe that the majority of English translations originate in Saudi Arabia. But they’re not the only translation, and, like Christians, Muslims also cherry-pick and quote-mine, and choose which bits to ignore and which not to. Hence, I’m still alive and very much not-stoned to death.”

    Different translations of the Koran all have pretty much the same meaning, with regard to violent bits, and Islamic scholars all agree that they’re real, they’re required by the orthodoxy, and they were historically applied. There’s a lot more variation in haddith and sunnah, with many haddith well-known to have been invented in the centuries after. Picking out the genuine from the false parts takes a deep knowledge of the subject. But here again there is a fairly well-agreed consensus on most of the rules, including on the violent bits.

    However, there are a couple of reasons why they don’t get applied, as simplistic and ignorant Westerners sometimes assume is their intention. The first is that Westerners often assume that because Islam doesn’t comply with our moral rules, it doesn’t comply with any moral rules at all. Islam is very strictly moral, and has all sorts of technical distinctions and conditions under which the various rulings apply. So for example all the stuff about beheadings in jihad can only be carried out when a number of preconditions have first been met. It can’t be done at random, whenever they feel like it. So it’s quite common for ignorant Westerners quoting bits of the Koran out of context to get the actual policy completely wrong.

    And the second and rather more important reason is that most Muslims today do not follow orthodox Islam, as set out in scripture and as agreed by Islamic scholars. While the theory remains the same, the actual practice of the religion has changed drastically. In orthodox theory, this is not allowed, and according to orthodox Islam most Muslims are not actually Muslims at all. However, in the absence of any other term to use for the large group of people who self-identify as Muslim, we’ll call them non-orthodox Muslims. And while Western Muslims have somewhat more conservative/traditional values than Europeans and Americans, they’re a long way along the same path the Christians have travelled.

    To compare the Western Muslims of today with Mohammad and his crew of bandits and slavers is like comparing the current Church of England vicar having tea and scones with the Medieval Borgia Popes or with the Church burning the heretics and blasphemers alive. Technically it’s the same religion following the same scripture, but the practice is very different. Society has changed.

    So anyone saying that the Koran doesn’t say that, or that history doesn’t record them doing all that, is lying or misled. But that doesn’t mean that the ‘believers’ of today believe the same thing, and are just waiting their chance to revert to their old ways. Some do, and probably a lot more Muslims than Christians, but one can’t assume it.

    Much of the trouble with Islamic violence nowadays has little to do with religious belief per se – that’s usually just an excuse and justification. It’s more to do with international power politics, economics, nationalism, and culture shock. People internalise the moral rules of society as children, and experience distress when they change. Islamic society has been quite static for many centuries, morally strict and traditional for a long time, but exposure to the West has brought about massive cultural and economic change, and many of their traditional attitudes are no longer ‘acceptable’ to their Western trading partners, while many formerly unacceptable practices are being rapidly imported from the West and being taken up by their youngsters. Many of them feel they are losing their identity, being corrupted, and their traditional culture is being destroyed. At the same time, they’re usually quite inconsistent and hypocritical about it – often insisting on those new Western freedoms they happen to like, while drawing the line at others that other people happen to like. It’s all a bit of a mess.

    While politically correct Westerners often go too far in defending traditional Islam, opponents often go too far in condemning modern Muslims. It’s a very complicated situation. Islam is one of the world’s biggest remaining problems – a source of most of the violent conflict still going on. But at the same time it’s not an impending apocalyse, but instead a problem already well along the road to a solution. Just as we as a society progressed from medieval authoritarianism to liberal modernism, so will they.

  • APL

    neonsnake: “And I’ve never had a problem, my fingertips remain resolutely attached, and I’m not about to start judging my mates on the actions of a bunch of nutters and extremists.”

    Sure, but the moslems you know do not adhere to the teachings of Allah as revealed by his Prophet Mohammed (PBUH).

    Tanveer Ahmed a devout Moslem, Asad Shah a Heretic who apparently deserved to be put to death for wishing his Non Moslem customers a Happy Easter.

  • neonsnake

    Sure, but the moslems you know do not adhere to the teachings of Allah as revealed by his Prophet Mohammed (PBUH).

    Ok.

    So…what?

    What do you expect I should be doing?

    When every Muslim I know, and have know, in 40 years of living in East London and North London, is acting on parts of the Koran that don’t require my finger tips or beheading, but the parts that require non compulsion of religion and feeding of those in need, what do you think I should be doing differently?

    How should I be treating Muslims?

    NIV, as always, is more articulate than I, but the point is that we treat people, as libertarians, as we find them.

  • neonsnake

    Quran 8:12

    It’s probably worth looking up the context around that verse as well. I said above – I have zero interest in quote mining, and that verse in particular is a good example of why not.

  • neonsnake (May 14, 2019 at 8:00 pm), in the aftermath of WWI, many Dutch families offered holiday breaks to hungry German kids; they welcomed them, fed them, etc. The kids and their parents were very grateful and thanked them profusely.

    In 1940, the Germans invaded Holland, bombed civilians to induce terror and surrender, shot hostages, etc.

    Those charitable Dutch families felt kind of sore that their kindness had been repaid with terror and death. They also felt surprised that the very kids they had fed up were marching in the army that was invading them – not every one of them, but a great many of them.

    Niall ever-the-optimist Kilmartin is not of the opinion that history must repeat itself. But I feel the best way to avoid that is to know it. My closest from-Egypt friends are copts (my mother had a muslim friend whom she helped learn English, and I’ve had muslim acquaintance but no close work colleagues or friends). My coptic friends have described kindnesses they knew from their muslim neighbours in Egypt, etc. – and also the culture changes they saw over the decades of the islamic revival there.

    None of this contradicts anything you noted in your comment. I guess I am just observing that more than one thing can be true at the same time – or rather, one present has the potential for two futures. The PC’s balkanisation of immigrants, criminalising of ‘islamophobia’, etc. – all these keep alive islam’s potential for that worse future.

  • APL

    neosnake: “It’s probably worth looking up the context around that verse as well.”

    Indeed. I quoted it in the context of a discussion of Islamophobia. And Allah has commanded non believers should feel Terror (Islamophobia). So it is unfortunate if our secular authorities take the view that Allah is correct but punish one for obeying Allah, anyway.

    neosnake: “context around that verse as well”

    I have, the context of the preceeding verses don’t much change its meaning.

  • neonsnake

    Fun fact (I’m only replying because it is a fun fact, so don’t take this as being combative): 3.12 is midway through a much longer section telling the story of Mohammed and a merry band of 300 being pursued from Mecca by a much larger hostile army (the 300 is coincidence, don’t mistake me as painting them as Leonidas and his 300!) of “disbelievers”.

    Allah informs them that he will strike fear into the hostile force’s hearts, and that they should fight hard (strike off their heads).

    The fingertip remark (and the only reason I know this is that I once came across the quote and asked my friend “Mo, what’s this obsession with cutting off fingertips that your lot have got?”) relates very specifically to the enemy archers 🙂

    Not unlike the mythical origin of the sadly no-longer-fashionable English V-sign.

  • bobby b

    “I have, the context of the preceding verses don’t much change its meaning.”

    8:12 is said to be qualified somewhat by 8:13 – 8:19, placing it in a defensive posture of “if they come at us, we will fight them to the death.”

    ETA: Timing is everything, I guess. 😉

  • APL

    neonsnake: “Mo, what’s this obsession with cutting off fingertips that your lot have got?”

    While not much fun at all, I could tolerate the loss of a finger tip on this hand or perhaps that hand. It’s their obsession with decapitation that irks me.

    neosnake: “relates very specifically to the enemy archers”

    Then perhaps Allah as he was dictating his eternal word, could have said, ‘you know, guys? When you capture your enemies archers, you should strike their fingers off’. Even I could get behind that one. The whole thing would be a nice history lesson confined to the 7th century, a little like our account of Agincourt. And though some of our more backward countrymen like the unfashionable V sign, they don’t usually take the story of Agincourt as an object lesson;- the way to do shittm 21st century style.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “They also felt surprised that the very kids they had fed up were marching in the army that was invading them – not every one of them, but a great many of them.”

    It’s an interesting reflection on the quote in the headpost, about the British making films to welcome Muslims in the 1960s, and then marching on them in protest. As circumstances change, people change their minds.

    “Niall ever-the-optimist Kilmartin is not of the opinion that history must repeat itself. But I feel the best way to avoid that is to know it.”

    And I’m sure there are quite a few Middle Easterners reading up on the history of the British Empire, for much the same reason. There’s an old aphorism to the effect that “Generals always fight the last war”.

    One of the lessons of history is that while the grand themes are often eerily similar (because human nature is always the same), the details of who and how are constantly changing. When watching for history to repeat, you can’t only be on the lookout for the same specific set of people who were involved last time. You have to look out for new groups of people fulfilling the old roles and archetypes. “History doesn’t repeat itself but it often rhymes.”

  • One of the lessons of history is that while the grand themes are often eerily similar (because human nature is always the same), the details of who and how are constantly changing.

