German targets in Istanbul bombing

It appears that German tourists were targeted in Istanbul by a lone ISIS suicide bomber. This further complicates things for Germany and also creates new pressures for Turkey, with tourism being a major part of the Turkish economy.

Hurriyet Daily News reports: ISIL militant kills 10, injures 15 in Istanbul suicide attack

An Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militant killed at least 10 foreign nationals, most of them Germans, and wounded 15 other people after blowing himself up at a tourist spot in Istanbul’s old city on Jan. 12.

Nabil Fadli, a 28-year-old ISIL militant of Syrian origin who was born in Saudi Arabia in 1988, blew himself up after blending into a tourist group of 33 German citizens on a visit to the Obelisk of Theodosius in Sultanahmet Square near the Blue Mosque in the morning hours of Jan. 12 when the popular square was relatively less crowded compared to the rest of the day.

Tourist sites including the Hagia Sophia and the nearby Basilica Cistern were closed by the Istanbul Governor’s Office following the attack.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said all victims killed in the Sultanahmet suicide attack were foreigners while the suicide bomber was an ISIL militant.

“The suicide bomber is a foreign national, who is a member of Daesh,” the PM said, referring to the Arabic acronym of ISIL.

Ten foreign nationals died and 15 other people, including 12 Germans, a Turk, a Peruvian and a Norwegian, were wounded in the attack.

This isn’t the first bombing in Turkey…

The attack came after three deadly terrorist acts carried out by ISIL militants in Turkey over the past seven months.

ISIL was blamed for a bomb that killed four people at a Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) rally in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır on June 5, 2015. An ISIL militant also killed 33 socialist activists on July 20, 2015, at the Amara Cultural Center in the southeastern district of Suruç. Two ISIL militants then killed at least 100 people attending a peace rally in Ankara on Oct. 10, 2015, in the deadliest attack in the country’s history.

…but by targeting German tourists it enlarges international angst about ISIS and Muslim militancy.

It also increases pressures on Turkey, which shares borders with countries involved in Syria, Iraq and Iran, all involved in ISIS conflicts in the region.

While many countries worldwide are involved in the escalating fight against ISIS Turkey and other Muslim countries will have to do more to address their own problems involving militancy  and Muslim extremism.

The Islamic world, especially in the Middle East, will remain enmeshed in a Muslim mess unless they find ways of modernising and moderating their religion and their followers.

A response to Garrett’s 2% doctrine

David (Three Strikes) Garrett has a guest post at Kiwiblog that has received a lot of support there but also raised some important questions in opposition to his claims and call for an immediate stop to immigration of Muslims.

See Garrett on 2% Muslims and immigration (here) and Guest Post: David Garrett on A case for immediate cessation of all Muslim immigration (Kiwiblog).

Some commenters at Kiwiblog responded to Garrett’s call for taking measures to stop Muslims from reaching 2% of the New Zealand population (they are currently about 1.2%).

Garrett:

What do we lose by stopping Muslim immigration right now? My argument is that we lose absolutely nothing of value.

Kimbo:

The knowledge, certainty and example that we are a non-sectarian nation that judges people on their actions, instead of their colour, creed…or religion. A piece of us dies if we compromise on that.

Ryan Sproull:

Another way to put it would to simply say: we would lose our democracy.

Jack responded:

Kimbo, Sproull, and RRM in posts above suggest that blocking Islamic immigration might end our democracy.

On the other hand, admitting a flow of people who hate our Western democracy, might be more likely to end it.

Sproull expanded on his point:

Well, blocking immigration would end our democracy, by definition. We would immediately change from a country that discriminates only based on deeds to one that discriminates based on thoughts.

It’s true that admitting a flow of people who hate democracy might end it, but stopping them includes both blocking theocratic Muslim extremists AND people who look like they might want to block immigration based on religion.

And:

I mean, really, if you take freedom of thought and freedom of religion as essential to democracy, what we have here is a public declaration by David Garrett that he recommends destroying democracy in New Zealand.

Is there some sort of watch list he should be on? I know he hasn’t actually done anything, just thought it, but we can’t afford to be politically correct about this stuff.

