The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'islamism'
Galloway has said that ‘the disappearance of the Soviet Union was the biggest catastrophe of my life.’ To Saddam Hussein, he said, ‘I salute your courage, your strength, your indefatigability. And I want you to know that we are with you until victory, until victory, until Jerusalem!’ We know that Galloway signed a petition demanding the release of Saddam’s number-two Tariq Aziz, with whom Galloway once danced in a North African nightclub. The Iraqi ‘resistance’, jihadis who kill civilians, socialists and aid workers, is ‘defending all the Arabs, and they are defending all the people of the world from American hegemony.’ When trade unionists broke down in tears at their recollections of torture under Ba’athists, Galloway sneered that their visible emotion was ‘a party trick’. He called Iraqi trade union leader Abdullah Muhsin an ‘Iraqi Quisling’. He said of the Syrian dictator that ‘Syria is lucky to have Bashar al-Assad as her President.’ We know that he described Hamas as a ‘Palestinian national resistance movement, analogous to the organisations fighting for freedom in Kashmir,’ and said at a London antiwar rally that ‘I AM HERE to glorify the Lebanese resistance, Hezbollah, and I AM HERE to glorify the resistance leader, Hassan Nasrallah.’ He has also said that ‘in poor third world countries like Pakistan, politics is too important to be left to petty squabbling politicians… only the armed forces can really be counted on to hold such a country together.’
Galloway’s Respect party was an alliance between the SWP and conservative Muslims. To keep its new friends on board, the party threw out its commitments to secularism, female equality and gay rights, which SWP leader Lindsey German dismissed as a ‘shibboleth.’ That is Galloway’s legacy, if nothing else: he has brought the communalism of the BNP into left-wing politics, and brought religious reaction into left-wing politics.
A furore has erupted with the publication of the Indonesian edition of Playboy. While it is a lot tamer than Western editions (the excuse of buying it only for the articles would probably be more plausible there), Islamists are still calling for severe punishments for all involved, and the editor and centrefold model are facing imprisonment:
The magazine has been targeted by opponents as a symbol of Western decadence and the row has led to calls for tough anti-pornography laws outlawing "sensual behaviour", revealing clothing, even kissing in public. It is part of a concerted push to impose sharia law throughout Indonesia, a campaign that Abu Bakar Bashir, the former spiritual leader of the Jemaah Islamiah terrorist network, vowed to spearhead on his release from prison last month.
Rock-throwing protesters tried to ransack Playboy's Jakarta office when the first edition appeared in April, so Arnada relocated to the more tolerant island of Bali.
He published a second edition last month, with numerous blank pages after advertisers withdrew their support following threats by the Islamic Defenders Front.Meanwhile, feminist groups there have spoken out in the defense of Playboy.
The trial has begun at the Old Bailey of hardline Islamist cleric Abu Hamza al Masri, accused of inciting hatred and terrorism. The court heard that Masri preached, among other things, that Muslims have an obligation to kill infidels and apostates and overthrow non-Islamist governments, that Hitler was sent by Allah to "torture and humiliate" Jews, and that the ultimate aim was a global Islamist caliphate, ruled by a caliph in the White House in Washington DC.
The surprising thing is the last point. If one was to think of a location for the capital of a global Islamist state, surely Washington DC, a city with relatively little in the way of Islamic history, would come fairly low on the list, well after places with historical resonance like Baghdad, Mecca and Jerusalem, or even cities like Paris and London.
The successful Iraqi election, with its broad participation of all ethnic groups and relative lack of bloodshed, has sent Bush's approval rating soaring; however, looking more closely at the situation, the triumph of democracy looks rather hollow. The country is divided along sectarian lines, hardline Islamists dominate all three parts of it, and the pro-Western secularists Washington had hoped would prevail look like getting fewer seats in the new parliament than the hostage-beheading militants. In short, Iraq seems to be fissioning into two or three theocracies, with the Shia faction enthusiastically joining Iran's (Ahmadine-)jihad against Israel and the West and the Sunni part becoming an al-Qaeda fiefdom not unlike Taliban Afghanistan; either that or the whole country turning into Somalia.
