Some quickies


by Sunny
29th October, 2006 at 4:51 am    

1) A few readers have emailed in with this brutal murder of an Afghan-American mother shot point-blank in the head. The local community see it as a hate crime and it certainly looks that way.

2) Today’s Observer Sport has an article on Britain’s “hidden (mixed) race” and their prominence in sport. “Six out of seven of the players described as ‘black’ were mixed race, but this was not mentioned on TV or in the written press. Mixed-race people account for about 1.4 per cent of Britain’s population, so for mixed-race footballers to make up 26 per cent of England’s elite is a huge achievement.
Update: A mother gives birth to black and white twins! [via Ethnicloft] Razib has the science.

3) Flag burning could become a crime. Wtf, one initially thinks. But I noticed that Tarique Ghaffur has proposed this and then it makes sense. He wants to clamp down on the media-friendly activities of the extremists and recently declared he wanted to take a hardline against Al-Ghurabaa because they always grab the limelight. An attack on civil liberties maybe, but I think Chief Supt Ghaffur has noble intentions in mind. I’d go with it, as long as the legislation is extended every year. [hat tip: Nyrone]

4) The Observer has a feature on deaths in Italy, including the honour killing of young Hina Saleem. I’m glad the whole family has been hauled into court.
It also has an interview with Monty Panesar.


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  1. razib — on 29th October, 2006 at 7:04 am  

    two points, first

    When Tiger Woods went on Oprah to declare himself mixed race, not black, it caused outrage across the United States.

    i think this is hyperbolic, it didn’t cause “outrage across the United States.” some black political leaders called him out, and most black americans tacitly accept the one-drop rule, but it isn’t like someone like tiger woods doesn’t have the ability to define himself how he wants. his is 1/4 black, 1/2 asian (mixed chinese and thai), 1/8 white and 1/8 native american. he is a believing buddhist. his identity is more complex than just his black heritage. he grew up in california where the black-white dichotomy isn’t the norm, both latinos (who come in all shades) and asians (who are multiracial, from browns to yellows, etc.) outnumber blacks. i think part of the disconnect with the woods issue is that east coast media tend to work in the old black-white paradigm and woods is a west coast kid who wasn’t preconditioned for this.

    second, the statistics for inter-ethnic marriage need to be considered. they are 2% of all marriages in the UK. note:

    Among people who described their ethnic group as ‘Other’, 56 per cent of women and 34 per cent of men had married outside their ethnic group and most had married a White person. This Other group includes people from the Philippine Islands, Malaysia, Japan, Vietnam and various middle-eastern countries.

    People who described their ethnic group as ‘Other Black’, largely young Black people born in Britain, were the next most likely to be married to someone outside their ethnic group, followed by Black Caribbean people. Almost five in ten Other Black men (48 per cent) and three in ten Black Caribbean men (29 per cent) were married to women outside the Black ethnic group, in most cases White women.

    the intersection between the “mixed” and “black” sets is enormous. i think the rest of the article is more intelligible in that light.

  2. Yakoub/Julaybib — on 29th October, 2006 at 8:35 am  

    “An attack on civil liberties maybe, but I think Chief Supt Ghaffur has noble intentions in mind. I’d go with it, as long as the legislation is extended every year.”

    Nothing long with a laying into civil liberties a bit, is there, really? I mean, the extent to which new Labour have put the boot in to civil liberties since 1997, what’s banning a bit of flag burning? Still, it won’t effect you, will it? Coz if it did, you’d be against it then, wouldn’t you? Well, it’ll be something to make bonfire night that bit more special for me. :-)

    Wasalaam

    TMA

  3. Yakoub/Julaybib — on 29th October, 2006 at 8:35 am  

    long=wrong

  4. ZinZin — on 29th October, 2006 at 10:22 am  

    you can’t ban flag burning simply because the people who do it are people you dislike intensly.

    Its not “noble” banning an activity that does no harm to anyone unless the plank keeps hold of the burning flag for too long.

    If your going to ban it go for the Health and safety angle.

  5. Kulvinder — on 29th October, 2006 at 10:34 am  

    But I noticed that Tarique Ghaffur has proposed this and then it makes sense.

