Leviathan: is the West and Islam on a collision course?

Naoise and the guys at Leviathan: “As Western embassies continue to burn in Muslim countries prompted by those cartoons, this month Leviathan asks: “Are Islam and the West on course for a Clash of Civilisations?”. David McWilliams hosts a panel which includes the UK-based Islamic militant Anjem Choudary ; Ali Selim of the Islamic Cultural Institute; solicitor and former Fine Gael TD Alan Shatter; and journalist Joe O’Shea of The Star – the only Irish newspaper to reproduce the infamous cartoons”. Should be a sparky event. Check out Richard’s podcast recording of the last Leviathan here (sound file).
Music is from White Cholera and musical comedy from Paddy Cullivan.

9pm Thursday March 2nd.
CrawDaddy, Harcourt Street
Tickets €20 + booking fee from www.ticketmaster.ie

  • Pete Baker

    No offence to Naoise, but the intro line – “As Western embassies continue to burn in Muslim countries prompted by those cartoons,” risks being accused of naivety.

    Try instead, “As Western Embassies continue to be targetted by militant Islamists who have been hawking the cartoons, originally printed in September last year [commissioned in response to an incident where an Islamic illustrator refused to take credit for his illustrations in a children’s book depicting Mohammed – because he feared reprisals], around deeply divided societies in the Middle East to incite unrest, while cheered on by people like Anjem Choudary – safely ensconced within one of those Western countries where he is free to espouse the obnoxious and hate-filled opinions noted in link provided – only to be encouraged by the ill-advised reprinting of those cartoons by media outlets in those Western countries.. *deep breath*

    We ask.. When will we stop enthusiastically giving a platform to people like Choudary [who seems to be the only militant Islamist who is always available] who embraces the idea of a war between his version of Islam and the West, simply to generate controversy?”


  • Brian Boru

    No offence to Muslims, but I think our culturals are very uncomfortable bedfellows. Political-Islam needs to be left at the gates if Muslim immigrants want ot come into the EU in my opinion. It is the antithesis of Western values of freedom of speech, democracy, women’s and gay rights. In particular I don’t think Turkey should be allowed into the EU. In so far as they are a secular country, it is because of the military, which actually brought down a Turkish govt in 1995 when it tried to make Koranic studies compulsory in schools. The military cannot follow Turkish immigrants into the West, and the huge size of anti-cartoon demonstrations in Turkey, together with polls showing 37% of Turks support honor-killings for unfaithful wives (21% just support cutting off their noses or one of their ears) I think reveals the uncomfortable truth that Islam and Western-style democracy are often not very compatible. As sources, I refer you to these: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3944983.stm

  • I agree with Pete Baker. Choudhury, a ludicrous figure, will turn the event into a tedious farce. But he’ll grab the headlines with some claim or other about how Ireland could be bombed. We know the routine by now.

  • Jill Robinson

    The premise is wrong. I said before it’s not a clash of civilizations but a clash between civilization and barbarism.

    Sorry Muslims but that’s the way it is. You got a lot of catching up to do, maybe 100 years should do it. You know how to tell a civilized nation from a barbarous one? Look at how it treats women.

    It really is that simple.

  • *sniff, sniff…

    smells like Samizdata in here.

    If this is an indication of what we can expect in Crawdaddy, I’ll be along for the laugh.

  • DK

    I think there is less a clash of civilisations than an internal debate in the Moslem world about coping with the march of time.

    Like the bible, the koran is very very old and was a working of its time. Christianity has split and evolved so that fundamentalist believers in the literal word of the bible are a very small minority – and this situation has been encouraged by writers and thinkers who, like the modern cartoonists and Salman rushdies, were prepared to question the religous dogma from an alternative point of view & often suffered horribly for it.

    So, while the debate is largely settled in Christian areas, it is not settled in Moslem areas. The attacks on Danish embassies are carried out by the “not a step back” brigade, while the work of the modernisers is largely unremarked, consisting as it does of calls for human rights and to keep religion private.

    There is no collision course between the West and Islam. Islam is changing from within and the West is seen, sometimes correctly, as the guilty party – welcomed by some and reacted against by others.

