The Ignorance of Islamophobia 234

The deluge of Islamophobia on social media unleashed by supporters of the Gaza genocide has been profoundly shocking. It is one reason I am very sorry that Humza Yousaf was forced out as First Minister of Scotland, as he was a particular target and his ousting will have encouraged the bigots.

On Twitter and Facebook I frequently receive comments suggesting that I should go and live in an Islamic country (from people evidently unaware that I have previously), or that I should meet Hamas or the Taliban (from people again unaware that I have previously) who would behead me, or that Muslims wish to kill all non-Muslims.

What strikes me curiously is the sincerity of their Islamophobic beliefs – they really do believe all these things, because they have been imbued with this hate by absorbing years of propaganda in which Muslims are dehumanised.

I want to tell you, and them, a small story. In Pakistan a fortnight ago, I was in Lahore searching for the house of General Allard, where Alexander Burnes spent time. Allard is a fascinating figure but I do not want to digress here from the point of this story.

I did not find Allard’s palatial residence, which has been demolished long ago, but I did find the tomb where he and his daughter were buried. The tomb was attached to the house, and my friend Masood Lohari and I were able to do some urban archaeology, discovering that elements of the palace and its outbuildings had been incorporated into much later structures now on the site.

We were walking around the dense buildings when a man got off his scooter and invited us in to a doorway. Masood told him what we were doing, and he invited us up many winding steps to his attic apartment, where he opened a trapdoor into a roof cavity that revealed a very old structure.

His attic apartment was clean but very sparsely furnished. It had two rooms, in one of which his invalid father lay on a bed. In the other he and his wife had their bed. There were plastic chairs and table and an incongruously large old fridge.

His wife produced dates and nuts and tea and insisted we sit down to drink. The fridge was opened and the entire contents were emptied out for us. There was a delicious half melon, which was diced and put into bowls. A handful of strawberries were crushed and whipped up with the milk. Bread was broken and the very small amount of meat diced and grilled.

We tried to refuse some of the hospitality but plainly to persist in that would have caused enormous offence. It was obvious that this was a household living by western standards in great poverty, but every single bit of food available was cleaned out and given to the guests. Our beaming hosts told us of the blessing they received in providing hospitality to strangers.

The point is, that I have experienced this often in Muslim countries. In my experience, it is typical of the way that Muslim people behave. It is for example a fact that in the UK, Muslims devote a much higher proportion of their income to charity than non-Muslims.

Hate is bred of fear, and fear is bred of ignorance. It is tragic that in developed countries, resources are available for war but not to counter that ignorance.

But of course, the hate is deliberately inculcated as it is required to bolster support for war. From war the Establishment make a great deal of money and foment yet more hatred with which to bolster their authority.



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234 thoughts on “The Ignorance of Islamophobia

1 2
    • Anna

      A delightful story of Muslim good values would be: Hamas operatives rejecting the brutal, death-celebrating terror that they wrought on the Jewish people and their friends on October 7, and, failing Hamas rejection of terrorism, Muslim countries (of which there are many rich, powerful) deciding to airlift their perceived innocents out of Palestine in an operation similar to the airlifts the Jewish state has had to perform to bring its dispersed peoples to safety.
      Why leave all the peace and safety of the world to the Jews?

      • Doctor Ernest Jones

        “Airlifts the Jewish state has had to perform”?

        You are obviously not aware (but of course you are, because you’re a hasbara merchant, “Anna”) that the “Jewish state” ‘s successful efforts to attract Jews from Arab countries were based mainly on whipping up fear in the Jewish populations of the Arab countries and with the objective of increasing the Jewish percentage of Israel’s population.

        But don’t take my word for it – check put what Professor Avi Schlaim (an Iraqi Jew whose family left Iraq for Israel) has to say about this…and the false flag Israeli bomb attacks in Baghdad.

        PS – the million or so Russians Jews attracted into Israel fulfilled the same population ratio objective.

        And now, piss off from this blog!

        • Anna

          Laughable revisionism, and not true. You’re honestly claiming that Jews left Arab countries, like Ethiopia, not because of genuine difficulties with existing peacably in those countries but because of gaslighting about their safety by the Jewish state?
          It’s really preposterous.
          But, as for increasing the percentage of the Jewish population, that of course is right and proper because Israel is to be a Jewish state.

          • Laguerre

            You understand now why Craig talks of the ignorance of Islamophobia. You don’t even know the history of the Jews in Israel.

          • Doctor Ernest Jones

            I think you – and the Israeli propaganda services – are doing the gaslighting and it is more than certain that

            (1) you are the revisionist

            and (2) Professor Avi Schlaim and I know more about the matter than you do.

          • Blue Dotterel

            As I understand it, Ethiopia is mostly a Christian state. Most Ethiopians are not even Arabs or even semites.

            This seems to be a display of the ignorance that Ambassador Murray is referring to.

      • mark golding

        Interesting six of the eight scientists who led the Manhattan project were Jewish, and their ethnicity was a key reason why they were in America building a bomb and not in Nazi-occupied Europe.

        • Anna

          And I’m sure they were better off there in America, with Uncle Sam keeping a good eye on them, mentoring them, right?
          Alive but co-opted into MKULTRA etc.
          No surprises that America is now on the verge of failing to stand with Israel against its mortal enemy, and is still trying to control things, as it ever has.
          We will indeed fight with our fingernails.

          • Doctor Ernest Jones

            @ Anna

            Just two points:

            (1) you, personally, are not doing any fighting, with or without your fingernails. This is because you probably aren’t in Israel to do any fighting, and in the event that you are, you’re before a computer screen, far away from the action.

            (2) I suspect the European Jewish scientists were mentoring the Americans and not the other way round.

          • Tom Welsh

            “We will indeed fight with our fingernails”.

            Only if the copious supply of state-of-the art jet fighters, missiles, tanks and artillery begins to flag. There is no sign of that yet. Israel is – and always has been – awash with light and heavy weapons, to such an extent that it is doubtful if one can ever designate an Israeli as a “civilian”. Such “civilian” settlers have often produced massive firepower and massacred inoffensive Palestinians working on their own land.

      • M.J.

        A delightful story of Israeli good values would be: Zionists rejecting the ethnic cleansing of Palestine by means of the terror that they have wrought on Palestinians over 80 years. As UN Secretary General Guttieres rightly pointed out, October 7th did not occur in a vacuum.
        An even better story of Israeli good values would be to end apartheid, enable the return of all refugees from 1948, and create a full democracy from the Jordan to the Mediterranean.
        But Israelis won’t abandon exclusive privileges voluntarily, any more than white South Africans did. Sanctions brought about the end of South African apartheid, and BDS will help to end the Israeli variant.
        I am pleased BTW that the French-language edition of Ilan Pappé’s The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine is available again (ISBN 2358722804).

        • Anna

          You can indeed go a very long way towards peace even with those whose way of life is very different from your own, and even when your religions have points of strong opposition.
          But not when that person (Hamas, Islamic Jihad) is avowed on your destruction whatever steps you take towards promoting peace (normalisation, etc.) and this is part of a long struggle which is spiritual in nature, rather than about land.
          You’ll presumably know what many of us think about Guttieres.

          • Clark

            Hamas is no longer “avowed on your destruction”; Hamas issued a new charter in 2017:

            Hamas affirms that its conflict is with the Zionist project not with the Jews because of their religion. Hamas does not wage a struggle against the Jews because they are Jewish but wages a struggle against the Zionists who occupy Palestine. Yet, it is the Zionists who constantly identify Judaism and the Jews with their own colonial project and illegal entity.
            Hamas rejects the persecution of any human being or the undermining of his or her rights on nationalist, religious or sectarian grounds. Hamas is of the view that the Jewish problem, antisemitism and the persecution of the Jews are phenomena fundamentally linked to European history and not to the history of the Arabs and the Muslims or to their heritage.


          • M.J.

            The best cure for such prejudice may be actually meeting Palestinians and recognising their humanity as not one little bit different to or inferior to your own. That realisation will bring a recognition of a massive crime against humanity wrought, not by Hamas, but Israel and its founders.
            Miko Peled grew up as Israeli ‘royalty’, the son of a General of the 1948 and 1967 wars. His book The General’s Son is worth reading. But also the books by historian Ilan Pappé. As he shows, Ben Gurion’s Plan D was the same in spirit to what you claim about Hamas.
            If reading books means too much expense or effort, I recommend their longer Youtube interviews or talks.

