Prevent: A Totally Illiberal Strategy 131

I have now ploughed through all 120 pages odd of the Government’s new Prevent Strategy, which manages to be even more illiberal and more turgid than the original. It claims that the last Prevent Strategy was misguided – but for all the wrong reasons. Rather amusingly, it starts with a message of endorsement from Lord Carlile – who also endorsed the last strategy which it criticises so strongly. The truth is, Carlile will endorse anything for any government which gives him status – he loves status – “It has my considered and strong support” he concludes his endorsement – you have to imagine saying it with marbles in your mouth and a degree of insufferable pomposity – “It has my considered and strong support”- wanker.

The report has many errors. but its fundamental flaw is iits explicit assumption that terrorism is actuated by a hatred of democracy.

” There is evidence to indicate that support for terrorism is associated with rejection of a cohesive, integrated, multi-faith society and of parliamentary democracy. Work to deal with radicalisation will depend on developing a sense of belonging to this country and support for our core values. “

That may in part be true; but with stunning intellectual dishonesty the government refuses to tackle in the report the fact that terrorism in the UK has been driven by disgust at British foreign policy, and especially the invasion of Iraq, and the continuing occupation and civilian deaths in Afghanistan. This is not speculation on my part; the 7/7 bombers not only referred to this specifically in suicide videos, they also indeed cited extraordinary renidition and torture as motives of their actions.

The Prevent Strategy ignores this and instead chooses to adopt the stupidly simple mantra of George W Bush to explain terrorism; “They hate our freedoms”. This is precisely the sole cause of terrorism which the Prevent Strategy defines as the problem. When the problem is defined fundamentally wrongly, you can hardly expect the solutions to be correct.

And those conclusions are stunningly illiberal – much more so than the mainstream media has picked up This is a direct quote. I am not making it up:

But preventing terrorism will mean challenging extremist (and non-violent) ideas that are also part of a terrorist ideology.

The (and non-violent) is there in the original. Really.

So peaceful support for a united Ireland should not be allowed, because it is “also part of a terrorist ideology”? That is absolutely the implication of the report. But it is plain it only applies to Muslim groups, on the grounds that they “pose the greatest threat” to the public,

So what it means is that believing that the UK should be governed by Sharia law, even if you hold that belief totally lawfully and without violence, and wish to campaign for it through democratic means, should not be allowed.

But it goes further than that. Universites, healthcare providers, NGOs and faith groups are to be vigilant in searching for those who hold such beliefs, and reporting them to the police. We have already seen where this leads. At Nottingham University two students were thrown out for researching information on Al Qaida on the State Department website, and then a lecturer was sacked for defending them.

Pages 15 to 19 cover support for terrorism and the drivers for it. There is one single phrase in five pages that acknowledges western foreign policy as a motivator for terrorism, but this is then ignored, while all the other factors are treated at great length. The opinion polls cited on pages 16 to 17 on Muslim attitudes to terrorism refrained from asking any question about western foreign policy or giving any chance for respondents to refer to it.

There is an accidentally hilarious part of the report where it denies that Prevent is used for spying on Muslim communities. That, they say, falls under a related programme called Pursue, and should not be confused with Prevent! But twenty odd pages after their lengthy passage claiming Prevent has been unfairly accused of spying, which is the task of Pursue, we find:

“Taking action against propagandists and radicalisers requires careful coordination between work in the Pursue and Prevent areas” p. 52

Which is something of a giveaway.

There is also yet another example of the Tories fulfilling their pledge to reach the target of 0.7% of GDP spent on development aid, by classifying war and “security” expenditure as development aid.

The Department for International Development (DfID) also has a role to play. Although its main purpose is to reduce poverty, overseas development work in some areas can help to build resilience to terrorism through programmes that strengthen governance and security,

With my interest in the university sector, it is some of the stuff on universities I find most chilling. It is full of reasonable sounding propositions that reveal the feeble grasp of a limited intellect:

Universities and colleges have an important role to play in Prevent, particularly in ensuring balanced debate as well as freedom of speech.

There is no obligation on universities to provide “balanced debate”. Do they have to have a creationist speaker at every lecture on evolution? There is still less of an obligation on them to ensure balanced debate in the extra-curricular activities of their students. Does there have to be a Tory speaker at every meeting against the cuts? And remember, that the Prevent Strategy makes plain that the “extremist speakers” they wish to guard against specifically include speakers with a non-violent ideology.

