The Delusional Demos Director

Before getting round to their director, Polly Mackenzie, let’s start with Demos.

Demos on Wikipedia

Their Twitter Bio

The last bit, “Based in London”, and it’s name, “Demos”, might be the only true parts of that bio line.

Think tank? Well, I’ve a couple of other posts related to their thinking. I’m not impressed. These were about a really sloppy piece on the Victoria Derbyshire, on the BBC News channel, and Carl Miller, of Demos, and their dubious ‘research’ milking the ‘Islamophobia’ craze.

BBC Victoria Derbyshire – Sloppy Islamophobia Journalism

Carl Miller of Demos Still Misfires on ‘Islamophobia’

Britain’s leading independent cross-party think tank? Really? Independent and Cross Party?

Well, they have done work for more than one party, but to say they are cross-party is a bit of a stretch. Independent? Not of thought.

From the Wiki page:

Demos was founded in 1993 by former Marxism Today editor Martin Jacques, and Geoff Mulgan, who became its first director.

In the run-up to the 1997 general election it was seen as being close to the Labour Party, in particular its then leader Tony Blair.

On 9 August 2006, in a speech at a Demos conference, British Home Secretary Dr John Reid stated that Britons ‘may have to modify their notion of freedom’, as a result of his plans, claiming that freedom is ‘misused and abused by terrorists.’

Take a look at their 2018 accounts, here.

https://demos.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/application-pdf.pdf

And, after you’ve tried to work out the flow of money in and out, go to page 30 for some of their funders.

The Open Society Foundation. And who are they? You want to know what George Soros funds? Demos is one of his pets. Independent?

Don’t like the George Soros conspiracy theories? OK, let’s try another.

The Politics and Economics Research Trust. Did you know this report was produced by Charity Commission for England and Wales?

You can read more here: Politics and Economics Research Trust: case report

And here: Charity alleged to have illegally funded Brexit campaign groups – Questions over grants given by the Politics and Economics Research Trust to anti-EU groups, with potential for tax relief.

I can’t pretend to know everything Demos get up to, but to me, and having seen the work of the fabulous Carl Miller, it looks like a bunch of people that can’t get proper jobs so they sell their souls to anyone that will buy them and enjoy playing around in the dubious charity money-go-round, and call the work ‘research’.

So, what about their director, Polly Mackenzie? How much thinking does this head of a think tank do? More to the point, what’s the quality of this thinking?

Polly Mackenzie joined Demos as the new Director in January 2018. She previously worked for Nick Clegg from 2006 to 2015, helping to write the 2010 Coalition Agreement, and served as Director of Policy to the Deputy Prime Minister from 2010-15

Well, that didn’t go too well did it.

Just curious, but did Polly have anything to with forming Nick Clegg’s opinions on the EU. Yes, I know her time with him was up to 2015, before Brexit EU Ref, but, well, ideas aren’t formed over night, are they, and when Nick Clegg laid into Nigel Farage about how saying there would be an EU Army was a dangerous fantasy, Nifty Nick had buggered off to Facebook just before Merkel and significant EU figures started telling us that not only was the EU starting an EU Army, but political and military fusion ought to be a future goal.

Anyway, whatever contribution Polly made towards Nicky Know Nothing’s demise, at least she is able to put her own thoughts down. Sadly, it doesn’t get any better.

Case 1 – Letting Children Vote – And Proxy Parental Votes

This is Polly’s recent piece in Unheard …

What if we gave children a vote? – The electoral system is inherently biased towards the 83% of the population who are over 18

Here are some of Polly’s bright ideas:

  • Children 10 and above should be able to vote. How hard is it for a ten year old to make a cross in the right place on a piece of paper?
  • Children under 10 shouldn’t be able to vote (come on, Polly’s not mad, you know). Instead, their parents should be able to cast a proxy vote on behalf of the infant (I presume only one parent gets to vote for each child, but which one? Not sure Polly has think-tanked this through).

You can read the delusional reasoning yourself. But here, for Polly’s benefit, are some objections.

The notion of a proxy vote is entirely counter to the principle of one-person-one-vote. Large families, religious conservative families, would in fact give multiple votes to the parents, as proxies. To say that such proxy voting parents were casting a vote for the children themselves is delusional. They would be casing a vote for themselves and their of how the world should be.

Childless people will be disenfranchised, because parents get 2 or more times their vote.

As for children themselves voting, there are several reasons why they should not, not least of which are the following.

We have limits on parent power. Parents cannot abuse their children. An anathema to this is the indoctrination of children into political and religious ideologies. We are not raising independently minded adults, but pre-programmed adults. It takes a lot of learning to realise the extent to which you’ve been indoctrinated, and some never get out of it. Jess Phillips, Labour MP, describes how she was taught a visceral hatred of Tories. The indoctrination of children into our main religious cults is a disgrace to civil society. Until both political and religious indoctrination are criminalised, and a rounded education in reason and science becomes the standard, we will not be producing independent minded rational adults, but victims and perpetrators of the tribal party and religious politics we have today.

Young teenagers are naturally rebellious, and are wide open to the political indoctrination by extremists. Labour’s Momentum know this – Corbyn’s Kids is not a neutral educational programme but a mind programming school. Many young people were so easily indoctrinated into extreme Islam, and left home to join ISIS. The Orthodox Jewish communities keep a tight control of their children, as do Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Roman Catholics, and even ‘moderate’ Islam.

Why do you think the Humanists UK and National Secular Society are campaigning to stop and reverse the growth in faith schools.

Read Poly’s article. But just for fun, here’s a sample of Polly’s think-tanking.

“Will you let them drink and smoke, too?” – This is usually the first response I get when I propose enfranchising all citizens under the age of 18. The answer is, obviously, no. We have laws that prevent young people from drinking and smoking because these things are harmful. voting, by contrast, is not harmful; drawing an X on a ballot paper is substantially less dangerous than inhaling toxic smoke into your lungs.”

What? So, coerced voting of ten year olds, indoctrinated ten year olds, isn’t a danger? To society, and the better judgement of those children that have to live in the world they were coerced into voting for?

Polly, putting an unlit cigarette in a child’s hands and to a child’s lips is no more dangerous than putting a pencil in the mouth after drawing a cross on a piece of paper. However, to the child personally, the former could have longer term implications for the individual, if they were coerced to light it; but the latter could cause a far wider danger to themselves and society, if they were coerced to vote a particular way.

There are now many people that were indoctrinated into voting Labour – “I’m a life long Labour supporter.” But many such supporters are overcoming their own indoctrination because they can see before their eyes how Corbyn and Communist McDonnell are changing the party, and they have figured out that in their opinion they don’t like it. The same has been true of may Conservative voters. Many adults learn to change their minds for themselves. 

Children cannot. Do you imagine a ten year old having a conversation about the subtleties of Labour’s Socialism, McDonnell’s Communism, the entryism that’s been going on in the Labour Party for generations? No. They won’t even take an arbitrary lucky dip vote. Their parents will coerce them into voting for the parent’s preference.

And all the above doesn’t even begin to take into account the actual issues of brain development and maturity.

We should be worried about the indoctrinating abuse of children and their use in political vote rigging only somewhat less than psychological child abuse.

No, children should not be allowed to vote, and their parents should definitely NOT get extra votes because they have kids.

This piece by Mackenzie is idiotic. Yet she’s the director of Demos? And Carl Pilkington, sorry, Carl Miller (apologies to Carl Pilkington) is their Research Director, Centre for the Analysis of Social Media? Would you trust ANY of their output?

I can see why conspiracy theorists look to Soros. Throwing money at this bunch of clowns is top rate trolling.

Case 2 – Free Stuff Utopian Dreams

It was at this point I thought I’d have a look at Polly on Twitter. Interesting. Following what was obviously a quick lesson in economics by Labour’s John McDonnell’s free stuff promises, Polly gave it a critical eye.

Tweet – Nationalising Openreach is perfectly plausible. But why should broadband be free and not – for example – water, food, heating, clothes, all of which are rather more essential to the human condition.

You’d think Demos might have a director that have some feel for economics. Apparently not.

But, not to worry, Utopia is within reach for Polly …

Which manifesto? Only given Polly’s eagerness to indoctrinate voting children there are several to choose from.

So, for Polly’s benefit, what’s wrong with free stuff, state control and the removal of wages?

  • Eventually, workers don’t need money because everything is free. 
  • But workers are then dependent on the state alone. 
  • Result: oppression of workers that can have no independent means of survival so must comply with the state.
  • Check out some history. Hint: Soviet Union and its oppressed satellites; Moa’s China. The brutality of the party and the Dear Leader.
  • Political Utopias are no better than religious fantasies – they are used to control people.

Giles Fraser’s Homeopathy Christianity

It’s not uncommon for Giles Fraser to take an opportunity to have a pop at atheism and the dreaded Strident New Atheists, and this little foray into excuses for believing in imaginary friends is not untypical: The Battle to Believe in God

According to Giles, according to atheists, God …

“… was killed by thinkers: philosophers and scientists, especially those associated with the Enlightenment.  First, God died in theory, only after which He died in practise, when ordinary people eventually caught up with the ideas that were first formulated in the study and the laboratory. The only problem with this, as Alec Ryrie astutely observes in a new book on the rise of atheism, is that “death-by-philosophy … is a poor fit with the actual chronology of western secularisation”. Atheism, he asserts, was alive and well before the Enlightenment.”

This is not news to atheists that have done their homework, particularly the ones that Giles names later. In fact, Dawkins and others insist that everyone is born an atheist, and most only have a very specific religion thrust upon them in childhood, and a rare few invent religions (rare, relatively speaking, of course, since there are many thousands of religions and sects). Given evolution’s description of human origins and our emergence among and from other animals, Giles would have to assert that animals are religious, unless only Humans invent gods, … or gods are choosy about which animals they reveal themselves to, though they don’t seem so choosy about how often and in how many ways they reveal themselves, if indeed they do.

The article title and sub-heading sum up the problem with the article.

The battle to believe in God

Don’t kid yourself that atheism is a modern invention — it’s as old as religion

Correction. It’s older than religion. It’s what humans and pre-humans and other animals with brains had going on in their brains before some humans invented religion. It’s a-theism:not theism, like a-symmetry is not symmetry.

Having poorly characterised atheism, Giles at one point, in this part book review, part dig at atheists, gets around to telling us what Christianity is about, according to Spufford (and Ryrie and Giles).

