Archive for BBC

Sean Hannity Interview Geert Wilders About Radical Islam (FOX NEWS)

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 2, 2012 by loonwatch

Is it a happy coincidence that both Geert Wilders and Robert Spencer are out hawking their books for sale?

(h/t: Haywood)

Sean Hannity Interview Geert Wilders About Radical Islam (FOX NEWS)

Kony 2012: Viral video tries to take down Lord’s Resistance Army Leader

Posted in Loon Violence with tags , , , , , on March 8, 2012 by loonwatch

Joseph KonyA former Catholic altar boy from northern Uganda, Joseph Kony has waged war in central Africa for more than two decades.

A video campaign launched by San Diego-based nonprofit, Invisible Children Inc., attempts to harness the power of the Internet–and especially social media, including Twitter, YouTube and Facebook — to stop Joseph Kony, head of the Lord’s Resistance Army. The Uganda-based militia is infamous for killings, kidnappings, mutilations and torture in several African nations.

A 30-minute viral video exposes Kony’s enslavement and abuse of 30,000 children in Uganda, and has received over 10 million views since Monday. The documentary has garnered support from major celebrities, including Oprah Winfrey, Rihanna and Justin Beiber.

Kony attempts to justify his crimes in the name of Christianity, which is clearly a reflection of his own madness rather than a divinely inspired religion. However, the story begs the question: What if he were Muslim? 

Joseph Kony: Profile of the LRA leader

From the BBC

He claims that his Lord’s Resistance Army movement has been fighting to install a government in Uganda based on the Biblical 10 Commandments.

But his rebels now terrorise large swathes of the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan and the Central African Republic, and he is wanted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Regional armies are trying to hunt them down with the help of 100 US soldiers.

Mr Kony was due to sign a peace deal with the Ugandan government in 2008, but peace talks fell apart because the LRA leader wanted assurances that he and his allies would not be prosecuted.

Born in the early 1960s in Odek, a village east of Gulu, Mr Kony is remembered as an amiable boy.

“He played football and was a brilliant dancer,” one of his former classmates said, recalling the rebel leader’s days at Odek primary.

The LRA’s aims were heavily influence by the Holy Spirit Movement, a 1980s group that represented the Acholi people of northern Uganda.

Teen LRA VictimThis teenager had her lips, nose and ears cut off by the LRA

The movement was formed by Alice Lakwena, a former prostitute who was believed to be Mr Kony’s cousin.

They felt excluded from power after northern leader Milton Obote was overthrown in a military rebellion, and eventually replaced by current President Yoweri Museveni in 1986.

Ms Lakwena promised her followers immunity from the bullets of the Ugandan army, but Mr Museveni’s troops defeated her movement in 1988 and she fled to Kenya.

After this defeat, Mr Kony founded his own rebel group which over the next 20 years has gone on to abduct thousands of children to become fighters or sex slaves.

Mr Kony himself is thought to have at least 60 wives, as he and his senior commanders take the pick of the girls they capture.

He sees himself as a spirit medium.

“They will tell us what is going to happen. They say ‘you, Mr Joseph, tell your people that the enemy is planning to come and attack’,” he has explained.

Young abductees who have escaped from the LRA say Mr Kony would tell them he got his instructions from the Holy Spirit and would often preach in tongues.

“I will communicate with Museveni through the holy spirits and not through the telephone,” he once said.

He has created an aura of fear and mysticism around himself and his rebels follow strict rules and rituals.

“When you go to fight you make the sign of the cross first. If you fail to do this, you will be killed,” one young fighter who escaped from the LRA told US-based Human Rights Watch.

“You must also take oil and draw a cross on your chest, your forehead, and each shoulder, and you must make a cross in oil on your gun. They say that the oil is the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Mr Kony appears to believe that his role is to cleanse the Acholi people.

He uses biblical references to explain why it is necessary to kill his own people, since they have, in his view, failed to support his cause.

“If the Acholi don’t support us, they must be finished,” he told one abductee.

Christmas massacre

Six years ago, Mr Kony broke his silence and was interviewed on camera in his jungle base at the time in north-eastern DR Congo.

He was surrounded by some of what he estimated were his 3,000 heavily armed fighters, and insisted he was not the monster he was portrayed to be.

“Let me tell you clearly what happened in Uganda. Museveni went into the villages and cut off the ears of the people, telling the people that it was the work of the LRA. I cannot cut the ear of my brother; I cannot kill the eye of my brother.”

