Marcus Brigstock on the Abrahamic faiths

58 posts / 0 new
Last post
martin dufresne
Marcus Brigstock on the Abrahamic faiths

Warning: He isn't too thrilled with them.

Caissa

What was the point of posting this Martin?

martin dufresne

It's a comment on religions. What is your point in challenging the post?

 

Caissa

The extremely offensive stereotypes. The Islamophobia is striking.

martin dufresne

I too thought it was unbalanced, with much more hostility directed at Arabs than at Christians or, especially, Jews. (I don't approve of everything I post here, you know - discussion purposes, and all that.) But I liked that all three religions were targetted from a cheeky, external position.

 

Caissa

And how is that video keeping with a progressive discussion board?

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

Listening to it was wonderful. I understand the objections to the images that were compiled by individual (alien8ted) who posted it on youtube, but the actual spoken commentary was refreshing. Thanks for posting it martin.

Caissa

What's the difference between this video and posting the Danish cartoons?

martin dufresne

The Danish right-wingers who published the cartoons went out of their way to insult specifically Mulsims by depicting Prophet Muhammad, blasphemy in their book. No comparison with the photos used here to lampoon the Christian establishment, Muslims and Jews.

But I think you know that.

 

Caissa

No stereotypes of Moslems in that video, Martin?

martin dufresne

See post #4.

Caissa

I'll stand by my assertion that it was inappropriate for this site. The stereotype of Islam=extremism  in the video should be apparent.

oldgoat

Hmmmm,....well,..yes...,hmmm...

 Mr. Brigstock spreads it around pretty evenly among the faiths, and his topic is extreemism, and what deeds are done in the name of religion.  I see he also characterises more moderate believers as enablers.  I would not necessarily agree with that position, but he's entitled to make it.

I should say I found it kind of funny.  My own feeling is that it's one of those things that in itself is ok to post, but may not end up ok depending where the conversation goes.

I'm also trying to be cogniscent of my own biases here, and will admit that I may be somewhat deaf to some objectionable parts because Marcus is at least within the ballpark of my own view on what has been done in the name of the major world religions, so I would hold myself (as always) open to being overridden and/or convinced otherwise.

Caissa

Watch it again and observe everyone of the images re. Islam. Each one perpetuates a stereotype that progressives are active in opposing. Vidoes like that help perpetuate amongst the populace the stereotype that Moslems are terrorists. To use the Brigstock and your verb oldgoat, I find the vidoe enabling in perpetuating a stereotype.

Snert Snert's picture

Ironically (and perhaps eerily) Brigstock foresaw this thread.

"I can guarantee that each one of those faiths will be utterly convinced that I've singled them out for special criticism"

Brigstock is spot on.   And if you think that a Muslim extremist wearing a dynamite belt, or a Jewish extremist pointing an assault rifle at a child, or a Christian extremist CHILD holding a "God blew up the space shuttle" sign is offensive... well, what do you think extremists look like?  How should they be portrayed so as to be authentic, yet bland and comfortable for you?  How about if they're all just shown as scowling a bit?  

Caissa

Okay, great to know it's open season on stereotypes on Babble.

Snert Snert's picture

Next we'll be implying that CEOs are all ruthless, money-hungry greedheads, and Conservative politicians are all judgemental, xenophobic clench-butts in $99 suits.

But seriously, what do you want your extremists to look like?  He's talking about extremists, and unless it's all a Photoshop job, he's showing pictures of extremists.  It's hard to get more accurate than that.  If you object to these extremists being "stereotypes" then you should address that with them.  They're the ones who seem to be unable to stop looking and acting like those stereotypes.  Are we all just supposed to pretend?

Caissa

So that's what Moslem "extremists" look like, Snert?

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

I kinda want to wade in again and slap a few faces. Pay attention kiddies, look to the right of the video when you have the youtube screen open, there is a description posted by alien8ted on how s/he took an AUDIO presentation and applied IMAGES to it. If you want to talk about the IMAGES refer to alien8ted, if you want to talk about the Brigstock confine yourself to the AUDIO. The original piece is definitely worthy of posting here - that it was only available in the form that was posted says nothing about the OP or Marcus Brigstock.

martin dufresne

Yes.

Caissa

Thanks for pointing that out Bagkitty. I'm still left with wondering the purpose and validity of posting a link to the video on Babble.

