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The Left’s blind spot with Islam: opposing bigotry does not mean liking a religion

25 June 2014

3:05 PM

25 June 2014

3:05 PM

I agree with something Owen Jones has written, a confluence of beliefs that will next occur on September 15, 2319.

Addressing the subject of Christian persecution, he argues in the Guardian: ‘It is, unsurprisingly, the Middle East where the situation for Christians has dramatically deteriorated in recent years. One of the legacies of the invasion of Iraq has been the purging of a Christian community that has lived there for up to two millennia. It is a crime of historic proportions.’

Most people have rather ignored this crime, as they have other incidents of anti-Christian persecution across Africa and Asia, for as the French philosopher Regis Debray put it: ‘The victims are “too Christian” to excite the Left, and “too foreign” to excite the Right.’

But in particular the issue of Christian persecution has been ignored because the Left feels uncomfortable discussing Muslim-on-Christian violence, and Muslim bigotry generally. Muslims, as (generally) non-European minorities in the West, excite their need to protect the vulnerable. Yet outside of the West, the men of Islam are far from vulnerable or weak – quite the opposite.

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And the problem for the Left is that once you look into religious freedom around the world it becomes very hard to sustain the idea that Islam is a tolerant faith, as they would like to believe. There are tolerant versions of Islam, now and historically, and it’s right that the Islamist version of history is countered by appeals to more progressive traditions of the faith, but the religion has had trouble adapting to pluralism and liberalism.

Indeed the very idea of secularism is a western invention that came (slightly inadvertently because medieval Church leaders did not wish to cede authority) out of Christianity. The happy result of this separation of earthly and sacred powers was eventually the idea that the state should play no part in enforcing religious norms. By the late 18th century this started to find concrete form in legal religious freedom.

But one of the basic principles that made this possible was the idea that we should defend the rights of religious minorities without having to approve of their religion. The early liberals who proposed allowing Catholics civic rights largely disliked Catholicism as an oppressive, illiberal religion; yet today people on the Left are expected to defend the civic rights of Muslims and protect them from bigotry, while also having to admire and respect Islam, a faith that is far more conservative than Catholicism and, in all but its few tolerant variants, stands for everything they should oppose.

This is partly politeness, I imagine, but it negates the whole point of liberalism, which is about defending people’s freedom even when we don’t agree with their worldview. Richard Dawkins lives by this rule, showing open contempt for Islam and Catholicism without wishing to trample on the rights of its believers. I’m a Catholic, and Dawkins doesn’t bother me – he’s free to think what he wants and I’m free to think what I want and we’re free to criticise each other’s beliefs without having a hissy fit; that’s the point of a secular, liberal democracy surely?

An example of this problem is the neologism Islamophobia, which conflates bigotry against Muslims with hostility to Islam. This was exemplified this week by a spokesman for Hizb ut-Tahrir blaming ‘Islamophobia’ for the Sydney Opera House withdrawing an invitation.

Personally I see nothing wrong with an institution inviting people to suggest moral arguments that most people find repulsive; that’s what a free society is about. But if opposing the belief system of Hizb ut-Tahrir makes one an Islamophobe, what possible meaning does that word have, and what use is it to liberals?

Ed West is the author of The Silence of Our Friends: The Extinction of Christianity in the Middle East.

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Show comments
  • Jo Bless

    The trouble is we are prevented from speaking the truth and warning people of real Islam. Not meaning it stops us, but we barely can get through one koran verse without the word “bigot” or :”racist” thrown at us. What do we do? These people are putting us all in danger.

  • Albert Zbingswiki

    Yeah, well, we’re fucked now. Owen and those of us who don’t subscribe to their insane beliefs will be feeling the beheading knife very, very shortly.
    Good job, lefties: You’ve doomed The West, and ensured the world will remain a barbaric, inbred theocracy.

  • Vinashak

    It is the same here in India…
    Thankfully they are few in number but they hold important positions in the academia, media and other fields who will consistently demonize anyone who would even dare to claim to be a Hindu but will kowtow in front of radical, hate-mongering, jihadists…

    I have always wondered why it is so… but have found no satisfactory answer… But one thing is for sure that they no longer enjoy much popularity in my country…

  • global city

    Why do we even have to consider, let alone pander to the lunatic demands of the Left?

    Why can’t the MSM begin ridiculing the madder excesses of the loony left worldview… or more importantly, investigating the prigs?

    C’mon Speccie….. it is your duty to begin doing this now… name names, take the p*ss, get them sacked and jailed.

    It has all gone too far

  • tolpuddle1

    Why does 99% of the Left insist on living in the past ?

    They started attacking Christianity when it was very powerful in Europe, entwined with the existing order in Europe and with European empires abroad.

    Any reasonable person can see this is no longer the case – but the Left apparently doesn’t.

  • Damaris Tighe

    The left has no concept of ‘I hate what you say but defend your right to say it’. Therefore it’s hardly surprising that when defending muslim rights they also feel the need to defend their beliefs, or, at the very least not criticise. It must be very confusing for them.

  • Brett_McS

    The ideological requirement is not to protect the vulnerable; it is to not discriminate. This is Evan Sayet territory. Because some cultures are in reality worse than others the person who refuses to discriminate must invent a rationale (if challenged) or just suppose (if unchallenged) that the people in the failing culture must have been discriminated against some how. And the worse that culture is ([cough]Palestinians[cough]) the more they must have been discriminated against, so the more sympathy they deserve. People who refuse to see that are cold and heartless. Haters!

  • TNT

    I’ve always been proud to be called an Islamophobe. I hate Islam and everything that it stands for. It’s surreal that one billion people on this planet worship the life and ramblings of a mass murdering pedophile who supposedly flew to heaven on a horse.

    In Europe, Islam should have been banned on the 15th of February 1989, the day after Iran issued the fatwa against Salman Rushdie.

    • Randy Wanat

      But, not the religion of the homicidal marauding Hebrews who ran pregnant women through and took the virgin girls as slaves, right? Just remind us when the Bible ever said to stop stoning people to death or to stop owning other human beings as property. Then, tell us about how morally superior YOUR fantasy stories are than anybody else’s that’s had to be dragged, kicking and screaming, into the 19th century.

      • TNT

        Your statement shows how utterly banal are the appeasers of Islam. False comparison and zealous assumption are always the order of the day, not to mention a vague grasp of reality.

        • Randy Wanat

          Avoiding your inability to meet my simple challenge illustrates my point.

          • TNT

            Well the operative word there is ‘simple’, but there is no challenge, as you have not demonstrated where in the modern world that Biblical content is practised. As I am an atheist, I think your bluster is particularly ridiculous, and I advise that you keep taking the tablets.

            • Randy Wanat

              I don’t disagree that the only path to civilization for Christians is to ignore almost everything God taught and commands in the Bible. And, as Jesus advocated for all of the OT laws and lessons, Jesus must largely be ignored, too. And, as Paul (the main source of much of Christianity’s dogma) likewise advocated slavery, he’s certainly not a great source of morality or ethics, either. Only by discarding tga vast majority of your holy book can you reach any kind of non-savagery by your own standard. Just like Muslims must (and do).

