Orwell and how Iraq changed the left.


I have a memory that Marx once said that all his work was a footnote to Rousseau. Reading, D.J. Taylor’s ‘Orwell The Life’, I could conceive that all western political and moral thought is a footnote to Orwell: or rather a conversation with him.

Whether or not Marx said it I don’t know and have never bothered to find out. In much the same way, it is some 30 years since I read most of Orwell, his novels, essays and journalism, yet he remains, at least to me, the slave whispering in the triumphant Roman General’s ear, “Remember, you are mortal.”

We describe as ‘Orwellian’ any régime or movement of political terror which induces a dazed, mute numbness in its victim. It is a cliché which the best, and sometimes the worst, writers avoid. Yet the problem with them is that they are often true, just as stereotypes can be. Indeed, that benoughted destruction of resolve has another Orwellian sense: in 1937 we see his first wife Eileen in Barcelona abstracted from her ability to think by the menace of the Communist Party.

However much the ‘Orwellian’ epithet resonates around public discourse, one is reminded of one’s core impression of the man as in a most awkward way plain honest. His criticisms would not baulk at political or moral inconvenience. If one could compare the methods of the CP and Fascists, then it wasn’t decent to overlook the CP’s crimes; and of course it meant that they shared some mind-set. One thinks of the minute flaring of Orwell’s nostrils as he observed the grime-strewn floors of his working-class hosts in ‘The Road to Wigan Pier’. Did he recall his Burmese days when he chucked his fag butts around his living-room? Still, to marmalize the spirit of a people is not the same as inattention to the chores.

It was Orwell who pointed out, a tad embarrassingly for the head of the British CP in the 30s, Harry Pollitt, one of a long line of UK Stalinists who sound as if they formed part of a Middlesbrough centre-back partnership, that slatternliness could be ouvrierist: as if Marx was slapping his party descendants in the face with his favourite, and Terentian, aphorism, “Nothing human is alien to me” – or you or anyone.

If Terence and that anonymous Roman slave could susurrate our little and big temptations, surely Orwell was on to something when he spotted that obscure writers and clever proles, if unchecked, could transform a righteous battle into a Triumph of the Will. Christendom, smithereened by the Great War, fell to strong men, mini-gods of weedy totalitarianisms which lasted only from 12 to 72 years, naked apes who befoul drains just like the Wigan proletariat. Their Palme Dutts did not stamp on our faces forever but they did substitute the worship of God with that of a set of commonplace humans, often festooned in martial paraphernalia hinting at the loving God’s reversion to Yahwist psychopathy. Hitler, Stalin, Franco, Mussolini.

Orwell marked out the sado-masochism of the dictators’ rule. The sadism of the ruler: the masochism of the ruled. Yet he added love to it. Not only does the torturer need to be loved but he also ‘loves’ his victim object. There is more. The tormentor is not psychologically profound, the persecuted is. The problem is not that the species harvests so many who want to order but that there is a super-production of those who wish to obey. In the literature on business leadership there are about 3,000 titles: on followership, a handful. We still take for granted the urge to submit.

And submission – in Arabic, ‘Islam’ – remains a ubiquitous impulse in the political animal. As well as the refusal to recognize one’s own Janus face. For we all think that we stand for the good: liberals, socialists, communists, islamists. If I do not think that I am moral, my own inner conversation is irreparably divided against itself. Not only can my centre not hold, I do not even have one.

Orwell, in the semi-hysterical reaction of the left to Brexit and Trump’s presidency, has returned to the top of the best-seller lists. ‘1984’ rules. In the ever-so-slightly smug and definitely self-righteous response to the election of an Apprentice President, the left declares fascism imminent. Equality under the law has gone, a dark age beckons, all social norms discarded, I am the arbiter of the just. All bets are off and I fucking hate Big Brother. Let’s punch a Nazi.

Of course, Blair’s ‘1984’ was written just after the midnight in the twentieth century and it is suffused with the horror of one of the top 20 most destructive wars in history. How could it not reflect Eric’s awareness of human depravity?

Is Trump as depraved as Hitler and Stalin? Of course not. And nowhere near so: sooner or later, the left has to identify the spectrum of politicians with whom it disagrees. And to respond to them in a manner which does not mulishly and inaccurately lump them under the playground taunt of ‘fascist’. Remember, Lenin did differentiate between capitalists: why else write a pamphlet titled, ‘Left Wing Communism: an infantile disorder’, an uncharacteristically polite way of informing his followers of their relationship with guano and mental well-being?

Are we living in ‘1984’? No, we’re not, at least in the west. Culturally, the left has won, and enacted, all the moral arguments: the idea of equality under the law, the democratic impulse, respect for ideas – and those who propose them – in the public sphere, the irrelevance of one’s appearance or essence to the persuasiveness of your case. It’s over. In the future, the right might try, but will probably fail, to overturn that. In fact, a lot of the North European right agree with those ideas. In this sense, Orwell was wrong, but that is not what he was trying to forewarn in ‘1984’.

Most views of Orwell post-1945 see him as the voice of good old-fashioned, decent British common-sense socialism. His biographer, Taylor, as far as I recall, underplays his fascination, and intellectual argument, with the ex-Trotskyists Burnham and Shachtmann. In 1946, Orwell reviewed Burnham’s theories a mere 6 years after this conversation: in 1940 Hitler asked the Norwegian ambassador who he thought would win the war. The brave legate replied, “Trotsky”.

