Is it really so black and white?

English: Nakumatt Westgate in Westlands, Nairobi
English: Nakumatt Westgate in Westlands, Nairobi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There have been a number of attacks by what I will politely describe as ‘Islamists’ across the world in the last few days. One has made the headlines full time in the Western media. Another got a mention but was rapidly relegated from the headlines. Yet another was rarely mentioned and was probably not noticed by many people.

Let’s have a look at these attacks:

Kenya, Nairobi, Westgate Shopping Centre

An armed group enters and takes control of the prestigious Westgate Shopping Centre. Those who are deemed to be Muslim from the answer given as to what was the name of Mohammed’s mother were allowed to leave. Those remaining were cut down with grenades and bullets and others retained as hostages. So far 62 people have been killed and 170 injured.

Pakistan, Peshawar, All Saints Anglican Church

Two ‘suicide’ bombers targeted the church during the celebrations for Mass and blew themselves up, killing many and injuring many others. To date 75 people are known to have been killed with another 120 wounded.

Nigeria, Borno State, Maiduguri-Damaturu road near Benisheik

Suspected gunmen belonging to Boko Haram laid siege to Benisheik, Kaga Local Government Area on Tuesday evening, killing people and setting buildings ablaze. They also blocked the Maiduguri-Damaturu highway, three kilometers away from the town, slaughtering dozens of travelers. Apart from the 142 travellers, also killed in the attack were 2 soldiers, 3 policemen and 14 villagers,bringing the total death toll to 161.

All of these events are vile, evil and brutal in their nature. All involve killing many innocents in pursuit of some perverted ‘Islamist’ agenda.

Yet one events stands out in the amount of coverage by the Western media, that of the attacks at the Westgate Shopping Centre. The question that comes to my mind is ‘Why?’

It could be that some of the victims at Westgate were British, or that some of the victims were British and White. Certainly there is unlikely to be any British or White innocents killed in the atrocities in Nigeria or Pakistan.

Is our Western media really looking at this in such black and white terms?

This post inspired by this Twitter conversation.


Authored by Chris Hall

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The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939

Spanish civil war monument
Spanish civil war monument (Photo credit: pixelnaiad)

Just finished reading Anthony Beevor’s book The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939 and it really is an eye opener. I’ve already read a couple of works on The Spanish Civil war such as Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia, William Rust’s Britons in Spain, the History of the British Battalion of the XVth International Brigade and some references in Jack Jones’ autobiography Union Man. But nothing of the horror comes across in those references as it does in Beevor’s book. The Spanish Civil War really did nail down the adage that there’s nothing civil in a civil war.

So Beevor’s book tries to take an unbiased overview of the timeline of the awful events and I think he succeeds well. Neither the Republican or Nationalist forces and their respective backers come out well. Everyone is tarnished.

I’m not going to write a review but instead highlight some points which have stuck with me after finishing the book.

  • The British government, especially Eden, Chamberlain and Halifax come out badly. Paralysed by uncertainty and a lack of concern for human suffering.
  • Stalin’s support seems to start out with good intentions but soon falls apart as policy seems to become dictated by propaganda, communist hegemony, fear of the Nazis and paranoia about Trotskyist and Anarchist plots.
  • Italy input is coloured by Mussolini’s character and plays to the stereotypes of Italian warmaking – incompetence, more interested in the sins of the flesh and an inability not to bomb their own troops.
  • The rapidity and willingness of the Spanish to kill with abandon those from the opposing camp.
  • The usual capitalist manoeuvres from the USA in selling equipment to both sides.
  • The greed of Hermann Goering in selling weapons to both to the Nationalist and Republican forces.
  • How the Nazis used the Spanish country and people as a test bed for new weaponry and tactics.
  • The barbarism of the Moors who form part of the Army of Africa.
  • The awful behaviour of the Republicans towards the Catholic church.
  • The absolutely awful behaviour of the Catholic church towards those they viewed as ‘Reds’ – ‘1 month off purgatory for every Red killed’.
  • The usual profiteering of those directing the war, both Republican and Nationalist.
  • The plan by the Spanish Communist leadership to purge the Socialists, Trotskyists and Anarchists when the time is right.
  • The bigotry and racism of some of the International Brigades towards the Spanish – Kleberism.
  • The hatred of the Spanish Communist leadership, people such as Marty and Negrin towards others on the left who weren’t part of the Communist Party.
  • How Spain was forgotten and overshadowed by the events of Czechoslovakia in 1938.

