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Total number of comments: 69 (since 2013-11-28 14:42:58)

Campbell H

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  • US Fighting ISIL on Social Media
    • It should be pretty effective at turning others, especially other Sunni Muslims who detest ISIL, into easy targets for ISIL's social media activists.

  • Is Zionism/ Jewish Nationalism a Political Cult? The Salaita Firing
    • Sadly if you empathize with the oppression of Palestinians you will be called an anti-Semite by their oppressors. This inversion is dangerous. It leads to deeply held anger and can move on to actual hatred. I believe that is what he was driving at.

  • Is Israel Committing a Genocide against the Palestinians of Gaza?
    • Prior to Al Jazeera giving the back-story and the likes of Max Blumenthal and Norman Finkelstein, all most latter day Arabs knew of Jews was being at the butt end of the Hasbara. These are the people actually countering anti-Semitism.

    • I was twelve and after being fed this nonsense in an RE lesson I put up my hand and asked "What about the people already there?". The lesson stopped immediately, the teacher left and came back with another. She pointed me out and they glared and muttered angrily for ten minutes. It was an education. So much for the ten commandments.

  • Iraq: Christians Say Terror Drove Them From Mosul
  • Falsity of Nuclear Accusation against Iraq Was Known before Bush's Invasion
  • Pakistan, Iran defy US Sanctions to Inaugurate Gas Pipeline
    • This illustrates what may happen if people are left to their own devices. External forces and agencies antagonise some and sponsoring others - often the worst elements. Without this there is sufficient enlightened self interest in the region to sideline the hotheads. Potential extremists and quislings exist everywhere. The problems arise when they are sponsored and cultivated.

  • Lawmakers Threaten Brooklyn College for Event on Boycott of Israel over Settlements (Democracy Now!)
    • "It would be as though Italian-American politicians went around insisting that you can never criticize Italy, no matter what Silvio Berlusconi does, and if you do they will try to get you fired from your job."

      Well put. thanks

  • Top Five Objections to the White House's Drone Killing Memo
    • Targeted assassination. WTF. So prior to this bromide, this koolaid, this semantic witchcraft, assassinations weren't targeted?
      Presumably Kennedy and Martin Luther King were killed by accident after someone decided to do some random killing?
      The most Orwellian insertion.
      "Oh, they've **targeted** them. It must be OK. Am I marching in step?"

  • Afghanistan 2014: How the US will Lose Yet another fruitless War (Jones)
    • I cant help but suspect if they had been left to their own devices before being tooled up to the eyeballs they might have learnt to live with each other by now.

  • Candidate for CIA Chief Jane Harman Advocated Ethnic Breakup of Iran
    • If the US or Israel had any inkling of enemies with such a track record plotting their destruction like this they would attack immediately.

  • Analysis: How Washington Post strips casualties from covert drone data (Woods)
    • Lets face it it is the United States that is full of people who want to kill people.

  • Two Canadians Discover the US has become a Police State
  • A Post-Mortem on Muslim Rage: What did the reaction to the Islamophobic Trailer Really Tell Us? (Abootalebi)
    • I do agree that the 'more-Islamic-than-thou' showing off aspect of this has been responsible for much of this violence. Islamic - but not Islamist. A large number of Muslims from a group centred on Pakistan are very keen on demonstrating how much they love the Prophet - and some unfortunately are prepared to go to extraordinary lengths to prove their fervour in this respect. Those most keen on this are part of a Sufi movement that is very, very far from the Islamist movements in Pakistan - their abhorrence of one another can be quite shocking. Ironically the behaviour of those keenest to beat their chests over this issue in front of the cameras has led many to conclude they are some kind of metastatising of Al Qaeda. And of course we have the poison Pipes pumping away over here making the very important point out that this is the essence of what all Muslims are all about. Apply the same about what the IDF and it's fan club have been up to to Jews in general and see what comes your way.
      Even those who have been demonstrating in the UK are from this faction. Their behaviour (and dress) at at EDL counter-demos recently has just served to convince more that all Muslims are somehow Al Qaeda in disguise. Yet they despise Islamist movements, and will at the drop of a hat, tell all and sundry they are the "nice" Muslims who are against all this "Islamist" stuff. This sectarianism reminds me of old jibe at Presbyterians - they can't decide which is worst, The Pope or the Devil. It all exists for the petty self-aggrandisement of what passes as 'Clergy' - who live in their own little bubble, acting pious - playing personal politics, milking their congregation AKA constituency.
      It would be interesting to see how those so keen to prove their piety in a thuggish manner actually measure in terms of real personal morality in their everyday transactions. A little bit of over compensating going on here, one cannot help but conclude. But as long as sufficient goes in the pot on a Friday, however ill-gotten, they will be told by the one that matters what good men they are.

