Wednesday, 1 January 2020

If Father Ted can mock Catholicism then Boris Johnson has the right to poke fun at Islamic dress codes

(This article was also published in The Conservative Woman on January 1st 2020)
THE night before the most recent London Bridge terror attack, the writer Lionel Shriver appeared on BBC’S Question Time. In a segment related to so-called ‘Islamophobia’ in the Conservative Party, Shriver defended Boris Johnson’s 2018 article in the Telegraph, in which the now Prime Minister referred to Muslim women who wear the full-face veil as resembling ‘bank robbers’ and ‘letterboxes.’ A large portion of the audience gasped in shock that Shriver dared defend Johnson’s comments as ‘light-hearted’. Two young Muslim women were particularly scathing of Shriver’s comments. One of them accused her of ‘spreading hate and racism’ and told her that ‘you shouldn’t mock someone’s religion’. The other repeated several times that words have ‘consequences’ and asserted that there was a causal link between mockery of Islamic dress codes and violent attacks and verbal abuse of its adherents. 
It is a common trope promulgated by not just Muslim activists, but also by most of the media, that mockery and satire of Islam is synonymous with anti-Muslim bigotry and attacks on innocent Muslims. Not a single member of the panel or audience defended Shriver or mentioned that in a free society we still have the legal right to mock and criticise all ideologies religious or non-religious. In that the full-face veil is a manifestation of an ultra-strict form of Islam that disappears the individuality of women, it has to be open to critique and satire just like the practices and beliefs of every other ideology. No matter what the Muslim Council of Britain or their unquestioning cheerleaders in the media tell you, there is a world of difference between critiquing and mocking Islamic dress codes in print and being verbally abusive to innocent Muslims in the street....(click here to continue reading)

Saturday, 21 December 2019

It's the most wokeful time of the year

There really is no escape from the unrelenting wokeness. It now pervades almost every sphere of public life. You can't even do some Christmas shopping for little kids without some right on types trying to inculcate them, as I discovered perusing the books in an ideologically inclined kids toy shop today. Seriously, I doubt there is a seven year old girl anywhere who has written to Santa asking for a copy of 'F is for Feminism- An Alphabet book of empowerment,' which has drawings of empowered Muslim women covering their heads as instructed by their male relatives. A more apt title might be 'F is for FGM', of course, marketed at young adults and not eight and nine year olds.

This is actually the crux of the issue for me, apart from not being entirely congruent in my views with some of the content of the books (see attached photos), I don't think that very young children should have any political ideologies thrust upon them and especially so at Christmas time. I'd be just as annoyed if I saw political books that reflected my own political biases geared at young children. While I might find a Douglas Murray satirical colouring book version of 'The Strange Death of Europe- Immigration, Identity, Islam,' aimed at seven year olds to be an afternoon well spent, somehow I don't think my young nephew would find any enjoyment colouring in drawings of mutilated corpses in the aftermath of an Islamist joyride. Political books aimed at young children are something that only the post modernist identitarian left seem to engage in. As passionate and all as she is about the absurdity of transgenderism, I can't imagine the likes of Posie Parker writing a book for eight year olds entitlted 'Just because Dad has chopped his todger off doesn't make him your Mum.' Aren't Christmas gifts for young children supposed to be fun and give them some pleasure or utility, rather than instruct them in their parents political and social views? The world and all its divisions and woes will take up long enough of any human's life. We should allow children their innocence for as long as is possible without filling their heads with the concerns of the adult world.

Once I completed my shopping, not in that dreadful woke toy shop, I headed off to get a bus. In the bus queue, there was a young heterosexual couple of about twenty years of age holding hands, accompanied by their female friend of a similar age. They were so close to me in the queue that I had the misfortune of being able to hear their conversation. The male of the couple, the transphobic bigot that I am, I presumed that his beard and Adam's apple were indicative of him being a male. However, I was made aware of my thoughtcrime when he explained to what any sane person would assume to be his female friend that he was 'non-binary.' I wanted to tell him to stop being mental, but instead I got on the bus and thought to myself how have we arrived at a state of affairs where bearded twenty year old men are going around telling people they are neither male or female and not only are people taking them seriously, but this particular clown has managed to pull himself an attractive girlfriend. Next year, I'm doing my shopping online.

