Category Archives: Personal views

These are personal views on topical issues. Some of my opinions are popular and some unpopular. These articles are written in a punchy style.

Spare a thought for Bill O’Reilly.

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Mr O’Reilly deserves less sympathy than most. I have no truck with his militaristic, hyper capitalist, Muslim baiting screeds. Bill O’Reilly is part of a dangerous tendency in American politics and broadcasting. He is ludicrously partisan, rude, aggressive and unanalytical. He has only two modes in interviewing: sycophancy or brutality. Fox News and its doyen O’Reilly create a constant sense of crisis in order to keep viewing figures high. Attacks by Muslims are reported with huge prominence. When US forces killed 150 civilians in Iraq this barely rated a mention. O’Reilly wants his views to be terrified and irate. This man has monetised making  American people scared of Muslims and mistrustful of non -Americans. Bill O’Reilly is a multimillionaire who is determined to keep the vast majority of America’s wealth in the hands of a tiny number of people. Such regressive policies makes life enormously harder for the great majority of Americans who are middle class and , dare we mention, working class.

Bill O’Reilly was accused of sexually harassing his colleagues. What this man has been accused of is not a crime. No one has ever suggested he committed rape or even sexual assault. All he allegedly did was to say things which some people found objectionable. That should not terminate anyone’s career. Moreover, one woman said that he leered at her. A facial expression will end one of the most distinguished careers in American journalism. Really? This is hard to fathom. One of his African-American colleagues said that he greeted her with ”hot chocolate.” Even if this is true this is a disdemeanour.

Let us for the sake of argument assume that the entirety of these allegations is completely veraciour. In that case O’Reilly has been rash and unpleasant. He ought to apologise and pay a few hundred dollars in compensation. Let us get this in perspective and not over react.

O’Reilly’s fans say that these allegations were propounded by far left organisations. These allegations were made by women who worked with him. Even if the far left made these accusations that does not make them false but yes they are a little less credible because of possible political bias.

I am glad that this man is off the screen. His baleful influence has poisoned public discourse in the United States. He is insanely one sided on the Palestine issue. His chauvinistic and bellicose rhetoric has done a huge amount of harm. He besmirched Black Lives Matter as a hate group. The United States is safer without him on the airwaves.

Milo Yiannopolous.

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Milo Yiannopolous is a British commentator. His is the archetypcal meeja ho and he delights in ruffling feathers. He became known a few years ago for his you tube videos and strident criticism of Islam. He does not seem to make the distinction between Muslims and Islam.

Milo – he prefers to be known mononymically – appears to be a contrarian. He is an outspoken admirer of Donald Trump. This suggests that Milo may well see a kindred spirit in Trump. He is a fellow attention addict, narcissist and shameless liar. Never trust a man who cannot even tell the truth about his name. This gentleman’s surname is actually Hanrahan but he goes by his mother’s maiden name. Milo grew up in England but his father’s surname indicate Irish stock and he is Greek on his mother’s side.

This man dropped out of Manchester University and Cambridge. He is a non conformist and perhaps suffers from a sense of inadequacy in failing to achieve a degree. Is he driven to prove his intellect in other ways? Perhaps he wished to defend rebarbative positions in order to show how clever he is.

It seems that attention seeking perversity sustains the Milo phenomenon. He says that gays should get back into the closet. This is despite being an out homosexual himself. Some have even accused him of inventing his gayness as a means to fend of charges of reactionary attitudes. Moreover, his sexuality provides him with an excuse to excoriate Islam.

Milo certainly takes pride in his appearance. He seems to favour expensive skin products. He constantly dyes his hair. Does this reveal a deeper truth? Is he fixated with image and making a splash?

Milo sometimes makes sense. He skewers third wave feminism. He also exposes the nonsense of the notion of rape culture pervading Western countries. In fairness to Milo he is not racist and says that no one should be mistreated on the grounds of their ethnicity.

Soon enough Milo will disappear. He has made a name for himself in expressing deeply unfashionable views. I suspect he will not be able to make a career out of this much longer. One day the boy may have to grow up and get a job.

Zsa Zsa Gabor: good riddance.

