Pat Condell’s stances are widely pushed among racist circles because Mr. Condell speaks with of conspiracy theories of Muslims. One of his most recent statements was fear for Sweden for granting asylum to 2 MILLION Syrians. A little bit of googling and you find out that the real story was “Sweden gives 8000 Syrians Unlimited Leave To Remain and a chance to become Swedish because they are unlikely to be able to return to Syria”.
A humanitarian gesture.
Mr. Condell was more worried not about a horrific war where millions are displaced and thousands have died and we have seen the use of Chemical Weaponry but over Sweden Importing 2 Million Muslims And Destroying Themselves.
Never mind the reality. This was pushed across the Internet. This view was defended by many of his followers. I pointed out how silly it was and honestly? I got a fair amount of flak.
After all? As atheists and secularists should we not care about the truth? No. I am aware of a more dangerous statement made by Pat Condell.
At one point Mr. Condell has stated that he did not find the English Defence League to be racist and indeed upholding the values of democracy.
I am afraid the EDL are quite racist. Mr. Condell and his supporters may think you cannot be racist against Muslims but frankly the EDL detect Muslims by harassing Brown People. The EDL have reacted violently and while their claims of “non-violence and British” values are high, one specifically told me that anyone who doesn’t speak “English” shouldn’t be allowed into the UK.
To which my response was “If we wish to protect English we would have to ban the average EDL member from speaking it. Muslamic is not a real world”. and to point out that the “True Languages” of the UK are three in number and that “English” was actually harming the other two (Gaelic and Welsh).
If we are to protect “British Culture” then why on earth are we leaving in the hands of thugs brawling on the street and harassing Muslims. Seriously? Muslim Commits Crime! Let’s Go harass some other Muslims! Let’s Make Streets Safer By Fighting In the Streets!
This is just some of his fans and the disturbing Pat statement that he didn’t see them as far right. Of course not, they don’t follow him around yelling things like “Go Home Paki”. He doesn’t have to worry about gangs of white blokes in bad tracksuits who may decide to erase 6 years of medical education through assault and battery.
Yesterday I had dozens of people insist that I am incorrect. That I shouldn’t fear my own hate group. A hate group that has assaulted asians and harassed Asian Business owners. The modern Klan may not have killed any black people in the traditional fashion (And frankly? Anti-Indian racism has never required a stupid outfit) but if I described it as a organisation dedicated to celebrating caucasian and European culture I would be laughed at and called an idiot.
I had plenty of Americans defend a hate group that attacks people who looks like me and who’s members have yelled some rather nice things about me. Go Home Paki! Maybe they want me to take a day off?
But now we come to the crux of the argument.
You don’t think we do anything on the “big” issues. Well frankly I don’t see you doing anything to stop the mainly Hindu issue of gender selective abortions and the horrors of caste! Why aren’t you lot doing that? Why on earth are you lot getting together to whinge about Muslims when there are other horrible Issues out there? Won’t someone think of the abandoned widows?
I know what your problem is. You see we are more interested in things that are within our monkeysphere. What we are invested in. I don’t know and do not care who wins the Superbowl. I am British. It’s the Premier League and we play football. You Americans play Advertisements with shoving matches in the middle. Or some sort of handegg. But likewise you lot don’t care about the Caste System as much as you do about women in Niqabs because women in Niqabs are a visible entity in the UK and we are speaking about the UK. Mr Condell is after all British as is Ann Marie.
As am I.
You don’t think we fight any of those important fights. Well frankly from where I am sat neither do you two. Not so fun sitting on that high horse when I ride the bloody giraffe. Eventually though someone will top me and I will have to shut up! That’s the curse of playing experience one-upmanship.
Now I know that the “so-and-so follows so-and-so on Twitter who once retweeted so-and-so who once agreed with so-and-so and therefore they’re all bigots” brigade will label me a fellow racist of Condell’s, but they shouldn’t bother. I cottoned on to that dirty little game a long ago and I refuse to play it. I don’t agree with every word Condell says, but amazingly that doesn’t stop me recognising that he has raised a solid point here, and that calling him a racist for doing so is grossly dishonest, and yet another attempt to silence criticism of anything related to Islam or Islamism.
