An email on counter-terrorism measures from a Liberal Democrat should not make me despair…

Nick Clegg has sent the following email to party members this evening about the new counter terrorism measures taken by the Government. There is no doubt that had he not been constrained by Liberal Democrats, David Cameron would have gone much, much further and what has emerged is as liberal as it is likely to get. But I don’t have to like it. Here is what Nick said:

It is hard to avoid the news of the violence and humanitarian suffering coming from Iraq and Syria. I am appalled by the idea of British people travelling abroad to fight in the name of a murderous and extremist ideology. The murder of the journalist James Foley is truly shocking, and we know that around 500 British citizens have travelled to fight in the region. Whilst not all of those who have travelled abroad will be a threat to the UK, we need to react and ensure that those who attempt to return to the UK do not present a threat to the British public.

However, I want to be clear that I will not allow a knee-jerk reaction, nor will Liberal Democrats agree to sweeping new powers that remove our hard-won civil liberties. How we respond to this new threat should be targeted, proportionate and protect our commitment to international law and human rights.

That is why we have looked closely at our existing powers and proposed a number of changes to ensure that we have taken the right steps to protect the British public. Today, we announced a number of proposals. We are making it a statutory requirement for airlines flying to the UK to provide advance passenger information and to carry out screening where we believe it is necessary. We also, in a similar way to our existing powers for football hooliganism, have proposed a new power to allow the police to temporarily seize a passport at a port or airport and retain it for up to 30 days pending investigations into the person intending to travel. This decision would always be subject to scrutiny by a court, and would enable us to stop people travelling abroad to fight for an extremist group. We will also make the government’s de-radicalisation programme a statutory requirement, ensuring that every organisation has a duty to challenge violent extremist views.

There are further powers to consider, but we must do this very carefully. First, we want to look at how we deal with those who are returning to the UK from the region. We need to protect the public and help those who have travelled abroad to reintegrate into our society. But there may also be circumstances where it would be beneficial to our security to exclude, on a temporary basis, UK nationals who are know to have fought for ISIL and where there is a risk that they will carry out attacks in the UK. We are looking at options here and no final decision has been taken. Crucially, we will not do anything which renders people stateless and puts us in breach of the UN Convention on Stateless Persons.

Finally, we will be looking in close detail at how we deal with those people who are subject to Terrorism Prevention Injunction Measures (TPIMS for short). David Anderson, the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, has made a number of recommendations about strengthening this existing power. We will listen carefully to David Anderson’s advice, but to be clear, we will never agree with Labour to restore their illiberal and ineffective Control Orders, which the Coalition government repealed in 2011.

I’m acutely aware how precious our hard won civil liberties are, and how greatly our party values them. It is always right that we consider what measures and powers the state needs to keep citizens safe from the very real threats our country faces, but as long as I am in government I will ensure that it is done in a measured, proportionate and evidence-based way that protects, not undermines, our way of life.

I worry that any young Muslim man going anywhere, even to Paris to watch the Tour de France or to Pakistan for a cousin’s wedding, might end up subject to time-consuming and illiberal investigations that prevent them travelling for no good reason. The presumption of guilt implicit in that is not a good look. Making a “deradicalisation programme” statutory sounds like the sort of thing no liberal should ever want to be a part of, especially as putting it on a statutory footing would appear to defeat the object. I’m also not sure that looking to the laws relating to football hooliganism as an example is a particularly good idea. A friend informed me this evening that people could be banned from going to football matches for a decade, merely on suspicion of disorderly behaviour as a result of another New Labour assault on civil liberties. The statelessness issue is still clearly up for grabs too. We’ve managed not to break any international treaty obligations so far, but you know that Cameron is desperate to get that through. What is wrong with just prosecuting people when they commit crimes?

Labour and the Tories together could vote highly illiberal measures through the House of Commons. That may yet happen. Surely it is best for a Liberal party to stand up entirely for civil liberties. Our track record needs to be more than just “reasonable” on a touchstone issue like this. I am not convinced that the balance is right. Our job is to protect people from the excessive use of state power. I’m not sure we’ve done it.


* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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  • Richard Dean 1st Sep '14 - 10:20pm

    As mentioned on a different threat, returning jihadists may be a rich source of intelligence as well as a loss to IS. It would be better to keep them here rather than lose this intelligence and send them back to IS to do more damage.

    Not all of them will have been used as IS troops – some will have been used as low-level administrators, clerks, manual labourers, etc. They’re not necessarily a threat. Some may return rather like our own people returned from the 2nd world war – traumatized, shell-shocked, bewildered, even repentant.

    We should perhaps start considering more about how to manage these people, what rights a suspected jihadist should have, what techniques of interrogation might be acceptable, how to assess their information, how to assess whether and when some of them are ok for re-integration into society here.

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 1st Sep '14 - 10:28pm


    When you say “what techniques of interrogation might be acceptable” what do you mean? Surely no other techniques than the law currently permits, with interviews being recorded.

  • Mark Valladares Mark Valladares 1st Sep '14 - 10:34pm

    Well, we probably know that five hundred people have claimed to be going to fight – how many of them actually will is another matter.


    “making it a statutory requirement for airlines flying to the UK to provide advance passenger information and to carry out screening where we believe it is necessary”

    does nothing about people flying to a destination in between and travelling onwards with a new ticket, exactly what I would do to get around it. And what criteria would you use? Would you decide that India or Israel might be appropriate destinations for screening, given that they border Pakistan and the West Bank respectively?

    Statutory deradicalisation sounds a bit like deprogramming to me, and who is to decide what level of radicalism is acceptable? Are you going to have camps to do this, and where are they going to be? Frankly, if you are going to hold people on suspicion, it should be here, and there should be an array of legal protections in place before such a step is taken.

    All in all, it sounds decidedly troubling from a civil liberties perspective and ineffectual in any event, the worst of all combinations.

  • A Social Liberal 1st Sep '14 - 10:45pm

    This is my post in a thread I started just now on the Members Forum.

    “Clegg said
    “nor will Liberal Democrats agree to sweeping new powers that remove our hard-won civil liberties” and then goes on to seemingly advocate all the illiberal plans Cameron spoke of in his speech today. So why are they illiberal – let’s take them one by one.

    [quote]We are making it a statutory requirement for airlines flying to the UK to provide advance passenger information and to carry out screening where we believe it is necessary.[/quote]

    Does this not violate our human right to privacy?

    [quote]We also, in a similar way to our existing powers for football hooliganism, have proposed a new power to allow the police to temporarily seize a passport at a port or airport and retain it for up to 30 days pending investigations into the person intending to travel. This decision would always be subject to scrutiny by a court, and would enable us to stop people travelling abroad to fight for an extremist group.[/quote]

    A number of points here.
    1) Feel free to correct me but I understand that football hooligans have to have been convicted before they have their travel restricted.
    2) How does this fit in with racial and religious equality. We don’t stop Irish terrorists from travelling (and they have been known to fight and train in foreign climes).
    3) How do we KNOW that they are going to fight for IS or other extremists and not the more moderate anti Assad forces. Indeed, how do we know they are even going to fight, we have seen men who have gone to work in refugee camps and to drive ambulances?
    4) Do British citizens not have the right to be considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law? Taking point two into account, are we not being bigoted (religious or racial) not to take the passports of any extremists who are travelling abroad – and here I include Mssrs McGuiness and Adams but do not preclude the animals from the other side of the Irish divide.

    [quote]But there may also be circumstances where it would be beneficial to our security to exclude, on a temporary basis, UK nationals who are know to have fought for ISIL and where there is a risk that they will carry out attacks in the UK[/quote]

    Here, Clegg tells me, ‘we’ will consider all options – but what is to consider? Are there any circumstances that this is the right thing to do. If we know the suspects did something terrible, if we know that they are planning murder and mayhem then give them their day in court! If they are found guilty then I have no problem with locking them up for a very, very long time. We should not be considering options that are not liberal. We are not the Tory Party, we are not Labour WE ARE LIBERALS! This is nothing more than a variation of Internment with all the recruitment probabilities that we found happened in Ireland in the 1970s.

    Finally, on TPIMS. I was assured on here that TPIMS would only be used on the former sufferers of Control Orders, so why are we considering using this disgraceful action on those who have not been found guilty of planning future terrorist acts on the British public?”

  • @Jennie, I fear that you may be right.

    These airport regulations are trying to turn corporate businesses into private investigators, which is not only going to be ineffective, but also lead them to take a ‘no-risk’ approach meaning it is going to affect many incorrect individuals – which is only going to feed into the extremist narrative and rather isolate these communities.

    As for these deradicalisation programmes – never has a policy proposal actually made me shiver before. No political organisation should ever be looking to introduce programmes to teach their citizens what kind of politics is right. That is not a political debate or dialogue, that is indoctrination – a form of action all too similar to the very actions we are meant to fighting against.

  • Mark Valladares Mark Valladares 1st Sep '14 - 10:52pm

    @ Jennie,

    So true, and so depressingly familiar…

  • “As mentioned on a different threat, returning jihadists may be a rich source of intelligence as well as a loss to IS. It would be better to keep them here rather than lose this intelligence and send them back to IS to do more damage.” – Agreed, they need to be imprisoned and interrogated. We also have a legal and moral duty to take back our own citizens (if they don’t have duel nationality). We wouldn’t accept other countries dumping their trash on us. Imagine if we tried to deport a criminal after their sentence was served and their home country wouldn’t let us. The Islamic state is not a country, and the Syrians and Iraqis (the proper governments) don’t want them.

    “Not all of them will have been used as IS troops – some will have been used as low-level administrators, clerks, manual labourers, etc. They’re not necessarily a threat.”- Disagree, any Jihadist, anybody who in anyway supported those terrorists is a criminal and dangerous. Anyone who supports that group is a threat to western civilization, we have to realistic about this.

    “Some may return rather like our own people returned from the 2nd world war – traumatized, shell-shocked, bewildered, even repentant.” – I hope they are repentant, but that won’t mean they are not criminals who will need to be charged, taken to court and answer for their crimes.

    “We should perhaps start considering more about how to manage these people, what rights a suspected jihadist should have, what techniques of interrogation might be acceptable,” – The same rights as any other dangerous criminal. Perhaps their brand of religious fundamentalism should be treated like any other mental illness and we should consider them criminally insane and not allowed out until we are sure that they are sane? Perhaps de-radicalisation is a program that belongs in a mental hospital? But we have to stick to civilized rules and should never go down the route that George W. Bush did, that’s letting them undermine our values and, in a sense, letting them win something. We should never torture people or allow the CIA to kidnap people and send them to a place where they will be tortured, that’s barbaric and will achieve nothing.

    “how to assess their information, how to assess whether and when some of them are ok for re-integration into society here.” – No idea.

  • @Mark “Statutory deradicalisation sounds a bit like deprogramming to me, ” – So groups conducting brainwashing is OK but deprogramming isn’t? What are you saying here?

  • Stephen Donnelly 1st Sep '14 - 11:03pm

    “But there may also be circumstances where it would be beneficial to our security to exclude, on a temporary basis, UK nationals who are know to have fought for ISIL and where there is a risk that they will carry out attacks in the UK”.
    Nick Clegg, Liberal Democrat

    “I do share concerns that have been expressed that the suggestion British nationals, however horribly they may be alleged to have behaved, should be prevented from returning to this country. Not only does it offend principles of international law, it would actually offend basic principles of our own common law as well,”
    Dominic Grieve, Conservative

  • “We should perhaps start considering more about how to manage these people, what rights a suspected jihadist should have, what techniques of interrogation might be acceptable, how to assess their information, how to assess whether and when some of them are ok for re-integration into society here.”
    With the greatest respect Richard, I don’t think what you’re suggesting is doable? If you re-read your suggestion , it looks ominously like a template or spec., for the creation of some kind of ‘Falklands Guantanamo’?

