Eine Kleine Nichtmusik

Witty and pertinent observations on matters of great significance OR Incoherent jottings on total irrelevancies OR Something else altogether OR All of the above

Sunday, April 11, 2010

In which Uncle Jimmy makes George W Bush look like an intellectual giant

I promised no more posts on Uncle Jimmy unless he was funny. Well, I had to laugh at this one.

Not so much his claim to have been a prospective parliamentary candidate, though I remain to be convinced that he is British and thus eligible. Still, I dare say he campaigned against Labour, so I assume it was either for the BNP or perhaps more likely for UKIP (BNP-lite). While revealing, that isn't what's funny. See this, right at the bottom?

How often do we hear Jews, Sikhs, Buddhists – MPs or not - even Christians talking of politics in terms of religion? That’s right – NEVER.

Only Muslims do.

And they still want to argue that it is a religion only and not a political movement? Pull the other one.

I mean, where do you start with such an utterly dim-witted piece of drivel? Do you start by pointing out the Hindu extremists in the Indian BJP whose aim is to make India Hindu rather than secular and multicultural, and whose thugs destroyed the mosque at Ayodhya? Or the Tamil Tigers, for many years the most feared terrorist organisation in the world, and seeking to carve out a Hindu homeland in Sri Lanka?

OK, they're not Muslims but he didn't actually list Hindus, so let's come back to Christians. Do any of them talk of politics in terms of religion? Is the Pope Catholic? He's a head of state, after all. Or how about Ian Paisley and the other Northern Irish politicians? Jimmy is always keen to talk up Tony Blair's role in bringing peace to Northern Ireland, and that is one of Blair's few real achievements. But perhaps if he was British himself Jimmy would have been aware not just of what the two sides in Northern Ireland were fighting about (the respective roles of Britain and the Irish Republic in the political structure of Northern Ireland) but the fact that those differences of opinion were viewed, and presented, wholly in terms of a Protestant/Catholic polarity. Closer to (Jimmy's) home, Sarah Palin made great play of her Christian credentials during her vice-presidential campaign, while President Obama's detractors (including birthers such as Jimmy) have bent over backwards attempting to prove that he was brought up as a Muslim. Talking of politics in terms of religion? Hell, no.

But it gets better. Do Jews ever talk of politics on terms of religion? Well, er, yes, if they live in Israel. There are several ultra-orthodox Jewish parties, such as the National Religious Party (do you think their name is a giveaway?), Shas, Agudath Yisrael and Degel Hatorah. Shas in particular perform strongly in Israeli elections and generally have a role in governing coalitions. Moreover, the constitution of Israel means that there is no such thing as Israeli nationality, only Jewish nationality, full civil rights regarding property ownership, bringing one's spouse to Israel, or place of residence are available only to Jews. So apart from those minor political facts on the ground, Jews don't view politics on terms of religion, ooh no.

Yet even that isn't the best counter-example. How often do Sikhs talk of politics in terms of religion? Well, when they attempted to declare a separatist Sikh state in Punjab, my guess would be quite a lot. When as a result their holiest shrine, the Golden Temple at Amritsar, was besieged by the Indian Army, both sides were spending rather a lot of time talking of politics in terms of religion. The Sikhs in particular spent so much time talking about it that a group of them who happened to be in Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's bodyguard assassinated her. Which I think is a fairly political act.

How often do we hear Jews, Sikhs, Buddhists – MPs or not - even Christians talking of politics in terms of religion? That’s right – ALL THE GODDAMNED TIME.

Time to point and laugh at the poor ignorant pontificator who knows nothing about religion, nothing about politics, nothing about Britain, nothing except that he hates Muslims. Maybe it's time for him to go home now.


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