ModernityBlog

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Archive for July 2005

Connections?

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The connections to the London bombing may spread much further than Italy. One of the alleged suspects, Osman Hussain, who said to have made a call to someone in Saudi.

The fact that he may have been calling someone in Saudi Arabia should not come as a surprise to any of us.

Now The Sundays Times suggests there is a third terrorist cell at work.

Written by modernityblog

31/07/2005 at 16:00

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A Scary Prospect

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This month’s Prospect runs an interview with Hassan Butt, a British Jihadist, who says:

Butt: Every Muslim must work for the Shari’a to be implemented as a political way of life. They can do that physically, by involving themselves in revolutionary coups, or through political means. As long as they don’t attack or compromise other Muslims who are doing something different from them, I have no problem with any of these ways of establishing the Shari’a.”

Scary!

The second part is here.

Taseer: What’s the position of the radical Islamic movement in Britain today? Is it growing or declining?
Butt: I do believe that support is growing. In the public eye it seems as though only a tiny number of Muslims are making this noise, but the fact is that only a tiny number have the courage to speak out. The rest won’t, simply because they’re worried about being persecuted by the government.”

Taseer: You’re looking forward to death? Butt: Absolutely. As long as it’s done properly. I’m terrified of dying normally, growing old, grey.”

Butt:..you know as well as I do that London has more radical Muslims than anywhere in the Muslim world. A bomb would jeopardise everyone’s position. “

That says alot.

Written by modernityblog

30/07/2005 at 00:33

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Interesting, but Not Sure Yet

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People with Gmail accounts should be able to use them as as a virtual 2 Gb drive with GMail Drive , as they state:

“GMail Drive creates a virtual filesystem on top of your Google Gmail account and enables you to save and retrieve files stored on your Gmail account directly from inside Windows Explorer. GMail Drive literally adds a new drive to your computer under the My Computer folder, where you can create new folders, copy and drag’n’drop files to.”

I have not tested it yet but seems a smart idea.

Written by modernityblog

29/07/2005 at 23:18

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Peace In Our Time?

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Yesterday’s statement by the provisional IRA to give up the armed struggle in favour of the political process is certainly a monumental step.

Since the initial meetings of Hume and Adams in 1988 there have been slow, faltering and sometimes obstructed steps towards the political path, rather than the Armalite and bullet.

Leaving aside the technicalities of disarmament for the moment, the stumbling block is the attitude and actions of the DUP, and the broader loyalist community.

Can they acknowledge the significance of the provisional IRA giving up the armed struggle? Or will they seek to rub salt into the wounds? Will they be willing to disarm the loyalist paramilitaries?

Lingering resentment, as embodied by Ian Paisley, will be an impediment to resolving the conflicts between the nationalist and loyalist communities.

Clearly Britain wishes to divest herself of Northern Ireland but the question is how?

If some funding arrangement can be organised from Europe which takes up the annual British subsidy that may go a long way to resolving any economic issues.

The Republic will need to invest time, money and diplomacy to avoid excessively alienating the loyalist communities, and it may have to modify Ireland’s constitution to enshrine some explicit safeguards for loyalists.

The questions remains: can the people of the North rid themselves of age old hatreds? How will they disarm the loyalist paramilitaries?

Written by modernityblog

28/07/2005 at 23:29

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Class or Privilege

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David Ignatius makes some interesting observations about the background of many Jihadists:

“..it’s a far more deadly revolt of privilege. But people who were students in the 1960s will remember the phenomenon: The kids from elite public and private schools who went to college, felt guilty about their comfort amid a brutal world, and joined the Progressive Labor Party to ally with oppressed Third World workers. There is a cult aspect to this jihad – an extreme version of the logic that has always drawn disaffected kids to self-destructive behavior.”

What will stop this revolt of privileged Muslims? One possibility is that it will be checked by the same process that derailed the revolt of the rich kids in America after the 1960s – namely, the counter-revolt of the poor kids. Poor Muslims simply can’t afford the rebellion of their wealthy brethren, and the havoc it has brought to the House of Islam. For make no mistake: The people suffering from jihadism are mostly Muslims.!

Written by modernityblog

28/07/2005 at 20:12

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Site of the Week 7

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Never much read Julie Burchill until I got her bio second hand a few years back but she has mostly good instincts.

Some of her recent work at The Times can be found here.

