Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: Crossing the line into idle bigotry

145 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 Newer→ Last

  • DeepRed, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    A disingenuous summary. The murder is the hook for a serious of increasingly dubious claims about Muslims as a group, culminating in a claim that Muslims attempt to take over Western societies from within wherever their numbers allow.

    Or to put it succinctly, guilt by association. When Anders Breivik's culpability became known, those who were quick to invoke GBA when a Muslim extremist blew something up suddenly found their own blowtorches used against them. And what happened? They basically played the No True Scotsman card.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 3900 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson,

    doesn't that rely on distinguishing it from more broadly being Muslim?

    Sort of.

    Islam is a fundamentalist religion. What the prophet says is fundamentally correct. The prophet laid down a lot of sayings about how society should function so Islam has a very political function built in. And a lot of what the prophet said was harsh.

    Fortunately for everybody, the prophet said lots of things - things that can be interpreted to contradict each other - and more importantly said these things a very long time ago. In the long intervening period interpretations have evolved to facilitate Muslim societies that work - do all the things that societies do (feed, clothe, house, protect, enhance the lives of the citizenery). This is where most Muslims sit.

    Unfortunately there is a lot of oil in Arabia. To the rulers of large parts of Arabia this means they are way better off repressing the urges of their citizens to seek enhancement (ask for a bigger share of the revenues). They've done the good old opiate of the people thing and fostered an ultra-pious Islamic religion that takes most the interpretative work of the intervening 1400 years and calls it idoltorous bullshit. This works for the rulers real well and even though the society it produces doesn't really work...so what, it doesn't matter because there is enough oil money to paper over the cracks.

    Then doubly unfortunately the Arabians export their newly found oldly pious Islamism by setting up schools to teach the literalist pure words of the prophet and by tearing down the idolatory that distracts from the prophetic teaching. This takes hold in places where there is no gushing fountain of money and when it doesn't work there - society collapses. The Muslims who follow the salafist branch are relatively few and most other Muslims don't like them (because societal collapse = bad).

    However Islam is a fundamentalist religion and what the prophet said is fundamentally correct to every Muslim - otherwise you aren't a Muslim. The salafists by quoting the prophet almost uncut (and controlling Mecca) lay claim to being purely Islamic and this is a claim the wider Muslim world has difficulty disputing (unless they are Shia - whole other story). And if Muslims have difficulty disputing the salafist claims it becomes very difficult for you, me or opinion writers at the Times to dispute it.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Angus Robertson,

    Islam is a fundamentalist religion.

    This is not a claim without controversy. At heart, the term "fundamentalism" came into being in reference to Christians. It's a lot less meaningful when applied elsewhere.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8015 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks,

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1122 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Angus Robertson,

    However Islam is a fundamentalist religion

    Fail.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17941 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks, in reply to Angus Robertson,

    The columnist has shown demonstratable research and with quotations and everything.

    Well gosh, I mean, if he’s quoted someone he should be taken seriously.

    If it is inherently wrong (as you seem to suggest) to have a debate about political Islam,

    How’d you get there?

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1122 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Angus Robertson,

    Islam is a fundamentalist religion. What the prophet says is fundamentally correct. The prophet laid down a lot of sayings about how society should function so Islam has a very political function built in. And a lot of what the prophet said was harsh.

    Angus: I could make the same statement about some imaginary monolith called "Christianity" based on the Republican presidential primaries and their election campaign. And it would also be obnoxiously reductive. I don’t have a tone sheriff badge around here, but I think over a billion Muslims who exist in a complex webs of theological, social and political contexts across the face of the planet deserve the same civility and simple intellectual honesty I not only expect – but demand – as a Catholic. A Catholic, for the record, who wishes Cardinal Pell would take a vow of silence and stop being a rapist-enabling embarrassment.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11614 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks, in reply to DexterX,

    Isn’t such an error [of attribution] a fundamental underpinning of all bigotry?

    To my mind bigotry is the active expression of hatred or intolerance of others.

    But it’s not like it was just an “oopsie” kind of error. Cox went from describing the repugnant act of an identifiable group that clearly does not represent the views of all Muslims, and then attributed it to “The Muslims”. It seemed clear to me from the overall context that this wasn’t just a one-off instance of poor expression; it was his angle.

    [ETA] Hence, I think ‘idle bigotry’ is a reasonable, maybe even generous, description of the column.

    As a rough analogy, take the vile acts of an extreme anti-abortionist Christian, and attribute them to ‘The Christians’ – would that be reasonable?

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1122 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Angus Robertson,

    The salafists by quoting the prophet almost uncut (and controlling Mecca) lay claim to being purely Islamic and this is a claim the wider Muslim world has difficulty disputing (unless they are Shia – whole other story). And if Muslims have difficulty disputing the salafist claims it becomes very difficult for you, me or opinion writers at the Times to dispute it.

