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Alcohol ban = MORE MUSLIMS!

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swot
905690.  Tue May 01, 2012 7:02 am Reply with quote

A few weeks ago, the Telegraph reported that London Metropolitan University was considering banning alcohol in certain parts of the campuses because those damned fun-hating Muslim students considered alcohol to be immoral. The decision was welcomed by the local anti-alcoholism groups (no religion specified) and the local Methodists. Apparently, such a ban would make it easier for people to think of non-alcoholic leisure activities and make the precious precious teetotal Muslims feel more welcome.


HOWEVER a report in today's Telegraph is saying that the Muslim students are not, in fact being precious about their beliefs and are quite upset about the fact that they are being blamed for the ban, which is, according to the article, a financial problem. When I say 'quite upset', that really means 'in fear for our lives':
Quote:
We find your argument to ban alcohol on religious grounds baseless, divisive and irresponsible and we are concerned about the welfare of the students.
Your stance has already had negative impacts both within the university and in the wider society. Internally it has initiated the process of polarisation of the student body and creating resentment towards Muslim students.
For example, there has already been anti-Muslim remarks appearing on various social media websites and there have also been actual incidences of student confrontations which have been reported to the Student Union, and it is only a matter of time before a Muslim student is physically assaulted
(full letter here)

This 'blame the Muslims' thing that's apparently fashionable at the moment would be funny if it wasn't so utterly childish and apparently dangerous to around a fifth of the students at that particular university.

FWIW, I've never felt pressured to drink at university, even though I belong to the college that used to run 'The Gallon Challenge' (although to be fair, I've got a good 4-6 years on the other students, and don't live on campus), and if people around me are getting drunk to the point that I'm bored, or afraid that someone might throw up on me, I can always choose to leave. Most societies run non-alcoholic socials, or at least socials in which the primary purpose is not to get drunk. At least when my university was threatening to close the bars, they were honest about the reasons (they weren't being used enough, so it wasn't economically viable to have 9 bars on one campus).

 
Oceans Edge
905699.  Tue May 01, 2012 7:26 am Reply with quote

Woah... 9 bars on one campus does seem a tad excessive.

My son and daughter's college (two campuses of the same college) does not forbid alcohol in a student's dorm room, but also doesn't profit in the selling of it, or allow it in the public areas of the school.

Seems a very sensible approach. There will always be a pub or bar nearby quite willing to supply any student looking.

Blaming the Muslims was just a stupid, thoughtless and dangerous red herring, but it transferred the blame.

Does remind me though of a recent American episode of WDYTYA - with Helen Hunt, and an ancestor involved in the American Temperance movement and Prohibition. Ms Hunt had some misgivings and feeling vaguely uncomfortable about what she saw as "old stick in the mud, religious conservatism run rampant". Which is a bit the media image of Prohibition that we're left with - when in actual fact it was closely tied to the Women's Rights and Suffrage movements. Women, (and by extension) their children - where the greatest sufferers at the hands of rampant alcohol abuse, thus trying to stem the use and abuse of it was really all about protecting and furthering the rights of women.
</tangent>

 
exnihilo
905704.  Tue May 01, 2012 7:29 am Reply with quote

Oceans Edge wrote:
Woah... 9 bars on one campus does seem a tad excessive.


Surely that depends entirely on the size of the campus. Without that information no judgement can be made.

 
Neotenic
905714.  Tue May 01, 2012 7:52 am Reply with quote

Indeed - I believe that Lancaster is the university in question - and there are over 12,500 students there according to Wiki.

So that's still less than one bar per 1,000 students, which if anything looks like fewer than would be required.

North America does seem, to me, to have a curious relationship with alcohol.

At times - not least with the legal drinking ages that are set - it seems uncommonly prudish. But, at the same time, things like Spring Break appear to exist for the sole purpose of getting completely smashed and naked in public. At least, that's what internet videos tell me.

I believe, and ex can almost certainly correct me if I am wrong, that there are some parallels with the way some Orthodox Jews treat the festival of Purim - in that they are generally sober but, to quote Wiki....

Quote:
On Purim day, a festive meal called the Se`udat Purim is held. The drinking of wine features prominently in keeping with the jovial nature of the feast. This is based on the fact that the salvation of the Jews occurred through wine and the Sages of the Talmud stated that one should drink on Purim until he can no longer distinguish between the phrases arur Haman ("Cursed is Haman") and baruch Mordechai ("Blessed is Mordecai").


Last edited by Neotenic on Tue May 01, 2012 8:03 am; edited 1 time in total

 
Oceans Edge
905717.  Tue May 01, 2012 8:00 am Reply with quote

Neotenic wrote:
Indeed - I believe that Lancaster is the university in question - and there are over 12,500 students there according to Wiki.

So that's still less than one bar per 1,000 students, which if anything looks like fewer than would be required.


Indeed, mea culpa. I'm certainly aware of a number of universities of that sort of large size (i.e. bigger than some small cities)... but hadn't really considered a singular campus of that kind of size. Failure on my part.

 
exnihilo
905726.  Tue May 01, 2012 8:22 am Reply with quote

Neotenic wrote:

I believe, and ex can almost certainly correct me if I am wrong, that there are some parallels with the way some Orthodox Jews treat the festival of Purim - in that they are generally sober but, to quote Wiki....

