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Author Topic: Freedom of expression and cultural norms

Posts: 1007
Freedom of expression and cultural norms
on: August 20, 2018, 19:44


"Upholding gender equality is a wonderful and important idea. But Muslim people not wanting to shake certain peoples’ hands isn’t an indication that they’re unwilling to accept women’s rights and gender equality in the country. "
But it might be. I agree with "Why not just ask them that question in a straight-forward way?"
Might they lie to get in? Non-believers used to take oaths to avoid charges of blasphemy or apostasy. That is still the situation in many Muslim majority nations.

"It’s unclear whether they refused to shake hands for religious or cultural reasons, but either way, wouldn’t you want those people integrated into your society because they’ll likely change their thinking in the long run?"
Why? Because Muslims in general are especially well known for changing their "beliefs" (religiously held opinions)?

Some immigrants are contemptuous of (or hostile to) the culture they find in a country or nation. That raises interesting and important questions (but I can't discuss that by myself).

Some people tend to avoid unnecessary handshakes as they are unhygienic (think urinals in Paris)...
but I understand why handshakes are expected. I'm currently inclined to think that if a handshake is too demanding for an immigrant they probably shouldn't be admitted until they can be more accommodating of a reasonably innocent norm. They will presumably state an objection that can be justified, such as a phobia.

Posts: 20
Re: Freedom of expression and cultural norms
on: August 21, 2018, 22:09

I’ve come across this myself. It might be too simplistic an analogy but if an immigrant wouldn’t shake hands with a black person what inferences would be made other than that person had some intolerance against black people? This couldn’t bode well for any future hope of meaningful integration. Likewise if a man refuses to treat women as an equal. As you’ve said, if the simple act of a handshake is seen as a bridge too far what further disrespect can be expected?

This isn’t compatible with anything approaching modern, enlightened thinking. Stakes need to be put very firmly into the ground. We can do next to nothing about intolerance and misogyny in Islamic countries but we can and must guard against it in our own even if it means refusing someone entry. There’s an obvious problem with this though. What do we do about those already in our own society who hold these horrible views about women? If the 80+ Sharia courts that already exist in this country are anything to go by or the Muslim ‘no go’ areas or the hate teaching mosques and schools then I’d suggest that it’s not very much unfortunately. We are beginning to advance down the slippery slope and the majority of people are either blind to this or they are simply too scared about being labelled ‘Islamophobic to act.’

Posts: 1007
Re: Freedom of expression and cultural norms
on: August 22, 2018, 18:39

I entirely agree, Godless, and (from what I have read) the analogy of refusing to shake hands with a black person or a Jew isn't simplistic, it is exact.

'Muslim areas' are (happily) beyond my experience. It wouldn't surprise me if people are afraid to say 'Je suis Charlie' out loud in some places. Snopes insists 'no go' areas do not exist....

'No go areas' often means 'exclusion of police' in many people's minds, but there is more to it than that.

I can find no link to any example of a Muslim 'no go area' in the UK. It depends on what is meant by 'no go'. From (2008):
The bishop added: "Those of a different faith or race may find it difficult to live or work there because of hostility to them. In many ways, this is the other side of the coin of far-Right intimidation."
Dr Nazir-Ali said that using amplification for the call to prayer from mosques was an attempt to impose Islam on an area.
This, he said, raised the question of "whether non-Muslims wish to be told the creed of a particular faith five times a day on the loudspeaker.

'Difficult to live or work there because of hostility' could amount to a 'no go' area sometimes, I suppose, but most people imagine an area where non-Muslims are actually afraid to go at all.

Calls to prayer should probably be limited as unnecessary nuisance in a modern age. I suppose Muslim calls to prayer can seem as quaint as church bells, but even bells can be annoying if you have to work nights and live near a church. It is another example of religionists imposing their 'beliefs' (opinions) on others.

The problem is trying to get a frightened minority (Muslims) to understand that it isn't their personal rights that are under threat, only their beliefs and their practices that tend to harm society, such as Sharia courts tending to undermine 'one-law-for-all'. Like the non-religious, religionists (Muslim or otherwise) shouldn't pray or fast in a way that disrupts or divides society. There is plenty to criticise in religion so it mustn't be a 'no go area'.

Posts: 20
Re: Freedom of expression and cultural norms
on: August 23, 2018, 21:42

It’s pretty scary. Where are the police?

