Thursday 23 April 2015

Balancing act

Here’s an extract from a comment on Harry’s Place.
“........if something is 'conceded' to Jews, then it must be balanced by something for the Muslims.If Rabbi Jonathan Sachs is knighted so too must Sacranie ( of 'Death would be too good' for Salman Rushdie infamy).If Netanyahu must (reluctantly) be invited to the Charlie Hebdo march, then so too must Abbas.If synagogues are to be guarded, then grants should be made to build / expand mosques.”
This is something I’ve been thinking about too.

What comes to mind is Theresa May’s bizarre proposal to make Islamophobia into a crime, which she hastily dreamt up after announcing a crack-down on antisemitism, which is to be implemented not by tackling antisemitism as a ‘phenomenon’ but by providing synagogues with armed guards and such like.

Alas, this politically correct balancing act doesn’t seem to work the other way round, at least not with Amnesty.
Amnesty International has set a precedent. It has started a new trend, and what Amnesty International says the BBC normally goes along with. 

The BBC reports quite a few of Amnesty International’s exploits and pronouncements. 
When A.I. makes an announcement about human rights violations in some part of the world, it tends to make an appearance on the BBC News. The opinion of one of its spokespersons often features. However, when Amnesty recently rejected a motion calling for a campaign against antisemitism it was reported in the Jewish press, and oddly in Turkish and Russian  news outlets, but not on the BBC. 

When you type Amnesty International+antisemitism into the BBC’s magnificent search engine....  nothing. However on the bottom of the page under the heading “Elsewhere on the web” comes these three. 

What is Cihan Haber? What is Sputnik? Dunno, but one’s Turkish and the other is Russian, and here’s what they say:
With anti-Semitism on the rise in Europe, Amnesty International may be facing charges of anti-Semitism, itself. The human rights group has taken heat for refusing to investigate the increase in violent attacks against the Jewish community.” 
begins the piece. It cites an attack on a London synagogue and a planned march by ‘the far right’ against ‘the complete Jewification of the borough’ - then continues: 
“Put forward by Andrew Thorpe-Apps, the motion was defeated by a vote of 468 to 461 on Sunday. It was the only proposal voted down during the conference."I recently joined and I believe passionately about human rights," Thorpe-Apps told the Jewish Chronicle. "I’m not Jewish myself but I’ve been appalled by what I’ve seen in the press facing the Jewish community and an organization like Amnesty should really add their voice to that as they do with other human rights issues."
A.I.’s press officer Neil Durkin explained:
 “our membership decided not to pass this resolution calling for a campaign with a single focus,"[...] "Amnesty International fights against discrimination in all its forms, and will continue to do so."
The Turkish news op ed says:
“Fair enough. But despite Durkin’s claim that Amnesty prefers to cast a broad humanitarian net rather than zero in on individual concerns, this argument would seem to be disproven by a report conducted in 2012 entitled "Choice and Prejudice: Discrimination Against Muslims in Europe."That report is summarized as being concerned with "the increasing expression of intolerance towards Muslims," according to its introduction.

Now that we no longer have to pretend that all our criticisms of one religion must be counterbalanced by an equal amount of criticism of another, we're free. If Amnesty says it is so it must be so.

In other words, if we can choose not to campaign against antisemitism just because we can, or even because we don’t particularly like Jews, we are now free to choose to criticise Muslims for any reason we see fit, and leave Jews and everyone else out of it.

Islam-related demands are always causing problems for everybody else. Religious obligations that Muslims foist upon secular, non-Muslim societies, like default Halal, insisting others make allowances for Islamic religious fasting and demanding special washing and praying facilities in public and work places; all these demands spoil things for others. When people objected to Halal, they had also to object to Kosher, when they objected to Sharia courts they must also object to Beth Din, (rabbinic court) and don’t let’s start on circumcision.
Jews seem to have been quietly carrying on in their own sweet way without impinging upon other people’s freedoms for years. Then along comes mass Muslim immigration and everything needs to be justified, defended and scrutinised in the name of equivalence and political correctness. 

But good news! By the new rules, the BBC, Amnesty International, Theresa May, Boris and everyone else who feels like it, y’all can now campaign against Islamophobia all you like, but while you refuse to campaign against antisemitism you can’t oblige me to feel uncomfortable about my lack of enthusiasm for any of your other morally equivalent counter balancing contortions.


  1. We should object to Beth Din courts. They have no place in the administration of our law and they did prove to provide a route map for Sharia to expand.


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