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Sep 30 2013

There can be only One Problem, and it is Muslim

The Pat Condell fanbois have been telling me that I have been thoroughly refuted by Anne Marie Waters, so of course I looked, and was a little appalled. A lot of Brits seem to be afflicted with Dear Muslima syndrome, and she’s got it bad.

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.

I’ve heard so many variations on this theme, over and over again. Recognizing that racism runs deeper than just the obvious is not devaluing it; it is opening your eyes to the entirety of the problem. If we insist that anything short of calling all black people “niggers” and organizing lynching parties is not racism, what are you going to call the bigotry that leads to people trashing CVs from people named Lashinda? The ones who swear at Sikhs because they’re Muslims? The ones who organize political campaigns to evict brown-skinned people from the country (by entirely legal means, of course!) because they’re all genital-mutilating jihad-preaching Islamicists?

I focused largely on Condell’s bizarre ranting against feminists, and Waters continues in the same vein. Condell said that

…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.

Waters responds by parsing the words ever more finely.

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?

Ah. Condell didn’t say they had “no problem” with those acts, he was saying they do “absolutely nothing about it”! What a vast and significant difference. My apologies. I should have just used Condell’s words directly — oh, I did, embedding his video and quoting directly — with no commentary at all. I should be just shilling for him, I guess.

I appreciate the selective reading by Waters, though. She asks where are all those feminists on matters concerning Islam…didn’t I list a bunch? Yes, I did.

I’m looking around at my circle of progressive feminists — is it Taslima? Maryam? Ophelia? Sikivu? Heina? He seems to be flinging about wild accusations with no basis in fact here; it’s hard to even imagine a woman not deeply indoctrinated into Islam who would excuse murdering other women for infidelity, for instance.

Waters tries to support her claim that feminists are happy to let Islamic violence against women slide by listing lots of examples of feminists pursuing other problems than Sharia law. She wrote to the Campaign Against Domestic Violence about when they were going to start their specific campaign against Sharia approved domestic violence; they didn’t reply. This is clearly a sign that they have a gigantic loophole in place to tolerate spousal abuse by Muslim men — or that they didn’t feel obligated to answer the nutter who’s demanding special attention be paid to one kind of domestic violence, when they’re obviously doing all they can to fight all of it. When a woman is being beaten, we shouldn’t focus on the color of the hands doing the beating, but rather on just stopping it.

Then she complains that the high profile story of Nigella Lawson being abused wasn’t also associated with a condemnation of Sharia law.

Women’s Aid, an organization that fights domestic violence, doesn’t have an official condemnation of Islamic violence.

The Fawcett Society, which works for women’s rights, doesn’t have anything to say about Sharia law, either.

The Liberal Democrats and Labour parties don’t condemn Sharia-based sexism, they just condemn plain ol’ sexism. How dare they fail to single out one kind of sexism for special targeting?

That’s really the gist of her whole case. She sneers at feminists who are working to end violence against women because they aren’t focusing narrowly enough on her obsession that Islam is the most important source of this evil. What are they supposed to do? Give thuggish white Britons a free pass while they deal with thuggish Muslim Britons? Or simply focus on the problem, rather than the ethnic status of some of the individuals causing the problem?

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.

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.

Oh, really? I assure you, I also oppose female genital mutilation, I think Sharia courts should not be recognized as legitimate legal entities, and that the oppression of women in Islamic countries is horrific and is far more extreme than it is in the US or UK. I also think Islam is a nightmarish religion, as are all the Abrahamic patriarchical mythologies. Get rid of them all.

But how shall we get rid of them? Deport all their proponents? Make laws that single out certain religious beliefs as criminal? Treat immigrants and people of recognizable racial groups as suspect?

I favor education, secularizing, and setting a good example. The Muslim citizens of the US and UK are exactly that, citizens, and deserve the same rights and protections as the paler residents of those countries, and most importantly, also deserve the same opportunities. You want those Muslim immigrants to be full participants in your society? Stop treating them as an underclass.

I don’t want laws saying “it is illegal to beat your wife if you are Muslim.” I want laws saying “it is illegal to beat your spouse,” period. I don’t want specific proscriptions against halal meat, I want laws that guarantee humane slaughtering methods, period. I don’t want laws condemning the poor educations students receive in Islamic madrassas, I want requirements that every child get a respectable secular education. Period.

And when I see godless, secular people working to build a better world, I want them to recognize all abuses, not just the ones by “foreigners”. That Muslim women in Somalia are suffering greatly doesn’t mean we should ignore Christian women in Somalia. We should also pay attention to the Quiverfull movement and religious corruption of education and the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. There are a million problems in the world, why should everyone drop all concern for all of the others and pay attention to only the ones Anne Marie Waters and Pat Condell and Pamela Geller think are important?

Shall we tell Doctors Without Borders to stop what they are doing because it isn’t addressing the Muslim Problem? Shall I stop teaching at my university because most of my students are of German, Scandinavian, and Indian descent, with scarcely a Muslim among them? If I take the time to help a student learn about molecular biology while a woman is being raped in India, am I a moral monster? How can Ophelia Benson write about the horrific death of Savita Halappanavar when she wasn’t even Muslim? Catholic abuses must be ignored right now because there are Islamic abuses — and atheist abuses must be treated as nonexistent. Drop everything, people, any positive action you take to improve your community that doesn’t involve specifically hating Muslims is going to be read by a gang of bigots as detracting from dealing with the Most Important Problem in the Universe!

And how can you deny that Anne Marie Waters is the best judge of the relative importance of problems when she can say something like this with a straight face?

When women in west face violence, the law – though imperfect – tends to be on their side.

Right. Tell that to Marissa Alexander. Let her rot in jail while we all team up to defeat Islam right now.

91 comments

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  1. 1
    Inaji

    PZ:

    If we insist that anything short of calling all black people “n!ggers” and organizing lynching parties is not racism, what are you going to call the bigotry that leads to people trashing CVs from people named Lashinda?

    This insistence on narrowing the definition of racism is insidious, and doing no one any favours. Racism against all kinds of people is happily in the brains of too many, and it needs to be pointed out, all the time.

