The cat i' the adage

"The growth of knowledge depends entirely on disagreement" Karl Popper (1902 - 1994)

Friday, July 29, 2005

Great day in the war against islamist terror but still a lot to do

The remaining three failed London bombers have been arrested and Pakistan has announced that all foreign students at the country's madrassas must return home.

Meanwhile, Mark Steyn reminds us of his earlier insight into the link between welfare dependency and terrorism:

‘If you’re looking for “root causes” for terrorism, European-sized welfare programmes are a good place to start. Maybe if they had to go out to work, they’d join the Daily Mirror and become the next John Pilger. Or maybe they’d open a drive-thru Halal Burger chain and make a fortune. Instead, Tony Blair pays Islamic fundamentalists in London to stay at home, fester and plot.’


The extreme left has chosen to blame Blair for the London terrorist attacks on the grounds that he has inflamed muslim feelings in this country because of the war in Iraq. I blame him too, to an extent, for very different reasons. In defiance of common sense and, presumably, in the interests of appeasing the large labour voting islamic community, he has allowed conditions to develop in this country which are greatly conducive to islamist terror. He has allowed into the country people who have no interest in being assimilated; in the case of asylum seekers, he has prevented their working and provided them with cash from the public purse; meanwhile he has done little to prosecute the clear incitement to murder which is commonplace in many of our mosques, and which has proved very attractive to disaffected, bored, young men with too much time on their hands.

I fear that for this country it may be too late to turn the tide. Maybe it was already too late on 9/11. However the last four years have been wasted when they could have been spent addressing the growing problems presented by the "enemy within".

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Another victory for community relations

The Telegraph gives us this farce:

To improve community relations, West Midlands police yesterday invited the "moderate" chairman of Birmingham Central Mosque to take part in a press conference called to discuss the dawn raids on terrorist suspects in the city.

Dr Mohammad Naseem used the platform to brand Tony Blair a "liar" and to denounce the security services. He disputed the notion that Muslims might in any way be responsible for the bombing campaign in London, suggesting that the men sought for last week's failed attacks were probably just innocent commuters, then adding, for good measure, that DNA science could not be trusted.


But, of course, the police are on record for claiming that islam and terrorism don't go together so we shouldn't be too surprised.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Say your prayers

A strange argument for extending the amount of time that a suspect can be held without trial from the present 14 days:

Police commissioner Ian Blair ... explained that two weeks were insufficient to question terror suspects and follow up on leads that often take officers overseas. Investigations also take longer due to the need to crack computer codes and because some witnesses need time for prayer.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

July 21 bombers: some facts emerge

Some facts have been emerging about the men involved in the failed suicide bombings on July 21 in London.

(1) All four attended the notorious Finsbury Park mosque,
(2) Two were receiving benefits to rent a council flat,
(3) Both are "thought" to be asylum seekers.

These 3 facts suggest that islamist terrorism in the UK is not such an intractable problem as many would have us believe.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Very disturbing numbers

YouGov's poll of muslim Britains reveals the scale of the alienation between substantial sections of islamic society and the country in which they have chosen to live.

There are some horrendous numbers here. 6% of muslims think that the 7/7 bomb attacks were "on balance justfied"; 24% sympathise to some extent with the bombers; 44% believe that any muslim brought to trial for involvement in the attacks will not receive a fair trial.

I wonder how these figures would compare with other countries, but I suspect that there is something peculiarly amiss in Britain.

And how are the muslim leaders responding in this time of unprecedented security threats originating from within the islamic section of society? Inayat Bunglawala, of the Muslim Council of Britain says following the Stockwell shooting that quite a lot of Muslims are "distressed about what may be a shoot-to-kill policy". Thanks for your support, pal. Dr Azzam Tamimi, from the Muslim Association of Britain, goes one better warning that the threat to Britain would continue as long as its forces remained in Iraq, which, on the assumption that he opposes that military action, sounds very much like an endorsement of the bombing campaign.


I am increasingly disposed to see "moderate" islam at the central problem here. It is far too islamic and not nearly moderate enough. It is too ready to tolerate views completely at odds with a civilised society while undermining reasonable attempts by the authorities to respond to security threats arising entirely from within their community.

UPDATE

Massoud Shadjareh, chairman the Islamic Human Rights Commission, has said:

We know this wasn't a one-off, we need to look at ways of addressing the underlying factors that created it. I feel it's urgent to start addressing these before there is further loss of life.



