Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Archive for the ‘Islamism’ Category

Bangladeshi Islamist Sentenced to Death for Genocide.

with one comment

Not Forgotten.

The head of Bangladesh’s largest Islamist party has been sentenced to death for war crimes committed during the independence war against Pakistan in 1971.

Motiur Rahman Nizami, 71, faced 16 charges including genocide, murder, torture and rape.

A state prosecutor said the sentence reflected the “gravity of the crimes”.

The defence said that the charges were not proven beyond reasonable doubt and that it would appeal.

There are different estimates for the number of people killed in the nine-month Bangladeshi war of secession.

Government figures suggest as many as three million people died, while some say that figure is too high and unverifiable.

A war crimes tribunal in Bangladesh with a three-judge panel announced the verdict to a packed courtroom in Dhaka.

Nizami, who was head of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, was accused of acting as supreme commander of a militia, al-Badr, an auxiliary force which helped the Pakistani army identify and kill pro-independence activists in Bangladesh.

The prosecution said the group carried out systematic torture and executions during the war, including of teachers, engineers and journalists.

Nizami served as a minister in the Bangladesh Nationalist Party-led government from 2001-2006. He was also given a death sentence in January after being convicted in an arms smuggling case.

Nationwide strike

“Considering the gravity of the crimes, the tribunal punished him with the death sentence,” state prosecutor Mohammad Ali told Reuters news agency.

BBC

This report is more graphic,

Dhaka, Oct 29 (IBNS): A Bangladesh war crimes tribunal on Wednesday handed down a death sentence to a Jamaat-e-Islami leader for his involvement in riots during the nation’s independence war against Pakistan in 1971, media reported.

According to reports, Motiur Rahman Nizami, 71, was reportedly found guilty of murder, rape and looting during the nine-month long freedom war with Pakistan.

It has been learnt that the court in Dhaka sentenced Nizami to “hang by the neck until his death” for orchestrating the killings of several Bengali nationalists, including several professors, writers and doctors, during the conflict.

“Considering the gravity of the crimes, the tribunal punished him with the death sentence,” media quoted state prosecutor Mohammad Ali as saying.

According to media reports, Nizami was the commander of the Al-Badr militia, which helped the Pakistani army identify and kill pro-independence activists in Bangladesh during the war.

He was reportedly facing charges of personally carrying out the killing and ordering the deaths of nearly 600 Bangladeshis. He has been convicted of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Following the verdict, Jamaat supporters went on rampage at different parts of the country.

Reports emerged that angry members of Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing ‘Shibir’ have vandalised at least 20 vehicles in the city on Wednesday afternoon.

They also engaged in a chase and counter chase with Chhatra League activists in the city’s court point area as the ruling party members tried to resist them.

Security has been beefed up in Dhaka and other major cities across the country.

Previous judgments by the tribunal had also sparked off violent clashes between the police and Jamaat-e-Islami supporters.

Amnesty International statement,

The death sentence against a leading opposition figure in Bangladesh for war crimes will not bring justice to the millions of victims of the independence war, Amnesty International said.

Additionally, the defence team has consistently raised concerns that trial proceedings have not followed fair trial standards.

Motiur Rahman Nizami, head of Jamaat-e-Islami, the third largest political party in Bangladesh, was sentenced to death for war crimes on Wednesday by the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT), a Bangladeshi court established to investigate the events of Bangladesh’s 1971 independence war.

“Bangladesh must overturn the death sentence against Motiur Rahman Nizami and all others. The death penalty is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment and can never be a way to deliver justice,” said Abbas Faiz, Amnesty International’s Bangladesh Researcher.

Perpetuating violence

“The crimes committed during the independence war were horrific, and there is no question that victims deserve justice. But the death penalty only perpetuates the cycle of violence.”

“The death penalty is not only a violation of the right to life, but it is an irreversible punishment if it leads to execution, and leaves no room to correct any possible judgment errors or fair trial violations from the proceedings.”

All verdicts so far have come against individuals associated with the opposition Jamaat-e-Islami party. The ICT has faced allegations of unfair trials from rights groups since it was established – complaints echoed by Nizami’s defence team during the trial.

“The ICT is a unique opportunity for justice and reconciliation in Bangladesh. But in the face of consistent concerns raised by the defence team about the trials not being fair it will only have the opposite effect and create more resentment,” said Abbas Faiz.

Protests likely

Previous death sentences handed down by the ICT have led to large-scale street protests, and Jamaat-e-Islami have already called for a three-day national strike (hartal) to protest today’s verdict.

“The political situation in Bangladesh is extremely tense, and there is a real risk that any street demonstrations could erupt into violence. It is crucial that security forces ensure that people’s right to demonstrate peacefully is respected, and that leaders on all sides urge their supporters to not commit abuses,” said Abbas Faiz.

As of today, 140 countries have abolished the death penalty in law or practice. Bangladesh was one of only nine countries that carried out executions every year between 2009 and 2013.

Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception, regardless of the nature or circumstances of the crime; guilt, innocence or other characteristics of the individual; or the method used by the state to carry out the execution. The organization calls on the Bangladeshi authorities to immediately establish a moratorium on executions as a first step towards abolition and commute all death sentences.

