Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Is there some kind of "weasel" scale for diplomatically-worded phrases?

There's certainly a crying need for one.  Take for example, the Guardian op-ed "Islam's ability to empower is a magnet to black British youths."  The author writes:

The passivity that Christianity promotes is perceived as alien and disconnected to black youths growing up in often violent and challenging urban environments in Britain today. "Turning the other cheek" invites potential ridicule and abuse whereas resilience, strength and self-dignity evokes respect and, in some cases, fear from unwanted attention.

Which is a very fancy way of saying that a religion telling black yoofs that non-violence is a good thing isn't a patch on a religion telling them to back their "brothers" against all comers with whatever level of violence seems appropriate.

Speaking of any means necessary, this bit is also a triumph of diplomatic wording:

Role models such as Malcolm X only helped to reinforce the perception that Islam enabled the empowerment of one's masculinity coupled with righteous and virtuous conduct as a strength, not a weakness.

That's a masterpiece of the bullshitter's art.  Those with even the vaguest appreciation of relations between the sexes under Islam can probably figure out exactly what an ocean of intense unpleasantness underlies that delicate phrase "empowerment of one's masculinity."  Fuck, I should file it away for future reference.  "No way am I a sexist!  I'm just empowering my masculinity! Did you see her oppressing me?  That's what I've been talking about..."


The Veteran said...

Good post PM .... but we should never forget many Muslims are good people who are committed to their faith as an instrument for good.

No argument from me that Islam (like Christianity) has a perverted and violent side that finds it convenient to focus it's anger on the West as the font of all evil while refusing to acknowledge that some of its teachings and practise would find favour in the dark ages.

But even devout Muslims can be quite pragmatic. Many moons ago I served an attachment to a RMR (Royal Malay Regiment) Battalion. RMR Battalions (unlike their Ranger Battalions) are 100% ethnic Malay.

We were on operations near the Malay/Thai border and were due to receive an air resupply which never eventuated (bad weather). By day 2 everyone was starting to get pretty hungry. I carried an 'emergency ration' in accordance with our NZL SOPs. Decided the time was right to break it open. The Malay Battalion Commander saw me doing this and came over. One of the components of the ration was a tin clearly marked PORK SAUSAGES. He picked it up and said "Ahaaaa
P O R K spells B E E F - we share" ... and we did.

I know this doesn't really address the sense of your post which I endorse completely subject to the caveat contained in my first sentence.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Of course the most blatant example of the malaise to which you refer is the Australian Press Council's edict that newspapers must refer to illegal immigrants as 'asylum seekers.'