“Show some damn respect for people’s religous beliefs”: Piers Morgan and the osculation of Islam

UPDATE: Gad Saad made a 5-minute video on the Morgan-Robinson fight: “Piers Morgan is an enemy of reason and an affront to human dignity.”

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Tommy Robinson (real name Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon, born 1982) is a shady character and almost certainly a bigot, though his rhetoric has tamed since he used to incite the masses against Muslims. (I’ve learned about him only recently.) He was head of the far-right English Defense League (EDL),  is now advisor and former UK leader of Pegida (Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the West). His main goal seems to be embodied in the Pegida acronym, but I’ve bridled at hearing his rants, and I think he’s not just anti-Islam, but anti-Muslim; that is, it seems that he wants to stop Muslim immigration into the UK. That’s bigotry. And I don’t really believe his claims that he despises Islam, not Muslims.  (See his comment in Part 2 of the video series below that all Muslims listening to his speech are complicit in the 7/7 attacks.) Robinson’s also been jailed several times for assault, mortgage fraud, and entering the U.S. with a false passport.) But his emphasis on preserving English “culture” or avoiding the self-segregation of Muslims in the West (an issue that Canada has admirably addressed with its integration program), at least deserves discussion, though it suggests that his problem is not just with Islam, but with Muslims.

I’m not going to defend Robinson’s views, but I have to say that when he appeared on the “Good Morning Britain” program the other day, and engaged in what they euphemistically call a “robust debate” with Piers Morgan (real name Piers Stefan Pughe-Morgan), I can’t say that Robinson came off the worst, for Morgan lost it when he loudly damned those who criticize religion.

Morgan is also a piece of work: pro-Trump, anti-feminist, and head of the Daily Mirror during the phone-hacking scandal, which forced him to resign. As Grania said of Morgan, “He’s a bit like Anne Coulter, makes his career on annoying and angering people. Check out his twitter account if you want a brief synopsis of his style. He frequently manages to drum up outrage wars on Twitter.” But she also said of Robinson,  “He may not be as bad as the Ctrl-Left make him out to be, but he has some problematic views. I gather that he has revised and evolved some of his views, but I think his original involvement in far-right organisations in the UK has made him an ‘untouchable’ in terms of people who actually want to deal with him. This is, by the way, precisely why Piers Morgan (usually on the right himself) felt he could unctuously have a go at him.”

Here’s the bit of the show that got the media, social and genuine, all worked up. I don’t know the name of the woman co-host, but she and (mostly) Morgan had a real go at Robinson for jos “Islamophobia” (see Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of the exchange as well; Robinson’s criticism of the Finsbury Park Mosque is further evidence of bigotry: the mosque used to be radical but is not anti-extremist):

What I want to emphasize here is Piers Morgan’s demand that everyone respect not just Islam, but religion in general. (Robinson is a Christian, so he wouldn’t say the same stuff about the Bible, making him a hypocrite, for the Bible has its own nasty bits.) But Morgan is making an increasingly common argument that is the subject of this post: if you criticize Islam, or call out the Qur’an for inciting violence and promoting terrorism, or indict the faith for inciting terrorism, then you’re simply promoting more terrorism. Because criticizing Islam just causes more terrorism, as Morgan argues, we should just shut the hell up and have “some damn respect for people’s beliefs.” (It doesn’t help, of course, for people like Robinson to make false accusations about the Finsbury Park mosque, especially because its members were attacked three days ago by a bigot in a van, killing one person and injuring a dozen more.) But I have no desire to respect people’s beliefs, or avoid criticizing Islam because that incites terrorism. What enables terrorism is when people like Morgan capitulate to it by demanding respect for the theology that motivates murder, and when people get scared by things like the attacks on Charlie Hebdo, or the Danish cartoons, and fearfully mute their criticisms of a faith that promotes violence.

Thus Morgan and Robinson are both wrong: Robinson in his bigotry, true Muslimophobia, and wrongheaded attacks on the Finsbury Mosque; Morgan in his demand that we respect Islam and all religion, and treat their scriptures with respect. He’s also wrong in implying that we shouldn’t criticize Islam because that simply promotes terrorism. It may do that in part, but criticizing Islam is, in the long run, the only way to tame it—especially when the literalistic interpretation of that text is criticized by moderate Muslims.

Here’s a new piece by Brendan O’Neill, the editor of Spiked—a site that has a mixture of views I like and dislike (an example of former is its promotion of free speech, of the latter is its promotion of Brexit). A quote from “The mainstreaming of the terror prejudice” describes the fencing-off of Islam from criticism, and, at the end, mentions the Morgan-Robinson kerfuffle:

The response to the Finsbury attack has been striking for its double standards. Observers and politicos have done all the things they warn us not to do after Islamist attacks. After Islamist terrorism they instruct us not to get angry, not to hold any community or culture responsible, and not to fall for the apparently foul, racist idea that the Koran or certain imams might have inspired this violence. In fact, they ringfence Islam from criticism and frown on efforts to discover the possible scriptural source of the terror. They wield the insult ‘Islamophobe’ against anyone who suggests there might be a broader cultural problem behind such violence. ‘It’s just an individual with warped ideas’, they insist.

This time, in response to a suspected act of far-right violence, they’ve changed their tune. They’ve ditched their usual pacifying cry of ‘Keep calm and carry on’ in favour of inviting the nation to look in the mirror. This act of violence does have a communal base, they claim. It speaks to an ‘increase in Islamophobia all over the country’, one Labour MP insists. This violence does have an intellectual origin we should all worry about: it is the tabloid media’s ‘addiction to Islamophobia’ that nurtured it, we’re told. This violence does raise questions about certain communities in Britain, especially tabloid-reading ones, described by one columnist as ‘the vulnerable’, easily whipped into ‘crazed hysteria’. We know who they mean: the white working class.

Suddenly, it is okay to see an act of individual violence as a signifier of social and communal problems. It is bad, apparently, to raise any questions about Muslim communities after Islamist attacks. But after Finsbury it is absolutely fine, important in fact, to query the rank, media-fuelled prejudices that apparently lurk in certain communities ‘all over the country’. This amounts, pretty explicitly, to saying, ‘We must never criticise the Muslim community, because we might hurt their feelings, but we should definitely criticise the tabloid-addicted, “vulnerable” sections of society that refuse to respect religious difference’.