    As for Ms. Waters, why aren’t you up in arms over VAWA being quashed in the U.S.? This is one of the only acts which would afford a tiny sliver of protection for American Indian women. Or do they not count, because as they aren’t black and aren’t muslim, it’s not possible for assholes to be racist towards them?

  2. 2
    gussnarp

    I’ll just point out that I remember feminist groups calling attention to the treatment of women under the Taliban, as well as the treatment of women in Saudi Arabia, long before the September 11th attacks made it trendy for the Condells of the world to suddenly think about the plight of women.

  3. 3
    Ryan Jean

    “There are a million problems in the world, why should everyone drop all concern for all of the others and pay attention to only the ones Anne Marie Waters and Pat Condell and Pamela Geller think are important?”

    Hmm…

    …Anne Marie Waters and Pat Condell and Pamela Geller

    I see what you did there…
    (And it’s a very good point!)

  4. 4
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    One of the reasons I read you, PZ, is that it means I don’t have to read the Anne Marie Waters of the world to know what’s going on of note in the world of anti-feminism.

    Seriously, these people who say that I don’t X should shut up until they know whether or not I do X. And when they say feminists generally don’t do some X that is (ostensibly) opposing sexism, it’s entirely infuriating. You have it just right when you point out her formula leads to the notion that teaching molecular biology is a moral teratogen, as it isn’t opposing AMW’s favorite hobgoblin.

    I would say bugger the notion, but the notion might get entirely the wrong message from it.

  5. 5
    Doug Hudson

    Great essay, PZ!

    When it comes to violence against women, religion is only one of many possible enablers.

  6. 6
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    As a separate point, PZ, when you say:

    I think Sharia courts should not be recognized as legitimate legal entities

    I must disagree. There is no way to do this without seriously eroding important rights for all.

    I am, from context, assuming that you mean that such courts should not be recognized as having power to render binding decisions on disputes, and further that you’re talking about in the US/UK (as those are the countries under discussion) and similar secularized nations, NOT nations of the world where Sharia courts are the only constitutional courts.

    Even so, Sharia courts have no status in the UK or the US not given to other non-profits and their representatives. When Sharia courts issue binding decisions respected by legal authorities, it’s because people have agreed to use a particular Sharia court as an arbitrator or mediator. Outsourcing some of the work of our courts to private mediators and arbitrators actually serves a number of useful functions. There are quite a number of smart folk who are perfectly competent in the ethics required of a mediator by our court systems, but perform their roles within Sharia courts.

    If people want to contract to have their dispute mediated by another muslim, there isn’t any reason why that right should, generally, be denied.

    I agree that we have to work to destabilize the many of the horrid principles employed in Sharia courts, just as we must in Bethei Din courts, just as we must in Florida courts. Changing the law is the answer, rather than simply banning the use of certain people as mediators/arbitrators.

  7. 7
    Avicenna

    I put up Orzala as an example.

    A Muslim Feminist who helps run illegal women’s shelters in Afghanistan. Or the Indian Writer who died a few weeks ago in Afghanistan after she was executed for running women’s healthcare clinics.

  8. 8
    unclefrogy

    thank again for pointing out how essentially irrational bigotry and bigots are.
    uncle frogy

  9. 9
    smhll

    How does Ms. Waters think we can overturn sharia law in the countries where it is the law of the land? Conquer and occupy those countries? (Not my recommended solution.)

    I am more active about issues in my country because I can vote and can speak to my representative(s) and other voters. (In English, because I am essentially mono-lingual.)

  10. 10
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    I have to second what gussnarp at #2. In the nineties, I heard very little about the treatment of women in Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia from the main stream press and from main stream politician. I learned about that from marginalized leftist and feminist publications and from groups like RAWA.

    There was a time when people were outraged more by the destruction of giant Buddhist statues then by the stoning of women by the Taliban in sports stadiums in Tehran.

  11. 11
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @smhll:

    She probably wants us to install Democratic, secular government in those countries, because secular Democracies don’t leave countries torn and ravaged by war and rebellion…

    Oh wait, that’s what we did in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  12. 12
    Rey Fox

    How about if everyone just stop criticizing people for what they don’t say?

  13. 13
    k_machine

    I say old chap those Muslims are quite barbaric! *Pours billions in arms into Saudi Arabia*

  14. 14
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @k_machine (13)

    I doubt any despotic maniac will use these weapons we give him for a bad purpose. Enjoy the chemical weapons, Mister Hussein.

  15. 15
    mnb0

    “Deport all their proponents? Make laws that single out certain religious beliefs as criminal? Treat immigrants and people of recognizable racial groups as suspect?”
    Be careful what you ask for. Geert Wilders and his fans have been formulating proposals along these lines since a decade or so.
    Just google on “Wilders calls for mass deportation”, “head scarves tax” and “Five stupid things Geert Wilders said”.

  16. 16
    roro80

    One interesting thing that always occurs to me when racist assholes appropriate the oppression of women of color to further their racist asshole ends is that mainstream white feminism does, in fact, have a racism problem, as does mainstream white progressivism. Heaven knows both communities have had major blow-outs over the subject in the last few years, and really for as long as feminism and progressivism have existed. BUT, if you’re going to criticize feminism for having a racism problem, you’d better damn well be doing something about racism yourself. You certainly had better make sure you aren’t a much, much worse racist asshole than the communities you’re criticizing. These folks clearly qualify.

  17. 17
    stevebowen

    @ Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden
    My worry is that Muslim women in the U.K “choose” arbitration in Sharia courts in the same way that they “choose” to wear the Niqab.

  18. 18
    John Kruger

    The “what about deh muzliiiiims!” strategy seems to be the go to argument for a lot of the YouTube atheist anti-feminists. It’s nothing more a very minor variation on a very, very common silencing tactic.

