I haven't been able to access the Mail's website very often lately: partly it's due to the enormousness and complexity of the redesigned site crushing my waffer-thin web browser and me having to put more coke in the furnace of my steam-powered computer; but partly it's also because I am going out of my fucking brain every time I read yet another load of anti-Muslim, anti-immigration* shite.
But, seeing as that's kind of the sine qua non of this blog, I did my duty again this morning and plunged into the hate-filled cunty world of the Mail. It didn't take me long to find some utter anti-Muslim dogshit masquerading as news - on this occasion, some research from a 'think tank' which seems to say that Muslim students are evil takfirist bastards who are coming to kill our babies and put Mosques up in all of our streets! Er, well, maybe not quite that, but let's have a look anyway.
Two things to notice straight from the kickoff: look at the images used to illustrate the story. One of the 7/7 attacks and the other an incredibly bizarre picture of what appears to be a bearded Muslim lecturer talking to students. I'm no Photoshop expert but the bearded man appears to have been hamfistedly splodged onto the page, as he appears to be faded and lighter than the rest of the people in the photo. Look at the ethnicity of the students as well: all dark-skinned, and a couple of them are wearing Muslim-style hats. There appears to be Arabic script on a cloth hanging down from the front the lecturer's desk, facing the students.
I can't be sure of the provenance of the second photo - does anyone know what it's of or where it's from?
One thing we can be sure of is the agenda of the 'Centre for Social Cohesion', mentioned in the Mail's report as a 'think-tank'. Now, no cheating: what do you think the CSC does and what does it stand for? Do you think it would produce papers on a wide range of issues regarding social cohesion - perhaps issues around age, social justice, avoiding exclusion, keeping young and old together, maybe some stuff about the impact of immigration and cultures in the melting pot that is the (80 per cent white and British) UK? Let's have a look, shall we?
So as well as "Islam on Campus" we have reports entitled "Virtual Caliphate: Islamic extremists and their websites", "Crimes of the Community: Honour-based violence in the UK", and "Hate on the State: How British libraries encourage Islamic extremism". Hmm.
Under 'aims' on its website, the CSC says:
AIMS: The Centre for Social Cohesion is an non-partisan think-tank that studies issues related to community cohesion in Britain.
Yep, sounds pretty non-partisan so far. Just so happens that everything's about Islam and how bad a thing it is, but don't let that influence you in any way whatsoever. We're all non-partisan types here.
Anyway, here is the report. It starts off like this - remember, we're non-partisans here:
Since 2006, the British government and the media have paid increasing attention to Muslim students at British universities following several high-profile cases where students or graduates took part in terrorist attacks or were convicted on terrorist-related charges. Several universities, prominent unions and Muslim groups have responded critically to these charges, accusing the Government of initiating a witch-hunt against Muslims comparable with McCarthyism.
So look, it's not the government or the media's fault, it's those bloody Muslims! And if anyone complains then they're just hysterical leftie idiots. Hope we've made that clear. Anyway, let's carry on with our totally non-partisan look at Islamic students.
The report is rather dull, and believe me I've read the fucking thing. It investigates Islamic societies, the unspoken idea being that these societies are hotbeds of 'radicalisation'. But it doesn't really find much evidence for that. Most Muslim students don't even belong to such a society (only 25% do and of them 81% are 'fairly active' or less.) It asks how many Muslim students attend Friday prayer, which is another dog-whistle for those who suspect such prayers are used for radicalisation (but of course is left unspoken in this report) - 42% of Muslim students go regularly. It looks at choosing friends (only 8% of Muslim students said most of their friends were Muslim because they felt they had more in common, while 9% said 'very few' of their friends were Muslim). A majority of Muslim students said they felt Islam was both a religion and a way of life. Under the heading 'a generational divide' we get the data that only 33% of Muslim students said they viewed Islam very differently from their parents. Hang on, 58% say the opposite, so how's that a 'generational divide'? The study looks at Sharia, once again trying to see if society members are more 'hardline' than non-members.
What you see time, and time, and time again, is the attempt to portray Islamic Society members as being somehow more 'hardline' than their peers. Yet this may be nothing to do with the societies themselves, merely that people with more orthodox views are more likely to be more involved in societies. But is there another agenda going on? Is there something else at work, some attempt to imply - without ever actually having the balls to come out and say it - that these societies are 'radicalising' people?
You may have noticed I haven't even mentioned the Mail's report yet. That's because the Mail didn't give a shit about most of this boring stuff: they only care about terror and death. And don't worry, this report has all the ammunition they need to produce this kind of shit-scream:
Nearly one third of Muslim students believe it can be acceptable to kill in the name of religion, according to a survey published yesterday.