          • Anna

            They showed their true colours on October 7.
            Even if you try to interpret the 2017 redrafting positively, which I couldn’t do easily: as the ‘Zionist project’ presumably means the existence/expansion of Jewish lands, their heinous acts speak a million times louder than their treacherous words. They are terrorists.

          • Human

            i’ve never heard genocide called ‘normalisation’ before. But then I’m not a murderer

          • Clark


            “…expansion of Jewish lands,”

            Are you justifying colonialism? I see that below you advocate airlifting the Palestinians out of the occupied territories of Palestine; do you support ethnic cleansing?

      • Squeeth

        @ Anna, how squalid

        The Palestinian resistance organised a slave revolt against zionists who, ipso facto, couldn’t be Jews. The zionists instigated a massacre of everyone that they could find, friend or foe. I will never condemn a slave revolt, a breakout from a concentration camp or attacks on Trawniki. That’s what being a superannuated seventies egalitarian gets you.

  • glenn_nl

    A fine example of the hospitality one can expect, but still be surprised to receive from Muslims.

    My wife and I visited the residence of another young couple in Morocco, back in the day. Their place was actually an unfinished but abandoned apartment building, where they lived in an almost completely unfurnished apartment. It was not even plastered and had no plumbing. All they possessed – including their cooking apparatus – could have fitted into a suitcase.

    Some of the others were occupied too, and they greeted us warmly with a “Hi!” and waves as we passed (there wasn’t much in the way of doors).

    Despite having next to nothing, they cooked a meal, wrapped it, and we took it to the beach to eat it. It was simple and delicious. They hardly spoke any English, and we spoke virtually no Arabic. A friend of theirs happened to pass by, and provided translation for us.

    We spent a memorable few hours together. When we made our farewell, my wife gave the young lady her headscarf and some other trinket (I don’t remember what) – the appreciation she showed was immense considering its actual value. She literally had tears of joy.


    I really must read that Sikunder Burnes of yours sometime!

  • geoff chambers

    Many Moslems I’ve met here in France has exhibited the same kind of unthinking generosity (often in small but touching ways) that you recount. Surprisingly to me, several with experience of the UK have said they found less racism in Britain than here in France, even though they’re 2nd or 3rd generation immigrants from French ex-colonies.
    One of the negative effects of the current obsession with anti-racism is that it’s considered almost impolite to point out that such cultural differences exist.

    • Lapsed Agnostic

      Not sure why you found it surprising that France is more racist than the UK, Geoff. Don’t forget that Marine Le Pen got over 40% of the vote in the second round of the 2022 Presidential Election – and, for my money, will very likely be the next French President. Contrast this with Blighty where since May last year, when Julian Leppert lost his seat in Waltham Abbey, far-right parties* haven’t had a single councillor on any local authority above parish/community level.

      * Note that this applies even if you include UKIP, the Heritage Party, Lozza’s Reclaim Party and the English Democrats as far-right.

      • Stevie Boy

        “Contrast this with Blighty where since May last year,.., far-right parties* haven’t had a single councillor”.
        Hang on, let’s not forget Tories, Blairite Labour and Lib Dems – ‘such a parcel of rogues in a nation’.

        • Lapsed Agnostic

          Thanks for your reply Stevie. Are you seriously suggesting that the Lib Dems are a far-right party? Have you started early on the cask-strength stuff al fresco without a proper sunshade? As for the Tories, as well as recently having three out of four of their Great Office of State appointments filled by people from ethnic minority backgrounds (and the one who wasn’t being married to a Chinese lady), they’ve also let in over a *million* new (legal) new arrivals (most of whom will have darker skin than people of typically northern European heritage) in the year to June, with little signs that things are going to change much going forward.

          • Squeeth

            All three Tory parteis are far right. Have you forgotten what the Fib Dems did in the coalition?

    • Tom Kennedy

      Thanks, James, for the link to that site. Some interesting reads there, and I’ve bookmarked it, although I found the article you linked to slightly meandering.

      • James

        You’re welcome. Yes, it was a bit rambling, maybe… I suppose he was painting a picture… (some of his other articles are very good though).

  • Robert Dyson

    If you read the research in “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine” by Ilan Pappé, you find that the Arabs in villages in what is now Israeli territory were totally hospitable to Jews passing through (pre-1948) who were in fact secretly gathering intelligence of people and land. There have been other more generous interpretations of the documents but taking at face value does fit the facts better.

  • Clark

    Several times, in both England and Scotland, while engaged in environmental activism, myself and my girlfriend have been bought dinner by Muslims with whom we have got into conversations.

    This coming Wednesday, 15th of May, is the day that Palestinians grieve the Nakba, the catastrophe of being massacred and driven from their land, the day after Israel declared itself a state, and the day the USA recognised it as such. Please offer your support if you can, perhaps by obtaining and flying a Palestinian flag.

  • Clark

    “What strikes me curiously is the sincerity of their Islamophobic beliefs”

    Just two weeks ago I had to explain to a friend of a friend that the “Hamas beheaded forty babies” story was fake news.

    • AG

      Not that you need any material from me – but I have circulated this excellent conversation by Hedges with Ali Abunimah from Electronic Intifada. I suggest your friends watch/read it:

      And then there is this item in the WaPo on the recent open letter by 60+ professors to the NYT to revise their story on Hamas atrocities, because they are lies. (yes it still needs time to load)
      or Democracy Now with an interview
      “60+ Journalism Profs Demand Investigation into Controversial NYT Article Alleging Mass Rape on Oct. 7”

      or this diary piece

      sry my patience has decreased as of late towards the uninformed who are nonetheless putting out strong opinions on this issue.
      Actuall I have started to tell people to literally shut the fuck up if they are not informed.
      Usually I don´t do this. But enough is enough.
      It´s not like Ukraine where you can argue that the entire news are forged and its hard to get real info past censorship.
      But Gaza is happening in the light of day.
      Courts have talked about this.
      It´s all over the place.

      • Clark

        AG, have patience with people. I know it is exasperating, and that people could inform themselves if they tried. But we have to be the voice of peace; people have to experience peace when we present them with the facts that correct the maniacal ravings of the propaganda, because that contradiction makes them uncomfortable. They have to experience that contrast which we can provide, so that they come to recognise the lying, ranting voice of war and oppression for what it is.

        People work long hours, maybe they have got into debt and are frightened. They don’t have the mental energy and don’t know how to sift the treasure from the copious turds if they venture to explore the internet. Be patient; guide them.

        Most Saturdays I go into my nearest town, Chelmsford, where I fly the Palestinian flag. Many, many people express their thanks and support; some gather round and chat. Very occasionally I receive abuse; it has never amounted to reasoned argument.

        The odd thing is, quite a few of the supportive people tell me I’m very brave to do this, especially on my own. In return I tell them that I felt nervous at first, months ago, but that my consistent experience has been that fifteen to twenty times as many people offer support compared with the one or two per week who mutter abuse and scurry off.

        This is the major effect of the propaganda – it makes people reluctant to show their support. But its effect is fragile because the propaganda is fake; it takes only one person to break the pattern.

        • AG

          Well your flag-action is indeed brave. Respect for that.

          Regarding the people I feel I have to insult – those are rich, privileged Germans and their arrogance stinks to the skies. They are so dumb its hard to top their moronic reactions for feeling “offended” if you tell them to get their head out of the government´s ass.
          I agree with you on those who have demeaning, tiring work – work they more endure than embrace, like 80%.
          Those are not the ones I address.

          Okay, an example of “opinion” in the SÜDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG of Munich, which I did read until 2,5 years ago when I realized something is utterly wrong.

          (Admittedly already 4 years ago they repeated the lies about Corbyn, so the fall of that paper is a story in itself, but it has existed since before WWII. So it’s an important and alarming case. Criticism of Israel – way below our level here – was possible 15 years ago. Then the paper was sold and it has deteriorated gradually since.)

          The short article is here in case anyone cares:

          It is of limited insight for those who do not live in Germany. But the wording does betray the absolute negligence of what is truly going on.
          That, everyone will understand.

          And what pisses me off most is the sheer arrogance of this guy´s writing – (he is rather young, early 40s, the ones who have started with this new era of smart-assing around in this country, because they studied some fancy shit at some fancy university AND were abroad too! uuuuuhh).

          The text is behind the paywall. So either you are a student, or you are well-off enough to own an expensive subscription (I am using a friend´s account but virtually don’t need it any more for above reason.)

