Posts Tagged ‘Charlie Hebdo’

Imperial Blowback: Americans Aided Islamists against Secular Muslim States

December 21, 2015

Here’s another essay well worth reading from William Blum’s Anti-Empire Report, ‘Murdering journalists … them and us’. It’s his observations on the massacre of the staff of Charlie Hebdo. He states right at the outset that

After Paris, condemnation of religious fanaticism is at its height. I’d guess that even many progressives fantasize about wringing the necks of jihadists, bashing into their heads some thoughts about the intellect, about satire, humor, freedom of speech. We’re talking here, after all, about young men raised in France, not Saudi Arabia.

And then he asks the $64 million question: ‘Where has all this Islamic fundamentalism come from in this modern age?’ The answer?

Most of it comes – trained, armed, financed, indoctrinated – from Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria. During various periods from the 1970s to the present, these four countries had been the most secular, modern, educated, welfare states in the Middle East region. And what had happened to these secular, modern, educated, welfare states?

He then points out that these states, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, were overthrown by the US, and replaced by Islamist regimes, just as the US is now trying to topple Assad in Syria. This is part of America’s long campaign to overthrow left-wing regimes in the name of multinational corporate profits.

And for the past few years the United States has been engaged in overthrowing the secular Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad. This, along with the US occupation of Iraq having triggered widespread Sunni-Shia warfare, led to the creation of The Islamic State with all its beheadings and other charming practices.

However, despite it all, the world was made safe for capitalism, imperialism, anti-communism, oil, Israel, and jihadists. God is Great!

Starting with the Cold War, and with the above interventions building upon that, we have 70 years of American foreign policy, without which – as Russian/American writer Andre Vltchek has observed – “almost all Muslim countries, including Iran, Egypt and Indonesia, would now most likely be socialist, under a group of very moderate and mostly secular leaders”. 2 Even the ultra-oppressive Saudi Arabia – without Washington’s protection – would probably be a very different place.

He then goes on to list the various occasions where the US and the West has also acted to kill journalists, mostly staff working at the state broadcasting agencies of our enemies. These include the bombing of the radio transmitters and 20 radio sites for the Taliban station, Radio Shari, in 2001 and the bombing of the Serbian broadcasting station, RTS, in 1999, because they were also broadcasting material we didn’t like; and the killing of various journalists, including a couple from Al-Jazeera, in Iraq.

The whole essay can be read at: http://williamblum.org/aer/read/136.

I think Blum view of the secular regimes in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya is rather too positive. Saddam Hussein was a corrupt butcher. That was why it was easy to get the media to support the invasion, although Hussein’s vile crimes against his own people weren’t the reason we invaded. The West invaded simply so that they could grab Iraqi industries, and with the Saudis steal the country’s oil. Gaddafy also was the proverbial ‘mad dog’ of the Middle East. His regime was secular, it’s true, but he was still quite capable of sponsoring Islamic terrorism elsewhere in the Middle East and Africa when it served his purposes. However, with these secular strongmen now dead, their countries have degenerated into anarchic, violent states, riven by Islamist fanaticism and brutality. You could conclude from this mess that, however vile they were, Gaddafy and Hussein were far preferable to the even worse tyrants and butchers, who have replaced them.

But go and read his piece, and decide for yourself.

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Wales OnLine Outs Kipper Candidate as Member of Traditional Britain Group

March 31, 2015

Early today I posted Private Eye’s review of William Rees-Mogg’s book, Picnics on Vesuvius, and commented on the career and extreme Right-wing views of his son, Jacob, the Tory MP for part of Bath And North-East Somerset. I mentioned that the extreme nature of his views is shown by his membership of the Traditional Britain Group. This is a far-right organisation that demands the dismantlement of the welfare state, the privatisation of the NHS, the restoration of the feudal social hierarchy, and an end to immigration. They are particularly opposed to Islam, and their members have posted on various anti-Islam, ‘counter-jihad’ sites. They were also seen a few years ago at the fringes of that year’s UKIP conference.

