Afghan Cabby Beaten Into Paralysis in London:
September 18, 2001 6:43 PM   Subscribe

Afghan Cabby Beaten Into Paralysis in London: This after two white men pounced on a 19-year-old Asian woman in Swindon on Friday and repeatedly hit her in the head with a bat.
posted by ryanshepard (12 comments total)
Lovely. Right up until now English hooligans and NF'ers were getting on so well with Middle Easterners too.
posted by yerfatma at 7:13 PM on September 18, 2001

There are so many things wrong with this. What stupid, stupid people. And the article isn't very good, either...

He had been...racially abused

Racially abused? I suppose we can assume this means the jerkoffs made derogatory comments about his race??? There are probably physical constraints to the length of the article, which require, or at least encourage, reducing accurate descriptions to sound bytes, but I don't think "racially abused" is very accurate at all.

Islamist terrorists

Now just what the hell is this? My trusty Websters New World Dictionary includes the terms Islam, Islamic, Islamitic, Islamism, Islamite, Islamize, Islamization. No "Islamist" to be found. What's more, the AP Stylebook says clearly "The adjective is 'Islamic'." I think ol' Vikram made it up, and we can safely chuck this one into the 'writer wasn't particularly thinking' category.

Partly it is the fault of how the media has reported it

No shit. I want to have a chat with Vikram's editor.
posted by Bixby23 at 7:27 PM on September 18, 2001

Bixby23, I think your reference books are a little out-of-date. It would not be an improvement in style or substance to refer to "Islamic terrorists," since, as you point out, "Islamic" is the adjective corresponding to the religion of Islam. If you look closely at what "Islamism" has come to mean, you will see that, since its most common usage is for "An Islamic revivalist movement, often characterized by moral conservatism, literalism, and the attempt to implement Islamic values in all spheres of life," it just won't do to use "Muslim" or "Islamic" as its noun/adjective form. Thus "Islamist" (American Heritage Dictionary, s.v. "Islamism").

There is a point in what you say about these words, of course...when, say, the "Egyptian Islamic Jihad" chooses that name, they are claiming the banner of the whole religion for their cause, and our English semantic distinction Islamic/Islamist is making a use/abuse or good/bad dinstinction between the less and more polemical or marked usage of the basic adjective in Arabic. But since Islam is usually not Islamism, I think that's a good thing.
posted by Zurishaddai at 7:43 PM on September 18, 2001

i'm not up on my england current affairs but i thought i remember reading something about there being riots and all sorts of issues recently between afghan or paki immigrants and native english people or do i have everything all mixed up? not that it would justify any of this but my point being it may just make things worse. sorry if i'm mistaken.
posted by suprfli at 7:51 PM on September 18, 2001

chuck this one into the 'writer wasn't particularly thinking' category

You think that's bad? One of the Fox News geniuses (I think it was a morning show himbo) used the word "evolutionises". Though he probably would have spelt it with a "z".

The word is, of course, evolves.
posted by krisjohn at 8:25 PM on September 18, 2001

Wow, Zurishaddai, thanks for the education. I suppose a poorly thought-out semantic argument was not the best angle to take (grammar & diction are certainly not my forte).

What I had intended to get across was that the writer's attempts to attrubute two- or three-word names to things for the sake of convenience are, at best, careless and inaccurate and, at worst, flat out wrong and misleading. Clearly, I was mistaken in this case (although "Islamist terrorists" still smacks of thoughtless naming, in my opinion).

No doubt these incidents are, as the Muslim Council of Britain spokesperson said, "partly...the fault of how the media has reported [them], which does not distinguish between the extreme elements...and the rest of Islam," but it certainly doesn't help when ignorant, jump-the-gun goombahs with old reference materials, such as I, fail to notice even when a writer does distinguish between extreme elements and the rest of Islam. I stand corrected, and many thanks.

krisjohn -- yeah, "evolutionises," even with a z, sure sounds like a Bushism to me. Must be contagilous...
posted by Bixby23 at 8:49 PM on September 18, 2001

used the word "evolutionises"

that's like using potentiality instead of potential... or instantaneously instead of instantly. ... ok, feel free to point at i'm wrong and they don't mean the same thing.
posted by lotsofno at 9:37 PM on September 18, 2001

Hate to post about the original topic and all...

I'm (originally) from quite close to Swindon and there has always been a lot of racial tension in areas. The WTC thing is just a convenient excuse for thugs and proles.
posted by TiggleTaggleTiger at 10:57 PM on September 18, 2001

My pet hate is "pressurised" instead of "pressured".

The former might involve a chamber of some sort, while the latter might involve a guilt trip.

And sorry for wandering so far off a serious topic.
posted by krisjohn at 11:40 PM on September 18, 2001

Has anyone in the U.K. yet - Tony Blair, or the Queen Mum, or anyone at all - publicly denounced racially-based attacks related to last Tuesday? It's finally been getting lots of press here, after days of non-priority-ness (like my new Bush-ism?) as an issue.
posted by mirla at 12:19 AM on September 19, 2001

Mirla: On the day of the attack Blair went out of his way to make the distinction between Muslims and the people who did this. It's been the official government line since then. As Superfli says, we've had problems all year with trouble in poor muslim areas of the country with my own home town being the worst affected.
posted by vbfg at 1:14 AM on September 19, 2001

suprfli : Some people find the word 'paki' racist and offensive. It's used as a racial slur over here in Britain.
posted by Saima at 4:19 AM on September 19, 2001

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