• 'Islamic State',  Galloway

    IS sadist was Viva Palestina volunteer

    A Washington Post report suggests that vetting of volunteers for George Galloway’s Viva Palestina convoys to Gaza could have been more thorough. (Oh, wait– there wasn’t any vetting.): A member of a British cohort within the Islamic State that oversaw the brutal detention and beheading of Western hostages in Syria has been identified as Alexanda Kotey, a 32-year-old convert to Islam who grew up in West London. Kotey is the second militant among the group of Islamic State jailers to be named following the unmasking last year by The Washington Post of “Jihadi John” as Mohammed Emwazi — the infamous masked man, also a West Londoner, who beheaded American, British…

  • 'Islamic State',  Anti Muslim Bigotry,  Anti-imperialism,  Epic Fail,  feminism,  Women's Rights

    The return of the Bunting

    Long-term Harry’s Place readers will recall a period when Madeleine Bunting featured here almost as much as Jeremy Corbyn does now, when Islamism and its relationship to multi-culturalism was emerging as a topic. Bunting is a cultural relativist plus anti-imperialist of an Edward-Said-and-water kind, which ultimately comes down to a Lonely Planet view of other cultures even when they are ghettos within her own country.  We go to them as tourists and if female we mind our dress and head scarves and whether we can enter the coffee houses. They should be their authentic selves and we display our sensitivity and even post imperialist guilt by not applying our Western…

  • 'Islamic State',  Guns,  Stateside,  Vote 2016

    Marco Rubio’s last line of defense

    As you watch this, remember: this guy is supposed to be the reasonable alternative for Republicans desperate to prevent Donald Trump or Ted Cruz from being the party’s candidate for president. I have nothing in principle against Marco Rubio buying a gun to protect himself and his family if he really feels the need, as long as he passes the required background check. But does he really believe that a gun “is the last line of defense between ISIS and my family”? Exactly whom is this supposed to impress? Believe me, Marco– if the Islamic State attacks your neighborhood in West Miami, I don’t think a gun is going to…

  • 'Islamic State',  Stoppers

    “[The] international jihad takes the form of solidarity with oppressed Muslims”

    I don’t want to overly romanticize the International Brigades which fought against the forces of General Franco in the Spanish Civil War of the 1930s. The Brigades were a creation of the Soviet-sponsored Comintern (Communist International) and were used to strengthen the Stalin regime’s position in Spain as opposed to the more democratic elements fighting the armies of Franco and his German and Italian allies. (George Orwell was among the foreigners who fought in other militias against the Francoists.) Nonetheless many of the International Brigades volunteers fought bravely. They suffered many casualties and most believed sincerely that they were fighting for freedom and against fascism. With this awareness, I can…

  • 'Islamic State',  Guns,  Stateside

    Thoughts and prayers trump action in the Senate

    As reports come in that San Bernardino massacre shooter Tashfeen Malik posted a pledge of allegiance to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on Facebook, another interesting event has received much less attention. That event was the vote Thursday by the US Senate on a two proposals put forward by Democrats in the wake of the massacre. The Senate rejected a measure from Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) to expand background checks for guns purchased online and at gun shows on a 48 to 50 vote and an amendment from Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) to prevent individuals on the terror watch list from purchasing firearms on a 45 to 54 vote.…

  • 'Islamic State',  UK Politics

    House of Commons approves strikes against IS in Syria

    And so the House of Commons– including 66 Labour MPs– votes to approve airstrikes against the Islamic State in Syria. Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn spoke in favor, to Jeremy Corbyn’s obvious displeasure: I can almost hear the demands for Benn’s head on a platter from this side of the ocean. Update: Here is Hilary Benn’s excellent speech in its entirety:

  • 'Islamic State'

    Defeating the Islamic State

    This is a cross-post by James Snell During the quieter months of the year-long aerial campaign waged against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, it might have been possible to forget of its existence, or at least to push the subject to the rear of the developed world’s many priorities. That cannot be said now. With a refugee crisis which largely stemmed from the affected areas sparking a summer of tragically perilous sea journeys and arbitrary border closures, followed at all times by the implied threat of a populist, nationalistic backlash, forgetting was not an entirely easy process. And now – as ISIS launches more ambitious examples of its…

  • 'Islamic State',  France,  Stateside,  Vote 2016

    Mastermind of Paris attacks reported killed

    The suspected ringleader of last Fridays atrocities in Paris was killed in a raid on an apartment building in a Paris suburb, intelligence officials reported. Good. I’m pleased French police are permitted to shoot to kill, however much that may distress Jeremy Corbyn. More than 100 police and soldiers stormed the building during a seven-hour siege that left two dead including the suspected overseer of the Paris bloodshed, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, who had once boasted he could slip easily between Europe and the Islamic State strongholds in Syria. The confirmation was made after forsenic experts combed through the aftermath — blown-out windows, floors collapsed by explosions — presumably seeking DNA and…