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  • 16th September, 2005

    An irrational fear of all things Muslim?

    by Al-Hack at 4:18 am    

    I cannot be arsed to write a full piece on this, but this article by Haroon Siddiqui in the Toronto Star (via IW) shows how liberals sometimes work themselves into a lather just because Muslims are involved. He talks about the Sharia controversy in Ontario of course.

    Faith-based arbitration for Muslims was not going to be sharia, even if one proponent said so. The term suited the critics just fine. They raised the red herring and the platitudes flowed: Multiculturalism was eroding common values. The line separating church and state was being erased. Theocracy was being grafted onto Canada.

    As amusing as some of this has been at one level, at another it has been Islamophobic and deeply divisive, as Tory leader John Tory said Sunday.

    Without really understanding what was at stake here - people seem to have conjured up pictures of women getting stoned in public randomly. I thought only conservatives were capable of irrational hysteria.

    So, here’s the sum total of a year-long debate that has left Ontarians polarized: We will ban faith-based rulings from going to the courts where they were not going anyway. And we won’t allow the sharia that was not coming.

    We are into this la-la land because we are engendering an atmosphere of fear and mutual hostility that we used to consider un-Canadian.

    Not that anyone will get off their moral high-horse now.

    15th September, 2005

    Dark skin, light skin… what’s the difference?

    by Sunny at 3:42 pm    

    We know it happens, so there’s no point even denying it. ‘Bleach My Skin White’ is on ITV1 tonight, 7:30pm, looking at black and Asian girls (though mostly the latter) who are obsessed with lightening their skin.

    Black Britain has more on the doc. This isn’t a new topic, yet it doesn’t look like Asians are moving on.

    A few months ago we did a series of articles (one, two, three) on the issue, showing how the media (even Asian media) keeps perpetuating this cultural stupidity. Today the editor of Asiana mag came on radio and said that sales drop if they put a darker skinned model on the front cover.

    We are in a vicious cycle. The media keeps these traditions alive because it knows there is a demand, while the masses keep getting influenced by all these images. How do we break out of this? And let us know what you thought of the programme after.

    Filed under: Culture,Media

    Panic over! Everyone can go back to crying now…

    by Sunny at 3:32 am    

    And they will continue to do so, if fuel prices remain so high. At least, because the fuel protest failed so miserably yesterday, the panic-buying of petrol will stop now.

    The problem has not gone away. China’s economic growth is not slowing down, American refineries post-Katrina won’t come back up to speed for a few months, and fuel production is running flat out. Gordon Brown is back to making ineffectual statements.

    Two of America’s biggest airlines, Delta and Northwest, filed for bankruptcy yesterday. They join United and US Airways. Reason? Yeah you guessed it. And no, it’s not the MCB’s fault.

    Petrol prices may fall slightly, but not significantly. But I see that as a good thing. Firstly, it will spur development of renewable energy. It may get people to off their fat arses and walk to the local supermarket. The roads become less congested, the air cleaner. Ahhh… happy days are here. Until the glaciers melt of course, then we’re truly fucked.

    Incidentally, marching penguins are the latest craze in America. I’m telling you - it’s a sign of things to come.

    Filed under: Economics,The World
    13th September, 2005

    Who is still fighting for the Gate Gourmet workers?

    by Sunny at 4:38 pm    

    It has been just over a month since the Gate Gourmet strike came into focus with some help from their family members at British Airways. GG has since tried to resist (but ultimately failed) coming to the negotiating table or admit they made a mistake by summarily firing most of its employees by megaphone.

    But what has happened to right this injustice? In one word - nothing.

    Union leaders from the TUC yesterday called for ‘sympathy strike’ rights so more such workers could bring some attention to their plight. This was after GG workers had a noisy demonstration to ask for solidarity by other workers and keep their situation in the limelight.

    Hardly any MPs have yet taken up their cause. Why has the Labour party not championed the rights of the sacked workers despite evidence that GG had planned to provoke workers into getting rid of them?

