British jihadists in Syria cannot be compared to George Orwell and Laurie Lee

11 February 2014

George Monbiot had a moving piece in yesterday’s Guardian in which he reflected on the UK government’s efforts to arrest and charge returning British subjects who have gone to fight the Assad regime in Syria. As Monbiot said in his very opening:

‘If George Orwell and Laurie Lee were to return from the Spanish civil war today, they would be arrested under section five of the Terrorism Act 2006. If convicted of fighting abroad with a “political, ideological, religious or racial motive” – a charge they would find hard to contest – they would face a maximum sentence of life in prison. That they were fighting to defend an elected government against a fascist rebellion would have no bearing on the case. They would go down as terrorists.’

Let us ignore for now the way in which this misrepresents history and turn instead to the way in which it misreads the present day.

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For interestingly enough, just this morning footage has been released of these latter-day Orwells and Laurie Lees appearing to torture and execute their fellow ‘rebels’ from the Free Syrian Army [FSA]. Footage includes a fellow ‘fighter’ being tied to a car tyre and hit repeatedly with an iron bar. The British jihadist says that this was done because the miscreant had ‘insulted his brothers.’ He says:

‘Some FSA are starting to feel they run things! This FSA scum never thought we wud jump out at them and pick them up after saying some abusive words to our brothers. Two then got ahead of themselves and swore at Allah, at this point there was no stopping us LOL [laugh out loud] although we where told to jus leave them.’

The Mail’s report continues:

‘The prisoner is heard protesting his innocence as he is apparently beaten across the legs with a metal bar, and is stamped on. He shouts that he is not a ‘kuffar’, a non-believer, and that he is a ‘mujahid’ – a Muslim fighter  – and begs them not to kill him.’

Elsewhere one of these noble young British ideologues posts a photo of three blindfolded prisoners alongside the words:

‘Got these criminals today. Insha’Allah [God willing] they will be killed tomorrow. Can’t wait for that feeling when u just killed some1’.

Now many of us – including the British government – would be wary of allowing this British torturer to wander among us after his violent vacation in Syria. George Monbiot, however, seems to believe that when this semi-literate sadist returns to the UK he is most likely to write Cider With Rosie.

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Show comments
  • gregusmeus

    The first draft of Cider with Rosie was Trotskyist screed demanding a violent takeover of all fruit-based alcoholic beverage manufacturers until the editors demanded a rewrite, apparently.

  • Iain Hill

    Anecdotes do not alter the fact that we have no business dictating what people do abroad in countries where we are not at war. (PS I am talking principle. I have no sympathy with the individuals,but that is no excuse to persecute them. What about young people who go and fight in Israel?).

  • Stephen Harley

    One of the fundamental flaws with the original article is that the writer applies a liberal western approach to those who are willing to die for a cause – Joan of Arc, Martin Luther King et al. That is not the case here. I can play my trump card and say with authority that I have had the dubious pleasure of meeting a number of foiled suicide attackers and studied interviews with numerous others. These are not ideologically motivated individuals (they usually have a bare or even non-existent understanding of Islam) so they shouldn’t be compared to Orwell and Lee and others who fought fascism. The suicide bombers I have met are the also-rans, dweebs, inadequates. They were neither the dux nor the bad boy of the class – they are the snotty, spotty, odd guy that no-one spoke to, who sat not at the front or the back of the class but to the side, on his own. Truman Capote noticed only one thing in common amongst those he interviewed on death row – tattoos. With the suicide bombers it is computer games. Suicide bombers are exploited (either through their latent weaknesses or vulnerabilities or just through intimidation by ruthlessly and usually financially driven ‘recruiters’). I don’t remember ever seeing Osama Bin Ladin wearing a suicide vest – the genuine ideologues of these movements seldom do except for show or when finally cornered. I know the focus of the discussion is moving away from the article’s main point, which is a swipe at the government, but the comparison is so erroneous that it demands it.

