James R "Kaffir" is not an insult.

Discussion in 'Site Feedback' started by EmptyForceOfChi, Mar 2, 2011.

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  1. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    Answer: it is. And apparently it's a Tamil film, not an Indian one. Perhaps the absence of line-dancing should have tipped me off.

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  3. Mrs.Lucysnow Valued Senior Member

    @Chi & Scifes

    You both need to reconsider your positions, you may not consider it as an slur but indeed it is for many people. Read the following. Its classified as a 'racial term' not a term simply used to describe someone who doesn't believe in god or islam or isn't a muslim:

    The word kaffir, sometimes spelled kaffer or kafir, is an offensive term for a black person, most common in South Africa and other African countries. Generally considered a racial or ethnic slur in modern usage, it was previously a neutral term for black southern African people.

    The original meaning of the word is 'heathen', 'unbeliever' or 'infidel', from the Arabic 'kafir' and is still being used with this meaning by Muslims. The Arabic term Kafir (arab كافر) is, however, also applied to simply anyone who is not a Muslim. Portuguese explorers used the term generally to describe tribes they encountered in southern Africa, probably having misunderstood its etymology from Muslim traders along the coast. European colonists subsequently continued its use. Although it was in wide use between the 16th and 19th centuries, and not generally seen as an offensive term, as racial tensions increased in 20th century South Africa and the surrounding countries, it became a term of abuse.

    The word was used in English, Dutch and, later, Afrikaans, from the 16th century to the early 20th century as a general term for several different peoples of southern Africa. In Portuguese the equivalent cafre was used.

    In South Africa today, the term is used both as an insult, and by some, as a common word for a black person. In any case, the term is regarded by most as derogatory (in the same way as "nigger" in other countries). Use of the word has been actionable in South African courts since at least 1976 under the offense of crimen injuria: "the unlawful, intentional and serious violation of the dignity of another".

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  5. Mrs.Lucysnow Valued Senior Member

    Do you call Africans kaffir too without being slapped like a little bitch? Think for a moment that there are african-americans who run around calling each other 'niggar' in closed communities and yet if I or anyone for that matter used the term it would be an insult. You are arguing that anyone can run around using the term nigger without any consequences when you know its a load of shit.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2011
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  7. Shadow1 Valued Senior Member


    kaffir= dissbeleiver= who don't beleive in god, christians and jews who beleive in god and none but god(i think that is applied on egypte christians for example, they beleive in god, as, one, and none but god, and maybe other christianity sects, idk, because some christianity sections beleive that jesus is the god, or something like that), is not a kafir, and it can also be used on muslims who do bad things, like terrorists of anykind (rober, thief, mafia, whatever... any that do bad things)
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2011
  8. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    I think it's rather "insufficiently pious" in the eyes of one party or another, rather than those "who do bad things", although the two may be joined in the eyes of the public: unless the meaning of the term has changed in the last few minutes since Chi posted his interpretation.

    The upshot is that it is an offensive term (though not so bad as some to us over here; I don't know if it's more offensive in the ME although I expect that it probably is) and should be avoided.
  9. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    Endhiran rules so fucking hard it's almost physically painful. The level of awesome in that clip very nearly made me cry the first time I came across it...

    But my vote is probably for the snake.
  10. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    Not if you used it the way that they are using it. Which is difficult - it requires being a close friend, such that you can express solidarity by subverting racist terms like that. It's a subtle thing. But there do exist white people who can and do use the term "nigga" - around black people, at that - without causing offense. They typically are referred to as "nigga" by the same friends, again non-offensively.
  11. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    Hold it right there - you aren't the first in this thread to advance the proposition that EmptyHeadOfChi doesn't actually mean to insult with this stuff. But that's crap - he obviously does mean it as a slur. It's clear from his usage, and the associated framing: this is not a person for whom the descriptor "non-Muslim" is without derrogatory connotations. That holds regardless of what particular synonym for "non-Muslim" is used. This isn't a case of people mistakenly taking offense due to some hypersensitivity or cross-cultural misunderstanding: he really is expressing derision for non-Muslims (as a whole, as well as specific ones), and his targets are sensing that and responding appropriately.

    He thinks he can get away with using insulting language to convey a supremacist worldview, based on some technicality about the offensive terms being "accurate." That is a bullshit ploy, and an attempt to dodge responsibility for his (nasty) convictions. EmptyScrotumOfChi apparently wants SciForums to endorse his supremacism as "accurate," hence all the need to moderate him.

