30th September, 2005
Pakistani women had to previously fight against the religious hard-liners who declared football was un-Islamic or said women should not be playing sports. Their latest enemy – errr.. themselves.
Punjab state in Pakistan won the inaugural Womenâ€™s Football Championship in the country, but the match was marred by violence.
A scuffle broke out between the rivals after the match when Punjab tried to celebrate their victory which enraged the losers led by their star striker Khalida Noor. The girls of both teams freely kicked and punched each other. The catfight forced the tournament organisers to enter the ground and put an end to the brawl.
C’mon ladies, where’s the solidarity? Daily Times. BBC has more.
The women players were fully covered to avoid offending Muslim sensibilities and no male spectators were allowed.
The issue of women in sports flared in April when hardliners attacked runners in a mixed-sex race in Gujranwala. A ban on such races was introduced and police in Lahore used force in May to break up a race. A week later hundreds of rights activists held a mixed-sex race in the city in protest at the ban.
In other news, Indian women once again thrash Pakistan. In cricket that is.
29th September, 2005
Op note: The Conservative spokesman for ‘diversity and community cohesion’, Dominic Grieve, will speak at a Conservative Muslim Forum meeting at their annual conference on Monday 3rd October. Other speakers will include Mohamed Iltaf Sheikh, Chairman of the Conservative Muslim Forum; Trevor Philips, Chair of the Commission for Racial Equality.
Narmada solidarity UK: Supporting and documenting the issues raised by India’s most vibrant grassroots movement, the Narmada Bachao Andolan, spreading the issues to the international arena; providing resolutions for the future.
Will include NBA’s inspiring founder, Medha Patkar, panel discussion with open floor. a film showing and progressive performers on top.
Saturday October 1st 2005: University College London Cruciform Lecture Theatre 11.30am-11.30pm
The public meeting will not only provide an up to date picture of the current status, it will address future challenges faced by large dam ‘development’ projects in the subcontinent and why international communities must take heed.
More on their website
Walter Wolfgang at the Labour party conference.
Google New coverage
In 1997 I welcomed New Labour on the assumption that it would have a more ethical foreign policy. They said it, not me. What a farce that turned out to be. The Guardian reports this week on secret dealings between the British government and the Saudis, showing the level to which our government is now stooping to.
Britain has already agreed to expel two Saudi dissidents as part of a $40 billion arms deal on behalf of BAE systems. That is pretty bad in itself. Not only is it acting on behalf of a defence contractor, but we’re handing back people to a regime known for not being nice to such people.
But wait! There is more….
28th September, 2005
Finally the saga is ending. Gate Gourmet workers have voted to end their action and accept a deal. Though I’m not happy that so many people still had to leave. Around 144 workers will be forced to take compulsory redundancy and hundreds more will take voluntary redundancy. BBC report.
The GG management has gotten away without having to answer to why it planned to provoke workers into striking. It it also galling that while the unions and most Labour delegates gave them full support, the Sikh ‘leadership’ was strangely quiet. Without the support strike action by BA workers, this whole episode would probably not even have been noticed.
Previous stories: one, two and some background.
27th September, 2005
Us bloggers may just be talking to ourselves. The Media Guardian reports that more people know about “dogging” than “blogging”. Wtf? I didn’t know what dogging was.
Far from blogging being the practice that acolytes predict will turn mainstream media on his head, seven out of 10 people don’t know what a blog is, says the survey, which also found more people are aware of “happy slapping” than podcasting.
Meanwhile nearly 40% say they understood the expression “dogging” – the practice of watching people have sex in public places sensationalised by the tabloids with the help of Stan Collymore.
Could it be just us bloggers that end up posting on each other’s entries? Hmmm. Well apparently half of all studies are crap too, I read in the Guardian (can’t find the link).
So, erm, anyone got an interesting story on how they got into blogging or anyone here not have a blog?
We live in times of tremendous change, but the United Kingdom is still, thankfully, a predominantly white, Christian country.
Some might say we are now paying the price for the so-called ‘benefits’ of the multi-cultural society, the product of almost uncontrolled immigration and the abuse of asylum.
Yes you guessed it, its Tory MP Ann Winterton again. You think she might have learnt after last year’s sick joke about the drowning Chinese cockle pickers, or the furore after she said Asians “10 a penny in Britain”. But clearly not.
The discussion on ‘multi-culturalism’ and hand-wringing over how people should integrate with each other is endless.
But it’s only when the issue hits you in the face that everything come into better perspective.
