If you’re using the terrorist attacks in London to try and push your political ideas or islamophobia, fuck right off.
No, we do not need guns in the UK. The availability of guns wouldn’t have helped the situation, but made it 100 times worse. Those terrorists attacked people with knives. Imagine the absolute fucking carnage if they’d been able to shoot.
No, the policy of ‘keep calm and carry on’ does not demonstrate our weakness. It’s the ultimate act of defiance against terrorism, which by it’s very definition attempts to disrupt our lives and make us too afraid to continue. I agree that action must be taken, but our refusal to submit to fear is one of the things I am proudest of about our country, and in all honesty, what else is there to do? Action is being taken against terrorism - MI5 stop dozens of terrorist plots each year. But if we can’t eradicate the cause of this hatred and violence, terrorism will never end. We can’t catch every terrorist. Someone will always slip through the cracks.
No, Muslims are not the problem. Muslims are not terrorists. Terrorists are extremists, whose actions have nothing to do with the faith that they falsely swear allegiance to, for Islam is a religion of peace, and Islamic extremism is nothing but a perversion of that. Having seen Trump’s tweet about his ‘Muslim ban’, I have never been more furious. That ban is not an anti terrorism measure, but a policy of racism and islamophobia, and I speak for the majority of Britain when I say that we want nothing to do with it.
Now is not the time to argue, to profess ignorant political ideas or to perpetuate racism. People have died. Have some fucking sympathy. Let us grieve.
The Manchester suicide bomber was repeatedly flagged to the authorities over his extremist views, but was not stopped by officers, it emerged Wednesday night….
Sources suggest that authorities were informed of the danger posed by Abedi on at least five separate occasions in the five years prior to the attack on Monday night….
The missed opportunities to catch Abedi were beginning to mount up last night. The Telegraph has spoken to a community leader who said that Abedi was reported two years ago “because he thought he was involved in extremism and terrorism”….
Two friends of Abedi also became so worried they separately telephoned the police counter-terrorism hotline five years ago and again last year….
Akram Ramadan, 49, part of the close-knit Libyan community in south Manchester, said Abedi had been banned from Didsbury Mosque after he had confronted the Imam who was delivering an anti-extremist sermon.
Mr Ramadan said he understood that Abedi had been placed on a “watch list” because the mosque reported him to the authorities for his extremist views.
A well-placed source at Didsbury Mosque confirmed it had contacted the Home Office’s Prevent anti-radicalisation programme as a result.
A US official also briefed that members of Abedi’s own family had contacted British police saying that he was “dangerous”, but again the information does not appear to have been acted upon….
Yet Abedi was able to travel frequently between the UK and Libya, where it is feared he trained in bombmaking and possibly travelled to Syria.
US authorities said Abedi was known to them prior to the atrocity while France’s interior minister said the 22-year-old had “proven” links with Islamic State and that both British and French intelligence services had information that the attacker had been in Syria.
Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, disclosed that the intelligence services had been aware of Abedi, who had only in the past few weeks returned to the UK after visiting Libya.
The fact is, there is no highly organised network of jihadis working to ceaselessly undermine Western democracy from within the ‘Muslim community’. Such a simplistic understanding, imported from the Bush-era ‘War on Terror’, only serves to perpetrate endless cycles of international warfare, racist backlash and domestic political repression.
Are we really surprised that kids from dirt-poor, ghettoised communities -
- who watched the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan on the TV when they were young,
- who grew up experiencing racism and discrimination at school,
- who see images of people with the same colour skin as themselves routinely degraded in the media,
- who have had vital public services, youth clubs and social services taken away by successive austerity administrations,
- can fall into the clutches of opportunist recruiters on Internet forums and chat rooms in their own bedrooms, away from any stabilising influence in their faith community,
- and feel the need to claw some kind of power back by committing horrific acts of violence against the society which has made their lives a misery?