    Because clearly everything the man says must be right

    He wants to clamp down on the media-friendly activities of the extremists and recently declared he wanted to take a hardline against Al-Ghurabaa because they always grab the limelight.

    How in the name of sanity is burning a flag ‘media friendly’? If Mr Gaffur wants to take a hardline on Al-Ghurabaa for no other reason than them grabbing the limelight hes even more of a typically anti-intellectual repressive police dickhead than i gave him credit for.

    BTW i love this

    “There appears to be a growing public perception that policing of demonstrations is unduly lenient,”

    Says whom?!!? growing public perception where? MPs, the demonheadmaster goldsmith and the police decide that in actual fact they can’t think of any decent policies and the war in iraq has in every sense of the word been the major incitement factor for terrorism, but FEARNOT for the burning of flags shall be banned to stop incitement and anyone who disagrees with government policy will be ruthlessly hunted down to prevent sedition.

    In the interest of fairness, i have to point out that the raising and displaying of flags irrespective of whether they are set alight or not is an incredibly inciteful act. If any law against flag burning is drafted i’d appreciate a law against the displaying of flags or carrying flags in any demonstration. If we’re going to have idiotic laws lets make them fair idiotic laws.

    Personally i’ve reached a point where my personal conscience would have to override whatever evidence was presented against someone. I for one cannot and will not be a tool for a shitty and repressive government regardless of whether that government is choosing to target British nationalists or islamists.

  6. ZinZin — on 29th October, 2006 at 10:39 am  

    “There appears to be a growing public perception that policing of demonstrations is unduly lenient,”

    Kulvinder they may have got this idea after the Motoons demo in London. Many placards were an incitement to violence and some praised the 7/7 suicide-murderers.

    My complaint is that the police did not arrest the demos organisors and charge them with incitement. In short the laws are there to prosecute flag burner there is however a reluctance to use them.

  7. Kulvinder — on 29th October, 2006 at 10:49 am  

    Kulvinder they may have got this idea after the Motoons demo in London. Many placards were an incitement to violence and some praised the 7/7 suicide-murderers.

    Did any violence arise from the carrying of those placards? and so what if they praised the july 7th bombers!?! half the people of northern ireland and quite a few in britain praised and still praise the brighton bombing. Is it bad if someone praises the attacks of the coalition forces in iraq?? Those at the demo and those who said the london bombings were a good act did not silence, did not seek to silence and did not infringe on the actions or opinions of anyone else. You wish to shut them up for no other reason than you disagree with them.

    My complaint is that the police did not arrest the demos organisors and charge them with incitement. In short the laws are there to prosecute flag burner there is however a reluctance to use them.

    Neither did the police arrest anyone for displaying flags, because in 2006 at least, sense prevailed.

  8. Don — on 29th October, 2006 at 11:20 am  

    ‘…did not seek to silence …’

    I thought that was the point of the demo, seeking to silence through intimidation.

  9. Sid — on 29th October, 2006 at 11:27 am  

    Were people really intimidted by a bunch of Muslim louts in Topman combat gear and faux-munitions trinkets? Or was more to do with taking offence to what is nothing but very cheap and cheesey identity politics of the lowest kind.

  10. Kulvinder — on 29th October, 2006 at 11:29 am  

    I thought that was the point of the demo, seeking to silence through intimidation.

    It was nothing more than an emotive reaction to something that didn’t even concern britain. If you took their ‘threat’ to silence those who ‘opposed islam’ seriously, well fair enough, but the government is doing little better with these new laws. The language may be more flattering but in essence they’re silencing those that disagree with them through intimidation. One prefers suicide bombing the other imprisonment, the goal is the same.

    I’m willing to forgive emotive idiots in the street; i’m far far less generous with those in authority who should know better.

  11. Jai — on 29th October, 2006 at 11:31 am  

    Not too sure about the validity of banning flag-burning, BUT I think the parallel suggestions of banning people covering their faces during demonstrations such as those protesting against the Danish cartoons would be a good idea. It would definitely help the police to identify any extremists involved in such demos who are deemed to possibly be breaking the law.

  12. Jai — on 29th October, 2006 at 11:33 am  

    Clarification: should say “banning people FROM covering their faces”.

    For one thing, it also means that the fanatics concerned can’t hide behind their anonymity while making such threats.