              • TNT

                What holy book of mine?

                You are still making false comparisons, but I’ll let you think it out for yourself.

                I’ll just remind you that whilst I applaud you for supporting equal marriage, you wouldn’t get very far with that enlightened attitude in any Islamic country.

                • Randy Wanat

                  But it does so well in places where Christianity runs the show, like Uganda. Secularism is what keeps the barbarism of religion in check.

                • TNT

                  Yes, in many cases. But there are also thousands of gay-friendly churches across the world, and in the US a number of politicians have stated that they supported equal marriage as a result of their egalitarian Christian outlook.

                • Randy Wanat

                  And, that outlook came from the membership, not the Bible. A population’s willingness to evolve its morality to agree with an ever-expanding body of knowledge is fine, but the more of that they do, the less of their holy book they must necessarily accept as correct, and the smaller the role that book’s teachings have to play in their lives. You have yet to actually refute anything I’ve said, despite all the effort you’re putting into flailing. Secularism, not Christianity, is what maintains our generally civil society.

                • TNT

                  Are you twelve years old or something? You’ve still not said anything that presents a challenge. You have jumped in to defend Islam by using abjectly false comparisons with modern-day Christianity and Judaism. Nice try, but back to the coloring book you go.

                • Randy Wanat

                  Uganda doesn’t represent modern Christianity? America represents SECULARISM, not Christianity. Secularism is what keeps “modern Christianity and Judaism” from enforcing capital punishment for gathering firewood on Saturdays. Secularism’s demand for rational justifications for abridging rights and affording favor did that. That is what separates America from Uganda.

                • Randy Wanat

                  You do understand that incriminating all of you isn’t a defense of any of you, right? If someone is going to get thrown off a cliff, and I suggest you get thrown off the cliff, too, did I do anything to argue against throwing the first guy off the cliff? I’m saying you’re all full of reality denial, though with different intensities, willing to suspend disbelief when it comes to your own in-group’s ridiculous claims, apologies for all the horrors committed in the name, or by the supposed command of, a magical wizard for which there is no evidence and no rational justication for acceptance of its existence. In other words, your crap is just as smelly as theirs is, and is equally deserving of a flush.

                • http://www.readmypoems.co.uk Alison

                  Modern western liberal democracy and modern human rights derive from Christianity. Equality of the sexes comes from the Stoics and was only taken up later, but we took it up. You are right to say that our thinking has evolved rather a long way from some of the stories in the bible, but that is the point. We are free to rethink and reform our ideas about the stories, to regard them as allegorical and so on. To Christians God is love, at church every week we are commanded to love our neighbours as ourselves. So we are not tarred with the same brush. A Christian could not stone his neighbour to death or take out a fatwah on his neighbour.

                • Randy Wanat

                  I will give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you’re not stupid enough to actually believe what you just said.

                • http://www.readmypoems.co.uk Alison

                  Do you doubt that Christians believe God is love? Do you doubt that we are commanded to love our neighbours as ourselves? Do you doubt that stoning another human being would not be a Christian thing to do as one would not stone oneself to death? Do you doubt that we have had a reformation and that the Christian church evolves the whole time? It is my first statement which you doubt because it doesn’t suit your argument to believe it. However we evolved our ideas of liberal democracy in Britain as a Protestant, Christian country. You cannot change history.

                • loyalindian

                  Do you doubt that Christians believe God is love? No. I think all religions claim that their association with God is love.

                  Do you doubt that we are commanded to love our neighbours as ourselves?

                  Interestingly the religion of peace also has something to say about neighbours:

                  Serve Allah, and join not(550) any partners with
                  Him; and do good- to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, those
                  in need, neighbours who are near,(551) neighbours
                  who are strangers, the companion by your side,(552)
                  the wayfarer (ye meet), and what your right hands
                  possess:(553) For Allah loveth not the arrogant, the
                  vainglorious;-(554)

                  Do you doubt that stoning another human being would not be a Christian thing to do?

                  If I am not mistaken the Old Testament allowed it.

                  Do you doubt that we have had a reformation and that the Christian church evolves the whole time?

                  This is good if it reforms. The institutions of reform in Islam got abolished after Second World War. Otherwise their instituions of Qiyas and Ijtihad had potential to keep evolution going.

                • TNT

                  I think you’re riddled with self-hatred and are being a tad too defensive about another subject altogether here. There must be an appropriate article out there to which you can add your neurotic false-equivalence comments and be relevant at the same time. You’re labouring under the impression that secularists could never hate you for being gay.

              • tolpuddle1

                By attacking Christianity (inaccurately, BTW) you’re simply playing into the hands of the Islamists. Is that what you want to do ?

                A post-Christian West is completely defenceless against both Islam and Islamism, just as it would be defenceless against a small invasion by a few mice.

                The secular West has no beliefs other than self-interest – consequently it has no real point of view, no backbone, no arguments, no future.

                • Randy Wanat

                  Seeing all religion as folly is playing into nobody’s hands. You’re insisting on taking sides in a war that is entirely driven by ancient stories about flying horses and talking donkeys and zombies zombies zombies. Step outside the fishbowl of those fantasies and see how absurd it all is, and how completely unnecessary.

                • tolpuddle1

                  “Unnecessary” ? Without Christian faith, I would have died many years ago. The same is true of all those human beings – a large majority of humanity – who are outside the smug Western fishbowl in which the opponents of religion are trapped, stuck with their absurd fantasy that God doesn’t exist, that the universe created itself.

                  Of all the evil habits of the smug and affluent section of humanity, the most evil is to sneer at the religious hope of the poor or troubled.

                  Are people like you too stupid and unimaginative to see how cruel (indeed lethal) you are trying to be ? Or does your anti-theism proceed from even worse qualities ?

                  But your smug Western secular fishbowl is beginning to look very fragile (indeed doomed) isn’t it ?

                • Randy Wanat

                  That’s a lot of really big assertions, but nothing to back them up. Make up all the nonsense you want, but you saying it doesn’t make it so, and a Muslim could easily make the same claims.

                • TNT

                  Rather like Randy Wanat himself.

            • loyalindian

              You are ‘perhaps’ right that Christianity is not practised in the way it really is but then I sometimes wonder why do we have the Christian holidays as the off days in Europe.

              • TNT

                Why not? At the very worst I am a cultural Christian, and appreciate fluffy days off. And I have it somewhere in a corner of my mind that IF Christ ever existed, he was by far one of the best examples of humanity to have walked the earth.

      • Overleaf

        Lol – are the Jews or Christians practicing their sacred books, or did they reform their religions?

        Islam has never been reformed, and Mohammad a real person (and a pedophile mass murderer) is Islam’s cult figure. Funny that a huge part of Muslims are smart enough not to adhere to political/fascistic Islam. But bigots like you want to conflate an Islamic with a Muslim – and claim that all Muslims are so stupid as to adhere to the Koran or Mohammad. Please take your hate to Left blogs where it would be appreciated.

        And I am a Muslim.

