Monday, 1 February 2016

Another Big Question

Someone I know suddenly decided to give up his business and work for someone else. He was fed up with hiring staff who turned out to be unreliable and incompetent, and tired of reps phoning him every ten minutes. He figured he’d be better off just doing what he enjoyed -  (hairdressing as it happens) No more responsibility, thanks. I’d rather be told what to do.  

That’s an allegory. Parable for the day. 

Call me Dawkins, but that’s kind of why people do religion, or more specifically, Islam.
Get your daily guidance from God almighty, and be righteous. While I appreciate the appeal of relying on eternal  paternal guidance, it also seems like an abnegation of responsibility.

I regard people who espouse literalist interpretations of holy scriptures with incredulity. Especially when they seem otherwise normal. As Professor Richard Dawkins said to Mehdi Hasan “You believe that Mohammed went to heaven on a winged horse?” 

However, this isn’t the time or place for my views on religious mumbo-jumbo. My job here is to opine on the BBC’s approach to these vexed issues. Craig has already blogged yesterday’s The Big Questions - the episode called “Do we need a British Islam” but nevertheless, I’m going to do it some more.

First of all, who is “we”? 

As Craig says, all the front row participants were Muslims. Does the “we” in question allude exclusively to “Muslims”? Was the Big Question: Do Muslims need a British Islam? Do British Muslims need any kind of Islam?

It was impossible to derive any kind of satisfaction from this unpleasant programme.  Viewers were further away from knowing whether or not British Muslims think they need a British Islam at the end of the programme than at the beginning. At one moment, when Nicky Campbell tried to elicit a straight answer from an Imam, one might have thought we were dangerously close to getting somewhere. But no.

It was just an unstructured row, with no beginning, middle or end. Maybe they’d have forced out a more definitive answer if they’d stuck to the usual format, stuffing three different Big Questions into the allotted hour. Condensing it might have taken them by surprise. Who knows what might have come out in the rush.

On the other hand, it was a big subject, so the one-topic experiment was worth a try.

I think what they were arguing about is this: should someone create a watered-down version of Islam in order to fit in with “Britain”? 
Unfortunately this argument fell at the first hurdle because no Muslim agrees about what truly constitutes Islam, let alone which bits need watering down to fit in with British values.  

Judging by what we saw on this programme and what we already know, that is insoluble. True Islam is unBritish and true Britishness is clearly unIslamic.

I’m suspicious of people who wear a collar and tie with a jumper so I felt obliged to Google Adam Deen.  He has an extensive Youtube / web presence. 
I learned that he used to be called Hakkan Cerrah and is married to TBQ regular Myriam Francois Cerrah. No doubt her absence on yesterday’s episode was due to some kind of BBC misogyny. 
Incidentally, Myriam’s verdict on misogyny in Islam is that it doesn’t really exist. Any perceived misogyny is just a wrong interpretation of Islam. Phew. That must be  a relief to all those Islamic ladies in Britain.

I mean, what if British Muslims believed the teachings of, say, Imam Ghazzali? I realise that ‘Jedi’s” summary of Imam Ghazzali’s teachings is a tad tongue in cheek, but it seems fairly accurate.
 “She should remain in the inner sanctum of her house and tend to her spinning; she should not enter and exit excessively; she should speak infrequently with her neighbours and visit them only when the situation requires it; she should safeguard her husband in his absence and in his presence; she should seek his pleasure in all affairs and refrain from betraying him through herself or his possessions; she should not leave his home without his permission: [...] she should be content with the means that God has provided her husband; she should place his rights before hers and before the rights of his relatives; she should always observe the rules of personal hygiene, and be ready at all times for him to enjoy her whenever he wishes; she should be affectionate toward her children, zealous to protect them, refraining from uttering profane words against them and from talking back to her husband.”

Is it any wonder that Myriam and her feminist Muslim coreligionists, frantically pushing their dream of a feminist, non-misogynist Islam, wish to reinterpret all outmoded codswallop? But too much reinterpreting risks losing the essence of Islam and arouses all sorts of ire from traditionalists. Interpreting the Koran seems to be as elastic as...go on, supply your own knickers simile. 

I also learned about the controversies surrounding Deen’s conversion from extremism to Quillium and the hooha over a ‘Happy Muslims’ video -  of Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams’s “Happy”,  featuring Deen’s poor dance moves. (his own words). Several Muslims were not happy at all. They thought it was a disgraceful attempt at kowtowing to .... the British.

The Bradford Imam, aptly named Imam Fazal Dad, complained that Adam Deen was getting too much airtime. Very childish and unbecoming for an Imam called Dad. (I think it was him - one does sometimes get ones Imams mixed up)
As BBC Watch has pointed out, Nicky Campbell even let  Raza Nadim of MPACUK reiterate Asghar Bukhari’s ludicrous claim that Mossad stole his shoe. As if. 

Worse still that the BBC even invited him on. This overtly antisemitic person was an assistant to the ousted MP David Ward. They deserved each other.

There is one small question I’d like to mention, and one Big one. The small one first.
Why does the BBC allow audience members to ‘photo bomb’ the speakers? I mean the attention-seeking idiot in the audience who wouldn’t keep still. Gurning, waving, clapping and being generally distracting. The camera could have moved in close to the speaker and edited out this annoying person. 

The Big Question that needs answering is  one that no TV presenter ever gets round to putting. 

