Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Not a good idea, Georgina

Georgina Henry can be applauded on the success of Comment is free. It has grown rapidly and has created many commenting addicts. It has also opened up new avenues for political and cultural communication, interaction and debate. But now, this debate is in danger of being stifled by limiting comments to once every half an hour (!).

Clearly, this is not a wise move. At any given time, there may be several articles that participants want to comment on. Now, we can only comment on one of them -- and have to wait for half an hour to comment on the next. I am sorry, but not all of us have that much time available in the day to log onto the internet! Some of us have only half an hour or an hour during the day in which we can share our pearls of wisdom with the rest. Now, that privilege has been taken away from us.

Please, Georgina, restore your blog to its former glory. Otherwise Comment is free will run dry and die a slow, painful death. People will just find other sites to air their views on. There are plenty. This is becoming an immensely competitive market, and if your blog is not user-friendly it will not be successful.

/rant

Friday, July 14, 2006

Why close comments ... ?

Something sinister is going on behind the scenes. Martin Bright blogged about his Channel 4 documentary on the Government's alleged pandering to radical, unrepresentative Islamist groups, including the well-known Muslim Council of Britain -- who has links with the extremist Muslim Brotherhood. A lot has been said about the Foreign Office's Islamic Issues adviser Muckbal Ali. From what Martin presents on the C4 programme, Ali does not appear to be 'moderate' at all, but is seemingly aiding in giving a voice to groups who do not really represent the majority of the UK's Muslims, especially the MCB.

Now ... comments have just been closed on this topic. Which is kinda odd because it's the first time I've seen this happen. I also did not see any abusive comment on that thread, or something likely to have breached the Talk Policy. Why has it been closed? And who requested the closure? I am sure many would like to know.

***

MrPikeBishop has blogged a good piece where he asks valid questions about the fairness of the distribution of the privilege of free speech in this country. Read it and contemplate with an open mind. Why are far right websites demonised, whilst far left ones (often more extreme than the former) are considered acceptable and thus tolerated? If we British value fairness then we should take a good, hard look at just how fair we are, and just how much we have negated our freedoms in exchange for appearing more politically correct.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Middle East turmoil spills over into Guardian

So, GU have decided to crack down on anti-Semitism. Too bad they have addressed the symptoms but not the cause. Yet this is a common logical fallacy encountered among those who like to think too politically correct. I am not one saying that criticism of the Israeli state equals anti-Semitism. But there is no doubt that many are using this as a code for expressing somewhat more sinister grievances, and in consequence whipping up deep animosity. And in this, the actual blog submitters at Cif are even more guilty than the mere commenters.

Another thing, I marvel at why David Hirsh is adopting the inclusive umbrella approach when addressing anti-Semitic commenters. Quote: "The comments box is a Guardian space, not a BNP space or a Jihadi Islamist space or a Daily Telegraph space."

In spite of David Hirsh's article mentioned above, the usual anti-Israel barrage is continuing at a steady pace, and intensifying given the circumstances. When reading Andrew Murray's dismay at the somewhat sensible Euston Manifesto, I cannot help but think that the coalition of convenience is beginning to crumble.

Padraig Reidy almost defended freedom of expression in this piece. Thankfully, MrPikeBishop offers a sane and clear voice on the matter. But I think Reidy is a silent supporter of free expression -- at the very least, he has attended the March for Free Expression.

Ending on a positive note, there are some interesting blog submissions on Cif. I have found Peter Singer's piece on the cruelty of meat production thought-provoking. But as for now, I am still enjoying my bacon.

Good luck for tomorrow, Guardian. You're going to need it with emotive bloggers and commenters on the Israel-Lebanon quagmire.

Anti-Israel hatefest on Guardian

Anti-Israel sentiment is no novelty for Guardian Unlimited, but today it has attained new depths of puerile resentment against the Jewish state.

Ahdaf Soueif has penned an article entitled 'Only sanctions will stop this brutal campaign'. Starting off with the customary emotional encitement in order to invite sympathy, he totally omits any acts of wrongdoing by Palestinians. This must be among one of the most one-sided accounts on the Middle East complexities I have ever seen expressed on Guardian.

