Clegg slams Bishop for non-Muslim "no-go areas" comments

by Stephen Tall on January 7, 2008

Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg has criticised the Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, for his article in The Sunday Telegraph, Extremism flourished as UK lost Christianity. Most controversially, the Bishop argued that:

there has been a worldwide resurgence of the ideology of Islamic extremism. One of the results of this has been to further alienate the young from the nation in which they were growing up and also to turn already separate communities into “no-go” areas where adherence to this ideology has become a mark of acceptability.

The Guardian reports Nick’s views:

The Liberal Democrat leader, Nick Clegg, said the bishop had not produced any evidence of “no-go areas” for non-Muslims, a notion he described as “an extraordinarily inflammatory way of putting it”.

“There is a legitimate debate to be had about the meaning of multiculturalism. But to suggest that non-Muslims are not able to enter into a particular area seems to me to be a gross caricature of reality.”

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I’ve known people unwilling to go past a local Mosque at certain times of day because they feel intimidated.

I think they’re being a bit silly, but some do feel like they’re unwelcome.

by Tristan Mills on January 7, 2008 at 10:26 am. Reply #

I totally agree with Nick on this. Rev Nazir-Ali is putting out a very divisive message which seems to be lacking in any substance. The Church of England and key Muslim organisations enjoy a very positive dialogue and working relationship. Its ridiculous to suggest that the UK has somehow ‘lost Christiainty’ and that Muslims are responsible for this. If fewer Christian people are attending church then he should look to ways of making this more appealing to the population. Surely thats his job. Interesting that the Catholic Church has seen record-breaking increase in their numbers, due mainly to the Eastern Europeans.

by Meral on January 7, 2008 at 11:31 am. Reply #

Tristan – it’s sad that some people are so narrow minded that they feel intimidated walking past a group of people going to pray at a Mosque.

by Ian Turgoose on January 7, 2008 at 12:26 pm. Reply #

I would have more respect for the Bishop of Rochesters views if he talked about the real evils and divisions in our society: the council estates, which are no-go areas for young people from other rival gangs. The unacceptable number of young people murdered on our streets, due to these social divides in our society. Why isn’t he talking about this?

by Meral on January 7, 2008 at 1:10 pm. Reply #

I watched Clegg’s interview on Sky News. What interested me the most was that the interviewer seized on his criticisms of Nazir-Ali’s statement as wanting to “shut down debate”.

Has anyone else noticed how the rightwing media tend to portray anyone who criticises their agenda as trying to censor it? It seems to be the basis of the entirely bogus row about “political correctness”.

by James Graham on January 7, 2008 at 1:14 pm. Reply #

James: I agree. Explains why Nazir-Ali seems to be the Sun’s favourite bishop.

by Meral on January 7, 2008 at 2:18 pm. Reply #

Someone please explain to me how it is “right-wing” to be critical of Islam.

by Angus J Huck on January 7, 2008 at 2:36 pm. Reply #

It is surely a matter of evidence whether or not there are “no-go” areas for infidels in the UK. How is Nick Clegg so certain the Bishop is wrong on this point? Did he do some background research, or did he simply open his mouth and say what he judged to be politically correct?

I have no idea whether or not these “no-go” areas exist. What I do know is that many young Moslem men have become increasingly aggressive and macho in their religiosity, and there will doubtless be lots of people who find this intimidating.

Certainly, I agree with the Bishop that the propagation of noise from minarets is anti-social and a public nuisance. It should not be tolerated.

“Multiculturalism”, the pernicious species of relativism which anathematises criticism of Islam and its odious cultural practices has nothing to do with morality or “anti-racism”, but is actually political manipulation of a very dangerous kind.

Far from according “respect” to honour killings, female genital mutilation, arranged marriages, the veil, the putting to death of gays, apostates and adulterers, etc, liberals and progressives should be condemning these things in the most strident terms.

by Angus J Huck on January 7, 2008 at 3:14 pm. Reply #

Angus, you are being ridiculous. I never said it was “rightwing” to criticise Islam. I am suggesting it is rightwing to demonise an ethnic group.

If such no-go areas exist, it is for Nazir-Ali to name them first. Conspicuously he fails to do so and Clegg gave a perfectly respectable answer on Sky when challenged to “prove” they don’t exist.

