Sunday, 1 March 2015

Austria has set an example for the rest of Europe

Cross-post from Sharia Watch

The Austrian Parliament has just approved some very controversial reforms. The Government there has said that they should serve as a model for Europe – and it is absolutely right.

The reforms are robust, and may well tackle the very real problems that country is experiencing in relation to its growing Muslim population. According to a University of Vienna study, the Muslim population of Austria has more than trebled since 1990. In Vienna, Islamic communities make up around 12.5% of residents. What the reforms aim to do is create an ‘Austrian Islam’, but more importantly, to reign in foreign influence over the nation’s mosques.

Furthermore, Austria's Agency for State Protection and Counterterrorism has reportedly warned of "exploding radicalization of the Salafist scene in Austria." Salafism is a particularly poisonous interpretation of Islam which has been described as the "the fastest-growing Islamic movement in Europe”. Germany's Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution has said that "almost without exception, all of those connected with Germany that have joined up with or supported violent jihadist movements, had prior contact with Salafists."

According to the recent reforms, imams in Austria’s mosques will now be required to speak German. On top of this, the employment of imams who “pose a threat to public safety, order, health and morals or the rights and freedoms of others” will be prevented. This is key. For example, any application of this law should censure mosques, and Islamic organisations, which pose a threat to the rights and freedoms of women – if the law were applied in the way that is needed.

Additionally, the employment of foreign imams will be banned under the proposals, as well as foreign funding for Islamic groups and mosques. It is well known that foreign influence, particularly from Saudi Arabia, is having a vast and highly detrimental effect on British mosques, as several documentaries have revealed. Saudi Arabia overwhelmingly practices an equally poisonous version of Islam known as Wahhabism, and its teachings are openly propagated in UK mosques, and even Islamic schools. If we were to take such bold action as Austria, we may be on our way to preventing the spread of extreme ideas in Britain – which can only be a welcome move. Paragraph 4.2 of the reform document states that Muslim organisations "must have a positive attitude toward society and state". Surely this represents a positive step forward?

Austria's Minister for Integration and Foreign Affairs, Sebastian Kurz, stated "What we want is to reduce the political influence and control from abroad and we want to give Islam the chance to develop freely within our society and in line with our common European values." Again, he is absolutely right. If only the British Government had such courage.

In response, the Turkish Government has, predictably, accused Austria of “Islamophobia”. Mehmet Görmez, head of the Turkish government's Religious Affairs Directorate, very interestingly said the following:

“Addressing all our friends and all governments not only in Austria but also in Europe, I would like to say the following: I have been bemusedly watching the efforts by each country to create their own versions of Islam, which would only bring Europe to a dead-end, while they should be paying attention to the issues particularly arising out of minority and integration policies and the weakening of culture of living together and take more significant precautions against advancing Islamophobia.

Countries come together from time to time on the grounds of security concerns and try to construct a version of Islam peculiar to their own countries, rather than increase the freedoms that would lead to unity and remove obstacles before the religious education and services, and make an effort to remove anti-Islamic sentiments and Islamophobia.”

This sinister statement is incredibly telling; instead of trying to integrate Islam in to European society, we must change that society instead. One can only speculate as to what Görmez means when he refers to an increase in “freedoms”, but given the recent direction of Turkey, one might suppose that his version of freedom is somewhat different from ours.

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Cults, Trots and Islamism.

The world is full of very strange people who develop cults around themselves and their barmy ideas. Ron L Hubbard, pulp fiction writer is one who comes to mind. Even though long dead his "church" of Scientology still still exists and has been subject of much derision, as has David Ike, former Green Party honcho turned "Godhead" and now promoter of the theory that the Queen amongst others are all "giant lizards" in human form.

It's easy to laugh these two and wonder about the state of mind of their followers who believe in such things. They are of course not alone. Some people still believe the Earth is flat and others say the moon landing was a hoax. These may be less harmful but do illustrate how the human mind can refuse to accept reality.

Then there's religion.

In this country most people grew up with a local church and (mostly) friendly Vicars who formed part of the community. A minority turned to priests of the Catholic faith. Satirising religion was not a problem as programmes like All Gas & Gaiters or The Dave Allen Show were broadcast without too much of a fuss.


There was of course the late unlamented Mary Whitehouse and her followers but there atavistic approach to life was gradually beaten back.