  • Cyril Sneer

    “Can’t wait for that feeling when u just killed some1”

    Can’t wait for that film of you on liveleak with half your head missing. Inshallah yardeedar dead muzzie slime.

    P.S. Stop claiming you’re British – you’re not, because we Brits say so. Now stay there, film yourself… dieing and upload it to live leak.

    All we want from you is for you to die.

    Got that?

  • ItinerantView

    Here’s one ‘British’ jihadi who Channel 4 news,among others,would have us believe is just like the young men who went to fight in Spain in the 1930’s;

    “UK Muslim waging jihad in Syria posts torture footage: “Can’t wait for feeling you get when U just killed some1?”

  • imnokuffar

    George Monbiot is a frickin idiot if he thinks that he and his ilk will not be targets of monsters like this just because he kisses their bums.

    In fact he is a bum.

  • lucillalin

    Usually its pointless to compare two separate times and conflicts, but it also must be said that not much good ever came out of foreign adventures getting involved with other people’s wars.

    I also don’t think that these jihadis are very British.

  • black11hawk

    To call this guy British is just ridiculous, he is British in nothing other than passport, just like this nutter from Crawley who’s just blown himself up. People often say you cannot define Britishness, well that may be true, but I am fairly sure one thing it is not is changing your name to Abu Suleiman al-Britani and then blowing yourself up in an attempt to free your murdering friends from prison.

    • Daniel Maris

      Yes, UK Passport holders would be a better description. There’s nothing wrong with this, as Jihadis consider themselves citizens of the worldwide Umma who obey Sharia law, not of a democratic state.

  • SimonToo

    The Guardian’s point is sound, for once. It is quite clear from Homage to Catalonia that the International Brigades got mixed up in some pretty nasty internecine fighting. You seem to be suggesting that the writing of a novel should be a defence to the charge.

  • Mark Steven Conway

    Counter factual I know, but would George Monbiot be giving such a synthetic ear if these were white British men affiliated to the EDL going off to fight, say in an Afrikaner led, white extremist race war against the South African government? Would he accept the proposal that while some of these men might come back as well trained and experienced racist killers, not all of them would, and thus we cannot allow guilt by association? I don’t believe he would; but it seems he doesn’t mind the possibility of far right wing Islamic killers be allowed to return to Blighty for a bit of R&R and a morale boosting tour around Britain’s mosques.

    Montiot betrays what is a common strand amongst apologists for Islamism. White fascism is beyond the pale and must be crushed without mercy. Islamic fascism is however something that we need to tolerate and understand. Because its existence is only a response to Western oppression, colonialism, racism, etc, etc. Under no circumstances must the agency of the individual or group be taken into account in understanding Islamist violence. Thus when Islamists set of a bomb in a crowded market place to kill Shia heretics or Assad shells his own people. The real murderers are the West, primarily the Americans, Israelis, and the British.

  • john p reid

    I mean who were the guardian ,really trying to kid

  • disqus_KdiRmsUO4U

    I cant see how the basic point made in the Guardian is wrong.

    ie theoretically both those involving themselves in Spain and Syria could be found guilty under the relevant law.
    Something in the small print might lead to the opposite conclusion..I dont know.

    Clearly the writer of the Guardian article is ‘soaking wet’ and equally clearly if they return the Muslims should be prosecuted with maximum rigor.

    Re nationality many seem to get a bit confused.
    For example
    when is an African a German
    When posing as a doctor he arrives in the UK and kills someone with a drug overdose.

