The last full week of March 2016 saw Europe coming to terms with two vastly contradictory events. On the one hand you had horrendous suicidal terrorist attacks in Brussels, the political capital of Europe, resulting in over 30 dead and over 300 wounded. The attacks took place on Zaventem airport and on a subway train at Maelbeek station. These attacks were conducted by Islamic State, a group who believe in a tenacious ideology of Islamist extremism, which is today the world’s most potent revolutionary political force. John Kerry, the US Secretary of State, in September 2014 at a meeting of the United Nations Security Council, described IS as “a militant cult masquerading as a religious movement”.

Aside from the heartrending loss of life, a lesser effect of the incidents in Brussels is that it helps Donald Trump with his on-going vilification of all Muslims everywhere.

But this was also the week that saw a UN-backed war-crimes tribunal (the first since Nuremberg) finding Radovan Karadzic, the former Christian Bosnian Serb leader, guilty of war crimes during the Bosnian war of the 1990s and sentencing him to 40 years in prison. Karadzic, who was the Bosnian Serb leader as well as the supreme commander of its armed forces, was convicted of genocide in Srebrenica in 1995, as well as nine other charges, including his actions during the siege of Sarajevo, which left more than 10,000 people dead.

The count of genocide in Srebrenica resulted in the murder of more than 7,500 Muslim men and boys, which the UN said was part of a campaign to “terrorise and demoralise the Bosnian Muslim and Bosnian Croat population”.

With Karadzic you have an entire continent trying to figure out why we still have large scale ethnic cleansing well over 50 years after the end of World War II, something that we all thought would never happen again, at least not within western shores.

With Islamic State you have a global jihadist insurgency that, in March 2016 alone, has seen attacks in Mali, Turkey, Pakistan, Ivory Coast, and now in the centre of Europe, Brussels.

A few days after the Brussels attacks, an IS suicide bomber killed over 30 in a football match in Iskandariya, near Baghdad. It is surprising how little coverage there was of any of these other non-Brussels attacks in the mainstream media, or perhaps it came as no surprise at all. To put it another way:

All victims deserve respect and mourning. All countries deserve solidarity and support…This concern is not to take away from Brussels what Brussels is in every way merited: grief, fear, pain. Yet it is meant to highlight the same grief, fear and pain of countless other cities and countries around the world that do not so seamlessly draw white attention or hold EU membership. – Zoha Qamar


Anyways, during my digital travels along the information superhighways I recently come across some funny and satirical videos related to Islamic State and to Donald Trump. I also found a satirical video about Al Qaeda from the always funny Key & Peele, and a video several years old featuring Will Ferrell as George Dubya Bush. The Trump and ISIS videos go some way in explaining current events. As always, enjoy!

ISIS videos…

Who created ISIS?

We maybe playing right into the hands of ISIS, which is why they are saying thanks:

This is how to create your own caliphate:

Trump videos…

America, according to Bill Maher, is a country that is number one in thinking it is number one, and subsequently it has ended up with Trump: a clown, a conman, a Klansman, who Maher thinks doesn’t really want to be President, he just wants people to call him “President”:

John Oliver tears down the Great wall of Trump:

Does Trump have a Muslim daughter called Ayesha Ali Trump?

And the rest…

Key & Peele recreate an Al Qaeda meeting:

Dubya tries to eradicate some Islamic myths on Saturday Night Live:



Je suis Bruxelles. On another dark day for the dozens of unfortunate victims in Brussels, as well as for the wider Muslim community, I thought it best to blog about other aspects of this faith that I hold so close to my heart. In that light, below are several links to various articles and clips that hopefully Muslims and non-Muslims alike will find interesting.

Steve Bell Brussels
Steve Bell, Guardian cartoonist, on the Brussels bombings

Zayn Malik and the songs that bring us to prayer…

An article in MTV News by Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib who says:

Islam is, by nature, a musical religion. The Adhan, the call to prayer, is by itself both sweet and mesmerizing. Even men who are not singers make the call to prayer, and their voices become light, melodic instruments. If you walk into a Christian church, you may see a full band onstage, powering through contemporary worship songs. This, without question, must also be powerful to many. In Islam, though, the subtle call to prayer is both a concert and a cleansing. There are no drums and guitars, there is no stage. There is just the single voice, pulling everyone close. Hayya’alas-ṣalāh, Hayya ʿalal-falāḥ. (Hasten to prayer, hasten to success.) When Muslim babies are born, the father holds them close and sings the Adhan into their right ear; the first thing heard is a song from our fathers.