    Indeed. I doubt any Jews in Europe today fear dying at the hands of a group of blonde, blue-eyed people. It lends new meaning to the old saying about importing migrants to do the jobs the locals will no longer do. But, as you say (echoing Burke, as perhaps you know), though the actors differ, the grand theme is often similar.

    quite a few Middle Easterners reading up on the history of the British Empire

    Ideally, that would include reading about how it moved the abolition of slavery from being such a joke that it required all the Ottoman Sultan’s dignity not to laugh outright in the British ambassador’s face when he suggested it, to being (a century later, after ceaseless pressure) a largely, if not completely, accomplished fact. But I fear our intellectuals, never mind theirs, may omit that from the syllabus.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “But I fear our intellectuals, never mind theirs, may omit that from the syllabus.”

    Oh, yes. Eventually. The British Empire achieved many good things as well as bad ones. And so did the Islamic Empire, as our left-wing intellectuals are rather more ready to point out.

    The world is not black-and-white – although moral absolutists on all sides will insist on painting it so.

  • APL

    NiV: “And so did the Islamic Empire,” [achieve good things]

    It did? name some.

    It achieved the destruction of the remnants of Greek and Roman civilisations in the Maghreb, destruction of the Mediterranean trade routes ( economimc Jihad ) the destruction of Constantinople. The destruction of the Visigoth kingdoms of Spain. The enslavement of European slaves, the enslavement of African slaves. The destruction of Western cannons of knowledge – if it ain’t in the Koran burn it, it’s heretical, if it is in the Koran burn it, we don’t need it. The destruction of Indian Hindu and Sikh cities, the destruction of Buddhist Afghanistan.

    Islamic ‘civilisation’? Not only an oxymoronic term, but an utter disaster.

  • It did? name some. (APL, May 16, 2019 at 6:26 am)

    Never overstate your case, APL. If NiV’s phrasing, with its suggestion of broad balance of achievement, is easily challenged, your demand is as easily answered. Without even checking a reference book or thinking hard, I can start some entries in some categories.

    The ‘Al’ at the start of various star names speaks to early islamic astronomy. Arabic architecture developed Roman ideas further; when the crusaders saw it, they brought back a number of ideas to the west. In the Islamic world, architecture continued to be leading edge for some time after this – you have perhaps heard of the Taj Mahal.

    Islamic culture also had a preservative and transmissive function which is perhaps minor but not quite valueless. It was non-Islamic Indians, not islam, who discovered ‘arabic numerals’ but we call them arabic because it was the arabs who transmitted the knowledge of them to the west. Although I cannot offhand remember an example, I’ve a notion that some ancient texts only survive because of arabic copyists. (Of course, many others became known in the west as Islam destroyed the Byzantine empire. Books as well as people fled west. There is much speculation that the fall of Constantinople in 1453 is not coincidentally associated with the growth of the renaissance. That was also an effect of islam – but not one we need thank them for.)

    Finally, islam’s formal dhimmi demand sets a low upper bound on their tolerance but also has at times provided a framework within which dhimmi can at least survive and function. After the reconquista, there were Spanish jews who found it preferable to go to the arab world with their expelled former rulers than to remain in Spain under the eye of the inquisition.

    I could write a good deal more if I could be bothered, but after last night’s epic on the poll tax in another thread, even Niall prolix Kilmartin is feeling a bit typed out. 🙂

    You would be safer to ask what islam has done for us recently.

  • APL

    “We will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve for what they have associated with Allah of which He had not sent down [any] authority. And their refuge will be the Fire, and wretched is the residence of the wrongdoers.”

    CH3:151

    Inexplicable, irrational fear of Islam? The very definition of Islamophobia. Don’t worry Allah is trying to tell you something.

  • Nullius in Verba

    [Rolls eyes]

    13 And when the Lord thy God hath delivered it into thine hands, thou shalt smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword:

    14 But the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is in the city, even all the spoil thereof, shalt thou take unto thyself; and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which the Lord thy God hath given thee.

    15 Thus shalt thou do unto all the cities which are very far off from thee, which are not of the cities of these nations.

    16 But of the cities of these people, which the Lord thy God doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth:

    17 But thou shalt utterly destroy them; namely, the Hittites, and the Amorites, the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee:

    18 That they teach you not to do after all their abominations, which they have done unto their gods; so should ye sin against the Lord your God.

    19 When thou shalt besiege a city a long time, in making war against it to take it, thou shalt not destroy the trees thereof by forcing an axe against them: for thou mayest eat of them, and thou shalt not cut them down (for the tree of the field is man’s life) to employ them in the siege:

    20 Only the trees which thou knowest that they be not trees for meat, thou shalt destroy and cut them down; and thou shalt build bulwarks against the city that maketh war with thee, until it be subdued.

    Deuteronomy 20:13-20.

    Deuteronomy is part of Christian scripture, and considered canon. I understand that the Christian position is that the ‘God’ described in the Old Testament is the same ‘God’ they’re talking about. Just as the Muslims claim that ‘Allah’ is the same ‘God’ that told the Jews to utterly destroy the Hittites, and the Amorites, the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. What ‘something’ do you suppose God was trying to tell us with this Biblical passage, which is virtually identical in meaning to the Koranic one you cited?

    This is not about using a ‘tu quoque’ “Christians are just as bad” argument, because I agree they’re not. The fact is that *all* the Judeo-Christian religions have horrible histories, and reformed over time to something much milder. Islam is a little way behind the others in this, but it has still moved a long way from its origins, just as we have. Horrific quotes are easy to find – in the Bible as much as the Koran. But if the modern-day version of the religion doesn’t actually follow them, it’s not very relevant.

    We judge people as individuals based on their individual beliefs and actions. If an individual follows the violent Old Testament ways described in the Bible or Koran, we can condemn him. If they claim allegiance to the religion but don’t follow those parts not in accord with modern morality, then we don’t. We’re smart enough to understand that people don’t become guilty by being members of a group that contains some of the guilty. And *we* have principles of justice demanding that people are presumed innocent until proven personally guilty, get a fair trial, don’t suffer collective punishments, are only judged for those crimes they have actually done, and we apply Blackstone’s Formulation.

    Those are the principles worth fighting for. “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

  • Julie near Chicago

    “If an individual follows the violent Old Testament ways described in the Bible…”

    — which almost none do —

    “…or Koran, we can condemn him.”

    — and when we do, and see that he’s following behavior prescribed originally and also currently, and acknowledge that fact, people get their hair on fire.

    I will now speak from my personal, real viewpoint, and point out that what the Bible shows to an atheist (in one sense) and agnostic (in another) like me is that the ancient Jews and their forefathers, many of whose stories and songs were collected over millenia in the Old Testament, over those millenia refined their starting view of their god so that he matured and became less interested in bloodshed as they did. God grew up with them as they grew up, so to speak.

    This is to me the most salient fact about the Old Testament and the Jews. If there was ever a noble achievement it was that.

    (This is not to say that no other individuals or other religious groups also improved their deities’ ethics or behavior as their own improved. I have no knowledge on that topic.)

    And this trend continued with the splinter group who became known as Christians, for example in their work on “Just War Theory.”

    (The fact that some go off the rails and become actual pacifists in the name of Christianity, or virtual pacifists such as the “libertarians” who’ve never found a war they approved of, notwithstanding. –Yes, this last is a bit hyperbolic, but not by much. Grumble.)

    .

    By the way — I just ran across this paper from the U. of Chicago, by Robert J. Delahunty and John Yoo, entitled “From Just War to False Peace.” Published 6/2012. Haven’t read it yet.

    https://chicagounbound.uchicago.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1497&context=cjil

  • APL

    NiV: “[Rolls eyes] … Deuteronomy 20:13-20.”

    “Deuteronomy is part of Christian scripture, and considered canon.” And superseded. It’s there for context and reference.

    “the Judeo-Christian religions”

    There is no such thing as ‘Judeo-Christian’, there is Jewish, then there is Christian. It’s as ridiculous as saying Islamo-Hindu to describe Afganistan, or in the Context of Palestine, Judeo-Islamic culture.

  • There is no such thing as ‘Judeo-Christian’, there is Jewish, then there is Christian. It’s as ridiculous as saying Islamo-Hindu to describe Afganistan, or in the Context of Palestine, Judeo-Islamic culture. (APL, May 17, 2019 at 6:49 am)

    Niall pedant Kilmartin feels constrained to point out that it is not as ridiculous. Although there was of course cultural interaction between Islam and those Hindus it conquered and those others it sought to conquer – I noted their transmission of Hindu numerals above – the two religions have very distinct origins. The situation is wholly different with Christianity, whose founder was at times called rabbi by his disciples. I tend to agree (but with all the obvious qualifications) with C.S.Lewis, who argued there are, in a sense, only two religions in the world, Christianity and Hinduism – but of course, in making his argument, Lewis leaned very heavily indeed on ideas expressed by the word Judeo-Christian. (Lewis characterises Islam as merely the best-known and largest Christian heresy. I wonder if one could be arrested for quoting that essay in the wrong place in today’s UK, as one can be for quoting Churchill.)

    Critiquing the other side of this debate, I note one point.

    – The Jews long, long ago conquered the holy land, i.e. a very finite area – using methods whose morality in relation to its baby-burning human-sacrificing occupants in that ancient time I leave to others to discuss if they wish to. More recently, they defended that area – using less ancient methods. In both cases, they acted within the Jewish faith, which directs them not to try and make the world Jewish but to claim only that finite area.

    – Christianity seeks to persuade the entire world, not some finite area, but its founder rejected compulsion.

