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Furious

By ATWadmin On December 6th, 2006

Im too cross to get a post up on Channel 4s decision to platform fundamentalism at Christmas without offering up a challenging viewpoint. This isn’t furthering the debate on the veil at all. I look forward to her covering off the injustices suffered by many women forced to wear this garb either in the UK or elsewhere – whose viewpoint is never heard. Perhaps she could extend good wishes to Nazanin whose retrial is set for January. I somehow doubt this will happen. And I also doubt 2007s speech will give voice to some other extreme viewpoint in the name of improving community relations, perhaps the KKK or a BNP swastika bearing thug – who after all is entitled to feel ostracised by society for his or her viewpoints.  A debate is no doubt essential but this is the wrong way to go about it – this is neither a debate nor a reasonable approach to the issue. It is simply designed to aggravate an already sensitive issue. Of all the ways to go about furthering the debate they choose Christmas and a single extreme viewpoint to go unchallenged on air – which many people myself included will simply switch off. However, Jonz has put together some questions for Channel 4’s chief executive Andy Duncan.

1. Why do Channel 4 go out of their way not to offend ethnic minorities, specifically the Muslim community, when Channel 4 is happy to offend large swathes of the british public – on the traditional Christian holy day of christmas – with a muslim women in a full Islamic veil?

2. Will Channel 4 be inviting beer swigging naked women to introduce Ramadan or the Eid festival next year? Or is it just open season on the british public?

3. As a non-muslim I find the veil offensive, so why aren’t my views taken into account? Does political correctness only extend to minorities?

4. Why has Channel 4 never screened Submission by Theo Van Gogh? Why has Channel 4 never screened the satirical mohammed cartoons?

5. Can Channel 4 not see that is is fueling extremism, resentment and
antagonism against Britiains Muslim community by deciding to air the voice of an Islamic extremist – I use the word extemist since only 1% of Britains muslim population wear the full face veil?

 

127 Responses to “Furious”

  1. Here’s the email address for your questions…

    viewerenquiries@channel4.co.uk

  2. Great post Alison. Channel 4 is a disgrace.

  3. Im too cross to get a post up on BBC’s decision to platform the Queen at Christmas without offering up a challenging viewpoint. This isn’t furthering the debate on the monarchy at all.

  4. Channel 4’s remit when founded was to be alternative, innovative and risky.

    The Broadcasting Act 1990 gives Channel 4 a specific remit requiring Channel 4 programmes to “contain a suitable proportion of matter calculated to appeal to tastes and interests not generally catered for by Channel 3 and that innovation and experiment in the form and content of those programmes (should be) encouraged”.

    http://www.ofcom.org.uk/static/archive/itc/itc_publications/itc_notes/view_note79.html

  5. Then they should show the cartoons immediately after the burka broadcast, in the interests of balance and stimulating debate.

  6. Im too cross to get a post up on David’s decision to platform fundamentalism at Christmas without offering up a challenging viewpoint.

  7. Possible statistics for Christmas Day 3p.m. viewing would be

    1 Tired repeat of comedy duo’s Christmas special 3,500,000

    2 Christmas-related ( distantly) film on digital or satellite channel 5,000,000

    3 Simultaneous broadcast by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second on BBC and ITV 4,750,000

    4 Multifarious and downright silly broadcasts featuring pop music sung by so-called celebs 6,000,000

    5 Channel Four’s ‘Zorro returns’, also sub-titled ‘This is Religious freedom?’ viewers 1,175,000

    The last statistic is, by some remarkable freak of fate, exactly the same as the average daily readership of the Guardian circa 2005!

  8. Peter, cheers and I agree. as controversial goes then they should at least show the cartoons since she is discussing them in her ‘speech’. I didn’t realise she was our new head of state though Hugh, lol though i take your point…the issue is on that one though its a serious debate… so C4 making a joke out of the issue and poking fun at the british public isnt going to help is it?!

  9. Mike i also researched C4s alternate Xmas speech and last years viewing figs were a paltry 1.5 mill. So this is a clear design on a publicity drive to bump up rubbish xmas viewing figs using sadly an issue that shouldnt be presented as a joke. On that note perhaps we can have her appear on Trinny and Susannahs Christmas Special directly afterwards: What Not To Wear.

  10. I can only repeat what I posted on the Lady in the mask thread.

    So Andrew and Alison , do you want to silence women who don’t agree with you. Fine, you join a lot of Muslim men around the world who practise the same patronising dictats.

  11. I think i made my viewpoint on the issue clear enough Colm. What is it you dont get? How does this add to the debate? And how does it challenge the viewpoint of so many men and women who insist the niqab is essential to a womans dignity whilst other women suffer in silence? Why arent they showing the cartoons? You think it is OK so perhaps you would care to answer how this will help the women you think you are helping via what amounts to silly propaganda?

  12. >>>So this is a clear design on a publicity drive to bump up rubbish xmas viewing figs using sadly an issue that shouldnt be presented as a joke.<<<

    yet its fine for the conservative lobby on here to take the piss, make jokes about and mock the same issue. wise up.

    Channel 4 relies on the mary woodhouse types to further their marketing, for free. well done you guys. MSM useful fools.

  13. >>yet its fine for the conservative lobby on here to take the piss, make jokes about and mock the same issue.<<

    Good one, Daytripper!

  14. Alison

    Everything you say about the space that should be given to other voices addressing abuses of women in the Islamic world is absolutely right and correct but that doesn’t mean that this woman shouldn’t be allowed to speak or that the ONLY way she should be permitted to do so is as part of a debate. Let’s have the debate , and let’s have this Channel 4 Chrstmas day speech too. The ‘alternative’speech is a channel 4 tradition and sometimes it’s serious – Doreen Lawrence , and sometimes it’s silly, Rory Bremner as Princess DI – Let it be !

  15. So ok youd be happy for say a guest invite bext year from the KKK, regardless of who that might offend eg a large proportion of Britains black population?

