I’m in ur airport, burning mah Jeep

The reaction to the bungled attack on Glasgow Airport has been interesting, and by “interesting” I mean “depressing”. Online the hardcore nationalists are blaming the English, others are blaming Asians (all of them, from what I can see) and a few others are suggesting it’s a false flag operation by the government to keep the population docile – although to be fair, the attacks so far have demonstrated a truly amazing level of incompetence, so maybe there’s some truth in that after all.

It’s not all doom and gloom, though. On MetaFilter it’s been pointed out that if any terrorists want to get stacks of publicity and lots of new recruits to their cause, they should forget about Glasgow Airport and drive a burning jeep into Paris Hilton.

In among the casual racism – overheard: “Airport… Asians… Enoch Powell…” – people are already demanding a crackdown on this sort of thing. But a crackdown on what? Leaving aside the fact that the car bombs didn’t go off because the terrorists apparently got all their bomb-making knowledge from bad Hollywood movies, most of the ingredients in their bombs were everyday things: petrol, patio gas cylinders, nails. It’s very depressing to think that any Asian family popping to Homebase to get a gas refill for the barbecue in the next few weeks is going to find the DIY shopping experience even less pleasant than it usually is.

I agree with the various bloggers, such as Devil’s Kitchen, who point out that while it’s easy – and important – to mock the failed bombers (why couldn’t the papers have run a pic of the bombers with the screaming headline, “TWATS”?), there’s no reason to assume that any future attacks will be entrusted to the paramilitary wing of the special school. And that’s scary.

It’s scary for two reasons. The first is that it’s perfectly possible to make incendiary or explosive devices with everyday objects – with a bit of lateral thinking, I could turn the contents of my shed into an arsenal – and there’s bugger-all you can do about it (although I’m sure that won’t stop someone from writing to the Guardian suggesting that patio gas should be banned for anti-terrorism and pro-environment reasons). And the second reason is that no matter what you do, there’s always a way for a determined terrorist to cause carnage. Sure, Glasgow Airport will probably put some of those anti-truck concrete barriers in front of the terminal, but how do you stop someone walking in with a bomb belt or an explosive in their rucksack? And of course, airports are pretty tough targets compared to shopping centres, to city streets, to buses…

What we need here is intelligence, in the security services sense. Better intelligence won’t stop all atrocities from happening – not when Brits are making bombs from old barbecues – but it can help prevent some of them, and if attacks do happen it can follow the terrorists’ tracks to find accomplices, chains of command (if such things even exist) and so on – so if terrorists are part of a network, that network can be found and smashed before it attacks again.

Of course, that would cost money. A lot of money. The sort of money you’d spend on an ill-conceived, multi-billion pound ID card programme or something.

Hang on…

43 thoughts on “I’m in ur airport, burning mah Jeep

  1. Gary says:

    It’s okay everyone. The internet has solved it!

    This is real, one of many tinfoil comments on Digg (and elsewhere):

    I suspect MI5 are doing these attacks, to get Brown to look tough and get him settled in straight away and to get better support for terror laws by MPs who previously rejected the laws when Blair was in power.

    Its got all the hallmarks of MI5, because all the three incidents so far nobody was killed but looks incredibly media friendly, just enough publicity to get the media to talk about terrorism in the UK around the clock on 24 hour news channels and to generate debate amoung MPs and national phone-in radio stations.

    I believe the two cars in London were planted there by MI5 but I think perhaps the Glasgow airport bombing was real but MI5 allowed it to happen.

    1) Two cars in London planted there by MI5 directly

    2) A glasgow bombing allowed to take place by MI5 but there people weren’t directly involved with the carrying out of the actual incident

    Its sad that elements of our secret services are allowed to carry out these illegal activities in order to get better anti-terror laws in for when the REAL Bin Laden’s decide to strike.

    I would go as far to say MI5 probably also made sure this story got submitted to Digg and that it got onto the frontpage.

    The more publicity MI5 can get about terrorism the better for the governments anti-terror law agenda and more likely MPs and the public will support things like national ID cards.