It’s a comfortable fiction to convince ourselves that there is ‘no motive’ for the awful acts committed in Manchester and in London. Flooding Britain’s streets with military personnel and sliding towards a police state is stupefyingly insufficient: if we can’t understand the underlying social conditions which motivate these violent, grotesque, twisted individuals - and address them head on - then we cannot even hope to truly fight terrorism.
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), the committee chairman, started the hearing with an opening statement linking Hodgkinson, a white, middle-aged man with no ties to foreign terrorists, to Islamic extremism.
Johnson said the main topic of the hearing is for “countering extremism and violence in any form, including Islamist terrorism.”
He went on: “There’s no way anybody can deny we have a problem worldwide in terms of extremism and violence. We witnessed it just a few hours ago on a baseball field for a charity event.”
Despite some opposition from Senate Democrats, the hearing focused violent extremism almost exclusively on Islam and Muslims.
National security and counterterrorism experts told Mic that the hearing was a missed opportunity to come up with strategies to effectively counter the real threat of white nationalism and armed militia movements. Read more (6/19/17)
If you haven’t watched The West Wing, you absolutely should (it’s my favorite non-science fiction show). But if you’re not going to watch the whole show, you should watch one episode, “Isaac and Ishmael”.
“Isaac and Ishmael” premiered about a month after September 11th, 2001, and was the show’s response to the attacks and the anti-Islamic fervor that followed them. A bottle episode set apart from the show’s continuity, the story features the President’s staff unable to go home at the end of the day due to a lockdown precipitated by a possible terrorist threat. Also stuck in the White House are a group of touring high school students. Nervous and frightened, one student innocently asks the character, Josh Lyman, “Why is everyone trying to kill us?” (that’s the beginning of the video above).
Every once in a while I’ll see a post on Facebook explaining how Islamic extremists are analogous to the KKK, or how terrorist groups taking over Middle Eastern countries are analogous to the Nazis, and I’ll think, “Well, you’re right, but The West Wing said it before you, and better.” While people in America were harassing and killing Muslims (or even just people they thought were Muslim–many Buddhists, for example), The West Wing defended Muslims on national TV and calmly explained the difference between terrorists and, you know, people.
A sub-plot in the episode investigates the cause of the lockdown: a terrorist who is rumored to have recently entered the country is discovered to have an alias with the same name as a current White House staffer. The man is detained by the Secret Service, and the President’s Chief of Staff, Leo McGarry, questions him for several hours–Joe McCarthy-style, revealing some underlying prejudice towards Muslims. By the end of the episode it is discovered that the terrorist has been accounted for and that the staffer is innocent. He is released and returns to his work. Leo feels guilty and later goes to apologize to the man. As he’s leaving, he turns back and says, “Way to be back at your desk.”
Islamophobia was rising in America, the Bush administration was gearing up for its wars in the Middle East, and Congress would pass the PATRIOT Act by the end of the month. But the West Wing crew decided to write and produce an episode in record time (about three weeks) encouraging everyone to take a step back and reflect for a moment. To confront the facts and their own prejudices. To be reminded that America is meant to be pluralistic society that accepts more than one point of view, and that such an ideal is precisely what separates democracies from oppressive regimes–an ideal that lost would devalue us, weaken us.
Anyways, The West Wing is a great show (until Aaron Sorkin leaves after the fourth season–then it’s just a good show) and this is a special episode. It’s all on Netflix. I’ll leave you with this clip from another episode of the show, featuring the President delivering an epic verbal takedown of a gay-bashing conservative radio talk show host who disrespected him.
My dear, you keep conveniently forgetting the single most important obstacle to the rise of a fascist dictator: a stable, peaceful, prosperous democracy. You can have every element listed in those fearmongering checkoff lists about fascism, but with that ginormous obstacle in play, fascism will never come to these shores. Not only that, our 2nd Amd rights and our professional military will ensure that our people will never be subjugated by force, whether by foreign threats or from within.
