Sunny Hundal website



  • Family

    • Liberal Conspiracy
    • Sunny Hundal
  • Comrades

    • Andy Worthington
    • Angela Saini
    • Bartholomew’s notes
    • Bleeding Heart Show
    • Bloggerheads
    • Blood & Treasure
    • Campaign against Honour Killings
    • Cath Elliott
    • Chicken Yoghurt
    • Daily Mail Watch
    • Dave Hill
    • Dr. Mitu Khurana
    • Europhobia
    • Faith in Society
    • Feminism for non-lefties
    • Feministing
    • Gender Bytes
    • Harry’s Place
    • IKWRO
    • MediaWatchWatch
    • Ministry of Truth
    • Natalie Bennett
    • New Statesman blogs
    • Operation Black Vote
    • Our Kingdom
    • Robert Sharp
    • Rupa Huq
    • Shiraz Socialist
    • Shuggy’s Blog
    • Stumbling and Mumbling
    • Ta-Nehisi Coates
    • The F Word
    • Though Cowards Flinch
    • Tory Troll
    • UK Polling Report
  • In-laws

    • Aaron Heath
    • Douglas Clark's saloon
    • Earwicga
    • Get There Steppin’
    • Incurable Hippie
    • Neha Viswanathan
    • Power of Choice
    • Rita Banerji
    • Sarah
    • Sepia Mutiny
    • Sonia Faleiro
    • Southall Black Sisters
    • The Langar Hall
    • Turban Head

  • Govt finally sees sense on War on Terror


    by Sunny
    10th August, 2009 at 2:23 pm    

    The Guardian has an encouraging report today:

    The communities secretary, John Denham, is to attempt a fresh start in the government’s relationship with British Muslims after acknowledging that mistakes have been made in the drive against violent extremism in the UK. Denham said he wanted to see a clear policy shift away from defining the government’s relationship with Muslim communities entirely in terms of tackling extremism.

    The new approach is expected to ensure that funding goes to a wider range of organisations, while a more explicit strategy to resist white racist extremism is also being developed.

    Residents’ meetings to discuss concerns about immigration are to be organised, and councils will be urged to be more transparent about local housing allocations. “Although the most significant terrorist threat comes from al-Qaida groups or al-Qaida-inspired ideology, there is a perception that government is only interested in violent extremism of one kind,” Denham told the Eastern Eye newspaper.

    In recent months, there have been renewed complaints that the Prevent programme has been used to fund community groups to spy on potential extremists, and that cash has been given to organisations with little credibility among UK Muslims.

    All of this is very encouraging, but not surprising since I think John Denham is a very intelligent minister. In fact I can’t even quibble with any of this.

    There is a growing chorus of people complaining that PVE money is being used to push ‘social cohesion’ and ‘engage Muslims’. This is dangerous because social cohesion is seen only as issue to be dealt with in the context of terrorism. It also ends up encouraging Hindu and Sikh groups to pretend they’re under massive threat and therefore also need some of that money.

    Update: The Tories released this comment today. Hah!

    John Denham needs to explain why his Party continues to treat the Muslim community as if it is the only source of extremism and terrorism facing this country. He must set out what the Government will do to help protect people from the entire spectrum of political and religious extremism.


                  Post to del.icio.us


    Filed in: Islamists,Terrorism






    59 Comments below   |  

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs
    1. pickles

      New blog post: Govt finally sense on War on Terror http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/5477


    2. Sensationalism is a gift to extremists « project-sheffield

      [...] services also need to start taking far-right extremism in the UK more seriously. To that extent the recent announcements by minister John Denham are most [...]




    1. London Muslim — on 10th August, 2009 at 2:30 pm  

      long overdue shift in emphasis. Denham is an excellent choice although anything is an improvement on Hazel Blears and are her sidekick Paul Richards.

    2. Dalbir — on 10th August, 2009 at 3:02 pm  

      It also ends up encouraging Hindu and Sikh groups to pretend they’re under massive threat and therefore also need some of that money.

      Who is milking this like that Sunny?

    3. qidniz — on 10th August, 2009 at 3:10 pm  

      Who is milking this like that Sunny?

      Sunny may be saying that the trough will never be wanting for snouts.

    4. pounce — on 10th August, 2009 at 3:23 pm  

      Actually I have to disagree here. The Preventing Violent Extremism program which is at the root of all this was brought in on the advice of Muslims (yes Muslims) who the government consulted after the London bombings of 2005.
      The details of which can be found here;
      http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/communities/pdf/320752.pdf

      Maybe we should look closer at how the MCB has run a silent campaign of Islamic victim hood since losing the ear of the British government into how others now receive more funding than they do.

      This is a none story simply because the vast majority of Terrorism in the Uk is Islamic based. No ifs no buts but the plain and simple truth. Yes the odious BNP and their ilk have started to ape their radical Islamic cohorts but the fact remains such idiotic wankers are despised by the British as a whole and as of yet haven’t blown up trains,planes and automobiles in which to promote their victim status.

      Playing the victim card is so yesterday.

    5. Sunny — on 10th August, 2009 at 3:27 pm  

      Who is milking this like that Sunny?

      There’s now a Hindu and a Sikh Safety Forum! I’d mention more but I’d probably get done for libel.

