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The Peacock Angel and the Gnostics on the Mountain
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2015 7:46 pm    Post subject: complex combination Reply with quote

I should say that I did Religious Studies at A Level and degree but did not get very deeply into Islamic theology or history. I had a second hand biography of Mohammed which had an image of his face on the cover. I thought nothing of it and neither did anyone else.

The taboo about Mohammed's image has fluctuated over the years. I really think it may be confined to the Sunni, and the Shi'a are not bothered about it.

I had heard as a child that Islam forbade the representation of any living creature. So I was surprised as a twelve year old school kid to see the Islamic Revolution on the TV news every night. What surprised me was the protesters in Tehran holding posters clearly featuring the face of the Ayatollah Khomeini.

Liberal and kindly Muslims are upset by the barbaric mess. They say this is not the religion they know. The fanatics say that this is not a perversion of Islam. It is true Islam. So, who is right?

I admit there are sources that do indeed make Mohammed out to be a ruthless warlord to put it very mildly. But are they accurate? I've heard of a theory that Islamic history was rewritten by the third Caliph to justify his own war mongering.

As I indicated above, my own knowledge is much too shallow to let me even make an educated guess. I even wonder if it is possible to uncover the truth after all this time.

It seems to me that we should choose the gentler option. We need Mecca Muslims not Medina Muslims if we are to have any at all. The alternative is insane.

It is not just theology or even our own former foreign policy that has dropped us in this fine mess. Reality is complex.

Sarah Vine of the Daily Mail had a giggle at Charlotte Church's expense because the latter had apparently opined on 'Question Time' that the Islamic State crisis was caused by global warming. Of course, the Daily Mail doesn't believe in Climate Change but does believe that God predicted the assassination of John F Kennedy in the Book of Exodus.

Climate change has put pressures on agriculturists in the countryside. So they have flocked to towns and cities in the area, starting the ball rolling that ends with refugees desperate to get into Croatia. I can remember people being desperate to get out of it.

You only have to open your eyes and ears to see how we keep getting the tail end of hurricanes in this country. This has always happened, but it previously didn't happen every week.

These problems are complex are any solutions -if they are possible at all - will be complex. But we're not making things any easier by telling ourselves the fairy tale that it's not happening.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2015 5:50 pm    Post subject: surprise me saudi Reply with quote

Let's give the Devil his due. Not only was I one zero out in the Badawi case, but from tomorrow, women in Saudi Arabia will be able to vote although not drive or go anywhere without a male guardian. Not only will they be voting but standing for political office.

So what will they be campaigning about? Apparently, it will be recycling and having western style libraries. My first reaction was a bit infantile. It was to jeer at the tweeness of it.

But maybe green issues are important. And what could be more important than access to free books in a country that has been starved of information from the outside world?
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2016 1:32 am    Post subject: This is the Pits Reply with quote

While looking for other things on the internet today, I've been constantly bothered by a news story in the margin of the page. It looks as if this incident occurred in the last few days, since the new year came in.

I have been trying to avoid finding out details and I can't tell you the name of the person concerned. But it appears that a 15 year old boy has been thrown from a rooftop - presumably to his death - in Islamic State for allegedly being gay.

An update on the marginal headlines makes it obvious that this story is even more horrific than we had previously thought. Apparently, the boy was raped by an Isis member.

He was effectively 'executed' for the crime of being a rape victim. Nothing has been done to the perpetrator.

This boy really is a male equivalent of Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow. I don't want to belong to a species that behaves like this. What is wrong with us?

It only deepens the horror if there was no conscious hypocrisy. Perhaps the Isis member and his colleagues really did believe that it was the boy who had lured Allah's holy warrior to this act for which he didn't want to take responsibility, by his tempting seductive wiles.

It is incidentally another piece of evidence for the now well known contention that male homophobes are usually repressed or secret gays. I would suggest they all are. It wasn't even very secretive in the case of this warrior of God.

There's no particular reason to doubt this story. It's the sort of thing that always happens in Islamic State. And if is accurate, it's the pits, as primitive and evil a series of acts as has ever occurred in the history of the world.

It's pretty upsetting for those of us who have sons, and have to imagine how we would feel if something like this had happened to them. And it must be disturbing to any civilised person that this sort of thing is possible in our time.

The new year has already been desecrated as it were. We can only hope that by the end of 2016, Islamic State will have been wiped off the face of the earth. But how can this happen without more bloodshed and misery?

We can't look forward to anything good. It's a choice between passively watching a bloodbath and participating in it.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 9:15 pm    Post subject: Outrage Reply with quote

I have a bit of an update on the terrible news we heard yesterday. The name of the teenage boy has not been released, but we can be sure this atrocity happened and is not just an idle rumour as there is now photographic and filmed evidence available on the internet.

The pervert who raped this boy is apparently called Abu Zaid al Jazrawi, and even his comrades in Isis found him a bit weird. He liked filming kids whom he had trained to behead prisoners in a gruesome variant on hide and seek.

They did think this might be a good opportunity to get rid of him too. Some thought he should be executed himself. But colleagues pleaded for him, so he has just been sent to fight on the front line, where he will face a high risk of death in combat.

