Against multiculturalism


4:00 pm - March 15th 2010

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Guest post by pagar

The policy of multiculturalism is built on two theories.

Firstly, there is the idea that human beings need, at a very primal level, some sort of attachment to cultural heritage. Without such attachment, the argument goes, people are likely to be less fulfilled and lack personal foundation. Without our cultural reference points, we are but leaves blowing in the wind.

Secondly, multiculturalism demands that all cultures have equal value. Indeed, it says that the value of a culture cannot be empirically measured because there is no fair starting point. The person making the comparison and value judgment will necessarily do so from a position that is informed by their own culture.

When these two theories are put together, we are logically driven towards embracing diversity- where everyone is encouraged to celebrate and codify the differences between cultures. Divergence is seen as positive and homogeneity is outlawed. In this climate immigrants are not required to integrate into the host culture and it is considered wrong and regressive for anyone to ask or expect them to do so.

But for liberals, the multiculturalism agenda brings with it some difficulties. Because diversity is, in fact, incompatible with equality.
In the world beyond Western liberal democracies, there are few societies that practice (or even believe in) equality and multiculturalism compels liberals to say that cultures where people are routinely discriminated against on grounds of gender, sexual orientation, and social caste are of equal value to our own.

Not only that but, to take diversity to its logical conclusion, these differences between cultures have not just to be tolerated by liberals, they have to be celebrated. To do otherwise would be “shockingly ethnocentric”. So a culture that is free, progressive and enlightened cannot be viewed as better than one that is not. All cultures are equal and to deny that is to invite allegations of racism or cultural imperialism.

Secondly, the liberal is asked to accept that, because we all have a need for a cultural frame of reference, it is best if we get our attachments from the particular culture into which we are born. So to remove a starving orphan from a Haitian earthquake zone and have him brought up in an affluent Western country would be, to the cultural relativist, a major crime.

But to argue that we are culture dependent, that we are somehow indelibly tattooed with the values of the particular culture into which we are born, is to deny the possibility of change and transformation. Such an argument assumes that we cannot learn, progress, think and organise in different ways. It denies that we have the right, as individuals, to create, through reason, our own moral and political landscape.

Diversity is ultimately about denial of choice, and runs counter to the expression of individual aspiration. It is a conservative policy incompatible with liberalism.

Anyone interested in reading a longer and more erudite exposition of the above should have a look at this.

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Reader comments


Famously in 2007 Martin Amis asked an audience at the ICA how many felt their values were morally superior to the Taleban.
One third of the audience raised their hands.

So much for liberalism.

@1 As much as a third?!

I think you pagar may be confusing multiculturalism and moral relavatism. Although they can be similar they are far from being synonomous, which kind of means your attacking a straw man.

On the one hand you’ve got the hand-wringing cultural relativists who hold that all cultures are of exactly equal worth, and to disagree is chauvinism. On the other hand you’ve got the colonel blimps who object to seeing British streets full of fuzzy-wuzzies with their funny clothes, funny food, funny music, and funny coloured skin.

Somewhere in between you’ve got sanity.

@cjcjcj

“one third of the audience raised their hands”.

Er…yer..they were most probably looking for that deceptively elusive sort of “moral Goldilocks Zone”—nothing too judgemental mind you…oh no,God forbid.
Good old cultural relatavism.It’ll be the death of us yet.
I have use for an increasingly popular expression on a daily basis now.

“Those whom the Gods wish to destroy–they first make mad”.

By the way, I’d wager that the members of the audience you refer to were all instinctively looking about to see how many other hands were going up before deciding.
The old collective group think tyranny paralysing any attempt at “true intuitive gut response”

“so much for liberalism”

They haven’t seen the bill yet.

5. rob tennant

Was it an audience full of Tories, cjcjc?

homogeneity is outlawed. In this climate immigrants are not required to integrate into the host culture and it is considered wrong and regressive for anyone to ask or expect them to do so

That is absolute shite and you know it, “pagar”. The Sun, the Daily Mail, the Daily Express, the Daily Star, the Times, the Telegraph, the Evening Standard, the Conservative Party, the Labour Party, the BNP and UKIP are constantly talking about the need for Muslims and immigrants to be more British and less what they are.

Your post is one long shit-dribble (a shibble?) along the lines of “You can’t talk about immigration these days because someone will call you racist” – a patent lie because people are constantly talking about immigration, many of whom veer into racism.

Read this then shoot yourself in the head: http://enemiesofreason.blogspot.com/2009/05/its-not-protest-numbnuts.html

Agree with Left Outside that pagar is attacking a straw man. As in, supporters of multiculturalism don’t actually believe that societies where people are routinely discriminated against on grounds of gender, sexual orientation, and social caste are of equal value to ones which do not.

Indeed, the multiculturalists are the ones who usually lead campaigns for equal rights – many of the people who denounce multiculturalism now are the same ones who denounced the gay rights movement in the 1980s, for example. This is a massive problem with monoculturalism – who gets to decide what the one single culture is that everyone should adopt?

The confusion between cultural relativism and multiculturalism was dealt with by Lord Parekh back in 2000, and I think it is useful to use his definition of multiculturalism:

“Multiculturalism basically means that no culture is perfect or represents the best life and that it can therefore benefit from a critical dialogue with other cultures.

In this sense multiculturalism requires that all cultures should be open, self-critical, and interactive in their relations with other each other.”

Would anyone here actually disagree with that?

Would you have raised your hand, rob tennant?

8. Mike Killingworth

Well, I would like to suggest that any theory should be able to at least try to explain why us Brits have taken to curry houses but not baseball, and why cricket is popular on the subcontinent but not in Canada.

Surely we are all multiculturalists in the sense that we believe that different cultures are hegemonic in different parts of the world, and no one – not even the French – any longer believes that people who don’t live in Europe would be better off if they adopted European values.

Where the shoe pinches is when it comes to the position of non-white ethnic minorities in Europe (and North America). We both want them to enjoy equality with the white host community and retain their own cultural values, such as – for example – a belief in the efficacy of magic in the case of many Africans.

One way to cut this Gordian knot would be to do whatever the immigrant minorities wanted. Unfortunately, as we all know, they are totally split on the issue. Some – like our own Sunny and Sunder – are out-and-out egalitarians. Others are cultural particularists. Yet others are pragmatic realists, noticing that the cause of both Race Equality legislation and public infrastructure funding in areas of high non-white settlement has, historically, been outbreaks of public disorder. Indeed, the anti-Rushdie riots were the first time a British government did not respond to public disorder by throwing cash at the disorderly.

However, all of us, black or white, Muslim or kufar are agreed that under no circumstances should public policy say what proportion of the population ought to be white (or Muslim) – whether nationally or locally. This must be left to market forces – or perhaps, if we are African, to magical invocation.

In other words, in order not to give offence, it is necessary that public policy be incoherent and face in more directions than the Lemean Hydra.

A liberal, multicultural argument: all can act as they please, within the confines of the law. What, though, if a growing body of people rejects that law? For the restrictionist, well – don’t let them in. For the open borders advocate…?

10. journeyman

@Larry Teabag

Yup,we got well and truely “suckered”by those “hand wringing cultural relatavists”.
Its amazing how the gift of the “Blarney” can convince an entire culture to commit salami-slice suicide.
Where the hell is “colonel Blimp when you need him.

“Somewhere in between we you’ve got sanity”.

We had the “in between sanity”about 40 years ago….remember?
But it wasn’t enough for the L.C.priesthood and Guardianistas.
Naturally,when the shit finally hits the minaret—everybody down here will be pointing the finger at everybody but themselves.
“It was im wot dunnit-“——“no it woz im-I didn’t av nufink ta do wiv it”.
Bastards!.

@8

Good points, but I don’t think it’s just the Africans that are inclined towards magic…

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article7060354.ece

12. rob tennant

*is a drunk far-right racist

Obviously multicultural education has robbed me of my grasp of English grammar

I’m not sure we do want them to continue to believe in magic, do we??

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article530085.ece

14. rob tennant

@Donpaskini – why is this right-wing nonsense being published on LC?

@15 What makes it “right wing”

I have huge difficulties with the semantics of these arguments. The line between ‘culture’ and ‘morality’ has become blurred to the point of interchangeability. Perhapst this has been done deliberately as an attack on liberalism.

Liberalism is a moral absolutist position. It should also be cultural relativist, but these blurred meanings have created a logical fallacy. Multiculturalism now means multimoralism.

We need a new word for the ‘arts’ and ‘lifestyle’ bits of culture, so we can separate it out from morality, and again argue for benign diversity.

@20 You have a point but there will still be an issue as to what is lifestyle and what is morality; is halal lifestyle or does it have moral consequences.

18. Planeshift

“The policy of multiculturalism”

It would help here if you defined what you meant by multi-culturalism, and then what you meant by “policy of multi-culturalism” by citing a couple of examples of the policy in practice.

“@Donpaskini – why is this right-wing nonsense being published on LC?”

Discussing whether multiculturalism is a good idea should make for a good discussion for liberal-lefties, and I thought pagar’s post set out a case well, though I utterly disagree with it.

I’ve done a little bit of tidying up this thread, I know this subject is a bit of a wingnut magnet, but pls keep to genial abuse or even thoughtful discussion rather than wishing others dead.

sl, as a guilt-ridden pig eater I can’t begin to answer that :s

@14

Child abuse and exorcisms, these African chappies sound very familiar…

@20 Yes it’s a tricky one. I think it’s reasonable to be anti-halal from an animal welfare pov, but of course I still eat bacon sarnies which others might object to from, er, an animal welfare pov.

This is one of the known problems about ordering cultures, it can only be done from someone who is a member of one of the cultures and therefore biased. However i still think there is room to distinguish some cultural practises as simply bad.

23. Shatterface

‘In this sense multiculturalism requires that all cultures should be open, self-critical, and interactive in their relations with other each other.”

And what about cultures that are not open, self-critical and interactive? Who imposes these ‘requiremants’ and how are they enforced? What sanctions can be made against closed, uncritical and isolationist cultures and in whose name are these sanctions carried out?

Multiculturalism isn’t the celebration of differences, it’s the celebration of similarity with others in your group whether you feel a sense of identity or not.

Oh, and Tennant: please answer cjcjc’s question. Would you have put your hand up?

He did (in the affirmative) but then wished both myself and Martin Amis dead, so the whole comment was disappeared.

25. Shatterface

‘@Donpaskini – why is this right-wing nonsense being published on LC?’

Because Sunny Hundal, a founder of the site, has previously claimed that he, personally, brought multi-culturalism down.

@24 I’d wait for confirmation before you assume Rob’s a moron.

That was the racist troll I suspect, the one who’s been harrassing Dougie, Dan and myself.

*Blows raspberry from behind cloak of anonymity*

@26 – not sure what you mean?
That is what actually happened.

I would suggest one of two things should happen:

1. some clever person comes up with a definition of the word _multiculturalism_ that is neither a ludicrous straw man nor a trivial tautology.

2. Use of the word should be banned by international law, and a joint SAS/Taliban hit squad set up to ruthlessly hunt down and liquidate anyone who uses it to try and start some kind of argument.

There’s a discussion here which should enlighten matters for you cjcjc.

What I meant to say, was that it may well not have been rob tennant making the comment about killing people. It may be the person who has a track record for impersonaity people on LibCon. (So the raspberry was directed at him not you)

I would greatly recommend reading the linked essay rather than the story above. I disagree with many of the Kenan Malik’s conclusions, but it avoids many of the critical failings above.

Pagar

I think your entire premise is flawed.

The policy of multiculturalism is built on two theories.

What is this ‘policy’ and who administers it?

Surely the term ‘multiculturalism’ is not a policy as such, but merely describes the political and social position we find ourselves in?

Given that we live in a free(ish) society then ‘multiculturalism’ is a direct consequence of the fact that we do not have a State religion or a set of cultural norms set by the State. Surely a ‘monoculture’ is one where the culture is directed by an Authoritarian State, like Saudi Arabia or China? Then again, would we even have the term ‘multiculturalism’ if it wasn’t for the race element?

Well it was exactly the same kind of charming tone (though with added death wishing) as he adopts at post #5…

I agree with the comments pointing out that this post is attacking a straw man.

First define what ‘multicultural policy’ is, then demonstrate how it’s based on the things you say it is then you can make this argument.

34. Just Visiting

this need to ‘define multicultarism’ reminds me of an earlier thread about Islamophobia..

The fact (that no one disagreed with), that 5 Islamic nations have the death penalty enshirined in law for apostasy – and I used the word ‘mainstream’.

Thereafter I was hounded to define that word to a rather boring conclusion to all.

Is the cry to ‘define it’ on this thread – also just misdirection.

Here’s an example of multicultarism, that suggests we do actually all know what we are talking about.

Magistrates – work for free, bless theri cottons, helping with some society sustaining stuff.

They have a Family court. Mostly tragic situations where parenting etc has failed and not much to be done really – but occasionly a young life gets turned round..

Then along comes the multicultural monster. All magistrates in Family courts must now declare whether they would be willing to recommend a child for adoption by a same sex couple. “Just in case, you know. Yes we know it hasn’t ever happened in this court to date, but please let us know.”

Those who have reasons of conscience, or religious persuasion, are told that they are no longer able to carry on as a magistrate – their voluntary work is rejected.

And guess who gets excluded by the multicultural monster?

Well people like Muslims….

35. Just Visiting

LO

You said ‘multiculturalism and moral relavatism’ are being confused here.

Rather, maybe multi-culturalism is the application of moral relativism to the comparison of cultures.

So in this case it is 100% right to consider them together.

36. Shatterface

‘Surely a ‘monoculture’ is one where the culture is directed by an Authoritarian State, like Saudi Arabia or China?’

And a ‘multi-culture’ would be what they had in South Africa.

‘Then again, would we even have the term ‘multiculturalism’ if it wasn’t for the race element?’

Probably not, but isn’t opponents of multi-culturalism who insist on treating people differently because of the colour of their skin or because they believe in a different sky-pixie.

People have the right to associate with who they want but for others to treat that collective as if it is one corporate body with identically shared interests is to treat their self-appointed leaders as if they speak for all and to ignore internal inequalities (usually based on sex, but also on sexuality, class or caste) within that group.

37. Just Visiting

Shatterface

Straw man alarm..
“for others to treat that collective as if it is one corporate body with identically shared interests”

Nobody here is suggesting that cultures are 100% homogenous and 100% of members of a culture agree on all things.

But it would also be silly to claim that cultures don’t (taken in the general) differ.

Some cultures have honour killing as part of their accepted world view. Others not.

There seems to be a consensus building that, in my post, I have constructed a straw man to attack. I have also been asked to provide examples of where I believe the idea of cultural relativism causes problems for liberals.

The reason that I feel strongly about this is that is that liberalism (a doctrine where we allow others freedom to express their views and to choose how to live their lives) is naturally threatened by all authoritarian forces.

In the face of such threats liberals often lack the self-confidence to say clearly that the alternative views are wrong and to convince opponents they are prepared to fight them. After all, liberalism dictates that we must allow others the freedom to choose their own path.

@ 23 And what about cultures that are not open, self-critical and interactive? Who imposes these ‘requirements’ and how are they enforced? What sanctions can be made against closed, uncritical and isolationist cultures and in whose name are these sanctions carried out?

These are critical questions for I often sense a reluctance to call out misogyny, homophobia and barbarism where those things are part of the heritage af another culture. OK. we usually balk at the point of honour killings and female circumcision but we also appease by flirting with allowing Sharia law to take precedence over that of the state.

Let’s take a simple and hopefully uncontroversial example.

Arranged marriages.

These are condoned and tolerated because they are a relic of the culture of an immigrant group and despite the fact that they involve a limitation on the choice of partners available to the participants (a constraint on their freedom). They are fundamentally illiberal and we should have the self-confidence to condemn them.

What stops us?

“Diversity is ultimatley about denial of choice” – sounds like you’ve just been to see ‘Alice in Wonderland’
If you can’t deal with multiculturalism how the hell do you cope with individualism?
I think you should be posting on Fascist Conspiracy.

40. Just Visiting

Pagar

far from being a straw man, I feel you have raised a vital question.

The difficulty, is that even LC has a kind of ‘shared culture of values’ among the bulk here.

And you are asking about the emperors clothes….

As M Scott Peck said , most people do not change, do not grow in their thinking for the simple reason – that change requires hard work – it’s easier to stick to one’s old beliefs than carve out over time a new set that fits the new facts.

So IMHO you are asking the exactly right question, and should not be put off when the push-back you get is really just the the push back against the work of having to change viewpoints and ditch comfortable mantras.

41. Just Visiting

As I just said – (39) demonstrates that push-back without being willing to think through.

42. Shatterface

‘If you can’t deal with multiculturalism how the hell do you cope with individualism?’

You mean if we can’t do thing X how can we do entirely different thing Y? Like if I can’t breath underwater how can I breath air?

‘I think you should be posting on Fascist Conspiracy.’

It’s my understanding that fascism was about treating people according to which *group* they belonged to, not as individuals.

Maybe history unfolded diferently on your world.

Pagar@38:

I think you’re getting arranged marriages mixed up with forced marriages, whih are illegal.

Oh – an aspect of ‘other’ cultures that is illegal, in a multicultural society. That would mean the claim that “immigrants are not required to integrate into the host culture and it is considered wrong and regressive for anyone to ask or expect them to do so” look a bit hollow.

But then, it’s difficult to know whether you’re talking about the current government, ill defined ‘liberals’ or just the people who think multiculturalism is what you define it. I don’t think there are many of those, which is why I think your argument is a straw man. You’re attacking your weakly defined version of what multiculturalism is and what ‘liberals’ must do.

As I just said, 41 42, I think you should be posting on Fascist Conspiracy.

38
If you really believe in freedom-of-choice (btw this is a culturally determined belief and by no means universal) you have to accept that people may choose to reject freedon-of-choice, this acceptance is entirely liberal, and denial is entirely illiberal. You have to accept that liberalism throws-up contradictions and individualism, by definition, can never be anything but diverse.
Many of the recent commentators here are nothing more than cultural imperialists and should never label themselves as ‘liberals’

46. Chris Baldwin

“Famously in 2007 Martin Amis asked an audience at the ICA how many felt their values were morally superior to the Taleban.
One third of the audience raised their hands.

So much for liberalism.” – cjcjc

Maybe they remembered that no decent person claims to be morally superior? Decent people aspire to be morally superior, they strive to be morally superior, but they would never claim to be morally superior.

So much for conservatism.

47. Chris Baldwin

Oh, and multiculturalism isn’t a theory, it’s a fact in a free modern society and you can either defend that society or acquiesce in right-wing attacks on it.

48. Just Visiting

5cc

> forced marriages, which are illegal.

Are you sure?
They are not crimes, that the police can investigate, so far as I can tell.

Reading Hansard I see:
“In September 2005, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Home Office published a consultation paper, Forced Marriage A Wrong not a Right. The consultation sought views n whether there should be a specific criminal offence of forced marriage. The majority of respondents felt that the disadvantages of creating new criminal legislation would outweigh the advantages and the Government announced that non-legislative activity would be taken forward.”

So the police can’t help as it’s not a crime….. the individual is left with the task of going to court on their own standing.

“The aim of the Bill is to provide civil remedies for those faced with forced marriage, and victims of forced marriage.”

49. Just Visiting

Chris Baldwin 47

that was another push-back – tyring to stifle the debate without addressing the points raised.

What does ‘multiculturalism isn’t a theory, it’s a fact’ actually mean?
Sounds like you mean that it is verboten to compare and contrast cultures.

Moral relativism, applied to cultures.

Just Visiting @48:

New laws against forced marriages The laws may be flawed, but they’re there.

Plus, if you want examples of other cultural practices being illegal, off the top of my head you’ve got honour killing and female genital mutilation and our gun laws which would outlaw something that’s a big part of the culture in some parts of the US. You could probably think of more.

51. Just Visiting

Steve B (45)

You’re mixing up the individual’s right to limit his choices or not.
(Liberal.)

With cultures that limit their members en masse. (not liberal).

There are too many people who have come out and gone public from forced marriages or escaped honour killings or Sharia trials for it to be credible that individuals in every case willingly chose those paths.

flirting with allowing Sharia law to take precedence over that of the state

Utterly untrue.

53. Shatterface

‘As I just said, 41 42, I think you should be posting on Fascist Conspiracy.’

We read what you said and repeating it just makes you look a bigger prick.

54. Just Visiting

5cc

save me some googling, as I guess you’ve already done your homework on this, can you supply URLs for more reading on those laws:

“other cultural practices being illegal, off the top of my head you’ve got honour killing and female genital mutilation “

Original Post

So a culture that is free, progressive and enlightened cannot be viewed as better than one that is not. All cultures are equal and to deny that is to invite allegations of racism or cultural imperialism.

@45

Many of the recent commentators here are nothing more than cultural imperialists and should never label themselves as ‘liberals’

@43

I think you’re getting arranged marriages mixed up with forced marriages, whih are illegal

No I’m not. I meant arranged marriages.

56. Shatterface

‘Maybe they remembered that no decent person claims to be morally superior? Decent people aspire to be morally superior, they strive to be morally superior, but they would never claim to be morally superior.’

I think my not throwing acid in the face of schoolgirls is more than simply an ‘aspiration’ to moral superiority over the Taliban.

Interestingly, in the thread below you have Rob Tenant threatening to murder / wishing people dead so it is a clear trait of his, even though no one bothered to remove that comment because the target of his death wish was on the other side of the political spectrum.

http://liberalconspiracy.org/2010/03/09/beat-the-bnp-help-their-supporters/

In that same thread you also have Daniel Hoffmann-Gill, who I assume is the ‘Dan’ you refer to, arbitrarily accusing another commentator who pointed out serious disparities in his comments as being this ‘sentinel’ character without offering any evidence whatsoever despite being asked several times. I notice that is the case in the post you link to as well. On the basis of that accusation he refused to answer obvious untruths.

My point is that although you may have these problems I think it is being used to excuse bad behaviour and comment policy violations and also get people out of tight spots and has taken on a life of its own.

Get asked an awkward question? The enquirer is a troll called sentinel. Overstep the mark, ah yes, it wasn’t me it was this troll called sentinel again. Just don’t ask for proof. 🙂

No good for debate guys.

sorry, above to 29 LO

59. Shatterface

‘Oh, and multiculturalism isn’t a theory, it’s a fact’

It’s a social fact, in the sense it has no existance outside of society, not a brute fact. Change the society and the social facts are different. Racism and exploitation are also social facts.

‘in a free modern society and you can either defend that society or acquiesce in right-wing attacks on it.’

I wasn’t aware that there were only two choices.

60. Just Visiting

Hee hee – looking at the FCO discussion document on forced marriages – you can see how far people are willign to bend over in order to follow moral relativism in this space of comparing cultures:

> Many parents use religious rationale to justify their use of force and violence. No religion of the world restricts choice…

Such a ridiculuous claim!
And to say ‘no religion’ not ‘most religions’, they have such certainty in their theological understanding !

They daren’t be seen to criticise any nonwestern culture.

Just visiting @54:

“save me some googling, as I guess you’ve already done your homework on this, can you supply URLs for more reading on those laws:”

I don’t think you really need me to supply links to show you that murder and mutilating childrens’ genitals are illegal.

Even so Two men convicted of so called honour killing”

Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003

Cheers.

Chris Baldwin that is brilliant.
You very clearly feel that your politics are superior to mine, though both (I hope) lie within the confines of what one might call our “liberal democracy”.
Yet heaven forfend that anyone asserts that liberal democracy is clearly superior to clerical fascism.
But I know it is. And you know it is.

Pagar @55:

“No I’m not. I meant arranged marriages.”

1. “These are condoned and tolerated because they are a relic of the culture of an immigrant group…” there’s that strawman again. They’re tolerated and condoned because people might want to enter an arranged marriage.

2. Do you magine that all arranged marriages must “involve a limitation on the choice of partners available to the participants”? Because if not, tere might be other reasons why they’re tolerated and condoned.

I know people for whom an arranged marriage represented a widening of their choice of partners, which is why I assumed you meant forced marriages.

I seem to be getting a lot of traffic to my blog from this thread for some reason, which either means someone is impersonating me again or…well, that’s all it can be and as for Hammer:

The harassment I am experiencing is very real I can assure you, I know my web-stlaker well and his tone and the style he uses, most of the time that is, hence my feelings about the John Smith character.

I don’t need to justify that and reaction to the accusation was pretty useful…

I’m not the one shutting down debates by spamming them with offensive comments, only today my partner’s name was being slung in the mud, not that she cares or knows and not that it ever sticks around for long but it is annoying and pretty disgusting.

