so-called islamic state
Islam

If it’s the “so-called Islamic State”, why is Mohammed not the “so-called Prophet”?

The BBC and Channel 4 News appear to have a policy of referring to the ISIS/ISIL/Daesh as the “so-called Islamic State”. Senior BBC News Producer David Waddell has explained why (he might even have coined the phrase), which he summarised in a tweet:

so called islamic state

And yet the converse appears to be true: that is, the delegitimisation of the Islamic State is a call for the BBC to make. Certainly, Islamic State is not a recognised state, and many would say that neither is it particularly Islamic. But this is what it calls itself, and we live in an age of subjective realisation: we are what we say we are, even if biological science, geopolitical evidence, historical facts or common sense conflict with assertions of self-identity.

The BBC and C4 never referred to the IRA as the “so-called IRA”, did they? Why did they aggrandise and legitimise a rag-bag group of murderous terrorists by investing them with military prowess and calling them an army? David Waddell responds: “I think the IRA moniker is so long established the label is widely accepted.”

So it is longevity of usage and wide acceptance which determines BBC/C4 policy?

How long is long enough? How wide does the wide acceptance need to be?

Why do they not refer to “so-called Palestinians” or the “so-called Palestinian Territories”? Must it be centuries of wide acceptance, or will decades suffice?

Why is it not the “so-called Catholic Church”? Why is the church that calls itself Catholic legitimised with assertions of universality when it is patently not universal? Why is that a call for the BBC to make when many millions of Orthodox and Protestant and Anglican Christians do not acknowledge its claim to catholicity? And what about the “so-called Church of England”? As far as the Church of Rome is concerned, the Church of England is not a church “in the proper sense“: it is a mere “ecclesial community”. Certainly, Parliament has determined the status: the Church of England is “by law established”, but why is it for the BBC to perpetuate the rights and privileges of a tiny (and getting tinier) denomination?

Does the BBC know more about Islam than the leader of the (so-called) Islamic State? Why is the detachment of the State from its claim to be Islamic a call for the BBC to make? Aaron Goldstein muses in the American Spectator:

The BBC refers to ISIS as the “so-called Islamic state”.

This struck me as politically correct rubbish. Yet upon further examination, the term “so-called Islamic state” is something of a compromise by the Beeb after then British PM David Cameron led an effort last year to have the BBC stop using the term “Islamic State” altogether. In a BBC4 Radio interview, Cameron stated:

I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State because it’s not an Islamic state. What it is, is an appalling, barbarous regime … It’s a perversion of the religion of Islam and many Muslims listening to this programme will recoil every time they hear the words Islamic State.

Cameron can deny there’s such a thing as the Islamic State all he wants. He cannot pretend that vast amounts of territory in Iraq, Syria and Libya are under it’s control. Britain might not recognize ISIS’ claims on that territory, but it doesn’t change the facts on the ground. In fact, the amount of territory it controls is larger than Britain itself.

…What this is really about is bending over backwards not to offend the sensibilities of Britain’s large Muslim population.

And that brings us to Mohammed: why is he not the “so-called Prophet Mohammed”? He married a six-year-old child, dealt in (and owned) slaves, raped women, beheaded Jews, pillaged and tortured many thousands. If he had statues, they’d surely be tearing them down by now. Why does the BBC both assent to and affirm the prophethood of such a man when he is very widely believed to have been a false prophet? You simply cannot reconcile the Jesus of the Bible with the Isa of the Qur’an. The former is the crucified Messiah, the Son of God who died an agonising death on a cross, was buried and rose again on the third day. The latter is another Jesus who was not the Son of God and was not crucified: he was just a miracle-working prophet.

For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him (2Cor 11:4).

But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction (2Pt 2:1).

Why is the affirmation of Mohammed’s prophethood a call for the BBC to make?

The problem with ‘so-called’ is that it is derogatory: by applying the term to the Islamic State, the BBC is not merely delegitimising the group’s claim, they are pouring scorn upon it. Why is that a judgment call for the BBC to make? By referring to Mohammed as “the Prophet”, don’t the BBC/C4 legitimise Islamic beliefs? Don’t they affirm that he recited the divine word which became the Qur’an? Don’t they endow him with a heavenly source of authority? Indeed, don’t they legitimise to a degree the very religious teachings and instructions which inspire ISIS/ISIL/Daesh or the so-called Islamic State to be so barbarous?

You can’t separate language from logic: if the Islamic State is ‘so-called’ because not to call it so would legitimise its claims to be that which it is not, then the BBC and C4 need to be consistent in their expressions of political reason and religious truth because language expresses categories, and these categorical distinctions influence the mind and control understanding; they inculcate the very permanence of identity which David Waddell insists is not for the BBC to make.

Perhaps some so-called liberals in the media might reflect on these things: it would be good to examine the relationship between words, sentences and states of affairs, for saying something is true does not make it so.

  • Father David

    What’s the difference between a “church” and an “ecclesial community”?

    Yours ever,

    The “so called” Father David

    • andrew

      At a guess, a church is ordained by a Bishop who enjoys the power and privilege of the Holy spirit via an apostolic see. An ecclesial community is another way of saying ‘this has no roots leading back to the apostles, but these ppl are Christians so with them we shall strive’.

      • Royinsouthwest

        How many bishops “enjoy the power and privilege of the Holy spirit?”

        • andrew

          All who are connected to an apostolic root.

          • len

            ‘So called’ apostolic root.

          • Anton

            Even if they lose their faith?

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      That’s not what I call you….

      • Father David

        As your much maligned Chaplain once said of you – “May you live for ever!”

      • Father David

        Well, there goes my hope of being appointed the next Dean of Barchester

  • Maalaistollo

    I suggest that the answer may be found in paragraph 4 of an article ‘Why We Hate You and Why We Fight You’ on page 30 of issue 15 of so-called-Islamic-State’s colour supplement ‘Dabiq’, which – as has already been mentioned in comments on earlier postings on this blog – can be found on the internet eg at http://clarionproject.org/wp-content/uploads/islamic-state-magazine-dabiq-fifteen-breaking-the-cross.pdf.

    ‘We hate you for your crimes against Islam and wage war against you to punish you for your transgressions against our religion. As long as your subjects continue to mock our faith, insult the prophets of Allah – including Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad – burn the Quran, and openly vilify the laws of the Shari’ah, we will continue to retaliate, not with slogans and placards, but with bullets and knives.’

    Now the so-called liberals at the so-called BBC are mighty heroes when it comes to mocking, insulting and vilifying Christians, but maybe this is because I can’t offhand think of any Christians (especially any remaining in the so-called C of E) who advocate responding ‘with bullets and knives.’ I suppose this could indicate that not all religions are the same in such matters, but that’s probably not a line of enquiry the so-called BBC would like to pursue, in case it led to conclusions that were at variance with the so-called liberal world-view. However, they do seem to have accepted as a practical health-and-safety issue that as anything that might be perceived as criticism of the so-called Religion of Peace is liable to result in their decapitation, it ought to be avoided. You know it makes sense!

  • Mar Lizaro

    Oxford dictionary: ‘A person regarded as an inspired teacher or proclaimer of the will of God’. All prophets are like IS – figments of hallucinatory imagination.

    • writhledshrimp

      What even those that are inspired teachers and not proclaimers of the will or God?

  • andrew

    Everything about Islamic state fits perfectly with the description of early Islam. War, invasion, rape, persecution, lies, booty, hatred, sex slaves, torture – it’s all there. What, exactly is unislamic about Islamic state, when compared with Islamic scripture and history?

    • bluedog

      We learned not to believe a word Cameron said about Islam. He was simply a puppet in the hands of the Baroness Sayeeda (You can call me Taqqiya, Ducky) Warsi. Pathetic really, but then he was sucked in by Blair too.

      • Mark

        He was a bit all over the place, but got a bit harder at the end, even telling Obama he should use “Islamic terrorism” rather than just “terrorism” (or was it “Islamist”?). One speech he gave (Munich?) had me thinking things will change. And then…….Theresa May quoted from the Koran at the Tory Party conference and then Cameron was gone and May “Enough is enough” but “Islam is a religion of peace” was in.
        At the “Leaders debate” on the BBC, Paul Nuttal spoke of “Islamist extremism” and was leapt upon by Corbyn and Lucas, while he vainly pleaded he had used “Islamist” and not “Islam”. Words, words, words, along with capitulation.

        • Anton

          Certainly no balls.

  • SonoView

    “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean- neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”

    Post-modernism! Nothing new.

    • Maalaistollo

      I think you ought to have completed the quotation:
      ‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.’
      Isn’t that the liberal agenda?

      • SonoView

        Your erudition impresses me!

        • Maalaistollo

          You are too kind! Google deserves the credit.

  • Linus

    The Churcf of Rome should indeed be called the “so-called Catholic Church”. Given that vast numbers of Pixtians do not belong to it, its claims of catholicity are clearly false.

    However, in saying that, it is a church according to what we understand a church to be. The false claims it makes about its authority do not invalidate its status as a properly constituted church. We might, for accuracy’s sake, prefer to call it the Roman Church. Or even the RC Church, which takes into account that among Romans, its catholicity is not in dispute. But whichever adjectives you use to describe it, it is still a church.

    The Islamic State however is not a state as we understand states to be. It has – or had – some of the aspects of statehood like a form of government and even a form of currency. But its territorial boundaries are not fixed and are certainly not recognised by any other state. It has no diplomatic representation in any other state. And what territory it has is claimed by other internationally recognised states.

    It seems to me that the BBC is perfectly accurate in describing IS as a so-called state. For the purposes of brevity the word “so-called” may be dropped from time to time, or we may choose to refer to it by another name, such as “Daech”, which is the preferred term in the French media. But whatever we call it, it isn’t a state. That much should be obvious to even the most inflexible Pixtian pedant.

    • Anton

      Allow me to ask you a hypothetical question. You are easily intelligent enough to understand that concept. Would, you, to save your life, ie at knifepoint, recite the Shahada, the Islamic creed which is accepted to mean that you are converting to Islam?

      • Linus

        What do you think? Would I?

        • Anton

          Would you please answer my question?

          • Linus

            Would YOU please answer MY question?

          • Anton

            Would, you, to save your life, ie at knifepoint, recite the Shahada, the Islamic creed which is accepted to mean that you are converting to Islam?

          • Dolphinfish

            Ok, I never thought I’d be coming to Linus’s defence, but the question is ridiculous. Had you asked that question of me as a Catholic, the short answer would be no, I would not make the declaration That’s the theory at least, but who knows what you do when you actually have a knife at your throat. I don’t, Linus doesn’t, and I’m pretty sure you don’t either.

          • Anton

            I would die first.

            You need your faith building up, brother.

          • Dolphinfish

            You talk the talk, Anton, but talk is cheap. Whether you would have the physical courage to walk the walk is a question you answer with suspicious alacrity. Dulce bellum inexpertis.

          • Anton

            I know myself better than you know me; judge not, brother. You might consider also Matt 10:33. I fear God more than I fear the sword.

          • Dolphinfish

            You SAY that; you haven’t proven it. And since we’re quote mining, try Proverbs 16:18.

