Friday, December 19, 2008

Why not simply avoid importing people from backward countries? Problem goes away by itself...

Just been reading an article in the Dec 20-26 Listener about whether it's unreasonable for Western countries to get tough on Muslim immigrants' medieval concepts of sex and gender (that's not quite how the Listener phrased it, but you get the idea - usual stuff about whether we really ought to tell Muslim women they can't wear a burqa in a Western country). It reminded me of another story I read this year in the Guardian, in which a Muslim woman bleated about how rude Brits were to one of her relatives when she went out walking in her ridiculous black tent.

Unsurprisingly, I have a view on that and am about to blather on at you about it, but first up a disclaimer:

women in Western countries have an absolute right to wear whatever the hell they feel like wearing, so fuck you if you have a problem with that.

But with that necessary disclaimer out of the way, lest we get all dewy-eyed at the fact that the occasional Westerner fails to meet the level of disinterest in others' sartorial or religious practices that their civilisation expects of them, let me offer you some observations from the other side of the coin - ie, the experiences of a Westerner living in a conservative Muslim country:

1. Women are of course allowed to wear a burqa, but the list of perfectly ordinary Western clobber they'd better not wear in public if they don't want serious trouble is rather long.

2. Men have a somewhat less extensive list, eg you'd better not wear shorts, or a tank top, and you won't take your shirt off completely unless you'd like somebody to give you a thorough beating (actually I can sympathise with that one), and so on.

3. Men should wear no jewellery beyond a watch and a wedding ring. The time I was involved in a minor car accident and had to visit the Police station, one of the kindlier cops pointed out to me that wearing finger and earrings was simply wrong, and could lead to acts of violence against me, including rape (because, after all, how were other men meant to interpret earrings on a man, if not as "Come and get me big boy, I take it up the arse?")

4. It is perfectly reasonable for a Westerner to be a Christian, as long as he doesn't express anything to a Muslim that could be interpreted as encouraging said Muslim also to become a Christian. That kind of behaviour could get a Christian a deportation order or even a good beating. Agitating for the right to import Bibles or build churches will also be viewed by locals as an attack on their culture.

5. It may be perfectly reasonable to be a Christian, but a Westerner in a Muslim country should under no circumstances admit to being an atheist. This insult to God and declaration of depravity is so far from reasonable that no-one hearing it could be expected to be excuse it. In Western terms, it would be like announcing to your colleagues that Hitler was right and the only useful Yid is one that's been turned into soap. Muslims generally have got the message these days that lots of Westerners simply don't believe in God, but they generally will do you the favour of not counting you among this contemptible number unless you leave them no alternative. Here's a tip: leave them an alternative.

6. The man is the boss. If you're a woman, your husband is your boss, or if you don't have one of those, your oldest currently present adult male relative is your boss. Attempts by Western couples to maintain some pretence of equality will be ignored by officialdom and ridiculed by casual observers.

7. Local women are not to be approached, spoken to or anything else by scumbag male foreigners, unless scumbag male foreigner wants to have a sudden and fatal "accident."

8. Local laws will reflect Muslim practice, eg in the country I was living in, alcohol was banned, pork products of any kind were banned, public displays of affection were banned (hmm, some sympathy there too, actually) and smoking, drinking or eating in public during fasting times in Ramadan would get you arrested.

So, how much bleating do you think us Whiteys did about these "features" of life in the Middle East? Er, well, to each other, shitloads - whinge the hind leg off a donkey, we could. But to our hosts? Not a sausage. Because, if we did, the response would quite justifiably be as follows:

"Fuck off - this is a Muslim country. If you don't like it, go back where you came from."

Which we all do, eventually.

On the same basis, I tend to have sympathy approximating to 0 for Muslims who want to bleat about their treatment in Western countries. Fuck off - this is a secular country. If you don't like it, go back where you came from.

And yet they don't...


Anonymous said...

So how many big boys did you meet?

Psycho Milt said...

None, but I was reasonably safe from sending Arab bumboys the wrong message because I was working on an American base. In a marvellous stroke of irony, I was also banned from wearing earrings there, on the basis that it gave an "unmilitary" appearance - me being a civilian notwithstanding.

WAKE UP said...

Thanks for this one Milt; while you've written it in high good humour (dare I say "Christmas spirit"? :), it's as serious a topic as it comes.


"Just been reading an article in the Dec 20-26 Listener about whether it's unreasonable for Western countries to get tough on Muslim immigrants' medieval concepts of sex and gender"

* Ah yes, the dear old Listener, where everything is an intellectual exercise and nothing is real. I read the same article - they don't actually want any real answers, and I can hear the sympathetic quill pens being sharpened already.