It will be interesting to see the reaction from the Jamaat’s supporters in the United Kingdom.

Written by Andrew Coates

October 30, 2014 at 12:54 pm

Amnesty for British Jihadists?

with 8 comments

Isis Justice.

On Sunday the Observer reported,

British jihadi fighters desperate to return home from Syria and Iraq are being issued with death threats by the leadership of Islamic State (Isis), the Observer has learned.

A source with extensive contacts among Syrian rebel groups said senior Isis figures were threatening Britons who were attempting to travel home. He said: “There are Britons who upon wanting to leave have been threatened with death, either directly or indirectly.”

It continued  with the claim from  former Guantánamo Bay detainee Moazzam Begg

Begg said that groups had approached him to try to put pressure on the government to show leniency to disillusioned fighters returning. Recently, the government suggested British jihadis who went to fight in Iraq or Syria could be tried for treason.

He said that a lot of Britons were currently “stuck between a rock and a hard place”. He added: “There are a large number of people out there who want to come back. The number in January was around 30, that was the number given to me. That number has definitely increased since.”

This comes as calls grow for an amnesty for British people who have gone to Syria to fight for the Islamists.

The Huffington Post said,

Britain should set up an amnesty for disillusioned and frightened British jihadis who want to come home, a senior diplomatic expert has said, as more reports emerged of “stranded” Brits desperate to leave Islamic State or other radical groups.

Up to 100 are believed to be currently stranded in Turkey, fleeing the horrors of the Islamic State’s rampage through Syria in Iraq. But most fear to return to Britain, according to Rachel Briggs, director of Hostage UK, which works with the families of victims kidnapped overseas.

Briggs told Huffington Post UK that the British government should “establish a clearing house near the Syrian border in Turkey to process and return home scared and disillusioned British jihadis”.

……

“In support of this effort, it should run an information campaign within Syria to inform British ISIS members of their return options,” she continued. “This does not mean letting criminals off the hook; those guilty of crimes must be prosecuted on their return.

Huffington Post

The article develops the theme,

Worried parents could be “de-facto negotiators” if helped more by the government, Briggs said, citing the case of Mehdi Hassan, 19 from Portsmouth, the latest British jihadi to be killed in Syria. His mother told the media after pictures of his body circulated on Twitter that the aspiring history student had been desperate to leave the Islamic State, despite his bombastic statements on social media.

“Mehdi was a loving boy with a good heart wishing to help Syrians,” the family said in a statement. “In recent months he had expressed the intention to return home but was worried about the repercussions. This is a tragedy and a lesson.”

These calls have drawn anger from right-wingers like Stephen Pollard.

In the Express today he rejects the idea saying that they deserve prosecution, “They are simply having to face the consequences of their actions. There’s a simply way for anyone to avoid prison for terrorism: don’t be a terrorist. And if you do become one but don’t like it: tough. You will pay for your actions.”

We can ignore this predictable outrage.

In the first instance, it is not a good idea to make policy, especially ones that involve the legal system, based on individual cases, particularly ones such as that of Hassan. The emotional charge is high, above all when claims have been made that he acted on his family’s report of wishes to leave the scene of mass murder.

Hasty measures taken to pick on suspected jihadists and efforts to impose what is in effect censorship and repression, and “counter-extremism” are not a good idea.

The fact is that there is an assault taking place in Kobani – where Hassan was killed – by the genocidal Isis against our Kurdish sisters and brothers .

A political campaign on the left to face up to the Islamists, and the political pool they have thriven in, expressing solidarity with those battling the jihadists , might have a deeper effects.

Campaigning against the murderous acts of the Syrian regime, not to mention wider Islamist (including Shiite) religious intolerance, would be part of such a move.,

This ia a long-term, long-haul, objective. 

In the meantime on the issue of amnesty, there does not seem much concern about those oppressed by Isis/Islamic State expressed by those advocating an amnesty – or by Pollard.

Racehl Briggs’s proposals are summarised in more detail by the following,

We need a more nuanced approach to deal with the different levels of threat. Arrest and prosecute those who have committed a crime and set an example of those guilty of the most heinous offences. Work proactively to bring back those who are scared and disillusioned, so they come back with us and on our terms. Turn the stories of returned foreign fighters into ammunition against ISIS. And offer those capable of reintegration the support they and their families need to get back on their feet and become productive members of society.

The issue of who has been a criminal is a hard one.

How exactly this should be determined, how they would be prosecuted  and how they can be distinguished from the “scared and disillusioned” is left unclear.

The example of ‘rehabilitation’ in some European countries are marginal, covering a handful of people.

More significantly the number of jihadists going from Europe including Britain, to kill in Syria has not notably decreased as news about the nature of Isis/Islamic State has become widely known.

Battling in a Holy War and murdering infidels does not seem attractive.

Some of these foreign fighters are reported to have participated in the worst atrocities.

Some cases are certain, as in the Western hostages tortured and murdered by the Islamists.

There is this in particular,

Mr Foley spent much of his time in captivity being guarded by three militants with British accents, whom the hostages nicknamed “The Beatles”. The group apparently took pleasure in abusing their captives, telling them they had been “naughty”. For a time, Mr Foley and others were held in a basement beneath a children’s hospital in Aleppo, before their captors joined up with Isis and moved their hostages to Raqqa, Syria, the capital of the self-proclaimed Islamic State, as Isis calls itself.

