Thursday, 20 January 2011

Not burning the Koran: not OK. Death penalty for same-sex acts: OK

Ban the kooky pastor from even entering the UK. 
Or the rights of UK citizens to be protected from known terrorists living in the UK.  
A commentator on BBC worldservice said that the Home Office decision was “appeasing Muslims”.  Of course it is.
As Spencer says:
He didn't actually burn a Qur'an. He said he was going to, and then called it off. I don't approve of burning Qur'ans. I'd rather that the book be read and understood by all free people, so that they know what we're dealing with. But Jones is dead-on when he says: "This ban exemplifies the sabotage of the basic human rights of freedom of speech and freedom of expression. The ban also proves the effectiveness of the threat of militant Islam in the UK as one is not free to travel to the UK due to the speculation of violence."
Crazy, kookier than a Baptist pastor.
Postscript: Baroness Warsi complains that "anti-Muslim prejudice is seen as normal".  'Prejudice' means to pre judge from ME, from OF, from Latin, praejudicium, from prae 'in advance' + judicium 'judgement'.  

In my case, and in that of most I know who are concerned about Islam, that concern did not arise from "judgement in advance", but from study of the basic documents of the ideology of Islam.  I still remember, some time after 9/11 --  thinking that I had to read something about what was continually described as a "religion of peace" --  buying and reading my first copy of the Koran, the Dawood Penguin edition.  I still remember the hair standing up at the back of my neck, as I thought "if this is what we're dealing with, we've got a real problem".  

I've since read a lot more about Islam, and the Koran in a couple of other translations; there's nothing, just nothing, to suggest that the problem is not just as real and as great as I first thought on closing the last pages of the Koran.  

So, when baroness Warsi talks of "prejudice" she does we critics an injustice -- a prejudice, if you like -- for we've studied the documents of Islam and our concerns flow directly from them. 

The baroness goes on:
Baroness Warsi will say anti-Muslim prejudice is now seen by many Britons as normal and uncontroversial, and she will use her position to fight an "ongoing battle against bigotry".
Well, why doesn't she fight the bigotry in Islam: its clear and unequivocal downgrading of the status women, its hatred of non-Muslims, especially Christians and Jews, its intolerance of all non-Islamic worldviews, its hatred of bida, or innovation, its hostility to freedom and democracy.  Wouldn't fighting these make rather more sense, if she wants to fight bigotry?  Wouldn't fighting these go some way to reducing "Islamophobia"?
And what's this about not dividing Muslims into "moderates and extremists"?  Isn't that done by the Islam apologists, to try to show that it's just a "small minority of extremists" who are doing damage to Islam?  Does she suggest that all Muslims are basically the same?  In which case, are they all orthodox, all to follow the letter of Islamic law and all its draconian, hateful and bigoted tenets?  
I don't get it.
The full article below:

20 January 2011
Baroness Warsi says Muslim prejudice seen as normal
Prejudice against Muslims has "passed the dinner-table test" and become socially acceptable in the UK, a senior Conservative is to say.
Sayeeda Warsi, co-chairman of the Tory Party, will warn against dividing Muslims into moderates and extremists.
The baroness, the first Muslim woman to serve in the cabinet, will say such labels fuel misunderstanding.
She will use a speech at Leicester University to accuse the media of superficial discussion of Islam.
Baroness Warsi will say anti-Muslim prejudice is now seen by many Britons as normal and uncontroversial, and she will use her position to fight an "ongoing battle against bigotry".
In extracts of the speech, published in the Daily Telegraph, the peer blames "the patronising, superficial way faith is discussed in certain quarters, including the media", for making Britain a less tolerant place for believers.
She is expected to reveal that she raised the issue of Islamophobia with Pope Benedict XVI during his visit to Britain last year, urging him to "create a better understanding between Europe and its Muslim citizens".
'Social rejection'
The BBC's religious affairs correspondent Robert Pigott said Baroness Warsi is to say publicly what many Muslims privately complain about - that prejudice against them does not attract the social stigma attached to prejudice against other religious and ethnic groups.
"Lady Warsi has broached the issue before," our correspondent says.
"She told the 2009 Conservative Party conference that anti-Muslim hatred had become Britain's last socially acceptable form of bigotry, and claimed in a magazine article last October that taking a pop at the Muslim community in the media sold papers and didn't really matter."
In her speech, she is expected to say the description of Muslims as either moderate or extremist encourages false assumptions.
"It's not a big leap of imagination to predict where the talk of 'moderate' Muslims leads; in the factory, where they've just hired a Muslim worker, the boss says to his employees: 'Not to worry, he's only fairly Muslim'," she will say.
"In the school, the kids say: 'The family next door are Muslim but they're not too bad'.
"And in the road, as a woman walks past wearing a burka, the passers-by think: 'That woman's either oppressed or is making a political statement'."
Baroness Warsi will say terror offences committed by a small number of Muslims should not be used to condemn all who follow Islam.
But she will also urge Muslim communities to be clearer about their rejection of those who resort to violent acts.
"Those who commit criminal acts of terrorism in our country need to be dealt with not just by the full force of the law," she will say.
"They also should face social rejection and alienation across society and their acts must not be used as an opportunity to tar all Muslims."