    In a recent article in the Observer, Nic Cohen (sp?) pointed out that there is presently an unreported bus-driver strike, caused by the refusal of the Immams to allow them to form a union. Presently there are more bus-drivers in prison for defying the Immams than there were protesters at the Danish embassy in Tehran (most of whom were in any case ministry workers who had no choice).

    It is a bit of a parallel on our own province where the Immams of the “Socialist 32 county Republic” and “No Surrender” are starting to have to modify their dogma – there will be those that resist, probably violently, but I have hope that the march of time will leave them as a footnote in history.

  • Naoise Nunn


    *deep breath* Every Leviathan we run is fuelled by a frequently facile question which is deliberately intended to provoke debate just like this – The business end is the real, live discussion and argument which ensues (you just have to be there, I guess). Whatever one thinks of Choudary, his views – and those of his fellow-travellers – have a disproportionate impact on mankind and need to be challenged robustly in public forums such as Leviathan. Therefore, for instance, wrong-headed liberals who might feel ambivalent towards suicide bombers because of Western-backed Zionist conspiracies might think again when confronted with Choudary’s particular world view. In this general context, I’d be interested to know what Sluggers think about David Irving’s imprisonment for thought crimes.

  • Henry94

    I’d be interested to know what Sluggers think about David Irving’s imprisonment for thought crimes.

    I deny it happened.

  • help

    “clash of civilisations” = “war on terror” = just another mantra to gear us up for the imminent neocon invasion of more middle east countries.

    choudary is just another extremist fruitcake (there are quite a lot of them), who is purposefully being given a platform by the neocon controlled western media, in order to further their war agenda. If he was not given this platform, most people in the west would not even know who he is. Never mind the fact that the vast majority of muslims do not subsc

    But of course the agenda is unfolding just as planned, with all of the gullible freedom lovers (who’s silence over the irving case is tellingly contrary to their indignant screams over being challenged on their “right” to insult over a billion muslims) biting the bait as usual… ho hum…

  • Felix Quigley


    I do not understand this sentence:

    “Therefore, for instance, wrong-headed liberals who might feel ambivalent towards suicide bombers because of Western-backed Zionist conspiracies might think again when confronted with Choudary’s particular world view.”

    I understand most of it but not your reference to Zionist conspiracies.

  • Naoise Nunn


    I was flippantly referring to the type of argument that might be offered by said “wrong-headed liberals” to justify or explain the activities of violent extremists.

  • If for some strange reason I was hosting a political cabaret on Nazi Germany, I wouldn’t invite David Irving, because he’s a nutter with nothing of any relevance to contribute, even if he does have a disproportionate impact on mankind.

    Naoise seems to be saying that the appearance of Anjem Choudary will be the catalyst for some moment of enlightenment among the audience. Having witnessed the modus operandi of the nutter in question (Choudary, that is), I suggest that the effect will be the contrary.

    Choudary, like his Eddie-the-Eagle-like mentor Omar Bakri Mohammed, deserves contempt and not a platform.

  • harry flashman

    Let me help you out “help”, I am 120% behind Israel, I am a Zionist pure and simple, but I am disgusted at the jailing of Irving. It’s ridiculous, the man delivered a lecture 17 years ago and now he faces prison even though he concedes that he has changed his mind.

    In just the same way as I support the brave editors now in jail in Yemen and Malaysia and Jordan for publishing the cartoons so do I support the right of David Irving to make an eejit of himself in public about Hitler’s role in the Holocaust. Had any Austrian politician or newspaper had the cojones to defend the little Danish newspaper over the cartoons I might have felt marginally less contempt for Austria than I do now.

    By the way fill me in on the neo-con western media would you, that would be the New York Times, the Washington Post, CBS and NBC, the BBC, the Guardian, the Irish Times, RTE, Channel 4, CNN right? Those neo-con media outlets are George Bush’s cheerleaders right?

    Man you need to get out more!

  • Pete Baker

    To avoid confusion.

    It appears the comments are on the blink.. and identities may become transferred, as has happened on previous threads.

    So, for the record, I’ll point out that the previous comment [2.36] was by ‘Harry Flashman’.

  • harry flashman

    Wow I didn’t even notice that, who will I be next?

  • Slugger O’Toole Admin

    I think I have a solution to this Harry. So panick ye not!

  • Felix Quigley


    Thanks for that. I had a strong feeling that was what you meant because of the context. I will look out for the rest of your work and writing.