Independent.

An International War Crimes Tribunal is perhaps the best way of dealing with those who have committed atrocities in the Syrian and Iraqi conflicts.

In the meantime there is no reason for any special pleading on behalf of “young enthusiasts” who join groups that commit acts of torture and genocide.

Perhaps much more significant in this media discussion is the underlying idea that somehow “British” jihadists should get special treatment.

This might be described as the “Western saviour complex”, except that those being saved are “our” (repentant)  jihadis.

Assed Baig, the ‘controversial’ journalist who uses such phrases freely, and who received a window on Channel Four last night to air his opinion that Muslims in Britain are uniquely excluded and their religion and beliefs patronised and oppressed, would no doubt be opposed to any such favours from the Colonial British State.

 

 

New International Brigade Joins Kurds to Fight Isis Fascism.

with 3 comments

Western “comrades” join Kurds, Arabs, secularists, Yezidis, and Syriac Christians against Islamic State

This is incredibly moving (Hat-Tip Mal Function).

Rozh Ahmad @rozhahmadmedia

War in Syria The Kurdish fight in Syria slowly turns international on the ground as an unprecedented number of foreign volunteers join the pro-Kurdish militias to fight against the Islamic State (IS) jihadists.

The most widely reported cases include 43-year-old US air force veteran Brian Wilson and 28-year-old ex-US Marine Jordan Matson.

According to local sources inside Syria’s Kurdish “Rojava” region, however, 10 American citizens as well as hundreds of non-Kurdish volunteers comprising Syrian Arabs, Turkish citizens and Europeans have already joined the People’s Protection Units (YPG) fighting against IS jihadists.

“I give no figures, but there is a considerable number of Westerners fighting in the ranks of the YPG as well as European women comrades who’ve joined the Women Protection Units (YPJ). There are many Turkish comrades too,” said 28-year-old Kristopher Nicholaidis, who left Greece and joined YPG in Syria five months ago.

NICHOLAIDIS WAS AN ACTIVE local artist back in Greece where he used his art and politics to defend migrants, including Muslims.

“There is a considerable number of Westerners fighting in the ranks of the YPG”

“I come from a political family and I am a democratic socialist. I used my art and politics to defend the Muslim community from attacks initiated by fascists of the Golden Dawn party, but I consider IS jihadists as 21st century fascists posing a greater global threat as they barbarically spread Islamofascism on an international level,” he said. “I believe that the YPG is therefore leading the greatest anti-fascist struggle of our time by fighting against IS jihadists. I joined this struggle to fight against global fascism in defence of democracy and peace in Kurdish Rojava.”

Arsalan Celik, 26, studied political science at one of the most prestigious Turkish universities but left and joined the YPG April this year.

“I am not Turkish-Kurdish, I am Turkish from the city of Mersin. I came here because the IS jihadists come from all over the world instigating a war against humanity and my government helps them. I wanted to make a practical stance against IS and YPG was the only democratic militia I found in the region fighting back against these jihadists,” he said.

“I have seen many Syrian Muslim Arabs as well as left-wing Turks fighting against IS in the ranks of the YPG and YPJ militias, but we have not made headlines as much as our American comrades,” he said light-heartedly, adding, “We fight against IS jihadists to defend the democratic values of this Kurdish-led revolution because only the Kurds are now able to bring peace to Kurdistan, Syria and Turkey.”

CELIK IS NO STRANGER for Syria’s Kurds as tens of Turkish men and women have joined YPG and YPJ since last year, and some of them have lost their lives.

Serkan Tosun was the first Turkish YPG fighter killed when he fought to repel jihadist attacks to defend the predominantly Kurdish city of Serekaniye (Ras Al-Ain) in September 2013.

30-year-old Nejat Ağırnaslı, a Turkish academic, was killed two weeks ago when he fought in the YPG ranks in defence of the city of Kobane.

This is  just so simply put and right.

Zuleikha Muhammad of Rojava Martyrs’ Mothers Committee, whose only son joined YPG and was killed last year, said: “The international volunteers are not ‘foreigners’ as some describe them because we do not consider them as ‘foreigners’, they are our children and Rojava is their homeland.”

She said: “We love international volunteers as our own children because they are fighting against IS gunmen to defend us and they are martyred like our sons and daughters to defend Rojava revolutionary cause for people’s fraternal relations.”

This is the conclusion,

Some left-wing writers in the West have begun to compare YPG and YPJ militias in Syria to the International Brigade and POUM militia that operated during the 1936 Spanish civil war, but this is not how the YPG perceives itself.

“We are not communists nor do we call for a separatist Kurdish nation-state. We are democrats advocating the third way in Syria based on the Democratic Con-federalism philosophy of Abdullah Ocalan. The YPG is a people’s militia and people are free to advocate any ideology,” said Bahoz Berxwedan, one of the YPG commanders who run political education lectures in the Al-Hasakah province.