          • Anton

            I can’t prove it on a blog, of course. I am ready to prove it if God requires me to. By quoting Proverbs 16:18 you are judging that I am manifesting pride rather than Christian confidence. That’s disappointing.

          • Dolphinfish

            You can’t prove it except by doing it, so stop boasting about your strength of faith. Nobody knows what they’d do until the moment comes. Not even St Peter.

          • Anton

            Now you accuse me of boasting. I remind you that I asked Linus how he’d react, and you then said that I wouldn’t know how I would react. I corrected you about the latter; that is all.

            In case you persist in thinking I am boasting, I gave an alternative motivation from fear (Matt 10:33); also, Peter did not have the Holy Spirit on the night before the Crucifixion, whereas thanks be to God I do.

    • Brian

      ‘Islamic State’ is an accurate translation of the Arabic and is the organisation’s own name for itself. No-one else is claiming this term for itself, so it is insulting and demeaning to pre-fix it with the expression ‘so-called’. Whatever “we understand states to be” is irrelevant. Just as some of the peoples and tribes of North America call themselves ‘the First Nations’ or “the Cheyenne / Sioux / Apache etc Nation” – though they have neither borders nor currencies nor anything else of what “we understand Nations to be” – and are named as such by governments, so we should accord the same right of self-designation to Islamic State. As Linus has eloquently reminded us elsewhere, we should call people by their own self-designation and not impose our own terms upon them. This much should be obvious to even the most inflexible Laplacean pedant.

  • Dolphinfish

    As it happens, the Catholic Church IS universal, at least inasmuch as it’s open to everyone and its magisterium applies across the world. It’s up to each individual how he reacts to this. But please do be careful, dropping Rome into the same mixture as ISIS and the IRA. People might get the idea that you’re being malicious.

    Regarding the “… many (who) would say that neither is it particularly Islamic…”, perhaps this link might enlighten them.

    http://www.dailywire.com/news/2161/islams-oldest-university-says-isis-are-not-james-barrett

    • Royinsouthwest

      It is not universal because you do not have to be a Roman Catholic to be a Christian. The Holy Spirit operates anywhere in the world where He will, including places were there is no Catholic church.

      • Dominic Stockford

        Neither is it universal as it does not operate on Saturn (which is part of the universe last time I looked).

        • Brian

          Well it did while Cassini was out there. Cassini was a Catholic, no?

          • Dominic Stockford

            Although Rome is now doing odd things, such as priests addressing the dead person in the coffin during funerals, I don’t think they are yet claiming to be able to make RCs out of lumps of metal and plastic.

    • Anton

      Someone I know (not a Muslim) went to Jordan and said that the locals there were freely willing to say that ISIS were not proper Muslims, on the grounds that they attacked other (self-identifying) Muslims.

  • why is Mohammed not the ‘so-called Prophet’?

    For fear of the consequences. It was reported in 2013 that Ofcom had censured some Muslim television stations for broadcasting advice on the best way to deal with insults directed against the Prophet. An Islamic scholar told viewers: ‘It is your duty…to kill those who insult Prophet Mohammed’ and a phone-in presenter advocated ‘eliminating’ anyone who disrespected the Prophet.

    In 2012, the then BBC Director General Mark Thompson freely admitted that some religions received the kid-glove treatment: ‘you might want to…think quite carefully about whether something done…in the name of freedom of expression might to the Jew, or the Sikh, or the Hindu, or the Muslim, who receives it, feel threatening…Without question, “I complain in the strongest possible terms” is different from “I complain in the strongest possible terms and I am loading my AK47 as I write”.’

    • Royinsouthwest

      Surely the Director General of the BBC did not mean to imply in any way that Islam is not “the Religion of Peace?”

    • Dodgy Geezer

      A very reasonable statement. The BBC is simply saying that it’s frightened of Muslim violence. Which strikes me as a very sensible position.

      I’m surprised he didn’t get called out and have to apologise to the offended Muslim Brotherhood for being scared of being shot…

    • Anton

      It would certainly be worth asking them why they do not refer to him as “the Islamic prophet Muhammad”.

  • Damaris Tighe

    The BBC says that ‘so-called’ questions the legitimacy of the word ‘state’. However, it also conveys the message that Islamic State is not, in fact, Islamic. The phrase has the virtue of suggesting that IS is Nothing To Do With Islam (TM) and, although better than the (to us) meaningless sound ‘Daesh’ Cameron preferred (for obvious reasons), it still placates those who wish to disconnect IS from the religion.

    • James Bolivar DiGriz

      So surely it s/b the “Islamic so-called State”, cf “the disputed territory of Transnistria” on the BBC.

      • Damaris Tighe

        If they were consistent, yes.

      • I see what you’re driving at, but I think it is fair to take the title they’ve ascribed to themselves and label it in those terms – ie ” the so-called ‘Islamic State’ “

        • James Bolivar DiGriz

          If they had honesty & competence they would know that “so-called Islamic State” is at best ambiguous and actually more likely to be interpreted as saying that it is not Islamic rather than as saying it is not a state.

          And if they had any consistency they would refer to it as the “disputed territory of Islamic State”, as they do with; “disputed territory of Kashmir”, “disputed territory of Western Sahara”, ” disputed territory of East Timor”, “disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh”, “disputed territory of the Spratly Islands”, “disputed territory of Crimea” and “disputed territory of the West Bank”.

      • Linus

        Disputed territories are disputed between recognised states.

        Examples might be the town of Olivenza, claimed by Spain and Portugal. Or Gibraltar, claimed by Spain and the UK. Or the Malvinas Islands, claimed by Argentina and the UK.

        Daech is not a state. It’s a terrorist organisation. As such it can control territory by force of arms, but that doesn’t mean it has legitimate to that territory or any kind of legal claim on it. So the territory is not disputed. It may be in rebellion, or be under Daech control, but that’s as far as it goes.

        • James Bolivar DiGriz

          Linus is, as is normally the case, wrong.

          Disputed territories may be disputed between recognised states, as in the examples that you gave.

          However they may be disputed between the internationally recognised government of that area and a group that has, normally if not always by force of arms, taken over de facto control of that area.

          Examples of the latter, which I gave two hours before you posted, include Western Sahara & Nagorno-Karabakh. The area controlled by ISIS/Daesh is in the same category as these two.

          Many states are, or have been, run by what was once widely if not universally regarded as terrorist organisations. A large number of the post-independence governments in Africa were formed by the ‘liberation’ movements which were regarded as terrorist organisations.

          • Linus

            Territorial disputes are by definition between nation states. What you’re referring to are rebellions.

            Get your definitions right and you might be worth talking to. Continue to try to mould the world to what you want it to be and you’re just another religious fantasist who isn’t worth wasting time on.

          • James Bolivar DiGriz

            There is a good reason that people treat you like a prize pillock. That is because you constantly act like one.

            “Territorial disputes are by definition between nation states” – Says who? I have shown you the BBC using that to describe disputes between a state and a body that is not currently universally accepted as a state.

            Here are a few others:
            http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/03/140328-disputed-territories-geography-russia-crimea/
            which includes Western Sahara & Transdniestria.

            http://io9.gizmodo.com/10-territorial-disputes-that-mean-your-maps-are-already-1679513142
            which includes Transnistria, Western Sahara & South Ossetia.

            https://politicalviolenceataglance.org/2016/09/21/whats-so-important-about-territorial-disputes-in-international-relations/
            which includes Nagorno-Karabakh

            Are they all wrong with you being the only person who is right?

            What about
            https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/territorial%20dispute
            they say “a disagreement about who controls a particular territory”, not ‘which country’ but ‘who’.

            If anyone is trying to mould the world to fit their fantasy it is clearly you.

          • Linus

            Yes, they are all wrong. And if you’re going to quote Merriam-Webster as an authority when it comes to the English language, then the pillock is you. Whatever language Merriam-Webster deals with, it is most certainly not English.

          • James Bolivar DiGriz

            Well I shall just leave it for other readers to decide who they think is right; on the one hand, Linus and on the other hand, everyone else.

          • Linus

            Like the readers of this blog have a say in anything!

          • CliveM

            No competition really!

    • I don’t think it has “nothing to do with Islam” – it clearly has *something* to do with Islam, though I would leave it to the Islamic theologians to explore how far the theology justifies their agenda.

      • Damaris Tighe

        Agree – I’ve always said that IS has something to do with Islam, which isn’t the same as saying it has everything to do with Islam.

    • Merchantman

      The problem is so called BBC is now almost totally disconnected from reality especially when facing up to Islam. The PC nonsense is well, nonsense.

    • IrishNeanderthal

      See this article http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-27994277 for why they themselves do not like the term Da‘esh.

  • Royinsouthwest

    I suppose you could defend the BBC by saying that just as counterfeit banknote is a banknote, albeit not a legal one, a false prophet is a prophet of sorts. The Old Testament refers to the prophets of Baal, not “the false prophets of Baal.” The fact that they were false was taken for granted.

    It is also possible to defend Mohammed. The crimes of which he is accused here are based on later Muslim accounts of his life. What if those accounts were false and were invented to provide a justification for the crimes committed by Muslims in their conquests following the death of Mohammed? I am not saying that that is likely, even though the early accounts of his life were written long after Mohammed and his contemporaries had died, and it is not a justification that would have much appeal to Muslims today but I cannot imagine how a reformation in Islam would be possible without rejecting much of what was written about Mohammed.

    • Mark

      A “reformer” Adam Deen from Quilliam, was on the radio last week, arguing with Bill Warner, a critic of Islam. The troubles between Mohammed and a Jewish tribe was brought up (Mohammed apparently personally beheaded 800 of them). According to Deen, they were all happily living together under a treaty (not sure who drew up the treaty and what was in it) and Mohammed only got miffed the second or third time the Jews apparently broke the treaty. It was only then, said Deen “That he…erm…killed them”. Excuses, excuses……

      Deen had started with the point that Islam is all about “justice” which, he said, was a thread throughout. I suppose the justice meted out by Mohammed to the Jewish tribe may well be an example, and one which has possibly caused much grief over centuries.

      • writhledshrimp

        “Mercy without justice is the mother of dissolution; justice without mercy is cruelty.”
        So said Aquinus – The later phrase applies here.

        • betteroffoutofit

          Ah yes. Well, over the the ages we worked quite hard to clarify our British ideas of justice and mercy, Our very own WS helped us, by having Portia juxtapose the notions while getting them across to Shylock and the Venetian court:

          The quality of mercy is not strain’d,
          It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
          Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
          It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.
          ‘Tis mightiest in the mightiest, it becomes
          The throned monarch better than his crown.
          His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
          The attribute to awe and majesty,
          Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
          But mercy is above this sceptred sway,
          It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
          It is an attribute to God himself;
          And earthly power doth then show likest God’s
          When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, Jew,
          Though justice be thy plea, consider this,
          That, in the course of justice, none of us
          Should see salvation. We do pray for mercy,
          And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
          The deeds of mercy.
          (“The Merchant of Venice,” IV.i.184-202)

          Not that this will mean anything to our invaders . . .

    • big bwana

      Every so often the idea of an Islamic Reformation is put forward, often by commentators in the MSM as if somehow such an occurrence would suddenly realise their dream of Islam becoming truly a religion of peace.