  13. Don — on 29th October, 2006 at 11:38 am  

    I’m against banning flag-burning, it’s just a symbol;

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93a-o4mivW0

  14. ZinZin — on 29th October, 2006 at 12:12 pm  

    “Did any violence arise from the carrying of those placards? and so what if they praised the july 7th bombers!?! half the people of northern ireland and quite a few in britain praised and still praise the brighton bombing. Is it bad if someone praises the attacks of the coalition forces in iraq?? Those at the demo and those who said the london bombings were a good act did not silence, did not seek to silence and did not infringe on the actions or opinions of anyone else. You wish to shut them up for no other reason than you disagree with them.”

    Missing the point they were making threating remarks ie do not offend us or we will kill you.

    I am no authority on the law but threatening behaviour is a criminal offence. Also a young man was photographed wearing a suicide bombers uniform the intentions were clear. Kill those who insult the prophet.

  15. Katy — on 29th October, 2006 at 12:20 pm  

    In America flag-burning is protected free speech, and I think that’s fair.

  16. Kismet Hardy — on 29th October, 2006 at 12:22 pm  

    An apt opportunity to quote the late great Bill Hicks:

    I personally do not believe in burning the flag. It’s a personal belief, but I’ll tell you something, I think people are overreacting, oh, just a little bit.

    “Hey buddy, my daddy died for that flag.”

    Well, I bought mine. Sorry. You know they sell them at K-Mart for three bucks, you’re in, you’re out, brand new flag, no violence was necessary.

    “Hey buddy, my daddy died in the Korean war for that flag.”

    What a coincidence – my flag was made in Korea…

    No one – and I repeat, no one – has ever died for a flag. See, a flag … is just a piece of cloth. They may have died for freedom, which is also the freedom to burn the fucking flag, see. That’s freedom…

  17. genghis — on 29th October, 2006 at 12:29 pm  

    LOL@Kismet. Funny!

  18. ZinZin — on 29th October, 2006 at 12:35 pm  

    Kismet
    Hicks also suggested that the flag we salute has pictures of our mums and dads fucking on it.

  19. Kulvinder — on 29th October, 2006 at 12:39 pm  

    Missing the point they were making threating remarks ie do not offend us or we will kill you.

    No i completely understood it, i’m juxataposing that with the government and police saying ‘don’t offend us or we’ll prosecute you’

    Also a young man was photographed wearing a suicide bombers uniform the intentions were clear. Kill those who insult the prophet.

    I’m not sure how a pair of black winter gloves and army surplus webbing equates suicide bomber or if his intentions were as you say, regardless he should be allowed to dress as he wishes, he may be criticised for it but it should be allowed without second guessing him. Thankfully we haven’t banned the swastika from britain but at this rate…

    In America flag-burning is protected free speech, and I think that’s fair.

    It may be a sign of the closeness of our government to the united states since noone has brought up such idiocy before, but the majority of the senate and iirc americans want this stupid law. The last attempt at a constitutional ammendment was missed by one vote short of the two thirds majority.

    We’re comparable to right-wing lunatics, hurrah /o\

  20. Don — on 29th October, 2006 at 12:41 pm  

    oi, kismet.

    #13

  21. Chairwoman — on 29th October, 2006 at 12:47 pm  

    No flag burning.

    No threatening posters/banners.

    No children carry placards/banners.

    *puts on black and silver uniform and gooses-zimmers round sitting room*

  22. Nyrone — on 29th October, 2006 at 12:47 pm  

    at every turn, in every instance…Mr Bill Hicks is there to save us from ourselves.

    Skimming through the BBC story on flag-banning just makes me numb to the ridiculousness of some legislation.

    It feels like we are in a burning house and we are discussing whether to have green curtains or blue curtains. Banning will do precious little to end that form of visual defiance, something else will just come along and take it’s place…besides people who love flags a lot and tend to be offended when their own are burning are generally rubbish..

    Regarding the American Afghan woman…RIP
    I’m not sure if it was religious or rascist, I suspect it may be a while till we find out.
    It very easily could have been a random gun attack by another depressed ol hillbilly or something.

