Tag Archives: terrorism

Terrorism & The Media with Prof. Charlie Beckett from London LSE

xl-2015-social-media-terrorist-1

News organisations descended onto a street in London to report on the latest terror attack to strike Europe recently.. A women in her 60s lay dead and 5 other people suffered stab wounds. Professor Charlie Beckett is Head of Polis a journalism think tank at the London School of Economics, and he spoke to Jason McCrossan on 106.9 SFM

Breakfast Show – Paris Attack

paris-tel-aviv_sat break.png

On the evening of Friday 13th November 2015 a series of coordinated terrorist attacks occurred in Paris and its northern suburb, Saint-Denis, killing 130 people.

Jason McCrossan’s 106.9 SFM Saturday Breakfast show was broadcast the following day and reflected the shock felt in the UK and around the world.

How Would UK React to Paris Attack?

MM Paris Under Attack.png

David Videcette is an Ex-Scotland Yard detective, who worked on the anti-terrorism branch of the Met police during the 7 July London bombings in 2005.

He spoke to Jason McCrossan and explains what the UK police and Security Services learned from the 2005 bombings and also says how the cuts to policing could have a detrimental affect on our ability to stop a terrorist attack like that seen in France.

chris morris four lions – worth another look?

four-lions-584

When Chris Morris’s film ‘Four Lions’ was first released in 2010 I remember reading the reviews which included adjectives such as was “fantastic” and “hilarious” – advertising that you see accompanying most films – mutual advertising for both parties.  The hype pointed in one direction – this was a funny film which was worth watching.

I remember going to a muslim friends house and watching the film.  I hadn’t known him all that long – but I liked the fact that although he was muslim – his religion hadn’t all-encompassed him and was, a part of who he was – an important part none the less, bit he didn’t let his religion manipulate him and he hadn’t allowed it to overtake or limit his personality. There was religion.  There was life.  Each had its place.

So I put on the film in eager anticipation that we would both, especially my friend, share in the fun and hilarity of the film – as described in so many of the advertising adjectives.   My friend didn’t find it funny.  I was disappointed.  In fact, I felt a little embarrassed because I then thought – maybe he thinks he that I’d presumed he’d find it funny as it was poking fun at a misfit bunch of muslims who turn out to be just as hopeless at terrorism as they were with managing their daily life routine.

photo_02

We both watched the film in kind of silence.  That’s what I remember.  And kinda agreed that it was ok – after it had finished.  Although I think we were both disappointed.

Then 5 years later – in fact, just the other day – I decided to watch the film again.  This time I had set no expectations.   This time I hadn’t set myself up for a laugh-a-minute bomb-com film that would have me crying with laughter.  I just watched it. I watched it detached from the previous me. And, found that I actually quite like this film.

We have seen so many horror films lately that have been created by terrorists and circulated by our media – on their behalf – that this film seems tame and undramatic.  I felt myself warming to the characters in a way I hadn’t before.  I found the inner conflict in liking these guys individually – whilst wanting them to see – what I was seeing – the futility of their cause and how they could direct their passion for the cause in more constructive and less destructive ways.  I saw the characters in a whole new light.  This time – I found it smart – engaging and I enjoyed the dark humour.

Four Lions is definitely worth a watch if you haven’t seen it – or another go if like me you were disappointed all those years ago.

To get you started – here is an interview with one of the writers Chris Morris – who looks a little bit like the late Colonel Gaddafi! But maybe it is just me.

And here is the film Four Lions:

Four_Lions_poster

A whip-smart, slapstick comedy, Chris Morris’ FOUR LIONS takes aim at Jihadi suicide bombers and illuminates the war on terror through satire and farce. Follow five inept aspiring terrorists on their quest to strike a blow, and how they demonstrate that terrorism may be about ideology, but it can also be about idiots.

supertramp & Terrorism with Dr Afzal Ashraf

Monday Matters radio show with Jason McCrossan

On this edition of Monday Matters our featured group tonight is Supertramp: Rick Davis, vocalist and keyboardist with the band is 71 on 22 July. Rick is the only member of Supertramp to have been with the group for their entire history, and has composed many of their most well-known songs, including ‘Goodbye Stranger’, and ‘Bloody Well Right’.