      The Christian reformation of the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries was an ongoing attempt to drag a worldly and corrupt organisation back to the gospel of Grace found in Scripture. It was trying ,in other words to take the Church back to its roots. What roots would an Islamic reformation be worth returning to unless we accept the premise that, despite all the evidence of the written record, Mohammed was actually a nice guy.

      The straight fact is that if Mohammed is taken out of Islam there is nothing left. Regrettably no amount of wishful thinking is going to alter the fact that Islam is based on a description of the ‘prophet’ which celebrates him being a really nasty piece of work.

      • Anton

        It’s also true that if Christ is taken out of Christianity then there’s nothing left! Liberal ‘Christians’ have been doing that for 200 years.

        Islam is currently undergoing its own Reformation, pretty much on schedule if you believe in Toynbeean cycles. It is returning to its scriptures, and we see the result all too often in Europe today.

  • carl jacobs

    Silly Archbishop. The BBC won’t use “so-called Prophet” because it is afraid that someone will take offense and show up at its door with an AK47.

    It’s not legitimacy or history or years of usage. It’s about fear. The prospect of death does tend to focus the mind.

  • James60498 .

    It really is time that the so-called British Broadcasting Corporation was closed down, or at least sold off.

    • IrishNeanderthal

      “So-called BBC” — just beat me to it.

      • Linus

        The BBC has a royal charter establishing its name, which is recognised as the appellation of a legal UK corporation.

        By referring to it as “so-called”, you deny the power of the properly constituted and internationally recognised UK authorities to exercise power on behalf of the crown and are therefore committing an act of rebellion against your queen – or if you’re not British, an act of aggression against her realm.

        Does your Pixiebook not exhort you to obey your ruler? Or if she’s not your ruler, to turn the other cheek to your enemy? Or to honour your promises towards others?

        Yet another example of how Pixtians use their religion to condemn others for sins they happily and unrepentantly commit themselves.

        Hypocrite, thy name is Pixtian. Or should we say “so-called Pixtian” instead?

        • IrishNeanderthal

          Now that’s interesting.

          I am reminded of a Giles cartoon showing a column of British soldiers proceeding through Germany.

          An infantry platoon has just gone through a farm gate with a notice instructing that the gate must be shut afterwards. A man at the rear has just closed the gate in front of an oncoming tank and is running towards the rest of his platoon with a smile on his face.

          A man is sticking his head out of the top of the tank and calling out:

          “Conscientious little baa lamb, aren’t you?”

  • Mark

    It has always made me frown that the media use the term “The prophet Mohammed”. I thought it might be because it could be any old Mohammed they were referring to (the name is so ubiquitous), so had to be specific. But it wasn’t. Then I wondered, if they did that, why do they just say “Jesus” and not “The Lord Jesus Christ”? I’m not even religious, but was getting a bit perturbed by this.

    I have been a tad worried over the last few years that, since “The prophet” became fashionable (was it a media edict?), we might encounter the media saying “peace be upon him” after every utterance of “The prophet Mohammed”. That might come from a demand, or some lilly-livered fool will implement it before offence is taken.

    Claire Fox, in her book “I find that offensive” describes an encounter with 15 year-old schoolkids where she upset them greatly by just saying “Mohammed” without the prefix of “the prophet”.

    Slowly, non-Muslims are having to take up Islamic sayings and outlooks.

    • Busy Mum

      The ubiquitous Schools History Project textbooks all carry an * after every reference to ‘the Prophet Mohammed’. The small print informs us that the * means ‘Peace be upon him’.

      • Anton

        Indeed. He’s dead. Unlike Jesus.

        • Busy Mum

          Very true. But the publishers of the SHP do not seem to feel the need to revere Jesus in the same way. I imagine they have an eye on their sales to schools with Muslim pupils.

          • Brian

            Of course – that is the future, at least in London, Bradford, Birmingham and a number of other cities where the school population may be majority Muslim in the next 10 years or so (already the case in parts of these cities).

          • Busy Mum

            Yes – but chicken and egg – if ‘we’ didn’t stock our schools with Islamophilic literature, ‘they’ wouldn’t be so willing to be here. As Mark said above, non-Muslims are having to take up Islamic sayings and outlooks. But do we have to? Most people are just rolling over and letting it happen.

          • Brian

            It’s a dilemma whichever way you slice it. If the textbooks told the historical truth (or at least the uncontested narrative) about Muhammad, there would be an uproar and threats of violence (and not just threats). If you don’t teach about Islam, you are ignoring one of the most salient facts about modern European society. But Catholics have evaded the issue by refraining from teaching about Islam, choosing to do Judaism instead. western governments are trying to tame Islam by presenting a bland and harmless ‘noddy’ version in schools. This may persuade some indigenous people without much curiosity (have you ever notices how much liberals profess to lack curiosity about Islam – as if knowing something might incur responsibility on them), but Britain seems to churn out the most jihadis in Europe.

          • Anton

            They should associate Jesus with a star and Mohammed with a dagger.

          • Busy Mum

            Maybe you are not aware that conforming to and upholding stereotypes is the unpardonable sin in today’s schools. Well, the stereotypes that are closest to the truth, anyway 🙂

      • Pubcrawler

        As I have not seen any of these publications, could you confirm: Is it in fact an asterisk or a very tiny version of the glyph of the phrase in Arabic (which I have seen before): ﷺ ?

        • Busy Mum

          It is most definitely an asterisk. One of my sisters was a history teacher before she had children and when I expressed my disgust at the SHP books my children were bringing home she agreed that the whole series is absolutely rotten.

          • Pubcrawler

            OK, thanks.

        • Anton

          If you blow it up then it looks like “All who…”

          • Pubcrawler

            So it does!

          • Anton

            I spent quite a while trying to work out the hidden English in the second line…

          • Pubcrawler

            “enter here”?

  • jaundicedi

    I look forward to Al-BeeBra Cee applying the qualifier “so called” to refugees especially the child category.

  • Dominic Stockford

    very good points, well made by the so-called Archbishop Cranmer.

  • len

    Lets forget about’ so called’ Islamic State(if only? ) lets forget about those who call themselves Christians.
    Lets get back to basics. A Muslim is one who follows the teachings of Mohammed.A Christian is one who follows the teachings of Jesus Christ.
    So lets examine the founders of these religions and what they taught not the’ so called’ followers.
    Its time the West studied Islam instead of treating it as ‘just another religion’.

  • Brian

    If the BBC wishes to use (selective) honorifics, I wouldn’t have a problem if they said ‘The Prophet of Islam, Muhammad’. Muslims could hardly object to this and the non-Christian majority (who do not recognise Muhammad as their prophet) would agree that this is technically correct; just as, for example, Joseph Smith was the Prophet of Mormonism and Nanak the Guru of Sikhism.

    • Mark

      I agree.

      Although I thought Nanak was a cartoon penguin.

      • Brian

        You’re thinking of Nanook. He was an Eskimo.

        • Linus

          Nanook of the North was an Inuk, ie. one of the Inuit people. He was not a chocolate-covered icecream on a stick.

          • Brian

            No – and neither are Eskimos. Many of the inhabitants of the circumpolar region are very happy to call themselves Eskimos.

          • Brian

            ‘Eskimo’ is not an insulting term; it is commonly used as a self-designation in Alaska and no doubt was how ‘Nanook’ (not his real name) was known in 1922. https://www.uaf.edu/anlc/resources/inuit-eskimo/

          • Linus

            Insulting or not, it’s a colonial designation foisted on the Inuit by others.

            They have words to describe themselves. Why not use them?

          • Brian

            They have numerous different words, depending on which country (USA, Canada, Greenland, Russia). As I noted, many call themselves ‘Eskimos’. The filmic ‘Nanook’ in 1922 was known as an Eskimo.

          • Linus

            Many African Americans referred to themselves using other words before they became aware of just how demeaning those words were. The colonised can be colonised intellectually as well as physically.

            By all means continue to use the words you want to use, but I will continue to use the words these people use to name themselves. And you can tell me until you’re blue in the face that “many call themselves” by the name you give them, but just because you claim it doesn’t make it true.

            I once had dealings with Greenlanders when working on a project with a Danish organisation, and I can tell you they reacted very badly to the use of your word, finding it racist and pejorative. On the couple of occasions I’ve been to World’s-Most-Stultifyingly-Boring-Land (which I’m possibly not entirely reliably informed is a literal translation of the word “Canada”) and have spoken with local Inuit, I’ve had exactly the same reaction.

            My personal experience being at variance with your unsubstantiated claims that Inuit love being called by a term they didn’t create, but which was applied to them by those who invaded their lands and imposed their laws on them, I shall venture to think as I did before. Namely that, like most indigenous peoples, the Inuit would like us to be polite enough to call them by their own name. Or shall I call you Myrtle because I’ve decided that’s what suits you best and many Brians call themselves Myrtle, or so I believe, and anyway, if it isn’t true, who cares, because the mere fact of me saying it makes it true. Doesn’t it?

          • Brian

            Ah, we have entered a wilderness of mirrors here, but for the last time: 1. The filmic ‘Nanook’ (not his actual name nor was his filmic wife his actual wife) was happy to be called an Eskimo in 1922. 2. The word ‘Eskimo’ is not in the slightest pejorative or demeaning (look it up), so even if it is not a strictly accurate generic ethnonym (just as many Welsh and Scots are called ‘English’ or ‘anglais’ by foreigners), it isn’t an insult (like ‘froggy’ or ‘cheese-eating surrender monkey’). Many circumpolar people *do call themselves ‘Eskimos’ (don’t take my word for it, look up the reference I gave), and I have seen nothing to indicate the word was considered derogatory in 1922. And neither was ‘Colored’ or ‘Negro’ an offensive word then or later; cf. NAACP; ‘Historic Negro Colleges’. You won’t find any references to African Americans (with or without a hyphen) in Mark Twain. Linguistic fashions come and go. 3. Canada is so boring that half the world wants to go and live there (even in anglophobic Quebec); and if the alternative was poverty and war, I think I would learn to make my own entertainment.
            Kind regards,
            Myrtle

          • CliveM

            I think you’ll find that being logical, rational and more importantly right, is a waste of time when engaging with Linus!

          • Brian

            Fiat justitia et ruant caeli. I do this not to convince Linus but to clarify my own thinking. Linus serves a useful purpose in this way. He is an intelligent person who keeps me on my toes, and he has just enough error and gall to mis-cast his otherwise perceptive remarks. The old Christian in his formation battles with the unbeliever in his soul, so that the Christian summons to honour all people, especially the weak and powerless, clashes with his misanthropic waspishness. Maybe Linus isn’t aware of this contradiction. But hiding from God is also hiding from ourselves, as mystics and desert hermits knew.

          • carl jacobs

            That’s an excessively charitable interpretation. I’m not quite sure how Linus’ remarks can serve to clarify thinking when all he does is micturate on people. That is the sole purpose of his presence here. I blocked Linus long ago and since I did so he has stopped responding to my comments. Why? Because he knows he can’t provoke a reaction from me. His insults can’t be seen by me and therefore serve no purpose.

