Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Even More Eurabian Fantasies

I mentioned yesterday that the Quilliam Foundation ("the tax-funded Muslim group set up to (correct me if I'm wrong) put forward the moderate face of Islam and lead the youth along the paths of righteousness") had produced their own contribution (pdf) to the Great Eurabia Debate, mostly aimed at the BNP's flavour of the Eurabia thesis.

Pickled Politics gave it a plug, pointing out that "such arguments are easily undermined using proper statistics".

Alas, the pdf, by one Lucy James, contains one statistical howler - on the 2009 BNP Euro-vote :

These were seats that were gained on the basis of nearly one million votes from the British public— 6.2% of the entire votes cast. Although the figures were actually down on 2004 (the slump in Labour party support meant the BNP’s proportion of the vote increased), the BNP have now gained official recognition in European politics.
In fact, the total BNP vote increased from 808,000 votes in 2004 to 943,000 in 2009.

Why the error on something so easily checked ? The original source seems to be this BBC report on Nick Griffin's win in the North West.

"Mr Griffin was elected to Brussels even though the BNP polled fewer votes in the region than it had in 2004 - the slump in Labour support meant its share of the vote increased."
The same thing happened in the Yorkshire constituency - a fall in the actual vote but a rise in the vote share. But the BBC report got picked up, misinterpreted (probably by people searching for aid and comfort) as applying to the whole poll, and was repeated all over left blogs and the Guardian until it was just one of those things that 'everybody knew'.

Poor girl. It wouldn't matter so much were it not that one of her criticisms of BNP literature is "some statistics appear to be just wrongly cited".

The rest of the pdf isn't bad stuff, quite interesting on the theology and the history with no obvious falsehoods. Trouble is, a lot just has to be taken on trust - for the very reason that Islam is a broad(ish) church. Yes, the Prophet did say 'no compulsion in religion'. He said a few other things too. You have to hope that the youths down the road aren't reading 'fight and slay the unbelievers wherever you find them'.

She takes issue with gross BNP generalisations about 'Muslims' and 'Islam' by pointing out the diversity of same. And that's all very true. Trouble is, her attacks on the BNP seem identical, in form if not in content, to the BNPs attacks on Islam. The BNP is seen as one monolithic entity, and outliers are taken as representative of the whole, pretty much a mirror image of what she says the BNP are doing with Islam. Not just outliers - convicted bomb-maker Martyn Gilleard, cited as a 'similar incident' to Islamist terror (I know, I must have missed the Tube and airport attacks and the dozens of deaths), was a member of a different party, (I think) to the right of the BNP, the British People's Party. She also quotes a lot from William Underhill. Hmmph.

Not a bad read. Whether it'll convince anyone one way or the other I'm not sure. And I'm even less sure if my taxes should be subsidising such political campaigning. But our rulers have long stopped worrying about little things like that.

1 comment:

Homophobic Horse said...

The Muslims are lying, it's called taqiya. Have you forgotten Lord Ahmed and his threat to terrorise parliament? He too was/is a great moderate/normal Muslim.