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Extremists – what us?

UK Siobhan Fenton, Dina Rickman in the Independent, 22nd August 2016, ‘ Ultra-Orthodox Jewish rabbis have banned women from going to university, The Independent has learned. The strict Satmar sect issued the decree, seen by The Independent, warning that university education for women is “dangerous”. Written in Yiddish, the decree warns: “It has lately become the new trend…

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The Honey Traps

Martin Evans and Ben Farmer in the Daily Telegraph, ‘. . . [Anjem] Choudary was eventually prosecuted after swearing an oath of allegiance to Isil and posting YouTube videos in which he praised the murderous group. But there have been questions about why it took the authorities so long to prosecute Choudary, with some suggesting the…

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Archives’ sorry tales

An unhappy catalogue of lost (or concealed) archives…. Marc Parry on the Mau Mau investigations by Caroline Elkins, ‘. . . Many documents relating to the detention camps were either absent or still classified as confidential 50 years after the war. She discovered that the British had torched documents before their 1963 withdrawal from Kenya.…

Fly on the wall

Well said: ‘Leave Muslim women alone’ Excellent riposte from Elizabeth Eastmond on the French burkini ban, in a letter to the Guardian, . . . Throughout history, women’s bodies have been clothed in a variety of time- and culture-specific ways. Men’s calves and codpieces were prominently displayed in earlier English history. Did anyone complain? Many Polynesian…

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Islamophobia Dossier 2016

Three part dossier, with 6 year history. Recent updates:  clumsy & gratuitous headline in the Daily Telegraph; bomb threat to Eastwood Mosque, The Fatima Manji furore; Somerset Mosque – see ‘Abuse’ section THE ABUSE, PHYSICAL DAMAGE, VIOLENCE  THE MOCKING, ALARMIST TALK  THE CLUMSY ACTIONS & STATEMENTS   For 2015 Islamophobia log, click here For 2014 Islamophobia…

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Lessons from Egypt

Egypt’s reputation Abdullah Al-Sinawi writes in middleeastmonitor.com, August 2016, ‘The economic crisis in Egypt is escalating and the government is looking to sign a contract with the IMF for the value of $12 billion and for other loans worth $9 billion from other international institutions as a final resort before any possible collapse. The most…

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Metrics of Domestic Security

counterpunch.org reports, ‘Touting itself as a campaign providing advice on how to raise funds for Syrian refugees using the campaign, Help for Syria, Ricu has distributed leaflets to 760,000 homes throughout the country without alerting the recipients that these were government communications.  The Ricu initiative is contracted to private companies such as Breakthrough Media Network…

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Dodgy Padres!

Wobbly church fathers, monks and rabbis! Child abuse not taken up under Bishop Nazir Ali’s watch Michael Nazir Ali was appointed Bishop of Rochester in 1994, resigning after 15 years of service, in order  ‘to work with Muslim converts to Christianity in Britain’ (Daily Telegraph, 28 March 2009) and collaborating with Patrick Sookhdeo of the Barnabas Fund,…

Revolving Doors

There seems to be a seamless progression of public servants and politicians pursuing lucrative second careers…and vice versa. Some Post-Chilcot revelations: ‘ Jack Straw (former Home Secretary & Foreign Secretary) . . . has worked as a well-paid consultant to a commodities firm ED&f Man’; ‘Geoff Hoon (former Defence Secretary) . . . in May 2011, he…

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Torture – a shared value?

                  Owen Bowcott in the Guardian, 27 June 2016, ‘Munyaka is one of 40,000 Kenyans who are suing the UK government for compensation over the injuries and losses suffered during official repression of the Mau Mau insurgency. Despite paying out £19.9m to 5,228 Kenyans who suffered abuse…