“Any freedom-loving democrat in this world can join us regardless of their religion, ethnicity, and ideology, as long as they accept our main principles of gender equality, peaceful coexistence and self-rule autonomy for all communities,” he explained. “This is why YPG fighters include Kurds and Arab Muslims, secularists, Yezidis, Syriac Christians and some American and European comrades too.”

Written by Andrew Coates

October 28, 2014 at 5:07 pm

Tunisian Islamists Conceed Defeat to Secular, Nidaa Tounes, Party,

leave a comment »

Tunisia: Nidaa Tounes Beats Islamists.

Tunisia’s Ennahda party, the first Islamist movement to secure power after the 2011 “Arab Spring” revolts, conceded defeat on Monday in elections that are set to make its main secular rival the strongest force in parliament.

Official results from Sunday’s elections – the second parliamentary vote since Tunisians set off uprisings across much of the Arab World by overthrowing autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali – were still to be announced.

But a senior official at Ennahda, which ruled in a coalition until it was forced to make way for a caretaker government during a political crisis at the start of this year, acknowledged defeat by the secular Nidaa Tounes party.

We have accepted this result, and congratulate the winner Nidaa Tounes,” the official, Lotfi Zitoun, told Reuters. However, he repeated the party’s call for a new coalition including Ennahda. “We are calling once again for the formation of a unity government in the interest of the country.”

Earlier, a party source said preliminary tallies showed the secular party had won 80 seats in the 217-member assembly, ahead of 67 secured by Ennahda.

Reuters.

These are some percentage figures.

Nidaa Tounes 38.24% = 83 seats Ennahdha: 31.33% = 68 seats Free Patriotic Union (run by rich businessman and Africa football club owner Slim Riahi), : 7.83% = 17 Seats Popular Front (the left bloc): 5.25% = 12 seats Afek Tounes: 2.3% = 5 seats Congress for the Republic: 1.84% = 4 seats The Initiative: 1.84% = 4 seats

Tunisia Live.

Le Monde reports,

The Islamist party knew he would see a decline in popularity but had not imagined such a setback. Triumphantly elected in 2011, when the first free elections were held after the fall of Ben Ali, the movement had two difficult years in government, marked by economic failure, political assassinations and a rise in terrorism.

On Sunday, voters did not hesitate to say they had voted Ennahda in 2011 and had been then disappointed. So that they had decided to turn to Nidaa Tounès. “We need people who can make the country move forward “, noted a resident of Rafraf, small coastal town in the north, attracted as were many voters by the figure of Beji Caid Essebsi, a former prime minister and leader of the transitional government after the revolution.

While British commentators  like the Guardian’s Seumas Milne had described Ennahda as “progressive” and “centre left” critics from Tunisia’s important secular left and labour movement had accused it of harbouring a hard-line Islamist wing, and practising neo-liberal economics.

The assassination of the left leader Chokri Belaïd (February 2013) indicated the existence of a far-right Islamist current prepared to use violence against the progressive movement. It as a key moment in defining the difference between Islamist reaction – including that of Ennahda – and the Tunisian left (seeTunisie : Le mouvement ouvrier à la croisée des chemins.). At one point it looked as if the fringes of the party would work with the religious hard-liners  and establish Islamic ‘mini-states’ based on the Sharia.

This did not happen.

The Parliamentary Islamists recoiled from the terrorism of the Salafist inspired street fighters.

All Tunisian elected parties have since accepted a new (2014) Constitution, unique in the Arab world, which establishes a framework for open decentralised government, promotes gender equality and accepts freedom of religion (that is the right not to be a Muslim), although restricts attacks on faith.

Nidaa Tounes (the حركة نداء تونسNidā’ Tūnis, French: Appel de la Tunisie, Call of Tunisia), is a secular party, or as Wikipedia calls it “secularist”. “founded by the former prime minister Beji Caid el Sebsi after the post-revolution 2011 elections. It describes itself as a “modernist” party.”

In this context modernist means that the party is dedicated to democracy, gender equality, social openness, and is not prepared to allow movements imposing Islamic rules on daily life. Economic development is seen as a condition of progress.

“The party has patched together former members of ousted president Ben Ali’s Constitutional Democratic Rally, secular leftists, progressive liberals and Destourians (followers of Tunisia’s “founder” Habib Bourguiba). In addition, the party has the support of many members of the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT) and the national employers’ union, UTICA. They believe that Tunisia’s secular forces have to unite to counter the dominance of the Islamist Ennahda Movement.”

Nidaa Tounes’ promises increased growth and a reduction in unemployment (currently at 15,20%).

It is believed that the party’s criticisms of the “instrumentalisation” of Islam, experienced candidates (regardless of their Destourian past),  and its call for “sécurité et de la stabilité” accounts for its successes.

To their left with 17 seats the Popular Front has achieved Parliamentary representation. It suffered from leftist in-fighting, and the alliance of some trade unionists with Nidaa Tounes. Nevertheless it also remains linked to the left-wing of the powerful  Union Générale Tunisienne du Travail (UGTT).

It is believed that the UGTT and Tunisia’s strong civil society have helped hinder the growth of an Islamist anti-democratic movement.

Nevertheless over  2,400 Tunisian citizens (out of a population of 10,89 million) have joined the jihadists in Syria and Iraq.