He gave the interview at the start of delicate peace process brokered by the authorities South Sudan.

But the negotiations saw splits in LRA ranks and Mr Kony’s deputy, Vincent Otti, who played a key role in the talks, died in mysterious circumstances.

It is believed he may have been murdered on the orders of Mr Kony, who refused to sign the deal.

The LRA later went on a major offensive, carrying out a massacre on Christmas Day 2008.

On that day and over the following three weeks, the LRA beat to death more than 800 people in north-eastern DR Congo and South Sudan, and abducted hundreds more.

BBC: Talks Over Hate Attack on Schoolgirl Wearing Hijab

Posted in Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 19, 2012 by loonwatch

Talks over Sunbury-on-Thames schoolgirl race attack

(BBC)

The girl was attacked by older white girls who kicked her, pushed her to the ground and drew on her face.

Surrey Police said it seemed the girl had been targeted on 11 January because she was wearing a headscarf.

Spelthorne councillor Colin Strong said the incident was being raised at a meeting with neighbourhood police as an issue that affected the community.

‘On busy road’

Detectives said they were treating the incident in Vicarage Road as a racially-aggravated assault.

Det Con Simon Egan said the girl had been targeted as she waited for a bus.

He said the suspects had kicked the victim in the leg, pulled her rucksack from her, pushed her to the floor, used make-up to draw on her face and racially abused her.

After the incident, the girl picked up her bag and ran away.

Det Con Egan said: “This was an appalling assault where a young victim has been targeted in a completely unprovoked attack.

“It would seem that suspects targeted the victim for no reason other than because she was wearing a headscarf.”

In an appeal for witnesses, he said the assault had taken place at the side of a busy road in daylight and urged any pedestrians or drivers who saw the attack to come forward.

The issue will be discussed at a neighbourhood policing meeting at the Sunbury Youth Centre, in Bryony Way, on Thursday evening.

BBC Asks: Is Anti-Muslim Politics on the Rise in Florida? Umm, Duh.

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , on December 19, 2011 by loonwatch
florida_mosque_protest
Protesters demand mosque be shut down

Is anti-Muslim politics on the rise in Florida?

Clashes between Muslim activists and Florida conservatives have turned the state into a stand-off. Why?

When hardware superstore Lowe’s pulled its advertising from the cable reality programme All-American Muslim, it did so at the behest of a small group called the Florida Family Association (FFA).

The FFA’s previous letter-writing campaigns have been targeted at shows with both gratuitous and non-traditional sexuality, like Behind Girls Gone Wild and RuPaul’s Drag Race.

All-American Muslim is the first show that FFA has targeted on the grounds that it obscured “the Islamic agenda’s clear and present danger to American liberties and traditional values”. But it’s not the first time Florida has made national headlines for sentiments hostile towards Muslims.

Last spring, pastor Terry Jones caused worldwide outrage when he burned a Koran at his church in Gainesville, Florida. In September, Nezar Hamze, head of the Florida Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), was the first person refused admission to the Broward County Republican party executive committee.

And Congressman Allen West, who represents constituents in South Florida, was recorded by the liberal website ThinkProgress last August saying “Islam is a totalitarian theocratic political ideology, it is not a religion. It has not been a religion since 622 AD, and we need to have individuals that stand up and say that.”

‘Fear mongering’

The boycott by the FFA comes as distrust of Muslims is on the rise across the US. Statistics released by the FBI in November show that anti-Muslim hate crimes rose by about 50% in 2010.

A family from All-American Muslim stands outside of a house All-American Muslim was targeted by a small Florida organisation

After a long quiet period, says Mark Potok, director of the intelligence project at the Southern Poverty Law Center, crimes against Muslims started up again in 2010 with the May fire bombing of a mosque in Jacksonville, Florida.

The big spike in hate crimes across the US, he says, coincided with the summer controversy over plans to build an Islamic cultural centre near Ground Zero in New York City.

“There’s been a dramatic increase thanks to this completely ginned up controversy about the imposition of Sharia law,” says Mr Potok. “What we’re seeing is fearmongering on an absolutely massive scale.”

He is careful to point out that while speech against Muslims is not a hate crime, “words have consequences”.

That being said, his office has not observed a noticeable rise in anti-Islamic group activity in Florida.

Sense of urgency

However, the debate over Muslim ideology has become a political fulcrum in Florida, especially for Tea Party candidates. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” says Matthew Hendley, a reporter for the New Times, a weekly paper in Palm Beach and Broward county.