    QUESTION: Do people think it was a good or bad thing that the US Veil woman shooting was not covered by much Media? By not reporting it, it could be percevied that the media are not ‘fanning the flames’ of the current political climate, and are not honing in on Muslim-based stories…on the other hand, did they have a responsibility to say “look at this, an innocent woman has been shot dead for no other reason than wearing a veil”

    I’m not entirely sure how I feel personally, perhaps low coverage is better.

  23. Don — on 29th October, 2006 at 12:48 pm  

    ZinZin has a point about the health & safety aspect. By all means burn a flag, but first fill in a H&S form, inform the fire service and do it in a place away from flammable structures and vehicles. One designated burner, in flame retardant clothes, and spectators at a safe distance.

    The burner should have attended a course on ‘Safe Flag Burning’ and the flag should be certified free of dangerous toxins. Trained fire-fighters to be on hand; all costs to be borne by the burner, who is also responsible for clearing up.

  24. ZinZin — on 29th October, 2006 at 12:52 pm  

    Kulvinder i am against the flag burning law. So i agree with you. I own a flag shop so i have an interest in this law not going on the statute book.

    “I’m not sure how a pair of black winter gloves and army surplus webbing equates suicide bomber or if his intentions were as you say, regardless he should be allowed to dress as he wishes, he may be criticised for it but it should be allowed without second guessing him. Thankfully we haven’t banned the swastika from britain but at this rate…”

    If a nazi with a swastika got on a train i would feel uncomfortable. If say Kismet was wearing a suicide bomber kit for a fancy dress party/demo i would shit myself. In a demo were threats of violence were made a young man wearing a suicide bombers kit is as unequivocal as you can get especially given the tenor of the demo.

    Kulvinder you can get arrested for walking in the street naked so you can not neccesarily wear what you like.

  25. Kismet Hardy — on 29th October, 2006 at 12:55 pm  

    A little story that might amuse you. When I was a tryhard student in lust with the cute comrade in the mowhair jumper and hence an overnight member of the SWP, we decided to make our stand against the first bush invasion (and spurred on by the gay & lesbian party, but I forget why), we decided to burn the union jack in the SU bar, on wednesday night when the rugger buggers took it over. We jumped up on the table, made some rant that sounded militant and righteous, only to realise my lighter didn’t work. We finally borrowed some matches, but the howls of laughter from the rugger bugger and the security guard escorting us and our pathetic fizzle away ruined the impact somewhat. Had it gone well that night, who knows? Maybe the war would have ended and the gay and lesbian party members wouldn’t look away every time they saw me for the rest of the term…

  26. genghis — on 29th October, 2006 at 12:59 pm  

    ZZ,

    Yeh and them fucking veiled wimmin wot look like ninjas, scary bitches. Lets have a law to ban them too. In fact them turbans…they’re scary too…lets go a step further in fact…sikhs wearing kirpans ban them too. oh and them wimmin wearing a cross, ban that too. oh yeh anyone naked arrest the mofo’s…fuck it, lets go the whole hog and arrest them scallies what where hoodies…and whilst we’re at it, i hate them shell suits. Fuck it. i hate suits too!

  27. Kismet Hardy — on 29th October, 2006 at 1:02 pm  

    In the future, we shall all wear tweed

  28. ZinZin — on 29th October, 2006 at 1:04 pm  

    genghis
    Are you my shadow?

  29. genghis — on 29th October, 2006 at 1:05 pm  

    those Rastafarian chilled out fuckers. Predator? ban em!

  30. genghis — on 29th October, 2006 at 1:07 pm  

    If you aint a woman wot wears thongs, high heels has a big busom, small hips/waist and wears meshed holdups. Then no!

  31. ZinZin — on 29th October, 2006 at 1:15 pm  

    Genghis
    You have lost the plot again. I have defended the right to burn flags.

  32. Kulvinder — on 29th October, 2006 at 1:19 pm  

    In a demo were threats of violence were made a young man wearing a suicide bombers kit is as unequivocal as you can get especially given the tenor of the demo.

    I’d support a far right nationalist wearing a nazi uniform or dressing up as whatever empire builder he wished, to me the implications of what he meant would be threatening and intimidating but id fight for him being allowed to do that.

    Kulvinder you can get arrested for walking in the street naked so you can not neccesarily wear what you like.

    I’ve never understood the problem people have with naturists, their lack of clothing is anything but a sexual act. Its a stupid law.