How you manage to make the logical somersault from someone suggesting there are no-go Islamic areas in the UK to people refusing to criticise female genital mutilation is beyond me.

by James Graham on January 7, 2008 at 3:19 pm. Reply #

“I am suggesting it is rightwing to demonise an ethnic group.”

Since when has Islam been an “ethnic group”?

James, you have fallen straight into the trap set for us by the political manipulators: those who seek to suppress criticism of Islam by dishonestly categorising such criticism as “racist”.

by Angus J Huck on January 7, 2008 at 4:22 pm. Reply #

Irrelevent, James’ question was about Sky News. Are you now going to try and say that Murdoch’s media are left wing Angus? They’re most certainly not liberal.

by MatGB on January 7, 2008 at 4:25 pm. Reply #

No 11.

Ah, I see.

Because there are right-wing people who criticise Islam, all criticism of Islam is therefore right-wing.

I recall a similar argument deployed by Stalinists in the 1970s.

Because right-wing people criticise the Soviet Union, all criticism of the Soviet Union is therefore right-wing.

by Angus J Huck on January 7, 2008 at 4:31 pm. Reply #

Angus, you know as well as I do that the reason Nazir-Ali is suggesting that certain areas are “no-go” is rooted in the ethnicity of the residents first and foremost, and not their private religious belief.

When we are talking about modes of dress, we are talking about ethnicity.

When we are talking about styles of buildings, we are talking about ethnicity.

When you talk about FGM (which is utterly irrelevant unless you are claiming that it is being practiced publicly in the streets of Leicester), you are talking about ethnicity. It is a cultural practice, not primarily an Islamic one. I could go on.

You keep trying to present this as some kind of dry theological debate about the rights and wrongs of the Islamic belief system, but you know perfectly well that isn’t what Nazir-Ali is referring to. He’s talking about cultural practice not religious belief and so the term ethic is perfectly acceptable to anyone not attempting to muddy the waters with ephemera.

by James Graham on January 7, 2008 at 4:37 pm. Reply #

Relevent section of James’ comment:
I watched Clegg’s interview on Sky News. … the interviewer seized on his criticisms … as wanting to “shut down debate”.

Has anyone else noticed how the rightwing media tend to portray anyone who criticises their agenda as trying to censor it?

At not point does he say all critics of Islam are right wing, he says that Sky News has an agenda, is right wing, and is critcising Islam.

I’m a fairly left wing atheist, as such I criticise aspects of Islam and it’s more extreme adherants regularly. James doesn’t call me right wing when I do so, and he’s had opportunities in the past.

@ James, yes, they do, it’s fortunately not as common over here as in the States, where “balance” requires a centrist presenter and a right wing commentator, the right screams bias, the left just gets on with it, they should scream bias a lot more as well, but aren’t as effective as doing so.

OTOH, what were you doing watching Sky int he first place?

by MatGB on January 7, 2008 at 4:37 pm. Reply #

@ Mat: I was watching Clegg’s interview on the on demand section on teh internets.

by James Graham on January 7, 2008 at 4:42 pm. Reply #

No, all criticism of Islam is not right wing but those on the right wing tend to find it easiest to find a home for their fears of the ‘other’ in our society in any minority group. The current trend is for demonising muslims so let’s dive in.

Sure, British muslims have a lot of work to do to square the conflict between the minority which wants to live a mythical life based on their rather skewed view of the original founders of the religion and the vast majority of muslims who simply want to celebrate their faith in private while living their lives, getting a job, putting their kids through school, etc etc.

But ‘muslims’ are not a threat to British society, whatever the odd vicar, rightwing rag or desperate TV journo seeking a conflict, real or imagined, might wish us to believe.

by wit and wisdom on January 7, 2008 at 4:43 pm. Reply #

James is now telling me I am criticising a “cultural practice”, and therefore a race.

So answer me this, James. Are you saying that because those who engage in female genital mutilation are mainly Middle Eastern and Sub-Saharan African, we must not criticise this most awful practice?

That is what Germaine Greer says. Is it what you say too?

To hold that a cultural practice cannot be criticised because the people who do it have dark skins is racist. You are saying to people of colour, no you can’t have the freedoms I have, because you are black.

You bet if someone started hacking off the genitals of little white girls, Ms Greer would be up in arms about it.

We shouldn’t be leaving it to the right to take on Islam. Liberals and progressives should be leading this struggle.

Islam no threat?

