Friday, February 11, 2011

The ignorance, immaturity and hypocrisy of Mehdi Hasan

Polemic: controversial discussion; verbal or written attack, esp. on a political opponent (OED).

His Grace has had one or two blogging and twitter run-ins with Mehdi Hasan, the self-styled professional polemicist who writes under the guise of the New Statesman’s Senior Editor (politics). But it was only on last night’s Question Time that it became apparent to His Grace just how unpleasant, ignorant and utterly hypocritical the man is.

Pitching Mr Hasan against Douglas Murray (who appears to have had a falling out with Telegraph Blogs) was always going to have Question Time devotees reaching for the popcorn, and the dog-fight did not disappoint. But the manner of it was quite revealing. In the blue corner was Douglas Murray, who retained throughout a calm, professional, detached demeanour; he manifested an eloquent and erudite authority and was throughout in firm possession of his facts. In the red corner was Mehdi Hasan, who puffed and pouted, heaving and sighing with the tantrum temperament of a hormonal teenager. He shouted, bullied and rudely interrupted without any sense of propriety, and seemed quite incapable of listening to any thesis which conflicted with his preconceived absolutist view of the world.

Polemics have a place in political discourse, but the cultivation of controversy for its own sake is puerile.

He naturally jumped on the bandwagon, as Douglas Murray pointed out, of equating David Cameron’s Munich speech with a BNP narrative, quite disgusted that even that spawn of Satan Nick Griffin should find the speech ‘provocative’. What, he demanded, does this tell you about the ‘extreme right’ inclinations of our Prime Minister?

It’s a pity that Douglas Murray did not riposte with the damning correlation: what if Islamist extremists who seek to bomb us all to kingdom come find succour in the Islamic narrative of Mehdi Hasan? For they surely will, and they don’t need to read between the lines to do it. What does that tell us about the New Statesman’s Senior Editor (politics)?

No doubt he would splutter that this was a racist slur and an insult to Islam, quite unable to see the hypocrisy of his self-defence.

But His Grace would like to focus on one issue that Douglas Murray raised, and Mehdi Hasan swiped aside with such an absolute denial and vehement repudiation that one has to question how much he knows or any longer understands of the British Asian community, on whose behalf he purports to speak so authoritatively.

Mr Murray brought up the thorny issue of forced marriages, and mentioned 16-year-old girls who were carted off to Pakistan, never to be heard of again. Mr Hasan asserted that this takes place in no community at all: it is a myth, undoubtedly racist, propagated by neo-cons like Murray in order to bolster his Islamophobic obsession.

Douglas Murray was wrong, but on one point only: it is not only 16-year-old girls who are packed off to Pakistan to marry, but boys as well. And not only is it Muslims to Pakistan, but Hindus and Sikhs to the Panjab and environs. And if Mehdi Hasan takes issues with the concept of ‘forced’ marriage, he has absolutely no understanding of how some Asian families ‘assist’ their children to marry, and make it quite clear that if this ‘assistance’ is rejected, all hell will break loose. Perhaps Mr Hasan has never seen teenage girls weeping every day; the highly intelligent and intellectually-gifted potential doctors and lawyers who suddenly become sullen and withdrawn, almost overnight, because they have been told by their fathers, grandfathers, uncles and elder brothers that they must put all this nonsense out of their heads, for this is men’s business. She must marry, and here are four faces from whom she must choose. And if she does not, she will be beaten, and beaten, and beaten, and withdrawn from school and denied access to her friends. She will obey.

This is, for a great many Asian children, the reality of ‘assisted marriage’.

Not all, of course. Before Mehdi Hasan jumps upon this as a ‘bigoted’ and ‘racist’ rant (as he will anyway), there are thousands who have integrated and perfectly understand the meaning of liberty and equality. By Mehdi Hasan rejected last night that this practice takes place within any community in Britain: his ignorance is astonishing.

But doubtless he will say call the police and inform social services. And they are called and they are informed. But the family closes ranks and denies all knowledge of the allegations. And when the child is interviewed, he or she also denies that they are being forced to do anything.

Knowing, full well, that if they were to say otherwise, the offer of a room in a safe hostel would offer no security or safety at all.

And so the police withdraw, sensitive to the fact they are ‘institutionally racist’ and ought not to be seen to interfere in private matters of 'cultural diversity'. And social services say they will monitor, but they are powerless from the moment the child is despatched to Pakistan or India.

