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The Daily Express spent a large part of 2014 talking about Dementia. The story never went anywhere, but then… do its readers know?
Madeleine McCann is the story that keeps on spinning. When the innocent child went missing, the voracious media embarked on a feeding frenzy. Kate and Gerry McCann, her parents, were libelled, so too was Robert Murat. Books were written. TV shows were inspired. Fact became merged with fiction. Sensation was presented as truth. And all the while the child the press renamed ‘Our Maddie’ remained vanished.
2014 has not been a bumper year for storirs of Out Maddie, but there have been many many front page, mostly in the Daily Express, Daily Star and Daily Mirror. The paper talk is off “Maddie Cops” making arrests “soon”, “suspects”, “quizzes”, “diggings”, “clues” and “trolls”.
Much excitement at Anorak Towers are we open the flaps on the first One Direction advent calendar window.
The first flaps are situated on Niall Horan’s backside.
Five boys one runny cip.
El Salvador hs banned abortion. Amnesty has distilled the effects of this horror into an animated video:
Any woman seeking an abortion is now a criminal.
Ferguson is burning. And on the web, a Islamic State jihadi makes the poepls burning and marching for justice an offer:
Accept islam & give bayah to abu bakr al baghdadi & then we will send u soldiers that dont sleep !
Convert to militant, murderous Islam and the Islamic State will ride into Ferguson to murder the Christians, Jews, Hindus and Buddhsits and ban your sister and mum from going out alone.
Sure one white cop killed an unarmed black man, but he enver tried hard enough. With IS, lots of armed Muslims will kill millions of unarmed people. Think big, Ferguson! Freedom is yours to grasp!
Crisis over, America, you’ve just be raffirmed.
Westminster child abuse: Anorak’s at-a-glance look at the story of politicians sexually abusing children.
Yesterday the Home Secretary Theresa May went on Andrew Marr’s BBC show to tell everyone:
“How was it that in the past, but continuing today, the very institutions of the state that should be protecting children were not doing so? Why was it that these abuses were able to take place and that nobody was brought to justice as a result of that. We must as a society, I believe, get to the truth of that and because I think what we’re seeing is frankly – what we’ve already seen revealed – is only the tip of the iceberg on this issue.”
That was incredible. In looking for a conspiracy in the Tory Party over the 1970s and 1980s, a leading Tory adds her weight to the whispers. The top of the iceberg is based on very little fact. Is the iceberg just more of the same?
Mrs May has announced an independent inquiry to look into past abuse claims. The inquiry has been delayed by the resignations of Baroness Butler-Sloss and Fiona Woolf, the government’s first two choices to chair it.
Both stepped down after criticism over their personal links to senior figures from the 1980s. But speaking on BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show, Mrs May said it was “so important” to have the wide-ranging inquiry.
Police are at the pre-inquiry inquiry stage. They have been presented with many claims but few facts.
Mrs May said it was still “not possible” to say whether there had been a cover-up over the claims, despite a review into how the Home Office dealt with files alleging abuse from 1979-99.
The independent review by Peter Wanless, head of the NSPCC, which was published earlier this month, said it was impossible to say whether files were removed to cover up abuse – but found nothing to support such a claim.
Tommie Rose, 15, made what the Daily Mirror calls a “fortune” by selling food to his fellow pupils at Buile Hill High School, Salford. He employs casual labour, paying two mates £5.50 a day. Tommie earns £60-£70a day. Not too shabby.
But rather than being praised, Tommie Rose is being threaned with expulsion unless he gives up the day job.
Tommie has been here before. In 2011, he was suspended for 10 days for selling his lovely treats at the Oasis Academy in Salford. So. He changed schools. And he set about earning some more dough.
Poor old Emily Thornberry. She’s the Labour MP who mocked Dan Ware’s home in Rochester. Dan lives in home that displays flags supporting his country and West Ham United FC. He drives a white van. Intrepid Emily, who had journeyed from Islington to a neat road in Kent where working people live, thought it a hoot to show this cultural oddity to her Twitter followers.
We say poor Emily becuase having resigned her job in the shadow cabinet, Emily could argue she was only giving Labour suppoters what they wanted.
Mocking the white working class is ok, you see. Sure, the Daily Mirror today asks:
What does shadow Labour minister Emily Thornberry mean by this photo?
