quotes

Lessons for socio-political activists

                Egypt’s neo-Pharaohs –  Ahdaf Soueif writing in the Guardian: “Since 30 June 2013, some 40,000 people have been arrested and 16,000 of them remain in prison. The majority probably belong to the now outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, of whom some will have committed acts of violence; most will…

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…

collar

Dodgy Padres!

Wobbly church fathers,monks and rabbis! The Churches during the National-Socialist era Charles Marsh’s recent biography on the heroic Pastor Bonhoeffer provides some insights on the less laudable responses of the Churches to the Nazis in 1930s Germany. Christian teachings “could be commandeered in the service of Germany, especially when the German theological establishment prsumed the…

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…

We Did It! Assassinations…Regime change…

  “Relatives of unarmed rubber plantation workers killed by British troops in Malaysia said on Wednesday they would appeal to the supreme court after three senior UK judges said they had “forged the first link in the chain” in their campaign for an independent inquiry into the massacre.” Richard  Norton-Taylor in the Guardian, 19 March…

simonwoolley

Simon Woolley rocks!

On Wednesday 5 March an extraordinary meeting of minds took place at the office of Operation Black Vote in Bethnal Green.  The theme was ‘The Power of the Black Vote’ and it aimed at creating a coalition of activists to put ‘race equality back on the agenda’.  The message: that it was essential for the…