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  • Technorati: graph / links
    20th December, 2009

    Cultural relativism and the state

    by Rumbold at 9:25 PM    

    After the conviction of Mehmet Goren for the murder of his fifteen year old daughter because she had fallen in love with the wrong man, numerous columnists and campaigners have delivered broadsides against ‘misplaced cultural sensitivities’ and ‘multiculturalism’ (MixTogether has a roundup of initial responses here). Jaswinder Sanghera, founder of the charity Karma Nirvana, argued that:

    Up until last month, 86 forced marriage protection orders have been issued, yet not one of them was in Bradford, Leicester or Tower Hamlets. Is this because forced marriage is not a problem in those areas, all of which have some of the largest Asian populations in Britain? Or is it because authorities there are failing to use the powers for fear of creating offence? I am afraid it is the latter.

    Poorna Shetty meanwhile highlighted two cases where the police had failed to take women who contacted them seriously: both would end up dead.

    There is still much to criticise the state for the way in which it deals with ‘honour’-based violence (HBV). Too little money gets to specialist charities (and even less will in the future), while Forced Marriage Unit is understaffed and underfunded. Some state employees, whether politicians or officials, have been downright hostile in the past towards efforts to combat HBV. Jaswinder Sanghera recalls councillors and school officials in Derby (where she is based) criticising her and refusing to put up posters that told pupils about organisations which they could turn to if they felt under threat. Some victims of HBV have discovered in the past that the state does not take them seriously; one girl who feared that her parents would kill her was eventually re-housed, but only in the street next to theirs. Suspects fleeing oversees have often found safe havens in areas like Kurdistan.

    Continue Reading...
    16th December, 2009

    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.

    Filed under: Cultural Relativism
    8th December, 2009

    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]

    7th December, 2009

    ‘Honour’-based violence investigations up

    by Rumbold at 10:45 PM    

    The Met police have recorded 60% more ‘honour’-based violence (HBV) incidents in the past year than the previous one. Although these statistics seem to suggest an escalation of the problem, I suspect that instead they reflect a greater determination by the police to pursue the culprits (after the Banaz Mahmod fiasco), as well as a better classification system:

    The Metropolitan Police are tackling more suspicious incidents motivated by so-called “honour” than ever before, according to new figures. Officers recorded 256 incidents, of which 132 were criminal offences, in the year 2008-9.

    This was a surge of 60% from the 161 incidents recorded in the previous financial year, of which 93 were criminal offences. The latest figures revealed the upward trend is continuing with 211 incidents reported in the six months until October, of which 129 were offences.

    Police define honour violence, including murder, rape and kidnap, as crimes motivated by a desire to protect the honour of a family or community. Women are the most common victims of honour violence which is linked to some interpretations of cultural and religious beliefs. But “non-crimes”, where no offence has been committed, were also recorded, particularly where police believe the incident could be part of a wider picture.

    Sadly this has not been a victory for joined-up government, as the state is withdrawing funding from charities that help victims of HBV.

    Filed under: Cultural Relativism
    30th November, 2009

    IKWRO under further attack

    by Rumbold at 11:10 AM    

    After losing monies for a specialist outreach worker, The Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation (IKWRO) has had its funding cut yet again after the government decided to focus on large charities instead:

    The Ministry of the Third Sector abruptly diverted funding of £750,000 from 35 small charities under the ‘Campaigning Research Programme’, including IKWRO, despite the existence of a Compact. The monies will be reallocated to 15 larger charities through the Hardship fund while the smaller charities may suffer yet more losses in the difficult climate of recession.

    In a corporatist state, the government, large corporations and large charities work closely together. Employees are able to move between the three with ease (especially politicians/top civil servants who are looking for a job). Large charities, like corporations, are preferred by the corporatist state not only because of greater job opportunities but because, like small businesses, smaller charities are harder to control. They are away from the centre of power.

    That is not to say that large charities don’t do anything worthwhile (they do), or that there isn’t a need for large charities (there is). But IKWRO and others are suffering in part because of their size and remoteness from power.