65. Shatterface

Maybe we should have a show of hands here.

You know I think I’m morally superior (and not just to the Taliban).

Who’s next?

I now see why people are coming to mine, with regards to the racist troll and the link LO put up.

Understand.

I am sorry to hear that Daniel, but still, I really don’t see how you can just arbitrarily accuse people without providing any evidence at all. It looks especially suspicious when the person you accuse is pointing out some awkward points about you. Even if it were a genuine feeling you must admit that you jumped the gun on #64 and that feelings are not any reliable measure of truth. 🙁

Shatterface @65:

I’m morally superior to the Taliban too.

What a waste of time.

69. Matt Munro

I agree with a lot of the post but it begs two questions.

If it is preferable for people to retain the culture of the country of birth, then where does that leave second, third etc generation migrants – should they adopt the culture of the UK, that of their parents, or both ?

Secondly, what do you do if the culture of birth is incompatible, on some level with the values of the host culture and/or other cultures which are part of the multicultural landscape in other words how can a “liberal” tolerate illiberal cultures ?

70. Just Visiting

5cc

ok, the Taliban comparison was a waste of time.

What about a comparison of your flavour of liberal democracy with say Sharia Law?

71. Just Visiting

Matt

your first point is a tangent – taking us away from the point Pagar is making

Your 2nd point is maybe restating his point in alternate words

“how can a “liberal” tolerate illiberal cultures”

Or, how did we liberals end up being so silent about the illiberal cultures growing in the UK ?

My view, is that it was moral relativism that led us down that path.

53
Ah yes, the great liberal, when their personal opinion/choice is challenged they revert to abuse.
Stalin didn’t take kindly to opposition either.
51
No really, I’m not mixing anthing up, freedom-of-choice is not only about being self-limiting it’s also about the environment limiting choice. Consequently, I do not have the freedom to do just as I please.
You also need to understand that liberalism itself is a cultural belief it is not the default position of humanity, you may believe that your culture suits you better than any other and you may find certain different cultural practices repulsive. But, as long as a piece of behaviour/belief/choice remains within the law of the nation-state, a liberal society should accept it, and any unlawful practice should be punished. And yes, liberalism throws-up contradictions, it aint for the concrete thinkers, of which, there are too many on this site.

73. Matt Munro

“Oh, and multiculturalism isn’t a theory, it’s a fact in a free modern society and you can either defend that society or acquiesce in right-wing attacks on it”.

It’s not a fact it’s a social construction, a product of critical theory, and it’s neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for a “free modern society”. And in such a “free modern society” you are also free to vote against it, rather than defend/attack it.

74. Earnest Ernest

#should they adopt the culture of the UK, that of their parents, or both ? #

What do you mean “should”? There’s a right or wrong involved in the choice? Can’t they just do whatever they friggin want?

#how can a “liberal” tolerate illiberal cultures ?#

They can’t..and shouldn’t attempt to try. Any attempt to accommodate illiberal cultures is doomed to fail, and isn’t a sign of liberalism, rather stupidity. However, I really can’t think of a significant potential incompatibility which isn’t already deemed illegal. That ought to be the measure.

75. Just Visiting

Earnest

> However, I really can’t think of a significant potential incompatibility which isn’t already deemed illegal

How about Sharia Law. How would you compare + contrast sharia law in the UK versus your own liberal perspective?

76. Matt Munro

@ 6 This is a massive problem with monoculturalism – who gets to decide what the one single culture is that everyone should adopt?

Why is it a massive problem ??? The majority get to decide, it’s called democracy…

“In this sense multiculturalism requires that all cultures should be open, self-critical, and interactive in their relations with other each other.”

Would anyone here actually disagree with that?”

No because it’s a statement of the blindingly obvious – something that has always happened, long before anyone thought up the phrase “Cultural interpenetration”. It doesn’t follow from that, that all cultures should be lumped together (you can stay where you were born and be self critical), nor does it get around the fact that some cultures obviously need to be a lot more self critical than others.

“What about a comparison of your flavour of liberal democracy with say Sharia Law?”

Another pointless waste of time. Where will we go next? “What about the Joker, are you morally superior to him?”

It would depend on what aspects of Sharia we’re talking about. Cutting hands off and stoning homosexuals? You betcha liberal democracy is morally superior.

Deciding on a fine for a kid who assaulted another? Not so much.

We’re not talking about whether the definition of multiculturalism that’s been set up is a strawman anymore.

78. Just Visiting

5cc

> We’re not talking about whether the definition of multiculturalism that’s been set up is a strawman anymore.

That’s because it’s not a strawman.

Tell us more about your views on Sharia.

I’m guessing that there may be more concerns you have with it, than just ‘Cutting hands off and stoning homosexuals’.

“That’s because it’s not a strawman.”

We haven’t established that. Other definitions of what multiculturalism is have been offered, and I’ve shown examples of things that would contradict what the original post says about it. You have to show, with evidence, why those definitions are wrong, or why my examples do not contradict what has been said.

“Tell us more about your views on Sharia.”

No. Demonstrate that what the post says multiculturalism is built on is not a couple of strawmen first. Otherwise people might suspect you’re trying to derail the discussion with irrelevancies.

80. Just Visiting

5cc

Ok. Maybe I’m overly suspicious at finding these word definition issues an intent to distract from the issue at hand.

You wrote: “Other definitions of what multiculturalism is have been offered”

Which definition would you yourself give ?

Pagar – excellent post. I’d never heard the Martin Amis/Taliban example before. It pretty much sums it up I think.

And on the subject of the Taliban, our local fundamentalist christian Taliban leader, Just Visiting, returns. I’m surprised that you choose to raise the issue of your failure to give an explanation of your use of the word mainstream on the recent Patriotism/Islamaphobia thread. Your account of events differs significantly from my recollection but I was the one who was “hounding” you for an explanation, so I suppose you’ll say I’m biased, wont you? Anyway, if anyone wants to see what was really said on that thread they can read it can’t they? That may give a more accurate impression that your account.

Anyway, is it pure coincidence that your comments on this thread have moved, once again, in an anti – islamic direction? I don’t think it’s cultural relativism, per se, that you have an issue with, I think it’s any viewpoint which conflicts with your christian one. As was proved on another thread, you’re basically just a religious bigot.

That’s the problem with anti-multi-culturalism. It basically amounts to sticking it the muslims at every possible opportunity.

83. Just Visiting

Larry

To be sure we’re talking about the same thing – 5cc was keen to have a definition on the table; so it’s maybe premature of you to throw out generalisations about (anti) multiculturalism until we hear from 5cc what he thinks a good definition is.

“Which definition would you yourself give ?”

The same one that has been offered many times. That people should be allowed to do what they like providing nobody else gets hurt.

This is a far more plausible explanation of what multiculturalism is built on than the main post, since I’ve offered examples of aspects of cultures that are illegal, and you laughably asked for a link to show that murder was illegal.

Care to demonstrate how that’s wrong?

Just Visiting @83:

This thread is not about what I think multiculturalism is – it’s about what the author thinks it is. My thoughts – and the others’ on the thread – only come up as a counterpoint.

We’re not about to try to shift the burden of proof onto me are we?

For a defence of multiculturalism, try Tariq Modood’s ‘Multiculturalism‘, (2007).

If reading a fairly short book is too much, here’s a paragraph which may help.

The literature on multiculturalism takes up questions of race, ethnicity, and cultural diversity in relation to the liberal state. Some multicultural states — notably Canada — allegedly aim to permit the various cultural identities of their residents to be preserved rather than assimilated, despite the concern that the over-arching liberal aims of such states may be at odds with the values of those they claim to protect. For example, Susan Moller Okin argues that multiculturalism is sometimes bad for women, especially when it works to preserve patriarchal values in minority cultures. If multiculturalism implies a form of cultural relativism that prevents judgment of or interference with the “private” practices of minorities, female genital mutilation, forced marriage, compulsory veiling, or being deprived of education may be the consequence. Okin’s critics counter that she falsely portrays culture as static, internally homogeneous, and defined by men’s values, allowing liberalism to represent a culturally unmarked medium for the defense of individual rights (Okin et al 1999). For many commentators on multiculturalism this is the nub of the issue: is there an inconsistency between defending the rights of minority cultures, while prohibiting those (allegedly) cultural practices that the state judges illiberal (Eisenberg and Spinner-Halev 2005; Phillips 2007)? Can liberalism sustain the cultural and value-neutrality that some commentators still ascribe to it, or to what extent should it embrace its own cultural specificity (Taylor, Habermas in Gutmann, ed. 1994; Lawrence and Herzog, eds. 1994; Kymlicka, ed. 1995; Deveaux 2000)? Defenders of the right to cultural expression of minorities in multicultural states thus practice forms of identity politics that are both made possible by liberalism and sometimes in tension with it (see Laden and Owen eds. 2007).

Heyes, Cressida, “Identity Politics”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2009 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2009/entries/identity-politics/.

Larry Teabag (@82), whilst I don’t entirely agree with you, that’s how “anti – multi – culturalism” usually ends up. Look at Just Visiting’s posts for a prime example.

I think pagar makes a valid point about multi – culturalism often being reduced to cultural – relativism. I also think it’s important for people who believe it to have the courage to say that liberal democratic values ARE morally superior to the values espoused by oppressive regimes and ideologies including, for example, certain interpretations of islam. Where it gets unpleasant and irrelevant is the point at which people with their own agendas (usually racist or in some way prejudiced and bigoted) use the debate to make spurious connections between the average muslim in London/Bradford and women being stoned to death in Saudi Arabia.

@85 Sorry 5cc but, as far as Just Visiting’s concerned this thread, like every other thread, is not about the autor of the post’s view on anything, it’s about taking every opportunity to promote his own christian taliban agenda.

89. Just Visiting

5cc

That’s a pretty brief definition:

> That people should be allowed to do what they like providing nobody else gets hurt.

Do you intend it to mean ‘groups of people should be allowed to do what they like providing no other groups of people get hurt’ ?

Or is it just about the individual ?

90. Just Visiting

5cc

No need for snide comments.

> you laughably asked for a link to show that murder was illegal.

Actually…. you’d said there were specific laws against FGM and honour killing.
You’d not quite done your homework, because while there is specific law about FGM (albeit not criminal law) there is no law against honour killing per se.
Just the regular murder law.

*seconds 5cc and Larry Teabag on just about everything they say*

Now, I’m sorry, but when someone like pagar says something like this:

Arranged marriages.

These are condoned and tolerated because they are a relic of the culture of an immigrant group and despite the fact that they involve a limitation on the choice of partners available to the participants (a constraint on their freedom). They are fundamentally illiberal and we should have the self-confidence to condemn them.

it’s akin to holding up a sign saying ‘Yes, I am white and no, I don’t have a clue.’ Condemn away, but if you don’t actually understand what an arranged marriage involves, and how it differs fundamentally from ‘forced marriage,’ then it’s really akin to my relatives equating ‘going down the pub’ with ‘binge drinking.’

Could you just explain to me what is illiberal about an arranged marriage? I’m genuinely bewildered here. My parents’ marriage was ‘arranged’ but they by no means expect us to follow their example. Most Asian parents (I’m speaking about Sikh/Hindu communities because that’s what I know) let their children choose if they want to find a partner for them by ‘introducing’ them to prospective spouses. Apparently some 2nd-gens choose this option after trying to find a partner themselves, because they find it less stressful than dating – and I can’t see any problem with that, even though I’d never trust my parents to pick a life-partner for me.

Parents can turn an arranged marriage into a forced marriage, but again, that doesn’t quite explain what you’re talking about. You might want to read ‘Love in a Headscarf’ for some understanding of why British Asians choose arranged marriages.

“you’d said there were specific laws against FGM and honour killing.”

No I didn’t. If I did, you could quote me saying just that. No quotes though. Can you add one saying that to your next comment please.

“Do you intend it to mean ‘groups of people should be allowed to do what they like providing no other groups of people get hurt’ ?

Or is it just about the individual ?”

That’s an irrelevant question. Since you’re defending the main post, it’s up to you to demonstrate that the original post is not based on a couple of strawmen.

@86

Defenders of the right to cultural expression of minorities in multicultural states thus practice forms of identity politics that are both made possible by liberalism and sometimes in tension with it

Change “sometimes” to “often” and I think that is pretty much what I was trying to say.

And I don’t think that conundrum is sustainable in the long term.

94. Just Visiting

5cc

> No I didn’t. If I did, you could quote me saying just that. No quotes though. Can you add one saying that to your next comment please.

That doesn’t parse. Spell out what you want me to do.

2) why can’t you clarify your own definition… that does feel like it’s ‘definition games’ in play.

@pagar, regarding your initial post:

Could you supply me with the liberal theorist you had in mind when writing your piece? Despite fairly extensive study of post-war liberal theory, I haven’t come across a single major theorist with such a polemic viewpoint.

Just Visiting @ 94:

I mean cut and paste a quotation from one of my earlier posts that shows me saying what you claim I said – that there were specific laws against honour killing and FGM.

Something tells me you knew that though.

“why can’t you clarify your own definition… that does feel like it’s ‘definition games’ in play.”

I can, but I’m not going to. The burden of proof is on you, and always was. You provide a definition of mullticulturalism that is built on the two things in the main post. I’ve already demonstrated why I think it’s flawed.

97. Just Visiting

I think the tension Pagar mentions in 93 is spot on.

Under that tension, the (politically correct) response has been the response of any organism – move away from the pain.

So the debate about potential problems in cultures around us can not even be talked about – without all to often getting silenced by accusations of racism or islamophobia or etc.

In a thread not far from here, I raised the fact that in 5 Islamic countries, apostasy gets the death penalty is enshrined in law. (And in my own experience, that understanding reaches my town and results in the hospitalisations of 2 of my friends. Twice within a year.)

But in that thread, rather than a consensus coming in and saying ‘ yes we agree that is bad – we agree that breaks 5cc’s rule of ‘people should be allowed to do what they like providing nobody else gets hurt.’

Instead – the debate was sidelined as to what ‘mainstream Islam’ means.
And anecdotal evidence of ‘the muslims I know don’t agree’.
As is five countries and an ongoing stream of deaths reported is not enough.

That is an example of the liberal community actively turning away from the liberal principle of ”people should be allowed to do what they like providing nobody else gets hurt.’

And the move away, is because of the tension – that the current liberal mindset finds it uncomfortable to admit that some facets of some cultures are better than others.

Another direction that shows how the tension stifles debate – is how the strong feminists on here rarely (and certainly not consistently) question the treatment of women under say Islam.

Instead, they prefer to keep coming back to attack the ‘Amercian Taliban’ (hi sally!).

Sadly, our reluctance to talk the truth even where there is tension – has cost lives – we have shut our ears to reports of abuse in the UK.

As the SBS said in 2007:

“Startling figures also show suicide rates among Asian women aged between 15 and 25 were three times the national average and twice the average for those in the 25 to 35 age group.

“It’s stark that we have people who feel … because of the shame they might bring upon their families or the perception they might suffer harm, are more likely in many cases to kill themselves rather than simply walk away from the situation.”

Hannana Siddiqui of Southall Black Sisters, an organisation experienced in dealing with honour killings and violence, said there were still no proper statistics on the issue.

“It’s only recently that you get people trying to acknowledge there is abuse in the community, that there are issues like forced marriage, that honour can often be a motive, and in the more extreme ends can lead to murder,” she said.

http://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKL0690715420070611?pageNumber=2&virtualBrandChannel=0

@ 91

Could you just explain to me what is illiberal about an arranged marriage?

To delegate the choice of a life partner to another is to abrogate your own freedom to make the choice. IMHO It is a dereliction of your duty and right to exercise free will.

You might argue that, providing you do so without any element of compulsion, you are, in fact, exercising free will.

I would argue that you are perpetuating a cultural norm that is inherently illiberal and is grounded in a fear of real integration into the society in which you live.

Of course it’s up to you to decide

99. Just Visiting

5cc

the quote you wanted was this I guess:
“if you want examples of other cultural practices being illegal, off the top of my head you’ve got honour killing and female genital mutilation ”

You didn’t use the word ‘specific’, you’re right.

But that’s why I asked for your URLs – I thought maybe you might have known of a specific law, as you stated it in the same breath as FGM, which did have specific law.

Just saying.

100. Just Visiting

and I’d add to Pagar’s 98: how can we be sure that the person making that arranged mariage choice is genuinely doing with free will?

We know that in some communities round the world, women are not accustomed to genuinely being able to make a free choice.

We know that in this country, honour killings and forced marriages happen – and are a significant problem according to people working in the field.

So we should rightly be cautious of believing without deeper thought when women say ‘it really is my choice’. Because it’s hard to know if 1 or 10 or what % of such women are able to be honest:

From the FCO: CaseStudies:
C (male) and D (female) are both from the UK. Their parents arranged a marriage between them, despite the fact that they had never met. D’s parents put a great deal of emotional pressure on her to force her to accept the arrangement, and she agreed.
A friend of D’s contacted a local religious leader whom she trusted and explained what was happening to her friend. He visited the family and asked the parents whether they were forcing D into a marriage.
He explained that in their religion marriage could only happen with the freely given consent of both man and woman.
D’s father denied that the arrangement was forced and asked the religious leader to speak to D himself.
D was afraid of what might happen to her if she accused her father to the religious leader, so she lied and said she was happy with the match her parents had made for her. C and D are married. D never sees her friend any more

101. Just Visiting

should have read:
1 or 10 or what % of such women are _not_ able to be honest:

“You didn’t use the word ’specific’, you’re right.”

A misunderstanding then. Apologies for my half of it.

Now, can you show what definition of multiculturalism is based on the things the original post says it is? That would help demonstrate that the post isn’t based on a strawman.

103. Big Bad Wolf

I think the issue of creating a strawman have been appropriately dealt with and therefore will not comment further but this is a real problem and needs addressing rather than bypassing the post with semantics. Essentially it does come down to Morality vs Culture, and although it’s easy enough to separate these two words in many circumstances there is so much crossover with a substantial amount of culture being based on religion.

From a liberal point of view I believe Pagar reaches a difficult dilemma, he does not want us to diversify, so we cannot integrate anyone into the sociaty and culture and you soon have a situation similar to that of WWII. As liberals how do you propose stopping arranged/forced marriages? Because of the lack of integration many communities have bloomed from this and these are often fairly secular. In terms of freedom of choice most women literally cannot decide against it as they face expulsion from the community and as there is this inherent lack of integration then it becomes a real problem for these people who choose to leave. (illiberal) Any laws put into place would be a complete authoritarian approach and would conflict with the people who are freely choosing arranged marriages (illiberal) and doing nothing does nothing to empower the liberal ideals. I propose to pagar how he would resolve this difficult issue.

104. LEE JAY WALKER

Culture, ethnicity, religion, and diversity within all is a minefield.

In an ideal world people from different backgrounds irrespective of race, class, sexuality, religion, and so forth; would mix together and show mutual respect.

The world will never be ideal and many “more liberal cultures” have been eradicated from the face of this earth.

Once you had Buddhism and other faiths in Afghanistan but today you have one dominant Islamic faith in this nation and if the Taliban took power once more then all homosexuals and converts from Islam would be killed.

Astonishingly, some British nationals will have sympathy or support the Taliban; so while the liberals and socialists, and others, talk about the beauty of diversity it is clear that others desire to enforce a monoculture on others.

Talking does not appear to be working, does it?

I wonder how many Muslim families would welcome their daughter marrying a Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, or a person of no faith?

I wonder how many Sikh families would welcome their daughter marrying a Muslim and so forth?

It goes on and on.

It would appear that some ethnic or religious groups are much more open to multi-ethnic or multi-religious marriages; while others do not accept.

I reside in Japan and multiculturism is a non-starter.

However, on the bright side you have little crime but you are certainly not equal in law and this applies to family law and criminal law.

I thought multiculturalism was just making allowances for people celebrating Divali and Ramadan and stuff. I didn’t realise I was celebrating female genital mutilation.

Looks like I’ve got a lot of phone calls to make, so much for getting work done today. You’ll pay for this, multiculturalism!

Big Bad Wolf @ 103:

“I think the issue of creating a strawman have been appropriately dealt with”

Can you show where? I’ve read through this thread again and can’t find where it is.

Hammer:

This is my last comment here off topic, no doubt you’ll do the same.

In the thread in question I had more than enough evidence that ‘John Smith’ was my own personal stalker, including the fact his IP details correlated with those used often by the racist web stalker in question; as well as modus operandi and comment tone. That is evidence.

As for the awkward points, please, I had laid out my feelings on the subject matter pretty clearly, all he offered was something not directly connected to my point in order to justify racists utilising ideas of the indigenous.

To be clear, this is not an excuse for you to retread those ideas here and re-argue the point, it is done with.

The other reason I didn’t engage in a lengthy and pointless tit-for-tat rebuttal with the troll, is that you ain’t supposed to feed them, not this one, at all. The thread would still be going back and forth now as the cretin in question had a last word obsession and a failure to engage with arguments. It is like shouting at a brick wall.

You talk of jumping the gun, heh, I’d call it erring on the side of caution, as would you if you had your very own racist, mentally deranged web stalker.

My justification here is done.

108. Planeshift

Pagar,

Ok, sticking to arranged marriages and forced marriages. The later is clearly wrong, and incompatible with liberal values. As has been noted they are illegal in the UK, and on the ground in areas accross the country, your much loved “diversity outreach co-ordinators”* are at the forefront in educating members of minority groups that they are free to say no to marriage, the practice is illegal, and help is available for those who think they may be forced into one. (Although watch funding for these activities, women’s refuges etc decline)

Arranged marriages are a different matter, as the basic liberal idea is that people should be free to choose whatever relationship they like. I can accept that the issue of consent is problematic due to cultural pressures, patriachy etc, but note that these issues are present in a whole range of relationships. There are many small religious groups (and large ones as well) who arrange marriages for their followers, and heavily prescribe traditional gender roles within such arrangements. There are also relationships between people who have vastly different wealth (tell me there is no unevan distribution of power there….), marriages of convenience, and unhappy relationships where people stay together because of parental/cultural pressure (think numerous films about the upper class). Then there are BDSM relationships.The point is that there is only so much you can do within a legislative context, and a liberal state is best off not interfering. Thus there is no real alternative to this “multi-culturalism”.

On the other hand, as ever, liberalism and western culture works best by example. I suspect the amount of muslims now entering arranged marriages is far lower than a few generations ago, the proliferation of muslim dating sites and mixed marriages would be evidence of that. Has this been achieved by legislation and the forcing of conformity? or has it been a quiet evolution and mixing of cultures that has brought about the change?

@ Planeshift

There are many small religious groups (and large ones as well) who arrange marriages for their followers, and heavily prescribe traditional gender roles within such arrangements.

I don’t think we are far apart here.

You seem to be implying that you agree that the above is less good than the alternative of a relationship freely entered into and not prescribed by others. And, like you, I am against using legislation to try to prevent arranged marriages and am all for an evolution of the mixing of cultures. I want to see integration- it is those that arrange the marriages of their children who do not.

And where we see an aspect of another culture that we believe is less good than ours, we should not be afraid to say so because of any reluctance to apply value judgements.

So, for example, I don’t want my wife to dress so that noone can see her face or to throw herself on my funeral pyre and I don’t mind saying that I believe it is wrong for anyone, no matter their cultural inheritance, to expect a woman to do so.

Hi pagar,

Is there anything in practice that you think should be done differently? Presumably as a libertarian you don’t want a law banning arranged marriages, or requiring women not to cover their faces? And I don’t think you support funding the diversity outreach co-ordinators or community groups who, as planeshift points out, are effective in achieving cultural change.

If it is just ‘we should be more vocal about aspects of other cultures that we don’t like’, then fine, no one is stopping you, but the practical effect will be to reduce intercultural exchange and dialogue. If you treat people with respect, so that they don’t feel threatened about engaging with others, then they and particularly their kids will end up rejecting the cultural practices which don’t fit with modern life.

Hi Don

You are quite correct that I am not in favour of legislation or any state involvement in areas of social policy.

I do think that liberals should be much less sensitive about causing offence to the cultures of others and be more assertive in proclaiming that post enlightenment liberal values are, in fact, superior and more advanced than those still grounded in the dark ages. It is even more important that we do so so when the alternative culture we refer to is informed by an obsolete and aggressive belief system.

I also agree that we want the children of immigrants to reject regressive and authoritarian cultural practices but I believe this is rather better achieved by confrontation than by engagement.

Anyway, I appreciate you posting my article when you knew that the content would not be comfortable to everyone and I think that, overall, we have had a decent debate.