But the great news is, that restrictions on what you are allowed to think at university are all for your own good:

to ensure that all institutions where there is risk of radicalisation recognise their duty of care to students to protect them from the consequences of their becoming involved in terrorism, and take reasonable steps to minimise this risk;

This incredible piece of Orwellian justification for the end of academic freedom is breathtaking in its audacity. The practical consequences could easily be transposed into a manual of the Third Reich, of Stalin’s Russia or Pinochet’s Chile. Again I am not making this stuff up, this is what the report says about universities:

work with the police and other partners to ensure that student societies and university and college staff have the right information and guidance to enable them to make decisions about external speakers.

support local police forces in working with those institutions assessed to be at the greatest risk;

Under New Labour I had the peculiar experience of finding myself banned from entering a Cambridge University building, and therefore delivering a speech to a large crowd of students who gathered in the foyer to hear me as I shouted through the open doorway. I honestly did believe that the Lib Dems and even the Conservatives would be better. I was very, very wrong.

This new Prevent Strategy is a document which sadly proves that the staff of MI5 and the Home Office are, on average, not very bright, and will always favour their own power over liberty. Media reports have focused on the decision to withdarw government funding from those organisations viewed as “extremist”, because that is what the government press release said, and no mainstream journalist will ever actually read the report.

In fact I favour withdrawing that funding. Personally I don’t think the government should fund any faith group or institution.

One organisation which will still receive plenty of government funding under the Prevent programme is the Quilliam Foundation,. This taxpayer funded body attempted by subterfuge to gain personal financial details from me. That says all you need to know about Prevent, which is a secret service led programme.

In fact, if the government got much smaller, and stopped funding attacks on foreign countries, we would all be vastly safer, which would be a real “Prevent Strategy”.

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131 thoughts on “Prevent: A Totally Illiberal Strategy

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  • Ira

    The political system in the uk will resemble the one of soviets or nowaday’s Uzbekistan’s in 10 years time max. I bet 50 on that.

  • Parky

    @ Ruth

    the UK finances are no doubt in a bad way but some other countries in the EU are in a far worse position and have had to have been “bailed out” but I don’t see these countries falling into totalitarianism any more than here in the UK. What evidence have you for suggesting it is?

  • mary

    Well found Mark. I wondered what had happened to Anderson. Another csse of a well publicised new ConDem affiliate quietly disappearing into the undergrowth.
    I did not know the quacks were being dragged in. How will they take time to break away from studying their consortia’s balance sheets to do May’s bidding?
    Doctors asked to identify potential terrorists under government plan
    Redrawn counter-terrorism programme will call on doctors’ help, but BMA fears threat to patient confidentiality

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Yes, Mary, I’d seen that about the call on GPs. It is indeed utterly unethical and ludicrous for the Govt even to consider such measures, but is emblematic of the deliberate pathology of their thinking – and it is a virus they want to spread to all levels of society. This is not so dissimilar from the sorts of tactics routinely used in, eg. the DDR (GDR – East Germany), so Ruth’s concern does carry some weight. It’s becoming a very slippery slope. I’m glad the doctors’ union slammed the proposal. I cannot think of any GPs I know who would give it the time of day – I think most would tell the state to fuck off. But as Mark rightly suggests, we must all be resilient and alert – to detect state propaganda and machination, rather than those of one another!

    It is ethical – and indeed is a duty as a citizen – for medical staff to ‘phone the police if someone is threatening serious violence – i.e. someone comes in and says: “I have a knife and I’m so upset/ill, I’m going to stab my wife/friend/child/the first person I see when I leave here” (but not if they say “I will shoplift, sell drugs, prostitute myself or commit fraud unless you give me dihydrocodine and diazepam”; it has to be directly violent crime). “I am completely rational and I have a bomb which I am going to place under London Bridge/ or “I am going to drive my lorry into a school, the moment I leave here” would necessitate a call to the police. That has long been regarded as justifiable reason for breaching confidentiality in most professions. The doc needs to be able to stand up in court and justify it afterwards, of course. But reporting on political views – even if it’s “Someone should shoot Margaret Thatcher” (one we all often heard during the 1980s), or “There should be violent revolution in this country – it’s the only way! We will do it!” or “I believe the in Caliphate, bring down the British State! etc., etc.” is something entirely different and would not justify any such breaches, absolutely not. For the Govt even to suggest it would suggest to me that while they know it would be regarded as unacceptable, they want to move the ‘mainstream’ of debate towards the authoritarian; it’s a much-used tactic – suggest something really extreme so that people will then be more amenable to accepting something the Govt wanted to achieve, all along. Shameful.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Parky’s got a point about some other European countries being in even worse financial shape than the UK. Of course, the point is that those countries, by and large, are not deeply enmeshed in foreign wars of dubious merit. As I suggested in a previous post on this thread, such wars did not create the problem of violent Islamism but they have certainly fueled it wrt specifically the domestic situation/risk in the UK. The state in the UK seems keen to use the spectre of violent Islamism as cover and displacement activity – distraction – from the deleterious impact these wars are having on the UK economy. This is not to deny that such a spectre exists – it does – but it’s the dynamic seems to be being carried widely into society in order to exert social control. Even the terminology is Orwellian: ‘Prevent’, ‘Protect’, ‘Protect and Survive’ (remember that one?)… in a word, brainwashing.

