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WRITING in Canada’s National Post, Afsun Qureshi has a tip on how to survive the armed, gurning jihadi with the questions: you have to make an Islamic vow.
He recalls the 2013 al-Qaeda-linked attack at Kenya’s Westgate Mall:
To weed the Muslims out from the infidels, terrorists asked people to recite the shahadah to prove their faith. They asked other things too, like certain key passages of the Koran, the name of Mohammad’s mother, that sort of thing — it was al-Qaeda Question Hour. The wrong answer meant death.
After that, many, myself included, wondered: Should we — Muslim or not — learn the basics of Islam and have a read through the Koran? If one of us ever finds herself in a situation similar to that of Westgate Mall victims, could even a rudimentary knowledge of Islam save us?
ASHYA King: a look at reporting on the boy with cancer and his parents.
The Metro leads with news that Ashaya, aged 5, has been kept apart from his parents.
Ashya King’s brother Naveed King is defending his parents, Brett and Naghemeh King, who were arrested when the family was found in Malaga following an international search triggered by the British police.
Today they will appear at a Madrid court facing extradition to the UK. On Sunday, they were taken in handcuffs to a court house in the town of Velez-Malaga.
They broke no laws.
Ashya remains in hospital in Malaga.
LANGUAGE matters when reporting. At the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a dispute over land and borders.
Reuters has news from Israel and the West Bank. The headline tells us:
Israel claims West Bank land for possible settlement use, draws U.S. rebuke
HAVING made criminals of his mother and father and taken the boy on pain of law, the police says they did right Ashya King, the five-year-old with brain cancer.
Assistant Chief Constable Chris Shead is bullish:
“I make no apology for being as proactive as possible in trying to find him. I’d much rather be standing here facing criticism over being proactive than do nothing and explain why a child has lost his life.”
YOU’RE coming out as gay. So. You film yourself telling your Christian parents. Daniel Pierce is 19. He did just that.
His stepmother, father, and grandparents reacted in a way it’s not to think he foresaw.
THE police kidnapped five-year-old Ashya King, removing him from his parents, Brett and Naghemeh King. His parents are under arrest.
Ashya King has a brain tumour. Disappointed with the treamtent he was receiving on the NHS, Ashya’s parents removed him from Southampton General Hostpital and drove to Spain. British doctors did not support the move.
So. The family were hunted. And then caught.
Hampshire Assistant Chief Constable Chris Shead tells media:
“We don’t have many details on Ashya’s condition at this point in time, but what we do know is he was showing no visible signs of distress.”
AYSHA King: A look at the missing child in the news media:
The Daily Mail brings to mind a scene from Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid. The Bolivian Army are outside the door:
Spanish police have surrounded a flat in Marbella as part of the manhunt for the ‘desperate’ Jehovah’s Witness couple who smuggled their five-year-old son out of a hospital bed.
Hampshire Police have obtained a European arrest warrant for the parents, Brett and Naghmeh King, on the issue of ‘neglect’.
…brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer and five-year survival remains low at 18.8 per cent.
Assistant Chief Constable Chris Shead has medical news:
“Health experts tell us that with the proper medical care Ashya has a good chance of survival, but he must get that professional care.”
The Express is emotive:
Missing boy latest: Manhunt moves to Spain amid fears Ashya King has ‘hours to live’
THE Sun and other media have been tucking into the stgory of Ashya King, the desperately ill five-year-old taken from Southampton General Hosptial by his family and driven to France.
The Telegraph has taken sides:
A five-year-old boy with a brain tumour who was taken by his parents from hospital without the blessing of doctors is being fed by a battery-operated feeding tube which will run out in the next 12 hours.
The “blessing of doctors”? Are the men in white coats now religious figures?
What of the rights of Ashya King’s parents, Brett and Naghemeh King?
Where are they taking him? Disneyland for one last bit of family fun before goodbyes are said? We don’t know. But the Sun makes a link between the boy’s trip and the family’s religion.
