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Dr Paul Stott
East Midlands
Academic researching terrorism, in particular British Jihadism.
Interests: Terrorism, Islamism, Jihadism, Conspiracy Theory, Brexit, the political fringe, Boxing, Manchester United, Cricket, Lancashire CCC
Recent Activity
Tucked away in the 'In Brief' section of the Daily Telegraph's sports pages, you could easily miss one of the saddest items of the day: "The threat of terrorist attacks in France means no World Cup matches will be broadcast on big screens in public spaces, the government said yesterday." When the barbarians are inside the gates, we lose the freedom to even socialise together. A desperately sad decision to see. Continue reading
The 22nd May was a year to the day since the Manchester Arena bombing in which 22, mostly young people and children, were killed. To coincide with events held in Manchester, the Survivors Against Terror group (SAT) issued an open letter in the Observer of 20th May (scroll down here), calling for five distinct positions to be adopted against terrorism. This received considerable media coverage, see for example that from the BBC. The main figure in SAT is Brendan Cox. Whilst he resigned from positions in two charities linked to continuing his wife’s work in February, his work on countering... Continue reading
One of the things the Labour right and Corbynistas agree on, is a sort of non-aggression pact concerning Islamic anti-Semitism. Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters can hardly turn round and say "actually left anti-Semitism exists, but it is probably less directly threatening to Jews across Europe than Islamist violence, which has killed 11 Jews in France in 12 years." Those on the right of the Labour party, just as likely to be dependent on Islamic votes for office, are equally unlikely to spend too much time correcting debates. Consider little Jim McMahon in Oldham West and Royton, pictured fourth from... Continue reading
From todays Sunday Times 'Best Places to Live, 2018' "There is no room for Northamptonshire on the list. It has attractive countryside, handsome houses and a plausible commute to the capital - but please tell us where we should make ourselves at home." Continue reading
Watching the most recent episode (series 7, episode 4) I can't have been alone in cheering Brett O'Keefe and hoping he and the militia were to survive the FBI siege. And yet O'Keefe is clearly based on Alex Jones, and... Continue reading
Posted Mar 15, 2018 at 9/11 CultWatch
Mark E Smith completists have some job to do securing every single Fall album - there are reportedly 38. One thing you can get though is the current Fortean Times, which has a small pic of the great man in the top left hand corner of its cover, and the heading "Legends of The Fall: The Weird World of Mark E Smith". The subsequent article perhaps does not quite live up to its billing - it is a mere one page piece by a New Zealand academic, Dean Ballinger, entitled perhaps predictably "There's a Ghost in My House". Ballinger is... Continue reading
To get an indication of how great a footballer Cyrille Regis was, and what players of his era overcame, watch these six minutes of highlights from West Brom's 5-3 win at Old Trafford in 1979. Make sure you watch to the end for the description manager Ron Atkinson gives of Regis 'one of the coloured front people'. He went on to be much more than that. Continue reading
One journalistic tool that is now used frequently is to 'fact-check' particular claims or statements by politicians and campaign groups. What could possibly be wrong with that? Well, quite a bit actually. This is Mollie Ziegler's take: "The 'fact-checking trend' meant that journalists would gain more power. They wouldn't just get to determine which stories saw the light of day and which were killed or downplayed; they would pick the angle and framing for the stories and determine who was quoted and how. And through fact-checking, they would tell people what to think about claims made in these stories." Mollie... Continue reading
On the Left Foot Forward website, the Green MEP Molly Scott Cato, has written an article saying that, after, the events of recent years, she fears for our democracy. It seems a few people shooting boo at High Court judges or Tory Remainers represents an existential crisis. Below is my reply. I have no idea if Left Foot Forward welcomes, or censures, critical comment, so I have posted it here just in case. It seems strange to be lectured on democracy, by an MEP who cannot accept the largest mass vote in our people's history. Every vote counts for Molly,... Continue reading
On 9th November, ITV showed a documentary, Undercover: Inside Britain's New Far-Right. It no longer seems to be on ITV's website, but is available at various points online, for example here. Documentaries of this type were the staple of an earlier era - remember World In Action in the 1990s? The attempts to convince a sceptical public that a far-right terrorist machine was being established in Britain, via the group Combat 18? The security services, under pressure from cuts in an era that was post Soviet but pre 9/11, were needed to save us from this terrible menace. Similar programmes... Continue reading
From 2008 - 2015 I did a lot of security work in order to finance my PhD. Some of the best times were working as a doorman at Epsom Downs racecourse at the Christmas parties, where an enormous effort went into preparing the Queens and Duchess stands for dinner dances. There are two great pluses to door work. Attractive women speak to you, and you meet some real characters, good and bad. After one party, a man who must have been well into his late 60s, but still had a military bearing, talked at length about his security work in... Continue reading
Yesterday I had a short article published about the developments surrounding Hafiz Saeed, a prominent Pakistani jihadist, currently trying to enter politics in the Islamic Republic. You can view the piece, on the European Foundation for South Asian studies website, here. Continue reading
Conspiracy theories attract those who are trying to make sense of the world. For Muslims observing events like 9/11 or 7/7, and more recently the rise of Islamic State, it is often easier to find comfort in such explanations than... Continue reading
Posted Nov 26, 2017 at 9/11 CultWatch