  • Alex Dingwall 1st Sep '14 - 11:25pm

    I cannot help but worry what this means for community relations. Young Muslims are already asking why 100 UK citizens serving in the Israeli Defence Force is a non issue but Muslims travelling to oppose Assad’s regime is.

    Nick has to be very careful on this and his letter (as a member I’ve yet to receive it) does not bode well.

  • Mark Valladares Mark Valladares 1st Sep '14 - 11:27pm

    @ Mr Wallace,

    I truly have no idea what is intended by ‘statutory deradicalisation’ in this instance. However, I consider deprogramming to include brainwashing, if that provides sufficient clarity for you.

  • Matt (Bristol) 1st Sep '14 - 11:42pm

    I need some sort of civil-liberties-stripping crisisometer to keep objective track of the successive pretexts / really, really pressing reasons for taking people’s right to any kind of due legal process away; is the current crisis about the same as that that resulted in DRIP, better worse, or what, or is it too top-secret for us to be told?

  • Richard Dean 1st Sep '14 - 11:47pm

    Statutory deradicalization probably means that the user of that phrase hasn’t got a clue. Which fits given who the user is. However it really is possible that people can get locked into systems of thought through brainwashing and trauma while working for IS, and that the method of unlocking and freeing them when they return won’t necessarily be something they choose to accept when in that locked state.

    The IS have declared war on everyone else, so I guess that returning jihadists should be treated as prisoners of war, if they are open about their allegiance, or as spies otherwise. Either way there would need to be a process of accurately determining who is what. Whether the same rules of treatment, interrogation, etc apply to ordinary criminals, POWs, and spies I don’t know, but this would need to be decided if only to avoid the wrong rules being applied.

  • Mr Wallace, my major concern right now is that these measures are directly targeted at a very narrow group of people. This might sound like an odd problem to have, considering how narrow the group of potential threats is, but I am serious.

    We have 500 confirmed potential threats. Perhaps many more we don’t know about, perhaps many who might be threats who haven’t worked up the courage, the dedication, the time off work or whatever to actually up sticks and go join the fighting. And then again perhaps not.

    But that is 500 plus or minus out of, what, two or three million British citizens who adhere to some thread of islamic belief, of whatever dogmatic split and to whatever level of radicalism or moderation.

    By targeting those two or three million people and singling them out specifically, we risk driving more and more of them into the arms of the jihadists, and only confirm and perpetuate our enemies’ narrative about our ‘war against all islam’.

    For the powers to detain and interrogate to work, they would have to apply equally to a hypothetical case of, say, a white christian youth charging off to the Ukraine, as to the all-too-real case of the muslim who falls in with IS. I think it might be helpful to consider how we historically dealt with potentially dangerous left-radical revolutionaries returning from fighting in the Spanish Civil War. And I think it would be helpful to take a serious and critical look at the cases we know about where westerners are going to Israel to volunteer for their armed forces too.

    I’m also not too comfortable with detain and interrogate. It does slightly presume guilt, something we should all care about a lot. Perhaps ‘interview as a potential witness to ongoing crime’ might be better, if I’m not falling into a doublespeak trap.

    I do also remember some of the Spanish Civil War history and the UK’s Foreign Enlistment Act of 1870, which a brief wikipediaing reminds me made it illegal for any British Citizen to enlist in the armed forces of any foreign country at war with a state with which Britain was at peace. Note, it didn’t ban British Citizens from joining the French Army to fight the Prussians, it banned anyone from joining any army aimed at any state with which we were at peace. It was completely ineffective by the 1930s, but it’s still on the books and perhaps could do with amending in the light of our current issues with what are essentially mercenaries.

    Anyway, something must be done and we need careful, considered debate about the best thing to be done. But let us not fall into the trap of ‘this is something, let’s do it’, as Jennie warns.

  • I can’t help thinking this is an academic debate. The chance of any of this jihadist getting home is virtually zero. The troops on the ground are Iraqis, Kurds and Syrians. Any that are taken alive will be detained by those troops and the American s will be very interested in any captured British fighters for obvious reasons.

  • Depends upon actual risk to country. Action taken should be proportional to risk. The PIRA tended to give warnings , the Jihadis do not. Lord Carlyle has been fairly forth right in his views. The question comes down to how many deaths and maimings are we prepared to accept.

    The problem is that few people have risked their lives for this country in the way that those who fought in WW1 and WW2 did. Consequently does anyone have the right to say that we are prepared for your children to be murdered and maimed to keep our principles? In WW2 Danish leaders sacrificed children’s lives in order resistance leaders to be released from prison through the actions of bombing by the RAF

    It was said Coventry was sacrificed to save The Germans discovering Enigma. If we are to say Liberal principles should not be sacrificed , are we prepared to sacrifice our children? In China a few muslims went g beserk and murdered 20-30 people with knives.

    If there is evidence that someone is planning to mount an attack one requires beyond reasonable doubt to convict. The problem is that the target is not military or a police station which can be prepared but can be anywhere which is crowded. By the late 1980s/ 1990s many targets of the PIRA in N Ireland had special Forces lying in wait.
    I think we need to think more about how much risk to life we need to accept before decisions are made.

  • Dom Hannigan 2nd Sep '14 - 3:20am

    There’s clearly an issue with the email list. I did not get this email. I get party emails sometimes, but clearly at other times I drop off the list. Makes me wonder how many other people are in the same boat…. Bad if our members are not getting some messages.

  • Paul in Wokingham 2nd Sep '14 - 7:59am

    @Caron – you say that if it wasn’t for the Lib Dems “constraining” Cameron then it would have been”much worse”. Applying the boiling frog principle perhaps it would have been better if it *was* much worse. It is the insidious erosion of liberties – insufficient in any single step to arouse general anger – that is the best strategy of tyrants. In his efforts to minimise the effects of the legislation, perhaps Mr. Clegg has accidentally become the authoritarian’s best friend.

  • Kevin White 2nd Sep '14 - 8:12am

    Well Clegg’s tried to de-radicalise the Liberal Democrats so it’s hardly surprising that he wants to extend the programme.

  • Quite frankly.

    The thought of putting people on a statuary “deradicalisation programme”sends shivers up my spine.

    I believe if their is proof that someone has returned from a county where they have been involved in extremism/ terrorism, be that fighting on the front line,training, whatever, then put them through the courts and let the judicial system deal with them through a fair trial.

    I worry when I hear the government using words like “deradicalisation programme” because that would entail some kind of intense Psychotherapy Intervention.

    And considering the fact that our countries failings in providing appropriate Psychotherapy interventions for millions of mental health sufferers up and down the country. I have very little faith in believing the Government would be able to provide an effective, measured “deradicalisation programme” And I fear people would just be thrown into these (Concentration camps, for want of a better word) Because our government wishes to deny the fundamental principles of civil liberties.

  • Jenny Barnes 2nd Sep '14 - 8:23am

    Richard Dean ” people can get locked into systems of thought through brainwashing and trauma while working for IS, and that the method of unlocking and freeing them when they return won’t necessarily be something they choose to accept when in that locked state.”

    How about people who think neoliberalism and austerity is a really, really good idea? Can we deprogramme them?
    joke~ I have an ice bucket and a towel? ~ end of joke

  • Our leaders and their SPADS doubtless read LibDemVoice, so could one or other of them be kind enough to explain to us what this “statutory deradicalisation programme” means/involves ? Or, if the government has not yet thought out what is going to involve (which seems quite a likely hypothesis), could we be told as much ?

  • Tony Rowan-Wicks 2nd Sep '14 - 10:04am

    Perhaps the awaited email was too complex for the team to handle. Actually, I thought the piece above was about the maximum we could expect to get in order to hold up the Tory charge to the barricades. I hope all the comment points above were raised – and it’s clear that there is better reference recently to what LD members thought about the last time Cam got his way.

  • In his e-mail Clegg says — ” I am appalled by the idea of British people travelling abroad to fight in the name of a murderous and extremist ideology. The murder of the journalist James Foley is truly shocking… ”
    But he says nothing about the 22 people who were beheaded by the Saudi Arabian Government in August 2014.

    Why not Mr Clegg? Are you not appalled by the judicial murders carried out by the medieval tyrants that run Saudi?

    If you find one murder “truly shocking” – why do you ignore thousands carried out by the Saudi Government?

    I look forward to the “de-tyrantisation” programme for the thousands of people who return from Saudi to the UK.
    Would it include Prince Charles who has made no less than eleven sates visits to Saudi ?

  • Richard Dean 2nd Sep '14 - 10:39am

    @Jenny Barnes
    I guess it’s a problem the LibDems can’t solve.

  • @JohnTilley

    I quite agree with your condemnation of Saudia Arabia’s barbaric practices, but I would hope it went without saying that Nick was as appalled at any use of capital punishment.

    (Also John, first comment I’ve seen of yours in a while – though I may have missed a few. Welcome back and hope all is well – though we often disgree, glad to see you as passionate as ever).

    More generally about the article, as many others have pointed out “statutory deradicalisation” is troubling nonsense that wouldn’t be out of place in A Clockwork Orange. As Linda Jack rightly says, “We must stand back and take a good hard look at what causes young people to become radicalised”.

    The diverse range of backgrounds that those radicalised points to there being no easy, simple solution – some of them we would think of having, in simple terms, an excellent start in life. How can we unpick this problem of 500+ people and legislate to resolve the issue when we don’t even have a full picture of the situation?

  • Remind me what the point of Liberal Democrats being in Government is? If civil liberties are eroded on your watch then it beggars the question as to what is your raison d’etre?

    Linda Jack wrote above – “whenever things like this happen and I throw up my hands in despair – your piece and most of the subsequent comments – remind me why I still have faith in our party to call it right even when our leaders appear to have forgotten their liberal roots”

    This is symptomatic of why the party has lost so many supporters. As an ex supporter (and employee) I find the opposite I’m afraid Linda. What is the point of supporting a party when the members ‘call it right’ but the leaders do the exact opposite? The fact that the members may be in touch with Liberal roots whilst the leadership carries out illiberal policies provides no reassurance what so ever. It’s merely public hand wringing. If the membership have ‘called it right’ but then acquiesce to a leadership getting it wrong ultimately you are complicit. This is exactly the kind of attitude to which many erstwhile supporters point when accusing the party of being Conservative ‘enablers’. Unless the party membership actually does something to force the leadership’s hand then the party is rendered nothing more than a well meaning talking shop.

    Voters want to support a party that ‘gets it right’ not just one that ‘calls it right’.

  • I think we need to view this problem in the wider context of the issues we must face:

    Tony Blair, in a recent speech reminded us Why the Middle East matters:

    “What is presently happening there, still represents the biggest threat to global security of the early 21st C. The region, including the wider area outside its conventional boundary – Pakistan, Afghanistan to the east and North Africa to the west – is in turmoil with no end in sight to the upheaval and any number of potential outcomes from the mildly optimistic to catastrophe.

    At the root of the crisis lies a radicalised and politicised view of Islam, an ideology that distorts and warps Islam’s true message. The threat of this radical Islam is not abating. It is growing. It is spreading across the world. It is de-stabilising communities and even nations. It is undermining the possibility of peaceful co-existence in an era of globalisation. And in the face of this threat we seem curiously reluctant to acknowledge it and powerless to counter it effectively.”

    Unlike so many other insurgent movements in recent history, Isis’s claims to be a state are neither bravado nor hyperbole, but simple truth. Its writ now runs from the suburbs of the Syrian city of Aleppo, 60 miles from the Mediterranean coast, east to Fallujah in central Iraq.

