Irish pluralism in step with essence of Islamic values

Policy Exchange’s recent research into multiculturalism, not only created a media splash in England, but in Ireland too. David Cameron’s remarks on the subject were reported (subs needed) in the Irish Times on Tuesday

Mr Cameron identified five barriers, or “Berlin walls of division”, in the way of community cohesion in modern Britain – extremism, multiculturalism, uncontrolled immigration, poverty and educational apartheid. And he coupled that with a strong insistence that politicians should “not hide behind the screen of cultural sensitivity” but say publicly that no woman in Britain should be denied rights that both their religion and their country support.

The Tory leader said urban areas of multiple deprivation were “a breeding ground for resentment and division”. Likewise, those left behind by the educational system became “prime targets for extremists who offer easy explanations and point the finger of blame at other people”.

He warned against politicians giving the impression that these questions of community cohesion and Britishness were all about terrorism, or all about Muslims.

“If we do, then we actually make it harder to beat the terrorist threat. And we make it harder to bring our country together. We need to bring our country together not just to help beat terrorism, but because it is the right thing to do.”

At the same time, he said, it was necessary to “mobilise the instruments of public policy” to draw people away from supporting extremist ideologies. He attacked the “myth” that all Muslim women were subservient observers rather than active participants in British society.

“But we must not be naive. There are still issues we must tackle. In certain sections of the community women are being denied access to education, work, involvement in the political process – and, surprisingly, even denied access to mosques.”

It prompted the Secretary-General and Chair of the Supreme Muslim Council of Ireland, Mohammed AlKabour and Sheikh (Prof.) Shaheed Satardien to issue the following statement:

The Council believes that the rule of civil law, the democratic system of representation in government; the protection of the rights of women and minorities and the freedom of thought and belief; all of which we live under-here in Ireland, is not only compatible with Islamic values but is closer to the ethos and spirit of tolerance pluralism and peace in Islam and better serves the Irish Muslim community than the undemocratic regimes and the draconian judicial systems found in some of the predominately Muslim Countries today.

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  • Burning Bushwhack

    A survey conducted by the Bindo in mid-December ’06 indicated the following:

    ” More than a third (36pc) would prefer Ireland to be ruled under Sharia law, while 37pc would like Ireland to be governed as an Islamic state. ”

    survey

    Mixed signals then from the Muslims in the ROI

  • lapsedmethodist

    —mixed signals then from the Muslims in the ROI. Not really; the percentage of those who believed that violence was sometimes justified for political reasons was probably culled from those who felt fully integrated. No ?

  • kensei

    I think the key point is getting people involved. Irish immigrant communities around the world often retain a distinct identity (and have been discriminated against in the past) but have tended to settle in well into their new countries. Ultimately, where any large mass of Irish immigrants have turned up, politicians of the same descent have turned up too.

    I think the culture angle is a red herring – the challenge is to get people involved in the life of the nation. Enabling them to do that is the challenge. The rest follows.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    kensei: “I think the key point is getting people involved. Irish immigrant communities around the world often retain a distinct identity (and have been discriminated against in the past) but have tended to settle in well into their new countries. Ultimately, where any large mass of Irish immigrants have turned up, politicians of the same descent have turned up too. ”

    This is not wholly a good thing — Billy Bulger and “Old Smoke” Morrissey spring to mind — but the general evolution is that, over time, certain barriers can be overcome.

    However, Islam does not come into a nation to be co-equal. Even the leaders of “moderate” Islamic groups such as CAIR have stated such plainly, at least when they thought there were no kuaffir about the place.

  • BeardyBoy

    correct Dread

    They are being true to their faith, best not being a minority in an islamic nation.

    Seriously, is their anyone you know, especially women, who, on balance, would exchange the nations of Christendom, for all their faults to the nations of islam?

  • kensei

    “This is not wholly a good thing—Billy Bulger and “Old Smoke” Morrissey spring to mind—but the general evolution is that, over time, certain barriers can be overcome.”