It also found that 40 per cent want to see the introduction of Islamic sharia law in Britain, 40 per cent think it wrong for Muslim men and women to mix freely together, and 33 per cent want to see a worldwide Islamic government based on sharia law.
That claim: 40 per cent 'want to see the introduction of Islamic sharia law in Britain'
Our survey says: 21 per cent would be 'very supportive' and 19 per cent would be 'fairly supportive'. 16% would be 'not very supportive' and 21% would be 'not supportive at all'. Oh and is it the introduction of sharia for everyone? Of course not: just for British Muslims. What a surprise that the Mail forgot to include that little bit of information! Must have been edited out by some evil sub-editor, as that poor little lamb Giles Coren would testify.
Now, the other claim: 'nearly one third of Muslim students believe it can be acceptable to kill in the name of religion'
Our survey says: 28% of Muslim students say "Yes, but only if that religion is under attack". Oh, the Mail forgot the 'under attack' bit again, there's a shocker! Meanwhile 53% say it is never justifiable. This is compared with 'non-Muslim' students, of whom 94% say it's never justifiable. Yet it's a strange question to ask when you consider that, as we've already seen, many Muslims consider Islam to be both a religion and a way of life - is there a similar comparison for Christians? What would the results have been if you asked the non-Muslims 'Is it right to kill if your way of life is under attack?' - we'll never know, of course.
Look at what the survey says again, to try and ramp up their agenda: "Activity in an ISOS affected results." What? No it didn't! People who were in an Islamic Society may have different views - the society didn't 'affect' their results at all. What a confusing piece of language to use for any other reason than to be deliberately misleading or to imply causality that isn't there!
Back to the Hate, and perhaps an unwitting steer as to the nature of the investigation:
The survey was based on a YouGov poll of 1,400 students, 600 of them Muslims, at 12 universities with influential Islamic societies.
So remember, just 600 Islamic students were surveyed, at 12 universities deliberately picked for having 'influential' Islamic societies. What constitutes 'influential' or were other factors at work here - i.e. let's see if we can find the worst troublemakers or the most notoriously radical Islamic societies?
It found that a large minority of Muslim students express views that are strongly socially conservative or which suggest they are open to extremist thinking.
Pot-kettle overload there, isn't it? I imagine the most socially conservative ones also read the Daily Fucking Mail as well. Isn't it bizarre how 'tolerant' and hand-wringingly liberal the Mail becomes when it's the hated Muslim being conservative and intolerant? And look at the idea of people being 'open to extremist thinking' - you mean like readers who would classify an entire race as 'vermin' and 'parasites' - would you call that extremism, by any chance? Or is that OK if it's white folk being extreme? Can we turn a blind eye to that?
Back to the Hate, and words from the report's author:
Report author Hannah Stuart said: 'These findings are deeply alarming. Students in higher education are the future leaders of their communities, yet significant numbers of them appear to hold beliefs which contravene liberal, democratic values.
'These results are deeply embarrassing for those who have said that there is no extremism in British universities.'
Yes well we knew from your introduction that this was your intent. Of course there's extremism in universities, as there is everywhere - I see extremism every day, when I read about Roma being called 'vermin', gypsies being called 'scum' and so on. That's extremism, but it's a pale pink extremism, isn't it, a nice and benign extremism, from what Bertrand Russell called "nice people" in his wonderful essay, unlike the deadly dark-brown extremism that we're supposed to be afraid of.
Hmm. Better get some balance in the story, anyway:
The Federation of Student Islamic Societies called the survey mischievous.
Its president Faisal Hanjra said: 'This is yet another damning attack on the Muslim community by elements within the academic arena whose only purpose seems to be the undermining of sincere efforts by mainstream Muslim organisations to tackle the threat of terror which wider society faces.
'The report is methodologically weak, it is unrepresentative and above all serves only to undermine the positive work carried out by Islamic societies across the country.'
Then ignore that and back to the fearmongering shite:
Concerns over extremism among the 90,000 Muslims studying at British universities have grown alongside the spread of radical groups, including the Hizb ut-Tahrir organisation which Tony Blair said in 2005 should be banned.
Terrorists who have passed through British universities include Kafeel Ahmed, who died after driving a burning vehicle into a Glasgow airport terminal last year, and Jawad Akbar, jailed for life in April 2007 for conspiring to attack shopping malls and nightclubs. He was said to have become involved in militancy while a student at Brunel University.
