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.
Shocked! SHOCKED I say! And there were even CHILDREN there! Can you believe it? CHILDREN Watching idiots burning bits of plastic. *gasp*
Ex-soldier jailed for burning Koran in Carlisle
Andrew Ryan had previously admitted religiously aggravated harassment and theft of a Koran from a library.
A former soldier has been sentenced to 70 days in prison for setting fire to a copy of Muslim holy book the Koran in the centre of Carlisle.
The 32-year-old, of Summerhill, said he had been "shocked" watching a Muslim burning a poppy on Remembrance Day.
Shoppers and schoolchildren witnessed the burning, outside the old Town Hall, on 19 January.
Look, I can understand people getting upset about some idiots burning poppies. And of course it is right to express your anger at that symbolic act. On the other hand, what normally happens to poppies after they've been bought? They end up in the bin. And of course they have to be bought first.
So while the Muslim extremists made a purely symbolic statement which had purely symbolic consequences, you've made the mistake of upsetting other people too (and most likely not even Muslims either).
It's probably worth noting that the Muslims involved in the poppy-burning incident were fined for it. Plus they are no doubt all on terrorist watch lists now.
Sitting at Carlisle Magistrates' Court, District Judge Gerald Chalk described it as a case of "theatrical bigotry".
'My country' He said: "It was pre-planned by you as you stole the book deliberately.
"You went out to cause maximum publicity and to cause distress."
Ryan struggled with security guards in court after the sentence was passed.
While being handcuffed he shouted: "What about my country? What about burning poppies?"
About 10 people were in court to support Ryan, and as they left the court they shouted "do you call this justice?".
After sentencing, Insp Paul Marshall, of Cumbria Police, said: "This incident was highly unusual for Cumbria as we have such low levels of hate crime in the county."
Would I have agreed with the koran burning if the book hadn't been stolen? Well, it'd have made a more interesting comparison to the poppy burning event. However, both events would have been on pretty much the same level. I can't really say that I approve of either of them.
( Read more... )Mark Townsend
As the far-right group marches in Leicester, details are emerging of growing contacts with extremist US groups in a 'war on Islamification"
The Observer, Sunday 10 October 2010
The English Defence League, a far-right grouping aimed at combating the "Islamification" of British cities, has developed strong links with the American Tea Party movement.
An Observer investigation has established that the EDL has made contact with anti-jihad groups within the Tea Party organisation and has invited a senior US rabbi and Tea Party activist to London this month. Rabbi Nachum Shifren, a regular speaker at Tea Party conventions, will speak about Sharia law and also discuss funding issues.
The league has also developed links with Pamela Geller, who was influential in the protests against plans to build an Islamic cultural centre near Ground Zero. Geller, darling of the Tea Party's growing anti-Islamic wing, is advocating an alliance with the EDL. The executive director of the Stop Islamisation of America organisation, she recently met EDL leaders in New York and has defended the group's actions, despite a recent violent march in Bradford.
Geller, who denies being anti-Muslim, said in one of her blogs: "I share the EDL's goals… We need to encourage rational, reasonable groups that oppose the Islamisation of the west."
Devin Burghart, vice-president of the Kansas-based Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights, said: "Geller is acting as the bridge between the EDL and the Tea Party. She plays an important role in bringing Islamophobia into the Tea Party. Her stature has increased substantially inside the Tea Party ranks after the Ground Zero mosque controversy. She has gained a lot of credibility with that stuff."
Details of the EDL's broadening aspirations came as about 1,000 supporters yesterday gathered to demonstrate in Leicester, which has a significant Muslim population. Home secretary Theresa May banned marches in the city last week but the EDL said its protest would proceed, raising fears of violence. Parts of Leicester were cordoned off to separate a counter-protest from Unite Against Fascism. Officers from 13 forces were on hand to maintain order.
The Tea Party is expected to be an influential force in America's mid-term elections. Last month their candidate Christine O'Donnell romped to the Republican nomination in Delaware, following a stream of populist rightwing candidates who carry the movement's endorsement. Burghart says anti-Islamic tendencies have become far more marked in the grassroots organisation: "As we move farther and farther away from the Tea Party origins, that were ostensibly around debt and bail-outs, social issues like Islamophobia are replacing that anger, that vigour. The idea that there is a war between Islam and the west is becoming commonplace."
