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12th June, 2006

Forced marriages and forced rape

by Sunny at 12:02 am    

Last week the government decided not to criminalise the specific act of forcing someone into a marriage. At present parents can only be prosecuted on charges of kidnap, false imprisonment, physical abuse or rape.

The more I think about it the more annoyed I get at the continuing stupidity of this government, their cronies and their idiotic advisors. Yes it is an issue fraught with complication and emotion but once again Labour has fallen victim to an army of Asian apologetics who prefer this muddle and like to pretend that the practice of forced marriages “is very rare”. What bullshit. We know its widespread but no one wants to admit it.

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8th June, 2006

Behind the BNP’s respectable mask

by Sunny at 6:15 pm    

It may come as no surprise that while the British National Party’s goons try to display an air of respectability, they hide nasty views behind that facade. During local election night Nick Griffin even told David Dimbleby that he was not racist. Yeah, we believe him even if millions won’t.

But finding out what BNP party members think in private is more difficult as they have been careful in cultivating a respectable media image of late. Not unlike Hizb ut-Tahrir in that respect.

But Unity at Ministry of Truth has done a brilliant exposé on the BNP councillor Simon Smith of Great Bridge in Sandwell [via David T]

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Filed under: The BNP
2nd June, 2006

Melanie Phillips on multi-culturalism

by Sunny at 5:22 am    

I have on various occasions said that ripping apart Melanie Phillips’ arguments is like taking candy from a baby. But so far I’ve had very little to back that up. Yesterday, on the Today programme, Melanie Phillips was brought into a debate against Gautam Malkani, author of the new novel Londonstani, to debate multiculturalism. (listen here)

As she is a pro and has been doing this for quite a while he didn’t stand much of a chance, despite knowing exactly what to say and having superior arguments. Call it stage fright. As he is a mate, this is a chance to kill two birds with one stone. Call it payback.

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Filed under: Media, Race politics
29th May, 2006

Deport BNP council tax cheats!

by Sunny at 10:00 pm    

Three of the BNP’s new councillors in Barking and Dagenham have been taken to court for owing thousands of pounds in rent and council tax.

The local authority has secured county court judgements against two, a third is being threatened with bailiffs, and a fourth is involved in a council probe into a potential £10,000 housing benefit fraud.

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Filed under: Humour, The BNP
23rd May, 2006

Let’s all laugh at the BNP

by Sunny at 3:32 am    

Because that is what they are here for. From the Barking and Dagenham Recorder:

Cllr Richard Barnbrook, leader of the council’s BNP party - now the official opposition - wanted to amend the council’s constitution to condemn discrimination against “the indigenous majority”.

But laughter broke out as only one of the 11 BNP councillors raised his hand to vote for the amendment. After the meeting, Cllr Barnbrook claimed the mistake had occurred because his party thought they were supposed to press buzzers to vote.

The B&D Recorder actually does a good job of harassing the BNP. Did anyone else catch the ‘BNP man made gay-porn film’ story? [hat tip: Nindy]

The new British National Party leader of Barking Council blamed the Barking & Dagenham Post’s revelation of him directing a “gay porn” film for him losing the general election last year.

The gay film story, broken a year ago by The Post, was picked up by the nationals last week following the local elections.

Oh and they can be quite forgetful too.

Filed under: Humour, The BNP
22nd May, 2006

Birmingham race-riot murder

by Al-Hack at 4:30 pm    

Waqar Ahmed, 26, Azhil Khan, 23, and Afzal Khan, 22, all from Handsworth in Birmingham, were today convicted for life for the racist murder of Isaiah Young-Sam during the Birmingham race riots last year.

They will each serve a minimum of 25 years in jail, the judge announced today. Isaiah was racially abused. The three tried to escape to Dubai but were caught there. Good riddance to racist scum.

Related article on inter-ethnic conflict, hat tip: Jay

21st May, 2006

Asking questions you should not be

by Sunny at 12:05 am    

Among certain members of the Guardian’s comment is free readership a conspiracy theory is gaining currency that the newspaper is trying to ‘airbrush’ out an article that got heavily panned by readers.

But this is more about asking questions in the wrong places than being racist.

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Filed under: Media, Race politics
17th May, 2006

What Ayaan Hirsi Ali can teach us

by Sunny at 4:11 pm    

I think it is important to take the Ayaan Hirsi Ali saga as a way to examine internal change.