    The Islamists enjoy this, as it serves their purposes very well – psychologically ghettoise the Muslim communities, get ’em where they want ’em, polarise society, dualism, simplistic world-view, etc. Many people in the UK seem to beleive:

    1) That Muslims and Christians have been at war continuously since the Crusades.

    2) That the ‘way of life’ of Islamists is ‘traditional’.

    Neither of these views are true.

    On youtube, there are pictures of Kabul in the 1960s and 1970s. Check them out. They are very moving. I know they are accurate; my family visited there in the 1970s. People forget and the Islamists want people to forget. Same with Pakistani cities. Think also of Iran. There is nothing ‘traditional’ about Islamism, it is a postmodern political movement. Not to say Islam is not a patriarchal religion, it is, and this needs urgent attention. But that is a different matter, a another discussion, I think.

  • Ruth

    London is one of the major financial centres in the world. Imagine the damage to the UK if the IMF were called in.

  • Parky

    @ Ruth

    yes London is important as you say but operates in international markets and while having the IMF involved at home would not be good for the countries reputation, I expect the London finacial centre would continue to operate regardless. Rewind to 1976 and the high public spending deficit created by a labour govt. The IMF were involved. I would expect if Britain spiralled into totalitarianism then that would have a worse effect on Britain’s reputation and ecconomy than an IMF loan.

    I heard Blair parroting-on on R4 this morning but switched off the radio and got on with more important things. Why do the BBC give him and Campbell such airtime after they screwed them is beyond me? At least Brown has had the decency to keep out of the way and if I had heard him on my radio this morning I’m sure the radio would have been trashed just like he did to the ecconomy.

    @ Suhayl I agree with you on the use of Islam as a propaganda tool by HMG. Before 2000 we hardly ever heard anything on the news about Muslims and Islam, suddenly when George W came to power, they were the ememy within and without and were demonised whenever possible. I detect there is less focus on this group now, maybe you can’t fool all the people all of the time.

  • mary

    The orchestration of this charade is patently obvious. Bliar is brought on to say he nothing wrong with the Hutton Inquiry on the same day that Grieve announces his decision on the call for an inquest into Dr. Kelly’s death. Remember that NO inquest was ever held.
    ‘The attorney general will announce later whether he will ask the High Court to open an inquest into the death of government scientist Dr David Kelly.’
    Grieve’s friends in the Conservative Friends of Israel and in the Ditchley Foundation where he is a governor will be delighted. The list of names here will make your blood run cold.

  • mary

    s/be ….to say he sees nothing wrong…..
    I see that Bliar is flogging a paperback version of his execrable book The Journey. It has a new chapter.

    Tony Blair: New Chapter, Same Old Imperial Story
    Posted by inderjeet parmar on June 9, 2011, 10:51 am

    Tony Blair, interviewed on BBC Radio 4 this morning, selling the paperback of his autobiography, A Journey. It has a new chapter further to justify Western military and other interventionism in the Middle East. He gave two reasons: first, what happens “over there” affects “us” over here; secondly, the changes in the Middle east need to be comprehensive – political, economic, social – and must be “evolutionary” NOT “revolutionary”. This was loosely introduced under the broad banner of “humanitarian” intervention.