Ok, you now sound like an NRA nut…and that’s being nice about it. “Yeah! Civil war! Guns. Rah rah! American is infallible and untouchable! Pew Pew Pew!”. Just for the record, you know who owns the vast majority of guns in this country? His insane supporters. That’s going to work out great for anyone going against them.
Anyway, Second Amendment Armed Resistance lunacy aside, a “stable, peaceful, prosperous democracy?” you say. Ok. Let’s break down that fallacy with a few facts.
Today Democrats decided to boycott the vote on Price and Mnuchin. Rules say you can’t vote on nominees without at least one person from each party present so Democrats just didn’t show up. The Senate committee went ahead and approved Trump Treasury and Health nominees without Democrats present after GOP unilaterally changed panel’s rules. I’m going to quote this: “The GOP just broke major committee’s rules to push through the nominations of Price/Mnuchin. This is an unprecedented break in Senate decorum. This means the Senate GOP are turning the Senate committee’s procedures into House committee’s procedures. This is dangerous because the Senate is the only institution where the minority party has the institutional rules to stop the majority & make itself heard. Madison warned us greatly about the tyranny of the majority. That’s why our democratic system is by design an anti-majoritarian system. That anti-majoritarianism is embedded in the Senate & its rule. This is a clear signal coming from Senate GOP that they are willing to kill the filibuster. Institutionally, American democracy is in a dangerous path where majority means unconstrained & unlimited exercise of power.”
Jeff Sessions, who thinks church/state separation is an “extraconstitutional doctrine” even when the prohibition against the government respecting the establishment of religion is literally the first thing in the Bill of Rights, has been approved as Attorney General by the Senate Committee. This is the same man who praised a law that singled out Jews and Asians, and made it harder for them to immigrate to the US.
His sons, who supposedly handle the businesses he promised to divest from but hasn’t, are directly involved in government even after he promised they wouldn’t be. This is against the law yet where were they last night? Front row at the SCOTUS pick announcement.
Yates is the first AG to be fired since Elliot Richardson was fired by Nixon in 1973. This isn’t something that happens every day. That should tell you everything you need to know, but since you clearly don’t want to listen to reason then maybe listen to what the former DOJ spokesman Matthew Miller has to say about this mess: “This kind of assault on DOJ’s independence has not happened since the Saturday night massacre. The president thinks he is above the law. In our democracy, the president is not supposed to dictate to the AG how to interpret the law. This is a major breakdown in the rule of law. A president who fires an AG over this will think he can fire an AG over, say, a probe into whether his campaign coordinated w/ Russia. Also, the next U.S. atty in line of succession was not Boente, but Zach Fardon. Did Trump go forum shopping for one who would follow orders? No matter what you think about the EO, the independence of DOJ is a principle that everything else in our democracy depends on. Sessions simply can’t be confirmed in this environment. At the minimum, he needs a whole new hearing to answer q’s about DOJ independence. But in reality, we now need an AG who is entirely independent from Trump, not one who was a member of his campaign.”
This statement by brilliant political journalist Sarah Kendzior who has spent her life covering authoritarian regimes and has basically predicted the Trump administration down to every detail for months now: “You should not be surprised at pace of admin’s destruction. You should be thinking many steps ahead, which means thinking fast, acting now. Speed of changes happening for two reasons: temperament and ideology. Trump spent 40 years making fast decisions, having others bail him out. Trump has always surrounded himself with actors to mitigate his damage quickly and often illegally, from Cohn to mafia to, now, Bannon. Difference with Bannon is that speed itself is an ideology. He is a sociopathic accelerationist who has said he will destroy US + will try. Those in power need to act quickly to preserve what institutions can check them before those institutions are destroyed, esp judiciary […] You will need to predict moves far in advance – and act with far more moral conviction and far less blind faith – to preserve this nation.”
