More prejudices than burkini ban

New Zealand born Lamia Iman claims that we are fooling ourselves if we think New Zealand is a tolerant society.

To an extent at least she is right. There has been intolerance and prejudice expressed (and set in law in some cases) against Chinese, Irish, German,English, Dutch, Japanese, Pacific Island, Asian, Chinese, South African, Somalian, Maori etc throughout our history of occupation.

RNZ: Balking at burkini bans misses nearer prejudices

In response to recent terrorist attacks on French soil, several towns have banned the burkini – swimwear often worn by Muslim women and people avoiding the sun.

This week, New Zealand responded by putting a burkini on the runway at New Zealand Fashion Week.

We Kiwis may pat ourselves on the back for our small act of defiance and its representation of our tolerant society but we would only be fooling ourselves.

Islamophobia is on the rise in the Western world and Muslims and ethnic minorities who “look Muslim” are feeling the brunt of it. New Zealand is certainly not immune.

There are genuine concerns in New Zealand about the potential risks from Islamic radicals, but we have to take care not to over-react to something that hasn’t happened, and we should take care not to ostracise many people in New Zealand for the actions of some on the other side of the world.

Islamophobia is a confronting term that doesn’t encourage better understanding, it isd more likely to entrench opposing views.

We have blamed Chinese immigrants for the housing crisis, barred a woman from applying for a job because she wore a hijab, defaced the billboard of a Sikh candidate running for City Council with “ISIS”, and have barely increased our refugee quota in response to a massive crisis in Syria.

Do we really deserve that pat on the back?

In general yes I think New Zealand deserves some credit but we are far removed from the heat of the problems in the Middle east and Europe, and there have been notable signs of intolerance.

New Zealand actually has a party in Parliament called New Zealand First.

One of its MPs Richard Prosser suggested back in 2013, well before Brexit or Donald Trump’s presidential bid, that Muslim men should not be welcome to travel on Western airlines.

He eventually had to apologise, conceding most Muslims were not terrorists, but then suggested most terrorists were Muslims – despite FBI figures showing non-Muslims make up 94 percent of terrorist attacks in the US.

Muslims make up 0% of terrorist attacks in New Zealand – ironically considering the burkina issue in France at present the most publicised terrorist attack here was done by the French government.

The party’s leader Winston Peters has since called for immigrants to be interviewed “to check their attitude” if they come from countries who “treat their women like cattle”, while ACT’s David Seymour has called for refugees to have to literally sign up to “Kiwi values”.

Both might be talking around race and religion to escape accusations of bigotry, but there is no doubt they refer to Muslims.

To an extent at least they are referring to Muslims, or at least addressing concerns of people who target Muslims.

The primary effect of the burkini ban in France is not reduced terrorism or liberation of women – it is removal of Muslim women from public spaces.

That’s an important point. Some in France claim that the burkini is a sign of the oppression of women with no proof that the women wearing them feel oppressed, but banning the wearing of (targeted) traditional clothing in public may well deter some women from appearing in public. As does public mass blaming.

This might not be successful as it gets tested in the courts but if it were, it would only further marginalize the Muslim community, which can only lead to more radicalization.

It may lead to more radicalisation, but it is at least likely to marginalise Muslim women and children.

Islamic clothing is wrapped in cultural, national, religious, and gendered connotations and the effect is marginalization of women but also Muslims in general, especially non-white Muslims.

It doesn’t matter that nuns can go to the beach or that people can still wear wet suits. What matters is the racial association with Muslims devalues all who don’t fall into the narrow white definition of a “liberated woman”.

A different angle to this is that in New Zealand there have been claims that females wearing too few clothes puts them at risk of sexual assaults so they should dress more safely. Damned if they clad, damned if they don’t.

North and South magazine in its June issue covered refugees and Muslims in New Zealand, but the cover had a menacing photo subtly equating the niqab to something sinister and dangerous with the headline “Radical Islam”.

Nobody has a problem with a white woman in Wellington covering up from head to toe on a cold July morning as the wind and rain comes in from all directions.

There were many heavily clad people at the rugby test in Wellington last night, many wearing highly visible symbols of their culture.