          So like the British counterparts, it is a paper shaping German rich so-called leftists’, views.
          These are not some labourers reading the paper. This is not the Blackpool Courier or the Liverpool Worker’s Gazette (sorry for making these up).

          Readers are other journalists, state officials (administration; the law), artists, doctors, university staff, (software) engineers, media (editors, writers, executives). White-collar, that is. Not those who do the manual, the physical, work. To fulfill a few clichés.

        • Tatyana

          Clark, my deepest respect for you, admiration for your actions in support of Palestine, and appreciation for your patient efforts to keep people informed.

        • Anna

          “I’m very brave to do this”?
          No, it’s not brave.
          It is never brave to stand with the oppressor.
          Standing up now with a Palestine flag is aligning yourself with Hamas over the Jews and Israeli hostages.
          What would be brave would be standing there with the Israeli flag, a courage most readers of this blog will find impossible to imagine, its author included.

          • glenn_nl

            A: “Standing up now with a Palestine flag is aligning yourself with Hamas over the Jews and Israeli hostages. “

            Really – who suddenly came up with that definition? And it’s an internationally agreed and accepted position? Strange, then, why Hamas should have its own flag. 🤔

            Next, I suppose you’ll want to insult all Jews by aligning every last one with the genocidal far-right Likud party. (Personally, I think that would be a gross distortion of the long-standing liberal Jewish tradition – but you’re the one handing out insults and mass generalisations here.)

            A: “It is never brave to stand with the oppressor. “

            True enough – decent of you to admit it. The people of Gaza in particular have been oppressed very much by their Israeli camp guards. Seems like Zionists learned the wrong lessons from the German Nazis – instead of saying “There should be no more concentration camps”, they believe “We should be in charge of them”.

            Here’s a tip – you’re fooling nobody here by telling blatant lies, this crowd is far too well informed. Try being a bit more subtle, or head off to a white power site – they (like you) appreciate their fascism right out in the open.

          • Anna

            I’ve no doubt about it: standing up waving a Palestinian flag now instead of calling loudly, with Israel, for the destruction of Hamas and their terrorism with your every breath is anti-Jewish and anti-human.

            I don’t think you’ll find many Jews, or supporters of Jews, ‘Zionist’ (whatever your definition of that might be) or not, including those from the “long-standing, liberal Jewish tradition” who will want to ditch preservation of their homeland from genocidal terrorist Hamas to side with your characterisation of the people defending them as Nazis.

            Your true colours are clear, it’s nothing to do with intelligence, but it is about moral courage and from all you have said here, you have clearly chosen to stand for the oppressor, for Hamas fascism.

          • pasha

            I guess it takes a special kind of bravery to murder your own people, as the IDF do, and then blame the people you’re trying to exterminate.
            As Caitlin Johnstone has said, Stamp on somebody’s face for three generations and then act surprised and hurt when they bite your foot.

          • will moon

            Anna, I note many Nazi politicians including Hitler, Goebels and Frank, the commanders of the Einsatzgruppen and many high commanders on the Eastern Front speak, in the literature, of “subhumans” and “human animals”

            I have heard many “top people” in Israel use these words, often claiming “no one is innocent in Gaza” – which I guess includes children. Are you ok with this?

          • nevermind

            There are many Jews who support the actions for Palestinians to live in Palestine.
            It is the politics of law-breakers and murderous warmongers that needs addressing.
            You and your Zionist fiends who armed settlers to help do their murderous work are responsible for what has befallen you.
            Please everyone 15 of May is Nahkba day when we remember the attack on peaceful civilians by murderous thugs for land and money.
            I have a Palestinian flag permanently on the front of our house, it will stay there until there is a permanent ceasefire and a solution for the exit of Zionists from Palestine. They have proven that they can’t be peaceful neighbours.

  • AG

    Is it possible that this Islamophobia started with the 1980s? After the Arab lelftwing was destroyed and pushed into radicalisation? (As was the European in fact exemplified by the demise of “Euro-Communism”.)
    Because as popular content is concerned I really have the impression that this image of the “terrorist” brute (think Steven Spielberg´s super-racist polit-thriller “Munich” AAARRRGGGHHHH!!!) has become standard in the past 40 years. It was different before. Positive Arab characters, respect for Palestinians (even if on the basis of zero knowledge), Islam as a religion, not known but respected at least as something that has yet to be discovered and studied may be. A bit like many “normal” people (i.e. non-academic decent ones) today still look at Chinese. It only deteriorates when the educated influential class moves in and starts to fuck up everything in order to defend its interests. Not knowing is still better than an illusion of knowledge + hatred.
    Yes, I seem to be angry today. Sorry.

    • Anna

      Or could it be something about actions speaking louder than words?
      Islamic Jihad = actions.
      “this image of the “terrorist” brute” = reality.

      • AG

        grow up Anna

        From David Swanson´s research on the cost of the US War On Terror.:

        The Wars:

        The wars that have used the “war on terror,” and usually the 2001 AUMF, as an excuse have included wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, Philippines, plus related military actions in Georgia, Cuba, Djibouti, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Turkey, Niger, Cameroon, Jordan, Lebanon, Haiti, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Central African Republic, Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mauritania, Nigeria, Tunisia, and various oceans.

        (But just because you’ve gone nuts for wars doesn’t mean you can’t have coups too, such as Afghanistan 2001, Venezuela 2002, Iraq 2003, Haiti 2004, Somalia 2007 to present, Honduras 2009, Libya 2011, Syria 2012, Ukraine 2014, Venezuela 2018, Bolivia 2019, Venezuela 2019, Venezuela 2020.)

        The Dead:

        The best available estimates of the number of people directly and violently killed by the wars — so, not counting those who’ve frozen to death, starved to death, died of disease after moving elsewhere, committed suicide, etc. — are:

        Iraq: 2.38 million

        Afghanistan and Pakistan: 1.2 million

        Libya: 0.25 million

        Syria: 1.5 million

        Somalia: 0.65 million

        Yemen: 0.18 million

        To these figures can be added another 0.007 million deaths of U.S. troops, a figure that does not include mercenaries or suicides.

        The total is then 5.917 million, with U.S. troops making up 0.1% of the deaths (and some 95% of the media coverage).

        And before that you had e.g. Hundreds of Thousands massacred in Central and South America by dictatorships backed by the US (which means they could carry out the mass murders only due to that backing) In the 1970s and 1980s. Then you had that thing called Vietnam with another 6 mio. killed. And so on and so forth.

        So if you wonder where the troubles of this lovely planet of ours originate I suggest you start digging in a different spot.
        On the other hand – the digging has long been done. See this site´s host as a prime example for one of the main “truth diggers” and that fella in Belmarsh.

        Of course if you are prone to MI-6 / CIA style story-telling – the sort of which I too have consumed enough, e.g. “The Hunt for Red October” and other Tom Clancy fairy-tales, the various Ridley Scott pictures, the giant Iraq war movie genre and the countless terrorist genre movies and spy series (Mossad! ever seen a movie where Mossad are the brutes? 1 out of 1 mio.) – then, certainly you will assume that around this blog there are 99% crazies running around.

        But then just take a look into the historic records. Or read a couple of serious studies on people who have travelled the world and know or knew a bit about “jihadism”, what it is, what it is not, and why and how.

        Or do you really believe the USA and Europe have bcome so darn rich and powerful simply because they have been so darn nice and friendly to the rest of the world? Because then, think again.

        • Anna

          What Hamas did was genocidal. Call them out on it, not Israel’s response in self-defence.
          It is unnecessarily rude to tell an adult woman to “grow up”, and I know rather a lot about war.
          I am against killing for the sake of killing, against mindless brutality, against war as an industry for its own ends or to advance the ends of terrorism.
          I fully support this war against Hamas, which is none of the above.

          • will moon

            “I know a lot about war”

            Do you Anna, do you really?

            Ok, what do you “know” about war? Killing little kids by the tens of thousands isn’t war Anna, it is child murder.

            When the Trials begin, of all the crimes to be judged, this crime will rank with the highest and people will revile the guilty’s names. Mothers of the future will frighten their children with the line.

            “If you don’t be good, Nuttyahoo will come . You don’t want him to burn you with his Hellfire do you?”

            Anna, you need to check your moral compass – you’re completely lost

      • AG


        You might wanna check out As´ad Abu Khalil
        e.g. here:
        He has or had a radio show called “Angry Arab” (poking fun at the “jihadi” image you are referring to, since that is a common trope in our parts) and besides that he is a prof. at California State University.