Unsurprisingly, his emotive appeal has elicited strong responses. This one from the commenter Goodfairy is worth a mention:

The EU must make amends for their aiding and abetting Israel in the murderous collective punishment in Gaza which has led to the current situation. I propose that until there is a TOTAL withdrawal of Israel behind the green line (including abandoning ALL settlements) that the EU should:

1. End ALL the favourable trade deals it has with Israel.

2. Impose graduated sanctions on Israel leading to total economic isolation over, say, two months, if Israel doesn't comply (As we did to the democratically elected Government of Palestine)

3. Place a total embargo on all arms sales (including spare parts, ammunition) until the Palestinian issue is resolved.

4. Again, paralleling the moves against Palestine the EU should threaten massive penalties against ANY banks or financial institutions which facilitate any financial transaction involving; or transfers of money to Israel.

5. Refuse Israeli airlines landing rights in any European country or the right to fly over them.(Overflight rights to be refused to ANY nation flying planes to Israel.

6. Threaten to sanction any transnational companies (Intel for example) who set up subsidiaries in Israel.

7. Supply the most sophisticated anti-aircraft technology to all Arab states likely to be threatened by Israel.

8. Ban travel by Israeli citizens in Europe.

This we could do for starters, say for 3 months, to match the measures we ACTUALLY DID take against Palestine. If after 3 months Israel has still not withdrawn behind the Green Line, then we should start looking at some SERIOUS measures; starting with some enforcement of UN resolutions.

Quite a frenzy. But Guardian goes further. It wants to invoke British plans for war with Israel. Yep, you've heard right. Read this article and read the comments. Frightening stuff indeed.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

'Hindu terrorism' GU leader provokes angry backlash

The Guardian has penned a ridiculous account of the despicable Mumbai train bombings, by mentioning 'Hindu terrorism' before it even mentioned the words 'Islam' or 'Muslim'. As could be expected, there was a fiery backlash in the comments that followed the ridiculously PC article -- with some Indian commenters suggesting that Indian Muslims be transferred to Pakistan and/or Bangladesh.

Commenter trishankapune reacts in the following manner:
Your statement that Hindu militant groups are involved in terror acts in
their own country is incorrect. I think it is high time we accept that there is only one faith in this world which incites it's followers to perpetrate such crimes. This has been their history from time immemorial and it is now too late in the day for them to change.

The solution for India is simple. Let us not forget that our country
had been split once to accomodate the people of this faith so that they could have their own homeland. Since that is now existing, all these people should be asked to leave India and move across the border. One must remember that all cancerous growths need to be rooted out from one's body to stay healthy. These people are like a cancer in this country and should be booted out.

Predictions for Cif today

What will be in store for us today at Cif? Let me venture a few guesses.

The Mumbai bombings should dominate discussion today. Perhaps 4 or 5 pieces submitted, at least. But as for the content of these submissions ... expect at least a few shifting the blame onto Hindus for actually being responsible for the Islamic atrocities. Don't be surprised if Faisal Bodi farted out a piece entitled 'Why those Mumbai commuters were not entirely innocent'. There could be calls for India to pull out of [the rightfully Islamic] Kashmir, and perhaps one explaining the danger of Islamophobia among Hindu Indians. Hopefully Sunny Hundal will make an appearance, but keep a look out for a comment on his piece by Inayat Bunglawala.

I expect about two more pieces glorifying the Algerian-French football thug Zidane.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Zidane, Zidane, Zidane ... ad nauseum

We have scarcely recovered from the Guardianista fascination with 'rebel against raunch', and now the leftist establishment have gained an unlikely hero -- a scary-looking, non-smiling head-butting thug. The catch is, of course, that he's Arabic, Muslim, angry, and an immigrant to Europe who is well known for 'fighting against racism'. This makes for a killer combination. The fact that he displays violent contempt for other sportsmen could possibly even be an incentive for the Guardianistas to love him even more.

I counted no less than five Zidane articles on Cif since yesterday, and that excludes the pieces originally submitted through the paper (which appear in the middle column). There is one or two about Germany, and a great big zero about the actually winners of the World Cup, Italy.

The crowning piece of today, however, must be Andrew Murray's love declaration of the left to Muslims in Britain. Of course nothing we don't know already, but it's nice to see him admit it. Traditionally, the left believed in freedom and such (or so they had us believe), but nowadays they admire strict, medieval-styled religious orthodoxy. Great stuff.

