“Exclusively” for me?

I got an email this afternoon from Apple Store (I’m a Mac user), headed “Priority information exclusively for you from the Apple Store”. Now, this email was not sent explicitly to my email address - the “To:” field read “email@euro.apple.com”, which suggests that this was sent to a whole group of users in Europe. It advertises Apple portables from ?1,149 (that’s probably about $2,000), their “back to school shopping guide”, the iPod, and the Apple Expo in “Paris, France” (obviously written by an American, because Europeans automatically assume Paris means the capital of France unless otherwise stated - and if the person writing this lived in Europe, he or she would know this). I just wonder if it is legal to label something “exclusively” for the recipient when it very clearly is not?

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Here are some real terrorists

When people in Britain these days think of terrorism, they usually mean so-called Islamic terrorism, specifically al-Qa’ida, or Palestinians attacking Israelis. In this country, a real terrorist campaign has been going on, in which animal rights fanatics carry out campaigns of intimidation against people connected to vivisection companies like Huntingdon Life Sciences, even where the vivisection is for medical research and not for things like cosmetics. They vandalise people’s cars, they attack people’s houses in the middle of the night, and they attack anyone even remotely related to the suppliers, and their families. They also write scurrilous letters calling people paedophiles, among other things. Continue reading

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Hey, is this a good idea?

There’s a report on the BBC news site that an “online school” is being set up in a small village in Wales, which will be a full school, with real lessons from real teachers over the net! It would cost 165 pounds per month (1980 pounds per year, which at current exchange rates is $3581.62 per year). The school, says the report, “would cater for students who are being schooled at home, whether through parental or personal choice, students who have been bullied, excluded, are disabled or are living overseas”. Continue reading

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Othman the Italian resurfaces

A few years ago a book was published called Ian Dallas: The Shaykh Who Has No Clothes, which purported to expose the leader of the Murabitun movement as a fraud. The author set up a website and posted details about it to the Usenet newsgroup soc.religion.islam. This resulted in a response from Abdul-Rahman Lomax who was then a regular on this group. This was in 1997 which was a year before I embraced Islam. I never managed to get my own copy of Othman’s book, however, but I did have my own experience with the Murabitun and heard much about them from other Muslims, and most of it was not good. Continue reading

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New “Ecologist” magazine out

The latest edition of The Ecologist (no prizes for guessing what it’s about) has recently come out. It’s a special feature on supermarkets:

  • How they drive local business out of business
  • How other local businesses (like accountants) lose business because of this
  • How they kill communities
  • How they kill decent jobs and replace them with banal jobs with bad conditions
  • The low quality of the food they sell (even if it looks good)
  • How they rip people off while pretending to save us money
  • How they drive farmers to the wall

… and much more.

This struck a chord with me because last week, on the way back from a trip “up country”, I stopped on the edge of a small town called Biggleswade in Bedfordshire, about 40 miles from London. Biggleswade is a pretty small place, but there is a big Sainsbury’s store on the outskirts which really must make any other food store in that town unnecessary. Besides which, at least two of the major supermarkets in the UK are known investors in Israel - see here for more details.

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What’s all this about “middle-lane hoggers”?

The BBC reports that “up to a third of motorway capacity is being wasted by drivers’ poor lane discipline, according to research by the RAC Foundation” (the RAC is the Royal Automobile Club, a rival to the British AA which provides breakdown assistance and insurance). As a professional driver, I can tell you all why people “hog” the middle lane on the motorway, which is because of slow moving vehicles in the inside lane. Most trucks (except 7.5 tonne trucks) have devices which prevent them going any faster than 56mph, and the speed limit for them is 60 anyway. A lot of older cars, particularly those with small engines and four-speed gearboxes (like my Nissan), can’t go much faster than 60 either. People who want to do 70mph, the actual speed limit, are not going to use the inside lane because it makes it likely that they will end up stuck behind a slow mover. It’s even more ridiculous that they are talking about police pulling people over for this.

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Polly Toynbee and the “Islamophobia awards”

Polly Toynbee, an anti-religious liberal who writes regularly in the Guardian, mentioned today that she had been labelled the “Most Islamophobic Media Personality” of 2004 by the Islamic Human Rights Commission. I had not heard that this organisation gave such awards, let alone with a ceremony (in London’s Shi’ite mosque in Maida Vale), and I’m quite surprised by some of the people chosen for them. George W Bush gets the “Islamophobe of the Year” in preference to Melanie Phillips, and Chirac and Sharon are preferred over “Islam” Karimov. I’m sure Nick Griffin would consider the award a compliment, but Toynbee doesn’t like being lumped in with such people. Her point is that “whichever way they turn, they find themselves at risk of alliances with undesirables of every nasty hue”. Continue reading

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Keep taking the tablets

Elizabeth Thompson-Khan, the woman who has been sending out anti-English racist email spams every few weeks, has been more prolific of late - two in the space of as many weeks. I blogged in July about her earlier emails and how I came to be one of her targets. Her messages are obnoxious and offensive in their content, but they can also be rather amusing as they demonstrate amply their author’s ignorance and detachment from reality. Continue reading

