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10th April, 2006

Tourism in Londonstan

by Kismet hardy at 12:48 am    

Today the Evening Standard carries a piece on Gautam Malkani’s much-hyped British Asian novel Londonstani, reviewed by Nirpal Singh Dhaliwal, author of the, um, much-hyped British Asian novel Tourism.

A few questions arise. Why does the intensely irritating Nirpal Singh Dhariwal hate it?

And should it matter to other Asian writers or just anyone in general?

I think it does…

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9th April, 2006

The people vs government of India

by Sunny at 6:39 pm    

After years of agitation, the controversy over the Narmada Dam Project is back in the news in India. This is an issue not only central to India’s development, but also a fight for hundreds of thousands of affected people. I have provided a brief background to the story and explain why you should take notice.

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8th April, 2006

Weekend open thread

by Sunny at 6:47 pm    

Say whatever you want, link whatever articles you want… or just waste some time. This is that kind of thread.

Filed under: Uncategorized
7th April, 2006

Why I love “fake sheikh” Mazher Mahmood

by Sunny at 4:11 pm    

They may not like the “fake sheikh” Mazhoor Mahmood, who got uncovered yesterday, but I think he’s a swell chap. And he is the unlikely Asian journalist hero too…

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Filed under: Media, Humour

The kids aren’t alright…

by Kulvinder at 4:00 am    

The popularity of the Internet and its emergence from backwater medium to ‘mainstream’ society has been met with the usual fear and trepidation by the media over the ogres in society that wait to prowl on unsuspecting teenagers. The predatory paedophile is that most unifying of spectres someone whose presence will disgust everyone regardless of their ethnic background, a symbol of hate everyone can focus on. I don’t seek to defend the misery that child abuse causes but i am more than a little surprised by the attitude and reasoning society takes.

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Filed under: Current affairs

Bush lied ‘for political gain’ shocker!

by Sunny at 3:02 am    

The funny thing about the Bush administration is when their people get caught, they start singing like canaries. Scooter Libby, a former aide to vice president Dick Cheney, is doing just that. He previously pointed out that his boss had “authorised” leaks to defend the war in Iraq. Now he’s fingering the big man himself. Ahem. No crass remarks please, we are a serious political blog. This is being reported today:

From Reuters: A former top White House aide testified that President George W. Bush authorised leaking classified intelligence in 2003 in the face of criticism of his Iraq policy from a former ambassador, according to court papers made public on Thursday.
….
The Washington Post: Legal experts say that President Bush had the unquestionable authority to approve the disclosure of secret CIA information to reporters, but they add that the leak was highly unusual and amounted to using sensitive intelligence data for political gain.
….
Los Angeles Times: President Bush personally authorized leaking long-classified information to a reporter in the summer of 2003 to buttress administration claims, now discredited, that Saddam Hussein was attempting to acquire weapons of mass destruction for Iraq

Using intelligence for political gain for claims that turned out to be lies. Who would have thought eh? Now excuse me while I sit and figure this out because I feel like I’m having deja vu….

6th April, 2006

‘Political correctness gone mad’

by Al-Hack at 7:37 pm    

Legal proceedings against a 10-year-old boy over alleged racist name calling have been labelled political correctness gone mad, by a judge.

Judge Jonathan Finestein told Salford Youth Court the boys would have been given “a good clouting” in his day.

“Have we really got to the stage where we are prosecuting 10-year-old boys because of political correctness? “I was repeatedly called fat at school. Does this amount to a criminal offence? [BBC Online]

It occurs to me, does the Crown Prosecution have too much time on its hands?

Filed under: Race politics

Muslim community representatives

by Sunny at 2:49 pm    

I find Osama Saeed from the Muslim Association of Britain has a bone to pick with me, via David T. He asks me to prove some of what I said in my article yesterday.

So here it is.

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When media organisations wake up

by Sunny at 4:42 am    

Both are current issues.

