It is right that Emwazi was killed. It is wrong to manipulate Corbyn’s words.

November 13, 2015

As a critic of Jeremy Corbyn and the hideous Stop The War Coalition that he is so proud to represent, I am nevertheless tiring of the vast manipulations of the perfectly reasonable things he says. When Corbyn referred to Hamas as “dedicated to peace and social justice“, his words were clearly in context, could not be manipulated, and require a frank rebuttal given the nature of Hamas. A Labour Leader should not be referring to a fascist group of thugs as being dedicated to social justice. He abandoned every sense of liberalism the moment he referred to Hamas as “dedicated to social justice”. But – as with his words on Bin Laden’s death – often his language is entirely manipulated by my fellow critics, and it’s spectacularly frustrating, given how easy it is to criticise him without having to descend into manipulative absurdities.

So when news broke of a strike in Raqqa that killed Emwazi, I waited to see what Corbyn would say, and how his words would be used to imply something separate from what he actually said.

Corbyn’s statement on Emwazi’s death says:

“We await identification of the person targeted in last night’s US air attack in Syria. It appears Mohammed Emwazi has been held to account for his brutal and callous crimes. However, it would have been far better for us all if he had been held to account in a court of law. These events only underline the necessity of accelerating international efforts, under the auspices of the UN, to bring an end to the Syrian conflict as part of a comprehensive regional settlement.”

– In came Guido Fawkes.


There are several issues I take with this. The headline purposely lacks context and plays on the emotions of the reader. Jeremy Corbyn – already dismissed by Guido’s fellow conservatives as a terror sympathising Britain-hater (usually by those making excuses for a Saudi regime that funded the Taliban as it killed British soldiers) – thinks it’d be “better” if a terrorist was alive. That’s it. No context. The language is purposely vague because it strikes a chord. Had he been honest, the headline would have read that Corbyn thinks it’d have been better if Emwazi was held to account in a court of law. You know, like other murderers. And so that leads me to my second observation. We might assume from Guido’s context-less headline, that the Guido Fawkes’ blog thinks anyone who has committed murder should not in fact be tried in a court of law, and should be killed, because taking a murderer through court is essentially admitting that we like that they’re alive. Imagine every headline reading “Court thinks [Insert murderer’s name] is better off alive, handing shameful life sentence!” The Guido Fawkes blog hates British values of law. See how easy it is?

Corbyn’s statement of course invites criticism. It is true that it is our principle belief in the supremacy of law and order, that we must uphold at every possible opportunity, regardless of whether Fawkes would rather just kill people than see them tried. However, I see two options with Emwazi. Firstly, the US conducts an operation after months of planning and tracking, to arrest Emwazi, get him out the country, and bring him to trial. This is spectacularly difficult given that Emwazi was in the IS stronghold of Raqqa, and would inevitably result in prolonged gunfight, almost definitely casualties, a wonderful IS opportunity to propagandise, and a big chance that Emwazi would get away, given that troops would be engaged in fighting long before getting to him. The US would also need to get him to a secure location in order to then get him out the country. The risks are huge. The second option, was a targeted drone strike on an enemy combatant, who had already murdered US citizens. This response also has the benefit of minimal risk of civilian casualties, and coincided with a Kurdish push to take back land lost to IS in the past. I see no reason to favour the former, and every reason to press ahead with the latter option, as the US did, successfully.

Legitimate criticism of Corbyn’s pacifist position does not require descending into vast manipulations for conservative political point scoring.

Starbucks is out-Christmassing Donald Trump & David Amess.

November 11, 2015

It may be somewhat surprising to the Christian-right on both sides of the Atlantic, that the Bible does in fact contains more verses than just those condemning homosexuality. Some of which, tend to contradict much of how those same Christians act, and what they say. For example, despite the Christian God’s demands to be worshipped, a few Biblical verses happen to contain words on humility. James 4:6 for example explains:

“God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

– According to James, a sense of humility in your beliefs, is an attractive feature for the God of Christianity. And so I wonder how that God might respond to the bizarre lack of humility from the Christian-right, to Starbucks unveiling its new cups for Christmas.

Over here in the UK, Conservative MP David Amess is angry at the lack of Jesus on Starbucks products, and is sure it is a case of political correctnesss:

“I do think this is an example of political correctness gone mad.”
“What is Christmas about? It’s CHRIST-Mass.”
“This is utter madness. Who was the idiot who thought this up? He should be sacked!”

– Donald Trump over in the US said:

“Did you hear about Starbucks? No more Merry Christmas on Starbucks. I wouldn’t buy…. I’m speaking against myself… I have one of the most successful Starbucks in Trump Towers. Maybe we should boycott Starbucks? I don’t know. Seriously, I don’t care. By the way, that’s the end of that lease but who cares.”

– For both both Amess and Trump, every company should be constantly espousing Christian imagery in the two month run up to Christmas, otherwise they should be boycotted. It’s an interesting take on humility, when you require your beliefs to be confirmed at all times by all individuals who aren’t specifically you. Worse, for Trump, if you’re creating advertising and you don’t include a snowman, you should be sacked. Selling a product in the run up to Christmas, with no Jesus on the front? You hate Jesus! Well, with that in mind, let’s examine three websites. Firstly, the website of David Amess, then the website of Donald Trump, and thirdly the website of Starbucks.