  16. muslims are prepared to behead people for slighting their child raping mass murderer of a leader,

    yet they can, with not so much as a blush, use a holy day of a peaceful religion to antagonize their view points. How can anyone indulge such awful double standards ?

    i can only conclude that these people are shameless tramps with no concept of reciprocation, justice or standards of conduct………

  17. Precisely jaun – as usual on the nose! 🙂

    ‘i can only conclude that these people are shameless tramps with no concept of reciprocation, justice or standards of conduct……… ‘

    as will a large section of the population also, either that or they will treat it as a joke. A serious issue made trivial. Bravo C4!

    "Channel 4 relies on the mary woodhouse types to further their marketing, for free. well done you guys. MSM useful fools"

    Its the people who dont speak out on it that are the useful fools. The BBC advertised the issue and it is already out there in the MSM Daytripper so ..what we cant comment now either? Wise up.

  18. Actually Alison in all honesty I wouldn’t object. I oppose censorship and admire the broeadcasting of genuine alternatives (whether I approve of the opinions aired or not) and C4 should not be afraid of controversy and to anyone offended by whoever Channel 4 choose , the boring but oh so true response is YOU DON’T HAVE TO WATCH IT.

  19. Jaun is only on the nose when it comes to ridiculous sweeping ignorant stereotyping of a whole people on the basis of a single element of their identity – not much different from the disgusting Arab stereotyping of all Jews.

  20. No I know i dont Colm. I already said ill switch it off. But this is a serious issue at the moment. The Taleban are busily sticking burqas back on women and killin off women who stand up for womens rights. Iran is busy segregating women from society and women in this country are enduring beatings under cover. Even more in Saudi. Moreover the BNP is busily gaining ground in areas where the chances are our burqa bird will be seen and angrily switched off without a word uttered. So how does this help? Honestly if she comes on and starts singing "Springtime for Hi8tler and Germany…winter for Poland and Fraaaance!" i may stick with it.

  21. Alison

    You never know she may surprise everyone by standing up midbroadcast rip the veil off herSself and give a nice big middle finger sign while saying " THIS MESSAGE IS TO ALL MY SISTERS OUT THERE SUFFOCATING UNDER THIS BLOODY IDIOTIC BLANKET – GET IT OFF AND TELL ANY MAN WHO OBJECTS TO GO TO HELL.

  22. If only the sponsors of Channel 4 would find an alternate Christmas venue to advertise their products.

  23. Funny how there is no debate about the clothing rigths of western women living in Islamic societies. It annoys me how that harpie of a BBC correspondent, a white western Liberal, makes a point of wearing a veil event when she is in studio. That must point to a deep seated bias.

  24. That’s because you’re prejudiced.

  25. burqas and christmas presents do have one thing in common

    you’ll always be wee bit disappointed when you open the wrapping.

  26. >>>The BBC advertised the issue and it is already out there in the MSM Daytripper so ..what we cant comment now either? Wise up.<<<

    did i say you cant comment on it? just suggesting that if you find it that objectionable, maybe an alternative tactic would be to not discuss it, thus cutting off a valid marketing stream to the programmers. i hadnt heard about this until popping into ATW.
    And if im sober enough i might watch it, purely to see what way the speech goes. after all you might be surprised, and weeks of pointless speculation of what somebody, who you wont listen to, might or might not say will all have been in vain.

    though i doubt ill be sober enough. with any luck.

  27. Alison

    I have an idea how you can sabotage this . RE my comment above about the surprise ‘whipping off the veil’. Why don’t you turn up at the C4 studios all Niqabed up and say you are this woman (they’ll never know the difference) and then insist you want to do the speech live – and than you can do exactly that.

  28. what jaun, you mean she wont be a christmas cracker?

  29. DT: ‘maybe an alternative tactic would be to not discuss it’ I felt the same way when i saw it on LGF eg why the fork publicise this stunt? But. Its gone bonkers in the MSM because the Beeb publicised it. Its in the Sun, Mail, Guardian etc etc today – The Sun are running it alongside their ‘pc bastards attack xmas’ campaign.

    actually colm funny you should say that….

  30. jaun,

    "use a holy day of a peaceful religion to antagonize their view points. "

    What’s so peaceful about it? Do you not read the news? Recently two devout christian leaders invaded a country that posed no threat and now hundreds of thousands are dead.

    As for ‘antagonise their views’ the notion of women as inferior chattel is entirely consonant with the religious views of a large number of mainstream christians. Perhaps you mean they would be jealous?

  31. Frank, I think you need to talk to Frank

    http://www.talktofrank.com/home_html.aspx

    Frank, any chance of actually commenting on the contents of the post? Thought not…

  32. jaun

    He is commenting on the post , just not saying what you want to hear.

  33. "He is commenting on the post , just not saying what you want to hear."

    Bush , Blair, and the Iraq war???! Maybe you need to Talk to Frank as well… 🙂

  34. j0nz,

    Finding content in your posts is always a challenge. I’m not sure how drugs would help. I take it you write them on acid, but your readers might prefer morphine.

    Pleasantries aside, do you mean your question 1, 2, 3 and 5, where you argue for censorship of views you dislike – just like a Muslim extremist would?

    Or do you mean your question 2 where you act like you think that a veiled woman is offensive to Christians? Why would it be? Many of them are anti-woman – just like Muslim extremists. And just like people who want to "rip the veil off her face".

    Or do you mean your question 4 where you pretend to be in favour of freedom, but only to air propaganda that you like – just like Muslim extremists.

    Or do you mean Alison’s rant about "the veil" which pretends that a forced choice is the same as a free choice – just like a Muslim extremist would?

  35. What’s so peaceful about it? Do you not read the news? Recently two devout christian leaders invaded a country that posed no threat and now hundreds of thousands are dead.

    eh? what has that got to do with fundamentalist garb? or the fact that this is being pushed onto a large nos of non christians and moderate muslims without any meanigingful debate? at a time of year when most people are thinking peaceful family things we get extreme things i think is another way of looking at jauns point.

