Mo Ansar ‘offends’ me.


Quilliam Founder Maajid Nawaz took an unfathomably brave step yesterday when, as a Muslim, he posted a cartoon on Twitter of the Prophet Muhammad (The fact that this can be described as a brave step, is deeply troubling in itself). Predictably, the cartoon sparked a storm of feigned outrage (self-pity, as the rest of us call it) across social media. Immediately threats were sent, and anger registered. The sort of anger that Christians registered at the opening of “The Life of Brian” for much the same reasons; they don’t like what they consider to be “blasphemy” and that we should all play by their rules (whilst they themselves wish the freedom to criticise and mock ‘the West’, democracy, homosexuality, and anything else they relentlessly disapprove of).

It is important to note that it is not my place to tell you what is and isn’t offensive to you. If you find a cartoon of Muhammad offensive, then I have no place to tell you that you shouldn’t. You are entitled to be offended by anything that, well, offends you. It would be wrong of me to claim otherwise. You’re also entitled to complain. No one wishes to take that right away from you (except, perhaps, Islamists and a few Nationalists… both of whom have a lot more in common than they realise) However, this is just as true for you, as it is for me. For example, I am offended by almost every chapter of the Qur’an opening with a vivid description of how as a non-believer, I deserve eternal torture, for simply not believing. For example, chapter 3 gives us this lovely little tale:

“As to those who reject faith, I will punish them with terrible agony in this world and in the Hereafter, nor will they have anyone to help.”

– It offends me that billions of people believe this violent horror story, and consider me therefore inferior, deserving only punishment for the terrible crime of saying “I’m not sure I believe this“. This offends me. But I don’t call up the BBC every time they drag Mo Ansar on as a ‘moderate’ face of Islam in Britain, to complain that he’s showing support for a book that openly offends billions of people with threats of severe punishment. I have the right to complain and hope for him to be disciplined for that. But I don’t. Because I’m a grown up.

Equally, I am offended by ‘moderate’ Muslims like Mehdi Hasan insisting that we non-Muslims are unthinking, and that we live like animals:

“The kuffar, the disbelievers, the atheists who remain deaf and stubborn to the teachings of Islam, the rational message of the Quran; they are described in the Quran as, quote, “a people of no intelligence”, Allah describes them as; not of no morality, not as people of no belief – people of “no intelligence” – because they’re incapable of the intellectual effort it requires to shake off those blind prejudices, to shake off those easy assumptions about this world, about the existence of God.”

“We know that keeping the moral high-ground is key. Once we lose the moral high-ground we are no different from the rest of the non-Muslims; from the rest of those human beings who live their lives as animals, bending any rule to fulfil any desire.”

– This offends me. Hasan doesn’t know me. He’s never spoken to me. And here he is summarising an entire group of people (not our beliefs or ideas… but we as people, as human beings) as living like animals. But I do not then write to the New Statesman to complain in the hope that Mehdi Hasan will be sacked, or disciplined. I don’t do this, because I’m a grown up.

Mo Ansar – a grown up – had such a tantrum over the posting of a cartoon by Maajid Nawaz yesterday (as did Mohammed Shafiq), that he tweeted the Lib Dem complaint form (Nawaz is a Lib Dem candidate) for others to fill out and complain… about a cartoon. This is a very passive aggressive way to silence people, and I find it offensive. A very sort of Daily Mail reader response to something they dislike. A lot of Islamists took to twitter to outright threaten Nawaz. Ansar’s method was similar though far more passive aggressive; threaten to report people to their superiors, in the hope they’ll be disciplined and shut up in future, by threatening their career simply because Mo doesn’t like blasphemy:

ansar

It is therefore easy to play Mo at his own game, and to turn this around and aim his own hideous anti-secular logic back at him. For example, I am offended by Mo’s underhanded suggestion that we non-believers are uncharitable. Why post this? For what purpose was he serving? This seems nothing more than a “get one up on the Atheists” game he’s playing. It’s offensive. But I didn’t report him… because again, I’m a grown up.