        • Randy Wanat

          I agree, when people disregard huge swaths of their holy books and make up their own rules, they tend to be more moral than if they actually paid attention to what those books say to do. It’s all still a bunch of nonsense, and there is no intellectual difference between accepting all of the ridiculous stories as literally true and accepting some of them as literally true.

          • Overleaf

            No it is not that simple. You can accept that hogwash (Bible, Koran, etc.) but still be a moral person and not act upon the hogwash. Except that the Islamics accept the Koran literally and ACT upon it — Islam is the religion of action and rituals. It will not let go of its adherents. There is very little theology and no philosophy in the Koran. It is a religion invented to control the mass (for good or nefarious goals).

            Until Islam is reformed and modernized, it will be very different from Christianity and Judaism.

            You understand that when you say all Muslims believe in the Koran and Mohammad, that that is a racist outlook. No, if you go to the ME, a huge segment of Muslims do not take Islam seriously and some actually hate it. A Muslim is an ethnic and cultural designation more than religious.

            To say that if you criticize Islam and Mohammad, you are attacking all Muslims is a very racist thing to say.

            • Randy Wanat

              Muslim is a religious designation. There is no Muslim race, just as there is no Jewish race, nor Christian race, nor Buddhist race. You are simply lying at this point.

              • Overleaf

                Aha – gotcha — so it just shows the shaky basis of your understanding of Islam. Did I say Muslim was a race? Never did. I said ethnicity and culture. Read again.

                A Muslim is a person born to a Muslim father. The person may never come around to believe in Islam. My ID card says Musalman on it. That makes me a Muslim officially. Ethnically I am a Muslim raised in an Islamic culture, even though a non-believer.

                So you are wrong to say Muslim is a purely religious designation. Belief is not required to be a Muslim, unless you convert to Islam – even this is suspect as historically an infidel had to convert to Islam or get punished.

                So the only reason you are resisting the valid distinction between an involuntary Muslim and a believing Islamic is because this distinction strips you off language that you can use to dupe, and stops you from wrongly claiming criticism of Islam is an attack on all Muslims.

                • Randy Wanat

                  Drugs are bad, mmkay?

        • loyalindian

          “Mohammad a real person (and a pedophile mass murderer)”

          You still call yourself Muslim. I see.

          • Tunji

            It’s not just me who saw that, then. I honestly can’t reconcile the idea of being simultaneously able to recognise Mad Muhammad the Mass Murdering Paedophile as such with remaining a member of the Muslim religion.

      • Jo Bless

        Gosh you’re annoying. Stick the subject! Christians aren’t going around killing people in the 21st century.

        • Randy Wanat

          No? It wasn’t that long ago. Serbia. Rwanda. Religion is used as motivation and/or justification for all kinds of atrocities, Christianity included. And, don’t think that it can’t or won’t happen again. Don’t forget the Catholic Church’s teachings about condom effectiveness at preventing the spread of HIV in Africa. Yes, tell us more how Christians aren’t going around killing people. I do so love that story.

  • revkevblue

    War has been declared on us, but we refuse to believe that a race of people in this day and age can hold such hatred for us.
    The word Infidel we think, is something that belongs in a Richard the Lionheart movie, believe me as a word it is alive and well and used within our shores, as is Pig and Monkey
    So we skip and dance around, dolling out our benevolent sugar lumps to a military religion of a world wide fraternity, singing La la la te la, all is peace and harmony in our perceived Shangri La of our benevolent safe country.
    Boy are we in for a shock when they bite us.

    • Randy Wanat

      We also refuse to believe that grown adults in 21st century America could think the Bible is literally true, but that, unfortunately, doesn’t make it so.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        Let us know when the 21st century American Christians start chopping heads and putting it up on YouTube, lad.

        • Randy Wanat

          If we weren’t a SECULAR nation, you can bet your sweet bippy they would be. Look at Uganda as an example of Christianity unchecked by secular reason. Secularism, not Christianity, is the root of civilization, as it demands a RATIONAL reason for abridging a right or granting a special status, not the capricious whim of a proposed deity as told by someone claiming divine revelation. When “God said so” rises to the level of empirical evidence and valid logic, you let us know, lad.

          • the viceroy’s gin

            So your fantasies would come true if your fantasies came true, is that it, lad?

            You best spare us your moral equivalencies. They’re not helpful to your cause, not that I understand what your cause is, mind you. You seem confused.

            • Randy Wanat

              Not confused. Christianity without secularism is unmitigated savagery. Islam without secularism is unmitigated savagery. This is not a false equivalency.

              • the viceroy’s gin

                Yes, it is a false equivalency, and as previously mentioned, let us know when the 21st century American Christians start chopping heads and putting it up on YouTube, lad.

                • Randy Wanat

                  As I said, secularism is keeping that in check. Uganda is Christianity unfettered, where life in prison is the sentence for homosexuality only because they begrudgingly couldn’t get capital punishment approved. Tell me more about how it’s Christianity and not secularism that keeps civilization civilized.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  And as I said, you appear to fantasize that your fantasies would come true if your fantasies came true. It’s your circular fantasy, apparently.

                  And again, you best spare us your moral equivalencies. They’re not helpful to your cause, not that I understand what your cause is, mind you. You seem confused.

                • Randy Wanat

                  America has secular laws to keep Christianity’s savagery in check. Uganda doesn’t. One recently sought to legislate capital punishment for homosexuality and settled for life in prison, and the other didn’t. Christianity isn’t why we’re civilized; secularism is. If you can’t understand this, I can’t help you.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  No, your statement is simply false, lad. You don’t appear to even know your own country’s history. In fact, the US had state established religions, well into the 19th century. You’re too ignorant to have known that, of course. No “secular laws” were passed in the meantime, you muppet.

                  I’d suggest you cease ranting and study your own history. You don’t seem to know it very well.

                  Not to mention, you’re a crazed socialist nutter.

        • Overleaf

          This bigot and hater Randy will lie and deceive as long as his ideological biases are met. His bigotry against Christianity, makes even this atheist want to embrace Christianity.

      • TNT

        What other people believe is none of your business. Your defensiveness suggests no less than a mountain of self-hatred, for why else would you conflate those belief systems that present no modern-day threat to you with something like Islam which is bestially intolerant? Have you no discriminating faculties whatsoever?

        • Randy Wanat

          It IS my business when what they believe is used as a template for legislation and determining the rights of others.

          • the viceroy’s gin

            If you have a problem with legislation, lad, there are many ways for you to express that.

            However, it seems you have problems other than that.

          • TNT

            You are grinding your own personal axe, which has nothing to do with the subject at hand.

        • Damaris Tighe

          Randy Wanat = moral equivalence

      • Jennifer

        Dear Randy
        Anti-theists (or atheists) have had more than their fair share of killing; regardless of what is popularly believed; Hitler was an atheist, so was Stalin and Mao Zedong. Even Richard Dawkins (who I otherwise respect) avocates the genocide of children due to their having Downs Syndrome.