  36. What was that? should we draw a veil over it?

  37. Just like every Muslim believes, right? That is totally integral to the whole project, just like Salem is integral?

    Wasn’t there something in the Bible about bearing false witness? Remind us.

  38. Alison’s rant about "the veil" which pretends that a forced choice is the same as a free choice – just like a Muslim extremist would?

    eh?

  39. Alison,

    "eh? what has that got to do with fundamentalist garb? "

    Ask jaun, he brought it up.

  40. the thread got franked. argh! ill leave it there folks. we arent discussing the issue anymore. someone else feel free to take up the frank challenge!

    lol. hilarious aileen.

  41. Alison – re forced choice and free choice. You wrote:

    "I look forward to her covering off the injustices suffered by many women forced to wear this garb"

    What has that to do with her if she CHOSE to wear it? Does everyone who has consensual sex have to apologise to those who are raped?

  42. This thread has been through the Franking machine.. NEXT!

  43. Alison, j0nz,

    Why don’t you crosspost your calls for censorship of this woman to your "speak freely" blog? You remember, the one where you pretend to care for freedom of speech?

    Heh.

  44. It’s not about censorship Frank. My problem is that she is unrepresentative of the Muslim community. It’s fueling resentment in the non-Muslim community.

    It’s just typical, and thus infuriating, of the media to get the most extreme voices and attitudes on tv – to make ratings and sell papers.

  45. In the middle-east women often have little choice but to wear the veil. http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1164881802888&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

    It is often reported that more veils are seen on internal UK flights than flights coming out of places such is Iran.

  46. Im not calling for her to be censored Frank. Where do i suggest that. Ive asked for a debate on an issue that matters. You on the other hand are an odious little troll who would rather see an extremist piece of propaganda aired to all with NO recourse to debate. So you tell me why you are denying free speech? You who likes nothing better than to posit your own rationale pretending i am the bigot and you as cynically superior rather than engage in any meaningful discussion. People CHOOSE to vote BNP Frank – does that mean they should NOT be argued with? When Nick Griffin is allowed to posit his propaganda unchallenged next Xmas i expect you to be the first to applaud.

  47. Griffins’ Alternative Xmas message… for a really White Christmas! heh

  48. yeah. not insensitive at ALL. a wonderful contribution to a multi culti society. serving your community well.

  49. "It’s not about censorship Frank. My problem is that she is unrepresentative of the Muslim community. It’s fueling resentment in the non-Muslim community."

    Which is why you argue for her views – on anything – not to be aired. That means you want her censored. You are, in your own words, "furious" that channel 4 chose to air them. All this is merely your justification to silence her.

    "It’s just typical, and thus infuriating, of the media to get the most extreme voices and attitudes on tv – to make ratings and sell papers."

    Except certain danish media, right? Then you say it’s all about freedom of speech.

    Notice also that you are "offended" at her mere presence, regardless of what she says. Because you don’t even know what she will say and here you are. What if she simply says merry christmas?

    Ironic too that your solution to the veiled woman is to hide her away.

    Alison,

    "You on the other hand are an odious little troll who would rather see an extremist piece of propaganda aired to all with NO recourse to debate."

    Wrong as usual. But at least you don’t personalise it and offer insults in place of a rational argument.

  50. I already posted a rational argument Frank. And to those that countered it above I was happy to debate their responses. As for cynical uncivil strawmen trolls who offer neither (to me at least, you can and do elsewhere on ATW.) Im really no longer bothered.

  51. "As for cynical uncivil strawmen trolls who offer neither"

    Calling me names and lying about me is not going to make your case.

    When Muslims are offended – by cartoons that set out to offend – you say it’s free speech (and it is). You start a blog about it. Keep freedom of speech you say.

    When YOU are offended – by a Muslim’s mere presence – it’s all somehow different. She must not be allowed to speak regardless the topic.

    So go on. Post that post, unaltered on your ‘speak freely’ blog. It’s obviously related to a freedom of speech issue so why not. You think maybe people will notice the, uh, change of heart?

  52. "Notice also that you are "offended" at her mere presence, regardless of what she says. Because you don’t even know what she will say and here you are. What if she simply says merry christmas?"

    Frank, why the f** would she just say Merry Christmas?

    Apparently she is going to talk about Islamophobia and Iraq war, from what I have heard. Merry Christmas indeed.

    Who cares what she thinks? Her strict adherence to the niqab relfects an attitude that is prevelant in 1% of 5% (Muslim) of the British population.

    That, you imbecile, is 0.0005% of the British population.

    She does not represent 1,600,000 British Muslims. She essentially represents an extreme form of Islam. You have heard of the term "an extreme form of Islam" haven’t you? It’s been in the news quite a lot since the end of 2001.

  53. Not quite there, Jonz. It would be more accurate to say that islam is an extreme form of religion.

  54. Frank extreme Muslims can pretty much say what they want. I really don’t think Alison has ever said otherwise.

    I am all for extreme Muslims talking their BS. Each unto their own. But on CHRISTMAS DAY? It’s just incredibly irritating.

    We’re not saying throw the bint in the dungeon! She can say pretty much what she likes!

  55. j0nz,

    Do you know what the phrase "what if" signifies.

    As it is it looks like you concede my point, which is that you don’t want her to speak about ANYTHING.

    But hey, at least you don’t want to censor her.

  56. Well Allan, Islam could be said to be many other things than a religion. In it’s most visual and vocal forms it’s a politico-militarial movement. It’s an entire way of life. A way to enforce "utopia" on mankind.

  57. j0nz,

    "That, you imbecile, is 0.0005% of the British population."

    Imbecile I may be at times but at least I can do sums.

    1% of 5% is 0.05% of the British population.

    FYI.

  58. Here is an answer i gave you some months back which remains my position now and seems relevant as you attempt to pour scorn over it (and the seriousness of the issue) – dressing it up as free speech and using that as your argument. Platforming this isnt debate or pushing free speech Frank. Its propaganda. (I posted on FreeSpeech already some hours back, thanks for the reminder)

    Incidentally in looking through the comments you called me a greased pig! Im sure you meant it nicely though eh.

