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BS: Islamic radicalism . . .

Brian May 23 Apr 14 - 05:59 AM
Musket 23 Apr 14 - 06:15 AM
Brian May 23 Apr 14 - 07:21 AM
Stu 23 Apr 14 - 07:29 AM
Greg F. 23 Apr 14 - 08:43 AM
Brian May 23 Apr 14 - 09:18 AM
GUEST,# 23 Apr 14 - 09:45 AM
Greg F. 23 Apr 14 - 10:28 AM
GUEST,# 23 Apr 14 - 10:29 AM
Stringsinger 23 Apr 14 - 12:01 PM
MGM·Lion 23 Apr 14 - 12:54 PM
Jim Carroll 23 Apr 14 - 01:07 PM
MGM·Lion 23 Apr 14 - 01:20 PM
GUEST,Eliza 23 Apr 14 - 01:24 PM
Jim Carroll 23 Apr 14 - 01:32 PM
MGM·Lion 23 Apr 14 - 01:50 PM
GUEST,# 23 Apr 14 - 02:52 PM
Jim Carroll 23 Apr 14 - 03:04 PM
Richard Bridge 23 Apr 14 - 03:25 PM
Dave the Gnome 23 Apr 14 - 03:44 PM
GUEST,Musket 23 Apr 14 - 04:58 PM
Greg F. 23 Apr 14 - 05:06 PM
MGM·Lion 23 Apr 14 - 05:16 PM
MGM·Lion 23 Apr 14 - 05:22 PM
Jim Carroll 24 Apr 14 - 03:03 AM
MGM·Lion 24 Apr 14 - 06:11 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Apr 14 - 06:30 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Apr 14 - 06:33 AM
Steve Shaw 24 Apr 14 - 06:44 AM
Dave the Gnome 24 Apr 14 - 06:57 AM
Keith A of Hertford 24 Apr 14 - 07:16 AM
Keith A of Hertford 24 Apr 14 - 07:19 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Apr 14 - 07:34 AM
Dave the Gnome 24 Apr 14 - 07:37 AM
Steve Shaw 24 Apr 14 - 07:51 AM
Steve Shaw 24 Apr 14 - 07:57 AM
Keith A of Hertford 24 Apr 14 - 08:34 AM
MGM·Lion 24 Apr 14 - 08:46 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Apr 14 - 08:55 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Apr 14 - 09:03 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Apr 14 - 09:08 AM
Greg F. 24 Apr 14 - 09:38 AM
GUEST,# 24 Apr 14 - 09:42 AM
MGM·Lion 24 Apr 14 - 09:57 AM
Steve Shaw 24 Apr 14 - 10:29 AM
Keith A of Hertford 24 Apr 14 - 10:49 AM
Keith A of Hertford 24 Apr 14 - 11:04 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Apr 14 - 11:08 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Apr 14 - 11:38 AM
Keith A of Hertford 24 Apr 14 - 11:43 AM

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Subject: BS: Islamic radicalism . . .
From: Brian May
Date: 23 Apr 14 - 05:59 AM

Much as I dislike Tony Blair as someone who's caused as much aggravation as he's mitigated, however, I find myself agreeing with him on this statement:

"In significant and controversial intervention, the former Prime Minister suggested that, as a result of failures in Iraq and Afghanistan, governments in Europe and America had become "curiously reluctant to acknowledge" Islamic extremism."

I seem to remember taking a fair bit of flak on this forum for being a 'racist bigot' et al for pointing this out a couple of years ago.

The 'West' ignores this threat to our lifestyle at our peril. Until governments and institutions get 'unafraid' to call a spade a spade (no pun intended) and stop pussy-footing around when dealing with RADICAL Muslims and CRIMINAL Muslims, we are going to remain 'curiously reluctant' to acknowledge and deal with the threat.

In that statement I am referring only (NB - ONLY) to the law-breakers, inciting or carrying out attacks, grooming young girls etc etc, NOT the vast majority of peaceful and law-abiding folk of ANY religion, colour or creed.

It does seem that when the word 'Muslim' is added to the sentence, it suddenly all gets far more complicated for our government both central and local including Law Enforcement agencies.



OK, PC do-gooders brigade . . . your shout . . .


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Subject: RE: BS: Islamic radicalism . . .
From: Musket
Date: 23 Apr 14 - 06:15 AM

I thought you were into home made guitars, star gazing and saving badgers?