‘Honour killings’ are not a myth, Mr Hasan. You appear not to know that Asian girls – Muslim, Sikh and Hindu – sometimes find their lives cruelly curtailed because they refuse the ‘assistance’ of their families and the 'spiritual guidance' of their wider communities in the finding of a ‘suitable’ partner. Of course the police can then arrest the perpetrators of these horrors for murder, but it is too late for the girl.

Just as the Prime Minister seeks to end extremist acts of violence by tackling the Islamist ideology which state-multiculturalism has permitted to thrive, so ‘honour killings’ must be ended by confronting all the fluffy-sounding euphemisms for ‘forced marriage’. Be polemical, by all means, Mr Hasan. But when your blanket denials and crass repudiations facilitate child abuse, you might consider that a greater good might come of growing up and doing the job of a professional political editor.


Blogger Fenrir said...

How dare you gainsay the omniscient Mehdi Hassan? He knows everything about everything and is beyond reproach or challenge.

11 February 2011 at 10:15  
Anonymous Trencherbone said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11 February 2011 at 10:17  
Anonymous bluedog said...

Your Grace

Wasn't a Harry Potter starlet of sub-continental Muslim descent threatened with death recently by her brother and father? Tough love indeed. Your communicant recalls that the lass went out on a date with a Hindu.

Was this uncident raised? If not, what a pity. It highlights the medieval mindset that still treats women as chattels.

11 February 2011 at 10:27  
Blogger Maturecheese said...

Mehdi Hasan is a very annoying rude example of the over tolerance that we show in this country. Just about every time he opens his mouth, he spouts leftish Islamic rubbish. I find it difficult to remain calm whenever I hear the likes of him.

As for QT, I long for the day when they not only have a balanced panel but a balanced representative audience. Notice that all heckling comes from the left whereas if anybody from the audience tried to challenge the likes of Hasan, they would immediately be branded with a host of isms of phobics.

I was going to add another couple of paragraphs of rants:), but I have a habit of going off topic so I have spared you this time.

11 February 2011 at 10:30  
Anonymous Charles Crawford said...

A very important post.

I once had a long talk with a woman Labour MP about abuse of Muslim women by Muslim men in her constituency. The women would not agree to take things to court lest they be murdered. Her fellow Labour MPs refused to touch the issue - too explosive. The former local Conservative MP had had an affable relationship with Muslim 'community leaders' - all men - and likewise would not take up the problem.

At the heart of multiculturalism is an explicit attempt to deny liberal values. And when the racket is exposed, their only (but not ineffective) weapon is angry bluster.

Well done David Cameron for opening the issue so bluntly

11 February 2011 at 10:35  
Anonymous Not my usual moniker said...

Next he'll be telling you that children aren't taken out of school (without permission) for months at a time to go on their hajj. Or that the reason they can get so many children to sit through boring koran recitations at the madras' every night isn't to do with the corporal punishment meted out. Or the reason there are so many deformities amongst the asian community is because of them being sent of to their ancestral village to marry their cousins. [In our naivety, we didn't at first understand why - upon moving to our particular area of West Yorkshire - the pre-natal checks included the question "Is your husband related to you in any way other than by marriage?]

11 February 2011 at 10:44  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is because westernisation of their women and children is what they fear the most.
They fear the loss of control.

11 February 2011 at 11:31  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We're all animals apparently.....

11 February 2011 at 11:48  
Blogger English Viking said...

Does anybody believe that Cameron will do ANYTHING meaningful to reverse the colonisation of the nation and the subjugation of the indigenous cultures and laws?

This is the man who claims 'Not for the first time, I found myself thinking that it is mainstream Britain which needs to integrate more with the British Asian way of life, not the other way around'.


Do people really forget so quickly, or are they so desperate to believe that an improvement can be made that they are willing to deliberately blind themselves from what appears to me to be a self-evident truth? Cameron is a liar, who has broken his word on more than one occasion, who says what his audience wants to hear and then does whatever HE likes, regardless of the will of the people.

I cannot see the attraction of such an odious man, especially to Christians.

11 February 2011 at 11:49  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not my usual moniker said...
Next he'll be telling you that children aren't taken out of school (without permission) for months at a time to go on their hajj......

Quite! And no mention of only Halal slaugtered meat being served in British institutions.

Or Muslim only swimming sessions.

The list goes on and on, yet Medhi Hasan thinks to talk about these things is racist.

