[Lounge #428] »« Good choice for the New Humanist

I support Nahla Mahmoud

Nahla Mahmoud is the spokesperson for the Council of Ex-Muslims in the UK. Salah Al Bandar is a director of the Sudan Civic Foundation in the UK. Al Bandar has chosen a dangerous method to politically suppress his opponent: Al Bandar has incited Muslims to threaten Mahmoud and her family.

Following an interview on Channel 4 on Sharia law, Islamists have threatened Sudanese secular campaigner and Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain Spokesperson Nahla Mahmoud with death, calling her a ‘Kafira’ and ‘Murtada’ who has offended Islam and brought “fitnah”. The threats have been reported to the police who have closed the case and advised that nothing could be done.

Nahla writes: “I am most concerned with the harassment by Mr. Salah Al Bandar. Not only is he endangering my health and sense of safety and security in the UK, but he is also organising against me back in Sudan in ways that are potentially very dangerous for both myself and my family. As a consequence, my younger brother has been physically attacked in Sudan, my mother has been seriously threatened and I continue to get threats and have had to endure a number of cyber stalking episodes by Mr Al Bandar or his associates.”

I don’t just support Nahla Mahmoud, I oppose the kind of vicious demagoguery perpetrated by Al Bandar, which has no place in any civilized nation.

Comments

  1. Lyle says

    The threats have been reported to the police who have closed the case and advised that nothing could be done.

    Isn’t there anything like a peace bond in the UK? The rhetoric and veiled threats maybe make it just vague enough to not be actionable for the police, but maybe it’ll be enough for a magistrate to intervene and put some legal liability on Al Salah in case anything happens to Mahmoud or her family?

  2. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @ ^ Lyle : You certainly think and hope so.

  3. esmith4102 says

    I have lived to see the facade covering all religion slowly stripped away to reveal a foundation composed of the ugliness of fear and hatred that is eating away at our modern civilization like a cancer. This foundation is the only real legacy of religion despite the biochemical bonding it has historically brought to its individual members.
    Even when we finally eliminate the supernatural fantasy of religion, unfortunately, we will still be confronted by that stubborn tribal foundation of fear and hatred which seems to be embedded in our human nature. Perhaps that will be the time to drop the emotional excesses of reactive behavior and adopt the moderating effects of just – “good manners”.

  4. Trebuchet says

    …calling her a ‘Kafira’ and ‘Murtada’ who has offended Islam and brought “fitnah”.

    Could someone provide a definition of those terms?

  5. Pen says

    I agree with Trebuchet @5. Normally, as we’ve seen with the Twitter stuff lately, threats and hate speech result in arrests in Britain. If the British police are failing to respond because the threats are being carried out in a language and context they’re not familiar with, it’s worth a campaign to enlighten them. I also don’t know what those terms mean or much about the context that potentially makes them illegal.

  6. gingerbaker says

    “I oppose the kind of vicious demagoguery perpetrated by Al Bandar, which has no place in any civilized nation.”

    Well, it does seem to have a place in civilized society. The police will do nothing. And many progressive civil libertarians will fight strenuously to protect the free speech rights of violent extremists, splitting hairs over what constitutes a clear and present danger. As if all audiences can be relied upon to demonstrate identical restraint.

    Sometimes the only and best solution to a schoolyard bully is to punch him in the face. Perhaps there is a legitimate role for directed retaliatory personal violence even in, perhaps especially in, a civilized society? Or perhaps it is time to reevaluate free speech absolutism?

  7. chigau (残念ですね) says

    StevoR meet gingerbaker.
    gingerbaker this is StevoR.
    I’m sure you two will find lots to talk about.