mo2
– Mo Ansar, who I consider to be a religious supremacist, doesn’t take kindly to those challenging religious supremacy. With that in mind, I am offended by Mo Ansar showing his support for the protests in Bangladesh that called for the hanging of Atheist bloggers:

mo3
– ‘Protesting blasphemy’. No, they were calling for blasphemy laws, and the punishment of those who “offend” Islam. The bloggers; Asif Mohiuddin, Subrata Adhikary Shuvo, and Russell Parvez, had their lives threatened, with chants of “Hang the atheists”. I cannot imagine Mo would be so quick to defend EDL supporters if the chants were “Hang the Muslims!” and those same protesters demanding all those who happen to be Muslim, be punished by new anti-Muslim laws. It is often the case with religious supremacists – as with all supremacists – that they tend to be very hypocritical. Indeed, supremacy is hypocrisy.

Atheists bloggers in Bangladesh had already been murdered for blaspheming. This is the reality of religious fascism and what Mo chooses to ignore – or in this case, gloss over – in his war on secularism. Hefazat-e-Islami is the group that took a large role in the Bangladesh protests. Their demands included:

  • “…abolishment of all laws which are in conflict with the values of the Quran and Sunnah.”
  • “…death penalty as the highest form of punishment to prevent defamation of Allah, Muhammad (S.A.W).”
  • “…Immediate end to the negative propaganda by all atheist bloggers.”

  • – For Mo Ansar, the media referring to – what he calls “Orthodox Muslims” – as “Islamists” is nothing more than media propaganda. It’s a predictable response from Mo. In the same way that the EDL claim the media always pick on them, when they’re smashing up shops. The protest in Bangladesh was not a peaceful protest, nor did it have any peaceful motives. It was a violent fascist movement demanding the establishment of an Islamic state full of oppression for those who don’t fit its narrow spectrum of what is decent and correct. Mo Ansar defending these people and completely ignoring their totalitarian demands, offends me. But I haven’t clicked the “report” button on twitter. Because I’m a grown-up.

    I am offended that Mo Ansar see’s fit to not only defend ritualistic genital mutilation, but summarises anyone who might take issue with the chopping up of a child’s genitalia, as a “militant secularist”:

    mo8

    I am offended that one cannot post a cartoon on a social media channel without receiving death threats from self-pitying, religious supremacist thugs, desirous of a World run according to their dictates, in a secular country. This offends me.

    It offends me to know that both Mo Ansar and Mohammed Shafiq are intelligent enough to understand that their feigned-public outrage would both fuel and lend credibility to a threatening and violent backlash, and yet they did it anyway. This is utterly grotesque of two grown men.

    I am offended that Mo Ansar openly supported gender segregation in secular institutions:

    ansar (1)
    – Contrary to what Ansar seems to be suggesting, UCL did not tell Muslim women that they MUST sit next to men. There was no “dictating” to Muslims at all. It was Muslims attempting to dictate to everyone else, and then complaining when people weren’t going to stand for that nonsense. UCL simply have a free seating policy. Sit where ever you wish. They do not base seating, or any other policy, on religious demands. There is no infringement of any right going on here. if UCL were forcibly telling Muslim women that they must sit next to a man, that they have no choice, then yes, rights would be abused. That wasn’t the case. Ansar is manipulating the situation, to appeal to the victim mentality espoused by the faithful when they don’t get to force their principles upon the rest of us, and that offends me.

    I am offended that my gay friends are called ‘unnatural’ and ‘haraam’ by Muslims who know nothing of nature, and seem to believe that if bigotry is cloaked in the word ‘faith’, it is acceptable and must be respected. Mohammed Shafiq – a Lib Dem – was another yesterday who had a tantrum over the cartoon and announced his intention to complain to the Lib Dems. The same Shafiq who would withhold the right for two people in love to marry, based entirely on his own personal belief:

    shafiq2
    – “Protect religions”… as if religions have been the victims of persecution by the gay community over the centuries. I think Shafiq is a little confused here. Shafiq is not a liberal by any stretch of the imagination. Shafiq and Ansar have far more in common with the right wing, than they’d ever care to admit.