"People underestimate how religious Iraq has become," said one Iraqi observer. "Iran is really a secular society with a religious leadership, but Iraq will be a religious society with a religious leadership." Already most girls leaving schools in Baghdad wear headscarves. Women's rights in cases of divorce and inheritance are being eroded.
A jihadist website has published a fatwa on "Islamically-sound" ways of playing soccer:
2. International terminology that heretics and polytheists use, like "foul," "penalty," "corner," "goal," "out" and others, should be abandoned and not said. Whoever says them should be punished, reprimanded and ejected from the game. He should be publicly told, "You have imitated the heretics and polytheists and this is forbidden."
3. Do not call "foul" and stop the game if someone falls and sprains a hand or foot or the ball touches his hand, and do not give a yellow or red card to whoever was responsible for the injury or tackle. Instead, it should be adjudicated according to Sharia rulings concerning broken bones and injuries. The injured player should exercise his Sharia rights according to the Koran and you must bear witness with him that so-and-so hurt him on purpose.
4. Do not follow the heretics, the Jews, the Christians and especially evil America regarding the number of players. Do not play with 11 people. Instead, add to this number or decrease it.
6. Do not play in two halves. Rather play in one half or three halves in order to completely differentiate yourselves from the heretics, the polytheists, the corrupted and the disobedient.
13. You should spit in the face of whoever puts the ball between the posts or uprights and then runs in order to get his friends to follow him and hug him like players in America or France do, and you should punish and reprimand him, for what is the relationship between celebrating, hugging and kissing and the sports that you are practicing?
And the Drama Queen Of The Day award goes to: Omar Bakri Mohammed, the militant Jihadist cleric who has been outspokenly advocating terrorism and playing chicken with incitement laws for a decade or so (see also Jon Ronson's Them). Ever the centre of attention, Bakri publicly announced, some time after the recent spate of suicide bombings in London, that he would not tell the police if he knew of terrorist attacks being planned. When the government announced it was looking at deporting hardliners or charging them with treason, Bakri stormed off in a huff to the Middle East, muttering darkly that the British people would hear from him. Now he says that he just left for a holiday and would be back... unless the government didn't want him.
Stalinist MP George Galloway has caused another stir after praising Iraqi insurgents as "martyrs"; which is rather odd language for a good dialectic-materialist Marxist to be using, wouldn't you say?
He told Syrian Television: "Two of your beautiful daughters are in the hands of foreigners - Jerusalem and Baghdad. "The foreigners are doing to your daughters as they will. "The daughters are crying for help and the Arab world is silent. And some of them are collaborating with the rape of these two beautiful Arab daughters."
"It can be said, truly said, that the Iraqi resistance is not just defending Iraq. They are defending all the Arabs and they are defending all the people of the world against American hegemony."It makes one wonder: do the martyrs and heroes include those who beheaded Ken Bigley and brutally murdered Margaret Hassan? Are al-Qaeda now in George Galloway's list of global freedom fighters?
Hanif Kureishi, author of The Black Album (a book touching on Muslim radicalism in Britain at the time of the Satanic Verses fatwa), on the growth of radicalism among British Muslims:
The mosques I visited, in Whitechapel and Shepherd's Bush, were nothing like any church I'd attended. The scenes, to me, were extraordinary, and I was eager to capture them in my novel. There would be passionate orators haranguing a group of people sitting on the floor. One demagogue would replace another, of course, but the "preaching" went on continuously, as listeners of all races came and went. I doubt whether you'd see anything like this now, but there would be diatribes against the west, Jews and - their favourite subject - homosexuals.