    That’s a horrible argument. Mainstream Christian churches around the world have no trouble whatsoever in “disputing” fundamentalist readings of scripture.

    It doesn't always work, of course. The government in 84% Christian Uganda is about to pass a bill introducing the death penalty for homosexuality. And yet somehow we manage not to confuse that with St Matthew's in the City.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17941 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Quite - and while I had some pretty harsh things to say about faith-based critics of C4 broadcasting that episode of South Park I'd note that Muslims, Christians and Jewish folks managed to express their displeasure in perfectly peaceful, lawful and non-violent ways. You know, like exercising their freedoms of speech, assembly and recourse to the Broadcasting Standards Authority.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11614 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    You know, like exercising their freedoms of speech, assembly and recourse to the Broadcasting Standards Authority.

    Or, as in this instance, the New Zealand Press Council.

    It's civics, bro.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17941 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    It’s civics, bro.

    It's also how a non-trivial number of religious folks (even Muslims, Angus) live in a non-theocratic civil society. Some of my co-religionists really need to get a grip on that then take a vow of silence -- but I guess that's one of the less desirable consequences of living in a society where even the village idiot gets to stand in the public square and shout at anyone who cares to listen.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11614 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to Steve Parks,

    But it’s not like it was just an “oopsie” kind of error. Cox went from describing the repugnant act of an identifiable group that clearly does not represent the views of all Muslims, and then attributed it to “The Muslims”. It seemed clear to me from the overall context that this wasn’t just a one-off instance of poor expression; it was his angle.

    In hindsight, Cox was basically concern trolling in his half-baked column. Peter Hammond, the "Christian zealot" he refers to, is hardly an authoritative source - he's an "Elders of Mecca" conspiracy peddler who makes Brian Tamaki look like Marilyn Manson.

    Anjum Rahman has the latest on her blog. So far no word from the Press Council yet - only final decisions are published on its web site.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 3900 posts Report Reply

  • tussock, in reply to Angus Robertson,

    Sort of.

    Scots is a fundamentalist fashion culture. What the Bard wore is fundamentally correct. The Bard laid down a lot of sayings about how pants should not be warn so Scots has a very fashion-conscious function built in. And a lot of what the Bard wore was fresh.

    Fortunately for everybody, the Bard wore lots of things – things that can be interpreted as clashing with each other – and more importantly wore these things a long time ago. In the intervening period designs have evolved to facilitate Scottish pants that work – do all the things that pants do (warm, clothe, comfort, protect, enhance the lives of the citizenry). This is how most Scots sit.

    Unfortunately there is a lot of oil off Scotland. To the rulers of large parts of the British Isles this means they are way better off repressing the urges of their citizens to seek better pants (ask for a bigger share of the revenues). They’ve done the good old opiate of the people thing and fostered ultra-conservative Scottish dress that takes most the fashion work of the intervening 400 years and calls no true Scotsman on it. This works for the rulers real well and even though the fashion it produces doesn’t really work … so what, it doesn’t matter because there is enough oil money to sponsor pipe bands anyway.

    Then doubly unfortunately the British export their newly found oddly conservative Scots dress by setting up schools to teach the literal pure dress of the Bard and by tearing down the fashion that distracts from the Bards kilts. This takes hold in places where there is no gushing fountain of creativity and when it doesn’t work there – bollocks are on show. The Scots who follow the no-pants branch are relatively few and most other Scots don’t like them (because bollocks on show = bad).

    However Scots is a fundamentalist fashion-culture and what the Bard wore is fundamentally correct to every Scotsman – otherwise you are no true Scotsman. The pipe bands by dressing as the Bard almost bared (and controlling Ayrshire) lay claim to being purely Scottish and this is a claim the wider Scots world has difficulty disputing (unless they are Irish – whole other story). And if Scots have difficulty disputing the pipe band claims it becomes very difficult for you, me or opinion writers at the Times to dispute it.

    Since Nov 2006 • 337 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson, in reply to Russell Brown,

    That’s a horrible argument. Mainstream Christian churches around the world have no trouble whatsoever in “disputing” fundamentalist readings of scripture.

    The Christians new testement is written word of people who are not prophets of G*d. The Muslim koran is the prophetic word of G*d. One is a known interpretation and is easier to dispute than the other that is the definitive word of G*d.

    The fundamentalist Christians a bunch of backward poor arse mostly American hicks. The salafist Muslims are the richest (most cashed up) people on the planet. When you dispute the veracity of fundamentalist Christianity you stand to lose literally hundreds of dollars of donations, if you dispute the veracity salafist Islam you lose billions of dollars.