            I tried to get Linus to change his behavior so that he would become a useful member of the blog. It was a futile effort. He is what he is because he chooses that path. Speculation about wars in his soul won’t change that.

          • Brian

            That’s because I’m an excessively charitable person – and I recognise Linus for the wounded soul he is, conflicted by his erstwhile faith and his emotions. He feels jilted by God and he wants revenge. A bit like Nietzsche, I suppose, but without that man’s intelligence and wit.
            But like a one-trick pony, he does get tiresome. How do you block people? Which buttons do I press?

          • CliveM

            Ps to the right of his name you will see a downward pointing triangle. Click on that and follow instructions.

          • carl jacobs

            Above right of every comment there is a little down arrow. Press the down arrow to receive a menu the first option of which is “block user”. You find a comment written by the person you wish to block, press the down arrow, and select “Block User”. Confirm and he will be removed from your view. He can still see you but you cannot see him. You can unblock through your Disqus account.

            Blocking only works if you are logged into Disqus.

          • Brian

            Thank you, I will try this.

          • Chefofsinners

            Like every creature, however unappealing, Linus serves a purpose. He is the dark background against which the truth shines brighter. The more corrosive his vitriol, the better Christianity is made to look. Learn to work with it.

          • Linus

            [Note: This is a long one so those who are wont to complain about the length of some of my posts should abstain. Read at your own risk. You were warned.]

            There were plenty of old Pixtians around during my formation, but none of them ever succeeded in passing on a sense of faith to me.

            Of course for Pixtians it’s (yet another) article of faith that a child raised in a Pixtian family will develop Pixtian beliefs. I’m living proof of the falsity of such assumptions. But then Pixtians never see what they don’t want to see, do they?

            As a child my attitude to Sky Pixie was the same as my attitude to Father Pixmas and fairies in the haha: stories told to amuse little ones and keep them quiet. Fun, but not to be taken too seriously. In other words, little white lies.

            I grew up taking every story I was told with a grain of salt unless clear and compelling evidence could be produced in its support. I didn’t even believe one of my uncles – my father’s brother – existed, because I’d never met him and nobody could produce any photographs of him. To this day I can’t find any – he was a very private, self-contained man and even as a child avoided the camera like the plague. The stories told of his adventures in distant lands didn’t help his existence to seem more credible. They were always so far-fetched and exaggerated, and seemed very unlikely, the more so because they always involved a moralising lesson: don’t do that or you’ll end up like your uncle, was the moral of every tale.

            Clearly this uncle was a bogeyman invented to put the wind up uncooperative children. If he was real, where was he?

            It turned out my uncle did exist. I found that out when he arrived one Pixmas and was greeted by my father as one might suppose a brother who had been out of contact for years would be greeted. Joyfully, but with circumspection.

            Of course my father knew his own brother, but I was harder to convince. Yet despite my initial doubts, the proofs of my uncle’s identity were extremely reasonable and I was eventually forced to accept them.

            Firstly, my father claimed him as his brother. I had no reason to doubt my father’s words and could think of no plausible reason why he would lie to me.

            Secondly, my uncle’s physical resemblance to my father was startling (they weren’t twins but they might as well have been).

            Thirdly, added to these two already compelling pieces of evidence was the incontrovertible fact that my mother, although even more restrained in her joy than my father, still welcomed my uncle as her undoubted brother-in-law. As there was no reason to suppose she was putting on an act to fool me, this rather poured icy cold water on my initial objection that my uncle’s physical resemblance to my Papa could be purely coincidental. And why would Maman kiss and make a (mild) fuss of a complete stranger? She’d never done it before.

            Decisive proof that this uncle was who he claimed to be however only came shortly after the initial greetings had given way to concern for his comfort and welfare. Did he need to take his ease after a long and trying day spent largely on (sharp intake of breath and much wincing) public transport!!!, enquired my ever-thoughtful Maman? “Aha!” thought I. “Now we’ll see. If he can find the lavatory, he must belong to us.”

            This may seem like rather odd reasoning, however you need to understand that our house, which is a very complicated house, cannot be comprehended by anyone not born to its ways. For all of its size and remarkable comfort, there is but a single downstairs lavatory, which due to an ancestor’s distaste for plumbing was installed in a place so far distant, and so well concealed, it might have been used as a priest hole, had such a thing ever been needed in France.

            No guest when verbally directed to that lavatory has ever been able to locate it. Indeed those who make the attempt invariably go missing for hours on end and search parties have to be dispatched to retrieve them. Preferably, but unfortunately not always, before desperation causes the arrant guest to relieve himself in the nearest potplant…

            Upon being invited to avail himself of this facility (the lavatory, not the potplant…), the man purporting to be my uncle disappeared in exactly the right direction. As the rest of my family drifted upstairs to the drawing room to await his return, I, feigning intense interest in the visitor’s baggage as it was unloaded from the car that had delivered him from the station, hung back in the entrance hall waiting for him to reappear.

            Within a few moments the muted but distinctive judderings of ancient Belle Epoque plumbing reverberated along the service corridor, proving that our visitor had not only found the lavatory, but had also succeeded in getting it to flush. This is not as easy as you might think. There’s a trick to it, and if you don’t know that trick, you’ll be left yanking at the chain repeatedly while nothing happens. Strangers, having been conducted to that fateful room with much ceremony and detailed instruction, have been known to remain closeted within for anything up to half an hour as they try desperately to flush, and then collapse in a panicked heap when they just can’t get it to work. When finally they emerge, defeated and humiliated, a member of staff will generally take care of it for them. Indeed the bribes slipped to staff members by mortified guests in order to buy their eternal silence are a source of considerable enrichment to the household, and there’s always someone lurking close by hoping that a guest will fall into the trap. It is this consideration that has always prevented us from updating the plumbing in that part of the house. It would be bad for morale to deprive the staff of such a rewarding duty, especially when it costs us nothing.

            In any case, the fact that our visitor was clearly an old hand at both finding and manipulating this lavatory was compelling proof of his identity. No-one but a family member could have got there, done what had to be done, successfully flushed, washed, brushed up and emerged after fewer than 5 minutes with his dignity intact. This was strong evidence that he had indeed grown up in the house, so I was forced to the conclusion that he was who he claimed to be and that my mythical uncle was a real person.

            This surprising fact was yet again confirmed to me in a most unpleasant manner later that day.

            My mythical-become-real uncle soon turned out to be a terrible disappointment. Taciturn and unapproachable, his idea of avuncular behaviour was to greet every advance of friendship with a cold stare and a disdainful sniff. As a child I was too young to appreciate that the mere fact of my existence was a thorn in my uncle’s side. Were it not for me, he would have been my father’s heir, and his sons, not yet born, but who would later come with clockwork regularity every year for five years, would have have been much better provided for than turned out to be the case. His resentment of me is comprehensible to me as an adult, but as a child, I just thought him a grouchy old bore and therefore lost interest in him very quickly.

            Sitting in the salon with my parents and uncle engrossed in boring adult conversation with other family members who were also present, I soon became restless and so turned my attention to more entertaining matters, namely the visiting of richly deserved vengeance upon my wretched goody-two-shoes and professional grass of a sister, who had shopped me to Nounou for some minor misdemeanour earlier in the day and was now positively begging to have revenge of the most merciless and cold-blooded kind wreaked upon her.

            I can’t remember exactly what I did. I think it involved the accidental/on purpose maiming of a much loved dolly, although that may have been another dispute – given the number of my sister’s dollies that met a grisly end at my hands, it’s difficult to say for sure. But as usual, whatever it was, it ended in tears and as a result, we were both sent back upstairs in disgrace to sit with smelly old Nounou in the day nursery for the rest of the afternoon.

            My sister chose to repair to her chaise, there to stare accusingly at me with baleful eyes and sulk for the rest of the afternoon. As her feelings were at the time a matter of complete indifference to me (although we now get along famously and never argue), I ignored her and busied myself with a jigsaw puzzle while she, unable to get the apology she craved, soon gave up her melodramatics and drifted off to sleep.

            I meanwhile had moved to an open window in an effort to get some fresh air, which was hard to come by when Nounou was in the room. The foul stench of camphor that followed her everywhere was overpowering and the poor woman could never understand why I fled from her. It wasn’t that I wasn’t very fond of her. But she did reek so very badly. The simple words “tu pues Nounou” never seemed to find their mark however, and Sky Pixie knows (or doesn’t, considering he’s imaginary), I said them often enough. Oh well, she was a devout Pixtian I suppose, so self-deception was part of the package.

            Despite this however, if one positioned oneself upwind of her, sitting in a well-aired room with Nounou was not a particularly onerous punishment. She was very sweet and never overly rigorous when it came to carrying out my parents’ instructions for the correction of their children. She also had a particularly useful habit of nodding off whenever she sat still for two minutes together, so my sister’s slumber and a little judicious meditation on my part soon had her snoring her head off and I was out that window in a trice, leaping onto the leads and making good my escape over the roof and down the drainpipes.

            These drainpipes are quite an architectural feature of the house, and so ancient and ponderous, they had to be bolted onto the walls at some point in the 19th century with heavy, elaborate copper brackets. With one bracket every 30 centimetres or so, these make for a perfect ladder that generations of children have taken advantage of to swarm up and down the wall and come and go from the house undetected.

            Down these pipes I climbed, intending to abscond for the rest of the afternoon to the village, where I had unfinished business with the children of one of the tradesmen, who had, in church and overheard only by me, made a disobliging remark about my mother’s slight but noticeable English accent, and therefore desperately needed to be taught a lesson.

            Imagine my dismay when, in my haste to be gone, I slid down the last couple of metres of pipe and cannoned into my waiting uncle. There he was, lying in wait for me, knowing all about the drainpipes and convinced that I would use them to make a bid for freedom at some point in the afternoon. The wretched toady had clearly decided that the best way of currying favour with my parents was to foil my plans for an afternoon constitutional. I sensed my sister’s hand at the bottom of this. Her damsel in distress act had clearly spurred my uncle on in his efforts to ruin my day.

            As I was frogmarched into my father’s parlour for a(nother) paternal dressing down, I remember thinking something along the lines of “Drat! Busted by an evil fairytale uncle come true. I suppose he must be my uncle rather than some devil, sprite or djinn masquerading in human form because firstly, none of those things are real and secondly, who else but a child of this house could know about the pipes, and the lavatory, and the wonky flush? Oh well, such is life. If he hadn’t turned up, I’d have been home free, so yah boo sucks for cursed uncles. Why couldn’t he have stayed mythical like Sky Pixie, who’s just as much of a killjoy as any uncle, but who can at least be relied upon never to show up…”

            My point is that I had no trouble accepting my uncle’s existence even though it was most inconvenient and I would have been a lot better off if he hadn’t put in an appearance. But there he was, and given his features, my parents’ attitude and his knowledge of things that only someone who had grown up in that house could know, it was logical and reasonable to suppose that 1) he did exist, and 2) he was indeed my uncle. I went from disbelief to reluctant but resigned belief without the slightest hesitation thanks to the convincing evidence of his actual physical, albeit unwelcome, presence

            So, all this to say that there is no old Pixtian in me. I have never believed the fairy tales. But real facts backed up with solid, tangible evidence have never failed to persuade me of things that I may once, in the absence of such evidence, have doubted.