    Why are organisations like the Sikh Federation, which claim to champion causes for the community, not saying anything? Too busy sending out irrelevant press releases? What happened to the political muscle they keep bragging about? It’s shameful that the Asian community has not managed to organise itself better to make this issue more prominent.
    Incidentally, you can lend your support to the sacked workers here.

    Filed under: Current affairs

    So who’s side are you on, punk?

    by Al-Hack at 3:44 am    

    Okay this is quite a funny one. On the weekend Sunny linked to a Sunday Times story pointing out that Labour is considering making Holocaust day more inclusive to appease the MCB. Insert words of angry rumblings by Jewish groups here.

    Except, some Jewish blogs have decided instead to take pot-shots at journalist Abul Taher too. Haha! If only they knew…

    Continue Reading...
    Filed under: Media,Religion

    Tory Eric Ollerenshaw to head ‘diversity’

    by Sunny at 1:49 am    

    The Conservative party has made Eric Ollerenshaw OBE its head of cities and diversity. Chairman Francis Maude said:

    I am pleased to announce that Eric will coordinate the Conservative Party’s nation-wide political activity in cities and on ethnic diversity issues. Eric will work closely with Dominic Grieve MP who has responsibility for Diversity, and Sayeeda Warsi, our Vice-Chairman on Cities and the appointment is effective immediately.

    Filed under: Party politics
    12th September, 2005

    Canada’s Shariah experiment opens religious can of worms

    by Al-Hack at 5:24 pm    

    A political storm is brewing, and getting bigger, over in Canada over Ontario’s decision to let Shariah law courts settle family disputes.

    Protests have already been held around the country and more are planned in North America and Europe.

    The government is only giving Muslims the same rights that Jews and Catholics already have. Those opposed argue that the move will lead to discrimination against women.

    Sick of the hoo-haa, Canada is now planning the sensible thing - banning all religious courts. Catholics and Jews ain’t too happy.

    Continue Reading...
    Filed under: Culture,Religion

    The Guardian downsizes, becomes less stuffy

    by Sunny at 1:12 pm    

    So, the Guardian has become smaller and more colourful today, the only British paper to be all colour and the only ‘Berliner’.

    What do you think? Big development? Do you like the new look? Does it deserve its reputation as the bastion of liberalism in Britain?

    Personally, I think it looks much better. The design is a bit like a website though. The size will be good as I bought the Indy sometimes purely because it was easier to carry and read on the trains. Looks like they’ve expanded the media supplement too. Yay!

    More coverage of the new Berliner on their website.

    Filed under: Media
    11th September, 2005

    Something for the weekend…

    by Sunny at 8:24 pm    

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Filed under: Media

    A few more thanks…

    by Sunny at 2:59 pm    

    Never one to shy away from returning the favour from progressive blogs, here are a few mentions to those who have linked to us recently.

    Firstly, the newspaper columnist Johann Hari gave us a nice plug on his website.
    Also, an embarassed thank you to theologian Simon Barrow who has given us a glowing write-up on his excellent Faith in Society blog and on the Christian think-tank Ekklesia. Worth checking out regularly.

    Thanks for a link also to the crack-cocaine of American-Indian blogs Sepia Mutiny, and for a plug (and link) from Pulp Movies. And Guvnor Times.
    All links open in a new window.

    Filed under: Uncategorized
    10th September, 2005

    Sania Mirza told to cover up by fatwa

    by Sunny at 3:38 pm    

    What is with little known Muslim clerics with too much time on their hands who keep telling other (usually women) what to do? First there was the Liverpool Islamic Institute lackey demanding Muslim girls withdraw from the Miss England contest.