  • Annals of Settler Colonialism (5): German Namibia #savagesunite
    • You're right. It's not Israel's fault that Palestinians exist and won't go as they are supposed to.

  • Fury Unbound: the Muslim Dilemma (Majid)
    • I don't think you can change the law over this. Despite the face that many reasons are provided for closing down free speech over numerous other matters.
      However if one is to make such an offensive movie about someone who is loved as a family member, or more so, by millions, the public need to think how they would like it if similar material was made about their father or mother or daughter. Not just about celebs or politicians or royalty - but for every single family.
      Muslims do not make such material about Jesus, Moses, Abraham and so forth. But maybe, if they wanted to go down to the same level, and do some Photoshop jobs on a lot of families, across generations, and maybe throw in a few dogs and so forth. If they did this for several million families, it would be interesting to see how well the victims of these provocations, en masse, handled it.

    • “Ijtihad” means to struggle with ideas and you are absolutely correct. Theologians (most of which were bought and paid for) decided they had figured everything out and all matters were now closed.
      Having said that I don't think Mr Majid is going to lose his position. Unlike Eric Margolis or Norman Finklestein. And as for the oh-so-of-repeated popular narrative about the murder that took place in Benghazi - the really smug one - refer to Glenn Greenwald. A lot of people who consider themselves to be liberals have become reflexively imperialist in their mindset.

  • Arabs and the Olympics (Majid)
    • I don't have a problem being an observant Muslim and working for a household name's R&D division. My religion teaches me that if I have to do something I should do it well. I have quite a few other interests all of which I do try pursue with this in mind, with varying results. Any number of Muslims will tell me this - but many of the ones that consider themselves particularly religious will endlessly talk about that but not actually embark on any practical project.
      They are more yaktical than practical.
      Too concerned with milking the kudos they can get by being endlessly seen to be more religiously knowledgeable or outwardly pious than the next guy.
      Interestingly this same disease can be observed in the entirely secular world of work. People with endless PHDs in non-PHD subjects like engineering that literally do not own a screwdriver.
      There is a lot to Islam - to pick and choose from - unfortunately. Let me pick something. What Muhammad said he feared most for his 'ummah' was ash-shirk-ashagir (The Lesser Idolatry. He described it as something that can creep up on you unawares like "a black ant on a black rock on a black night".
      He was talking about showing off.
      The Muslim world fails because it is filled with useless show offs.

  • Minority Births the Majority? On how the whole idea of White People is Made Up
    • Western and particularly American definitions of race have seemed to me for a long time to be bipolar disordered.

  • Kenyan police accused of brutal attacks on Somalis (Serle)
  • No, Virginia, Iran isn't in Bed with Al-Qaeda (Abbotabad Trove)
    • Those that lie, and those who repeat lies that they could look into but won't, are as bad as the extremists they pretend to be saving us from.
      Extremists that are out to murder you are your enemy, irrespective of who they are, and from which direction it is coming from. And it is necessary to know your enemy, is it not, in order to determine how best to deal with the threat?

      Thank you, disloyal neocon liars. You're doing a really good job of reinforcing negative stereotypes. But maybe not the ones you intended to reinforce.

  • How Pakistan Gouges US on Afghan War Expense (Hiro)
    • Without idiots with shipments of dollars to prey upon, the Pakistani 'elite' might be forced to learn some useful skills. Their current repertoire might make them feel smart, but it's nothing to be proud of.

  • The N. Korea/ Iran Nuclear Connection Fraud
    • In the age of you tube and digital video we can all keep a good record of the shallow and ambitious shills dutifully broadcasting this reprocessed garbage from their assorted media perches as if it were absolute fact. At some point in the future we may not see them prosecuted, but they could possibly be ambushed and exposed with this kind of material.