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:
So that's what Moslem "extremists" look like, Snert?

 

I can't say. I've only referred to extremists, whereas you're talking about "extremists". What are the scare quotes for?

Caissa

Scare quote? au contraire. The quotes question the stereotype of "extermists".

Snert Snert's picture

I see.  So you figure they're like snowflakes, then.  No two alike?

Except somehow they seem to have a lot in common.  The IDF "stereotype", for example, always in fatigues, always with a helmet, always pointing a gun.  And I really doubt they're the same guy.  So I'm left thinking that that's probably a pretty accurate image, though I suppose it's always possible that there's another extremist who's in sweatpants, playing Wii or something, but I pretty much know who you're talking about if you show me a guy in IDF fatigues, pointing a gun at a civilian.  I expect I could do the same with a settler, and certainly with a guy wrapped in TNT.

I'm at a bit of a loss here.  You read the news, yes?  You've seen pictures, yes?  And you haven't ever seen photos of extremists??  Or are you going to make the argument that there's no such thing?  Or what?

Maysie Maysie's picture

I watched the video. Or, more accurately, listened to the video.

First, this was clearly done as a standup routine and the images were added in afterwards as bagkitty said. So, in listening to the audio only, no, the comedian did not single out any one religion in particular.

However, the "humour" and yes that's in scare quotes on purpose, does draw from racist, Islamophobic and anti-semitic tropes. How could it not, really? As a Christian society, please note, there are no "anti-Christian tropes", so he merely invoked the extreme Christians through examples.

He sees that religion is the connection between all the extremists. He made no comment that the vast majority of the people who he would call religious extremists are, in fact, men. Funny, he didn't say a thing about that.

My thoughts are that religion is one of many methods/means for extremists. It's power and control (by men) by whatever means necessary that is the connection. And on the individual level, hate. 

But since people don't live in vacuums, then the larger society has to be looked at. In his context (Britain) and ours (Canada or North America). In these contexts, as Christian-founded (need scare quotes for that one) nations (ditto) there is no way to do a piece like that and not be racist, Islamophobic and anti-Semitic. Which he was, and proud of it.

Do I think this thread should be closed? Yes. Have threads which are far more offensive than this been allowed on babble? Yes.

Fill your boots, boys.

P.S. Agreeing with Caissa is a very strange feeling. Wink

marzo

I don't agree, Maysie. I think that any and all religions are a fair target for harsh criticism or satire.  The people who rioted over the Mohammed cartoons are the problem, not the cartoons, the artists, or the people who publish them. The words, ' racist, Islamophobic, antisemite' are sometimes used to shut down discussion instead of addressing the issue. 

If they can't take it they can go jump in the lake.

martin dufresne

they can go jump in the lake.

Actually, that's a Christian ritual, marzo... and I am more in agreement with Maysie than with you.

Maysie Maysie's picture

marzo my texts clearly reads that you boys can yak about this all you like. If you need me to say it more nicely, unfortunately you're SOL on that. My words stand.

Just because dude insulted all three monotheistic religions does not mean he gets a free card on the Islamophobia and the anti-Semitism he enacted. It doesn't work that way. But we have some lovely parting gifts for you.

And this is a comedian, not a social commentarian. He did this for laughs, and as some comics do, for "controversy" in scare quotes due to it's manufacture for popularity points rather than from any real belief or conviction. A reminder that we have no idea of the actual person's opinions. This was his act after all.

Implying that I should go jump in the lake is rather rude, marzo. I don't think I deserve that. I'm allowed to post my thoughts and opinions and I did so.

P.S.I didn't say anything about the Mohammed cartoons and the response so I'm not sure what you're talking about.

Unionist

I despise all these religions, as I have stated ad nauseam on this board.

However, Caissa is absolutely right. This linked piece (audio plus added photos) treats Christians as eccentric, Jews as occasionally going too far, and Muslims as dangerous lunatic mass murderers. There is no "balance" whatsoever. In that respect, it reminds me of "The End of Faith", in which Sam Harris, under the guise of critiquing religion, provides Islamophobic cover for the aggressive agenda of the U.S. in Afghanistan and elsewhere. Likewise, this piece is like Daniel Pipes with some feeble comments tossed in about Jews and Christians to make it look "fair".