Zayn Arabic

Angelina Jolie visits refugees in Greece and Lebanon…

She is a mother of 6, she is married to Brad Pitt, she is a Hollywood legend, and she is a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Special Envoy. She is Angelina Jolie.

As part of her UN role this month she visited a shelter for refugees and migrants at the port of Piraeus, near Athens, Greece. She also visited a Syrian refugee camp, in the eastern city of Zahleh, Lebanon.

‘Death To The Infidels!’ Why It’s Time To Fix Hollywood’s Problem With Muslims…

Following on from a recent blog post of mine, below are links to two rather brilliant articles about Islam, racism and Hollywood:

‘Death To The Infidels!’ Why It’s Time To Fix Hollywood’s Problem With Muslims

There are too many egregious examples to list. Selected highlights would include True Lies (Arnold Schwarzenegger versus fanatical yet incompetent Palestinian terrorists, who detonate a nuclear device in Florida), Protocol (Goldie Hawn becomes concubine to a lecherous oil-rich sheikh, so that the US can build a military base in his country), Network (“The Arabs are simply buying us,” rails Peter Finch’s rebel presenter), and 1998 thriller The Siege (in which Arab-Americans are rounded up after a New York terrorist attack. The critic Roger Ebert wrote: “The prejudicial attitudes embodied in the film are insidious, like the antisemitism that infected fiction and journalism in the 1930s”). And special mention must go to William Friedkin’s 2000 thriller Rules of Engagement, in which Samuel L Jackson’s marine goes on trial for massacring a crowd of Yemenis, but is exonerated when it turns out they were all gun-toting evildoers, even the women and children.

The History Of Hollywood: Propaganda For White Supremacy At Home And Us Militarism Abroad

Today’s generation of Muslims depicted in cinema are virtually limited to terrorists and national security threats, which serves to justify a dangerously oversized military abroad and unprecedented surveillance and erosion of civil liberties at home.

For many millennial Americans, the first exposure to Muslim “others” was the 1992 Disney classic Aladdin, in which most good characters were Westerners and the savages where invariably dark skinned. The children’s movies song lyric is instructive:

I come from a land, from a faraway place where the caravan camels roam / Where they cut off your ear if they don’t like your face / It’s barbaric, but hey, it’s home.

A Palestinian boy meets Cristiano Ronaldo…

The family of five-year-old Ahmed Dawabsheh were all killed in an arson attack by Israeli settlers last year. The boy, from the occupied West Bank, will be travelling to Madrid to meet one of the most famous athletes in the world: Cristiano Ronaldo.

Here comes the science!…

An interesting article from New Scientist magazine:

Material That Can Grow When Stretched Is Inspired By Islamic Art

It’s utility from beauty. A new class of futuristic materials that grow when stretched get their abilities from the geometries of ancient Islamic art, and they could be useful in medical devices and satellites.

Pull on most materials – be they t-shirts, rubber bands or pieces of plastic – and they stretch in one direction and become thinner in the other. But some metamaterials, engineered to have properties not found in nature, can do the opposite – they grow wider when stretched.

And here comes the history!…

Finally, another interesting article, this time from the BBC. Jerry Brotton, author of This Orient Isle: Elizabethan England And The Islamic World, has written an article entitled The First Muslims In England in which he says “…Muslims have been a part of Britain and its history much longer than many people have ever imagined”.

A further BBC link that is well worth a look, especially for kids, is:

The Quran: The Long Journey Into British Life.


Donald ‘The Donald’ Trump, owner of the world’s most militant comb over, relentlessly continues to cause political tsunamis all over America. Trump continues to win primaries as we speak, despite being arguably the most divisive presidential candidate ever.

Whilst the rest of the world looks on benumbed, bewildered, and bemused, his hyper-patriot support base keeps growing, with each new supporter believing that the Trump shall set America free, free of Muslims, free of Mexicans, free of migrants, and free of political correctness. They also view Trump as a much needed successor to the socialist Muslim Obama, and as the only real alternative to the radical Hillary Clinton.