    We were arguing about recourse to help for abused women which you were not very clear on.

    "I would add the State should be able to intervene within a legal framework to protect the individual eg the women who are forced. Currently though, as Ive said before, religious taboos and the ‘right on’ state wont even highlight their cases, so these women have no idea how to go about seeking help, who to go to, their rights or how to find a safe house where they wont find themselves the victims of honour killings.

    Because the situation for battered wives has been highlighted so much lately, women have refuges, avoid social stigma and know their rights. Equally there is pressure on the police currently to get prosecutions in rape cases to give women more reason to come forward in the hope their actions will lead to prosecutions.

    Vigorous debate + the shameful situations exposed would lead, in my opinion to a sort of stigmatising of the burqa, ‘influencing’ choice and reducing the desire to wear it"

    My argument has always been for vigorous debate. It remains unchanged. and this C4 malarkey isnt debate.

  59. If we are having a debate about the veil then it is of course appropriate to have its defenders and those who wear it speak in the debate.

    I have no problem whatsoever with that. We have heard at length from politicians and commentators on the subject so this is an opportunity to hear the case for the other side. Let’s listen. Let’s see if the case made reassures us or confirms our fears.

    But Alison’s questions are all pertinent. Even if Tony Blair was asked to give an uninterrupted defence of the Iraq war to coincide with the beginning of Ramadan we could expect violent outrage. Freedom of speech must be a two-way street or it doesn’t exist at all.

    Channel 4 are entitled to show this but why are they afraid to show us the Danish cartoons? Or indeed Van Gogh’s film. There is an issue of censorship but it is not coming from people who object to the Christmas Day broadcast from Channel 4. Their peaceful objections can be safely ignored.

  60. Frank,

    1% of 5% is 0.0005% because

    lets translate to decimal

    0.01 multiplied by 0.05 = 0.0005 and then times by 100 again .. oh bugger.

    Ok. Still, 0.05% Frank – 1 in 200 people! Is that really relevant, in the Christmas spirit?!

    Come on Frank. You know we’re talking sense.

  61. "Tony Blair was asked to give an uninterrupted defence of the Iraq war to coincide with the beginning of Ramadan we could expect violent outrage. Freedom of speech must be a two-way street or it doesn’t exist at all."

    Very good point

  62. Alison,

    "Platforming this isnt debate or pushing free speech Frank."

    Preventing a woman (or a cartoon) from appearing on C4 is not necessarily denying free speech. Freedom of speech does not mean your message appears wherever you demand.

    However, to seek to prevent a woman in a veil from commenting on the national airwaves simply and only because she is wearing a veil is to my mind denying free speech.

    j0nz,

    "Still, 0.05% Frank – 1 in 200 people! Is that really relevant, in the Christmas spirit?!"

    1 in 2000. It’s not your day for sums. I don’t see the relevance to be honest. The queen is an even smaller percentage of the people. 🙂 As for the Christmas spirit, if you cannot listen to the other side on xmas then when the hell can you do it?

    Also, you know, what the hell are you afraid of? According to your theory because she wears the veil she will be dumber than two short planks. Are you afraid she’ll be articulate and engaging? Do you think she’s gonna have an argument so persuasive that everybody’s going to run out and don the veil just as soon as they sober up?

  63. how am i actually preventing? we are arguing against the merits of it happening in the first place. and arguing in favour of proper debate on a sensitive issue.Its giving voice to extremism. No matter how beautifully argued. Extremists are often very convincing and gifted speakers! I dont have any respect for her opinions as she chooses to dress like an fundi and ignores what it implies.

    The veil has to be argued off the streets and as an example to young girls. Teaching kids what it symbolises for many many women where there isnt choice is paramount. We have done little to support women who rally against this garb outside the UK much less those coerced in it, so to encourage it here is ignorant. And when we dont give voice to women who oppose it it verges on bullshit.

  64. I see JOnz has sent an excellent response to the non reponse he got from C4. cross posted at SpeakFreely. Well done him.

    Dear Mark,

    With respect, please answer the questions.

    Most of the British public think it is far from "fitting". This brush off really is quite outrageous. Channel 4 did not publish the Mohammed Cartoons or Theo Van Gogh’s Submission film. These have been far more prominent on the news (in response to his suggestion it was the most relevant topic of the year) and the "freedom of expression" agenda.

    It’s easy pickings to offend non-Muslims. If you really want to talk about freedom of speech you should be giving a voice to moderate muslims in Afghanistan and Iraq who are being slaughtered by religious fascists whilst walking to school, or those women in Iran who get beaten by religious authorities for demonstrating for equal rights. Or perhaps all those British Muslims who have come out in opposition to the burqa and the niqab in Britian, and those normal Muslism who don’t go and pray in the mosque every week, and sometimes even, mix with strangers of the opposite sex!

    Channel 4 seems to be consistently presenting the case for literalist and extremist Islam. When will Channel 4 embrace the real moderates? It seems Channel 4 is trying to be controversial. It has certainly achieved that, but it has consistently played the safe bet of offending non-Muslims only.

  65. Alison,

    "how am i actually preventing? we are arguing against the merits of it happening in the first place."

    Which means you are arguing to prevent it happening!

    And let’s be clear here: "it" = "her speaking". About anything.

    "Its giving voice to extremism."

    Yep. That’s what freedom of speech does. It gives a voice to everyone.

    I don’t disagree with any of the rest of what you wrote however I disagree that simply letting someone speak is equivalent to ‘encouraging’ everyone to imitate them. Nor do I see where we are not giving voice to women who oppose it.

  66. Despite what is being claimed here, it is clear that the veil *does* represent Islam for quite a large number of non-Muslims.

    That is why images of veiled women are frequently used to represent Islam in newspapers, TV reports and web log posts. It gets referred to by some as ‘the mask of Islam’, as if it were a fundamental component of Islam, when in fact it is nothing of the sort.