    In fact, I am offended that Shafiq calls himself liberal. It is insulting to the traditions, the ideals and the great philosophical minds that have defined liberalism, that a homophobic religious supremacist has the nerve to place himself in the liberal camp. This offends me.

    Nothing happens when you’re offended. You’re just offended. That’s it. It makes you say “I’m offended”. You might argue your case, and you have a right to do that, and that is in most cases, a sensible reaction (you may also wish to just ignore it and walk away, also a sensible option). It provokes debate and it encourages others to understand and perhaps challenge their own thought processes or ideas. Encouraging discussion is good. That is how grown-ups deal with being offended. Mo on the other hand, has decided that if you say something he doesn’t like, about his own beliefs, he will try to have you punished for it. So stay quiet. Or else.

    Secondly, much of what we deem to be a feeling of “offense” tends not to last very long. Whilst yesterday Mo was outraged and offended by a cartoon being posted, it seemed to have passed by this morning:

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    – To put this into perspective, Mo posted a link to the Lib Dem complaint page, in order to have Maajid Nawaz disciplined for blasphemy; an ‘offence’ so terrible, that it hurt Mo’s feelings for about an hour. Islamic superiority complex hidden behind the very typical victim mentality, nothing more.

    To reiterate; Mo Ansar suggested others complain to the Liberal Democrats, about blasphemy. He wants a political party in the UK – with the name ‘Liberal’ in their title – to punish what he considers to be blasphemy. In the 21st Century. It isn’t the right to challenge or the right to complain that I have an issue with. Both of those are essential in a secular democracy. It is the vacuous mentality that drives people like Mo Ansar to complain like a child, in the hope of silencing others, disempowering others, for the sake of the perpetuation of the supremacy of their belief that both irritates me as someone who values secularism, and, as it turns out, offends me.

    It offends me that Mo Ansar then retweeted this ridiculous comment by George Galloway:

    mo7
    – Predictable child-like Galloway response “we’re not going to love you again ever ever ever ner ner!” It is perhaps prudent at this point to remember that in 2009, Galloway delivered this address in Gaza:

    “I, now, here, on behalf of myself, my sister Yvonne Ridley, and the two Respect councillors – Muhammad Ishtiaq and Naim Khan – are giving three cars and 25,000 pounds in cash to Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh. Here is the money. This is not charity. This is politics.”

    – £25,000 in cash to Ismail Haniyah. The same Ismail Haniyah who referred to Osama Bin Laden as a ‘Muslim warrior’ whose soul ‘rests in peace’. Haniyah is also imperialistic, believing the entire region Islamic by divine right. He believes that peace with Israel can only come about, if they agree to give up Jerusalem, for no other reason, than being under the delusion that his particular fairy-sky man divinely ordained it for Muslims. Another key member of Hamas, Dr. Mahmoud Zahar described gay people as being:

    “…a minority of perverts and the mentally and morally sick.”

    I am offended that Mo Ansar would show his solidarity with anyone who openly supported and funded such a hideously fascist and oppressive regime.

    Ansar then complained that secular progressives are focusing too much on trying to ‘reform’ Islam. Here, Mo is very wrong again. Secularists – like myself – believe all beliefs and ideas should be treated equally. This is healthy. To deviate from this, is to advocate supremacy. This is unhealthy. Mo’s very anti-secular attempts to silence Nawaz by encouraging reporting him, proves the point Nawaz was originally making; that reform is necessary. And secondly, if you do not wish to see your faith reach a point where it is considered universally unacceptable to demand punishment for blasphemy (aggressively or passive aggressively… and including all ideas, such as holding negative opinions about ‘the west’), nor to reach a point that your faith is not considered supreme and inherently deserving of a special dispensation from the rules that allow us to criticise and mock all other concepts and ideas – be they religious or political – and indeed, you help to perpetuate that state of affairs with feigned outrage over cartoons, then you’re going to have to deal with the rest of us challenging that regressive and sinister position, by posting cartoons perhaps. We disagree with just how important you think your religious beliefs are for the rest of us. You will have to cope with that. Because you’re a grown-up.

