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Friday, 30 March 2007
Re: Keep The Focus Where It Belongs

Do I detect a slight 'homophobia?'"-- from a reader commenting on this post

Not from me, in the slightest, though the word "homophobia" itself is one I would not use. I was making another point: that Muslim lesbians, or Muslim women, or Muslim anything, whose situation is intolerable under Islam, should not be given undue or confused attention, and Infidels hail this or that possible victory -- that for them, the Infidels, may mean nothing.

I don't think homosexuality will be openly tolerated in Muslim societies even though it is furtively tolerated. But if it were, would that imply less of a menace for Infidels? If Islam is made safe for Irshad Manji, does that make it safe for Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, atheists and all others? No.

I was thinking not so much of the Muslim intolerance of homosexuality (see Peter Titchell, in England), but about the Problem of Muslim Women, which has become an industry. Think of the number of books and seminars and courses about "Women in Islam." That strikes me as a topic that, while seeming to recognize a problem in Islam, may too easily satisfy some. What if the lot of Muslim women improves?

There's a lot of breathless talk about that happening, and a lot of silly articles, like the one the other day in The Times about some Iranian-American who has taken it upon herself, having as an adult "accepted Islam" (apparently she was not raised as a Muslim), and having read the Qur'an and been horrified by verses about women, to translate it and somehow think she can get away with simply interpreting away, by omission, the verses damaging to women -- my god, with the Qur'an, the Uncreated and Immutable Qur'an that is the Literal word of God, this lady thinks she can do that, and what's more, have it accepted by more than a dozen or two Muslims, with many of the rest ardently desiring her death. This is the kind of thing that distracts the attention of the kind of people who both write for The Times, or read The Times uncritically, and think that yes, indeed, why not simply rewrite the Qur'an in order to quickly get that little matter of "reforming" Islam out of the way, and do it in the next decade or two.

Many Muslim "feminists" are more Muslim than feminists, and are quite good at sensing attacks on Islam and immediately coming to its defense, even if it means abandonment or betrayal of their so-called "feminism."

That was, in the main, what I was discussing.

And my point about the meeting of Arab (come to think of it, were they Muslims? Might they have been Christian Arabs?) lesbians in Israel, was that they might both be enjoying the tolerance of an advanced Western society, that of Israel, and yet still be unable to make the connection between Islam and intolerance, Islam and fear, and maintain their loyalty to that belief-system, and even keep intact the hostility, or even hatred, for Infidels that Islam so obviously inculcates (and some Muslims, just as obviously, may ignore -- that is, may be "bad" Muslims).

Homosexuality was not really the theme, not even tangentially. And I reject utterly your suggestion -- thus coming, by a commodious vicus, in the last sentence of this posting, right back to the first one, with which the present discussion began.

Posted on 03/30/2007 7:12 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
30 Mar 2007
Send an emailReactionry
In the unlikely event that some of the other readers missed some of the other rhyming slang(before today I was only familiar with "Bristols" because it has been used by John Derbyshire), "loaf of bread" is Cockney for "head."
As to "struggle and grunt" and "Berkshire hunt" said readers are referred to Clare's Niece, a film inspired by Eric Roehmer which deals with English families which have converted to Islam.  It's not much of a spoiler to note that Clare's niece marries Clare's son and that it ends with Clare's niece saying, "See you, Auntie!"
And please excuse my pork pies -"John Thomas" is a euphemism used by a condom-touting rotten Prot in Monty Python's Meaning of Life.  That bit was preceded by a grisly tableau of a Catholic family which was prone to over-breeding and which reminds one of the classic[i.e. not mine]:
There was a young girl who begat
Three brats, by name Nat, Pat, and Tat.
It was fun in the breeding
But hell in the feeding,
When she found there was no tit for Tat.

With respect to Worcestershire-sorry, but like this post, and unlike A-1 Steak Sauce, "it's [not] that important." 

30 Mar 2007
Hugh Fitzgerald

Tit for Tat, or Tit for Twat. What you will, or the word well lost.

If our errors have offended,

Think but this, and all is mended.

Every wise man's son doth know.


30 Mar 2007
Send an emailMary Jackson

The name started off as Twatchell. I thought this was a typo as it's too British and not refined enough for one of Hugh's jokes, but now he's changed it to Titchell I'm not so sure.

I think I've got everything covered.

Mr Tatchell likes an outing, but not to the country. When in town he likes to have a ball.

30 Mar 2007
Send an emailPaul Blaskowicz

"I was thinking not so much of the Muslim intolerance of homosexuality (see Peter Titchell, in England)[...]"

Pity theQueers for Palestine  don't send a delegation over to Nablus to check out the situation for queers in Palestine.

Mary Jackson:

"From Bristol? Not a country gentleman anyway."
Sounds like a crossword clue.
Hugh:  Titchell should be Tatchell.  Bristol  (City) is cockney rhyming slang for boobs.
I remember a line from song of Sophie Tucker 's - last of the red hot mommas  - complaining about her "daddy" (man friend) treating her bad:  I believe in tit for tat. That's the motto by which I live. (And I expect a hellova lot of tat for what I've got to give).

30 Mar 2007
Send an emailReactionry
I suppose that if they had made their protests in the European fashion, which is to say: naked,* the uncouth and the leering would have called them "gay birds." Submitted for your disapproval, a piece by Edward Thomas' brother, John:
"And for that minute did a jaybird* grunt, 
And struggle, and round her, mistier,
Saucier and saucier, on the hunt
In old Berkshire and Worcestershire"
I have trouble wrapping my brain around this Cockney rhyming slang, and it wouldn't cut it, no matter how you slice it, to observe that if MJ were to pull her aforementioned companion, l'eminence matiere grise, out of her purse while seated at a pub in Israel, only to discover that she had left one hemisphere at home, she could console herself with the thought that Haifa loaf is better than no head at all.


30 Mar 2007
Send an emailMary Jackson

From Bristol? Not a country gentleman anyway.