I am ex-Hindu. I don’t have any cultural attachment to Islam.
And after all that we did not see any retraction from Mr. Condell. He did not condemn the EDL after making a statement that flew in the face of all reality. Democratic? They create a culture of fear and provoke tension. Not-Racist? Are we going to be playing no true EDLeaguesman?
Yeah I get it. You don’t think we do enough to support your particular style of fighting Islam.
Anyway, on with the story.
Earlier this week, PZ Myers offered a rather disingenuous analysis of Pat Condell’s latest video “The Curse of Progressive Feminism”. He began by calling Pat a “racist cretin”, thereby devaluing the once-powerful word racist even further than it already has been by people like him.
No I think the idiots who spent all day trying to defend the EDL to a brown guy who has run afoul of them in real life and who knows that the sandwich is not filled with delicious creamy nutella but rancid faeces. AKA they are a bunch racist wankers who think that the correct response to Islamic Terror and Fundementalism is to go harass random law abiding Muslims.
Pat’s videos have often been very simplistic views and takes on Islam and various events in the world. In particular I think his stance on Palestine is frankly abhorrent and tarnished by his distaste of Islam to the point he is unwilling to recognise or even understand the reason why Palestinians are for want of a better phrase “Fucking Pissed Off” (In their eyes they have lost their homeland to western colonialists for a crime committed by someone that was so horrific we felt guilty over our racism to the Jews but not enough about the racism to Muslims).
When Pat discusses the tarnishment or destruction of culture it is an argument of racists. It is the argument of fear that white Americans used to demonise Jazz music. And the arguments used by the BNP when they harass and scare and attack Asians and Black people.
It is a conspiracy theory that Mr. Condell flogs. The notion that Islam will become so widespread either due to converts or due to them having so many children that all Muslims will vote in lockstep and elect a majority government of Muslims only and bring in Sharia Law.
No! What we should fear is the rising influx of Eastern Europeans! Eventually we will all be speaking Polish, Praying to the Pope and eating polish sausages and sour cucumber soup.
I too can make up a highly irrational hypothetical fear about people!
Condell: ”progressive” feminists who confidently challenge everyday sexism but who are struck deaf and dumb by Islamic misogyny…they turn a blind eye to religiously endorsed wife-beating, forced marriage, honour killing, genital mutilation, organised rape gangs, sharia courts that treat women as less than fully human, and little girls forced to dress like nuns”.
Myers: “I really don’t know of any feminists who think anything on that list is at all acceptable. Who are these mysterious feminists who have no problem with honor killing or rape gangs?”
Pat didn’t quite say that though, did he? At no point did Condell state that “progressive western feminists” have “no problem” with the horrors listed above, but that the majority of them remain silent and do absolutely nothing about it. Simultaneously, all over Twitter you will find campaigns to stop Tesco/Asda/Whoever from stocking magazines that might contain a picture of a woman’s breasts.
Condell’s question is a good one, and I wouldn’t mind an answer either – where are all those feminists on matters concerning Islam?
As I said. Where are all these feminists on the side of Indian women? Why are feminists not fighting for my personal things that I care about?
Oh right! Ann’s personal fight for the things she cares about are what she thinks we should all be fighting for.
That’s probably because most feminist know precious little about Islam and even then wouldn’t know where and how to start an argument against something as harmful as the Niqab.
Your argument is harmful it’s as harmful as if I said
“Chronic Starvation of Women is endemic in India due to religion and culture resulting in women eating incorrectly and less resulting in a variety of health issues and we should be focussed on feeding these hundreds of millions of women than on some rich muslim women in western nations in relatively good conditions”.
This is Harmful. This is Not Helping.
Let me tell you from vast experience, if you ask your average politically active feminist whether she condemns domestic violence, forced marriage, genital mutilation or any of the rest of it, she will insist that she does – and then she will do precisely zero.
For the same reason that Ann Marie Waters is NOT fighting against Vit A deficiency and blindness. Most people don’t know enough about the issues to physically do something about it. For all the sad people who read my reports from the front lines of the Rape Protests in India there was just support rather than any physically concrete donation.
