Author Topic: London in the news again.  (Read 718 times)

Dave

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Re: London in the news again.
« Reply #15 on: June 20, 2017, 03:54:46 AM »
Geez, what is it with some people? That's one thing a group like ISIS wants to happen!

Yes, very true, the more anger and dissent generated in the Muslim community - wherever - the more they like it.
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Asmodean

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Re: London in the news again.
« Reply #16 on: June 20, 2017, 07:48:18 AM »
We should be careful not to elevate the problems with Islam over other religions. Christianity, Judaism, etc are no better in terms of what their holy books proscribe against "sinners" by their screwed up standards.
True enough, poison is poison. However, the poison of Islam is somewhat more deadly. If you look up to Jesus, you are less likely to go kill yourself some infidels than if you look up to Mohammed. So yeah... My metaphorical banner does not read "Stop Islam" as so many in Europe seem to do these days - it reads "Stop religion"

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I firmly believe the problem has more to do with religion in general, the cultures themselves and how they allow religion to be exploited within them to manipulate people into committing acts like this, and the inability of these communities to integrate into the western societies they live in. Saying it's "Islam" is too simplistic, even with your later qualifiers.
I disagree. It's not too simplistic - it is as fair a first-degree approximation as can be. Why is Islam more of a problem than Islamophobia? Well, for starters, Islamophobes in general kill fewer people every year than Islamists (To those even thinking "But not all Muslims" - Stop it.  >:( If I have to own the shit my affiliations get me into, well then so do moderate Muslims.) Also, broadly defined, Islamophobia is people's reaction to a very real threat. You can do stupider things than to try and put some barbed wire borders between you and something which as one of its core tenants has killing or subjugating your infidel ass.

So do let us talk about Islam's treatment of gays, women, other religious groups, its own people and sovereign nations where it may not even be in a majority position. Let us compare that with how other religions are doing. Poison is poison, but in terms of threat, you do can differentiate sarin from cigarettes. (Follow that comparison, by the way - it's interesting. One is far more deadly, but the other... Is actually far more deadly)
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Dave

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Re: London in the news again.
« Reply #17 on: June 20, 2017, 08:30:16 AM »
On Firebird's comment about "...the cultures themselves...": this raises a point I am very wary off but cannot sseem to shake off: how much is culture, or even genetics, and how much purely religion? This is close to being racist and is certainly "culture-ist".

I have been told that there is, basically, a genetic basis to human behaviour. It is possible to map levels of violence, inter-personal and inter-group/faction, and I wonder what sort of picture this would give. Are Europeans less liable to have violent tendancies than, say, those in the ME, South Asian or African? Is there even a spread of degree violent tendency, verbal and physical, between the Nordic/Anglo-Saxon languaged countries and those derived from Latin?

Is the nature of a religion a product of cultural behaviour or the other way round? How much does history have a hand in this? How much the imperialist forcing of tribal or other "native" divisions into less than fully stable nations? How much the warlord/strong man culture in many countries?

Is this an elephant in the room situation?  Whatever I have been unable to get it out of my mind for years nor found a fully objective way to research it.

This is, perhaps, partly why I try to judge a person by their actions rather than colour or beliefs. However, some cultures and beliefs can have a wide influence on behaviour.
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Asmodean

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Re: London in the news again.
« Reply #18 on: June 20, 2017, 09:09:54 AM »
On Firebird's comment about "...the cultures themselves...": this raises a point I am very wary off but cannot sseem to shake off: how much is culture, or even genetics, and how much purely religion? This is close to being racist and is certainly "culture-ist".
Don't let your aversion to being labeled as some form of -ist or another prevent you from making your points, is what I say. For one, those labels are rapidly losing whatever sting they may once have had. For two, either you have a point to some degree, or you are "just wrong." Whether or not it's "something-ist" is irrelevant in the context of a discussion. 

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I have been told that there is, basically, a genetic basis to human behavior.
This seems obvious. But then, there are people out there trying to deny that h. sapiens sapiens are sexually dimorphic, so I have little doubt that suggesting genetic behavioral factors would cause controversy in some circles.