Not all badgers, just the radicalised bastard ones eh?


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Subject: RE: BS: Islamic radicalism . . .
From: Brian May
Date: 23 Apr 14 - 07:21 AM

Ho ho ho, you are a wag . . .


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Subject: RE: BS: Islamic radicalism . . .
From: Stu
Date: 23 Apr 14 - 07:29 AM

Another kipper.


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Subject: RE: BS: Islamic radicalism . . .
From: Greg F.
Date: 23 Apr 14 - 08:43 AM

" curiously reluctant to acknowledge" Islamic extremism.

You're kidding, right?

Here in the US we're fed fear-mongering "Muslims gonna get yo momma" nonsense on a daily basis.


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Subject: RE: BS: Islamic radicalism . . .
From: Brian May
Date: 23 Apr 14 - 09:18 AM

Not my words Greg, the ex Prime Minister (the one extracted from George W Bush's ass) . . . the current UN Middle East envoy.

It's not so much fear-mongering as acknowledging the problem. There is a current investigation into whether radical islam is infiltrating the education system in Birmingham (ours).

It would appear 'the system' is finally waking up.


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Subject: RE: BS: Islamic radicalism . . .
From: GUEST,#
Date: 23 Apr 14 - 09:45 AM

I think fifteen schools are being investigated.


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Subject: RE: BS: Islamic radicalism . . .
From: Greg F.
Date: 23 Apr 14 - 10:28 AM

Do keep in mind that these are allegations, not facts at this point.


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Subject: RE: BS: Islamic radicalism . . .
From: GUEST,#
Date: 23 Apr 14 - 10:29 AM

True, Greg.


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Subject: RE: BS: Islamic radicalism . . .
From: Stringsinger
Date: 23 Apr 14 - 12:01 PM

Non-believers can now be executed in Saudi Arabia.


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Subject: RE: BS: Islamic radicalism . . .
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 23 Apr 14 - 12:54 PM

So what, Greg? Are these the only factors to be considered? Is the fact that Fusilier Rigby is dead an 'allegation'?

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Islamic radicalism . . .
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Apr 14 - 01:07 PM

"Is the fact that Fusilier Rigby is dead an 'allegation'?"
A statement by those concerned was made on the BBC pointing out that the present investigations have nothing whatever to do with terrorist attacks - nothing that hase been stated since has changed that statement.
"law-breakers, inciting or carrying out attacks, grooming young girls"
Warnings by politicians, police and the judiciary have consistently insisted that none of these are in any way connected with being a Muslim; in fact, they all have warned of the danger of the actions of a tiny handful of fanatics being used by extremist bigots.
The official survey on the link between Islam and these crimes confirmed this and gave the same warnings.
Using the corpse of a dead soldier as a soapbox for prejudice seems to indicate that some people didn't take a lot of notice of those warnings.
Sam old same old, it would appear.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Islamic radicalism . . .
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 23 Apr 14 - 01:20 PM

Same old same old    Jim Carroll   , it would appear............



"Using the corpse of a dead soldier as a soapbox for prejudice" --

Oh dear: how pathetically facile, if don't take into account how he came to be dead. Complications following a bout of hay fever, was it? If disapproval of hacking an innocent passer-by to death for none but self-defined 'ideological' reasons is to be defined as 'prejudice', then it can only be by someone with scant conception of what 'prejudice' actually is.

I'm 'prejudiced' against rapists too, as it happens. And 'prejudiced' against fraudulent bankers' And 'prejudiced' against the person who burgled my cousin's house a few years ago & shat on the floor before leaving as a calling card.

And, particularly 'prejudiced' against apologists for all these, who will dismiss reasoned disapproval as 'prejudice'.



Same old same old    Jim Carroll   , it would appear.

AY


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Subject: RE: BS: Islamic radicalism . . .
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 23 Apr 14 - 01:24 PM

The words in the link "...unsigned and unverified document..." suggest that there isn't as yet much solid evidence. But all schools have to be inspected regularly, and having myself suffered Ofsted Inspections, there isn't much that gets past their scrutiny. They interview parents, staff, community members, ancillary workers, pupils, managers, the lot. If they're any good at all, they'll spot any anomalies in the school's systems.