    Like before 9/11 there was no big reason to enter Iraq and I was suspect something big was going to be carried out by the secret service or indirectly an attack allowed to happen, and then all of a sudden this great excuse to invade countries America hasn’t liked for years happened, aka the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

    I think these recent attacks are small fry and the secret services might be looking at doing a “spectacular” or indrectly allowing one to take place, that is why i worry.

    Also, I think the national “threat level” was setup by a few guilty folks at MI5 who want to make sure they at least warn the public about MI5 led terrorism scare mongering events before they happen, so that the high ups at MI5 feel slightly better about themselves that the public were aware there was MI5 planned operations aka planting bombs in cars in an obvious location that would be seen by everyone and the police.

    Thank you MI5 for this carnage, you can stop now!!! And no, we still aren’t saying YES to national ID cards and other way off the civil liberties track, but I guess you might get the laws you want passed, but only because the MPs at westminster are upper class snobs who haven’t lived in real UK society all there lives and are gullible and easily taken in by MI5 secret operations that are being made to look like legitimate terrorism activity in the United Kingdom.

    Ok, all of the above cannot be proved outright such is the nature of the secret services and the way they operate in order to look convincing but keep this angle in mind people, not everything is as it seems in todays world.

    Don’t believe the truth.

  2. Prophet of Doom says:

    Thus far, what I haven’t seen anywhere here or on CNN for that matter, is the word “muslims”. Is “muslims” a forbidden word now? Why can’t such a large majority of westerners overcome their political-correctness-induced mental disability and see (and say or write) things the way they are?

    It’s the muslims, stupid!

  3. mupwangle says:

    >>Why can’t such a large majority of westerners overcome their political-correctness-induced mental disability and see (and say or write) things the way they are?

    Because there are billions of muslims and almost every single one of them isn´t a terrorist. Same way when the IRA were on the go it wasn´t very nice to claim that the Irish were responsible, since most of them weren´t.

    I´m quite glad that I´m flying next week and not this one.

  4. Paul says:

    “I would go as far to say MI5 probably also made sure this story got submitted to Digg and that it got onto the frontpage.”

    That’s brilliant :D

  5. Gary says:

    Thus far, what I haven’t seen anywhere here or on CNN for that matter, is the word “muslims”.

    Because race isn’t the same as religion, and so far all we have is guesses about the former. I’m sure they’ll turn out to be militant islamists, but until the news outlets know, they shouldn’t guess.

    That’s brilliant

    Yeah, that cracked me up too.

  6. Squander Two says:

    I’ve not been following the news much this weekend, but the only reports I have seen have mentioned Al Qaeda. I think most people are aware of which religion members of Al Qaeda tend to prefer.

    > What we need here is intelligence, in the security services sense. … Of course, that would cost money. A lot of money.

    Hmm. I suspect, over the years, that quite a bit more money has been spent on hobbling the British intelligence services than on improving them. A lot of the guys with the old-fashioned expertise are still around, and would I’m sure be glad to train the next generation, if only half of what they know how to do were still allowed.

  7. Gary says:

    I think most people are aware of which religion members of Al Qaeda tend to prefer.

    Yeah, but as we all know there’s a big difference between what the 24-hour news channels report and what’s actually true. For all we know right now this could be a protest against Tesco’s proposed takeover of the Dobbies gardening chain.

    I know I’m probably being overly pedantic here but the way in which this is sparking severe anti-asian feeling already is deeply worrying.

  8. Squander Two says:

    > there’s a big difference between what the 24-hour news channels report and what’s actually true.

    What I was responding to was the bizarre claim made by “Prophet of Doom” that the media aren’t daring to mention that this could have been Muslims. They’ve mentioned it plenty, so clearly do dare.

    > the way in which this is sparking severe anti-asian feeling already is deeply worrying.

    And this severe anti-Asian feeling has thus far led to how many beheadings, how many car-bombs, and how many plane hijackings? There clearly is a real threat, so why waste time worrying about a made-up hypothetical one?

  9. Gary says:

    Heh, that’s superb.

    Someone on popbitch has posted the names of the two glasgow bombers: Sinjeed Majeep and Maheed Sroastin…

  10. Gary says:

    There clearly is a real threat, so why waste time worrying about a made-up hypothetical one?