Yes, his rallies and speeches quicken the pulse of any closet-fascist, but they also raise the ire of many others. Below is a collection of quotes, clips, and cartoons, from a variety of people who have had said ire raised to well beyond roof-level proportions. Anyways, enjoy!

Comedian Craig Ferguson breaks down Trump’s old tricks…

I think he’s a very singular individual. But it’s an old historical trick: “Everybody’s trying to get us! Everybody’s trying to steal out stuff! We better be careful!” That’s old as human beings…Caesar did that, every politician in history did that. Some of them have been telling the truth, some of them have been using it for their own political ends, and some of them have been doing both. So he’s a recognizable figure. – Craig Ferguson

Activist Yasmina Blackburn says Trump is only interested in the winning of Trump…

Trump is running his campaign like his businesses — with a no holds bar determination that has only one goal in mind: the winning of Donald Trump. In politics, he doesn’t have to be bound by the legal or ethical standards that most organizations utilize when dealing with people. He has taken his own advice to extremist levels — of garnering media attention by being outrageous and shocking. Everyone thought it was funny at first and now, it is anything but. Somewhere down the line, he forgot (or never knew) that serving in public office means you are a servant to the people. He speaks in classic narcissistic language, bragging about the magazine covers he is on and how his ratings are soaring. It’s a Me! Me! Me! show with Trump as the agitator, generator and facilitator of attention-harvesting, and seemingly getting high from the incessant buzz on social media. He’s basking in it. Many are arguing that the attention by the major news outlets has not been fair, providing Trump with a center ring platform of a three ring circus. He seems more concerned about Trump than any American citizen- and a portion of the U.S. population is eating it up. Some of his supporters are looking for a savior — as if that exists in politics. What sort of mindset feeds off the drum beat of a narcissist? – Yasmina Blackburn

Trump Yes We Klan

Writer Chemi Shalev says even American Jews will run away from this Republican…

…the Jews won’t be fleeing Trump because of his policies towards Israel…The Jews won’t abandon Trump because he’s married for the third time, or because he went bankrupt four times, or because he uses dirty words whenever he can. They certainly won’t desert Trump because of his positions on abortion, health care or separation of church and state…The Jews will run away from Trump because he scares them. Because his demagoguery is ominous, his willingness to slash and burn anyone standing in his way is disturbing, his tendency to incite his supporters against other ethnic groups from rapist Mexicans to terrorist Muslims, is a source of deep anxiety. Beneath the great wave of popular support for Trump one can make out with increasing clarity the dark undercurrents of rage and resentment and xenophobia that is often seen morphing into White supremacism and abhorrence of African Americans and then, on the outskirts, bad old hatred of the Jews. The allusions to Germany in the 1930’s are absurd, no doubt, but nonetheless surfacing with ever-increasing frequency. – Chemi Shalev

Writer Robert Reich goes further to say he is worried not just about the future of America but also the world…

Trump has finally reached a point where parallels between his presidential campaign and the fascists of the first half of the 20th century — lurid figures such as Benito Mussolini, Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Oswald Mosley, and Francisco Franco — are too evident to overlook…Viewing Donald Trump in light of the fascists of the first half of the twentieth century — who used economic stresses to scapegoat others, created cults of personality, intimidated opponents, incited violence, glorified their nations and disregarded international law, and connected directly with the masses — helps explain what Trump is doing and how he is succeeding. It also suggests why Donald Trump presents such a profound danger to the future of America and the world. – Robert Reich

Comedian Louis C K also refers to Trump and his likeness to Hitler…

Louis C K wrote an epic email to his fans recently, in which he described in detail his dislike for all things Trump:

Please stop it with voting for Trump. It was funny for a little while. But the guy is Hitler. And by that I mean that we are being Germany in the 30s. Do you think they saw the shit coming? Hitler was just some hilarious and refreshing dude with a weird comb over who would say anything at all…He’s an insane bigot. He is dangerous…If you are a true conservative. Don’t vote for Trump. He is not one of you. He is one of him. Everything you have heard him say that you liked, if you look hard enough you will see that he one day said the exact opposite. He is playing you. – Louis C K

Trump Hitler

Trump Buffoon

Comedian Bill Maher also sees similarities between Trump and Hitler…

…but even Hitler is none too happy with the comparisons…

Because of all the Trump/Hilter comparison we now have to suspend Godwin’s Law…

According to the Independent:

Godwin’s rule of Nazi analogies is an ancient internet adage asserting:

“As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.”