    – Islam likewise seeks the entire world, and its founder embraced conquest as the method.

    One can quote-mine – one can cite scripture to one’s purpose 🙂 – but that context informs them.

  • neonsnake

    All of which quote-mining and abstraction is of course, very interesting; yet doesn’t answer the question of “so how should we treat Muslims?”

    I mean, Amina (name changed), my events planning manager, has so far showed little sign of wanting to behead my trading manager Steve (name also changed) for being married to another bloke, but as people point out, her religion may require her to do so at some point. She might be waiting until after Ramadan finishes, I suppose.

    Should I sack her? Keep her away from sharp objects? Maybe Steve should wear some kind of armoured neck-brace?

    Advice appreciated.

  • neonsnake

    (This is not to say that no other individuals or other religious groups also improved their deities’ ethics or behavior as their own improved. I have no knowledge on that topic.)

    In an effort to inject some levity into quite a crunchy thread: my Daoism did something like the opposite. It started with some philosophically-minded fellows noting that nature works quite well when handled with a light touch (get the planting of your seeds right first time, and then stop fussing and let nature do it’s thing) and suggesting that government could learn some lessons and stop interfering and creating rules for everything.

    Fast forward a couple hundred years and they’d invented a whole pantheon of deities, another few hundred years and they’re searching for elixirs for immortality, and by the time you reach the 1500s, you’ve got rules for which way you need to face at the dinner table based on when you were born, and where to put mirrors to deflect the poison arrows of bad chi sent by your neighbours.

    🙂

  • Nullius in Verba

    “This is to me the most salient fact about the Old Testament and the Jews. If there was ever a noble achievement it was that.”

    There were many noble achievements, as well as plenty of bad ones. This is what I was saying above about the danger of painting the world in black and white, like in a children’s morality tale. ‘Here are the good guys, and they’re totally good. Here are the bad guys, and they’re totally bad.’ Life isn’t like that. In context, for Iron Age times, Moses was arguably an improvement – in some regards at least. By today’s standards, he was an authoritarian warlord with many atrocities and massacres to his name. But many of his moral rules are still respected and followed today. You can’t fit him into either the ‘totally-good good-guy’ category, or the ‘totally-bad bad-guy’ category. That’s a child’s morality. And trying to categorise Mohammad and Muslims in that way is just the same.

    “There is no such thing as ‘Judeo-Christian’, there is Jewish, then there is Christian.”

    According to Christ they’re the same religion, with the same God, and the same law. Christians say Christianity is the completion of Judaism – that Moses only got some of the rules, special cases of the general principles to suit the particular circumstances in which they lived, or those small steps towards the ultimate goal that people were ready for at the time.

    17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

    18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

    Whether that was just a story he used to defend his complete re-write of the law against charges of heresy/blasphemy or whether there is some way you can interpret it to make it seem less ‘ridiculous’ as Christian theologians contend, it is as I understand it the orthodox Christian position.

    And Mohammad learnt much of his religious beliefs from the Jews who lived in Mecca, and his followers initially prayed in the direction of Jerusalem. Again, the orthodox Islamic position is that Islam is the same religion with the same God and the same laws as Judaism. It’s essentially a heretical fundamentalist sect of Judaism (as Christianity is a heretical reformist sect). When Mohammad was forced to flee Mecca and took shelter with the Jews at Medina, they were still allied. But then (as he saw it) the Jews turned against him (due largely to him stirring up trouble with neighbouring tribes by conducting bandit raids against them), hostilities ensued, and the Muslims changed to pray instead towards Mecca, although Jerusalem is still the second most holy site in Islam.

    Instead of claiming to ‘complete’ the law, Mohammad sought to revert to the original laws and practices of Moses (in the distorted folk-religion form he was taught them) and said that the laws set out by God were always thus, but the Jews and Christians had corrupted and distorted the original teachings, had disobeyed and ignored the laws, and rejected and killed God’s prophets. Personally, I think he had a point, although I much prefer the distorted and corrupted version to the Mosaic original.

    90% of Islamic belief and law I don’t have a problem with. What clothes people wear, what prayer rituals they follow, what foods they eat, when they wash, how much they give to charity, how they organise inheritance and trade and marriage and contracts and so on among themselves, and what activities they voluntarily choose to refrain from – it’s none of my business. I don’t care. Some of it I think makes no sense, but much of it aligns well with what Christians would consider ‘traditional’/’conservative’ morality. They are, if anything, quite ‘right-wing’ in their social attitudes! The only bits I object to are the coercive bits – on apostasy, jihad, blasphemy, and enforcement of their rules on others. It’s an authoritarian religion, and I don’t like that. But if Muslims can develop a less authoritarian unorthodoxy, as most of them today are in the process of doing, I don’t have any great hostility to what’s left. I don’t have any time for the stupid ‘totally-bad bad-guys’ story of impending jihad invasion-and-takeover, but I’m well aware they’re not ‘totally-good good-guys’ that the religious apologists and naive anti-racists make them out to be either. I try to see them as they are.

  • APL

    NiV: “According to Christ they’re the same religion, ”

    They can be the same religion if they accept Christ. Jews who adhere to the Jewish religion don’t, … by definition accept Christ. Therefore they are not the same religion. If you wish for authority on the matter, ask any Rabbi.

    NiV: “Again, the orthodox Islamic position is that Islam is the same religion with the same God and the same laws as Judaism.”

    That is funny. Just try that in Bradford town centre and see if you get away with all you limbs attached. Really, I’d love to watch.

    The orthodox Islamic position is that they give a nod, to the ‘people of the book’, but nothing more. In an Islamic society the ‘people of the book’ are very much second class citizens, they do better than the utter infidels, the Hindi or Yazidi, but not much better.

    NiV: “Instead of claiming to ‘complete’ the law, Mohammad sought to revert to the original laws and practices of Moses”

    [Attempts to control hysterical laughter] Er, No!

    NiV: “90% of Islamic belief and law I don’t have a problem with. ”

    Neither do I, so long as they don’t attempt to impose it on me, nor my tribe.

    But, true to form, they are attempting to do so, and I oppose such attempts.

    Neosnake: “yet doesn’t answer the question of “so how should we treat Muslims?”

    You should treat Moslems the way you would like to be treated by Moslems. So long as you live in a legacy Christian society, where you can afford the luxury.

    Otherwise, good luck.

  • APL

    Niall Kilmartin: “Niall pedant Kilmartin feels constrained to ”

    And I welcome your voice of reason.

    Niall Kilmartin: “Although there was of course cultural interaction between Islam and those Hindus it conquered and those others it sought to conquer – I noted their transmission of Hindu numerals above – the two religions have very distinct origins. ”

    I am sure that as the Hindu cities of the sub-continent were being extinguished and their temples raised to the ground, it was some comfort to them that Islam was giving the concept of zero to the ignorant Europeans.

    I dispute though, that it was solely an Islamic achievement. I’m sure the silk trade routes existed prior to the Islamic expansion and have no doubt there were voluntary cultural exchanges between the West and far East before Islam sought to intermediate itself.

  • Should I sack her? Keep her away from sharp objects? Maybe Steve should wear some kind of armoured neck-brace?

    Advice appreciated. (neonsnake, May 17, 2019 at 12:11 pm)

    I notice you don’t suggest protecting Amina from Steve. 🙂 If he believes in the hate speech laws, might an insufficiently woke remark from her have him denounce her? Might a visit of a relative of hers with an insufficiently cautious mouth cause problems? Might he demand she or her family undergo reeducation courses?

    I feel sure you know these two well enough to think neither of them likely to cause the other grief (save in future social evolution that I guess you – certainly I know NiV – believes unlikely). But in a thread that’s about how even-handed we should be, and in a state where hate speech laws are the law whereas islamic terrorism is still illegal, should you not ask for advice on whether Steve can be relied on to be so intersectional that he will prioritise anti-islamophobia over being anti any other ‘phobia’ he may disdain?

    (And if he does so prioritise, might a third party, furious at being excluded from the intersectional pantheon, be enraged with them both?)

    Like you, I am injecting humour into a serious thread. And like you, the humour has an underlying point.

  • bobby b

    “They can be the same religion if they accept Christ.”

    The Hutterites – from whom I buy my chickens – tell me that the Mennonites five miles down the road are a completely different church, are all blasphemers and false teachers, and that they are all going directly to Hell.

    And these are their fellow Protestant Anabaptists, if I understand it all correctly.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “They can be the same religion if they accept Christ.”

    Says who?

    There are lots of different beliefs you could use as the defining characteristic of a religion – why this one? Catholics would say that you can only be of the same religion as them if you accept the Pope. It’s part of their definition. Thus, Protestants are not of the same religion. And so on, through every schism and sect and heresy.

    A heresy is a belief that the parent church rejects as incompatible with their defining doctrine. If you define ‘the religion’ as the set of beliefs that some church (which one?) considers non-heretical, then heretic Catholics are not Catholics, and heretic Presbyterians are not Presbyterians. But then as there are several churches all calling themselves the one true Christian church, all accusing the others of heresy, it would appear that none of them can unambiguously be called ‘Christian’. It’s not one single thing.

    I would propose the alternative definition that they can be of the same religion if they worship the same God. That seems to me the minimum requirement, as opposed to the maximum one of demanding that every single detail of belief and dogma match exactly. They are different branches of the same tree. How far up the tree you go to define it as a separate ‘religion’ is arbitrary.

