Jack Straw reveals more about his own particular ethnicity-bias than he probably wants to when he makes comments as cretinous as this:
“But there is a specific problem which involves Pakistani heritage men … who target vulnerable young white girls.
“We need to get the Pakistani community to think much more clearly about why this is going on and to be more open about the problems that are leading to a number of Pakistani heritage men thinking it is OK to target white girls in this way.”
My problem is that this sort of claim bundles up trivially true statements with contentious ones. It’s trivially true that sex crimes, however rare, are a problem. And it’s trivially true that some Pakistani men are sex criminals, just as some whites are. The question is: why bring ethnicity into it? Are men of Pakistani heritage more likely to commit sex crime than others?
Homosexuality is a crime in Muslim Bangladesh. But it’s not a sin, according to Suleman, a gay imam who spoke to Delwar Hussain. The following is an excerpt from Delwar’s article.
Suleman has always known that he was attracted to men. He would wear his mother’s saris when she was out of the house and put on his sister’s make-up in the belief that this is what men found appealing. Suleman also knew that he wanted to be a religious leader, an imam. He joined a madrassa (an Islamic religious school) where he began rigorous training. Small in stature with an imposing black beard, he is dressed in a white kurta pyjama with a matching white mosque hat, the ubiquitous uniform for the men of Allah. He is predisposed to following everything up with religious references.
Irshad Manji attempts to re-centre the raw, emotional polarised sentimentalism of Park51 here. The underlying point is that offence or sensitivity is not a basis for what can or cannot be built nor for criticising aspects of religion or religious customs.
The Park51 debate has now spilled over into the doomed territory of visceral offence taking. The opportunity to have this debate on issues such as the American Constitution’s provisions for freedom of religion and Islam’s obligation to universal principles in the USA may have been lost for good. Nevertheless Manji takes a crack at articulating a set of questions and demands expected of Imam Rauf should Park51 ever get built.
But for all the restless offense I feel, I step back and force myself to think. As I wrestle with the issues, I realize that an opportunity exists for something more constructive than anger.
Khurram Sher, 28, has an interesting CV. He graduated from McGill University medical school in 2005. Practised at the Thomas Elgin General Hospital in the Department of Anatomical Pathology in Ontario, Canada. In 2006, he was involved in the relief efforts after an earthquake in Kashmir.
Earlier this month he was one of three men arrested in Ontario, Canada:
Three Canadians arrested in an alleged terrorist conspiracy had bomb parts and plans and posed a “real and serious threat”, Canadian police have said.
The trio, arrested this week, were charged with supporting terrorism.
Hiva Alizadeh and Misbahuddin Ahmed were jailed following a court appearance on Thursday.
In 2008, Khurram took part in the auditions for Canadian Idol, where he performed the Avril Lavigne song, ‘Complicated’:
As Khurram told the judges at Canadian Idol, he is from Pakistan and enjoys acting, music and hockey.
I am amazed that the Park 51 Community Centre or the so called “Ground Zero Mosque” debate in still chundering on, with no end in sight, despite the paucity of cogent arguments on why it should be opposed by those who oppose it.
Alex Massie’s comment on the “Ground Zero Mosque” is spot on:
One of the recurring arguments against the plan is that, however well-intentioned its backers may be, it represents an unfortunate and unnecessary “provocation”. Even if those involved mean no harm and don’t mean to “provoke” they should have been wise enough to appreciate that their proposal was bound to provoke a hostile reaction. Which means they should think again.
Pickled Politics’ blogger earwigca has posted an article which contains this passage:
The problem with feminism is feminists. [...]
Feminists like Dr. Aisha Gill, friend of Gita Sahgal, who worked tirelessly on the pr in support of the islamophobic attack on Amnesty International.
The wording is inexact but the unscrupulous motivation is obvious. Is the writer suggesting that Gita Sahgal and Aisha Gill are “islamophobic” [sic] or is she making that accusation of the “attack” on Amnesty International? Either way, how does she come to this conclusion and what is her evidence?
Of all the accusations and smears made of Gita Sahgal by her many detractors after she took the matter of Amnesty International’s partnership with the jihadist pressure group Cageprisoners to the public, the charge of “Islamophobia” has been the most baseless. Unfortunately, it also is the most pernicious since it requires little or no evidence for the smear to stick.
The so-called paradox of freedom is the argument that freedom in the sense of absence of any constraining control must lead to very great restraint, since it makes the bully free to enslave the meek. The idea is, in a slightly different form, and with very different tendency, clearly expressed in Plato. Less well known is the paradox of tolerance: Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them. — In this formulation, I do not imply, for instance, that we should always suppress the utterance of intolerant philosophies; as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would certainly be unwise. But we should claim the right to suppress them if necessary even by force; for it may easily turn out that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, but begin by denouncing all argument; they may forbid their followers to listen to rational argument, because it is deceptive, and teach them to answer arguments by the use of their fists or pistols. We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant. We should claim that any movement preaching intolerance places itself outside the law, and we should consider incitement to intolerance and persecution as criminal, in the same way as we should consider incitement to murder, or to kidnapping, or to the revival of the slave trade, as criminal.