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  • 19th December, 2009

    The problem with ‘independent’ MPs

    by Sunny at 11:03 am    

    Ezra Klein has an excellent article at the Washington Post on what a hypocritical and mendacious Senator Joe Lieberman is, as he tries to gut healthcare reform. The administration have bent over backwards to accommodate the two ‘independent’ (meaning conservative) Democratic Senators - Nelson and Liberman - and both aren’t giving an inch.

    In contrast the Republicans are toeing a tight line, making sure not one Senator crosses over. The result? Obama is in deep shit. If healthcare reform fails then his administration will be labelled as a failure. And all because of one Senator who doesn’t want to give easy access to abortion (Nelson) and the other because he wants to see Democrats fail (Lieberman). And that, in many ways, is why I have a problem with agreeing that allowing politicians plenty of independence is a good thing: you end up with an American system that can’t get much done at all unless discipline is imposed.

    There’s a point of clarification here. I generally don’t have problems with independent MPs who attack to defend the base, as people like Howard Dean are doing. I abhor independents who betray the people who turn out to campaign and vote for them and the party that represents a certain set of values.

    18th December, 2009

    Green Lane Mosque responds to ‘extremists’ claims

    by Sunny at 5:44 pm    

    The Green Lane Mosque in Birmingham today sent out a press release in response to the Quilliam Foundation’s briefing yesterday.

    Green Lane Masjid refutes the allegation that it has invited speakers that are ‘fellow-travellers’ of Al-Qaeda, which could not be further from the truth. These speakers are academics who have specialised in Islamic sciences and are well respected in scholarly circles.

    It is grossly unjust to suggest that they belong to some fringe ideology rather than orthodox Islam. Furthermore they all are well known for their open criticisms of Al-Qaeda and its affiliates. Sheikh Faisal Al-Jassim for example is an author of a famous book criticising Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups.

    Continue Reading...

    Are the BNP and EDL softening towards Muslims?

    by Sunny at 8:49 am    

    Both the English Defence League and the BNP claim they are not racist. But they do spend a lot of time attacking and demonising Muslims, which they say is not racist because Muslims do not technically constitute a ‘race’. But is that stance now also softening?

    I forgot to point this out last week but a group called the Muslim Debate Initiative last week held a debate in London with reps from the BNP, EDL, SIOE, Christian People’s Alliance, Humanists and some Anglican nut. Anyway, after making his predictable remarks about how Britain is bending over backwards to appease Muslims when there are so many extremists running about, the BNP organiser Jeffrey Marshall did a big u-turn.

    Halfway through his speech he said he would like to reiterate what Nick Griffin said during Question Time, which is that they wanted a ‘truce’ with Muslims, and had several issues they could make common cause on. He said both the BNP and British Muslims opposed the UK’s foreign wars and invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. He said both were very socially conservative and opposed homosexuality. And they agreed on bringing back the death penalty. The audience didn’t know what to say. But in fact I do remember Nick Griffin making the same points during BBC QT. What’s going on? Perhaps the BNP think it makes more electoral sense to focus on local issues than demonising Muslims. Either way, most curious.

    On top of that, there were one or two rumours last weekend that the EDL (who didn’t attend the above-mentioned debate) were willing to make common cause with Muslims in Harrow and isolate the Stop Islamisation of Europe nutjobs. This doesn’t seem to have materialised.

    But its not clear that all the top people at EDL are against all Muslims, unlike SIOE. The latter, incidentally, completely boycotted the Muslim Debate mentioned above - apparently Stephen Gash doesn’t like debate, only shouting from far.

    17th December, 2009

    Saudi extremists in the UK

    by Sunny at 4:21 pm    

    Quilliam Foundation have issued an alert today pointing out that:

    In recent years, several leading UK Muslim organisations have moved away from hosting extremist foreign clerics and have instead begun promoting UK-born and educated speakers who can facilitate the growth of a native, harmonious Western Islam.

    Next week, however, a major Birmingham institution, the Green Lane Mosque (headquarters of the national Markaz Jamiat Ahl-e-Hadith organisation) will host two extreme Wahhabi clerics who bolster al-Qaeda narratives by advocating:
    · Taking up arms against the ‘enemies of Islam’ in order to spread Wahhabi Islam
    · ‘Preparing all the weapons we can’ and raising the ‘banner of jihad’
    · Forcibly implementing their understanding of Shari’ah as state law

    Continue Reading...