Last week I was invited to be part of a panel at the National Film Theatre to discuss young Muslims and their cultural conflicts. A short film made about and by young students at a Westminster school was screened first.
26th September, 2005
Who would have believed the Gate Gourmet workers may inflict the first serious policy defeat of Mr Blair’s leadership by the party’s National Executive Comittee since 1997.
The issue at hand is support for secondary (or support) strikes, which Tony Blair is vehemently against. Remember, the BA workers strike was illegal since they were not meant to support their co-workers at Gate Gourmet. But the unions want them back. Damn right!
Yesterday, delegates at the Labour party conference narrowly voted in favour of the resolution.
Julie Hilling, a delegate from Worsley, said the Gate Gourmet workers had been treated no better than “common criminals”, but urged delegates not to back a return to secondary action.
But Tony Woodley, the TGWU general secretary, denied his union’s move marked a return to the 1970s. “It’s about protecting workers’ dignity and stopping bosses victimising ordinary men and women.”
Delegates gave Gate Gourmet workers in the audience a standing ovation as Mr Woodley said the case exposed “severe weaknesses” in labour laws, which allowed the “legal exploitation and bullying” of staff. “It is unacceptable and immoral,” he said. “We aren’t calling for wildcat action. We aren’t calling for flying pickets.”
But workers should be given the right to “solidarity action”, Mr Woodley said. “What is this movement about if it isn’t solidarity with those less able to defend themselves?
I agree fully. The press may paint some extreme examples but not all workers constantly want to strike. Without the BA workers strike, no one would have cared about the GG workers.
Update: A deal resolving the issue is expected tomorrow.
25th September, 2005
In Pickled Politicsâ€™ short life, Sunny has carved out an erudite niche with intelligent posts on important topics. So I figured the best thing to do with my first post was to write a daft post about The Simpsons. I hope the reasons why will become clear.
Bloggers often begin by stating their credentials on their topic of choice â€“ so let me assure you, you will not find a more devoted fan of The Simpsons. Yet I write this with some trepidation as I recently had my impression that the world loves all things Springfield shaken.
As an Asian, Iâ€™ve always felt some affinity towards Apu. Apu Nahasapeemapetilon is the industrious convenience store-owner and one of the major cast characters, with several episodes revolving entirely around him. Growing up in my middle class corner of London, I have never felt that Apuâ€™s character could carry any negative connotations; however several American South Asian chaps recently expressed their intense dislike of Apu. I wondered why.
23rd September, 2005
Well this has never happened before – a BNP march just in my honour. The story I posted last week about Pakistani guys targetting white girls in Keighley has been picked up by them, and now they’re planning a march on 5th November.
Writing about the programme on the website Asians in Media, Sunny Hundal revealed that the police unit to investigate these disgusting racist crimes was closed down as soon as the media spotlight cast on the issue by last yearâ€™s Channel 4 â€˜Edge of the Cityâ€™ programme (that Chief Constable Cramphorn had postponed until after the European Elections, lest it benefit the BNP) had shifted away. He went on to describe the way in which â€œmany, including the local community leaders (useless themselves in this), say the police are too afraid to tackle the issue â€“ too politically correct and unwilling to disturb racial and religious sensibilitiesâ€¦. This is political correctness gone mad.â€
Well, I didn’t exactly say that but the BNP has never let facts get in the way of a good story. In case you are confused, I also published the story on my higher-profile mag Asians in Media.
No doubt some will accuse me of stoking racism and providing the BNP some fuel, but I should point out they still hate me for constantly making fun of them and comparing them to Hizb ut-Tahrir. I still think I was right in raising the issue, like the poor Ann Cryer, and maybe we’ll find out why the police is doing nothing in West Yorkshire.
So, a brother tries to blow up a holy place of worship and kill everyone in it, you might call him a ‘bloody terrorist’. So I’m a bit intrigued as to why the LA Times decided to simply call Earl Krugel a ‘Jewish radical‘ when he was sentenced to 20 years for trying to blow up a Los Angeles mosque and the office of a US congressman of Lebanese descent. Reuters goes as far as calling him a ‘militant Jewish activist‘. Don’t push it too far guys!
So the question is, when does he make the jump to being a terrorist? Or is that a term exclusively reserved for Muslims these days, just in case people get confused? Anyway, he got 20 years so its not all bad news.
But there is another comparison to make, as Brett Lock does. When Krugel and his comrade Irv Rubin were arrested in 2001, calling themselves the Jewish Defence League, the Anti-Defamation League of America condemned them unequivocally. They accused the two of promoting a “gross distortion of the position of Jews in America” and of fear-mongering.
