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…

immigration

Immigration – Britain cannot do without!

          All our Yesterdays! Ian Jack, reviewing Chapman Pincher’s biography in the London Review of Books (5 June 2014) quotes an encounter the veteran journalist had with Harold Macmillan in the 60s: A sad, otherwordly conversation with Macmillan occurs when he asks the retired prime minister why he didn’t foresee that…

extremists-box

Extremists – what us?

“Every year the American historian William Blum publishes his ‘updated summary of the record of US foreign policy’ which shows that, since 1945, the US has tried to overthrow more than 50 governments, many democratically elected; grossly interfered in elections in 30 countries; bombed the civilian populations of 30 countries; used chemical and biological weapons;…

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…

fire-mau

Archives’ sorry tales

An unhappy catalogue of lost (or concealed) archives…. Britain Records relating to the British Army’s help in Operation Bluestar (Amritsar 1984) destroyed! Martin Horwood (Cheltenham, Liberal Democrat) Given the distress that is felt by the Sikh community and its desire for clarity on the events at Sri Harmandir Sahib, it is obviously very regrettable that…

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British Library’s Flikr collection

            From the Russo-Turkish battles of the 1870s, when Britain supported the Ottomans. Queen Victoria sought to mediate, sending Munshi AbdulKarim’s friend Rafiuddin Ahmed on a secret mission. The Muslim world rallied around, raising funds and supporting the work of the Red Crescent.              …

stakenife

Remembering Stakeknife

Our liberal democratic dispensations have a darker side. Alongside the carrot there is a very big stick that comes down with great force on those deemed to be the ‘enemy’ by the political-military elite. Read books like Paxman’s ‘The English’ and there is a sense of a nation bound by cricket’s rules of fair play,…

quotes

RICU in focus

RICU remains in the news… The Foreign Office’s Information & Research Department (IRD) played a significant role in Western news and cultural media management from 1948-1977. It financed a publishing house ‘Ampersand’ and at one time employed a staff of 300. A secret Foreign Office memo in February 1948 described its establishment as a response…

90 years on – the Treaty of Versailles

On 28th June 1919 the victors of World War I exacted their retribution on the defeated Germans and Ottomans. Britain, led by the Hellenophile Prime Minister Lloyd George, set up a new world order with disastrous consequences: stoking ambitions for a ‘Greater Greece’ leading to death and destruction on the Turkish mainland; humiliating terms imposed…