philosoraptor42: (Fatpie42)

*Mild/Moderate Trigger Warning* This discussion of misogyny and the damsel in distress trope may inevitably be triggering for some readers as it discusses power-imbalances and some violent or abusive scenarios. That said, there is no use of graphic descriptions nor any reference to sexual violence.

The post below is going to analyse some bigotry against Anita from Feminist Frequency. She has released the first of her "Tropes Vs Women" series about videogames now. Personally, I was unsure about some of the stuff about Starfox Adventures (since I cannot help but imagine that the character change in that game must be somewhat related to Microsoft buying Rare - since it would be harder for Nintendo to keep hold of a game not starring one of their copyrighted group of characters), but asides from that I was mainly reacting with "ah, I guess that's right".

Inevitably there's been some backlash. One of the videos criticising Anita (and undoubtedly NOT one of the best critiques she'll receive) comes from a Youtube user called Thunderf00t....

Now it's been a while since I've been made really angry by some bigoted ranting. I've reacted to some news articles, sure, but I've generally not been chasing down internet idiots. I've been a lot better off for it though.

The last idiot I really thought I needed to alert people to was Pat Condell. Condell was seemingly only known on the internet, but he seemed to have a wide following. So when his videos went from annoying and crass to all-out hate-mongering, I felt the need to expose precisely why people shouldn't support him. (He's still up to the same old tricks it seems. One of his latest videos claims that it's racist not to consider all Palestinians, every man, woman and child of them, to be evil terrorists. That's pretty typical rhetoric from him sadly.)

But the recent dodgy internet hatred doesn't seem to come from a single person. Instead it seems to be embodied by a large gang of mostly libertarian internet users who are strangely opposed to feminism and demand protection from criticism if they post offensive comments (on the grounds of 'free speech' apparently).

"Thunderf00t" seems to be a pretty big ringleader of this group. By this point Thunderf00t is pretty well known to be someone your average decent supporter of feminism will be upset by, but he attracts a lot of attention so I feel like he's probably as good a representative as any for this disgusting internet misogyny recently.

First of all some background...

Thunderf00t and Freethoughtblogs

Thunderf00t had a run-in with well known pro-feminism atheist blogger P.Z. Myers (who runs the blog Pharyngula) who is disinclined to accept misogyny, racism, homophobia, etc. on his comments threads. When Thunderf00t was offered space in Freethoughtblogs and decided to use it almost entirely to dismiss women's rights the other bloggers on Freethoughtblogs decided that he wasn't fitting in. He was alienating their female audience and conveying bigoted views with which Freethoughtblogs bloggers did not want to be connected.

Anita's "Tropes Vs Women" series

Anita used Kickstarter to get funding for her project to analyse the history of gaming and the portrayal of women within videogames. The comments at Kickstarter began to fill up with misogynistic comments from utter scumbags and the response by decent human beings across the internet was to donate huge amounts of money to her project. The misogynist comments had made it very clear to everyone just how much of an idol videogames were to these horrible individuals and just how sorely the world of videogames needed to be analysed from a feminist perspective.

Thunderf00t's video "Feminism Vs FACTS (RE Damsel in distress)" and how it completely misses the point of Anita's original video at Feminist Frequency, feminism as a whole, and plain old common sense.

I only came to watch Thunderf00t's poor attempt at a critique because I stumbled on someone showing one of his old videos "The Internet: Where Religions Come To Die". Not knowing it was from Thunderf00t I approached it with a pretty open mind. There were parts that were well-argued and other parts where it was more obviously labouring the point. I noticed that the video seemed to have a very "us and them" stance which appeared to represent the vlogger's genuine stance rather than being a rhetorical tool.

1- Double Dragon Neon

Thunderf00t's latest video begins by questioning Anita's research for her videogame critique. He argues that she is wrong to claim the damsel in distress of the game "Double Dragon Neon" is portrayed as weak, ineffective or ultimately incapable because the game finishes with her punching the villain in the crotch.

While this might seem like a reasonable argument to someone who had never watched the original video, already Thunderf00t is showing a clear failure to understand Anita's argument. Anita's concern with "Double Dragon Neon" mainly focusses on the opening which, as an update of an older game, rejigs the 8-bit classic by showing the damsel in distress character being punched in the gut and carried away in deeper colours, pristine 2D graphics with her cleavage clearly visable as she is punched and her knickers clearly visible as she is carried away. This update of the older classic begins straight away with an utterly demeaning image for women, right before introducing the two MALE playable characters.

The ending where she gets to help beat up the villain in the end is earned after the two male characters have spent the entire game trying to save her, while she sits and waits for them. There's even a part of the game where the two playable MALE characters (since Marian herself is NOT a playable character) can fight for her affection, while she cheers them on in the background. This all serves to back up the idea of women as objects the male characters compete for. Yes, even if the unplayable female character gets to help deliver the finishing blow at the last minute, she's still been completely helpless for the whole game and used as a woman-shaped trophy by the game designers.