. . . The communion between Islamist and mainstream media thinking was perfectly captured in the figure of Piers Morgan yesterday. He had Tommy Robinson, founder of the English Defence League, on his ITV show Good Morning Britain. When Robinson criticised the Koran, Morgan blasted him, and was cheered by virtually the entire media for doing so. ‘To mock [Islam] and its holy book is an outrage’, Morgan said. ‘Show some damn respect!’ This is the Islamist outlook, too. In fact this is the thinking behind the Charlie Hebdo massacre: that it is an ‘outrage’ for anyone to criticise Islam. In responding to Finsbury by demonising people ‘all over the country’ as ignorant or hateful towards Islam and insisting the Koran should never be mocked, it is possible these observers have written the script for the next act of extremist, victim-politics Islamist violence.

That’s worth thinking about. Meanwhile, PuffHo (click on link to see article), also claims that it’s Islamophobia (what they mean is “bigotry against Muslims”) rather than Islam that is fueling terrorism:

An excerpt from the above:

When Brits see stories about Muslims on their newspaper front pages, they’re likely to see words like “radical,” “fanatical,” “fundamentalist,” “extremist,” and “militant” in all caps or boldface.

Those are the five adjectives a University of Cardiff School of Journalism report said were most used to describe Muslims in the British print media, according to an analysis of articles from 2000 to 2008.

Of the stories analyzed, 34 percent specifically linked Muslims to the threat of terrorism, 26 percent suggested Islam is a dangerous or backward religion, 14 percent pushed a clash-of-civilizations narrative between Islam and the West, and 9 percent depicted the religion as a threat to the British way of life.

All told, only 17 percent of the stories talked about Islam neutrally or positively as part of a multicultural British society.

. . . “This kind of coverage, this one-dimensional coverage, almost gives people permission to hate,” Dr. Waqas Tufail, a senior lecturer in criminology at Leeds Beckett University, told HuffPost.

The attack at the Finsbury Park mosque “didn’t happen in a vacuum,” he said.

It happened, Tufail said, in the context of “long-term Islamophobia” in the U.K., where there is a “culture of anti-Muslim bigotry in much of the press” and in the rhetoric and actions of the government.

I reject bigotry against Muslims, and it may on occasion incite more violence. But as I said, in the long run it’s the criticism of their ideology, not abject “respect” for it, that will tame the faith.

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t add The Wisdom of Homer to this argument, as well as to Morgan’s and others’ claim that terrorism perpetrated by Muslims has nothing to do with Islam:

105 Comments

  1. neanderthalhead
    Posted June 22, 2017 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    “I reject bigotry against Muslims, and it may on occasion incite more violence. But as I said, in the long run it’s the criticism of their ideology, not abject “respect” for it, that will tame the faith.”

    It would also help if the West stopped bombing Muslim-majority countries into oblivion.

    • Posted June 22, 2017 at 9:34 am | Permalink

      Tunisia, Morocco, Bali? – which is where Islamic terrorists have often come from.

    • BJ
      Posted June 22, 2017 at 10:16 am | Permalink

      There are far, far more bombings and people killed by Islamist terrorists in those countries than by any western nation, or all of them combined. This is just a convenient excuse for why Islamist terrorists do what they do.

      Furthermore, are we also not supposed to draw cartoons of Mohammed or criticize the religion because they’re prone to killing people for doing so?

    • Posted June 22, 2017 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      Ah, there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. You see how far the termites have spread, and how long and well they’ve dined.

      –Christopher Hitchens

      His classic response to the West-blaming trope:

      • BJ
        Posted June 22, 2017 at 10:44 am | Permalink

        I so miss that man. We lost him just before we started to need him even more. He was a man of extraordinary bravery, phenomenal intellelect, and remarkable eloquence. He was the full package.

        • Posted June 22, 2017 at 11:35 am | Permalink

          Douglas Murray is about as close as we can get to a replacement.

      • darrelle
        Posted June 22, 2017 at 11:13 am | Permalink

        Coincidentally, my first thought when Morgan said “Show some damn respect!” was how entertaining and appropriate it would have been if he had been talking to Christopher Hitchens.

      • Craw
        Posted June 22, 2017 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

        Magnificent.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted June 22, 2017 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

        Oh, I agree with most of what CH said here — all of it, actually, until the last couple comments, when he turns jingoistic and bellicose about the 82nd Airborne, alluding to the dodge (unworthy of him) that disagreement with military policy is tantamount to disloyalty to the troops, apparently in service of the great mistake of Hitch’s career, his foursquare support for the Iraq invasion.

        I prefer to remember the Hitchens who opposed Western imperialism and the war in Vietnam, who mocked ill-conceived foreign adventurism — the Hitchens who (as he himself references) put Henry Kissinger on trial for such misdeeds.

        • Posted June 22, 2017 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

          “Who guard you while you sleep” is a quotation from Kipling. I’ve managed to spot 2 obscure references in CH’s oratory. That one and in his self-eulogy on meeting Shakespeare in his works. The “what is noble, what is pure” bit refers to a purple passage in St. Paul: I can’t recall which letter.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted June 22, 2017 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

            One of the epistles to the Philippians, I believe.

            I took “guard you while you sleep” to be an allusion to Orwell’s “people sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf” (which is possibly itself an allusion to Kipling) — or to Jack Nicholson’s peroration ending in “you can’t handle the truth!” from A Few Good Men. 🙂

            • Posted June 22, 2017 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

              I think you might be right on Orwell slyly referring to Kipling. Here’s Rudyard’s poem. (Am I right, did Orwell refer to Kipling as a’good/bad’ author?)

              I WENT into a public ‘ouse to get a pint o’ beer,
              The publican ‘e up an’ sez, ” We serve no red-coats here.”
              The girls be’ind the bar they laughed an’ giggled fit to die,
              I outs into the street again an’ to myself sez I:
              O it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ ” Tommy, go away ” ;
              But it’s ” Thank you, Mister Atkins,” when the band begins to play
              The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
              O it’s ” Thank you, Mister Atkins,” when the band begins to play.