  • Top Ten Dangers for Obama of Iran Sanctions on behalf of Israel
  • Greek Lessons for the Arab Spring: Majid
    • So how come the Arabs made it their business to preserve Greek knowledge? Much of which has only been preserved in Europe via the medium of Arabic as other records had been deliberately destroyed. They also built upon it considerably, adding, for example, Sine, Cosine, ArcSine, ArcCosine and ArcTan to the original Greek Tan. And Newton, without which the modern world could not function, openly acknowledged he build his achievements mathematics also fresh from the medium of Arabic.
      In the end, we are all just part of a chain in these matters. Apart, of course, from the the end-of-history delusionals. I suspect they are not a new thing - just a particular, recurrent species of 'Black Adder' sycophant doing what they must to earn their keep.
      I agree about the present day radical Islamists - though **so called** Boko Haram (not their own name for themselves, BTW) cannot be taken as representative even of them. The joke to me is that these 'radicals' (we so abuse this word by using it this way) pine for the lost achievements of Andalusia and ancient Baghdad. If they had been in charge at the time I'm pretty certain things would have not turned out quite so well. I don't think much would have been achieved. The point is, they weren't.
      However, as regards the changes taking place now, a Benghazi doctor recently told me "Islam is about accountability". All of his companions agreed. They went back out there the following week. We all imagine democracy to be a suitable medium through which to achieve that. With our legacy of Mr Blair raking it in Scot free, and what looks like End Game for fractional reserve banking, it amazes me they still think this is possible.

  • How an Israeli Strike on Iran could radically weaken Israel
    • You've hit the nail on the head there. If they really want Iran to have no nuclear weapons program, ever, that its the only way they are going to achieve it.

  • Majid: Why America Matters to Muslims
    • "Sunni Muslims must speak out against the wanton murders of Shiites and Christians in their midst, not just complain about Westerners." I could not agree more, particularly regarding Bahrain and the Saudi 'da'wah'. But I also cannot get past the following facts. In 1987 I stayed in a house in London full of Iraqi, both Shia and Sunni. Despite Saddam, they had no problem with each other, and had no sympathy with sectarianism - putting it down to lack of education and opportunistic politicians exploiting grievances. From then until now I have known quite a few Iraqi families. They all seem to be mixed. But they tell me that "back home" there are those who force such families to split up. The invasion of Iraq allowed the astonishingly bigoted Sunni extremists in, gave them a cause to rally people around. Then, a political system that allowed the installation of a sectarian government didn't exactly help, in particular after that bizzare post election "delay". Could they not have had democracy without that? Others somehow manage. Then as sectarian militia ethnically cleansed Baghdad of Sunnis, no-one took any notice. Only the anti-Shia atrocities, sick as they were, appeared on our radar.

      It seems to me that despite Saddam, as a people they were quite capable of resolving their differences. Pity they were not able to continue despite the likes of Paul Bremner. Apart from that, I agree with what you are saying. However, the muslim that refuses to blame himself and his own society and always blames America is an exaggerated figure, virtually a myth. You are right to point out that what has been happening over the last year disproves it. However it has always been a myth. As with everything do do with the Middle East, these is always too much filtering, too much cherry picking - and those who indulge in this invariably have their own interests at stake.

  • Theocratic Dominance of the New Egypt may be Exaggerated
    • I totally agree is someones selling point is refutation he is just going to cause trouble.

    • The old-school Ikhwan and the Salafists are discredited, increasingly splintered, and even distrusted amongst Muslims thoroughly sick of upfront religious rhetoricians whose basic skill is to imply that going against them is going against God. The desire for a Turkish-style regime cannot be underestimated. From what I have seen, increasingly Muslims want leaders that actually behave as if they are God-fearing - over everyday issues and basic morality. There has been a spate of those who have been playing politics in the manner they have been hitherto playing sectarianism - to get a following, refute any opposition, and fill the collection boxes and their pockets.
      They have been exploiting grievances with their militant push-button solutions that inevitably fail in the same manner that the hard left has done in the past. Maybe they have had their day. I don't think the Egyptians are really interested in who has the longest beard.

  • News that Makes you Go 'Hunh'?
    • Very interesting. As suspected, in one word, Blair.
      Sounds like we should be asking for a return on our licence fees.

    • When the BBC report the protests in the city of London, they use the phrase "anti-Capitalist" once every ten seconds. Are we being told that moral objections, to out-and-out gambling, criminal behaviour, and the refusal to comply standards of honesty expected from the rest of us, have nothing to do with it? Are we being told the protesters are all die hard Socialists who wish to give to place to productive private enterprise? Are we being told there is no viable alternative?
      Once upon a time I was perfectly happy to pay them my licence fee. I'm now not to pleased to subsidise them as they rehearse their skills as court 'intellectuals'.

