EDL endorse UKIP over immigration & Islam views


3:59 pm - April 4th 2013

by Sunny Hundal    


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The English Defence League has thrown its support behind the UK Independence Party, according to a message posted to their Facebook page, over their mutual stances on immigration and hatred of Islam.

The message, highlighted by the BackBencher blog, said last week:

More recently, the EDL have also linked to UKIP Nigel Farage’s ‘Common Sense tour’.

The EDL also approvingly link to Nigel Farage’s speech on Islam.

In an interview with Alex MacDonald posted today, EDL leader Tommy Robinson explicitly said he support UKIP and would vote for them.

Listen:

What did he think were the similarities, Robinson (aka Stephen Lennon) was asked. He replied:

Europe, we want out of Europe – and also with regards to their manifesto around Islam. Well to be honest I am going on about when Lord Pearson was leader, now they have Nigel Farage and I think he is a bit more… he doesn’t really comment on it which is a bit disappointing to a lot of people who were supporting them – from what I hear.

UKIP said in response that their rules explicitly exclude EDL activists from membership of UKIP. But they didn’t say they didn’t want votes from EDL sympathisers, nor have they said anything official on their website or Twitter account to distance themselves from the EDL endorsement.

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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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Reader comments


1. the a&e charge nurse

Well lets have a quick straw poll – who is pro islam, and would like a society based on islamic values?

Instead of listening to the likes of the EDL, why don’t you do yourself a favour and listen to Sam Harris, or other rationalists like him (especially from 2:40 onwards)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8a8NDBiPTcs

How much easier is it to wave your arms in the air like a frightened child whenever pantomime villains like the EDL show up rather than engaging with substantive arguments as to why islamism is bad news where ever it commands a majority ……. especially if you are jewish, gay or female.

“But they didn’t say they didn’t want votes from EDL sympathisers, nor have they said anything official on their website or Twitter account to distance themselves from the EDL endorsement.”

Why would they want to draw attention to it? Plus it’s better that UKIP swallow up these votes than they go to the BNP.

3. Richard Carey

“But they didn’t say they didn’t want votes from EDL sympathisers,”

They’ve never said a lot of things.

“But they didn’t say they didn’t want votes from EDL sympathisers,”

Nor has Ed Milliband. What’s he up to I wonder?

@1 the a&e charge nurse

- the problem I see here, is you are confusing islamic values, with those of a minority of muslims (themselves pantomime villains?). Unfortunately there are many muslims in positions of power who are within that minority.

The same could be true of Christianity – just because some priests believe in abusing children, does not mean that abusing children is a christian value. Similarly many identifying as Christians believe that abortion or gay sex is the key issues for their faith in society.This does not mean that these are the key issues for Christianity as a whole.

Many of the values that I understand are behind Islam, are views which I as a non-muslim would like to see society based on. I think there are issues of anti-Jews, homophobia and misogyny that muslims should address. But hang on, isn’t that also true of many of those calling themselves Christians too?

6. the a&e charge nurse

[5] ‘Many of the values that I understand are behind Islam, are views which I as a non-muslim would like to see society based on’ – what, things like the burqa, honor killing or suicide bombing.

Here’s a question Sam Harris asks – supposing you were sitting on a bus with a suicide bomber.
The bomb could be defused but only if you could correctly guess the religion of the would be killer – you only have one guess, which religion would you choose?

7. the a&e charge nurse

[5] ‘just because some priests believe in abusing children, does not mean that abusing children is a christian value’ – well, as much as I dislike any religion I don’t think the bible (as disgusting as it is) calls for priests to fiddle with kids – I must admit I am struggling to understand your point here.

You say I am ‘confusing’ islamic values with those of a minority of muslims when in fact the quran contains all manner of vile injunctions and adherence to it be any sane person can only be maintained by wilful ignorance allied to great skill in cherry picking.

It is the extremists who are actually being true to many of the sentiments set out in the quran – the moderates are largely ignorant of the text, or have had their heads turned by those who refuse to remain stuck in the 14th century.

@ 6. the a&e charge nurse
Tricky one. Judging by this article:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_attack

One might reasonably expect any of the following religions to have been followed by people who kill themselves in the act of injuring others.

