Monday, July 11, 2005

sophistry and political autism

Disgusting drivel from one paper:

"Britain is crawling with suspected terrorists and those who give them succour. The Government must act without delay, round up this enemy in our midst and lock them in internment camps.

Our safety must not play second fiddle to their supposed 'rights'"

And the most articulate piece of writing on the 7/7 bombings I've read so far from another:

"We do not have a monopoly on pain, suffering, rage or resilience. Our blood is no redder, our backbones are no stiffer, nor our tear ducts more productive than the people in Iraq and Afghanistan. Those whose imagination could not stretch to empathise with the misery we have caused in the Gulf now have something closer to home to identify with. "Collateral damage" always has a human face: its relatives grieve; its communities have memory and demand action."


Anonymous said...

Are you saying that the Allies have ''slaughtered innocent people indiscriminately'' and indeed target them specifically?

Anonymous said...

From the article you praised:

"A group of people, with no regard for law, order or our way of life"

He's right Jon! He's talking about Muslims there, people who should not be in our country. No more of whom should be allowed in.

Glad we are all on the same wavelength.

jonathan said...

Am I saying that the Allies have "slaughtered innocent people indiscriminately" and indeed target them specifically?

No, of course not! The article by Mr Younge interests me not because it compares the bombings with the war on Iraq, but rather that it examines the end causes of it - heartbreak, death and despair for the many innocent people who are caught in the crossfire.

I'm not interested in any notion of moral equivalence, rather the understanding that as we all feel the pain of the totally unjustified and outrageous attack on London, we should understand that we are not the only people left grieving and angered because of another's willingness to resort to violence on a grand scale.

And we should try to understand why the bombings happened. It's not good enough to say 'it happened because they were crazy Muslims'.

As for Muslims not being allowed in our country, I can only assume you're being sarcastic, so moronic is that statement. Anyway, the bombers were British, so it's got nothing to do with letting anyone in or keeping anyone out of this country (which you seem to be claiming ownership of).

Anonymous said...

Jon Im not being sarcastic, its pointless arguing about stuff like this. A few years ago I would have said exactly what you are saying.

The bombers, do you really think they total weirdos completely adrift from all ther Muslims? A significan %age of British Muslims support them even if they wouldnt do it themselves. Did you see a prog on the BBC a few months back - "Dont Panic, I'm Islamic" - the funny thing was they had gone to the trouble of finding all these "moderates" all of whom professed their "understanding" of suicide bombers and how angry they were withe West. Their contempt for British society. Certainly opened my eyes and I'm sure thats not what the Beeb intended.

The Muslim population of London is 14% now, if immigration/birth rates carry on as they are, they will dominate London in our lifetimes. And why wont they? Reduced immigration maybe? Well thats out, obviously, racist as you would be the first to point out. OK assimilation, oops no racist again, cant have them swearing loyalty to the Queen & flag, learning British history, I mean how crass! The only shared culture you would sign up for would be Big Brother, shitty pop music, fast food and what else? No wonder they sneer at us, they know time (and birthrates) are on their side. The brightest and best of us (yes people like you Jon) will just stand by.

jonathan said...

Hi, thanks for getting back.

I really don’t think that the young men who decided to carry out the bombings will have the sympathy of anything but a very small percentage of British muslims, although I have no proof of this. It may be true that a significant proportion of Muslims in this country do sympathise with the idea of protest against Western values which they regard as dangerous, and indeed who feel that in some sense there is such a thing as a ‘justice’ which must be done, an avenging, if you like, but that does not mean that they support terrorism. It is indeed possible to find a great many moderates (and not just Muslims) who say that they sympathise, or empathise, with the suicide bomber. This is unfortunate but not necessarily an indication that they are morally bad. It is certainly not an indication that they support the actions of the four brits who perpetrated this monstrous crime.

I’m not dead against immigration control, where it’s needed, but as you well know there are persuasive arguments that we are not overstuffed and bursting at the seams with migrants, just as there are persuasive arguments that we are. It’s all a question of who we believe. At the moment, and admittedly rather instinctively and without the application of science, I don’t think we’re at the stage where we have to tighten up on who we allow into the country (beyond the normal precautions). One day, unpalatable though the idea is to a good, unthinking liberal, that may be necessary. As for assimilation, I’m all for encouraging people to learn about other cultures, histories and obscure cricketing parlances, although I don’t think it’s the job of our immigration control to impose these particulars. I would certainly refuse to take an oath to queen and country myself (or cross my fingers behind my back), so I certainly don’t see why anyone else should have to.

The last thing I want is for Britain, or areas of Britain, to become ghettos where ancient religions impose unpalatable and abhorrent laws. I stop, however, short of imagining that an increased Muslim population would make this inevitable. The values which people like you and I justly want to protect (freedom, peace, safety, diversity) are not values which are incompatible with a faith in Islam. I grew up in a London where the many Muslims I went to school with respected and enjoyed these freedoms just as much as I did. I don’t for a minute think that they are celebrating today. It is much more likely that they are mourning the loss of a relative or a friend, and wondering if they will be free to express their religion openly without fear of rebuke in the future. I hope they can, and hold them no more responsible for the atrocity last week than I do you, or myself.

That said, it is clear that many Muslims have made an enemy of the West. Many mosques of Britain are run by middle-eastern Imams who do not wish to see young Muslims interacting freely with what we call British Values. So of course we’re worried, both of us. But refusing to understand this enemy within, if you think it might really be that, will only hasten the problem and drive us further from a solution. So the first step is to listen to what British Muslims are saying, and see what we can learn.

Anonymous said...

''And we should try to understand why the bombings happened. It's not good enough to say 'it happened because they were crazy Muslims'.''

Hitchins has the answers for all you bleeding hearts out there...

Wake up.

Laura said...

Don't be such a rude twat. If you're gonna come onto J's blog just to leave unpleasant messages then you're lucky he's too polite to just delete your comments.