But a Muslim woman is somehow seen as a threat to society by virtue of her modest clothing choices.

 

Beachwear bull

There is international commentary on the dress of Muslims after a Muslim woman was forced to remove clothes at a beach in France.

Guardian: French police make woman remove clothing on Nice beach following burkini ban

Photographs have emerged of armed French police confronting a woman on a beach and making her remove some of her clothing as part of a controversial ban on the burkini.

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The photographs emerged as a mother of two also told on Tuesday how she had been fined on the beach in nearby Cannes wearing leggings, a tunic and a headscarf.

Her ticket, seen by French news agency AFP, read that she was not wearing “an outfit respecting good morals and secularism”.

What is more oppressive, a person wearing clothes due to religious beliefs, or laws forcing dress standards on one religion?

Do they also ban Sikh turbans?  It is highly ironic that people are being forced by law to wear less on beaches in France “respecting good morals”

The Daily Beast asks Where’s the Outrage Over Nun Beachwear?

Go to any public beach in Italy and chances are you’ll eventually see a woman wearing a veil and long skirt. But she likely won’t be a Muslim in a version of the controversial burqini. She will almost certainly be a Catholic nun in her summer habit either watching children in her care or, God forbid, just enjoying some sun, which is considered a human right here in Italy, where the sea defines the majority of the borders.  

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Some Nuns are required by their religion to wear certain clothing. As far as I’m aware in most modern countries Muslim women wear what they want to wear.

How immoral is this:

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The French intolerance is being challenged and causing divisions up to Government level.

Guardian: France’s burkini ban row divides government as court mulls legality

France’s prime minister, Manuel Valls, has clashed with his education minister amid growing divisions in the government over the controversial burkini bans on some beaches.

The education minister, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, one of the Socialist government’s leading feminist voices, was highly critical of the growing number of burkini bans.

France’s highest court – the state council – began hearing arguments on Thursday from the Human Rights League and an anti-Islamophobia group, which are seeking to reverse a decision by the southern town of Villeneuve-Loubet, near Nice, to ban the full-body swimsuits.

Vallaud-Belkacem, who was born into a Muslim family in rural Morocco before moving to France aged four, told Europe 1 radio the proliferation of burkini bans was not welcome.

She said: “I think it’s a problem because it raises the question of our individual freedoms: how far will we go to check that an outfit is conforming to ‘good manners’?”

She warned that the bans had “let loose” verbal racism.

But moments after Vallaud-Belkacem spoke, her comments were flatly contradicted by Valls, who reiterated his support for mayors who have banned the garments.

Asked if the decrees amounted to racism, Valls said: “No, that’s a bad interpretation.” He said the full-body swimwear represented “the enslavement of women”.

Are Muslim women complaining of ‘enslavement’ in France due to what they wear? It is particularly ironic that authorities and politicians are trying to dictate what they can and can’t wear.

The various mayoral decrees do not explicitly use the word burkini; instead they ban “beachwear which ostentatiously displays religious affiliation”, citing reasons such as the need to protect public order, hygiene or French laws on secularism.

Laws on secularism that single out one religion?

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I don’t know if he or she is Muslim or French. Should it matter?

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Authorities in France claim that some beachwear is provocative, but their narrow intolerance is what is provocative.

And two things it has provoked is ridicule and protest. Deservedly.

Could extreme actions wipe out extremism?

SB asks Does it take extremism to stop extremism? at Whale Oil. An interesting question, but I don’t think there’s an easy answer.

If an ” extreme ” action or actions could make us 100% safe from Islamic terrorism in the West should we consider it if it would kill no one and physically harm no one?

If the West took the “extreme” action  of passing a law that legally defines Islam as a political ideology, stopped further Muslim immigration and closed mosques and Islamic schools, would terrorism be reduced and eventually stopped? Would removing the practice and proselytizing of Islam from the West make the West safe from Islamic terrorism again? Does it take extreme reactions to stop extreme actions?

