August 02, 2005


Robert S. Leiken:

Broadly speaking, there are two types of jihadists in western Europe: call them "outsiders" and "insiders." The outsiders are aliens, typically asylum seekers or students, who gained refuge in liberal Europe from crackdowns against Islamists in the Middle East. Among them are radical imams, often on stipends from Saudi Arabia, who open their mosques to terrorist recruiters and serve as messengers for or spiritual fathers to jihadist networks. Once these aliens secure entry into one EU country, they have the run of them all. They may be assisted by legal or illegal residents, such as the storekeepers, merchants, and petty criminals who carried out the Madrid bombings.

Many of these first-generation outsiders have migrated to Europe expressly to carry out jihad. In Islamist mythology, migration is archetypically linked to conquest. Facing persecution in idolatrous Mecca, in AD 622 the Prophet Muhammad pronounced an anathema on the city's leaders and took his followers to Medina. From there, he built an army that conquered Mecca in AD 630, establishing Muslim rule. Today, in the minds of mujahideen in Europe, it is the Middle East at large that figures as an idolatrous Mecca because several governments in the region suppressed Islamist takeovers in the 1990s. Europe could even be viewed as a kind of Medina, where troops are recruited for the reconquest of the holy land, starting with Iraq.

The insiders, on the other hand, are a group of alienated citizens, second- or third-generation children of immigrants, like Bouyeri, who were born and bred under European liberalism. Some are unemployed youth from hardscrabble suburbs of Marseilles, Lyon, and Paris or former mill towns such as Bradford and Leicester. They are the latest, most dangerous incarnation of that staple of immigration literature, the revolt of the second generation. They are also dramatic instances of what could be called adversarial assimilation -- integration into the host country's adversarial culture. But this sort of anti-West westernization is illustrated more typically by another paradigmatic second-generation recruit: the upwardly mobile young adult, such as the university-educated Zacarias Moussaoui, the so-called 20th hijacker, or Omar Khyam, the computer student and soccer captain from Sussex, England, who dreamed of playing for his country but was detained in April 2004 for holding, with eight accomplices, half a ton of explosives aimed at London.

These downwardly mobile slum dwellers and upwardly mobile achievers replicate in western Europe the two social types that formed the base of Islamist movements in developing countries such as Algeria, Egypt, and Malaysia: the residents of shantytowns and the devout bourgeoisie. As in the September 11 attacks, the educated tend to form the leadership cadre, with the plebeians providing the muscle. No Chinese wall separates first-generation outsiders from second-generation insiders; indeed, the former typically find their recruits among the latter. Hofstad's Syrian imam mentored Bouyeri; the notorious one-eyed imam Abu Hamza al-Masri coached Moussaoui in London. A decade ago in France, the Algerian Armed Islamic Group proselytized beurs (the French-born children of North African immigrants) and turned them into the jihadists who terrorized train passengers during the 1990s. But post-September 11 recruitment appears more systematic and strategic. Al Qaeda's drives focus on the second generation. And if jihad recruiters sometimes find sympathetic ears underground, among gangs or in jails, today they are more likely to score at university campuses, prep schools, and even junior high schools.

Read his entire article, which is excellent. Meantime, quite a few readers have sent in via Email a somewhat related piece that appeared in the FT a few days ago. I can't find a link to it just now, but it was written by a Faisal Devji a few days back. Some money quotes:

The religion al-Qaeda follows possesses no established tradition, being made up of fragments snatched from discordant Islamic authorities. There are, at most, very general patterns, of thought that are neither codified nor propagated in any systematic way. Rather than being recruited to a well defined movement, the jihad's disparate soldiers franchise al-Qaeda's expertise and brand name for a variety of equally disparate causes that exist comfortably within the structures of everyday life. It is too complex a war to have been contained by absurdly simple expedients like not invading Iraq.

In many ways these holy warriors resemble the members of more familiar global networks, such as those for the environment or against war and globalization. This is a world whose concerns are global in dimension and so resistant to old-fashioned political solutions, calling instead for spectacular gestures that are ethical in nature. Suicide bombing, for instance, is the most individualistic of practices. It is also an ethical gesture that participates only indirectly, if at all, in a solution to the problem it advertises.

Like the gestures that mark the environmentalist or anti-war movements, those of the jihad arise from the luxury of moral choice. The passion of the holy warrior emerges from the same source as that of the anti-war protester - not from a personal experience of oppression but from observing the oppression of others. These impersonal and even vicarious passions draw upon pity for their strength. And pity is perhaps the most violent passion of all because it is selfless enough to tolerate monstrous sacrifices.

Of course, al-Qaeda cannot be confused with Greenpeace, and suicide bombing is not the same kind of ethical gesture as protesting at Gleneagles. Yet it bears repeating that all of these movements, individuals and actions inhabit the same world, for if the London attacks demonstrate anything, it is that the British born men who perpetrated them did not live in some hermetically sealed world of their own. Rather, they inhabited a thoroughly ordinary and unremarkable world in which such global issues as climate change, weapons of mass destruction and deforestation jostled with others such as the oppression of Muslims, each beyond the reach of traditional political forms. This new world of global issues and networks emerged from the ruins of the cold war, which is why we are threatened today not with a revolution, ideology or state but by a practice of ethics that has arisen in the absence of global political forms.