            As I was as a child, so I am as an adult. Children are not nearly as credulous as Pixtians would have us suppose. Just like adults, they know how to differentiate between the real world and fantasy fiction. If given a solid, rational education where principles of scientific deduction are inculcated along with an appropriate sense of realism about other people and how they like to manipulate and control for their own benefit, a child will soon arrive at the conclusion that the adults who spin stories about this invisible Sky Pixie are doing it for their own advantage.

            The school principal and the archbishop raking a tidy profit off the provision of indifferent education for the children of pious and wealthy parents. The priest eager to delve into the deepest, darkest secrets of his parishioners, the better to control and manipulate them, and probably earn a bit of money or get his rocks off on the side. The moralising church warden who makes such a show of his piety whilst cheating his customers at his day job and then feigning repentance and demanding forgiveness when he’s found out. These are the true Pixtians. They have a vested interest in believing in Sky Pixie, so they turn a blind eye to the cognitive dissonance that results from the eye-popping claims of Pixtianity and its total lack of any corroborating evidence. It suits them to believe in Sky Pixie, because Sky Pixie forgives all. Especially when they’re found out and fake repentance and fake contrition are their get-out-of-gaol-free cards.

            And such are you. If you were not, you’d dismiss Sky Pixie as a child’s myth. But when myths can be turned to your advantage and as a result you can lord it over others and tell them what to do and what to believe, myths suddenly become very compelling, don’t they?

          • bluedog

            ‘myths suddenly become very compelling, don’t they?’

            No. Not when what you call a myth is not a myth and the facts can be established beyond reasonable doubt. The point at issue is the life of Christ, where there is sufficient corroborating evidence to defeat the cynicism of most, but not all, atheists. Based on the methodology of your investigations into the existence of your uncle, it seems likely that you would be forced to conclude that Christ existed if you were to apply the same principles to . Thus you could potentially believe in the life and teaching of Christ without a parallel belief in God.

          • Pubcrawler

            The child is the father of the man, indeed.

          • CliveM

            BH PubCrawler he wasn’t exaggerating that was long…………….!

            I’ll leave my view of its content unsaid as an act of Christian charity.

          • Linus

            Perhaps I should remind you that it’s no longer 1922 and that many words deemed acceptable then are no longer so.

            I should also remind you that you don’t get to tell others what they should be called. They get to decide that for themselves.

            The terms I use are terms that people currently use for themselves. They have decided that the word you use is offensive, as is their right, so whether you think it’s offensive or not counts for nothing. They are under no obligation to accept your definition of what constitutes an inoffensive term. Who are you to decide for them? Their lord and master?

            Go ahead and use offensive terms, but don’t be surprised to be taken to task for your arrogance and conceit. The days when you could hurl insults at anyone and never be chastised for it are long gone.

          • Brian

            “The terms I use are terms that people currently use for themselves.”
            Yes, of course – Pixtians and Pixlims around the world agree with you!
            Linus, you are so lacking in self-knowledge ….

          • Linus

            Pixtian and Pixlim are ironic terms used to underline the absurdity of the words you use to describe yourselves.

            Unless you mean to compare the Inuit people to chocolate-covered icecreams on a stick, there is no irony in the use of your word. It’s merely a racist, colonial label.

            Your intent is to label the Inuit as primitive and inferior. My intent is to highlight the fact that your identity is founded on a fairy story for which you can present no concrete evidence.

            My terms serve a logical purpose. Yours do not unless you want to express racist views.

          • Brian

            “Pixtian and Pixlim are ironic terms used to underline the absurdity of the words you use to describe yourselves.”
            No, they’re not (perhaps you don’t know the meaning of ‘irony’), they are childish insults intended to demean. It is playground behaviour, very similar to racist and other misanthropic conduct, and it doesn’t display cleverness or wit on your part, just immaturity and a rather sad internalised anger you haven’t got over.
            I can see you are stung by me pointing out the inconsistency in your words and conduct. You know perfectly well that Christians and Muslims do not use these words, nor do they think in such terms. There is nothing ‘absurd’ in the words ‘Christian’ or ‘Muslim’. As I am sure you know, the first means ‘a follower of the Anointed One’, the second ‘one who is submitting’. You think people should speak respectfully of others – but refuse to do so yourself. You claim to see a speck in the eyes of others – but a have a log in your own. You should see a carpenter.

          • Linus

            As far as I’m aware, a people like the Inuit deserve respect because they give respect to others.

            Pixtians and Pixlims are entirely different however. Far from giving respect to others, they insult and slander them at will. Take their attitude to the LGBT community. In Pixtianity and Pixlam we are reviled and treated as disordered and perverted. Our love is considered twisted and evil. If that’s not a lack of respect, I don’t know what is.

            Why don’t you go and see this carpenter of yours and ask for his help with the log in your eye? But of course you have, haven’t you? And there it still is.

            Not much of a dab hand with getting rid of excess cellulose this Sky Pixie of yours, is he? His followers have entire forests sprouting out of their eyes. Doesn’t inspire much confidence in the perfecting power of your religion. Where are all these fruits of the sprite we’re supposed to witness in faithful Pixtians? Where are they to be seen when they’re hurling insults at gays and trying to turn governments and authorities against us? And if they have divine support, why are their efforts so spectacularly ineffective?

            You’re condemned by your own standards and yet somehow, we’re to blame for everything that’s wrong in the world?

            Bog off, Pixtian Pharisee. Sort out your own issues before pounding on us. And try a little true respect if you want to be treated with respect in return. A follower of a religion that relegates me to the status of a factory second and shop-soiled reject will only ever deserve my contempt and derision. A Pixtian you are and a Pixtian you will remain until Pixtianity does something about its dyed-in-the-wool homophobia.

        • Brian

          Now I see there is in fact a ‘Nanook the Penguin’ – evidently named after the Inuk of the famous 1922 film – and from the other end of the planet.

          • Mark

            As long as the BBC use “Nanook the Penguin” rather than just “Nanook” I’d be happy.

          • Brian

            That’s ‘The Penguin Nanook (ice be upon him)’ to you, infidel.

        • Pubcrawler

          There was also Nooka of the Nooks, the love interest of Noggin the Nog.

      • Pubcrawler

        That was Pingu.

  • Bernard from Bucks

    “If it’s the “so-called Islamic State”, why is Mohammed not the “so-called Prophet”?
    With respect, this ‘so-called’ nonsense goes on all the time.
    You are certainly not Archbishop Cranmer, you are the “so-called Archbishop Cranmer”.

  • Manfarang

    Not a state because it has no internationally recognized boundaries .
    It doesn’t issue banknotes. It has no external recognition and all its territory is claimed by other countries.
    It is a rebel zone best referred to as being controlled by daesh.

    • Brian

      What about Coffee Republic? Shall we call it so-called Coffee Republic?
      ‘Daesh’ means nothing in any language.

      • IrishNeanderthal

        From this BBC article http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-27994277 , December 2015:

        Daesh is essentially an Arabic acronym formed from the initial letters of the group’s previous name in Arabic – “ad-Dawla al-Islamiya fil ‘Iraq wa ash-Sham”. Although it does not mean anything as a word in Arabic, it sounds unpleasant and the group’s supporters object to its use.

        Daesh also sounds similar to an Arabic verb that means to tread underfoot, trample down, or crush something.

        More accurately, it could be spelt Da‘esh, though unless one is a native speaker of Arabic, Tigrinya, or Soomaaliga, one needs a bit of practice to pronounce the largyngeal consonant in the middle.

        • Brian

          You just made my point – ‘Daesh’ doesn’t mean anything in Arabic – or in English. The only reason for preferring it is to obscure its Islamist inspiration – which would suit western politicians like Cameron who have helped screw up the Arab world (not that it needed much help in its own self-immolation).

          • Manfarang

            The acronym is widely used in the Middle East.

          • Brian

            So is Arabic. Not too useful here (‘Give it time, infidel, give it time!’)

      • Manfarang

        It’s a business as is the Banana Republic.

  • Royinsouthwest

    Perhaps the BBC should be re-named “the so-called BRITISH Broadcasting Corporation.” Nobody can deny that it is a corporation that broadcasts, but sometimes it seems as British as Lord Haw-Haw.

    • Sybaseguru

      Would love to know on what grounds they call themselves British. They’ve now become a left wing sect. How many of their employees vote Conservative – perhaps they should be forced to do a blind poll weighted by managerial level.

      • James60498 .

        I am not sure that voting for the present Conservative Party means that they are not a left wing sect.

        I would suggest that there will be a number of them who are “right” on economic matters not least as it suits them personally.

        Where they are ALL left is on social issues.

      • Anton

        Privatise it!

        • bluedog

          No. It’s an important franchise that belongs to the electorate. Retain the goodwill of the brand but purge the management and producers. Sound values such as those espoused in Cranmer’s blog should be adopted. Now, wait a minute!

          • Anton

            It is now in a market with many producers, which it wasn’t when it was founded. Let it sink or swim there. How can the license fee possibly be justified when the BBC is now just one of many broadcasters?

          • bluedog

            Easy. Cancel the licence fee and fund the Corporation by direct grant.

          • Anton

            If so, a MUCH smaller amount than its present revenue.

          • Linus

            Now that you’ve decided the BBC’s fate, what’s your implementation plan?

            What’s that? You mean you don’t have one? Well that’s inconvenient. Being impotent nobodies who can influence the outcome of virtually nothing is such a bore, don’t you think?

            Why not ask Sky Pixie to do it for you? And then come up with excuses for why he’s ignoring you when nothing happens.

            If there’s one thing that years of interacting with small people has taught me, it’s that the smaller they are, the bigger their delusions will be. And the more impervious to reason and reality.

            But don’t let me stop you. Reorder the world as you see fit. And when none of it happens, pray to your Sky Pixie for revenge on whoever deprives you of the power you know to be rightfully yours. You’re so completely impotent, they’ll be perfectly safe. As will the BBC managers you want to cast into the outer darkness. But if your prayers help you to deal with your impotence and prevent you from taking out your frustration on those around you, I suppose they serve a purpose.

          • Anton

            You really didn’t like that question I asked you below, did you?

          • Linus

            Which question was that?

            Oh, you mean the question I asked you, which you refused to answer?

            Of course I liked it. I wouldn’t have asked it otherwise.

          • Anton

            As readers may verify beneath, I asked Linus, “Would, you, to save your life, ie at knifepoint, recite the Shahada, the Islamic creed which is accepted to mean that you are converting to Islam?” He responded by not answering my question and instead diverting by asking me whether *I* thought he would do so. He might as well have asked me what colour his door was painted and then said he wasn’t going to answer my question till I answered his.

            Which suits me fine, for I know which of us is embarrassed. Linus, “Would, you, to save your life, ie at knifepoint, recite the Shahada, the Islamic creed which is accepted to mean that you are converting to Islam?”

          • Linus

            Why should I be embarrassed by another one of your amateur attempts to back me into a “corner”? You only ask your questions in a vain attempt to manipulate opinion against me in particular and atheists in general. Your aim is to get your fellow Pixtians to hate us even more because hatred is the only emotion that binds you people together. The more you hate us, the stronger your resolve to stick together. It’s “you against the world”, isn’t it?

