April 23, 2007

HIgham tears me apart in a nice way!

One of the virtues of the blogosphere is making friends- I'd count James Higham amongst my friends and I just thought I'd link to this post, me and James have been involved in an argument about immigration but I'll leave that going on his blog- suffice it to say that I think I'm right of course- but he says a lot of nice things whilst pointing out why he thinks I'm absolutely wrong, nice things which make debating with him a pleasurable experience.

Amongst the things I appreciate about the blogging world, perhaps because I'm new, is that I've made a lot of friends who disagree with me and often disagree with me in a friendly and charming way. There has been lots of pretty vicious debate going on recently- sometimes that is a good thing- but I do think that the recent debates I've had with Matt Sinclair and with James and most of the regular commenters on this blog demonstrate that it isn't the only way to debate. I'd cite other blogging debates as well in the same vein as similar examples. My own personal inclination is that friendly debate is always better- one can respect someone and disagree violently with them at the same time!


james higham said...

The thing is, Tiberius, you argue to the argument but one chap on my site has just started getting personal on the immigration thing and so I have to admit I responded a little shamefully.

Pappusrif said...

James Higham,
If you’re not racist as you claim (I believe you when you said so), you’re at least infected by islamophobia. Why did you avoid direct your Manifesto to Islam? Isn’t that what you wanted to do? I agree totally with the commentator "Paul" criticizing your post, particularly about the so called second generation british.
You said that you’re anti-religious. I don’t think so, based on what you write.
If I summarized well, the law you want, James Higham, should allow the immigrants able to bring something to the country and that these foreign talents must be employed and ill payed and must shut their mouth. If they are not happy, then out of the country. How sad to hear such things? Large countries will call upon immigration or call already upon immigration to counter the demographic fall even Poutine’s Russia will do it. We are not (in Europe) the only ones being confronted with “the problem”. However, integration of the ones (and obviously the curiosity of the others towards other cultures) need that certain basic conditions met.
About the Muslims (which are your main problem), the socially integrated Muslims are not very devout and do not pose any particular problem (not more than Christians or Jewish, it is upon the State to take care of the principle of secularity). You probably denounce religious extremists who have a nasty influence on youths. Ok, I may agree with you but only on respecting human rights. It is to the State and the whole society to make that all british, whether they are white or black, Chinese or South Africans find their place in the society. The religious extremists will not prevail. They are only surfing on the wave of social misery. After all, there is a criminal law in England. Am I right?
I persist in believing that the problem is not a religious one but social one. People of foreign origins at which we make a true place do not have any reason to take refuge in extremism. However, we still make the opposite even with children resulting from immigration. For God (if he exists) sake, they are as English as you James. I am sorry but your individualistic and intolerant ideology charms only you. That is quite sad, but this is the only reaction to your post I can afford. I cant be as nice as Gracchi.
James! Your post is an insult to England and English people.


Gracchi said...

James thanks.

Pappusrif just to clarify my own opinion- I disagree completely with James's opinion on immigration- as I've made clear on his blog- I'd rather that conversation goes on there- partly because otherwise we'll all get confused about who said what where. But I distance myself from his position on immigration.

On a personal note- I find James to be a nice guy and despite the fact that I completely disagree and find some of his positions just wrong especially surrounding religion, I do like the way that he debates. Civilised debate and friendly debate might convince him more than slinging insults- I know I have the facts on my side and I beleive that rational people are willing to listen to the facts and I assume that people are rational- consequently my attitude is always to try facts and moderation.

Anyway I was really trying to make a point about debate on the internet which often gets vituperative. My view is that that helps noone- personally I try not to be vituperative at all.

james higham said...

"You probably denounce religious extremists who have a nasty influence on youths."

Precisely. Thanks for tumbling to that. Those readers who have stated that they completely reject my saying this are therefore, ipso facto, condoning those extremists because that is precisely whom I was attacking.

Nothing whatever to do with the average citizen.

What all of this has shown me today is how hot under the collar and how wildly people will argue on this.

I certainly didn't realize it was as sensitive as all this in 00s Britain.

Pappusrif said...

I apologize Gracchus but I felt I had to be rough on this.
Apologizes also to James if I was offensive


Pappusrif said...

Well James
This is indeed a sensitive issue. I am like you I write from outside England. I write based on my experience in France.
I did not mean to be rude. Apologizes again


Gracchi said...

Pappusrif- that's fine. It is such a difficult subject I hate writing about it though because I'm interested in Islam and am interested in the separate topic of terrorism so do but I always fear getting things wrong.

I also know how debates can get overheated- I err on the side of moderation myself- partly that's my personality, partly its the way I choose to conduct myself. Sometimes in the past and I'm not referring to James here at all- I have given people too much of the benefit of the doubt, sometimes no doubt you have been too angry- there are risks either way and the world needs both sets of people.

James I read your post as really aiming at the terrorists not at law abiding citizens. I disagree with the way that you phrased it and I disagree with your policy but we have had that argument and as I said I think the proper place for it is on your blog not mine where there is no post on immigration.

Ok guys- by the way you are both valued as longtime good contributers to this site- Pappusrif by the way you should start a blog- you have a very good knowledge of politics and if you did I offer you a link!

Pappusrif said...

Thanks Gracchi
Yes I should start a blog. Maybe in the near future


Gracchi said...

Pappusrif- if you need help with setting one up- not the analytical stuff but just adding counters or things then do send an email- my email is in my profile and I'll do me best. I may not be much help- my internet knowledge is generally pretty inferior!

Lord Nazh said...

Islamophobia: a word made to designate someone that is against being converted or killed by Muslims and wants to stop them.

