Tag Archives: jihad

Al-Shabab Justify Westgate Massacre

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Kenya has begun three days of national mourning following the end of the four-day siege by Islamist militants on Nairobi’s Westgate shopping centre.

President Uhuru Kenyatta said 72 people had died, including six security personnel and five militants.

Eleven people have been arrested in connection with the attack.

Al-Shabab, which claimed responsibility for the attack, said 137 hostages had died, but the statement cannot be verified. [BBC News]

Now how do you suppose Al-Shabab justified murdering children in front of their parents, shooting and lobbing grenades at shoppers in a Mall which they term the “Badar of Nairobi”? A highlight from their press statement which you can read in full here.

The Mujahideen fighters refused to accept the invasion of their Muslim lands and the massacre of innocent Muslims and live with such humiliation. They could not accept the persistent theft of their land’s resources which the Kenyan leaders and Western companies have conspired to plunder.

The Mujahideen fought against the oppression of their brothers in prisons of the Crusaders and their apostate allies, delivering a message that said: “as long as our brothers are being oppressed in prisons, peace will never come to the oppressors who are holding them.”

So, we say to them, congratulations and we give them glad tiding of the prophet’s words, may peace and blessings be upon him, when he was asked:

“Which of the martyrs is best? He said: “Those who, when they take up their position in the ranks for battle, do not turn their faces away until they are killed. They will be in the highest dwellings in Paradise, and their Lord smiles upon them, and when your Lord smiles upon a slave in this world, he will not be brought to account.”

In another narration, when the Prophet, peace be upon him, was asked:

“What type of jihad is best? He said: “The one whose horse is killed and whose blood is shed.”

So what makes young people, even foreign citizens far away, become part of jihad which sees shooting people up in a Mall as divinely sanctioned? Ghaffar Hussain briefly explains in a recent interview on Sky News:

We cannot afford to ignore the radicalisation that happens with Islamist jihadism, just as we cannot ignore how conflict turns on civilians. Terrorism is what Westgate is – violence and intimidation in pursuit of a political objective.

The call to arms is jihad.

The theocratic is political.

With thanks to Ghaffar Hussain for links

Article written by John Sargeant on Homo economicus’ Weblog

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Video: Oxford Union Debate “Islam Is A Peaceful Religion”

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The motion “Islam Is A Peaceful Religion” was moved at the Oxford Union Society the day after Lee Rigby was brutally murdered in Woolwich. It has only this month been uploaded to Youtube.

    Matthew Handley opens case for the motion:
    Anne-Marie Waters opens case for opposition:
    Adam Deen responds for the motion:
    Daniel Johnston counters the motion:
    Mehdi Hasan for the motion:
    Peter Atkins concludes debate against the motion:

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    My posts that are relevant to the above debate:

Dehumanising by Islam and cherry picking of verses by extreme Islamists

A theological alternative view to change attitudes to apostasy where it is illegal can be read here, based on my discussions with Sam Harris and Quilliam Foundation.

The motion passed 286/168.

UPDATE: Write up of the debate and video of Hitchens V Ramadan on same motion can be found here.

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Huff and Puff on Srebrenica Genocide Denial

Robert Spencer has invited me to arrange a debate with him. I would agree that Twitter limits proper detailed exchanges, but it does reveal the nature of how someone debates. Blogs also provide an ability to discuss things and time to respond. So first let us talk about Srebrenica Genocide and then come to what Rob was saying to me on Twitter after yesterday’s post of our earlier exchange on there.

