Is a Guardian cartoon on the Charlie Hebdo attack blaming the victims?

Yesterday, three Alluah-Akhbar shouting gunmen stormed the Paris offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo during an editorial meeting and, armed with Kalashnikovs, brutally murdered twelve people – ten journalists and, moments later, two police officers.


Jihadist executes a French policeman outside the offices of Charlie Hebdo

The terrorists were undoubtably taking ‘revenge’ for the cartoonists’ previous depictions of Muhammed, as the staff at Charlie Hebdo received numerous death threats by Islamists over the years due to their refusal to submit to demands they cease in their criticisms of Islam.

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British newspaper amplifies extremist message of Israel’s Islamic Movement

Up until now, the most egregious distortion, within the UK media’s coverage of the proposed ‘Jewish nation-state’ legislation, was represented by Times of London headlines suggesting that the law, if passed, would render Arab-Israelis “second-class citizens”.  

Through communication with Times of London editors, they agreed to add quotes around the term “second-class citizens” to reflect the fact that that charge merely represents the hyperbole of a few political figures in expressing their opposition to the law. (See this good backgrounder on the proposed bill, which would not erode the individual rights of non-Jews in Israel, yet alone result in ‘transfer’.)

However, the British newspaper The Telegraph has published an even more inflammatory and misleading article on the possible ramifications of the proposed law (Meet the Arab-Israelis living in fear of expulsion, Dec. 1). The article, written by their Middle East correspondent Robert Tait, amplifies the ludicrous charge by some Arab extremists that the legislation would result in the forced expulsion of Arab-Israelis.

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Guardian fails to reveal that Brit arrested for terror is ‘Comment is Free’ contributor

As we first learned from Guido Fawkes, Moazzam Begg, a former Guantanamo Bay prisoner who became a spokesman for the “human rights” group Cageprisoners, was arrested by British police on Tuesday morning for terror offences which he is alleged to have committed in Syria.

Begg is widely believed by American intelligence officials to have been a jihadist involved with Al-Qaida and reportedly attended terrorist training camps in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the UK “so he could assist in waging jihad against enemies of Islam.”  Begg reportedly assisted several prominent terrorists, recruited young operatives for jihad and provided financial support for terror camps.

AdditionallyBegg is believed to have been associated with the radical cleric Anwar al Awlaki, the senior al Qaeda recruiter who was involved with planning operations for the group, and later killed by U.S. forces.  Al Awlaki helped motivate at least three terrorist attacks inside the U.S. (Begg’s group actually lobbied to free Al Awlaki from Yemeni custody after he was detained in 2006, broadcast his live messages and reproduced his propaganda on their website.) 

Begg – who, you may recall, was promoted by the NGO Amnesty International – is also a frequent contributor to the Guardian’s blog ‘Comment is Free’, having penned 20 essays at the site since 2006, most of which were aimed at casting himself as an innocent victim of US and British intolerance and Islamophobia. 


Interestingly, the Guardian’s report on Begg’s arrest by  (Moazzam Begg among four arrested in Birmingham terror raids, Feb. 25) didn’t even note this extremely inconvenient relationship.

While we don’t yet know the details of Begg’s alleged terror activity in Syria, if it turns out that he was fighting for jihadists it wouldn’t be at all surprising.  

As we’ve demonstrated previously, the Guardian is a media group which often promotes and defends Islamist extremists, and frequently welcomes into their ‘ ‘liberal’ salon ‘demopaths‘ such as Begg – those who cynically exploit the language of democracy when it serves their interests, and demand stringent levels of human “rights” of the West yet don’t apply these basic standards to their own behavior.

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Guardian print edition story on UK terror plot adds info previously missing about Jewish targets

Yesterday, we noted that Guardian reporter Linda Laville published nearly 5000 words (in four reports on Feb. 21) devoted to the recent conviction of three Birmingham Jihadists who were conspiring to launch a large-scale terror attack in the UK, and didn’t mention that Jews were among the possible targets.