    You are missing the point. Yes, there will always be bad men who will exploit division. But it is possible to integrate and still retain distinct culture and identity (including religion). The key point is that in order to do this, people must involve fully in the life of the nation. It works both ways. Communities have to engage, but barriers for them to do so have to be reduced.

    “However, Islam does not come into a nation to be co-equal. ”

    I don’t believe this is the case. You can cite as many groups as you like, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it is true of the population at large (cf some of the teaching of the Catholic Church, for example). In fact, that is some nasty prejudice right there, and could easily have been applied to Catholics 100 years ago. What is certainly true is Muslims have been left in isolation for a long time and face prejudice both for their religion and often their race. A way needs to be found to involve them properly.

    The act of involvement ultimately changes both parties as well.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Kensei: “Yes, there will always be bad men who will exploit division. But it is possible to integrate and still retain distinct culture and identity (including religion). The key point is that in order to do this, people must involve fully in the life of the nation. It works both ways. Communities have to engage, but barriers for them to do so have to be reduced. ”

    Not under Islam, Kensei. What part of “[5:51] O you who believe, do not take Jews and Christians as allies; these are allies of one another. Those among you who ally themselves with these belong with them. GOD does not guide the transgressors” don’t you understand?

    Kensei: “The act of involvement ultimately changes both parties as well. ”

    Islam does not come to co-exist, to be one of many in a diverse culture. It comes to be supreme. And it is not “various groups,” Kensei, but the religion itself. For example…

    Koran 8:12
    Remember Thy Lord inspired the angels (with the message): “I am with you: give firmness to the believers, I will instill terror into the hearts of the unbelievers, Smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger tips of them.”

    Koran 9:5
    “Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolators wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.”

    Koran 9:29
    Fight those who do not profess the true faith (Islam) till they pay the jiziya (poll tax) with the hand of humility.

    Koran 9:30
    The Jews call ‘Uzayr-a son of God’, and the Christinas call ‘Christ the Son Of God’. That is a saying from their mouth; (In this) they but intimate what the unbelievers of old used to say. Allah’s curse be on them: how they are decluded away from the Truth.

    Koran 9:73
    Prophet, make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites and deal rigorously with them. Hell shall be their Home: an evil fate

    Koran 4:144
    Believers, do not choose the unbelievers rather than the faithful as your friends. Would you give Allah a clear proof against yourselves ?

  • abucs

    Well, if people prefer Euros to babies, we’ll find out the consequences soon enough.

  • kensei

    Tell you want DC, you do that again and I’ll start posting bits of the Bible where God tells the Israelites to commit genocide, to any number of just practical day to day verses that people do not just do any more.

    Islam is a diverse religion, and not everyone is fundamentalist. You are displaying a breathtaking amount of prejudice.

  • John East Belfast

    kensei

    “Islam is a diverse religion, and not everyone is fundamentalist. You are displaying a breathtaking amount of prejudice.”

    The problem I have with moderate Islam is that despite the vast majority of muslims being moderate where is their voice ?

    ie moderate Islam never seems to get the upper hand in any Islamic jursidiction but will play second fiddle to the extremists.

    Infact in Islamic countries the only way secular and moderate muslims can have the ascendency is by having harsh militaristic regimes where the fundamentalists are seriously and often visciously sat on

    Indeed moderate Islam only gets a voice in the West because our freedoms enable it to do so.

    In other words I put no hope in moderate Islam being able to protect itself let alone the rest of us.

  • kensei

    “Infact in Islamic countries the only way secular and moderate muslims can have the ascendency is by having harsh militaristic regimes where the fundamentalists are seriously and often visciously sat on”

    Ignorance.

    From Wiki:

    “During World War II, Britain and the USSR invaded Iran from August 25 to September 17, 1941, to stop an Axis-supported coup and secure Iran’s petroleum infrastructure. The Allies forced the Shah to abdicate in favor of his son, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, whom they hoped would be more supportive. In 1951, an eccentric pro-democratic nationalist, Dr. Mohammed Mossadegh rose to prominence in Iran and was elected Prime Minister. As Prime Minister, Mossadegh alarmed the West by his nationalization of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (later British Petroleum, BP) that had controlled the country’s oil reserves. In response, Britain immediately embargoed Iran. Soon after, members of the British Intelligence Service invited the United States to join them in covertly overthrowing the democratically-elected Mossadegh. Initially, United States President Harry S. Truman refused, but after Dwight D. Eisenhower was elected the British proposed the plan again. After convincing Eisenhower that Mossadegh was sympathetic to communism (even though he was an avowed anti-communist), the United States agreed to assist Britain in Operation Ajax. President Eisenhower authorized the CIA to take the lead in the operation of overthrowing Mossadegh and supporting a US-friendly monarch.”

