Posts Tagged ‘terrorism’


charlie hebdo banner2

A Hard Lesson to Learn

‘One year on and they still haven’t learned their lesson.’ This is the message being sent by religious leaders to the survivors of the Charlie Hebdo attacks of last year.

Henry Samuel, writing in the Telegraph informs us that:Charlie Anniversary Edition

Anouar Kbibech, head of the French Council of the Muslim Faith, CFCM, said he was “hurt” by the [anniversary] issue while Abdallah Zekri of the Watchdog against Islamophobia group said it was “very violent and insulting towards religions”. Catholic leaders also expressed shock. Abbot Pierre Amar of Versailles said: “Among the dead were believers who were buried in churches. Victims’ families will be insulted when they see this caricature. I don’t understand, I’m speechless.

Hurt? Violent? Insulting? Speechless? Hardly. This lack of understanding regarding freedom of speech, freedom of expression, the freedom to mock ideas that others see as both harmful and beyond reason (or not) is merely an echo of last year’s papal forthcomings which informed the survivors of the cowardly attack that one should expect to be hurt if you go around insulting religion. Any religion.

Must Try Harder

Of course, for the fundamentalist the ability to take offence doesn’t stop at ink. Is that hair you are showing? Did you just smile? What was that you just thought? Come November’s other grim Paris anniversary will they be saying ‘Look, there they are, still laughing and drinking and joking and singing and playing music and prostituting themselves on the filthy streets of Paris. One year on and they still haven’t learned their lesson.’

Just how much more insulting to religion could these disgusting Parisians have been?

Oddly enough there doesn’t yet appear to be people dying in the streets following Charlie Hebdo’s portrayal of God as a killer, still at large. Perhaps attacking all Abrahamic religions in one go was a wise decision by the satirical publication, perhaps not – either way I need not wonder what would be happening this week had they portrayed the prophet Mohammed in such a way?


Interesting, then, isn’t it, that an image of Allah doesn’t stoke the ire in quite the same way that an image of a mere prophet does. Surely, in Islam, this behaviour would be classed as idolatry or shirk – an unforgivable sin in Islam if it remains unpardoned before death.

Still, idolatry, like all forms of blasphemy, are victimless crimes, aren’t they? Oh, wait…

Thus endeth today’s lesson.

Vive Charlie Hebdo! Vive la liberté

Anvil Springstien.

Share the fear – it dilutes it… No, really, it does [above images are facebook banner size]. Oh, and below, one of the best bits of satire you’re ever likely to see: “The Idiots Killed Me…” [by Dilem. Algerian Cartoonist. Credit: @DilemAli] Share this image at your leisure – no,  no, wait, sorry, no, don’t wait… share it now, make it viral. It’ll take ten seconds to put it on your facebook page or place it in a blog post. Do it. Let’s make people bored shitless by this image! “The Idiots Killed Me“:

The Idiots Killed Me

#DontBombSyria #Daesh #SimonDanczuk #Bullying


What’s in a Word

daeshWe have been told that in future we should call our naughty neighbours in Islamic State by the Arabic acronym, Daesh, (pronounced Day-esh, Die-esh, Dee-ish, Dish, Daysh or Dash) which, apparently translates to ‘Islamic State’.

I initially thought that this was by way of our politicians trying to sound cool, hip and down with the kids in that embarrassing way your father might use the phrase Bro’, or the dreaded ‘Hey, my Nigga!’ upon being introduced to a friend of yours. I was wrong. It would appear that this is simply because the Arab acronym sounds similar to the abusive Arabic term, ‘Daes’, meaning ‘one who crushes something underfoot’, or even the unbelievably more derogatory, ‘Dahes’, which translates as ‘one who sows discord’.

Sticks and Stones…

Seemingly, this word is absolutely hated by IS in the same way that a past classmate of mine, Jimmy Tusser, hated the mean-spirited pronunciation of his surname. It must drive them mad – it certainly drove young Jimmy mad: he became a loner and a compulsive eater. Selling his mother’s house in Anfield, Liverpool 4, he emigrated to New Zealand along with the final insult of having to pay for two seats due to his obese size.

No doubt the Kiwi’s at immigration – known for their wit – immediately added insult to injury upon his landing.

Sometimes, sadly, shit sticks and you never hear the last of it – how long has it been since Mohammed looked lovingly into Aisha’s dreamy little eye’s?

