February 22, 2005

Off for another tussle with the gurgling toad-buddha Mr. Goenka Ten days in silence should kick all the habits which hold me back into touch. I've asked Samir, Abdullah and co not to get arrested before I get back.

When I think of what I have achieved since the last time I went inside my head courtesy of the dhamma dipa I feel pretty good. I thought someone in my country ought to be looking into Fundamental Islam a bit more objectively and I'm happy to have done it.

My mistakes? Not keeping a camera running at all times, but thats what this blog is for. Back in 10 days or so. As Mr. Goenka would say

May all beings beeeee haaaapppppeeeeeeee

At risk of being accused of racial stereotyping I think Black women are one of the most beautiful things about this planet. But why do they sometimes iron their hair? Posted by Hello

February 21, 2005

holly lodge mansions Posted by Hello

February 20, 2005


The Holly lodge saga continues...

We first squatted this house in 2003 and the council were kind enough to leave us there for a year. We were the cause celebre of both local papers. Thanks to them our eviction was covered by ITV and BBC news.

A year later I squatted the place with a different group of people who had loud parties on the roof and fights with the neighbours in the street. We quite deservedly got a "Squatter hell in Highgate" article in one local paper. (the Ham and High)

North London squatters know each other, and it wasn't long before the guys were in again. The local paper which leans more to the left (the camden new journal) sent a reporter up who met some irate neighbours and an old squatting friend of mine who err.. isn't media friendly. They wrote about how wonderful we were and what a shame this bunch weren't so nice. The Ham and High met Frank, Dave Blond and co and wrote a really nice article.

The CNJ obviously read it and not wanting to appear to be to the right of the ham and high apparently sent an editor up to apologize who wrote this.

It's not difficult getting good publicity squatting in affluent areas, if the neighbours like you so do the papers. No one even cares if you admit to being an ex-fucking bogus asylum seeker do they Frank?

Frank Stucik, 29, who works as a handyman for a photography studio, moved into Holly Lodge with his girlfriend Valerie Manning. He has squatted buildings across Camden since he moved from the Czech Republic nine years ago.

I'm not sure what either paper would make of Socialist Wanker

February 19, 2005

The editor is in a bit of a bad way. Posted by Hello


After talking to Barry I dropped round to see “the editor” He was in a bit of a bad way. It disturbs me when he’s not his usual infuriating cocky cunt of a self. Suffering from lost love he’s fallen back into old habits. I filmed him injecting his last bit of smack.

“You’re not going to die are you? I don’t want to film you dying.”

He assured me that he was going to spend all his money on a new camera the next day to leave himself without any money for more scag. He intended to freeze it out with some valium over the weekend. I’m in touch with my feminine side and so I like hugging my male friends as tightly as female ones. The editor isn’t so much like this so I was pleased and a bit worried when he gave me a really big hug as I left.

Good luck Mr. Editor


At the mosque again, I was the only person there with a camera, a point Barry noted that he was quite pleased about. I got into a really long and enlightening conversation with him whilst Muslims prayed inside which I will hopefully surmise in a Socialist wanker article in a couple of days. The new trustees seemed a bit nervous about talking to me. I hope it doesn’t take 2 years to gain their trust. Once someone came out I told him that I had spoken to Hamza and co over a two year period and had promised to give his friends a fair representation. I was also interested in how the Islam the new trustees and the MCB preach differs to Hamza’s. Would they be up for it? The guy didn’t seem opposed but wanted something in writing.

a new beginning


Even though I am not a Muslim, and I think that if people with Abu Hamza’s beliefs outnumbered me in Britain I would probably be in trouble, I couldn’t help but feel sad for Jamal, Abdullah and co when I heard that they had lost their Mosque. They had protested for 20 months about its closure and felt that they had been wronged.

I was sad but not surprised. Even in the short time I was inside last November I was aware of the paranoia and animosity inside. As I arrived in Finsbury Park I was a bit paranoid myself. With the BBC and Police waiting to see if these dangerous extremists were going to turn up and cause trouble I was aware that I was probably the only person there who knew that they weren’t coming.

