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  • Channel 4′s limp discussions

    by Sunny
    6th July, 2006 at 11:03 am    

    The BBC’s cluelessness when dealing with Muslim organisations is well known. Diversity of opinion? Perish the thought. Usually they get away with simply calling up the MCB, MAB or MPAC since, apparently, no one else exists to “represent the Muslim community”. As I’ve said before, in the world of the BBC if you’re not a suicide bomber then you’re a “moderate Muslim”. And if you’re constantly angry, even better.

    They cannot possibly fathom that there is a huge diversity of opinion within the “non-suicide bomber” category too. Sometimes they get caught with their pants down, but that is unfortunately rare. Now it seems Channel 4 has caught that bug too. It’s called “We-want-a-debate-but-don’t-know-who-to-call”. Having learnt nothing from the BBC debacle earlier, they call Azzam Tamimi, Asghar Bukhari (both of whom are near mirror images of each other), Khalid Mahmoud MP (who is vociferously hated by the earlier two) and Charles Moore from the Daily Telegraph.

    Watch the apparently “extreme” debate in action here (via DSTPFW)

    The most instructive line comes near the end when Charles Moore says the government should stop listening to people who justify suicide bombers and don’t even represent a community that overwhelmingly rejects that ideology. “Your own programme too puts too many of these people on,” he adds before Krishnan Guru-Murthy cuts him off. Will Channel 4 learn from the BBC’s mistakes? Don’t bet on it.

    [cross-posted on CiF]

                  Post to

    Filed in: Current affairs,Media,Muslim,Organisations

    71 Comments below   |  

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs
    1. Tim Worstall

      Britblog Roundup #73…

      Welcome once again to the Britblog thingie, your list of the poststhat you think should be brought to everyone’s attention. You can make your nominations for next week by emailing the URL to britblog AT gmail DOT com. Just whatever…

    1. justforfun — on 6th July, 2006 at 11:22 am  

      I saw that go out a couple of days ago - very funny.

      I thought I was going to see one of those “outtake” moments when one guy gets up and throws water over the other

      Will Channel 4 learn from the BBC’s mistakes? Don’t bet on it. - of course not - but the Set Designer will have learnt that it’s probably safer to have a bigger desk between them. I look foward to the next interview and to look for a bigger desk and no glasses of water present. Experiance is based on “little steps” ;-) .


    2. Manpreet — on 6th July, 2006 at 11:38 am  

      I remember Krishnan Guru-Murthy interviewing Abu Hamza a few years ago. It was very funny. Abu Hamza kept referring to the fact that Krishnan was a Hindu and so he could never understand the Islamic viewpoint. You could just see him squirming that he was being asked awkward questions by the lowest of the low, an idol worshipper! Krishnan took it all in his stride though, cool dude that he is.

    3. David — on 6th July, 2006 at 11:44 am  

      I saw it too. The funniest bit was when Asghar Bukhari shouted at Khalid Mahmoud MP: “Who do you represent? You represent nobody!”

      To which Mahmoud disappointingly failed to reply: “How many people voted for you?”

    4. zahed — on 6th July, 2006 at 11:45 am  

      I agree entirely, but can see that - given the tone of these debates and how the angrier self-selected representatives keep showing up - how people with differing views would want to put up with it. I’m not sure I would (though I do have my opinions).

    5. Manpreet — on 6th July, 2006 at 11:58 am  

      My God, Azzam Tammimi looks and talks like an extremely sinister man doesnt he?

    6. Shameel — on 6th July, 2006 at 12:16 pm  

      Azzam Tammimi is on the record as saying he would be a suicide bomber (Tim Sebastian’s Hard Talk Nov 2004) yet remarkably he’s not been called on to volunteer. If I held his convictions I’d be rather miffed myself.

      The other guy was a dolt and should have been easily seen off, accusing a Labour Party leader, remarkably, of being a neo-Con! But not for the first time I wished that the interviewer had boned up properly to give these anti-democrats a good leathering. Bring back Sunny, I say!

    7. Refresh — on 6th July, 2006 at 2:03 pm  

      You guys have just had me sit through 9’26″ of utter rubbish.

      And worse most of what’s represented above did not seem to appear. Did I miss something?