  19. 19
    crocodoc

    I don’t want laws saying “it is illegal to beat your wife if you are Muslim.” I want laws saying “it is illegal to beat your spouse,” period

    Is that “if you are a Muslim” really what Condell is saying? I’m not sure about the UK but here in Germany we tend to treat honor killings differently than murder – as if it weren’t just that. When circumcision was found to be conflicting with the Grundgesetz, our christian government was incredibly quick to pass a law that made an exception for religiously motivated mutilation of children.
    I’m 100% with you, PZ, that no group should be singled out. But no group should get the benefit of “respect for religious convictions” either, and that does make the islamic (and catholic) part of our population a special problem. How would you deal with people who feel “insulted” and “offended” by a general condemnation of domestic violence because that would be intolerant and disrespectful of their cultural values?

  20. 20
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Crocodoc, please point out where PZ or anyone else who is part of the horde or members of FtB have stated any respect for the concept of “respect for religious convictions”.

  21. 21
    MJP

    They are asking the equivalent of “I know you oppose murder in general, but do you oppose murder in northeastern Hungary?” A logical person doesn’t have to ask this sort of question.

  22. 22
    vaiyt

    I remember feminist groups calling attention to the treatment of women under the Taliban, as well as the treatment of women in Saudi Arabia, long before the September 11th attacks made it trendy for the Condells of the world to suddenly think about the plight of women.

    Right on the money. All Condell is doing is using Muslim women as a cudgel to bash PZ, immigrants and Muslims in general.

  23. 23
    Travis

    I’ll just point out that I remember feminist groups calling attention to the treatment of women under the Taliban, as well as the treatment of women in Saudi Arabia, long before the September 11th attacks made it trendy for the Condells of the world to suddenly think about the plight of women.

    Indeed, anyone saying that feminists were not talking about the treatment of women in these countries is quite simply lying. However, post 9/11 I was quite shocked to find out that many people were unfamiliar with the Taliban. There was quite a lot of news stories on them in the late 1990s dealing with this very issue. But sadly it seems no matter how much news coverage something gets, many people will not remember.

  24. 24
    NelC

    Stevebowen @17, are you confused as to what a niqab is? I see Muslim women every day here in Gloucestershire without niqabs. Some of them wear simple scarves. Some of them wear nothing special. The British Muslim family that runs my local corner shop do not wear hijab typically; though the daughter went through a period of wearing the hijab a couple of years ago, she doesn’t wear it now.

  25. 25
    Inaji

    Travis:

    But sadly it seems no matter how much news coverage something gets, many people will not remember.

    I think it’s more a case of a whole lot of people simply not giving a damn, unless they feel something personally impacts their way of life.

  26. 26
    Anoia

    Where are all those feminists?

    One is Alice Schwarzer, (second-wave) german feminist and critical of Islam since the 70ies (Khomeini got her started iirc), she runs EMMA:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EMMA_%28magazine%29

  27. 27
    stevebowen

    @NelC #24 no I am perfectly aware of the differences between niqab, burkha and hijab. The fact that both you and I know Muslim women who choose not to wear any of these does not mean that many who would rather not are obliged to, either by coercion or convention. The point I was making is the same may be true of meditaion by sharia. It does not follow that use of such courts is a free choice under all circumsctances.

  28. 28
    unclefrogy

    as far as I am aware no decision by a sharia court will supplant the civil courts and only has jurisdiction in matters that can be legally arbitrated there for not criminal really no different than judge judy. it is a contract agreed to by all parties
    in countries where it is the law of the land that is of course different

    again it is an irrational argument.
    uncle frogy

  29. 29
    sc_a5d5b3a48ba402d40e1725cbb3ce1375

    This made me cringe a bit:

    I don’t want laws saying “it is illegal to beat your wife if you are Muslim.” I want laws saying “it is illegal to beat your spouse,” period. I don’t want specific proscriptions against halal meat, I want laws that guarantee humane slaughtering methods, period.

    .. because of a superficial resemblance to certain anti-anti-bigotry (or simply “race-blind”, “gender-blind”, etc) arguments. You know, the arguments that come up most explicitly in conversations about affirmative action, but also in general whenever someone points out bigotry. Rhetorical cousins include:

    “You’re the reeeal racist!”
    “We should treat everyone equally! No caveats or complications.”
    “How come comparing Bush to a chimp isn’t racist, but comparing Obama to one is?”
    “Both sides do it!” (implication: see how I’m more fair-minded than you?)

    I know that’s not what was intended, of course. Still, I think it can be the case that real solutions are found in apparent-double-standards, like affirmative action, the acceptability of people-of-color-only groups where white-only groups would be suspect, etc.

    I suppose some of these anti-Muslim folks could try to argue that the intersectionality/anti-kyriarchy worldview is almost right — it just has the wrong pyramid, and where we would put “rich white Christian males” at the top, it actually should be “Muslims.” =p

  30. 30
    Area Man

    So let me get this straight. People who seem to care about the plight of women only when it gives them a soapbox to condemn a religion/ethnicity they don’t like are lecturing to the rest of us that we’re ignoring the plight of women because of the religion/ethnicity of the perpetrators. Are they fucking serious?

  31. 31
    crocodoc

    @20 Goodbye Enemy Janine, please point out where I implied that PZ or anyone else who is part of the horde or members of FtB have stated any respect for the concept of “respect for religious convictions”.
    That’s not what I said at all. I was merely asking if Condell really wants to single out ethnic groups (I’m not too familiar with his talks) or if he is simply – as am I – frustrated and pissed off by the fact that condemning violence generally will reliably cause certain groups to whine about the intolerant treatment they have to bear and seek shelter behind their “culture” and “tradition”. I don’t like him very much and I’m the first one to admit that he’s wrong about a few things and made a whole bunch of strawman arguments. That does not mean we’re entitled to do that, too.

  32. 32
    koncorde

    Where’s Rutee Katreya when we need to have a complain-fest about the word “thug” again? [/threadjack]

    Pamela Geller is disgusting in her use of pathetic fallacy for divisive purposes. For a while I read her blog, back in the 2008 Obama birther heyday, to see to what inanimate word she would attach all manner of feelings, emotions and mystical self determination to.

    “Creeping Sharia” is one of those great insidious phrases spawned by their ilk.

  33. 33
    stevebowen

    @ unclefroggy #28

    again it is an irrational argument.

    not sure I’m with you. Which argument are you calling irrational?