    I don’t see anti-asian feeling as a threat to me, but that’s not what I meant. I mean that despite what Alex Salmond has said about terrorism being something carried out by individuals rather than communities and Scotland being above petty racism, I’ve already read and heard (personally, from overheard conversations to arguments I’ve lost the rag in) some really awful racist shit over this. Not anti-islamist stuff; anti-everybody whose origins are west of Edinburgh.

    It’s just so bloody depressing.

  11. McGazz says:

    “And this severe anti-Asian feeling has thus far led to how many beheadings, how many car-bombs, and how many plane hijackings?”

    Strawman argument. I’m married to an Irish person who used to live in Brighton. Just because no one planted a bomb in her bedroom doesn’t mean she wasn’t discriminated against for something some other Irish people did a decade previously.

    Two minutes on the web and I can find these:
    http://www.irr.org.uk/2005/august/ha000021.html
    http://www.themuslimweekly.com/fullstoryview.aspx?NewsID=ADD53DE67FE5DCB60ED48165&MENUID=HOMENEWS&DESCRIPTION=UK%20News
    http://news.scotsman.com/latest.cfm?id=3852166

    The mass media fanning the flames of race hatred daily is arguably a more serious problem than a couple of Keystone Cop jihadis. Even if we’re just talking terrorism, I’m far more concerned about animal rights nutters than a few clueless dolts who don’t understand how bombs work.

  12. Gary says:

    McGazz, this didn’t appear till this morning because WordPress quarantines anything with 2 or more links as an anti-spam measure pending approval/deletion. Annoying but necessary, I’m afraid.

  13. Squander Two says:

    No, it’s not a strawman argument. That would involve claiming that Gary had said something untrue that he had not said in order to “disprove” something true that he had said.

    What I’m saying is that we’ve got two lots of hatred here: a proactive religious hatred that causes mass murder, flying planes into buildings, beheading innocent people on video, blowing up trains full of commuters, putting nail-bombs in holiday resorts, and driving car-bombs into airports; and a reactive race hatred that causes some really rude words, nasty blog posts, and quite insulting graffitti. That’s not to say that the latter doesn’t exist, but I am regularly surprised by how many people seem to see it as a bigger threat than the former. Really, in the great scheme of things, is it that worrying?

    Similarly, not that I don’t sympathise with your wife or with anyone else who has to put up with stupid race-based grudge-bearing — Lord knows I had to put up with some stupid shit myself, being English in Scotland — but, on balance, I sympathise with Norman Tebbit’s wife more. It’s a simple matter of recognising who the victim is.

    Laban Tall:

    I feel we (and the BBC) need to keep a sense of proportion here. When Islamic terrorists killed 52 people on London trains and buses, what was the backlash ?

    Someone said something nasty on a bus to a mate of Yasmin Alibhai Brownes, or was that after 9/11 ? A school dinner lady made an inappropriate remark to a Muslim child. An Afghan taxi-driver was badly beaten up in Kingston on Thames (I don’t know if its ever been established if 7/7 was the motive). And an idiot in Edinburgh tried and failed to set alight to a mosque.

    Perhaps before we beat ourselves up we should consider the deaths of 50-odd people killed by Islamic ‘militants’ on a train at Godhra, India in 2002, and the “backlash” of the non-Muslim population of Gujarat to that atrocity.

    Kinda puts graffiti, even unpleaasant graffiti, into perspective.

  14. Gary says:

    I am regularly surprised by how many people seem to see it as a bigger threat than the former. Really, in the great scheme of things, is it that worrying?

    I don’t think it’s a greater threat than terrorism, but I do think it’s worrying nevertheless. I think there are two distinct strands here. The first is the motivation of the terrorists themselves, and of course there’s much more to it than iraq/israel/crazy murdering bastards/whatever. But the second strand is the attitude of the people who may *know* the terrorists – I’d be amazed if these plots don’t have a UK connection, irrespective of the bombers’ nationalities. If we allow a them and us attitude to develop where the “them” isn’t just crazy murdering bastards but everybody who shares their race or religion, I think there’s a real danger that people who might otherwise say “hang on, these guys might be crazy murdering bastards, let’s report ’em” will keep schtum.