    6. Sunny — on 10th August, 2009 at 3:33 pm  

      Playing the victim card is so yesterday.

      Tell that to the BNP and their supporters.

    7. Andrew — on 10th August, 2009 at 3:34 pm  

      This is good. Firstly, nobody will be able to say that Muslims are being singled out. Secondly, something serious does have to be done to stop the spread of Racism and Fascism.

    8. Dalbir — on 10th August, 2009 at 3:35 pm  

      Pounce, to put balance in. Britian has yet to be aggressively attacked by a massive military machine like Iraq was.

      Going back to antecedents. It isn’t like people didn’t warn of attacks here when we went to war.

      Anyway, I doubt the initiatives pursued by those who received funding made much difference to the radicalisation that took place in the Muslim community. It probably ended up being a “nice little earner” for some involved. Perhaps some well meaning groups got some long overdue new sports equipment from it or something.

    9. Random Guy — on 10th August, 2009 at 3:36 pm  

      Dubious here. Sounds like they are just re-positioning their strategy in the public eye. I doubt much will change on the ground.

    10. fugstar — on 10th August, 2009 at 4:16 pm  

      id be suprised if the mcb could run a campaign, let alone a silent one.

      Dehman used to have a decent department, but its since disappeared. he’s v talented so should be where his talents can be of most use to the public interest.

      That was innovation, universities and skills.

      i wonder why he’s allowing himself to be sucked in.

    11. Andrew — on 10th August, 2009 at 4:24 pm  

      This decision seems to be connected to this report by the New Local Government Network.

      http://www.nlgn.org.uk/public/wp-content/uploads/stronger-together.pdf

    12. bulbul — on 10th August, 2009 at 4:47 pm  

      A welcome change since you cant deal with Muslim extremism if you dont tackle the Islamophobia it feeds off.

      However even then there is majoritarianism -accepting from the majority what you wouldnt from the minority- while extremist groups like HT or al Muhajiroun are or will be banned the BNP wont be -rather their policies will be co-opted

    13. pounce — on 10th August, 2009 at 5:09 pm  

      Dalbir wrote:
      “To put balance in. Britian has yet to be aggressively attacked by a massive military machine like Iraq was.”
      So you are saying that British foreign policy is to blame for the rise of British Islamic extremists who prefer the use of the bullet and the bomb rather than the Ballot box.

      The rise of British Extremists began before the invasion of Iraq. In fact if you should happened to look into it, Britain between the 90s and 2001 became a huge staging post for extremists who had no problem killing people in Yemen, Israel or even zotting off to Afghanistan in which to learn their vile trade.

      Don’t get me wrong I am not supporting the BNP or even Casual united but the fact remains there is a huge ground swell movement in the Uk at the moment which is becoming very concerned at those people with Darkskin and their penchant for violent behaviour. We really should do something about the public image of those who while professing to belonging to a religion of peace actually belong to a religion of hate.

      Yes lets combat white Nationalism, but the fact remains they gain more members everything the public sees a miscarriage of justice be it Binyam Mohhamed allowed to live in the UK, a doctor who while still being watched by the security services for links to terrorism is not only not deported but allowed to live and work here or Muslims caught running huge dog fighting rings in Birmingham while playing the “We cannot touch dogs” card.
      Now before anybody gets their knickers in a twist over what I am saying . Look at it this way. There are 2 million Muslims in the Uk and around 58 million non-Muslims the next terrorist outrage will result in more attacks on people with darkskin and who look like Muslims(that would me then) Instead of paying the bloody victim card, how about we start ostracising the jihadists for what they are. Murderous minded scum who are muslims.

      If the Muslims of Mumbai can refuse to allow dead terrorists to be buried in their cemeteries in which to say “they have nothing to do with us” why can’t the appeasing apologists in the Uk take a similar stance. Instead all we hear is;
      “We are victims”
      Yeah right.

    14. Dalbir — on 10th August, 2009 at 5:58 pm  

      pounce

      I’m not saying fundamentalists weren’t here before the stupid foreign policy decisions by the British government. Those in power knew full well that people were popping off for a spot of jihad in say Lebanon from here. Frankly, I don’t think they cared back then.

      What I am trying to say is that recent British foreign policy helped the cause of the Islamists better than any amount of pulpit preaching ever could. They essentially gave them a just cause through their own ill conceived, immoral, pseudo-imperialistic adventurism.

      Anyway, like the people here had a chance of preventing Tony “Sword of Jesus” Blair once the twat had made his mind. Hello……don’t you remember the marches against the war? New Labour were so desperate for the war that they resorted to telling bare faced porky pies about bogey men with WMDs in Iraq to get us there.

      Don’tcha know…..

    15. MaidMarian — on 10th August, 2009 at 6:13 pm  

      Dalbir - ‘They essentially gave them a just cause through their own ill conceived, immoral, pseudo-imperialistic adventurism.’

      Come off it! You are better than that.

      Governments can not and should not determine its foreign policy on the basis of whether a group of religious extremists will decide to take umbrage and commit mass murder on the London Underground.

      By your rationale, you are handing a veto over government policy to extreme and violent people. This glib argument about a faux war on Islam being decisive might carry a bit more weight it it applied more widely. There was a bombing campaign in Yugoslavia (to assist Muslims one might add) but I don’t see the Glorious Orthodox Brotherhood telling me that my train home is fair game. Unless you are telling me that Muslims have some sort of different ‘hard-wired’ reaction?