        • Randy Wanat

          Wow. The nonsense is flowing fast and heavy. First, Hitler was either a Roman Catholic of post-Wagnerian neopagan. Stalin, Mao, and Hitler used the state as the idol in cults of personality. Their deeds were not expressions of atheism, but expressions of the state and the dictator being the idol for worship by the citizenry. Atheism wasn’t the driving force behind anything any of them did. However, religion has been, EXPLICITLY, the motivation behind many killings. You might as well be blaming dark hair for atrocities. It’s a popular canard among people who listen to religious apologists who are notorious liars. Also, you’ve seriously misconstrued what Dawkins said about Down’s syndrome. I suggest you read what he said, the whole thing, instead of the snippets included in “get your panties twisted in knots” blog posts. Being a parrot of apologist attacks and lies is no way to look like a non-idiot.

          • Jennifer

            Dear Randy

            About Hitler:
            It is a well-established fact that Hitler hated religion in all of its forms; Hitler said himself that Nazism was based on Darwinist science. He persecuted many clergy of the catholic church, protestants, and Jehovah’s Witnesses. He removed much roman catholic symbolism in the schools and put many roman catholic priests in the concentration camps (why would he do this if he agreed with Roman Catholicism and practised it?) Hitler had plans to completely wipe out Christianity in Germany if he won the war. Hitler’s views on mysticism and spirituality:

            ”What nonsense! Here we have at last reached an age that has left all mysticism behind it, and now [Himmler] wants to start that all over again. We might just as well have stayed with the church. At least it had tradition. To think that I may, some day, be turned into an SS saint! Can you imagine it? I would turn over in my grave…

            — Adolf Hitler quoted in Albert Speer’s Inside the Third Reich”

            Any appearance of Hitler being religiously inclined was because he was using Christian imagery to his own ends in propaganda. Clearly his actions against the church and against all kinds of people show he was anti-religious and un-Christian.

            On Stalin:
            Stalin aggressively attacked eastern orthodox Christianity with aim to wipe it out and spread atheism. He instilled atheistic education in schools and anti-religious propaganda. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USSR_anti-religious_campaign_(1928%E2%80%9341)

            Communism by its nature is anti-religion as said by Karl Marx himself. Pol Pot was also an atheist, as was Mussolini, who, like Hitler used the church for his own political ends: http://hollowverse.com/benito-mussolini/

            In response to a questioner Richard Dawkins said the following: ‘Abort it and try again. It would be immoral to bring it into the world if you have a choice.’ Clearly he believes in eugenics in a sense.
            I think if you re consider what I said you will find that you are the liar here, Randy. Clearly Stalin’s and Hitler’s actions go against your assertion that atheism wasn’t the cause or driving force

          • COUNT VLAIDMIR

            Ignorant idiot.

            • Randy Wanat

              Look at you! You managed to get on the Internets. Now, all you need to do is have a point. Good luck with that, champ.

  • Konrad Bongard

    1. Modern political Islam is not ancient, it is a postmodern invention.

    2. “Secularism” did not come out of Christianity, secularism came out of Greek learning. That the church was essential in transmitting said learning to Europe does not change the fact that secularism significantly predates the birth of Christ.

    3. I’m not sure whether “Islam” (whatever that means) is structurally incompatible with “pluralism”, given that the Islamic societies of the 11th and 12th centuries were pioneering in this respect. Generally, postcolonial societies which have been relentlessly exploited by the West and have had their ruling elites played off against one another since time immemorial have a “problem” with liberal values–regardless of religion.

    So wrong, wrong, and wrong again.

    • FrankieThompson

      “Modern political Islam is not ancient, it is a postmodern invention.”

      You don’t say.

    • http://www.readmypoems.co.uk Alison

      ‘Post colonial societies which have been relentlessly exploited by the West’ This is the standard response of every Guardian reader to these issues. Do you think these acts of beheading and so on would not occur if it wasn’t for us. Surely you must see that that is arrogant. They don’t give a damn about how your ancestors exploited them. When they are hacking heads off, they are fighting their own factional, religious war. This is not about you or me.

      • Konrad Bongard

        Alison: globally speaking, it’s clear that ‘humanism’ and ‘liberal values’ are a luxury predicated on a certain level of economic affluence–very few nations in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia feature regimes which are hallmarks of tolerance. I would then consider it to be somewhat obvious that, if the result of western intervention has been in large part to destabilize and impoverish said societies, it’s silly to deny structural responsibility (this is different than saying people in those nations bear no responsibility).

        Actually, what’s racist is substituting cultural explanations for economic ones–like, denying the obvious role the West has played in generating chaos in the Middle East (partitioning the countries in bizarre ways at Versailles, repeated historical invasions), and instead attributing all of their problems to their ‘culture.’ Really no different than the ignoramuses who think that the EU crisis was caused by the ‘laziness’ of the Greeks, as opposed to structural problems related to a lack of surplus redistribution.

        • mohdanga

          And yet the Middle East countries were subjected to many invasions by Muslims and non-Westerners prior to the so-called Western invasions….where is the blame for that? Or is only whitey responsible for backward Muslim countries remaining backward?

        • Overleaf

          Why would the west want to destabilize and impoverish 3rd world countries? What does the west gain by destabilizing lets say Tunisia?

  • jesseventura2

    And the forced marriage, the female genital mutilation,the honor killing,the acid thr

  • http://thephora.net/ The Zizzanax

    I’m all game for criticising Islam where applicable, but does this mean that we also get to criticise Israel for being built on the premise that God chose Jews as the master race of which to rule over the so-called “Holy Land”?

    • Overleaf

      Why pick on Israel. Go and criticize Arabs for decimating the Kurds and taking over their lands during the decades of Saddam Hussein rule. Or China on Tibet, India on Muslim territory, Russia on Ukraine/Georgia.

      Only an anti-Semite will solely pick on Israel.

      • http://thephora.net/ The Zizzanax

        Only an anti-Semite will solely pick on Israel.

        Then surely there needs to be more ‘anti-semites’ (by your lunatic definition) on the planet, because Israel obviously doesn’t get criticised enough!

        Oh, and only a bigoted racist will solely pick on Muslims.

        • Overleaf

          I am a Muslim.

          And where did I pick on Muslims? Your anti-Semitism has driven you mad.

          • loyalindian

            You really did pick up on Muslims. Such a short memory?

  • Michael H Kenyon

    The left has obviously forgot it’s mantra of the 70s and 80s: “No platform for Nazis”.

  • IainRMuir

    “I’m a Catholic, and Dawkins doesn’t bother me – he’s free to think what
    he wants and I’m free to think what I want and we’re free to criticise
    each other’s beliefs without having a hissy fit; that’s the point of a
    secular, liberal democracy surely?”

    All that needs to be said. However, even this relatively simple concept seems to be beyond the Left and the RoP.

    • Overleaf

      Well said. This goes to show why the Left’s claim to liberalism is bogus.

  • Simon_in_London

    I’m reminded of Pat Buchanan’s view that Islam should not be criticised because it is a huge, powerful, aggressive global religion. The mirror image of the Liberal Left’s view that Islam should not be criticised because Muslims are poor, vulnerable victims of Western racism.