Here’s the front page of Amess’ website:

Amess 1
– Not even a festive colour. All very blue. Perhaps the hat is the sort of hat Etonian Santa wears, but other than that, there’s absolutely no indication of the time of year that it might be, from Amess’ website. After going through the site, I found just a single reference to Christmas, with Amess dressed as Santa, which in no way reflects ‘Christ-Mass’:

Amess 2
– Indeed, instead of any reference to Christ at Christ-Mass, Amess has instead used a a Pagan character.

A similar state of affairs is found at Donald Trump’s website. His front page has nothing at all Christmassy on it:

Trump 1
– And so I ventured into the ‘shop’ section of his website, expecting something a bit festive. At least a Christmas tree. Or maybe a mention of Jesus somewhere. But instead, I just find products covered in Donald Trump’s name:

Trump 2
– So, given the fact that both Amess and Trump have websites that make little to no mention of Christmas, Jesus, or any sort of outward show of festivity, what of Starbucks website – keep in mind that Trump specifically said ‘no more Merry Christmas at Starbucks;? Here’s what you see if you scroll down Starbucks’ front page:

Starbucks 1

Starbucks 2

Starbucks 3

Starbucks 4

Starbucks 5

Amess & Trump, like Starbucks, are selling a product through their sites. For Amess, he is selling his abilities to constituents. For Trump, he is selling his abilities to the entire country in the hope of securing the Republican nomination, followed by The White House. And yet, the intense outward show of Christian ideals they seem to demand of the products coming from others, and the requirement that advertisers confirm Christian beliefs, both Amess and Trump display less of on their own website.

Starbucks is out-Christmassing Donald Trump and David Amess.

Hitler’s Mufti & the Middle Eastern Nazi inheritance.

October 23, 2015

The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem

Haj Amin el-Hussein, The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem inspects & salutes the SS volunteers in Bosnia that he helped to recruit, to murder Jews.

“Had Hitler won, Nazism would be an honor that people would be competing to belong to, and not a disgrace punishable by law. Churchill and Roosevelt were alcoholics, and in their youth were questioned more than once about brawls they started in bars, while Hitler hated alcohol and was not addicted to it. He used to go to sleep early and wake up early, and was very organized. These facts have been turned upside down as well, and Satan has been dressed with angels’ wings.”
– Al-Hayat al-Jadida. Official daily newspaper of the Palestinian National Authority, March 18th 2013.

A lot of scorn has been poured upon Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu for his ridiculous accusation that the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem had been the single voice that pushed Adolf Hitler to decide to commit an unthinkable genocide. But as the voices of condemnation for Netanyahu’s inflammatory comments grow – especially in a multi-ethnic society such as Israel, with racial tension already at breaking point – very little is heard about the ideological heritage left to the Islamist World just across Israel’s border, from 20th Century European fascism. It’s as if the former is worthy of global condemnation, whilst the latter – that resulted in the Holocaust, and threatens the annihilation of Israel daily – is not very important. I argue that on the contrary, the roots of Hamas can and should be traced back to the fusion of Islam with Nazism, by the Grand Mufti, and Hassan al-Banna.

In 1999, the Palestinian Authority gave its blessing to a translation into Arabic of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf. In it, the translator – Luis Al-Haj – writes glowingly of Hitler:

“Hitler the soldier left behind not only a legend stained by tragedy itself; the tragedy of a state whose dreams were shattered, a regime whose pillars were torn down, and a political party that was crushed. Hitler was a man of ideology who bequeathed an ideological heritage whose decay is inconceivable. This ideological heritage includes politics, society, science, culture, and war as science and culture.”

“The National Socialism that Hitler preached for and whose characteristics were presented in his book My Struggle, and whose principles he explained in his speeches before he took power, as well as during the 13 years he spent at the head of the German nation – this National Socialism did not die with the death of its herald. Rather, its seeds multiplied under each star.”

– It wasn’t the first translation of Mein Kampf. In 1937, a translation into Arabic and approved by the Nazi Party purposely removed any reference to Arabs as an inferior ethnicity. Hamid Maliji, an Egyptian lawyer, wrote:

“Arab friends:…The Arabic copies of Mein Kampf distributed in the Arab world do not conform to the original German edition since the instructions given to Germans regarding us have been removed. In addition, these excerpts do not reveal his [Hitler’s] true opinion of us. Hitler asserts that Arabs are an inferior race, that the Arabic heritage has been pillaged from other civilizations, and that Arabs have neither culture nor art, as well as other insults and humiliations that he proclaims concerning us.

– Both translations served a very political purpose, as we shall come to see.

Today, Hamas reflects back to 1940s European fascism in several key ways. Firstly, it still utilises Nazi propaganda, by including references to the ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion‘ hoax and repeats Jewish world domination conspiracies pumped across Arab airwaves by Nazis during the second World War. Secondly it indoctrinates young people into a fusion of Islam & Fascism and the cult of martyrdom, and thirdly, it begins its charter with a quote from Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, and a man who worked with the Grand Mufti and Nazi Germany to establish the Brotherhood’s military wing, and headed up a Brotherhood responsible for bombing Jewish businesses in Cairo. The quote states the aims of Hamas clearly; Israel must be obliterated, by Islam. This wasn’t a fight for equal civil liberty for all, a single secular state, it wasn’t a war against oppression, it was – and remains – an imperialist demand, despite ‘liberals’ like Tim Wise implying it was actually quite a secular demand.

Similarly, al-Banna was determined to overthrow imperial British rule in Egypt, and replace it with a theocratic settlement drawn out by his Islamist ideals. His ultimate goal, as he sets out consistently in his writings, is:

“… the fatherland of the Muslim expands to encompass the whole World.”