What happens when the US runs out of puppets to keep the lid on Pakistan? It will be a case of Osama Bin-Laden with nuclear weapons.

by Angus J Huck on January 7, 2008 at 5:15 pm. Reply #

Angus, I think you are on another planet.

At no point have I used the term “race”. I have consistently referred to ethnicity, which has never, as far as I’m aware, been synonymous with the term “race”. They are related concepts, but not the same thing.

I can only keep using the English language. How you choose to mangle it is up to you.

So answer me this, James. Are you saying that because those who engage in female genital mutilation are mainly Middle Eastern and Sub-Saharan African, we must not criticise this most awful practice?

That is what Germaine Greer says. Is it what you say too?

It’s a shame that logical poll-vaulting is unlikely to be a presentation game at the London 2012 Olympics because in Angus here we have a potential gold medallist.

Once again, I’m baffled as to what FGM has to do with this debate? I’ve looked again at Nazir-Ali’s article, and found nothing in it about FGM.

To answer your question Angus, no, I think Greer is appallingly facile both in this instance and in other areas.

But to throw the question back at you, given that FGM is practiced by numerous Middle Eastern and Sub-Saharan Africans (and since you brought it up I feel it is incumbent on me to point out that most Muslims in the UK are in fact from the Indian Sub-Continent), do you conclude that areas in which they live are “no go” areas for everyone else?

by James Graham on January 7, 2008 at 5:36 pm. Reply #

James Graham asks: “do you conclude that areas in which they live are “no go” areas for everyone else?”

James, take a look at what I wrote in post No 8. That is the answer to your question.

by Angus J Huck on January 7, 2008 at 5:48 pm. Reply #

Er, no it doesn’t. Yes or no, which is it to be?

by James Graham on January 7, 2008 at 5:49 pm. Reply #

Actually, it does. Read the first line of the second paragraph. It’s there.

by Angus J Huck on January 7, 2008 at 5:55 pm. Reply #

#21 No, that’s an answer to a different question. You asked me a straight yes/no question and expected a straight yes/no answer which I gave; I expect you to do the same.

by James Graham on January 7, 2008 at 5:59 pm. Reply #

Angus @8

If noise from a minaret is anti-social, what about church bells????

Within reason I woiuld find neiher unpleasant or anti-social.

by crewegwyn on January 7, 2008 at 5:59 pm. Reply #

From what I understand of Angus’ argument, the hearing of prayers from a minaret is likely to incite female genital mutilation. Or something.

by James Graham on January 7, 2008 at 6:01 pm. Reply #

Amazing to see these so-called secularists, all too willing to stick the boot into Christianity, getting scared out of their wits when anyone says anything critical of Islam.

In the 1970s we witnessed a similar kind of phenomenon known as “Finlandisation”, after the tendency in Finland to treat criticism of the Soviet Union as taboo.

In both cases, the motivating factor was fear and moral cowardice.

Readers with a modicum of nous will see through it.

James Graham expects me to tour the country every day to see if there are no-go areas for infidels. If he would pay me, say £20 per hour plus expenses, I might consider it.

If a bunch of teenagers held a noisy rave party in a disused factory they would be called all the names under the sun, they would be raided by the Police and given ASBOs. But if a religion wakes us up at 6.00am, well, we have to show them “respect”.

by Angus J Huck on January 7, 2008 at 7:03 pm. Reply #

The last time I was woken up involuntarily at 6am it was by a donkey. Cockerels have the same inconsiderate nature. I’m not aware of any Bishops claiming that farm animals have made many parts of the countryside “no go” areas.

I do indeed expect you to tour the country before making inflammatory statements about Muslim “no-go” areas – at your own expense. Where provocative statements such as that are based on prejudice rather than fact, it is entirely right that we call a spade a spade. You’re the one making extraordinary claims; it is up to you to prove them not for me to disprove them.

I seem to remember publishing one of the infamous Danish cartoons a couple of years ago, and don’t remember you defending me Angus (even though you were reading my blog at the time). When Jenny Tonge was banging on about sympathising with suicide bombers, I was slagging her off. I don’t remember you by my side at the time then either. I don’t think you can claim to have any monopoly over criticising cultural relativism.

The difference between you and I though is that I will restrict myself to criticising actual actions, not spreading myths and rumours calculated to smear.

by James Graham on January 7, 2008 at 7:22 pm. Reply #

James Graham said: “You’re the one making extraordinary claims; it is up to you to prove them not for me to disprove them.”