  • Wagging the Dog with Iran's Maxwell Smart
    • How is someone living a nation that ends up being attacked so that an American politician afraid of looking weak can improve his chances of re-election expected to view Western democracy?

  • Visiting Liberty Square (Occupy Wall Street)
    • Oh my word what excellent placards! We need the same thing here in the City of London. Something tells me the poor things might have a problem getting to work after the next bailout.
      The crowds will clear, as if by magic, if they start jumping.

  • 77 US troops Wounded in Truck Bombing of Base in Wardak; Top Reasons US should get out of Afghanistan
    • The brainwashing power of constant propaganda and fear of the consequences of not being seen to conform. Shut out the awkward facts using the filters carefully prepared for you, and shut down the brain. Easy to do IMO.

  • When Extremism Learns to Blow things Up
  • Top Ten Mistakes in the Libya War
    • Thanks for a yet another illuminating article. Even if I do not always agree with your conclusions, I would never doubt the honesty, sincerity and the reliability of the sources used, which is a vast improvement on just about everything else.
      I cannot but conclude that it is a graet pity that the Libyans have required external assistance, as there are too many interested parties wanting to get their foot in the door. Cameron's first visit to the post-"spring" Middle East was with a bevvy of arms dealers. Talk about true to type. Thank you Cameron - despite his name he has become an Anglo Saxon negative stereotype extraordinaire. As a Scot let me assure the rest of the world we / they are not all like him (or Blair). Now we are hearing in the UK how much this Libyan intervention is going to cost - in every tabloid - suspiciously like the an opening salvo on how we intend to get it back. The money we spend has gone to the crony complex and the money we recoup - no prizes for guessing where that will go. It's the new White Man's Burden. The sacrifices we all have to make for those heroic billionaires.
      Nonetheless I shall be recommending your blog to my Libyan doctor friends who have been repeatedly flying out to provide medical help in Benghazi and Tunisia. Maybe they can make some contribution here as well.

  • Women to Protest Driving Ban in Saudi Arabia
  • Top Ten Things Anthony Weiner has Said that are Worse than Sexting
    • MaisOuiMaisNon 06/11/2011 at 4:26 am

      Hmm. The "H" word again. We don't hate , do we? We're past all *that*. Oh, but them , they are full of hate, Didn't you know? Muslims, hate , Palestinians , hate, Arabs, hate, Muslims, terrorists, what's the difference, all interchangeable words perpetually glued together. Personally, I find that when people do really bad things, I kind of dislike it. And if they do it a lot, I really dislike it. And want to put a stop to it. And when any attempt to do so is blocked by the accusation that I am somehow the bad guy, by certain members of the world's creme de la creme, it kind of intensifies the issue. Maybe it's something to do with an innate sense of justice, some kind of evolutionary hangover, it would seem. But doesn't anyone remember how they wanted to jump into the screen and gun down Eichmann in that film? Ah, but that was *different*, how we felt then was proof of our nobility courage and desire to vanquish evil.

      With guys like this gagging for things like the Iraq sanctions and subsequent war, not just the removal of Saddam, but the the utter destruction of the country, if you've lost everything, what is there to love?

      When youngsters, including my children, mention Israel and Jews, I mention the likes of Uri Avnery, God love him.If anyone is serious about countering anti-Semitism, I suggest they do the same. You wont get any thanks for it, but you will be doing the job.

    • MaisOuiMaisNon 06/11/2011 at 4:04 am

      But didn't you you know turning all the rest of humanity against the evil Arab is a liberal cause? But seriously, this is a big moral issue for the whole of the West. Selective morality is now totally acceptable with a huge sector of the middle classes everywhere. Zionist propaganda has gone to the extreme of brilliantly playing on people worst instincts, and by mulching this in with assorted liberal views it provides the garb to dress up the basest of attitudes as somehow noble and honourable.

  • Anzalone, After Usama: The Jihadi-Takfiri Trend after Bin Laden
    • This fails to address whether or not killing of civilians is a legitimate jihad. A struggle against the issues listed in the article can most certainly be performed by a variety of means, including many non-violent, and if violent, then it could be done only against legitimate combatants. Many Muslim scholars avidly maintain that jihad that targets civilians is, to put it bluntly, unholy. There is no getting away from the fact that jihad means struggle, which can of course take many forms - exactly as it does in English. To use the expression "Holy War" and be aware of the point I have just made is neocon spin. So why has the author done that?