      I thought the most telling comment was actually from Bukhari, when asked which was the one thing that came out of the Task Forces that he* should do:

      “Teach young muslims how to change foreign policy peacefully and democratically. If he* could do that one thing we would break the back of terrorism in this country. And stop listening to the neo-cons like him** ”

      * Tony Blair
      ** Charles Moore

    8. chris — on 6th July, 2006 at 2:09 pm  

      Is the problem here a uniquely Muslim one? Or is it just that the media always want to have a few “leaders” who speak for everyone? So they think “business leaders” speak for businessmen, or party leaders speak for the British public.
      Maybe the media just cannot get their head around the fact that people - Muslim or not - are diverse and think differently. They just want to reduce everything to a few simple black/white, left/right soundbites.

    9. Refresh — on 6th July, 2006 at 2:17 pm  

      Agree wholeheartedly with Chris.

      I might then go on to suggest that the response should have been:

      “Teach young people, all our people, how to change foreign policy peacefully and democratically. If he could do that one thing we would break the back of terrorism in this country; strengthen democratic participation; re-invigorate our institutions and take our rightful place as an admired and respected country across the globe.”

    10. j0nz — on 6th July, 2006 at 2:19 pm  

      Got you’re a twat Refresh. Sorry I’ve been wanting to say that for a while…

      Chris, I really don’t think so! This is pretty much unique, I don’t remember a left or right community spokesman… or a business spokesman! No, Channel 4 & the BBC really need to get their act together.

      And why are the decent politicians or journalists seem so afraid to debate these extremists face to face on the points that really matter?

    11. Cisoux — on 6th July, 2006 at 2:21 pm  

      “Teach young muslims how to change foreign policy peacefully and democratically. If he* could do that one thing we would break the back of terrorism in this country. And stop listening to the neo-cons like him**

      Why should Muslims need to be taught by the government as if they are babies in nappies that you dont carry out terrorist attacks? For everyone else in the country that is a basic truth, according to terrorist apologists and extremists like Bukhari and, it needs to be spelt out as though they are idiots. Maybe they are.

      It is very telling that you Refresh see none of the apologia and menace and proto-fascist wickedness in the extreme right wing Islamism of Tammimi and Bukhari - it simultaneously asserts fascist violence and blames the victim for the fascist violence. But then a snake oil salesman is a snake oil salesman and they all try and sell snake oil together.

    12. Refresh — on 6th July, 2006 at 2:22 pm  

      j0nz - its odd but you’ve finally made me smile.

    13. j0nz — on 6th July, 2006 at 2:22 pm  

      how to change foreign policy peacefully and democratically

      What the hell is this “foreign policy” that people bandy about? Some sort of Zionist entity perhaps?

    14. j0nz — on 6th July, 2006 at 2:23 pm  

      Err.. much obliged

    15. Cisoux — on 6th July, 2006 at 2:26 pm  

      Refresh, you are either:

      (a) A man so deep in denial about the Islamist Qutb/Maududi doctrine that exists amongst a section of Muslims in Britain which fosters hatred and violence that you exist in another planetray dimension from the rest of the world.


      (b) Actively disingenuous and dissimulating with a degree of pomposity and arrogance masquerading under the rhetoric of democracy and tolerance and multiculturalism the basic Islamist creed of violence, bullying, threat and violence exemplified by Tammimi and Bukhari.

      In other words, you are either in denial, or stupid, or a sinister colluder with a far right religious-political doctrine of death and murder and intolerance.

      Which one is it?

      I will be generous and say the first. And that you need to wake up to the fascists in your backyard.

    16. Refresh — on 6th July, 2006 at 2:28 pm  


      You on the otherhand exhibit all the hallmarks of a fascist tendency. No one should have a view on foreign policy that differs from you, and certainly not muslims.

      Now of course I may be wrong and it might mean any area of public policy.

      That said, I’m not sure I am up to repeating our last jaunt together.

    17. Cisoux — on 6th July, 2006 at 2:36 pm  


      Your every word was anticipated! The moral and logical inversion, the ascribing of fascist tendencies to one who denounces fascist extremism, the snake oil gusto of it all, the laughable assumptions.

      OK, let me point out for a start why you are a colluder with extreme right wing Islamist fascism. For a start, by hitching yourself to their assertion that any criticism of them is a criticism of the nebulous and wide ranging right to criticise ‘foreign policy’, you accept the fusing of their hate filled rhetoric, religious nationalism and collective punishment mindset with issues unassociated with their creed.

