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Paul Stott
Hackney
Academic, studying British Jihadism. A libertarian and a family man.
Interests: Politics, parapolitics, libertarian beliefs, cycling, boxing, Manchester United, studying terrorism and counter terrorism.
Recent Activity
I gave a guest lecture in London yesterday, and whilst there picked up a copy of the Camden New Journal, and a pamphlet on LGBT liberation by Laura Miles of the Socialist Workers Party, "Pride, Politics and Protest: A Revolutionary Guide to LGBT Liberation" An example of the difficulty some people face living the life they wish was starkly set out on p.8 of the CNJ - the suicide of West Hampstead GP Dr Nazim Mahmood. Having spent Eid with his family in Birmingham, Dr Mahmood was confronted by his mother and told he needed to be cured of his... Continue reading
The Sunday Telegraph has a major piece today on a possible government crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood in the UK. Such a move was probably inevitable once it became clear one of the MB's leaders, Yusuf al-Qaradwi, was promoting the concept of a Sunni-Shia sectarian war, and encouraging any able bodied Sunni to go to Syria to take part in that conflict. We are today seeing some of the consequences of that advocacy - in the continuing number of Britons travelling to fight in Syria, the threat posed to our own citizens by those in jihadist organisations and the dangers... Continue reading
I had another late night request yesterday from the Evening Standard's letters page, asking for my views on the proposed UK intervention in Iraq. I don't know if they will use my words in today's edition, but here they are: Twenty five years after the Rushdie protests, we still don't have a viable policy to address Islamic extremism. Twenty years since British jihadis fought for the Bosnian Mujahideen, we are still scrambling to properly respond to the issue of UK Islamists fighting overseas. If in doubt, revert to type - support the same side as the Jihadis, then when that... Continue reading
Just in case any Scottish readers were wavering over whether to vote No in today's referendum, up steps David Shayler. This is probably not what Alex Salmond wanted to hear. But, it seems according to the former MI5 officer, Englishman... Continue reading
Posted Sep 17, 2014 at 9/11 CultWatch
Yesterday the London Evening Standard asked me to pen a letter of 100-200 words, responding to David Cameron's comments following the murder of hostage David Haines in Iraq. Britain has had twenty five years, since the domestic protests in support of the fatwa on Salman Rushdie, to develop a viable strategy towards Islamism. We still seem to be stumbling from crisis to crisis, forever apologising and scared of giving offense. It is all very British, and it is all a big balls-up. There is time to take a better route, but that moment will not be around for ever. Here... Continue reading
The Times has a two page piece today, by the above, on the rise of anti-Semitism in the UK. He puts this down to two things - 9/11, and the development of social media and electronic correspondence. We could say... Continue reading
Posted Aug 21, 2014 at 9/11 CultWatch
I have sadly missed the Comics Unmasked exhibition at the British Library, which closed on August 19th. You can gain some insight into what was missed by looking, whilst you can, at the relevant section on the British Library website. There is also a book written to accompany the event, and an excellent summary appeared in the May issue of Fortean Times, courtesy of Paul Gravett. As a long term observer of that curiously puritanical streak which runs through the British left, I was immediately drawn to this paragraph in Gravett's article: It’s ironic that the first exhibition devoted to... Continue reading
I have never actually got round to reading Melanie Phillips' critique of the education system, All Must Have Prizes. However, judging by this recent announcement on the staff email list at the University of East Anglia, it has some predictive value: We will have two extra seminars on 23/07 and 30/07. Patricia Esteve (Universitat Rovira i Virgili) will present “Affirmative Action through Extra Prizes” on 23/07 from 4 to 5 pm at ARTS 3.15. The following is the abstract. Abstract: Some affirmative action policies establish that a set of disadvantaged competitors has access to an extra prize. Examples are gender... Continue reading