Orwell’s intellectual atmosphere reeked under Trotsky’s miasma: that’s why ‘Animal Farm’ and ‘1984’ are a conversation with, and, frankly, apology for Snowball/ Goldstein/Bronstein/Trotsky who could write like Shakespeare but act like Richard III.

Natheless, we all know that Orwell was a morally serious person: and so was Trotsky. One cannot possibly say the same about huge swathes of the modern left.

The most egregious example is the Second Iraq War. It was trivially simple to oppose it. The sole argument against it was the possibility of a bad outcome: which one can say about any war. The left – and it was the left in general – opposed it on the basis that it was imperialist, mainly because they, irrelevantly, thought that Dubya was a klutz: exactly how most British workers thought of Winston Churchill in 1939.

The 2nd Iraq war was obviously not an imperialist war and it differs from most other US interventions in that it attempted to, and did, install democracy in Iraq. The western left has utterly failed to notice this, preferring instead to focus on the trivial issue of George Bush’s rhetorical skills. That war ended disastrously, largely because of Bush’s hopeless Stage IV planning, and Saint Barack Obama’s withdrawal of American troops from the nascent Iraqi democracy.

If I were to turn the mulish leftist allegation-filled mind-set on its head, I’d point out that Obama left Iraqis to stand up for their own democracy. Let’s give Iraq 6 years to build a functioning democracy. While the US, 72 years after WWII and stationing troops in their countries, can’t rely on the Germans and Japanese to guarantee their own. This looks like US anti-white and anti-those-damned-clever-East-Asians racism. Any consistent western leftist might consider calling that racism – and they would still be wrong. Of course it ain’t true, but the thought could never even cross the mind of the bubble-primed modern western leftist desperate to spot US racism against a brownish Middle Eastern person.

Now we are left with the collapse of confidence in universal human values, largely as a result of the anti-Iraq war critique by the western left. What is noticeable is those critiques’ massive ignorance of the nature of Saddam’s régime. Largely, the left does not know anything about, or refuses to acknowledge its unfamiliarity with, Iraq 2003. And that is precisely the point that Orwell made about the USSR in 1948.

Of course, the big problem is that leftists think that any western intervention anywhere is immediately bad. Iraq is the go-to example. They fail to observe that Obama, by prematurely withdrawing US troops, sabotaged any possible good outcome in Iraq. They allege that the lesson is that the west – and the UN, which has played possum for 2 decades – should not intervene anywhere.

The word ‘Iraq’ is a short-hand for the unnecessary prosecution of a fight which should never have been started: it has become axiomatically the definition of a bad outcome. Yet, look at the statistics on Iraqi deaths pre- and post-2003. Saddam Hussein’s murderous efficiency makes IS look like amateurs. It outperforms IS by a magnitude of 10s or 100s.

As one tweeter expressed it, the left is suffering from “the awful ripple effects from the stigmatization of the Iraq intervention…” and particularly from its refusal to face Obama’s disastrous Middle East policy: his enabling of the growth of Iranian Shi’a theocracy and Ba’athist rule-by-torture.

In the short term this refusal by large swathes of the left has become a type of decadent grande bouffe at which it eats itself. Turn insular and isolationist and identify an identity from which you can indulge yourself in telling off the members of another group whose ideas, contrary to the rigour-free claims of your own ideology, you present as biologically determined: all white men are the same.

More seriously, in the medium and long term, the western left must take up a rigorous analysis of the Iraq war and its aftermath. I only see it being done to any extent in the security analysis sphere, among whom the facts really matter. We have a catastrophic long-term effect: the tiresome knee-jerk short-hand of ‘Iraq’ – all of it – being the definition of predictable failure.

If universal human rights are not worth defending everywhere and we become obsessed by who can have a dump where, this is the trivialisation of the left. This is how the useless western leftists – as Lenin said, useful idiots – enable theocracies, genocidalists and kleptocrats to determine the world order for the next generation. Because they have retreated from any beliefs without borders not even into the boudoir, but to the bathroom. And they are reduced to scuttling around in New York sucker-punching obscure, irrelevant and ineffective neo-Nazis like Richard Spencer and claiming world-historical class victory through a righteous clocking. How low and pathetically thuggish.

In some mood of exasperation, Marx once exclaimed, “Then I am not a Marxist.” In a zeitgeist where western leftist leaders openly excuse Islamo-fascists and others wibble on about punching right-wingers they don’t like, I know how he felt.

I will defend to your death your right not to say it

When rucking Nazis it’s good to see that the ‘left’ no longer draws the line at a punch. Why not a kick in the head? A knee-capping? Castration? Both sexes? Young and old? Time to bring back the Rack, the Judas Cradle, the Wheel, Dunking, Boiling, Exposure, Live Burial, Bastinado and the Iron Maiden.

Why not? All that Nazis need is public humiliation. That’s the argument.

We could add nunchucks, the axe, the long bow, the bodkin point, the mace (the modified grain flail), the lance. Sod it, let’s chuck in a few swords.

What about trepanning? I am told that the scraping sensation of the skull being cut away would be pretty scary, but apparently it’s not particularly painful.