    Needed: a template to deal with after-effects of terrorism

    by Sunny at 10:53 am    

    Wajahat Ali has an optimistic article on Guardian CIF in which he says that Muslims and the law should work together to stop radicalisation.

    As an example, the Virginia Muslim community’s private and public response to the arrest of five of their young people marks a decisive change of proactive engagement with law enforcement resulting from mutual trust and open communication. Upon discovering a video left behind by the alleged leader of the group declaring his plans to fight on behalf of Muslims, his parents consulted with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (Cair) who reported the disappearance of the young men to the FBI.

    In addition, the Muslim Public Affairs Committee recently issued a proposal for law [USA, not the UK one] enforcement officials and Muslim Americans to use their respective resources and strengths to unite in combating terrorism. However, they stressed an important caveat: “Unfortunately, in the current political climate, the actions of certain law enforcement agencies – whether spying on peaceful activist groups and houses of worship without reasonable suspicion, or religious profiling – have added to difficulties.”

    There’s two different issues here: preventing terrorism before it happens, and dealing with the impact once something horrendous takes place or people get arrested for going down that route. In both instances it is unlikely things will progress much until more atrocities take place - because they spur people into action / reaction. It’s a sad fact but it’s true, as even the examples that Wajahat Ali gives illustrate.

    But there is a difference. Assume you were Muslim or a leftie and wanted to do something to help with counter-terrorism in a way that helps all citizens - Muslim and non-Muslim. But it is difficult to persuade people to grass on their friends, colleagues or community people, especially if law enforcement agencies are not trusted much.

    But the second option has more possibility. As Wajahat Ali points out, Muslims in the US are taking active steps to deal with the fallout from the Fort Hood attacks and recent arrests. Why not do that here? What we need in the UK are more contingency plans in case some terrorist attack takes place or is stopped just in time: to spur Muslims and non-Muslims to come together, reassure people, do some joint civic action, coordinate local action etc etc. There almost needs to be a template developed so that people don’t feel helpless and disconnected after something so shocking. Any takers?

    16th December, 2009

    C4 report: Double standards towards Muslims in Iran

    by guest at 8:54 pm    

    A guest post by Secunder Kermani, first published on the new blog The Samosa

    A prime example is the recent repression of anti-government protesters in Iran following Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s disputed presidential election victory. I’ve spent the last few months producing an exclusive story for Channel 4 News exposing the systematic rape of young male protesters by the security forces, based on damning evidence from a former member of the ultra-conservative Basij militia.

    If such allegations were made in Palestine or Iraq, with young Muslim men being raped by American or Israeli forces, there would be uproar in the Muslim world. Even the rumour of such events would provoke a veritable tidal wave of fury – and rightly so.

    But where is that level of furious indignation now? Why isn’t it being directed against the Iranian government?

    This isn’t even a question of electoral fraud – I have no conclusive evidence to prove whether vote rigging took place or not. This is a story about the gross violations of fundamental human rights, of the vile and degrading torture of innocent teenagers who dared to express their opposition to the government.

    And what’s more, it’s being perpetrated by people who claim to be enforcing pure Islamic law.

    Continue Reading...

    Protester arrested for egging Sayeeda Warsi

    by Sunny at 3:16 pm    

    BBC News reports:

    A man has been arrested over an attack on Conservative peer Baroness Warsi during a visit to Luton. The shadow minister for community cohesion, named Britain’s most powerful Muslim woman, was visiting the Bury Park area of the town on 30 November. She was in the middle of a walkabout of the area when she was pelted with eggs.

    A 24-year-old local man has been arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and a public order offence. He is currently being questioned. A Bedfordshire Police officer saw the man in the street and arrested him, a spokeswoman said.

    Can’t say I have any sympathy for al-Muhajiroun idiots.

    Launches and re-launches

    by Rumbold at 10:14 am    

    The long-awaited return of the International Campaign Against Honour Killings site is finally upon us. The site, which is the main internet resource for ‘honour’-based violence stories, has been down for the past few months due to server attacks.

    Dr. Mitu Khurana (and friends) have launched a site to collate stories about Dr. Mitu’s fight for justice and to gain custody of her daughters. The site aims to keep the pressure on the Indian authorities before the custody hearing takes place on the 16th January.

    Nearly half of family visa applications from Pakistan rejected

    by Sunny at 6:53 am    

    Got this press release yesterday:

    Liberal Democrat MP for Brent East Sarah Teather has uncovered new government figures showing that nearly half of family visa applications from Pakistan are rejected, compared to an average of just 24% for other nationalities.