“Florida really is a hotbed for this kind of thing,” says Tim Murphy, a reporter for Mother Jones magazine who has covered the issue.

He notes several factors that make Florida unique: a history of well-organised political activism, large populations of both pro-Israeli Jewish residents and pro-Palestinian Muslim residents, and a few high-profile arrests of Muslims suspected of terrorist activity.

As reported in the Miami Herald, the FBI also investigated ties between the 9/11 hijackers and a Saudi family living in Sarasota, Florida.

To those concerned about Islamic extremism, says Mr Murphy, these arrests “give them a sense of urgency – ‘we need to act now.’”

In South Florida, political figures concerned with Muslim extremism and what they perceive as the spread of Sharia law are well-represented.

Joyce Kaufman, a south Florida radio host, frequently speaks out against Islam encroaching into classrooms and American culture, and her remarks are examples of the kind of extreme rhetoric now being heard.

At an event hosted by the anti-Islamic activist Pamela Geller, Ms Kaufman said that “almost every act of political murder” has been done in the name of Allah.

When a Tampa imam was arrested on suspicion of aiding the Pakistani Taliban, religious leaders held a protest, demanding the mosque be shut down.

Former Florida Representative Adam Hasner, who is now running for the US Senate, has been vocal in the fight against Sharia law and the threat of radical Islam. When he was speaker of the house in Florida, he invited the controversial Dutch politician Geert Wilders to speak at a summit. During his speech, Mr Wilders said while there may be moderate Muslims, “there is no such thing as a moderate Islam”.

A new approach

To that end, those who fight “radical Islam” often see any expression of Islam as a threat, say Muslim activists.

“I’ve been in South Florida my whole life. It’s been on a steady rise for the last few years,” says Mr Hamze, the man who was excluded from the Broward County Republican party. “Since ’07 or ’08, there has been an increase in activity,” he says. “Now there are churches involved with this, politicians involved, radio stations involved.”

Though his views as a Muslim hew closely to Republican views on social issues, his affiliations with CAIR – which opponents say is an organisation with extremist ties – factored into his exclusion.

Allen West stands at a rally Florida Congressman Allen West has sparred with members of CAIR over the values of Islam

While Florida Republicans actively courted Muslim voters in 2000, the party has now found success rallying voters against the dangers of militant Islam.

But they maintain that fight against Muslim extremism is not the same thing as a fight against Muslims. Rick Wilson, an advisor for Mr Hasner, says that CAIR and other groups “shout down any critique of extremism as a critique of Islam”.

“Opposing Islamic radicalism and opposing Sharia Islam, these are things, as Adam has frequently said, that speak to our national security in the first and our national character in the second,” says Mr Walker.

All-American Muslims

A fear of Muslim extremism in the US is not solely a Florida phenomenon, after all. While the Florida Family Association initially pushed Lowe’s to drop their All-American Family advertising, the campaign has found support across the country.

And Florida is not defined by groups like FFA.

Hasan Shibly, the director of the Tampa chapter of CAIR, recently moved from New York to Florida. He says that he’s never known Islamaphobia to be so rampant, but believes that for the most part, those attitudes belong to a vocal but small minority.

“I really don’t think this rhetoric is reflective of Floridians as a whole.”

BBC: Under the Skin of the English Defense League

Posted in Loon Blogs, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , on October 14, 2009 by loonwatch

BBC: Under the Skin of the English Defense League

English Defense League Protestor
English Defense League Protestor

When the anti-Muslim, pseudo-intellectual bloggers and their fellow travelers from America go to Europe they hob nob with groups such as this.

From the BBC,

Under the Skin of the English Defence League

One night in September I was invited along to a large disused warehouse in Luton for an English Defence League (EDL) “press conference”.

The windows of the warehouse had been boarded up. Fifteen men in balaclavas unfurled a swastika flag and proceeded to try to set it alight for the cameras.

The message – look we are not Nazis.

Protesters in Manchester

On Saturday members of EDL were on the streets of Manchester

The flag proved stubbornly, and embarrassingly, incombustible. While we waited for it to catch fire I spoke to the leader of the Luton division, a man calling himself Tommy Robinson – though that is not his real name.

The real Tommy Robinson was an infamous football hooligan with the MIGs, the Men In Gear firm associated with Luton Town Football Club.

According to this Tommy, EDL’s raison d’être is to take a stand against the rise of radical Islam on Britain’s streets. When you ask the rank and file though they will tell you they are just anti- Muslim. Continue reading