Image result for the wheel torture device

The Wheel: dissatisfaction guaranteed. A splenetic time is guaranteed for all. Courtesy: http://www.medievalchronicles.com


In that spirit, I have a serious proposal. Why not hire a school playground and invite the All-Star Righteous Clockers of Nazi Scum for a good punch-up? Dan Arel and his co-slugger Lexi Alexander can use either fist. Given our new familiarity with feudal torture implements and my willingness to undergo trepanning for the team, I invite anyone to bagsy me as tag-partner. You’d like a man like me on your side. Someone who won’t shy away from getting medieval on their asses, nor on mine.

Samuel L. Jackson will be umpire. Cheerleaders to dance ‘The Blair Peach Memorial Goose-Step’ and sing, “Fight! Fight! Fight!” To the winners, the Gold Medal in the Moral High Ground.

While we’re at it we can award Owen Jones of the Grauniad a Special Award for Services to Moral Contortionism.  He it was who joined Linda Sarsour’s DC March for Women and then whined, as is his wont, that he would not join an anti-Trump London march since it was organized by the Socialist Workers’ Party who condone rape within their organization (true). Owen would never march with promoters of rape culture: Sarsour, of course, being a Muslim ‘leftist’ and believer that Ayaan Hirsi Ali does not have a right to her own vagina, could not possibly fit that description.

Hell, it looks like young Owen is an apologist for crypto-Fascists like Sarsour. Why not pile in on him as well?

You have to get your laughs where you can nowadays: but they’re all bittersweet.

h/t gravelinspector-Aidan for the technical advice on 700 year-old evisceration techniques.




We, the people of Birmingham in England, ask the world to save us. Theresa May’s régime barrel-bombs our houses, our streets are rubble: her helicopters destroy our hospitals. These are our last moments. This is our last testament.

There is no way out. Our roads are cut off. May’s army, backed by US military might, and the militias of nine Western European countries have forced their way in to ninety per cent of the city. Dismembered bodies lie everywhere, limbs scattered, heads off, blood awash. Our heroic St. John’s Ambulance people describe it as ‘hell’. They have lost count of the dead. 

We have rebels and internal refugee civilians kettled in to 2 square kilometres of our ruined city. We await our death. The régime is murdering the men who leave: they accuse them of terrorism. May’s rape-and-death squads violate our women, they go among the refugees to pick out pro-democracy leaders.

The US planes bomb our suburbs, the régime drops chlorine gas on us, we flee to cower in bunkers. Our children wail in dust and dried blood. They don’t understand. They have no food. We have no medicine. We have nothing to give them.

We call again on the UN, on anyone, to help our women and children get out.  They must live. We have asked for this aid for five years. There has always been too little. President Putin, we wanted you to protect us: it was always too little. Now you say not a word as we see the end. Have you given up on us?

We face our midnight and close our eyes. This is our witness to those who closed theirs.

Things that the everyday folks leave behind



Jeremy Corbyn is a womble.  He recycles speeches rejected by the 5 Labour leaders since Kinnock.  The current US Vice-President Joe Biden notoriously borrowed word for word from a speech of Neil Kinnock.  Corbyn, rummaging in the former Labour leader’s bin, plagiarized his cast-offs.  Any old rubbish will do for Jeremy.

Yet that speech, from the 2015 Labour Conference, also contained Jeremy’s stirring call-to-arms for a kinder, gentler politics.


Let’s see how that worked out.  How do his followers, cult-like in their idolization of the worst speaker in British politics – reminiscent of Trotsky’s aghast opinion of the mundane Stalin – respond to criticism of the honest and principled JC?

From the Jeremy Corbyn for PM Facebook page, 01-07-16.

MR: And if he’s bullied into resignation, how many of us will leave? I know I will…I could never support a party of backstabbers, liars and bullies.

SLHB: Deselect all those self-serving MPs who stabbed him in the back and hold by-elections in every constituency.

RDH:  Another Murdoch parrot.

JG: You’re clearly very stupid, right-wing or racist or all of these.

BS: They (the PLP) are just a bunch of scheming bullies. Put up your candidate or crawl back into the shadows.

LT: First thing you do is get rid of all those backstabbing ministers.

PC: Behind you all the way Jeremy Corbyn, you can lead us out of this conspiratorial mess, keep going!

BQ: JR been trolling this page for days ………….That is an absolutely DISGUSTINGLY LOW DIG !!! Admin of the page need to remove this person !!!

JW: Traitor Eagle…

JW: lets get rid of the traitors now!

RM: Paxman is a tosspot.

GW: If you could come out of the fantasy place that you are and make a viable statement, maybe just maybe you could learn something. Until then keep quiet.

GJ: Why don’t you just run along and post on the UKIP, or other ultra-right wing pages where your comments will be appreciated?

CH: Don’t let the self-serving bastards bring you down Jeremy.

FD: The monster! Pathetic woman! (Referring to Jewish Labour MP, Ruth Smeeth)

LT: Better than his backstabbing comrades methinks, and the positively evil Tony Blair.

This is the standard of rhetoric on a page which calls for JC to be the Prime Minister of the UK.  Presumably, those are the norms they wish to see as Jeremy bestrides the world stage.

Well, you can include me out on that.

h/t Michael Wilkinson & timesofisrael.com


Jeremy Corbyn, a man fit to be a Secretary of a rural parish council, who signs his own apples, who declares, “I am not a personality”.  A leader tongue-tied during PMQs at the answers to his own questions: the Don Quixote, Oblomov, Charles Pooter, Chauncey Gardiner and Alan Partridge of the Labour Party; a man who permanently gives the impression of living behind a gauze of disengagement; a man who subtracts from the energy in a room by entering it; a man who exudes his deep unhappiness at the job he is in; a man who claims a kinder, gentler politics while his acolytes hurl abuse around worthy of Mao’s cultural revolution; a man happier holding a placard rather than a debate.