    Family visas allow relatives of British residents and citizens to visit the UK for important occasions. Last year Labour removed the right of appeal, so that applicants are no longer able to dispute a decision which they feel is unfair.

    Last year, there were 34,778 family visas issued to Pakistan, and 23,597 rejections, giving a refusal rate of 41%. Bangladesh had a refusal rate of 31%, Sri Lanka 17% and India 14%.

    Blatant discrimination.

    Taliban continue terrorism in Pakistan

    by Sunny at 1:40 am    

    Al Jazeera reports:

    At least 33 people have been killed and 70 injured in a car bomb blast in the town of Dera Ghazi Khan in Pakistan’s Punjab province, local officials have said. The blast on Tuesday occurred in a market, close to the house of Zulfiqar Khosa, an adviser to the chief minister of Pakistan’s Punjab province.

    “There are many people trapped in the rubble after the powerful blast demolished some 10 shops … The rescue work is under way and we fear the toll may go up,” Hassan Iqbal, the town commissioner, said. “It was a terrorist activity, similar to those being carried out in other parts of the country.”

    The attacks seems to have been aimed at Pakistan’s minority Shia Muslims - who would be under even more attacks if the Taliban were allowed to regain a foothold in the country and neighbouring Afghanistan.

    15th December, 2009

    The limits of accommodating religion

    by Rumbold at 8:21 pm    

    A Christian registrar has lost her appeal after she was fired for refusing to register same-sex civil partnerships:

    Lillian Ladele said she could not carry out same-sex ceremonies “as a matter of religious conscience”. In July 2008, an employment tribunal found north London’s Islington Council had discriminated against her. This was overturned by an appeal tribunal. The Court of Appeal in London upheld the appeal tribunal’s ruling

    This seems a good ruling to me. I have no problem with accommodating people’s beliefs in the workplace, provided that (a) it is reasonable and (b) this does not involve discriminating against anyone else. Ms. Ladele breached both these criteria as conducting same-sex ceremonies was an important part of her job, and she discriminated against law-abiding homosexuals. Her views were irrelevant, it was her failure to carry out her role that mattered.

    But what constitutes a ‘reasonable’ accommodation of beliefs? There is no absolute rule, but one definition might be a change that does not notably alter the output of a worker nor entitles them to better treatment than others. The decision should still ultimately rest with the employer, but sensible employers should make allowances.

    14th December, 2009

    Poor countries want to tackle global warming

    by Sunny at 2:47 pm    

    The Guardian reports:

    Victor Fodeke, head of the Nigerian special climate change unit, said any attempt to remove the Kyoto track would be disastrous for the talks. “Africa is on death row. It has been sidelined by some countries. If there is any attempt to remove one of the tracks of negotiations, then it’s obvious the train will crash.”

    “This is of paramount importance. We cannot, we can never accept the killing of the Kyoto protocol. It will mean the killing of Africa,” said another spokesman for the group.

    This is worth highlighting because a common excuse of climate denialists is that tackling climate change would condemn poor countries to their economic state and not give them the opportunity to become rich on the back of economic growth. Not surprisingly, this view almost always ignores the views of poor countries themselves who realise the impact climate change will have on their fragile economies. They are always the one pushing for more action not less.

    Israeli settler produce to be labelled

    by Rumbold at 10:41 am    

    The government has put pressure on British supermarkets to distinguish between West Bank goods produced by Palestinians and West Bank goods produced by Israeli settlers. The plan is designed to ensure that people can buy produce from the West Bank without money going to Israeli settlers:

    Nearly 500,000 Jewish settlers live in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, which were conquered in the 1967 war. The British government and the EU have repeatedly said Israel’s settlement project is an “obstacle to peace” in the Middle East.

    EU law already requires a distinction to be made between goods originating in Israel and those from the occupied territories, though pro-Palestinian campaigners say this is not always observed.

    Is this a good idea? Yes and no. In isolation, I don’t have a problem with it. Israeli settlement in the West Bank is a political issue, and this is a good way to support a particular point of view. I think that the settlements need to be dismantled, and so I am happy that if I bought certain items the money would go to the people who I think ought to live there. I am exercising my choice as a consumer.

