from the excellent-but-ferocious ophelia benson at butterflies and wheels:
“More precision needed. There should be a stamp for that. MPN should be like LOL or TMI.”
i agree. what narks me somewhat (and no doubt there are all sorts of reasons why i am wrong about this) is that this is *precisely* what bothers me about statements about a) religious people and b) the tendentious-as-feck word “judeo-christian”.
“But there again – that’s a matter of fact, not something that can just be declared from the armchair as if it were self-evident. Are Muslims as “diverse” as any other group of people living in the UK? Are all groups living in the UK exactly as diverse as each other, neither more nor less? I don’t see why that would be the case. It’s certainly not impossible that there is something about Islam and/or the history of people who emigrate from majority-Muslim countries that makes Muslims as a group tend to be different from other people as groups, including being less “diverse.” That’s something to find out, not just to announce as a necessary truth. Or a sacred cow…”
i would argue that this is exactly what annoys me about statements about religious people in which jews and judaism are included. jews in the uk are *extremely* diverse – this is an ongoing issue which pops up every time someone decides to say something about how we have a monolithic view, or “the community thinks”. in fact, the community, generally speaking, disagrees on nearly everything. on the other hand, it seems to me that the idea that muslims are somehow less diverse is equally mistaken. on the other hand, i am often attacked for suggesting that there is a “significant minority” (i usually quote 13%, based on a survey done some years back for channel 4) that are problematic particularly if you look at what they think about jews. the *real numbers* that can be attached to this, in this case 260,000 based on 2m muslims (again, if that’s correct) is still a very large number compared to the number of jews in this country. in other words, it is nonetheless possible that a) muslims are not monolithic in their views AND b) there is a significant minority of muslims whose views are problematic – and that one can therefore conclude that this minority is big enough to cause a sizeable problem. please note here that i am not intending to essentialise, demonise or whatever. this is just a numbers game. if 13% of these guys are arseheads, 13% of 2m people adds up to a LOT more arseheads than the corresponding number of jews, especially given that there is no evidence whatsoever that a “significant number of jews” hold views that are problematic for a) the UK b) liberal democracy or c) muslims. on the other hand, there *are*, i would say, a “significant number of jews” whose views on the middle east are problematic for a “significant number of so-called ‘progressives’ and muslims and people in the house of lords or the foreign office”. this, for me, is the source of the false equivalences.
the below the line comments are also quite revealing of the issues that are raised.