Why do lefties keep ignoring the threat of the Taliban to Pakistanis?


10:15 am - October 13th 2012

by Sunny Hundal    


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The New York Times made a poignant and very worrying documentary in 2009 on how the Taliban were ruling parts of Pakistan and had issued a command that all girls should stop attending schools.

The documentary has resurfaced because the NYT then interviewed an 11-yr old Malala (see box) saying she really wanted to go to school and become a doctor.

Malala Yousafzai is now in critical condition and yet the Taliban have vowed to kill her anyway.

A 15-year-old girl who was wounded alongside Ms. Yousafzai described how easily the Taliban had been able to attack the school bus. “A young man in his early 20s approached the bus and asked for Malala,” the girl, Kainat Riaz, said in an interview at her family’s home in Swat. “Then he started firing.”

What frustrates me about all this is that while left-wingers in the US and UK constantly criticise US drone attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan – there is virtual silence on what to do about the Taliban.

Let me be clear: I think the drone attacks are counter-productive and also end up hitting a lot of innocent people. And they set an awful precedent for other countries to also use them in foreign territory.

But the Taliban always have been and always will be a much greater threat to Pakistanis than the US.

The Taliban aren’t just a threat to Pakistanis but the entire region. Controlling Pakistan would mean controlling its nuclear weapons and outright confrontation and war with India. And I’m not exaggerating either.

So here’s my question: once the US withdraws from Pakistan by 2014 (assuming Obama gets re-elected, rather than Romney) – do we just ignore the Taliban? Because that is what lefties seem to want to do.

Do we ignore that the Taliban want to subjugate and control Pakistan and Afghanistan, through funding from extremists groups in the Middle East. Do we ignore the fact that they want women banned from public life there and deny them even education?

Of course I’m not calling for an invasion of Pakistan to root out the Taliban. But I’m asking: should we ignore them and leave the region at it? What happened to solidarity with the Pakistanis against the Taliban? Do we ignore them until the region blows up into a nuclear stand-off?

We focus on US actions because we can influence them more than Pakistani govt action. But this is the easy way out for two reasons: the US will never be a threat to Pakistanis on a scale like the Taliban. Secondly, it ignores the longer term threat to Pakistanis.

The Taliban were there before 9-11, so the argument that without the drone attacks they would melt away is fatuous.

They are religious extremists and want Pakistanis subjugated to their extremist version of Islam regardless of who the Prime Minister is. The United States did not create them. And they will be there a long time after the United States leaves. What then?

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Story Filed Under: Blog ,Foreign affairs ,South Asia ,Terrorism ,United States

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Reader comments


1. So Much For Subtlety

Of course I’m not calling for an invasion of Pakistan to root out the Taliban. But I’m asking: should we ignore them and leave the region at it? What happened to solidarity with the Pakistanis against the Taliban? Do we ignore them until the region blows up into a nuclear stand-off?

A reasonable article that has a lot of questions that should be answered. But if you’re not calling for an invasion of Pakistan, nor can you tolerate drone strikes, what do you think should be done?

The solution that is available to us is to copy the policy we know works. Israel built a Fence, terrorism went down. India is building a similar fence in Kashmir. We should build one, a virtual one, too. That means a total boycott of all travel between Britain and Pakistan. An end to trade. British passports should not be valid for Pakistan. Nor should Pakistanis – not even an Ambassador – be allowed to enter the UK. At worst it would be educational.

If not that, what?

2. Man on Clapham Omnibus

I think the general concern regarding drones are they a means of indiscriminately killing innocent people, hence anyone in the radius of a suspect is deemed a target. They are also part of a time honoured strategy of the US in their attempts in controlling the world. I wonder what may have happened in Tony and George hadn’t destabilised the area.

As to what lefties should do or think, I would suggest that the right to self determination might be a good place to start.

Of course, Sunny given you’re in the US at the moment you could always see if someone over there can dust of an old supply of agent orange. Ye Ha!

3. Chaise Guevara

I think we spend more time denigrating US actions in the Middle East because that’s considered a contentious topic in the UK. In other words, there’s an argument to be had. Whereas focusing on the Taliban would be like writing article after article explaining why we don’t like the Nazis. It’s bloody obvious.

4. Man on Clapham Omnibus

@1

‘The solution that is available to us is to copy the policy we know works. Israel built a Fence’

I don’t think a fence built by an invading force is ever a solution. I don’t think fences stop rockets either!

Perhaps the US could still support Pakistan if not actively engage in any combat? I agree that using drones to attack the Taliban are counter productive because of the of civilian casualties they cause, but perhaps they could still use drones for reconnaissance as well as providing satellite images, to provide Pakistan with the intelligence they need to deal with the Taliban themselves.

I work with a number of British Asian Muslims. Every one of them loathes the Taleban and regards everything the Taleban stands for as a travesty.

Any potential war against Islamic extremism and its illiberal consequences cannot be fought with drones or, indeed, any other kind of weapons.

The war will be fought instead in the minds of millions of individual Pakistanis who will decide what they believe and what kind of society they want.

And it’s hard to see how assassinating 14 year old girls will be persuasive to them of the righteousness of one side of the argument.

8. Dick the Prick

TBF – it’s not just lefties that ignore it, us righties get awfully tied up in knots too.

Imran Khan (ignorance modifier applied) seems to be a good lad. More power to his elbow.

Perhaps Pakistanis would be less likely to support the Taliban if the US stopped the drone attacks!

10. the a&e charge nurse

Fukuyama says fundamentalist islamic groups like the taliban will eventually fade, not least because there has not been a single successful state that has organised itself on such a backward, medieval model – I suppose one question is whether or not a nuclear conflict arise before this process finally plays out?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=px4np1wKaS8

Talking openly about religious fruitcakes like the taliban is often subverted by the tendency to argue that it is being done so primarily to ‘demonise’ all muslims.

As the Hitch said – religion poisons everything.

“Why do lefties keep ignoring the threat of the Taliban to Pakistanis?”

Roughly 4,000 miles, as the crow flies probably, has a lot to do with it.

“…while left-wingers in the US and UK constantly criticise US drone attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan”

while some left-wingers in the US and UK… – some people’s view of the whole shebang, regardless of their political position, has settled firmly on wishing for a plague on both their houses.

And let’s not forget also that for some people the overriding feeling they get when someone starts talking up the threat posed by a foreign organisation to a country a long way away from the UK is a combination of ‘haven’t we been here before?’ and ‘that didn’t turn out anything like what we were told at the time’.

I’m not suggesting that you’d don’t have a point, Sunny, just pointing out that you have a tough sell on your hands not least because we still live in country in which the relative severity of bad things happening overseas is largely determined by presence, or absence, of British citizen amongst the casualties.

The Talenan emerged from a group known as the Mujahadein didn’t they? So they should really have “made by USA” stamped on them – a classic example of that countries incompetence and duplicity worldwide!

That said, are they going to continue helping Pakistan deal with the monster they unleashed? I hope so, without using predator drones to make yet more Taleban…

This is absurd. It’s not our country and not our business.

I’d abolish the armed forces so cynical politicians couldn’t keep dragging us into imperialist wars – we’ve not fought a worthwhile war since WW2.

15. the a&e charge nurse

[13] ‘This is absurd. It’s not our country and not our business’ – so people can be horrendously persecuted so long as it’s not within a 200 mile radius?

I would say it is our business even if it’s very difficult to influence this type of barbarism.

Following our Twitter conversation earlier; have you considered that some Left Wingers (& even Right Wingers) don’t have an opinion on Pakistan & Taliban because they don’t understand it?

Many Westerners assume the regional issues are religious but don’t care to discuss it because they are afraid of the minefield of discussing religion.

Many probably are unaware of the more secular leaning military; which curiously helped fund religious groups for Kashmir and other conflicts.

Whilst I agree with you the Taliban are dangerous and a nasty bunch of religious thugs; would western intervention improve things?

If you could persuade me that teaching science and history to kids in Pakistan would negate the religious problems I’d volunteer; but isn’t this a case of the solution needing to come from within Pakistan not from without? Feel free to correct me by the way this is more of a question than a statement (as before on Twitter).

I’m also worried that we may go back to the nightmare of the 70’s with Europe and the US running a paternalistic interference in the growth and evolution of other nations politics. After Iran and the continued tolerance of the monstrous House Of Saud who are equally vile as the Taliban; surely the West needs other mechanisms to help protect women and children from this kind of culture?

The question is how? I honestly don’t think the Left are ignoring it as much as they have no idea how to handle the inherent violent stupidity of fundamentalism. At least the Neo-Cons have a view on it?

In discussing Pakistan there is the bigger challenge of facing up to the injustices religion brings. Marx knew it; but years of pandering to religious groups has weakened that understanding perhaps?

Also as a proud Lefty I dislike generalisations that are patently not true. Yes there is a lot of hand-wringing and religious apologism but that’s from closet Tories on the Left aka Blairites and Lib Dems.

But I’m asking: should we ignore them and leave the region at it? What happened to solidarity with the Pakistanis against the Taliban?

It’s up to the pakistani government to deal with that threat, and foreign intervention — such as drone attacks — is likely to be counterproductive. It would make sense for the West to help by giving technical assistance, training, intelligence, etc.

@1

Wouldn’t treating all Pakistanis as potential terrorists by refusing to let them enter the UK just create more recruits for the Taliban? It would give the terrorists a real propaganda coup.

And how would an end to trade help Pakistan defeat the Taliban?

19. Chaise Guevara

@ 15 a&e

“so people can be horrendously persecuted so long as it’s not within a 200 mile radius?

I would say it is our business even if it’s very difficult to influence this type of barbarism.”

Agreed. That “I’m all right, Jack” attitude is even more annoying when it’s disguised as humility.

Thank you for this, Sunny. I entirely agree.

Afaik the problem Pakistan has is that the presence of the Taliban on its soil suits the agenda of official agencies such as the ISS. The depth of intrigue and corruption in that poor country is breathtaking. Perhaps this is somewhere the West can play a role in changing: no bombs and troops but support in creating a strong democracy with rule of law.

