On the right to resist ‘foreign occupation’


by Sunny
16th November, 2010 at 9:47 am    

Last week the former Guantanamo Bay prisoner Moazzam Begg said this:

If you are asking me what are my feelings towards people fighting occupation, the answer is I completely support them. I believe in the inalienable right to defend yourself against foreign occupation.

Predictably, the bloggers at Harry’s Place went postal. ‘habibi’ said: “It is a ridiculous statement.”.. and “It is no surprise that people such as the managers of the East London Mosque have no problem with Begg and Cageprisoners spreading their extremist messages.”

ZOMG! Terrorist!

Last year I asked David T (of Harry’s Place) about the right to defend one’s homeland. After much obfuscation and dodging the question, he finally admitted that proportional action would be…

A variety of things, including military action aimed at Israeli soldiers, that is proportionate and likely to achieve the aims of an independent Palestine.

So, in other words, David T of Harry’s Place supports the right of people to resist foreign occupation. It’s also worth noting, the blog hasn’t ever (that I’ve seen) criticised British Jews from going to Israel and joining the Israeli Defence Force, to fight Palestinians. And so continues the blog’s long-running series of scenarios where it’s one rule for Muslims and another for everyone else.

Now let’s be clear: I’m against anyone going to foreign countries and getting involved in conflicts that kill innocent people. I was for Nato staying in Afghanistan and getting rid of the Taliban but that looks like an increasingly impossible goal. Let’s also not pretend that Nato soldiers aren’t killing innocent people in Afghanistan – there is too much fucking evidence for supposedly-informed bloggers to ignore.

But there are hypocritical fuckwits with a clear view of the world: Westerners = good; bearded Muzzlims = bad, and they will ignore deaths of innocent civilians in the Middle East by Nato forces and pretend there is no moral dilemma. These are the people who have one rule for Muslims and another for the ‘good guys’. Above is one perfect example.


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  1. sunny hundal

    Blogged: : On the right to resist 'foreign occupation' http://bit.ly/cQC10p


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    RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : On the right to resist 'foreign occupation' http://bit.ly/cQC10p


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  5. Daniel(le) Nobody

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  6. smileandsubvert

    On the right to resist ' foreign occupation' http://bit.ly/aDtxKT


  7. sunny hundal

    @raheemjkassam http://t.co/pLH355lM




  1. Skiamakhos — on 16th November, 2010 at 10:01 am  

    It’s funny – according to the strict interpretation of our current anti-terrorist laws, the funeral given to Eileen Nearn a few weeks back was illegal. As a non-uniform-wearing military operative who infiltrated behind enemy lines she’d fall within the category of enemy combatant or terrorist these days, and such a funeral glorifies what she did.

    On Remembrance Sunday a friend tweeted that we should give thanks to those who fight for their country, whatever that country should be. I refrained from asking if that included my grandad who had a medal from Eamon Devalera for his actions against the English in the Irish War of Independence & then later supporting Sinn Fein in the Irish Civil War.

    It all boils down to Chomsky’s argument in “Pirates & Emperors” – one of scale & who was victorious.

  2. cjcjc — on 16th November, 2010 at 10:23 am  

    So you support the Afghan invasion and you support the Taleban for fighting back.

    I guess there’s a kind of consistency there, erm…

  3. MaidMarian — on 16th November, 2010 at 10:57 am  

    OK Sunny – Deep breath.

    I suspect that what many who rail on talkboards are actually frustrated is the impression given – most likely unwittingly – that somehow every ill in the world is to be thrown at the feet of the west and that any criticism of the Arab world is somehow deligitimised by recent events in that part of the world. Worse, that somehow anything ‘the West’ does is to be denounced in terms of moral equivalence.

    There is a sense that, somehow, the people in the Arab world are abrogated from all sense of responsibility simply because the west has the nerve to exist. This, of course is nonsense. Terror existed well before the Iraq conflict and, for sure is far more complex than the, ‘it’s the nasty west,’ view that has become common currency. It is that, ‘nasty west,’ view that is being responded to in, no doubt, intemperate terms.

    Consider for example the below from the obituary of Abu Nidal, as written by that organ of neo-conservatism, the Guardian.

    ‘In the Iraqi capital, a kindred spirit called Saddam Hussein was laying the foundations of a uniquely brutal tyranny, and it was here, appropriately, that Abu Nidal’s miscreant career truly began. That September – “Black September” to the Palestinians – King Hussein of Jordan unleashed his bedouin troops on Yasser Arafat’s guerrilla state-within-his-state. But far from getting Iraq, which already had 14,000 troops inside the Hashemite kingdom, to come to the guerrillas’ aid, Abu Nidal went on Baghdad Radio to denounce the Fatah leadership for its cowardice, singling out his benefactor, Abu Iyad, for special abuse.

    From Baghdad, in 1973, he mounted his first “foreign operation”, as acts of international terrorism were euphemistically known. Typically, this was the hijacking of a Saudi, not an Israeli, airliner. He did it at Iraq’s behest – a readiness to lend himself to others’ purposes that he almost flaunted when, three years later, he turned on the Ba’athist regime in Syria.’

    You say, ‘These are the people who have one rule for Muslims and another for the ‘good guys’. Above is one perfect example.’ I suspect that deep down you really know better than this talkboard reductivism.

  4. Richard — on 16th November, 2010 at 10:57 am  

    I wouldn’t say Muslims are bad, rather it’s Islamic fundamentalists who are bad (and that includes our ally, Saudi Arabia). If these regimes were white Christian theocracies they would still be just as bad. Indeed, I suspect the crew over at Harry’s Place would have been campaigning against white South Africa back in the day.

  5. Dave Rich — on 16th November, 2010 at 11:34 am  

    Surely the point is that Islamists (a) tend to have an elastic definition of what constitutes a legitimate target and method for such resistance; (b) have a global definition of ‘their’ land that they want to ‘defend’ and (c) assume that the most radical Islamists in a given country represent the authentic will of the people.

    For example, the NATO forces in Afghanistan are allies of the democratically-elected Afghan government and opinion polls in Afghanistan repeatedly show very low support for the Taliban. meanwhile the Taliban has historically been very happy to accept support from the foreigners of Pakistan and the Arabs of al-Qaeda. So unsurprisingly the facts do not fit the simplistic picture of ‘locals resisting foreign forces’ which Begg and others like to promote, which only has the effect of legitimising the Taliban’s efforts to unseat a democratically-elected government by force and impose a theocratic regime.

  6. David T — on 16th November, 2010 at 11:53 am  

    Thank you all for making good points in response.

    There are two points to make here:

    1. The Taliban has minority support within Afghanistan. Afghans fear their return to power more than anything else. They are not fighting to liberate “their country”.

    2. Moreover, they are fighting to install a totalitarian and nightmarish theocracy on an unwilling population. In other words, they are fighting to enslave Afghans.

    3. The position of CagePrisoners appears to be that all Muslims everywhere have a religious duty to assist what they call “defensive jihad”, which they believe is what is taking place in Afghanistan. They see their own work as part of that “defensive jihad”.

    CagePrisoners’ greatest desire is for Western progressives and human rights organisations to recognise this position as a legitimate one.

  7. douglas clark — on 16th November, 2010 at 12:44 pm  

    David T @ 6,

    I have looked over the CagePrisoners web site on many an occasion and I don’t recall anything there that would make me think that what you say at para 3 above is correct. Could you point me to it?

  8. boyo — on 16th November, 2010 at 12:53 pm  

    “It’s also worth noting, the blog hasn’t ever (that I’ve seen) criticised British Jews from going to Israel and joining the Israeli Defence Force, to fight Palestinians.”

    Ho-ho. Whatabouterist!

    Surely the trouble with the defence argument is that it can apply to nation states but not modes of belief. Therefore you can defend the territory of Israel or Afghanistan, sure, but once its “Muslims” under attack where does the Ummah begin and end?

  9. David T — on 16th November, 2010 at 12:57 pm  

    Well, here is a very graphic example of Asim Qureshi expressing these views:

    “We embrace the mercy. We embrace every single thing that is set upon us and we deal with it because we have no fear. So when we see the example of our brothers and sisters fighting in Chechnya, Iraq, Palestine, Kashmir, Afghanistan then we know where the example lies. When we see Hezbollah defeating the armies of Israel, we know what the solution is and where the victory lies. We know that it is incumbent upon all of us to support the jihad of our brothers and sisters in these countries when they are facing the oppression of the west.”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wpGn3VgNMA

    We have them saying similar things in other contexts as well.

  10. Sarah AB — on 16th November, 2010 at 1:16 pm  

    Just to pick up on one aspect of this debate – if Begg is endorsing British Muslims going and resisting the British army (and I’m not sure whether that is what he is saying precisely, it’s not clear) – then that seems a rather different scenario from a British Jew going and serving with the IDF where s/he wouldn’t be fighting the British.

  11. Shamit — on 16th November, 2010 at 1:19 pm  

    In a poll conducted by the BBC in January of over 1500 Afghans the following results were revealed among others:

    90% support democracy and the current governmental structures

    while 69% argued that Taliban was the biggest threat to the country.

    Security remains the biggest concern and a majority of them believe that ISAF being there would improve security and over 68% think under the current democratic structures lives of their children would be better.

    *************************

    Therefore, Mr. Begg’s assertions about defending against invaders and equating US led international forces with Soviet Union does not hold water.

    While I sympathise with him on his extra judicial detention in Guantanamo Bay and I agree with him that it is wrong – there is no way in hell could I agree with his arguments about Afghanistan. So the majority of Afghans are sell outs, only those who support the Taliban are true patriots.

    If you change the words and putAmericans and Neo cons – the chattering classes would have a field day and say how stupid and unrepresentative the argument is.

    **************************

    I find it hard to believe this post reflects Sunny’s position on anything – I think its just an opportunity to take a shot at HP. And if that’s the case, HP made a massive hue and cry about an apparent homophobic post on Libcon (which was not written by Sunny, and sunny apologised for the post and took it down and wrote a lengthy public apology) – but HP could not let it go.

    So I am afraid this would be another wasted post in the inexplicable HP vs Sunny Hundal battle – I of course would back Sunny any day but I wish Sunny did not write this post the way it came out.

  12. douglas clark — on 16th November, 2010 at 1:24 pm  

    David T @ 9,

    The ‘Spitoons’ blurb under the video says quite clearly [my highlighting]:

    Asim Qureshi, formerly of Cage Prisoners and soon to be employed be legal charity ‘Reprieve’, speaks on a Hizb ut-Tahrir platform and calls for jihad against western oppression in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kashmir.

    On a point of detail, I have no idea how the west is causing oppression in Kashmir.

    My point is simply that if you read the CagePrisoners site it talks almost exclusively about the injustices of Gitmo, rendition, re-integration of prisoners and more recently about drone attacks. It does not call for global jihad or anything like that.

    To the best of my knowledge.

  13. douglas clark — on 16th November, 2010 at 2:11 pm  

    Sarah AB @ 10,

    From the original article he said this at the end of the interview:

    “If you are asking me what are my feelings towards people fighting occupation, the answer is I completely support them. I believe in the inalienable right to defend yourself against foreign occupation.

    “There is no doubt in my mind that if resisting the occupation of Afghanistan was not only considered good but lionised [in the 1980s] by the British government and US . . . then nothing has changed other than interests.”

    There is nothing there to suggest that he is asking for support from British muslims.

    I agree with Shamit that we are in danger of accepting a narrative about the plucky freedom fighters when the vast majority of Afghans, at least according to one opinion poll, do not support them.

    This is probably why General Sir David Richards said what he said:

    It might not be the stereotypical view of war, he insists, in the sense of massed armies attempting to outmanoeuvre their opponents but it needs to be viewed in the same way. But this war – unlike those of the past – could last up to 30 years.

    Northern Ireland comes to mind.

    If we are serious about this then we are in for a very long haul indeed.

  14. fact — on 16th November, 2010 at 2:22 pm  

    And if that’s the case, HP made a massive hue and cry about an apparent homophobic post on Libcon (which was not written by Sunny, and sunny apologised for the post and took it down and wrote a lengthy public apology) – but HP could not let it go.

    HP wrote 2 posts, both before Sunny’s belated apology (after first defending the post), and then only after 95% of the regular LibCon readership had expressed their continuing outrage.

    Oh, and there was nothing ‘apparent’ about the homophobic nature of the original post. It was real enough.

  15. Sunny — on 16th November, 2010 at 2:30 pm  

    Oh this is nothing to do with that post and everything to do with HP’s continuing double-standards when it comes to Muslims.

    It was only a few weeks ago one of their authors was stridently defending Melanie Phillips as not being bigoted against Muslims. hah! What a fucking joke that blog has become. I don’t really care for their attacks on me – the only time the site gets attention these days from other bloggers is when they attack me.

    I wrote this post to highlight David T’s own hypocrisy.

    Whether you consider the Taliban to be the biggest threat to Afghanistan or not (and I definitely do) – the point here is about what Begg said in that case.

    Does David T agree or disagree with what Begg said above? On the face of it, he agrees, but then goes on to make all sorts of other assumptions.

    you either agree with self-defense or you don’t. Which is it going to be?

  16. cjcjc — on 16th November, 2010 at 2:31 pm  

    “I agree with Shamit that we are in danger of accepting a narrative about the plucky freedom fighters when the vast majority of Afghans, at least according to one opinion poll, do not support them.”

    I don’t think anyone, other than the CP lot, the Galloway lot, Seumas Milne, “lenin”, and a few other imbeciles is in any danger of accepting that narrative.

  17. cjcjc — on 16th November, 2010 at 2:33 pm  

    “you either agree with self-defense or you don’t. Which is it going to be?”

    What an imbecilic comment.

    The Taleban is not engaged in “self-defence” except in the most trivial/literal sense.
    They are engaged in a war against their own countrymen, as you admit!

    “the only time the site gets attention these days from other bloggers is when they attack me”

    hahahaha

  18. Mark T — on 16th November, 2010 at 2:42 pm  

    you either agree with self-defense or you don’t. Which is it going to be?

    Does Sunny genuinely believe that the Taliban are engaging in self-defence?

  19. douglas clark — on 16th November, 2010 at 2:45 pm  

    cjcjc,

    Well you may be right. I hope you are.

    But that is not what David T is saying exactly, is it?

    He worries that:

    2. Moreover, they are fighting to install a totalitarian and nightmarish theocracy on an unwilling population. In other words, they are fighting to enslave Afghans.

    3. The position of CagePrisoners appears to be that all Muslims everywhere have a religious duty to assist what they call “defensive jihad”, which they believe is what is taking place in Afghanistan. They see their own work as part of that “defensive jihad”.

    CagePrisoners’ greatest desire is for Western progressives and human rights organisations to recognise this position as a legitimate one.

    If that is so, then they are certainly not using their own web site to promulgate that view. Which you’d have thought they would have done, wouldn’t you?

    In my opinion.

  20. Mark T — on 16th November, 2010 at 2:49 pm  

    It’s also worth noting, the blog hasn’t ever (that I’ve seen) criticised British Jews from going to Israel and joining the Israeli Defence Force, to fight Palestinians.

    That might be because only morons believe the IDF is morally equivalent to the Taleban.

  21. harith — on 16th November, 2010 at 2:49 pm  

    Sunny:
    “Now let’s be clear: I’m against anyone going to foreign countries and getting involved in conflicts that kill innocent people.”

    But you are. You have already implicitly agreed with Moazzam Begg that it is the right of every Muslim to get involved with in “defensive Jihad” to fight the forces of Kufar where and when they attack Muslim targets. This is double standard which you are applying as far as Begg and his fellow travellers are concerned.

    “Oh this is nothing to do with that post and everything to do with HP’s continuing double-standards when it comes to Muslims.”

    What about your own double standards when it comes to siding with Muslims who are Islamists?

  22. David T — on 16th November, 2010 at 2:51 pm  

    Douglas

    I don’t think you’ve really been following this issue properly, and I don’t think you’re in a position to argue it. This isn’t a cop out response – it is just that I don’t have the time to take you through the material, and I don’t really want to either.

    Sorry.

    “formerly of Cage Prisoners and soon to be employed be legal charity ‘Reprieve’”

    Yes, after we exposed this speech, Qureshi told Clive Stafford Smith that he wouldn’t join, for the good of the organisation. So he remains at CagePrisoners.

  23. douglas clark — on 16th November, 2010 at 3:02 pm  

    harith @ 21,

    You say:

    You have already implicitly agreed with Moazzam Begg that it is the right of every Muslim to get involved with in “defensive Jihad” to fight the forces of Kufar where and when they attack Muslim targets.

    Please point me to where Moazzam Begg says that. Far less Sunny. Moazzam Begg makes the far narrower, and to my mind debateable point, that people in an occupied country have a duty to fight back. As most Afghans seem to think otherwise, well, I think he’s wrong. It is an option, not a duty or a right. And, as the Taliban are attempting to overthrow an admittedly rickety democracy, he is doubly wrong.

    But, nowhere in the article does he say anything whatsoever about the duty of every Muslim to get involved.

  24. douglas clark — on 16th November, 2010 at 3:07 pm  

    David T,

    I don’t think you’ve really been following this issue properly, and I don’t think you’re in a position to argue it. This isn’t a cop out response – it is just that I don’t have the time to take you through the material, and I don’t really want to either.

    A tad smug there David. It is pretty clear to me that nothing I will ever say to you on the subject of Moazzam Begg, or Cageprisoners will ever alter your opinion one iota. Still, no-one will ever get to know your killer points now, will they?

    Which is a bit of a shame, because you are usually quite a pleasant chap.

  25. harith — on 16th November, 2010 at 3:16 pm  

    “Please point me to where Moazzam Begg says that. Far less Sunny. Moazzam Begg makes the far narrower, and to my mind debateable point, that people in an occupied country have a duty to fight back.”

    CagePrisoners, of which Moazzam Begg is chief director, has made this point a number of times.

    The term “defensive Jihad” was in fact devised by Amnesty International following consultations with CP and Begg on its efficacy, following the Gita Sahgal fallout.

    Please also see the video (linked above) of Asim Qureishi – Begg’s fellow director and legal asdvisor at CP – making the same point.

  26. john — on 16th November, 2010 at 3:37 pm  

    Richard
    ” I suspect the crew over at Harry’s Place would have been campaigning against white South Africa back in the day.”

    Are you serious? During the Apartheid era South Africa’s biggest ally in the Middle East was fellow apartheid state Israel , while the Arab states supported the ANC… and since when does Harry’s Place ever criticise Israel?

    http://www.powerbase.info/index.php?title=David_Toube

    And to those who dont think Israel is an apartheid state, this man, who knows a bit more about apartheid than you do, does

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/1957644.stm

  27. imran — on 16th November, 2010 at 3:40 pm  

    David Toube is an obsessional Muslim hater so its absurd to seek his opinion on issues affecting Muslims.

    This is the man who went to the anti-Muslim rag the Daily Mail with a story about Muslims hiring a swimming pool and harangued Moazzem Begg for the “crime” of…….. fighting against the genocide of Bosnia’s Muslims!

  28. boyo — on 16th November, 2010 at 3:43 pm  

    This appears to be going in the anorakist direction of much of HP these days. It’ll be Galloway-Israel-Hamas ad infinitum if yer don’t watch it…

  29. Mark T — on 16th November, 2010 at 3:47 pm  

    This is the man who went to the anti-Muslim rag the Daily Mail with a story about Muslims hiring a swimming pool

    A public pool was running sessions for Muslim men who refused to swim with people of other religions, or even Muslim women. That is segregation, and is disgraceful. The fact you characterize this episode as being “anti-Muslim” speaks volumes.

    harangued Moazzem Begg for the “crime” of…….. fighting against the genocide of Bosnia’s Muslims!

    Did he bollocks.

  30. imran — on 16th November, 2010 at 3:52 pm  

    Mark T
    “A public pool was running sessions for Muslim men who refused to swim with people of other religions, or even Muslim women. That is segregation, and is disgraceful. The fact you characterize this episode as being “anti-Muslim” speaks volumes.”