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Subject: RE: BS: Islamic radicalism . . .
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Apr 14 - 01:32 PM

No Mike - it was religious fanatics wot dunnit, not the Muslim peopel as a whole - nasty thing, religious fanaticism, whoever carries it out.
Nearly as bad as the bigotry that condemns an entire culture for the crimes of a few criminals.
Good job you haven't an irrational fear of spiders, otherwise we'd all be overrun by flies.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Islamic radicalism . . .
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 23 Apr 14 - 01:50 PM

Who alleged that an entire people was responsible? But an entire ideology as widely interpreted by those agreed by adherents to be authorised to do so might just be a different matter. It's called Sharia, Jihad, Ahmadiyya, among other things. Quite widely accepted it appears. Have you heard about it?

Of course, if asked what he thinks of the late Mr Rigby being 'the late', no doubt Mr Carroll would make all sorts of noises of generalised disapproval. And to think he has accused me of 'lip-service' before now, in relation to the most acute disappointment of my whole life, the betrayal of all my generation's hopes and aspirations by the present administration of the State of Israel.

For shame, James


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Subject: RE: BS: Islamic radicalism . . .
From: GUEST,#
Date: 23 Apr 14 - 02:52 PM

First God made idiots. That was for practice. Then it made school boards.

Mark Twain


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Subject: RE: BS: Islamic radicalism . . .
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Apr 14 - 03:04 PM

"But an entire ideology as widely interpreted by those agreed by adherents to be authorised to do so might just be a different matter"
As democratic as that huh?
What exactly are you proposing - that we should ship them all back, like your old matey Eunuch suggested - or nowadays, Marine's new beau, Farrago?
Ot maybe tattoo a number on their arms - that should do it, don'cha think.
You're a bigot Mike - and one that should know better.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Islamic radicalism . . .
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 23 Apr 14 - 03:25 PM

Given the proximity in time of Camermoron's sudden addiction to bible-thumping to B.Liar's attempts to rustle up a new crusade, I'd say the Xtian fundagelical right-wing loonies and megalomaniacs are on the march in the UK. Worrying. The mentally ill in positions of influence and power.


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Subject: RE: BS: Islamic radicalism . . .
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 23 Apr 14 - 03:44 PM

The mentally ill in positions of influence and power.

They always have been, Richard. Anyone who thinks that they can run a country and govern people cannot be mentally stable. A better idea would be to vote for who you would think best suited to perform these tasks. If they don't want to do it, all the better!

Back to the thread. It does say Islamic radicalism. Just a hint for those who think it is anti Islam. I don't believe it is. It is anti radicalism. I think Brian could have as easily started a thread about Christian radicalism or Communist radicalism. They are all as bad as each other. He would have got the same reaction. But probably from different people.

Just my opinion of course.

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: Islamic radicalism . . .
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 23 Apr 14 - 04:58 PM

Radicalisation is ugly. It is wrong and it is dangerous.

It is not a product of Islam. It is a product of politics. What you can't get by the ballot box, get by telling thugs they are doing God's work.

The problem as ever is that many people are shallow enough to believe what they are told if they are also told God wants them to do it too. Witness the so called jihad. Also note the Anglican Church in Uganda supporting death sentence for being gay.

Voltaire yet again. Those that can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.

There are over 65 million people in The UK. Less than a million go to church , yet our Prime Minister wants to piss off non Christians even more. Rational people can and will ignore the cynical political posturing but other people with a different imaginary friend will feel isolated and threatened.

Well done Cameron. You and your tambourine rattling idiots show the ugly side of religion, regardless of flavour. Make no mistake, Bliar's intervention was planned to pounce on Cameron's Jesus kick. Party politics are nothing when it comes to trying to drag us back to a superstitious dark age.

Fuck 'em. All of 'em.


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Subject: ADD: Talkin' John Birch Paranoid Blues (Dylan)
From: Greg F.
Date: 23 Apr 14 - 05:06 PM

So what, Greg? Are these the only factors to be considered?

So what, ~M~?

So all this hysteria is based on a single anonymous letter, no facts, no verification, no documentation, no nothing.

Seems to me that ol' Tailgunner Joe McCarthy had more evidence of his nefarious and dastardly Commie plots.

Thus, I think its a good place to enter the following: simply read "Muslim" for "Commie", "Communist" and "Reds":

Talkin' John Birch Paranoid Blues
by Bob Dylan

Well, I was feelin' sad and feelin' blue
I didn't know what in the world I wus gonna do
Them Communists they wus comin' around
They wus in the air
They wus on the ground
They wouldn't gimme no peace . . .