  • Sean Raymond

    Stephan Rothbart – You make a speculative accusation that I assume all Moslems hate Jews – I never said that. What I did say was “has anyone met a Moslem that supports Israel” – I have met many Moslems, a few who would be more correctly considered as ‘cultural Moslems’ due to a lack of practicing of the faith. Yet, even these non-pious Moslems are hostile to Israel – this is just a fact & whilst I am well aware there must be a few whom do not hold this view – the overwhelming majority do. This is just a fact & there is not a person in Britain who would not agree with me based upon their own anecdotal experiences with Moslems – here. I say here, because you make a point which attempts to obscurant things by making comparisons between Moslems globally & those in Israel.
    I have visited Israel & was at pains to talk to Israeli Moslems & you are correct – they know how fortunate they are to live on that particular side of the border. But you can’t extrapolate an appreciation of this good fortune & apply it to Moslems globally or use it as evidence that by design they therefore are automatically champions of Jews & Israel – it doesn’t work like that. I submit that virtually all British Moslems are equally thankful to be living here than in any Moslem majority land – but this doesn’t stop most Moslem’s I have met displaying a distinct lack of support for this Nation & making it clear that it takes a back seat to Islam – self evident by their views, such as those regarding ‘Western Foreign Policy’ or by the troubling extent of their non-integration. That there are Moslems that will help out a dying Jew is heart warming but is not the least bit surprising to me & makes no point at all. I have never said all Moslems are evil, Jew haters – I have a real issue with Islam, what it has done & what it is doing & will never stop opposing it & exposing it’s views until it is domesticated – but if a Moslem needed my help I’d be there in a second.

  • Jabez Foodbotham

    Well people like Orwell and Lee and many other unwise or gullible fools of the time setting off to fight in a war that had nothing to do with us didn’t set a good example to our current jihadis, did they.

  • Gerard Spekboom

    This I posted at the Guardian:

    Well you always have to ask your self, are the fighters a part of the problem or of the solution. In the case of Orwell, he was fighting fascism, which seems fine to me. Then you have those fundamentalists fighting in Syria against Assad, did we not learn anything from the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt !? Do we not yet have any sense why countries like Syria and Egypt need leaders as Mubarak and Assad who are only able to survive fundamentalistic Islam through dictatorship !?

    • john p reid

      Was it deleted?

      • Gerard Spekboom

        Nope, but I am being pre-moderated. You have to develop the skill to to phrase things somewhat indirectly, remain polite, facts need to be accurate and indisputable and you need to allow people to draw their own conclusions. But it remains hit or miss, maybe my score is 70% at the moment.

  • Craig

    “Can’t wait for that feeling when u just killed some1.” I guess we have to place his comments (and actions) in the ‘proper context’, where the combination of relentless British Islamophobia and injustice towards Palestine has driven this idealist to despair and nihilism.

  • James Lovelace

    The situation we are in bears far more comparison with the 1930s than the media and politicians would have us realise.

    Paul Golding, the leader of a legal political party in Britain, is banned from entering London. Was Oswald Mosley banned from entering London in the 1930s?

    Several members of the EDL (including the mixed-race leader of the youth Division) have been given 10 year banning orders, making it illegal for them to attend any political demonstrations. (And these 10 year banning orders have also been given to so-called “anti-fascist” demonstrators too). Were people in the 1930s given banning orders that stopped them from going to demonstrations for a decade?

    So far in the last few years we have had the following people banned from entering Britain: Sheikh Qaradawi, Zakir Naik, Geert Wilders, Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer. In the 1930s, Hitler took himself off to Germany for a private meeting with Hitler. Germany saw no need to have banning orders preventing Churchill from entering the country.

    In the past 10 years successive “liberal” British governments have implemented more draconian measures than were thought necessary to deal with National Socialism in the 1930s. If the current banning orders and anti-terrorist laws were in place in the 1930s, you can be sure that Orwell and Lee would be treated like these muslim terrorists are treated now.

  • BoiledCabbage

    Syria [and other previous conflicts] must be like heaven to the budding psychopath, of which far too many belong to AQ

  • Sean Raymond

    First L – you seem to be saying that 99.9% of Moslems do not support Islamism – can you provide your source please? Now, whilst I agree that most Moslems are peaceful you will need to explain the following to me ok. The (virtual) Islamist political group the Moslem Brotherhood received 51% of the Egyptian vote – 13.5 MILLION in ONE country & have the support of millions more globally. Hamas received 500,000 votes & no doubt have the support of many more. Hizb-ut-Tahir has up to 10,000 members & an estimated 1 million supporters. The Taliban have roughly 50,000 members – one can only imagine how many followers they have. I am alluding to something that is very important to appreciate – many Moslems support Islamism ok.