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Filed under: Media, Environmentalism

Caught listening to ‘wrong’ sort of music

by Sunny at 3:16 am    

An Asian salesman was hauled off a plane as a suspected terrorist because he was listening to The Clash song London Calling. Harraj Mann, 24, was quizzed for three hours by Special Branch after his taxi driver overheard the lyrics, which include the lines “war is declared and battle come down”.

“[The Taxidriver] didn’t like Led Zeppelin or The Clash but I don’t think there was any need to tell the police.” [Daily Mirror, via BSSC]

I’m not sure whether to laugh or despair.

Filed under: Humour, Civil liberties
5th April, 2006

Let’s talk about sex baby…

by Sunny at 5:12 pm    

False alarm - there’s no talk of sex here, sorry. But we are talking about Muslims and other ‘communities’:

Non-Muslims writing about Muslims, or whites writing about race are usually forced into two camps: 1) the secular left who argue in their defence from an anti-opressive standpoint; 2) the rightwing ideologues who see Islamic ideology/political correctness as the problem.

This puts Muslims in a worse situation because hitherto unknown organisations start speaking on their behalf and get prominence as representatives. They stop becoming individuals; they become a “community”. It also makes them reluctant to publicly speak out against extremist elements lest they get accused of being “sellouts”.

This from my latest Comment is Free article.

Filed under: Media, Race politics

Talking about a reformation of Islam

by Shariq at 1:10 pm    

Ali Eteraz has written an open letter to fellow reformist muslims. His argument is that while there may be some ‘Westerners’ with ulterior motives, to be successful the reform project has to accept those non-Muslims who show an interest in changing the world for the better.

But what does reforming Islam mean and does it need to happen?

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Filed under: Religion, The World

Blookers, Bloggers and Brown Bait

by SajiniW at 10:10 am    

It’s not just Nirpal Singh Dhaliwal making waves these days - Riverbend and Rana Dasgupta are also up for a literary treat or two…

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4th April, 2006

BBC on Asian workers in Middle East

by Sunny at 6:01 pm    

On the weekend I highlighted an article by a Saudi Arabian journalist on the bad treatment of South Asians in the Middle East. BBC World Service’s Have Your Say programme have picked it up and are planning a programme on it tomorrow Thursday evening. I may feature somewhere.

I hope they can also get Chan’ad Bahraini on the show, having extensively highlighted the issue. I’ve also suggested to the BBC they invite a politician from the region on to the show so we can ask why governments there have made little progress in protecting worker rights.

Britain has obligations towards asylum seekers

by Kulvinder at 3:40 pm    

It’s been in all the papers, headline news and all that. After years of vitriol and stoking idiocy to new levels the press are keen to take a more responsible attitude and tone down the banal ‘Britain’s Soft Touch’ editorials. Oh wait, now we’re focusing on all the poor bastards already in the country.

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3rd April, 2006

Pakistani women fly high

by Fe'reeha at 11:08 pm    

The image alone will be enough to bring tears of joys into the eyes of the Pakistani women who have been involved in the struggle of equal opportunities since long. Women like Aasma Jehangir and Bilqis Edhi.

The airforce grounds always belonged to the men, and in the PAF world, so did the skies! But now four women have joined the fray and equality is coming to one of Pakistan’s biggest bastions of malehood….

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2nd April, 2006

Racists in the Sunday Times

by Sunny at 11:25 pm    

The Sunday Times published a letter today, signed by various academics in support of the Leeds uni professor Dr Frank Ellis.

But who are these ’supporters’? A bit of digging reveals some interesting connections.

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British Sikhs conference

by Sunny at 7:57 pm    

Another week, another pointless conference.

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Filed under: Religion

Is democracy only a western concept?

by Shariq at 4:55 am    

The belief that democracy and democratic principles are an exclusively western concept is a mis-conception that hinders debate for westerners and easterners alike, says the intellectual heavyweight Amartya Sen.

With a book just out, here are some excerpts from two excellent articles examining western democracy and religious identity.

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1st April, 2006

Why Indians bloggers need to get angry

by Sunny at 9:40 pm    

A bit of teasing… a cold blooded murder. Will justice be served. Maybe it will do. But will Indians wake up to the bigger problem?

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