I make a habit of reading books and articles that I expect to find disagreeable. This serves to test my convictions as I bounce them off opposing views and discover whether or not they survive the collisions. Moreover, the willingness to seek out alternate views invariably teaches you something that you did not know. In fact, sometimes you actually learn that your understanding of the issue was completely wrong altogether.
The fact that Robin DiAngelo’s ‘White Fragility’ did not manage to be informative or useful on any level is an achievement in and of itself. I’ve never encountered a book so intellectually vapid as to make me worry that reading it may have actually subtracted some knowledge.
It’s been an interesting day or two for Maajid Nawaz of the anti-extremism think tank Quilliam. We learned via Nawaz’s Facebook page that he’d had a run in with a number of Islamist thugs in London:
Keep in mind, Nawaz is a Muslim who is a staunch opponent of Islamic extremism and spends his time championing human rights and secularism for all. The fact that doing so in 2016’s London from within the Muslim community carries such risks demonstrates that the problem is worse than most care to understand.
I’ve watched with dismay and horror at the well-publicised shootings by (and of) the police in America. I’ve also been incredibly sceptical and suspicious of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement based on some of the rhetoric and tactics that I’ve seen (mandatory ‘not all BLM supporters’ disclaimer).
I’m also disappointed this issue hasn’t received greater scrutiny and attention from prominent ‘skeptics’ and ‘skeptic groups’. This is understandable however when you consider the toxic swamp this discussion has become.
The dust and (some of the) anger has begun to settle somewhat after the EU referendum result was confirmed in favour of the ‘leave’ campaign. We will know in the coming months and years just how significant this decision will be for the British economy and our place in the wider world.
One deeply troubling consequence widely reported this week is the significant increase in racial hatred claimed to have been inspired by the result. Of course, it’s difficult to know if this constitutes a genuine increase, or if more cases are simply now being reported. I’ve also previously bemoaned the ambiguous criteria for confirming a crime of this nature.
Iram Ramzan (@Iram_Ramzan) will be joining me on The #GSPodcast this week. After seeing a lack of progressive voices in the media, particularly those of Muslim heritage, Iram decided to set up Sedaa (@Sedaa_ourvoices). We’ll be talking about cultural relativism, radicalisation, Labour party anti-Semitism, racism, ‘What Muslims Really Think, reform and more!
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Image taken from BBC Documentary: ‘When Tommy Met Mo’.
Like reputable media outlets and the general public, I was happy to forget all about Mo Ansar. A malicious fraud who was exposed in grand fashion last May when several mainstream media outlets reported on his fairytale C.V and Islamist sensibilities. Journalist Jeremy Duns appears to have collated the most comprehensive account of Ansar’s lies and malice. I encourage you to share it far and wide.
During this time, I tweeted out an offer for Mo Ansar to clear his name on my podcast, perhaps even a discussion with Jeremy Duns on these allegations.
Mo then accused me of a campaign of ‘hate and harassment’ (a tweet he subsequently deleted when pressed for examples) and decided he would just ignore the charges against him, presumably in the hope they would go away. Well, they won’t. He’s still yet to publish a response to these serious, career ending allegations over a year later. Read more