Notes From the Margins…
Posts Tagged jihadism

Abderramane Sissako’s Timbuktu Blues

  • January 05, 2016
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I have nothing against cinema as recreational entertainment, or going to the movies for the sake of escapism.  Cinema has always served these purposes, and there is nothing inherently ignoble about them.   But such expectations also tend to produce an awful lot of mass-produced ephemeral dross and formulaic over-hyped blockbusters drenched in...

Terrortalk

Terrortalk

  • December 13, 2015
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Many years ago, when I was doing my A’ Levels, my English teacher gave us three basic rules of thumb to apply when reading texts: 1) What is the author trying to achieve? 2) To what extent does he/she succeed on his/her terms? 3) To what extent does he/she succeed on your terms?

I’ve always found...

In God’s Name: Religion, Islam and Pakistan’s Child Murderers

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.  This is not always true.  From General Lothar von Trotta’s extermination of the Herero to the Russian purges, the Holocaust and the Kymer Rouge, the twentieth century was filled with numerous examples of terrible violence and...

Westgate:  God’s Trashy Gangsters

Westgate: God’s Trashy Gangsters

  • September 30, 2013
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Killing in the name of religion invariably provides an aura of moral grandeur on even the most squalid and disgusting acts, at least in the minds of their perpetrators and supporters.

The last week has produced   a real bumper crop of such acts by ‘Islamist’ groups in various parts of the world.   On 21...

Murder in Woolwich

  • May 23, 2013
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I didn’t look at the news until quite late last night, so I wasn’t aware of the disgusting horror-spectacle in Woolwich until shortly before going to bed.     I went to sleep, as many people probably did,   with the image of a ‘holy warrior’ with bloody hands holding a meat cleaver firmly imprinted...

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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