    Idiotic ..how on earth are they supposed to know someone is Muslim or not..Other communities do the same thing ..Toube deliberately went there to stir up hatred of Muslims which is his and HP’s raison d’etre

    “harangued Moazzem Begg for the “crime” of…….. fighting against the genocide of Bosnia’s Muslims!

    Did he bollocks.”

    http://www.solicitr.com/2010/01/18/cleary-gottlieb-associate-goes-nuts-at-freshfields-event/

    http://www.iengage.org.uk/component/content/article/1-news/721-david-toube-of-harrys-place-filmed-ranting-like-a-madman

  31. raff — on 16th November, 2010 at 3:53 pm  

    Another post which veers way off point.

  32. earwicga — on 16th November, 2010 at 3:54 pm  

    Shamit – link for the ‘poll’ please. You know full well that most polls are carried out in Kabul and ‘safe’ areas and are not representive of Afghanistan.

  33. FlyingRodent — on 16th November, 2010 at 3:56 pm  

    That is segregation, and is disgraceful.

    My swimming pool has women-only sessions. Is that segregation? Another centre nearby hires out the pool one night a week to nudists. Is that disgraceful?

    Ah, David T. – The Rosa-Lee Parks of OMG The Muslims Are Taking Over Our British Leisure Facilities!

  34. Mark T — on 16th November, 2010 at 4:00 pm  

    The apposite comparison, FR, as I’m sure you well know, is for a religious grouping.

    If you have no problem with – say – a “Christian Male Only” swimming session, then that’s fine.

    If not, take your tired OMG! shtick elsewhere please.

  35. FlyingRodent — on 16th November, 2010 at 4:01 pm  

    In fact, my friend once hired a pool for a kids party. That would be “Children of my pals only” swimming. Dhimmification by single mothers is reality, comrades!

  36. harith — on 16th November, 2010 at 4:02 pm  

    “while the Arab states supported the ANC… and since when does Harry’s Place ever criticise Israel?”

    Powerbase is a murky online outfit run by a bunch of very dodgy far-left academics from Strathclyde University who produce biased, racist and skewed character assassinations of individuals who they regard as holding politics which are not unconditionally supportive of Hamas, Hezbollah and Jamaat-e-Islam.

    Since when did

  37. harith — on 16th November, 2010 at 4:05 pm  

    Since when did Powerbase support Muslims who are not out and out Islamists?

  38. Mark T — on 16th November, 2010 at 4:07 pm  

    In fact, my friend once hired a pool for a kids party. That would be “Children of my pals only” swimming.

    And presumably if your friend insisted on Muslims not using the pool at the same time, that’s FINE with you!

    Hey! Isn’t religious segregation wonderful!

  39. Shamit — on 16th November, 2010 at 4:20 pm  

    Earwicga

    The poll results are here:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/11_01_10_afghanpoll.pdf

    This is the fifth BBC/ABC/ARD poll in the country – its done yearly and the next one would come out in Jan 2011. According to BBC and ARD – these polls are based on “Face-to-face interviews were carried out with 1,534 Afghans in all of the country’s 34 provinces between 30 December 2008 and 12 January 2009. The margin of error is + or – 2.5%.”

    But I do share your scepticism about poll such as these however because these polls have been conducted yearly and across the country – I think this is probably more reliable than others.

    But it makes for interesting reading if you look at the overall graph from 2005 – 2010.

  40. Shamit — on 16th November, 2010 at 4:23 pm  

    sorry it should have read 30 December 2009 and 10 January 2010. Apologies Earwicga.

    I have been following these polls since they started coming out – these numbers are not very soft as the questioning is direct and does not put words in the mouth of the respondents.

  41. douglas clark — on 16th November, 2010 at 4:26 pm  

    harith @ 25,

    Well, given the history of assertion rather than evidence that Harrys’ Place is sometimes guilty of, you’ll excuse me if I’d like to see the evidence.

    The ‘best evidence’ that I can find for your side of the debate is this, by Conor Foley from Liberal Conspiracy – in reply to me:

    Douglas the ‘evidence’ is Claudio’s own quote. He says that:

    ‘Moazzam Begg and others in his group Cageprisoners also hold other views which they have clearly stated, for example on whether one should talk to the Taleban or on the role of jihad in self-defence.’

    I do not see that as in any way conclusive.

    If he has clearly stated his view on ‘jihad in self-defence’ in relation to Afghanistan, what is it? Where is it?

  42. harith — on 16th November, 2010 at 4:43 pm  

    It looks quite conclusive to me.

    Claudio Cordone, even in disaster recovery mode, quite categorically stated that CagePrisoners regarded Defensive Jihad as legitimate.

  43. earwicga — on 16th November, 2010 at 4:50 pm  

    Thanks Shamit. There’s no methodology or gender/location breakdown at that link and I’ve found nothing on the Acsor website either.

    But The Asia Foundation says of it’s survey that ‘In 2010, 16% of sampling points had to be changed across the country for security reasons compared to 12% in 2009.’ and their respondents were ’56% men and 44% women’ so I imagine the Ascor one would be similar. Additionally surveys are carried out by people local to each region.

    Surveys are interesting but without the methodology they’re not to be taken as any kind of fact (which I know you know). I’m even more skeptical about polls carried out by telephone from Kabul as they cannot possibly be representative.

  44. douglas clark — on 16th November, 2010 at 4:54 pm  

    harith,

    Not in that quote he doesn’t. He says “whether one should talk to the Taleban or on the role of jihad in self-defence.” These are, apparently things worth debating, not things cast in stone.

  45. Mark T — on 16th November, 2010 at 5:02 pm  

    Douglas, you are misreading the quote from Cordon.

    Here it is –

    “Now, Moazzam Begg and others in his group Cageprisoners also hold other views which they have clearly stated, for example on whether one should talk to the Taliban or on the role of jihad in self-defense.”

    That is, Cageprisoners have views they have clearly stated, examples being

    “on whether one should talk to the Taliban”

    and

    “on the role of jihad in self-defense”.

  46. Mark T — on 16th November, 2010 at 5:02 pm  

    *Cordone.

  47. Toad — on 16th November, 2010 at 5:11 pm  

    In fact, my friend once hired a pool for a kids party. That would be “Children of my pals only” swimming.

    Yeah, I think you need to consider the implications of ‘hired’. I have no problem if any group wants to ‘hire’ a pool. I do have an objection if a public leisure convenience restricts access to the, er, public on the basis of religion.

    You’re not stupid FR, but it seems you’re perfctly prepared to create the illusion you are if there’s a merry quip to be made.

    We all have our style, I suppose.

  48. sunny — on 16th November, 2010 at 5:12 pm  

    Oh look, our trolls of the ‘sunny when are you going to admit you want jihadist babies’ variety are back.

    I ask a simple question that relates specifically what Begg says above. If you want to put words in people’s mouths – it’s quite easy to rant about Israel blasting chemical weapons into Palestinian territories and Harry’s place bloggers accepting that as a defensive measure.

    But I’m specifically referring to what Begg says above. And I already know that David T also supports people to defend their country. You could call it ‘defensive jihad’ if you want to put it another way.

    So why not admit that? Why the double standards??

  49. sunny — on 16th November, 2010 at 5:14 pm  

    Top British defence officials have said we must speak to the Taliban. *yawn*
    it’s hardly a fucking incitement to terrorism is it? Muppets.

  50. damon — on 16th November, 2010 at 5:17 pm  

    Isn’t the difference though between defending your country from invasion and oppression by people who want to do you ill, and having some knee-jerk response to the presence of armed ”infidels” and foriegners on your soil, even when they are trying to help your basketcase country? Is Barack Obama trying to shaft Afghanistan and oppress it?

    On the swimming pool issue, I bet it wasn’t about muslims only, but about a certain kind of swimwear that was required. And if non muslim males were wearing the ‘above the navel – below the knee’ long trunks, then there would have been no issue to go to the papers with.
    We used to be a bit prudish about bathing attire in Britain too in the 1920s.

  51. Mark T — on 16th November, 2010 at 5:18 pm  

    Why the double standards??

    Because Begg was not making a comment about the right to resist occupation in a vacuum.

    It was a direct response to a question about his position on the Taliban. Ergo, he is presenting the Taliban as resisting “foreign occupation”, and by implication, defending their actions.

    This isn’t that hard.

  52. Toad — on 16th November, 2010 at 5:22 pm  

    I ask a simple question that relates specifically what Begg says above. If you want to put words in people’s mouths – it’s quite easy to rant about Israel blasting chemical weapons into Palestinian territories and Harry’s place bloggers accepting that as a defensive measure.

    Liar.

  53. Toad — on 16th November, 2010 at 5:24 pm  

    This isn’t that hard.

    It is if you’re as thick as fucking pig-shit like Sunny.

  54. cjcjc — on 16th November, 2010 at 5:24 pm  

    Exactly.

    This isn’t that hard.

    If you believe that the Taleban are legitimately “defending their country” then there are double standards.

    Is that what you believe?

    I hope not.

  55. douglas clark — on 16th November, 2010 at 5:25 pm  

    Mark T,

    You, correctly quote the piece and then you try to parse it, by missing out the ‘or’ which is pretty clearly being used in it’s traditional sense of linking alternatives. This might seem a bit OTT, but I’m willing to bet Cordone sweated blood over that letter.

    The word that causes us difficulty is ‘whether’. Whether means ‘expressing a doubt or choice between alternatives’ which clearly applies to ‘one should talk to the Taliban’ and in my view also applies to ‘on the role of jihad in self defence.’

    Your mileage may vary.

  56. Shamit — on 16th November, 2010 at 5:32 pm  

    Earwicga –

    No arguments at all on the points you raise. They are all valid.

    For me with Afghanistan – I see the perennial “chicken & egg” question. I am not trying to be frivolous at all.

    You need education and “emancipation” of women if you really want to break the culture of cyclical violence that permeates through out that society. In addition, you need to educate and persuade men to accept those changes – but the problem is unless the security environment can be improved vastly across the country – all developments would be localised in certain areas of the country.

    If one looks carefully at all the data especially with regard to infrastructure as well as education, health and other basic parameters of society’s progress – we have to accept that our efforts have been localised to a large extent.

    How do you resolve that conundrum? I don’t know but what is even more scary – senior policy and military leaders don’t know either, in my opinion. On top of that Afghanistan has become a power play pawn – where various countries are trying to destabilise certain aspects to ensure they wield influence.

    Another factor that plays a key role is the lack of a national cohesive bond.

    To provide security – you need more forces. Who provides them? America probably can now with a Republican House of Congress – but justifying the cost would be difficult. Britain is already at its limit there.

    Indian or Chinese Forces would be out of the question and Afghans won’t allow Pakistan in.

    One aspect which was raised by some senior politicians in the US, at least in private was to engage Jordan in somewhat of a more public role – but even though Jordan has been involved since the begining of the conflict – I can understand why King Abdullah does not want a public role.

    So how do you provide seeurity to facilitate development and how do you address the corrupt regime of Karzai – right now we are supporting the lesser of two evils.

    And I also fear pulling troops out now or in the near future. Afghans are already worried that we are going to leave them in the hands of Taliban – which would be aided by Pakistan (which is hated) – but the Taliban and the Pakistani Taliban could join forces and the junior officer and NCO ranks of the Pakistani armed forces have become more religious than the Musharraf, Kayani – who have already retired or are soon to retire.

    In such a scenario, if we leave Afghanistan you might end up giving the religious fanatics a boost which could potentially lead to nuclear confrontation not only between Pakistan and India but also Pakistan and China or India & Chhina- China has backed Pakistan so far but fanatics have no love for China. And that could start armageddon – I agree that is a remote possiblity however over the past decade we have seen that unintended consequences of policies have some bizzare and very detrimental effect.

  57. Mark T — on 16th November, 2010 at 5:32 pm  

    Douglas, I agree I missed out the ‘or’, which was uncharitable of me, but the sentence makes no sense, as you interpret it.

    Whether means ‘expressing a doubt or choice between alternatives’ which clearly applies to ‘one should talk to the Taliban’ and in my view also applies to ‘on the role of jihad in self defence.’

    No. This would mean that the original sentence scans as

    Moazzam Begg and others in his group Cageprisoners also hold other views which they have clearly stated, for example on whether the role of jihad in self-defense.”

    That’s incredibly poorly phrased, to put it charitably.

    If your interpretation is correct, he should surely have written

    Moazzam Begg and others in his group Cageprisoners also hold other views which they have clearly stated, for example on whether one should talk to the Taliban or on whether one should use jihad in self-defense.”

    or suchlike.

    But he didn’t.

  58. douglas clark — on 16th November, 2010 at 6:04 pm  

    Mark T,

    I see your arguement.

    I would have thought, had Cordone only have one point to make it would have read something like this:

    “Moazzam Begg and others in his group Cageprisoners also hold another view which they have clearly stated, on whether to use jihad in self-defense.”

    That, it seems to me, would have been the singular option rather than the two he listed. Agreed, it’s a pretty clunky sentence.

    Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if Cordone popped up here and told us both we were wrong!

    I think Moazzam Begg has retreated from internet debate these days, which is a shame. It shouldn’t be particularily difficult for him to clarify exactly what he means.

    Though, I guess he’ll be out celebrating tonight:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/nov/16/guantanamo-bay-prisoners-compensation

  59. Mark T — on 16th November, 2010 at 6:13 pm  

    A relevant Cageprisoners article is here.

    It runs

    As for Cageprisoners, Sahgal describes it as a “jihadi” organisation “committed to systematic discrimination” and accuses it of having “an agenda that is way beyond being a human rights organisation.” Her only evidence in support of such allegations is firstly, that Cageprisoners campaigned for notorious clerics such as Anwar al-Awlaki and secondly, that Begg and Executive Director of Cageprisoners, Asim Qureshi, support the concept of armed jihad in self-defence against oppression and foreign occupation.

    In response to the second point (the relevant one under discussion here), the Cageprisoners article states that

    Cageprisoners believes in the right of people living under foreign occupation and facing oppression to raise arms in self-defence.

    Which is not a denial, but a restatement of ‘self-defensive jihad’ in terms more amenable to a western liberal audience – that is, the stripping out of the religious motivation for ‘defensively’ taking up arms.

    The real meaning is, however, clearly apparent in the following paragraph -

    As Muslims, we are commanded by God to stand up for justice and to defend the rights of the oppressed. So if there is any hidden agenda at play at Cageprisoners, it is that it is motivated by Islam and by Quranic injunctions and not by secularism. This however has never been a secret and anyone familiar with the work of Cageprisoners is aware of this.

    This is an objectively pro-Taliban piece.

  60. douglas clark — on 16th November, 2010 at 6:43 pm  

    Mark T,

    Well spotted.

    But again, we are taking different meanings from the same overall text. That article quotes from rights under the Geneva Convention for instance.

    Cageprisoners believes in the right of people living under foreign occupation and facing oppression to raise arms in self-defence. In doing so, Cageprisoners is merely reiterating international law, specifically Article 1 of Additional Protocol 1 to the Geneva Conventions which recognises the legitimacy of the use of armed force in the struggle for self-determination against colonial domination, alien occupation and racist regimes.

    I do too. Although I am not at all convinced that an invasion with the full backing of the UN Security Council is either colonial domination, alien occupation or racist. In other words I’m not persuaded that it applies to Afghanistan. But, as a general principle it has got to be right, no?

    He also says:

    Like Amnesty International, Cageprisoners sees no contradiction in campaigning for due process for such individuals whilst firmly adhering to the principle that innocent civilians can never be targeted by any party.

    Funnily enough, I agree with that too.

    Finally, you’ll be relieved to know:

    As Muslim human rights activists, Cageprisoners is often criticized by some in the Muslim world for its association with secular NGOs such as Amnesty International. These critics believe that because Amnesty officials do not believe in the supremacy of Islam and believe in a secular ideology, Muslims should not trust them. They allege that Amnesty is simply a human rights front organisation with a hidden agenda to destroy Islam, remove the hijab from Muslim women, and abolish Shariah law in totality. Cageprisoners chooses to differ and works with Amnesty International and others to promote the rule of law and international human rights…

    I think that is pretty noble.

    The crux of the matter is what exactly Moazzam Begg means by defensive jihad in the specific circumstances of Afghanistan.

    It is actually down to him to clarify that.

  61. Sarah AB — on 16th November, 2010 at 6:46 pm  

    @Mark T – I don’t see why it is an objectively pro-Taliban piece An organisation could be guided by Christian values yet deplore violent or discriminatory actions which are done in the name of Christianity. I do find the AI/CP link problematic – but I don’t think that *article* was objectively pro-Taliban (any more than I think David T is an obsessional Muslim hater, to quote an earlier comment!)

  62. Sunny — on 16th November, 2010 at 6:51 pm  

    Because Begg was not making a comment about the right to resist occupation in a vacuum.

    Mmm… in other words you’re going to project his intentions into words that your idol agrees with, just so you can carry on smearing him.

    Yes, I know how this shit works – have seen it for years.

    Incidentally David T – how did that smearing of Mehid Hasan pan out? Did other people take you up on it? Why hasn’t he been outed in the national media yet? Is it one big conspiracy against you guys?

    You guys have become a fucking joke.

  63. Sunny — on 16th November, 2010 at 6:53 pm  

    it a restatement of ‘self-defensive jihad’

    Isn’t that what Israelis call it, but in their own language?

    Shall I start citing speeches by Avigdor Lieberman?

  64. Mark T — on 16th November, 2010 at 7:02 pm  

    @Douglas

    I do too. Although I am not at all convinced that an invasion with the full backing of the UN Security Council is either colonial domination, alien occupation or racist. In other words I’m not persuaded that it applies to Afghanistan. But, as a general principle it has got to be right, no?

    As a general principle, it is right, agreed. However, Begg and Cageprisoners do see Afghanistan as occupied. The problem is not with the principle, but with its application.

    @Sarah AB

    I don’t see why it is an objectively pro-Taliban piece. An organisation could be guided by Christian values yet deplore violent or discriminatory actions which are done in the name of Christianity.

    Agreed, I didn’t express myself clearly. The piece is not, in and of itself, pro-Taliban, but it becomes so in the light of Cageprisoners attitude towards ISAF and NATO troops in Afghanistan. That is – that these groups are indeed “occupiers” and that resistance against these foreign oppressors is justified in the name of self-defence.

  65. Mark T — on 16th November, 2010 at 7:03 pm  

    @Sunny -

    By way of response, I’ll repeat cjcjc’s question to you, which you have not, as yet, answered -

    If you believe that the Taleban are legitimately “defending their country” then there are double standards.

    Is that what you believe?

  66. Sarah AB — on 16th November, 2010 at 7:12 pm  

    Thanks Mark.

    Sunny – obviously you’ll disagree but, as someone who was genuinely perfectly receptive to Mehdi Hasan at the beginning of this thread

    http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/7696

    (because I wouldn’t want to condemn anyone for a remark taken out of context)I thought he acquitted himself really badly – and, no, I don’t think he’s an Islamist!

  67. TORY — on 16th November, 2010 at 8:02 pm  

    Those statistics on the views of Afghans are quite interesting.

    Looks like Sunny has fallen for Caged Prisoners view that the Taliban ARE the Afghan people.

    Don’t blame him though. Caged Prisoners have friends in high places, like Amnesty.

  68. Niels Christensen — on 16th November, 2010 at 8:04 pm  

    “So when we see the example of our brothers and sisters fighting in Chechnya, Iraq, Palestine, Kashmir, Afghanistan then we know where the example lies”
    The question to Cage prisoners must be, who are the brothers and sisters in Iraq ?
    Which party/group exact are you thinking of ?

  69. Refresh — on 16th November, 2010 at 8:59 pm  

    Sunny,

    ‘You guys have become a fucking joke.’

    You could try cooling it a bit, an asterisk or two wouldn’t go amiss.

  70. earwicga — on 16th November, 2010 at 9:18 pm  

    Refresh – I don’t agree. They are a fucking joke.

    Shamit – I agree more or less with everything you have written. Perhaps Afghanistan won’t survive as an intact state after this. I don’t see how it can.

