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  • 20th August, 2006

    Post 911 Blues

    by Leon at 7:49 pm    

    This is catchy and funny!


    Filed under: Humour

    Daily Express in idiotic headline shock

    by Sunny at 5:53 pm    

    Yes, I know, it is the Daily Express. Getting worked up about the stupidity of a newspaper that is generally regarded as a joke is a waste of time, but quite a few of our readers are annoyed about this so it deserves mentioning.

    A recent YouGov poll found that three-quarters of respondents agreed with the statement: “We are in a world war against Islamic terrorists who threaten the West’s way of life.” The question itself is idiotic. How exactly does one define the “west’s way of life”? Do Christian evangelicals and secular atheists count? Do neo-cons and Greenpeace activists count? Anyway. In response, the Daily Express ran a front-page headline stating: Britain says: we’re at war with Islam. Make sure you complain.

    Filed under: Media,Religion
    19th August, 2006

    It’s the weekend spider invasion thread!

    by Katy at 12:59 pm    

    The weather has changed: the nights are shorter, the evenings are colder, the desk fan has gone back into the cupboard and long sleeves are no longer unthinkable. Summer is on its way out. What this means is that the Chateau Newton Spider Olympics are once again upon us. Every autumn large, horny male spiders start charging round my house in a desperate bid to find a girlfriend and have ten million spider babies before the mating season ends.

    Normally the spiders start coming in around mid-September (more…)

    A response to BBC’s John Ware

    by Sunny at 2:43 am    

    A recent BBC Panorama documentary investigated the London-based charity Interpal which gives funds to charities on the Palestinian territories of West Bank to help needy Palestinians. Its presenter John Ware said it revealed that some of the charities are linked to Hamas and help build support for the movement by spreading its Islamist ideology.

    John Ware recently responded to our criticism of his documentary. At the time I should have expanded more on why I found the documentary biased. So, better late than never, here is my reply to his response.

    Continue Reading...
    Filed under: Media,Middle East
    17th August, 2006

    Hollywood v ‘The Terrorists’

    by Leon at 10:48 pm    

    Oh dear, something like this makes me think these actors and Directors should not give up their day job. Hollywood has decided it’s time to rid the world of the terrorist scourge:

    Nicole Kidman and 83 Hollywood heavyweights are using the power of the press to speak out against terrorism. She has joined 84 other high-profile Hollywood stars, directors, studio bosses and media moguls, including News Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch, has taken out a powerfully-worded full page advertisement in today’s Los Angeles Times newspaper.

    It specifically targets “terrorist organisations” such as Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Palestine. [via deficient brain]

    Well, there you go brilliant and insightful analysis of world events provided by experts in the field. It’s almost as if these darlings of the film industry felt they had to reverse the satire in Team America…

    Filed under: Humour,Media,The World

    More on Inigo Wilson

    by Sunny at 7:07 pm    

    My source tells me that contrary to the received wisdom regarding this Orange employee, he wasn’t actually suspended due to the definition of Islamophobic or Palestinians. You see, Wilson’s job is to persuade people to accept mobile phone masts near their homes and schools. He has to “consult” local communities on behalf of Orange.

    This is another ‘definition’ in the article: Counsultation - a formal system for ignoring public views while patronising them at the same time. London’s Congestion Charge for instance.

    An initial reply by the company’s spokesperson Stuart Jackson said: “Though we respect the right of our employees to do so, Orange does not hold or express opinions on such matters, therefore the article you referenced does not in any way represent the views of our organisation.”

    But I’m told: It was later that Golin Harris which manages the Orange account decided to suspend him after reading the whole article.
    Stuart Bruce makes the same point. I can see how that may be more embarassing for Orange. The MPAC crew clearly don’t have as much influence as they think.

    Filed under: Media

    The letter was counterproductive

    by Jai at 11:11 am    

    The Muslim MPs and organisations would have been better served if they had directed their ire towards the wannabe jihadist elements in the UK instead. Now, they are possibly doing this already (I have no idea), but something like an open letter warning “the enemy within” of the social and legal consequences of attempting terrorist attacks would have been more appropriate and a far more legitimate target for their efforts.

    Jai explains why the recent letter was a bad move and has backfired in their faces.

    Continue Reading...

    More silliness

    by Sunny at 2:31 am    

    While we’re on the subject of stupid comments and internet campaigns…. remember our Bollywood friend Rimi Sen, who said…he can even make a Black African look pretty“? Well, quite a few blogs picked it up. I also wrote it for AIM, and guess where that ended up.

    rimi senWhen we called Rimi for her take on the controversy, the actress naturally feigned ignorance. She says, “I have been misquoted. I can’t speak to you as I am shooting.” As for remembering what she had actually said, the actress says, “I don’t remember any such statement.”