“The proper starting point is not the question of God’s existence, but what he calls “the HPtFtu” – or, “the human propensity to fuck things up”. The propensity extends to our relationships, our attempts to be good, even to our rationality. Emotionally, Christianity begins within the unfixable realities of human life, its tragedies and absurdities. Even its blood-soaked history, including that of the Reformation, is just yet another example of the HPtFtu. … Christianity grows out of the broken and unfixable. Its USP is to be found within and alongside the stuff that doesn’t work … Virtuous and idealistic atheists are at work all over the place, but it is observable that a surprisingly large number of believers are at work with the dying, the demented, the addicted, the institutionalised and the very impaired and afflicted, where the best that can be done is to love for the sake of it”

It doesn’t take religion to realise that HPtFu, or that humanity is Fubar. It does take religion to milk suffering for all its worth to the coffers of the church. Too often the religious agenda has been to fix the sinner’s soul rather than fix the problem the sinner is suffering from, the latter being a means to an end. Not to say there aren’t genuinely nice, thoughtful compassionate believers out there, but are the same people so limited they need God to do it? Or has religion simply acquired the monopoly on helping the suffering. (Hint: it hasn’t – medicine cures people more than prayer does.)

And I’m not sure how Giles thinks Dawkins managed a career in Evolutionary Biology if he and Spufford really do think “Virtuous and idealistic atheists are at work all over the place“, as if they had no time for anything but to rebut religion’s fantastical and often harmful claims.

The Hippocratic oath requires doctors do no harm when healing. The hypocritical oaths of religion requires no such commitment, and religion has been known to be quite enthusiastic about saving souls by condemning bodies to death. Allahu Akbar, for good or ill.

“I suppose that is why I read the New Atheist critique of Christianity as often obviously correct, and yet strangely irrelevant. What they take to be a kind of philosophical or quasi-scientific explanation of things is often much more like a cry for help. And to accuse a cry for help as being intellectually confused is a peculiar kind of response.”

I find it a confused kind of response to pain to tell the sufferers, “Pretend to believe in this fake stuff and it might make you bear the suffering a little more easily,” distracting a child that’s about to receive an injection by waving a cuddly toy in front of its face.  An elixir salesman’s fake medicine.

Homeopathy for the soul.

And, Giles ends with …

“Now, of course, you may completely disagree with my characterisation of Christianity. Many will. But what Ryrie’s engaging book suggests is that the battle over God is really a battle about a certain sort of emotional literacy. For the Christian life is as much dependent on arguments about God’s existence as birds are dependent upon ornithology.”

Many will” – Yes, including many religious people.

Giles makes a mockery of the religionist rejection of the analogy of religious belief that atheists often put forward: a belief in fairies. Yes, Christianity as described by Giles does not depend on the existence of God, so emotional literacy could just as easily depend on the non-existent fairies, … or Allah, or any other imaginary friend that Giles does not believe in. So, what makes a Christian? Not believing in Christ as much as not believing in Odin or Allah, but pretending to believe in Christ anyway?

And of course this conception of religion that Giles presents is dishonest … he knows full well that many believers really do believe God exists. Try following people that have suddenly realised they’ve been scammed, how that shocks them when they self discover religion’s empty promise.  The “many will [not accept his characterisation of Christianity]” plausible deniability card up his sleeve is just another cheat.

Let’s translate Ocham’s Razor into Giles-Speak: You better believe there is a God that doesn’t exist, because if He were to exist, though He doesn’t, you’d be good to go, but if there isn’t such a God, which there isn’t, you’ll be disappointed when you don’t end up in the literal hell that doesn’t exist?

And it’s no more than a perverted intellectual elitism that supposes the naive child-like plebs will be satisfied with the emotional sweeties, while the epicurean geniuses of theology dine on the sophistication of arguments for God’s existence. The religious intellectuals HAVE dedicated themselves to arguments for God’s existence. It’s only in the 21st century that theists like Giles are pretty much forced to concede “New Atheist critique of Christianity as often obviously correct, and yet strangely irrelevant” – yes, quite, “It doesn’t matter that I believe in BS, because I don’t care.

Giles may be sincere. But then he has no choice in the matter, because being aware of one’s own intellectual bloopers, or giving up religion, are the unbearable painful cracks that religion, as he elucidates here, is well equipped to paper over

But it’s intellectual duplicity, even if self-imposed. A greater intellectual sophistication should be seeing the irrationality of religious belief, and helping the plebs get wise to the fairy tales. The intellectual failure of the theists is they ought to know full well how silly it is to latch on to just one of the myriad of gods that have been invented.

To speculate about origins, to wonder if all reality is an impersonally causal series of events, or a teleological invention, is a reasonable metaphysical exercise. But to choose one of the many supposedly revealed fantasies, to call oneself a Christian or Muslim, as if some ancient goat herder really did receive a message from a creator of the universe, and play out that game, while keeping atheists at bay by saying you don’t really believe in the literal claims, is no better than the fraudsters that caused the financial crash.

If you want to be ‘mystical’, there’s another option. It’s not beyond the wit of an intellectual to take up the selected cherry picked nice philosophy of Jesus, along with that of the Buddha, as well as atheist philosophers, and disassociate them totally from the fantasy. They could give up the religious mumbo jumbo and to stop conning the plebs that there’s some mystic truth they are incapable of seeing, so they’d better giving up quizzing the literal reality of this God thing. Trouble is, if they were honest with the flock they’d have no justification to dress up on a Sunday.

Not content with merely pulling The Lamb’s wool over the eyes of parishioners, Giles’s and other theists have to demonise the opposition, with what amounts to no more than propaganda about angry atheism.

“What Ryrie’s account achieves is an explanation as to why atheism often remains so angry. That it is angry seems undeniable — from the vituperative nature of exchanges on social media, to the hardly concealed fury of its leading lights, Dawkins, Hitchens etc, there can be little doubt it is driven as much by passion and righteous indignation as by following the consequences of cold clear dispassionate rationality. “Reason is a slave to the passions” as David Hume rightly noted”

This is a dishonest use of Hume’s ‘passions’, which isn’t about anger, but merely the idea that is now a fully credible understanding of consciousness: the lack of free will, that ideas appear as if from nowhere, but actually from the stimulation of the brain by bodily functions. The ‘passions’ in this understanding are well presented by neuroscientists like Antonio Damasio (The Feeling of What Happens: Body and Emotion in the Making of Consciousness).

And where atheism is angry it has every right to be. Religion is the quintessential bully that persecutes and brutalises victims, then cries foul when the victim bloodies the nose of the bully.

For millennia witches and heretics have been burned at the stake, while hapless parishioners were scared out of their wits and manipulated by parsons, priests, monks and mullahs.

Civil wars were fought over religious differences – and it’s no good claiming that there were other political reasons, not religious ones. It doesn’t help religion’s cause to point out that a supposedly benign or even beneficial belief system can be put so easily to division and death as it was during the Christian Catholic and Protestant wars, the Crusades, the Islamic invasions from Spain to India, and the later ‘Troubles’ of Ireland, the Islamic terrorism.

Even now, throughout the Islamic world, atheists are persecuted, and in too many states, atheism is a crime punishable by death at the hands of believers that believe nothing like Giles’s theological scam on a scam. In the UK homophobic Islam patrols school gates and justifies the grooming of young girls, as Mohammed did. Damned right atheists are sometimes angry.

Speaking of Islam, reading Giles’s representation of atheism and atheists is very much like reading that of other popular believers, like Mehdi Hasan. Yes, the Mehdi Hasan who really does believe Mohammed split the moon, and in other miracles. Yes, the Mehdi Hasan who revealed that to the not so angry more astonished Dawkins. Yes, the same Mehdi Hasan, who, like that other fraud, Reza Aslan, will tell you you don’t understand Islam, because it’s nothing like atheists present it, … all the while his co-religionists butchering gays in the name of Allah for exactly the reasons atheists say they do. Oh, yes, what happened to Reza Aslan and his lovely Indonesia, where lashings à la (Allah?) Quran 24:2 are a regular occurrence?

It’s odd that these fake theists declare that only atheists and extremists believe in the literal truths of the holy books. No, atheists do not believe in the literal truths of these books. Atheists merely point out the obvious fact that too many theists do. Only the fake theists try to square the circle, by claiming the truth of the holy books (the inerrant truth of the Quran), while simultaneously denying the very words written therein – but only the inconvenient words, remember. The nice worlds can be read as-is.

Whatever this piece says about Christianity, it contains the usual mischaraterisation of ‘angry’ atheism, while it unironically tells us all about the greater angers of the religious.

“For Ryrie, a scholar of the Protestant Reformation, the passion in question has its roots in the protest against the abuses of the church of Rome, of well-padded priests feathering their own nests, of the bullying authority of the Papacy…”

Yes, quite. The ‘angry’ passions of the religionists have always been more ideological, more pathological, more psycopathic than any atheist, simultaneously defrauding the plebs.

Oh, and let’s head this one off at the pass before Giles or some other theist manages to slip some whataboutery through … “But, Stalin!” Not so fast. Yes, Stalin was an angry brutal ideologue. But it was not his atheism that drove the brutality of his ideologically inspire psychopathy. 

While Stalin and other communists and fascists had the benefit of 20th century weapons of death, religions have been killing millions with the ultimate deity of doom, the authority of the autocratic arbiter of heaven or the abyss.

Not that the lovely Giles is a religious madman that would go in for the sort of cruelty that has been the mainstay of religious power for millennia. On the contrary, he’s one of my favourite public theists, and can be rational enough, on other topics.

But there are plenty of his coreligionists that are madmen, and religious ideologues can find all the justification they need in their holy books … you know, the holy books that tell of the gruesome demands of a God that doesn’t need to exist, the same God of passions that Giles’s parishioners don’t require.

You don’t find suicide bombers citing the Humanist Manifesto. Angry atheists. Ha!

But Giles’s fake of a fake God is in truth, as Steven Weinberg pointed out  …

“The god of traditional Judaism and Christianity and Islam seems to me a terrible character.”

Unless, that is, you cherry pick the relatively sparse interesting and nice stuff, and ignore the vast amounts of hell, damnation and slaughter, and the boringly obvious nice stuff.

Tell me. How, in these horror shows of belief, do the nice believers pull off that particular scam on a scam? Based on what theologically obtuse reasoning do they justify their claims that the nice stuff in these books is the real deal, while the bad stuff is history, metaphor, old hat, from ignorant times, myth, allegory?

The trouble for the nice guys like Giles is that the same game can be played by ISIS: all the grotesque punishment is literally true, and the nice stuff is metaphor for what happens after death, after you’ve met the punishments prescribed in the holy book here on earth.

Both tacks seem equally plausible readings, as does the irrational but obvious requirement that belief in a God that revealed a book requires you accept all his words as-is, contradictory or not.

The consequence of this intellectually conflicted nonsense that is religion is as Weinberg also pointed out in his thoughts on God’s believers, that Giles thinks don’t really require a God to exist …

Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.

And Giles has the nerve to complain as ‘angry’ any atheists that point this out.

To repeat Giles’s point …

“For the Christian life is as much dependent on arguments about God’s existence as birds are dependent upon ornithology.”

Yes. You don’t need arguments for God’s existence when blind faith and duplicitous rhetoric is quite sufficient for self delusion. You may be fooling yourselves, but you don’t fool us. 