    23rd November, 2009

    A mother’s plea: Dr. Mitu Khurana

    by Rumbold at 11:16 AM    

    Dr Mitu Khurana is a doctor in India who fears for her children’s lives after repeated attempts by her husband and her in-laws to abort and then kill her daughters (he wanted a son). Dr. Kamal Khurana denies the allegations, but an NGO and other groups have taken up Dr. Mitu’s case. Her case has been extensively covered in the India media, but it has still not brought her justice or the safety of her daughters. Here is her story in her own words:

    I, Mitu Khurana, a pediatrician and mother of twin girls, would like to share my experience in saving my girls from being killed by my husband and in laws while they were in my womb and subsequently after their birth.

    I got married to Dr Kamal Khurana in November 2004. Initially, there was a lot of dowry harassment. In January 2005 I became pregnant. An ultrasound showed that I was carrying twins. Then my mother-in-law started demanding that I undergo a sex determination test. I was even tortured to get it done. My husband and in-laws would deny me food and water and fight with me every day to undergo the sex determination tests. I, with full support from my parents, tried resisting it

    So my in-laws and husband got it done by deception. Knowing that I was allergic to eggs, they fed me cake made with eggs, all the while assuring me it was eggless. I developed allergic manifestations — stomachache, loose motions and vomiting. I was taken to the hospital.

    My mother-in-law asked me many times to at least get one child killed in-utero. I was kept without food and water. My husband who began ignoring me even turned me out of the house at 10:00 one night and asked me to go to my father’s house. When I asked him to let me take my mobile and car keys as I did not want to be stranded at night at this stage of pregnancy, he said “is ghar se kisi cheez ko haath lagaya to thapar parega (if you take anything from this house, I will slap you)”. My father-in-law intervened and asked my husband to let me stay the night, and in the morning I could be sent to my parents.

    Continue Reading...
    6th November, 2009

    Now IKWRO is under threat

    by Rumbold at 12:23 PM    

    After the news that the state refuses to continue to fund the Honour Network helpline, comes other blow. Now the state is to stop funding The Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation (IKWRO). A £29,000 grant, which was allocated to pay for a full-time professional Kurdish outreach worker, will no longer be available. A specialist Kurdish worker was needed because 56% of IKWRO’s cases involved Kurds. Diana Nammi, the head of IKWRO, said:

    The Forced Marriage Unit has been excellent but it needs grass roots organisations like us because we are closer to the front line and come face to face with the victims. Forced marriages and honour killings have not stopped. They are still happening all the time. And yet the funding has dried up.

    IKWRO is an unusual organisation because of the groups (Iranian and Kurdish women) it caters for, and so its work and experience (420 women helped last year) isn’t easy to replicate. But the IKWRO and Honour Network funding cuts are merely representative of a wider trend in government cuts. The problem, as Ken Livingstone pointed out, is the civil service. They are the ones that implement (and in some case decide) policy.

    As a result of the financial crisis and the gross overspend of the state, spending has to be cut. But the ones doing the cutting are the bureaucrats, so they (understandably) are not inclined to reduce their own areas. Instead they cut grants to charities and frontline services, because they themselves are not directly affected by those cuts. Until politicians are willing to oversee and implement spending reductions amongst bureaucrats, it will be the weakest in society who will continue to suffer as they are not the ones in Whitehall.

    Continue Reading...
    Filed under: Cultural Relativism
    29th October, 2009

    ‘Honour’-based violence helpline in trouble

    by Rumbold at 4:58 PM    

    In April of this year IKWRO and Karma Nirvana established an ‘honour’-based violence (HBV) helpline, the only one of its kind. The helpline has proved to be a success, with hundreds of calls every week. Yet the service is now under threat from a lack of funding, and so Karma Nirvana have launched a petition to try and secure public money.

    There is something fundamentally wrong with a system that spends over £600 billion and manages to wastes many billions, but can’t find the money to fund an important service for some of the weakest people in our society.

    Filed under: Cultural Relativism
    20th October, 2009

    Jat drive against honour killings

    by Rumbold at 9:06 PM    

    Leading Jat organisations (Jats being an ethnic group of around 30 million people who originated in North West India) have banded together in order to try and curtail ‘honour’-based violence amongst Jats:

    To check honour killings and violence among the Jats, the Federation of Jat Institutions, an umbrella body of 12 Jat bodies throughout the country, have called 300 leaders and experts of the community in Chandigarh on November 22 for a seminar.