        The excellent Richard Falk is also a recommendation on terrorism issues:
        His homepage in general is a trove of knowledge on the level of Chomsky or Howard Zinn or Edward Said:

        “Biographical History:

        Richard A. Falk (1930- ) is an American author and professor specializing in international law and justice. Born in New York City, he studied at University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and graduated in 1952 with a B.S. in Economics. He attended Yale Law School, graduating in 1955 with an L.L.B., as well as Harvard Law School, earning his J.S.D. in 1962. Over his career he has been a faculty member at the College of Law, Ohio State University; the Albert G. Milbank Professor of International Law and Practice (now Professor Emeritus) at Princeton; Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law at Chapman University School of Law; and Visiting Distinguished Professor in Global and International Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara (2001-2004). In addition to this distinction, Professor Falk has also been cited as a McCash Faculty and Ford Foundation Fellow.

        Professor Falk is the author, co-author, or editor of more than thirty books and numerous essays, including The Six Legal Dimensions of the Vietnam War (1968), A Global Approach to National Policy (1975), Revolutionaries and Functionaries (1988), On Humane Governance: Toward a New Global Politics (1995), Crimes of War: Iraq (2006), and Achieving Human Rights (2008). He is a member of the editorial board of the American Journal of International Law, Foreign Policy, The Nation, and The Progressive, and editor of the Journal of Conflict Resolution. He is Chair of the Board of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and a member of the World Federalist Institute, the Independent International Commission on Kosovo, and the Advisory Board for the American Movement for World Government.”

          • AG

            Sane argumentation of course has its limits. Otherwise we would not have this odd exchange.

            I can then only urge you to look into Bert Brecht´s play about Galilei.
            I assume you know the anecdote about how the Pope´s experts refused to look through the telescope.
            Instead they arrested G.

            And yes, to ignore historic facts and go on repeating what has been uncovered as malign lies and fabrications by the Israeli government in order to produce fake evidence to justify the unjustifiable – that is childish.

            We know that each of the horror stories spread by the IDF about Hamas killing babies, attacking their own hospitals, mass-raping etc. are lies.
            We also know that the IDF has used Abu-Ghraib style torture on employees of the UNRWA. Something they denied.

            Then we know that regarding the mass-rape case, Pramila Patten´s own office has pointed out that they have found no evidence. And the UN has confirmed that the alleged masses of video footage proving all kinds of atrocities cannot be validated.

            Those videos, btw, were presented by the Israelis strictly in closed meetings for hand-picked audiences only. Wonder why.

            In fact when pressed for actual evidence allegedly held back by the IDF for reasons of anonymity, the IDF refused. Every single time.

            So for the sake of argument: Assuming everything the IDF said about Hamas was a lie – do you think were it the other way around, would this in any comparable way make it into our papers and TV reports?

            Would anybody, for a second, dare report that IDF soldiers beheaded 40 Arab babies????
            Why is that?

            And then there is of course South Africa vs. Israel at the ICJ.
            Do you really believe the South Africans made that stuff up?

            Well, I leave it at that.

          • Anna

            There’s no point my responding to every point (or every lie) you make, or making an effort to understand your sources, because of your bottom line that Israel is trying to “justify the unjustifiable”.
            Whereas I am sure the Israeli war on Hamas is justifiable, and would have been totally avoidable before October 7, so we know who should bear full responsibility for it (and, indeed, will). So I remain incredulous at how upside-down this poor world is with so many (followers of Craig Murray etc.) seeking to excuse and justify Palestinian terrorism, citing Caitlin Johnstone or whoever, whilst seeing Israeli defense and counter-attack against Hamas/Islamic Jihad’s carnival of terrorism as “unjustifiable”.
            I check in here periodically to see how reality is perceived with your crazy glasses on, debate a little out of the goodness of my own heart, or a sense of moral duty, because perhaps one or two people will understand that, in stumbling into this blog, they’ve found themselves in a bubble of such skin-thickness it’s hard to see outside of it and that might lead to some questioning of the bizarre perspective on the world that they find here.
            But, it is fatiguing, so after a period of commenting, I’m off again, to make what little bit of difference to this world I can elsewhere, supporting Israel and the Jews and, by extension, all humanity in the name of peace and against terrorism. It’s quite funny people think I’m an Israeli soldier and that Anna is not my real name, also.

          • AG

            Then you exclude yourself from any meaningful discursive tradition as laid down e.g. by Spinoza, Descartes, Leibniz or Kant. The very basic of our intellectual fabric is neglected if by design statements in favour of Israel are true and those that are critical are lies. That would eclipse 500 years of “Enlightenment”. No Renaissance, no abstract thinking, no modern science. And btw no humanistic Jewish traditions. Nada. You know what you know because you know as you have always known it. It is a circular logic not questioning power and not arguing over phenomena that do not fit the ideology. Instead they are ignored. That somehow very closely resembles a bubble.
            Eventually it doesn´t matter whether you are an IDF soldier (sorry but that makes no sense to me) or an Anna or a Vladimir. From around the corner or from Mars.
            Well, have a nice day. Maybe go outside and have some ice-cream. That would make more sense than your nonsense observations here.

          • will moon

            Israel has nothing to do with humanity – at this time they stand outside of humanity – a logical consequence of perpetrating mass child murder in the eyes of the rest of humanity

            The country’s leaders are mass murdering psychos

      • Paul M.

        The “actions” that are speaking louder than words are the slaughter of 45,000 Palestinians. You are the “terrorist brute.” Why don’t you find out what “reality” is instead of substituting whatever is in your sick mind?

    • Laguerre

      Islamophobia didn’t start in the 1980s; it just became more virulent then. The antecedents lie in the medieval confrontation of Christianity and Islam. Like the case of the British and the French: mortal enemies because facing each other across the Channel, though in many ways very similar to each other.

      • AG

        yes, of course I am simplifying.

        But on a very superficial level, the one concerning everyday media news consumption, I only am guessing – something within the prejudices and clichés has changed. The demonization of the ancient era that you are bringing up has again caught up with us. But there was a period when it wasn´t that bad. A period where scholarship too achieved things.

        In Germany e.g. there are a couple of eminent MidEast scholars. But those either died (just recently Jan Assmann) or retired (Gudrun Krämer, Helga Baumgarten) or are in their early 80s (Alexander Flores).

        They obviously come from a different tradition. One that managed to distinguish, to question. One before CNN style flat politics flooded our lands and living-rooms with fake knowledge and tit-bit info. So I am referring to this, albeit small, window of “Enlightenment”.

        p.s. And regarding the student protests, our “friend” As´ad AbuKhalil stated that there is progress in the long run.
        See here, from yesterday:
        “While their ultimate impact should not be exaggerated, the protests for Palestine taking place on U.S. college campuses are historic”

        • Laguerre

          Answer: Not only. We’re talking about the 1400 years of confrontation on multiple different fronts starting with the resentment that Islam had taken large swathes of previously Christian land and not been absorbed in the end into the local population (as for example the Normans were absorbed in England). Constantinople is now Istanbul: that continues to cause vast offence.

          • Blue Dotterel

            “Constantinople is now Istanbul: that continues to cause vast offence.” Apparently, ever since Turks insisted on its real name in 1953. Not all were offended though.

            It is interesting though that this Anna character cannot accept that Israel does not have a right to self-defence against a people whose territory it occupies. She insists ignorantly like many others that they do. It is this inability to accept or even recognize the truth that leads to this type of horror perpetrated on the Palestinians and their right to resist the occupiers.

    • Carlyle Moulton

      The word “antisemitism” fills me with rage every time it enters my consciousness. Taking its meaning from its component parts it means hatred of Semites, that is hatred of those members of species homo sapiens who dwell at the Eastern end of the Mediterranean. The Palestinians are Semites but they are not protected by concerns about antisemitism since the word exclusively reserved for the protection of Jews. Certainly the Jews 1st century AD Palestine were Semites as are the Arab Jews coerced into Israel by Israeli terrorist acts in carried out in their previous homelands by Israeli acts of terror, but I question whether the European Jews who colonized Palestine have any right to call themselves Semites. Members of species homo sapiens spread their genes around so it is probably impossible to disprove that any random European does not have some Palestinian genes and this includes Europeans of the Judaic religion. We should replace “antisemitism” with “hatred of Jews” and introduce “antipalestinianism” to describe the attitude of the Western Empire of The Rules Based Order to Palestinians.

