Getting nowhere 11

Posted under liberalism, Progressivism, United States by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, November 3, 2010

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  • C. Gee

    Zinn:

    Who is this “lay-person” you are concerned about watching the video? At a minimum he is an English-speaking person with access to the internet. If his mind boggles as he goggles and he cannot giggle at the gags, he can google all that’s garbled or any term that nags. Or not bother. It is after all, a cartoon. To call it hyperbole (by definition) and gross-oversimplification is – contradiction be damned, grossly hyperbolic and definitively simple-minded. We of the viewing clerisy know that “How Liberals Argue” is not intended to instil fear of Muslims in progressives, but to persuade lay-people to paint their walls yellow.

  • Zinn

    “Knock-out blows!”, says the choir to the preacher (rolls eyes).

    C.Gee, you seem incapable of taking the point that the way in which “..no-go zone..” and “…Sharia law is being implemented…” are used in this video intentionally attempts to give the terms some official sanction that they do not have. I think the lay-person hearing these terms used in this context is going to assume these terms “no-go” and “implemented” have some official sanction or documentation and are supported by something other than anecdotal evidence.

    You haven’t made an *argument* that this is not the case, you have only begged the question. Your response to my challenge is that it doesn’t need any official sanction, you can just define terms any way you want and just pile on more anecdotes, generalizations, and hyperbole and that’s good enough to support this rash generalizing and stereotyping of Muslims.

    You try to dilute the meanings of these words “no-go” and “implemented” by subsituting “reluctance to go” ,”creeping”, “manifesting themselves”, etc. With your rather flaccid definition of “no-go zone”, this phenomenon then exists in virtually every major city in the world and is not limited to Muslims or Islam.

    The very title of the Cornwell article puts this “no-go” term into question. The conclusion of the article uses the metaphor of an onion, i.e., the issue has many layers. Terms used out of context, as in this silly video, are gross over-simplifications. I assert that this is intended and meant not to inform but to instill fear. This is, by definition, hyperbole.

    To support my assertion about it having more to do with money than anything, a quote from the Cornwell article-

    “But a way forward is evident in some parts of Britain, especially in *relatively prosperous* (my emphasis), well-run, second- and third-generation migrant communities whose councillors have resisted the formation of ghettos.”

    Like so many issues wherein religion is used, as I have said, as a vehicle or a scape-goat, the common thread is always economic. People are angry mostly because of their economic circumstances, and mostly this is a *relative* determination (as the article cites). If you *feel* you are in poverty, then you *are* for all effective intents and purposes in relations with your fellow citizens. The relgious context is secondary and the fervor always dies when the economic pressure is alleviated. Do you really think this kind of thing ever happens in more affluent parts of cities? Do I really have to give historical examples of this?

    Modern, affluent countries need cheap immigrant labor to do the jobs they are unwilling to do, or to pay a living wage to have done, but then squawk and complain that they “feel like foreigners in their own country”, so ethnic tensions rise, they treat their new guests like trash, and then are surprised, even incensed, when there is a backlash.

    I am not trying to deny that some of the anecdotal things mentioned here and in cited articles have not happened or should be ignored, only that it is far more complex than the simpleton “conservative” in this video portrays them. To not be willing to examine these assertions in more factual detail, to put the facts into context, and to not take grievances on either side seriously is, by definition, bigoted.

    In response to your treatment of my use of the term “hysteria”- Who should know better about the pitfalls of bigotry, stereotyping, and the perniciousness of hyperbole in propoganda like this silly video- the affluent, enlightened, secular West or the poor, under-educated, religious immigrants in ghettos?

  • Jillian Becker

    Zinn –

    When you’ve recovered from C. Gee’s knock-out blows, brace yourself to read “Europe’s doom” and “Sharia in Britain” on our front page today.

    Whether you admit it or not, your arguments have been thoroughly refuted.

  • Jeff

    This is stupid. I am a Progressive and don’t agree with anything that woman says. She’s a straw woman which is easily knocked down. I never heard Rachel Maddow say anything she says. And duh, why would a Progressive like Fundamentalist Islam? They (we) don’t.

  • Zinn

    First, even as a liberal, I find this very funny. Of course, some of these stereotypes are true of some liberals, and I can laugh at that. But, why don’t we take a look at the “issues” the apparent “conservative” in this video is purporting-

    “Don’t you know that Sharia law is being implemented in many European countries with large Muslim immigrant populations?”

    This is a gross distortion. Sharia law is not being “implemented” anywhere in Europe by statute. What this comment refers to is a couple of isolated court cases where defendants were acquitted of violence toward their own family members. In some cases, the rulings were appealed and overturned, in others the Supreme Court refused to hear them, but the cases were tried under various European laws concerning family privacy and corporal punishment, not Sharia law. There has been some foolish talk about having separate Sharia courts in the UK but it certainly hasn’t been “implemented”.

    “But in many European cities there are now no-go zones where non-Muslims police cannot enter.”

    There are sporadic reports of increased police resistance in some cities and some of the youth there have tried to tell police they can handle things themselves, but there are no officially recognized “no-go zones” anywhere. UK Democrat leader Nick Clegg said the idea of no-go areas was “a gross caricature of reality”. The issues Europe is facing are primarily economic, as usual religion is just the vehicle or the cudgel, depending on which “side” of the problem you happen to be on.

    The rest is just tired, silly rhetoric on both sides, very short on actual facts or reasoned arguments.

    • C. Gee

      I doubt that even European governments would recognize “official” no-go areas. But there are many areas where the police will not enter.