Sometimes I would be invited to the homes of these young "fundamentalists". One of them had a similar background to my own: his mother was English, his father a Muslim, and he'd been brought up in a quiet suburb. Now he was married to a woman from Yemen who spoke no English. Bringing us tea, she came into the room backwards, and bent over too, out of respect for the men. The men would talk to me of "going to train" in various places, but they seemed so weedy and polite, I couldn't believe they'd want to kill anyone.
I found these sessions so intellectually stultifying and claustrophobic that at the end I'd rush into the nearest pub and drink rapidly, wanting to reassure myself I was still in England. It is not only in the mosques but also in so-called "faith" schools that such ideas are propagated. The Blair government, while attempting to rid us of radical clerics, has pledged to set up more of these schools, as though a "moderate" closed system is completely different to an "extreme" one. This might suit Blair and Bush. A benighted, ignorant enemy, incapable of independent thought, and terrified of criticism, is easily patronised.Meanwhile, the Graun's Jonathan Freedland suggests that the reason that second-generation British Muslims are embracing radicalism in large numbers has to do with the lack of a US-style sense of national identity; apparently, British culture is too self-deprecating and embarrassed of itself to hold much appeal or command much loyalty, and the vacuum is filled with radical Islamism and such; consequently, if Britain is to assimilate people from different cultures peacefully and cohesively, it needs a new sense of national pride.
Though wouldn't anything even remotely redolent of earnest national pride, let alone the sort of chest-beating God-Bless-America-Fuck-Yeah-We're-Number-One Stars-and-Stripes-on-your-Hummer triumphalism that exists in the US, be fundamentally un-British? I can't imagine the Britons of today festooning their Vauxhall Corsas and row houses with enormous Union Jacks and declaiming, in all earnestness, that their national destiny is ordained by God. This may have been otherwise at the height of the British Empire; after all, it was the British who coined the word "jingoism"; and as for God-given manifest destiny, Britain came up with Anglo-Israelitism, the ideology that the English are God's true chosen people. These days, however, that sort of thing comes across as a bit naff.
Londoners probably shouldn't relax too soon, if The Times' claim that a third terror cell is poised to strike are correct. The claims apparently come from a Special Branch conference at Scotland Yard, though elsewhere, the authorities have been downplaying them. In any case, this matter is far from over, and it may take months to find those behind the bombings. The fact that one of them managed to slip through the net and leave the country a few days after the alarm was raised doesn't raise one's confidence.
In other news: it emerges that the Oval bomber tried to have an imam sacked for being too moderate, and the bomber held in Rome tells all to an Italian newspaper, claiming that they only planned a "demonstration attack" and didn't intend to kill anyone; perhaps his handlers told him that the backpack he was carrying contained a large red flag with "BANG!" printed on it or something? Meanwhile, the youth wing of a mainstream UK Muslim group is calling for jihad against the infidels (i.e., us), and details are emerging about the psychology of the failed suicide bombers. And if there's one phrase that says "loser in the game of life", it would be "failed suicide bomber":
Elie Godsi, a consultant clinical psychologist, says that there is a huge stigma attached to terrorists who fail which means they are unable to return to their communities.
"There is a great deal of stigma in having not succeeded," said the forensic psychologist from the University of Nottingham and author of Making Sense of Madness and Badness. "They will regroup and try again or try to take their own lives."
Times columnist Amir Taheri claims that much of contemporary "Islamic" attire is a symbol of militant extremism, or "adverts for al-Qaeda" as he puts it:
Muslim women should cast aside the so-called hijab, which has nothing to do with Islam and everything to do with tribal wear on the Arabian peninsula. The hijab was reinvented in the 1970s as a symbol of militancy, and is now a visual prop of terrorism. If some women have been hoodwinked into believing that they cannot be Muslims without covering their hair, they could at least use headgears other than black (the colour of al-Qaeda) or white (the colour of the Taleban). Green headgear would be less offensive, if only because green is the colour of the House of Hashem, the family of the Prophet.
