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Council caves to religious pressure…political correctness gown’ maad 3, October 2011

Posted by thegulfblog.com in UK.
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3 comments

…would have been the headline in at least two British daily newspapers had a council changed some facet of the road management system (or something similarly trivial) to accommodate the desires of the Muslim community. Witness this article in the execrable Daily Express on a similarly trivial issue.

Instead, this happened in North London where the council have installed an automatic road crossing  timer so Jews don’t have to use a mechanical button on the Sabbath lest the world comes to an end.

I’ve no problem with this and think that as long as it’s not expensive or intrusive in some way, UK councils, for example, ought to try to accommodate the reasonable needs of their local communities. I don’t want to come across like the absurdly angry arab, who can find angst in…well…everything…but I’d just like a touch of balance. Obviously, if I’m waiting for that from the Daily Mail Hate or the Express, I realise that I’ll be waiting quite some time.

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The Daily Hate’s shocking Bahraini puff-piece 26, September 2010

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Bahrain.
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2 comments

I’m not a fan of the British tabloid The Daily Mail, or the Daily Hate as it should patently be known. Quite literally founded on the principal that it should give its readers something to ‘hate’ everyday, the paper continues to peddle sensationalist drivel usually involving demonizing Muslims or foreigners as a whole.

The latest joke of an article that I’ve come across is the puffiest of puff pieces on Bahrain. Presumably in the backlash of the negative press reporting in the West about Bahrain’s current crisis and their severe crack-down on pro-democracy protesters, an intrepid Daily Mail reporter was dispatched to Bahrain to do an in depth report on the delights of Manama as a tourist destination. Truly I can’t remember reading such a vapid piece of pseudo-journalism.

While I perfectly understand that this article is in the Travel section of the paper, is it really too much to expect a word – just one word – about the massive human rights abuses currently going on in Bahrain? Moreover, ignoring the fact that this article really ought to have been shelved given the current issues in Bahrain, even for a Travel section, this piece could not have been written more favourably were it dictated by Bahrain Tourism Inc. No critical comments at all? Nothing? Everything was just that perfect?

Truly, this is a nauseating article in massively bad taste.

Hat tip: CMD

PS. If you type ‘Daily Hate’ into Google, the first result is the Daily Mail’s homepage…even google agrees with me.

From bum bomb to body bomb? 1, February 2010

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Middle East.
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Fears have been raised of a new generation of suicide bombers secreting explosives inside their bodies to evade airport security. This story appeared in the Daily Mail (a.k.a the Daily Fear), a newspaper that loves nothing more than whipping up an unjustified frenzy about illegal immigrants, security issues and Princess Diana.

The article quotes MI5 officials voicing such fears based on information from “observing increasingly vocal internet ‘chatter’ on Arab websites this year.” The Daily Hate goes on to quote “a leading source” who suggests that bombers might insert explosives near the appendix or their breasts if they are a female bomber.

Something like this is, in many ways, a logical progression. From bombs strapped to vests, to bombs in shoes, to bombs in underwear to bombs inserted up the bomber’s bottom, bombs stitched into, for example, the chest may well be the next evolution. If PETN, the explosive of choice for recent bombers, was used, a frighteningly small amount of it would be needed to punch through the thin skin of a plane. The Daily Hate suggest that as little as 8oz properly shaped can penetrate as much as five inches of armor.

A few thoughts:

  • In the aftermath of the horrific Madrid train bombings in 2004, I remember various articles discussing the next generation of Al Qaeda ‘sleeper agent’. These omnipotent agents would dress, act, live, eat and drink like ‘us Westerners’, only harboring their deep, dark secret within, waiting to unleash their bombs at an opportune time. Also, they did not have any real contact with the Al Qaeda ‘base’ in Afghanistan/Pakistan but were instead inspired over the internet. These supposed terrorists were, therefore, the very apogee of terrorism: undetectable, driven and deadly. Yet, such terrorists essentially do not exist. This story was more of an apocryphal warning for the maintenance of impossible levels of vigilance than anything else.
  • This potentially undetectable bomb strikes me as somewhat similar in nature. Especially so being as it is the Daily Fearmongerer that has the story. Apologies for belaboring the point but they are such a disreputable paper, so callously playing on peoples’ fears that I find it difficult to believe a word that they write.  Lord Northcliffe the founder of the Daily Mail, after all, based the paper on the notion of giving readersa daily hate to keep them coming back for more.
  • Yet, such a bomb is clearly possible and however unlikely it may be, it needs to be taken seriously. I’d suggest that this further goes to show that profiling of some form or another may well be a larger part of the answer than scanners.

Hat tip: CKU