    “That is funny. Just try that in Bradford town centre and see if you get away with all you limbs attached. Really, I’d love to watch.”

    I’ve no idea why you would think so. That is the orthodox Islamic position.

    “[Attempts to control hysterical laughter] Er, No!”

    Er, Yes. You indicate you’ve read the Koran. Why would you think it wasn’t?

    “Like you, I am injecting humour into a serious thread. And like you, the humour has an underlying point.”

    Quite so. The point would seem to be that we have as much or more to fear from our fellow Westerners as we do from Islamists. Authoritarians of all varieties are the real enemy, and ought to be identified as such. That way, we might avoid wasting ammunition on the wrong target, and in the process giving aid and comfort to a different tribe of authoritarians.

  • The point would seem to be that we have as much or more to fear from our fellow Westerners as we do from Islamists. (Nullius in Verba, May 17, 2019 at 11:29 pm)

    NiV, the supposed ‘islamophobia’ that 9/11 was going to cause was the intellectuals eagerly-exploited excuse for bringing in the laws that I joked about Steve invoking against Amina – but only if he were not intersectional enough. These laws, and the details of the first case brought under them, and my right to joke that hypothetical Steve won’t invoke them against Amina, only against me for some far lesser remark, establish an intimate historical association between the two. We have much to fear from the “don’t criticise islam” demands that the two groups join to make – and much to be bemused about in that they do so join.

    Hitler and Stalin were most dangerous when they were in alliance. Which was the more immediate danger were they where not in alliance was an empirical question – to which the answer Hitler was made by most, with good reason.

    In our thankfully far less dangerous situation, let’s see if we can defeat one without empowering the other.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “NiV, the supposed ‘islamophobia’ that 9/11 was going to cause was the intellectuals eagerly-exploited excuse for bringing in the laws that I joked about Steve invoking against Amina – but only if he were not intersectional enough.”

    Sure. And I’m no supporter of such laws. But it was also the racist intellectuals’ eagerly-exploited excuse for bringing in rhetoric attacking *all* Muslims, not just the authoritarian and violent ones, and dismissing any attempt to distinguish them as ‘intersectional’ political correctness.

    My point is that the enemy are the authoritarians. Whether they’re authoritarian Muslims or authoritarian racists or authoritarian left-wingers or authoritarian women or authoritarian LGBTers makes no difference. By conflating the authoritarian members of a class of people with the class itself, we miss the target.

    The point Neonsake was making was that both Steven and Amina are non-authoritarian members of the classes in question. Amina is no more interested in beheading Steve for being gay than Steve is interested in reporting Amina for being homophobic. By seeing Muslims/homosexuals as the problem, rather than authoritarian Muslims and authoritarian homosexuals (emphasis on ‘authoritarian’) we wind up alienating both Steve and Amina from our cause (one of them thinking we’re Islamophobic and the other thinking we’re homophobic), and ignoring all the many authoritarians that are not members of one of the ‘decoy’ protected classes. Steve won’t report Amina, but Rowena from HR, who is straight, white, and ‘Church of England’, will be offended on Steve’s behalf and will.

    At what point do we declare war on the “straight, white, and ‘Church of England'”?

    “Hitler and Stalin were most dangerous when they were in alliance. Which was the more immediate danger were they where not in alliance was an empirical question”

    But what about the French? Technically, the Vichy government meant France was on Hitler’s side. So should we therefore bomb the French?

  • neonsnake

    The point Neonsake was making was that both Steven and Amina are non-authoritarian members of the classes in question. Amina is no more interested in beheading Steve for being gay than Steve is interested in reporting Amina for being homophobic.

    Whilst true, completely unintended on my part!

    Although my “Mark-from-Purchase-Ledger” is a fictional amalgamation of the younger people in the office, in this instance my direct reports actually do consist of a late-20s Muslim girl, two woman in their 30s who are back-to-work mums, a gay 40-something bloke, and an early 20s up-and-coming lad who at some point I’m convinced will be my boss rather than the current “other way around”.

    I initially kicked myself for using “Steve” as my example, rather than one of the others, but if anything it reinforces points I’ve made elsewhere; I really don’t like laws placing me in protected classes, since people assume that I approve of those laws, or that I require “wokeness” or other such nonsense – as it happens, “Steve” and I have had similar chats over a beer, and he’s in much the same place – he particularly disdains the “Rowena”s of the world who think they can decide better than him what he should find acceptable workplace banter.

    That aside:

    I’m genuinely interested in the original question – how should I treat Amina? (and by extension, Muslims in general)

    The argument in opposition to the one NIV and I are making appears to be, roughly, that the Koran and Mohammed compel Muslims towards violent conquest of the entire world.

    The next step is that “moderate” Muslims will at some point rise up against us (having been sent ahead as spies and infiltrators a couple of generations ago, like the kusa of Japanese legend), or that if there is an attempted invasion, that they would side with their Muslim comrades against us (Niall guesses correctly that I find this vanishingly unlikely).

    I think that’s what you are looking to persuade us of; corrections of course welcome.

    Presumably, once persuaded, you would hope that I would take actions in line with my new beliefs.

    What actions would you like me to take? Do you think that I shouldn’t have recruited her in the first place?

    How should I treat her differently to the rest of my team?

  • neonsnake

    We have much to fear from the “don’t criticise islam” demands that the two groups join to make – and much to be bemused about in that they do so join

    Niall, for whatever it’s worth, you’re always more than welcome to use me as an example in sentences like that; I won’t take offence. On a thread where I’m actively participating, you may have skirted away from directly mentioning me in that sentence in favour of the vaguer “two groups” out of politeness, in which case I appreciate it, but allow me to reassure you that there’s no need 🙂

  • bobby b

    “I’m genuinely interested in the original question – how should I treat Amina?”

    As an individual, of course.

    But . . .

    Back when I was in my teens, I worked at a gas station in a sketchy part of town. I was robbed at knifepoint four times. I was robbed at gunpoint twice. I was robbed once with an eight-foot 2×4 board. I was accosted and smacked around on the dark street on my way to work several times.

    Each instance was at the hands of blacks, who made up (then) about 4% of my city’s population.

    In the intervening four or so decades, I find that I cross the street to avoid small groups of young black urban males, especially after dark.

    Is that fair to those specific young black urban males? No. I am making a judgment about them that has no individual basis. I don’t know them. I might be shunning the local chess club, for all I know.

    I know this intellectually. And yet, over the course of my life, I have learned to play the odds. I now find that I have a number of black friends and acquaintances, but none of them are “young black urban males.” Them, I avoid like the plague.

    The individual losses to humanity caused by pre-judging people on group-membership bases has been incalculable. It is tragic.

    And yet, through using statistics as a replacement for individual knowledge and familiarity, here I am, alive and everything.

    I lost two friends and an acquaintance on 9/11, in the Cantor offices. Another friend was seriously stabbed, along with others, by a man shouting “God is greatest” in a mall in the next city over. My kids’ high school – a great school, actually touted in a couple of national magazines as one of the best in the country – went to shit once our local Lutheran Services org facilitated the importation of thousands of Somalis and their kids into our community. Imagine daily beatings, rampages, and mob assaults at Cambridge.

    Muslim terrorists facially serving the goals of Islam routinely – daily – kill innocents all over the world. Prior to Muslim focus on our country, I used to be able to arrive at the airport ten minutes pre-flight – now it’s a few hours early, out of self-preservation.

    I now find that I have a number of Muslim friends and acquaintances, but none of them are religious zealots. I know they are not, because I conduct my own filtering operation when I meet Muslims, discarding religious zealots from my circles on that basis alone. Again, perhaps I’m treating the local Muslim chess club unfairly, but here I am, alive and everything.

    We have moral aspirations to treat individuals as individuals, judging them for their own individual merits and demerits. But it’s a big world – there are close to eight billion people out there, and we can’t know them all – and so we all tend to use statistical proxies in the place of individual knowledge.

    So – if you know Amina, you treat her as Amina, with all of the individual qualities you know to reside within Amina. If her friend Achmed shows up, you conduct your own filtering operations, until you know him well enough as an individual to treat him as an individual. But until you do, probability plays some role in your dealings with him.

    John Derbyshire – a writer – was banned from National Review for an article he wrote elsewhere, entitled “The Talk.” Aside from a few details, his article resonates with my life experiences. If you have the luxury of individual knowledge, you use that. Absent that knowledge, you play the odds.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “John Derbyshire – a writer – was banned from National Review for an article he wrote elsewhere, entitled “The Talk.””

    Yes, I think young girls get the same talk from their mothers about men. 90% of violent criminals are men, and 100% of rapists. Treat them all as guilty until proven innocent. #BelieveHer.

    And I’m sure young blacks are told that while intellectually we know we shouldn’t assume that just because they’re white they’re automatically racist, we ought to play the odds. Guilty until proven innocent. #BlackLivesMatter.

    This is how “us” and “them” starts.

    This is not intended as a criticism of your point, which is a valid one. It’s a lesson in human nature, and an insight into how the other side got to thinking like they do. We’re all human. We’re all wired this way. And it has the consequences we all know.

    All I can say is that the more precise and accurate your categories are, the safer you will be.