    A brutal regime finally ended in the Iranian revolution. Is there any section of the world the Britain hasn’t had a hand in fucking up? 😛

  • Dread Cthulhu

    kensei: “Tell you want DC, you do that again and I’ll start posting bits of the Bible where God tells the Israelites to commit genocide, to any number of just practical day to day verses that people do not just do any more.”

    There are two events that amerliorate, if not totally negate, your argument, Kensei. The first is the New Testament, the other is the Reformation. Islam has had the benefit of neither, being locked into a medieval theological view. The Koran is God’s literal word, from Gabriel’s mouth to the Prophet’s ear.

    Likewise, I would point out that the Koran quotes are not simply out-of-date or unpleasent passages, they are directly on point refutations of your thesis that all it will take is a little getting to know one another to sort things out.

  • John East Belfast

    kensei

    You can harp on all you like about how the West and espcially UK is too blame for all the problems of Islamic countries but it wont wash.

    Islamic countries have been theocratic and autocratic from the religion’s inception.

    They need to take responsibility for their own situation as they have ample resources to do so.

    To understand why then DC’s Koran passages are more relevant than you dismiss and it is incorrect to refer to Old Testament versus.

    Selective passages from any text to me is wrong because the Bible and probably Koran – just like works of poetry and literature have to be read in their entirity to gain overall meaning.

    However the issue is Islam has had no Coming of Christ who surpassed the Old Testament and said that the Laws of the same were there because hearts were hard.
    He then preached a message of forgiveness and humility and the ultimate act was the sacrifice of God’s son for mankind.

    Whether you believe this or not is not the point but it is the over arching message of Christendom.

    Then Christendom had the Reformation which also greatly curtailed the power of orgainised religion and the role of Church leaders – having recognised the tendency towards corruption in the latter.

    New Testament plus Reformation in Christendom versus the one and only message in the Koran are two totally different kettles of fish.

    You should resist the temptation to ignore the issues and defend anyone and everything against the pereceived oppressor

    Anyhow I am away back to work now and I doubt I will be back on Slugger the rest of today so I am sure you can have the last word.

  • John East Belfast

    DC typed it more quickly and succinctly than me !

  • kensei

    DC

    “There are two events that amerliorate, if not totally negate, your argument, Kensei. The first is the New Testament, the other is the Reformation. ”

    Er, except that Protestantism – particularly presbyterianism and Baptists, love, just luuurve quoting the Old Testament, and Fundamentalism as a movement didn’t arise until the 20th century – 400 years after the Reformation. And what was one of the key things about that again – sola scripture?

    The argument is not negated because you don’t lie it.

    “Likewise, I would point out that the Koran quotes are not simply out-of-date or unpleasent passages, they are directly on point refutations of your thesis that all it will take is a little getting to know one another to sort things out.”

    That isn’t my thesis. My thesis is that in order for communities to integrate properly, what is required is that they involve themselves in the life of the Nation. That doesn’t exclude keeping their own identity and customs, but it does mean they have to add other things to them. And the act of involvement changes both parties, and it is the responsibility of both parties to ensure it happens and can happen.

    JEB

    “You can harp on all you like about how the West and espcially UK is too blame for all the problems of Islamic countries but it wont wash.

    Islamic countries have been theocratic and autocratic from the religion’s inception.

    They need to take responsibility for their own situation as they have ample resources to do so. ”

    Ignorance. The West strangled plenty of Middle eastern democracy at birth because it suited them. It doesn’t mean they are responsible for everything or that Islamic countries have no responsibility now. But it does mean they should shut up with the “Muslims are backwards and not fit for democracy bollocks”. If I give Bush one thing out of the complete fuck up he’s done, it is that he at least rejected that bollocks. How he went about spreading “democracy” was the problem.

