Recriminations in Libya are Starting

So here we go! The recriminations post a Qadaffi era are starting with news flashes showing the decomposing bodies of Qadaffi supporters who have been summarily executed. Everyone it seems, has a pistol or an AK47 in Tripoli and everyone has a grievance, many legitimately, since the brutal dictator affected the lives of all Libyans.

The ‘rats’ that Qadaffi railed against are now hunting the biggest rat of all, the new medallion man post Idi Amin, except that this dictator does not think of himself as the ‘Last King of Scotland.’ Qaddafi thinks of himself as the last ‘King of a pan-African’ kingdom. I think that all of us would laugh if this was not so serious. In fact the only ‘king’ he is, is the kingpin of all that went wrong with Libya.

The man who asked his chum Berlusconi to round up the beautiful women of Rome so that he could lecture them in morality, has ended up butchering all of his country people. I think that he should have stuck to the lecture circuit in Rome and at least exchanged plastic surgery notes with his pal, Silvio ‘I’m not guilty’ Berlusconi. That at least would have saved lives and stopped the destruction of a state which has been brought to its knees because of the arrogance of one man.

So another Arab country deposes its dictator and many of us hope that Qadaffi and his sons get the justice they deserve from Libyans. If anything, let that be a lesson to those in our country that work with and deal with dictators by justifying their actions since they cannot see the killings and murders that are counducted in far away lands. Just because we cannot see the actions of modern day Qadaffis, does not mean that we absolve ourselves of a moral responsibility just for the sake of a fistful of blood money. That is the standard that we should all live by, but I am afraid that many are very far from that position when there is easy money to be made. Some corporates simply see Libya as a business opportunity and watch the bun-fight start in earnest. The dead are hardly in their graves, lest the businesspeople fight over the spoils of Libya. Shame on them!

Categories: MyBlog, Uncategorized

The Arab Spring into the Arab Summer

Qadafi and his disgraceful regime are finally at an end after four decades of control on the lives of every Libyan. The man who re-invented himself after Lockerbie and who survived the 1986 attempt to kill him using a joint British and US air raid, is finally dislodged. I remember the news stories on the 1986 raids that were conducted by F14, Harrier and Tomcat aircraft from carriers in the Mediterranean that left his daughter dead and which hit many military targets and with civilians killed.

After shaking Blair’s hands in the tent in the desert and being re-introduced into the international community, he used his various investments (which were stolen monies of the people of Libya), to cajole and buy his way into respectability with his son leading the way as the ‘liberal’ face of the regime. The London School of Economics also accepted his ‘donations’ and were fortunately found out. Respectability, it seems clearly came at a price.

The leather faced leader is now on the run with his own people chasing him. How he must be railing against his failed attack on Benghazi which mobilized France and then our country into action. Hubris and the usual dictator’s closeted mindset meant that he misjudged his actions and the global impacts that it would have. He also forgot that a government in a country with oil which makes military moves should know that there will be many other countries looking at opportunities to either ally themselves or look at whether they can oust the incumbent regime and possibly get access to mineral riches. Whilst this was not the over-riding reason for French and UK involvement, it certainly is one of the reasons why both countries now are willing to support Libya with technical, military, political and financial help and assistance. Money talks, though the military action was necessary to oust one of the more brutal dictators in Africa and to save the lives of so many in Benghazi. If the world had not stepped in, many people, their families and their wives and sisters would have suffered humiliating and painful deaths under the torturers of Qadafi.

So farewell to another dictator as the heat of the Arab Spring reaches another part of the Middle East and North Africa region. The spring may have turned to summer but the heat has certainly not cooled down.

Categories: MyBlog, Uncategorized

Launch of MAMA (Measuring ant-Muslim Attacks) Software

The time has finally come! Since 9/11 and 7/7 successive European and US Governments have rightly focussed on countering Al Qaeda and terrorist attacks in Europe and the US. However, the continued focus has missed out on the rising tide of anti-Muslim hate crime that has been taking place and which has not been properly recorded by civil society organisations. Some politicians have used Islam and Muslims as a political football knowing that it plays to the fear of some people in communities, whilst not making clear the fact that Muslim communities just want to get on with their lives, live within the law and value their local communities in this country. There is a very small group of Muslims who frankly spout pathetic and retrograde views based on their desire to be exclusive and they do not represent the overwhelming majority of Muslims in the UK.

So where are we? England is more than just a tolerant country. It is a land of opportunity and where people matter. Many people treat others like they want to be treated and place a value on the dignity of others. Yet, we have groups like Al-Muhajiroun and the English Defence League who are two peas in the same pod. Exclusivist and playing to common basic denominators, they spread messages of hate and division, even though the EDL couches their statements in being against Muslim extremism. Let us be clear; if they had their way they would expel all Muslims in line with the demented rants of that serial killer in Norway, a certain Mr Breivik!

As stated before, the lives and dignities of all people and communities matter in our country and we have to maintain and protect that space. In line with this, there are certain communities who have raised issues of attacks against them and there has been no definitive data collection on this. The Community Security Trust for example, does a sterling job in collecting anti-Semitic attacks and they work with the Association of Chief Police officers on this. They are trailblazers of this work.

In late September 2011, Faith Matters ( will be launching software that can track anti-Muslim hate crime in real time and will be able to, for the first time, collect data and stats, as well as map incidents across the country. This is a huge step forward and one which we hope can look at this issue systematically and scientifically. Nobody should be attacked because of their race, faith, culture or background in this country. If they are, then we must all act together in challenging the perpetrators and collecting all of the data and information to ensure that they cannot enjoy the freedoms that with them, entail certain responsibilities.

Categories: MyBlog, Uncategorized