  • bobby b (May 18, 2019 at 6:36 pm), I’ve heard it said that young black males had great difficulty getting a taxi in New York in the days before “broken windows” (and after, but things got better). Statistically, a taxi driver had a good chance of surviving picking up one such passenger, but statistically a driver who picked up all such passengers as hailed him had a good chance of not living out the year. Such rational behaviour (usually from drivers who were ‘minority’ themselves) was not racism – though called so by the usual suspects.

  • Julie near Chicago

    bobby, thank you so very much for your comment just above. A particularly cogent summary:

    “We have moral aspirations to treat individuals as individuals, judging them for their own individual merits and demerits. But it’s a big world – there are close to eight billion people out there, and we can’t know them all – and so we all tend to use statistical proxies in the place of individual knowledge. “

    You are quite right that the survival of the individual does require playing the odds, as that individual judges them to be.

    To the experiences that you relate, I will add the experiences of two friends of mine. One is a gentleman whose circle of friends at the time of 9/11 included around two dozen Muslims, all of whom had given every indication of being pukka Americans. He was shocked and disillusioned to see all but two of them cheering and high-fiving when the Twin Towers came down.

    The other was my doctor (recently retired), who told me about a colleague, another doctor, whom he’d known and worked closely with for some time, and who eventually likewise celebrated some outrage committed by a fellow Muslim. (I don’t remember the specifics.)

    As individualists, we ought to value our selves as highly as we do the “presumption of good will,” or at least of the absence of ill will, in others. And if we do, and if we understand the basic positions that that valuation entails, we will not be too quick to act on our judgments made in haste; but we will defend to the death our own right to judge the likely degree of benevolence, or lack of ill-will, or group-mindedness, or moral cowardice, of another person.

    It was — and is — perfectly reasonable to be less than fully trusting of the general good will of a more-or-less classical Communist, even if David Horowitz’s parents would never hurt a fly.

    .

    As for John Derbyshire’s National Review column about “the Talk,” there were various comments either there or elsewhere from persons who said that they were “black” and in fact had a similar Talk with their sons and daughters about carefulness around “white” people. And of persons who mentioned the wisdom of having a Talk with their daughters on the importance of being a bit careful in the company of boys.

    None of these Talks was motivated by some delusion that most people of the warned-about group were likely to be dangerous, but only that experience showed that that particular group had contained a number of people who for whatever reason apparently considered members of the child’s group fair prey.

    .

    N.B.:

    All this has precisely nothing to do with ” #BelieveHer “ and such groups, whose overall message is that since there are cases where a member of Group Y is at fault, every member of Group X who claims victimization should be believed.

    Every female’s claim of sexual victimization by a man should be believed. And going by the antics and public brouhaha around the Kavanaugh smear, this belief should be held to regardless of all facts and evidence against the claim.

  • bobby b

    Thanks, Julie.

    ” . . . if we understand the basic positions that that valuation entails, we will not be too quick to act on our judgments made in haste; but we will defend to the death our own right to judge the likely degree of benevolence, or lack of ill-will, or group-mindedness, or moral cowardice, of another person.”

    Amen.

    We still extend the basic presumption of good will to others in the absence of a showing that they do not deserve it. “Trust, but verify” is, I believe, the essential credo.

    And where NiB speaks of mothers telling their daughters, and black parents telling their kids, “all males/whites are guilty”, I think it’s more common for them to say “don’t make yourself vulnerable until you know that male/white person.” That’s not a claim of guilt – it’s realism, and I don’t deny the rightness of such advice, even though I know that I, myself, am no danger to either group. The point is, they don’t know me, and history suggests that caution is advisable – for girls with unknown men, and for blacks with unknown whites – and I understand that.

  • Julie near Chicago

    WRT the above: The fact that certain hashtag gangs use emotional manipulation to assert their victimhood and therefore their right to deny deny decency to entire collectives of their putative “oppressors” doesn’t make their specious logic correct, nor validate their claims on the ground that after all they are a Victim Group and therefore all their claims should be taken as true.

    . . .

    Correction: The Derbyshire article wasn’t published by the National Review, but rather by Taki’s Mag:

    https://www.takimag.com/article/the_talk_nonblack_version_john_derbyshire/

    The first part of the piece is simply common sense. And I particularly like his Point 4, about halfway down on the first page:

    (4) The default principle in everyday personal encounters is, that as a fellow citizen, with the same rights and obligations as yourself, any individual black is entitled to the same courtesies you would extend to a nonblack citizen. That is basic good manners and good citizenship. In some unusual circumstances, however[*], e.g., paragraph (10h) below[*], this default principle should be overridden by considerations of personal safety.

    * WP here does not recognize the quotation mark in the original; and I have added the comma following the square brackets.

    .

    The part that I think aroused the charges of racism is the several points broken down within Point 10. Mr. Derbyshire precedes his Point 10 with this paragraph, which I quote in boldface for emphasis:

    (10) Thus, while always attentive to the particular qualities of individuals, on the many occasions where you have nothing to guide you but knowledge of those mean differences, use statistical common sense:*

    *In the column, “statistical common sense” contains a link to an earlier piece by J.D., on what I might call “the use and meaning of stereotypes,” published on Feb. 1, 2001.

    https://www.johnderbyshire.com/Opinions/HumanSciences/stereotypes.html

  • Julie near Chicago

    bobby,

    Wrt your last comment: Nicely nailed and summarized. Agreed on all points. And again, thank you.

  • bobby b

    Julie, I’ve read The Talk probably five times, and I find that I’ve never followed that link. And I usually follow links.

    That was a most interesting article. Thanks for pointing it out.

  • bobby b

    “WP here does not recognize the quotation mark in the original; and I have added the comma following the square brackets.”

    Migawd. You ARE a lawyer, at least at heart. 😆

    (Get such a citation wrong, and many judges discount your entire argument. “Counselor, if I can’t depend on your devotion to accurate citation in what you present to me, of what use are you here?”, which is particularly withering when your client is sitting next to you.)

  • Julie near Chicago

    Why bobby, thank you. 😆

    Does that mean I can bypass such inconveniences as sitting for the Bar Exams, and set up shop forthwith?

  • neonsnake

    I think we can all empathise strongly with bobby b’s account of avoiding groups he’s had prior past experience with; in my younger years I definitely avoided any group that I judged (probably erroneously in many instances) to be “football hooligans” for similar reasons.

    I’m sorry for your losses on 9/11.

    I also empathise with working in gas stations, I also got held up once working in one in late teens; with a gun.

    Most of us understand that in the abstract, we should assess, but not discriminate (“Ordinary men parade their discriminations for all to see. I say to you who discriminate that you fail to see!”). We all know that we’re not always brilliant at doing so, and our inherent biases sometimes win out, but we recognise that.

    I wonder though, for those advocating discrimination, what should I do? A gentlemen upthread suggested that whoever made the videos enticing Muslims to UK should be shot. I can only assume that a similar punishment should befall anyone who has offered succour in the way of employment to Muslims.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Nobody is advocating “discrimination”!

    We’re not talking about refusing to respect George Washington Carver because he’s a Negro.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “Nobody is advocating “discrimination”!”

    Yes we are! The argument being made is that it’s sometimes justified, out of self-protection, to play the odds and discriminate.

    Before we know the content of their character, they are judged by the colour of their skin. We place the burden of proof on them, to show us that they are a good person, safe to associate with. Until they do, because of their outward appearance, they are treated as if they were guilty, and differently to people of a different outward appearance.

    We’re talking about refusing to respect a Negro we don’t recognise, who later turns out to be George Washington Carver, because he’s a Negro. It’s not as bad as still not respecting him even after we find out, but it is what it is.

  • Paul Marks

    Muhammed-Mohammed was quite clear – men who left his religion must be killed, and people (men or women) who “mocked” him must be killed.

    One can accept these Islamic doctrines (in which case one is a follower of Muhammed-Mohammed), or one can oppose them – in which case one is an enemy of Muhammed-Mohammed.

    It is the same for a person born into a Muslim family as it is for someone who is mot born into Muslim family – as Carl Benjamin (“Sargon of Akkad”) is fond of saying, people born into Muslim families still have AGENCY (Free Will) they can CHOOSE what doctrines they follow (it is NOT predetermined).

    For example, two Muslims hear someone mock Muhammed-Mohammed and the first Muslim turns to the second and says (quite correctly in Islamic law) “that person must be killed” the second has the FREE WILL to CHOOSE to reply “NO I will not kill people for mocking Mohammed – indeed I will STOP you killing this mocker, stop you by force if need be”.

    By saying this, and acting upon it, the second person has left Islam.

  • neonsnake

    So what happens when the second person says that actually, they haven’t left Islam? They’ve picked and chosen which doctrines to follow, and which not to, and still label themselves Muslims? In my experience this is the vast majority of Muslims (or “Muslim-Not-Muslims”, if you prefer)

    For the rest of this post, I’m going to refer to them as Muslims (on the basis of ease of writing for myself, not to be contrary)

    What would you have me do in the position of having recruited Muslims, and in the future position of very likely receiving applications for future vacancies from Muslims? Or, if you prefer, what would you do in my position? How do you expect me to be treating them?

    Everything so far is in the realm of the abstract or theoretical; I’m curious to know how the theories manifest themselves in the day-to-day.

  • APL

    Paul Marks: “By saying this, and acting upon it, the second person has left Islam.”

    neosnake: “So what happens when the second person says that actually, they haven’t left Islam?