    In the wider scheme of things however, it seems like, once again, Israel is being singled out for special punishment. Whilst Israel deserves to be condemned over its settlements, this is part of a disturbing pattern. From Richard Ingram’s calls for Jews to identify their religion when commenting on the Middle East, to the laughably-named UN Human Rights Council which is obsessed with Israel, these sort of schemes only end up targeting Israel. Has the UK government called for supermarkets to differentiate between Han settlers and native Uighur produce? Or Han settlers and native Tibetan produce? Or any other number of areas where aggressive settlers backed by a powerful government have displaced the previous residents? Not that I am aware of. So the question becomes, once again, why Israel?

    New poll shows why multi-culturalism works

    by Sunny at 8:37 am    

    The Times reports:

    …on average 78% of Muslims identified themselves as British, although this dropped by six points in east London. This compares with 49% of Muslims who consider themselves French and just 23% who feel German. The findings, based on more than 2,000 detailed interviews, suggest that Muslims may be better integrated in Britain than in other parts of the European Union.

    The report will reopen the debate about the merits of multiculturalism, a policy that has actively promoted cultural and religious differences among minorities in Britain but has been criticised as a barrier to integration by Trevor Phillips, chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission. France prides itself on its secular notion of citizenship and has banned Muslim pupils from wearing the hijab, or headscarf, in classrooms. Yet the study, by the Open Society Institute, found only 41% of Muslims in Paris see themselves as French.

    In Britain, researchers focused on Leicester, which is often held up as a successful model of multiculturalism, and Waltham Forest, east London, where bungled police raids on nearby Forest Gate in 2006, targeting suspected extremists, had alienated many Muslims.

    The survey found that levels of patriotism are much higher among second-generation Muslims. In Leicester, 72% of Muslims born abroad said they felt British; this figure jumped to 94% among UK-born Muslims.

    The study and report is a slap in the face for right-wing dogma on the issues concerned for many reasons.

    Firstly, it shows that Britain’s relaxed attitude to differences in religion and culture has made British Muslims more likely to identify with this country and be proud of the liberal traditions they live in, rather than constantly face state-sanctioned discrimination like in Switzerland and France.

    Secondly, it shows that Muslims (and this goes for minorities generally) feel much more British than their parents. The figure for British born Muslims is 94% and similar for non-Muslim minorities. In other words the offspring of minorities end up taking the identity of the country they’re born in - rather than become the fifth columnists that right-wing columnists portray them as.

    Third - Britain is a model for other European countries to follow. Not only for its relaxed attitude towards differences between people, but also because it is moving away from Britishness being defined as a genetic, ethnic or cultural identity. It’s the idea of a nation as a people together - whether towards a common purpose or towards commonly shared ideals, that makes it cohesive. Neither of these need to be defined by trying to exclude people, as Germany and France have consistently tried to do.

    This is what makes Britain great and this is why the percentage of minorities who feel ‘British’ is so high.

    Bigots fall flat in Harrow

    by Sunny at 12:49 am    

    This is amusing. Stephen Gash of the bigoted ‘Stop Islamisation of Europe’ (SIOE) group organised a march against Harrow Mosque yesterday (Sunday) afternoon. Apparently he told supporters he’d only organise it if 2,000 people pledged to turn up. 15 turned up.

    What a joke. We can’t even take bigots seriously these days when their numbers are so poor. The Harrow Times write-up illustrates how many Muslims, especially Ajmal Masroor, have become good at understanding the importance of public image and have learnt to project themselves better. The SIOE and EDL people looked like fools and bigots.

    13th December, 2009

    Trouble in Ludhiana

    by Rumbold at 6:48 pm    

    For much of December, the city of Ludhiana in the Punjab has been racked by religious and state conflict. It began with an event by Ashutosh Maharaj, a self-proclaimed ‘perfect master’ who held a samagam (a gathering), just after one had been held by Sant Baba Jaswant Singh, a notable Sikh religious figure. Mr. Maharaj claims to be a reincarnation of various religious leaders (such as Jesus and Guru Gobind Singh), and had offended Sikhs by telling them they should consider him as their guru, rather than the Guru Granth Sahib. Sadly, a number of people took this individual seriously, and some Sikhs began to protest in the streets.

    The police were called out in order to keep the demonstrators away from the samagam, but instead the situation descended into violence. The police allegedly fired on the protestors with live ammunition (they certainly fired into the air). Official reports claim that one protestor was killed and over a dozen injured, whilst others report at least seven dead and dozens injured. The Sikh Channel showed footage of police brutally beating protestors, while police claim they were forced to fight back. Regional politics also seems to be playing a part, with the BJP (an ally of the Akali Dal party, which rules the state) backing Ashutosh Maharaj.