Shinto
Daoist
Protestant Christian
Hindu
Catholic Christian
Eastern Orthodox Christian
Atheist
Moslim
Buddhist ? (Vietnam)
various cults

Now as you are using the worst behaviour of Islam to judge the values of Islam, how is Islam any worse than the religions listed?

“nor have they said anything official on their website or Twitter account to distance themselves from the EDL endorsement”

Well this is on the website

“Membership is not available to anyone who is or has previously been a member of the British National Party, National Front, British Freedom Party, British People’s Party, English Defence League, Britain First or the UK First Party. Any applications made from people who are or have been members of these organisations will be refused, and any subscriptions collected will be refunded.
By applying for membership you certify that you are not and have never been a member of either of these parties.”

A UKIP spokesman has also said the following

“They are trying to get publicity. We want people to vote for us from across the political spectrum, be they Conservatives, Labour or whatever. But we are very clear that if you are an EDL supporter then you are not welcome in Ukip.”

Not sure what else you would expect them to do beyond this?

10. Chaise Guevara

@ 6 a&e

“Here’s a question Sam Harris asks – supposing you were sitting on a bus with a suicide bomber.
The bomb could be defused but only if you could correctly guess the religion of the would be killer – you only have one guess, which religion would you choose?”

So he’s cherry-picked a crime specifically associated with Muslims to show Muslims are teh evulz. Either you’re lying about him being a rationalist, or you’re using his ideas non-rationally.

Also, for more rationality-based stuff: “most suicide bombers are Muslim” =/= “most Muslims are suicide bombers”. And before you indignantly claim not have said anything of the sort, I’m not sure what else we’re supposed to think when you use the above as a “response” to someone saying most Muslims aren’t bad people.

11. Chaise Guevara

@ 9 James

“Not sure what else you would expect them to do beyond this?”

Say that they don’t want EDL people voting for them? Although there’s nothing wrong with them getting the votes. So I’m assuming they’ve just calculated that they’d lose more votes than they’d gain by making the statement. Fair enough.

7. the a&e charge nurse

- I think Sam Harris was going on to talk about how Muslims are well armed

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIPD8qHhtVU

Well. Guess Andrew Brons new party will be dying by the wayside if the EDL is throwing its support behind UKIP instead.

“The bomb could be defused but only if you could correctly guess the religion of the would be killer – you only have one guess, which religion would you choose?”

Try this video clip, which was dedicated to the Kamikaze pilots of Japan who died doing their sacred patriotic duty, as they saw it, during WW2. Their religion was Shinto, not Islam.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5slCTLrFHI

15. the a&e charge nurse

[8] ‘Now as you are using the worst behaviour of Islam to judge the values of Islam, how is Islam any worse than the religions listed?’ – it takes a special sort of ignorance to equate crimes committed in the name of islam with buddhism.

As a matter of interest which islamic state do you think epitomises the sort of values you admire, and would like to see more of in a secular democracy?

[10] I am not saying muslims are bad people, Chaise, I am saying they are incredibly stupid to hitch their wagon to 14th century stuff and nonsense.
As Dawkins says – the evidence for mohammed going to heaven on a winged horse is roughly equal to that for ‘puff the magic dragon’.
Its like dressing up like a clown then complaining about the fact everybody is laughing at you.

I’m right-wing and I read and comment on your blog. That doesn’t make your blog right-wing.

Amateur hour smear attempt this one.

17. the a&e charge nurse

[14] so your guess would be a kamikaze pilot, would it – perhaps like Davidh you are calling for greater tolerance toward suicidal japanese airmen, and admire many of their qualities?

But if you really were sitting on a bus that was about to go ka-boom (unless you could guess the religion of the bomber) , I can’t help thinking you might actually choose somebody other than odd-job?

@ Chaise Guevara

“So I’m assuming they’ve just calculated that they’d lose more votes than they’d gain by making the statement.”

Perhaps it didn’t even occur to them to make that statement. Of course if you denounce someone, say you disagree with them and ban them from joining your party you might assume that covered everything.

After all does Ed Miliband get hauled over the coals because he fails to say he doesn’t want votes from the SWP when they tell their supporters to vote Labour

Basically, EDL supporters shouldn’t be allowed to vote. If they do want to vote, and for UKIP, it’s UKIP’s responsibility to prevent them from doing so somehow.