    It’s like the IRA/UVF thing in some Irish communities, where the paramilitaries essentially became the cops in some areas. If terrorists can get their hooks into communities (whether that’s with fear and intimidation, radicalisation of angry young men or people turning a blind eye) it becomes so much harder to fight. Do you know what I mean?

  15. Squander Two says:

    Sure, I know what you mean, but…

    > people who might otherwise say “hang on, these guys might be crazy murdering bastards, let’s report ‘em”

    These people appear not to exist. I therefore see little danger of changing their minds.

  16. Tony Kiernan says:

    >>These people appear not to exist. I therefore see little danger of changing their minds.

    Are you suggesting a community wide conspiracy of silence about the recent events? Or, are you saying that these platters are obviously hiding themselves and their intent so well that no-one could come forward to grass them up. Therefore, we won’t be stopping them from doing so, and sod the lot that know nothing.

  17. Squander Two says:

    > Are you suggesting a community wide conspiracy of silence about the recent events?

    No. I’m suggesting exactly what I said: there do not appear to be any — or, to be fair, more than one or two — people of immigrant background who know about Islamist terrorists and are shopping them to MI5.

    However, since you bring it up, according to Channel 4’s poll, a quarter of British Muslims believe that the 7th of July attacks were staged by the British Government. That is, at least, a community-wide conspiracy of deluded idiocy.

    > sod the lot that know nothing.

    There is a big difference, I think, between saying that someone has no knowledge of use to the security services and saying sod them. Are you seriously suggesting that we should be really worried that people who know nothing might not come forward and tell us it? I don’t get it.

  18. McGazz says:

    “McGazz, this didn’t appear till this morning because WordPress quarantines anything with 2 or more links as an anti-spam measure pending approval/deletion.”

    Damn, there goes my plan to sell you cheap m3ds and gener1c \/.14gr-4

    “No, it’s not a strawman argument. That would involve claiming that Gary had said something untrue that he had not said in order to “disprove” something true that he had said.”

    Gary warned of the dangers of anti-Asian feeling in the UK. You suggested that Gary’s claims were unfounded, as no white people had attempted to behead Asians or fly planes into mosques or suchlike. Gary wasn’t suggesting anti-Asian feeling would lead to any of those events.

    “proactive religious hatred…and a reactive race hatred”

    The religious hatred is not entirely proactive (seemingly everyone ecept Blair has admitted that British policy in the Middle East has made us more of a target), and race hatred is not entirely reactive (the tabloids are pretty good at the whole “two minutes’ hate” thing).

    “on balance, I sympathise with Norman Tebbit’s wife more”

    But there is no Norman Tebbit’s wife here – no one was injured on Saturday, apart from the bombers themselves. Are you saying that, because there are no victims to sympathise with in this case, you refuse to sympathise on principle with people who will suffer a backlash?

    “a quarter of British Muslims believe that the 7th of July attacks were staged by the British Government.”

    People believe weird things, I’ll admit. A quarter of Americans think Saddam was behind 9/11. A quarter of people probably think Elvis is alive. If a quarter of British Muslims had said “the 7th of July attacks were staged by the British Government, and I reckon I’m going to have a go at that old bomb lark myself”, I’d be worried.

    Would you report suspicions about your family or close friends to institutionally racist Police in a state where the mass media was always banging on about what a nasty and dubious ethno-religious minority you were in? Scapegoating a section of society, or tacitly condoning the scapegoating of a section of society because they’re not fessing up to Big Brother isn’t going to get us anywhere.

  19. Tony Kiernan says:

    >>a quarter of British Muslims believe that the 7th of July attacks were staged by the British Government.
    Which, of course, means that three quarters don’t. If only we could get that level of sense when it comes to sky-gods…

  20. Squander Two says:

    Oh! I replied, but it hath vanished. Bum. I’ll try and remember it all.

    > Gary warned of the dangers of anti-Asian feeling in the UK. You suggested that Gary’s claims were unfounded

    No, Gary said he was worried about anti-Asian feeling in the UK, and I said that it wasn’t worth worrying about, in the great scheme of things.

    > Are you saying that, because there are no victims to sympathise with in this case, you refuse to sympathise on principle with people who will suffer a backlash?