As for the teenage victim, he faced a kangaroo court, then was thrown to his death from the roof of a public building in front of cheering crowds. Let's remind ourselves that his 'crime' was to be handsome and to have become a victim of a sexual predator.

This was on New Year's Day. This took the bloom off the new year straight away.

In this country he would have been considered slightly too young to give valid consent to sexual activity, had consent even been sought. When they are not raping female Yazidis, Islamic State are always forcing themselves on their chosen 'dancing boys.' They have no discernible problem in squaring this with their murderous homophobia.

There is a psychological imperative in the West for child victims of abuse to take the blame on themselves. They even say things like, ''If I hadn't had a body, it wouldn't have happened.''

Some of the institutionalised victims of Jimmy Savile were punished for complaining by being put in padded cells. Isis enthusiastically endorses the
view that it is the victim who is to blame. They take this to the next 'logical' step by executing the victim.

It would have been some cold comfort had the crowd at the execution site been on the right side. At least in the case of Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow who was stoned to death on a football pitch, there was a pitch invasion from the crowd. It was an attempted rescue which might have succeeded had not Al Shabaab fired on the crowd, killing a small boy.

Not only were the crowd jubilant at the murder of a kid who was being doubly victimised in the more recent case, had the boy not died on impact, they would have stoned him to death.

Peter from London opined on a message board: 'The locals should be rebelling against this. A 15 year old is still a child. How can women who are mothers stand and watch a child die and not be outraged enough to do something about it[?] The young men coming here as refugees should be trained and sent back to fight Isis.'

He might well ask how mothers can watch this sort of thing and not be outraged enough to rebel. But some possible reasons do come to mind.

They may have been too cowed by recent events. They may have been natural born cowards. They may have been so corrupted and/or hardened that they either don't care, or actively approve.

Even C S Lewis, not the most perceptive of people, said that as the Nazis intensified their sadistic persecution of Jews, they hated them even more intensely. Institutionalised sadism has a momentum that can only escalate.

Even we in the West have been hardened to some extent. Had it been a grown man thrown to his death for having consensual gay sex, we would have made tut tut noises, and then immediately forgotten all about it.

We can be sure of this because, also on New Year's Day, we heard of a woman in Yemen being stoned to death for having consensual heterosexual sex. We disapproved but couldn't feel intensely emotional. If we did, we would be agonising all the time as this happens every day now.

I suppose I began to put this series of posts under Women's Forum because of a perception many people have that it is women who are especially at risk. But it doesn't make us feel any better to know that boys and men can also become victims of these crazy acts of communal blood letting.

It doesn't make it better. It makes it worse. Instead of fifty per cent of the population being at risk of being chosen as a victim, a hundred per cent are at risk.

Not everyone understands this. When the subject of suttee came up in conversation - in my view it was usually murder dressed up as suicide - a female friend told me it would be OK if widowers were forced to immolate themselves on their wives' funeral pyres as well. Then there would be sexual parity.

Of course, that 's crazy. It would be even worse. The only traditional Hindu marriage that didn't end in ritual murder would be one where the spouses died simultaneously or had a divorce just in time. I'm afraid some of my friends are a bit out of it.

It may actually be that IS see the receptive partner in gay sex between males as somehow effeminized and therefore degraded and worthy of death, so misogyny could well be the driving force even here. But the twisted rationale doesn't matter much. What matters is that this is evil and outrageous and we should do something about it.

If this boy was 15 on New Year's Day 2016, he was almost certainly born in the year 2000 in Syria which was then an apparently stable state. If his parents went by the Christian calendar, they might have had all sorts of high hopes for their millennium baby who would be living in a high tech civilization.

It was a year before 9/11 which they could not have foreseen. When we were kids in the 1970s we thought that in the early twenty first century, we would be living in outer space and that we would be waited on by little robots called mini-mums.

We know that if you have children, you are giving hostages to fate, to paraphrase Francis Bacon. There are always accidents and diseases. But nobody at the turn of the millennium thought that we would be living in a world like this.

Nobody thought that from 2001 on, we would be killing each other over ancient literature as Sam Harris put it. Who would ever choose to have children knowing that they would have to take their chance with the perverted sadists of Islamic State? Why would we want to be alive ourselves in a world like this?

It's also somehow offensive that there is an undignified aspect to hurtling to your death from a great height or so it seems to me. Yet this is not unprecedented.

In Salman Rushdie's novel, 'The Satanic Verses' which brought global Jihadism to the attention of many of us, the two heroes fall out of a plane and hurtle to earth. Eerily, the novel casually refers to the town of Lockerbie. Within a year the real plane blew up over Lockerbie.

Then when this abused and slaughtered boy was a toddler of a year, we saw people voluntarily hurtling to their deaths from windows of the World Trade Centre, rather than stay inside it and be burnt to death.

It is nearly 400 years since we were outraged at the two Catholics hurtling to earth from a high window in Prague, thrown by sectarian Protestants, jeering, ''Let your Virgin Mary help you now!''

Historians had to invent a term for the outrageous act - the defenestration of Prague. Defenestration is a contrived word if ever there was one. It sounds like a sexual perversion to me.