Then a group of people burned the Satanic Verses.

It's likely that until then most people in this country didn't really give Islam a second thought. Now commentary on the rise of Islam(ism) is everywhere, every day as Hate Preachers and terrorists appear in our midst as some kind of satanic nightmare themselves.

The discovery of the identity of "Jihadi John" as the press described him has also focused our attention back to our seats of learning where it appears something quite unsavoury has been going on.

In an article for the Washington Post  Avinash Tharoor, a former student at the University of Westminster observes:

Despite boasting an inspiring academic staff and vibrant student life, the university has a dark side to its campus culture. The ideological climate feels conducive for radicalization; even though the university never intended this, it seems to be a place where extremism can fester. I don’t know if that climate is what turned Mohammed Emwazi into Jihadi John, but Westminster was probably a factor in his radicalization.....

....the longer I spent on campus, the more I noticed strange occurrences and remarks that seemed to fit with an Islamist ideology. Eventually, I realized, these ideas were deeply ingrained at Westminster, allowing individuals to feel comfortable advocating dangerous and discriminatory beliefs.

I recall a seminar discussion about Immanuel Kant’s “democratic peace theory,” in which a student wearing a niqab opposed the idea on the grounds that “as a Muslim, I don’t believe in democracy.” Our instructor seemed astonished but did not question the basis of her argument; he simply moved on. I was perplexed, though. Why attend university if you have such a strict belief system that you are unwilling to consider new ideas? And why hadn’t the instructor challenged her? At the time, I dismissed her statement as one person’s outlandish opinion. Later, I realized that her extreme religious views were prevalent within the institution.

This takes us right back to the start of the wave of Islamism that began with the burning of Salman Rushdie's novel.

A number of people on the left decided to publish a statement defending Rushdie and the right of free speech and like many others I sent a contribution to add my signature. Imagine my surprise when it was returned with a letter that explained they had decided not to go ahead with their statement as it could be constituted as "racist".

Since when was religion a race and in any case how can defending an Asian man against err.. other Asian and Middle eastern men be described as racist?

At the time the big "Islamist" threat came from Iran. The Ayatollah had taken power and the anti-imperialist brigade began it's subservience to the Islamists. 

In Iran itself the Trotskyist United Secretariat of the Fourth International (Tariq Ali's mob at the time) had already split into two groups. One was "pro-hijab", the other anti hijab.

Over time other trots such as Workers Power gave "critical support" to the Taliban, that well know progressive group in Afghanistan with one of their more deranged members suggesting they would literally join the fight if they had the ability in a shameful letter to the Weekly Worker.

The rest is history as we saw the Socialist Workers Party join George Galloway in a rush to ally themselves with sections of the Muslim community, which didn't last but has resulted in the Borough of Tower Hamlets becoming a fiefdom for Islamists. That turned out well.

The new Left Unity organisation even debated support for ISIS at it's conference last year.

Unbloody believable

The seeming alliance of the far-left with the Islamists took a new turn this week with John Rees (Counterfire/Stop the War) leading a press conference for Jihadi Johns apologists in the Cage outfit a supposed "charity" for "human rights". 

As yet another atheist blogger,  Avijit Roy is murdered in Bangladesh for "insulting Islam", the so called anti-imperialists of the left show no sign of changing their dangerous strategy. 

The far-left are assisting the rise of a new fascism. 

You know who the culprits are. 

Stand up to them and build a progressive secular alternative.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Cage & Counterfire exposed as the new far-right

The media has been full of stories tonight exposing the identity of mass murderer "Jihadi John, a former student at the University of Westminster, gang member and criminal as Mohammed Emwazi from London.

In a disgraceful press conference their spokesman described this psychopath as a "beautiful man" whilst John Rees one of the leaders of the Stop the War Coalition and member of the "far left" organisation Counterfire looked sympathetically on as Chair of this gathering of appeasers before the media.

Blaming everybody except the bleeding obvious, these "spokesmen" for a charity tried to suggest it's the security services and alienation that turned him this way.

Nothing to do with fundamentalist Islamism then?

You know a lot of people go through "alienated phases when they are young, usually turning to drink & drugs or just "dropping out.

The time has come for an investigation into the activities of this supposed charity.