    No, I explicitly said that I do symapthise. What I said was that this “backlash” isn’t much of one.

    > A quarter of Americans think Saddam was behind 9/11.

    No, a quarter of Americans believed (before the war — their and everyone else’s knowledge of Iraq has changed significantly since) that Saddam was involved in 9/11. “Behind” rather implies that he was the mastermind in charge. Saddam did give lots of money to any terrorist organisations who were attacking Jews or Westerners, and he is known to have given Al Qaeda operatives safe haven in Iraq, so, even if that quarter of Americans were wrong, they didn’t believe something irrational or unlikely.

    > everyone ecept Blair has admitted that British policy in the Middle East has made us more of a target

    Blair and, apparently, members of Al Qaeda:

    hen I was still a member of what is probably best termed the British Jihadi Network, a series of semi-autonomous British Muslim terrorist groups linked by a single ideology, I remember how we used to laugh in celebration whenever people on TV proclaimed that the sole cause for Islamic acts of terror like 9/11, the Madrid bombings and 7/7 was Western foreign policy.

    By blaming the government for our actions, those who pushed the ‘Blair’s bombs’ line did our propaganda work for us. More important, they also helped to draw away any critical examination from the real engine of our violence: Islamic theology.

    > Would you report suspicions about your family or close friends to institutionally racist Police in a state where the mass media was always banging on about what a nasty and dubious ethno-religious minority you were in?

    Firstly, if any members of my family were planning terrorist acts, I’d disown them; if any of my friends were planning terrorist acts, they would cease to be my friends. I don’t believe that the police are institutionally racist, but let’s accept that, for the sake of argument. OK, so in what way are they racist? Do they lynch black kids? No: they say inappropriate things, sometimes concentrate on the wrong suspects because of their skin colour, maybe don’t try as hard as they should to solve the murders of non-white victims. None of that is good, but I’d ask myself: is it a greater or lesser evil than trying to blow up an airport in order to kill innocent passers-by? Similarly with the media: if it is true that they report in such a way as to whip up hysteria that leads to some people getting unjustly insulted by strangers, is that a greater or lesser evil than trying to blow up an airport in order to kill innocent passers-by? Having answered those two questions, yeah, damn right I’d shop the bastards to MI5, and may they rot in Hell.

  21. mupwangle says:

    >>Really, in the great scheme of things, is it that worrying?

    Living in Yorkshire, which has the highest concentration of muslim communities and BNP supporters alike and has had extremely violent white/asian riots in very recent memory – frankly, yes it is extremely worrying.

    There is a an increasing number of incidents locally involving white gangs beating up asians and vice versa. A small number of killings. We´ve got white BNP councillors going into heavily asian areas and singing songs (literally in the street) claiming that all asians in that area are selling drugs and running child prostitution rings, yet the BNP are getting a higher proportion of the vote than ever. Then it seems that in the media it is perfectly acceptable for the term muslim and terrorist to be interchangeable. I have to admit I agree with the latest thing from Brown to say that the term muslim shouldn´t be used whenever talking about terrorism. You quote statistics about the number of British muslims who support the 9-11 attacks but have there been any statistics compiled that show the general feeling (in Yorkshire at least) that associates all muslims with terrorism? Remember the documentary the BBC did on the BNP when they showed speeches made by the BNP claiming that muslims were systematically raping young girls to spread the religion, and so on? I heard several people discussing how it was such a shame that Nick Griffin was being given a hard time as he was only saying what everyone already knew.

    Why is it acceptable to associate all muslims with terrorism? Why not associate nationalism with terrorism? It is just as logical. The IRA are nationalists. ETA are nationalists. The current insugency in Iraq is being done by nationalists. Hamas are nationalists. All of these are all terrorists and have bombed lots of people. Therefore all SNP voters are terrorists.

    This whole thing really makes me sad. The logical leap that the media and a scary number of people have made is depressing. Al-queda are terrorists. Al-queda are muslims and claim Islam to be their motivation. Therefore all muslims are terrorists. Nobody seems to have a problem with this. All christians don´t bomb abortion clinics. All buddhists don´t interfere with rodents. (gere)

    Unfortunately I think we are going to have a repeat of the rioting that we had less than a decade ago, but this time it might spread beyond West Yorkshire and Lancashire.