People were so outraged that it led to war even though the two victims survived the fall. Hygiene hadn't been invented. Heaps of human excrement were piled up in the streets.

One noxious pile of shit was serendipitously placed. It must have killed lots of people by giving them cholera or whatever, but it saved the lives of the two Catholics as it broke their fall.

If this outrage which was not even fatal could cause a war, how much more appropriate is it in this case to say, 'We're not going to take this anymore'?

A former public school boy who was working in the city was moved to work for human rights and fight for the Kurds. He is using the name Macer Gifford.

When somebody told him the horrible news about this poor boy on Twitter, he responded, 'Utter beasts.' Don't we need more than a verbal response?

Can't we get our act together so that by New Year's Day 2017 there will be no Islamic State?

I had to plough through Paul Johnson's 'History of the Jews' when I was doing a degree in Religious Studies. Each chapter had a theme of its own such as 'Exile', 'Ghetto', 'Emancipation' or 'Zion'.

The only detail I clearly remember is from the chapter called 'Holocaust.' It was how an Italian opera singer in a concentration camp had been forced to sing 'Ave Maria' while fitted up with explosives, in such a way that as he hit the final note, he would be blown up. I've hated 'Ave Maria' ever since.

We all heard stories of individual atrocities devised by Nazis who presumably found them amusing. We found it hard to believe that this had happened in living memory. Yet we had a slight fear that it might happen again.

Some people on anti-fascist marches chanted ''Never Again!'' It was easy to forget that it had happened again in Cambodia, Rwanda and ex-Yugoslavia because we weren't constantly bombarded with gruesome images on Facebook from the proud perpetrators.

We don't have that excuse this time. I feel it's wrong to do nothing. But what can we do? Declaring war after the defenestration of Prague led to thirty years of war and associated famine. It did no good whatsoever.

People on message boards have responded to the disgusting and disheartening news of this boy's murder with the words, 'Bomb them to smithereens.' A friend admitted that his knee jerk reaction to the war and genocide in the former Yugoslavia was to think, 'Nuke the lot of them!' But he admitted this wouldn't be a rational response.

But if only we could be sure that innocent civilians would not be harmed, it would not be inappropriate to bomb the murderers of this poor boy into oblivion. May they rot in Hell.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2016 12:39 pm    Post subject: Tintin Weeps Reply with quote

Since the above post went up, we've heard of an instrument called the 'biter' which is used as a judicial implement to tear the flesh off women judged to be indecently dressed, eg not wearing black gloves. This is in Islamic State.

In areas run by President Assad, children are starving to death.

We had thought Belgium was on top of the situation. It had been on high alert, as we thought, since November. Only last Friday it had in custody someone wanted for the bombings in Paris.

So when Brussels blew up on Tuesday, we paradoxically felt disbelief as well as a weary feeling of inevitability. The human dimension didn't hit home for me until I saw a headline in the Metro magazine quoting a commuter who saw a 'burnt baby' on the underground.

The cartoon has gone global of Tintin weeping 'for the children'.

Islamic State has claimed responsibility. Their warped justification is that Belgium is a 'crusader country.'

It makes no sense. The crusades were appalling. But they were a long time ago.

They were also the mirror image of Jihad. If you disapprove of crusading, you should logically disapprove of jihad too.

Belgium as a political entity did not exist at the time of the crusades, although several knights from Flanders and Wallonia may have gone to them.

In a moment of over analyzing, I wondered if King Leopold's ghost was the catalyst. We know that under the guise of spreading Christianity, he had a slash and burn genocidal campaign in the Congo, until the Belgian state took it away from him.

But this is nonsense of course. Islamic State doesn't give a flying fish about people in the Congo, Nor could it do anyone there any good to blow up Belgian schoolchildren on the Metro. Islamic State has probably never heard of King Leopold.

I was trying to extract logic out of a wind up. This is a bleak time.

Even when you're on high alert, you can't always prevent the atrocities you think you are prepared for. It's even worse than it was when we were under aerial bombardment in World War 2.

For it was limited by time. Even during the Blitz, we knew it couldn't go on for ever.

After VE day, we could let the grass grow on the air raid shelters. We would never need them again.

Will we ever be able to say the post 9/11 terror is over? Everyone thinks this is unwinnable. There will be no surrdender, no peace treaty, no Luneburg Heath.

We should destroy Islamic State. But how can we? Dwi'n anabeithio'n llwyr.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2016 12:47 am    Post subject: Wake up little Susie and Weep Reply with quote

Radovan Karadzic's training as a psychologist was totally wasted on him. Why did he orchestrate the genocide of Bosniak Muslims at Srebenica and Sarajevo? Partly because he saw them as 'things that breed too fast.'

Azad Shah, a Muslim Scotsman was described as 'a wonderful person' who 'would do anything for you.' I don't know if he voted for Scottish independence which would have gone through on Good Friday had things been different, but he put up a post on his internet site wishing the customers at his shop a 'happy Good Friday' and enthusing about his 'wonderful Christian nation.'