      Similarly, “implementation” by statute is not the test of whether Sharia has sway in Muslim communities, or is creeping in to mainstream society. There are myriad ways in which the customs of Sharia (aside from the murder, torture, rape and enslavement of women in family law) are manifesting themselves without protest, in fact with collusion, from law-makers, law-enforcers and authorities: polygamy tolerated by the welfare system, which pays assistance to multiple wives; self-censorship of speech in the press and academy; the clamor for blasphemy laws, in addition to “hate speech” censorship of which Islam alone seems to be the beneficiary; sharia-conforming finance; special waivers of local regulations – schools, swimming pools; special exemptions for Muslims of professional standards – Muslim female nurses not baring their arms, Muslim doctors refusing to treat members of the opposite sex or Jews; special facilities to accomodate religious ritual – prayer rooms and breaks, footbaths; Halal meat for all school pupils, including the non-Muslim children.

      Sharia governs every aspect of a devout Muslim’s life, and more and more is it impinging on our lives. To object to this calls forth the liberal response – so well depicted in the cartoon – “you are a bigot”.

      • Zinn

        Care to point out which specific areas of which cities police will supposedly not go? Direct, verified quotes from indiviudal officers stating such?

        I did some digging around and even found one blog claiming to have a link to such a map of 751 no-go zones. Unsurprisingly, the link is broken. Most of the rest of the article is hyperbole-

        http://www.danielpipes.org/blog/2006/11/the-751-no-go-zones-of-france

        But in the same article, I found another link, not broken, which I think gives a much more even-handed, less hyperbolic treatment of the whole issue. I somehow doubt this Daniel Pipes even read the whole thing as it largely works against his main premise-

        http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article3537594.ece?print=yes&randnum=1205714155484

        Again, history has shown over and over again that this kind of hyesteria isn’t about religion, it’s about money.

        • C. Gee

          You seem incapable of taking the point that there do not have to be “official” statements of “no-go” for the police to be reluctant to enforce the law (particularly “hate crime” and laws against domestic violence) in Muslim ghettoes as they would in other areas. “No-go” is an undefined term. It can mean anything from enunciated policies of no uniformed presence (see Daniel Pipes‘ article) to reluctance to go in through fear of violence. But both Daniel Pipes and John Cornwell provide the specifics you demand – which makes it odd that their articles are Exhibits A and B for your charge of “hysteria” among those who see Islam – whether regarded as religion, law, ideology, politics or culture – as a threat.

          The Cornwell article – which is less “hyperbolic” (or do you mean “hysterical” again?) than the Pipes article according to your understanding – provides even more grounds for concern, as it brings in many examples of “creeping” Sharia, which you do not address at all. Particularly disturbing is the insight it provides into how Muslim immigrants bring with them their own class, national origin and sectarian bigotry – in addition to misogyny and antipathy to the host infidel culture. Their intolerance, ignorance and narrow-mindedness – is many-layered. The host culture’s laws against discrimination would need to be as active – not less – within the Muslim communities for the benefit of intra-Muslim minorities as within society at large for the benefit of the Muslim minority.

          Your charge of “hysteria” is simply another way of saying “bigot” . You wish to make anti-Islamism into an irrational emotion. Your demand for spurious “facts” – official statements that would contradict their statutory duties – to prove our case, while you ignore the obvious, actually happening facts that do, is as pointless as your alternate “money” theory of – what? – civil unrest? Sedition? Lawlessness? Ideological subversion? Ghettoization? States-within-states? What precisely is the historical truth that you see being played out again and again of which militant Islam is just another example? Could it be another unfolding of revolutionary Marxist under-dogma?

          But, OK, let’s apply the test of “hysteria”. Who do you think is more “hysterical”? Those of us who object through argument and debate to the privileging of a religion whose customs and tenets are antithetical to Enlightenment civility, or the angry Muslims mobs rioting and killing over pictures of Mohammed, Muslim students shutting down pro-Israel speakers on campus, the Muslim “leadership” crying Islamophobia and inciting and threatening mob violence should their demands for concessions not be met? Who is more “hysterical” – fanatical suicide bombers, rampaging car burners, men who insist that women have no public face, who believe their honor demands killing their daughters for wanting to escape their tyranny, or those who say this is intolerable irrationality? Which is more “hysterical” – the regimes of Saudi Arabia and Iran – not to mention the Taliban – with their vice police controlling public behavior, or Western democracies? Which is more “hysterical” – Sharia law (men may beat their wives, thieves may have their hands chopped off, the infidel may not be befriended ) or the hard-won due process of Western justice?

          In your comments here, you have not improved upon the cartoon liberal’s arguments: “I don’t care. You are a bigot.”

      • Zinn

        Care to point out which specific areas of which cities police will supposedly not go? Direct, verified quotes from indiviudal officers stating such?

        I did some digging around and even found one blog claiming to have a link to such a map of 751 no-go zones. Unsurprisingly, the link is broken. Most of the rest of the article is hyperbole-

        http://www.danielpipes.org/blog/2006/11/the-751-no-go-zones-of-france

        But in the same article, I found another link, not broken, which I think gives a much more even-handed, less hyperbolic treatment of the whole issue. I somehow doubt this Daniel Pipes even read the whole thing as it largely works against his main premise-

        http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article3537594.ece?print=yes&randnum=1205714155484

        Again, history has shown over and over again that this kind of hyesteria isn’t about religion, it’s about money.

  • Bill

    This whole video shows Conservative bigotry. Muslims don’t bring down culture, extremists bring down cultures, that goes for all religions and groups. Why don’t Christians also embrace all cultures like gays. At least we can agree on being atheists.

    -Bill

    • Ralph

      I would embrace any culture that brought enlightment, logic and reason, but all Islam offers is more of the ignorance, hatred and bigotry you falsely find in conservatives.