– I feel it necessary at this point to make a subtle distinction between Muslims who simply have a belief in a God and the words of a Prophet to guide their personal lives, and Hassan al Banna; the former must not be confused or conflated with the latter, al Banna was an Islamic fascist, in the Nazi mould. Indeed, a former US Justice Department Prosecutor – John Loftus – wrote that al-Banna was so dedicated to this new totalitarian ideological position, that his:

“… admiration of the new Nazi Party that in the 1930s Al Banna and the Muslim Brotherhood became a secret arm of Nazi Intelligence.”

– This influence is still visible in Egypt, as Mahmoud Muhammad Khadhr, a cleric from Cairo’s Al-Azhar University wrote a 2001 essay entitled ‘In Defence of Hitler‘.

This Islamic Fascism of the 1930s shared much in common with the Vatican’s centuries of anti-Semitism. It insisted that a conspiracy of Jews was responsible for all the World’s ills, and this was the reason Jews must be opposed. It posited that Jews must be controlled by supremacists, for the sake of humanity. It included blood-libel false stories in Palestine that helped enrage Arab population against Jewish communities. From this grotesque Catholic revision of history, persecutions of Jews across Europe, Russia, and the Middle East forced innocent Jewish families to flee to safety where ever they could find it, away from lands that were beginning to embrace the narrative that murdered 6,000,000 Jews in Europe. The Nazi’s in Germany were not about to let Jews flee to safety in Palestine, fearing a strong Israeli state may be on the horizon. Instead, they funded and weaponised the Grand Mufti – a man who approached the Nazis first, in his quest to destroy Jews – whilst using his ideas to promote their own.

The Grand Mufti – a good friend and ally of Hassan al-Banna – was the head of the Supreme Muslim Council in Palestine, and as such forged alliances and made enemies, as political leaders do. He wasn’t new to anti-Semitism in the 1930s. Fifteen years previously, he had headed up a club entitled ‘al-Nadi al-Arabi‘ meaning ‘The Arab Club‘. It was a racial supremacist club, that envisaged a Palestine controlled for the privilege of Arabs only. He’d also helped to arrange attacks and boycotts of Jews throughout the Middle East. Like his friend al-Banna, al-Husseini was a fascist. This is most evident in the fact that when he was forging alliances in the 1940s, al-Husseini asked Mussolini to create:

“An Arab State of a Fascist nature to include Iraq, Syria, Palestine, and Trans-Jordan.”

– A Caliphate, given the Mufti’s Islamist ideals. To help with this goal, the Mufti sent for Hitler’s help, in defeating a common enemy in the most hideous way possible. The Mufti wrote:

“… accord to Palestine and to other Arab countries the right to solve the problem of the Jewish elements in Palestine and other Arab countries, in accordance with the interest of the Arabs and, by the same method, that the question is now being settled in the Axis countries.”

– This is a call to spread the Holocaust to the Middle East, and to give Arab racial supremacists the ‘right‘ to decide whether Jewish human beings live or die. Later, in 1943, the Mufti was asked by Gottlob Berger – Lieutenant General of the SS – to help recruit Muslims to join the cause, ignore Islamic Clerics arguing against joining the Nazis, and help to kill Bosnian Jews. He did so gleefully, helping to recruit 20,000 volunteers for that round of ethnic cleansing. It wasn’t that Jewish families were trying to save their lives by fleeing to Palestine that the Mufti opposed, it was that Jews were alive in the first place.

As well as helping to murder Bosnian Jews, the Grand Mufti had enough confidence to write to the Bulgarian Foreign Minister on the granting of emigration permits to Jewish children. As a result, emigration permits were taken away from thousands of Jewish children leaving for Palestine. The Mufti wrote:

“Appropriate and more expedient to prevent the Jews from emigrating from your country and send them somewhere they will be under strict control, for example to Poland.”

– He speaks of Jewish children, as if they’re animals.

Meanwhile, the Nazis recognised the importance of spreading their propaganda to the Arab World, by investing in radio stations such as ‘Voice of Free Arabism‘ and ‘Berlin in Arabic‘. The radio transmissions spread both Nazi propaganda and the Mufti’s ideas (basically the same thing) across the Middle East and North Africa. The US Embassy in Cairo employed Arabic translators specifically to transcribe the Nazi broadcasts at that time, and found that one theme appeared to be the raising of ‘Arab‘ to a superior racial status (negated by Hitler’s anti-Arab racism in Mein Kampf), whilst ‘Jew‘ was emphasised as inferior. The Nazis took their strategic alliance with the Islamist world so seriously, that millions of leaflets were dropped across the Middle East to spark racial tension between Arabs and Jews, and Himmler helped to fund research into Islam at the University of Tubingen, with the sole purpose being to find Quranic passages that could present Hitler as prophecised by the holy text, and thus sent via radio to the Middle Eastern world to help destroy the Jews. Alas, the research failed. But the Mufti’s radio messages across the Muslim World, on Nazi radio continued:

“The Jews are behind the destructive and atheist communism. They have brought people against each other and the catastrophes and tragedies now are caused by the Jews. The first enemies of the Moslems are today the Jews.”

– This trend continued long after European Fascism fell, as Nasser in Egypt invited and hosted former Nazi Party members to live and continue to propagandise against the Jewish communities.

The Mufti claimed he’d learned of the murder of 3,000,000 Jews in the summer of 1943, from Himmler. In November 1943, he was praising the action:

“It is the duty of Muhammadans in general and Arabs in particular to … drive all Jews from Arab and Muhammadan countries… . Germany is also struggling against the common foe who oppressed Arabs and Muhammadans in their different countries. It has very clearly recognized the Jews for what they are and resolved to find a definitive solution [endgültige Lösung] for the Jewish danger that will eliminate the scourge that Jews represent in the world.”