Trump is signing shit without even consulting the departments the EOs affect: “As President Trump signed a sweeping executive order on Friday, shutting the borders to refugees and others from seven largely Muslim countries, the secretary of homeland security was on a White House conference call getting his first full briefing on the global shift in policy.Gen. John F. Kelly, the secretary of homeland security, had dialed in from a Coast Guard plane as he headed back to Washington from Miami. Along with other top officials, he needed guidance from the White House, which had not asked his department for a legal review of the order.Halfway into the briefing, someone on the call looked up at a television in his office. “The president is signing the executive order that we’re discussing,” the official said, stunned.”
I’ve only mostly covered the last three days worth of news and I already hit two dozen points. I think I’m going to stop there but trust me I got a treasure trove more where that came from. I read policy news all day, every day. I am very well educated on what’s happening and I’m telling you, you’re dead wrong.
Click on all the links and read this one too. When you’re done come back to me and tell me how great this “democracy” is working out for you.
In a policy blog post on Thursday, Facebook announced that it is using artificial intelligence and other methods to curb Islamic terror.
That distinction — Islamic
extremism — is key. As Facebook noted, “We are currently focusing our
most cutting edge techniques to combat terrorist content about ISIS, Al Qaeda and their affiliates.”
So no white supremacist terror groups or non-Islamic groups — although “we expect to expand to other terrorist organizations in due course,” the post says.
restated its stance against ISIS and Al Qaeda by offering transparency
on how it handles content that may support terrorism, attempt to recruit
from the platform or spread terrorist propaganda. Read more (6/16/17)
what about Islam? what do you think of the religion? is it just as bad, worse, or much better?
At risk of being labeled an Islamophobic, it’s easy for me to admit that Islam is the single most dangerous religion in the modern day. For all the atrocities Christians committed and were complicit to in the past, even Christians aren’t committing violent acts on the scale that Muslim extremists are. Yet when a Muslim steps into a crowded train, I don’t discriminate; I don’t feel the need to leave the train car or sit elsewhere because s/he sat next to me. Recently two teenaged Muslim girls came onto the train with rolling book bags; the bags looked more like luggage, but were likely filled with weighty textbooks they have to bring back and forth between the classroom and home. I watched as people moved out of the train car; I counted about six people who did that. I felt completely unthreatened because clearly, all Muslims aren’t to blame for Islamic extremism. Then there’s the fact that they’re two young girls empowered enough to do what many girls in Muslim countries can’t do: pursue an education. That’s not something I fear; that’s something I applaud.
That said, it’s definitely not better than Christianity. In fact, Christianity is to blame for Islam because if it weren’t for dogmatic Orthodox Christians in the early centuries, Unitarian Christians would not have fled to the East. These Christians who rejected the doctrine of the Trinity were highly likely the first Muslims; they eventually dispensed with the need for Jesus and invented or euhemerized a prominent figure of their own, Muhammad. If Orthodox Christians were more tolerant and far less violent toward so-called heretics, Unitarian Christians would have never separated themselves to the point of forming an entirely different and new religion. So when Muslim extremists go after Christians, like we’re seeing now in Marawi city, it can be seen as Christians reaping what they sowed; that’s unfortunate but no less true. It’s not like Christians didn’t do this to Muslims and Jews first; the Inquisition is a prime example of Christian extremism and intolerance toward Muslims, Jews, and pagans.
In any case, which is better or worse can’t even be applied to Islam and Christianity. They are interchangeably the most influential religions of our time and both are equally worthy of censure and strident opposition. Christians have had to adjust to increasingly secular societies, but in the days of Christianized empires and theocracies, the level of violence towards non-Christians is analogous to the violence carried out by today’s Muslim extremists in Muslim theocracies and outside of them. Increasingly secular societies will eventually temper Islam and even Muslims with internally extremist bents will have to adjust their behavior. Christians in the US have unabashedly threatened to shoot me should I ever step foot in their state. What stops them from doing that to atheists in already residing in their states is a legal system that won’t condone such intolerant violence. Given the tacit extremism in Christians–which isn’t so hidden if they’re brought to anger (Joshua Feuerstein anyone?)–non-Christians would still be attacked and murdered if there were a Christian theocracy in the US. There are of course other problems.