Here’s the relevant passage in Laville’s account:

Although no target was ever discussed, their ambition was to outdo the bombers from the 7 July 2005 attacks in London. Naseer told his associates the plan was for “seven or eight [bombs] in different places with timers on at the same time, boom, boom, boom”

However, we noted that the jury in the trial heard recordings made by police of the three men (Irfan Naseer, Irfan Khalid and Ashik Ali) specifically mentioning the possibility of targeting a British synagogue, a fact which was reported by other news outlets, including the Telegraph.

Indeed, as we observed in our post, this latest plot represents the third recent case in which Islamist terrorists have targeted British Jews, and is thoroughly consistent with Al Qaeda’s broader strategy of targeting Jews in the West.

Last night, I had this exchange with the Guardian’s Laville. (Laville was responding to someone who re-tweeted our original post)

Interestingly, however, an alert reader in the UK informed us this morning that today’s print edition of the Guardian (scanned below) contained a slightly different version of one of the online reports by Laville.

As you can see, the story was the lead:


Here’s a scan of the specific story in the paper:



Here’s the passage we highlighted:

No firm targets were ever identified by the police and security services although the plotters made various threats against groups including soldiers, women, anyone in crowded places and synagogues.

So, why the change to the print edition version of the original online story?

Perhaps only Linda Laville knows for sure, but we certainly have our suspicions. 

Babble of an extremist: Seumas Milne defends his post 9/11 essay which blamed attacks on US actions & support for Israel

Seumas Milne, Guardian Associate Editor, is the former contributor to the decidedly pro-Stalinist Communist Party publication, Straight Left, who still possesses a soft spot for communist mass murderers, as well as Islamist terrorists (“resistance”) in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Israel.  

Milne just penned a furious apologia for his zealous, and supremely callous, essay posted on September 13, 2001 – two days after Al Qaeda terrorists murdered 3000 innocent Americans, and rescue efforts were still underway for possible survivors under the rubble of the collapsed Twin Towers.

With the tenth anniversary of the attacks approaching, Milne’s latest essay, 9/11: ‘A babble of idiots’? History has been the judge of that, Sept. 6, attempts to take a moral victory lap by claiming his much maligned 2001 essay has been vindicated.  

Milne writes:

“As the Guardian’s comment editor at the time, my column in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 was a particular target of hostility, especially among those who insisted the attacks had nothing to do with US intervention, or its support for occupation and dictatorship, in the Arab and Muslim world. Others felt it was too early to speak about such things when Americans had suffered horrific losses.”

However, upon reading Milne’s 2001 essay, one thing is certain.  Whatever criticism Milne received couldn’t possibly have done justice to how morally atrocious his take on the 9/11 attacks were.

Writes Milne in his 2001 essay, identifying the true villains of the 9/11 attacks:

“…any glimmer of recognition of why people might have been driven to carry out such atrocities, sacrificing their own lives in the process – or why the United States is hated with such bitterness, not only in Arab and Muslim countries…seems almost entirely absent. Perhaps it is too much to hope that…a small minority might make the connection between what has been visited upon them and what their government has visited upon large parts of the world.”

Milne further cites as fuel for the attacks by Al Qaeda:

 “[America’s] murderous embargos against recalcitrant regimes.”

And, then, to Milne, additional blame on the U.S. is owed to:

 “[America] recklessly throwing its weight behind Israel’s 34-year illegal military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza as the Palestinian intifada rages.”

Adds Milne:

 “If it turns out that Tuesday’s attacks were the work of Osama bin Laden’s supporters, the sense that the Americans are once again reaping a dragons’ teeth harvest they themselves sowed will be overwhelming.”

Finally, Milne concludes:

“Already, the Bush administration is assembling an international coalition for an Israeli-style war against terrorism, as if such counter-productive acts of outrage had an existence separate from the social conditions out of which they arise. [emphasis mine]”

For Milne, the savage attacks against thousands of innocent Americans, as with similar murderous attacks by Palestinian terrorists against innocent Jews, are not morally indefensible outrages, but merely “counter-productive”, but understandable, reactions to “social conditions for which they arise.”