            By all means stick together in your miserable little Broederbond. A couple of dozen grim-faced old men with the odd female hanger-on can’t change the world when all they do is sit in the comfort of their own homes bitching about how the world refuses to obey them. There’s nothing revolutionary about you people. The armchair is your pulpit, and nobody can hear you because you’re preaching to your living room walls. You talk among yourselves pretending to be powerful while the world gets on with its business and ignores you.

            I note that your most aggressive questions always come after I’ve scored a point, as I clearly did with the post that sparked this futile attempt to “take me out”. That you see yourself only too clearly in my description of you is now beyond doubt. Way to go confirming just how utterly pointless and powerless you are.

          • Anton

            You don’t understand what real power is.

            This question has now been ducked by you 4 times. I ask you once more: Would you, to save your life, ie at knifepoint, recite the Shahada, the Islamic creed which is accepted to mean that you are converting to Islam?

          • Linus

            So why is a Pixtian contravening Sky Pixie’s commands and asking me a litmus test question with the express intention of not only judging me by my answer, but encouraging others to judge me too?

            I’ll tell you why. Because I touched a nerve when I exposed you for what you truly are and now you’re mad. Impotent nobodies who posture and pontificate and make a spectacle of their own piety while condemning the world for not obeying their commands hate to see their true image reflected back at them. It reminds them of how ugly they are.

            So this question is a revenge question. You want to wreak vengeance upon me for daring to tell the world who you really are. Again, not very Pixtian of you, is it? Whatever happened to “turn the other cheek”?

            When asking for a person’s reaction to a moral dilemma, it’s usual (not to mention polite) to volunteer your own reaction first in order to show that you’re willing to expose yourself to the same risk of judgment you’re asking the other person to take, and aren’t just laying a trap for him. But you refuse to answer the very question you’ve asked me. How am I to interpret this?

            I think I know…

          • Anton

            Readers should be aware that what Linus says immediately above is not untrue. I am asking him: Would you, to save your life, ie at knifepoint, recite the Shahada, the Islamic creed which is accepted to mean that you are converting to Islam? Lower down this thread I have given my answer if the same question were asked of me: No, I would not recite the Shahada; I would rather die. The question that I am not answering is whether *I* think he’d do it. He put this up so that he could play “You answer my question, I’ll answer yours.” But it is about as silly a question as asking me what colour his front door is.

            As for turning the other cheek and the other Christian principles you quote at me, they are contained in the Bible in the context of 1:1 interactions. This blog is not a 1:1 interaction but a public forum with an audience, and you are not free to assume that Christ would have given the same advice to a Christian in those circumstances.

            The following question has now been ducked by you 5 times. I ask you once more: Would you, to save your life, ie at knifepoint, recite the Shahada, the Islamic creed which is accepted to mean that you are converting to Islam?

          • Linus

            Ah, I see. So you have decided that in a public forum, none of the Pixtian commandments apply. So you can judge at will. Presumably you can lie and cheat as well, so I mustn’t trust anything you say. Not that I did anyway, but confirmation that my suspicions were right is satisfying.

            I hope you never attend an Anglican synod. Who knows what your attitude might be to violence and murder in that public forum? You are not free to assume that Sky Pixie Jr. would have told you not to take out all the liberals, after all.

            Now that we know you don’t feel bound by the rules of Pixtianity when in public, I feel sure that those who monitor extremist online activity will be taking an increased interest in your movements. After all, if you can judge an Atheist because this is a public forum, what could you do in a university lecture hall full of Atheists, or a cinema, or a “libtard church”?

            So I don’t think I’ll answer that question of yours. Who knows what you have planned for me if I don’t respond in a fashion of which you approve? You don’t know exactly where I live of course, but it’s an easy hop, skip and jump over (or under) La Manche and Paris is full of public forums in which you could assert your right not to assume that Sky Pixie wants you to love your fellow man and do unto him as you would have him do unto you.

            There are plenty of targets closer to home in England of course, but I do hope you’re stopped before you do any serious damage…

          • Anton

            As I explained and you chose to ignore, I am not breaking the tents of Christianity that you think I am. I reckon I know rather more about Christianity than you.

            The following question has now been ducked by you 6 times here. You will understand that readers will infer something from that. Once more: Would you, to save your life, ie at knifepoint, recite the Shahada, the Islamic creed which is accepted to mean that you are converting to Islam?

          • Linus

            As I explained and you seek to hide, you are obeying only those tenets of Pixtianity that you choose to obey and completely ignoring the rest.

            The choice of which tenets to obey and which to ignore appears to rest solely on how they restrain your inclination to pontificate, lay down the law and ride roughshod over opposition. If these tendencies are pushed to their natural conclusion, when you don’t obtain what you want by argument and harangue, physical violence is the next logical step for you to take. After all, if you can ignore Sky Pixie’s commandment to refrain from judging, you can also ignore any other commandment too, up to and including “thou shalt not kill”.

            Like so many religious nutters, you’re a dangerous man. Resistance provides you with the excuse you need to abandon more and more tenets of Pixtianity in a bizarre and self-defeating attempt to defend them. You’ve already proven that even a very moderate amount of contradiction and ridicule drives you to abandon one of Pixtianity’s most cherished principles: thou shalt not judge. It’s only logical to assume that as your religion continues its catastrophic collapse in both numbers and influence, your defence of it will become even more hysterical.

            Have you seen the latest statistics from the US? Thanks to the mass desertion of younger people and the dying-off of the older generation, Pixtianity is now a minority religion in what was its last great bastion. As they watch their numbers collapse, remaining Pixtians in the US and all over the Western world become more and more desperate. The power and influence they cherish before everything else are melting away before their eyes. Desperate people do desperate things…

            Today you judge. Tomorrow what will you do? The annals of history are replete with tales of deluded religious nutters whose response to being ignored was to grow increasingly shrill and hysterical until their rage rose up and overwhelmed them. Many of them ended up committing violent crimes in the name of Sky Pixie. Are you such a one?

            Based on your justifications above, I fear you might be. If you can rationalise away one Pixtian commandment because your need to feel powerful and important is stronger than your love for your imaginary lord, no taboo is sacred enough to stand.

          • Anton

            The following question has now been ducked by you 7 times here. You will understand that readers will infer something from that. Once more: Would you, to save your life, ie at knifepoint, recite the Shahada, the Islamic creed which is accepted to mean that you are converting to Islam?

          • Linus

            Readers can infer whatever they like.

            You want them to infer that I would do whatever would be necessary to stay alive. This is because you want others to think of me as selfish and unprincipled. Your question is therefore not a real question, but rather a litmus test by which you hope to convince others of my evil nature, depravity, moral bankruptcy, and whatever other “sins” you have tried and judged me for. In direct contravention of the commandments of your faith.

            Whether I answer or don’t answer, you’ll use either my words or my silence to condemn me. That’s the purpose of the question. I’m not a person to you, but rather an evil to be vanquished or an insect to be crushed. But the thing is that I am a person. Treating me as some kind of impersonal argument that you can condemn and judge at will is merely a stratagem designed to work around the Pixtian prohibitions against judging and condemning your fellow man.

            By asking me a litmus test question designed to influence others to judge and condemn me, not only are you, by your own lights, putting your “immortal soul” at risk, you’re also inciting others to commit the same sins.

            Of course I don’t believe your Sky Pixie exists, so as far as I’m concerned you can do anything you like and the only effect will be to increase the contempt and pity I feel for you. But as an agnostic, I have to admit that I could be wrong. If I am, and your Sky Pixie really does exist, and I answer your question knowing that it’s designed to blacken my name, I cooperate with your sin and therefore become implicated in it. In effect I might actively contribute to your damnation by providing information that may assist you in your determination to judge me.

            If I remain silent however, I make the responsibility for your sin entirely your own. I do not cooperate in your judgment and condemnation of me. I am not implicated in your sin.

            Whatever I do, you’ll still judge and condemn me. That’s all you know how to do. You want me to assist you with my own words, but if I choose not to speak, you’ll twist my silence into condemnation too.

            This is how you condemn yourself and reveal the utter hollowness of your faith. You refuse to obey your Sky Pixie while making out that you do. This makes you a very specific kind of sinner, the name of which I needn’t spell out in detail. Suffice to say that your whitewashed tomb of a faith reeks with a stench of death and decay that transcends the electronic pathways of this mode of communication to nauseate all who read your posts.

            See you in Pixie Punishment Camp, O Pestilential One. How I’ll laugh when he hurls you into the deepest pit while you scream “Lord! Lord!”

          • Anton

            You are claiming that by asking you a question I am judging and condemning you. That is truly absurd.

            Would you, to save your life, ie at knifepoint, recite the Shahada, the Islamic creed which is accepted to mean that you are converting to Islam?

          • Linus

            There is nothing absurd about the intention behind your question at all. It’s a cynical and manipulative attempt to try and paint me into a corner by putting me in a position whereby I’m judged and condemned whether I answer or not.

            By asking such a question you reveal your true identity as one of the worst and most unrepentant Pharisees on this blog. You posture and preen and congratulate yourself on your own exemplary Pixtian piety whilst directly contravening the commandments that don’t suit you.

            What clearer example could there be of the utter hypocrisy of Pixtians? “I don’t judge,” you say, and then you judge. No wonder your religion has been decimated over the past few decades. Once freed from the obligation to place his life in the hands of manipulative hypocrites, the average man will flee from you.

          • Anton

            You REALLY don’t like that question, do you?

            Would you, to save your life, ie at knifepoint, recite the Shahada, the Islamic creed which is accepted to mean that you are converting to Islam?

          • Linus

            I don’t like vicious and manipulative demagogues who pose litmus test questions. Their motives are always nefarious and self-serving.

            Would you, to save your soul, repent of asking your fellow man litmus test questions, which are designed to incite others to judge and condemn him?

            Clearly the answer is no, because the question will never arise. You’re above the law, so the Pixtian commandments don’t apply to you, do they?

            The idea of seeing a self-righteous Pharisee hurled into the deepest pit of Pixie Punishment Camp while tearing his hair and gnashing his teeth in outrage and despair almost makes me wish it really existed.

  • Inspector General

    Many years ago, when Lebanon was in the grip of its own civil war, one of the participants was the Lebanese Phalanges Party. Or as the BBC used to describe it at the time, Christian Phalange. No ‘so-called’ prefix used there, but then the party’s foundation was inspired by European fascism in the 1930s. So Lebanese was replaced by Christian. By the BBC.

    • Sarky

      Oh look its the ‘so called’ christian.

      • Inspector General

        Well done you. It’s a simple enough idea. Accept Christ and you are a Christian. With a capital C. Don’t accept Christ, and face abandonment, and join the dross.

    • Chefofsinners

      ‘Tis true. The term ‘Christian militias’ continues to feature regularly in BBC reports from around the world. Consider, for example, this report from Syria itself: https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/magazine-35998716

  • jsampson45

    Perhaps to call IS “Islamic State” would imply that there is only one Islamic state.