When I asked Abdullah if they would return to the street the previous night he had replied

“The brotherhood is still strong. We have to consider our position.”

They weren't coming.

As I got a look at the new trustee’s I thought about what Samir had said to me on the phone the day before when he pointed me to the Times article about the new trustee’s links with Hamas.

“These people smile and say what the British people want to hear but behind closed doors they are the ones with the links with terrorists. We say what we believe openly in the street whether people like it or not and get all the flak for it.”

Looking at them, I could see that they were Muslims who were much more at ease in British society than I am but I didn’t feel like challenging them. I didn’t challenge Abdullah either until the other day, its just not my way. I don’t want to be fucking clever and catch people out I want to document what they believe.

As I watched Daniel Sanford from BBC News practicing what he was going to say I got an inkling of the general feeling towards the situation. This sort of news is made by people who know what they think. Malung-TV-News is the questions in between.

I have no idea about the allegations of violence, but Abdullah's continual denials that his lot were a threat to the british people hadn't got on TV. Was this his own fault or is it a "Zionist media conspiracy" as he and Hamza were preaching? Could we have got a slightly different take on TV over a year ago? We shall never know and now they have lost their Mosque.

How much were the brothers themselves responsible for their terrible media image? I showed my footage to a friend a few days earlier who said:

“Don’t they have any idea how offensive a huge guy screaming about Kaffirs and Sodomites and Paedophiles in the street surrounded by masked Muslims looks to your average British person?”

How much could it be said that they were feeding their hands into their enemies mouths to bite?

News is like a cartoon in this situation and Daniel gave a good rundown of the key points of this cartoon.

“An eight million pound mosque that fell into the hands of the extremists, now being returned to the community.... No sign of Abu Hamza’s followers but this is only the first Friday and they may yet return.”

The F.I.T. squad photographer, obviously a bit upset that there wasn’t going to be any trouble took a couple of photographs of me. His spotter stood next to him making sure I noticed him pointing at me. I managed to smile by the second shot. I felt like saying

“What exactly do you think I am doing? Do I look like a fucking Muslim to you? I am making a FILM. Do you understand what that is?”

He ran past me really excited because one of Hamza’s supporters had come out of the front door of the block of flats where he lived. Two police gave him a talking to for a bit, then he casually strolled down the middle of the street, masked to the eyes, all camera’s trained on him. He didn’t even look at the mosque or make any protest.I was reminded of Nick Griffin's comment's about "Punk Islamists."

Growing up in Britain, masked up, making no attempt to fit in or justify themselves to the media, there is a lot of similarity to the punk of the late 70’s. This remind's me also of Yvonne Ridley's article quoting Aki from Fun-da-Mental as saying that for him, Islam was "More punk than punk." Both Aki and Yvonne were up for saying something in Hamza's defence over a year ago. I can't help but be frustrated as all the time its been Abdullah holding things back for me rather than any Zionist media. Anyone would be paranoid in his situation though.

Barry didn’t help. He told me that I “looked weird” twice. He told the media

“We are very happy to be here for a new beginning because for far too long now we have had to protect the community from a small number of extremists. We haven’t known how the extremists would react, but I’m pleased to say that we’ve had no reaction at all. This is the best day for a very long time, lets hope it gets even better.”

"Come on then trouble." he said to me, my camera running.

"So what happened? You were getting on O.K. before christmas, you had Abdullah round for dinner..."

"I certainly didn't have him round for dinner. He was at the station a couple of times."

I asked if Abdullah and co removed by riot police as had been reported in the media?

“No there were no riot Police, that's not how it works.”

Was there a warrant out for Abdullah or any of his friends? Would any of the serious allegations in the press be repeated in court?

“No there’s no warrant.”

So I can carry on filming with the guys?

“Of course. I’m cool with that.”

"You called Abdullah an extremist. An extremist in his words or his actions?"

"I thought his actions were troublesome, provocative and I'm very glad he's not here today."

February 15, 2005

How much would the Mirror give me for this? ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! Posted by Hello


When I read the Mirror article it made me laugh but the Guardian took things to another level. People were making allegations that the brothers had intimidated people. These allegations were backed up in print by the Police. Would they be backed up in court? I and the Mets security camera have definately filmed a lot of hot-headedness but most of what I had seen was between journalists and masked Muslims. What had been happening whilst I was away?