    I am quite certain that it isn’t those of us who happily critique, satirise, or mock Islam that fuel anti-muslim hate and anger. We treat Islam no differently than we treat all authoritarian ideas. We advocate a line of equality by which no concept is permitted to rise above. We believe it is so incredibly vital and necessary that all ideas – especially authoritarian ideas – be open to all forms of criticism and that the critic be free from threat. This is how you combat extremism that arises when ideas – like Islam – become so far removed from the treatment all other ideas are open to. It is therefore those like Ansar, who wish to form a protective layer around Islam as a concept, free from mocking, free from blasphemy, free from critique or attempts at reform, free from satire, whose actions and words work only to make a taboo out of Islam, which in turn creates an atmosphere of suspicion and disunity across the country. To shut off criticism perverts the idea, it makes it appear superior to its adherents who react sensitively whenever that superiority is challenged, and it creates an air of suspicion, with those overly defensive and suspicious few – with groups like the EDL – tending to react with putrid anti-muslim rhetoric and violence. It is therefore essential for the health of humanity, that all authoritarian ideas be as open as possible to mocking, criticism, and satire – this includes my own ideas. This is the goal we must progress. To react passive aggressively when just one idea is challenged, – and yet remain silent when satire or mockery or criticism of other ideas (say, ‘The Book of Mormon’ musical or ‘The Life of Brian’) are challenged – and to attempt to silence the challenges to that one idea, is vastly sinister, and dangerous, and offensive. It is this that perpetuates the idea that Islam is somehow different, and that is so incredibly dangerous for so many reasons. This is what Ansar is perpetuating. For that alone, Mo Ansar ‘offends’ me. But I’m not going to encourage complaining about him to the BBC in the hope that they might discipline him… because I’m a grown-up.

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    20 Responses to Mo Ansar ‘offends’ me.

    1. animalizard says:

      That’s unbelievably insidious of Ansar, yes.
      But look, the only aspect that unnerves me in your piece is that you find it surprising. There system of emotions surrounding masculinist messianism, which manifests itself in exactly reactions like this when the believer’s public intellectual authority is challenged or overturned. A display of manufactured victimhood, the ‘it’s all about me and my personal feelings.’ Also a sure sign that the individual affiliates with a faith for reactionary, personal gain, rather than to share/give to a community. Actually this could apply to fascists and hardline marxists (secular versions of messianists?) too.
      This has nothing to do with religion, the bartering value of which serves merely to camouflage the fact that these men use complex silencing tactics far and beyond the spiritual, or the private.

      Ansar is an adherent to the belief that male believers cannot be questioned, condemned, argued with privately, let alone publicly. Any woman with half an ear could have told you that. I’m not suggesting you start reading everything Ayaan Ali has written, or become a reactionary conservative, which has the same qualities, but still…why are you surprised? Religious conservativism will appear whenever reform movements raise their heasd, precisely because reform challenges not faith, but the hegemonic appropriation of spirituality by specific types of men for their own public-sphere-supremacy, populational control, and general intellectual fascism.

      Ansar is appropriating the very real phenomenon of Islamophobia to thwart the intellectual reform voices and movement in his own community, very insidiously.
      Men who indulge in the silencing and control of communities around them, always see themselves as the victims. They are not, but attempts to question their intellectual infallibility will always result in passive aggressive behaviour like this. Note he writes himself as the male saviour welcoming ‘complaints’, as though the complaint itself has validity and is not in actuality an attack on intellectual freedom. This has a strong likeness to fascist censorship in 30s Italy- presented as though fascists were the passive victims of attempts to overthrow their supremacy.
      So no surprise- he had to find a silencing tactic to demonise the Q Movement. Anti-racist campaigners should condemn his devaluation of actual persecution and racism, and refuse to allow those attacking reform movements to appropriate the antiracist narrative.

      Anyway, I’m all for reclaiming the spiritual, call it intellectual self-determination, from those who have usurped the language of religion to control and emotionally disempower others. And so, I believe, is Nawaz. That’s all.

    2. tildeb says:

      It is therefore essential for the health of humanity, that all authoritarian ideas be as open as possible to mocking, criticism, and satire – this includes my own ideas.