Perry de Havilland asks, in consequence: "Does a voice for 'moderate' Islam in Britain actually exist?".

UPDATE

Pete_London attempts an answer to that last question:

Does a voice for 'moderate' Islam in Britain actually exist?

Yes, and Tamimi is that voice. What are commonly thought of as 'moderate' muslims are extremely thin on the ground. As I said in an earlier thread, the moderate Sir Iqbal Sacranie thought nothing of snubbing an invite to attend the 60th anniversay of the liberation of Auschwitz.

I've known many muslims for many years and made a point of asking about Islam and the West, global affairs, Israel, terrorism etc. I haven't met one, not even the drinking, smoking, clean shaven, jeans wearing ones, who who doesn't make Michael Moore sound like the voice of reason. For years I've heard from the mouths of muslims that Islam is everything, that the future belongs to them, that Britain and the West is nothing.

The entire left, Blair, Livingstone, the Guardian, liberals, multiculties, the whole lot of the we must reach out to them crew are in dreamland. There are no truly moderate muslims to reach out to.


Which leads me to repeat that I have known several moderate people of muslim background, but, without exception, they have given up their religion.

Friday, July 22, 2005

"As British as a police warning for flying the union flag"

Anthony Browne addresses the question why Britain is the only western country to have produced its own suicide bombers:

The real answer to why Britain spawned people fuelled with maniacal hate for their country is that Britain hates itself. In hating Britain, these British suicide bombers were as British as a police warning for flying the union flag.


The only thing we are licensed to be proud of is London’s internationalism — in other words, that there is little British left about it.


Self-loathing in a nation, like self-loathing in an individual, is alienating. Someone who despises himself inspires greater contempt than affection, and a country that hates itself cannot expect its newcomers to want to belong.


Britain is one of the few countries where it is a source of pride to despise your country. We are all repeatedly taught the things to be ashamed of about Britain, but what about the things to be proud of? The truth is that Britain’s self-loathing is as unique as it is unwarranted. Britain really is great. These small rainswept isles off the western end of the vast Eurasian landmass have contributed far more to the well-being of the rest of humanity than any other country, bar none.


None of this is the least profound. Rather, it is obvious but no less welcome for that. At present, I feel there is a chance of our waking up to the threatened annihilation of our culture, but whether this will be a sustained recovery or whether it will be stifled by multicultural pieties and institutional anti-racism is a matter for conjecture.

Second London bombs - police on the case

What is it about the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Ian Blair (no relation), that fails to inspire confidence?

This is what he had to offer after the failed terrorist attack yesterday:

The intention of the terrorists must have been to kill.


No kidding? And of the possible connection with the attacks two weeks previously:

There is a resonance here. There were four attacks and there were four attacks before.


Brilliant. I suppose it must take years of police work before you can spot patterns like this in the seemingly chaotic maelstrom of events.

Sir Ian's refusal, two weeks ago, to see a link between Islam and terrorism was brilliantly dissected by Charles Moore in the written edition of last week's Spectator:

It is rather as if he said that there was no link between Jamaicans and drug-dealing, or teenagers and binge-drinking. In all cases, most people in those categories would not be involved, and yet you could not begin to tackle such crimes unless you understood that some of them were and that this reflected something about the state of their culture.


Spot on.

On a personal note, I was travelling yesterday on the Northern Line through Oval a few minutes before the failed bombing there. These bastards must be rounded up.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

British to blame for London bombs

I've been away for a blissful couple of days in provincial France and I come back to this.

Not much surprise to hear the far left and islamofascists playing this tune, but what of sane, moderate opinion? What, for example does Sayeeda Warsi, the muslim vice-chair of the Conservative party, think? Oh dear.

"We must start engaging with, not agreeing with, the radical groups who we have said in the past are complete nutters," she said.


Only if it makes them easier to kill.

"We need to bring these groups into the fold of the democratic process. As long as we exclude them and don't hear them out, we will allow them to continue their hate.


Sayeeda, it is clear from what you say that you do not understand these people at all: they have no interest in the "democratic process". They want sharia law.

"It may not achieve results immediately, but it may stop the immediate violence."


If this becomes anything like Conservative policy, I, for one, shall be tearing up my membership card.

