Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Blood & Treasure on Britishness - top - "It is not British to elect a new people if the old one doesn’t suit the government"

I'm still trying to work out whether, under the new "hyphnated Britons" thing, I would be a "Franco-Celtic-Norse-Saxon-Norman-Germano-Pictish-Briton", or whether they'd merely stick to "English".

One thing we do need, though, is a better term than "Asian" to describe anyone with black hair and slightly darker than caucasian skin, stretching (apparently) from the Middle East to Japan, and covering several billions of people. Bloody stupid - especially as the Americans generally mean "south east Asian" and we mean "Indian/Pakistani" when trying to be specific with it.

(Oh, and more from Qwghlm - "we'll call ourselves whatever the fuck we want to" - yay! I want to be a trappist cantaloupe Briton! Can I be a trappist cantaloupe Briton please Ms Blears?)

5 Comments:

Blogger sean said...

Seeing as so many Muslims believe, and openly state, that we are Kuffar - Kaffirs - or, even more charmingly, 'infidels', I think we should call them 'Pakis' or 'towelheads' until they learn a little courtesy.
Once that principle is established, we can all each other Brits, as is only right.

8/09/2005 10:52:00 am  
Anonymous Katie said...

Someone told me that for what the americans call "south asia" the word "desi" is acceptable. And, more importantly, what many of that ethnicity already call themselves.

The problem is, these kinds of labels shouldn't HAVE to be used. A bit like affirmative action though. We shouldn't need it, but think of the kind of shit certain sectors of society could get away with if we didn't do it.

8/09/2005 01:34:00 pm  
Blogger sean said...

I know I should have better things to do, but I have just waded through a few dozen Islamic websites which freely use the word 'kuffar' or 'kaffir'.
You'd think these would be radical sites, but no. We're talking the Muslim Association of Britain, etc.

So, if we're gonna talk about language, the problem lies with the Muslims' language, their mindset. And Kuffar is a prime example.

I find this word deeply insulting. Originally it was a theological word. Indeed there is still dispute in some Muslim circles as to whether kuffar can applied to all non-Muslims, or all people apart from Muslims, Jews and Christians (the 'people of the book'). In recent times a consensus seems to have developed that kuffar can largely be applied to all non-Muslims, as a shorthand.

But all this is to ignore the central issue. Just as nigger once meant 'black' but is now deeply offensive so kuffar, or kufr, has become openly derogatory. It is a boo word, an insult, a slur word loaded with pejorative overtones. It shows the subconscious hatred and contempt too many Muslims have for non believers.
No wonder the Afrikaaners chose it when they wanted to find their own vile word for black people - turning it into kaffir.

And it's not like this word is only used in hushed tones, by nasty people. Likesay, it's all over the Islamic world, on supposedly respectable websites, in learned books, in speeches by top imams, etc. Whenever the Muslims want to find a word to describe the rest of us, this is the one the all-too-often reach for, Kufr, Kuffar: the infidel, the dirty pagan. What impression are they giving their young people about non-Muslims? And all this at a time when white people have striven very hard, and very successfully, to rid their public discourse of racist epithets for blacks and Asians.

Shame on them.

8/09/2005 02:10:00 pm  
Blogger Nosemonkey said...

Can't say I'd find "kuffar" insulting, but then again, I wasn't really aware of it. I'd have thought it's approximately equivalent to "gentile", "gaijin" or even "foreigner" - possibly the now obsolete "heathen" or "barbarian" at a push. Either way, not on a par with "nigger" - from what you say it's slagging off anyone who's different to a particular group, not a specific group. And it's a lot quicker to say than "non-Muslim", for which it seems it is effectively a shorthand, and which would, presumably, have similar connotations.

It's partially a problem with religions full-stop, from what I can tell. If you subscribe to one religious viewpoint, by definition you think that you are right and others are wrong, otherwise you wouldn't be a true believer. If you think you're right, there's a certain implication that you think you're superior.

8/09/2005 02:21:00 pm  
Blogger sean said...

Hmmm... i think you are being a bit apologistic...
Muslims themselves well know that 'kuffar' or 'kaffir' is insulting - as some people on these websites say they shouldn't use it. Yet most of them continue to use it.
I might post some of the extraordinary remarks I have found about kuffars ('Dear imam, is it OK to be friends with a kuffar'? Answer: No). Then again I may not. As it's probably not good for my blood pressure.

8/09/2005 03:39:00 pm  

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