– For the Mufti, as for Hitler, as for the far-right today, for Islamists today, for Hamas today, and for sections of the far-left today…. Jews are a global problem, and history has lied. The Mufti’s – like Hitler’s – ideological goal was racial supremacy, coupled with anti-Semitism, posing as liberation. Indeed, the Luis al-Haj interpretation of Mein Kampf remained in the top of the Palestinian best seller list for long after its publication. And it went further, Sami al-Joundi, a founding member of the Syrian Ba’ath Party, said:

“We were racists. We admired the Nazis. We were immersed in reading Nazi literature and books… We were the first who thought of a translation of Mein Kampf. Anyone who lived in Damascus at that time was witness to the Arab inclination toward Nazism.”

– Matthias Küntzel points out that today’s Islamist groups – including Hamas – would not have been possible without the fusing of Islam with European Fascism, through al-Banna and the Grand Mufti.

Whilst we must be quick to challenge Israeli right winged propaganda, absurd revisionist history, and anti-Arab racism, we must not be so quick to undermine – from the luxury of a safe state – the serious challenge Jewish people face in a land surrounded by political voices that echo back to a time in which genocide of Jewish men, women, and children was not just a serious consideration, but a reality. We must not be so quick to imply that groups like Hamas are anything but a religious fascist organisation, whose guiding principle since the 1930s has been an inherent hatred toward Jews, coupled with theocratic control of human beings. It is true that the Grand Mufti did not give Hitler the idea that lead to the horrifying events in death camps across Europe, but he, and Hassan al-Banna – for their own ends – absolutely did encourage the extermination of Jewish people, and set the anti-Semitic tone across the Middle East, for decades to come.

The Day of the Illiberals.

October 21, 2015

It’s been a bizarre few weeks for UK politics.

Today, the UK rolled out the red carpet for China. A country that sentenced 2,466 to death in 2014, and, according to Human Rights Watch, uses torture to extract confessions. But we wont be bringing up its human rights abuses, because we’re a Tory country now, and human rights just gets in the way of all that money. Unless Jeremy Corbyn makes excuses for human rights abusers, in which case, it’s a travesty.

Speaking of Jeremy Corbyn & hypocrisy, on the day the Tories are lavishing sycophantic praise on a country that uses forced abortions to enforce its laws on families, Jeremy Corbyn – who insists he’ll bring up human rights abuses with the Chinese this evening – hired Seumas Milne as his new head of communications. The same Seumas Milne who, two days after the September 11th attacks, wrote:

“It is this record of unabashed national egotism and arrogance that drives anti-Americanism among swaths of the world’s population, for whom there is little democracy in the current distribution of global wealth and power. If it turns out that Tuesday’s attacks were the work of Osama bin Laden’s supporters, the sense that the Americans are once again reaping a dragons’ teeth harvest they themselves sowed will be overwhelming.

– Imagine being a family member of one of the innocent people killed on 9/11, or imagine being liberal and Muslim, and hearing that terrorists flew planes full of people into buildings, because there’s little democracy in the Middle East. Milne bizarrely appears to be implying that the 9/11 anti-democratic Islamists were frustrated with the lack of democracy. To the families, he’s essentially saying it’s your fault, for being born in the US. Deal with it. To Muslims, he espouses a form of low expectation bigotry, in which we all must expect that the Muslim response to illiberal institutions is to murder innocent people.

On Venezuela, Milne said:

“It’s all of a piece with the endlessly recycled Orwellian canard that Chávez is some kind of a dictator and Venezuela a tyranny where elections are rigged and the media muzzled and prostrate. But as opposition leaders concede, Venezuela is by any rational standards a democracy, with exceptionally high levels of participation, its electoral process more fraud-proof than those in Britain or the US, and its media dominated by a vituperatively anti-government private sector. In reality, the greatest threat to Venezuelan democracy came in the form of the abortive US-backed coup of 2002.”

– You wouldn’t guess from this description, that Venezuela was given the label of least democratic state in South America by the Economist Intelligence Unit Democracy Index, or that freedoms in Venezuela dropped after Chávez’s election, according to Freedom House.

And then there was this classy little number:
– It’s difficult to know where to begin with this. Perhaps at the point where beheading a man in the street isn’t acceptable in Woolwich or Waziristan. Or perhaps at the part where Woolwich murderer Michael Adebolajo cared that much about the wellbeing of those in foreign lands, that he was affiliated with both al-Shabaab – who have no issue killing people in Kenya, as seen with their attack on the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi – and al-Muhajiroun, a group that believed apostates should be murdered, gays should be murdered, women should be covered, and law derived from religious doctrine. One would have to go to creative apologist lengths to believe the sole motivation for wanting to execute apostates, and murder Kenyans in a mall, is the war in Iraq. Or perhaps at the part where the future head of communications for the opposition party of the UK, has essentially just said “Well, shit happens” to the beheading of a British soldier on British soil, using the victim as a vehicle to perpetuate a simplistic Chomsky-esque blame-the-west false narrative. This headline alone, should render Seumas Milne an unacceptable choice for such an important role.