    Now, the Sunni Ulema Board, some organisation in India, has declared tennis star Sania Mirza should cover up because she is leading a bad example for other girls. Mirza recently became the first woman from India to enter the world top 50 after winning the Women’s Tennis Association title in her home city of Hyderabad. ‘Sania mania’ has gripped not only India, but the diaspora all over the world, with almost running commentary on her on Sepia Mutiny.

    Haseeb-ul-hasan Siddiqui, a leading cleric with the Sunni Ulema Board, has issued the fatwa because of her “indecent dressing” on the court and in advertisements. “The dress she wears on the tennis courts not only doesn’t cover large parts of her body but leaves nothing to the imagination,” he said.

    Clearly someone’s imagination is running wild. Mirza is known for her funky t-shirts. At a New York press conference last week she wore one saying ‘I’m cute?’. At Wimbledon, where she was getting all the publicity despite losing early, her top said: ‘Well-behaved women rarely make history’. With a top like that you can almost miss her nice legs *cough*
    Google News stories.

    Coming back to the point, don’t these people have better ways to spend their time? They could be enjoying the publicity, or have little concept of individual choice.

    9th September, 2005

    Tony and Cherie Blair in India - wife more interesting than the husband

    by Al-Hack at 2:59 pm    

    The Prime Minister has just finished a short summit with China and India to shore up trade relations with both countries. But it doesn’t look like he’s come back with much. India announced a $2.2bn order for Airbus planes, which was in the planning anyway. They both made some noises about a joint fight on terrorism and err, that’s about it. Nothing major with China either - the ‘bra wars’ had been resolved just as he got there.

    The BBC has some general analysis here.
    Cherie Blair was far more interesting, admitting she had harboured a fantasy of “coming to India and falling in love with an Indian prince”. Haha! The boys there must be puffing their chests. She then said it how it was by criticising the status of women in India and in some Muslim societies…

    Continue Reading...
    Filed under: South Asia

    President Musharraf: women’s rights are giving Pakistan a bad image

    by Sunny at 4:11 am    

    musharrafPresident Musharraf is worried that the negative publicity surrounding the treatment of women in Pakistan is doing damage to the country’s image, according to the the BBC. You have to laugh at the irony.

    His comments came while addressing a conference on violence against women in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad. But two of Pakistan’s leading women’s rights groups have declined to participate in the meeting.

    The conference comes in the same week as two separate cases of women alleging that they were raped by police officers in Pakistan.

    He would prefer they highlight cases within the country he said, but not if they want to the international media! Presumably so he can put them under house-arrest when necessary.

    Not only that, in Battle for Islam he challenges Ziauddin Sardar on a more free press than Pakistan’s! The guy is good but occasionally sounds as if the Taliban are mixing opium in his chai. Before anyone adopts a morally superior tone however, I would like to point out that women’s rights in India don’t look much advanced either.

    Filed under: Culture,South Asia
    8th September, 2005

    Navjeet Sidhu update - ‘familicide’?

    by Sunny at 2:28 pm    

    The story of one woman killing herself and her children continues to dominate the papers. Why did she do it? It’s like a media whodunnit? The only person to answer that of course will never be able to.

    First, an update. The family finally released a statement on Tuesday. It turns out she was not pregnant. A week later after Navjeet, Ranjeed Singh Bithu, 35, also tried committing suicide at Southall. What the hell? He is still critical in hospital.

    The Guardian today has an interesting analysis piece on the saga too, though it has nothing new in terms of facts. Some interesting gems:

    While men who kill themselves have historically outnumbered women by three to one, the suicide rate among young Asian women is almost three times the national average.

    Wow! Indian teens have the world’s highest suicide rate, New Scientist reported last year. The Guardian adds:

    While some research suggests that cases of “familicide” may occur as frequently as once every six to eight weeks in the UK, they are almost always perpetrated by fathers, often men with a history of abusing their partners and children. Women who kill themselves and their children simultaneously are very rare indeed.