    Blair provided no elaboration on precisely how “over there” affects “over here”, nor was he pressed to, indicating an underlying assumption in the discussion: that everywhere is a “Western” interest, and the “West” (which presumably now also includes Saudi Arabia) had better be ready and willing permanently to intervene. The second assumption was just as instructive: that Middle eastern states are of interest to the West because the latter just want to ‘do good’ in the former, neatly eliding very recent history not to mention the longer record of colonial rule and interference. In that regard, Blair echoes, from his perch as Middle East peace envoy, the message pumped out of the White House by President Barack Obama, and by current premier, David Cameron.

    (medialens message board)

  • mark_golding

    I have complained to the BBC on the R4 web-site Mary for entertaining a war criminal. I have also accused the BBC of no longer serving the interests of the license payer by entertaining a man who lied Britain into a war that murdered, maimed and traumatized thousands of children.

    Meanwhile doctors and other health professionals will be asked to identify people who are “vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism” as part of the government’s redrawn counter-terrorism programme to be detailed on Tuesday.

    Agent Cameron has pushed through the change despite opposition from Nick Clegg and Charles Farr, the head of the office of security and counter-terrorism, arguing that such engagement is like “turning to a rightwing fascist party to fight a violent white supremacist movement”.

    Since Cameron spoke at the security conference in Munich he said, ‘Those who are with us, we advocate and those who are not, they have no place in the community,’ this belief is implied in the core of agent Cameron’s strategy and seems to be an interpretation of the words of GW Bush when he said,’ you are either with us or the terrorists.’

  • James Cranch

    In fact, if the government got much larger — or stayed the same size — and stopped funding attacks on foreign countries, that would probably also work equally well.

    I don’t think the two are necessarily highly connected: Germany has big government and relatively few military adventures in recent years; Israel has somewhat smaller government than the UK but plenty of militarism.

  • Ruth

    ‘I would expect if Britain spiralled into totalitarianism then that would have a worse effect on Britain’s reputation and ecconomy than an IMF loan.’

    True but the UK has a veneer of democracy. People vote thinking they have the ability to influence policies. They look at the Party manifestos and make a decision. After the election these policies can be reversed at will. The policy to treble university fees is a prime example.

    Also, when our newly elected MPs enter Parliament what happens there. Remember the remark made by Andrew Mackinlay, a Labour backbencher, denouncing the decision of Jack Straw to stop the publication of the Cabinet minutes of their decision to attack Iraq.

    “It really is appalling and also it is a bad day for Parliament when you get the synthetic anger from the Opposition, cosying up, the Privy Council Club closing down debate and discussion on things which must be revealed”

  • angrysoba

    I’m not sure why you think there’s a problem with challenging “non-violent extremist views”. Assuming your quotes are accurate the report doesn’t say: “So what it means is that believing that the UK should be governed by Sharia law, even if you hold that belief totally lawfully and without violence, and wish to campaign for it through democratic means, should not be allowed.” In particular the “should not be allowed” is not stated. Challenging a particular view and saying a particular view “should not be allowed” is not the same thing.
    As an example, David Copeland probably had some very extreme views which are non-violent but nevertheless challenged much of the time. It would probably be foolish to think that David Copeland’s non-violent extremist views didn’t form part of the problem. You could, of course, make the claim that the government do enough “social engineering” and nannying and PC gone madding but don’t deny that there are plenty of non-violent extremist views – particularly popular on the far right – that are challenged by “Teh Establishment” all the time. And a good thing too. Too bad if you would prefer Islamism to be given a dispensation. The fact is that Islamism IS one of the factors that leads to “terrorism” even if not always a necessary or sufficient explanation.
    And wanting a united Ireland is NOT an “extremist” view.

  • Mark

    Excellent post, and an illuminating comments thread,especially from Suhayl. Craig has saved all of us the time of ploughing thru 120 pages of turgid government prose with his crisp dissection of the contents.

    There IS a problem in the UK posed by violent disaffected ‘Islamists’, and as Suhayl states, it is essentially a ‘post modern’ phenomenon.(Their competence as terrorists however, is well below the threat previously posed by the Irish republican variety).

    In the case of the UK ‘Islamism’ is a totem for a significant number of young muslim males who are ill at ease with a ‘British’ identity, and also disconnected in many ways from their original nationality, be it Pakistani, Bangladeshi or, in the case of many converts, Jamaican,or English. ‘British’ identity is fast dissolving under the pressures of a burgeoning multicultural society- and there is very little the political elite can do about it. The ‘Prevent’ strategy is part of their displacement activity; they really seem to believe that a combination of repression, generous funding of snake oil outfits like Quilliam, and the promotion of happy-clappy multiculturalism, will recreate a sense of ‘Britishness’ that both disaffected muslims and the downtrodden white working class of the old industrial centres will embrace, together. Fat chance.