              I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
              They gave a drunk civilian room, but ‘adn’t none for me;
              They sent me to the gallery or round the music-‘alls,
              But when it comes to fightin’, Lord! they’ll shove me in the stalls!
              For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ ” Tommy, wait outside “;
              But it’s ” Special train for Atkins ” when the trooper’s on the tide
              The troopship’s on the tide, my boys, the troopship’s on the tide,
              O it’s ” Special train for Atkins ” when the trooper’s on the tide.

              Yes, makin’ mock o’ uniforms that guard you while you sleep
              Is cheaper than them uniforms, an’ they’re starvation cheap.
              An’ hustlin’ drunken soldiers when they’re goin’ large a bit
              Is five times better business than paradin’ in full kit.
              Then it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an` Tommy, ‘ow’s yer soul? ”
              But it’s ” Thin red line of ‘eroes ” when the drums begin to roll
              The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
              O it’s ” Thin red line of ‘eroes, ” when the drums begin to roll.

              We aren’t no thin red ‘eroes, nor we aren’t no blackguards too,
              But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
              An’ if sometimes our conduck isn’t all your fancy paints,
              Why, single men in barricks don’t grow into plaster saints;
              While it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an` Tommy, fall be’ind,”
              But it’s ” Please to walk in front, sir,” when there’s trouble in the wind
              There’s trouble in the wind, my boys, there’s trouble in the wind,
              O it’s ” Please to walk in front, sir,” when there’s trouble in the wind.

              You talk o’ better food for us, an’ schools, an’ fires, an’ all:
              We’ll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
              Don’t mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
              The Widow’s Uniform is not the soldier-man’s disgrace.
              For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an` Chuck him out, the brute! ”
              But it’s ” Saviour of ‘is country ” when the guns begin to shoot;
              An’ it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ anything you please;
              An ‘Tommy ain’t a bloomin’ fool – you bet that Tommy sees!

              h/t kiplingsociety.co.uk

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted June 22, 2017 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

                I guessing the third stanza of Kipling’s poem inspired the title for James Jones’s novel set during the Battle of Guadalcanal, The Thin Red Line?

              • Posted June 22, 2017 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

                And before Kipling, the Crimean war, apparently. //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_line_(phrase)

                Well, we’ve well and truly Kippled this thread.

    • Posted June 22, 2017 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      I’m with neanderthahead; damn the West for building those towers right in the way of those planes flown by people from Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE, countries that are all smoldering ruins now from the West’s obilvion bombing. We deserved it.

    • Posted June 22, 2017 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      Kill us, we deserve it.

      Nick Cohen

    • Michiel
      Posted June 22, 2017 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      Oh please, which Muslim countries is “the West” “bombing into oblivion” exactly? There are so many conflicts​ going on in Muslim countries right now, most are civil wars and it’s Muslims that are bombing eachother. The West is only involved militarily in a few of them. And even then the scale of Western involvement is relatively small. This is not Vietnam. There are no B52’s carpet bombing villages or cities anywhere. In Iraq, Western powers are fighting with the Iraqi army against ISIS. In Afghanistan with the Afghani government against the Taliban. What do you think ISIS would do to these Muslim majority countries if noone fought them? They even captured a city in the Philippines. Were they bombing any Muslim countries?

    • Taz
      Posted June 22, 2017 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

      We’re not dealing with freedom fighters, we’re dealing with religious fanatics.

    • Posted June 22, 2017 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

      Frankish provocation justified the moslem invasion of 732.

  2. Posted June 22, 2017 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    Show some damn respect!

    Or else what will Morgan do?

    Knock Robinson’s teeth out?

    Muslims already did that to him in prison.

    Later that same day, somebody had to be shot in Brussels Central Station.

    Who does Morgan think the real extremists are – people he can invite onto his talk show to have a discussion with or people who have to be shot on sight by police?

  3. GBJames
    Posted June 22, 2017 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    I can’t remember where I saw the comment (maybe on an ex-Muslim’s post on Facebook?) but it rings true to me.

    The left gets it wrong about Islam. And the right gets it wrong about Muslims.

    • nicky
      Posted June 22, 2017 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      I like that, very succinct!

    • Shaokang
      Posted June 22, 2017 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

      Ali A. Rizvi’s Twitter post.

  4. Craw
    Posted June 22, 2017 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    “I think he’s not just anti-Islam, but anti-Muslim; that is, it seems that he wants to stop Muslim immigration into the UK. That’s bigotry.”

    I want to challenge this. Imagine a million members of the Westboro Baptist Church want to immigrate to Canada. Would it be bigotry to not want them? I wouldn’t want them, I expect few of the Canucks here would. (If conversely we had such a cult in Canada, and a million of them wanted to move to Chicago, would you be in favor?) Why? Because, and only because, of the beliefs they hold and espouse. Not because they were born into the church, or have relatives in the church, or because of any immutable trait, or because we think them tainted forever, but because they are actively advocating vile ideas. Keeping them out not only helps stop the spread of such ideas, but keeping out such a large number helps avert the imposition of such ideas.

    I don’t know anything about Robinson or his desires or positions. I don’t consider them relevant to the point I am raising.

    • Dave
      Posted June 22, 2017 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      I agree, although regarding your choice of Westboro Baptists as the epitome of an undesirable religious cult, for all their obnoxious opinions, the WBs have (to my knowledge) never physically harmed anyone, or even threatened to do so. Their homophobic rantings just make them look ridiculous in the eyes of the vast majority of people. They’re tiresome and offensive, but pose no actual threat.

      For that reason, if I had the power to swap a million UK muslims for a million Westboro Baptists, or a million Satanists for that matter, I’d take the deal in an instant.

      • darrelle
        Posted June 22, 2017 at 10:06 am | Permalink

        I’ll take the Satanists over any of them. As far as I know they never really existed except in response to claims that they did. And they’ve even got some pretty good music. Some not so good too.

        • nicky
          Posted June 22, 2017 at 10:58 am | Permalink

          And I’m somehow suspecting they do not really believe in Satan. I see them a bit as the FSM followers.

          • darrelle
            Posted June 22, 2017 at 11:15 am | Permalink

            My impression also. It seems more as if the whole thing is an exercise in spoofing Christians than anything else.

