Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

Sharia-controlled zones

July 28, 2011

The UK’s Freedom Association is getting excited about the attempt by Islamic activists to claim sovereignty over parts of the country. This is being done by putting up flyposters declaring that a part of town is a “Sharia-controlled zone.”

It is amusing that of all the actions taken by groups such as Islam4UK, it is the challenge to local government’s authority that is being taken seriously by politicians. They don’t like it when people take charge of their own communities. Waltham Forest Council Leader, Cllr Chris Robbins, said:

“As soon as we heard about these posters we worked over the weekend to take them all down.” He continued “since then we have been going through our CCTV images and working with the police to try to identify the culprits. Our policy is to use the full extent of our powers to prosecute any offenders.”

Anyone expecting me to criticise Islam in this posting will be disappointed. It is true that if or when a previously Western liberal democracy whose leaders spouted secularist moral relativism becomes a truly Sharia country, I may not like the extent to which people are not allowed to live as they wish in private. But when it comes to people deciding that the state is not their friend, just a hugely expensive nuisance, attempts to provide a “bottom-up” order will occur.

Could I live in a Sharia-controlled zone? Probably easily enough. I’m not an atheist, or gay. I could give up drinking alcohol, though I would probably insist that Christian services be allowed to use Communion wine. I don’t normally smoke or do drugs, I’m quite happy not to gamble, or wear a tie. Growing a beard would take time and I’d miss Match of the Day.

I would however, get a lot of fun watching how the multicultis would cope. Those politically correct, invariably white middle-class, secularist atheists and gay rights activists alike, who think reading about the history of the Eastern Roman Empire is somehow racist or “unhelpful to the project.” Who think it’s wrong for an Afrikaner to say “kaffir” but insist that when the word is used in Arabic, it’s not a term of abuse. Who think saying “Peace be Upon Him” after the Prophet’s name is enough to indicate proper respect of Islam.

The most absurd piece of multiculralist propaganda I recently heard was the claim that the Prophet himself was not a man of war. What an insult to one of the most brilliant military commanders of all history! The expansion of territory controlled by Islamic law in the 7th and 8th centuries is nothing less than remarkable. Most of it was done by conquest but on paper the armies of the Prophet should never have won.

One of the crucial advantages was faith. I’m not an expert on how far this explains the conquest of the Arabian peninsula, the near East, Egypt, North Africa, Spain and Aquitaine (or Gothia as it was still known).

But when taking on the technologically superior Eastern Roman Empire, it helped that the soldiers of Islam offered lower taxes, less oppression from religious intolerance and a more business-friendly view of society than the Byzantines. For Jews and non-Orthodox Christians, submitting to the rule of the Rashidun Caliphate was a clear improvement.

If the campaigners for Sharia law in the UK were to effectively drive out the existing local government control, so that instead of paying Council Tax, Business Rates and the various charges that Councils levy, they paid something like the kharaj and the jizya, might non-Muslims move into such enclaves, especially if crime was effectively controlled?

Waltham Council certainly doesn’t want to find out.

Do we know what we don’t know?

June 15, 2011

There’s an interesting exposition of the reason why claims of alien (extra-terrestrial) contact with this planet is extremely unlikely.

I most agree with it: the distances, the length of time it would take technology to develop that would make interstellar travel possible, the sheer luck that would be needed to stumble upon another civilization.

In fact I would go further, I think there’s a chance civilizations discover something like limited control of anti-matter, which it only takes a single nutter to detonate, taking out an entire solar system. We call them “supernovas.” We assume they’re all natural phenomena. If the technology to travel between stars is as powerful but takes longer than the development of a self-extermination bomb, the latter will be developed first by a death cult (easier to make an UNCONTROLLED explosion than a controlled one). Therefore no two interstellar civilizations will ever meet. The upside of this is that this will always be fiction.

