Tuesday 12 September 2017

'What they are doing' etc.

This morning’s Buddhist speaker on Thought For the Day,  Vishvapani, sounded like a self-hating Buddhist.  I’m using that term loosely, as one does. Another way of putting it is that he’s a kind of “AsaBuddhist” if you know what I mean. 
“The qualities Buddhists uphold, such as loving kindness, must extend to everyone, including minorities”
He was, of course talking about Myanmar (bad Buddhists) and the Rohingya. He wasn’t exactly dissociating “Burmese Buddhism” from true Buddhism, but he dearly dislikes ‘what-they-are-doing’ to the Muslims of Myanmar, the Rohingya.

A little long-winded

I’m sure James Naughtie would have thoroughly approved of that sentiment, because he too chooses to turn a blind eye to the political, supremacist aspect of Islam, not to mention its inherent Judeophobia. Well, he’s only following the general BBC consensus on that.

Alexander Gauland from the  Alternatif fur Deutschland party is expected to win a seat in the Bundestag in the upcoming election, and James Naughtie’s interview with him this morning was quite good as it happens. It proves one thing, which is that if you ease off a bit on the aggressive and overly adversarial approach, you get a better interview. Naughtie did indeed give the man space to make his case, which made a nice change. 

Alexander Gauland

The listeners who agree with Herr Gauland would have been pleased with the way he dealt with the somewhat predictable questions that Naughtie put to him, while the others, arguably the majority, who might regard his party as Islamophobic and far-right (in the disparaging interpretation of the term) ought to have been delighted that he was given enough rope with which to hang himself, and they may feel he was hoist by his own Islamophobia. 

I thought the outcome was enlightening, therefore ultimately successful as interviews go. That’s the way to do it, as Mr. Punch might say.   However, there was little doubt as to where James Naughtie was 'coming from'. Somewhere blinkered.

“Who has to be sent back?” asked Naughtie - a passive-aggressive question if ever there was one.

“But most ordinary Muslims in this country want to be part of a functioning society”  asserted Naughtie, “to practice their own religion freely, something which you say is compatible with basic law. They don’t want to pursue Jihad against Germany, most of the five million….do they?” In other words, he made the fashionable  “Not all Muslims are Terrorists” manoeuvre.
For an answer Herr Gauland referenced the Turkish community. Despite having resided in Germany for years, they remain a ‘community within a community’ and still steadfastly support the increasingly Islamising Erdogan and have not really integrated into German society.

Then came the killer question: (a little long-winded, but you know what Naughtie’s like)
“But you know that for anyone looking in from outside, and indeed for many people in this country, there is a question that is raised, and it’s this: what is the difference between talking about Muslims in Germany, in the terms that you just have, and the way that people talked about the Jews in the 1930s?”
(emphasis added)
Obviously, any answer that might be given to such a question would be inadequate because the entire premise of the question was so misguided. There are simply too many differences between the Muslims in Germany and the Jews in the 1930s to enumerate them comprehensively and sufficiently succinctly to squeeze them all into a time-constrained Today Programme interview. Here’s the answer that Alexander Gauland actually came up with.
“That is totally different because the Jews were persecuted by the Nazis because of their race, we don’t discuss the race - the Jewish people who were persecuted by the Nazis were Germans since generations; look at some person like Walther Rathenau a famous foreign minister who was murdered here nearby,- he was integrated in the German society and the Nazis said, well, he is not a German, he is a Jew. That’s not (the same as) my problem.”

So, not a bad answer, but of course it doesn’t tackle another aspect of the dissimilarity between Muslims and Jews. The one that touches on the false allegation that ‘Muslims are the new Jews’. 
Of course the Muslims are not the new Jews at all. The Muslims share the 'oldest hatred' with the Nazis, so if the Muslims are the ‘new’ anything, it’s the new Nazis.

If the current anti-Muslim sentiment is in any way reminiscent of the propaganda against the Jews between the wars, it is only in a way that is completely superficial. It is a big mistake to be distracted by the superficial resemblance between growing anti-Muslim sentiment and the propaganda that vilified the Jews to such an extent that persuaded 'ordinary' Germans that the Nazis were justified in exterminating an entire race.
World-wide terrorism, and the violence throughout the Muslim world can be cited to justify anti-Islam sentiment, but to argue “Jewish equivalence” by citing “what Israel is doing to the Palestinians” and suggesting that that is the opposite side of a nasty coin is to ignore the terrorism and violence emanating from Islam, which necessitates the defensive measures taken by Israel that left-leaning Islam-apologists regard as obnoxious. 

Logic says that the people who disseminate that particular comparison view Judaism as a supremacist ideology as in, say, ‘the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion’ and I sincerely hope that doesn’t apply to James Naughtie   If it does, maybe he could devote an episode of his ‘meet the author’ series to it, if he could find the author. 

Another long-winded, passive aggressive, Naughtie type question effectively asked “how could you be happy, unsettling people who have lived in Germany for years, and dividing the country?”

“German society IS divided,” came the reply. “We have parallel societies, and we don’t want to enlarge the situation as long as Islam is not reformed, as, let’s say, the Catholic Church or the Protestant Church or the Anglican Church.

“None of the mainstream parties will work with you”

“No. But we don’t want to work with them”

There was another interesting item on the Today Programme, a two-parter actually, to do with science, which asked how much voice  the BBC should give to minority opinions.  They concluded that no matter what evidence or ‘truth’ was brought forth, people still ended up with the opinions that they set out with. 
So, not much point in me writing this piece then. I knew that.