    These differences make a difference.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Angus Robertson,

    is a fundamentalist religion and what the prophet said is fundamentally correct to every Muslim – otherwise you aren’t a Muslim.

    I personally know muslims who would laugh hysterically at this argument.

    You are failing to realise that the vast majority of people who are muslim are just ordinary people who live ordinary happy lives and would be, and are, horrified by the actions of the extremists.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3108 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to tussock,

    I'm not sure what you're on here, but everywhere I've been in Scotland people wear the same clothes as other Northern Europeans. Also, I'm fairly sure that it's mandatory to wear pants on offshore oil rigs for elf and safety reasons.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4210 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson,

    It's also how a non-trivial number of religious folks (even Muslims, Angus) live in a non-theocratic civil society.

    True. And in theocratic societies different rules appply.

    I don’t have a tone sheriff badge around here, but I think over a billion Muslims who exist in a complex webs of theological, social and political contexts across the face of the planet deserve the same civility and simple intellectual honesty I not only expect – but demand – as a Catholic.

    I contend that some Arabian princes should spend less time worrying about where to spend their next $100billion and a little more about the welfare of their subjects well-being. I suggest that their Operation "set-up-a-batshit-crazy-religion-so-we-can-go-on-partying-and-drinking-ourselves-to-death-plus-infinity" Project might be just a little detrimental to every Muslim on the planet (plus a few other folks).

    I started with the premise that the are just like us deserving the same respect and I got to here. I think they are being fucked with by a bunch of greedy, power mad, self absorbed a-hole, mega-rich princes.

    Whyelse for instance in the last 2 generations has Pakistan developed a fetish with overblown religiousity, complete with blasphemy laws?

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Angus Robertson,

    The columnist has written an opinion piece on the attempted murder of a Pakistani school girl. The columnist has shown demonstratable research and with quotations and everything.

    Oh, please. Cox has made up his word-length with a Garth George-style copy-paste of one "enemy within" tract by an extremist nutbar who froths about the "homosexual agenda" and the evils of secular education, and shot at trick-or-treating children with paintball guns because Halloween is an "occult holiday celebrating human sacrifice, witches and goblins."

    I seriously doubt he even read Hammond's book. You may wish to compare Cox's column with this "Christian survival resource".

    This is research, Angus? Really?

    That the editorial staff of the Waikato Times apparently doesn’t contain sufficient expertise on the internal politics of the Swat Valley to dispute the research – this is not surprising.

    Are you seriously contending that it is necessary to send a reporting team to the Swat Valley to be able to tell whether this bunch of odious racial conspiracies is unreliable?

    FFS, Angus.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17941 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Here’s Dr Peter Hammond’s The Pink Agenda – Sexual Revolution & The Ruin of The Family in South Africa.

    Among its many claims: that the “international gay movement” seeks “the lowering of the age of consent for sex with children, especially boys, and the normalisation of paedophilia”.

    Where do you propose we send a reporting team to determine the truth of that one, Angus?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17941 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Angus Robertson,

    I contend that some Arabian princes

    You know the country with the largest Muslim population is in ASIA, right?

    I contend that some Arabian princes should spend less time worrying about where to spend their next $100billion and a little more about the welfare of their subjects well-being.

    Yeah, man, you never see Arab royalty at the fore-front of movements to improve the welfare of their people, especially not women and children oh wait.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4285 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    I personally know muslims who would laugh hysterically at this argument.

    If you can find a Muslim cleric who does that I'll buy him a beer.

    You are failing to realise that the vast majority of people who are muslim are just ordinary people who live ordinary happy lives and would be, and are, horrified by the actions of the extremists.

    No, that is what I base why contentions on.

    All I do is take the step identifying salafists whose great leap backwards to true unidolterated Islam as the extremist root cause and find they are financed by Gulf Arab princes. Its hardly the first time the vast majority of any people get fucked over by the actions of a rich, powerful, fanatical (or all of the above) few.

    The good news from all this is that I believe, the actions of the extremists will tail off in about 2070 (when the oil runs out).

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Angus Robertson,

    I think they are being fucked with by a bunch of greedy, power mad, self absorbed a-hole, mega-rich princes

    With the dehumanising implication that they're allowing themselves to be fucked over. As it happens the Arab, let alone the Islamic world, is far from monolithic. And you don't even have to get off your arse to confirm that or make a difference.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3291 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson, in reply to Emma Hart,

    I'll wait and I'll wait and sure enough you'll be able to tell me of all the good works they do for their people. Yeah right.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Angus Robertson,

    Angus: the contention was not that corrupt Saudi princes bankroll the salafists -- I don't think there's any doubt about that.

    The contention was that Muslims by their very nature are dangerous and will destroy our societies from within if they are allowed to breed.

    Do you believe the latter is true?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17941 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.