Hmm... I think I'm going to lift discussing this into the Islam thread I'm making.
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Firebird

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Re: London in the news again.
« Reply #19 on: June 20, 2017, 09:20:30 AM »
True enough, poison is poison. However, the poison of Islam is somewhat more deadly. If you look up to Jesus, you are less likely to go kill yourself some infidels than if you look up to Mohammed.
The Bible is pretty violent and unforgiving to "infidels" too, so it's not just the words. Christianity has had its share of violence against "unbelievers" too,  or women.  The crusades, Salem Witch Trials, etc.

So yeah... My metaphorical banner does not read "Stop Islam" as so many in Europe seem to do these days - it reads "Stop religion"
Agreed.

I disagree. It's not too simplistic - it is as fair a first-degree approximation as can be. Why is Islam more of a problem than Islamophobia? Well, for starters, Islamophobes in general kill fewer people every year than Islamists (To those even thinking "But not all Muslims" - Stop it.  >:( If I have to own the shit my affiliations get me into, well then so do moderate Muslims.) Also, broadly defined, Islamophobia is people's reaction to a very real threat. You can do stupider things than to try and put some barbed wire borders between you and something which as one of its core tenants has killing or subjugating your infidel ass.

So do let us talk about Islam's treatment of gays, women, other religious groups, its own people and sovereign nations where it may not even be in a majority position. Let us compare that with how other religions are doing. Poison is poison, but in terms of threat, you do can differentiate sarin from cigarettes. (Follow that comparison, by the way - it's interesting. One is far more deadly, but the other... Is actually far more deadly)

I wasn't so much comparing Islam to Islamophobia as pushing back against this false sense that Islam is, at its core, worse than other religions. Particularly Christianity, since that's the position far too many people in the US (and maybe Europe?) seem to take. Islam is pretty fucked up, but whenever a discussion of this comes up, it often descends into a generalization of all people who identify as Muslim vs Christians, and then the point gets lost.
As for treatment of women, gays, etc, it depends. Turkey is officially secular and has fairly equal rights for men and women, though that's now under threat due to the same mix of religion and populism that's in the US, just a different religion. Yes, gays and women tend to be repressed more in Muslim-majority countries, but then you have a country like Uganda that kills gays in the name of Christianity, thanks to the influence of American evangelical missions.

I have been told that there is, basically, a genetic basis to human behaviour. It is possible to map levels of violence, inter-personal and inter-group/faction, and I wonder what sort of picture this would give. Are Europeans less liable to have violent tendancies than, say, those in the ME, South Asian or African? Is there even a spread of degree violent tendency, verbal and physical, between the Nordic/Anglo-Saxon languaged countries and those derived from Latin?

Again, Europe has had its fair share of blood spilled over religion in the past. Right now it's in a relatively peaceful time, but I don't buy into any claim of a genetic difference.

Is the nature of a religion a product of cultural behaviour or the other way round? How much does history have a hand in this? How much the imperialist forcing of tribal or other "native" divisions into less than fully stable nations? How much the warlord/strong man culture in many countries?

Is this an elephant in the room situation?  Whatever I have been unable to get it out of my mind for years nor found a fully objective way to research it.

This is, perhaps, partly why I try to judge a person by their actions rather than colour or beliefs. However, some cultures and beliefs can have a wide influence on behaviour.

All interesting questions which I don't have good answers to.
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Dave

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Re: London in the news again.
« Reply #20 on: June 20, 2017, 11:10:12 AM »
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I wasn't so much comparing Islam to Islamophobia as pushing back against this false sense that Islam is, at its core, worse than other religions. Particularly Christianity, since that's the position far too many people in the US (and maybe Europe?) seem to take. Islam is pretty fucked up, but whenever a discussion of this comes up, it often descends into a generalization of all people who identify as Muslim vs Christians, and then the point gets lost.

Perhaps you need an historical in there, Firebird! At the monent Muslims are the main actirs in international violence - the main kind you and the rest of us are probably mainly concerned about. If you were a Hugenot, Puritan or a Jew in times gone by then then the RCC was the main concern. In medieval times everyone was being pretty nasty to everyone else - Arab corsairs even invaded Britain for slaves and booty.