  33. Kulvinder — on 29th October, 2006 at 1:20 pm  

    nb id support him wearing that in a demonstration calling for the forced eviction of all non-aryans from britain.

  34. Chairwoman — on 29th October, 2006 at 1:25 pm  

    Kulvinder – Have you seen most people naked?

  35. Chairwoman — on 29th October, 2006 at 1:26 pm  

    Sorry only ‘seen’ should have been in italics. No more of your new-fangled technology for me!

  36. Kulvinder — on 29th October, 2006 at 1:26 pm  

    …on the internet :|

  37. Kulvinder — on 29th October, 2006 at 1:29 pm  

    still, if they’re confident enough to walk around naked, more power to them

  38. Clairwil — on 29th October, 2006 at 2:19 pm  

    Ban flag burning! Don’t be such a spoilsport. It’s quite popular round my way, particularly after old firm games. I don’t go in for it myself but I confess it does make me giggle. Damn those Irish roots.

  39. Chairwoman — on 29th October, 2006 at 2:37 pm  

    Celtic?

  40. Clairwil — on 29th October, 2006 at 2:41 pm  

    How did you guess Chairwoman?

  41. Sunny — on 29th October, 2006 at 2:54 pm  

    Heh, I knew the libertarians would jump down my back. Let me explain.

    Tarique Ghaffur is understandably annoyed at the attention that Al-Ghuarabaa get because of their media orientated protests. There are a few points here:
    that the police is unduly lenient on these idiots;
    that Al-Ghuarabaa do it for the publicity;
    that the media can make out as if they represent ‘Muslim opinion’.

    Annoyed by that, Tarique Ghaffur wants to crack down on these idiots. And I support that to the hilt. It has been of immense annoyance to me that while the likes of the NF and Combat 18 get their rallies stopped for far less, these Al-Ghuraaba lot manage to get away with inciting violence and terrorism. The police is very inconsistent.

    TG said something to this effect a few weeks back too:
    http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/crime/article1816828.ece
    (paywalled now unfortunately).

    So if this policy cracks down on Abu Izzadeen and Anjem Choudhary from grabbing the limelight and leading another “outrage” then yes I’m in favour of that. I have professed by trust in Tarique Ghaffur in the past and my stance exists on that basis.

  42. Clairwil — on 29th October, 2006 at 3:16 pm  

    I have complete sympathy with the reasons behind his remarks. I’m embarrassed to share a planet with Al-Ghuraaba and the like.

    However I don’t recall anyone being demanding the people that burned the Union flag at the 2004 Carlton Hill Declaration in Edinburgh be arrested. In fact I don’t recall more than a handful of being being particularly worried by it.

    I’d be concered that anything that could be perceived as unfairly targetting muslims would be counterproductive.

  43. ZinZin — on 29th October, 2006 at 3:18 pm  

    “The police are very inconsistent.”

    The police had the powers to stop the Motoons demo they just choose not to use them. Any ideas Why?

  44. Chairwoman — on 29th October, 2006 at 3:19 pm  

    I don’t care who’s burning what flag. It’s childish and assinine behaviour and ought to discouraged. Every time I see a flag-burning, I see a surrogate fiery cross burning.

  45. Anas — on 29th October, 2006 at 3:39 pm  

    Hey Sunny, did you nick the idea for your tipping point theory of terrorism from something Tariq Gaffur said?

  46. Don — on 29th October, 2006 at 4:52 pm  

    I wonder how much it would cost the taxpayer the first time someone decided to test that law, all the way.

    Could be a very expensive gimmick.

  47. Anas — on 29th October, 2006 at 5:17 pm  

    There’s seems no suggestion of a similar ban on effigy burning either. So there’s an opening for nutters right there.

  48. Anas — on 29th October, 2006 at 5:18 pm  

    Just remembered: they couldn’t ban burning effigys otherwise no guy fawkes night!

  49. ZinZin — on 29th October, 2006 at 5:30 pm  

    I think effigies are beyond al-ghurabaas capabilities.

  50. Anas — on 29th October, 2006 at 5:35 pm  

    If Al-G are so incompetent we should rejoice, it means there’s no chance of them being a real security threat.