Read more... )

Thunderf00t simply doesn't understand the topic he is trying to discuss and yet there are internet misogynists rallying around his video which now has over 10,000 likes. Meanwhile Anita has had no choice but to disable ratings and comments because of an over-abundance of misogynistic trolls. Check out her excellent analysis of the Damsel In Distress trope in videogames below:

(video link)
philosoraptor42: (Default)

Some "big news" recently that the woman who worked for British Airways who had already won a ruling to allow her to wear a cross in the workplace, has now taken that same case to the European Court of Human Rights and proven that she has the same right there too.

Cue ridiculously misleading headlines:
The Independent: "Christian woman wins landmark discrimination case."
("Landmark"? Seriously?)

The FT: "BA employee wins right to wear cross."
(She already HAD that right. FFS!)

And of course, the Daily Fail: "'Thank You Jesus' Christian British Airways employee tell of joy as after European court finds she DID face discrimination over silver cross."
(Thanks Jesus! You've allowed a court to re-state the obvious! Well done!)

What most of the coverage is failing to make clear is that there were in fact FOUR court cases being brought before the ECHR and the other three ALL LOST their court cases.

One of those who lost their court case was Gary McFarlane, a relationship counsellor who refused to counsel gay couples because of his religious views. I previously posted an interview with him here (shocked at the lack of opposing voices provided in the interview, but fairly pleased with the amount of pressure placed by the interviewer himself).

The other two were:
- Lillian Ladele, a chaplain who refused to perform civil partnerships. It has now been decided that her wish to discriminate on religious grounds does not trump gay rights or the requirements of her employers.

- Shirley Chaplin, a nurse who had refused to accept the option of wearing a cross a different way in her workplace, such as in the form of a lapel pin. She lost the case that wearing the cross on a chain, which is against the uniform rules for nurses in UK hospitals, was a necessary part of her freedom of religious expression in the workplace.

Andrew Copson, as always, delivers some proper common sense below:

(video link)

Interestingly, a google image search for "ECHR religion rulings" mostly comes up with images related to a case from 2010 where a woman was unable to get her abortion within Ireland in spite of a risk to her life. There were a lot of protests against the ruling by anti-choicers, but perhaps if Ireland had taken that case a little more seriously (since unlike the above, it actually contradicted their own rulings) Savita might still be alive.

(cross-posted to atheism)
philosoraptor42: (Default)
There are two sides to every story, but sometimes one of those sides is mainly BS.

With the recent story about France banning Muslim prayer my first reaction was that it was absurd. But then I thought about it...

Read more... )
(Main Source: EuroNews)

Muslims using the new space provided after the recent French ban on Muslim prayer.
philosoraptor42: (Default)

This guy regularly gets interviewed as if he's a genuine representative of Christians. (Even on the
BBC, even though he sued them for blasphemy!) Want evidence that he's not? Well being disowned
by the Daily Fail has to be a good start, surely?

As much as I hate providing links to the Daily Fail, I've got to give them credit for being seemingly the only paper with an article on this. Stephen Green is the homophobic bigot who formed the fundamentalist group Christian Voice after giving up on the Conservative Family Campaign for being too moderate. The Daily Fail, in a break with tradition, have got an exclusive interview with his ex-wife who claims that Stephen Green hit her as well as her children during her 26 year marriage.

Still, the really stupid thing is the about of time Stephen Green has been used as an example of "Christianity-under-attack" and his "Christian Voice" organisation has been proposed as a genuine representation of real Christians in the UK. As is noted here, the Daily Fail themselves have long been guilty of this.

It's actually quite shocking to see that the Daily Telegraph, who regularly pick up on religion-related stories from the Daily Fail, have not followed suit on this one in spite of using Stephen Green to fuel free speech debate (when Stephen Green is rightly brought up for harassment when publically airing his homophobic bigotry) in the past. Still, they aren't alone with the BBC having recently used Stephen Green as a counter-point when reporting on Elton John's adoption of a baby boy.

You can find the contents of the Daily Fail interview with Caroline Green (which appears to be an exclusive) under the cut, but the link is at the top nonetheless:
Read more... )

But just in case you were unsure whether you were reading the Daily Mail, here is a recent comment on this article:
"mm. sounds like just another bitter moaning whining ex wife to me!" 
- sam, braunton, 29/1/2011 11:49
Ahhhh the world makes sense again....
philosoraptor42: (Default)
I previously posted an article about Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, entitled "The Slow Whiny Death of British Christianity". I also included a video about how a Christian bigot's appeal that his discriminatory practices ought to be somehow defended by law were answered with the following claim by the judge:
"Religion is entirely subjective, not objective. It's beliefs and practices are therefore completely irrational and have no basis whatever in fact... The protection of religious beliefs and practices are divisive, capricious and arbitrary."
(The guy who made the video noted that these words will now act as a precedent in future civil suits.)