  71. Mark T — on 16th November, 2010 at 10:06 pm  

    Earwicga –

    If HP are indeed such a joke, perhaps you could suggest to Sunny that he spend less time responding to their posts, and rein in his evident paranoia that they are out to get him.

  72. Toad — on 16th November, 2010 at 10:13 pm  

    You guys have become a fucking joke.

    When the Sahgal case was discussed here and on LibCon, there were dozens of comments from regular readers who more or less took the HP line on this issue. There were others who were at least critical of the Begg-CP-AI association. Sunny himself is on record as saying CP “leave a bad taste in my mouth”.

    So CP leave a bad taste, acocrding to Sunny, although AI refers to them as “a leading human rights organisation”, but anyone pointing out why this might be problematic is a “fucking joke”.

    Go figure.

    Sunny has been asked dozens of times whether, given his views on CP, he thinks AI is wise to partner with them and whether the epithet “leading human rights organisation” is deserved, but he’s never answered. It’s obvious he has reservations about the association, but to admit as much would put him on the same side of this particular deabate as HP and because he has the intellectual maturity of tadpole he simply can’t, won’t do that.

    Lastly, reference the HP-PP supposed shared animosity, the idea that this obsession is two-way is not backed by the evidence. Search for ‘Pickled Politics’ on HP and look for ‘HP’ here on PP and, for all Sunny’s protestations about attacks on him by HP, it’s clear who is obsessed with whom.

  73. earwicga — on 16th November, 2010 at 10:49 pm  

    So Toad, anyone who is ‘on the same side of this particular deabate as HP’ has the ‘intellectual maturity of [a] tadpole’.

    Couldn’t of put it better myself.

  74. Mark T — on 16th November, 2010 at 11:00 pm  

    So Toad, anyone who is ‘on the same side of this particular deabate as HP’ has the ‘intellectual maturity of [a] tadpole’.

    Err, nope. Toad is not saying that.

    He is suggesting that Sunny has tadpole-like maturity because he won’t admit he’s on the same side of the debate (I don’t know if this is true or not, but that is his point). He is certainly not suggesting that anyone who disagrees with HP has said intellectual maturity.

    Read his post again.

    And it’s “couldn’t have”, not “couldn’t of”. Sorry. Minor pedantry.

  75. Toad — on 16th November, 2010 at 11:33 pm  

    Sunny will deny the obvious conclusion of his own, publicly-expressed views on CP for no other reason than to avoid being on the same side of the debate as HP. This demonstrates intellectual maturity akin to that of the tadpole.

    Seriously, how did you get the gig, earwicga?

  76. douglas clark — on 16th November, 2010 at 11:46 pm  

    Toad,

    ‘Tis a lonely furrow to plough being one of the few that sees Moazzam Begg as being a much misunderstood and maligned man.

    But I would say this, Harrys’ Place comments threads are full of righteous indignation at anyone, anyone at all, that disagrees with the Party line. And the complete utter certainty that you lot have that you are right, always, is quite sad, really.

    There is no room for the benefit of the doubt, there is actually no room for anything much but an angry buzzing sound….

  77. earwicga — on 17th November, 2010 at 12:20 am  

    Toad, I used your words in the way you did. Your ‘obvious conclusion’ is laughable.

    douglas, yes, where is Buzz Brownie?

  78. Mark T — on 17th November, 2010 at 12:33 am  

    Toad, I used your words in the way you did.

    No you did not. Did you not read my post @73?

  79. douglas clark — on 17th November, 2010 at 12:46 am  

    earwicga,

    We have been honoured by the presence of the saintly David T. Who is, unfortunately, too buzzy, sorry busy, to actually explain himself. Indeed we lesser mortals are not worth him bothering his enormous brain about.

    We cannot expect to be graced with the presence of two knights of the internet on the one thread. The excitement would just kill me.

  80. Sunny — on 17th November, 2010 at 2:34 am  

    Heh – I see you dimwits didn’t bother responding to my point.

    Some idiots ask me this question:
    Looks like Sunny has fallen for Caged Prisoners view that the Taliban ARE the Afghan people.

    Let me demonstrate why I call you fucking dimwits a bunch of fucking dimwits. Here is what I say in my above: I was for Nato staying in Afghanistan and getting rid of the Taliban

    You see that bit? Can you read? You trolls just repeat the same old horse-shit all day long and expect to catch me out by putting words in my mouth.

    I on the other hand don’t have to put words in anyone’s mouth. I’ve got David T on the record saying that he supports people defending their homeland.

    In that – David T agrees completely with Moazzam Begg. If you want to call one a terrorist – then call the other a terrorist or it’s double standards. Simple as. End of discussion.

  81. Sarah AB — on 17th November, 2010 at 7:36 am  

    I don’t know about the other fucking dimwits but I was asleep.

    I agree with Sunny’s analysis of “Looks like Sunny has fallen for Caged Prisoners view that the Taliban ARE the Afghan people.”

    But it’s no worse than this, in terms of nuance and acccuracy.

    “But there are hypocritical fuckwits with a clear view of the world: Westerners = good; bearded Muzzlims = bad … Above is one perfect example.” (assuming ‘above’ is David T.

    And the last para doesn’t constitute the end of the discussion – a lot of the comments above demonstrate all sorts of further questions/context which might be explored.

  82. Konnu — on 17th November, 2010 at 8:08 am  

    David T’s hypocrisy, the theme that runs throughout Harry’s Place and nowadays in the disgusting output of Gilligan, is the constant singling out of Muslims for attack for beliefs and practices they themselves share. We all know it’s to further their varied but bigoted agendas.

    Just to clarify David T’s hypocritical Daily Mail attack on Muslim swimming sessions: he knew full well that the same pool ran peak-time Jewish-only and Christian-only sessions, he just couldn’t accept a new off-peak Muslim-only session. The result: no Muslim only session, but Christian and Jewish sessions continued unaffected. Nothing to so with so-called ‘Islamism’, but everything to do with bigotry.

    Sunny, keep exposing them!

  83. cjcjc — on 17th November, 2010 at 8:08 am  

    “In that – David T agrees completely with Moazzam Begg. If you want to call one a terrorist – then call the other a terrorist or it’s double standards. Simple as. End of discussion.”

    Oh dear, oh dear.

    It’s only double standards if the Taleban are in fact “defending their homeland” as opposed to, say, attempting through violence and indeed terrorism to impose a theocratic tyranny on their fellow countrymen.

    Since you (and everyone except CP, Seumas Milne, etc.) believe the latter, then it isn’t double standards.

    Simple as. End of discussion.

  84. cjcjc — on 17th November, 2010 at 8:10 am  

    @81 – I will eat my hat if there were Christian-only swimming sessions.
    You’re making that up.

  85. fact — on 17th November, 2010 at 8:25 am  

    That’s not the only thing he’s making up.

  86. Sarah AB — on 17th November, 2010 at 8:46 am  

    But there do seem to have been Jewish only ones (according to the internet – which may be wrong …)

    I’m a bit ambivalent about the original story. On the one hand I thought it was perfectly fair to draw attention to the issue – and I wasn’t the only one to think so.

    http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/1858

    On the other hand – I don’t like the way the DM covers such issues generally.

  87. Konnu — on 17th November, 2010 at 8:59 am  

    If you don’t agree with single-sex swimming or sessions for particular racial or religious group, fine. Get rid of all such sessions, fine.

    But my point is that whilst Hackney has facilitated, say, Jewish-only and Christian-only (a Catholic group at Clissold on Saturdays), and of course women-only, sessions for decades, David T only sprang into action within weeks of Muslims starting an early morning session (8 AM on Sundays, when previously the leisure centre had been closed). Getting the Daily Mail on board nails the point.

    It’s all about treating Muslims in a different, negative, discriminatory way. It’s hypocrisy, pure and simple.

  88. cjcjc — on 17th November, 2010 at 9:08 am  

    So this was a Catholic-only session???

    Or was this private hire?

  89. douglas clark — on 17th November, 2010 at 9:54 am  

    cjcjc,

    Equally then, was there a muslim-only session?

    Or was that too, a private hire?

  90. Katy Newton — on 17th November, 2010 at 10:01 am  

    Let me demonstrate why I call you fucking dimwits a bunch of fucking dimwits.

    Is it because you have a mental age of 14?

  91. Mark T — on 17th November, 2010 at 10:15 am  

    In that – David T agrees completely with Moazzam Begg.

    Well, he agrees with that statement that “people have a right to resist foreign occupation”.

    However – and this is probably quite important – I don’t think he would agree with Begg’s belief that ISAF are foreign occupiers, and that the Taliban are justified in attacking them.

    What is your view of ISAF, Sunny? Are they foreign occupiers?

    Do carry on equivocating.

  92. cjcjc — on 17th November, 2010 at 10:17 am  

    Good question, Lord Nelson.

    I don’t know.

  93. Konnu — on 17th November, 2010 at 10:20 am  

    cjcjc @87

    “You can’t come in here, it’s a Muslim/Jewish/Christian/Women’s session.”

    “That’s outrageous!”

    “Would you feel better if I told you it is ‘private hire’?”

    “Oh, that’s alright then, see ya!”

    Continue to ignore the substantive point, i.e. the discriminatory targeting of Muslims. It’s the last acceptable form of bigotry in Britain.

  94. cjcjc — on 17th November, 2010 at 10:27 am  

    I’ve yet to see any evidence that these Christian/Catholic-only sessions actually took place BTW….

  95. Mark T — on 17th November, 2010 at 10:39 am  

    The result: no Muslim only session, but Christian and Jewish sessions continued unaffected.

    Err…Really? I do hate to sound sceptical, but have you any evidence for this claim?

  96. boyo — on 17th November, 2010 at 2:47 pm  

    Excuse me, is this the People’s Front of Judea or the Judean’s People’s Front?

  97. Phomesy — on 17th November, 2010 at 5:14 pm  

    I really don’t understand how Rumbold can bear sharing this site now Sunny’s gone insane and Earwicga has come on board.

  98. douglas clark — on 17th November, 2010 at 5:35 pm  

    Phomsey @ 96,

    Dunno. Maybe it is because when he writes a post here 99% of the feedback he gets is positive? Even I agree with 99% of the stuff he writes. Although, as a disclaimer, I consider him a personal friend. The 1% where I disagree with him is probably the area where you do agree with him.

    Sunny is not insane, he’s just fucking angry, OK?

    And I would be too if I was as consistently misrepresented by folk as he is. The only thing you guys have going for you is the repetition of lies and half truths ad infinitum. It is what you do, it is your entire strategy.

    Sunny puts up with that on a daily basis. When a complete nobody such as your good self suggests he is mad, I for one wonder what you have to lose, and I come to the conclusion you may be human but you just come across as a robotic attack bot. Perhaps that is all you are, a computer generated piece of hate mail.

    On the odd occasion I have stuck my head above the parapet I have been consistently lied about, deliberately misunderstood to the point of wanting to hit my head off a brick wall, and abused by a shower of folk that don’t want to consider any point of view but their own. It is completely and utterly frustrating. It is not debate or discussion, it is quite the opposite.

    What kept me going was that what you fail to appreciate is that there is an audience for this stuff. People read this site who don’t usually comment. So, contrary to your stupid, your words are read by lots more folk than you think. If you want to continue to prove to lots of folk that you are a complete moron, please, do keep posting.

    And earwicga has a point of view. It’s good to be challenged on what you think you think. Funnily enough, I think she is maturing a lot as a writer and thinker. And she and I appear to agree on this thread. Christ! Who’d have thunk it.

    But there you go, you know best.

  99. Refresh — on 17th November, 2010 at 5:45 pm  

    Phomesy,

    Pickledpolitics is one of the blogs I know of where you will come out a better person than when you entered. But you have to stick around for the full effect.

    Its a journey where you will have to take the rough with the smooth – including blograids from HP.

  100. Phomesy — on 17th November, 2010 at 5:51 pm  

    PP used to be one of the best Blogs around with a genuinely interesting and refreshing approach.

    But over the last few years Sunny has become an increasingly bizarre narcissist and fantasist – as his ridiculous obsessive attacks on DavidT show.

    It’s a just a terrible shame.

  101. douglas clark — on 17th November, 2010 at 6:13 pm  

    Phomsey,

    David T is a piece of work.

    This is what your hero had to say on this very thread:

    This isn’t a cop out response – it is just that I don’t have the time to take you through the material, and I don’t really want to either.

    Sorry.

    Is that the words of a colleague in interpreting the shadows on the wall of the cave?

    Or a narcissist that is so far up his own arse that he can’t actually explain himself.

    Perhaps that Knight of the Internet is tired of all the arguements he loses, but we’ll never know will we?

  102. Refresh — on 17th November, 2010 at 6:15 pm  

    Phomsey,

    One has matured and the other is chasing its one and only tale.

    An example of narcissism was when one thought it had created and harnessed enough animus to launch its own manifesto. Only to find it had laid bare its own self-serving intellectually corrupt ideology.

  103. douglas clark — on 17th November, 2010 at 6:23 pm  

    Refresh @ 101,

    You sure struck the nail on the head there.

  104. blake — on 17th November, 2010 at 6:46 pm  

    Phomesy
    “PP used to be one of the best Blogs around with a genuinely interesting and refreshing approach.

    But over the last few years Sunny has become an increasingly bizarre narcissist and fantasist – as his ridiculous obsessive attacks on DavidT show.

    It’s a just a terrible shame.”

    Replace PP wth Harrys place and Sunny with David T and DavidT with Muslims in the above and you might have had a point….except HP was never a good blog :)

  105. shamit — on 17th November, 2010 at 9:04 pm  

    I think PP is still one of the most intelligent blog around where diverse viewpoints (when argued intelligently) are welcome.

    Its a community of people who are willing to accept pluralism while at the same time are passionate about their beliefs. And as Refresh suggested, one gets to learn a few things here too – which is part of the experience.

    Be it Israel – Palestine be it Blair’s legacy or the challenges of international development to arguing about EU and its impact on the UK – this blog is not afraid to touch any issue.

    The key is anyone with an agenda is welcome but they must bring an open mind. And those among us who don’t contribute often anymore – I know for sure they do keep a track of what’s going on this blog.

    That in itself shows the value of the blog and its community. Maybe you should become a regular Phomesey – I am sure you would enjoy the experience.

  106. Roger — on 17th November, 2010 at 10:08 pm  

    I think PP is still one of the most intelligent blog around

    Yes, smearing bloggers backing the vast majority of Afghans against Taliban supporters as Muslim haters, on behalf of a known extremist group, with “what about the Jews!” thrown in as an extra, is a sign of intelligence.

    Shamit, come on, you’re better than that.

  107. Toad — on 17th November, 2010 at 10:43 pm  

    An example of narcissism was when one thought it had created and harnessed enough animus to launch its own manifesto. Only to find it had laid bare its own self-serving intellectually corrupt ideology.

    The Euston Manifesto was a proclamation of what once upon a time would have been considered decidedly uncontroversial leftist values…which is why many opponents of the war in Iraq who hadn’t disappeared up their own arseholes, for example, had no trouble signing it. It’s not at all surprising that a regular on PP believes the EM revealed a “corrupt intellectual ideology”. You’ll be one of those dullards who thinks the EM was about supporting the invasion of Iraq, which is why your opinions of it and those who signed it are, frankly, worthless; a view further reinforced by your assertion that the EM was somehow “launched” by HP. I’m sure Eric Lee, Norm Geras, Alan Johnson and countless others would be interested to learn this.

    Lastly, I seem to recall there’s a certain Sunder Katwala who signed the EM. If you’re interested in learning more about Mr Katwala, you can often find him at liberalconspiracy.org where I understand he’s a regular contributing author (and not at all badly thought of by our host here at PP).

    In fact, I just checked and, yes, there he is with an article on the homepage of LibCon. Fucking narcissists get everywhere these days, don’t they mate?

  108. Konnu — on 17th November, 2010 at 10:55 pm  

    DC: “On the odd occasion I have stuck my head above the parapet I have been consistently lied about, deliberately misunderstood to the point of wanting to hit my head off a brick wall, and abused by a shower of folk that don’t want to consider any point of view but their own. It is completely and utterly frustrating. It is not debate or discussion, it is quite the opposite.”

    There are many Muslims in particular who know exactly how you feel. Damn David T, HP and their bigoted ilk.

  109. Toad — on 17th November, 2010 at 11:04 pm  

    It gets better re the DT ‘muslim only swimming article’.

    Here’s a link to *another blog* that picked up on this story. DT is in thhe comments boxes and so is Refresh, getting a kick-in from one of the ex-authors (Sid). Particularly relevant is DT’s comment at #68. And I especially like Sunny’s comment at #70 in response to Refresh’s continued insistence that there’s nothing at all wrong with religiously segregated swimming on the tax-payer:

    “Refresh, try reading both the posts before you start whining, yes?”

    And then Sunny again at #79:

    “Is this one of those days when you [Refresh] become hysterical again?”

    What a right larf!

  110. Toad — on 17th November, 2010 at 11:05 pm  
  111. Roger — on 17th November, 2010 at 11:35 pm  

    I see “Konnu” has yet to substantiate his disgusting smears about swimming pools in Hackney.

    That is to be expected on this foul blog.

  112. Refresh — on 17th November, 2010 at 11:56 pm  

    Toad,

    Heady days!

  113. Konnu — on 18th November, 2010 at 12:04 am  

    Roger @109

    Don’t be an idiot, I’m clearly not having go at swimming pools in Hackney, rather the hypocrisy of David T. Check the link in the post immediately before yours, or read http://www.timeout.com/london/around-town/article/1057/muslim-swimmers, or call Clissold and ask them about the ‘private’ session at 5pm on a Saturday, check the brochure http://www.gll.org/uploads/HA_LG_09_FINAL_v3.pdf, then kid yourself Hackney doesn’t have ‘exclusive’ sessions – though not, of course, for Muslims. Okay, “Roger”?

  114. Roger — on 18th November, 2010 at 12:05 am  

    Heady days!

    No, just more reactionary days where you and others here seek to dress up rank religious discrimination in the provision of public services as perfectly normal and people who object as racists and bigots.

    Same old.

  115. earwicga — on 18th November, 2010 at 1:23 am  

    Konnu – thanks for looking up the links.

  116. douglas clark — on 18th November, 2010 at 3:03 am  

    Toad,

    Are you stuck in a time warp or something?

    The Euston Manifesto is a dead duck. Damian Counsell still produces an eponymous blog. Comments are there none. At least on the current page. Perhaps you should hop over there and give him some lurve.

    Would you agree with Daniel Davis who had this to say:

    Looking back at the manifesto in April 2008, Daniel Davies, a contributor to The Guardian newspaper’s online Comment Is Free forum, noted that the group had become largely inactive and claimed that one of its leading members, Alan Johnson, had abandoned Euston’s key principle of “human rights for all” by advocating Britain’s withdrawal from the European Convention on Human Rights. Davies argued that the group’s flaw was “the relentless refusal to actually bring anything down to brass tacks” and that they would demand action on various issues without following through on implementation. According to Davies, “it was this refusal to step down from Mount Olympus that finally did for the Euston Manifesto group. In the early days, it allowed them to assemble a broad coalition, uniting war supporters and opponents under a vague banner of ‘that Galloway chappie has gone a bit too far’. But almost as soon as the manifesto was published, it ran into its first big real-world test as Israel invaded Lebanon, and the strains began to show between those Eustonauts like Norman Geras, who had taken seriously the universalist stuff about human rights, and the Atlanticist element who had always assumed that they were joining a movement that would be happy to set all that stuff aside in the name of getting the bad guys.”

    ?

    Seems to me to be a correct analysis.

  117. douglas clark — on 18th November, 2010 at 3:58 am  

    Roger @ 112,

    What happened son? Did the wasp keeper waggle a stick in the hive or summat? You come on here and insult people you don’t know, don’t care about and then deliberately misrepresent what they say.

    Kennu gives you an answer. So you run away from that. Refresh and I don’t always see eye to eye. But neither of us seems to find it necessary to belittle the other.

    If you want to debate muslim only swimming sessions then you’ll have to debate jewish only swimming sessions or catholic only swimming sessions too.

    Otherwise, please take your Harrys’ Place ‘debating tactics’ and stick them where the sun don’t shine.