After 8pm we have more on the speech given by the Prime Minister David Cameron about how the Government plans to tackle extremism included a five-year plan which will target Muslims who hold “intolerant ideas”.

Also after 8pm we have the latest music news and then after 9pm we speak to Dr Afzal Ashraf who is a consultant fellow at the Royal United Services Institute. Tonight Jason discusses the rise of IS – or Daesh as some would prefer we call them; what action needs to be taken to defeat them & how safe are we here in the UK.

The ISIS chain of terror

An image grab taken from a propaganda video uploaded on June 11, 2014 by jihadist group the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) allegedly shows ISIL militants gathering at an undisclosed location in Iraq's Nineveh province. Militants took control of the Iraqi city of Tikrit and freed hundreds of prisoners today, police said, the second provincial capital to fall in two days. AFP PHOTO / HO / ISIL
An image grab taken from a propaganda video uploaded on June 11, 2014 by jihadist group the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) allegedly shows ISIL militants gathering at an undisclosed location in Iraq’s Nineveh province. Militants took control of the Iraqi city of Tikrit and freed hundreds of prisoners today, police said, the second provincial capital to fall in two days. AFP PHOTO / HO / ISIL

The medieval way in which terrorist organisation ISIS dispatched Muadh al-Kasasbeh, a Jordanian pilot, to his death in January 2015 was something that caused nausea to anyone who cherishes life and believes in human dignity.  Of course, not everyone gasped a breath of repulsion with news reports circulating that Isil broadcast the murder on giant public screens to crowds that included young children cheering and chanting in Raqqa, the de facto capital of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

Of course, I say medieval – however, one does not need to look back to the middle ages to find tales of atrocious behaviour carried out by man kind up man kind.  As is pointed out in the blog “We Are Respectable Negroes

For almost a century, the United States practiced a unique cultural ritual that was as least as gruesome as the “Medieval” punishments meted out by ISIS against its foes.

What is now known as “spectacular lynching” involved the ceremonial torture, murder–and yes, burning alive–of black Americans by whites.

In fact, the burned to death images of the black body were one of the most popular types of mass culture in 19th and 20th century America.

lynching-omaha-nebraska-sept-29-1919

And who can forget the many atrocities carried out by German’s under the NAZI flag including beastly experiments with victims coerced into participating; they did not willingly volunteer and there was never informed consent. Typically, the experiments resulted in death, disfigurement or permanent disability, and as such are considered as examples of medical torture.

A Jewish child is forced to show the scar left after SS physicians removed his lymph nodes. This child was one of 20 Jewish children injected with tuberculosis germs as part of a medical experiment. All were murdered on April 20, 1945. Neuengamme concentration camp, Germany, between December 1944 and February 1945. — Guenther Schwarberg
A Jewish child is forced to show the scar left after SS physicians removed his lymph nodes. This child was one of 20 Jewish children injected with tuberculosis germs as part of a medical experiment. All were murdered on April 20, 1945. Neuengamme concentration camp, Germany, between December 1944 and February 1945.
— Guenther Schwarberg

The terror and brutality that is being carried out by ISIS is not new – the speed and method of the delivery of the images is. I’m grateful to have been brought up in the West – in a country where religion is a private matter and the freedom to live life is not dictated by the passages of a religious text or by the gun or knife or a brutal regime that won’t accept dissent.  People in Britain must be free to choose to have a religion or not – but it must be a choice and as  writes in the telegraph:

Yesterday came a damning official report by Louise Casey saying that Labour’s Rotherham borough council was “in complete denial” and had failed to respond properly to last year’s scathing report by Prof Alexis Jay. Men of Pakistani origin had been allowed to abuse white girls in part because of “misplaced political correctness”: council staff were terrified of being labelled racist. Cowards and fools, they “decided such issues should be dealt with by people from the Pakistani community”. Good thinking, chaps!