Muslim men should consider doing away with Taleban and al-Qaeda-style beards. Growing a beard has nothing to do with Islam; the Prophet himself never sported anything more than a vandyke. The bushy beards you see on Oxford Street are symbols of the Salafi ideology that has produced al-Qaeda and the Taleban.
Some Muslims also use al-Qaeda and Taleban-style clothing to advertise their Salafi sentiments. For men this consists of a long shirt and baggy trousers, known as the khaksari (down-to-earth) style and first popularised by Abu Ala al-Maudoodi, the ideological godfather of Islamist terrorism. Muslims who wear such clothes in the belief that it shows their piety, in most cases, are unwittingly giving succour to a brand of Islamist extremism.
From a BBC article, asking what could motivate normal young men from Leeds to become suicide bombers:
"Then the government aren't helping that either because they approach people by putting labels on them.
"These kids, whoever they are, want to create their own identities but are being told they are Muslim, white, black or whatever.
"The majority of the lads just want to be British but ever since 9/11 they've been pushed back time and again onto a Muslim identity.And elsewhere, questions are being asked about multiculturalism and its present implementation.
Could it be that multiculturalism, as practiced in Britain, overemphasises the rights of cultures over the rights of individuals to choose their own identities, discouraging them from joining the mainstream of British culture in the interest of diversity? In the multicultural age, the concept of assimilation is considered unfashionable, bordering on racism; the alternative, however, seems to encourage the formation of enclaves and ghettos, and the sorting of individuals into those by their ancestry or background. Could it be time to reassess this balance?
If someone is, say, Catholic or Jewish, that is treated as incidental to everything else they are, rather than as a primary and core part of who/what they are. (Well, except possibly by various Ulster unionists and BNP neo-Nazis). If someone is Muslim, however, that seems to be regarded as a fundamental part of their identity, an indicator of difference. The subtext seems to be "they're not like us": they pray differently, eat differently, drink differently, dress differently, and even if they don't, they have different values. Over time, this could become a self-fulfilling prophecy, an internalised mechanism of segregation.
Part of this is due to the legacy of 1960s New Left identity politics, with its emphasis of empowerment through collective identity and condemnation of any privileging of a mainstream culture over subcultures as "hegemonic". Taken to its extreme, this would end up with disjoint, ghettoised communities, each with their own cultures and values. And when there is little meaningful interaction between communities (and impersonal transactions in kebab shops and minicab offices don't count as meaningful), it is easy for radical elements within either community (be they Islamist militants or the BNP) to dehumanise the other community as a faceless collective enemy, rather than a large number of different individuals, some of whom one could probably get on with rather well.
Word of the day: Londonistan, or the US press's term for London-as-the-Jihadist-hub-of-Europe:
In articles with headlines such as "For decades London thrived as a busy crossroads for terror" (New York Times) and "Continent's Issues include Geography and Open borders: Bombers travel freely, police cannot" (Wall Street Journal), the American press argue that London is a global hub for Islamic fundamentalism and terrorist cells.
"If London became a magnet for fiery preachers, it also became a destination for men willing to carry out their threats," said a front page report in the Times on Sunday. "For a decade, the city has been a crossroads for would-be terrorists who used it as a home base, where they could raise money, recruit members and draw inspiration from the militant messages."There is now debate in the US about whether Britons should be able to enter the US without a visa.
Link via hairyears, who points out that, more than that, London is a hub of open debate of the sort suppressed in the Middle East, and the liberals and reformists greatly outnumber the Wahhabi exterminationists:
This is the world's largest population of educated middle-class Arabs in an open society. As a consequence of our tolerance, all shades of opinion are expressed here, from Hamza and the exterminationists to governments-in-waiting, to exiled monarchs and all manner of opposition newspapers that are banned and smuggled into the 'home' country by travellers and relatives. Small cabals of nutcases in bedsits with bombing videos and extremist tracts, attending Arabic-speaking private mosques? Yes, we've got them, too. What's Arabic for Unabomber? Madmen have existed here since the Anarchists came to London a century ago, with their futile factional extremism and their bombs, but it never amounted to anything much. London's politically lively - raw and strident, if you know where to look - but it's no hotbed of violence: politics, not warfare.