What that means is: on the internet, it doesn’t matter what you’re talking about — sooner or later, a comparison to Hitler or Nazism will crop up.

American author Mike Godwin coined the term back in 1990, and not only has it proved pretty accurate since then, turns out it holds for offline stuff like articles and speeches.

But then, on June 16th 2015, a terrible happening occurred.

It shook world politics to its very core.

It made people ask fundamental questions about themselves and the world they want to live in.

And it now appears to have f–ked with natural laws too.

We are talking, of course, about Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign — which, according to the rule’s Wikipedia page, has led to the temporary suspension of Godwin’s Law.

That’s right, folks: since Trump is dominating so much of the conversation at the moment, and he’s pretty much an actual fascist, we don’t really need statistical laws to predict when someone will compare his run to the rise of Hitler or Nazism anymore.

It’s, just, well…our daily, nightmareish reality.

Trump Wunderbar

We now need a whole new level of criticism because of Trump…

There is no precedent to Trump, really. No one has been this consistently vicious, uncaring of who he insults, both on a personal level and a political level. So it’s therefore not surprising that what Trump is doing, in addition to everything else, is engendering a new kind of comedic criticism, because the old kind was too mild. – Professor Paul Levinson

And here is John Oliver with that criticism, destroying Trump and resurrecting Drumpf…

Even Bill O’Reilly has a go at Trump, challenging Trump on his Muslim ban…

Yes, you did read that correctly. I think we all need a moment to let those words sink in and settle. Bill O’Reilly, a Fox News stalwart, actually defends Muslims and Muslim nations against Trump. Now there are some words I never thought I would type!

We end with George Clooney calling Trump “a xenophobic fascist”…

I met Donald once. I was sitting in a booth and we talked for a while. Then he did Larry King, and he said I was very short. And I was like: ‘I was sitting down the whole time, Donald!’…He’s just an opportunist. Now he’s a fascist; a xenophobic fascist…Let’s put things into perspective. You know, the truth of the matter is, in election season, things go crazy, and the loudest voices are the furthest and most extreme. So you hear a massively stupid idea, like we’re going to ban Muslims from the country. Now, we’re not ever going to do that. It says in the Statue of Liberty, bring us your huddled masses. It’s not what’s going to happen. – George Clooney

February 12, 2016


LBC is a London-based national talk and phone-in radio station. One of its best known and respected presenters is James O’Brien. Over the years O’Brien has tackled many issues, including Islam and Muslims, as well as interviewing politicians, celebrities, and sporting personalities.

LBC James
James O’Brien

Below are two of my favourite O’Brien clips. The first is of O’Brien giving a masterclass in how to deal with people who blame Islam and all Muslims for the Charlie Hebdo attack in early 2015. This was O’Brien’s most listened to clip of 2015, as well as being his favourite highlight of that year.

The second clip is of O’Brien movingly reading a letter from a man of Jewish ancestry on Holocaust Memorial Day. The letter called for greater focus on the experience of Muslims in the UK, as it draws an important parallel between anti-Semitism in Nazi Germany and present day Islamophobia.

Full transcripts of both clips are also presented.

The third clip is similar to the first one above. LBC presenter Cristo Foufas puts an Islamophobe who calls all Muslims “maggots” in his place.

LBC Cristo
Cristo Foufas

All three clips are each only several minutes long, well worth listening to. Anyways, enjoy!

A James O’Brien masterclass in handling a hater…

James: Richard is in Maidenhead. Richard what would you like to say?

Richard: Hi James. I just want to say I agree with you to a point, I think any reasonable person knows that most Muslims have absolutely no part in this and that it is a real and fundamental and a very, very minority group who are doing this, but I think an apology is needed. You said before that if a Geordie person had done this, should all Geordies issue an apology, and that was kind of a little bit ridiculous but…

James: Why? Why is that any different? Why should Abbas, our last caller, apologize for what these murderers in Paris did?

Richard: Well because I think the alternative is that there is no apology.