James Graham, you are a LIAR.

I have made NO extraordinary claims.

It is Bishop Nazir-Ali who made the claim you say is extraodinary, not I. Unless the Bishop and I are the same person, which we are not.

I questioned Nick Clegg’s competence to dismiss the Bishop’s claim in such a peremptory fashoin, but that is NOT the same thing as making the claim myself.

“I have no idea whether or not these “no-go” areas exist.”

That is what I said at Post No 8.

Is that an extraordinary claim, James?

I don’t think so.

So don’t go around accusing me of saying things I haven’t.

by Angus J Huck on January 7, 2008 at 7:50 pm. Reply #

More hopeless and predictable muddle when it comes to a religious issue. This time we’ve got people who think that Mohammed ascended to Heaven on a winged horse, being criticised by a Bishop who thinks that Jesus was born of a virgin, who in turn is being criticised by a liberal leader who, bizarrely, is “committed” to raising his children to follow one of the most illiberal forces on the planet – to wit the Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church.

James, I totally agree with your comment #5. I haven’t seen the Sky interview, but these accusations of trying to “shut down the debate” are invariably ridiculous – as if it were possible to shut down any debate in the internet age. The problem is not that we can’t criticise Islam or religion in general – we clearly can. The problem is simply that we just don’t seem to be doing it enough.

Islam is a vile, pernicious, and utterly false ideology (just like every other religion) – an affront to women, to homosexuals, to civilised values in general. It is now imperative that we state this clearly and unambiguously. A failure so to do will simply drive ever greater numbers, dimly perceiving that all is not quite well with modern multicultural Britain, into the arms of the ghastly BNP and the like.

Of course there will be people who will find what I have said offensive. It is certainly regrettable if some will be hurt by what they perceive as an assault on their very identity. But religious identity only arises in the first place through the abusive practice of religious indoctrination. This is a cycle we must endeavour to break as a matter of urgency, and I can think of no better place to start than with a consideration of the role of religion within the education system.

That Nick Clegg has gone out of his way to praise “faith schools” so soon into his leadership (in apparent contradiction of party policy, or so I’ve been told) is frankly lamentable, and makes his critique of Bishop Nazir-Ali perfectly weak and incoherent.

by Laurence Boyce on January 7, 2008 at 8:34 pm. Reply #

Wow, it’s all getting a bit heated in here, isn’t it?

When I was at school (more than 15 years ago) I was told that you couldn’t walk up Gibbet Street in Halifax if you were a white girl without a headscarf. Me being me, the first opportunity I got, I walked up Gibbet Street, just to see what would happen. Knack all happened. Yes, I got a few odd looks, but then (me being me) I generally get odd looks whatever street I’m walking down.

People being intimidated by the sight of bearded men in tunics and ladies in headscarves are a product of media scare stories, propagated by credulous idiots. Yes, there are some areas where white people get beaten up by gangs of Asian men; but there are many many more where Asians get beaten up by white people, and it is the violence we should be condemning, not one or other group of people whose members may or may not be perpetrating it.

by Jennie on January 7, 2008 at 10:22 pm. Reply #

Laurence – your description of religion as ideology is laughable in it’s prejudice.

Religions are practiced, not thought up: each to their own, for one’s self to disown – your anti-religious proselytising is practiced with positively missionary zeal, perhaps you were indoctrinated more than you recognise.

by JamesS on January 7, 2008 at 10:37 pm. Reply #

That said you’ve got to like Clegg’s approach to faith and culture. To be non-prescriptive and be attacked from all sides is a winner if you can resist falling into the trap of following the clarion of hysterical people.

by JamesS on January 7, 2008 at 10:43 pm. Reply #

#27:

James Graham, you are a LIAR.

I have made NO extraordinary claims.

It is Bishop Nazir-Ali who made the claim you say is extraodinary, not I. Unless the Bishop and I are the same person, which we are not.

I questioned Nick Clegg’s competence to dismiss the Bishop’s claim in such a peremptory fashoin, but that is NOT the same thing as making the claim myself.

Ooh, scary. You even used capital letters; it must be serious. No extraordinary claims? Don’t agree with the Bishop? In terms of the latter, maybe you haven’t said so in so many words but you’ve made it clear where your sympathies lie.

Let’s explore some of your “extraordinary claims” shall we?