Thursday, 12 December 2019

How the ideology that underpins the justice system facilitated the latest London Bridge terror attack

(Originally published in The Conservative Woman on December 5, 2019)
THE latest London Bridge attacker, Usman Khan, was attending, unsupervised, a conference on criminal rehabilitation as a supposedly rehabilitated criminal.
It is extremely troubling to know that the so-called professionals working in the justice system charged with protecting the public from Islamist terrorism seem to have little understanding of Islamist ideology and how Islamists differ from ordinary criminals. There is a world of difference between criminals who steal cars for profit and crazed Islamists who steal cars so as to drive over infidels in the street to please the prophet. (Click here to continue reading....)

In opposing FGM John Cleese reveals himself to be a white supremacist

(Originally published in The Conservative Woman on June 2, 2019)

WELL, the new puritans are now outraged at John Cleese’s remark that he believes London is no longer an English city. The wokerati have denounced him as a racist, despite the fact that Cleese has stated he cares not about the race or ethnicity of London’s residents, but that his remarks referred to the demise of English culture in the city, and that he prefers cultures that do not go in for female genital mutilation. As Cleese lives on a Caribbean island and states his admiration and preference for the culture of its black inhabitants, calling him a racist is beyond ludicrous. Is this really where we are at now, that to denounce the barbarity of FGM is seen as an indicator of white supremacy? As I wrote in a piece for The Conservative Woman last year, how can it be racist to have cultural preferences?
Although Irish, I prefer living in Britain. I prefer soul music to traditional Irish music and I prefer the comedy of Monty Python to the awfulness of Mrs Brown’s Boys. By the ludicrous logic of Cleese’s critics this would make me a self-hating anti-Irish racist. (to continue reading click here.....)

Thursday, 15 August 2019

How Britain submits to Islamic blasphemy laws

"While the people are virtuous they can not be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue they will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader."
Samuel Adams. American statesman and political philosopher. 1722-1803

One of the paradoxes of western liberal democracies is that the more individual freedoms people have the less they are concerned with the defence and preservation of those rights. This occurs because many citizens take their liberty as a given and therefore take it for granted. It's a bit like breathing oxygen, most people never give its existence a second thought until it's in short supply.

Throughout much of western society we have used our liberty to jettison the last vestiges of Christianity and in it's place most of us have become devotees of the cult of individualism and its concomitant value system that promotes pleasure, self gratification and choice above any sense of collective well being. Now, as a secular agnostic who espouses classical liberal values that protect individual rights I am not advocating a return to an era when individual rights were subservient to the collective well being which was defined and enforced by overly authoritarian power structures. However, what I am offering is a critique of the particular individualist culture in which we live currently and in particular how it relates to the growing influence of Islam in Britain.

Any observer of most of the British media can see that it promotes and exalts the cult of individual pleasure seeking and self gratification to the detriment of promoting any other ethical framework, well apart from Islam, but we will come to that shortly. Take for instance the BBC's ethical discussion program 'The Big Questions', it is on early on a Sunday morning and only for a few months of the year. Contrast the dearth of TV programs that concern themselves with ethics to the plethora of programs that promulgate the ethic that self gratification in the form of pleasure, wealth and fame are the hallmarks of a successful and contented life. There's even a show on Channel 4 now called, 'Naked Attraction' in which men and women talk openly and in detail about the kind of labia or scrotum they could see themselves settling down with while viewing a line up of prospective partners with their bits hanging out. When a large swathe of the population spend much of their non-working time voyeuristically watching the likes of Steve from Bolton describe the kind of labia he finds most appealing , or which of this week's talentless singers get booted off X-factor, well then there is hardly much time or mental energy left to discuss important ethical matters.

Britain's cultural obsession with fame, pleasure and self gratification was evident this summer when we compare the extensive media coverage of  the reality TV show, Love Island, alongside the very limited coverage of the sacking of the Asda worker from Dewsbury, Brian Leach, who shared a video on Facebook of the comedian Billy Connolly that his employers deemed to be 'Islamophobic' after receiving complaints from some of his Muslim colleagues.