    To give an example here in Ireland. When the Pope was due to visit Istanbul, RTE ran a report from Istanbul about what people there were supposed to have thought about the visit. Women wearing veils were given special prominence in the TV images. Yet, when I was in Istanbul in August, I saw very few women wearing veils, despite the fact that most Turkish women are Muslim.

  67. Since she is a fundi, its extremist propaganda Frank.

    You are quite right Hugh. It is fundamentalism which is why it is wrong for C4 to dress this up as a debate about muslim perspectives when she represents a tiny %, it encourages a skewed view and sends the message that the veil is Islam and fundamentalism is A OK which in a country that represents male female equality is dreadful. I was speaking to a muslim the other day and he was quite cross about how it is used to represent Islam and made it clear people who use what he viewed as ‘khomeinist’ views did not speak for him. Moreover C4 must know this and want to propagate this sort of thing which will do nothing to assist community relations or send a good message to young girls in the muslim community growing up here much less those who suffer under the veil.

  68. Alison,

    Quentin Crisp wasn’t deemed representative of any group in society when he did this a few years back. But I can’t recall anyone objecting to that. So it seems wrong to object now on the grounds that the woman fails to represent whatever group people wish her to represent.

    My own feeling on this is that before we are representatives of any identified group, we are human beings. Now, appearing on Channel 4 at Christmas is certainly not a fundamental right, but I think that an acceptance of the right to freedom of expression should inform our own response to the programme. Do we not want to hear what this woman says because of what she is wearing? Do we think that certain people in society ought to be denied the right to speak on account of what they wear, or on account of their failure to represent a group in the way that we see fit?

    Whilst the wearing of a veil may send out a certain message, what the person *says* is probably more important. I think it is wrong to demand that this programme should be pulled. The only thing that a stance of ‘it will only encourage other people’ seems to do is encourage censorship.

    In short, you can’t pre-judge someone because of what they wear. So I would listen to her words before making any judgement on both the decision to broadcast and on what she has to say.

  69. "In short, you can’t pre-judge someone because of what they wear."

    With all due respect, this is utter clap-trap. What we wear can be integral to our identity that we hold dear. (Except of course for fancy dress parties and other humourous persuits)

    That’s why people have uniforms.

    If somebody is wearing a police uniform, the are almost definitely in the police.

    If somebody wears KKK a uniform dancing around a burning cross, assumptions can be made.

    If I wear a swastika, and a dress up as Hitler would it be wrong to judge me as a bit crazy/possibly racist?

    Somebody who freely chooses to wear the niqab will almost definitely be obedient to "Allah". She will almost definitely take her moral guidance from the Qu’ran or other Muslims claiming knowledge of Islam.

    It is agreed amongst almost all Islamic shcolors that the word of the Qu’ran is *immutable* and cannot be reinterpeted with science. There has been no equivalent enlightenment.

    Islam states non-muslims who are Christian or Jewish, under a muslim state must either convert to Islam or pay the jizah tax and have legally enshrined less rights than Muslims. If they do not pay the tax or they are polytheist or atheist they may be killed.

    If she is obedient to Islam, then will she repudiate Sharia laws? I doubt it very much.

  70. Nobody will be challenge her view point.

    Mohammed said "He who changes his religion, kill him"

    Will she contradict what Mohammed said??? It’s a univerally agreed that techinically, under Islamic law apostates should be killed.

  71. *With all due respect, this is utter clap-trap.*

    Actually, it isn’t, and none of the examples you offer prove differently. If I see a man in a police uniform, a Klan outfit or a Nazi outfit, does that in itself put me in a position to judge what that person is planning on saying at a given moment in the future? I would suggest that it doesn’t.

  72. I have no intention of listening to someone i have no respect for. Much like i would not attend a propaganda rally for Respect. Any woman who chooses to dress herself up like a giant walking vagina should be dismissed for the phoney she is. If however she was engaged in debate and challenged that is altogether different. Likewise when a member of Respect is engaged in debate then i pay attention. But since her views are not representative of any group and in light of the current issues we have generally about community relations multi culturalism etc Channel 4 are patently wrong to present her as a voice for Islam. I am not asking the programme to be pulled. I am pointing out their stupidity and challneging their decsions. Exercising my rights if you will. They are justifying this on the basis of assisting community relations. As she is entitled to say whatever she wants where are the voices to challenge on such a contentious issue. Equally what of the questions Jonz has asked. Where is the balance in such a debate? This will do little to challenge what you have pointed out is not representative of Islam. Furthermore the timing of the propaganda is also designed to antaganise. It is right to call this into question.

  73. *It’s a univerally agreed that techinically, under Islamic law apostates should be killed.*

    No it isn’t. There isn’t even universal agreement among Muslims on what Islamic law actually *is*.

  74. Actually, it isn’t, and none of the examples you offer prove differently. If I see a man in a police uniform, a Klan outfit or a Nazi outfit, does that in itself put me in a position to judge what that person is planning on saying at a given moment in the future? I would suggest that it doesn’t.

    It depends on the timing Hugh. If it was in the run up to or during WW2 then I would suggest that it does put you in a position to judge. Likewise if you saw a man in a KKK outfit during the civil liberties movement in America you would doubtless question if not judge.

  75. Hugh.

    "Actually, it isn’t, and none of the examples you offer prove differently."

    Indeed. Not only that but assumptions mean nothing if they are never tested. We will find out if j0nz is right in his assumptions if the woman is allowed to speak. If she is not then we won’t.

  76. *As she is entitled to say whatever she wants where are the voices to challenge on such a contentious issue.*

    This is not a feature of the Queen’s speech, so why should it be a feature of the C4 programme?

  77. Apparently she said:"I don’t want to be seen as just a veil." ROFLMAO. To challenge the hypocrisy of C4
    and their ‘right on community relations’ ‘debate’ is important but as for her – dismiss her and her propaganda as the nonsense balloney it is. Im sure Respect will be tuning in on the day and will afford her their individed attention. Daft bint.

  78. Hugh – the Queens speech isnt billed as anything other than that – the Queen without a non political agenda wishing everyone a happy Christmas.