    But in case I haven’t convinced you, to further punctuate my point I ask you to please consider the following: A Gallup poll, the largest ever conducted on Moslems, used a scale of 1 – 5. 1 = Moslems thought the 9/11 attacks were completely unjustified, 5 = Moslems thought the attacks were completely justified. 7% were 5’s which, if we extrapolate this to 1.6 billion means 112 million Moslems thought 9/11 was justified! But more worryingly, only 63% were 1’s which means that 37% of Moslems thought that 9/11 & similar attacks were in some way JUSTIFIED! 37% of 1.6 billion = 592 million Moslems!!! I do hope you now accept my argument that Islamic extremism has the support of millions of Moslems

  • Mynydd

    Would someone please tell me which of these anti-government forces Mr Cameron/Hague have sent money and material to. Then we can say, yes you can come back or, no you can’t come back.

  • Colin

    It’s monbiot, FFS. Apply the usual 86% discount to everything he says, or writes.

  • Sean Raymond

    I distinctly remember Mehdi Hasan saying in an Oxford debate that Islamic terrorism has nothing to do with faith but rather, is all about politics – I believe this is the widely accepted narrative. Indeed, I also remember him saying, to one Douglas Murray, that Moslems are integrated into British society and are more likely to consider themselves British than any other demographic.
    This is problematic because firstly, Islam simply does not subscribe to the separation of church and state – and so politically grievances will be invariably mixed in with religious ones. But even more so is the failure of Mehdi Hasan (and the left) to explain why the British born Pakistani 7/7 bombers would have cared so much about the politics of Iraq/Afghanistan that they would self detonate over it (why didn’t we see Iraqi’s doing it?)? Similarly, why would British born Moslems care so much about Syria, a country I am quite confident in saying would have never even crossed their mind until the current conflict, that they go thereto behead and slaughter and themselves be ready to die?
    You see, British born Pakistani’s are not politically linked to these countries & in-fact have absolutely nothing to do with them except one thing – Islam. This simple point highlights that even if Moslem grievances are geo-political they are so only because they have been shaped by the faith they share with these lands (of course the terrorists tell us themselves that they do it for Allah and the rest anyway).
    This is important in terms of understanding terrorism but also because we can see this fundamental Islamic concept of a supra-national state where Moslems globally have an allegiance to, above that of the country they reside in. Thus, this gives rise to a frightening potential for strategic cooperation & Moslem mobilisation for the future. This idea of the Ummah is not the preserve of the extremist either – it is subscribed to by the ‘moderates’ as well – have you ever met a Moslem who supports Israel or whom doesn’t express the view that the war on Iraq was a war on (and oppression of) Moslems instead of the correct liberation of them?

    • stephen rothbart

      There are 1.5 million Muslims living in Israel. Some of them play for Israeli sports teams.

      Of course, a few of them probably don’t like Israel, there are quite a few Brits who don’t like Britain, but to say all Muslims hate Israel is simply not true.

      We were looking after a young Jewish girl from Belarus, who was studying music in Prague. When her mother was diagnosed with cancer, she tried to raise money on line for her mother’s treatment.

      One of the donors was a young Palestinian boy. He knew the girl because he also studied at the same conservatory and he also knew she was a Jew.

      He gave her 500 euros. He actually apologized it was not more, but said he came from a poor family on the West Bank.

      I am not a fan of the Arab and Palestinian leaders, but please don’t assume all Arabs, Muslims etc have hate for Jews or Israelis.

      Far more disturbing is the number of secular and Christian people who hate Israel and Jews, without religious motivation.