I called Jamal who assured me that it was all lies. Feeling a bit better I called Mr. Abdullah. He denied it all.

“You’ve been up there with us for many months you know how it is. They’ve been trying to push me out the whole time.”

“But I’ve also seen your brothers in masks jostling with the media, how do you know some of them didn't act outside of your control?”

I repeated a few of the Guardian allegations to him. He was adamant that it was all lies.

"When you accept a leader in Islam you do what they tell you, no one would have followed anyone home to beat them up."

I wanted to meet up to film. But where? I suggested one of the cafes Muslim Cypriots frequent in South london.

"I wont set foot in them. They are full of drug dealers."

I asked if we could film at Hajj's place. He asked me to call him. Had they fallen out?

I called Hajj and he said that he had dropped out of the whole thing months ago. He had advised Abdullah to compromise with the trustees, he couldn’t stand the bad atmosphere up there. When I put the Guardian allegations about intimidation and violence to him he said

“I don’t know and I don’t want to know.”

Hajj wasn’t happy to film at his and wherever Abdullah was, they didn’t want me to know about either. This worried me slightly as Hajj and Jamal were the people who had made the most effort to reach an understanding with me over the last two years.

Could the guys have been beating people up? I wanted to believe Abdullah. It seemed to me over the last two years that one of his biggest failings was his uncompromising honesty, but in the background I saw pictures of unruly masked Muslims who didn’t trust me and were advising against working with me even after the colossal effort I have made over two years to understand their side.

I finally met Abu Abdullah about 10 pm on Thursday in the same fish and chip shop they had taken me to over a year ago wearing exactly the same sunglasses he had been pictured in on the front cover of the Mirror. He refused to take them off throughout the interview.

“Wicked sunglasses.” I told him. I came straight to the point.

“You had better be telling me the truth about all this. I don’t want to waste my time if you are just a bunch of bully boys.”

He assured me he was telling the truth.

“Look you’re going to have to take your sunglasses off. If you want anyone to believe you they want to see your eyes man.”

“If they want to vilify me and accuse me looking like this then this is how I will defend myself. I’m not here to make anyones life easier.”

“Oh, I know that.” I told him.

This was the first time I had seen him since last November when we had arranged a meeting to talk about filming a serious documentary, which he had pulled out of at the last minute because I hadn’t phoned to confirm.

“You know I’m going to have to go quite hard on you if you want to defend these allegations.”

“You do what you have to do. I am telling the truth.”

I put my headphones on and switched on the camera, hopeful that the sound of sizzling chips wouldn’t encroach to much.

I asked him to repeat the events of the last week. He told me how their caretaker had called him when a group of people had turned up to take over the Mosque. The Police were inside and barred him from entering the Mosque. There had been no trouble and after an argument he left.

I asked him if they had enforced their will by violence and intimidation, which he denied. I repeated Kamal Helbawy's allegations that people were afraid to go and pray there because of him and his friends. He said that all were welcome to pray there. I was struggling over the questions because I couldn’t read the hastily written notes I had made from the internet only half an hour earlier.

Abdullah hadn’t read the Guardian article, but particularly wanted to address what was written about him in the Mirror.

“You know that I don’t believe that the British people are filthy. I never said that. I was talking about the Politicians. They know that.”

"Do you remember the guy from the Mirror?" I asked.

"Yes and I suspected him." he answered.

“When I arrived at the mosque you preached against people with facial piercings on three separate occasions. I've got facial piercings.Were you threatening me?” I asked.

“No. no. In Islam it is my duty to teach. If someone comes who is doing something wrong I have to tell them.” He faltered slightly looking really apologetic. I was aware that away from his mosque, in a South London chippy we were just two British people sitting across a table talking.

“But your tone is quite angry Mr. Abdullah...” I tried to look at his eyes behind the glasses.