EXTRAORDINARY CLAIM #1 (see I can use capital letters too): “many young Moslem men have become increasingly aggressive and macho in their religiosity, and there will doubtless be lots of people who find this intimidating”

You could say the same about young men from any religious, cultural or racial background. Where have you been? Just as I defend the right of white Christian (and Atheistic) young men to be allowed to walk around without being condemned for “intimidating behaviour” I defend Muslim men as well.

EXTRAORDINARY CLAIM #2: “I agree with the Bishop that the propagation of noise from minarets is anti-social and a public nuisance. It should not be tolerated.”

But church bells and the aforementioned Donkey and Cockerel can be? On what basis? In what way does this harm anyone?

EXTRAORDINARY CLAIM #3: By supporting “Multiculturalism” (“the pernicious species of relativism which anathematises criticism of Islam and its odious cultural practices”), liberals and progressives “according ‘respect’ to honour killings, female genital mutilation, arranged marriages, the veil, the putting to death of gays, apostates and adulterers, etc.”

There are as many flavours of “multiculturalism” as there are people. Defending the right of people to dress as they wish or practice their own religion – yes, even say prayers in a public space – is a far cry from tolerating honour killings. To imply otherwise is possibly the most ridiculous statement I’ve ever heard.

EXTRAORDINARY STATEMENT #4: Critics of Nazir-Ali claim that “because there are right-wing people who criticise Islam, all criticism of Islam is therefore right-wing.”

No one on this thread has argued that, as you well know.

EXTRAORDINARY STATEMENT #5: “Amazing to see these so-called secularists, all too willing to stick the boot into Christianity, getting scared out of their wits when anyone says anything critical of Islam.”

When I pointed out the fallaciousness of that statement, you started getting all angry and shouty. This is a thread about the rights and wherefores of the Bishop of Rochester claiming there are Muslim-dominated “no-go areas” – suddenly you’ve turned this into a debate about whether Islam can be criticised at all.

That may not by “LYING” (in small or big caps) but it is certainly INTELLECTUALLY DISINENUOUS IN THE EXTREME.

#28: Laurence, I’ll say one thing for you. You may be a bigot, but at least you’re an equal opportunities bigot.

#29: Jennie. You hit the nail on the head.

#30: JamesS. Precisely. Religions are ultimately what you make of them. Secular ideologies are too. Let’s not let individuals off the hook by turning their beliefs into boogie men, shall we?

by James Graham on January 7, 2008 at 11:15 pm. Reply #

#32: James, thank you for those kind words.

Although I am now trying to get the Mister Oogie Boogie song from Nightmare Before Christmas out of my head, and I blame you for mentioning Boogie men… 😛

by Jennie on January 7, 2008 at 11:20 pm. Reply #

James Graham:

I have proved you are a liar. You can’t get out of it, because it’s there in black and white. I didn’t say what you claimed I had said.

So what do you do?

Admit you are wrong? Apologise?

Not a bit of it.

You respond my showering me with personal abuse. And in so doing, prove yourself a puerile, emotionally immature egotist.

Having already exposed yourself as a liar, that is some feat.

(By the way, you don’t know how to spell “diningenuous”. If you want to impress the great and the good, you’ll have to try harder.)

by Angus J Huck on January 7, 2008 at 11:26 pm. Reply #

“you don’t know how to spell “diningenuous”. ”

Ah, dear old Murphy strikes again. If ever one makes a spelling mistake, it will always be in a post accusing someone else of having poor spelling. Still, I’ve not seen one /that/ amusing for a while…

* cough *

I’ma stop trolling now, I swear.

by Jennie on January 7, 2008 at 11:34 pm. Reply #

“Where have you been?”

In the real world, Mr Graham. Unlike some people.

Perhaps it might dawn on you one of these days that no-one on this planet gives a monkey’s what you think (least of all Nick Clegg).

In answer the Crewegwyn (whose ego is usually under a greater degree of control than the upthrusting Mr Graham’s).

Propagating noise may be a public or private nuisance, depending on the circumstances. The ringing of church bells (1) emits less noise, (2) the sound is melodious (not distorted by amplification), (3) doesn’t wake people up and (4) has been carried on for hundreds of years, meaning that people who have gone to live close to churches know they will hear church bells. If bellringing were an innovation, then neighbouring residents would have reason for complaint.

Watch Mr Graham.