21. Shatterface

As to what lefties should do or think, I would suggest that the right to self determination might be a good place to start.

The ‘right to self determination’ should include the right of girls to get an education. There’s no ‘self determinatation’ where violent psychopaths define the limits of your choices.

This is absurd. It’s not our country and not our business.

Neither is Scotland. I suspect that most of the Taliban’s victims belong to the same species as I do so a degree of empathy is justified.

I must admit some amusement that the attitudes of many above commenters who I respect could be echoing those demonic US Neocons. Christopher Hitchens led the way now bring followed: what is the point of power if we do not use it progressively?

Perhaps LC has caught up at last.

An incredibly stupid write-up where you so explicitly have no clue what you’re talking about. Im sure you dont even know the diference between Taliban and TTP. Why weren’t ‘the Taliban’, as you put it, a problem for Pakistan before the US went crazy with its drone attacks?

You’ve so clearly steered clear of the US’ involvement in creating TTP and condoning India’s illicit activities in whatever little portion the US controls in Afghanistan.

It may not have even made news in the back page of the newspaper you read but when Pakistan army launched operations against these US backed groups, they found ‘uncircumcized’ deadbodies these proxy fighters left behind. Uncircumcised men aren’t Muslims, FYI.

Pakistan’s nuclear arsnel is more secure than that of the US, India or the UK. UK, France helped assist Israel make the bomb, so in a way, they practically presented the weapons to the terrorists. The US has so many Israeli spies working on its nuclear programme. India got a couple of its nuclear scientists kidnapped and killed not too long ago where supposedly ‘something’ was stolen from these scientists as well.

So what I’m trying to say is that I wasted 2 minutes in reading your illogical, baseless write-up and I’m sorry.

This blog is so Decent Left now. It didn’t used to be, but I guess left-wingers moving right is a common thing.

25. So Much for Subtlety

23. Shaista

Why weren’t ‘the Taliban’, as you put it, a problem for Pakistan before the US went crazy with its drone attacks?

Because the Taliban were in the pay of the Pakistani government which created, armed and funded them. Why else?

It may not have even made news in the back page of the newspaper you read but when Pakistan army launched operations against these US backed groups, they found ‘uncircumcized’ deadbodies these proxy fighters left behind. Uncircumcised men aren’t Muslims, FYI.

Which simply proves the Pakistani Army is full of liars. But we knew that.

Pakistan’s nuclear arsnel is more secure than that of the US, India or the UK.

How do you know?

UK, France helped assist Israel make the bomb, so in a way, they practically presented the weapons to the terrorists.

No they did not, and even if they did, how is that even remotely like giving weapons to terrorists?

So what I’m trying to say is that I wasted 2 minutes in reading your illogical, baseless write-up and I’m sorry.

Well there’s the door. Don’t let it hit you on the way out.

26. So Much for Subtlety

2. Man on Clapham Omnibus

I think the general concern regarding drones are they a means of indiscriminately killing innocent people, hence anyone in the radius of a suspect is deemed a target.

Then the problem is that the Left believes liars.

They are also part of a time honoured strategy of the US in their attempts in controlling the world.

And this would be a bad thing because …. ?

I wonder what may have happened in Tony and George hadn’t destabilised the area.

Because, of course, Afghanistan was a barrel of laughs before George W was elected.

As to what lefties should do or think, I would suggest that the right to self determination might be a good place to start.

Great. But as it is irrelevant, what useful contribution do you think you have just made? No one is interfering with their right to self determination. Except Pakistan which is trying to control Afghanistan through proxies I suppose.

3. Chaise Guevara

I think we spend more time denigrating US actions in the Middle East because that’s considered a contentious topic in the UK.

And because a large proportion of the Left is so delusional they define their world view by whatever hates America.

Whereas focusing on the Taliban would be like writing article after article explaining why we don’t like the Nazis. It’s bloody obvious.

No it isn’t. Not for the British Left which has had a sizeable pro-Taliban feeling for some time. That is why the Guardian could happily published people like Dilpazer Azam or Tammimi or Faisal Bodi and so on.

4. Man on Clapham Omnibus

I don’t think a fence built by an invading force is ever a solution. I don’t think fences stop rockets either!

We’re a bit far from Pakistan for rockets and of course fences work for everyone. Israel’s fence is partly in the Occupied Territories which you would define as the result of an invasion.

5. Ricardo

Perhaps the US could still support Pakistan if not actively engage in any combat?

Assuming anyone in Pakistan dislikes the Taliban.

I agree that using drones to attack the Taliban are counter productive because of the of civilian casualties they cause

The civilian casualties are propaganda. The locals do not give a flying copulating rodent’s posterior about them. As can be seen by the total lack of protest about the enormously higher death toll from terrorist bombs.

6. William Thirsk-Gaskill

I work with a number of British Asian Muslims. Every one of them loathes the Taleban and regards everything the Taleban stands for as a travesty.

That is interesting, but opinion polls of British Asian Muslims suggest that actually the Taliban are not that unpopular at all. Certainly not the things they want.

Well if it’s that serious, maybe Pakistan has to give up it’s nuclear weapons. And end it’s beef with India.
It should be concentrating on it’s own problems and not be trying to compete with its much more successful neighbour. And that means to stop causing trouble in Kashmir and all the rest of it. Accept that it’s almost a failed state and have a government that works to improve the lives of its own people and nothing else. Then India won’t be a threat to it and Afghanistan can be left to find it’s own way too, without Pakistan feeling they have meddle there.
How’s that?

Strange. When an extremist shoots a Pakistani girl in the head, everyone condemns Pakistan and muslims. But when an extremist shoots an American congresswoman in the head, nobody challenges the underlying assumptions of American society. The actions are equally atrocious and contemptible, but the establishment narrative built round them stinks of political opportunism.

Please, Sunny, drop this old and irritating habit imported from the dark days of the Decent Left.

Say you want to raise some valid and important issue, call it X.

But instead of just writing about X, you needlessly frame it as an assault on some monolithic “Left”.

_Why has The Left failed on X??_

Then – inevitably – the comments thread focus less on X than on the general state of “The Left”, giving licence to wankers like So Much For Subtlety to explain at egregious length that the reason “The Left” has failed on X is that “The Left” is generally awful and treacherous, etc., etc..

Meanwhile the perfectly legitimate topic you wanted to raise gets lost in the fracas.

30. the a&e charge nurse

[28] ‘When an extremist shoots a Pakistani girl in the head, everyone condemns Pakistan and muslims. But when an extremist shoots an American congresswoman in the head, nobody challenges the underlying assumptions of American society’ – what an utterly puerile, and irrelevant comparison.

Jared Lee Loughner went off his rocker after his girlfriend dumped him and he turned to drugs, especially ‘salvia divinorum’, a plant with potent psychoactive properties that cause hallucinations.

The hit on Malala Yousafzai (a 14-year-old education activist) was sanctioned by a religious group (sic) as a means to deter other young women from learning – presumably because the knowledge inherent in education represents some kind of threat to their particular brand of islam.

Orchestrated intimidation, and murder in the name of god is quite a different matter to some loser who could not cope with personal rejection, and then his own propensity for illicit drug use.

31. Chaise Guevara

@ SMFS

“And because a large proportion of the Left is so delusional they define their world view by whatever hates America.”

How large? How do you know?

“No it isn’t. Not for the British Left which has had a sizeable pro-Taliban feeling for some time. That is why the Guardian could happily published people like Dilpazer Azam or Tammimi or Faisal Bodi and so on.”

Publishing a large range of opinion =/= agreeing with said opinion. If it did, the Times would be schizophrenic.

Your insatiable hunger for generalisations is letting you down again.

32. Chaise Guevara

@ 29 Larry

+1

One of the worst features of the blogosphere is that it gives free rein to people like Sunny to write opinionated crap about subjects into which they haven’t bothered to carry out the most elementary research and of which they consequently know nothing.

The additional problem here is that Sunny wants to justify his support for the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. So he produces drivel like this.

He tells us “the Taliban want to subjugate and control Pakistan and Afghanistan”, which completely ignores the fact that the Afghan and Pakistan Taliban are very different entities that have for years pursued conflicting strategies.

The Afghan Taliban want to rid their country of foreign occupation. They have no desire to control Pakistan and are opposed to the methods (military conflict with the Pakistani army, terrorist attacks on civilians) of the groups that operate under the name of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan.

The Afghan Taliban leadership have repeatedly called on the TTP to cease their armed struggle in Pakistan and concentrate instead on resisting the occupation of Afghanistan. The TTP leaders sometimes signal their agreement with this but then proceed to ignore it. The TTP is in any case a highly fragmented movement and attempts to get its constituent groups to agree on a unified strategy are probably futile.

Sunny asserts: “The Taliban aren’t just a threat to Pakistanis but the entire region. Controlling Pakistan would mean controlling its nuclear weapons and outright confrontation and war with India.”

The chances of the TTP ever overthrowing the government in Islamabad, seizing state power and getting their hands on nuclear weapons are precisely zero. The TTP has a base in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas but nowhere else in Pakistan. The TTP leaders themselves know this quite well – their aims are limited to controlling the FATA.

Sunny’s warning that “once the US withdraws from Pakistan by 2014″ (presumably he means from Afghanistan) this will allow the Taliban to conquer the entire region is, for the reasons explained above, the purest fantasy. The only result withdrawal will have is that the US may then cease carrying out the drone strikes in border areas of Pakistan that are one of the main reasons why the TTP has any base of support there at all.

‘But the Taliban always have been and always will be a much greater threat to Pakistanis than the US’.

Someone should tell Pakistanis, because they appear not to be aware of that. Poll after poll shows that Pakistanis consider the U.S. a bigger threat than the Taliban by huge margins. See:

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2009-11-19/pakistan/28079102_1_pakistanis-taliban-gallup-pakistan

They also overwhelmingly reject Western military intervention in both Pakistan and Afghanistan:

http://www.pewglobal.org/2011/06/21/u-s-image-in-pakistan-falls-no-further-following-bin-laden-killing/

What they appear to want is economic and humanitarian aid, not bombs and military occupation.