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 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)
So what's he done now? Well it turns out he's really pleased about certain recent comments by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, but he doesn't think she quite kisses Christianity's arse enough. So he's published a new public article. this time on abc.net.
I don't know if John Milbank mistook extracts from Ayaan Hirsi Ali's book "Nomad" for an individual article or whether he is simply treating them that way. In any case the extracts on that website are no longer available, but I was able to find a cached copy of them which you can find in my un-edited post about this along with a copy of John Milbank's reply. Click here for my original un-edited article.
So how does John Milbank's article frustrate me? Let me count the ways....
1. The Enlightenment was Christian...
( Read more... )
2. Christianity is the source of feminism...
( Read more... )
3. TRADITIONAL Christians are NEVER biblical literalists...
( Read more... )
4. Science was nurtured by Christianity and is the direct result of monotheism.
( Read more... )
5. Christians have historically been against forced conversions...
( Read more... )
6. In various theocracies and dictatorships around the world Islam has an unfair privilege. Why don't we give the same unfair privilege to Christianity in the west? (Also, Christians don't get enough opportunities to proselytise. Blah Blah Fatwa Envy Blah Blah...)
( Read more... )
7. Muslims will prefer Christianity if they are properly informed, whereas they tend to choose Islam because they are coerced.
( Read more... )
8. Muslims ought to be apolitical mystics. Christians on the other hand...
( Read more... )
9. Rowan Williams advocated "parallel legal jurisdictions"...
( Read more... )
10. Rowan Williams and Tariq Ramadan are idiots - therefore that whole Christian proselytising scheme...( Read more... )
11. "The lamentably premature collapse of the Western colonial empires."
( Read more... )
Bits I actually agreed with
( Read more... )
Some silly links
( Read more... ) (Cross-posted to atheism)
Ayaan Hirsi Ali's extract on that website is no longer available, but I was able to find a cached copy of it, which is copied under the cut. John Milbank quotes a chunk of it, so instead of posting that same chunk twice you will find it bolded in my copy of Ayaan Hirsi Ali's book extract below.( Read more... )
So, I was surprised to find that, after an introduction which I found deeply dodgy, there are some parts where John Milbank talks a bit of sense. I guess he's less likely to have an article brim-full of fail when he's discussing religion rather than feminism. Below I have bolded parts which I find particularly dodgy and, in places, I have included links which I believe aid refutation of those statements (and I shall explain those links below). Those parts I find myself agreeing with or approving of are underlined as well as bolded, because I don't feel it is fair to only point out the bad points while ignoring the better parts.
( Read more... )
Christianity, the Enlightenment and Islam
By John Milbank
ABC Religion and Ethics | 24 Aug 2010
Ayaan Hirsi Ali doubtless shocked many of her admirers and detractors alike when she concluded her recent article on the ABC's Religion and Ethics website, "Seeking God, but finding Allah," by praising Pope Benedict XVI's stance on Islam and calling for an alliance between atheists and what she calls "enlightened Christians" in their struggle against a common foe.
( Read more... )Another writer has also noticed the issues with John's article, decrying his article as "a throwback towards the more obscene forms of Orientalism and colonial arrogance".
Also there's another criticism of John Milbank here (on a different issue).
And he's found on a list of University Professors who have supported 9/11 conspiracy theories.
And if this didn't amuse you enough, here's a link to an old post of mine where I typed out a definition given by one of his Radical Orthdoxy contemporaries, Catherine Pickstock, of the concept of "transcendence".
If you half paid attention to one of the Machete trailers and never saw the movie, you too would know that Robert Rodriguez’ film is an anti-white hateporn snuff film promoting genocide against the white race. This was first discovered by Bay Area National Anarchist (yes, “national anarchist”) leader Andrew Yeoman, who not only vowed to protest the Machete premiere while brandishing actual machetes, but even started a Facebook page. That’s right, sh*ts getting real now! (*writes “HELTER SKELTER” on the wall with poop*) ATTICA! ATTICA! (*throws pillow at cat*)
A group of white nationalists will protest the new Robert Rodriguez movie Machete at Bay Area cinemas this week. This gets even more interesting: The protesters will show up “armed” with machetes.Whoa whoa whoa, “happen to be white?” I don’t know about you, buddy, but I didn’t “happen to be white”, I was bequeathed my pure-white skin by God himself so that I might rule over all manner of swarthy ethnics from behind locked doors as I drove through their neighborhoods shaking my head at their obnoxious jungle music.
