Only The Sangfroid

Mark is of fair average intelligence, who is neither perverse, nor morbid or suspicious of mind, nor avid for scandal. He does live in an ivory tower.

These are his draft thoughts…

Give me a reason we’re in control… Multiculturalism is bad because they do things the same way I do

While I’m not terribly keen on providing links to his hate material, Pat Condell has had a crack at explaining what he thinks is wrong with multiculturalism: Muslims.

It’s no secret that Condell hates Islam.  He is incapable of seeing Islam as anything but a monolithic structure of barbarism.  Mind!  He doesn’t put it in those terms.  Instead, he white knights women’s lib (every Muslim is misogynistic), democracy (every Muslim is a tyrant), and — in this latest foaming fury — animal rights (because Halal is code for cruelty to animals).

Back to that last point in a second.  First, I think it’s important to note how passionate many outspoken atheists become when Islam is discussed.  When Christianity is discussed, most of these atheists will make condescendingly dismissive comments.  Dawkins, for example, dismissed Aquinas’ arguments in a quick paragraph as not intellectually credible (or, rather, dismissed his bizarro version of Aquinas’ arguments).

When Islam is discussed, the discussion is framed in terms of response to a threat.  Most of the articles and books written by atheists about Islam have always characterised Islam as something foreign to fear.  Christianity is something to defeat; Islam is something to exclude.  This trend was demonstrated uncritically throughout that rag The Australian Book of Atheism (which I should definitely get back to reviewing).  The essays asserted that Christianity did what it could to retain power and that Islam was attacking secular society by stealth.  So long as atheists continue to milk intuitive notions of ‘secular’ without distinguishing them from ‘non-believing Christianity’, this framework will continue.

Back to cruelty of animals.  Says Condell:

Halal is a guarantee that the animal you’re eating died slowly, in pain and in terror.

There are a few easy ways to not eat halal meat: try more pork.  If you’re that worried about Muslim meat appearing on your dinner plate, eat pork wrapped in bacon.  Hell, it could even be an advertising slogan for the pork industry.  ‘Pork: Guaranteed not to be kosher or halal.’

Less flippantly, people like Condell only care about the cruelty towards animals if other cultures (particularly Islam) are doing it.  Most Anglophones get their meat from factory farms.  Says PETA:

On today’s factory farms, animals are crammed by the thousands into filthy, windowless sheds and confined to wire cages, gestation crates, barren dirt lots, and other cruel confinement systems. These animals will never raise their families, root around in the soil, build nests, or do anything that is natural and important to them. Most won’t even feel the sun on their backs or breathe fresh air until the day they are loaded onto trucks bound for slaughter. The green pastures and idyllic barnyard scenes of years past are now distant memories.

The factory farming industry strives to maximize output while minimizing costs—always at the animals’ expense. The giant corporations that run most factory farms have found that they can make more money by cramming animals into tiny spaces, even though many of the animals get sick and some die. [Source: PETA ‘Factory Farming: Cruelty to Animals’]

In the universe next door where Pat Condell is ranting about the insidious spread of multinational corporations, I’m sure he’s saying:

Supermarket-purchased meat is a guarantee that the animal you’re eating died slowly, in pain and in terror.

It is — quite frankly — ludicrous that Condell should pick up the mantle of animal rights in order to attack Islam.  There are legitimate questions about whether there are more humane ways to procure halal meat — they’re the same legitimate questions as those which ask if there are more humane questions to procure non-halal meat.

Similarly, there are legitimate questions about Islam which we in a multicultural society should ask (a classic one, for example, is ‘Why is there a growing trend for Muslim community leaders to describe Islam in opposition to mainstream society?’  The answer concerns both the individual Muslim communities and the societies in which they are trying to integrate).  But Condell is not asking those legitimate questions when he pretends to champion the rights of the minorities he wantonly and casually disregards every other minute of the day.

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