    Heh. Who said we can’t challenge racism in Bollywood? (via t-hype)

    Filed under: EDL,India
    16th August, 2006

    My Today programme debut

    by Sunny at 3:36 pm    

    …was broadcast this morning. What messages are young Muslims hearing through the media? As you may expect, the five minute interview was reduced to a few lines (they quote me twice). Update: A related article.

    Filed under: Media

    Orange suspends employee over ‘Islamophobic’ definition

    by Sunny at 1:11 pm    

    Just received a tip from someone telling me that Orange have suspended a “community affairs” employee, pending investigation, after writing an article for Conservative Home.

    In the blog he lays out some modern-day “definitions”. These include:
    Islamophobic as: “Anyone who objects to having their transport blown up on the way to work.”
    Palestinians as: “Archetype ‘victims’ no matter how many teenagers they murder in bars and fast food outlets. Never responsible for anything they do – or done in their name - because of ‘root causes’ or ‘legitimate grievances’.”

    A representative from Orange said: “We have received a number of complaints regarding the content of an article written by an Orange employee and published on an independent website which has offended some of our customers.

    “We take the opinions of our customers very seriously and believe that this matter warrants further investigation. We have therefore suspended an employee while this investigation takes place.”

    Interview update: I debated with Samuel from ConservativeHome and Asghar from MPAC on BBC Asian Network. [ffwd by 1hr]

    Update: Iain defends him while Stuart thinks it was fine. But I agree with Justin.

    Filed under: Media

    Tamils must disown LTTE

    by Sunny at 11:00 am    

    So said a Times editorial yesterday:

    The ceasefire in Sri Lanka, brokered by Norway in 2002, has been breached repeatedly since last December, even as the Sri Lankan Government and the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) both insisted that it remained in force. The ferocity of the fighting that has now engulfed much of the country’s northeast, preceded and accompanied by Tamil Tiger bombing atrocities in the capital, Colombo, has reduced to rubble the latest and most promising effort to reach a mediated settlement.

    The country is again at war. In the past month, at least 550 people have been killed and 100,000 civilians rendered homeless. Among them are at least 30,000 Tamil-speaking Muslims, who make up a third of the population in the eastern part of the territories claimed by Tamil Tiger separatists and are the most voiceless and helpless victims of its murderous agenda.

    Since 1983, when the Tamil Tigers took up arms, most of the 65,000 people killed have been non-combatants. [via Moju]

    I’m not sure what difference the editorial will make, but there needs to be international pressure to reign in both sides before the violence spirals out of control.

    Filed under: Sri Lanka

    How Nirpal Dhaliwal is destroying Asian men

    by Sunny at 3:34 am    

    Regular as clockwork, a certain PP reader calls me up after just having read Nirpal Dhaliwal’s weekly column in the Evening Standard to vent her anger at his idiocy. For whatever reason, and some have insinuated it’s because they want the exclusive once he splits up with his equally annoying wife Liz Jones, the Evening Standard and Daily Mail employ him to tell us what a ‘modern man’ should behave like.

    I don’t know whether his brownness makes it easier for them to have his write all this sexist garbage. I just hope he is not seen as representative. A great example of his hilarious drivel is: How feminism destroyed real men, in which he has this pearl of wisdom:

    No doubt at the time, millions of misguided single women thought that having a man who could feel their pain and emote for Britain was a Good Thing.

    Now, over a decade later, women are waking up to the fact that these men are drippy, sexless bores. The feminisation of men hasn’t produced the well-rounded uber-males women were hoping for.

    Instead, women are now lumped with flabby invertebrates, little more than doormats, whom they secretly despise but are too proud to admit it.

    Rather than partnership, professional women tend to seek dominance in a relationship. They map their lives out early on and pursue their dream of ‘having it all’ with cold-blooded ruthlessness.

    Heh. I wasn’t going to post this, but David T has pointed me to a Blah Blah Flowers, where Loz is now on the third edition of Nirpal Dhaliwal Watch. The first edition, where she rips apart the above article, is worth reading in full. Also: two and three.
    What will it take to shut this guy up?

    Filed under: Humour,Media
    15th August, 2006

    ‘And today I met…’

    by Al-Hack at 4:02 pm    

    Sadiq Khan MP has long been part of the bloggerati, apparently. His archives go far back as Nov 2004. But it reads more like his events diary, ported online, rather than views on world events. No commenting allowed either sadly. Honestly, these MPs hate getting down and dirty don’t they.

    Filed under: Party politics

    Failing to challenge racism

    by Al-Hack at 2:24 pm    

    …getting their chadors in a twist about big swarthy men with tea-towels on their heads…” is what Julie Burchill said last week. Not long after, Marcus from Harry’s Place reckons Melanie Phillips and Julie Burchill will save western feminists. When Sunny challenges Marcus on Burchill’s racist statement, Brownie defends her with these pearls of wisdom:

    The paragraph in which Burchill writes about “big swarthy men with tea-towels on their heads” doesn’t mention Muslims, only Islamists. Her phraseology is, at worst, a little ignorant, but racist or bigotted it ‘aint.