Now the news website, Wales OnLine, has revealed that the Kipper candidate for Dwyfor Meirionnydd, Christopher Gillibrand, is a member of the Group in their article Welsh Ukip candidate is vice president of group which in 2013 made Doreen Lawrence ‘go home’ slurs on Facebook.

The article notes some of the Group’s racist comments and actions over the previous years, such as

* Two years ago in 2013 they objected to Doreen Lawrence being awarded a peerage on their Facebook page. Doreen Lawrence is the mother of Stephen Lawrence, the black teenager murdered by a group of four white racist thugs. Not only that, but they demanded that she and millions of others like her, should be deported to their countries of origin.

* They called the Tory backbencher, Nadhim Zahawi, ‘foreign’, and described the Labour MP, Chuka Umunna, as Nigerian, despite the fact that he’s Londoner, born and bred.

* Their website also carried a video by Marine Le Pen of the French Neo-Nazi party, Front National, talking about the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris.

* At their conference last October, they showed a video presented by a member of the British Democratic Party, called The Irresistible and Happy Political and Cultural Rise of the Front National in France. The British Democratic Party is another Nazi party, founded by Andrew Brons, formerly of the NF. Back in 1970s, Brons was arrested in Brum for goosestepping about in Nazi uniform shouting at the elderly.

* Last June the guest of honour at their annual Black tie dinner was the Vlaams Belang’s MEP, Philip Claeys. The Vlaams Belang are the Flemish nationalist party, who demand a separate Flanders and an end to multiculturalism.

* They hailed the far-right anti-Islam party, the Sweden Democrats, as ‘the resistance in Sweden’, and applauded the ‘record numbers’ of Nigerians and Muslims being expelled from Norway.

The article quotes the Welsh language activist, Simon Brooks, who complained about the lack of Welsh language materials at a UKIP meeting in Wales, who believes that the party’s apparent contempt for indigenous Welsh language and culture is part of their general xenophobia and intolerance. He also stated that they had 21 aims, including the destruction of the welfare state and the restoration of ‘authority’. Plaid Cymru supported Mr Brooks’ comments, and stated that someone like Gillibrand should not be standing for parliament. They also said that they would work for the wellbeing and prosperity of everyone in Wales.

Gilllibrand has made a rebuttal of some of these points, claiming that he has been slandered. He stated that he was not responsible for the Facebook comments about Doreen Lawrence, and said that he did not share or condone the racist comments of the other members.

Jacob Rees-Mogg too condemned the attack on Doreen Lawrence, and hailed her as ‘a wonderful and courageous woman who has contributed to British public life and, in any traditional view of Conservatism, she should be lauded for what she has done.’ He stated that his attendance at their black tie dinner was a mistake.

The article can be read at http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/welsh-ukip-candidate-vice-president-8950779#ICID=sharebar_twitter

Nevertheless, Gillibrand is still vice-president of the Traditional Britain Group. If his disgust at their racism is genuine, then he should have taken issue with it long before it was raised by the press, or done the decent thing and resigned.

As for Jacob Rees-Mogg, while I may have been wrong about his membership of the group, it’s clear from the fact that he attended their gala dinner that he is in sympathy with them and their views, even if baulks at their comments about Doreen Lawrence. Neither Gillibrand nor Rees-Mogg are in any way sympathetic to the post-War culture of this country, and the rights, wellbeing and prosperity of its working people. And while Rees-Mogg at least has condemned their racism, Gillibrand still strikes me as profoundly hostile to the welfare of this country’s Black and Asian citizens, and their right to reside and participate in our political, social and cultural life.

Hope Not Hate’s Day of Action against UKIP 21st-22nd March

March 10, 2015

The anti-racism and religious extremism group, Hope Not Hate, is planning a day of action to oppose UKIP later this month. The group remarked on the way Farage attempted to capitalise on the horror of the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris last month. He blamed multiculturalism and immigration for the attacks, and stated that there was now a ‘fifth column’ within Britain that hated mainstream British society. He also claimed that most French cities had no-go areas for non-Muslims.