He was a touchy kid – Jimmy, that is, not Mohammed – and I feel an element of guilt in the abuse he received. Words, after all, hold considerable power. It was bullying, pure and simple. There is no other description for it.

Terrible Suffering

Still, it is with this in mind that I hold some considerable sympathy with the government in its attempts to upset or hurt ISIS by calling them names. Let’s face it, as Fat Jimmy Tosser has shown, it works. One only has to look at the pain and hurt sustained by poor Simon Danczuk, Labour MP for Rochdale, who, I imagine, has suffered terribly over the last few days following his voting record on the precision bombing of people standing next to Syrian children. How hard must it be to be the constant target of words such as wanker, twat, arsehole, gobshite, loser and cunt, particularly when they’re true?

Bullying can be a powerful weapon in the hands of the righteous, especially when we see just how touchy our ISIL opponents seem to be. This sensitivity, in my opinion, shows a real weakness in their armour – let’s face it, it’s hardly wounding to be called ‘one who crushes something underfoot’, is it? I could do better than that without a moment’s thought – how about ‘one who wears little girls pink knickers’? See how easy this is.

Victory Imminent

This weaponisation of bullying – something that the Tory party are supposedly particularly adept at – needs to be given a bit more thought if it’s to help in the now nearly almost imminent victory in the War on Terror. The good thing is we don’t have to rely on the Old Etoninians, here – with the power of the internet and social media we can all do our bit, even in the most critical of Terror alerts: I’ve just thrown ‘Pack of fucking Kiddie Fiddlers’ into my online Arabic translation app’ and have come up with a surefire Brimstone missile for our War of the Words:  “الاستغلال الجنسي للأطفال”. Yeah, see, take that, Islamic State/ISIS/ISIL/Daesh/IS.

Admittedly I’m still struggling with the pronunciation.

We really ought to let these Jihadis know that once the Forces of Light have gathered, and the ground war starts, prisoners can expect to be given wedgies, Chinese burns, held against hot radiators, and to be picked last for the footie during P.E. – only to end up in goal.

The gloves are finally off.

Anvil Springstien.




Added Bonus Content:

Free MI5 ‘Terror Alert’ Status as of 23.47 05/11/2015

  • LOW: An attack is unlikely.
  • MODERATE: An attack is possible, but not likely
  • SUBSTANTIAL: An attack is a strong possibility
  • SEVERE: An attack is highly likely
  • CRITICAL: An attack is expected imminently 

#NotInMyName #NicolasHenin #StopTheWar #DontBombSyriaPride's Purge Screen Grab

Interview with Nicolas Henin

The wonderful ‘Pride’s Purge’ (Tom Pride’s blog) has a really interesting video interview
with ex Isis hostage, French journalist Nicolas Henin. Henin spent 10 months in Syria in the company of Isis and says the West bombing them is what they want:

Today, of all days, as the British parliament debates and votes on the bombing of Syria, and as David Cameron disgracefully implies that anyone who votes against the bombing is a ‘terrorist sympathiser‘, the interview below should be watched and shared as much as possible:

[The Screen-Grab – above right – is a link to Tom’s blog which I thoroughly recommend you visit and follow. I’ve reproduced the video in its entirety below.]

Related on this blog: Liberté Égalité Fraternité

#SnoopersCharter #Playboy #ToryTown

To Err is Human, To Forgive Divine

Sometimes you read the market right, sometimes wrong. Mostly the business decisions you make, for good or ill, will never go much beyond your immediate friends and family – destined to be told, retold and possibly chuckled at over the odd sherry at Christmas gatherings. Yes, we’ve all got a yarn about Uncle Jimmy’s costly attempts at claiming his Nigerian lottery win. Other times, though, you fuck up big style – and the sheer grandeur of the error ensures that you will be destined never to hear the last of it.

History is littered with such fuck ups: Decca Records turning down a small band called The Beatles; Western Electric saying ‘thanks, but no thanks’ to Alexander Graham Bell’s little ‘toy’; Gerald Ratner inadvertently telling the world his jewellery group products were ‘total crap’.

We all make mistakes, though. After all, to err is simply human. All the more reason, then, to employ a shred of divinity when judging even the Ratner’s of this world.