    Ludhiana has also been suffering from unrelated violence due to tensions between migrant workers and the police, who torched police cars after complaining that not enough had been done to protect them from robbers who were targeting them.

    12th December, 2009

    The ‘Asian’ vote

    by Rumbold at 8:59 pm    

    Rupa Huq has a good piece up on Comment is Free on the foolishness of treating groups of ethnic/religious minorities as blocks of votes:

    The past week has spanned a diverse array of Asian imagery in the news: ugly scenes of the so-called English Defence League clashing with Muslims in Nottingham city centre, Tory shadow communities minister Sayeeda Warsi being egged by extremists for not being Muslim enough in Luton and the BNP unveiling its first Sikh member, an Islamophobe now empowered to join up by equalities legislation. Before Nick Griffin records a party political broadcast in Punjabi to consolidate this, he and other party leaders would do well to remember that the majority of Asians in this country are now British-born with English as their first and often only language. Indeed the high degree of internal diversity within UK BME (black and minority ethnic) communities makes this jargonistic umbrella abbreviation almost meaningless.

    11th December, 2009

    Switzerland, football and immigration

    by Rumbold at 5:54 pm    

    Last month the Swiss football team won the U-17 world cup, the first time the country has won a world championship at any level. In the new issue of World Soccer, Brian Homewood points out (in an article not available online) that around half the squad are the children of immigrants and asylum seekers. All were born in the country, but twelve still hold dual nationality, and their parents come from countries as varied as Tunisia, the Congo, Bosnia and Ghana. The senior national team also contains the children of immigrants from places like Kosovo (Valeri Behrami), and Switzerland has punched above its weight in youth competitions for the last few years.

    Looks like those ‘black sheep’ came in handy after all:

    Filed under: Race politics,Sports
    10th December, 2009

    Review: What’s Really Wrong With the Middle East

    by guest at 7:25 pm    

    This is a guest post by Nesrine Malik.

    Let us establish something first. There is something wrong with the Middle East. There are indeed, several things wrong, and Brian Whitaker’s book, ‘What’s Really Wrong With the Middle East’ manages, with great insight and a perfectly pitched tone, to collate the most illuminating set of factors that contribute to this state. The title seems to have annoyed some Arabs, who predictably do not appreciate ‘outsiders’ airing their dirty laundry, and also irked non-Arabs who predictably do not think it is their place to tell Arabs what it wrong with them.

    But before I go any further, I must declare an interest. The author conducted several interviews with writers, bloggers, academics and journalists etc from the Middle East and I made a short contribution to a section on racism in the Arab World. This technique, in my view, makes the book a much more riveting work for all the personal anecdotes and front of line accounts exemplifying the various maladies from which Middle Eastern societies suffer. They are more than just ‘amusing incidents’ as Shloto Byrnes observes in the New Statesman. Instead of the usual top down approach to isolating the region’s ills, Brian Whitaker digs deeper to uncover the endemic causes of inequality and political stagnation. The book cuts to the chase by avoiding government and official sources of regurgitated propaganda and focusing on issues such as education, corruption, patriarchy and how religion informs politics and identity.

    Continue Reading...
    Filed under: Current affairs
    9th December, 2009

    SIOE condemned by rabbis

    by Rumbold at 10:48 am    

    SIOE’s (Stop Islamisation of Europe) plans for a demostration outside a Harrow mosque on Sunday has been condemned by a number of local rabbis, who criticised calls by SIOE for Jews waving the Israeli flag to turn up:

    In an attack on “those whose only purpose is to spread hatred and fear”, they wrote: “We share the desire of the Muslim community of Harrow to respect our mutual traditions, to learn from each other’s cultures and ways of life, and to live together in peace.”

    The rabbis represent Northwood and Pinner Liberal Synagogue, Middlesex New Synagogue, Harrow and Wembley Progressive Synagogue, and Kol Chai Hatch End Jewish Community.

    Filed under: Muslim,Race politics

    The hottest decade on record

    by Sunny at 5:56 am    

    So the Met Office, the US Government’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA all say the noughties were the “hottest decade on record”. Apparently, according to some idiots, global warming isn’t happening and temperatures have actually fallen over the last decade.

    But even the Telegraph admits:

    Depending on what happens in the last three weeks of the year, [this year] could end up as the fourth, fifth or sixth hottest on record, but it will certainly be much warmer than 2008, which was anomalously low thanks to a cooling La Nina in the Pacific. And the jump between average temperatures in the 1990s and the current decade is one of the greatest ever.