    The second person has done two unforgivable things according to the doctrine of Islam:

    1. He/She has tolerated the mocking of Mohammed.
    2. They have taken the side of a Kafir, against a Moslem ( the guy who wants to Murder the Kafir that dis’d Mohammed ).

    There are no circumstances where a Moslem may take the side of a Kafir against another Moslem.

    neosnake: “They’ve picked and chosen which doctrines to follow, and which not to”

    The Koran is the eternal unchanging word of Allah, you, nor any Moslem may ‘pick and choose’ which of Allah’s instructions suits you, and still remain a Moslem.

  • neonsnake

    The second person has done two unforgivable things according to the doctrine of Islam:

    I’m not a Muslim, so I don’t care. That matters not a jot to me, either in theory, or more importantly in how I treat people in my day-to-day dealings with them.

  • APL

    neosnake: “That matters not a jot to me, either in theory, or more importantly in how I treat people in my day-to-day dealings with them.”

    Nor to me. Your focus all the way through this discussion has been, ‘how should I treat Moslems’. That is very laudable an’ all, and on May 17, 2019 at 7:57 pm, I suggested one reasonable yardstick that might assist you in your quest.

    The actual pertinent question to Westerners who have been accustomed to living in a society where implicitly free speech is a respected norm, is, ‘how should I expect to be treated by Moslems’, we see hints of how you can so expect to be treated in the Charlie Hebdo atrocity, at one extreme or the Mayor of London banning Lingerie advertisements on the London Underground at the other.

    At both extremes, there is a concerted push for the Kafir society to conform to Islamic norms, rather than the Islamic immigrant minority to make concessions to the Kafir society.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “The Koran is the eternal unchanging word of Allah, you, nor any Moslem may ‘pick and choose’ which of Allah’s instructions suits you, and still remain a Moslem.”

    By which definition, very few ‘Muslims’ today are actually Muslims.

    Because all those people calling themselves ‘Muslims’ living in Western countries, and Westernised Islamic countries, are indeed regularly picking and choosing, and breaking unbreakable rules left, right, and centre. It is, for example, one of the rules that Muslims are not allowed to settle in a non-Muslim country. It is absolutely forbidden. And anyone telling you otherwise has left Islam.

    So, the question is what to do with these people who call themselves Muslims but who are most definitely not Muslim according to the original, historic definition? What do we call them? And does it make any sense to judge them by their adherence to beliefs and practices that they don’t actually believe in or practice?

    Strategically, we can’t defeat the original brutal form of Islam either by killing them all (not and retain our own moral worth), or by isolating them to fester and grow on their own. The only way to defeat them is to convert them. The aim is to corrupt and modify their religion, to change the rules, or get them to break/ignore them, to Westernise them. And of course the conservatives among them are fighting back against this culture war, that is eroding their traditional norms. The strategy in place is to let them continue to call themselves ‘Muslim’ until the danger of being executed for apostasy by fanatics has passed, but to steadily change what that means. We lure them in with the promise of Western luxury, reassure them that they are free to choose, and in a hundred years time Islam will bear as much resemblance to the brutal original as the present-day tea-and-scones Church of England does to the age of the Catholic Inquisition’s head crusher. It takes a long time to work, though, and in the meantime it helps the process along to avoid provoking them. However, the strategy is not being helped by oblivious idiots supposedly on our side shouting at them: “It’s a trap! It’s not real Islam! Muslims are supposed to kill unbelievers! Stay away!”

    Put it this way. By your definition of Islam the problem has already been solved, because there are virtually no real Muslims left. Hooray! Right?

  • APL

    NiV: “It is, for example, one of the rules that Muslims are not allowed to settle in a non-Muslim country. It is absolutely forbidden. And anyone telling you otherwise has left Islam.”

    I’d really, like you to source the authority for that assertion. It is on it’s face in error and false. Else how would Islam ever have gotten out of Arabia?

    It did, and it turned Anotolia into Turkey, a country we recognise today as Moslem. Islam turned the Maghreb from a Roman civilisation into a Moslem ‘civilisation’, then these ‘non Moslems’ settled in Iberia, then for some mysterious reason these ‘non Moslems’ built Mosques in all the major cities they’d ‘settled’.

    I suppose somebody who hasn’t the faintest idea what it is to be a Moslem, telling Moslems that they aren’t Moslems despite themselves calling themselves Moslems makes sense to you. But I disagree.

    Anjem Choudary was released from a British prison in 2018, he preaches Islam – again, I’d be interested in his opinion on your opinion that because he’s settled in Birmingham that makes him an apostate. Really it’s a laughable assertion, and I won’t spend any more time on it.

    NiV: “Put it this way. By your definition of Islam the problem has already been solved, because there are virtually no real Muslims left. Hooray! Right?”

    A classic Strawman construct, which you’ve cleverly knocked down. Well done.

  • neonsnake

    I suppose somebody who hasn’t the faintest idea what it is to be a Moslem, telling Moslems that they aren’t Moslems despite themselves calling themselves Moslems makes sense to you. But I disagree.

    Me too.

    Which is why I don’t care about distinctions between those who pick-and-choose but still call themselves Muslim, and those who don’t. I tend towards allowing people to self-define. If they call themselves Muslim, then I’ll allow that they’re Muslim.

    They might not be very successful at being Muslim, but they’re on the same scale as Catholics who eat meat on Good Friday.

    I noted earlier that your suggestion on Muslims was that I treat them as I would wish to be treated. This is exactly how I try to treat them, and how I try to treat everyone else.

    So, we’re in agreement that Muslims, are no worse or better than any other group in the world, I think.

  • bobby b

    “So, we’re in agreement that Muslims, are no worse or better than any other group in the world, I think.”

    So long as you’re dealing in groups only, and not in individuals:

    Take the total number of non-Muslims in the world. Place it in the position of the denominator in a fraction.

    Take the total number of non-Muslims who have participated in terrorist attacks. Place it in the position of the numerator in that fraction.

    Call that fraction “A”. Reduce it to a decimal.

    Take the total number of Muslims in the world. Place it in the position of the denominator in a fraction.

    Take the total number of Muslims who have participated in terrorist attacks. Place it in the position of the numerator in that fraction.

    Call that fraction “B”. Reduce it to a decimal.

    AS A GROUP – the difference between A and B defines how much better or worse one group is than the other if we define “better or worse” as the likelihood that a group will participate in terror attacks.

    That there is a difference in these numbers is fairly well accepted, I think.

    How to relate this information to individuals? I have no idea. I believe this information is significant, but I’m not sure how to use it, beyond heightened attention.

    ETA: Is this discriminatory? Sure. It’s discriminatory when I choose one wine over another, one car over another, one religion over another. Discrimination, absent the social baggage, simply means using knowledge when making choices.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “I’d really, like you to source the authority for that assertion. It is on it’s face in error and false. Else how would Islam ever have gotten out of Arabia?”

    An excellent question! Glad you asked!

    To answer the second point first – Muslims are allowed in non-Muslim lands for the purpose of Jihad (obviously!), Da’wa (i.e. to try to convert the natives to Islam) and for essential trade or business, that can’t be achieved in Muslim lands. There are also exceptions made for the poor/disabled or those otherwise incapable of emigrating, and in cases of asylum from greater persecution at home. But otherwise they are not supposed to settle in a land ruled by non-Muslims when Muslim-run lands are available.

    If living somewhere one is not permitted to fully practice one’s religion (e.g. where Muslim women’s dress codes can’t be followed) then one must emigrate to somewhere one can. If one is allowed to practice one’s religion, then scholars are split – emigration is still strongly recommended, but may (some say) not be compulsory.

    The authority cited by Islamic scholars is the many Koranic injunctions against making friends, alliances, or seeking protectors among the unbelievers. For example: Q3:28, Q3:118, Q4:97-100, Q4:139, Q4:144, Q5:51, Q5:57, and Q28:86.

    “97. While the angels are removing the souls of those who have wronged themselves, they will say, “What was the matter with you?” They will say, “We were oppressed in the land.” They will say, “Was God’s earth not vast enough for you to emigrate in it?” These—their refuge is Hell. What a wretched retreat!

    98. Except for the weak among men, and women, and children who have no means to act, and no means to find a way out.

    99. These—God may well pardon them. God is Pardoning and Forgiving.

    100. Anyone who emigrates for the sake of God will find on earth many places of refuge, and plentitude. Anyone who leaves his home, emigrating to God and His Messenger, and then is overtaken by death, his compensation falls on God. God is Forgiver, Most Merciful.”

    Plus there are a number of haddith.

    “Whoever joins a mushrik and lives with him is like him”
    Sahih Abu Dawud 2787

    “O you who believe! Take not my enemies And your enemies as friends offering them (Your) love even though they have disbelieved in that Truth (i.e. Allah, Prophet Muhammad and this Quran) which has come to you.”
    Sahih Bukhari 59:572:1

    “I disown every Muslim who settles among the mushrikeen.”
    Sahih Abu Dawud 2645

    https://islamqa.info/en/answers/13363/can-muslims-settle-in-kaafir-countries-for-the-sake-of-a-better-life

    “These texts indicate that the basic principle is that the Muslim should not settle among the kuffaar in their countries, and that he is obliged to move from those lands to the Muslim lands. An exception is made from that if his staying there is necessary, but necessity should not be blown out of proportion. If the Muslim has to be with them (the non-Muslims) physically, he should not be with them in his heart, and he must avoid mixing with them unnecessarily…”

    https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=FO5jmme1P3gC&pg=PA49&lpg=PA49&hl=en#v=onepage&q&f=false

    Islamic law is frequently subtle and complicated, with many fine distinctions and details.