The Mirror quotes other Labour MPs, keen to show that not all the Party’s MPs are possess the Victorian colonial spirit:
Labour MP Simon Danczuk saying: “We all know what she was trying to imply. I’ve talked about this previously. It’s like the Labour party has been hijacked by the North London liberal elite and it’s comments like that which reinforce that view.”
Labour colleague Chris Bryant said: “The Labour Party was founded on the basis that everybody should be treated equally and that’s why Emily herself has said it’s a bit of an own goal.”
But Anorak readers will recall that its not just the London Labour elite who think white van man is a national embarrassment.
Mirror columnsit Brian Reade, a Liverpudlian, once journeyed to south-east London. In light of the murder of black teeanger Stephen Lawrence by a gang of white racists, Eltham was in the news. What he wrote was truly appalling:
Welcome to the Brook Estate in Eltham, south east London. The breeding ground of four of the five men accused of stabbing Stephen Lawrence to death as he waited for a bus a short walk away on the eve of St George’s Day six years ago.
Five products of a twisted philosophy drummed into them from birth. “If they’re black, stab ‘em in the back.”…
A way of life passed down from father to son. You see the link emerge in the fading white graffiti sprayed 30 years ago on the walls of the old railway bridges around the estate, written by the last generation of Eltham Boyz. In three feet high letters: “SKINHEADS.”…
Give me the father and I’ll give you the son who will give you the son who will abuse, persecute and even kill another human being for committing the heinous crime of not being born white.
Racism was inherited. Get the killers and purge the land.
This is White Man’s Gulch… This is E-reg Escort-land.
So much for anti-discrimination, eh. When did the entire white working class become pariahs?
GK Chesterton put it well:
“We are always ready to make a saint or prophet of the educated man who goes into cottages to give a little kindly advice to the uneducated,’ he wrote. But the real saints and prophets – those of the middle ages – were uneducated men ‘who walked into grand houses to give a little kindly advice to the educated.’ The wisdom of the poor was once deployed to moralise the rich; now that of the rich is used to demoralise the poor.”
Kicking the white working class is acceptable. What began with targeting football fans with new forms of control now extends to what car you drive and your home decor.
Emily Thornberry is not a rarity. She’s typical.
THE Westminster Peadophile ring story continues to build:
The detective who led the investigation into Britain’s most notorious child abusers said its files could provide evidence for Scotland Yard’s investigation of an alleged Westminster paedophile ring. Roger Stoodley said he would be delighted if the Metropolitan police were to reopen Operation Orchid, the inquiry into the Sidney Cooke gang, which abducted, abused and murdered children in the 1970s and 1980s.
GEMMA Collins is out the I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! jungle and the Sun says she’s been bullied. No, not by a TV producer encouraging her to eat a kangaroo’s anus. Gemma’s been bullied by footballers on Twitter!
QUEENS Park Rangers ace Charlie Austin, 25, branded Gemma “the female Shrek” in a string of abusive posts on Twitter. His ex-Burnley team-mates Kieran Trippier, George Porter and Kevin Long also joined in.
Calling Gemma Collins Shrek is appalling. Hats off to the Sun for highlighting this shocking abuse:
Calling another human being Shrek is a shocking low, says the Sun:
The Sun ends with:
Their taunts came as the FA rolled out a week-long anti-bullying campaign.
Footballers are such bullies – even the ones who look like Shrek…
EVER been to a disco that made you feel awkward, terrible and upset at the realisation that you were among your people?
AND on its goes, the row over Dr Matt Taylor’s shirt.
“Modern feminists’ focus on behaviour, its propensity for censorship and its increasingly anti-man rhetoric, is creating a dogmatic and divisive feminism that turns women into victims who need protecting from the big, bad world, rather than equipping women with the tools to tackle real issues of gender inequality.”
EAT your heart out Ched Evans, writing in the Telegraph Jason Burt turns his gaze on Malky Mackay, the former Cardiff City manger whose offensive private emails became a public stick with which to beat him.
It was alleged Mackay shared racist, homophobic and misoynistic texts with former Cardiff colleague Iain Moody, who resigned his position as Crystal Palace sporting director shortly after the messages came to light.
Let’s look again at what was found:
“Go on, fat Phil. Nothing like a Jew that sees money slipping through his fingers.” On football agent Phil Smith.
“He’s a snake, a gay snake. Not to be trusted.” Referring to an official at another club.
“Not many white faces amongst that lot but worth considering.” Referring to a list of potential signings.