    “You should resist the temptation to ignore the issues and defend anyone and everything against the pereceived oppressor”

    That was just a little tongue in cheek jibe. I would get to the issues, of which there are many, if I could just get through the prejudice first.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    kensei: “My thesis is that in order for communities to integrate properly, what is required is that they involve themselves in the life of the Nation. That doesn’t exclude keeping their own identity and customs, but it does mean they have to add other things to them. And the act of involvement changes both parties, and it is the responsibility of both parties to ensure it happens and can happen. ”

    Like I said, you seem to think that a little getting to know one another will clear all this up and it won’t.

    Kensei: “Er, except that Protestantism – particularly presbyterianism and Baptists, love, just luuurve quoting the Old Testament, and Fundamentalism as a movement didn’t arise until the 20th century”

    and the same process gave us Methodists and Episcopalians — a real range with real differences in dogma and belief. There is room for debate, growth and even conversion to a different faith.

    There is room in Christianity for differences in dogma, faith and belief. Islam doesn’t really have that. There is no “Living word” Koran or kinder, gentler Islam. Converts away from Islam are apostates, liable to be killed.

    Kensei: “The argument is not negated because you don’t lie it. ”

    Ah, but your arguement is not correct simply because you refuse to acknowledge anything outside your blinkered views.

  • andy

    “In fact in Islamic countries the only way secular and moderate muslims can have the ascendency is by having harsh militaristic regimes where the fundamentalists are seriously and often visciously sat on”
    As a description of the modern world the above is correct.
    It is however a vicious circle. The fact that secular regimes like egypt routinely brutalise fairly innocuous islamisicits helps to radicalise them fairly effectively.

    In terms of the rest of the points you guys raise- I would argue that quotations from the koran are not the be-all and end all. I started to read the koran a while ago and did find a lot of conciliatory passages towards Jews and Christians.

    The reformation point is well made, although it is perhaps worth pointing out some sects of Islam (eg ismailis, and indeed most Shia’s) tend to be more progressive than the sect of islam everyone’s attention is mostly focussed on ie hardline Sunni Wahabism.

  • kensei

    “Like I said, you seem to think that a little getting to know one another will clear all this up and it won’t.”

    No, that isn’t what I said at all. Engagement isn’t “getting to know a little better”. We can do this all day, or you can add something new. I don’t mind either way.

    “and the same process gave us Methodists and Episcopalians—a real range with real differences in dogma and belief. There is room for debate, growth and even conversion to a different faith. ”

    Sure. But there is still all those scary fundamentalists. Christianity is an evil and violent religion. Sure, look at all those people that it’s killed in the past.

    “There is room in Christianity for differences in dogma, faith and belief. Islam doesn’t really have that. There is no “Living word” Koran or kinder, gentler Islam. Converts away from Islam are apostates, liable to be killed.”

    Much of that could equally be said of Judaism, but it does not mean all Jews are Orthodox. The argument is predicated on the idea that Islam is a uniform religion. It isn’t, and a quick glance at the news on Iraq should show that. Secondly, there is nothing stopping a particular Imam from teaching a softer, cuddlier form of Islam. I can’t be certain, but I’d be surprised if there are none already. There is no central control or church in Islam.

    “Ah, but your arguement is not correct simply because you refuse to acknowledge anything outside your blinkered views.”

    Fortunately it is correct because I’m speaking the truth, and you are speaking blinkered prejudice.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    andy: “In terms of the rest of the points you guys raise- I would argue that quotations from the koran are not the be-all and end all. I started to read the koran a while ago and did find a lot of conciliatory passages towards Jews and Christians. ”

    Read more closely, andy. Keep an eye as much on what the Prophet does as much as what he says. Many of the “conciliatory passages” occur at a time when Jews and Christians are strong. For example, hudnas / treaties are made when Islam is weak and are freely breakable when Islam is again strong. If you read between the lines, you may even note that the Prophet is a shifty old bandit, whose “revelations” come in time to sort out some political awkwardness in the Prophet’s favor.