@a&e charge nurse

I am confused, how can any psychoactive substance make someone a killer without the necessary imagery from upbringing, it is just a chemical after all. I don’t blame alcohol for rapists and wife batterers, I blame said rapists and wife batterers! So what kind of upbringing would result in someone becoming either, or joining the Taleban for that matter?

Something psychoactive, or a psycho? Which makes a killer, or a rapist or any other aspect of evil? In the real world it is not a mere chemical…

36. the a&e charge nurse

[34] ‘how can any psychoactive substance make someone a killer’ -whatever was bubbling under in Loughner’s mind when he pulled the trigger it seems his use of alcohol and drugs was part of a wider pattern that was pushing him further away from the picture portrayed by friends just a few years earlier.

Loughner experienced some sort of crises in 2006, first dropping out of education, losing a relationship and then being fired from jobs. His use of hallucinogenics probably compounded a growing sense sense of alienation, although in itself would not have been the decisive trigger to violence.

‘So what kind of upbringing would result in someone becoming either, or joining the Taleban for that matter? – the taliban question is easier to answer.

Religions rely on childhood indoctrination, while more virulent groups rely on aggressive suppression of moderating influences, such as exposure to different media, or education.

I wouldn’t want to be a young man, or women for that matter, trying to cope with one’s own homosexuality, say, in a taliban household. At the same time taliban men are terrified of female sexuality and have developed all sorts of bizarre rituals and customs to mask these fears – it’s a level of child abuse that makes certain former yorkshire TV personalities look like a saint.

@31

But you don’t deny this is a significant problem for the Left?

You remember Livingstone and Qaradawi?

Galloway and well…everything?

Pilger was questioned about his support for an Iraqi insurgency that was systematically targetting civilians, his response – “we cannot be choosy”.

Both you and I know there is a significant view on the Left that regards the Taliban as a form of legitmate resistance. How widespread? Don’t know. Hopefully less than some above are suggesting.

38. just visiting

Chaise

You raised an interesting angle:
> Whereas focusing on the Taliban would be like writing article after article explaining why we don’t like the Nazis. It’s bloody obvious.

But in another thread you’ve said:

> ‘I can tell you that “jihad” within Islam doesn’t mean “violence” or “holy war” or anything like that, although it can involve those things.‘

So how do you explain how groups like the Taliban are able to sustain violence in the name of Jihad over so many years, and large regions?

If the mainstream population disagreed with their understanding of Jihad, wouldn’t we expect to see concerted campaigns against them?

Eg grass-root Mosques joining with national Islamic scholars, and other Muslim countries like Malaysia to protect the good name of their religion and prevent the killing of their co-religionsts.

In the absence of such national and international campaigns – should we not conclude that the Jihad the Taliban follow is not ruled out by Islam?

39. just visiting

Chaise

And reflecting on this discussion: You had suggested there’s no debate expected on the left about the Taliban because all agree what they do is bad.

But this specific issue I just asked, and others too, are surely worth discussion, aren’t they?

So I’d argue it’s still a theme that’s not been covered, and is therefore still worth analysis – whether LC/the left does or does not tend to close down debate on Islamic violence issues/ Taliban.

(and just to be clear to stop anyone misunderstanding : the above is not suggesting that LC doesn’t criticise the murderous acts and nasty violence of the Taliban et al. It’s about the debate or lack of debate that happens after that criticism is on the table and deeper analysis should begin of motivations and the situation on the ground etc).

@36

“But you don’t deny this is a significant problem for the Left?

You remember Livingstone and Qaradawi?

Galloway and well…everything?”

Using Livingstone and Galloway to represent the Left is a bit like using Thatcher and Mussolini to represent the Right. It’s a crass generalisation based on the more obnoxious vile extremist end of a political worldview.

One objecting to the article is the sweeping generalisation about a very broad political spectrum.

It’s at best ridiculous to talk about the Left as a cohesive unified group in the same way it’s unfair to suggest that the Right are one unified group that just happens to contain UKIP, the BNP and at the extremely dishonest and unpleasant end the Tories (sic).

Also on the subject of generalisations this article assumes that the entire Pakistan nation is under threat from the Taliban. That would be like suggesting that ETA Basque separatists were able to take over Spain. It is worrying; it is dangerous and they are a problem. However are they really a risk of taking over the entire nation?

If they are then I’d like more evidence of that as it would be vital for the world to invade Pakistan immediately to secure the nuclear arsenal and remove it from extremists hands. An even higher priority than Iran. If they are not then let’s talk about how to support Pakistan by alternative means?

The worst part of this article. It complains about the Left not caring; however it offers NOTHING as a constructive suggestion of how things could be resolved.

Right at the end the telling remark. The United States didn’t create them. So why the hell should the United States risk their people over an issue they can probably do very little to improve? Give them a reason? If it is the nuclear threat then absolutely I’d support a mass invasion to cull all of the Taliban men. However it’s going to take more than a lie about yellowcake uranium this time.

@ A&E

Thanks for expanding on your statement. It was a case of final straw with that American.

It is very worrying, how ideologies like religion become indoctrinated into people who lack the strength to question or resist – like children in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Or deepest Idaho for that matter!

What happens there, in the full glare of 21st century communications is exactly the same as what happened in medieval Europe under Christian zealots.

Unfortunately, in this country it is overwhelmingly repatriated corpses of soldiers and coverage of the monsters that pervert ideology and religion for their own ends that get the coverage. Leaving a distorted impression that the people of Pakistan and Afghanistan want to live under Taleban style Sharia laws etc, (there are ‘polls’ to prove it too)

So according to idiots, that area should be just left alone, either to imperial overlordship from America or to the dodgy puppets of America, and the only other option is Taleban! Do the people there truly want any of those options? Or to be left in peace to sort out their futures in the way we did centuries ago?

Typo – objecting = objection (sorry spellcheck wrecked that)

43. the a&e charge nurse

[38] ‘whether LC/the left does or does not tend to close down debate on Islamic violence issues/ Taliban’ – I can’t think of one occasion when they have (different to other commentators not agreeing with you, of course).

The argument about the credibility of religion is pretty much over in my opinion (from 46:00 onward)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SvXuN7KuwK0

The bit about the fatwah (49:28) made me chuckle – although, maybe salman rushdie would not be quite so amused?

44. the a&e charge nurse

[42] ‘Or to be left in peace to sort out their futures in the way we did centuries ago?’ – I think there is less, and less chance of the region being left alone.

Geopolitics make it inevitable that the US will find find some pretext or other to maintain a military presence.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMkXA6kqNsw

Geopolitics, is that shorthand for America wanting to control the trillions of dollars worth of rare earth, platinum group and other strategically useful minerals discovered in Afghanistan at all? Before China controls them…

America wants to control this.
The Taliban wants to control that.

Really? Perhaps if people just bloody grew up and stopped talking in sweeping generalisations and started looking at the actual facts of a situation we’d get some constructive suggestions instead?

All these conspiracy nuts crawling out of the woodwork.

Why not just face the truth. There is no conspiracy. The people “in charge” are mostly incompetent idiots who couldn’t run a bath effectively let alone a nation. That people still think of big vast conspiracies rather than collective stupidity is the first significant hurdle to understanding the world.

It’s getting REALLY tedious.

The Taliban will only take over Pakistan if ignorance overwhelms the nation. The only real cause of ignorance is religion and people who think faith is more important than evidence and reason. So in reality the Taliban and the US are not much different in that aspect (especially if the fundamentalist moron Romney gets elected). As any sensible person would say “it’s more complicated than that”.

If you have to refer to American foreign policy as a risk stop talking about America as if it’s one big collective; in the same way that Europe is full of diverse nations with diverse groups within them; so is the US.

Talk about Hawks, Neo-Cons, US-Liberals at least narrow it down to a more specific group. In the same way don’t talk about “Islamists” talk about Taliban, Al-Qaeda, Wahabi’s etc. There are far more reasonable sensible terms to use to describe the situation.

Even more relevant let’s stop talking about “Left” & “Right” in politics. If you have to reduce it down to just 2 sides you’re clearly not smart enough to understand something far more complex than a duality.

It is never “Them vs Us”, or “Good vs Evil”. Thinking like that is lazy and idiotic.

47. the a&e charge nurse

[45] ‘If you have to refer to American foreign policy as a risk stop talking about America as if it’s one big collective’ – america is used as shorthand for the actual deeds of that country.
I am sure there are internal factions opposed to the invasion of iraq say, but an invasion went ahead nonetheless (as it may do in iran as well).

Unfortunately the likes of the US and indeed UK are famous for backing political gangsters to the extent neither have much credibility, so instead rely on military muscle.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CN4k9dlQ7vY

The first step is for us to stop committing international atrocities, or at the very least be honest enough to admit that military action is being used because it in some way suits certain economic interests.

48. Chaise Guevara

@ 36 Tory

“But you don’t deny this is a significant problem for the Left?”

Well, I did just say that it’s a generalisation, so I reject that comment as phrased. I agree that it’s stupid and that some people on the left buy into it. But the left isn’t a hive mind, and other lefties aren’t responsible for the attitude, any more than you’re responsible for the KKK.

“Both you and I know there is a significant view on the Left that regards the Taliban as a form of legitmate resistance. How widespread? Don’t know. Hopefully less than some above are suggesting.”

If we don’t know how widespread it is, we don’t know whether it’s significant. That’s kind of the point.

49. Chaise Guevara

@ Just Visiting

“So how do you explain how groups like the Taliban are able to sustain violence in the name of Jihad over so many years, and large regions?”

JV, I know you’re not stupid, so why waste both our time with an obviously fallacious question? Let me give you a clue: I claim that not oranges are not the only fruit. This does not cause my head to explode when I do encounter an orange.

“If the mainstream population disagreed with their understanding of Jihad, wouldn’t we expect to see concerted campaigns against them?”

Possibly you’d go to great effort and put your life at risk in the name of a semantic preference, but you’re probably a rarity there.