  8. says

    This Salah Al Bandar character sure seems to be enjoying his acid trip into darkness. Looks a bit like a case of Münchausen by Proxy syndrome. He points his accusing bony finger at somebody, causing hordes of mindless shells to rampage, thus upgrading his standing within his community. What a guy :-/

  9. Rich Woods says

    From the link:

    Mr Al Bandar claims to be a “democratic, liberal Muslim” who has been politically active and until recently a councillor with the Lib-Dem Party in Cambridgeshire; he is a director at the Sudan Civic Foundation in the UK. He has attempted to silence Nahla with his threats which include the following:

    “I will not forgive anyone who wants to start a battle against Islam and the beliefs of the people…”, “Be aware of this ‘fitna’ and I know who is behind it and I will never have any mercy on her here…”, “I will have no tolerance for anyone here who talks about freedom of belief or freedom of thought or any of the other clichés…”

    That attitude may explain why he is no longer a Lib Dem councillor. In fact I would say that no longer makes him a Lib Dem.

  10. says

    She and her family are getting threats and “nothing can be done”??
    I would say arresting Mr Al Bandar would be a very big _something_ that can be done. As well as offering protection to Nahla and her family. Followed by political officials making clear that such threats will not be tolerated, no matter what your beliefs are.

  11. says

    @ trebuchet #5

    ‘Kafira’ and ‘Murtada’ who has offended Islam and brought “fitnah”.

    Could someone provide a definition of those terms?

    “Kafira” is the easy one. Feminine form for “unbeliever” or “heathen.” It is definitely pejorative and intentionally insulting.

    “Fitnah” means bringing out social disorder and conflict. Some sources explain it as also meaning trials and tribulations (such as in the OT). In particular, it looks like ex-muslim women in the UK have “claimed” the word in a similar manner to the way Gay Rights activists have reclaimed “queer.” We can see at least one blog which explains why Women ex-Muslims call their movement “Fitnah”. Sort of like saying “yeah, we’re causing disorder, trials and discord by standing up to bullying lunatics.”

    “Murtada” has me stumped. It’s the name of an early cleric “Murtada al-Ansari” who I have found referred to as “Murtada” in books about the early development of Islamic Law. I have not found any information about how it can be used as an insult or threat. I have access to commercial databases (not something you can turn up in a google search) and all the dictionaries and books about Islamic Law I could find have only turned up this word as a name, not anything else. Anyone else have anything on this one?

  12. What a Maroon, el papa ateo says

    It’s the name of an early cleric “Murtada al-Ansari” who I have found referred to as “Murtada” in books about the early development of Islamic Law.

    This Murtada was Shi’ite. Just speculating, but that could have something to do with its use as an insult (assuming that the Sudan Civic Foundation is a Sunni organization).

  13. Gregory Greenwood says

    From the link inthe OP;

    Mr Al Bandar claims to be a “democratic, liberal Muslim” who has been politically active and until recently a councillor with the Lib-Dem Party in Cambridgeshire; he is a director at the Sudan Civic Foundation in the UK.

    and yet;

    “I will not forgive anyone who wants to start a battle against Islam and the beliefs of the people…”, “Be aware of this ‘fitna’ and I know who is behind it and I will never have any mercy on her here…”, “I will have no tolerance for anyone here who talks about freedom of belief or freedom of thought or any of the other clichés…”

    And;

    On 29th January 2013, Mr Al Bander added an article featuring Nahla with Maryam Namazie and Mohamed Mahmoud ‘photoshopped’ together with a background of a Facebook page he made up and named ‘Sudanese Atheists’ Page’. He also discussed the relationship of the three in a post on 8 February. The article is full of fabrications, including that Maryam Namazie “trained” Nahla in “public activities against Islam” and that Mohamed Mahmoud “created this idol Nahla and presented her as a champion of freedom of expression”. Also, he posted a screen shot of Nahla’s article published in ‘Left Foot Forward’ about ‘Sharia implementations in the UK and elsewhere’ after adding a main headline into the article to read “Freedom of practicing ‘Luat’ and promoting it” (“ Luat” is a derogatory term for homosexuality).