Hampshire Police says Ashya King’s family have “strong links to the Marbella area”. Are they heading to the Costa Del Sol?
The Sun says the family are “on the run”.
They are not criminals. But the language is loaded.
Readers are orderd To “FIND ASHYA”. This is a story readers can play along with. It’s interactive. He’s not yet “Our Ashya”, but give it time and he will be.
A Disney Princesss is talking to the Mirror:
“I was hit on as Pocahontas more than Mulan or Silvermist, & it definitely has to do with the amount of clothing she’s wearing….there’s always the family that makes grandpa or the dad get a picture alone & they’d whisper how pretty I was or ask when I got off of work. I’d get slipped the occasional phone number on a napkin… Back when Toontown was still in the Magic Kingdom, there were three Princess rooms. One Cinderella, Aurora, & Belle in each one. If all three rooms were operating, that means when the girls went on break, other girls would replace them. So there were a total of six Cinderellas around the area at a time. None of the guests know this because there are attendants to take them into each room, one group at a time.
“It’s a very cool operation… Cinderella is in the Parade, doing breakfast, lunch, & dinner rotation at Cinderella’s castle, & she is in the princess room. At Epcot she is at the Norway breakfast. She’s also in the night time parade. She’s also in the main stage show at Magic Kingdom. That’s at least ten girls who are Cinderella in one day.
“It’s awesome to think about the fact that you never see two together.”
If you fancy Minnie Mouse, contact the security guard for directions to the cheese shoppe…
WHY is the police looking for five-year-old Ashya King? And why is the media leading with the hunt for him?
Ashya King has a brain tumour. He was taken from Southampton General Hospital, where he’d been undergoing treatment.
He was taken not by a paedo or stranger. Ashya King was removed from the hospital’s care by this legal guardians, his parents Brett King, 51, and his wife Naghemeh, 45. The family took a cross-Channel ferry from Portsmouth to Cherbourg at 4pm yesterday with Ashya and his six brothers and sisters.
Police, who have a debatebale record when it comes to looking after chidlren (see Rotherham, Rochdale and Blackpool), tell media:
“We are working with our counterparts in France to activate their emergency child rescue alert procedures to locate the family as soon as possible.”
ONE of the most enduring lessons I’ve ever learned in relation to problem-solving is that nine parts or more of the solution lie in defining accurately the nature of the problem, and the causes of it, writes Richard North. of the story that gangs of men of Parkistan heritage have been gang raping underage white girls. Read the rest of this entry »
…there is a strong constituency which would attribute this problem entirely to one thing – Islam. Nothing else is of any significance or relevance.
This even mars this otherwise valuable report which attributes the motivation almost entirely to “Islamic doctrine”, despite it also noting the “hugely disproportionate presence of ‘Asians’, particularly those from the Islamic state of Pakistan”.
The point, of course, is that there is more than one common factor here. There is Islam and there is Pakistan. And, hidden from sight in the Pakistani communities prone to this behaviour is tribalism. While Islam is a powerful motivator and behavioural modifier, no studies of these communities can be complete without taking into account tribal mores.
Yet, in the report to which I refer there are 416 references to Islam, but not a single mention of the tribe, or tribalism in any form.
A lot of these communities, in fact, are Kashmiri, and many are Pashtun in origin. Any number of scholars have expended huge effort on understanding the relative effects of Islam and the tribal code of Pashtunwali, and the considerable differences between them, and for contemporary workers to ignore possible effects is illogical.
Other tribal groupings have similar “honour codes” and these co-exist with Islam, the religion often forming an uneasy veneer layered over the original codes, which invariably take precedence over Islamic teachings.
Understanding this, understanding how tribal communities work, and how differences in different types of tribe also affect behavioural patterns, goes a long way to understanding how some immigrant communities work, and what might happen when social disciplines fail.
It was this that I sought to explore in my Brietbart piece, observing that the failure of our police and officials to understanding these dynamics have contributed to the lack of early and effective action. Putting it altogether, though, at the heart of these matters is a failure of law enforcement and, beyond that, sequential failures of complaint systems.