      Here is the news Refresh. I have not said anything about foreign policy. In fact your repeated claims that I am a big bad wolf come to destroy you and de-legitimise your ‘foreign policy criticisms’ are complete paranoid nonsense, and a sign of how deep the Bukhari-Tammimi virus has burrowed into your skin.

      The more I read your responses, the more I am convinced you are a dunce in denial, not a dissimulating fascist, and that is what makes you even more frightening, that you exist and are blind to, and positively agree with, the fascist creed of violence and hatred and collective punishment propagated by the Tammimi and Bukharis of the world.

      One year on from the London slaughter, and you still dont see.

    18. Refresh — on 6th July, 2006 at 2:36 pm  

      Cisoux - it feels like deja vu. Didn’t you do the different dimension gag before - only then it was you and I were on different planes. And I gave you that.

      Now you’ve created yet another one.

      Perhaps complexity (or is it reality?) of life is beginning to seep in. We can but hope.

    19. Cisoux — on 6th July, 2006 at 2:39 pm  

      Refresh - there is no complexity in your world. One year on from the London slaughter and you still toe the Mohammad Siddique Khan line. You are a dunce in denial.

    20. Refresh — on 6th July, 2006 at 2:39 pm  

      As you can anticipate everything I think and write then no further response to you is necessary.

    21. soru — on 6th July, 2006 at 2:40 pm  

      ‘So they think “business leaders” speak for businessmen?’

      The thing is, it’s like a discussion between the CEO of British Airways and the owner of an engineering firm that employs 5,000, with the latter being called ‘the voice of small business’. As if they didn’t think of cornershops, hairdressers and taxi firms as businesses.

      It’s mainly laziness, of course: the hairdressers are people who won’t have time to put themselves forward for a TV appearance, or prepare properly if they are asked.

    22. Sunny — on 6th July, 2006 at 2:41 pm  

      Ok can you guys not get into a slagging match again please?

      Refresh I don’t like Asghar Bukhari for various reasons. On the one hand he talks about engaging Muslims democratically, but that to me seems simply like a front to attract more attention to his organisation. Their website is full of rhetoric which says: “Brothers, your imams are sleeping and not protecting Palestine enough! There is a world-wide Zionist conspiracy! You can help! Give us some money!”

      I’m surprised more Muslims don’t see them as the jumped up idiots they are. But saying that their website is pretty quiet anyway. His claims that its the most popular Muslim website in the UK is laughable. I bet Pickled Politics alone beats it.

      On top of that I don’t see much evidence of democratic engagement when he keeps defending Palestinian suicide bombers.

    23. Cisoux — on 6th July, 2006 at 2:42 pm  

      Refresh - every time you invert logic and morality and accede blindly to the collective punishment and extreme right wing religious nationalism of Maududi fascists in British society and peddle your dissimulation and wallow in your specious and wholesale denial I will pick you up on it. The most important thing is to counteract your nonsense.

    24. Refresh — on 6th July, 2006 at 2:47 pm  

      Sunny, I based my thoughts on what you presented here.

      BTW do we have a policy on stalkers? I think I may have one.

    25. justforfun — on 6th July, 2006 at 2:50 pm  

      Refresh - sorry if my comment tempted you with the possibility of a “punch up”. I can’t see the download - (some file is missing on my PC or something)but in my memory it was funny.

      Maybe it was the wide screen on TV and high definition, … the bulging eyes from Khalid Mahmoud MP, ….the haughty sneer from Charle Moore as he spoke, … the matinee idol flick of the hair by Asghar Bukhari , …the secondhand car dealer suit from Azzam Tamimi.

      Mastercard …. Priceless TV

      We should have more of this because it really does show how much bolloxs is spoken and as we learn to ignore them and then life will get better.

      However another approach…
      To much airtime - not enough people fill it.

      We should go back to - no afternoon TV. No breakfast TV, BBC2 should start at 6pm and close at 12pm. Bring back the sweet girl on the test card and the naughts and crosses game. Stop at Channel 5 - no more licenses for more stations. Squeeze out the crap and condense the quality.


    26. Refresh — on 6th July, 2006 at 3:04 pm  


      I would have preferred to have seen what you ‘saw’.

    27. Ravi Naik — on 6th July, 2006 at 3:09 pm  

      “You on the otherhand exhibit all the hallmarks of a fascist tendency. No one should have a view on foreign policy that differs from you, and certainly not muslims.”