          • BJ
            Posted June 22, 2017 at 11:17 am | Permalink

            Yeah, I think they just like scaring the evangelicals. It’s pretty hilarious.

    • Posted June 22, 2017 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      Most of the Muslims who live in the UK or come to the UK are not as extreme in their views as members of the Westboro Baptist Church. Most of them have views closer to those of mainstream Christians.

      • Craw
        Posted June 22, 2017 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

        That is true. But as I said I am arguing a principle here, so it is also irrelevant. I made up a hypothetical for a reason; there aren’t a million Westboro members either.

        • Posted June 22, 2017 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

          I wouldn’t let jeremy off the hook so easily. Yes it is true that most Muslims in the U.K. are not as extreme in their views a WBC but some of them are – lethally so. As you pointed out – as repulsive as they are, no WBC members have used nail bombs against children.

          • Craw
            Posted June 22, 2017 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

            I am not disagreeing, but it wasn’t I who pointed that out.

      • Posted June 22, 2017 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

        I’d be careful with such an assumption. If it were true, one would expect there to be decent Muslim-majority countries. I do not know such. Ten years ago, many would say, “Turkey”.

        In Denmark, the true views of most Muslim immigrants were revealed during the 2006 cartoon controversy. They held large rallies against free speech and organized a successful boycott of Danish exports, stabbing their host country in the back. The Danes are now chastised for their unwillingness to take Muslim refugees, but nobody seems to remember that this unwillingness does not come out of the blue.

        Finally, while it is true that only a tiny minority of Muslims engage in terror, this minority cannot be recognized before the terror act is a fact. Hence, those who do not want to be terrorized have no choice but to crack down on all Muslim immigration.

        • BJ
          Posted June 22, 2017 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

          “In Denmark, the true views of most Muslim immigrants were revealed during the 2006 cartoon controversy. They held large rallies against free speech…”

          They’ve done the same thing recently several times in the UK, also calling for sharia at the same time.

      • Posted June 22, 2017 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

        Most of the Muslims who live in the UK … have views closer to those of mainstream Christians.

        Is that a fact?

        Half of all British Muslims think homosexuality should be illegal, poll finds

        https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/apr/11/british-muslims-strong-sense-of-belonging-poll-homosexuality-sharia-law

        52%, to be precise.

        – Support Sharia, 23%
        – “women should always obey their husbands”, 39%
        – Polygamy ok, 31%

      • somer
        Posted June 23, 2017 at 7:20 am | Permalink

        ExMuslim sites with numerous links to articles such as Marian Namazie on twitter or One Law for All (anti sharia courts) or Iram Ramzan or a host of others indicate otherwise.

    • Posted June 22, 2017 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

      + 1

    • Mark Reaume
      Posted June 22, 2017 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

      Funnily (is that a word) enough, the Westboro Baptist Church was banned from entering Canada from what I recall.

  5. Posted June 22, 2017 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    Well said.

    It’s a very difficult line to walk. Where there are many who are critical of Islam (and religion more generally) there are hundreds more rabid and myopic detractors and supporters of Islam.

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been lumped into a group with the crazy anti-Muslim crowd by suggesting I think Islam is not a good moral system.

    There are myriad other factors to consider when talking about the role that Islam plays in terrorism including the history of Imperialism (more specifically Western Imperialism) – BUT – religious texts present such disparate and contradictory guidance regarding violence and compassion that I think it must be the case that most religious people who are good are good in SPITE of their faith and not BECAUSE of it.

    While it’s true that naturally violent people will seek out violent ideologies to justify their actions, it’s also true that people who otherwise might not be violent but who are raised in environments or under regimes that tend to more extreme interpretations of Islam have the potential to become extremists themselves.

    The more extreme the views presented by any doctrine, even if they are few and far between compared to the “good” portions of the same doctrine, the more potential their is for radicalization.

    • jay
      Posted June 22, 2017 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      At what point do you distinguish a toxic ideology and the voluntary believers in that ideology? Can you condemn the Nazi party but not the individual members of the party?

      • GBJames
        Posted June 22, 2017 at 11:41 am | Permalink

        It depends on the actions of the people. There were many members of the Nazi party who were innocuous and inactive. There were others who engaged in the most horrific acts.

        Do you think they all should be treated the same?

        • Posted June 22, 2017 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

          Yep. Many were members because to not be one meant very bad things might happen to them and their families. I recently read Larsen’s “In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin” in which William Dodd (the American ambassador to Hitler’s Germany) met many Nazi party members who feared and loathed the Nazis.

          To those who think they would never do such a thing, I say, don’t kid yourself. Put in their shoes, you may not be as bold as rhetoric supposes.

          • Craw
            Posted June 22, 2017 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

            This is nonsense on stilts. People who joined out of fear and as a result of threats, regardless of how they acted, are just as guilty as Heydrich?

            • Posted June 22, 2017 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

              I don’t understand, Craw. Your comment seems to agree with mine. Why is mine “nonsense on stilts”?

              • Craw
                Posted June 22, 2017 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

                Look down a couple comments. I think you did what I just did, and hit the wrong reply link!

        • Taz
          Posted June 22, 2017 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

          They were all treated the same. We went to war with all Germans.

          • GBJames
            Posted June 22, 2017 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

            No. We went to war with Germany.

            • Posted June 22, 2017 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

              Yes, GBJ, Albert Einstein and the third of German academics who fled Hitler’s Germany would probably agree with you.

      • Paul S
        Posted June 22, 2017 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

        I have an acquaintance who was a Hitler Youth, but as she said, so was every child in Germany in 1939.
        It’s not always a choice.

        • Craw
          Posted June 22, 2017 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

          Even if it was a willing choice the youth of Germany were not told the truth of the nazi regime. It’s absurd to say “oh as a nine year old you joined a club, you must be a monster.”

          • Craw
            Posted June 22, 2017 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

            To the question “Do you think they all should be treated the same?” you responded “Yep.”

            • Posted June 22, 2017 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

              Sorry. I was responding to the part before the “Do you think….” in GBJames’ comment.

              My bad. Should have be clearer.

  6. Sastra
    Posted June 22, 2017 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    When Brits see stories about Muslims on their newspaper front pages, they’re likely to see words like “radical,” “fanatical,” “fundamentalist,” “extremist,” and “militant” in all caps or boldface.