    The move is considered very timely because Haryana has witnessed a lot of honour killings in recent months, raising question over the role of the the state government due to “it’s soft approach towards wrong decisions of khaps [local councils which are frequently accused of being backward]”…

    Khaps of Jats generally object to love marriages on the basis of gotra, caste and brotherhood and even issue fatwas to kill the couples.

    Given the shocking gender imbalance in the Punjab and Haryana, as well as the prevalence of ‘honour’-based violence, hopefully conferences like this will contribute to a liberalisation of attitudes.

    16th October, 2009

    Bollywood film about HBV

    by Rumbold at 12:29 PM    

    A Bollywood film about ‘honour’-based violence (HBV) in Britain, called Honour Killings, is set to be released next year. It focuses on three generations of families:

    “Firstly, there is the story of an affluent Sikh businessman - played by the veteran of Hindi cinema Prem Chopra - who is jailed for murdering his daughter after she fell in love with a Muslim man.

    When his grandson then also begins a secret relationship with a Muslim woman, it leaves her father racked by indecision, as he weighs up whether he too must kill to protect his family’s honour.

    The tension builds with the prospect of history repeating itself as romance again crosses the religious divide. In spite of the heavy subject matter, no Bollywood-style film could go without fizzing song and dance routines to draw in the crowds.”

    I hope it does well.

    (Hat-tip: MixTogether)

    23rd September, 2009

    MixTogether slams approach to HBV

    by Rumbold at 9:16 PM    

    MixTogether, writing at Harry’s Place, is arguing that the government and NGOs aren’t doing enough to condemn communities where ‘honour’-based violence (HBV) is prevalent, and that simply introducing more initiatives and laws won’t solve the problems:

    “This is a welcome initiative, but it gets no closer to tackling the real root of the problem. It is just the latest round in the bizarre game of charades the government is playing with regard to ‘honour’ crimes…

    Why do Nazir Afzal and other senior figures not have the courage to say publicly to the known problem communities that their behaviour in these matters is wrong, and does not accord with the letter or the spirit of British law? Rather than attempt to educate and improve the lives of young people in these communities, this government prefers to wait until matters have got so bad that they cross into criminality and then prosecute families, as if we need further strain on the criminal justice system.

    The NGOs who work most closely with victims of ‘honour’ crimes are also part of the problem. The funding they receive is based on their caseload, which means they have little incentive to try and fight the root causes of these crimes. Over the last decade they have done a fantastic job of telling the government, the police and senior judges what they are doing wrong in relation to ‘honour’ crimes, but you will seldom hear them castigating the communities where these problems actually originate.”

    I agree with aspects of his critique. I certainly don’t think that new laws and more initiatives are the solution to any problem (though they can play a part), especially one as deep rooted as this. There also have been alarming incidences of cultural relativism (i.e. when immoral actions are excused by reference to culture) when dealing with HBV, most notoriously in the Banaz Mahmood case. I know MixTogether to be a principled campaigner against such abuses, and consider him a friend.

    Yet I feel he is too harsh on some. People like Nazir Afzal have long campaigned against the scourge of HBV, and have been more then willing to criticise particular communities, such as when he said:

    Continue Reading...
    Filed under: Cultural Relativism
    5th September, 2009

    Doncaster’s mayor praises Taliban

    by Rumbold at 9:06 PM    

    The mayor of Doncaster, Peter Davies, has done some good things. He has cut his salary from £73,000 to £30,000, as well as eliminating a number of other mayoral perks. But this was absurd:

    “Peter Davies, who has made it his personal mission to rid Doncaster of political correctness, said that under the Taliban, Afghanistan had an “ordered system of family life”. By contrast he said social policies which disregarded the importance of the traditional family had “created mayhem” in Britain.”

    Mr. Davies should investigate the levels of ‘honour’-based violence in Afghanistan before he makes such statements. There was a case of horrific violence in Doncaster, and it looks like it was down in part to the boys’ awful home life. But praising the Taliban’s attitudes towards the family is just wrong.