I wonder if we aren't witnessing something of a routinization of jihadism borne of some of the factors Devji identifies. Particularly interesting, in my view, is Devji's description of al-Qaeda as almost postmodern in its discordancy and pastiche-like myriad influences. Something of a brand to which varied individuals affix their pet causes and grievances du jour (today Iraq, yesterday Chechyna or Kashmir, tomorrow the Next Bad Thing). In conjunction with a skewed and relativistic sense of 'ethics'--one can see why Devji is concerned less by the specter of sweeping revolutions or dangerous ideologies than by the seeming routinization of an almost faddish suicide terrorism in the supposed ethical service of some beleaguered other.

There is much to mine here, and I'll be returning to related topics soon. In closing, however, I should also point to the below quoted portion from the F.A. piece. It queries what the specter of homegrown Islamic radicalism portends for the oft quasi-utopic conception of multiculturalism--one so beloved by wide constituencies in Europe from the de haut en bas removed political elites to Berlin rave-goers popping E and listening to all the groovy world beats en masse:

The new mujahideen are not only testing traditional counterterrorist practices; their emergence is also challenging the mentality prevailing in western Europe since the end of World War II. Revulsion against Nazism and colonialism translated into compassion toward religious minorities, of whatever stripe. At first, Muslim guest workers were welcomed in Europe by a liberal orthodoxy that generally regarded them as victims lacking rights. In some countries, such as the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, that perspective spawned a comprehensive form of multiculturalism. London's version verged on separatism. While stepping up surveillance, the British authorities allowed Islamists refuge and an opportunity to preach openly and disseminate rabid propaganda. Multiculturalism had a dual appeal: it allowed these states to seem tolerant by showering minorities with rights while segregating them from, rather than absorbing them into, the rest of society. Multiculturalism dovetailed with a diminished Western ethos that suited libertarians as well as liberals.

But now many Europeans have come to see that permissiveness as excessive, even dangerous. A version of religious tolerance allowed the Hamburg cell to flourish and rendered German universities hospitable to radical Islam. Now Europeans are asking Muslims to practice religious tolerance themselves and adjust to the values of their host countries. Tony Blair's government requires that would-be citizens master "Britishness." Likewise, "Dutch values" are central to The Hague's new approach, and similar proposals are being put forward in Berlin, Brussels, and Copenhagen. Patrick Weil, the immigration guru of the French Socialist Party, sees a continental trend in which immigrant "responsibilities" balance immigrant "rights."

A re-jiggering of the balance between rights and responsibilities strikes me as long overdue in many contexts throughout the West, not least with regard to radical Islamist fire-brands dwelling-on-the-dole in Euro-land, say. As Robert Leiken points out, after all, the person who impaled a note on Theo van Gogh's dying body was collecting unemployment benefits disbursed by the Dutch social welfare kitty. This speaks to something of a fundamental flaw in the current societal compacts being struck through Europe between the state and some of its most deeply alienated citizens. Much thought and work lies ahead, that much is sure, as these are issues of huge import to, not only the global struggle against terrorism and extremism, but also the future of Western liberal polities writ large. Yes, evoking a sense of 'Britishness' or 'Dutchness' is important. So is reaching out to moderates within the Muslim world so as to help spur on something of a reformation within Islam. But one can't help thinking these ideas, while generally sound, are more by way of ad hoc damage control measures, thinly conceived and in nascent form, than anything systematically thought out in disciplined fashion. That's not to say they shouldn't be pursued, assiduously even. But much more thinking is required yet. Reformations take decades; and 'Britishness' cannot necessarily be force fed to a radicalized Somali or Eritrean, for instance. These issues will be worked out over a generation or more--and there will not be any easy fixes. All this said, I wish to stress again that conflict resolution in all this would be a huge boon. This means Chechnya, and Kashmir, and Palestine, and Iraq, among others. Instability and hate metastasize more easily when gaping wounds bleed daily and are beamed around the world via satellite television and the Internet.

UPDATE: Yes, as some commenters point out, conflict resolution doesn't just happen, you know, with a snap of the fingers. We will revisit that angle in more detail.

Posted by Gregory at August 2, 2005 04:01 AM | TrackBack (1)

Greg I would argue that the current crop of jihad is no different except for technology than earlier incarnations of jihad, particularly the chaotic, tribal movement into North Africa, Sicily, Southern Italy, Spain, and the Holy Land in the late seventh century.

What drives the violence is the sincere application of Islam, which fundamentally cannot deal with other cultures unless it is master to their slaves. Muslims see all the good things that the West has, often first hand, and hate themselves for wanting it because it is clear that the good things of the West, wealth, individual liberty, social freedom, personal advancement, etc. depends on scientific materialism and secular rationalism which are simply incompatible with Islam. Hence a violent acting out in jihad.

I believe the interview with Hasan Butt tells this story very well in The UK Prospect.

Read the whole thing. Chilling. Nasty. Evil. Money quotes:

Butt: I feel absolutely nothing for this country. I have no problem with the British people… but if someone attacks them, I have no problem with that either.

Taseer: Who do you have allegiance to?

Butt: My allegiance is to Allah, his Shari’a, his way of life. Whatever he dictates as good is good, whatever as bad is bad.

Butt: I don't see it happening in my lifetime. 1,400 years ago you had a small city-state in Medina, and within ten years of the Prophet (peace be upon him), Islam had spread to Egypt and all the way into Persia. I don't see why the rest of the world, the White House, 10 Downing Street, shouldn't come under the banner of Islam. And this is what we believe: we are going to set the foundation for Islam bringing true peace, true security to the world.

Taseer: Will there be a lot of killing?