    You may have noticed that Julie Burchill is a woman and the people to whom she is referring would therefore consider her - purely by dint of her gender - subordinate, unequal before the law and inferior generally . If this in turn means she is rather less disposed to the niceties of public discourse when handling such hot topics, I, for one, won’t be criticizing her.

    Is this how the neo-lefties will eradicate racism?
    Let’s paraphrase shall we - “You see, when I used the term sand-niggers, I was only referring to the terrorists! Surely you’re not on the side of terrorists are you?” - yeah, that makes sense. You see, because Burchill is apparently only reserving her racism for Islamists, it’s ok to use this term. Why should other Arabs or Sikhs with turbans be offended? She isn’t calling them rag-heads is she?

    Filed under: EDL,Race politics

    On the Today programme

    by Sunny at 12:02 am    

    I’ll be interviewed for a short piece on Radio 4′s Today programme this morning so have a listen if you get up that early. I expect it’ll be something around the media consumption of British Asians.
    Update: Just told they’ve pencilled it for tomorrow around 7:30am.

    Filed under: Media
    14th August, 2006

    Happy Birthday, Pakistan

    by Sunny at 6:52 pm    

    On its 59th birthday, today, Haroon Moghul writes an essay to ask questions about what could have been. When will we know if the ‘Pakistan project’ has been successful?

    Those of you who follow this blog know that I used to be a very staunch supporter of the Pakistan project, and a defender of Jinnah’s plan and the ideal of a Muslim homeland. You may also be reminded hereby of my allusions to the Sunni minority in Iraq, whose course to separatism may not, in the short-term, be inexplicable, yet in the long-term may turn out to be a very bad decision. Which leads me to this question:

    Was Pakistan a bad decision? Was Pakistan a mistake?

    I am certainly not saying Pakistan has not done any good, nor that Pakistan was categorically and exclusively a mistake. I’m just thinking out loud and wondering: In the long-run, would it have been better for Indian Muslims to have remained in India, albeit with some sort of significant autonomy, than it was for them to strike out, ill-prepared and poorly led, into independence, not once – 1947 – but twice – 1971?

    Continue Reading...
    Filed under: South Asia

    Good News From Australia

    by Shariq at 1:37 pm    

    John Howard’s efforts to introduce draconian legislation requiring all asylum claims to be processed offshore have been defeated. Interestingly, the bill was allegedly more to placate the Indonesian government than a result of Mr Howard’s own biases (although I’m sure they contributed).

    For some facts and figures about migration to Australia and a very interesting discussion about Australians hopes and concerns over multiculturalism, see this post by Australian Senator Andrew Bartlett.

    13th August, 2006

    Let’s treat the plotters as common criminals

    by Leon at 10:18 pm    

    Excellent piece by Mathew Parris:

    Some will see this as a good week to bury liberal scruples. Prepare yourself for the distinct possibility of a flight home by the Prime Minister, a recall of Parliament, one of those impassioned rallying speeches at which Tony Blair excels, and for renewed talk that “the rules of the game have changed”. Prepare yourself for a crude conflation of Israeli war aims with the security of the West, and of Hezbollah with al-Qaeda and Sunni insurgency. Prepare for a Reid-fest on the airwaves, and for renewed muttering about arrest without trial, house arrest and shifting the burden of evidence. “Join up the dots,” Mr Blair urged us last week. This weekend, dot-joiners will be on the rampage.

    How sides seem to have been switched since the last century turned. Rebels and mutineers used to insist that there was a war on, and governments used to insist that there wasn’t. Hardliners took the view that people who blew things up were common criminals, to be dealt with case by case. Liberals argued that it was more useful to see them as idealists in a warped and misguided army.

    Now it’s the other way round. Hardliners see a war between opposing forces. Liberals see a more fractured picture, a rebel cast of dangerous but messed-up people, idiots, nutters and psychopaths, some organised, some clever, others out of control: essentially a matter, however grave, for the police.

    Some good points but the overall one about how this should be seen is pertinent and may even be the only way to stop this lunacy. I’ve long thought characterising these acts/people as ‘evil’ is pointless. It confuses the real issue of criminal activity as well as giving its supporters/adherents a greater sense of importance. Further to this it places a heavy political burden on police officers/security services that would rather just get on with their jobs than produce spectacular plot foiling dramatics for the TV cameras…

    The language used to describe a current set of situations (and the actors behind) them is creating a higher sense of drama than is needed to solve this mess. Perhaps it’s time for calmer heads to prevail?