11 February 2011 at 12:08  
Anonymous John Thomas said...

The far Left and Islamiscism are natural bedfellows, and there have actually been formal agreements between some far left parties and jihadists.
Justifying mistreatment and killing? Is that allowed? Oh, yes, of course ... he's Left wing, so that's alright, isn't it?

11 February 2011 at 13:20  
Blogger Pierre_Picaud said...

I was particularly struck by the Indian gentleman in the audience who spoke with eloquent agreement of Mr Cameron, and was the only person to rightly identify the source of religiously motivated violence. (those in religious schools who abuse Britain's tolerance)

Mr Hasan's reply? "Rubbish!" Although he gave no counter argument or assertion. He just stated "rubbish" because this has clearly always worked for him when his interlocutor has been white; but in this case he was not, it was very telling.

11 February 2011 at 13:51  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

She will obey.

It is difficult to see how she can do anything but obey. Islam is entirely clear that men have authority over women and that women must obey them. David Cameron hopes that his Munich speech will move Britain to a post-multicultural era of common British values but if one of those values is the equality of the sexes, Islam will either have to seek a dispensation or it will have to repudiate the very word of Allah, and the plain fact is that Islam cannot reject troublesome verses of the Qur’an in order to make itself compatible with contemporary British life because its core belief is that the Qur’an is the eternal word of Allah.

Islam is incompatible with our way of life.

11 February 2011 at 14:17  
Blogger KINGOFHIGHCS said...

Pierre_Picaud said 11 February 2011 13:51

'I was particularly struck by the Indian gentleman in the audience who spoke with eloquent agreement of Mr Cameron, and was the only person to rightly identify the source of religiously motivated violence.'.

Why was it possible for this Indian gentleman to be the only person in the audience to rightly identify the source of religiously motivated violence...because if a white person had said this, he/she would have been immediately tarnished as a facist, bnp supporter. This is where the madness and intellectual cul-de-sac of multiculturalism has led us.

The fear is almost palpable in QT audiences for someone to speak out in our own country purely because some of us just happen to have white skin.
You could almost see that Hasan wanted someone to question his statement so he could play the racist card.

However I do not believe Cameron is genuine at all about this, he's just too much like Blair.


11 February 2011 at 14:38  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You were obviously watching a different QT from the one I watched, in which Medhi Hasan said that enforced marriage was not denied by anyone. To misunderstand such a basic point leads me to question your whole argument, which it appears is based on nothing but the usual platitudes and supported by commentators spoutng the same tired old cliches.

Please please say something new or at the very least argue on the basis of facts rather than what you want to believe

11 February 2011 at 14:39  
Blogger KINGOFHIGHCS said...

Someone who wants to remain anonymous said 14:39

Cheers, I'll take that as a VERY BIG compliment as you were obviously watching another QT or had your 'Special' Worzel Gummidge head on, the one that lets you hear things not said.
You know, the one that you use regularly to spout your 'I am everyman rubbish'.

Have the guts to put a name under your comments next time.


11 February 2011 at 14:57  
Anonymous Paul said...

The "religion of peace" is not so peaceful or enlightened. People like Hasan will point out Western weaknesses at the drop of a hat and declare you, or I, to be anti-Islam if we criticize their religion. The truth is the truth regardless of how people try to obliterate it. If you have to kill and persecute in the name of your religion, then you have planted the seeds of your own destruction.

11 February 2011 at 15:02  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

Mr Hasan asserted that [forced marriage] takes place in no community at all

Islamic law requires Muslims to be honest, except when it is better to lie:

❛If a praiseworthy aim is attainable through both telling the truth and lying, it is unlawful to accomplish through lying because there is no need for it. When it is possible to achieve such an aim by lying but not by telling the truth, it is permissible to lie if attaining the goal is permissible … and obligatory to lie if the goal is obligatory.❜

Making Britain a Muslim nation is beyond question an obligatory goal so Mehdi Hasan was right to lie because his lie deflected a criticism of Islam.

11 February 2011 at 15:28  
Blogger KINGOFHIGHCS said...

Here is the problem.

Christianity has hardly anything in common with either Islam or Atheism.

Their perceived morality's are based on principles that are NOT within Christianity or can be found in God's Word.

If Islam, based here in this country, was any different from that in Islamic countries, why has none protested about an Afghan Christian who converted from Islam to Christ being saved from being hanged. It's just basic decency but the silence is DEAFENING!