  51. mahtal — on 29th October, 2006 at 6:11 pm  

    Oh dear, here we go again. I am not a human being, I am white, black, yellow etc. Come on all you people out there who deperatly seek an identity.
    You are not a rat, a fish, a monkey. You are a human being. When I think of Tiger Woods, I think of him as a remarkable golfer and on the surface an admirable human being. I do not immediately think; is he pure black, any white blood etc.
    Indeed I treat my friends as fellow human beings. I do not type them by their race, ethnicity, gender etc.
    They are my dear friends because although we may not agree on this and that, we respect each other for what we are, decent human beings.

  52. field — on 29th October, 2006 at 7:14 pm  

    I;ve never heard it mentioned – but is Tiger as in Tiger Woods supposed to be a reference to his mixed race background – as in black and yellow? I believe the preferred term in teh USA is “Blasian”.

    Anyway, Mahtal I’d agree that I’d prefer it if people saw the individual first.

    That said, it is clear (or so it seems) that some population groups are – on average – better suited to certain sports. So north east Africans seem to do tremednously well at distance running. West Africans (and their American descedants) seem well suited to sprinting. Chinese and Malays seem well adapted to sports like badminton and table tennis requiring quick moves in a confined space. Turks and central asians seem well suited to weight lifting. Europeans seem to excel at swimming.

    Of course these could to a certain extent be historical phenomena. There was a time when many renowned boxers were Jewish. You’d be hard pressed to find one now.

    Anyway if there are genetic advantages for certain groups in certain sports it seems absurd to “congratulate” them on their chance good fortune, a product probably of pretty much random evolutionary events.

  53. Anas — on 29th October, 2006 at 7:18 pm  

    pakistanis are good at hockey, squash and cirket

  54. mahtal — on 29th October, 2006 at 7:42 pm  

    Currently it appears that Eatern Europeans are the heavyweight champions of the world. Not much finess, just huge. Physical characteristics may indead contibute to success in certain endeavours, however in others areas of our existence it is probably the dead hand of religeous superstition and predujice that condems most of humanity.
    Females constitute around 50% of the population, however in many parts of the world they are still considered inferior to males. Even in so called advanced societies their potential as full human beings ( ie equal to males ) has only been recognised in recent decades.

  55. Sunny — on 29th October, 2006 at 8:42 pm  

    Clairwil – I think that rather than target Muslims, this would actually work in their favour. The only people interested in burning flags are the usual Al-G hotheads who like the media attention. And then end up annoying other Muslims for grabbing all the limelight. I’m surprised Yakoub didn’t get that point.

    Anas – no I didn’t. I developed the theory while reading the book. Great book I thought.

  56. razib_NOT_muslim — on 29th October, 2006 at 9:42 pm  

    I;ve never heard it mentioned – but is Tiger as in Tiger Woods supposed to be a reference to his mixed race background – as in black and yellow? I believe the preferred term in teh USA is “Blasian”.

    i think ‘tiger’ was the nickname for a vietnamese man who fought with woods’ father:

    Born Eldrick Woods in Cypress, California, he was nicknamed “Tiger” after Vuong Dang Phong, a friend of his father’s.

  57. Clairwil — on 29th October, 2006 at 10:28 pm  

    Sunny,
    I agree that it’s difficult. Aggressive demonstrations by the minority harm the majority of Muslims. I’m just concerned that it has been more or less ignored when Scottish Nationalist, Celtic fans have indulged in a spot of flag burning, yet when Muslims do it, a new law has to be enacted. My concern is that it would be counterproductive.

  58. razib_NOT_muslim — on 29th October, 2006 at 10:40 pm  

    interesting intercontinental contrast…here in the states flag burners tend to be left-wing activists, and they’re the target of legislation (i can’t think off the top of my head ever seeing muslims engage in these displays, but here in the states muslims are likely to be busy professionals and overworked businesspersons, so no time :) one time i remember watching an episode of a chat show and the actor peter coyote was criticizing the united states, and a conservative asked, “if you thing there is so much wrong with this country why do you live here?” coyote responded, “because in this country i can!” that elicited an enormous round of clapping, and even coyote’s critic smiled and clapped.