Mr. Leach's case was reported in some sections of the print and on-line media for a day or two at most, whereas reporting on the sexual and romantic entanglements of the inhabitants of Love Island was almost a daily occurrence. Neither the BBC or Channel 4 covered Mr. Leach's sacking. These two channels have a lot to say about intolerance towards Islam, but on this occasion when the intolerance was coming from Islam they were silent. Mr. Leach's right to share the 'Islamophobic' Billy Connolly sketch on his own Facebook page is protected under the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006 which states:

"Nothing in this Part shall be read or given effect in a way which prohibits or restricts discussion, criticism or expressions of antipathy, dislike, ridicule, insult or abuse of particular religions or the beliefs or practices of their adherents, or of any other belief system or the beliefs or practices of its adherents, or proselytising or urging adherents of a different religion or belief system to cease practising their religion or belief system."

It is regrettably understandable though why Asda would take the cowardly route out and want rid of Mr. Leach. After all, some Muslims are known for getting a tad worked up about blasphemy. After all, being on the receiving end of a triggered Islamic extremist can have life ending consequences as the staff at Charlie Hebdo discovered to name just one of many incidents. So, it is easy to see why a grocery store wouldn't want to be associated with the charge of blaspheming against Islam when there's the possibility that a few of it's more fervent followers might turn up in the fruit and veg section and start hacking at its customers. Once your brand is associated with decapitations on aisle five it's probably not going to be great for your share price.

The crux of the problem is this, a society that cherishes free speech can't fully defend it when it has a parallel Islamic culture in which large numbers of people believe blasphemy should be a crime that is harshly punished, as we saw in the aftermath of the Salman Rushdie affair and many times since. This is because there is an immediate censorious effect just knowing that within that parallel culture there is a minority that don't want to wait for sharia to be the law of the land and are willing to violently impose punishments for blasphemy in the present tense. Can peaceful and tolerant liberal democracies really compete with that kind of aggressive cultural swagger?

As Mr. Leach broke no laws and was perfectly within his legal right to exercise his freedom of expression, how is it that Asda were able to get away with sacking him for sharing a video by one of Britain's most successful comedians? Why was there no campaign led by prominent politicians to defend Mr. Leach's freedom of expression? Who knows? Maybe they were all at home watching Steve from Bolton choose his favourite fanny on 'Naked Attraction.'

When many of those elected to defend the values of liberal democracy can't even be bothered to do so you know the rot has well and truly spread. In fact, the problem is much worse than apathetic politicians too lazy to defend our values, the truth is many of them are actively working to legally enshrine Islamic prohibitions on blasphemy. Three of the four leading political parties, Labour,  the Liberal Democrats and the Scottish National Party have adopted the following definition of 'Islamphobia':

"Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness."

Thankfully the government have seen that this definition is vague and would lead to prohibitions on freedom of speech were it be given any legal sanction. As the editor of Spiked magazine, Brendan O'Neill has pointed out:

"In a free society, all of us should have the right to criticise religion. If ‘expressions of Muslimness’ – otherwise known as Islam – are protected from criticism, then we will be witnessing the return of blasphemy law by the backdoor."

The bad news is that while we may still be legally permitted to criticise Islam, despite the efforts of three of the four main political parties, culturally we are losing the right to do so and have been for some time. There are even many within journalism, the one profession whose effectiveness and integrity is predicated on the concept of freedom of expression, who lie supine and prostrate before the 'Islamophobia' grievance mongers. In fact, the problem is even more pronounced in that many so called journalists are actually leading the witch hunts against those they deem to be 'Islamophobes.'

One of the most appalling examples of this was the media's treatment of the British gymnast Louis Smith in 2016 for mimicking the Islamic call to prayer. I wrote about this at the time for Areo magazine and commented on the bizarre spectacle of prominent journalists like June Sarpong and Janet Street Porter forcing Louis Smith to apologise on national television for his irreverence towards Islam in a way they would never demand for anyone criticising or mocking any other religion. When leading journalists are actively undermining the free speech rights it took hundreds of years to win in the west and upon which their own profession is dependent, then western culture and the values it purports to champion are well and truly under attack. 

There is a mistaken belief that tyranny is always a top down phenomenon that originates at state level and is then diffused coercively in to the wider culture. Indeed, there are times it does occur this way, but what we are seeing now is a bottom up assertive cultural drive from a coalition of Muslims, left wing activists, supposedly centrist parties and much of the media to try and ring fence Islam from criticism. The sacking of Brian Leach this summer and the media's coerced grovelling of Louis Smith to save his career in 2016, with very little public outrage, are just two of many examples of how the concept of freedom of expression is no longer cherished throughout British society.

