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07 July 2006



Osama, I'll accept that foreign policy has been a trigger to turn a "mindless few" into suicide bombers. It is called propaganda.

You feed a bunch of impressionable boys with lines such as: "your sisters in Palestine and Iraq are being raped, what are you doing about it?" etc, and maybe some will crack and become suicide bombers. There is no need to have any balance, just keep showing pictures of crying mothers and dead babies over and over again, something will snap.

But it's interesting you call them a mindless few. The assumption is they're mindless enough to take that propaganda on to the next level and believe that killing innocent people is the answer. That it will solve the problems. You call this mindless, right?

But isn't it inevitable? You feed a large enough bunch of kids with violent pornography (for example) and some "mindless few" impressionable kids will act upon it and start treating like the women they see in that violent pornography.

The same will happen here. Hizb ut Tahrir and even the MAB don't have to be violent or even advocate violence. They just have to regurgitate that simplified propaganda (west = imperial killers and degraded morals, caliphate = answer to all problems), and some "mindless few" will take their frustrations to the next level.

You're not giving them the outlet. You're not showing them the way. You're simply telling them that Blair is to blame for everything, and unless he stops the killings will continue. So the killings continue because the "mindless few" don't see any alternative. You see the point?


So it's the fault of the people highlighting the killings, not the people carrying out the killings? Stop pointing out what's going on around the world and everything will be alright?


I'm reminded, that as a child living in one of the several Catholic Facist countries of Europe, Ireland, I recall my mother referring to England as "pagan", that the morals of a Protestant country had to be by definition much lower than those of a Catholic country. Now I won't delve into all or any, for that matter, of the abuses that have surfaced in Ireland in recent years, the result of the actions of corrupt and all powerful clergy. All I will say is that I came to live in this country to escape the extremes of that powerful clergy, who answered only to God, (in whom I believe) and not to law. That's what's scary.

Ah but on my arrival here, in the middle of another terrorist bombing campaign, I became the outsider, the Irishwoman, the Catholic, the suspected. I well remember that any "English" person I met was immediately eager to identify my possible loyalties by asking two simple questions. Catholic or Protestant? North or South? They had it all worked out. But I fear that I have to add to that that many people I met from other countries and ethnic minorities here in Britain, also followed the same rule of assessment. I thought they would have known better. How naive I was.

As things are at the moment, I fear I see history repeat itself. Will we ever learn? At the risk of sounding simplistic, I quote Eric Fromm "there is nothing to fear, but fear itself".

But I will also add, I abhor any form of moral superiority, be it based on secular or religious beliefs; there lies the way of madness.


Stop pointing out what's going on around the world and everything will be alright?

Osama, you may be aware that Sikhs and Hindus in Pakistan get regularly abused by the authorities, that there have been known instances there of women being abducted and forcibly converted. We did a piece on this on Pickled Politics. Is that a good enough reason for me to start hating all Pakistanis here or supporting Indian attacks on the country?

There is a difference between balanced reporting and all out biased propaganda (which is what you indulge in). There is no perspective or attempt at balance. It's always a narrative that Muslims are being abused and that they're not doing anything wrong.


I'm sorry but that is just not the case. If you're accusing me of hating all British people and Americans, I think you know yourself, you're way off the mark.

I have also been extremely critical of actions committed by Muslims, from the Al-Qaeda types to the so-called Islamic governments across the world.

You seem to have a strange perception of me. I don't have any videos of "crying mothers" or "dead babies".

I do know that they exist though. I do talk about it. And what I always stress to anyone is the vital nature of political engagement to right the wrongs. I hope I've led from the front in this through involvement in the antiwar movement, attending political meetings etc.

I also believe this is the approach Islamic organisations across the country have taken. Unfortunately, any foray into politics by Muslims is then criticised.


Osama - Of course you come across here as more nuanced. But tell me, why is it that so many British Muslims reject "the west" as it is a singular entity and they are not part of it? Why do they reject "British values" when it's not even clear what they are and how they differ from "Islamic values".

You saw the recent Pew poll. British Muslims have a worse opinion of "the west" than Britons do of Islam. Do you not see that as a problem? Do you not realise it is a direct result of the things the MCB/MAB/MPAC and Hizb ut Tahrir keep saying? And yet you say to me you are nuanced.

When Rajnaara Akhtar says Tony Blair is creating suicide bombers then she is essentially saying: "Muslims not have their own brains to receive guidance from the Qu'ran and not go along with killing innocent people like Blair is doing".

That, to me, is a problem. And one that none of the "leaders" want to recognise.


"Muslims not have their own brains to receive guidance from the Qu'ran and not go along with killing innocent people like Blair is doing".

I meant to say "Muslims do not..."

Her article is the one she posted on Comment is free on Friday.


These Muslims that reject the whole West, also see MCB and so on as nothing other than collaborators with it, having tea with the Queen and so on. You credit them with leading Muslim opinion too much. Muslims had opinions before the creation of MCB in 1996.

I think you're also in danger of conflating the problem. I have said on many occasions that Muslims need to become more sophisticated in their dialogue and engagement in this country. Indeed I did so in the post above. There's a whole lot of people with a whole lot of funny ideas. I believe the message is getting through, but it's not an overnight process.

It needs better education, and there are a lot of problems stopping that happening. In Glasgow, you could compare Muslim populated Pollokshields with other similarly deprived parts of Glasgow, which I also see very little civic engagement from. In fact, they could all be slapped with ASBOs. But because they're white they get ignored.

The warped ideas don't necessitate they are all bombers. You would say that these warped ideas will lead to bombings though. You also say that we should stop talking about "dead babies" and "raped women". I think your comments above are pretty callous, and as a way forward it sucks and isn't going to happen as it isn't just Muslims highlighting this stuff.

But back to the MCB and Muslim leadership. It's sounds very easy what you're saying, but practically difficult over and above what is happening. People with idiotic opinions are being challenged. I haven't met anyone planning a bombing or saying it is a good thing, but if I did, they'd get a wholloping. But others with rejectionist attitudes, "khilafa or nothing" opinions etc are under the cosh and fading.

They have not been challenged in a way that you or your acolyte David T would notice. It is at a ground level. There's no point in the MCB issuing press releases condemning them - the whole problem is that they don't engage so how with they read a presser? The Muslims that do appear in the media talking like this know they are just posing. No one has heard of Zia Sardar at the grassroots. I've been on GMS, the Scottish version of the Today programme, been on front pages of Scottish newspapers, and you go down to the mosque on the Friday and it's a miracle if even one person has noticed. The point at which we'll know that Muslims have snapped out of this paralysis is when they do tune into these things. In the mean time loonies are being challenged, but by its nature, won't be successful if it's high profile.


Oh well guys, have your own little argument here and ignore the words of women, isn't that just the way of the world. :-)


Sorry Ainelivia, you were caught up in the corssfire there. Thanks for your comment - always great to hear from you.


Cross fire, well described osama. Fire at will gentlemen. I'll just step back. :-)


"You credit them with leading Muslim opinion too much. Muslims had opinions before the creation of MCB in 1996."

Right... so all those polls about Muslims having a bad view of "the west" are clearly rubbish then? Or how would you explain that?

"In fact, they could all be slapped with ASBOs. But because they're white they get ignored."

Yeah, because there's never any political correctness towards Muslims isn't there?

"I think your comments above are pretty callous, and as a way forward it sucks and isn't going to happen as it isn't just Muslims highlighting this stuff."

Tell me Osama - why no pictures of dead babies from the bomb blasts in Mumbai? Why no pictures of dead people from Bali or Madrid? Or Amman? Maybe because you don't want to talk about the people that are killed by Muslims?

I'm not saying don't highlight dead people from Israel. I'm saying that is not the whole picture. Ever put up pictures of dead Israeli kids killed by Hamas? I think you know what I'm getting at.

"But others with rejectionist attitudes, "khilafa or nothing" opinions etc are under the cosh and fading."

Oh really. Why is it that the MCB and MAB keep embracing Hizb ut Tahrir then? Are you telling me they're fading?

"It is at a ground level."

Don't give me this rubbish mate. I speak to Muslims every single bloody day too, many of them are my friends. I ain't no middle class boy who lives in Hertfordshire. I have always lived in and hang around overwhelmingly Asian communities.

"No one has heard of Zia Sardar at the grassroots. "

I love the way you constantly try to discredit him. Actually, the intelligent ones have. Not just that, he was trying to improve things for British Muslims before you were in your nappies. Read Desperately Seeking Paradise. What a lame pretender to the throne you are I swear.


Osama_ grass roots arent the only roots. Zia Sardar moved through the Muslim student scene a good few decades and has some good insights. The scene is a little different now, and he doesnt come across as islamically appetizing for many of us today.

I primarily value his writings on Muslim science and knowledge culture (thats his area see). Desperately seeking paradise was a good laugh, but he does big himself up a lot.

to the point
what makes someone flip out and do something criminal?

-its cant just be the rather old revival literature.
-it cant just be neoimperialist reality.

akhlaqi breakdown no?

btw.. i love your blog.. i am abroad and catching up on news. its a good service.

Sunny bhai_ dont think you are relevent or have anything to contribute here, no matter how many muslims you think you talk to, its your processing system thats rather underpowered. might be a good idea to find something better to do with your time and angst... isnt it festival season or suming?


Sunny, I hope we can agree that you're more son of Zia than I am.

I actually just last week organised a public coming together on the anniversary of 7/7 in the main square in Glasgow. Hundreds of Muslims and non-Muslims attended to show their respects. Maybe some people are inconsistent - I'm not. I believe the opinions I put forward would make everyone in the world safer, not just Muslims and not just non-Muslims.

WRT to the HT issue you've inserted in here again - they are waning. In the mid-nineties they were holding the biggest Islamic events in the country. Now we can clearly see they're not. Everyone was talking baout their ideology. I can't remember the last time anyone said to me "what do you think of what HT are saying?". Their rejectionist attitude of no to politics, no to education, no to charity until khilafa - has gone. This is no better demostrated by their lobbying in Parliament regarding their ban.

They're coming round to reality. I'd like to see them apologise for much of their past. But really they have faded, and they are merging into middle of the road positions, to the point where in a year or two people will question what the point of them existing is. If they are banned, I would imagine many would ask what the point of setting up another front for them is. You will claim they still have a secret agenda, but that is ignoring their waning influence over the years.

Fugstar, thanks for the comments - spread the word!

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