When he was stabbed, stamped on and left for dead in a pool of blood, we assumed it was an insane 'revenge' attack for the Brussels bombing. Nicola Sturgeon turned out with 500 others to attend a vigil. The demonstrators were clear that 'this is not who we are.'

The previous day, a stranger in Newport called me into a shop to help her determine who the Disney character on the front of a T shirt was. I said, ''Oh, I think that's Anastacia'', and she agreed. It was only after we parted that it registered that she had been wearing a Muslim headscarf.

But Muslims in the west will now get funny looks from people more observant than myself. And they may be attacked or even murdered.

The Shah case may not be what it seemed. A man in his thirties has been arrested for the offence, and he is himself a Muslim. We do feel angry and sad about Brussels and rightly so, but we can't allow ourselves to succumb to the Srebenica mind virus.

Apart from the usual reasons why men commit rape on an industrial scale in war, the rape camps in Bosnia had two additional purposes. They would create terror and make the Bosniaks evacuate the area. They also left the victims bereft of everything including family support.

Their families would typically reject them. They would see them as somehow sullied, damaged, impure.

Lest anyone think this is just a Muslim and Yazidi thing, remember a Shakespeare character who knifed his daughter after she had been raped, crying, ''Die, die, Lavinia, and may thy father's sorrow die with thee!''

Remember the Kent State Massacre when the National Guard burst onto an American university campus out of the blue one day in 1970 and blasted students to death? Some of the kids had been demonstrating - peacefully - against the Vietnam War. Others had just been making their way to their next lecture in a leisurely way.

People were horribly shocked. But before long, local schoolteachers and the National Guard themselves were repeating a story that the innocuous girls who had been shot dead were pregnant, had syphilis or were just filthy.

There was no evidence for this. And so what if it had been true? It shows what social mores were like in the USA in 1970 that ordinary people believed on some level that an unmarried pregnant undergraduate deserved to be mown down in a hail of bullets!

As in Britain, white girls in this situation were usually forced to give up their children for adoption as recounted in the study, 'Wake Up Little Suzie.' It was different for African Americans. It was OK for them to be single mothers because that just confirmed that they were an underclass.

The Manic Street Preachers have reminded us that the Commonwealth of Virginia had a eugenicist flurry in the 1920s. Young Carrie Buck was attacked by a rapist who left her pregnant. What added to the scandal was that she was herself illegitimate.

Carrie was sterilised as was her subsequent daughter and her younger sister. She was then confined to a colony for epileptics and the feeble minded.

This was a test case that went all the way to the Supreme Court. Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr ruled that 'three generations of imbeciles are enough.' Nobody in the family was backward. But in those days,becoming a rape victim was held to indicate feeble mindedness.

It doesn't make sense, but this is what happens when people believe we live in a just world. They will tell themselves that unlucky people must deserve their bad luck.

Victim blaming is an awful irrational weakness. It seems to be a defence against feelings of vulnerability.

It's just going to make you feel worse when bad things happen to you. You will have to ask yourself, ''What have I done to deserve this ?'' You haven't done anything.

Let's ditch woo about karma. When I feel like enjoying a victim blaming fest, I shall try to remember people like the boy thrown from a roof top to his death on New Year's Day and, of course, Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow. When we succumb to this crazy nastiness, we are on a dangerous road that leads to stoning Aisha.

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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 11:41 am    Post subject: the stars Reply with quote

Sarah Vine of the Daily Mail sniggered at Charlotte Church for thinking the migrant crisis had any connection to climate change. She said, ''Bless'' as if talking about a silly and lovable child.

The Daily Mail publishes without commnet letters claiming that climate change is a hoax. It also published a scientifically illiterate letter fuming about vaccines under the sober headline in bold type; 'The Terrible Toll of MMR.'

How I wish it was the Mail and not 'New Day' that was going out of business!

Sarah Vine had a front page headline yesterday telling us that only fools and men scoff at horoscopes. This was after the Mail astrologer Jonathan Cainer wrote under his own sign 'We are here for a short time', and then died suddenly aged 58.

The Mail is jubilant about this. It proves how accurate it is!

Sarah Vine says her husband laughed at her for reading the horoscope. Little did he know that he was living proof of its validity. He was logical and empirically minded, a typical Virgo! But I thought you think he's a fool, dear Sarah?

I am getting a bit intolerant about this sort of thing. My friend Melanie told me she'd paid Russell Grant to make a pesonalised birth chart for her before he was famous. I burst out rudely, ''You must have more money than sense!''

My friend Judy bent my ear about her suspicions about friends who were Scorpios. I said, ''But I don't believe in astrology and neither do you.'' ''But there is something in it!'' she insisted frantically. ''No there isn't! There's nothing in it!'' I exclaimed.

I once wrote the astrology column on a local paper. A woman in the office asked to see it. She looked at her sign, her son's sign and her daughter's sign and said ''It's so true! It's so true!''

I said '' Well, it must be coincidental then because I made it all up.'' And this admission didn't shake her belief in it at all!

I imagine all newspaper astrology columns are just made up. They are not even consistent with astrology columns in other papers.

Princess Diana became emotionally dependent on New Age woo. A few days before her death, she and Dodi flew to a location in England by helicopter for a consultation with an astrologer. It was supposed to be secret but they were spied by the locals and the press.