In Rotherham, Casey also found that police had failed to pursue Pakistani perpetrators for fear of “offending the community”.

What community? Not yours and mine, that’s for sure. So desperate is the situation that Whitehall-appointed commissioners are to move in and take over the council. In Rotherham, we see with terrible clarity how the whole edifice of multiculturalism is as rotten as a Tudor monarch’s mouth.

What Allison fails to note is that the kind of abuse that happened in Rotherham isn’t just limited to a particular ethnic group – white men will take just as much advantage of girls as any other race – the worrying element is if the report is true and staff failed to act out of a fear of being racist.  And this is why I am strongly against religious schools where children are divided along lines of cultural and often racial background and never mix with anyone who is not of their belief nor race.  This cannot be good for our future.

If we are to learn anything from the atrocities committed by ISIS – is that we must integrate the different cultures and backgrounds that exist within Britain better than we are doing at the moment.  What makes a teenage boy or girl think that their life is only valuable when it has a bomb attached to it and they are kill themselves and as many people as they can?

How did we let this situation happen? The Prime Minister David Cameron has jumped in feet first to tackle what they would term welfare scroungers – but what about extremists and extremism? It is lazy to think of this as a muslim probably – any more than suggesting that when the IRA was active on British shores they were a catholic problem.

One of the reasons we elect politicians is to make us safe – so far, they have failed us.  But if UKIP is the answer – we’re most definitely asking the wrong questions.

Well this is embarrassing….

Birmingham Terrorist School

Fox News in America once again show just how cultivated they are when they got a so called “terrorism expert” was giving his perspective on the terror attacks in France.

To be fair -Steven Emerson did come out with a few gems “In Britain, it’s not just no-go zones, there are actual cities like Birmingham that are totally Muslim where non-Muslims just simply don’t go in.”  There are many reasons not to go to Birmingham…… (some of them still speak funny) – but being over run by Muslim militants – is certainly not one of them.

He also made another gaff when he suggested that “London is patrolled by violent religious police”- if he’d of just left out the word “religious” -most of us who live in London – would probably agree that he had a point!!!

Anyway – here is that interview….

#JeSuisCharlie

Charlie Hebdo
Charlie Hebdo

When you look at the faces above – it is difficult to think of the circumstances and drama – that they saw, sensed and felt in the final moments of their life.

Each person pictured was part of a debate into the story of our lives – one which religion has played a major part for our entire rememberable history.

That they were taken down by a couple of people with guns is not all that surprising.  Maybe it should be.  But that is not the world we live in.  That it was done with such black and dark precision and indifference to extinguishing human life is no longer a shock.

The life of those who loved and believed that it was important was taken away from them by those who didn’t.  Imagine- it is a life that belongs to you.  Or so you think?

When I look at the faces above – I see a courage that I could not and cannot match.  I have no religion – as far as I see – that is their time here done – for them – there is just darkness and rest.

Killed by those who cling on to an existence in another life that is more prosperous and important than the lives they currently lead. Like being poor and forced to stand outside Harrods – to be told that if you want the doors to part and you then be able to enjoy everything for free – you just need to kill someone/people and you will be accepted.

And that is the crunch – in the West we crave the pleasures of the life and materialism that is open to us – if we are good enough.  For others – that materialism involves their death and a promise of pleasure comes from ending their own life and taking others with them.  But as it includes their death – the ability of investigative journalism to question the accuracy of this – or what life on the other side is like – is not possible.  And so there is nothing to halt the flood – the gates are open.

Many people have decided to retweet the pictures that made  Charlie Hebdo  infamous and have criticised broadcasters such as the BBC and ITV for not showing them.

