This is Dr Terry Jones, senior pastor of the Dove World Outreach Center of Florida, a “New Testament Church – based on the Bible, the Word of God”, interviewed on CNN on his plans to commemorate 9/11 by organising ‘Burn a Quran Day’.
The echoes of 1933 when the Nazis burnt some 20,000 books in Germany is clear. But this is not the first time Christian fundamentalists in the USA have shown their intolerance towards books by burning them, as this video show.
It goes without saying that this is an outrageous act of provocation. The fear is – how will Muslims react to this? My only hope is that they will not respond to this act of irrational cynicism and stupidity by reacting in kind, or worse. But perhaps that is asking for too much.
Take a look at this video of British “comedian” Pat Condell’s rant on the side of those who oppose the “Ground Zero Mosque”.
There is very little in Condell’s subjective and skewed diatribe that are not the rehashed arguments of the anti-Ground Zero Mosque movement. Reworking the same tired themes of the “offensive” nature of a building that is neither a mosque nor on Ground Zero, that is an “insult” to the “sensitivity” of Americans. The bulk of this comment contains the “Muslims and the granting of special privileges” screed that is pure Daily Express material.
Pat Condell is a member of the National Secular Society. Some years ago, the NSS applauded his video, The Trouble With Islam. Condell was also nominated by the NSS for their Secularist of the Year award, because he has:
This is a cross-post by Edmund Standing from Harry’s Place
The Daily Mail reports on ‘The moment an angry crowd protesting against Ground Zero mosque turns on man in a skullcap… because they think he is a Muslim’.
I hope Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller are suitably ashamed. The so-called ‘anti-jihad’ movement spearheaded by these two characters has spawned this kind of mindless bigotry and thuggery by continually blurring the line between ordinary Muslims and Islamists.
I am opposed to Islamism, and I am also opposed to Islam. However, I am not opposed to people having the right to practise Islam or any other religion. The hysteria against human beings who identify as Muslims increasingly seen at events organised by groups such as the worthless ‘Stop Islamization of America’ is an utter disgrace and undermines the principles that lie at the heart of the liberal, democratic West.
following an unusually thoughtful broadcast last week by richard dawkins (he’s obviously trying to take on board how much his militancy turns people off by some of the pleas he made on behalf of sacred texts as fine language, cultural literacy and so on) i am grappling again with some of the issues raised by faith schools in the critical thinking debate. dawkins, as per usual, lumped all faith schools together as a) proponents of segregation (for which there is some justification) and b) closers, rather than openers of young minds – the segment in which he, somewhat exasperatedly, grappled with the islamic school science class with an apparent 100% rejection of evolution was a powerful statement. however, also as per usual, he implied (by saying that he “worried that”) this was inevitable in a situation where the parents’ wishes about what they wanted their children exposed to overruled the presumed human rights of children to make up their own mind about what they thought was interesting or worthwhile. this argument was given short shrift by a catholic educationalist from northern ireland, who told him he was simply imposing his own expectations over those of the parents concerned; i personally thought they struggled with the editing a little if they were seeking to show that the wishes of parents were unreasonable; this wasn’t the strongest argument i’ve ever seen against faith schools. in my opinion, they’d have done better to concentrate on the ethos of these schools as exclusivist and contrary to “community cohesion”, but then again, what do i know?
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.
In his bestselling book America Alone, the Canadian writer Mark Steyn fantasises about the state of Europe in 2020. The Islamists have stormed to power right across the continent. No English pub can sell alcohol. Holland’s gay clubs have been relocated to San Francisco. And every French woman is forced to be veiled.
The fashion police, at least, have already arrived, a decade early and without any help from Islamists. But rather than forcing women to wear the burqa or niqab, their job is to force them not to. Earlier this month Italian police in the northern city of Novara fined a Tunisian immigrant, Amel Marmouri, €500 for being veiled in a post office. Belgian police are likely to be doing the same after the Brussels parliament outlawed the burqa. France expects to pass a similar law by the autumn. Holland could follow suit. The Spanish city of Lleida has forbidden the burqa in public buildings; the Minister of Labour and Immigration Celestino Corbacho has hinted at a national ban. In Canada, the Quebec government has drafted an anti-burqa law. Australian politicians are demanding one too.
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.
i’ve not posted for a while, mostly because of pressure of work, but there are a number of things which are currently causing me to more or less lose sleep.
recently, i gave up posting on pickled politics, partly because of the level of personal animosity i was facing, but mostly just in frustration at my apparent inability to get my point across. now, i suppose i have nobody very much to blame for that apart from myself, but i’ve never felt that was a problem before now. now, i think i’m starting to work out what it is that is bothering me; certainly, it’s not about the denizens of one blog, or even the blogosphere, or even the media. it’s not any one set of views, not any one person, but a set of trends, a collective movement i sense in wider society.
New York’s Mayor Bloomberg gets it right. The freedom to worship is a fundamental principle of secularism, the separation of church/mosque/synagogue/temple from state, and to infringe that principle is to capitulate to the extremists and the terrorists.
Speaking on Governor’s Island, misty-eyed New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg praised a decision to allow an Islamic center to be built near Ground Zero.
Bloomberg choked up during his delivery, which highlighted the spirit of religious tolerance and freedoms once sought by New York’s earliest settlers.
“We may not always agree with every one of our neighbors. That’s life and it’s part of living in such a diverse and dense city. But we also recognize that part of being a New Yorker is living with your neighbors in mutual respect and tolerance. It was exactly that spirit of openness and acceptance that was attacked on 9/11,” he said.