And frankly the role of these "Islamic Societies" in our Universities should also come under scrutiny, not just by the student bodies or college authorities, but frankly the very security services these charlatans attack.

Lives are at stake. The proliferation of hate preachers and their ilk is a danger to us all.

The so called "left" needs to take a good look at itself and the activities of some of their comrades.

As far as I'm concerned Stop the War is on the far-right as is Counterfire. I refuse to recognise these groups as part of the progressive left.

The University of Westminster has sadly cancelled it's "hate-fest" with "Sheik" Haitham al-Haddad because of "security fears" and "increased sensitivity".

In plain English they've been rumbled.

The time has come to stand up to the new fascists as this Sky News reporter does with skill!

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

70 days and counting down.....


The last few days have proved quite interesting as the countdown to the General Election continues. Two MP's have managed to disgrace themselves through their unmitigated greed, though the Tory Malcolm Rifkind came off worst with his arrogant and selfish view that "people like him cannot be expected to live on £60,000 a year.

Really mate. I'd love to try myself.

It just showed the Tories have no bloody idea about how the rest of us live.

Nobody is against anyone making a decent living or even becoming rich, except perhaps the handful of remaining communists and their ilk*.

But open greed when so many are struggling to make ends meet, unable to rent or buy decent accommodation, choosing between heating bills and eating just isn't acceptable.

Mike Clancy, the General Secretary of Prospect writes:

When the Prime Minister declares that Britain needs a pay rise, you know an election must be around the corner.

David Cameron appeared to make a remarkable conversion when he told February's British Chamber of Commerce conference that "economic success can't just be shown in the GDP figures or on the balance sheets of British business but in peoples pay packets and bank accounts and lifestyle...put it simply Britain needs a pay rise.

This is very close to the TUC's campaign slogan "Brain needs a Pay Rise" so are we seeing a sudden outbreak of of economic consensus, heralding a new drive to tackle the depressed incomes of the last five years sadly not.

Sadly not indeed.

The frozen pay of millions of public sector workers, the proliferation of "Zero Hour" Contracts and basic wages below the "living wage" are not going to suddenly change just because the Prime Minister wants to be re-elected.

And as Mr Clancy points out:

To be fair, all the major political parties lack a coherent programme to redress the imbalance in the workplace, the erosion of workers voices and the decline of pay and employment conditions in the wider economy.

Quite right. So who do we vote for?

Now the Prospect has set up a dedicated website for members to follow the election at:

General Election 2015: Your Vote, Your Voice

A useful resource for all trade unionists.

Meanwhile over on the fringes of politics not all is well. The Green Party "speaker" spectacularly crashed at her Manifesto launch not knowing the answers to half the questions put to her.

And remember this was the divvy who thinks belonging to "terrorist organisations" shouldn't be illegal.


Then there's the question of "greedy MP's".

* Over at Tendance Coatsey our attention is drawn to a little omission by the comrades of the Socialist "Workers" Party who in their article neglect to mention that George Galloway of the misnamed Respect Party has the third largest income of any MP, over £300,000 on top of his job as a mostly absentee MP for the Bradford Caliphate.

If you remove Gordon Brown who came top but donates the lot to charity and good causes the gorgeous one is actually second on the "MP rich list"

The SWP of course are part of the Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition, the far-left electoral front supported by the RMT Union (except for their President Peter Pinkney) who is a candidate for the Green Party), the Socialist Party and their Grandees in the declining PCS union.

How much does Comrade Serwotka pocket each year by the way? Anywhere near the "wage of an average worker?


Neither does his useless Assistant GS Chris Baugh who belongs to a (socialist) party that insists on the principle in it's Marxist programme.

Being a realist I know there's no perfect solution, no perfect alternative, but I do know we only have one choice if we are to even begin pushing back against the unfair society that the Tory/Liberal coalition have presided over.

Ignore the carpetbaggers, the sandal wearers and the Trots.

Vote Labour.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Musical Interlude: T'Pau

Time for a little change of pace tonight with a musical interlude from T'Pau, whose lead singer Carol Deker had some very strong and distinctive vocals. Their biggest hit was China In My Hand, but my personal favourite was this little number, Heart And Soul.

Released in 1987 it didn't become a hit until it featured in a Pepe Jeans advert. Do they still make those?

