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← Oh no! "Licentiousness breeds extremism"

Oh no! "Licentiousness breeds extremism" - Comments

JuJu's Avatar Comment 1 by JuJu

Russell, Why don't you let her know how you really feel! Don't hold back!

Tue, 12 Jan 2010 06:32:00 UTC | #431177

beanson's Avatar Comment 2 by beanson

Well written piece Russell but I couldn't care less about this muslim womans personal hang-ups nor what she thinks about western societies supposed decadence. She may be right or wrong about that, I couldn't care less.

What I find strange about the original article is not that she finds western permissiveness morally repugnant (she's a muslim after all!) but that she is blaming it for some cases of muslim radicalisation; with the further implication that we should (en masse) curb our moral backsliding in order not to facilitate these consequences.

This is the recomendation of a cowardly capitulation to the dictates of those islamic fascists who cannot reconcile their primitive belief system with modern society- those who are prepared to murder innocents in order to get their way.

Well, fuck you lady- if you're earnest about looking for clues to explain Islamic violence I suggest concentrating your scrutiny on the perpetrators. Regardless of what individuals think about permissiveness it will always be a duty to disregard craven voices like yours advocating the appeasement of fascism.

Tue, 12 Jan 2010 06:37:00 UTC | #431178

glenister_m's Avatar Comment 3 by glenister_m

Good response to Yasmin's article.

I can relate slightly to Yasmin's culture shock. In some ways the U.K. is a lot more relaxed in its attitudes toward sexuality than Canada, eg. topless page 3 girls in many papers. On the other hand, I don't see that as a bad thing.

As a teacher I disagree with Russell about dress codes at school. Unless you segregate the sexes in some classes (which has been shown to be a good idea, particularly for math/science), relaxing the dress code leads to classroom management issues that make it very difficult to teach and/or the students to learn which is the primary purpose of going to school. Not to mention the potential for disciplinary cases against teachers who may have been looking at a student in shock at what they are wearing, rather than 'checking them out'. (Male teachers are often reluctant to enforce dress code violations because of the 'threat' of a female student claiming they were looking a little too intently or worse).

On a personal note, I regret that I was not a little more relaxed in my attitudes in high school/university. At the time I considered myself a gentleman or taking the moral high ground. In retrospect I was just a prude...

Tue, 12 Jan 2010 06:41:00 UTC | #431179

neander's Avatar Comment 4 by neander

Yes, the moral hypocrisy of the religious. All talk about tolerance; as long as its tolerance of their behaviour. They're very happy to condemn the behaviour of others.
And its not just sexual behaviour, how much of the global anti-drug campaign is really just the religious upset because others get their pleasure at other laces than the altar?

Tue, 12 Jan 2010 06:46:00 UTC | #431180

The_Intangible_Fancy's Avatar Comment 5 by The_Intangible_Fancy

There is one phrase from Ms. Alibhai-Brown's article that caught my attention in particular:

Sexual abuse, rape and forced homosexuality remain the dirty secrets of British Muslim communities

Forced homosexuality? Can anyone explain this to me? If she is talking about rape then she should have just called it rape. Or have I missed some grand homosexual British Muslim conspiracy to force us all to be gay?

I suspect that she was just talking about rape but wanted to sensationalize it (it certainly fits with the over-the-top tone of the article).

Anyway, nice response by Dr. Blackford.

EDIT: blockquote fail...

Tue, 12 Jan 2010 07:06:00 UTC | #431185

Jos Gibbons's Avatar Comment 6 by Jos Gibbons

In addition to Blackford's excellent rebuttal of the anything-but-moderate stance of YA-B, it is worth noting that even the emotionless variation on her thesis RB highlights as better - simply saying that a more sexually permissive society may encourage more terrorist attacks by the Muslims in its midst - doesn't seem to make much sense of the geographical distribution of the 12,000 or so post-911 Islamic terrorist attacks worldwide. How many of those were in the Western World? 10, maybe? Admittedly I haven't done calculations to check the number of terrorist attacks per 1,000,000 Muslim citizens in this time periods in each nation worldwide - maybe the reason the UK has almost never been hit is that it has far fewer Muslims than many a Middle Eastern state - but I'm still unconvinced that such an analysis would support YA-B's conjecture.

Tue, 12 Jan 2010 07:07:00 UTC | #431187

beanson's Avatar Comment 7 by beanson

@ 5. Comment #450074 by The_Intangible_Fancy

yes I wondered about this- on reflection it must be a typographical error, I think it should probably read 'forced hetrosexuality' given that the normative muslim response to gays is murder

Tue, 12 Jan 2010 07:08:00 UTC | #431188

shanrizvi's Avatar Comment 8 by shanrizvi

People just believe what they want to believe. That is why they claim their religion is a tolerant religion of peace even if it seems otherwise. That is why they keep on trying to reconcile science and religion: basically, come up with any argument that can validate their faith. Many Muslims claim that the Quran talks about the Big Bang and several other scientific phenomenon. I doubt it.