"Just because of the way I say things doesn't mean that I am threatening normal people. My threats are to the people in power..." he sort of tailed off. I'm going to have to ask this one again as it seems to me that its the way Abdullah preaches which is so unacceptable to "Normal BBC society."

"Listen, even my friends on the so called "left-wing" of the media ask me why I am doing this story. They think you are a bunch of nutters. Are you a bunch of nutters?"

"No. We believe in the Koran as it was revealed to the prophet..."

"You preached that a small group of Jewish paedophiles run the planet. Do you understand how crazy that sounds to most people?" I asked.

"In is writtern in their scriptures in Sanhedrinn..."

"That was all written along time ago. Jamal told me that Mohamed maried someone of nine years old, Mr. Abdullah"

" Im not prepared to talk about that until you understand more about Islam."

We didn't get into an arguement but came a bit close.

“You preached from Leviticus 20 that homosexuals should be killed, Mr. Abdullah. Do you advocate Gay bashing?” He looked genuinely hurt that I had asked the question.

“No. Not at all.”

"If I didn't like that and wanted the government to pass a law banning people from preaching from that part of the bible, do you think I'd have any luck?" I asked.

"You may well do."

"And you'd go to prison defending your right to preach from that particular part of the Bible?"

"I may well have to."

"How do you feel about being British?"

“I like Britian, I am British. I am a Muslim first and British second but I am not a threat to the British People. You know that.”

How about what it said in the Mirror about you “Hailing the honourable brothers in Guantanamo Bay?”

“That is true. In Guantanamo Bay Muslims are being held without trial. They are my brothers. I believe that they are innocent.It is the duty of all Muslims to stand up for their brothers who are oppressed all over the world. It is not a choice for Muslims.”

I read more from the Guardian to him:

A senior member of the mosque told the Guardian that he had been surrounded and punched unconscious inside the mosque about a month ago. "I went inside, they just ran at me, I was circled and punched. I woke up after a few seconds, I just walked out. This is not Islam, you can't tell them anything, you will be bullied and attacked."

“Lies. Garbage. It would be totally Haram for me or any Muslim to do any of that.”

“Listen Mr. Abdullah, you preached on many many occasions that the truth would stand clear of all falsehood. Is this the truth?” I asked.

“Yes. Everything I told you is the truth.”

We spoke a bit more about the possibility of a proper documentary with complete access. He said he would be unhappy to do it if Hajj was involved. I told him that I wasn’t really happy to continue without Hajj as he had always been the most friendly person to me of anyone I had met in Finsbury park.

" You asked me them questions like you were a copper." said Mr. Abdullah.

“Look, I am just a film maker. These are serious allegations. I am interested in what people believe and I have no reason to twist people’s words. If this works out for me I want to go to the states to make a film about Republicans.”

“ Do you think they would entertain you? “ he asked.

“ Why not? You did.” I replied.

Abu Abdullah smiled and left still wearing his huge multi coloured mirror shades. It never occurred to me that maybe someone had hit him.

I took my camera home. The next morning I looked through what I had. The tape had jammed every few seconds and the sound was unintelligible. As my thoughts of rushing my tape to channel 4 news faded I imagined how Abdullah complete with shades would be received anyway. I also wondered if this was now my opportunity to try and convince him to turn to my "religion" as he had made so much effort to convert me.

“Coming to a trance party Mr. Abdullah?" In his shades he looked like he was on his way back from one.

Full of nerves I headed up to the Mosque to film.

February 10, 2005


No idea if this is true or not. This is the guardian article.

Muslim hardliners who took control of the Finsbury Park mosque in north London were deposed at the weekend after allegations that opponents had been beaten and intimidated,

But the Guardian has learned that in December hardliners retook control. They are alleged to have enforced their will by violence and intimidation and to have preached sermons which some at the mosque regarded as extreme.

On Saturday trustees appointed last week changed the locks and took physical control of the building.

Police officers went to the mosque in case of trouble, but did not enter it.

Kamal Helbawy, a spokesman for the new trustees, said: "People were afraid to go in and pray or to do activities. People were afraid of those who had seized the power."

Dr Helbawy said those who had seized control would be allowed to pray at the mosque but would be banned from giving sermons.

