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Something wrong here. This got published on the Guardian. (No Comments, of course!) "Morrissey also appeared to suggest that politicians were afraid to refer to Abedi as an Islamist extremist." “Manchester mayor Andy Burnham says the attack is the work of an ‘extremist’. An extreme what? An extreme rabbit?” https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/may/23/morrissey-attacks-politicians-and-the-queen-over-manchester-terrorism-response
Toggle Commented May 24, 2017 on Vulgar analysis at Mick Hartley
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Hmmm. The Times (I think) ran a big cartoon feature portraying the bomber(s) as coward(s). Politicians still fall back on the same accusation. They may be psychopaths, mentally disturbed, losers, very stupid and ignorant, sadists, but they are not cowards. They kill themselves. They believe they will go to paradise. This is what their religion teaches. If you die in killing the enemies of Allah you are blessed with heavenly rewards for eternity. There is something wrong with their religion. We need to spell that out!
Toggle Commented May 24, 2017 on Vulgar analysis at Mick Hartley
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He should be at liberty to say all those things. The red line as you suggest is a call to violence. But there is another aspect to it. What about “a right of reply”? Should there be a right of reply? How do we get the opportunity to tell him what we think and where he is wrong? Yes, attitudes such as his might be exactly what helped motivate the Manchester bomber. And, who recruited him, who employs him, what do his colleagues think? Are they of the same mind? Where does he come from? Why is he living in Denmark?
Toggle Commented May 24, 2017 on The most ferocious Crusader campaign at Mick Hartley
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“A shallow fetishisation of ‘togetherness’ takes the place of any articulation of what we should be together for – and against.” I’m all in favour of spelling out what we are against, but, of course, if that was done it would starkly demonstrate the failure of our politicians over the last several few decades to deal with certain versions of Islam. The last thing they will do is admit to that. I recommended it in another comment, but I’ll recommend it again, if I may. One of the Amazon reviewers of Baroness Warsi’s “The Enemy Within: A Tale of Muslim Britain” paraphrased her chapter concerning British Foreign Policy as follows: “British foreign policy is the reason young Muslims turn to terrorism. We must not give in to this type of blackmail. [So far, so good!]. We must pursue the foreign policy we believe is right. Our foreign policy is wrong. The human rights and values (democracy etc.) we demand British citizens including British Muslims subscribe to at home should be the basis of our foreign policy yet we are friends with dictatorships such as Saudi Arabia, and Egypt and odd cases like Pakistan who deny these rights and ignore these values. This hypocrisy is what infuriates young British Muslims. We have to change our foreign policy and stop working with or supporting these countries until they subscribe to human rights and British values.”
Toggle Commented May 23, 2017 on Time for anger at Mick Hartley
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Islamic reform is a real mish-mash. If you enjoy banging your head against a brick wall you can try reading some examples of modern Islamic thinking such as ““Woman’s Identity and Rethinking the Hadith” by Nimat Hafez Barazangi of Cornell University. Or try Baroness Warsi’s proposals in her “The Enemy Within: A Tale of Muslim Britain”, only slightly less painful! The greater advance will be for Muslims to understand the shaky foundations of their religion and to recognise its man-made character. I know it will take a very long time for such understanding to become widespread but it is the only real solution. It has taken Christianity more than 100 years to go through a similar process. Modern media may speed up the process for Islam. We need a lot more (and better) programmes like Holland’s effort on Channel 4.
Toggle Commented May 20, 2017 on Justified by reference to the Koran at Mick Hartley
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".... whereas before the nineteenth century the Prophet was viewed as a mystical leader, afterwards he came to be seen more as a kind of early, oriental, version of Napoleon or Alexander - a military figure. Well, Holland knows more about the early history of Islam than I do, but that did surprise me". You shouldn't be surprised. For all his knowledge Holland sometimes expresses outrageously incorrect opinions. It's difficult to judge whether it's some kind of tactic to win over certain readers, or he really believes what he says.
Toggle Commented May 18, 2017 on Justified by reference to the Koran at Mick Hartley
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It’s incredible. The cost of the equipment (hire, whatever), knowing how to use it, the time and space it must take. And what about dealing with the building owners! Do they get a say in it! That’s before the painting starts. Getting everything right, perspective, dimensions, in those huge spaces while working a few feet (?) from the surface shows amazing skill.
Toggle Commented Feb 23, 2017 on Public art at Mick Hartley
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How on earth do they do those paintings?! Is there a special painters DIY IKEA scaffolding kit?
Toggle Commented Feb 22, 2017 on Public art at Mick Hartley
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Excellent review but what a completely stupid title. "The West can never hope to understand Islamic State" Mind you, it is the New Statesman.
Toggle Commented Jan 23, 2017 on Very Islamic at Mick Hartley
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If you study the comments and the votes on the comments on any article in the Guardian to do with Islam, you will see they are overwhelmingly critical of Islam or whatever argument is being pushed to explain some objectionable Islamic belief or behaviour. And, judging by the quality (spelling, grammar, punctuation) and the length of comments they really are Guardian readers, and not trolls from the Daily Mail or the BNP. It is a remarkable publishing phenomenon. On the subject of Islam the Guardian is totally out of step with its readers. There is a survey of it which you can see here: https://islamsurveyed.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/readersdontmatter-attheguardian.pdf The irony is the Guardian could do more to help Muslims by being sensibly critical at least some of the time and by supporting Muslim reformers, instead of being so-wilfully one sided, and publishing vomit inducing material such as this latest piece. No wonder comments are OFF.