@vimothy

More nonsense. Beyond denouncing them, saying they don’t agree with them and banning them from their organisation what else can they do? They can’t physically prevent people from voting for them.

Do you think Labour has a responsibilty to somehow prevent Lord Ahmed from voting for them?

Try this on the Human Wave manoeuvre deployed by the Chinese army during the Korean War (1950-53):

“Human wave attack, also known as human sea attack, is an offensive infantry tactic, in which an attacker conducts an unprotected frontal assault with densely concentrated infantry formations against the enemy line, intended to overrun the defenders by engaging in melee combat.” [Wikipedia]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNROmJIaDYc

There was nothing especially innovative about this as the Highland Charge was a regular battle tactic of the Jacobite uprisings in the 18th century. Sometimes it worked – as Prestonpans in 1745 – but ultimately, it didn’t – as at Culloden in 1746.

James, I’m afraid that if you think these sorts of things are meant to be applied equally you are quite mistaken.

23. the a&e charge nurse

[21] are you saying the EDL, or any mainstream political group in the uk for that matter are exercised by military tactics used by the chinese in 1953 in the same way they are about radicalised islamic extremists?
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/mar/26/hundreds-people-anti-radicalisation-support

23. the a&e charge nurse

- of course not, the EDL don’t have Muslamic Ray Guns

Now if we can get back on to OP, UKIP are treading an awkward line, but have not made what would be a faux pas amongst their supporters. Publicly they have to distance themselves a little bit from EDL. Privately they will be reassured that the very far right are not going to split their electorate. However, if they become too accepted by the very far right, then this will toxify Ukip’s image amongst their core supporters, who pretend to themselves they are not racist, and reduces their ability to reach to a broader audience – which is essential if they are going to break beyone the current 12% protest vote.

So Sunny is right to keep the associations between UKIP and EDL visible. And also helpful for A&E CN to share with us the limitations of the logic that underline hatred.

23

The important point to recognise IMO is that the use of suicidal attacks is not uniquely Islamic but has been applied by various ideologies, some of which had or have religious dimensions. Human waves were a battlefield tactic in the trench warfare of WW1 – critics at the time were apt to be called cowards or unpatriotic. These parallels help to illuminate.

As for: “Hundreds of young people have received anti-radicalisation support”, compare this recent news report:

“ISLAMABAD: A larger number of young Pakistanis believe the country should be governed by Islamic law or military rule rather than democracy, according to a survey released on Wednesday, weeks before historic national elections.”
http://dawn.com/2013/04/04/poll-pakistani-youth-disenchanted-with-democracy/

I have fond memories of many lunchtime discussions I had in the early 1970s with an Indian colleague and friend, who was a lapsed Hindu in the way that I was a lapsed Methodist. He forecast then that Islamic countries would have great difficulty in making transitions to pluralist, multi-party democracies because of the theocratic vision embedded in mainstream Islam.

That has sadly proved to be absolutely correct. That rather than the connection with suicide bombers is what needs to cited. The declared aim of Islam is a Universal Caliphate in which Shariah Law holds. There is no room for pluralism.

26. the a&e charge nurse

[25] ‘The declared aim of Islam is a Universal Caliphate in which Shariah Law holds. There is no room for pluralism’ – and those are the very reasons why a critique of isalm should be robust.

Put another way, the only way to make islam seem vaguely palatable is to place it along side crazed outfits the EDL – the EDL is basically 500 football hooligans from Stoke and Luton while adherents to islam exceed 1 billion and too many of them entertain bizarre notions of virgins waiting for them in heaven
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdNqUW5wwTE

@24. davidh

“Privately they will be reassured that the very far right are not going to split their electorate.”

If you had been following local and national by elections recently you’ll see that the ‘very far right’ have been getting pathetically small percentages in comparison to UKIP. Robinson couldn’t ‘split the vote’ if he wanted to.

A year ago Robinson or whatever his real name is was trying to starting his own party and denouncing UKIP. Now the wheels have fallen off that particular cart he’s pretending he’s not running in elections on a point of principle.

26

We essentially agree about Islam but then I claim to have no religion and I’m mindful of the Thirty Years War in Europe 1618-48 during which sovereign states would invade a neighbouring sovereign state so as to install the “correct” brand of Christianty and thereby save the souls of its residents from eternal damnation. Islam desperately needs a Reformation but the continuing sectarian battles between the Sunnis and the Shiites are very bloody. Perhaps we need to worry about what might happen once they settle their differences.