The establishment has no consistent response to islamic extremism, though, for heaven's sake, they've had long enough to work one out. As Rod Liddle points out in this week's Spectator, they continue to treat us as fools. I like this anecdote:

...incessant eulogies to the indefatigable London Spirit are not, by themselves, necessarily harmful. Inaccurate and stupid, perhaps, but they may just serve to give comfort and succour to those few of us not directly involved who have been, for one reason or another, truly traumatised. For the rest of us, we’re left with a vague sense of irritation and the suspicion that we are taken for fools who can be cheerfully patronised. This suspicion manifested itself shortly after the first bombs detonated on the Underground and the authorities informed us, on the radio and television, that the trouble had come from a ‘power surge’. ‘They’re having a laugh,’ my minicab driver said as we made our way across a deserted Waterloo Bridge at ten o’clock in the morning, the drizzle slowly falling over the city, police helicopters buzzing hither and thither. ‘It’s them fuckin’ Mozzies again, innit?’ Yes, of course — or three or four of them, at least.


At least we can still count on London cabbies for good sense.

Friday, July 15, 2005

This gets worse...

Now it looks as if the bombmaker is a lecturer at Leeds University!

Good news from Gleneagles

Philip Stott recalls a letter he wrote to The Telegraph:

In the UK, "global warming" is a faith. Here the "science" is legitimised by the myth. This is something that even our august Royal Society has failed to grasp. Too many of us believe we are making an independent scientific assessment, when, in reality, we have subsumed Hume-scepticism to the demands of faith.


With respect to the science of climate change, the most fundamental question remains: "Can humans manipulate climate predictably?" Or, more scientifically: "Will cutting carbon dioxide emissions at the margin produce a linear, predictable change in climate?" The answer is "No". In so complex a coupled, non-linear, chaotic system as climate, not doing something at the margins is as unpredictable as doing something. This is the cautious science; the rest is dogma.


But now he feels:

Luckily, the Green dogma has failed and common economic sense is beginning to prevail. Perhaps, quite unexpectedly, the Gleneagles Summit may prove to have been a turning point. In the words of an editorial in The Australian on 13 July (3): 'As the G8 Gleneagles summit proved, there is no consensus on how to combat global warming today or tomorrow but the bell now tolls on a decade of illusion.'


Hope he's right.

Feeding the hand that bites you

Not only is Britain the home of choice for Islamic militants unwelcome in their own countries, but it now transpires that British tax-payers' money is being used to radicalise young muslims:

Behind the respectable front of a government-funded community centre, the two youngest suicide bombers are believed to have been radicalised by mentors whom they saw as father figures.

On the surface the project, an offshoot of the main Hamara community building, was doing outreach work with young men and women in the deprived area. But an official working elsewhere in the community, who did not want to be named, told the Guardian that he had reported the goings on at the youth centre to police after he became suspicious that it was a front for radicalising young men.


Liberal society sows the seeds of its own destruction if it tolerates the intolerant. Britain has gone one better in choosing to subsidise them. No wonder, we've moved up the Jihadists' table.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

As British as a wet bank holiday...

Good old Boris in cracking form:

I have already had enough about how perfectly normal these young men were, and what charming fellows they were, and how there was nothing they loved more than serving in dad's chip shop or helping an old lady across the street or a good game of cricket in the park.

"All he wanted to do was have a laugh," said one of the neighbours last night, about one of the sick quartet responsible for killing themselves and at least 52 others in London. "He was sound as a pound." Yeah, right. If these four young men were perfectly normal Yorkshiremen, then what the hell is happening to this country? Of all the shattering revelations of the past few days, the worst has been that these suicide bombers were British.



Then a question that I think Jorgen was getting at:

We seem to have pulled off the rare feat of breeding suicide bombers determined to attack the very society that incubated them; and the question is why. Why does America import its suicide bombers, while we produce our own?


Johnson's answer is that we have given up on our national symbols and culture:

The disaster is that we no longer make any real demands of loyalty upon those who are immigrants or the children of immigrants.


We have ... created a multi-cultural society that has many beauties and attractions, but in which too many Britons have absolutely no sense of allegiance to this country or its institutions. It is a cultural calamity that will take decades to reverse, and we must begin now with what I call in this morning's Spectator the re-Britannification of Britain.