However the difference is that I don’t consider support as a bad thing. Support from my readers got them passing around my work and got more people paying attention and got more voices heard and got more discourse and more ideas on how to fight Rape in India.
Ann Marie Waters is powerless to stop a mob from attacking a inter-caste marriage couple in India. I am not. In the same way I am unable to help women in the UK while she is able to and that applies to many people.
This does not mean that we should ignore those who cannot help physically.
Even worse than that is the demonization of those of us who do. I have personally sat through many meetings of “feminists” who spend endless hours agonizing about Page 3, and I have myself been reprimanded by those very same “feminists” for raising the issue of FGM. “We don’t want to alienate the Somali community” I’ve been told. The maiming of Somali girls doesn’t seem to feature on their radar. By “Somali community” who they actually mean are Somali patriarchs who (it seems) should be able to rule over their women-folk and mutilate them at will. Anything else would be culturally insensitive and stir up division (that’s a big favourite – it never seems to occur to them that FGM itself may be stirring up division).
Actually? There is a trick to fighting FGM without alienation. That involves the utilisation of Somali role models and indeed Somali voices to fight FGM through them. You are just some white lady who shouts a lot and is demonising a black culture just like every other goddamn white person in their history. Now to fight this issue you need a dialogue to understand the culture and what FGM means to the Somali Woman. Then you need to figure out how to change what it means and you need allies or indeed the Somali women who fight this need allies in you.
Not by screaming bloody murder about FGM. You need compromise because compromise is change to the positive and change to the positive will continue.
On another occasion, I sat with a “women’s forum”, a body specifically set up to promote an “inclusive” feminism. Having suggested that the burqa, and what it respresents (“the covering of women prevents rape”), might not be an entirely positive step forward; I was told that the burqa “must be looked at in a cultural context” and to shut up about it. The obligatory racist implication wasn’t far behind when I was asked, quite sternly, whether I condemned thongs as well. I’m still not sure quite what the two things have in common but I had grown too weary to argue.
Yes, some women find the Burkha empowering. Fine. I have no problem with that. The Burkha has a lot more cultural issues than “Stops Rape”. To many women it’s a symbol of womanhood and indeed part of their culture and it’s hard to fight something if people don’t see it that way. I have no issues with women CHOOSING to wear the Burkha free of coercion and fear. In an ideal society if you wanted to dress that way then “go nuts”. But without understanding the issues of culture and what it means you don’t come off as someone who wants to eliminate the Burkha from Islam but who just doesn’t want to see anyone wearing it around.
In April, the BBC screened a Panorama episode featuring an undercover reporter who attended the Islamic Sharia Council in east London and told a senior cleric there, Suhaib Hasan, that her husband had been violent towards her. Hasan was quick to ask the reporter just what she had done to deserve such treatment. He suggested that she ask her husband “is it because of my cooking? Because I see my friends?”. He then advised that she “correct” herself in accordance with his response.
Sharia Council/Councilling is a daft fucking idea but unfortunately perfectly legal.
There is no law in a free society that prevents you from accepting judicial outcomes that are not ideal or beneficial to yourself willingly. Sharia Law Councilling operates under that disguise.
Basically? A “good” Muslim obeys Sharia. So he goes to his council for advice. As long as the advice is perfectly legal in British Law and the plaintiff and defendant are willingly signing that contract then there is no law broken. AKA If a woman agrees to the boundaries of Sharia divorces or whatever there is nothing you can do to stop her because it’s her choice no matter how bad it is.
Basically? Imagine a divorce settlement where you willingly sign yourself a bad settlement. There is no law against it, you picked to do something harmful to yourself.
NOW the actual problem is that the very nature of “A Good Muslim” Means that Sharia Courts are coercive. With the known understanding that Islam is not great at giving women freedom this means that women’s agency in demanding a genuine court of law is harder because they are encouraged to solve their problems via mediation by these councils.
In short? Women either are being coerced or genuinely believe that they should have a bad deal. Now you cannot ban these since as I said, there is no law about accepting contracts that are not beneficial to yourself. If for example you purchased sweets for £1 and sold them at £0.5 and willingly signed that contract even though you knew that you could sell em for £1.5 then it’s kind of legally your fault.
