Sydney Kendall Says

Thinking in public about anything that matters.

Month: October 2006

Munira Mirza on Unbridled Debate

I invite you to read Let’s Have a Heated Debateby Munira Mirza. EXCERPT: “When political figures and community activists call for ‘civilised debate’ or ‘the right kind of dialogue’, what they are effectively saying is that any opinion deemed too controversial is a risk to public safety.”

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Race?

This might be a minor point, but it’s been bugging me. Silly, I suppose. But I keep reading and hearing this same dumb thing in various places: to speak against Islam is “racism”. If you are anti-Islam you are “racist”. And now the latest: the debate in Britain about the Islamic face veil for women could spark “race riots”.

Do people who use the “race” terms so carelessly believe that only one race can be Muslim? Can’t Caucasians be Muslims? (Er… wait. I seem to remember from when I was a kid looking through the World Book Encyclopedia that Arabs and a lot of other dark-skinned people were classified as Caucasian… Oh, well, not really important I guess… although, words and concepts should count for something, don’t you think?)

There are all kinds of Asians who are Muslims, including Indian Muslims. And I believe Indonesia is the most populous Muslim country in the world. Indonesians are certainly not Arabs. There are American blacks who are Muslims – and whites as well.

Yes, I have long been under the impression that Islam is a RELIGION, and that anybody could join, regardless of race. So how come if Muslims riot it’s a “race” riot?

Racism is a specific concept, but the term is now used not to identify an actual, irrational approach to judging people, but as an intimidation tactic. If you disagree with a policy Continue reading

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