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Zsa Zsa Gabor has died. The self-proclaimed socialite was a post girl for vapidity, egomania and avarice. The world has far too much of these vices already. She will not be missed. What did she ever contribute to the world? She had many husbands. I do not disapprove of her promiscuity. Readers of this blog will know this. I am glad that she enjoyed herself whilst she could. So many divorces suggests that she and her husbands went into these marriages less than committed. There were many very foolish men who wed her. It was blatant that she was acquisitive and heartless.

Vanity, self-centredness, image obsession, attention seeking and an insatiable lust for jewels are all detestable characteristics. She had these in spades.

As it customary on a person’s decease I shall look at her positive attributes. Her qualities were her linguistic gifts and her adaptability. This Hungarian woman spent most of her life outside of her homeland. She was fluent in a few languages and blended into other cultures. She spent decades in the United States. Zsa Zsa was droll and her one liners provided mirth for many including your humble servant.

Miss Gabor was one of the first to epitomise that saying – famous for being famous. She was a notorious gold digger.

(Note that her name is pronounced ‘za za’ in case the ‘zs’ consonant cluster flummoxed you.)

Gentle reader, you will not profit but her example except perhaps in the strictly pecuniary sense.

Ben Shapiro’s hypocrisy on radical Islam.

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Mr Shapiro believes that radical Islam is wicked. He also contends that most Muslims are radicals.

Ben Shapiro is pro-Life and has published videos of his anti-abortion views. He regards elective termination of pregnancy as outright evil.

In most Muslim countries abortion is severely restricted if not outright prohibited. By Shapiro’s own standards the Muslim world is therefore morally superior to the United States.

In a sense Ben agrees with radical Islam. He certainly concurs with it on this issue.

Ben also approves of the death penalty for rape. Again this makes him agree with much of the Muslim world. If capital punishment for rapists is ethical – as he contends – then again much of the Muslim world is more righteous than the United States. The USA has not killed anyone for rape for decades. The KKK used to kill men for committing rape – admittedly this was without a fair trial. Shapiro’s position is closer to that of the KKK than he would like to admit.

The pedantry and disingenuosness of Mehdi Hasan.

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In the Oxford Union debate about Islam being a religion of peace Mehdi Hasan locked horns with Anne-Maria Walters.

Miss Walters referred to Islam’s birthplace as Saudi Arabia. Mehdi scorned her because he noted that Saudi Arabia was not declared as a state until the 1930s. He accused her of being centuries out.

This was an infantile point of one upmanship. Mehdi pretends not to know that we refer to a place by its modern name and not its name of centuries ago. We may say that something happened in France in the 3rd century AD. We do not say Gaul. It is typical of his dishonesty,  his know it all haughtiness and thuggish style. He was underhand and sneering as usual.

He said he would not take lessons from a continent whose Judeo- Christian values murdered 6 000 000 Jews. How can killing Jewish people be part of Jewish values? It is also against Christian value thought Christians have sometimes committed such crimes. The Holocaust went against many core principles of Christianity. This is partly why the Third Reich planned to abolish Christianity.

 

The good and the bad about Ben Shapiro.

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Ben Shapiro is a a very gifted right wing opinion former. Mr Shapiro is intelligent and articulate. He often tells people that he is Jewish and this is unusual since American Jews have largely sided with the Democrats. In recent decades more Jews have joined the Republican Party.

Shapiro is superb at skewering the specious notion of white privilege. He correctly identifies it as anti-white propaganda. This bogus concept is a tactic used to try to close the mouths of whites who do not accept the notion that the USA is viciously anti-black. There is anti-black sentiment in the United States but its amount and distribution are greatly overplayed. The expression white privilege is used to close down any discussion of personal responsibility.

Shapiro has exposed the absurdity of assuming that all whites are anti -black and that they can be anti-black without even knowing it. He also reminds us that a disparity in statistics does not suggest bias. Very few whites run short distance races in the Olympics and that is not due to a nefarious plot to exclude whites. It is because very few whites have the requisite talent. Could it be that there are areas of life where fewer black people than white people have a high ability? No one should be disbarred by reason of the their colour. It is just that proportionally fewer people of certain races are gifted in certain fields of achievement.

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BLACK LIVES MATTER.

