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, January 09, 2011

Blogger is being weird

You remember Stan, my recently acquired troll (sorry, Stan, but mostly that's what you are). Well, he posted a surprisingly reasonable comment on my post about Salman Taseer's assassination. And I replied to it. (Comment and reply shown below.) He then wrote a further comment, also pretty reasonable, but for some reason that never appeared here. More precisely, it seems to have appeared and then vanished, because Stan then posted a complaint that I had deleted it. (FWIW, Stan, if I HAD intended to delete it I would have put in a comment or post to that effect, at least when deleting the first one. I delete very few comments other than obvious commercial spam: I did knock out a few of Uncle Jimmy's a while back, but I had already warned him via a comment that if his comments didn't strike me as funny I reserved the right to trash them, as he had just banned me.) His complaint also vanished from that thread.

Anyway, here are the comments: his original one, then my reply, then his new one. I've posted that under my own name with a label identifying it as Stan's, so we'll see if it sticks this time. The funny thing is, although both his comment and his complaint about deletion were dropped by Blogger from the Salman Taseer post, when he copied the complaining one into the comment thread for my recent diatribe against Uncle Jimmy it stayed there. Which must have given the rather odd impression to Stan that I had deleted a perfectly reasonably comment while leaving all his abusive ones in that thread intact.

OK, here is the whole Salman Taseer comment stream as at 0428 GMT 09 January 2011:

At 07 January, 2011 22:12, Stan said...

Even you must admit, Rob,that this murder and the Islamic justifications for it from large sections of the Pakistani community is not the best advert for this particular religion.

If it can be interpreted so easily to excuse so many atrocious crimes and assassinations (in a way that has no parallel with other religions today) there must be something wrong somewhere, even if it's a matter of going through some kind of civilising reformation as other religions

At 08 January, 2011 00:43, Rob said...

Blimey, Stan, a relevant comment!

Fundamentalist nutters of whatever kind are never a good advertisement for the religions they pervert, for sure. I'm not sure whether Islam has a higher proportion of them than other religions or whether they simply shout more loudly (and their every pronouncement of hatred is picked up and gleefully repeated by folk like BlairSupporter). I wouldn't say they had no parallel in other religions: numerical superiority, perhaps, but think of the Jewish fanatics who still commemorate Baruch Goldstein's machine-gunning of a mosque. Do you imagine the Tamil Tigers (LTTE) in Sri Lanka operated in a vacuum without support from local Hindu extremists? They were one of the world;s biggest and most heavily-armed terrorist organisation, not a couple of guys with Kalashnikovs. Plenty of Sikhs cheered when Indira Gandhi was murdered by her Sikh bodyguard, and I'm pretty sure that there are "Christians" in the USA who would be ecstatic if somebody killed Barack Obama. Every religion has violent nutters, and supporters of violent nutters, Fortunately for us all, every religion (INCLUDING Islam) has a core of decent believers who want nothing to do with them. It;s the folk who turned up for Salman Taseer's funeral in defiance of the nutters who are the advertisement for Islam. It's the thousands of Muslims who turned up to form a human shield around the Coptic Christians' Christmas service who are the advertisement, not the murdering swine who bombed them.

Reform movements aren't always the solution. Mostly they are partial failures (the Protestant Reformation gave us Luther and the Church of England, but also Pat Robertson and Oliver Cromwell, while Islam has spawned the distinctly peaceful Sufis but also the Salafis whio inspired much of today's political Islam.) Judaism probably has the best record of reform, with comparatively few of the world's Jews being religious nutters.

Where I see a glass half full, you see one half-empty. It's the crazies who want to destroy the Islamic glass altogether that I worry about.

At 09 January, 2011 04:15, Rob said...
08 January, 2011 14:26 - but for some reason Blogger dropped it, and all following comments in this thread

Blimey, we can actually agree that fundamentalist nutters of whatever religious persuasion are the pits..

However I think there can be little doubt that Islam has a greater share of them than most, if only because, as a Muslim put it in today's Guardian, no two Muslim scholars can agree on the basics of Islam and therefore any nutter is free to set up his own sect and set his followers "on any course of action regardless of all considerations of discipline, loyalty, decency, morality or civic sense".

The whole thing is getting so out of hand in Pakistan that even
the Guardian has been prompted to publish an editorial about it headed "The moral collapse of a nation"

As you say, every religion has its share of fanatics but none on the scale and intensity of Islam in the 21st century, possibly because its anti-west practitioners see fanaticism and martyrdom as a path to paradise.

This really is becoming the world's
No.1 political problem. If the fanatics take over Pakistan, that will mean there could be two nuclear states with no qualms about delivering a holocaust against "the infidel" since a retaliatory response will only speed their way to paradise. At least non- religious or non-fanatically religious nuclear states are held back by the threat of Mutually Assured Destruction.