No one would be killed by the extreme action.No one would be physically harmed but like all ” extreme” actions there would be a cost. Peaceful Muslims would lose the right to practice their religion inside a Western country because it will have been redefined as a political ideology that is unacceptable in the west.
This ” extreme ” action would take away their western given right to freedom of religion. A right that they either did not have themselves  in the countries they left ( Ahmadiyya in Pakistan for example ) or a right that they did not allow other religions such as Christianity in their Muslim countries.

When you look at it in a purely scientific or logical manner we have the choice:

  1. Allow freedom of religion for Muslims and we all ( Muslim and Non-Muslim alike ) continue to suffer from Islamic terrorism which means death, slaughter,violence, fear and terror or…
  2. Take away freedom of religion for Muslims and they get to keep all other western rights and freedoms inside the West and terrorism is eradicated.

It’s hardly a scientific or logical approach, and it is hardly a simple choice like that.

And it raises another extreme – naivety.

It seems to suggest that waving a magic wand that erases all Muslin beliefs and practices is somehow possible.

And it seems to believe that wiping everything Muslim out will somehow magically sort out the Middle East and stop all disputes, all disenfranchisement, and all terrorism.

Only one option involves loss of human life.

That’s neither scientific nor logical.

You have three things now to consider.

  • Would it actually work?
  • If you think it would work is it morally wrong to fight extremism with extremism?
  • Does the right to freedom of religion apply to something that is also a political ideology?
  • Is terrorism committed by Muslims undeniably linked to Islam?

That’s actually four questions, and I wonder if the last one is tacked on as an afterthought,  perhaps revealing Spanish Bride’s main target.

A starting point in trying to answer whether an extreme worldwide action against one and a half billion people would solve all the problems created by a few extremists and a few tens of thousands of followers is whether anything like this has ever worked before.

Oh, and the problems created by colonising powers over the last few hundred years. Would it be extreme to wipe out interference by major powers in other countries? Would that actually work?

Or has too much damage already been done?

ISIS perhaps but hardly Islam

As details appears that the Nice mass murderer emerge it appears that he was not even a moderate Muslim let alone radical, but despite no evidence of any connection ISIS claim he was acting for them.

And the French defence minister blames ISIS regardless of whether there was any actual links or not.

Some accounts of Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel conflict and some are vague and unsubstantiated, which will provide enough ammunition for people with a variety of views to claim what happened in Nice fits their opinion on who and what was to blame.

From New York Times: France Blames ISIS for Inspiring Terrorist Attack in Nice

The Islamic State had kept silent on the Nice attack until Saturday morning, when it declared, in a bulletin issued in Arabic and in English on its Amaq News Agency channel: “Executor of the deadly operation in Nice, France, was a soldier of the Islamic State. He executed the operation in response to calls to target citizens of coalition nations, which fight the Islamic State.”

 The claim must be greeted with caution, because there was yet no evidence suggesting that the driver was radicalized, or had even been exposed to the Islamic State’s propaganda.

ISIS are using it for their propaganda whether there was any actual connection between them and the killer or not. We may or may not ever find out whether ISIS involvement was actual before the attack or opportunist after it.

In 2014, the Islamic State’s spokesman, Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, called on the group’s followers to attack Westerners in retaliation for strikes by the United States-led coalition fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. He has repeatedly singled out France, which is part of the coalition, as a main enemy.

However, no evidence has emerged that Mr. Lahouaiej Bouhlel got training or orders from the Islamic State. The Islamic State has blurred the line between operations planned and carried out by its core fighters and those carried out by sympathizers inspired, only at a distance, to commit violence.

The defence defence minister blames ISIS anyway.

But on Saturday, France’s defense minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, said: “I remind you that Daesh’s ideologue, Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, has for several weeks repeated calls to attack directly, even individually, Frenchmen, in particular, or Americans, wherever they are, by any means necessary,” using an Arabic name for the Islamic State.

 “It is murder, and Daesh’s claim of responsibility comes later, as has happened in other recent events,” Mr. Le Drian added. “Even if Daesh doesn’t do the organizing, Daesh inspires this terrorist spirit, against which we are fighting.”

Obviously ISIS/Daesh may influence and ‘inspire’ nutters to do terrible things. It’s just as feasible that inspiration and encouragement came from social media or was simply a copycat type of attack with ISIS being an excuse.