  • angrysoba

    “Before 2000 we hardly ever heard anything on the news about Muslims and Islam, suddenly when George W came to power, they were the ememy within and without and were demonised whenever possible.”
    In fact, I don’t think George W Bush began demonising Islam. You may remember that a certain something happened on September 11th of 2001. If Michael Moore’s film Fahrenheit 9/11 is to be believed all that George W Bush from his election to that point was goof off on his ranch, play golf and read My Pet Goat to kids in schools.
    Of course, Al-Qaeda had attacked US emabassies in Africa under Bill Clinton and killed hundreds of Africans. Bill Clinton had bombed a medicine factory in Sudan and perhaps killed hundreds of Africans in retaliation (as a consequence of a shortage of medicine).
    But you may have also remembered the Taliban seizing power and killing Najibullah after dragging him from a UN safe house and then later blowing up the Bamiyan statues.
    Going further back you may have remembered that the Oklahoma bombing was first, wrongly, blamed on Muslims considered the likely suspects then. Why were they considered likely?
    Well, certain groups had certainly threatened to attack and were considered to be dangerous. If this was all related to some kind of false flag theorising then they were really playing the long game.
    By the way, you can find plenty of extremist Islamist violence almost all over the world. You don’t need to simply focus on what you’ve been hearing. Have a look at the Phillipines, Thailand, Malaysia, Nigeria, Sudan and of course Pakistan, Kashmir, East Turkestan. Now, of course some of it is the fault of aggressive policy against Muslims such as in Chechnya, perhaps, or East Turkestan but much of it is the problem of Islamism itself. If that wasn’t the case there wouldn’t be so much internecine butchering between those who have theological disputes.

  • YugoStiglitz

    “Before 2000 we hardly ever heard anything on the news about Muslims and Islam, suddenly when George W came to power, they were the ememy within and without and were demonised whenever possible.”

    Ha. Completely false prior to 911; perhaps you forget the original 1993 bombing of the WTC, and many terrorist acts before and after that.

    I’m not sure how you can say that George W. demonized Islam – in fact, among the many stupid things he said, he stated that “Islam is a religion of peace.” Which is obviously a bit much.

    And how were Muslims demonised within the U.S.? Some visa overstays were picked up, but they broke the rules. Apart from maybe Jose Padilla, what are you talking about?

    And btw, I saw up top that people are claiming that 911 and 7/7 were inside jobs. Let me offer some pushback by stating that such notions are silly conspiracy theories.

  • Ruth

    Good comment from a Daily Mail reader:

    ‘This decision tells me that Dr. David Kelly was bumped off and the Government know it. It’s time we, the people got rid of this Government. I don’t mean the Tories, I don’t mean the Lib Dems, I don’t mean Labour… I mean the whole lot – Government, Whitehall, the entire stinking cabal. They’re all in ‘it’ together and they do not represent the wishes of the people. We have to get rid of them, somehow/

    – Aiden, London, UK, 09/6/2011 14:10

    Read more:

  • dlj

    ‘ … should be challenged'(report) does not equal ‘should not be be allowed’ (Craig).

  • Mark

    ‘Now, of course some of it is the fault of aggressive policy against Muslims such as in Chechnya, perhaps, or East Turkestan ‘
    The army in Indian Kashmir have also been pretty aggressive on occasions but, I suppose, as the leadership there is now broadly pro-American, it’s best not to mention that, eh, Angry ?

  • Suhayl Saadi

    The comment by ‘Samira’ is not just “a bit harsh”, it’s totally unacceptable and utterly inaccurate and I think needs to be challenged head-on and/or deleted (if I may suggest).

    Thanks, Mark and Parky, for your kind comments.

    I agree that Islamism existed and was a problem in, say, Pakistan from the mid-1970s onwards, when Bhutto began to feel he needed to pander to them (eg. declaring the Ahmedi people – a group within Muslims – as not ‘non-Muslim’) and some other fundamentally wrong acts. These Islamist elements effectively took over the country with the ascension of General Zia ul Haq, who, while not really one of them, did a deal with them. Zia ul Haq was US-trained (not a Sandhurst man, then, unlike, say, Idi Amin and many others). Then he did ‘Black September’ in Jordan in 1970 at the behest of King Hussein. Interesting pedigree. Then of course, came the Afghan Saur Revolution, the Soviet invasion, the US-Saudi massive building-up of Islamism as a military force… and the rest is history (which most certainly has not ended).