I don't think we need to be harsh about it. Differences exist, big deal. People need to recognize that there are different cultures with different ideas, norms and values. If they are so judgmental and unhappy with such a culture, they should stay within their bubble in their own country.

Tue, 12 Jan 2010 07:11:00 UTC | #431189

The_Intangible_Fancy's Avatar Comment 9 by The_Intangible_Fancy


Man, you are fast!

I had also wondered if perhaps it was a typo. If that is the case then hopefully someone will fix it.

Tue, 12 Jan 2010 07:15:00 UTC | #431190

bethe123's Avatar Comment 10 by bethe123

If Yasmin Alibhai-Brown’s claim that licentiousness (whatever that means to her, being a relative term) breeds Islamic extremism is actually true, then she should realize that is actually a statement about Islam, and not about the pros and cons of being “licentiousness“.

Rest assured, the natural impulse of a young man when being exposed to any form of "licentiousness" is not to kill himself in an act of extremism...only the influence of Islam can so twist a young mind as to cause that.

Since she is a Muslim, I hope she feels some guilt and shame over the tragic waste of life…but I doubt it. She would rather place the blame on the victims…and not on the Muslim community. Until Islam has reformed to the extent that extremism is not an honored option -- so that, for example, you don’t believe you will get rivers of honey lined with virgins when you die (how licentiousness is that?) -- the Muslim community -- and Islam -- is to blame, and nobody else.

Tue, 12 Jan 2010 07:16:00 UTC | #431191

helen sotiriadis's Avatar Comment 11 by helen sotiriadis

i'll take this over this any day.

there's nothing more beautiful than understanding and celebrating our minds and bodies.

Tue, 12 Jan 2010 07:20:00 UTC | #431192

sbooder's Avatar Comment 12 by sbooder

I find it funny that the Permissiveness of others as a reason for Islamic violence is usually rewarded (apparently) with sex on a massive scale, i.e. with a certain amount of virgins just waiting for them.

How Permissive is that?

Tue, 12 Jan 2010 07:22:00 UTC | #431193

atp's Avatar Comment 13 by atp

There's a much bigger issue here. What is demonstrated is the incompatibility between islam and western individual freedom.

Individual freedom means the freedom to act in ways that are sin as very sinful by muslims.

This is a threat to any "good" muslims that wants to protect their sons and daughters. And this is a very good motivation to fight against western influence.

I think this is a much more relevant factor causing extremism than the occasionally sexually frustrated young man (there are plenty of those among non-muslims too).

Tue, 12 Jan 2010 07:33:00 UTC | #431195

The_Intangible_Fancy's Avatar Comment 14 by The_Intangible_Fancy

People are so quick to spew outrage over the 'indecent' clothing one finds in modern Western societies. But what about groups in Africa and other warm parts of the world where they often wear even less? Isn't this just as scandalous?

If the topless African women in National Geographic don't stop provoking my lust soon, I may just have to take matters into my own hands. :P

Tue, 12 Jan 2010 07:34:00 UTC | #431196

godsbelow's Avatar Comment 15 by godsbelow

Excellent article, Russell, thank you!

Comment #450074 by The_Intangible_Fancy: 'Forced homosexuality? Can anyone explain this to me?'

Well, think about this: strict muslim men won't touch a woman to whom they are not related/married in public, but they greet each other with a kiss and a hug. And they profess to be disgusted by women's bodies, which they view as unclean, and are offended by women who are NOT covered up from head to toe. Doesn't seem like healthy heterosexual behaviour to me.

Tue, 12 Jan 2010 07:45:00 UTC | #431197

Rodger T's Avatar Comment 16 by Rodger T

Look out , ITF is about to blow.

Tue, 12 Jan 2010 07:46:00 UTC | #431198

JustBusiness's Avatar Comment 18 by JustBusiness

I wonder if the author changed her mind after reading that response... I'm guessing no, but I don't think it was written for her. I on the other hand found it very insightful and I'm glad that it will be archived on the internet for years to come.

Tue, 12 Jan 2010 07:49:00 UTC | #431201

SaintStephen's Avatar Comment 17 by SaintStephen

11. Comment #450082 by toomanytribbles on January 12, 2010 at 7:20 am

There's nothing more beautiful than understanding and celebrating our minds and bodies.

And see? Even the ancient Greeks understood golf swing mechanics. Bring Diskobolos' left hand up to where his right hand is, remove the discus and replace it with a four-iron, turn his head to look down at the ball on the ground and voila... a near-perfect backswing position.