Mr. Lahouaiej Bouhlel, 31, a native of Tunisia, had a history of petty crime going back to 2010. He received a six-month suspended sentence this year for assaulting a motorist, but was not on the radar of French intelligence agencies. Indeed, he seemed more like a surly misfit — he beat his wife, until she threw him out — than a prospective terrorist.

The country’s top law enforcement official, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, said Saturday: “The individual who committed this absolutely despicable, unspeakable crime was not known by the intelligence services, as he had not stood out over the past years — whether through court convictions or through his activity — for support of radical Islamist ideology.”

But Mr. Cazeneuve added: “It seems that he radicalized himself very quickly. In any case, these are the first elements that have come to light through the testimony of his acquaintances.”

It seems that Bouhlel was nothing like a model Muslim of any type, not moderate and certainly not radical. More of a petty criminal with a history of violence.

In Msaken, Tunisia, the attacker’s father, Mohamed Mondher Lahouaiej Bouhlel, told Agence France-Presse on Friday night that his son had depression, but that he “had almost no links to religion,” and that “he didn’t pray, he didn’t fast, he drank alcohol, and even used drugs.

The elder Mr. Lahouaiej Bouhlel said of his son, “From 2002 to 2004, he had problems that caused a nervous breakdown.”

“He would become angry, and he shouted,” he said, adding, “He would break anything he saw in front of him.”

However, The Huffington Post quoted Rabab Lahouaiej Bouhlel, a sister of the attacker, as saying the brother “did not drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes, but he also did not pray and never entered a mosque in his life.” She added: “He was just not stable psychologically and mentally. His wife and her mother both complained about his violent behavior toward her.”

Regardless of the conflicting claims about some of his habits it sounds like his religious practice, or lack of,  is such that ISIS might execute him for it.

ISIS propagandists will know that ‘ISIS attack’ will get headlines and the contradictions won’t be noticed by most people.

‘More Muslim than you’

An interesting tweet from@AliIkram

RIP

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I hadn’t heard of Abdul Sattar Edhi but he has just died and is being widely mourned.

He has been called the ‘Father Teresa of Pakistan’.

Abdul Sattar Edhi (Memoni, Urdu: عبدالستار ایدھی‎; 1 Sindhi: عبدالستار ايڌي‎ January 1928 – 8 July 2016) was a prominent Pakistani philanthropist, social activist, ascetic, and humanitarian. He was the founder and head of the Edhi Foundation in Pakistan and ran the organization for the better part of six decades. He was known as Angel of Mercy and was considered Pakistan’s “most respected” and legendary figure. In 2013, The Huffington Post said that he might be “the world’s greatest living humanitarian.”

Revered by many as a national hero, Edhi created a charitable empire out of nothing. He masterminded Pakistan’s largest welfare organisation almost single-handedly, entirely with private company and donations.

Wikipedia:

Al Jazeera refers to him as legendary and “a prominent Pakistani philanthropist and humanitarian”.

Thousands attend funeral for Pakistan’s legendary Edhi

Tens of thousands attended the state funeral for Pakistan’s legendary philanthropist Abdul Sattar Edhi in Karachi.

Prominent Pakistani philanthropist and humanitarian Abdul Sattar Edhi was laid to rest on the outskirts of Karachi on Saturday at a state funeral attended by thousands of people. 

Edhi, 88, died late on Friday at a medical centre after a long battle with kidney disease. His death triggered a massive outpouring of grief across the nation of 190 million for a man who trancended social, ethnic and religious divisions. 

Tens of thousands attended Saturday’s ceremony, the first state funeral since the 1980s, at Karachi’s National Stadium. 

At one moment, crowds broke through the military lines to help carry Edhi’s coffin, which was draped with Pakistan’s green and white flag and covered with rose petals. 

Pakistan’s top civilian and army leadership offered funeral prayers at the stadium, as the country mourned the loss of a man commonly known as the “Angel of Mercy” for his internationally acclaimed social work.