      I can live with that because I support the principle of freedom and equality laws more than I do my hurt feelings of being mocked. And I agree, this is what being a grown up is all about: living a principled and responsible, and not a childish and selfish, life as so many religious folk do.

      Regarding animallizard’s point that this isn’t a islamic so much as it is a misogynistic problem, a point of order: yes, misogyny as a principle isn’t supportable by Enlightenment values that rest on equality and reciprocity, and this is a target we will someday reach as we undergo this evolution in western liberal secular democracies. But to claim religions generally, and islam specifically, are really just an equivalent expressions of this misogyny-in-action misses a vital point: the evolution towards social and legal equality requires those of us who value Enlightenment principles to target specific institutions and their specific practices with criticism, satire, and mocking because they stand contrary to reaching this goal with demonstrable harm to individuals. Your point, animallizard, can be successfully countered to effect by muslim women, for example, demonstrating against their legal equality and in support of their religious constraints,who then can paint Enlightenment supporters of equality laws as being authoritarian! And we see this played out all the time. Your point facilitates islamic criticism of us kafirs by using words like the ones italicized to start this comment to reveal a hypocrisy of the critics of islam.

      This is a losing strategy.

      Stop pretending that koran doesn’t mean for followers to carry out what it says by substituting a broader sociological interpretation of it as if it were really about some kind of shared guilt. That’s rubbish, and it’s dangerous rubbish that serves only one master: the tyranny of islam (because christian and jewish faiths have been successfully de-fanged of meaningful political power. Islam has yet to be similarly treated)).

    3. Lady Andrea says:

      Reblogged this on Andreaurbanfox © and commented:
      Excellent!!

    4. A well thought out article about double standards. Make sure to cite your lofty ideas about freedom of speech while a muslim cuts off your head in broad daylight.

      Islam IS different. In islam, violence is condoned, sanctioned, and encouraged against all critics and we aren’t even allowed to state the obvious for fear of state prosecution.

      The British government seems intent on protecting islam from criticism instead of protecting Britons from islam.

    5. Philip says:

      “The kuffar, the disbelievers, the atheists who remain deaf and stubborn to the teachings of Islam, the rational message of the Quran; they are described in the Quran as, quote, “a people of no intelligence”, Allah describes them as; not of no morality, not as people of no belief – people of “no intelligence” – because they’re incapable of the intellectual effort it requires to shake off those blind prejudices, to shake off those easy assumptions about this world, about the existence of God.”

      “We know that keeping the moral high-ground is key. Once we lose the moral high-ground we are no different from the rest of the non-Muslims; from the rest of those human beings who live their lives as animals, bending any rule to fulfil any desire.”

      Where does Hassan make that statement? I’ve tried to find it on the New Statesman website, but to no avail. I’d be grateful for a reference. Thanks.

    6. I have a few issues with this piece. If we’re going to say people should be free to draw cartoons then we should also say they are free to burn red poppies without fear of imprisonment.

      I think bringing Ismail Haniyah into this was also a mistake. I’ve noticed many secular activists such as Pat Condell try to co-opt the Israel-Palestine conflict to their agenda (invariably taking Israel’s side, obviously). The irony appears to be lost on them that not only is Israel a settler-colony, but it draws its perceived legitimacy from God, who apparently ordained them the land.

      One of the commenters about suggest that Judaism has been “de-fanged of meaningful political power”, overlooking the aforementioned state that was established as home of the Jewish people. There has been much work done to show how reactionary a society Israel has become (at odds with worldwide Jewry, which tends to be liberal); two such works are ‘Knowing Too Much’ (Finkelstein) and, more recently, ‘Goliath’ (Blumenthal).

      As for Haniyah’s veneration of Osama bin Laden; this is consistent with heads of state/government who regularly express sympathy for violent men (we’ve seen a glaringly obvious example recently). None of this is to say Hamas is deserving of sympathy, but I think when arguing for secularism in the UK one is better served not being selective about what information is used to make that case.

    7. tildeb says:

      Daniel, who writes One of the commenters (tildeb) about suggest that Judaism has been “de-fanged of meaningful political power”, overlooking the aforementioned state (Israel) that was established as home of the Jewish people.