So I run down most hurriedly
And joined up with the John Birch Society
I got me a secret membership card
And started off a-walkin' down the road
Yee-hoo, I'm a real John Bircher now!
Look out you Commies!

Now we all agree with Hitler's views
Although he killed six million Jews
It don't matter too much that he was a Fascist
At least you can't say he was a Communist!
That's to say like if you got a cold you take a shot of malaria

Well, I wus lookin' everywhere for them gol-darned Reds
I got up in the mornin' 'n' looked under my bed
Looked in the sink, behind the door
Looked in the glove compartment of my car
Couldn't find 'em . . .

I wus lookin' high an' low for them Reds everywhere
I wus lookin' in the sink an' underneath the chair
I looked way up my chimney hole
I even looked deep down inside my toilet bowl
They got away . . .

Well, I wus sittin' home alone an' started to sweat
Figured they wus in my T.V. set
Peeked behind the picture frame
Got a shock from my feet, hittin' right up in the brain
Them Reds caused it!
I know they did . . . them hard-core ones

Well, I quit my job so I could work all alone
Then I changed my name to Sherlock Holmes
Followed some clues from my detective bag
And discovered they wus red stripes on the American flag!
That ol' Betsy Ross . . .

Well, I investigated all the books in the library
Ninety percent of 'em gotta be burned away
I investigated all the people that I knowed
Ninety-eight percent of them gotta go
The other two percent are fellow Birchers . . . just like me

Now Eisenhower, he's a Russian spy
Lincoln, Jefferson and that Roosevelt guy
To my knowledge there's just one man
That's really a true American: George Lincoln Rockwell
I know for a fact he hates Commies cus he picketed the movie Exodus

Well, I fin'ly started thinkin' straight
When I run outa things to investigate
Couldn't imagine doin' anything else
So now I'm sittin' home investigatin' myself!
Hope I don't find out anything . . . hmm, great God!


Copyright © 1970 by Special Rider Music; renewed 1998 by Special Rider Music


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Subject: RE: BS: Islamic radicalism . . .
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 23 Apr 14 - 05:16 PM

I am not "proposing" anything, Jim. Not my job to propose. Simply pointing out an intractable problem with which we are saddled, and to which there may well be no solution to be 'proposed'. One can never start anywhere but here. I am, however, I freely admit, pessimistic about the future, glad that I shall not be around when this particular brood of chickens comes home to roost; and that I have no children to fret about.

Meanwhile, congratulations on the crack about numbers tattooed on arms (as on the arms of my first cousins once removed from Bucharest, you mean?). Of a cheapness which few but the egregious Carroll could have achieved. Well done again!

And you call me a bigot. Well a good laugh to go to bed on is always something to appreciate.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Islamic radicalism . . .
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 23 Apr 14 - 05:22 PM

For clarity, that should have been "first-cousins-once-removed"; ie my father's first-cousins, not my own first-cousins who on one occasion got taken off somewhere -- altho, as you will gather, some of these did! One of them survived. My grandmother got a letter from her in Roumanian in late-1945. Never knew exactly what happened to the others.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Islamic radicalism . . .
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Apr 14 - 03:03 AM

"I am not "proposing" anything, Jim"
And you're "not" doing it very well Mike, just stirring up hate and suspicion by inviting people to share your own private "volcano"
Jim Carroll
"as on the arms of my first cousins once removed from Bucharest, you mean"
Don't know that one Mike - I do remember the one on the arm of my girl friend's mother though
She used to show it to people in the hope that it would never happen again.
Small chance, it would appear.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Islamic radicalism . . .
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 24 Apr 14 - 06:11 AM

Well, there might be a volcano or there might not. I shan't know, nor will my descendants as I am childless. Time will tell, is all. But if you deny the possibility of such a volcano, threat, whevs, it seems obvious to me you are living in a fool's paradise. I genuinely hope you are the one who is right. But I doubt it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Islamic radicalism . . .
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Apr 14 - 06:30 AM

" Time will tell, is all. But if you deny the possibility of such a volcano, threat"
Of course I deny it - Muslims living in Britain are identifies as the most law abiding and industrious group entering the country - stated over and over again by the powers that be, who have all recognised, or at least, paid lip-service to their contribution to British society.
Personally, if I had the (totally unwanted) choice of choosing my neighbour - if it came down to you (who I have never met) or any of the many Muslims I have met - no competition.
But dig out some old Folk Reviews I have been intending to burn for some time now
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Islamic radicalism . . .
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Apr 14 - 06:33 AM

Sorry - correction - wrote it rather emotionally, I'm afraid
Should read "Must dig out some old Folk Reviews"
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Islamic radicalism . . .
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 24 Apr 14 - 06:44 AM

Seems like the Birmingham schools "infiltration" is a hoax. Ho hum.