No Daniel, it won’t be my last comment on this actually and I really don’t care for your authoritarian tone either. You do not determine my actions; you have no authority over me. 🙂

The reason I am interested in this because I follow this site quite a bit but rarely comment because despite the comment policy states that “we believe in freedom of speech…we welcome constructive scrutiny of our views” it doesn’t actually work that way with some of the commentators here who view any deviation from the line as trolling and are subject to arbitrary accusations. Especially by you. Given that it all seems a waste time.

I don’t accept that you had the IP details of that poster for various reasons such as you are just another commentator here not an admin; you failed to mention that when asked about your evidence; no admin intervened, confirmed it or removed the comments.

Additionally your description of what occurred on that thread is completely inaccurate. You were undoubtedly confronted with very awkward disparities in your comments and anyone can see that for themselves. You DID in fact initially engage this poster without accusations and it was only when he pressed his points that you went on to make evidenceless accusations, all strongly denied by that poster and you made some very personal remarks about this individual too. All without providing a single scrap of evidence.

To my mind, that was a real breach of this sites comments policy and constituted real trolling, not John Smiths opinions and observations. 🙁

Pager @109:

“You seem to be implying that you agree that the above is less good than the alternative of a relationship freely entered into and not prescribed by others.”

You seem to be talking about a specific kind of arranged marriage rather than arranged marriage in general. Plenty of arranged marriages are freely entered into by the people involved.

“So, for example, I don’t want my wife to dress so that noone can see her face..”

That’s odd. I want my wife to dress how she likes and be free to do so. Do you want to be able to force your wife to show her face?

“…or to throw herself on my funeral pyre…”

This is another reason why I think you’ve based your post on a strawman. We live in a multicultural society with a ‘policy of multiculturalism’ and yet you’ve chosen something to illustrate your point about something from another culture that is ‘less good than ours’ with something that would pretty certainly get people involved arrested under the Suicide Act 1961.

Multicultural policy is built on saying that all cultures are equal according to your post, and yet we keep finding examples of cultural practices that are illegal in this multicultural country.

Either your definition of multicultural policy is different from the one practiced in the UK – in which case, it would be good if you could say what definition you’re using or you’ve created a strawman version to knock down.

@ 5cc

I think you are being disingenuous here.

I don’t want to have any input into who my chidren marry.

It is up to them to choose.

That is liberal.

If I wanted to have input into who my children marry, that would be illiberal.

My wife can choose to dress as she wishes and has a wide variety of possibilities and feels free to wear different clothes on different occasions.

That is liberal.

If a woman is constrained to wear clothing based on the authority of a religious text and to conform to the conventions of a particular culture, that is illiberal.

You can argue that she is exercising her free will to choose to dress in this way, but I think you know as well as I that she is making this choice in response to patriarchal pressure.

It certainly does not help cultural integration as is made clear below.

http://www.islamfortoday.com/7conditions.htm

@114

I don’t want to have any input into who my chidren marry.

It is up to them to choose.

That is liberal.

Without being disingenuous, what if they choose for you to make the choice?

You can argue that she is exercising her free will to choose to dress in this way, but I think you know as well as I that she is making this choice in response to patriarchal pressure.

Whereas the choice to wear miniskirts, tubetops and high heels is completely free and informed, right? Everyone’s choices are influenced by their cultural context.

I never figured you for a bra-burner, pagar.

Pagar @114:

I’m not being disingenuous at all.

“I don’t want to have any input into who my chidren marry.

It is up to them to choose.”

And if children with the option of being able to choose to ask their parents to help them find a spouse decide to do so, they should be allowed.

That is liberal.

“You can argue that she is exercising her free will to choose to dress in this way, but I think you know as well as I that she is making this choice in response to patriarchal pressure.”

Much the same could be argued of high heels, short skirts and low cut tops. Women are free to dress this way if they want, and even (gasp) offer a different reason for dressing in such a way if they do because…

That is liberal.

You’ve ignored my point about how there are several examples of practices from other cultures being illegal in this multicultural country, and how that creates problems for the idea that multiculturalism says that all cultures are equal.

But, having read Kenan malik’s essay, I see he’s restricted his criticisms to just two kinds of argument that proponents ‘usually’ put forward. I’m not putting forward either of those arguments.

Everyone’s choices are influenced by their cultural context.

Agreed.

In fact it could be argued that the effect of all cultural influences on choice are a degradation of free will.

However there is a matter of degree and it is facile to argue that there is not an element of patriarchy and compulsion in the dress code we are discussing.

In Saudi Arabia, in addition to the compulsion to wear a veil, women are not permitted to drive a car and are sentenced to corporal punishment for the crime of being raped.

Don’t need to be a bra burner to know that such a culture does not have moral equivalence with ours.

119. Just Visiting

What a great discussion.

5cc; “If you treat people with respect, so that they don’t feel threatened about engaging with others, then they and particularly their kids will end up rejecting the cultural practices which don’t fit with modern life.”

That’s us thinking from a judeo-christian liberal background.
But to someone coming from a honour/shame background, for me to fit into your norms is a no-no.

To the liberal mind, we resolve conflicts by saying ‘ ok old chap I was wrong to have said that’ and the other side move towards us and we move forward together.

But to the honour-shame culture, my saying sorry is a statement of weakness – it invites you to push me harder, rather than meet meet half way.

And so west and non-west culture meet: the west appears weak for it’s apologies – it appears weak for allowing itself to be ‘pushed around’ by democracy: the non-westerners respect the ‘strong-man’ politics of dictatorship.

Follow the Iran-US statements since Obama for an example of this -the more Obama meets them half way, the more they lose respect for him (was it Turkey where a TV presenter did a blacked-up skit about Obama the day he was there?)

Take as example, the death penalty for apostates under Islam.
Why don’t we find british mosques’ websites making clear, reasoned, theologically argued cases that the death penalty is wrong.

Maybe it’s partly because in an honour-shame culture, it is disaster to admit that ‘you’re right and we were wrong’.

So we find that well educated, Muslims raised in the UK (a tiny number of them) become suicide bombers.
Because their culture won’t stomach the possibilty that the western culture may be right (and Mohammed wrong therefore).

120. Just Visiting

5cc

> Much the same could be argued of high heels, short skirts and low cut tops. Women are free to dress this way if they want, and even (gasp) offer a different reason for dressing in such a way if they do because…

That’s whatAboutery – the case being made here is NOT that western culture is better in every comparison with all others.

121. Just Visiting

Ant whilst Laurie Penny would rightly have something to say on that theme – the fact is that if you walk down the highstreet, you do see a huge variety of female fashion (or male)

Just Visiting @119:

That’s a whole lot of unsupported assertion that isn’t entirely relevant to the discussion. The discussion is about what multiculturalism is and whether it’s compatible with liberalism.

@120:

“That’s whatAboutery – the case being made here is NOT that western culture is better in every comparison with all others.”

Lucky I wasn’t trying to attack that case then, isn’t it?

119
‘That’s us thinking from a judeo-christian liberal background”
Quite, It is but one culturally determined view. Hate to say it again but reading many of the posts, ‘cultural imperialsim’ still reigns. But that’s the beauty of liberalism, you can actually make illiberal statements and it fits well within the framework.
I would suggest that you (and many other liberals/libertarians who have posted on this thread), re-read some of the comments you have made.
But fears of multiculturalism are not new -, in the 19th century, Matthew Arnold wrote ‘Culture and Anarchy’, in response to the growing concerns that people (in the UK) who had been ‘thrown together’ by industrialization needed to create a new collective culture. Yes, even in a small island like our own, there was no such thing as a common culture. Arnold’s suggestion was to take the best in the world not the best from the UK. And considering that our small island was still higly influenced by conservative thinking and most people had not experienced world-wide cultures, this was quite radical.
We then reach the 21st century, the global village, in terms of media and communication is a reality, most of the population now daily encounter goods/practices from many world cultures and progressive liberal/libertarians are mouthing concerns about multiculturalism.
You coudn’t make it up.

124. Just Visiting

5cc 122

> That’s a whole lot of unsupported assertion that isn’t entirely relevant to the discussion. The discussion is about what multiculturalism is and whether it’s compatible with liberalism.

Not quite true.

You stated a _theoretical_ way that better cultural practises may ‘diffuse’ to incoming cultures – maybe there is evidence that this theory works in practise, but none on the table right now.

It was quite in order for your theory to be questioned as a theory.
And to say that your theory may in fact be more based on ‘assuming the others are like me’ than understanding where the others are coming from.
I showed that there are other theoretical ways of looking at it, that suggest such diffusion won’t happen.

So the debate is one theory against another – fair enough I’d have thought.

125. Just Visiting

5cc

But taking your diffusion of culture theory into the practcial worl – can we see evidence for it?

Assuming that diffusion will be the fastest where the incoming + incumbent cultures are most startingly different: lets take the death penalty under Islam.

If diffusion was a reality – i would expect that a whole bunch of British Mosques would have web pages stating their position on death for Adultery, Apostasy etc -and be coordinatig a UK-wide campaign on that basis.

That is not happening. No evidence of diffusion of cultures on that major issue where liberal and Islam culture clash.

126. Just Visiting

Steve B

Not sure of your point.
No one here would disagree with your quote:
> Arnold’s suggestion was to take the best in the world not the best from the UK.

But the issue on the table (if you read back, cough),is what to do when the incoming culture is not better but worse than the incumbent culture?

In Saudi Arabia, in addition to the compulsion to wear a veil, women are not permitted to drive a car and are sentenced to corporal punishment for the crime of being raped.

Sorry, I thought we were discussing multiculturalism in the UK, not Islam in Saudi Arabia. Or is this entire topic merely a thinly-veiled excuse to have a go at the Muslims?

On topic: what’s the anti-multiculturalist view of the Scots, with our distinct culture and legal system?

Just Visiting @124: “You stated a _theoretical_ way that better cultural practises may ‘diffuse’ to incoming cultures…”

No I didn’t. I think you’re getting me mixed up with Donpanski.

@125: And again.

126
You have a tickly cough there JV, if you don’t understand my point you never will, but that’s no surprise.
Incoming culture ????, where do you live then – Mars?
Industrial capitalism has long since turned those who participate into a multiculture, unless you use a horse-drawn carriage and grow your own food, and fail to celebrate many religious customs such as Christmas – a pagan festival or indeed christianity (you might need to look-up where that came from)
Of course, your argument is wholly based on looking at the negative side of Islam which means that a debate about searching for the best world-wide culture, with you, is quite futile.

130. Just Visiting

5cc 128

apologies, you’re quite right.
It was Don’s point I was replying to.

We then reach the 21st century, the global village, in terms of media and communication is a reality, most of the population now daily encounter goods/practices from many world cultures and progressive liberal/libertarians are mouthing concerns about multiculturalism.

But Steve, multiculturalism is not about absorbing the best features of different cultures into our own. That is cultural integration and it is a GOOD THING.

Muticulturalism is about defending the rights of groups to retain and sustain the cultural heritage of their ancestors in the host community- the bad bits as well as the good. It says that the immigrant has the right to reject the values of the host community (even its laws) and insists that the values of a culture may not be questioned (cultural imperialism).

So, it is not about integration it is about retaining difference (diversity) and that, in my view, is a BAD THING.

You are correct in saying that technology means that a global culture will ultimately develop and dominate but, in the meantime, please do not tell me I have to give respect to voodoo and Sharia law because they are part of someone elses “culture” or be understanding to groups who would deny women education and want to execute homosexuals.

what’s the anti-multiculturalist view of the Scots, with our distinct culture and legal system?

Scottish culture has now been whittled down to little more than what you see on top of a tin of shortbread.

Thank God.

Oh yes and we still like a wee drink.

133. Just Visiting

Steveb 129

Are you saying that cultures evolve and take things from each other?
I don’t think anyone here disagrees with that.

> Of course, your argument is wholly based on looking at the negative side of Islam

No, Pagar’s premise is what happens when an incoming culture has traits that the incumbent liberal culture does not agree with.
Islam/Sharia is an example of that – but it would apply equally to other cultures.
In fact Pagar used arranged marriages as one example – and that certainly applies to other cultures than Islam.

Islam having the death penalty for various things, provides perhaps the starkest contrast to the incumbent culture, where we don’t have the death penalty for anything.

(And for me personally, knowing two friends who have hospitalised twice in the UK due to that Islamic understanding,and have been forced to move town: it’s an issue I’ve researched and followed)

Scottish culture has now been whittled down to little more than what you see on top of a tin of shortbread.

Sorry, but that’s pure arsegravy.

135. Planeshift

“please do not tell me I have to give respect to voodoo and Sharia law because they are part of someone elses “culture” or be understanding to groups who would deny women education and want to execute homosexuals.”

Can you point to anybody (anybody outside of extreme postmodernist circles anyway) who tells you that you should?

The Archbishop of Canterbury?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7232661.stm

Pagar, JV
Cultures have evolved and revolved, they have mixed and synthesized into something quite novel (if you want to label it as postmodern), no-one is asking you to embrace shari law or voodoo but most cultures can be assimilated into liberalism without it having to affect you personally. It has been mentioned by many previous posters that such things as honour killing are illegal, liberalism generally functions on the basic premise ‘in the eyes of the law’, I know that both of you don’t believe that honour killings will be made legal in the UK. And JV, if your friends have suffered illegal threats or violence, this should be addressed by the CPS, no-one accepts that sort of behaviour.
Your views don’t really represent liberalism or libertarianism and that surprises me in view of your comments on other posts.

Well, in their discussion of the proposal by the government of Uganda to execute homosexuals, the BBC sought to frame the debate in a culturally relativist context.

Homosexuality is regarded as taboo in much of Africa, where it is often regarded as a threat to cultural, religious and social values.

Has Uganda gone too far?

I take that as asking for my understanding.

@136: You’ve just proven that you’re an idiot. The Bish was talking about the arbitration of private civil disputes under the aegis of existing British contract law. It’s a basic principle of liberalism that people can resolve their private disputes according to whatever reasoning they like – the state only gets involved in disallowing certain outcomes. Do you really want the state and a bunch of lawyers to insert themselves into every single private agreement made in this country? Should my parents not have had the right to agree their own divorce settlement?

Or is it simply that your brain shuts down as soon as you see the word “sharia”? We’re not talking about stonings, honour killings, or any of that bollocks – we’re talking about the resolution of contract disputes and divorce settlements. The sort of stuff that is mostly resolved by private agreement anyway, without going anywhere near a court or arbitration service.

Can any debate be conducted without calling people “idiots”?

My link was slightly tongue in cheek.
Alas, however, your example doesn’t work, since he was talking about Sharia courts precisely as an alternative to English courts (using English in the legal sense) to resolve those disputes which hadn’t been resolved by private agreement.
If they had been so resolved, why the need for a court of any kind?

Alas, however, your example doesn’t work, since he was talking about Sharia courts precisely as an alternative to English courts (using English in the legal sense) to resolve those disputes which hadn’t been resolved by private agreement.

He was talking about using Sharia “courts” as arbitration services within the framework of binding arbitration under British civil law – just like ACAS, or the Beth Din courts.

Can I just observe that 140+ comments in, no-one has defined ‘culture’?

Culture is the whole of human activity, this can be as simple as a supermarket receipt.

144. Just Visiting

Dunc 139

> It’s a basic principle of liberalism that people can resolve their private disputes according to whatever reasoning they like

True enough.
But would you be comfortable that for women in certain communities, they inherited half of what their brothers received; and that in the ‘private disputes’ within their circles their voice counted one half of a male?

And still be comfortable even after some women from that community go public about their unhappiness with that situation and how it misuses them? And are ostracised by their community and families and support structures.

I would not be comfortable.

145. Just Visiting

Steveb 137

> most cultures can be assimilated into liberalism without it having to affect you personally.

A): ‘most cultures’ is not ‘all cultures’.
So we’re exploring in this thread what to do in the case when they don’t assimilate and there is the friction for liberals as Pagar as said.
B) it’s not about ‘affecting me personally’.
It’s about a _society_ where some women don’t get the same treatment as others, due to their culture.
It’s about people I don’t know but read about in the paper being attacked/killed/discriminated against.
It’s about wanting to make a better society for all – which is the basis and common motivatiion of people for half of what gets talked about on LC – even when they disagree about how to achieve it!

> liberalism generally functions on the basic premise ‘in the eyes of the law’, I know that both of you don’t believe that honour killings will be made legal in the UK. And JV, if your friends have suffered illegal threats or violence, this should be addressed by the CPS, no-one accepts that sort of behaviour.

You have a high view of the effectiveness of the law!
Unless you want a policeman on every corner, law+order requires a willing population to take it’s part in the process: call the police, act as a witness etc.

But if my friends are in a cultural group that believe that apostates deserve punishmen+ death: then surprise surprise there will be no witnesses to the attacks on claimed apostates….
Because if anyone in that cultural circle puts his head above the parapet and speaks out – he is speaking out to protect apostates therefore he himself is likely to be branded an apostate and becomes himself a legitimate target of violence.

These are close-knit communities, where the individual family can’t risk being rejected by the community

So strong cultures that carry within themselves strong pounishments for those stepping out of line, may actually NOT come under incumbent law+order that easily.

146. Just Visiting

Some cultures are a long way from the incumbent western liberal one:

“Germans are popular in India and Pakistan, but not always for the right reasons. Many in South Asia have nothing but admiration for Adolf Hitler and still associate Germany with the Third Reich. Everyday encounters with the love of all things Nazi makes German visitors cringe.

“Pakistan is the opposite of Germany. The mountains are in the north, the sea is in the south, the economic problems are in the west and the east is doing well. It’s not hard for a German living in Pakistan to get used to these differences, but one contrast is hard to stomach: Most people like Hitler.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/0,1518,683966,00.html

147. Just Visiting

or Turkey.
Saying in effect: “Say we didn’t commit genocide against the Armenians or we will start persecuting the Armenians.”

The Telegraph reports:
“Turkey has threatened to expel 100,000 Armenians from the country in response to the US branding the First World War killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks as “genocide”.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/turkey/7465701/Turkey-threatens-to-expel-100000-Armenians-over-genocide-row.html

148. Just Visiting

Or the Algerian culture…

“ALGIERS, MARCH 15 – The proposal to introduce prison terms for men who beat their wives goes against the Koran and the teachings of the prophet Mohamed, according to the head of Algeriàs Superior Islamic Council. ”

http://www.ansamed.info/en/news/ME03.XAM18271.html

149. Just Visiting

And despite being americans, these 5 guys didn’t seem to have ‘picked up’ western liberalism:

“ISLAMABAD – A Pakistani court charged five young Americans on Wednesday with planning terrorist attacks in the South Asian country and conspiring to wage war against nations allied with Pakistan, their defense lawyer said.

“The men — all Muslims from the Washington, D.C., area …Their lawyer has said they were heading to Afghanistan …The court also charged the men with planning attacks on Afghan and U.S. territory, said Dastagir. The charges did not specify what was meant by U.S. territory but could be a reference to American bases or diplomatic outposts in Afghanistan.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100317/ap_on_re_as/as_pakistan_us_arrests

150. Just Visiting

Or Malaysian culture:

“KUALA LUMPUR — March 16 – Malaysia’s religion minister on Tuesday defended Islamic laws that allow girls under 16 to marry, amid a controversy over two youngsters who were married off to middle-aged men.

“The issue has flared in Malaysia after reports that two girls aged 10 and 11 were wed in the conservative northern state of Kelantan last month. They have now been removed from their husbands.

“Pressure group Sisters in Islam has called for an end to child marriages, saying the practice was “unacceptable”.

“Other citizens in the multicultural country — where the population is dominated by Muslim Malays — are not permitted to marry before the age of 18.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5inxYecjp4rz2Di91pAw_hTlMpTYw

Background note: Muhammad’s own example is one reason this law is hard to change: — called a “beautiful pattern of conduct,” per Qur’an 33:21. Muhammad married Aisha when she was six, and consummated the marriage when she was nine.

151. Just Visiting

sorry guys, got carried away there.
But those are all stories from the last 24 hours.

It seems like every time I google for occurences like this, I can find 6 or 12 within the last 24 hours.

I’m very grateful my kids are going to grow up here in the UK…..selfish of me though that is… and would like the culture here to not move closer to any of these other examples for a good while at least.

But would you be comfortable that for women in certain communities, they inherited half of what their brothers received; and that in the ‘private disputes’ within their circles their voice counted one half of a male?

And still be comfortable even after some women from that community go public about their unhappiness with that situation and how it misuses them? And are ostracised by their community and families and support structures.

I would not be comfortable.

No, I’m not comfortable about that. There’s plenty of things I’m not comfortable with in “British culture” too, but as long as people aren’t actually breaking the law, it’s really none of my business. That’s liberalism for you. I’m not comfortable with many of your ideas either.

Just Visiting:

You didn’t just take a bunch of bad stuff that people have defended in other places, mash them up with an opinion piece and suggest they represent the culture of those places and implying that culture is monolithic while forgetting that these things are controversial because they’re heavily opposed by some within that culture did you?

“Or the Algerian culture…

“ALGIERS, MARCH 15 – The proposal to introduce prison terms for men who beat their wives goes against the Koran and the teachings of the prophet Mohamed, according to the head of Algeriàs Superior Islamic Council. ””

“Or Malaysian culture:

“KUALA LUMPUR — March 16 – Malaysia’s religion minister on Tuesday defended Islamic laws that allow girls under 16 to marry, amid a controversy over two youngsters who were married off to middle-aged men.”

Oh, you did.

And – wouldn’t you know it – they’re all Muslim places and you’ve managed to bang in a reference to Mohammed marrying a child. I’m beginning to see what the people who said attacks on multiculturalism are usually just cover for sticking it to Muslims mean.

“I’m beginning to see what the people who said attacks on multiculturalism are usually just cover for sticking it to Muslims mean.”

Well maybe, but Islam is the largest and generally the most aggresively self-assertive non-western culture (if we are equating religion with culture), so it is going to get a lot of hits just by size and because it appears more alien than countries that appear more westernised, probably because the predominant religion is more muted.

The problem with this line of thought is that it is basically closing down a debate by calling (inaccurately) racist – although Islam is a religion, not a race, and therefore should not be treated the same. Put simply most of the problems with other cultures that we should have as western liberals are held by some cultures which are to some extent Islamic along with others: take female circumcision for example; practiced in some Somali communities, but also by neighbouring ‘cultures’ which may be Christian (I’m not sure on this) or animist. It is not actually required by Islam (any more than any of the other issues just visiting brought up in his visit), but it is part of some cultures, including some that are Islamic. The line of thinking that sees attacks on multiculturalism as attacks on Islam therefore risks defending unacceptable practices which are not actually anything to do with most Muslims because it fears people attacking a religion more than defending characteristics that make our culture fair and liberal (which include freedom of religon, and free speech, but not the right for one to dominate the other).

155. Tommy Atherton

Hiya Guys.
Just Visiting.
Did you watch the Channel four programme a few years ago about Muslims burning to death Buddhist teachers in Thailand for not teaching the Koran. Google it, to see these beautiful and brave people having to be escorted to school by the army just to do their jobs is absolutely heartbreaking.

Im a white man living in Leicester, i married a Hindu, in fourteen years of marriage ive had nothing but hassle from the Ethnic minorities but it didn`t make me loose my liberal religion.
When my Muslim driving instructor (lovely man) told me he had doubts about his faith and then went on to say that if he told his own wife and grown up boys about this they would disown him and then the Muslim community he lived in would probably beat him to death, it didn`t make me loose my liberal religion.

I worked at Gill Knitwear and one of the very few Muslims women that would talk to me told me one day that she was very upset because her brother had turned 21 and to celebrate he and a gang of his mates had gone to London and gang raped a white woman. She was upset that the white bitch was pressing charges.
“white women like being raped” she said and every Ethnic minority in the building agreed with her. I walked out of the job in horror and disgust but it didn`t make me loose my liberal religion.

When i read that Muslims had Ethnically cleansed 95% of Hindus out of certain areas of Bradford and Oldham and the Police now have now decided to try and do something about it, it didn`t make me loose my liberal religion.

When our liberal and P.C police banned a channel four programme that exposed Muslim gangs that drug and use white and non Muslim children as sex slaves just because it might upset Muslims that`s when i lost my liberal religion.

Just Visiting, don`t try and talk sense to these people. We think of Liberals as being lovely and kind but they are monsters. They continually redraw the line of their own morals to suit these religious fanatics that they seem to admire so.
They have no intelligence, they have no empathy for any white person no matter how bad the atrocity committed against them. If you would of asked any of these people 15 years ago if they agreed with any of the Religious evil now being committed on our streets they would of said a massive NO! but see how they have changed to suit this new environment.