Srebrenica

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Spencer hides behind saying only repeating reports on what a minority have said on genocide denial. In repeating the deniers claims he had this to say for himself before quoting them:

[TITLE, which is a quote from article Robert will eventually link to hence quotation marks*] “After 14 years of investigating events that took place in Srebrenica in 1995 I can attest there was no genocide over Muslims in that enclave”

[Now Robert Spencer’s written introduction before he further quotes Caleb Posner’s article follows]

The strange thing about this case is that self-proclaimed anti-jihadists who have no trouble recognizing Palestinian “Paliwood” War-Is-Deceit propaganda designed to advance the jihad cause by manufacturing Israeli atrocities, and who even recognize fauxtography generated by the Palestinians, Iran, and others for the same purpose, refuse even to consider the possibility that Muslims could have carried out any deceptive atrocity-manufacturing in the Balkans. Indeed, some even charge that anyone who thinks that Balkan Islamic jihadists carried out any deception at all must be secretly a sympathizer of this genocide-that-never-was. [Jihad Watch] [Emphasis added]

Robert in your own words you said “this genocide-that-never-was”. You have said it, as a matter of public record. It is not wrong to say you side with genocide deniers; more accurate you identify yourself as one. This is beyond linking to other articles. Recently you have said about Srebrenica denial:

“Perhaps some challenge can be made to these claims, but it is a legitimate discussion that needs to be had.” [Jihad Watch]

The “legitimate debate” defence is reminiscent of intelligent design, that there is a another point of view which has as much credibility. For Robert note he is saying the challenge is for those saying there was a genocide. I am always fascinated by how we know things, and a historian must go by evidence, just as a scientist does. Nowadays these two fields come together as the International Commission of Missing People (ICMP) report:

ICMP estimates that between 8,000 and 8,100 individuals went missing from the 1995 fall of Srebrenica. In an effort to DNA identify these victims, ICMP has collected blood samples from 22,160 family members of 7,773 reported victims and compared them with DNA profiles from post mortem samples excavated from mass graves. Of the 7,040 unique profiles extracted from bone samples, 6,838 persons have now been DNA identified by ICMP.

Thus far, of the 40,000 persons missing from the conflicts of the 1990’s in the former Yugoslavia, over 70% have been accounted for. ICMP has assisted governments in the region in accurately identifying 16,722 persons, of which 13,964 relate to the Bosnia and Herzegovina.

According to forensic experts, Srebrenica presents the most complicated forensic challenge in terms of locating and identifying the victims. This is because the initial mass grave sites containing the mortal remains of victims were disturbed and the contents removed and buried in a series of secondary sites in an attempt to conceal evidence. As a consequence, body parts are found disarticulated in numerous primary and secondary mass grave sites. In many cases body parts of one individual have been found in several different mass graves. ICMP forensic anthropologists use DNA analysis as a tool in re-associating disarticulated parts of the same body.

“The task of locating and identifying the 40,000 persons that went missing in the former Yugoslavia is an arduous one,” said Kathryne Bomberger, the Director-General of ICMP. “There is no doubt that the use of DNA technology has been instrumental in accounting for persons that would never have been found. This is clearly the case with Srebrenica. If DNA had not been used as the primary means of identification, we would never have known the identity of these 6,838 individuals,” she added. “We hope that by providing this type of assistance to governments, that we are not only helping victims of these atrocities, but also ensuring that governments in the region take responsibility for addressing this painful legacy of the conflict.” [International Commission on Missing Persons]

A detailed prelude to the Srebrenica Genocide can be read here

The evidence is closer to the 8,000 killed from the fall of Srebrenica than several thousand as deniers claim.

Debate Me!

How did Robert Spencer respond to my post yesterday to encourage me to debate him on the deniers claims given what he has said above? Claimed I was lying about him ever saying such things and trumped up slurs on my character.

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The sweet talking continued after Louis who read the links in my post about Srebrenica to Robert’s blog continued:

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We need to support the people of Israel and Palestine always standing with those that support human rights and democracy.

My mentioning Hamas barbarically used human shields so the Israeli response in the 2008-9 conflict lacked the precision to reduce civilian casualties was seized on by Robert as Jew hating as mentioned in a previous post. He now adds enabling global terrorist jihad to his limited mud slinging repartee.

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Regular readers of my blog know how inaccurate those statements are.

Regarding Israel my Commentator article here supporting Israel over criticisms of moral relativism on intervening in Syria by Mehdi Hasan and Mo Ansar. Readers will also be familiar that I criticised Dawkins for saying Rabbi Boteach shrieks like Hitler.