      Where did Jew hatred come from? It arose from the noxious filth of the Christian Gospels. The Gospel writers had two agendas: one was to spread the noxious and impractical ideas of the imaginary Joshua Ben Joseph of Nazareth; but the 2nd was to convince the people who mattered in Rome that they were not blaming Rome for killing God. Not surprisingly Christians have periodically worked themselves up into mouth frothing paroxysms of anger against Jews, and murdered then stolen their property, for 18 or 19 centuries. The German holocaust was just the most recent. Were I a Jew, I would not assume that the pogroms are over. Until Christianity disappears or the Gospels are revised completely, no Jew is safe. In particular I would warn them against heir Christian Zionist allies who only support Israel because of their end-times fantasies.

      It is a fact that propaganda works and the Palestinians have been subject to 76-year-long campaign of defamation. Its effect has been cumulative. I started consuming media in 1975, and at that time one could find much information that showed Israelis and their predecessor terrorist militias for the murdering thieving bastards that they were. However someone learning from today’s mass media would absorb all the antipalestinian lies and develop the common Western attitude to them. This campaign has been implemented by the Zionists but by now most non-Zionist Westerners have absorbed the poison and are spreading it energetically; certainly, those with political influence have.

      Antisemitism is now a weapon used by the Zionists and their friend to delegitimise the narrative of what actually happened to the indigenous people of Palestine. The perception of the “problem” is 180 degrees out of phase the victims are seen as the perpetrators and the perpetrators as the victims. Under the IHRA definitions of antisemitism any support for the Palestinians is seen as Jew hatred and support for terrorism, it is the most perfect exercise in propaganda ever, much better than anything Goebels dreamed up.

  • Antiwar7

    We, in the “West”, are led by evil, lying, mid-wits. I was going to call them pirates, but I think they lack the courage of a pirate. Cunning enough to use divide-and-rule over and over and over again.

  • Kacper

    Maybe I’m lucky but I’m not seeing much of Islamophobia here in the South; at least nothing on a scale comparable to the awful time after 9/11.

    Lahore – that’s one place I’d be always willing to travel to on a day’s notice, although perhaps not in order to search for the traces of Brits, lol, there’s so much more to see there!

    Best of luck with election campaign!

  • DavidH

    Craig is absolutely right – I’ve also experienced much hospitality from total strangers when visiting Lahore. From sharing food, which is delicious, to insisting on taking me to local sites of interest, of which there are many. The one I had to absolutely refuse was to partake in the local red light district – also perhaps a surprise to find so openly in a Muslim country, but an adventure I felt could possibly end badly, especially for a westerner.
    Also right – a widespread Islamophobia is the only possible explanation for much of the social media support for “Israel smashing Hamas”, when that “smashing” blatantly involves such collective punishment, finely planned genocide, and ethnic cleansing. Well, they’re just a load of Muslims, eh? One guilty, all guilty. Honestly, that’s the only explanation for the attitude. Much is written about Antisemitism, which of course is a terrible thing wherever it might be found, but in my experience I’ve seen Islamophobia frequently, but I’ve never personally come across an Anti-Semite.

    • U Watt

      Well said. It must be clear to everyone by now that the antisemitism “crisis” promoted in Britain in the previous decade was an unscrupulous psyop. A scam intended to silence criticism of Apartheid Israel and delegitimise support for Corbyn. It had no basis in reality and only worked because the politicians and media all participated with one voice.

      The Labour “centrists” who were presented throughout that period as anti-racists are some of the most Islamophobic people in society, a fact confirmed yet again in the recent local elections. These stout protectors of Jewish people are also among the most fervent supporters of neo-Nazi Ukrainians.

    • Clark

      “…but I’ve never personally come across an Anti-Semite.”

      I have encountered anti-Semitic attitudes and beliefs far more frequently than anti-Semitic people. Sometimes people fail to reflect upon what their beliefs imply; typically they have swallowed a dose of conspiracy theory, failing to recognise that the inevitably undefined “Them” such stuff is always based around is a drop-in replacement for anti-Semitic stereotypes of Jews. This is no accident; the genuine anti-Semites who produce and promote this poison on-line are deliberately vague about who they’re referring to, partly to circumvent moderation or anti-discrimination laws, and partly because they realise that their cognitive infiltration will penetrate further that way.

      From Jews’ perspective, of course, it is immediately obvious who this “Them” refers to, so they will see the person propagating the meme as an anti-Semite, creating an imbalance in perception.

      Islamophobia, by contrast, frequently goes unnoticed because it is so widespread and endemic to the mass media.

      • Steve

        Clark, I think that Caitlin Johnson put it best, she writes “I am not anti-semitic, I am not pro-Palestinian, I’m against the war because I’m not a fu**ing psychopath” In a nutshell

      • will moon

        Clark, the first time I heard an antisemitic remark in my local milieu I was 48. At that point in life I had heard many, many thousands of racist remarks concerning the colour of someone’s skin and a few dozen anti-Islamic remarks

        I am aware of your point about “Them” and I observe there is a “Them”, the extremely wealthy – the stuff you are talking about has been promoted by these wealth extremists on five continents in the 20th Century to mix up the wealth distribution issue with stuff about Jews, they do the same with several other issues

        By the way, the super-rich don’t mind talking about “Them” and conversely “us” and “we”

        “There’s class warfare, all right. But it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”
        — Warren Buffet 2006

    • Anna

      Very rude to refuse sampling the local prostitutes after sharing delicious food and viewing sites of interest, actually.

      • DavidH

        Well, I can’t claim any moral high ground. I’m not against sampling local prostitutes per se – I’m sure they’re trying to make a living like anybody else. I just thought a westerner doing it openly in Lahore might end up beheaded. So maybe there is some Islamophobia in me as well…

  • Sam (in Tiraspol)

    I’ll say it since no one else will.

    1) Humza Yousaf was a virulently racist POS who well-deserved to be hounded out of office.
    2) The “supporters of the Gaza genocide” are almost entirely members of a certain ethno-facist tribe who hate everyone who isn’t them, Muslim or not.
    3) The average person in Britain doesn’t hate/fear Muslims or black Caribbean folks or anyone else. What they hate is uncontrolled levels of immigration from people who aren’t integrating into the local culture, and having their taxes pay for that is even more of an insult. FFS, half of the FCDO’s ODA bilateral budget went just to paying for migrants to stay in hotels. Plus a cool extra 2 billion from the Treasury!

    Just to prove my point that it isn’t “Islamophobia” behind what you’re protesting – that very same country you were just lauding (Pakistan) just kicked out a few million Afghan migrants for exactly the same reasons as many Brits want to expel their migrants. But you can’t exactly blame Pakistan’s motivations on “Islamophobia” can you?

    Wake up, brother. It’s not “Islamophobic bigots” who have been terrorizing you at the airport and messing with your Twitter account, etc, etc.

    • Clark

      “2) The “supporters of the Gaza genocide” are almost entirely members of a certain ethno-facist tribe who hate everyone who isn’t them, Muslim or not.”

      This isn’t true. (1) You left out members of the political/media class; (2) you left out victims of the propaganda produced by the former; (3) there are more white, Christian Zionists than Jewish Zionists, especially in the USA.

      “3) The average person in Britain doesn’t hate/fear Muslims or black Caribbean folks or anyone else.”

      Averages will mislead you on this – obviously, if you think about it. I have indeed met many people who hate/fear Muslims. Such people are in a minority, but they are plentiful. So it’s like littering; the “average person” doesn’t drop litter, but there’s litter everywhere nonetheless.

    • will moon

      Sam, I have been told that Pakistan is governed by a Camarillo installed by America, If this is true forcing refugees home would be a little message to the Taliban, no? Pakistans leaders don’t really appear to be Moslems in their mores or behaviour and behind them stand the immense power of Pakistani military

      Ayesha Siddiqa published “Military Inc” in 2007. The following from wikiped

      “ The book, discusses the Pakistan military’s economic empire and its political, economic, and social effect on the country. The author uses the term “Milbus” to refer to “military capital that is used for the personal benefit of the military fraternity, especially the officer cadre, but is neither recorded nor part of the defense budget.” She puts the cost of this Milbus to at least $20 billion”

      I assume America has bought this Milbus. To them 20 billion is pocket change

      Don’t go in airports myself – haven’t for 15-20 years thank goodness

  • John Seal

    Thank you for this. It has also been my experience that Muslims are more generous than those of other faiths.

  • Jack

    This issue have been in my thought past days too, the extent of anti-islam, anti-arab etc is sadly enormous. It is like we are back at 9/11 2001. It is the same ignorance; and what is worse is that it is getting amplified these days with social media and also a far weaker leftist political movement that is unable and/or unwilling to take the fight to stem this development.