Yet a man with a reputation for honesty, sincerity and integrity.

The ‘Socialist’ whose surgery is in an Islamist mosque; the ‘leftist’ who supports the murdering IRA: who calls the genocidal anti-Semites Hamas his friends; and Hezbollah, the trainers of al-Qaeda in suicide bomb techniques; the man who thinks that the death of Osama bin Laden is morally equivalent to the murder of 3,000 people in 9/11; the man who works for Iranian Press TV; the man who celebrates the Khomeiniist regime at rallies (below); the man who defends Suliman Gani, the supporter of al-Qaeda; the man who responds to a caller proposing the killing of all Jews “Thank you for your call”; the man who fills in for George Galloway, the Saddam-worshipper, on Russian state-propaganda TV; the man who itched to oppose the first Gulf War after the UN had voted for it and after Saddam had bombed Israel and Saudi Arabia and annexed Kuwait; the man who dares to set up Stop the War and oleaginously imply that he is a pacifist; the man whose StW says nothing about the continuing genocide in Syria by Assad backed by Russia and Iran; the man whose StW organization publishes rabidly anti-Semitic posts and then deletes them as if they had never happened; the man who, on having his Labour Party exposed as secreting crazed anti-Semites, sets up an inquiry to root out the nonsensical Islamist meme ‘Islamophobia’ in the party; the man who surrounds himself with dumb posh boys flirting with the most repulsive régimes on the planet;  North Korea, the USSR, Iran, Syria, Gaza; people who are so supine and incompetent that they can’t even be bothered responding to daily political events; and whose animus against the MSM is so great that they prefer to snapchat among themselves rather than engage.

Honest, sincere, honourable, competent?

None of the above: it’s time we moved into the post-Corbyn Labour Party era.



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sulima gani

Imam Suliman Gani, Tooting’s leading Islamic scholar: photo courtesy BBC.


The P.M. David Cameron affirmed in April during PMQs that the Tooting Imam Suliman Gani supported ISIS.  He did so as Labour MPs bellowed, “Racist!”  Why?  Because Cameron had questioned the wisdom of Labour’s candidate for Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, sharing a platform with Mr. Gani several times.

At the minimum this looked like carelessness on Khan’s part.

In the next few hours, the facts appeared to turn in favour of Mr. Gani’s story.  He spoke to BBC Radio 4 and cited his support for the Tory party itself.  The vehemence with which he condemned DAESH sounded credible.  And Mr. Gani had already tweeted a picture of himself standing next to Khan’s Tory rival for Mayor of London, Zac Goldsmith: he who, to the consternation of some elements of the Tory Party, was running this ‘racist’ campaign.

As some on the right expressed their queasiness at some rancid whiff in Goldsmith’s hustings, the left scented bigotry and Gani had provided the evidence for the smell of right-wing hypocrisy: and for the left, the revelation of rightist two-facedness is as spinach is to Popeye.  The conversational and political winds blew in Khan and Gani’s directions.  Khan won and Gani looked like an obscure Muslim leader horribly slandered by the P.M., no less, cowardly hiding behind parliamentary privilege.  Cameron even apologized to Gani a few days after his gaffe.

Yet the problem with the news narrative was that it was always viewed through the political lens, as through a glass darkly.  What follows may not be news but it is the engine which drove the whole Gani-Khan-Goldsmith-Cameron story in the first place.  If it is not true that Mr. Gani supports IS, we still know that he was backing some extremist causes.  A claim about Mr. Gani’s ideas was made before Cameron’s intervention.  Can’t we find out what they are?



According to alburujpress.com, Imam Gani comes from a noble South African family.  I cannot find where he was born, but judging by the quality of his English, he was not born and raised in England: it is possible however that he had a sheltered British upbringing in the company of what sounds to me like an Indian sub-continent English accent.

If this CV is to be believed, he learned to recite the Koran (the hifz), when young.  Certainly his ability (to this non-Arabic speaker) to intone from memory the second worst book ever written, after Mein Kampf, is impressive for those who are impressed by that kind of thing.

He studied for 3 years in Pakistan and 2 at Cairo’s Al-Azhar University, the institution which inspired the first distribution of Islamist leaflets in Afghanistan in 1965.  The University does not appear in the list of top 700 global Universities.  Here he studied Sharia (Fiqh) and the dogma (Aqeeyah), as well as the Koran and the Hadith (the sayings of Mohammed).

He then moved onto the Salafist, men-only Islamic University of Medina, an institution which apparently does not merit a mention in the 4,338 institutions of the QS Top Universities guide. Hardly surprising, as one does not need A-levels or equivalent to apply.  It seems that the normal length of course is 4 years.

After a total of up to 9 years studying Islam, Mr. Gani was then sufficiently qualified to study for an M.A. at a reputable British University – the SOAS – where he ‘picked up’ a higher degree in Islamic Studies.  The current brief description of the course contains no reference to historical critiques of the Islamic holy texts.  It advertises itself as a translation exercise.  It looks like a course in theology: or as James Joyce said, a subject without an object.

That is Mr. Gani’s education.  He went on to become Imam at Tooting Islamic Centre.  If brevity is the soul of wit I could not possibly write three funnier words.