To try and pass this whole religion thing off as a benign homeopathic remedy, God diluted so there’s not an atom of him left, yet the water holds his memory, … is a scam. It is put on the shelves of therapy with the real medicines of the sciences of the brain-mind-life; and on the shelves of genuine religious belief in existent fantasy friends. It’s sellers ought to be intellectually prosecuted for fraud.

Fallible Heroes – Alice Roberts

This is the first of a series on Fallible Heroes – where people I follow, support, and respect, get it wrong sometimes. This may seem like a trivial case, but the last tweet in the final image expresses the importance of it – “I too want everyone to feel protected but discussion gets shut down with cries of ‘bigot’. “

[Feel free to tweet this … since I’m blocked for opposing extremists.]

I’ve followed Alice Roberts (not in a creepy way, honest) since her days on the UK TV programme Coast. Seen some of her other TV documentaries … and now she’s president of Humanists UK.

So, it was a bit of a disappointment to see the following exchange, since Alice’s response, in blocking rather than engaging – at least providing a link to some ready presentation of her views on the matter of transgender issues – leaves a vacuum that actual bigots could fill.

My interest here is not to support any positions that her interlocutor, Michael, might take, but to wish for a better response from the president of Humanists UK in trying to reach those that disagree with her. And, it is clear from other responses that Alice’s decision to block has not helped any case she might wish to make, but has simply affirmed, in the minds of those that disagree, that she has no position worth making. Bit of an own goal.

Yes, I know, she’s busy and can’t engage with every actual transphobe on the planet. But, the current understanding of trans issues is not a done deal, and there are many people with mixed views on the issue, and I expect quite a few in Humantsts UK.

So, what was the exchange? Here is part of it (link to the thread), which began with a question regarding trans issues … and in particular the conflict of interests that exist between cis women and trans women in some specific scenarios.

Alice responded to an assertion in another tweet (from someone else) about the binary nature of sex …

This is the point where it might have been helpful, in spreading the Humanist scientific, rational and kind message, had Alice pointed to some useful information that she thinks lays out her position on this complex subject. After all, Twitter is hardly the place, and surely this isn’t a new topic for Alice.

Actually, he did. It was pretty clear from the start that what was being discussed was the human issue of gender identity with regard to the issues that are currently hotly debated. And, if anything, Alice could be quizzed here about whether she was attempting to slip in the appeal to nature fallacy.

And then …

And, why is this block a problem? Because it leaves other’s with their echo chamber and promotes the idea that Alice isn’t really as committed to trans issues as she might have tried to imply.

Alice Roberts cannot be expected to engage in debates that will probably go nowhere, so that she chose not to carry on, seeing the lie of the land in the thread, her disengagement might have been the best option … but, it could have been done with more dignity and less of what appears to be petulance (whether it was or not in Alice’s mind). For example …

This is too complicated for Twitter, so I’ll leave you with Humanists UK on trans issues … LGBT Humanists responds to Gender Recognition Act consultation

However, Alice does continue to subject, when it suits …

Sense indeed. But it still doesn’t address the actual issue, about humans, that eventually incited Alice to block. Those questioning Alice on this issue would really like to know how you square the circle here – which is, socially, how do we deal with the two conflicting (not always, but not never, either):

  • Allowing trans people to live the lives they choose.
  • Allowing women to live the lives they choose.

Do you remember when safe spaces for cis women to protect them from men – even though not all men are a threat to cis women?

Why can’t cis women have safe spaces from trans women – even though not all trans women are a threat to cis women?

Are there any trans women who fear other trans women? After all, some trans women are very much like traditional cis women, and those trans women need safe spaces from men too, … and by extension, from some trans women.

These are complex issues, and Alice Roberts cannot be expected to have all the answers (indeed, answers that would satisfy everyone are mythical beasts). But the block was disappointing, if only for the reason that the blocked person will not see a more reasonable debate going on.

Alice doesn’t say how she thinks this circle might be squared. Which I think is precisely the point Michael was trying to make, and which Alice avoided.


Nevertheless, Alice is a great president of Humanists UK, and this criticism on this particular matter of this block will not change my opinion on that.

Weird Dynamics Around Islam

There are some utterly bizarre interactions going on around Islam in the UK. There’s much guilt by association and incredibly dishonest smear campaigns, even coming from those that are often victims of dishonest smears themselves.

Nigel Farage was demonised as a racist for his UKIP Brexit campaign that saw him stood in front of a poster of economic migrants. It should have been obvious to anyone (because he explained it) that his point was that the images we were seeing throughout 2014/15 were predominantly of healthy young migrant men. Where were all the weak, old and infant refugees? Why had these men left them behind? These were legitimate questions, at the height of illegal immigration. So too was the question about the political ideology that many of the illegal immigrants were committed to. Even Angela Merkel had to face up to these realities eventually, as she shut down all the publicly expressed concern she could, and eventually had to stem the flow.

But then, when Gerard Batton announced the ‘consultation’ role of Tommy Robinson, Farage joined in the smears of Robinson and the guilt by association of UKIP. Personally, I see Robinson as a legitimate activist, but not a particularly good politician – too hot headed and not responsible enough to have him too close to the leadership of a party. But, he has definitely been smeared beyond any recognition of the person he actually is. So, it’s strange to see Farage take that particular stance himself – a convenient distancing of himself from someone he sees as lost to fair coverage and so dangerous to Farage’s personal agenda.

In another context we see long-term gay activist Peter Tatchell struggle to hold a rational position regarding Islam. He has joined with activists from Faith to Faithless (a part of Humanist UK) to encourage acceptance of homosexuality among Muslims in Britain. He too has demonised Farage and Robinson, and has played the dodgy alliance game of suggesting ‘persecuted’ minorities like gays and Muslims should unite against the right. Totally paradoxical since Islam is inherently conservative, and in many cases far right – so much so that explicitly liberal Muslims like Maajid Nawaz are demonised by organisations like the Muslim Council of Britain and 5 Pillars. Of course Tatchell’s hoped for alliance backfired when Muslim parents announced their own homophobia* is an essential part of Islam.

[*They declare they are not homophobic, and yet also insist that anyone that doesn’t like their bigotry is Islamophobic. The ironies mount up pretty fast in this sphere of human affairs.]

In a similar fashion we see Owen Jones denouncing the same homophobia among Muslim parents, yet also declaring as Islamophobes anyone else that dares to criticise Islam. Lately he has taken to building a chain of guilt from Tommy Robinson, to Douglas Murray, and on to Yasmine Mohammed, the latter being a thoroughly decent ex-Muslim that simply campaigns for the right for ex-Muslims not to be persecuted.

And it’s odd that Owen Jones cites the Muslim Council of Britain as an upstanding organisation in the same thread, when it is they, among others, that declare that Ahmadi Muslims are not to be considered Muslims, so continuing the persecution of Ahmadis that sees their mosques attacked in Pakistan, an Ahmadi killed in Glasgow by a Sunni from Bradford (for ‘insulting Islam’), and even very recently having a UK mosque provide leaflets requiring the killing of Ahmadis. What on earth is Jones doing siding with a conservative homophobic misogynistic religion? I doubt he’d have much in common with Westboro Baptists who seem to hold a similar view on homosexuality to many Muslims (a large number of UK Muslims think homosexuality should be illegal, at least … the less cautious will support the death penalty).

Elsewhere we have the Muslim prosecutor of Muslim grooming gangs on the Three Girls case also declaring other critics of Muslim grooming gangs to be Islamophobes, while his colleague and ex-police investigator Maggie Oliver, also of Three Girls fame, uncovers much police corruption around the cover up of grooming gangs and calls for ‘people power’ in response. Wasn’t Tommy Robinson and example of ‘people power’ in action?

And even though we see more and more Muslims acknowledging the problems in ‘our community’ they too still play the Islamophobia game: The Enlightenment of Saira Khan. Saira has been calling Robinson a racist for years, and yet she is just as explicit as he is, even more directly so, in her condemnation of those in her ‘community’ that transgress the bounds of decency by being a groomer or a terrorist.

Papers like the Guardian seem to alternate between articles that report on problems around Islam, only to follow up with an opinion piece by yet someone else that declares it’s Islamophobic to report on the problems around Islam. No surprise that Miqdaad Versi of the MCB has created a busy schedule for himself demanding, with some success, that news papers change the headlines of many of their stories so that thy are less ‘Islamophobic’.

It’s not as if the news about the news is consistent in this regard either. Owen Jones, again, expressed his Twitter indignation by declaring that stories about the young ‘angelic’ Christchurch terrorist wouldn’t happen if it were a Muslim terrorist – except that’s precisely what the news papers did regarding Jihadi John – so much so the Mail front pages for the two terrorists were practically identical.

Within Islam it doesn’t become any simpler – quite the opposite. Liberal-Moderate, Moderate-Conservative, Conservative-Fundamentalist, Fundamentalist-Extremists … overlapping circles of influence where the extreme ends totally denounce each other as non-Muslims, yet each circle makes excuses for and defends their near political neighbours. You have to wonder where all the 2 billion Muslims are, when so many Muslims declare fellow Muslims to be non-Muslims for their inadequate understanding of Islam. Meanwhile, we are told, “We are all Muslims”, under the unity of the Ummah … a monolith of Muslim creation. We are also told that Islam is a diverse religion, yet, oddly, all accept Allah, Mohammed and Quran – where all but liberal reformers insist the Quran is the inerrant perfect word of  Allah, that is both easy to understand and yet needs scholarship to avoid all the nasty bits – nasty bits that are not there, apparently, despite what you actually read in the Quran.

“Nothing to do with Islam” we hear. Well, if that’s so, how is it Islamophobic for non-Muslims to point to the Islamic texts that ISIS cite? How is it that many of those that joined ISIS became more religious, more Islamic, according to those that knew them, before tipping over the edge into radicalism and extremism?

The complexities of all this, the smears, the alliances, the shear irrationality of it all, need a damned good Venn diagram of overlapping appreciation. But I fear it would be so complex it wouldn’t make it any clearer.

We need more rational debate, and more honesty, less conflating Islam with race – what nonsense that is. We have a long way to go.

Afua Hirsch – Racism

This baloney from people like Afua Hirsch will run and run. This is a Facebook post. This may disappear. I’ll provide other links when/if available.

It’s basically Afua Hirsch complaining about Tommy Robinson rather than the real problem. Who is Afua Hirsch?

Wallis Annenberg Chair of Journalism 2019 @USC. Writer, Broadcaster, @ManBookerPrize Judge 2019, author of bestselling book Brit(ish) out now!

The post is here:

Frankie Boyle’s New World Order – from Facebook

A Twitter link – BBC

At least two of those guests have no idea of what they are talking about. The other two I think are on a political agenda to smear critics of Islam. Afua Hirsch is one of the latter. So is Frankie Boyle. Sarah Pascoe and Richard Osmon are the uninformed “It’s about entertainment value”, “It’s monitised”.