    Just take the fact that Israel might be, if not the winner but place itself at the top of the Eurovision contest going on right now. Ponder that. Millions of europeans vote for a regime that commit a racist, cruel murder spree.

  • Urban Fox

    Yes, the bigotry faced by Muslims in the UK is awful.

    However we mustn’t lose sight of the fact that it (and the the denouncement of same) is, in no small part, stoked by the very people who have ruined the socioeconomics of the UK.

    Gaslighting and playing divide & rule is the one partial competence the rancid neo-lib “centre” has left.

    Also Humza Yousaf is out of an office he should never even have been in. The nickname “Humza Useless” was well earned.

    His unforced own goal over the Bute House agreement is entirely his own fault. Of course Sturgeon’s poison chalice inheritance and the viral “I see huwite people everywhere” speech didn’t help.

    The latter particularly when he has massive class privilege (in Pakistan he’d likely be some awful dissolute landlord’s spoiled & useless son) and only kept a front-bench job, because of his being minority – due to the SNP not wanting the optics of ditching him.

    This all rubbed people the wrong way.

  • Ewan2

    Sat in the airport in Jordan, late at night, barely a soul around, only another ž hours to wait. The security guard came over and asked me to come with him. He took me upstairs where the airport staff were dining where I was welcomed and fed, gratis.

  • Goose

    The level of ignorance in the West among the general public about other peoples, religions and cultures is intentional and deliberate, I believe. It’s a necessary precondition if elites are going to carry public support for future wars of aggression, and actions like that we’re seeing in Gaza. The less you know about the historical context, the victims and their complex societies and culture i.e., the less you personally identify, the better, as far as Western elites are concerned. As the late Terence McKenna said, “we are conditioned to believe truth descends from hierarchies down to us as consumers of information.” McKenna believed you really have to separate yourself from mass news media; stop listening to corrupt leaders, and trust your own direct experiences, as Craig does. By becoming your own judge, you’ll be less susceptible to embracing Western ethnocentrism which is itself a cultural illusion. Good read-

    “Given that ethnocentrism asserts the centrality and implied superiority of one cultural identity over others, describing how individuals represent the “Other” as alien, imposing, at the same time, a worldview, its use, in this manner, can be identified in Edward Said’s work, Orientalism. For Said, Orientalism “as a Western style for dominating, restructuring, and having authority over the Orient” provided the conceptual framework, intellectual legitimation for the appropriation of Orient through colonialism.”

    Over the decades we’ve seen the BBC become a truly Orwellian outfit, tightly manipulating the news, to push certain narratives, as if run out of some war planning department. The UK, among western countries, probably has the most deceitful, heavily manipulated culture in the world. In many ways, our population are just as brainwashed as North Koreans, though the clever trick is how so few are aware of just how conditioned we are. Orwell described this necessary ignorance best :

    “[T]he Party member, like the proletarian, tolerates present-day conditions because he has no standards of comparison. He must be cut off from the past, just as he must be cut off from foreign countries, because it is necessary for him to believe he is better off than his ancestors and that the average level of material comfort is constantly rising.”

  • Anna

    This war isn’t about Muslims.
    It is about the survival of the Jewish people and their ways.
    You love Muslims.
    I love the Jews, and all they stand for. Truth, peace, love.
    Hamas = lies, war, hatred and a satanic world.

    • Laguerre

      very good example of an Islamophobe. Israeli Jews are not very peaceful, by the way, contrary to your claim. They tried to burn down down a UN building just yesterday.

    • glenn_nl

      This is really poor work. I’m not sure if you’re trolling or if you actually think you’re convincing anyone of anything except the fact of your own bigotry.

      • Clark

        Glenn_nl, note what Anna wrote earlier, above. In reply to “six of the eight scientists who led the Manhattan project were Jewish”, she responded “Alive but co-opted into MKULTRA etc.”

        I know MKULTRA was real, but it involved a small number of people and was in no way anything inflicted on the prime contributors to the Manhattan Project – the idea is preposterous, that the most valuable contributors to the most important military project ever, at the time, would be dosed with LSD and brainwashed.

        I don’t like to be rude and I try to avoid ad hominem, but I think commenters need to consider that Anna’s grip on reality may be somewhat tenuous at present.

        • will moon

          Good point but I feel compelled to point out that many records, probably most were destroyed, so the factual content of your assertions is low. You may be spot on the Manhattan Project but very few today have any sort of clear image of what transpired during “MKULTRA” et al.

          Monarch etc., is the logical progression of the amalgamation of Nazi torture research and that of General Ishi’s and his gang of homocidal psychoperverts posing as “scientists”. Swallowed whole by American and Brit MICs with no apologies this torture/murder research is the shame of Western “Science”. What went on at Harbin or Mukden or whatever godforsaken, lonely place Unit 731 plied their unbelievable trade, will be remembered as long as the human race exists.

    • Stevie Boy

      Nothing to do with Jewish people, per se. It’s about Israelis and zionists, and their murderous ways, who just happen to be Jewish, to the eternal embarrassment of decent Jewish people, I’m sure.

    • Goose


      Not seeing much ‘truth, peace, love,’ in those deliberately blocking the food aid and medicine convoys on the southern border.

      It’s funny how the IDF have no problem dispersing protests elsewhere in Israel, and certainly no similar restraint in the West Bank. But for some reason, these people who are frustrating desperately needed aid deliveries, are allowed to gather every day and can’t simply be ordered to leave? Were I a truck driver, I’d be tempted to sound the horn, and if they won’t move, tough luck. But I suppose the IDF would then spring into action, by opening fire?

      Al Jazeera interviewed one older Israeli, and all he could talk about was his desire to starve those trapped in Gaza, Some of these people are are just sick. And the fact Israel are complicit by allowing them to be there, is equally sickening.

  • Dragos

    “It is for example a fact that in the UK, Muslims devote a much higher proportion of their income to charity than non-Muslims.”
    Because non-Muslims in the UK are, in their majority, atheists who think that paying taxes to a corrupt state is absolving them of any community duty.
    You will find people giving to charity in Christian communities as well, and it’s alive and well in countries where Christianity is still a thing.

    • SleepingDog

      @Dragos, I wasn’t aware that atheists eschewed charity in the UK, but what about those European countries with tithes? A practice only ended in Scotland with the formal legal end of feudalism in 2000, I gather. Plus there is surely a distinction to be made between donating to charity and giving money to a church.

      I am not aware of any religious group without a share of corruption and indeed the most serious kinds of crime in the UK. Problems particularly associated with religious groups have been documented by IICSA. That and the indistinct categorisation of cults and worship fraud.

      I suppose you could try to balance out ‘hospitality’ with, say, a million people killed for largely religious reasons during India’s partition by the British, often apparently by good neighbours who previously went to each other’s vital events.

      • Dragos

        “Plus there is surely a distinction to be made between donating to charity and giving money to a church.”
        What has this to do with the church?
        I was replying to a statement that I quoted, which said that Muslims are more charitable. My reply was that this generally applies to religious people, not to Muslims in particular. In many Western countries, Muslims are probably the most religiously active community, but this is not true in Eastern Europe, for example.

  • Republicofscotland

    Excellent article Craig, and as my granny used to say when speaking about good folk, that they’d get a piece at anyone’s door – you fall into that category.

  • Tom Welsh

    I do not doubt that there are many hundreds of millions of good, kind, friendly Muslims. But from what I have read, it seems unquestionable that any strict Muslim – that is, one who regards the Koran as infallible and its injunctions as absolutely compulsory – must behave in ways that outrage all the standards of Western liberalism and human rights.

    For a start, the Koran states unequivocally that certain people do not have the right to life. Atheists must be killed. Muslims who renounce Islam must be killed. Blasphemers must be killed – and it is very easy to commit such blasphemy; many Westerners do so, casually, many times a day. Then there is the Salman Rushdie variant of blasphemy.

    As I understand it, the Koran also insists that any able-bodied Muslim (male, obviously) is under an absolute obligation on meeting with any infidels (non-Muslims): convert them to Islam, or kill them. Apart from the “People of the Book” – Jews and Christians – who are to be tolerated but whose status is very much below that of any Muslim.

    The obvious rebuttal is that, obviously, many or most Muslims do not regard the Koran as infallible and its injunctions as mandatory. But in that case, are they really genuine Muslims?