“I bet you’d love a bounce on her falsies”
Read the rest of this entry »
HOW much does one of Sir Jimmy Savile’s victims get? The Sun knows:
OUTRAGED victims of Jimmy Savile have been told to expect payouts of just £7,500.
Surely the victims are more outraged that the BBC and NHS’s pet paedo got away with his alleged crimes?
Those targeted by the sex beast are expected to reject the “pitiful” compensation. It is thought people who were raped by the late DJ may get slightly more.
WHEN Kim Kardashain’s naked backside “broke the internet”, our pal Erin picked up her skewer.
The Daily Mail aks a question about the Great British Sandwich:
Rightly, the death of the Great British sandwich (surely the hungry editor’s yell as a headline – ed) has been highlighted by the paper of record. A Great British traditional is being undone by foreigners.
Let’s take a look at the Great British sandwich in history.
EVER wonder what a needle on a vinyl record looks like at 1000x magnification?
Here’s what it looks like in action:
NEW YORK COSMOS have had a bewildering array of fantastic players, and the latest in the club’s bumpy history is the Spanish legend, Raul. The Real Madrid superhuman decided to come out of retirement to play for the club made famous by Pele.
As well as being a player, Raul is all set to take on the role of technical adviser to the club’s soon-to-be opened youth academy, which he’ll look after when he’s retired.
“Everyone throughout the soccer world knows the Cosmos name and the legacy of the players that played for this team previously,” Raul said in a statement. “They helped establish soccer in America and I’m honoured to follow in their footsteps. I believe in this club’s vision and I’m excited to be a part of that.”
Of course, moving to New York doesn’t hurt either, and no doubt, he’ll be on fantastic amounts of money. You’d be mad not to!
Likewise, back in the ’70s and ’80s, footballers from all over the world saw the footballing goldrush of America. When the NASL started to become more popular and investors started throwing their money around, everyone started taking notice.
It was the arrival of Pele at NY Cosmos that saw the floodgates open and a huge number of footballers going Stateside for a huge paycheck and all the coke and champagne they could stomach in America’s disco clubs.
So with that, let us look at some of the true greats that moved to America, just like David Villa and Frank Lampard are doing in the winter of their careers right now.
And be sure to watch all the videos because there’s a corker tucked away in there.
The mighty Cruyff left Europe to play in the sunshine, ending up playing for the Washington Diplomats and LA Aztecs. He, of course, scored one of the most memorable goals in the league’s history.
The player that really opened America up was Pele when he moved to the NY Cosmos. Little needs to be said about that, other than it must’ve been absolutely brilliant in New York with all those superstars dossing about the place.
Post Manchester United, it feels like Georgie Best played for just about everyone. Somewhere in there, he managed to sup his way around America, working on his tan at Los Angeles Aztecs, Fort Lauderdale Strikers and San Jose Earthquakes. Between one-night stands and hangovers, he managed to score the NASL’s greatest goal.
Also at NY Cosmos was the technical brilliance of Der Kaiser. You can imagine he took it all quite seriously, which must have been borderline hilarious to everyone else there.
Eusebio left his beloved Benfica and decided to get one last payday. America beckoned and he found himself lording it up with the Boston Minutemen, Toronto Metros-Croatia and Las Vegas Quicksilvers. Openly in it for the money, but no-one minded. He’s Eusebio. He can do what he wants.
Napoli legend, Chinaglia rocked up at the New York Cosmos like he owned the place, regardless of who was there. Arrogant, bullish and egocentric, Chinaglia was the disco strut of that famous team and he knew it. However, he wasn’t Pele, which drove him mad. Cue: sporting soap operas galore!
World Cup winner Geoff Hurst buggered off to play for the Seattle Sounders. He banged some goals in and picked up his money. Below, you can see his debut. He must have wondered what he’d let himself in for.
Pele’s captain, Carlos Alberto also went to the NY Cosmos. It doesn’t matter what he did or didn’t do, because he’s Carlos Alberto who scored perhaps the most perfect goal in World Cup history.
The brilliant Munich hitman, Gerd Muller, went to Ft Lauderdale and thrashed a load of goals in while growing an absolutely magnificent beard (as seen above with a disappointingly clean-shaven George Best). 38 goals in 71 appearances, and then he rightly put his feet up.
Peter Withe made his way to America, playing for the Portland Timbers. The best record of his time there is getting involved in a tussle the a player and squaring up to a referee just after a cameraman gets taken out with a thunderous clearance from close range. Bravo lads. Bravo.