    And lest we forget;

    On the 10th of February he posted “I forbid anyone from trying to change Nahla’s scandal to a case worthy of support… It will all get back to them… Be cautioned! Be cautioned!… No excuses for those who have been warned! ”

    Someone really needs to explain what the terms ‘liberal’ and ‘democratic’ mean to Al Bandar. He seems to be somewhat confused as to their definition…

    It must have required an impressive degree of cognitive dissonance for someone this mindlessly reactionary and fanatical to join, and claim to uphold, the principles of the Liberal Democratic party. This isn’t the milquitoast, accomodationist flip-flopping on issues of religious extremism that one might expect from some Lib Dems; this is full on, ranting fundamentalism complete with demands that Al Bandar be allowed to define the limits not only of Nahla Mahmoud’s freedom of conscience, but that of pretty much everybody else who even hears about these events, both in Sudan and the UK.

    If he is still a member of the Lib Dem party, then they have some serious explaining to do.

  14. tyros says

    Have the Lib Dems said anything about this? I don’t even…
    Murtada (“murtadda” ?) should mean apostate. I hope she and her family are safe. I can’t even imagine what this guy thinks would justify his threats and harassment campaign.

  15. rinn says

    Yes, murtadda with the doubled “d” is an apostate (feminine). Derived from the verb radda, which means “to send back”. Writing it with a single “d” is misleading.

  16. gingerbaker says

    She and her family are getting threats and “nothing can be done”??
    I would say arresting Mr Al Bandar would be a very big _something_ that can be done. As well as offering protection to Nahla and her family. Followed by political officials making clear that such threats will not be tolerated, no matter what your beliefs are.

    Sorry. Even in Britain, the police can not do anything. That was the whole point of the article and the post. Evidently, his exact words did not meet the threshold of a viable threat in a civilized society. No “clear and present danger” or whatever the term in Britain is.

    So, such threats WILL be tolerated.

    So, what would you do if your family was in such a situation – afraid for their lives and no recourse from the law or the government?

    Evidently, I am a pariah for suggesting that one appropriate response would be to do things the old-fashioned way. The way things have always been done with bullies like Al bandar: you punch them in the nose.

    Really fracking hard. And then you politely ask him to recant his actions, or further defensive actions will have to be taken. I get that way when the lives of my family members are at stake and there is no other recourse. Call me crazy.

  17. steffp says

    Details are here.
    There are minority positions in Islamic jurispudence who speak against the death penalty – arguing that the Qur’an itself does only mention punishment in the thereafter. Most of these jurists, however, hold apostasy (riddah, irtidād) to be a punishable crime.
    .
    Apostasy does not mean the conversion to another religion only. It also means “denying the existence of God, rejecting the prophets, mocking God or the prophets, idol worship, rejecting the sharia, or permitting behavior that is forbidden by the sharia, such as adultery or the eating of forbidden foods or drinking of alcoholic beverages” if it is done by a Muslim. Pretty harsh.
    .
    Living under such dire consequences, and with practically all educational organizations under strict Islamic influence ( cf. waqf, madrassa), has led to the notable stagnation in both Islamic philosophy and physical sciences after the 13th century, with the only exemption of medicine, which Islamic authorities (old men, all of them) has always sponsored.

  18. gingerbaker says

    ” I get that way when the lives of my family members are at stake and there is no other recourse. Call me crazy.”.

    I’ve never had to actually do that, however. I did once have to come close. Living in Boston, and my wife was constantly being terrorized on her walk home from work by a nasty pair of Dobermans who were illegally and deliberately left loose. They would sneak up behind her (and others in the neighborhood) and growl, bare teeth, push. Everything but bite. Well, so far. Multiple people complained to the owners, who basically laughed. The police did nothing.

    I told a friend who knew the dog owners to tell them that I was new to the city from Vermont, and the way we dealt with dogs like that where I was from was to pay them a visit with a hammer.

    The dogs were never seen outside of their house again unless they were on a leash. And, yes, I had a hammer and I was not bluffing.