I catch him lying, so he tries to muddy the water by attacking other things I have said rather than admit to the lie itself.

Mr Graham said I had claimed that in Britain there are “no-go” areas for infidels. I did no such thing, and he knows it. His attacks on other things I have said are irrelevant. He remains an unrepentant LIAR (capitals, please note).

by Angus J Huck on January 7, 2008 at 11:45 pm. Reply #

Laurence – your description of religion as ideology is laughable in its prejudice.

You see this is where I just can’t lose. I can only aspire to be as laughable as religion.

Laurence, I’ll say one thing for you. You may be a bigot, but at least you’re an equal opportunities bigot.

Now that is a bit sloppy for you James, notwithstanding the fact that you are presently under a Huck-attack. What makes me a bigot precisely? You are right that I make a point of respecting all religions equally. In fact I respect none of them at all. Why? Because in my view religious beliefs are not deserving of respect – only contempt and mockery. Give me one good reason why I should respect religion, otherwise please don’t call me a bigot.

Religions are ultimately what you make of them.

Is Marxism ultimately what you make of it? Again, very sloppy.

by Laurence Boyce on January 8, 2008 at 2:28 pm. Reply #

You make my points for me Laurence.

Is Marxism ultimately what you make of it (note use of the word ultimately)? I would have thought that is self-evident. Not every Marxist is a wannabe Joseph Stalin. Not every Marxist is even a wannabe Tony Benn. There are plenty of Marxists (and Tories, and Christians, and Muslims) I would happily have watching my back and find myself in close agreement with. There are plenty of atheists whose views I find abhorrent.

You and I both call ourselves secularists, atheists, rationalists and liberals. But let’s face it, thereafter the resemblance ends. The reason I call you a bigot, and with much justification I feel, is that you can’t see beyond how people identify. If one is a Christian or a Muslim, you sign up to a “vile, pernicious, and utterly false ideology” and that’s the end of it. There is no room in your personal belief system for someone who might believe in God and be a member of an organised religion yet be impeccably liberal.

But then, you only selectively pick and choose from liberalism yourself, don’t you? You entirely dismiss all that guff about civil liberties. Clearly if you and I can both call ourselves liberals, there is at least some room for interpretation. But given the forced choice between you or John Sentamu to run the world, I’d pick John Sentamu in a heartbeat.

by James Graham on January 8, 2008 at 3:50 pm. Reply #

Wannabe media pundit, James Graham, says the following is an “extraordinary claim” (he has rearranged my spelling, syntax and punctuation):-

“By supporting “Multiculturalism” (”the pernicious species of relativism which anathematises criticism of Islam and its odious cultural practices”), liberals and progressives “according ‘respect’ to honour killings, female genital mutilation, arranged marriages, the veil, the putting to death of gays, apostates and adulterers, etc.”

I have given the example of Germaine Greer, generally considered a “progressive”, who is in favour of female genital mutilation and arranged marriages, and is on record as saying that it would be justifiable for Moslems to murder Salman Rushdie. All in the name of showing “respect” to Islam.

Then there is the recent case of Ronan Bennet, (he of the mystery terrorism acquittal), who wrote in the “Grauniad” late last year that ALL criticism of Islam is racist.

George Galloway and Ken Livingstone have said very similar things to Greer and Bennet (though they have stopped short of defending female genital mutilation). Livingstone has even invited to London at public expense the odious Sheikh Al-Qaradawi, who says that gays should be put to death and husbands have a duty to beat their disobedient wives.

There is indeed an increasing and alarming tendency among liberals and progressives, as much as the left, to make criticism of Islam taboo.

James Graham, with his OTT personal attack on me, is contributing to this process of taboo creation by issuing a warning to anyone who acknowledges the real situation that they will get a fusilade of abuse and be bullied out of the debate.

If James Graham really wants to improve the conditions of Moslems in this country, then he should be complaining about the one legitimate grievance which they (and people of colour in general) have, and that is racial discrimination in private sector employment.

by Angus J Huck on January 8, 2008 at 4:26 pm. Reply #

Well I shall certainly be looking forward to the rebirth of Marxism, this time without the death camps, and all correctly interpreted and everything.

But you will notice, James, that I have scarcely mentioned Muslims on this thread. Instead I have attacked Islam for the vile ideology that it is. On the whole, I would much prefer not to criticise Muslims, recognising as I do that to some extent they are victims of their own religion. But if you wish to talk about Muslims, then we can do just that.