    Temperatures only appear to have fallen if 1998 - an anomalously hot year - is taken as the starting point. Beginning, for example, with 1997 or 1999 gives a very different picture and independent statistical analysis has concluded that a cooling trend could only be determined by “people coming at the data with preconceived notions”.

    Pre-conceived notions? I wonder who that could be…. Global warming deniers = flat earthers. There’s no other way to put it really. These people aren’t just ignoring the blatant facts, they are actually twisting them to say the opposite.

    Filed under: Environmentalism
    8th December, 2009

    Daily Mail pretends Christians persecuted for discussion

    by Sunny at 9:10 pm    

    The Daily Mail has this story:

    A Christian couple have been charged with a criminal offence after taking part in what they regarded as a reasonable discussion about religion with guests at their hotel. Ben and Sharon Vogelenzang were arrested after a Muslim woman complained to police that she had been offended by their comments. They have been charged under public order laws with using ‘threatening, abusive or insulting words’ that were ‘religiously aggravated’.

    Although the facts are disputed, it is thought that during the conversation the couple were challenged over their Christian beliefs.

    The facts are “disputed”, but to no surprise the story implies strongly that the Christian couple are being persecuted after being challenged over their beliefs.

    Continue Reading...
    Filed under: Media,Race politics

    Afghanistan, Sikhs and 1984

    by Sunny at 2:16 pm    

    Two feminist cases for staying in Afghanistan: Why Feminists Love the Surge and also - A Feminist Case for War?

    Meanwhile, Parvinder informs us that the National Union of Journalists has backed the Justice for (Sikh victims of) 1984 campaign.

    Britain’s National Union of Journalists (NUJ) will support a campaign to seek justice for the victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in India. The union passed a motion at the annual delegate meeting in Southport, proposed by Parvinder Singh of the Book Branch, expressing ‘alarm’ that after 25 years, “none of the key perpetrators have been brought to justice”.

    Well done!

    Let climate change deniers destroy the right

    by Sunny at 5:18 am    

    Around a quarter of Americans believe in creationism and only around 4 in 10 believe in evolution according to a recent poll. The percentage of outright creationists in the US is about the same as the % of people here who think climate change is not driven by human activity.

    Rather coincidentally this week’s Economist has front-paged a special report on what to do about climate change. I for one am glad the leftwing conspiracy has managed to ensnare it and most of the western world’s media. The Left, to its credit, is broadly united on the issue.

    Right-whingers on the other hand are hilariously all over the place. Climate change is very likely to become David Cameron’s crippling wedge issue like Europe. He faces a grassroots full of fools who trot out arguments like the widely ridiculed ‘global cooling‘ myth in support of their cause. I say: rather than get angry we should laugh and encourage them. Let them push climate change denialism. When Cameron gets into power and talks to some serious scientists he’ll realise how stupid his followers are. Then the split will happen.

    I mean, you have to laugh when the editor of a magazine (Spectator) who was very recently pushing AIDS denialism now trying to grab the high moral ground. The high priestess of climate denialism - Melanie Phillips - is now attacking the BBC for being anti-science on CC! This from the woman widely ridiculed over MMR! Enough said.

    Why are right-whingers so obsessed with climate denialism? Simple. Most of the debate has been driven by environmental organisations and lefties for decades, while most of the denialism has been led by big corporations funding front-groups and thinktanks to save their own skin. Naturally, right-whingers would rather ignore the science and be persuaded by corporations than accept lefties are on the rational side of the argument.

    Filed under: Environmentalism,Media

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali praises Swiss minaret ban

    by Sunny at 1:41 am    

    Here she is, the poster-child of the neo-conservatives, praising the illiberal and bigoted measure by the Swiss:

    The recent Swiss referendum that bans construction of minarets has caused controversy across the world. There are two ways to interpret the vote. First, as a rejection of political Islam, not a rejection of Muslims. In this sense it was a vote for tolerance and inclusion, which political Islam rejects. Second, the vote was a revelation of the big gap between how the Swiss people and the Swiss elite judge political Islam.

    The minaret is a symbol of Islamist supremacy, a token of domination that came to symbolize Islamic conquest. It was introduced decades after the founding of Islam.

    You know, Sikh Gurdwaras also have a long thin steel poles called the Nishan sahib, which is meant to point out to Sikhs that there is a presence of the Khalsa (Sikh) there. Just thought I’d point that out.
    Seems Hirsi Ali isn’t as tolerant as she claims is she? One rule for herself and another for others.
    [via kenan malik]

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