He repeated the same comments at the end of last month when he addressed the CPAC Republican conference in America.
Hope Not Hate’s Nick Lowles wrote:

“Farage’s incendiary language is dangerous and will only whip up fear, suspicion and hatred. He is clearly moving to the right, so we need to redouble our efforts to stop him and his party.

“Hope not hate is calling a national weekend of action for 21/22 March.

“With just 65 days to go until the General Election, we need to step up our campaign. UKIP boast that it will win several seats and, more worryingly, could hold the balance of power in a hung parliament. UKIP also poses a real threat in 410 council wards.

“If you are appalled by Farage whipping up hatred and are worried about UKIP holding the balance of power, then please sign up to get involved.”

More information can be found on their site at http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/page/s/get-involved-2015.

Hat tip to Mike over at Vox Political for also reporting this.

Joshua Bonehill Takes British Far Right Back to Nazi Roots

February 3, 2015

Moronic Bonehill

Joshua ‘Moronic Troll’ Bonehill: Fuehrer without a leaderguard

Remember Joshua Bonehill? Tom Pride over at Pride’s Purge blogged about him a year or so ago. He’s the Hitler wannabe, who boasted at he had at least 20,000 + followers on Twitter. He was trying to set up his own Far Right party and was appealing for men to join his ‘Leader Guard’. This was to be the new Praetorian guard to march with and protect him as Fuehrer of the new British extreme Right. Mr Pride was alarmed as one of his Twitter followers was a British army colonel.

I thought that Bonehill and his dreams of Nazi Fuehrertum were so bonkers that it had to be a wind-up. Surely someone, who was so obviously trying to be early 21st Century’s Britain’s own Adolf couldn’t possibly be serious?

I was wrong.

He was.

Last week was Holocaust memorial week, and the country remembered the liberation of the Nazi Death Camps and the almost unbelievable horror that was perpetuated there. The surviving inmates, some well into their nineties, told their stories.

At the same time this was going, Bonehill was planning a Nazi march against the 20,000 strong Jewish community of Stamford Hill in London. He claimed this was a protest against the ‘Jewification’ of Britain, and particularly against the ultra-Orthodox Haredi community in the area. He claimed the shomrim, a neighbourhood-watch type organisation set up in the Stamford Hill to protect Jewish residents, was actually a religious police.

There’s an interesting article up on Bonehill and his antics at the anti-Far Right site, EDL News. The article’s entitled Moronic Troll Joshua Bonehill and why he probably won’t go to Stamford Hill. The epithet ‘moronic troll’ was given to Bonehill by the BBC. The article suggests that Bonehill won’t actually go on the protest he’s called for. It also gives a list of some of the other weird, disgusting and criminal actions he’s done. It also explains why the Beeb gave him the above nickname. Here they are:

◾ Bonehill attempted to organise a demonstration in Cardiff last year under his National British Resistance Political party. The party consisted of two other people, one with learning difficulties who he scammed for £500. He did not show up, neither did his friends.
◾ His Woolwich Strong t-shirt sales scam saw him allegedly net over £1000. According to our sources, none of the money has been given to the Lee Rigby fund. A grand total of £5 went to Help for Heroes and then rest he put down as administrative costs.
◾ Bonehill’s online popularity seems to stem from spending lots of money buying Facebook likes and Twitter followers from countries such as Pakistan, India and Turkey in order to make himself look more popular. Much of that money went down the pan recently when both Twitter and Facebook kicked him off their networks.
◾ According to locals, Bonehill is allegedly banned from a large supermarket chain nationwide for getting drunk and trying to defecate in the aisle of the cosmetics department, before being forcibly removed by security guards. We cannot corroborate this story ourselves but a number of witnesses have confirmed the story.
◾ Bonehill has a conviction for using his Conservative party membership card to break into a police station and steal uniforms. When caught he assaulted a police officer.
◾ He is allegedly banned from the Mermaid pub in Yeovil after one of the bar maids had him up against the wall by his throat and threw him out for reasons we are unable to disclose. Again, a number of local people have confirmed this.
◾ Drink seems to be a major factor in Bonehill’s life according to most people we spoke to which explains the online bravado exhibited.
◾ He is awaiting sentencing on five charges of harassment and two charges of malicious communications arising from undertaking lengthy and concerted campaigns branding as paedophiles, people who disagreed and outwitted him online (no hard task).
◾ After pleading guilty to a hoax which claimed the Globe Pub in Leicester has refused service to a soldier, the BBC described him as a ‘moronic troll’.