So, historically all major religions have had their violent times, today it is the turn of Islam in its militant and fundamentalist modes, there are still really good Muslims. But, Joe and Jane Public look at today and maybe tomorrow (but not next decade) and their own patch, as well as painting all those with the same label the same colour, and react to the actions within that bubble.

I believe Mexico is vying with El Salvador for "most violent RC country on Earth"? Religion does not do such much good does it? Never mibd, they can always confess their sins, say a few Ave Marias then buckle the guns on and stock up with drugs again.
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Asmodean

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Re: London in the news again.
« Reply #21 on: June 20, 2017, 11:12:03 AM »
The Bible is pretty violent and unforgiving to "infidels" too, so it's not just the words. Christianity has had its share of violence against "unbelievers" too,  or women.  The crusades, Salem Witch Trials, etc.
Yes. In the end, it boils down to believers being shameless hypocrites about their faith and associated holy books. However, in recent history, it seems like that hypocrisy has had opposite effects on Islam and Christianity.

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I wasn't so much comparing Islam to Islamophobia as pushing back against this false sense that Islam is, at its core, worse than other religions. Particularly Christianity, since that's the position far too many people in the US (and maybe Europe?) seem to take.
Oh, yes, it is a very common position in Europe as well. The greater of two evils and whatnot. Actually, those who view Islam as fundamentally evil while viewing Christianity as a force for good are those with a real detachment from reality issue, but I see what you are saying and, as we have established, agree up to a certain point.

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Islam is pretty fucked up, but whenever a discussion of this comes up, it often descends into a generalization of all people who identify as Muslim vs Christians, and then the point gets lost.
Own your clique's bullshit. While not the point, it is a point. An important one, in my book. Cancer is not a life form, separate from its host. In that regard, I think it's important to call out those who identify as Muslims or Christians for the shit in their camps, as I would expect them to call me out on the shit in mine, like "well, what are you doing to clean up this mess? How are you a part of the solution rather than the problem?"

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As for treatment of women, gays, etc, it depends. Turkey is officially secular and has fairly equal rights for men and women, though that's now under threat due to the same mix of religion and populism that's in the US, just a different religion.

Turkey is not Islam. It is one of them sovereign nations I mentioned in my post. Also, when speaking of politics and national affairs in places like Turkey, Syria... Ish and such, the highlighted word is of some importance, no?

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Yes, gays and women tend to be repressed more in Muslim-majority countries, but then you have a country like Uganda that kills gays in the name of Christianity, thanks to the influence of American evangelical missions.
Oh, absolutely! We are back to poison being poison. However, a can of sarin gas is overall less lethal than a containership full of cigarettes... And far less prevalent in its distribution. It's a vague metaphor, but I can't find a contradictory angle on the fly, so... It will do for now.
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Claireliontamer

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Re: London in the news again.
« Reply #22 on: June 20, 2017, 11:25:57 AM »
Quote
That's a tricky standard to define.

It is indeed, Firebird! And you made some good points there. In terms of reactions it is how the public define the words and the actions. And again, thise definitions are under a degree if "control" by anyone who wishes to inflame feelings against one or another group. Actually even the politicians who know better use language to promote their ideology and politics that influence the public in a negative way.

The police over here tend to be a bit cagey by using phrases like, "We are investigating to see if there are terrorist connections to the . . ." before iutright labelling the event as a terrorist action.

Again, our security firces do not investigate "personal grudges", you have a very different security set-up over there.

What classifications do we have, top down:

1. Direct action by foreign agents "imported" into the victim country for the specific purpose, 9/11 being the most obvious example.

2. Immigrants, 1st or whatever generation, or native converts being radicalised or coerced directly by forieign agents brought in for that purpose.

3. The above in self-radicalising groups or radicalised in a college, university, mosque or penal institution by other immigrants not "imported" specifically for that purpose.

4. Self-radicalised individuals.

5. Individuals angry at authority for perceived oppression or those "taking the law into their own hands" because of a perceived lack of action by the authorities over a previous event or their perception of the general situation.