      The suicide bombers have by and large been UK citizens/residents of overseas origin. Why should their opinions about the Iraq War be of more value those of other people?

      There are many people who opposed the Iraq War but very few of them support,still less actively carry out, terrorist attacks. It is my view that bombers weren’t not ‘forced’ or ‘driven’ to commit these killings; they made a cognisant adult decision to do so — and there is no reason they could not have chosen differently

      Bottom line: the root cause of Islamist terrorism is Islamist ideology, or as Sunny euphemistically says, ‘al-Qaeda ideology.’ Not a comforting thought for those who would rather blame society, alliances and our government for the acts of extremists.

    16. Brownie — on 10th August, 2009 at 6:22 pm  

      They essentially gave them a just cause

      Yeah, like, they’re soooooo short of ‘just causes’.

      Islmaist terrorism is ’caused’ by an Islamist ideology that tells its supporters it’s okay to do things like self-immolate on a train of innocent men, women and children. The common denominator whether it’s London 05, 9/11, Bali, Mumbai, Kenya or wherever, is a proto-fascist, religiously-inspired politics. Not Bush, not Blair and not X (where X is whatever specific foreign policy decisions that doesn’t meet the approval of militant Islamists you care to mention).

      If Tony Blair had never existed, the clerics on the NWF would have invented him. Don’tcha know?

    17. MaidMarian — on 10th August, 2009 at 6:23 pm  

      Sunny - This point you make in the article about government activity (that is, spending) in this area serving to encourage other groups and being terror related only is an important and overlooked one.

      But doesn’t this carry with it the suggestion that such activity should be massively reduced or stopped?

      The article talks about moving, ‘away from defining the government’s relationship with Muslim communities entirely in terms of tackling extremism.’ Why should government have any such identity relationship? Government should tackle terrorism, regardless of identity groups, surely? Those bombs killed people of many races and religions.

      What I believe is needed is not some sort of pandering/special funding/worthy initiative [delete as appropriate] for any group, but more civil society building. More support for things that bring us together outside of public and private realms. The article is absolutely correct to talk about ‘cohesion’ being far more than the limited terror related conceptions we have seen come to the fore in the past few years.

      Granted, this is not going to immediately instil a sense of perspective into people watching CNN in the back of Luton bookshops, but if we are all being honest, PVE spending isn’t going to really do that either.

    18. douglas clark — on 10th August, 2009 at 6:25 pm  

      Dalbir,

      There is no ‘just cause’ that lets you blow up civillians on buses and tube trains. Especially as the whole damn country was up in arms at what the government had done. It was probably the most stupid, counter productive thing that any group has ever done in the modern era.

    19. Dalbir — on 10th August, 2009 at 6:27 pm  

      That’s it MM. Give the government a clean chit in all of this.

      My point was that moral ground had been completely lost through British action. It is plain dumb not to expect a reaction to such actions.

      You had to be serious naive not to expect 7/7 under those circs.

    20. MaidMarian — on 10th August, 2009 at 6:27 pm  

      Brownie (15) - Indeed, 9/11 was prior to Iraq, as was the first attack on the World Trade Centre. Suicide bombings and hijackings were taking place prior to 2003.

    21. MaidMarian — on 10th August, 2009 at 6:43 pm  

      Dalbir - Oh Christ, here we go with that word, ‘morality.’

      Are you seriously telling me that prior to 2003, the UK and the US were somehow globally regarded as paragons of moral virtue? That we were perceived as a shining example - come off it!

      Morality is bunk and a lazy talkboard excuse to avoid the hard issues. It is almost as if you expect people to turn around and say, ‘yes, please bomb us into our pre-2003 state, we deserve it.’ Well… I suppose if you are Spanish you actually do just that, but that’s another story.

      In any case, morality is overrated - look at the talkboard autocrat worship about President Medvedev and his boss. Curious how his war on Muslims in Chechnya goes unremarked?

      It is, sadly a standard tactic of talkboard warriors, resort to moral equivalence. The elected leader of a liberal democracy… a gang of terrorists who murder commuters at random… yet apparently the latter are a morality tale!

      It is just this type of apology for terrorism that should be denounced in the strongest terms.

      I am often astounded just how many people want to absolve Muslim terrorists of any responsibility (moral or otherwise) for their actions. It’s as if some see them as automatons, set off by someone else, unknowingly murdering people as they move around on the momentum someone else has given.

      Tell me, Dalbir, would you indulge this root-cause apologia to “understand” the BNP? If anything, it is this thinking that fans identity-politico hate, asserting as it does that all ‘grievances’ must be pandered to.

      But, you see, that is part of your problem. You just want to waggle your penis at New Labour and see this as a good stalking horse, even if it means supporting mass-murderers. What a sad indictment of politics and our current morality.

    22. Sunny — on 10th August, 2009 at 6:48 pm  

      If Tony Blair had never existed, the clerics on the NWF would have invented him. Don’tcha know?

      I see that brownie is pulling out ‘decent left’ cliches from the bag again to construct some sort of an argument. Oh dear.

      MaidMarian - lemme try and explain. There is the Pursue strategy which is focused on naked anti-terrorism. I generally don’t have a problem with that as long as innocent people aren’t being criminalised or being forced to start spying for the MI6.