    I do not write out of any dislike for Muslims, and I am fully prepared to believe all the good things Mr Murray and others have to say about them. But it is surely understandable that I feel uneasy about people who, if they fulfil their religious duty, must feel bound to kill me.

      • Tom Welsh

        I suppose the crime of blasphemy was a dead letter in Scotland. At least, so anyone must suppose who has travelled much there.

        Five hundred years ago, give or take a century or two, it was different. You wouldn’t want to let John Knox or Jean Calvin, for instance, hear you blaspheme or utter heresy.

        Actually, European religious culture at the time of the Reformation was strikingly similar to fundamentalist Muslim culture. Even down to the long beards and voluminous clothing.

        • SleepingDog

          @Tom Welsh, yet religious indoctrination of the young remains mandatory in state schools in Scotland. Funny you should mention that, I heartily recommend the Pakistan-makeover of Shakespeare’s play Measure for Measure, Rahm. Mind you, there have been ultra-religious pockets of Scotland in my lifetime, while in early modern times my corner of Scotland saw people legally tortured and killed for ‘witchcraft’. There doesn’t seem to be a lot to choose between the patriarchal branches of Abrahamic faiths, although our host’s attachment to alcohol highlights one of the distinctions even between Scottish Christian sects.

          • will moon

            I once became acquainted with the rock at West Linton outside of Edinburgh, that witches were thrown from.

            Though on the extreme edge of a sceptical view on the nature of self, mind and reality, spending several sunny days picnicking around there, I found it very hard to forget that so many people had met their death there.

            Not in any case suggesting any contact with the “spirit world”, lol.

    • Tom Welsh

      Come to think of it, many Christians altogether neglect and ignore the teachings of Jesus in the New Testament. But those teachings, while almost superhuman in the degree of perfection they expect, demand virtuous behaviour.

      Thus non-observant Christians fail to practice the good behaviour enjoined by their holy book; whereas non-observant Muslims fail to practice the evil behaviour insisted on by theirs. A confusing state of affairs.

      I wonder what is the religious or moral status of a person who claims to be a Christian, but does not practice the techings of Christ; or one who claims to be a Muslim, but picks and chooses which parts of the Koran he will obey.

      After all, what can guide a person who thus picks and chooses, except his own conscience? In which case wouldn’t it be more honest to admit that he is not an adherent of any formal religion, but willing and able to make his own ethical decisions? (As Buddha and Nietzsche, among others, urged).

      • Tatyana

        Judaism, Christianity and Islam are Abrahamic religions. Their sacred epic is basically the same and tells the story of the human population in the Middle East. Descendants of Abraham and all that. So, if this is a guide to action, then I believe it only applies to people who come from those roots and, logically speaking, does not apply to people on other continents.

        In general, throughout the history of mankind, thousands of different Passionaries have appeared, offering one or another religious or non-religious unifying idea. And the goal always is like: we belong to this movement, so we are more worthy and we can take resources from those who are not with us.
        All such ‘unifying ideas’ are abstract, not verifiable by real methods, and that is why they work – they give followers moral justification.
        Among the latest examples of human civilization, we can mention Nazism. Or, the cult of democracy. You just make up a beautiful story and people will kill other people almost without remorse.

        • Anna

          No, the story is not of the human population in the Middle East, Tatyana.
          The story is of who we are and who will be.
          You, me, the others. All of us.
          And it is about making moral choices so in that sense it is a guide to action.
          Choosing between G-d and the devil is one of the most everyday and one of the greatest choices—it can also be understood as the choice between life and death—you must have an analogy for this in your own culture?

          • Stevie Boy

            Grow up! There is no God(s), it’s all a fabrication dreamed up by the establishment to control the gullible. You don’t need any sky faeries in order to be moral, nice and respectful of others. People need to take responsibility for themselves and their actions and stop using historical texts and dubious male-dominated organisations as excuses for unacceptable behaviours.

          • Anna

            Stevie Boy,
            I agree with your final sentence: tell it to the Islamists who need to hear it please.
            No need to debate the existence of G-d with you, and I don’t think Jacob, or indeed Moses, were “establishment” (or dreamed up by the establishment)! Ha! You’ve genuinely made me smile with that comment, along with half the angels in heaven I should think.

          • Mr Mark Cutts


            I’m an atheist so you won’t get away with `God’s will´ stuff with me.

            Explain to me how exactly Hamas will drive Israel and Israelis into the sea?

            With what Dear Henry?

            Israel has near enough every weapon on the planet and Hamas have rockets and a few hand held Rocket Launchers.

            Now I know Likud have a similar phrase in their Constitution and they are carrying out their version of that phrase – it has been seen all over the world but if you can explain how Hamas could do the same I’d appreciate it?

            The thing is (to myself anyway) is that even if Israel was an atheist country then it would still be morally wrong for the attacks on all the people in Palestine in revenge for attacks by Hamas.

            By the same moral rules (and even New testament ones) it is similar to hating all the Catholics in the world for the actions of Hitler and Mussolini in the Second World War.

            Not only is your stance wrong – it’s stupid.

        • Goose

          Many think the West is adrift because we have largely abandoned organised religion. You’ve got to have something to believe in, right?
          Young people have lost interest in the church because it’s peddling high abstraction; this, in an age of real, easily accessible instant gratification. Instant gratification will win the battle for attention, every time.
          Although, I’m personally a social libertarian. Were I in charge, I’d seek to make the UK the most relaxed country in Europe when it comes to things like drug laws, encourage research and experimentation, and allow all permissive behaviour involving consenting adults – a new Amsterdam if you will. As a result, the UK would become a creative, tolerant sanctuary in a sea of increasing repression. Though, I accept, there’d be lots of conservative resistance, to such radical reforms, from those afraid of change.

          • Tatyana

            “You’ve got to have something to believe in, right?”
            I’m rather puzzled to see that. What do you mean? Or, was it ironic phrase?

            I cannot recall I ever felt need to believe in something. What I definitely feel is the need to know.

            I experienced something remotely resembling a ‘believe’, it was being sincerely engaged with a theory, finding if it’s true. But, I absolutely realized that I make an assumption, i.e. I pretend for some time, for research purposes, or, for the sake of illustration. Like actors do on stage to play their role convincingly.
            I guess religion isn’t like that.

    • joel

      “outrage all the standards of Western liberalism”

      The standards of actual-existing Western liberalism, currently manifest in Gaza? Or some abstract dictionary Western liberalism?

      • Johnny Conspiranoid

        “The standards of actual-existing Western liberalism, currently manifest in Gaza? Or some abstract dictionary Western liberalism?”
        Liberalism is a set of ideas about how to behave and a set of ideas is an abstraction. If western actions in Gaza are not consistent with that abstraction then western liberalism is not manifest in Gaza.

        • joel

          It very much is, I’m afraid. Virtually all the western governments that have participated in the genocide are considered, universally, to be liberal. Not just within their own societies but also by the wider world (which knows very well the actual history of western liberalism). Liberals cannot pin this one on Trump, Corbyn or Putin.

          • JohnnyOh45

            Joel, have you heard Trump and the MAGA crowd lately ? Their political class like ours are all on the same page with respect to their endorsing the Genocide.

          • joel


            Of course, but it’s the liberals who are actually commiting the genocide, no matter how much they would like to pin it on Trump (or Corbyn or Putin or young college students). And it’s not that Blinken and old man Biden have broken ranks from the liberal mainstream. Their mass slaughter and starvation of women and children has been backed to the hilt by Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, all the liberal TV networks, the NYT, Hollywood, Brussels, Paris, Berlin, Ottowa, Canberra, etc. Wherever liberal power and influence resides in today’s west.

  • Stevie Boy

    The problem with Israel and the Gazan genocide is nothing really to do with Islamophobia – that’s just a convenient side effect. Stick a bunch of like-minded Israeli/Zionists down in the middle of any non-Jewish community and you would have the same issues. In fact, I’d suggest that when the Zionists have killed all the non-Zionists they would then start killing their own (if they aren’t already doing this).
    And, in common with all others of the human species, I’m sure there are as many horrible Muslims as there are Islamophobes elsewhere. It’s a dangerous path to start believing that any one group may be better than any other based on a few random examples. There are only nice people and horrible people; the rest is noise.

  • uwontbegrinningsoon

    Really uplifting and interesting forum post by yourself. When I was younger and travelling by hitching I met so many decent and generous individuals who went out of their way to be kind! The problem is the 1% with personality disorders who are over-represented in the decision-making positions in society, and pedal hate.