      • Apostate Freethinker

        You appear to forget that Jew-hatred is enjoined in the Koran……so any Muslim who is not a Jew-hater is by default….an apostate….and subject to a death sentence by his peers.

        • stephen rothbart

          No I don’t forget. But not all Muslims are so devout. There is an eye for an eye stuff in yhe Nible but even the most devout Jews don’t kill people without due process of the law

      • edlancey

        500 euros ? and I thought they were all starving ?

        This post is a contender for the 2014 Chaim Rumkowski Useful Idiot award.

      • Sean Raymond

        I am having difficulty replying – this is an edit of the full post from earlier. Ok – please do not make speculative assumptions – I never said all Moslems hate Jews but rather “has anyone met a Moslem that supports Israel”. I haven’t – & that goes for pious & non-pious.
        Now – I have visited Israel & you are correct – the Moslems I spoke to indeed knew how fortunate they are to live on that particular side of the border – but I never heard one say “thank God for the Jews”! You simply can’t extrapolate an appreciation of this good fortune & apply it to Moslems globally or use it as evidence that by design they are automatically champions of Jews & Israel – it doesn’t work like that. I submit that virtually all British Moslems are even more thankful to be living here than in any Moslem majority land – but this doesn’t stop most Moslem’s I meet displaying a distinct lack of support for this Nation & that it takes a back seat to Islam – self evident by their views, such as those regarding ‘Western Foreign Policy’, the desire for – & increasing implementation of – increasingly extensive Shariah civil systems or by the troubling extent of their non-integration. That there are Moslems that will help a dying Jew is heart warming but is not the least bit surprising to me & makes no point at all. I never said all Moslems are evil, Jew haters – I have an issue with Islam, what it has done & what it is doing & will never stop exposing its views until it is domesticated – but if a Moslem needed my help I’d be there in a second.

  • amadeus49

    Rose tinted spectacles

  • saffrin

    Here’s hoping someone in Government has the foresight not to let them back into the country when they try to come back.
    Further more, the authorities should close down the mosques they attended as well as harass their greater families until they realise it’s in their own interest to sod off someplace else.

  • Lagos1

    This article does a poor job of building the case that these Islamists are so different to the International brigades that fought in Spain. In-fighting between the republican forces in Spain was notorious. Execution of prisoners, erstwhile comrades, civilians and enemies was also a strong feature of that war on all sides. I imagine that not all the British citizens that went to fight were not associated with any of this or as gifted with words as George Orwell and Laurie Lee.

    • roger

      Terrorists then and terrorists now, foreign enlistment and being a mercenary (contractor) are both illegal, arrest them.

    • Tom Allalone

      Rightly or wrongly most British volunteers in Spain believed they were fighting on the side of freedom. The jihadis going to Syria are fighting for misogyny, oppression and barbarism – and they know it. Here’s hoping the Syrian government saves us the bother of dealing with them. It’s also worth remembering that some of the worst atrocities in Spain were carried out by Franco’s Moorish barbarians.

      • Lagos1

        I agree with you that the Jihadis are fighting for misogyny, oppression and barbarism. However, I don`t think they do know it. I see no reason to think that they believe any less than those British volunteers that they are fighting for right.

        And don`t forget that I did point to both sides in my reference to executions. In fact we are constantly reminded about what Franco`s forces did and more rarely of the barbarities committed by the Republicans in fact.

        • Gerard Spekboom

          That is the sad delusional state of the Muslim mindset. Truely believing to ‘fight for misogyny, oppression and barbarism’ to be a righteous course. This should question the ultimate spiritual source of Islam, is it divine or more likely diabolic?

          • Lagos1

            More likely the latter. And I would say the same about the leftist movement in the Spanish civil war as well.

            However, the irony is that some of those fighting on the same side as Orwell and Laurie Lee in Spain showed less tolerance than a good many of these Islamists.

            Leftists or Islamists, they are both bad news.