      Then there is the ‘hearts and minds’ campaign which is ultimately how you win the battle.

      People like brownie, of the let’s bomb the fuck out of them and then they won’t fuck with us variety don’t really get the view that there are in essence only two ways here: 1) you either criminalise everyone who is Muslim;
      2) You empower British Muslims to challenge extremism where they see it and give them a reason to stand up for the British state.

      You can’t ignore the Iraq war in all this as much as you try. It definitely polarises and inflames opinions and exacerbates the threat from terrorism. Everyone knows it but don’t want to accept it.

      The point is, to win hearts and minds, you also have to listen to the concerns of British Muslims who are heartily sick of being lumped in with the extremists. That requires more nuanced language and careful work.

    23. douglas clark — on 10th August, 2009 at 6:50 pm  

      Dalbir,

      The people who were ‘seriously naivé’ were the bombers themselves and whoever wound them up.

    24. Don — on 10th August, 2009 at 6:54 pm  

      Dalbir, would it also be plain dumb not to expect riots, murders and bombings because someone published a novel? Or some cartoons?

      Iraq did not provide a just cause for terrorism, it provided an excuse for the lazy and duplicitous.

    25. Dalbir — on 10th August, 2009 at 7:06 pm  

      MM. Three words: Cause and effect.

      Underlying all of this is good old fashioned WASP piss taking of darkies. You just want to absolve them of any serious blame it seems.

      I don’t condone or justify the actions of those knobs that bombed the tube. But living in fairy ladidadi land about the obvious reactions of some Muslims to recent political decisions is simply living in denial.

      You talk about ‘grievances’ being pandered to. What about giving just a little fucking thought to trying not to create grievances. But no! Our government can’t operate like that. We must do what we want regardless of the consequences. Or else we will be pandering.

      Why not start a war with China over its human rights then? Because they may kick our arse. Okay, lets pick on easier targets. They’ll never be able to bring us to book will they…hehehehe

      Anglos MUST stop interfering in other people’s land. It causes as much death and mayhem as those terrorists, if not more. As you said, morality is never a real consideration, despite the spin. Both the terrorist and the opportunistic WASP in Parliament must be equally condemned.

    26. MaidMarian — on 10th August, 2009 at 7:09 pm  

      Sunny (21) - ‘People like brownie, of the let’s bomb the fuck out of them and then they won’t fuck with us variety don’t really get the view that there are in essence only two ways here…’

      Come on Sunny, you know better than that sort of reductionism!

      I simply do not buy this cobblers that there is an imperative of ‘hearts and minds’ (whatever that means). By that rationale we should be looking to win hearts and minds of racists and BNP members. You fancy going and listening to their concerns and acting on them?

      If you want some reductionism, fine - I don’t care where any one’s heart or mind is as long as it is not exploding on my train. Hearts and minds are not something for government, it is for civil society with the support of government. I want nothing to do with government ‘approving’ or working on my heart or mind and neither should any self-respecting muslim, jew, martian….

      As to Iraq, I simply do not accept that there is some sort of equivalence between the active, knowing actions of suicide bombers and the mistakes of democratic leaders. Millions of Muslims are not going to become suicide bombers as most muslims are clever enough to know the difference between a religious conflict and what we saw in Iraq. Only hard-core Islamists will want to kill me. But do you not simply find it alarming how many are prepared to make excuses?

      Incidentally Sunny, do you not find it a bit odd that the suicide bombers are not out in force on the streets of Belgrade, or is it somehow more ‘understandable’ when it comes to the UK (or somewhere with a government you want to write hostile internet comment pieces about?).

    27. Brownie — on 10th August, 2009 at 7:11 pm  

      I see that brownie is pulling out ‘decent left’ cliches from the bag again to construct some sort of an argument. Oh dear.

      The line of mine you quoted was making the simple point that extremists of whichever stripe will always find ’cause’ in what they do. In this sense, ’cause’ is just the excuse du jour used to legitimise otherwise illigetimate acts. Next year, there’ll be a different cause and another comes along the year after.

      If you have brainwashed, angry young men whom you then provide with money, guns and bombs and instruct to commit acts of barbarity, you could tell them the ’cause’ was anything you like and, if sufficiently brainwashed, they’ll do pretty much anything you ask.

      I wasn’t aware this view was considered controversial by the editors of PP, even when someone from HP was articulating it.

    28. Dalbir — on 10th August, 2009 at 7:12 pm  

      Dalbir, would it also be plain dumb not to expect riots, murders and bombings because someone published a novel? Or some cartoons?

      That’s true but that is another debate/topic.

    29. MaidMarian — on 10th August, 2009 at 7:13 pm  

      Dalbir (24) - ‘But living in fairy ladidadi land about the obvious reactions of some Muslims to recent political decisions is simply living in denial.’

      So would you say that it was OK for pensioners who are angry abour Iraq to go about blowing themselves up? Poles who were angry about Iraq? How about shop workers? Many people of many identities were angry about Iraq, but they don’t go around blowing themself up. Why is is different for Muslims?

      Do you think that Muslims are somehow different Dalbir and it is to be expected that they should blow themselves and others up? There are words for that and one of them begins in R and ends in ISM.