Butt: I can't see it not happening. Even what I say is very naïve. I can see Islam bringing peace to humanity for a short period, but man being what he is, being very rebellious and arrogant, he will naturally cause rebellion.

This interview is a year old, with a notorious Jihadi free but with passport revoked, for organizing jihadis to fight in Afghanistan to restore the Taliban. Butt is a native born UK citizen of Pakistani descent. Really, read the whole thing (Mods feel free to fix the HTML for the URL if it doesn't work).

Posted by: Jim Rockford at August 2, 2005 06:00 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Umm, "conflict resolution," like "peace" or "terrorism" means different things to different people.

There are many out there who have been attempting tirelessly, methodically, creatively, to remind us of this.

Just as there are still many who are just as intent to (tirelessly, methodically, creatively) ignore these lessons.

Of course, we have the best of intentions....

"Conflict resolution in our time," perhaps?

Posted by: Barry Meislin at August 2, 2005 08:22 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I agree that the permissive attitudes in the decades following WW2 were foolhardy, particularly with respect to the rosy optimism that accompanied an open door immigration policy. With respect to pro-active solutions aimed at integrating the alienated migrant (now so very, very late in the day and with the deep polarization that exists), I am extremely cynical I'm afraid.

This isn't simply a matter of religious and cultural values that are at odds and seemingly eternally unreconcilable. This cynicism relates to facts and figures and difficult truths. 70% of Muslims in the UK claim they are Islamic first and British second. Roughly 35% of Muslims in the U.K. claim they can relate/sympathize with the actions of the bombers, a smaller percentage actually endorsed the terrorist acts as "just". Estimates suggest there as many as 20,000 extreme Islamic radicals resident in the U.K.

After the terror attack of July 7th the widely read UK based "Muslim Weekly" featured a lengthy article by one Abid Ullah Jan entitled "Islam, Faith and Power". This article urged Muslims to strive to gain political and military power over non-Muslims, claimed that warfare is obligatory and that Muslims must strive worldwide to bring about an Islamic society governed by Sharia law. The article also contained a threat to the UK - this after the murderous attack in the transit system.

My reaction to this kind of thing, is to ask what kind of insane policies and idiot altruism created the laws that permit an imported ideology of hate to gain such an entrenched position within British culture. Those who seek a rationale for this by pointing to the excesses of the nazis and the need to make amends, make it sound as though guilt and remorse made Europeans lose every ounce of common sense in their rush to embrace the downtrodden "other".

In its efforts to superimpose humanitarian ideals upon society at large, liberals have succeeded in neutering the self-protective instincts a people need to survive. Political correctness codes are the latest and most extreme manifestation of this attempt to make people "unnatural" and turn them into nice robots programmed to say and do only that which is deemed acceptable to the multicultural idealists. The irony of course is that the bulk of correctness prohibitions are aimed at the host community. The pressure is on them to rein in their prejudice, hatred etc ... the assumption being that minority communities being "victims", are all meekly standing by waiting for things to improve. What utter nonsense!! One only has to visit Leeds and Birmingham recently, as I have done, and observe how gangs of East Asian - primarily Pakistani youths - dominate the streetscape, especially in certain neighborhoods and around dance clubs and other entertainment venues. Their attitude is cocky and brash, far from victims waiting for understanding. Many of these gangs run drugs and girls (nearly always white females), while their own women are cloistered at home. The arrogance and "presence" which these gangs bring to the street is very intimidating. Their brand of racism is as extreme as anything coming from an east end of London skinhead.

Recently on the other side of globe, in Sydney, Australia, a group of Pakistani brothers were convicted for raping some eighteen Australian females, some as young as thirteen. These rapes were vicious and prolonged, some involving weapons. The girls were lured to a home set up as a rape den basically. After the sentences were handed out in court, the response of the Islamic community was bizarre. The father of the brothers, a Pakistani doctor, claimed it was an attack on Islam. A local Imam more or less said the girls were asking for it because of their "satanic dress".

My point in citing these examples is to demonstrate that political correctness training perhaps needs to go the other way. But I would go further. While gang activity in immigrant communities in areas such as Brixton and Bradford is tolerated and a blind eye turned to excesses, the same tolerance isn't extended to "patriotic" gangs of British skinheads and others. When they make a public show of themselves they are invariably called "nazis" and "a shame to Britain" etc etc. In other words the host society is now so de-fanged, so passive in its position vis-a-vis migrant cultures, that its prepared to vilify and demonize its own hard men ... the types who in a former age would have been the first to leap to the defense of the realm.

Instead of political correctness and costly "outreach" programmes that do little to reduce tensions, maybe it would be smarter and more dare I say it "natural", to allow the host society room to react. I'm not calling for para-military activity or goon squads, but I think it isn't necessarily a bad thing for UK society at large to affirm the "Britishness" Tony Blair recently called for, and maybe at times show a certain edge when it comes to establishing a community presence.

In an effort to accommodate “the new”, western European societies have bent themselves into a pretzel. Maybe it's time they at least stood up straight.

Posted by: scowler at August 2, 2005 10:27 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Oh yes, conflict resolution! How hard can it be, after all? If only we could just resolve the 150 year old Chechen conflict, the 90 year old Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the 60 year old Kashmiri conflict, and the 1400 year old Sunnia/Shia conflict we would have made a huge step towards defeating terrorism!