Anyway, the bigot himself appeared on Radio Four recently and I was quite shocked to see him being sought out for an opinion, especially considering that there were no other interviewees to counter some of his ludicrous assertions (though admittedly the interviewer made a special effort to very diplomatically make up for this lack of balance).

Interviewer: The former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, publishes a leaflet today, it’s called “Not Ashamed”, encouraging Christians to defend their faith which, he says, is under attack in an increasingly secular society. Among those who support Lord Carey’s alarm, Gary McFarlane is a man who’s often used as an example of some contemporary attitudes. He was a counsellor working for Relate. You may remember the story. He objected to giving therapy to gay couples because it was in conflict with his own personal beliefs. He lost his job as a result and he failed to get the high court to back him. And he’s with us now. Good morning.

Gary McFarlane: Good morning.

Read more... )

…but essentially what we’re dealing with is my ability to live out my faith in the way that I would seek to do as other faiths are actually entitled, indeed encouraged, to do.

I: Do you think that’s changed in the last few years?

Significantly so, in the sense that other faiths are given rights, are championed, if there is, for example, a festive occasion arising, then the systems, the NHS, will actually give those individuals rights. I have to look behind me, almost metaphorically speaking, to check “Where am I?” in case I’m going to have a conversation about the things of the Bible, Jesus Christ, in case it might offend somebody. I have to be cautious.

Read more... )

Asides from the introductory bit at the beginning, the section I have left visible (the rest is under the cut) shows McFarlane trying to claim that he is somehow disallowed from expressing his faith in the ways that others do. This is a rather sensible way of phrasing it disguises the fact that the principles of secularism (which he claims to be opposing) are actually intended to ensure that all people can express their beliefs equally regardless of religious affiliation (presuming that expression of those beliefs do not undermine important individual rights).

The thing is that he gives no examples of how he has less rights than any other religion. Do other religions have to avoid offending people? Heck, hate-preaching Imams and Fred Phelps are both similarly barred from entering the country. Not Pope Benedict though, so I guess that gives Christianity the upper hand, wouldn't you say?

As for special effort to celebrate religious festivals, this isn't America! Christmas lights are all over the town. There is Christmas stuff everywhere. We're not celebrating Hannukah right now (BTW Happy Hanukah!!!! all those who are celebrating that right now! :)) and I've long expressed my wish to include Diwali amongst our national festivals. (Experienced Diwali night in India and loved it, y'see.) Public celebration of Christian festivals is not an issue in the UK. This is just another example of an irrational believer in the bizarre "war on Christmas" myth. Give it a rest!

(To those people who are actually Christian on my f-list, please note that I do realise that this moron is expressing a minority position amongst Christians, in the UK at least, however that's precisely why it annoyed me to see this bigot being given time to express his views on a popular national radio station.)

X-Posted to [ profile] atheism 
philosoraptor42: (Default)
"We now have a situation where people can walk into a bank or any other secure area wearing Mickey Mouse ears and remain unquestioned about it."

The video starts with comments from Nicolas Sarkozy which are pretty comical, but when a spokesman said the quote above (switch "Mickey Mouse ears" for "burka") I nearly burst out laughing.

"Hey, someone wearing a nun's habit could walk into a bank without being questioned. We better crack down on those infamous nun bank robbers!" - How the heck is that any blooming different?

Video can be found here.
(Via Atheist Media Blog)

No sex and drugs, but perhaps a bit of rock n roll. We can't be having with this! :P

Update: There's been some confusion in [ profile] atheism about the context. The video is the first in a series of videos featuring a debate about banning the burka. Both Sarkozy and the other guy are saying what they are saying in support of a full nationwide ban on the burka for their respective countries. - Naturally bank security measures, should they decide they need them, are a whole different matter.

(x - posted to atheism)
philosoraptor42: (Default)

Preaching Hate In Our Streets
Extremist flyers call for Ahmadi Muslims' murder

Islamic extremists are promoting the murder of evangelical Muslims in Kingston town centre.

A police investigation was launched last month, after police saw leaflets being handed out calling on Muslims to murder Qadiyanis, a derogatory term for Ahmadiyya Muslims who are an evangelical sect of Islam.

It is believed the literature is linked to a terrorist attack in May, in which 92 worshippers were murdered by Taliban militants in Pakistan, where the government officially regards Ahmadiyya Islam as blasphemy.

Having made no arrests in connection with the incident, Kingston police are appealing for witnesses who may have seen the people handing inflammatory literature, outside the Jane Norman store in Clarence Street.

A teenage Ahmadiyya girl who did not want to be named said she was “shaken and scared” after being handed a leaflet written in Urdu saying: “Kill a Qadiyani and doors to heaven will be open to you”.

Read more... )
(Source: The Surrey Comet)
(Via The Spittoon)

This is a story from a local paper called the Surrey Comet and relates to events in the area of Kingston. The article is not (currently) on their website, but The Spittoon have helpfully uploaded a scan of the article and I have been good enough to transcribe it for you.

