torture

Torture – a shared value?

                  Phil Shiner in the Guardian: ‘But the debate should not be about mere UK involvement or complicity in torture. It is the UK’s actual use of torture – most notably in Iraq – that needs judicial scrutiny in public. That is the story, despite the fact…

immigration

Immigration – Britain cannot do without!

          Niki Chesworth in the Evening Standard, 24 November 2014: ‘…the London Ambulance Service (LAS) has been forced to look abroad to fill its vacancies as a result of the shortage of paramedics in the UK, hiring paramedics from Australia and New Zealand after a recruitment drive…However, nursing and midwifery has…

Revolving Doors

There seems to be a seamless progression of public servants and politicians pursuing lucrative second careers…and vice versa. “It is a curious coincidence that Assistant Chief Constable Anton Setchell, head of the entire UK domestic extremism spying operations between 2004 and 2010, is now head of security for engineering firm Laing O’Rourke…”. Dave Smith, the Guardian,…

That Special Relationship

    What is the nature of the special relationship between Britain and the US? “Britain’s special relationship with the US is so special only one side knows it exists” – Helmut Schmidt October 2014 Michael Clarke of RUSI: …the British took responsibility for Helmand in 2006. It was a move dictated as much by…

syria-britain

Syria/Iraq – a time for cool heads

Home Secretary Theresa May’s Tory Conference speech – on Britons travelling to Syria: The threat we face from ISIL is made even greater by the fact that there are at least 500 British nationals who have gone to Syria and Iraq, many of them to fight. Where they have dual nationality, I have the power to…

censored

Censorship is OK for some!

So there are limits to freedom of expression after all! But not if it applies to Muslims. If Muslims protest, then it becomes a battle to preserve artistic freedoms and the rights of expression, regardless of the insult caused. Catholic theologian banned A female Catholic theologian has been banned by the Archbishop of St Andrews…

john-bennett

An English spiritualist’s Yezidi encounters

John G Bennett (died 1974) travelled widely in the regions now lying between the Turkish-Iraqi-Syrian borders in the early 1950s, visiting tekkes, zawiyas and other sacred sites, later settling in England to establish the Coombe Springs sanctuary for spiritualist studies. Saturday 31st October 1953 After Nimrud, we had an experience of quite a different order when we went…

gaza

Gaza: merely a retaliation?

Ilam Pappe was brilliantly incisive in his recent contribution to Electronic Intifada: The present genocidal wave has, like all the previous ones, also a more  immediate background. It has been borne out of an attempt to foil the Palestinian decision to form a unity government that even the United States could not object to […]…

Blair – the tired/tiring record

July 2014 One of the attractions for Blair in working with the United Arab Emirates and al-Sisi is apparently that the latter two have turned against the Muslim Brotherhood. Blair is a profound Islamophobe and hates the Muslim religious Right, even though he has been perfectly happy to shill for the Christian religious Right. Al-Sisi…

farsi couplet

SOAS academic’s take on Maudoodi

  Jan-Peter Hartung, Senior Lecturer in the Study of Islam at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London,  has recently published a book on the thought of the founder of Pakistan’s Jamaat Islami, Maulana Maudoodi (he prefers the spelling Mawdudi). For Salaam’s reviewer, it typifies the “malevolent but useful gaze of…