  • MikeF

    Before he criticises others – quite fairly – for inconsistency Mr West might ponder the point that that if he claims to uphold the principles of secular democracy then he perhaps ought not to spatter his argument with words like ‘Islamophobia’ and ‘bigotry’. The first of those is mock-analytical gibberish, the second now nothing more than an imprecation intended to intimidate into silence anyone expressing opinions the left deem unacceptable. You can’t fight the authoritarianism and intolerance of the left by appropriating their vocabulary because that seems to vindicate it.

  • zanzamander

    Those icons and overturned furniture on the ground at the church of Saint Michael in the Syrian village of Qara look neatly arranged.

    Christianity is regarded very highly in Islam with a special place reserved for Jesus. I doubt any religious Muslim would desecrate a Christian place of worship. or a Jewish one for that matter.

  • sebastian2

    Do I detect at long last a glimmer of realism entering the general debate? I sincerely hope so. Religion of Peace? Religion of Tolerance? The Final Testament? The Perfect Book? The Perfect Man? These are outrageous – even totally unsustainable – mohammedan claims that we are absolutely right to suspect and apply critical thought to – without the intimidation and bullying that usually follows.

  • evad666

    The left are currently using islamaphobia to gain influence when Muslims are a majority the left will all end up treated like gays in Iran.

  • Bonkim

    Good analysis but not objective enough. No body is asking intellectuals ” to admire and respect Islam…….” . Most intellectuals are agnostics and whilst tolerating all faiths – don’t necessarily respect any.

    Mr West’s objective appears to be to prompt western intellectuals to take the sides of the persecuted Christians in Islamic and other lands.

    He also points to the truth ” The victims are “too Christian” to excite the Left, and “too foreign” to excite the Right”.

    Intellectuals have no affiliation to Christianity, Islam, or any other – but would take the side of the underdog in any situation including protecting minorities in Britain – whatever their colour or religion. Regardless of whether Muslims in many parts of the world are barbaric in their dealing with minorities in their midst, Western intellectuals if they are worthy of their beliefs should not get heated up and retaliate in kind.

    In the real world far more Christians and to that matter those of other faiths including Muslims are persecute and often eliminated such as in Burma and in some African countries than the small number of Christians in the Middle East. Regrettably the earth is overpopulated and a new tribalism is sweeping across the Globe negating the decades of progress in human rights and safeguarding the interests of minorities following the shock of the two world wars. Population pressures and resource scarcity would make the situation for mankind worse in the coming years/decades. The present civil conflicts and discrimination/oppression of minorities whether religious or racial are just a beginning. Intellectuals would be the first casualty.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      …you’re as bad as the islamofascists with that apocalyptic nonsense, lad.

  • Mrs Josephine Hyde-Hartley

    Christians are supposed to love one another and one’s neighbours. Short of this I suppose kindness is key and often gets overlooked. Being kind is something to do with good manners and dare I say, hospitality (which is normally free of charges). It’s possible to respect and be kind to somebody else without even being seen to be kind, I daresay.

    But this doesn’t mean one has to like the way everybody goes about living their life.

    • loyalindian

      I suppose a sincere study of all religions will reveal that none advocate violent behaviors towards each other or to the neighbours. All religions advocate being kind with everyone and certainly this is not a province of Christianity alone.

  • Andrew Morton

    Well written, Mr. West. Made me understand what is going on around me a little better.

  • readersin

    Just as there is this hatred towards Islam and Muslims in the West, seemingly because of the 9/11 and 7/7 terror attacks, it’s only natural the Christians should feel the same hatred given the barbarity of the West and its invasions of two Muslim countries in the last 14 years trying to impose its laws and ways of life on Muslims. I mean, if two terror attacks would warrant such “frustration” toward the religion and its followers, I can only imagine what would happen if Muslims militarily invaded two Western nations and attempted to impose Islam and Sharia law on them……..You lot need to get a grip

    • darwins beard

      Wests barbarity? that must be why there’s all those Cypriots, Kenyans, Jews, Vietnamese, Angolans, South Africans, Zimbabweans/Rhodesians, Ukrainians, Koreans, Indians, Native Americans, South Americans ect ect setting off bombs/hijacking planes for all the stuff the “west” did to them over the years, oh no wait just maybe it because of a book some illiterate desert savage made up, lied and said it was the “new” word of God that says its OK to kill Kuffar and some imbeciles actually believe? If its all the wests fault why are Muslims killing more Muslims than the west could ever try ? seriously bro is this you ?

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53rHDq02QWU

      • readersin

        nice edit, sorta shot yourself in the foot there bud

        • darwins beard

          Na bro it was them Jews innit

    • Bonkim

      That will be a real war then.

  • Mike

    Conflating bigotry against Muslims with hostility to Islam is probably the reverse of what is actually the case as its usually those that oppose religion and especially Islam who are accused of being racists and bigots.

  • darwins beard

    Lefties have for too long seen Islam as the “underdog” and the permanent state of Islamic grievance and victimhood have combined perfectly. The blind eye that has been turned to Islamofacism by today’s politicians of the former hard left of the sixties and seventies is no coincidence as is the insipid, asthmatic ,wheezing reaction to it by the careerist right, but they’re all too wrapped up in their own ideology to recognise a common enemy.

    • Bonkim

      Real lefties don’t love any religion – least of all Islam which in principle is a right-wing religion..

      • the viceroy’s gin

        Real lefties are authoritarian socialist nutters, which are pretty much kissing cousins with the islamofascists.

        • Randy Wanat

          But the right isn’t authoritarian…nooooooo. They just want to dictate healthcare decisions rather than letting doctors and patients make them, they created Prohibition (legislating morality worked real nice there), they support marijuana being classified alongside bath salts, they think they should get to decide if someone can or can’t get married or take certain drugs…yes, this sounds like the party that didn’t run on a law and order platform.

          • the viceroy’s gin

            You really are a clueless socialist nutter, aren’t you?

            You apparently are ignorant even of your own history. It’s you progressive nutters who are responsible for your list of nonsense, laddie.

  • TrulyDisqusted

    The Left won’t criticise Islam because they use the same modus operandi.

    Both claim to be a force for good, both claim to be peaceful and fair. Both play the victim card, both gain followers by claiming to be oppressed whilst issuing daily updates on who they’re going to Hate more today.

    Both outlaw any kind of debate because true open and honest discourse will expose both parties as the hateful, violent ideologies that they really are.

    Like all bullies they use fear and intimidation to hold all critics at bay which is why they demand laws to oppress anyone who speaks against them and too often demand their opponents are Destroyed.

    The Left and Islam have a lot to learn from each other, but neither has a blind spot. They both use each other to further their agendas.

    The Left will support Islam, granting it money and power and minority/victim status – as long as the followers of Islam place their votes on the side of the hand that feeds them.

    Islam will take everything the Left throws at it, but only until it has enough followers and then it will cut off the hand that fed it and claim the Lefts spoils as its own.

    We’re seeing the whole Tower Hamlets coup d’etat played out everywhere there is a large Muslim population. Not just here in the UK, but all across Europe and increasingly in the US.