Milne’s previous language defending the Soviet Union & making excuses for Islamist terrorism were highlighted by many, including blogger and journalist Timothy Stanley:

– It would seem from this that Tim Stanley does not take kindly to illiberal regimes & those who make excuses for them. And yet:

– That’ll be the same ‘great’ empire that ran concentration camps in South Africa during the second Boer War, in which thousands of children died. The shocking photo of Lizzie van Zyl testifies to the grotesque treatment she, and thousands more faced at the hands of the ‘great’ empire. Indeed, In 2013, after losing a few court cases brought by victims of its hideous policies, the British government decided to compensate Kenyans for the horror they also faced in detention camps – with the full knowledge of the Colonial authorities – during the 1950s. Starvation and forced labour, along with stamping on detainees throats, castrating male prisoners, and rape, were used as torture weapons in the camp, by Stanley’s ‘great’ empire. President Obama’s grandfather, Hussein Onyango Obama, was one of the men hideously abused by that ‘great’ empire.

Later this evening, former director of strategy for David Cameron, Steve Hilton, took to BBC’s Newsnight to refer to the visit of Xi Jinping as a ‘National Humiliation’. Hilton continued:

“I don’t understand why we’re sucking up to them, rather than standing up to them as we should be.”

“The argument is that this is a choice between squishy human rights, and hard-nosed economics, and it’s simply not true. The idea that we can only make a living, and create jobs at home is to engage with regimes like this, is completely false. Why aren’t we rolling out the red carpet for India? A country where there is more opportunity, and we don’t have to make the kind of compromises in dealing with China.”

– Incidentally, India criminalised homosexuality in 2013. Human Rights Watch notes that since Modi’s election, state censorship of publications, films, and the internet is on the rise in India, whilst a lack of accountability in public institutions protects abusers from prosecution for attacks on women and children. Not exactly a country I’d wish to ‘roll the red carpet out‘ for, and severely undermines Hilton’s point.

Since Corbyn’s election, the British commentariat and political establishment, has taken daily – and rightly so – to highlighting his excuses for extreme regimes & groups. In turn, their hypocrisy on that subject is also rightly highlighted, especially when the same Tory government referring to Corbyn as a ‘threat’ to Britain, march Saudi Arabia to the head of the UN Human Rights Council whilst they continue to export the very terror ideology that threatens us daily. Conversely, any time Corbyn mentions the human rights abuses of other nations, the point is entirely negated by the fact that he referred to Hamas – currently stabbing their way across Israel – as ‘dedicated to peace and social justice‘, and it makes for completely absurd viewing that doesn’t look likely to cease any time soon. Until then, we’re left with a Prime Minister ‘saddened’ by the death of King Abdullah – a man who was Prince of a regime that funded the Taliban as they killed British soldiers – and a leader of the opposition who thinks a neo-nazi Hamas are social justice warriors. It’s a strange old World.

“Freedom. Democracy. Equality. These are precious”. David Cameron & the Saudi Threat.

October 7, 2015

“…calling for deviant thought in any form, or calling into question the fundamentals of the Islamic religion on which this country is based”
– Saudi Arabia’s definition of terrorism.

There was a curious confidence to the Prime Minister’s hypocrisy at the Conservative Party Conference today. From talk of his vision for home ownership from a government with record low house building, to his apparent care for children with mental health issues, despite cutting over £80mn from child & adolescent services in the past five years including early intervention. But It takes an impressive kind of mental gymnastics to secretly deal to put Saudi Arabia at the top of the table of the UN Human Rights Council, and then take to the stage in front of the entire country, and say:

“We need to confront – and I mean really confront – extremism.”

– Saudi Arabia has been one of the largest sources of funds for the Afghan Taliban, according to a US Embassy cable from 2009. By 2012, 454 British troops had died in Afghanistan fighting the Taliban. So, whilst David Cameron stands in front of the British public to tell us all how much he seeks to keep the country safe, he not only eulogised the dead king of a country that funded the murder of British soldiers, but also secretly dealt to ensure they are at the top of the human rights table at the UN, whilst at the same time, shamefully vowing to ‘really confront extremism‘.

In his speech, Cameron referred to Corbyn as a ‘terrorist sympathiser‘. A position I tend to agree with. Presumably this was because of one of two comments Corbyn made. Firstly, his comment that killing Osama Bin Laden rather than putting him on trial was a ‘tragedy‘. A sentiment similarly shared by Boris Johnson, who said:

“British soldiers are not taught to murder unarmed people in the act of surrendering. Bin Laden should be put on trial; not in Britain, but in the place where he organised the biggest and most terrible of his massacres, New York.”

– Or for Corbyn’s comment that Hamas are ‘dedicated to social justice‘. The latter is indefensible and Cameron is right to condemn it. The problem is, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia – again a country currently heading up the UN Human Rights Council, thanks to our Prime Minister – donated around $8mn to Hamas recently. I guess you’re a ‘terror sympathiser‘ if you say words, but not if you further help to empower their financial backers.

When it comes to human rights in Saudi, it is worth noting that Saudi Arabia is currently demanding that the UN remove gay rights from it’s global goals over the coming years. This is keeping in line with the Saudi policy of publicly flogging, chemically castrating, and beheading anyone convicted of homosexuality in the country. Further, the Interior Ministry for Saudi deem it ‘terrorism‘ in Saudi Arabia to question Islam, to question the regime, and to beatheist. Indeed, so dedicated are they to the cause of human rights for which the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom has helped empower them, that they sentenced Waleed Abu-l Khair – recipient of 2012 Olof Palm prize for human rights, and lawyer for Raif Badawi – to 15 years in prison for ‘offences’. His arrest was a few months prior to Saudi Arabia arresting, beheading, and publicly displaying the mutilated corpses of five Yemeni men. (Graphic image, see here).

