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History Quiz: Two weddings and a farewell

View image | gettyimages.com     Q1. Where was the picture taken? (Clue –  think of somewhere nice – Oh! what a giveaway) Q2. Who is this? (Clue – He had something in common with Bahadur Shah Zafar)  Q3. And this? (Clue – he received a knighthood for his administrative abilities – and incidentally, so did his son) Q4.…

extremists-box

Extremists – what us?

David Keys in The Independent, ‘During the Cold War, the British Government used the general public as unwitting biological and chemical warfare guinea pigs on a much greater scale than previously thought, according to new historical research…Up until now historians had thought that such operations had been much less extensive. The new research, carried out…

torture

Torture – a shared value?

                  Libya rendition update: ‘According to the documents discovered after the fall of Gaddafi, five men were subjected to control orders on the basis of intelligence assessments that are now alleged to have been based in part on information extracted during Libyan interrogation of the two opposition…

syria-britain

Syria/Iraq – a time for cool heads

  The Government’s mixed signals on Syria revealed in the Bherlin Gildo case, as reported in The Guardian, ‘ The prosecution of a Swedish national accused of terrorist activities in Syria has collapsed at the Old Bailey after it became clear Britain’s security and intelligence agencies would have been deeply embarrassed had a trial gone ahead… His…

quotes

Dodgy Padres!

Wobbly church fathers, monks and rabbis! No Drivers Please! Naomi Alderman expressing indignation with the London-based Jewish orthodox community objecting to women driving cars: ‘But I wish the office of the chief rabbi – supposedly a moderate and outward-facing organisation – had come up with more leadership than the milquetoast statement: “The Belz Hasidic dynasty…

WoT & the deeper malaise

Paul Krugman in the NYT, 18th May 2015: ‘…America invaded Iraq because the Bush administration wanted a war. The public justifications for the invasion were nothing but pretexts, and falsified pretexts at that. We were, in a fundamental sense, lied into war. The fraudulence of the case for war was actually obvious even at the…

bbc

Watching the BBC

Frances Stonor Saunders, writing about the left-wing academic Eric Hobsbawm, also provides new insights on the vetting of BBC staff in the 1980s: ‘Vetting of sensitive posts was presented as a perfectly sensible policy, a national security matter, and insofar as the practice was discussed at all, it was not controversial. Yet it provided legitimacy…

Afghanistan

Afghanistan – Pride & Prejudice – Part X

                      Then and now – what the experts said at the outset of this disastrous venture that has led to such loss of blood and treasure: – that Afghanistan met the ‘just war’ criteria! General Guthrie – ‘Orientals’ preferred treachery and deceit as the best ways to…

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Terrorism Laws – crows come home to roost?

The misuse of Britain’s hastily conceived anti-terrorism/counter-terrorism laws and security regimes is now affecting society as a whole…  Joshua Rozenberg in the Guardian, 5th February 2015: Police will be forced to seek the permission of a judge if they want to retrieve the phone and email records of journalists. The ruling comes after the prime…

oic

A call for a global conversation

A blog posting  by Rumman Ahmed. Recently, the noted British Muslim community leader and faith-based activist, Dr M. A. Bari,  has written an insightful article ‘Healing the ills of the Muslim ummah’s public life‘  where he outlined three priority areas for Muslims across the ummah to address. All three are of utmost importance, and I…