But that’s where I have to draw the line.
(more…)

Late thoughts on bigotry

December 14, 2009

I’m publishing here my response to a Wonkette piece about Sarah Palin’s Down Syndrome child, Trig. The article was written in June by Ken Layne, though my comments are aimed at the blog’s founder, not her flunkies.

antoineclarke says at 2:53 pm, December 14th, 2009
– Reply

Is that the best you can do? Lame.

If the stormtrooper is some kind of hint of Nazism, how come the people who are accused of being Nazis are the ones AGAINST eugenics, and the people supporting eugenics are the ones calling out “fascist.” Seems like disinformation to me.

As someone who would possibly have been gassed by real Nazis, and who had a relative executed by them (he was a hostage that was murdered because a prisoner escaped), I find the attacks on a woman (for not having an abortion) at the very least silly. Next you’ll be supporting some idiot who calls for conservative women to be gang raped. I honestly don’t recall your stance on that story, but I hope you condemned it.

There was me thinking pro-abortion people were in favour of choice. I guess “choice” is just a propaganda tool for collectivists to chip away at individual rights.

I used to consider abortion of a Down’s Syndrome foetus an unfortunate idea but on the whole the right thing to do. Until I traveled to work every day for a year on a train in London with a young woman who had the condition. Most people in the train were grumpy, cramped, seemed pretty miserable. She on the other hand listened to her music and seemed happy. I certainly do not have the right to decide if she had the right to live. And I don’t think you do either.

However, call me a bleeding heart if you like, but I would not condone physical threats or any assault on you, simply for being wrong on an issue. Let’s see how sane your readers are.

Bring back Ana Marie Cox, I reckon.

[H/T ] William A. Jacobson

What do the mosques make of Hallow’een?

November 1, 2009

Last night in West Hampstead a notable minority of the children “trick or treating” were Asians. The older ones (some of whom I recognised as being related to some of the local Islamic families) were running around on their own, without parental supervision and generally getting into the spirit of things.

I’m not convinced that revelling in Satanic regalia (most of them held plastic tridents and wore demonic make up) to celebrate a pagan festival is quite the sort of assimilation that moderate Islamic scholars have in mind.

And I’m pretty sure their more religiously observant parents would not have been amused.

Ironically, the reason Hallow’een took off in France (despite its supposedly American roots [French people only heard of it via the movies]) was that the day after Hallow’een is All Hallows Day, a Catholic holiday. This means that everyone has the day off so a drunken pagan bacchanalia the night before is not tempered by the need to go to work the next day. A perfect instance of unintended consequences, one might imagine.

Creationist victory on Facebook?

October 31, 2009

UPDATE: WordPress has been crashing on Firefox for some time, with not just mine but lots of other WordPress blogs too.

So far, no one at WordPress seems to care enough about this to let me know why it happens or how to fix it. The result is that the post below crashed in the middle of posting, so it didn’t appear two weeks ago as planned. I apologise for this.

For what it’s worth, ONLY WordPress blogs seem to crash, and they do so less frequently on Safari or Internet Explorer than Firefox.

I’ve just voted in a poll on Facebook as to whether I believe in evolution or creation because I was curious to see the results.

With just over 40,000 votes in (a lot more than any market research company is likely to commission) the results were 39.5% in favour of evolution and 60.5% for creation.

Facebook did not previously strike me as the sort of forum where relious zealots were dominant. So either there is a silent majority that rejects Darwin (I’m guessing this is a reaction against school), or the poll is unrepresentative.

Either way it reminds of this comment I left on Brian Micklethwait’s blog:

I caught snippets of a two-part documentary on twins which made the interesting claim that a belief in God is likely to be genetic (identical twins were a lot more likely to agree the existence/non-existence of God than non-identical twins).

If true, this again raises one of my favourite paradoxes, whether Darwinism as a belief system is viable on strictly biological reproductive grounds. I suspect it isn’t.

If it is true that people carrying the God gene are more likely to reproduce (partly because they believe they’ve been told to by God “Go forth and multiply!”), then it stands to reason that over time the number of people carrying the God gene is likely to expand relative to the non-God gene carrying population.