      • James Lovelace

        “Rightly or wrongly most British volunteers in Spain believed they were fighting on the side of freedom. The jihadis going to Syria are fighting for misogyny, oppression and barbarism – and they know it.”

        In case you don’t know, Hizb ut Tahrir translates as “Party of Freedom”. And “freedom” to them means freedom to impose the sharia. Which means the freedom to subjugate and enslave non-muslims. Under sharia law, slavery is legal. Even the 1951 UN Report on Slavery said as much. Sultan Tabandeh, an islamic jurist re-confirmed this in the 1960s, in his commentary on the UN Declaration of Human Rights. And is because of the legality of slavery in islam that the muslim world has rejected the UNDHR in 1990. But you won’t find the racists of Amnesty International mentioning this problem.

    • rob232

      British people went to fight for both sides. Franco’s escape from the Canary Islands was orquestrated by Catholic members of the British secret service.
      They all fought for political and/or religious reasons.
      We all think we have right on our side when we go to fight in foreign disputes.
      The question is does the British government have the right to dictate to us in these matters?
      I think the fundamental problem is that there is no written constitution in the UK and so no understanding of basic rights. The government of the day invents everything as it goes along.
      Sometimes the cause is ‘good’ sometimes it’s ‘bad’. In the end it’s an opinion and surely once you have left the country it has little to do with the British government.

  • Pootles

    And yet we still allow into the UK thousands of people from the countries that are the source of such religious and cultural norms. They don’t come from EU countries, they come from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Somalia, Nigeria, and Arab nations. The government has not one single excuse for allowing this, the UK is not bound by any international agreement to take these people who become the hosts for the jihadi terrorists. A terrible thing has happened, and the UK, particularly England, will see civil war because of it. As for the idiot, Monbiot, he’s already baled out to England’s Montana – Wales.

  • zanzamander

    These people and their progeny will remain a thorn in our backside for ever and ever. This is all down to our corrupt politicians, Blair and Labour in particular. Name me a single non-Muslim country that has a substantial Muslim population which is now not mired in communal discord.

    And you know what things are going to get a whole lot worse. It is all downhill.

    • disqus_KdiRmsUO4U

      In this context Blair and others, many others in fact acting over 60 odd years, weren’t corrupt…they were stupid.

      Stupidity isn’t good… it’s just a misfortune…stupidity based on mindless idealism , which at least MAY have attempted reflection underpinning it….is downright bad.

      The UK will NEVER recover from the mass immigration of alien race/culture.

  • Ricky Strong

    These people are not British, they would say so themselves. They are Muslims who happen to live in Britain. Please don’t place my nationality in the same bracket as these animals.

    • geronimoooo4

      don;t be so islamophobic!

      of course they are british, just like Islam is the religion of peace

      • First L

        These people are not Islamic (population 1.5 billion of which 1,499,999,986,301 or so have never attempted to wage Jihad on the west). They are Islamists and therefore really really nasty people who disgrace the religion.

        • geronimoooo4

          the famous ‘tiny minority’ seems to be involved in most wars and armed conflicts worldwide (99% actually)
          meanwhile, the other famous ‘peace loving majority of moderates’ is everywhere to be seen but nowhere to be heard!
          In light of the everyday atrocities, for such a ‘peace loving moderates’ they seem awfully quiet, almost as if they approve…
          this entire rubbish is not bought by anybody anymore
          Islam is a barbaric ideology, and they can not even live peacefully amongst each other, or happily in their own countries. They have to make everybody just as miserable as they are – NO THANK YOU!

          build walls all around them and let them just get on with it

          • disqus_KdiRmsUO4U

            It is also true that ‘majorities’ do not bring about major socio/political convulsions.
            That is done by dedicated minorities.

            Trenchant but reasoned debate on the problems presented by Islam can be seen here and all over the ‘net’
            Such criticism is virtually invisible elsewhere.

            I assume our political leaders realise a profound mistake has been made but they conclude the ‘not discussing’ it honestly is the ‘least bad’ option.

