Wednesday, 12 March 2008
Jihad by all accounts

Sometime last year, Hugh Fitzgerald wrote an article: Almost One Hundred Things that Fuel Muslim Extremism. The article concludes: 

It took very little time to compose this list. It would not take much longer to add another hundred, two hundred, three hundred items to the list of things that “fuel Muslim extremism.” 

In compiling this longer list, would Hugh or anyone else have thought of accountancy? Probably not. Accountants are dull creatures in real or metaphorical pin-striped suits. The only way you can tell an accountant from an actuary is that the accountant looks at your shoes when he’s talking to you, and the actuary looks at his own.


As Python’s Michael Palin said: 

It’s dull, dull, dull. My God it’s dull. It’s so desperately dull and tedious and boring and unimaginative and irrepressibly drab and awful and desp-er-ate-ly dull. 

Dull it is then. But dangerous? Apparently so. Despair at a dubious double entry, a dangling debit, a doomed deemed disposal or a dodgy derivative can – you’ve guessed it – Fuel Muslim Extremism. From Accountancy Magazine, an unlikely source of Jihad stories if ever there was one: 

A man who urged Muslims to launch terror attacks on the four main accountancy institutes has been jailed for two years.

Malcolm Hodges, 44, of Sittingbourne, Kent held a ‘festering grudge’ against accountants more than 10 years after failing his ACCA exams. 

Hodges admitted recklessly encouraging terrorism at the Old Bailey.

In November 2006 he sent identical letters to dozens of mosques around the country claiming that he was a follower of Osama bin Laden.  

He told them: ‘Brothers, you are right to kill the infidels, but you are making a mistake to try to attack planes and other targets.’  

They should focus their ‘jihad’ on four organisations connected to ‘the corrupt and Western society which are abhorrent to true believers which the infidels, in their arrogance, will not expect to be attacked’. 

They were the ICAEW, the ACCA, CIMA and CIPFA. 

He wrote: ‘Brothers, striking at these targets will be striking at the infidels where it hurts most and each of these targets was formed and is led by the Queen of England.  

‘These targets are also full of swine and apes as they are crammed full of Jews, so striking against these targets is a strike against Israel and will take us closer to wiping Israel from the map.’  

In January 2000, he was jailed for 10 weeks after sending a fax threatening to kill an ACCA official who was pursuing him for an unpaid fine. 

The court heard the ACCA took the threats seriously and spent more than £140,000 on security measures.  

“Sour grapes” doesn’t begin to cover it. Would the £140,000 qualify as an “exceptional item”? At first perhaps, but in time such expenditure will be nothing exceptional, and will be classified as “sundry Islam costs”.


Accountancy, actuarial, law and other professional examinations are arduous and frustrating. They are more difficult than general degree courses because the work must be done in your spare time, when you are tired. The exams themselves are immensely time-pressured, as much a test of nerve as of ability. Most people fail them at least once, and many never pass them. Such unfortunate people include Christians, Atheists, Buddhists, Confucians (accountancy in particular has a lot of Chinese students), Hindus, Jains and Jews. I have yet to hear of any of these groups plotting terrorism against the professional body they have failed to join, and doing so in the name of religion.


Professional failure happens to most of us at some stage. It is not enough to drive a man to violence unless his ideology supports it. And the ideology that supports, indeed commands, violence is Islam.

Posted on 03/12/2008 6:18 AM by Mary Jackson
12 Mar 2008
Hugh Fitzgerald

Generally accepted accounting principles do not include such LIFO-threatening behavior. Perhaps he failed to read the latest bulletin. 

12 Mar 2008
Send an emailMary Jackson

Generally accepted accounting principles do not include such LIFO-threatening behavior

In that case, Muslims in the West should embrace FIFO - Fit In or ... Foxtrot Oscar.

12 Mar 2008
Esmerelda Weatherwax

As you recall I have always denied that my failing LS Pt II which I sat twice at Alexandra Palace in 1976 had nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with the place burning down the following year.