I can’t find a way to say this without sounding offensive, so apologies, but you spend a lot of time arguing about language without having the first clue how language works, it seems. Words can have more than one meaning. This does not cause the world to vanish in a puff of logic.

“In the absence of such national and international campaigns – should we not conclude that the Jihad the Taliban follow is not ruled out by Islam?”

Yes, indeed. Well done for successfully answering the question nobody asked.

“And reflecting on this discussion: You had suggested there’s no debate expected on the left about the Taliban because all agree what they do is bad.”

Not “all”, but a great majority, yes. “The Taliban – baddies or heroes?” is not a major left-wing area of argument.

“But this specific issue I just asked, and others too, are surely worth discussion, aren’t they?”

I really can’t comment upon whether unnamed issues are worthy of discussion.

“So I’d argue it’s still a theme that’s not been covered, and is therefore still worth analysis – whether LC/the left does or does not tend to close down debate on Islamic violence issues/ Taliban.”

Uh, regarding LC and Islamic violence, this theme has been “covered” in pretty much every thread that mentions Islam or Christianity, usually by you.

However, you’re not gonna get far if you insist on generalising. Because all that does is insult your correspondents by implication; you might as well start your post by writing “Oy, leftie dickheads”.

“And just to be clear to stop anyone misunderstanding : the above is not suggesting that LC doesn’t criticise the murderous acts and nasty violence of the Taliban et al. It’s about the debate or lack of debate that happens after that criticism is on the table and deeper analysis should begin of motivations and the situation on the ground etc”

Rather than saying what you don’t mean, can you be more specific about what you do? You’re talking in very vague terms and I expect you could declare that there was a lack of “proper debate” on any issue at any time. So what, exactly, should have been discussed but hasn’t?

“The Taliban aren’t just a threat to Pakistanis but the entire region.”

PMSL….good luck with your “regional” nuclear exchange.

Wanna have a guess what everyday life will be like here in the West after a “regional” nuclear conflict in Asia.

If I recall in early January 2011 the Guardian ran a piece. Page 7.

It reported that the Taliban unofficialy I think had offered to allow the educatiin of girls.

It seems the consensus for any sort of agreement amongst devided people was yet again overlooked.

The stubborness of a minority to open talks and generate mutuality
Yet again paves the way for further destruction.

Our sympathys must remain with the innocents and we should stay hopefull that some efforts do make things better for all.

What divides us also unites us.

52. Man on Clapham Omnibus

@26

2. Man on Clapham Omnibus

I think the general concern regarding drones are they a means of indiscriminately killing innocent people, hence anyone in the radius of a suspect is deemed a target.

Then the problem is that the Left believes liars.

I would agree that Data on child fatalities is not conclusive but the CIA liars? – shurely not (I think we should be told)

They are also part of a time honoured strategy of the US in their attempts in controlling the world.

And this would be a bad thing because …. ?

Usually the conquerors aren’t there to hand out tea and cakes. Usually they go out to places to undermine regimes they dont like or take other peoples property eg oil.
Maybe if we had been invaded during WW2 you might have got the idea.

I wonder what may have happened in Tony and George hadn’t destabilised the area.

Because, of course, Afghanistan was a barrel of laughs before George W was elected.

No it wasn’t but lets remember that Tone and George have managed to radicalise much of that area. And that comes from official UK assessments not me.

As to what lefties should do or think, I would suggest that the right to self determination might be a good place to start.

Great. But as it is irrelevant, what useful contribution do you think you have just made? No one is interfering with their right to self determination. Except Pakistan which is trying to control Afghanistan through proxies I suppose.

Sunny asked what ‘the west’ could do. I think that statement is quite valid thanks very much.

you write ” The Taliban were there before 9-11, so the argument that without the drone attacks they would melt away is fatuous.”

Yes rightly said that , Taliban were there before 9-11 ,but were they doing suicide bombing in Pakistan ? NO , were they engage in fighting to any other country in the world ? NO.

I know its hard to accept that ,but this is truth, please type on youtube “Clinton admits the U.S government created and funded the terrorists which they are fighting today” check this video , and then tell who created AQ and Taliban .

US creating terrorist mindset no matter what ever name you give them AQ ,Taliban, TTP, BLA to execute it foreign policy.

NATO and US done the same in Libya, supported freedom fighters , now the same fighters become terrorist and AQ members .

So what, exactly, do you suggest we do, Sunny? I mean, sure, I’d love to see the end of the Taliban, and religious fundamentalism in general, but I just can’t see any way of actually making it happen – I’m all out of magic wands, and I’m afraid that hand-wringing and breath-holding probably isn’t going to do the job.

Also, it’s not like the Taliban are the only bunch of arseholes out there… How about we try modifying the behaviour of some of the ones we actually have some diplomatic pull with, such as the Saudis and the Karimovs?

55. Keith Reeder

Well THIS “Lefty” hates the Taliban and everything it stands for (which – note – is not Islam, but Islamism).

But it isn’t very “Liberal”, is it, Sunny, to have a problem with any cause or body that presents itself ostensibly as being motivated to act the way it does by its religion?

That’s why I’m a Lefty, but not a Liberal.

56. just visiting

Chaise 49

>> should we not conclude that the Jihad the Taliban follow is not ruled out by Islam?

> Yes, indeed. Well done for successfully answering the question nobody asked.

So to be sure I’ve understood Chaise – you are saying that the Taliban can’t be criticised by Muslims for being un-Islamic?

Interesting discussion. There is an organised “left” which ignores the Taliban? Which wasn’t sustained and amplified by mahousive amounts of US tax dollars. If you want to stop the Taliban surely that means a chat with the Bush family friends in Saudi no? I can’t see what “the left” can do about it. I thought “the left” didn’t believe in meddling with other countries with hellfire missiles and such things. Maybe they should put out a “strongly worded statement” objecting to the atrocities of the Taliban. Sounds like the sort of thing “the left” would do.

Pakistan has suffered from decades of interference from the US including massive financial support for Pakistani dictators from Ul-Haq through Musharraf.

As was revealed in wiki-leaks, the Pakistan government secretly colludes with a foreign power to rain death on innocent civilians from robot death machines, including secondary and ‘signature’ attacks.

It’s obvious that foreign involvment in Pakistan has been a disaster, the solution is simple and almost universal from the ‘left’ stop destabilising Pakistan.

59. So Much for Subtlety

29. Larry

Then – inevitably – the comments thread focus less on X than on the general state of “The Left”, giving licence to wankers like So Much For Subtlety to explain at egregious length that the reason “The Left” has failed on X is that “The Left” is generally awful and treacherous, etc., etc..

Well if the Left hadn’t failed and wasn’t, by and large, awful and treacherous, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to point it out. I think you need to focus less on blaming the messenger.

Meanwhile the perfectly legitimate topic you wanted to raise gets lost in the fracas.

What perfectly legitimate topic? Sunny does not like the Taliban. Sunny opposes anything that might combat the Taliban. Where is the legitimate topic for conversation?

31. Chaise Guevara

How large? How do you know?

Large enough. Experience Chaise. Been around a while. Talked to a few of them.

Publishing a large range of opinion =/= agreeing with said opinion. If it did, the Times would be schizophrenic.

That is true up to a point, but not in this case. The Guardian was clearly doing more than just publishing a range of opinions. They gave Azam a traineeship. They soon found they could do without the services of some of these people once they cottoned on – and once their readership made it clear it did not like these views. The Guardian was endorsing these people. As of did other mainstream figures on the left – as someone else pointed out John Pilger, Ken Livingstone and so on. Even now the Labour Party thinks it is worthwhile sucking up to Yaqoob.

60. Chaise Guevara

@ SMFS

“Large enough. Experience Chaise. Been around a while. Talked to a few of them.”

Anecdotal evidence from an interested source, in other words.

“That is true up to a point, but not in this case. The Guardian was clearly doing more than just publishing a range of opinions. They gave Azam a traineeship. They soon found they could do without the services of some of these people once they cottoned on – and once their readership made it clear it did not like these views. The Guardian was endorsing these people. As of did other mainstream figures on the left – as someone else pointed out John Pilger, Ken Livingstone and so on.”

I’ll have to look into this, unless you can cite?

“Even now the Labour Party thinks it is worthwhile sucking up to Yaqoob.”

Let’s start here. What’s wrong with Yaqoob?

61. Chaise Guevara

@ 55 JV

“So to be sure I’ve understood Chaise – you are saying that the Taliban can’t be criticised by Muslims for being un-Islamic?”

They can say it if they like. Personally I don’t like this use of “un-X” to mean “contrary to my prefered personal interpretation of X”: I think it’s small-minded, pointlessly semantic and essentially fallacious.

So yeah, I don’t think it’s relevant to call the Taliban “un-Islamic” any more than it’s relevant to call me “un-British” for being a republican (or whatever).

62. Chaise Guevara

…Although it occurs that a Muslim trying to dismiss the Taliban as “un-Islamic” is likely to at least have fairly decent ideals, even if they express them poorly. Much like someone saying “torture is un-British”.

63. just visiting

Chaise

your position here has changed drastically.

On a recent thread you made the bold statement:

> ‘I can tell you that “jihad” within Islam doesn’t mean “violence” or “holy war” or anything like that, although it can involve those things.‘

But here, you’re agreeing that:

“the Taliban can’t be criticised by Muslims for being un-Islamic.”

You said:
> Much like someone saying “torture is un-British”.

That analogy is very poor – as all on LC know the definition of British can be debated and there are no master documents for it or professional scholars issuing fatwas for it.

Whereas Islam has for 1000 years defined itself in an unchanging way, based on a (self-proclaimedly) unchanging interpretion of their holy book.

But back to your first statement – it sounds like if you think the Talban can’t be criticised by Muslims for being unIslamic, that you no longer hold anymore that:

> ‘I can tell you that “jihad” within Islam doesn’t mean “violence” or “holy war” or anything like that, although it can involve those things.‘

64. Chaise Guevara

@ 63 JV

“That analogy is very poor – as all on LC know the definition of British can be debated and there are no master documents for it or professional scholars issuing fatwas for it.”