    20th August, 2009

    Forced Marriage website

    by Rumbold at 11:36 AM    

    I recently came across this excellent website dedicated to forced marriage, which was set up at the end of April. The section on what one should do if a friend/relative is being forced into marriage is particularly useful.

    (Hat-tip: Mixtogether)

    Filed under: Cultural Relativism
    14th August, 2009

    Is female feticide declining in Asia?

    by Rumbold at 9:08 PM    

    For a long time China and South Asia were recording an increasing gap between male and female children, as a result of female feticide. Amartya Sen estimated that in China and India alone, there are 83 million fewer women than there should have been. It seemed like it would only get worse, with the gender imbalance making little difference. Supply and demand seemed irrelevant as females continued to be aborted in record numbers. Some areas short of girls even took to raiding other areas for brides.

    However, new information suggests that the tide might be turning. Firstly, reports from China show that girls are becoming a more attractive prospect as a result of increasing urbanisation and rising house prices:

    “Sons are seen as more valuable, especially in the countryside, because they have been traditionally responsible for caring for their parents in old age. Many families take advantage of cheap ultrasound tests and abortions to guarantee their one child is male.

    However, the traditional roles are now being reversed in urban China. “The reality is that having a son or daughter makes no difference when parents need support. Unlike in rural areas, city residents are covered by social security,” said Chen Youhua, a demography and sociology professor at Nanjing University.

    In most marriages, it is the son’s family which is required to buy a house for the couple - a ruinous expense in many cities. Property prices in China’s major cities soared by as much as 60 per cent between 2007 and 2008, and are expected to rise another 10 per cent this year.”

    Meanwhile, in Delhi, the number of girls being born has outstripped the number of boys born, for the first time in decades.

    Yes, neither report represents a comprehensive change, but it is a sign of progress.

    2nd August, 2009

    Immigrant wives singled out

    by Rumbold at 12:03 PM    

    I really don’t like the look of this. The home secretary plans to cut various benefits to spouses born in a different country, unless they “learn English, support British values and do voluntary work in the community.” It will also apply to husbands born abroad:

    “However, Mr Johnson wants to scrap indefinite leave to remain. He intends to force immigrants who use marriage to get into the UK to take a citizenship test. They will not be allowed to take it for at least five years and if they fail, they will be banned from receiving benefits.”

    In practice this is targeting brides from the subcontinent. On one level the reasoning is sound, as at the moment these women have less of an incentive to learn English and leave the house, while their husbands have little incentive to let them.

    However, there are three main problems with this plan. Firstly, native Britons don’t have to pass any sort of tests to get benefits. Why then the double standards? Either benefits should be given in return for something, or not. Secondly, how will these standards be measured? It is easy enough to measure a person’s level of English, but what about voluntary work; who supervises them? And how one assesses supporting “British values” I cannot fathom. Will there be lines of niqab-clad women furiously fiddling their expenses?

    Continue Reading...
    1st August, 2009

    ‘Chained wives’ in Jewish communities

    by Rumbold at 6:31 PM    

    The Independent has a summary of tomorrow’s Dispatches programme (7:00pm, Channel Four), which looks at how some Jewish women are unable to get religiously-recognised separations from their husbands:

    “Within Halakha (Jewish law) only the husband has the power to grant a get and if he refuses his wife becomes an agunah, or chained wife. Trapped in a marriage they cannot get out of, an agunah is often shunned by her community, which forbids her from remarrying and reminds her that any further children she has with anyone other than her husband would be considered illegitimate.”

    It seems that the practice is most prevalent in the Ultra-Orthodox community, with some Beth Dins (religious courts) siding with the husband all too often. This means that even if a woman gets a divorce under English law, some members of her community might still shun her.