  19. says

    Well, Salman Rushdie and Ayaan Hirsi Ali both ended up in the U.S. and both have admitted they feel safer there than in Britain in Rushdie’s case and in the Netherlands in Ali’s. Muslim populations are very large over here in Europe and among them are many radicals. It’s not like you can just go and punch Al Bandar in the nose, you’d probably get murdered.

    In Rushdie’s latest book he tells the story of how he decided at one point to try and make peace with the U.K. Muslim organizations that were threatening him and these were also supposed to be the more moderate among them. If I remember right (read the book several months ago), he went to meet them and they told him he’d be alright if he claimed to be a believer again and refrained from any critiques of Islam whatsoever. He was in hiding for something like ten years.

    “Fitnah” is correctly or incorrectly used here in France to refer to discord or war among Muslims like when Sunnis and Shias bomb each other.

  20. chigau (残念ですね) says

    gingerbaker
    You are seriously equating actual threatening dogs with perceived threatening Muslims?

  21. chigau (残念ですね) says

    Elizabeth Hamilton
    My ‘nym parenthetical is Japanese.
    Japanese is written with a combination of ideograms and phonetic script.

  22. Pen says

    We’re obviously having a cultural problem. Possibly those names in an Islamic context constitute an invitation to kill or harm her but British law hasn’t learned to ‘see’ that context yet because Britain’s not a traditionally Islamic culture. I think it is the Islamic context that turns Al Bandar’s pathetic discourse from vulgar abuse into a threat. What I’m hearing isn’t the ‘I’d like to rape you/bomb you’ of recent Twitter ill-fame but ‘I’ll have no tolerance/mercy/I forbid it’. My own culture doesn’t tell me how being called an intolerable troublemaker or unbeliever constitutes a threat*. On the other hand, we also have laws against racist abuse, and maybe verbal abuse of people who’ve left a religion should be seen in the same light but the law has yet to learn to recognise and act against those names.

    * Just to be clear, I understand that it probably does in this case and I’m in favour of our culture and laws adapting to our new situation as quickly as possible. Attempts to silence apostates or bully them out of the public sphere are completely unacceptable.

  23. Rich Woods says

    @gingerbaker #18:

    Evidently, I am a pariah for suggesting that one appropriate response would be to do things the old-fashioned way. The way things have always been done with bullies like Al bandar: you punch them in the nose.

    Really fracking hard. And then you politely ask him to recant his actions, or further defensive actions will have to be taken. I get that way when the lives of my family members are at stake and there is no other recourse. Call me crazy.

    So you are the one who is willing to initiate violence? You want to start a fight when only words have been used up until that point, when you don’t even know whether or not anyone is listening to the gobshite or will act upon his call? Yeah, I’ll call you crazy. Violence is more likely to engender further violence than words ever can. Have you considered that that’s exactly the reaction he might be tring to provoke? Maybe he just wants to be martyred.

    There’s a reason that even you describe your desire as “the old-fashioned way” — it’s been superceded. You might recall a rhyme from your school days: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”. But I get the feeling you’re one of those kids who didn’t grow out of thumping people for the least perceived slight by the age of thirteen.

    And then you politely ask

    = Further threat of force. Still, I suppose it saves you and your tiny penis from having to think more than five seconds ahead.

  24. says

    “Islamists have threatened Sudanese secular campaigner and Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain Spokesperson Nahla Mahmoud with death

    She writes:

    “my younger brother has been physically attacked in Sudan,

    Rich Woods says:

    “You want to start a fight when only words have been used up until that point,

    It’s gone beyond words already.

  25. Rawnaeris, Lulu Cthulhu says

    Rich Woods

    Still, I suppose it saves you and your tiny penis from having to think more than five seconds ahead.

    Not cool. Not needed to make your point. In case you missed the memo, gendered slurs aren’t welcome here. That includes male-gendered.