  • Top Ten Myths about Bin Laden's Death
  • Syrian Security fires on Protesters, Kills 90
    • Thanks for reporting this. It is unfortunate that so many still cling to the cliches, self-delusion, bigotry and selective blindness of the neocon narrative. However, it is now collapsing. The Kool Aid isn't working anymore. That is great, but I dread to think what evil brew they will try to replace it with. God willing they will not be able to come up with anything. The narrative rested on arrogant, condescending bigotry, and the willingness of the populace to be pleasured into imagining they could be the salt of the earth without really trying, thinking, or having any moral courage or vigilance whatsoever. Of course to be so - lazy - and morally blind - and imagine oneself to be superior really depends on others being seen as base savages.
      However the Arab Spring has earned the admiration of the majority who still can recognize the real human courage and dignity of those who stand up to their oppressors.
      The liars and court 'intellectuals' now have to deal with the fact that the Western public is not quite as stupid and easily led as they, from their very lofty positions, may care to imagine them to be.

  • Qaddafi's Scorched Earth Policy, at Home and Abroad
    • My understanding is that "al ummah" means all believers irrespective of social status, nationality or ethnicity and "ash-sha'b" implies the ordinary people, usually in the context of a given nation or tribe - "ash-sha'b al Masr" - the ordinary people of Egypt. I would not take them to be mutually exclusive. Muslims anxious to sound as solemn and zealous as possible will use the former. However the vast majority of Muslims including most "clerics" would see nothing whatsoever irreligious in the use of the word sha'b. I think it is important to note that this is a struggle against tyranny - the one the Arab world has been waiting for for a long time. There is no way of getting away from the fact that jihad means struggle, irrespective of how Muslim and right wing extremists (and a few others) may care to define it.

  • Qaddafi Son Incites Massacre of Protesters
    • Druggies? In London he is renowned as an avid consumer of "substances" and a whoremonger.

  • Kusha: Iran vs. Egypt: Qualitative Differences in Capabilities
    • Extremely intelligent. The vindication of the real experts on the Middle East as a consequence of recent events has pushed real understanding of this very complex situation - an understanding that they are rather important custodians of - further and further ahead. All the intelligent hypotheses, based on fact and not wishful thinking, have been tried and tested and now the scientific evidence is there with which to proceed yet further. Congratulations guys - now you are even further ahead and the, shall we say, opportunists of prostituted intellect are even further behind. Looking dumb.
      And an awful lot more people are seeing things as they are. At long last.

  • Fear Not the Muslim Brotherhood Boogeyman: Cole in Truthdig
    • You really would think the only choices available, like the street gangs in some films, can be identified by their clothing. Business suits, military uniforms, or jallabas, turbans and tarboushes. If someone has a job to do all that should really matter is that he does it well and is not corrupt.

  • Communique No. 5 Suspends Constitution, Prorogues Parliament
    • It's always good to see the preponderance of perceptive comments on this site. As regards the generals - I wonder if it is all discipline, respect and no talking back when they are dealing with their respective clans. The more macho a man in a position of power makes himself out to be - the more suspect it is as regards who is really pulling the strings.

  • Egypt: I ask Myself Why
    • By the same rationale rather a lot of members of other parties in a quite a few other places should never be let out of prison. The logic of pre-emption ultimately makes the pre-emptor, in the eyes of just about any observer, the one to whom a stop must be put. Not because of what he might do - but because of what he is actually doing.

      When bad things are done to people some of them get mad and do bad things back. It's really not that difficult to understand.

  • Mubarak Defies a Humiliated America, Emulating Netanyahu
    • What the hell would she be without Monica? I'm privately convinced that when she visits Netanyahu it's for revenge.

    • I'm sorry to have to agree with you. He is a wimp and one that was temporarily intoxicated and given courage by fawning supporters that made unconditional support for him an article of faith. The expression he had whilst basking in their adorations seems to have been replaced by something else. As Gore Vidal pointed out - he could use a bit of "chill". Too much focus on "soaring" into power and being everybody's friend does not, it would seem, inculcate what is necessary once it has been attained.

    • "We are only one step away of being treated, with “protest zones” and “Patriot Acts” just as badly as the peaceful Egyptian protesters have been."
      And the same bunch of war profiteers that have been benefiting from the conflicts abroad will have a new income stream. And then, when they have just about destroyed everything they too will fly off in their private jets.