Atheist morals and ethics are based SOLELY on an arbitrary basis and cannot be linked to Christianity as they can be changed or altered by a personal whim or different culture.

Do Not Agree?

How is it that NO Atheistic culture has EVER arrived at the utopia supposedly able to be delivered if ONLY GB would follow it's principles and that fairness for all would naturally follow, if you believe the atheists who comment on this blog? Russia, China etc??

Hence my ignoring all spouting of altruism, goodwill, empathy etc, as they do not exist, as defined by Atheism, as if it's a pure motive (unsullied by supernatural beliefs) that can be found and defined within its Atheology.

No thanks, happy with what I believe in and there is no other alternative for man..However you are FREE in our country to be personally self-deceived if you so wish!


11 February 2011 at 15:33  
Blogger Span Ows said...

Yes bluedog (10:27) the rather lovely Afshan Azad was threatened with death and her brother was gaoled.

It wasn't covered in all the media (you can guess which ones ignored it)

11 February 2011 at 16:23  
Blogger Oliver said...

It is a BNP narrative, but only because the BNP is frantically changing its narrative to keep up with the mainstream Islamophobic Right. Like the Dutch "right-wingers", and like the new, younger FN in France, the BNP is now a pro-gay, pro-Zonist, anti-Islamic party. Not bad for a group whose leader used to pow-wow with Gaddafi and has got into trouble for Holocaust denial!

11 February 2011 at 16:26  
Anonymous jeremy hyatt said...

The Douglas Murray person is a bit of a tiresome little squirt though, it has to be admitted.

11 February 2011 at 16:29  
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11 February 2011 at 17:04  
Blogger kris said...

Medhi's asks what forced marriage has to do with terrorism-

Everything, medhi. Both are about compelling others to submit. That's not just "culture" it's the Koran.

I will not submit.

11 February 2011 at 17:18  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

There are enough of them here to marry without going overseas, its a scam to get more and more into the Country.

I agree YG that some who have embraced our perception of liberty and equality are wonderful and lively people to speak with and share a laugh with.

When I say our perception, I mean in the sence of recognising the vibrant spirit in a fellow human being, not the State imposed variety of equality.

11 February 2011 at 17:34  
Anonymous Oswin said...

Medhi Hasan's bletherings are sadly typical of much muslim debate: 'pish & wind'...

11 February 2011 at 18:35  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hopefully you're all interested in a balanced debate, one in which you get the opposing side's point of view:

Since this entire post and subsequent arguments depend on something that Hasan claims he did not even say, should somebody not check the evidence - the BBC iplayer is only a click away...

12 February 2011 at 08:09  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hasan v. Nick Griffin on Question Time.

Bring it on!

12 February 2011 at 11:33  
Anonymous Elmo said...

I felt the same way watching him on Question Time! Just unbelievable!

12 February 2011 at 12:52  
Anonymous len said...

The whole point of Political Correctness( I assume ) was to protect minorities.
But this weapon of Political Correctness has been turned like a double edged sword upon those who devised it!
The new vocabulary of the P C are words like Islamophobic, Homophobic,which are thrown out to condemn any sort of debate and to accuse the question as being somewhat 'judgemental'(another favourite phrase of the P C).

It is a bit like the footballer 'taking a dive'and screaming 'foul' cynical,but some will resort to these tactics.

12 February 2011 at 17:55  
Anonymous Kieran E said...

I have to admit that Mehdi Hassan's live performances are always profoundly disturbing. He is so self righteous, so preposterously over the top in his indignation, as if by being very angry and to show it he must be correct, that I find it hard to judge the actual points, such as they are, objectively.

He belittles opponents - which is fine to an extent - in such a blinkered fashion and in such an offenseive manner that I literally cannot bring myself to listen to him for too long at a time, and I was perfectly able to sit through the leadership debates of a party I had not voted for in order to hear what they had to say and give them a chance.

Worst of all, he makes me want to rant about how he is a poor debater and unreasonable to the extreme the instant he appears - which I suspect is part of the reason for why he adopts the strategy in the first place.

If he could only bring himself to make his points without the arrogance and belittling, maybe he would be more effective than just preaching to the choir? As it is, when I am trying to consider a position, I know for a fact that I could never rely on Mehdi Hassan for a reasoned view, but if I want biased ranting without a hint of self awareness, he is the man to go to.

15 February 2011 at 21:21  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mehdi Hasan is a little too blame all.

3 March 2011 at 02:02  

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