Of these men that have committed so many heinous, I take them to be a cultural offshoot, locked in primitive, obsolete tribalism, to which fundamentalist Islam is but an overlay, a veneer.
This is an offshoot that hates and fears its own women, and then gets its sexual gratification from abusing the women of other races. It is a sterile creed that is going nowhere. It can destroy, it can cause endless misery, but it cannot build or create. Hence, I say, fundamentalist Islam is the religion of losers.
Their religion is attractive to them because they were losers first, and can eke out justification for their actions in ancient scripts. It is not the cause of their inadequacies. It is a symptom of them.
But, I conclude, their criminality survives and prospers, not because of their inadequacies, but because of ours – reinforced by that profound ignorance which plagues our officials and administrators. If our officials had had a better understanding of what they were dealing with, and then enforced the law, much of which came to pass would never have happened.
In my view, therefore, putting it all down to “Islam” is simplistic to the point of being dangerously misleading. We need to do better.
Read the rest of this entry »
I LOVE newspapers. Working in a newsroom was, to me, the most exciting job I could imagine. And then it changed. I’ve been in many newsrooms and one thing holds true for all of them: they are so quiet. But the Times is trying to change all that.
To the surprise of Times journalists, a tall speaker on a stand has been erected in the newsroom to pump out typewriter sounds, to increase energy levels and help reporters to hit deadlines. The audio begins with the gentle patter of a single typewriter and slowly builds to a crescendo, with the keys of ranks of machines hammering down as the paper’s print edition is due to go to press.
The development, which was described as a “trial” today by publisher News UK, has caused some bemusement among journalists, one of whom tried unsuccessfully to turn the sound off. The idea is one of a series of experiments introduced as The Times and other News UK titles have departed Wapping for new offices in the Baby Shard, London Bridge, South London.
When A 15-Year-Old Gun Show Worker Handed 8-Year-Old Christopher Bizilj An Uzi Sub Machine Gun To Fire
NEWS of the nine-year-old who killed her Uzi instructor on a Las Vegas shooting range reminds us of this story from 2008:
The teenager who worked at a gun show where 8-year-old Christopher Bizilj accidentally killed himself while shooting an Uzi testified today he twice suggested the boy’s father pick a less powerful weapon for the boy to shoot.
But Christopher’s father, Dr. Charles Bizilj, insisted that his son be allowed to fire the automatic weapon, Michael Spano told the court. Spano was 15 at the time of the 2008 Massachusetts gun expo and was put in charge of allowing people to fire the 9 mm Micro Uzi, a submachine gun that fires 20 rounds a second.
Nine-Year-Old Shoots Uzi Instructor: NRA Just Tweets ’7 Ways Children Can Have Fun at the Shooting Range’
FOLLOWING the news that a nine-year-old girl accidentally shot dead her Uzi instructor in La Vegas, NRA Women tweeted out a few words to the wise:
Tips on keeping your minors focused on the targte are:
“[I]f children continually shoot the same bull’s-eye target, they can become tired, exhausted or bored. Sometimes they want, or rather need, to have fun at the range. That’s when it’s time to introduce other types of targets to change things up, so children have fun at the range.”
Animal shaped targets
These targets are fun to shoot while sighting in for hunting season. They also come in handy in showing new shooters where the kill-zone is on an animal. Targets with images of all sorts of species are offered byBirchwood Casey ($12.70). LG and friends shot paper rabbit, squirrel and deer targets at a recent competition.
SO. We’ve all seen those videos of tossers throwing iced water over themselves: everyone from terribly famous people like Giselle Bundchen and Bill Gates to random Belgians standing under firefighting planes. But little do people know that this is one of the great examples of “small world” theory. A specialist branch of mathematics which tries to explain how the world is put together, how society communicates. Other examples include the Kevin Bacon game and an oddity called an Erdos Number. These sorts of examples are used to explain how news travels over the internet, among other things.