  118. douglas clark — on 18th November, 2010 at 5:06 am  

    Roger @ 104,

    Yes, smearing bloggers backing the vast majority of Afghans against Taliban supporters as Muslim haters, on behalf of a known extremist group, with “what about the Jews!” thrown in as an extra, is a sign of intelligence.

    Quite enlightening on the so-called thought processes that go on in what passes for your brain.

    Sunny is on record, on this very thread, as saying:

    Whether you consider the Taliban to be the biggest threat to Afghanistan or not (and I definitely do) – the point here is about what Begg said in that case.

    My highlighting.

    So, strike one. Sunny is not saying what your prejudiced little brain says he is.

    And for all the huffing and puffing of your lot, you have no conclusive evidence that Moazzam Begg does either. You are being played for the fools you undoubtedly are….

    strike two.

    Well you mad bastard ‘what about the Jews!’. Up until your post they have played no role in this debate, except perhaps as a side issue in also having ‘private sessions’ in swimming pools. Which is hardly earth shattering.

    strike three.

    I am sure you are nice to cats or summat, but your public persona here is pretty pathetic. Biased, prejudiced and up yourself.

  119. douglas clark — on 18th November, 2010 at 6:31 am  

    shamit @ 103,

    I agree with you.

    seems to me that Refresh got it right:

    Pickledpolitics is one of the blogs I know of where you will come out a better person than when you entered. But you have to stick around for the full effect.

    I agree with that. It kind of changes your viewpoint. If you are willing to listen. And argue, and understand someone else’s point of view. We are not that weak, you or Refresh or I. But there becomes a point of mutual respect, or at least tolerance, I like to think. I am reminded of the shock of the new, to me, when Sonia used to write here.

    Which, in turn, reminds me of Leon, who closed down his blog with the famous, ‘so long, but thanks for all the fish’.

    I do think that we tend to challenge each other, but there seems to me at least, to be a mutual understanding that we don’t hate each other. Sure, I tend to shoot from the hip sometimes, but I am quite quite open to being corrected too.

    If this web site has achieved anything, it is that.

    Bringing folk together. Letting it all hang out and seeing where it falls. I regret that the likes of Chairwoman doesn’t post here anymore. I really enjoyed her comments.

    I cannot be bothered with the continual animosity that Sunny appears to attract.

    David T is the worlds leading expert on London based groupiscules. Perhaps he should win a million for his knowledge. But knowing a lot about fuck all is, well, knowing a lot about fuck all. It is his only claim to fame, and his failure to keep up a discussion here suggests, to me at least, that he knows that. For we are a bit better than that. We do not enter his web of ‘us and them’ so willingly that we can’t see the wood from the trees.

    For I see that as a mere chimera. And that is because I don’t see any difference between what I am saying and what the editorial content of this blog says. Nor the more intelligent commentators.

    Which is why I find the invasion of the wasps a tad annoying. Wasps as in bzzzzz.., not white anglo saxon protestants.

  120. Roger — on 18th November, 2010 at 8:00 am  

    ‘exclusive’ sessions

    The links cover private hire sessions and women only sessions. They do not say the provision of public facilities normally open to all can be limited on the grounds of religion. This is what happened at Clissold.

    Apparently it is “progressive” to back such rank discrimination and howl at people who protest against it. This is a clear and quite ugly perversion of what “progressive” once meant.

    Douglas Clark, your delirious ignorance and idiocy are hilarious.

  121. douglas clark — on 18th November, 2010 at 8:12 am  

    Roger,

    Is it the case that jews and catholics also have that dispensation?

    I think we will see, by reference back to Konnus’ post @ 111 that you are talking rubbish.

    I seem to recall that your hero, David T, would have been allowed to enter the swimming pool had he chosen to wear ‘modest’ dress. Whilst I find the whole idea of seperate swimming sessions a bit iffy, you will however stand around and fail to deprecate jewish swimming sessions and catholic swimming sessions.

    Douglas Clark, your delirious ignorance and idiocy are hilarious.

    You are just confirming my view of you.

    And, frankly how the morons from Harrys’ Place chose to enter a debate.

    First.

    Lie

    Secondly, if that doesn’t work.

    Attack your opponent on whatever spurious grounds you can find.

    Lastly,

    Try to leave him as wrong, and you as right.

    Err…

    That isn’t going to work around here.

  122. douglas clark — on 18th November, 2010 at 8:34 am  

    Apparently it is “progressive” to back such rank discrimination and howl at people who protest against it. This is a clear and quite ugly perversion of what “progressive” once meant.

    Indeed.

    And what, dear Roger, is your view of catholic only or jewish only sessions?

  123. cjcjc — on 18th November, 2010 at 8:38 am  

    @111

    not sure I can find the relevant page in the PDF brochure

    on the “private” sessions my view is that if there are times when the pool is normally available for private party hire then I don’t mind whether it is booked – as long as it is privately paid for – by a Muslim, Jewish, Christian or Satanist group, or indeed just by a kids birthday party

    on the other hand sessions should not be carved out of normal public opening hours for any specific groups or that demand special clothing

    as far as I could tell from the TO piece, the Muslim sessions were a council thing, the Jewish ones private

    but as Lord Nelson wpuld say, that’s how I read it anyway

  124. Roger — on 18th November, 2010 at 8:45 am  

    Is it the case that jews and catholics also have that dispensation?

    What, that people of other religions are barred during public opening times, as opposed to private hire? No.

    You’re absolutely hopeless Douglas. You have no clue what you’re talking about and simply argue by tantrum.

    That’s the level this place has reached.

  125. douglas clark — on 18th November, 2010 at 8:47 am  

    Apparently it is “progressive” to back such rank discrimination and howl at people who protest against it. This is a clear and quite ugly perversion of what “progressive” once meant.

    It seems to me that Roger has a singular idea of what equality is about. It is about Roger being right and the rest of us being wrong. I have said, and I mean it, that I have learned a heck of a lot from you guys.

    Me being a wrinkly atheist and all that stuff.

    I have no idea what it is to be

    “progressive”

    , apart from the fact that I feel a bit insulted. I am me. I am neither progressive nor regressive. I just think Roger talks shit.

  126. douglas clark — on 18th November, 2010 at 9:01 am  

    Roger @ 122,

    You are a complete utter idiot. So you are.

    If people reserve a swimming bath for folk of their own faith to, err, swim, what’s the problem?

    If jews do it, or catholics do it, or muslims do it. What the fuck is your point?

    ______________________

    I have a point. I don’t think any of them should be allowed to do that. But you are a weak willed apologist for catholics and jews.

    Their rights to monopolise a pool are not within your purview. It is only the mad and bad muslims rights that you hate. Well, frankly, you are just another Harrys’ Place clone that can’t see the wood from the trees.

  127. douglas clark — on 18th November, 2010 at 9:14 am  

    cjcjc @ 121,

    Lord Nelson says:

    For fucks sake look for it. I am bored with this faux debate about bloody swimming pools. It is as clear as day that brain dead morons from Harrys’ Place are attempting to disrupt discussion here.

    It is what they do, Hardy.

  128. cjcjc — on 18th November, 2010 at 9:20 am  

    I can see from your 1000000000 posts how bored you must be!

    PS – I have looked for it. Stop swearing.

    Problem is almost certainly over-PC councils rather than “bad Muslims” as the BMSD guy says.

  129. douglas clark — on 18th November, 2010 at 9:29 am  

    cjcjc,

    I am not bored exactly. I am a tad annoyed that almost anyone that writes here regularily or comments is misrepresented. The twisted ideas that attack us are, well, a bit warped.

    Least that’s what I think

    And that, sadly, includes you! As a victim.

  130. Konnu — on 18th November, 2010 at 9:34 am  

    The main point is, as I said before, to treat all groups the same. If you don’t like the idea of ‘exclusive’ swimming based on religion, race, sex, then apply it to all. Of course, women-only sessions are a feature of just about every leisure centre; much less so for men-only.

    The distinction between public and private is a red herring. In the case of the session that David T alleged that he tried to go in to, if he had gone to the pool just two months earlier he would have found it shut. The Muslim group asked if they could have session, and we offered 8 AM on a Sunday morning, outside existing public hours. I find it very hard to believe that David T went out so early on a Sunday morning without checking the times on the centre’s website.

    The other problem with the distinction between public and private is the false idea that people don’t pay to go in public sessions. The Muslims were offered a choice between making their session ‘private’ or ‘public’; for the former, they would have had to pay a lump sum, and the leisure centre would have lost out because the popular session brought in far more in individual session fees.

    At the end of the day, the Muslim sessions were re-designated as men-only sessions, so tough luck for David T’s wife.

    Back to the main point. As Douglas has pointed out, you HP-types lie, distort, attack. Your whole approach is rooted in hypocrisy and bigotry. Yeah, “Roger”, I mean you.

  131. Sofia — on 18th November, 2010 at 9:41 am  

    It really is pathetic that a thread on foreign occupation ends up talking about ‘pool times for muslims’. Some of you lot sound like a bunch of friggin fascists.

  132. Roger — on 18th November, 2010 at 10:00 am  

    At the end of the day, the Muslim sessions were re-designated as men-only sessions

    Thank you for confirming that religious discrimination is just what happened.

    The sessions were public, not private hire. The council has confirmed this. It said “Muslims only” was a mistake.

    Yet here we are, years later, and people still claim opposition to religious discrimination in the provision of public services is bigotry.

    You couldn’t make it up.

    Sofia, and why has the topic come up? Because it is one of the pathetic smears people here resort to, that’s why.

  133. Konnu — on 18th November, 2010 at 10:01 am  

    Sofia @129

    If you read and understand, the point of Sunny’s post was to show David T’s hypocrisy with regard to the right of ‘self defence’. The swimming issue was a further illustration of David T’s double standards.

    And just how does that make us sound like fascists? Bizarre.

  134. harith — on 18th November, 2010 at 10:03 am  

    “It really is pathetic that a thread on foreign occupation ends up talking about ‘pool times for muslims’. Some of you lot sound like a bunch of friggin fascists.”

    Given that the matter of the pool was introduced into this thread by imran and then followed up by FlyingRodent and Konnu, I would completely agree with your description of them as a “bunch of friggin fascists”.

  135. Konnu — on 18th November, 2010 at 10:06 am  

    Roger @130

    And so you fulfil Douglas’ description of the third HP debating tactic! More by accident than design, I suspect, you don’t seem very bright.

  136. douglas clark — on 18th November, 2010 at 10:13 am  

    Sofia,

    I agree! But you try to answer what is put in front of you.

    I am far more concerned about what Moazzam Begg actually thinks than I am about frigging swimming pool sessions.

    It is this attempt to derail that rightly angers you.

    Tactics when we come under a flame attack from Harrys’ Place clones, or wasps or whatever. These are rules for me, your mileage may vary.

    Try to stick to the first topic. I think David T is a tit. I think he has nothing worthwhile to say. Stick with that. Don’t be diverted down avenues of mass swimming. It is fair enough to point out that David T is the hero of anti-muslim swimming sessions. For that is what he is. It makes him look like a fool. And that is what he is too.

    But it takes the debate, conveniently, away from the other areas where he is a fool too.

    This is a major conspirator to murderous war. He wouldn’t even see himself as such, but that is what the Euston Manifesto called for and delivered.

    He has blood on his hands and that is what we ought to be addressing.

    I think he is a complete utter apologist for killing people he doesn’t like. I tend to think that that is wrong.

  137. harith — on 18th November, 2010 at 10:27 am  

    “Try to stick to the first topic. I think David T is a tit.”

    Said the biggest bullying, drunken buffoon on this site.

  138. Sofia — on 18th November, 2010 at 10:36 am  

    “I am far more concerned about what Moazzam Begg actually thinks than I am about frigging swimming pool sessions.

    It is this attempt to derail that rightly angers you”.

    Totally Douglas.

  139. douglas clark — on 18th November, 2010 at 10:39 am  

    harith @135,

    Said the biggest bullying, drunken buffoon on this site.

    Eh! Where did you appear from?

    Have you anything to say, apart from insult?

    Else we take it you are obeying the Harrys’ Place agenda of being a someone who has no idea what they are talking about, or to whom.

    Piss off.

  140. harith — on 18th November, 2010 at 10:39 am  

    “Have you anything to say, apart from insult?”

    Look at your own input on this thread for starters before you accuse anyone else of that.

  141. harith — on 18th November, 2010 at 10:42 am  

    “No, just more reactionary days where you and others here seek to dress up rank religious discrimination in the provision of public services as perfectly normal and people who object as racists and bigots.

    Same old.”

    Spot on, Roger.

    This site pretends to be progressive but is, in actual fact, very much part of the idiotic left which intentionally mistakes Islamism with the common person’s Islam.

    There are a number of bloggers on this site – none of whom are Muslim – but consistently side with radical Islamist interpretations of Islam and then attempt to preach to the credulous that this represents the large majority of Muslims in this country. While at the same time, they consistly malign real liberal, moderate Muslims.

    Most Muslims who lean towards defending Islamist ideologies and constantly berate moderates. Whilst the moderates are shouted down, bullied and worse, deleted altogether.

    This site is now a sub-prime echo chamber. And it is certainly not “progressive”.

  142. douglas clark — on 18th November, 2010 at 10:48 am  

    harith @ 138,

    You are not worth debating. Unless you accept you are the biggest bullying, drunken buffoon on this site.

    Which you probably are.

  143. douglas clark — on 18th November, 2010 at 10:59 am  

    Oh the complete utter extatic joy of having two idiots trying to reinforce their own opinions here!

    Spot on, Roger.

    This site pretends to be progressive but is, in actual fact, very much part of the idiotic left which intentionally mistakes Islamism with the common person’s Islam.

    There are a number of bloggers on this site – none of whom are Muslim – but consistently side with radical Islamist interpretations of Islam and then attempt to preach to the credulous that this represents the large majority of Muslims in this country. While at the same time, they consistly malign real liberal, moderate Muslims.

    Most Muslims who lean towards defending Islamist ideologies and constantly berate moderates. Whilst the moderates are shouted down, bullied and worse, deleted altogether.

    This site is now a sub-prime echo chamber. And it is certainly not “progressive”.

    Err…

    No we don’t. It doesn’t lean towards islamist ideologies, and frankly you’d be hard put to find a site that supported muslims better than this one.

    It is up to pricks like you to prove that Moazzam Begg is who you say he is. So far, you can’t. And that suggests that you are more of a nut job than I. Enjoy your vodka, you idiot.

  144. joe90 — on 18th November, 2010 at 11:02 am  

    discussion gone into personal attacks instead of sticking to the topic, which is a pity.

    begg’s original point is correct, in any country the people would resist foreign occupation doesn’t matter if it was afghanistan or britian that was occupied.

  145. douglas clark — on 18th November, 2010 at 11:13 am  

    joe 90,

    Willing to have a reasoned discussion about that?

    begg’s original point is correct, in any country the people would resist foreign occupation doesn’t matter if it was afghanistan or britian that was occupied.

    Of course they would. Unless what was being imposed internally was not what they wanted.

    There is an emerging R2P idea that does not exempt a nation from doing whatever it wants to do within it’s borders. Which, kind of, contradicts the view you think Moazzam Begg expressed.

    Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t. Despite what the Harrys’ Place jury, hah!, had to say, it remains not proven.

    It is up to you. I tend to stand for universal human rights, and not exceptionalism. But that is a hard, hard position. ‘Cause governments hate it and so do supporters of every which government on the planet.

  146. harith — on 18th November, 2010 at 11:19 am  

    “No we don’t. It doesn’t lean towards islamist ideologies, and frankly you’d be hard put to find a site that supported muslims better than this one.”

    haha. You don’t have a clue about you’re talking about.

  147. douglas clark — on 18th November, 2010 at 11:23 am  

    harith,

    haha. You don’t have a clue about you’re talking about.

    Well, try to be clearer than that. What do you think you are saying?

    I am quite content in thinking what I do. Enlighten me, why don’t you harith?

  148. cjcjc — on 18th November, 2010 at 11:26 am  

    “begg’s original point is correct, in any country the people would resist foreign occupation doesn’t matter if it was afghanistan or britian that was occupied”

    Which then goes back to the question as to whether what the Taleban is doing is in fact “resistance” (which CP, Milne, Galloway and a few other nutters believe) or not.

  149. joe90 — on 18th November, 2010 at 11:28 am  

    post #143

    the people of afghanistan will resist does’nt matter if you russian, american or british they will automatically resist. Just need look at their brief history to see that.

    This propoganda by some that it’s only the taliban resisting doesn’t make sense who is taliban? do they all wear blue peter badges confirming their membership? It’s entire nation resisting that is why nato 10 years later are no where and looking for way out!

  150. cjcjc — on 18th November, 2010 at 11:33 am  

    “It’s entire nation resisting”

    You are Moazzam Begg and I claim my £5.

  151. harith — on 18th November, 2010 at 11:38 am  

    Sure, let’s have a look at the particular case of Moazzam Begg’s comments here, which the author the site and the regulars think is spot on:

    “If you are asking me what are my feelings towards people fighting occupation, the answer is I completely support them. I believe in the inalienable right to defend yourself against foreign occupation.”

    Now this comment is correct as long as you are speaking within the narrow limits of the Pashtun Taliban only. Which, as we all know, but which this site representative as it is of the idiotic left – regard as wholly represent of the entire population of Afghanistan.

    However, what Begg chooses to ignore is that the large majority of Afghans might hate the NATO forces and the Karzai government – but they hate the Taliban even more. Which is why they are still willing to have the NATO forces in their country to destabilise and weaken the Taliban but also broker power sharing negotiations with them. Let’s not forget that NATO also includes large capacity building NGOs such as BRAC – which are there for capacity building – as opposed to Begg’s view – that they are entirely made up of military forces.

    But you wouldn’t know any of this from Begg’s comments nor his worshippers on this site. Most Afghan women know exactlyt what the Taliban are about and polls show again and again that they, as a group, are most opposed to any support or power sharing agreements with the Taliban. Does Begg mention this? Of course not.

    Because his narrative is from the Taliban Pashtun only – the only narrative which the idiotic left, and some parts of Amnesty, are willing to accept. But by doing so, they are selling the rest of Afghanistan down the river. People like the Hazaras, the Turkmens, the Aimaqs, the Jats etc.

    And that is why this site – which accepts Begg’s narrative and considers it to be sacrosanct and beyond any close examination – is not progressive nor does it ever speak on behalf of the Afghan people in general. Or for moderate Muslims either.

  152. douglas clark — on 18th November, 2010 at 11:38 am  

    cjcjc,

    Which I think is the crux of the matter. My understanding of defesive jihad is protecting your immediate community from attack. Which is what you ought to do, I’d have thought.

    It is not a claim for universal intervention. It is a claim for self protection.

    On the question of the Taliban, well I think they are a bad thing, and so do you, and so does Sunny. They do not represent Afghans, and as such are the enemies of a legitimate settlement.

    I am willing to say that Moazzem Begg needs to clear up what his opinion actually is.

    I would like that to happen here. For he’d get a fair hearing.

  153. Shamit — on 18th November, 2010 at 11:48 am  

    The majority of the Afghan people are not resisting and there are numerous evidence to that effect. So can we at least put that to bed?

    Just to reiterate, while I sympathise with Mr. Begg on his extra judicial incarceration – I have no support for his views on Afghanistan – a bunch of religious nutters trying to impose their will on a whole nation through weapons and torture is not acceptable and not desirable.

    In addition Mr. Begg walks a line which I would not follow and spins his once overt support for Taliban in politically correct language now – I hope he has really changed his mind. But saying the resistance is from the Afghan people – I disagree.

    One might say how does this affect us – well under Taliban – Al qaeda flourished and Afghanistan became the higher education institute for terrorism that targets civilians.

    The nexus between Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan is something that threatens global peace – and I am not only talking about armed men going around in random killing spree but I am also talking about nuclear weapons.

    So joe 90 – once again your myopic vision is aiding and abetting people who try to brand this blog and its commentators as “loony”.