This isn't the first time the paper have written about Ahmadis.
Read more... )

The Surrey Comet have also written at least two other articles on the Ahmadi community in the wake of the massacre in Pakistan.
(Source 1)
(Source 2)
philosoraptor42: (Default)
Disclaimer before you start reading: Article contains sarcasm.

Anti-'Ground Zero Mosque' Rally Freaks Out at Black Guy

Both supporters and opponents of the "Ground Zero" "Mosque"—a proposed community center—held rallies in lower Manhattan today. Can you guess which side started chanting "no mosque here" at a black guy wandering through the crowd?

While you spent your Sunday trying to teach your cat to go to the bathroom on a human toilet, a group of brave, freedom-loving Americans gathered in New York City to express their extreme disapproval with the Park 51 project, an al-Qaeda plot to build a community center featuring a swimming pool and auditorium on the very site where a Burlington Coat Factory once stood.

As you can see in the video above, at some point during the rally, a dark-skinned man wearing an Under Armor skullcap and what looks like a necklace with a Puerto Rican flag walked through the anti-"Mosque" crowd. The crowd, astutely recognizing that he was on his way to build the mosque, began to chant "NO MOSQUE HERE" at him. In the video, someone says, "run away, coward." The man turns around, perturbed. "Y'all motherfuckers don't know my opinion about shit," he says. Au contraire, my friend: You are a black man wearing a skullcap, after all! You are definitely a pro-Mosque, anti-freedom Jihadist! Why, aren't you, in fact... Osama Bin Laden??

No, actually, according to the guy who uploaded the video to YouTube, the skullcap-wearing gentleman's name is Kenny and he's "a Union carpenter who works at Ground Zero." Kenny is also—as he points out several times in the video—not a Muslim. (No word on whether or not he voted for Obama, as one of the very reasonable and intelligent-sounding anti-"Mosque" protestors speculates.) But I'll bet you Kenny has been totally convinced about the truth of the Burlington Coat Factory Desecration Community Center. Who wouldn't be?

Read more... )(Article From Gawker)
(Via The Spittoon)
philosoraptor42: (Default)
People here may remember a relatively recent post where I pointed out a blog entry from a priest/teacher about how utterly untrustworthy the British tabloids are. There's been a follow up post about a story which seems to be making the rounds on the internet right now.

The point is that before we get on our high horse about a particular story it is worth being sure of the details first. If we're not careful we might well find ourselves being drawn into a political agenda which we would otherwise have given a wide berth.

This isn't only true of Islamist/Islamophobia stories. Pat Condell has provided a nice little alternative example recently of what he views as "PC gone mad" regarding racism against the Irish.

The Internet, the Tabloids and the murky world of misinformation

I have a couple of friends who send me stuff from the INTERNET that they receive from other friends. I usually pass them on too. Many of them are very funny, showing the infinite stupidity of humanity; others are very clever and creative and some, Dear Reader, are a bit rude. It is rare for me to delete without sending on but there are categories I won't be party to distributing. Here is one (he says, distributing it more widely).

An incident occurred in a supermarket recently, when the following was witnessed: A Muslim woman dressed in a Burkha (A black gown & face mask) was standing with her shopping in a queue at the checkout.
Read more... )

There's a whole argument that people could go into regarding loyalty to your new home vs loyalty to your original homeland. However, that discussion becomes entirely pointless once you realise that the example of split loyalties under discussion was entirely fabricated to rile up nationalistic sentiments.

(Cross-posted to atheism)
philosoraptor42: (Default)
Pat Condell's latest vid points out a situation whereby someone was given compensation because someone told him a joke about the Irish and he found it offensive.

So... what's Pat Condell not taken into account?

Here's the really telling line:
"I couldn't believe my ears - we were in the midst of a racial discrimination hearing."

The guy who made the joke was a councillor at a racial discrimination hearing. The union leader received compensation because he was subjected to hugely unprofessional and offensive behaviour during a meeting in which Mr. Bamber was representing the local council.

Apparently Cllr. Bamber wrote down on a bit of paper that he was sorry, but refused to sign it or write what he was sorry for. The court case went on for the most part without the plaintiffs involved. It was a matter of what the response should be to unprofessional behaviour in the workplace by a councillor.

Naturally all articles on this feature the joke concerned. If this was all about ordinary people being offended by jokes ripping into the Irish, that would be quite ludicrous. Naturally it's the context that matters here. Something Pat Condell isn't keen to spend much time on.

(Actually it was quite funny when the whole Danish cartoons fiasco started up, that while the controversy was over whether the cartoons should be printed, gaining a personal opinion on the matter seemed to require that the cartoons be printed. Bit of a Catch22.)

(Source one) (Source two)

Now this REALLY pisses off the Irish!