It is expected that very different social conflicts will result from any attempt by the probable national unity government that the elections are likely to create (led by Nidaa Tounes) to tie a ‘modernising’ economic agenda to neo-liberal policies. Calling themselves “technocrats” is an obvious attempt by politicians to deflect opposition to unpopular measures which could include further austerity.

For the moment minds are concentrated on the defeat of Ennahda.

There are inevitable charges of – marginal – electoral malpractice.

But some things stand out: watching the images of voting in Tunis on the (UK) telly news stations today you could have been excused for simply thinking how ordinary the Tunisians looked – democratic, calm, modern people.

British Jihadist Killed Fighting our Kurdish Sisters and Brothers in Kobane.

with one comment

Muhammad Mehdi Hassan is believed to have been killed in Kobani.

Mehdi Hassan: Died Fighting with Isis Against our Kurdish Sisters and Brothers.

The BBC has just reported.

A fourth man from Portsmouth who went to fight in Syria for Islamic State (IS) is believed to have been killed.

Mehdi Hassan, 19, travelled to the country with a group of four other men in October 2013.

A photo of his body emerged on Twitter on Friday and his family confirmed earlier to their local mosque they had received news of his death.

Iftekar Jaman, Mamunur Roshid and Hamidur Rahman have previously been killed in the fighting.

In a statement, the Foreign Office said it had not received any reports about Mr Hassan’s death but was “aware of reports about the death of a British national in Syria”.

‘Well mannered boy’

Chairman of the Portsmouth Jami Mosque, Abdul Jalil, said: “It has been confirmed with the family that he has died. Right now they are very upset.

“I am saddened and again shocked for the community about this news.”

It is thought he died in Kobane.

A family friend, who did not want to be named, told the BBC: “Mehdi Hassan was a polite well mannered boy and always spoke to elders with respect.

“He had a good family upbringing. It’s a shame, he would have been a valuable member to Portsmouth society.”

On 17 October, a tweet from an account believed to be linked to Mr Hassan said: “Between 20-40 us strikes daily in ayn al arab [the Syrian town of of Kobane]. Alhamdulillah they are spending $10’s of billions…against themselves.

The Guardian says,

On Tuesday, it was confirmed that another of the so-called “Pompey lads” Manunur Roshid, 24, was also killed in fighting on the Syrian frontline with reports suggesting he also died in the battle to seize Kobani, which borders Turkey. Reports of their death follows that of two other Portsmouth men, Ifthekar Jaman, 23, last December and Muhammad Hamidur Rahman, 25 in August.

Hassan’s death leaves Assad Uzzaman, 25, fighting in Syria with Isis while the other member of the group, Mashadur Choudhury, 31, returned to the UK and is currently in jail.

…..

Hasan was part of a group of five calling themselves the “Britani Brigade Bangladeshi Bad Boys”. The fanatics, all from Portsmouth, had been seduced by glamorous tales of martyrdom to join Islamic State – formerly Isis – establishing a Muslim caliphate in the Middle East.

Shiraz Maher, from King’s ICSR, said: “Now, of the six men who went from Porstmouth to fight jihad in Syria, four have now died and one is in prison.

“We know that Hassan was fighting for the battle of Kobani, likely alongside Manunur Rohsid who was reported killed a few days ago.”

Maher said that this death showed that Brits were being killed in all regions of the sprawling and bloody conflict from Mediterranean coastal provinces in Syria, to the west of Iraq to towns on the Turkish border. “Brits are not there to take a back seat in this conflict, they are full participants in this war,” he said.

We take the participation of British Islamists in the genocidal war against our Kurdish sisters and brothers extremely seriously.

Their assault on the beloved people of Kobane is a monstrous  war crime.

Meanwhile the Stop the War Coalition sees fit to publish this in reaction to the attacks in Canada,

The term “terrorism” has become nothing more than a rhetorical weapon for legitimizing all violence by Western countries, and delegitimizing all violence against them, even when the violence called “terrorism” is clearly intended as retaliation for Western violence.

It is hard to think of how they would describe the blood-stained crimes of the “well-mannered” “Pompey lads”.

 

Written by Andrew Coates

October 25, 2014 at 3:50 pm

Bob Lambert, Police Spy, Sex Infiltrator, State Adviser on Islamism: The Met Pays Out.

with 2 comments

Bob Lambert Receives  Islamic Human Rights Award (2007).

Lambert is in the news again, for what reason?

Well this was his most recent appearance (September 2014).

Ministers have been urged to enlist the help of several controversial Muslim groups to stem the flow of British jihadists to Iraq and Syria.

Calls are growing for Whitehall to restore ties in particular with the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), one of the country’s largest Islamic organisations. The group, which once enjoyed a close relationship with the government, has been ostracised since 2009 when one of its officials signed a declaration supporting Hamas and calling on Muslims to destroy “foreign warships” preventing arms smuggling into Gaza.

Robert Lambert, a former head of the Metropolitan police Muslim contact unit who is now a lecturer in terrorism studies at the University of St Andrews, said that the MCB and other Muslim groups could be valuable partners in the struggle against home-grown jihad….”

Originally in the Times (yesterday) – Hat-tip DT. 