    I hope the Left wake up for all our sakes, before it’s too late, because the Left have been active for less than a hundred years, whilst Islam has been terrorising the world for over 1300 years.

    In all Islam’s history, I nee heard of a female Imam called Toynbee or a homosexual Imam still breathing…

    The Left ought to choose it’s alliances more carefully.

    • James Lovelace

      The Left has only ever been concerned with wresting power from the established seat of power. That’s why the Left have gone on and on about the trade in black slaves which ended 150 years ago, but has been silent about the islamic trade in black slaves which carried on until the 1970s and even up today (Mauritania, Sudan).

      If the Left had to choose between capitalist individualism and islamic collectivism, they will go for the latter. It is at least adjacent to the rest of their aims. All the Left have to do is sacrifice atheism, women’s rights, and gay rights. And the Left have demonstrated over and over again for the past 30 years that they are more than happy to do this.

      http://www.petertatchell.net/politics/sacranie.htm

      • TNT

        A total of between nine and ten million slaves were traded by westerners. Shocking, shameful and now a nightmare of history.

        27 million slaves were traded by Islam, and the practice goes on until this day.

        • Randy Wanat

          Weird that there isn’t a single sentence in the entire Bible admonishing people for the practice of slavery. You’d think if it was so immoral, your God might have found a bit of space for “don’t own other human beings as property,” even though he DID manage to squeeze in the critical rule about having tassels on all four corners of your cloak. You know, priorities.

          • James Lovelace

            He’s not my god. But what is sure, there was NEVER in 1300 years a muslim anti-slavery movement. Mohammed took slaves, and muslims to this day take slaves (and muslims in western countries can be found lamenting on islamic forums about not being able to have slaves in the west).

            Meanwhile, the anti-slavery movement which grew up in Britain WAS a movement founded and run by christians.

            Christianity has shown it is an adaptive religion. It adapted to 400 years of Holy War from muslims by adopting Holy War. And whilst there is nothing in the Bible to outlaw slavery, christians adapted and on the basis of other principles in christianity, they outlawed slavery.

            • Damaris Tighe

              Also a medieval Pope condemned slavery when it was starting up in America.

              • Randy Wanat

                But, God never did. Also, if the Bible w the justification for the slave trade, as God explicitly commanded the Hebrews to purchase slaves from the heathens that surround them, and God NEVER condemned the practice, all you’re showing me is that people started understanding that the command of God is not inherently good or right, which means that God is not the embodiment of perfect morality, which sort of throws a monkey wrench into most of Christianity’s dogma.

                • http://www.facebook.com/jh.bassist Jon Hanemann

                  Who’s side are you on, Randy?

          • mattghg

            Ahem.

            “We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. We
            also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for
            lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for the sexually immoral, for those practising homosexuality, for *slave traders* and liars and perjurers – and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.” – 1 Timothy 1:8-11

            • Randy Wanat

              So, Timothy rebuked God. Are you suggesting that Timothy changed the mind of an unchanging deity? God never condemned the practice, nor did Jesus. Why aren’t you a Timothian instead of a Christian?

              • mattghg

                God condemned the practice through the mouth of his Apostle Paul (writing *to* Timothy). Even if you (evidently) don’t believe that God speaks through prophets and apostles, you should understand that Christians do in fact believe this.

                The claim that “there isn’t a single sentence in the entire Bible admonishing people for the practice of slavery” is demonstrably false.

                • Randy Wanat

                  Oh, right…Paul…the guy who had an epileptic fit and hallucinated Jesus. Whose “God is talking to me” claims should be believed? How do you prove who is legit, or if any of them are? And, you’re now claiming that God changed his mind, yet is also unchanging. You can’t play both sides. Pick a lane. Did the earlier advocacy of slavery accurately represent the mind of God, or was it the later alleged condemnation?

                • mattghg

                  Look, I’ll be happy to discuss this with you if I get the impression that you’re genuinely interested in hearing what I have to say. Are you? I stepped into this thread to correct a simple factual inaccuracy. Perhaps, as a sign of good faith, you could acknowledge that I’ve done that?

                • Randy Wanat

                  Sure. Someone said something negative about slavery in the Bible. It just wasn’t God, as God is said to be unchanging, so God could never change his mind about advocating slavery. Paul claimed it was God/Jesus telling him slavery was bad, but he was directly contradicting the prior word of God. So, I’ll leave you to mull that one over.

                • mattghg

                  This is what happened when Jesus was asked about divorce:

                  “Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, ‘Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?’

                  ‘Haven’t you read,’ he replied, ‘that at the beginning the Creator “made them male and female,” and said, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh”? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.’

                  ‘Why then,’ they asked, ‘did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?’

                  Jesus replied, ‘*Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning*. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.’”

                  Same thing with slavery. God permitted it to the Israelites at a certain time under certain conditions because their “hearts were hard”, i.e., it was the best of a bad situation. But by the time of the coming of Christ, things had changed.

                  In a nutshell: God doesn’t change, but circumstances do.

                • Randy Wanat

                  That begs the question, if God knew that he would have to alter the marriage laws (were the laws NOT already perfect?), why not just make the law the right way the first time? It’s almost as if people were learning as they went over time, and then socially reinforced their newer understanding by attributing it to God. Or, we could go with your idea, that God changed his mind because of unforeseen circumstances that somehow evaded his omniscience until they arose. One aligns with what we know about human behavior and reality, and the other requires a suspension of every critical thinking faculty to accept. But, yeah, I’m sure the one that is congruous with logic and human psychology is probably wrong. That’s usually how things that occur in reality turn out, right? No? That’s the exact opposite? How can this be?

                • mattghg

                  I’ll leave it up to any readers to judge for themselves whether or not you’ve fairly and accurately represented “my idea”, Randy.

                  Have a good weekend.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  You’re wasting your time with that guy, I suspect.

                • eallen

                  He is completely ignorant about Christianity; you can see it in his arguments.

                • teapartydoc

                  Christians believe that every word in the Bible is inspired by God. If it’s in there, God said it.

                • mahgan

                  God is just a an imagined being by puny humans all terrified of the unknown. In this context what makes you think that the God the ancient Jews concocted cannot change his mind.

                • Randy Wanat

                  It’s definitional. A deity defined as unchanging cannot change its mind.

                • http://www.facebook.com/jh.bassist Jon Hanemann

                  Again, who’s side are you on? ‘Cause all I’m seeing is a Lefty Troll.

                  Ditch this idiot and move on, people. Don’t fall for it.

          • teapartydoc

            Jesus was a Jew. Jews didn’t own slaves in his day. They had culturally abolished it on the basis of the Torah. I think if I were you, I would consider the fact that without a religious basis for morality everything boils down to having some rational basis for ethics. This means that your reason can take you almost anywhere you program it to. You end up with an ethics that gives you what you wanted in the first place, just like a global warming model gives the modeler what he wants.

        • loyalindian

          I think only looking at the trading figures will not be fair. The slave trade still goes on but the final consumer is westerner too. For instance much of the cocoa in Africa is derived through slave trade. And you would not be surprised that chocolate is most popular sweet treat in the West (not so much in the East or in Islamic countries).