“We feel that this is an explicit threat to white folks,” Yeoman wrote on the far-right blog Occidental Dissent, “and that it is necessary to send a message to moviegoers and the producers of this film that threatening people because they happen to be white is unacceptable.”
I digress, but the blockquote above was an excerpt from an article from last week, which among other things, included the news that carrying around a machete is apparently perfectly legal.
( Read more... )
(Link) (Original article includes video)
Interview With Creator Of Cat VS Humans
What is it about cats that draws you to them?
I think it reflects on the kinds of personalities I’m drawn to. Cats are generally independent, know what they want and are pretty laid back. And it just so happens that the people I surround myself have that same personality. I also love how you have to earn a cat’s affection and trust. They just don’t easily surrender themselves to you. I actually respect that. But I do appreciate a dog’s ability to unconditionally love its pet parent. It’s pretty amazing, I must say.
I love animals. If I weren’t a designer, I would’ve been a veterinarian. Or a cat whisperer.
"If Obama is one, them Muslim can't mean Muslim"
Charlie Brooker on Ground Zero Mosque BS
Jesus Had HIV is actually good theology (when explained properly), but oddly didn't go down well with African congregation....
Well the big news is that Stephen Hawking has finally refuted all those religious apologists who were fond of quoting his final line from "A Brief History of Time": "For then we would know the mind of God".
"It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the Universe going," added the wheelchair-bound expert.In response to this The Times decided it was a good idea to invite Richard Dawkins to debate this. They decided to put Dawkins up against their religion correspondent Ruth Gledhill. Richard Dawkins can feel like a bit of a broken record at the best of times, but putting him against Ruth Gledhill was particularly pointless.
"Because there is a law such as gravity, the Universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the Universe exists, why we exist," he writes in "The Grand Design", which is being serialised by The Times newspaper.
I have posted about Ruth Gledhill before when I noted a couple of previous articles of hers:
1 - "Catholic Church No Longer Swears By Truth Of The Bible" - In the older of the two, she reports on a reminder by the Vatican that they have no problem with the theory of evolution and are able to accept certain passages in the Bible as symbolic. Her response? The Vatican is now clarifying which bits of the Bible are right and which bits are wrong.
I feel the need to place the important bits of this article under the cut because, what with The Times now making the public pay for access to their site, there may come a time when you cannot use the link to the article anymore:
THE hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church has published a teaching document instructing the faithful that some parts of the Bible are not actually true.( Read more... )
2 - Children Who Front Richard Dawkins' Atheist Ads Are Evangelicals Rather handily, in this case pretty much all the problems can be seen in the title. The advert under discussion is the following one from the BHA:
"Please Don't Label Me. Let Me Grow Up And Choose For Myself."
Just to confuse things there are two major atheist/agnostic lobbying groups in the UK. There's "The Secular Society" and "The British Humanist Society". The former is only intested in atheism, whereas the latter is concerned with the wider issues of "secularism" (e.g. issues like ensuring fair hiring practices for people of all faiths and none). No, I did not just get those mixed up.
So perhaps unsurprisingly, the BHA organised a campaign noting that children should not be used for the promotion of a particular belief system because they are too young to make such decisions. Gledhill's response? Well you've already seen it. She claims that these children are being used to promote atheism (um, no they aren't), but actually they are "Christian Evangelical children" (oh my goodness, you couldn't have missed the point more if you tried).
Their father, Brad Mason, is something of a celebrity within evangelical circles as the drummer for the popular Christian musician Noel Richards. ... He said that the children’s Christianity had shone through. “Obviously there is something in their faces which is different. So they judged that they were happy and free without knowing that they are Christians. That is quite a compliment. I reckon it shows we have brought up our children in a good way and that they are happy.”