The article Pat Condell actually points out comes from a guy called Douglas Murray, who appears to be a hideous racist. I couldn't actually believe the video he posted in this entry on his blog where the host of The Politics Show starts grilling a Labour politician on her statement that "West Indian mums will go to the wall for their kids". Now naturally grilling politicians is a fine tradition, but when it takes the form of 'If West Indian mums are so great why are there so many dysfunctional West Indian families?' I find myself rather under-impressed. I'm sure the original comment wasn't intended to become a pissing contest of "which race features the best mums" and the interviewer's question seems to helpfully ignore the huge numbers of dysfunctional white families in Britain who make up the vast majority of our chav population.

Unsurprisingly, the comments on youtube for that video are utterly disgusting.

Richard Dawkins has pissed me off too... )
philosoraptor42: (Default)
The Destruction Of The Babri Mosque imagined as a short dialogue. Probably works best if you imagine both sides as having cockney accents. ;)
Under cut because making light of relatively recent religious atrocity.... )
philosoraptor42: (Default)

The slow, whiny death of British Christianity

Posted by Johann Hari 

And now congregation, put your hands together and give thanks, for I come bearing Good News. Britain is now the most irreligious country on earth. This island has shed superstition faster and more completely than anywhere else. Some 63 percent of us are non-believers, according to an ICM study, while 82 percent say religion is a cause of harmful division. Now, let us stand and sing our new national hymn: Jerusalem was dismantled here/ in England's green and pleasant land.

How did it happen? For centuries, religion was insulated from criticism in Britain. First its opponents were burned, then jailed, then shunned. But once there was a free marketplace of ideas, once people could finally hear both the religious arguments and the rationalist criticisms of them, the religious lost the British people. Their case was too weak, their opposition to divorce and abortion and gay people too cruel, their evidence for their claims non-existent. Once they had to rely on persuasion rather than intimidation, the story of British Christianity came to an end.

Read more... )

The article doesn't appear to get anything wrong, though it may contain a few sins of omission. Overall I think this article makes some extremely good points and their criticism of the activities of the former Archbishop of Canterbury since his retirement helps to explain why Rowan Williams is considered a liberal.

As far as the court ruling by Chief Justice Laws is concerned, there's a rather neat youtube vid about it:
philosoraptor42: (Default)
Link to article about Conservative MPs comments and also featuring horrible Stormfront poster which I am not about to feature on my blog.

In short: Yes, a burkha ban is f***ing racist dammit!

Update 1: Image from article recommended by [ profile] midwinterspring  about the recent ban on the burkha in France, to make this post look pretty. :D

Update 2: Technically the burkha looks like this. When people use the term to refer to the particularly extreme style of dress found in Aghanistan, the term for that style of dress is a "chadri".
philosoraptor42: (Fatpie42)

The video announces that the green party have awful policies such as:
- Oppposing discriminatory hiring policies in schools!
- Favouring more effective counselling services in schools which will cater to people from multiple faiths and cultures!
- Promoting effective abortion provision for women who wish to terminate their pregnancy!
- Encouraging setting up effective euthanasia provision for people who wish to end their lives prematurely!
(In the case of the last two, the video even says "provide effectively".)
- Arranging state recognition of gay marriage!
- Opposing unfair discrimination in the adoption system, ensuring that children are not unfairly prevented from entering a loving family!


Researching further I found this comment. I'm not sure if they were being serious:
If we get an Atheist PM, does that mean we will lose holidays like Easter and Christmas?

(Video via ONTD_P)

(Cross-posted to atheism)
philosoraptor42: (Default)
I'm not going to bother with a tirade today. I am mainly just going to post what other people have written. Unless stated otherwise the comments I have posted are from the Richard Dawkins Website where I discovered the video.

First of all, a comment summarising the basic gist of Pat Condell's latest video post:
I don't care what the atheist community thinks of me. In fact, I don't care so much that I'm going to make a video saying how much I don't care, and post it to a high-traffic site within the atheist community. That's how much I don't care.

See? This is me not caring.


Now a quick update on what the problem with pat condell is. (If you want to find my own posts criticising Pat Condell, check here.)
[Recent video responses to Pat Condell] usually have [a] few fairly similar points in common.

- That he is supporting an ultra-right wing bill in the US to ban a muslim community center 2 blocks from ground zero.

- That he is recommending a book published by a fundamentalist christian news organisation with an awful track record.

- That he has used thouroughly debunked statistics on muslim birthrates as evidence for the "islamization of europe".

- That he is old.

Nobody, even his detractors, could seriously argue that Pat Condell is incapable of articulating his thoughts. So it begs the question, why did he choose to discuss only these peoples conclusions and not discuss any of the points they brought up, which have led them to the same conclusion? Especially when it obviously be a far more effective way of refuting it than merely asserting that he is not a bigot, and then childishly pronouncing that, anyway, he doesn't care.
That's the big question. If Pat Condell had refuted some of the accusations against him, it might have seemed vaguely worthwhile. But why simply make a post which says "I don't care what you think"?