    It seems a bit strange to complain about this, since it separates radical, fanatical, fundamentalist, extremist, militant Muslims (who presumably get written up in many news stories because they make news) from the REST of the Muslims, who are none of the above. I suppose the problem is referring to the religious connection at all. It should be wiped — a tactic which will fool no one who pays any respectful attention to what the radical fundamentalist fanatics are saying about why they are being so militantly extremist.

  7. Kevin
    Posted June 22, 2017 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    I don’t respect gravity, I deal with it. So it is with religion.

    The difference is I cannot hurt gravity’s feelings if I criticize it. It does not go away. People have been criticizing the bad parts of religion for a while and it is slowly fading away.

    It is not respect that religious people want so much as security that tomorrow will not bring any more new apostates.

    • John Taylor
      Posted June 22, 2017 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think criticizing gravity would be very productive.

      • Posted June 22, 2017 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

        Yeah. It’s not just a good idea. It’s the law.
        🙂

    • Posted June 22, 2017 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

      What they really want is their supremacy to be recognized by non-believers and by believers of other religions.

      • Craw
        Posted June 23, 2017 at 12:39 am | Permalink

        Yes. The idea that Islam demands only respect is nonsense. It demands submission.

        A pet peeve of mine is translating Allahu akhbar as God is great. That is wrong. It’s a comparative: God is greater. My god’s better than your god. This is a big difference! Consider the contrary attitude. A pagan of the era of the formation of Islam could and likely would assent that “Allah is great”. They were willing to keep adding new gods and calling them great. Allah is great, Zeus is great, Thor is great, they’re all swell. But that tolerance is not the attitude behind crying that Allah is greatER, not remotely. It isn’t a request to be respected as an equal, it is an assertion of superiority and a demand for ascendancy.

    • Discovered Joys
      Posted June 23, 2017 at 4:33 am | Permalink

      I’ve said before that there is a big difference between respecting a religion and tolerating it…

      I have no respect for any religion (no kudos for bad ideas) but I tolerate religion right up to the point where the religion harms people outside it.

      Yes, there are problems about victims within the religion, but can we get rid of the ‘respect’ meme as a step towards addressing that?

  8. Posted June 22, 2017 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    Reblogged this on The Logical Place.

  9. BJ
    Posted June 22, 2017 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    “Of the stories analyzed, 34 percent specifically linked Muslims to the threat of terrorism, 26 percent suggested Islam is a dangerous or backward religion, 14 percent pushed a clash-of-civilizations narrative between Islam and the West, and 9 percent depicted the religion as a threat to the British way of life.

    All told, only 17 percent of the stories talked about Islam neutrally or positively as part of a multicultural British society.”

    I don’t see anything wrong with any of these. Which one of these statements from the stories is actually untrue? Islam is linked to almost every recent terror attack in the UK; Islam is indeed a dangerous and backward religion; Islamist extremists (and even non-terrorist Muslims who tend to live in enclaves in the UK that police their communities to keep out all western influence) have themselves pushed the “clash of civilizations” narrative; and the religion (through both said purposeful isolation and terror attacks) is indeed a threat to a western way of life in Britain. Why should any of this be portrayed in a “neutral” manner? The vast majority of especially the more newly arrived Muslims in the UK do not wish to be part of a “multicultural British society,” but rather have their own segregated Islamic communities where they often attempt to establish Sharia law courts and have Imams that spout radicalism freely.

  10. Posted June 22, 2017 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    We do know one thing for certain as we have plenty of data on this. When Islam is the dominant religion in a country and it’s Muslim population is significantly high (80%+) they tend to turn into Islamic theocratic hellholes where the rights of minorities (ethnic or religious), atheists, women and gays are virtually non existent. They are the antithesis of everything that Western Democracy (as embodied by the US and Canada) stands for. Are all Muslims terrorists? Of course not. But there are a hell of a lot more of them who are sympathetic to terrorist causes and deeds than we’d like to think. Support for Sharia is frighteningly high Asia and Africa. Support for suicide bombing is also much more prevalent than anyone would like to admit (from 1% up to 40% in some countries!) Their condemnation of things we take for granted here in the West (homosexuality, abortion, alcohol, sex outside of marriage) is also extremely high.
    Why anyone would willingly import this into their country is beyond me. We are now seeing some of the blowback of unrestrained immigration from Muslim majority countries in places like Britain, Sweden, Belgium, Germany, The Netherlands and so on. I don’t see how anyone can honestly describe it as anything other a complete and total disaster as far as I can see.
    The task seems to be trying to figure out which people hold these beliefs and keep them out, while trying to find out which ones don’t and have them immigrate. I don’t think that a temporary ban on Muslim immigration until some better method of screening for the most tolerant and adaptive Muslims for good immigration candidates can be found is that bad of an idea to be honest. That, or increasing the rigorousness of the existing system immediately. One thing is clear. The status quo is more or less tantamount to cultural suicide.

    • BJ
      Posted June 22, 2017 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      Gallup polls across Muslim countries show the population to have sympathy with and/or support for terrorism at rates of 50% to 80%. So even most of the people in those countries who don’t actively engage in terrorism tend to support it and its goals.

    • nicky
      Posted June 22, 2017 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      “a complete and total disaster”, indeed.

    • aljones909
      Posted June 22, 2017 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

      “The task seems to be trying to figure out which people hold these beliefs and keep them out, while trying to find out which ones don’t and have them immigrate.” Identifying muslims who hold enlightened views doesn’t solve the problem. Most UK terror acts were carried out by muslims born or raised in the UK.

  11. Posted June 22, 2017 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Where does bigotry rank on the scale of evils?

    Archie Bunker was a bigot.

    Does anybody think Archie Bunker would ever use violence?

    America wants to gamble the future of its country on the hope that Islam will be the reformed kind that used to exist in Pakistan and Turkey.

    Why do you guys want to do that?

    • Posted June 22, 2017 at 10:53 am | Permalink

      Because it’s the only way, short of widespread violence. It is Islam that must reform if Islamic terrorism is to end. It may be a fool’s hope to avoid a kind of self-perpetuating global conflict but it’s the only one left.