The only answer is to stand up for those heroic Muslims who are trying to reverse the tide of Muslim extremism.

Posted by Stan to Eine Kleine Nichtmusik at 08 January, 2011 14:26

I shall attempt to post a reply, and see whether my own comment gets axed. So far, the pseudo-Stan one is still there.

My apologies to Stan for the messing about, but I certainly did not delete either of the comments. If I were Uncle Jimmy I would suspect an Islamic conspiracy at Blogger, but as an IT geek I think shoddy software is to blame. Still, Jimmy has his own problems from time to time with Wordpress, so I guess I'll just have to put up with Blogger.

Here's my reply (still there so far though I got an error message when I posted it so am quite surprised):

I shall try to reply - trusting that my own comment will stay here longer than yours originally did.

I can't find much to disagree with there, Stan, just a few quibbles. You refer to two (Islamic) nuclear states, but Islamophobic rhetoric notwithstanding there is no evidence that Iran is anywhere near producing a bomb, even if it wished to. Oh, I know Tony Blair thinks they have one, but he thought Saddam had one so forgive me if I'm sceptical.

There is another nuclear state in the region, of course, and that is Israel. So far, as you say, Israel has held back from using its atomic weaponry for fear of the consequences. But with Obama being so spineless over settlements, and with the hard-liners in the Israeli government in the ascendant at present, I don't feel as confident as I used to that Israel will always be so sensible. It's not something I lose sleep over: but them neither is a global Islamic plot to destroy Western civilsation.

The nutters may not yet have taken over the Pakistani asylum but they do seem to be out of their wards right now. And I entirely agree that the brave souls who stand up to them need support. I mean the ones who put their lives on the line in Pakistan or Egypt (or Saudi Arabia, or Iran). I have a lot less time for the attention-seekers who sit in the UK and the USA claiming to be reformed ex-terrorists, or experts on Islam. As you say, anyone can claim to be an expert on Islam, and most of these guys semm to have no more credibility than the nutters in Pakistan.)

In the Islamic world there have been some - by Western standards - fairly iffy characters who have nevertheless made a stand against the extremists, and paid the price. Neither Benazir Bhutto nor Anwar Sadat was especially democratic (put it this way, I'd rather have Tony Blair as my head of state than either). Their methods, in many ways, stank: and clearly they weren't totally effective, as they were both murdered by their fundamentalist opponents. But again, it's not purely an Islamic issue: Indira Gandhi was pretty vile but tried (clumsily) to tackle Sikh terrorism. Result: she was murdered by a Sikh. Or take Yitzhak Rabin: he signed the Oslo accords and was getting ready to square up to the extremists among the settlers in the OT. He was assassinated by an extremist Zionist, not by a Muslim zealot.

I'm enough of a bleeding-heart liberal that I will always want to call these people to account insofar as they torture, murder and imprison their opponents: but if I had to choose between Benazir Bhutto and the folk who killed her (or Yitzak Rabin and the folk who killed him) my preference would be for the non-fundamentalists. There are limits: while deeply disgusted by what has succeeded him I wouldn't laud Saddam simply because he kept the lid on Muslim fundamentalism - though he did. Not do I support Islam Karimov's reign of terror in Uzbekistan.
My worry is that the broad-brush Islamophobia so prevalent around the world obscures the distinction between the murdering scum and the decent masses. What they need is what you described as a reform movement, someone to bring them to their proper Islamic senses: NOT someone to tell them that "Moslimes" are all wife-beating paedophiles who have sex with animals and commit human sacrifice to a moon god. There are plenty of decent Imams out there getting on with being Muslims and helping other to be Muslims (though not enough in Pakistan, perhaps). Their job is made harder by folk like Geert Wilders, the BareNakedIslam crowd, and BlairSupporter who cannot see the baby for the bathwater and simply play into the hands of the extremist demagogues.

09 January, 2011 05:41


At 09 January, 2011 16:50, Anonymous Stan said...

Credit where it's due, Rob. Nice of you to put things right rather than use this technical opportunity to cut me out My related dig at you is therefore duly retracted, with apologies.

As regards your quibbles, I deliberately said there COULD be two Islamic nuclear states in recognition of the fact that Iran has not gone nuclear, YET.

I'm not so worried about Israel since Judaism doesn't put so much emphasis on the delights of paradise and the Israelis are therefore rather less keen on blowing themselves up in a nuclear exchange.

As I've already said, we are at one in making the distinction between Islamic murdering scum the decent Muslim masses but the acid test of the decency of the latter (and of decent left-wingers come to that) will be the extent to which they come out against the death threat hanging over Aasia Bibi and the assassination of Taseer. If ever there was a cause that should bring decent people onto the streets this is it.

At 09 January, 2011 17:45, Blogger Rob said...


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