      That is not the problem, Refresh. The majority of the people in this country are against Blair’s poodle foreign policy.

      But should we teach savages how democracy really works? That they should not bomb and kill their ‘own’ people when they don’t agree with Blair’s policy? And if they
      reject this country on this basis of its values and consider the british people as the enemy, what the fuck are they doing here? And to be honest, if I were a muslim I would be very insulted if the government tried to convince me why I should not be a terrorist.

      What really pisses me off, Refresh, is that people who radicalise the youth in the first place by justifying terrorism or neglecting the youth, have the gull to say that the government is doing nothing.

    28. Sid — on 6th July, 2006 at 3:19 pm  

      I found it quite funny when I saw Bukhari end his bit with this line:
      “Teach young muslims how to change foreign policy peacefully and democratically”

      Note how the author of a website that reclaims NeoNazi antisemitic imagery and phraeology attempt to do the same with the language of liberal western democracy whilst at the same time attempt to devalue the credentials of a democratically elected member of parliament.

      Mendacious little weasel, is he not?

    29. Cisoux — on 6th July, 2006 at 3:33 pm  

      Well, the snake oil salesman just hit payola - the fruit of Tammimi and Bukhari style thinking has released his video - Shazaad Tanweer from Zionist Occupied Leeds has released a video on Al Jazeera explaining his ‘shaheedi’

      Prepare for widespread erections from jihadis and their soft-soaper across the land at this latest piece of Islamist porn.

    30. Arif — on 6th July, 2006 at 3:38 pm  


      Let’s be charitable for a minute and imagine that Blair and his detractors, and those people considered neoconservatives are all doing what they feel they can to guide people to justice through peaceful means.

      And they are getting upset with one another because of the way the other person wants to do it. In fact, they suspect that the other people resist self-evident truths because they want to further a different agenda than finding peaceful means to justce.

      Continuing with this generous thought experiment, maybe they all feel frustrated as well because they need to reframe the terms of debate so that their ideas of justice make sense. When the spotlight is on them, unless they can challenge the terms of debate, they are exasperated both that they are given responsibility to solve a problem they believe their accusers themselves stirred up.

      Only particularly angry or self-confident people will put themselves up for such a public debate. And perhaps these traits make it unlikely that people will come to a new, more self-critical, understanding of other perspectives in a 10 minute debate. Given this, having the four of them in a single room talking is a great achievement.

      Maybe commentators should start by taking deep breaths while meditating on the fact that we are all in this together to help each other through our misunderstandings or thinking how much they could accomplish if they put their heads together.

    31. Refresh — on 6th July, 2006 at 3:42 pm  


      I agree almost entirely with what you say. However my point was challenging a specific poster’s viewpoint.

      I think we should all be pleased to see such large numbers of the British public are opposed to what passes for foreign policy.

      As for how democracy works - I think the problem is a huge number of people actually feel disenfranchised. That has come directly from the way New Labour took over the levers of the Labour Party and then the same for the levers of government. Specifically Tony Blair operates through isolating each community/group to diminish their clout by attacking them specifically and at the same time appearing to speak common sense to the rest of us.

      Run government in this way and you can cling on to power for quite a long time (as they have done); but in the wake leave problems right across the board.

      Specifically to the issue in hand, yes muslims should be insulted. They should not need to call on the government - but having set up a task force and then Blair not take note of their concerns is stupidity.

      I am wholeheartedly all for people being involved in their wider communities - something which has not, it seems, been happening fast enough.

      As for neglecting the youth - it is absolutely criminal. Something I’ve always regretted.

      Further, the question of democracy being against Islamic teaching is utter utter tosh.

      So within that statement quoted, and in the context of Tony Blair’s statement to muslims, the Prime Minister is pulling a fast one, and in the process adds to the potential divisions within our society.

      That does not remove the responsibility of each one of us to challenge extremism wherever that comes from.

      **Addendum - seen the disgusting video.

    32. Leon — on 6th July, 2006 at 3:45 pm  

      “What the hell is this “foreign policy” that people bandy about? Some sort of Zionist entity perhaps?”

      What planet are you on?! Do you honestly not know what foreign policy is???

    33. Refresh — on 6th July, 2006 at 3:50 pm  

      “Specifically to the issue in hand, yes muslims should be insulted.”