6. Action by mentally ill individuals.

There may be others I have missed and there may be combinations of the above.

Perhaps "Threats to the nation" can be said to mainly cover 1. and 2. mainly - the direct involvement and/or actions of foreign agents. Next comes the "home grown" self-radicalising groups. 5. and 6. do not represent a direct national threat - other than the indirect one of inflaming others in reaction.

1. to 4. are definitely terrorist actions, though of two kinds in the UK. 5. is less easy to define. 6. is, in my mind, not terrorism, possibly legally not even a crime but is non-the-less bad for victims and needs to be handled carefully and transparently not to provoke the victim community. That includes very careful use of language.

In the UK the 5th branch of Military Intelligence, MI5. On their website they define their role as:
[quoteThe role of MI5, as defined in the Security Service Act 1989, is "the protection of national security and in particular its protection against threats such as terrorism, espionage and sabotage, the activities of agents of foreign powers, and from actions intended to overthrow or undermine parliamentary democracy by political, industrial or violent means."/quote]
Thus nothing of a purely criminal nature. The MI5 took over most of the roles of the old police "Special Branch" the police started agencies to cover the remainder themselves.

The UK's legal definition of "terrorism" is wrapped up in there somewhere, and then subdivided between direct foreign and locally inspired action. The police have to define whether it is terrorism or not, who handles it then if it is of domestic origin is probably a joint effort between several agencies.

Terrorism may be defined as a criminal action but whether a criminal actions can be defined as terrorism probably needs a whole disputation of lawyers!

Damn glad I am not a police lawyer! Or a lawyer if any kind in this area come to that.



I had a quick skim through the Prevent Review, Prevent is the UK government strategy for dealing with extremism.

I had to do some basic training on it for teaching but that was a while ago now.

In it the groups the security services are interested in as a threat to the UK are:

- international terrorism
- Northern Ireland terrorism
- Extreme Right Wing terrorism

In the extreme right wing section:
Quote
Extreme right-wing terrorism, is driven by a supremacist
ideology, which sanctions the use of extreme violence as a response to perceived social injustice
and dysfunction. That ideology is a response to and reflects a perception that identity itself is
under threat from social change. People can be drawn to right-wing terrorist ideology through the
rhetoric and language of apparently non-violent right-wing extremist groups.
5.44 Peer pressure and the prospect of personal benefit are also important: one of the most common
routes into extreme right-wing terrorism can be through contact with like-minded people. But
extreme right-wing terrorism is not driven or justified by religion: this has a substantial impact on
how we may intervene to prevent terrorism of this kind.
5.45 People drawn to extreme right-wing terrorism are usually male, poorly educated (although there
are some cases of high-achieving individuals) and often unemployed. In some cases, previous
involvement in criminal activity has been an issue. The internet plays a key role in reinforcing
ideology and facilitating activity.
5.46 In recent years, Islamophobia has increasingly become part of extreme right-wing terrorist
ideology. People have justified their actions as a response to Al Qa’ida-influenced terrorism,
extremist organisations and to alleged threats from Muslim communities. But extreme right-wing
groups and radical Islamist groups such as Al-Muhajiroun increasingly define themselves by their
opposition to each other: that opposition facilitates radicalisation and recruitment.

I heard on the news this morning that 1 in 4 calls to the Prevent report line are for Right-Wing extremist incidents. 

I don't think they are as organised or trained as well as the ISIS terrorists but I think they are a problem and will be watched by the security services closely. 


Dave

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Re: London in the news again.
« Reply #23 on: June 20, 2017, 12:32:40 PM »
Thanks for the info on Prevent, I was listening to some talk on that on the radio yesterday.

Still seems to leave pondersbles as we are looking at it. Is a British born, self-radicalised, self-funded, self-equipped Muslim an "international terrorist"? Are a group of such this category. Or is that form on terrorism purrly the job of the police ince the Security Services are happy there is no direct international link?

