Friday, May 31, 2013

Hormonal influence on homosexuality

Rodent data so far only

A chemical usually associated with how happy we feel could also play a pivotal role in our sexual preferences, researchers have discovered.

A Chinese team found that blocking serotonin, known as the brain's 'happy chemical' caused female mice to switch their sexual preferences.

It is the first time that sexual preference has been reversed in animals without sex hormones.

Yi Rao of Peking University in Beijing, China, and his colleagues genetically engineered female mice so that they could no longer make or respond to serotonin.

'Female mouse mutants lacking either central serotonergic neurons or serotonin prefer female over male genital odors when given a choice, and displayed increased female–female mounting when presented either with a choice of a male and a female target or only with a female target,' the team wrote in their paper,  which is published in the journal PNAS.

'Our results indicate that serotonin controls sexual preference,' they say.

'It's possible that the well-known effect of early sex hormone levels on partner preference and the serotonin mechanism described here are completely independent mechanisms,' Simon LeVay of Stanford University told New Scientist.

'In other words, serotonin systems may be part of the cascade of signals that translate sex hormone levels during development into sexual partner preference in adulthood.'


"Multicultural" Britain is a different place

Ricardo Miles, 21, Daniel Ikumelo, 23, and Adebola Alimi, 22, cycled through the streets of Hackney, east London, armed with a gun searching for enemies in a gangland feud.

When an unmarked police car pulled up alongside the trio, Miles turned and fired the .45 revolver at the officers. Fortunately the bullet hit the ground in front of the vehicle.

The gang members, including Adebola Alimi (pictured) were cycling through the streets of Hackney, east London, when the incident took place

Miles then tried to fire again, but the weapon jammed and he pointed it threateningly at officers as they sped off. They abandoned their bikes and threw away the weapon before fleeing over a footbridge on January 10 last year.

Miles, from Enfield, Ikumelo, from Islington and Alimi, from Hackney, are facing years behind bars after they were convicted of possessing a colt calibre revolver with the intent to endanger life, possessing ammunition and possessing a knife after a trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court. They were remanded in custody ahead of sentence on July 5.

All three had denied involvement, claiming they were not at the scene of the shooting.

The court heard the trio, members of Hackney's Certified Southwold Road gang, had been looking for rivals from the Gilpin Square gang.

PC Richard Gilbert spotted the group acting suspiciously at around 11.30pm and approached them in the unmarked police care with another officer in the passenger seat.

'They were all fiddling with their waists, and I assumed they were going to drop something, or hide something, which is often the case,' he said.

'As they were doing that the male in the white produced a handgun and fired a shot towards us into the ground. There was a loud bang, a flash and then sparks just in front of the car where we were.

'I put the vehicle in reverse and tried to put some distance between us and the males in question. The male in white continued to point the gun towards us over his shoulder as they cycled away.'

Jurors were played CCTV of the three males firing at the car from only metres away in Mandeville Street, Homerton before fleeing over a footbridge towards Hackney Marshes.

They also dropped a knife at the scene, less than half a mile from the Olympic Park, the court heard.

Prosecutor Julian Jones said: 'These defendants were riding out into the Gilpin Square territory with the intention to endanger the lives of rival gang members.'

They were arrested in May 2012 after a long police investigation.

Jurors were read Blackberry phone messages between the defendants in the days after the incident saying they were 'on the run' because of 'madness'.   The messages mentioned someone taking 'a burst at the feds', slang for shooting at police officers.

There was another message sent a day after the incident from Ikumelo, to Miles, the shooter, saying 'if you have a picture of the whistle (gun) delete them all now.'

In 2010 Miles and Ikumelo were given suspended sentences for affray after two fighting dogs were let loose in a train carriage packed with commuters at Stamford Hill station following a fight between rival gangs.

Detective Inspector Neil Bradburn, from Trident North East Shootings Team, said: 'Today's result is the culmination of a great deal of hard work by Trident which has lead to the conviction of three dangerous offenders.

'More than 1,000 London gang members are now either locked up or subject to legal restrictions as a result of activity by the Met's Trident Gang Crime Command.

'This investigation clearly demonstrates that tackling gang-related violence remains a key priority for The Met and we will continue to target and convict those who choose to carry weapons and cause harm in London's communities.'


A long view of women

Fred Reed

 One grows weary, or at least I do, of feminists who complain constantly of imaginary discrimination. It makes no sense. They are in almost the only place and time in which women are not mistreated. Those who do not read history may not know the extent to which woman really have been—tired word, but accurate—oppressed.

For the hell of it I made a list of all the men of classical Greece I could name in five minutes, thanks to courses in philosophy and to general reading. Of men, 25 and counting, of women, two: Sapho, notorious for being a lesbian, and Xantippe, Socrates’ wife, for being a shrew. (I didn’t count mythical women like Cassandra and Clytemnestra.) The absence verges on total erasure.

More women are known from Roman times, most conspicuously Livia and Messalina I suppose, but mostly as poisoners and villainesses. In general women were nonentities. Men had life-and-death power over their wives and daughters, meaning exactly that: they could kill them if they so chose. It was not a theoretical power, but one at least occasionally exercised. To an American man in 2013 this seems insane, even if he has had adolescent daughters.

The pattern holds with variation in details almost everywhere. American Indians, savages but hardly noble, subjugated women utterly. Foot-binding, as lunatic a practice as the mind of man has conceived, was common among China’s upper classes. In India women were kept in strict isolation in purdah and, should their husbands die, expected to immolate themselves on the funeral pyres. What all of this was supposed to accomplish, I cannot imagine.

So much for the idea cherished in semi-literate courses in Women’s Studies that non-Western cultures have been female-friendly. They have not.

But in this feminists are right: The three mid-Eastern religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, do indeed have a ghastly record. The Jews I think were least bad, subjugating their women but not waging actual war against them. Christianity was hideous. The Catholic Church for three centuries practiced systematic sadism against witches, torturing and burning alive uncounted thousands of women. Torture meant crushed bones, dislocated joints, molten lead, and other pleasantries ordained by the Vicar of Christ.

Today the church has softened. It has given itself to the minor consolations of pederasty and to urging women who can’t afford them to have large families. This is an improvement.

Islam, intractably primitive, follows still the old ways. Girls in many places are not allowed to learn to read. Horrendous genital mutilation is horrendously common. Why the world puts up with this is a mystery. If I had been the British administrator of colonies practicing such mutilation, I would have had the fathers strung up naked on the town square and castrated with a blowtorch. Barbarous? Yes. But the cutting would have stopped in about ten minutes.

Curiously, in America more fury arises from the suggestion that men may be better than women at mathematics than from tens of millions of bloody clitoridectomies practiced on screaming young girls. Nobody, not the UN, not feminists, makes an issue of it. This too is beyond my comprehension, but maybe I just don’t comprehend well.

So why have misogyny and subjugation of women—these are not quite the same thing—ceased in much of the world, and very much so in America? Said subjugation has been so widespread through all time that one might suspect it to be a trait  genetically determined. But it isn’t. In Europe, North America above the Rio Bravo, Australia, and New Zealand among others, women are fully integrated into society.

Many places thought to be bastions of repressive masculinity no longer are. For example, Mexico crawls with female doctors, dentists, lawyers and such. About half of the students in my stepdaughter’s university (La Universidad Marista de Guadalajara) by impressionistic eyeball snapshot seem to be girls. Don’t buy stock in machismo. Slide rules have a brighter future.

Feminists believe that they brought about the change by a valiant struggle against long odds and awful men. (By which they seem to mean all men.) Not so, quite. Powerless groups seldom rise unless those in power decide to permit it. For example, Brown versus the School Board was passed by nine white men. Whatever one thinks of Roe versus Wade, the court was male.