    In addition to being a military force it runs its own Sharia courts and schools. Every area, institution, neighbourhood and building it controls is adorned with the black flag of holy war. Isis appears to be the first choice outfit of the bulk of the thousands of foreign volunteers, many from Europe and the United States, who have flocked into the area in the hope of waging jihad.

    Isis’s gestation has been difficult and complex, suffering numerous setbacks in the early days, more recently gaining strength through lavish financial backing, much of which is said to originate from Qatar – money doesn’t just buy you the right to host the World Cup.

    Isis are well armed having seized major Iraqi ammunition dumps in Mosul and finance their activities with extortion, kidnappings, pirated oil sales, bank robberies, Jizya taxes on non-muslims together with Lavish donations from patrons in Qatar, Saudi Arabia, other Gulf states and supporters among the muslim diaspora.

    We may not consider ourselves to be at war with ISIS, but ISIS is at war with us and anyone else that does not subscribe to their worldview – including the vast majority of ordinary muslims, whether living in the middle-east, UK or elsewhere.

    When control orders were abolished, the Government retained the right to reintroduce more stringent measures in situations it deems an emergency. As a result of this position, and in response to the Counter-Terrorism Review’s conclusion that, “there may be exceptional circumstances where it could be necessary for the Government to seek parliamentary approval for additional restrictive measures”, the Government has prepared the ETPIMs Bill. This Bill would introduce an additional security measure which could be placed on individuals: the Enhanced TPIM (ETPIM).

    ETPIMs are distinct from TPIMs. An individual cannot be subject to both a standard and an Enhanced TPIM simultaneously and the conditions that must be met before the Government can impose an Enhanced TPIM are more stringent than under the current regime. There is much correlation between the operation and policing of TPIMs and ETPIMs (as there is between TPIMs and the former control orders), but ETPIMs are generally tougher, both in terms of the restrictions to liberty an individual under an ETPIM would face, and in the threshold the Government must meet before an ETPIM can be imposed on an individual. ETPIMs differ from standard TPIMs in the following ways:

     – A strengthening of the legal test to be met before imposition from “reasonable belief” under a TPIM to “balance of probabilities” under an ETPIM;
     – Under an ETPIM, the Secretary of State could impose a curfew for up to 16 hours on an individual. Under the existing TPIM Act an individual can only be compelled to reside overnight at a specified residence;
     – ETPIMs allow a complete—as opposed to partial—ban on electronic communication devices;
     – Individuals under an ETPIM can be prohibited from entering a defined area and from associating with any individual without the Secretary of State’s prior permission; and
     – The Bill would allow the Secretary of State to require an individual to reside at any residence specified by the Government (i.e. relocation), unlike the existing TPIMs Act, which makes no such allowance.

    Where the legal test under ‘balance of probabilities’ can be met, this may be an appropriate tool, if it can be limited in application to suspected Jihadists returning from service in areas under the control of ISIS or other Islamic extremist organisations.

  • Richard Dean 2nd Sep '14 - 2:29pm

    Young people are naturally “radicalised”! Have been ever since there were young people. Question is, what makes IS attractive as a solution for a (very small) percentage? What blinds people to IS’s inhumanity? Put another way, can other solutions be provided? Can clearer information be helpful?

  • John Simpson of the BBC reports on an interview indicating a potential link-up between ISIS and the Taliban

    Fighters allied with the Taliban are considering joining forces with the Islamic State (IS), according to the leader of Hezb-e-Islami, Commander Mirwais. The group, which has a reputation for both ferocity and brutality, says that it was “waiting to see if [IS] meet the requirements for an Islamic caliphate,” and was considering offering allegiance. “They are great mujahedeen,” said Mirwais. “We pray for them, and if we don’t see a problem in the way they operate, we will join them.”

  • The most troubling thing about this ISIS threat, is that I frankly feel quite clueless in how to approach it. That said,.. for every Superman, there is a Kryptonite? An underlying problem with ISIS, is that they do not fear death. But,… they do fear *a bad* death.
    During the Sepoy Mutiny in India (circa 1857), was the belief that the Lee-Enfield rifle’s cartridges were greased with cow and/or pig fat. No-one is quite sure if it was fact or rumour, but it certainly had an effect on Indian Muslim (pig fat) and Hindu (cow fat) soldiers.
    If we pollute the ‘inputs’, to ISIS in Iraq, with substances that are not poisons as such, but ‘deniers’ to the entrance of their heaven.? I’m not presenting this as *a solution* to their eradication in Iraq, but merely as a broader ‘train of thought’?

  • Churchill writing about the Sudan Campaign and fanatical Islamists a little over a century ago in ‘The River War’ made a number of observations that could be applied today to Islamic extremism and the use of modern air power against its proponents.

    About the Islamism he encountered he wrote:

    “ How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property – either as a child, a wife, or a concubine – must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen: all know how to die: but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilisation of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilisation of ancient Rome”

    About the British attitude to war:

    “ ..there are many people in England, and perhaps elsewhere, who seem to be unable to contemplate military operations for clear political objects, unless they can cajole themselves into the belief that their enemy are utterly and hopelessly vile. To this end the Dervishes, from the Mahdi and the Khalifa downwards, have been loaded with every variety of abuse and charged with all conceivable crimes. This may be very comforting to philanthropic persons at home; but when an army in the field becomes imbued with the idea that the enemy are vermin who cumber the earth, instances of barbarity may easily be the outcome. This unmeasured condemnation is moreover as unjust as it is dangerous and unnecessary… We are told that the British and Egyptian armies entered Omdurman to free the people from the Khalifa’s yoke. Never were rescuers more unwelcome ”

    About the modern machinery of war and its effectiveness against tribesmen:

    “ …the Maxim guns had also come into action. A dozen Dervishes are standing on a sandy knoll. All in a moment the dust began to jump in front of them, and then the clump of horsemen melts into a jumble on the ground, and a couple of scared survivors scurry to cover. Yet even then a few brave men come back to help their fallen comrades.”

  • Just suppose a ‘leak’ from a western source were to put ‘out there’, info that secret services had managed to add 1% of alcohol, to many batches of bottled drinking water now supplying and circulating in Iraq? I’m sure such a task would be quite do-able by an adept intelligence organisation? A mere 1% of alcohol in a bottle of water is not poisonous.
    However, if you were a jihadist ISIS Muslim, could you confidently, pick a random bottle of drinking water from a pallet and risk it?

  • We do not need new laws. We just need to apply the existing laws vigorously. against these people. If they try to come back arrest them as soon as they get off the plane. We could also try applying pressure on Turkey and other countries that aid, support or facilitate our enemies rather than sitting around twiddling our thumbs worrying what motivates them. They behead journalists, shoot prisoner and kill civilians in cold blood. They deserve no voice, no understand and no protection from the consequences of their actions.

  • I don’t often agree with Richard Dean but he is asking the right questions on this subject, and has done before. I grew up during a period of political turmoil and felt very alienated from society and very angry. I was fortunate that I had a legitimate outlet for my alienation, belonging as I did to the Young Liberal Movement and being part of the development of community politics, but even so, it was not many steps from where I was to political violence. It is easy to see how young muslims can be persuaded into jihadism when it is so easy to present the West as being actively hostile to the islamic umma. A more even-handed approach to Palestine might be a good place to start trying to re-build bridges.

  • This Tory led Government has managed to get my back up yet again this morning.

    I just read in an article on the BBC that

    Defence Secretary Michael Fallon is to say at the Royal United Services Institute,
    “”US taxpayers won’t go on picking up the cheque if we choose to prioritise social welfare spending when the threats are on our doorstep.”

    Why is it that this government will use any excuse to blame those on welfare.

    When are they going to get it. If you can’t look after your own people, some of whom are the most vulnerable in society.
    Is it any wonder that the UK is under investigation by the UN for it’s failing its obligations on the disabled

    Please lets hear some Liberal Democrats, especially those in Government, speak out and say it is wholly unacceptable for a Minister to bring the subject of costs of Welfare into talks on defense spending.. It is abhorrent

  • Tony Dawson 3rd Sep '14 - 9:14am

    “We will also make the government’s de-radicalisation programme. . . . . .”

    I thought you had to be de-radicalised as a condition of being allowed anywhere near this government.

    I am intrigued at the prospect of Cameron offering up proposals on ‘anti-terrorism(‘sic) to the Labour Party which the latter can then help him vote through against Lib Dem views. What price collective Cabinet responsibility here then? We allowed all those awful Tory measures through on one set of terms and we now face the prospect of another set of terms when it suits.

  • Matt

    Well spotted.
    Defence Secretary Michael Fallon is to say —
    “”US taxpayers won’t go on picking up the cheque if we choose to prioritise social welfare spending when the threats are on our doorstep.”

    This statement is clearly NONSENSE ON STILTS.

    US taxpayers in my limited experience have very little knowledge of the world outside their own neighbourhood, city or state. The idea that they are exercised about spending priorities of the UK Government is laughable.

    The idea that we have “threats on our doorstep” is also just a joke. Who does Michael Fallom think he is kidding?

  • ATF 2nd Sep ’14 – 12:53pm

    Thank you for those kind words. If I am lucky in six months or so I may be back to something like normal after my weeks in hospital . I hope to comment more regularly in LDV again from now on.

  • JoeBourke is right in some of what he has commented in three separate comments above.
    However, can I warn him against relying on Tony Blair and Winston Churchill when it comes to understanding the subject in hand?
    I agree with Joe Bourke when he says we need to look at this in context. This is why I pointed out the barbaric practice of beheading frequently used by the Saudi Arabians (22 beheadings last month alone) but seldom reported on in the UK and apparently a matter of no concern to our Deputy Prime Minister. If Clegg has ever mentioned the subject please correct me with chapter and verse.
    Joe Bourke correctly points to the Saudi and Qatari funders of ISIS. This is key to understanding what a mess the region has descended into thanks to almost one hundred years of UK, US and French connivance with the barbaric tyrants they installed after WW1 to “protect oli interests” and other imperial lunacies.

    Last week saw the anniversary of the 1953 overthrow of the democratically elected Iranian Governemnt by UK Secret Service MI6 and the CIA — see
    Iranians had elected Mossadeq in 1951 and he quickly moved to renationalise the country’s oil production, which had been under British control through the Anglo-Persian Oil Company – which later became British Petroleum or BP. So the CIA and MI6 organised a coup to instal a puppet government. Just one of a series of illegal and anti-democratic incursions in the region which in the end proved disastrous.

  • @tonyhill
    ” It is easy to see how young muslims can be persuaded into jihadism when it is so easy to present the West as being actively hostile to the islamic umma.”

    That’s a baffling statement given that the IS Jihadis didn’t go out there to fight “the West” – they went out there to kill Syrians and then Iraqis. Until the West got involved with helping the Kurds, IS seemed far more interested in slaughtering their fellow Muslims, as well as sundry Christians and anyone else who happened to be in their way.

    And no, actually it is not easy to see how young muslims (many of whom were apparently of previously good character) can suddenly take pleasure in chopping innocent people’s heads off.

    Reading the comments here, I’m somewhat surprised that liberals seem so appalled by the idea of returning Jihadis being expected to undergo some form of rehabilitation – which, by the sound of it, is all Cameron’s proposals actually entail. I thought liberals were supposed to be all in favour of rehabilitation of offenders, but many posters here seem content just to lock people up. This is how the Telegraph reports the proposals – and it doesn’t sound remotely like the Clockwork Orange-style nightmare that people are talking about here :-

    Under the proposals, any terror suspect placed under a Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures (Tpims) will now be forced to engage in the Government’s Prevent programme, which tackles radicalisation…

    “The aim will be to reverse the warped perception of Islam that young fanatics have been brainwashed in to believing.

    “There are a number of different programmes currently running that the government could use to deradicalise terrorists.