      • Posted June 22, 2017 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

        As long as Islamic terrorism is winning, we cannot expect it to end and the underlying ideology to be reformed. Even those Muslims who are against theocracy and violence and have fled them will not oppose them now from fear to be on the losing side.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted June 22, 2017 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      “Does anybody think Archie Bunker would ever use violence?”

      That movie starred Peter Boyle, and its title was Joe. It inspired Norman Lear to create the Archie Bunker character.

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted June 22, 2017 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

        Norman Lear got his characters in AITF from various sources including his relationship with his dead & I suppose “Joe”, which I’ve not seen, but he got the idea for AITF itself from the basic outline of the British TV satirical comedy **Till Death Us Do Part** – AITF was rather watered down by comparison: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dux9jW5iDG4

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Till_Death_Us_Do_Part

        • Posted June 22, 2017 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

          It may have been watered down but to late 1960s – 70s America it was ground breaking. It was a seminal piece of television art that changed the way American television was produced.

          FTR, I didn’t like it. Sitcoms, even good ones, are just not interesting to me. I’m a bad American, just plain bad.

          • Diane G.
            Posted June 23, 2017 at 3:04 am | Permalink

            That makes two of us…

  12. YF
    Posted June 22, 2017 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    I am an unabashed Islamophobe, in the same way that I am afraid of cancer.

    • aljones909
      Posted June 22, 2017 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

      Bigot. I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re fascistophobic as well.

  13. Zach
    Posted June 22, 2017 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Over two decades ago Ibn Warraq wrote these words in Why I Am Not A Muslim:

    By the mid-1960s and early 1970s, there was a growing minority of Muslims in western Europe, and in the interests of multiculturalism, we were taught that each civilization is its own miracle. Multicultural workshops arose in schools and universities, where even the thought of a critical attitude was anathema…in such a climate “criticism” was equated with racism, neocolonialism, and fascism.

    The wake of the Rushdie affair bears striking parallels to the ’20s, ’30s, ’40s, and ’50s, when left-wing intellectuals were reluctant to criticize either the theory or practice of communism—there was, as Russell pointed out, “a conspiracy of concealment.” When Russell’s courageous book criticizing Soviet Russia and Communism in general first came out in 1920, it met with hostility from the left. V.S. Naipaul’s Amongst the Believers got a similar reaction from intellectuals and Islamophiles, because the author dared to criticize the Iranian Revolution, and, subtly, Islam itself.

    George Orwell, Author Koestler, and Robert Conquest have all pointed out the lies left-wing intellectuals swallowed about Lenin, Stalin, and Communism so as not to play into the hands of reactionary forces. In modern parlance, truth was less important than political correctness. Such a climate held criticism and debate taboo: “any critical utterance was regarded by the worshipers as blasphemy and crime.” There was also, in Koestler’s phrase, an unconditional surrender of the critical faculties.

    Paul Berman also expounds on this theme in Terror and Liberalism, in his chapter titled “Wishful Thinking.” He mentions the left-wing apologies for Communism, but goes on to profile a group that went further, that expressed its sympathy even for foreign right-wing movements: the anti-war faction of the French Socialists in the 1930s. “They felt that courage and radicalism allowed them to peer beneath the surface of events and identify the deep factors at work in international relations,” and conclude that Nazism was not the “truest danger to France.” No, “the truest danger came from the warmongers and arms manufacturers of France itself…and from bellicose French leaders who, in their greed and selfishness, were going to bring on the new Verdun.” While their arguments were political, they rested on a deeper philosophical belief—that everyone is ultimately reasonable:

    The belief underlying those anti-war arguments was, in short, an unyielding faith in universal rationality. It was the old-fashioned liberal naivete of the nineteenth century—the simple-minded optimism that had blown up in the First World War but that, even so, indestructible, had lingered into the twentieth-century imagination. That belief was the other face of liberalism—not liberalism as the advocacy of freedom, rationality, progress, and the acceptance of uncertainty, but liberalism as blind faith in a predetermined future, liberalism as a fantasy of a strictly rational world, liberalism as denial. That was the philosophical doctrine lurking within the anti-war imagination in France. And, stirred by that antique idea, the anti-war Socialists gazed across the Rhine and simply refused to believe that millions of upstanding Germans had enlisted in a political movement whose animating principles were paranoid conspiracy theories, blood-curdling hatreds, medieval superstitions, and the lure of murder. At Auschwitz the SS said, “Here there is no why.” The anti-war Socialists in France believed no such thing. In their eyes, there was always a why.

    He goes onto describe how many of those anti-war Socialists joined the Vichy government after France fell, and how some even began to see a virtue in Petain’s program for “strength and virility,” for “a Europe ruled by a single-party state instead of by the corrupt cliques of bourgeois democracy…” Thus,

    in that very remarkable fashion, a number of the anti-war Socialists of France came full circle. They had begun as defenders of liberal values and human rights, and they evolved into defenders of bigotry, tyranny, superstition, and mass murder. They were democratic leftists who, through the miraculous workings of the slippery slope and a naive faith in the rationalism of all things, ended as fascists.

    Long ago, you say? Not so long ago.

    • Diane G.
      Posted June 23, 2017 at 3:10 am | Permalink

      Thank you for that contribution.

  14. ariel
    Posted June 22, 2017 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    I agree with most here, but Piers Morgan is definitely not “pro trump”. at most, he’s not as “anti trump” and that too would be incorrect as he’s mostly anti trump:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3405353/PIERS-MORGAN-m-embarrassed-today-Britain-parliament-hasn-t-banned-single-UK-citizen-returning-fighting-ISIS-seriously-debating-banning-Trump-shores.html

  15. Michael Fisher
    Posted June 22, 2017 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    I was intrigued by the ITV channel *Good Morning Britain* Piers Morgan & Susanna Reid shitshow. Terrible! Apparently it is now the most popular morning TV programme in our sorry nation.