When it comes to discussing people, I prefer to consider said people rather than bowing down before some ancient text that claims authority for itself.

“Whereas Islam has for 1000 years defined itself in an unchanging way, based on a (self-proclaimedly) unchanging interpretion of their holy book.”

Utter crap. Islam cannot “define itself”, it’s not an agent, it’s a concept. Islam as practiced has changed and differs from place to place.

“But back to your first statement – it sounds like if you think the Talban can’t be criticised by Muslims for being unIslamic, that you no longer hold anymore that:

> ‘I can tell you that “jihad” within Islam doesn’t mean “violence” or “holy war” or anything like that, although it can involve those things.‘”

Here are two statements:

1) I do not consider the Taliban un-Islamic.
2) I am aware that “jihad” means “struggle”, although often the struggle refered to is a violent one.

Do these statements in any way contradict each other? Nope!

So once again we have you making a dramatic expose based on your inability to use basic logic. Either that or you’re just trying to piss me off for the sake of it; that would explain your pathetic troll behaviour in the previous thread.

Grow up, or go find someone else to pester with your bullshit.

65. flyingrodent

Well, pretty much everybody thinks the Taliban are bloody horrible, so there’s no argument to be had. It’s an established fact, rather than a live debate.

Also, most British lefties aren’t heavily invested in pretending that our imminent retreat from Afghanistan represents not a defeat, but some previously undiscovered species of victory. That could be because we’re not campaigning to get Barack Obama re-elected on a platform that includes bombing fuck out of any group of Pakistanis who the CIA think look suspicious, while also appearing to run away.

Claws swish, but that really does have to be addressed here, doesn’t it?

66. just visiting

Chaise

> When it comes to discussing people, I prefer to consider said people rather than bowing down before some ancient text that claims authority for itself.

But as any good anthropologist you should listen to what the people themselves say about themselves!

After all Muslims round the world say that Islam is based on an unchanging interpretation of the Quran and Hadith and it would be patronising of us on LC to discount that.
erpretion of their holy book.”

> Utter crap. Islam cannot “define itself”, it’s not an agent, it’s a concept.

As above – what the followers of their ideology is vital to understand them.

When I said ‘defines itself’ I referred to what followers of islam say about it – they say that Islam is based on unchanging interpretations.

> Here are two statements:…

I didn’t ask you to come up with more statements, but offered you the chance to explain and clarify what you had already said.

Is it not good when people take your comments seriously!

So, back to your 2 statements which do seem contradictory: can you expand and explain?

A) the Taliban can’t be criticised by Muslims for being unIslamic

B) I can tell you that “jihad” within Islam doesn’t mean “violence” or “holy war” or anything like that, although it can involve those things.‘

67. Chaise Guevara

@ 66 Just Visiting

“But as any good anthropologist you should listen to what the people themselves say about themselves!”

After all Muslims round the world say that Islam is based on an unchanging interpretation of the Quran and Hadith”

Do all of them say that? Even if they do, practices have changed and differ from place to place. The level of sexual oppression common in some Middle Eastern places is rare among Muslims in more liberal societies, for example – logically, either the Western Muslims or the Eastern Muslims must be doing things differently to Mohammed. (AFAIK, the former are more liberal than he was, the latter less liberal.)

I suspect what’s happening here is that many Muslims want to believe that their interpretation is the “true” version, and therefore claim that it’s “unchanging” – that they’re doing Islam as Mohammed would have wanted. Also, admitting change is admitting that their religion can make mistakes.

“and it would be patronising of us on LC to discount that.”

This is an advance excuse to reject reason and evidence. We are having a factual dispute: facts don’t disappear just because you’ve concocted a reason to call them patronising.

“I didn’t ask you to come up with more statements, but offered you the chance to explain and clarify what you had already said.”

Which I did. From scanning down I can see you’ve ignored my response and repeated the question. AGAIN.

“Is it not good when people take your comments seriously!”

I wish you were capable of taking my comments seriously. What you do is ignore them and spam the same discredited shit over and over again. Like I said, it’s completely pathetic.

“So, back to your 2 statements which do seem contradictory: can you expand and explain?”

THEY DON’T CONTRADICT EACH OTHER. I SAID THAT ALREADY. LEARN TO READ.

I already had to give up on you in one thread because of your trolling. Don’t make that happen a second time. I don’t know what the fuck’s happened to you of late, but it’s sad to see a previously sensible person devolve into a pathetic little troll.

So, to make things clear: I have answered your question for the second time. Do not ignore my response and repeat the question. I know it’ll be hard for you to break what’s obviously become an addiction, but suck it up and try.

68. Just Visiting

Chaise

putting aside the personal stuff, this is the paradox in your statements that needs clarification.

A) You wrote:
>I can tell you that “jihad” within Islam doesn’t mean “violence” or “holy war” or anything like that, although it can involve those things.‘

This can only mean, that, anygroup (say, the Taliban), who practise violence and do it in the name of Jihad are breaching Islam.

But then you made a second point:

B) the Taliban can’t be criticised by Muslims for being unIslamic

Yet the Taliban practise violent Jihad, which in (A) you say is not Islamic.

Either A or B needs to be expanded and rephrased, they can’t stand together as compatible right now.

It’ possibly these words ‘although it can involve those things.‘ that you feel allows the Taliban to be violent and remain Islamic? If so – again, could you expand because it feels like that would contradict the first part of your sentence, “I can tell you that “jihad” within Islam doesn’t mean “violence” or “holy war” or anything like that”.

69. Just Visiting

Chaise

Could you perhaps shorten your responses and leave out things that don’t add to your argument:
Eg you wrote in answer to a point about what Islam says of itself:

> Do all of them say that?

That is a pointless question.
Of course when talking about Islam or Trainspotters or any group – one can talk about the properties of the group in general based on how they describe themselves without needing 100% of the the group to have said it!

That’s just so obvious. The question really is pointless in any debate about groups.

Likewise you obviously didn’t mean that 100% of Muslims would agree with your statement that:

>I can tell you that “jihad” within Islam doesn’t mean “violence” or “holy war” or anything like that, although it can involve those things.‘

In fact you didn’t quote even one Muslim scholar who says that.

:<)

70. Just Visiting

Chaise

you and I may enjoy the banter of debate on LC, but these issues we discuss are life and death for some.

> The level of sexual oppression common in some Middle Eastern places is rare among Muslims in more liberal societies, for example

I’m not sure it as rare as you would like to believe.

Just this week we have a German family staying with us (my wife’s German) and their daughter has been been contacted by her school friend, a 17 year old Turkish girl. She has suffered minor violence at the hands of her father for being too western, is coming to the point of wanting to leave home; her father found out and has spoken to a journalist at the Turkish language newspaper there who’s been willing to start writing a piece, ready to publish should she leave home, that is basically a veiled threat to the daughter and any in the Turkish community who may help her: that her parents and family are ‘praying for her because she has been so unhappy of late’ and come home.

Many such Muslim girls who leave home in the West are killed by their family and not infrequently a suicide is staged: hence the the threat of her unhappiness as hint she may commit suicide.

It’s bizarre that a journalist could even contemplate this – but Islamic cultures are different to ours of course, in ways small and large.

Sadly even the German social worker JugendAmt seemed to brush off the violence to this girl, suggesting she just need to ‘talk with her family’, and that the state had no money for her if she left home!; that child benefit could be transferred to another family if they were willing to put her up but that to move the money she would have to face her father in court!

I don’t know the German or UK social work system in detail – but if this one case represents the wider German situation I’d think (hope) that the UK may have a more child-centred approach to women in danger.

So we should be willing to debate on LC why this happens in Islam and not say on the Polish or Jamacian community in the UK.
And not brush it off as rare.

So – sorry – gone on a bit off piste there – but did want you be aware that the rarity you claim here may not be backed up if the evidence was sought – (It’s growing at 49% year in year say the police force) and that it is not unusual and every case represents a women’s genuine suffering or death.

71. Chaise Guevara

@ 68 JV

“This can only mean, that, anygroup (say, the Taliban), who practise violence and do it in the name of Jihad are breaching Islam.”

That’s ridiculous. I specifically said it could include violence (despite your ongoing attempt in the other thread to pretend I didn’t).

Furthermore, jihad =/= Islam. Even if “jihad” couldn’t include violence, then Muslims could commit violence and just not call it jihad.

“It’ possibly these words ‘although it can involve those things.‘ that you feel allows the Taliban to be violent and remain Islamic? If so – again, could you expand because it feels like that would contradict the first part of your sentence, “I can tell you that “jihad” within Islam doesn’t mean “violence” or “holy war” or anything like that”.”

The word “cat” does not include the requirement “black”. Therefore, according to you, black cats are a logical impossibility.

Is this getting through to you at all?

72. Chaise Guevara

@ 69 JV

“That is a pointless question.
Of course when talking about Islam or Trainspotters or any group – one can talk about the properties of the group in general based on how they describe themselves without needing 100% of the the group to have said it!”

But you claimed that Islam has not changed. If it’s changed for some Muslims, then your statement is false. Your statement is only true if 100% of Muslims throughout time have practiced the religion in exactly the same way.

“Likewise you obviously didn’t mean that 100% of Muslims would agree with your statement that…”

Maybe not. But it translates as “struggle” and doesn’t require violence.

“In fact you didn’t quote even one Muslim scholar who says that.”

I told you this trolling would be disregarded. That’s my last word on the subject; next time you demand a source I’ve already provided I’ll just ignore you.

73. Chaise Guevara

@ 70 JV

“So – sorry – gone on a bit off piste there – but did want you be aware that the rarity you claim here may not be backed up if the evidence was sought – (It’s growing at 49% year in year say the police force) and that it is not unusual and every case represents a women’s genuine suffering or death.”

“Rare” is not an exact word, and I don’t know the figures. Suffice to say it’s rarer than in the Middle East.

Muslim girls in Britain are generally allowed to attend schools (often mixed schools), they normally don’t have to wear the veil, that sort of thing. Whereas these things are anathema in some Middle Eastern countries.