    30. Dalbir — on 10th August, 2009 at 7:15 pm  

      The line of mine you quoted was making the simple point that extremists of whichever stripe will always find ’cause’ in what they do. In this sense, ’cause’ is just the excuse du jour used to legitimise otherwise illigetimate acts. Next year, there’ll be a different cause and another comes along the year after.

      Oh, okay, that makes it alright for us to do whatever the fuck we want then? hhhmmm…..makes sense

    31. Brownie — on 10th August, 2009 at 7:19 pm  

      You just want to absolve them of any serious blame it seems.

      It’s you who is doing that. You write as though certian types of Muslim are pre-programmed, by dint of their faith, to commit mass-murder of innocents in repsonse to certain foreign policy decisions of the govt of the day. It’s the racism of low expectations, and it’s you who is pushing this not MM and not me.

      Believe it or not, lots and lots of people of all faiths and none were opposed to the war in Iraq but only a handful decided to murder dozens of people on London’s transport system. That handful had something in common, and I’m not talking about their faith (see above for the reaction of 99.999999% of Muslims in the UK).

    32. Dalbir — on 10th August, 2009 at 7:20 pm  

      Do you think that Muslims are somehow different Dalbir and it is to be expected that they should blow themselves and others up? There are words for that and one of them begins in R and ends in ISM.

      You know I think being Sikh may help one understand certain elements within the Ummah better. If you couldn’t see a jihad coming from all of this, your head must be stuck in the sand.

      Maybe it’s because we’ve had a long standing relationship with the people involved?

    33. Brownie — on 10th August, 2009 at 7:21 pm  

      Oh, okay, that makes it alright for us to do whatever the fuck we want then? hhhmmm…..makes sense

      It means that when you are fortunate enoguh to live in a democracy, the correct expression of opposition to HMG’s foreign policy decisions is not the mass-murder of innocent people, many of whom probably share your opinion of said foreign policy decision.

    34. douglas clark — on 10th August, 2009 at 7:25 pm  

      Dalbir,

      It’s you that is taking the piss out of some tiny sect called White Anglo Saxon Protestants. If you are seeing that as a synonym for government, then you might have a point, but it certainly doesn’t read that way.

      A large proportion of this country was against the war, and by definition that has to include people from the group you are denigrating. Blowing up your allies is incredibly stupid.

      As for the rest of your post, I believe that there ought to be a UN mandated policy of Responsibility to Protect (R2P) and that the Iraq fiasco probably set that ‘just cause’ back fifty years. Bush and Blair have a lot to answer for.

    35. MaidMarian — on 10th August, 2009 at 7:30 pm  

      Dalbir - ‘You know I think being Sikh may help one understand certain elements within the Ummah better. If you couldn’t see a jihad coming from all of this, your head must be stuck in the sand.’

      OK, please give us the benefit of your insight. Why is there no Jihad in Serbia? Why are Serb morality and UK moraliety qualitatively different? Why are Muslims’ reactions predisposed to blowing up my train?

      I would be interested in the benefit of your insight.

    36. Dalbir — on 10th August, 2009 at 7:50 pm  

      #34

      I’m starving and going to eat a bite to eat. I will explain what I mean when I get back.

      This is the most blogging I’ve ever done in my life btw.

    37. Don — on 10th August, 2009 at 8:37 pm  

      #27

      No, I think it is part of this debate.

    38. Dalbir — on 10th August, 2009 at 8:52 pm  

      Anyway.

      My family hail from a place not a million miles away from where the people who do the bombing come from. One thing that seems plainly clear to me is that is a normal practice to frame conflicts into a jihad by people from that region when it comes to war. I know my own ancestors fought against quite a few of them against people from Afghanistan and regions of what is now Pakistan. The jihadi mobilisation is something deeply ingrained into culture of the region as are the concepts of shaheedi/shahadat (martyrdom). They are strong salient features of the people that have frequently been utilised in war over the centuries. Even Sikhs have this concept of shaheedi.

      Given these strong traditions it comes as no surprise (to me) that people will use a modern perversion of the concept of shaheedi in war today. Whereas before it involved horses, swords, muskets etc. Now explosives come into the mix. I think it is a perversion because previously it was a matter between men on battlefields or captured combatants. Now the concept has been stretched to encompass dying in any attack on the perceived enemy and their infrastructure/society. Given that recent western acts have been seen as a blatant attack on Islam itself, it was natural that those fighting would evoke those concepts in their fight back. They always have.

      This is nothing that is going to go away easily. This is how they will fight back against a better equipped larger foe.

      This is difficult to explain.

    39. pounce — on 10th August, 2009 at 9:33 pm  

      MM wrote;
      “In any case, morality is overrated – look at the talkboard autocrat worship about President Medvedev and his boss. Curious how his war on Muslims in Chechnya goes unremarked?”

      Very apt observation. I for one cannot understand how Russia gets off scot free with;
      Starting the Afghan mess
      leveling Chechnya to the stone age.
      Enacting racist laws that prevent immigrants from working in Moscow.
      Backing Iran with its nuke program
      Vetoing any UN resolutions against Sudan for murdering the Muslims of Darfur.