    I used to watch her and think, ‘God, she’s a brilliant mother’, but in retrospect I think she could well have been suffering from depression. Her son was so beautiful, so stunning. You just wanted to stare at him all day. Maybe she thought, ‘Who will look after the children when I’m gone?’”

    Debate about forced marriages aside, this case has highlighted, more than anything, the intense pressures Asian women come under, and how much they are ignored by everyone. Asian families ignore the depression, while social services might tiptoe around them in fear of upsetting ‘cultural traditions’. Is there too much political correctness over all this?

    Filed under: Culture
    7th September, 2005

    Finally some positive news on British immigrants

    by Sunny at 4:46 pm    

    The Institute of Public Policy and Research today published a detailed picture of Britain’s diverse immigrant society, which is explained in more detail by the BBC. It looks primarily at immigrants born abroad and turns up a few interesting stats.

    • Immigrants made up 7.5% of the total population in 2001 compared to 5.7% in 1991.
    • 41 per cent of immigrants are based in London, making up 25 per cent of the capital’s population.
    • No immigrant group constitutes a majority anywhere in the UK.

    Nick Pearce, ippr Director said:

    The standard classifications of Britain’s ethnic minorities are obsolete. In the last fifteen years Britain has become much more diverse. It is now home to communities from every corner of the globe. London is hyper-diverse, a world city in every sense.

    Many new immigrant communities are doing well. But others are doing badly. This report gives a fine-grained analysis to underpin integration strategies. We must stop any community getting left behind.

    Continue Reading...

    More Belgian schools ban headscarves

    by Sunny at 1:24 pm    

    United Press International reports today that two more Belgian schools will ban Muslim students from wearing headscarves when the new school year begins in September.

    Marie Arena, education minister for the French Community, ruled Thursday that both schools can ban any ostentatious religious symbols, Expatica reported.

    “The minister, having checked that these projects don`t breach the rights and liberties in our country, believes educational teams should be trusted,” the minister`s office said in a statement. “It`s they who, on a daily basis and on the ground, are best at acting on the interest of pupils and for the good organization of schools.”

    A lawyer representing parents whose children would be affected by the ban at the two schools said officials had not tried to work with the parents or discuss the issue with them. About 70 percent of Belgium`s French-speaking schools now have similar rules.

    This is not a good development because if Belgium also takes this policy up officially, it might spread to other European countries. It will also affect the Sikh community, who are also fighting the government ban in France.

    Update:Harry’s Place also points out these two recent incidents:
    1) A Moroccan woman living in a small town in Belgium has triggered a national debate on multiculturalism after refusing to obey a municipal injunction to stop wearing a burqa. Story here.
    2) Hostility to the headscarf ban has sort of fizzled out in France a year after it happened. Most have just accepted it and carry on, according to the Times. OR maybe they want to give that impression.

    Welcome, Popinjay readers

    by Sunny at 4:04 am    

    A quick cheers to the Drink-soaked Trotskyite Popinjays for WAR for a plug and link on their blog.

    And thanks to Jamal for a link too!
    And to readers of Who Knew.

    Filed under: Uncategorized
    6th September, 2005

    Mistaken Identity - Sikhs under siege?

    by Sunny at 2:38 am    

    The Guardian published an interesting article yesterday about the strain felt by non-Muslim Asians since the London bombings. While all the focus has been on Muslims since, attacks on Hindus and Sikhs have apparently been forgotten.

    I’m a bit disappointed by the article though, since it concentrates more on the growing chasm between Sikhs and Hindus on one side - Muslims on the other, rather than attacks on the former. Typically it has ‘religious leaders’ grinding their own axes.

    In the weeks following July 7 it was widely reported that hate crimes against Asians had increased dramatically. They were not just attacks on Muslim Asians, of course: they were attacks on Asians of all faiths. The fact is that your average hate-crime perpetrator isn’t going to stop and ask what religion you are before attacking you - or even care, for that matter, about such distinctions. But this point seems to have been lost on the media. There’s been a huge focus on the impact on Britain’s Muslim community, but the plight of Britain’s 560,000 Hindus and 340,000 Sikhs has been largely ignored.