The British Humanist Association said that it did not matter whether the children were Christians. “That’s one of the points of our campaign,” said Andrew Copson, the association’s education director. “People who criticise us for saying that children raised in religious families won’t be happy, or that no child should have any contact with religion, should take the time to read the adverts.
Perhaps before choosing your article heading, Ms. Gledhill!
“The message is that the labelling of children by their parents’ religion fails to respect the rights of the child and their autonomy. We are saying that religions and philosophies — and ‘humanist’ is one of the labels we use on our poster — should not be foisted on or assumed of young children.”So yeah, Gledhill isn't really someone you should expect a high level of debate from. In fact Hannah Devlin, who chairs the discussion, seems to do a better job of getting some clear answers out of Dawkins than Ruth Gledhill manages later:
14:34 Hannah Devlin:( Read more... )I get the impression that Devlin was deciding what comments would be displayed, so Tim H was being specifically put forward as a question from the floor. Sure, not much that's terribly challenging here and Devlin clearly (and mistakenly I feel) expects more interesting ideas to be raised by Gledhill later on.
To kick things off, I'd like to ask Richard what he makes of Hawking's thesis. Is this the new Darwinism?
14:35 Richard Dawkins:
Only the new Darwinism in the sense that it finishes off God. Darwin kicked him out of biology, but physics remained more uncertain. Hawking is now administering the coup de grace
14:36 Richard Dawkins:
It is not like Darwinism in any other very strong sense.
Anyway, this is where Gledhill arrives and makes the statement which Pharyngula quotes and ridicules. These statements actually originate from an interview with David Wilkinson. Thanks to "Rupert Murdoch's Greed" (TM) you will need to subscribe to The Times if you want to read that. Fortunately, there is a site with some videos where David Wilkinson sets out his view on the "fine-tuning argument", not as an argument, but as a "pointer" to the truth of Jesus and Christianity (I'm not fantastic with google searches, so it took me a while to find that link btw) The basic gist of his position is that the set of events which took place in order for life to come about make us want to make shit up to explain it and making shit up is a sensible decision. Anyway, moving on...:
14:43 Ruth Gledhill:
Tim, I just interviewed David Wilkinson, principal of St John's Durham and astrophysicist, and this is what he said (full interview at my Times blog Articles of Faith):
The science Stephen Hawking uses raises a number of questions which for many opens the door to the possibility of an existence of a creator and for many points to the existence of a creator.
'One would be the the purpose of the universe. Although science might discover the mechanism, we are still left with the question of what is the purpose.
'Second is where the laws of physics come from. Science subsumes the laws but we are still left with the question of where the laws come from.
'Third is the intelligibility of the universe. It strikes me as interesting that Stephen Hawking can make it intelligible. Albert Einstein once said that the most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible. For many of us who are struck by the intelligibility of the physical laws, the explanation is that the creator is the force of rationality both for the universe and for our minds.
Dawkins' Response To Statement One:
Why on Earth should anyone assume that there IS a purpose?
( Read more... )
Dawkins' Response To Statement Two:
Even if we are left with that question, it is not going to be answered by a God, who raises more questions than he answers.
( Read more... )
Dawkins' Response To Statement Three:
What would an unintelligible universe even look like? Why SHOULDN't the universe be intelligible?
Hannah Devlin taking questions she's selected from the floor: Ruth, Richard, I'd be interested in your views on philc's point - is religious belief irrational? If not, why?
( Read more... )
The debate goes on longer than this, but then again this re-organising thing is a bit too much of a time-waster, so I'm going to stop there. I kinda feel sorry for Gledhill on this point. It's irritating for me seeing Dawkins pulling "my belief that I am Napoleon" out of his old bag of tricks again, so it must be even worse for someone who disagrees with the point behind it. That said, her response is quite vacuous to the point where I'd actually have been more impressed with "oh don't be so daft Richard" as a response. If the only thing you know about God is that you are not it, you aren't really in a good position to be a religion correspondent (not that this comes as any surprise).