"It may be perfectly reasonable to be a Christian, but a Westerner in a Muslim country should under no circumstances admit to being an atheist."

* This is where it begins - the basic lunacy of religious belief - and until we address the problem at that root level, all we'll get is continuing should-the-burqa-be-allowed wooftering a la Listener. Meantime, buildings burn and people blow up.


Never mind the specifics (which belief, what do you believe, yadda yadda), it's actually dead simple: if we (the West) are a bunch of Christians - or, worse, godless atheists - why are these obsessed lunatics flocking to live here?

The question every last one of them should be asked before granted entry is: do you REALLY understand why the West is a better place to live?

I'll guarantee you that not one of them will say "because you don't think and act like Muslims".

Kiwiradar said...

All very true along with the pretty rigid racial hierarchies too (Gulf Arabs on top etc)
Even Dubai (often treated as a later day Raj by the ex-pat "Jumeirah Janes") runs along these lines.
A mate of mine who was in business throughout the Gulf took a while to get used to the hand holding and kissing in all male settings including business meetings.
The Jewelery thing is funny too, you can quite literally see over a million dollars on display between the sunglasses, fountain pen, cell phone, wrist watch and shoes!
We were given the "atheist" warning too but many Muslims are keen to talk religion.
But as you say "when in Rome..." and too many Westerners make the mistake of thinking Western culture really is universal

Lou Taylor said...

Good post Milt.The western world may be finally waking up to the truth. I fear that for Europe the alarm is going off 10 years too late.

As for the Listener. 30 years ago one of my "trendy" teachers recommended it as the best journalism in NZ. With a recommendation like that, I have never read one to this day.

insh'allah said...

Sounds to me like you were in Riyadh, same place I was except I was working for an Arab - Shaikh Juffali (a very nice man).

Western women there had it rough back in the 70s, having to be covered from neck to wrists and ankles, but today they have to cover their hair as well it seems!

An interesting few years, and definitely a great financial leap forward in those days (paid cash for a house and 2 cars when we came back), but not for the long haul.

If anyone fancies a stint there, make sure you're married to a Nurse and get her to get a job once you are both there. Most nurses are on 'single person contracts' and can't get out of the hospital compounds as they don't have a man to 'manage' them in public. I used to take the company bus to the nurses residence and fill it up - the girls, as well as the single guys on the BAC base,used to enjoy a 'quiet family dinner' with the senior charge nurse (my wife) and me!!

Happy daze indeed.

Anonymous said...

Actually I might an article asking whether its unreasonable for Muslim countries to want to convert Christians or put them to death if they dont.

maybe the Muzzies are right afterall Convert to Islam or die

heh What do ya liberal arseholes think?


PhilBest said...

Good posting, Psycho Milt.

Newt Gingrich says that every time someone starts to tslk to him about tolerance, he says, "fine, lets talk about tolerance in Saudi Arabia", and when they say, "no, I mean tolerance here"; he replies, "if you don't want to talk about tolerance in Saudi Arabia before we talk about tolerance here, I doubt that you really are interested in the subject of tolerance....."......

Psycho Milt said...

Thanks all for your comments.

Kiwiradar: yep, very clear racist heirarchy, even among the Arabs: locals on top, then other Gulf state Arabs, then Lebanese, Syrians, Egyptians etc. Palestinians very low down, but still above Iraqis, who are beyond the pale.

Insh'allah: I was in Kuwait. The Saudis gained a lot of influence in Kuwait thanks to Gulf War 1, because they took the Sabahs in when Saddam invaded. Bad news all round, really - Kuwait spent the 90s mostly rebuilding after the Iraqis thoroughly trashed the place, so it's nothing like as flash as Dubai, and the nutbar Saudi moralists gained a lot of influence. Probably is a lot like Riyadh, I expect.

The locals I met were always good blokes, especially the old gents who remember what it was like before the oil. Gentlemen's the only word for them.


Excellent post PM.
Is Dubai more tolerant?

WAKE UP said...

Tolerance? And to what degree?

Utterly academic when the root problem is the insanity encapsulated so clearly in this line from Milt's excellent post:

"It is perfectly reasonable for a Westerner to be a Christian, as long as he doesn't express anything to a Muslim that could be interpreted as encouraging said Muslim also to become a Christian."

We'e talking about stuff here that doesn't even EXIST except in their respective heads.

Psycho Milt said...

Fairfacts: Dubai's a lot more tolerant, eg you can buy alcohol if you're not a Muslim - but keep in mind "more" is a relative term. It's not what we'd call "tolerant" in any way, shape or form.

Wake Up: I think it's true that when people have given themselves up so devoutly and completely to replacing reality with fiction, you can't really be surprised at anything they do.