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Friday, 26 October 2012

Douglas Murray and Yasmin Alibhai-Brown Debate

I've chosen this video of a debate between Douglas Murray and renowned UK Muslim leftist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, a columnist for the (self-proclaimed) Independent newspaper, because it is very representative of several things.

Alibhai-Brown starts by saying that the last time the two of them debated they were very civilized and "British", which we must assume she now regrets because this time she was anything but.

Then, after reprimanding Murray for his - in her view - generalizations about Muslims and fundamentalism, she berates British culture which, she says, is a drinking culture. So he is accused of what he does not do and she, on the other hand, does: tarring everyone in a group with the same brush.

After this nice example of inconsistency, we are treated to her description of herself as "very well-integrated", in the same breath as her protest against imposing "Britishness" on everybody living in the UK.

Many similar inanities follow before the conversation begins revolving around freedom of speech and then Iran, Israel and nuclear arms.

About freedom of speech, I'm glad to see that Douglas Murray appears to believe what I believe regarding Holocaust denial. The gist of what he says is that imprisoning David Irving for denying the Holocaust gives the President of Iran, the madman Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a pretext to accuse the West of double standards by showing its Achilles' heel in the defence of free speech.

Murray seems to think what I also believe about freedom of speech in general, namely that criminalizing Holocaust denial, Nazi and fascist speech is a violation of freedom of expression.

In fact, as many people have observed during the recent Muslim riots against the Muhammad film, making crimes of Holocaust denial and the rest paves the way to the Islamic world's request to impose on the West blasphemy laws outlawing criticism of Islam.

About Iran, the "very well-integrated" Yasmin Alibhai-Brown makes several attempts at morally equating it to Israel and Britain, saying that nobody should have nuclear weapons but, if some countries have them, then all countries ahould be allowed to have them too.

I found the best answer to that in a comment to the video:
In the words of Salman Rushdie:"There is only one group in the world that wishes to get nuclear weapons to use them... radical Islamists". Every country that is armed with them has them for deterrence. There are those who have them not to use them and there are those who want them to use them. Yasmin simply does not get it.
As we well know, Islamists have among their midst many suicide - nuclear or not - bombers.

The most revealing thing in this very enlightening video is the parallel in the irrationality of Alibhai-Brown's performance: she talks as irrationally as she acts irrationally during the discussion.

The lack of logic in her words is not only mirrored but confirmed and reinforced by her continuous interrupting, shouting, patronizing, forcing the others to pay attention to her, treating them like idiots, telling them what to do, pointing fingers under their nose and other hysterical behaviours.

If, at any moment, you may be tempted to take her pseudo-arguments seriously her behaviour serves as a reminder of what degree of irrationality we are dealing with here.

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