After the second world war German women were raped beaten to death by Russian, French colonial and even French troops and it made me cry with pride when German women from all over Germany were flocking to the British sector cos they knew they would be safe. Nationally only 6% of rapes end in conviction and in Leicester it`s only 1%. Good old Blighty.
My advice Just Visiting, look after yourself and your family, don`t think you will get any kind of justice from this society, do a good Martial Art and your kids if you have any, look for a Political party thats addressing your issues.

Before you all start attacking me for being a loon and a racist id just like to say that i believe in justice, i don`t like being told what to do by religious fanatics and i believe in real equality, even for white people and and even though my wife’s Indian, a lot of my mates are black and Indian my favorite uncles gay, in this liberal society i am a loon and a Racist.

You non loony and Racist liberals keep on pandering to your Muslim mates because you may be able to change your principles a millions times to pander to these people but you only have to disagree once for you to become their enemy.
Laters people.
Tom

Watchman @154:

“The problem with this line of thought is that it is basically closing down a debate by calling (inaccurately) racist”

I didn’t do that though. You’ve added that in, which makes it easier to trot out the ‘Islam isn’t a race’ point, which isn’t actually relevant to what I did say.

The problem with Just Visiting’s examples is that they take bad things from a couple of countries as examples representing the whole culture itself. The Turkish government did something bad. This is equated with Turkish Culture. Someone in Algeria opposes a proposal by the government. This is equated with Algerian culture. The Malaysian government says it doesn’t need to amend the law because something is already illegal. Presumably, the thing that is illegal is equated with Malaysian culture.

Do you see the problem here? Whatever the bad thing that’s happening is, it’s equated with the culture, and it’s no coincidence that these places are all Muslim.

The problem with this kind of argument is that it defines a particular culture one way – and it’s always the most extreme version possible. It disqualifies any opposition as not being representative.

It also has very little relevance to the country we live in and things as they are – but only to some theoretical concept of multiculturalism might mean if you look at it from a couple of perspectives that are easy to shoot down. In this multicultural country, the things being used ss examples of how other cultures can be horrible are all illegal. It’s illegal to beat your wife. It’s illegal to marry anyone under 16. It’s illegal to be a terrorist. You’re not given a free pass if you argue they’re part of your culture.

“The line of thinking that sees attacks on multiculturalism as attacks on Islam therefore risks defending unacceptable practices which are not actually anything to do with most Muslims because it fears people attacking a religion more than defending characteristics that make our culture fair and liberal (which include freedom of religon, and free speech, but not the right for one to dominate the other).”

We’re sort of in agreement here, I think. My comment was a flippant reference to Just Visiting’s examples, which I think are unthinking attacks on Islam that don’t actually have anything to do with most Muslims.

And we have more Muslim bashing in comment 155. It’s just not as artfully disguised. (Gee, I wonder who he means by ‘a political party that’s addressing your issues’).

157. Tommy Atherton

5 cc you tell me what political party i`m talking about.
Yes they are illegal thats why they want Sharia law to make it not illegal.
Hindus funded and built a temple on East Park Road, Leicester and was it gangs of Sikh, Christian, Buddhist men going down there saying that they want their temple, no it just so happened that it was gangs of Muslim men from the local Mosque.
5cc, tell me where you live amongst your lovely liberal Muslims and ill come and live near you, alright mate.

5cc,

“We’re sort of in agreement here, I think. My comment was a flippant reference to Just Visiting’s examples, which I think are unthinking attacks on Islam that don’t actually have anything to do with most Muslims.”

I hope we’re in agreement. I just worry that ignoring the concerns of people because they are all about Muslims, when Islam is a large religion and receives much western media attention, leads to the kind of multiculturalism I oppose, where criticism is seen as discrimination.

For what its worth, I think just visiting’s point was all these things happen in different cultures, not that they represented them. A difference of degree maybe.

As to Tommy, try Tipton in the Black Country. A nice, friendly Muslim community living besides some very horrible people who I would gladly never go near again. And they were apparently British (apologies to the inhabitants of the rest of Tipton, who are generally really pleasant, but you have some frightingly ignorant people in the borough). Yes, some groups in some places are horrible, violent and coercive (and too often allowed to get away with it); the actual make up of these groups varies immensely.

Tommy Atherton @157:

“5 cc you tell me what political party i`m talking about.”

Do I win a prize?

160. Tommy Atherton

The actual reason why African tribes started to do genital mutilation, put plates in their lips etc was to stop slave traders from coming to their villages and taking their women.
I`m actually a REAL liberal thinking punk, when a 16 stone skinhead/rugby player decided to copy the American forces in Iraq and make my very good friend Aimal from Afghanistan walk like a dog, i made that thick racist wish he had never been born and lost my job in the process. when 3 nazi skinheads came to my pub moaning about Leicester being full of Pakis, i took great pleasure in whipping out my phone and showing them my half Indian kids, the look on their faces and the speed in which they ran is one of my greatest memories.
I ran a Charity shop and you have to take on people that are sent by the Employment agency and a lot of them were Somalian women and some of the things they told me that`s being done in the name of Religion is absolutely disgusting. I know people that work with rape victims within the Leicester area and if i wrote everything that i actually do know then i know i would be simply called a loon.
I worked in Engineering and i worked with a lot of Immigrants and i`m fascinated by people and their culture. The liberal Muslims i worked with just could not understand why this country allows extremists to spout their crap.
One of my best mates worked for the Council and one day he questioned a Muslim that was spouting Hitler type stuff and he was sacked on the spot for being a Racist. Luckily for him, a black woman also questioned him and the fact that the black woman questioned him first meant that he won and was settled out of court. He was advised to settle out of court because if he took it to court he would be seen as a trouble causer. If he would of questioned the racist Muslim first then he wouldn`t of won and he would never work again. He nearly committed suicide and was depressed for years.
This is British law discriminating against decent white people and its disgusting.
What happened to the racist Muslim? NOTHING.
What i found is that the moderate Muslims are living side by side with the extremists and they are scared. I was being told years ago by decent Muslims that the law is breeding extremism as they bow down to it and ignore it.

Anyway you keep on bowing down and ignoring at least i can look myself in the mirror.
5cc. Yep i know that knowing about extremist Muslims is not being racist and Islam is not a race but RACIST is the stick that most liberals use to beat people down and i`m ever so sorry that i`m not as articulate or poetic as you but i went to New Parks Community College and Project.

The liberal Muslims i worked with just could not understand why this country allows extremists to spout their crap.

Same reason we allow the BNP to spout [i]their[/i] crap: they have freedom of conscience and freedom of speech, right up to the limits of the law, just like everybody else. Do you really want us to legally suppress racist ideas and opinions?

162. Tommy Atherton

Watchman.
I agree with you.
The peaceful Muslims i know are so peaceful that they wouldn`t harm a fly and in the face of such hate and violence they are simply too scared to stand upto the bad element and our liberal leaders are backing them up and funding them.
Iv`e often wondered how many of the men that continually harassed the Hindu`s at the temple actually wanted to be there. This was never written about and the police never arrested anyone on a religious hate crime, i only know about it cos my in laws help build it. Now young Hindus in the area are seething with rage, extremism breeds extremism. On my childrens lives its Hindus that have been telling me for a couple of years now to vote for the BNP.
The day good people of any race or religion are allowed to stand upto bad people of any race or religion and common sense prevails will be a day that good people are not forced to think the unthinkable.
How desperate are these people that they are being forced to look at the BNP because they believe that thats the way to get justice in this country.

163. Tommy Atherton

Yeah right on dunc, give yourself a big pat on the back.
Apart from what the bbc telling you what to think have you actually looked at the BNP. The first thing that struck me was that they have a lot of Jews in the BNP.
Just about everything they say is common sense and they are talking the language of the common and increasingly the middle classes, maybe thats why they keep getting banned.
The choice our leaders are giving us is be ruled by Islam in 40, 50 years time and that`s a fact, do a bit of research into Immigration and especially birth rates or be ruled by the BNP, i know know i`m a big mad, evil nutcase but id take my chances with the BNP

Way to completely miss the point, dude.

“i know know i`m a big mad, evil nutcase but id take my chances with the BNP”

That’s the fella.

166. Tommy Atherton

5cc what do are you actually calling me, explain yourself. Dont come out with snide comments be a man and say what your thinking. Do you work in the media or something?
Cherry picking and headline hunting

167. Tommy Atherton

OK dude, i`m thick and missed the point, so explain the point please, educate me

168. Tommy Atherton

dunc dude, what crap are they actually spouting, give me some facts please

“what do are you actually calling me”

I’m answering the question about what party you were talking about – or at least, you answered it for me. I’m calling you a BNP troll. You BNP troll.

The point is that in this country, people are allowed to hold and express views which the majority find objectionable. They’re even allowed to form political parties to attempt to further those views through the democratic process. This principle applies equally to everybody, including (but not limited too) white racists, Muslim extremists, Christian whackjobs, unapologetic Trotskyites, and full-blown Nazis. The law does not (or at least, should not) ban ideas, only actions. The principles of freedom of conscience and freedom of speech apply equally to all.

Which bit of that is it that you are having trouble with?

171. Tommy Atherton

Dude Dunc.
Which bit of that is it that you are having trouble with?
The bit that`s not actually true i.e all of it.
We do not have freedom of speech anymore in this country. Go youtube put in Keith Vaz (hes my mp), watch the first video that comes up. He clearly states that we do not have freedom of speech in this country and that he has voted on bills that have banned free speech on the grounds of religious hate blah blah blah.
conscience and freedom of speech apply equally to all… try telling that to the Danish newspaper that published the cartoons and were banned in Britain.
By British and European law you are not allowed to say anything negative about Islam, fact. Under the umbrella of stirring up religious hate, yet we still see things on telly that make fun of Christianity. My favourite film is Life Of Brian, that aint been banned.
I was never as head in clouds as you but i used to dismiss a lot of common sense and facts just like you up until about six weeks ago.
By British law the BNP or the media are not allowed to say anything about the Islamification of the UK. The media by law are not allowed to criticize Islam. FACT
If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, smells like a duck and they tell you it`s a horse then it`s a horse innit mate.

By British and European law you are not allowed to say anything negative about Islam, fact.

Yet, here you are, doing exactly that. As are lots of other people. All over Europe. And not getting arrested for it.

The media by law are not allowed to criticize Islam. FACT

You really are living in cloud-cuckoo land, aren’t you? I could scrounge up a list of recent examples, but I really can’t be bothered.

Unlike you (and apparently Keith Vaz), I actually know what the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006 says in its final form, and it’s certainly not “you’re not allowed to criticise Islam”. It doesn’t even mention any specific religions at all. Pay particular attention to section 29J, Protection of freedom of expression:

Nothing in this Part shall be read or given effect in a way which prohibits or restricts discussion, criticism or expressions of antipathy, dislike, ridicule, insult or abuse of particular religions or the beliefs or practices of their adherents, or of any other belief system or the beliefs or practices of its adherents, or proselytising or urging adherents of a different religion or belief system to cease practising their religion or belief system.

Tommy Atherton @171:

There’s no polite way of saying it – that’s just bullshit. We have laws against inciting hatred – which I don’t like much – but they don’t do any of the things you say they do.

“try telling that to the Danish newspaper that published the cartoons and were banned in Britain.”

They were not banned. Newpspaer editors decided jointly not to publish them.

“By British and European law you are not allowed to say anything negative about Islam, fact. ”

Rubbish. Melanie Phillips virtully makes her career out of saying negative things about Islam, newspaper headlines consistently say negative things about Islam and people on this thread have said negative things about Islam. The police won’t be doing commando rolls over your carpet any time soon.

“By British law the BNP or the media are not allowed to say anything about the Islamification of the UK.”

Bollocks. Search for ‘Islamification BNP’ in Google and you’ll get results, newspaper columnists bang on about it all the damn time and don’t get carted off in shackles and search for ‘Britain’s Islamic Republic’ and you’ll find a Channel 4 documentary about it.

Ooooh, I see someone’s been subscribing to Internet Tough Guy. I’m sure we’re all awed and chastened.

Woah. From ‘what party do I mean’ to threatening my family with physical violence in a few short posts.

Not that the BNP aren’t violent, but that’s a bit much.

Aww, no – Tommy’s outbust has been modded! I thought it was worth preserving to show exactly what sort of a wonderful human being he is.

“Go to any white or mixed area with a big banner saying “WHITE EXTREMISTS OUT”
and you will get cheers and claps.
Then go to a Muslim area with a big banner saying “MUSLIM EXTREMISTS OUT” see how long you last before battered and left for dead and the police will say it`s your own fault.”

No no no, you’ve forgotten the party line: Muslim’s aren’t a race! But gosh darn it, you’ve gone and treated them like a race!

5…4…3…2…1

Queue whine about freedom of speech.

179. Big Bad Wolf

I think 5cc you’ll find a dutch MP was not allowed to enter the UK back in Feb 2009 and don’t bother giving me some bollocks about for his own security!

Dutch MP Geert Wilders’ anti-Islam film sparks protests

He was allowed in a year later to talk about Islamification, which is apparently illegal according to our friend Tommy (providing he isn’t you).

181. in vino veritas

Yes, 5cc, a year later as you say and under House of Lords privilage. Why was it scrapped in the first place? Do you recall the threats and by whom?

Wilders is being prosecuted in Holland, despite thier ‘DPP’ declaring it is not in the public interest; all EU countries can ask for the extradition of EU citzens even for offences that are not crimes in thier own countries.

Blimey, this thread is still going and I can see it’s descended into racism
145 JV
Most cultures do assimilate well into liberalism, those aspects of any culture that do not, are addressed by legislation (How many times does this need to be said?)
It’s a pretty weak argument to cite the ineffectiveness of the law, if this is the case, the law is ineffective in all areas not just the examples you give.Perhaps we should do away with the legal system and let the market decide?
146 – ad nauseum
Genocide is illegal in the UK, there’s little the current CPS can do about historical war crimes in other countries except hold any known wanted war criminals who set foot on British soil and deport them to the appropriate authorities.
It is very laudable that you wish that woman are treated the same’ and if you have female children you wouldn’t want them to live in a society where they have a l in 4 chance of being abused by a male partner, or indeed where they may become one of two weekly victims of homicide by a male partner. Nor indeed would you want your grandchildren to have a 15 times higher risk of being sexually and physically abused in such a relationship. Oh, I’m getting confused, that’s already happening in our liberal democracy. And it’s being going on for a long time – J.S. Mill in ‘The Subjection of Women’ addressed this, and there weren’t many Mulims who had settled here in the 19th century.
It’s easy to emphasize the negative about all groups and all cultures, eg. in the UK it’s white males who are responsible for the majority of child murders and sex abuse.

Oh no, not the Marxist concocted favorite word of ‘wacism’?!

A natural human condition I am afraid, only more prevalant in so-called multcult societies because of human nature.

Early on this thread, Don predicted that the topic was a “wingnut magnet”

And this is a problem.

Because if we cannot have a rational discussion we will have conflict. Bigots, homophobes, misogynists- if liberals cannot call them out because we are afraid of causing offence to others who have a different cultural perspective, then we will lose the battle.

“The best lack all conviction while the worst are full of passionate intensity.”

Good line.

@181:

Heh. Whning about threats from the eeevil Muslims on a thread where an anti-muslim BNP nutjob threatened me and my family.

If you can show that Wilders was banned because of threats from Muslims and not because he might incite hatred against them, show it here.

And ‘House of Lords privilege’ is arse gravy. He was let in because he overturned the ban in an Immigration tribunal. Although I suspect you don’t give a toss.

@183:

Funny how racists think racism is natural. What is it with beeners spelling racism with a w? Is it in the handbook?

And what started as an interesting discussion about whether multiculturalism is liberal ends up being trolled by goons attacking muslims.

“Because if we cannot have a rational discussion we will have conflict. Bigots, homophobes, misogynists- if liberals cannot call them out because we are afraid of causing offence to others who have a different cultural perspective, then we will lose the battle.”

I think actually that this thread is an excellent example of liberals engaging with bigots who have a different cultural perspective, to the point where at least one bigot got so offended that he completely threw all his toys out the pram.

Well, allow me to answer some of the points, hopefully without the same odd censorship.

First off you have no idea who threatened you, it could be anyone for any reason including discrediting their purported position; I doubt an internet threat to “5cc” needs much concern and it does nothing to negate the fact that Muslims are quite generally very violent in their practice of law, attitude to basic human freedoms, religious freedom, other cultures and treatment of dissent.

Secondly, Wilders was not banned because “he might incite hatred against them [Muslims]” he was refused entry under regulation 19 of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006 that allows refusal to individuals if they are regarded as “constituting a threat to public policy, security or health” and it was claimed that his presence could incite civil disorder (and for his own protection.)

Even after the ban was lifter after legal action the government still never claimed any ‘race / religious hate’ angle but fear that his right to free speech might cause violence amongst Muslims:

”The decision to refuse Wilders admission was taken on the basis that his presence could have inflamed tensions between our communities and have led to inter-faith violence. We still maintain this view”

I think maybe one of the threats the other guy refers to is the reported statement of Lord Ahmed to “bring a force of 10,000 Muslims to lay siege to the Lords” if Geert Wilders was allowed to speak”

But back to my point: Do you not think ‘wacism’ is a human condition? Do you know the etymology of the word? Do you not think the word has been so overused and used so far out of its original Marxist context that is often the first recourse of the scoundrel, the malcontent, and the litigatious?

188. Just Visiting

Don

> least one bigot got so offended that he completely threw all his toys out the pram.

Ok he did.
But I also see that there was a lack of anyone talking his personal life story seriously.

It reflects badly on LC that no one said to Tommy ‘ hey that sounded like a tough time’, or ‘did you consider reporting that person to the police’, or ‘explain that in more detail’.

Compare that with the sympathy that say Laurie Penny would get talking about some of her personal life stories.

Ok, any such stories are anecdotal, but when Sisters in Islam are saying similar things, and Southall Black Sisters: and it’s on the news websites…..

Why the eagerness to brush off real facts, and not consider them?

189. Just Visiting

Examples of not addressing the issue:
==============================

Don 110 – making a case for keeping Mum about the truth of what is problematic in other cultures:
“If it is just ‘we should be more vocal about aspects of other cultures that we don’t like’, then fine, …, but the practical effect will be to reduce intercultural exchange and dialogue”.

Dunc 152 – making the case that we shouldn’t talk about it on LC:
“There’s plenty of things I’m not comfortable with in “British culture” too, but as long as people aren’t actually breaking the law, it’s really none of my business.”

As is LC doesn’t spend half it’s time discussing ways to ‘make society better’ whether through law or other ways!

5cc 153
In response to the 5 or 6 factual news examples I gave – all with supporting URLs – that speak for themselves of genuine areas when liberals cannot find other cultures equal: He wants to make the case that there is ‘nothing to see here, move along’:

“You didn’t just take a bunch of bad stuff that people have defended in other places, mash them up with an opinion piece and suggest they represent the culture of those places and implying that culture is monolithic while forgetting that these things are controversial because they’re heavily opposed by some within that culture did you?”

Hey 5cc – they were news articles!
Does it count for nothing that these things are being said and done IN THE NAME OF ISLAM!
They need sensible engagement by liberals – not a brush off as though they don’t matter.

5cc said “you’ve managed to bang in a reference to Mohammed marrying a child.”

Firstly that is not controversial – it’s a mainstream islamic undestanding.
Secondly, the issue is CHILD ABUSE in the name of Islam – right at the core of Islam – real girls being really exploited every week.

5cc 156
This is more denial isn’t it – I see no engagement.
You didn’t even start off saying ‘yes these are all terrible things that we as liberals deplore, of course we do.’.

You just said:
“The problem with Just Visiting’s examples is that they take bad things from a couple of countries as examples representing the whole culture itself.”

No! You can’t discount hard evidence as not counting just because it ‘may not represent the whole’.
Engage with it! What is the common thread if any. Is there a pattern. Compare and contrast. THink the issues through.

190. Just Visiting

Calling all LC feminists!
==================
Where are you all?
Alot of the issues on this thread concern the (mis) treatment of women.

Oh dear – this silence is is another hint that for many liberals, a higher law than ‘lets treat each other well’ is
“moral relativism rules – I must never compare or contrast cultures”

Except… that also is a myth and only half-true.
Because it’s OK for feminists to bash all men (as potential rapists) as happens on LC now and again.
It’s OK to bash RTN as not being wholly welcoming to trans-women.
It’s OK to bash chrisitianity and its … hetero-normative obsession with the family whatever that is…blah blah.

But criticise another culture – not permitted on LC it seems.
Even simply to say ‘yes it is bad what I see happening’ – silence there too.

But Southall Black sisters are saying it
But Sisters in Islam are saying it.
Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation are saying it.
Muslim Women’s league are saying it
“Unwillingness on the part of the Muslim community to address these issues in a forthright and unapologetic manner is borne out of an inherent distrust of perceived “Western” attempts to taint the image of Islam in the interest of global politics. This is no excuse for us to turn a blind eye to injustices committed against Muslims and others, especially when the perpetrators are members of the same faith.”

Feminists on LC.. be ashamed of your silence, you have not engaged on any side of the debate at all on LC over the last year or so.

187:

First off you have no idea who threatened you, it could be anyone for any reason including discrediting their purported position

Yeah, I’m sure that was it.

and it was claimed that his presence could incite civil disorder (and for his own protection.)

Please show that with a link. Here’s the Home Office’s general statement made in light of the ban:

The Government opposes extremism in all its forms. It will stop those who want to spread extremism, hatred and violent messages in our communities from coming to our country and that was the driving force behind tighter rules on exclusions for unacceptable behaviour that the Home Secretary announced on in October last year

Nothing about inciting Muslims, but something about stopping people who want to spread extremism.

Even after the ban was lifter after legal action the government still never claimed any ‘race / religious hate’ angle but fear that his right to free speech might cause violence amongst Muslims:

Your quote doesn’t back that up. It’s vague enough to refer to both sides and refers to inflaming tensions – and since it’s made in light of the comment about stopping people who want to spread extremism, it’s unlikely that it means he’ll just cause violence among muslims.

I think maybe one of the threats the other guy refers to is the reported statement of Lord Ahmed to “bring a force of 10,000 Muslims to lay siege to the Lords” if Geert Wilders was allowed to speak”

From the Times:

Lord Ahmed denies allegations in the Spectator that he had “threatened the House of Lords authorities that he would bring a force of 10,000 Muslims to lay siege to the Lords if Wilders was allowed to speak”. Lord Ahmed told The Times that he was considering legal action against the Spectator. A spokesman for the House of Lords did not comment on the allegation.

From you:

But back to my point: Do you not think ‘wacism’ is a human condition? Do you know the etymology of the word?

I don’t think its a human condition any more than the desire to steal or murder. Why don’t you enlighten me as to the etymology?

Do you not think the word has been so overused and used so far out of its original Marxist context that is often the first recourse of the scoundrel, the malcontent, and the litigatious?

No.

Just Visiting @188:

But I also see that there was a lack of anyone talking his personal life story seriously.

It reflects badly on LC that no one said to Tommy ‘ hey that sounded like a tough time’, or ‘did you consider reporting that person to the police’, or ‘explain that in more detail’.

Compare that with the sympathy that say Laurie Penny would get talking about some of her personal life stories.

Why the eagerness to brush off real facts, and not consider them?

I brushed Tommy off because I didn’t believe a word he said. I made my ‘I wonder what party…’ comment because his first post very closely resembled BNP tactics for operating on messageboards and it was obvious that his first comment was going to lead to endorsement of the BNP.

193. Just Visiting

More News Items
=============
“Egyptian police arrest 13 Copts, victims of attack by Islamic extremists,”
..
“The violence was sparked by extremists, incited by the local Imam, Mohamad Khamis Khamis, during Friday prayers. ”
http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Egyptian-police-arrest-13-Copts,-victims-of-attack-by-Islamic-extremists-17922.html

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) – A Pennsylvania woman who called herself “Jihad Jane” pleaded not guilty on Thursday to charges of providing material support to terrorists and conspiring to kill in a foreign country.
Colleen LaRose appeared in federal court in Philadelphia accused of plotting with others over the Internet to kill a Swedish cartoonist who depicted the Prophet Mohammed in a way that was offensive to Muslims, and of wanting to become a martyr to Islam.
http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2010/03/18/world/international-uk-usa-security-sweden.html?_r=1

London, England (CNN) — American-born Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki is calling for jihad against America, claiming “America is evil” in a new audio message obtained exclusively by CNN.
“To the Muslims in America, I have this to say: How can your conscience allow you to live in peaceful co-existence with a nation that is responsible for the tyranny and crimes committed against your own brother and sisters? How can you have your loyalty to a government that is leading the war against Islam and Muslims?”
http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/europe/03/17/al.awlaki.message/index.html?hpt=T2

I think actually that this thread is an excellent example of liberals engaging with bigots who have a different cultural perspective

Nicely done, Don.