“But they didn’t say they didn’t want votes from EDL sympathisers,”

Very weak Sunny. Very weak. As above.

Just as the Labour Party doesn’t say that if you are a communist, a socialist, desirous of killing off the bourgeois, then we insist that you don’t for us. Because they don’t say that, do they?

29 – Indeed they don’t but then there’s one rule for the far right and another for the far left. Parties sympathetic to Lenin’s murderous regime (such as the SWP) are for some reason not treated with the same opprobrium as the far right.

31. Chaise Guevara

@ 15 a&e

” I am not saying muslims are bad people, Chaise, I am saying they are incredibly stupid to hitch their wagon to 14th century stuff and nonsense.
As Dawkins says – the evidence for mohammed going to heaven on a winged horse is roughly equal to that for ‘puff the magic dragon’.
Its like dressing up like a clown then complaining about the fact everybody is laughing at you.”

No, you’ve switched subjects. Because that applies to every religion ever, plus a load of quasi-religious crap like New Ageism, and you were specifically demonising Muslims. You know, with all that “guess their religion” stuff. If you changed the suicide bomber to a bomb threat by the IRA, which religion would you guess then? Begins with a C, ends with -atholic.

I could come up with cherrypicked examples for every religion in the world. Could probably think of one for atheism if you gave me enough time.

32. Chaise Guevara

@ 18 james

“Perhaps it didn’t even occur to them to make that statement. Of course if you denounce someone, say you disagree with them and ban them from joining your party you might assume that covered everything.”

No, they rather obviously didn’t say that they didn’t want the votes. I should say again that I’m cool with that. I get annoyed when people try to shame political parties by saying “look, this arsehole voted for you!” It’s not relevant. The EDL are waaaaay more extreme than UKIP, but may see them as being the most relevant to their beliefs. It’s cool. Just because they share views on Europe and immigration doesn’t mean that UKIP are responsible for the EDL’s violent tendencies. The BNP have a lot of unremarkable policies on non-racial issues that most people probably agree with. That doesn’t make those people racist.

BTW, I’m pretty sure that vimothy @19 is on your side. He’s not attacking you.

I’m right-wing and I read and comment on your blog. That doesn’t make your blog right-wing.

#LOLwut

@32. Chaise Guevara

“No, they rather obviously didn’t say that they didn’t want the votes. I should say again that I’m cool with that. I get annoyed when people try to shame political parties by saying “look, this arsehole voted for you!” It’s not relevant.”

Exactly it’s not relevant, it would be a nonsense thing to say, for the reasons you gave. If it was me it literally would not occur to me that that would be a thing to say. When Kinnock was kicking Militant out of the Labour party I don’t remember anyone saying ‘well he didn’t say he didn’t want them to vote Labour, maybe that means he’s a trot’.

“BTW, I’m pretty sure that vimothy @19 is on your side. He’s not attacking you.”

I see what you mean. Poe’s Law strikes again.

They do, most notably, have one of Farage’s best mates standing as a UKIP candidate in Kent despite the fact that he used to be an organiser for the National Front and once stood for the National Front in an election.

36. the a&e charge nurse

[31] ‘you were specifically demonising Muslims’ – I am demonising where belief in islam takes people in a way that other religions tend not to nowadays.

Sam Harris demonises them, so does Billy Connolly for similar reasons (lack of reason and propensity for violence in too many instances).

Is your arguments that today all religions are the same, and that there are not specific problems associated with specific belief systems – at any rate I see you prefer not to answer Sam Harris’s rhetorical question so perhaps if you are ignoring this question you could tell us which islamic state is to be admired?

In my opinion the usual silence by liberals on the second question speaks volumes – don’t forget speaking out against islam can result in death threats
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kN6UFQcNOw8

37. Chaise Guevara

@ 26 a&e

“I am demonising where belief in islam takes people in a way that other religions tend not to nowadays.”

No, you’re brush-tarring. And now you’re trying to avoid justifying said brush-tarring by talking about something different.

“Is your arguments that today all religions are the same, and that there are not specific problems associated with specific belief systems”

No, of course not.

“at any rate I see you prefer not to answer Sam Harris’s rhetorical question”

You didn’t address it to me. You have to ask the question before you can gt excited about not getting an answer. The answer is “Muslim” obv.