(He might have to don a pair of khaki bermudas, however, to be allowed onto the links. Either that, or play in Southern California.)

Tue, 12 Jan 2010 07:49:00 UTC | #431200

Communist's Avatar Comment 19 by Communist

Here we go again. It's the same old complaining about degeneration. Degeneration becames a problem when people start to listen to those who complain about degeneration. We know who it was that complanined about degeneration in the twenties and thirties.

Tue, 12 Jan 2010 07:53:00 UTC | #431203

prolibertas's Avatar Comment 20 by prolibertas

I thought criticising another's culture was racist. At least that's what many Muslims whinge when Westerners criticise Islamic culture. Why aren't this Muslim woman's babblings considered racist against Western culture?

Very, very good article, Russell.

Tue, 12 Jan 2010 08:00:00 UTC | #431204

Rachel Holmes's Avatar Comment 21 by Rachel Holmes

I think Russell makes an important point here: Western attitudes to sex may look like value-free hedonism to Muslims but, in reality, they represent a different set of values.

I too was puzzled by the "forced homosexuality" phrase. Perhaps she meant that, since women are off limits for unmarried Muslim men, they are "forced" to have sex with each other. This may be true, but I still think the term "forced heterosexuality" is a more accurate description of what happens in Islamic societies.

Tue, 12 Jan 2010 08:01:00 UTC | #431205

weavehole's Avatar Comment 22 by weavehole

Comment #450086 by The_Intangible_Fancy

This is a wonderful post. It shows perfectly that any 'immorality' seen in nudity or in revealing clothing is utterly confined in the mind of the person holding such prudish and frankly stupid views.

People have been writing about the so-called degradation of society and the debauchery of Youth for centuries. Y A-B merely adds an extra element of religious victimhood to the fogey-ist mix.

I hope I die before I get old.

(Metaphorically, obv)

edit If I looked like any of the statues above then I would be strutting around in my pants right now. Snow or no.

Tue, 12 Jan 2010 08:06:00 UTC | #431206

SaintStephen's Avatar Comment 24 by SaintStephen

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown in 1969...

Tue, 12 Jan 2010 08:56:00 UTC | #431209

Peacebeuponme's Avatar Comment 23 by Peacebeuponme

Phones4You or whatever have been banned by the UK Government now.

So the UK is completely free of terrorists once again.

Tue, 12 Jan 2010 08:56:00 UTC | #431208

Big T's Avatar Comment 25 by Big T

toomanytribbles and Saint Stephen: You people are posting (pictures of) (statues of) NAKED people on line! That's it! I can't take it any more! Me and 'The Intangible Factor' are about to lose control! Everyone who has ever had sex should be killed! Since that's not going to happen, I'll have to blow some people up. Give me some explosives and a detonator! Death to America! And England! And sex! Allahu Akbar!

Tue, 12 Jan 2010 09:16:00 UTC | #431212

SaintStephen's Avatar Comment 26 by SaintStephen

@ Big T:

You should see the red thong underneath Yasmin's demure blue pants suit when she bows toward Mecca.

Tue, 12 Jan 2010 09:24:00 UTC | #431215

carlitoernesto's Avatar Comment 27 by carlitoernesto

Great response to Y A-B who is clearly suffering cognitive pollution, perhaps stemming from her own religion? In the tropics, people used to only 'hide' their genitals -- then the priests & missionaries came in -- bringing forth their own version of malice, prejudice, perversions & diseases to the natives...

Tue, 12 Jan 2010 09:29:00 UTC | #431216

Stafford Gordon's Avatar Comment 28 by Stafford Gordon

Excellent article.

"It's enjoyable all round except for the minority of of prudes and putitans - but the latter don't get to dictate what everyone else does."

Not yet they don't - but give them half a chance.

Our daughters are both at University - Trinity College Cambridge and Imperial College London - and they dress beautifully - as does their mother; they dress as they choose thank you!!!

Tue, 12 Jan 2010 10:23:00 UTC | #431223

Ivan The Not So Bad's Avatar Comment 29 by Ivan The Not So Bad


With all due respect to your blog and this site, the best place for this article is on the desk of the editor of the Independent along with a suggestion that he publishes it as a response to Alibhai-Brown.

Teach the controversy, as it were.

Tue, 12 Jan 2010 10:28:00 UTC | #431224

Sigmund's Avatar Comment 30 by Sigmund

In the past few years the vast majority of victims of fundamentalist sunni Islam came from one particular target group - shia muslims - a group not noted for their participation in club 18-30 events.
When I read Alibhia-Browns piece I wondered why the image of women in modern society seemed so familiar to me and then I suddenly remembered this news piece from The Onion;

Perhaps she thought it was real?

Tue, 12 Jan 2010 10:43:00 UTC | #431226