But I was calling for confrontation, not engagement. And I was referring to the other bigots.

Do you deny they exist?

195. Hibernica

@184 pagar: If you’d like a rational discussion, perhaps you’d consider engaging with sensible questions (c.f. @95), rather than sniping when the thread is left to wallow in inevitable mediocrity.

@ Hibernica

Apologies if I did not directly answer your question @ 94 but I did not have any particular person in mind.

Presumably you are saying, as others have, that I was attacking a straw man and that may be true to an extent. But there is an obvious disconnect between the moral and cultural relativism that informs liberal philosophy and the social fascism promoted by some of those motivated by belief systems that are, by any rational definition of the word, patently illiberal.

The point of the post was to probe that uncomfortable disconnect.

197. Just Visiting

“Ian McEwan: Criticising Islam is not racist
——————————————————
“Ian McEwan has insisted that criticising Islam is not racist and blamed left-leaning thinkers for “closing down the debate”… (he) thought many in the left wrongly took this position because they had an anti-Americanism shared with Islamists.

In an interview with today’s Telegraph Magazine, McEwan said: “Chunks of left-of-centre opinion have tried to close down the debate by saying that if you were to criticise Islam as a thought system you are a de facto racist. That is a poisonous argument.

“They do it on the basis that they see an ally in their particular forms of anti-Americanism,” he said.

“So these radical Muslims are the shock-troops for the armchair Left who don’t want to examine too closely the rest of the package – the homophobia, the misogyny and so on.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/booknews/7428769/Ian-McEwan-Criticising-Islam-is-not-racist.html

198. Hibernica

@196: Certainly, on first reading the article struck me as creating a polemic position not held by any thinker of note, a practice one might conceivably call ‘attacking a strawman’. I felt you should be given the benefit of the doubt, so asked my question in hope of redemption. The problem with your response in 196, and indeed the original article, is that you fail to adequately define your terms. I am not attempting to argue over your definitions, but simply point that, without them, your assertions fail the first requirement for reasoned discussion of political philosophy.

To ask which theorist one is following is shorthand for enquiring: how do you define ‘liberalism’? ‘Multiculturalism’? ‘Social fascism’? We find that books concerning such charged terms inevitably contain at least an overview of such a definition. Without it, how can claims be praised or criticised?

It is frankly childish to state that there is an obvious, “rational” explanation of such terms. If they were, why on earth have thousands of thinkers since liberalism’s formation in the 16th/17th centuries devoted their lives to exploring just such a question? Why is understanding liberalism, multiculturalism and other such terms such a massive part of today’s research? Why didn’t they all just decide “well, a fink its about freedom or summit, innit” three hundred years ago, and declare their project finished? Because life, sadly, is a great deal more complex, and if you want to have a discussion of multiculturalism, give us a definition of your fundamental terms worth discussing. For example, here’s one from 2007 (to prove I’m not entirely stuck in the Enlightenment):

“1)… Some women focused on their sexual differences from men and postulated that women were naturally more caring, consensual and empathetic. For gays the company of co-sexuals became a necessity in order for them to explore the nature of homosexuality and to allow it to be its own thing in its own space without shame or copying heterosexuality.
At the very same moment that the related ideas of humanism, human rights and equal citizenship had reached a new ascendancy, claims of group difference as embodied in the ideas of Afrocentricity, ethnicity, femaleness, gay rights and so on became central to a new progressive politics. It was a politics of identity: being true to one’s nature or heritage and seeking with others of the same kind public recognition for one’s collectivity. One term which came to describe this politics, especially in the United States, is ‘multiculturalism’.
2)Multiculturalism also has a more restricted meaning, especially in Britain and other parts of Europe. Here we are said to have become a multicultural society not so much be the emergence of a political movement but by a more fundamental movement of peoples. By immigration – specifically, the immigration from outside Europe, of non-white peoples into predominantly white countries. Here, then, the political idea of multiculturalism – the recognition of group difference within the public sphere of laws, policies, democratic discourses and the terms of a shared citizenship and national identity – while sharing something in common with the political movements described above has a much narrower focus. Perhaps the narrower and the broader meanings of multiculturalism – focusing on the consequences of immigration and on the struggles of a range of marginalized groups or on group differences per se – cannot be entirely separated from other. The narrower meaning might reasonably be construed as a part, a strand, of the larger current. Nevertheless, post-immigration multiculturalism has its own distinctive concerns and sensibilities which can be distorted or obscured if we see it in generic multicultural terms. It may have connections with racism, which may be quite different when the right to settle is not an issue; or, it may have connections with sexism which can only be attended to when there is sensitivity to culturally differentiated sexual norms or gender roles…”

199. Hibernica

(Continuation of #198, which was strangely cut off)

Would you agree with the above? In that the author spends the next 188 pages defending multiculturalism as a fundamental necessity for a liberal state, one assumes not. If so, perhaps you could provide your own?

5cc @ 191

Yeah, I’m sure that was it.

What proof do you have that it wasn’t? Really. How do you know?

Please show that with a link. Here’s the Home Office’s general statement made in light of the ban:

I have already given the Home Office’s official response after the legal action rescinded the ban. And that didn’t include ‘hatred’ and neither the regulation they used to ban him in the first place so what is really your problem?

But either ways, if you don’t believe that statement here is a link:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article6873282.ece

“Your quote doesn’t back that up. It’s vague enough to refer to both sides and refers to inflaming tensions… it’s unlikely that it means he’ll just cause violence among muslims.”

Well the quote does back up the fear of violence part, but you’re quite right, I should have been more precise. It wouldn’t have been violence between Muslims that would have been the concern but rather violence from Muslims that was the concern.

After all, I hardly think anyone could seriously argue that Christians, Buddhists or Sikhs were likely to take the street in protest with ‘BEHEAD THOSE WHO INSULT ISLAM’ banners or possibly even blown themselves up below the street amongst innocent tube passengers as a result.

The Government gave a clear indication that fear of violence arising from Muslims dictates their policy on freedom of speech.

(But out of interest then, what ‘both sides’ do you refer to? Which other religious group(s) do you think would have gone on a rampage after the event, why, and with what proof?)

Lord Ahmed denies allegations

Well he never took that legal action, or reported a criminal offence as such a spurious claim would most certainly have made likely.

And he has spent quite some time making allegations of his own such as claiming that a previous FO Minister Denis MacShane personally admitting the government deeply surveilled him over his opposition to Afghanistan, which was strenuously denied and he also stated that the 7/7 suicide murderers had an “identity crisis.”

So he is hardly a pillar of conventionality, nor does his views tally with successful multi-culturism.

I don’t think its a human condition any more than the desire to steal or murder.

Remarkable.

So ‘racism’ or tribalism is a purely learned trait then?

And you also think murder is somehow a political act or an act of artificiality. Given that killing sentient beings is a natural human trait and part of our sustenance, what makes killing our own so distinct?

And isn’t theft as old as man himself?

Why don’t you enlighten me as to the etymology?

Are you seriously telling me that one of your favourite words is a complete mystery to you? You really have no idea of whence it came?

Do you not think the word has been so overused and used so far out of its original Marxist context that is often the first recourse of the scoundrel, the malcontent, and the litigatious?….[No]

So it is not used in daily lexicon for contexts other then intended and defined and it is not used in many spurious practices and actions, especially work environments?

198
This really has to be the best thought-out post on this thread. Culture, as I think another poster has mentioned is the ‘whole of human activity’ If we return to Matthew Arnold and “Culture and Anarchy” there were massive concerns in the 19th century about assimilating a relatively small population (the UK) into a recognizable and acceptable common culture
19th Century society was not populated by people who accessed world-cultures and, as 198, infers, the social and political status of women was quite different. Society, technology, politics and economics have massively evolved over a relatively short period of time and access to world goods is everyday. But despite all of this, we have managed to consolidate an inordinate number of social groups with widely differing and often contradictory,life-styles, habits, ideas and so-on, and this is without including any immigrant groups.
And neither did all white indigenous groups follow liberal ideas, the catholic church for instance, even Oxbridge didn’t give degrees to women until 1921 and the tax and benefit system, until recently, treated married women as second-class citizens, The list is endless
Unfortunately, as this thread has shown, the minute multicultualism is mentioned, Islam becomes the central debating point, which has totally limited what could have been a good debate.

Just Visiting @189:

You’re missing the point, and I notice you didn’t quote anything from post 156 where I elaborate on what you did quote, you just claim to see no engagement.

Does it count for nothing that these things are being said and done IN THE NAME OF ISLAM!

So you were attacking Muslim culture, rather than Algerian, Malaysian, Turkish or whatever. Thought so.

People who oppose these things in these countries are almost certainly arguing against them as un-Islamic. You don’t say these people represent muslim culture.

I’ll make my point again – you’ve taken examples of bad things (if I call things ‘bad’ or ‘extreme’, I don’t need a separate sentence saying I deplore them – that’s implicit in what I do say – and I would never claim to speak for anyone else) and said these things represent a culture.

You’ve ignored any more positive stories from Muslim countries, any stories about muslim countries liberalising, and ignored the fact that these stories almost all include reference to opposition to these horrible things by other muslims.

You’re also not talking about muslims in Britain. These things cannot be part of any muslim culture in Britain because they’re illegal.

As I said, this is similar to saying that invading countries under shoddy pretexts, or a comment from some fat headed judge saying women wearing short skirts deserve what they get are British culture.

Islam, like any culture, is not monolithic and it is not unchanging. There are different strands of differing kinds, – people from one country you’ve included references to will deplore the hings you’ve cited as happening in others – and individuals will have their own personal take. If you only take negative things that happen from different countries and say ‘these are muslim culture’, you essentialise something pluralistic and mixed as negative and monololithic. In a liberal society, you don’t do that. You allow people to do what they want, providing nobody gets hurt.

I’m struggling to work out what your point is with pointing to these stories. Is it just that muslim culture is bad, or is it that we should force muslims to reject their culture, or prevent muslims from coming to the UK, or is it something else?

Crusade @200:

What proof do you have that it wasn’t? Really. How do you know?

I don’t. He really could have set himself up by posting in lots of threads for weeks on this site and set up a profile on BBC blogs just so he could wait until this thread disappeared from the front page before he pounced, and all to discredit the BNP in front of an audience that probably hate the BNP anyway. I’m sure that was his game, the devious trickster.

It wouldn’t have been violence between Muslims that would have been the concern but rather violence from Muslims that was the concern.

we’ve thrown out the need for proof now then, have we? Your quote talks about violence between two groups. The earlier quote talks about spreading extremism, so it’s likely they were talking about anti-muslim extremism. I cna modify my position slightly to say thatt was violence from both groups the government was worried about, because of the spread of anti-muslim extremism. But you can’t support the idea that it was evil muslims attacking innocents they were worried about.

After all, I hardly think anyone could seriously argue that Christians, Buddhists or Sikhs were likely to take the street in protest with ‘BEHEAD THOSE WHO INSULT ISLAM’ banners or possibly even blown themselves up below the street amongst innocent tube passengers as a result.

We’re talking about far right mutjobs, obviously. YouTube results for EDL violence.

(But out of interest then, what ‘both sides’ do you refer to? Which other religious group(s) do you think would have gone on a rampage after the event, why, and with what proof?)

See above. Also , we’re not talking about what I think would have happened (I erred on the side of opposing the ban) we’re talking about what the goverment at the time was saying.

Well he never took that legal action, or reported a criminal offence as such a spurious claim would most certainly have made likely.

So now, you don’t need proof. He most likely didn’t engage in a costly legal battle becaus he was satisfied with the PCC ruling.

So ‘racism’ or tribalism is a purely learned trait then?

No, that’s just what you expected me to say. Read what I said again.

I see you’ve redefined ‘racism’ as ‘tribalism’. They mean different things – but of course I would expect you to know that, since you’re going off on a tangent about the etymology of the word.

Are you seriously telling me that one of your favourite words is a complete mystery to you? You really have no idea of whence it came?

If you want to discuss its etymology, you provide what you think it is.

So it is not used in daily lexicon for contexts other then intended and defined and it is not used in many spurious practices and actions, especially work environments?

That would depend on what you thought its original conext is, and whether you think you should only use words in their original context.

It’s weird how much this thread has ended up resembling one about evolution taken over by creationists who take things off topic and spout tired arguments they think you’ve never heard before.

It’s also depressing that in a strand about the liberalism of multiculturalism, it was so predictable that it would end up with muslim bashing and defending racism as ‘human nature’.

Nothing to do with pagar, of course. This was an interesting discussion to start with and something it would be great to thrash out properly.

5cc @ 203

Just a couple of brief points as this is getting circular now.

I’ll ignore your lack of evidence about your first claims and conclusions re a threatening poster. Its rather pointless.

You really seem to be making up your own narrative about the Wilders ban. First off you claimed it was because of “he might incite hatred against them [Muslims]” which you have now modified when shown that the actual regulations used to enforce the ban and the statements made to justify it were not related to your claims.

But your modified position is just as erroneous as you now invoke “anti-muslim extremism” as the cause for concern of for violence, rather then from the actual Muslims themselves, and more ridiculously you claim “we’re talking about far right mutjobs, obviously” and cite the EDL when the governments position was crystal clear that their fear was it would have “led to inter-faith violence” so unless you now consider the EDL as a rival faith to Islam you are far from the truth once again.

And the EDL have not paraded around calling the decapitation of people who don’t believe in ‘the EDL’ nor have they threatened that another ‘7/7 is on the way’ or worn fake bomb belts on a protest let alone actually committed mass murder by suicide bombings. Or indeed killed or seriously injured one single person; how many deaths does have Islam have in its name?

And as for Ahmed, I simply don’t believe his denials; the man is a big mouthed idiot and the quote was reported widely by many reputable publications. But either ways, whether he made this particular threat or not, his position on the very un-British, in fact completely alien act of mass murder by blowing yourself up is a matter of record: It is just an ‘identity crisis.’

I didn’t redefine ‘racism’ as tribalism and it is quite dishonest of you to say I did as I quite clearly made the definite distinction of “‘racism’ or tribalism” and you used this as foil to cover the fact that you don’t appear to know the etymology of your favourite word.

You also failed to explain how murder and theft (along with racism) are not human conditions.

Oh well.

crusade@205:

…clear that their fear was it would have “led to inter-faith violence” so unless you now consider the EDL as a rival faith to Islam you are far from the truth once again.

How would you describe violence between muslims and non-muslims then?

And the EDL have not paraded around calling the decapitation…

The EDL are still violent. Far right nutjobs are still violent. I can provide more links if you like. Do you honestly believe the government did not have the far right in mind in referring to violence and the spread of extremism? At all? You’re using ‘inter-faith’ to mean ‘muslims against everyone else’.

And as for Ahmed, I simply don’t believe his denials; the man is a big mouthed idiot …

So much for your previously vaunted concerns with lack of evidence.

I didn’t redefine ‘racism’ as tribalism and it is quite dishonest of you to say I did as I quite clearly made the definite distinction of “‘racism’ or tribalism” and you used this as foil to cover the fact that you don’t appear to know the etymology of your favourite word.

Sigh. I took ‘”racism” or tribalism’ to be offering ‘tribalism’ as another word for ‘racism’. If it wasn’t, I wonder why you introduced yet another word into the mix. Gee, I wonder if it was to draw parrallells between the two.

And your ‘you don’t know the etymology of your favourite word’ stuff is very primary school. I have precisely zero interest in raking over the etymology of a word to provide you with another red herring to throw into the discussion and take it in an even more lame direction. What matters is what the word means as it is commonly used. If you’re so concerned with the relevance of etymology, go up to a big hairy stranger at a BNP meeting and call him gay in front of everyone.

And anyway, my favourite word is ‘pint?’

You also failed to explain how murder and theft (along with racism) are not human conditions.

That’s because I didn’t say that.

Saying things are or aren’t ‘human conditions’ is something I’ve only ever seen you do. It’s rot, of course. Any condition a human could be in is a human condition, like being in the condition to desire to steal or murder or have a prostitute defecate on you. It says bugger all about their desirability, and because they’re conditions humans can be in doesn’t mean to say they’re okay and natural and shared by most people. I do not have the urge to steal, murder or have a prostitute defecate on me (or do anything else to me for that matter), and I don’t base what I think of people on what race they are. As far as I know, the only one of those I had to be taught was not to steal.

The phrase ‘the human condition’ however, usually refers to things that reflect essential attributes human nature, or things that are at least shared by most if not all humans. Asking if something is ‘a human condition’ is obfuscating. Constipation is a human condition. Would you include constipation in ‘the human condition’? Unlikely.

5cc @ 206

You seem desperate to make a case for the banning of Wilders that not even the government put forward. First off you were completely wrong that he was banned on the basis of incitement to hatred which means that you don’t really understand the history or issues involved in the banning at all.

When that is proved to you, you then seem to determined to entirely fabricate the source of the governments fears of violence that they said led them to the ban claiming “we’re talking about far right mutjobs, obviously” when quite obviously if that was indeed what the government were talking about and the real source of their fears for violence, they would have specifically mentioned them without any worries at all; quite obviously.

They didn’t, they claimed the ban was to prevent and end fear of “inter-faith violence” and as already pointed out to you the EDL are not a faith. What the government were worried about was religious violence; not political violence, not racial violence but religious violence and when it comes to religious violence in the 21st century I think it is very safe to say that Islam takes the cake.

(And besides anything else, the EDL have never killed one or seriously injured one person whereas Muslims in the name of Islam have killed and maimed countless.)

I have every right to believe the source that quoted Ahmed was telling the truth and accept their evidence over Ahmed’s denials. I didn’t claim that I could independently prove his culpability; I clearly stated my belief on the evidence given and the history of the man.

As for “racism or tribalism” the syntax itself was the proof that I was making a definite distinction between the two and once again you have used a very convoluted defence of your ‘misinterpretation’ to avoid answering a very simple question about the etymology of your favourite word.

And you end as you started: With untruths.

I state: “You also failed to explain how murder and theft (along with racism) are not human conditions.”

You reply: “That’s because I didn’t say that.”

But just two comments back I asked you: “Do you not think ‘wacism’ is a human condition?”

And you replied: em>“I don’t think its a human condition any more than the desire to steal or murder.”<

See the problem here? How your comments just do not marry up?

Incidentally, why did you have to be taught not to steal?

And finally, for the sake of clarity, constipation is a medical condition suffered by most living creatures, not a human condition.

whereas Muslims in the name of Islam have killed and maimed countless.

The fact that you’re making this sort of argument under the username “crusade” has destroyed yet another of my irony meters.

How is a post against multiculturalism coming to debate the stupid decision to ban Geert Wilders visiting this country? Neither Wilders, nor the decision to ban him, properly belong in either of the categories liberal or multicultural. Rather that was an attempt by an authoritarian government (in this instance – the decision was made by whim, not by vote) to exclude an authoritarian figure they disliked. Clearly wrong if you believe in free speech, but not really relevant.

Also, why are we discussing human nature. As of yet I have to see proof there is any such thing (other than breathing, drinking, screaming and a few other functions we do automatically at birth, and maybe eating, walking etc, but these may well be learnt). Higher thinking is all developed surely, so cannot be nature.

I modified my initial position because I couldn’t support it. You carry on with yours despite not being able to support it. Provide a quote that shows someone from the government saying that the ban was to prevent muslims attacking other people. You can’t.

They didn’t, they claimed the ban was to prevent and end fear of “inter-faith violence”…

After saying banning people from entering the country was to stop those who want to spread extremism. You keep ignoring ignoring that bit and the context it puts on what was later said.

…and as already pointed out to you the EDL are not a faith.

How would you describe violence between muslims and non-muslims? Answer the question.

And besides anything else, the EDL have never killed…

Far right nutjobs have. Do you want links? Convenient that you’d ignore that bit.

And does anything less than murder not count as violence?

We’re also arguing over a decision that was later overturned, so proves bugger all in the end.

I have every right to believe the source that quoted Ahmed was telling the truth…

Sure you do. Just without evidence other than you don’t like him much.

And you replied: “I don’t think its a human condition any more than the desire to steal or murder.”

See the problem here? How your comments just do not marry up?

Read the words I actually used. Do you see the ‘any more than’ qualifier?

Incidentally, why did you have to be taught not to steal?

Because I, like pretty much every kid on the entire planet, had no concept of property and things belonging to other people until I was taught it.

And finally, for the sake of clarity, constipation is a medical condition suffered by most living creatures, not a human condition.

And that’s a handy way to dismiss the rest of the argument. If you want to argue that constipation is not ‘a human condition’ define what you mean by ‘a human condition’.

Watchman @209:

Because I’ve allowed myself to be taken off on a tangent like a chump.

5cc,

Not to worry. I have to admit that crusade is the most eloquent defender of that sort of position I have seen, and is pretty good at directing arguments. Glad you took on the challenge rather than me…

Dunc @ 208

Do you seriously disagree with the statement “Muslims in the name of Islam have killed and maimed countless”?

Because if you do then you really, really need to get out more.

The word crusade also means “a vigorous concerted movement for a cause or against an abuse” and it is that context I use it.

All irrelevant really.

Watchman @ 209

I didn’t raise the Wilders subject, I don’t know who did but I saw 5cc opining from an untrue premise and corrected him; he continues to opine from another untrue premise and so I continue to correct him.

You go on to say to say that “as of yet I have to see proof there is any such thing” as human nature before defining a list of human nature, and ignoring the fact that the innate desire and ability to learn is very much fundamental human nature and pretty much what separates us from the rest of the beasts.

(And we can add violence, jealousy and love to human nature too.)

5cc @ 210

You modified your original position because it was completely wrong and not based upon reality and the facts I presented demonstrated that.

As I said, you seem desperate to spin your own line on why Wilders was banned. If it was because of the fear of ‘extreme-right wing violence’ then the government would have relished saying so. They didn’t. They said they feared “inter-faith violence”, that is religious violence of at least two groups of faiths and as I already explained to you the EDL are not a faith and I hardly think anyone could seriously argue that Christians, Buddhists or Sikhs were likely to take the street in protest with ‘behead those who insult Islam’ banners or possibly even blown themselves up below the street amongst innocents tube passengers as a result.

The Government gave a clear indication that fear of violence from Muslims dictates their policy on freedom of speech and that was the extremism they were referring to.

You say “Far right nutjobs have [murdered / maimed]” but certainly not the EDL you cited as the spurious government concern, so perhaps you can name some other existing organization in the UK that has committed murder and that the government might have been afraid of carrying out violence (but without ever saying so) in the event that Wilders used his right to free speech?

As for Ahmed, there was a primary source that quoted him and that is evidence; he denied it but I believe the primary source based on this mans history and character.

The rest is just more feeble semantic games to patch over the fact that you say in one comment that racism isn’t a human condition and then say in another comment that you never said that in the first place.

So you are now saying as well that you had to be taught the value of property but not the value of life? And that you have no idea of what the oft used term ‘the human condition’ actually means?

In case you are genuine, one comprehensive definition can be found here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_condition

Hibernica @199

Would you agree with the above?

Sorry, but I wouldn’t.

Because you have presented a utopian definition of multiculturalism that would be unrecognisable to the impartial observer of the realities of life in the UK today.

the recognition of group difference within the public sphere of laws, policies, democratic discourses and the terms of a shared citizenship and national identity

This does not make sense even in its own terms.

How can we recognise group difference in law yet still have a shared citizenship?

How can we have a national identity when the “nation” comprises a number of unintegrated groupings with sets of different and incompatible values and agendas?

Regarding your broader definition

claims of group difference as embodied in the ideas of Afrocentricity, ethnicity, femaleness, gay rights and so on became central to a new progressive politics. It was a politics of identity: being true to one’s nature or heritage and seeking with others of the same kind public recognition for one’s collectivity.

In my view, this is not a description of progressive politics but the opposite. Gays and feminists should not be creating collectives and building walls between themselves and the rest of us, they should be integrating their politics and sexuality into the mainstream. Similarly, romanticising the importance of an individual’s ethnicity takes us backward not forward- back to the horrors of the past that had their genesis in the desire of one ethnic group to win over another.

being true to one’s nature or heritage denies the possibility or value of change, transformation and progress.

I recall my upbringing in the West of Scotland and I am not aware that I ever spoke to a Roman Catholic until I went to university. I threw stones at a few.

