The Hard Conversation

Author under fire for using asian pen name!


A mosquito of an idea

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Ah brilliant! Just listened to it. Loved the "fawta is on you Pete" :D

@AgentPete gave me a heads up about this.

Good topical topics but I did sense that 'Barry' was on the defence quite a bit actually. Then again I see this often with muslims who firstly focus on "oh but Islam is peaceful" rather than tackle why certain people do what they came up a couple of times. But his comical and softly spoken methods make him endearing to listen to.

He had many valid points but the typical issue that became a sore point for me is the seemingly male definition of a liberated woman being proportional to how much skin she shows. It took me back to my nuclear physics lecturer who referred to the attire of women in victorian ages covered "neck to toe" as being rebel side wanted to heckle "like you, you mean" as he was dressed suited and booted with the tie to seal the look. :rolleyes: Exactly how the topic came up I don't know, but as with nuclear physics, it's quite dangerous :D.
Great interview. I am glad you've aired it. It is obvious who won't like him and why. Everyone has an opinion, mine is, what a great interviewee and I learned a lot. I liked him a lot, I thought he made impassioned but entirely fair comment. In respect of the Hamas thing, not all the French approved or supported the Resistance. It was all hideous, and there are parallels. He says the West doesn't believe what is happening to the Palestinians at the hands of Israel, but I do, and many do and are furious and disgusted, and aware that the UK has had a part to play in creating this situation while the US is supporting it, despite some reservations.

I grew up with a Palestinian family for neighbours. The new diaspora. They had had their houses requisitioned for Jewish immigrants. The roof stolen from over their heads while the west looked on, having initiated this situation which then ran amok, Zionist terrorism, and Britain pulled out of Palestine. This man can't visit his mother. He speaks of how he is treated at airports. Hanan was insulted and assaulted at Tel Aviv on a visit, her handbag emptied out on to the tarmac and watched while she picked everything up again, then strip searched by a Jewish immigrant newly arrived from Birmingham, a girl who spoke no Arabic. Hanan was escorting university students on a study trip organised by the Arabic Studies Department at Durham University where she taught. They were Muslim. They observed Ramadan etc, didn't eat pork. They did once, actually, how courteous, when they came for dinner and my mother had forgotten and had to confess she had cooked a roast pork dinner. Their choice of dress was secular western unless they were visiting family in countries where the custom was to cover up.
II was always going to be a challenging show, with Ian (Jewish) looking for common ground. I'm very pleased wwit how it turned out, and particularly proud of Ian's hosting.

Mona, our next guest, addresses the issue of women and Islam, and the West's perception thereof, head - on... Stand by for fireworks :)
II was always going to be a challenging show, with Ian (Jewish) looking for common ground. I'm very pleased wwit how it turned out, and particularly proud of Ian's hosting.

Thanks, buddy-- could you feel the tension? Jesus Ch---!
But I'm about as Jewish as a bagel made my Mexicans (currently my favorites). The wife calls me the worst Jew ever.
"What's Purim all about?"
"Oh, right, there's these triangular cookies with jam in the middle..."
"Do the Jews have an afterlife?"
"Uh, maybe? We pretty much concern ourselves with getting our a**es kicked down here."
"How long is passover?"
"Google it-- or ask my Mom."

I look forward to the day when more people of Islamic heritage can safely, publicly identify as being Muslim culturally as opposed to religiously, if that's their choice. Without being apostate. Can I say that? Minefield.
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In the "wish I had asked this at the time department":

Given how the US/UK forces put everyone they thought were terrorists, mostly Sunnis and Saddam's worst cronies, in Camp Bucca, essentially hothousing what became ISIS... then you look at how the Israeli's are essentially imprisoning the Palestinian population, fomenting yet more hatred... and then you hear Bari say what needs to happen is truth and reconciliation, South Africa style, between the two sides, leading to a one state solution...

I wish I had said: "Given the above: South Africa has possibly the world's best constitution, promising real equality (at least in theory). South Africa legalized gay marriage in 2006. What are the chances that a free Palestine will produce this type of progress for humanity?"