    “The Al Furqan programme, which is run in prisons, uses Imams to challenge the views of extremist Islam through religious teaching.

    “The Healthy Identities Intervention is a more introspective approach where psychotherapists try to discover what triggered terrorists to become radicalised.

    “The Channel programme targets people who are vulnerable to radicalisation before they become terrorists.”

  • “I think we need to think more about how much risk to life we need to accept before decisions are made.”

    These questions are not morally quantifiable IMO. You just can’t weigh the risk to innocent civilians against the destruction of the rule of law, and the loss of all our freedoms. Which they want to destroy by the way so it just leads to their victory.

    The only course open to us is to tough it out. Not to let them win by destroying our own liberties in the attempt to stop the threat, and that means casualties. Lots of them sadly probably. That will be very hard politically, and your party, which in fairness is the strongest in this respect will probably suffer the worst..

    The terrorists win either way, we are in a lose lose position.

  • Stuart,
    I’m in favour of locking Isis fighters up because they are war criminals, We spent seventy odd years chasing down other war criminals so we could lock them up. That’s what we do with war criminals. Combatants who line surrendering soldiers up and shoot them through the head are war criminals. Political organisation which attempt genocide are war criminals. Troops who capture women to rape are war criminals. Fighters who behead journalist are war criminals. Crucifixion is a war crime. IMO, we have to make it clear that war criminals will be treated like war criminals precisely because we are liberal. .

  • Jayne Mansfield 3rd Sep '14 - 10:22am

    @ John Tilley,
    Thank you for your post. It is instructive of the way politicians are selective in their condemnation of barbarism and the role played in the current Middle East conflicts.

    At the risk of sounding like a conspiracy theorist, I am still puzzled by what seems to be a lack of investigation into any link if any between of what if any role was played in the 9/11 by Saudi Arabia.

    It seems that some leaders of countries who preside over the barbaric practices, the treatment of women etc., are feted by our royalty and governments , whilst others are condemned , and this is a source of continued bafflement to me. Explanations by yourself and Joe always welcome as I try to understand the complexities of the situation.

  • Jayne Mansfield 3rd Sep '14 - 10:33am

    @ tony hill,
    I agree with Stuart’s first paragraph,. The beheading of two American journalists is unutterably abhorrent, but the fighters are predominantly killing other Muslims and enslaving women. I was no more horrified by the murders than I was about the inhuman murders of Muslims ( and Christians), whose crime was to disagree with the fascist aims of the Islamic State .

    It seems to me that the barbaric murder of the two journalists was intended to bring America and Britain into the conflict so that the problem can be framed as a clash of civilisations with the west trying to crush the Muslim world.

    As with most ordinary people, I can’t even pretend to know how best to sort out the current situation.

  • Matthew Huntbach 3rd Sep '14 - 10:42am

    Tony Blair (quoted by Joe Bourke)

    At the root of the crisis lies a radicalised and politicised view of Islam, an ideology that distorts and warps Islam’s true message. The threat of this radical Islam is not abating. It is growing. It is spreading across the world. It is de-stabilising communities and even nations. It is undermining the possibility of peaceful co-existence in an era of globalisation

    Yes, that is why I believe this problem has to be resolved from within Islam. Attempts to attack these people from non-Islamic countries will simply feed their “It’s Islam against the world, and we’re Islam” way of thinking.

    I am pleased at the condemnation on them that has come from almost all Muslim leaders in the UK. However, it needs to be more than that. The Muslim world as a whole needs to answer the point “OK, so we accept what you say that these people have taken your religion and twisted it far from what it should be. So what are YOU going to do about it?”. I’m rather tired of hearing the line “it’s nothing to do with us” as if that absolves them from any responsibility, and then others are expected to deal with the problem. If what these terrorists are doing is so against their religion (and I accept it when they say it is) then surely they should be as angered and fired up about the deep insult to their religion that comes from the terrorists claiming to be the purest and best form of it as they have been about other issues which they see as a slight to their religion.

    There needs to be an investigation in what has gone wrong, how have they failed to pass on what their religion truly teaches to the next generation, if it can be so misinterpreted in this way. How is it that their religion has developed an image that it seems to attract converts who are primarily motivated by sadism? What can THEY do to resolve this problem?

    They should stop playing the “poor little us” game, because the Muslim world is NOT poor. Thanks to parts of it sitting on the world’s major oil supplies, there is a great deal of money sloshing around in it. Perhaps some of that money should be diverted to healing the damage to the image of that religion caused by what these horrible people are doing in its name.

    I compare this to the problem of child abuse in the Catholic Church. Of course the Catholic Church condemns this and says “It’s not what our religion teaches”. Fine, but is that enough? How would we think if it supposed that simply saying that was enough, and in effect it left it at that saying “not our problem”? What if there was some great fear of being judged as “anti-Catholic” in the media, so every media report on this issue had to be surrounded by disclaimers and statements that of course it’s not what the Catholic Church teaches, therefore no blame should be put on that “lovely peaceful and utterly against all form of child abuse religion” (words like this being seen as necessary to use to avoid charges of anti-Catholicism)? If it has been done that way, if it was considered impossible for decent liberal people to say anything that could be interpreted as “I think badly of the Catholic Church due to the child abuse that has come from within its ranks”, wouldn’t that have fostered a sense of complacency in the Catholic Church, so it would have carried on sitting back and saying “Nothing to do with us” instead of making attempts to sort out the problem?

  • The first, and probably only, thing on which I agree with simon is written above. (10:04am)

  • Matthew Huntbach 3rd Sep '14 - 10:53am

    Jayne Mansfield

    It seems to me that the barbaric murder of the two journalists was intended to bring America and Britain into the conflict so that the problem can be framed as a clash of civilisations with the west trying to crush the Muslim world.

    It’s the classic terrorist tactic, Hamas did it so well with its rockets launched from Gaza, the 9/11 incident was all about the same thing. Do something horrible. Wait for the disproportionate attack back. Rally together to your side all those people who were not originally part of your game, but were hurt by the disproportionate attack. Claim to be their defenders. Play the “poor little us” game to attract more sympathy. Repeat.

  • Could it be that we here in the west have lived such *relatively* soft lives in the last few decades that we simply cannot mentally seize, the sheer gravity of what a world threat, this group of individuals pose?
    Their ultimate stated goal is to create a shia caliphate that encompasses the whole planet. These are *seriously* dangerous people. There will be *NO* ~let’s all sit down calmly and discus this, ~ with them?
    We have to *STOP* them coming back, as a bare minimum of sensible policy?

  • Matthew,

    I think that the Sunni muslim states and Sunni tribes in Iraq have to be mobilised to deal with ISIS and that will require US leadership to bring about.

    The Kurds alone cannot defeat ISIS in Iraq even with the aid of American airpower, nor Assad in Syria. The Sunni tribes of Iraq will need to be brought on board as they were against Al Qaeda in 2007-08. That will require American guarantees of a fair political settlement in Iraq that reduces Iranian influence and is satisfactory to the aspirations of the tribes.

    With the US, Sunni tribes and Iraqi military aligned against ISIS and Iranian influence in Iraq marginalised – Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the UAE may be persuaded to join together in coalition to eliminate this group and their reign of terror.

    UK involvement may be periphery and focused more on humanitarian support to refuges than military – bot blowback has to be expected nonetheless. While the UK criminal justice system is the first line of defence against terrorism, where crimes have been committed outside the jurisdiction of the UK, it will not always be possible to gather evidence sufficient for prosecutions or to present such evidence in UK courts.

    Where intelligence provides a ‘reasonable belief’ that returnees have been engaged with proscribed terrorist organisations, it is not unreasonable to expect the security services to monitor the activities of such individuals and where on a ‘balance of probabilities’ such individuals are suspected of crimes or intent to undertake terrorist activities in the UK to take such preventative security measures as may be required to maintain the security of UK citizens.

    Much of the efficacy of UK anti-terror legislation lies with its implementation only where judiciously warranted and not allowing it to be employed by local councils for instance or in police stop and search operations. Requiring TPIM’s or ETPIM’s to be judge sanctioned may aid in preventing such abuses.

  • Matthew Huntbach 3rd Sep '14 - 4:35pm


    I think that the Sunni muslim states and Sunni tribes in Iraq have to be mobilised to deal with ISIS and that will require US leadership to bring about

    Why should that be the case? What about all those countries round there oozing with oil money, which they seem to be using on vast vanity projects, or on buying us up? The King of Saudi Arabia warns us about the threat of ISIS, fine, but what is HE and his country doing about it? If they are deeply offended by what ISIS is doing in the name of their religion, shouldn’t they be doing all they can to stop it? Why do they expect us and US to come along and dig them out of it, and then we suffer the consequences of it being painted as “ISIS fighting for Islam against the infidels”?

    I believe this thing needs to be defeated by universal statements of disgust in the Muslim world, which spells out that anyone who is involved in it is not some sort of brave defender of Islam, but is in fact quite the opposite, someone who is perverting that religion and using it to get a high from sadism. The joy which these people are expressing at inflicting extreme cruelty is clearly what motivates them more than anything else. The statements they are putting out make only perfunctory mention of any other aspects of the religion they are supposed to be about. So what sort of “God” is it that they are worshipping if they do these things in his name?

    The moral fight against these people will, I believe, do more to defeat them in the long run than any sort of of physical fight. But we who are not Muslims cannot take the lead in that moral fight. It needs to be done by all those who have allegiance to that religion and agree that what ISIS is doing is offensive to the image of that religion.

  • Matthew,

    I just do not believe that universal statements of disgust will change anything on the ground. The Arab league has a long record of non-interference, regardless of the atrocities committed within other Arab states. Syria, being within the sphere of influence of Iran was the exception. Saudi Arabia and other gulf states are loath to take any action that supports the influence of Iran in the region. Saudi has since the 1950’s actively promoted the diffusion of its own extreme Wahhabi/Salafist doctrine far and wide.

    The Saudi’s will only act if the monarchy faces a directly threat from ISIS fighters on its borders. Just as elements in Pakistan covertly aid the Taliban in Afghanistan in an effort to undermine Indian influence in that country, so too do the Gulf states aid and support Islamic extremists in undermining Iranian influence in the Middle-east.

    The Saudi’s have no credibility in leading a moral fight in the region. The state of Saudi Arabia was created in much the same way as ISIS has carved out the territory it currently controls and although Ibn Saud put down a subsequent revolt by his Islamic radical Ikhwan fighters, Saudi society has not progressed much since its formation.

    It will fall to the United States to bash heads together in the region and put together a coalition capable of tackling the issue.

  • Jayne Mansfield 3rd Sep '14 - 5:10pm

    @ Matthew Huntbach,
    Once more I find that I totally agree with you.

  • Jayne Mansfield 3rd Sep '14 - 5:22pm

    It is their mess. Surely it is for them to sort it out. I don’t understand the complexities of the region but it seems to me that the chickens are coming home to roost , especially for those who have provided funding for the spread of extremist views.

    Perhaps the problems of the region would have been sorted out sooner if we and America had desisted from interfering. If we start military action, won’t it just give the idiots who are sadistically murdering fellow Muslims whilst complaining that it is the west including Britain that are responsible for their deaths, yet another excuse for their hate filled behaviour.

  • I think people need to be careful about saying this ‘their problem’ considering that many of these issues are actually of our making. I admit, much of this occurred long before many of us were born, but now I country has to deal with some of the messes it left behind in the name of imperialism.

    Furthermore, it is all well and good saying it is their problem and we should not get involved, but the truth is their problems often very quickly become our problems, as well, whether we involve ourselves, or not.

    I do, however, agree with the cautions people are giving against allowing ISIS (and friends) to paint this as Islam verses the world problem.