          An objective analysis of this issue will reveal that slavery is more an economic system. Of course you would not find any slaves in West but some areas in Africa and other poor parts of the world are still to come out of that economic system. On one had it is easy to say West is no more invoved in slavery. On other hand they have just shifted this economic system quite permanently to other parts of the world.

          • TNT

            It’s possible that they have adopted it themselves. People of conscience will avoid those products which are known to have been produced with slave labour… but I can’t be held responsible for someone’s lack of morality on their own soil.

    • Bradleybear

      Well said.

    • Randy Wanat

      Because death threats never come from the right. See also: Jessica Ahlquist.

      • http://www.facebook.com/jh.bassist Jon Hanemann

        Lefty Troll. Go enjoy your copy of Protocols of the Elders of Zion in your mom’s basement.

    • teapartydoc

      They think they can use Islam to destroy Western culture and then take over Islam from within the way they’ve taken over almost every cultural institution of the West, including the major religious institutions. Good luck with that.

      • valakos

        Leftists allied themselves with islamists in iran in 1979, they found themselves hung from cranes in the street after the revolution by islamists who saw them as morons

        • tom_menkowitz

          Islamists get at least one thing right: their Leftist allies *are* morons.

    • valakos

      the left does not see that they were already betrayed by islam in iran post 79 – the same has happened post arab spring. The Left should be under no illusions that an islamist government stands totally opposite to what they stand for

  • Donafugata

    Anyfool, like you I find it impossible to think of Islam as a religion. It was an aggressive cult from its very inception when Mohammed woke from a dream and led an army to invade and take possession of Jerusalem.

    Since he was in Arabia, you might think Jerusalem was a bit out of his way, especially before modern forms of transport but, being the homeland of Jews and the Christ being a Jew, there was already the prospect of a good punch up and that is what Muslims seem to enjoy most of all.

    • Randy Wanat

      But, Judaism wasn’t an aggressive cult? I suggest you read the Bible’s stories about the ancient Hebrews killing entire cities for the unforgivable crime of not agreeing with them. It’s all savagery born of ignorance and defended out of fear.

      • Damaris Tighe

        Yes but Jews don’t believe that these savage stories are a blueprint for action in the present.

        • Randy Wanat

          Then, they don’t think their God’s version of morality is perfect. How many people would kill their child if they were absolutely convinced that God was telling them to do it? How many people would throw such a person in the looney bin? Yet, such savagery is admired, and murders are seen as justified, when it happens in the Bible. Either murdering someone because of absolute conviction that God commanded it is moral or it’s not. Are you willing to murder your child?

          • Damaris Tighe

            No, Jews also have the Talmud & other commentaries which interpret & develop the Torah (biblical Law). They are not biblical fundamentalists. The only true fundamentalists I know of are a tiny group of nutters who follow the late Rabbi Kahane.

      • http://www.facebook.com/jh.bassist Jon Hanemann

        Jew Hater.

  • Kitty MLB

    So Regis Debray has mentioned the persecution of Christians worldwide, I might
    add by Islam ( we alone have had a 70% growth of that religion living in the UK over
    the past 15 years)
    He says we only see part of a picture, that we are outraged by Islamic atrocities but
    turn a blind eye in regards to Isreal.
    Indeed they all have their battles in the middle east and are heading towards a civil
    war and no doubt, Syria and Iraq will unite at some point. But its not Isreal who
    are spreading terror around the world as it tries to dominate all of us.
    Regis Debray is a wee bit disingenuous to say the least.

  • The Masked Marvel

    What use is the word “Islamophobe” to liberals? It’s a tool to stifle debate and ostracise those who disagree with them. Just as the Hizb ut-Tahrir spokesman has done here, and as the Progressives in the media (for they are not truly liberal) have been doing with this and similarly useful words all along.

    • Kitty MLB

      Indeed ” Islamophobe” is a made up word to manipulate some agenda.
      A Phobia is a irrational fear. Someone please say what is irrational about fearing some brutal person who will send you and your children to oblivion with a blink of an eye and thinks he or she will go to heaven for doing so.
      And if you breath a word of discontent labour call you ‘ Little Britain’.

      • Alexsandr

        and not liking evangelical homosexuality isnt a phobia either. Wonder what thesaurus they use?

        • Randy Wanat

          Are you really saying you think you could somehow be convinced to be homosexual?

          • Alexsandr

            ??? no
            evangelical homosexuality is people flaunting their sexuality as if they had just invented it.

            • itbeso

              As no amount of flaunting ever hurt anyone, or was ever catching, you are irrational to fear it.

              • Alexsandr

                this to randy wanat too
                where did I say I was sacred of homosexuals? I didnt, and I am not
                I dont want to hear what people get up to sexually in private. not from gays not from celbes who go on about their conquests. Gays, bis, trannies can call carry on with whatever they like doing -just dont be in my face about it. Cos I am not interested. And they haven’t just invented anything either. Look what the ancient greeks go up to!

                imagine if there were to be a het pride march!

                • Randy Wanat

                  And, would you find it offensive to see two men kiss and hold hands? Would you find it offensive to see a man and woman kiss and hold hands?

                • Alexsandr

                  i think you know what I mean by evangelical homosexuality. so stop making silly arguments.

                • Randy Wanat

                  I have no idea what you mean by it. It’s a term you invented. As such, if the definition isn’t understood, it’s your fault for not being explicit enough.

            • Randy Wanat

              Explain to us all the rational basis for fear of that. Are you similarly afraid of the same behavior by heterosexuals? Do you understand what “rational” and “fear” mean? It doesn’t appear that you do.

  • zanzamander

    I am always judicious in my comments. I never insult any individual or groups of people. I never say anything libelous or injurious or incite violence. In fact I abhore violence of all kinds – against men and animals and oppose capital punishment.

    It is because I see Islam against everything I stand for is why I oppose it, being always aware that I do not conflate my opposition to Islam with ordinary law abiding and peaceful practitioners of this belief system.

    I do my best to state the facts and express my opinions based on my understanding of events. To disagree with my comments is your prerogative, but to deny me the right to express these (by inexplicable deletions of my comments) on an otherwise open comments sections is, I feel, a betrayal of the very high standards of freedom of speech that you set for yourself.

  • Mark

    I’ve often wondered what every waking day for Owen Jones is like.

    Owen looks in the mirror

    “Muslims are a minority, so I have to stick up for them.”
    “Hang on, they follow Islam, and that hates gays, and I’m gay.”
    “No, gotta stick up for the minority, and ignore the religion.”
    “Hang on, Islamism is running riot with violence all over.”
    “But Islamism is linked with Islam which is linked with Muslims, so I cannot
    criticise. Repeat. I cannot criticise.”
    “Gotta stick up for a minority.”
    “But that lady in Sudan being executed for apostasy, that’s Islam. What to do?”
    “It’s a minority which demands all my protection, so I can’t speak out.”

    Bangs head against mirror.