  34. 34
    stevebowen

    Apologies for the extra “g” unclefrogy…

  35. 35
    Inaji

    Monitor note:

    crocodoc @ 31, Please remember to use html tags:

    Use the HTML tags listed below the comment box. In particular, use “blockquote” when quoting someone.

    To quote someone, use <blockquote>Place Text Here</blockquote>:

    Place Text Here

    To bold words, use <b>Text</b>

    To italicize words, use <i>Text</i>

    The Rules

  36. 36
    dereksmear

    According to Hugo Schmidt, PZ is a liar and coward.

    http://www.skepticink.com/prussian/2013/09/30/the-silence-of-the-feminists/

    Bit of a naughty boy is Hugo.

    http://spittoonwatch.wordpress.com/2013/03/31/hugo-shit/

  37. 37
    Rutee Katreya

    Where’s Rutee Katreya when we need to have a complain-fest about the word “thug” again? [/threadjack]

    PZ fucking up doesn’t change that you did, you complete jackass.

    The point I was making is the same may be true of meditaion by sharia. It does not follow that use of such courts is a free choice under all circumsctances.

    That’s true, but it isn’t especially true for Islam compared to other religious arbitration services. Or for that matter, secular ones.

  38. 38
    NelC

    Stevebowen @27, your original comment rather read like you thought that no British Muslim women had any choice about wearing the niqab. If the majority of them choose not to wear niqab, then the majority of Muslim women in Britain don’t seem to be that terribly oppressed. Not to say that there isn’t any oppression, of course, either on a widespread or individual level.

    Of course, one must bear in mind that the majority of British Muslims are not derived from a culture that wears the niqab anyway, it being more an Arabian thing, rather than an Indian subcontinental thing. Which makes your comparison to practising sharia arbitration a bit weak, really.

  39. 39
    mrmorse

    Crocodoc

    I was merely asking if Condell really wants to single out ethnic groups (I’m not too familiar with his talks) or if he is simply – as am I – frustrated and pissed off by the fact that condemning violence generally will reliably cause certain groups to whine about the intolerant treatment they have to bear and seek shelter behind their “culture” and “tradition”.

    There are currently three posts on the front page of Pharyngula talking (directly and indirectly) about Pat Condell, as part of a recent longer series. You should read some of them if you want to know if “Condell really wants to single out ethnic groups”. Or you could argue against a straw man. If there is anyone who has argued on Pharyngula that religious groups should have a right to be sexist, feel free to quote them so we can all agree that they are wrong. Otherwise, it feels like you’re deliberately ignoring the issue at hand to stand up for your own concern, when no one here disagrees with you on that point anyway.

  40. 40
    unclefrogy

    well Steve you can send me as many G’s as you find are extra I seem to be lacking in a few these days.

    bigotry is irrational. sorry if the reference was a bit unclear.
    uncle frogy

  41. 41
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    unclefrogy:

    Bigotry may be irrational, but bigots invest huge amounts of energy rationalizing their bigotry.

  42. 42
    unclefrogy

    to further make things clear.

    all arguments that single out arbitrary groupings of people as being some way or other that does not hold when compared with actual data about said group is not likely to hold up to rational analysis. at best could be willful ignorance but more often just naked bigotry.

    uncle frogy

  43. 43
    A Masked Avenger

    Rutee Katreya, #36:

    PZ fucking up doesn’t change that you did, you complete jackass.

    I agree with your comment completely, and I did read the other thread where the argument about “thug” began. My question is, would it be a fuckup on PZ’s part to use the word “thug” or “thuggish” in a context that actually precludes it referring to people of color? His first use of the term is in the phrase, “thuggish white Britons.” Perhaps I’m insufficiently sensitized, but I don’t see the slightest hint of a way to get any sort of racial slur from that particular reference.

    Or is avoidance of this terminology a matter of principle, akin to avoiding gendered insults even in contexts where they aren’t being used with any sexist connotation (as arguably can be the case with references to male genitalia, at least)?

    I’m an American, and a recovering right-winger to boot, so I’m very familiar with the use of “thug” or “urban” or “inner city” or “yute” as code words for people of color. In addition, I’m sensitive to the word “thug” as a reference to the cult of thuggees in India.

    Sorry if that’s a hijack.

  44. 44
    koncorde

    @36, how about Rethuglican?

    @30, nail on the head, hit. It’s the same logic that dictates you can force people to be free by killing their undemocratically elected leaders, and then watching the populace suffer under a series of autocratic military governments propped up by foreign powers.

    I do find it disturbing that it boils down to:

    Forcing women to wear the niqab – boo, hiss, tyranny.
    vs
    Forcing women to not wear the niqab – hooray, freedom!

    At some point even the illusion of the idea of freedom has been destroyed and replaced with the ideology that all women wish to wear the same clothes otherwise they are oppressed.

  45. 45
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    Monitor note:
    Please remember to stick to the topic of the OP. If you have a bone to pick with somebody, please take it to Thunderdome

    Stay on topic, unless it’s an obvious “fun” thread. If you have something off topic that you must share, the Thunderdome thread is always appropriate.

    The Rules

  46. 46
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @stevebowen, #17:

    That is my concern as well, but how is that addressed? Should men who sign a contract be allowed to take it to an arbitrator of their choice, including so-called Sharia/Sharia-compliant arbitrators, but women be prohibited? Even that, as blunt an instrument as it is, would still eliminate PZ’s idea that “Sharia courts should not be recognized as legitimate legal entities.”

    Further, the orthodox-Judaism compliant arbitrators are every bit as sexist, AFAICT more so, frankly, when it comes to divorce (though certainly these things vary and there may be issues on which they are less sexist than the median Sharia mediator).

    Why disallow the recognition of these courts as “legal entities” (by which I’m sure PZ meant legal decision makers, not legal entities, which would mean that they can’t be non-profits and cannot sue or be sued in a court of law)? Seriously, what do we gain with that particular measure that we can’t guarantee through other measures, such as a revised qualification standard for mediators that includes a prohibition on differential treatment of parties based on sex, gender, race, etc? Individual mediators/arbitrators could be decertified without simply labeling Islamic courts morally inferior to other systems of arbitration.