This ALS Icebucket Challenge is another example of this same idea: that while there’s billions of us out here we’re really only a few connections away from everyone else. It’s usually possibly to connect between two people in four or five steps: and it’s a very rate person indeed that we can’t get to in seven or less (think lost amazon tribes to get to that distance away from any one other person):
The challenge started with Charles Kennedy, a golfer from Florida, who was responding to a friend who told him ‘pour ice over your head and I’ll donate to the charity of your choice’.
AND the most hated word in the English language is… “moist”.
University of Pennsylvania linguistics professor Mark Liberman explains the thinking:
“[W]ord aversion is different from word rage, which is ‘where people get angry at jargon or slang associated with a despised group, or upset because a word or phrase is felt to be incorrectly used, or annoyed at language that they perceive as redundant, or overly complicated, or pretentious, or a cliché, or trendy, or politically incorrect’. That kind of dislike is more common. Grudges against irregardless, synergy, like, don’t go there, or retard fit comfortably in the word rage department.
What’s your least favourite word?
MADELEINE McCann’s face peers out from the cover of today’s Daily Express. The news is, as ever, lacking in any fact other than one: she’s missing.
But the Express has news that “police want to quiz more suspects”.
SPOT the difference between the lungs of a smoker and those of a non-smoker. Both non-smoker and smoker remain unwell:
HENRY Smith, a software developer, was working on a game called “Global Thermonuclear War.” He drew a scence depicting a nuclear attack on Washington. As you can see from the above image, it was a drawing full of details. The bombs is launched from somewhere in Russia.
ISIS is a bellydancing school based in sunny Florida. It can expect lots of gurning, beared men to rock up soon asking to join.
This outfit might catch on:
LET’S spare a thoght for the nine-year-old girl who lost control of her Uzi submachine gun and killed gun tutor Charles Vacca at a shooting range just south of Las Vegas. With the gun on “full-auto”, the girl fired. The recoil sent the gun over her head, shooting Vacca.
The girl was with her parents at Bullets and Burgers shooting range on vacation from New Jersey.
All right, go ahead and give me one shot,” he tells the girl, whose back is to the camera during the entire 27-second video. He then cheers when she fires one round at the target.
“All right full auto,” Vacca says. The video, which does not show the actual incident, ends with a series of shots being heard.
SMOKING is supposed to be sublime. Smokers will tell you that it is. Of course it’s bad for you.
Smoking [cigarettes] reveals the essence of appropriation–displays, in its most abstract form, the motive behind all desire to possess something, to own at all…The cigarette…allows us, in a symbolic act, to take into ourselves the world around us, the whole landscape that smoking a cigarette accompanies.” -Richard Klein
Smoking tobacco is great. The bad news is that your hobby will kill you. Smoking marks you out as a social pariah, hated even more than the fat.
ZARA is selling a “striped ‘sheriff’ T-shirt” for junior police.
ALL papers lead with news that 1,400 girls were sexually abused in Rotherham, Yorkshire. The news is full of chilling testimonies delivered by grown women. They talk of being gang raped when below the age of consent (some as youing as 11), kept compliant by drugs, gifts, drink and threats of murder against them and their families and being ferried about the country to sex parties. Some children picked up from schools.
The rapists were mostly gangs of Asian men. The victims were mostly white girls.
The police treated the victims with contempt. The council ignored the allegations.
Yesterday the leader of the council, Roger Stone, resigned his post because of what he called “historic failings”.
HOW football journalism worsk with the Daily Mirror’s Ben Burrows. He’s looking at Arsenal. The headline begins with a quesion:
Arsenal transfer news and rumours: Nikola Zigic eyed as shock Olivier Giroud replacement?
Anorak holds the the theory that the answer to any headline questison is “No”. But Burrows has copy to file. And Arsenal are big news. He ploughs on:
Arsene Wenger has splashed more cash than normal this summer but with injuries mounting could well dip his toes in again before the deadline