    “Why can’t I take a more central view and support a minority, while being able to criticise the more extreme side of their religion?”
    “I’m a far-left. Repeat. I’m a far-left. Help me to be strong Tony Benn.”
    “I have to support a minority at all costs, and if that means supporting the extremes of their religion that hate me and oppresses women, so be it.”

    Bangs head against mirror again

    “But I can’t be on the side of hatred against gays and oppression of women.”
    “But I have to protect a minority and if that’s the religion, I have to go with it.”

    Goes to work.

    Buys new mirror.

    • Liam Fairley

      I imagine Laurie Penny similarly ties herself in knots and battles with double-think on a daily basis; probably gets through a load of mirrors, too.

    • Cyril Sneer

      If only he could bang his head on the mirror a bit harder, it would either:

      a) Knock sense into him

      b) Sustain critical brain damage and imminent death.

      • RobertC

        c) the person to whom he was talking would disappear.

    • Kitty MLB

      Excellent Mark. There is nothing more for a lying wretched soul then the reflection of reality that looks back at Owen Jones as he looks within the mirror- that’s why he bashes his head against it.
      Shelley said poetry is a mirror which makes beautiful that which is distorted.
      Quite honestly, there would not be enough in the world to make him beautiful.

    • Alexsandr

      i have always wondered if minorities have a ranking. is a gay more oppressed than a black man? or an islamist more than a chinese?
      is there some sort of league table?

    • Mike

      Well put,

      The dilemma that faces every left leaning nut job but most of them have this unique “Double Think” ability where extreme contradictions offer no problem.

      They compartmentalize and “quarantine” these contradictions and as you said, concentrate on the all important minority card to justify their twisted logic.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jh.bassist Jon Hanemann

      awesome.

    • tom_menkowitz

      Always remember, with the imbecilic, utterly brainwashed Left:

      The issue is not the issue; the Revolution is always the issue.

      It trumps all of their phony, fictive causes and incessant public posturings.

  • anyfool

    Islam is an ideology masquerading as a faith, it is against faith, there is no moderate sect in Islam, it is a mechanism by which the ruling families and tribal leaders gain complete and utter control of their subjects.
    It allows no advances in human rights, it allows no dissent against their strictures, the only freedom allowed is for men to treat females as no better than slaves, there is laws in this country that prevent men abusing women, western men would serve a long time in jail for some of the abuses perpetrated by Muslim men, yet looking the other way is resulting in savage horrors being inflicted on children along with the mental torture they suffer throughout their lives, all done with a nod and a wink as the law is ignored by the useless politicians and police.
    Islam has no place in western society.

    • Kitty MLB

      Very well said. And Religion when used as a shroud to hide behind whilst
      some commit atrocities in the name of their God. Just proves that religion can
      be the enemy of that God.
      Its a very brutal and medieval ideology and one that has no respect for humanity. And utterly wrong for politicians to make us so vulnerable by
      allowing such an ideology to live amongst us.
      And I would ask, what with the situation in Iraq, are we safe here in the United
      Kingdom.

      • revkevblue

        Want to buy a mirror Kitty?
        You who believe in the party that encourages the import of these radicals into this country by leaving our borders open.

    • Geronimo von Huxley

      Man, you are such a fool man!!!! All Europeans are fascists man that is so obvious man!!! It’s an ideology man to be like everyone else I can’t believe that man all this equality business all the time man women are not like men that is so obvious man!!! Man why do you always try the same thing and never get it right man???? Insane!

      • Alexsandr

        what do you do when you see a space man
        park in it man

      • ButcombeMan

        Look in the mirror, just once in a while.

      • Augustus

        “All Europeans are fascists…”

        Far from being Fascist, the West is weakening, in decline and unwilling to ‎defend itself against a religious Muslim offensive wishing to exploit this ‎opportunity to expand the word of Allah.

        A permanent peace with infidels would be out of the question, because Sharia law imposes a perpetual ‎state of jihad on all lands not ruled by Muslims. And jihadists also regard moderate Muslims as apostates and traitors ‎who deserve death as much as any ‘infidel.’

        • Geronimo von Huxley

          Man!!!! You crazy man???? If all Islam dudes are totalitarian man then all Europeans are fascists man!!!! It’s obvious man. Eye for an eye tooth for a tooth man that where you are heading with this man I am just helping you with that man!!! Insane!!!!

          • Freddie

            Reading your article “man” is almost painful. Do you by any chance know the definition of facist? Most of Europe is, if anything more socialist though the difference is not as great as you’d imagine. Whereas Islam is a religion that in practice has little values we would equate to British values. I’ve had god knows how many debates with my Islamic relations about this.

            • Geronimo von Huxley

              Man!!!! Pain!!!! That is the idea man don’t you know that by now man??? All Islam dudes are evil man??? Then all Europeans are fascists too man!!!! Get it now man!!! God bless America if you do man!!! Insane!!!!

              • http://www.facebook.com/jh.bassist Jon Hanemann

                Dude, did you drop your bong?

            • loyalindian

              Are all of those Muslims seeking to impose Shariah law?

        • loyalindian

          Are all Muslims Jihadists?

    • Randy Wanat

      You have to bang your fist against the podium while shouting what you just said for us to really get into it.

  • Torybushhug

    Further to my mentioning censorship of Gary Oldman a poster on The Guardian put up a list of all the heads of Hollywood which was promptly removed. Just a purely factual list including their ethnicity. What the heck is going on? Time for a free speech revolution, who’s got the bottle ?

    • Damaris Tighe

      and what point were you trying to make?

  • zanzamander

    Owen Jones: One of the legacies of the invasion of Iraq has been the purging of a
    Christian community that has lived there for up to two millennia.

    Wrong.

    To say this you have to ignore the entire history of Islamic conquests, ethnic cleansing and subjugation of all non-Muslims, including Christians, over a period from its birth right up to date.

    But I’m not surprised why Owen Jones and other lefty liberals would say this. In fact I’m surprised that he didn’t blame the creation of modern day Israel for our current predicament. The reason why they say this though, is because it fits neatly into their narrative to blame us, the victims, for the crimes of our tormentors. Thereby shift the blame and thereby do not upset Islamic sensibilities.

    Christian/Jews/non-Muslims’ sensibilities come cheap.

  • mattghg

    You were doing fine until you said this:

    “Richard Dawkins lives by this rule, showing open contempt for Islam and
    Catholicism without wishing to trample on the rights of its believers.”

    Is this the same Dawkins who said the religious upbringing amouns to child abuse? We want the state to remove children from parents who abuse them, don’t we? You fill in the enthymeme.

    • Torybushhug

      That’s not what Dawkins says. He says it’s an abuse of parental power to label an infant a Christian / Muslim in the same way it would be a corruption to label them a Lib Dem or Communist.

      • mattghg

        Dawkins:

        “Regarding the accusations of sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests, deplorable and disgusting as those abuses are, they are not so harmful to the children as the grievous mental harm in bringing up the child Catholic in the first place.”

        Cover story in “The Dubliner”, October 2002.

      • loyalindian

        mattghg is right.

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