It is also well worth pointing out that the suppression of moderate Arabic opinion has been condoned by successive Washington administrations, who do not grant political asylum to embarrassing critics of strategically-useful despots. That's why the moderates are here, not in New York's great melting-pot.
According to this Graun article, George Galloway may not have won his seat (which, after all, he picked up by a slender margin) without the help of gangs of enforcers intimidating the opposition:
Others in the room had voted for the Liberal Democrats. None had cast their vote for Galloway. Rowan Livingstone, who decided to go Green, explained, 'They came to our door and when my flatmate said she would not be voting Respect they shouted at her and called her ignorant.'
Elsewhere in Bethnal Green, student Benjamin Virgo, 34, explained what had happened to him on Tuesday night. 'On the way out to the corner shop to buy milk and bread I passed a couple of young guys. After I'd crossed the road they threw a bottle at me. They became more aggressive, so I reached for my mobile and started to call the police. They followed me into the shop and announced to the other customers and staff that I was a racist. Then, fists in my face, they ordered me to stop my call, reminded me that they knew where I lived and threatened to burn my house down. The police never came. George Galloway is now my MP.'
In the U.S., abortion-clinic and gay-bar bomber Eric Rudolph, who hid from police in the North Carolina mountains for five years using survivalist techniques, has confessed to the Atlanta olympics bombing.
So far, he appears to have declined to give a theological argument against sporting events. His explanation for bombing the Olympics is here; apparently it has to do with the Olympics' "despicable" Lennonist-socialist ideals; that and abortion.
Meanwhile, in Britain, another one of God's soldiers has been convicted for planning ricin attacks on the public. Kamel Bourgass, linked to al-Qaeda and a militant Islamist group centred at the Finsbury Park mosque, was found to have plans and raw materials for making the deadly poison; it is believed his plans for it included spraying it on car door handles around that hotbed of Zionist-Crusader Infidelism, Holloway Road. Bourgass, also known as Nadir, is already serving a life sentence after stabbing a police officer to death when facing arrest.
You find the oddest things on LiveJournal, such as a blog reporting on the doings of the British militant left. Nowadays they've got their hands full with "Gorgeous George" Galloway's Islamo-Stalinist Coalition (also known as the Respect Party) and their many attempts to shoehorn militant Islamic fundamentalism into the image of a Marxist liberation movement whilst jettisoning liabilities such as commitments to womens' rights, gay rights and secularism.
In France, Islam is the new Marxism; the disaffected, who once turned to Communism as an ideology of resistance are now embracing Islam. Most of them are immigrants from a Muslim background, but some are converts rejecting traditional European culture. (via FmH)
Like communism, it represents for many of its devoted adherents a transnational ideology tilting toward an eventual utopian vision, in this case of a vast, if not global, caliphate governed according to sharia, the legal code based on the Koran.
A utopian ideal based on the 9th-century Arab Empire (whose day-to-day code of laws shari'a was), and being essentially an enlightened feudal kingdom? I'm skeptical as to how broad its appeal could be in this age. Then again, "dictatorship of the proletariat" didn't exactly sound like a winning proposition either.
Anyway, according to the article, most political Islamists in France are not isolationist radicals, but seek to engage within the existing system, which suggests that political Islam may assimilate into mainstream French politics much as Communism did.
A Dutch filmmaker who made a controversial film about violence against women in Islamic societies has been murdered in Amsterdam. Theo van Gogh (a relative of the painter) was shot and stabbed to death whilst cycling in a park. A collaborator of his (liberal Dutch politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who fled an arranged marriage and is an outspoken critic of human-rights abuses in the name of Islam) also received death threats, and is under police protection.