More forgivable still, when it’s the course of future events that slams a seemingly logical decision into the solid wall of misfortune. Let’s face it, how many of us have decided to buy a cheap steelworks, for example, only to be jiggered by an incompetent government and an influx of still cheaper Chinese imports.

Cigar Smoke & Poo

Yes, sometimes things happen which are simply beyond our control. Take your traditional analysis of the porn consumption habits of the Average Joe in the street: On a hunch based on raw business acumen and multiple focus groups, you conclude that grown men will buy pictures of naked women wearing bunny rabbit’s ears. A quick visit to the bank manager and you’ve got the market cornered. Your punters don’t even have to frequent the grubby sex shops in the seedier parts of town to purchase your product – it’s available in grocery stores, corner shops and petrol forecourts. It’s stylish. Classy. A top-shelf product in so many ways. You quickly become a multi-billionaire, grow old and surround yourself with hordes of very young and beautiful women even though you now smell of cigar smoke and poo.


Then, out of the blue, along come a few geeks who invent the internet and whammo – your whole business model goes down the pan.  Average Joe doesn’t need to purchase your top-shelf item anymore. Why should he? He doesn’t even have to pluck up the courage to don a raincoat before visiting Sven’s Adult Books for his under-the-counter (and mildly illegal) Swedish porno video. He simply clicks off safe-browsing, hits the incognito button, and types in the word ‘Disney’ – milliseconds later Joe’s whacking off to pigs having hard-core sex with Nuns in all its high definition glory. You might have the world biggest brand recognition this side of Coca-Cola, but you’ve become an anachronism, old hat. In the words of your own chief executive, you’re now “passé”.

Time to rethink the business model. Time to take a risk, Mr Hefner. Time to make a big decision.

A New Deal

Perhaps the Average Joe might buy interesting articles peppered with photo-shoots of young lingerie-clad Hollywood stars such as Emma Watson instead of those busty babes with the airbrushed Columbian? Great. Brilliant. Make it so. Market share saved, you announce to the world that as from March 2016 you will no longer publish images of naked women in Playboy magazine.

Phew. Disaster averted. Good call, Hugh.

Every Waking Moment

No sooner said then along comes British Home Secretary, Theresa May, replete with her Snooper’s Charter that will effectively command internet providers to keep the browsing history (and phone data) of Average Joe for a minimum of twelve months. Average Joe is assured that this history will be safe from the prying eyes of, say, teenagers in Northern Ireland, companies in Bradford, or Delhi, or criminals in Kabul or Langley, and will only be available to the Police, or the Security Services, or anyone else, as and when it is needed. Honestly.

Average Joe begins to sweat.

Still, Joe understands that the ability to peek under the digital bed of everyone in the UK is a necessary loss of freedom and privacy. This need to be digitally followed every waking moment, in the way that Catholics are followed by their God, Joe knows, is as big a weapon in the War on Terror as the ability to bomb people of other countries or to maintain an effective nuclear deterrent. Joe also knows that the War on Terror must be won in order to protect our freedom and privacy.

Joe sweats a little more.

Thankfully, terrorists, being the stupid foreign people that they are, will not have heard of Theresa May’s machinations on behalf of democracy, and shall henceforth be instantly dragged before the Beak to be confronted by their browser breadcrumbs of guilt: “Fair cop, Guv’nor, you got me bang to rights, there, an‘ no mistake!

Nothing to Hide – Nothing to Fear

Of course, this will demand a certain degree of browser willpower and self-censorship on behalf of the non-terrorist, but Joe knows that foregoing whacking off to pigs and Nuns is a small price to pay for the ongoing security of the realm.

It won’t stop at the UK, of course – good ideas never do – and with only terrorists (a rather paltry market share) confidently visiting internet porn sites, it may well demand an editorial volte-face by Playboy in order to sate the needs of the likes of sweaty Joe and avoid this once great magazine joining the ranks of Decca, Western Electric and Ratner’s.

Porn aficionados and lovers of freedom and democracy the world over may never forgive Theresa May. Nevertheless, methinks it may be time to rethink that centre-spread, Mr Hefner, lest you be destined to be remembered as the man who dumped the soft-porn mag just as it came back into fashion.

Anvil Springstien.


Useful Paraphrase:

“Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.”

Ben Franklin


In line with the above privacy issues, I’ve just noticed that more and more job applications are demanding a thorough police check.