Headline: Has Racism Been Normalised?

Yes. Both by actual racists and the supposed anti-racists such as those on this show.

The discussion at this point revolves around grooming gangs and the opposition to someone like Tommy Robinson having a say in the matter. Let’s pick it up with Afua’s point about how serious the Muslim grooming gang problem is:

… there are really serious problems that led to them being abused.

Yes. Specifically Pakistani Muslim grooming gangs, as pointed out by the following, when they too are not being accused of being racists.

Voices on Muslim Grooming Gangs

Andrew Norfolk, Times journalist, who sat on the story for a couple of years for fear of being racist, allowing who knows how many other girls to be groomed before he broke the story.

The Sikh community that for years pointed out the grooming of Sikh girls by Muslim grooming gangs, but were ignored.

Ray Honeyford, head of Drummond Middle School in Bradford, became the target of a campaign by an action group involving a number of parents (not unlike the ‘No Outsiders’ head of Parkfield now, by homophobic parents in Birmingham).

Labour MP Sarah Champion, kicked off the Labour front bench for speaking out (you won’t hear much, if anything, of Jeremy Corbyn … search his Twitter feed for Rotherham, Rochdale, Oxford, etc. not a word)

Labour MP Ann Cryer, who while getting some support from some Labour colleagues, had to suffer the smears of being a racist by others – simply for caring about the girls.

Maggie Oliver, police investigator in the Rochdale 3 girls case. Oliver was prevented from investigating the problem in Manchester and since gone on toe actually call for ‘people power’ because politicians, the press and the police had actively covered up the problem for years.

You can butter it up all you like, and blame Robinson as much as you want, but you are lying when you do.

Here’s Maggie Oliver directly accusing here chief of covering it up. [Update 2019-07-16 – In her recent book release interviews she says points out the grooming continues and groomers remain free of prosecution]

If you want the longer and more harrowing tale of just THREE girls (1400+ in Rotherham alone … estimated) then watch this:

Saira Khan, who has made similar comments to those of Tommy Robinson … on the TV show, Loose Women. My one issue with Saira is she’s still too afraid, or too blind, to see the problem: The Enlightenment of the Brave Saira Khan

Nothing to do with Islam?

When you’re done digesting what Saira Khan has to say, go back to Afua Hirsch:

They [Tommy Robinson and co) are only interested in this minority (Muslims)

Yes, why is that? How come Robinson and co aren’t interested in Sikhs, Hindus, or even ex-Muslims, … or even Ahmadi Muslims?

Let’s go to Ahmadi Muslims – I don’t know that Robinson has EVER criticised them.

But you know who has?

  • Other Muslims. Ahmadi Muslims are not allowed to call themselves Muslims in Pakistan, and they are persecuted there and have their mosques attacked – BY MUSLIMS.
  • In the UK, we had Ahmadi Muslim Asad Shah, killed by a Sunni Muslim from Bradford.
  • And when the Ahmadi Muslims held an interfaith peace rally, other faith leaders turned up – but the Sunna and Shia Muslim representatives refused to do so.
  • And even recently we have had the BBC reporting that a mosque in Britain has been making available leaflets demanding the killing of Ahmadis.
  • And the Council for British Muslims on their own site state that Ahmadiyya are not Muslims, rejecting the Ahmadi Muslim right to identify as Muslim.

How come we don’t hear much from Afua Hirsch on that problem? Or does racism only count when Afua Hirsch sees it in one particular direction?

Afua Hirsch Lies

they try to create a narrative that all Muslims need to be accountable for the actions of the paedophiles … in one or two towns

Wow. Let’s get the first lie out of the way before addressing the very cause of this problem of  ‘Tommy Robinson’.

No, It is not the case that the narrative is about making all Muslims accountable *for the actions of the paedophiles*. What many critics DO ask is that Muslim organisations and local Muslim communities stop trying to cover the crimes up. Here’s the thing …

Any other working class grooming gang, if found out in a local community, would find the gang members would be lucky to escape with their lives and their genitals intact, so outraged would the local community be. So, from early in the piece …

… Tommy Robinson really care about the vulnerable girls?

Yes. Why on earth would you think otherwise, unless your own agenda was to smear him. His own relative was groomed. So, yes, damned right he cares about the girls. That’s how working class communities would react if press, politicians and police, and other local community members were trying to over up any ‘white’ grooming gangs. And, what’s more, the town wouldn’t be safe for them to return after their sentence were complete.

Which has not been the case for many of the Muslim grooming gangs, where family and friends support them, even shouting support in trials; where after serving their sentence they return to their communities with no problem, and are even seen by their victims; where protecting the good name of Islam is far more important to the community than the victims.

Here comes the necessary disclaimer: NOT ALL MUSLIMS. There must be many Muslims that are horrified by these acts by members of the ‘community’. Their problem is that it’s actually risky for them to speak out if they live in those communities. Ask Saira Khan, who has received terrible abuse, … FROM PEOPLE ON THE LEFT AND MUSLIM COMMUNITIES.

Let’s get back to the really egregious part of this dreadfully dishonest programme

… paedophiles in one or two towns.”

ONE OR TWO TOWNS!

Rotherham, Rochdale, Oxford, Bristol, Aylesbury, Keighley, Huddersfield, Derby, Peterborough, Telford

And they are towns where some prosecutions have taken place, but where we have no real idea of the historical unreported cases, and no idea of how many other towns may have been affected. On some occasions the victims have been driven to other towns to ‘serve’ the Muslim men of those communities.

THIS has been the problem that has created Tommy Robinson: the utter stupid denialism of people like Afua Hirsch. She can’t even leave her “there are really serious problems” sit without diminishing it with “one or two towns

White Paedophiles – Whataboutery

We never talk about white paedophiles

What utter BS.

Let’s start with ‘white working class‘ paedophiles. Do you know when we talk about white paedophiles? When they are rooted out by long winded police investigations into their secretive gangs.

What’s different about the Muslim grooming gangs? They do it openly, in front of schools, in shops and taxi firms in the ‘local community’. They do it with police knowledge, and social services knowledge, and press knowledge, and local council knowledge. They do it with impunity.

THAT is why you have Tommy Robinson, and specifically why Tommy Robinson gets so much support from the working class.

But, of course, what about paedophile politicians and celebrities, like Jimmy Saville. YES! It’s the same press, police and politicians covering up their crimes as it is the Muslim grooming gangs – for entirely different reasons of course. YES. That’s the point. Cover ups.

THAT is why you have Tommy Robinson, and specifically why Tommy Robinson gets so much support from the working class, because not only have the press, politicians, press and celebs been covering up Muslim grooming gangs, they do it for their won too!

Whataboutery of Numbers

even though the majority of paedophiles are white

Not proportionate to population size.

The estimates vary, but of course you’d expect a 90% white population to produce more paedophiles that the mere 5% population of Muslims.

But that’s not the point, is it. The point is, that even allowing for variations in population estimates, for street grooming gangs 84% are Muslim. And, it gets worse. For race targeted (white non-Muslim) victims, by Pakistani Muslims, it’s almost exclusively Pakistani Muslim grooming gangs (small clusters of other Muslim groups such as in Somali communities do exists).

Find ANY substantial reports where white paedophiles are TARGETING Muslim girls, or Sikh girls, or Hindu girls, or girls of other nationalities at all – have you heard of ANY?

The ONLY other significant perp profiles is where girls are trafficked by criminal sex gangs, and sex tourism in the far east, … and powerful people protected by politicians, press and police.

Who Defines a Legitimate Debate?

it’s frustrating when he (Tommy Robinson) is given a platform by mainstream media …because it’s not a legitimate debate

Well done on giving him a platform then, on this programme, you utter clown. How many programmes have we seen where critics of Tommy Robinson have given him far more air time that he has created for himself.

But the real problem is caused by NOT giving a platform to more reasonable voices, like those listed earlier, that have been talking about this for decades.

YOU are part of the problem that has created Tommy Robinson.

And, you think voicing an opinion about the cover up of Muslim grooming gangs is NOT legitimate? FFS.

We’ve got to a really dangerous position where now, if someone like me who is anti-racist is in a debate there’s this need to put me on against a racist …

YOU and pundits like you, and the press, and police and politicians have created Tommy Robinson by your neglect.

Robinson started campaigning against Islamic extremists over a decade ago, and grooming gangs shortly after, … after he gained EDL notoriety and other people from around the country reported to him how grooming gangs where operating freely, just as they had with his relative.

If we were talking about rape, you wouldn’t have me on with a pro rape activist

What the heck are you talking about? YOU are asserting that Robinson is racist, with no evidence whatsoever. YOU are equating his criticism of Islam, Islamists and Muslim grooming gangs with racism. YOU are fabricating the debate that isn’t being had.

And, I don’t know if you noticed, but the subject matter IS about rape and other abuse, and Robinson has been opposing it. And YOU are opposing Robinson’s opposing of it. How twisted can you get.

Twitter Suspension Again – For Opposing Extremists?

It seems Twitter isn’t too keen on tweets that point out extremism and highlight the other victims of extremist that don’t receive much support from the MSM and pseudo-liberal feminists in the West.

I suspected the problem here is their shitty algorithms that can’t detect the sarcasm in the first sentence. But then, follow ups and other sources make it look more like a political agenda at work, or perhaps a targeted complaint.

Here’s an email from Twitter, along with the offending tweet from me.

Twitter-Suspension-002

No clue as to why it’s a problem, it just is. I’m not sure how Twitter thinks it is going to rid itself of tweets and accounts it doesn’t like simply by pointing to a general list of issues it finds problematic. Who the heck reads that, before they find they have transgressed?

From what I recall my tweet was a response to someone … I think this one:

https://twitter.com/agnostroccan/status/1109312721865068545

Ex-Muslims have done nothing to diminish the suffering at Christchurch. So, if anything I found this to be an extremely offensive tweet targeting ex-Muslims.

While many Muslims have been using the Christchurch incident for political purposes, even diminishing Islamic extremism in the process, ex-Muslims have done nothing more than challenge the gullible pseudo-liberal non-Muslim women that have been wearing the hijab in solidarity, apparently totally uninterested in the suffering of women forced to wear it.

The image I included will have been a murdered ex-Muslim in Bangladesh. This is a publicly available image that brings home the brutality of the violent extremism I oppose.

Islam-Attack-Bangladesh-Blogger

My First Appeal

Here’s my first appeal. I expect this won’t cut it.

The tweet flagged was a reporting events that actually happened. It describes the plight of Muslims and ex-Muslims at the hands of extremists. It’s denouncing extremists. Why is it suspended?

We’ll see how it goes …

Summary Execution from Twittarabia

Twitter-Suspension-003

No details, and apparently unrelated to the tweet cited for the suspension.