And:

I think that if a democracy had tried to prevent Nazi immigration by blocking all Protestants, it would no longer have been a democracy.

Of course, that’s only an argument against religious discrimination if you think that freedom of religion/thought is essential to democracy, and/or if you think that democracy is worthwhile. It could be that democracy with freedom of religion/thought simply can’t exist, because it can’t protect itself from insidious immigration threats, and so some new kind of government must be adopted – a infidelocracy.

And:

Then there’s the problem with people who are born in New Zealand, or non-Muslim immigrants, who become Muslim while in New Zealand, perhaps after accessing information about Islam on the internet.

I’m sure that can be sorted with a combination of strong government controls on access to Islamic websites, and a state advertising campaign reminding New Zealand citizens that a strong infidelocracy requires that good citizens report any friends or acquaintances that start acting a bit Muslimy.

Mikenmild:

Good point, Ryan. Assuming we stop all Muslim immigration, what would we do about the one already here, including the extra dangerous unborn generations? The Eurabia-type theories hold that they will outbreed the locals, so DG’s magic 2% limit might still e breached.
We would have to deport any Muslim and prohibit those beliefs to be sure that our liberal democracy was secure.

Sproull:

Firstly, it’s our infidelocracy, since by that point we will have lost the right to call ourselves a liberal democracy.

Secondly, yes, you’re absolutely right. In addition to the tactics I’ve already suggested, we can also:

* Offer $5000 to any Muslim willing to be surgically sterilised
* After a Muslim family has two children, if they get pregnant again, their extra children can be rehomed to be raised by normal families
* Heavily fund evangelists from non-Muslim religions to get to work converting Muslims
* Start offering cash payouts to non-Muslims willing to give birth to and raise non-Muslim children
* Make sure that all Muslims register as Muslims in a national database so that we can keep track of the Muslim:Citizen ratio (with a maximum of 1:50)

These efforts, in addition to carefully censoring the nation’s internet and giving teachers and citizens the tools necessary to spot and report unregistered Muslims, will ensure that we never reach that dreaded tipping point.

Garrett:

Ryan: Have you done a family tree at all? Don’t have a chap called Chamberlain in there somewhere??

Garrett lauded Churchill in his post, which began:

I had just finished Volume I of Sir Winston Churchill’s WW II memoirs, “The Gathering Storm”, which covers his period in the political wilderness in the 1930’s. In developing my argument with my friend’s wife, I saw striking parallels with where we are now with regard to Muslim , and the position of Western Europe during the latter 1930’s.

Perhaps Garrett wants the ANZACs to follow Churchill’s example and follow Britain into another Muslim state attack in the Dardanelles. 2% of Turks might still be a threat.

I don’t understand what parallel Garrett is alluding to.

Germany discriminated against people because of their religious beliefs. Quite drastically. Many Jewish refugees tried to escape to safety. There were no blogs in the 1930s but there may have been Garrett predecessors warning New Zealand about the dangers of 2% of Jews, or communists, or homosexuals, or Gypsies, or any of the groups persecuted and executed by the Nazis.

Garrett doesn’t want to provide any refuge in New Zealand for people trying to escape being bombed by the Syrian government or beheaded by ISIS, so he can live comfortably with his prejudices.

I hope that we don’t get anywhere near 2% of Garrettites in New Zealand but I don’t think we should ban them from running restaurants here.

Garretts and Muslims shoukld have equal rights to speak and live here.

Garrett on 2% Muslims and immigration

David (Three Strikes) Garrett has a guest post at Kiwiblog that has received a lot of support there but also raised some important issues about his  call for an immediate stop to immigration of Muslims.

Guest Post: David Garrett on A case for immediate cessation of all Muslim immigration

It is really very simple. Every western country which has allowed its Muslim population to exceed 2% has experienced problems generated by that community – or at least arising because of their presence within those societies. The severity of the “problems” appears directly related to the proportion of Muslims in any given western society.

In Britain, France, Germany, Holland, Sweden – and now Australia – there have been civil disturbances which can be directly linked to the presence of a sizeable Muslim community. Those disturbances range from harassment of women dressed “immodestly” at the low end, to mass murder – most recently in France – at the other.