  • Why Egypt 2011 is not Iran 1979
    • So have they delivered proscribed crowd dispersal gases? Quite likely. Getting an Arab regime to use them against their own would be perfect.
      With the "talking points" slowly but surely and so predictably getting established - i.e. how Egyptian freedom must be suppressed so that freedom may be preserved elsewhere in the world - some are probably thinking they can get away with it. When sufficient elements in the Western media starts to solemnly accept their is a "duty" and "responsibility" to "restoring order" and preventing all the terrible things that would happen but for this pre-emption, it could happen. Any backlash and radicalisation created by this will come in useful too - and Mubarak, Israel & Neocons Co Ltd can portray themselves as essential to us all - heroically keeping the barbaric hordes at bay.
      They remind me of the Cheshire Cat. "We could make them *really* angry! Shall we try?"

  • Pressman: The Cyclical vs. the Fundamental in U.S. Policy
    • Thank-you. "endless short-term commitments to autocrats" sums it up and I hope this phrase enters the general discourse. This is the clarity and concision required to get the truth across to those who have little attention span for such an inconvenient matter.

  • Egypt's Class Conflict
    • 150 dead according to Al Jazeera. Without in any way wishing to show the Iranian regime in a good light, contrast the coverage of that with the coverage of one dead in similar circumstances in Iran. There are worthy and unworthy victims, as John Pilger explains.
      I await the subterfuge and provocation necessary to paint the opposition to Mubarak as some kind of fundamentalist madness that threatens us all. However, Egytians are a bright lot and I imagine they are pretty good at chess.

  • Zewail's 4 point Plan for Egypt
    • Cant help but agree. Manipulating the means of exchange gives an elite the power to manipulate but not create wealth. Unfortunately a lot of socialists confuse the issue by not differentiating between this and a fair and productive free market, subjected to the same policing as the rest of us - free of cronyism, fraud and corporatist fascism. Looks like Egypt has the same problems that we have - but those that benefit lack the sophistication to bamboozle the populace permanently.
      No coincidence that the "quantitive easing" has lead to riots elsewhere - a fiat reserve currency has exported the inflation whilst war profiteers and other snouts in the trough feast. By accepting economic quackery - whilst hoping for social programmes - we have ended up with socialism for the bankers - but just when they make a loss. The profits are private. Egyptians are a capable people and economic freedom is what they require.

      Never forget for one minute how did all this started in Tunisia.

    • The problem appears to be the separation of any kind of moral decency from the state.

  • Egyptians Defy Protest Ban, Plan big Rallies for Friday; Death toll Rises to 6
    • Whenever I think of the Tunisian and Egyptian police and security services, I am reminded of this gem from, allegedly, Karl Rove:
      "That's not the way the world really works anymore." He continued "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors ... and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."

      All that "We're an empire now" really means is "We have the upper hand now", it would seem - with a bit of delusional rubbish about the end of history thrown in - as if that hasn't been suggested before.

      Well, in a couple of places at least, the boot's on the other foot. As regards those "security" officers, if I were an Egyptian or Tunisian Imam or Priest, I'd refuse to bury them.

  • Egypt forbids Protests a Day after it was Shaken by Thousands of Demonstrators, 3 Killed
    • The so-called "Islamists" are discredited. They have been a hodge podge. Borrowed revolutionary ideas that seem sophisticated but are in fact an import (read "heresy"). In cahoots with with knee-jerk, tribalistic conservatism and sectarianism the seems to be based on the premise that the more "us" and the less "them" something is - the more true to Islam it must be. All backed up with thuggish "them or us" rhetoric that exactly mirrors that of George Bush. Much of the whole populist Islamist phenomenon relies on ignorance of the religion and insecure men trying to out-tough the next guy. If there was peace justice and stability - and education - they would only have faint support and just from the backwoods. They only even appear to get any following if they can ignite some terrible situation such as in Iraq, and raise the temperature sufficiently.

      However the manner in which Egyptians protected the Coptic Christians from attacks earlier this month shows how sickened they are of this kind of thing. The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood must know this. If they wish to remain a force they will have to totally inoculate themselves against this kind of thing. Mind you Abdullah Azzam used to do that, and look what happened to him for his efforts.
      Extremists can only get a following in a blood bath. Some operatives in Iraq knew this a few years ago when they bombed the Golden Dome. I hope the same kind of events do not take place in Egypt. It would serve the interests of evil men all too well.

    • Thanks Juan. I await the reports from assorted stenographers, in which we will be solemnly told that the Arab masses must live under our appointed tyrants so that freedom may be preserved in the world. Ahh, the white man's burden, so noble we are to shoulder it.