No way I would argue against the gates of oppression being thrown open here-- Israel is clearly the bully-- but...
(wow, there sure are a lot of mines in this field...)
What new monster might emerge? If help finally comes to them, they may take it, and what if that long awaited help happens to come from a quarter we in the the west really, really don't like...

Arab is a broad classification, there is variety within western societies. As a student I and other girls were hassled by Saudi policemen who were in the UK for training. I remember thinking what hypocritical pigs they were, chasing after us and yelling, whereas, Jordanians, Lebanese, Kurds and Palestinian students, if they flirted, did so in restrained, entirely 'correct' courtly style. Old fashioned gentlemen. They may have been just as uxorious with their own women, or not, but Palestine has its own vocal, formidable and cultivated spokeswomen.

Don't know about their present or their potential future liberalism in respect of gay marriage. Or that of ultra orthodox Russians or Jewish people, as witnessed, lately.

It's zealotry that's the very devil. Fundamentalism of all kind and any kind. A zealot, a fundamentalist; Christian, Muslim, Jewish...of whatever religious faith, or indeed, secular persuasion, will always produce a justification for destruction.
This takes me back to a wonderful time in my impressionable 15 or maybe 16 years old. We had just arrived back from a tiring 3 week trip in Jordan visiting relatives from Iraq (Jordan was the mutual safe meeting point we doubled up as a holiday). Father decided we needed a holiday from our holiday, as you do, when we arrived back to the UK and randomly chose Amsterdam, Holland, as next victim.

No accommodation booked, just a ferry ride lasting 10 oh so long hours overnight in a cabin separated from half the family. My father and brother bunked up in a male cabin, shared it with the original 'ugly-naked-guy' regularly spotted in Friends sitcom, whilst my mum and I slept in the equivalent for females without the discomfort my father clearly experienced!

I will spare you the troubled but comical details I witnessed of my parents strange way to take their two kids for a blind holiday in Holland...let's ignore the red district shall we that we managed to walk through during a 'let's go for a nice walk in Amsterdam' idea, oh and the use of utensils as a makeshift alarm in the sash windows just because my mum was afraid of burglars coming through..we were on the ground floor after all, she pointed out...and if burglars did come in through unlocked windows, we had the fallen metal clang of cutlery to wake us just in time, if the worse should happen. And the many other bizarre things... no...the main reason I bring this all up is the magical moment I learned something quite special, which my parents imparted unknowingly.

My grandfather's loyal neighbours from Iraq were Jewish and they happened to live in Amsterdam, after Saddam persecuted virtually all of our Jewish heritage from Iraq. My father called the couple up for a nostalgic reunion and to talk of old happier fonder times living in Baghdad. They in turn wanted to take us out to an Iraqi Christian restaurant. So there we were 4 adults and 2 quiet kids. Myself completely in awe of all of this. They were all speaking in their mother tongue; arabic - Iraqi dialect. The Christian Iraqi restaurant owner welcomed us and said 'Salaams', the Jewish Iraqi couple thanked Allah for the reunion, my parents joked and was all merry. And what I learnt was this; in Arabic all religions had one name for God; Allah. Further still the shared culture was far more powerful as a united feeling than I had ever imagined. Living in England never exposed me to this level of unity.

I have never seen religion in the same light again. It is enough to forgive my parents for the hash they made of that bizarre yet impressionable 3 days holiday from our holiday. :)
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How fantastic. Allah/God, quite right. All is One.

And Amsterdam, heeee. We took our teen daughter there, ferry and car. Older one had flown the nest. Younger one was due a bit of European polish and 'eddication', don't ye know.
And she got one, unless what I mean to say is, she already had it. There we were, driving through a quiet area one evening and she shouts from the back of the car, 'Ooh, LOOK! Dad! Mam! There's a prostitute AND a TRANNY!!!'

She was not wrong.
Got it on speed dial.... LAD

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Author under fire for using asian pen name!


A mosquito of an idea