So we know that Imam Gani studied Islam to some ‘higher’ level in the three countries which have produced the most toxic and consequential versions of modern Islam: Deobandi Pakistan, Muslim Brotherhood Egypt and Wahhabi Saudi Arabia.  And even in London, his Islamic Studies betray no hint of a critical approach.  Indeed, we know that he studied in Medina where, by common western scholarly consensus, his prophet became the very model of a medieval Major-General such as Tamerlane and where the psychopathic later Koranic verses (ayat) abrogated the earlier, and marginally sane, Meccan ones.

It is conceivable that Mr. Gani survived his education equipped with ideas of universal human rights, equality under the law and a conviction of the reactionary nature of theocracy.  But it doesn’t look like that.

After up to twelve years of Islamic education, what did he decide to do next?  What was the judgment of Suliman?



If any sect could claim to be the Quakers of the umma – the Muslim world – it would be the Ahmadi.  They are the Muslims whom one always sees in Britain doing charitable works regardless of faith.  (One of the five pillars of Islam enjoins charity, but only towards fellow Muslims.)  Except that religious sectarians like Imam Gani would not admit that Ahmadi are part of the umma.  That is a very serious statement in Islam.  It is to say that they are apostates, for which the penalty, in an ideal Islamic state, is death.  Alternatively, if one feels like it, one could declare them ‘munafiq’, even worse than the infidel enemies of Islam.  The punishment for munafiq is to be the kindling for the fires of hell.  If one is happy to follow this logic, it is less of an offence to Allah to be an atheist than it is to be a liberal Muslim.

Suliman Gani does not like Ahmadis.

Why should he?  He is a Sunni.  There are about 1.2 billion of them.  And about 20 million Ahmadis.  This is not a game, and certainly not a game of two halves.

If you heard a Northern Irish Protestant call a minority Catholic a ‘Papist’, you would be fairly sure that the predicate will contain nothing good or reasonable.  So, when Sunnis label Ahmadis ‘Qadianis’ you get a hint of the measure of the analogy.  By 2010, Imam Gani of Tooting was doing just that.  And agitating against Ahmadis owning halal butcheries – that was a Sunni job.  It worked.  Tooting Ahmadi butchers were boycotted and called ‘Kafir’.  We all now know that the pejorative means that one is not Muslim: the sanction for that, depending on the social and political circumstances, can be left to the imagination.  To be clear, in this ideal Islamic state, it is curtains for the Ahmadis.

In normal circumstances, Mr. Gani delivers speeches in a flat and frankly, uninspiring style – the Andy Murray of Islamists (yet I have great admiration for the baseline Scot).  When it comes to sermons on the Ahmadis, much as the far left groupuscules save their particular heat and ire for each other rather than the class enemy, the sound wave of his voice oscillates rambunctiously, the volume rises and the words per minute increase from two-time hum-drum to drum ‘n’ bass.  This is the man, who says,

“If one of the (political) candidates is a Qadiani… people…may think that he’s a Muslim…we know what is the hidden agenda of these people…Who can challenge the divine laws of Allah?…(They) are God’s laws!”

He cannot abide Ahmadis.

To allow myself a parenthetical identity politics sneer.  I was born in Derry.  I have never found convincing the argument for one particular interpretation of an Iron Age doctrine over another: it does not entitle the winning theorist to determine the good society.

tooting butchers

No freedom for Tooting Ahmadi butchers: photo courtesy The Wimbledon Guardian



You will find members of the flat earth society all around the globe.  ‘Scholars’ who have studied Islamic ‘science’ are disproportionately well-represented in the club.  The SOAS alumnus Imam Gani is a leading scion.

At this point we need to meet Harun Yahya.  He is a rich Turkish chancer who published ‘The Atlas of Creation’, an incredibly handsome tome, ‘refuting’ evolution by natural selection.  With this book of Yahya’s out, he sent it to the world’s leading scientists (not in the Islamic sense).  Richard Dawkins remained unconvinced and publicly had a good laugh saying so.

Yet the consensus of the finest scientific minds on the planet does not suffice for Suliman whose alma mater considers entrants holding GCSEs as over-qualified.  On Mr. Yahya’s deeply funny self-publication he says,

“The style, the presentation…is something we cannot even understand.  How is it possible for such great quality work…give him congratulations and make lot of da’wa (evangelizing), let Allah to preserve him.”

You get the drift of his approval and I apologize for the transcript, for this is a man who is incapable of thinking in paragraphs.

I struggle at this point to elucidate the pun on his flat oratory and the metaphor of his geological flat-earthism, but we will struggle on to his flat-out worship of the Ottoman Empire.

“There should not even be any borders.  We are waiting for back where Turkey and the return of the Ottoman Empire…I mean looking at the history of Islam, it was whenever the Muslims were united, whenever there was peace in the world, then really, really in essence it meant that we had somebody who was able to take the umma forward.”

Imam Gani continues that there should be no borders in ‘occupied Palestine’, Lebanon, the Sharm area and “what do you call it?  Syria.”  He wants to see the ‘liberation’ of Palestine and the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.  With no borders.