It is odd that in America, where women enjoy historically unprecedented rights and opportunities, often greater than those of men—who don’t have affirmative action—feminists complain of oppression. It is fantasy. Consider the undying assertion that women are paid less than men for the same work. It was once true. Today there are fifty thousand slavering lawyers who would love to launch class-action suits, which they would be sure to win.

The trouble with basing your identity on fighting discrimination is that if you run out of discrimination, you don’t know who you are.

The attitude of European men to the change, to include most white American men, is interesting. Men I know are for it, though they may not think they are. Irritation with the unending bitching of the professionals of bitching, the compelled political correctness, the demands for special privilege, the noisy hostility of too many women—weariness with all of these can obscure a few truths:

American men do not want to oppress women. All the men I know very much like intelligent, educated women who do not wear chadors or burkas.  They like athletic, adventurous women with whom they can scuba dive and camp. (My younger daughter got her scuba ticket at age twelve, muchly with her dad’s support.) Many of my male friends have daughters. If any university tried to exclude them because they were girls, a law suit would instantly ensue.

But one mustn´t speak of this. If you speak unfavorably of the ill-breeding and obnoxiousness of professional feminists, they say that you hate women. The tactic is common. Criticize the treatment of Palestinians by Israelis, and you hate Jews. Object to the beating to brain damage of whites by urban black mobs, and you hate blacks. Yet it is not the race, sex, or faith that one objects to, but specific behavior of specific members of these groups. A very different thing.

We live in the middle of a social order that is, so far as I know, entirely new. To those who have grown up in it, it seems normal and, now, is. Seen against the backdrop of three thousand years, the merging of women into the polity is astonishing. How it will shake out in the long run is uncertain, but it seems to work well enough. Spare me the nineteen-year-old bimbos in Women’s Studies at Dartmouth telling me how oppressed they are, on daddy’s dime.


Shoplifters and burglars get the right to work in schools and care homes in Britain

Burglars, shoplifters and violent thugs will be free to work in schools, care homes and hospitals under rules which come into force today.

Thousands of criminals will have their records in effect wiped clean after as little as two years – meaning they will be hidden from prospective employers.

The changes to the criminal records regime follows a human rights ruling in January.

Details about which criminals will be affected by the ruling emerged last night.

Under existing rules anyone wanting to work with children or vulnerable adults must disclose any previous convictions or cautions – which stay on their records indefinitely.

But the Court of Appeal judgment said that requiring some minor offences to be disclosed was a breach of an individual’s right to a private and family life.

Yesterday the Home Office announced which offences would be expunged and which would remain on people’s records when they face an enhanced criminal records check.

Anyone with a conviction or caution for burglary, shoplifting or common assault will see it removed after a set period of time – as long as they were not jailed for the offence or committed any further crimes.

Adult offenders will see convictions cleared after 11 years, and cautions after six years.

Young offenders will have no visible conviction record after five and a half years, and no caution record after two years.

All serious sexual and violent crimes and all terrorism offences will remain on records indefinitely.

Critics said the rules were a ‘slap in the face for victims’ and would allow potentially serious offenders to get into sensitive jobs.

Peter Cuthbertson, chief executive of the Centre for Crime Prevention think-tank, said: ‘Treating  burglary as a minor offence is a callous insult to victims.  Many people who are burgled lose treasured gifts and never feel safe again in their own homes.

‘Already many victims see burglars avoiding prison and receiving community sentences that don’t protect the public.  To let those burglars have their criminal records wiped clean would be another slap in the face for victims.

‘If the Government wants to make this scheme workable and fair, they should ensure burglary always means a prison sentence so that no burglars will benefit.’

The changes to the Disclosure and Barring Service – which has replaced the Criminal Records Bureau – come into force today.

The appeal judges found in favour of a woman blocked from taking a job in a care home eight years after she was handed a police caution for theft from a shop in Sheffield.

The Master of the Rolls, Lord Dyson, said the decision to bar her from the job had breached her human rights under Article 8 of the Human Rights Act.

The verdict also included the case of a 17-year-old who failed to get a job at a sports club because he had to disclose a police warning he had received for theft when he was 11.

The judgment was condemned at the time for eroding the ability of politicians to ‘protect the vulnerable’.

Ministers have been given permission to appeal the judgment to the Supreme Court, and the case is likely to be heard in July.

The rules are being changed despite the appeal because of fears of legal action and demands for compensation. It is also feared that the original judgment raises much wider questions about the entire criminal records regime and when it can be used.

Civil liberties and privacy groups have backed the changes.

Nick Pickles, director of Big Brother Watch, said: ‘This is a victory for common sense and a long overdue change to a system that was ruining people’s lives.’

A government spokesman said: ‘This new system of checks strikes a balance between ensuring children and vulnerable groups are protected and making sure minor offences from the past do not make it difficult for people to get on with their chosen career.’



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICSDISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL  and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine).   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Machete attack horror:  Muslim outrage in Lancashire

MACHETE wielding thugs have left two men with ‘serious injuries’ after attacking them in an Accrington barber’s shop.

The two victims had been inside the shop in Ormerod Street when four masked men carrying machetes and knives forced their way inside.

Detectives investigating the incident said the gang attacked the pair before forcing them into the street.

The thugs also attacked a parked car during the incident at midnight on Saturday.

Police said they were alerted to the incident after witnesses called an ambulance.

The victims both suffered deep wounds and had to be taken to hospital by paramedics.

One of the men, a 23-year-old man from Accrington sustained a serious head injury while, the other a 24-year-old man also from Accrington suffered a serious cut to his arm, police said.

Both men are being treated at the Royal Blackburn Hospital and their condition was yesterday described as ‘serious but not life threatening’.

Detectives investigating the incident are now urging anyone who witnessed the incident to come forward.

DI Claire Holbrook, of Eastern division’s public protect unit, said: “We are treating this incident extremely seriously.

“Despite the offenders wearing facial coverings we will endeavour to bring these extremely violent offenders to justice.

“I urge anyone with information about the attack to come forward and contact police.”

Extra police patrols have been launched in the area to try reassure residents. Police said they were looking for a gang of Asian [i.e. Pakistani] men in connection with the attack.


What if homophobia is also “natural”?

Most people I have talked to express an instinctive distaste for homosexuality  -- JR

If you’re like me, sometimes you are unlucky enough to watch an episode of Question Time that doesn’t feature Nigel Farage or David Starkey, and is therefore a festival of liberal banality. Last week’s programme, broadcast from Belfast, was one such: the only enlivening moment came when Ian Paisley (Jr) struggled to get beyond his remarks, made in 2007, that homosexuality “repulsed him”.

As I watched Paisley wriggle in his straitjacket of shame, I began to feel a tad uncomfortable. Because I, too, am a tiny bit homophobic. That is to say: when I see gay men kissing, I get a brief twinge of ewww – until my better liberal self takes over.

Before you beat me to death with rainbow flags, let me explain. I have homosexual friends (yes, this sounds like “I’m not a racist, but…”). One of my oldest friends is, indeed, a post-op transsexual. And I love my friends (platonically); I am therefore happy for them to have whatever kind of consenting adult sex they wish, and to marry with similar freedom.

I make this judgment not because I’m incredibly nice, but because I have a brain, and I’ve realised that homosexuality is genetic. Instinctive. It’s something people are born with. “Hating” gays for “being gay” is therefore like hating penguins for being flightless. Ludicrous.

Moreover, it’s quite probable that gayness extends some benefit to our species, as it is so persistent over time – and so common in virtually all species. Gibbons, for instance, like threesomes. Antelopes are prone to transvestism. Ducks are fond of lesbian orgies. American bison are bi-curious. Weasels are just completely kinkyboots. All this is true.

