Thursday, 24 February 2011

How To Avoid Debating An Issue

I've been unable to post for a week or two and so there are a few issues I would like to backtrack on. I'm going to do a more fuller post on it in a second, but a few weeks ago we had the misfortune of watching Mehdi Hasan on Question Time who made use of a particularly nefarious verbal device I've seen deployed quite a few times since David Cameron's speech in Munich. This tactic allows one to dismiss the entire message of Cameron's speech without actually addressing any of the content of what was said, any of the arguments used or any damn thing from the speech itself. Instead of actually calling David Cameron a racist or actually contesting something he said, this involves referring to the fact that some far-right groups may have agreed with some of what the speech contained.

The obvious implication of this, is that if Nick Griffin agrees with something or part of something it is automatically wrong and racist to even imply such a thing in the first place. This is very similar to the 'Reductio ad Hitlerum' we hear everyday in the YouTube comments section by 10 year olds. By this logic anyone that is a vegetarian or a lover of animals is automatically a racist, because Hitler was those things. While I appreciate that Question Time has a very 'soundbitey' format that does not allow a lot of time to develop one's arguments, this truly is the lowest and most juvenile form of argument. Right up Mehdi Hasan's street you may think as the petulant little teenager continues to interrupt, belittle and pull stupid faces while other people are speaking, every time that he is invited onto the show.

Let's take his logic and apply it to some of the things he has said on Question Time shall we? I remember when I saw the ghastly man on his first QT appearance and he was belittling the Lib Dems for joining in a coalition with the Conservatives and criticising their cuts has been a running them of his appearances in public media. Well. Who else do we know that opposes the Coalition's cuts? I know! The Communist Party of Britain is certainly not a fan of rolling back the state. Does anyone, including Hasan and his large selection of New Statesman 'groupies' (all certified Islamophiles), really think it would be relevant or fair of me or anyone else to mention this after Hasan has criticised the cuts and by extension accuse him of being a communist because they vaguely share his views?

Let's go one step further. Now when he isn't whining that the non-Muslims of Britain don't essentially bow down five times a day and worship the almighty Allah and agree with everything that Muslims say and believe, he's complaining that people too often associate Islam and Muslims with terrorism. But wait! By quickly googling Hasan's name and the word Israel, I find a piece written by him dated 28 December 2010 criticising the Israeli blockade of Gaza. Who else do we know that does not like Israel's policy towards Gaza? That's right, Hamas! And we all know that if Hamas are agreeing with some of what you are saying, you know you've got a problem, right Mehdi?

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