The cultural attachments were strong and, it might be argued, gave meaning to the lives of the individuals within each tradition. But, looking back, it is clear to me that the bond was, in fact, kept strong through the hatred felt towards the other tribe. That was the glue of multiculturalism then and you will see from some of the comments above that it still is.

So there is my definition and example of multiculturalism and, in an increasingly global world, it seems more and more to be a policy of primitivism. Cultural attachments are inherently divisive in a world moving swiftly towards homogeneity and, in the UK, we need to encourage full integration, not tolerate ethnic apartheid.

crusade @207:

I’ve just reread this thread and you know what? I haven’t even changed my position that much.

I started by asking for evidence to show that Wilders was banned cause of threats from muslims and not because of inciting violene against muslims.

You never showed it. All you can manage is a mention of ‘inter-faith violence’, which you’re claiming means violence by muslims because the EDL, who I offered as an example of violent far right nutjobs, is not a faith. This reasoning is absurd. I could use your clinging to the word ‘faith’ to counter the claim ‘inter-faith violence’ means violence by muslims, and not violence between groups including muslims (which is what I modified my position to) by pointing out that your position must be that Wilders was banned because the government thought muslims become violent toward other people, except atheists and agnostics. A group that would include Wilders himself, since he is an atheist.

Doesn’t work, does it?

You’ve been unable to offer a different term to describe violence between muslims and non-muslims. This might be because it would be difficult to find one, which might explain why the Home Office spokesperson used it (after the ban was lifted and not a reason for the ban at the time). Given your love for etymology, perhaps you’ll like this definition of the word ‘inter’. See how it means ‘between’ and not ‘one against another’? See how the second definition includes ‘mutual’ and ‘reciprocal’ No wonder you’ve ignored that half of the mening of ‘inter-faith’.

The Government gave a clear indication that fear of violence from Muslims dictates their policy on freedom of speech and that was the extremism they were referring to.

Really? You’re overplaying your hand a bit now. Here’s Foreign Secretary David Miliband on the idea that the government were appeasing radical muslims at the time:

That is an appaling misrepresentation of the truth. A hate filled film, which is designed to stir up religious and racial hatred in this country is contrary to our laws.

That look much like giving a clear indicationn that violence from muslims dictates policy on freedom of speech to you?

You say “Far right nutjobs have [murdered / maimed]” but certainly not the EDL you cited as the spurious government concern

I used the EDL as an example of violent far right nutjobs – not necessarily as the particular group the government feared. That’s why I keep offering more links. Seriously, do you want any, or are you content to stick with the EDL because they’re less violent and easier for you to make your point about evil muslims?

As for Ahmed, there was a primary source that quoted him and that is evidence; he denied it but I believe the primary source based on this mans history and character

So you take the word of a tabloid journalist over his, given that tablooid journalists aren’t exactly famous for their honesty and faithful, in context quoting? Isn’t the more sensible position to say ‘might have said it, might not’?

The rest is just more feeble semantic games to patch over the fact that you say in one comment that racism isn’t a human condition and then say in another comment that you never said that in the first place.

No it isn’t. It’s a full explanation of what I meant, but I’m not surprised you want to dodge it. You’ve gone from ‘a natural human condition’ to ‘a human condition’ to ‘the human condition’.

And that you have no idea of what the oft used term ‘the human condition’ actually means?

I know what ‘the human condition’ usually refers to. Did you see my definition? That was the clue that I had an idea of what it means.

What I asked for was a definition of a human condition. The indefinite article changes the meaning. So does the word ‘natural’, which you’ve removed.

If you don’t explain what you mean bu ‘a natural human condition’ or ‘a human condition’, I can’t be sure what you’re on about. I think you’re trying to argue that racism is natural, but you keep changing the words you’re using and not spitting out a definite claim.

Aaargh – the links got stripped out of my last post. here they are:

David Miliband on Wilders

The definition of ‘inter’

5cc@204:

Spot on sir, couldn’t agree more it is a real and damned shame but I for one think you are doing a great job of exposing and challenging the crusade clown but this can only go on for so long; it is circular because the fool in question ducks all of the points put to him and ignores ones he does not like.

It is not a debate but one person shouting in the room whilst the other patiently explains how things are. Such is the way with people like this 5cc.

5cc @ 215

All we have established is that you don’t really appear to have a clue of what you are talking about but cannot face it with decorum, instead choosing to use convoluted and feeble semantic games.

You had no idea of the actual real reasons and legalisation put forward to ban Wilders in the first place but you decided to cite “he might incite hatred against them [Muslims]” anyway and when this was proven to be false you invented your own next version that the government was in fact worried about violence from and “talking about far right mutjobs, obviously” when quite obviously they made no mention of that whatsoever and cited their concerns for violence not in political or racial terms but as a concern that it would have “led to inter-faith violence.”

Those are the facts. Now despite your obvious desperation to obfuscate the term “inter-faith violence” with absurd references to agnostics and atheists, it would remain pretty apparent to any reasonable minded person exactly what “inter-faith violence” means: Violence between two or more religious faiths sparked by the presentation of Wilders film and his very presence.

And it would also seem pretty apparent to any reasonable minded person just where that spark would come from, given that Muslims violently react to any perceived slight to their superstition (and I could give dozens of examples as you well know) whereas the other faiths simply do not. Jesus and the Christian God are mocked on a daily basis in this country without a whimper.

Even your imaginary “extreme-right wing” threat is ludicrous as the EDL have done no more then simple affray; if they were not who you had in mind why name them and only them in the first place? And why not just name who you really mean and provide these links instead of just threatening to?

As for Ahmed, on balance I believe the evidence against him, once more for you, based upon his past and his character; but interesting, once again you show either a dishonest bent or a comprehension problem when you say “the more sensible position [is] to say ‘might have said it, might not’” when quite clearly I actually did do just that: “ but either ways, whether he made this particular threat or not…”

Lastly, you appear to be very confused about the meaning of oft used terms such as “human condition” and whether or not you actually agree that certain traits fall under the term. You have changed your mind several times on this and what constitutes the term ‘human condition’ even though I provided a definition and it is in such common usage that its definition should be known to anyone choosing to comment on it in such definite (if not backtracked) terms, you now claim to need further clarification of the term, a tedious device designed to hinder debate rather then aid it.

If you really do not understand the term, its definition and its place in common usage, why are you commenting on it?

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill @ 217

First off I would remind you that you are in breach of this sites comments policy with your unsolicited abusive of me calling me a ‘clown’ and ‘fool’ for merely expressing an opinion that you quite obviously do not like.

Secondly I would point out that you have not contributed to this thread in any substantive way at all but have just appeared here purely to abuse me and degrade me, again in breach of this sites comments policy.

Thirdly I would point out that the only reference to you in this thread is about the dishonest behaviour and tactics you employed in another thread and with the implication that this is a regular pattern with you; and so it would seem.

Hello ‘Crusade’, you seem familiar to me, last word obsession, ducking and ignoring 5cc’s points, arguing in a circular fashion, ideas that disagree with yours dismissed as irrelevant, inability to concede any ground whatsoever…I could go on.

I am not in breech of the comments policy because words I used are accurate but I am glad you concede it is an opinion, you seem to operate from a position of confusing your racist opinions with fact.

As for you judging my contributions here, thanks, I do not need the opinions of an anonymous racist.

As for tactics I employ, sorry, you are taking the word of an anonymous troll here and using that as evidence, for all I know that could be you.

I’m done here but I’ll be very curious to see about your IP address.

Take care now!

You have declined to engage with many of my points in favour of restating yours over and again without back up.

Show a different term that describes violence between muslims and non-muslims than ‘inter-faith’. Stop dodging .

Show why ‘inter-fath’ can exclude the far right because it’s not a faith, but not agnosticism or atheism, which aren’t faiths. And show why the logic that says the government really meant only between faiths doesn’t mean they thought Wilders was perfectly safe from these violent muslims you allege were their reason for a ban because of his lack of faith.

I’ve shown – with evidence both from the Home Office’s original statement about the ban, and from a comment by the Foreign Secretary saying the idea the ban was made to appease extremist muslims was an ‘apalling misrepresentation of the truth’ – that it’s likely the government thought violence would break out between muslims and non-muslims because of the spread of anti-muslim extremism. You’ve shown nothing outside your own empty assertions that ‘it seems pretty apparent that any reasonable person’ knows muslims are violent.

You’ve avoided answering this before, but do you honestly believe the government did not think that far-right extremists would be involved in the violence they thought the visit would spark?

Even your imaginary “extreme-right wing” threat…

An extreme right-wing politician is banned from the country, and the government states that such bans are to stop people who want to spread extremism. I am not imagining an extreme right-wing threat.

If you want to maintain that the government banned Geert Wilders because they thought muslims would start violence, you have to show evidence. Your lame clinging to idea that the inclusion of the word ‘faith’ in the term used to describe violence centred around people of a particular faith means that the government only thought different faiths would be involved in potential violence isn’t cutting it, and says bugger all about who starts the violence. It’s not the trump card you think it is.

Even your imaginary “extreme-right wing” threat is ludicrous as the EDL have done no more then simple affray

Is ‘simple affray’ not violence, then?

if they were not who you had in mind why name them and only them in the first place?

Because they were a handy group that I could provide a single link showing a long list of examples of violence to show that the far-right also engage in violent disorder. I could not be arsed to search for links to people like David Copeland, Robert Cottage, Martyn Gilleard, Ian Davidson and on and on and on. The EDL weren’t even formed in February 2009, for Christ’s sake.

The previous sentence to the one with the link to the EDL, where I mentioned ‘far right nutjobs’ was to show that I was only using the EDL as an example of violent far-right nutjobs. I’ve explained this before and I think you’re ignoring it because focusing on the EDL gives you an opportunity to dodge and present my postition as more absurd than it is.

…when quite clearly I actually did do just that: “ but either ways, whether he made this particular threat or not…”

Which you said after you said you believed the evidence agaiinst him, a point you have repeated here. Your position is that you believe he made the threat, and you’ve made a statement about what you think the character of the man is whether he made the threat or not. This is not the same as taking the position ‘maybe he said it, maybe he didn’t’.

Lastly, you appear to be very confused about the meaning of oft used terms such as “human condition”…

I’m getting tired of repeating myself. I provided a chuffing definition of ‘the human condition’, and I’m perfectly aware of what it commonly means.

You’ve used three different terms ‘a natural human condition’, ‘a human condition’ and ‘the human condition’. ‘The human condition’ is a common term that most people have an idea of the meaning of – although the actual meaning is tough philosophical question to crack. ‘A human condition’ is not, and ‘a natural human condition would mean something entirely different.

The link you provide for a definition even includes two ways the term is used, one general and one metaphysical. You haven’t even said which one you mean.

If you really meant ‘the human condition’ all along, were you initially asking whether racism ‘encompasses the totality of the experience of being human and living human lives.’? Were you asking whether racism was ‘the human struggle to find answers to these questions [questions beyond ones necessary to survival] — and the very fact that humans can conceive them and ask them’?.

Clearly not.

By ‘a human condition’ you meant something else. What exactly was that? Was it ‘part of the human condition’ (and by that, did you mean ‘part of the totality of the experience of being human’ or ‘part of the struggle to find answers to metaphisycal questions’), ‘a condition humans experience’, ‘a condition particular to humans’ or something else? What did you mean when you added the word ‘natural’? Why did you drop that word from the question? How do I know you didn’t intend to re-introduce it later?

I need to know what your question means before I answer it. We both want to avoid me answering yes to a question and you following up by claiming I’d said yes to something else, don’t we?

Bugger html. This passage shouldn’t have been included in a blockquote:

An extreme right-wing politician is banned from the country, and the government states that such bans are to stop people who want to spread extremism. I am not imagining an extreme right-wing threat.

If you want to maintain that the government banned Geert Wilders because they thought muslims would start violence, you have to show evidence. Your lame clinging to idea that the inclusion of the word ‘faith’ in the term used to describe violence centred around people of a particular faith means that the government only thought different faiths would be involved in potential violence isn’t cutting it, and says bugger all about who starts the violence. It’s not the trump card you think it is.

5cc @ 221

Again you fail to grasp that what you have presented as evidence is nothing of the sort.

(You did the same with the link you presented on Ahmed which related to another matter entirely then the one discussed.)

That Home Office would not comment on Wilders and that statement was not addressed at Wilders:

The Home Office refused to comment specifically on Mr Wilders but a spokesperson said: “The Government opposes extremism in all its forms. It will stop those who want to spread extremism, hatred and violent messages in our communities from coming to our country and that was the driving force behind tighter rules on exclusions for unacceptable behaviour that the Home Secretary announced on in October last year”.”

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article5710559.ece

They refused to comment on Wilders. The only specific comment they made on the Wilders ban was after it was overturned and they cited ‘inter-faith violence’ as the fear and reason.

The Foreign Secretary’s comment are irrelevant and untrue as for one, the film is merely an extract from the Koran and two, the film was shown here in any case and no-one has even been charged let alone convicted under the laws he claimed it breached.

Given all of this, and that the only concern raised against Wilders was the fear of “inter-faith violence” I really cannot understand why you cant accept that this was the official position and I find it most strange that you want me to supply another explanation or word for the official position.

If the government were worried about extreme-right wing protests as the source of violence they would have said as much; they didn’t. They choose to deliberately cite “faith” as the spark for violence, and any reasonable person would associate “faith” in this context with religion.

Just as any reasonable person would say that on balance, if any faith was likely to take violent exception to an event criticising their faith it would be the followers of Islam and that if any violence or fear of violence that would arise from such an event taking place it would be most likely to come from them, given their long and voluminous history of such violence in the face of criticism.

You seem equally confused by erroneously naming the EDL as the real source of the fear violence (not cited by the government at all) but then backtrack on even that for various reasons whilst eluding to other organisations you still seem unable to identify and now alternatively name individuals, not culpable organisations, of which at least one was diagnosed as being a paranoid schizophrenic.

All of which is far removed from the official position for the banning and far removed from reality.

As for Ahmed, I have repeatedly told you that I believe the evidence against him but still allowed for the possibility that he didn’t say it, contrary to your claim.

And at last we have arrived at a point where you concede that you understand the general context of the common usage of the term ‘human condition’ below and so lets end this feeble semantic obfuscation device of yours and agree that it is indeed in the common usage context that I use the term and include within it racism.

“The human condition encompasses the totality of the experience of being human and living human lives”

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill @ 220

I think you are best ignored really, as you are quite clearly a thread wrecking troll as already accused, and not a very bright one at that.

Your whole ‘rebuttal’ is rooted in the language and logic of a child.

You are very much in breach of this sites comment policy; you have not been involved in substance on this thread or in this debate, you have just chosen to appear here purely to offer unsolicited and wholly inaccurate abuse towards me and offer the very dishonest and bizarre accusations that got you flagged by others here in the first place.

Your style strikes me as akin to one of those many talent less wannabe football players cum supporters stood at the sidelines offering unqualified advice and fawning praise for
‘their team’ and nonsensical hysterical abuse and surreal distractions for ‘the opposition’, all without being able to get on the pitch and play with the actual game amongst the men.

Other then your already noted trade mark trolling of threads and bizarre proof less accusations (you could demonstrate that you are indeed even remotely genuine here by proving your racism accusation and the other absurdities) do you actually have anything of substance to say here? Anything to add to the debate at all? Any adult observations to make?

I very much doubt it. That is way out of your league, I suspect. Best stick to trolling.

225. Just Visiting

Crusade / 5cc

Phew – you’ve left the rest of us pretty high and dry… too many words, more heat than light.

Not sure the rest of us care that much about what can interpreted from the use of ‘inter-faith- in the Govt statement “(Wilders) presence could have inflamed tensions between our communities and have led to inter-faith violence.”
======

5cc back in 204 you said:”This was an interesting discussion to start with and something it would be great to thrash out properly.”

I’ve just looked back at the thread.

I’m surprised to say you thought it interesting – when your main contribution, repeatedly stated, was that you wanted a definition of multi-cultural, lest the debate be about strawmen.

That tactic of wanting a ‘definition’ looked like a good tactic for avoding engagement.

You yourself actually used strawmen tactics repeatedly:

63: “Do you magine that all arranged marriages must involve….”
113: “Plenty of arranged marriages are freely entered into by the people involved.”
153: “implying that culture is monolithic”
156 “…attacks on Islam that don’t actually have anything to do with most Muslims.”

Also, you have time and again brushed off relevant issues:
77 When asked for comparison of your own liberal democracy with Sharia – you skirted the issue: ‘(no). What about the Joker, are you morally superior to him?’

92 you refuse to clarify a sensible point about your own statement- “people should be allowed to do what they like providing no one else get hurt’ ?”

122) 10 out of 10 British mosque web sites sampled are silent about on death for apostates : you brush it off ‘ That’s a whole lot of unsupported assertion that isn’t entirely relevant to the discussion”

153 – in response to NEWS stories from around the world about violence and etc defended in the name of Islam, you brush it off saying: “these things are controversial because they’re heavily opposed by some within that culture”.

156 – you agree that there seem to be things supported by senior Muslims and even governments in several Islamic countries saying “and it’s no coincidence that these places are all Muslim. The problem with this kind of argument is that it defines a particular culture one way”

So repeatedly, facts and evidence about problems with non-UK cultures are brushed off by you.

FINALLY – you say you deplore the bad things done in the name of Islam:
202: “if I call things ‘bad’ or ‘extreme’, I don’t need a separate sentence saying I deplore them – that’s implicit in what I do say”

If you had been in less of a brush-off mode – you would have _started_ with saying you find it deplorable, and would be concerned at such views being expressed in the UK.

“You’re also not talking about muslims in Britain. These things cannot be part of any muslim culture in Britain because they’re illegal.”

Explainig that to my former-Muslim friends – hospitalised twice and now having been forced out of my town – as a result of other Muslims in my town who beat them up for leaving Islam.

It IS a part of UK Muslim culture.

Yes of course it is true that most UK Muslims are not committing such violence.
Yes it is true that many UK Muslims when asked would say they don’t approve.

But – it is also true that UK Mosques and Muslim organisations are NOT running a campaign to say that Apostasy is quite OK and deserves no punishment.

The fact that you have not really engaged with this top – fits exactly Pagar’s thesis: the friction inherent in wanting to say that all cultures are equal, whilst the evidence is that some cultures do have decidedly non-liberal facets.

226. Just Visiting

This thread has now entered the ‘ Recently Popular’ top 5 in the last 24 hours.

Every culture has decidedly non-liberal facets. I can’t believe this discussion is still going on.

Crusader @223:

This has become tiresome. I am so bored of continually repeating myself about something irrelevant to the discussion I can hardly believe it.

Show another term that would describe violence between muslims and non-muslims other than ‘inter-faith’.

Show your evidence – not an assertion only supported by your assigning a strict definition to a term – that the government banned Wilders because of violence from muslims.

Show why one thing that isn’t a faith can be disqualified from the term ‘inter-faith’, but not another.

Answer whether you really think the government did not think the far right would be involved in violence sparked by Wilders’ visit.

They refused to comment on Wilders…

So is it your assertion that the general statement about bans that the Home Office made in response to questions about banning Geert Wilders had nothing to do with banning Geert Wilders? That the Home Office really meant the bans were in place to stop people who want to spread extremism – except for in the case of Geert Wilders? What nonsense.

maybe you’re claiming thegovernment thought Wilders wanted to provoke muslims. You’ll need evidence if that’s the case.

The Foreign Secretary’s comment are irrelevant and untrue as for one…

So are you saying he was lying when he said it was an appaling distortion to suggest that the ban was not made to appease muslims? You’re saying that the foreign seccretary had no idea of what the reasoning behind banning a foreign politician from the country was?

the film was shown here in any case and no-one has even been charged let alone convicted under the laws he claimed it breached.

This doesn not prove that this was not what the government thought at the time, and even so, it’s irrelevant to the point of whether Wilders was banned for fear of violence from muslims.

I really cannot understand why you cant accept that this was the official position and I find it most strange that you want me to supply another explanation or word for the official position.

That is not my position. I have said several times now that the government wanted to prevent violence between mulsims and non-muslims, sparked by Wilders spreading anti-muslim sentiment.

My position is that this is what was meant by ‘inter-faith violence’. I ask you – repeatedly – for another term for violence between muslims and non-muslims to show that this is the easiest phrase that fits, despite ‘non-muslims’ not being a specific faith.

If the government were worried about extreme-right wing protests as the source of violence they would have said as much; they didn’t.

That is not my position, as I outlined above. I’ve stated my position several times, and this is the first mention in the thread of far right protests. Here it is again: the government was concerned about violence between muslims and non-muslims, rising from the anti-muslim sentiment spread by Geert Wilders, and you cannot show that it was because the government thought muslims would attack people.

And if the government were worried about muslims attacking people, they would have said so. They didn’t. See how that works?

If you really believe the far right wasn’t a concern because it isn’t a faith, show why that does not apply to atheists and agnostics. You’re dodging this question because you can’t answer why, and you’re relying on a form of special pleading.

Just as any reasonable person would say that on balance, if any faith was likely to take violent exception to an event criticising their faith it would be the followers of Islam…

The ‘any reasonable’ person tactic is so lame. You’re just pushing your unsupported assertion – again – and using a lame argumentum ad populum. And the ‘violent exception to an event criticising their faith’ is your definition of what the government meant by ‘inter-faith’. You have not shown that this is actually what was meant. It’s boring.

You seem equally confused by erroneously naming the EDL as the real source of the fear violence (not cited by the government at all)

I have explained why I used the EDL as an example of far right nutjobs. You’re being deliberately dishonest now.

…whilst eluding to other organisations you still seem unable to identify…

1. I aluded to ‘far right nutjobs’, not organisations.
2. Do you honestly believe I could not name any violent far right groups? Really?

name individuals, not culpable organisations,

‘Culpable organisations’ is a criteria you’ve just invented.

name individuals, not culpable organisations,

All of whom are violent far right nutjobs.

As for Ahmed, I have repeatedly told you that I believe the evidence against him but still allowed for the possibility that he didn’t say it, contrary to your claim.

Believing the evidence against him and allowing for the possibility that it’s wrong is not taking the position that he might have said it, might not. It’s saying ‘he most likely said it’.

And apologies for linking to a PCC ruling about something else. This thread isn’t really taking up a lot of my effort and I should pay more attention.

And at last we have arrived at a point where you concede that you understand the general context of the common usage of the term ‘human condition’

Now you’re just lying. I offered a definition of the term ‘the human condition’ back in post 206, and mentioned that definition in two subsequent comments.

And my answer to your question, now that you’ve finally spat out what you mean is virtually the same as in 206.

Racism is no more part of the human condition than the desire to murder, steal or have prostitutes defecate on you. That is to say that some people are racist – therefore it is part of the totality of human experience – but that says nothing about its desirabilty, how common it is or whether it is learned or inherited.

Just Visiting @225:

Just visiting @255:

God, not another long reply.

I’m surprised to say you thought it interesting – when your main contribution, repeatedly stated, was that you wanted a definition of multi-cultural, lest the debate be about strawmen.

To properly thrash something out, you need to know what it is you’re thrashing out. I was concerned about the strawman because we could end up with a false statement at the end – that multiculturalism is incombatible with liberalism – because the definition of ‘multiculturalism’ excluded the liberal sense of it.

63: “Do you magine that all arranged marriages must involve….”

That’s not a strawman. It’s a question.

Plenty of arranged marriages are freely entered into by the people involved.

That’s not a strawman. It’s a statement of fact in response to the assertion that the alternative to an arranged marriage is one freely entered into from comment 109.

implying that culture is monolithic

That’s what you imply – deliberately or not – if you offer a bunch of negative things as examples of what a particular culture is. You might disagree with it, but it’s not a strawman.

attacks on Islam that don’t actually have anything to do with most Muslims.

Show why that’s a strawman please. You know there’s a difference between saying what you think someone’s points amount to and deliberately offering a waek or easy to knock down version of an argument, right?

When asked for comparison of your own liberal democracy with Sharia – you skirted the issue

You’ve left off the other things I said about sharia.

you refuse to clarify a sensible point about your own statement- “people should be allowed to do what they like providing no one else get hurt’

It seems perfectly self explanatory to me. Is it that I didn’ say whether it was individuals or groups who should be free? Individuals. Groups are, of course, made up of individuals.

10 out of 10 British mosque web sites sampled are silent about on death for apostates : you brush it off ‘ That’s a whole lot of unsupported assertion that isn’t entirely relevant to the discussion”

I was referring to the whole comment, since I din’t want to get dragged off topic as I ended up being by crusade. That 10 out of 10 mosque websites are silent on the subject of death for apostates has nothin to do with whether musliculturalism is liberal.