Good letter in today's Grauniad that points out that Blair would have been arrested had his statement about uniting with Russia against militant Islam been turned around and made by an Islamist urging a united Islam to fight western extremists.


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Subject: RE: BS: Islamic radicalism . . .
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 24 Apr 14 - 06:57 AM

I don't think anyone has said that Muslims are a threat, Jim. The threat is radicalism from any quarter.

D.


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Subject: RE: BS: Islamic radicalism . . .
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 24 Apr 14 - 07:16 AM

It is a relief to hear that the Birmingham story was a hoax, but I cannot find anything about it.
Can you share your news with us Steve?


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Subject: RE: BS: Islamic radicalism . . .
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 24 Apr 14 - 07:19 AM

Returning to the speech, how can we be sure that the UN Middle East Peace Envoy is completely wrong and there is no threat to peace and stability?
What reassurance would yo give to the people of Nigeria say?


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Subject: RE: BS: Islamic radicalism . . .
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Apr 14 - 07:34 AM

"The threat is radicalism from any quarter. "
Absolutely Dave - it's been my argument all along
Religion (any religion) and politics is a toxic mix and any religious organisation that gains a toe-hold in the running of a country or any of its temporal institutions, will invariably exploit that influence for their own purpose.
Following the clerical abuse revelations here in Ireland, there is now a fascinating battle taking place over what influence the Church should continue to have over the education system.
One person's 'radicalism' is often another's 'devoutness'.
No child should ever be taught to look down on those of other faiths - many, even most are by their various religions - Christianity being a 'front runner' in the "forgivness" stakes.
I was told here not long ago that I was being "prayed for" for my being a sinner - gives one a warm feeling, does't it (or maybe you are one of the unluck ones who doesn't have anybody praying for you)
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Islamic radicalism . . .
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 24 Apr 14 - 07:37 AM

who doesn't have anybody praying for you

I'm beyond redemption already, Jim!

D.


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Subject: RE: BS: Islamic radicalism . . .
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 24 Apr 14 - 07:51 AM

It's all over the news. Just google Birmingham schools hoax. Do bear in mind that my post reflected the current state of play in that I used the word "seems".


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Subject: RE: BS: Islamic radicalism . . .
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 24 Apr 14 - 07:57 AM

By far the biggest threat to peace and stability came from Bush and Blair. Millions killed or maimed, millions impoverished, millions radicalised, millions now living in insecurity, and all based on their lies. Turned out to be somewhat more than just a threat, actually, millions would say.


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Subject: RE: BS: Islamic radicalism . . .
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 24 Apr 14 - 08:34 AM

Steve, all I can find are a few individuals who claim it is a hoax.
I think the authorities are still taking it seriously, some schools have been put in special measures over it, and the police investigation continues.

It is a bit premature to state "Seems like the Birmingham schools "infiltration" is a hoax." but let us hope you are proved right.


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Subject: RE: BS: Islamic radicalism . . .
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 24 Apr 14 - 08:46 AM

I should be interested in some takes on Aayan Hirsi Ali. In particular, in view of his constant repetitions of how Islam is all peacefulness & sweetness & light and it must have been just accidents that befell the Towers & Rigby & the Dutch director Van Gogh & such, from Mr Carroll; especially in re trhe last 5 lines quoted below. (This is a born Muslim woman, remember).

extracts from her wikipedia entry

Ayaan Hirsi Al (born 13 November 1969) is a Somali-born American (formerly Dutch) women's rights and atheist activist, writer and politician who is known for her views critical of female genital mutilation and Islam. She wrote the screenplay for Theo van Gogh's movie Submission, after which she and the director both received death threats. He was assassinated.

On Palestinians: "I have visited the Palestinian quarters in Jerusalem. Their side is dilapidated, for which they blame the Israelis. In private, however, I met a young Palestinian who spoke excellent English. There were no cameras and no notebooks. He said the situation was partly their own fault, with much of the money sent from abroad to build Palestine being stolen by corrupt leaders".