I responded to someone’s targeted abuse of ex-Muslims, and supported the right of ex-Muslims to feel safe, or not to be intimidated into silence by targeted abuse such as that from @agnostroccan. And I gave an example of the brutal silencing of ex-Muslims. I was actually supporting those that wish to express opinions that are diverse in relation to the opinions of those that would oppress them.

And, what a surprise … no mere suspension, the account has gone.

Twitter-Suspension-004

So, what’s happened here? Is it the case that @agnostroccan has been kicked off Twitter, by Twitter, for targeting abuse at ex-Muslims? Or, is it the case that @agnostroccan received a lot of backlash against that hateful tweet, and closed the account themselves … and perhaps complained to Twitter, and those that actually objected to the hateful tweet are the ones being suspended?

Who knows. Unfortunately Twitter isn’t too good at resolving these problems, because nobody ever gets to know what’s really going on.

My Second Appeal

Once they close the ticket, after telling you the account is permanently suspended, there’s no re-opening the ticket. You have to start a separate ticket.

So, I did. I asked for the specifics of the offence, given that the charge of harassment has nothing to do with the particular tweet cited in the original suspension.

Their next response? Same useless response.

Twitter-Suspension-005

My Third Appeal

You will not answer my questions that ask you for evidence of why my account is suspended. You state a reason but provide no evidence. Where is your evidence I’ve engaged in targeted abuse?

Still Waiting – 13 Days

Twitter-Suspension-005-No reply after 13 days

Another Appeal

Yes, I have access to this email address.

Further more, I dispute the (inconsistent) charges made at the time of and after the suspension. Furthermore, the suspension flies in the face of sentiments expressed by Jack Dorsey, Vijaya Gadde on the Joe Rogan show. And, you have not provided any specific information about how exactly I broke the community rules.
Regards,…

My First Suspension

The image below was from my first suspension … pointing out that some moron didn’t understand what ‘alt-right’ means. Never did find out the specifics of what was wrong here. I was on holiday and just caved and deleted the tweets. Should have fought it then.

Twitter-Suspended-FirstTime

Twitter Bias

Several people have been highlighting the problem with social media platforms operating under a political bias.

Tim Pool and others have exposed the bias of Twitter, and the free wheeling runaway train that is the Twitter team for evaluation.

And here’s a report from the right wing site Veritas that exposes Twitter’s tendency to let this bias run.

Nothing Jack Dorsey and Vijaya Gadde said refuted any of this.

Cultural Racism – A Bogus Meme

The term ‘Cultural Racism’ could mean a number of things. Let’s start with a couple of issues around the component terms that should be easy to acknowledge.

Racism – I’m taking this as a given. It exists. In all societies as far as I’m aware, and the differences amount to who the targets are, the power and numbers differentials between the groups that engage in it and are victims of it.

Cultural bigotry – I think this obviously exists too. There are some people that reject other cultures, or innocent aspects of other cultures. Sometimes it’s based on pure ignorance, and sometimes a deep xenophobia, or indeed based on the association between the ethnicity and the culture, which in turn often comes back to ignorance.

Combining these you could have ‘Cultural Racism’, but I’m not entirely sure how much that differs from simple racism.

In fact there is a danger here, and we witness its effects now, and often. And that danger is the conflation of racism with disagreements over the value of ‘elements’ of cultures.

Note here the distinction in that last sentence, between ‘elements’ of cultures, and whole cultures. Humans on this planet are far more uniform than we sometimes tend to think, and our differences are not as complete as a superficial comparison might suggest. If you can imagine the most different culture you know to your own, there are still going to be elements of that culture that your culture shares, or which are not sufficiently different to your own such that you would reject everything about the other culture.

This idea that one can accept at least some elements of other cultures does not rule out the possibility of one’s racism. In fact it might be that one’s racism includes a condescending love for elements of other cultures. From a white British perspective I’ve seen examples in some favourite British holiday destinations, like Spain, where a love of sun, siestas and Spanish food provides little disguise the contempt displayed for Spanish locals. And who doesn’t like an ‘Indian’ (See Good Gracious Me “going out for an English”). Or Mexican hats. Or … but we’re straying into ‘cultural appropriation’ territory, which I’ll put to one side for another time.

But what about Nazism? Yes, I know it was a short live ideology of early 20th Century Germany, with fascist affiliations elsewhere, but let’s be honest, not all Germans were Nazis, so disliking Nazism isn’t synonymous with disliking Germany or Germans. We get this. Why can’t we get it with other ideologies and cultures? Why can’t we pick and choose? Why can’t we be ‘discriminating’?

I do discriminate, and I discriminate against some elements of some cultures. I discriminate against the violent boozy laddish culture of Brits abroad. I discriminate against British Imperialist culture that tried to dominate the world for a few centuries. And I discriminate against elements of Christian culture that demands special privilege and deference for Christianity in our culture and in our government.

However, I’m a Secular Humanist, and with that comes freedom of belief. So I will not discriminate against religious beliefs.

But I will discriminate against religious action based on religious beliefs that tries to impose religiously motivated values that I don’t agree with on those that don’t want them. And, here’s the sticking point for many hypocrites, I feel the same way about Islam.

In fact I find more wrong with Islam than I do with Christianity. Not that some Christian groups can’t be as bigoted as some Muslim groups, but on balance I find the Islamic ideology particularly conducive to bad ideas and bad actions. And I find this to be the case even though many Muslims are themselves decent people that I have no problem with.

We have a problem with Islam, and it’s not my ‘Cultural Racism’ that determines that I have such a problem, it’s the nature of Islam that determines it. There are some ‘elements’ of Islamic culture that I don’t have a problem with at all, and in fact find them to be interesting and worthwhile. But, I find there are many more elements I do have a problem with.

But of course we have a relatively recent history of British Imperialism in India and what is now Pakistan and Bangladesh that fitted the ‘Cultural Racism’ meme pretty well. And that in turn led to many immigrants coming to the UK from the Indian sub-continent, on one route or another (including Ugandan Asians). That then, in turn again, resulted in more racism in the UK, in which we saw ‘Paki bashing’ as a symptom common among far right racist groups and football thugs in the 1970s. We also now have some notable campaigners against such racism. Kenan Malik being one; initially a man of the Left, but disgruntled with the Left’s response to the Rushdie affair. A another, younger, victim of the racism, Maajid Nawaz, took a different route, becoming an Islamist, but he too had a change of heart; he remains a Muslim but is staunchly secular and campaigns against all forms of racism and bigotry, but obviously focuses on Islamism, Islamic extremism and the far right.

This is the background in which you might think that the rational secular, and often non-religious, intelligentsia might rally to oppose all racism and bigotry, including that of religions.

I say you might think it, because from the 60s onward, when Christianity still dominated British religiosity, there were many progressive gains against the bigotry of religion. In other words, we discriminated against British Christian bigotry with enthusiasm.

By the late 70s, change was already under way. Many will remember with delight the night the Python duo, Cleese and Palin, took on Malcolm Muggeridge and Mervyn Stockwood (the then Bishop of Southwark) in a programme hosted by Tim Rice, where they discussed the merits or otherwise of Python’s The Life of Brian. And, however you think that conversation went, even then it was noted by Malcolm Muggeridge that Islam was receiving special protection … out of fear

May I make another point here, which is rather interesting, which is if you had made that film about Mohammed, there would have been an absolute hullabaloo in this country. The antiracialist people would have risen up in their might. The same people who would have approved of this (Life of Brian), but would have said that (a film about Mohammed) was quite disgraceful.

Sadly, many of us secularist were so busy enjoying the special pleading of the Christians we didn’t really pay much attention to that point. Oh, how times have changed. I can’t now figure out, by today’s standards, whether that makes Malcolm Muggeridge an appeaser of Islam, an Islamophobe, or indeed a realist that saw the hypocrisy even then. Christians aren’t quite as bold as they were in pointing out the privileges that British Islam enjoys.

Of course Cleese was spot on with his reply

Your quite right Malcom. Four hundred years ago we would have been burnt for this film. Now, I’m suggesting we’ve made an advance.

And I’m now suggesting we had made an advance with regard to Christianity, but we have regressed with regard to Islam. And, that the accommodation of Islam goes above and beyond the noble intention of reducing racism, to a fawning submission, not even to Islam itself, but to the victim playing bullies of Islamist supremacism that are dictating the narrative on moral discourse to the point of persuading Western pseudo-liberals to self censor and suppress free speech on the grounds that if offends the religious sensibilities of religious bigots.

Wikipedia Page Authors’ Submission to Islam

I suppose you might like some evidence that it is the case that the regression regarding Islam is taking place. I offer you the Wikipedia page on ‘Cultural Racism’. This page, it seems, was originally based on a translation from Swedish. Sweden, a Western liberal country apparently hell bent on submitting to Islam.

WIkipedia-CulturalRacismDiscussion

Unsurprisingly this page suffers from one of the problems that social justice warriors love to point out, though apparently it goes unnoticed here, and that’s outright Eurocentrism. You will see throughout, that all the problems discussed are Western, European and White, and the only victims of note are Muslims, thanks to our Islamophobia.

Not a jot on the Cultural Racism in Islam, where the term fits like a glove. Nothing on the hate filled state of Pakistani Islam, that sees the persecution of Christians like Asia Bibi for ten years, before inciting violence against her on hear release from prison. Nothing on the Muslim-Hindu Cultural Racism that sees Muslims abducting young girls for forced conversion to Islam – not unlike Boko Haram’s tactic, and indeed not unlike Mohammed himself, who married a slave. How about something on the rising Islamism in Indonesia, where young people are submitted to the Quran’s imposition of one hundred lashes on an ever increasing frequency? Or perhaps the article could have mentioned the Cultural Racism in the Arab world, where Mulsims from around the world are treated as indentured slaves with their passports withdrawn, salaries unpaid, and, even in London, where house maids are virtual sex slaves to some Arabs. Maybe the many cases in Islamic states where women are prosecuted for sex outside marriage … when they report rape.

Cultural Racism against Ahmadiyya?

Not only is there persecution against all other religions and peoples throughout the Muslim world, there are some spectacular instances of it in the West, against Muslims.

Where is the discussion of the persecution, the Cultural Racism, of Muslims towards Ahmadiayya? In Britain an Ahmadi Muslim, Asad Shah, was targeted and killed by a Sunni Muslim who travelled up from Bradford to Shah’s home of Glasgow with the specific intent of killing Shah. And only in the last few days have we heard that a UK mosque has been distributing leaflets that call for the killing of Ahmadi Muslims. And, do remember that in Pakistan, a cultural heritage for many British Muslims, the Ahmadiyya are persecuted, killed and have their mosques attacked and destroyed, an not even permitted in law to call themselves Muslims.

And where is one of Britain’s largest Muslim organisations on this, the Muslim Council or Britain, of which Miqdaad Versi is a spokesman? Here we have their view of the Ahmadi:

Islam-Ahmadi-MCB-Rejection

In recent days a Catholic journalist has been investigated for misgendering a trans teen. But has there been an investigation into the MCB’s mis-religioning of the Ahmadi, who self declare as Muslims?