    Matthew is right in saying that any solution to this problem needs to be lead by the people who follow Islam, but as Joe points out that will need leadership and support from countries, such as the USA, both operationally and in terms of willpower.

    Just as there has been much division in the Christian world, so there is in the Islamic world. This means that many Muslims are the natural allies of one another that we all too often presume they are. (It should also be noted that not all of these divisions actually come down to religion.)

  • … many Muslims are NOT the natural allies of one (sorry).

  • There are two issues here :
    ~ How we deal with the ISIS situation in Iraq?
    ~ How we deal with ISIS ‘returners’?
    The answer to the first question frankly stumps me, but the answer to the second question is absolutely clear. If it’s not clear to you, let me help you with your thinking?
    Let’s fast forward to 2016.? BBC news channel ~ ” News is coming in of an occupation of three primary schools in North London, Stoke-on-Trent, and Aberdeen. Early reports suggest that black IS flags are flying over the school buildings, and that despite Police rapid response teams, that many children are believed to have been killed”
    Do you seriously think a lax political attitude, here in 2014, to the severe threat we and our children face, will pacify, the parents of the dead children, who will have to be told “… you cannot collect the body of your child, until we have DNA matched the heads with the bodies?
    Stop dithering. These people must ***NOT*** be allowed back!
    If you still can’t grasp the enormity of this threat, please watch this video of an interview with Anjem Choudary. Bypass the Farage bit, and go to ( 1.44 ).

  • Jayne Mansfield 3rd Sep '14 - 7:47pm

    @ Liberal Al,
    I understand the problems you raise, but as someone who opposed the Iraq war, I am worried that we in the west might make a bad situation worse. Same Libya.

    To me, it seems arrogant, an almost neo- imperialist attitude that we still feel that only we can sort out the problems of the Middle East when they should be able to sort out their divisions themselves. Optimistically, there may well be the divisions that you mention , but with Isis they may realise that they have a common enemy, always a strong unifying force.

  • Richard Dean 3rd Sep '14 - 8:58pm

    Here are Anjem Choudary’s concluding words in the BBC interview in December last year, as quoted on UKIP Daily (

    “The message to the people of this country is that we are able to live peacefully together, that we invite people to think about Islam as an alternative, of course we will expose the government and their own policies but at the end of the day the root cause of it is … the policies that are taking place under the guise of freedom and democracy which will obviously have consequences and I think that the British public have a responsibility, as indeed do I, to change the situation and let’s have a decent relationship we can live together peacefully, but obviously we cannot control the actions of one individual in a population of 60 million and I think this is the problem that we will continue to face”

    This followed pressure by Humphreys to get Choudary to condemn the Woolwich murderers, and attempts by Choudary to get away from that subject. But this concluding paragraph itself does not seem to me to be irresponsible or inciting at all. Unless there are hidden meanings that I’ve missed, it seems like something that many people of many faiths could agree with.

  • @ Richard
    I guess we have to view the two Choudary interviews, and are left to deduce which is the *true* Choudray?
    But are you willing to bet the lives of your ‘infidel’ grandchildren on it? I’m not.

  • Choudary led the radical group al-Muhajiroun, which was banned in Britain, and a series of successor organizations that were, to a greater or lesser extent, the same group under a different name. He functions as the Islamic State’s primary cheerleader in the Western media. He was recently interviewed on CNN

    The al-Muhajiroun network, by any other name, has been one of the most important funnels of British foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq, with many of them now fighting under the Islamic State banner and maintaining a robust presence on social media. Al-Muhajiroun’s co-founder, Omar Bakri Muhammad, another high-profile activist in Britain (though born in Syria), is currently in a Lebanese prison awaiting trial for supporting terrorism.

  • Richard Dean 4th Sep '14 - 12:52am

    Someone gave me a Qu’ran recently. They got it free at a university fair. Clause 62 of Chapter 2 (The Heifer) says:

    “Those who believe in the Qu’ran, and those who follow the Jewish scriptures, and the Christians and the Sabians – any who believe in God and the Last Day, and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve”

    Sounds good to this committed atheist!

  • Jayne,

    as a permanent member of the UN security council, the UK is obliged to take a leading role in conflict resolution and threats to International security anywhere in the world. The work program of the security council for August gives an indication of the range of conflicts with which UK diplomats and the UN security council are engaged

    The Council last month adopted a resolution on sanctions against extremist groups in Iraq and Syria, in an attempt to cut off their external funding support. In the unanimously approved resolution, the 15-member Council expressed its “gravest concern” over the control of land by al-Qaeda-connected groups such as Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and Al Nusrah Front (ANF) in Iraq and Syria, which has undermined stability in the region.

    The Council stated that all states shall prevent “direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer” of arms and related materials to ISIL and ANF and associated individuals and groups, and demanded those groups “disarm and disband with immediate effect.”

    The resolution also placed six Islamist leaders — from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and other nations — on the Al-Qaeda sanctions list, which provides for a travel ban and assets freeze. The six include senior Al-Qaeda leaders who have provided financing to the Al-Nusra Front in Syria and Abu Mohammad al-Adnani, the spokesman for the ISIL.

    The resolution also focused particularly on the “flow of foreign terrorist fighters” to the extremist Islamist groups, calling on UN member states to bring foreign terrorist fighters to justice and engage with those at risk of being recruited to discourage their travel to Syria and Iraq

    Additionally, the UK is funding and undertaking an investigation into the leadership of ISIS with a view to gathering and documenting evidence for future prosecutions under International law.

  • Joe Bourke and Jayne Mansfield
    Can I suggest a reference which may help understanding of the role of Saudi rulers. —

    The UN has not picked out the Saudi rulers for sanctions, why? As Jon Snow pointed out on Ch4 News last night the Saudi tyrant and his murderous elite support ISIS.
    Why wouldn’t they? the jihadis of ISIS put into practice what Saudi Wahhabi / Salafists want to see . This is nothing new.

  • Matthew Huntbach 4th Sep '14 - 10:41am

    Liberal Al

    Matthew is right in saying that any solution to this problem needs to be lead by the people who follow Islam, but as Joe points out that will need leadership and support from countries, such as the USA, both operationally and in terms of willpower.

    My fear is that any leadership and support coming from the USA and other non-Muslim countries will be used by ISIS to push their message of “them against us”, with “them” being the USA and any Muslims who go along with them painted as betrayers of the true Muslim cause, and “us” being what they would call real true Muslims.

    That is why the moral line must be used. If ISIS, with its love of violence, its lack of concern over human life, and use of rape as a weapon is what “real true Islam” is about, what does that say about Islam? That is why we must avoid doing anything which could be painted by them as just the same as what they do. We are horrified by journalists being killed in revenge, but the death of any child who is bombed and written off as “just a necessary part of defence against these terrorists” is just as horrifying to those who knew that child. I was very sad to see the bragging language used about “Jihadi John” being a “dead man walking” reported today. This is just the sort of teenage macho talk that the ISIS people go in for, we need to show that we are much superior to them. Rather than wanting to see “Jihadi John” dead, we should want to see him captured and convinced of the error of his ways, and repenting deeply for all he has done and how he has so damaged the image of the religion he claims to be associated with by doing it.

    That is why the moral pressure on Muslim leaders is so important. It needs to be put to them “What sort of god do you think ISIS is worshipping with its sadism and turning women into slaves for its members to abuse? To what extent have you helped that very wrong view of your religion develop by some of what you have said or done in the past?”. The message needs to be very stark – no, Islam does not have to be like this and should not be like this, but if you let it become like this, we will hold you and your religion in contempt. So if you do not wish that contempt to fall on you, if you wish your religion to be respected, what are YOU going to do about it?

    I hope this would very much help people in places like Saudi Arabia think about the way they interpret and practice their religion, and about how in doing this they may have pushed it down the line where ISIS has taken it to its extremes. Ultimately what is needed is to build some strength and backbone into those who are able to rebuild the more tolerant and pluralist interpretation of Islam, whose past existence is show by the survival of all those minority groups now being wiped out by ISIS – they survived while minority religious groups in Europe did not survive because there was a time when Islam was more tolerant in this way than Christianity.

  • Matthew Huntbach 4th Sep '14 - 10:55am

    Richard Dean

    Someone gave me a Qu’ran recently. They got it free at a university fair. Clause 62 of Chapter 2 (The Heifer) says:

    Yes, you can pick out bits like this, and you can pick out bits with a very different sort of message. It’s a very rambling book, not much in the way of structure, it isn’t even ordered in the time order the revelations were revealed, and it uses a very flowery language. That is why a proper interpretation of it needs scholarship, but unfortunately, the current state of Islamic scholarship is very low, a shadow of how it used to be in the past. Those who pick out bits of it to justify what ISIS are doing are misusing it, for sure. However, they can get away with it if those who have a different interpretation lack the backbone to push it more strongly.

  • John Tilley.
    I think there are dangers in singling out conservative Islam as the source of movements like IS IL. Conservative Muslims like most truly conservative religious people are really more concerned with their beliefs than with the wider world. The real problem with Saudi Arabia and other gulf states is that they are mostly monarchies and thus are constantly in fear of their populations and are subject to court intrigue. Their political position is essentially very precarious. Bin Laden for instance was initially much more concerned with driving the American military out of Kuwait than with any notion of global jihad . Some Saudi’s have undoubtedly funded IS IL but more from fear of neighbouring countries than any sense of instigating a Wahhabi revolution. Pakistan is probably also involved in support for IS IL. Again this much more to do with its internal struggles and fear of India than a desire to build a caliphate.

    To me IS IL seem to be much more about a fascistic response to history and to the gradual shift of the Muslim world towards various forms of secularism. In some ways it’s similar to the collapse of communism.

    If you had looked at the world from the 50s to the 80s you would think communism was making new converts by the day. By 1990 it was pretty much dead. This is pretty much what is happening here and why I think we need to stop helping religious rebel factions to destabilise their host nations. The real lesson to learn is not from Iraq or Afghanistan, it is from the monumental failure of our involvement in Libya and to a lesser extent Egypt. In short the Arab Spring signalled a false dawn. for political Islam. IS IL is one the consequences.

  • Glenn 4th Sep ’14 – 11:41am

    Glenn, thank you for an interesting response. I am not saying that Wahhabism is the exclusive cause of all the ills in the region. But we cannot ignore the crucial links between the Saudi rulers and the people they have sponsored in Syria and Iraq.

    This time last year our parliament at the last minute managed to stop our government bombing the Assad forces in Syria. Now some of those same people who were so keen for the UK to bomb the enemies of the Salafists are gung-ho for the UK to bomb ISIS/ISIL. Meanwhile the Saudi tyrants encourage and fund their protégés without the mainstream UK media even noticing. Or if they have noticed they look the other way.

    I think that to categorise Wahhabisn as merely a conservative religious group misses the key point and ignores the evidence of their actions over the last forty years. l guess that is not what you are trying to do? The role of the Saudis in undermining the democratic elements of the Arab Spring especially in Egypt is no secret.

  • Jayne Mansfield 4th Sep '14 - 12:29pm

    @ Joe Bourke,
    Thank you .
    I am on a steep learning curve.

    @ John Tlley,
    You ask the question, why the Un has not picked out the Saudi rulers for sanction. Why do you think that this is the case?
    Joe’s link and your link has already reinforced what I do know, that Is that I have been totally and happily ignorant on these matters , and I need to re- read both links to digest the information provided.

  • Glenn
    On a different point. You say — “If you had looked at the world from the 50s to the 80s you would think communism was making new converts by the day. By 1990 it was pretty much dead”.