If you can't show the weakness of religion without pointing to suicide bombers, then you really aren't critiquing religion at all.

ETA: In response to Maysie (with whom I agree almost entirely), yes, there are anti-semitic tropes, but they sure do pale in comparison with the anti-Muslim stereotypes.

 

marzo

Maysie wrote:

marzo my texts clearly reads that you boys can yak about this all you like. If you need me to say it more nicely, unfortunately you're SOL on that. My words stand.

I don't understand what this means.

Maysie Maysie's picture

SOL is shit out of luck.

And marzo you stated that I was trying to silence conversation by using horrible words like Islamophobia. I disagree. I calls it as I sees it.

Unionist, thanks, and I feel like I've used up my anti-racist rage here. Hence my lack of focussing on how Islamophobia carries a different intensity of meaning and destructiveness.

And the images were appalling, just to say that for the record, but the comedian isn't responsible for them. But look what his words "inspired". Ick.

Slumberjack

On the outermost surface, it does have the feel of a lark at the expense of all Abrahamic faiths, but it's done in a not so clever way by hiding behind a humorous smear of them all, with far more explicit emphasis on one as the most violent of them all.  When he talks about bombing and blowing people up without equal context and examples, the social programming of the target audience provides the intended and default image without the need for accompanying pictures via you tube.  The routine was obviously useful for one individual to pair up with a biased slideshow effect, with repetitive images of Muslim children being indoctrinated into resistance, casting them as terrorists instead of the ones who besiege them.  Two thumbs down overall.  The routine and the accompanying video stunk.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

To provide some balance I thought I would post one oif my favourite questions for christian extremists. "would he snuff out the kids or just take out dad and mom."

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TaQ2JavrQuw&feature=related

Rabelais

Religion is bullshit. All religions. Islam, Christianity, Judaism - all bullshit.

We need people to just come out and say it. Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit, the whole steaming lot of it.

Maysie Maysie's picture

So nuanced, insightful and most of all respectful.

You should be the opening act for dude in the OP.

Undecided

Rabelais

What nuance is needed? Extraordinary claims that require no evidence to believe them, ultimately responsible for so much artificial division, madness and death.

Useless arbitrary lines dividing who believes in one fairy tale versus another, only people die over it. Good for nothing.

Bullshit.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Maysie, what's the nuance to say bullshit?  I don't get how religion can be included in progressivism?  Unless it's populist progressivism?  A means to an end?

 

Religion is evil.

 

Bullshit.

martin dufresne

As the generalizations and the huffiness grow more agressive, I'd like to suggest another critique of Brigstock's monologue, entitled "Give us back our planet!" Does anyone here really believe that it is religions that are appropriating it?

As I understand it, religion was practically a non-issue until some Arabs - not all of them devout Muslims - mounted a clear challenge to the West's grab on their oil reserves and other resources, and our ideologues needed something to demonize them good after "scientific" racist stereotypes wheezed out of credibility.

Even Palestinians do not delude themselves that it is Hebraism that drives Israel's grab on their lands, anymore than American Aboriginals attribute to Christianism Eurosettlers' violent takeover of theirs. 

So, self-alleged progressives' catankerous trial of religion per se (in our blandly Xtian societies) may just be code for principedly bashing whoever is currently best resisting our countries' imperialist effort. Today, it happens to be Muslims; tomorrow it may be whatever David Frum can stereotype them with in China, Korea, India or Russia.Undecided

 

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

I'll accept that but still call all religion BS.  Christianity should be exposed for the same.

Unionist

martin dufresne wrote:

So, self-alleged progressives' catankerous trial of religion per se (in our blandly Xtian societies) may just be code for principedly bashing whoever is currently best resisting our countries' imperialist effort. Today, it happens to be Muslims; tomorrow it may be whatever David Frum can stereotype them with in China, Korea, India or Russia.Undecided

 

Well, that's right - and that's what's wrong with Sam Harris, Tarek Fatah, and others of their ilk. Getting worked up against a particular religious trend at the very time followers of that trend are resisting imperialism is one of the best aids to the imperialists. Although I think Judaism is bunk, I would look askance at a German theologian critiquing the finer points of Judaism during the 1930s and 40s. That's one aspect of the OP link that I find particularly offensive. Brigstock's homeland has been invading and occupying Afghanistan and Iraq and subjugating and murdering their people. Brigstock should expend far more energy on the official Church of his imperialist homeland for abetting those crimes. Instead, he focuses on the "excesses" of the victims. Extremely offensive IMHO.