    I was intrigued by Tommy Robinson’s [or whatever his name is this week] attempts to rubbish some of the people connected to the new, reformed, sparkly Finsbury Park Mosque. He never had the chance to present a case so I went looking…

    MY CONCLUSION
    A good chance exists that the Saudi-funded mosque [a Prince Charles pet project] is today a Trojan Horse for the views & aims of Hamas

    The new trustees crushed the old lunatics – squeezing them out, but those trustees themselves have their own agendas. This sits reasonably well with the British intelligentsia because it’s mandatory to ‘hate’ Israel these days [Corbyn for starters who loves a bit of Hamas]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finsbury_Park_Mosque

    ##############
    Here are the alarm signals I’ve noticed that what we’ve got at Finsbury is just business as usual wrapped in a fake fluffy coat:

    [1] Here is their horrible [aesthetically speaking] website: https://www.finsburyparkmosque.org/
    I checked their “about” page & elsewhere & I’m damned if I can find a list of the new trustees – nothing is transparent

    BUT, I did some hard graft & turned up these guys [I couldn’t find female trustees – do they exist?]:
    TRUSTEE: Mohammed Kozbar: A very appealing looking guy with no hooks for hands & no nasty turban of course: http://standforpeace.org.uk/finsbury-park-mosque-imprisons-journalist/

    TRUSTEE & HAMAS COMMANDER: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muhammad_Sawalha

    TRUSTEE & HAMAS: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azzam_Tamimi

    [2] “Before blaming Islam” 4-min video
    It is at the mosque website & is a whitewash of Islam – I especially enjoyed the bit where the apologist points out that one particular terrorist was a homosexual [therefore Islam not to blame]:

    [3] Husbands ‘correcting’ wives…
    An Egptian preacher at the mosque [in 2016 – I’m not sure about today], cleric Fadel Soliman, says that wives who displease their husbands should be beaten with a small stick”. Soliman ran a lecture series at the mosque in 2016 & there are videos at the mosque web site by him. He recommends physical punishment for wives who have displeased their husbands, saying ‘the hitting must be done with a small stick’ – when a husband is unhappy with the behaviour of his wife, ‘after passing through two stages of non-physical interaction, the next stage must involve something physical, in order to escalate the intensity of the warning’!

    How to correct a wife according to Soliman [cued to the relevant part]:

    A DISCLAIMER
    It is very difficult to double check the info above. Wiki, the British press & Tommy aren’t my ‘go to’ sources for facts/truth, but it is my impression that British politicians on the left & right WANT the Finsbury Muslim Good Fairy to exist, but I strongly suspect it’s bollocks

    • Posted June 22, 2017 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

      Yes, Michael, I strongly suspect the ‘reformed mosque’ line too. Look at who was put in charge of reforming it post-2005 and Abu Hamza: the Muslim Association of Britain which invited the top Al-Qaeda American Anwar al-Awlaki on a British speaking tour.

      If these are the reformers, what are the others like?

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted June 22, 2017 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

        @Dermot Some of the media who have been dancing in step with the ‘reformed mosque’ line since the Seven Sisters Road van attack of three days ago, were formerly suspicious of the shenanigans over at Finsbury.

        I can understand why MI5, for operational reasons, might want the mosque to feel above suspicion, but why the media reversals? I suppose it’s the political/media old boys network in action – there isn’t a ‘free’, independent, daily national press organ in Britain. Not one.

        • Posted June 22, 2017 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

          I wouldn’t go that far, Michael. Even the best can be fooled. The more you look at TellMama and their data collection of ‘Islamophobic attacks, the less reputable the organization becomes: Nick Cohen wrote a piece praising them but Nathan Lean is on their Advisory Board.

          Up to a year ago at least Jeremy Corbyn held his surgeries in the mosque itself. And he should have got burned by his support in Parliament for Suliman Gani, the al-Qaeda supporter: unfortunately Cameron accused Gani of supporting IS. He got the wrong Islamist group. The authoritarian left won that round even though it was wrong on all the facts and the right-wing press, which was almost entirely correct on the facts, looked like bullies.

          The allegations against Corbyn during the election, that he has supported Islamist and terrorist organizations are all true: and it didn’t make a blind bit of difference to his reputation. It seems that the middle-class and young who voted for him don’t care.

          It’s the usual infantile tactic of accusing one of spreading hate when one is pointing out facts. Yes it was revolting of Robinson to tweet within an hour of reports of the attack that the mosque was extremist with the clear implication that they deserved it. Of course they didn’t. There is a time for saying things: I suspect that Douglas Murray will have some info on the place within the next few days.

          I am amazed at the constant blind-siding of the BBC by Islamists: both Maajid Nawaz and Murray (who voted Labour in 2005) have been called ‘hate preachers’ on air in the torrid atmosphere of London’s bubble. And the Beeb has had to apologize: time and again one can do 10 minutes research on these whack-a-mole Islamists who pop up on the telly to discover their ultra-shadiness. It’s not difficult, it ain’t evolutionary Biology.

          No idea if I answered your media point, but there it is.

          • Michael Fisher
            Posted June 22, 2017 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

            Very interesting Dermot. Thanks.

            I have noticed your comments are always worth reading.

            • Posted June 22, 2017 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

              Too kind and not true. I’m as perfectly capable of writing drivel as the next imam.

            • Diane G.
              Posted June 23, 2017 at 3:30 am | Permalink

              You should have a look at his blog.

          • BJ
            Posted June 22, 2017 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

            Corbyn has also praised Hamas and called them his “friends.” The man seems frighteningly comfortable with Islamist terrorists, and specifically ones whose sole mission is to kill Jews.

            I have rooted against the Tories in every election previously, but if Corbyn is Labour’s leader at any point, I will be rooting for the Tories to defeat him (it’s not like I can root for the LibDems. They won’t have a snowball’s chance in hell).

          • aljones909
            Posted June 22, 2017 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

            “The allegations against Corbyn during the election, that he has supported Islamist and terrorist organizations are all true… the middle-class and young who voted for him don’t care.”

            With almost half the school leavers going to University are we now seeing the effect of the heavy left wing bias in Academia?

            • Posted June 22, 2017 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

              Re: left wing bias in academia, aljones, I frankly don’t know. Because, through Haidt, I know more about US institutions than British ones.

              You may be interested to know about Prof. David Miller of Bath University, the British Craig Considine (Islam’s favourite Catholic) and tweeter of forged sayings of the Prophet about how Islam equalises ‘blacks and whites’ – nobody talked about race like that in the C7th. Miller has just published a book with a piece by Asim Qureshi of CAGE, AQ supporter and describer of Jihadi John as a ‘beautiful young man’. Jane Austen might have hated Bath but she never had to deal with an Islamist Captain Wentworth.

