Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Terrorism Category

Copenhagen: it’s not about free speech

  • February 16, 2015
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Whatever motivated Omar el-Hussein to attack a debate on free speech in Copenhagen, it’s probably safe to say that neither he nor the murderers of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists and the Copenhagen had spent much time thinking through issues around freedom of expression, secularism and the place of religion within the public sphere.   It is also doubtful whether they are particularly concerned about Islam or blasphemy.

Apart from his Palestinian origins, the Copenhagen killer appears to be drawn from the same human material from which so many like him come; angry, dysfunctional and distinctly...

Chapel Hill: Stop calling it ‘terrorism’

  • February 14, 2015
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Within hours, the Chapel Hill murders were subjected to competing arguments about whether the tragedy was a ‘hate-crime’ against Muslims or an ‘ordinary’ crime in which the religious identity of the victims was not a major factor.     The case against was presented at its most extreme by leading voices amongst the American conservative/’counterjihad’...

The Chapel Hill Murders

  • February 12, 2015
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There are times when one feels numbed into a stupefied sense of inevitability by the routine flow of horrors that churns through the mass media on an almost daily basis.   But the murders of the three North Carolina Muslim students Deah Barakat, his wife Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha and her sister Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha two...

ISIS: sadism as strategy

  • February 09, 2015
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Ever since it began its astonishing rampage through central Iraq last year, the organization known as Daesh/ISIS has demonstrated a propensity for extreme violence and cruelty that has made its predecessors looked comparatively mild by comparison.     At times ISIS almost appears to engaged in some kind of competition with itself, to surpass each...

Boris Johnson and the rise of the porno-terrorist

  • February 01, 2015
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Seasoned readers of this site might be surprised to know that the single most common search category that brings new readers to this site is pornography, more specifically, a category known as ‘British army porn.’     Readers interested in this phenomenon usually end up here because of an old post I wrote called ‘the...

My name is Emerson, Steve Emerson

  • January 12, 2015
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Many of the inhabitants of Birmingham were surprised to learn from Fox News yesterday that their city has become an ‘entirely Muslim’ city which non-Muslims ‘simply don’t go in.’ But no one familiar with Steven Emerson, the pundit who expounded these views, will be surprised at all.     In the United States Emerson is...

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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