      I didn’t overlook this at all. Judaism, like christianity, has been de-fanged of meaningful political power, meaning that it neither is the basis for meaningful political power. They operate within and under the authority of enlightenment values (but always at odds with it) inside secular liberal western democracies.

      Israel is not judaism; it is a creation of the UN heavily armed and massively subsidized by the US. That’s the source of Israel’s meaningful political power. Israeli Prime Ministers don’t speak for Judaism and Israel’s goals are not determined by Judaism. Yes, the constitution of Israel makes it a nominal theocracy and this must change before peace and prosperity can come to the region, but so too must arabs give up their first allegiance to the tyranny of islam. This may take a while.

    8. Equally, I have huge problems with your reply.

      ” If we’re going to say people should be free to draw cartoons”
      – If? Of course people should be ‘free’ to draw cartoons. Where do you draw the line otherwise? What if a cartoon offends me personally? Should that cartoon be forever banned? Are you suggesting that we shouldn’t be free to draw cartoons? Or is it just if it offends religious folk? Because that sounds an awful lot like you’re advocating laws against blasphemy.

      “…then we should also say they are free to burn red poppies without fear of imprisonment.”
      – Yup. I advocate free expression – where is isn’t an incitement to violence. I don’t advocate the state punishing someone for burning a poppy. I believe those who do burn poppies – like those who burn the Qur’an – are scumbags. But, in a secular, democratic society, I have no place to restrict a freedom to others that I wish for myself. I don’t believe they should be punished for it.

      ” The irony appears to be lost on them that not only is Israel a settler-colony, but it draws its perceived legitimacy from God, who apparently ordained them the land.”
      – Palestine itself, is a settler-colony. Jews and Arabs both have right to the land. Neither has more right than the other. And most Jews and Arabs in the Palestine/Israel region emigrated around the 19th/early 20th century. You haven’t actually ascertained my views on the Israel/Palestine conflict. Had you asked, I would have told you that I don’t like the idea of any religious state. Whilst Israel is far more progressive than the Arab states surrounding it, you’re right, it is run on the idea that the land is divinely ordained to one group of people. Those in positions of power in Israel, are driven by the idea that the land is theirs by divine right. This is ridiculous. I advocate a single, secular, democratic state. That being said… I have no idea why that was needed in this article. It seems you just want me to say something about Israel.

      “There has been much work done to show how reactionary a society Israel has become (at odds with worldwide Jewry, which tends to be liberal); two such works are ‘Knowing Too Much’ (Finkelstein) and, more recently, ‘Goliath’ (Blumenthal).”
      – Again, I have no idea what this has to do with my article. It seems you just wanted to take a pop at Israel. This is becoming increasingly common on sections of the left that I no longer identify myself with. The Galloway-left. I didn’t mention Somalia either. Or Indonesia. Or a plethora of other countries.
      But yes. I think Israel can be a bit shit too.

      “As for Haniyah’s veneration of Osama bin Laden; this is consistent with heads of state/government who regularly express sympathy for violent men (we’ve seen a glaringly obvious example recently). None of this is to say Hamas is deserving of sympathy, but I think when arguing for secularism in the UK one is better served not being selective about what information is used to make that case.”
      – Oh well that’s okay then. We should all fund groups that threaten gay people, and whose constitution calls for the obliteration of neighbouring states and the establishment of totalitarian hellholes.
      As I said at the beginning of my article; no one has the right to tell anyone else what they should and shouldn’t find offensive. I find Galloway – who places himself on the left – and his funding of a group that advocate punishment for homosexuality, and the destruction of a neighbouring state based on it having the ‘wrong’ fairy sky man, to be incredibly offensive. No one claiming to be liberal should ever be defending Hamas, their statements, or their intentions. Nor should we be saying “Well, Israel are bad too!” That isn’t a valid excuse for left wingers trying desperately to conceive of a way to defend the putrid regime in Palestine. There is no excuse.

      The article stands. I wasn’t being selective. I just didn’t mention the prejudices that you wanted me to mention.