The 9/11 attacks, for Milne, represented America’s chickens coming home to roost – an understandable comeuppance for the nation’s horrific crimes against the world’s poor and oppressed.

Of course, evidently lost on Milne – information which his Marxist dialectic fails to provide – is that Al-Qaeda ideology represents nothing even resembling liberalism, pluralism, or anti-colonialism.  

Al Qaeda calls on its supporters to engage in Jihad, resistance and revenge against America and her allies, seeks a “World Islamic Front for Jihad against the Jews and Crusaders,” and calls for the creation of a new Islamic world-wide theocratic caliphate which would ban “immoral acts” such as homosexuality

Al Qaeda represents the zenith of dangerous religious extremism, and a reactionary (Colonialist) call to arms which views the killing of bystanders and civilians as a religiously justified component of jihad.  

Milne differs with Al Qaeda.  

He views such murdered civilians as unfortunate casualties in an overall just, anti-imperialist, anti-American, anti-Zionist crusade. 

Seumas Milne’s extraordinary duplicity on the nature of terrorist threats in Europe

You’d be hard pressed to find a  more perfect illustration of ideologically driven obfuscation regarding the threat posed by Islamist inspired terrorism – even at the Guardian – than Associate Editor Seumas Milne’s latest piece.

In, “In his rage against Muslims, Norway’s killer was no loner.“, July 28, Seumas asserts “the continuum between the poisonous nonsense commonplace in the mainstream media in recent years, the street slogans of groups like the EDL, [the rise of right wing parties in Europe] and Breivik’s outpourings is unmistakable.”

Milne then claims:

“In reality, as Europol figures demonstrate, the overwhelming majority of terror attacks in Europe in recent years have been carried out by non-Muslims.”

Interestingly, Milne’s link goes to an opinion piece in Al-Jazeera titled “Nationalists pose bigger threat than al-Qaeda“, which quotes Mehdi Hasan – who advocated for the end of Jewish state in a 2009 CiF piece – characterizing the EU figures in an essay in The New Statesmen. 

However, according to the official EU Law Enforcement Agency report he alludes to, during 2008, “359 individuals were tried on terrorism charges in EU member states in a total of 187 proceedings. Of 384 [terrorism related] verdicts which were pronounced in 2008, 50 percent were related to Islamist terrorism,” a staggering percentage when you consider how relatively small the percentage of Muslims are to the total population in most European states.

Indeed, the EU report notes that “states continue to face a high level threat from Islamists” – terrorists, the report notes, who “aim at causing indiscriminate mass casualties.” Further, it states that “the number of persons associated with ‘home-grown’ Islamist terrorist groups is rising in the EU.”

To provide some sense of proportion, the report shows that, between 2006 and 2008, the number of Islamists arrested on terror related charges was 645, while Right Wing Extremists arrested for terror charges was 59.

In the U.S. the disproportionate number of terror attacks or plots motivated by radical Islam is even more stark. (See here and here).

Moreover, according to the FBI, out of nearly 15,000 people killed worldwide by terrorist attacks in 2009, over 60% of the perpetrators were Islamic extremists.

Milne also warns of the “the rise of Islamophobia in Europe and the US”, while the data completely contradicts this.

In the US, Jews remain six times more likely than Muslims to be the target of hate crimes, figures consistent with a recent report (covering the last eight years) dispelling the myth of “increasing Islamophobia” in the U.S. 

While in Europe, a Pew Global Survey demonstrated that the percentage of Europeans holding positive views towards Muslims has actually risen over the last five years.

Of course, Islamism doesn’t represent the only terrorist threat in Europe, but to deny that attacks inspired by Islamist ideology represents a disproportionate element of that threat is to engage in rank dishonesty.

It’s not surprising that an extremist like Milne – who has glorified terrorist movements in Kabul, Baghdad, and “Palestine”, referring to them as “anti-imperialists” and “resistance movements” – would engage in such polemical malfeasance.