    Only question: how much longer is SciForums going to tolerate him before the inevitable perma-ban? Because I see no prospect of him backing off on such behavior.
  12. Mrs.Lucysnow Valued Senior Member

    So its only acceptable within intimate communities right? Nigger and nigga sound the same but have different connotations if I understand you so if I say 'nigga' randomly to any black person its still 'nigger' no matter how you look at it right? Because you can only use the term 'nigga' to someone you have an intimate tie with right?

    If so my point remains the same which is you cannot randomly use the term kaffir anymore than you can randomly use the term nigga without the intent and meaning coming into question.
  13. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    Tamil Nadu is a state in India, last time I checked. This is not a production by Sri Lankan Tamils or some Canadian diaspora or anything like that. It'd be wrong to call it a "Bollywood film," but "Indian film" seems perfectly accurate (if less specific than Tamil) to me...
  14. glaucon tending tangentially Registered Senior Member

    Sorry EFOC, it's an insult.

    If it can be taken as one, then it is.
    What's worse, you're pretending as if you didn't know that...
  15. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    Something like that - you don't necessarily have to intimately know each given person, but you do have to have mutual confidence that you're all on the same "side" of the issue. I.e., you'll frequently see it used by friends of friends who haven't previously met one another.

    I think that too much is made of the "nigga/nigger" distinction. It's true that the non-offensive useage tends to sound more like "nigga," but that's as much an accent thing as it is a different word. You'll sometimes hear it pronounced "nigger" by "insiders." About the only people who seem to think that there's an important distinction between "nigger" and "nigga" are naive white people who've just been called out for inappropriate use of such.

    Depends on who "you" are, but presumably yes. There do exist "white" people that can get away with such, though.

    I don't think it's relevant to usage of "kaffir." There is no particular context in which that isn't a derrogatory term. I wouldn't be any less offended by EmptySkullOfChi calling me "kaffir" no matter how well acquainted (and otherwise friendly) we might be (unless it was an obvious joke).
  16. Mrs.Lucysnow Valued Senior Member


    Well Chi and Scifes believe the term is benign because it means 'unbeliever' but then they go on to say they have a right to use it because people insult islam or the religious etc which make me think its actually being used as an insult in general.

    Thanks for explaining the nigga/nigger thing though I still find it as confusing as trying to figure out what race people believe other people belong to in the US...but there you go. I just figure its best not to use the term in any given situation:shrug:

    But by the way nigger is used to describe how someone is (who they are) but also to describe behaviour is that correct? And the behaviour can be directed towards any race?
  17. Bells Staff Member

    Because that is what the term is known to be so offensive for. It is what white South Africans called black South Africans.. I knew and spent the first part of my life being called that by white South Africans who lived in my country of birth. So you'll excuse me if I scoff at you, being offended at being called that.

    The term was originally used to describe non-Muslims.. When describing religious connotations or lack thereof, it means heathen. Tell me, which is the most offensive to you? Would you be just as offended if a Protestant called you a heathen?

    You find it insulting to be called a 'non-Muslim'?

    Do you see the irony of your complaint Geoff?

    You complain about the religion itself and then complain when you are referred to as a 'non-Muslim'.

    At best, your complaint should have been about the incorrect use of the term:

    "The correct use of the word kafir in Islamic theology does not include either Christians, Samaritans, Jews, and all "Sabians" who are covered by the term Ahl-e-Kitab, or "People of the Book," because they are considered recipients of divine revelation from Allah. Militant modern Muslims, however, often do not make the distinction in their rhetoric and do often use it to include these religious communities, or any enemy."


    Which is why I always laughed when you found it insulting.

    Tell me, would you be just as insulted and file reports if say a Mormon called you a heathen? How about an Anglican? What about if a Born Again Christian called you a heathen? Or is it just insulting if it's a Muslim who does it? Which leads to other questions, don't you think?

    Religiously, you were pretty much being called a 'non-Muslim'. Had you been black, then yes, you may have had a case to argue for. But to complain that you are being referred to as a 'non-Muslim' or a 'heathen' for example is hilarious.

    I am interested though, how many report posts did you file when Gustav called you a "Kaffir"?

    Look Geoff, I am sure you felt racially vilified and insulted when Chi called you a 'non-Muslim' or a heathen. You felt dirty and you felt like he demeaned you. You felt like he was calling your religious belief as being made up of "cleverly sculpted shit".