But if gayness is natural, why do I feel that brief, reflexive twinge of disgust when I see gay men kissing? Some would argue that I have been conditioned by society into accepting the norm of straightness, and my repulsion is therefore mere bigotry.

But what if it isn’t? What if homophobia is also “natural”?

Evolutionary psychologists have debated this point, and it is at least arguable that homophobia is unconscious – and inherited.  And it’s not hard to see why such a reflex might have evolved: before the era of the test tube baby and artificial insemination, parents who happily tolerated gayness in their kids would be smiling on the extinction of their genes. Not good.

All of which presents us with a liberal paradox. If we’re going to extend equal right to homosexuals, because homosexuality is perfectly natural, we also need to extend equal rights to homophobes, for exactly the same reason. How we celebrate this rich diversity is a difficult issue, though. Perhaps both sides could have marches on their special days, through different parts of the same town? Ian Paisley Junior could help organise.


Left Defends Accused Child Molester Because She’s Lesbian

When your 18-year-old daughter is expelled and charged with sexual battery of a child, one option is to go public and declare she’s a martyr under fire from anti-gay bias. That’s the approach taken by the parents of Kaitlyn Hunt, a Florida teen who faces two felony charges of “lewd or lascivious battery” on a child. And sure enough, the tactic has earned Hunt some high-profile left-wing media defenders.

According to the charges, Hunt, a senior at Sebastian River High School who was set to graduate this spring, pressured a 14-year-old girl four years her junior to be her “girlfriend” and engage in sexual activity with her. But when Kaitlyn faced prosecution from her underage partner’s parents, her own parents and gay activists immediately granted her victim status, claiming she was unjustly persecuted for being homosexual. 

Not surprisingly, leftie headlines followed. In the account of ThinkProgress (funded by left-wing sugar daddy George Soros), Hunt was “charged with felony for same-sex relationship with classmate,” while Huffington Post lamented that she “faces felony charges over same-sex relationship” and offers links to petitions and support pages for Hunt.

ThinkProgress quoted Hunt’s mother talking about the underage girl’s parents: “they feel like my daughter “made” their daughter gay. They are bigoted, religious zeolites [sic] that see being gay as a sin and wrong, and they blame my daughter.” [emphasis in original]

Talk like that is catnip to the libertine left, always eager to take a stand against sexual prudery and oppression – especially if evil religious types are involved.

But the sexual activity in question occurred when Hunt was an 18 year-old senior and her “girlfriend” was only 14. “Police said a 4 year age gap is a serious difference. They say a 14-year-old is not old enough to give consent,” according to a local news report.

Clearly, Hunt’s parents and her supporters in their “Stop the Hate, Free Kate” Facebook group disagree. They are portraying her story as a tragedy like Romeo and Juliet – two lovers separated by people who just don’t understand.

But the details aren’t quite so cute and pretty. According to the official charges, Kaitlyn took the lead in initiating lewd sexual activity with her minor girlfriend in the highschool restroom.

Hunt’s father said she’d be fine with pleading guilty to a misdemeanor – just not a felony. Hey, sometimes kids get rambunctious – sewing their oats [nudge, nudge]. Who didn’t engage in aggressive homosexual activity in a public bathroom with a fourteen-year-old back in high school?

Clearly, Hunt’s parents are onto something. If you can play the gay card, you immediately trigger knee-jerk support from the liberal media and homosexual activists anxious to topple any and all rules regarding sex. Who knows--with that kind of angle and pressure from groups like Anonymous and, maybe they’ll get those felony charges reduced to a “Get Out of Jail Free Card”... just because she was gay.


I was a radical Islamist who hated all of you


MOST people find it hard to imagine stabbing another human being, let alone almost decapitating someone with a meat cleaver.

To do so in broad daylight and in the middle of the road, while asking passers-by to take pictures, simply beggars belief.

Few can understand how the British jihadists Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale could be filled with such hate.

I'm ashamed to say I can. For I was similar to them once.

I spent 13 years inside Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT), the global Islamist organisation that first spawned al-Muhajiroun, the banned Islamist terrorist organisation founded by Omar Bakri Muhammad and Anjem Choudary.

Bakri and Choudary both knew Adebolajo, a 28-year-old who was raised as a Christian. Like Adebolajo, I was raised in Essex in an educated, middle-class and well integrated family.

Again, like Adebolajo, I went on to further education. He dropped out, while I gained a law and Arabic degree from The School of African and Oriental Studies and a Masters in political theory from the London School of Economics.

(The belief that all radicalised young Muslims must lack jobs or are socially awkward loners is a dangerous misconception. I did not lack career opportunities, nor did I lack friends or girlfriends.)

And I, too, was caught up in the aftermath of a Jihadist street murder in which a man was killed with a machete. It was 1995 and I was president of the Student Union at Newham College in East Ham. The union was nothing but a front for HT. We siphoned off money to our cause, giving lectures and preaching anywhere and everywhere - the street, the yard and the canteen, where I would stand on the tables and spout hate.

We were encouraged by Omar Bakri to operate like street gangs and we did, prowling London, fighting Indian Sikhs in the west and African Christians in the east. We intimidated Muslim women until they wore the hijab and we thought we were invincible.

And when an acquaintance of mine, Saeed Nur, slashed a Nigerian student, Ayotunde Obanubi, shouting the same battle cry as the Woolwich attackers: "Allahu Akbar" - God is Great - I watched him die and felt nothing. I did not incite the murder but I did nothing to stop it.

So how did it reach that point? And what turns a tiny minority of ordinary, young Muslim men into fanatical, cold-blooded killers? For my own part, once I became a teenager I experienced severe and violent racism. The neo-Nazi paramilitary group Combat 18 began to target me and my friends. On a few occasions I was forced to watch as white friends were stabbed merely for being associated with me.

At 15, I was falsely arrested at gunpoint for playing with a plastic gun. This was the early 1990s, genocide was unfolding in Bosnia, while the international community failed to act. Add this to my own internal identity crisis - I didn't know if I was British or Pakistani, Muslim or agnostic - and my disenfranchisement from mainstream society was complete.

However, it's what happened next that sealed my fate. I needed someone who could guide a broken and confused 16-year-old. Instead, I came across a charismatic recruiter espousing HT's cause who sold me the ideology of Islamism in the name of Islam.

But Islamism is not Islam. Islamism is the politicisation of Islam, the desire to impose a version of this ancient faith over society. To achieve this, Islamism uses political grievances, such as mine, to alienate and then provide an alternative sense of belonging to vulnerable young Muslims. Preying on the grievances of disaffected young men is the bedrock of Islamism.

Like all bigoted ideologies, it plays on the identity politics game, creating a "them and us", in order to provide a home for the "us" against the alien "other" and control the community by acting as the sole "representative" of Muslims.

One of the Woolwich jihadists ranted to onlookers: "You" have occupied "Our" lands. Spreading this sense of exclusive Muslim victimhood is crucial to the radicalisation process. I continued to spread hate for many years after Obanubi's murder, co-founding branches in Denmark and Pakistan where we targeted army officers in order to incite military coups.

I was aiming to do the same thing in Egypt in 2001, when I was arrested and tortured. Eventually I was convicted of membership of a banned organisation and sentenced to five years in Mazra Tora prison, where deposed dictator Hosni Mubarak is held.

It was then I began to sift through my layers of hatred and ignorance. I also encountered the kindness of strangers, especially Amnesty International whose campaign to win my release was led by an octogenarian in England I'd never met.

After much soul searching I was able to renounce my past Islamist ideology, challenging everything I was once prepared to die for.

De-radicalisation begins by breaking down the logic that once seemed unassailable and rethinking what you are fighting for and why. Hard to do when Islamists and Islamophobes feed off each other's hateful cliches.