Posted by: Martin Adamson at August 2, 2005 11:38 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I'd like to support scowler's comments about political correctness run amok above with the additional note that almost every word he said could have been transposed to, say, the NYC public school system (I have personal knowledge of this), probably the northern California educational/cultural complex, etc. American history is taught as an unremitting travail of atrocities from the introduction of slavery to Wounded Knee to Joe McCarthy(much more vicious than any misguided Communist) to My Lai to Abu Ghraib.

Granted, we in the US still have plenty of jingoistic patriotism in the red states, but this purile masochism masquerading as tolerance, cocooned with tenure and union rules and at war with the foundations of this country, is an unpleasant danger we really need to address.

Our disaffected radicals are more likely to join gangs like MS-13 or some offshoot of Farakhan's loony cult, but we are not immune to a new wave of terror supported by this mentality.

Posted by: wayne at August 2, 2005 04:52 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Can someone assure me that the world would indeed be much worse if we weren't always seemingly fighting intractable battles over religious beliefs? Or are none of these conflicts really about religion once you go beneath the surface?

Because to the casual observer (me in this case), it certainly appears the world would be a much more peaceful place without religion. I assume that's a vastly over-simplified and naive (not to mention impossible) solution though, and this is basically a hypothetical exercise. If people are encouraged to take their religious beliefs seriously, and to their hearts, I don't see how their patriotism will ever be able to rise above that (when they're in conflict, as apparently is/was the case with the London bombers).

I certainly hope I'm wrong but much I read gives this impression - though it's rarely stated outloud, religion being, well a "sacred cow" (in some circles!). Insisting on banning condoms as a condition of receiving US aid because of Christian values is another example...

Posted by: TG at August 2, 2005 05:29 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Exactly Martin - irony wholly appropriate.

The left in the UK is always going on and on about the need to understand the outsider, embrace them, create special opportunities for them etc. The assumption behind this thinking is that we are speaking of a migrant community that is passive, helpless and in need of our compassion.

Anyone with contacts in the East-Asian community in the UK knows this is an inaccurate characterization. Yes of course unemployment is an issue for migrants, as it is an issue for other working class communities that are primarily white, anglo-saxon in heritage. Every group in the UK is faced with unique socio-economic challenges.

However the left uses selective judgement. It fails to address the "problem" that many within the Muslim community in the UK see themselves as a cut above the local unwashed infidels. The racism within these communities directed toward "white" society, toward secular egalitarian values in general, is at times beyond shocking.

Islamic migration has historically been associated with conquest, going all the way back to Muhammad's sojourn in Medina. Many in the Muslim communities in the west don't have the slightest desire to fall in line with ideals of the lefty proponents of multiculturalism. Of course, there is a small minority of Muslims in the UK (as in the US) who can be described as "progressive" and who have adapted their Islamic identity in order to achieve the above mentioned integration. The Grand Mufti of Marseilles, one Soheib Bencheikh, is a progressive cleric who is calling for a more modern and "western" style of Islam.
The problem is that the thinking of Bencheikh and those like him represents only a tiny minority in the community at large, and is viewed by many Muslims as traitorous.

Conflict resolution strategies, as Martin has pointed out, are often a complete waste of time when dealing with entrenched ethnic communities with their own value systems, cultural mores - not to mention myths and superstitions. Even in tiny N. Ireland when dealing with peoples who are all Christian, the protestant/catholic divide has proved intractable and beyond the genius of the most artful conflict resolution engineers. What worked for the catholic nationalist community in N. Ireland wasn't "understanding" but the willingness to take force to the ultimate level of threat. It was this campaign that compelled Downing Street to back down and broker. Now people like Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness are powerful mainstream catholic politicians in Ulster.

It can work the other way also. If British society was to kick the conflict resolution culture out the window, and start getting tough and assertive, it would compel migrants to deal with a new reality. Expectations and demands would replace weaseling pleas and outreach. Pressure to adapt would replace the efforts of "missionaries" in the media and elsewhere, constantly calling for understanding and empathy.

Maybe it's time to drop the complex theories of the academics, and revert back to something a lot more basic - common sense!

Posted by: scowler at August 2, 2005 05:33 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink


Where on earth did you get the idea that the U.S. insists "on banning condoms as a condition of receiving US aid because of Christian values"?

The U.S. Agency for International Development has provided condoms as part of its family planning programs for decades and also provides them as part of its HIV/AIDS strategy.

What USAID does not do is provide funds to groups that have abortion as a family planning method.

Posted by: m.g. at August 2, 2005 07:43 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Shorter commentors --- put the darkies back in their place.

Posted by: ckrisz at August 2, 2005 09:16 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I think you are ignoring the fact that they great majority of conflicts have NOT been over religious issues, they have been over control of territory, trade routes, natural resources, etc. WWII was not fought over religious issues. Neither was the Cold War. Same with Vietnam, Korea, the Civil War, WWI, Desert Storm, OIF, Afghanistan, the Roman wars of conquest, etc. There have certainly been SOME wars that were based on religion, but relatively few.

Posted by: exhelodrvr at August 2, 2005 10:13 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

m.g.: Most recently got the idea from the liberals over at the Economist. But I certainly don't read the fine print of all the aid packages/agencies and spending rules, so I could of course be wrong. I do know it's an area Christian groups and lobbyists have been interested in.

exhelodrvr: well I wasn't ignoring it as much as being lazy and looking for confirmation that most problems aren't due to religious conflicts. I suppose very few wars are based on any single clear factor, so it would be few that were soley based on religion. I'm thinking along the lines of "how do you effectively defuse people who put their religious beliefs above and beyond any nation affiliation?" And showing my own opinions of the skygod thing at the same time I suppose.