In an interview in the London Evening Standard, Hirsi Ali characterizes Islam as "the new fascism": "Just like Nazism started with Hitler's vision, the Islamic vision is a caliphate — a society ruled by Sharia law – in which women who have sex before marriage are stoned to death, homosexuals are beaten, and apostates like me are killed. Sharia law is as inimical to liberal democracy as Nazism." In this interview, she also made it clear that in her opinion it is not "a fringe group of radical Muslims who've hijacked Islam and that the majority of Muslims are moderate. [...] Violence is inherent in Islam – it's a destructive, nihilistic cult of death. It legitimates murder."

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Islamic radicalism . . .
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Apr 14 - 08:55 AM

"Hirsi Ali characterizes Islam as "the new fascism":"
She also is a strong supporter of religious genital mutilation - sorry - don't get your point.
You can always find a supporter for your case and use it to make your argument if you ignore the facts.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Islamic radicalism . . .
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Apr 14 - 09:03 AM

Apologies - misread her profile - she does not support genital mutilation, but she does condemn it as practiced by Muslims and Jews alike
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Islamic radicalism . . .
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Apr 14 - 09:08 AM

Putting Ms Ali in context - from the "Antisemitic" Economist
Jim Carroll

Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Enlightened intolerance
Apr 16th 2014, 16:08 by M.S.
Timekeeper
EARLIER this month Brandeis University rescinded its offer of an honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Somali-born women's rights activist, saying its officials had not been fully aware of some her more scathing remarks on Islam. Conservatives have accused Brandeis of muzzling Ms Hirsi Ali and bowing to Muslim pressure groups. Liberals have wondered how the university could possibly have overlooked Ms Hirsi Ali's condemnations, not just of radical Islam, but of Islam as such. At the risk of coming off as a postmodern multi-culti squish, it seems to me that this discussion suffers from a lack of cultural context—but not the cultural context you're thinking of. The way Ms Hirsi Ali talks about Islam strikes American liberals as strangely intolerant, but it has its roots in the prevailing discourse on religious freedom and Islam in the country where Ms Hirsi Ali first began seriously tackling these issues: the Netherlands.

As Ms Hirsi Ali noted in an interview on Fox News, the most-cited of her objectionable statements on Islam came in a 2007 interview with Reason magazine. In that interview she said it was necessary to "defeat" Islam and that "we are at war with Islam", including in the military sense of the word. In another 2007 interview, with the London Evening Standard, she called Islam "the new fascism" and "a destructive, nihilistic cult of death". Characterising an entire religion in this way is considered entirely beyond the pale in educated American society; while some small right-wing or evangelical Christian organisations demonise Islam as an enemy, mainstream conservatives, and for that matter neoconservatives, characterise only radical Islam as a threat. Actually, bigotry against Muslims in America is common enough, but the public expression of such prejudice by figures of authority is taboo. Wholesale condemnations of existing religions just aren't done in American politics. Once-open prejudices against Catholics and Jews were gradually wrung out of the public sphere in a process that started in the 1940s and was essentially wrapped up by the 1970s. The explicit consensus in America is ecumenical and strongly pro-religious, and Americans generally sense that when they single out one faith and aggressively criticise its spiritual content, they're violating a national ethical code.

This is not quite the case in the Netherlands, where Ms Hirsi Ali developed her feminist critique of Islam and served as an MP for the centre-right Liberal party. To recap her story: Ms Hirsi Ali came to the Netherlands in 1992, fleeing an arranged marriage in Kenya. She was granted refugee status and ultimately a Dutch passport, and earned a master's degree that led her into outreach work with Muslim immigrant women, initially in affiliation with the Labour party. Her politics shifted steadily rightward, due in part to the repression of women she saw in immigrant communities and in part to the September 11th attacks. In 2004 she made a deliberately provocative, rather surreal short film decrying Muslim oppression of women with the bomb-throwing TV director and personality Theo van Gogh; in response, a young Muslim extremist murdered Mr van Gogh. With her extraordinary charisma and impressively elegant Dutch, Ms Hirsi Ali was ultimately invited to run for parliament by the centre-right Liberals, and served from 2003 until 2006, when a scandal over her immigration status (she admitted to having concealed her name and lied about other details) led the hard-line interior minister to revoke her Dutch passport. She moved to America shortly thereafter, taking a job at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank. (The affair, incidentally, precipitated the fall of the Dutch government.)