Some more comments I like:

Pat if you’re reading this (and I hope you are), you would not know what freedom meant if it jumped up and hit you on your ‘little white Britain’ UKIP supporting noggen.
-when we come up with superficial critiques of the islamic world, some of the arguments might end up being used by christians to justify blind hate and violence... which defeats the purpose; there needs to be more essence and quality in the arguments.
Sadly, I'm one of those who finds Pat is starting to come across like the BNP with O Levels. His stuff is more or less Melanie Philips-lite. While there's clearly evidence that some anti-democratic stuff is being pushed by Islamic groups, much is just made up by the UK press, and Pat swallows this Daily Mail rubbish uncritically. If viewing the Mail sceptically makes me "PC", so be it.
(This comment is from Atheist Media Blog)
Seems to me that the atheists that Pat is complaining about are those who don't share his 'the muslims are coming to get me' paranoia.
i think it would be best for the integrity of this site to stop spreading pat condell's xenophobic propaganda. i think it would be a shame for anyone to google "pat condell" and find a link to the richard dawkins website. it gives him way too big a platform, and sullies what richard dawkins has been fighting for.

Dodgy comments

"He appears to be attacking the modern cultural relativist hard left, who are organised under the auspices of groups like Unite Against Fascism. "
... Yeah. Unite Against Fascism eh? I can see why Pat Condell wouldn't like them.

Some of these comments seem to do a REALLY bad job of defending him.
"There is also the problem that Pat Condell is being castigated for reasons unconnected to his message...i.e. UKIP and WNP."
WNP? I've never heard of that before. I wonder what.... SWEET ZOMBIE JESUS WTF??? White Nationalist Party??? Sheesh, I'd never have linked him to that. How the heck are they able to blithely suggest that he'd support a group like that and then suggest that it's no big deal? O_O

This is what Pat does every time he speaks out against the extremist, xenophobic Islamic communities. The resemblances between Islamic and Nazi totalitarianisms are quite striking.

As for right-wing, this is a commonly mis-applied pejorative, often used against any group that questions the left/liberal agenda. The EDL has recently demonstrated against the Islamization of Britain in an explicitly non-racist, peaceful way. Yet within weeks of their formation the anti-EDL UAF appeared and has been accusing the EDL of far-rightism and racism ever since. It appears to be an organised rather than a merely reflex kind of response. Anyhow, the term 'far-right' refers to a kind of 'laissez-faire' capitalist view; nothing to do with Islam/isation or immigration.
Yeah, um... that doesn't appear to be the attitude of the police force towards the EDL (English Defense League). I guess they're just unfairly discriminating against white salt-of-the-earth mobs, eh?

You can call Pat whatever you like for joining forces with right wing Christians and Jews against Islam when it suits him, but we all make alliances of circumstance in the face of what we see as a greater threat.  The ones who don't will find that they lose almost every time.(This comment is from Atheist Media Blog)
Yeah, I know you think you are helping Pat out here, but you're really not!

Finally, I've come across this video refuting Pat Condell's recent stuff. Their latest video is pretty good too.

philosoraptor42: (Default)
I'm following the blog feed and so I wouldn't be writing about this if they hadn't posted it. In fact, the reason I didn't react when Pat Condell noted the party he was going to vote for in the last election was because websites like presumably either thought no one would be interested, or were actively worried about being linked with the sentiment. In the thread on [ profile] atheism  I was informed "Pat has stated many times he doesn't support the BNP. In a recent vid, he urged his listeners to vote small party/independent (whatever that means)." The "small party/independent" was UKIP (UK Independence Party) whom our new centre-right Prime Minister once referred to as "full of loonies and closet racists mostly". So no surprise that this particular loony and closet racist wanted to support them, but moving on now...

Pat Condell's Book Club

Even having seen this new video I was considering keeping the rage to myself until, right at the end of the vid, Pat Condell decides to recommend a book.

The book in question has a nice and revealing title: "Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That's Conspiring to Islamize America"

Conspiracy Theories Or Serious Non-Fiction?

One of the commenters of had the following to say in response:
Wait a moment, isn't the book Pat is pimping published by the ultra right wing WorldNetDaily (WND) Books of "911 truth" and "Birthers" fame?

Oh dear Pat. First supporting UKIP now supporting conspiracy theorists....

I do hope he's being ironic.

Other books from WND include:
The Politically Incorrect Guide To Science (Tom Bethell exposes how science has been “politicized” to suit the agenda of the Left. From evolution to global warming--propaganda, hidden facts, and lies now surround most scientific topics.)
The Manchurian President: Barack Obama's Ties to Communists, Socialists and Other Anti-American Extremists

Climategate: A Veteran Meteorologist Exposes The Global Warming Scam
The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration's War on America
The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America Andrew C. McCarthy offers a harrowing account of how the global Islamist movement’s jihad involves far more than terrorist attacks, and how it has found the ideal partner in President Barack Obama, whose Islamist sympathies run deep.
George Washington's Sacred Fire Most people believe that George Washington was a deist. However, in this innovative and well-researched account Peter Lillback and Jerry Newcombe prove definitively that George Washington was indeed a devout, practicing Christian.
The Islamic Antichrist: The Shocking Truth about the Real Nature of the Beast

So the list goes on...