Is Islamic antisemitism acceptable in Britain? Why does the antisemitism in Islam get a free pass? The British don’t like it when antisemitism or racism emanates from any other individual or group, be it a non-Muslim individual, a right-wing antisemite or a bunch of Nazi sympathisers. But with the majority of Muslims antisemitism and anti-Zionism are a given. 

Mindless opposition to Israel’s existence is rooted in gross antisemitism, and that is the elephant that’s always present in the studio. An enormous elephant that’s allowed to career around, willy nilly, trampling on everything with impunity, utterly and completely confident it can get away with it.


  1. I have a hashtag #wefiles for Twitter and "This 'we' being...?" for such presumptive generalising by a media who actually believe 'they' speak for 'us'.

    On occasion I get a reply, and it is seldom anything other than petulant.

  2. Respectfully disagree re the nature of faith.
    I myself am exactly the kind of fundi zealot for Jesus that you might I can see the literality, the single minded drive to make others see as I do.
    Islam is a simpler faith, so is even MORE inclined to literality to the Manichean worldview, than is my Christian one.
    In truth, as long as atheists/agnostics.humanists and secularists can speak of faith, can understand the lingo...then we`d have a chance.
    Tragically, there is such a paucity of engagement by the liberal left, the irreligious of said syntax...that they fall for what`s occuring.
    I can speak to Muslims, and their religion( in fact, a totalitarian ideology and a fascist contradiction as it pleases as well)makes sense if you have the language and put the work into it...their religion is a pot pourri of Semitic desert wilderness notions and gospel apocryphal stories...with a triumphalist account of its sweep over the Med, north and south.
    Those who won`t seek Jesus in all this mess are reduced to hoping that religion is a crutch for the weak ( as Dawkins did until 9/11)-or that a milksop Christianity of bells, candles and evensong will take the worst excesses of Islam and modify it(again Dawkins hopes for this-but too late, that ship has long sailed Dickie Boy!.
    Jesus was-is and always will be-a Jew, and I fear Him and His judgement...not global warming or Islam.
    That said, it`s all so unnecessary-Islam is an easily tamed stallion but now running amok in the paddock, because the idiot Left and the scientific materialists have whipped the Christians out of town, and there is no intellectual heft to it all. Probably died after CS Lewis...with a few stalwarts like John Lennox and William Lane Craig...but who`s heard of them?
    One more thing-even a cursory glimpse of the Koran shows that there is no "national Islam"...unless it`s Arabic and pan continental, claimed by jihad...only a BBC clown would think there was.
    Islam is the coming force, and due reward for all those who thought that God was for the weak-no-one accuses Islamists of a fey faith like Welby do they?
    There are, of course, scriptural quotes to suit...lose one devil, several others take its place etc...but to quote St Declan of McManus "Some people won`t be told you know, they have to learn the hard way"(Tokyo Storm Warning-Costello 1989)...prophets don`t all have beards and weep for the lost causes as of old.

  3. An easily tamed stallion? You must be joking.

    The advance of Islam historically has taken place in all lands. They have advanced into Zoroastrian lands, Hindu lands, Jewish lands, Buddhist lands, Christian lands and animist lands - and are now advancing into our secularised Europe.

    In other words, it doesn't really matter who's in the way. Islam is on a global mission and so far the only thing that has stopped it dead in its tracks has been military defeat and colonisation.

    The idea that Islam would be deterred by subtle Christian theology is vainglorious nonsense. And CS Lewis' pint and a pipe theology is way off the mark - it is not meaningful to say as the old fool did that Islam is a Christian heresy. It is a negation of Christianity.

    Islam is best thought of as a megacult, reflecting the megalomania and inventive scripture of one man, but managing to influence millions. In that sense it is not unlike Mormonism and Scientology - though hugely more dangerous of course.

    1. It ought to be Anonymous-that it is not is due to a lack of language, tactics and history.
      The West caved in...and Islam despises capitulations when their "Allah" makes this an oxymoron-no "loving God" would choose the Jews, let alone send a Son.
      it is WE that should have armed ourselves with the knowledge-I don`t blame Islam for being the opportunist death cult that you describe....but we knew, have no excuses and deserve the rod up the arse that Islam is proving to be.
      You says its untamed?...untamable?...well Nasser, Sadat, Saddam all managed well enough-and Sisi in Egypt is playing a blinder.
      Islam has to be "moderately repressed"-none of that Arab Spring and democracy crap-they are a totalitarian death cult that hate "democracy"-and if give free vent will exploit it fully.
      The Muslim Brotherhood know this full well-and when in token positions in education, religion and social work are`s when they`re allowed to get over the tipping point in elections that they turn evil.
      I give you Tunisia as the best case,Saudi as the worst...but all shades of Islam are doglike in obedience if you take them on...hence Russia and China not quivering over their very real problems at the Islamic borders.
      WE chucked out God...Jesus...even our weak apologetics in favour of gay cakes and Caitlyn Islam is correct in its world view.
      But has got to be dealt with-a rabid dog is either improved or removed...we seem to try to wish the rabies away.
      Worth checking the Koran as`s all in there...and nothing apart from Al Azhar jurisprudence goes beyond that...bloody awful crap, but those in power need to know it.
      Islam is either at your feet or at your throat...don`t pretend I know it all, but I DO know the Christian response to it-and, sadly,so do IS...and they know we`re flabby white reeds of blowback and gas...the BBC confirm this, so they have to go.
      Best do it before the demographics and votes ensure our being eaten from within.