    I haven’t even gotten into dhimmitude — the second-class citizenship that Jews and Christians are put into in Muslim nations or the more… “interesting” aspects of the Prophet, who is Islam’s “perfect man,” a model worthy of emulation.

    andy: “The reformation point is well made, although it is perhaps worth pointing out some sects of Islam (eg ismailis, and indeed most Shia’s) tend to be more progressive than the sect of islam everyone’s attention is mostly focussed on ie hardline Sunni Wahabism. ”

    More progressive, Shia vs. Sunni, is 14th century vs. 6th century.

    Everyone is focused on Wahabism because it is the most aggressive proselytizer, funding madrassas around the world.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Kensei: “No, that isn’t what I said at all. Engagement isn’t “getting to know a little better”. We can do this all day, or you can add something new. I don’t mind either way. ”

    Kensei, your engagement arguement falls flat on a couple levels. First and foremost, you know little about Islam. There are nations who have been “engaged” to the West on favorable terms for decades and their views have become more radicalized, not less. On a more local basis, there are nations who have tripped over themselves to make spaces for Islam — Engalnd and Holland leap to mind — and radicalization is up with successive generations, not down. The whole squishy “multi-culti” world view, has created an incubator for these beliefs. A quarter of of British Muslims said the July 7, 2005, terror bombings in London, which killed 52 innocent commuters, were justified. Another 30% said they would prefer to live under strict Islamic Sharia law rather than England’s democratic system. (Channel 4).

    These are not the parents, who came to England to work, but their British-born children.

    Islam does not come to be co-equal, but supreme.

    kensei: “Sure. But there is still all those scary fundamentalists. Christianity is an evil and violent religion. Sure, look at all those people that it’s killed in the past. ”

    What, the Crusades? A response to the wave of Islamic conquests in the region preceding them, kensei, naught more. The Spanish Inquisition? Merely an echo of Islamic behavior on the Iberian peninsula generations before. Do not confuse the effect for the cause, kensei.

    Kensei: “The argument is predicated on the idea that Islam is a uniform religion. ”

    There is far less variation in Islam than in either Christianity or Judaism. This is, in part, that deviance from the “norms” is punishable by being labelled as apostate, with fairly predictable results.

    Kensei: “Secondly, there is nothing stopping a particular Imam from teaching a softer, cuddlier form of Islam. I can’t be certain, but I’d be surprised if there are none already. There is no central control or church in Islam.”

    Begs the question, then, why have they not done so with any efficacy? The obvious one is, as noted above, too great a deviation from the Koran and the example of the Prohet invites being declared apostates.

    Kensei: “Fortunately it is correct because I’m speaking the truth, and you are speaking blinkered prejudice. ”

    I am sharing my knowledge and understanding of Islam, including contextual quotes and historical examples. You have no examples, have professed an ignorance of the religion and assume things will have a happy ending if things were just done your way. That hardly makes you “right.” As for me being “prejudiced,” who am I supposed to believe, you or mine own eyes and the Koran’s text?

  • kensei

    “Kensei, your engagement arguement falls flat on a couple levels. First and foremost, you know little about Islam.”

    Ah, I forgot. you are the fountain of all knowledge, DC.

    “There are nations who have been “engaged” to the West on favorable terms for decades and their views have become more radicalized, not less.”

    I’m not arguing about inter country relations. And no matter how “favourable” your terms are with the West, if you are facing repression at home, radicalisation can occur.

    “On a more local basis, there are nations who have tripped over themselves to make spaces for Islam—Engalnd and Holland leap to mind—and radicalization is up with successive generations, not down.”

    Decreasing racism in those countries is a relevantly recent phenomenon.

    “The whole squishy “multi-culti” world view, has created an incubator for these beliefs. A quarter of of British Muslims said the July 7, 2005, terror bombings in London, which killed 52 innocent commuters, were justified. Another 30% said they would prefer to live under strict Islamic Sharia law rather than England’s democratic system. (Channel 4).”