    Sunny definitely does not support the Taliban and neither does he support Islamic fascism in anyway – however, no one can deny – there is this attitude among many who try to find fault with anything related with Muslims or Islam – and this blog stands up to it.

    Sometimes some posts and commentary on here can go a tad bit too far – but overall the balance of opinions are usually pragmatic albeit married to the ideals of a just society. However, there is no single view that dominates on this blog and people would find it hard to highlight massive “groupthink”. On most blogs, including Liberal Conspiracy to some extent, there is a tendency to “groupthink” which does not serve anyone well.

    So despite all the critcisms and the nitpicking I believe this blog provides a conversation which reflects pluralism and adds value. If we want to really commercialise this blog – this blog would not have a problem getting advertisers with decent CPM rates – I cannot say that about many in the political arena and on this I know what I am talking about.

  154. harith — on 18th November, 2010 at 11:54 am  

    This part is very much of the idiotic left which suffers from the delusion that it supports Muslims by siding with Islamists such as Begg. The same left – which often intentionally mistakes Islamism with the common person’s Islam.

    The other side of the coin is the right – which is, more often than not, is attacking the Muslim faith by confusing it with Islamism.

    Both sides have utilised this “confusion” whenever they have had to alternatively support Islamism or attack ordinary Muslims.

    Either way, it has been ordinary Muslim people and their beliefs who have been affected while the Islamists and their causes have prospered.

  155. douglas clark — on 18th November, 2010 at 11:59 am  

    Harith,

    You had, predicably, this to say:

    Sure, let’s have a look at the particular case of Moazzam Begg’s comments here, which the author the site and the regulars think is spot on:

    “If you are asking me what are my feelings towards people fighting occupation, the answer is I completely support them. I believe in the inalienable right to defend yourself against foreign occupation.”

    Now this comment is correct as long as you are speaking within the narrow limits of the Pashtun Taliban only. Which, as we all know, but which this site representative as it is of the idiotic left – regard as wholly represent of the entire population of Afghanistan.

    However, what Begg chooses to ignore is that the large majority of Afghans might hate the NATO forces and the Karzai government – but they hate the Taliban even more. Which is why they are still willing to have the NATO forces in their country to destabilise and weaken the Taliban but also broker power sharing negotiations with them. Let’s not forget that NATO also includes large capacity building NGOs such as BRAC – which are there for capacity building – as opposed to Begg’s view – that they are entirely made up of military forces.

    But you wouldn’t know any of this from Begg’s comments nor his worshippers on this site. Most Afghan women know exactlyt what the Taliban are about and polls show again and again that they, as a group, are most opposed to any support or power sharing agreements with the Taliban. Does Begg mention this? Of course not.

    Because his narrative is from the Taliban Pashtun only – the only narrative which the idiotic left, and some parts of Amnesty, are willing to accept. But by doing so, they are selling the rest of Afghanistan down the river. People like the Hazaras, the Turkmens, the Aimaqs, the Jats etc.

    And that is why this site – which accepts Begg’s narrative and considers it to be sacrosanct and beyond any close examination – is not progressive nor does it ever speak on behalf of the Afghan people in general. Or for moderate Muslims either.

    Sigh and all that.

    That is not what Moazzam Begg appears to me to be saying. It is what you want him to be saying, but that is a different thing.

    The right of resistance is pretty well laid down is it not?

    You and I, and perhaps Moazzam Begg might see it as wrongful, but it is legal, is it not?

    There is nothing in that extract:

    “If you are asking me what are my feelings towards people fighting occupation, the answer is I completely support them. I believe in the inalienable right to defend yourself against foreign occupation.”

    that you wouldn’t say when you were consuming copious amounts of vodka. As you obviously do.

    Whether he is supporting the Taliban or not is a tad moot, harith.

    Cheers!

  156. joe90 — on 18th November, 2010 at 12:01 pm  

    post #151

    ah yes another conspiracy theory of afghanistan being the biggest threat in the world, even though it’s one of if not the poorest nation in the world. How ironic that the USA which currently occupies Afghanistan spends close to $700 billion on weapons, but it is not considered dangerous in your world funny coincidence or what.

    Secondly if the resistance in afghanistan is supported by only a minority, must be first time in its history that has occurred, both russia and britian have lost to this mysterious minority and US/nato are finally facing up to the same fact. I rather trust history as a more reliable measure than your one sided theories.

  157. harith — on 18th November, 2010 at 12:07 pm  

    “You and I, and perhaps Moazzam Begg might see it as wrongful, but it is legal, is it not”

    It is legal. But it is not the majority view in Afganistan – it is the view largely of the Pashtun Taliban.

    Why isn’t he speaking on behalf of, say Hazara women, who hate the Taliban?

    Is it because the NATO are perceived of as being foreigners? How then do you justify the large numbers of foreign Arab insurgents in the Taliban?

    You can side with the the Taliban til the cows come home – and you can support Begg for doing so. But don’t call it progressive or majoritorian.

  158. douglas clark — on 18th November, 2010 at 12:10 pm  

    Shamit @ 151,

    How could you! My point about Moazzam Begg is that it is not proven. And then you waffle on as if it was.

  159. douglas clark — on 18th November, 2010 at 12:20 pm  

    harith,

    Why isn’t he speaking on behalf of, say Hazara women, who hate the Taliban?

    Dunno.

    It is one of a lot of questions I’d like Moazzam Begg to answer.

    Still, your idea that he is guilty until proven innocent, is anathema to me. I’d have thought you’d have to do the exact reverse, but there you go.

    Silence is not an admission of guilt.

  160. harith — on 18th November, 2010 at 12:27 pm  

    “Silence is not an admission of guilt.”

    Begg isn’t being silent. He is actually extremely verbose and he has his narrative and his worldview which he is not shy to discuss. It is up to you, your conscience and your politics to accept or reject them.

    If you want to support him and hold him aloft as the voice of the Afghan people, you choose to do that out of your politics.

    Just don’t pretend that they are progressive.

  161. douglas clark — on 18th November, 2010 at 12:37 pm  

    harith,

    Well, you’ll be able to track him down will you? What exactly does his verbosity prove. Show me. Well you can’t, and that goes for the rest of our infection of Harrys’ Place lunatics. You say stuff, and when you are asked to back it up, you can’t.

    That he is in league with the taliban?

    No proof.

    I have no dog in the ring on Afghan politics. I am just saying that you and yours have a view on Moazzam Begg that has nowt much to do with reality.

    Bzzzz….

  162. Shamit — on 18th November, 2010 at 12:37 pm  

    Douglas –

    Moazzam Beg is on record supporting the Taliban – referring to them “as the best thing that has happened to Afghanistan” – so Douglas, I cannot help arguing against it.

    In his book Enemy Combatant, Begg recalls telling two U.S. agents who visited him in his Guantanamo Bay cell that:

    “I wanted to live in an Islamic state–one that was free from the corruption and despotism of the rest of the Muslim world…. I knew you wouldn’t understand. The Taliban were better than anything Afghanistan has had in the past 25 years”

    **************************
    Joe90 – I know we disagree and that is not a bad thing. But the US, UK, China, India, NATO and now Russia is increasingly concered about Afghanistan – Pakistan Taliban nexus. Hence Obama’s inviation to Medvedev to NATO and Russia’s acceptance.

    Nuclear weapons is their worry especially since a part of the Pakistani establishment is continuing to support the Taliban. Don’t forget in 2008 – the Taliban came within 100 miles of Islamabad and Rawalpindi. There is absolutely no security in Islamabad or any parts of Pakistan – and even the Pakistani estbalishment and civil society is worried.

    Imagine if these nutters get hold of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal – Iran would also not be happy neither would China.

    And are you denying that 9/11 – 7/7 and 26/11 had nothing to with the Afghanistan – Pakistan (taliban and ISI nexus) – if you do so that is your perogative.

    Also, claiming Afghanistan beat Soviet Union is not really true – the United States funnelled billions of dollars and had the largest CIA operation in defeating Soveit Union. Stinger missiles and weapons don’t come cheap – but now those guns and training have been turned on us.

  163. harith — on 18th November, 2010 at 12:55 pm  

    “I have no dog in the ring on Afghan politics. I am just saying that you and yours have a view on Moazzam Begg that has nowt much to do with reality.”

    Yes, you do. You support Begg unconditionally and are prepared to ignore his statements in support of the Taliban.

    But you claim ignorance to let your conscience off the hook. And that is truly pathetic.

    The view is not unlike people who support the BNP but couch themselves in some sort of cognitive dissonance when it comes to their track record of support of racist ideologies. They convince themselves that if they close their eyes and think of England, that reality will disappear and take care of itself.

    You are not that different, are you?

  164. douglas clark — on 18th November, 2010 at 1:01 pm  

    Well, I think he qualified that, in the sense that he said the Taliban were the best thing in the last twenty five years. Which took him back to the midst of the Soviet invasion.

    A time he seemed prepared to favour.

    Obviously I think he was wrong about the Taliban. Perhaps he does too?

    Who knows. He is not exactly sharing his thoughts hereabouts.

    But the point stands. He is innocent until proven guilty.

  165. cjcjc — on 18th November, 2010 at 1:05 pm  

    Nick Griffin denies he is racist.

    Innocent until proved guilty?

  166. douglas clark — on 18th November, 2010 at 1:12 pm  

    harith,

    You think?

    You support Begg unconditionally and are prepared to ignore his statements in support of the Taliban.

    I don’t support Moazzem Begg unconditionally. Neither do I condemn him in the same that way you do. Without evidence and without a point, really.

    That is what you do…

  167. harith — on 18th November, 2010 at 1:14 pm  

    Yes you can continue to cover your shell-like ears, close your eyes and say “la la la! I can’t hear you!”

    But you cannot claim that there is no evidence.

  168. damon — on 18th November, 2010 at 1:30 pm  

    Who cares what Moazzem Begg says or thinks?
    He sounds like a bit of a muppet to me.

    ”Defending” a country against foreign invaders when they are trying to help that country is not something worth justifying here.
    You have to judge what are Barack Obama’s intententions right now. Does he want to do harm to Afghanistan? To subjugate and exploit it?

    I saw some Afghan young women on the news last night. They were the Afghan women’s football team and they practice at the Kabul stadium which the Taliban used for executions and cutting off people’s hands.
    One woman (speaking good English) said that if the Taliban come back it would be terrible.

    The UK government’s offer of £10million to Guantanamo Bay detainees speaks to the elite’s disarray post-9/11.

    http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/article/9906/

  169. douglas clark — on 18th November, 2010 at 1:38 pm  

    harith @ 16r5,

    But you cannot claim that there is no evidence.

    I am claiming exactly that. There is no evidence. Show me it.

  170. douglas clark — on 18th November, 2010 at 1:43 pm  

    damon @ 166,

    Well cheers or summat. With all due repect, what the heck has that to do with anything ?

  171. dave bones — on 18th November, 2010 at 1:47 pm  

    Some of you are leading quite complicated lives and I can’t work out why.

    If you think Moazaam Begg is a worrisome character why not ask him about what is bothering you? He is accessible to you. Ask him.

    I seem to keep coming back to this from time to time here. It seems incredibly simple to me. I have said this before about Anjum Choudharry and everyone came back with such complicated answers. If you think these people are a danger, ask them. Put your concerns to them and then make a decision.

    I think you are all performance arguing. Is arguing good for blogging business?

    What the fuck difference do you think it makes to either of these people if they have any of your support or condemnation?

    I support the honey monster. Do you think he notices? Does he need or want my support?

    Moazaam Begg is a person. He is not Moazaam Begg United.

  172. harith — on 18th November, 2010 at 1:55 pm  

    “I am claiming exactly that. There is no evidence. Show me it.”

    1) Cage Prisoners website, papers and policies
    2) Asim Qureishi
    3) Statements in support of the Taliban

    etc

  173. harith — on 18th November, 2010 at 1:57 pm  

    When Begg says:

    “If you are asking me what are my feelings towards people fighting occupation, the answer is I completely support them. I believe in the inalienable right to defend yourself against foreign occupation”

    Is he saying that it the inalienable right of the women of the Nuristanis, the Jats, the Aimaqs, the Hazaras to fight and topple the Taliban?

    There is no evidence to say he is.

  174. harith — on 18th November, 2010 at 2:02 pm  

    “I support the honey monster. Do you think he notices? Does he need or want my support?”

    Tell ‘em about the Taliban mummy!

  175. blake — on 18th November, 2010 at 2:29 pm  

    damon
    “Who cares what Moazzem Begg says or thinks?
    He sounds like a bit of a muppet to me.”

    Hehe….physician heal thyself

  176. Sofia — on 18th November, 2010 at 2:38 pm  

    Well it’s funny how the taliban are the bogey men when saudi arabia allegedly harboured terrorists too right? Don’t they carry out beheadings? and treat women like shite? Actually don’t the yanks have the death penalty too? We pick and choose who are enemies are on an arbitrary set of rules and opinion

  177. Arif — on 18th November, 2010 at 2:40 pm  

    This thread is an interesting mix of arguments:

    1. The principle of self defence/defensive jihad.
    2. The applicability of any such principle in Afghanistan.
    3. Judgments on the character of Moazzam Begg.

    I think Sunny wanted to concentrate on point 1, but maybe his opponents are concentrating on points 2 and 3.

    I think even if I accepted the premises that Begg is evil and that Afghanistan is now free and sovereign, it would not lead me to the logical conclusion that defensive jihad should be rejected as a principle.

    And Sunny’s point still stands: if you reject defensive jihad as a principle, are you consistent about it?

    But the question of consistency cuts both ways – my point to Begg would only be whether he would apply the principle to, say, the rights of the Hazara people and Sikh Afghans to fight the Taliban when they were in power?

    I think that Sunny’s opponents implicitly question if you can really be consistent about it, as how you apply it comes down to your perspective. To use the principle, you have to take a view of who is the real defender and who merely claims self-defence as legitimating aggression.

    I think the reality is in Afghanistan that the goodies and baddies cannot be easily distinguished: you can fight for good or bad motives on both sides – some people see the threat to them coming from drones and Karzai’s forces, others as coming from the Taliban and Muslim supremacist groups. Others use those fears to achieve aggressive goals cloaked in the language of stability or piety.

    Nonetheless what the right for self defense has going for it is that it provides a means to combat aggression. And defensive jihad, while too unfocused in identifying aggression (in Begg’s version), maybe adds an aspect of struggling for personal sincerity in your goals. And both add crucial self-limitations to the means and ends of action, reducing the scope of violence. So I wouldn’t abandon them altogether.

  178. harith — on 18th November, 2010 at 2:47 pm  

    “But the question of consistency cuts both ways – my point to Begg would only be whether he would apply the principle to, say, the rights of the Hazara people and Sikh Afghans to fight the Taliban when they were in power?”

    Exactly right.

    Does Begg regard it an alienable right for Afgans to fight against those whom he regards have the legitimate right to wage defensive Jihad?

    Given that there is no evidence to say that he does, it would appear that he does not.

  179. harith — on 18th November, 2010 at 2:49 pm  

    Sorry typo,

    Does Begg regard it an inalienable right for non-Taliban Afgans to fight against the Taliban whom he regards have the legitimate right to wage defensive Jihad?

    Given that there is no evidence to say that he does, it would appear that he does not

  180. Arif — on 18th November, 2010 at 2:55 pm  

    harith, I’d ask him the question before making the assumption.

  181. harith — on 18th November, 2010 at 3:00 pm  

    “harith, I’d ask him the question before making the assumption.

    I am applying the same methods of reasoning as most people here regarding Begg’s support of the Taliban and Islamism in general. They assume he does not – in spite of the evidence that shows he does.

    With regard to the question about consistency, where is the evidence to say he rehards it an inalienable right for non-Taliban Afgans to fight against the Taliban and “defensive Jihad”?

  182. damon — on 18th November, 2010 at 3:07 pm  

    ” blake” – that kind of criticism only counts if you come out of the shadows and actually say something yourself.

    I think I agree with Arif and Harith. And this has all gotten a bit silly. Moazzem Begg sounds like someone to be completely ignored, and I don’t have much sympathy for him. If you want to play silly buggers and go and join the Taliban (or whatever) then take the consequences.

    Defensive jihad? hmmmm, In Northern Ireland, many people say that’s what the Ulster Defence Association were about.
    http://www.google.co.uk/images?um=1&hl=en&rls=com.microsoft%3Aen-gb%3AIE-SearchBox&rlz=1I7GZAZ_en&tbs=isch%3A1&sa=1&q=uda+mural&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=

    That was rubbish of course. They murdered innocents at random. But ultimately, they did deter the IRA from continuing.

  183. douglas clark — on 18th November, 2010 at 3:29 pm  

    Harith,

    With regard to the question about consistency, where is the evidence to say he rehards it an inalienable right for non-Taliban Afgans to fight against the Taliban and “defensive Jihad”?

    Where is the evidence that he does? It is a delight to read that post. Obviously you have changed your mind. Moazzam Begg is innocent until proven guilty. Which has been my point all along. And he will not be proven guilty on the basis of the snark coming from David T or the other denizens of Harry” Place.

  184. earwicga — on 18th November, 2010 at 3:32 pm  

    Shamit –

    a bunch of religious nutters trying to impose their will on a whole nation through weapons and torture is not acceptable and not desirable.

    Brilliant phrasing. Works for both Team America and the Taliban (leaderships)

  185. harith — on 18th November, 2010 at 3:41 pm  

    “Where is the evidence that he does?”

    The very existence of CagePrisoners and its remit, the articles and speeches of its directors Asim Qureishi and Farhad Ansari all point to saying that “defensive Jihad” is legitimate as long it is the the Taliban who is waging it.

    But there is no evidence to say that they regard teh right of non-Taliban Afghans to wage war against the Taliban as legitimate. If there is – where is it?

  186. Mark T — on 18th November, 2010 at 3:58 pm  

    Works for both Team America and the Taliban (leaderships)

    Earwicga, the fact that you see no apparent difference between ISAF and the Taliban regarding who is trying to “impose their will on a whole nation” sums you up in a nutshell.

  187. dave bones — on 18th November, 2010 at 4:07 pm  

    Hang on guys. If you are saying “I believe the Afghans are right to fight for their country” can’t you be arrested for things like that these days? You lot should watch out. The anti-terra posse patrol the internet these days.

  188. Jai — on 18th November, 2010 at 4:26 pm  

    There are a number of bloggers on this site – none of whom are Muslim – but consistently side with radical Islamist interpretations of Islam and then attempt to preach to the credulous that this represents the large majority of Muslims in this country. While at the same time, they consistly malign real liberal, moderate Muslims.

    For the record, this statement in #139 is categorically false. PP’s archives currently contain more than a dozen articles written by me since autumn 2009 whose contents are explicitly the complete opposite of what is being claimed here.

    Readers are welcome to click on the ‘Religion’ and ‘Muslim’ tags respectively in the ‘Archives’ section on the top-right-hand-side of this screen in order to locate the relevant articles, specifically those assigned to the author “Jai”.

  189. earwicga — on 18th November, 2010 at 4:38 pm  

    Mark T – *sigh* Yes I see a difference between ISAF and the Taliban.

  190. harith — on 18th November, 2010 at 4:38 pm  

    This blog was forefront in smearing the name of Gita Sahgal and siding with Cageprisoners and Begg earlier this year.

    Apart from pieces in condemntation of clowns like Anjem Choudhry, where are there articles which condemn right-wing theocratic Islamist politics in this country by said non-Muslim bloggers?

  191. earwicga — on 18th November, 2010 at 4:40 pm  

    harith – Sahgal hung herself with her own words which consist almost entirely of smears and no evidence.

    As for your question, why not read the blog through.

  192. harith — on 18th November, 2010 at 4:40 pm  

    “harith – Sahgal hung herself with her own words which consist almost entirely of smears and no evidence.”

    QED

  193. Mark T — on 18th November, 2010 at 4:55 pm  

    Yes I see a difference between ISAF and the Taliban.

    State it then, and don’t make moronic equivalences about both sides being religiously motivated and attempting to impose their will will on a whole nation.

  194. Jai — on 18th November, 2010 at 5:10 pm  

    Apart from pieces in condemntation of clowns like Anjem Choudhry, where are there articles which condemn right-wing theocratic Islamist politics in this country by said non-Muslim bloggers?

