July 15, 2005


I'm playing catch up a bit I'm afraid...

I have an interview with Abu Abdullah from 2 days ago I have to decipher and put up. I actually was talking to him unaware of the breaking news about the "Leeds connection" Today, as promised I checked out my "spies" in Finsury park mosque.

There were lots of photographers outside the mosque, which suprised me as the heat is now off as far as "extremism" is concerned. I bumped into one journalist I knew (to the right of Hamza in the hyperlinked pic) There were only two Muslims I recognised who went inside. One of them I remember Abdullah accused of being a spy in a very public row not witnessed by any journalists maybe a month before the mosque was reopened for the first time.

"We had a disagreement. He is still my brother in Islam." he said.

"Are you with the new lot now?" I asked him.

"Look. I am a local. Some of these brothers are locals. I was always campaigning to keep my local mosque open. Mr. Hamza is not a terrorist. No true Muslim can be a terrorist. In any community you would have "misfits." Are the Irish people all terrorists? No."

I shook hands with Jeremy Corbyn who actually remembered me from the last time I had seen him, if not the first. Can't stand politicians. Can't help liking Mr. Corbyn. (its the ****ing bicycle)

Also in Finsbury Park I met a really interesting American journalist called Tina Susman. We discussed Pakistan, ( she had spent 6 weeks in Pakistani Kashmir) She also spoke of the 10 years she had spent in sub Saharan Africa and the previous months she had spent at the Michael Jackson trial. I told her of my belief that London is probably the most successfully integrated places on the planet as far as race is concerned. I asked about New York, where she lives. Apparently there are a lot of racial groups there, but they are strictly segregated by area and do not mix.

Her sentiments were echoed by another New Yorker at the next event I attended, a "Multi-faith meeting" in Islington town hall. Jeremy Corbyn was also there, along with the new leader of Finsbury park mosque, various other religious representatives, and some starry eyed new-age "focus group" type people I recognised. The New Yorker I knew from various "save the world" forums is a bright light in the "open co-ops" movement. He said that London was "streets ahead" of his home town.

As various people went round expressing sadness about the bombing, and joy at the level of tolerance achieved by the London community in general I slipped further and further down in my seat. I'm not usually one to shut up but what could I say?

"Hi I am Dave. Two years ago when my country thought that the best way of dealing with "the Islamic problem" was to invade Iraq I started filming with Abu Hamza's community. I thought that as no one was confronting the issues of "Fundamental Islam" head on with actual Fundamental Islamists in the interests of our security I had better do it.

Two days ago his best pal told me "I love Britain. This is my country." (He also said he'd like to punch Tony Blair)

The mere fact that they even talk to me sends serious alarm bells ringing in my head as to whether or not they are terrorists. Do you want me to give up? Shall I go back to doing drugs and squat parties?"

No one in that room had anything to do with the Islamists they are trying to reach out to. Really. Its all bollocks.

"They will not win. We are stronger than they are."

Mrs. Thatcher came out with the same shit which didn't stop the IRA either.


RightwingSparkle said...

You want to know what I think? I don't think London is the so "tolerant" and "diverse" when it comes to Muslims. I just don't think they CARE. Not one way or a another. It's not open arms,it's just what the hell.

Now these bombings may change that a bit, I don't know.

I was wondering what you thought about this interesting post regarding Live8... http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2005/07/the_road_to_hel.html

DAVE BONES said...

you suprise me. I dont know if I am a bit offended by that.Why do you think they don't care? What have you been reading where?

There is something lonely and impersonal about London, but there is also a feeling that anyone who is here about a year or so becomes a "londoner" they cant help it.

I've read so many reports of the "attitude" on the street. Londoners rock.

as far as the live8 article, too true, but what to do? it doesn't make me anti live8. I can't be against people who are trying to do something. Bono has had a lot of influence on your presidents attitude. He is right to engage with him in my opinion.

good to see you are back, did you enjoy your holiday?

DAVE BONES said...

the whole city came to a halt on thursday. I've never seen that before. I think people care. In the 80's you'd have been right, but now- I hope I am right anyway.

RightwingSparkle said...

Oh nothing against Londoners. I don't think most people care any where. A selfish lot we all are. I don't know why God puts up with us.

Guess I am in a cynical mood.

DAVE BONES said...

its always a downer coming back from holidays.

You can care but what to do? Terrorism like this is so random.

One side of me is trying to get round Abdullah and co's "conspiracy" theory in the face of all this news.

The other side of me is trying to imagine that in the two years I've been butting heads with "the brothers" a 16 year old turns into an 18 year old. he watches events around him and decides that a realistic thing to do is to "martyr" himself in London so that we all feel a little bit of what it is like in Palestine,Iraq,Bosnia etc.

Someone who sees the whole of our society as "impure" and a random act of martyrdom as "pure"

I know Abdullah wont even speculate about this at the moment.

"What Muslim would love the religion of God and choose hellfire?" he told me. I will get the full version up as soon as...