And the nominations for the worst London accent are…
Dick van Dyke (Mary Poppins)
The mother lode. To quote his song, ‘even though the sound of it is something quite atrocious’, there is something supercalifragilisticexpialidocious about Dick’s seminal cockney performance…
ON 12 Dec 1966, Harry Roberts, John Witney and John Duddy were convicted of the murders of David Wombwell, Christopher Head and Geoffrey Fox.
The murders were known as the Shepherd’s Bush murders as well as the Massacre of Braybrook Street.
On 12 August 1966:
Harry Roberts, John Witney and John Duddy were sitting in a Standard Vanguard estate preparing for a robbery when 3 unarmed policemen in plain clothes – David Wombwell, Christopher Head and Geoffrey Fox – pulled up near them in a Triumph 2000 Q-car, and started asking questions about their insurance and MOT.
Because they were carrying guns and thought were would be arrested they shot the policemen dead and drove off. A local resident made a note of the van number plate and they were later caught.
The hunt for the killers was on:
The Independent recalled the murders:
As two of the officers started to search the van, Roberts drew a 9mm Luger pistol and shot DC Wombwell through the left eye, and then shot DS Head in the back as he tried to flee. As the dying officer staggered away Roberts tried to shoot him in the head, but his gun jammed twice.
PC Fox had remained in the police car. Duddy fired a revolver at the officer twice from close range through the passenger window. Both bullets missed, but a third shot hit him in the left temple. The shot caused the policeman’s foot to push down on the accelerator and the car jumped forward, running over the body of DS Head and getting stuck there, with smoke pouring from its rear wheels. All three Metropolitan Police officers died from the gunshot wounds.
Roberts went on the run, hiding on Epping Forest.
It took 96 days before he was caught after one of the biggest manhunts the British police had mounted.
Roberts knew how to hide. He would later say:
“I was a sergeant and we used to go out on ambushes in the jungle. I would fire the first shot and then everyone would blast away… When I returned to Britain, I took up my old life as a criminal. I teamed up with Witney and we did dozens of armed robberies together – on betting shops, post offices. The most I earned was £1,000 from a single job. Witney was the eldest, the boss: he knew the best places to rob. Duddy joined us later…
“I was only caught because I was stupid. I had been trying to break open a safe at a * * factory and was late getting back to my camp. I had to cross a main road and had a blue holdall with me – no one in the country had a bag like that.”
All three were sentenced to life in prison.
John Duddy died in Parkhurst prison on 8 February 1981.
John Witney was released in 1991.
Roberts lives. In 2004, he spoke to the media. He had served 30 years and wanted parole:
“I don’t want to be Harry Roberts the cop killer. The media talk as if the shootings were yesterday: this keeps alive this image of me as a 30-year-old cop killer. I’m not that person any more. The Home Secretary is just responding to the media hype about me. When does punishment becomes vengeance? I feel my treatment has turned into institutionalised vengeance.”
His time in prison had not been uneventful:
In 2009, The Mail alleged that Roberts was no victim:
In April, The Mail on Sunday exclusively revealed how from his cell Roberts orchestrated a five-year campaign of intimidation against Joan Cartwright, 65, and her son, including horrific attacks on her animals. Mrs Cartwright works at an animal sanctuary in the Midlands, where Roberts worked on day release from Sudbury open prison.
When she secretly complained about his behaviour, he was moved from an open prison to a closed one.
But he then initiated his hate campaign in a bid to stop Mrs Cartwright and her son giving evidence against him at a parole hearing. The triple murderer rang Mrs Cartwright up to five times a week for nearly four years from Channings Wood prison in Devon.
The calls included terrifying veiled threats that coincided with the attacks on her animals. In the worst incident, a horse’s head was hacked at with an axe the night before Mrs Cartwright and her son were due to give evidence.
Another of Mrs Cartwright’s horses had to be put down days after her husband Peter had resisted giving Roberts a character reference. Other assaults between 2002 and 2006 led to a horse losing an eye; a donkey dying after its pelvis was shattered, probably with a baseball bat; the family’s pet cat being electrocuted, and a peacock being strangled.
Roberts also coerced Mrs Cartwright to visit him in jail, so he could repeat his threats to her face.