In the UK, this used to be called a CRB check (Criminal Records Bureau) but as successive governments like to change the name of something as they strip it of funding, this is now referred to as a DBS check (Disclosure and Barring Service).

Searching through a selection of available employment on this mornings Job Boards, it would appear that a DBS check is required for just about anything that involves: children; people; money; food; clothing; breathing air; or using abrasive cleaning materials?

There also appears to be an inverse relationship between having to pay for the check yourself (low-pay, minimum wage, zero-hours) and the employer covering this cost (salaried, medium to high pay).

One job gives me the option of clicking Yes or No to my agreement to such an intrusive check. This is, of course, no option at all as when No is clicked (I’ve just clicked it) it takes you to a ‘Thanks, But No Thanks’ page.

Apparently, even in the world of Peripatetic Supermarket Floor Cleaning, the mere desire for privacy is seen as suspicious.

Sorry, I’m rambling. The reason my interest in police checks has been piqued is that I’m presently volunteering with an Adult Learning agency and it’s taking forever for my own DBS check to come through.

I’m beginning to worry that they have discovered I hold politically errant views and are waiting to be able to download my browser history?

I predict that future job applications will require browser history to be made available to prospective employers – I also predict that, like police checks, you will have to pay for this – unless, of course, you can afford to.



On Saturday 21 September 2013, unidentified gunmen attacked Westgate shopping mall, the most upscale mall in Nairobi,[4] Kenya. The attack resulted in at least 67 deaths, and more than 175 people were reportedly wounded in the mass shooting.

The extremist Islamic group al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the incident (…)

In the midst of tragedy the press of Kenya and beyond, rather than seek to inform and explain, appear to make the most of the opportunity to maximise sales. “Star Gives Free Obituaries For Westgate Victims” bragged ‘The Star’ newspaper of Nairobi after asking “Was British Woman Among Terrorists?” “Did White Widow Die in Siege?” queried the British ‘Daily Mail’, whilst ‘The Australian’ informed us (hopefully somewhat tongue in cheek from the Subby?) that we were all on a “Global Hunt for ‘White Widow’”.

Samantha Lewthwaite from her school year book.

Not the terrorist-like smile used by ‘The People’ newspaper – but similar.

Searching for a decent strain of marijuana aside, the recent feeding frenzy surrounding the involvement, or otherwise, of British Muslim convert Samantha Lewthwaite – widow of 7/7 bomber Germaine Lindsey – in the Kenyan Westgate shopping mall massacre is pretty much par for the course, and is epitomised by the headline in the Kenyan daily, ‘The People’, which pondered, “Is This The Terror MASTERMIND?” featuring as evidence a large photo of Lewthwaite with a broad terrorist-like smile.

Still, I suppose it’s the job of tabloids and their ilk to scandalise and sensationalise regardless of the facts at hand, but I remain somewhat amused when as yet unevidenced claims generate wordage at an academic level providing a feedback loop of legitimacy to such sensationalism. Take this by Alexandra Phelan from the Global Terrorism Research Centre, Monash University, and printed in the much valued Aussie portal, The Conversation;

‘White Widow’, ‘Black Widow’: why do female terrorists perplex us?

The text below an accompanying graphic gives us the gist of the article:

“British woman Samantha Lewthwaite is suspected of being a ringleader in the Kenyan mall terror attacks. But why are we so surprised at the idea of a female terrorist?” 1

(link to full article below & here)

Nice article Alexandra… but wait, hold on? Are we perplexed or surprised at the idea of a female terrorist? Well, no, not really? Not at all, actually.  And why should we be? Some of our greatest heroes and villains throughout history were both female and ‘terrorist’ – the occupation of France springs instantly to mind, and the likes of Ulrike Meinhof and Boudica would, I’m sure, have had a word or two to say on the subject.

Women historically have been prepared to both fight and give up their lives in pursuit of numerous ideas ranging from equality to ideology, through to love and simple vengeance. Armed forces throughout the world now regularly employ women, not just as cooks, cleaners, and prostitutes, but as soldiers, sailors, and pilots on the front line. No, seriously, they do. Really. Truly. Honestly.

Women, when given the opportunity, appear to be able to do anything their male counterparts have historically claimed for themselves. They have successfully ran homes, business’s, charities, NGO’s, nation states and Empires. Some have discovered comets, whilst others have piloted space-ships into the realm of these comets. Some have even learnt to drive cars.