But on this occasion it’s not to develop the failures that resulted from the policy of co-operating with ‘moderate’ (hard-right) Islamists that he expounded in  Countering Al Qaeda in London: Police and Muslims in Partnerships (2011).

It’s Lambert’s past and the great wrong that he has done that’s in the news.

Today we learn.

The Metropolitan Police is to pay £425,000 to a woman whose child was fathered by a man who she did not know was an undercover police officer.

The unprecedented payment comes after a legal battle with women who say they were duped into relationships with officers who were spying on them.

Scotland Yard says it “unreservedly apologises for any pain and suffering”.

The woman told BBC News she had received psychiatric care after learning the officer’s real identity.

Married with children

The Met’s payment is part of an agreement for her to drop her legal action alleging assault, negligence, deceit and misconduct by senior officers.

Scotland Yard statement

The force faces further possible claims from other women who say they were tricked into relationships with Special Demonstration Squad officers.

The SDS ran long-term undercover operations designed to infiltrate protest groups, including animal rights organisations.

One of its key officers, former Special Branch detective Bob Lambert, used the pseudonym Bob Robinson, and was tasked with infiltrating the Animal Liberation Front.

During that operation in the mid 1980s, he formed a relationship with a 22-year-old activist called Jacqui – even though he was already married with children. In 1985 she gave birth – but when the boy was two years old, the father vanished.

‘Serious mistakes’

Jacqui only discovered the real identity of her son’s father in 2012 after he had been outed by other campaigners.

Scotland Yard had refused to confirm or deny whether Bob Lambert was an SDS operative, despite his own admissions to journalists, until it was forced to change its position in August.

BBC

We note with concern that this individual is still a Lecturer in ‘Terrorism Studies’ at St Andrews University.

The University sees fit to publish this (link) about the past for which the Met now has had to pay out  a hefty sum,

For the bulk of his police service (1977–2007) Robert Lambert worked in counter-terrorism, gaining operational experience of all forms of violent political threats to the UK, from Irish republican to the many strands of international terrorism that include what may now best be described as the al-Qaida movement. One common denominator in all the many and varied terrorist recruitment strategies he witnessed over the years is the exploitation of a sense of political injustice amongst susceptible youth. Throughout his police career Lambert placed value on street or grass roots perspectives over more rigid top down security approaches to counter-terrorism.

We helpfully note that there is something…missing in  this account.

One  hopes that a number of  glaring absences are swiftly replaced by a fuller account of Lambert’s ‘career’.

The word “exploitation” is also particularly unfortunate.

Solidarity with Kobani and Shingal Public Meeting, House of Commons.

with one comment

 

PUBLIC MEETING: Solidarity with Kobani and Shingal

Organised by the International Federation of Iraqi Refugees

28 October at 18:30

Committee Room 10, House of Commons.

* Hosted by John McDonnell MP

Please join us to express solidarity with the peoples of Kobani (Syria) and Shingal (Iraq) and others resisting the bloodthirsty ISIS assault.

Speakers include:
Activists from Iraqi Kurdistan
John McDonnell
Jean Lambert MEP
Representative from Amnesty

We will discuss how to build solidarity with the resistance to ISIS, solidarity with socialist and working-class forces in the region, and support for the displaced and refugees.

For more information contact: 07804 891 082 or 07856 032 991 or 07894 252 708

Yesterday the comrades from Shiraz published this.

The Kurds are crying out for support, for Western governments to help them.

They demonstrate with banners saying “Your silence is killing us.” They are right.

This is Guernica, this is Madrid. These are our comrades. But where is the left? Where are the thousands who rightly throng the streets in support of another stateless, oppressed people in Palestine? Where is the Stop The War Coalition? Why the silence? Why, why, WHY?

ATTILA THE STOCKBROKER
http://www.attilathestockbroker.com

There have been left groups, such as the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty, and Socialist Resistance, and libertarian left-wingers who have been campaigning with our Kurdish sisters and brothers.

Many, many on the left feel as Attila does: that we have yet to see major forces being committed

We hope that this meeting offers an answer.

We also note this resolution (amongst others broadly in the same line, but this is the clearest) for Left Unity’s 15th-16th November Conference.

P. Solidarity with Kurdistan

Proposed by Adriano Nerola Marotta

Seconded by Alia Al Ghussain

Left Unity Notes;

Since 16th of September, the Kurdish city of Kobane in northern Syria have been defending themselves against the onslaught of ISIS

Those Kurdish areas captured by ISIS have seen mass executions and enslavement of female Kurdish civilians take place, indicating a potentially likely future if Kobane falls to the hands of ISIS

That Kobane, the home of the progressive “Rojava Revolution”, is the political base of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD)

That the Kurdish Democratic Union Party, allied with the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party), is the key progressive Kurdish political force

That the Kurdish resistance fighters, which include the all-female defence unites YPJ (Women’s Protection Unit) which make-up 30% of Kurdish militias, have been fighting ISIS with light weaponry and practically no international support against the more advanced military of ISIS

Turkey has not provided any military or monetary support for the Kurdish resistance to ISIS, despite the continuous calls for intervention by the Kurdish community in the legal borders of Turkey

Left Unity Believes;

That ISIS is a reactionary and gruesome organisation which has caused suffering and death to the civilian populations of large parts of Syria and Iraq

That the Kurdish resistance and progressive political establishment are worthy of international solidarity and support

The British Kurdish community have repeatedly demanded solidarity for the people of Syrian Kurdistan, with little support from the established British left

That internationalism is the cornerstone of socialist politics and is more needed today than ever before

Left Unity Resolves:

To coordinate a fundraising campaign for the (Syrian) Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) together with Kurdish community organisations and other supportive groups

To campaign for the de-criminalisation of the Kurdish PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party)

To campaign for the British government to grant asylum-seeker status to any and all Kurdish refugees seeking asylum in Britain

Update.