I havn't really jumped into the fire over at James place yet.

T said...

don't you mean Islamophobic...

And on your substantive point, yes I'm sure that is where the BNP leadership are coming from they compare Muslims to rats.

Gracchi said...

Lord Nazh- I am afraid there is plenty of prejudice against Muslims around. Anne Coulter told us after 9/11 that we would solve the problem by invading the Middle East and converting everyone to Christianity. Congressman Virgil Goode argued that no Muslim could serve in the United States Congress. That is prejudice against Islamic people- ie in common parlance Islamophobia.

Lord Nazh said...

There is prejudice against everyone, that isn't a debatable point.

Islamophobia is not prejudice, it was a word coined by Muslims to harass people that complained (regardless of why they complained) about Muslims.

When someone complains about Hamas or Hezbollah, or the mullahs in Iran; this is considered 'Islamophobia' to most of the muslim associations.

Prejudice against people will always happen. Using a word and the public eye to discredit people that have legitimate fears and grievances is what this is about.

Btw: the def. of islamophobia would be an irrational fear of islam. I doubt you see this from too many people. Of course, most of the people that fall into this category do have a fear of Islam's teachings of converting the world by the sword, but this is brushed over as simple prejudice.

T said...

But you see this is what fascinates me about your position: on the one hand you say you want highlight concerns about Hamas or Hezbollah and I think probably alot of people would have sympathy with you here, but then on the other hand you are prepared to make purposefully contraversial statements in order polarise positions.

If you were really interested in seeing a genuine debate about the threat posed by fundamentalist groups in the Middle East then I would imagine you would go out of your way to use language that avoids alienating those who have no common cause with such radicals.

I'm sure you are no fool and realise your comments, which could be expected to give the impression that you believe all muslims are out to kill or convert us, are deeply offensive. What I suspect really is that you have chosen this approach in order to get a reaction, rather than to spark genuine debate.

It strikes me that this goes back to the points being made at the beginning of this thread: are you are really interested in getting to points across, or instead indulging in a self serving rant?

Gracchi said...

Lord Nazh- firstly Islam doesn't only expand by conquest- that is just factually wrong- just look at medieval Indonesia which was evangelised by merchants or indeed sub-Saharan Africa at about the same time likewise evangelised by merchants in the beggining. Professor David Cook, more learned either than you or I, argues that Islam expanded as much peacefully as by conquest.

I'd say that when a congressman like Virgil Goode says what he said that represents a pretty severe problem of hatred of Islam. That isn't to say that other countries- many of them Islamic have large problems and that a regime like the Saudi one is a horrendous regime, much worse than anything in the West. But it is to say that we have our own problems too- less severe maybe- but still there- and I'm sure you would agree that we should look to dealing with those problems.

As for Islamic groups saying that someone is Islamophobic when they are making a legitimate point about the Middle East. Well I agree that's happened- I'm afraid things like that will happen with any prejudice. But my feeling is that that's fairly uninteresting- more interesting is what we can do about the prejudices that people we have elected or hold prominent positions in the media hold.

Lord Nazh said...

Nowhere did I say that Islam was ONLY spread by the sword. They are told by their prophet to spread the religion by the sword. Irregardless of what was meant in the 700's when it was said, the Imams are preaching it.

I don't care what Virgil Goode says, he isn't my elected rep, my friend of my family member. To me that means he has a right to hate whomever he wants :)

I didn't hear him calling on us to kill them all or to suicide bomb their women and children...

Gracchi said...

But Congressman Goode rather rebutts the notion that there is no such thing as Islamophobia.

There are Muslims that say that yes- but there are also others who don't it depends where you look. Anne Coulter did pretty much say that we should invade them and forcibly convert them. Many Muslims in Britain indeed the vast majority by any poll say that they hold such attitudes in contempt. There are extremists here- but that's not the majority view.

As for the Middle East- there are all sorts of factors there at stake- I'd say a lot of them were economic and educational- think the West hundreds of years ago or even a hundred years ago and people were saying similar things.

Lord Nazh said...

It matters not what the 'moderate' muslims hold in contempt if they do NOTHING about the people that use their religion to kill innocent people.

Goode does not show Islamophobia, which again would be an irrational FEAR of Islam. Goode seems to be virulently anti-muslim maybe even anti-arab (but that would be speculation).

The people that fear Islam are the media and the governments that kotow to the demands of the 'few' extremists.

Remember what happened after the cartoons were published? Where were the moderate muslims? Why weren't the Imams telling muslims to stop killing, bombing and rioting (and if you note, each riot had signs calling for death, the moderate muslims partook of those riots).

When the Pope quoted a text that said Islam was evil. Where were the moderates to tell the muslims to stop killing nuns? They.Were.Silent.

Silence = acceptance when someone is using YOUR religion to kill.

Note: I know a few muslims, I like them, get along with them. I do not know any Islamists and hope to not meet any.

Lord Nazh said...

btw pappu; if you do start a blog and need help, send me a line.

I've taught myself a thing or 2 ;)

Gracchi said...

Lord Nazh- some interesting points- don't you think it also depends on media coverage- Muslim says be nice to everyone is not a story but Muslim says blow up the world is a story.

I don't like the word Islamophobia- illness is not the right metaphor but I do think there is a prejudice against Muslims out there and I don't think its useful in understanding the world.

Lord Nazh said...

Until or unless the 'moderate' muslims take their religion back, there will be justified prejudice against muslims.

It's not a media thing, believe me if muslims were to stand up and say this is wrong (as some have) the media would be all over it. Until of course another bomb was exploded on innocents by the Religion of Peace...