Archive for March, 2009
Over at Pickled Politics a post on Ibrahim Mousawi’s banning includes the following addition from Sunny Hundal:
I look forward to all those people screaming hysterically in support of Wilders now saying something about this too
Sunny Hundal, Pickled Politics, Mousawi barred
Which is a little peculiar. Let’s remind ourselves of the differences between Wilders and Mousawi:
- democrat, Dutch Parliamentarian, non-violent, creator of highly provacative ‘film’ Fitna
- spokesman for terrorists Hezbollah (considered terrorists by the United States, Israel, Canada, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom), who says Jews are a lesion on the forehead of history and who was banned from French television for airing a programme repeating the medieval blood libel against the Jews and quoting extensively from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. He was banned from entering Ireland on security grounds and has been banned from entering the UK.
It’s not immediately obvious that the two have much in common and it’s not easy to see why someone objecting to the ban on a peaceful Dutch Parliamentarian must also be obliged to object to a ban on a spokesman for violent terrorism. The distinction between the two seems to elude Sunny Hundal, who also claims:
The guy doesn’t head up Hezbollah, he edits a newspaper linked to them
Of course, nobody’s claimed Mousawi heads up Hezbollah – but he certainly doesn’t just edit a newspaper. He’s an antisemitic spokesman for a terrorist organisation.
Gollum lookalike Andrew Marr was a terrible choice to replace Melvyn Bragg on BBC Radio 4′s Start the Week. Bragg had begun to develop the show into something close to his later, acclaimed In Our Time – intelligent discussion from a few knowledgeable and interesting experts on all manner of subject and Marr simply wasn’t up to the job of replacing him.
Now Marr is presenting a BBC TV series on Darwin, called Darwin’s Dangerous Idea (a title lifted from Dan Dennett) and he writes on the BBC website:
I believe Darwin was right…Darwinism, as I take it, is a creed of observation…
Whether or not Andrew Marr, an English graduate, ‘believes’ Darwin to have been right shouldn’t detain anyone for long but that sly inclusion of ‘Darwinism’ is troubling. As The New Scientist recently said,
When you come across the terms “Darwinism” or “Darwinists”, take heed. True scientists rarely use these terms, and instead opt for “evolution” and “biologists”, respectively.
I don’t suppose Marr is a Creationist but his language is very peculiar and probably betrays too much time in the company of religious literalists of one stripe or another. And ‘Darwinism’ – or the fact that species have evolved through the processes of natural selection – is not a creed – which Marr should know is ‘a formal statement of religious belief; a confession of faith‘. It isn’t a creed literally and the metaphorical use is false in its implication.
But Marr goes on to say
However we celebrate the old man, we mustn’t let his work crust into creed or harden to dogma.
Well I wasn’t going to do that and I don’t know anyone else who was either but of course Marr, just a few paragraphs before, has already claimed he sees Darwin’s work as a creed, the very thing he now pretends to be warning us about. Marr is inventing a problem that doesn’t exist presumably in a misguided but typically BBC-ish effort to appear even-handed when there simply are not two sides and there is no debate. The only people clinging to dogma and creeds are religious people and Marr knows that’s true.