And sadly, it's pretty clear from this point that Pat Condell is not being ironic and early on in the video Pat Condell makes it pretty clear that he's buying into conspiracy theories when he claims: "Just look at the craven behaviour that allowed the massacre at Fort Hood to take place. We know it could have been prevented. But thanks to political correctness in the American Army - the American Army? - all the warning signs were ignored in case somebody got offended." Condell doesn't go into details, but the idea that anyone could have predicted Nidal Hasan was about to go nuts and start a mass-shooting seems bizarre to say the least.  We've had a fair number of shootings in the UK recently (and hand guns aren't even legal here) yet no one seems to be suggesting that they could have been predicted in advance. Those investigating Hasan's motives concluded that he was acting alone, but it looks like Pat Condell is probably more inclined to trust his new favourite book which asserts that Muslims are infiltrating the American government.

BTW Pat Condell's new favourite book claims that America is being infiltrated by a group called CAIR who, for the record, openly condemned the shooting in Fort Hood.

So Is The Book Right-Wing?
It's important to note that Pat Condell is quite desperate not to be seen as right-wing. He likes to think of himself as a liberal and he's angry that people keep noticing that he's not. So imagine my surprise (yeah right) when he decides to recommend a book with a foreword from Republican congresswoman Sue Myrick. Here's what she has to say on the subject:
"What they want to do is re-create the caliphate that happened . . . when they ruled the world." [Ruled the world???]  Steps include plans to throw out our government and "throw out our Constitution and force us to live under sharia law."
Yeah, how're those plans going then? Nearing fruition are they? *facepalm*

She also reckons that Iranians are smuggling their way into America across the Mexican border by learning Spanish in six months. (Yeah, you read that right.)

Other politicians who decided to join Sue Myrick in attacking CAIR over the accusations in this book include:
Trent Frank - Voted amongst the "most conservative" members of the U.S. House of Representatives in 2009 by the National Journal. Opposes same-sex marriage and abortion. Infamously claimed that legalised abortion is worse for the African American community than slavery: "Half of all black children are aborted. Far more of the African American community is being devastated by the policies of today than were being devastated by the policies of slavery."
John Shadegg Voted against the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007, which increased the federal minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 an hour. Voted for a bill to build a 700-mile (1,100 km) fence along the border between the United States and Mexico (Secure Fence Act of 2006). Opposed health care reform, referring to it as "Soviet-style gulag healthcare".
Paul Broun In May 2009, Broun proposed legislation that 2010 be proclaimed "The Year Of The Bible". In June 2009, Broun voted against a climate change bill, calling the entire concept of man made global warming a "hoax" perpetuated by the scientific community.

If it weren't for Sue Myrick being brought in to write the foreword to the book, we might imagine that this book was being hi-jacked by right-wing figures. However, looking into the writer David Gaubatz we find more evidence of a similar ultra right wing stance than I could possibly go into here.

An advocacy group called CAIR (who've had some pretty harsh criticism for simply providing Rifqa Bary's parents with a lawyer) seem to be viewed by the writers of "Muslim Mafia" as a radical extremist group who are infiltrating the government. Their method? By the strategic placement of interns. CAIR's spokesman Ibrahim Hooper found it hard to take the book seriously precisely because: "the worst thing he could say about us was we placed interns on Capitol Hill"

In Conclusion
Perhaps I'm getting mixed up. Perhaps when Pat Condell says "if you've ever accused anyone of Islamophobia, read this book" then what he's actually saying is "this is REAL Islamophobia and anything else you've seen will pale by comparison".

Perhaps if Pat Condell actually read something a little less right-wing, he might have realised that the mosque he referred to in his last vid isn't actually a mosque.
philosoraptor42: (Default)
Businessman Rachid Nekkaz hopes to render new law useless by paying fines for women caught wearing veil in street

A French property tycoon enraged at his government's plans to
ban women from wearing the full veil in public has promised a fund of €1m (£830,000) to help any Muslim who is fined for wearing the niqab in the street.

Rachid Nekkaz, a businessman of Algerian origin who launched a short-lived campaign in the 2007 presidential elections, has already put €200,000 into a bank account aimed at bailing out women who find themselves on the wrong side of the new law.

He insists that the ban, which was approved by the lower house of parliament on Tuesday and is set to be ratified by the senate in September, is "anti-constitutional" and a move that could put France on a slippery slope towards greater intolerance.

While he has no problem – like most of the French population – with an idea initially mooted by MPs of banning the full veil in state areas such as town halls and post offices, he is vehemently against a law that applies to women simply walking down the street.

"I am very, very sensitive to when people start playing around with institutions and the constitution. I was not shocked by the idea of a ban in public services; I am a [French] republican. But when I saw the president – the guarantor of the constitution – announcing a ban in the street I said to myself, 'this is serious'".