“so perhaps if you are ignoring this question you could tell us which islamic state is to be admired?”

Aaaand we have yet another nonsequiter.

38. Chaise Guevara

@ 34 James

I agree it’s not relevant, but UKIP will be aware that there are consequences to not rejecting the EDL’s votes. Boris Johnson fairly recently said he didn’t want BNP votes when they endorsed him as mayor. It’s all politicking, of course.

@38. Chaise Guevara

“there are consequences to not rejecting the EDL’s votes”

I don’t think so. This blog article is the only one that’s even made an issue of it. None of the morning papers are bothering to cover the story at all.

“Boris Johnson fairly recently said he didn’t want BNP votes when they endorsed him as mayor.”

Different circumstances. The Mayor is voted in with the supplementary vote system. A record is therefore made of the first choice option of those who put him as their second choice. Boris might well have been concerned about the possible ‘guilt by association’ effect this might have.
In First past the post elections however this isn’t an issue and few people would even think of making it one.

I rather suspect that you and I are putting more thought into the wording of the UKIP statement than the UKIP spokesman was when he made it. Remember this is a small and frankly amateurish party whose HQ is a unit on a Devon industrial estate

”English Defence League endorse UKIP for elections over immigration and Islam”

And what? That means UKIP are like the EDL or something? It’s a bit of a tenuous connection I think. It could actually be called muck raking or mischief making.
Or just normal, everyday political spin.

I don’t like it myself, but I’m not such a partisan political animal as the OP writer.

I think we’ve walked into some drivelous counter factual reality where parties not only have to appeal to the voters but also specifically state who they shouldn’t appeal to?

Geez, sometime Sunny, you really are a sanctimonious teenager.

It would be rather silly to expect a party having adopted racist policies then to ask racists not to vote for them. It would rather defeat the object of the exercise.

Jimmy @42, it’s rather subjective to use words like racists in that way.

Is UKIP’s current billboard campaign racist?
It says: ‘Stop open door EU immigration – Enough’s enough’

http://www.thecommentator.com/system/articles/inner_pictures/000/003/098/thumb/BGjCpvhCIAAD-vm.jpg-large.jpeg?1364587391

I don’t like it myself particularly, but it’s fair comment isn’t it?

44. the a&e charge nurse

[37] not really sure what you are saying but I see you are not keen to be drawn on the matter of which country can be held up as a beacon islamic state – it’s OK, most liberals tend to keep schtum on that one.

Anyway, at the risk of stating the obvious we must remember that liberalism and islamism (true islamism) are fundamentally opposing , and antagonistic positions.

To a certain extent the worst excesses of islam can be off-set by sufficient exposure to the kind of secular rationalism one associates with liberal democracies (one of the reasons why witch burning in europe was eventually seen as a bad idea) but unfortunately there will always be a sizable population of true adherents to the quran, and this book is responsible for all manner of violence, not least because some regard it as the word of god.

I dread to think what might happen when some of these religious hard men get hold of upgraded weapons technology (as they inevitably will).

45. Just Visiting

Bob B

> Islamic countries would have great difficulty in making transitions to pluralist, multi-party democracies because of the theocratic vision embedded in mainstream Islam.

Too true.

Just one relevant news item today:

Hundreds of thousands of Islamists rallied in Dhaka after an overnight “long march” to the Bangladeshi capital, demanding the execution of atheist bloggers for defaming Islam.

46. the a&e charge nurse

[45] if people are honest they will not be entirely surprised that islamic nutters want to kill bloggers (item linked to).
One thing we should have learnt is that it is quite impossible to reason with people who do not require any evidence for their deranged beliefs.

47. Chaise Guevara

@ 44 a&e

“not really sure what you are saying but I see you are not keen to be drawn on the matter of which country can be held up as a beacon islamic state – it’s OK, most liberals tend to keep schtum on that one.”

So you didn’t understand what I said, but you’re prepared to pass judgement on it anyway? How rational.

A “nonsequitur” is when someone says something that is irrelevant to what was said before. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non_sequitur

In this case, it’s you asking me to name a really great Islamic state. That’s completely irrelevant to the point. I don’t think any Islamic states are great, I never said that any of them are great, and my argument does not rely on any Islamic states being great. Understand now?