But, it’s scary to ponder how many Guardian readers will no doubt meekly accept his profound distortions regarding the genuine dangers, to the democratic West, posed by Islamist-inspired terrorism. 

Iraq’s disappearing Christians, and the Guardian Left’s disappearing sanity

“When Marxist dictators shoot their way into power in Central America, the San Francisco Democrats don’t blame the guerrillas and their Soviet allies. They blame United States policies of one hundred years ago. But then they always blame America first.” – Jean Kirkpatrick, former U.S. Ambassador to the UN under Ronald Reagan

The Guardian Left’s propensity to blame the U.S. and Great Britain first – while avoiding expressing such opprobrium for brutal dictators or Islamist terrorists – is truly legion, and was on full display in CiF columnist William Dalrymple’s piece on Nov. 12 entitled “Iraq’s disappearing Christians are Bush and Blair’s legacy.”

He begins:

“When George W Bush sent the US into Iraq in 2003, he believed he would be replacing Saddam Hussein with a peaceful, pro-American Arab democracy that would naturally look to the Christian west for support. In reality, seven years on, it appears that he has instead created a highly radicalised pro-Iranian sectarian killing field, where most of the Iraqi Christian minority has been forced to flee abroad.”

So, George Bush “created” a highly radicalized pro-Iranian…[Christian] killing field.”  Of course, the Islamist terrorists who, you know, actually engaged in the killing seem to bear no responsibility for the brutal murders they committed.

Dalrymple continues:

“Before Bush senior took on Saddam for the first time in 1991, there were more than a million Christians in Iraq. They made up just under 10% of the population, and were a prosperous and prominent minority…Of the 800,000 Christians still in Iraq when Dubya unleashed the US army on Saddam for the second time, two-thirds have fled the country.”

At this point I’m not sure if Mr. Dalrymple is a troll – deployed secretly by conservatives in the UK to discredit the left by advancing arguments which seem to long for the days of the Butcher of Baghdad. (See my post about the “glory days” of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq here)

A CiF commenter summed up Dalrymple’s descent into post-colonial lunacy, and liberal racism, best:

Treat the Arab world like adults?  My guess is that Mr. Dalrymple never thought of such a crazy idea.

A sorry tale of intellectual apologists (A new book takes on the accused appeasers of Islamist terrorism)

US author Paul Berman

The disturbing, and increasing, phenomenon of rationalizations – or outright apologies – for radical Islam by Western intellectuals and journalists (a spectacle on display consistently at the Guardian) is dissected by Paul Berman in his new book, Flight of the Intellectuals.

From The Australian, August 28.

THERE is an almighty stoush brewing in the ranks of the intelligentsia in the US and Europe. It conjures up those heated polemics of the engaged intellectuals that Woody Allen mocks in Annie Hall when Alvy tells Robin, “I’m so tired of making fake insights with people who work for Dysentery.” “Commentary,” says Robin. “Oh really,” says Alvy. ” I heard that Commentary and Dissent had merged and formed Dysentery.”

In one corner are Christopher Hitchens and Melanie Phillips; in the other are Ian Buruma and Timothy Garton Ash; and they are slugging it out in the pages of The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, The Spectator and The Guardian over first an essay and now a book by Paul Berman about, among other things, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Tariq Ramadan.

Of course, this is to some extent a fight among friends: Hitchens at least counts Buruma, Garton Ash and Hirsi Ali as such, but the criticism is no less impassioned for that — as one may expect since the topic is the moral cowardice of Western intellectuals in general, and Buruma and Garton Ash in particular, in response to the threat of Islamic terror.

When Salman Rushdie was forced into hiding in 1989 after a fatwa by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Western intellectuals rallied to his defence.

Yet when Hirsi Ali was forced into hiding in 2004 after her friend and artistic collaborator, film director Theo van Gogh, was murdered by an Islamist who pinned to the dead man’s chest a death threat to Hirsi Ali, support for her was qualified with condescension.

See rest of the essay, here.

Here’s a link to Paul Berman’s original essay in TNR about Ramadan, “Who’s Afraid of Tariq Ramadan”.