      Yes there have been terrorist incidents in Moscow. But they have all been Chechnen based. No Brits/Dutch/Pakistani but Chechnen. In fact the biggest arms dealer to the Islamic world is Russia. Strange how the country with the most Islamic blood on its hands is also the biggest arms supplier. Yet have there being any protests towards Russia? Nah.

    40. douglas clark — on 10th August, 2009 at 9:40 pm  

      Dalbir,

      Perhaps that is the cultural roots of it, but it is still inexcusable. I can appreciate the anger - especially over Iraq, not so much Afghanistan - but all four of these idiots were second generation British citizens. For most people in this country of ours frustration at politics does not turn to violence against fellow citizens. And, I’d like to emphasise that that applies to the vast majority of Muslim citizens too.

      Despite the obvious jibe, ‘They would say that, wouldn’t they?’, their families seem almost as shocked by all of this as the rest of us.

      Someone ought to have given them a introductory talk on identifying friends and foes and discussed with them other options. I suspect they were groomed, in a particularily horrible way.

    41. Naadir Jeewa — on 10th August, 2009 at 9:51 pm  

      As Random Guy [#9] otherwise says, this reads like an empty speech act, of the sort Zizek talks about:

      *plug*
      http://www.randomvariable.co.uk/blog/2008/03/16/embedded-in-multiculturalism/
      *end plug*

    42. Don — on 10th August, 2009 at 10:23 pm  

      Dalbir, thanks for expanding. That’s interesting.

    43. MaidMarian — on 10th August, 2009 at 10:30 pm  

      Dalbir (37) – ‘My family hail from a place not a million miles away from where the people who do the bombing come from.’

      Bedfordshire?

      ‘One thing that seems plainly clear to me is that is a normal practice to frame conflicts into a jihad by people from that region when it comes to war.’

      Oh well, that makes everything OK then doesn’t it – why didn’t you just say? Good lord, are you really suggesting here that somehow any of this is, ‘normal practice.’ It is not in any way normal for people to strap bombs on themselves and try to kill indiscriminately. What about those suicide bombers who went to Iraq to kill and maim Iraqis? Is that tradition too? I don’t care because the word, ‘tradition,’ can not be used as a catch-all to defend what is to everyone but you manifestly indefensible. This is the worst kind of moral relativism.

      ‘Now the concept has been stretched to encompass dying in any attack on the perceived enemy and their infrastructure/society.’

      So you think that the US should have sent the suicide bombers to Middle Eastern countries after the first world trade centre attack? This is dreadful apologism, And still no answer – what about Mother Russia or Serbia. I will have a go at telling you why they were not attacked, because this is not about religion (however much you kid yourself) or ‘War on Islam.’ It is a hatred against a limited vision of the west and its way of life engrained and latterly conflated with religion. Why not attack China given its recent troubles with its Muslim minorities – because only ‘the great satan’ is fair game. It is almost as shocking as the way that useful idiots in the West seem to think that this is all OK.

      ‘Given that recent western acts have been seen as a blatant attack on Islam itself, it was natural that those fighting would evoke those concepts in their fight back. They always have.’

      Natural? – so you do think that Muslims have a hard wired reaction? Outrageous.

      ‘This is nothing that is going to go away easily. This is how they will fight back against a better equipped larger foe.’

      Oh boy, you have a romanticised vision of Muslim brotherhood. Does it mean nothing to you that Muslims have been killing Muslims for decades?

      Dalbir, it is stuff like this that means you are a walking advert for the BNP and in all sincerity I ask that you think very closely before putting this thinking on here again.

    44. Don — on 10th August, 2009 at 10:32 pm  

      Naadir, please, not Zizec. My daughter is a huge fan (and I mean fan, she has his autograph) and I’ve had to read hard stuff to keep up with her. It’s the summer, I should be reading Pratchett while sipping beer on a riverbank.

    45. douglas clark — on 10th August, 2009 at 10:52 pm  

      Maid Marian,

      I think you are being a bit unfair….

      I don’t think Dalbir is used to the cut and thrust of what passes for debate here. Give the guy a little slack, please?

      What Dalbir has attempted to do is draw a historical perspective, and say:

      same as it ever was

      Now that might be right, or it might not, and it is certainly true that the Ummah is more likely to wipe itself out before it gets around to the rest of us, but Dalbir is trying to give us his or her ideas.

      Anyone that ends a post saying:

      This is difficult to explain.

      has my automatic sympathy.

      __________________________________

      Don, and I didn’t post a joke about dunmanifesting ’cause I assumed no-one would get it!

    46. MaidMarian — on 10th August, 2009 at 11:05 pm  

      douglas clark - I’m not used to the cut and thrust of debate!

      Dalbir is free to say what s/he wants, but to my mind this level of apologism can not pass unremarked. It is an apology for the worst of radical Islamism and a contempt for reality. The bit about Chechnya/Kosovo is really pertinent.

      The stark reality is that people like Dalbir (and Sunny) are silent on that because the Muslims in question are not sufficiently brown and white-ish muslims do not fit into the race-oppression narrative that allows the levels of relativism we see on here.

      I’m not going to be told I am fair game for the religiously maladjusted of this world.

    47. Naadir Jeewa — on 11th August, 2009 at 12:14 am  

      MaidMarian & Dalbir - I’m a bit confused.

      Is Dalbir hinting that the root cause of terrorism is not religiously-based, but culturally rooted in South Asia, whereas MaidMarian is arguing that’s it religiously-based?