    I lived through the 50s to 80s and communism was very much in decline during this period. Far from making new converts the membership of the CPGB never recovered from the invasion of Hungary in 1956 and was in terminal decline by 1980. The attempts of Marxism Today and the Eurocommunists to “rebrand” failed and they continued to decline. Support in elections in the UK was at its peak in 1945 and not very big even then. The support within the TU movement was also a one way downward trend from 1950; by 1970 the number of key union posts held by communists was tiny.

  • Jayne Mansfield 4th Sep '14 - 12:41pm

    @ Richard Dean,
    You are flying a kite aren’t you? You must know that many people have a Pick ‘n mix approach to holy books whether it be the Quran or the Bible. The more shallow their understanding, the greater the likelihood that these individuals will make an appeal to something taken out context to bolster their arguments or behaviour by claiming their God’s authority for it.

  • Jayne Mansfield 4th Sep ’14 – 12:29pm
    @ John Tlley,
    You ask the question, why the Un has not picked out the Saudi rulers for sanction. Why do you think that this is the case?

    Jayne, in answers to your question. The Saudi rulers along with all the Gulf monarchies were put in place after WW1 by the UK, USA and France to protect the interest of oil businesses and the imperial ambitions of the time. The oil barons of the USA are closely interwoven with the Saudi elite, it is not just the Bush family . For one hundred years UK and USA governments usually keeping their own people in ignorance have connived with the Saudis. The twentieth century provides a series of disasters us interventions in the region including the overturning of democratically elected governments but the continuing support for the evil autocracies. It is a shameful period of UK history. It continues today – which is why there is no mention in the UN resolution, no mention of the key role of the Saudi rulers in ISIS and of course no mention of the beheadings regularly carried out by the murderous regime in Saudi.

  • Jayne Mansfueld – I have answered your question but my answer seems to have triggered the software that censors us occasionally. Hopefully my answer will appear soon.

  • I would suggest that those who join any extreme group have similar characters . They are resentful and embittered people who want to blame people for their failures and lack of status. Those who joined the Cheka, Nazis or any murderous muslim group want to extract revenge on a society whom they blame for their failings in life. Britain started sending Indian officers to Sandhurst in the early 1920s and by 1947some had attained the rank of colonel or even brigadier having fought in WW2. If one looks at the upper class Pakistanis who run the Army and Civil Service, they are very western in out look , confident in who they are and their status in life; they do not support the jihadis.

    The Jihadis recruiting criminals and those from the demi monde is very similar to the types who were recruited into the Cheka and the Nazis and undertook the murders. In any society there are criminals who have capacity for violence and are lazy and these types formed the Kray and Richardson Gangs. The Baider Meinhoff and similar left wing groups attracted middle class failures who wanted to extract revenge on society for their failures. The thugs in the Cheka/KGB and Nazis used were able to find political justification for their sadistic impulses. Criminals are often lazy and ignorant people who prefer the easy life of crime to a hard days work.

    It is time excuses to end and tell these types that they are embittered failures who have been offered opportunities and an ease of life than most in the World lack . If they lack the ability to succeed in Britain they should leave.

    Trade and technology is evolving rapidly as shown by the success of S Korea, China and India . The problem is that too many lazy and ignorant people want to find excuses for their failings in life. There people in India and China who live in slums , attend schools which are dilapidated yet achieve scholastic excellence . Jihadis look and sound so similar to the failures who flocked to Hitler in the 20s and 30s.

  • Charlie,

    Don Morgan is a 44 year old North Carolina native that seems to fit the general profile of a resentful and embittered person who wants to blame his own countrymen for his failures and lack of status The NBC interviewer writes:

    “The factors that drove Morgan to embrace the ideology of the terror group responsible for beheading two American journalists and killing thousands in Syria and Iraq appear to be rooted in more than faith, based on the extensive conversation with Morgan himself and some of those who know him. Personal disappointments and desires and exposure to increasingly radical social media also contributed to Morgan’s actions.

    Most crucial in Morgan’s case may have been the order and discipline that he says he found in practicing Islam –and in ISIS’s interpretation of the Muslim faith and its determination to spread it in the form of a caliphate.

    “My reason for the support of ISIS is because they’ve proven time and time again to put Islamic law as the priority and the establishment of an Islamic state as the goal,” Morgan told NBC News.

    So in place of the order of a military life, this southern son turned to a different, brutal, terrifying kind of discipline and belonging.”

    We cannot expect to eliminate terrorist crime in the UK any more than other types of crime, but we can take preventative measures to protect against such crime.

    Those working with children generally need to go through a CRB check as part of child protection measures. Similar background checks might be routinely applied to those affiliating with or supporting extremist groups.

  • @Jayne, I feel Joe and John’s answers have addressed much, so I will not add any more as it would just be repeating them.

    @Matthew, I agree that it must be lead by the Islamic world and we should not seek to big our role in it up, but I fear that without some leadership from outside forces, there simply will not be the willpower in the parts of the Islamic world with the money, power and influence to push this. I do also completely agree that ‘bragging’ about ‘John’ being a dead man walking is really unhelpful and just fuels their rhetoric.

  • Joe Bourke
    I think we need ridicule ; no person or group should be spared ridicule. Nothing kills quicker than ridicule. I would remove the idea of hate crimes or hate speech. Fresh air and sunlight are marvellous disinfectants . In the 20s many communist thugs joined the Nazis . The communists and nazis were fishing for the same type of person. We should remember the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem supported Hitler and the holocaust.

    As Nancy Wake , ” Without freedom , we have nothing”. When in court people promise to say ” The truth , the whole truth and nothing but the truth” not what is convenient.

    Some of the greatest absurdities are the failures supporting the National Front or BNP and the Trotskyist /Communists promising revolution when they could not punch their way out of a wet paper bag. Kevin from ” The Young Ones ” is a superb portrayal on many hard left types.

    Whether Lenin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Plot or Khomeini we should have ridiculed and mocked their blind hatred. Only the failures in life are full of hate, bitterness, resentment , jealously and envy. As T Sowell has said ” If you want to help someone you tell them the truth, if you want to help yourself , you tell the person what they want to hear”. As Plato pointed out , demagogues will always existing who try to gain power by telling hateful, resentful, bitter and envious people that their failure is someone else’s fault.

    We need to tell people that Britain is a free country and democracy requires emotionally mature people to take responsibility for successes and failures. We should be saying to people that people have died for our freedoms and if you fail , blame yourself, not Britain. If you do not like Britain leave for somewhere you prefer. It is time to say to jihadis and their families that is they were honest they would not collect any welfare benefits .

  • Charlie;
    Horrible as it may seem driving force of The Islamic State is more about idealism and a Utopian vision than feelings of personal inadequacy. These guys are joining IS IL because they see the establishment of a caliphate as a noble quest that will liberate the Islamic world and restore it to greatness. The problem is that people can be idealistic about really really bad things. They want be part of something big and important. The appeal of International Communism and Fascism is pretty much the same. Lots and lots of appeals to history, destiny and to blood and soil.
    To be honest as a Liberal I’m not a fan of religion or the crazy things people in a fervour sometimes do.. Even less so when it becomes politicised. In my view we need to be much more secular. It’s noticeable that US with its aggressively secular institutions and uncensored criticism produces less Islamic extremist sympathisers than our over indulgence of community politics and religious deference. The bottom line is that you can’t divorce something called the Islamic State from the religion that inspired it. But lets not get bogged down in why people believe things they do. All I want from our leaders is to stop them killing folks and causing us problems.

  • Glenn,

    I am not so sure that the Americans would notice that their ” …aggressively secular institutions and uncensored criticism produces less Islamic extremist sympathisers than our over indulgence of community politics and religious deference.”

    In recent years they have had Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the Boston Marathon jihad murderers; Terry Loewen, the Muslim convert who wanted to cause “massive carnage” and be martyred “for Allah” by bombing the Wichita Mid-Continental Airport; Amine Mohamed El-Khalifi, the would-be jihad/martyrdom suicide bomber at the U.S. Capitol; Nidal Malik Hasan, the Fort Hood jihad mass murderer; Naser Abdo, the would-be second Fort Hood jihad mass murderer; Khalid Aldawsari, the would-be jihad mass murderer in Lubbock, Texas; Muhammad Hussain, the would-be jihad bomber in Baltimore; Mohamed Mohamud, the would-be jihad bomber in Portland; Faisal Shahzad, the would-be Times Square jihad mass-murderer; Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, the Arkansas military recruiting station jihad murderer; Naveed Haq, the jihad mass murderer at the Jewish Community Center in Seattle; Mohammed Reza Taheri-Azar, the would-be jihad mass murderer in Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Ahmed Ferhani and Mohamed Mamdouh, who hatched a jihad plot to blow up a Manhattan synagogue; Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the would-be Christmas airplane jihad bomber; or the many others like them who have plotted and/or committed mass murder in the name of Islam , all in the U.S. in the last few years.

  • Glenn
    The the socially confident German officers, many who were aristocrats and embued with the concept of Christian chivalry, were largely immune to Hitler. Very few aristocrats served in the Waffen SS , let alone as concentration camp guards or Gestapo. Some of the aristocrats could trace th families back to 1200 or even earlier and did not want to tarnish their honour.

    I would suggest that if one looks at Pakistan , the socially confident Pakistan officers who have been educated at private schools , officer establishments and Sandhurst are largely immune to extremism. Under communism , the remnants of the upper middle and upper classes largely served in the Red Army as combat officers not as commissars or members of the Cheka/KGB.

    If one talks to many Muslims it is the decadence of the West which offends them. When many Muslims see girls walking to school wearing short skirts, too tight blouse, swearing and smoking and being anything than lady like in appearance, then they are repulsed . Many muslims have preference to send their children and especially their daughters to traditional Roman Catholic or C of E schools , especially single sex ones where there is greater discipline rather than comprehensives where discipline is lax. Many Muslims work in take aways and as taxi drivers and it the drunken sluttish behaviour of some white girls which offends them and do not want for their daughters. When muslims started to come to Britain in the 1950s, schools were more traditional and had Christian assemblies. Since the 1960s, the cultural marxism promoted by the Frankfurt School has dominated much of the teaching establishment and the leadership of the NUT resulting in an absence of discipline and an absence of morals. Most muslims believe in the following :- honour thy parents, women should be virgins when they marry, divorce is frowned upon, children should be born to married women, men and women should not drink and definitely not be drunk in public , women should be modestly dressed in public. Pakistani, Bangladesh and arab Muslims comes from a shame and honour culture: people should not bring shame an honour to their families. When Muslims are asked to integrate into the west some reply ” So you want our daughters to become drunken sluts and sire bastards ?” There is a Jewish school in Birmingham which has massive majority of Muslims . Muslims send their children there because it provides a traditional morality and education.

  • Joe.
    Weaponry , bomb making material and the instruction on how to use this stuff relatively easier to get in the US. It is also the great Satan as far as Islamists are concerned. I was merely pointing out that there are remarkably fewer traveling Jihadists from the US than from Europe.
    The Kellogg report after WWI made it pretty clear that there were severe problems with the German officer class and their casual acceptance of what we now call war crimes. Hitler was supported pretty much across the board by the German Aristocracy and had a lot of support here from the from the same section of society. The fact is the high command of the German military continued to overwhelmingly supported Hitler until it was obvious they were going to lose the war. Hitler could not have taken over Germany without being first being installed as chancellor or without the massive support of the German people. The running of concentration camps was left to lower scale officers because the experienced military commanders were in charge of using blitzkrieg on civilian targets, butchering allied troops, killing Russian peasants, executing resistance fighters, and reporting back to their Fuhrer with often exaggerated tales of their military prowess. They continued to do this until they were crushed by allied forces in 1945. By the way most of the political opposition to Hitler in Germany fairly low down the social scale. Trade unionists, Catholics and of course Jewish people, the majority of whom were urban. A lot of them ended up dead.