Now we know women are being forced into these courts or think these courts offer a fair deal. So how do we change these councils and make them irrelevant? By empowerment of women and making it clear that arbitration must be properly fair and can be contested in a court of law and that Sharia Law is not “binding”. Because banning them is impossible. They aren’t breaking any laws, they are just distasteful and should be fought precisely as that. That they are giving men and women bad advice and trying to get them to sign to unfair mediations.
You might expect feminist organisations the length and breadth of Britain to immediately launch a plethora of campaigns and demand that the Government take firm action against such vile and dangerous misogyny. But no, no they didn’t.
I wrote to the Campaign Against Domestic Violence to ask them when I could expect the launch of their crusade to end sharia-approved domestic violence. They didn’t answer. “They’re probably too busy with the campaign” I thought, so I went to their website to check. Nothing there either.
You mean like the National Zakat foundation which is an Islamic Charity that provides shelters for abused women in the UK?
The CADV also is a secular charity and fights all domestic violence. It doesn’t need the special Islamic Seal of Approval to leap into action against domestic violence.
Of course I agree with every word, but there was no statement from Refuge following the Panorama broadcast, nor has there been one on sharia law generally. This is despite the fact that sharia law allows men to beat their wives (provided they leave no marks of course).
Except Domestic Violence Laws Apply To These Women Too.
Sharia is just a moderation. If the overarching British Law is broken and you seek help then the overarching law applies.
When Maryam Namazie and I debated Ahmaddiyya Muslims at UCL in 2011, part of the debate centred around domestic violence. There was no dispute from the other side about whether a man may hit his wife, but how hard. This is sharia law; but do a search for sharia on the website of Refuge and you’ll find zero results.
Again? Why should Sharia be singled out? All Domestic Violence Is Bad! It is at it’s core assault and battery. It doesn’t matter what religious law you use it is still illegal and Refuge’s specific stance covers it.
Similarly, Women’s Aid, another otherwise admirable organisation that fights domestic violence, has issued no statement, launched no campaign, and the only mentions of sharia on their website are on their forum (3 examples) which are written by users, not the campaign group itself.
Again see above.
The Fawcett Society, “working for women’s rights since 1866”, has zero to say about sharia either – search their site for yourself.
This is not limited to feminist organisations either. Other groups, and mainstream parties, are completely silent on the misogyny (and the homophobia) of Islamists. When was the last time Labour, or the Lib Dems, condemned sharia-based sexism and brutality? They haven’t. They let it carry on with absolute impunity while condemning domestic violence elsewhere. None of the main parties had anything to say about Mr Hasan’s comments on Panorama either.
Yes, of Islamicists. Pat Condell repeatedly claims that All Muslims are like that. And when was the last time you condemnded Hindu sexism and domestic violence?
In fact not one of these organisations and not even Ann Marie Waters has said anything about it.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democrats, was forced to issue a statement on Nigella Lawson saying he condemned “all forms of domestic violence”. He did so after he was criticised for his reply on a radio show when asked what he would have done if he had seen the incident involving Lawson and her husband; he answered “When you see a couple having an argument…most people, you know, just assume that the couple will resolve it themselves. If of course something descends into outright violence then that’s something different”.
Who jumped to criticise Clegg? Yvette Cooper of the Labour Party. She said “Nick Clegg revealed how little he understands violence against women this morning. Far too often violence against women is dismissed as fleeting or unimportant. Too often public institutions don’t take it seriously enough. Domestic violence is still a hidden crime, and victims suffer or are ignored as a result”. Get that? “Victims suffer or are ignored”. Now, see if you can find Yvette Cooper speaking out against the Islamic Sharia Council. I’ve tried. I couldn’t.
I looked and couldn’t find Ann Marie Waters speaking out about Hindus Sexism.
Because I know that Refuge would offer a shelter to a Hindu or a Muslim irrespective of belief and that Refuge would not hand over a woman who was abused simply because of “Sharia”.
In his post, Myers later says: “I do see plenty of conservative racist dorks turning a blind eye to the fact that the majority of the victims of Islamic misogyny are Muslim women”.