URGENT CALL FOR ACTION: Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity!

Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity!

Date for the Global Rally: 1 November 2014, 2pm

kobane is not alone

 

Prof Noam CHOMSKY-US; Archbishop Desmond TUTU-South Africa; Adolfo PerezESQUIVEL, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate 1980-Argentina; Hugo BLANCO, leader of the CCP (Campesino Confederation of Peru)-Peru; Prof Bill BOWRING, University of London, Birkbeck College -UK; MICHAEL MANSFIELD QC, President of Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers-UK; Dr Felix PADEL, Sussex University-UK; LordHYLTON, House of Lords, UK; Margaret OWEN O.B.E, human rights lawyer-UK; Nick HILDYARD, policy adviser-UK; Prof Kariane WESTRHEIM, EU Turkey Civic Commission (EUTCC)-Norway; Prof Michael GUNTER, EU Turkey Civic Commission (EUTCC)-US; Dr.ir. JP Joost JONGERDEN, Wageningen University, The Netherlands; Estella SCHMID, Peace in Kurdistan Campaign-UK; Dr. David GRAEBER-anthropologist, author, UK;  Mark THOMAS, writer/comedian-UK; Peter TATCHELL, Director, Peter Tatchell Foundation-UK; Dr Derek WALL, International Coordinator of the Green Party of England and Wales-UK; Stephen SMELLIE, UNISON Lanarkshire, Scotland-UK; FABIO AMATO, Foreign Representative of the PRC Party and Secretariat of the European Left-Italy; Moni OVADIA, perfomer/musicians/theatrical author–Italy; Michel ROLAND,  President of Médecins du Monde, Belgium; LUDO DE BRABANDER, spokesperson Vrede vzw (Belgian Peace Organisation)- Belgium;WARD KENNES, Mayor of Kasterlee/ MP, Member of the Flemish Parliament-Belgium; Stephen BOUQUIN, Prof of Sociology, Universite d’Evry-Val-d’Essone and Chairman of ROOD-Belgium; Em. Prof. Herman DE LEY, Ghent University-Belgium Dr. Suresh KHAIRNAR, National Convenor, All India Secular Forum-India; KishoreJAGTAP, President, Phule-Ambedkar Intellectual Forum-India; Amaresh MISRA, Editor-in-Chief, Medhaj News-India; Feroze MITHIBORWALA, National President of Bharat Bachao Andolan (Movement to Save India from Imperialism & Zionism)-India; Dr Radha D’SOUZA, Indian Association of People’s Lawyers – India; ManuelMARTORELL, historian and journalist-Spain; Osvaldo BAYER, historian, writer and anarchist-Argentina; Stella CALLONI, journalist, international analyst and writer-Argentina; Fernando SIGNORINI, Coach of the Argentinian Soccer Team-Argentina; Nora CORTINAS, Human rights activist, co-founder of the Mayo’s Square Mothers-Argentina; Rosana ALVARADO, First Vice-President of the National Assembly-Ecuador; Maria Augusta CALLE, President of the Commission on Sovereignty and International Relations of the National Assembly-Ecuador; Virgilio HERNANDEZ, Member of the Board of Directors of the National Legislative Assembly- Ecuador; PedroDE LA CRUZ, President of the Andean Parliament–Ecuador; Francisco VELASCO, Former Minister of Culture, Member of the Administrative Board of “Alliance Country”-Ecuador; Guillaume LONG, responsible for External Relations of Ecuador Alianza Pais Party-Ecuador; Fernando BOSSI, People’s Bolivarian Congress-Argentina; Prof Kamal A.Mitra CHENOY, Centre for Comparative Politic & Political Theory, School of International Studies-India; Achin VANIK , Professor of International Relations and Global Politics from the University of Delhi (retired)-India; Amir M. MAASOUMI, Peace Ambassador-India; Sushovan DHAR, Radical Socialist-India; Jatin DESAI,veteran journalist & General secretary of the “PIFPD” (Pakistan India Forum for Peace & Democracy) – India; Wilfred DACOSTA, Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF), New Delhi- India; Sandhya JAIN, Journalist, New Delhi – India; Asha KACHRU, Writer-India; Dr. Suresh KHAIRNAR, National Convenor, All India Secular Forum-India; Kishore JAGTAP, President, Phule-Ambedkar Intellectual Forum-India; AmareshMISRA, Editor-in-Chief, Medhaj News-India; Anwar KOMBAI, Documentary Filmmaker, writer & journalist, Chennai, India; Javed