Toggle Commented Nov 28, 2016 on Turning into an arsehole at Mick Hartley
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The Pope's remarks are a disgrace. If it's any compensation some in his church have a different attitude. US cardinal says ‘Christian nations’ in West must counter Islamic influx http://religionnews.com/2016/07/21/us-cardinal-says-christian-nations-in-west-must-counter-islamic-influx/ "Cardinal Raymond Burke, a Rome-based prelate known as an outspoken conservative and critic of Pope Francis’ reformist approach, said in an interview on Wednesday (July 20) that Islam is “fundamentally a form of government.” While Catholic teaching recognizes that all Abrahamic faiths worship the same God, Burke criticized Catholic leaders who, in an effort to be tolerant, have a tendency “to simply think that Islam is a religion like the Catholic faith or the Jewish faith."
Toggle Commented Jul 28, 2016 on Don't mention Islam at Mick Hartley
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I don’t know if this is true but it wouldn't surprise me having been to Nice several times in recent years. In some quarters you could feel the tension as you walked the streets or used public transport. “Over One Third of Nice Attack Victims Were Muslim” http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Over-One-Third-of-Nice-Attack-Victims-Were-Muslim-20160719-0034.html?
Toggle Commented Jul 20, 2016 on All they do is fold at Mick Hartley
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That is an excellent article. Thanks for pointing it out. By coincidence I’ve just finished re-reading David Fromkin’s “Peace to End All Peace”. It describes how it all went pear shaped 100 years ago. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Peace-End-All-Ottoman-Creation/dp/0805068848?ie=UTF8&ref_=asap_bc I wonder what Mark Sykes and George Picot would make if it today! This is an interesting map of how the Ottomans divided the Arab Middle East https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Basra_Vilayet,_Ottoman_Empire_(1900)_v2.png It clearly shows the “Islamic State”.
Toggle Commented Jul 17, 2016 on The Pan-Arab Delusion at Mick Hartley
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Several points: As I understand it the great majority of Armenians perished through ill-treatment and neglect on their deportation journey. They were being sent somewhere. (Not to gas chambers) Such forced movement of populations was not uncommon in that part of the world. It happened to Muslims from the Balkans, for example, and to the Circassians who had a role in managing the journey of the Armenians. I think it is important to make a distinction regarding extermination for racial reasons alone. A big nose is not a threat to anyone as far as I know. I am in no way a supporter of modern Islamo-facsist Turkey.
Toggle Commented Jun 12, 2016 on Insulting Turkishness at Mick Hartley
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The Turks uprooted the Armenians for military reasons. They posed a threat harbouring Armenian secessionist actively encouraging and supporting the Russian invasion of Eastern Anatolia. Even the peaceful Armenians might have welcomed and aided a Russian invasion, and the prospect of being united with Christian Russia and their fellow Armenians on the Russian side of the border. No doubt what happened to those uprooted Armenians was a war crime but the Turks did not consciously and deliberately decide to exterminate a population because of its racial character. Have I missed something? [*Nearly all my knowledge of this episode comes from Andrew Mango’s “From the Sultan to Ataturk: Turkey”]
Toggle Commented Jun 12, 2016 on Insulting Turkishness at Mick Hartley
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"What I'd like to see is more robust criticism of Islam itself." Exactly! I have read the Quran, and find it difficult to understand how any modern, intelligent person can be a Muslim. It seemed to me about a fifth of the Quran, if not more, is devoted to the threat that anyone who doesn't believe in God, that Muhammad was his messenger, resurrection and the day of judgement, will burn in hell for eternity. And, if they ask for water they will be given molten lead to drink. You can be as saintly as Mother Teresa but it won't do you any good. What kind of God is that! And, we have all the questions concerning the true origins of Islam. E.g. Holland, Hoyland, Donner, Spencer, Luxenberg, Luling, Spencer, Puin, Crone, Wansbrough, Nevo, Rippin, Warraq, etc., etc., etc. Some of this material should be compulsory school reading!