Posted by: TG at August 2, 2005 10:47 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink


Well, so much for the Economist's being one member of the MSM that I thought I could trust to present facts rather than misinformed opinion.

You don’t have to read the fine print of all the aid packages/agencies and spending rules to learn about USAID’s endorsement of condom use. Just go to the USAID Web site; here’s an example of what you’ll find there:

“Abstinence from sexual intercourse or maintaining a mutually monogamous relationship between partners known to be uninfected is the surest way to avoid transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Outside of those conditions, condoms have been an important and successful intervention in many places for sexually active people, particularly when targeted at commercial and other casual sexual encounters. While no barrier method is 100 percent effective, correct and consistent use of latex condoms can reduce the risk of transmission of HIV, some other STIs, and of unintended pregnancy.” link here

Posted by: m.g. at August 2, 2005 11:14 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink


Well, so much for the Economist's being one member of the MSM that I thought I could trust to present facts rather than misinformed opinion.

You don’t have to read the fine print of all the aid packages/agencies and spending rules to learn about USAID’s endorsement of condom use. Just go to the USAID Web site; here’s an example of what you’ll find there:

“Abstinence from sexual intercourse or maintaining a mutually monogamous relationship between partners known to be uninfected is the surest way to avoid transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Outside of those conditions, condoms have been an important and successful intervention in many places for sexually active people, particularly when targeted at commercial and other casual sexual encounters. While no barrier method is 100 percent effective, correct and consistent use of latex condoms can reduce the risk of transmission of HIV, some other STIs, and of unintended pregnancy.” link here

Posted by: m.g. at August 2, 2005 11:15 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Ciao, I'm an young Italian student and I preput that i don't know English very well. According to me, to times, it is better to come down the train and to reflect a po' before leaving again, in order not to risk to make a travel the standard of the wait of a new Godot, as who, although the facts of London and Amsterdam, waits for still imperturbable the Mr. multiculturalismo, an integration based not on a serious and constructive reformulation of rights and duties to which all they must submit, but on the promise to grant to personal nationality to the new ones arrives you to the inside of accommodating nations. This misunderstanding of the cultural heterogeneity has concurred to every community of being able to construct in the European cities one they small native land to pact not to hit the other tribes who soon would be been born. This but has been a great error(and unfortunately it is still..)that the attacks of London have brought to light well. Europe, through the deep dichotomies that this crazy agglomeration has carried, has been balkanized. Entire Europe, thanks to its politics to send back always whichever thing can put it in argument and to its eternal escape in ahead in order catching up ephemeral truces it is becoming an enormous Jugoslavia. In fact, if we continue to give credit fatawa, if we continue with the games of prestige of the petty politicians and some magistrates, means that still we have not gotten rid from the chains of the stupidity that gives time too much plagues to us and that once again in we are attended of a Godot that punctually will not arrive never.

Posted by: OrlandoFurioso at August 2, 2005 11:24 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Re ckrisz's .... "Shorter commentors --- put the darkies back in their place."

I assume this is meant to be ironical.

When you make a few points from the right that liberals don't like, they revert to racist accusations. The term "darkies" is pejorative. There are patriotic Brits of all racial backgrounds who also have an issue with Islamic extremism.

That ckrisz resorts to the "darkies" ploy is fairly typical and fairly despicable. This isn't about Victorian era racism, except in the minds of lefties who are fond of reducing informed right wing opinion to the predictable stereotype.

Posted by: scowler at August 3, 2005 02:01 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

m.g.: well I mixed up the conditions - the latest change apparently was the requirement for NGOs and such to sign pledges that they're against prostitution in order to continue to receive aid, not the outright banning of condoms. I don't quite see how that will affect anything, other than make it harder for a key population segment to receive help and counseling, but perhaps it's some sort of legal maneuvering. Prostitution isn't generally a free choice.

Another overview stressed the large positive effect of recent evangelical interest in HIV/AIDS, but mentions the tensions over differing approaches (i.e. more emphasis on abstinence per their beliefs vs. physicians and aid workers' observations and studies)... anyway enough off-topic for now.

Posted by: TG at August 3, 2005 04:31 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

m.g.: well I mixed up the conditions - the latest change apparently was the requirement for NGOs and such to sign pledges that they're against prostitution in order to continue to receive aid, not the outright banning of condoms. I don't quite see how that will affect anything, other than make it harder for a key population segment to receive help and counseling, but perhaps it's some sort of legal maneuvering. Prostiution isn't generally a free choice.

Another overview stressed the large positive effect of recent evangelical interest in HIV/AIDS, but mentions the tensions over differing approaches (i.e. more emphasis on abstinence per their beliefs vs. physicians and aid workers' observations and studies)... anyway enough off-topic for now.

Posted by: TG at August 3, 2005 04:36 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Crap. Something's screwy with MT.

Posted by: TG at August 3, 2005 04:36 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

TG wrote,

Insisting on banning condoms as a condition of receiving US aid because of Christian values is another example...
I missed that one. Can you give us a link or cite for when this was done by any agency of the U.S. government? thanks.

Posted by: sf at August 3, 2005 04:47 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

You also apparently missed the (accidentally doubled) post right above yours where I said I mixed up the restrictions and was wrong. But I don't think it's disputed that there is significant pressure on politicians and these programs to more heavily emphasize abstinence and restrictions tied to abortion or counseling on abortion. The article I linked above also covers some of the very good results of the interest of evangelicals on this topic (using their clout to bring attention in Washington to treating HIV/AIDS).