That is an Imam who appears in the videos of the Islamist (but probably non-violent) Hizb ut-Tahrir: and this is how he calls for the dissolution of Israel and the revival of the Ottoman Empire – a Caliphate.  He leaves it to the listener to imagine what would happen to the Jews in this revival of an Islamic state in the Levant, but the poster of ‘The Portents of the End Times’ on the wall behind him during this interview does not fill one with confidence in his peaceful intentions, or sanity for that matter.  Still, at this point we should not confuse Mr. Gani’s support for an Islamic state in the Levant with his outright condemnation of Islamic State In The Levant.

suliman gani a9

Suliman Gani denies evolution and calls for an Islamic state in the Levant: photo courtesy harunyahya.net



If you come across a young man with twisted, cropped hair, and a blind eye, you should be concerned.  If you listen to Imam Gani, it is already too late to make your will.  For this is the Dajjal, no different from the anti-Christ who comes before the Day of Judgement, of Resurrection, whatever your horror-fantasy wishes to call it.  One should always be wary of religionists who believe in Armageddon: for it is a short step from giving it credence to wanting to bring it on.  By 2013, Mr. Gani was speaking at meetings explaining precisely what to expect on that day when all shall be judged equally.  We do know that on the Glorious Day men and women will still have separate entrances.

The monotheisms are particularly exercised by women: Islam, nowadays, more than the other two.  Suliman is especially interested in the issues of the sisters.  But not in a good way.



Imam Gani is on the liberal wing of the Islamic Pro Wife-Beating Tendency.  Yes, it should be done but only so as not to cause pain or suffering.  At 22.40 in the video he does not explain how to reconcile the two.  It must be because Islam ‘elevates women to such high status’ that they are immune to physical pain.

On the question of whether to have sex with the lights on or off, the good theologian declares scripture agnostic.  But certainly one ought to consider the Environment: Islam’s flag is, after all, traditionally green.  Consider during foreplay: do you really need that electric light on?  The earth will move with or without it.

Suliman tells us that, “The prophet never raised his hand over a women”.  True enough: he punched her in the chest instead.  And that was his favourite wife, Aisha, the erm…young one. Now why would the pattern of human excellence do that?  Because, according to the Hadith Muslim (4:2127) young Aisha went out without the prophet’s say-so.  According to Aisha who obviously felt less inhibited after the great man’s death, “He struck me on the chest which caused me pain.”

Why would Imam Gani deliberately mislead the Tooting umma about the boxing skills of his favourite warlord?  Well, it’s a bit embarrassing isn’t it?  And one gets the distinct impression that the phone-in host is making things up as he goes along.

At 55.30, the South London Islamist addresses ‘sisters’ who dress immodestly, are seductresses, show off their figure and tempt men with their hair in a bun so that the hijab is ’in the shape of a camel’.  These exalted women are going to hell.

In the full hour of his show on domestic violence, Mr. Gani does not once mention the secular courts.  The ‘authority’ which Muslim women are to submit to is the father of the family: or unnamed other authorities which sound suspiciously like himself.  Or perhaps the UK Islamic Sharia Council which claims to have dealt with 9,000 cases since its founding in 1982.  We cannot know if he is a judge on the Council because the ISC website forgets to name any of its members.

We know of one woman whom Suliman Gani particularly exalts.  Her name is Aafia Siddiqui: otherwise known as ‘Lady al-Qaeda’.



In 2004, Lady al-Qaeda was one of the FBI’s seven most wanted terrorists.  In 2010, Aafia Siddiqui, the niece by marriage to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the man who organized 9/11, was found guilty in a U.S. court of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon.  She got banged up for eighty-six years.

For Suliman Gani the fact of her rendition from Afghanistan to New York to stand trial is not a human rights issue or at least he does not say so in this rally for her support.  What is important for Gani is that, “We are concerned about our sister.”   For him she is being humiliated and her dignity attacked: her case is not one of Universal Human Rights and he is not interested in the question of the legality of her standing trial in the U.S.  In Gani’s theology it is a question of one’s duty under Islam.  Those who support her do so as an ‘act of kindness’ and their solidarity will be noted in the Book on Judgment Day.  The thought that those who do not rally to her banner are going to hell is implied.  But the sisters in the black niqabs and brothers in unkempt beards shuffling in front of him in varying degrees of interest are the human material whom Allah will eternally reward.

Gani declares that it is an Islamic duty to defend high-ranking members of al-Qaeda.

suliman gani JFAC rally

Imam Gani says it is a Muslim duty to defend ‘Lady al-Qaeda’ at a 2010 rally: photo courtesy play.tojsiab.com



Gita Saghal was suspended by Amnesty International in 2010 for her criticism of its association with the Taliban-supporting Moazzem Begg of CAGE.  She took further aim at CAGE’s Asim Qureshi for his promotion of global jihad.

This is the same Asim Qureshi who called Jihadi John ‘a beautiful young man’ at this infamous and disastrous press conference on 26th February, 2015 – remember the date.  Why would the normally smooth-talking Mr. Qureshi have blundered so badly in public and ruined whatever reputation CAGE had?  Perhaps the answer lies here.  Qureshi and Mohammed Emwazi (aka ‘Jihadi John’) had been in irregular contact in London.  Emwazi left London to join al-Nusra, otherwise known as ‘al-Qaeda in the Levant’.  When Emwazi jumped ship and turned up as the ISIS YouTube guy to go to for a good guillotining, this would explain Qureshi’s faux- bewildered and regretful tone in his eulogy for the butcher of James Foley.