12 Mar 2008


Hey!  No way!  I don't believe it.

12 Mar 2008
Send an emailreactionry
The Windbag* & The Lion Tamer
Or: More About MMMWAH*
Or: Ka-Ching, I Ching, We All Ching Together, Or We Shall All Swing Separately
Or: Making Elbow Macaronic Room At The Table
Or: Make Way For Oxleys!
Or: Getting Your Pleas In A Row
Or: "Field of Dreams"
Or: On Account of the Filings & Failings
Or: Oak Leaf Clusters to Annie Oakley And Cluster-F*cks From Oxley
Or: Accounting For Chinese Over-Representation
Or: Dos Annies Horribilis
Or: Excessive Exuberance Has Many Fathers, But Truth Is An Orphan In An Audit Or In Court
I doubt that the Gospels' "The last shall be first, and the first, last" shall apply here (unless I kill a thread, as usual) while I rudely bring what Mary calls my "two elbows" (using an annoying businessism) to the table. What's worse, I come hands out or hat strategically positioned (don't schwenken that Hut in a ribald poem posted long ago), and said hands (said a sibling of Brinker after he fell through a hole in the ice, "Look Ma! No Hans!) are usually in my pockets ala Christopher Newman, our wurst yet, ala Al Bundy.  At least I have two hands (and would never falsely claim that the mother of the one I referred to as writing ecdysiastically had only one), unlike the nonnictive (see previous post re Lol's "salty eyeball") "one-eyed trouser snake", an essential ingredient of the Americanism, "pulling a train"; or perhaps up a slight gradient, a "locomotive, working rapidly with its elbows, [which] hurried through a pine forest, then - with relief - among fields."  (hat tip to Doktor Google for nictating grass (which reminds that I never got around to posting a couple of Buckleyisms) as seen from a locomotive, and what's more: there's a whole lotta' [other] nictating going on)
Now, where was I? Penrith? Adlestrop? Time to stop?  And then go back? To a baffling mirror in which an American Idiot (hat tip to Green Day, and VN famously gives none in his (shudder) dust-up with Dostoevsky) might see bad -very bad -cyrillic in the reflection of Adlestrop?  Nope; just back to an erstwhile NER writer who passed on the ethnic slur that a Finnish extrovert is one who stares at your shoes.  Another old saw (see the toothache poem about an invitation to a beheading by a lobster) is that an actuary is like an accountant but without the personality (or vice versa).  I learned from a friend of a friend a few decades ago that those who would become actuaries must pass a series of grueling exams, some of which, she claimed, had failing rates of over 50%. 
Whining like a white-collar defendant: I doubt that anyone has paid attention to the above, unlike the attention, attention which must finally be paid to a such a person as Willie Lo Mein, the kow-towing and nictating-with-green-eyeshades tragic Kangxi character of Arthur Miller's Death of an Accountant
Some time ago I was not surprised to find many Google hits for "What price, Waterhouse?"  "The Rape of the Sarbanes" got no hits, but should be rejected on general principles, and on account of it's being downright creepy, and  "The Rape of the Lockbox"(also no hits and on no account see Algor[e]; not as constant as the Northern Star) should be rejected on account of social security accounting principles or lack thereof.  Because the pace of this petty post creeps along, I'll check on "Golly Oskie! Annie Oxley! Get your hired guns!" tomorrow, tomorrow.....
*See "Windbag" and just say "MMMWAH"; just c'est moi.

22 Mar 2008
Send an emailRich Rostrom
There are so many things to blame on Islam that I object to diverting attention to those which are not Islam's fault. The violent extremism in this case is Mr. Hodges. It does not appear that any Moslem paid the slightest attention to his incitements.

Though I suppose Islam must bear some responsibility for the ACCA's credulity and wasted expenditure. Had Mr. Hodges attempted to incite, say, the IRA to attack these institutes, no one would have given it a second thought.

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