    To start with, the debate on whether these t-shirts or bags with the logo are right is not a new one. We had this furious debate already on Barfi Culture. It surfaced after 9/11 too when Sikhs held a vigil outside the American embassy in London (incl. my brother I’m ashamed to say) with t-shirts saying ‘Sikhs are not Muslims’…

    Continue Reading...
    Filed under: Culture,Religion
    4th September, 2005

    Who killed Navjeet Sidhu?

    by Sunny at 6:35 pm    

    A quick background: 27 year old mother Navjeet Sidhu jumped in front of the train in Southall, London, on 31st August, with her 5 year old daughter Simran and 9 month old son Aman, both of who also died. The suicide has shocked people, and she leaves behind her husband Manjit, 31. Condolences aside, as more facts are uncovered about this case, the question arises - why did she kill herself and her children?

      Possible explanations

    • Depression: Navjeet was pregnant with her third child, and some have speculated she wasn’t treated for post-natal depression after the last child. Could she have been driven over the edge?
    • Failed marriage: At the age of 20, Navjeet went to India and holiday and came back married. Her husband wasn’t from Britain - he came over after they were married. Was her marriage forced? It turns out the couple briefly split up last year and she went over to the United States for a bit. She came back more distant. Did she want out of the marriage but saw no way to do it?

    Before she killed herself, Nav called her husband to tell him that she was leaving, saying: “I’m going far, far away and I’m taking the children with me.” The husband made a desperate attempt to find her and was seen driving frantically in his BMW around Southall. According to relatives, she also said: “I love you but I cannot go on.” She was definitely unhappy with her marriage many say.

    How many others?
    Predictably the response from the media will be about forced marriages. The Asian community will be defensive but it’s a legitimate point. I know of many examples of young Asian girls asking for help because their parents want to take them to India/Pakistan/Bangladesh to get married. Why shouldn’t this be stopped?
    If some Asian parents weren’t so uncaring about the welfare of their children then this would not be a problem.

    The second issue is that of depression. When will we realise that this is a serious issue that should be treated? Depression should not be taken lightly, but too many Asian families dismiss it by saying - ‘they will get over it’. That depression has now claimed four lives and yet people will carry on as normal.

    As I find out more, I shall update the blog. The media is interested in the story but many have told me the only thing that remains is for her parents or husband to talk to the media with their side of the story. As yet though they are still in shock and are not saying anything.

    News articles on BBC, Guardian, Independent and Sunday Telegraph.
    Update:The government is planning to crack down on forced marriages, the Observer says. About time!

    3rd September, 2005

    Kanye West: ‘America doesn’t care about black people’

    by Sunny at 9:41 pm    

    The mutterings had started as soon as Katrina hit. Now rapper Kanye West has given voice to the huge amount of frustration felt by blacks in America over George Bush’s slow response to the hurricane. At TV fund-raising event the outspoken rapper hit out at the American president, saying “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.” He said:

    I hate the way they portray us in the media. You see a black family, it says, “They’re looting.” You see a white family, it says, “They’re looking for food.” And, you know, it’s been five days [waiting for federal help] because most of the people are black.

    It wasn’t in the script, obviously, and went out live on the US east coast but NBC edited it out of the west coast tape.

    You can see the video from here, Washington Post has the full transcript.

    Even before Kanye West’s outburst, bloggers had been pointing out the way the media was portraying black citizens as ‘looters’, while apparently white refugees were getting a better treatment on TV and picture captions. Bush’s shoot-to-kill policy regarding looters didn’t help either, considering most people were just trying to feed themselves.