  26. marcus says

    Let me just say that if someone is stupid enough to threaten my family and think, that by couching it in terms that fall just short of legally actionable, that they are being very clever, then they are sadly mistaken and it could cost them their health and and possibly their lives.

  27. Old At Heart says

    Just tossing this out here…

    What if, and I know this is radical, but what if… We punished people for words that incite and invite violence?

    Crazy, I know. Even a slap on the wrist, even just a “you need to take a personal day from work to show up so a judge can say ‘tut tut’ to you”.

    But that kind of crazy world will never exist.

    But still, an issue: If you say something in a public forum that can be interpreted as an accusation, it is usually treated fairly harshly. Frankly, Death Note has some merit points… If the hand of god (so no blame on a human) made everyone who advocated hurting or killing others just have a heart attack and die… After 10,000 or so, I think humans would catch on and fix up their act a bit. “Religion of peace” my neighbor’s coveted ass.

  28. anteprepro says

    You might recall a rhyme from your school days: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”.

    It is complete and utter bullshit the idea that words can’t hurt. Verbally abusive relationship are just words. Death threats and calls to violence are just words. Lies and misinformation can lead people to accidentally hurt themselves or others. Rumors and libel hurt people. Hell, the whole of politics are just words, and we all know that politics is the most dangerous game of all, even when violence is off the table. Words aren’t always harmless, because among us social animals, words have fucking consequences and have power.

    Also, the “tiny penis” remark is something you should retract and apologize for.

    Let me just say that if someone is stupid enough to threaten my family and think, that by couching it in terms that fall just short of legally actionable, that they are being very clever, then they are sadly mistaken and it could cost them their health and and possibly their lives.

    That’s great, Rambo. Glad that you’ve learned how to fight plausibly deniable death threats with plausibly deniable death threats.

  29. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @22. chigau (残念ですね) :

    gingerbaker
    You are seriously equating actual threatening dogs with perceived threatening Muslims?

    Can’t speak for gingerbaker but I’d ask you if you read the OP and think its just a “percieved” threat that should go unnoticed and be laughed off or a y”know a real actual death threta from islamist fnatacis with aknown history of committing murders and persecuting those they disagree with we’re talking about here.

    Remember the Salman Rushdie case, the attacks on the Danish cartoonists and their publishers, the murder of Theo Van Gogh?

    No? Here’s a refresher on that last one :

    Van Gogh was murdered by Mohammed Bouyeri as he was cycling to work on 2 November 2004 at about 9 o’clock in the morning, in front of the Amsterdam East borough office (stadsdeelkantoor), on the corner of the Linnaeusstraat and Tweede Oosterparkstraat (52°21′32.22″N 4°55′34.74″E).[3] The killer shot van Gogh eight times with an HS 2000 handgun. Initially from his bicycle, Bouyeri fired several bullets at Van Gogh, who was hit, as were two bystanders. Wounded, Van Gogh ran to the other side of the road and fell to the ground on the cycle lane. According to eyewitnesses, Van Gogh’s last words were: “Mercy, mercy! We can talk about it, can’t we?”[4] Bouyeri then walked up to Van Gogh, who was still lying down, and calmly shot him several more times at close range.[5][6] Bouyeri then cut Van Gogh’s throat, and tried to decapitate him with a large knife, after which he stabbed the knife deep into Van Gogh’s chest, reaching his spinal cord. He then attached a note to the body with a smaller knife. Van Gogh died on the spot.[7] The two knives were left implanted. The note (Text) was addressed, and contained a death threat to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who was subsequently forced to go into hiding, threatened Western countries and Jews and [8][9]also referred to the ideologies of the Egyptian organization Takfir wal-Hijra.

    Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theo_van_Gogh_(film_director)#Murder

    Yes, its not like there’s precedents for Islamists threats turning into actual horror movie type violence and murders here. Just ask Lee Rigby’s family.

    Still maintain that the threats are just perceived? Just as a savagely barking large dog can be “merely” a “perceived” threat until it mauls a child to death. That we shouldn’t do anything until something dreadful takes place? Till, say, after Nahla Mahmoud meets the same end as Theo van Gogh or Lee Rigby?