    9. I appreciate both of your responses. I take on board what you say about my post being tangential, but I do wish to address one further point relating to Hamas if you will indulge me.

      I don’t think you were intimating that I support them (I don’t) but it is worth remembering Hamas didn’t form until 1987 – some twenty years after the start of the occupation. Prior to this, Palestinians mostly rallied around Fatah: the secular nationalist group. Studies have shown people find succour in religion; given the sometimes desperate situation Palestinians have found themselves in, it is perhaps understandable Hamas gained traction.

      Returning to the immediate topic. Of course people should be allowed to draw whatever cartoons they want – and they can. I could doodle a picture of Muhammad right now and no one would know anything about it. The only potential problem would arise if I wanted to parade it around. Ideally, this would be received magnanimously, but the fact is we know it will not be. My question is: what purpose does it serve? It is a form of incitement given we know it will elicit a particular response from certain quarters – albeit amongst a very small number of people, relatively speaking, in the UK.

      Again, ideally this response wouldn’t exist – but it does. Are there not more constructive ways to address why people feel so sensitive about drawings of Muhammad than by simply provoking them?

    10. tildeb says:

      And how do you address that when reason simply doesn’t work? Do tell. The provocation isn’t in the ‘parading around’ of anything; it’s resides wholly in the response of intolerance promoted by religious tyranny. That is the problem and it needs to be publicly demonstrated so that more people understand that tolerating such intolerance is not a solution but an abdication of secular liberal western principles and enlightenment values.

    11. That intolerant response isn’t universal amongst Muslims, though. Certainly in the UK it tends to be a very small minority who actually protest this king of thing with vehemence. I don’t think Twitter is a good barometer of public opinion, as it is a hotbed for flippancy and immediacy. This suggests to me there is some social issue at play in addition to the religious tyranny you mentioned.

      As far as secular liberal western principles go, it is worth noting we are subjected to our own forms of indoctrination here. Conscious of creating another tangent, I will not expand on that unless asked to. But none of that is to detract from the high levels of personal freedom we have achieved here, even if it is currently under attack from our government in a number of forms (a far greater concern – to me at least – than the opinion of a minority of Muslims).

    12. James Lovelace says:

      “none of that is to detract from the high levels of personal freedom we have achieved here, even if it is currently under attack from our government in a number of forms (a far greater concern – to me at least – than the opinion of a minority of Muslims).”

      * Try telling that to those muslim girls who have had their genitals sliced (100k in Britain), with not one conviction for this violent abuse. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/9219217/100000-British-women-mutilated.html

      * Try telling that to those muslims in Britain who convert to christianity, and who have to be bussed into church with a police cordon around the church to stop muslims burning down the churches while they pray inside. http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2007/sep/16/religion.anglicanism

      * Try telling that to those ex-muslims living in hiding in Britain, because their family are trying to track them down so that they can kill them. http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2010/aug/29/taxi-driver-bounty-hunter

      * Try telling that to the 10,000+ non-muslim schoolgirls who were groomed, raped and prostituted by muslim gangs in Britain, who operated with impunity for 25 years. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/child-sex-grooming-the-asian-question-7729068.html

      * Try telling that to the gays who have been driven out of east London (the “Gay Free Zone” being the muslims final declaration of their success in that ethnic cleansing – in 1990 there were 20 gay bars/clubs in east London, now there are 3). http://4freedoms.com/group/gays/forum/topics/gay-free-zone-tower-hamlets

      * Try telling that to the jews in London, were at least 50% of attacks on them are from muslims. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7831897.stm

      * Try telling it to the parents of white teenagers like Kris Donald (Glasgow), Ross Parker (Peterborough), who gangs of racist muslims hunted down and tortured to death. The worst racist violence involving muslims in Britain, is where muslims have been the perpetrators. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Kriss_Donald

      I haven’t even mentioned the 330 muslims in Britain convicted of terrorism in the last 13 years.

      The only reason you are not concerned about the attacks on freedom from muslims is because you are in a demographic group who are in a location where muslims are not able to subject you to the kind of subjugation they believe you deserve.