    Salon covered this here (with caption examples) and here, while the New York Times and Reuters have similar stories on frustration felt by black leaders. More press stories on Google News

    Filed under: Media

    The battle for Islam

    by Sunny at 5:31 am    

    I’ve always liked Ziauddin Sardar. He doesn’t sit around complaining of Zionist conspiracies and he says what he wants to - usually as a liberal commentator. It’s too bad he doesn’t get more involved in politics than the occasional cultural commentary and provide a more sensible alternative to the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB).

    By the way, he has written over 40 books on science and technology and Islam, most recently co-authoring ‘Why do People hate America’ and ‘American Dream, Global Nightmare’.

    On Monday 5th Sept he will be presenting a primetime documentary on BBC2 - Battle for Islam - looking at how Islam is changing around the world and evolving with the people. He travels to five countries - Turkey, Pakistan, Morocco, Indonesia and Malaysia - to see how changes there are affecting the lives of ordinary Muslims.

    In an article for the Guardian this week he said reform was Islam’s best kept secrets.

    Islam is changing. But if you want to notice this change, you have to turn your gaze away from the threat of terrorism, the horizon of Islamophobic nightmares, the illegal militarised regime change and the morass of enforced democracy building. Islam has actually changed radically.

    In Morocco, for example, women’s activism provoked the king to initiate a wholesale revision of Islamic law related to family affairs. A new sharia, derived from original sources by scholars and fitted for the 21st century, has been promulgated. Published editions of the new Islamic family code are best-sellers and a matter of earnest popular debate.

    A similar redrafting of the sharia has been undertaken by a group of reform-minded scholars in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country. The end of Suharto’s 30-year military rule has seen an outpouring of debate. Groups like the Liberal Islam Network are challenging the most central prop of Muslim movements: the idea that Islam provides a set of ready-made answers for all times and circumstances.

    Ijtihad, it seems, is slowly coming back into fashion, which can only be a good thing.

    Conservative Asians have a bad habit of believing that changing religious practice is a bad thing because it is deviating away from the religion. What they don’t realise is that Islam, Sikhism and Hinduism have long traditions of theological debate that encourages re-interpretation of the religious scriptures. This needs to change.

    Update:RizwanD writes in to say that Channel 4 is showing a documentary tonight titled ‘The Road to 9/11′ at 8pm, “Examining the forces that have shaped the modern Middle East and yielded a crisis that now threatens global stability.”

    Sidenote: Mediawatchwatch points out that the MCB is complaining to Ofcom over the Panorama programme. Let’s see if they get anywhere.

    Filed under: Religion
    2nd September, 2005

    Welcome, new readers

    by Sunny at 4:43 pm    

    A quick thanks to all those who have sent us messages of support and a welcome to those who’ve arrived here through word of mouth or from Harry’s Place. Cheers to David T from there to provide us with a link before we even started publishing! He clearly knows genius when he sees it ;)

    We would appreciate any links to this new blog and please drop us a line to say hello if you do. Any support is appreciated. And don’t forget to add us to your RSS reader.
    Update:Thanks to Mediawatchwatch too!

    Filed under: Uncategorized

    British Asians increasingly live in ghettoes

    by Sunny at 4:16 am    

    We would think that Asians are slowly becoming more integrated into society, at least in terms of housing. There are constant stories in the media about affluent Asian families moving out of traditional areas such as Southall and Wembley to more affluent areas.

    But that’s not happening, according to a speech made yesterday by an Aussie. Researcher Dr Mike Poulsen, a senior lecturer in geography at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, got the data after comparing the UK 1991 and 2001 census and examing 16 major cities, including Slough, Wolverhampton, Coventry, Luton, Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds.

    He labelled Leicester, Bradford and Oldham as “ghettos”. London and Bradford were home to the most isolated ethnic communities - primarily Pakistanis and Bangladeshis. But this isn’t just a Muslim thing..

    Some 13.6% of the Indian community in Leicester live in “isolated enclaves” - 37th in the table of 276 US and UK cities - compared to 5.4% of LA’s African Americans and 13.3% of blacks in New York, the research revealed.

