Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Islam Category

In God’s Name: Religion, Islam and Pakistan’s child murderers

  • December 19, 2014
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‘Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction,’ wrote Blaise Pascal. From General Lothar von Trotta’s extermination of the Herero to the Russian purges, the Holocaust and the Kymer Rouge, the twentieth century provided numerous examples of terrible violence and mass killing that did not have an explicitly religious motive, and which sometimes had no religious component at all.

Nevertheless in the last three decades the world has experienced an upsurge of violence that seems, at first sight, to bear out the French philosopher’s thesis, and much...

Tommy Robinson Sees the Light

  • October 09, 2013
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There is no doubt that yesterday’s jaw-dropping announcement that Stephen Yaxley-Lennon aka Tommy Robinson and twelve senior members of the English Defence League have abandoned their party is good news.

It deals a massive and possibly fatal blow to an organization that has regularly used 1930s fascist street mobilization tactics in an attempt to stir up...

Westgate: God’s Trashy Gangsters

  • September 30, 2013
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Killing in the name of religion invariably provides a special moral uplift that is not always available in its ‘secular’ variants, with a unique ability to cast an aura of nobility over even the most squalid and disgusting acts.

The last week has produced   a real bumper crop of such acts by the disparate  ...

If you all hate Abu Qatada, clap your hands

  • July 09, 2013
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So Omar Othman, the man known to most Britons as Abu Qatada, has been extradited to Jordan for trial, and what a triumph for Lord Snooty and His Pals.     Ever since he was arrested in 2002,   one government after another has been trying to deport him to face a military trial –...

Of Moors and Gypsies

Of Moors and Gypsies

  • June 10, 2013
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I’ve just come back from Spain, where I spent a fabulous week leading a group of 18 walkers around the Axarquia mountain range in Andalusia.   The village where we stayed was located about an hour from Malaga, just inland from Torre del Mar, one of several   ‘white villages’ in the area left over...

Pamela Geller Quotes the Quran

  • January 11, 2013
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Over the last week psycho-bigot Pamela Geller’s American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) has been regaling commuters in New York City with pithy insights into Islam and the politics of the Middle East.

First there was this advert, which the Metropolitan Transportation Authority allowed in 10 subway stations after a court case overruled its attempts to block...

About Me

I’m a writer, campaigner and journalist.  My latest book is The Savage Frontier: The Pyrenees in History and the Imagination (New Press/Hurst, 2018).  The Infernal Machine is where I write on politics, history, cinema and other things that interest me.

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