In one way she was needed. But she also ended up making it harder for people to build bridges.

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16th May, 2006

Why we need a sense of Britishness

by Sunny at 2:59 pm    

It is not a new debate but the origins of the current round of ‘Let’s Be British’ initiatives must surely lie with Gordon Brown’s speech earlier this year. In response he was scorned, derided, and even supported. Yesterday it started all over again, with responses asking what these ‘core British values’ actually were.

Please, stop it! These debates are framed so badly that they invite ridicule amongst even the most liberal of ethnic minorities. Let’s start from the beginning.

Yes, we need a stronger, shared sense of British identity. But the real question is, why? I’ll answer that by first listing those who may be opposed to this idea for different reasons.

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Filed under: Race politics
9th May, 2006

Another lame Sikh front organisation

by Sunny at 3:43 am    

The event states it is the: ‘Conference and Launch of Parliamentarians for National Self-Determination’. That alone should start setting off alarm bells.

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Filed under: Race politics, Events
6th May, 2006

Why I welcome the BNP vote

by Sunny at 4:55 pm    

Much will be made of the BNP’s gains in the Local Elections, given they doubled their share of councillors from around 20 to 44. But a closer look at this result is warranted and I, for one, am happy with the gains they made. Let me tell you why.

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Filed under: Race politics, The BNP
4th May, 2006

The Bradford Riots revisited

by Sunny at 2:40 pm    

Tonight on Channel 4 at 9pm a drama on the Bradford Riots is being shown. I’ve wanted to write about the 2001 riots for a long time because in many ways they were a small watershed for race relations. A stereotype of a Britain falling apart was formed, used time and time again by Trevor Phillips (CRE) to make absurd statements.

Like many other British Asians when they first kicked off, I was sympathetic towards the rioters…

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Filed under: Race politics
3rd May, 2006

South London bomber

by Sunny at 2:36 pm    

I don’t think it is prudent at this stage to say the attacks in those shops in London are racist. This has not been proven. It may be that the Asian ownership of these shops is coincidental, and thus I’ve changed the heading of Al-Hack’s previous article.

Much of the media has already labelled this a ‘vicious racist attack’ without being certain of the motives. We should not fall into the same trap.
Two men have now died as a result of these arson attacks.

Update 4th May: A man has been charged.

Filed under: Race politics
2nd May, 2006

Racist Arsonist arrested

by Al-Hack at 5:21 pm    

A man has been arrested by detectives investigating three shop fires - one of them fatal - which are thought to have been racially motivated.

The 33-year-old, from Stockwell, south London, is being questioned by police about the murder of Khizar Hayat and the other fires - all in the capital. [BBC Online]

Update: Any connection to a different firebombing attack in Birmingham today? [hat tip: Scribbles]
Update 2: A second man has died in connection with the bombings.

28th April, 2006

Media workers against fascism

by Sunny at 6:51 pm    

I just got this by email:

We are concerned that coverage of the British National Party’s (BNP) support in some sections of the media is exaggerated and disproportionate to the level of votes the BNP is actually receiving. The BNP is not a normal political party: it is a fascist organisation. The media should expose and challenge the BNP. Fascism stands for the annihilation of trade unions, black, Asian, other minority ethnic, Muslim, Jewish, lesbian and gay communities, disabled people and all democrats. When the Nazis took power, they shut down the freedom of the press and broadcasting channels.

Coverage inflating the BNP’s support makes the BNP appear to be a legitimate political party and simply assists the BNP in the run up to the local elections. We urge sections of the media to act responsibly when covering this issue and not to exaggerate the BNP’s support.

No no no no no! I want the BNP everywhere, and I’ll tell you why.

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Filed under: Race politics, The BNP
25th April, 2006

Political protest and religious identity

by Sunny at 8:04 pm    

Hanif Kureishi in the Saturday Guardian on why political theatre is needed:

Racism was a daily occurrence for most Asians in Britain. But the characters in the play refer often to the possibility of an “invasion”, something they were afraid of and disturbed by, as it had already happened.In April 1979, the police allowed the fascist National Front to hold a meeting in Asian Southall. Two weeks earlier the residents met the Labour home secretary, Merlyn Rees, to ask him to ban the Front’s meeting. On the day before the march, 5,000 people went to Ealing Town Hall in support of banning the National Front’s meeting, handing in a petition signed by 10,000 residents. Local factories also agreed to strike in protest. Rees refused to give way. It was a question of free speech, even for fascists.