Garrett and others have brought up the 2% (or some number plucked out of I’m not sure where) threshold. I haven’t seen research that backs it up.

When New Zealand has allowed it’s ACT supporter population to speak freely it has threatened intolerance and civil disturbance (actually that’s probably unfair on ACT, I doubt that David Seymour would go anywhere near supporting Garrett’s case.

I have asked the question many times – on this very blog and in my life in the real world – “why would our experience of allowing a Muslim population to develop above 2% be any different from that of all other western countries’?”  The usual response is that there is no evidence of anything bad happening here. The response to that non-argument is of  course “not yet – we  have not yet reached what appears to be  the tipping point of 2%”.

Garrett went all Godwin.

I truly believe we are, in a very real sense, in exactly the position Western Europe was in the  early 1930’s. The prevailing sentiment among both  the political elites  and the population of Britain at large was then, as ours is  now, one of tolerance, or at least wilful blindness to the dangers posed by the rising tide of fascism in Germany. It is important to be reminded that the very word “fascism” had none of the pejorative connotations in 1933 that it most definitely carried ten years later.

If I recall correctly Hitler’s fascist state tried to drive out and exterminate one particular religious group.

Our rulers and the political elites seem blandly unconcerned about Muslim immigration into our country, and deride people like me who warn of the possible consequences of it. I recently received a letter from the colourless Minister of Immigration in response to my letter expressing concern. The Hon. Minister tartly informed me that: “New Zealand does not select [immigrants] on the basis of race or religion.” How utterly un-reassuring. One can almost see the rolling eyes of the 22 year old staffer drafting a reply  to “another crack pot”. The letter did not even warrant the Minister’s signature.

That doesn’t sound like a tart response from the Minister of Immigration.  It sounds like a very basic tenet of a decent democratic country.

Why act now?

Again it is very simple – if we don’t act now, it will be too late if doomsayers like me are right. We are endlessly lectured by the greenies about “tipping points”; that if this or that greenhouse gas emission is not reduced to some unfeasible level  by next week,  unstoppable catastrophic climate change will ensue. Once it has happened, we are told, it will be too late to reverse it.

Well, I know very little about climate change, but simple logic tells me that if I am right about the dire effects of a Muslim population above 2%, it will be impossible to do anything about it. The reason is again simple. We have 50,000 odd Muslims now, a bit more than 1% of our population. There are nowhere near enough of them to cause any significant trouble – yet.

Even if we closed our borders to all of the Muslim faith immediately  – I would go further than that, and exclude all  immigrants from predominantly Muslim countries – we could not stop the ones we already have from multiplying. Given their greater birthrate, it is a certainty that in 10 or perhaps 20 years at the most, we will have a Muslim population well above the crucial tipping point of 2%.

He repeats the ‘tipping point’ of 2%.  “But simple logic tells me that if I am right about the dire effects of a Muslim population above 2%” – is a claim without logic and especially without anything solid to back it up.

What do we lose by stopping Muslim immigration right now? My argument is that we lose absolutely nothing of value. Unlike the vibrant communities which have developed from our South East Asian immigrants – which by and large have had overwhelmingly positive effects on our society – there is nothing from overseas experience which suggests there is anything of value to be gained from having communities of stern bearded men and their subjucated women among us. And that’s assuming none of them are or could be  terrorists.

We lose a significant moral position for a start.

And Garrett’s stereotype of one a half billion Muslims shows the depth of his argument – his post is shallow, dangerous prejudice.

And he seems ignorant of the fact that many Muslim immigrants and students come from South East Asia, and the Pacific (Fiji).

I can do without that, thanks very much. I much prefer that my beautiful daughter is allowed to go to the beach wearing whatever she likes, and that my son isn’t influenced by people who think his wife should also be his servant. Muslim immigrants are a very real threat to our way of life. We should not take one more of them.

Garrett’s daughter can go to the beach wearing almost anything she likes – but on most beaches it would be recommended she wear something, we do have some basic codes of dress in New Zealand.

Intolerant and inciteful people like Garrett are a threat to our way of life, even if they are allowed to breed to beyond 0.2% of the population.