  1. I'm sure most of the Germans that 'migrated' to Poland, Belgium, Holand and France in 1939 were peace-loving too.

    But if they hadn't been forcefuly ejected I'm equally sure those countries would be German-speaking now.

  2. I didn't hear Naughtie's interview, maybe I'll try to find it. I thought he had retired from Today in order to travel around the USA on BBC's dime. Today this morning was based at Standford - seems the Beeboids love a trip to the USA.

    But I digress. One of the many blind eyes that BBC turns towards Islam is making any connection between the problems it is causing now in so, so many countries, with such different histories from Burma to Germany.

    The Beeb ignores this. It picks-off one by one, it tells the Burmese they are not true Buddhists, it tells German democrats they are really Nazis, it tells the UK we are racists (a confusion the Beeb always allows, although as Herr Gauland points out - Islam is not a race).

    1. A Beeboid loves nothing better than a visit to the land of the Trump Fascist Dictatorship...for some unfathomable reason. They often look like they're in seventh heaven when there. It's a hell of a job but someone's got to do it...my guess is it's probably the equivalent of the week-long training programme in that nice country hotel - alcohol fuelled shagfest, more like.

    2. Haha yes - your last point made me laugh. I often think that's why all the G20, UN and EU etc., "summit" meetings are so loved by politicos and their media flunkeys. Just their versions of the "week in Magaluf".

  3. Yes, didn't hear the AfD interview but all the Naughtie hallmarks are there from this account.

    Personally, I think any interviewee in that position should adopt a far more assertive style in return. "Your questions are so long, it appears you might be trying to limit my ability to answer. Can't you ask simple straightforward questions." List off what Mo got up into his life without mentioning who you are talking about and ask Naughtie: "What would you call a man who did all that?" Respond like this: "You seem very keen to have followers of Sharia in the country. Which part of Sharia would you like to see incorporated into UK law?" (If they don't answer - give them some specifics of Sharia law and ask them if they approve...).

    1. You're completely right. A far more assertive style is called for. When being interviewed by Mishal Husain, the well-known Muslim interviewer and BBC celebrity (or mediocrity) the interviewee could ask a question like this - not too embarrassing, I'd hope! 'Mishal, just as a matter of interest, do you believe that people who find fault with Islam will eventually go to hell, as required - unless I'm mistaken - by your religion? According to my own knowledge, which obviously isn't as thorough as your own, it seems that they will! Correct me if I'm wrong! Do you believe that Jeremy Corbyn will go to hell? Do you believe that anti-Israel campaigners (the non-Muslim anti-Israel campaigners, that is) will go to hell as well? Similar questions could be asked of other prominent enlightened Muslims, such as the Mayor of London.

    2. Yep...they like to be literal...as it pleases them. Let's get literal too. :) I would ask Mishal why she has never gone on record as criticising the Islamic Republic of Pakistan or Saudi Arabia (the countries of her birth and upbringing) for their gross discrimination against non-Muslims. In particular I would ask her why she has never spoken up against the appalling punishments for apostasy, adutlery and the like in Saudi Arabia...hundreds of lashings that are in themselves a death sentence. Does she have no humanity? It seems not.

  4. Well said, Sue. I’m so glad that there are people such as yourself who do the “painful” and laborious task of deliberately tuning-in to the BBC, although, rarely for me, I did follow your link to the Naughtie interview because you said he gave the German chap a reasonable hearing.

    The false equivalence of connecting those of us in the West, who are extremely worried with the direction of Islam, with fascists, continues unabated with our insidious, Guardian-esque, national broadcaster. Here is someone, Alexander Gauland, who is very logical in expressing his deep concerns about this political ideology, masquerading as a religion, yet the BBC go out of their way, in fact, I assume, all the way to Germany, to seek him out and then do their level best to infer he is a dangerous fascist. It is all very distressing and very tiresome indeed.

    Whilst trying to find the Gauland interview I happened upon the start a Climate Change piece. The alarmist interviewee used the word ‘denier’ and John Humphries briskly interjected quipping, “…that word has almost religious connotations…” Talk about irony! Or was he deliberately reversing this oft used ‘skeptic’ term for CAGW soothsayers, in the hope that it will catch on with the Beeb’s more “religious” climate adherents? I immediately closed down iPlayer because listening to such blatant dogma doesn’t do my blood pressure much good.

  5. Am I alone in thinking that the Rohingya refugees we were shown on the 6p.m. news were extraordinarily well-dressed and groomed for people who have just escaped from ethnic cleansing and endured a hazardous journey in a small open boat?

    1. Not entirely...probably...I thought the "food distribution" with them all clawing at the food (allegedly because they were starving) looked rather staged. Real starving people don't just claw at food - they take it and eat it...didn't seem to be much of that going on.

      Who knows? Everything that could be said about the Rohingyas could be true - but it could also be said about Serbs fleeing Kosovo, white South Africans fleeing their homeland, European Algerians fleeing North Africa, Jews fleeing North Africa or the Middle Eastern Arab countries, Greeks fleeing Asia Minor, Hindus fleeing Pakistan...but those population movements don't concern the BBC so much.

    2. Agreed, Monkey Brains - I thought the whole of that part of 6pm news was staged: starving children do not, playfully, try to throw each other into streams, they sit or lie listlessly, thinking about food and the adults do not put on their best clothes to be interviewed by the BBC.
      I'd just add to your list of persecuted or displaced people present-day Christians in the majority of middle eastern countries.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.