In response to NEWS stories from around the world about violence and etc defended in the name of Islam, you brush it off saying: “these things are controversial because they’re heavily opposed by some within that culture”.

As well as a whole bunch of other stuff you’ve decided not to quote.

you agree that there seem to be things supported by senior Muslims and even governments in several Islamic countries saying “and it’s no coincidence that these places are all Muslim. The problem with this kind of argument is that it defines a particular culture one way”

So repeatedly, facts and evidence about problems with non-UK cultures are brushed off by you.

Not brushed off, rebutted with points you chose not to reproduce.

If you had been in less of a brush-off mode – you would have _started_ with saying you find it deplorable, and would be concerned at such views being expressed in the UK.

Enough with the pseudo-psychology please. If I say something is bad I mean it’s bad. I don’t mean that I am not concerned with certain views being expressed.

Explainig that to my former-Muslim friends – hospitalised twice and now having been forced out of my town – as a result of other Muslims in my town who beat them up for leaving Islam.

And hopefully those people will be arrested and charged.

It IS a part of UK Muslim culture.

And so is the idea that this sort of thing is deplorable. Which do you imagine is most common or representative?

But – it is also true that UK Mosques and Muslim organisations are NOT running a campaign to say that Apostasy is quite OK and deserves no punishment.

Did every Catholic church run campaigns against the IRA? Does that mean they supported the IRA, or does it mean that people can be opposed to things without conducting campaigns against them. In any case, what does this have to do with multiculturalism? This is illegal. What more do you want to be done?

…fits exactly Pagar’s thesis: the friction inherent in wanting to say that all cultures are equal, whilst the evidence is that some cultures do have decidedly non-liberal facets.

And we come full circle. ‘Multiculturalism’ does not necessarily mean wanting to say that all cultures are equal. And all cultures include decidedly non-liberal facets.

5cc – why are you continuing to engage with these idiots?

Don’t you find it laughable that, in 2010, there are still people who seriously put forward arguments (and I use the term in an explicitly comedic sense) such as those presented by Crusader and Just Visiting? You must have realised that there is as much chance of having a sensible exchange with them as there is with the chair of your local BNP branch or the average Taliban member. I use the Taliban analogy because I feel it’s appropriate. From what I’ve seen on this site, Just Visiting would be a credible candidate in any future leadership contest for a British branch of the christian Taliban, should they ever manage to put aside their factional differences and form one. He has the same attachment to a stone age view of the world which is largely untroubled by any intrusion of intelligence and a narrow minded and prejudiced view of any person or group who falls outside his little neolithic intellectual construct that he feels the need to attack them. He makes himself look ridiculous in the process but this doesn’t trouble him.

Idiots who make statements like:

“Yes of course it is true that most UK Muslims are not committing such violence.”

followed one line later by

“Yes it is true that many UK Muslims when asked would say they don’t approve.”

and actually think that they’re making some kind of point rather than demonstrating their own prejudice/bigotry are beyond help.

Here’s another classic:

“But – it is also true that UK Mosques and Muslim organisations are NOT running a campaign to say that Apostasy is quite OK and deserves no punishment.”

Which may, or may not, be true. In the same way, christian churches in the UK and America are not running campaigns against the following:

a. The idea that women are inferior to men, put on earth to serve them and inherently unworthy of holding most religious offices.

b. The use of violence and intimidation towards women using, and staff working in, abortion clinics

c. The promotion of idiotic ideas such as creationism, ID and young earth theory.

Should the absence of such campaigns be taken as evidence of christian support for such lunatic ideas? By Just Visiting’s logic it should.

The fact is that, in respect of islam and muslims, people like Just Visiting, Crusader etc adopt pretty much the same mind set as the BNP do in respect of anyone of a different “race.”

Nasty little bigots who are not worth your time, 5 cc.

5cc @ 228

Face it, you have nowhere left to run or hide. Your tedious device of ‘define this and define that’ has run out of road, and is clearly not even remotely genuine as despite your copious demands of others, you refuse to define the etymology of a single word yourself. (A device fully exposed by ‘Just Visiting’.)

Everything you have said in relation to Wilders has been false. He wasn’t banned because “he might incite hatred against them [Muslims]” nor was he banned because of the fear of violence from “far right mutjobs, obviously.”

The statement you used as evidence was no such thing as the government explicitly refused to comment on Wilders; that they released any statement at all after such a refusal is testament to the bizarre blend of malicious cowardice and amateurism that they routinely employ, but not a statement of purpose in the case of Wilders.

Equally the Foreign Secretary’s comments have been shown to be completely untrue.

The only official stance was the fear the event would cause “inter-faith violence” and that is religious violence, and when it comes to religious violence we all know who are the 21st century world leader no matter how many definitions you demand as a distraction.

You are completely wrong and have been proven completely wrong repeatedly along with every tedious device you have thrown up but still you persist with convoluted dialectic style strawmen ripostes.

Even when I managed to get you to admit that the term ‘human condition’ is a very common one with a very common meaning you still have to wriggle out of the fact that racism is a part of human existence and therefore a part of the ‘human condition’: “The human condition encompasses the totality of the experience of being human and living human lives.”

You have tried, quite fanatically, to defend a premise built of straw that couldn’t withstand a few puffs. But it was always indefensible and unfortunately for you, your ambition outweighs your ability.

‘RWF’ @ 230

To paraphrase Daniel Hoffmann-Gill, the very strange individual who appeared out the blue, just like you, and attacked me earlier, just like you, and made all sorts of conspiracy theory-esque accusations without any proof whatsoever, just like you:

“You sound very familiar….”

233. Just Visiting

5cc 229

> God, not another long reply.

Pot calling the kettle black?

You resort to ANOTHER strawman:

>Did every Catholic church run campaigns against the IRA? Does that mean they supported the IRA,

This is just a wrong and misleading analogy.
Did the IRA quote the words of Jesus in their statements? No.
Did the IRA say their worldview should be imposed worldwide. No
Did leaders of the catholic church in other countries support the IRA and say that what they do is in line with catholic theology. No.
Did catholic leaders around the world say that the worldd should become catholic and this should be enforced worldwide using the tactics of the IRA. No.

——-

Anyway, I said that your main contribution pre-crusade was very little – just wanting a definition of multicultural.

You’ve not disagreed with that.

On that basis, it seems you have been successful and stopping meaningful debate about the real issue that pagar started with.

And you’ve actually PROVED his argument.
The friction for liberals in saying some attributes of other cultures, is so great that the debate will be quashed.

234. Just Visiting

Lee Grifffin

Your post proves Pagar’s point. You want to shut down the debate, by raising a strawman.

> Every culture has decidedly non-liberal facets. I can’t believe this discussion is still going on.

The issue you and 5cc ignore – is what to do when an incoming culture has elements that a liberal world-view would not support.

So far, the best that has been allowed, is that if things are illegal, then enough is already done.

But this ignores realities like – in Sharia courts the witness of a women counts half of that of a man.
It’s not illegal if women apparently willingly submit to Sharia court.

But for a liberal, it raises concerns such as:
* how can we be sure that such women are really making a free choice
* would it be better to legislate about such ‘freely entered’ rules .
* is not challenging such cultural facets, in a sense sending a message that such things are acceptable to liberals.

Every culture has decidedly non-liberal facets. I can’t believe this discussion is still going on.

I’ve no desire to throw too many punches in this free-for-all, but this is a bit of a cop-out. All governments have non-liberal facets, but we’d still draw distinctions between, say – Norway and Libya.

234
FFS, you tell us what should be done JV, if the law is not the best answer,what is? – shoot them all at dawn?

Please show me where, in the UK, there is a larger muslim extremist contingent than there is an EDL/national front contingent and I’ll happily engage with this idiocy.

Lee Griffin @ 237

I am not sure who your comment is addressed to or how it relates, but here are a couple of videos showing sizeable Muslim demonstrations going far beyond anything we have seen in this country.

In the first video you will see a very sizeable gathering of Muslims publicly calling for decapitation, blood, murder, terrorism and demanding Sharia law for the UK; all in front of the police.

Far, far further then any EDL or NF protest has ever gone on any scale.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axgxyrBB31Y

The second video is of the scared police running away from hundreds of Muslims confronting them; and running away, and running away…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kp-lwSe2llg&feature=player_embedded

FFS, Ben Six, Lee Griffin, 5cc and steveb, do you really think you can engage in a debate with people like Just Visiting? I realise that this site is all about dialogue, the exchange of views on important issues etc but you surely must have realised that regardless of what you write, Just Visiting is not going to move from his position of “islamisbadandallmuslimssupporttheuseofviolence” or similar.

It doesn’t matter if you put forward a logically coherent argument. It doesn’t matter if you point out that his arguments are inconsistent and lack logic or that what he thinks is supporting evidence, just isn’t. He’s made his mind up and nothing will change that, least of all facts or logic. He has adopted his position on the basis of adherence to a body of thought that doesn’t have any support in evidence or logic, so appealing to those things really isn’t going to make a difference. It just surprises me that you’re continuing to try. It used to surprise me that Just Visiting is incapable of seeing that his arguments range in validity from little to none but, having seen it over and over again, it doesn’t any more. It is hard to see what motivates someone to stick, on a public forum like this, to such a hopeless debating position but I suspect that in this case the main factor is fear. Fear generated by the increasing lack of relevance of religion to most people’s lives coupled with the fact that, as christianity appears to be declining fairly rapidly, islam has at least the appearance of being an expanding religion. Mix in an existing predisposition towards hostility to anyone who is a bit too different and you’ve got the average religious fundamentalist twerp, ie Just Visiting.

Oh, and Crusader, I sound familiar do I? Well, that’s not surprising since I posted earlier on this thread. Or were you trying to imply that I’m Daniel Hoffman Gill? I’m not but, if I was, what difference would it make? Also, I didn’t make any conspiracy theoryesque allegations, I said that you and Just Visiting are religious bigots who are incapable of constructing logical arguments. People who engage in conspiracy usually demonstrate at least some intelligence, thus ruling you out.

I can’t believe this discussion is still going on.

Correct me if I’m wrong, Lee, but I believe @ 227 was your first comment on the thread and I rather think that what you are really saying is that you don’t wish to engage with this topic and would prefer it had never been raised.

Those that have engaged have done so by saying that it was a straw man attack or by asserting that the thesis was intellectually flawed or by asking for ever clearer definitions of the terms used. But all along, I have to say, this felt like wriggling on the hook and it has became increasingly obvious that the conundrum posed was a real one.

So I don’t really blame you for not engaging or for trying to shut down the debate. Sometimes fingers in the ears and a bit of lah lah lah is the smart response…..

‘RWF’ @ 239

I want implying anything; I was clearly saying that you have done exactly the same as the other aforementioned comments policy breaker: Appear out of nowhere to attack me with unsolicited abuse and groundless accusations.

You haven’t engaged in debate or addressed any of the points. All you have done is attack me personally with labels that you haven’t even bothered to try and justify with any sort of evidence.

I guess what I am really saying is that you are just another troll interested in thread wrecking and debate stifling, not in open honest engagement.

Crusade. I want figures, not anecdotes. Tell me how you know that muslim extremists as a percentage of the muslim population of the UK are of significantly greater number than extremist white’s (and this includes those people that seem to think returning to capital punishment is a good thing and other such illiberal beliefs) as a percentage of the white population of the UK.

Pagar: It was merely a statement of disbelief that as usual these sort of threads just don’t die. I guess right now I’m not helping 😉

Lee Griffin @ 242

Actually that isn’t what you asked for at all and you have now shifted the goal posts to something obviously unobtainable after being shown visual evidence of Muslim demonstrations comparable in size to the EDL demonstrations (do the NF march anymore?) and going far, far, far beyond the pale and far, far, far further then any EDL protest ever has.

You can’t answer the questions, and you continue to lamely dodge the points I put to you. I don’t think I need to waste any more of my time pointing out how weak your position is, since you’ll dodge and bluster and declare I’m wrong about everything without addressing my points again.

That speaks for itself more than any grandiose claims I could make about you being completely wrong and yadda yadda yadda.

nor was he banned because of the fear of violence from “far right mutjobs, obviously.

I’ve stated my position enough times in this thread for you to know what it is. I offered far right nutjobs as group involved in the violence, in response to your banging on about Christians, etc. not being expected to take to the streets and so on. You have to put just the ‘far right nutjob’ bit in quotes and not the rest of the sentence because I didn’t say the bit preceeding it. This is a litle dishonet.

Even when I managed to get you to admit that the term ‘human condition’ is a very common one with a very common meaning…

Long, long ago, in comment 206, I offered a definition of ‘the human condition’. You ignored this despite it being pointed out several times to you, and you still claim you ‘managed’ to get me to ‘admit’ to knowing what it meant, when I never even claimed not to. I can’t be arsed to restate the differences between the, a and a natural yet again. If you were really interested, you wouldn’t be pretending you got me to ‘admit’ to anything. You’d also see the difference in shifting what you’re talking about from one to another to another.

I’m not playing a a semantic game. I need to know what you mean, when you ask the question, and I need to offer as clear an answer as possible in order to avoid becoming the victim of a bait and switch, where you reintroduce the word ‘natural’ into the argument as if I agree that racism is ‘a natural human condition’, or something similar.

I also showed exactly why I refused to explain the etymology of ‘racism’ back in good old comment 206.

But it was always indefensible and unfortunately for you, your ambition outweighs your ability.

Heh. Nice to see you understand the meaning of ‘irony’.

“Actually that isn’t what you asked for at all and you have now shifted the goal posts to something obviously unobtainable after being shown visual evidence of Muslim demonstrations comparable in size to the EDL demonstrations (do the NF march anymore?) and going far, far, far beyond the pale and far, far, far further then any EDL protest ever has.”

It might not have been explicitly what I stated, but it is what I was asking for. Are you going to answer the question or shift the goalposts yourself?

Lee Griffin @ 246

No, you didn’t ask for it and yes, you have shifted the goal posts to something unobtainable.

However the closest we can get to the statistical information that you know is not officially available is through published studies, and here is the very disturbing results of two of them:

“….Academic Munira Mirza, lead author of the report, said: “The emergence of a strong Muslim identity in Britain is, in part, a result of multi-cultural policies implemented since the 1980s which have emphasised difference at the expense of shared national identity and divided people along ethnic, religious and cultural lines.”

The poll of 1,000 Muslims, weighted to represent the population across the UK, found that a growing minority of youngsters felt they had less in common with non-Muslims than their parents

While only 17 per cent of over-55s said they would prefer to live under Sharia law, that increased to 37 per cent of those aged 16 to 24…

…13 per cent of young Muslims said they “admired” organisations such as Al Qaeda which are prepared to “fight the West”

…The poll found that just 19 per cent of Muslims over 55 would prefer to send their children to Islamic state schools. That increased to 37 per cent of those aged 16 to 24.

If a Muslim converts to another religion, 36 per cent of 16-to-24-year-olds thought this should be punished by death, compared with 19 per cent of 55s and over.

According to the poll, 74 per cent of those aged 16 to 24 prefer Muslim women to wear the veil, compared with only 28 per cent of over 55s….

Source

“In the most comprehensive research of its kind to date, Prof Martin Innes, of the Universities’ Police Science Institute in Cardiff, led a team of researchers which carried out face-to-face and telephone interviews with more than 600 Muslims in London, Birmingham and Oldham.

They found that the radicalisation of young British Muslims was more widespread than previously feared, with “a disturbing proportion” expressing support for extremist elements…”

Source

“No, you didn’t ask for it and yes, you have shifted the goal posts to something unobtainable.”

Blah blah blah, you’re like a child.

“…13 per cent of young Muslims said they “admired” organisations such as Al Qaeda which are prepared to “fight the West””

So far you’re not exactly proving your point, are you?

239
Your are quite right RWF, I’d dropped-out of the debate, JV brought Islam into this thread at post 34, and despite many posters, in particularly 5cc, answering pagar’s original proposition, JV has rejected those answers.
It’s now time that JV puts forward his/her proposals of how we deal with cultural ideas that are not compatable with liberalism. Go on JV, we’re waiting.

5cc @ 245

You’re right about one thing only: You are wasting your time. The game is up. You have run out of road.

Everything you have claimed in your debate with me has been proven to be false. You have not made any real points or asked any real questions, just attempted to bury the flimsiness of your premise under lengthy convoluted dialectic style verbosity.

It wouldn’t fool any reasonable person and it doesn’t fool me.

Lee Griffin @ 248

I strongly suspected that you hadn’t come to engage in debate but to lower the exchanges down to a personal level and a farce and I see that is exactly what you are doing.

The new goal posts of ‘evidence’ you demand are unobtainable and you know that, so I really don’t think you are even remotely engaged in honest debate here.

When presented with the nearest to the ‘evidence’ you demand you then claim that 13% of young British Muslims supporting a terrorist organisation that exists to murder non-believers is of no concern or relevance.

You also ignore the fact that 36% of young British Muslims think that people who no longer choose to believe in Islam should be murdered; 37% of young British Muslims want to live under a legal system that stones women to death and cuts off heads and hands; 37% of young British Muslims totally reject multi-culturism and British values and want to segregate their children and force a secular education upon them and 74% of young British Muslims think woman shouldn’t be seen in public unless they are covered up from head to toe.

Just Visiting @223;

This is just a wrong and misleading analogy.
Did the IRA quote the words of Jesus in their statements? No.
Did the IRA say their worldview should be imposed worldwide. No

You’re moving the goalposts. You statred talking about apostasy and mosques not engaging in campaigns against it. I offered an example of Catholic churches not campaigning against the IRA. You’ve just introduced extra criteria that weren’t originallt present.

Anyway, I said that your main contribution pre-crusade was very little – just wanting a definition of multicultural.

You’ve not disagreed with that.

On that basis, it seems you have been successful and stopping meaningful debate about the real issue that pagar started with.

Having a definition of what you’re talking about is one of the most important things you need to start a discussion. Otherwise you could end up with the conclusion that musliculturalism isn’t liberal based only on discussing certain aspects of multiculturalism and certain definitions of the word, which ends up throwing the baby out with the bathwater. You don’t need to think all cultures are equal to believe in the need for a multicultural society.

Rather than shut down debate, I wanted it to start from the proper position.

And you’ve actually PROVED his argument.

Err…how, exactly?

The friction for liberals in saying some attributes of other cultures, is so great that the debate will be quashed.

I have no idea what that means.

Some people have asked why I bothered carrying on with crusade and Just Visiting when it was obvious neither was interested in proper, meaningful debate.

I think this is a bit harsh to Just Visiting.

As for crusade – I was originally dragged in after being pissed off with having my family threatened by another commenter – but it was interesting on one level to see the similarity between his conduct and that of fundamentalist Christians I’ve been in discussions with the past. Pretty much everything was there – from the attempted bait and switch with ‘natural human condition’ through the ignoring inconvenient questions, using common logical fallacies like saying ‘any reasonable person’, carrying on as if he’d proved a point he hadn’t, confusing assertion with evidence, overstating his contribution – right up to leaving the debate when it became too much by declaring victory.

I didn’t know for sure it would go that way from the beginning, and was intersted to see if it did. Sorry for allowing myself to get dragged so far off topic.

5cc @ 253

Very interesting grandiose Oscar style speech to God knows who. full of the devices you are noted for and replete with a new one of trying to link me with a Christian fundamentalist and a ‘death threater’ in order to discredit me personally.

Any reasonable person can look back over the exchange and see that everything you claimed was disproved and that you attempted to hide the fact that you had been demolished after the first comment by way of lengthy convoluted verbosity and detached from reality claims that your questions and points hadn’t been answered when you hadn’t actually produced any.

I haven’t left this debate, I have left you behind. You’re flimsy premise has been blown away and you with it. No point in beating a dead horse or humiliating you any further.

If you would care to comment on how the study above strongly suggests that a sizeable portion of young Muslims reject multi-culturism and British values in favour a theocracy of barbarity, oppression, murder and torture and how over 1 in 10 young British Muslims support terrorist organisations that exist solely to kill non-believers, we can continue with some semblance of debate.

Just don’t let your reaching ambition outweigh your limited ability this time.

“The new goal posts of ‘evidence’ you demand are unobtainable and you know that, so I really don’t think you are even remotely engaged in honest debate here.”

I think it’s funny that you admit there is nothing to prove what you’re spouting on here, yet it is supposedly me that isn’t engaging in honest debate…

Lee Griffin @ 255

You have directed yet another personal comment at me rather then engage in debate.

I have provided the very figures you demanded (thinking it would be impossible to obtain any such figures) and now you are unable to debate what they clearly mean.

As I said, I strongly suspected that you hadn’t come to engage in debate but to lower the exchanges down to a personal level and a farce and I see that is exactly what you are doing.

The figures you’ve given only show me spme Muslim figures. Why haven’t you done what I’ve asked and shown me that the “extremist” element of Muslim society in Britain is greater than that of the rest of Britain?

Keep on crying if it makes you feel better though, I’ll happily wait for you to provide some substance to your opinion.

Crusade @256:

Heh. I would rebut your comment, but I’ll let the irony of it including four or five of the seven elements I mentioned – right up to reusing the specific form of logical fallacy I mentioned – speak for itself.

And I have nothing to add to the discussion about extremist mulsims that Lee Griffin hasn’t already said.

259. Just Visiting

5cc 252

I’m sorry, but you made an analogy that does not make sense.

The IRA cannot in any meaningful way be compared with the Islamic common thread that apostates deserve to die – which is enshrined in law in many countries. And if not the death penalty, then other punishments in many others. And many Islamic scholars advocate the same based on Islamic theology.

I see no analogy.

260. Just Visiting

5cc 258

How about your view on the statistics Crusade’s introduced?

If pagar is right, then this may be diffcult for you to meaningfully engage.

261. Just Visiting

One last thing – can EVERYONE now lay off the ad hominen attacks… it’s not helping.

Just Visiting @259:

I see no analogy

Look harder. I’m done repeating myself in this thread.

Just Visiting @260:

As I said, I have nothing to say that Lee Griffin hasn’r already said.

Lee Griffin @ 257

I don’t really care about your ridiculous demands, I don’t actually answer to you; and in fact the onus is on you to prove that the figures you asked for and received do not amount to Muslims taking a much more extreme position then any other group, seeing as I met you half way in the face of such obvious dishonest maneuvering.

The fact is the videos I supplied far exceeded your first question and so you came up with the second one thinking it would end debate. And it hasn’t. In fact it has given new life to it.

A third of young British Muslims who would appear to have lived the majority of their lives in a country that claims to be a multi-cultural and diversity paradise completely reject the fundamental principles of multi-culturism and diversity and long for the very regimes and practices that their parents left behind.

One fact on extremism is that 74% of young Muslims think women should not be allowed out in public unless they are completely covered from head to toe, I doubt even you could claim that 74% of any other British group would have such an opinion and desire to oppress woman.

5cc @ 258

I agree with Just Visiting. These personal comments are not debate and they are not helpful, now considering Lee Griffin has not actually attempted any debate on these figures, perhaps you would care to?

265. Just Visiting

5cc 262

>> I see no analogy
> Look harder. I’m done repeating myself in this thread.

I’ve looked back.

I don’t see where you state the analogy between the IRA and the Islamic death penalty for apostates.

Crusade, it is you that is making the accusations on a culture and community, so the onus is on you to prove what you’re saying is more than just your opinion.

I think JV was also looking at you about the ad hominem stuff by the way, sorry to break it to you.

“The fact is the videos I supplied far exceeded your first question and so you came up with the second one thinking it would end debate. And it hasn’t. In fact it has given new life to it.”

If you say so, it’s a shame that you can’t understand a question when it’s given to you, and have to come up with this whole theatrical presentation to the reading world to cover up your lack of providing any evidence for your views.

Keep on acting the martyr, it’s entertaining. Just don’t fool yourself in to thinking anyone is actually treating what you’re saying as more than a baseless opinion.

JV
:Please answer the question raised in my post 249.

268. Just Visiting

5cc 262

> As I said, I have nothing to say that Lee Griffin hasn’r already said.

Errr, Lee has not actually enagaged with the statistics at all. he has simply said they are not exactly what he asked for….

He has not agreed with their content, not disagreed, not done a nuanced analysis. Not engaged one iota.

Lee is in this case is the embodiment of Pagar’s point.
Right from his weak opening line that others have also criticised, and through now to his unwillingness to address facts that are on the table.

5cc – are you also taking the line that you won’t discuss the content of these statistics one way or the other?

Lee Griffin @ 266

And yet more and more personal remarks and jibes rather then actual debate.

Why are you unable to debate the actual matter in hand instead of assigning views to me that I haven’t even espoused and insulting me personally?