Bonehill is a nasty piece of work, and his organisation is particularly revolting at a time the Jewish community here in Britain and Europe generally is particularly under attack. There is a wave of anti-Semitism rising in Europe, which many observers have described as the worst Jews have experienced since the 1930s. The most obvious example of this was the attack on the customers and staff at a French Jewish supermarket by an Islamist gunman following the attack on Charlie Hebdo the week before last. It should be mentioned here that 15 of the shopper and store clerks were hidden by a Muslim security guard, an act of courage and humanity, which should be given all due credit and respect. It clearly shows that, despite the claims of Islamist terrorists, very definitely not all Muslims share their violent and genocidal racism.

The article’s at http://edlnews.co.uk/2015/02/02/moronic-troll-joshua-bonehill-and-why-he-probably-wont-go-to-stamford-hill/

Jack Renshaw and the BNP

Bonehill, however, isn’t alone on the Far Right in turning to anti-Semitism to shore up their dwindling numbers. According to Hope Not Hate, Jack Renshaw, a young nipper in the BNP is another open Jew-hater. In one of his communiques, he ranted about the Jews encouraging racial mixing in order to destroy the White race as part of a plan to enslave gentiles. It’s the classic Nazi conspiracy fantasy. See the article Big trouble for Little Jack at http://www.hopenothate.org.uk/blog/insider/big-trouble-for-little-jack-4170.

Gary Raikes and the New British Union

Not to be outdone, Gary Raikes of the New British Union is also dragging British Fascism firmly back to the 1930s. His organisation actually has a uniform of black shirt and sweatpants. He himself appears to hold his meeting in full quasi-Nazi regalia, complete with military style cap and surrounded by flags, all emblazoned with the same lightning bolt motif Oswald Mosley used for the British Union of Fascists.

Gary Raikes

Gary Raikes: New Fuehrer of the New British Union

Mosley Cable March

Oswald Mosley: Old Fuehrer of the BUF on the infamous march in Cable Street.

These tactics are likely to backfire massively on Bonehill, Renshaw, Raikes and the other stormtroopers. While there still is anti-Semitism in British society, there isn’t mass support for a blatantly Nazi party. The horrors of the Third Reich and the Second World War effectively destroyed any mass support Mosley’s BUF may have had. And even before the outbreak of the Second World War, they were struggling to retain their membership, partly due to its notoriety for using violence. Richard Thurlow in his book, Fascism in Britain: A History, 1918-1985, makes the case that the Far Right in Britain only survived into the post-War period by making Black and Asian immigrants the targets of their hate, rather than the Jews. Matthew Collins in his account of his years in the BNP, Hate, records private conversations with some of his fellow stormtroopers, who confided they didn’t understand the hatred of the Jews. Even so, members of the National Front were infamous in the 1970s for dressing up in Nazi uniforms.

One book I read recently by an American historian of the Far Right argued that Fascists, by and large, were never successful as mass movements. In Germany, Spain and Italy they owed their accession to government through deals made with other, established right-wing groups and parties, who hoped they could use these movements to bolster their own position. As for the uniforms, I understood that the wearing of paramilitary, political uniforms had been outlawed in the 1930s. Over in France, one of the main Fascist organisations, the Croix de Feu, found their vote actually increased when they gave up wearing them and began instead to look like an ordinary, mainstream political party.

We shouldn’t be complacent. Although the BNP has effectively collapsed into warring splinter groups, the rise of UKIP shows that xenophobia and racism is still an effective political force. Nevertheless, the return of the various Fascist grouplets to anti-Semitism and paramilitary costumes is likely to repel far, far more people than it attracts. This isn’t the image of a brave, new political force threatening to sweep through Britain. It’s the return of an old, collapsing ideology back to its original, murderous and discredited position.