Still, one last thing that could do with a quotation is the following point where Dawkins' decides to betray Islamophobic sentiment (and annoyingly Gledhill isn't interested in responding to it, never mind tackling it).
Comment From Jerry Coyne: Question to Ruth: If faith helps you, then does it make any difference to you whether what you believe about God, Jesus, the Resurrection, and the like is true? Devout Muslims, for example, are also consoled by their faith, but their beliefs about Jesus, Mohamed, etc. are completely contradictory to those of Christianity. Both can't be true.
Richard Dawkins: Quite right, Jerry. And even if there is some similarity between the Abrahamic religions, the Greeks believed just as sincerely in their pantheon. I agree with Dan Dennett that universal education in comparative religion would be a hammer blow to religious faith.
Ruth Gledhill: Jerry, in some liberal theological circles, it is not regarded as impossible that there is truth in both Islam and Christianity.
Richard Dawkins:The Islamic penalty for converting to Christianity is what, Ruth, perhaps you know?
And the Jewish penalty for having anal sex with another man is? I mean seriously, what was he trying to prove?
Preaching Hate In Our Streets(Source: The Surrey Comet)
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... )
(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.
Hey, remember when we were making all that fuss about how Muslims shouldn't be starting violent riots in order to protest being accused of having a violent religion?
A few facts:
- The violent protests didn't take place straight after the cartoons were published. They took place several months later.
- The protests took place "spontaneously" in countries where spontaneous protest is not allowed.
- Did the cartoons appear in publications available in the countries where these protests took place? No, the protesters were instead shown fake versions of the cartoons which were even more inflammatory.
- Many of the more violent protests were actually organised as a political tool by which to refocus frustrations towards the west rather than towards their own leaders.
Recent Attacks In The US
Now, we all know that there's been a general anti-Muslim feeling being promoted by certain far-right groups in the US (particularly those with an obession with tea bags). However, there's a similar absurdity in the recent decision to accuse Muslims of being terrorists and to then terrorise them.
First of all we had the knife incident, but now we have arsonists in Murfreesboro burning down an Islamic Centre:
Islamic Center officials have contacted the FBI and Department of Homeland Security, according to Ayash, and sheriff’s department investigators “told us they will be investigating this as a hate crime.” Ayash later said sheriff’s officials “asked her to correct her statement,” adding they plan to explore several different motives while investigating the arson.It's a bit odd how the authorities seem unkeen on referring to attacks on Muslims as hate crimes. The police said the same thing when dealing with the chemical attack on the Dayton Mosque. My best guess is that they are concerned about possible copycat attacks, so they are best off suggesting that the attack was the work of a random idiot rather than a premeditated act of hatred.
Ayash said the most recent vandalism to the site “takes it to a whole new level.” The site has already been the target of two other vandalisms, both aimed at a sign marking the future site.
“Everyone in our community no longer feels safe,” she said. “To set a fire that could have blown up equipment and, God forbid, spread and caused damage to the neighbors there ... we really feel like this is something that we and the neighbors don’t deserve. When they (ICM officials) called me this morning I started crying.”
Right-Wing Groups In The UK
Of course, in the UK we've had our fair share of attacks on Muslims. I gave the example of BNP members responding violently to Muslims making use of a local community centre for Friday prayers. (The BNP denied it was them on the grounds that they would have used a brick, not a firebomb. *facepalm*) More recently there was a protest from the EDL (English Defence League) who appear to be made up of pretty much the same people. (I posted it to ONTD_P.)