David Farrar makes it clear “For the avoidance of doubt, the post is the opinion of the author, not of Kiwiblog. Kiwiblog accepts guest posts, even when I disagree with the views in them.”

One comment well down the thread, by Inthisdress:

Mr. David Farrar. I address this to you because let’s face it Mr Garrett is hardly the sharpest tool in the box, and I’d hate to feed his delusive Churchill-complex, by coming across like a appeaser.

I’ve seen some pretty low stuff on blogs before today. I must admit I always thought that when it came to puerile bigotry that The Standard pretty much had cornered the market.

But seriously, for a blog started by an immigrant, of such mixed heritage, given the troubled history and outright barbarism meted out to a religious group, simply justified on the basis of their religion, mind, by derelict politicians hell-bent on reclaiming their careers on the backs of human suffering, well this just takes the biscuit.

Are there any other examples of ‘wilderness years’ politicians capitalising on ignorant prejudices to inflame populist opinion for little more than their own gratification. Think! There must be some examples we can draw from.

To allow a misguided individual, who frankly strikes me as someone in love with the sound of his own ego, to pass off a fictitious scenario based on a dinner party conversation, in which he proposes what is essentially hate-speech backed up with some unproven anecdotal statistic, is an unnecessary, destructive act.

Then to throw a natty little disclaimer at the end as if you are doing us a favour and making some kind of stand for ‘free speech’ Cowardly, at best, borderline sociopathic at worst..

There does seem to be some ego involved in Garrett’s post, he congratulates himself several times in comments.

But I disagree with Inthisdress as much as I disagree with Garrett. If Garrett had asked me to post his 2% of intolerance I would have posted it, as he has as much right to write in New Zealand as any Muslim.

I don’t support the religion of Islam in any way, it has never appealed to me. But I support the basic right of Muslims (or Hindus or Jews or anyone) not to be prejudiced against in New Zealand simply because of their religious beliefs.

We should do all we can to exclude potential terrorists from emigrating here, but checks on that should not be based on religion.

The next post responds more to the Garrett 2% doctrine:

A response to Garrett’s 2% doctrine

Futile fulmination on Slater hate

I posted Slater: “The only solution is to kill them…” on Thursday and that was well discussed here. I think it was a stupid thing of Cameron Slater to post but pretty much par for the Whale Oil course.

But criticism has built up elsewhere, I’ve seen it on Twitter.

And this morning The Standard posted: Petition on Slater’s hate speech. Petitions are becoming more common for all sorts of things and are usually just futile fulmination.

You can sign the petition to the Human Rights Commission here.

WhaleOil has gone too far. We need to stand up to Slater.

In comments Psycho Milt puts a reality check on things.

Complaints can be lodged, but anyone lodging one will need to figure out how to get them over this hurdle:

6a. This standard is not intended to prevent the publication of material that is … the expression of genuinely held opinion…

Good luck with that.

And…

I certainly wouldn’t sign this petition, because the Human Rights Commission has no place in this. If Slater’s comments are incitement to violence they open him up to prosecution, and if they aren’t incitement to violence then they’re free speech that ought to be protected under NZ law. In neither case does the Human Rights Commission have a role to play.

Seems like a sensible call.

There’s no reliable proof that it was even Slater who wrote it, it just happens to have him as author but that doesn’t mean much.

Disagreeing, criticising, ridiculing are all valid responses. There’s plenty of ways of standing up to crap from Whale Oil without racing off to petition the Human Rights Commission.

UPDATE: Naturesong responded to Psycho Milt:

I am not accusing anyone of bullying.
I am not suggesting that hate speech laws or in fact any using any legal means to silence him or his blog.

The point I’ve obviously not articulated well enough, is that the blog WO is a member of OMSA.
As a member the blog agrees to a minimum set of standards.
I’m suggesting that the blog be held to them.

It’s a personal responsibility argument.

That’s a good point and a sensible approach to holding Slater to account. Has Slater breached minimum standards at Whale Oil?

Slater: “The only solution is to kill them…”

Cameron Slater may be playing to a diminishing crowd but this is getting low even by his standards: THE ONLY SOLUTION IS TO KILL THEM BEFORE THEY KILL US

Golda Meir once famously said: “Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.”

