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Something for the weekend…

by Sunny on 11th September, 2005 at 8:24 pm    

Even though it is nearly finished, here’s a few news stories for late night reading on the weekend.

The government is considering making Holocaust day more inclusive. Muslim groups happy, Jewish groups not so. Readers may remember Sir Iqbal Sacranie (MCB) boycotted this year’s event, thereby shooting himself in the foot.

Though the Govt said no, Church leaders say the remembrance service for the victims of London bombings should include grieving British Muslims, showing more of that forgive and forget attitude favoured by Jesus.

Muslim clerics in India have come out in support of Sania Mirza (thanks rkay); scholar Tariq Ramadan is interviewed in the latest New Statesman and Red Pepper magazine, and will be at LSE this week.

Shiv Malik has written about Hizb ut-Tahrir’s members in top British companies, and Dr Cornel West is interviewed talks about how Katrina has raised the race/class divide issue in America.

Comment away or link any other news stories of interest below.

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  1. Spirif of 1976 — on 11th September, 2005 at 11:27 pm  

    Though the Govt said no, Church leaders say the remembrance service for the victims of London bombings should include grieving British Muslims, showing more of that forgive and forget attitude favoured by Jesus.

    As I understand it, the controversy wasn’t about inviting British Muslims, but about inviting the actual families of the bombers themselves to the memorial service. I think the government decided that would be taking “forgive and forget” a bit too far though.

    More on this story at http://drinksoakedtrotsforwar.blogspot.com/2005/09/particularly-offensive-livingstone.html

  2. Rohin — on 12th September, 2005 at 1:39 am  

    “The very name Holocaust Memorial Day sounds too exclusive to many young Muslims. It sends out the wrong signals”

    What the hell?

    To be honest, holocaust day is so low profile I can’t remember anything happening. I would say that if it was an exclusively Jewish thing then that’s wrong - many gypsies, disabled people and homosexuals died in the gas chambers. A genocide memorial is a good idea, but it’s important to remember the Holocaust in isolation. It is almost beyond belief to think about the sheer scale and the sickening agenda - both genocidal and eugenic. SIX MILLION people. So I think it’s right to have a separate memorial for that - taking into account what I said above.

    It’d be interesting to listen to Tariq Ramadan at LSE. I used to spend a lot of time there a few years ago and enjoy watching the almost weekly battles between the Israeli Society, Palestinian Society, ISOC and NHSF. The Khalistanis used to weigh in occasionally. So many nutters in one place, it’s a fascinating microcosm of the world. The graffiti in my uni is the usual kind of “Man Utd suck!” but in LSE there’s stuff like “Freedom for the Basque Separatists!” and “No Blood for Oil!” or even “Workers of the World, UNITE!”

  3. SajiniW — on 12th September, 2005 at 8:58 am  

    Lol, the number of terrorist suspects from LSE have it dubbed as London School Of Terrorism amongst rival uni students :P

  4. Jay Singh — on 12th September, 2005 at 12:58 pm  


    Who are the NHSF? Do the RSS fascists have at shakha at LSE?


    You have to link to Rushdie’s article in the times today - this is the main quote for me because it impacts on Sikhs and Hindus as well as Muslims:

    In the 1970s and 1980s the politics of British peoples of South Asian origin were largely organised around secular groups, mostly run by activists of Left-Marxist persuasion. The Black/Asian unity of that period was broken, and then replaced, by the mosque-based, faith-determined radical Islam that grew in part out of the protests against The Satanic Verses. That ground needs to be reclaimed (not necessarily by Left-Marxists) by creating truly representative bodies. Then the increasingly discredited “leaders” of the Muslim Council of Britain can be relegated to the fringes where they belong.

    This is part of the reason why Sikhs and Hindus are marginalised in the current atmosphere - because ‘Muslim’ has superseded ‘Asian’ and all the secular ethnic politics it contained - of unity and secularism. This space is being filled by Sikh and Hindu organisations that are communalist in ethos and echo the ideology and rise and style of the MCB.

  5. Sunny — on 12th September, 2005 at 2:03 pm  

    NHSF - National Hindu Students Forum. Friends of the RSS.

    I agree with this analysis by Rushdie only as far as how religious organisations have become prominent. The event certainly led to the formulation of the MCB.

    But other factors have led to increased religious politics instead of racial politics too.

    1) The govt’s attention towards these groups (specially New Labour).
    2) The youth identifying themselves more with religion than racial grounds (or by national identity).
    3) Events (namely 9/11).