  47. 47
    erik333

    @45 Crip Dyke

    Why not remove all of them? Wouldn’t it be better if the state acted as the arbiter in all cases?

  48. 48
    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall

    erik333 #46

    Why not remove all of them? Wouldn’t it be better if the state acted as the arbiter in all cases?

    You mean make privately owned/run arbitration services illegal? Or just Jewish and Muslim ones?

    It’d be better, don’t you think, to make sure such service-providers adhere to the law of the land. (And I’ll agree that too many don’t as of now.)

  49. 49
    throwaway

    From dereksmear’s first link @ 36:

    Keep it up kid and I’ll start telling the local Mosque that you cartooned Mahomet…

    Nothing punctuates moral superiority better than death threats by proxy.

  50. 50
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @erik333:

    Well, there are a number of problems with that scenario, not least is that we have far too few judges for that. For two empowered, monied entities – e.g. Lockheed Martin & Boeing – going to an arbitrator provides quicker resolution and thus gives earlier business certainty, which can be incredibly valuable to such companies/entities. Moreover, there isn’t a country in the world with a perfect record on issues of justice – some minority in each country will have greater trust for some subset of private mediators than they will for the constitutionally empowered judges. We could judge whether such distrust is reasonable or not – the Huttaree in the US may be less justified than the Indian Untouchables – but there simply isn’t a country that hasn’t at least one group with legitimate anti-government grievances. Will you judge who can go to the arbitrator for legitimate reasons? If not, then who? If we don’t judge, we either prohibit those with good reasons to mistrust government courts from gaining access to credible justice or we permit those without good reasons to mistrust government courts to use arbitrators anyway.

    There are other reasons as well: constitutional judges don’t have any specialization narrower than, say, “family law” or “criminal law”. If you have an arbitrator who has successfully resolved multiple disputes between media figures and media companies, with a reputation for knowledge of the law, good intelligence, and great ethics, why not take your dispute over your contract to appear on ABC news to this arbitrator? You’ll frankly get a decision at least as well grounded in statute and regulation, probably better grounded in precedent, and the arbitrator has a bit of flexibility to depart from those if and when demanded by justice (the nature of that flexibility can often be pre-negotiated by the parties in the case). Moreover, if the arbitrator does diverge – as judges also sometimes do – the arbitrator need not invent a thin legal rationalization, so you don’t get one side crying about transparent error.

    This flexibility to deviate from the law in the interest of justice should theoretically be of advantage to all parties, but for understandable reasons we can’t empower constitutional courts to deviate from the law.

    Then, when the decision is rendered, because the parties agreed on the arbitrator, the law which can be applied*, and the nature of the arbitrator’s flexibility, the decision is almost certain to hold up in court and thus you have instant finality – no drawing things out in appeals for years.

    Really, disallowing arbitrators is hard to do without disallowing contracts (isn’t it a contract to say: “okay, we agree to ask mom who last did the dishes and whoever did doesn’t have to do them tonight” a contract, assuming each person’s promise to ask mom and/or to forfeit remedies beyond mom’s decision constitutes consideration) and given all the above – two monied interests wanting quick resolution in relationship to each other, big corporations with big liability wanting to avoid devastatingly large punitive damages being sued by parties with good cases but shallow pockets wanting to actually get paid instead of having big corporations drag out the process without paying & running up legal bills in the process, minorities distrusting courts, specialization possibilities of arbitrators, the flexibility of arbitrators to represent the interests of justice, etc – do you think it’s a good idea to get rid of arbitrators?

    *the lex causae – are you applying US law? New Jersey state law? What? This can be complicated unless stipulated, especially if you are a media figure who signed a contract at your agent’s office in Atlanta, but appear by satellite from a studio in Charleston whenever interviewed by reporters variously in LA, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, Kansas City, and New York, for a media company based in Connecticut whose legal representatives signed your contract in Washington D.C. but who decided to discontinue use of you as an on-air consultant [arguably breaching your contract] during an executive retreat in Barbados which was then communicated to a lawyer on vacation in Cancun who telephoned your agent while that agent was doing negotiations in London, who then called you back home in Charleston

  51. 51
    ck

    erik333 wrote:

    Why not remove all of them? Wouldn’t it be better if the state acted as the arbiter in all cases?

    Why do you assume this is even a possibility? If someone wants to use an outside arbitration structure, there is little we can do to stop this. The question is not, “do we allow these Sharia courts to exist,” but “do we allow these Sharia courts to exist inside of the established systems?” All these laws prohibiting Sharia courts merely mean they exist outside of any regulatory control secular governments may wish to impose upon them.

  52. 52
    erikschepers

    From the “about me” page of Anne Marie Waters:

    most of all I’m confused that all three major parties, elected to the House of Commons, promote the same racist and misogynist policy of multiculturalism

    That pretty much says it all – she doesn’t give a toss about women’s rights, it’s just a convenient stick for beating the funny looking brown people. Just like Pat, who would have guessed, eh?

  53. 53
    danieln

    @ article

    But how shall we get rid of them? Deport all their proponents? Make laws that single out certain religious beliefs as criminal? Treat immigrants and people of recognizable racial groups as suspect?

    I favor education, secularizing, and setting a good example. The Muslim citizens of the US and UK are exactly that, citizens, and deserve the same rights and protections as the paler residents of those countries, and most importantly, also deserve the same opportunities.

    I don’t think most critics of Islam want to take away the citizenship of Muslims or have some kind of two-tier citizenship with Muslims as the lesser citizen.

    But that’s just it, many of them weren’t citizens in the past. Conversions are there but don’t really account for the main reason why Islam is on the rise in many western countries as Christianity declines. They were allowed or even encouraged to migrate to the UK or other western nations, in large numbers, and were granted citizenship without even a consideration that their core values might not be in line with their new country. A poll done in Britain a while ago showed that a third of Muslims in Britain wanted Sharia law. Technically a minority, but it’s not a tiny minority and that’s just the ones who admit to wanting Sharia.

    So you might want to think about your immigration policies in the future.

    And if you believe that is not a valid course of action then why have borders and citizenship in the first place?