  • And Charlie,
    Your last paragraph is pure hateful misogyny at its worse. Read the reports on Rotherham.. Who was doing what to whom, the role of takeaways and taxi drivers and the attitudes of the perpetrators and the police who failed to act. The facts speak for themselves. Unlike you I have no problem with the behaviour of our young women. In fact I think they are pretty awesome. I by the way live in Leicester and know a lot of Muslims. They are not one set of people with one set of values.

  • Richard Dean 5th Sep '14 - 2:35pm

    Those aren’t reasons to go to a strange place 4000 miles away, murder local populations who don’t follow your beliefs, oppress the remainder who comply rather than die, and decapitate foreigners for money. Where’s the morality in that?

  • Richard Dean
    Muslims who are poorly educated and skilled find obtaining jobs in the knowledge economy if you then combine this with a rejection of wester decadence makes them easily influenced by extremist preachers. It is not one or two factors but several , all occurring in certain sequences which causes problems. The massive increase in middle class support for Hitler took place after the USA called in the debts owed by Germany which resulted in middle class unemployment.
    It was once said that Labour owed more to methodism than marxism.

    It is the domination of labour and the public services within much of inner Britain by the hard left/Trotskyists and the introduction of decadent lifestyles which many muslims are rejecting . Prime Minister J Callaghan was a Petty Officer and officer in the RN and Sunday School Teacher, deeply patriotic and traditional in his views: this type of Labour member is largely absent within inner city Britain.

    Many muslims would only be happy to integrate into a patriotic and traditional Britain of the 1950s but not a debauched, decadent and weak Britain of the last 20 years. The sight of drunken women , in short mini skirts , vomiting in public is not something Muslims want their women to emulate.

  • Richard Dean 5th Sep '14 - 3:14pm

    This focus on women’s behaviour seems suspicious to me, particularly since women seem to be treated as property rather than people in parts of the Middle East. Can it be that IS is fuelled by outdated attitudes to sex?

    Many parents want their children to have similar values to them. As a result, there is always a bit of a conflict induced in young people’s minds, between the culture of their peers and the culture of their parents.

    The best that parents can do is be tolerant of changing social attitudes. The worst they can do is insist on strict obedience to outdated ones. Similarly for those who guide people’s opinions, such as religious leaders.

  • The rise of muslim extremism dates from the 1920s with the founding of the Muslim Brotherhood . Sayyid Qutb’s visited the USA in the late 1940s and he was horrified by the actions of women. Qutb became a major influence on the Muslim Brotherhood and the rejection of western culture . Abul Maududi writing in India from 1941 also rejected much of western culture. The defeat of Syria and Egypt in 1973 increased support for the MB in their rejection of all western culture , including communism .The oil wealth of the Saudis post 1973 meant that many mullahs were educated in the Wahabi version of Islam. The fall of the Shah of Iran and success of Khomeini inspired many islamicists to challenge the secular state. The Islamifican of Pakistan started in the 1970s with Zia ul Haq.
    All these factors coming together combined with the decadence and debauchery witnessed by many muslims over the last 30 years , has meant that many have rejected large aspects of western culture. There is problem with binge drinking , young people getting STDs and teenage girls getting pregnant and many muslims are rejecting the society which they see allows or even encourages such activities. The all day drinking in many urban areas on Friday and Saturday nights is almost recreating gin alley of the 18C .

  • Charlie,

    decadence and debauchery has not just suddenly appeared in the last 30 years.

    “The world is passing through troublous times. The young people of today think of nothing but themselves. They have no reverence for parents or old age. They are impatient of all restraint. They talk as if they knew everything, and what passes for wisdom with us is foolishness with them. As for the girls, they are forward, immodest and unladylike in speech, behavior and dress.”

    Source: extract from a sermon preached by Peter the Hermit in A.D. 1274!

    As for fanatical Islamist atrocities the word ‘Assassins’ is derived from a breakaway muslim sect of killers and drug abusers that formed in the late 11th century. The name “Assassin” is often said to derive from the Arabic Hashishin or “users of hashish” according to the writings of Marco Polo..

    Similarly, the word ‘thugs’ derives from the ‘thuggees ‘ – organised gangs of professional assassins that originated from several muslim tribes, spread to hindu castes, preyed on travellers and roamed across the Indian sub-continent until the cult was eradicated during the period of British rule.

  • Richard Dean 6th Sep '14 - 5:05pm

    I think you’ve got it slightly wrong there. Sayyid Qutb wasn’t horrified by America. He was inspired by it. He learned the techniques of how America works, and he applied the same techniques to Muslims in Egypt.

    Much of America works by temptation. Much of the temptation revolves around sex and status and self-image. People like these things and are willing to pay to acquire them. People worship those who already have them.

    Sayyid Qutb needed to make his name and make a living when he returned from the US. So he used temptation too, but a temptation that was better suited to a poor and religiously oppressed people. He tempted them into feeling that their ways were better than the Western ways.

    So it looks like Sayyid Outb was a great sinner! Instead of working to free people from the bonds of poverty and ignorance, he used the bonds of poverty and ignorance to further oppress them, to extract respect from them, and status and money. He made his fortune from the misfortunes of others, just like they do it in the US!

  • Joe Burke
    It is the actions of some white women which horrifies most muslims. Many muslims are taxi drivers and owners of take aways and therefore see the actions of people on Friday and Saturday nights. Losing control because of drink and drugs is causing problems for A and E , teen age pregnancy, rise in abortions, STDs and liver disease amongst those in their 20s and 30s : speak to police and those working in health. Many town centres have drink and drug related problems on Friday and Saturday nights. Historically, the Methodist and Quaker influenced Labour and Liberal Parties had been very critical of drinking and gambling as it reduced families to the workhouse. The Blair Government turned it;s back on Labour’s Methodist traditions. The sexualisation of children is a concern of many parents and especially muslim ones.

    Richard Deane
    Qutb was horrified by women and men dancing together! A major cause of complaints against the Shah came from servants working in upper middle and upper class households who saw the women swimming in western costumes.

    In general, the western outlook of upper middle and upper classes of the muslim World has been and is being rejected by the socially more conservative working and lower middle classes.

  • Yes, Charlie, everything is the fault of the West and especially western women. We are decadent and evil. When Isis abduct women to rape, behead journalists, shoot prisoners through the back of head and execute children for being from the wrong religion its. because teenage girls in Hackney wear shorts skirts. That explains it all..

  • Richard Dean 7th Sep '14 - 2:42pm

    This is all wrong. First, the taxi-drivers are criticising behaviours of people who are not necessarily middle and upper classes of the Western world. Second, those behaviours do not represent the majority of even working class Western people – in fact the taxi drivers only see the rude minority precisely because they put themselves in the position to see that minority.

    If Qutb was horrified by women and men dancing together, then he had a personal or psychological problem. That problem should not have been used to fuel political action. Major complaints against rulers are probably never about their leisure activities. Major complaints are usually about unequal distribution of wealth.

    From what I’ve learnt of Qutb, I’d say he was just a cynical operator who used people’s weaknesses, poverty, and uncertainties against them. He acquired status and money by preaching division rather than mutual respect or support. He was one of the worst things that could happen to Muslims.

    But there is an order to things. Drunkenness, vomiting, teenage pregnancies, and even acquiring STD’s, is nothing like as bad as the atrocities being committed by troops of the Islamic State.

  • Relevant to this thread is the tradition of young jewish Americans attending summer camps where they fly the Israeli flag, sing the Israelii national anthem, undergo basic weapons training and what in other contexts would be called “radicalisation”. Some go on to volunteer for the Israel military or go and join gun toting extremist “settlers” to steal Palestinian land. Will these young men be condemned in the same terms as the Jihadis? I guess not.

  • Richard Dean 7th Sep '14 - 3:34pm

    @John Tilley
    Why on earth is that relevant?

  • Richard Dean
    The originalpiece by Caron included this —
    “I worry that any young Muslim man going anywhere, even to Paris to watch the Tour de France or to Pakistan for a cousin’s wedding, might end up subject to time-consuming and illiberal investigations that prevent them travelling for no good reason. The presumption of guilt implicit in that is not a good look. Making a “deradicalisation programme” statutory sounds like the sort of thing no liberal should ever want to be a part of…”

    I mention these young men who are not Israeli but volunteer for the Israeli military or join the settlers as a close parallel to those going to Jihad with ISiS.

    It is also relevant because UK support for Israel for the last 70 years has resulted in alienation of young UK citizens who follow Islam. The blind eye turned by the UK and Cameron in particular to atrocities against Palestinians is one of the real reasons for “radicalisation”

    I hope you see the direct relevance to this thread now?

  • Richard Dean 7th Sep '14 - 4:34pm

    @John Tilley
    No, I don’t see that. I see no parallel. The Palestinian-Isreali problem has little to do with the kind of radicalization associated with the Islamic State.

    What I see is that those involved on one side of the Palestinian-Israeli problem seem to always try to link every other problem in the Middle East to that one. It’s a way of avoiding getting down to the hard business of finding a solution.

    What I also see is that few people in the region actually sympathize with the Palestinians. Quite a few countries there are rather happy that the Israeli’s take on the task on containing that problem.

  • Glen
    It is the actions of the people with whom muslim taxi drivers and takeaway workers come into contact with which persuades many that western life is decadent and is main reason for the move to muslims schools for girls.. As I have said before it is combination o, f the MB, Qutb, Maududi, Zia ulHaq, the wealth of the Saudis and the promotion of Whabisim, the arab defeat by Israel in 1973 and Khomeini’s overthrow of the Shah , a turning away from secular communist supported pan -Arabism, radicalisation due to Afghanistan and Bosnia which has created a political islamism and which has coincided with many Muslims in Britain turning away away from decadent western values.

    A considerable minority of the muslim community is failing to integrate into British Society which can be reduced to broad factors
    1. Revulsion of the decadence , especially shown by some white British women.
    2. A strong message by mullahs influenced by the MB, Maududi and Saudi financed Wahabism to reject much of western society’s cultural values.
    3. The bloodl ust shown by ISIS is nothing new and has occurred in many Arab/Mulsim conflicts. When the Iraqi Royal Family was overthrown in 1958, there was extensive slaughter . The civil war in Algeria in the 1990s involved horrific murders. S Hussein, Ghadafi and Assad senior all used mass murder and torture to maintain control.
    4. A fundamental aspect of the human character is the need for status. Emotionally immature muslims with little success in life and low self worth can join ISIS and obtain status ; the same way similar people joined the Nazis , were given a uniform and a flag and started to march.

    As in the rise of Hitler and the second world it is not a single even which caused conflict but a series of events , covering a number of issues combined with the actions and in-actions of Britain, France, USSR and USA . The seeds of WW2 could be said to have been sown when the allies did not invade and demand the unconditional surrender of Germany as suggested by General Pershing of the USA. Even in 1939 , when Germany invaded Poland, France could have invaded Germany . Consequently, the full horrors of WW2 could have been stopped anytime between 1918 and the defeat of Poland.

    Multi culturalism means have people with different cultures in the UK , no-one has thought whether they are compatible with freedom, parliamentary democracy and the rule that everyone is equal in the eyes of the Law. No–one has thought whether different cultures may be in conflict with each other.

    John Tilley
    If Muslim were so concerned about Britain’s support for Israel , why immigrate here ? Britain worked with Israel in the Suez fiasco of 1956 so why come here?

  • Richard Dean 8th Sep '14 - 5:27pm

    I like parts of Charlie’s analysis. Status fits neatly with Maslow’s hierarchy, which is based on a very Western type of philosophy. Could it explain Anjem Choudary’s transition from party animal to pious religiosity – a result of failing to win a high-status job?'s_hierarchy_of_needs

    A thing that appears to be missing from much Islamic thought is recognition of the value of diversity. If you are terrified of the world, maybe it’s a comfort to see someone else thinking and doing exactly the same as you. Maybe diversity seems like a threat. But if you’re not afraid, then differences between yourself and others makes life very interesting and rewarding. Diversity is welcome.