Robert continues in his usual civil tone:

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Then a cordial invitation by Robert again:

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In the light of day

So am I running away if I do not debate Robert Spencer? After all, despite his provocations I have not blocked him from finding me on twitter knowing that could be perceived as such. Robert had this to say about The Commentator:

This raises the question of whether the editors of The Commentator, as the situation continues to deteriorate in Britain, will ultimately choose to fight for human rights even alongside those who are shrill and abrasive, or will go gently into that good night, satisfied with themselves that while they did dare to make a small noise against the established corruption, they refrained from getting shrill or abrasive about it. [Jihad Watch]

This article shows that not only will we stand for human rights, but we do so far better without being shoulder to shoulder with Robert Spencer, even as we speak up for free speech not least so we know where he stands.

*[UPDATE: let me make clear this “After … enclave” is a quote from source of article Caleb Posner, that Rob includes after the next paragraph. I never pretended otherwise which is why I never emphasised.

It is the reason why I emphasise in bold below the introduction that now follows is because it is not in the source linked to, and as post says Robert, can be taken to be written by Robert Spencer unless he failed to attribute the preamble to anyone. I have asked him in particular to clarify this point]

Further clarification 7:10pm:

I accept that was not as clear as originally written, but what was emphasised in quoting the Jihad Watch post was what Robert did write: “this genocide-that-never-was”. In my main remarks drawing attention to that phrase makes clear that was my focus. Had I honestly thought the title, with its quotation marks around it, was Spencer that would have been my focus instead.

We can draw our own conclusion why he chose that particular quote of Posner’s as the title of his post: “After 14 years of investigating events that took place in Srebrenica in 1995 I can attest there was no genocide over Muslims in that enclave”.

Hopefully Spencer will now tell us in his own words how many died in Srebrenica and whether he out rightly rejects and condemns the content of the reposts he has done written by genocide deniers.

You wanted a debate Rob. I look forward to you finding the time to reply on your blog, commenting here, or on Hurry Up.

Article written by John Sargeant on Homo economicus’ Weblog

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Robert Spencer and Pam Geller banned from entering UK

The debate and challenge I wanted to see in the UK will now not happen.

Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, who set up Stop Islamization of America [SIOA] and run the website Jihad Watch, have been forbidden from entering the country on the grounds that their presence would “not be conducive to the public good”.

The far-right EDL is planning a march to mark Armed Forces Day on June 29, ending in Woolwich, south east London, where soldier Drummer Lee Rigby was killed in May. – Sky News

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This has played right into their hands. Every foreign hate preacher that has been allowed entry into the UK will have their names repeated, their calls for violence against apostates, homosexuals and non believers said ad nausea. The narrative will be we deny freedom of speech accept for Islamists. The English Defence League (EDL) will have their intellectual heroes up on a pinnacle of free speech. Every irrational fear about Islamification of the UK will be bounced off the decision by the Home Secretary.

In short, by denying freedom of speech we have handed the extreme right the moral high ground. This should always give anyone pause for thought. The publicity is priceless.

I mentioned my concern that denying them entry may be a slippery slope towards silencing criticism of Islam. Some have said the distinction is between anti-Islam and anti-Muslim, the former covered by free speech and freedom of expression whilst the later a danger to human rights and more so religious freedom than the other.

Hope Not Hate reaction:

Hate Not Hope spokesman Rob Ferguson told IBTimes UK: “We are really pleased that Geller and Spencer, who are two of the leading Islampohobic and racist commentators in the United States, will not be coming to the UK.

“My only regret is the ban will not stop them or others from continuing to whip up Islamophiobia.

“The EDL will try to find and find a way to use the ban to promote themselves and their disgusting politics, but we are delighted with this result.”

They will not have to try very hard to use the ban for promotion. So concerned were Hope Not Hate to win this battle they have prolonged the war with the EDL.