Shapiro rightly says that some of thaat BLM claim is false. It is wrong to think that many police officers are anti black.

Ben is spot on when he claims riots after tendentious slayings are sheer criminality. It is a fantastic excuse to rob. It is opportunism and not a protest.

Shapiro is wrong to label Hillary and Bernie racists.

I do not entirely agree with SHapiro on BLM. I look into controversial shootings of black people by the police . Sometimes these shooting are justified and sometimes not. I examine it on a case by case basis.

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GUNS

Mr Shapiro is a gun nut. He wants there to be very few limitations on firearms. He fears tyranny emerging in the USA. He believes that small arms can prevent this. The US military is the best equipped in the world but he believes that hand held weapons can beat it. He claims his grandparents in Europe are in ash due to the lack of firearms there. Gun laws were quite lax in Europe in the 1930s and 40s. His premise is bogus. There were many partisan groups resisting the Third Reich with small arms. They met with limited success. The idea that such weapons could have prevented the Holocaust is daft.

If he is so in favour of guns to save lives he must want the Palestinians to have as many firearms as possible. How about the Israeli military attacking a Turkish ship in international waters and killing several unarmed Turks. This was to stop the Palestinians getting arms – so Israel said. In fact it was a ship full of food. If the Turks had been armed they could have defended themselves and killed some Israeli troops. Would Shapiro approve?

Why not let Iran have a nuclear bomb? He is convinced Iran is striving to build one. Why should they not? Shapiro wants people to be very well armed? It is for home defence. Israel has one on the same basis.

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SHAPIRO CLAIMS THAT MOST MUSLIMS ARE RADICALS.

Mr Shapiro claims that most Muslims are radicals. He says radicals are those with rebarbative beliefs who offer moral succour to terrorism. He uses evidential reasoning and he makes a formidable case. He looked at opinion surveys conducted in some of the 49 Muslim countries around the globe. What % approved of suicide attacks on civilians? What % approved of Sharia Law? What % agreed with honour killings? What % had a positive or mixed view of Bin Laden?

The figures were worryingly high. Of the people surveyed in almost every country a majority favoured Sharia Law, approved of attacks on civilians, had a mixed or good opinion of Bin Laden and approved of honour killings in some circumstances.

There are many different versions of Sharia Law. Shapiro probably wants us to believe that most Muslims prefer the worst kind of Sharia Law. Some Sharia Law is entirely decent and is found in any legal system. Outlawing arson or infanticide are laudable laws. What Muslims understand by Sharia Law varies hugely. No Muslim country has all the Sharia Laws on its statute book. Even when they have most of them there they often turn a blind eye to many things which are offences under Sharia such as fornication and drinking.

We often over estimate the decency and moderation of the public.

In a Western country quite a few people favour the death penalty. This can even be so for lesser crimes than murder. Many would approve of the deliberate targetting of civilians. Professor Alan Dershowitz – a hero of Shapiro’s – has urged just that. The Israeli military has often purposefully killed civilians without encountering much opposition.

What is an honour killing? Killing a female relative because she married without permission is of course a vile crime and utterly unjustifiable. Murdering someone for committing adultery is also a vile crime. However, it is something that many non Muslims would understand. That sort of honour killing occurs all over the world even if not as frequently. People have the right to commit adultery. No one deserves to suffer the least bit of violence for adultery. I am not excusing the killing of adulterers. My point is that not just Muslims would kill people for it. I acknowledge that nowhere outside the Muslim world would make such a slaying legal.

Why do some people like Bin Laden? You might like his mediaeval theocratic tyranny. Others approved of him for wanting to drive the Americans out of Afghanistan. His early objectives were shared by many Muslims: expel American troops from Saudi Arabia, end sanctions against Iraq and end the oppression of the Palestinians. One could subscribe to those aims without being Muslim at all. These were secular goals. People might have a positive or mixed view of Bin Laden because he had some enemies who were almost as bad such as the Ba’athists in Iraq or some of the warlords in Afghanistan. The mass killing of Palestinian civilians meant that some people saw Bin Laden as the man who would fight back against Israel. There is no doubt that Bin Laden was evil. He wanted to impose his nightmare vision on the world. It is wonderful that he was killed. This does not make all his foes pure.