It’s well worth a read.

Authored by Chris Hall

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Who are the terrorists?

Coffee With Jesus, always interesting!

Authored by Chris Hall

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Is Banning the Burka in Britain Racist?

So Syria’s just about to have the shit bombed out of it, Cameron and the media are working overtime to make the country feel guilty for not joining in the bomb-fest and the Tories are getting a cheap thrill from making the poor, disabled and unemployed pay for the banking crisis they didn’t create. So what does Tory MP Philip Hollobone do? He puts a bill onto the Parliamentary timetable looking to make burka clad women criminals in their own country. Yup, he wants to ban the burka.

Tory MP’s ban the burqa bill reaches parliament

Francois ‘Bomber’ Hollande

Perhaps he feels ‘one’ with that the faux socialist Francois Hollande, President of France who already has the burka banned and is itching to rain death down on the Syrians, and is the man to follow. And while Hollobone is at it he wants to reintroduce capital punishment, privatise the BBC, have a referendum on equal marriage, withdraw from the EU and rename the August bank holiday as Margaret Thatcher Day. My arse.

Also in the news there was a recent judicial case where a judge refused to allow a Muslim woman to enter a plea because she refused to remove her burka, as she does not believe she should be seen uncovered by none familial men.

Muslim woman must remove burka in court, judge insists

Judge Murphy told her: ‘It is necessary for this court to be satisfied that they can recognise the defendant. While I obviously respect the right to dress in any way she wishes, certainly while outside the court, the interests of justice are paramount. I can’t, as a circuit judge, accept a plea from a person whose identity I am unable to ascertain.’

But then on the flipside there’s nothing but praise for a judge who happens to be blind. Judge John Lafferty told Snaresbrook Crown Court he couldn’t view a video relating to paedophilia as he obviously couldn’t view the images so he decided to let full-sighted judge decide on severity of the pornographic film.

Blind judge adjourns sentencing of pervert so colleague can decide how serious child pornography video is

There was a little bit of kerfuffle over this but it was short lived and Judge John Lafferty continues to preside over cases, and very competently I expect.

The problem for me is when all three items are viewed together I can only ask the question is there racism or islamophobia at work here in such high levels of British society and the State? In the case of the blind judge it’s accepted that he doesn’t have to see people’s faces or visually identify them to do his job. Then we have Judge Murphy who is adamant that he has to see people’s faces. When it comes down to it this act of seeing people is either a requirement of justice or it isn’t. If it is a requirement then someone needs to tell Judge John Lafferty that he’ll be spending more time tending his garden as his disability obviously disqualifies him from presiding as a judge. If it isn’t then Judge Murphy and even more so Philip Hollobone need to address their own prejudices.

Burka / Niqab – I know all the articles in the linked news items refer to the burka but I think they really mean the niqab. To me the burka is the all enveloping covering associated with Afghanistan and the niqab is the face veil that covers everything but the eyes. For continuity’s sake I’ve used burka throughout regardless of the accuracy.

Authored by Chris Hall

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The means of production in the hands of the producers

Industrial Workers of the World
Industrial Workers of the World (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wise words from Utah Phillips, who was a proud member of the Industrial Workers of the World, the one big union supporting anarcho-syndicalism.

The means of production in the hands of the producers
Produced for use instead of profit
Create an abundance for the workers and nothing for the parasites
An end to the wage system

Better than Labour’s Clause IV. Nothing to argue about.

Authored by Chris Hall

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