If you want to know why community relations are poor in some parts of the UK, and negative attitudes expressed towards Islam in Britain, this is as good a place as any to start: 1986 - 2007 Activists from organisations such as the Islamic Foundation and Muslim Council of Britain produce a series of pamphlets setting out how Muslim school children living in Britain should be educated 2007 - 15/07/14 - Activists attempt to implement these strategies in some Birmingham schools 2014 - Media exposure of accusations of a Trojan Horse approach to schooling at some Birmingham state schools emerge.... Continue reading
Last weekend saw the most succesful leader of a British fascist organisation, Nick Griffin of the British National Party, leave its leadership, for the undefined role of 'President'. He has been replaced by Adam Walker, a former teacher from County Durham. In a quickly written but detailed analysis of these events, Larry O'Hara of Notes From the Borderland magazine has given a wonderful summation of Griffin's 15 years in charge of the BNP: "For some time now, Griffin has been a politically dead man walking, but this should not blind us to the strategic breakthrough he made in far right... Continue reading
Whilst Islam struggles to bend with the times, the Christian church in England leans like a weeping willow in the breeze. As the Church of England's General Synod votes to accept female Bishops, consider the gem below from Rachel Treweek, Archdeacon of Hackney: This is a significant moment in history and for me the overwhelming emotion was one of liberation: for me this is about stating that from now on men and women can use their gifts in the Church in whatever way they are called. This is about God-given equality. Rachel Treweek, the i paper, 15/07/2014, p.7 The last... Continue reading
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Today marks the ninth anniversary of the bombings in London on 7 July 2005, when 52 civilians were murdered by Islamist suicide bombers. Overnight, it appears the 7/7 memorial in Hyde Park has been vandalised, with stenciled graffiti appearing on... Continue reading
Posted Jul 7, 2014 at 9/11 CultWatch
There was an interesting blast from the past at the "Putting Birmingam School Kids First" public meeting on the 26th June. Who should be amongst the concerned parents but Helen Salmon. Both Ms Salmon, and her five year old son Ben, spoke at the event. When the Respect party split in 2007-8, in Birmingham the dispute centered on the inability of the organisation to field diverse slates of candidates. Muslim men, one of them a recent defector from the Conservative Party, predominated. Helen Salmon of the SWP objected. Salma Yaqoob inferred she was racist, and things got very nasty indeed.... Continue reading
Amongst the flurry of World War One related posts and comments, there seemed little point in adding my own - it is not my field. I do though want to share the words of Atatürk on the graves of those Allied soldiers who fell in what is now Turkey: "Heroes who shed their blood and lost their lives! You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours. You, the mothers, who... Continue reading
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The article below is one I wrote yesterday, for the Harry's Place website. It considers a new initiative from the former leader of the Respect Party, Salma Yaqoob, in the wake of the scandal about Islamist influence at state schools in Birmingham. Thank you to Mehrdad Amanpour, who first compared the promotional poster for "Putting Birmingham School Kids First" to the old Benetton adverts, and thus inspired me to pick up my pen. Putting Birmingham Children First? Islamists can certainly be slick when it comes to propaganda. Salma Yaqoob is busily promoting a public meeting tonight in the second city... Continue reading
The article below is a report I wrote for the The Backbencher webite last year, following a Northampton University conference. Whether it was something I said or not, I was not invited back for the 2014 follow-up! Anyway, as The Backbencher lost my original article when they swapped servers, here it is. Assessing the Far Right and the Ground It Stands On? Friday 28 June saw a conference at Northampton University entitled “The Far Right in Transition”. This brought together approximately 100 people to hear speakers discuss the contemporary and historical far right, its activities and some of the responses... Continue reading
I wrote the article below almost exactly 12 months ago - 0n 22 June 2013. It is re-published here as it is was since lost from The Backbencher site where it originally appeared, and I never got round to pubishing it in full on this blog. Hopefully it has stood the test of time over the past twelve months. A Strange Kind of Glory: Life Undercover Monday 24 June sees a Dispatches documentary on Channel 4 at 8pm. From its scheduling, the programme will examine the use of undercover police officers by the Met, and some of the resultant sexual... Continue reading