      You could travel quite far with the former: Chechnya starts off as standard national-seperatist movement, and then import Al-Qaeda later when offered help by them.
      Al-Qaeda born from a potent mix of Wahabbism and local South Asian traditions, stirred by the Pakistan Inter-Services Intelligence’s needs to continually perpetuate low-intensity warfare against a regional superpower it can’t hope to defeat.
      The new ideology than travels across oceans to diaspora groups in Europe using the latest technology.

      On the other hand, there’s the stuff by Olivier Roy I cite in my Zizek piece, which finds that the majority of attacks are carried out by new Muslims, the suggestion being that Islamism has filled in the void in the politics of the disaffected created by the exit of the Left after the Cold War.

      All of this is to say, I don’t think you could source the root of Islamist terrorism in either religion or premodern ethnic culture. Rather, path-dependency, inter-state conflict, world systems and governmentality play the crucial role. The US gets the flak as the unipole of the world system, BRIC don’t come close, and we get stuck in the cross fire because we’re a close ally. Islamism becomes the drop-in replacement for Communism, but without a state to operate from, creates new type of conflict that break the rules of the international system.
      Finally, I have a as yet unexplainable feeling that we would have seen new types of terrorism with or without the current players as a natural consequence of the unravelling of the social democratic contract (Foucault/Bobbit). If Islamism didn’t exist, it would have to be invented.

      To bring this back on topic, I would suggest if the social democratic contract is unrecoverable, than until we can find a new way to bind people together in solidarity, terrorism will continue to be the flip-side of our neoliberal/libertarian politics.

    48. Sunny — on 11th August, 2009 at 4:20 am  

      I simply do not buy this cobblers that there is an imperative of ‘hearts and minds’ (whatever that means). By that rationale we should be looking to win hearts and minds of racists and BNP members. You fancy going and listening to their concerns and acting on them?

      Actually, yes I do advocate that.

      There are hardcore members of the BNP and National Front who are lost to the cause, as are many Muslim extremists intent on wrecking havoc. I’d happily advocate the intelligence services infiltrating them.

      But there is a larger pool of people who they are surrounded by. In fact I have spent some time talking to and reading stuff by people who are not your typical Nazis but support the BNP for various reasons (immigration, housing etc).

      In the same way there are Muslims who will have some sympathy for radicals because they see these people as the only ones standing up to US/UK aggression.

      If you want to destroy radicalism you have to infiltrate the first group and neutralise the second, larger group. It’s a good thing the writers of Harry’s Place don’t end up influencing policy much or we’d be truly fucked on this issue. Pragmatism - remember? If your local Muslim population is highly pissed off over the war in Iraq and you want to work with them so they can give up the extremists - then a toning down of polarisation would undoubtedly make your job easier as the police or intelligence service.

      Frankly even if the Tories get in this policy won’t change because the MI5/MI6 and police will offer this exact advice. And they’ll have to take it. As I said - it’s a good thing the people running these operations ain’t HP type ideologues.

    49. douglas clark — on 11th August, 2009 at 4:57 am  

      Sunny @ 48,

      Good stuff. It is far better to talk to extremists, of whatever stripe, than alienate them. Does that make sense?

      I have a suggestion for them. Brownie and David T are both obviously happy to comment here. Perhaps it is time that they gave up, completely, on Harry’s Place and attempted to enter the real world? Because neither is a nutter, but they really do need a commentariat that isn’t the sychophantic cess pit that Harry’s Place has become.

      They could both, perhaps, start their rehabilitation as human beings, by rejecting the Euston Manifesto. Which, as you no doubt know, I think now was a piece of pish, that I nearly bought into…

      That would get them back into the fold of modern humanity…..

      And, who knows, perhaps then, they would be worth listening to.

    50. douglas clark — on 11th August, 2009 at 5:32 am  

      Obviously,

      Until these folk realise that they are tits, then I’ll poke fun at them…..

      Brownie and David T.

      Yes, I mean you.

    51. Jai — on 11th August, 2009 at 11:49 am  

      MaidMarian,

      This is just an objective observation: With all due respect, you appear to have misread Dalbir’s stance on the matters he’s been discussing.

      Dalbir is just explaining the background/context of all this according to his own understanding of it — he’s not actually sympathising with it or acting as some kind of “apologist” for it.

    52. Dalbir — on 11th August, 2009 at 2:18 pm  

      MM. I am in no way apologising for suicide bombers! Read my post, I described this tactic as a perversion. Why get your knickers in a twist? Try reading properly next time please.

      Douglas @ 45 is pretty close to what I was trying to get at.

      I’m not claiming what I said was the be all and end all of it. It was just a perspective that may (repeat may) help us understand in some small measure.

    53. Dalbir — on 11th August, 2009 at 3:09 pm  

      Perhaps that is the cultural roots of it, but it is still inexcusable. I can appreciate the anger – especially over Iraq, not so much Afghanistan – but all four of these idiots were second generation British citizens. For most people in this country of ours frustration at politics does not turn to violence against fellow citizens. And, I’d like to emphasise that that applies to the vast majority of Muslim citizens too.

      As I said Douglas I am not condoning it anyway but that does not mean I shouldn’t try to fathom it out - as far as I can.

