A female suicide bomber is thought to be behind a Moscow airport bombing which killed at least 35 people including one Briton.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has described the blast at Domodedovo airport, which left more than 100 wounded, as a "well-planned act of terror" and vowed to "liquidate" the militants responsible.
Russian authorities have said two Britons were among those killed but the Foreign Office says it is only able to confirm one. He has been named as Gordon Campbell Cousland, who was in his late-30s and formerly worked for London marketing firm CACI. A brochure produced by the company said Mr Cousland, who is thought to have family in Sleaford, Lincolnshire, had been involved in the opening of shopping outlets in Moscow and St Petersburg.
Embassy staff are combing hospitals for any wounded British victims.
Mr Medvedev has put the country on high alert and called an emergency meeting of the Kremlinto discuss the blast, which is reportedly the work of a female suicide bomber, possibly accompanied by a man.
Earlier reports suggested the bomber was a man.
Mr Medvedev has said management at the airport should be held accountable for "clear security breaches".
"Someone had to try very hard to carry or bring through such a vast amount of explosives," he said. "Everyone linked to the company that makes decisions there, and the management of the airport itself, has to answer for everything. This is an act of terror. This is grief. This is a tragedy."
According to Russian TV, eyewitnesses said the bomber had shouted "I'll kill you all" before detonating the charge.
No claim of responsibility has been made for the blast at Domodedovo Airport, which is Russia's busiest. But Chechen militants behind many other terrorist acts in Russia, including last year's double suicide bombing on the Moscow subway that killed 40, are the main suspects.
I have on my shelves Dr. Sean Gabb's book, Cultural Revolution, Culture War: How Conservatives Lost England, and How to Get It Back (on-line for download or purchase at http://www.libertarian.co.uk/) and a thoroughly good read it is. If you haven’t yet read it then I completely recommend it.
Michael Presley has written a critique of the book in the The Brussels Journal and that’s well worth a read, also, and Mr. Presley’s review reminded me that I have always meant to draw this volume to your attention.
Basically, and to quote Mr. Presley, Dr. Gabb “offers an ideological explanation for the current British social-political environment, and then offers suggestions as to how the situation may be reversed. Although ostensibly writing about Great Britain, Gabb acknowledges that his insights hold throughout the West.”
However, Dr. Gabb’s book does more than that and is couched in such reasonable, proper and clear language that you could lend your copy to your maiden aunt and be assured that although she might still disagree with you and Dr. Gabb when she had finished it she most certainly would not feel offended by what she had read. This volume is that rare thing – a crystal clear, easily readable book by an academic.
The man who threatened his cousin if she did not resume covering herself with a hibaj and called his aunt's family "bitches and whores" has been convicted of the crime of making threats to kill. He will be sentenced at Crown Court Isleworth at a later date.
Speaking outside court, Detective Inspector Glyn Jones of Hammersmith and Fulham's community safety unit, said: "The victim was left in fear following the reaction of her cousin and by working together we have made it clear that this threatening behaviour is not acceptable.
"Other victims of honour-based violence should feel reassured that they can report allegations to police who have specially-trained officers to investigate these crimes, and can also provide access to other organisations who are dedicated to supporting the victims."
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- A leader of the Southern Baptist Convention has withdrawn from a coalition that supports the rights of Muslims to build mosques in their communities.
Richard Land, the head of the SBC's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, said he heard from many Southern Baptists who felt the work of the Interfaith Coalition on Mosques crossed the line from defending religious freedom to promoting Islam.
"I don't agree with that perception but it's widespread and I have to respect it," he told The Associated Press.
The Coalition was formed last year as an initiative of the Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish group that fights discrimination.
Its first action was to file a friend of the court brief opposing a lawsuit that sought to stop a planned mosque in Murfreesboro, about 30 miles southeast of Nashville.
"My constituents, many felt, 'Yes. We certainly believe in religious freedom. People ought to have a place of worship. But it's a bridge too far not only to advocate for that, but to file suit,"' he said.
Saud Anwar is the founder and co-chair of the American Muslim Peace Initiative and a member of the coalition. He said he was saddened and disappointed by Land's action, which he believes undermines Land's professions of support for religious liberty for all.