    That’d be a clear majority of people against the bombings and pro-democracy then? Why thank you for clearing that up.

    “What, the Crusades? A response to the wave of Islamic conquests in the region preceding them, kensei, naught more. The Spanish Inquisition? Merely an echo of Islamic behavior on the Iberian peninsula generations before. Do not confuse the effect for the cause, kensei.”

    I wasn’t talking about in relations with Islamic states. I was talking about in general to show how easy it is to reflect your prejudice back.

    “I am sharing my knowledge and understanding of Islam, including contextual quotes and historical examples.”

    And I’m explaining how you are talking nonsense. You are actually selectively quoting and making sweeping generalisations.

    “You have no examples, have professed an ignorance of the religion”

    No, I professed an ignorance of whether there is definitively a Muslim teacher teaching a “softer” version of Islam anywhere in the world. I know a bit about Islam but not a lot about the Koran. I’d do some research, but I’ve work to do right now.

    “and assume things will have a happy ending if things were just done your way.”

    No, I’m merely offering a theory, based on the successful integration of Irish immigrants. I am trying to see how they did it – they often faced prejudice and had a different religion. It seems to me the salient point is they didn’t cut themselves off from the rest if society. They retained a distinct identity, but took on some of the aspects of the place and got involved, so there were role models in different walks of life.

    Citizenship lessons, demanding obedience and all of the other balls they’ve come up with nowdays seems to me to be totally ineffective and vaguely offensive, so I’m just trying to come at it from another angle. Perhaps you disagree.

    “As for me being “prejudiced,” who am I supposed to believe, you or mine own eyes and the Koran’s text?”

    Something said in the Koran does not imply all (or a majority of) Muslims believe it any more than something said in the Bible implies all Christians believe it.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Kensei: “Ah, I forgot. you are the fountain of all knowledge, DC. ”

    No, merely working with your own admissions.

    Kensei: “That’d be a clear majority of people against the bombings and pro-democracy then? Why thank you for clearing that up. ”

    One third is hardly an insignificant minority, Kensei, and represents a surge over the prior generation. You limited “snap-shot” view ignores the trending numbers.

    Kensei: “No, I’m merely offering a theory, based on the successful integration of Irish immigrants.”

    And these previous waves of immigration have had more points of commonality, be it religion, language and / or culture.

    Kensei: “Citizenship lessons, demanding obedience and all of the other balls they’ve come up with nowdays seems to me to be totally ineffective and vaguely offensive, so I’m just trying to come at it from another angle. Perhaps you disagree. ”

    I agree that another angle is needed, I just think yours is not all that different from what has been tried before and does not take certain cultural realities into account.

    Kensei: “Something said in the Koran does not imply all (or a majority of) Muslims believe it any more than something said in the Bible implies all Christians believe it. ”

    Apples and oranges, Kensei, for reasons already discussed. There is a great deal more room for differences in Christianity than in Islam. Islam, due to its general acceptance within the faith that it is the literal word of Allah, does not lend itself to debate or differences in opinion.

  • kensei

    “One third is hardly an insignificant minority, Kensei, and represents a surge over the prior generation. You limited “snap-shot” view ignores the trending numbers.”

    No, it isn’t, but not entirely surprising when people are alienated. You probably would have had similar polling figures here throughout the troubles. Your assertion is that Islam is only interested in domination, not democracy. Your own figures prove you wrong.

    “I agree that another angle is needed, I just think yours is not all that different from what has been tried before and does not take certain cultural realities into account.”

    I don’t think it has been, properly. The focus is on getting Muslims to become British / be proud of ebing British / understand British values, rather than getting Muslims involved. There is a subtle but important difference.

    “Apples and oranges, Kensei, for reasons already discussed.”