That doesn’t look like it is coming any time soon. This sort of hateful brainwashing goes unreported by the Media Party in New Zealand.

Religion of peace? No way, it is a death cult and we should kill them before they kill us.

So Slater brainwashes his Whale Army with hate, again. That’s sad. He had some talent once.

A couple of commenters who haven’t been banned yet spoke up.

Mike:

I’m sorry but with that attitude “kill them before they kill us” you are no better than they are.

I’m not advocating doing nothing, but I sure as heck am not advocating genocide which is what that statement is tantamount to. One could almost say it is an extremist opinion and extremism of all types is bad.

Defend ourselves sure, destroy their C2 systems and training camps absolutely, wipe their fighters off the earth when we can… but deliberately target civilians, even those who have been brainwashed into believing all the lies that are told to them about the “Great Satan” is wrong…. it’s evil…. it’s what they would do.

Snorter:

Statements like this make you just as bad. I’m not defending them by any stretch of the imagination but killing kids is a step too far.

But the response to that from RedgeNZ:

If I had my way I would blow the Middle East to pieces. They have had their chance and they have stuffed it up. Time to start over.

Whale Oil be fucked in the head if this is what they have become promoters of there.

There’s already been discussion on this here.

A gun control solution for USA?

Each mass shooting in the US raises the issue of gun control but nothing seems to change. Would this work?

I’m gonna start a Muslims In the NRA movement – get chapters open in every state. Two in Michigan. That’ll get gun control going.

Muslim immigration

Traveller has asked for a debate on Muslim immigration so it’s worth putting up as a post.

Note – “the conversation that needs to be had sensibly rather than whipping up hatred”.

Where’s the blog conversation in this country re the impact of mass migration on ethnic European host country communities? Ok we’re not impacted here particularly but we will be as we only need look to Sydney street gangs to see that effect non-assimilation and non investment in the host country has on crime and suburban dynamics.

I’m surprised that “NZ’s best blog” where the blogger’s wife used to do a daily rant hasn’t seen fit to start the conversation from a small c conservative POV.

Can the West ever win the hearts and minds of anyone who values Sharia over state law, demands respect and freedom to practice a fiercely mysoginist, anti freedom of speech anti pluralist ( infidel!!) religion.

How does the fact that there are more Muslim Britons in ISIS than in the entire British Armed Forces affect your perception of where loyalties lie within that one country?

Footnote-no it’s not SB, just interested in starting the conversation that needs to be had sensibly rather than whipping up hatred. Anyone interested in it that hasn’t already done so might like to read or view the erudite Douglas Murray on YouTube or through his representation on many websites. He is not a tinfoil hat separatist.

Philip Lyth versus Key, Slater and Farrar

I see Philip Lyth on Twitter quite often, he seems to be a prolific tweeter. He describes himself there as “Husband, politics junkie, psephologist. Standing Orders.”

Last night he retweeted to a John Key tweet and responded:

Philip Lyth retweeted John Key
Wow John. You lead the party which includes David Farrar & Cameron Slater who dogwhistle Muslims at every chance?

That’s a silly shot at Key, he can’t be held responsible for what all party members do – and I don’t think Slater is even a member of the National Party.

On the accusation Lyth made – it’s certainly easy to get the impression that Slater is a Muslim dogwhistler although his wife ‘Spanish Bride seems to have been doing more anti-Muslim posts lately.

But I’ve been a close observer of Kiwiblog for years and I don’t recall much if any Muslim dog-whsitling from David Farrar (DPF). A quick search shows that DPF doesn’t post very often about Muslim topics.

His last post was in March: Why are so many Australian muslims radicalised?

Stuff reports:

A nightclub bouncer who reportedly became a terror group leader. A man who tweeted a photo of his young son clutching a severed head. A teenager who is believed to have turned suicide bomber, and others suspected of attempting to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State movement. All of them, Australian.