  59. ZinZin — on 29th October, 2006 at 11:05 pm  

    Surprised that you missed out on the honour killing in Brescia Sunny. However that was merely one brutal killing amongst others in Brescia. Interesting that you could cite honour as a defencein an Italian court as late as 1981.

    I am amazed at the priests reaction to a murder in his church he could have gone to the police long before he did. If he was told about the murder during a confession it would be a different matter, but mass before murder. Priorities.

  60. soru — on 30th October, 2006 at 12:09 am  

    I think it’s a basic principle of counter-terrorism that the worst mistake you can make with the type of political activist who has the potential to become a terrorist is to send them to jail for a token period.

    30 years inside (or for that matter, a bullet to the head) could be said to solve the problem they represent. A few months or years doesn’t – it serves only to set someone on the path of violence. You can see that pattern repeatedly in Egyptian and Jordanian terorrists: they did a year or two in prison for non-violent offences, and came out with no contacts outside extremist groups, no potential career other than blowing stuff up.

    So unless you are prepared to institute the death penalty, or full-life sentences, for this kind of activity, any such law is going to create a lot more problems than it solves.

  61. Clairwil — on 30th October, 2006 at 12:37 am  

    I think you’re right Soru, though life sentences or the death penalty are likely to create martyrs and act as great PR and recruitment for terrorist groups. God alone knows what the answer is. I just think we should be very wary of kneejerk legislation, however tempting.

  62. bikhair aka taqiyyah — on 30th October, 2006 at 10:40 am  

    razib,

    I was having this conversation with a good friend of mine about Tiger Woods and the whole “caucblacinasian” (a term he created himself) thing. My criticism of Tiger was that I believe that his attemtp to emphasize his Asian, Indian, Caucasian- ness was in order for him to de-ephamsize that he was black. For all those that can see him, he is a black man. He knows that. He just didnt want to be a black man, he wants to be all those others things and that says alot more about him than it does about those who identify him solely as being black.

  63. Leon — on 30th October, 2006 at 10:41 am  

    at every turn, in every instance…Mr Bill Hicks is there to save us from ourselves.

    Yup!

    As for the mixed race thing, yep we are not noticed….yet.;)

  64. Anas — on 30th October, 2006 at 12:13 pm  

    I think ultimately all of us are mixed race.

  65. Not Saussure — on 30th October, 2006 at 5:57 pm  

    As I recall, back in February when folks were complaining the Met had taken no action against the Al-Ghuarabaa folks on the demonstrations about the Danish cartoons, the Met’s explanation of why they’d not intervened had nothing to do with not being able to think of anything for which to arrest people.

    It was that they were worried about starting a riot if they did intervene. According to the Telegraph of Feb 2nd

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/02/05/nflag05.xml

    ‘As the clamour for action grew, police sources said there were no arrests on Friday because of fears of a riot. A senior Scotland Yard officer said: “We have to take the overall nature of the protesters into account. If they are overheated and emotional we don’t go in.

    ‘“It’s like a risk assessment; you have to look at the crowd you are dealing with. If we went in to arrest one person with a banner the crowd would turn on us and people would get hurt.”

    ‘He said it was entirely possible that “key players” in the protests, some of whom were already known to police, could be pursued by prosecutors. ‘

    So what’s changed since then? Or is he saying that the Met got it wrong in February and that either it wouldn’t have caused a riot had they made arrests or that it would have been worth risking a riot, anyway?

  66. sonia — on 31st October, 2006 at 11:48 am  

    right on anas. personally i’ve always thought the whole ‘purity of race’ thing is such bollocks.

    soru you’ve got a really good point in no. 60.

    hardly as if a law against flag-burning is going to discourage anyone from burning flags. probably encourage people! re: the al-ghurabaa crew – surely a fuss could have been made re: the messages on the banners they carry around and their general hate messages.

  67. Desi Italiana — on 1st November, 2006 at 12:35 am  

    Mahtal:

    “Oh dear, here we go again. I am not a human being, I am white, black, yellow etc. Come on all you people out there who deperatly seek an identity.
    You are not a rat, a fish, a monkey. You are a human being.
    Indeed I treat my friends as fellow human beings. I do not type them by their race, ethnicity, gender etc”

    [Desi Italiana gives a standing ovation]. This is probably one of the most lucid comments I’ve come across on PP. So much typecasting based on ethnicity and religion.

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