This is an article I wrote on the 13 June 2013, and had published on The Backbencher website. As it was lost due to some technical issues, for the record I re-prooduce it below. Domestic Terrorism in the UK – Time To Calm Down Dear? The murder in Woolwich of Drummer Lee Rigby refocused attention on the United Kingdom’s issues with both terrorism and radical elements within British Islam. Woolwich was new on certain levels. For the first time since 2005 terrorists had killed in mainland Britain (there were several murders by dissident Republicans in Northern Ireland in that period)... Continue reading
Last summer I had three articles on security, policing and the far-right published on The Backbencher, a UK based libertarian website which deserves a wider audience. It was recently pointed out to me that the articles had now been taken down, which happened as The Backbencher had switched to a new server. Checking on this blog, I had not put all the articles on here either, which was an oversight. I will put each article on this blog, over the next three to four days, and hopefully The Backbencher will also do the same. As ever, comments are welcome, especially... Continue reading
A decade or so ago, I was thrown out at Stonehenge, having climbed over a fence with my then girlfriend and walked over towards the stones. English Heritage then expected individuals to pay £4 or £5, to view what is our national heritage. Yet the stones existed long before this 'custodian', its board or its paper shufflers - and will be around long after they are forgotten. On BBC2 tomorrow evening at 8pm, some of the controversies and debates around this most important of sites are discussed in The Culture Show: The Battle for Stonehenge. According to the write-up in... Continue reading
This is from Michael Scheuer, a former CIA officer best known for heading the agency's anti-Bin Laden unit. He states: "For now, however, the beginning of wisdom is to look at what is going on in Iraq and Syria and see it clearly. In both places all of those folks that multiple U.S. administrations have identified as enemies of America are killing each other. In Syria, the Assad regime, Iran, and Lebanese Hizballah are killing Sunni mujhaedin from all over the world, as well as their local allies and supporters. In turn, the Sunni Islamists in Syria are killing Assad’s... Continue reading
The historian Niall Ferguson has recently picked up one of the more dishonest intellectual batons around - the claim that Margaret Thatcher would have 'seen off' radical Islam. Speaking at the Centre for Policy Studies inaugral Margaret Thatcher Liberty Conference, Ferguson as good as sank the project before it began, by making the bizarre claim that Mrs Thatcher would have 'whole heartedly' have fought radical Islam. In fact, Mrs Thatcher empowered radical Islam. Most disastrously via our support for the Mujahideen in Afghanistan (who of course a few years later begat the Taliban, providing the sanctuary to Al Qaeda which... Continue reading
Take a walk around the EC1 and N1 areas of London and you will see - these fashionable postcodes are home to many of our biggest charities. Even I was surprised though at the news that Greenpeace has lost £3million in currency bets. To quote from Simon Neville in the i newspaper yesterday: "Greenpeace has lost €3.8m (£3m) of public donations on a series of blundering currency bets that went wrong, the charity has admitted". Continue reading
The Independent's excellent Defence Correspondent, Kim Sengupta, has an editorial in the i paper today on the latest developments in Iraq. It serves as a reminder, compared to all the waffle on the motivations of fighters in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere, of the motivations of ISIS: The jihadists have created what their name suggests - the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria - winning control of Iraq's Sunni heartland and the bloodiest of the rebels fighting Bashar al-Assad's regime. When discussing jihadist fighters - from Afghanistan to Algeria to Zanzibar - we would do well to remember not just who... Continue reading
Julie Burchill once said that the thing which made her most proud to be British was our pop groups - I think she was talking specifically about the brilliantly named St Etienne. With that in mind, and for the start of the World Cup, it seems appropriate to turn to Russian Linesman. Continue reading