For more than 60 years the Edhi Foundation, a charity he created with his wife, Bilquise, has run clinics and orphanages across Pakistan and managed a fleet of ambulances that provided much-needed assistance to poor communities failed by an inadequate public health and welfare system. 

“He was one of the chosen ones. People like him come once in many centuries, and he was a special chosen one,” one woman, who asked to remain anonymous, told Al Jazeera at the funeral.

A hero to the poor

Born in the western state of Gujarat in British India, Edhi and his Muslim family moved to Pakistan in 1947 during the violent partition of the subcontinent.

He built up his charity solely through donations, focusing on addicts, battered women, orphans and the disabled.

Despite the vast sums of money that passed through his charitable foundation, Edhi lived modestly with his family in a two-room apartment adjacent to the headquarters of his foundation.

Renowned for an ascetic lifestyle and recognised by his long white beard and traditional black cap, Edhi was a hero to the poor but infuriated some religious leaders with his refusal to give preferential treatment to Muslims above minorities.

He also berated hardline groups for attacking civilians, criticised the government for incompetence and corruption, and denounced tax-dodging by the rich.

Despite constant threats, the Edhi Foundation became Pakistan’s most relied upon social safety net, handling many of the responsibilities that the Pakistani government could not.

The Edhi foundation was at the forefront of the response last year when a devastating heatwave struck Karachi, a city of more than 20 million people.

Sounds like a good bloke who did extremely well in a challenging part of the world..

It’s good to see someone who does so much and uses religion positively and not to discriminate.

Spanish Bride steps up with Muslims

I’ve been quite critical of a steady diatribe against Muslims and Islam at Whale Oil, but in a major shift in approach  Spanish Bride has posted a surprisingly conciliatory account of a meeting with some local (Auckland) Muslims.

I’m quoting more of the post than I normally would because I think it’s important to share this story and it’s sentiments – but Whale Oil deserves a click through for this.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step

It is fair to say that I am a cynical person and that I do not trust easily or quickly. On the other hand deep down I really do want us all to get along, to find common ground, and to live and let live.Both of these feelings were uneasily swirling around inside of me when I visited New Zealand’s largest mosque with Pete.

Obviously not me – presumably Peter Belt.

Before the visit I had decided that since I was there at their invitation I would spend most of my time listening. I did ask the questions I had come to ask but I focused on listening and observing. I learned a lot and it cannot be summed up in just one article.

Good on her for taking up an invitation to see and listen for herself. And good on Pete as well.

Of the three gentlemen that I met,two of them gave me the impression of being typical Kiwis because of their appearance and manner.I felt comfortable talking to Iqbal Mohammed ( National President ) and Eqbal Khan (General Secretary and Secretary of External Affairs of the community Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Nz inc ) by the end I was joking with them. Shafiq ur Rehman who is the Missionary In-Charge was more formal and serious in his manner and speech but he too dressed like a Kiwi.

We talked for a long time and at the end it was clear to me that they are as concerned about extremism and terrorism as I am. In fact they gave me a pamphlet entitled ‘Eradicating Extremism’ and a book titled, ‘World Crisis and the Pathway to Peace. I will read them and give my review to readers when I am able.

The back of their business card says ‘Muslims for: Loyalty, Freedom. Equality. Respect.Peace’

It makes sense that the Ahmadiyya community shares our concerns as in Pakistan you can murder an Ahmadiyya Muslim and take all his possessions and you will not be punished.They know what it is like to be persecuted. Britain has imported some of this hatred and it is not something that we want brought to New Zealand. This video illustrates the unbelievable lengths one Ahmadiyya mosque in Britain has had to go to in order to protect their community from Muslims who do not consider them to be following the correct version of Islam.

Iqbal Mohammed sent me the video to show me how imported extremism is getting worse in the UK. Muslims who are not tolerant of the Amadiyya Muslims and show their intolerance with death threats, violence and murder are Muslims who will equally be a threat to our New Zealand way of life. Iqbal said that extremism is something we must all stand together against in order to safeguard the future of our children irrespective of their colour creed and beliefs and I heartily agree with him.