The London-based International Center for the Study of Radicalization and Political Violence reports that between 100 and 250 Australians have joined Sunni militants in Iraq and Syria. Given Australia’s vast distance from the region and its population of just 24 million, it is a remarkable number. The center estimates that about 100 fighters came from the United States, which has more than 13 times as many people as Australia.

That’s a huge number.

Experts disagree about why the Islamic State group has been so effective recruiting in Australia, which is widely regarded as a multicultural success story, with an economy in an enviable 24th year of continuous growth.

Possible explanations include that some Australian Muslims are poorly integrated with the rest of the country, and that Islamic State recruiters have given Australia particular attention. In addition, the Australian government failed to keep tabs on some citizens who had been radicalized, and moderate Muslims have been put off by some of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s comments about their community.

It’s pathetic to even suggest that Tony Abbott is the reason. I’m not Abbott’s biggest fan, but the hatred and bias from many sections of the Australian media towards him is appalling.

I think the first explanation is the strongest. For well over a decade there has been a significant radical element who have not integrated. Many senior Muslim clerics in Australia have said appalling things, and use incendiary speech. We’re very fortunate that in NZ we’ve never had this problem. That doesn’t mean that there are not some extreme radicals – just that the senior leadership in NZ is not radical, and in fact very well focused on integration.

That seems like realistic comment and not dog whistling.

Sure the comments at Kiwiblog are often thick with anti-Muslim sentiment, as was the case on this post, starting with:

Odakyu-sen

Duuuh!

Don’t allow people into your country who despise your culture and don’t want to integrate.

wreck1080

Just ban muslims from coming to NZ.

The ones already here will eventually outbreed us all anyway so lets delay the inevitable .

It is too bad we cannot eject the more troublesome ones already here — or can we?

David Garrett:

DPF: How on earth can you say we are very fortunate not have this problem here ? How do you know what is being preached in the several mosques around the country? The little that does leak out is far from reassuring…just yesterday there was a report of some radical being trespassed from the mosque in Avondale, and that person going to the head sharing’s house and telling him “Jihad will start here”…

All that can safely be said is we have seen little outward manifestations of Islamic radicalism here…so far. I’m afraid it’s just a matter of time.

But I think it’s unfair to blame DPF for dog whistling, this is more a result of his very liberal moderation and the fact that a number of extreme right leaning commenters have made Kiwiblog their pulpit.

Muslim bashing occurs on Kiwiblog far more frequently than DPF posts anything related to Islam. There’s virtually a daily dose from Manolo, like yesterday where he posted the first comment on General Debate:

Manolo (16,656 comments) says: 

The daily dose of Islamic love and peace: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/at-least-28-dead-in-suspected-isis-suicide-attack-on-turkish-border-town-live-10401885.html

Manolo started calling me the Mullah of Dunedin a while ago because I didn’t agree with his extreme views.

But this isn’t due to DPF dog whistling, it is due to the principle of free speech exercised at Kiwiblog.

John Drinnan had responded to Lyth’s tweet:

John Drinnan retweeted Philip Lyth

“wogs” is the term du jour.

That’s correct for Whale Oil, try a search their on ‘wog’ and there’s ample evidence.

But Drinnan is not correct regarding Farrar, his last ‘Wog’ post was in 2013 – Wogistan – that was comment on Richard Proctor’s bizarre comments. And that’s it from Kiwiblog.

So I challenged Lyth on his accusation.

Philip Lyth ‏@philiplyth 11h11 hours ago

Philip Lyth retweeted Pete George

Where’s your evidence Pete George is not a troll?

That’s a lame way of avoiding responsibility for a serious accusation against Farrar and directed at Key and National by association.

It looks like Lyth is the dog whistler here.

Philip – if you can make a case that Farrar is a Muslim dog whistler I’ll post it. Otherwise I think a retraction is in order.

SIS jobs increase with risk

NZ Herald reports that More espionage agents being recruited amid threats on social media in NZ spies to combat new terror threats.

In a rare interview, Ms Kitteridge said New Zealand’s risk level had gone from very low to low. That might not sound significant, she said, but it was of concern.

Ms Kitteridge said SIS staff numbers were linked to the threat level and there had been “very active recruitment” since the Prime Minister announced an increased $7 million in funding in November.