Let us take just one of the ghastly tenets of Islam – that apostates should be put to death. Just an extremist viewpoint, unrepresentative of Muslims as a whole? Not quite. In fact it is a belief held by 36% of young Muslims. You appear to be in a state of some denial about the scale of the problem we face.

As for Sentamu, you are welcome to him if you really want bits of chopped up dog collar all over your living room. Now I repeat – give me one good reason why I should respect religion. You can’t, can you?

by Laurence Boyce on January 8, 2008 at 5:08 pm. Reply #

If I can return to the original comments by Bishop Nazir- Ali. Is is unreasonable if a public figure makes this kind of infamitory claim for him to (a) define exactly what a “No Go” area is (b) give us a list of such areas so we can all test his claims. He hasn’t done so.

In these circumstances I think Nick Clegg’s comments are exactly what I would expect a liberal leader to say. In my own council ward I have taken a reasonably tough stand on all sorts of “Religious” practices which have bugger all to do with Islam and everything to do with patriarchy and illiberal tribal politics. That doesn’t blind me to thought to a horrible strain of Islamophobia that hasn’t entered public debate which the Bishop appears to be making unsubtantiated appeals to.

by David Morton on January 9, 2008 at 5:17 pm. Reply #

For some reason this page came up when I was searching for a fake charity collection. Are you supposed to be pollitical party members? Immature comes to mind.
As for what your discussing, there are white no go areas in Halifax and has been for over 15 years that I can think of.Proof of this can be regarding the lack of busses after a certain time in these areas, for years.The fact that the fireservice have been bricked in these areas, its common knowledge that you don`t go to certain areas, regarding the people ur supposed to be avioding, thats a different matter.When you attempt go through peoples park and get jumped and told to f##k off white scum this is our park, says it all, one personal experience. There are non-anybody areas in Halifax as well, after a certain time.
Discussion, debate on whether they exist or not does not alter the fact that it is reality.Not for those who dont actually live here, or post a vote for me leaflet then not bother till next election time.

by Tracy Halstead on February 25, 2008 at 1:30 pm. Reply #

I wonder are the people criticising Nazir Ali on his ‘inflammatory’ remarks aware that his home was attacked shortly afterwards? So maybe hes not so paranoid afterall. I have a lot of time for Lib Dem policy. However overall the party has been weak to the point of denial on the issue of Political Islamism in Britain. Anyone that thinks there is not a real problem there is very naive.

by Nathan Hazlett on April 4, 2008 at 10:36 pm. Reply #

When you say his home, do you mean his palace?

by Laurence Boyce on April 4, 2008 at 10:48 pm. Reply #

The Liberal Democrats have no right to call themselves liberal if they do not do more to acknowledge and openly condemn the spread of Islamism in this country, because Islamism is the extreme opposite of liberalism. There is (apart from this forum) virtually no debate in the party because political correctness dictates that truth is offensive. Being aware of the threat of Islamism is NOT anti muslim, I repeat is NOT anti-muslim. Some of Islamism’s harshest critics are muslim.

by Nathan Hazlett on July 17, 2008 at 2:06 pm. Reply #

To reply to Laurence; what his abode is called is besides the point; the man and his family suffered death threats over speaking his mind. It is a disgrace that Nick Clegg chose to support political correctness over free speech. Frankly the Liberal Democrats are virtually appeasing Islamism by denying its existence and refusing to sufficiently condemn it. Anyone that does is lumped in with fruitcakes like the BNP.

by Nathan Hazlett on July 17, 2008 at 2:12 pm. Reply #

TO David; you mention that several points about the Bishops stance should be defined. Will you define ‘Islamophobia’ instead of using it as a pretext for rubbishing all legitimate criticism of Islam. Debate is stronger than throwing words around.

by Nathan Hazlett on July 17, 2008 at 2:19 pm. Reply #

Furthermore, equating ‘Islamophobia’ with racism is a serious misuse of both words. Its particularly ironic, considering there is a growing number of white, British born muslim converts, often from exactly the same ethnic group as those that criticise Islamism. Branding someone an ‘Islamophobe’ is an easy way to throw debate aside and brand their opinion as morally inferior; a form of political correctness, which has no place in a democracy.

by Nathan Hazlett on July 17, 2008 at 2:24 pm. Reply #

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