Danny Bermant's blog
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Monday, January 21, 2008
Would Dr Hasan rather live in Saudi Arabia?
I am getting rather tired of reading newspaper interviews with Imams who tell us that life would be better if only we agreed to live under Sharia.
The Sunday Telegraph carried in interview with Dr Suhaib Hasan, prominent Muslim cleric, who argued that...
"Even though cutting off the hands and feet, or flogging the drunkard and fornicator, seem to be very abhorrent, once they are implemented, they become a deterrent for the whole society."This is why in Saudi Arabia, for example, where these measures are implemented, the crime rate is very, very, low"
It's true, Saudi Arabia is relatively safe, provided of course you're not a Westerner living there. But would you really want to live there? In the West, you have human rights, democracy and the rule of law, which means a Shiite living in "infidel" Britain has a good deal more freedom to practice his religion than a Shiite living in Saudi Arabia. It goes a long way to explaining why millions of Muslims have moved to Europe and why only about five Europeans have moved to Saudi Arabia. Dr Suhaib Hasan is welcome to join them.
Londoners have got the mayor they deserve
Newspaper columnists have declared him unfit for office and TV documentaries have revealed him as the sleazy unrepentant marxist many suspected he always was. But come May 1st 2008 when the next Mayoral elections take place, Ken Livingstone will almost certainly be returned to power. How you ask can that be possible? After the failed congestion charge, the cronyism, the mayor's foray into international politics and his flirtation with Islamic extremists, aren't Londoners sick to death of him? But therein lies the answer.
Ken Livingstone has staked his entire career around identity politics. In the 1980s it was all about the Irish and Gay community, in 2008, it is all about Muslims, the environment and Chavistas. Who cares that traffic congestion is worse than ever... at least the motorists are suffering (so are bus users), who cares that Yusuf Qaradawi wants to throw a few homosexuals off a cliff... he also hates the Zionists, and who cares that London's transport is being subsidized by a third world country when the oil is coming from Hugo Chavez. Ken thrives on negative politics. A large enough core of Londoners will decide that "my enemy's enemy is my friend" and will turn out in their droves to vote for him. Meanwhile Ken's opponents will just shrug their shoulders and stay at home, turnout was only 36% during the last election.
It's all rather sad. London is a great city, but is rapidly gaining the reputation of a banana republic. Unfortunately, Londoners have got the mayor they deserve. They have an opportunity to make a change on May 1st, but will they bother?