  22. Gary says:

    What I said was that this “backlash” isn’t much of one.

    And I genuinely hope it stays that way. So far the backlash has been verbal, although we’ve already had a burning car rammed into an Asian newsagent in Riddrie, which the cops say probably isn’t racially motivated. Everyone in Riddrie disagrees. It happened at 2am or thereabouts so nobody was hurt, but had it been a successful attack on a shop whose owners lived above it, that single bit of backlash would have caused a greater death toll than all three car bombs so far.

    Similarly with the media: if it is true that they report in such a way as to whip up hysteria that leads to some people getting unjustly insulted by strangers, is that a greater or lesser evil than trying to blow up an airport in order to kill innocent passers-by?

    I think that’s a bad comparison, because increased racial tension doesn’t just fuel epithets – especially in an environment where you have organisations such as the BNP or radical muslim groups trying to recruit. If media reporting contributes to a climate of high racial tensions that leads to a shopkeeper getting bombed, a kid getting stabbed or a bunch of racist/fundamentalist fucks getting a bunch of new recruits, then that reporting is part of the problem.

    I fully agree that glib “it’s all about iraq” stuff plays into the hands of the terrorists, because their aims go much further than anything to do with the war – although I’d counter your jihadist’s quote with MI5’s own assessment, which says that iraq has been an effective recruiting tool – but I think that stirring the racial pot is playing into the terrorists’ hands too. A climate where muslims and non-muslims hate and fear each other is one of their objectives, so if a backlash does happen it means the attacks have been successful.

    Incidentally I don’t think Scotland is some sort of paradise where racism doesn’t exist – I vividly recall your angry rants about some of the racist (anti-asian in particular) crap you encountered in the south side. But compared to David’s neck of the woods, we’ve got it good. So far.

  23. Squander Two says:

    > compared to David’s neck of the woods, we’ve got it good.

    Oh, God, yeah. In Glasgow, the racism tends to be more verbal. Which is odd, come to think of it, because Glaswegians are violent about everything else.

    > Then it seems that in the media it is perfectly acceptable for the term muslim and terrorist to be interchangeable.

    I don’t think so. I think it’s perfectly acceptable to mention that terrorists are Muslims, but I’ve never noticed the terms being used synonymously. In fact, if they were, we wouldn’t be using the term “Islamist”, which does not mean “Muslim”.

    > Why not associate nationalism with terrorism? It is just as logical. The IRA are nationalists.

    Well, there’s an instructive comparison. There are a lot of anti-IRA Irish Nationalists, and, generally, their attitude during the Troubles was that the IRA had to be defeated because the cause of Irish Nationalism would be impossible to achieve as long as the IRA were giving it such a bad name — furthermore, that the cause of Irish Nationalism should be defeated as long as it was represented by the likes of the IRA. They didn’t blame the Government for taking measures against Irish Nationalist terrorists and they didn’t blame the media for reporting that the IRA were Irish Nationalists.

    Besides, there is a major difference between Islamist terrorism and the likes of the IRA, ETA, the SNP — in fact, your mentioning the SNP rather illustrates the point. If you want Northern Ireland to be part of the Republic or you want independence for Scotland or for the Basque Country, you can try to use terrorism to get what you want, or you can try non-violent means. We may have once refused on principle to negotiate with the IRA, but that was because of their methods, not their aim. There is nothing inherently unnegotiable about Irish Unification. But, with the Islamists, the methods are the aim: all their pronouncements say so. The point of Al Qaeda, Hamas, Hizb Allah, etc, is that they believe that their religion tells them that non-Muslims should convert or die. That is a huge and important difference between the relationships between the IRA and Catholicism and between Al Qaeda and Islam. It isn’t necessary to fight any Catholic ideology to defeat the IRA; it is necessary to fight a Muslim ideology to defeat Al Qaeda.

    > The current insugency in Iraq is being done by nationalists.

    Largely Iranians and Syrians, actually — i.e., invaders.

    > the BNP claiming that muslims were systematically raping young girls

    I have no idea whether that’s happening in Yorkshire, but Muslim rape gangs have been a real problem in both Paris and Sydney. And that’s not “real problem” as in “every community contains gangs of rapists but the media only report it when it’s Muslims” but as in “Muslim areas of the cities becoming no-go areas for single women.”