False again. Condell did not turn a blind eye to this at all. He clearly addresses the fact that women in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia “who get beaten every day, will continue to be beaten and treated as a piece of property, as will their daughters and granddaughters”. I think Condell does acknowledge that Muslim women are the ones who suffer, it is Myers who doesn’t. He added “You know that backward, ugly attitude? Islam didn’t invent it. We’ve got plenty of it to go around in the western world as well”.
This is a gross insult to every single suffering woman in every single Islamic state on the planet.
No. What is a gross insult is Pat Condell utilising the actions of Islamic Nations and the Muslims who live often in poverty, corruption and religious fundamentalism to local Muslims. Pat Condell is not helping. Which is why I was told yesterday that as a brown person I am too sensitive to Mr. Condell’s Truth and am quick to cry racism! How can we be racist to brown people?
In one case I had someone tell me that the EDL don’t sound racist despite being from the USA and having no Idea who the hell they are. These are Condell fans and people who fear that Muslims are all secretly working together in some Muslim Agenda (MUSLAMIC!) to destroy us all.
Yes, there is misogyny and violence against women in the west but to compare it to what women face in Islamic states demonstrates total ignorance, and is a crass belittlement of the true horror of life for females under sharia law. I wonder if Mr Myers has ever tried to help a woman escape from Saudi Arabia, or find a safe place in Pakistan. I’m guessing he hasn’t, but I have, and I can tell you it is nothing short of a nightmare. I wonder if he has ever had a phone-call from a frightened girl escaping a forced marriage but who can’t turn to a woman’s shelter because they might turn her over to her father. I’m guessing he hasn’t, but I have.
The correct thing to do is to not ignore either. Not declare that “These Women Have it Worse so Gonna Ignore Those Women”.
And that doesn’t give you the right to tell women that they should stop whinging about their inferior problems to your awesome ones.
And indeed I have not done that. I have however provided healthcare that these women may have been denied, trained personnel to work in regions where they are and get healthcare to these women. So if you think Myers is unsuitable to commenting on how to fight sexism in Islam because of your personal experiences then I am just as valid at dismissing Pat Condell’s claims through my experiences doing the same things as you do.
When women in west face violence, the law – though imperfect – tends to be on their side. Try finding a safe house in Pakistan or Saudi, or a police station women can turn to without the risk of being handed over to their families, or punished for running away. They often have absolutely nowhere to turn and to compare their plight to western sexism is nothing short of disgusting; not to mention a kick in the teeth for the brave women across the Islamic world who risk their lives every day fighting for the basic rights and freedoms that most western women take for granted.
So that doesn’t mean western feminists should “shut up” because they have it better than them. Can you imagine how stupid that is?
I am sorry women of India. You may be in the 5th worst nation to be a woman but Afghanistan is the worst. Until we solve that and the other 3 nations in the middle you are all privileged and whiney and your whining is a kick in the teeth to the Brave Women in Afghanistan who risk their lives everyday! Glass Ceiling getting you down? At least it’s not rape!
No wait… that’s stupid. It’s a harmful way of thinking.
Condell is absolutely right about this. Most “western progressive feminists” do ignore misogyny carried out in the name of Islam (in the case of sharia), or any misogynist practice rightly or wrongly associated with Islam.
I see it over and over again.
I don’t know what world PZ Myers lives in, but he needs to spend more time with some “progressive western feminists” and see exactly what the majority of them are thinking. They’re not thinking about Islam, that much I can promise him.
And if you spent time with a varied group of people you would realise that people have different things in life they are passionate about.
And if I don’t count as a feminist then count me as someone willing to “do something positive”. And I don’t bash Muslims to do it.
See it’s easy to take someone away from an abusive husband. We must think of how to stop the husband being abusive. WE must think on how to change Islam and the ideas and the culture to be not misogynistic and make that the mainstream. We need to change how Muslims think about women. And we aren’t going to do that by tarring Muslims with the same brush and ignoring progressive Muslims and only begrudgingly accepting their assistance or statements.
Pat does not help the dialogue. If PZ is not qualified to speak then Pat really is not qualified either.