They did not, like the MCB, or Sheikh Al-Qaradawi, or the monkey who runs the Birmingham Mosque (aka Mohammed Naseem), try to justify their actions by trying to make excuses for what might have motivated them. Point well made.
22nd September, 2005
Just in case you don’t know, Stop the War coalition is organising an anti-war march tomorrow, Saturday, 24th Sept, in Hyde Park. Speakers will include Tony Benn (yay!), John Pilger (hmmm…), MCB and MAB speakers (damn!), one Palestinian (wtf!), Gate Gourmet works (eh??) and Bianca Jagger (ok that’s taking the piss). No George Galloway thankfully. Have had too much of him already.
The bigger question is – is there a point? Is the withdrawal of troops a good idea? Yes, the the war was the stupidest decision ever made by Blair, but do we really want people like Al-Zaraqawi taking over or at least trying to? I don’t doubt for a second that the Al-Qaeda honchos there are creating mischief and killing innocent Iraqis to cause chaos and grab some power. I can’t see a better solution than training and aiming the Iraqi police force, and then leaving them.
I’m not the kind of person that gives much credence to conspiracy theories, specially around 9/11 or 7/7, but the story that two British soldiers had to be “rescued” from a Basra jail smelled fishy from the start. Why were these guys dressed as Arabs and why did they shoot at the Iraqi police?
Why did the MoD use such force (using tanks) to destroy the prison and take these men back? Why didn’t they just negotiate their release? After all, weren’t the Iraqi police now in charge? *cough* bullshit *cough*
Questions are now being asked after rising tensions in Basra. The Telegraph reports that five Iraqi civilians were also killed in the ‘raid’.
But rather than this simply being about British heavy-handedness, it seems there is a deeper problem for British forces in Iraq.
The British fear was that the two soldiers would be held as hostages for al-Fartusi. Hence the rapid operation to free them. But another more shadowy threat has been reported recently.
This is said to come from a fighter named Abu Mustafa al-Sheibani. The Americans and British claim he is backed by Iran, which wants to exert its influence in southern Iraq.
In other words, the British forces are now caught in a cross-fire between different ethnic groups, local militias, and Arab countries competing for interest. Meaning? More people a month are being killed in Iraq than at any time since the massacres of the early 1990s, according to Simon Jenkins in the Guardian today. Tony Blair is now in quicksand. [Tip Lenin's Tomb]
20th September, 2005
The question of whether young Muslims would tell the police if they knew of potential terrorist activity is in the limelight again. One higher education minister says he is “extremely worried” by a Muslim student survey showing one in 10 would not warn the police of a terror attack.
But it isn’t much to do with hating the police it seems, more about how they would react.
But among those who would not tell the police – the survey does not suggest sympathy with the terrorists. Instead there are worries among Muslims that if they stepped forward with information they could be treated as a suspect rather than a good citizen.
Only 2% of the students said they would not inform on another Muslim, 2% said they were scared of the police so would not contact them and 6% did not specify the reason for their reluctance. Another 8% said they would talk to the police after trying to dissuade the suspected terrorists.
I think the figures are relatively lower than expected, and shows that most Muslims would turn a friend in. But what about a family member?
But [Iqbal Sacranie] said that Muslim organisations had to be at the forefront of opposing criminality and that they had a “duty to take seriously” any concerns that young people were being influenced by “unruly elements”.
Haha! I find that funny… seeing as how the Muslim Council of Britain is doing everything it can to help Hizb ut-Tahrir, the masters of biased Muslim propaganda. [Link here]
Hundreds of white girls, many as young as 12, are being lured into a world of group sex and prostitution by gangs of British born Pakistani men from West and South Yorkshire. The girls are being introduced to their future ‘pimps’ by their classmates, often the brothers and cousins of these older men.
Last year a Channel 4 documentary exposed this horrendous crime in areas of Yorkshire, leading to a widespread outcry and a BNP campaign to capitalise on the issue. Now the issue has come up again, but bizarrely, in a repeat of the last time. So has nothing actually changed?
I started asking around a few questions, and found that this problem may be worse than we thought.
19th September, 2005
In the Sunday Times, The Commission for Racial Equality chief Trevor Phillips said that Britain was “sleepwalking” into New Orleans-style racial segregation, with Muslim and black ghettos dividing cities. [Link here]
The fact is we are a society which, almost without noticing it, is becoming more divided by race and religion. We are becoming more unequal by ethnicity.
â€œOur ordinary schools . . . are becoming more exclusive and our universities are starting to become colour-coded with virtual â€˜whites keep outâ€™ signs in some urban institutions.