Quote:
On Purim day, a festive meal called the Se`udat Purim is held. The drinking of wine features prominently in keeping with the jovial nature of the feast. This is based on the fact that the salvation of the Jews occurred through wine and the Sages of the Talmud stated that one should drink on Purim until he can no longer distinguish between the phrases arur Haman ("Cursed is Haman") and baruch Mordechai ("Blessed is Mordecai").


It's my favourite festival.

 
Oceans Edge
905731.  Tue May 01, 2012 8:57 am Reply with quote

Neotenic wrote:
North America does seem, to me, to have a curious relationship with alcohol.

At times - not least with the legal drinking ages that are set - it seems uncommonly prudish. But, at the same time, things like Spring Break appear to exist for the sole purpose of getting completely smashed and naked in public. At least, that's what internet videos tell me.

I believe, and ex can almost certainly correct me if I am wrong, that there are some parallels with the way some Orthodox Jews treat the festival of Purim - in that they are generally sober but, to quote Wiki....

Quote:
On Purim day, a festive meal called the Se`udat Purim is held. The drinking of wine features prominently in keeping with the jovial nature of the feast. This is based on the fact that the salvation of the Jews occurred through wine and the Sages of the Talmud stated that one should drink on Purim until he can no longer distinguish between the phrases arur Haman ("Cursed is Haman") and baruch Mordechai ("Blessed is Mordecai").


Indeed it does, I wish to heck I had some sort of theory on 'why', but I don't really. Is it a result of prudishness and the temptation of forbidden fruits and all that? One could make an argument for that, except that the temperance movement sprung out of a backlash against the excessive use of alcohol - not the other way around.

I don't know. Here in Canada there seems to always be this endless tinkering with minimum drinking ages (varies by province), but it never really seems to change anything.

I can't really find a social development deviation between North America (and Australia) and Europe that really explains the difference in attitudes towards alcohol. So I'm stumped.

Your description of the Purim festival sounds like a most sensible attitude - "Moderation in all things, including moderation."

 
Neotenic
905734.  Tue May 01, 2012 9:09 am Reply with quote

Quote:
I can't really find a social development deviation between North America (and Australia) and Europe that really explains the difference in attitudes towards alcohol. So I'm stumped.


Although it won't be the entire reason, I'm sure you will find good milage in the migration of Puritans from the UK following the English Civil War.

 
swot
905748.  Tue May 01, 2012 10:03 am Reply with quote

Oceans Edge wrote:
Woah... 9 bars on one campus does seem a tad excessive.


There are 9 colleges on a fairly large campus, one for each college.

 
swot
905749.  Tue May 01, 2012 10:08 am Reply with quote

If people are really offended by alcohol, they can do what some of my fellow students did, and organise clubs that have nothing to do with getting smashed*, like the picnic society, tea-and-biscuit society and so on. As much as I don't want to be needlessly divisive, if you don't want someone shouting 'Down it Fresher!' in your face, maybe the Rugby team is not for you.



*you'd think the music society would fall under that category, but with 3 brass-only ensembles.....

 
CB27
905754.  Tue May 01, 2012 10:28 am Reply with quote

I used to love Purim as a kid, we used to dress up in different costumes and have Ozen Haman, which was a pastry with a sweet filling, and the adults were encouraged to loosen up a bit :)

Where I was growing up (Eilat), there was a large Bedouin population (this is before some of the settlements were built), and this was one time when everyone seemed to be celebrating together, I think they liked the party atmosphere...

 
Jenny
905767.  Tue May 01, 2012 10:54 am Reply with quote

I just wrote post 905766 on another thread, and this strikes me as being part of that same trend.

 
Oceans Edge
905786.  Tue May 01, 2012 12:30 pm Reply with quote

It seems sometimes that we always have to have this 'great ____ menace!" some faceless crowd of 'evil' to blame everything on. When the cold war ended we didn't have an evil menace to hate when communist USSR broke up. (BTW ... did you know Ronnie Raygun tore down the Berlin Wall with his own two hands!?)

We had to create a new villain to prop up the idea of Western heroism ... or something.

When you start to realize that the Iraqis were shooting at American forces with American weapons - sold to them when Iran and the Ayatolla Komehni where the 'bad guys' it really starts to hit home that the only guys winning at this game are the arms dealers. Lord of War may not have made cinematic history, but it was more right than wrong, me thinks.

 
CB27
905827.  Tue May 01, 2012 3:35 pm Reply with quote

While I don't support the demonisation of whole people and the way islamaphobia has fuelled a lot of untrue stories, I also think we should not go completely the other way and demonise "the West" or the US as well.

 
tetsabb
905972.  Wed May 02, 2012 9:32 am Reply with quote

Oceans Edge wrote:

We had to create a new villain to prop up the idea of Western heroism ... or something.



It seems to me that the US of A has always had to have an enemy to fear/fight/feel better than. First it was those red guys, then the guys with red flags, now the guys in turbans and holding the Qu'ran.
Who's next?

 

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