Just how has this been allowed to happen and why are so few people enraged about it? The gradual erosion of freedom of speech in Britain is something that should concern anyone who values individual liberty as it is the cornerstone of all other freedoms. However, when you have a society in which much of the population are concerned mainly with self gratification and the shallow culture that exalts it, as well the understandable desire to develop a career and pay off a mortgage then it is inevitable there will be less time or interest in which to contemplate abstract concepts like freedom of speech. Unfortunately, when you are not aware of the value of something or prepared to defend it then it will be easily taken from you when faced with a strident enemy. This is precisely where we are now in that we have much of  British society not concerned with defending free speech while simultaneously we have an assertive coalition of Muslims and a largely illiberal political and media class intent on enforcing Islamic prohibitions on blasphemy. Is it any wonder that the cultural battle to save free speech in Britain is being lost? We must take a stand before it is too late because if freedom of speech disappears completely it will be too late to complain about it then.

"The barbarians never take a city until someone holds the gates open to them. And it's your own multicultural authorities who will do it for you."

Christopher Hitchens. British-American journalist, author and social critic. 1949-2011

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

After Strasbourg: Let the denial and excuses begin

In the aftermath of yet another Islamist attack in Europe, this time in Strasbourg, the usual excuse makers will still be trying to blame the Iraq war, or the crusades, or the fact the perpetrator may have been unemployed. I worked for several years as a youth worker with unemployed young British men from many ethnic backgrounds. None of them ever resorted to driving over their fellow citizens to quell the boredom and frustration of being jobless.

The Jeremy Corbyns and Ken Livingstones of this world and many of their supporters will grasp at anything but admit the truth that the Islamic faith has a problem with both violent and non violent extremism. When you want to talk about Islamic extremism they will bring up the fact that all religions have their extremists. This is true,  but there is a qualitative difference between an extreme Mormon and his strange underwear collection and a Wahhabi hate preacher who believes all western women are whores who should be driven over and maimed beneath the axle of a speeding van.

An extremist Christian may preach on street corners about the fiery depths of hell and then go home and pray for sinners. An extremist Buddhist will meditate too much and bore you to death about karma. An extremist Hindu might kick your arse if you try and eat his cow. However, there is only one religion where its extremists (and there are many as its a spectrum) believe some or all of the following: gay people should be killed (happens in many Muslim countries at the hands of the state or a mob), Muslims who wish to leave Islam should be killed or imprisoned (the law in several Muslim countries) and women should be stoned to death for sex outside marriage.

We have imported this mindset in large numbers in to Europe. It's not all Muslims, certainly not, anyone who says that is clueless, but it's enough that it's a problem. Hindhus, Sikhs and African Christians and ex-Muslims adapt and integrate/assimilate and go on to become loyal citizens, as do many Muslims, but a significant amount of them don't because they are hostile to liberal democracy. The most extreme go on a murderous rampage. The less extreme call for blasphemy laws, practice forced marriages and wish to live by Sharia law as opposed to the laws of liberal democracy. This problem is going to get worse and worse. Do some research on the problems that plague almost every Muslim country that result from the predominance of illiberal mindsets and realise we are importing these very problems. Without screening to keep those who hold far right totalitarian religious views out of the west there will be much more of this to come.

It's a very simple mathmetical equation. Import more extremists and get more extremism. The less extreme form will just want to prohibit speech and have us turn a blind eye to forced marriages and female genital mutilation. The more extreme ones might stab you in the neck at a restaurant on a Friday night simply because you are an unbeliever. And because European politicians have provided no screening and didn't efficiently regulate the numbers coming from the Islamic world, with each terror attack this will increase bigotry and hatred towards the genuine moderate Muslims which I utterly condemn. Well done to Mrs. Merkel and the EU for all of this. You have managed to increase both extremism and suspicion of anyone with brown skin from the Middle East and Asia.

Over the next few days, before the bodies in Strasbourg are laid to rest, the other phenomenon that occurs after every Islamic terrorist attack will begin. Legions of self - hating western apologists will take to social media and expend most of their anger denying there's a problem or blaming the west for these attacks and calling everyone a racist for pointing out that Islamic extremism has something to do with Islam.

Thursday, 23 August 2018

How can privileged progressives claim victimhood with a straight face?

(This article also appears here in the Conservative Woman.)