    Filed under: Cultural Relativism
    29th July, 2009

    Lubna Hussein in court

    by Rumbold at 11:30 AM    

    A UN worker in Sudan, Lubna Hussein, is to appear in court today charged with wearing trousers. As a Muslim woman, the punishment could be up to forty lashes (the other women with her were none Muslims, and so received ‘only’ ten lashes and a $100 fine). While wearing trousers isn’t prohibited under Sharia law, it is under Sudanese law. Nesrine Malik, who wrote about this case recently, believes that the arrests were less about principle and more about a need to show the strength of the regime:

    “There has been a media blackout on the latest floggings in Khartoum and the word on the street is that the security officer who engineered the cafe raid was a lone ranger provoked by al-Hussein’s tone when he urged the women to act or dress more modestly. Her lawyer stated that such raids were to remind people “that Big Brother is watching you”, and there is certainly an element of this in the government’s rather erratic approach to its implementation of sharia.

    Since this commitment to divine law is cosmetic and not in earnest, the religious whip is cracked when there may be a perception that the regime is going soft, using Islam as proxy for authoritarianism.”

    Hopefully the outcome will be as she predicted too:

    ” I predict a face-saving magnanimous presidential “pardon”, such as the one bestowed upon Gillian Gibbons – one that does not discredit the initial charge but halts proceedings or stays punishment.”

    23rd July, 2009

    House of Saud and British immigration policy

    by Rumbold at 12:34 PM    

    There was a disturbing allegation in the Daily Telegraph recently, about how some asylum seekers from Saudi Arabia are turned away because the British government does not want to upset the House of Saud. The claim emerged after a Saudi Arabian princess was granted asylum in Britain. The princess, married to an elderly prince, had become pregnant by her white boyfriend and convinced her husband to let her have the baby in Britain to avoid a scandal:

    “She has now become one of a handful of Saudi citizens to apply to the UK courts for asylum. Such cases are not generally acknowledged by the British government for fear that highlighting the persecution of women in the strict Muslim nation would strain relations with the House of Saud.”

    The Independent expanded on the case by pointing out that ministers were now examining the cases of ten other Saudi asylum seekers. The Saudis tend to overreact whenever anyone attacks them. Yes, the intelligence they provide is undoubtedly valuable, but that doesn’t mean that they should be able to dictate policy (and the threat to withdraw co-operation is to a certain extent an empty one anyway- the ruling Saudis don’t want terrorists in their area either).

    22nd July, 2009

    Nottingham council’s funding priorities

    by Rumbold at 6:20 PM    

    Jess McCabe reports that Roshni, a Nottingham-based charity dedicated to helping South Asian women who have suffered abuse, may have its funding withdrawn by the council.

    Despite the important work that they do, it appears that Roshni is less important to Nottingham city council than a ten-person junket to a property convention in Cannes (cost: £90,000), recruiting three people to “facilitate partnership working and to drive and influence key initiatives” (cost: c.£90,000 in salaries, plus pensions, expenses, training, National Insurance, etc.), and going through chief executives at a rate of knots (costs: payoffs of at least £230,000). IndyMedia estimates the cost of consultants at £15 million per year, while two firms received £30,000 then £69,000 for two separate studies of the council’s ‘culture’ (the first one was binned because it was too scathing).

    Nor should we forget the millions spent on council advertising and propaganda: £1,000 per hour on advertising Nottingham on the back of a boxer’s robe (£32,000 in total- he will also make a few appearances), while the council has also given the good burghers of Nottingham the credit-crunch Woysies:

    (Hat-Tip: Andy for a number of the articles)

    19th July, 2009

    8000 forced marriage cases in 2008

    by Rumbold at 10:45 AM    

    A recent government report has found that around 8,000 cases of forced marriage were reported in 2008 in Britain. The majority of females involved were of Pakistani or Bangladeshi origin. Around 85% of victims are female. The Foreign Office’s Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) dealt with 420 cases last year, up from 152 in 2005, though this is down to the FMU becoming more widely known and accessible.

    Happily, the attitude of the authorities seems to be changing (albeit slowly), with a much greater awareness of forced marriage and ‘honour’-based violence in general, as well as the will to do something about it. While the state alone cannot solve the problem, at least it will reduce the chance of situations like this happening again, and we should hear fewer horror stories about such behaviour being justified by culture or religious differences.