  • Chefofsinners

    The BBC has announced a new series of its hit false-reality show “Celebrity Love Islam”.
    A group of talentless people you’ve never heard of compete to show the greatest possible respect to Mohammed. Points are awarded for blaspheming Christianity and double points for any positive story involving a Muslim, however insignificant.
    The show has now been running for ten years all day on every channel.

    • Brian

      There’s another daily show on what Islam will do to our pubs. it’s called ‘Pintless’.

      • Chefofsinners

        Any Muslim who blows themselves up in a pub will definitely be off my Christmas card list.

      • Chefofsinners

        Djinn and tonic for me, please.

        • Brian

          Very a-muezzin.

          • Anton

            Sheer genie-us.

      • Anton

        No wining permitted.

  • CliveM

    Are we perhaps being over sensitive here. Calling it “so called Islamic state” does underline the absurdity of its claim. The BBC hasn’t started saying Jesus of Nazareth the so called messiah, when it does I will then start getting concerned.

    • Inspector General

      Strictly speaking, Clive, the BBC should be referring to them as Islamic insurgents. As in communist insurgents, a phrase from the last century. But to do so, it would imply the BBC accepts that they represent what Islam is all about. As they are a somewhat beastly crowd, the insurgents that is, not the BBC, one doubts our lefty national broadcaster would be prepared to do that. It would annoy among others, the very Labour party those fearless BBC journalists fawn before…

      • Hi Inspector,

        This article is interesting , about how gays are voting for alternative for Deutschland in Germany, because of the refugee crisis :

        http://edition.cnn.com/2017/09/14/europe/germany-far-right-lgbt-support/index.html

        • Inspector General

          Interesting Hannah. Ironic the victim was a taxi driver. Gays have been whining for years now about the dangers of openly queering on the streets of London. Muslim taxi drivers everywhere. All that needs to happen is for them drive past gay revellers and for them to ring in to their Islamic brothers about it.

          • hi Inspector ,

            When we were last in Gloucestershire , by Berkley castle – wherein some king got a poker up his bottom and also the family dynasty (some archbishop) that founded the university in California of the same name : we had a really lovely native yokel type Gloucestershireian taxi driver, real proper west county. Of course we also went to Burton on the Water because of birdland and then the slaughter villages…

          • Inspector General

            That’s the ticket, Hannah!

            When the first motor charabancs left Birmingham for the Cotswolds, it was for the quaint village of Bourton they headed. Cheaper than going there by steam train, you see. And so, Bourton is still a popular destination today, resulting.

            To appreciate the Cotswold architecture and stone at its best, you can do no better then to head to the Slaughter villages. Alas, they are today sterile in as much as the sound of laughter from children won’t be heard. They are now the home of the wealthy, and their security cameras.

          • Anton

            Decent dining there, as I recall. I reckon Chipping Campden is finer, but Alec Clifton Taylor made one of his wonderful programmes a generation ago about Cirencester:

          • Inspector General

            Stow’s rather good. Had excellent game pigeon there the other year. Rare for this man to praise pub food. Can’t remember the name of the place but it’s the one that shuts down for the duration rather than serve gypsies. Locals are very understanding then, and not a peep of complaint from them…

    • Anton

      Does “so-called” refer to Islamic or State? Their territory is shrinking rapidly thanks to Putin doing what Obama didn’t and backing Assad.

      • CliveM

        It’s also shrinking in Iraq.

  • Chefofsinners

    Breaking news… Muslim insurgents have captured Reykjavik and proclaimed the so-cold Icelandic state.

    • Maalaistollo

      Not so wide of the mark. A new mosque is proposed for Reykjavik and is reported to be funded to the tune of one million US dollars by the Saudis.

    • Brian

      Ah choo akbrrr!

      • Chefofsinners

        Groan. That joke just died. Went to paradise and received 72 virgin jokes.

        • Brian

          What’s the martyr with you?

          • Brian

            Jihad enough of these jokes? Oh well, que surah surah.

          • CliveM

            CofS had thought that he’d cornered the market in bad puns!

          • Brian

            “I should be punished behind a puny shed for every pun I shed from my punnish head.” – This is a lesser known Upanishad.

          • Chefofsinners

            I will take your Sunni punni disposition and drop it in the shi-ite.

          • Brian

            “And then I-slam the door.”
            I had always thought Sunni and Shia was that pop duet from the 60s.

          • Anton

            No, it’s the English weather – Sunni or Shiite.

          • Brian

            No sects please, we’re British.

          • Pubcrawler

            You mean I can’t be in bed with Medina?

          • Brian

            Not if you’re deserted.

          • Chefofsinners

            Who can forget their greatest hits, “I got you, Abdul” and “Dome of the rock”?

          • Chefofsinners

            Jokes about Islam are not prophetable.

          • Brian

            Yes, they are easily effendi-ed.

          • CliveM

            Dear, oh dear, oh dear……….there seems to be an outbreak of bad punning on this blog!

          • Chefofsinners

            Go ahead, punk, Mecca my day.

        • Dominic Stockford

          Can we hear a few then please.

    • Royinsouthwest

      If Ramadan falls in the summer then the Muslims in Iceland won’t have anything to eat for a month.

      • Chefofsinners

        Aha! There’s the solution to all our problems. Move Islamic State to Iceland and wait for Ramadan.
        Evidence if any more were needed that this religion is not divine in origin.

    • Royinsouthwest

      Do you want a fatwa? The Ayatollah Khomeini is supposed to have said “there are no jokes in Islam.” The full quotation, and the source, are given below.

      Allah did not create man so that he could have fun. The aim of creation was for mankind to be put to the test through hardship and prayer. An Islamic regime must be serious in every field. There are no jokes in Islam. There is no humor in Islam. There is no fun in Islam. There can be no fun and joy in whatever is serious. Islam does not allow swimming in the sea and is opposed to radio and television serials. Islam, however, allows marksmanship, horseback riding and competition.

      Political thought and legacy of Ruhollah Khomeini
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_thought_and_legacy_of_Ruhollah_Khomeini

      • Chefofsinners

        I need a fatwad to get across the Severn Bridge. There’s a much ayatollah than there used to be.

  • Anton

    More nonsense from the so-called British Broadcasting Corporation.

    I regularly refer to “the Islamic prophet Muhammad” which seems to me to be a neutral solution to that issue, anyway.

    • Mike Stallard

      How would you like “Jesus, the so-called Son of God?”.

      • Anton

        When talking with non-Christians I am happy to call him Jesus of Nazareth.

      • Pubcrawler

        I wouldn’t riot and call for the beheading of anyone who said that.

      • James60498 .

        Most times I hear Jesus’s name on BBC it’s said as a swear word.

        This would be a significant improvement.

  • layreader

    Not on the point, but if anyone else was shocked by the blasphemy of tonight’s episode of Upstart Crow, I urge them to use the BBC website to complain about it. Go to the bottom of the homepage, then ‘Contact the BBC’.

    • CliveM

      What was said? I didn’t see the program.

      • Mike Stallard

        Did anyone?

        • layreader

          I suggest you take to iPlayer and watch it. The BBC would not dare to blaspheme any other religion in the way that Ben Elton did.

          • Royinsouthwest

            Wasn’t Ben Elton one of the first politically correct, so-called comedians? I haven’t seen the program but it would not surprise me in the least if it were blasphemous. Wherever you get political correctness you will find hypocrisy.

      • Hi

        I don’t know, but I watched the first series. I think, though, a big outrage is due because they had Shakespeare married to a brummie family!!

        https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=d6Q4Fau3hoY

  • Martin

    As others have said, the so-called British Broadcasting Corporation where the initial ‘B’ appears to stand for bigoted.

    • Manfarang

      The BBC. What was the Burma Broadcasting Corporation.

  • IanCad

    I’m disappointed with the BBC in that their referring to IS as “so called” has been going on for years and they have not yet expanded on the idea.
    I look forward to “so called” experts being invited to talk about “so called” climate change, followed perhaps by “so called” comedians to host the “so called” R4 6:30pm comedy show.

  • Mike Stallard

    I am a Catholic.
    “He married a six-year-old child, dealt in (and owned) slaves, raped women, beheaded Jews, pillaged and tortured many thousands. ” On what grounds do you say this? Aisha was admittedly below pubescence and she spent her adolescence as his wife. But six? When was her birthday did you say” and how do you sing “Happy Birthday” in Arabic? Raped women? Evidence please? Pillages and tortured many thousands? Evidence of this and I mean personally. As to the “miracle working prophet” Mohammed made is crystal clear that he was not a man who worked miracles.
    Let us get it right please.

    • CliveM

      “Pillages and tortured many thousands? Evidence of this (and I mean personally).”

      Why personally? We all accept that Hitler murdered millions of Jews, the fact he didn’t do it personally is irrelevant.

      • Mike Stallard

        http://www.answering-islam.org/Authors/Arlandson/qurayza_jews.htm

        My point in asking this is simple: this is a scholarly website (although you may not think so!) and to make allegations about anyone without back-up reduces it to the level of a Mickey Mouse site. As a matter of fact, all the allegations have been backed up. Which shows either that the Prophet was a monster or that he was just a man of his time and place.

        • CliveM

          Or both.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Many people of his time and place did NOT go around murdering hundreds of thousands of people….

    • Anton

      I suggest you read the Sirat Rasul Allah, the ancient “Life of the Messenger of Allah” which is regarded within Islam as equal in authority with the hadith. It was written by Ibn Ishaq a century after Muhammad, although we have only a copy redacted by Ibn Hisham another century later and some other parts of it in other ancient Arabic writings. The extant parts of it have been reassembled and translated into English by Alfred Guillaume, and can be found online here:

      https://archive.org/details/TheLifeOfMohammedGuillaume

      On p464 (the printed pagination, not the computer pagination) you will find Muhammad personally beheading some 700 people. And on p691 we find ibn Hisham saying that he left out of his redaction “things which it is disgraceful to discuss; matters which would distress certain people”!

      • Brian

        These things are well known to anyone who has spent only a few hours learning about the origins of Islam and they are accepted as historical facts by all Muslims. It isn’t controversial, at least historically. Of course, none of the comic books used to teach about Islam in KS3 in British schools mentions any of these things. I know a teacher who once did – and he provoked a shock reaction.

        • Anton

          So do I !

      • Royinsouthwest

        I wonder what he left out and who the people were who he thought would be distressed?

    • len

      ‘I am a Catholic’.
      This means you have already accepted ‘ facts’ with no evidence which rather destroys your demand for evidence?.

      • Mike Stallard

        Clever but there is a lot of evidence which you are overlooking. Like the gospels, like the Church doctrine over the ages. And most of them are held by faith rather than by proof, just like your own, or indeed anyone else’s beliefs. (Global Warming and universal equality being just two.)

    • big bwana

      Consumating a ‘marriage’ with a pre- pubescent 9 year old is rape.

      Do you think she wanted it? Enjoyed it? She was still playing with dolls. What planet are you living on? Do you know any 9 year old girls?

      He saw her, he wanted her, and he had her. What kind of people revere a prophet like that?

      • Mike Stallard

        Well, he did die with his head on her lap and was buried in her apartment. Also she tells many stories about their relationship which seem perfectly good natured.
        There are countless examples of child marriage in our culture too. (Queen Jadwiga and Henry VIII’s brother for two).