  • Jean-Daniel Blard

    Hi, I have experienced the same welcoming attitudes in my only stay in Tunisia.
    People welcoming you every day and keen to share.
    I never felt unsecure.
    They are bigots of the mass communication and ignorants.
    Thank you,

  • harry law

    People on this blog seem to have no regard for the innocent Zionists caught up in this anti-Genocide frenzy, like this innocent Jewish person afraid for his life, will no one help him? /S
    “A US-based Israeli military officer has embarrassed himself on camera in the latest of a series of feeble – and filmed – attempts to smear protesters.
    The man walked into the middle of a student encampment at MIT in the US and started calling for help – before later telling far-right station Fox News that he was ‘truly afraid’”.
    Video here:-

    • Tatyana

      Official representatives of the state of Israel, elected by people of Israel, made several decisions and also said certain words (human animals, one of those words) that made me think that Israelis are not that much trembling from fear for their lives. Rather, full of hatred.

      Also, Israel ambassador to Ukraine commented something like ‘we know Ukraine glorify Nazis, so what? they need some heroes after all, Israel can do nothing about that’, that made me think that Israelis actually accept things which should not be acceptable.

      • Goose

        There’s been a General Assembly vote at the UN today. The result: overwhelming support for Palestine’s membership.

        Look how the voting breaks down by country though.
          • All the countries the US has been courting – like Finland and Sweden (NATO) – are suddenly Abstaining (A). Showing being America’s friend diminishes sovereignty.
          • The Czech Republic voted No (N), which is weird given even Germany abstained.
          • Slovenia, Slovakia and Serbia voted Yes? No Slavic unity?
          • I see even Ukraine abstained too?
          • France voted Yes (Y).
          • Of course Britain took the coward’s way out, so as not to upset our American masters, choosing to abstain.
          • That moronic new Argentinian leader voted no too, I notice. I suppose one of the attractions of BRICs – it comes without the baggage of political obligations to the US.

        • Goose


          Either way, he’s a more extreme version of Brazil’s Bolsonaro.

          Can’t believe that that ‘No’ vote is representative of Argentine public opinion.

          • Goose

            All these abstainers ,and a couple of No votes appear to be countries simping for the US. I know that’s the nature of geopolitics, but when countries vote on important matters, and the priority is seeking US approval. It’s sad state of affairs:

              • Albania
              • Austria
              • Bulgaria
              • Canada
              • Croatia
              • Czechia (N)
              • Finland
              • Georgia
              • Germany
              • Hungary (N)
              • Lithuania
              • Netherlands
              • Romania
              • Sweden
              • Switzerland
              • UK

            The only surprise was Estonia voting Yes? Oh, and it’s somewhat surprising that Australia voted Yes, as did New Zealand.

          • Goose

            Left out Latvia, Lithuania and Italy, all three abstained.

            No surprise from Latvia and Lithuania, but seeing Giorgia Meloni’s Italy abstaining is disappointing. Before coming to power, Meloni was mischaracterised as a far-right, pro-Russia, pro-Putin candidate in the Guardian and other UK newspapers. Laughable really, in hindsight, as she’s been in lockstep with Sunak & von der Leyen over Ukraine and everything else.

            I stated that Estonia’s vote in support was surprising, the reason being, Estonia’s current PM is Kaja Kallas, probably the most hawkish Russophobe among all Baltic leaders (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania), Russia’s bête noire.

            She recently tweeted that ALL Russia’s reserves ($300bn) should be seized after the EU leaders gave the go-ahead to confiscate $2.5bn in Interest for Ukraine. Russia say they’ll retaliate; if the Atlantic’s undersea fibre-optic cables suddenly get cut, causing downtime costing Europe and the US billions, such a reckless move may not seem so wise.

          • will moon

            And often during that time has had the proverbial “deer in the headlights” look in spades – she likens herself to Mussolini, lol.

            I wonder if she can can use a blackjack?

            I can’t remember the details but I think Mussolini was working for MI6, or god knows, according to a fairly recent story. I wonder who she’s working for?

            “Don’t believe the hype”
            — Public Enemy

  • Terence Callachan

    I lived in Benghazi three and a half years i can confirm through my personal experience that the Muslim religion is as good a religion as any and people who are Muslims are as nice as any too.

  • will moon

    “I have always relied on the kindness of strangers”
    Blanche Dubois in “A Streetcar Named Desire” by Tennessee Williams”

    There is a wartime propaganda flick starring Humphrey Bogard, made 1943-44 called “Sahara” or “Sands of the Sahara. I watched this film recently.

    In the warmup to the main action in the film, getting to know the characters and the situation and whatnot, a dialogue takes place 2-3 mins long between an American “Southern Farm Boy” and an African Moslem. It is a more intelligent, sensitive and clear explanation or analysis than any I have seen or heard in media. The actor playing the African had a decent career in Hollywood, small parts but quite a few. Whoever wrote this dialogue was a meister- practitioner, subtle light and simple. Christian suppositions come up against (one version) of Islam and vice-versa – both actors are portraying ordinary “decent” people. America was courting the cooperation of the people’s of West Asia and Africa and the respect shown to both parties in the dialogue I found remarkable

    Oh yes “Bogie” and his tank and sundry ethnic and Imperial (Oz, NZ,SA, Canada etc) allies route and humiliate the Africa Korps , of course!

    • AG

      just a deliberate associative note because I looked into the US National Security Act from 1946 a moment ago:
      after Jeffrey Sachs mentioned it:

      – The fundamental change of geopolitics from the US being one of many powers to becoming the sole super-emperor demanding obedience from all others, was also marked by this 1946 seachange. While your 1943 movie was still originating with the old world, it was written and shot just a few years before it all changed completely.

      So is there a connection, I wonder, between the decency you describe, the end of it and the discovery of the power of “the bomb”. Did a new US supremacist stance in its dominating culture emerge due to post Hiroshima?

      * * * * * *
      I believe I haven´t seen “Sahara”
      Wiki btw:

      “The story is based on the novel Patrol by Philip MacDonald,[3] and an incident depicted in the 1936 Soviet film The Thirteen by Mikhail Romm. The adaptation is by John Howard Lawson, who later was a member of the blacklisted Hollywood Ten. Sahara was remade by André de Toth as a Western called Last of the Comanches (1953), and four decades later by Brian Trenchard-Smith as the American-Australian television film Sahara (1995).[4] Nine Men, released by Ealing Studios on 22 February 1943, has a similar basic plot line.

      Critics praised the film for its blend of action, suspense and poignancy. J. Carrol Naish earned an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role as an Italian prisoner; Rudolph Maté was nominated for Best Cinematography (Black-and-White); and John Livadary was nominated for Best Sound.[5]”

      Funny we are having a comparable discussion -i.e. movies and ideology – on page 2.

      • will moon

        “is there a connection, I wonder, between the decency you describe, the end of it and the discovery of the power of “the bomb” “

        Thanks to your question, you have allowed me make the jump – “Bogie” (Humphrey Deforest Bogart 1899-1957) is that connection, in his instantiation as an archetype – a male archetype projecting timeless decency, toughness and suggesting moral leadership and lived moral understanding.

        I spent some time a while ago studying a phenomenon known as “Bogie Mania” – it was massive. Appearing towards the end of WW2, this “mania” affected the lower classes in the West, which at that time was America and the Brit Empire, though in actuality it appeared anywhere a movie theatre operated.

        Those caught directly in the weave of the war – the fighters, the intercontinental admin chains, the workers who built the ships and the weapons and all their families and friends, began adopting the words and mannerisms and by extension the postwar world suggested by the ethics of this “high quality” everyman, Humphrey Bogart.

        As “Bogie Mania” grew, the deals were being done in the back rooms of Geneva, Lisbon and Montevideo, amongst other venues that would lead to “Paper Clip” and the rat lines etc. Decisions were made concerning the postwar settlement in Washington and London and how to use “the Bomb” and on whom.

        It is my belief that the two Atom Bombs, Fat Man and Little Boy, were detonated to prevent revolution in Japan and the wider world. Though the Japanese didn’t see Bogie films, they perceived the archetype, an ancient thing as old as organised warfare – a man of peace, at war. A man respected by his family and friends and respects them in their turn, a man who aches for the gifts of peace. All those who had suffered in the war perceived the same archetype, conditioned by their local and regional environments and culture. The mushrooms clouds over Hiroshima and Nagasaki were an all-out attack on this archetype, as well as the unique crimes against humanity that they are widely recognised to be.

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