Don’t misread me and think I’m saying that outmoded attitudes or appalling religion-inspired behavior is negligible in the West.

49% is ludicrously high, and my first guess is that it’s *mostly* down to increased police awareness and improved enforcement.

Hi Sunny

This is a good article

the question of what to do with the Taliban targeting Pakistanis is incredibly important

the Pakistanis did not consider the north west frontier region would ever be ruled by taliban minded men

during the nineties efforts were made to modernize – apparently Nawaz Sharif’s administration negotiated with tribal elders the rules regarding female education and voting in particular

the taliban were not an organized group within Pakistan – society viewed them as ‘losers’ who opt for a life of piety separate from everyone else

the post 9/11 situation has created extreme instability
aside from the taliban violence a breakdown in law and order is increasing the violence against women ….. from non taliban men too

if stability and accountability were to return to Pakistan
the Pakistanis would rebuild their lives and expect their own army to deal with the taliban

but right now Pakistanis face a bleak future with drones, taliban,and a corrupt government

this actually fuels the rise of crackpot extremist politcal parties anywhere in the world not just Pakistan

and I also know that give the women a chance to breathe and they would smack out the men who subjugate them

75. Just Visiting

Chaise

It looks like it is your statement:
>I can tell you that “jihad” within Islam doesn’t mean “violence” or “holy war” or anything like that, although it can involve those things.‘

that needs clarification.

People would have asked, as I have for clarification and for your sources, if you had said instead:

“I can tell you that within the Tory party that austerity doesn’t mean cuts in social spending or anything like that, although it can mean those things.”

You really do need to spell out what you meant by ‘but it can mean those things’?

Surely something can’t definitely not mean one thing, but sometimes include it?

76. Just Visiting

Chaise

> Furthermore, jihad =/= Islam.

Straw man. No one has said jihad=Islam

Really Chaise, please can we keep t the issue here and avoid tangents?

What’s startling here is that you think the violent Jihad of the Taliban does not preclude them being Islamic.

Keith Reeder 55 disagrees 100% with you – explictly saying they are not Islamic.

How do you support your view against his?

77. Just Visiting

Chaise

Again you try tangents: this time a complete untruth.

> But you claimed that Islam has not changed.

No I did not.

I said that Islam itself says it’s theology has not changed. I have said nothing here about whether it has changed – as that is simply not relevant.

If as rational thinkers we want to understand the followers of Islam – we need to use the normal anthropological approach, and focus on what they say and what they do.

So far in these debates you seem to be willing to make many statements about what you think Islam is. But not once have you quoted Islamic sources we say what islam is.

That is patronising to Islam.

Just as it would be if stated strong views about the Tory party without quoting Tories words or actions: or strong views about the Lib Dem.

78. Just Visiting

Chaise

> 49% is ludicrously high, and my first guess is that it’s *mostly* down to increased police awareness and improved enforcement.

Another example of you being willing to state your views. And again no shred of evidence offered to support it.

You even stand condemned by your own words, havng written:

> Your insatiable hunger for generalisations is letting you down again.

But actually your’ first guess’ here is informative.

It seems to fit in with an increasingly obvious pattern: it reveals the same bias as many of your other statements here: that they downplay and skate past the problem for the liberal of the possible connection between violence and Islam.

Let me say that again – so many of your comments here about Islam are on the side of downplaying and making a non-issue the potential link between Islam and violence.

Your views regulalry hint, as does the one above, that there is no need to even discuss this possibility.

So how about having that discussion Chaise.

What is your view on that possible connection?

Would you be willing to share your views on each of the type of cases that reappear in the news; where the perpretators state that they are acting in accordance with the rules of their religion Islam – ranging from those who:
* commit violence against women
* kill their own daughters and nieces
* kill apostates
* kill non-Muslims
* kill their work mates
* respond with violence to issues of religious ‘offence’
* state their intention to kill all the Jews
* restrict freedom – make it illegal to stop being a Muslim
* make it illegal for women to be outside on their own
* kill adulters
* despite being learned scholars of Islam, clearly feel that does not prohibit them issuing death threats against those who merely say or write what they consider heresy

79. Chaise Guevara

@ JV

“You really do need to spell out what you meant by ‘but it can mean those things’?

Surely something can’t definitely not mean one thing, but sometimes include it?”

Of course it can. I live in Manchester. “Manchester” does not mean “Oyster Bar”, but it includes it. “Cat” does not require the additional concept of “black”, but black cats exist. “Jihad” does not mean “violence”, but violent jihads occur.

There’s only so many times I can explain this.

“Straw man. No one has said jihad=Islam

Really Chaise, please can we keep t the issue here and avoid tangents?”

Your point relied, as far as I can tell, on pretending that Islam and jihad are the same thing. Because you were suggesting that something that doesn’t fit the definition of “jihad” must therefore not be Islamic.

“What’s startling here is that you think the violent Jihad of the Taliban does not preclude them being Islamic.”

Dun-dun-duuun!

“Keith Reeder 55 disagrees 100% with you – explictly saying they are not Islamic.

How do you support your view against his?”

Firstly, Keith is pointing out the difference between Islam and Islamicism. I can just tell that you’re gonna creatively misinterpret that, so let me point out that the latter is a subgroup of the former, more or less. Anyway, not that it matters, but I don’t think it’s clear that he “disagrees 100%” with me.

Assuming someone did disagree with me on the point, how would I answer? By saying that people don’t get to redefine terms based on their preferred definitions, and then exclude anyone who doesn’t fit that definition. It’s No True Scotsman. It’s like hearing metal fans sitting around whinging that people who like Metal Band X aren’t real metal fans.

I can understand that people want to disassociate themselves from embarrassing folk with whose brush they might be tarred. But it’s ultimately unhelpful. Whatever your demographic is, you don’t have exclusive rights to define what it is and excommunicate people who disagree (possible exception for the Pope).

80. Chaise Guevara

@ 77 JV

“No I did not.

I said that Islam itself says it’s theology has not changed.”

Which you presented as meaning that therefore Islam can be assumed to have not changed.

“I have said nothing here about whether it has changed – as that is simply not relevant.”

Why raise it, then?

“If as rational thinkers we want to understand the followers of Islam – we need to use the normal anthropological approach, and focus on what they say and what they do.”

Indeed!

[Remainder cut: see previous statement RE trolling]

81. Chaise Guevara

@ JV

“Another example of you being willing to state your views. And again no shred of evidence offered to support it.”

Aww, poor JV doesn’t know what “guess” means. I didn’t see you provide evidence for your claimed stat either. Which makes it rather hard for me to assess the validity of said stat.

“You even stand condemned by your own words, havng written:

> Your insatiable hunger for generalisations is letting you down again.

But actually your’ first guess’ here is informative.

It seems to fit in with an increasingly obvious pattern: it reveals the same bias as many of your other statements here: that they downplay and skate past the problem for the liberal of the possible connection between violence and Islam.”

Actually, it was based on my incredulity that a crime – any crime – would rise by about 50% a year without any obvious reason to explain it. The most likely explanation – for now, given the lack of sources – is that the rate is up because the police are paying more attention to it. Changing police policy could account for a statistically bizarre rise like that.

Another could be that the data isn’t statistically significant, but again I’d need to see the data first. A third might be that some outside pressure or inside wildfire effect on Islamic thought was causing it, but I can’t think of anything that would effect a change that big.

Like I said, this applies to any crime. I’d say the same if you were talking about white wife-beaters or pickpockets in Scunthorpe. Single-figure crime rate changes over a decade are generally considered newsworthy. 50% a year is bizarre, and demands an explanation.

“Let me say that again – so many of your comments here about Islam are on the side of downplaying and making a non-issue the potential link between Islam and violence.”

I have never made it a non-issue. You could always claim it was “down-played”.

Bear in mind that it’s the rise I find strange, not the absolute number. What is your theory about this sudden rise?

“Your views regulalry hint, as does the one above, that there is no need to even discuss this possibility.”

That’s a bloody odd thing to say, given that I’m discussing the possibility by expressing said views.

“So how about having that discussion Chaise.

What is your view on that possible connection?”

On whether there’s a possible connection between Islam and violence? Of course there is. I’ve said so before. You must be pretty desperate to snarkily demand that I admit something that I’ve never denied.

“Would you be willing to share your views on each of the type of cases that reappear in the news; where the perpretators state that they are acting in accordance with the rules of their religion Islam – ranging from those who…”

Find them all despicable, obviously. While I’m at it, I think murder is bad, kittens are cute, and pizza is delicious. Any more exciting and divisive questions to ask?

82. Just Visiting

Chaise

I’m starting to wonder if you are now concioulsy looking for smoke screens to obscure the central issue here?

> Your point relied, as far as I can tell, on pretending that Islam and jihad are the same thing

Strawman.
I didn’t say it and I can’t imagine anybody rational could support such a ridiculous ‘are the same thing’ statement.

>> “What’s startling here is that you think the violent Jihad of the Taliban does not preclude them being Islamic.”

> Dun-dun-duuun!

So you think that shooting 14 year old girls in buses, is within Islamic boundaries and can’t be criticised by Muslim as unIslamic.

Wow. You must think Islam is very violent then – for it to allow such violence under it’s Jihad rules?

83. Just Visiting

Chaise

Again you play with words:

> I don’t think it’s clear that he “disagrees 100%” with me.

But Keith Reeder (55) wrote:

“the Taliban and everything it stands for (which – note – is not Islam, but Islamism).”

Whereas you say that no Muslim could criticise the Taliban for being unIslamic – ie you think they are Islamic.

He says they are not Islamic, you say they are Islamic !
100% disagreement!

What clearness is lacking there ?

84. Just Visiting

Chaise

Now you are really debating from ‘the reality in my head’ and not from the reality out there:

> Whatever your demographic is, you don’t have exclusive rights to define what it is and excommunicate people who disagree.

In that sentence you reveal that you have no intention of listening to what those within Islam say about their religion. No you have decided that what Islam is or is not is determined solely by your worldview of what others don’t have the right to say or do!