Phil Doré was a member of the Stop the War Coalition, the group which organised huge anti-war protests in the UK; then he left the group and now runs a website on what's wrong with it. In short, the coalition is run almost entirely by hard-line totalitarian leftists like unreconstructed Stalinist George Galloway. Their ideology seems to be that anything goes as long as it's against Western capitalist liberalism; thus they give uncritical support to anti-Western totalitarian dictators like Saddam Hussein, ally themselves with Islamic fundamentalist groups (something any moderate socialist, let alone liberal progressive, would find alarming), and pulled a bait-and-switch on the thousands of moderate Guardian-reader types who came to their rallies, promising opposition to a war but handing them banners praising anti-Israeli suicide bombers. Doré's site (and the abbreviated Butterflies and Wheels article distilled from it) talks about Britain's StWC, but from what I heard, the US and Australian organising groups like ANSWER are similarly riddled with reprehensible ideologues.
This conjunction of the SWP and the MAB led to the STWC drawing a clear link between war in Iraq with Israel/Palestine. At protests such as those on February 15 th 2003, middle-of-the-road liberals who had turned up to voice their disquiet at a reckless military adventure in Iraq were bemused to find themselves being handed placards that said not just Don't Attack Iraq or Not in My Name but also Freedom for Palestine. The MAB in particular seemed to be giving out almost as many Freedom for Palestine as Don't Attack Iraq placards. The Socialist Alliance went further, subtitling their Freedom for Palestine placards with the words Victory to the Intifada, at a stroke turning middle-class Guardian readers into standard-bearers for suicide bombers.
A look at the list of names on the Stop the War Coalitions steering committee gives an idea of the scale of the takeover. The chair is a man who thinks that people shouldnt whinge about Stalin's careless slaughter of 20 million people (Andrew Murray). The convenor is a member of the Socialist Workers Party, an organisation that advocates the overthrow of democracy and its replacement with a dictatorship of the proletariat (Lindsey German). Of the Vice-Presidents, one is a man who thinks that the indiscriminate murder of Iraqi civilians can be likened to the French resistance in World War Two (Tariq Ali). Another spent the 1990s condemning Saddam's regime when he was in London and sucking up to it with a nauseating sycophancy when in Baghdad (George Galloway MP).
As another bomb goes off, slaughtering a few more Iraqi policemen or another crowd of Shia pilgrims, theres something very distressing about people like Tariq Ali and John Pilger actually welcoming this. When such figures suggest that these brutal and indiscriminate killings may lead to democracy and social justice, as Tariq Ali has (1), then one is left wondering whether to laugh or cry. You might as well hope that the BNP will take over the Equal Opportunities Commission and set about improving race relations.
Anyway, the site has a wealth of insightful and balanced criticism of the radical left's arguments, from their Intifada-good-Israel-bad take on the Palestinian issue to their support for the Iraqi "people's uprising" (which, surprisingly, isn't as popular with the Iraqi people as one would think after reading the Green Left Weekly). He signs off with a 7-step programme to rehabilitating the protest movement and saving it from the clutches of the paleo-Marxist ideo-zombies.
1. Communism is obsolete. Get over it.
2. Follow universal values. Instead of cheap partisanship and outdated revolutionary ideals, one should follow humanistic principles based on democracy, tolerance, respect for human rights and concern for ones fellow human beings. The key is the principle of democracy. Be wary of anything that smacks of condoning violence. Theres nothing more dangerous than an idealist with a gun.
3. Apply the same rules to everyone. This is important, because its necessary to be consistent in the application of ones values. Opposing the brutalities of the Israeli occupation of the Occupied Territories does not mean ignoring the indiscriminate slaughter of the Palestinian suicide bombers. Likewise, its perfectly possible to condemn racism against Muslims while also criticising the narrow-minded religious bigots of the Muslim Association of Britain and condemning the theocratic fascism of al Qaeda, the Taliban and the Iranian ayatollahs.