For that matter, the BBC report on the leaflets that call for Ahmadis to be killed doesn’t say whether or not the culprits have been charges with a hate crime, and incitement to murder, or indeed incitement to perform a terrorist act? The BBC does not say. It only says they have been warned.

Islam-Ahmadi-MosqueLeaflet

Why is this?

Why is it that we are now told that pointing out all the Islamic extremism is tantamount to inciting far right terrorist attacks, while the endless complaints of Islamophobia and anti-Islam bigotry are not themselves further incitement to Islamic revenge attacks (we may have had at least one already)? If the news media, in their reporting of Islamic attacks, are culpable in the recent Christchurch attack on a mosque, in what way is Miqdaad Versi or MCB not complicit in the killing of Ahmadis, only the link between the CMB’s opinion on Ahmadis, the situation in Pakistan, and the actual persecution of Ahmadis is far more obviously linked.

Isn’t this a far more concrete example of ‘Cultural Racism‘, if anything is?

Cultural Racism of the Left

It isn’t just the Islamist organisations that are pushing this agenda of excusing Islam of it’s own bigotry. The Left in the West are pure gullible idiots – a topic worthy of a post in its own right.

I have criticised religion for decades, and in the earlier years it was mostly targeted at Christian bigotry – remember Westboro, the far right religious group that ‘hates fags’? Why isn’t Islamic homophobia considered far right?

Rarely, if ever, did I get any pushback from non-Christians for such criticism of Christian bigotry, for most were on board with such criticism. Whether it was opposing the Christian churches on homophobia and misogyny (re women and gay priests and bishops), or simply disagreeing with theists on the metaphysical matter of origins of the universe.

Not so when it comes to Islam. Any number of non-Muslim defenders of Islam will leap into any conversation where they perceive offence against one of the worlds ‘great’ religions … but only that one. You won’t hear many charges of antisemitism from the Left if you criticise Judaism either, funnily enough – yet another topic for another day.

And this is where the whole Cultural Racism narrative is at the moment. Whatever the possibility for a real academic subject being built around the term (on which the Wiki article points out there’s much disagreement), it’s main practical purpose has been to brand critics of Islam as racists.

Islam isn’t a race.

This seems to now be greeted as a sure sign of one’s racism. And no wonder, because, as the Wiki article points out, there is an intent to redefine race and racism. This has been a road they have driven themselves down over a few decades. From a practical scientific point of view, race offers no grand story, no great scientific truth, even though there are health reason for making distinctions.

Can agree we are all one species? The problem the racists of various ethnicities have is that they treat race like they would a sub-species. But, even if that were the case (if Neanderthals and others still existed) that wouldn’t make the racists right in their discrimination.

So, what are the determined critics of the west to do? After all, declare ‘race’ itself a cultural invention and it becomes a bit inconvenient for the narrative, where ‘racism’ is a great tool for demonising your enemies. Invent ‘Cultural Racism’ in order retain all the stigma of being a racist, while expanding the scope to pretty much anything that allows you to identify a distinction, which to me seems a suspect dogma designed to sustain ‘racism’ rather than to fight it.

Cultural Racism Newspeak

Read Selina’s full thread on the redefinition of terms and the Newspeak it has ushered in.

The context in which I’ve presented the problem is narrower, which you might expect, given my Secular Humanist Atheist opposition to oppressive religions, and the difference between religion in the US and the UK, and the different context in which racism has played out given our colonial history, and the greater extent to which slavery affected people in the US, and victims and perpetrators.

Selina’s thread starts out with this Aero Magazine article that addresses some of the problems with the book upon which the thread is based.

Untangling the Patriarchy Paradox: A Review of Kate Manne’s Down Girl

In modern democracies like Australia (from whence both Manne and I hail), the US and the UK, we have by and large outgrown the notion that women don’t deserve to be treated as full moral equals to men.

Except, in our British context where Islam is a problem (unprosecuted FGM, until a recent first case; years of hiding Muslim grooming gangs rather than dealing with them; pseudo-feminist support for the hijab as a choice, but not a word on the women suffering in Iran) it is no longer the case that we have outgrown such misogyny. We’re growing right back into it, thank you very much. And homophobia too, where parents in predominantly Muslim schools have protested, successfully, the teaching of the program ‘No Outsiders’ (re-emboldening homophobes of other religions in the process).

Flipping to this homophobia for a moment, the ‘No Outsiders’ program does what it says – it teaches children to avoid the unintentional, or intentional, persecution of others for, among other things, their sexual orientation, so avoiding making people feel like outsiders.

I know from my school days, even with no malicious intent, we made it uncomfortable, to say the least, for any emerging gay child or teen to come out. Of course there were no same-sex parent couples that we knew of back then, so now, ‘No Outsiders’ even teaches acceptance of same-sex or variable gender parents of any children too.

However, despite the fact that you might expect Muslims to understand the problem with being considered outsiders, you’d be mistaken, since Islam has its own special way of seeing pretty much anyone that doesn’t conform to Islamic standards as an outsider.

Islam is a particularly divisive religion that also creates no compelling desire to avoid playing the victim – as has been the case in other instances. It is not unusual that following an Islamic terror attack, UK Muslim organisations spend more time lamenting the anticipated explosion in anti-Muslim hate than they do the killing of innocents in Islam’s name – except to the extent to which it blackens the good name of Islam. This is very specifically why criticism of Islam, or even mentioning the horrendous attacks done in the name of Islam, is declared ‘Islamophobic’. The act of terrorism is of course “Nothing to do with Islam” (and echoed by Western world leaders like marionettes of the Islamists) … except that the perpetrators will cite chapter and verse of why it is precisely something to do with Islam.

Is this duplicity on the part of supposed liberals in the West not its own Cultural Racism? (And here I’m not condoning the ridiculous identitarians that base their complaints of apparent ‘genocide’ of their ethnicity – I’m far more concerned about the damage done to liberal inspired freedoms when the pseudo-liberals play ball with Islamists)

There are many more examples of the distinction between actual and perceived misogyny in the West, … and figures are given from a Pew poll that show the stark difference between the West and some Islamic countries.

Of course such misogyny is all to do with ‘Toxic Masculinity’. While many object to the term in a Western context, I actually agree such a thing exists. Except I blame religion. Religions are generally patriarchal systems, and the big religions were created in a time of ‘Toxic Masculinity’ and they perpetuate it into the present. No surprise then that some ultra conservative US Christian sects and Islamic sects that buy into the religious Toxic Masculinity. Strangely, some feminists seem totally blind to this when it comes to Islam – yes, Islam again. Not Christianity, where the patriarchal nature of the church is easy to admit. When discussing the all too frequent incidences of terrorism at the hands of Islamic terrorist one might be told it’s “Nothing to do with Islam” and all to do with “Toxic Masculinity”. OK, then let’s play that game:

Islam-ToxicMasculinity

(actually, despite my agreement with Sophie, it turns out all terrorists are not in fact men … but they mostly are, so it hardly diminishes the point)

It doesn’t take much rooting around in Islamic and ex-Muslim circles to find plenty of misogyny. Many Muslim women will not only defend the hijab as their free choice, but will even deny Islam’s misogyny, and then tell you why they are not as reliable as men.

Islam-WomansWorth-002

The Left’s Cultural Racism – Against Ex-Muslims

What you won’t find among non-Muslim apologists for Islam is much acknowledgment of ex-Muslims. In some cases, like Ayaan Hirsi Ali you come across outright venomous opinion. But, who else would know Islam, and be prepared to be honest about it, than ex-Muslims that were themselves devoted to it at one time, of subject to its oppression, or both.

Is this ‘Cultural Racism’? OK, perhaps some old white guys are racist haters of Muslims. But, come on, can you honestly deny the voices of ex-Muslims? Or the women of Iran that plead for support from Western feminists?

Apparently you can. The Women’s March, or any tragedy that befalls Muslims, such as the horrific attack at Christchurch, will be met with Western feminists donning the hijab. Not the men, note, just the women. It strikes me as a particularly ignorant or wilful betrayal of women around the world that have suffered under Islam’s toxic masculinity.

Conclusion

For the most part, in the wider world, outside the most rational of academia that might make sense of it, ‘Cultural Racism’ is an entirely bogus meme, used by apologists for Islam, and those intent on demonising Western ideas.

I’ll tell you why it’s not racism. Those that are on the receiving end of the charge support many people of the same ethnicities as those that are supposed to be victims of our racism. The secular Muslims, the ex-Muslims that become secular humanists that support western style democracy over theocracy are some of the most rational critics of Islamic theocracy, knowing it as they do. And the members of the Left that criticise critics of Islam but not critics co Christianity … ex-Muslims have your measure.

Islam-Islamophobia-ApostateProphet

 

Separated at High School – the curious case of Tommy Jones and Owen Robinson

Poor Tommy and Owen are from not too dissimilar backgrounds – at least that’s what Owen says. Tommy’s mother worked in a bakery, and apparently left Tommy with no particular political education or affiliation. Owen’s parents were a shop steward and a lecturer, so basically aspiring middle class with plenty of political awareness. Dead similar.

Tommy went to a local school in Luton, while Owen attended a sixth form college, equal opportunities being what they are. So, let’s hear no more about Owen’s privileged background.

But their paths changed after leaving high school.

Owen received a top education in one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

Tommy left school and had various jobs.

Nevertheless, they retain an uncannily similar campaigning style. [Credit to someone else for spotting the similarity – but I’m blocked by Owen and can’t find them now]

OwenJones-TommyRobinson-02

The following is from Owen, here

Every single day, the British media, and the media elsewhere, whips up racism and bigotry against Muslims, against migrants, against refugees, and against other minorities, those people being a particular favourite target right now. Now there are some consequences. It fuels, it drives, it legitimises street level abuse, harassment, bullying, in the playground, the workplace. It fuels overtly racist attacks. It drives violence, and it drives the rise of the far right. After Christchurch, the massacre of dozens of Muslims, there can be no more tolerance, and no more silence within the media industry, about the role of the media, effectively acting like hate preachers, with megaphones that reach tens of millions of people, every single day. Now there are some that get very angry in the media when it’s called out, how dare you call out the media, as though they’re being victimised and attacked and insulted, rather than using their platform to speak out and challenge the racism and the bigotry which has consequences for people. Now the media is an industry which is overwhelmingly dominated by those from those from those privileged backgrounds who do not suffer the consequences of the bigotry and racism that the media fans. But it has to now be called out. And, to fail to use one’s platform, if you have a platform, to speak out against racism and bigotry by the most powerful institutions, or some of them, in the country, is to be complicit. So, enough of people responding in this defensive way, or being silent, or themselves peddling racism and bigotry. Call it out.