    “I suppose somebody who hasn’t the faintest idea what it is to be a Moslem, telling Moslems that they aren’t Moslems despite themselves calling themselves Moslems makes sense to you. But I disagree.”

    It doesn’t make sense to me. But it’s the implication of the definition you’re using. If people believe themselves to be Muslim, but don’t follow the orthodox rules which as you point out are not optional, are they Muslim or not? When we say “Muslim” do we mean “People who follow all the compulsory rules of orthodox Islam” or “people who call and consider themselves Muslim, but follow only some Islamic rules”?

    Because the Muslims living today, especially in Western countries are generally of the latter type, not the former.

    That’s not to say there are none of the former type – because there are. They’re the lot who got fed up with the corrupt Westernised version of Islam and tried to set up their own country under orthodox rules. And as I’m sure everyone must have noticed, even the other Muslim nations in the Middle East helped us stamp hard on ISIS before it could get going! They don’t want orthodox Islam coming back, either!

    Watching TV is also forbidden in Islam. (Reliance of the Traveller, w50.10.) Do you think the Al Jazeera TV station don’t know it?

  • Nullius in Verba

    “AS A GROUP – the difference between A and B defines how much better or worse one group is than the other if we define “better or worse” as the likelihood that a group will participate in terror attacks.”

    OK. Let’s use that method to consider whether we should be more scared of someone because they’re male, or because they’re black.

    In the United States, the lifetime risk of going to prison is 9% for men and 1.1% for women. The ratio 9/1.1 is 8.2.

    For blacks (of both sexes) it is 16.2% and for whites 2.5%. The ratio 16.2/2.5 is 6.5.

    The lifetime risk for black men is 28.5% and for white men is 4.4%. The ratio 28.5/4.4 is 6.5.

    The lifetime risk for black women is 3.6%, and 0.5% for white women. The ratio 3.6/0.5 is 7.2.

    Numbers come from here:
    https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/Llgsfp.pdf

    So it would appear that we have slightly more reason to be cautious around men than we do around blacks, on a risk ratio basis. Agreed?

    Is that what you would expect?

  • bobby b

    “Is that what you would expect?”

    Yes. Very much so.

    And the combined risk of being around black men is even worse.

    (Or, just to be argumentative about your example, I might urge that black men simply have a higher risk around the presence of law enforcement personnel than do white men, or black or white women. 😆 )

    If I had to pick one dark alley to walk down, and one had a group of white women, one had a group of black women, one had a group of white men, and one had a group of black men, I would likely pick my route based upon your numbers. Unfair to individuals, but valid as an exercise in probability.

    If someone (competently) gathered data and showed that circumcised men act violently more often than uncircumcised men, I would consider that significant, also. But it’s harder to tell if someone is circumcised than it is to tell if someone is black. Race may not be a valid proxy, but it’s an easy one.

  • NiV, I have to echo APL’s attitude towards your assertion that Muslims cannot live in the UK. You need a sense of reality.

    Muslims are allowed in non-Muslim lands for the purpose of Jihad (obviously!)

    The last mayor of London has a chance of being our next prime minister. The current mayor of London is Saddiq Khan – who like most politicians doubtless harbours ambitions.

    After the failure of the beer-hall putsch, Hitler decided to gain power by election. The tactic was called Adolf-legalite by his party comrades – some acts of violence combined with formally-correct campaigning.

    The doctrine of taqqiya makes this tactic available to muslims. So that’s reason one for living here ticked for anyone who wants it.

    Da’wa (i.e. to try to convert the natives to Islam)

    Much conversion work goes on, including in our prisons, sometimes with success. Reason two ticked, for those who want it.

    and for essential trade or business, that can’t be achieved in Muslim lands.

    No small part of the Bradford muslim community started as traders connecting economic activities in the middle-east, e.g. Lebanon or Syria, with customers in the UK. There are (and in the past at least as much were) trade and arbitrage opportunities between the UK and the islamic world. (The films that started this discussion mention ‘study’ as another reason.)

    Watching TV is also forbidden in Islam. (Reliance of the Traveller, w50.10.)

    Reliance of the traveller, published in the 14 century, bans watching TV. Now that’s what I call a prophet! 🙂

  • APL

    NiV: “It is, for example, one of the rules that Muslims are not allowed to settle in a non-Muslim country. It is absolutely forbidden. And anyone telling you otherwise has left Islam.

    While settlement in Kafir lands is absolutely forbidden, it is not actually absolutely forbidden** and the Koran expressly permits settlement.

    Now why would Islam permit settlement in Kafir lands?

    NiV: And anyone [Moslem] telling you otherwise has left Islam. I do appreciate your furnishing the references you have. And I’ll read them when I have a few more moments free. But given that we can see that the prohibition on Moslems living in Kafir lands is not absolute as you originally claimed, I’d ask you for the authority that says a Moslem who says he or she can live in Kafir lands ‘has left Islam’?

    NiV: “To answer the second point first – Muslims are allowed in non-Muslim lands for the purpose of Jihad (obviously!), Da’wa (i.e. to try to convert the natives to Islam) and for essential trade or business, that can’t be achieved in Muslim lands.

    So again, it’s not absolutely forbidden for a Moslem to settle in a Kafir land. Appreciate you agree you were mistaken.

    Now why would a Moslem wish to settle in Kafir lands? Well, that’s easy, and our friend Anjem Choudary is forthright in telling us.

    What is the enslavement of Kafir girls and women in Rochdale, Oxford, Manchester, Bristol and numerous other British cities? It’s Jihad.

    ** Unless you have a different definition of the words ‘absolutely’ and ‘forbidden’, to mine?

  • bobby b

    I’m going to throw this out here just for laughs.

    On Friday night, fifteen miles or so from me, ten Somali male “youths” attacked a train station full of people, using hammers, and injured several of the people.

    In Minneapolis, you never heard of such a thing until very recently. Ever.

    This is exactly in line with NiV’s and my numbers.

    So, if I avoid such groups – if I simply deny them the pleasure of my company, and nothing else – am I discriminating?

    Certainly. And there’s nothing wrong or immoral or unfair about it.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Sigh … bobby, you and Niall and APL are absolutely right.

    I should have thought that was obvious.

    And, by the way, that’s why in my last comment above I put the word discrimination in quotes. The kind of discrimination we’re talking about is not the kind where you assume all persons with physical characteristic X are inferior.

    And that, too, has been utterly clear.

    I will say no more.

    . . .

    I am very sorry about the latest atrocity up there. It’s heartbreaking. Those poor people….

  • bobby b

    “And, by the way, that’s why in my last comment above I put the word discrimination in quotes.”

    Yeah, I understood that.

    My problem is, I remember back when “discrimination” was a good term. To have discriminating taste meant to have an informed, knowledgeable taste. It had nothing to do with bigotry.

    But the term got hijacked at some point.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Yes indeed, bobby. I remember pointing out many years ago that discrimination is a necessary part of life and would be so even if all humans uniformly everywhere got along just fine with no unpleasantness whatsoever. We discriminate when we decide we prefer beer to wine (except for Cold Duck of course, *g*), or that we pay attention when our toddler wants to pet the nice doggie who is an unknown quantity. So forth.

    On the other hand, do you remember the story from a few years back about the tourist in, I think, Yellowstone, who thought it would be cute to put his toddler on the back of a wild momma bear, and did so without the permish of the Momma? Who disapproved, and either dumped the kid or sent it flying. The daddy failed to discriminate between wild bears and, say, pet dogs who are friendly to little kids. (I don’t recall hearing that the kid suffered any damage, though. I hope not. … People are strange….)

  • Nullius in Verba

    “I do appreciate your furnishing the references you have. And I’ll read them when I have a few more moments free.”

    Very kind of you. So the reason you really wanted to see me “source the authority for that assertion” wasn’t to see it for yourself, but to make me do the work?

    “But given that we can see that the prohibition on Moslems living in Kafir lands is not absolute as you originally claimed, I’d ask you for the authority that says a Moslem who says he or she can live in Kafir lands ‘has left Islam’?”

    I didn’t say “living”, I said “settling”. I did consider at the time expanding that with detailed caveats, but I figured that it was close enough to make the point. The Muslims who come here to quietly run corner shops and so on are breaking rules, with no excuse.

    Moreover, they say that’s OK, when either they know it’s not true or they know they haven’t checked. That’s listed in Reliance of the Traveller o8.7(14) as one of the example ways of leaving Islam, which is “to deny the obligatory character of something which by the consensus of Muslims (ijma, def: b7) is part of Islam, when it is well-known as such […] when there is no excuse (def: u2.4).”

    “Now why would a Moslem wish to settle in Kafir lands? Well, that’s easy,…”

    It is. We’re a richer, more prosperous country where it’s possible to set up a business, raise a family, and generally have a good time without getting hassled by religious nutters among your neighbours if you bend the rules a little. The reason Choudhury has come to public notice is that he’s unusual.