Look at Betsy DeVos and how she thinks schools should “advance god’s kingdom.” If it were up to her, schools would be nothing more than an annex of the church, indoctrinating children rather than educating them. Then look at Trump’s religious liberty executive order, which allows for churches to openly endorse or assail candidates. As if they didn’t already have enough influence. Despite being trampled underfoot by secularization, Christians still find a way to push their agenda.
Regardless, history has showed us time and again what Christians do with power. Want to know the true measure of a person or group? Give them power. Christians, like today’s Muslims, are cruel, merciless, vindictive, and inhumane when given power. Better or worse simply don’t apply to these religions. They are both enemies of progress; they are both enemies of scientific, technological, medical, philosophical, legal, and moral progress, and any contribution a Muslim or Christian has made to any human enterprise is not because of their religion but in spite of it; they are both responsible for slowing down an international response to the greatest problem facing humanity: climate change. Both religions should have a place in museums and in the annals of history, as a sobering reminder to disavow allegiance to any religion that would have us commit heinous acts against other people. They don’t belong in the public sphere; they have no place in politics, in education, in academia, in philosophy, and most certainly not in science.
Ultimately, Islam is clearly the more dangerous of the two–at least with respect to obvious crimes. The Muslim moderates, in not demonstrating exactly how extremists are wrong, are inadvertently endorsing them.
Is Jihad not true to Islam? Does Allah not call for the murder of infidels? If not, where’s the textual proof? If so, does that apply to modern Muslims? If Jihad meant violence against infidels or something else entirely, why not explain that? If it did mean violence, why does it no longer apply? All this is to set aside non-terroristic extremism. There’s still the issue of acid bathing girls seeking an education, honor killing, and genital mutilation; there’s still the issue of abuse in Muslim marriages; there’s still the issue of male favoritism, misogyny, and masochism in Islamic cultures; there’s still the issue of rampant xenophobia that prohibits strict Muslims from marrying non-Muslims or requiring that the non-Muslim convert before marriage.
In the end, deciding between which is worse is a waste of time; it’s like deciding between a psychopath and a sadist. Both are on the Dark Tetrad; both will cause one a great deal of pain and derive satisfaction from causing one pain and suffering; both lack empathy and can’t be reached; both have no moral inclination or compass; both may go as far as murdering you and grinning while sitting in a pool of your blood.
A neighbour also claimed she had contacted police in Barking, east London, after the suspect tried to convert her children to Islam and radicalise them. The man is not being named at the request of the police.
The former friend claimed he contacted police after comments the man made about other previous attacks. But he said the authorities had failed to act and take action despite evidence of increasingly extremist views.
“He used to listen to a lot of Musa Jibril. I have heard some of this stuff and its very radical. I am surprised this stuff is still on YouTube and is easily accessible. I phoned the anti-terror hotline. I spoke to the gentleman. I told him about our conversation and why I think he was radicalised.”
However, he said he was not arrested and was allowed to keep his passport. “I did my bit, I know a lot of other people did their bit, but the authorities did not do their bit,” the friend said.
Please note: Be aware that the evil of the deviated sect the Khawārij harms the believers first. And the views of extremists bring nothing but suffering and destruction not only to the general Muslims but also to the individual who advocates such twisted beliefs him / herself.
Those who support terrorist groups (ex. the so-called Dawlah of Islām ISIS / ISIL / Daesh, Al-Qāeda, Jabāh An-Nusrah, the Tāliban, Boko Harām, et al.) do not respect nor believe in safeguarding innocent believers from harm, they do not believe in the sanctity of the noble cities of Makkah or Madīnah, they do not uphold the covenant of protection in Western / Non-Muslim lands, and only see their actions as a means to an end.
May Allāh ﷻ protect the Muslims worldwide, may He guide us to the Straight Path and keep us firm upon Tawheed and the Sunnah of our beloved Messenger of Allāh (ﷺ), and may He destroy the Khawārij, Ameen.