This article is the final narrative of an exchange I had recently with a Migrant Tales’ commentator who goes under the handle of Elven the Archer. If you have read his very many comments on the Migrant Tales article “Why are Finland’s politicians still so silent?”, I think you will already be aware of his religious bigotry in regard to Muslims.
What interested me was how to keep track of his many diversions and meanderings in defending himself against the charge of bigotry, even while displaying a horrific lack of respect for the universal human rights of Muslim individuals. It is certainly an interesting case study in the bare-faced denial of bigotry of an obvious Islamaphobe. Here is that narrative as told from my point of view.
It all began when Elven posted this:
The Muslim population multiplied 10 times faster than the rest of society, the research by the Office for National Statistics [UK] done during the period of 2004-2008 reveals.”
In very strong terms, I denounced the use of these statistics in the context of an argument against Muslim immigration to Europe as “utter bigotry”. Elven then claimed (as many other bigots do) that because it was a fact, it could not possibly be bigotry.
What about the national office that produced the study? Are they bigots too in there? And that professor of demographics studies, is he too an utter bigot?
And later, this arrogant little quip:
Show me the error [in the fact] and so stop squirming. It is as simple as that.
Elven then went on to argue that in the context of this thread, the figures were relevant. However, Elven did NOT introduce the figures in a debate on demographics. He introduced the figures in a long post that was making the case for barring Islamic immigrants to Europe on the grounds of their apparent negative characteristics. His words quoted below are sarcastic, as is often his style.
Not even when almost 40 % of the so called modern western muslims in Britain want religious laws. Obviously they are integrating so well and hey, just look at the islamic countries, you can’t find problems at all with islam. They are quite paradises on earth (just a few bad governments here or there, but the values of the people are just about right, right?), no human rights violations, no hatred against sexual minorities, no problems with women being not equal and so forth.
and in the same post:
That is mixing people with very different core values.
And finished it off with a further heavily sarcastic comment:
It doesn’t shape the UK in an unwanted way but instead it just makes the country better, more multiculturalist?
Interestingly, in later posts he tried to defend these statements and subsequent additional negative slurs on Muslims by saying:
I simply presented some statistics about the problems. I didn’t say why was that, why was the higher crime rate. You can take it however you want it. But as long as I don’t make such a claim [Muslims are more criminal] you can’t put words into my mouth.
This is a very weak defence given that the absolute thrust of his argument is that Muslims are just not good enough to live with native Europeans.
So, in trying to show Elven the Archer the error of his bigoted ways, I asked Elven to respond to a hypothetical scenario:
It’s a fact that the German’s murdered 6 million Jews. However, if a German arrived at a job interview and upon sitting down opposite the interviewers was immediately presented with this fact, would you regard it as a kind of bigotry?
Elven squirmed, as he does, and after much procrastination and irrelevant posting, he finally answered:
I continued to elaborate the example by rephrasing this ‘yes’ into a general principle and asked Elven if he also agreed with this:
So, from this it also follows that people can state completely factual things and yet that statement, because of the context, is clearly bigotry?”
After dodging this question THREE times, Elven gave something almost approaching an answer:
Stating a fact about a waaaaaay different context can be some kind of bigotry.
When challenged further about this, he added:
The number of immigrants are not out the context when the context is the immigration.
However, Elven is deflecting attention away from the fact it was not the numbers, but the multiplying numbers of Muslims immigrants specifically that was the salient point of his quote. Together with his earlier stated stance that Muslim immigrants should not be allowed into Europe, he was clearly offering up what he thought were justifications for why Muslims should be refused entry. The true context is therefore not simply a discussion about the number of Muslims in the UK, but the justifications for a policy that would see individual Muslims told they cannot enter Europe because they are Muslim.