Nekkaz, who says his fund received €36,000 in donations in the 24 hours following its announcement and hopes it will reach €1m by September, is selling properties in the Parisian suburbs to keep the money coming in.

Under the planned law, any woman found wearing a face-covering veil anywhere in public faces a possible fine of €150 as well, potentially, as a course in "citizenship". However, if she has been fined for wearing the garment in the street, she will be able to pay the charge from Nekkaz's fund. The law, he hopes, will be made "inapplicable".

"I think this would never happen in the United States or the United Kingdom … France is a country which is not scared to compromise its principles," he said.

Nekkaz, a Muslim, is not the only one to have raised concerns about the viability of the law, due to come into full effect by spring next year. France's constitutional watchdog has twice warned that it could be found to infringe personal freedoms.

Please note that opposition to the burkha ban is not the same as approval of the burkha. A ban on the burkha targets a tiny minority amongst Muslim women, but entirely fails to engage with the patriarchy which forces women to wear it. As such, it serves to prevent this minority group of women from leaving their home and bars practically all possible access to education, employment and other means of personal independence. Not only that, but a large proportion of Muslims in France are of Algerian descent and thus there is also quite a complex long-running race-related issue at play here.

I also notice that while the ban is apparently on wearing the burkha, the article seems to suggest that the nikab is also included.

I'm not sure why he supports a ban in the town hall or in post offices, but I'm nevertheless pleased to see him setting up a fund to contest this ridiculous ban.
philosoraptor42: (Default)
With the aid of American-Israeli Caroline Glick, who is the deputy editor of the Jerusalem Post, the DC-based Zionist think tank Center For Security Policy has created the below video mocking the Palestinian activists involved in Monday's flotilla raid in which nine people were killed. Today the Israeli government issued an apology after its press office sent media outlets an email linking the video.

Lyrics under the cut... )

Israeli government office links to video mocking flotilla
By the CNN Wire Staff
June 6, 2010 -- Updated 0245 GMT (1045 HKT)

Jerusalem (CNN) -- The Israeli government's press division is apologizing for circulating a link to a video that mocks activists aboard a ship headed to Gaza earlier this week that was blocked by an Israeli raid.

"Due to a misunderstanding on our part, earlier (Friday) we inadvertently issued a video link that had been sent for our perusal," according to a statement from Israel's Government Press Office, which distributed the link to media outlets.

"It was not intended for general release," the statement said. "The contents of the video in no way represent the official policy of either the Government Press Office or of the State of Israel."

The video, titled "We Con the World" -- set to the tune of the 1985 hit, "We are the World"-- was put together by Caroline Glick, a former member of the Israel Defense Forces and columnist for the Jerusalem Post.

In the video, up to a dozen members of the so-called "Flotilla Choir" -- some wearing a variation of traditional Arab dress -- sing satirical verses, such as: "There's no people dying, so the best that we can do is create the biggest bluff of all."

On her blog, Glick, who briefly appears in the video, says, "We produced a clip in English. There we feature the Turkish-Hamas 'love boat' captain, crew and passengers in a musical explanation of how they con the world."

"We think this is an important Israeli contribution to the discussion of recent events and we hope you distribute it far and wide," she adds

Nine Turkish citizens were killed Monday after violence erupted on one of six ships in a flotilla carrying humanitarian aid to the Palestinian Gaza Strip. A number of other people were wounded. Israel said the passengers initiated the attack; the passengers blamed the troops.

That incident drew widespread condemnation and cast a spotlight on the dynamics of the Gaza crisis. On Saturday, Israel intercepted the final boat that was part of the flotilla, though the incident aboard the Irish-owned MV Rachel Corrie ended peacefully about 22 miles off the Gaza coast.

Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev dismissed the the video link, saying, "The GPO sends out lots of articles. It doesn't mean they like it."

Regev said he first noticed the video on the New York Times website.

"I called my kids in to watch it because I thought it was funny," he said. "It is what Israelis feel. But the government has nothing to do with it. The GPO distributes non-government items, things that we think that show our side of the story."

It was not the first time the Israeli GPO stirred controversy with its public communications on the Gaza flotilla.

Prior to the storming of the Turkish ship, the GPO sent an e-mail to journalists sarcastically recommending that while covering "alleged humanitarian difficulties," journalists should dine at one of Gaza's few restaurants.

"We have been told the beef stroganoff and cream of spinach soup are highly recommended," the e-mail said.

The message included an internet link to an old promotional video for the restaurant. The e-mail drew criticism from the foreign press and pro-Palestinian activists.

In an interview with the Jerusalem Post, GPO director Danny Seaman defended the communication, arguing that foreign media coverage of Gaza was not balanced.

(Via Joe My God)

Cross-posted to ONTD_P

Unarmed people died on that flotilla. Some of them were shot five times at close range. And now they are joking about it? Seriously wtf?!?!

(Here's a good LJ post on the flotilla situation if you are unfamiliar with the details.)


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