    Generally there was more mixing in since 1991. But…

    The research predicts isolated ethnic enclaves will continue to increase in size over time, and Dr Poulsen said immigration was mainly behind the rise. “We are talking about increases of about 30% of the population in terms of each of the ethnic groups that moved into these mixed enclaves over the last decade.

    The black community does not have a problem with segregation though, according to the research, though the Asian areas were compared to ‘black ghettoes’ in America.

    The Guardian has the story, and so does This is London

    Rohin adds: “I don’t think the Bangladeshi community in London is segregated to the extent of Bradford or Oldham. Tower Hamlets is in a terrible state, but owing to its central location, the Bangladeshi areas are not very big and surrounded by other localities. Hence there remains at least some mixing with other groups and not complete surburbian social isolation.”

    Update - Kulvinder adds: “The appearance of ghettoes cannot be explained (or blamed) solely on one ethnic community regardless of where it occurs, ‘whiteflight’ is as much a contributing factor. From the POV of the Asian communities themselves, it may not be the result of lack of integration but more a sense of alienation largely attributable to an anachronistic sense of identity with respect to their parents country of origin.”

    “In the same way that British expats develop a cliched identity with Britain, the Asian immigrants that arrived in Britain have a sense of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka that is decades out of touch with reality. They need to accept that time will move on, and though they should keep the rich fabric of their identity alive, they should also let go of the past.”

    Filed under: Culture

    London bomber’s video airs on Al-Jazeera, someone tell B’ham mosque!

    by Sunny at 2:19 am    

    Al-Jazeera has aired a tape from one of the suicide bombers behind the 7th July attacks. A clearly brainwashed Mohammad Sidique Khan reckons he was a “soldier” and was inspired by Osama Bin Laden. The 30 year old came from Dewsbury in West Yorkshire and was the one who blew himself up at Edgware Road station - killing 6 people and injuring 120.

    Our words are dead until we give them life with our blood. I and thousands like me have forsaken everything for what we believe.

    Until we feel security, you will be our targets. Until you stop the bombing, gassing, imprisonment and torture of my people we will not stop this fight. We are at war and I am a soldier. Now you too will taste the reality of this situation.

    BBC has the story and you can watch the video there too. CNN has the full text of the video.

    There isn’t a lot to say here other than this was bound to turn up sooner or later. MCB spokesperson Inayat Bunglawala said it was “obscene” to suggest justice for the people of Iraq could be obtained by committing an act of injustice against the people of London.

    There is never an excuse for acts of terrorism against innocent civilians. However, this tape does serve to confirm that the war in Iraq has indeed led to the radicalisation amongst a section of Muslim youth.

    What about those leaflets by Hizb ut-Tahrir? Do they not lead to more radicalisation?

    The best comment comes from grieving boyfriend of Neetu Jain (killed in the blasts), a Muslim guy called Gous Ali, who says “I just want to go on national television myself and expose their lies. It’s all brainwashing by some wacko scholar who believes his own version of the Koran and has made it his own battle.” Join the queue brother.

    The big question now is, who is going to give the bad news to Dr Mohammed Naseem? The chairman of Birmingham’s Central Mosque declared on 26th July that there was nothing to prove that Muslims carried out bomb attacks in London on July 7 and 21. He also said Al-Qaeda didn’t exist.

    Maybe someone can also tell Al-Qaeda’s Ayman al-Zawahri, who’s video came on straight after Sidique Khan’s - claiming responsibility for 7/7 and threatening new attacks.

    Update: A reader emails in to alert us that al-Zawahri had a previous stint on Channel 4!
    Ayman al-Zawahri on Channel 4

    Another update: Dr Mohammed Naseem was grilled on the BBC Asian Network on Friday about his comments. Unsurprisingly, he tried to wiggle out of it by saying that the video must have been doctored. You can listen to the interview from here, fast-forward by 1hr 47 min.

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