Violence By Muslims Against Muslims
I have pointed out in the past that Christians weren't the only one's protesting against the building of mosques. There was a large Muslim protest against the building of a mosque for Ahmadis. I also mentioned the discrimination faced by Ismaelis and even Shia Muslims. However, I never got around to mentioning the massacre of Ahmadis which took place in Pakistan. Here's a response from a Pakistani:
...in our own heartland Lahore 100 Ahmedis were slaughtered by the barbaric Taliban. They were not there on any political gathering or any political point scoring. They were not going to war zone. They were just offering their ‘Jumma Prayer’ to their Lord which they think is as farz (obligatory) on them as on any other Muslim. They were in their mosque, peacefully standing in straight lines bowing in front of the same lord as of the Muslims, Jews and Christians. There is no different version of this story. The enemy didn’t say that they (Taliban) acted in ’self defence’. Their enemy clearly mentioned their intention that they came to kill them indiscriminately irrespective they were men, women, children, young and old. Its pointless to mention that the barbaric didnt regretted the loss of human life because that’s what they wanted and came for. They took pleasure from the blood of the Ahmedis. In a short time span of few minutes they killed 100 Ahmedis.It's pretty clear that Muslims cannot be dismissed in one single sweeping gesture. They are made up of a variety of different groups with different positions. Just as we should not believe fundamentalist stances about Christianity ("you cannot support Darwinism as a Christian donchaknow?"), we also should not believe certain claims by Muslims regarding Islam. For example, "there are no divisions in Islam" is quite clearly false.
And Another Thing...
Meanwhile Richard Dawkins has referred to Roman Catholicism as "the world’s second most evil religion" because obviously there's a clear hierarchy in this regard. (And presumably the top religion in that hierarchy is simply "Islam" while Christianity gets to be separated into distinct groups.) *facepalm*
I think we probably need to remember that Dawkins has never been the most diplomatic of people, but his recent decision to support Pat Condell's BS against a victimised minority should be called out.
( Read more... )(Article From Gawker)
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?
(Via The Spittoon)
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.
( Read more... )
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.
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)
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... )
Richard Dawkins website oddly links to the Daily Fail, so I've picked another, slightly more reliable, news website:
Don’t let the burka stifle free speechTuesday 10 August 2010
I’ve been arguing for ages that the burka is a ridiculous garment, but that it shouldn’t be banned. Now Richard Dawkins is saying pretty much the same: in an interview with Radio Times he says he feels ‘visceral revulsion’ when he sees the ‘full bin-liner thing’.
Fair enough. He’s entitled to his opinion and he’s not calling for it to be outlawed, as several European countries are proposing. Inevitably, though, he’s been accused of ignorance – a curious charge when I have Muslim friends who are just as scathing about the burka; they call women who wear it ‘ninjas’ – and Islamophobia.
I’m not surprised. Dawkins describes the burka as ‘a symbol of the oppression of women’ but I’d go further than that. It’s a symbol of an authoritarian ideology which seeks not just to hide women but to silence critics of religion. Like me, Dawkins is an atheist, a rationalist and a supporter of human rights. One of the most important is free speech, and that includes our right to say what we like about absurd forms of religious dress.
(Article from "Political Blonde")
( Read more... )
Richard Dawkins causes outcry after likening the burka to a bin linerThe 69-year-old author and Oxford academic said he is filled with “visceral revulsion” when he sees women wearing the traditional Islamic covering.
But he held back from advocating a ban on the all-enveloping cloak, insisting that such legislation would fly in the face of Britain’s liberal tradition.
(Richard Dawkins Website)
Like Richard Dawkins, I am not in favour of a ban and his description of the burkha is not Islamophobic. From his description it seems that he not referring to the nikab (which is more ninja-like) so the style of dress he refers to is the one from Afghanistan in particular which has a history of being used to oppress women. I think Political Blonde hits the nail on the head when they point out that we should be free to mock all religious clothing regardless of the religion. I've never been Dawkins' biggest fan, but his comments here are clearly not bigoted.
(cross-posted to atheism)
Ah, the Tabloids, bless them!
Some weeks ago I tried to explain to an American blogger the hierarchy of the British press in terms of political leaning, bias and reliability. I don't particularly have a problem with political bias, after all there is more than one perspective on party politics and so, armed with the knowledge of the editorial stance of these papers, I would have no problem reading The Times, The Telegraph, The Guardian or the Independent and their Sunday editions. I would join many people in describing these papers as the "quality" press.
It is below these - often well below these - that the problems start and I often berate my students for their lamentable knowledge of current affairs.
Do you read a newspaper?
All too often the answer is in the negative. Those whose parents do regularly buy a national daily or Sunday edition tend to go largely, it seems, for the tabloids. They express amazement when I tell them that I can predict what party their parents vote for and what stance they will take on a variety of current issues based on their newspaper of choice. I have always been right. Too often in the classroom I can hear their parents talking and talking through the headlines and editorial position of their newspapers.