      An invitation if there ever was one needed.

      Should have read “Specifically to the issue in hand, yes muslims should feel insulted”.

    34. Cisoux — on 6th July, 2006 at 4:01 pm  

      Get ready for more victim-mongering and meaningless rhetoric from the usual suspects. Blame Blair, convolute victimhood, watch in denial while Shezaad Tanweer blazons across the world, guff about opposing extremism, equating those who point out the continuum between victimhood mongering and the very extremism they deny exists or deny the need to take responsibility for the insidious evil doctrine, blah blah blah

    35. j0nz — on 6th July, 2006 at 4:18 pm  

      Leon you are are complate twat and all, been meaning to say that for a while.

      “Foreign policy” here is surely a euphemism for the Iraq war. How can you “teach young people, all our people, how to change foreign policy peacefully and democratically”
      when the Iraq war has already happened?

      I just don’t geddit.

    36. j0nz — on 6th July, 2006 at 4:20 pm  

      Thanks for the tip Cisoux.

    37. Sid — on 6th July, 2006 at 4:21 pm  

      Speaking of Muslim victimhood, it can also be used the other way, quite adeptly, for political expediency. See how Tony Blair says to Muslims that the they must root out their own extremism.

      By using these massive brush strokes that completely obscures non-extreme Muslims, Blair manages to attributes all dissent towards his foreign policy to the Muslim community only. And foreign policy dissenters, being as they are usually Muslim, allows Blair to gain legimitacy for his fucked up foreign policy because its detractors are usually Muslims, who are extremists “by nature”, in any case.

    38. Leon — on 6th July, 2006 at 4:22 pm  

      “Leon you are are complate twat and all, been meaning to say that for a while.”

      Pot calling kettle mate.

      ““Foreign policy” here is surely a euphemism for the Iraq war.”

      Suuure it is…

      “I just don’t geddit.”

      Well now, the truth at last, with your limited intellect that will come as no surprise.

    39. Sunny — on 6th July, 2006 at 4:26 pm  

      Sid - agreed completely. Blair is a twat and I don’t think he realises the irony of his comments.

    40. j0nz — on 6th July, 2006 at 4:28 pm  

      ““Foreign policy” here is surely a euphemism for the Iraq war.”

      Suuure it is…

      Well, thicko, how do you change something that’s ALREADY happened?

    41. Sid — on 6th July, 2006 at 4:30 pm  

      oh he’s a mercenary, opportunistic wanker.

    42. Cisoux — on 6th July, 2006 at 4:32 pm  

      That’s bollocks Sid. It may have escaped your notice, but there is a VERY BIG PROBLEM of extremism within the Muslim community. (Hint - watch the news tonight, and pay special attention to the date on the calendar tommorow)

      Blair said the moderates have to confront them internally. By doing so he is specifically saying that Muslims are by default moderate and the extremists are the aberrant whom they must confront. He is doing the exact opposite of painting Muslims with the same brush.

      But hey, lets do some paranoid calculus about how it’s all about Muslims being persecuted and a gigantic conspiracy to deny criticism of ‘foreign policy’.

      I mean anyone suggesting there is a unique problem of murderous extremism amongst British Muslims must be mad.

    43. Leon — on 6th July, 2006 at 4:37 pm  

      “Well, thicko, how do you change something that’s ALREADY happened?”

      The point is that you’re wrong, Foreign Policy isn’t a “euphemism for the Iraq war” on here. Foreign Policy is ongoing, the occupation, the possible attacks on Iran (limited due to the world public opinion on Iraq and the whole Neo Con agenda) and other interventions/aid etc.

      It’s bigger than small minded fools like you can admit because you have to limit it because simply you don’t know any better.

      God these keyboard warriors really are becoming tedious…

    44. Sid — on 6th July, 2006 at 4:45 pm  


      Have you ever seen Blair exhort the moderates of any other community to take on their extremists?

      Blair and the ProWar block address the Muslim community because there is a direct correlation, almost inextricable, between Muslim community values, its self-perception and its loyalties with UK foreign policy. And Blair knows how to use that to his benefit.

    45. Sunny — on 6th July, 2006 at 4:46 pm  

      Blair said the moderates have to confront them internally

      This is where your naivety is exposed Cisoux. Who do you think the “moderates” are? The MCB? MPAC? MAB? And on top of that, since when did Muslims just get divided into moderates and extremists? How big IS the problem? You tell us?