  24. Tony Kiernan says:

    >>I agree with the latest thing from Brown to say that the term muslim shouldn´t be used whenever talking about terrorism.

    According to PM they’re not using the term ‘terrorist’ any more either. ‘Criminal’ is where it’s at now.

  25. Gary says:

    And that’s not “real problem” as in “every community contains gangs of rapists but the media only report it when it’s Muslims” but as in “Muslim areas of the cities becoming no-go areas for single women.”

    Wasn’t the problem in Sydney a gang, singular, in 2000? There certainly was a spate of gang rapes in sydney perpetrated by Lebanese men, but that’s hardly an epidemic.

    “Muslim areas of the cities becoming no-go areas for single women.”

    Shurely “poor areas”?

  26. McGazz says:

    “Largely Iranians and Syrians, actually”

    This is news to me. I know the Pentagon have claimed that people from Iran and Syria (the two countries the US wants to manufacture consent for war with) are *aiding* insurgents (they don’t supply any proof), but I’ve never heard *anyone* claim the bulk of the insurgency was the work of foreigners (except possibly Britain’s bezzie mate Saudi Arabia). Would Syria’s Shi’ite-run secular military dictatorship want a Sunni fundamentalist state on its border?

    “In France, it’s Muslim areas”

    ie poor areas.

  27. McGazz says:

    Sorry, “except possibly Britain’s bezzie mate Saudi Arabia” should read “it’s been claimed some insurgents are from Britain’s bezzie mate Saudi Arabia”

  28. McGazz says:

    “every community contains gangs of rapists but the media only report it when it’s Muslims”

    The media failed to report the arrest of two BNP members who were found with a massive cache of explosives last year. There was a similar incident in the US more recently.

  29. Gary says:

    I know the Pentagon have claimed that people from Iran and Syria (the two countries the US wants to manufacture consent for war with)

    Something of a tangent I know, but topical at least – Private Eye’s Paul Foot did a very detailed investigation into Lockerbie and presented an extremely compelling case arguing that the conviction – the one that’s currently unravelling up here – was a stitch-up. The bombers, he argued, were a Syrian-based terrorist group funded by Iran; Iran’s involvement was a desire for plausibly deniable revenge after one of their airliners had been shot down by the US. The investigation was heading in that direction and building a strong case, but political pressure was applied big-style. We were gearing up for the first Gulf War and keeping Syria on-side for that was more important than bringing a bomber to justice.

    No idea if it’s true or not, but the argument (PE did an entire special issue on it a few years back) was extremely convincing.

  30. Gary says:

    In the UK, it’d be poor areas: our ghettoes are finance- and class-based. In France, it’s Muslim areas.

    Whatever the reason for the ghetto, though, surely the end result is the same: areas with a high concentration of very poor, uneducated, violent young men completely alienated from mainstream society? In paris it’s the muslim ghettoes, in the UK it’s the sink estates, in the US it’s the projects, etc etc etc. There’s a common denominator to all of that, and it isn’t race.

    That doesn’t mean race isn’t a factor or won’t be a factor – what I mean is that it’s the ghettoisation of angry young men that fuels this. and of course angry young men are violent, commit crimes etc – even in nice wee places you’ll have town A fighting town B, or in bigger towns estate A fighting estate B. Just the other week there were pitched battles on Queen Margaret Drive between rival gangs of neds. But once the race element comes in there too it becomes bigger and scarier, because while rival gangs of neds smacking one another doesn’t affect anybody other than the neds themselves, racial stuff tends to grow much bigger. And given that countries’ racial mixes are changing, it’s something we need to worry about and try to prevent – and you can’t be sensible about this stuff in an atmosphere of spittle-flecked fury.

    And of course angry, alienated, poorly educated young men are easy meat for the people recruiting white supremacists and mad bombers.

    It does seem to me that even before the terrorism thing kicked off, any attempt at serious debate on immigration, integration, ghettoisation etc was immediately derailed by idiots on both sides. Mad bombers aren’t exactly making that debate easier.

