Archive for June, 2007

Socialists question arch-secularists’ democratic credentials

This news story made me chuckle on the train this morning:

A committee of the Socialist International (SI), currently convening a council meeting in Geneva, proposed an investigation into Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) commitment to democracy, a process that might result in eventual expulsion of the CHP from the world gathering of social democratic parties.


GTA Eye V trailers

Oh, yes.

See the other trailer at the Rockstar website.

Whilst literature, movies, television and music have all been taken apart and scrutinized by ‘cultural analysts’, why have computer games been ignored? Afterall, gaming is now a billion dollar (and more) industry. Is this because these analysts have snobbish attitudes towards gaming? Games are as valid a form of entertainment, and even mental stimulation, as books, music and movies (I happen to like all three).

Thierry Henry leaves Arsenal

Arsenal have this morning confirmed the departure of Theirry Henry.

Truth be told, this has been coming. Henry was a great player, certianly the greatest Arsenal player of my generation. I don’t think any Arsenal fan can hold too much against him wanting to leave. But there is no need for him to write letters in The Scum.

The key question is what Arsene Wenger will do now. The old guard have now well and truely departed. Bergkamp, Pires, Vieira, Campbell and Henry were crucial elements of the Invicibles of 2003-4. Henry gave Arsenal eight tremendous years. But we have seen the best of him.

The building of a third Wenger team is now in its advanced stages. I am excited at the prospect of what can now be built.

Here, for old times sake, are some of Henry’s greatest moments in an Arsenal shirt. Enjoy.

On the abuses of ‘postmodernism’

Dear Muslims,

Just because you can use ‘postmodern’ techniques to ‘deconstruct the West’, does not mean the ‘vaccum’ you have created is automatically filled by your own beliefs.

Yours always lovingly,


Communists for Human Rights

Maryam Namazie (what a gloriously ironic name) receives lavish praise from AC Grayling in today’s Comment is free.

Is Grayling wrong to praise her manifesto? I don’t think so. I probably even agree with some of it. Muslim states have a bad record in defending the rights of its citizens, and especially minorities in these states.

However, much like the misplaced sense of importance people place on Ayan Hirsi “Catholicism is like Nazism” WhatsHerSurname, heaping praise on Namazie is out of touch with her own politics and the situation in Muslim countries.

It is funny enough watching the pea-brained American Pseudo-Conservative Right back peddle and now begin to support ardent, anti-religious, secularists — the same political flank that they spent years crushing in their fight against Communism (all the while most of these people will decry the ‘liberal’ elite for clamping down on religious expression in the US).

But I expect people who are genuinely concerned with the state of rights in one too many Muslim countries — arbitary detention without trial, routine torture, suppression of media, lack of religious freedom, state support for oppression of minorities — to do a little better than support a member of the Worker-communist Party of Iran.

Afterall, communists (and their various sectarian offshoots) have a tremendous track record when it comes to human rights where they managed to gain power.

Let’s burn Al-Tabari!

That itch is back! Scratch, scratch, scratch!

I think someone should point out to the those so keen to froth at the mouth that:

1. Reacting the way they do is, in fact, ‘orientalising’ their own response to such ‘honours’. Really, knights of the realm no longer climb onto to horseback to defend the honour of ladies. (Although I would pay good money to watch Sir Salman and Sir Iqbal joust.)

2. To this day, the claim of ‘satanic verses’ is found in… Muslim sources. The famous historian Al-Tabari noted the apocryphal narration in his history; an English Orientalist coined the phrase upon reading this story.

Someone should hand these Pakistanis the reknowned scholar’s book to burn if the existence of such a story so outrages them.

In addition, I really hope the next Muslim to criticise Rushdie has actually taken the time to read The Satanic Verses, since:

i. Reading what your ‘opponent’ has actually said is the first step to actually countering his argument. This is different to someone else hearing from someone else what the latter thought he wrote, who then happened to tell that to you. Confused? I am. Here I would ask Muslims to look at a word beginning with ‘c’ that is seven letters long and ends in the 20th letter of the Latin alphabet. It’s a word we like to invoke a lot during the course of apologetics.

ii. A lot of Muslims are quick to jump up and note that X critic has not read the Qur’an or Y historical text, yet then feels free to derive a judgement and conclusion. Let’s hold to the same standard, shall we?

In related news, my shares in the Effigies and Flag Plc are doing really well.

“They do it in Saudi”: The argument of morons

Just because they do something in Saudi or Iran or Pakistan, does not mean we should adopt it here in Britain.


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