extremists-box

Extremists – what us?

Germany David  Olusoga  writes in the Guardian, ‘. . . one morning last summer, I was ushered into a little office in the Botswana National Archives. I’d asked the archivists to dig out a document that I had wanted to see for 20 years. After a couple of phone calls, the file was brought in.…

crows (Custom)

WoT & the deeper malaise

Samuel Osborne in the Independent, ‘George W Bush’s administration saw Iraq as “unfinished business” and had their “minds made up from day one,” a former CIA analyst has said . . . “You know, they had their minds made up from day one. And then after 9/11, that’s when the death warrant for Saddam Hussein was…

synagogue knocker

Knocking at another door!

So there are Britons so disturbed by the socio-economic consequences of  the Brexit vote that they are contemplating emigration! According to Sam Jones of the Guardian (31 December 2016), ‘The UK’s decision to leave the European Union has fueled an 80-fold increase in the number of British Sephardic Jews seeking Portuguese citizenship under a recent…

terrorism-laws2

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… a climate of suspicion permeates, with an impact on individual and collective behaviour. Anushka Asthana in the Guardian, 25 December 2016, ‘Councils were given permission to carry out more than 55,000 days of covert surveillance over five…

football

The Slip Up

The OIC Secretary General has fallen on his sword for his slip up when calling on the Tunisian President  Beji Caid Essebsi to the podium at a recent conference:  “Mr President Beji Caid al-Sisi. Essebsi. Sorry. This is a big mistake.” However Iyad Madani then tried some humour: I’m sure your fridge has more than water, Your…

cup of tea

Fun and Faction

Fly on the wall – some Fun and Faction Downing Street ,Thursday 20 October, 8 a.m. Prime Minister’s breakfast meeting with her PPS. PM: Patch me to Parker. Now. PPS sets up secure line to Thames House: PM for the DG. Now. PM: Parker, have you seen today’s Guardian? Parker:  PM, I read the Telegraph…

french-flag

Fly on the wall

French hypocrisy So is the French state really neutral about religion? Not from President Francois Hollande’s latest statement (11th October 2016, reported in lexpress.fr). “Ce n’est pas l’islam qui pose un problème dans le sens où ce serait une religion qui serait dangereuse en elle-même, mais parce qu’elle veut s’affirmer comme une religion dans la République.”…

torture

Torture – a shared value?

                  Spencer  Ackerman in the Guardian, 11 September 2016, ‘Bush was, for the first time, acknowledging the existence of the program that Senate intelligence committee staff investigator Daniel Jones would later expose as taking power drills to the heads of captured men; making them stand with their…

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. However, censorship is widespread… UK Self-censorship at the Catholic Herald, reported by Roy Greenslade in the…

Bishop-Michael-Nazir-Ali

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,…