We must not blame the security services for what happened. As long as a man can pick up a knife, these murders will be impossible to predict. The only way to try and prevent it happening again is to give those angry young Muslims another outlet. I have founded Khudi, in Pakistan, a youth movement which tries to counter extremist ideology through healthy discussion and debate.

We need a similar grassroots movement in Britain. The only way we can challenge Islamism is to engage with one another. We need to make it as abhorrent as racism has become today. Only then will we stem the tide of angry young Muslims who turn to hate. Only then will they stop listening to people like Omar Bakri Muhammad and Anjem Choudary.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICSDISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL  and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine).   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Stockholm riots leave Sweden's dreams of perfect society up in smoke

A week of disturbances in Sweden's capital has tested the Scandinavian nation's reputation for tolerance, reports Colin Freeman

Like the millions of other ordinary Swedes whom he now sees himself as one of, Mohammed Abbas fears his dream society is now under threat. When he first arrived in Stockholm as refugee from Iran in 1994, the vast Husby council estate where he settled was a mixture of locals and foreigners, a melting pot for what was supposed to be a harmonious, multi-racial paradise.

Two decades on, though, "white flight" has left only one in five of Husby's flats occupied by ethnic Swedes, and many of their immigrant replacements do not seem to share his view that a new life in Sweden is a dream come true. Last week, the neighbourhood erupted into rioting, sparking some of the fiercest urban unrest that Sweden has seen in decades, and a new debate about the success of racial integration.

"In the old days, the neighbourhood was more Swedish and life felt like a dream, but now there are just too many foreigners, and a new generation that has grown up here with just their own culture," he said, gesturing towards the hooded youths milling around in Husby's pedestrianised shopping precinct.

"Also, in Sweden you cannot hit your children to discipline them, and this is a problem for foreign parents. The kids can feel they can cause whatever trouble they want, and the police don't even arrest any of them most of the time."

This weekend, after six consecutive nights of rioting, Mr Mohammed was not the only one questioning the Swedish social model's preference for the carrot over the stick. Many Swedes were left asking why a country that prides itself on a generous welfare state, liberal social attitudes and a welcoming attitude towards immigrants should ever have race riots in the first place.

The disturbances erupted in Husby last weekend, after police shot dead an elderly man brandishing a machete inside his house. Angered at what they saw as police heavyhandedness, youths torched cars and buildings and stoned police and firefighters. Police were then forced to draft in extra manpower from outside Stockholm as the trouble spread to other immigrant-dominated suburbs of the capital and towns such as Orebro in central Sweden, where 25 masked youths set fire to a school on Friday night.

Up too in smoke has gone the notion that egalitarian Sweden, which has largely avoided the global recession, might be immune from the social problems blighting less affluent parts of Europe.

Sweden's centre-right prime minister, Frederik Reinfeldt, blamed "hooligans" but also talked sympathatically of the difficult "transition period between different cultures". Meanwhile politicians from the Swedish Left, which ruled the country for most of the post-war period, blamed the trouble on social spending cuts introduced by Mr Reinfeldt, whose Moderate Party vowed to trim - though not slash - the welfare budget when he took office in 2006.

But amid the soulsearching last week, perhaps the most telling comment was the one from Kjell Lindgren, the spokesman for Stockholm Police. "We don't know why they are doing this," he said, when asked for a cause for the riots. "There is no answer to it."

Certainly, wandering around Husby last week, it was hard at first glance to see quite what the problem was. Built in the 1970s as part of the "Million Programme" that aimed to give affordable housing for all Swedes, the estate is one of dozens on Stockholm's outskirts that now house mainly immigrant populations, including large numbers from Somalia, Eritrea, Afghanistan and Iraq.

However, comparisons to the Paris "banlieus", or indeed riot-hit Tottenham or Salford, are limited. Between the rows of clean-looking housing blocks are well-tended flowerbeds and neatly- kept public gardens, and in the shopping precinct, where an ornamental fountain still bubbles away, there are bars, shops, and a smart cafe-bakery that would not look too out of place in an IKEA catalogue. At eight per cent, Husby's joblessness rate is three times the Swedish average, but only slightly higher than that in the UK.

Likewise, although the rioting has been large scale by Swedish standards, seen up close it has less of the ferocity of the 2011 disturbances in Britain. When The Sunday Telegraph visited Husby late on Wednesday night, the highlight was a hit-and-run arson attack on two parked cars. Police were hardly to be seen, and when they did arrive, it was purely to protect the firefighters dealing with the car blaze rather than make arrests.

Instead, teams of well-intentioned volunteers from local community groups and Islamic associations mingled with the crowds of excited onlookers, politely suggesting that they expressed their grievances peacefully.

Among a large group gathered on an overhead walkway was Mohammed Abdu, 27, whose family came to Sweden from Eritrea when he was aged three, and who now works as a security guard. While he condemned the violence as "hooliganism", he claimed that many Husby residents still suffered from discrimination from the police and employers. Besides, he added, living in such a prosperous, advanced country offered no real satisfaction for those so conspicuously at the bottom of the heap.

"It's true that the welfare system here is an example to the rest of the world, so if you fall here you do not fall all the way to the bottom," he said. "But people don't like being dependent on social welfare, and there is hidden racism."

Not so, argued Yusuf Carlos, 32, a construction worker from Palestine. "It is just kids causing this trouble, that is why the police are not doing much about it," he said. "Sweden is fair towards immigrants and it isn't hard to find work, or not before these riots anyway. The problem is that the Swedish people are angry now. They don't know why people here in Husby are doing this, only that they come from this neighbourhood."

Certainly, claims of racism upset many Swedes, who have little colonial history, and whose decision to admit large numbers of Third World migrants from the 1980s onwards was born of no particular political obligation, more just a very Swedish sense of humanitarian duty to the wider world. From the very start, the government also sought to avoid creating a German-style "guest worker" class by promoting immigrants' rights and introducing a plethora of programmes to promote racial integratkion.

Yet despite Swedish language education being offered free to all long-term immigrants, ghettos of foreigners have flourished in recent years. So too have Far Right parties challinging the political class's long-standing pro-immigration consensus, who now command up to 10 per cent of the vote and may increase their share in next year's elections.

"We have tried harder than any other European country to integrate, spending billions on a welfare system that is designed to help jobless immigrants and guarantee them a good quality of life," said Marc Abramsson, leader of the National Democrats Party. "Yet we have areas where there are ethnic groups that just don't identify with Swedish society. They see the police and even the fire brigade as part of the state, and they attack them. We have tried everything, anything, to improve things, but it hasn't worked. It's not about racism, it's just that multi-culturalism doesn't recognise how humans actually function."

Aje Carlbom, a Swedish academic and author of a critical study into Swedish immigration policy, added that despite the increasing appeal of Far Right parties, mainstream Swedish politicians were still reluctant to even ask the kind of questions that the likes of Mr Abramsson was already offering answers to.

"Anyone who wants to regulate immigration is immediately classified as a nationalist, which also implies a racist as well," he said. "It is still almost impossible to debate this question."

Still, some of Husby's younger generation argue that it is unreasonable of Swedes to expect them to be perennially "grateful" for taking them in, even from the dire circumstances in their homelands.

Among them is local youth worker Rami al Khamisi, 25, whose family escaped to Sweden from Saddam Hussein's Iraq back in 1994, smuggling themselves first through Turkey and Russia and then across the Baltic in a fishing boat commandeered by a people smuggler. "I was six years old and the boat was packed with about 60 people," he said. "An old man died, and they threw him in the water because his body was smelling a lot."

That, though, he says, is his only real memory of the hardships of his early life, and as such, he finds it hard to be as thankful as his parents still are to his adopted homeland. "They compare it to Baghdad or Somalia," he said. "But we younger immigrants only really know Sweden, and we just compare our situation to the one around us."

With Stockholm still burning this weekend, though, that may be asking for just a little too much understanding - even in compassionate, generous Sweden.