"They are not allowed to preach and teach their own ideas. We consider them extremists, they are advocating violence, they are not preaching the middle way of Islam."

A senior member of the mosque told the Guardian that he had been surrounded and punched unconscious inside the mosque about a month ago. "I went inside, they just ran at me, I was circled and punched. I woke up after a few seconds, I just walked out. This is not Islam, you can't tell them anything, you will be bullied and attacked."

He said another mosque elder had been followed home and attacked. At least two assaults on people opposed to the alleged hardliners have been reported to the police.

A senior police source said: "We had become aware that local people felt intimidated and have not been able to go in. It was all unsavoury and unsatisfactory."

I have no idea if this is true, I am on the case. Last I heard Jamal was alleging that the Saudi governments money was somehow linked to this...

February 07, 2005

This man hates my filthy malung lifestyle.Not that keen on it myself a lot of the time...Oh and he also bought me fish and chips once...


Mirror, mirror on the wall...Who is the exposed: New preacher of hate today?

Jamal called on his way to an emergency meeting. He believes that the mosque was taken over at the weekend by some Muslims from the other mosque In Finsbury Park along with a member of the Respect coalition party. He alleges that they might have the financial backing of the Saudi government.

Apparently the Police were involved and would not let Mr. Abdullah back into the mosque. Reading the Mirror article just makes me laugh really,

MUSLIM cleric Abu Abdullah is exposed today as a ranting preacher of hate.

An undercover Mirror reporter spent six weeks attending notorious Finsbury Park mosque where Abdullah has taken over from hook-handed Abu Hamza who is awaiting trial in Belmarsh jail.
He heard the cleric brand disbelievers "filthy", hail the "honourable brothers" of Guantanamo Bay and rail against the "infidel" West. Abdullah urged: "Stand up and be counted."
The Muslim Council of Britain said his views bore an "uncanny similarity" to the outlook of the BNP.

Now I don't doubt that Abdullah probably said all of this, Its just the way it is put. Mr. Abdullah believes that my malung lifestyle is filthy- and he bought me fish and chips once.

He definately "Hails the honourable brothers in Guantanamo" probably because he believes that they are innocent Muslims held without trial for 3 years.

As for the BNP similarities, I've been agonising over how to get this dealt with on film for ages. I wish the UBA guys had a chance to talk to the Muslim brothers in greater detail when they came to protest at Finsbury park. I am sure they would find a lot more in common than they would have imagined. There is a style of "street" Londoner that a middle class twat like myself cannot properly comprehend.

I was discussing this with Jamal just the other day (see ALLAH AND JALIAH)It's good that the mirror journalist gives a nod to them as well:

STRANGELY, some young worshippers are dressed in designer gear, Nike trainers and Levi jeans, and sport neatly trimmed goatee beards.

Read the whole mirror article here


John Snow from Channel 4 news:

Camp Brutality
He says he was interviewed for hours while his hands and ankles were
chained, forced to wet himself and taken to "hot rooms" where the heating
was turned up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Martin Mubanga - the first
British detainee to speak out after his release ten days ago from
Guantanamo Bay - has also claimed that British secret services were involved.
His lawyers now say they will sue the British government.

sign up for snowmails

February 06, 2005


Another of my favourite rightwing bloggers is 2slick who was kind enough to pop by last year. He's done a great interview with Marshall Masters who lets him get a word in edgeways from time to time. Its hilarious how some American's talk as if they are one voice.

Why eye-raq? Because its right in the middle!


Listen to the whole interview here

Sounds like Team America World Police!

February 03, 2005


On my journey to Finsbury Park Mosque I wondered whether there could ever be any link between British Fundamental Islam and the peace “movement.” The idea wasn’t too serious. I don’t believe that there is a “movement” anyway but it intrigued me as to what they would make of me and I of them.

I realised straight away that I was blatantly the only person in Finsbury Park and possibly the whole country on this mission. With all my interviews, arguments, missed meetings and unanswered emails over two years the only people left standing who are still exploring this link are myself and Jamal.