SIS annual reports show the number of people working at the agency has almost doubled since 2001 when it had 111 staff and got $13 million in funding. The most recent report shows it spent $37 million — $3 million more than its budget — and had 218 fulltime-equivalent staff. Ms Kitteridge would not say how many new agents had been hired.

New risks through social media are one reason for the increase in staff.

Facebook pages encouraging violence on behalf of Isis (Islamic State) are among factors increasing New Zealand’s official terrorism risk and leading to a recruitment drive for new spies.

(Kitteridge) described the public relations and technical skills deployed by Isis and al-Qaeda terrorist groups through social media as “slick”.

She said it was an “environmental change” which increased the risk to New Zealand. “Geography doesn’t protect us the way it used to. Al-Qaeda and [Isis] are very slick in terms of technology and PR.”

Ms Kitteridge also gave details of the types of activities that have led to the development of a “watch list” of 30 to 40 names.

“We are concerned about people channelling funding. Some would very much like to go and fight in Syria and other people talk about doing things in New Zealand.

“Some we worry about a lot and some we are absolutely aware of them but it’s another level of risk. We work as hard as we can to make sure we are making that judgment right. But it’s not a perfect science.”

She said they would follow up the leads and tips received by the SIS on 30 to 40 people not yet on the watchlist but whom the PM had identified as needing investigation.

The people who required investigation changed constantly as some were ruled out and others placed on the watch list.

Social media have had an increasing role in Islamic extremism, and Britain and the US have prosecuted users deemed to have made comments supportive of terrorism.

And there’s evidence of what is happening on Facebook.

The Herald has this week tracked multiple Facebook pages of Kiwis that have carried recruitment-style material for Isis.

One such person took to social media this week after French police shot dead three Islamic terrorists in Paris, saying: “My dear beloved brothers and sisters, its time to wake up. Get ur guns, get ur knifes, get ur boots, train intensively, increase your (faith) and (certainty), study the virtues of Jihad (for the sake of Allah).”

Contacted by the Herald, he asked for $2,000 for an interview and refused to talk when told he wouldn’t get any money.

Cheeky bugger. And potentially dangerous. Individuals like this may not become violent themselves but they are trying to talk up and encourage violent acts.

Another page displayed imagery of gun-wielding fighters wearing the keffiyeh headdress in Isis colours carrying the organisation’s slogans. The message posted with the images was: “Just 1 bullet away from jannah [paradise].”

The Facebook account owner — who gives the Middle East as his current location — was linked last year to the Avondale Islamic Centre shut by the Muslim community after concerns about the style of preaching. The man was visited by police after threats to Herald staff covering the mosque conflict.

So threats in New Zealand seem to be more substantial than the Government trying to justify laws to increase surveillance.

Boris Johnson on Islam and war

A column from London mayor Boris Johnson on Islam, awar, hate and solutions (thanks for the link Alan).

The Islamists want war, but it would be fatal if we fell for it

Giving in to fear and its corrosive effects only strengthens the forces of hatred

It’s only known that a small radical minority of those following Islam want war.

This weekend we were all Parisians. While the Prime Minister and others joined the march in the French capital, other European cities staged rallies and events of all kinds. In Trafalgar Square we gathered to pay our respects to the dead of the past few days: to the heroic journalists who died for the right to express themselves; to the innocent victims of the kosher supermarket. In tribute to our sister capital, we illuminated the great buildings of central London with the Tricolore. “Je suis Charlie”, said countless signs. The people of London were sending a message of joint defiance, of shared values, of a refusal to give in to terror.

It was an important show of unity against terrorism and fear.

And yet we must be honest, and confess that in claiming the mantle of the editors and cartoonists of the French satirical magazine, we were being not only presumptuous, we were being pretentious and, I am afraid, simply inaccurate. There is hardly a paper in Britain that has followed the lead of Charlie Hebdo, and printed the offending cartoons of Mohammed. In fact, I cannot think of any mainstream media organisation that has been able to tell its viewers or readers what the fuss is all about.

I don’t think it’s important to do what Charlie Hebdo did. Your don’t have to agree or like or coopy what they did, just defend their right to do it (as others have the right to choose not to do similar).