Incompetent socialist Britain cares for no-one

Passengers packed into sweltering carriages, overflowing toilets, clueless staff and police called to quell a mutiny: My Bank Holiday nightmare on Britain's Third World railways which cost £125 a ticket for a 10-hour journey

Friday evening and Kings Cross station was bedlam at the start of the Bank Holiday weekend — but it was a happy kind of bedlam.

The working week was over and expectations were riding high as families, students, elderly couples, children of all ages and hundreds of tourists waited to learn from which platform the 7pm London to  Edinburgh train would leave.

Even the weather forecast was half-decent.

We were a group of four and had reserved seats in carriage C several weeks in advance. We paid £125 each for a return ticket.

Nearly eight hours later, on a trip that should have taken three hours and 40 minutes, we had still not reached our final destination — though we had long reached the end of our tether.
Friday evening and Kings Cross station was bedlam at the start of the Bank Holiday weekend ¿ but it was a happy kind of bedlam

Friday evening and Kings Cross station was bedlam at the start of the Bank Holiday weekend ¿ but it was a happy kind of bedlam

It was a journey that tested many of our fellow passengers to the limit; a frightening experience for some and confirmation that in so many areas of life Britain is nothing more than a Third World country run by overpaid incompetents accountable to no one.

Hundreds of us put up with it because, as a nation, we are still good in adversity. Perhaps the increasingly overused wartime slogan, Keep Calm And Carry On, has subliminally persuaded us that the shambles of day-to-day living in this country is a perfectly normal state of affairs and will never change. So why fight it?

But many of us who were stranded on the Nightmare Express might beg to differ. As one pensioner said to me at one point as the lights went out and the temperature rose higher and higher in our hermetically sealed carriage: ‘You can bet your life that if a member of the Cabinet were on this train, heads would roll.

As it is, we’ll be fobbed off with excuses and the promise of a refund — then the same thing will happen all over again in a few weeks’ time.

When we boarded our train, it did dawn on me that it was dangerously overcrowded. One of the guards on the platform practically pushed passengers on to the train, shouting: ‘Move right down the corridors, we need to get this train off.’ People did as they were told, taking their cases with them because there was no room in the racks near the doors.

Every inch of space was occupied. It took us 40 minutes just to get to our seats, and yet the hapless ‘train manager’ still had the audacity to ask passengers to ‘keep the aisles clear for your safety and comfort’.

He never dared move through the train to inspect tickets. He would have been lynched a hundred times over if he had.

Apart from the general sense that we were all jammed into a giant sardine can hurtling through the countryside, the journey progressed without incident for the first 30 minutes.

Then, shortly before Newark in the East Midlands, the disembodied voice announced that there was a problem with a section of the northbound track, and that our train was in a queue to use the southbound track for a mile or so — while, hopefully, going in a northern direction.

While we conjured visions of travelling all the way back to  London, those with connections to meet at York resigned themselves to a very long evening — or even an expensive night in a hotel. In the end, the to-ing and fro-ing caused a delay of two hours, during which the passengers around us became increasingly frazzled.

We were seated near a group of South Africans, who were preparing to run in the Edinburgh Marathon on behalf of the cancer charity Macmillan Caring Locally.

One of them said he had never seen such an overcrowded train, and asked me if there was a limit to the number of people allowed on board.

Shortly after Newcastle, the train slowed down and then, as we approached Berwick-Upon-Tweed, which was our stop, it came to a complete halt.  And remained stationary for a further 90 minutes.

The gormless guard had been replaced at Newcastle by a woman who said the train had stopped because someone had pulled the passenger alarm.

This might have been true, but the real reason was that the train before us — the 6pm London to Edinburgh service — had broken down in the station and all its passengers had been told to disembark.

Unsurprisingly, late on a Friday, when most of us are desperate for the week to end, tensions were running high, not least because the  station staff refused to open up the First Class lounge so the elderly or frail could shelter from the cold. The police were called.

I know this because my wife, who had driven up from London earlier in the day, was waiting at Berwick for us to arrive.

She said the scene was more chaotic than anything she had ever seen in India, whose railways are famous for their lunatic overcrowding.

Our guard finally told us about the broken-down train ahead of us. She said that ‘fault finding’ was ‘ongoing’, but she had no idea when we might be on the move.

As she finished her announcement, my daughter told me there was a distressed young man slumped on the floor by one of the doors. I went to see him and helped him to his feet.

He explained that he suffered from claustrophobia — then, suddenly, he began pounding the window of the door with his fist and shouting: ‘I need fresh air NOW!’

I told him to walk with me to the guard’s carriage at the other end of the train, where I knew there was a small window that could be opened.

On the way, we passed crying babies, despairing old people with vacant eyes, lavatories blocked in such a way that urine was seeping under the doors, and everywhere there was anger and bewilderment.

When we got to the buffet car, I asked for some water for the man I was accompanying. There was none.

As we entered the First Class carriages, a member of the train staff had the gall to ask if we had First Class tickets.

When we reached the little window at the back of the train, the young man gulped the air like a dog trapped in a baking car.

Then the lights went out again. This, the guard eventually explained, was because it had been decided that our train would couple up to the broken down one in  front and attempt to shunt it past Berwick station into a siding, and reverse back into the station.

Then all those leaving the train could do so, and those waiting on the platform at Berwick could continue their journey aboard our train — if only they could fit on.

Not once did any member of staff walk up and down the train to see if any passengers needed help. I came across a pregnant woman who told me she was expecting a baby in less than five weeks.

She was struggling in the heat, and her mobile phone battery was dead. I told my daughter’s boyfriend to sit with her and offer her his phone. Increasingly, the place began to feel like a relief centre in a war zone. We pulled into Berwick at 2.40am.

Those going on to Edinburgh eventually arrived at 3.39am, which means passengers who were on the 6pm from London had been travelling for nearly ten hours. Some Bank Holiday.

‘We are sorry for any inconvenience that may have been caused,’ was the last thing I heard our guard say, still reading from a script and still with an inflection that suggested she wanted us to feel sorry for the stress she was under.

The next morning, I was reading about the Government’s plans for the High Speed Rail link from London to Manchester. If ever there was a case of running before you can walk, this is it.

Our public transport is a disgrace. The East Coast Line, which is now State-owned and will remain so until at least 2017, is particularly dreadful.

Passengers are treated like fodder; no one takes responsibility for abject failure and not even the ‘duty spokesman’ knew the answer to most of my questions.

I wanted to know if there is ever a cut-off point on the number of people allowed to board a train. ‘I don’t have information about that,’ he said. Is there always water on board in case of emergencies? ‘There is sometimes in the guard’s carriage, I think.’

I told him I wanted the East Coast line to issue a statement. Which it did: ‘We would like to apologise to customers for the disruption on Friday evening.’

So that’s all right then.


Peers plot homosexual marriage revolt

Lords from all main political parties will unite next week in a last-ditch attempt to block the Government’s introduction of gay marriage.

Peers expect the Upper’s House debate over same sex weddings will go through the night or even into a second day, with a key vote that could scupper the policy regarded as “too close to call”.

The former head of the British army Lord Dannatt and Lord Lothian, a former Conservative Party chairman better known as Michael Ancram, are amongst those set to criticise the draft legislation in next Monday’s session.

Other opponents will include Lord Waddington, a former Home Secretary, Lord Luce, who served as a minister in Baroness Thatcher’s government, and Lord Singh of Wimbledon, a respected figure in the Sikh community.

The Sunday Telegraph has also established that the senior Tory Baroness Warsi, a practising Muslim, refused to lead the bill through the House of Lords when asked to do so by David Cameron, the Prime Minister.

Some peers believe dozens Lords who rarely attend Parliament will flock to Westminster to make their position on homosexual marriage clear.