  54. 54
    Ichthyic

    I don’t think most critics of Islam want to take away the citizenship of Muslims

    actually, the current fascist party that has rocketed in political power recently in Italy wants to do EXACTLY that.

    I have seen MANY op eds in UK newspapers that promote similar ideas, or at least just entirely rejecting any application for citizenship if the applicant is muslim.

    you’re right it’s not “most”, but it’s enough to warrant significant wariness.

  55. 55
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    So Danieln’s solution to the problem of:

    There is a large number of immigrants who are poorly integrated into society

    is this:

    We need to return to a time when those immigrants weren’t here.

    RIGHT THEN.

    The solution to brown people being here is for brown people to not be here.

  56. 56
    Ichthyic

    The solution to brown people being here is for brown people to not be here

    five bucks sez Daniel will claim you are unfairly putting words in his mouth… even though it IS in essence exactly what he said.

  57. 57
    Ichthyic

    and were granted citizenship without even a consideration that their core values might not be in line with their new country.

    you know, people can have a diversity of thinking and still contribute to a productive society.

    past that, if their way of thinking interferes with yours, steps on your actual legal rights, well there’s this thing called the law.

    that’s why citizenship rules don’t typically give a shit what your personal beliefs are, because in a supposed secular society, laws govern all of us equally.

    or don’t you believe in the rule of law?

    if not, maybe you should consider moving to where ideology rules instead.

  58. 58
    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall

    Oh wow

    and were granted citizenship without even a consideration that their core values might not be in line with their new country.

    Which core values? Since we’re talking stereotypes here, I wonder if you perhaps mean men being the head of the household? That homosexuality should be a crime, or at least bar one from public office, marriage, etc? That atheism is equivalent to treason? That God should be placed at the heart of government? That abortion should be illegal, as should mandatory sex-ed, ’cause “purity” is the only virtuous way to avoid pregnancy? That a woman “taken in sin” is at fault, no matter whether she was raped or not? And at the same time, men are almost never defined as the sinner in such situations?

    I ask because, if we’re still talking stereotypes, I seem to run into way more “stereotypical” Christians who want to return us to the “golden age” when these things were the almost-unquestioned norm, than I do Muslims at all, let alone those who conform to those stereotypes.

  59. 59
    SallyStrange

    And if you believe that is not a valid course of action then why have borders and citizenship in the first place?

    Good question. The main reason I can see is to give corporations an advantage over labor.

  60. 60
    danieln

    This is how you people think (i.e. you don’t). You don’t pay attention to what I actually say, you just repeat the same bullshit conspiracy that I have something against “brown people”. You either have a far left agenda or you’re extremely naive and have a very simplistic understanding of the world if every complex issue you can reduce to “racism”.

    I guess Ayaan Hirsi Ali must secretly hate brown people too because she’s critical of Islam. Oh wait, she’s black. I guess she must be some evil self-hater or useful idiot or something. You have to believe that for your worldview to be consistent.

    Good question. The main reason I can see is to give corporations an advantage over labor.

    Actually it doesn’t. Explain how.

  61. 61
    Area Man

    They were allowed or even encouraged to migrate to the UK or other western nations, in large numbers, and were granted citizenship without even a consideration that their core values might not be in line with their new country. …

    So you might want to think about your immigration policies in the future.

    I can’t speak to the UK, but in the US one of our supposed “core values” is to welcome immigrants and value their diversity. Every generation has seen its anti-immigrant bigots, but their warnings of racial and cultural dilution have always been proven wrong, and history looks at them as fools and villains. So, if we’re to take this argument seriously, I guess we need to start deporting the bigots.

  62. 62
    David Marjanović

    You either have a far left agenda

    “We are the ones you always warned us about.”

  63. 63
    zenlike

    danieln, still being dishonest: nobody has said that everyone critical of Islam is racist. You and your hera Pat are the racists. Quit buring those strawmen.

    And seeing Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s current employers, no I don’t think she is self-hating, but she is in the same position as LGBT Republicans, or the chillgirls of the slypit side of things.

  64. 64
    Rutee Katreya

    You don’t pay attention to what I actually say, you just repeat the same bullshit conspiracy that I have something against “brown people”

    It’s not conspiracy – you’re being fairly up front about it by pretending Islam is teh ubar ebil.

    ”. You either have a far left agenda

    And that would be a problem how?

    or you’re extremely naive and have a very simplistic understanding of the world if every complex issue you can reduce to “racism”.

    Nonsense – take your knee-jerk defense of Corporatism – that stems more from classism

    Oh wait, she’s black

    …Yes, and therefore she understands racism on a personal level. AFAIK of her, this doesn’t stop her from propagating it, but that’s not, in and of itself, unusual.

    You have to believe that for your worldview to be consistent.

    I only have to believe she falls prey to the same errors in thinking as the rest of us.

    Actually it doesn’t. Explain how.

    Corporations can typically move labor demands much easier than labor can itself move. This is strictly speaking of legal methods, and notwithstanding how corporations specifically import illegal immigrants, then keep them in peonage using threat of exposure to keep them from organizing. How ignorant are you?

  65. 65
    SallyStrange

    This is how you people think (i.e. you don’t). You don’t pay attention to what I actually say, you just repeat the same bullshit conspiracy that I have something against “brown people”.

    Conspiracy theory? Darling, we’re just talking about you and your own little mind here. Are you conspiring with yourself to create self-contradictory and irrational positions that make no sense unless you impute some nasty assumptions to a vast group of people who are strangers to you?

    You either have a far left agenda

    Farther left than you’re thinking.

    or you’re extremely naive and have a very simplistic understanding of the world if every complex issue you can reduce to “racism”.

    Just because THIS issue reduces to your obvious bigotry and irrational need to “other” Muslim people, doesn’t mean all issues do. Talk about naivete.

    I guess Ayaan Hirsi Ali must secretly hate brown people too because she’s critical of Islam.