Joshua Bonehill comes from Yeovil, and a few of the good people of that great Somerset town are so ashamed of the disgrace he’s bringing them that they’ve formed their own anti-Bonehill group on Facebook, Yeovil Against Bonehill.

Vox Political: Have Politicians Exaggerated the Danger of Islamic Terrorism?

January 23, 2015

On Monday, Mike over at Vox Political posted the following article, Terrorism, Islam, and the need to keep the Western world in fear, suggesting that Western leaders have exaggerated the threat of Islamic terrorism for their own purposes, to keep us in line. Mike’s article begins

Does anybody else think the reaction to the terror attack on Charlie Hebdo – along with that against ISIS (or whatever they’re calling themselves these days), Al-Qaeda and, for that matter, Russia – has been, at the very least, off-colour?

Terrorists attack the staff of a magazine, claiming to be doing so in the name of Islam (we have no proof that this was their purpose and may never have it), so there’s a huge backlash against Muslims and the same magazine’s next issue – with a cover featuring a poor (yet still offensive) attempt at caricaturing Muhammad himself – sells five million copies; its normal circulation is 60,000.

Here in the UK, David Cameron does his best to use the attack as an excuse for even greater government intrusion into citizens’ privacy, on top of the incursions already enacted by his government.

Is it really about keeping us safe, or is it about keeping us down?

Way back in 2004 Adam Curtis addressed this problem in his documentary series, The Power of Nightmares, which examined the rise of the Neo-Cons and their crusade against the Soviet Union and then al-Qaeda. Curtis showed that they had deliberately exaggerated the scale of the threat, in order to create a sense of social solidarity and purpose in the West. Curtis’ central argument was that, whereas once politicians had power and prestige through offering their peoples the chance of a better life, this had no been lost. They were now intent on regaining it by promising to protect us from threats that only they understood.

In short, it’s about keeping us down, and making us more Conservative through fear of the terrible Other.

Mike’s article is at http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2015/01/19/terrorism-islam-and-the-need-to-keep-the-western-world-in-fear/. Go and read it.

Farage: The Text-Book Islamaphobe

January 22, 2015

Farage Drawing

Last week Nigel Farage was criticised again for his comments about Muslims following the massacre of the Charlie Hebdo staff in Paris and the attack on a Jewish supermarket. The Fuehrer of the party for the arch reactionaries and xenophobes, had said that while he recognised that the extremists were only a minority of Muslims, nevertheless there was a problem within the Islamic community that had allowed them to arise. Critics claimed that Farage had accused British Muslims of forming a fifth column within Britain itself.

This is actually text-book right-wing Islamaphobia. Literally. One of the anti-racist sites I was reading a little while ago stated that right-wing politicians and xenophobic groups had accused Muslims of forming a ‘fifth column’ in Britain promoting terrorism.

Which is precisely what the Kipper Duce had done.

There is absolutely no hiding it. Farage corresponds precisely to the text-book descriptions of populist, racist politicos and the threat they pose to society and specifically members of the religious or ethnic communities they criticise and attack. The affable man of the people image is just that – an image. It’s as false as that of Hitler as Herr Average German during the War, who stood for folksy, peasant German values. Farage is a menace, and its now so obvious it’s undeniable. He should be treated as such.

Je Suis Charlie: Cartoonists Tributes, and the Racist Backlash

January 9, 2015

Mike over at Vox Political has a further piece on the aftermath of the shocking massacre of the staff of the French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo. In his article Charlie Hebdo update: French mosque attacked, Mike reports that three blank grenade were thrown at a Paris mosque, and shots were fired at nearby kebab stand. He says of this apparent reprisal against innocents, who had nothing to do with the attack, that

This is, of course, exactly what the terrorists wanted. Terrorists always want to set people against each other, for the wrong reasons. The vast majority of Muslims are likely to have been as horrified at the terror attack as everyone else – but what are they supposed to think, now that innocent Muslims are being attacked by idiots?