Seventy-five members of the Lords have already asked to speak in the debate, suggesting that dawn could rise on the Tuesday morning before all the peers have their say.

Government whips are fighting calls to allow the Lords to hold a second day of debate on what has become the one of the most emotive issue in parliament for many years.

Some critics of same sex marriage legislation believe the policy undermines the institution of marriage while others simply regard it as a “distraction” from the country’s economic problems.

Mr Cameron has championed homosexual weddings and Tory strategists hope it will entice new voters to the party at the next general election.

However, gay marriage so far appears only to have played havoc with the Conservative party’s grassroots, sparking resignations of members and fierce criticism of the Prime Minister.

Lord Luce said: “You can’t suddenly pounce on the 2,000 year-old institution of marriage after such little consultation and with such little thought.

“This is all part of the Prime Minister’s 'modernisation’ of our party, whatever that word is supposed to mean. This is all being handled in a very slap happy, careless manner.”

This weekend there is speculation in Westminster that the Most Rev Justin Welby, the recently appointed Archbishop of Canterbury, will also voice his concerns about the policy in next week’s debate. One of his predecessors, Lord Carey of Clifton, has already put his name down to speak.

Lord Dear, the retired chief constable of West Midlands Police and crossbench peer leading opposition to the Bill, said that critics of the policy were not “anti-homosexual”.

“This is ill-thought through legislation that is being rushed through,” the peer said. “There are some 8,000 further amendments that will be necessary to existing legislation because of this single policy.

“Of those who said they would speak about half seem to be opposed. I really think the vote will be too close to call.”

If the Government loses the Bill, ministers could use the Parliament Act to drive the policy through. However, Lord Dear thinks this is unlikely.

He added: “The Parliament Act has been used only three times before. Opposition in the Commons in the Commons was strong and there is not strong appetite amongst the public for this.”

Lord Stoddart, an independent Labour peer, described the whole concept of gay marriage as “bogus”. He said he was baffled as to how gay people and lesbians would “consummate” their marriage.

“Without consummation the marriage could be annulled at any point,” the peer said. “No one has been able to explain to me how homosexuals or lesbians would be able to actually consummate their marriage.

“People who voice concerns about this policy are told that we are bigots. I honestly think the bigots are on the other side of the argument. Many homosexual people do not want this.”

Those peers who will vote with the Government include Lord Browne, the former BP chief executive and friend of Lord Mandelson, and Lord Deben, the former Conservative minister better known as John Gummer.

Lord Hodgson, a Conservative peer who expects to back the bill, said that the policy was “clearly a very divisive issue”.

He said: “I have children in their twenties who wonder what all the fuss is about and friends in their sixties who think this is the end of the world.

“The number of people who have put down to speak is quite staggering. We could go through the night on this… it looks very close.”

Nick Herbert, the Conservative MP who has campaigned for same sex marriage, said: “The Lords always has an important scrutiny role but they can’t ignore the fact that this BIll passed the elected House with a two to one cross-party majority.

“The Bill was debated for hours in Commons committee and every independent poll shows majority public support for the measure.

“Equal marriage is being introduced across the western world and I don’t believe peers will want to be out of step with changing attitudes.”


Woolwich attack: New bid to muzzle Muslim preachers

A high-level task force is to be set up in a fresh attempt to muzzle Islamist clerics who radicalise young men through extremist preaching.

David Cameron has ordered the setting up of the new body in the wake of last week's killing of Drummer Lee Rigby in the street in Woolwich, South London.

Made up of senior ministers, police officers, security officials and moderate leaders, the new committee will study a range of options, according to reports.

These inlcude banning extremist clerics from being given public platforms to incite students, prisoners and other followers – and forcing mosque leaders to answer for so-called "preachers of hate."

It was being made clear in Whitehall that the launch of TERFOR (the Tackling Extremism and Radicalisation Task Force) should be seen as an overhaul of the government's counter-terrorism strategy in the wake of Drummer Rigby's murder.

A senior Whitehall source said: "The Prime Minister is determined to challenge the poisonous narrative of extremist clerics and confront religious leaders who promote violence. We are looking at the range of powers and current methods of dealing with extremism at its root, as opposed to just tackling criminal violent extremism.

"We will look at ways of disrupting individuals who may be influential in fostering extremism. We cannot allow a situation to continue where extremist clerics go around this country inciting young people to commit terrorist acts. ‘We will do everything we can to stop it."

Sources said, however, that there must be no question of restricting freedom of speech. Any moves to do so would quickly bring Mr Cameron and other Conservative ministers into conflict with their coalition partners, the Liberal Democrats.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICSDISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL  and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine).   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Until our leaders admit the true nature of Islamic extremism, we will never defeat it

By Melanie Phillips

Ever since the spectre of Islamic terrorism in the West first manifested itself, Britain has had its head stuck firmly in the sand.

After both 9/11 and the 7/7 London transport bombings, the Labour government promised to take measures to defend the country against further such attacks.

It defined the problem, however, merely as terrorism, failing to understand that the real issue was the extremist ideas which led to such violence.

Accordingly, it poured money into Muslim community groups, many of which turned out to be dangerously extreme.

When David Cameron came to power, his Government raised hopes of a more realistic approach when it pledged to counter extremist ideas rather than just violence.  This approach, too, has failed. The Government still has no coherent strategy for countering Islamist radicalisation.

Following last week’s barbaric slaughter of Drummer Rigby on the streets of Woolwich by two Islamic fanatics, the Prime Minister has announced that he will head a new Tackling Extremism and Radicalisation Task Force.  And the Home Secretary has said she will look at widening the banning of radical groups preaching hate.

But at the heart of these promises remains a crucial gap. That is the need to define just what kind of extremism we are up against.

The Government has been extraordinarily reluctant to do this — because it refuses to face the blindingly obvious fact that this extremism is religious in nature.

It arises from an interpretation of Islam which takes the words of the Koran literally as a command to kill unbelievers in a jihad, or holy war, in order to impose strict Islamic tenets on the rest of the world.

Of course, millions of Muslims in Britain and elsewhere totally reject this interpretation of their religion. Most British Muslims want to live peacefully and enjoy the benefits of Western culture. They undoubtedly utterly deplore the notion that the kind of carnage that occurred in Woolwich should take place in Britain.

And let’s not forget that, worldwide, most victims of the jihad are themselves Muslims whom the extremists judge to be polluted by Western ideas.

Nevertheless, this fundamentalist interpretation of the Koran is what is being spouted by hate preachers in Britain and on the internet, and is steadily radicalising thousands of young British Muslims.

Now the Prime Minister says he will crack down on such extremism. Yet after the Woolwich atrocity, he claimed it was ‘a betrayal of Islam’ and that ‘there is nothing in Islam that justifies this truly dreadful act’.

The London Mayor Boris Johnson went even further, claiming: ‘It is completely wrong to blame this killing on the religion of Islam’ and that the cause was simply the killers’ ‘warped and deluded mindset’.

Yet the video footage of the killers — who had shouted ‘Allahu Akhbar’ when butchering Drummer Rigby — records one of them citing verses in the Koran exhorting the faithful to fight and kill unbelievers, and declaring: ‘We swear by Almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you.’

Frankly, these comments by the Prime Minister and London Mayor were as absurd as saying the medieval Inquisition, for example, had nothing to do with the Catholic Church, but was just the product of a few warped and deluded individuals.

Their comments were also deeply troubling. For if politicians refuse to acknowledge the true nature of this extremism, they will never counter it effectively.

But then, government officials have always refused to admit that this is a religious war. They simply don’t understand the power of religious fanaticism.

Of course, there are fanatics in all religions. Within both Judaism and Christianity,  there are deep divisions between ultras, liberals and those in between.

