extremists-box

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…

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…

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,…

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…

torture

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…

crows (Custom)

WoT & the deeper malaise

Patrick Cockburn in the Independent, ‘. . . there is still very little understanding among Western leaders about what happened in Afghanistan after 2001 and in Iraq after 2003. Whatever the humanitarian justifications for foreign intervention there, the wars rapidly transmuted into neo-imperial ventures not much different from those undertaken during the high days of…

RICU

RICU in focus

RICU remains in the news…  Ian Cobain, Alice Ross, Rob Evans and Mona Mahmood reporting in the Guardian, 2 May 2016: One Ricu initiative, which advertises itself as a campaign providing advice on how to raise funds for Syrian refugees, has had face-to-face conversations with thousands of students at university freshers’ fairs without any students realising…

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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… a climate of suspicion permeates, with an impact on individual and collective behaviour. Rob Evans and Vikram Dodd in the Guardian, 28th April 2016, ‘A  secretive police unit tasked with spying on alleged extremists intent on committing serious…

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… USA Rania Khalek in electronicintifada.net, ‘The publisher McGraw-Hill Education is destroying all…

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…