Here’s the real voice of Islam, in the words of Vox Political commenter ‘Nightentity’ yesterday: “Those that believe these so-called Imams are ignorant of their faith and will believe anything they hear that makes them seem intelligent and all knowing to the other ignorant [people].

“Terrorism is not Islamic, you don’t cause suffering to the aged, the weak and the innocent, you don’t hide behind masks and scarves, you stand like a man and fight a man’s battle. These terrorists are cowards and weaklings for they hide behind a faith that does not condone what they do.

“These terrorists are only out for power and control, they are not true Muslims in any sense of the word.” [Bolding mine]

This is entirely correct. One of the aims of terrorist organisations, from the Russian revolutionaries through to the IRA, is to provoke further reprisals and attacks against the people they claim to be defending by the authorities, in order to create further disaffection and radicalisation. I don’t believe for it was an accident that the savage attacks on Charlie Hebdo were carried out when they were. Germany this week has been torn by demonstration and counterdemonstration by and against Pegida, an anti-Islamic organisation. Pegida’s name is an acronym for ‘Patriotische Europaer Gegen der Islamisierung des Abendlands’, or ‘Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West’. And last week, in France itself, a Right-wing television host, Zammour, was finally sacked. Zammour seems to have been an extreme Right-wing bigot of the same stripe as Glen Beck, the American nutter, who declared that the young victims of Breivik’s massacre in Norway all deserved it because they were anti-Semitic Nazis. No, really, he did. Zammour was thrown out because he declared that France’s five million Muslims should all be deported. This ran chills down the spines of genuinely patriotic French people, as it recalled the deportation of the Jews to their extermination in the Nazi death camps under the Occupation.

The attacks on Charlie Hebdo were timed to coincide with this period of stress and potential conflict over Islam in Europe. I don’t think it is any other than an attempt to provoke further violence and civil war between Muslim and Non-Muslim.

Much of the anti-Western Islamic polemic is against Western racism, portraying White Europeans and Westerners as viciously racist, and contrasting this with the supposedly non-racist nature of Islam. It’s clearly aimed at disenfranchised non-White Muslims, who may themselves have been victims of racism. I reject its view of the West and western society. The attack on Charlie Hebdo, and the further threats of attacks and atrocities in the West by al-Qaeda and Isis, are designed to make White westerners behave according to the Islamist stereotype of them as racist bigots. That way, the Islamists can spuriously claim to have shown the true, racist nature of Western society and gather further support.

It’s obvious from this that, whatever we do, we should not let them. Non-Muslim and Muslim should stand together now to prevent further hatred and violence.

Mike’s article also has some of the visual tributes from fellow cartoonists to the murdered staff of Charlie Hebdo. Uderzo, who with Goscinny is the writer and creator of the world’s favourite ancient Gaul, shows Asterix and Obelix bowing in dignified respect. The two other cartoons, by Steve Bell and Lew Stringer, are a direct comment on the stupidity and cowardice of the attackers themselves.

Mike’s article is at http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2015/01/08/charlie-hebdo-update-french-mosque-attacked/. It needs to be read.

Je Suis Charlie

January 8, 2015

The world was stunned and horrified yesterday when three masked gunmen burst into the headquarters of the satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo, in Paris, and murdered twelve of the staff. The motive for the attack was in retaliation for the edition in 2011 when the magazine published a series of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed. The attackers shouted ‘Allahu akbar’, (‘God is greatest’ in Arabic), and one of them said ‘Now we have avenged the Prophet.

Tributes have poured in today for the victims from across the world, including places as far from Paris as London, New York and Rio de Janeiro. Vigils have been held in which crowds have held up pens both as a tribute to the cartoonists, and a symbolic defence of the right to free speech. The organisers of these demonstrations made it clear that they were about spreading love, and advised ‘haters stay away’.

Mike over at Vox Political is a long-term member of the comics community and a friend of a number of comic artists. He has published his view of the matter in the article ‘Je Suis Charlie’, the slogan now being adopted across the world to express solidarity with the victims of this massacre. It begins

You won’t see any images purporting to be of the Prophet Muhammad on Vox Political.