    Or do you think when a group of extremists has a record of backing up their horrific rhetoric with horrific atrocities we should take their threats seriously and act to prevent the atrocities from happening?

    I’d go with option two there. Your milage varies?

    @ 26. Rich Woods :

    @gingerbaker #18: “Evidently, I am a pariah for suggesting that one appropriate response would be to do things the old-fashioned way. The way things have always been done with bullies like Al bandar: you punch them in the nose. Really fracking hard. And then you politely ask him to recant his actions, or further defensive actions will have to be taken. I get that way when the lives of my family members are at stake and there is no other recourse. Call me crazy.

    So you are the one who is willing to initiate violence? You want to start a fight when only words have been used up until that point, when you don’t even know whether or not anyone is listening to the gobshite or will act upon his call? Yeah, I’ll call you crazy. Violence is more likely to engender further violence than words ever can. Have you considered that that’s exactly the reaction he might be tring to provoke? Maybe he just wants to be martyred.

    Or maybe we should take death threats seriously especially from groups with a long history of bloodily carrying them out.

    I’d call you crazy Rich Woods NOT Gingerbaker. As #27 Elizabeth Hamilton has pointed out its gone beyond words and even with words there’s acceptable words and unacceptable ones. Its one thing to argue different political / social / religious positions heatedly. Its quite another to say that someone else should be murdered for expressing a different view or being something you don’t like.

    @32. anteprepro :

    That’s great, Rambo. [Marcus -ed.] Glad that you’ve learned how to fight plausibly deniable death threats with plausibly deniable death threats.

    Don’t you think it kind of matters that one side has initiated the trouble and the other side is responding in defence? I’d say the party starting the conflict is in the wrong just as the Muslims who threatened Salman Rushdie are in the wrong and would be even if Rushdie then, say, put out a contract on Ayatollah Khomenei’s life in response to the fatwah on him!

    The cause of the trouble here is the violent intolerance of Muslims to accept any criticism or allow apostasy, conversions to other religions and so much more. That’s the causative agency the source of the trouble here. The other stuff is a response to that. Its the initial source and cause of the conflict -the Islamist intolerance and violence – that needs to be addressed and stop here. IThen there’;llbe no nmneed for any negative response.

  30. marcus says

    @32 I haven’t threatened anyone plausibly or non. I’m just saying people that threaten other people’s families should realize that they are taking actions that may have unfortunate consequences. If a threat is legally actionable then certainly that is the correct course to take. If you can defuse a situation peacefully then human compassion demands that you do so. If you can reconcile a situation so that no one gets hurt then it is the only moral course of action. If someone threatened me personally I could even be patient and rely on my on skills and experience to try and stay safe. However, if someone actually threatened my family, I wouldn’t have the luxury of that option.

  31. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    IOW. The party that starts it is more culpable than the one that reacts to the first parties attacks.

  32. anteprepro says

    I’m just saying people that threaten other people’s families should realize that they are taking actions that may have unfortunate consequences…. However, if someone actually threatened my family, I wouldn’t have the luxury of that option.

    Fair enough. That is how I first read your comment, and then I read it again and thought that it sounded like some sort of macho power fantasy. Glad to know that you are sensible, and apologies if I was overly snarky!

    Don’t you think it kind of matters that one side has initiated the trouble and the other side is responding in defence?….

    Go fuck yourself StevoR. I’m not actually just replying to the quoted section in particular, I’m just using it as a springboard to tell you to go fuck yourself. Because it needs to be said, and it is virtually the only thing I have left to say whenever you open your fucking yap.

  33. says

    Gingerbaker:
    Laws can be changed, no?
    Is the threshold for a viable threat open to interpretation?

    In any case, escalating the violence as you suggest is supposed to help…how? Taking any actions on their own could likely get them in trouble with the law.
    Also, where is the logic in bringing yourself to the guy who is going to harm or kill you and your family?