    Nope, you can tell that Ali doesn’t hate brown people because her criticisms of Islam don’t rest on raising up Christianity on a false pedestal, as some sort of bastion of respect for human rights and equality. You can tell that she focuses on Islam because it’s the most salient religious influence in her life. I, and others here, focus the bulk of our religious criticisms on Christianity because it’s the most salient religious influences in our lives. By contrast, rather than focusing on YOUR backyard, you want to focus on OTHER people’s backyards, yelling at them about the mess while denying the mess you’re neglecting. Why do you care so much about Islam? It poses no threat to you and your way of life, your lies on the subject notwithstanding.

    Oh wait, she’s black.

    Black people are capable of reinforcing white supremacy. Women are capable of reinforcing patriarchy. Is this news to you? Yeah, like I said, you have NO IDEA how any of this actually works.

    I guess she must be some evil self-hater or useful idiot or something. You have to believe that for your worldview to be consistent.

    Nope.

    You’re not very bright, are you?

  66. 66
    SallyStrange

    Oh yeah.

    Corporations can typically move labor demands much easier than labor can itself move. This is strictly speaking of legal methods, and notwithstanding how corporations specifically import illegal immigrants, then keep them in peonage using threat of exposure to keep them from organizing. How ignorant are you?

    This pretty much sums up how borders help corporation squash labor. Any more questions?

  67. 67
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    danieln @53:
    I second the question by Daz–what core values of the UK are you speaking of?

    Also, as with your belief that racism in the US is mostly a thing of the past, do you have any actual evidence that supports this:

    I don’t think most critics of Islam want to take away the citizenship of Muslims or have some kind of two-tier citizenship with Muslims as the lesser citizen.

    ?

  68. 68
    erikschepers

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the self confessed liar is still taken seriously by some people? Wow. Just wow.

    She once came to defend Geert Wilders who made various racist statements and was subsequently tried, despite an unwilling OM (Openbaar ministerie = Department of Justice). Of course, all this was under the banner of freeze peach.

    Ah yes, Geert Wilders, the man who isn’t racist, but when his anti-Islam shtick stopped working decided to agitate against MOE (Midden Oost Europa) landers, ie, people from mideast Europe countries such as Poland, Hungary and such. The man that is so concerned about the treatment of homosexuals by Muslims, but employs a radical, conservative, Catholic Belgian with a known history of homophobic comments.

  69. 69
    danieln

    Corporations can typically move labor demands much easier than labor can itself move. This is strictly speaking of legal methods, and notwithstanding how corporations specifically import illegal immigrants, then keep them in peonage using threat of exposure to keep them from organizing. How ignorant are you?

    If you’re in a country illegally, then you pretty much waive any pretenses and the best you should expect is a deportation flight back home. Bottom line is, you’re breaking the law.

    Here’s my take on this whole borderless world idea.

    A completely unrestricted immigration, in other words a world without borders, without the concept of citizenship having any real value (which thankfully exists nowhere outside your utopian worldview) would lead to more competition for jobs (particularly low skilled) and thus lower wages and more people dependent on the government for food. Corporations have nothing to lose, only to gain because now they have a larger pool of potential employees to choose from. Why do you think a lot of first world nations now favor immigration of skilled immigrants? Is there a point to bringing in more janitors when you already have enough of them unemployed?

    What else? No borders would mean that suddenly a lot of people from less developed countries flood into first world nations. Where are you going to house them all? That’s just what anyone involved in real estate wants. Rents and house prices would rise.

    But nevermind what I said, you’ll just find another way to twist this into a racist accusation because you didn’t get your way. It’s how you operate.

  70. 70
    danieln

    Farther left than you’re thinking.

    That explains why we’re never going to get along (politically).

  71. 71
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Danieln, until you lose three presuppositions you can’t talk intelligently. First is your paranoia. Second is your belief society is post-bigotry. The third is that you have an intelligent factually based argument. You have nothing but emotion, idjicy, sloganeering, and utter and total bullshit. You have nothing to offer to an intelligent, rational, factually based discussion. Your paranoia gets in the way.

  72. 72
    danieln

    First is your paranoia.

    Tell that to atheists living in most Muslim majority countries.

    Second is your belief society is post-bigotry.

    I said that most of the bigotry is gone. When you cut slavery and unequal rights before the law, that’s a major source of racism gone, nothing trivial about it.

    You have nothing to offer to an intelligent, rational, factually based discussion

    There’s nothing intelligent, rational or factually based about ignoring the differences between religions.

  73. 73
    anteprepro

    So is danieln just going to take a shit in every Islam related thread? Is danieln really filling StevoR’s niche?

  74. 74
    SallyStrange

    Now, see, Hinduism is substantially different from Christianity. But Islam from Christianity? Not so much.

  75. 75
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    72
    danieln

    Second is your belief society is post-bigotry.

    I said that most of the bigotry is gone. When you cut slavery and unequal rights before the law, that’s a major source of racism gone, nothing trivial about it.

    Uh, no. A major expression of racism was made illegal. The major source of racism (aka racists) are still around, spreading and breeding.

    And we cut “unequal rights before the law”? Really? When? Better alert Trayvon.

    Oh, wait…

  76. 76
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    You know what…
    Danieln, your constant assertions-without evidence-that bigotry and racism is mostly gone are well past on my fucking nerves. You have no clue what you are talking about. You have no clue about the people you are commenting with. There are people here from all walks of life–varying ethnicities, genders, sexualities, countries of origin and more. People with–unfortunately–more experience dealing with bigotry, discrimination, racism, sexism and homophobia (and more) than you are aware of. The assumptions you make have been corrected multiple times and you refuse to accept that the people experiencing bigotry know a helluva lot more about it than you do. Your vapid comments have added nothing of value to this thread. By your words, you minimize the lived experiences of a great many people who do not have the benefit of your privilege.

    As you have chosen to wallow in your ignorance, while making no attempt at a real argument—one using logic and evidence, rather than biased personal observations through a ruby quartz lens of white male privilege–and seeing as you have exceeded the three post limit, the best thing you can do right now is
    Shut The Fuck Up.

    Or fuck off.
    Your pick.

  77. 77
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Danieln, you haven’t answered under what scenario you will end up under Sharia law. And it has to be a logical and realistic scenario. Otherwise, we will just point and laugh at your fuckwittery, paranoia, and bigotry….