Whatever Mystic Meg told them, it didn't include the advice, ''Wear your seat belt'', ''Avoid nocturnal journeys'' or ''Don't go to Paris this weekend.''

Patrick Moore said '' Astrology just proves one thing. There's one born every minute.''

It only proves one thing but it suggests something more. People with fascistic and rigid minds are more likely than others to believe in astrology. For it presupposes that everything about you is fixed at birth.

You can't change and you can't avert your fate.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2016 9:35 pm    Post subject: Now and Alive Reply with quote

In May, one of the girls, kidnapped from boarding school by Boko Haram, was found alive. She was breastfeeding her four month old baby at the edge of the Sambisa Forest where Boko Haram hang out.

A second girl was rescued that evening. The first teenager disclosed to her mother that some of the abducted pupils had died in captivity, but most are alive under heavy guard in the forest.

Perhaps most of Nigeria had feared they were all dead. I certainly did.

Now a rally meets at a fountain in Abuja every Thursday to chant, ''Bring back our girls - now and alive!'' They say there must be no more excuses.

Instead of doing his job, the ironically named Goodluck Jonathan spent £4000, 000 fighting the Bring Back Our Girls campaign, according to a US observer. Some might have thought it would have been more appropriate to fight Boko Haram.

This solipsistic waste of space denied there had even been a mass kidnapping. His wife backed him up. She said it was all a conspiracy to make him look bad

I don't think he needed any help in showing himself up. He lost the next election mostly because he hadn't given a toss.

Some aid organisations have objected to the girl who came out of the forest being feted and received by President Buhari on the grounds that, in the long run, it will just add to her problems.

They say she should be in post rape counselling instead. I don't know about that. It's a bit arrogant to assume we know what's best for the psyches of people we haven't met.

A bad therapist can do immense harm. Who's to say that talking on TV shows will not be cathartic?

She's old enough to choose. She was a school age kid at the time of the kidnapping, but she's now a young adult of 19. That's how long the Nigerian government has been faffing around.

Apparently, some of the girls, who escaped from Boko Haram by their own efforts, are continuing their education in America. Perhaps the US made the offer because all Nigerian schools are in danger of fire bombing and armed raids.,

There was also a danger that the girls might have been shunned in their own neighbourhoods, considered contaminated after being gang banged, as if it was their fault.

The very name of the organisation Boko Haram means 'education is forbidden.' By entering higher education, the former victims are thumbing their noses at the evil fanatics.

A US envoy said, ''These girls have so much to offer Nigeria...They are going to be doctors and engineers and accountants. They are going to help change this country.''

Well, good luck!


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2016 10:08 pm    Post subject: Fallujah besieged Reply with quote

A Christian news agency alleges that Islamic State has publicly burnt to death 15 civilians in Fallujah, west of Baghdad, while the city was under siege. This was apparently for the crime of trying to escape from the city where conditions had become intolerable.

Probably, most of the civilians saw the besiegers as potential liberators. Islamic State has also arrested a woman in Fallujah who made an emotional video appeal to the rest of the world.

Between sobs, she had said, ''People are dying of hunger; there is no medicine, no food; we have no more options left. Save us from Islamic State or bomb us with chemical weapons so we will immediately die and not have a slow agonising death.''
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2016 10:31 pm    Post subject: the people of Jesus Reply with quote

Male Muslims are allowed to marry 'people of the book' who have not converted to Islam. Islamic State fighters have gone through quickie weddings with young Christian captives.

It does not matter that the prisoners have not agreed to it. In Islam, a young virgin's silence is taken for consent.

After enjoying a sanctified marital bonk, they have an instant divorce, and pass the captive on to their friends. It sounds a bit heretical - a bit like the Shia - but what does it matter?

One fighter who has been on the musical Christian circuit for a long time says, ''Ooh, I like the people of Jesus!'' He likes them in the sense of enjoying sex with them. It's like wolfing down a curry for him.

He doesn't like discussing the weather or doing crosswords with them. As the Islamists see it, Allah approves.

After all, they're married. But from the point of view of the captives, it is gang rape.[/u]
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2016 10:55 pm    Post subject: Fallujah stormed Reply with quote

Even as I type, Iraqi government forces are storming the city of Fallujah. Civilians are making their way across the Euphrates in makeshift boats. Some are carrying the elderly in blankets.

When government rescue boats picked up Nadia and Mona aged 22 and 23, they were so confused, they didn't know which city it was they were escaping from.

They were not locals. They were from Sinjar, 300 miles away in Kurdistan. They had been abducted as sex slaves along with 5,000 other Yazidi women and children.

With all my heart and soul, I hope we are now seeing the last days of Islamic State.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2016 12:16 pm    Post subject: Sayyida Zeinab Reply with quote

It was good to hear that Islamic State was riven with infighting and paranoia, members accusing each other of being spies, turning the sadism and violence inward. It was tremendous to hear that Fallujah had fallen to the forces that have been besieging it.

But a cornered animal that has nothing to lose is more dangerous than ever. We heard about an hour ago about two strategically placed bomb blasts in Sayyida Zeinab, a suburb of Damascus.