Asim Qureshi’s colleague from CAGE, Moazzem Begg defended Mohammed Ahmed and Yusuf Sarwar, declaring that they were not members of ISIS following their twelve year sentence after travelling to Syria.  The forgetful Mr. Begg omitted to mention that they had joined a group affiliated to al-Qaeda.  Qureshi and Begg are apologists for al-Qaeda.  They use the denial of links to ISIS to dishonestly imply that they have no truck with al-Qaeda.

Similarly, we started this search with Suliman Gani’s shock that he could be thought a supporter of ISIS.

On 8th February, 2015, eighteen days before Qureshi’s public meltdown, Gani posted to YouTube his meeting on the Security and Terrorism Bill, sharing a platform with none other than the fan of decapitation and close friend of Moazzem Begg, Asim Qureshi.  In fact Gani seems to have organized the affair.

The third speaker represented MEND – Muslim Engagement and Development.  The aim of the Islamist MEND is to influence political parties, to coordinate the Muslim vote, to bombard the media with complaints about ‘Islamophobia’ and generally to play on the widespread fear of being thought racist.  Labour and Tory politicians have spoken at their meetings.



…Wrote Christopher Hitchens riffing on a theme of Orwell’s.

We now know of Mr. Gani’s Islamist world-view.  One need only add MEND’s campaign to influence politicians of any party in order to explain the Tooting Imam’s self-confessed willingness to approve of whichever candidate advances best his Islamist agenda.  Now you will see him with Labour’s Sadiq Khan.  And now you will view his photograph with Tory Zac Goldsmith.  It matters little at this point whether the tactic will succeed.

The advantage for Gani is that he can embarrass whomever he wants with evidence that they appeared to support him.  And he really fooled some on the regressive left.  Hacks such as Owen Jones of The Guardian who, when forced to choose between an Islamist Imam and a Tory candidate, see a man asking pertinent questions on one side and a racist threat to civilization on the other: as usual, Owen got the wrong answer.

What would have happened if Cameron, instead of raising the ISIS issue, had labelled Mr. Gani a supporter of al-Qaeda?  Who knows?  But he would have been much closer to the truth.

We are left with Suliman Gani, the woman-hater, the apocalypticist, the theological liar, the sectarian, the creationist, the evolution-denier, the anti-Semite, the Caliphate supporter, the defender of ‘Lady al-Qaeda’, the friend of Jihadi John’s advocate.  On the plus side, he does not support ISIS.





SG’s CV, 2009



SG speaks at a rally in support of al-Qaeda’s Aafia Siddiqui, 2010



‘Worshippers told at Tooting Islamic Centre to boycott Ahmadiyya shops’, The Wimbledon Guardian, Omar Oakes, 2010



Channel A9 interview with SG, 2012



Promotion of SG’s speech on the Dajjal, Islamic eschatology, 2013



‘Revealed: The NHS imam who opposes organ transplants but has been employed in a hospital for three years’, Mail Online, Abul Taher, 2013



‘CAGE convenes Congress of Hate’, Ikhwan Info, 2014



Blog: The Syrian Intifada, ‘Mohammed Emwazi and al-Qaeda in Somalia’, Kyle W. Orton, 2015


‘Counter Terrorism and Security Bill’, SG, Asim Qureshi and MEND share platform, 2015



SG’s 2015 visit to al-Aqsa Mosque, Jerusalem



SG’s 2015 interview of John McDonnell, Shadow Chancellor



SG’s 2016 visit to Deobandi Jamiatur Rasheed School, Pakistan



SG at ‘Voting in Islam’ debate, 2016



Muslim leaders’ statement defending SG, 2016



‘Suliman Gani lives in fear after David Cameron’s lie’, Peter Oborne, Middle East Eye, 2016



‘Suliman Gani sues Michael Fallon over claim he backed ISIS’, The Guardian, Anushka Asthana and Heather Stewart, 2016



‘Muslim group with links to extremists boasts of influencing election’, Andrew Gilligan, The Telegraph, 2016



SG as public face of Helping Households Under Great Stress, nd



University of Southern California, Center for Muslim-Jewish Engagement, nd



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3 suspects in the Brussels Islamist attacks: photo courtesy cbsnews.com

Last year Salman Rushdie produced a clever and striking image.  Imagine the daily Islamist-inspired attacks of modern times.  Think of Tippi Hedren in ‘The Birds’ when she first sees a crow land on the children’s climbing frame: this is disturbing but not a big problem.  Pretty soon you have hundreds, and gulls and crows taking over the space: now you have a pattern and a menace.  Salman Rushdie’s 1989 fatwa was the first crow.

At the time, large sections of the chatterati attacked Rushdie for writing ‘The Satanic Verses’, and conspired with the censors and under-writers of murder to surrender the right of authoring a novel which mildly criticized Islam.  People such as Shirley Williams, here.  The first crow was appeased.

Fast forward 25 or so years past 9/11 and the subsequent 28,000 worldwide jihadi attacks and Islamist inspired violence is the air we breathe.  So that the ‘Je suis sick of this shit’ motto on the Brussels attacks is the sole adult – and not predictably sentimental – response from the tumbleweed corners of the internet.

It is the most basic reaction to feel revolt at the wave of kamikaze bombers, but, like Shirley Williams, the masochistic urge to blame ourselves and exculpate the perpetrators is the miasma in large sections of educated western liberal democracies.  Embrace the gallows as you feel the hangman’s pain.

There are many ways for westerners to whitewash jihadi terrorism.  These are some of the moves I’ve seen over the years.  And all of them are wrong.