While they (Ahmadiyya ) are not always made welcome and are in fact rejected by other branches of Islam, anyone from any religion ( including Judaism ) or branch of Islam is welcome to visit their Mosque. They believe that their branch of Islam is ‘true Islam,’ and from what I can tell it follows the peaceful and tolerant verses of the Koran.

Now before I go any further I know that there are are a few questions you all are dying to ask about the visit.  I packed a scarf inside my bag in case I was asked to cover my hair. I was not asked to cover my hair. The mosque had separate entrances for male and female and separate prayer rooms. Pete and I were taken through the same entrance. I was shown through the male areas as well as the female areas. I was even shown inside the male toilets so we could see the ablution area for washing feet.

When Pete invited himself along I wondered if conversations would be directed towards him rather than me and whether eye contact would be made with him and not me. Shafiq ur Rehman gave me most of his attention and addressed most of his explanations to me.  I did not feel  in any way excluded.  There was one difference however and one that I expected because of my knowledge of Islam. Pete was offered a handshake by the men and I was not.  I was treated with respect by all three men in every other way.

I left the mosque with one clear thought in my mind and that is that I want to be part of the solution. I have spent a lot of time alerting our readership to the dangers as I see them but now I need to focus on solutions.  The men I met at the mosque want solutions as much as I do. They feel very much the meat in the middle. On the one hand they cannot get any traction in the media when they condemn terrorist attacks and talk about what they feel ‘true Islam’ is ( peaceful, tolerant ) and  on the other hand they are on the receiving end of all the negative feeling caused by the actions of Muslims that they do not believe are following ‘ true Islam ‘.

I may not believe what the Ahmadiyya  believe but I do accept that they want to protect New Zealand from extremism and what they see as the actions of Muslims who are not following ‘ true Islam.’  We can work together to discuss solutions to protect New Zealand and to help them get heard when mainstream media are only interested in controversy or glossing over the very real dangers. While I may not agree with their version of ‘true Islam’ their actions tell me that their version is not about causing conflict. We have taken the first step by meeting and talking. It was a scary step for both sides I think but one I am glad we took.

It was gutsy of local Muslims  to invite a strident critic of Islam along to meet them, and gutsy of Juana to go and listen and see for herself.

Posting online it’s easy to get too detached from issues that involve real people, and a lot can be gained by meeting face to face.

This could be seen as a single step but it’s a big step in the right direction.

One of the strengths of new Zealand society is our ability to live and work and socialise alongside fellow Kiwis without caring and often not knowing about difference religious beliefs and associations.

We are becoming increasingly diverse as a wider range of immigrants choose to live here, but it’s essential we learn to live with more tolerance and understanding.

Kiwi Muslims could become invaluable role models for the world of Islam, and we can all play a part by showing we can get live peacefully side by side.

The idealist

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Whale wailing

The anti-Muslim obsession continues to dominate posts at Whale Oil, both via specific posts and via supposedly general posts. It seems to have become their fall-back topic.

For example ‘Face of the Day’ seems to be a thinly disguised ‘Muslim bash of the day’. Spanish Bride’s last three ‘faces’ have been:

Saturday: Today’s face of the day is the star of a well-known fable. Last week the fable became part of a political video that has gone viral. In some versions of the fable it is a scorpion not a snake but the message remains the same. It is a simplistic message but a powerful one.

Sunday: Today’s face of the day is Molly Norris, a los desaparecidos who was abandoned by the American government. She was forced to go into hiding  due to death threats from Muslims in America.

Monday: Today’s face of the day is the face of Asad Shah a moderate Muslim. Being moderate he wanted to assimilate into British/ Scottish society. He was savagely killed in the street shortly after posting an Easter message on facebook that showed his willingness to accept his host nation’s culture.

Whale Oil’s first post today on a topic is:

Nice gesture but…: The Pope washes the feet of Muslim refugees/immigrants…how nice. Nice gesture. So when do the Grand Mufti’s and/or Ayatollah’s reciprocate? You know for all those Christian and Jewish refugees in Islamic countries.

Yesterday’s Daily Roundup was also a Bash of the Day.