He will tell that to Manchester Council for Community Relations on Thursday. So, is he right, or is Trevor Phillips banging the wrong drum? Will integration solve all our problems?
President Musharraf says Pakistan will take steps to build ties with Israel yesterday, at a dinner with the American-Jewish congress. Talk about politics in Pakistan moving on! This follows on news a few weeks ago that Pakistan has held talks with Israel for the first time.
For both countries this is excellent news, even though many in Pakistan and Israel will be appalled. In this article, I will explain why this is a necessary step for Pakistan.
18th September, 2005
L.K. Advani says he is stepping down as president of the BJP, the BBC says, unable to command the same sort of support after he praised Pakistani leader Jinnah in July. One of the BJP’s most right-wing leaders is finished. All I can say is – woohoo! Bring out the bubbly! Let it be Narendra Modi next please, god?
Deccan Herald has more detail, and Calcutta Telegraph has slightly worrying analysis.
Heh, I think incurable hippie is being far too nice on her blog (for someone who reckons she is a bit mad and angry). It must all be a front, especially with those flowers on there.
What do you get when Tony Blair and Rupert Murdoch catch up for a chat? Another attack on the BBC of course. This time, believe it or not, on the subject of Katrina. The former said, according to Murdoch himself, that the Beeb was “full of hatred of America“.
The fact that (a) Hutton stung Labour more than the BBC, or (b) Murdoch hates the BBC and (c) supported Blair throughout his tenure, or that (d) the entire American media has been heavily criticising Bush over Katrina (even Fox News shock horror) should not of course detract from the fact that there is no agenda here and the BBC is (again) biased. Please pass the sick bag.
The Independent on Sunday has more on the two best buddies.
Don’t know about you guys, but the big debate between Christopher Hitchens and George Galloway has bored the hell out of me. Hopes that it would be sophisticated discussion that would raise interesting points for discussion are now dashed.
Galloway, supremely opportunistic and is about the only person likely to believe his own hyperbole (possibly). Hitchens on the other hand reckons he’s the posterboy for a new generation of ‘progressives’ that were right in supporting this phony war in Iraq because they were out to ‘liberate’. In the end, all they did was swear at each other and compare dick sizes. What a surprise.
Nav Purewal and Angry Arab have some good analysis. Harry’s Place and Popinjays have also been covering it extensively. Don’t know why you bothered guys.
17th September, 2005
Yes we were lied to about going to war. Yes thousands and thousands of people in Iraq have been killed since the American invasion (not forgetting the thousands that SH murdered) etc etc. But I think it’s important for anti-war people to also move the debate forward.
The Times puts the argument well in an article today, (via Harry’s Place).
The issue now, regardless of the debate over the original decision to depose the Baathist regime, is whether democracy in Iraq is a cause deemed worthy of support, one to be treated with indifference, or even despised as an exercise in â€œliberal imperialismâ€. The stakes, which were already very high, have been raised by the public declaration of the terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and his â€œal-Qaeda in Iraqâ€ that they intend to conduct an â€œall-out war â€ against the Shia majority (and by implication the Kurdish minority as well). This sadistic boast has been followed by a savage and shameless campaign of suicide bombings.
Given the recent attacks in Iraq aimed more at locals than Americans, the idea that most of the insurgents are still home-grown and trying to throw off occupation looks increasingly remote…
16th September, 2005
General Musharraf may broadly have good intentions (well, certainly more than many of the mullahs) but when it cames to women’s rights – the man behaves like a typical male chauvinist.
Earlier this week he claimed women in Pakistan were getting raped due to get money and international visas. That has unsurprisingly elicited in protests in Pakistan and a denial by the big chief. Even Pakistanis in America are holding their own protest. Dude, why not just make more effort to sort out the lawlessness in rural Pakistan?
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The Sun has a bizarre story today (thanks Laura) about Burger King recalling its ice-cream cones that have a swirly design that offends some Muslims.
The design on the lid apparently looks like the word ‘Allah’ in Arabic.
One customer told the Sun the design was “sacreligious”. BK says: “As a result of feedback our supplier is amending the design.” MCB’s Inayat Bunglawala: “We commend the sensitive and prompt action to prevent any hurt being caused to the religious sensibilities of others.”
It beggars belief that the Muslim Council of Britain keep giving credence to these stupid stories with their own quotes. For god’s sake, it only gives the impression that all Muslims are hyper-sensitive. BK should never have changed this, I haven’t seen a single campaign or email about this issue.
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