Not nice. But Roberts’ is a folk hero to some, well at least to those who want to cock a snook at the cops. His name continues to be evoked in song:
“Harry Roberts is our friend, is our friend, is our friend / Harry Roberts is our friend, he kills coppers.”
The band Chumbawamba replaced Hare Krishna with a tribute to Harry Roberts:
You can buy a Harry Roberts T-shirt:
And you can watch the TV show of the novel:
The Times reviews:
He Kills Coppers, confidently adapted by Ed Whitmore from the Jake Arnott novel, is based on the story of Roberts, a small time, semi-deranged crook who knew how to use guns because he had handled them in the Army.
The Times again:
He Kills Coppers is superior, feel-the-lining-on-this stuff – bafflingly good for ITV1. Spall is a low, sure, hypnotic note – a cocksure, slightly bent rookie detective in 1966; all fags, Brylcreem and tarts. The great casting continues with the mesmeric Kelly Reilly as a prostitute who is both fragile and brassily capable: a certain kind of working-class girl you got in “the olden days”, who was a feminist before feminism was invented
After the deaths come the myth and the glamour…
PROFESSIONAL sports (and amateur events) can, as we all know, get a little bit out of hand. Players pump themselves up for the occasion and, sometimes, all the wiring in the athlete goes wrong and that energy is transferred into violence.
This weekend, in Rugby League’s Grand Final, we saw super rivals Wigan taking on St Helens and, in the opening minutes of the game, Lance Hohaia found himself on the end of a beating from Ben Flower.
You can see the video below, along with some of sports most brutal punch-ups.
Naturally, this isn’t a positive endorsement of professional sportsmen punching the crap out of each other, but obviously, there’s something hair-raisingly exciting about it too.
That’s why we watch boxing.
Anyway, here we go with some of the most brutal, and in some cases, baffling fights in sports history. If you have a favourite, tweet us or tell us about it in the comments.
Flower vs Hohaia
As previously mentioned, Ben Flower did his Wigan team no favours after attacking Saints’ Hohaia in the Super League Grand Final on Saturday. One punch is deemed acceptable in rugby – the second one is the one that’ll tarnish Flower’s reputation.
Duncan McRae vs Ronan O’Gara
Rugby Union has had a fair number of dust-ups too, and one of the most notorious is the occasion when New South Wales played the British Lions, which saw McRae delivering a savage 11 punches to O’Gara’s face.
Meath vs Mayo
The GAA is essentially organised pain, so punch-ups are to be expected. However, the one that went above and beyond was the 1996 All-Ireland match between Mayo and Meath. Thing is, half of these lads will have had work the next morning.
Braves v Padres
There’s loads of baseball brawls to choose from, but the most notorious in the MLB is the Braves versus Padres. They didn’t just have one scrap – they basically fought each other for the whole game. Both Atlanta manager Joe Torre and San Diego manager Dick Williams were fined while four players and Williams got suspended. Even the fans got involved. Would you be daft enough to start a fight in a place where there are that many baseball bats lying around?
Tuilagi vs Ashton
Manu Tuilagi is a handy lad as it is, but in the Leicester-Northampton semi final in 2011, he received a yellow card for his assault on Chris Ashton. Tuilagi was later given a 5-week ban for his punch.
Aussie Rules Sleeper Hold
Brian Lake, one of the most talented Aussie Rules footballers of his generation, got into a tussle with Drew Petrie. In Hawthorn’s match with North Melbourne, Lake decided to strangle Petrie on the pitch. For ages. Lake was charged with misconduct by the AFL Match Review Panel. If it was any other sport, you can only imagine the punishment that would’ve been handed out.
Todd Bertuzzi v Steve Moore
Ice Hockey prides itself on its rucks, but there’s one punch that resonates more loudly than any other. Mention Todd Bertuzzi to anyone who watches hockey, and chances are, they’ll wince. In 2004, Bertuzzi was found guilty of criminal assault for causing actual bodily harm for the suckerpunch that fractured three of Moore’s vertebrae and ended his NHL career.
Maradona vs Bilbao
Tired of being kicked-around, Diego Maradona let out his darkness while playing for Barcelona against Bilbao. This is one of the most well-known fights in football, and for good reason.
Malice at the Palace
The Indiana Pacers took on the Detroit Pistons in a match that would become known as the ‘Malice at the Palace’. There’s a scuffle on the court, which ends up moving into the stands, with Ron Artest fighting members of the crowd. Absolutely insane.