I still have the twelve inch version (remember these?) somewhere.

And as all you Trekkies know T'Pau was named after a Vulcan elder.

Monday, 23 February 2015

"Jihadi Brides" and Hate Preachers are products of religious fascism

The main story on the news today has been about the three schoolgirls who have buggered off to join a bunch of murderous thugs in the fascist enclaves know as the Islamic State.

The parents are reported as being "unaware" of how these girls got radicalised. Really?

All these families attend the East London Mosque which is notorious for hosting radical Islamist speakers. Hardly an institution of moderation.

These girls are not alone, several hundred young men and a few women have already departed these shores to go and join ISIS.

The organisation that we are told is nothing to do with mainstream Islam.

And yet just a few short steps from their homes, the Jihadist extremists have been preaching in East London.

Just where has this radicalism come from?

Anybody with half a brain and not blinded by misguided loyalty to a backward medieval faith could tell you.

And then there's the invitation of "Sheik" Haitham al-Haddad to speak at an event organised bythe University of Westminster Islamic Society.

He's a real charmer this one. The National Secular Society reports:

The Sheikh has a long history of articulating an extremely homophobic ideology. In an online article called "Standing up against homosexuality and LGBTs" he compared homosexuality with adultery, and said "Allah has ordained us to speak out" in order to "combat the scourge of homosexuality". He argued that homosexuality was a "criminal act".

He also used the article to praise the president of Liberia for "defending a law that criminalises homosexual acts" and commended "the many Christian bishops and ministers" who opposed equal marriage. He called on Christians "to refer back to the original teachings revealed by their creator, Allah" and said he prayed to Allah "to preserve this country from evil practices" and to "keep us steadfast in enjoining good and forbidding evil".

Al-Haddad has also been recorded discussing the "proper way" to conduct female genital mutilation, andsaid that domestic abuse should be sorted out between a husband and wife, because Islam "is looking for the bigger picture in order to keep the relationship between the husband and wife together."

So much for "safe spaces" so heartily promoted by today's student unions.

Only applies to secularists, readers of Charlie Hebdoe or the odd rugby player who's a bit drunk and leery.

Hate Preachers? That's fine it would seem.

Not very safe for Gays or women, which must account a large section of the student body.

And has no none rally noticed that the University is just about to host a huge Pride event with people coming from all over the country?

A deliberately provocative act by the Islamists hosting this fascist speaker.

The event must be peacefully picketed and the Islamic Students cordially invited to take up an equal opportunities course as part of their studies.

As an ex-student when it was called the Polytechnic of Central London I am ashamed that this institution has allowed itself to sink to this level.

The PCLSU had a policy of No Platform for Fascists.

I would have thought this fake Sheik fitted the bill.

There is a glimmer of hope though. Two thousand students have signed a petition against this charlatan preaching his evil message of hate.

Time for students to stand up against the real enemy. 

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Stop the War Coalition pickets US Embassy as Russia invades Ukraine

Stop the War Coalition

22 Feb / London / Protest: Stop Nato's War in Ukraine - Peace for the Donbass

There are times when the actions of the left/far-left beggar belief. The totally misnamed Stop the War Campaign along with the pro-Russian "Solidarity with the anti-fascist Resistance in Ukraine" have decided to respond to the annexation of Crimea and invasion of the Donbass region of the Ukraine by erm..picketing the US Embassy today.

Not the Russian Embassy, the American one.

Apparently this is a "NATO war", even though the only troops invading the independent nation of Ukraine are Russian.

Never has a political campaign been so misused. 

Well I suppose there is the Unite Against (certain types of) Fascism which has more or less the same participants and supporters which met yesterday in London allowing the comrades to stop over and mislead the public over yet another issue.

With these anti-imperialist types only the West is to blame, even where the evidence flies in the face of their nonsensical ideological outlook.

And ordinary trade unionists are helping to pay for this nonsense. Unite, PCS, UCU, CWU and others are paying towards supporting pro-Russian, pro-Putin aggression.

Russia is the aggressor.

The Stop the War Coalition is nothing of the sort.

Their leaders pick and choose which wars to oppose and which aggressors to cover for.

This organisation must be opposed.

The anti-imperialists cannot be trusted.

Trade Unionists must demand their unions cease funding this ridiculous outfit.