What people say in surveys and what they really want are not the same thing. Notice how opinion polls and election results differ.

Ben Shapiro says that Muslims carry out female gential mutilation. Some Muslims do this and it is disgusting and completely wicked. There is nothing in the Hadith or Qu’ran about this. The majority of Muslim women have not been subjected to this barbaric practice. There are non Muslim women in Africa who also suffer from this crime. It is cultural and not religious. Many Muslim politicians and religious leaders have denounced this crime.

How about male genital mutilation? Most Muslims practise this as do Jews. Shapiro advocates for it. I acknowledge it is not has bad as FGM.

Muslim opinion is not as radical as Shapiro pretends. He is an ardent Zionist. He wants the US to be extremely supportive of Israel. He would like Israel to get away with the illegal occupation of Palestine. TO this end he seeks to demonise Muslims.

Shapiro rails against Hamas for killing children. He is correct that Hamas has killed children and sometimes done so on purpose. This is murder. What he does not acknowledge is that in recent years Israel has killed far, far more children than Hamas. Israel has the best military technology in the world. Much of this is supplied for free by the USA. The rest is sold by the United States. Israel could carry out surgical strikes. Yes, the Israeli Defence Force continually carries out huge scale and indiscriminate attacks. If Shapiro cared about the lives of children he would be trumpeting his rage at these crimes against humanity carried out by the IDF abetted by the United States.

 

What is Sharia Law?

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Sharia Law is a system of Islamic Jurisprudence. There is a very spirited debate as to what constitutes this. Sharia Law is founded on the Qu’ran and the Hadith. The Qu’ran is the holy book of the Muslims. Muslims believe that the Qu’ran was dictated by Allah to the Prophet Mohammed. The Hadith is a collection of the sayings and deeds of the Prophet Mohammed.

There is much dispute over the content of Sharia Law. This is partly because there is much uncertainty regarding the Hadith. SOme of the sayings and actions of the Prophet Mohammed as regarded as confirmed by Islamic scholars. Other reported utterances and actions of the Prophet are viewed as merely possible and not certain. Much of the Hadith consists of Sunna  which is to say virtuous but non-obligatory acts. These including growing a beard.

There are several schools of thought on what comprises Sharia Law.

Only nine countries claim to implement Sharia Law in full. Even then it is doubtful that any of them have Sharia Law on the statute book in its entirety. For example the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a Shariat State. Yet it permits alcohol in hotels. Alcohol is specifically outlawed by Sharia. Sharia Law permits tolerance for Christians and Jews as fellow people of the book but not for other faiths. Pakistan nevertheless permits Hindus, Sikhs and Parsees to worship openly.

Sharia Law allows slavery. Every Muslim country has banned slavery. It is clear that all Muslim countries recognise that Sharia has to be somewhat updated.

Many Sharia states allow pork. This is particularly for non Muslims. Not all of them fully enforce Ramadan either.

Sharia Law forbids usury. Yet most Sharia states allow interest on loans and interest payments for deposits. Sometimes they go through a rigmarole of paying the money into a different account and calling it something other than interest but it is interest.

Much of Sharia Law is laudable. It would not be baulked at by any fair minded person. Many of its provisions would be found in any legal system. It outlaws theft and murder for instance.

There are 49 Muslim majority countries in the world. Most of them have at least some aspect of Sharia Law in their legal systems.

Israel has aspects of Sharia Law in its legal code. Muslim Family Law is governed by Sharia.

Some Muslim majority lands are resolutely secular. These include Turkey, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan.

Sharia requires modest dress. What is modest? There are many different interpretations of that.

ISIS is fighting against Iraq which is itself supposedly a Sharia State. Iraq allows Yazidis to worship despite them being supposedly heretics. The Taleban fights against Afghanistan and Pakistan both of which are Sharia States.

The most extreme example of Sharia was in Afghanistan under the Taleban where even music was outlawed.

Sharia Law is hugely diverse. It is an immensely complex subject. It is wrong to say that Sharia is all bad or barbaric. There are aspects of it which are retrograde and even barbaric. That is Sharia at its worst. Parts of it are reasonable and even praiseworthy.