Many of you will be familiar with the mixed race British writer and broadcaster Afua Hirsch who at every available opportunity promulgates the notion that Britain is an inherently and institutionally racist society that discriminates against people from ethnic minority backgrounds. While, I would never deny that genuine racism exists and that there are still plenty of racist incidents, some of it also directed at white people, the idea that Britain is institutionally and inherently racist in the second decade of the twenty first century with whole swathes of anti-racist legislation enforced by the state is just laughable.

In fact, Afua Hirsch is a living embodiment of privilege as opposed to a victim of oppression. Privately educated and a barrister, she has in recent years developed a successful career in the media, one of the most difficult industries to gain entry. Not only is she a published author, but she is a prominent broadcaster, as well as a regular contributor to the Guardian, where guilty white leftists enjoy flagellating themselves over historical racism for which they are not responsible.

In an age of ever increasing divisive identity politics, the demand for hit pieces and race baiting narratives has led to a surge in the supply of well educated and articulate leftists with a victim complex now working in the media. The writer, model, PHD educated, BBC and Channel 4 TV presenter, Emma Dabiri, is one such contender to take the crown of victimhood from Afua Hirsch. Dabiri is both Nigerian and Irish so she can claim extra victim points on account of Oliver Cromwell's siege of Drogheda in 1649 when trying to appeal to the post-colonial guilt of Guardian readers and commissioners at the BBC and Channel 4.

In a recent interview in the Irish Sunday Independent, Dabiri outlines how she felt singled out as a child based on her race because white children were mesmerised by her hair .

''Growing up in Dublin, it happened all the time. It was constant. Often kids would just say 'oh my God, look at her hair, it's mad' and come right over and have a feel and a chat", she recalls. "It felt strange and objectifying.''

I'm not denying that at times it was probably annoying for Dabiri being the object of scrutiny, but even she admits it was well-intentioned.

"There was definitely an element of being a little celebrity in the playground, but that annoyed me as well, because if I ever mentioned any negative experiences, my friends would all be like 'what are you talking about, you're a superstar, everyone knows who you are.'

"I tried to say I had done nothing to set me apart as an object for scrutiny. People often presumed I was a singer, or that I wanted to be one, and I love singing, but for years that turned me off. The presumptions were never that you were more intelligent, or could write; always that you wanted to do something in show business or to be an athlete."

I have heard Dabiri on TV before describe being on the receiving end of genuinely vile racist abuse and in the interview with the Sunday Independent she alludes to bullying incidents . I can only assume it must have been relatively rare, though, or not of a great intensity as she primarily tries to bolster her status as a victim with the most benign interactions from her childhood. Dabiri's main claims to racial oppression are that children, who always notice difference, celebrated hers, as opposed to bullying her, as many kids do. I'm really struggling here to see her as a victim of any kind of injustice. In the seventies and eighties while black and Asian Britons were on the receiving end of vicious violent attacks from National Front thugs, over in Dublin Emma Dabiri was being subjected to the racism of her classmates assuming that because she enjoyed singing she might want to become a singer. I myself was similarly victimised as a teenager when friends would rightly assume that my traveling many miles to attend Soul music events meant that I had a passion for this music. We should all be very careful from now on in noticing our friends' interests and passions in case it traumatises them. On the other hand, they might get a book deal out of it later in life.

Apart from being mixed-race and Irish, the other string of victimhood in her violin is that she faced oppression based on the fact she views herself as working class, as noted by the interviewer Donal Lynch in the aforementioned article.

She names a string of private girls' schools she attended and says that the classism she experienced as a student from a working-class area sometimes blended with the low-key racism of the more well-heeled suburbs.

Dabiri lived in the Dublin suburb of Rialto at the time from which she claims her working class status. The fact she attended several expensive private schools and that Rialto isn't entirely a working class area definitely brings in to question her working class credentials.

If you ever run in to Emma Dabiri at a dinner party make sure not to pay her any compliments on her hair and don't dare pass her the potatoes in case she claims you were dishonouring her Irishness by alluding to the potatoe famine in the nineteenth century.

It has become grotesquely fashionable for privileged individuals alive today to appropriate the grievances of people from decades or centuries ago in order to shroud themselves in a narcissistic cloak of victimhood and in the cases of Hirsch and Dabiri to use it is a gateway to a lucrative career.