He also mentions the Satanic Verses controversy:

During the 10 years between the Southall riots and the demonstration against The Satanic Verses, the community had become politicised by radical Islam, something that had been developing throughout the Muslim world since decolonisation.

Once this ideology had been adopted - and political conversations could only take place within its terms - it entailed numerous constraints, locking the community in, as well as divorcing it from possible sources of creativity: dissidence, criticism, sexuality. [via Amitava Kumar]

This is, in essence, something not many Asians really understand. All the communities - Muslim, Sikh and Hindu over have become politicised the past decade as religion has become their main form of identity rather than race. But with that comes internal censorship. You do anything out of line, you’re not just insulting your community, you are seen as insulting the entire religion.

17th April, 2006

Dealing with the rise of the BNP

by Sunny at 8:02 pm    

Is the BNP on the rise? Today’s Guardian certainly seems to think so. But, taking this simply as ‘people are becoming more racist’ or ‘this is unsurprising given unchecked immigration’ is being lazy. There are lots of reasons that the BNP has prospered in local elections rather than national elections, and I want to use this thread to formulate a more considered response. Peter Black for e.g. says:

In many ways that is fortunate as I am still having difficulty getting past my anger at [Margaret Hodge’s] stupidity. I do not know if eight out of ten of voters in Barking and Dagenham were thinking of voting for the BNP before, but after this outburst it is almost certain that they are now.

It seems that Mrs Hodge has been talking to her electors but not listening. If many of them are considering voting for the BNP then it is because they are disillusioned with the Labour Government and the local Council. The BNP may be racists but it is not racists who they appeal to. Instead, they latch onto dissatisfaction and apply a simplistic and popularist solution to local problems. Often this can involve finding scapegoats, in all cases it involves casting themselves as an anti-establishment force who local people can identify with.

That’s hit the nail on the head. But there’s another problem. The traditional Asian response to the BNP has been to rush into the arms of the government and want some sort of censorship. Not only that, Labour has been comprehensively rubbish in putting forward the case for immigration (another area that needs dealing with).

We need to get more intelligent than that. More strategic. I plan to use this thread to gather some ideas and links of my own to formulate a more detailed response a bit later. Comments and ideas are welcome.

Update: Written an article for Comment Is Free to the same effect - drew a huge response.

10th April, 2006

Tories in race row (again)

by Sunny at 6:06 pm    

You could not make it up. After David Cameron called UKIP “closet racists”, one member of his own party declared she would not want an ethnic minority colleague standing for parliament in her constituency. Cameron moved quickly to say she was in the “wrong party“. Ms Joan Howarth refuses to back down has now apologised. Cue UKIP calling the Tories fruitcakes and closet racists.
Update: BBC and Telegraph follow up.

Update 2: Matt Murrell asks an interesting question:

How far can a party push a progressive agenda if the public don’t accept it? While tradition has left the main parties largely the preserve of the upper-middle-class white male, the fact that the general public in a country as small-c conservative as the UK might be less willing to trust female and ethnic MPs. In which case, the desire to combat bigotry and discrimination comes into conflict with the guiding principle of political parties – to win seats.

My feeling is - it depends on the candidate. Someone like Piara Khabra, who can barely walk let alone speak English properly, would not work. On the other hand people like Shailesh Vara have done well in pre-dominantly white areas.

Given that women are grossly under-represented in politics, and there is no reason why people should trust them less, political parties have so far rewarded members on contacts than merit, rewarding discrimination in favour of seats. Thus, they may be patronising their constituents in assuming working class people cannot see past a candidate’s sex or colour and keeping politics the preserve of white males. Others may disagree…

Who wants a sham marriage?

by Al-Hack at 5:23 pm    

In the Guardian: Government rules to prevent sham marriages by immigrants are unfair as they discriminate against those who are not Anglicans, the high court ruled today.

On BBC Online: The judge said that he found the regime to be incompatible with human rights law because people who wanted to marry within the Church of England were not subject to the same scrutiny as those choosing another type of wedding.

People seeking to marry within other faiths, principally other branches of Christianity, Hinduism, Islam or Sikhism, were not given a similar benefit of the doubt where ministers of religion were content the proposed wedding was genuine.

Filed under: Religion, Race politics

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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