    Let’s revisit your exact words in #139: You claimed that PP’s non-Muslim bloggers “consistently side with radical Islamist interpretations of Islam and then attempt to preach to the credulous that this represents the large majority of Muslims in this country”.

    You also claimed that, simultaneously, the aforementioned non-Muslim bloggers “consistently malign real liberal, moderate Muslims”.

    Again: Both of these assertions are 100% false. The evidence is in PP’s archives, from autumn 2009 until present, detailed in more than a dozen articles filed under the tags ‘Religion’ and/or ‘Muslim’, and credited to the author “Jai”.

  195. harith — on 18th November, 2010 at 5:15 pm  

    If is 100% false, do you agree that this site was forefront in the smearing of Gita Sahgal and the validation and championing?

    And if you agree to that, when did you publicy buck the sites consensus and speak/write against it?

    100% false?

  196. harith — on 18th November, 2010 at 5:17 pm  

    sorry, typos:

    If it is 100% false, do you agree that this site was forefront in the smearing of Gita Sahgal and the validation and championing of Cageprisoners? CP, you may recall, were championing and posting the lectures of Anwar al-Awlaki on their site at prior to the charges made by Gita.

    And if you agree to that, when did you publicy buck the sites consensus and speak/write against it?

  197. harith — on 18th November, 2010 at 5:20 pm  

    Jai, do you agree with earwgca’s statement:

    “Sahgal hung herself with her own words which consist almost entirely of smears and no evidence.”

  198. Sarah AB — on 18th November, 2010 at 5:26 pm  

    I moderately disagreed with PP over Begg/Sahgal. I find them both rather elusive figures actually – Begg and Sahgal that is. Someone was quoting Sunny saying something like CP leaves a nasty taste in the mouth – that seems just about right, though I felt some of the criticism of AI had more to do with people not liking AI than about this particular case. I suspect the strong backing of HP for GS may have sent some PP people into a bit of an over reaction the other way.

    But although I took a different line on that issue – I agree with Jai’s analysis of PP more than harith’s!

  199. harith — on 18th November, 2010 at 5:36 pm  

    I do recall that the only blogger who bucked the PP consensus on the smearing of Gita Sahgal was Rumbold.

    So I suppose I am overstating my point. Nevertheless, the scale and venom of the attacks on Gita was enough to drown out his single dissenting voice.

  200. Shamit — on 18th November, 2010 at 5:39 pm  

    Hartih -

    I think many regulars including myself supported Gita Sahgal’s point of view and I still believe that Cage Prisoners is a well dodgy outfit.

    And I don’t think this site was in the forefront of smearing Ms. Sahgal – because I recall a letter in support of Ms. Saghal was posted on this site as well.

    Even on Israel – Palestine issues – including the recent Gaza flotilla – there was serious debate among regulars and others. As I said there is hardly ever a groupthink.

    So your: “PP’s non-Muslim bloggers “consistently side with radical Islamist interpretations of Islam and then attempt to preach to the credulous that this represents the large majority of Muslims in this country”.

    I think that statement cannot be backed by facts. As Senator Moynihan used to say “everyone is entitled to their own opinions – but every one is not entitiled to their own facts”.

    I fully agree with Jai.

  201. earwicga — on 18th November, 2010 at 5:49 pm  

    I find them both rather elusive figures actually – Begg and Sahgal that is.

    I agree Sarah.

  202. Jai — on 18th November, 2010 at 5:52 pm  

    And if you agree to that, when did you publicy buck the sites consensus and speak/write against it?

    There is not necessarily a “consensus” on this site on any given topic. As PP’s owner and senior editor, Sunny obviously has overall veto authority when it comes to which articles are deemed to be suitable for publishing, but as a general observation, the writers don’t always have a single view, as Shamit also accurately said in #151.

    when did you publicy buck the sites consensus

    When I didn’t get involved in any of the discussions on the subsequent comments threads, including deliberately refraining from either defending the articles or voicing any objections to the numerous comments criticising the articles concerned.

    and speak/write against it?

    One of the discussion threads on PP a few months ago included a comment where I explicitly contradicted a remark by Earwicga claiming that the politics & campaign of Gita Sahgal were Islamophobic, and I included details of exactly why I believe this allegation absolutely does not apply to Ms Sahgal (see: http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/9497#comment-215490 . Earwicga herself responded by acknowledging my point and clarifying her original remarks.

    Taking this back to the original point: Do you agree that your claims that PP’s non-Muslim bloggers “consistently side with radical Islamist interpretations of Islam and then attempt to preach to the credulous that this represents the large majority of Muslims in this country” and that the aforementioned non-Muslim bloggers “consistently malign real liberal, moderate Muslims” are both 100% false in my case ?

    Do you also agree that, in reality, the complete opposite is the case in more than a dozen PP articles I have written from autumn 2009 until present and which are still available in this website’s archives, filed under the tags ‘Religion’ and/or ‘Muslim’, and credited to the author “Jai” ?

  203. harith — on 18th November, 2010 at 6:05 pm  

    Shamit, I am referring to above the line articles – not the comments box discussions and arguments amongst “regulars”.

    PP was at the forefront amongst “progressive left” blogs, in a horrible maligning and smearing campaign against Sahgal. If there was a pro-Sahgal letter published, it was later reneged and the position was staunchly pro-Amnesty and anti-Sahgal all the way. Begg was unconditionally sanitised.

    Earwigca was dragooned into the bloggers fold, simply on the strength of her anti-Sahgal/pro-Begg/pro-CP position. She was given moderation rights on the commenst. Subsequently, any comments in favour of Sahgal were deleted with impunity.

    Even this article is another shabby pro-Begg piece.

  204. Ravi Naik — on 18th November, 2010 at 6:05 pm  

    This blog was forefront in smearing the name of Gita Sahgal and siding with Cageprisoners and Begg earlier this year.

    Actually, I don’t think there was either smearing or siding with Begg. It was really about siding with AI when it seemed clear that people were exploiting Sahgal to undermine AI. I also have to say I am far more outraged about prisons where people have no legal rights and are placed indefinitely – than what Begg thinks about the Taliban. I mean, one cannot expect Begg to side with the Americans after what they did to him.

  205. earwicga — on 18th November, 2010 at 6:10 pm  

    Subsequently, any comments in favour of Sahgal were deleted with impunity.

    Utter bullshit.

  206. harith — on 18th November, 2010 at 6:10 pm  

    Do you also agree that, in reality, the complete opposite is the case in more than a dozen PP articles I have written from autumn 2009 until present and which are still available in this website’s archives, filed under the tags ‘Religion’ and/or ‘Muslim’, and credited to the author “Jai” ?

    Forgive me, they read more like specialist appreciations of sufi music and poetry which informs Islam. They were exceptionally good.

    However, Islamists like reading that kind of thing because they regard them as curate’s eggs. Novelties which do not harm their reputation – do it good even – but which they, in private, reject completely from an ideological perspective.

    There have been little or no unflinching criticism of political Islam of on this site as such.

  207. harith — on 18th November, 2010 at 6:16 pm  

    Utter bullshit.

    You are a liar and an unprincipled writer. This blog truly deserves you. A large part of the damage done to the reputation of moderate Muslims in this country is because of lunatic lefties like you who will champion Islamists and attack the moderates as bigots or non-credible.

  208. earwicga — on 18th November, 2010 at 6:29 pm  

    harith –

    you have said that comments ‘in favour of Sahgal’ were deleted.

    That is untrue.

    you have said that I champion Islaminsts.

    That is untrue.

    you have said that I attack ‘moderates’.

    That is untrue.

    harith – with absolutely no respect, fuck off.

  209. harith — on 18th November, 2010 at 6:35 pm  

    Many many comments supporting Gita were deleted.

    You have supported and championed Cageprisoners.

    You attacked, amongst other people, Aisha Gill and Sara Hossain, both moderate Muslim human rights lawyers because they supported Sahgal. Both of whom have more experience with human rights issues involvig terrorism in South Asia than you can even hope to have sitting behind a computer screen in sunny Wales.

    So with all due disrespect, you can eff off.

  210. Jai — on 18th November, 2010 at 6:38 pm  

    Forgive me, they read more like specialist appreciations of sufi music and poetry which informs Islam. They were exceptionally good.

    Thanks for your kind words, but the number of articles which actually focused specifically on Sufi music and poetry were in the minority. The bulk of my PP articles which mentioned Sufi Islam or Islam & Muslims in general on a range of different topics made it clear that “radical Islamist interpretations of Islam” are certainly not representative of the vast majority of the world’s South Asian Muslim population in particular.

    However, Islamists like reading that kind of thing because they regard them as curate’s eggs. Novelties which do not harm their reputation – do it good even – but which they, in private, reject completely from an ideological perspective.

    They do far more than reject them from an ideological perspective. They’ve been persecuting and murdering Sufi Muslims for centuries because they view them as heretics who are “too liberal” and “too benevolent towards non-Muslims”. There was even yet another terrorist incident targetting Sufis in Pakistan a few weeks ago, this time involving an attempted bombing of the shrine of Fariduddin Ganjshakar (Baba/Sheik Farid).

    The only people in whose eyes Sufi Muslims do not harm the reputation of Islamist extremists are virulent anti-Muslim bigots like Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer and their far-Right supporters, who conveniently ignore or downplay any facts which contradict their agenda and persistently push paranoid propaganda about such Muslims being Trojan Horses for radical Islam even though there is a very long track record of the former actively opposing the latter.

    There have been little or no unflinching criticism of political Islam of on this site as such.

    Every single PP article I have ever written which either focused on Muslims or mentioned Muslims has either explicitly condemned radical Islamist extremism (in several cases including detailed descriptions of horrific historical atrocities motivated by Islamist extremism) or has deliberately included examples of liberal moderate Muslims who are the polar opposite of militant ultraconservative Islamists (especially Salafi-Jihadists).

  211. harith — on 18th November, 2010 at 6:42 pm  

    Jai, this may be so in the abstract. But you were certainly quiet when this site went all dewey-eyed for Cage Prisoners – who are Salafi jihadists to a man.

    Jai, forgive me. You (and Rumbold) are most certainly the exception who proves the rule. You are wasted on this crappy, squelchy-lefty, pro-Islamist site.

  212. Jai — on 18th November, 2010 at 8:06 pm  

    Jai, this may be so in the abstract.

    Not just “in the abstract”; it’s cold hard reality, supported in detail by multiple articles I’ve written.

    But you were certainly quiet when this site went all dewey-eyed for Cage Prisoners – who are Salafi jihadists to a man.

    I didn’t have sufficient interest in, or knowledge of, the subject to have an informed opinion either way, although — as I said earlier — I explicitly objected to assertions about Gita Sahgal being “Islamophobic” and I also pointedly refrained from defending the articles concerned or contradicting the numerous commenters who prolifically criticised them.

    However, if Shamit’s comment in #160 about Begg allegedly saying that “the Taliban were better than anything Afghanistan has had in the past 25 years” is accurate, then it goes without saying that I object to Begg’s assertion very forcefully indeed.

    In fact, if he’s sympathetic to the Taliban then I very much doubt that Begg himself would agree with the interpretation of Islam, and the type of Muslims, which I’ve presented in a positive light in the numerous political, historical and religious articles I’ve written for PP on a range of subjects since autumn 2009, considering that the Taliban themselves are violently opposed to such Muslims.

    So on that front too, this website cannot accurately be described as “pro-Islamist”.

  213. douglas clark — on 18th November, 2010 at 8:51 pm  

    harith,

    Frankly, as one of the few people around here that seems to be willing to give Moazzam Begg the benefit of the doubt, I find your criticism of this sites’ major contributors laughable.

  214. Roger — on 18th November, 2010 at 8:56 pm  

    if Shamit’s comment in #160 about Begg allegedly saying that “the Taliban were better than anything Afghanistan has had in the past 25 years” is accurate

    It most certainly is accurate. He said it in his own book, Enemy Combatant.

    Here are some more of his views, presented in Arches Quarterly, a publication of his fellow Islamist Anas al-Tikriti’s Cordoba Foundation.

    “By consensus of the Islamic schools of thought, jihad becomes an individual obligation, like prayer and fasting, on Muslim men and women when their land is occupied by foreign enemies. That obligation extends to neighbouring lands until the enemy has been expelled. If the whole body of believers abandon it, they are in a state of sin; if enough of them do it to complete the task, they are absolved.”

    “Although in the West jihad is often seen as terrorism it is correct to describe it as tourism. Prophet Muhammad said: ‘The tourism of my nation is jihad.’ This is one reason why many Muslims from thousands of miles away travelled to places as far and wide as Palestine, Chechnya, Kashmir and Afghanistan.”

    “If resisting the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan was jihad, if the repelling the massacres by the Serbs in Bosnia was jihad, then how can resisting the current occupation of these Muslims lands be anything else?”

    In plainer words, killing British soldiers in Afghanistan is a divine obligation.

    This rhetoric is in line with the message of Asim Qureshi of Cageprisoners and Anwar al Awlaki too. Awlaki is the al Qaeda preacher and recruiter who enthralled the Cageprisoners crowd. They promoted him long after it was abundantly clear that his mission in life was the spread of implacable hatred and the encouragement of terrorism.

    What Sunny and earwicga have done, for months on end, is to engage in vicious, ignorant and stupid slander of all sorts of people who oppose the Taliban and al Qaeda and their most vocal British apologists.

    It is a very sorry record.

  215. Anaximanders other Sandal — on 18th November, 2010 at 9:09 pm  

    You know since being banned by Harrys Place I was seriously considering spending my time making you PP imbeciles the focus of my virtual commenting, you see pointing out the idiocy of leftists is my virtual hobby but frankly you are not worthy of the effort, you PP assholes are infinitely more obtuse than the Lefties at HPs, most of the HP lefties do possess at least a smattering of intelligence, not so you PP imbeciles.

    After perusing your threads and the contributions from its “commenters” I have come to the conclusion that the fools who skulk around here make 16 year olds who have just ejaculated after reading Marx for the first time look like intellectual giants.

    How come Leftist imbeciles don’t realize how obtuse they are?

    Do you think it’s the “liberal” gene mutation?

    Is it the lot of the DRD4 genetic mutants to be eternally obtuse?

    You Leftists supporting Islamic maniacs such as this Jihadi shill Begg will prove to be your ultimate ideological mistake, which given the historic scale of Leftist ideological fuck ups re supporting histories most despotic genocidal animals, is quite a feat.

    If you Leftists weren’t so fucking earth shatteringly stupid you would realize that this support for Islam, one of Humanities most intolerant and hateful ideologies, will see your beloved “leftism” go the way of the dinosaurs,

    I think it’s wonderful myself, you Leftist imbeciles are actually doing the world a favor, on reflection letting yourselves destroy yourselves is the only way our species will rid itself of the cancer of leftism.

    Bravo, keep it up fools.

    Goodbye.

  216. Shamit — on 18th November, 2010 at 9:29 pm  

    Harith -

    I am sorry but I do find you accusing Earwigca of lying a bit troubling.

    She has in the past deleted comments but always had the guts to say so publicly. So, she has no reason to lie.

    Over the past few hours your tone is become more and more accusatory while people here are trying to explain reasonably that your assertions are wrong.

    All of us have patiently explained to you why it is wrong to paint this blog as Islamophobic and also that we do not suffer from “groupthink”.

    Right now you are sounding like one of those typical H/P visitors who always seem to claim that if one Muslim did something wrong then all Muslims must condemn it forcefully. Is that rational? Of course not but that’s what groupthink does to you kinda like the loony left?

    Another thing, why do most H/P visitors repeat the exact same thing 2 minutes after people have refuted their points rationally and successfully. And again some one shreds those theories to bits – and again the exact same narrative appears from those who come here from the H/P planet.

    This blog is diverse – please understand that and none of us have any love for those who kill, or support killing or believe in subjugation in the name of Islam.

    But neither do we believe that every Muslim has to apologise for the behaviour of Osama Bin Laden – just like we do not believe that every Jew in this world has to apologise for Yahoo’s beliefs – just like we do not believe Ravi has to apologise for the Pope’s behaviour – just like no one here expects me to apologise for the shithead and criminal Narendra Modi.

    I hope I have made myself clear – I am not as articulate as you are but I am sure you get the message.

    However, one thing we don’t like people coming here and personally abusing “one of our own” – hey we fignt but that’s our business. Stick to the issues but calling people names and liars is not.

    So I think you have overstayed your welcome – either change the patronising and abusive tone or go back to the planet of groupthink. PLEASE

  217. Shamit — on 18th November, 2010 at 9:34 pm  

    Anaximanders other Sandal —

    Your comment reflects very well on your status as an “intellectual imbecile” – you see it takes some amount of grey matter to understand the nuances and the complexities of the conversations here. Life is not always black and white – mostly its something in between and that makes life interesting for us with some intellect.

    Make sure you get your daily dosage of Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck – Bill O’ Reily would be too left wing for you mate.

  218. Sarah AB — on 18th November, 2010 at 9:39 pm  

    I can’t say for certain whether any/many pro GS posts were deleted – but I was (broadly,vaguely) pro GS and I don’t remember having any problems personally or noticing much deleting going on generally. I’ve read quite a few references to PP deleting posts capriciously – yet can’t say I’ve ever actually been aware of this going on.

  219. Sarah AB — on 18th November, 2010 at 9:46 pm  

    Shamit – H/P has some diversity too …

  220. Mark T — on 18th November, 2010 at 9:55 pm  

    Right now you are sounding like one of those typical H/P visitors who always seem to claim that if one Muslim did something wrong then all Muslims must condemn it forcefully.

    Not sure about that mate, at least the ‘typical’ bit.

    A comment like that would almost certainly get deleted.

  221. Shamit — on 18th November, 2010 at 10:00 pm  

    Glad to know Mark.

  222. Mark T — on 18th November, 2010 at 10:26 pm  

    Anaximanders other Sandal – who appears upthread – is an example of someone who has been banned from HP.

  223. Ravi Naik — on 18th November, 2010 at 10:51 pm  

    You are wasted on this crappy, squelchy-lefty, pro-Islamist site.

    I don’t think they’ll want to waste time… ehem.. spitting… on Islamists and Leftists, either. ;-)

  224. Roger — on 18th November, 2010 at 10:57 pm  

    So I think you have overstayed your welcome – either change the patronising and abusive tone or go back to the planet of groupthink.

    However, one thing we don’t like people coming here and personally abusing “one of our own”

    “Shut up!”

    Talk about groupthink.

  225. damon — on 19th November, 2010 at 12:36 am  

    I don’t really understand why people are arguing on this thread. I had a look at the Cage Prisoners website tonight – and it’s terrible.

    Who are the remaining prisoners in Guantánamo? Part Eight: Captured in Afghanistan (2002-07) This is the eighth part of an exclusive nine-part series telling the stories of all 174 prisoners in Guantanamo

    http://www.cageprisoners.com/

    To look through its home page, you’d think everyone in Guantanamo was a poor innocent.
    I think that is quite pathetic.

  226. earwicga — on 19th November, 2010 at 1:01 am  

    Thanks Shamit.

  227. douglas clark — on 19th November, 2010 at 8:30 am  

    Just a minor point.

    Moazzam Begg said this:

    Taliban were better than anything Afghanistan has had in the past 25 years.

    Lets roll with that shall we?

    We are talking about a period going back to 1985, or thereabouts are we not?

    In that time scale Afghanistan has seen all of this:

    Amin assasinated, probably with Soviet authority in 1979.

    Soviet army either invades or is invited in, depends who your friends are about the interpretation.

    1979 to 1989 Afghanistan is effectively occupied by the Russians. Your average Afghan would not have seen a lot of joy back then. Allegedly around a million died under Soviet occupation.

    1989 to 1992 – President Najibullah of whom I know nothing was in power. What I do know is that the Mujahideen came forth and deposed him.

    After a period of, well, anarchy, the Taliban started to emerge as a force. A Pashtun force. Who captured the capital in 1996.

    Fast forward a few years.

    2001.

