Ep#34 – Eiynah & Tommy Robinson

Image from www.nicemangos.blogspot.com

Joining me on the show this week is Pakistani-Canadian ex-Muslim Eiynah (@NiceMangos) & founder of The English Defence League Tommy Robinson (@TrobinsonNewEra). We have a conversation about extremism, The EDL, Multiculturalism, Quilliam, Interfaith Dialogue and Eiynah’s excellent book ‘My Chacha is gay’.

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  • Just a few thoughts out of the hundreds that are floating around in my head after hearing this:

    I completely agree with Eiynah’s point about Tommy’s lack of tact in communication. I really admire him, but much of what he says is said in a manner that would drive away the ‘progressives’ who I think are the people who need to be convinced the most. And the media coverage casting Tommy and EDL as monsters certainly doesn’t help or encourage people to give him benefit of the doubt.

    However, I think he was being asked question after question in this podcast that cast him in a negative light and put him on the defensive here, which is really unfair given how much negative spotlight is on him already.

    I am also confused whether Eiynah’s false equivalency regarding Christian and mulsim views on homosexuality was part of playing devil’s advocate or genuine. Most Christians, and polls confirm this, accept homosexuality, and around half also accept gay marriage. Among those who do not, I’m sure a very small minority would ever think of state-sanctioned murder for homosexuality. On the other hand, it’s illegal to be homosexual in most muslim countries and punishments include execution, imprisonment, lashes and what-not, not to mention the terrible social stigma attached to it. The opinion polls also show widespread muslim disapproval of homosexuality…and forget about gay marriage, which would be too outrageous for most.
    (check Gallup or Pew polls. I’m a bit tired to include links right now – but I’ve seen many such polls)

    With regards to England being a Christian country, I”m sure Tommy meant it as culturally christian country. Many Hindus similarly call India as a Hindu country – it is meant as culturally Hindu, whether or not you believe in reincarnation or the million gods. Similarly, Israel is very secular, yet is called a jewish state – both because ‘jew’ is also an ethnicity and they mean it in cultural sense. On the other hand, Islamic states allow no room for secularism or pluralism. Those who do not accept Islam face severe persecution. Islamic states mean Islam in the strict religious sense.

    And last of all, I want to say how much I admire Tommy for his bravery and sympathize with all he’s had to face. We may have different politics and religious beliefs (I’m an atheist) but I support him 100% and the persecution by the elitist media and police/govt that he’s subjected to disgusts me and has lowered my opinion of UK and most of Europe to be honest. They have no backbone to stand on.

    • I’ll have to second your thoughts here. I found Einyah’s constant use of false equivalency’s, and “But Christians…” and “But the Bible also says,” picture perfect exemplars of regressive leftist Tripe. The use of the Westboro Baptist Church was particularly galling as it was used as an equivalence with Islamic views on Christianity. The problem here is that the only reason people know about the Westboro Baptist Church is because it’s such a lunatic outlier in the West, to such a degree that some comedian’s like David Feldman actually wonder if they’re basically a kind of First Amendment False Flag group basically testing American Commitment to the 1st Amendment. They’re an insane outlier that makes the news because they’re so crazy. They don’t represent 50%, 25%, or even 10 or 5% or 1% of Christians in this country. Compare this to views on gays in the Non-Arab Muslim world and you find rates that hover between 0%-8% in regards to moral acceptance. It’s laughable to compare this deranged church of a lunatic, his relatives, and 3 village idiots in Westboro, to the Islamic World as a whole, but that’s precisely what she does.

      It’s just incredibly tiresome. If this is my only exposure to her, and it is, to this point, it’s a huge negative.