(One could add a meta-rule to this: beware of people who think in binary dualisms; that you must either be a Trotskyist or a neo-con, that you're either a hardline likudnik or you're cheering on the suicide bombers, that you're either with the gang of thugs torturing prisoners in Abu Ghraib or the gang of thugs blowing up civilians in the Fedayeen "resistance"; that you're either With Us or Against Us.)
(via Peter, who has his head screwed on the right way.)
Bad news for the neo-conservative pipe dream of making Iraq the start of a domino chain of neo-liberal democracies across the Middle East, too busy eating Big Macs, watching MTV and monitoring their Halliburton shares to consider annihilating Israel or supporting international terrorism, thus ushering in a new age of peace and contented consumerism across the entire Middle East. The US Government have indicated that they will accept a theocracy emerging in Iraq. I'm sure John Ashcroft wouldn't object.
Meanwhile, two cities in southern California are designating themselves no-communist zones; very retro.
A picture is emerging of the Madrid bombers (most of whom are believed to have killed themselves with a bomb when besieged); and it appears that they gave no clue to being Islamic fundamentalists:
Neighbours who lived near Fakhet, and many of the other suspects, had little reason to think that they were militants with a fundamentalist agenda. Many of them appeared westernised and integrated into the Spanish community, with a liking for football, fashion, drinking and Spanish girlfriends, say Spanish press reports.
Ahmidan is also said to have seemed happily integrated in Spanish society, whose Spanish friends are said to have included women who sported crop tops, tattoos and piercings.
Which is a sobering thought; the "brigades of death" could be among us, not merely keeping quietly to themselves whilst catching your bus or working in your office, but popping Es at your favourite nightclub, barracking for your footy team, and discussing the finer points of your favourite reality-TV show with you over a beer; right up until the end when they cast off the façade of their normal life and kill you and your loved ones.
Either that or the right-wing talk radio jocks are right and people with tattoos, piercings and countercultural leanings are in league with the terrorists.
Al-Qaeda (whatever that really is) now has a new weapon in its jihad against America: rap music; more precisely, a militant Islamic rap group from Britain calling themselves the Soul Salah Crew, and whose song "Dirty Kuffar", is a hit throughout the Islamosphere:
The song starts with images of US marines in Iraq cheering as one of them shoots a wounded Iraqi lying on the floor. At the end of the video, it features shots of the hijacked planes flying into the Twin Towers with sounds of the rappers laughing. There is then a list of 56 countries they claim have been the 'victims of American aggression' since 1945.
Excerpt from 'Dirty Kuffar':
Peace to Hamas and the Hizbollah
OBL [bin-Laden] pulled me like a shiny star
Like the way we destroyed them two towers ha-ha
The minister Tony Blair, there my dirty Kuffar
The one Mr Bush, there my dirty Kuffar...
Throw them on the fire
Mohammed al-Massari, the Islamic extremist leader and former Saudi dissident whose website is promoting the song, denies that it is an encitement to terrorist attacks against the West, claiming that the lyrics are only metaphorical. Meanwhile, the authorities are investigating the video.
An interesting look at the recent rise of anti-semitism in Europe:
The forum asserts that the most dangerous strand has its roots in Islam and that the rising number of Muslims in Europe is responsible for fuelling terror attacks, street violence and general harassment of Jews... it was revealed that the EU's racism watchdog has suppressed a report on anti-semitism because it concluded that Muslims were behind many incidents.
Deborah Lipstadt, the academic who won a libel victory after describing the rightwing historian David Irving as a Holocaust denier, this month described the "new" anti-semitism as directed at the "Rambo Jew, the Jew who is the aggressor".
"Sharon has a long record of calling Israeli critics of his policies traitors, and foreign critics anti-semites. The left is concerned that Sharon's policies are endangering Israel's future by fuelling virulent and violent anti-semitism."