      If you were brought up a muslim, or you were a white schoolgirl in a muslim-dominated town, or were a gay man living in east London, or a jew living in London, you would not be so blase about the freedoms which the muslim immigrants in Britain are taking from other citizens.

    13. Shire of York says:

      Mo Ansar & Mehdi Hassan’s pompous, self important, holier than thou, patronising drivel is awful. They insult and demean all non-Muslims and refuse to see how that is at all a problem.
      They’re ugly on the inside. Apples with a shiny wax but a rotten core.

    14. I’m not going to get into a link posting competition. As you probably know there was a high level of violence against Muslims last year, which is why I think it’s important to be careful about how we approach this subject. Not least because there are many bigots who wish to co-opt legitimate debate for their own agenda.

      The grooming of girls/child abuse, as we have seen in recent years, has an institutional basis within this country which stretches way beyond the Muslim community. Each of the issues you have raised is a crime which deserves to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. However, vilifying Islam as a whole, in my opinion, is not the way to solve the problem and will instead breed a McCarthyite-like paranoia. Even if one does not care for Islam/religion, alienating that entire community is likely to worsen the situation.

    15. James Lovelace says:

      “The grooming of girls/child abuse, as we have seen in recent years, has an institutional basis within this country which stretches way beyond the Muslim community.”

      The rich and powerful get away with many crimes – that explains why Saville et al. could get away with their crimes.

      Those in control of vulnerable kids in institutions can get away with their crimes because they are in positions of power.

      Muslim gangs got away with grooming non-muslim schoolgirls for 25 years, because they were GIVEN the power to do this by the social workers, the media, the police, and the fascist Left who made sure that anyone who talked about it was branded “racist”.

      We’ve yet to see anyone claim that Saville and his chums raped 10,000 girls. But we have got expert organisations which have claimed this is the scale of the problem with muslim grooming gangs. Moreover, there is good evidence to show that the authorities knew all about the scale of the muslim grooming gangs by 1997. The authorities threw £millions at the problem to hide it, but did nothing to look after the rights of the schoolgirls not to be groomed for a life of drug addiction and prostitution.

      “As you probably know there was a high level of violence against Muslims last year”

      I know no such thing. It wasn’t a muslim who was beheaded in broad daylight on the streets of London. It was a white non-muslim, beheaded by muslims. Any “violence” against muslims was amazingly absent, given the violence muslims inflicted on Lee Rigby. In the last 20 years 1000s of muslims have rioted in Oldham, Bradford, Harrow, and Tower Hamlets on no provocation. And when there was virtually no violence against muslims last year (compared to the violence from muslims), it was up to deceitful muslim organisations like “Tell Mama” to exaggerate the “attacks” on muslims (most of which were online, and which were probably provoked by muslims or their apologists).

      Having been the victim of racist violence from muslims, I know perfectly well that the police simply ignore such things.

    16. ek chakkar says:

      I’m pointing out something obvious but likely unacknowledged.

      Most of these British people offended by cartoons and vocally protesting are culturally/ancestrally rooted in the Subcontentent. It’s hard to find non-Subcontinental Muslims protesting so loudly. In my view, anti-extremist or anti-islamist activism has to focus on orienting Subcontinental Muslims to their ancestral cultures. It is a more logical and fruitful place from which their British identities can evolve.

      Britain is, today, paying the price for India’s partition. Just to control Soviet expansion in Asia was Pakistan created. And what a mess that support created.

      The root of Britain’s islamism is Pakistan. Defeat islamism in Pakistan and the problem is largely solved.

    17. tildeb says:

      Ah… it seems to me this comment could be a gem… if I’ve interpreted it correctly: the ‘they’re doin’ it rong’ argument, the ‘They don’t represent true islam argument, and the ‘if true, which it’s not, then it’s the fault of Western colonialism’ argument. Mix and match to suit whatever criticism about islam comes out of Britain these days. But we know one thing: it can’t possibly be because of islam.

    18. MLGleave says:

      The only people with no intelligence are people like Mehdi Hasan and his fellow Islamofascist lunatics. Unfortunately we all live like animals. The human race is simply a species of evolved animal, a fact that Allah forgot to mention in the Qur’an.

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