The suburb is, of course, named after Sayyida ie Lady Zeinab, a granddaughter of Mohammed. The gold topped shrine which perhaps holds her remains is a pilgrimage site for Shiites. The murals show the face of the Ayatollah Khomeini.

I assume Zeinab was a daughter of Ali, Mohammed's controversial son-in-law. The Shiites belong to the Shia or party of Ali. Khomeini must have been the most famous or infamous Shiite of the last century.

The terrorist act was an obvious sectarian hate crime. At least eight people have lost their lives, and thirteen more have been injured. Whether they were all Shiites is not known yet.

This is extremely bad news, but I'd like to think the overall long term forecast is favourable.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2016 11:54 am    Post subject: Orlando Reply with quote

A friend had predicted gloomily that while Islamic State might be fatally weakened it still had the ability to carry out terror attacks anywhere in the world, and probably had plans to attack the soccer game in Marseilles. This was a reasonable inference considering how much IS has it in for France.

I held my breath, waiting for news but did not mention my fears to anyone. You don't want to say anything that could give ideas to the deranged and the fanatical.

In the event, it was Russian and English fans that caused all the trouble in Marseilles. It was good to see that Wales did well against Slovakia, and the behaviour of our fans was exemplary.

It was while I was anxiously thinking of Marseilles that the worst terrorist attack in the USA since 9/11 occurred in Orlando, Florida. At first I wondered if this had any connection with the contemptible and apparently motiveless murder of the young singer Cristina Grimmie which happened in Orlando the day before.

This story is not just about IS. As with the Grimmie murder, it could not have happened it was not that so many Americans think perversely that society is more not less safe if anyone can buy a gun and the ammunition for it. If constant high school shootings and the Charleston Church massacre can't bring them to their senses, why should we assume this will have any effect?

So was Omar Mateen a one off homophobic misfit, angered by seeing two men kissing in front of his family, or was it more than that? His behaviour is not inconsistent with the mores of Islamic State.

You can find in Muslim sources claims that those who act like 'Lot's people' should be burnt in fire. It is recorded that Abu Bakr thought it entirely appropriate to go along with Mohammed marrying his nine year old daughter Aisha. Yet he was so disgusted by homosexuality that he burnt someone alive for it, showing a curious set of priorities.

As I indicated above, it's much too late to ascertain if these traditional stories are based in hard fact. Homosexuality has not always been excoriated in Islamic culture.

Nihad Awad would have us believe that homophobia is not what Islam is about. I agree that it is not an essential ingredient in Islam.

So was Omar Mateen a lone wolf? Islamic State has confirmed that he was indeed one of their operatives. But it is possible that they never heard of him until after the event.

They may have been eager to claim responsibility so we would think they were still able to co-ordinate terrorist events all over the world, whereas in fact they are powerless and are staring defeat in the face.

What are the chances that IS fighters in Mosul had even heard of a gay club called 'Pulse' in Orlando, Florida? Do they constantly surf the net to find out what nightclub venues are available in Florida? Why pick on 'Pulse' as opposed to a gay bar in London, Rome or New Orleans?

Omar Mateen had been on the radar of the security services but only in a minor way. This terrorist event is a bit atypical. Instead of a bomb blast, it was achieved with hand held fire arms, redolent of a typical American shoot out.

It was also a hate crime of an unusually focused nature. Usually when IS targets a western country, the victims are not guilty of any perceived sin except being alive. We can't even say they are guilty of being infidels as Muslims fall along with the rest.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2016 11:19 pm    Post subject: Hope Not Hate? Reply with quote

When I tracked down my birth family, I found a significant offshoot living in the North of England, in the Pennines.

I had been to university, lived in a city where multi-racialism had succeeded and had had friends and flatmates from all over the world. My relatives in the North would be upset and offended to be labelled racist.

But they did have outbursts about how 'Asians', as they invariably called their brown neighbours made house prices fall, and how it was better to avoid schools full of 'Asians.'

They took it for granted that I would agree with them. I didn't want to have an argument with people I was prepared to love. So I just went quiet and my big brown eyes became clouded and downcast.

They could see it was going down like a third rate act in the music hall, so they changed the subject. But it did recur later.

When some of them started saying that they 'had nothing against individuals', BUT...Asian men had harems of white underage sex slaves who ought to be in school, I frankly thought it was a fantasy or an urban myth.

It was before the Rotherham scandal burst on the world. I had no idea what they were talking about.

A young relative had been hapless in her dealings with Muslim girls at work, inviting them to have a flutter on a raffle. When she had a bad back, she didn't want to see a doctor, partly because of bad experiences with doctors, and partly because she didn't want to sit in the waiting room with 'a lot of Asians.'

She had travelled all over the world and was impressed by the spirituality she encountered in India, but she didn't want an Asian to buy her local shop.

She changed her mind when she knew him, and later had a bit of a change of heart, driving Asians by car away from danger when anti-Asian protests were about to be held in the town centre.

Another relative gave me a long spiel on how Asians despised whites and only wanted to rip them off, while struggling to explain away the 'exceptions' he had met.