  6. Jay Singh — on 12th September, 2005 at 2:19 pm  


    Deserves a post on the main page I reckon.

  7. Rohin — on 12th September, 2005 at 3:45 pm  

    Just a quick word in defence of the NHSF, I went to several great talks they put on, from all sorts of people (not just Hindu) and I’m not religious in the slightest. Most of them are genuinely nice people, but Sunny is right in that many of them are hardline, almost exclusively Gujurati, RSS/Shiv Sena/VHP fundraisers, especially higher up in the ranks. It’s tragically funny how vast proportions of the funds into fundamentalist groups in the subcontinent comes from outside India - mostly Britain, although I hear Canadian Sikhs donate more to funda groups than British Sikhs.

  8. Eric — on 12th September, 2005 at 3:53 pm  

    With regard to the issue of Sikh and Hindu communalist organisations, I’d be interested in views on the following story.


    I was aware that Sikhs had had trouble following 911, and the London bombings, but I’m not sure what specifically the government could do to prevent racist nutjobs having a go at people - probably the same people who attack paediatricians thinking they are paedophiles - apart from applying current law effectively to protect all in society - be they Muslim, Jewish, Sikh or athiest.

    All such attacks are unacceptable.

  9. Sunny — on 12th September, 2005 at 4:18 pm  

    Eric - The Sikh Federation is run by a bunch of self-serving, publicity-hungry nutters who are more obsessed with an independent Sikh homeland in India than pushing for their interests here. I don’t even know why we need them.

    Sikhs are already protected, like the Jews, under race hate legislation. But they want more cover so they’re pushing, along with Muslims and Hindus, for the religious hatred legislation (which I aam against) so they use that to get at more people when necessary (like the Behzti play affair).

  10. Rohin — on 12th September, 2005 at 4:18 pm  

    Perhaps the government should send out a mailshot to the electorate with two pictures on it, entitled ‘Muslim’ and ‘Sikh’ and perhaps with a little paragraph below. Then people could take it out with them and when Islamophobes see someone they feel so threatened by that they want to threaten them, they can hold up the useful little leaflet to compare with the face they see. They can then go about their beating up accordingly, in full knowledge that they’re doing the right thing.

    I guarantee more people will read it than that guff about what to do in the event of a terrorist attack. I wish I’d kept that, may become a collector’s item.

    Some people are just ignorant tossers, I don’t think we’ll ever get through to them.

  11. Sunny — on 12th September, 2005 at 4:21 pm  

    Jay - when the time is right, yes. It does deserve one though.

  12. Jay Singh — on 12th September, 2005 at 7:12 pm  


    re the NHSF - I have noticed that some religious extremists and communalists can be very pleasent and agreeable people - which makes their politics all the more scary.

    They are not monsters frothing at the mouth (most of the time) - they are quite rational in their appearence and manner.

    So its no surprise that your experience with the RSS boys is pleasent - thats how they hook people into their communalist orbit. Because you have a bit of sense you see through their charms. Others do not.

  13. anotherPak — on 13th September, 2005 at 12:29 pm  

    Who listened to Venessa Feltz on BBC London about renaming the holocaust memorial day. The story that was published on sunday on the Times about renaming, suddenly became an attempt by the MCB to remove the holocaust day on the Telegraph. Which thus incited Venessa ( jewish) to dedicate 3 hours on her morning slot to such as debate on the Tuesday.

    Although she was probably missguided in thinking MCB wanted to remove it or was competing, such as debate provoked fury from the cabbie saying “Is a dog born in a barn … ” then another about the “all these mussies going on about themselves, what about the english, we are an endangered species . . “. To outcries from jewish groups about the MCB being anti-semetic, holocaust denniers etc and a blackwoman going she wants a “slavery day” , ony to be replied with another cabbie replying that all these immigrants should either get out or stop regurgitating history

    One thing is clear though, MCB need a good PR . Sacrani should resing and install Tariq Ramadan !

  14. Jay Singh — on 13th September, 2005 at 1:40 pm  


    The MCB are making their colours plain - no amount of PR can cover up their communalist intent - and why should it? The MCB are hoisting up their colours for the world to see - I think it is good - get all the cards on the table and be honest.

  15. PrettyTamil — on 13th September, 2005 at 3:07 pm  

    Yes but you just have to laugh at people screaming anti-semetic ant-semetic . .all the time. Venessa also had some holocaust dennier, but she right gave him short shrift. This kind of debate just attracts extremist froma all angles.

    I don’t know why the hell so long was dedicated to something insignificant that actually will not happen. Genocide day or holocaust day, just learn the lessons from history

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