In 1990 Norman Tebbit was making a similar point when he said:

"A large proportion of Britain's Asian population fail to pass the cricket test. Which side do they cheer for? It's an interesting test. Are you still harking back to where you came from or where you are?"



How he was reviled! Note, by the way, that Wikipedia writes that "the problem, if there was one, has disappeared" which is remarkably shallow.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Fourth bomber identified

Police seem to know the identity of the fourth London bomber.

Just a wild guess on my part. Call me clairvoyant if I get all this right, but something tells me it's a young muslim whose friends think he is devoutly religious. I know it doesn't sound at all plausible.

Bombers were muslims!

Astonishing news. Islam may not be the problem, as the worthies in the British islamic community keep telling us, but the correlation between islam and incidents of this sort is rather striking and details like the following are very familiar and, I think, telling:

Friends said Shehzad Tanweer was a keen cricketer and "a good Muslim" and expressed disbelief that he could have been involved in England's worst terrorist attack.

Sounds like the "walking angel" again.

If this is a perversion of islamic teaching, it is up to those communities to root out the evil, and to do that they first have to recognise it. While they continue to see these fanatics as "good muslims" we will be justified in asking whether they are doing enough to prevent terrorist acts.

UPDATE

The Telegraph leader makes a similar point:

It is inconceivable that, as four young men became sufficiently radicalised that they were prepared to immolate themselves and others, no one around them noticed. Someone - in a home, a mosque, a study group - must have had a suspicion of where things might be heading.


I'm not sure that I entirely agree that it is "for reasons which may be quite unconnected with the Islamic faith" that "Muslim communities harbour homicidal individuals who are committed to the destruction of the western way of life", but I'm prepared to go along with a certain amount of what Mark Steyn calls "multiculti pieties" if that is the price to pay to make those communities act to extirpate the poison that they have allowed fester.

UPDATE 2

The Belmont Club makes the point thus:

Although the public is being asked to oppose any "backlash against the Muslim community" one of the nagging questions will be how people in the 22-year old age range could have created a bomb factory and planned a suicide attack from this "run-down, mixed-race area dotted with red brick terraced houses" without anybody noticing, especially since the bomb factory may have been "near the Leeds Grand Mosque". As a rule, people don't go from being totally innocent and unmotivated persons to being committed suicide bombers armed with high explosives without passing through any intermediate stages.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

US troops told to avoid London

Of course, we shouldn't want them in harm's way.

Thousands of US military personnel based in the UK have been banned by commanders from travelling to London in the wake of Thursday's bomb attacks.

"We are concerned about the safety of our folks and are trying to do what we can to protect them," RAF Mildenhall spokesman Matt Tulis said.


We have been assured that the American people stand with us, but not, it appears, when we are waiting at bus stops in Piccadilly.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

"Islam and terrorism don't go together"

The most inane comments on 7/7 courtesy of the spokesman for the Metropolitan police, Brian Paddick.

Read Charles Moore's withering assessment:

It is true that the vast majority of Muslims are not terrorists, or involved in terrorism, and this needs to be said strongly if people assert otherwise. But if the Metropolitan Police really believe what Brian Paddick says, if they really, truly think that the words "Islam" and "terrorism" must not be linked, then we have little hope of catching the killers, of understanding how the terrorism works, or of preventing new atrocities.


Islamic terrorism must be seen for what it is, and must be confronted within Islamic communities. If the desire not to give offence to racial minorities is to take precedence over the will to root out this evil, then our liberal values will be fatally undermined. And if the police cannot see this, then they become part of the problem.

Friday, July 08, 2005

War in Iraq, bombs in London

I find it difficult to disagree with the Sun when it calls George Galloway “a disgusting slimeball” for his claim that “Londoners have paid the price” for Tony Blair’s policy on Iraq and Afghanistan, but there is a more modest and insidious form of the link between the war in Iraq and yesterday’s tragic events in London. The Guardian puts it thus:

Robin Cook, elsewhere on these pages, will speak for many when he writes: "President Bush is given to justifying the invasion of Iraq on the grounds that by fighting terrorism abroad it protects the west from having to fight terrorists at home. Whatever else can be said in defence of the war in Iraq today, it cannot be claimed that it has protected us from terrorism on our soil."

There appears to be something in this. It is very probable that Britain has raised itself higher on the list of terrorist targets as a result of our engagement in the war on terrorism, but, rather than seeing this as a failure of policy, I regard it as a source of great pride. As usual Britain has been tackling evil while other nations, equally at threat in the long term, have advocated or practised appeasement. To paraphrase Churchill, they have been feeding the crocodile in the hope that it will eat them last.

In judging whether our country is made more or less secure as a result of our military intervention in the Middle East we should take a longer view. Islamic extremism must be extirpated. In the short term it may be inflamed by our engaging with it but we shall need to do this in order to defeat it. There is no accommodation that we can make with militant Islam that would not surrender our essential freedoms. This is the thought to have clearly in mind as we reflect on yesterday’s slaughter.

UPDATE

Christopher Hitchens in today's Mirror:

I know perfectly well there are people thinking, and even saying, that Tony Blair brought this upon us by his alliance with George Bush.


A word of advice to them: try and keep it down, will you? Or wait at least until the funerals are over. And beware of the non-sequitur: you can be as opposed to the Iraq operation as much as you like, but you can't get from that "grievance" to the detonating of explosives at rush hour on London buses and tubes.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

London's Olympic victory

After Chirac's pathetic anti-British attacks it would be hard not to take pleasure at the defeat of Paris's Olympic bid, though a New York victory would certainly have been preferable.

Over at the Telegraph views are mixed:

The Olympics, ancient and modern, have always been about peace (and some hypocrisy). Therefore it seems strange to assign the 2012 Games to the capital of a country at war. Rev Göran Koch-Swahne, Stockholm, Sweden.


I shall assume the Rev. Koch-Sucker's point is lost in translation. If he has any education he cannot imagine that ancient Greece was a particularly peaceful place. He cannot be unaware that in more modern times the Olympic committee was quite happy to award the games to Nazi Germany. Perhaps he believes that the games should only be held in countries which are active in appeasing genocidal dictators. This would explain his disappointment at Paris's failure.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

A Popperian challenge to climate scientists

We're close to reaching the point in the summer when predictions of the hottest heat wave in a thousand years will give way to solemn assertions that, thanks to global warming, we must expect more cold and wet weather of the type that we have been experiencing at this time of year. This ability effortlessly to absorb apparently refractory experience is what is so troubling about the scientific credentials of theories of man-made climate change.

Most people who have reflected on the nature of enquiry have come to accept the value of Popper's criterion that for a hypothesis to qualify as scientific - as opposed to non-scientific, pseudo-scientific, religious or metaphysical - it must be capable of refutation. A scientific hypothesis should not be consistent with any conceivable empirical outcome: it should rule out certain phenomena, so that, if those phenomena are observed, the hypothesis itself can be ruled out. Furthermore, the scientific attitude consists of exposing hypotheses to potential refutation, rather than nursing them in the face of anomalous experience or bolstering them with more and more confirming evidence.

When Einstein said that he would abandon the General Theory of Relativity if the bending of starlight round the sun - as implied by his theory - was not observed during a solar eclipse, he was setting an example that climate scientists appear reluctant to follow. If they seemed more open to the fallibility of scientific enquiry, if they were prepared to identify the empirical circumstances that would lead them to reject their favoured hypotheses, I would take them - and anthropogenic global warming - seriously. In the mean time I shall continue to regard them as "mission-oriented" shills of the environmentalist religion.

Not the way to win the British over to the European ideal

Putin and Schroder sit back sniggering while Chirac cracks feeble anti-British jokes. This would be a demeaning scene even if the individuals concerned were not the political leaders of the three fastest fading global powers. We would reprimand our schoolchildren for such puerile chauvinistic name-calling.

The French, I concede, are in a position to disparage British cuisine but I hardly think we need lessons on cooking from the Russians or the Germans for that matter. As for M Chirac, he is sorely testing my Francophilia. Were it not for the fact that the French sensibly hold him in deep loathing, I might be tempted to put off my planned gastronomic tour of Alsace.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Aid and poverty

The Globalisation Institute reports on research that links aid to economic failure:

On the eve of the G8 summit, a report published by the Globalization Institute shows that that for every 1% increase in development aid received by a developing country, there is a 3.65% drop in real GDP growth per capita.


Concerning Live8, my feeling is that if people are prepared to spend their own money making things worse in Africa that's up to them; but if they want to spend other people's money to prop up the continent's kleptocracies they invite our lasting contempt.