That they have done all this whilst engaging in the popular hobby of banging out billions upon billions upon billions of screaming, mewling, hungry, offspring comes as no surprise, not to myself, at least.

So, should we be surprised or perplexed at the idea of a female terrorist? No, we should not. We should not be surprised at the idea of a female anything. Well, almost anything. Read on:

What is surprising, indeed should be surprising – and this is the real story here – is the suggestion of a female ‘ringleader’ or ‘mastermind’ within the al Shabaab Islamist organisation. Let me re-phrase that to be clear, what is surprising is the suggestion of a female ‘ringleader’ or ‘mastermind’ in any Islamist organisation – terrorist or otherwise. Now there, surely, lies the surprise.

Let’s face it, it would be a bit of a first, wouldn’t it? Indeed one is tempted to inquire as to how exactly this ‘ringleader’ or ‘mastermind’ managed to break through the al Shabaab glass ceiling rather than being used as a mere disposable fire-and-forget explosive?

Did she pop down to HR screaming threats of litigation?

Perhaps al Shabaab have turned a new leaf in their understanding of the fairer sex and have now started to recite passages from The Female Eunuch alongside those of the Qur’an?

Perhaps al Shabaab, a clannish rather than multi-national set-up, have been influenced by the more nuanced al Qaeda and their western Fly-In-Fly-Out Jihadis with their well thumbed copies of ‘Men are from Mars…’?

Possibly, but somehow I doubt it. The ingrained, indeed necessary misogyny of an ideology unable to extract itself from the 7th century, even by its adherents in the most developed of economies, is one that wishes to see the likes of Lewthwaite remain indoors – unless covered and accompanied by a male member of her family.

I could be wrong of course and Lewthwaite’s body may well be found amongst those al Shabaab fighters still lying buried in a Kenyan mall. She may even be found holding an empty, still smoking AK 47 across her chest?

Without wishing to appear too morbid – even at the death of an alleged mass-murderer- it’s an image worth thinking about. It would certainly make a great shot, wouldn’t it? The poor and the misguided amongst Islamist youth would then have a tee-shirt to rival the image of Guevara. They could whisper her name in hushed reverence on street corners, ‘Samantha the Martyr’, they would say, and then relate stories of how she ‘masterminded’ the famous raid on, well, shoppers and their kids, and of how she died amidst a hail of bullets in the groceries & dried goods aisle, her ‘Akky’ blazing till the end.

The image is a propagandists dream, isn’t it? Well, no, not exactly. In fact it’s a bit of a nightmare, and here’s why;

The problem here, for al Shabaab and Islamist organisations generally, is that the new in-demand tee-shirt is hardly ‘on message’, is it?

What could be more off-message for Islamism than a powerful, organised, independent woman, unafraid to bark orders to her male Jihadi underlings. Hardly the iconic role model for the average Muslima in the coming Caliphate, is it?

Before you know it throngs of Islamist women will all be throwing hissy fits and running off to HR to complain about discrimination. Next they’ll want to sit at the front of the mosque and wear little white hats like the men instead of body bags. They’ll want to talk, too. Yes, talk. And organise. And ‘mastermind things’, and ‘ringleader things’, just like the boys do – just like Samantha did…

Phew, I can feel the sweat running down the very neck of Islamism as we speak. Don’t worry boys, for Islamist historians will no doubt ensure that Samantha’s ‘Akky’, this most potent of symbols, will be thoroughly air-brushed away, or at the very least miraculously transform itself into a ‘Dust-Pan & Brush’.

For Islam, the country, (as we say here in Australia) is no place for an Islamist feminist.

Best all round then that no body be found. Islamism can continue to bury its head in the sands of an earlier century, and the western press can continue to regale us with sensationalist stories of secret caves and hydraulic chairs and the stroking of white cats. No, hold on, the White Widow would surely have a black cat ? If only just for contrast, you understand.

Nice day for it.

‘Cue Navy Seal Team Six, you’re Oscar Mike’.

Anvil Springstien.

1 26 September 2013, 12.13pm AEST

‘White Widow’, ‘Black Widow’: why do female terrorists perplex us?:

Alexandra Phelan

Teaching Associate/PhD Candidate at Global Terrorism Research Centre at Monash University