          • somer
            Posted June 23, 2017 at 7:25 am | Permalink

            Maajid Nawaz and Stephen Knight of Godless Spellchecker have each criticised Tell Mama on multiple occasions

  16. Merilee
    Posted June 22, 2017 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    Sub

  17. FA
    Posted June 22, 2017 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    Tommy Robinson is a patriot and in a just world, would have been knighted by now.

    Instead, we live in a world where a royal visit is made immediately after the attack on Finsbury where Charles expressed sorrow on behalf of the sovereign. This is something that wasn’t done at any of the Islamic attacks in England. It’s sickening.

    While Robinson can be an idiot at times, most of his arrest record is because the authorities know they can control him with little political backlash, while they don’t have a prayer of stopping the Islamic violence that would follow if they tried to control the Muslims.

  18. Michael Waterhouse
    Posted June 22, 2017 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    Tommy Robinson is less a bigot than he is made out to be.

    He may not be bigoted at all.

    The stuff I have heard him say indicates that he is not.

    Sam Harris didn’t find Robinson bigoted either and had a big falling out with Maryam Namazie over it.

    I gather that mosque does deserve criticism for fueling radicals

    • Posted June 23, 2017 at 7:19 am | Permalink

      After listening to the podcast between Sam Harris and Maryam Namazie, the only conclusion I could come to is that she’s an idiot, and a useless one at that. She’s an idealist which makes her completely useless in trying to figure out how best to combat fundamentalist Islam and jihad. I mean sure, she’ll talk about how bad jihad is, and fundamentalism is but won’t have a single suggestion or even an idea of what to do about it. She just knows that everything that everyone else wants to do, is bigoted or racist or wrong. Secondly, she’s a Communist. I mean, that alone should be enough to convict someone of being brain-dead. How someone can look at the history of communism and the 100 million+ bodies that have stacked up as a result of the implementation of this hideous ideology and still want to be part of it, is simply bewildering.

      • somer
        Posted June 23, 2017 at 7:41 am | Permalink

        Maryam is interesting and a good person passionately committed to defending secularism and criticising Islam – but on economic and immigration matters her communism takes over. She was, of course, a refugee herself so that’s understandable re refugees but she thinks the west has an obligation to take all refugees and even all people wanting better economic circumstances. Nonetheless if you ignore that side of her dialogue (and it seldom comes up) she does have a lot of interesting things to say. I agree, though she was very rude to Sam Harris and was completely unreasonable throughout the interview.

        • Posted June 23, 2017 at 8:43 am | Permalink

          The rude thing is not my area of concern. Yes you could argue that maybe she was rude, but that’s not what irked me so much. Depending on the area of conversation, she was either willfully ignorant or hopelessly naïve. In all cases, she’s was about as inarticulate, and worse, disingenuous, as a human being can possibly be. Simple questions from Sam like “What percentage of jihadists do you think are Muslim?” – She REFUSED to answer the question. As far as I remember, she couldn’t even attempt to answer a single question honestly. She did nothing but speak in rambling, useless platitudes and vague generalities. When she wasn’t doing that, she was chastising Sam for being rude and interrupting said pointless, ranting garbage to at least correct on some manner of fact. And when she wasn’t doing that, she was busy manufacturing straw man and/or flinging ad hominems around. An utterly contemptible and useless human being. That’s an hour and a half of my life I wish I had back.

  19. George Millo
    Posted June 23, 2017 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    I’m not a fan of Piers Morgan, and this incident is a perfect example of why, but I don’t think it’s accurate to label him a “Trump supporter”. He explicitly said when he was on Bill Maher’s show recently that if he was American, he wouldn’t have voted for Trump.

    Also, I highly recommend watching Tommy Robinson’s interview on the Rubin Report. I’m not generally a fan of the Rubin Report, but this episode was excellent, and it will very likely change your opinion of Robinson.

  20. Paul Woodcraft
    Posted June 23, 2017 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Until I listened to Stephen Knights interview with Tommy Robinson I thought he was a bigot (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=588HbnWXb4c)however this interview with x-Muslim Eiynah where he was allowed to speak gave a different perspective. I think Tommy Robinson would agree that he is not well educated, and does need time to explain his views. The gentle David Frost interview with Richard Nixon gave far more insight into the president than aggressive interviewers achieved. It must be the interviewers job to bring out the metaphorical rope, for the interviewee to hang themselves with, not to bludgeon them into submission.

  21. Posted June 24, 2017 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Jerry, “is a shady character and almost certainly a bigot, though his rhetoric has tamed since he used to incite the masses against Muslims.”

    I’d be interested to know on what basis you formed that opinion.

    Have you seen his Oxford presentation on Youtube? Read his book? Many that do seem to acknowledge the extent to which he’s been grossly misrepresented, and abused by the police and by politicians, press, and to no little extent the very Muslim organisations we have come to realise are funded by ‘shady’ sources.

    Robinson isn’t a saint. He’s ‘rough around the edges’ but seems to be a decent straight talking guy – far less ‘shady’ than most politicians.

    Yasmine Mohammed (@ConfessionsExMu) gives him some support. She and quite a few other ex-Muslims agreed with Robinson in tweets to Morgan.

    But the presentation of him remains confused.

    Ebner of Quilliam did a hit job on him in the press – which is when Robinson turned up at their offices (he’d been doing that for others that smeared him and thought they could get aways with it unchallenged – seems reasonable to me). Quilliam closed ranks, even Maajid not being completely honest and receiving flack for that … so much so that his #solidarity meme seemed to drag Faisal Saeed AlMutar (@faisalalmutar) into the fray – odd, given his close work with Yasmine.

    Robinson is often accused of being racist – despite being well liked by people from amy ethnic and religious groups – especially Sikhs, but liberal Muslims.

    The suggestion I’ve seen often is, “Oh well, Robinson may have changed, but he was once a bigot.”

    Robinson has developed, become more experienced with the duplicitous press. Still brash and straight talking. But he has never been a bigot – unless that term now extends to all of us that criticse Islam. He’s certainly no racist.


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