A few weeks ago I was asked to write a short piece by SOAS University of London, for the section of the Guardian website they use to promote the university's work and some of its ideas and thinkers. This is my contribution, A Brief History of Jihadism: The British South Asian Nexus. Updated: 30 May 2018 I believe the Guardian take down sponsored content after a set period, and have done so in this case. Below is what they did publish. Download A brief history of jihadism_ the British south Asian nexus _ SOAS Roots _ The Guardian 25 10... Continue reading
Several newspapers and news sites have covered the release, in Pakistan, of a US-Canadian couple, Caitlan Coleman and Joshua Boyle. They had been kidnapped in Afghanistan in October 2012, and had three children whilst being held by the Haqqani Network. Significant in this is the tone of the US government statement. This certainly seems to refer to other Americans (and other westerners?) in a similar predicament, but also that the US government has pretty clearly expectations of Pakistan to address this. It may be too early to talk of a 'Trump Doctrine' but at least part of what we see... Continue reading
“The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam” – Douglas Murray (Bloomsbury: London, £18.99). One of the publishing successes of 2017 has been Douglas Murray’s examination of the changes we see occurring all around us. There are two reasons for this – Murray is a considered, thoughtful writer with a much greater degree of empathy than he is given credit for. The second is the terrible events at the Manchester Arena on the 22 May. Murray’s explanation of how we reached the stage where our children are being blown up at pop concerts, was surprisingly commissioned by and shown on... Continue reading
On 19 September I spoke at a side meeting to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, organised by the European Foundation for South Asian Studies. You can read my paper "Terrorism in Pakistan and the Role of Pakistani Diaspora in the UK" (membership required) on the site here, and this is the video of my talk, which lasta around 17 minutes. Continue reading
The Left’s Jewish Problem: Jeremy Corbyn, Israel and Anti-Semitism by Dave Rich (London: Biteback Publishing, 2016, 292 pages, no illustrations, £12.99, ISBN 978 1785 901 201, paperback) A contentious issue during the Corbyn revolution has been the relationship between the Labour left and the Jewish community. Historically this is an aberration, as the British left was long considered a welcoming place for Jews, whether practising or secular. Of the main parties, Labour was perhaps the most explicitly pro-Israel until at least the 1960s, whilst at one point the Communist Party of Great Britain had an estimated 10% of its membership... Continue reading
Last month I spent some time in Geneva, speaking at a side-event to the United Nations Human Rights Council. Organised by the think tank European Foundation for South Asian Studies, 'Terrorism in South Asia' brought together four scholars and a healthy audience to discuss events, primarily in Pakistan and Kashmir, and their impact closer to home. You can hear a recording of my talk here, via Soundcloud. A copy of my paper "Terrorism in Pakistan and the role of Pakistani diaspora in the UK: Challenges?" is on the site, but I think you will need to be a member... Continue reading
This is a bit too long for a tweet, so I shall leave it here. Lets get all those who insist Buddhism is a religion of peace. And all those who insist Islam is a religion of peace. Lets lock them all in a room together. And watch as they beat the shit out of each other. Continue reading
The Sunday Times has a feature by Sian Griffiths (p.13) on Manchester University refusing to remove from open display, books by the far-right historian David Irving. Some universities have already moved Irving's books into closed access areas, or added disclaimers (!) to them. This is reportedly due to a campaign by Dr Irene Lancaster (who I think is a retired academic) and Dr Rowan Williams, who having retired as Archbishop of Canterbury is now Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge. Two comments on this madness. Firstly it is not as new as Sian Griffiths supposes. Way back in January 1993, on... Continue reading
There is a good interview by Josh Glancy in today's Sunday Times magazine, of the American author J D Vance. Of particular interest are some of his quotes about Donald Trump. "My fears thus far have been confirmed..... He understands the problems, but there's no evidence he's actually articulating a way out." Glancy then paraphrases Vance "He points out that the president gained a lot of trust by telling people things no other politician would say". There was also this on Trump's support base "They will give him a long leash, and judge him by whether their lives have got... Continue reading
Yesterday's Evening Standard saw the BBC's World Affairs Editor, John Simpson, complaining about the pressure Qatar is under to close down Al-Jazeera. He wants to see the West supporting the station. One of Simpson's lines particularly caught my attention: "It may have been accused of being slanted in favour of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood movement in Egypt and elsewhere but it employs talented ex-colleagues of mine from the BBC, and I've always felt its heart is in the right place". It is a sign of just how lightweight Simpson is, that whilst showing solidarity to his old BBC muckers, he... Continue reading
I have rarely felt as pessimistic about Brexit happening as I do this morning. David Davis talking about staying in the single market. Liberal elites, from Canterbury to Kensington, discovering their electoral as well as their cultural power. The future members of that elite, our students, voting with it as a bloc. A dead duck in No.10 whose only attribute was as an administrator. No UKIP to speak of. Whilst Corbyn now knows he can win, the smallest part of his grand alliance, and the one with least social capital, are the returning Brexit voters. Emily Thornberry or Sir Keir... Continue reading
Last December I spoke to a conference of the religious literacy organisation Lapido Media, on the influence Islamists have developed on the British left. A chunk of my speech was on the direct influence groups like MEND have on the Labour Party, and Andy Burnham in particular. You can read the speech here (pdf) and below. For two background papers on the Islamisation of the left in Britain, please go here. The text of the speech is below, with Burnham covered at the start, and to the end: The demise of critical thinking: how Islamist organizations corrupt the academy by... Continue reading