      Everyone and their brother in the west is already well acquainted with the “but of course the west”, “but of course Christianity,” “but of course the American Government,” and “but of course the crusades,” Chomskeyism’s we have to belabor to even make a statement about what’s going on now, and I think Douglas Murray captured the sentiments of conservatives, centrists, and sane leftists like Dave Rubin and so many others, when he said, It’s too late now to play this game. It’s too late now to take regressive leftists seriously “…when they’re fundamentally insincere in their insults…”

      Listening to this podcast more than 18 months after it was released is interesting in this context. We can see the last dying embers of people supposedly on the sane left, still marshaling regressive leftist pablum in arguments with Tommy Robinson. I hope she’s moved on from this and gotten a clue. Considering the mass slaughter of the editorial staff of Charlie Hebdo that occurred just three months later, and then an ensuing avalanche of terrorist slaughters and/or mass rapes in the US, Belgium, France, Turkey, Cologne, Malmo, and everywhere in between, it’s a hard pill to swallow, listening to this oft-enlightened show, swimming in the regressive leftist drivel that has become such an anathema in the ensuing years. It’s truly a relief that finally there’s a growing sentiment that appears to be held by the vast majority that enough is enough. One can only hope that the regressive left is a small, minor piece of the left, rather than a large divisive delusional piece.

      Robinson may be coarse in his discussion, and lacking in nuance at times, but he’s also sincere, speaks from experience, and has been proven right and prophetic on innumerable topics. he’s become Great Britain’s Cassandra, predicting in full voice, what was to come, only to be pilloried for it, or ignored at best.

  • Hi, everyone.

    Like, I suspect, many listeners, I was surprised by what I heard from Tommy Robinson. Here in Canada, our only exposure to him was that he was a hard right bigot. While his communication skills leave much to be desired (!) and he strays often into the sort of generalization that I, as a political and social centrist, find distasteful, he doesn’t come across nearly as right wing as I thought.

    If he’s to be believed, his quarrel is with only with militant Islam. As one who is avowedly secular, values male-female equality (along with the full spectrum of human rights we associate with open societies), I also worry about the effect certain strains of Islam have on people, and the knock-on effect those people may have on wider society. It’s a shame, really, that there isn’t a coherent, polite but firm, mainstream political and media rejection of militant Islamism, and that people like Tommy Robinson have to figure it all out on the fly.

    I’d also like to compliment Eiynah, who calmly and articulately questioned Tommy while making her own views abundantly clear. As others have said, and I echo, we very badly need reformation within Islam and need to support – to greatest extent we can – people like Eiynah, Ali Rizvi et al. (Very pleased, btw, to see such intelligent, reform-minded thought emanating from Canada, especially in light of today’s events, which may sadly prove related to this subject.)

    Well done, GS, and keep up the good work.

  • Anytime: you’re doing important work. Too bad there isn’t a way to unify Canadian support behind Eiynah and Ali. I’d totally help with that.

  • A central question in this episode was how to engage moderate Muslims in a way that is not off-putting. My favorite part of the conversation was when all three individuals (a) agreed that Muhammad was a pedophile, but (b) thought that talking about this was probably not the best way to get Muslims on board with liberal values. I agree with both points (though it is more accurate to call him a child rapist because it speaks to his known actions rather than his presumed state of mind). And I also agree that it would be wrong (and inaccurate) to in turn paint Muslims as pedophiles because of the actions of Muhammad. But it should also be clear that if we stop talking about this we are holding Muslims to a different ethical standard than any other group. The prophet Mohammad was a deeply immoral man. To argue otherwise is to fail to reason honestly or care sufficiently about the well being of others. He raped at least one child that we know of. He ordered a mass execution of Jewish enemies who had surrendered. He owned slaves. Obviously the government should be secular and people should be able to do what they like in their own homes, but at what point do we confront moderate Muslims (and Christians) with their appallingly immoral holy books? At what point do we say, if Muhammad were alive today we would put him in jail for crimes against humanity (the same goes for the God of the Bible).

  • As this podcast is over two months old, I won’t write a full comment, but I just wanted to say how interesting I found it. Great guests. I really like the way you let your guests talk express themselves fully – much better than those hosts who dominate. Cheers.

  • Excellent podcast, and great respect to all three of you.

    I hope that one day Tommy is portrayed in the media for what he actually is, and that the country honour him for the selfless sacrifices he has made (and continues to make) for us all.

    He’s a true hero.

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  • Came and had a listen after being reminded by the Eiynah / Sam Harris chat (just a strange attack / defence / criticism of lots of people for 3 hours, with Harris doing all the defending).
    But after listening to both podcasts, I wonder if she is actually an “ex” Muslim because she seems to leap to the defence of Islam quite a lot, especially by equivalences of Christianity, or just about any equivalence she can make. Not impressed at all.

What do you think? Leave some comments!