Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Giles Fraser (Guardian) attacks Charlie Hebo – Part 479.

with 4 comments

Zineb El Rhazoui, formerly of Charlie Hebdo, “white atheist sneering at non-white believers” says Giles Fraser. 

Giles Fraser is a columnist for the Guardian.

In his spare time he is  parish priest at St Mary’s, Newington.

Giles Fraser does not like French secularism.

He devotes most of his energy to unmasking Republican France’s  “foundation myth”, the “glorious triumph of atheistic rationality over the dangerous totalitarian obscurantism of the Catholic church.” (France’s much vaunted secularism is not the neutral space it claims to be)

During his morning bath Fraser thinks of the Vendée and the Drownings at Nantes (Noyades de Nantes) of refractory clergy.

A walk on the beach sends him musing on the ‘Burkini’.

Passing by a Stationer’s  the Priest considers the shadow of the secularist Guillotine.

It goes without saying that he did and does not like Charlie Hebdo, modern Atheist “Iconoclasts

It is with little surprise that we find that Fraser now manages to drag Charlie into this debate: “Kelvin MacKenzie has been cleared by Ipso over his column on the Channel 4 News presenter. What message does that ruling send?” (Is it ‘open season’ on Muslims, as Fatima Manji suggests? Our panel responds.)

 Fraser comments,

Defending freedom of speech is one thing, but freedom of speech is brought into massive disrepute when it becomes a moral alibi for white atheists to sneer at non-white believers, and Muslims in particular. It was exactly the same with Charlie Hebdo – they hid their racism behind that all-purpose moral pass, freedom of speech. But at least they were equal opportunity offenders – they had a pop at all-comers: Jews, Christians, Muslims.


Is Charlie a group of ‘white atheists’?

You mean that anybody criticising Islam gives an “alibi” to ‘racists”?

That Charlie “hid” its racism?

As in the case of this much loved comrade….

Zineb el Rhazoui, Charlie Hebdo survivor, discusses why the world needs to ‘Destroy Islamic Fascism’ (New York Times 18.10.16.)

Undeterred by fatwas and death threats, the author has released an incendiary and thoughtful new book, bound to provoke debate.


Written by Andrew Coates

October 22, 2016 at 11:30 am

4 Responses

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  1. Fraser is a self-important, pompous ignoramous with plenty of form spouting this kind of nonsense. Following a similar outburst in 2011, I wrote this:

    The Graun – always keen to promote religion – has today given space to Giles Fraser to back Lady Warsi’s recent comments, under the headline “Islamophobia is the moral blind spot of modern Britain.” Once again a religious figure is, in effect, demanding special rights for religion, and implying that those who criticise it are the same as racists. Fraser is either an idiot or a shyster.

    I have refrained from commenting upon Lady Wasi’s comments because I’ve not had the time or inclination to read them properly. But Fraser’s thoughts are there in print for all to see. Fraser, I should point out, is canon chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral and a regular purveyor of woolly religious banality on BBC Radio 4.

    His piece for the Graun is so full of waffle, evasion and self-contradictory platitudes that it’s difficult to know where to start in dismembering it. Fraser’s own starting (and finishing) point is the same as Lady Warsi’s: that “Islamophobia” has become an acceptable form of racism at the dinner tables of the liberal middle class. I have to say that I am no stranger to the dinner tables of the liberal middle class, but have not noticed this: what I have noticed in such company is anti-semitism masquerading as anti-zionism.

    Anyway, let’s start with some specific points in Fraser’s piece:

    *”The conversation then moves on to sharia law or jihad or the burqua, not all of it entirely well-informed“: so what, Canon Fraser, do we need to be “informed” about before expressing opinions on those matters? And what makes you so sure that you’re better informed on these subjects than the rest of us? Are we not allowed to hold opinions on these subjects?

    * “Someone inevitably mentions 9/11”: and what, exactly, is your objection to that, Giles?

    * “I cannot think of a single other group in our society about whom such vile remarks would be in any way socially acceptable“: what about Jews who refuse to disavow zionism, Giles? After all, you are writing in the Guardian.

    * “The worst sort of dinner party bigot may talk about islam as a faith but – nod nod, wink, wink -we all know what they mean“: well no, Giles, I for one do not “know what they mean.” If people are discussing a religion –any religion – then I assume that is, indeed, what they’re discussing. I think I’m sussed enough to know when (“nod nod, wink wink”) they’re actually discussing something else.

    * “None of which is to silence any sort of attack upon religious faith per se“: are you sure, Canon? It sounds to me very much as though your argument is an attempt to do just that. Like so many other religious leaders and apologists (led by Muslims and closely followed by Christians and others), you are vigorously promoting the idea that criticism of religion is comparable to racism. Unfortunately that intellectual folly and falsehood was given legislative credence when the Labour government introduced the ill-conceived Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003 in an an attempt to appease Muslim community leaders.

    * “One of the tests for flushing out prejudice from robust but legitimate critique is the extent to which complexity is allowed to enter the picture. The dinner party bigot may never have been to a Mosque or read the Qur’an“: and when, Giles, did you last attend a BNP meeting or read Mein Kampf?

    * “The other difference…has to do with power relations between those involved…The Muslim community in this country is generally more socially disadvantaged and has less access to the levers of power“: true, but what about Pakistan, the Arab world and the Middle East? What about the victims of Islamist terrorism, and women, gays and non-conformists within the Muslim “community” even in Britain? Where does the power lie in these situations, Canon?

    It’s clear that Fraser’s miserable little article is yet another attempt by the religious to make out that criticism of religion is a form of bigotry. He complains (as does, I understand, Lady Warsi) of “slippage”: “What can begin as a perfectly legitimate conversation about, say, religious belief and human rights, can drift into a licence for observations that in any other circumstance would be regarded as tantamount to racism”, he says. Oh yes? Giles: any conversation about anything can “drift” into a conversation about something else. Most most us on the left are capable of recognising when that happens and quite prepared to (in your patronising words) “disturb the cosy rules of the dinner party” (or any other situation) when it does. What you’re really asking for is yet more deference towards religion. I for one refuse to give it.

    PS: Rumy Hasan’s article on “Islamophobia” is well worth reading in this context.

    Jim Denham

    October 22, 2016 at 2:49 pm

  2. […] via Giles Fraser (Guardian) attacks Charlie Hebo – Part 479. — Tendance Coatesy […]

  3. Jim, and Rumy’s book, Dr Paul lent me a copy:

    Andrew Coates

    October 22, 2016 at 3:39 pm

  4. @Jim Denham – same thing you say can be adapted for criticism of Israel. Charlie Hebdo went along with some zionist warmonger narratives, which is why you support it.

    Fraser is a twat tho.

    ” What about the victims of Islamist terrorism, and women, gays and non-conformists within the Muslim “community” even in Britain? ”

    oh, the poor gays!!
    we must use western imperialism to promote gay rights around the world! It shows we are with the oppressed! hahaha!

    @Paul Canning

    maybe they can help you


    October 22, 2016 at 5:05 pm

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