In medieval times, moreover, Christianity used its interpretation of the Bible also to kill ‘unbelievers’, because early Christians believed they had a divine duty to make the world conform to their religion at all costs. That stopped when the Reformation ushered the Church into modernity, and today no Christian wants to use violence to convert others to their faith.

The problem with the extremist teachings of Islam is that the religion has never had a similar ‘reformation’.

Certainly, there are enlightened Muslims in Britain who would dearly love their religion to be reformed.  But they have the rug pulled from under their feet by the Government’s flat denial of the religious nature of this terrible problem.

Some people instead ascribe the actions of the Woolwich killers to factors such as thuggish gang membership, drug abuse or family breakdown. But it is precisely such lost souls who are vulnerable to Islamist fanatics and who provide them with father figures, a sense of belonging and a cause which gives apparent meaning to their lives.

Many people find it incomprehensible that such fanatics remain free to peddle their poison. Partly, this is because the Security Service likes to gather intelligence through their actions. But it is also because of a failure to understand what amounts to a continuum  of extremism.

There are too many British Muslims who, while abhorring violence at home, nevertheless support the killing abroad of British or American forces or Israelis, regard unbelievers as less than fully human, and homosexuals or apostates as deserving the death penalty.

Such bigotry creates the poisonous sea in which dehumanisation and religious violence swim.

To the failure to understand all this must be added the widespread terror of being thought ‘Islamophobic’ or ‘racist’.

It is quite astonishing that universities mostly refuse to crack down on extremist speakers and radicalisation on campus — despite at least four former presidents of Islamic student societies having faced terrorist charges.

In a devastating account published at the weekend, Professor Michael Burleigh, who advised the Government on revising its counter-radicalisation strategy, described how this process descended into a ‘sad shambles’. He related how the Federation of Islamic Student Societies (FOSIS) had created a sexually segregated environment in which young people were being systematically indoctrinated in anti-Jew, anti-homosexual and anti-Western hatred by Islamist speakers on campus.

But although the Government condemned FOSIS for its failure to ‘fully challenge terrorist and extremist ideology’, with the Home Secretary even ordering that civil servants withdraw from its graduate recruitment fair, the Faith and Communities Minister, Baroness Warsi, actually endorsed it by attending one of its events at the House of Lords.

Nor has the Government done anything to stop extremist preachers targeting and converting criminals in British jails at a deeply alarming rate.

On top of all this official incoherence is the paralysis caused by the excesses of the ‘human rights’ culture.

Thus the Home Secretary is facing a monumental battle to get through Parliament a Communications Bill that would give police and security services access to records of individuals’ internet use.

It is said that some of these extremist preachers exploit loopholes in the law. If so, then the law should be changed.

But we all know what would befall any such attempt. It would be all but drowned out by shrieks that we were ‘doing the terrorists’ job for them’ by ‘undermining our own hard-won liberties’.

Well, it’s time to face down such claims as vacuous and lethal nonsense.

The people threatening our liberties are Islamic radicals determined to destroy our way of life.

It is those who refuse to acknowledge the true nature of this threat who are doing the terrorists’ job for them.

And unless Britain finally wakes up from its self-destructive torpor, all who love civilised values — Muslim and non-Muslim alike — will be the losers.


I hate censorship but the BBC's wrong to pander to our enemies

By Quentin Letts

Back in the bloodiest days of Northern Irish terrorism, Margaret Thatcher called it ‘the oxygen of publicity’ – a vivid phrase for a knotty dilemma.

To what extent should the media report extreme views? The BBC is accused of giving undue prominence to Muslim demagogue Anjem Choudary, the cleric who stands accused of having inspired Woolwich murder suspect Michael Adebolajo.

Another associate of Adebolajo, one Abu Nusaybah, was arrested at BBC studios just after giving an interview about how the blood-soaked suspect was once courted by our security services.
Mrs May said it was inappropriate to interview Choudary in the wake of Drummer Rigby¿s death

The decision to 'go' with studio guest Choudary was that of a management which is even more remote from its viewers than our much-criticised politicians are from their voters.

Home Secretary Theresa May yesterday signalled her unease at liberal broadcasters’ readiness (some might say precipitous desire) to make media stars out of these unalluring men. Does she have a point?

Chauffeurs were dispatched to convey Choudary to BBC and Channel 4 studios, as though he were some sort of celebrity. He was accorded the full courtesies of a member of London’s ‘punditocracy’.

Had the make-up girls combed that beard? Sure looked like it. He was given the powdered, soft-backlit treatment normally extended to politicians and representatives of respectable views. So what did he make of the Woolwich butchery?

Choudary conceded to feeling ‘shock’. But he certainly would not condemn it.

Here was a so-called man of religion, dressed in the clerical garb of one of the world’s great faiths.

Yet he would not criticise two machete-wielding motorists who mowed down a pedestrian and then tried to sever the defenceless soul’s head from his neck.

Ye gods. And now over to Liam for the weather.

Defenders of the BBC will say it is important that we know such violent sympathies bubble under society’s facade. Society has, in its darkest pockets, men and women who believe in all sorts of Satanic misdeeds.

But liberals, rightly, would never contemplate giving them a platform on prime-time network television.

If they bubble under society’s facade, let them stay there. Don’t turn them into gurus for the masses.

As a journalist who dislikes politicians meddling in the media, I would normally be tempted to side with the BBC.

Indeed, I find it more difficult to feel disquiet about Channel 4, whose news reporting has long been testing and rigorous, even if it often dresses to the Left. It is harder to give the BBC the benefit of the doubt. This is a Corporation which for years has promoted political correctness at the expense of journalistic truth.

This is a Corporation whose news editors have been bullied into silencing criticism of working-class views about multiculturalism and immigration.

You agreed with Enoch? Your voice went unheard. The middle-class snoots of the BBC hierarchy would not hear of such intolerance.

You support the death penalty, English nationalism, a flat tax rate, an end to the welfare system? No airtime for you.

Would Anjem Choudary have been given such a comfortable ride on primetime telly if he had been attacking wind farms; if he had been calling for Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union; if he had been questioning the MMR vaccine?

This conditioning of BBC editors as to what is and what is not ‘acceptable’ – a conditioning which earlier this month prevented them telling us the Pakistani background of most of the Oxford sex ring – explains how Choudary sauntered into a BBC studio to abuse our country.

Free speech is not the same as naïvely giving houseroom to enemies of the state.

When journalism tries too hard to be politically correct it becomes opaque, dishonest and, in this instance, culpably unpatriotic. The timing was wrong. The tone was wrong.

The decision to ‘go’ with studio guest Choudary was that of a management which is even more remote from its viewers than our much-criticised politicians are from their voters.

When the country’s most powerful media organisation (by far) is so out of touch, is it any wonder democracy is in such ill health?

No journalist wants to return to the days of Mrs Thatcher’s attempt to prevent Sinn Fein leaders ever being heard on air (the BBC, rightly, got round that authoritarian ban by employing actors to voice the words of Gerry Adams and Co).

But the comparison to Irish republicanism is instructive. Sinn Fein was and is a political party. Not so Anjem Choudary.

This row weakens the BBC. Politicians are pouncing. Shadow Justice Minister Sadiq Khan said that Choudary was an ‘offensive and obnoxious media tart’.

The Tories’ Lady Warsi deplored the promotion of extremist ‘idiots and nutters’.

Sucking up to the Centre Left and its grubby electoral scheme of multiculturalism was once seen by the BBC’s ruling Left-wing clique as a good career move.

It has backfired terribly, not just on them and on our country, but most terribly on the family of Drummer Rigby.


Suspected terrorist who tried to kill a French soldier in copycat attack was 'caught on security camera footage removing his robes'

Paris police today conceded that the stabbing of a French soldier was inspired by the terrorist murder of Drummer Lee Rigby.