Posted by: TG at August 3, 2005 06:24 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

But isnt the irony that Bush has done more for Africa already than Clinton did in 8 years?

And does Bush get the credit???

and by the way - abstinence isn't such an awful idea to stress first and foremost

Apart from disease - it might allow more young african girls to get educated and achieve literacy

And wouldn't that be wonderful

Posted by: Pogue Mahone at August 3, 2005 02:24 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Why is it ironic that Bush has done more? It's largely because he's been pressured to by christian groups - the CFR article I linked is pretty gushing over how great it is actually. I applaud it, just not the strings attached.

And sure, promote abstinence, but not at the cost or as a condition for more established and proven medical approaches. But of course people keep fighting over what's established and proven as well... and this topic is also raging in the US as well re: schools and sex ed an so on. But then again they also still fight over whether or not the earth was created in 7 days...

Posted by: TG at August 3, 2005 04:35 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

'Britishness' cannot necessarily be force fed to a radicalized Somali or Eritrean, for instance.

No, but deportation can.

Posted by: R C Dean at August 3, 2005 05:04 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

More proven medical approaches than abstinence? What exactly would those be? Proven to do what? A greater incidence of disease and pregnancy. I don't think that is your desire, is it?

Posted by: exhelodrvr at August 3, 2005 06:51 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

"More proven medical approaches than abstinence? What exactly would those be?"

Condoms, education, counseling, etc. Proven in that they have had better real-world success rates in lowering disease contraction than "just say no" in all instances that I've read about (including the US).

Obviously no sex in the first place will have a lower transmission rate (though many cases apparently are from dirty blood transfusions), but it seems this approach doesn't fly too well in most places. Smoking wouldn't be one of the number one killers in the world either if people abstained from smoking. But millions still don't. Education on the risks and advising abstinence is completely appropriate, just not as a replacement for other methods or with restrictions on other methods.

I'm just saying I'd prefer advice on medical and health issues to be driven by physicans and those working with them, rather than church leaders in the US. And I don't think this is really the space for this endless discussion, so I'm bowing out now.

Posted by: TG at August 3, 2005 07:46 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

A reduction in the welfare state in Europe will lead to a stressing of responsibilities over rights. For it to work deregulation of industry will have to occur for there to be economic growth so people can find jobs and pay their own bills. This will help get the disenfranchised into the mainstream via the business world. Taxes will have to be lowered so people have enough disposable income to afford the luxuries that make their toil worthwhile and to afford property so that they have more of a stake in the rule of law and civil society. In about a generation that should help most of the folks in the banlieus of Lyon to integrate fully into the mainstream. By then Europe will look a lot more like the US.

Posted by: Graham Rhodes at August 3, 2005 08:02 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Simply providing and even promoting condoms will not address certain key vectors for AIDS in Africa. One of these is prositution, which has been instrumental in spreading the disease along major trucking routes. Since prostitutes rarely have the ability or power to demand condom use by their clients, there is a limited impact to providing them.

Of course you could try to encourage their use among the johns, but the current African "solution" is simply to use younger prostitutes instead, hence the probem with 10-12 year olds being brought into the business.

Thus, perhaps forcing NGOs to address problems that everyone is busy overlooking to avoid offending the locals is not a terrible idea.

If you wanted to see whether this was indeed linked to religious demands, you could ask the Gates Foundation what it thinks of these pledges. I can assure you that they are not concerned with any religious pressure, but they are very concerned with finding working solutions. (I honestly don't know what they think of the USAID policies; but thought I'd mention their position in case you wanted to follow up.)

Posted by: Dwight in IL at August 3, 2005 09:03 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Oh, and in response to the comment about religious warfare, I think it's sufficient to point out that the most terrible slaughters in recent memory were:

1) a systematic attempt to annihilate an entire religious and ethnic group, based upon pseudo-sciences flowing out of the rationalist 19th century (10-20 million killed).

2) the attempts by an atheistic, rationalistic, "scientific", and utopian state to force compiance with its enlightened demands (20-50 million killed).

3) the attempts by a second atheistic, rationalistic, "scientific", and utopian state to enlighten its people about how poor people live and also establish self-sufficiency in key industries (50-75 million killed).

What one can certainly say is that ideology, especially unhindered by humility, respect for human dignity, or rule of law, is responsible for terrible slaughter. And religions can become ideologies just as easily as scientific theories, political doctrines, or base preferences.

Posted by: Dwight in IL at August 3, 2005 09:11 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

We will only see seriousness in the British response to all this when we see deportations actually happening at more than a token rate. This would make many in Muslim communities start to think seriously about whether they want their future to be inside the UK or outside of it, which would be a good thing.

Don't hold your breath, is my current impression. The UK's immigration control system is broken, held hostage by the lawyers and the 'human rights' industry.

Posted by: ZF at August 3, 2005 11:21 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

A society is an organic being, subject like other living beings to competition. As such, it needs barriers - a demarcation between those who have a stake in its survival and prosperity and those with an interest in its exploitation and invasion. That's why humans have skin and countries have borders. Within each is the notion of accountability.

Multiculturalism forgets about competitors and ignores the possiblity that other cultures would do harm to Western culture.

Just like promiscuity is fine so long as there are no opportunistic germs nor babies that needed resources to survive.

Dumbness has Darwinian conseqences.

Posted by: Whitehall at August 4, 2005 01:15 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

testing testing ...