However, by showing pictures of Mohammed – only serves to offended a large number of people.  I don’t think that is the place of the BBC and actually respect their decision.  Everything is about choices and what separates us from extremists – is that we mumble, grumble and moan…but we do NOT kill.

Charlie Hebdo  must continue and if they want to print material that people find offensive – they MUST be allowed.  But at the same time – companies must be allowed to also CHOOSE not to print images that others will find offensive. If they want.

Guess what – it’s part of being human.  Nothing, but nothing should result in the scenes we saw in Paris on Wednesday morning.  However, I don’t believe it will be the last. And that makes me sad.  However, the fact that I am alive and able to write this – you know what – I’m very grateful and happy to be alive and all that life brings.

I just wish everyone love life as much.

MH17 AIRLINE CREW RECALLS HAPPY VOYAGERS BOARDING FLIGHT

140720mh17-jpg

An airline ground crew member who checked passengers in at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport for the doomed flight MH17 has made an emotional post on Facebook, recalling sending off holidaymakers, children and grandparents with wishes for “a pleasant flight”.

 

Renuka Manisha Virangna Birbal recounted her memories of the passengers

 

She wrote

A smile, a greeting, a happy face ..

At the transfer desk, I get two football fanatics, one is checked in and the other not, “can you check me in Love”. They were not seated next to each other in the business compartment , “would you like to sit together sir?” Any doubt,, I want a few hours of rest joked the other one. ‘’cheers’’

A loving family of six with their 10 pieces luggage that I had to put in the system. “After long time we’re returning home”

It was busy at the check in desk, so I went there to help my colleagues.
A child smiling and waving at me.

They thank me for my help so she could sit together. excited children “mom when do we see our luggage again?”

The crew running towards me waving and signalling.  They were ready to drop their luggage at the odd size belt.

A man who is about to start a new life in Malaysia.

A family get dropped off by their grandparents, kids first holiday far away.

Grandma makes photos of how her children and grand children check in. This time I do not mind that I am in the picture.

Arriving at the gate G03 a young man asked if he has time to buy something quickly. “Of course, sir, if you only ensures that you are back here at 1130”

My colleague helps an elderly woman inside, all the way to her seat in row 21, she had difficulty walking and traveling alone. The lady had the same name (one letter difference) as the son of my colleague and said that she would remembered the name.

I appeal to everyone to go to the toilet before they enter the gate because there are no toilet facilities at gate G03. A few passengers went back out of the line.

A woman traveling with her husband and her mother still asks her mother a few times if she had to go to the toilet, the elderly lady has a bladder problem. I allowed them to wait outside and they can come inside the priority line when their ready.

A newly married couple, on the way to their honeymoon.

A beautiful little girl hold by her mother, her father behind them pushing the stroller. What is she beautiful, a half Dutch half Malaysian with beautiful big eyes. She kindly smiled at me.

A man who could still join the flight to be on time for the funeral of his mother.

Grandchildren traveling with their grandparents.

Suddenly I see a familiar face, it is our colleague from the MH ticket counter

He proudly shows me his son, wife and daughter. With a big smile he waved “See you soon”

A woman want to go out of the gate unable to go to the toilet, unfortunately, we have already begun boarding and nobody can go out. “May I board first then?” of course.

I walk quickly along with the last two passengers who may eventually join the flight, and what are they happy …

A final farewell to the crew, till next time!

And then we removed the bridge.

Passengers traveling for business, on the way home, on the way to family, on the way to their holiday, on the way to a new beginning …

Group travel, families, couples, individuals, infants, children, grandmothers, grandfathers, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, partners, uncles, aunts, colleagues, friends, neighbors, acquaintances.

The last time I saw them, talked to them and wish them a pleasant flight the passengers of flight MH017 on 17jul14.

One last smile, one last salute, a happy face …

+ Rest in peace dear passengers & crew +

On behalf of the ground handling agents of flight MH017 on Thursday 17-07-2014

 

 

farewell_2