Thursday, December 16, 2004

al Manar

On the religious hatred subject, I have commented on Harry's Place's Again on 'religious hatred'    ,   You Can't Say That - Revisited  and  You Can't Say That ; Trans Intel's  Tariq Ramadan, Non-Violent Man of Peace, Clive Davis'  BELEAGUERED IN BRITAIN?,

From SIAW's (Bad) Faith:
why not leave religion to the religious (and the kind of blinkered liberals who get more upset about symbol than substance), and focus once again on the sources and forms of social division that can’t be chosen, from "race", gender and sexual orientation to what used to be the chief concern of the left: class?
It is about race.

Why do you think people like Melanie Phillips are so keen to attack laws against religious hatred, while going on about 'moral values' and complaining about France (maybe) revoking its ban on al Manar? (In the event, the ban has been maintained - see ).

SIAW were kind enough to reply to an e-mail from me on the subject.

I'm not saying the ban on al Manar was wrong. I don't want to see anti-Semitic propaganda any more than I want to see propaganda aimed against Asians / Muslims. I'm just pointing out the hypocrisy of supporting that ban while at the same time obsessing about Australian and British laws against religious hatred or about Holland (again maybe) reviving their blasphemy law.

We should be very careful about allying ourselves with hypocrites. Like SIAW, I did not go along with the 'it can't be good if Bush is doing it' line, but this is far worse. It only gives fuel to al Quaeda's claim that this (Afghanistan, Iraq) is a war not against terror and tyranny, but against Islam, not to mention for Israel.

I should make it very clear at this point that by 'hypocrites' I mean people like Melanie Phillips, taking the November archive of her diary as an sample.

As Libération pointed out, trying to stop al Manar's broadcasts is like trying to halt the radiation from Chernobyl at the borders of France. Nevertheless, it was thought that the ban was still an important 'symbolic act' (remark on France Inter).

15 Dec, another British government minister resigns. The idea that the British would allow the private life of a politician to remain just that, private, was always an illusion of the political and media elites. What do they think, that we are like the French?

Who remembers exactly what David Mellor was supposed to have done, except that he had sex in the strip of Chelsea football club? One listener's comment read out last Sunday on the BBC's Broadcasting House went along the lines of 'What would be a "grossly disproportionate" response in the case of finding someone in bed burglaring your wife?'

Now for the really big news : terrestial television will not have full coverage of Test cricket from 2007. Is nothing sacred? Clearly this signals the end of cricket, public service broadcasting and The British Way Of Life. No doubt Norm will have something on this. Update: he has.


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