      And how does a man with almost zero credibility, certainly within the Muslim community (and generally too), think he will have any impact? Don’t you think he makes his job harder?

    46. j0nz — on 6th July, 2006 at 4:48 pm  


      76% of Iraqis think it was right to remove Saddam. But they’re easy to forget aren’t they?

    47. Leon — on 6th July, 2006 at 4:52 pm  

      @ jOnz, what’s you’re point? I thought he should have been got rid of (but then I also thought he shouldn’t have been put in place, funded and supported in the first place).

      Again, you’re claiming that all we’re focused on is the Iraq war but it’s you who keep trying to tie the discussion to it. Obsession? I think so!

    48. Cisoux — on 6th July, 2006 at 4:56 pm  


      Which other community has extremists that are blowing people up in the name of their religion on the streets of Britain? Is it because you feel singled out? Well, sadly Sid, this problem is very singular at the moment, and it is the problem of extreme right wing Islamist extremism that manifests itself on a continuum of fascist action and terrorism.

      If you think he is saying this in order to smokescreen criticism of his foreign policy you are wrong. He is doing it because some extremist Muslims blow themselves up and kill dozens of people why they do that. You have fused the two things in your paranoid mind. It’s not just Blair who says this, it is everybody apart from the apologists. You present a rump of a conspiracy theory my friend. He says confront the extremists BECAUSE THERE ARE EXTREMISTS.

      Note again, watch the news tonight, and check the date on your calendar tommorow.

    49. Sid — on 6th July, 2006 at 4:58 pm  


      since you’re so intimate with the demographics of Iraqis, let me ask you: Do those 76% of Iraqis also want the US to remain in Iraq as an colonialist overlord to three client states as a replacement to old Saddam?

    50. Sid — on 6th July, 2006 at 4:59 pm  

      Which other community has extremists that are blowing people up in the name of their religion on the streets of Britain?

      Do you remember the BNP bombings of 1999? Or do you feel singled out?

    51. Cisoux — on 6th July, 2006 at 5:03 pm  


      The problem is evidently big enough for many many lives to be at risk by suicide bombing. That is obvious. The problem is VERY BIG. It therefore requires the victimhood, paranoia and conspiracy theorising in which it swims to be repudiated. That is something Muslims need to do themselves by confronting those who believe in jihad terrorism and the collective guilt/collective punishment ideologies that underlie them. So far, not very many have come forward to address this.

      So your anger towards Blair is misplaced - target the ideologues and fellow travellers of the extremists. Save your rage for them. It is paranoia persecution complex to construe that wanting Muslims to address the fascist extremism emanating from their house more actively is a conspiracy to slander criticism of foreign policy. If you take the time to think it through from all angles you will so how fatuous that is.

    52. Cisoux — on 6th July, 2006 at 5:07 pm  

      Sid, I understand you feel vulnerable and singled out. But which other community in Britain is producing suicide bombers, ideological hatred that spawns suicide bombers, Shazad Tanweer’s, plots to blow up dancing sluts etc etc ad nauseum?

      And do you really think that I am either not aware of the wickedness of extreme right wingers, or that I would sulk at the suggestion that they be repudiated, or that the existence of the Soho bomber in any way renders the threat from Islamists inconsequential or irrelevant? So because of what happened in 1999, Muslim extremism should not be confronted or named and repudiated? That is fatuous.

    53. Ravi Naik — on 6th July, 2006 at 5:08 pm  

      “Have you ever seen Blair exhort the moderates of any other community to take on their extremists?”

      Have you ever seen other communities blowing up trains, buses and then having a considerable minority of that community justifying or understanding such actions? And don’t we expect certain White areas to fight racism by shunning its more extremist elements?

      “And on top of that, since when did Muslims just get divided into moderates and extremists?”

      Didn’t you say there is a fine line between racists and non-racists? Shouldn’t there be a similar line between moderates and extremists? I believe that’s the only line you need to define.

    54. Sid — on 6th July, 2006 at 5:14 pm  


      I’m not haw-hawing extremism. Just saying that Blair knows how to turn it on its head when he wants to use it his political advantage. So he legitimises his foreign policy by equating its detractors with Muslim extrmists, exclusively.