      Your post above fails to address the alienation some Muslims feel today in Britain. Without getting into that debate (I have a feeling people have here previously), you know some people feel disengaged to an extent that they do not perceive themselves as British. Even if they have grown up here. Racism, both overt and discreet plays a part in this I imagine. But so does indoctrination. But I would say experiences of the former can make some people more susceptable to the latter. Of course, individual differences in character are also relevent.

      But even with that aside. Recent military action (stemming from political decisions) play their part in this. People in the west have to acknowledge that an indeterminate amount of people (globally) view the current situation as a war against Islam conducted by the west. Some insidious Jewish factor is usually thrown in there as well. The situation also has serious racial undertones, with the white imperialist subjugating the natives narrative fitting quite neatly (and in my opinion correctly), onto it.

      This is what is causing the upset. What I was saying was that in the face of this, some people are just adapting centuries old military tactics using modern technology. I wasn’t applauding this in anyway.

      Naadir @ 47

      Is Dalbir hinting that the root cause of terrorism is not religiously-based, but culturally rooted in South Asia, whereas MaidMarian is arguing that’s it religiously-based?

      Naadir, it is my firm belief that in that region “religion” and “culture” are so intricately interwoven that it is neigh on impossible to separate them. They are strongly fused together in different ways by different tribes. But in terms of antecedents I think we may be talking about a transmutation of Wahhabist thought fused with regional characteristics here.

      Anyway. I’m not saying anymore more on this. It is a touchy one.

    54. Naadir Jeewa — on 11th August, 2009 at 10:40 pm  

      Thanks for that Dalbir. Perhaps I’d distinguish religion as an “ideal type” set of ideas, usually expressed in literary forms, and culture as the lived practice of individuals, groups and societies.

    55. MaidMarian — on 12th August, 2009 at 12:35 pm  

      Naadir Jeewa (47) - Thank you for your reply to my earlier comments, apologies for not responding more quickly, I have been away from the computer for a day or so.

      I am more tan big enough to say that Foucault goes over my head! I am however a big Bobbit fan, a signed copy of The Shield of Achilles has pride of place on my bookcase. Also, that link about Asia you provide is very interesting and recommended.

      You talk about, ‘path-dependency, inter-state conflict, world systems and governmentality.’ Fine, agreed - but if the strife we are seeing is caused by those things why do we not really see the globalism you suggest in the outcome? Put another way, why is the brunt borne by a very limited number of western countries rather than globally?

      You say, ‘The US gets the flak as the unipole of the world system.’ Perhaps, but that really does not explain why we do not see anything like the oppobrium from the Islamic world when it comes to Mother Russia or Serbia. Unless you are about to tell me that those countries have the ‘hearts and minds’ (whatever that means) of Muslims globally?

      Surely this is either global (caused by the factors you mention) or this is about a unipolar world. I am not convinced that cuts both ways.

      It is to my mind glib to say, ‘If Islamism didn’t exist, it would have to be invented.’ Islamism does exist and so there is no need for conjecture. I also think that you rather stretch Bobbit rather. He does I suppose talk about social democratic contracts, but he is far more interested in the ‘market-state’ and the changing nature of legitimacy being about facilitation of citizens’ choices.

    56. Dalbir — on 12th August, 2009 at 2:57 pm  

      Naadir@54

      Very well put. I would be inclined to generally agree with your conceptualisation of religion and culture. As long as we understand that the former usually has some impact on the former in the regions we are talking about. Even if the religion is misinterpretated (both wilfully and ignorantly) in this process.

      Hell, now that I think about it, I doubt “pure” religion exists very much.

    57. Naadir Jeewa — on 12th August, 2009 at 10:39 pm  

      MaidMarian, yeah, I admit to being just a tad glib and melodramatic, as well as reading Foucault* into Bobbit in order to reverse the argument in Terror & Consent regarding the market state**.

      I don’t buy the hearts and minds argument either, but neither do I think the global factors and unipolarity are mutually exclusive. Unipolarity perhaps makes it harder to create an ideology that pitches itself up against that of Russia or China, since they all, ideologically (with some variation), buy into the American world order/hegemony/empire (choose your poison).

      The addition of a few more select countries that are the only other targets of global islamist terrorism could then, therefore, be the result of one or more of the following:

      Resource mobilisation from diverse groups is made easier by simplifying, and then strengthening the ideology, rather than diluting the message.
      The targets are open societies, making their actions highly visible through the media, compared to the opaqueness of Russian, Chinese and other middle-income countries.
      Ideological groupthink caused by increased competition amongst terrorist groups prevents further shifts in focus. Though this also suggests that groups will die out once an effective strategy is found to combat them.

      * “The Birth of Biopolitics” is a somewhat easier read than say, Discipline and Punish.
      ** Particularly, this paragraph in biopolitics:
      The post-war period is “the first time that entire nations waged war on the basis of a system of pacts which were not just international alliances between powers, but social pacts of a kind that promised-to those who were asked to go to war and get themselves killed-a certain type of economic and social organization which assured security (of employment, with regard to illness and other kinds of risk, and at the level of retirement): they were pacts of security at the moment of a demand for war.”

    Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

    Pickled Politics © Copyright 2005 - 2010. All rights reserved. Terms and conditions.
    With the help of PHP and Wordpress.