This is because this writer has been on good terms with many Muslims and understands that any such depiction is extremely insulting to them and to their faith. Why would anybody want to inflict a bitter insult on someone they consider to be a friend?

By the same token, if an insult of such magnitude was inflicted on Yr Obdt Srvt, the possibility of a machine-gun attack figuring in any retaliatory gesture is, quite simply, unthinkable. Civilised people don’t do that. Psychopaths do that.

Yet this is what we are being told happened at the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris today (January 7).

He goes on to say:

Whatever the perpetrators thought they were doing today, they were not exacting vengeance for an insult, or justice for a crime. They were murdering a dozen innocent people because one of them had drawn a picture.

The article can be read at: http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2015/01/07/je-suis-charlie/#comments.

Among the comments to this article is this, from a practising Muslim, Nightentity who used to instruct converts and those who had return to Islam:

Those that believe these so called Imams are Ignorant of their faith and will believe anything they hear that makes them seem intelligent and all knowing to the other Ignorant. Terrorism is not Islamic, you don’t cause suffering to the aged the weak and the innocent, you don’t hide behind masks and scarves, you stand like a man and fight a man’s battle. These terrorists are cowards and weaklings for they hide behind a faith that does not condone what they do. Yes there are Hadith out there that say certain things, but these are obscure and are not accepted as true Hadith. These terrorists are only out for power and control, they are not true Muslims in any sense of the word. And yes I can speak with some authority on this as I am a Muslim and used to teach new converts (or reverts) and children the basics of Islam and how to pray etc. I have probably ruffled quite a few feathers if this is read by certain quarters, but when we defend Islam the least we can do is use our words, and so I have. xx

I studied Islam at College as part of the Religious Studies course, and done some reading myself on Islam. The shariah religious law code does forbid attacks on non-combatants in warfare, such as children, the elderly, and women. Adam Curtis covered the rise of radical Islam in his series, The Power of Nightmares. Curtis took the view that the spectre of a world-wide, radical Islamic movement, al-Qaeda, was largely a myth. There was no monolithic, global terrorist organisation but rather a continuum of individual radical Islamist terrorist groups, all with slightly different beliefs and produced by differing circumstances from country to country. Al-Qaeda’s ideology, which justified attacks on civilians, was actually the product of Western total war doctrines, which had been taken over by Sayyid Qutb, one of the founders of modern Islamic radicalism. Curtis himself took the view that the real dangers of Islamic terrorism had been magnified in the West by politicians for their own ends. The parapolitical magazine, Lobster, also considered that the menace of Islamist terrorism was also being used by the West’s intelligence services after the fall of Communism, to find a new enemy, which could be used to continue funding and fight off possible budget cuts.

Curtis’ documentary was made and broadcast before 9/11, and so some – but not all – of his conclusions in the series should be rejected. Nevertheless, other documentaries have made pretty much the same point about terrorism being un-Islamic. A documentary broadcast a few years ago by Channel 4 on radical Islam filmed one radical Muslim actually admitting this. ‘Well, of course terrorism is against Islam’, he said, ‘but what can we do?’

Well, the simple answer is: don’t murder civilians. Even Western military tacticians have abandoned the total war doctrine.

As for the spectre of radical Islamic terrorism being used by Western politicians and industrialists to promote their own interests, that did happen with Bush and Blair’s spurious pretext for the invasion of Iraq. Saddam Hussein was a tyrant, but he was a secular tyrant. He had absolutely no connection to Osama bin Laden, who cordially hated him and the secular Ba’athist regime. The real reason for the invasion of Iraq were purely economic: the desire of the big oil companies, including the Saudis, to seize the country’s oil industry and its reserves; and by the Neo-Cons and their corporate backers to pillage the country’s industry and create their shoddy free trade utopia. Hussein supported the Palestinians, which is why Likud wanted the invasion of Iraq. But he was not an Islamist, and had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11.

What the people of the world need to do at this time, is to stand together against the terrorists and the preachers of hate, both Islamist and the nationalist demogogues in the West, who will try to foment hatred against innocent Muslims, and defend peace and free speech.