    55. Arif — on 6th July, 2006 at 5:28 pm  

      Cisoux, in case you are in doubt, there are Muslims who challenge other Muslims. And who consider those you consider to be extremists also to be extremists. And they do suffer because of it as well. It isn’t much fun facing self-righteous bigots at the best of times, and when they have terrorist groups attacking minority sects as well as others who have different interpretations of Islam from them, it isn’t always safe.

      But I think such people are not visible to you because few of us make the jump to say “my enemy’s enemy is my friend” and make an open alliance with possibly equally frightened western politicians. And, although you will probably see this as some sort of devious apologetics, this is not because of any moral high-mindedness, but because there is a lot of fear also of the agenda of western politicians. They genuinely feel their lives are as expendable to both sides - looking for any sign of heterodoxy so that they can express their hatred on us.

      If you are looking for unequivocal support for your worldview, you will find it from some, but not as many Muslims as you would like. Muslims who confront the sects which preach hate and support terrorists generally do not feel they are doing it on behalf of a beseiged western society. In my experience they ususally feel just as alienated from what they perceive as western imperialism and its gory consequences and want to oppose that just as much.

    56. Cisoux — on 6th July, 2006 at 5:28 pm  

      Respectfully Sid, I believe you are wrong. Ultimately, that means that people who mention Islamist extremism are engaged in an attempt to ‘ban criticism of foreign policy’. But this is nonsense. We dont care about what people say about foreign policy. We just dont want to be blown apart by bastards of motherfuckery, and we dont want extremists in our midst, or separatists retreating into ghettoes.

    57. Cisoux — on 6th July, 2006 at 5:31 pm  

      Yeah Arif - loads of western imperialism in beeston Leeds - it is Zionist occupied you know, so is Small Heath Birmingham and Derby and Hounslow those notorious conveyor belts of suicide bombers where motherfuckers decided to blow themselves up, those disgusting sites of oppression and western imperialist Zionist repression. Good call Arif. That’s great to know that you accept the terms of Islamist motherfuckery to not point the basic bullshit and rhetorical sophistry of their assumptions.

    58. Cisoux — on 6th July, 2006 at 5:33 pm  

      Oh the oppression in Leeds! The Zionist occupation in Preston! Oh the oppression and victimhood!

    59. Arif — on 6th July, 2006 at 5:42 pm  

      Cisoux, I think you misunderstood my point. I was talking about anti-terrorist Muslims who feel this way. Not terrorists.

      In fact, I think that western countries are streets ahead in their civil liberties and social justice compared to most Muslim countries.

      When Muslims begin to question the nasty goings on in Muslim countries, we come across a lot of complications. Say I were to decide that the Saudi Government has been using its petro-dollars and prestige in order to promote the most vicious racist ideologies and theologies. The kind that you and I both worry about, it can lead into a lot of disgust also with the foreign policy of the Government you consider to be your own.

      If you happen to be upset by bombing of non-British people, just as we are by 7/7 bombings, then you notice that on side takes some atrocities seriously while carrying out others and vice versa. A stand against terrorism can’t then satisfy either side. And neither should it.

    60. jonz — on 6th July, 2006 at 6:07 pm  

      Sid #50

      Among recent polls, Iraqis rated withdrawal of coalition forces from Iraq a distant third, the top priority of just 9 percent of Iraqis.

      Withdrawal was level with fixing the economy and job creation. 85 percent listed security as one of the top three most important issues.

      No mention of imperialist overlords either.

    61. Sid — on 6th July, 2006 at 7:10 pm  

      So 91% of Iraqis want the USA to remain as powerbrokers permanently for the long haul according to your recent polls?

    62. jonz — on 6th July, 2006 at 7:35 pm  

      Sid that’s all rather academic. It’s all very well for people sitting in the armchairs talk to of “imperialism” or “occupation”, but Iraqi’s just want security. They know full well an immediate withdrawal would disastrous, as I’m sure you do, on some level at least.

      Iraqi’s are understandably MOST bothered about terrorism and crime - what do you think a sudden vacuum of power would do? Get a grip matron.

    63. Sid — on 6th July, 2006 at 7:52 pm  

      “sudden”? Thats not what I asked. Do 91% of Iraq people want USA to remain for the long haul as per your poll?

    64. Bikhair aka Taqiyyah — on 6th July, 2006 at 8:41 pm  


      “76% of Iraqis think it was right to remove Saddam. But they’re easy to forget aren’t they?”