Private Cedric Cordier, 23, was stabbed in the neck while on patrol in the business district of the French capital on Saturday evening. He is now recovering in hospital.

The attacker, who has not been caught, was 6ft2in, of North African origin and wore a long, Arab garment called a djellaba.

In a copycat of an ambush in London in which a British serviceman was murdered, the attacker struck in front of dozens of passers-by, stabbing his victim in the throat and neck.

Police spokesman Christophe Crepin said: ‘You don’t have to be a great observer to see that people are taking inspiration from what’s happened abroad.’

Politicians also acknowledged the similarities. ‘The sudden violence... could lead one to believe there might be a comparison with what happened in London,’ said interior minister Manuel Valls.

And defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said that attack had undoubtedly been an ‘attempt to kill’ the soldier, whose regiment had recently fought in Afghanistan.

Two comrades from the 4th Cavalry Regiment were with him, and carrying automatic rifles, but they failed to react before the man ran off.

‘We are looking through video surveillance footage,’ said an officer at the scene of the crime. ‘He was seen taking off his Arab-style robes and running away wearing European clothing.’

Detectives are convinced that the attacker was ‘inspired’ by the savage murder of Drummer Lee Rigby, who was allegedly hacked down by two radical Islamists in Woolwich, south London, last Wednesday.

While Drummer Rigby was off duty, Private Cordier was on an anti-terrorism patrol in La Defense business district of west Paris.

France’s defence minister Jean Yves Le Drian said that attack had undoubtedly been an ‘attempt to kill’ the soldier, whose regiment had recently fought in Afghanistan.

Private Cordier lost a considerable amount of blood but would survive, and is being treated at the nearby Percy military hospital.

France is considered a hotbed of radical Islamists, and the country’s Vigipirate anti-terrorist surveillance plan is currently in action.

Last year Mohammed Merah, a 23-year-old French-Algerian Islamist, murdered three French soldiers near the south west city of Toulouse during a killing spree which also claimed the lives of four civilians.


Eleven people across UK arrested for making 'racist or anti-religious' comments on Facebook and Twitter about British soldier's death 

No free speech in England  -- except for Muslim preachers, of course

The murder of soldier Lee Rigby has provoked a backlash of anger across the UK, including the attacking of mosques, racial abuse and comments made on social media.

Eleven people have been arrested around Britain for making 'racist or anti-religious' comments on Twitter following the brutal killing in Woolwich on Wednesday.

The incident has also prompted a huge increase in anti-Muslim incidents, according to the organisation Faith Matters, which works to reduce extremism.

Before the attack about four to eight cases a day were reported to its helpline. But the group said about 150 incidents had been reported in the last few days, including attacks on mosques.

Fiyaz Mughal, director of Faith Matters, told BBC Radio Five Live: 'What's really concerning is the spread of these incidents.  They're coming in from right across the country.

'Secondly, some of them are quite aggressive very focused, very aggressive attacks. And thirdly, there also seems to be significant online activity...suggesting co-ordination of incidents and attacks against institutions or places where Muslims congregate.'

It comes as 22-year-old man appeared before magistrates in Lincoln today charged with posting a 'grossly offensive' anti-Muslim message on Facebook following the Woolwich murder.

Benjamin Flatters, of Swineshead, Lincs, faces a charge under the 1988 Malicious Communications Act following a message he posted on Facebook on 22 May which is alleged to be offensive to Muslims.

No details of the message were given at the hearing but another man was warned about his conduct on social media.

Flatters, who spoke only to confirm his name, age and address, was refused bail by Lincoln Magistrates following a 20 minute hearing.

The court was told he faces further matters including four charges of inciting under-age girls to engage in sexual activity by sending sexual messages by Facebook as well as two drugs charges.

Flatters was remanded in custody until Wednesday when he will appear before Skegness Magistrates via video link.

His court appearance came within 24 hours of Lincolnshire Police warning users of social networking sites such as Facebook that they face arrest if posts were likely to incite racial hatred or violence.

A force spokesman said 'We have received a number of reports from local members of the public about tweets and Facebook comments that could potentially incite racial hatred and violence.

'These are currently being investigated. If such communications are reported to us and they do breach the law, those messages may be monitored; captured and robust police action will be considered.

'We would urge people to consider the very real impact of their online comments in relation to this matter.'

Flatters court appearance comes after two men were arrested and released on bail for making alleged offensive comments on Twitter about the murder of Lee Rigby.

Complaints were made to Avon and Somerset Police about remarks that appeared on the social networking website, which were allegedly of a racist or anti-religious nature.

A 23-year-old and a 22-year-old, both from Bristol, were held under the Public Order Act on suspicion of inciting racial or religious hatred.

Detective Inspector Ed Yaxley of Avon and Somerset Police said: 'These comments were directed against a section of our community. Comments such as these are completely unacceptable and only cause more harm to our community in Bristol.

'People should stop and think about what they say on social media before making statements as the consequences could be serious.'

Two men will also appear at Thames Magistrates Court today charged with religiously aggravated threatening behaviour over an incident in an east London fast food restaurant on Thursday.

Labourer Toni Latcal, 32, and plasterer Eugen-Aurelian Eugen-Beredei, 34, both from London, were arrested following the incident at 9.15pm on Thursday.  Latcal was charged with religiously aggravated threatening behaviour and causing criminal damage, while Eugen-Beredei was charged with religiously aggravated threatening behaviour.

Surrey Police said a 19-year-old man has been charged in connection with comments placed on a social media website following the murder of the soldier.

Mohammed Mazar, of Balmoral Drive, Woking, has been charged with improper use of public electronic communications network under Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003.

A police spokesman said Mazar has been freed on police bail to appear at South West Surrey Magistrates' Court on June 11.

Superintendent Matt Goodridge said: 'Surrey Police will not tolerate language used in a public place, including on social media websites, which causes harassment, alarm or distress.'

Another unemployed 28-year-old has been charged by police after allegedly posting an offensive message on Facebook.

Sussex Police said Adam Rogers, of Kingsman Street, Woolwich, was arrested in Hastings, East Sussex, yesterday.

He will appear at Brighton Magistrates' Court later today accused of sending an 'offensive, indecent or menacing message' online.

A police spokesman said: 'The entry was allegedly in connection to an incident in Woolwich on Wednesday.'

Meanwhile, a 23-year-old woman has been charged with allegedly sending a 'grossly offensive' message on Facebook, Hampshire Constabulary said.

Michaela Turner, of Lumsden Road, Southsea, was arrested at her home yesterday evening after a post was uploaded at 10.42pm on Wednesday. The post has since been removed.

Turner was charged overnight with an offence contrary to Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003. She has been bailed to appear at Portsmouth Magistrates' Court on June 7.

A police spokesman said: 'Following the terrorist incident in Woolwich this week, Hampshire Constabulary is working closely with local partnership groups to safeguard all members of the community.

'This includes monitoring social networking sites, and we will seek to arrest and prosecute anyone inciting hatred or violence online.'

Police have also arrested three people ahead of an EDL protest for allegedly making racist tweets.

Northumbria Police said two people from Gateshead and a third from Stockton, Teesside, were held earlier. The EDL has planned their demonstration for months, but the horrific murder of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich on Wednesday has heightened tensions in the local community.

A counter demonstration by opponents of the EDL has been planned.

Northumbria Police said it will 'allow people the right to peaceful protest, protect the safety of everyone in the city and prevent serious disorder and damage'.

Newcastle area commander chief superintendent Gary Calvert said: 'We appreciate that the events in London on Thursday may have heightened community concerns about this weekend's planned protests in Newcastle.

'We are constantly monitoring the situation and will continue to adapt accordingly.'



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICSDISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL  and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine).   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


Monday, May 27, 2013

This summary is not available. Please click here to view the post.