    I think the real question is how much longer is this site going to tolerate a lot of things that go on here. How long do you think before the management nabs you for insulting him through his name, which has always been a huge no no on this site and has seen people permanently banned? I'd say because of who and what you are, you are reasonably safe, which in and of itself, is a concern.

    Is Chi a supremacist? Yes. He never once hid that fact. I have known Chi on this board for years. We have had a lot of interesting chats. But believe it or not, he is not the worst here.

    Looking at the word itself, was it meant as an insult? If a non-Muslim can be insulted at being referred to as a 'non-Muslim', ermm sure. But how insulted do you think Geoff was at being called a "Kaffir" by Gustav for example? And I can assure you, he did mean it to be insulting. Geoff's response is not one of insult but of jest. So obviously the insult stems from its where the term came from. Which brings up other questions, such as 'why only be insulted if a Muslim uses it and not be insulted if a non-Muslim uses it to describe you?'..

    As I said, I am sure that Geoff felt demeaned when he was rudely called a non-Muslim. And for that, he should get all of our sympathies and comfort. The trauma he suffered from it must have been great, I'm sure.
  18. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    You cannot make a thread about what you like. You are bound by the posting guidelines of the forum, which you agreed to when you signed up. You are just a human, too, even if you think you are better than others.

    It is an insult coming to me, to Dywyddyr, to GeoffP and to the other people that have complained about you. You know it, and that's clearly how you intend it, despite your apologetics.

    I have no personal grudge against you, but I'm not surprised you say I do. It's very common among posters who are moderated and are for whatever reason unable to modify their behaviour and so have to be moderated again. I get this kind of response all the time.

    Warnings and temporary bans are supposed to produce some self-reflection and a change in behaviour. When they do not, we just get further bans, until finally the poster is permanently banned from sciforums. Right now, you're only one step away from that. It's a pity. You have over 9000 posts, so up until recently you have managed to get along with other posters just fine and not attract moderator attention. You might ask yourself what changed recently. To me, it looks like the trouble started when you started claiming to be a new prophet of Islam.

    Meh. People are almost always annoyed at being moderated.

    No, but when they have clearly told you they find a word insulting, if you wish to remain in civil conversation you ought to cease to use that word in respect of them. Your approach, on the other hand, has been to use it more and more often, which is deliberately antagonistic. Moreover, the context in which you choose to use the term is invariably insulting, quite apart from the use of the particular word itself.

    And once again you insult. This is why you have been banned again - for your insults here and in other threads.

    Another deliberate insult.

    Oh good. I was worried I wouldn't be in the history books.


    It is considered an insult in several contexts. More importantly, EFC is well aware that people here have taken it as an insult.

    If I told you I found it insulting, and you continued to use the term, then I would be justified in calling for moderator action to be taken against you.

    Well, that depends. If no questioning of your prophet is allowed by you, then anybody who dares to question will be regarded by you as insulting. The difference between this and giving another member a label is that in the latter case the insult is personal, whereas in your case the insult is to an idea or faith you hold dear.

    Is questioning of the prophet or the teachings of Islam allowed in Islam? If not, then Islam should grow up and learn to stand on its own two feet in the market place of ideas. If it can't take criticism or questioning, then it may not be a very robust idea in the first place.

    Please don't tell me who I do and do not respect. If you want to know, ask me. Don't assume.

    What a strange thing to say. If the forum is full of proud atheists, then surely they will all freely admit to being "unbelievers" in any religion you care to name.

    I don't hear you complaining about people badmouthing Nostradamus, or the Oracle of Delphi, or Jesus.


    Thankyou for that.


    ...in one context where the word is used.

    Read the context in which EFC has applied the term lately. It is almost always coupled with other slurs. It is clearly intended by him to be derogatory.

    Mrs. Lucysnow:

    That's the bottom line here.
  19. Bells Staff Member

    My husband laughed so much when he first saw it, he was in pain.

    And snake.. pfft.. the bit where they become human projectiles and then fly back into the sphere is the best bit (at 3:21).

    But the best part of that clip is the Russian translation. However that does not come close to the awesomeness of aiming with the mouse to shoot it with the demagnetise projectile!
  20. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    Right, but I consider that argument spurious to begin with. Just because something is "accurate" doesn't mean it isn't an insult.

    Yeah, that sort of contradictory justification goes pretty far in demonstrating that what we're dealing with is an attempt to insult and then dodge responsibility for such.