Nothing appears to be being done due to fear of a) reprisals and b) being labelled Islamaphobic. I see absolutely no reason to feel optimistic about the future I’m afraid. We are being betrayed systematically.

Posts: 1007
Re: Freedom of expression and cultural norms
on: August 26, 2018, 07:57

I certainly share your concerns and I wouldn't like to live in an area where there were a high proportion of Muslims, much less among the "racist" Muslims in the videos. Yes, I do think many of their chants, attitudes and behaviours are, if not racist, tribalist and just as bad as racist. Aren't they a minority of a minority (a few thousands of the Muslim segment of the population, 3 or 4 millions)?

The behaviour is worrying and sometimes appalling, I agree, but we already know there are several thousand disaffected Muslims in the UK and that they (inmates claiming to be Muslim) form a disproportionately high percentage of the prison population. I think it is about 12% whereas officially the percentage of English and Welsh Muslims is about 5 or 6% It is important to get the facts in perspective and to understand rather than just know the statistics. I share share your concerns but feel more optimistic and not betrayed. Betrayed by who exactly? Me perhaps, the voting public, our government, multicuturalists? Does anyone still support "multiculturalism"?

The second video is dated (published) 21/Feb/2018 but mentions the "PM Mr Cameron" so that must have been made sometime before July 2016. The quote suggested the video was actually made in 2014 when Mr Cameron was talking of 'British values'. The extremist and racist Muslim was asked why he doesn't live in Saudi Arabia, but he was born here and likes it here. It seems that many or most of these Islamists are born or educated here.

The first video is published 18 June 2017 may be older too. There are many such videos on utube and I don't think these are particularly indicative of no-go areas. The second one certainly shows self-described Muslims shooing people away from a mosque and shamefully harassing people, but it also said that five of them were arrested. Others replaced them after the police left. It seemed to take place at night and it isn't clear that this is a permanent Islamist patrol or ongoing. You say "where are the police"? They arrested lawbreakers and protected the extremists in the first video who were shouting "Sharia for the UK" and parading down a high street. I am rather proud that they felt perfectly safe doing that and proceeded without hindrance. What exactly did you see that broke the law and required police to intervene?

Patheos wrote, "..wouldn’t you want those people integrated into your society because they’ll likely change their thinking in the long run?"
Several thousand Islamists who agree with the fanatics and criminals in the videos are determined not to integrate, nor be deprogrammed, nor drop their ridiculous superstitions.

Such people shouldn't be allowed to enter the UK, but many will be home-grown. The police are there in the videos but can only intervene where people break the law. Islamist dimwits are even dismissed by most Muslims. Sadiq Khan is probably more representative of the Muslim population as a whole. They seem to think that Islam is a peaceful religion, doesn't conflict with British values and that Muslims are no different from other citizens. If they're no different and share our values, why be Muslim at all?!

Sorry if this reply is obtuse or I am being very slow, but you see why people saying there are Muslim enforced 'no go' areas in the UK seems a little strong? There are plenty of places I don't feel safe in the UK due to black gangs and white yobs. The rabid Muslim fanatics and ignorant louts in the videos look very like other British louts. The real problem is that their behaviour isn't challenged effectively, nor are they removed from the streets until it is corrected.

Perhaps you feel betrayed by Brexiteers or Remainers? Ironically, the main reason for Brexit could be that people imagine fewer immigrants as a result. That may be true in the short term as the prospects for the UK economy dim, our £'s value has already dropped by 16% and may fall even further, and the nation has a less attractive image abroad, but in the long term the intention seems to be to reduce tading relations to a "simple" business negotiation. The UK will be just 65 millions in those deals and we will need every trade agreement we could get. We cannot get the deal and then say "we won't take immigrants" or any other demand. We will probably have to take clorinated chickens and immigrants from anywhere in the world - whatever demands are made. The UK needs to be part of a larger trading bloc nowadays.

Illegal immigration is another problem and that cannot be solved with border controls, as the beds in sheds problem illustrated. We need properly organised communities who know who is in their midst and action taken against those not in such a community. Nobody should be able to live 'below the radar' as if in a different community or society than the rest of us.

Note that the number of Islamists (extremist or fundamentalists) is proportional to the population of Muslims as a whole. Japan has few "Muslim problems" because it has few Muslims (maybe 100,000).

The best answer to the problem of disaffected Muslims is to largely rid society of religious superstitions just as we have with other superstitions, such as witchcraft and Voodoo. Religion is inherently divisive, corrosive, superstitious, ignorant and foolish.

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