    Filed under: Cultural Relativism
    5th July, 2009

    Humayra Abedin interview

    by Rumbold at 8:37 PM    

    Today’s Independent on Sunday carries a long interview with Dr. Abedin, the British resident who was kidnapped in Bangladesh by her family in the hopes of forcing her into a marriage. She was then freed by the Bangladeshi High Court, with the help of the Forced Marriage Unit.

    “For the next three months, every morning and every night, she was forced to swallow dangerously high doses of powerful tranquillisers used to treat people with psychoses. She was kept locked in the hospital, constantly told she was a disgrace by staff and relatives, and denied contact with the outside world. But she could make it stop, so her parents and psychiatrist told her, if she agreed to give up her life in England, marry the man her family had chosen for her and stay in Bangladesh. She refused.”

    A long piece, but worth reading in full.

    Filed under: Cultural Relativism

    Banaz suspect to be extradited

    by Rumbold at 9:20 AM    

    Many of you will remember the killing of Banaz Mahmood, a young Kurdish woman who was brutally murdered by her relatives, who raped and then tortured her. While her father and two other relatives had been caught and convicted, a number of the murderers fled back to Kurdistan, where their allies and the uncertain legal nature of Kurdistan made it very difficult to extradite them back to the UK. Happily, one of the suspects, Mohammad Saleh Ali, is now to face trial in British courts. Congratulations are due to IKWRO, the International Campaign Against Honour Killings and the other groups that formed the ‘Justice for Banaz’ campaign.

    Yet there is still more to be done. Another suspect remains free in Kurdistan, while the failure to properly censure the behaviour of PC Angela Cornes during Banaz’s last days leaves a bad taste in the mouth, as well as pointing to the potential for such actions to occur again.

    Filed under: Cultural Relativism
    15th June, 2009

    ‘Women Uncovered’- a new blog

    by Rumbold at 3:35 PM    

    A new British brown feminist blog, Women Uncovered, has been established. The authors pledge that it will:

    “Showcase the unique perspectives of first, second and third generation immigrants to Britain from lands with cultures that strictly define what and how a woman should be. While some of these women are grateful for their newfound freedoms, they are still distressed by the misogyny they see that pervades all nations and cultures, and particuarly that which is incubated in their ethnic communities.”

    One to watch.

    1st June, 2009

    More languages on the Tube - PC gone mad!

    by Sunny at 6:48 PM    

    BBC News:

    Ticket machines on the London Underground (LU) have been upgraded to operate in 17 different languages. Some of the touch-screen machines were already available in six languages - English, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish. From Monday, all machines in every station will also have Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Greek, Gujarati, Hindi, Urdu, Polish, Punjabi, Tamil, and Turkish.

    Damn these left-wingers and their attempts to serve the needs of the unwashed immigrants from all over the world. It’s political correctness gone mad! Or perhaps it’s cultural relativism! I’m not sure which one. Either way, it’s the end of the west and the Freedoms We Hold Dear.

    21st May, 2009

    In praise of “military means”

    by Sunny at 1:24 AM    

    Aaaaand we’re back to our favourite topic - the continuing craziness of Spectator Magazine’s greatest star Melanie Phillips. But first this: a couple of weeks ago I pointed out that many people who constantly obsessed about Muslims and Israel/Palestine had started using the Sri Lankan / Tamil as a stalking horse for their own agenda. Where is the outrage in support of the Tamils, they screamed! It’s a conspiracy that no one is obsessed about Sri Lanka and they keep talking about Israel / Palestine!

    There are of course several legitimate reasons why the Israel/Palestine conflict gets more coverage than the Sri Lankan/Tamil conflict, outlined here.

    Unsurprisingly, Melanie Phillips is now employing that same exact tactic. And how many times did she write about the Tamils? Oh. But check out the money quote:

    The lesson to learn from all this would therefore seem to be that terrorist insurgencies can only be defeated by military means — which in turn can only work if such measures are not undermined by the queasy neo-pacifism and defeatism of the west expressed through the surrender monkeys of human rights lawyers, NGOs and the media.

    Damn those cheese-eating surrender monkeys for mentioning the plight of innocent Tamils! They just hate things like democracy, freedom and err… human rights! And to think that a mainstream political magazine and a daily newspaper give prime space to Melanie Phillips.

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