For a Malung I surprised myself how dedicated I was in my filming over the last two years. The brothers possibly want to use some of my footage in Hamza’s defence. I don’t mind. The main evidence they are using against him is video evidence filmed in the Mosque anyway and he spent a lot of time refuting it outside. Looking through it all with Jamal we laughed about how much grief his masked friends were giving me sometimes when I was filming.

This led to an enlightening discussion about the difference between London’s “street” Muslim’s (the guys in the masks and Nike trainers) who didn’t trust a kaffir with a camera whoever they were and himself and Hajj who understood protest culture, knew where I was coming from and what a surprise it was that anyone of my ilk would be taking an interest in Finsbury park.

Jamal assured me that he had explained this all to Abdullah.

“ I told him, these guys usually hate Islam more than Bush does. They wouldn’t come anywhere near us...” which is true.

It was my previous background in born again Christianity- also the bane of anarcho/hippies which hooked me to this thing. I understand the mentality of monotheistic converting religions because I used to be part of one myself. I am not offended by people who want to convert me, as long as their motivation comes from a concern for my soul rather than a desire to be right. I can tell the difference in seconds and am really respectful of one and totally offended by the other.

If I was looking for a Fundamental Islamist to form any sort of alliance with idealogically I really couldn’t find anyone closer than Jamal. Hajj told me before how he believed that Jamal had a great future ahead of him as an Islamic teacher. I hope so. He has spoken a few times about how he met Mark Thomas on the tube once and wanted to send him some stuff.

It really is uncanny. When we were talking about how difficult it was to stop smoking weed he quoted me my favourite line from Jackie Brown where the Samuel L Jackson character says that dope

“Robs you of your ambition.” too true.

He also said that before he became a Muslim he had an idea for a screenplay referring to people of our age and political persuasion as

Thatcher’s Babies”

I once was toying with an idea for a film about underground squatter culture called

“Thatcher’s bastard children”

Throughout our conversation he casually dropped in names of bands he used to like, festivals he used to go to. When I said I was from Dorset he answered

“P.J.Harvey’s from there.”

I really want to film what Jamal and his wife think about giving up music for Islam as it was obviously such an important part of their pre Islamic life. This is all totally original stuff about British culture I believe people would love to see on TV.

Jamal refers to his previous life as

“When I was in Jahiliah”

He doesn’t glorify it, but it was strange to hear from such a devout Muslim who was leaving my house to pray outside every few hours how he used to be doing Calvin Klein’s (Lines of Coke and Ketamine) with his friends at work. I’m not going to plaster it all over Socialistwanker, I think Hajj is a bit upset with my “Hajj on Dope” piece anyway. I meant no offence, I just want part of my film to talk directly to my “malung” audience and Jamal is the only Muslim from Finsbury park who understands why.

If this film is about the people of Finsbury park Mosque refuting allegations of terrorism in the mainstream media its a numbers game as to who they can convince and which person can relate best to which social group. I think Abdullah would appeal to Christians and Muslims watching but he would definately offend British "Malungs" who would not care about his or Hamza's plight. This is where Hajj and Jamal come in.

The newspapers are full of stories at the moment about Bez winning Big brother and what it says about how the British people see themselves. I see a nation full of "malungs." Drug and drink fucked diamonds who wish the world was a better place. Jamal and Hajj can communicate who they are and what they believe directly to these people. I don't personaly believe in Islam but I owe it to them to give them their chance because they have taken a chance and trusted me. This is what I love most about documentary making. Fuck the dispassionate even handed bullshit, I care about these people.

Neither of them want to glorify drug use on British TV. They only tell me these things to say

“I was once like you, looking for something in drugs and physical pleasure and I gave it up to follow Allah.”

In conversation Jamal also explained the difference between the view’s of Omar Bakri’s Al-Mujaarharoun movement and Abu Hamza regarding September 11th. Apparently it was Al-Muj who organized the controversial “Towering day in history” event in Finsbury park.

If I understand it correctly the Al-Muj view is sort of

“Yeah, Muslims did it, it was a fight back against U.S. Imperialism in the middle east”

Whereas Jamal, Hamza and co took a step back and analysed the data Muslim’s and non Muslims collected and came to believe that the whole thing was a CIA/Mossad plot and the towers came down in a controlled explosion. They do not believe that Bin laden either did it or admitted to it. Far out. These are the views they want to expand on if the TV want a show which demonstrates their point of view.