            IMO serious social fracture lies in wait in either case.
            I await with admittedly perverted ‘pleasure’ a conflict over Kashmir.
            See what happens in the UK then !

          • Kirsty

            No idea where you get your figures from. Intelligence services from US and UK estimate the numbers of extremists are around 30%.

        • James Lovelace

          ” They are Islamists and therefore really really nasty people who disgrace the religion.”

          Feel free to explain to us, O Islamic Sheikh: what is the difference between an islamist terrorist and Mohammed, the founder of islam?

          Here’s a timeline of the massacres by Mohammed and his “rightly-guided Caliphs”.

          Here’s a timeline of the massacres by modern day islamists (who are following Mohammed “the perfect example” of a muslim).

          • Colonel Mustard

            That website should really distinguish between Arabs and Turks in the chronology.

            • James Lovelace

              I am curious. On what basis? Islam and jihad transcends national/ethnic boundaries. Which is precisely the point of the main story – Pakistanis from Bradford, Moroccans from Amsterdam are going to Syria to fight as muslims. One of the black, muslim convert killers of Lee Rigby attempted to join Al Shabaab in Somalia.

              I expect the people behind those timelines know far more about islam and the history of jihad than you or I.

              • Colonel Mustard

                On the basis that they use the word ‘Arab’ to mean both Arab and Turk as well as other ethnicities.

                And I expect they don’t. Islam/jihad does not always transcend national/ethnic boundaries as a little study of dynastic and factional conflict in the Middle East would inform you. Saladin, for example attempted to invoke jihad against the Franks from Egypt and in response several regional Islamic rulers, seeing through his ploy to extend his own power through a religious pretext, then attempted to have him murdered by the Assassins. Saladin himself was a Kurd.

                A clue as to how far through history these Middle Eastern internecine conflicts have persisted is the Arab Rebellion against the Turks during the First World War and the Sunni/Shia feud. The Turks were far more aggrandising than the Arabs. The chronology narrative lumps too many very different dynasties and ethnicities together. It would be like referring to all the Allies in WW2 as ‘the British’.

                • James Lovelace

                  The 4Freedoms timeline does NOT refer to the killers as Arabs, but refers to them all as muslims (at the point at which it refers to Arabs, it correctly refers to them as Arabs).

                  Whether or not some group of muslims at some point in history attacks another group of muslims is irrelevant. During the 700 years in which muslims were occupying Spain, the different groups of muslims doing the occupying sometimes attacked each other.

                  Sunnis/Shias have been at war with each other from practically the start of islam. They do not care what “ethnicity” the other muslim group have.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  From the linked first page:-

                  “The expansion is from rapid victories by Arab forces for the first 100 years, from 624AD (the Battle of Badr) till 732AD (the Battle of Tours).”

          • First L

            Mohammed was a regional warlord who was doing what regional warlords did in the sixth century. You might note that Constantine the Great – the man who turned Europe Christian, also turned round one day and slaughtered his entire family. Funny that that’s never referenced when calling him Saint Constantine.

            Modern Islamists are not following the example of Mohammed just as modern Christians are hardly following the example of Saint Constantine. They are following aggressive Islamism as interpreted by the Mahdi who rose in the Sudan in the 1800’s.


            Note that the honorific of the ‘Mahdi’ means Islamic Messiah – someone who puts themselves over and above Mohammed. Note that Osama Bin Laden stayed with the Mahdi’s descendants in Khartoum as he was founding Al Qaeda and also adopted the name of the ‘Mahdi’. Islamism is not about religion – it’s about power. The power to proclaim oneself the second coming of God. In this sense they are as to mainstream Islam what the worst fundamentalist American firebrand cultist Church is to mainstream Christianity (the sort of folk who go around assassinating abortion doctors)


            “Leach published the Army of God manual, which advocates the killing of the providers of abortion and contains bomb-making instructions, in the January 1996 issue of his magazine.”

    • Iain Hill

      Have you never heard of the umma?

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