Posted by: scowler at August 4, 2005 03:36 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Scowler/Luka (and others who fit the bill): why do all your comments start with "Liberals have always..." or "The problem with the Right...." or "Liberals have been saying..." or other partisan generalizations.

Either your brain has some dysfunction that you cannot see the world except from left and right. Or you are deluded into thinking that you've been hired by Karl Rove/Howard Dean to denigrate liberals/conservatives in Belgravia Dispatch.

Get a clue: traditional political philosophy has very little to do with the national security problems of today. And to the degree it does, framing your arguments around that makes it clear your agenda is political and not analytical.

That doesn't mean that we don't all carry opinion/bias/etc... just that the bias and opinion of professionals in this field are not particularly shaped by left vs. right and we exercise caution to not let our bias knee jerk our responses... but analysis.

Your amateurish commentary is annoying and so warped by your misperceived partisanship that its essentially useless waste of time -- more typical of an AOL politics chat board than something seirous. Sorry to be a bit condescending but i really have higher aspirations for BD.

Posted by: POTUS B at August 4, 2005 02:47 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Well lets comment on Red Kens latest musings from al-Guardian

( can we ignore his comments right after 7/7 yet?? )

Three ways to make us all safer ( THAT SHOULD BE SUFFER )
Support the police, treat Muslims with respect and pull out of Iraq

Ken Livingstone
Thursday August 4, 2005


It is four weeks since bombers indiscriminately killed and maimed ordinary Londoners. Protecting London from terrorists requires the best possible policing - which, in turn, needs the greatest possible flow of information from all communities. It also demands that we shrink the pool of the alienated that bombers draw on by treating all communities as equal parts of British society - not only theoretically, but in reality. And it means withdrawing from Iraq. All are interrelated.

Acceptance that the invasion of Iraq increased the likelihood of a terrorist attack on London now extends far beyond the usual suspects - from Guardian writers to MI5, Douglas Hurd, the Daily Mail, the Spectator, and a majority of the British public. Jack Straw has also acknowledged this debate. If the invasion of Iraq had been justified, it would be possible to argue that we must bear the sacrifices necessary to achieve a just outcome. However, it is evident that the war in Iraq was not justified. It has made the situation worse. The illusions with which it was launched are collapsing.

The reason the US is not able to stabilise Iraq is related to the same critical issue that affects policing in Britain: information. Which is simply another way of saying the attitude of the population.

US forces are ineffective because the great bulk of the population will not give them intelligence voluntarily. Therefore elements within the US military are led to resort to ritual humiliation and torture. This does not yield remotely sufficient information. Therefore US forces are led to relatively blind strikes against those opposing them - inevitably killing innocent civilians. This, of course, has the effect of alienating the population further.

The Iraqi people see US policy in practice. Successive US administrations showed no interest in Iraqi democracy - so long as Saddam Hussein gassed Iranians, Kurds or other US opponents he was supplied with weapons and other support. Only when he struck a US ally was he opposed.

After the 2003 invasion, when US troops were deployed to protect the oil ministry while looting gripped Iraq, when key reconstruction contracts were awarded to US companies, Iraqis understood what was in store for them. US forces cannot win over Iraq's population because the formally stated democratic goals of the forces have nothing to do with the actual policy pursued.

That is also why al-Qaida, previously without a presence in Iraq, now has a strong base there - damaging the fight against international terrorism.

Nevertheless, I want to make the point to some opponents of the war. It is not a policy simply to explain to people: "You are dying because Britain is in Iraq." The bombers came to kill indiscriminately. As one Londoner put it to me: "I am a Muslim and scared - and my first fear is being blown up." I supported action against the Iraq war and I support measures to stop Londoners being bombed.

Right now, only the police can stop bombers. Anyone who tries to avoid this is not dealing with what are literally life and death matters. But the police can only be effective if they get community cooperation. Opponents of the war should continue to oppose it. But they also have to say to London's communities: "Cooperate with the police to catch terrorists" - and explain that the quality of information the police get will be decisively affected by the degree to which communities are treated with respect.

Which leads directly to the question of whether Britain should ban Sheikh Qaradawi - a matter with major consequences for the treatment of Britain's Muslim community. Last week, Jonathan Freedland honestly reported on these pages that Qaradawi utterly condemned the London bombings. However, many have suggested that Qaradawi should none the less be banned because he says Palestinian suicide bombing can be justified under Islam in the specific conditions of the Israel-Palestine conflict. I am utterly against both suicide bombings and Israeli killing of civilians - I didn't oppose capital punishment decade after decade to turn round and say it's all right when suicide bombers blow people up.

But if supporters of the Palestinians should be banned on the grounds that Palestinians kill civilians, then consistency would require banning Israeli leaders, who have been responsible for killing several times more Palestinian civilians. Someone advocating that both Sharon and Qaradawi be banned would be wrong, but at least they would be consistent.

Consider the consequences of a ban on Qaradawi for relations with the Muslim community. My political record makes clear that I totally disagree with Qaradawi on gay rights and many other questions. Nevertheless, he is one of the world's most eminent Muslim religious leaders. It is impossible to say that Britain's Muslims should be treated with respect but that their religion's most eminent representatives must be banned. Imagine how the Jewish community, many of whom do not agree with the policies of Israel's government, would react if Israeli leaders were banned because of military actions that have killed thousands of Palestinian civilians.