That shows utter arogance and disrespect for the followers of Islam.

And in fact it even contradicts facts that they you know – having debated them here on LC.
So it’s even doublethink within your own head

Because you have debated here on LC:
* the problem of appstatsy in Islam having the death penalty
* the problem of Islamic heresy laws

So you KNOW that Islam already does exactly what you said above it can’ t!

> you don’t have exclusive rights to define what it is and excommunicate people who disagree.

Yes, Islam, like any other human group DOES have the exclusive rights to define what the group itself believes and does ! (yes it may incur the wrath of local laws etc in the process).

Yes, Islam, like any other human group does have the right to exclude people who disagree !

Obvious proof you surely are aware of:
The Labour party has the right to expel members for not agreeing with core beliefs!

And most telling of all Chaise: whilst your sentence here removes from Islam and it’s members the right to self-determine and to define what their own group means…

Yet you yourself, sitting outside Islam, have no problem making yourself arbiter over Islam and stating what their group thinks and is!

Because you wrote:
> I can tell you that “jihad” within Islam doesn’t mean “violence” or “holy war” or anything like that, although it can involve those things.‘

————————————————-
Normally on LC you’re a balanced and rational debater.
– but here you’ve become self contradictory, and bigoted in your refusal to let members of islam define their own group.

Never mind the volume of strawmen, and tangents so far.

What is that makes you so very uncomfortable, that it knocks your rationality for six, when on this theme of Islam and violence?

85. Chaise Guevara

@ JV

“Strawman.
I didn’t say it and I can’t imagine anybody rational could support such a ridiculous ‘are the same thing’ statement.”

Then why did you raise the definition of jihad as being relevant to whether or not the Taliban are Islamic?

“So you think that shooting 14 year old girls in buses, is within Islamic boundaries and can’t be criticised by Muslim as unIslamic.”

Within Islamic boundaries insofar as doing so does not automatically make someone a non-Muslim. So it’s within the boundaries of most if not all other religions as well, plus agnosticism and atheism.

“Wow. You must think Islam is very violent then – for it to allow such violence under it’s Jihad rules?”

There’s at least one step missing from your logic here. “Black cats count as cats” does not mean “cats are very black”.

86. Chaise Guevara

@ 83 JV

“What clearness is lacking there ?”

From his phrasing, I suspect that he was trying to stop people conflating Islamicism and Islam, rather than declare the Taliban non-Muslim. We’d have to ask him to be sure.

Like I said, though, it doesn’t matter. One random commenter’s view does not change my entire opinion. I notice you avoided the meat of my post there: run out of arguments, have we?

87. Chaise Guevara

@ JV

“In that sentence you reveal that you have no intention of listening to what those within Islam say about their religion. No you have decided that what Islam is or is not is determined solely by your worldview of what others don’t have the right to say or do!”

Lies. What I’ve said it that one person can’t dictate the “true” form of a religion to others. Or at least he can’t expect others to take him seriously.

“That shows utter arogance and disrespect for the followers of Islam.”

Ad hom.

“So you KNOW that Islam already does exactly what you said above it can’ t!”

More lies. I never said that it’s impossible for a Muslim to point at a fellow Muslim and call them non-Islamic. I said that we shouldn’t bow to the first Muslim’s definition. Stop dodging the point.

“Yes, Islam, like any other human group DOES have the exclusive rights to define what the group itself believes and does ! (yes it may incur the wrath of local laws etc in the process).”

So what happens when Muslim 1 says he’s Islamic, and Muslim 2 disagrees? Is there some kind of world-destroying paradox?

“The Labour party has the right to expel members for not agreeing with core beliefs!”

The Labour party is a formalised organisation. It has a codified command structure, with systems in place for kicking someone out. If that person is kicked out, their vote no longer counts. Membership of the Labour party is a discrete on/off state: you can prove whether or not someone is a member.

How does one get expelled from Islam? Who has the authority to expel them? If someone considers themselves a Muslim but has been expelled by other Muslims, would you consider them to be a Muslim or not?

“And most telling of all Chaise: whilst your sentence here removes from Islam and it’s members the right to self-determine and to define what their own group means…”

Again, I want to know how exactly you think this works. Not vague statements about “Islam’s right to self-definition” that you’ve designed to avoid actually defending your position. I want to know what you think the framework is.

“Yet you yourself, sitting outside Islam, have no problem making yourself arbiter over Islam and stating what their group thinks and is!”

Bollocks. I’ve just described reality. If I were to say that not all Brits support the Tories, that wouldn’t make me “the arbiter of what British people think and believe”.

“Normally on LC you’re a balanced and rational debater.
– but here you’ve become self contradictory, and bigoted in your refusal to let members of islam define their own group.”

What a crushing blow! Oh, wait, it’s not, because this is untrue. You’ve completely misrepresented my position, despite me explaining it to you about a million times. The only way this could happen is if you were stupid enough not to be able to follow a simple conversation, or unpleasant enough to deliberately misrepresent someone’s views.

So which is it, JV? Moron or arsehole?

“Never mind the volume of strawmen, and tangents so far.”

You’ve got to be fucking kidding me. Your WHOLE ARGUMENT is a strawman attack on my position. I assume “tangents” is code for things that you found too challenging to address, and thus ignored in the cowardly hope that I wouldn’t notice.

“What is that makes you so very uncomfortable, that it knocks your rationality for six, when on this theme of Islam and violence?”

You preaching to me about rationality is like the pot calling the washing machine black. As demonstrated here, where you’ve asked a question based on false premises.

—-

Seriously, if you want to reclaim a shred of dignity, and re-enter the world of honest debaters, you need to do at least two things:

1) Explain what criteria you would use to determine someone’s status as a Muslim, when that status is under question, e.g. because a respected Muslim leader has named them un-Islamic.
1b) If you would say that person is not a Muslim, explain why their self-definition is not sufficient to make them one.
1c) If you would say that person IS a Muslim, explain how you contradicting the respected cleric fits into your position on not dictating people’s beliefs to them

2) Address the points I’ve made that you’ve dodged thus far.

88. Chaise Guevara

Oh, and JV:

When you reply, do so literally and don’t anthropomorphise Islam. Yes, it’s often useful shorthand to treat groups this way, but in this case you’re using it as a way to avoid addressing the point. When you make vague, metaphorical statements along the lines of “Islam believes…” or “Islam has the right to…”, you dodge dealing with the fact that “Islam” is made up of many people who have differing opinions. And this means you can get all sanctimonious and accuse me of “arrogance”, while not putting forward a real-world alternative position yourself.

89. Just Visiting

Chaise

>> “So you think that shooting 14 year old girls in buses, is within Islamic boundaries and can’t be criticised by Muslim as unIslamic.”

> Within Islamic boundaries insofar as doing so does not automatically make someone a non-Muslim.

Your new statement is not clarifying the issue.

It’s introducing a new theme altogether – we had not been discussing what can turn a Muslim into a non-Muslim.

Back to your statement: it suggests that the act committed by the Taliban during their Jihad of shooting a 14 year girl in bus, is an act that cannot be criticised by other Muslims as being unIslamic.

So as I said before: You must think Islam is very violent then – for it to allow such violence under it’s Jihad rules?

90. Just Visiting

Chaise

when you say that shooting 14 year girls in buses is:
” within the boundaries of most if not all other religions as well, plus agnosticism and atheism.”

It’s hard to understand just where you are coming from?

The statement surely cannot mean what it sounds like at face value – wich is that no religions have any commands on murder, and murder of children.

You know that is not true.

If you weren’t a regular here, such statements could easily be attributed to be trolling.

91. Just Visiting

Chaise

I made the point that Islam itself claims to have not changed in over 1000 years.

Instead of discussing what respected Islamic figures say on that theme, you wrote

> Whatever your demographic is, you don’t have exclusive rights to define what it is and excommunicate people who disagree.

When I called you up, as this sounds like saying Islam does not have the right to say what itself actually is.

You then say

> What I’ve said it that one person can’t dictate the “true” form of a religion to others.

So now you are having to explain your statements with ones that suggest the first statement was at best very badly worded.

Worst, you have still not addressed the issue – which is your initial assertion that Islam does not describe itself as being unchanged for long time.

So back to the issue -do you still claim that islam does not claim tobe unchanged for > 1000 years?

92. Chaise Guevara

@ 89 JV

“Back to your statement: it suggests that the act committed by the Taliban during their Jihad of shooting a 14 year girl in bus, is an act that cannot be criticised by other Muslims as being unIslamic.

So as I said before: You must think Islam is very violent then – for it to allow such violence under it’s Jihad rules?”

No – that’s a leap from the passive to the active. Your local rotary club probably doesn’t have a “no murdering” clause on its list of club rules, but that doesn’t mean it’s really murderous, does it?

Also, I did already say that anthropomorphising Islam is fudging the issue.

93. Chaise Guevara

@ 90 JV

“It’s hard to understand just where you are coming from?

The statement surely cannot mean what it sounds like at face value – wich is that no religions have any commands on murder, and murder of children.

You know that is not true.”

You may be misunderstanding me. I’m saying that if a Muslim committed murder, that would not prove that they were not a Muslim – but the same could be said of Christians and atheists etc.

“If you weren’t a regular here, such statements could easily be attributed to be trolling.”

You of all people should not go down this road, mate.

94. Chaise Guevara

@ 9 JV

“> Whatever your demographic is, you don’t have exclusive rights to define what it is and excommunicate people who disagree.

When I called you up, as this sounds like saying Islam does not have the right to say what itself actually is.

You then say

> What I’ve said it that one person can’t dictate the “true” form of a religion to others.

So now you are having to explain your statements with ones that suggest the first statement was at best very badly worded.”

Excuse me? The second statement is another way of saying the first statement. They mean the same thing. Membership of a demographic does not allow you to dictate the “rules” of that demographic to other members. It’s a logical impossibility, for a start. I’ve explained why this is: you’ve dodged what I said by ignoring it.

“Worst, you have still not addressed the issue – which is your initial assertion that Islam does not describe itself as being unchanged for long time.