The question arises of how closely criticism of Israeli policies (which, it must be said, have been somewhat hard-line in recent years) is connected with anti-semitic ideology. On one hand, it's implausible to assume that ideological anti-semites haven't jumped on this bandwagon (after all, there were reports of neo-Nazis joining the radical vegetarian/animal-rights movement looking for sufficiently zealous extremists to network with, a somewhat more bizarre scenario; closer to the situation, there were reports of neo-Nazi front groups joining the anti-capitalist protest movement, and trying to replace criticism of globalisation with discussion of "globalism", aka the cosmopolitan Elders-of-Zion bête noire). On the other hand, tarring all criticism of Israel with the brush of anti-semitism is obviously absurd, as much as accusing all critics of the Bush administration of despising Americans.
Liberated from the shackles of Saddam Hussein's neo-Stalinist regime, Muslim extremists are moving aggressively to impose faith-based government on Iraq, which used to be one of the most secular societies in the Middle East. Liquor stores have been bombed, and women of all faiths have been threatened to cover up or else:
"Women who don't wear the veil won't be served when they go shopping; taxis won't pick them up and they might have eggs and rotten tomatoes thrown at them."
Not everybody's keen on Islamist theocracy, though; secular Iraqis and the country's Christian community vow to resist.
Prominent Malaysian human rights lawyer Karpal Singh has claimed that Malaysia's prime minister Mahathir Mohamad (you know, the one who blamed the International Jewish Conspiracy for Malaysia's economic woes and keeps accusing Australia of racist contempt for "Asian values" for refusing to silence critics of his regime) is moving Malaysia towards sharia law. Mahathir declared 18 months ago, for reasons of political expediency, that Malaysia is "a fundamentalist Islamic state", ignoring the Supreme Court's pronouncements that Malaysia is a secular state, and has had little respect for the evil British imperialist legacy of common law and an independent judiciary. His edict and the fact that many of Malaysia's judges are on the verge of retiring have emboldened Islamist hardliners seeking to abolish common law. Could Mahathir be the next Mugabe?
Iran's religious police have arrested dozens of young people for internet dating:
General Ahmad Rouzbehani told Irna: "Some people were using an internet site to allow girls and boys to talk and arrange meetings in a place in north Tehran where they had illegal relations."
Minority Christians and Mandaeans fleeing persecution in Iran end up in Australian detention centers, where they are persecuted by Muslim extremist refugees:
Mandaeans say Muslim extremists have defecated on them, and set fire to Mandaean and Christian accommodation when these groups don't join planned disturbances. Mandaeans say an extremist religious leader in detention has issued a "fatwa" that killing Mandaeans is sanctioned in Islam.
Screws at the detention centres have, of course, ignored these complaints. Firstly, they're probably just troublemakers making up stories out of pure spite and ingratitude. Secondly, the screws, being in the prison business, know from experience that laissez-faire policies in high-pressure prisons can be useful for creating a man-made hell, and deterring others from coming over.
(Btw, these sorts of Islamofascist extremists are around in significant proportions in the detention centres? That's a far cry from the cuddly, doe-eyed refugees the good burghers of North Fitzroy and such have been offering their spare rooms to. Of course, many probably weren't murderous zealots before, and have been radicalised by the detention centres; which amounts to Australia basically giving al-Qaeda and its ilk a surfeit of potential recruits with a burning hatred of the west.)
Destroy anything pink and fluffy: Islamic morality police staged a Valentine's Day crackdown, arresting lovers making out in cars and hotel rooms. Those who could produce marriage certificates were released; others found holding hands unchaperoned were sent home separately. No idea what happened to more severe cases; caning perhaps?
The latest craze among young men in Islamic Fundamentalist-ruled Afghanistan is the Titanic haircut, so named as it's modelled on Pretty Boy DiCaprio's hair in the eponymous blockbuster. The Taliban rulers (who have banned Western clothing and the trimming of beards) are not amused, and have arrested dozens of barbers. (via Rebecca's Pocket)