Returning to the theme: while the way Ms Hirsi Ali talks about Islam sounds extreme to the American ear, it doesn't sound as extreme to the Dutch ear. To take the most obvious example, Geert Wilders, the leader of the far-right Party for Freedom (PVV), has been calling for banning the Koran since 2007. To legitimate this sort of language, Mr Wilders has advanced the novel claim that Islam is not a religion at all, but a totalitarian ideology. Of course, Mr Wilders leads the farthest-right party in the Dutch political landscape, one with which most Dutch parties have refused to cooperate. Nevertheless, most Dutch citizens don't see Mr Wilders' PVV as an extreme-right party. This is incomprehensible to Americans: a party that calls for banning the Koran and terms Islam a totalitarian ideology seems by definition extreme-right in an American context. Yet intelligent, tolerant mainstream Dutch and Americans can go back and forth on this question in utter bafflement.

And Mr Wilders doesn't exist in a vacuum. He launched the PVV in 2006, after dropping out of the Liberal party just when Ms Hirsi Ali was becoming one of its biggest stars. A few years earlier, Pim Fortuyn, the flamboyantly gay populist politician, had blazed the trail for such language by terming Islam a "backward religion". Beginning with Mr Fortuyn's rise in 2001, Dutch politics was seized by an impulse to cast off "politically correct" taboos on negative characterisations of (mainly Muslim) immigrants, and to "name the real problems" of crime, failure to integrate, and suppression of the rights of women and gays among immigrant communities. Ms Hirsi Ali's sharp anti-Muslim language did not spring out of nowhere; she was part of this broader shift in Dutch politics and political language.

At a deeper level, while the Netherlands has long been renowned for, or even defined by, its religious tolerance, the Dutch variety of tolerance is not the same as the American one. For example, I've repeatedly encountered non-religious Dutch who see no difference between a religion and a belief or opinion, and feel that religions therefore don't deserve any kind of special consideration, be it in terms of schooling, of exemptions from public rules and duties, or of conversational deference or respect. That view may be shared in certain emphatically atheist quarters in America, but it seems much more widespread in the Netherlands. To some extent this may be rooted in the much lower level of Dutch religiosity; 21% of Dutch believe in God, against 61% of Americans, and Dutch religiosity declined markedly from 1991-2008. And while Americans who do not actually go to church often nevertheless identify with some denomination on a family basis, Dutch who do not believe or worship tend to describe themselves simply as having no religion. One sometimes gets the sense that non-religious Dutch are so alienated from religious tradition that they lack empathetic understanding of what belonging to a faith is like.

But then, the bargains entailed in the Dutch tradition of religious tolerance have always worked differently than those in America. From the late 19th century to the 1960s, the Dutch hewed to a social system called "pillarisation", in which the country's Protestant and Catholic communities lived, studied and voted in largely segregated blocs, each with their own schools, newspapers, and political parties. The socialist movement formed a third, non-religious bloc. The blocs were often openly disdainful of each other, and it's not surprising that the Dutch tend to be more willing than Americans to bluntly criticise the substance of others' religions, just as they might criticise a political ideology. Even in the 17th century, when the Netherlands became a haven for religious refugees from the 30 Years' War and the Inquisition, tolerance was largely seen as a pragmatic virtue, good for business, so long as those with alien faiths kept their houses of worship out of sight. One might look even further back: many of the Netherlands' firmest critics of religion belong to the country's strong Humanist movement, which traces its roots to the atheistic or pan-theistic philosophy of that greatest apostate of Amsterdam's Jewish community, Baruch Spinoza. The intellectual historian Jonathan Israel makes Spinoza the model for what he terms the "radical" wing of the European Enlightenment, which totally rejected religious authority, in contrast to more moderate figures such as Descartes; and one can hear some echoes of Spinoza in Ms Hirsi Ali's uncompromising turn away from, and finally complete rejection of, her native Islam.