Saturday was a slow news day in New Zealand so Muslim-bashing featured MUSLIM KILLED BY ANOTHER MUSLIM FOR WISHING CHRISTIANS A HAPPY EASTER and TiME TO FACE FACTS ON ISLAMIC TERRORISM.

Muslim bashing has become a regular feature of Whale Oil, even in their regular feature posts.

Interspersed with frequent Herald bashing. And  Labour/Green/Winston/no favoured National MP bashing. And non-Palino mayoral candidate bashing.

Sources with interesting political gossip and revelations (and hit jobs) have all but dried up at Whale Oil so the daily post schedule is padded out with regular whine topics.

And if, every now an again, someone points out their diet of dirty diatribes they wail about that too.

German targets in Istanbul bombing

It appears that German tourists were targeted in Istanbul by a lone ISIS suicide bomber. This further complicates things for Germany and also creates new pressures for Turkey, with tourism being a major part of the Turkish economy.

Hurriyet Daily News reports: ISIL militant kills 10, injures 15 in Istanbul suicide attack

An Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militant killed at least 10 foreign nationals, most of them Germans, and wounded 15 other people after blowing himself up at a tourist spot in Istanbul’s old city on Jan. 12.

Nabil Fadli, a 28-year-old ISIL militant of Syrian origin who was born in Saudi Arabia in 1988, blew himself up after blending into a tourist group of 33 German citizens on a visit to the Obelisk of Theodosius in Sultanahmet Square near the Blue Mosque in the morning hours of Jan. 12 when the popular square was relatively less crowded compared to the rest of the day.

Tourist sites including the Hagia Sophia and the nearby Basilica Cistern were closed by the Istanbul Governor’s Office following the attack.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said all victims killed in the Sultanahmet suicide attack were foreigners while the suicide bomber was an ISIL militant.

“The suicide bomber is a foreign national, who is a member of Daesh,” the PM said, referring to the Arabic acronym of ISIL.

Ten foreign nationals died and 15 other people, including 12 Germans, a Turk, a Peruvian and a Norwegian, were wounded in the attack.

This isn’t the first bombing in Turkey…

The attack came after three deadly terrorist acts carried out by ISIL militants in Turkey over the past seven months.

ISIL was blamed for a bomb that killed four people at a Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) rally in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır on June 5, 2015. An ISIL militant also killed 33 socialist activists on July 20, 2015, at the Amara Cultural Center in the southeastern district of Suruç. Two ISIL militants then killed at least 100 people attending a peace rally in Ankara on Oct. 10, 2015, in the deadliest attack in the country’s history.

…but by targeting German tourists it enlarges international angst about ISIS and Muslim militancy.

It also increases pressures on Turkey, which shares borders with countries involved in Syria, Iraq and Iran, all involved in ISIS conflicts in the region.

While many countries worldwide are involved in the escalating fight against ISIS Turkey and other Muslim countries will have to do more to address their own problems involving militancy  and Muslim extremism.

The Islamic world, especially in the Middle East, will remain enmeshed in a Muslim mess unless they find ways of modernising and moderating their religion and their followers.

A response to Garrett’s 2% doctrine

David (Three Strikes) Garrett has a guest post at Kiwiblog that has received a lot of support there but also raised some important questions in opposition to his claims and call for an immediate stop to immigration of Muslims.

See Garrett on 2% Muslims and immigration (here) and Guest Post: David Garrett on A case for immediate cessation of all Muslim immigration (Kiwiblog).

Some commenters at Kiwiblog responded to Garrett’s call for taking measures to stop Muslims from reaching 2% of the New Zealand population (they are currently about 1.2%).

Garrett:

What do we lose by stopping Muslim immigration right now? My argument is that we lose absolutely nothing of value.

Kimbo:

The knowledge, certainty and example that we are a non-sectarian nation that judges people on their actions, instead of their colour, creed…or religion. A piece of us dies if we compromise on that.

Ryan Sproull:

Another way to put it would to simply say: we would lose our democracy.

Jack responded:

Kimbo, Sproull, and RRM in posts above suggest that blocking Islamic immigration might end our democracy.