See, don't forget. Muslims = terrorists. That's why there was a picture of 7/7. Why on earth weren't students asked about their opinions on that, for example? Or maybe they were, and didn't give answers that were sufficiently extremist in nature?
Anyway, back to the hatred. Here come the Mail readers. Do you think they've ploughed through the 137 pages of the 'Social Cohesion' report, as I have, and as you're more than welcome to? Or do you think they've just heard the dog-whistles and have got themselves ready for more explosions of bile?
Now what are our government going to do about it, absolutely NOTHING.
- Marianne, London, 27/7/2008 12:28
Deport all the radicals, this is the only answer. They are not going to listen to reason.
- Mike, ex UK, Khon Kaen, Thailand, 27/7/2008 12:32
Yet it's only us who can be acused of being racist! Our country is going to erupt one of these days!
- RayB, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear., 27/7/2008 12:38
Yes, 'deporting' British people is the right idea. That would solve everything. Where should we deport these British people to, by the way? Bongobongoland? And I love Ray's idea that 'it's only us who can be accused of being racist!' - er, where were the racist views expressed by the Muslim students in the study, Ray? I couldn't see any at all.
These students need to be told that in Britain all killing is unacceptable. Then if they still wish to think like they do then show them the way-out, forcibly and quickly.
Britain must not continue to allow them to carry on in this frame of mind.
- John, Tendring, ENGLAND, 27/7/2008 14:26
Yes, deport British Muslims if they have views I don't agree with. Then everything will be all right.
If 37 per cent of all Muslim students aged 16-24 would prefer to live under a Sharia system, why do they not go to live in a country that provides that system? The U.K. is a Christian country.
- Jim Hough, Bristol, England., 27/7/2008 16:07
Aargh! *kills self*
I have tried to think of a witty profound comment. Words fail me, but I will try. I am not a church going Christian. Like most I am a weddings and funeral person. Islam is a religion of export. Their intent is to have a world wide Islamic society. Our PC brigade and Human Rights Act seem intent on making it happen. Within 3 or 4 generations they will out breed the indigenous population, and by a perverse use of democracy Sharia Law will be imposed on this country. I do not advocate extremism, but should our politicians not be looking after the rights of the majority population? I think the word was democracy.
- G Brown, Manchester UK, 27/7/2008 17:09
You could play Mail bullshit bingo with that one - PC Brigade, Islam is evil, sharia law will be imposed... beautiful and succinct. Well done, G Brown - oh look! A simply hilarious use of "G Brown" as a comedy name! Ha fucking ha!
But the last word goes to this commenter here:
And there are clowns out there that have the cheek to tell us to be more tolerant!
- William Peden, Cumbernauld, Scotland., 27/7/2008 17:20
So, mission accomplished by 'Social Cohesion' - their report has made Islam appear much more extreme than it is, demonised Islamic societies, implied that universities are hotbeds of radicalisation and provided the usual anti-Muslim bullshit fodder for the likes of the Mail to churn out - and for its commenters to feast upon, including the classical demand to deport British Muslims if they do not agree with our 'Christian' country. Well done, indeed. I hope you're all really, really proud of yourselves.
*Incidentally, I was asked earlier on by a commenter on 'Viva hate' whether I thought it was all right for the taxpayer to fund immigration. People get confused about immigration, understandably because they're told a pack of lies by the tabloids and by the political parties, but also because they're stupid. If you're here illegally, you don't get benefits: so a minimal charge at best to Team Taxpayer.
If you're here seeking asylum, you're banged up in a squalid privatised detention centre before being sent back to horror, torture and death. So yes, a small charge to Tommy Tax, but not really a great discomfort compared to the inhumanity that will be inflicted on the poor bastards who get sent back to hell, and not very much cash at all compared to how much it's cost to blow up some brown people over the past seven years of warfare in the Middle East - which, incidentally, was protested against by millions of people, unlike immigration, which is just chuntered on about by growling racists, the extreme right-wing press and total cunts. As taxpayers, we all have to pay for things we don't like: for me, it's wars and killing people; for you, it might be helping others out of poverty and being not quite so able to afford luxuries as you were.
Finally, if you're here legally (and thanks to the new points system, you will either be from an EU country or you will have racked up enough 'points' to ensure you're a professional) then you will almost certainly be paying tax yourself, and therefore *be* the taxpayer, rather than be dependent on him/her/it/them. Yes, in Youcouldntmakeitupland, everyone from Romania/Poland is over here not doing any work but claiming benefits for 93,000 children and going straight to the front of the housing queue, to which I say: fuck off, you lying cuntwad. I hope this clears everything up. If not, see me.