I have proven all that I need to. The onus is on you to prove these figures do not represent that the biggest extremist group in the UK are Muslims. I contend that it does and that they are. If you contend differently then prove it. Until then, these facts remain to prove my contention.

Genuinely, don’t you find it shocking that 36% of young British Muslims think people that no longer believe in Islam should be murdered? Do you really think that sits well with British society and multi-culturism?

Or how about the fact 37% of young British Muslims want to live under a brutal and dominating legal system that not only completely rejects diversity and multi-culturism but stones women to death, cuts off heads and hands and even physically punishes women for being raped? What equivalent do you think this extreme desire has in British society?

Perhaps another debating point would be the 37% of young British Muslims who totally reject multi-culturism and British values and want to segregate their children and force a secular education upon them or the 74% of young British Muslims as discussed that think women shouldn’t be seen in public unless they are covered up from head to toe.

These barbaric attitudes and longings that they wish to impose upon all of us have no equivalent in the other groups in this country and you cannot prove that they do.

Cue more ad honimen in lieu…

JV I can’t engage with something until there is something to engage in. Crusade is pandering to the anti-muslim crowd with statistics that take no notice of ongoing trends from a biased position of being of a different culture. You cannot sit here and claim one culture is more extreme than another without backing it up, until the proof has been provided then it is just a prejudiced accusation.

Just for shits and giggles, where in that poll do the 13% of 16-24’s that admire Al Quaeda say that they would support further terrorist attacks on the UK? It’s one thing to admire the bucking of authority (and if you read the poll there is a definite spike in tradition anti-authority types like students in their idealistic support for bodies like AQ) with a disregard for how stupid that is, and another to be calling on further attacks on the UK. The question is loosely worded, and to a group of people that mainly see AQ as fighting for Muslims in Iraq who are being set upon by the West, not the other way around.

But we can’t let analysis of what was asked get in the way of a catchy statistic can we? I mean it’s not quite as sexy as the 0.3% of people that think Al Qaeda represents their views best, none of which were in the 16-24 bracket, is it?

As I said, prove your assertion that muslims are more extreme than non-muslims in the UK. Without doing it you’re just making straw men of your own.

271. Just Visiting

Steveb

“It’s now time that JV puts forward his/her proposals of how we deal with cultural ideas that are not compatable with liberalism.”

This completely misses the point.
The whole point of Pagar’s opener was that lIberal’s with a certain outlook find that very theme too much friction – and will therefore avoid it

If pagar’s thesis was wrong, this thread would have got into gear from the start on discussing exactly the ‘how we deal’ question.

Instead, the thread is testament to the lengths some on LC will go to AVOID such discussion. So much heat, so little light. So many adhominen attacks.

Until there’s an atmosphere of understanding of the NEED for thought on the ‘how to deal’ question – it’s hard to imagine how a sensible discussion of it on LC is possible.

“I have proven all that I need to”

You haven’t, no amount of pretty words and straw man arguments will take this away. Prove that Muslims are more extreme. Simple for someone as heavily invested in their beliefs as you, no?

JV, oh we’re discussing diversity and multiculturalism are we? here was me seeing 200+ comments of muslim bashing and thinking it was just muslim bashing. Silly me.

274. Just Visiting

Lee

> You cannot sit here and claim one culture is more extreme than another without backing it up, until the proof has been provided then it is just a prejudiced accusation.

Straw men.
It’s not about ‘one culture is more extreme than another’; it’s about what to do when an aspect of an incoming culture clashes with our liberal culture.

You seem unwilling to entertain even the POSSIBILITY that this clash could occur on any cultural aspect.

As evidenced by you not engaging seriously with the content of the facts (statistics) on the table.

Read the statistics, and give us you view on them – or else stop asking for better/different statistics, and admit that your position is based on your assumption that such conflict cannot occur.

275. Just Visiting

Lee 273

Your comment appears to say nothing to the thread, and be merely snide. IMHO

In what way did you think it would help move the discussion on?
Was there a point in there I missed?

271
But you haven’t avoided it have you JV, we are now on post 274. You have asserted that the law is not robust enough to deal with illiberal cultural beliefs/activities, so you have engaged. You are clear about our mistaken beliefs so you must have some of your own. I am only asking you to let us know what they are.

The simple problem with this argument, as abbreviated as it is, is its binary liberal/conservative underpinning. The nature of multiculturalism (its pros and cons) has advanced beyond this polarity and is a bit more nuanced.

Lee Griffin @ 270

Well over a third (37%) of young British Muslims want a legal system that punishes and executes homosexuals; executes atheists; executes religious converters; stones adulterous women to death on the say so of her husband and one other; physically punishes women for being raped; places women as second class citizens and demands that they cover up from head to toe and the medieval tyrannical list goes on and on.

I cannot think of any other group and in any such numbers that demands anything remotely near this unspeakable and alien barbarity and seeks to impose it not only on their own group but everyone else.

I also cannot think of a bigger rejection of liberalism, multi-culturism, diversity, British values and common humanity.

The fact that more the 1 in 10 (13% ) of young British Muslims admired organisations that were and are engaged in killing British service personnel as well innocent (non-believer) civilians is also a massive rejection of all of the above.

As is the fact over a third (36%) of young British Muslims want to murder people who stop believing in Islam.

And three quarters (74%) of young British Muslims think women are second class citizens to be forced into diabolical medieval costumes.

Again I cannot think of a bigger rejection of all the above values.

All of this despite the fact “the vast majority of Muslims (84 per cent) believed they had been treated fairly in British society.”

I cannot think of any other group that holds such a range of embedded and outrageously incompatible ideas with modern British society and certainly in such significant proportions. You claim that there are such groups and numbers but cannot prove it.

In fact you refuse to engage on the issue at all (and the real reason for that is hardly missed by anyone) and instead post comments and jibes about me personally. Why bother?

279. Just Visiting

Steve 276

You didn’t say which bits of my 271 you agreed with, and which you didn’t.

And don’t be under the illusion I have a magic solution to the problem – I don’t.

But I DO know that until LC is willing to admit the need to address the ‘how to deal’ question – that there is little chance of meanigful discussion of it here.

You yourself Steve entered this debate and revealed at once your lack of willingness to address it’s theme when you wrote: “I think you should be posting on Fascist Conspiracy.”

280. Just Visiting

crusades 278

I think Lee’s silence on the statistics is telling.
But you may wish to consider whether repeating the statistics at length too often is necessary.

It feels like the point is already won, so you could switch to ‘less is more’ mode.

But hey, who am I to criticise – some of my posts are not short!

I’ve stated what I believe about the statistics (that you’re both misrepresenting them to further your anti-muslim viewpoint), yet you’re still not giving me the proof I asked for. It surely would be so simple for a pair seemingly so learned in the case of muslim extremists versus non-muslim extremists as you have put across.

Keep avoiding what has been asked to be provided, though to be honest no-one here expected anything more of you. 🙂

“admit that your position is based on your assumption that such conflict cannot occur.”

You don’t even know my position, which is the most hilarious part of all this. I’m calling you guys out on your lack of being able to construct an argument that holds up to any empirical scrutiny.

283. Just Visiting

Lee

So you agree, that thus far you have not commented about the content of the statistics on the table.

I mean you have not commented on the statistics themselves.

JV. I have commented about the statistics, do you wish for some reading glasses? Meanwhile, I’m still waiting for your proof that Muslim extremism is greater than non-muslim extremism.

Crusade @264:

Lee Griffin has not actually attempted any debate on these figures, perhaps you would care to?

Lee Griffin has said plenty. And I have no desire to get into a debate with you considering your earlier conduct. Since it’ll end up with you declaring to have won the internets despite having done little but dodge, misrepresent positions and try to set lame bait and switch traps. You’re already starting with Lee. (See the first half of the sentence I’ve quoted).

Just Visiting @268:

are you also taking the line that you won’t discuss the content of these statistics one way or the other?

I’m taking the line that I’ve given twice now. I have nothing to add to what Lee Griffin is saying. You already know what I think should happen people in other cultures who get up to extreme things in a multicultural society since I’ve said it lots of times already.

279
You stated that the law was not robust enough to deal with illiberal activity, so what do you think can?
I admit that I don’t agree with many of your comments but I have outlined why I don’t agree and the main reason is that you appear to have a fascist view about culture.
Repeating negative claims about Islam hardly broadens the debate about culture and diversity, Islam is but one of many different cultural belief systems which you introduced to the debate
So, please, at least, give us some idea about how you would address an incoming illiberal culture.

5cc @ 285

I see you just had to make it personal yet again. Oh well. I should raised above it and be the better man yet again but this time its quid pro quoi, I am afraid.

Actually no Lee hasn’t “said plenty”, like you he has typed reams of words but said very little. But he hadn’t even done that at the point of your first comment, he had just refused to engage entirely.

And if by my conduct you are referring to my ability to demolish and disprove your flimsy contentions with ease, then yes, I can understand why you don’t fancy another round of humiliation.

At least I have taught you that your debating ambition far outweighs your debating ability and that you are not really very honest either and those are valuable lessons to learn. You should thank me really.

Lee Griffin @ 282

Actually what you asked was:

“Please show me where, in the UK, there is a larger muslim extremist contingent than there is an EDL/national front contingent and I’ll happily engage with this idiocy.”

And I did just that with two graphic videos. You didn’t like that at all.

So you thought you were being clever when you asked:

“Tell me how you know that muslim extremists as a percentage of the muslim population of the UK…”

And I did that too. And you didn’t like those figures either.

The second part to your deliberately dishonest question was thus:

“…are of significantly greater number than extremist white’s”

And that part is your job (although you might consider taking the erroneous racial language out of the mix) but I contend that the EDL has a stated core of 300 activists / members (1) and the NF had only 150 member in 2007 (2) so the two organisations together have only around 450 members. Maybe a handful more today but not significant numbers by any measure.

Whilst the 2001 census showed 1,591,000 Muslims resident in the UK (3) of which 18.2% are aged 16-24 (4) so roughly 300,000 and of those around 30,000 admire terrorist organisations that kill British soldiers and innocent civilians for the crime of being non-believers.

Around 110,000 want a legal system that punishes and executes homosexuals; executes atheists; executes religious converters; stones adulterous women to death on the say so of her husband and one other; physically punishes women for being raped etc etc

Around 108,000 want to murder people who no longer believe in Islam and around 222,000 view women as second class citizens to be forced into medieval costume.

Of course these figures will actually be significantly higher in 2010 but we can get the general flavour from these available statistics.

I think I have more then proved my point. Your point, if you really have one, is yet to be even remotely proven.

The ball is in your court Lee. The onus is on you.

1)

http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2009/aug/10/english-violence-militant-football-islamist

2)

http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0016/49111/National-Front-Statement-of-Accounts-2007_29250-21722__E__N__S__W__.pdf

3)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demography_of_the_United_Kingdom#Religion

4)

http://www.mcb.org.uk/library/statistics.php

Haha!

“At least I have taught you that your debating ambition far outweighs your debating ability”

Got to admire a man/woman with an overinflated sense of their own importance. *swoon*

Won’t you teach us some more, master? Like where the proof is for Muslim extremists being proportionally higher than non-muslim ones?

“And I did just that with two graphic videos. You didn’t like that at all.”

Oh no, I liked it. It was a very simplistic and misleading interpretation of what I wrote, as if what I wanted you to do was physically bring the muslims to my front door and pile them bums on shoulders in a visual display of how massive the muslim extremist threat is by comparison.

It’s ok if you have comprehension issues that mean you can’t use the conventional understanding of “show me” which usually (at least on places like this) means show me proof, evidence, facts. Not a video that you jerk off to each night.

Again. Show me the proof. Believe that I “didn’t like it at all”, if you like you can pretend I’ve got a very angry sad face.

>:(

There you go, now that you’ve got that one in the wank bank, how about you actually give us the proof? I’m not the one claiming one is bigger than the other, it is you. Back up your claims. I know you are completely oblivious to the way this works, I’d say look at how science works with claims and evidence but I know full well that you’re going to ignore that anyway and try to beat your chest some more over how you’ve made us all so very unhappy.

:'(

Crusade@287:

I can keep giving you shovels if you want to carry on digging and shouting “I WIN!”

292. Just Visiting

5cc

I’m asking for the 2nd time: You introduced the IRA into this thread, viz a viz the Islamic death penalty for apostates: but have not said what you think the analogy between these is.

293. Just Visiting

Lee 289 / 290

I asked earlier if EVERYONE could leave out the ad hominens.

Can I ask YOU personally now.

289/290 contain no purposeful points.

I’m sure you don ‘t want to leave the impression that you’re losing the debate and are not willing to admit it …. so leave out the ad hominens, stick to the substantive issues, and try to keep the tone neutral.

Otherwise, you are broadcasting to the whole thread that you have indeed lost the plot.

I’m asking for the 2nd time:…

Ooh. Get you. I’ve already explained why I mentioned the IRA. It was as an example of people of a religion doing something despicable and not being condemned by their churches for it. It was to show that not condemning something does not mean you support it. RWF offerdd more in 230, but you’ve completely ignored those.

Whether the IRA are as nasty as extremist musllims or not is an irrelevant distraction.

Especially, I should add, if the best evidence you’ve got of them not condemning it is that they don’t say anything about it on their website.

Lee Griffin @ 290

More personal remarks and jibes but no debate, Lee? Surely not? Not again?

I’m afraid that I have more then proven my point whilst you quite obviously are now just blatantly reduced to exactly what I said in the first place:

“I strongly suspected that you hadn’t come to engage in debate but to lower the exchanges down to a personal level and a farce and I see that is exactly what you are doing.”

All you have done really is to concede that your first question wasn’t even remotely genuine and neither was your second, as if we didn’t already know; and the second question is even more ridiculous then first and it is rooted in some pretty basic ignorance too describing the issue in racial terms when it is not by a long chalk.

At least I have educated on the error of that and you have now modified your position accordingly to “Muslim extremists being proportionally higher than non-muslim ones” instead of a “larger muslim extremist contingent than… extremist white’s”

Some progress. Not much. But some.

There are no winners here.

There are no winners here.

FFS Daniel.

That’s either incredibly profound, incredibly obtuse or you think you’re announcing the Lottery result.

Please explain.

I’m not claiming profundity, thread arbiter (I’m intrigued as to why you’ve felt the need to chip in here when plenty of horrendous stuff has slipped by ‘on your watch’ but still…), the pithy phrase is pretty self-explantory with regards to the content of this thread.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill @ 299

Well we can all certainly agree that you are not a ‘winner’ here only having contributed unsolicited abuse and unfounded allegations without even one attempt at substance or debate and so I think the real question should be why you felt the need to ‘chip in here’ again with such a ludicrously empty one-liner a day after the debate ended thus contributing absolutely zip to the thread once more.

As for me, I have certainly more then proved my points with facts, reason, logic and links and I can only imagine how ‘horrendous’ that must be for you, but that is debate and what debate is all about, whether you like it or not.
So I’ll ask you again:

Do you actually have anything of substance to say here? Anything to add to the debate at all? Which parts do you now claim are ‘horrendous’? Why are they ‘horrendous’? Can you prove these parts are not true? What insights into the debate do you offer? Any? If not, why are you even bothering?

@ Daniel

Whilst I clearly do not agree with all the comments on the thread, I asked you for an explanation of your comment because I wanted you to understand what you meant.

My supposition is that you feel the topic is not worthy of debate- that it is an area that should somehow be taboo. As I said above, I can understand why the issue raised may be problematical for some but cannot agree with your prohibiting discussion or adjudicating the outcome.

pagar:

Your interpretation of my comment is wrong, not sure why I have to spell it out for you but here goes:

There are no winners here, means that the level of the debate here, the things people are saying and the format in which it is taking place and the people leaving the comments themselves are not winners.

Even though some people are acting as if it is possible to win here, when it is not.

Hope that helps.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill @ 302

Again it begs the question of why you are bothering to post such ludicrously empty comments here now after the debate has ended when you had ample opportunity to take part in the actual debate itself when it was ongoing rather then just pip in for unsolicited abuse and silly accusations that did absolutely nothing but lower the level that you now seem so concerned about.

You didn’t contribute one item of substance to the debate because you didn’t take part in the debate so it is patently absurd that you now feel qualified to make adjudications on this debate.

I suspect that Pagar has hit the nail on the head with his supposition that it is the prohibition (and I say derailment) of debate on a subject that you find a taboo that is your motivation and that that was what your earlier abuse and allegations were designed to do, as I said at the time.

Once more do you actually have anything of substance to say here?

Do you have anything to add to the debate at all?

Which parts do you now claim are ‘horrendous’? Why are they ‘horrendous’? Can you prove these parts are not true? Can you even attempt to justify any of your comment?

What insights into the debate do you offer? Any?

If not, why are you even bothering?

Checks back in:

See’s there is still none of the proof he asked for, and yet more whining, including by his new dad Just Visiting who seems like he’s about to get his grounding hat on.

Will check back again later.

Lee Griffin @ 304

You check back in, issue a few more personal remarks rather then any substance, and again totally ignore comment #288 that goes way beyond even the ridiculous ‘proof’ you asked for and destroys your premise totally.

I have more then proved my point. Your point, if you really have one, is yet to be even remotely proven.

The ball is in your court Lee. The onus is on you.

Bear that in mind when you check back in again.

I wonder if the reason that crusade likes the word onus so much is Freudian?

Yet more personal remarks and no substance Lee? Well I never.

I suppose after you were pulled apart at length on comment #288 you need something to cling on to in lieu of any substantive, meaningful and honest debate.

Do check back in soon and find that you have still been thoroughly shredded and have been unable to address it.

Yes crusade, I was pulled apart. You can tell all your friends this in your life. Your comparing of chalk and cheese proved the world to me and I am unable to get over the shredding I have received.

Lee Griffin @ 308

Once again, Lee, you issue just more personal remarks, hot air and not one iota of substance.

Allow me to summarise the evidence that pulled your disingenuous question apart:

“Please show me where, in the UK, there is a larger muslim extremist contingent than there is an EDL/national front contingent and I’ll happily engage with this idiocy.”

The EDL has a stated core of 300 activists / members (1) and the NF had only 150 member in 2007 (2) so the two organisations together have only around 450 members. Maybe a handful more today but not significant numbers by any measure.

Whilst the 2001 census showed 1,591,000 Muslims resident in the UK (3) of which 18.2% are aged 16-24 (4) so roughly 300,000 and of those around 30,000 admire terrorist organisations that kill British soldiers and innocent civilians for the crime of being non-believers.

Around 110,000 want a legal system that punishes and executes homosexuals; executes atheists; executes religious converters; stones adulterous women to death on the say so of her husband and one other; physically punishes women for being raped etc etc

Around 108,000 want to murder people who no longer believe in Islam and around 222,000 view women as second class citizens to be forced into medieval costume.

Of course these figures will actually be significantly higher in 2010 but we can get the general flavour from these available statistics.

Your question has been fully answered with proof, Lee, and I have clearly satisfied your ‘caveat’ so now either fulfil your threat / promise to ‘engage’ or admit that you have nothing but personal remarks to make in lieu of adult debate.

1)

http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2009/aug/10/english-violence-militant-football-islamist

2)

http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0016/49111/National-Front-Statement-of-Accounts-2007_29250-21722__E__N__S__W__.pdf

3)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demography_of_the_United_Kingdom#Religion

4)

http://www.mcb.org.uk/library/statistics.php

310. Just Visiting

Crusades

Lee in very post just reveals more that he has lost the debate and won’t talk it calmly.

But there’s no need to kick him when he’s down!

A more persuasive point can often be made by saying less.
Or by moving the debate onwards.

311. Just Visiting

In the interests of moving the debate forewards then:

So far pagar has been proved right and there has been oodles of effort expended to avoid discussion of the issue of how to deal with incoming cultures that have facets that liberals would not approve of.

How about we flip that on it’s head?

To any silent readers (still left eh?) out there:

What would it take for you to be happy to say ‘yes now is the time we liberals should have a discussion about the concerns about an incoming culture’.

What evidence would trigger that?
What violence?
What public statements
What kind of ‘things’ would happen that would make the discussion a good and timely one to be had?

FYI:

Comment 302 was directed at pagar, just incase some people aren’t too sure on that one, just incase putting pagar at the top wasn’t enough of a clue.

313. Just Visiting

Here’s a news story from today – that might get any sensible Liberal pondering and debating cultural differences.

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2010/03/22/malaysia-women039s-group-sued-over-039islam039-name.html

“Muslim activists filed a lawsuit Monday against a Malaysian women’s group, asking it to remove the word “Islam” from its name on the ground that it misleads people to believe it speaks for all Muslims.

“The suit against Sisters in Islam, one of the most well-known nongovernment groups in this Muslim-majority country, comes after it angered conservative Muslims by criticizing Islamic Shariah laws that allow the caning of women for offenses such as drinking alcohol.

“Numerous Muslim groups have in recent months accused Sisters in Islam of misinterpreting religious principles, highlighting a divide between Muslims who demand strict enforcement of Islamic morality laws and others who fear religious intolerance is threatening the moderate practice of their religion.

“The lawsuit was filed by Malaysian Assembly of Mosque Youths, whose leader, Mohammad Nawar Ariffin, said Sisters in Islam never obtained formal approval for the name with the government’s registrar of societies.

“The use of the word ‘Islam’ in names must be restricted and protected,” Mohammad Nawar told The Associated Press. “The so-called Sisters in Islam uses the word to attract attention, but it issues statements that contradict what other Muslims believe. It causes confusion among Muslims who might think that the group represents Islam.”

“Established in 1988, Sisters in Islam has long been the most outspoken advocate of reforms involving Muslim laws that allegedly fail to protect the rights of women, such as regarding polygamy and child marriages. Its official name is SIS Forum (Malaysia), but it uses Sisters in Islam on its Web site and publications.

“Sisters in Islam’s troubles with other Muslim groups began last year when it tried to stop authorities from caning a woman who was sentenced by an Islamic court for drinking beer in public. Since then, three other Muslim women have been caned for having extramarital sex, the first time the punishment has been carried out on Malaysian women.

314. Just Visiting

I know, I know: news stories aren’t everyone’s cup of tea: but …
this seems relevant too:

Shia and Sunni lay aside differences in common Jihad goal – to kill Americans.

“Shi’ite Iran had long opposed the Sunni-dominated Taliban. The reason for the change was summarised by one Taliban commander who said of the Iranians: “Our religions and our histories are different but our target is the same. We both want to kill Americans.”

Iranians train Taliban to use roadside bombs:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/article7069779.ece

It seems that, at last, this thread has died a natural death and I am not writing this post with the intention of reviving it (please not) but to try to give it some closure. So often, good threads are just left to expire in the virtual desert, their corpses stuck in the amber of the google cache, and I wanted to try to bury this one properly. To give it an epitaph.

A few thanks first- to Donpaskini for posting what he always believed to be a strawman argument and to 5cc for the spirited resistance to the proposition. Thanks to Just Visiting for his indefatigable research and to Crusade for putting an anti-Islamist argument with more coherence and clarity than I have ever seen.

And apologies to Lee Griffin for accusing him of lack of engagement!!!!

Part of the point of posting in blogs is to explore ones own views and opinions and, sometimes, to have them changed. In the original post and in subsequent comments I was very careful to avoid any mention of Islamism. And for two reasons.

Firstly, it would have detracted from the more general argument about mutliculturalism.

Secondly, I was concerned about being perceived as a racist.

On reflection, I think I fell into the very trap I was suggesting liberals fall into so often- of not being prepared to confront difficult issues for fear of causing offence to others. Because, if I am honest, to talk about the anti-liberal complexion of other cultures in the UK without referring to Islamism was being disingenuous. In truth, Islamism is the elephant in the room.

So let’s all be more honest in future about confronting things that we, as liberals, believe to be wrong. For example, JV pointed out that women in Malaysia accused of adultery and drinking alcohol have been publicly caned.

OK, here’s a start, I’m going to say it.

That’s wrong.

316. Just Visiting

Pagar

Thanks for the kind words, and a fitting epitaph indeed.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. isterika

    A criticism of multiculturalism from a point of view I somewhat share http://bit.ly/dpTyUs

  2. Renée Doiron

    Provoking your thought on multiculturalism–some really important points: http://liberalconspiracy.org/2010/03/15/against-multiculturalism/

  3. SOCIALIST UNITY » ISLAM AND ISLAMOPHOBIA

    […] British politics. For example look at this decidedly illiberal discussion on Liberal Conspiracy, “Against Multi-culturalism”  or the claim by Dave Osler that Islamic doctrine, in what he calls its “maximalist […]





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