On the other hand, admitting a flow of people who hate our Western democracy, might be more likely to end it.

Sproull expanded on his point:

Well, blocking immigration would end our democracy, by definition. We would immediately change from a country that discriminates only based on deeds to one that discriminates based on thoughts.

It’s true that admitting a flow of people who hate democracy might end it, but stopping them includes both blocking theocratic Muslim extremists AND people who look like they might want to block immigration based on religion.

And:

I mean, really, if you take freedom of thought and freedom of religion as essential to democracy, what we have here is a public declaration by David Garrett that he recommends destroying democracy in New Zealand.

Is there some sort of watch list he should be on? I know he hasn’t actually done anything, just thought it, but we can’t afford to be politically correct about this stuff.

And:

I think that if a democracy had tried to prevent Nazi immigration by blocking all Protestants, it would no longer have been a democracy.

Of course, that’s only an argument against religious discrimination if you think that freedom of religion/thought is essential to democracy, and/or if you think that democracy is worthwhile. It could be that democracy with freedom of religion/thought simply can’t exist, because it can’t protect itself from insidious immigration threats, and so some new kind of government must be adopted – a infidelocracy.

And:

Then there’s the problem with people who are born in New Zealand, or non-Muslim immigrants, who become Muslim while in New Zealand, perhaps after accessing information about Islam on the internet.

I’m sure that can be sorted with a combination of strong government controls on access to Islamic websites, and a state advertising campaign reminding New Zealand citizens that a strong infidelocracy requires that good citizens report any friends or acquaintances that start acting a bit Muslimy.

Mikenmild:

Good point, Ryan. Assuming we stop all Muslim immigration, what would we do about the one already here, including the extra dangerous unborn generations? The Eurabia-type theories hold that they will outbreed the locals, so DG’s magic 2% limit might still e breached.
We would have to deport any Muslim and prohibit those beliefs to be sure that our liberal democracy was secure.

Sproull:

Firstly, it’s our infidelocracy, since by that point we will have lost the right to call ourselves a liberal democracy.

Secondly, yes, you’re absolutely right. In addition to the tactics I’ve already suggested, we can also:

* Offer $5000 to any Muslim willing to be surgically sterilised
* After a Muslim family has two children, if they get pregnant again, their extra children can be rehomed to be raised by normal families
* Heavily fund evangelists from non-Muslim religions to get to work converting Muslims
* Start offering cash payouts to non-Muslims willing to give birth to and raise non-Muslim children
* Make sure that all Muslims register as Muslims in a national database so that we can keep track of the Muslim:Citizen ratio (with a maximum of 1:50)

These efforts, in addition to carefully censoring the nation’s internet and giving teachers and citizens the tools necessary to spot and report unregistered Muslims, will ensure that we never reach that dreaded tipping point.

Garrett:

Ryan: Have you done a family tree at all? Don’t have a chap called Chamberlain in there somewhere??

Garrett lauded Churchill in his post, which began:

I had just finished Volume I of Sir Winston Churchill’s WW II memoirs, “The Gathering Storm”, which covers his period in the political wilderness in the 1930’s. In developing my argument with my friend’s wife, I saw striking parallels with where we are now with regard to Muslim , and the position of Western Europe during the latter 1930’s.

Perhaps Garrett wants the ANZACs to follow Churchill’s example and follow Britain into another Muslim state attack in the Dardanelles. 2% of Turks might still be a threat.

I don’t understand what parallel Garrett is alluding to.

Germany discriminated against people because of their religious beliefs. Quite drastically. Many Jewish refugees tried to escape to safety. There were no blogs in the 1930s but there may have been Garrett predecessors warning New Zealand about the dangers of 2% of Jews, or communists, or homosexuals, or Gypsies, or any of the groups persecuted and executed by the Nazis.

Garrett doesn’t want to provide any refuge in New Zealand for people trying to escape being bombed by the Syrian government or beheaded by ISIS, so he can live comfortably with his prejudices.

I hope that we don’t get anywhere near 2% of Garrettites in New Zealand but I don’t think we should ban them from running restaurants here.

Garretts and Muslims shoukld have equal rights to speak and live here.

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