As if the absurdity of the Prime Minister’s hypocrisy wasn’t glaringly obvious by now, Cameron goes on to speak of religious intolerance taught at schools:

“And be in no doubt: if you are teaching intolerance, we will shut you down.”

– His apparent concern for the radicalising of young people in schools follows his interview with Jon Snow for Channel 4 recently, in which he genuinely stated that:

“Saudi Arabia actually have a good record of deradicalising”.

– A country that bans criticism of Islam, & instituted a special police unit to investigate ‘witchcraft’ is not good at deradicalising. It is as radical as one can be. This is especially true when it comes to indoctrinating children; along with funding the Taliban, Saudi Arabia has been a principle source of funding for Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, according to the same US Embassy cable from 2009. Lashkar-e-Tayyaba are a terror group active in Asia, responsible for the 2008 Mumbai attacks among many others. According to another cable, published in Pakistan’s ‘Dawn’ newspaper, Gulf States including Saudi Arabia were responsible for funding an Islamist network – that includes Lashkar-e-Tayyaba – in Pakistan, recruiting young children in order to create future Jihadists. The network:

“…reportedly exploited worsening poverty in these areas of the province to recruit children into the divisions’ growing Deobandi and Ahl-e Hadith madrassa network from which they were indoctrinated into jihadi philosophy, deployed to regional training/indoctrination centers, and ultimately sent to terrorist training camps in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA)”

Recruiters “…generally exploit families with multiple children, particularly those facing severe financial difficulties in light of inflation, poor crop yields, and growing unemployment in both urban and rural areas in the southern and western Punjab. Oftentimes, these families are identified and initially approached/assisted by ostensibly “charitable” organizations including Jamaat-ud-Dawa (a front for designated foreign terrorist organization Lashkar-e-Tayyaba), the Al-Khidmat Foundation (linked to religious political party Jamaat-e-Islami), or Jaish-e-Mohammad (a charitable front for the designated foreign terrorist organization of the same name).”

– The Prime Minister intends to ‘confront extremism‘ and wage a war on religious indoctrination in schools by making seedy deals with a country that funded a Taliban regime that murdered British soldiers, that chemically castrates, flogs, and beheads gay folk, that silences criticism & punishes free expression with torture and death, that imprisons human rights activists, that hunts out and imprisons people for ‘witchcraft’, that hangs beheaded bodies on public display, that actively funds the indoctrination of children into an Islamist cult that fights and kills to prevent liberal, secular, democratic societies from flourishing, and commits acts of terror across the World, threatening the UK every single day. That same country is now heading up the UN Human Rights Council thanks in part to the Prime Minister. The same Prime Minister who has the nerve to refer to, well, anyone else as a ‘threat‘ to the UK’s security.

Freedom. Democracy. Equality. These are precious. People fought for them – many died for them…

– Indeed. Many are still dying for the freedoms that Cameron correctly identifies as precious. Ali Mohammed Baqir al-Nimr is about to be beheaded and crucified for exercising his birthright to free expression and scrutinising a regime that the Prime Minister has just elevated to the head of the Human Rights Council at the United Nations. The hypocrisy is outstanding. The freedoms of all are threatened the moment you empower those who work to undermine and replace those freedoms with perpetual terror, the moment you empower those who actively fund groups willing to recruit children to commit mass atrocities. The Prime Minister has sided with the abusers.

It’s not just Corbyn lavishing praise on violent thugs. It’s a Great British political tradition.

September 13, 2015

Long before the cheers from the Labour faithful rang out upon learning of Jeremy Corbyn’s fast rise to the leadership of the Party, a bizarre fight for a moral high ground emerged between Labour’s left, and Labour’s centrists, both of whom absolutely can not claim to occupy it in any sense.

Jeremy Corbyn, the new Labour leader, genuinely referred to Hamas – one of the most anti-Semitic, homophobic, theocratic groups of thugs on the planet – as ‘dedicated to social justice‘. It wasn’t taken out of context, it wasn’t an evil ‘tabloid’ press that made it up. He said it. No amount of bad excuses can change that declaration. A Hamas that emerged out of the links between 20th century European Nazism, and the Muslim Brotherhood, that includes Nazi propaganda in its charter, and seeks to establish an IS-like caliphate in the entire region, hates Jews, promotes homophobia, cannot be referred to as ‘dedicated to social justice’ by anyone claiming to be a liberal, or a defender of human rights. I suspect if David Cameron had announced that his ‘friends’ in the KKK were ‘dedicated to social justice’, the Corbyn-left would have a meltdown. Naturally, and rightly, Labour’s centrists picked up on this and ran with it. As did we liberals (including myself). But here’s the problem; whilst those New Labourites indeed share my condemnation of Corbyn’s excusing religious fascists, they stayed eerily silent when Blair himself said of the passing of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia:

“I am very sad indeed to hear of the passing of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah. I knew him well and admired him greatly.”

– We are told that a Labour Leader lavishing grotesque praise on Hamas is an unthinkable crime, whilst in the same sentence, we hear that Labour should seek to listen to and emulate a Labour Leader who lavished grotesque praise on the King of Saudi Arabia.