There is also the -

Quote
Counter Terrorism Command

The Counter Terrorism Command (CTC) or SO15 is a Specialist Operations branch within London's Metropolitan Police Service.[1] The Counter Terrorism Command was established as a result of the merging of the Anti-Terrorist Branch (SO13), and the Special Branch (SO12) in October 2006, bringing together intelligence, operations and investigative functions to form a single command.[1] CTC has over 1,500 Police Officers and staff, and a number of investigators based overseas. Commander Dean Haydon[2] is the head of the Counter Terrorism Command and reports to the Senior National Co-ordinator, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu.

Quote
Responsibilities

According to the Counter Terrorism Command's website[1] the Command’s overriding priority is to keep the public safe and to disrupt terrorist related activity in the United Kingdom and against UK interests overseas by:

Detecting, investigating and preventing terrorist threats and networks.
Working with partner agencies to acquire and use intelligence and evidence about terrorism and extremism.
Ensuring that Counter Terrorism Command activity is focused, delivering value for money, productivity and an efficient and effective use of our resources.
Engaging, building and maintaining working relationships with boroughs, local communities, national and international partners to better understand their needs and to use their expertise and experience in jointly combating the terrorist threat.
Working with communities, partners, institutions, groups and other agencies providing advice and support to tackle the ideologies that drive terrorism and extremism.
Supporting, working and collaborating within the National Counter Terrorism Network to deliver UK counter-terrorism policing.
The Counter Terrorism Command has a number of other national security functions. It has the national lead for domestic extremism, a role undertaken by the National Domestic Extremism Unit. It also deals with sensitive national security investigations, such as Official Secrets Act enquiries, the investigation of war crimes and crimes against humanity, and politically motivated murders.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Counter_Terrorism_Command

This seems to fill some of the gaps, let's just hope the integration of effort between the services is good. No politics, no egos, no respondibility challenges.

Thus the police still have the job of deciding if an action is terrorism, racism or a crime in th more classic sense, or a case of mental instability. "Terrorism" seems to have got stretched a little, but we live in times when a degree of elasticity is needed.

However can't shrug off the feeling that there is a difference in the concerns about "future terror"  from an act committed by an agent of some organisation, domedtic or firrign, with the strong possibility of repeats, and the one-of action by a bigot, racialist, angry person etc who is not part of an organisation. There could, of course, be repeats, even copy cat actions, of the latter by other individuals - but that goes for any kind of crime.

Again, the labels and language used may have a psychologicsl effect on the public and that is an important factor for public peace. Describe every action as "terrorist" indiscriminately and you modify public perception. Differentiating between, say, "A terrorist action" and "A crime of a (pseudo-) terrorist nature" may work. People are "used" to violent crimes by individuals, even on groups, we have always had them.

The deliberate repeated action to de-stabilise society, presently and in the future, creating anger and "opposing sides" is another beast altogether.

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Firebird

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Re: London in the news again.
« Reply #24 on: June 20, 2017, 12:49:54 PM »
Relevant article about this from The New York Times:

Terrorist or Disturbed Loner? The Contentious Politics of a Label
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Dave

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Re: London in the news again.
« Reply #25 on: June 20, 2017, 01:06:43 PM »
Relevant article about this from The New York Times:

Terrorist or Disturbed Loner? The Contentious Politics of a Label

An article with which I cannot find much to argue about. Thanks, Firebird.

Terrorism is terrorism regardless of the race, ethnicity or belief if the victims IMO. The argument is whether the one-off actions of an individual for his or her oerdonal motives, without connection to any others, is terrorism or crime, hate or otherwise. I think we have more inherent understanding of crime, whether hate or for some sort of personal gain. It may make the legal processes easier as well. However maybe some like to see themselves as victims of terrorism because that is the more emotive term, gives them more value as a victim in their eyes and in the perception of their group. More so than racial hate crime I think.
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Claireliontamer

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Re: London in the news again.
« Reply #26 on: June 20, 2017, 01:20:39 PM »
Interesting article Firebird.

One thing it brought up that I hadn't really considered is the ease of prosecution.  I can understand crimes being called 'lesser offences' if they are easier to prove in a court of law and therefore guaranteeing prosecution.