It is crucial here, to define what is islamophobic. One definition that Quilliam mention in a seminar attended by Hope Not Hate, is not differentiating between global jihad and Islam:

In summary, this seminar gave a deep insight into the ‘Counter-Jihad’ movement. It is becoming popular and the movement is attracting activists even outside of Europe. Prominent Islamophobes such as Pamela Geller, an American, has proactively campaigned under the umbrella of ‘Counter-Jihad’. Essentially, the ideas and sentiments generated by this movement are counter-Islam and not counter-Jihad. It completely ignores the issues of misinterpretations by Islamists and attack Islam as a whole, religiously and culturally. This seminar was the first of its kind specifically focusing on this movement. It is hoped that it will lead to more active and intellectual discussions on the rise of Islamophobia and mainstream anti-Muslim rhetoric. [Quilliam]

As such, I am clearly not an islamophobic as I do make this distinction in my writings and point out the cherry picking by Islamists, though clearly as an anti-theist I am not a fan of religion at all. There are moderates and liberal Muslims who do challenge extremist Islam. They need support and they will have it from me. I will encourage them to go further too.

I am not convinced though how my article The Dehumanising Done By Islam would go down. I hope free speech, and the concern expressed about how Islamists use the Koran and Hadith would prevent Hope Not Hate coming after me next. That is the slippery slope when you use the public good to reduce free speech.

This is the debate I wanted to see in the UK:

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It will not happen, and Robert Spencer will be on the media circuit talking about the Islamisation of UK, the EDL will supplant the BNP (something that before Woolwich looked unlikely) and find a new lease of life as defenders of free speech. Pam Geller will raise even more money for SIOA off the back of this. Keith Vaz will celebrate having doused the flames of inflammatory speakers, while those very people get more media time because of this.

This is no time for celebration. Your right to hear and challenge the views of someone in the UK has been denied. I can defend my own good when it comes to the battle of ideas. The values of my nation are strong enough to overcome this hate.

How worrying the Home Secretary does not agree.

Update: link to letter sent to Robert Spencer

My twitter conversation with unpleasant Robert Spencer

Article written by John Sargeant on Homo economicus’ Weblog

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Woolwich: do not be terrorised by those that use fear

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Sadly, not all of humanities problems will be resolved by a sit down to resolve our differences. For those of us that have been paying attention, in a world where a schoolgirl blogger is a target for a bullet between the eyes in Afghanistan, Baghdad markets are places to detonate bombs, and a Syrian rebel eats the heart of a government soldier, what happened in Woolwich is a rare moment of brutality in our land compared to the darkness of terror that happens around the world.

That was the purpose of the attack – the stated aims of the bloody handed man to camera was a reminder that beheadings happen in other lands, in front of people. The target a soldier that had served in Afghanistan. Their aim to provoke a violent backlash to engulf London into fire. The suspects waited for the police to arrive so they could have a final confrontation. One Both of the suspects are in custody in stable condition after being shot the other shot dead at the scene. Hopefully investigators can piece together what happened to lead to such savagery on our streets. [Update: at time of writing reported one had been shot dead]

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The mind of the murderers is one to examine, before deciding to blame a catch all bogey man like foreign policy, religious freedom or Islam – as sadly those who dislike complex nuance in favour of one problem one easy solution may. The latest reports suggests one of the suspects was an Islamic convert during or just after college; radicalisation to jihad may be a factor. The blame game will go on of course. The fault however lies squarely with those that would commit such an atrocity in the light of day wanting to cast in shadow how we go about our daily lives. In the fight against global jihadism it is preciously how we live which upsets them – it makes us all targets.

So yes it would be wrong to completely dismiss world events, and global Jihadism from what happened. It would also be wrong to hold UK Muslims to account for the actions of two people. Muslims are the main victims of jihadism.

In the wake of this tragic event, we need to stand in solidarity with our servicemen and women, the people of Woolwich and Muslims. Revenge and hate crimes are never legitimised by dehumanising people. I cannot criticise religion for that without stressing it is a very human trait that we all must avoid when provoked.

Murderers took away a life most savagely. I am resolved they will not take my humanity. I will not live in fear, or be terrorised into thinking differently by those that use violence or intimidation.

Follow up blogs:
A Response to terror

Dehumanising done by Islam

Article written by John Sargeant on Homo economicus’ Weblog

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