My response to my American friend arose out of trying to make a comparison between British and American news outlets. The same rule that I apply to my pupils can be applied to American bloggers in their choice of which British papers they cite in support of their position. If I see a Daily Mail article used as evidence against global warming, for instance, or The Star cited in a diatribe against Islam as another example I can safely assume I am dealing with a Republican.
( Read more... )
(Article From Here)
("News" Source For Daily Star Article)
("News" Source For Daily Star Article)
(News Source For BBC Article Which Refutes The Above Sources)
(Local News Source)
I get very annoyed when I get told that criticising Islamophobia and criticising right-wing Christians is being biased against one religion over another. The fact is that the two criticisms are actually very closely tied right now. To me, atheists who start jumping on the "Islamification of Europe" bandwagon need to recognise that this movement is, in the main, a right-wing Christian movement.
Naturally my priority when deciding whether to support someone is to consider whether they actually talk sense and "Doorman Priest", who wrote the article above, is most certainly an example of that. He sums up very nicely the way that reactionary UK tabloids appeal to their more conservative readers, often without any interest in checking their facts.
(Cross-posted to atheism)
In short: Yes, a burkha ban is f***ing racist dammit!
Update 1: Image from article recommended by 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".
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'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"?
- 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.
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.ZOMG SENSORSHIP!!!1 AMIRITE??? :P
-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.
"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.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?
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.
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.
( The Story So Far.... )
The New Twist
Anyway, yes there is actually a new twist. It feels oddly predictable, but only if you are expecting the worst:
Christian convert Rifqa Bary is refusing chemotherapy for cancer because she believes that she was cured at a faith-healing event, according to a motion in Franklin County Juvenile Court.(Source)
Rifqa was to undergo a year of chemotherapy after her cancer was surgically removed, the document filed by her parents states.
But Rifqa, who is in foster care, was taken to a faith-healing event in Youngstown a couple of weeks ago by Franklin County Children Services, without her parents' consent, according to the document.
A motion to force treatment is to be considered today in Juvenile Court.
Rifqa's attorneys, meanwhile, are asking the court to make "special findings" so that she can obtain an immigration status that will allow her to stay in the country and obtain medical care. Rifqa, a native of Sri Lanka, does not have legal status in the United States, her attorneys have said in court.
An attorney for her parents, Mohamed and Aysha Bary, indicated in April that the family also was pursuing immigration documentation. All parties are under a gag order and cannot comment on any aspects of the case.
Rifqa ran away from home in July 2009, saying her Muslim father would kill her for converting to Christianity. She lived with evangelical pastors in Florida before returning to Ohio to live in a foster home.
That case is to conclude next Tuesday, when Rifqa will turn 18, making her an adult.
Meanwhile, tests have determined that Rifqa has a "rare form of cancer," according to her attorneys' court filings. Her supporters have said she has uterine cancer.
It's unclear whether she is cancer-free at the moment. The Barys' attorney, Omar Tarazi, said in a motion that Rifqa will need a hysterectomy if the cancer returns.
The Barys want to force chemotherapy and are concerned that their daughter could die without treatment, Tarazi wrote....
Unclear? Either that means the writer of this piece is considering the possibility that Rifqa Bary has actually been healed through faith or (more sensibly) they may be recognising that there are rare cases where cancer clears up without treatment.
It's probably worth noting at this stage that Rifqa Bary's parents came to the US in the first place in order to provide her with medical care:
The Barys are from Galle on the southern coast of Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean. When Rifqa was 5 she fell on a toy airplane that pierced the cornea of her right eye. Scar tissue built up over the next couple of years. Doctors told the Barys they might have to remove the eye. So they went to New York in 2000 for medical treatment,
Right Wing Watch note the irony of the current situation. Bary initially ran away from her parents, claiming that they were going to kill her for converting to Christianity. Now her parents are trying to force her to get chemotherapy because they are afraid that she will die without it, while Bary claims not to need it because her Christianity has cured her cancer.
( And Another Thing... )*sighs*
(Cross-posted to atheism)
(Cross-posted to ONTD_P)