Thursday, 21 July 2011

Muzzling those who bark, and barking up the wrong tree


So it appears that certain types of poetry will get you a prison sentence in the UK,
Someone sent me a link to this piece of news with a joking warning to beware.

Much of the attention paid to this case is from those defending her right of free thought and speech, I think there is another worrying aspect, although I have not read much of Samina’s poetry, having read the piece and the legislation used to cover her trial I remembered a two-piece drama I had seen on channel 4 one month ago titled Britz

A story of a brother and sister born in Britain to Pakistani parents, he is an MI5 agent, she a suicide bomber.

The first episode had every stereotypic box ticked, the young foreign boy beaten up, the blonde police officer forcing him against the wall with a “f***ing paki” accompanied kick in the groin, the family returning the sister to Pakistan to marry, where she is apparently murdered, burnt and buried by the roadside in a village where the animals still share the living quarters with the barbaric cousins.

In the meantime an Asian man is in custody somewhere in Eastern Europe being tortured to within a breath of his life while interrogated by his neighbour the MI5 stooge, who justifies what he is doing as “preventing the deaths of hundreds of innocents”, and concludes the night’s work with a drink of scotch and sex with his blonde fellow agent.

The second episode uncovered the truth behind the story, the sister is a medical student, a political activist rather than a devout follower of Islam, with a sense of injustice, her attempts at political dialogue foiled, her best friend committing suicide after detention under the terrorism laws for having too much pepper.

She escapes society and family to the training camps, and is dressed to kill in her explosive belt when the final scene brings her face to face with her brother, she ready to detonate, he on the hunt for the first British female suicide bomber about to blow up London’s financial heart.

One scene that struck me involved a conversation between the heroine and her London contact where she tells him not be to be sad for her, and responds to his reassurance that she will soon be on Allah’s side that “that is not what it is about”.

In addition to a more real view of what drives people to become suicide bombers I saw in this drama a depiction of how easy it is for evil to manipulate our need to “fit in”, a weakness clearly affecting some second generation British Muslims, growing up in a family that is “non integrated” and a society that is “non-accepting”, for the brother who was so desperate to be more British than the British he was willing to join the recruiters for spies on telephone conversations, grass his friends, and watch over the torture of another to prove his “belonging”, and for his sister who was so disaffected by the non acceptance that she is willing to join the recruiters for training camps in her university campus.
Who of the two recruiters is more evil?

The use of antiterrorism legislation to muzzle poetry and the training of a police officer I overheard knowingly explain that “you will recognise a suicide bomber by the fact that they pray or chant the Koran just before they detonate” suggests that despite pieces of drama like this, in the real world by continuing to concentrate on Islam, watching over its followers, and prosecuting people who scribble things on paper for terrorism, while ignoring the underlying grievances of previous suicide bombers, this country will continue to be at risk of missing a group of disaffected and potentially more dangerous angry people.

A&Eiraqi said...
Totally agree with you.
10 December 2007 22:32

Little Penguin said...
Dr, the thing about spotting a terrorist is that there's no point in scanning faces, outfits and dialects, what's more important is eradicating the ideology that justifies their means of having brunch with the Prophet.. By that I'm pointing my finger at those who implicitly and explicitly advocate that Muslims distance themselves from "the kuffar" - anyone who isn't Muslim..

The other day I was talking to a seemingly level-headed Somali girl on campus when she said she'd rather have Abu Hamza (Captain Hook) as the Muslim khaleefa than anyone who isn't Muslim.. "Brother, haven't you read the hadeeth that says 'support your Muslim brother, oppressor or oppressed' we have to stay away from them.. and if they're killed, well it's just their comeuppance"

The threat of radical islamists shouldn't worry only Brits.. but the whole world.. I mean, look at Iraq.. killing Manadeis and Christians and anyone who hasn't got a beard and who doesn't tuck his shirt in.. and I hope i'm not seen as taking sides here, many religious factions are culprits..

el muhim.. I didn't get to see Britz but it seems to have over-blown an already-farfetched scenario.. in any case, some aspects may well be true..

As for that lyrical terrorist, I was aghast when I read that piece of news on the paper.. seriously, British Muslims have got a lamentable image as it is, the least we can do is hide our faults and accentuate what's good about us.. write hate-poems and publish them on the net? how stupid and irresponsible can you get? This kind of thing is what The Daily Mail thrives on.. Dr, you have a case for arguing against prosecution of unorthodox creativity, but when it has the potential of making me pull the pin, I think it was only reasonable..

but then again, what's making her want to pull the pin?

Such a headache.. sorry to have rambled..

18 December 2007 14:04

3eeraqimedic said...
Dear Little Penguin, nice to see you once more, and please please ramble as much as you like here.
I am going to be honest again and then probably regret it and delete some or more of what I say.
Had anyone asked me if I would pondering such questions five years ago I would have laughed, just as I laughed (and cringed a little with embarrassment) when I watched some odd Syrian cleric make an absolute fool of himself on a TV programme some years ago.
At the time it was difficult for me to understand why the government allowed people like him to live off state benefits while he sprouted nonsense about making Britain a Muslim country with Sharia law, I also couldn’t believe how anyone with two neurons could listen to him let alone follow him.
But time has passed, I am not sure if people are different, if I look at people differently or if I just see different people but I am concerned, concerned by the sense of alienation in some people, an alienation resulting from a perceived injustice committed by their own countrymen, and rejection by others they thought would welcome them, the alienation creating a need to belong, and the incomprehensible (to me at least) need to find themselves in religion, a religion that they previously observed in what I consider a moderate manner, but now has become a sort of competition in devotion, and in observance, a sort of obsession that is truly worrying, not in itself but in the sort of blinkered view it creates.
What follows is then a second round of rejection for the visible expressions of the belief, a second round of displacement to a more “tolerant” country, the result of which is further sense of injustice and so on!
It seems to me that the more pressure is placed on people the more some of them seem to radicalise, it is another chicken and egg situation I am not sure you can really decipher what happened first, but I must say although I now feel more fearful of people like the odd cleric and what he was nattering on about, I am also very worried about the pressure being exerted on Islam and all Muslims to “reform” themselves or their religion because I know it is pushing some people the wrong way.
I have rambled enough, and if you do not understand what I mean it is probably for the best, but if you have read some of my previous deleted posts you may well comprehend what I am talking about!!!
18 December 2007 19:56

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