  • New Wikileaks: US Knew Tunisian Gov. Rotten Corrupt, Supported Ben Ali Anyway
    • This issue hopefully will bring home to people the real nature and root cause of what the problem is in the Arab world. If there is a effort in the media to confuse people over the real nature of so-called "secular" and so-called "moderate" Arab leaders, it will only reveal the true nature of the journalists involved. If a significant part of the public refuse to let go of the idea that the "ones that look like us" are somehow the good guys, and the "ones that don't" are the bad ones, this will reveal how far we travelled toward a new form of fascism.

  • Death of Pakistani Secularism Much Exaggerated
    • So many see what is happening as intolerance and extremism. As someone who embraced Islam 27 years ago, and sometimes have to deal with this shameful behaviour, I see it as something worse.
      They are utterly addicted to showing off how what tough Muslims they are.
      In my experience all of the problem characters have this issue. A must-be-seen-to-go-further-than-the-next-guy atmosphere creates insecure individuals who can be very easily manipulated. Those who cultivate this atmosphere, and who cultivate doubts about someone's faith in order to get them to switch allegiances, have a great deal to answer for.The Prophet Muhammad said he feared one thing for his community of followers more than anything else - the lesser form of idolatry - show. He described it as a black ant on a black rock on a black night. Well it seems to have crept up on quite a few, and frankly, seems like they have man issues.

      Seeing the issue as just as extremism is a mistake. Extremism is often over very silly, obsessive, petty things.
      Franz Fanon might have said something interesting.

  • White Terrorism
    • I am a bit surprised at the use of the term "libertarian" here. Palin supporters are not quite the same as those who admire Ron Paul.
      The libertarians at Lew Rockwell are not pro war or the slightest bit anti Muslim. Many of them actually admire aspects of some Muslim societies such as Oman and the UAE states which have small government. They do not dumbly defend American exceptionalism, dismissing it as the narcissic excuse that it is. They are fully aware that no-one particularly appreciates being invaded. They particularly detest the likes of Palin - or anyone who cheaply exploits bigotry in any shape or form for the service of the corporate state "snouts at the trough". That - and not liberalism - is their absolute bete noire.
      For them, the expressions neoconservative and neoliberal are basically one and the same thing. The burgeoning state develops it's own dynamic irrespective of ideology. Personally I tend to agree. How much of a state you should have is however always going to be open to question.
      However much it gets corrupted and twisted in the minds of the ignorant, American suspicion of the state is essentially a healthy thing. Pity so many don't check their facts.

  • Wainwright: Taseer's Assassination Lays Bare Contradictions in Pakistani Islam
    • I have suspected right from the outset there has been a dispute and she has been smeared.
      Ulema who talk of the law and have no concern for due process of justice are destroying Islam.

  • Taliban Getting Stronger, As US Public Support for Afghanistan War Collapses
    • Interference empowers militants - and the industrial military "security" complex. This in turn provides the justification - and drive - for further meddling. These condescending neoliberals are the one who really need meddling with.

      One day the cretins that rise to their bait on all sides will get wise to them.

  • 8 Baghdad Bombings Target Christians
    • A much needed article. The usual tabloid narrative somehow ignores that this apparent exodus has come rather suddenly after over 1400 years of coexistence.
      Reactively blaming Christians for the occupation is the dimwitted mentality characteristic of the rustic tribal xenophobes that the US has seen fit to sponsor for various reasons over the last few decades. These are the ones that generally take the bait and are only too happy to collaborate if it suits their own narrow interests. This attitude is not the urbane mentality of those who have lived for centuries in the cosmopolitan cities that used to dominate the Islamic world. It is the attitude of those those whose religious tribalism is so extreme that when they return from Mecca to their tribal fastnesses, they utter "Al-hamdu lillah, raja't ila al' bilad al Islam" - "Thank God I have returned to the land(s) of Islam". Presumably seeing a wide variety of other Muslims not quite identical to themselves is just too distasteful for them.

      However it has to be said that if various armies from the Middle East were on the rampage across Europe, I dread to think what the plight of Muslims here would be. As it is, many are well prepared to us sticks and leave at very short notice.