Therefore, site of the week is the “unofficial” Julie Burchill

Written by modernityblog

27/07/2005 at 23:30

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The Theology of Nails

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Newly released pictures from ABC News confirm what many of us had suspected, a wider and more concerted effort by the 7th of July terrorists.

Nail bombs and additional explosives have been found, with one of the ABC News Security experts, Robert Ayers, commenting:

“You see what is bulging on the sides of the bottle are nails. Many, many nails. And the nails are put there so that when the bomb goes off, the nails will tear tissue and kill people in the area. Bombs don’t kill by concussion. Small bombs, they kill by the blast effects of fragments of glass or metal, and this is designed to kill people.”

Written by modernityblog

27/07/2005 at 23:01

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Analysis

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The BBC analysis programme on The Theology of Terrorism is very interesting and can be listened to here.

Written by modernityblog

27/07/2005 at 07:54

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Insurgents or War Criminals

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The savagery of the Iraqi ‘insurgents’ defies description but Amnesty International has released a report on them, which classifies their actions as warcrimes.

I could not agree more, remembering the fate of Margaret Hassan and the reaction of Iraqis to her kidnapping and subsequent beheading.

Written by modernityblog

26/07/2005 at 18:10

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Site of the Week 6

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Anyone interested in history or current affairs should find
The Avalon Project at Yale Law School very helpful.

I would recommend the studying The Nuremberg War Crimes Trials pages.

Written by modernityblog

26/07/2005 at 08:52

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A Day to Remember

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26th July 1945:

Clement Attlee is elected as Prime Minister of Great Britain.

The Labour Government of 1945 heralded the creation of the British welfare state and the NHS, in dire circumstances and six short years. Atlee’s government achieved more for ordinary people than governments before or since have.

Written by modernityblog

25/07/2005 at 21:01

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Fold the CPU cycles

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A worthy project for using up all of those spare CPU cycles is Folding@Home Distributed Computing.

It works on a similar basis to the SETI project, providing a distributed client which downloads small chunks of data and processes them across 100,000s of PCs, using the spare cycles on the CPUs.

As they explain:

“Folding@Home is a distributed computing project which studies protein folding, misfolding, aggregation, and related diseases. We use novel computational methods and large scale distributed computing, to simulate timescales thousands to millions of times longer than previously achieved. This has allowed us to simulate folding for the first time, and to now direct our approach to examine folding related disease.”

Get on your cycles!

Written by modernityblog

25/07/2005 at 07:22

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Blame the Mullahs?

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The question of suicide bombers, their origin and intent, has been preoccupying people’s minds for the last few weeks.

There is one helpful insight into the origins of suicide bombers from the Iranians web site: the Persian Journal.

In an article, it goes on to suggest that Khomeini’s desire to win in the Iran-Iraq wars led to the Islamic reinterpretation of suicide bombing as a ‘glorious act of martyrdom’, and so it spread across the Middle East:

“The origins of suicide bombing lie in the battlefields of the 1980-1988 Iran/Iraq war when Iranian child soldiers strapped bombs to their chests and blew up Iraqi tanks.”

The ancient Islamic prohibition against suicide was re-written and suicide bombing was reinterpreted as a glorious act of martyrdom.

From that moment onwards, the cult of suicide bombing invaded hearts and minds across the Islamic world.”

Written by modernityblog

24/07/2005 at 18:15

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Poem from the Past

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Thinking on the previous entry, I reflected how the poem attributed to Martin Niemöller is apt, if slightly revised:

They attacked the Iraqis civilians, and I

didn’t object – For I wasn’t an Iraqi civilian;

They attacked the Iraqis aidworkers, and I

didn’t object – For I wasn’t an Iraqi aidworker;

They attacked Gays, and I

didn’t object – For I wasn’t Gay;

They attacked women, and I

didn’t object – For I wasn’t a woman;

They attacked London, I finally objected and

I realised – they must be stopped and how

wrong I was before to ignore all of the warnings signs;

Written by modernityblog

23/07/2005 at 00:10

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Threats

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Who Knew’s Root Causes – Death Threats Against Gay Rights Group is worth reading, and think of the implications.

Outrage covers the issue as Terrorist danger to gay venues:

“Gay venues could be bombed by Islamic terrorists. All gay bars and clubs should introduce bag and body searches. Muslim fundamentalists have a violent hatred of lesbians and gay men. They believe we should be killed. Our community could be their next target. This is no time for complacency.”

Written by modernityblog

22/07/2005 at 23:33

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