Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Curious Case of the Girl Against Fluoride and the Disappearing Christy Moore

Imagine for a moment that you're a qualified master angel healer. You've paid for a certificate in nutritioniology from a quack who claims to cure cancer with urine and castor oil. You claim to be able to treat autism in children by methods including the rectal administration of bone broth, you oppose fluoridation and vaccination, and your campaign's creative manager is convinced homosexuality is caused by plastics and contraception. You want to raise some cash for a campaign to change how Ireland provides drinking water. What do you do?

Some assume that an ability to commune with intergalactic angels and divert their healing rays into people's pets guarantees a steady source of income. And training from someone who claims to cure cancer using only urine and castor oil strikes me as a qualification that could easily be monetized. As for ensuring children on the autistic spectrum reach their full potential using an enema kit and some bone broth - well, the commercial applications are obvious, if we take on faith that the various sources of income open to Aisling FitzGibbon (aka The Girl Against Fluoride) are grounded in truth.

FitzGibbon is not taking this approach to gathering coin for her anti fluoridation campaign. Instead she's elected to host a fundraising gig. It's appealing: the venue, Whelan's, is excellent, and 20 Euro to see the rightly described 'legendary Christy Moore' is an offer that had me almost tempted to put hand in pocket. I also quite enjoy Kila. Here's one of the many announcements of the fundraiser:
But is Christy Moore aware of the engagement? The concert is not now and has never been on his future gigs page. You'll note that the screenshot above is of the edit history: this is in fact an old copy. After folks bought tickets to see Christy Moore, someone using FitzGibbon's account edited the post to remove all references to him. The current edition is below:

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Dr Ali Selim - Voice of Irish Muslims?

"If Allah had willed, He could have made all of you humans a single people. But, He decided to let you choose your own path after showing you the Truth, and thus test yourselves. Outdo one another in actions that serve humanity and thus grow your "Self". To Allah is your final Destination, of all of you." Qur'an, 5:48
The hard right of authoritarian Islam and the hard right of anti Muslim bigotry are unnatural bedfellows, yet are as one in their desire to paint Islam as monolithic. These two heads of the same monster are conjoined in a delusion that Islam's 1.6 billion adherents throughout all cultures and societies have no diversity of thought, opinion, or desire. It is a monster that attacks those considered Muslim. It is the same monster that attacks those considered not Muslim enough.

It is for this reason that I do not welcome Dr Ali Selim's recent contribution to the debate on Irish schooling, where he obliquely claims that diversity in Irish society can be enhanced if diversity within Irish Muslim society is eradicated.

He estimates 65,000 Muslims in Ireland, presumably a figure that includes all 49,204 self described Muslims from our 2011 census. Selim uses his self appointed position as their spokesperson to present them as monolithic on many matters. Let us examine some of his claims:
"[Islam] forbids pre- and extramarital sexual relations, whereas RSE perceives sexual relations outside wedlock as part of normal practices."
I am of course shocked to learn that an authoritarian religious apologist frowns on relationship and sexuality education, and uses their faith and self constructed platform to oppose same. That said a favouring of marriage as an environment in which to raise children can hardly be considered the unique preserve of the Muslim faith, and I'm aquiver with anticipation for Selim's paper showing Christians do not share this position. Perhaps he will soon be calling for the introduction of Catholic values to some of Ireland's schools? It is hardly incoherent to favour waiting till marriage yet also wish to equip one's children with an understanding of relationships, human sexuality, self respect and respect for one's partner and it's baffling how Selim can pretend no Irish Muslim holds this view.