    You mentioned punching a bully as the only response sometimes. Is this your opinion backed by anecdotes, or do studies show fighting back diminishes bullying?

  34. says

    Somehow StevoR misses out on the fact that while one side initiated the trouble, he supports the opposite side escalating past words into violence.
    And in this case, vigilante violence (since the government has chosen to do nothing).

  35. says

    Well, instead of arguing about the acceptability of having violent reactions here on this blog (dogs and hammers, small penises, sticks and stones, if it were my family I’d….), why don’t you all address the larger question?

    When you have a country/region where there are relatively new and large populations of people from Muslim countries, and when among them there are people just going about their lives, others taking advantage of new-found freedoms to engage in free thought, others organizing into councils and associations to promote violent and intolerant forms of Islam funded by petro-dollars, as well as isolated youths who via internet radicalize themselves and make pressure-cooker bombs or decide to do a Sandy Hook kind of thing at a Jewish elementary school or punish those they perceive as wayward Muslims (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toulouse_and_Montauban_shootings#Profile_of_terrorist), then what should government policy be?

  36. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @ ^ anuran : Agreed.

    @ 37. anteprepro : So, no actual logical counter-argument then I see. Just abuse at the messenger.

    @39. Tony! The Flaming Queer Shoop : I see you’ve totally missed my point.

    The side initiating the conflict is more culpable than the side defending itself from threats of attack.

    What exactly about that statement do you have a problem with?

    So, moral of the story – don’t threaten other people or start conflicts! That’s what I think is a key principle. Somehow thinking and saying that makes me evil here does it? Dafuck?!

  37. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    Also if one side starts the fight its on their heads if the other side they picked a fight with finishes it ina way the first side dislikes.

    Again same moral as #43..

  38. says

    So, no one has any useful thoughts. Just posturing and “who started it?” and picking fights as you talk about picking fights. O.k., I just learned that this may be a good blog for things biological or anti-theist but that’s it. Intelligent exchange on politics or world events I’ll find elsewhere.

  39. chigau (残念ですね) says

    Elizabeth Hamilton
    I’m very disappointed that you’re disappointed.
    Bless your heart.

  40. David Marjanović says

    Sometimes the only and best solution to a schoolyard bully is to punch him in the face. Perhaps there is a legitimate role for directed retaliatory personal violence even in, perhaps especially in, a civilized society?

    See, the thing about the rule of law is that the state has the monopoly on violence. The police is allowed to use violence to arrest people – retaliation is not an option.

    assuming that the Sudan Civic Foundation is a Sunni organization

    I don’t think there are any Shi’ites in Sudan.

    Yes, murtadda with the doubled “d” is an apostate (feminine).

    That’s a death threat. As comment 19 explains, it means “God wants you to murder her”.

    Muslim populations are very large over here in Europe and among them are many radicals.

    *eyeroll* I’ve lived in Vienna, Paris and Berlin for the last 20 years. You’re being so vague that I can’t say for certain that you exaggerate… but… *eyeroll*

    Don’t you think it kind of matters that one side has initiated the trouble and the other side is responding in defence?

    What, is intent magic now?

    “Mom!!! He’s quarrelling!!!”

    I’d say the party starting the conflict is in the wrong

    That doesn’t mean that the other party stays in the right forever no matter what they do!

    See, maybe it’ll blow your tiny mind, but there are conflicts were both or indeed all five parties are in the wrong. That’s even common.

    You mentioned punching a bully as the only response sometimes. Is this your opinion backed by anecdotes, or do studies show fighting back diminishes bullying?

    I’m sure whether it works depends on the bully’s personality…

    Incitement to violence and conspiracy to commit it are and should be serious crimes

    Bingo.

  41. says

    Chigau

    That’s very sweet of you

    Now I will forever recognize Japanese writing (if it’s in those two different scripts).