Blair then went on to praise Abdullah for his dedication to interfaith relations. So dedicated was he, that the public practice of non-Islamic religions is strictly forbidden, atheism is now a ‘terrorist’ idea, and in 2009, the ‘religious police’ created an ‘anti-witchcraft’ team that included the beheading of Mustafa Ibrahim for ‘sorcery’. This man was a monster. But it’s unsurprising that Labour’s centre-left stayed silent when Blair lavished sycophantic praise upon Abdullah, given that ten years earlier they made not a peep when Blair signed an extension to the al-Yamamah arms deal originally forged by Thatcher and King Fahd, that exchanged Eurofighter Typhoons, for oil. A year later, the Saudi’s threatened to cut ties with the UK, if an investigation into fraud relating to the deal. Of course, the investigation was dropped. When it came to the original deal back in 1985, Thatcher said that she was indeed:

“…a great admirer of Saudi Arabia and the leadership of King Fahd.”

Along with his love for Abdullah, Blair wrote a friendly letter to Colonel Gaddafi in 2007, apologising for the UK failing to deport two Islamists, finishing the letter in a very Corbyn-esque ‘friends in Hamas’ way:

“Best wishes yours ever, Tony”

– This was a few years prior to Blair sharing publicity tips with Nursultan Nazarbayev, a man currently on a mission to close down as many dissenting media voices in Kazakhstan as possible. But it isn’t just the Blairites who are walking the hypocrisy tightrope recently. Today, the Tories released this image:

– Whilst Corbyn can absolutely be condemned for his hideous assertion that Hamas are social justice warriors, dedicated to the ‘good’ of the Palestinian people, he didn’t imply that Bin Laden’s death was a tragedy, simply the abandoning of the rule of law for the sake of an assassination I happen to disagree with him on that, though I understand the argument, but I wont claim or imply for the sake of political point scoring, that he mourns the death of Osama Bin Laden. The same cannot be said for the Prime Minister (or Prince Charles), when again, King Abdullah died. When the King of a nation renowned for funding and exporting Salafi Jihadism, flogging blasphemers, banning atheism, beheading opponents, and slaughtering gays died, the Prime Minister said:

“I am deeply saddened to hear of the death of the custodian of the two holy mosques, His Majesty King Abdullah bin Abd Al Aziz Al Saud.
“He will be remembered for his long years of service to the kingdom, for his commitment to peace and for strengthening understanding between faiths.
“My thoughts and prayers are with the Saudi royal family and the people of the kingdom at this sad time.

– You wouldn’t know from this tale of woe, that former CIA director James Woolsey believes the Saudi’s sponsorship of Islamism is:

“…the soil in which Al-Qaeda and its sister terrorist organizations are flourishing.”

– It is eternally mystifying to me that Tories are willing to accuse Corbyn of putting the UK’s security at risk, whilst they arm and defend one of the World’s biggest exporters and sponsors of Islamism. Interestingly, whilst the Tories and Prince Charles were out visiting Saudi Arabia with The Defence and Security Equipment International, Corbyn was demanding answers from the government on our unjustifiable relationship with Saudi Arabia.

There is a well-established tradition of Tories falling desperately in love with monsters. In 1999, long after leaving office as Prime Minister, Thatcher visited Pinochet in the home where he was held under house arrest, and told him:

“I know how much we owed to you for your help.”

“I’m also very much aware that it is you who brought democracy to Chile, you set up a constitution suitable for democracy, you put it into effect, elections were held, and then, in accordance with the result, you stepped down.”

– So much was Pinochet dedicated to bringing ‘a constitution suitable for democracy’ to Chile, that The Commission of Truth and Reconciliation found that Pinochet’s terror regime resulted in 28,000 tortured using electric shock and sexual abuse among other forms, 2,279 executed mainly for being socialists, and 1,248 “disappeared.” In fact, several detention centres were created in Chile with the sole purpose of raping prisoners. Prisoners later recalled how animals were used in the sexual torture of inmates, with female inmates also reporting how they had been forced to have sex with their brothers and fathers. This was Pinochet’s Chile. This is what a Tory Prime Minister praised.

These past two weeks – and I expect to see it more often now – has seen tribalism and anti-Corbyn dogma pushing normally rational human beings, to condemn the praising and excusing of violent, illiberal thugs, if the one who did the praising was Jeremy Corbyn, whilst acting as if the same isn’t true of New Labour politicians, and Tories. I see no politician at the front-line of British politics adhering to liberal, secular, democratic principles. I see hypocrites and sycophants. Cameron is one of those, Blair is another, Corbyn is a third.

Tell MAMA appoints Nathan Lean to its advisory board…. why?

September 3, 2015

I like Tell MAMA. At times I find it conflates criticism, mockery, or even hate for Islam as doctrines and dogma, with anti-Muslim bigotry, but on the whole Tell Mama is a necessary force for documenting and fighting anti-Muslim bigotry, that is undoubtedly a problem. But it seems their concept of anti-Muslim bigotry differs somewhat from mine, in its recent appointment of Nathan Lean to the Tell MAMA advisory board:

When the late Christopher Hitchens released his book ‘Missionary Position‘ exposing the abuses of power of the much loved Mother Theresa, there was silence from the New Illiberals. No cries of Catholicophobia. No pronouncements on the offensive nature of the title of the book. Nothing. By contrast, when the late Christopher Hitchens released his book ‘God is not great‘ – a play on the chant ‘God is great‘ by Muslims – the New Illiberals lost control.

Back in 2013 Nathan Lean published an article called ‘Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens: New Atheists flirt with Islamophobia’. In it, Lean says:

“Until 9/11, Islam didn’t figure in the New Atheists’ attacks in a prominent way. As a phenomenon with its roots in Europe, atheism has traditionally been the archenemy of Christianity, though Jews and Judaism have also slipped into the mix. But emboldened by their newfound fervor in the wake of the terrorist attacks, the New Atheists joined a growing chorus of Muslim-haters, mixing their abhorrence of religion in general with a specific distaste for Islam (In 2009, Hitchens published a book called “God Is Not Great,” a direct smack at Muslims who commonly recite the Arabic refrain Allah Akbar, meaning “God is great”).”