Monday, July 10, 2006

LGF accused of 'blogstorming' Cif

The silly little commenter enoughbushit has blamed external forces of evil for losing arguments on Cif. Let me quote:
I am probably not the most civil poster here, but there is a persistent pattern of brute "blogstorming" of any blogs written by a Muslim or which reflects a sympathetic point of view towards Muslims. These aren't specific criticisms, but a swarm of hundreds of long, repetitive posts, mostly from abroad, about how much evil there is in the Koran and what vile, muderous thoughts dwell in the minds of Muslims, many of them outright racist and hateful, along the line of "Get rid of that ugly burqa or get out of my country!" or an oft-repeated, familar laundry list of poorly translated "scary" language taken out of context from the Koran, ad nauseum. I understand that the regulars on some sites, eg. LittleGreenFootballs, organise these blogstorms to bring about the shutting down of functioning discourse. They drown out by numbers what would otherwise might have been an interesting forum for debate on genuine, unvarnished perspectives from the minorities. Can such blogstorms be adressed?

Is it me or is he a little paranoid? Or afraid of being in the minority as far as debate opinion is concerned? Well I think he should get used to it. People are not buying Cif rubbish anymore.

User enoughbushit should also realise that 'shutting down of the discussion' normally occurs when the epithets of 'racism!'; 'you racist!' are shouted.

enoughbushit probably wants censorship. People who disagree with him should not be allowed to post.

Another amusing day at Cif

Well, where shall we start? So much madness today on Cif, that it boggles the mind. At least we've had a bit a humour too ... more about that later.

Okay, I will start with one of Cif's favourite pastimes, Israel-bashing. Every day, without respite, we are bombarded with the customary anti-Semitic piece. Today was no exception, and Brian Whitaker informed us of Jews' anti-Arab racism in Jerusalem. The poor sods. Quoting Brian:

A disgusting tale of racism from Jerusalem: Ynet News, an internet offshoot of the Israeli paper Yedioth Ahronoth, reports that Jewish activists are trying to stop Arabs buying or renting property in the French Hill district.



Thankfully there appears to be some sanity among Cif readers, and a few responses to Brian's lazy copy/paste trolling should be noted:

DanHiggs:


I would also like to add, that there is no challenge in just reporting news directly from other news sources. How about adding something other than "A disgusting tale of racism." Thanks to Brian Whitaker for providing absolutely zero context. You're amazing!

Quite. But commenter Sousan agrees with Brian:


Israel is a very racist country. Judaism is a very racist religion.

Well ... let's move onto some other blogs of today. Briefly, Matt Foot is playing the race card by getting behind head-butting 'French' footballer Zidane ... because he's a Muslim. And Muslims need our protection, even if/when they're violent.


Jenny Russell wants us to embrace mass immigration as something inevitable, while Kathryn Hughes is promoting the burka:


In these circumstances you can begin to see the point of the burka. Every now and then a Muslim feminist will write a piece for the papers suggesting that turning yourself into a small black tent is, in fact, marvellously liberating since it removes you at a stroke from the scopic economy. Until now that logic has always seemed strangely topsy-turvy, but in the age of high definition it may indeed turn out to be the only truly practical choice.

Yeah ... okay Kathryn. You first my dear. It might enhance your looks.

I left the crowning glory of today's Cif for last. From our dear and humble friend Faisal Bodi. Let me explain. He blogs another steamy rant here, where he encourages moderate Muslims to become more radical. But it's the responses that are so noteworthy:

Oliver10:


He's back and he's as extreme and angry as ever!

CluelessJoe:


Faisal
Aren't you a bit worried that an inquiry into 7/7 might cite the propaganda pumped out by your very own Islam Channel as a factor in the radicalisation of British Muslims?

DoloresHaze:

Hooray! The World Cup is over, and Faisal Bodi's blood is still boiling in his Preston home, full of rage and anger and fascist Muslim Brotherhood Maududi nonsense.
Don't ever stop posting these screeds and dribblings Faisal, you are good value comedy ;-)


HeiGou:

SpeakerToAnimals1:"I think his head might really pop this time." You think? I
think he is taking the piss. Perhaps he is really Jewish and is just trying to generate support for Israel. Has anyone seen him and Nick Cohen in the same room? Or Melanie Phillips for that matter. Do you think anyone would be dumb enough to elect an MP who argued that British Muslims should be allowed to use the internet to raise funds for Islamic terrorists? I think getting rid of Baba is a good first step. Has the NSA gone over Bodi's e-mails lately?

There were some excellent comments about Faisal's chubby cheeks, but I notice they've been removed now. Someone mentioned that Faisal should never blog with a food in his mouth again, and another suggested he'd eaten too many halal sausages. Perhaps ...

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