The interview in which Ms Hirsi Ali called for a "war" on Islam came in 2007, just a year after she had left the Netherlands. In deciding to rescind its offer of an honorary degree to her, Brandeis was in part drawing a line between the kind of discourse on religion that is acceptable in mainstream American intellectual life, and the kind that has arisen over the past decade and a half in the Netherlands. The university was not silencing Ms Hirsi Ali; it still invited her to come to the university to "engage in a dialogue". As Isaac Chotiner puts it, the "controversy isn't about shunning someone from polite society. It is about giving a person an honorary degree." Asking Ms Hirsi Ali to speak to students at Brandeis is a great idea; giving her an honorary degree as part of graduation ceremonies suggests that Brandeis thinks calling for a war on Islam is an acceptable statement within the bounds of normal political and social discourse. The fact that such statements are not welcomed in American public discourse is one reason why the American model of integration and tolerance works better than the Dutch model, and why the Netherlands continues to be wracked by tensions over Islam and integration—years after those tensions forced Ms Hirsi Ali herself to leave.


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Subject: RE: BS: Islamic radicalism . . .
From: Greg F.
Date: 24 Apr 14 - 09:38 AM

Seems like the Birmingham schools "infiltration" is a hoax.

DAMN! Imagine my surprise.......


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Subject: RE: BS: Islamic radicalism . . .
From: GUEST,#
Date: 24 Apr 14 - 09:42 AM

http://rt.com/news/radical-islam-uk-schools-678/

The story is over six weeks old. Does anyone know what the national school authorities--if indeed anyone's aware who that is--have done so far?


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Subject: RE: BS: Islamic radicalism . . .
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 24 Apr 14 - 09:57 AM

Cocked up there rather, didn't you, Jim? Glad you noticed your own booboo before it had to be pointed out to you. No pun intended in first word of this post, but I am opposed to Gentl Mutltn for both sexes also.

Had read that Economist piece before. Thoroughly equivocal and evasive & fence·sitting in tone IMO. So do you think Brandeis was right to have withdrawn their offer of an Hon Degree over something she had said 6 years before they offered it in the first place, which they must have known about if they had done the most minimal research into their putative candidate? If not, then, why dear me, who could possibly have got at them to change their minds, I wonder?

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Islamic radicalism . . .
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 24 Apr 14 - 10:29 AM

Apropos of the hoax, obviously all the politicos, school inspectors and sundry anti-Muslims are gonna throw their hands in the air and admit they've been duped, aren't they? Yeah, That's what'll happen. Yeah. Sure thing.




Alternatively, it'll all just....quietly....fade....away....


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Subject: RE: BS: Islamic radicalism . . .
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 24 Apr 14 - 10:49 AM

So you dismiss it?


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Subject: RE: BS: Islamic radicalism . . .
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 24 Apr 14 - 11:04 AM

Daily Telegraph this week.
"Khalid Mahmood, the (Muslim) Labour MP for Birmingham Perry Barr, said the allegations of a plot were credible.
"There is most definitely a plot by a small group of individuals and the plot actually affects the majority of the Muslim community in Birmingham," he said."

"The alleged plot by Islamic radicals to take control of a series of schools in Birmingham is the product of a little-understood power struggle between Muslim denominations, Mr Straw, the MP for Blackburn said."

"An anti-Semitic preacher who sympathises with Al-Qaeda was invited to address students at Park View school, Department for Education inspectors found.
At least six of the 18 schools said to be involved in the plot will be failed by Ofsted, a measure which normally leads to them being placed in special measures and their leadership team replaced."
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/10778465/Muslims-must-accept-Britains-Christian-values-says-former-Home-Secretary.html


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Subject: RE: BS: Islamic radicalism . . .
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Apr 14 - 11:08 AM

"Cocked up there rather, didn't you, Jim?"
Don't gloat Mike - it doesn't become even you.
I'd looked her up when you mentioned her first, time time ago and mis-read her profile then, but realised that my interpretation didn't make sense, so I took the trouble to re-read it.
I'm not really surprised that you don't hesitate to make political capital from it, even though I corrected my mistake - I might have been in the past, but not now
Perhaps a couple of typooss might help you make your case.
I go along with what much of she says, but I find her Islamophobic tone far more likely to antagonise that to convert and can see why her doctorate has been revoked.
Still don't get your point - sorry.
Jimmm Carolll


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Subject: RE: BS: Islamic radicalism . . .
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Apr 14 - 11:38 AM

Some figures from Antisemitic Gallup
Islamophobia league
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Islamic radicalism . . .
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 24 Apr 14 - 11:43 AM

Is the UN Envoy an Islamophobe in your opinion?
(Just asking. Not arguing)


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