I was completely flummoxed as I had no understanding of the local culture. One of my relatives was shocked to hear of my Burmese flatmate using racist hate speech about West Indians. She yelped, ''They're not white!'', as if racism was a white privilege.

It certainly isn't. There may have been a lot of 'Paki-bashing' locally, but there have also been attacks on white men by brown youths, at least one of which was fatal.

It is true about the sex rings. An American news outlet interviewed two white women in the street in Burnley. They said Asians 'groomed' white girls.

They were afraid to go out of the house after dark because of the Asians. They claimed that there were Asians off camera watching them menacingly as they spoke. I don't know if they were imagining it.

They were extremely inarticulate, and struggled to find an adjective to describe the brown people. On the third attempt, they managed to articulate the word, 'ignorant'!

David Wood would say that many Muslims would think that infidel girls do indeed just exist to be sex slaves. They could find justification in their scriptures.

This was how they treated young girls in Britain, and also in Islamic State.

The 7/7 bombers came from Leeds or some of them did. The young man in the pre-bombing video has a pronounced North of England accent.

A white Nazi extremist in Colne near Burnley was found by the police to have a bomb factory in his house. He had hoped to start a race war.

To speak very generally, working class people from Mirpur in the new state of Pakistan came to the mill towns of the north after the Second World War. They found that the machinery in the mills was quite primitive compared to what they had been used to.

Perhaps a lot of them were quite narrow minded people who had little curiosity about or tolerance for cultures other than their own. The white Lancastrian natives they encountered were much the same. They had little time for the newcomers.

Perhaps the local delicacies of sad cake, pigs' trotters and cows' udders were gradually phased out in favour of naan bread and chicken Balti, but the cultural shift was superficial in the extreme.

I've lost count of the white people in Lancashire and Yorkshire who have told me how they resent the changes that the 'Asians' have brought and how they think Englishness is under threat.

I've had little chance to meet the brown northerners but they were friendly to me because my dark looks and sing song Welsh accent made them mistake me for one of themselves.

You can find out what it was like for British Asian kids of the second or third generation growing up in the North, by consulting interesting autobiographies like 'Orphan of Islam' by Alexander Khan, and 'We are a Muslim Please' by Zaiba Malik.

These local towns were booming during the Industrial Revolution. Now they are in decline and no money is pumped into the area. David Cameron promised to do so, but broke his word as usual.

People are frustrated. They look for someone to blame. Mark Collett went through Leeds University, and there he joined the BNP. He was investigated for conspiring to assassinate his beloved leader Nick Griffin after the latter made a fool of himself on 'Question Time.' Collett was disappointed that Griffin was trying to take the party in a non violent, respectable direction.

The BNP has done well in local council elections. 'Private Eye' reproduced the front cover of an election leaflet, 'Come and meet your local BNP candidate, So-and-So Nutter.'

Nutter is a common name locally. One of the alleged Pendle witches was called Alice Nutter.

So what has this to do with the EU referendum? If we leave Europe, it'll make no difference to the racial demographics as far as 'Asians' are concerned.

But people feel that it will. Relatives who abominate David Cameron's callousness have told me they will vote Ukip. It's partly because the NHS has gone to the dogs. But Nigel Farage wants to destroy the NHS. For some reason, they can't cross the bridge and vote for a left wing party.

Another relative said he would vote Ukip because he thought English culture was threatened. He meant traditional pub culture. Perhaps he was afraid that pubs would be replaced by wine bars or yoghurt drinking clubs.

Yet not everyone in the north is like this. I was relieved when Jo Cox was returned for Labour in Batley and Spen. She was an internationalist who had worked with humanitarian organisations in the world's most dangerous trouble spots.

I spoke to Dafydd ap Geler Thomas very shortly after she was brutally murdered in her own constituency. He thought it was Islamists who had done it.

I said, ''No, it wasn't Islamists. It was the other side.'' ''What? Buddhists? Pacifists?'', he asked.

We know now it was a white Nazi.

Mrs Cox's assistant, Fazila Aswat tried to urge her to get to her feet. ''My pain is too much'', she groaned. Those were her last words.

Women in Islamic abayas and Sikh men in turbans were among those who attended the impromptu memorial service in a Christian church. They had none of the scrupulosity of a Protestant boy I knew who feared he would go to Hell because he took a short cut through a Catholic church yard.

Mrs Aswat's father Ghulam Maniyar was dressed as if about to attend a mosque, when he told a TV reporter of Jo Cox's last words. He said she had been like a daughter to him.

He fought back tears as he spoke of her 'gorgeous children.' He said, ''Her memory will remain - forever.''

Jo's widower Brendan Cox said she stood for what unites us, not what divides us. So can we say, Jo died for humanity?
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2016 12:28 am    Post subject: unfair Reply with quote

Asian Americans of Muslim background put up interesting posts on hearing a Thomas Mair was in custody for the murder of Jo Cox MP. They were a bit self centred

They didn't even make the most perfunctory expressions of sorrow or sympathy. They were only interested in airing their grievances.

But perhaps the grievances are very valid. In any case, they are worth considering.