    That's a good rule of thumb. Supposing you are not black, another rule of thumb for figuring out when it's safe for you to call someone "nigga" is to refrain from doing so unless they call you such first. If your black friend calls you "my nigga," you are probably in safe territory (but still, proceed with caution).

    Eh, yes and no. I'd say it connotes something about class or social status, rather than behavior (hence, "sand nigger," "woman is the nigger of the world" etc.). But usually those kinds of distinctions only come up as post-hoc excuses from white people caught using the term, who then try to argue that they're only derrogating lazy, stupid blacks, and not all black people (as if this would lessen the offense).
  21. Bells Staff Member

    One could also argue that he was responding in kind or defending himself against slurs to his religion.

    But no matter, he (Geoff) felt insulted.

    As I am sure that Chi felt insulted at being referred to as:


    Because obviously, being called a heathen or Kaffir from someone we assume is Muslim is much much worse than being called a scrotum and thus demands immediate sanctions by way of warnings and ban. I mean being called a scrotum isn't derogatory at all, is it? So while we all lecture and encourage Chi about the inappropriate use of the word "Kaffir" and how derogatory it is, we can comfort ourselves on a job well done and ignore the giant set of balls that was flung into the room. And I am sure, that quad will have no issues at all at my calling him a scrotum from now on on the forum and nor will you, correct?

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    And of course, because he has been banned, he cannot report the insults. Ah.. convenience.. tis grand is it not?

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    Last edited: Mar 3, 2011
  22. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member


    Also an interesting question.

    I'd add that I personally am less concerned with the presence of insults as such, than with the attempts to avoid responsibility for one's insults. It's not so much that Chi is a supremacist who looks down on kaffirs, as much as that he expects the rest of us to pretend that expressions of such are something other than what they obviously are, and so implicate ourselves in his supremacism. It's the weasel aspect of his behavior that rankles.

    An even thornier question, that.

    But, I'm curious: in your view, exactly "who" and "what" am I? What are the relevant categories or relations, there? I can only discern so much, from my outsider station, and so mostly have to approach such questions in very coarse terms.

    Well, he's pretty much constitutionally incapable of hiding such. It's written all over everything he says, whether he means it to be or not.

    The problem is that he doesn't take responsibility for the consequences of that. He expects to be able to retain his uncritical supremacism, and not have to deal with people responding to him accordingly. He demands that everyone play stupid, to avoid getting in the way of his own gratification. It's asinine.

    That just goes to show that you can't determine whether some bit of speech is insulting (or was meant as an insult) simply by examining the dictionary definitions of the words employed. You've agreed that Chi is an Islamic supremacist - that pretty much directly implies that any use of any word meaning "non-Muslim" is an insult, coming from him. And to the extent that he is invoking such disbelief as pertinent to standing in the conversation, it's also an attack on open, respectful discussion as such.

    I'll let Gustav speak for his own intentions, but suffice it to say that my reading of that exchange is at significant variance with yours.

    Because said non-Muslim is presumably not of the position that Muslims are superior to non-Muslims, for one obvious reason.

    Similar thing with "Jew." Most posters here could use such in a non-offensive way, simply as a descriptor of religious/ethnic affiliation. But for certain others, it's a loaded term, and they're pretty much incapable of employing it in a way that would not insult.

    Whatever anguish Geoff did or did not suffer is beside the point. I'm sure he can handle whatever Chi cares to throw at him. The important thing is not Geoff's feelings, but the fact of respectful discussion being subverted, and the associated precedent. If you let supremacists shit all over people, then soon enough you'll be left with a supreme pile of shit.
  23. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    That wouldn't amount to disputing that he meant to insult, note. It might make an argument for also banning someone else, but not one against his bans. Unless you're going to try to pursue some kind of playground "he-started-it" type of justice, which I would not recommend.

    Hey now: I didn't call him a scrotum. What I said was that his scrotum was empty. I.e., that he has no balls - it's a charge of cowardice, describing his tactic of insulting and then hiding behind weak pretenses to the contrary. To call someone a scrotum would actually be, if anything, a positive remark coming from me (i.e., a ballsy male who is proud of such).

    And I'm not in the business of complaining about the anguish I suffer from being called names. So I find your implication of hypocrisy on my part ill-considered. You can call me "scrotum" or "poopyhead" or "dickwad" or whatever, all you want. I'm pretty sure I've called myself worse here, more than once in the last week.
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