"The Southern Baptist community is one of the finest examples of faith in action that I know of," Anwar said. "You are setting an example by your action."
Land said he was surprised by the opposition.
"I do think it's important to note that people were not calling me and saying Muslims don't have a right to have mosques," he said.
Land opposes building a Muslim community center with a mosque near New York City's Ground Zero, but he qualified that opposition: "That's not a religious liberties issue. That is a good manners issue."
Asked about statements from some evangelical Christians opposed to the Murfreesboro mosque that Islam is not a legitimate religion, Land said neither the government nor society should decide which religions are "kosher" and which are not.
So no matter what the belief system advocates and exalts, we must all accept it as a "religion" with all the constitutional protections that word implies, so long as it calls itself a religion.
"That's not religious liberty; that's toleration," he said.
Should we tolerate polygamy, forced marriage, the teaching that men are superior to women, that Muslims are superior to non-Muslims, antisemitism, and the justification of violence to advance Islam?
Land said he will continue to work for religious freedom and feels he can do it just as well from outside the coalition as from inside it.
"I promise you, we're not going to back up in our defense of religious freedom," he said.
But what if what you are definding should not properly be classified as a religion? What exactly are you defidning when you defend Islam?
The other prominent evangelical Christian member of the coalition, the Rev. Joel Hunter of Orlando-area megachurch Northland, a Church Distributed, said he had heard "surprisingly little" opposition to his participation.
"Most conservative evangelicals I talk to in my own congregation are really clear on First Amendment rights, that every religion has a right to free expression," he said.
He added that, as a pastor, he is in a different position than Land, whose potential constituency includes all Southern Baptists. With almost 16.2 million members, the Nashville-based SBC is the largest Protestant denomination in the U.S.
Anti-Defamation League National Director Abraham Foxman released a statement on Land's withdrawal writing, "We respect Richard Land. We respect his decision. We wish it were otherwise."
We applaud Richard Land, even if he the reasons he gives for this decision are unsatisfactory.
It's down to Shi'a versus Sunni in Lebanon. The Christians are no longer relevant. From the NYTimes:
BEIRUT — Saad Hariri, whose government was toppled after Hezbollah and its allies withdrew from it this month, declared the appointment of a new prime minister chosen by the Shiite Muslim movement on Tuesday a “coup d’état,” as angry protesters took to the streets in Lebanon, burning tires and attacking the office of one of Mr. Hariri’s foes.
The escalating demonstrations deepened one of the worst crises in years in this small Mediterranean country whose confrontations often serve as an arena for regional and international disputes. It has pitted Hezbollah and its allies, backed by Iran and Syria, against Mr. Hariri and his supporters, backed by the United States and France.
After days of political wrangling, the candidate chosen by Hezbollah, Najib Miqati, a billionaire and former prime minister, won 68 seats in Lebanon’s 128-member Parliament, enough to name the next government in a country as divided as it is diverse. His elevation was a clear victory for Hezbollah, which has ruled out Mr. Hariri’s return to power, and it marked the culmination of what was already accepted as a fact of life here: that Hezbollah is the country’s pre-eminent military and political force.
“What has happened is virtually a coup d’état, a political coup d’état,” Mr. Hariri said in an interview at his home near the seat of government that he and his team left only days before. “Me and my allies, we will represent the opposition.”
He blamed former allies and said he was filled with “lots of feelings of betrayal.”
The prospect of Mr. Hariri in the opposition could ensure prolonged instability in a country still haunted the legacy of its 15-year civil war, which ended in 1990.
Mr. Hariri represents Lebanon’s Sunni Muslim community in a system that rigidly divides power among its sects. A government without his participation would assuredly be viewed as Shiite-dominated and beholden to Hezbollah. That very prospect unleashed the protests on Tuesday in Beirut, Tripoli and other predominantly Sunni towns.
“It is a day of anger against the interference of Iran and Syria,” Mohammed Kabbar, a lawmaker from Tripoli, told protesters who went on to burn a van belonging to Al Jazeera, the Arab satellite channel, which some believe is sympathetic to Hezbollah. “This is the angry Lebanon. Don’t test our anger.”