And the following wouldn’t be out of place in a video from Tommy …

Every single day, the British media, and the media elsewhere, whips up hatred and bigotry against those that criticise Islam, those people being a particular favourite target right now. Now there are some consequences. It fuels, it drives, it legitimises street level abuse, harassment, bullying, in the playground, the workplace, of Islamic supremacism. It fuels overtly Islamic attacks. It excuses Islamic violence, and it drives the rise of the far right Islam. After Manchester, the massacre of dozens of victims, or Rotherham and the 1400+ child victims, there can be no more tolerance, and no more silence within the media industry, about the role of the media, acting like cowards, more afraid of being called racist hate preachers themselves, with megaphones that could expose the Islamism to millions of people, every single day. Now there are some that get very angry in the media when it’s called out, how dare you call out the media, as though they’re being victimised and attacked and insulted, rather than using their platform to speak out and challenge the grooming gangs and the consequences for children. Now the media is an industry which is overwhelmingly dominated by those from those from those privileged backgrounds, like Owen Jones, who do not suffer the consequences of the Islamic terrorism and grooming gangs, that the media fans, by screaming ‘Islamophobia’. But it has to now be called out. And, to fail to use one’s platform, if you have a platform, to speak out against grooming gangs, which Andrew Norfolk eventually did. The most powerful institutions, or some of them, like the police, politicians, and media, that say “Nothing to do with Islam” is to be complicit. So, enough of people responding in this defensive way, or being silent, or themselves peddling excuses for Islamic homophobic bigotry. Call it out.

The thing is, there WAS silence in the media, on Muslim grooming gangs, from Owen, from Corbyn, who managed to ‘persuade’ Sarah Champion to leave the opposition front bench for daring to raise it.

For over a decade and attempt to raise the issue found the media hunting down those that complained as racists – teachers that saw the grooming happening outside the school gates were demonised and hounded out of office if they raised it.

Maggie Oliver, of the eventually infamous case of Three Girls in Rochdale, which came only after she had been thwarted in her attempts to investigate the problem in Manchester, has been campaigning for more awareness, and for investigations into the neglectful and complicit senior police and social services that shut down anyone trying to expose the problem.

Even Times writer, Andrew Norfolk, admitted he sat on a story of grooming gangs for a couple of years, for fear of being called racist. A self-censoring press! You’d actually think Norfolk would have been sacked for NOT getting the story out sooner. Instead he was honoured as the brave soul that eventually did publish. Let that sink in. The problem is so bad, you’re more of a hero for publishing what should be a straight forward crime story, than a demon for covering it up for a couple of years while who knows how many girls continued to be abused by those eventually prosecuted.

And don’t get me started on the mind boggling utter nonsense of Islamic terrorism being “Nothing to do with Islam”, which we have heard countless times from politicians, when Islamic terrorists tell you explicitly they are doing it FOR Islam, and cite Quran and Hadith in detail as justification.

Hot head Tommy has his issues. He says things that are too close to the edge of anti-Muslim bigotry, but if confronted he’ll generally walk it back. On many occasions he’s been very explicit about how he has no problem with most Muslims – he even talks of a local Muslim who he finds to a better example of a decent person than anyone else he knows. His issue is always with Islamism, Islamic extremism, Muslim grooming gangs, and the attacks on free speech that are targeted at speech against Islam specifically. You may not like the way he goes about things – fine. You may reject him for his criminal record – fine – except let’s not see double standards where other ex-cons are deemed to have been redeemed. But if you dismiss what he has to say in totality for who he is, rather than what he has to see, then, guess what, you’re a bigot.

Owen has no excuses, other than he’s been indoctrinated into a political class that hunts down victims that they can make their next project … until the victims no longer want to be saved. You won’t see much concern for the working class if they happen not to like one particular religion or Labour’s failure to make any criticism of it – though not being keen on other religions isn’t a problem. Where have Corbyn and Owen been on LBGT issues while the Parkfield has been going on?

If you want to see the utter hypocrisy of Owen, look no further than this race baiting tweet of his (don’t forget, Islamophobia=racism). [H/T Damo – @Concretemilk for these images]

OwenJones-AngelicBoys.jpg

The Nation State

The nation state is still the only large scale functional unit of social cohesion that can provide citizens with both rights and freedoms in a manageable manner.

The USA has struggled, mostly successfully, to balance what could have been small nation states as states within a larger federal state. The EU wants to go the same way, but, just as many in the US oppose federal government power, so in the EU some of the nation states (Brexit) object to the lack of accountability of the federalists and the loss of self determination of the individual states.

Globalism, of any kind, is currently worse. There is no functional world democratic government (UN?🤣) so all the global power is in the hands of global corporations and powerful individuals and groups. While Soros may not be the monster he’s portrayed to be, I didn’t get the chance to vote him in as a mover and shaker of EU affairs. Meanwhile, we all know of Putin’s dabbling in the affairs of nation states. Or indeed of nation states interfering with other nation states, of which the US, UK and others have vast experience.

Then we have the dreamers … the anarchists, the socialists, that have some crazy idea that humans can form Goldilocks societies that just happen to work .. in their heads … but which take no account of the variety of human political opinions that are out there. The Utopians look mystified when you tell them you don’t want their particular Utopia. Well, I suppose they think “There’s only one true Utopia!” I’m sure I’ve heard that sentiment in another context.

Even the nation state has its troubles. Who in their right mind thinks Pakistan is a good functioning state? Yet they just had elections. And, good luck bringing socialism to Afghanistan … or secular freedom of belief to anywhere dominated by religion.

Let’s be realistic, and call western states ‘nearly’ functioning, ‘reasonably’ representative of the wishes of the people. Trump and Brexit have exposed the visceral hatred that the nice socialists are capable of towards their fellow citizens. Then there’s the ‘far right’ (the real, not the imagined). The right will grow in response to the craziness of the left. Extremes sustain each other.

Many on the left have shown their colours. Democracy, as long as they win. Secularism, as long as you don’t offend their pet religion.

It’s difficult enough to hold a nation state together. Europeans have been trying to do it in one form or another since Ancient Greece, slowly, often too slowly, extending the franchise to all citizens. Trial and error. Two steps forward one step back. It’s been hard and often bloody work. But nation state democracy is about the best these evolved apes with partially functional brains are capable of.

Thinking you can wreck it and start over, or that revolution *against* a democratic system is even a rational idea, pretty much sums up the capabilities of some human brains. Haven’t we tried ‘day zero’ scenarios a few times and watched the genocide unfold to know that’s probably the worst of all worlds. Isn’t revolution the last desperate attempt to get rid of an oppressive state?

There is no western government that cannot be voted out of office, no matter how bad you currently think they are. None. And while many in the west are looking at destroying democracy, other parts of the world are struggling to implement it.

But, the first sign of a democratic system going down the pan is a loss of free speech. If you can be locked up for speaking on any political matter, then your freedom is on the way out. The ECHR has just approved the protection of Europe’s pet religion. You can go to jail in European states for expressing an opinion … and I don’t mean incitement to violence dressed up as opinion. I mean opinion dressed up as incitement to violence. If you point out the capacity of Islam to be used to incite violence in terms that upset the violent among the Islamic religion, and they threaten or enact violence against you, you are in danger of becoming their victim, or, a victim of the state that is busy eroding your free speech. Madness.

The shock to many liberals has not been the bunch of actual far right loons, or the stupid alt right that think ethnic separation is even a possibility, or the oppressive nature of a conservative, actual far right, political judicial religious ideology. No, the shock has been the willingness of the supposedly secular left to go along with Islam’s far right political agenda while mouthing off about a much smaller fractured far right of perceived fascism. They can spot a good old Nazi, but can’t see an Islamofascist cheer leading them on.

Islam, anarchism, socialism, big business … these contain a variety of globalist agendas that will subvert individual freedom in order to gain ground. Sometimes they are temporary allies in localised regions. Each contains ideologues that think their way will inevitably win. If they could only stop pesky individuals getting in the way with their damned freedoms, they could set everyone free to live in their Utopia on their terms.

Currently, the only safeguard against these varied globalists is secular liberal democratic nation states, cooperating on security, law and policing, but also ensuring the individual freedoms of their citizens as a primary principle … especially freedom of speech.

So, when you hear that nationalists are racist xenophobes, you’ll realise that the target isn’t just the actual real live racist xenophobes. It’s the nation state and its capacity to thwart the various globalist agendas.

We can’t have versions of democracy where every single person gets a say on every single topic – someone always has to compromise. So, representative democracies of one sort or another are the way to go, as the least worse option. They could be improved, with some variety of proportional representation … but even then, someone always fails to get what they want – compromise is inevitable. There is no perfect democratic system.

And to work on local, regional, state, global scales, we need representational democratic systems that are seen to be democratic.

So, I don’t have a problem with federalism in principle, as one of those levels. That includes, in my local case, a federal EU. I’d even back a world federation, if its members were also democratic states (the UN fails in the respect).

The problem with the EU, and one of the reasons Brexit has come about, is that the EU federalisation project has not been democratic, and is still subject to the whims of dominant states like Germany, or rather to dominant parties within the dominant states. And, this made Brexit appeal in another respect: the 2016 UK EURef vote that came after 2014/5 unilateral action by Merkel to not only open the EU’s external borders with no vetting, but to go on to bully other EU states into complying and taking ‘refugees’ (i.e. economic migrants).

Even ex-Muslims and fanatic for  ‘open doors’, Maryam Namazie doesn’t want to avoid proper vetting:

And, just to clarify the related issues of ‘xenophobia’, ‘racism’, ‘Islamophobia’ that raise their ugly heads any time one objects when some SJW suggests un-vetted immigration is OK and “There are no illegals, they are all humans” …

  • Protecting a democracy with law and order and applying it to all citizens, avoiding an undocumented underground that’s rife with black markets and people trafficking seems a pretty rational perspective … and opposing those things seems insane.
  • The term ‘Islamophobia’ is an irrational fear of Islam – and the only true Islamophobes are those press, politicians and police that go out of their way to make excuses for Islam … which is, by the definition of its own texts, an ultra-conservative (i.e. far right) political judicial ideology dressed up as a religion, with strong misogynistic and homophobic tendencies written in, and a mechanism for threatening death for any Muslim that chooses to leave. It’s not compatible with secular liberal democracy, except in so far as many Muslims explicitly (Reformers) or implicitly (“Not MY Islam”) fail to follow the prescriptions in the supposedly ‘inerrant’ Quran. And, just to be clear, Christian lunacy has its own problems, not least in the USA.
  • Actual racism and xenophobia exists, and it doesn’t help the cause against them if everyone that dares talk about immigration is labelled a far right racist xenophobic Nazi from the outset.

Clear up those mostly left wing misrepresentations of reality and we might see some normality and rationality return to western politics.