So back to the issue -do you still claim that islam does not claim tobe unchanged for > 1000 years?”

I very clearly asked you to stop doing this anthropomorphising thing.

I explained why I was asking you to do that: because it’s confusing the issue.

Yet you ignore my request and keep doing the same thing, without saying why you think my request unreasonable or even acknowledging it at all.

Is there any point at all in talking to you if you’re going to behave like this? And what’s your motivation for having this conversation if you’re going to go out of your way to prevent us from communicating or addressing each other’s points?

95. Just Visiting

Chaise

> You may be misunderstanding me. I’m saying that if a Muslim committed murder, that would not prove that they were not a Muslim – but the same could be said of Christians and atheists etc.

I agree with you 100% there.

Unfortunately that is 100% not relevant to the theme we were discussing.

We were not discussing an isolated murder by an isolated follower of a religion.

The thread is about the Taliban – who are an organised group, and who justify their actions by regular references to the Quran and to the fact that they do what they do for Islamic reasonss.

So your statement was just a tangent, and not relevant to this thread.

>> So back to the issue -do you still claim that islam does not claim to be unchanged for > 1000 years?”

> I very clearly asked you to stop doing this anthropomorphising thing.

Surely this is just normal rational analysis.

Your introduction of ‘anthromorphism’ is a strawman attack – if you’re using it to mean we should not take into account what respected figures in a group say their group is about – then not just me but every anthopologist is guilty of it!

Back to the question again: – (and to be 100% sure it’s clear and you can drop your fears of anthromorphism: the word ‘Islam’ below is of course shorthand for the bulk of respected Islamic scholars, leaders, theologians).

Do you still hold that islam does not claim to be unchanged for > 1000 years?”

96. Chaise Guevara

@ JV

“We were not discussing an isolated murder by an isolated follower of a religion.

The thread is about the Taliban – who are an organised group, and who justify their actions by regular references to the Quran and to the fact that they do what they do for Islamic reasonss.

So your statement was just a tangent, and not relevant to this thread.”

How is that a tangent? I’m not arguing the point that a Muslim might commit murder for secular reasons. I’m asking what authority a non-violent Muslim has to declare a violent Muslim “un-Islamic”, or vice versa.

This is the sort of vital real-world detail you skip over by trying to treat “Islam” as a single unified thing.

“Surely this is just normal rational analysis.”

The rational thing would be to seek clarity, not obfuscation. As I said above, this kind of thing can be good short-hand, but in this case it’s a way for you to avoid addressing your argument’s weak points (although I dunno if it’s a conscious effort to do so), because said weak points are in the detail that you’re brushing over.

“Your introduction of ‘anthromorphism’ is a strawman attack – if you’re using it to mean we should not take into account what respected figures in a group say their group is about – then not just me but every anthopologist is guilty of it!”

10 points for making a straw man attack while making a false accusation of me straw manning you.

The problem with your anthropomorphisation thing is that it’s not clear what you mean by “Islam”. Do you mean the Koran? Any opinion held by 50%+ of Muslims? Respected scholars – and if so, how are you selecting these? It’s a way of avoiding saying what you mean, and as a result you’re coasting along on vague statements about allowing “Islam” to define itself while refusing to explain what this means in practice.

“Back to the question again: – (and to be 100% sure it’s clear and you can drop your fears of anthromorphism: the word ‘Islam’ below is of course shorthand for the bulk of respected Islamic scholars, leaders, theologians).”

Good. Now explain what you mean by “respected”. I ask this because I have a suspicion that, if not codified, “respected” will turn out to mean “people whose view of Islam fits with JV’s”.

“Do you still hold that islam does not claim to be unchanged for > 1000 years?””

Based on your definition of “Islam”, no. I can’t claim that either way as I have no data on the percentage of Muslims scholars (“respected” or otherwise) who believe this. Do you?

97. Just Visiting

Chaise

> I’m asking what authority a non-violent Muslim has to declare a violent Muslim “un-Islamic”, or vice versa.

But Chaise – you know the answer to this one too.

Islam is a religion – it has centuries of scholars, Fatwas, ruling, books.

> … it’s not clear what you mean by “Islam”. Do you mean the Koran? Any opinion held by 50%+ of Muslims?

Chaise – you shoot yourself in the foot here.

Because you don’t apply the same question to your own statement:

> ‘I can tell you that “jihad” within Islam doesn’t mean “violence” or “holy war” or anything like that, although it can involve those things.‘

Finally, I had asked: “Do you still hold that islam does not claim to be unchanged for > 1000 years?””

You now write:
> Based on your definition of “Islam”, no.

It’s not ‘my’ definition, it’s just a normal anthropologists approach.

> I can’t claim that either way as I have no data on the percentage of Muslims scholars (“respected” or otherwise) who believe this.

Ok, so finally after many words toing and froing you admit that your statement is not based on any research or reading you’ve made of Islam.

So after that clarification: what now is your current view on your earlier bold statment that:

> ‘I can tell you that “jihad” within Islam doesn’t mean “violence” or “holy war” or anything like that, although it can involve those things.‘

98. Chaise Guevara

@ JV

“But Chaise – you know the answer to this one too.

Islam is a religion – it has centuries of scholars, Fatwas, ruling, books. ”

That’s not an answer. Please answer the question asked instead of stalling and answering a completely different one.

“Chaise – you shoot yourself in the foot here.

Because you don’t apply the same question to your own statement:

> ‘I can tell you that “jihad” within Islam doesn’t mean “violence” or “holy war” or anything like that, although it can involve those things.‘”

I clarified this for you about a million posts ago. As used by Muslims. Jihad may “mean” violence to some non-Muslims, due to ignorance.

“It’s not ‘my’ definition, it’s just a normal anthropologists approach.”

Oh, grow up. The definition you’re using, then. Do we really have to have a stroppy little row about every little thing?

“Ok, so finally after many words toing and froing you admit that your statement is not based on any research or reading you’ve made of Islam.”

Um, no. I was kind enough to adjust my response based on the definition YOU are using. That wasn’t the definition I was using. I clarified my meaning WAY upthread (post 72), so you have no excuse for faking confusion. My statement stands unless you start modifying the meaning of the words after the fact.

But using your definition: let’s see your evidence for your claim that it DOES claim to be unchanged. Let’s see the study. Let’s see you apply the same rules to yourself as you do to others, for once in your life.

“So after that clarification: what now is your current view on your earlier bold statment that:

> ‘I can tell you that “jihad” within Islam doesn’t mean “violence” or “holy war” or anything like that, although it can involve those things.‘”

I stand by it. “jihad” translates as “struggle”. That’s what it means in Arabic, which is where it comes from. I guess there may be some English-speaking Muslims who use it in the Western sense, but I doubt there’s many.

If there’s a study into this I’ll bow before it if it shows me to be wrong – showing that a large proportion of Muslims think that it translates as “violence”, but for now it seems reasonable to assume that people using a language use that language accurately.

99. Chaise Guevara

@ JV

Oh, I noticed that (true to form) you ignored a request for clarification AGAIN. I’ll repeat it, as apparently you have a habit of skipping over things you can’t answer:

“Good. Now explain what you mean by “respected”. I ask this because I have a suspicion that, if not codified, “respected” will turn out to mean “people whose view of Islam fits with JV’s”.”

100. Just Visiting

Chaise

> let’s see your evidence for your claim that (Islam) DOES claim to be unchanged.

You’ve already googled it, right Chaise?
Did you find any Islamic sources talking about how the Quran has changed, how Islamic laws have changed?

If you’ve not done you own research, you really should, it would help improve your understanding of Islam.

You say
> Jihad may “mean” violence to some non-Muslims, due to ignorance.

and
> Now explain what you mean by “respected”

(You know the answer to this too Chaise – if were talking current dark-matter theory or 18th century english views of Virginia USA – ‘respected sources’ would have the same underlying meaning.)

But I guess it is only fair that you apply your own questions to your own statements: so what respected Islamic sources do you base your above statement on jihad, violence and ignorance?

And what respected sources you used to justify your view that: the Taliban can’t be criticised by Muslims for being un-Islamic. Even when they kill 14 year old girls in buses.

101. Just Visiting

Chaise

Apologies, I missed this: to justify your bold statment that Jihad in Islam has nothing to do with violence you write:

> “jihad” translates as “struggle”. That’s what it means in Arabic,

The islamic scholars have probably written hundreds of pages on Jihad – but you ignore all that for your understanding?

If this was any other subject matter on LC Chaise – you would rightly criticise someone for making such bold statments on such flimsy basis as merely a dictionary entry!


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    My blog today > Why do lefties keep ignoring the threat of the Taliban to Pakistanis (and focus only on drones)? http://t.co/4zISvTf4

  25. Saif Khalid

    My blog today > Why do lefties keep ignoring the threat of the Taliban to Pakistanis (and focus only on drones)? http://t.co/4zISvTf4

  26. Richard

    Why do lefties keep ignoring the threat of the Taliban to Pakistanis? | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/rTJM4NA0 via @libcon

  27. Sulieman al-Saud

    My blog today > Why do lefties keep ignoring the threat of the Taliban to Pakistanis (and focus only on drones)? http://t.co/4zISvTf4

  28. Shereen ? ????? ????

    My blog today > Why do lefties keep ignoring the threat of the Taliban to Pakistanis (and focus only on drones)? http://t.co/4zISvTf4

  29. sunny hundal

    +1 important question @sunny_hundal: Why do lefties keep ignoring the threat of the Taliban to Pakistanis? http://t.co/5HgVWgPx

  30. Sairah

    Why do lefties keep ignoring the threat of the Taliban to Pakistanis? http://t.co/4zISvTf4

  31. Craig Murray » Blog Archive » Why is Sunny Hundal a Neo-Con Lickspittle?

    [...] Hundal is pulling the Nick Cohen trick of claiming that “Lefties” who fail to applaud every action of Bush, Blair, Netanyahu [...]

  32. Nazia

    Why do lefties keep ignoring the threat of the Taliban to Pakistanis? | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/F3c5SkWp via @libcon





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