The protesters also attacked an office belonging to Mohammed Safadi, a Sunni lawmaker and minister from Tripoli who voted for Mr. Miqati.
In Beirut, scores of youths burned tires, overturned trash dumpsters and built barricades across a main road to the downtown area. They sought to stop traffic, throwing rocks at passing cars, though the army eventually reopened the road.
“Sunni blood is boiling, boiling!” some of them shouted.
My counsel has instructed me that in cases brought under Article 266b, the only thing that determines whether one is convicted or not is a matter of the perceived insult whereas one is barred from proving the truth of the statement.
The article deals with public statements whereby a group of people are “threatened, insulted or degraded”. But as my lawyer has already noted, I have made no public statement.
When it comes to Article 266b, there is no equality before the law. I am daily insulted and degraded by something I read or hear and I am sure that most people have the same experience.
For example, I am not only insulted and degraded and threatened, but shaken to the core of my being when I hear a well known Danish imam state that, of course, sharia law — Muslim law — will be instituted as Denmark’s official legal regime when there are a sufficient number of Muslims. I strongly urge our country’s jurists to get acquainted with the implications of the sharia, not only for Muslims but equally for non-Muslims, who — if they are lucky — will be reduced to a life as subhuman outlaws. And if one cannot be bothered with tedious dissertations, one may take a look at the legal order pertaining in areas where the sharia holds sway either de jure or de facto. One will then encounter a legal order the like of which we have not known since the passing of the Law of Jutland in 1241 and probably not before.
But the imam wants this disorder introduced in the country where I was born. And I must admit that I am troubled. I am also troubled when said imam defends the killing of Muslims who have left Islam and when he confirms that women and men guilty of fornication must be pelt with stones until they are dead. He thinks that is God’s commandment, which he cannot ignore.
Should I go to the police and tell them how threatened, insulted and degraded I feel? I wouldn’t dream of it for I support free speech. And if free speech has any real meaning, it must also — and in particular — protect statements people do not want to hear. Regardless of how revolting such statements may be.
Besides it would be futile to report the imam and those similarly disposed to the police for the public prosecutor would never indict them. Otherwise it would have happened long ago.
As jurisprudence shows, not only in Denmark but in all European countries with similar insult articles in their penal code, these insult articles open the gates to inequality before the law. There are insulted who enjoy the tender graces of the public prosecutor, and there are the less favoured who must endure insults directed at them.
But perhaps this is to do with the notion that one must not insult minorities whereas minorities are free to insult majorities? If that is the explanation of why I am in court today, it is a peculiar one. In 2002, the imam I have already mentioned explained to his flock that all Muslims in the world — 1.6 billion or whatever the number is — constitute one people, one umma. The same thing is emphasised by the Islamic Conference Organisation, OIC, encompassing 57 member countries. In other words, the five million non-Muslim Danes are a microscopic minority but nevertheless a minority whose members stand to be punished if they make statements on cultural norms in the umma.
What does the public prosecutor hope to accomplish by my conviction? He may drag me in front of a court. He may portray me as a racist, a right-wing extremist and a non-human. He may do the same to hundreds and thousands of others who insist on their right of free speech to describe Islam and Muslim culture just like we would deal with any other phenomenon in a free society.
But what will he have gained? Does the public prosecutor believe that people will start talking about Islam and Muslim culture with greater respect and reverence? Perhaps in public because people fear fines and jail. But what will people say to each other when they think that the thought police are not listening?
And what does the public prosecutor imagine people will think of a religion, a political ideology and a culture that need the protection of legislators, police, the public prosecutor and the courts because they cannot defend themselves in a free and open debate?
In 1644, when the English parliament considered the institution of religious censorship, that Christian defender of free speech John Milton wrote: “There is yet behind of what I purpos’d to lay open, the incredible losse, and detriment that this plot of licencing puts us to, more then if som enemy at sea should stop up all our hav’ns and ports, and creeks, it hinders and retards the importation of our richest Marchandize, Truth.”
“There be who perpetually complain of schisms and sects, and make it such a calamity that any man dissents from their maxims. ‘Tis their own pride and ignorance which causes the disturbing, who neither will hear with meeknes, nor can convince, yet all must be suppresst which is not found in their Syntagma.”