Every major British Muslim organisation - even those disagreeing with him, such as Imaan, the organisation of lesbian and gay Muslims - believes Qaradawi should be admitted. Whatever his individual views, he is seen as a moderate and is fiercely opposed to al-Qaida. Those believing he should be banned give lip service to treating Britain's Muslim community with respect but in practice deny it. Not only is that wrong itself, but it will increase the number of alienated fanatics.

As only dialogue and negotiation will end this cycle of violence, I favour banning neither Israeli leaders nor Qaradawi. I don't believe there is any prospect of achieving a lasting peace in the Israel-Palestine conflict until all sides come to terms with the horrors they have perpetrated. The injustice done to the Palestinians does not justify the actions of a suicide bomber. But neither can anything justify the killing of civilians by Israeli forces.

The London bombings, demand clear thinking, not rhetoric. People's lives depend on the decisions made. These must be for every community to aid the police in preventing attacks; to treat Britain's Muslim community with respect, both because it is right and to shrink the pools terrorists operate in; and for Britain to withdraw from Iraq.

· Ken Livingstone is mayor of London; you can donate to the London Bombings Relief Charitable Fund over the counter at your nearest bank or post office, by phone on 08705 125 125, or online at:

Posted by: Pogue Mahone at August 4, 2005 04:27 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Meanwhile - here is a dose of reality from the Tory side

Muslims who hate us can get out, says Tory


Key points
• MP says Muslims who believe Britain is at war with Islam should leave
• Shadow defence secretary incensed by view UK to blame for extremism
• Muslim association calls Gerald Howarth's remarks 'naïve' and 'arrogant'

Key quote
"If they don't like our way of life, there is a simple remedy: go to another country, get out. There are plenty of other countries whose way of life would appear to be more conducive to what they aspire to. They would be happy and we would be happy" - Gerald Howarth, shadow defence minister

Story in full MUSLIMS who resent the British way of life should leave the UK, regardless of whether they are citizens or not, a senior Conservative said last night in comments that have heightened already tense community relations.

Gerald Howarth, the shadow defence minister, last night told The Scotsman that extremist Muslims who see the Iraq war as a conflict against Islam should be considered as treacherous as Soviet sympathisers during the Cold War. His remarkable claim shatters the tri-party consensus which Michael Howard, the Tory leader, sought to make with Tony Blair, the Prime Minister, and the Liberal Democrats.

Mr Howarth said yesterday that he is incensed by suggestions from Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, that Britain is "part of the problem" in Iraq - and said that the problem in the UK lies in fanatical Muslims living within our shores.

He is the first mainstream UK politician to suggest that extremist British Muslims should leave for Islamic societies. The government is looking at deporting foreign-born nationals and imprisoning British Muslims who incite or glorify terrorism.

"If they don't like our way of life, there is a simple remedy: go to another country, get out," Mr Howarth said. Asked what if these people were born in Britain, he replied: "Tough. If you don't give allegiance to this country, then leave."

He added: "There are plenty of other countries whose way of life would appear to be more conducive to what they aspire to. They would be happy and we would be happy."

This was the overwhelming view of people he spoke to, the Tory MP for Aldershot added.

Mr Howarth compared those who despised British values to the traitors who spied for Russia. The shadow defence minister also criticised his colleague, Dominic Grieve, the shadow attorney general, who suggested the suicide bombings were "explicable" by the anger many British Muslims felt over the war and the state of Islam.

Mr Howarth stressed that the majority of Muslims did adhere to British values and described how the Union Flag had been flown at a meeting he had with Muslims over the weekend. However, his remarks were condemned as "arrogant" and "naive" by the Muslim Association of Britain.

Its spokesman, Anas Altikriti, compared the Tory defence spokesman to those who carried out the attacks on London, saying: "They bombed in order to eliminate people, while he is proposing to eliminate people by deporting them."

He also questioned to which country Mr Howarth proposed Muslims should go, as there were no Muslim countries as such, just Muslim people.

Mr Howarth was criticised by Sir Menzies Campbell, the Lib Dem deputy leader, who warned the outburst risked inflaming religious and ethnic tensions.

However, Mr Howarth's views were backed by the leading Muslim politician Mohammed Sarwar, a Glasgow MP who chairs Muslim Friends of Labour. "When it comes to extremists, for example Omar Bakri and Abu Hamza and what they are advocating, then I agree with what Mr Howarth said. There is absolutely no room for people like them in a civilised, democratic society like ours," Mr Sarwar said.

Crimes motivated by religious hatred have rocketed by nearly 600 per cent in London since the July 7 bombings. They include verbal and physical attacks and criminal damage.

Meanwhile in Edinburgh, police are investigating after two Asians were subjected to a racist attack by a gang of 10 men who made comments about the London bombings.

Posted by: Pogue Mahone at August 4, 2005 04:29 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Thinking In Pictures

Posted by: CC at August 5, 2005 08:23 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I read the aticle in 'The UK Prospect' on the Islamic radical.

See Jim Rockford August 2 [above] for web address -

The article leaves you in little doubt as to the aim of Islam for many Muslims in Britain - they wish to establish an Islamic state - any suicide bombings would be directly related to this end. Iraq Afghanistan are just the troubles of the day - they see themselves as being in a war - which could be fought on many fronts. Giving one's life for these beliefs - is interwoven into their religious philosophy - which would otherwise not be unusual. And are perfectly happy to use the media - as a way of getting across their Islamic message – so be wary of the friendly ‘get to know your Islam’ message – [which usually occurs immediately after a bombing]

Posted by: CC at August 6, 2005 12:18 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink
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