    C4 feel it is ‘fitting that the Alternative Christmas Message should be from a British Muslim woman in a year in which issues of religious and racial identity and freedom of expression have dominated the news agenda’

    They are therefore politicising it and justifiably come under criticism. My objective is to highlight their designs on telling us what to think, pissing on moderate muslims and christians from a great height, putting her forward as representative of muslims when she is a fundi and well..then basically make sure i dont watch it on Xmas day.

    I hear Unite Against Fascism are organising a counter rally to the BNP this December in Hyde Park. How dare they!? Free speech and all that.

  79. ‘Daft bint’

    You learn something new every day – look what I just found out:

    ‘bint is British slang for a woman or girl, but it is always disparaging and offensive and signals the user as lower class and unrefined. It’s also now rather dated.

    The word is Arabic for a daughter, specifically one who has yet to bear a child. It was in common use as a slang term during the first and second World Wars among British and Allied servicemen stationed in Egypt and neighbouring countries.

    Sir Richard Burton was the first person to use the word in English, in his Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to El-Medinah and Meccah in 1855: “ ‘Allah! upon Allah! O daughter!’ cry the by-standers, when the obstinate bint of sixty years seizes their hands”.’

    http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-bin1.htm

    The ironing is delicious.

  80. So a speech by the head of state on the state broadcaster has no political agenda?

    Well, let’s see. Last year she spoke of natural disasters, wars, civil disturbances and acts of brutal terrorism. That’s pretty political.

    Next you’ll be telling me that when the Defender of the Faith talks about following the teachings of Christ, there is no religious agenda.

  81. The ironing is delicious

    Fun and games eh. So is such an illiberal anti feminist piece of cloth being championed as ‘free expression’ by the left.

    She is free to comment on those tragedies Hugh. But does she suggest hint at who is responsible?

  82. "an illiberal anti feminist piece of cloth"

    Much like priest’s vestments. After all what does it symbolise but a job that women are barred from?

    Right, Alison? j0nz?

  83. Alison,

    You are attributing to me a position I do not hold.

    Find me an instance of where I have ‘championed’ the wearing of the veil. If ‘championing’ something means not restricting the right of an individual to do that particular ‘something’, then that would make me a champion of, among other things, foot fetishism, all-you-can eat pizza restaurants and gay porn movies, as well as all three put together.

    The Queen can say what she likes. Comes with the territory.

  84. >>*It’s a univerally agreed that techinically, under Islamic law apostates should be killed.*

    >>>No it isn’t. There isn’t even universal agreement among Muslims on what Islamic law actually *is*.

    ALL five major schools of Islamic jurisprudence agree that a sane male apostate must be executed. A female apostate may be put to death, according to some schools, or imprisoned, according to others.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apostasy_in_Islam

    There’s VERY little disagreement amongst Islamic scholars on apostasy. Actually.

  85. By wearing the full veil she is saying:

    I am Muslim
    I follow Islam

    Islam states: apostates should be killed
    Islam states: non-muslims should have less rights than muslims
    Islam states: adultery should be punished by stoning
    Islam states: causing michief in the land, the punsihment is cutting of limbs
    Islam states: it is supreme,there is no word but Allah
    Islam states: Muslims must wage jihad against non-believers who refuse the teachings of Islam as it is an insult to mohammed

  86. J0nz,

    Actually, the Wikipedia article you supplied would appear to indicate that it is not ‘universally agreed that techinically, under Islamic law apostates should be killed’.

    Ever wonder why schools of Islamic jurisprudence exist in the first place?

  87. By wearing the full veil she is simply saying "This is what I choose to wear " – that’s all , the rest is just made up by Jonz

  88. Colm yes you are technically correct.

    Incredibly niave perhaps, but technically correct. They are all assumptions. Have you ever actually asked any devout Muslims about those things I mentioned?

    Any devout Muslim will say of course, these things should be done as Mohammed said, for Allah knows best. Furthermore risk of ostracisation or death if saying otherwise!

    I am willing to bet BIG money she will not contradict the Qu’ran. Muslims who contradict the Qu’ran are the firts victims of Islam evangelicanism.

  89. Colm, I assume you don’t deny that Islamic law dictates thing things I said, right? Just that this veiled woman doesn’t neccesarily believe in those things?

  90. I’m not naive Jonz, I just don’t stereotype everyone as having the same view and same attitudes and to be judged all the same .

    All Jews are …

    All Muslims are…

    All blacks are…

    All catholics are…

    That way lies real evil.

  91. j0nz: "My problem is that she is unrepresentative of the Muslim community."

    j0nz: "By wearing the full veil she is saying: I am Muslim. I follow Islam."

    Which is it? Does she represent Islam or doesn’t she?

  92. OK .. fair enough Colm on the judging as all in strict catagories. For a minute there I thought you was defending Islamic law and all that it entails as OK.

    But if somebody described themselves as a neo-nazi, how would you judge them? Surely fascists shouldn’t be judged as being bad people purely on that?

  93. Frank, I hope you head doesn’t explode with the cognitive dissonance!

    She says "I am a muslim – and quite a strict one too"

    Channel 4, repeatedly, picks those who say "I am Muslim" and who are also extreme in one way or another. It seems that Channel 4 seeks to promote extremism as the voice of Islam in this country going by their selection of the Muslim community.

    Do you think Channel 4 gives a balanced picture of the Muslim community?

  94. You are attributing to me a position I do not hold.

    To be fair Hugh so did you. You suggested I wanted to have the programme taken off the air. I dont. I want to highlight their hypocrisy eg hyping up their viewing stats under the pretence that they actually care about a sensitive issue. It would have been far far better to have a muslim woman who opposes the veil speak in this slot. After all weve heard plenty from the women who wear it.

    Frank: what do you know of my views of the christian church and its treatment of women? So why are you asking me this.

  95. "Frank, I hope you head doesn’t explode with the cognitive dissonance!"

    I’m not the one contradicting myself.