Milton concluded with this exhortation:
“Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.”
In conclusion permit me to mention the true victims in this case. The public prosecutor has not considered the 20,000 women in the Muslim world who every year fall victim to so-called honour killings, or the 50,000 Muslim girls in Germany who the federal police consider threatened with genital mutilation, nor the hundreds of thousands of little girls in Muslim majority societies who have been sold into marriage with much older men and who must therefore live a life of constant rape, while Islamic scholars preach that this is in complete accordance with religious orthodoxy.
I hope that the judge as opposed to the public prosecutor will consider the fate of these unfortunate human beings. Likewise I hope that the judge will realise the absurdity of prosecuting me for statements made within the confines of my own four walls. For ten months the prosecutor has been aware of the conditions under which I spoke. That has not affected him in the slightest. I hope it will affect the judge.
A neighbour of a close relative in Bolton told me about this scam some time ago. Pull in front of someone, brake suddenly and Bob's your uncle they're guilty. (If you drive into the back of someone else's car, there is a presumption that you are at fault.) Then claim £££££ compensation. The person doing it, he said, was "Asian", which in England means Indian or Pakistani rather than Chinese etc, and more often than not is code for Muslim. On seeing an Asian chap driving too close, my trusty Boltonian held up a camera, as if to say "I've got your number," and the Asian chancer backed off. The culprit was caught, but it seems the scam has spread to other "Asians". From the Lancashire Telegraph, with thanks to Esmerelda:
SIX people have been charged in connection with ‘crash for cash’ insurance fraud.
The five men and one woman — who are all from Blackburn — were arrested in March 2010 following an investigation by Lancashire police.
They are: Yusuf Mohammed Wasway, 25, of Cherry Street; Aziz Bham, 22, of Addington Street and Hodder Place; Ibrahim Seedat, 27, of Wareham Street; Ismail Seedat, 24, of Bethel Road; Sabina Patel, 25, of Cherry Street and Ahmed Patel, 28, of Town Walk.
All six have been charged with fraud by false representation and will appear before Blackburn Magistrates’ Court on February 4.
Salim Patel, 26 and Ameena Patel, 23, of Bowness Close, have also been charged with fraud by false representation in connection with an unrelated fraud.
"People"? What kind? People who need people? Well, looking at the names, "Patel" can be a Hindu name but here is coupled with names belonging to "Asians" of a "youthful", "extremist" (tiny minority of) persuasion, doubtless radicalised by "Palestinian" suffering. And these youthful Asians whose religion forbids insurance have nothing in common with those not-so-youthful Asians the other side of the Pennines whose religion allows rape of little girls.
I never knew that there was a word “citationality” until today. I read it on the back page of the TLS, which is flummoxed by this passage from The Novel as Event by Mario Ortiz Robles:
A performative model of subject formation cannot be thought apart from its implication in regulatory practices operating within discursive regimes that circumscribe the “materiality” of the subject through the citationality of norms.
Norm’s what? Sounds like a load of Robles to me. What’s that? Mario Ortiz regrets his performative and says “I apologise”?
It is perhaps the moment to introduce the question of citationality. Citing Butler’s writings on ethnicity and gender to support an argument about educational performativity might seem grotesque and distasteful. This has much to do with the current status of the ethical and the contexts that perform the scenarios in which ethics is allowed to apply. By introducing Butler’s philosophy to questions surrounding educational performance/performativity new contexts are established; performativity is taken and “grafted onto other chains” (Derrida, 1988, p. 9). When Derrida cites Austin, he is writing about citation. Derrida’s point is that works can be cited because like all forms of language they are iterable. By this he means that words continuously reach beyond any notion of the total speech act because they open up an infinite number of possible contexts and this can apply equally to philosophical works. Once philosophical works open up, the questions asked of them will change. Derrida’s point is that citation is never innocent. That is not to say that this process of recontextualisation ignores the previous contexts in which works appeared; citation is not a free for all activity in which any meaning can simply be stamped upon a text. However, that is not to say that any potential meaning/context does not accompany the word; the possibilities are inexhaustible.
But I’m not. Never mind Three Scenes From Schooling - let's have Three Little Maids from School. Feel the performativity: