Monthly Archives: December 2010

  There’s much in the papers today (Daily Telegraph, Independent, Guardian, Daily Mail, Daily Express, Daily Star and Metro) on the Prime Minister’s podcast marking the New Year and his comments on the continuing threat we face from terrorism.

The PM speaks in his address of the Coalition’s priorities for 2011 saying:

“As we start 2011, our priorities should be about enterprise, aspiration, the modernisation of our public services and the security of our people.”

Cameron speaks of enterprise and the need to “create a new economic dynamism in our country,” of aspiration and the importance of addressing the causes for why “social mobility in Britain has stalled,” of modernising public services in order to make them “more open, more innovative, more responsive to what people want, and better value for money,” and, lastly, on national security and terrorism.

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Peter Oborne today wrote on his Telegraph blog on “Why the Middle East is about to split the Coalition wide open.”

Oborne writes of the “moral and other costs” to Britain of aligning herself too closely to the Obama administration and its “gutless abandonment of the search for peace and security” in the Middle East. 

He writes:

“Successive prime ministers have resolved never to challenge the foreign policy of the United States, while the US in turn has forged an unshakeable alliance with Israel. This has made Britain, by proxy, Israel’s second closest ally.”

“Events in recent years, however, have made this state of affairs (which once seemed so natural) anachronistic and embarrassing.”

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    According to the Guardian, police have asked the government for new powers to stop and search people without having to suspect them of any crime.

From the Guardian:

“… police, including the Metropolitan force, which leads the UK fight against terrorism, say they need a boost to their counter-terrorism powers, which they worry are now too weak.

“They have asked for a law which would be much more limited than section 44. It would be restricted to a specific period of time and to a limited geographic area or a specific place or event.”

The powers asked for would be reminiscent of the previous counter-productive and widely criticised stop and search powers under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 under which the public could be stopped without suspicion. Those powers were ruled illegal by the European Court of Human Rights and were scrapped by Home Secretary Theresa May.

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    On Boxing Day, The Daily Telegraph published an interview with Marine Le Pen, the daughter of French far-right leader, Jean-Marie Le Pen.

In the interview, Miss Le Pen warned that “The progressive Islamisation of [France] and the increase in political-religious demands [of Muslims] are calling into question the survival of our civilisation.”

Examples of the ‘progressive Islamisation’ of French public life Marine Le Pen cites is the decision by 22 Quick fast food restaurants to offer “exclusively halal burgers” and the building of places of worship for France’s sizable Muslim community.

Noting the growth in popularity of her far-right party in France and its “anti-Islamisation” agenda, an editorial in The Telegraph on Monday warned that David Cameron “must face the challenge of Islamisation” here in Britain.

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  Richard Littlejohn commented on the vile anti-Christmas campaign posters by Al Muhajiroun supporters in his column in last Thursday’s Daily Mail. 

Littlejohn acknowledges that those engaged in this divisive and offensive behaviour are “a tiny minority,” of British Muslims but his claim that “Islam and other religions enjoy protected species status, [while] it’s open season on anyone who believes in Christ Our Saviour,” is so wide of the mark.

Littlejohn writes of the posters put about by al Muhajiroun supporters and argues:

“Imagine what would happen if a team of fundamentalist Christians started slapping up posters during Ramadan insulting the Prophet Mohammed and suggesting that Eid encouraged terrorism.

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Leo McKinstry   Writing in his Daily Express column on Monday, Leo McKinstry reprimanded the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, for his Christmas sermon.

In McKinstry’s view, western leaders (Dr Williams included) have not done enough to “challenge the Islamic culture of persecution.”

He writes:

 “… lethal oppression against Christians is happening all over the Muslim world… The totalitarian nature of Islam, which is as much a political ideology as a religious creed, means that freedom of worship is drastically restricted for other believers.”

“Yet western political leaders, through a mixture of cowardice and denial, have refused to challenge the Islamic culture of persecution. In any other sphere, they make an absolute fetish of their devotion to the causes of equality and anti-discrimination.”

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  EDL spokesman, Guramit Singh, was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of intentionally causing religiously aggravated harassment, alarm, or distress, following complaints about his speech during a protest in Peterborough by the far-right extremist group.

From the Peterborough Today:

“Cambridgeshire Police received two complaints after Mr Singh, an unofficial leader and spokesman for the EDL, gave a speech during the EDL’s two-hour protest in the city on Saturday, December 11.”

“Mr Singh was addressing around 1,000 EDL supporters and hundreds of onlooking members of the public during his speech, which was delivered outside Peterborough Magistrates’ Court and has since been uploaded onto YouTube.”

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 Joseph Harker   Joseph Harker, writing for the Guardian’s ‘Comment is Free’, offers a humorous twist to the reaction that British Muslims have encountered post 2001. Time and again, British Muslims have been told that they must do more to root out ‘terrorists’ within their communities; community leaders must condemn more vigorously the actions of the tiny minority that turn to violent extremism and accept as ‘necessary’ the erosion of their civil liberties in the name of security. 

His comment piece also offers food for thought for those who advocate profiling of Muslims of a certain demographic in places such as airports. Aside from alienating entire communities, the measure is open to evasion by those that do not fit the typical profile.

He writes:

“Since I heard the news last week I’ve been terrified. Could it be him? Could it be her? Every time I get on the train or bus. Every time I go into a shop. There they are. Looking so ordinary – but are they about to blow themselves up, taking all us innocent passersby with them?”

“Yes, since the news emerged that two white British al-Qaida members had been killed in a US drone attack, I can’t help wondering if all white people are potential terrorists. I’m sure only a small minority are actively signed up to the jihadists; but what about the others? Are they sympathisers?”

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The Daily Mail, Daily Express and Daily Star have all reported on a poster campaign organised by an individual linked to attention addicts from Anjem Choudary’s group, Islam4UK (formerly Al-Muhajiroun).

From the Daily Mail:

“Organisers plan to put up thousands of placards around the UK claiming the season of goodwill is responsible for rape, teenage pregnancies, abortion, promiscuity, crime and paedophilia.”

“According to the posters, Christmas is also… responsible for paganism, domestic violence, homelessness, vandalism, alcohol and drugs.”

“The campaign’s organiser is 27-year-old Abu Rumaysah, who once called for Sharia Law in Britain at a press conference held by hate preacher leader Anjem Choudary, the leader of militant group Islam4UK.”

“He said: ‘Christmas is a lie and as Muslims it is our duty to attack it.

‘We hope that out campaign will make people realise that Islam is the only way to avoid this and convert.’”

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    The Guardian reports that, according to counter-terror laws watchdog Lord Carlile, Nick Clegg is “refusing to back a compromise” on the issue of control orders. Before May’s general election, the Liberal Democrats pledged to scrap the control order regime.

The Conservatives, meanwhile, pledged to review the scheme with a “view to reducing reliance on it and, consistent with security, replacing it.” 

The issue of whether to retain or scrap control orders “remains deadlocked”, with the Conservatives’ David Davis, the former shadow Home Secretary, claiming that up to 50 Lib Dem and Tory MPs would rebel against the coalition were it to bow to pressure exerted by the security agencies and maintain the policy. Tom Brake MP and other Liberal Democrats have also voiced concern over the policy in a letter to the PM.

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