    Taliban government in Kabul. OBL settled in the Afghan countryside. Planes blowing up buildings in New York and Washington and some field in Pennsylvania.

    And a blanket refusal by the rather thick Taliban to give up OBL. Fucks sake, even I knew what would happen, and I am no global strategist.

    Course, after that we had ‘Operation Enduring Freedom’ and the rest of it.

    So, you have to ask yourself what he meant.

    Was the time of the soviets that rank badly, least I think it probably was, or the time of the Mujahideen, pretty pathetic too. Or American hegemony?

    There was no joy in Afghanistan, perhaps there never was and there never will be.

    I think Moazzam Begg is a a romantic. I think he saw the best in the society he chose to emmigrate to. I also think that was incredibly naive and stupid. I do not think he is wrong, except at the margins perhaps, in arguing that, over the last 25 years the Taliban were better than the rest of the folk that raped and fucked that country up.

    Which, frankly, is not saying much….

    —————————–

    Dave Bones,

    You appear to think Moazzam Begg is available for discussion. I have none of your contacts. Perhaps you could figure out a way to get him to speak here or answer all the shit that is presented at his door? Just so’s you know, I am still on his side, but it is getting a bit hard.

  228. cjcjc — on 19th November, 2010 at 9:10 am  

    “I think Moazzam Begg is a a romantic.”

    Now you really have jumped the shark.

  229. Niels Christensen — on 19th November, 2010 at 9:25 am  

    #Douglas
    “I do not think he is wrong, except at the margins perhaps, in arguing that, over the last 25 years the Taliban were better than the rest of the folk that raped and fucked that country up”

    I don’t think tho population was asked ?
    But regarding Begg, you might say he was ( and is) a romantic. That summer he decided to travel to Afghanistan the following was very clear
    The Taliban had killed hundreds of shia and hazara muslims in 2000 and 2001; in march 2001 they destroyed the Bamiyan statues.
    Begg was accepting these facts; it’s worth remembering when Begg is talking of islam, what kind of islam is he talking about ? .
    What about the groups who doesn’t agree with Beggs kind of islam; aren’t they muslims ?
    What characterizes Begg and others is their discourse; as mentioned above when they talk of ‘brothers and sisters in Iraq’ you have to ask
    which sisters and brothers; which group do they belong to .
    The Beggs romantic discourse is created to agitate not to ask questions. Thats the problem.

  230. Sarah AB — on 19th November, 2010 at 9:36 am  

    I see what Douglas means – but I don’t think being a ‘romantic’ is necessarily a good or bland thing though it does imply some naivety – I think one can have a kind of ‘romantic’ attraction to certain manifestations of extremism, the IRA, Baader-Meinhof etc.

  231. cjcjc — on 19th November, 2010 at 9:58 am  

    Well here’s Shiraz Maher on Begg.

    I hadn’t known that weapons had been found at Begg’s house.

    http://www.standpointmag.co.uk/node/3448

    “I think one can have a kind of ‘romantic’ attraction to certain manifestations of extremism, the IRA, Baader-Meinhof etc.”

    Not the word I would use.

  232. boyo — on 19th November, 2010 at 10:15 am  

    I think political perspectives are best understood as psychologically – within this context Sunny H and David T are probably on the same side of the coin. As for M Begg. Well, he clearly has some self-esteem issues. ;-)

  233. earwicga — on 19th November, 2010 at 10:17 am  

    I didn’t know that either cjcjc – I’ve found the full quote which Shiraz Maher doesn’t use:

    It is right to say that the Secretary of State was in error in suggesting that weapons were found at the book shop when D was working there: they were not – they were found at Begg’s house, before D started working at the book shop, and, in any event, as weapons they were ineffective.

    Maher has substituted the comma after ‘Begg’s house’ to suggest it is the end of the sentence. Which it obviously isn’t. So what were these ineffective weapons? In 2003 what could have possibly been considered a weapon if it was found in a Muslim’s house?

  234. earwicga — on 19th November, 2010 at 10:23 am  

    It’s interesting to note that the dishonest quoting from Maher is printed uncritically by HP, indeed they are part of it:

    This is a guest post by Shiraz Maher. It is part 2 of the investigation that Standpoint, Harry’s Place and the Spittoon is conducting into the British supporters of Sheikh Anwar al-Awlaki.

    Sums up HP really. Dishonesty and the arrogance that nobody will notice this.

    Shame really as there is plenty to criticise Begg for without making stuff up.

  235. cjcjc — on 19th November, 2010 at 10:26 am  

    “and, in any event, as weapons they were ineffective”

    Well thank goodness for that.

  236. joe90 — on 19th November, 2010 at 10:57 am  

    post #162

    shamit we disagree but its all good as long as it doesn’t go into personal attacks its not a problem.

    America provided the mujahideen of afghanistan with weapons including infamous stinger missle. But it does’nt take away from the fact the afghans defeated the USSR and led to beginning of its collapse as a power. The US forgets to mention at same time they created bogeyman bin ladin, convenient.

    help or not i still belive the afghans would have defeated USSR, because the red army was outnumbered & the locals where hostile at every turn just as they are today.

    9/11 was made in saudi arabia according to the US and germany, 7/7 all them dudes where born and grown up on the streets of blighty so does that make britian a threat to the world?

    I don’t buy wholesale the propaganda that a nation that hasn’t got a pot to piss in is a threat to the world. I see the invasion of countries by corporate war machines as more of a threat.

    China and Russia are in competition with US & Europe in all spheres economic, military and political influence to say they are on board is good publicity show but in reality is a red herring.

    NATO/US and russia are bargaining with each other over georgia, missle defense in europe and russia in return giving intelligence and access to bases near afghan border.

    regarding pakistan access to nuclear weapons this really a joke, hilary clinton expects anyone with a brain to accept pakistani taliban according to “intelligence figures number 10,000″ will over power the pakistan armed forces which number 500,000 under command & control structures. Dude do the maths even you ain’t gonna fall for that one! The statement was made before pak army went into waziristan and nwpf they need to create fear and then this gives excuse for them pak army to attack its own cities.

  237. harith — on 19th November, 2010 at 11:19 am  

    Shamit

    Let me draw you an analogous illustration.

    Suppose Hindutva extremism had somehow become acceptable (and I’ll explain how) because it represented “defensive Jud’dha” and justified by “socially conscious” liberals in response to colonialism and US imperialism. Furthermore, it was argued that the doctrine of religious jud’dha was a theocratic norm accepted and acceptable to all Hindus such that to attack and criticise exponents of Hindutva terrorism (let’s call it Hindutvaism) was to attack ordinary Hindus everywhere as an expression of Hinduphobia. Furthermore, any liberal pushback of Hindutvaism was in itself Hinduphobic.

    Gradually Hindutvaism becomes the cause celebre of the trendy left libral intelligentsia in some parts of the Guardian, the New Statesman and far-left. The newspapers drag in people from the pro-Hindutva camp to expound the justfication of extremist strains in Hinduism and how it was a normative and natural progression from these elements to Hindutvaism. Soon the situation became so chronic, that even ordinary Hindus started to believe that Hindutvaism was a reasonable and valid interpretation of Hinduism. This added to the problem because then white liberals could point to the growing numbers of Hindus who had become radicalised as justification for their support of these newly radicalised anti-democratic, anti-liberal, anti-Western, Western Hindus. Thus formed a symbiotic relationship with the Hindutvas and the white liberal far-left. Soon institutions of civil society form alliances with Hindus without realising that they are actually Hindutva fronts. It donesn’t matter because no one can tell the difference anymore – since Hindutvaism is now the normative expression of Hinduism. Amnesty even begin to champion Hindutva terrorists who wage war against the West and justify terrorism as an ethical form of human rights known as “defensive Jud’dha”.

    A blog turns by a group of non-Hindus who have fallen foul of this groupthink abd through article after article, argue that it was absolutely ethical to engage with Hindutvaism, because ordinary Hindus were an oppressed people and the Hindutvas, though violent and misguided, had strains in their ideology which represented them as noble savages. It didn’t matter that the Hindutva killed more members of their own kith and kin than the combined forces of Western imperialism ever did.

    Other moderate Hindus who are dubious this trendy left liberal thinking, because they had seen through the delusion and had been personally affected by Hindutvaism, were charged as being effete, urbanised Uncle Toms and stooges of the West.

    Over time individual Hindus who championed Hindutvaism became lionised and hero-worshipped by the liberal left, newspapers, blogs and media while ordinary Hindus became sidelined and demonised because they hadn’t subscribed to the narrative that Hindutvaism was a legitimate response to an evil Western hegemony.

    Can you see the problem?

    You charge HP with the accusation of groupthink. But PP is rather more guilty of irresponsible and dangerous groupthink since none of its bloggers nor their regulars can recognise what it is in danger of becoming.

    Which is just another voice contributing in the demonisation of ordinary Muslims because it cannot distinguish between the narrative of Islamists and ordinary Muslims who reject that narrative completetly.

  238. Sarah AB — on 19th November, 2010 at 11:21 am  

    The quote is certainly potentially misleading (missing out the fact that the weapons were ineffective) but much depends on the nature of their ineffectiveness – if the intention and hope was that they were effective the fact that they happened to not to be doesn’t really make a huge amount of difference.

  239. earwicga — on 19th November, 2010 at 11:25 am  

    Or Sarah – they were perfectly ordinary items which in the home of a Muslim were deemed to be ‘weapons’ and in the home of anyone else would not have been. Such as a computer or night vision goggles.

    The way the quote was changed was misleading, that was the intention.

  240. Sarah AB — on 19th November, 2010 at 11:36 am  

    I don’t see how either a computer or night vision goggles (except in combination with some other equipment) could be seen as weapons. One could imagine a set of kitchen knives falling into that category you describe but then I don’t see why they would have been described as ‘ineffective’. ‘Ineffective’, to me, suggests a more complex weapon, such as a gun, which is defective in some way. Obviously one can only speculate!

  241. earwicga — on 19th November, 2010 at 11:41 am  

    Moazzam Begg was arrested for having a flak jacket and night vision goggles and a computer in his house. That is why I chose those examples Sarah.

  242. Roger — on 19th November, 2010 at 1:20 pm  

    I love it. For earwicga, night vision goggles and a flak jacket, found in the home of a known extremist, are “perfectly ordinary items”.

    As for the computer, here is Begg’s father having a laugh at the police, whom Begg refused to help:

    “They knew he had a computer and thought what he was doing was stored in the computer so they took it away. He was laughing. They tried to get him to reveal the code on his computer. They took him to court and the judge said he could not compel him to reveal it.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/1435022/Briton-facing-US-trial-in-Cuba-was-arrested-by-MI5.html

  243. damon — on 19th November, 2010 at 1:27 pm  

    I’m not following every twist and turn of this because this innocent untill proven guilty mantra about everyone at Guantanamo is a bit grating.
    We saw yesterday how difficult it is to prove things in a court.

    Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, a 36-year-old Tanzanian, was found guilty of conspiracy to destroy US government buildings and property for helping an al-Qaida cell to buy a lorry and bomb parts in the attacks on the American embassies in Kenya and Dar-es-Salaam. But a US federal jury acquitted him of all the more serious charges of murder and conspiracy.

    http://www.cageprisoners.com/learn-more/news/item/856-guant%C3%A1namo-detainee-ahmed-khalfan-ghailani-cleared-of-284-terror-charges

    Earwicga @234 – you link to the Harry’s Place article to make a point about inaccuracy, but the opening paragraph is surely right (is it not?)

    Today we focus on Cage Prisoners which likes presents itself as a human rights organisation campaigning on behalf of Muslim detainees. The group appears to support any Muslim arrested in the UK on terrorism charges, all inmates at Guantanamo Bay, and any British citizen arrested abroad on terrorism charges.

    And that’s why I don’t get the fuss about all of this.

  244. riaz — on 19th November, 2010 at 1:28 pm  

    damon

    To look through its home page, you’d think everyone in Guantanamo was a poor innocent.
    I think that is quite pathetic.

    err…given that none of them have had a fair trial arent they just that?.you know based on the concept of “innocent until proven guilty”….or “innocent until proven Muslim” in your case

  245. Ravi Naik — on 19th November, 2010 at 1:37 pm  

    But PP is rather more guilty of irresponsible and dangerous groupthink since none of its bloggers nor their regulars can recognise what it is in danger of becoming.

    What a drama queen. PP is decidedly better since you left a few months ago. You promised never to come back, and yet you keep coming back – with a different nick – to pontificate those who do not share your narrow-minded simplistic view.

  246. Ravi Naik — on 19th November, 2010 at 1:42 pm  

    I’m not following every twist and turn of this because this innocent untill proven guilty mantra about everyone at Guantanamo is a bit grating.

    I understand – you feel they are terrorists because they are in Guantanamo, right? I mean, there is absolutely no way they could be innocent, because otherwise they wouldn’t be there. Yes, why all the fuss when things can be sooo simple!

  247. harith — on 19th November, 2010 at 1:46 pm  

    The point that Sunny and his “liberal” friends and supporters (deliberately) don’t get, is that the point about “defensive jihad” isn’t that it involves violence. It is that it is violence deployed in order to create or perpetuate a political system which expressly promises tyranny if it succeeds.

    Begg wants to dress that up as some form of liberation politics: but it is its polar opposite.

  248. earwicga — on 19th November, 2010 at 1:56 pm  

    Quite Ravi. It’s interesting to read the 2003 immigration comission linked to at 233 – it states that Moazzam Begg is an ‘extremist’. As he was in Guantanamo at the time this was said then it was obviously ‘true’. No evidence was needed other than his imprisonment as ‘the worst of the worst’.

  249. cjcjc — on 19th November, 2010 at 2:21 pm  

    Begg is “elusive”??

    (as well as a “romantic”)

    “evasive” might be more accurate

  250. harith — on 19th November, 2010 at 2:24 pm  

    Could it not be something to do with the fact that when his bookshop in Sparkbrook, Maktabah al Ansaar, was raided in 2000, police found copies of books such as The Virtues of Jihad, Declaration of War, and Dissent of the Muslim Lands.

    Police suspected Begg even then because he was connected with the conviction of eight Britons teh previous summer in the Yemen as part of a plot by Islamic fundamentalists to bomb targets in Aden.

    Which proves my point perfectly. earwigca would like us to think that all Muslims read books such as The Virtues of Jihad, Declaration of War, and Dissent of the Muslim Lands. Or that it is perfectly normal to do so.

    If a BNP supporter owned a bookshop which contained racist titles, she would be eagerly making distinctions between herself and the BNP, in spite of the fact that both are white Protestants.

    Not so for earwigca/PP in the case of Muslims. This is known as the racism of lowest expectations

  251. damon — on 19th November, 2010 at 2:24 pm  

    “innocent until proven guilty”….or “innocent until proven Muslim” in your case

    Guilty of what? Many of them are not guilty of anything other than being in the Taliban.
    I think John Walker Lindh got a very harsh sentence.
    It was seen as treason or something for an American to join the Talibs. To me it’s not much different to what happened in the Spanish civil war with its International Brigades.
    Just because they are not necessarily bad people doesn’t mean that they’re not dangerous.
    And it’s not about being muslim riaz. That’s always the cheapest accusation to go for, and a fair few people on PP have gone for it previously. Just look at these knuckleheads who live in the same place I do.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAFQ7SLdlt8

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Real_Irish_Republican_Army

    What are you going to say if I say that I want the police to come down hard on them … innocent until proven catholic? (My family is catholic).

    Their spokesmen say (after a hand grenade was thrown at police a couple of weeks ago in Belfast, nearly taking a policeman’s arm off) that ”as long as Ireland is occupied, then it is justified for Irish people to resist that occupation by force of arms.”
    Which is a load of crap in my opinion.

    So Ravi – I’m not sure if they are all ”terrorists”.
    Many of them were dangerous and what to do with them was a problem. But they have had a disproportunate amount of attention seeing how few of them there have been. In just one prison in New York City – Rikers Island, there are 14,000 prisoners.
    The US is deporting tens of thousands of illegal immigrants to Mexico and Central America on special deportation flights.
    I can’t really get too concerned by 174 prisoners in Guantanamo, as long as they are not being tortured still. It’s probably much better than being in prison in their home countries.

  252. Roger — on 19th November, 2010 at 2:25 pm  

    No evidence was needed

    Just laughable. To start with, there is plenty of evidence that Begg was an extremist before he left for Afghanistan. That’s why the police and the security services were tracking him and raiding his bookstore.

    Consider just one book published in 1999 by that bookstore, The Army of Madinah in Kashmir. It was a jihadi “how to do it” manual. It included a celebration of the hijacking of an Air India airliner, where one of the passengers was murdered.

    Its author was Dhiren Barot, later sentenced to life in prison for plotting massive bombings in the UK and the US.

    Perhaps earwicga thinks this is “perfectly ordinary” behaviour.

  253. earwicga — on 19th November, 2010 at 3:07 pm  

    Ah, crimes of stocking bad books. Righto.

    harith, are you suggesting that I am a ‘white Protestant’?

    Yes cjcjc, I think ‘evasive’ is also a good descriptor.

  254. Refresh — on 19th November, 2010 at 3:09 pm  

    Ravi,

    ‘What a drama queen. PP is decidedly better since you left a few months ago. You promised never to come back, and yet you keep coming back – with a different nick – to pontificate those who do not share your narrow-minded simplistic view.’

    I am intrigued. Is it who I think it is?

  255. Roger — on 19th November, 2010 at 3:13 pm  

    Ah, crimes of stocking bad books.

    Yeah, only books written by terrorists, for terrorists, advocating murder. Nothing extreme about that at all, of course not. Move right along.

  256. harith — on 19th November, 2010 at 3:28 pm  

    Shiraz Maher has responded to earwigca’s nonsense on here:

    http://standpointmag.co.uk/node/3574

    Should disabuse her of her ignorance, but I am not sure anything can cure her of her anti-Muslim bigotry.

  257. dan — on 19th November, 2010 at 3:41 pm  

    harith

    Should disabuse her of her ignorance, but I am not sure anything can cure her of her anti-Muslim bigotry.

    hahaha thats rich coming from the person who is quickly becoming this sites (hotly contested) title holder of “Muslim hater in chief” and quotes from a site Standpoint which has articles by obsessive Muslim haters like Nick Cohen

  258. harith — on 19th November, 2010 at 3:53 pm  

    “hahaha thats rich coming from the person who is quickly becoming this sites (hotly contested) title holder of “Muslim hater in chief”

    ahh, the old “Call someone a Muslim hater if they criticise Islamist extremism” technique. Very effective in most cases, especically on this site – to silence critics of Islamist extremism and justify Muslim on Muslim violence and genocide.

    But you must be very credulous if you think that is going to work on me.

  259. cjcjc — on 19th November, 2010 at 3:54 pm  

    Dan, what could be more bigoted than assuming that Begg’s extremism is the natural condition of all Muslims?

    A bigotry as much of the ‘left’ as the ‘right’.

  260. earwicga — on 19th November, 2010 at 4:58 pm  

    cjcjc – is that how you think I feel. If so then I am disappointed in you as you are usually very capable of cutting through the bullshit.

  261. Arif — on 19th November, 2010 at 5:14 pm  

    This argument seems to be based on people’s view of Moazzam Begg and not on our views of the right to self defence.

    If the right to self defence can be misused by Begg, it can be misused by anyone else as well. Therefore do we all forfeit a right to self defence?

    Claiming self defence, large armies can seem to occupy territory where people can be shot dead for the sake of a bad translation, for not understanding whether they are being shouted at to stop, leave, or move through. Where drones fly overhead and kill, and kill again when people come to the aid of those bombarded, with no-one knowing what they can do about it other than live in constant terror as the drones stay for further days on end. Where new (elected) governments are militarily, financially and diplomatically supported while they pursue torture and patronage in a similar way to the regimes their citizens were supposed to be liberated from. And on and on.

    Do people have a right to self-defence from these liberators? Have such liberators gone beyond the bounds of their own rightful self defence?

    For some people this narrative is merely one-sidedly selective propaganda, for others it is immensely convincing. I do not think we can assume that all who find different stories convincing do so because they are evil. In the end each side may have to talk to the other in order to remedy some of their security fears and claims for justice.