James: Have you apologized yet?

Richard: Apologized for what?

James: The murders in France on Wednesday.

Richard: Why would I need to apologise for that?

James: Well why does Abbas? He was in Berkshire.

Richard: Well, no, because they’re doing it in the name of Islam. If that was done…

James: Not his Islam. They might have been doing it in the name of Richards, wouldn’t mean it was about you.

Richard: I know, but the…

James: So why haven’t you apologized then? You can do it now if you want.

Richard: There has to be, there has to be some…these people are connecting acts of terror in the name of Islam.

James: Not in the name of his Islam.

Richard: I know, I do understand that…

James: So if I went and blew somebody up now, and I said I was doing this in the name of Richards everywhere, you would feel you would have to apologise? In fact, wasn’t the Shoe Bomber called Richard Reid? Have you apologised for him yet?

Richard: You’re making it a bit ridiculous now…

James: No, you are.

Richard: I’m really not…

James: Okay, then tell me why you haven’t apologised for the Shoe Bomber whose name was Richard, because Abbas has to apologise for a terrorist who said he was a Muslim?…Take all the time you want mate.

Richard: Okay, so these guys are from the Islamic community.

James: Yes, and the Shoe Bomber was from the community of people called Richard.

Richard: We could feel some sense that some action in the Islamic community…

James: I don’t trust people called Richard anymore, so when are you going to apologise?

Richard: It is difficult to argue against you when you are being like this. I’m just trying to make a point that these people are from the Islamic community, and there needs to be a sense that…

James: What does that even mean? What does the Islamic community even mean?

Richard: You don’t understand what the Islamic community is?…

James: I know that Sunni and Shia kill each other every single day in this country on a scale that is nowhere close to what happened in France. So what do you mean by the community? Do you think they are on the same side, do you, those people killing each other in Syria at the moment?

Richard: No.

James: So what is the Islamic community?

Richard: The Islamic community in this country.

James: So it’s just everybody who has the word ‘Islam’ on their religious affiliations, even if they actually hold murderous intent towards each other. Which is bringing us back to Richard, everyone who’s got Richard on their passport, is part of the Richard community. You’re allowed to admit you’ve made a mistake my friend.

Richard: No I’m not going to admit that I’ve made a mistake. There needs to be a sense that we as a country…

James: I’m just going to interrupt you there Richard, which some may consider an act of mercy…

Moving letter for Muslims on Holocaust Memorial Day…

Dear James,

I heard you mentioned that you want to avoid conversation about the ongoing anti-Muslim rhetoric that is so prominent in the press at the moment, but I really think you missed a trick here.

I just wanted to say that although I am not a religious man I have a strong Jewish heritage. Today being the 71st anniversary of the Holocaust, which is very personal to me for obvious reasons, I think we really need to make the link of how Muslims are being subjected daily to such lazy prejudices, just as my ancestors were all those years ago.

On this day of remembrance Jews, more than anyone, need to stand up for the Muslim community and the vile rubbish that is spouted in the press pretty much every day. Leave all that Middle East nonsense to one side for the moment, we need to remember that it was not that long ago it was us who were on the receiving end of this type of treatment, and we all know where that ended up.

A lot of my family emigrated from white Russia during the pogroms in the early 19th century to settle in the slums of east London, where it was commonplace to see signs reading ‘No dogs, no Irish, no Jews’. It feels like we’re receding into a society that is happy to say ‘No Muslims’. Just look at what’s going on in the States with that lunatic Donald Trump. We simply cannot tolerate this. That’s all I wanted to say. Keep the peace.

Josh, on today of all days I am happy to provide you with an opportunity to bring that message to a slightly wider audience, in the probably naive hope that some people might listen.

Cristo Foufas puts an Islamophobe in his idiotic place…

Cristo: You were very careful to point out that you believe that every single Muslim is a maggot. The Muslim that treated you at the hospital, the Muslim that may have treated you at the doctor’s surgery, the Muslim that may have educated your children, the Muslim that may have sold you something at the corner shop, the Muslim that may have been here and contributed and worked all of their lives in order to make a better life for themselves and to pay taxes here in the United Kingdom – you would call them a maggot.

Ryan: …Yeah.

Cristo: You’re an idiot.