  78. 78
    zenlike

    See here the political and sociological genius that is danieln: if the law is equal, then there is equality.

    Your world-view is so simplistically wrong that arguing with you is entirely pointless. At this point, it’s the equivalent of a large tomcat batting a half-dead mouse around for some bit of fun, but it is becoming boring very fast.

  79. 79
    danieln

    Now, see, Hinduism is substantially different from Christianity. But Islam from Christianity? Not so much.

    Then there’s no point in talking to you.

  80. 80
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Then there’s no point in talking to you.

    There’s no point in you trying to talk to us, paranoid bigot wearing a tin-foil-hat. You have nothing rational to say, and we are rational thinking people who will question everything you say and refute it.

  81. 81
    danieln

    You’re not rational. Please don’t confuse rationality with far left politics.

  82. 82
    danieln

    See here the political and sociological genius that is danieln: if the law is equal, then there is equality.

    Do you have any other suggestion? Probably not.

  83. 83
    danieln

    There’s no point in you trying to talk to us, paranoid bigot wearing a tin-foil-hat. You have nothing rational to say, and we are rational thinking people who will question everything you say and refute it.

    Speaking of dog whistles, this reeks of something I like to call “atheist supremacism” and seems to be common among the “militant new atheist” variety, typical from left-wing atheists too. Get over it, please, just because you don’t believe in sky daddies doesn’t automatically make you the most rational people who ever lived.

    You should check UnseenPerfidy’s YouTube channel, he’s an atheist who exposes the idiocy of many “YouTube atheists” who also have an over-inflated opinion of themselves. Have fun lol

  84. 84
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @danieln, 82:

    See here the political and sociological genius that is danieln: if the law is equal, then there is equality.

    Do you have any other suggestion? Probably not.

    The Untouchables of India are nominally protected by the same laws. They are still untouchable.

    Ooops.

    Oh, and then there’s the debate about what constitutes equality before the law. When Canada asserted regulatory power over the aboriginal people within the borders claimed by the Federal gov’t, among other things they abrogated many, many treaties to regulate the conduct of aboriginal and non-aboriginal people the same way under the same laws. Is that equality before the law? Or should the fact that Canada respects its treaties with New Zealand but abrogates its treaties with the MiqMaq be relevant here? In the US, in addition to similar problems with asserting legal equality vis-a-vis the people of First Nations, every legally competent adult is free to marry someone. Sure, you have to be legally competent, but if you are, then all you have to do is look to your legally assigned gender and limit your potential-spouse pool to only those of the other legally assignable gender. This applies regardless of your race, your sex, even your sexual orientation. So: legal equality, right?

    Would you even know what legal equality looked like? Do you have any theory of law or justice at all?

  85. 85
    John Horstman

    TLDR version of Waters’s whining: “Don’t you dare call my White Savior Complex racist/ethnocentrist!!!”

  86. 86
    SallyStrange

    Danieln, you still haven’t explained what scenario you envision that will lead to Islamic fundamentalists being a bigger problem for women and LGBT folks in “Western” countries than Christian fundamentalists currently are.

    You keep saying it’s “well-known” and “demonstrated” that Islam is more resistant to secularizing forces than Christianity, but you refuse to provide any actual evidence of this beyond your bare assertions.

    You assert that there’s something about Christianity itself that makes it more amenable to equality than Islam, but when people try to find out what that is, by looking at Christian doctrine itself, you retreat to “nobody interprets their holy texts literally all the time.” Then, when people ask what makes Christians vs. Muslims interpret their holy books one way or another, you change the subject.

    You haven’t explained what’s so bad about the far left. I don’t like right wingers, but I have reasons. You’ve given no reasons so far. Mostly they appear to involve lefties not sharing your irrational paranoia about Islam.

    This blog is a far left blog by inclination of the author and the commentariat. Has been that way for ages. Did you not notice this? You appear somewhat surprised. What did you think the “liberal” in “random biological ejaculations from a godless liberal” meant, exactly? If you don’t like arguing with lefties, why did you start commenting?

    Alternatively, rather than dodging these questions as usual, you could just fuck off.

    Love,

    A Fellow Honkey

  87. 87
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    The shitstain could not stick his flounce. I could not see that coming.

    Fuck you, straight white man.

    (Just so you know, I do not hate you because you are a straight white man. I hate you because you are a bigot who claims to know best what I should stand and fight for.)

  88. 88
    Ingdigo Jump

    This blog is a far left blog

    PZ is FAR left now?

    My compass is way off

  89. 89
    zenlike

    OK, i know danieln is banned, but I still want to point this out in case he is still reading:

    me:

    See here the political and sociological genius that is danieln: if the law is equal, then there is equality.

    danieln:

    Do you have any other suggestion? Probably not.

    You cannot really imagine anything else that can be done? So if the law is equal, and society remains unequal, then you just throw up your hands and shout ‘fuck it, nothing else we can do’? At this point, I am100% sure that you actually don’t want to do anything else, that you are comfortable in your unequal society, because you are the one on top; Fuck you, that’s the only thing I can say to that.

    From your comments it is also clear that you are an atheist, but again, you have swallowed the talking point of far-right European parties that the only defence against Islam is Christianity. You are actually propping up a theology because it is the ‘better alternative’.

    Again, you are both morally and intellectually bankrupt, and you have proven it over and over again with your own words.

  90. 90
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @Ingdigo Jump, 88:

    Yep. We don’t think that Mitt Romney was unfairly defamed for describing the political situation of his presidential campaign with his “47% will never vote for me b/c they are asshole moochers” quote.

    That makes us left wing.

    We don’t think that Obama is being reasonable by killing people who, without participating in any violence at all, assert that even al Quaeda has a right to self defense and that it’s arguable who started the fighting and who is engaged in the self-defense. We further think that he’s being unreasonable by killing the minor children of people who speak such ideas.

    That, in the USA, makes us far left.

    As soon as you calibrate your compass, feel free to weep.

  91. 91
    dereksmear

    Meanwhile, an EDL member demonstrates a “healthy regard for human rights, democracy and the rule of law”.

    http://www.loughboroughecho.net/news/local-news/loughborough-teenager-appears-old-bailey-6126233

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