Ivan Rovny v Gianluca Brambilla
Cycling is a ruthless and cruel sport, but there’s not many fistfights. That’s why everyone was so shocked when Rovny and Brambilla started trading blows in the 16th stage of the Vuelta a España. As if they hadn’t put their bodies through enough.
IS Saudi Arabia at the heart of the IS crisis?
Last year, Syria’s Bashar al-Assad was the enemy. He had crossed Barack Obama’s “red line”, the President of America reasoning that shooting people in the face was not as bad as poisoining them.
The Saudis want Assad gone.
The WSJ noted a deal:
When Mr. Kerry [US Secretary of State JohnKerry] touched down in Jeddah to meet with King Abdullah on Sept. 11, he didn’t know for sure what else the Saudis were prepared to do. The Saudis had informed their American counterparts before the visit that they would be ready to commit air power—but only if they were convinced the Americans were serious about a sustained effort in Syria. The Saudis, for their part, weren’t sure how far Mr. Obama would be willing to go, according to diplomats.
The US needed a big Arab ally to get ISIS. So:
The Americans knew a lot was riding on a Sept. 11 meeting with the king of Saudi Arabia at his summer palace on the Red Sea. A year earlier, King Abdullah had fumed when President Barack Obama called off strikes against the regime of Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. This time, the U.S. needed the king’s commitment to support a different Syrian mission—against the extremist group Islamic State—knowing there was little hope of assembling an Arab front without it.
At the palace, Secretary of State John Kerry requested assistance up to and including air strikes, according to U.S. and Gulf officials. “We will provide any support you need,” the king said.
HOW did you become a jihadi’s bride? The Sun gives its readers an insight:
AN undercover reporter for The Sun was recruited to become a bride for a British fighter waging war in Syria for terror group Islamic State. The journalist, posing as an unhappy London schoolgirl keen to join IS, was allocated a “husband” during online chats with matchmaker Zahra Halane — one of the Terror Twins who left their Manchester home for the war-torn country three months ago.
We hear from Coverntry’s own Rashed Amani, 19, who told the Sun’s blagger:
“I’d love to pick you up as soon as u come.”
It’s Finbarr Saunders.
He’s further quoted:
“I have fought and in fighting u won’t always tell if it’s you who shot them or someone else but more usually we shoot and its Allah the great kills you see.”
Eh? English is his first language.
Not eveyone is seduced by the chance to shag a priapic jihadi to death:
“I just can’t understand why she’d want to go to Syria,” explains Aisha, also 20, and from Slough. The youngest daughter of parents originally from Kashmir, she’s reading Applied Social Sciences at Goldsmith’s. “The UK has given us so much in terms of education, human rights, equality. Why go from that to Syria where, as a woman, she will face so many restrictions? She won’t even be able to go out on her own to the corner shop.”
On Crikey (Aus), we read:
American writer and psychologist Phyllis Chesler speculates that these women have chosen “unfreedom” in response to a surfeit of choices offered to them in the West. Over on the Quadrant blog, economist Peter Smith writes that Amira Kharroum’s story illustrates that the “moderate Muslims” extolled by multiculturalists are a myth.
Unfreedom? It’s either positive freedom (freedom to do) or negative freedom (freedom from). Unfreedom sounds lot like bondage.
Are women really travelling in droves to meet a dreamy jihadi?
When Tunisia’s authorities announced that a stream of young women had been leaving their homes to provide sexual services to Islamist militants in Tunisia and Syria, the statement was greeted with both shock and scepticism. The BBC’s Ahmed Maher went to Tunisia to investigate the reports…
The story is rooted in the Jebel ech Chaambi (Chaambi mountains) area of western central Tunisia, on the border with Algeria… The authorities say they have arrested a number of girls and women in cities around Chaambi, whom they accuse of having sex with battle-weary militants as part of a campaign to improve morale.
We meet the mothr of one women who allegedly services jihadis:
“She has never been to the Chaambi mountains. These are false accusations. She was religious and went to mosque,” the mother told me. She requested anonymity because “this is a sensitive issue in our conservative city.” She wore the full-body veil – we say it’s a sign of chastity, not extremism.”
What’s beneath the veil?
Interior Minister Lotfi bin Jido told the Beeb:
“Tunisian girls are swapped between 20, 30, and 100 rebels and they come back bearing the fruit of sexual contacts in the name of sexual jihad and we are silent doing nothing and standing idle.”
