Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Fun Online Polls: Is it racist & countries smaller than Israel.

The results to last week's Fun Online Poll were as follows:

Is it racist if a black British woman tells a woman in a full-face burka to go back to her own country?

Yes - 40%
No - 60%

A good turnout with 126 votes. Thanks to everybody who took part.

I was with the majority on this one.

It is clear that "Jewish" is both a people/race and a religion, and there is a ninety percent overlap between "Hindus" and "Indians", in which case it would be impossible/futile to say whether criticising members of either group simply for being members of that group would be 'religionist' or 'racist'*, but Islam is not a race. It's not even a religion if you ask me, it's an inferiority complex/massive grudge against 'everybody else'.

* Unless somebody could show that he dislikes all Indians equally, be they Hindu, Sikh, Christian or Muslim. That would just be racist but at least no religious prejudice involved.
Just for fun, this week let's have a geography/general knowledge quiz: "Which of the following has a smaller surface area than Israel?".

Vote here or use the widget in the sidebar.


DBC Reed said...

Ridiculous to say Islam is not a great world religion; this is maybe part of the problem seeing that religions seem to be a constant source of ill-will.
Also Islam has a great anti-usury tradition,like Christendom once had,
so it could play a part in the debate about Banks creating money and charging interest for it.Not sure that Islamic mortgages are much help though.

DBC Reed said...

Islam has a long land tax tradition which was once pretty pernicious as it only applied to non-Muslims in their jurisdictions.Now, the attitude is a bit less sectarian!
On the big political issues Islam is potentially more onside than Christianity IMO.

mombers said...

Writing Islam off isn't sensible IMHO - it's 1.5bn people, with a huge range of modernity / freedom. Much like other religions

Anonymous said...

Ages ago I was read an article about three different ways of handling the anti-usury rule in Islamic banking. Two were obvious cheats of the rule (which were, of course, the commonly used methods), but there was a third that looked *very* interesting. The next time I wanted to look at it in more detail I couldn't find the article again. It's frustrated me ever since.

Bayard said...

F, AFAIK, with an Islamic mortgage, the bank buys the house and rents it to you. You buy it off the bank by instalments, so as their share of the freehold reduces, so does the rent they charge you. With business loans, the bank buys part of your business and therefore take part of the profits instead of interest. Obviously, if you go bust, you don't owe the bank anything, unlike with a conventional loan.

If that is right, it is a better system than the one we operate.

Mark Wadsworth said...

DBC, Islam is not all bad - they don't like dogs, gambling or charging interest. The rest of it is a load of shit though, and any sensible atheist can tell that dogs, gambling and usury/private collection of land rents are bad things. As is suicide bombing, flogging, amputations, oppression of women and an alcohol ban (in no particular order).

M, at the very margins - Indonesia and Turkey - Islamic countries are as civilised as we are. It's just just the further in you go, the worse it gets.

F, B, I really ought to do a post about a non-interest based financial system. It's not actually that difficult to achieve. Surprisingly, we can draw some inspiration from religion (e.g. Jewish debt Jubilees etc).

George Carty said...

Bayard, an important point about Islamic mortgages is that there is no risk of negative equity: if the price of the house falls, the occupier can only lose on that part of the equity that has already been accrued (with the rest of the loss borne by the bank).

David Collyer even suggested that dissuading homebuyers from using Islamic-style financing (and thus ensuring that the big property owners have a human shield of recent home-buyers fearful of negative equity) may have been one of the reasons for the introduction of stamp duty in the first place (as buyers using an Islamic mortgage would have to pay twice).

It would also explain why Gordon Brown felt comfortable abolishing double stamp duty on Islamic mortgages in 2003: it was a way to assuage Muslim anger over the Iraq invasion, and there was no chance (given how house prices were zooming up at the time) that large numbers of non-Muslim homebuyers would embrace Islamic financing (because they would miss out on the capital gains which would go instead to the bank).

George Carty said...

Telling a woman in a niqab (in Britain it would be extremely unlikely to be an actual burqa, as they are rare outside of Afghanistan and neighbouring regions of Pakistan) to "go back to her own country" kinda makes an assumption that she is an immigrant (and is therefore bigotry).

What if she were a white British convert (converts are often more zealous than people born into a religion)?