    The human mind is very susceptible to manipulation. Could these two things explain the bloodlust – Maslow and Fear? Muhammad’s environment in 6-7th century Arabia must have been full of fear. A distressed mind can find many unusual ways of asking for help. Can the bloodlust be a tortured mind’s way of describing distress?

  • Charlie,,
    Stop blaming white women for Muslim extremism.
    I live in Leicester. The main reason Muslim communities fail to integrate is simply down to concentration of numbers. What we have here is not just separation between non Muslims and Muslims. The Somali Muslims live on the Saint Matthews estate, Pakistani Muslims in Hihgfields and St Peters estate, Black and White working class in New Parks and Beaumont Leys. Hindus and Sikhs Belgrade Road area, White Middle Class mostly Stonygate etc. People gravitate to what they know, Housing policy and income dictate where people live and this creates political and social norms. Twenty years ago when I was student you rarely saw the Burka and the Hijab in Leicester. Younger Muslim women wore Alice bands and trouser under dresses and older Muslim women dressed like Indian Muslims. This is because they still inter acted with Hindus. and workplaces were not helping to impose strict Islamic dress codes on them through a mistaken belief in Labour inspired Multicultural diversity . As the demographics of Leicester changed Muslims were only interacting with other Muslims and as a result the norms changed. Stricter Middle Eastern dress codes became more normal, You also started to see more Muslim men dressed in a Middle Eastern style. Equally obviously the politics also changed because you also got more Islamic centres with reading material supplied countries like Saudi Arabia, hence British Jihadist in the Middle East.
    As for western decadence, I suspect Caron won’t let me post this because it doesn’t fit with a politically correct reading, but this is my experience Drug use and Prostitution levels are actually very high in the Muslim areas of Leicester just as they are actually very high in a lot of Muslim Countries. Hindus and Sikhs, I have Hindus in my extended family, will tell you the same thing and will also tell you that Grooming Gangs try to target their girls’ as well. There were even arrest that didn’t make the national news and I still think there’s a Rotherham style scandal in waiting here in Liecester and in Nottingham. So, sorry, I disagree, the West does not have a monopoly on decadence or immorality. And to be honest with you I think young people dressing up and getting a bit drunk is not the end of civilisation and certainly no excuse to go to Iraq and behead Americans.

    So these are my thoughts on why we get British Jihadist. They are young people who believe a lot of clap trap and are no more worthy of understanding than the KKK,

  • And Charlie,
    You keep coming out with this low status argument when we barely know who these jihadist are. For all we know some of them could be graduates, moderately successful DJs and young men with enough cash to travel
    What we know about the Nazis suggests mostly middle and lower and middle class backgrounds, relatively educated people drawn to then fashionable totalitarian political thought and the popularity of anti-Semitism.. They were seen as a safer alternative to rise of Communism because they would strengthen the existing social order rather than replace it. And in truth aristocratic Germans, Industrialist and the Military flourished under Nazis rule until 1942 when the course of the war turned. The low status people who you try to pin this on were the ones that ended up being gassed or driven from their homes in Eastern Europe. Political uncertainty breeds fear. Elites feeling threatened fund fascistic organisation to stave of territorial and political threats,. Though in no shape or form Fascist you can see the same sort of thing with our right-wing press and UKIP. The banking system collapses, Europe might impose financial restrictions, what if voters move Left, we need a strong man

    I would argue that you are seeing the same fascistic drive in Isis as they attempt to oust various imagined undesirables from their dream caliphate..We are reliant on Gulf State Oil. The Gulf nations fear secularism and Shiites because it might blow back. So we played Good Isis Bad Isis by promoting destabilising religious fanatics in Syria, Egypt and Libya and turned a blind eye when the gulf states provided the funds for Jihad . Such is the warped nature international politics. The other startlingly obvious fact this is still informed by the Cold War and who favours who,

  • Richard Dean 9th Sep '14 - 12:20pm

    That’s very perceptive, interesting and informative. Thank you.

  • Richard Dean 7th Sep ’14 – 4:34pm
    ” The Palestinian-Isreali problem has little to do with the kind of radicalization associated with the Islamic State.”

    Richard, did you see the thousands of people across Europe who took to the streets to protest at the bombing of Gaza?
    Are you unaware of the feelings of the UK’s Islamic populations regarding Israel and its permanent war on Palestinian civilians?

    The election of George Galloway first in East London and now in Bradford ought to tell you something. His line on Palestine pulls in the votes of large numbers of people who feel that their views are ignored by the main parties.

    I am no fan of George Galloway, but if you bang on about Jihadis but ignore Israeli military training camps in the USA how do you expect people to react?

  • Richard Dean 9th Sep '14 - 3:32pm

    @John Tilley. There is no point in trying to persuade me. I’m afraid I regard your view as unhelpful rubbish. Which is more or less my view of George Galloway too.

  • Richard Dean 9th Sep '14 - 3:35pm

    … for the reasons I explained previously.

  • Glen,
    You are ignoring Saudi /Wahabi influence. A Chinese Malay told me twenty years ago hardly any Muslim Malay women wore the hijab , now most do. A major boost to muslim extremism are the following
    1. Arabs leave Afghanistan after Soviets depart in 1992.
    2. West fails to intervene in Bosnia from 1992 , after having removed Iraq from Kuwait.
    3. Civil war in Algeria , 1990 to early 00s, result in Algerians in London – see Finsbury Mosque
    4. Chechnya early 1990s.
    5. Saudi influence in Pakistan starts to increase post mid 1980s.
    6. Many Muslims had worked in Saudi/GCC and become influenced by arab views of Islam post 1973.
    7. Saudi/GCC funding of mosques and mullah education, translation of Korans post 1973 start showing visible results from mid 1990s.
    8. Large numbers of muslim men involved in jihad start moving around the World post mid 1990s due to various conflicts , similar to mercenaries in Middle Ages of Thirty Years War

    The cosmopolitan upper middle class and upper class Muslims are largely immune to the Wahabi/Saudi influence.
    Within Saudi , the western educated technocrats who run the oil industry or air force are the least influenced by the religious authorities.

    Status and self confidence largely come about from personal achievement . Often someone who is first in the family to go to university and comes from a school with little tradition of academic excellence becomes overwhelmed at university : they go from being top of the class, big fish in a small pond to someone who is a small fish in a big pond: they have lost status.

    If a muslim man or woman who has been a big fish in small pond and had status they may feel inferior if they compare themselves to a sexually confident well travelled cosmopolitan brighter physically fitter more charming more sophisticated person who can talk about skying trips and their time in Bali. A recent photograph of the Cambridge Women’s Rowing Squad showed a group of fit cheerful attractive and bright young ladies. For someone who has considered themselves the brightest in the school/ family/local area who has been praised for their academically ability to find oneself at university and their are people who are brighter, fitter and play for the university /country in a demanding sport such as rowing , could be a shock.

    If the Muslim person is forced by their family to return home every weekend while other undergrads are competing in sports or partying or both they are likely to feel left out. In many ways for someone to leave home for the first time and go to university is like leaving a protective shell behind and they may feel very exposed and insecure. Someone who has only ever socialised with their family and a narrow range of friends, if they lack confidence, may feel very nervous and inadequate having to suddenly meet a large number of confident people, who appear to feel at ease in their new surroundings.

    What I think helps to give people confidence at university is either to be the best academically or have some other attribute such as playing sort, acting , music , being in the TA/Reserves, music . Birds of feather flock together and insecure people horrified at the decadence of student life and being resentful of others greater confidence and the fact that people are having a better time, is good breeding ground for resentment which may lead to extremism.

    Industrialists were not aristocrats whose income came from land and therefore had nothing to gain from war. If all the workers are in the Armed forces who is going to bring in the harvest? The German Diplomatic Corp was largely staffed by aristocrats and one of them pleaded with the UK and France to invade Germany after Hitler entered the Rhine in 1936.

    I am not blaming white women nor do I say only white people are debauched. It is case of manners maketh mann, the manner in which one presents oneself to the World is the manner in which one is judged.

    I have said the the drunken white women the muslim community have encountered as taxi drivers and take away workers horrifies them. In the muslim world they expect women to be virgins when they marry , seeing white women passed out with drink or drugs and talking about their sex lives horrifies them. Some Mullahs have been very open in their opinion on women who behave in this way.

    The Britain of the 1950s and 1960s was more traditional in it’s values than today and immigrants from East Africa and the Indian sub-continent found it easier to assimilate. The Indians who went to Sandhurst from the 1920s onwards had no trouble in assimilating into the life of an officer. The upper class Indians who went to public schools such as Nehru at Harrow and the Buttos or Imran Khan at Oxford had no trouble assimilating . The Indian and Pakistan officers kept up the British traditions in their messes to this day. In the Indian sub-continent , having ones daughters educated in convent schools is a status symbol. The private schools such as Aitchison College , Lahore and Doon School run along British public school lines.

    What we are seeing is divergence between a more hedonsitic western lifestyle where there are no taboos on one’s lifestyle and a Saudi/Wahabi /Salafi influenced Islam of today which is more restrictive , intolerant and isolationist than the Islam practiced by most those in East Africa and Indian Sub-Continent in the 1950s and 1960s. Until 1973 , the Sufi and Ismaili influenced Islam of the Indian sub continent meant many lived as good neighbours. Christian Indians from Kerala, India are saying muslims are becoming more strident in their beliefs. Islam in Malaysia has become more more strident due to Saudi/Wahabi influence – talk to the non -muslims.

  • Richard Dean 10th Sep '14 - 5:50pm

    It does not seem accurate to say that status comes from personal achievement. Status is a description of a relationship between an individual and others. It is something that is given to the individual by others, as a result of the individual’s success in achieving some goals or objectives or expectations that the others approve of.

    Consequently, when an individual moves from one environment to another, where the second environment contains other people with different goals or objectives or expectations, then the individual is bound to experience a change of status, usually a loss. That’s ok, the individual needs to learn to cope or learn to satisfy the new goals etc.

    It is not something that happens only to Muslims, nor only to new university undergraduates. It happens to all sorts of people in all sorts of changes. It happens when a person reaches puberty. It happens when a person leaves school and starts work. It happens when someone switches jobs or careers, or gets the sack, or suffers a major injury resulting in loss of capacity, or develops a mental illness, or retires.

    The Islamic State has painted itself as the embodiment of evil, as Evil Incarnate. It is another one of the worst things that could have happened to Islam. Ethnic cleansing, murder, crucifixion, beheadings, oppression, hijacking of private and public industries, medieval “law” – loss of status does not excuse any of these things.

  • Charlie,
    I’m not getting into an endless backwords and forwards with you.
    I was merely pointing out that your low status argument doesn’t fit.

    As for the rest of it I was simply pointing out that in my experience of living in a multi-cultural city and as a student living in Highfields Leicester 20 years ago and the changes I’ve seen and why I don’t think those changes are really about moral indignation. I’m sure you Taxi driver is lovely bloke, but let me suggest that with recent reports into Rotherham that there may be a tendency of some members of some communities to project an issue in a particular way .
    The larger point is that I’m a secular liberal . I have zero sympathy with fanatics and I don’t care about the excuses they make for their fanaticism. I actually think trying to understand them is counter productive and helps them recruit in the West. What you end up with is nasty young men from London beheading Americans in Iraq because they are upset about cartoons in Holland and Israel not being Palestine and the lack of Sharia law in Croydon or whatever other combination of ridiculous reasoning they can think up or are encouraged to believe by a mixture of the well meaning and the malevolent.

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