    In the UK, I began to notice crap about ‘Islamisation’ being voiced with favour among some in the Pakistani community in the early 1980s, when the garbage began to filter back from Pakistan. Of course, Shia Fundamentalism had built gradually during the 1970s and the Iranian Revolution spanned from 1979-1981, by which time Bani Sadr (liberal president) had fled and the Foreign Minister was executed. Initially, the impetus for Islamists (even Sunni ones) was the Iranian Revolution. The ‘Rushdie Affair’ was emblematic of the stage reached in the UK by 1988-89.

    I remember getting a bus home from university on a dark Glasgow evening in the early 1980s (must have been late 1980). I was chatting to a lad from the same street, also returning from university; we’d talked many times before. We got talking about the US Embassy hostage crisis. I made a comment about President Carter’s failed rescue missions (the Chinook), suggesting that Carter’s Presidential re-election was likely to hinge of that event and that he had attempted it then because of the pending election. He declared suddenly, “It’s those Muslims!” And he never spoke to me again.

    Another time, I gave a lift to a hitchhiker (I never do this now) around 1986-ish in southern Scotland. He was a student from Bristol. After some time, he informed me quite casually (not knowing what I was) that he liked everyone except Muslims.

    So, in fact, if we just cast out minds back, angrysoba and yugostiglitz are not incorrect on this specific matter. It’s certainly gone on since at least the early 1980s due to the geopolitical dynamics. It intensified at various times – the Rushdie Affair cast a very long shadow for many years, for example. And then again, after ‘9/11’. But it had been bubbling away – Twin Towers first bombing in 2003, for example, plus the East African bombings. Many other events, too. At some point, the ‘Mujaheddin’ in Afghanistan turned from ‘heroes’ into ‘villains’. They were always villains, in fact and we – the USA and UK – ought never to have backed them and built them up as we did. The USSR was not economically viable and would have imploded, though perhaps it might have taken another few years. The Afghan War was only one factor. And look at the dreadful mes created. Here is one of those videos I was talking about:

  • Yakoub Islam

    Astonishingly, a page on my website was named as one of the top ten pro-Islamic UK blogs, thanks to ‘research’ carried out on behalf of the Home Office’s counter-terrorism communications unit. Does my so-called blog or website pose a threat to national security? Does Noddy smoke crack? Just for starters, I’m a noisy supporter of Abdul Ghaffar Khan, the non-violent Pathan whom Ghandi spoke of with admiration. However, I have said some fairly unkind things about Tony Bliar, UK government foreign policy, Quilliam, the Sufi Muslim Council, Prevent, etc. Obviously, I’m an enemy of the State — assuming you’re one of the dickheads who work in spook city, that is.

  • Michael

    Any act or activity (violent or not) aimed at imposing sharia as the law of the land is of necessity aimed at the destruction of one or more of the human rights and fundamental freedoms. It falls within Article 17 of the ECHR and is therefore done without right. You wouldn’t have a case under the Human Rights Act even if they were to reinstate the Spanish Inquisition to deal with these activities.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Well, Yakoub Islam, that’s the ludicrousness and perniciousness (and all-round supracalifragilistic expialadociousness) of the spook programme. Of course, if you describe yourself as any kind of ‘anarchist’, you will be on their radar. But one may be on their radar if one describes oneself as a human being. Yours is an excellent website, btw, and the other, associated site – the ‘Terror’ one – is fascinating and intellectual, so the spooks can go take a running jump (off of one of your cliffhangers, perhaps)! What is ‘steampunk’? I like the term. Is it a variant of ‘cyberpunk’? And presumably, it differs from ‘[a] steamin’ punk’! Good luck with the novel!

  • mary

    I liked two things on Yacoub’s front page.
    Propagangrene – much more descriptive than the version I use sometimes, crapaganda
    and his profile –
    Global Citizen
    The biosphere is my home; humankind my family; the libraries of the world are my mind; a mother’s tears my heart; the qur’an my soul; non-violence my creed; peace and justice my purpose; dialogue, education and critical reflection my toolbox.
    The clock with the swinging pendulum was novel too, and calming.

  • mark_golding

    Suhayl – I agree good supercal site well said – Perhaps we ignore the profanity (it was there to generate a response) and silence is painful.

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