Thus far, I had demonstrated that it is clearly POSSIBLE for a factual statement to be used as a weapon of bigotry, even though the CONTENT of that statement was completely factual and itself did not have any racist element. Elven had indeed finally agreed that the example of the German job candidate was bigotry, though he did qualify this agreement somewhat:
Yes, because the person even wasn’t alive when the shit happened.
I interpreted this as trying to blur the logic that describes bigotry. However, in this case, the conditions he calls on are easily falsified. There were Germans from that time who were not responsible for the Holocaust or the Nazis coming to power and it would have been wrong to make them directly responsible. Also, Elven forgets that many Germans fought against the Nazis. With this in mind, it’s clear that one cannot leverage extreme Islam to justify wholesale bigotry.
In Elven’s mind, Muslim’s have equally failed the job interview for the equal right to citizenship in Europe (and Finland) and the reason given is very similar to the person interviewing the German in my example, who simply told a FACT about the Holocaust:
The similarities in the bigotry I think are certainly more than superficial.
Person is German, Holocaust was done by Germans = relevant = excuse for discrimination.
Person is Muslim, horrible things are done by Muslims = relevant = excuse for discrimination.
Returning to Elven’s original comment, it appeared to me that his post implied not just gross religious bigotry, but was also an open call to violate the fundamental human rights of Muslims, i.e. their right to childbirth and their right to freely practice religion. Elven denied this, but the clear intention of presenting his FACT was that Muslims having babies was somehow a threat, and that Muslims practicing their religion was also a threat, and therefore grounds for penalty, that penalty being a ban on Muslim immigrants being allowed to enter Europe. And any penalty imposed arbitrarily on the free exercise of those basic human rights must be considered a violation of those rights.
Considering this point some more, my conclusion is that rather than come out and publicly deny Muslims these freedoms, which would clearly be extremely difficult to defend, he simply advocates NOT allowing them into Europe/Finland, with a collection of negative slurs offered as justification. Problem solved. And no need to suggest that Muslims should not have babies! In collecting his media ‘facts’, he is also well prepared to defend himself against the charge of bigotry on the basis that he is only presenting ‘facts’.
One of the pillars of Elven’s argument has been that Muslims undermine women’s rights (even though these are protected by legislation in the UK and Finland). Of course, like a typical authoritarian young man, he assumes Muslim women cannot fight for their own rights when in Europe. In fact, rather than allowing Muslim women the freedom to come to Europe and have a greater chance of exercising their equal rights, he prefers them to stay in those countries where apparently they have no rights. Elven has a very funny way of trying to promote the rights of women.
Another of Elven’s arguments is that Muslims appear to be more criminal. He denied saying this:
Where did I say that? Nowhere. So you just lied.
However, previously in the thread he had posted this:
“… in France. About 60 to 70 percent of all inmates in the country’s prison system are Muslim, according to Muslim leaders, sociologists and researchers, though Muslims make up only about 12 percent of the country’s population.”
and also this:
“In Britain, 11 percent of prisoners are Muslim in contrast to about 3 percent of all inhabitants, according to the Justice Ministry.
So, draw your own conclusions about what he was actually trying to say about Muslims and crime.
The first thing to be said is that there are various risk factors for crime, and the most documented with evidence is that of poverty. So, if Muslims also happen to be among the poorer members of society (which they are), it would be no surprise that Muslims therefore are overrepresented in crime statistics.
Not only that, but by focusing on their religion, he seems to forget the obvious – crime also breaks the laws of Islam. In other words, blaming the religion seems rather odd when the religion is telling its members very clearly that crime is wrong. Not only that, but breaking the laws of the land in which you live is also forbidden in Islam. Could it be that those committing the crimes are actually not very religious? In which case, blaming the religion for the crime is somewhat disingenuous as well as pointless.
Elven came to this blog, like many others do, as a slogan warrior, but also masquerading as a champion of human rights, and of logic and reason, and yet all the while working incessantly to undermine the human rights of Muslims.
Such bigotry will not go unchallenged on Migrant Tales!