    So how long must we wait to get to a point when we can start talking about human rights again, rather than refusing to speak civilly to anyone who does not share our own narratives?

  262. Sunny — on 19th November, 2010 at 5:20 pm  

    How come Leftist imbeciles don’t realize how obtuse they are?

    Do you think it’s the “liberal” gene mutation?

    OMG I never knew I was a mutant!?

  263. harith — on 19th November, 2010 at 5:22 pm  

    “Do people have a right to self-defence from these liberators? Have such liberators gone beyond the bounds of their own rightful self defence?”

    In Afghanistan, 7 of the 15 member Quetta Shura of the Taliban are agents of the Pakistani secret service, the ISI.

    Does the average Afghan have the right to rid themselves of this tyranny?

  264. cjcjc — on 19th November, 2010 at 5:25 pm  

    I hoped not!

  265. Ravi Naik — on 19th November, 2010 at 5:49 pm  

    Shiraz Maher has responded to earwigca’s nonsense on here:
    http://standpointmag.co.uk/node/3574
    Should disabuse her of her ignorance, but I am not sure anything can cure her of her anti-Muslim bigotry.

    Actually, no – it just demonstrates the BS that people like you and Shiraz Maher bring to this debate.

    Because we afford to the accused of the worst of our society – the paedophiles, the serial killers, the rapists and mass murderers, the opportunity to defend themselves in a court of justice. The fact that I – and many others here – would defend that right, is not because we are defending criminal behaviour, but because no doing so would seriously undermine our Democracy. You do not seem to understand that.

    Begg was taken to Cuba to a prison with no legal rights, no trial, nothing. We are told that he had weapons as if it made any difference. Even so, I cannot understand how both of you clowns think you can make an argument, when these so-called “weapons” turn out to be night vision goggles and a flak jacket. Not mentioning this in a so-called two-part “investigation”, either shows mediocrity or dishonesty. Pick one.

  266. harith — on 19th November, 2010 at 5:59 pm  

    I would wager that had Begg been a white neo-Nazi who had travelled to some far flung land to train in weapons and explosives for the BNP or the EDL, we would not be seeing such acute levels of dishonest agonising from you and your fellow tribalists.

  267. douglas clark — on 19th November, 2010 at 6:01 pm  

    Ravi Naik @ 265,

    It is some odd definition of a weapon, isn’t it?

  268. Sarah AB — on 19th November, 2010 at 6:17 pm  

    If he had been a white neo-Nazi he probably wouldn’t have ended up in Guantanamo.

  269. enraged earwicga — on 19th November, 2010 at 6:19 pm  

    I have two pairs of night vision goggles in my house.

    I also have books people may not like. Anyone who has American Psycho in their house better go burn it away pronto in case dear Shiraz and the bad book brigade denouce you!

    Btw, dear Shiraz, I know the dates of the arrests and searches of Moazzam Begg. I know the search which turned up ‘weapons’ wasn’t in 2003 as Begg was imprisoned in Bagram then Gitmo during 2003. The judge, at the 2003 immigration comission, felt entitled to use the term ‘weapons’ even though he knew they weren’t (as I stated earlier in this thread – you perhaps neglected to read it all before spouting). Why don’t you tell me why he did this?

  270. enraged earwicga — on 19th November, 2010 at 6:21 pm  

    Ravi @ 265 – that’s exactly the point!

    The way people were rounded up after the invasion of Afghanistan should chill all of us. The drip drip attack on our civil liberties should also chill all of us.

  271. harith — on 19th November, 2010 at 6:22 pm  

    If he had been a white neo-Nazi he probably wouldn’t have been feted by Amnesty International.

  272. enraged earwicga — on 19th November, 2010 at 6:24 pm  

    The Catholic church are harith – what do you think about that?

  273. Roger — on 19th November, 2010 at 6:31 pm  

    This is from The Army of Medina in Kashmir:

    December 1999 witnessed a great landmark in the Kashmiri Jihad, one that resounded internationaly when revoloutionary members of the Pakistan based Harkat-ul-Mujahideen group successfully co-ordinated a hijacking of an Indian airlines plane in the Katmandu region in Nepal, managing to eventully steer it successfully to Khandahar in Afghanistan.

    In a daring fete that seemed to be a throw back to the heydays of the sixties and seventies when professional revolutionaries such as Illich Ramirez Navas, aka Carlos the Jackal, had waged war on the Capitalist world, the HUM members rewound the tape and pulled off the seemingly impossible in a day and age of a new world which considers itself to be fully conversant in handling hostage situations. Point in case, the last hi-jacking attempt was the equally daring one of 1994 when Algerian Mujahideen members managed to overrun aRoyal Jordanian airlines aircraft on Algerian soil.

    India has been dealt a severe blow and by its own admission feels that this will only serve to fuel mass resistance through militancy throughout the Occupied Territories.

    It is nothing but a celebration of terrorism and murder, published by Moazzam Begg’s bookstore.

    For earwicga, this is just “bad books” and any concerns can simply be brushed off.

    A neo-Nazi murder manual would presumably elicit a rather different reaction around here.

  274. Sarah AB — on 19th November, 2010 at 6:41 pm  

    271 – that’s true too – and I don’t think he should be feted by them.

  275. Don — on 19th November, 2010 at 7:26 pm  

    I have two pairs of night vision goggles in my house.

    I’m intrigued. Why? Badger watching, that sort of thing?

  276. Mark T — on 19th November, 2010 at 7:58 pm  

    Cage Prisoners has campaigned – in the past – for Abu Hamza, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and Sheikh Omar Abdur Rahman.

    They are not just campaigning for innocent people.

  277. Sunny — on 19th November, 2010 at 8:15 pm  

    If he had been a white neo-Nazi he probably wouldn’t have been feted by Amnesty International.

    That old desperate whataboutery again.

  278. Mark T — on 19th November, 2010 at 8:24 pm  

    That old desperate whataboutery again.

    It’s not whataboutery, Sunny. It’s an analogy between Begg and a white neo-Nazi.

    Hint – an approach would be to disagree with the factual basis of the analogy.

  279. Roger — on 19th November, 2010 at 8:34 pm  

    Cage Prisoners has campaigned – in the past – for Abu Hamza, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and Sheikh Omar Abdur Rahman.

    They most certainly have. Furthermore, Hamza and Rahman were tried in open court, not taken to Guantanamo.

    Here is an “aw, poor man” Cageprisoners interview with Hamza after his conviction for what Cageprisoners calls “alleged incitement”. He has been “demonised”, you see.

    You have been demonised by the media in the worst possible ways. Even amongst the Muslim community there has been a concerted effort to portray you as the epitome of terrorist ideology. How would you answer your critics?

    Then Cageprisoners asks this:

    Do you have any messages for our readers? What can people do to help?

    Got that? They want to “help” a man convicted of serious crimes, in open court, while giving him a platform to spout more hatred, without challenge.

    Cageprisoners is not about due process or civil rights. Its mission is the promotion of extremism and unquestioning support for terrorists.

    That’s why depraved far leftists like it so much.

  280. boyo — on 19th November, 2010 at 8:42 pm  

    Sunny – you whatabouterist – I caught you for that @8

  281. Ravi Naik — on 19th November, 2010 at 9:27 pm  

    It’s not whataboutery, Sunny. It’s an analogy between Begg and a white neo-Nazi.

    That’s a variation of Reductio ad Hitlerum – a lazy artifice when people have no more arguments. I would expect Begg’s words, deeds and damn even his night goggles to speak for themselves to make your case, but it seems they don’t.

    The question of whether AI should invite someone like Begg to speak about his experience is a legitimate one.

    However, when this debate is made to attack AI and somehow accuse this institution of paling around with the Taliban and be blind about its human right violations, then people like me will argue against, because it is clear that AI wants to expose gross violation of our conventions and laws by using the voices that went through that experience.

    What you are doing is equating dissent against Saghal’s position, from AI and people in PP, as being soft on human rights violations and embracing Islamists. I honestly do not know whether you derive this conclusion based on an exercise of extreme bad-faith, or you suffer from some reasoning defect.

  282. Mark T — on 19th November, 2010 at 9:36 pm  

    That’s a variation of Reductio ad Hitlerum – a lazy artifice when people have no more arguments. I would expect Begg’s words, deeds and damn even his night goggles to speak for themselves to make your case, but it seems they don’t.

    That’s all very well, but… it isn’t my case. The analogy was made by harith.

    My comment was simply pointing out to Sunny that it was not “whataboutery.” It was a comparison – albeit one that can be disagreed with. That is the line of action I suggested to Sunny.

    Try again.

    What you are doing is equating dissent against Saghal’s position, as being soft on human rights violations and embracing Islamists. I honestly do not know whether you derive this conclusion based on an exercise of extreme bad-faith, or you suffer from some reasoning defect.

    Oh dear. Again, direct your comment at someone who has even referenced Saghal in this thread.

  283. Ravi Naik — on 19th November, 2010 at 9:38 pm  

    Apologies MarK T, it is difficult to distinguish between you lot. I was however directing my comment to harith aka Faisal aka Sid.

  284. anon — on 19th November, 2010 at 10:05 pm  

    268. Sarah AB — on 19th November, 2010 at 6:17 pm
    If he had been a white neo-Nazi he probably wouldn’t have ended up in Guantanamo.

    If he had been a white neo-Nazi who had followed Begg’s path in life I bet he would have.

  285. Roger — on 19th November, 2010 at 10:28 pm  

    a lazy artifice when people have no more arguments

    Oh, do you mean something like this?

    the blog hasn’t ever (that I’ve seen) criticised British Jews from going to Israel and joining the Israeli Defence Force

    You say:

    it is clear that AI wants to expose gross violation of our conventions and laws by using the voices that went through that experience

    It has done much more than that. It has presented Cageprisoners as a “leading human rights organisation” and repeatedly feted Begg.

    Moreover, even if that was all it had done, don’t you think it would be a good idea to find people who are truthful and credible? In other words, not Mr Begg and Cageprisoners, who have lied repeatedly about Anwar al Awlaki and much more.

    I would expect Begg’s words, deeds and damn even his night goggles to speak for themselves

    You have seen how that works here on this very thread. Evidence is either ignored or dismissed out of hand. For example, publishing your jihadi mate’s incitements to murder, where the victims include civilians on Indian airliners, is really no different from having a horror film in your DVD collection.

    The truth is that Hundal’s and earwicga’s record of dissembling for Cageprisoners and smearing the opponents of extremists is appalling and contemptible.

  286. enraged earwicga — on 19th November, 2010 at 11:55 pm  

    Don – xmas presents for my children a couple of years. They look good, but aren’t. They could definately be classed as ineffective, and at a throw (literally) a weapon though.

    Ravi –

    I honestly do not know whether you derive this conclusion based on an exercise of extreme bad-faith, or you suffer from some reasoning defect.

    I think it’s something akin to the women who blame rape victims for being raped. The truth of what can quite easily happen to you is too horrible so it has to be ignored and rationalised in an irrational way.

  287. Ravi Naik — on 20th November, 2010 at 11:32 am  

    You have seen how that works here on this very thread. Evidence is either ignored or dismissed out of hand.

    Not just here, mind you. The British justice system as well. Here is the thing: it is a legitimate question to ask what criteria AI uses to classify a “leading human rights organization”, and as I said, I do see Saghal point of view. But disagreeing with it does not mean we, the Left and anyone less has a blind spot for terrorism, Islamists and whatnot.

    What is frustrating is that you, Harith (founder of the Spittoon blog) and others seem to be focused on fighting small fish, trying to prove that Begg is in fact a terrorist, oh he supports “defensive jihad”, as if by the mere use of the word means we are 45-min away from being blown away.

    This while dismissing something far more sinister in our backyard. The fact that you are not bothered about the ease in which people were put in prisons without formal accusation and what basically constitutes a life sentence, the fact that we arbitrarily torture both nationals and foreigners, and have violated our own laws as well as international conventions, and you have no problems about the caricature of classifying “night goggles” as a weapon, makes me more likely to listen what AI, Sunny and “enraged” earwicga says than what you lot have to say.

  288. Ravi Naik — on 20th November, 2010 at 11:43 am  

    I think it’s something akin to the women who blame rape victims for being raped. The truth of what can quite easily happen to you is too horrible so it has to be ignored and rationalised in an irrational way.

    I totally agree, earwicga.

  289. Mark T — on 20th November, 2010 at 6:01 pm  

    ZOMG! Terrorist!

    Perhaps “terrorist” isn’t quite the mot juste.

    But when the “foreign occupiers” are NATO/ISAF troops, and those exerting their “right to resist” are the Taliban, what would you call it?

  290. Roger — on 20th November, 2010 at 6:55 pm  

    Very nice collection of strawmen you have there at 287, Ravi.

    does not mean we, the Left and anyone less has a blind spot for terrorism, Islamists and whatnot

    That is exactly what Sunny and earwicga have always done. They dismiss or deride evidence, slander opponents of extremism as racists and bigots, and resort to childish and overblown rhetoric that will only work for the prejudiced and ignorant fools.

    Rather like this:

    oh he supports “defensive jihad”, as if by the mere use of the word means we are 45-min away from being blown away.

    How silly. No, it means he supports the Taliban.

  291. Rachel — on 20th November, 2010 at 7:10 pm  

    Ravi Naik, it is possible to oppose both American imperialism and the Islamic right. This position, it is true, is far more radical than the Sunny/Earwicga position, and far less mainstream these days (at least in the UK – in Muslim majority countries it is pretty common).

  292. damon — on 20th November, 2010 at 8:00 pm  

    Harith @250

    Could it not be something to do with the fact that when his bookshop in Sparkbrook, Maktabah al Ansaar, was raided in 2000, police found copies of books such as The Virtues of Jihad, Declaration of War, and Dissent of the Muslim Lands.

    And Earwicga’s reply: ”Ah, crimes of stocking bad books. Righto.”

    Obviously just a complete impass and thoroughly different ways of looking at the same thing.
    The name of that book ‘The Virtues of Jihad’ rings a bell, as I think it was that title that I remember seeing in an Islamic bookshop in East London, directly over the road from a pub full of West Ham United fans, many of whom were standing on the pavement outside the pub before a home match on a saturday afternoon a few years ago. I had gone over just for a browse and a look around the shop, and I thought the two sides of the road made quite a modern day London contrast.
    One side, blokes with pints in hand, and the other a bookshop with large posters of the Haj at Mecca in it’s windows.

    Does it matter that this is the kind of book that might be freely on sale?
    http://islamfuture.wordpress.com/2009/11/09/the-virtues-of-jihad/

    I had assumed that it was a benign book about the virtues of seeking justice and being a good person, but if that is the same book I saw, as the one I’ve linked to, then I think that it is cause for concern. Just from googling, I see it’s author is a certain Maulana Masood Azhar ”a Pakistani mujaheddin leader and the founder of the militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed, based mainly in the Pakistan-administered portion of the state of Kashmir.

    India lists Masood Azhar as one of its most wanted terrorists due to a history of militant activities.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maulana_Masood_Azhar

    I guess whether the police should be concerned about ”mere books” is one of those questions you just line up on one side or the other on.

  293. to damon — on 20th November, 2010 at 8:50 pm  

    my my young man you do seem to have a peculiar obession with “Moslems”. Why is that? Have you thought of psychiatric help? Or perhaps joining Harith as an august contributor to Spittoon or Harrys place?

  294. bizarre — on 20th November, 2010 at 8:56 pm  

    Incidentally why so little critism of this former collaborator with the Taliban’s recently publishing his autobiography…. Available would you believe it in MAINSTREAM bookshops!!!

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/images/0753539667/ref=dp_image_z_0?ie=UTF8&n=266239&s=books

    Taleban in Texas for talks on gas pipeline
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/west_asia/37021.stm

  295. nothingtoseehere — on 20th November, 2010 at 9:16 pm  

    “It is nothing but a celebration of terrorism and murder, published by Moazzam Begg’s bookstore.”

    “India lists Masood Azhar as one of its most wanted terrorists due to a history of militant activities.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maulana_Masood_Azhar

    Ah yes India. The World Largest Democracy (TM)…. which has refused the Kashmiri people a UN backed plebiscite since the 1940s (shhhh…dont talk about that fact!)

  296. douglas clark — on 20th November, 2010 at 11:37 pm  

    Ravi Naik,

    I know this is off topic and all that, but you said:

    What is frustrating is that you, Harith (founder of the Spittoon blog) and others…

    Is that Sid doing a sort of extra flip. Compared to Cassius Clay? Well the great Mo only changed his name to Mohammad Ali the once.

    Anyway, welcome back Sid, if it is you!

    Or Faisal.

    Or whatever…

    ————————

    Anyway I may have an interesting bit of breaking news for all you folk that are trying to make a case.

    Sparkbrook is in Birmingham where Moazzam Begg has his book shop. Yet the publishers of that book are said to have been from London – from this source:

    >http://talk.islamicnetwork.com/showthread.php?t=8133

    The exact words being:

    The book The Army of Madinah in Kashmir was published by London-based publishers Maktaba al Ansar.

    Details about Maktaba al Ansar are rather hard to come by what with my limited googling skills.

    However, the book appears to have been published in London and not, necessarily by Moazzam Begg. Rather by people I cannot identify.

    He may have sold it in his book shop, but that is a rather different matter from publishing it.

    Of course, its’ entirely possible that Moazzam Begg arranged to have it published by Maktaba al Ansar, on the other hand, he may not have done so.

    A cri de couer.

    There is an entire fucking regiment of people that research and claim against Moazzam Begg. Why the heck am I the only one that is saying that their evidence has some holes in it?

    The bottom line is that he deserves a defence against this ludicrous witch hunt, which was started by David T who ran away:

    I don’t think you’ve really been following this issue properly, and I don’t think you’re in a position to argue it. This isn’t a cop out response – it is just that I don’t have the time to take you through the material, and I don’t really want to either.

    Sorry.

    David T loves a witch hunt. He goes after daft old astronomers that have stupid ideas about the holocaust and notches that on his belt. It is easy to go attack the weak, and that is what oor Davy boy does. It is pathetic.

  297. Roger — on 21st November, 2010 at 4:11 pm  

    However, the book appears to have been published in London and not, necessarily by Moazzam Begg.

    What sad desperation.

    Read it for yourself here. See page 2 in particular.

    http://www.nefafoundation.org/miscellaneous/Barot/ArmyMadinahinKashmir.pdf

  298. douglas clark — on 21st November, 2010 at 4:32 pm  

    Roger @ 297,

    Thanks for the information, if not for the attitude…

  299. damon — on 30th November, 2010 at 2:49 pm  

    You’d have thought that this piece from Cageprisoners would have settled it. How they even think it’s OK for Afghans living in Britain to go back and fight with the Taliban from time to time.

    And no doubt, if they were captured by NATO forces there, Cageprisoners would campaign for their release and repatriation to the UK.

    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:WgPJD1kbG4IJ:web.cageprisoners.com/our-work/opinion-editorial/item/880-from-spy-cameras-to-spy-planes-british-muslims-under-surveillance-again+cageprisoners+spy-cameras-british&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk

    So all that stuff about weapons found at someone’s home – obsolete or not – is all rather academic. Cageprisoners are an unacceptably extremist group and should have no support from people like UAF.

    It would be interestiong to see what the reaction would be if their return to the UK was blocked and their right of residency here was rescinded.
    More faux outrage?

    Hope not Hate say this about such people:

    This hypocrisy is echoed on the anti-Zionist Left that has sold out its core principles of anti-racism, feminism and human rights to support the fundamentalist Muslim terrorists of Hamas, generously funded by Saudis.

  300. vimothy — on 30th November, 2010 at 9:05 pm  

    Harry’s Place: site of so many lulz.

  301. vimothy — on 30th November, 2010 at 10:03 pm  

    Comments are a true joy. Teh lulz, they circulate. And not only circulate, they seem to get stuck in some sort of infinite regress here. It’s all a bit tl;dr, though I do take comfort in the commitment shown by all to the provision of equitable access to swimming pools in the Hackney area. When such titans stride amongst us, we cannot fail.

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