  • Christmas Trees, Christmas Parties among Egyptian Muslims
    • For years and years a leading Islamic institute in the UK
      attempted to conduct some kind of annual seminar to discuss how to
      improve relations between the Muslim community and the rest of
      society. Something that should be quite a high priority, given the
      current state of things, one would have thought. A long-standing
      employee of this institute informed me that for year after year,
      overbearing individuals from a certain Gulf state showed up and
      turned the whole thing into a debate about Christmas Cards.
      Christmas cards. It would appear that their experience of British
      society consists almost entirely of what they see in shopping
      malls, but nonetheless with their wealth and status they know
      what's best for the rest of us. Then they go home to their high
      walled villas and big empty desks and interminable medical
      treatment. We have allowed ourselves to be influenced by such
      bone-headed cretins - who have no concept of social reality social
      justice - or just about any social issue whatsoever. Without which
      guidance is high-on impossible. Muslims in Britain have courted
      disaster. To be fair, the vast majority have not preached any kind
      of political or violent extremist - but their selective and utterly
      un-nuanced jurisprudence, obsessed with the external manifestations
      of idolatry and nothing else, has opened the doors for those who
      have. If they didn't have the money they would been dismissed as
      insignificant.

    • I can understand a sense of missing out in Europe or in the USA - particularly when children are involved. Outside of the Muslim world there is no real "sense" of 'Eid - so Muslim children brought up here only really experience an all-permeating festive atmosphere in the Christmas build up.
      Too many people from the Arab world have tried to impress on me how European they are. I personally believe that societies can be externally influenced and change in ways that do not lead them into discarding who they really are - but to do this requires secure and autonomous individuals who evaluate. Something the Muslims should be good at, even if some Westerners don't like it. Imitating because it is some kind of must-have fashion item is an entirely different thing. I suspect it is largely commercially driven. And as regards that - the overwhelming festive feel of TV ads in the UK disappears completely on Christmas Eve because they are no more shopping days left. As soon as you get to the very thing they've been banging on about for the last two months, they want you to focus on something else. It might make commercial sense, but it's actually slightly shocking. They need to respect their own traditions a bit more. Not something worth following here.

      I agree with Emme. They should do themselves, and other Muslims trying to retain their identity in the West a favour by making Eid something really special. It really is a bit sad.

  • On How War with Iran might Destroy the United States
    • The vast majority of Sunnis are thoroughly tired of what Juan describes as "hyper-Sunni"ism - it is now seen as a construct to vindicate clerical rule (which Khomeini arguably invented anyway) - and also the Nejdi regime in Saudi Arabia which fools very few. Interestingly, it has only gained traction in poorly educated, land-locked xenophobic rural interiors. These are often places where the mere suggestion that conservative tribal tradition may not be precisely the same thing as the purest interpretation of Islam is regarded as high treason. Clerics seeking to elevate their status adjust their positions accordingly. The empowerment of such regimes has been a guarantee of division.
      However, the popularity of Hassan Nasrullah outside of Lebanon, amongst Sunnis, demonstrates that a very large number are ready to move away from this, irrespective of what some clerics like to say about what they imagine Shia get up to.

      There are plenty of bizzare practices in the Sunni world they could preoccupy themselves with, some more akin to what you'd expect to find in Haiti as opposed to their bastion of monotheism.

      However there are faults on both sides - I've seen first hand some pretty provocative material distributed to young Shia students in the '80s designed to turn them against Sunnis, containing pretty ludicrous allegations.

      The point is that in the Muslim world, division appears to be some kind of industry to elevate the mediocre - an opportunity they only have on the face of tyranny. But now an ever larger number are seeing through it. The Iranian leader may seem foolish and the regime corrupt and without any mandate. The Saudi princes appear abominable, arrogant and decadent. The so-called 'Jihadis' commit acts that make us all feel revulsion and then leave the rest of the Muslims to deal with the consequences - quite deliberately. Increasingly these are seen as just third rate opportunists trying to play an unstable and potentially fluid situation to their advantage.

      Prior to the invasion, Sunni / Shia mixed marriages in Iraq had become completely normal. After the Iranian revolution, the majority of Pakistani Sunnis were just waiting to see how it panned out, despite frantic attempts to make them fanatically anti-Shia (sponsored by the Saudis). When they are not being bombarded with inflammatory propaganda, car bombs, death squads or military ordinance, people are quite capable of making judgements for themselves.

      I cannot think of a more effective wake up call to shake them out this, than an American invasion of Iran.

  • Palin on the Ground Zero Mosque vs. the Founding Fathers
    • A semi literate ill informed fog of a mind is a political asset for her. If she actually made some genuine enquiries about the world she might end up better qualified for the job she's after but would "lose touch" with those whose vote she requires in order to get it.
      She's doing a pretty good job of reinforcing stereotypes all round if you ask me.

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