And so, if we want effective global governance that supports genuine secular liberal freedom, we need a system that looks democratic, behaves democratically, and is respected enough to hold in check the excesses of rogue states … or even our own democracies that get it wrong so often. The UN has been referred to prior to a number of actions (Iraq War), but in the end, western states felt they had sufficient authority to go to war without the full backing of the UN.

And now Trump has shown his disdain for the UN, and a large number of Brits have done the same for the EU. Those organisations are not fit for purpose. Who the heck thinks the UN is up to scratch if Saudi Arabia is on the UN Human Rights Council? Who the heck thinks the European Court of Human Rights is up to scratch if it endorses jailing someone for disrespecting some cult’s fake war mongering child marrying prophet?

In an effort to be ‘nice’, and in order to protect a ‘minority’ (second larges and most violent religion in the world), the left has sold out secular liberal freedoms, and ordinary people can see that. Hence, Trump and Brexit.

Liberal democratic secular nation states are currently the only protection against chaos and corruption – as imperfect as they are, with their own corrupt elements. In fact, if we can’t get nation states right, what chance have we with larger organisations? Nation states will remain valuable until and if similar global systems can be set in place. Tearing them down in some ‘Year Zero’ fantasy will not help. Destroying them slowly by a thousand cuts of erosion to personal freedom and free speech will only make the demise apparent when its too late.

Types of Atheism

In arguments with theists and in the books of theologians the theists often proclaim we atheists don’t udnerstand God. Well, it’s a fair comment since theists don’t understand god either – they are inconsistent about it, and often provide really poor explanations of what they mean by ‘god’.

The funny thing  is that while making such a claim about they are not understood, they also go on to tell us what atheism is. They are very often dead wrong.

This is a short and simple explanation, for theists.

Kinds of Atheist

It is worth remembering that the only meaning to ‘atheism’ that makes sense is what is often termed the pejoratively ‘Dictionary Atheism’.

Social Justice Warriors of the PZ Myers school of unthinking have been trying to create a Social Justice Atheism for some time. Myers first went with New Atheism, then flee out with New Atheists. He tried Atheism+ or A+ (any distinction isn’t worth discussing). Who knows what he’s on for now.

The trouble is that ‘atheism’ really is simply ‘a-theism’, as a-symmetric is non-symmetry. Of course you can have symmetry in one direction and not in another. In a similar way you can be atheist in the direction of one religion while atheistic towards all others. Total a-theism is like total a-symmetry – none of it.

Unfortunately ‘atheism’ doesn’t give us the slightest clue about what else one thinks. Here are some some systems and modes of living that are atheistic:

– Humanist – (capital H). Of course the religious can be ‘humanistic’ (small h), but Humanism is a system of principles that relies on evidence and reason and sees neither that convinces us there are any gods. That’s the reason Humanism is atheistic. If it ever turns out there is a god remotely like the gods we are told about by most religions then Humanists will probably oppose such a god’s oppressive and cruel nature.

– Marxist Communist – Since this system included a perspective on religion that wasn’t particularly favourable it is atheistic in nature. Of course you could be a Communist and religious, if you take the socialist political ideology and marry it with a belief in god. Many Christian Democrats seem to manage this quite well – up to a point.

– Psychopath – Given the lack of empathy, and siince excess empathy and a shut down of the analytical brain is required for religious belief it seems likely that psychopaths will on the whole be atheists. Again that would apply mostly if they had the autonomy of not being indoctrinated. And indoctrinated psychopath might simply think of himself as an evil sinner or as possessed by demons.

The problem for SJW Atheism is that atheism is ONLY about a-theism, and any type of non-believer, even really awful ones, can have an atheistic perspective.

Measures of Atheism

There are measures of atheistic claims that range from bad to good.

1 – “I know there is no god. I can just tell. I have a sense for it. I KNOW!” – Such claims to certain knowledge based on no evidence or reason are really inadequate, and such people are best ignored, unless you want to help them overcome their certainty. The same applies for the religious that claim ‘sensus divinitatis’ – i.e. Alvin Plantinga. I would pass him off as the flake and atrociously poor ‘philosopher’ he is, but for the fact that so many people think of him as a philosopher and not just a flaky theologian. Who knows what delusions convince people of his high status.

2 – “I see no evidence of God, so I know there can’t be one. I have faith that there isn’t one.” – Faith is a really poor reason for believing anything, and that applies to atheists too. Of course, they do base that faith on there being no evidence for god, while believers use faith in spite of there being no evidence of a god; so at least they are not that bad.

3 – “I can prove there is no god.” – I doubt it. It’s hard to say whether this is better or worse than faith based atheism. Probably worse in an intelligent person because you know they don’t have a good grasp on reality; slightly less a indictment of a poorly educated person duped into thinking you can prove such things – at least there’s hope they might learn.

4 – “There is no evidence or reason for god – and that’s the only way we know there isn’t one. On that basis I claim there really isn’t one.” – This isn’t that bad. It’s quite pragmatic. It’s only flaw is a technical one: in matters of philosophy and metaphysics you shouldn’t really make solid claims based on the lack of evidence or reason so far. You might be prepared to bet your shirt on there being no god. See next.

5 – “There is no evidence or reason for god – and that’s why it’s reasonable to act ‘as if’ there isn’t a god. It’s reasonable to NOT pretend that religious claims there is one should give credence to the supposed moralistic demands of this unevidence god. … [and so on].” – This is the only strictly logical position to take, though it’s still pragmatically reasonable to take the previous position.

Arguing With Atheists

For the theist making statements like this:

These atheist fundies act exactly like traditional religious fundies in every way, and yet they deny their religion

they really need to come to terms with the fact that they are likely to be arguing with atheists in 4 or 5.

Atheism really isn’t like a religion – unless you stumble upon the rare 1, 2 or 3, but then if there’s a discussion going on rather than a shouting match you’re probably not interacting with one of those.

Some more points a theist my want to consider when engaging with some atheists: My Atheism.

Amatrice Pasta, Yet Still, Je Suis Charlie

Yet again idiots around the world write clueless articles that incite horendous tweets, one actually suggesting Italians go and shoot up the offices of Charlie Hebdo [sarcastically, I’m assured] .

CharlieHebdo-ItalyMafiaShooting the messenger because YOU don’t get the power of satire? You are squandering the opportunity to address the problem, in such a manner you will fall silent with embarrassment for getting it so wrong (see later).

Amatrice sits in an unstable region of Italy, and this is well known. The techniques to retrofit safety measures to the houses in these old villages is available. It’s not as if it’s a new phenomenon. Accumoli, Posta and Arquata del Tronto.

It’s not Charlie Hebdo that built your homes , it’s the mafia!
Continue reading “Amatrice Pasta, Yet Still, Je Suis Charlie”

Catlicks and Prodidogs

 

Religion’s sectarian influence pervades the minds of children and can persist into adulthood and on into politics, and on across generations.

Heather Hastie’s More Delusions About Religion looks at a news article that tries to distance religion from violence, by trying to convince us that the the Northern Irish Troubles were not about religion. That’s nonsense, and here’s why. Continue reading “Catlicks and Prodidogs”

Trav’s Travesty of BS in TheHumanist.com, On Dawkins

TheHumanist.com is the daily online news site of the American Humanist Association.

On 28 September 2015 it ran with this post: Atheists Have an Anti-Muslim Bigotry Problem by Trav Mamone

Now I’m sure there are atheists that are bigoted towards Muslims. But the target of the post was Dawkins and Maher, who are not anti-Muslim bigots, though they are anti-Islam.

That distinction seems to be beyond the pseudo-liberals. Continue reading “Trav’s Travesty of BS in TheHumanist.com, On Dawkins”

Dawkins Tweets Ahmed Support

Yes, Richard Dawkins really did tweet in support of Ahmed Mohamed (Storify link below). Dawkins tweeted that the arrest was wrong. He also tweeted many questions, questioning some of the points various other people were making.

But, heaven forbid, he was a little too fastidious in pointing out that stuffing a clock guts into a box isn’t an ‘invention’. For that he’s an anti-Muslim racist bigot, apparently. Even though he apologised for being overly sensitive to the correct use of terms (we know what he thinks about ‘Evolution is just a theory’).

Yes, Dawkins tweeted. That was enough for many of his haters. Continue reading “Dawkins Tweets Ahmed Support”

Mehdi Hasan Destroys Islam

Mehdi Hasan destroys Islam. He doesn’t mean to, but as he thinks he’s distancing Islam from ISIS he picks so many reasons for rejecting Islam. Good job, Mehdi.

In this online CNN video, Does ISIS have any religious legitimacy?, Mehdi Hasan debates with Graeme Wood over Wood’s piece on ISIS. Mehdi responded in his own article, which had lots of holes in it and begged and received criticism. Poor sap Mehdi just can’t stop putting his foot in his mouth. Continue reading “Mehdi Hasan Destroys Islam”

Moral Opinions and Facts – A Religious Philosopher’s Presuppositions

This opinion piece (irony) by By Justin P. McBrayer, Why Our Children Don’t Think There Are Moral Facts, is full of McBrayer’s disappointment that the education system in the US isn’t instructing students in the existence of moral facts, mistaking them for moral opinions, in McBrayer’s opinion. McBrayer is wrong, they are opinions, in my opinion. Continue reading “Moral Opinions and Facts – A Religious Philosopher’s Presuppositions”

#PseudoLiberals Go After New Atheists

I’d describe #PseudoLiberals as liberals that have something of the Post Modern Relativism about them. They are individuals that form a loose collective that think they are being particularly good lefty liberals by giving unbounded respect to those playing the offence game in the face of criticism – common with regard to the offended religious. Continue reading “#PseudoLiberals Go After New Atheists”

New Atheism

New Atheism is being subjected to attacks, and it’s clear from those attacks, from what the critics say, that many really don’t understand New Atheism, and in many cases haven’t read what New Atheists actually say, but rather rely on what other opponents say New Atheists say. There are descriptions of New Atheism around the internet, but many of them don’t really explain what is being missed. So, here’s my take. Continue reading “New Atheism”

Yes Mehdi Hasan, I Condem Those Atheists Texts Calling for Lashes, Stoning, Death

Mehdi Hasan is up to his usual rhetorical tricks.

On his Facebook page he links to the Richard Dawkins comments in the Huffington Post piece: Atheist Richard Dawkins Condemns Chapel Hill Shootings Of Three Muslim Students.

His comment accompanying the post:

Will we now see lots of pieces calling for ‘reform’ of New Atheism and a search for ‘moderate’ New Atheists? ‪#‎justasking‬

So, Mehdi, if you think New Atheism is in need of reform, can you point to the New Atheist scriptures that Craig Hicks might have followed in order to justify the killing?

Can you point to New Atheist scripture that demands lashes for sex outside marriage, or stoning of adulterers? Can you point to any New Atheist scriptures that denounce atheists for apostasy, for those converting to Islam or Christianity? Continue reading “Yes Mehdi Hasan, I Condem Those Atheists Texts Calling for Lashes, Stoning, Death”