    You’re the one saying that Islam is practically unanimous and yet a woman in a veil doesn’t really represent it. Both cannot be true. Since most Muslim women do not wear the veil it is obvious that Islam is far from unanimous.

    "It seems that Channel 4 seeks to promote extremism as the voice of Islam"

    Just like you with your "Islam states" litany. You actually support the fundamentalists with such crap. They say there is one interpretation of Islam and you agree.

    Alison,

    "what do you know of my views of the christian church and its treatment of women? So why are you asking me this."

    I’m asking both of you to see if you are consistent. Would you object as vehemently if a catholic priest gave the alternative xmas speech?

  96. "an illiberal anti feminist piece of cloth"

    Much like priest’s vestments.

    Sorry your point is to assume a priests dress acts as a cage for women?

  97. Would you object as vehemently if a catholic priest gave the alternative xmas speech?

    is the priest to whom you refer a fundamentalist christian?

  98. Alison,

    "Sorry your point is to assume a priests dress acts as a cage for women?"

    You may find it easier to follow my point if you do not delete it. Here it is again. See if you can manage to address it this time:

    "Much like priest’s vestments. After all what does it symbolise but a job that women are barred from?"

    As for this:

    "is the priest to whom you refer a fundamentalist christian?"

    Sorry, no hablo bullshit. Once more in English please.

  99. Lets move past your usual obnoxious trite trolling bullshit and repost your original comment:

    "an illiberal anti feminist piece of cloth"Much like priest’s vestments. After all what does it symbolise but a job that women are barred from?

    Really? LOL. You need to get up to speed on that one Frank. I love the Vicar of Dibley. Thats the thing about shaking off to a good degree mysonginsim within religion – you actually have to challenge it Frank!

    Much like the priests vestments –

    so ARE you suggesting they are equivalent to the niqab Frank. Is that clear enough for you?

    Would you object as vehemently if a catholic priest gave the alternative xmas speech?

    Is the priest you are referring to a fundi? Pretty straight forward question again Frank. My argument is based on delivering extremist representations of a faith.

    "Im too cross to get a post up on Channel 4s decision to platform **fundamentalism** at Christmas"

    Instead of trying to make me and my argument out to be something im and it is not why dont you try answering some of Jonzs questions individually since you appear to be standing with C4 on this issue, id be very interested to hear your viewpoint.

    1. Why do Channel 4 go out of their way not to offend ethnic minorities, specifically the Muslim community, when Channel 4 is happy to offend large swathes of the british public – on the traditional Christian holy day of christmas – with a muslim women in a full Islamic veil?

    2. Will Channel 4 be inviting beer swigging naked women to introduce Ramadan or the Eid festival next year? Or is it just open season on the british public?

    3. As a non-muslim I find the veil offensive, so why aren’t my views taken into account? Does political correctness only extend to minorities?

    4. Why has Channel 4 never screened Submission by Theo Van Gogh? Why has Channel 4 never screened the satirical mohammed cartoons?

    5. Can Channel 4 not see that is is fueling extremism, resentment and antagonism against Britiains Muslim community by deciding to air the voice of an Islamic extremist – I use the word extemist since only 1% of Britains muslim population wear the full face veil?

  100. Alison,

    ""an illiberal anti feminist piece of cloth"Much like priest’s vestments. After all what does it symbolise but a job that women are barred from?

    Really?"

    Yes really. There are no women priests. Homosexuals are also barred.

    "Is the priest you are referring to a fundi? "

    The priest is RC, so it is reasonable to assume that he (and it will be a he) is likely to subscribe to the fundamentals of Catholicism – i.e., no women or homosexuals need apply. Ready to answer the question yet? Should an RC priest be allowed to give the alternative xmas speech or not?

    "My argument is based on delivering extremist representations of a faith."

    I see, so mysogyny is OK if it is mainstream rather than ‘extremist’? Or as long as they are not "fundi" about it?

  101. You know what Frank. This isnt adding anything to the debate and if anything is just away with the fairies. Im suuposed to guess the priest is RC when you never said so so you can project a lot of nonsense. There are women priests in the christian faith and you referred to a random ‘priest’ and failed to take into account that there are female vicars or that chistianity does not treat women nearly as harshly as Islam where women have yet to gain equality. Neither is christianity a socio economic trans national movement. You yet again insist on bringing the argument down to christianity not knowing my views on this either.

  102. Thats me saying im outta here. Ciao!

  103. LOL. Great update Alison! I think Frank would be the first to agree that the KKK have the freedom of speech and should be allowed an alternative xmas message, on Christmas day.

  104. Must read:

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/012/999jpabw.asp?pg=2

    what Islamists use most is intimidation. A survey conducted in France in May 2003 found that 77 percent of girls wearing the hijab said they did so because of physical threats from Islamist groups. A series in the newspaper Libération in 2003 documented how Muslim women and girls in France who refuse to wear the hijab are insulted, rejected, and often physically threatened by Muslim males. One of the teenage girls interviewed said, "Every day, bearded men come to me and advise me strongly on wearing the veil. It is a war. For now, there are no dead, but there are looks and words that do kill."

    Muslim women who try to rebel are considered "whores" and treated as outcasts. Some of them want to move to areas "with no Muslims" to escape. However, that might not be a solution, as Islamists are at work all over France. The Communist newspaper L’Humanité in 2003 interviewed two Catholic-born French women who said they had converted to Islam and started wearing the niqab after systematic indoctrination by the Muslim Brotherhood.

    ***

    Frank is fighting for the right for women to be oppressed everywhere!

  105. ESPECIALLY on christmas day. MOST ESPECIALLY on Christmas Day. Serious issues about communities affected by this garb will have to wait. We can expect to hear him raise all sorts of issues about his hurt feelings next year and then when weve all had enough of his viewpoint and assume him representative of americans everywhere we can hear him again on Christmas Day. Only this time NO QUESTIONS!

  106. Frank, Channel 4, championing the cause for freedom of oppression

    MOGADISHU, Somalia – Residents of a southern Somalia town who do not pray five times a day will be beheaded, an Islamic courts official said Wednesday, adding the edict will be implemented in three days.