This could curiously result in a paradigm shift where a Darwinian process (evolution) generates a Creationist hegemony.
Posted by Antoine Clarke on 07 October 2009

As for my own opinion, I can find good reasons to doubt both points of views. What is particularly striking at present, is the stridency of some calls to accept as orthodoxy the Darwinian position and the intolerance of any questioning one might make of it.

I don’t think the fossil evidence is sufficient to demonstrate whether evolution is a gradual or an abrupt process. I cannot see how it is possible to logically demonstrate that the Big Bang (if that theory isn’t shown to be wrong, or incomplete by further research) wasn’t something like a switch being thrown. At the very least, there might be a genetic basis for people to be theists or deists. All of which make me ask: why?

What I am certain of, is that evolution, as a scientific theory, is on the way out for practical purpposes. In 50 years I expect fewer people to believe in it than do today. One reason for this is that the creationists reproduce. Another is that some of them have learned to argue from scientific principles. Leading advocates of Darwinism, on the other, have reverted to name-calling and hectoring. Which, if they don’t procreate, suggests they’re not going to win friends and influence people either.

How to make friends…NOT

December 11, 2006

A rabbi has decided to force Seattle (Washington state, U.S.A.) airport to cancel Christmas decorations.

I admit, when I first saw the local news headline on the Drudge Report: “Holiday Trees” Removed at Seattle Airport… I jumped to the conclusion that this was either the work of militant secularists or of Islamofascists. I was ready to groan at the nonsense of multiculturalist political correctness and even thought of it as evidence that the U.S.A. is cringing like a beaten dog in the face of its cultural enemies.

At a time when Israel needs every friend it can get and when multicultural relativism is finally being demolished by the evidence that Islamofascists don’t want to co-exist with a “degenerate” homosexual-friendly secular and permissive society, we get this:

SEA-TAC Airport – All 15 Christmas trees inside the terminal at Sea-Tac have been removed in response to a complaint by a rabbi.

A local rabbi wanted to install an 8-foot menorah and have a public lighting ceremony. He threatened to sue if the menorah wasn’t put up, and gave a two-day deadline to remove the trees.

Sea-Tac public affairs manager Terri-Ann Betancourt said the trees that adorn the Sea-Tac upper and lower levels may not properly represent all cultures.

She said that since this is their busiest time of year and they don’t have time to add a fair representation of all cultures, her department decided to take down all of the decorations, review their policies, and decide if they need to make a change for next year.

It turns out however that the rabbi in question, was “appalled” at the removal of the Christmas trees!

Rabbi Elazar Bogomilsky, who made his request weeks ago, said he was appalled by the decision. “Everyone should have their spirit of the holiday. For many people the trees are the spirit of the holidays, and adding a menorah adds light to the season,” said Bogomilsky, who works at Chabad Lubavitch, a Jewish education foundation headquartered in Seattle’s University District.

After consulting with lawyers, port staff believed that adding the menorah would have required adding symbols for other religions and cultures in the Northwest. The holidays are the busiest season at the airport, Betancourt said, and staff didn’t have time to play cultural anthropologists.

The best comment comes from Rabbi Bogomilsky’s lawyer:

“They’ve darkened the hall instead of turning the lights up,” said Bogomilsky’s lawyer, Harvey Grad. “There is a concern here that the Jewish community will be portrayed as the Grinch.”

No kidding!!! They threaten to sue and are “appalled” that the threat works literally.

For once the bureaucrats acted reasonably and the Islamofascists win without even opening their mouths or waving their weapons. Of course, we knew that most Jews in the U.S.A. voted to support the destruction of Israel last month, but I didn’t realize that some of them wanted the equation “Wipe out Jews=We can celebrate Christmas next year” to be put in the minds of most of the children wandering through the gloomy airport building at Seattle. It’s not like Seattle’s Jewish community has nothing else to worry about.

I remember when I was seven years old one one winter afternoon when the trade unions cut the power while I was watching Dr Who on television, an episode the B.B.C. did not repeat. I haven’t forgiven the socialist movement 34 years later. Lucky it wasn’t the Jews cancelled the show!