    I used to have a Chinese friend at work who would make comments about the Japanese characters that are derived from Chinese characters on things like photocopiers, he said they were “archaic”. He’d explain them to me.

  42. chigau (残念ですね) says

    Elizabeth Hamilton
    Irony is impossible to convey in text-only.
    I really meant to insult you.

  43. gravityisjustatheory says

    Hang on, what’s Elizabeth done wrong?

    Unless I’ve misunderstood her posts, all she was doing was wanting to keep the topic of conversation on “how to deal with this problem” (rather than going off on a tangent about when it is/is not justifiable to take the law into your own hands).

  44. anteprepro says

    So, no actual logical counter-argument then I see. Just abuse at the messenger.

    BAAAAAW. Does the sound of the world’s tiniest violin follow StevoR everywhere?

  45. anteprepro says

    Unless I’ve misunderstood her posts, all she was doing was wanting to keep the topic of conversation on “how to deal with this problem”

    It took her a whole 4 posts, from her 41 to 45, to go from her post that was about staying on topic, to a post declaring how worthless this blog is because people are talking about the topic like she said we should

    (despite that anuran’s post immediately following hers did address her conception of “the problem” [perhaps on accident] by alluding to the fact that it is a moot point: this shit actually is already illegal! There’s really nothing more that can be done aside from people actually applying the laws!)

  46. says

    This post was a “moot point” (anteprepro) from the very start

    because “there’s really nothing more that can be done aside from people actually applying the laws” (anteprepro)

    which is why

    “the police have closed the case and advised that nothing could be done.” (quoted by PZ)

  47. Nick Gotts says

    what should government policy be? – Elizabeth Hamilton

    Do you have any concrete proposals yourself?

  48. Nick Gotts says

    I would like further information before signing the petition PZ links to, which calls for Salah Al Bandar’s prosecution. I have posted the following comment there, and will report back if I receive a response:

    While I certainly support the right of Nahla Mahmoud to freedom of speech, and while I consider the comments you report from Salah Al Bandar to be highly objectionable and morally wrong, it is not clear to me that he has crossed the line into criminal conduct under UK law; although I remain open to persuasion that he has. Could you provide any details of the nature of the complaint made, and of the police response? What was the wording of the complaint? What specific offense, if any, did it claim that Salah Al Bandar has committed, and in relation to what specific words he used? What force was it? Did they give their grounds for closing the case?

  49. anteprepro says

    This post was a “moot point” (anteprepro) from the very start

    because “there’s really nothing more that can be done aside from people actually applying the laws” (anteprepro)

    which is why

    “the police have closed the case and advised that nothing could be done.” (quoted by PZ)

    Fascinating that you only find the idea debatable when I bring it to your attention. Did you or did you not read and understand anuran’s post before throwing a temper tantrum about the quality of the conversation not three posts later? Do you have anything to yourself bring to conversation aside from smugness? It is incredibly that you seem interested and in heavily invested in some discussion that you are dead set against actually involving yourself in.

  50. Nick Gotts says

    Me@60,

    Maryam Namazie has responded as follows:

    Typical I believe she has the right BUT… I suppose unless the police say it is a crime then none exists? It will take years of campaigning work for the police and government to accept crimes by Islamists as crimes. Now they are merely considered people’s “right to religion” – and this is used to excuse everything from FGM, beating of children in madrasas to death threats against apostates.

    Stephen Lawrence’s mother campaigned for years before the institutional racism was acknowledged by police in dealing with his racist killing. You can step in line to be one of the many who needs to be “persuaded” that accusing people of being apostates in a world where people are still executed for apostasy in 10 countries (including Sudan where Nahla’s family face threats) and where it is a prosecutable offence in countless more can mean that those who are accused of it face real threats to their lives and security. Also many apostates live in fear right here in Britain and the fact that the police and government turn a blind eye doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be considered an offence to threaten people when it comes to Islam.

    Note that she does not provide any of the information I requested. Anyone wanting to see my response can find it here.