    And refuted already. There is a huge number of Christians, increasingly influential within the US, that believe the Bible should be read as a literal account.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Kensei: “No, it isn’t, but not entirely surprising when people are alienated. You probably would have had similar polling figures here throughout the troubles. Your assertion is that Islam is only interested in domination, not democracy. Your own figures prove you wrong. ”

    Firstly, they are not my figures, they are channel 4’s figures. And, unlike you, I understand the concept of “al-Taqiyya.” That third is likely predominantly Sunni…

    Secondly, I said Islam does not come to be co-equal, but to dominate. Domination, save to the most limited minds, is not require an immediate assault. Right now, Islamic communitiies are making demands — prison toilets re-oriented so as not to face Mecca, segregated space for use by their adherents in otherwise secular institutions, changes in long held practices to suit their needs, etc. What need of they of more forceful complusion when the natives are willing to roll over to their demands?

    After that, its just a numbers game, not unlike what some SF folks used to crow about N.I. demographics — all that needs to be done is to continue outbreeding the other.

    Kensei: “And refuted already. There is a huge number of Christians, increasingly influential within the US, that believe the Bible should be read as a literal account. ”

    Not in the least. You’re sweeping procalmations do not a refutation make. The Christians in the US are influencial because they are part of the system — they volunteer for political campaigns, they donate monies in excess of their secular counterparts, they vote in primaries at a higher rate than their secular counterparts, etc. They are influencial, in short, because they have embraced the system. There is not one-third of Evangelicals openly pining for the abolition of democracy and the establishment of a theocratic state.

    Contrast that to Islamic communities, where efforts to bring law and order give rise to conspiracy theories and whispers of discrimination, where “moderate” imams preach martyrdom and jihad of the sword when they think no kuaffirs are paying attention.

    As I said, its apples and oranges, Kensei. The comparison does not hold up to even casual analysis.

  • kensei

    “Firstly, they are not my figures, they are channel 4’s figures. And, unlike you, I understand the concept of “al-Taqiyya.” That third is likely predominantly Sunni…”

    You cited them therefore they are yours. Don’t split hairs, and stay on the fucking point. They show, the vast, vast majority against violence and favour not having Sharia Law. Ergo, your point is wrong.

    “Secondly, I said Islam does not come to be co-equal, but to dominate. Domination, save to the most limited minds, is not require an immediate assault.”

    You are asserting without proof, based on a selective quoting on the Qouran and figures that don’t back up your point. Frankly, it is blinkered prejudice.

    “Right now, Islamic communitiies are making demands—prison toilets re-oriented so as not to face Mecca,”

    A religious freedom issue. Along with Jews they don’t have to eat pork. I imagine you wouldn’t actually need them reorientated, just moved a cellw here this doesn’t occur.

    “segregated space for use by their adherents in otherwise secular institutions,”

    Could argue same about Catholicism. Try some of the debates on education in here.

    “changes in long held practices to suit their needs, etc.”

    Vague and useless. Whether or not something is long held does not necessarily make it necessary or good.

    “What need of they of more forceful complusion when the natives are willing to roll over to their demands?”

    Shock! Horror! Multiculural society has different demands than a monoculural one! The world is falling in!

    “After that, its just a numbers game, not unlike what some SF folks used to crow about N.I. demographics—all that needs to be done is to continue outbreeding the other.”

    Yes, I’ve heard the Europe with be turned into Islamistan nonsense before.

    “Not in the least. You’re sweeping procalmations do not a refutation make. The Christians in the US are influencial because they are part of the system—they volunteer for political campaigns, they donate monies in excess of their secular counterparts, they vote in primaries at a higher rate than their secular counterparts, etc. They are influencial, in short, because they have embraced the system.”

    Way to miss the point. the point is that they are many ways, just as extreme as the Muslims you revile. Whether they get their goals, which seem to be in limiting freedom and bombing the shit of of other countries, by working the system or working against it is irrelevant to that key point.

    “There is not one-third of Evangelicals openly pining for the abolition of democracy and the establishment of a theocratic state. ”

    Hey, just for laughs, here’s a group trying to take over South Carolina:

    http://christianexodus.com/

    We also have there, is a much smaller population alienated in a way Fundamentalists in the US are not. Alienated populations are more radical.

  • kensei

    And here is a neat wee article on similar themes:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,2004258,00.html

  • lapsedmethodist

    Lotsa lovely LittleGreenFootballs stuff here, eh?