Recent Noel Coward Parody: Reflections on Social Generalisations

Right now, many countries are facing religious conflict. While many Muslims are patriotic and contribute a great deal to our societies, there will always be troublemakers in every demographic.

Unfortunately, among all the religions of the world, the trouble caused by Islam is on a larger scale than pretty much any religion on earth right now.

You can debate about whether that is something eternal and intrinsic to Islam, or whether the religion is merely going through a very bad phase right now (with unwise and dangerous foreign policy of the USA and other countries contributing to a deterioriation in the value of the faith).

Either way, it is not anti-Muslim to recognise these problems. If anything, it’s anti-Muslims to brush them under the carpet.

Our friend here has provided a witty riposte to those who deny the problems caused by radical Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism:

Don’t Let’s Be Beastly To The Muslims (GUEST POST FROM ALLAN B. GOLDSTEIN)

I’m sure not a few Muslims will agree with him about the bad guys within their religious demographic. Let’s continue to use satire and rational critique to make sure Islam is fit for purpose, and people of all faiths and none can all share a common life.

By the way: the song is very tongue in cheek, and I don’t believe the author would every wish to stereotype Muslims.

He is, however, constrained a little by the original wording of the original lyrics by Noel Coward, with its constant references to ‘scum.’

The point of this tongue-in-cheek parody seems to be not so much that Muslims are ‘scum,’ but that a substantial percentage of Muslims are ‘letting the whole side down,’ which is a pretty uncontroversial idea; or at least it ought to be.

Fortunately, there are many Muslims who are fighting against reactionary tendencies: why don’t you show some support for them?

I want to finish by way of a quick three-part summary. Here are a few important observations to bear in mind:

1. Social generalisations always involve risk. However, you have to look at the context; here, relevant factors relating to the rhetoric and style of satire include comic hyperbole (exaggeration), metonymy (part as either representing or not representing the whole), and other features which anti-Muslims bigots and apologists for radical Islam both seem to wilfully misunderstand.

2. It does not favour to patriotic and freedom-loving Muslims, to constantly pander to the extremists in their midst. After all, Muslims themselves are among the greatest victims of radical Islamic terrorism and fundamentalism.

3. It is important to provide support, even if it be critical support, of courageous Muslims who are trying to do the right thing.

Further reading:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2009/mar/15/islam-britain-jamaat-labour-extremists

https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2015/09/few-feminists-dare-criticise-islam-the-ones-who-do-should-be-praised-for-their-bravery/

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/oct/04/how-brave-muslims-are-being-silenced

https://www.spectator.co.uk/2015/02/how-liberal-britain-is-betraying-ex-muslims/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09tcvp2

Noël Coward Parody: Don’t Let’s Be Beastly to Jihadists

 

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