The first post narked, 'God bless no arab [sic], no black or other minorities involved. Police will describe the Guy as crazy, fool, psychopath. Easy life even for criminals when you've the right color.'

A second commented, 'As this guy is not a Muslim so he's been called psychopath and crazy...We should call this kind as Radicalized Christians... Very Happy.

The third remarked bitterly, ' He's just a loner, he received no influence or command from any party, group or organisation of any sort despite witnesses claiming to have heard him yell 'Britain First.' Had this been a brown fella, it would've been regarded as the work of not only an extremist group but an entire religion despite the absence of any tangible evidence to support the assumption.'

The point about radicalised Christians is a fair one as Britain First are fundamentalist Christians.

Of course Brexit supporters challenged the claim that Mair was shouting, ''Britain First.'' Not all the witnesses confirmed it. But to say those who claimed to hear it are lying, as some have done, is childish.

How can they know what he said if they weren't there? The insufferable former Conservative MP Louise Mensch indulged in a bit of mind reading. From her Olympian height, she told us that he was just upset by the closing of mental health centres.

He wasn't political. His Nazi stuff was years out of date.

Bog off, Louise, you arrogant dipstick! On arrest he told the police that he was a political activist. He told the magistrate that his name was, 'Death to Traitors, Freedom for Britain.'[/u]
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 11:08 pm    Post subject: protocols Reply with quote

I hope the disaffected people quoted above now feel better. Although Thomas Mair is neither brown nor a Muslim, he will be tried under 'the Terrorist Protocols.'
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2016 12:37 am    Post subject: Re: protocols Reply with quote

marianneh wrote:
I hope the disaffected people quoted above now feel better. Although Thomas Mair is neither brown nor a Muslim, he will be tried under 'the Terrorist Protocols.'

Why would terrorists feel better about a terrorist being arrested?

From terrorist Point of View "He is of Us and therefore to be cherished."
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War is Politics by other Methods - General von Clausewitz
Politics is War by other Methods - Some guy on the Internet
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2016 12:21 pm    Post subject: Ahhhhh Reply with quote

Ah, Moritz, I see you make no distinction between having an Islamic background and being a terrorist. Would you like to explain your standpoint in more detail?
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 10:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Ahhhhh Reply with quote

marianneh wrote:
Ah, Moritz, I see you make no distinction between having an Islamic background and being a terrorist. Would you like to explain your standpoint in more detail?

I xplained on the Ella Whelan thread.
Liberty - Equality - Fraternity : Aux armes, Citoyens !

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Politics is War by other Methods - Some guy on the Internet
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2016 7:43 pm    Post subject: Blair blur Reply with quote

Moritz thinks it pointless to make distinctions between ideologues who create hell on earth in the conviction that they are serving a higher cause. Sadly, Tony Blair is a case in point.

He managed to keep on an even keel over the Troubles in Northern Ireland and perhaps in ex-Yugoslavia only to fall at the third fence over the invasion of Iraq. It's hard to see why, but his promise to be 'with Bush, whatever' looks more like a love letter than a political statement.

If Saddam Hussein had had weapons of mass destruction which could be deployed within 45 minutes, he would probably have used them to repel the invasion of Iraq. That there was no evidence of WMDs just proved to Tony Blair that the allied forces were not looking hard enough for them. He had begun to 'drink the kool aid.'

We remember the Iraqi guy who rejoiced at the pulling down of Saddam Hussein's statue and attacked it with his shoe. He thought it was a glorious day. Now he feels quite nostalgic for the brutal certainties of Saddam's rule. He says that if he met Tony Blair he would spit in his face. He says he is a war criminal.
It's a sentiment echoed by the sister of a soldier who lost his life in Iraq. She said Tony Blair is the world's worst terrorist. The Chilcott report was framed in cool reasonable language and was all the more deadly for that.

The invasion was based on false premises, it was not well thought out, the soldiers were ill equipped and insufficient effort was put into what was to come after regime change. As Tony Blair faced reporters, protesters outside chanted, '' Blair lied.Millions died!''

It's been suggested that Tony Blair has a psychological disorder that makes him think he is incapable of doing anything wrong. But if you listened with only half an ear to his attempt to explain himself, you might think he was genuinely chastened.

It sounded as if he accepted that he had made terrible mistakes. His only excuse was that he had blundered but had had good intentions. But a close reading of the transcript shows that his self defence was more contradictory than that.

He began by apparently accepting blame. But towards the end he effectively said that it was all for the best. The world was a better place without Saddam Hussein.

Of course, we can't know for sure what the world would be like now if Saddam had not been toppled. But let's look at a few recent events.

We've had the Isis inspired bomb blast at a Turkish airport. We've also had the slaughter of 250 people, mostly Shiites, in Baghdad. Apparently Isis has recently boiled to death seven would be deserters in a large cauldron.

It's hard to see how it could be worse. I was one of the optimists who hoped the fall of Fallujah was the beginning of the end for Isis.

But perhaps it doesn't need any territory at all to keep going. It only has to have cells of devoted members throughout the globe, communicating in cyberspace.

I'm afraid Tony Blair is still in denial. It's understandable. It's not easy to face the truth in his situation. But that doesn't mean he shouldn't face a court.
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