Radio broadcaster Zuhir Eljiis believes the aim is to suggest that the ruling Islamist Enhada party is turning a blind eye to extremism. “The interior minister has not come up with hard evidence. He gave no statistics,” he said. “He’s caused controversy, giving the impression this is a big issue. He is known for his political independence, but I think he might have been caught in a political game between rival parties.”
Is it just a good story?
Another prominent Muslim scholar in Tunisia, Sheikh Fareed Elbaji, told the BBC he personally knew families who had discovered that their daughters had gone to Chaambi and Syria to offer sex in support of the militants, apparently in obedience to fatwas or religious edicts issued on the battlefields of Syria.
And the conclusion?
In largely secular and liberal Tunisia, the idea of sexual jihad comes as a shock. Many dismiss it as a politically motivated hoax. But others, already alarmed by growing extremism in the country, say it cannot be so easily ruled out.
He isn’t sure.
The Daily Mail is sure:
An ever-growing band of young women have left their families in Britain to join the jihadi cause in Syria. Researchers have identified six more such women through their online accounts – and warn this could be the tip of the iceberg.
But we meet only a few:
Academics at King’s College in London said they have seen ‘a big uptake’ in the number of UK women going to Syria. Among them are Salma and Zahra Halane, 16, twins from Chorlton, Manchester, and mother-of-one Khadijah Dare, 22, who is married to a Swedish jihadist. Privately educated radiography student Aqsa Mahmood, 20, from Glasgow, made headline news this week after her sobbing middle-class parents begged her to return.
Can it be that many more young women have left these shores for IS and no-one’s noticed?
The Telegraph looks:
Refugees, women still living under its rule and men who have escaped from its prisons have told Telegraph of the life under the shadow of the extremist group’s black flag. One woman, whose name the Telegraph knows but is withholding, described how she went to the recruiting office of an all-women jihad unit, formed from the women who have flocked to Syria from Europe and elsewhere to serve the cause, some with their children…
“I went inside their headquarters, which used to be the Christian church,” she said. “I asked what the conditions were to join. They said you have to be 18-25, unmarried, and you would earn 25,000 Syrian pounds. But if you joined you had the opportunity to marry one of the foreign fighters. However, they make sure you are a real jihadist.”
What’s the widow’s pension look like?
She said that outside she met four new recruits, three from Tunisia, and one Frenchwoman, who told her she was divorced and had brought her 12-year-old daughter and four younger sons to Syria to join the militants… But the Raqqa woman and other activists from the town say that the imbalance of the sexes means ISIS has begun to “recruit” brides from local schools and colleges.
Among those who resisted, they say, was a 21-year-old student called Fatima Abdullah from a tribal area outside the city, whose brother had joined ISIS and persuaded their father to hand her over for marriage to a Tunisian. She refused, and when her family insisted, killed herself with rat poison. The story was confirmed by other activists from the town.
Are the women simply servants?
Eight months ago, Umm Haritha, a 20-year-old woman from Canada, made her way to Turkey against her parents’ wishes with a half-empty suitcase and $1,500.
Within a week she was in Syria, and a few weeks later she was married to Abu Ibrahim al-Suedi, a 26-year-old Palestinian from Sweden fighting for Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the Sunni jihadist group battling the Syrian regime.
It is not clear whether Umm Haritha’s marriage to Abu Ibrahim was arranged before her travel to Syria. Regardless, it only lasted five months.
On May 5, Abu Ibrahim, whose real name is Taha Shade, was in a car en route to a meeting in Deir ez-Zor with members of rival faction Jabhat al-Nusra. What was meant to be a gathering to finalize a peace treaty between ISIS and al-Nusra turned deadly when an al-Nusra fighter on a motorbike sped up to Shade’s car and detonated his explosive belt.
At the time, Shade was wearing his own explosive belt, which also went off and blew him to pieces.
Two days later, Umm Haritha tweeted about her husband’s death, calling on “Allah” to “destroy those who backstabbed the brothers and resurrect Abu Ibrahim with noor [light] from every piece of his body.”
It’s a bloody puzzle – literally:
The Sunday Times says not:
A 15-YEAR-OLD girl from Bristol who is feared to have travelled overseas to become a jihadist bride may have been recruited by a group of British women who act as religious police for Isis terrorists in Syria. Detectives are investigating postings on social media which suggest that Yusra Hussien was communicating with the women just weeks before she and a 17-year-old friend from London fled the UK.