My point is that you are taking valid problems with the Qu’ran, Islamic societies and Islamic extremists, and trying to hang those problems on all Muslims everywhere. This is called brush-tarring, and also bigotry.

I see you’re not keen to be drawn on my point – it’s ok, most Muslim-bashers like to keep schtum on that one.

48. the a&e charge nurse

[47] the so called moderate muslim presents important problems – I will tell you why when I get home from work.

49. the a&e charge nurse

[47] ‘My point is that you are taking valid problems with the Qu’ran, Islamic societies and Islamic extremists, and trying to hang those problems on all Muslims everywhere. This is called brush-tarring, and also bigotry’ – that seems to be the nub of your objection – but I do not think it is tenable once we start asking a few simple questions.

Lets start with an obvious one – what is a ‘moderate muslim’, because in the main moderation only seems to exists when there are strong enough non-muslim influence to dilute islamism, allied perhaps to a selective reading, or even ignorance of what the quran actually says. Conversely the more islamic a society is the more oppressive and intolerant it seems (from a liberal perspective) – so why is that?

Put simply the quran and tolerance (in the sense understood by fluffy liberals) are mutually opposing constructs.
All the stuff and nonsense about jihad and apostasy cannot be simply swept under the carpet – don’t forget there has been no reformation within islam; its adherents believe their book is literally the word of god (as the likes of Salman Rushdie, and Danish cartoonists found to their cost).

So when you say moderate moderate muslims do you actually mean muslims who no longer take the quran seriously but feel they have to keep up some sort of facade until they can finally switch to a world shaped by logic and reason?

Until this kind of progress is made I dare say we will continue to hear shocking stories like this one – what other religion is linked with such deranged thinking – maybe the moderate muslims could explain it to us?
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/1874471.stm

50. Chaise Guevara

@ a&e

“Lets start with an obvious one – what is a ‘moderate muslim’, because in the main moderation only seems to exists when there are strong enough non-muslim influence to dilute islamism, allied perhaps to a selective reading, or even ignorance of what the quran actually says. Conversely the more islamic a society is the more oppressive and intolerant it seems (from a liberal perspective) – so why is that?”

For the obvious reason that the presence of a range of cultures tends to have a moderating effect on the more extreme ones. Strongly conservative Muslims in the UK have children who go to school with laid-back Christians and atheists and find their peers’ views and activities more compelling than their parents’.

“Put simply the quran and tolerance (in the sense understood by fluffy liberals) are mutually opposing constructs.”

Well, yeah, if read literally. But you should judge individuals by their actions, not their reading material.

“All the stuff and nonsense about jihad and apostasy cannot be simply swept under the carpet – don’t forget there has been no reformation within islam; its adherents believe their book is literally the word of god (as the likes of Salman Rushdie, and Danish cartoonists found to their cost).”

Either there’s been reformation, or Islam has never been as bad as you make out, because otherwise the moderate Muslims I know could not logically exist.

“So when you say moderate moderate muslims do you actually mean muslims who no longer take the quran seriously but feel they have to keep up some sort of facade until they can finally switch to a world shaped by logic and reason?”

No, I don’t mean that reality splits all Muslims into two neat categories that conveniently justify your prejudices. I simply mean Muslims who don’t have the nasty attitudes you want to hang on them. Which includes most of the ones I’ve met, albeit in a liberal democracy.

“Until this kind of progress is made I dare say we will continue to hear shocking stories like this one – what other religion is linked with such deranged thinking”

You’re off on a tangent again, and it’s not a competition, but how about fundamentalist Christians like some JWs who will let their children die rather than allowing them medical treatment?

“maybe the moderate muslims could explain it to us?”

Why should they? They didn’t do it.

51. the a&e charge nurse

[50] ‘Why should they? They didn’t do it’ – why should they!!!

Look either most islamic states in world have got the quran terribly wrong and it is actually a misunderstood book that promotes great tolerance (of other religions, sexual attitudes, women’s rights, etc), or, as most anti-theists maintain, is one of the worlds best DIY manuals in how to organise a world based on ignorance and intolerance, especially through mechanisms like jihad and apostasy.