You would have thought it was essential to the story. Appalling carnage has been inflicted; young men have been incited to commit acts of disgusting savagery; the French nation is in a state of shock and grief. And yet the British public is unable to form any kind of judgment about what exactly it is that is meant to have caused the offence. Was there something particularly rude or risqué about the drawings? Were they obscene? Was it just the fact of the depiction of the Prophet?

It hasn’t been difficult to find out.

There have been offensive Western depictions of Mohammed at least since Giovanni da Modena in the 15th century, and even in Islamic art the image of the Prophet may be rare, but it’s far from unknown. We need to know what precisely Charlie Hebdo did to provoke such mindless hostility – and at the heart of the whole story there is a blank, a big white space. The British press is globally famed for its willingness to say anything to anyone, to tell truth to power, to hold up people’s private lives to hilarity and scorn. In this case, a great ox has stood upon our tongue.

Perhaps, like me and many others, they didn’t like repeating the Charlie Hebdo cartoons. From what I’ve seen they weren’t very good cartoons and the were unnessarily provocative.

I choose not to wave insulting banners outside a Mongrel Mob house. Is that gutless, or is it sensible?

There are some respectable reasons that may be advanced, of course, and we have heard them a lot over the past few days. No one likes to give unnecessary offence to any religion, or to any group of people. There are many acknowledged limits to freedom of speech today – many of which are enforced by the law. There are words that may not be used, or not in certain contexts. There are assertions that may not be made, or not without the risk of legal challenge.

And everyone who publishes, be it newspaper or blog, has a choice on content.

But it is very striking that we in the British media have been almost uniquely reluctant, in Europe, to elucidate our viewers and readers as to the images at the heart of the furore, and I am afraid that it is not just a question of politeness, or punctilio, or old-fashioned good manners. The main reason no one is running the cartoons is that they are afraid.

I can’t speak for them but I’m not afraid to publish them. They are not the sort of thing I’d normally have anything to do with so why should I now? It would achieve nothing.

Then Johnson makes a more important point.

Many fine things have been said and done over the past few days, but some of the bravest words and deeds have come from Muslims. I think of the Muslim policeman, shot in cold blood as he lay on the pavement – try to watch that clip without weeping. I think of the Muslim shopworker, who helped hide some of the kosher supermarket customers in the cold store.

Across France, Britain and the rest of Europe, there are Muslim voices saying what needs to be said, like the Association of British Muslims – which issued a dignified and sensible statement, in which it not only condemned the killings in the strongest possible terms, but defended the right of Charlie Hebdo to publish the cartoons.

I’ve posted similar from New Zealand in Muslim condemnation of Charlie Hebdo killings.

And my hero – the man who got straight to the point – was the Mayor of Rotterdam, Ahmed Aboutaleb, himself a Muslim. “If you don’t like freedom,” he told the Dutch nation’s potential jihadists, “then pack your bags and leave. There may be a place where you can be yourself, so be honest with yourself, and don’t kill innocent journalists. If you don’t like freedom, then f— off.”

That’s a fair point.

It reminds me of the 1970’s when there was noticable British immigration to New Zealand and the term ‘whining Poms’ was commonly used. They had a choice of getting to like what New Zealand offered or returning (which some did).

That is the voice of the Enlightenment, of Voltaire. We can and will protect this country against these jihadist thugs. We will bug them and monitor them and arrest them and prosecute them and jail them. But if we are going to win the struggle for the minds of these young people, then that is the kind of voice we need to hear – and it needs above all to be a Muslim voice.

Another fair point. All Muslims are not responsible for the actions of a small number of vicious thugs. And they don’t have to apologise on behalf of terrorists when they have nothing to do with them.

But is in their interests to speak up. They should keep making it clear that spreading fear and trying to provoke war through terrorism is totally unaccetpable to good Muslims.

This is similar to the worth in non-violent men speaking up against male violence in our own society. We aren’t responsible for the violence but we have a responsibility to stand up against viiolence.

The same applies to mainstream Muslim organisations. It is important that they keep making it clear that they don’t support any sort of terrorism. As should the rest of us.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,147 other followers