Toggle Commented Apr 10, 2016 on Diverse Britain’s moral agenda at Mick Hartley
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"Chris Allen, from Birmingham University, was the most ingenious of all." I'm glad he got a mention. His definition of Islamophobia will make everything clear From his book: “Islamophobia is an ideology, similar in theory, function and purpose to racism and other similar phenomena, that sustains and perpetuates negatively evaluated meaning about Muslims and Islam in the contemporary setting in similar ways to that which it has historically, although not necessarily as a continuum, subsequently pertaining, influencing and impacting upon social action, interaction, response and so on, shaping and determining understanding, perceptions and attitudes in the social consensus – the shared languages and conceptual maps – that inform and construct thinking about Muslims and Islam as Other. Neither restricted to explicit nor direct relationships of power and domination but instead, and possibly even more importantly, in the less explicit and everyday relationships of power that we contemporarily encounter, identified both in that which is real and that which is clearly not, both of which can be extremely difficult to differentiate between. As a consequence of this, exclusionary practices – practices that disadvantage, prejudice or discriminate against Muslims and Islam in social, economic and political spheres ensue, including the subjection to violence – are in evidence. For such to be Islamophobia however, an acknowledged ‘Muslim’ or ‘Islamic’ element – either explicit or implicit, overtly expressed or covertly hidden, or merely even nuanced through meanings that are ‘theological’, ‘social’, ‘cultural’, ‘racial’ and so on, that at times never even necessarily name or identify ‘Muslims’ or ‘Islam’ – must be present.” (p194) Now you know! A review of his book on Islamophobia can be found here: http://islamsurveyed.com/2011/08/14/cant-see-the-trees-for-the-wood-a-review-of-islamophobia-by-dr-chris-allen/
Toggle Commented Nov 19, 2015 on Meanwhile, on campus at Mick Hartley
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Thanks for the link. I've now looked at Wikipedia, a huge amount of info, and over 700 references to more material! I've only been able to spend "minutes" scanning it all (it requires days!)and have not spotted anything really addressing the military questions. In a bit of Googling I came across this on the Council on Foreign Relations website http://www.cfr.org/iraq/defeating-isis/p33773 "Intensify air strikes. So far, the U.S. bombing campaign against ISIS has been remarkably restrained, as revealed by a comparison with the strikes against the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan after 9/11. When the Taliban lost control of Afghanistan between October 7, 2001, and December 23, 2001—a period of seventy-five days—U.S. aircraft flew 6,500 strike sorties and dropped 17,500 munitions. By contrast, between August 8, 2014, and October 23, 2014—seventy-six days—the United States conducted only 632 airstrikes and dropped only 1,700 munitions in Iraq and Syria. Such episodic and desultory bombing will not stop any determined military force, much less one as fanatical as ISIS." What is shocking is the "unofficial support" that ISIS gets from various quarters, even Assad. And, possibly the problem is not so much getting rid of ISIS but deciding what to put in its place!
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Is there a short book or article that gives a good explanation of the military strengths and weaknesses of ISIS and its opponents especially the US. On the face of it a force of 30,000 or so in a small and very open country (it's not like Vietnam) should be an "easy" target for a modern army/airforce . Where do they sleep, eat, how do they move about, how are they supplied? How does ISIS survive economically? Why can't its sources of finance and food be cut off or significantly curtailed? Why is it still able to export oil? Why are the oil fields still working? Anyone have any recommended reading/websites?
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Yes, I thought Malik's piece was useless. ".... the nature of Islam itself". Your analysis is spot on!
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Regarding that Sykes-Picot agreement it is also interesting to compare the Franco-British divisions with the way the Turks organised things. If you look at old maps of Vilayets (Provinces) of the Ottoman Empire you do find some correspondence. You wonder what the French and British might have done differently. And they took over areas where the foundations and apparatus of self-government had not exactly been encouraged by the Turks. Even, the notorious straight line from the "e" in Acre to the last "k" in Kirkuk specified by Sykes dividing French influenced areas from British ones makes a lot of sense. It separated a lot of empty space from a lot of empty space. It makes more sense to blame the Ottomans for all the troubles of the Middle East for the way they ran their empire for hundreds of years and the misuse of 60 years of Arab independence than 25 years of French and British "rule"! An honest history of the Middle East would be wonderful thing.
Toggle Commented Sep 22, 2015 on The trick of Western guilt at Mick Hartley
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"At the end of the day, you cannot accept other people, who come from a different atmosphere, from a different place" Good grief! What a shame no leading British politician has the guts and the good sense to say that. What is wrong with our media?! Why no headlines that these Arabic speaking, Muslim "refugees" are not at all welcome in wealthy Arab/Muslim states, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the Gulf States. This is what should be blasted across the front pages of our newspapers and our TV screens.
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I think I must be one of the last people to be surprised by the the behaviour of people from certain cultures. Is it not odd that this Asian father would be on holiday in Dubai, the Middle East - he and his family would probably have had to have flown there - having a family picnic on the beach (a public beach?) if he was so protective of his daughter?
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Large population movements, often for not very good reasons, are not unknown in modern history. The flight and expulsion of 1,200,000 Christian Greeks from the remains of the Muslim Ottoman Empire come to mind. We don't hear about this today. All those involved and their descendants simply got on with life making the best of a bad job. And they were made reasonably welcome in their new lands. Why has it been so different for the 726,000 Palestinians who fled or were expelled from Palestine in 1948?
Toggle Commented Aug 11, 2015 on The other Palestinians at Mick Hartley
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Nailing Rahman is a great achievement. All power to those responsible. Unfortunately, the bigger challenge lies ahead of us; changing the attitude of all those Muslims who go along with Rahman's methods, that's the way things are done where they come from!! Heck, have I just committed an aggravated Islamophobia offense?
Toggle Commented Apr 26, 2015 on What now passes for the British left at Mick Hartley
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