Eyes to the floor is simply not an appropriate response when doctrine takes people to a position were they would prefer to let young women die a horrible death rather than escape a burning building because they are wearing the wrong sort of clobber – or if not the burning then maybe the stonings, sexist laws or all the rest of it carried out in gods name.

As far as I can tell you do not seem to have ANY position apart from not being too mean to a group mandated by the very book they base their faith on to be evangelical about promoting their anti-rational view of the world.
If one religious group seems to be blowing themselves up every 5 minutes (and god knows how many bystanders), murdering film makers, threatening bloggers or deciding what cartoons we can or cannot see then the kind of questions that are being asked time and time again, and which you seem to think muslim have no responsibility to answer, will not go away.

Personally if I took this sort of mumbo jumbo seriously perhaps I would want to explain to others why I believe the things I believe especially with regards to the perennial sort of anti-liberalism that crops up time and time again.
But as I say I will not hold my breath waiting for such moderation to come from adherents of islam – after all such a posture requires an inquiring, and rational mind, one that is more interested in truth and evidence rather than promoting antiquated man made stories.

52. Chaise Guevara

@ a7e

“Eyes to the floor is simply not an appropriate response when doctrine takes people to a position were they would prefer to let young women die a horrible death rather than escape a burning building because they are wearing the wrong sort of clobber”

Not everyone is political, and it’s no more a moderate Muslim’s responsibility to deal with this as it is a non-Muslim’s. Both disagree with the zealots in question.

“As far as I can tell you do not seem to have ANY position apart from not being too mean to a group mandated by the very book they base their faith on to be evangelical about promoting their anti-rational view of the world.”

You’ve just demonstrated that you either don’t understand my position, or are deliberately misinterpret it. I’m not talking about being mean to “a group”. I’m talking about being mean to individuals in a group, based on the actions of others in that group, even though the former have not committed such actions and disagree with them.

If you can’t tell the difference between those two statements then I can’t help you.

“Personally if I took this sort of mumbo jumbo seriously perhaps I would want to explain to others why I believe the things I believe especially with regards to the perennial sort of anti-liberalism that crops up time and time again.”

Firstly, have you looked? Or are you just grumpy that a Muslim hasn’t knocked on your door to explain why they believe what they do?

Secondly, it clearly wouldn’t matter if someone did do this, because you’ll still blame them for the sins of other Muslims. So why bother?

53. Churm Rincewind

@ the A&E charge nurse: You seem anxious to demonise Islam on the basis that the Quran contains illiberal/unacceptable/vile (take your pick) provisions.

Presumably you would also wish to demonise Christianity and Judaism on the same basis? (See Leviticus in particular, the third book of both the Jewish Torah and the Christian Bible. Or perhaps, for example, you agree that menstruating women should be isolated from society?)

54. the a&e charge nurse

[52] does your position demand that we should not ‘tarbrush’ members of other wacky groups, like the EDL, nor expect them to explain the antisocial behaviour associated with their ideology because that would be ‘bigoted’?

[53] if burning young women because of religious beliefs does not make some people ‘anxious’ then I fear nothing will.

55. Chaise Guevara

@ 54 a&e

“does your position demand that we should not ‘tarbrush’ members of other wacky groups, like the EDL, nor expect them to explain the antisocial behaviour associated with their ideology because that would be ‘bigoted’?”

Yes, obviously. I’m against bigotry in general, not just bigotry against Muslims.

56. Churm Rincewind

@ (54) a&e; “If burning young women because of religious beliefs does not make some people ‘anxious’ then I fear nothing will.” I take it that you’re referring to the previously widespread custom amongst Christians in Europe of burning people at the stake on account of their religious beliefs? Does this not rather support my point?

57. the a&e charge nurse

[56] why do you think christian’s stopped burning women – because they came up against rationalism and knowledge, that’s why – but if the church had been left to its own devices it would still be persecuting independent thinkers in the way that islam does today.

Look guys, at some point religion is just going to have the face the fact their various irrational beliefs are simply not based in reality.
It’s the sort of moment every parent dreads when they have to tell their children the same thing about the sleigh driving, bearded man in the red suit.

Interesting item here criticising Sam Harris and the ‘new atheists’
covering some of the points we have discussed on this very thread. Personally I believe Harris is right (essentially) and his critics are wrong.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/atheists-richard-dawkins-christopher-hitchens-and-sam-harris-face-islamophobia-backlash-8570580.html


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