Looking over my footage of Hamza’s preaching with Jamal made me see him in a different light. He was quick to point out how Hamza said

“Sometimes the truth comes from someone who is not a believer. We should accept it from where it comes.”

I found it hard to make any judgement about Hamza with all the buzz around him at the time. I wish now that I had spoke to Hajj and Jamal a lot more when he was around. I can see that the Sun really want him to be guilty. They want a terrorist “Bin Laden of Britain” really badly.

Although I want to present this as objectively as possible I can see that I want the old guy to be innocent. I don’t know why. I don’t think he’d do the same for me if I got in trouble. It’s the little things...Samir telling me how Abu Hamza was like a father to him and his brother, even calling him about things like parking tickets. No one has got this on film. Not even me -yet. I don’t know why it has fascinated me to the point of obsession for two years.

Although I can see that my success or failure in this project is very much tied up in a sort of post punk middle class angst to me, to them it will be created if Allah wills it to be so.

Before he left Jamal told me that he believed it was good that a non Muslim was after the truth behind their story. I've been saying this to Abdullah for over a year now. Jamal wants to make a connection to “counter-culture” groups. We both know that this would be difficult, nigh on impossible as such people are often radical feminists and gay rights activists, but if anyone from the Islamic world could do it it would be Jamal. I’d like to film him trying.

The main difference between us is that I believe in British TV’s forte- presenting the other side of controversial issues and he doesn’t. I believe that the guys at Finsbury Park Mosque are not terrorists, but as such this doc would be pretty pointless if people who believed that they were didn’t get to see it.

If they are not terrorists the only people who benefit from their continued silence are those who claim that they are. Their opponents have created a picture of mad-dog Islamists who cannot articulate their views except by bombing innocents. Its up to these guys to articulate a different story, if they want to. Abu Hamza’s celebrity is such that they, more than any other Muslim group have the opportunity to do so. I love being part of this story. I hope they’ll give it a go.

NEWS! Pope and Dylan are still both dead. Posted by Hello


I know this blog is usually about islamic matters but this crap about the Pope is ridiculous. The Pope died years ago and that is bloody obvious to anyone who looks at him. I think famous people sometimes get this immortality syndrome where the body actually dies but forgets to lie down. Bob Dylan (may he rest in peace) also suffers from this as anyone who has seen him live from 1985 onward will tell you.

February 02, 2005


more snowmails from the increasingly ecentric C4 anchorman:

This a man deemed so dangerous by the government that at vast expense
and total detriment to his life and family he was held without trial in
massive security for three years.

In truth my Snowmail is held up by the sheer improbability of the world
we seek to portray.

This is a hall of mirrors, in which a man prepares his case for three
years deprived of all liberty and then on the day he is asked to present
himself, he has no case to answer. And when he asks why was he held, he
can get no answer and neither can we. Tonight at seven, not a happy

sign up for snowmails

February 01, 2005


In ten years of squatting I have seen many unofficial rules and practices develop. If the ballifs are coming in the morning to close a place I am upset if there isn't a group of mad squatters and a couple of vans on a "tatting mission" seeing what they can make use of which people have left behind.

Last night there were people removing powershowers and toilets and picking up books others had left. Some were going through clothes and carefuly wrapping up vases in old shirts which had either been forgotten or discarded as junk. We also had the time honoured arguements over which bikes had been left for which ballifs how many squats ago? (the peculiar rule here seems to be that if you fix a bike, however long it has been left in pieces, someone will always claim it as theirs.)

In the normal world moving looks a little more dignified. I prefer this. It shows humans as the trasitory beings we really are and in truth I will miss it, though it has driven me beyond insane. For now I have had enough.

I went back this morning with the dog to see if I could get the lock off the front door. The ballifs were long gone and there were 3 cheerful guys inside bricking the place up. The dog didn't even bark at them, he seemed to realise it wasn't our home anymore.