ANAND, Muslims for Secular Democracy, Mumbai-India; Rohini HENSMAN, Writer and Independent Scholar, Bombay-India; Jawad MOHAMMED,Lawyer from Chennai-South India; Sukla SEN,EKTA (Committee for Communal Amity), Mumbai-India; Sushovan DHAR, Radical Socialist-India; Jatin DESAI, veteran journalist & General secretary of the “PIFPD” – Pakistan India Forum for Peace & Democracy-India; Raghu JAYANTIYA, Engineering Design Manager-UK; Mukta SRIVASTAV, National Alliance of People’s Movements, Mumbai-India; Com. VASUDEVAN, Bluestar Trade Union, Mumbai–India; Com Deepti GOPINATH, Airport Workers Trade Union, Mumbai-India; Akshay KUMAR, Orissa Farmers Struggle, Bhuvaneshwar-India; Prof. Rakesh RAFIQUE, Yuva Kranti, Founder, Moradabad-India; Ravi KOHAR, Convenor, Yuva Kranti (Revolutionary Youth), New Delhi-India; Shelley KASLI, Journalist, Bangalore-India; SalimALWARE, Indian Muslim Intellectual Forum, Convenor-India; Jyoti BADEKAR, Bharat Bachao Andolan, Mumbai-India; Farouk MAPKAR, Bharat Bachao Andolan, Convenor, Mumbai-India; Yusuf PARMAR, President, Indian Muslim Development Council, Rajkot-India; Arif KAPADIA,  Bharat Bachao Andolan, Mumbai-India; AfaqueAZAD, Bharat Bachao Andolan, Mumbai –India; Bhupen SINGH, Journalist, New Delhi-India; Shujaat Ali QADRIQ, Convenor, Muslim Students Organization, Lucknow-INDIA; Ashraf Ali ZAIDI, Bharat Bachao Andolan, New Delhi-India; Sanjay SINGHVI,General Secretary, Trade Union Centre of India (TUCI), Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) CPI-ML-India; Luisa MORGANTINI – Former Vice President of EP-Italy; Massimo ARTINI, MP, Vice President of Defence Committe in Parliamnet- Italy; Prof. Annamaria RIVERA, Anthropologist-Italy; Prof. Enrico Pugliese, Sociology-Italy; Prof. Giorgio FORTI, Emeritus at the Faculty, University of Milan, and Member of the Lincei National Academy-Italy; Prof. Maria Immacolata MACIOTI, Association of Sociology in Italy (AIS)-Italy; Alessia MONTUORI, Association ‘Senza Confine’-Italy; Alfonso DI STEFANO, Comitato NoMuos/ NoSigonella Commitee-Catania-Italy; AnnaDI SALVO, Associations of the “La Città Felice”; Antonio RAMPOLLA, No Muos, Palermo- Italy; Claudio TREVES, General Secretary of the Labor Union Nidil-Cgil-Italy; Enrico Campofreda, Journalist-Italy; Fabrizio GATTI, alias Bilal Ibrahim el Habib, journalist and author-Italy; Gianni RINALDINI, Former General Secretary of the Labour Union Fiom-Cgil and Member of the Cgil National Board; GiorgioCREMASCHI, Former President of the Central Committee of the Labour Union Fiom-Cgil; Luca CASARINI, co-worker; Pippo GURRIERI, Director of the Sicilia libertarian-Italy; Teresa MOAFFERI, Cobas Scuola; Sicilia, Italy; Anarchist Federation of the Sicilia -Italy; Association s of the ‘Un ponte per…’- Italy; Associations of the ‘RUMORI SINISTRI’ –Rimini-Italy; Embassy of the Rights,Marche-Italy; MADIBA Network House- Rimini-Italy; Magazine of the ‘Sicilia Libertaria’-Italy; NO MUOS Ragusa-Italy; Polisportiv of the ACKAPAWA, Jesi-Italy; Polisportiv of the ANTI-RACISTS, Rimini-Italy; Polisportiv of the ‘ASSATA SHAKUR’ Ancona-Italy; Social Center Groups of the Marche regions-Italy; Social Center of the AQ16 -Reggio Emilia-Italy; Social Center of the INTIFADA, Empoli, Italy; Social Center of the NORTH EAST-Italy; Social Center of the S. LABAS, Bologna-Italy; Social Center of TPO-Italy; YA BASTA! Bologna-Italy; YA BASTA!Marche -Italy; YA BASTA! Trento -Italy; YA BASTA!, Padova-Italy; YA BASTA!,Treviso-Italy; Laxman  SINGH, Research Scholar (Jamia Millia Islamia)-India; MichelROLAND,  President of Médecins du Monde, Belgium; Georges-Henri BEAUTHIER  Lawyer-Belgium; Hind RIAD, Lawyer-Belgium; Selma BENKHELIFA, Lawyer-Belgium; Olivier STEIN, Lawyer-Belgium; Joke CALLEWAERT, Lawyer-Belgium;LUDO DE BRABANDER, spokesperson Vrede vzw (Belgian Peace Organisation)- Belgium; DOMINIQUE WILLAERT, Artist- Belgium.

Kariane Westrheim, Chair
Prof Dr Michael Gunter, Secretary General

EU Turkey Civic Commission (EUTCC)