– A quite bizarre link, given that ‘God is not great‘ does not focus ‘specifically‘ on Islam at all. That’s simply the title of the book. Even more bizarre, given that ‘God is not great‘ as a title is not anti-Muslim hate, as the paragraph implies, but satire. And the last of the bizarre reasoning from Lean is evident in the fact that Sam Harris released a book with a ‘specific distaste‘ for Christianity rather than Islam in his 2006 book ‘Letter To A Christian Nation‘. What Lean means is, a few people have actually mentioned Islam several times, and he doesn’t like that. Even when it comes from Muslims themselves, as we’ll see shortly.

The point I’m trying to make – as I’ve made several times over – is that Nathan Lean, CJ Werleman, Reza Aslan, and other New Illiberals are less interested in tackling anti-Muslim bigotry, and instead obsessed with attacking what they see as white, imperialist, ‘New Atheists‘ criticising or satirising Islam in any way whatsoever. This obsession and given that the narrative they convey is so very flawed, then ironically tends to manifest itself in anti-Muslim bigotry, and racism.

Earlier this year, Nathan Lean decided that a book he hadn’t read, critical of conservative Islamic principles and Islamism, could only be penned by a white man (who just so happens to be one of the ‘New Atheist‘ sect that Lean is obsessed with), and – quite tellingly – his ‘Muslim validator‘:

– The anti-Muslim, racist bigotry is evident. Firstly, criticism of Islam is given a skin tone, which naturally leads to problems when we consider non-white atheists equally critical of Islam. CJ Werleman faces that same problem in his recent rants. For Lean, it is assumed that ‘white‘ Sam Harris takes the lead, with Maajid Nawaz simply there to ‘validate‘ Sam’s criticisms. The depth that Maajid goes into in the book, and his thoughts and reasoning is completely dismissed. A dismissal, incidentally, not shared by Lean’s new colleague on Tell MAMA’s advisory board, Mohammed Amin:

– In fact, Amin actually reviewed the book that Lean hadn’t read, and quite positively concluded:

“The issues discussed are also very important for Muslims living as minorities who see their children being attracted by the bloodthirsty nihilistic fantasies cloaked in Islamic language promoted by organisations such as the so-called “Islamic State”. Maajid Nawaz has been thinking about these matters for many years, and this book offers an excellent insight into what he has learned.”

– So, one of Tell MAMA’s new advisory board members, is convinced brown Muslims critical of aspects of Islam are simply ‘validators’, whilst the other offers an indepth analysis of the book, and is generally supportive of liberal Muslims. When Lean was taken to task for his clear bigotry, he played the same game, this time reducing Maajid down to a ‘lap dog‘ in the game played by white ‘New Atheists‘:

– Note the absurd, and irrational anger aimed at ‘New Atheist‘ Sam Harris in the first instance. This is why I believe the New Illiberals have very little interest in fighting anti-Muslim bigotry, a form of bigotry that they instead use to relentlessly attack ‘New Atheists‘. We can see it here. Whilst Amin calls the dialogue ‘very important‘, Lean calls it ‘smug‘ to actually publish a dialogue in the first place; something people have been doing for centuries. How smug Plato and Socrates must have been. How smug it is to publish the words of the Prophet Muhammad. How smug it is to publish interviews on TV shows, podcasts, and in magazines and newspapers. Incidentally, here is a published conversation that Nathan Lean had with Muscat Daily.

Lean then goes on to call Maajid a ‘lap dog‘ for Sam Harris. Again, Maajid’s contribution to the book is entirely dismissed, with Maajid dehumanised. Indeed, for Lean, Maajid’s expertise is irrelevant. The white man is the one leading, the brown Muslim man is assumed to play an inferior role in the set up, thus denying Maajid his own free faculties, simply because Maajid is a Muslim man who doesn’t fit into Nathan Lean’s neat little box of angry, oppressed Muslim. The problem for Lean and others like him, is that they assume that Muslims are one homogeneous group, with one thought process, and any deviation from an expected course created by the New Illiberals, any suggestion that perhaps Islam requires reform at any level whatsoever, must only be the result of an individual Muslim having become the pawn of white supremacist New Atheists. Essentially, Lean and others like him have created a “Muslim” box, Maajid escaped, and Lean is shouting “get back in your box!” It is a thoroughly bigoted narrative, it dehumanises not only Maajid, but other liberal Muslims fighting the same illiberal, conservative Islamic principles whom we should all be supporting. It works to not only silence non-Muslim critics of Islam (which, contrary to Lean’s absurd implication, is perfectly reasonable, given that non-conservatives criticise conservatism, and non-socialists criticise socialism, and non-Monarchists criticise Monarchism etc), but crucially it also implies that liberal, secular Muslims are somehow being mislead from their perfectly crafted box, and so strips that individual Muslim of his or her critical faculties. For Nathan Lean and others like him, those Muslims are the wrong type of Muslim. It is a betrayal of liberty.

I would consider Lean’s dismissal of Maajid’s views, and his quickness to portray liberal Muslims as ‘lap dogs‘ for white atheists, as a form of anti-Muslim bigotry. And so I would be interested to know how Tell MAMA reconciles Nathan Lean’s views, with Tell MAMA’s principles, and the polar opposite views of other board members.


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