    “What is the enslavement of Kafir girls and women in Rochdale, Oxford, Manchester, Bristol and numerous other British cities? It’s Jihad.”

    It wasn’t enslavement, it wasn’t just kafir girls but Muslim girls too, and it explicitly breaks a number of rules of the jihad, as well as breaching a chapter full of Islamic rules on sexual morality. The penalty for what they did under Sharia is either a public flogging, or being stoned to death. As far as Islam is concerned, they’re simply criminals, and they’d treat them far more harshly than we would.

    It’s rather like the Catholic abuse scandal in that regard. That sort of thing is not permitted in orthodox Catholic doctrine! And I don’t see the usual suspects screaming that we must therefore keep all Catholics out of the country!

    “In Minneapolis, you never heard of such a thing until very recently. Ever.”

    Really? I thought that when it was the Catholic Italians and Irish who were the poor immigrants, and featured highly in organised crime gangs, they had machine gun fights in bars! You have never had gangs in Minneapolis? Is the Mafia as an American phenomenon entirely a Hollywood fiction?

    Crime is associated with poverty, and recent immigrants are poor. This has been true for a very long time indeed.

    “Sigh … bobby, you and Niall and APL are absolutely right. I should have thought that was obvious.”

    Of course it is. Everyone’s own belief system is always ‘obvious’ to themselves.

    That’s why we talk to people who hold different opinions to us. To find out what seems obvious to us but isn’t. It’s how we learn.

    “And, by the way, that’s why in my last comment above I put the word discrimination in quotes. The kind of discrimination we’re talking about is not the kind where you assume all persons with physical characteristic X are inferior.”

    Sorry, I didn’t realise. I assumed you were using the dictionary definition: “the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex.” It’s prejudicial, and it’s based on race. Silly me, eh?

    “My problem is, I remember back when “discrimination” was a good term. To have discriminating taste meant to have an informed, knowledgeable taste. It had nothing to do with bigotry. But the term got hijacked at some point.”

    The word still has its original meaning, although I agree it’s sometimes used as shorthand if the context is understood.

    However, a word that does seem to have shifted meaning is “bigotry”. The dictionary definition is: “intolerance towards those who hold different opinions from oneself.” How that got turned into intolerance of people with different skin colour or religion is a mystery to me.

    Presumably, people who discriminate on grounds of race or religion are also very often intolerant of people with different opinions about the subject?

  • APL

    NiV: “So the reason you really wanted to see me “source the authority for that assertion” wasn’t to see it for yourself, but to make me do the work?”

    It may seem like I have nothing else to do, but sit on the Samizdata comment thread, but I assure you, I do have one or two other things to occupy my time.

    Is it really so unreasonable, that you make an assertion, in this case; (a) Moslems are absolutely forbidden from settling in Kafir lands, and an additional assertion (b)any Moslem who says he or she can live in Kafir lands ‘has left Islam’, I should ask you to substantiate the second assertion?

    After all, it seems to me your first assertion refutes itself. And in the second instance you are demonstrably incorrect, Moslems live in Kafir lands, and they build Mosques and worship in them.


    NiV:
    “I didn’t say “living”, I said “settling”. ”

    Oh my god! So Moslems in Bradford which now has a majority Moslem population, they’ve not settled there, they are just living there.

  • bobby b

    “Sorry, I didn’t realise. I assumed you were using the dictionary definition: “the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex.” It’s prejudicial, and it’s based on race. Silly me, eh?”

    I go to the dictionary, and find these as the next entries:

    – recognition and understanding of the difference between one thing and another.

    – the ability to discern what is of high quality; good judgment or taste.

    synonyms: discernment · judgment · perception · perceptiveness · perspicacity

    I see that Yahoo Answers (first place that pops up in a Bing search) says this about bigotry:

    “A bigot is a person who is intolerant of opinions, lifestyles, or identities differing from his or her own, and bigotry is the corresponding state of mind. Bigot is often used as a pejorative term against a person who is obstinately devoted to prejudices even when these views are challenged or proven to be false or not universally applicable or acceptable.”

    Silly you, indeed.

  • neonsnake

    I would have thought it clear from context that we’re talking about this definition of the word:

    “make an unjust or prejudicial distinction in the treatment of different categories of people, especially on the grounds of race, sex, or age.”

    and not in the sense of having a developed enough palate to be able to to discriminate between a Chilean and a French Malbec.

    And of course we all discriminate (in both definitions of the word) – bobby b, to your example of avoiding groups of Somalian youths – you noted earlier that you might be avoiding the local chess club, but you still discriminate due to experience.

    Whether I think you are right or wrong to do so, I suspect that each of us here discriminates in some way or another. If I see a group of football fans steaming down the road toward me, I am getting myself on the other side of the road forthwith. I might feel a bit bad later, on the off chance that were all lovely people, but I’d still do it.

    The “worst” (in the sense of being unfairly unsympathetic) thing I could say to you for avoiding such groups, whilst remaining honest about my own behaviour, is that I would find it “understandable”. I’m not about to have a pop at you for following your instincts, based on experience – most especially because you’ve specifically made the point all along that you recognise that “not all of group x” are like that, and again, you know that you might be avoiding the local chess club.

    I have no such fears about Muslims, so I don’t cross the road (where I live during the week, I’d be zigzagging constantly over the road if I did, and the risk would be being hit by a bus).

    Now, I may well have misunderstood (or misrepresented by accident) other’s positions (Niall, APL, Paul) – this is my understanding so far; when we’re talking about (eg) blacks, there’s a tacit belief that the vast majority are good upstanding people (chess club), and that if you receive an application for a job and the interviewee shows up and is black, then you will all judge him on his own merits.

    But when we talk about Muslims, that doesn’t appear to be the position: every last one is intent on undermining the fabric of civilisation, is the impression I’m getting. Jihad, taqqiya, da’wah, and so on.

    There doesn’t seem to be any belief in the one that I (and NIV, if I may presume to speak for them) hold – that an overwhelming majority of Muslims in the UK simply want to run their corner-shops, practice in their surgeries, manage their car dealerships and so on, whilst practicing a non-violent form of their religion. The conversation about whether they are truly Muslims or not, seems to me to be similar to my earlier drawing of a line between Muslims and Islamists.

    I’m not wholly sure I see the relevance, if I’m in honest, except that maybe APL would view a “moderate Muslim” as “not a Muslim in the same sense as an Islamist”, and therefore has no problem with them? IE. APL would happily interview them and employ them? I’m not sure I’ve understood correctly, but that seems to have been the gist. It’s plausible that what I call Muslim (ie. not Islamist), is what APL is calling “not-Muslim”, in which case we’re largely in the same place, bar a slight confusion over terms.

    However, it could be that I’m still not quite understanding, and that Niall/APL/Paul believe that ALL Muslims (moderate or otherwise) in the UK are here for nefarious purposes, and that the moderates (ie. the ones I work with and/or am friends with) are performing taqqiyah.

    That was my initial take, anyway; and that was what ignited my curiousity with my initial question – what would you (assuming I’ve represented your view correctly) do faced with job applications from Muslims? Or if you moved into a team with already-employed Muslims? Given that (again, if I understand correctly), you believe they have nefarious intent, surely it must inform your actions to some extent?

  • Nullius in Verba

    “Oh my god! So Moslems in Bradford which now has a majority Moslem population, they’ve not settled there, they are just living there.”

    No. They are settled there. Muslim chaps running corner convenience stores are not engaged in jihad (I’ve not been killed or enslaved buying bread in the corner shop), they’re not there for da’wa (they’re more likely to ask if you’d like to buy their special two-for-one deal, very good value, than they are to invite you to prayer), and they’re not engaged in any trade they couldn’t carry on in a Muslim country. They’re not incapable of leaving, either. They’ve settled here as a permanent resident because they like it here just the way it is. And that’s forbidden by Sharia law.

    “However, it could be that I’m still not quite understanding, and that Niall/APL/Paul believe that ALL Muslims (moderate or otherwise) in the UK are here for nefarious purposes, and that the moderates (ie. the ones I work with and/or am friends with) are performing taqqiyah.”

    Or that we should treat them all as if they were, just in case.

    But like I say, we could say the same thing about men. On the Islamist terrorism front, in the USA since 9/11, there have been 85 terrorist incidents resulting in deaths, 23 of them were by Islamists, causing 94 deaths, over half of those in a single incident (the Pulse night club mass shooting, which was apparently partly of homophobic intent). Over a 15 year period, that’s an average of 6 per year. I think the total number of murders in the USA is about 16,000 per year? 90% of them by men?

    I honestly don’t think many of the people who hold such feelings are actually looking at the numbers, and making a numerical assessment of the risk. People have a feeling, based on the cultural gestalt of news reports and political campaigns highlighting this or that danger, and they react viscerally. Then later, when challenged on it, they construct various rational justifications for it.

    The “us” and “them” psychology has always been part of human nature. It divides us into tribes, who then expend vast resources fighting passionate wars with one another. People stuck in an “us” and “them” mindset cannot tolerate anything that sounds like a defence or mitigation of “them”, and get very angry and upset if you’re not totally against “them” too. (I’ve come across a few Irish like that with the Protestant/Catholic thing, and of course there’s the way people react to Israel/Palestine.) I understand why people feel the way they do, and I’m not totally without sympathy for the reasoning. But it’s costly.

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