PERSONALITIES: Alex Jones, Stop the War commenters

9/11 was organized by the Jews and Bush and it was a controlled explosion.  The hijacked planes were holograms.  There is a secret world-wide conspiracy which wants to simultaneously usher in Communism and oligarchic capitalism.  ISIS was founded by Mossad, by the way, and a secret US cabal is responsible for anything bad.  No amount of evidence or reason will dissuade these people because they are not in the game of evidence.  They are not very bright.


PERSONALITIES: Asim Qureshi, Moazzem Begg, Mo Ansar (for comedy value)

Some are bright, some are incredibly stupid, all assume that we are dumb.  He (and it is invariably a ‘he’) is the origin of the oleaginous smear ‘Islamophobic’.  He created the word in order to conflate 2 completely separate ideas: the criticism of the doctrine of Islam and existence of anti-Muslim bigotry.  And to a large extent it worked; especially on the regressive left, about whom below. In popular parlance, Islamophobic means ‘racist’ and the Islamists know that western liberals have a visceral fear of being accused of that.  Islamists play on it like a puppet on a string.

The second gambit is the oppressed minority trope.  This takes various forms: the alleged ghettoization of Muslims in the west, whining about imagined MSM anti-Muslim bias, made-up numbers about anti-Muslim attacks (see the dodgy statistics of TellMamaUK), ultra-defensiveness i.e. lies about Islam being a religion of peace.  All religions lie about their founding texts: but Islam is the only religion I know of which has an intellectual tradition dedicated to the idea of lying on behalf of the creed.  It’s called ‘taqqiyah’.  All Islamists indulge in taqqiyah when they engage with non-Muslims.  That’s their religion: it’s what God told them to do.  Therefore it is good.  It is not possible to hold a meaningful conversation with that sort of person.

They use the language of the left – rights, anti-racism, anti-imperialism – to promote sharia, the fenestration of Muslim women and the apologia for terrorism.  They are usually good at it.


PERSONALITIES: Glenn Greenwald, Jeremy Corbyn, the plagiarist CJ Werleman

He does not know what he’s got till it’s gone.  Overwhelmingly a middle class comfortable liberal socialist westerner, he is one of the most privileged humans ever on the planet.  He has sufficient time to find out about world politics but not to understand it: he has a hyper-empathetic limbic system firing up the peacock display of his instinctual sympathy for the distant news-related working-class Brummie Muslim, yet the decision-making area of his amygdala is under-powered.  Like a child, he thinks the groomer is his friend.

Because the RL has seen some poor Muslims, he thinks, with no discernible logic, that ‘Community Leaders’ speak for all Muslims.  He would never imagine that Catholic priests speak for all Catholics, whom he knows to hold liberal social opinions and, frequently, views which flat-out contradict RC doctrine.  But the RL can only see Muslims, unlike Catholics, as a group.   As Muslims in the west are usually brown-skinned, he is racist without even knowing it.  But he would be appalled at being called that: hence the vehemence with which he signals his anti-racism.

The RL is the single biggest problem in the west: he utterly confuses defense of Muslims with the ignorant assumption that the religion is some sort of benign Buddhism.  He is a useful idiot and when it comes to Islam he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.


PERSONALITIES: Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Facebookers and Twitterati (whom it would not be fair to name)

The New-Ageist thinks that all religions are the same while failing to note that more than one exists.  She will airily declare that Islam cannot be to blame for any atrocity while claiming religious inspiration for good works.  She can’t think straight, nor can she talk straight: she confuses grammatically correct sentences with meaningful ones and considers Edward Lear a social realist.  Her a priori need to exculpate all religions – whose doctrines she doesn’t know but for which she presumes to advocate – convinces her to defend Saudi Arabian sharia as not Islam.  She is capable of the greatest stupidity and barbarism as she sticks to her moon-faced dogma that we are all one in some vague way.  She is the arbiter of the literal and the metaphorical: to debate with her is to try to nail down candy floss.

The negative pole of the New-Ageist inclusiveness spiel is the ’all-religions-are-equally-bad’ waffle.  Factually untrue, 95% of contemporary terrorist attacks are inspired by Islamism.  Nobody has ever feared that the latest atrocity was carried out by those damned Amish.  If the Middle East were populated entirely by Jains, the rise of al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood and ISIS would be inexplicable.


PERSONALITIES: Owen Jones, Caitlin Moran

In the wake of terrorist attacks, he posts charitable acts by individual Muslims.  After shoppers, commuters, worshippers and carousers have been butchered in cold blood he frets about spreading fear and hatred.  He reminds us, truly enough, that by far the majority of Islamist victims are Muslims.  He calls jihadis ‘murderous thugs’ as if they were merely Charles Bronsons.  He will not examine the connection between Islamic doctrine and Islamist action.

He will be shocked, lament and grieve, and his second thought will be to consider what we have done wrong to deserve this.  His third will be to post poems on an orthogonal topic: Syrian refugees is the current go-to area.  Yet he will know next to nothing about the declared intentions of Assad and ISIS to infiltrate the long marches across Europe.  When this is pointed out to him, he will either remain silent or demonstrate his ability to mind-read: you are a right-winger (and worse).  The warm glow of his humanitarianism remains as comforting as the last embers of a winter fire.

What is the difference between the comments on the November 2015 Paris attacks and those in Brussels this month?  Not much, the positions are rehearsed and almost ritualized.