 

Maysie Maysie's picture

I disagree with calling all religions bullshit, RP, so we will disagree on that always.

And I say that as a non religious person who was lucky enough to not have been brainwashed with religion when I grew up.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

How is that so Maysie?  I may be more biased because I was raised in it but how can you give it any credence? Where is the progressive argument?  Even just a nibble, please?  I'm very well versed in religion and there's nothing worth defending.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Maybe, I should make it clear that Christianity gets too much of a free ride.  I wade clear of specific religions but the whole cult mentality is open season for me.

martin dufresne

Personally, I am an atheist - simply because I don't believe there is such a thing as God - but I see religious people doing immense good work in the name and on the thrust of their values, helping people deal with grief and violence, doing disinterested support work in communities, supporting socialist and anti-imperialist projects, opposing tyrannical systems (even if their Church's hierarchy sometimes supports them), and generally helping make life livable. Some of my best freiends and toughest political nuts are deeply religious.

I also see individuals hang on to life through extreme hardship and suffering because they hold religious beliefs that allow them a grasp at some transcendance, maybe one akin to the one atheists like I find in the belief in social justice and harmony someday, for instance.

So I am not casting any stones at spirituality or religion itself, even if I pull no punches at some organized religious hierarchies, e.g. the Vatican protecting child rapists and sending hundreds of thousands of women to their deaths each year by blocking abortion access through the governments they control.

It may be the "opium of the people," but if we support Dana...Wink

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

Okay, lets be fair, he should have mentioned the Crusades and the Inquisition, the Witch Trials and the surpression of the Cathars. He should have mentioned the Christian zealots who will shoot physicians, the Orthodox Jewish zealots who will bomb a community centre for LGBT youth and Muslim zealots who wage a campaign of torture and murder against gay men. He also should have mentioned the genocidal campaigns of the Israelites "Thus saith the LORD of hosts go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass" (1 Samuel 15: 2-3 if anyone is interested). And he definitely should have mentioned that there are prominent Christian and Jewish (as well as Muslim) clerics who look upon those things approvingly... Unfortunately, the piece was in the format of a radio monologue and it is a little difficult to annotate the spoken word in the middle of a performance. So let's give him a C+ for content, but I still contend it was a solid A for intentions.

Caissa

 Caissa, Maysie and unionist in agreement in a thread. Are we all drinking the same water?Wink

"Scripture" needs to be approached for what it is, works written by humans in a specific historical context. That's the way we approach all text. 

martin dufresne

When "Scripture" is taken as screed and reiterated as purpose and identity for decades, sometimes centuries and millenia, to justify oppression, as it has been in the Hebraic and Christian religions, that must also be seen as also part of its defining context.

 

Caissa

My point is that those who have done what you describe above have used it incorrectly and devoid of context. I have no truck with fundamentalist of any variety.

martin dufresne

"incorrectly"!!!??? How convenient. Cold comfort for victims!

 There is more honesty in "You shall judge a tree by its fruits."

Snert Snert's picture

I think that's a bit like saying that bikers who traffic in narcotics and intimidate people are using the image of the Hell's Angels "incorrectly", and that real Hell's Angels are only interested in riding their motorcycles. 

Or that the police who hassle POC and drop natives off on the outskirts of town are using their badge "incorrectly", and that real police officers wouldn't do such a thing.

All are true, to some degree, but all are also pretty naive viewpoints.  Do we really, honestly believe that all of this happens in a vacuum?  That, say, the police who take a guy on a moonlight ride are somehow just individuals operating in isolation?  They're not in any way propped up by all the other 'boys in blue'?  That the bikers who go on 'Rides for Kids' and collect toys for the wee orphans are fully separate and distinct from their brethren who run meth labs?  That the fundamentalists with whom you have no truck aren't benefitting immensely from your implicit support of their religion and the credibility and validity that you bring to them?

Caissa

Martin and snert are you intentionally twisiting what I'm saying? Let me be clearer then on what I am saying. My academic history is in history. That which is aclaaed scripture by religions are historical documents. They should be approached as historical documents as historians approach other historical documents in context.

I'm not sure what you are saying or think I'm saying.

Pages

Topic locked