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Women and children targeted for immigration service abuse

There is a real blood-boiler in today’s Guardian, Women and Children First by Natasha Walter, in which she explains how the immigration services seem to be targeting women and children for deportation and abuse. A few points stick out from this article: Continue reading

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Neo-Nazis on the web

An interesting piece was published in the “Online” supplement of today’s Guardian - Fear and Loathing, by Nick Ryan, about hate material on the web and the violence and intimidation organised over the Internet. It also mentions the policy of the British far right to contact the media without revealing one’s affiliations, which the author says began with Nick Griffin’s takeover of the British National Party in 1999. (I mention this because some of the callers to a certain London talk show displayed views suspiciously close to those of the BNP, especially their open hostility to Muslims. Insha Allah perhaps I might mention this article to Jon Gaunt or Eddie Nestor next time one of these bigots uses the BBC to spout their hatred.)

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The “frontline” for Muslim women: West Virginia

The argument between the Indian “Muslim feminist” Asra Q. Nomani and her local mosque committee in Morgantown, WV, has somehow made it onto the BBC’s news website: “US Muslim woman defies hardliners”. The pictures on this report undermine any claim Nomani might have to be in a position to challenge Muslim ulama: for one thing, she does not even dress like a Muslim woman. According to this report, her dispute with the local “mullahs” comes from her entering the mosque through the front door and praying alongside the men, which has apparently started “heated discussions” in the US Muslim community. Continue reading

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Sometimes a “turnoff” is a good thing

A lot of our ‘ulama’ say that TV is haraam for various reasons, and the harm exposure to it causes children is not in much doubt. I just found this interesting piece on why it’s best not to let your kids watch it. (You’ll need to register - it’s free.)

(Then again, at the end of the article it suggests that a “kinder, gentler approach” is to switch off the TV as soon as it “misbehaves”. I really don’t think that letting your kids watch a bit of a program and then suddenly turning it off in the middle when you see something you don’t like is a good idea. It’s kinder, for the children, not to allow them to watch it at all.)

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“Honour killings” story a hoax!

Not for the first time, the media in the west have been taken in by an anti-Muslim hoax perpetrated by a middle-eastern non-Muslim. First it was Jean Sasson, now it’s Norma Khoury, who put out a book on a supposed “honour killing” in Jordan. This piece in the Jordan Times points out a series of factual errors which demonstrate the author’s ignorance of Jordan, which is not surprising given that she left the country when she was three years old. She is an American citizen who also has a Greek passport. Continue reading

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The Protocols of the Elders of New Orleans

The Southern Poverty Law Center reports that a group of veteran hate-mongers have met in New Orleans, among them David Duke and the founder of the British National Party, John Tyndall. Apparently they have agreed some sort of “protocol” to work together, and to “aim their hate at their real targets, not at each other, and to advance in unity their vision: a nation for white people” (these are the SPLC’s words, not the group’s). (Hat tip: Bohemian Mama.)

Continue reading

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So, it’s a new era for law and order …

As anyone reading the UK news might be aware, Tony Blair, hot on the heels of a not-so-good report on his grounds for taking us into war in Iraq, has announced some new plans for law and order which allegedly bring to an end to the so-called 1960s liberal consensus. Continue reading

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On recent Mac magazines …

In this country us Mac users have access to three major magazines: Mac Format, run by the same people as Linux Format, and their homepage is a month behind the actual magazine, as is the Linux Format page. Then there is Mac World, a sister paper to an American magazine of the same name, and Mac User. I buy the first two quite often, the last much less so. Continue reading

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Anti-Hadith liars are on the march again …

Yesterday I got an email from a sister in the USA who I am in regular contact with. Somebody has been posting anti-hadith propaganda to a sisters’ email forum she subscribes to, and she wanted advice on it. This particular tract can be found here at “Free-Minds, a place to discover Islam based on GOD Alone”. Notice the spelling of “GOD” in capital letters - typical of anti-hadith activists. Continue reading

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Shaikh Shaghouri obit

Islamica magazine has published an obituary of the great shaikh of Damascus, Abdul-Rahman al-Shaghouri, who passed away a few weeks ago (inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’oon). Read it here.

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Just back from seeing Fahrenheit 9/11

This evening was the first I have spent at the cinema for many years - I haven’t been since I became Muslim (in 1998), and I don’t think I did for some years before that either. I don’t care much for the movie industry and the big money and other evils in it. I very nearly went to see Rabbit Proof Fence, about a mixed-race Australian girl who was kidnapped by the government to train to be a domestic skivvy, and escaped back to her home by following the rabbit-proof fence. (But her own daughter was kidnapped as well.) But I decided against it, because I didn’t care for the impotent rage these types of stories often produce in me (especially since that particular scandal has now ceased, along with the orphan-slavery the British perpetrated in the colonies by shipping out kids from care homes). Since this film is a documentary (or, as its detractors call it, a “crockumentary”) about how nasty Bush is, I decided I’d go and see this one. Continue reading

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