    Filed under: Middle East,The World
    12th August, 2006

    It’s the weekend lemon curd thread!

    by Katy at 4:39 pm    

    This weekend Sunny and Leon will be fulfilling their pickly destiny by making lemon curd.

    Well, technically lemon curd is not a pickle, it is a preserve, but the two are similar in the sense that you cook them and put them into sterilised jars whilst they are still hot and then they keep for a very long time and are very good to eat with bread or, if you are me, sneakily by the spoon out of the fridge. So it is close enough to being a pickle to be called a pickle. But please don’t tell Delia Smith that I said that because although she is a superb cook and her recipes never fail if you follow them, nonetheless she scares me in her television programmes with her sprayed-into-submission 50s housewife hair, toothy smile, blank dead eyes and staccato delivery.

    Except when she is drunk at Norwich home matches, when she scares me with her slurred speech and foul language instead.

    In the meantime, those of us who aren’t making lemon curd will be using the weekend lemon curd thread to report their cheery weekend activities, for example amusing anecdotes about the week that has gone and notification of any weekend plans that might be in the offing. If you have something political to say, say it elsewhere please. Thank you very much thank you thanks bye thanks.

    Filed under: Current affairs

    Letter by Muslim MPs and organisations

    by Sunny at 1:43 pm    

    The Guardian reports:

    Leading UK Muslims have united to tell Tony Blair that his foreign policy in Iraq and on Israel offers “ammunition to extremists” and puts British lives “at increased risk”.

    An open letter signed by three of the four Muslim MPs, three of the four peers, and 38 organisations including the Muslim Council of Britain and the Muslim Association of Britain, was greeted with dismay in Downing Street. It has courted the MCB and several of the signatories, such as key Labour MPs Sadiq Khan (Tooting) and Shahid Malik (Dewsbury), whom it believes can shape Muslim opinion.

    Now updated

    Continue Reading...
    Filed under: Current affairs
    11th August, 2006

    On political blogging

    by Sunny at 7:08 pm    

    Taking a break from the usual articles about race and religion, my article for CIF this week asks why newspapers hate political bloggers. There are a few comparisons to the American media, where they built up Daily Kos in time for the Lamont/Lieberman election in the hope they could tear him down after. And they failed. Hah!

    Filed under: Media

    ‘tea-towels on their heads’

    by Al-Hack at 2:44 pm    

    The conflict has sent this tendency into overdrive, with not just the usual Masochist Hacks For Mohammed such as Robert Fisk (beaten up by Islamists, says they were right to do it) and Yvonne Ridley (kidnapped by Islamists, then became one) getting their chadors in a twist about big swarthy men with tea-towels on their heads treating the West mean and keeping it - in their case at least - keen. [Haaretz]

    Hey Burchill, joined the BNP yet? You must have because they’re quite good at using these ‘ragheads’ and ‘tea-towels’ slurs. Idiot. [via IW]

    Filed under: Media

    Hizb ut Tahrir’s different faces

    by Sunny at 1:43 pm    

    In my last comment is free article I fleetingly referred to New Civilisation magazine as a front for the radical group Hizb ut-Tahrir. The group has a habit of setting up fronts constantly to try and gain legitimacy.

    Late last year it was exposed how the group set up a front called ‘Stop Islamophobia’ in order to preach its message on campus. One supporter was caught on-record saying: “Stop Islamophobia is set up by us. But we don’t actually push it like that. The moment they link Hizb ut-Tahrir with Stop Islamophobia, they’ll bring the whole campaign down.” Doh!

    This resurfaced recently when the Guardian’s (excellent) Middle East editor Brian Whitaker agreed to participate in a talk hosted by New Civilisation magazine. Fortunately he realised in time and pulled out.

    Continue Reading...
    Filed under: Muslim,Organisations
    10th August, 2006

    BBC Panorama responds to our criticism

    by Sunny at 5:56 pm    

    The BBC’s John Ware, not happy with criticism from AIM magazine, Pickled Politics and the MCB (we didn’t go anywhere as far as them) on the recent Panorama programme Faith, Hate & Charity, has responded to us with some points rebutting accusations. We published the full statement on AIM. I’m quoting here the response to the points I made.

    Continue Reading...
    Filed under: Media

    Plot to blow up airlines

    by Sunny at 1:30 pm    

    As many have already pointed out…

    A plot to blow up planes in flight from the UK to the US and commit “mass murder on an unimaginable scale” has been disrupted, Scotland Yard has said. It is thought the plan was to detonate explosive devices smuggled in hand luggage on to as many as 10 aircraft.

    Police are searching premises after 21 people were arrested. Home Secretary John Reid said they believed the “main players” were accounted for. High security is causing delays at all UK airports. [BBC Online]

    News 24 is reporting that houses around Walthamstow and other parts of High Wycombe and East London were raided last night and this morning.
    Updated with news and bloggers reactions

    Continue Reading...
    Filed under: Current affairs
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