    Please note Colm & Frank what one guy says

    "As Muslims, we should practice Islam fully, not in part, and that is what our religion enjoins us to do."

    Muslims are compelled through every method of human manipulation from the positive to the negative to be more Islamic.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061206/ap_on_re_af/somalia_prayer_2

  107. Frank is fighting for the right for women to be oppressed everywhere!

    Yes I was certainly starting to think so.

    Jonz – did you read the debate on MPAC when some muslim girl tried to ask that girls be allowed to attend her local mosque. The thread was very very telling about EXACTLY this sort of thing. She was more or less told to shut up, stop making a fuss and the imam at the mosque threatened her. They live by their own rules.

  108. Alison,

    "Im suuposed to guess the priest is RC"

    It is not so much a matter of guessing as a matter of reading. Here once more is the question:

    Would you object as vehemently if a catholic priest gave the alternative xmas speech?

    The clue was in the question, see? Once we cut through the self-serving justifications your answer would appear to be "no". Which implies that "an illiberal anti feminist piece of cloth" is only an automatic obstacle when it is a Muslim involved.

    j0nz,

    "Frank is fighting for the right for women to be oppressed everywhere!"

    Enjoying beating up that strawman?

  109. Alison,

    "Frank is fighting for the right for women to be oppressed everywhere!

    Yes I was certainly starting to think so."

    Wow, you must be particularly stupid or particularly dishonest. Which is it?

  110. maybe both ?

    just teasing Frank,

    Alison, that looks like a new picture of senitor byrd….. am i right in thinking a mature byrd in his Klan outfit is an unusual sight, didnt he clearly distance himself from the invisable empire much earlier than the grey locks appeared ?
    he has a daughter called mohammed , you know……..

  111. I visit this site regularly but I post rarely. During most visits, I found myself getting annoyed by the inane (or maybe insane?) comments by Frank O’Dwyer. Now, I realise that he (or she) is there to entertain – like a comedian only a bit more baffling.

  112. As MR said to you some time ago: Keep taking the tablets, Allan.

  113. Let’s draw a veil over this thread shall we, it is now generating more heat than light.

  114. "Im suuposed to guess the priest is RC"

    It is not so much a matter of guessing as a matter of reading. Here once more is the question:

    Would you object as vehemently if a catholic priest gave the alternative xmas speech?

    The clue was in the question, see?"

    It was just a clue and it did need guessing that you were excluding Anglican priests.

  115. ‘You suggested I wanted to have the programme taken off the air.’

    Sorry, I thought you did. You got me there.

  116. Aileen,

    Huh? I specifically said a catholic priest, you just quoted it. How much more of a clue is needed?

  117. you soecified catholic you didn;t specify RC. I was at the funeral of a catholic priest on Monday. One of my mother’s favourite of her 52 first cousins. An army padre in the second world war no less. I got a lift from one of his sons and his neice, another catholic priest took (or rather co-"took" the service).

  118. Fair enough Aileen. I would have thought it pretty clear from the context however.

  119. Aileen

    Frank initially said "an illiberal anti feminist piece of cloth" Much like priest’s vestments. After all what does it symbolise but a job that women are barred from?

    I suggested vicars are also women. He didnt specify catholic or otherwise at that point.

    Allan – Frank was once issued a ‘comments fatwa’ by another blog who felt the same way as you and I!

  120. jaun – i have to be honest ive no idea!

    Let’s draw a veil over this thread shall we, it is now generating more heat than light.

    Bit like C4?? 😉

  121. The RC church is entitled to make its own rules.

  122. The analogy is that both are people who choose to wear what is perceived as a symbol of mysogny.

    Yes, some are forced. Just not this woman appearing on C4. The objections come whether she is forced to wear it or whether she chooses it. And they come regardless of what she speaks about (correct me if I’m wrong).

    This has not been the experience of women in Ireland and other countries.

  123. Can I answer the question

    "Would you object as vehemently if a catholic priest gave the alternative xmas speech? "

    Not at all. It is a christian based festival.

    Would you object to Pope Bendeict XVI giving a speech on beginning of Ramadan or Eid to say how Muslims really shouldn’t be so uppity and aggresive? How would that be received?

  124. "Frank was once issued a ‘comments fatwa’ by another blog who felt the same way as you and I!"

    The usual smear tactics from Alison.

    What actually happened: DSD got caught lying about me and didn’t like it when I suggested he explain it to a judge. Specifically he try to label me an IRA supporter on grounds known only to himself but which as I recall included the fact that I visit ATW, and (I am guessing) that I have an Irish surname.

    Still, if Alison chooses to align herself with obsessive lunatics and haters such as Allan, and moronic lying cowards such as DSD, then that is her problem. I suppose it’s easier for her to try to discredit the source than to rebut what I say. SOP of the bigot.

  125. j0nz,

    "Would you object as vehemently if a catholic priest gave the alternative xmas speech? "

    Not at all. It is a christian based festival."

    It is also a secular holiday. But anyway, does that mean this woman could appear on C4 at Eid and that would be fine?

    "Would you object to Pope Bendeict XVI giving a speech on beginning of Ramadan or Eid to say how Muslims really shouldn’t be so uppity and aggresive?"

    In what way is that analogous? What evidence have you that this woman is going to say anything offensive to Christians? Your objection is to her simply showing up.

  126. Until relatively recently you could not get a sheet of paper between church and state in Ireland. Legalisation of contraception and divorce all occurred within living memory in the ROI – not long ago actually. Also within living memory women have been taken as literal slaves by the Catholic church in Ireland (the magdalene laundries). And without wishing to open that debate, their dogma on abortion is also predicated on slavery of women.

    At best you are arguing a difference of degree and not of kind, when compared to the worst excesses of the most fascistic interpretations of Sharia. I am not even convinced even this difference exists, as it could equally be attributed to loss of power in the case of the RC. So no, I do not think the analogy is inappropriate in the least.

  127. Yes Frank and the best thing you can do is challenge it not cossett it.