  31. Squander Two says:

    > angry, alienated, poorly educated young men are easy meat for the people recruiting white supremacists and mad bombers.

    The mad bombers, however, appear to be largely made up of well educated, middle-class, wealthy young men — and a lot of them come from the Middle East, too, so probably aren’t alienated: a Wahhabi Saudi living in Wahhabi-controlled Saudi Arabia doesn’t become a terrorist because he’s surrounded by people completely unlike himself. The whole “poverty breeds desperation” thing may be true in some cases, but it simply doesn’t match up with reality when it comes to analysing Islamist terrorism.

  32. Gary says:

    Oh, I agree, hadn’t thought that one through. I think it’s because we’re talking about a bunch of different things in this thread – terrorism, no-go areas, riots etc – and I’m getting mixed up.

  33. Gary says:

    Yeah, I really don’t understand why that case didn’t get much publicity, beyond the obvious – foiled plots being less newsworthy than fumbled but photogenic ones.

  34. rai says:

    I’m a bit late to comment on this but since I live in Glasgow and am asian (not Muslim – Sikh).

    I can see the problems of terrorism/race relations from both sides. On the day prior to the attack I had picked up my cousins at the airport who were visiting from India. My family and I were shocked at the attack and being Sikhs if you know anything about our history we don’t get on well with Muslims many of my relatives made anti-Muslim comments.

    However in the weeks that followed I received verbal abuse and a couple of times had bottles thrown at me. Even people who I knew at the supermarket who I would have a friendly chat with became cold and distrusting as if I were personally responsible for the attack.

    As a non-Muslim I can understand how the majority white community feel as they don’t know how widespread extremism is amongst the Muslim community and how it should be tackled.

    Also as someone who is often mistaken for a Muslim it has made me appreciate how individual Muslims may feel under seige and persecuted for acts they had nothing to do with.

    I was born and brought up in Glasgow. Some posters have commented that racism in Glasgow is of the verbal kind but a lot of the reason for this is that asians who know the city know where to go and are careful and about their movements. I know I certainly am and this reduces the chances of being attacked.

    Recently the BNP have made electoral strides in Possilpark because of a few hundred asylum seekers who live there. There have been attacks on Indian students in the city. (One of my cousins from India is studying at Glasgow Nautical College).

    The ethnic minority population of Glasgow is only 1.1% and thats all minorities Pakistani’s, Indians, Chinese, Afro -Carribeans etc. That’s practically nothing. I wonder what race relations would be like if it was 5% or more? In Canada they have accepted far more immigrants than the UK and there is nothing like the BNP there. They have also managed to integrate immigrants much better.

    The UK is one of the most tolerant countries in the world. The probelem with this is that tolerance means putting up with. Immigrants need to accept the British way of life but they need to be accepted in turn. I am not religous, go to the pub, watch football etc etc but face barriers in my day to day life just because of the colour of my skin and my name.

    Despite that the situation is much improved than when I was growing up and hopefully will continue to get better.

  35. Gary says:

    Hi Rai – not ignoring you here, just buried under a work mountain just now. Will reply as soon as I escape :)

  36. Gary says:

    > Some posters have commented that racism in Glasgow is of the verbal kind but a lot of the reason for this is that asians who know the city know where to go and are careful and about their movements. I know I certainly am and this reduces the chances of being attacked.

    That’s a really good point, I hadn’t thought of that.

    > I wonder what race relations would be like if it was 5% or more? In Canada they have accepted far more immigrants than the UK and there is nothing like the BNP there. They have also managed to integrate immigrants much better.

    This is way beyond my level of knowledge but it does appear that – in the UK at least – bigotry has a lot to do with numbers (and maybe segregation too). I wonder if the way in which cities end up ghettoised plays a part too: in Scotland and Ireland you have/had protestant areas and catholic areas, certainly from what I’ve seen of places like Leeds/Bradford parts of England have areas where particular races tend to cluster.

    So I guess the answer to your 5% question is – depends where that 5% lives. If they’re spread around the city, perhaps race relations would be better than if they’re all in a single area. I don’t know anything about Canada, so I don’t know what the integration you mention is like…

    I need to stress here that I may well be talking out of my arse :)

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