One message stated: “I yearn to be the wife of a mujahid [holy warrior] and support him and khilafa [Islamic caliphate] all the way.”
Yusra is thought to be the youngest Briton to have joined Isis, also known as Islamic State. Friends have claimed she was radicalised online and recently managed to fly to Turkey, which borders Syria, while her Somalia-born parents thought she was at school.
As many as 70 women and girls are among the 500-plus British Muslims who have travelled to the Middle East for jihad. They include a group which has joined a feared all-female religious police force called the al-Khanssaa brigade in Raqqa, the de facto capital of the self-declared Isis caliphate.
Breitbart, however, is having none of it.
The most barbaric bunch of blood-thirsty misogynists this side of Genghis Khan are yearning for western “brides”—and the “brides,” who will be no more than sex and reproductive slaves, are coming, via an internet campaign, to service ISIS’s male Jihadis in the Caliphate in formation in Syria and Iraq. There is a “marriage bureau” in the northern Syrian town of Al Bab for Western women in a marrying state of mind.
She adds, rather oddly:
The would-be “brides” are given point-by-point guidance on what to expect.” What is coming their way is far darker than Fifty Shades of Grey.
Excited much? A little bit turned on?
Some Jihad Janes are mentally ill and, like Maryam Jameelah (aka Margaret Marcus of Larchmont), may find that becoming ardent spokeswomen for Maulana Abul Ala Mawdudi’s Islamist ideology helps them solve the profound limitations of mental illness.
Some Jihad Janes may have been sexually and physically traumatized by their Western families and seek to escape the country or the culture that allowed this to happen. They may not know that they are jumping from the proverbial fire pan into the fire itself.
The writer seems litle short on face and long on fantasy:
Young, impressionable, naïve, and dreamy girls and women may yearn for a Grand “Arabian Nights” kind of Adventure. I doubt they have ever read the Arabian Nights, which is filled with the most bestial acts imaginable, including that of be-heading virgin brides at dawn, after the marriage has been consummated.
Can you be a virgin after you’ve had sex?
Dr Phyllis Chesler goes on:
She may be expected to undergo female genital mutilation so that she will never be able to experience sexual pleasure; every sexual interaction will be agonizing as will each and every experience of giving birth (Or of urinating, etc.).
Yeah. Maybe. Or maybe not.
The notion of “jihadi brides” travelling to Syria to marry IS fighters has gained currency in recent reports in the western media.
Families in France whose daughters have gone to Syria have received phone calls from Syrian men asking for their daughters’ hands in marriage, and the online accounts of male fighters seem bombarded by requests from women wanting to be their wives.
Mia Bloom from the Center for Terrorism and Security Studies at the University of Massachusetts Lowell provocatively argued that women are seen as little more than “baby factories” in the desire to populate the new “purist” Islamic state.
However this does not mean the young women simply want to find a husband. The “jihadi bride” concept is only part of the story.
There is another side to their decision to travel. Women are joining IS because it provides a new utopian politics – participating in jihad and being part of the creation of a new Islamic state…
There are images of women carrying AK47’s, wearing a suicide belt and holding a severed head. But they are also cooking, making Nutella pancakes, doing housework, meeting each other for coffee, and being mothers and carers.
It is this combination of violence and domesticity that many find jarring. A female Malaysian medic, now known as Umm al-Baraa, tweeted in January: “Stethoscope around my neck and kalash on my shoulder. Martyrdom is my highest dream”.
This is a video of life in IS:
It might be that – and this is terrifying – many women are make a free and informed choice to live in IS.
BACK in 1976, BBC TV’s Top Of the Pops featured an all-female dance troupe.
THE Sun has an interesting story on witchcraft in the UK:
HUNDREDS of British tots are victims of ritual abuse by parents convinced their child is possessed, police said yesterday. The Sun told on Tuesday how people in South London performed a 4am exorcism on a toddler.
In another case outlined at the Met’s Witchcraft and Spirit Possession event, a youngster was starved, beaten and caged as the parents feared evil spirits would jump from the child. One victim told how her aunt force-fed her for being a witch.
And not at all far-fetched.
In 2010, Uganda’s Minister for Ethics and Integrity James Buturo appealed for help. The report:
He appealed to religious leaders regardless of the difference in faith to spearhead the campaigns to wipeout witchcraft and homosexuality in the country.