      But 24% didnt think Saddam should have been removed and like all stats that exist to describe Muslims it is always important to brandish the minority view. BTW they arent Iraqis they are Muslim same as the ones you have in Britian.

    65. alison — on 6th July, 2006 at 9:12 pm  

      Sid, i think JOnz pointed out that it was based on priorities - what bothers them most isnt the coalition prescence. Earlier this year, 64% of Iraqis polled said that the country was headed in the right direction though and 77% are pleased with the removal of SH. If that helps. Iraqi Security Forces were estimated at between 7,000-9,000 at the end of last year. They numbered 250,500 in March of this year. Once they are able to manage im sure then they would like coaltion forces to withdraw - they are making progress with the coalitions help. You must see there is therefore NO intention of this ‘long haul’ you mention.

    66. Nyrone — on 6th July, 2006 at 9:48 pm  

      Who should Channel 4 have called on to do the debate then? Can someone please offer some constructive opinions about soloutions rather than bleat out their old tried and tested armchair blog warrior rubbish, that simply exists to act as a prelude to the delecious possibility of an online confrontational melee wankfest. Words, contridictions, self-conviction…This place is feeling more and more like a battleground, with people like JONZ and their gangsta siege mentality talking out of their arses and perpetuating factually inaccurate bitchy slagging matches that are taking place as norm…

      I think bringing on Hamza Yusuf, Tariq Ramadan or Shami Chakrabarti might have been a more interesting move given the circumstances. I remember listening to Azzam Tammimi at a conference in London a few years ago, and he began to cry when talking about the suffering of the Palestinians at the hands of the Israel Army, that he had witnessed firsthand. He’s just very emotional on this issue, it seems like he’s not thinking straight. It seemed that he was doing his level best to be a tactical politician with his evasive approach to answering questions about suicide bombers….but then how can he and Bukhari be mirror images of each other, when one condones suicide bombings, and the other does not. That seems like a pretty big ideological gap to me.

      I did think Asghar Bukhari’s final comment… that young Muslims should learn and be equipped with the ability to make peaceful changes in their country through democratic means was a positive step in re-shifting the focus of this ‘extremism’ label on the alienated and disenfranchised British Asian Youth who seem permenantly locked out of the political process of this country. I expected him to say “Blair, Resign!” but what he did say turned out to be much more credible.

    67. leanne — on 6th July, 2006 at 10:38 pm  

      they ARE Iraqis …..
      and dont forget it is muslims from outside Iraq who are fighting against the establishment of an Iraqi government and the Iraqi army (who are also muslim.)
      muslim fighting muslim…why????

    68. Bikhair aka Taqiyyah — on 7th July, 2006 at 4:26 am  


      I was being a jerk. I only said that because people like jOnz love to elevate their token Arabs or Muslims depending on what point they are trying to make not realizing that Muslims are all the same be they in London or Baghdad. I say that not because I believe it but due to the inconsistency with which Muslims are dealt by his ilk gives that impression so long as they can drive their point home.

      Surely if Muslims in Europe hate democracy, they hate it in Iraq as well. That having been said I have to ask why is the Coalition of the Willing still there? Sometimes it suits their agenda to nationalize Muslim people which is why I remind them of who these people really are: Iraqi=Muslims.

      Muslims love to fight each other more than non Muslims. Really there is nothing more threatening to us then each other. A non Muslim is easily dimissed but another Muslim poses serious religious conundrums for us. Dam those Muslims.

    69. Ravi4 — on 7th July, 2006 at 9:38 pm  

      Quoting yet another survey, according to the Feb 2006 BBC World Service poll ( ) 49% of Iraqis want coalition forces to stay in Iraq until it becomes stable, rising to 51% if the Iraqi Government asks the forces to stay. Interestingly, 34% of the French and 36% of Iranians also want coalition forces to stay until Iraq becomes stable, rising to 60% of the French and 74% of Iranians if the Iraqi Government asks the forces to stay.

      This site ( ) is worth saving if (like me) you’re totally sad and you want to keep track of Opinion polls in Iraq.

    70. leanne — on 8th July, 2006 at 3:42 am  

      people like jonz?
      Im sorry but not all muslims are the same, and please define the democracy they hate so much.
      plus if the people of Iraqi dont want it why are they risking their lives to vote.

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