Category Archives: Uncategorized

a window of opportunity for an independent kurdistan?

i must start by declaring an interest here, not only as someone who supports a fair and equitable end to the arab-israeli conflict in which israel’s future is secured and a wider lasting peace in the middle east for all its peoples, but also as someone many of whose ancestors came from mosul and kirkuk in kurdistan. i have met many talented kurds and they have invariably been the sort of people who i could get along with and do business with; reasonable, rational and sensitive to the realities of history and politics.

for all these reasons, the issue of kurdistan has been close to my heart for a number of years; it felt very much to me as if it was a pipe-dream, given the geopolitical status quo. the basics are this:

Also posted in Activism, Democracy, History, Human Rights, Identity Politics, International Affairs, Misc, Politics | Leave a comment

Farewell Christopher Hitchens

Christopher Hitchens has died at the age of 62. An obituary here, there are many more.

Posted in Uncategorized | 13 Responses

Hamza Yusuf: ‘If you hate the west, emigrate to a Muslim country’

Hamza Yusuf is probably one of the pre-eminent Muslim scholars alive today. So it is pleasantly surprising when he talks straight and honestly about the situation as it stands. There is nothing he says in this interview which contains any of the postmodernist dissimulation, the special pleading, the theological victimhood and the question begging we get by the bucketload from Muslims across the board from extremists, moderates and their apologists.

In an interview with the Guardian, he makes a series of cogent but knockout statements about the status quo, the collapse of a body of theology to square with the modern world, the intellectual capitulation to extremists and the preponderance of ignorance and conspiracy-theory mindsets. No doubt he will now be vilified and his good name associated with everything from a “neocon”, a “fitnah spreader”, a “sell-out” (but maybe not a “coconut” since he is white) and any number of other knee-jerk (but “halal”) epithets will follow.

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Responses

Do You Trust Bob Lambert?

This is a cross-post of an article by Lucy Lips from Harry’s Place

Bob Lambert, a police spy who ran a controversial operation infiltrating various Left wing organisations, and who himself participated in the long term infiltration of London Greenpeace, has come out fighting.

It is an unintended consequence of the Guardian’s reporting that critics who object to the fact that I granted legitimacy and status to many politically active Muslim Londoners by working with them as partners should now claim I was spying on them – or, worse, that they were paid informants of mine. Let me be clear.I dispute the Policy Exchange argument that my Muslim partners were extreme or subversive, and fit only for the role of paid informants or to be secretly infiltrated. I did not recruit one Muslim Londoner as an informant nor did I spy on them. They were partners of police and many acted bravely in support of public safety.

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Bob Lambert Exposed as Police Spy







A few days ago, London Greenpeace published what could be considered a libellous exposé of Bob Lambert via IndyMedia:

Campaigners today outed the most-senior-yet police spy responsible for infiltrating environmental and social justice campaigns.

Former Detective Inspector Bob Lambert MBE had just spoken at a “One Society, Many Cultures” anti-racist conference attended by 300 delegates at the Trades Union Congress HQ in Central London. He was then challenged by 5 members of London Greenpeace who called on him to apologise for the undercover police infiltration of London Greenpeace, Reclaim The Streets and other campaign groups – an operation he took part in or supervised over two decades, whilst rising to the rank of Detective Inspector.

Posted in Uncategorized | 12 Responses

Pakistan’s Neo-Colonial Rule in Balochistan

Pakistan hasn’t had to answer to a UN Security Council resolution since 1948.

Yet in the last 60 years Pakistan has conducted campaigns of military annexation & occupation – as well economic exploitation, ethnic persecution & cultural subjugation in the region of Balochistan with impunity.

4,000 Baloch people arrested & disappeared, 3,000 Baloch killed & 200,000 displaced. Torture and air strikes on civilians is routine.

Peter Tatchell has been highlighting the systematic persecution of Balochis in Pakistan:

The cultural conquest of Balochistan also involves the radical Islamification of the traditionally more secular Baloch nation. Large numbers of religious schools have been funded by Islamabad, with a view to imposing Pakistan’s harsher, more narrow-minded interpretation of Islam. This is fuelling fundamentalism.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Response

Hassan Radwan’s Response to Robert Spencer

This is a cross-post of a comment by Hassan Radwan of the Council of Ex-Muslims on the execrable Jihadwatch bigot-site:

My name is Hassan and I am an Ex-Muslim and an Executive member of the Council of Ex-Muslims. I congratulate Maryam for making a clear distinction between our stand against the Islamists on the one hand and your position and that of Pam Geller and groups like SIOE/A on the other.

I find it amusing how you throw “Anti-Semite” at her much like some Muslims throw “Islamophobe” at anyone who dares criticise Islam, simply because she criticised Israel’s tactics during the invasion of Gaza. It seems you have the attitude of anyone criticising Israel’s political and military policies is an anti-semite. Just as some Muslims have the attitude that anyone criticising Islam hates Muslims.

Also posted in Anti Muslim bigotry, Antisemitism | 2 Responses


A reader sent this in:

Highest estimated cost of riots: £100m.

Tax Avoidance by Vodafone: £6 Billion
Tax spent on Libyan intervention: £1 Billion
Tax avoidance in 2010 by richest people in UK: £7 Billion
Tax payers bill for banking crisis: £131 Billion
Tax money spent in Iraqi conflict: £4.5 billion
Tax money spent on Afghan conflict (up until 2007): £7 billion
Total MP expenses bill (2007): £87.6m
Regretting at leisure: Priceless

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Responses

The Dignity of Tariq Jahan

Watching the quiet dignity and generosity of Tariq Jahan has been a humbling experience.

This is A N Wilson on Tariq Jahan:

Raw with grief, in a voice steady but tight with emotion, his appeal for calm on Wednesday was a beacon of hope amid the tumult and carnage of a horribly dark week for Britain.
Hours before he spoke, Tariq Jahan had lost his 21-year-old son Haroon, murdered in the Winson Green area of Birmingham by thugs who drove at him in their car in what appears to have been a racist attack.
No one could be more aware of the simmering racial tensions between Asians in his neighbourhood and those of Caribbean ancestry.

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Responses

On constantly mishearing ‘rioting’ as ‘writing’ on the BBC

There has been writing for 10 days now

unabated. People are anxious, fed up.

There is writing in Paris, in disaffected suburbs,

but also in small towns, and old ones like Lyon.

The writers have been burning cars; they’ve thrown

homemade Molotov cocktails at policemen.

Contrary to initial reports, the writers belong to several communities: Algerian

and Caribbean, certainly, but also Romanian,

Polish, and even French. Some are incredibly

young: the youngest is 13.

They stand edgily on street corners, hardly

looking at each other. Longstanding neglect

and an absence of both authority and employment

have led to what are now 10 nights of writing.

By Amit Chaudhuri

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