        • Anton

          You do not understand mediaeval European attitudes if you think that. Sexual intercourse with a pre-pubescent girl was looked upon with utter horror. A girl might be promised to a male by betrothal almost from birth, but there was no question of a wedding ceremony and intercourse before the girl had begun to mature. When Arthur Tudor married Catherine of Aragon in 1501 he was 15 years and about 7 weeks old; Catherine was three months older. He lived another 5 months. Catherine famously claimed that they had not had sex.

          As for Ayesha, she understood her husband well. Here is a hadith from Bukhari’s collection of sayings regarded as Sahih (reliable):

          Narrated Aisha: I used to look down upon those ladies who had given themselves to Allah’s Apostle and I used to say, “Can a lady give herself (to a man)?” But when Allah revealed: “You (O Muhammad) can postpone (the turn of) whom you will of them (your wives), and you may receive any of them whom you will; and there is no blame on you if you invite one whose turn you have set aside (temporarily).” (33.51) I said (to the Prophet), “I feel that your Lord hastens in fulfilling your wishes and desires.”

          • Mike Stallard

            OK Here goes.
            Today paedophilia has been described, as far as I remember on Radio 4 as “worse than murder”. Jesus’ words, too are very firm on the subject. No question. I also agree, of course, that al Bukhari’s famous quote by Aisha is fair comment. She was in no way stupid!
            The internet, of course, is buzzing.
            I was fascinated to read that the age of consent in USA was very low indeed until (in just one state) very recently. And that means 7 years old.
            “In medieval Europe, Gratian, the influential founder of Canon law in the twelfth century, accepted the traditional age of puberty for marriage (between 12 and 14) but he also said consent was “meaningful” if the children were older than seven.”
            http://www.faqs.org/childhood/A-Ar/Age-of-Consent.html
            http://www.nairaland.com/450419/age-marriage-medieval-times-paedophilia
            I remember that in Ghana marriage was often well before puberty and it was called “Mushroom marriage”. Why I am not sure.

            Conclusion: Mohammed was just doing what other people did: marriage/betrothal but no consummation before menarche.

          • Dominic Stockford

            The Code of Canon Law of the Church of Rome still states that the lowest age the RC church permit for a girl to marry is 14, 14 I ask you. No wonder you’re in such a mental quandary if that is the teaching of your (so-called) church.

          • Mike Stallard

            Ever so sorry, I looked all through the relevant passages in the Catechism, written chiefly by Cardinal Ratzinger (later made Pope) and could not find this. Can you direct me to the relevant passage please?

          • Dominic Stockford

            The Code of Canon Law is not in the Catechism, I shouldn’t need to tell you that. But it is the law according to the Church of Rome. The relevant passage states:

            CHAPTER III.

            SPECIFIC DIRIMENT IMPEDIMENTS

            Can. 1083 §1. A man before he has completed his sixteenth year of age and a woman before she has completed her fourteenth year of age cannot enter into a valid marriage.

            You can find it at: http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/_P3Y.HTM

            Note, you have completed your first year of age when you have your first birthday – so they are saying the girl must be at least 14.

          • Mike Stallard

            Whereas the CoE one used to be 16. I am afraid I don;t know what it is now.

          • Dominic Stockford

            The CofE one is that according to the Law of the UK, as the CofE is the established Church it would be no other. Obvious, really.

          • Anton

            I suggest you look up the age at first menstruation and how it has come down over the centuries. I doubt very strongly that Ayesha had menstruated when Muhammad first took her.

            Very early marriage and consummation might indeed be a pagan norm, but where Christianity came it got later, whereas where Islam came in it was confirmed as OK.

          • Mike Stallard

            Were you there in the room then?

          • Anton

            If I had been then I would have phrased it with zero uncertainty. I doubt it very strongly because I recall reading something about the age of first menstruation across peoples and history.

          • Mike Stallard

            Well now… May I suggest that you read something else? Menstruation is such a personal thing that I wonder how people research it – especially little old men in libraries!

          • Anton

            May I suggest that you do not misrepresent me? You write as if it is what I read about extensively and presently. It is something I read about en passant many years ago: which is why I invited you to read up on it, since it is you (not me!) who are making claims to which the subject is highly relevant.

          • Mike Stallard

            I can certainly apologise for writing words which can so easily be misinterpreted!
            The little old men in libraries was, of course, the Professors and other university people who make a living out of doing just that. Oh – and journalists.

            As a general rule, I always try to discuss stuff amiably as between friends trying to rootle out the truth. If I go on a site where ad hominem attacks are common, then I generally do not comment.

          • Anton

            OK, I’m glad you were not trying to imply I was a dirty old man.

          • Rhoda

            Surely a prophet should be setting a better example rather than following the habits or customs of other people at the time?

            Muslims believe that the deeds and sayings in the life of Muhammad – known as Sunnah – are a model of the life-style they are obliged to follow. Given what is known about his life that isn’t good for our society.

        • big bwana

          Are you seriously trying to justify the rape of a nine year old on the basis that it all turned out all right in the end? What did Jesus say about those who offend against children? She was NINE, he was FIFTY something……

          • Mike Stallard

            I am not trying to justify anything. I admit that I was wrong over Catherine of Aragon. Jadwiga of Poland, too, was certainly not 6 years old.
            A couple of minutes on the internet shows, however, that an awful lot of peoples throughout the Mediterranean area see childhood marriage (but not consummation) as completely normal. The age of Aisha’s husband, too, is irrelevant. And Abu Bakr, Aisha’s guardian, remember, gave his reluctant consent (his problem was that he saw himself as Mohammed’s blood relation until Allah intervened.)
            Remember, too, that this question needs answering: “What attracted you to millionaire Paul Daniels?” Mohammed was, after all, the most important person in Medina…

          • Dominic Stockford

            A lot of people see murder as ‘normal’, but that gives no-one the right to do it. Your argument is holed below the waterline by ‘whatever suits your culture-ness’.

          • Mike Stallard

            Which is precisely why I started off by stating my own choice perfectly clearly: I was then ( and am now) a Catholic. In no way am I a Muslim.
            But I am also an historian and I am used to understanding people, especially the ones who seem to be in a ridiculous position, like Aisha was. She, incidentally, turned into Umm Aisha and, although she was childless, she is revered by Muslims the world over.

        • CliveM

          Stockholm syndrome.

          • Anton

            Exactly.

        • Royinsouthwest

          They could have grown to love each other in spite of the way their marriage started.

  • CliveM

    Hannah

    The last thing he needs is further encouragement ☹️

    • Brian

      or N. Korea-gement. It has enough lunatics.

      • Linus

        North Korea is perfectly sane according to the standards of this blog.

        Slavish and unquestioning worship of an ordinary man posing as some kind of divine being happens there just as it happens here.

        At least theirs has a better comedy haircut…

        • Brian

          “Slavish and unquestioning worship of an ordinary man posing as some kind of divine being happens there just as it happens here.”
          Let’s keep your beloved Emperor Napoleon out of this, OK? He caused us enough trouble last time till we sorted him out.

          • Chefofsinners

            No, no. Linus was referring to himself.

          • Brian

            No, Linus is not an ordinary man.

          • Linus

            Say what you like about Bonaparte. He was a horrid little man who bled our country dry with his wars and his self-aggrandizement. His defeat was un mal pour un bien.

      • Chefofsinners

        Have you seen the new film, ‘Kor-e-on up the Peninsula’? Starring Hattie Jacques as Kim-Jong-Un, Sid James as Donald Trump and Kenneth Williams as Theresa May.

        • Brian

          You are Inchon toward disaster …

          • Chefofsinners

            I was reflecting on Chinese philosophy, in which yin is darkness and disaster, but yang is brightness and positivity.
            Little wonder that the capital of North Korea is called Pee on yang.

        • Pubcrawler

          “Oooooh, May-tron!”

  • Brian

    Have you no Seoul?

    • Brian

      Hannah, if you lived in Korea, would you be one of the Chosun people?

  • worrywort

    An Interesting storyline has started on Coronation St. It involves a Lesbian couple accusing a moslem woman of homophobia because she felt uncomfortable when they exchanged passionate kisses in front of her.

    They even go round her house to challenge her. I imagine the real world are going to get very polarised about this. Militant homosexuals vs devout mohommadans.

    • Father David

      I hear that Vic Reeves has joined the cast of Corrie, I wonder what he makes of it all, as like himself, the whole soap opera is becoming pretty surreal and far fetched? Bring back Ena Sharples from the Glad Tidings Mission that’s what I say. I further wonder what Ena would make of their being a Gay vicar in the street? “Well, I’ll go to the bottom of our stairs” she might exclaim! Tongues will wag at the Rovers and there will be a persistent black and white gloom hanging over the Snug creating an atmosphere similar to that experienced on a wet Whit week walk!

    • Anton

      The only thing for Christians to do is take such things case by case.

      How did they know she felt uncomfortable? I don’t watch TV.

      • the lesbians were slobbering over each other whilst Ranna the Muslim girl looked on really uncomfortably, the lesbians noted her discomfort. This happened on a few other occasions when the grp were together. Ranna then tried to avoid them. When they went to her house she told them she didn’t like public displays of affection. They accused her of being a homophobe and stomped off. I’m awaiting a court case.

        • Dominic Stockford

          The simple answer is not to watch that ‘rubbish’, or so-called entertainment.

    • len

      Militant homosexuals must hunt out’ homophobes’ and make examples of them.. The Media has led the brainwashing of the public by the constant bombardment of homosexual propaganda.
      I suspect that those who control the Media have a definite agenda for homosexuals and against Christians. The christian is nearly always portrayed as a ‘nutter’ or a ‘serial killer’.

  • Anton

    There are one or two places where “so called” would fit rather better:

    * liberal so-called Christians

    * the so-called Conservative Party

    Any others?

    • Chefofsinners

      Right Honourable Tony Blair

    • Chefofsinners

      European Union

    • Dominic Stockford

      women clergy

  • Busy Mum

    Isn’t describing something or someone ‘so-called’ a direct challenge to their self-identification and therefore a hate crime?

    • Royinsouthwest

      Well, if you refer to a man who identifies as a woman as a so=called woman, that would be a hate crime whether or not he had surgery which, in any case, would only make him a mutilated man. However the governments of Britain and other western countries, and their propaganda organisations such as the BBC, have decided that terrorists are not allowed to identify as Muslims so it is perfectly OK to use the phrase “so called.”

      • Anton

        Someone with a Y chromosome and a penis who self-identifies as a woman should be asked, politely, to define “woman”, because until that is done then, quite simply, nothing has been said.

        • len

          ‘Crocodile Dundee’ had a very un PC way of determining which sex when it was in question.

  • Dreadnaught

    Every long running Soap has now become the propaganda default reference point for all things ‘minority’ that’s past the point of absurdity. This is brainwashing in action.

    • len

      ‘They say that what is right is wrong and what is wrong is right; that black is white and white is black; bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter.’ (isaiah 5:20

  • len

    The Biased Broadcasting Company is exactly that.
    The Media is seemingly being controlled by a group of people determined to overturn everything that made our Country great and to reduce it to serving destructive minorities.