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Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Shoe Bombers and House Arrest

Saajid Badat, the similarly bearded and wild-eyed, would-be, shoe-bomber as Richard Ried, pleaded guilty to the eventually abandoned twin-shoeing/bombing plot yesterday. Although Badat abandoned the plot, and it took a good two years for the fuzz to find him, despite the overwhelming evidence – (Badat not only looks like his co-conspirator, their bombs were also identical twins, with the detonator cords coming off the same flex).

While Ried was just a petty-criminal-son-of-a-petty-criminal-idiot-bum, Badat it turns out is quite a bright spark. The question everyone is asking is, “why did he do it?” To me, the answer is simple: He (nearly) did it for the same reasons that Richard Reid (actually) did it. Deep and profound respect for religious leaders makes unfortunate little catholic boys keep mum while the holy father fiddles with their unholy bits. Likewise the mad mullahs western countries allow in to teach radical Islam in European and American mosques take advantage of weak minds, intelligent or otherwise. If you don’t understand why the problem lies with the clerics let me explain further. Many of the clerics imported into the U.K. come from Islamic countries where the schooling (read: religious teaching) system teaches outright intolerance. Intolerance of other religions, races, creeds, sexes, animals-that-other-people-like-to-keep-as-pets or eat – everything. If you don’t believe me, go to Saudi Arabia. If you do actually manage to get in you’ll be very lucky, (Saudi Arabia does not issue tourist visas, does not allow women to drive or vote, and does not allow anyone to drink, unless they are prepared to cross the border to Bahrain every weekend to get pissed, which all the bloody hypocrites do).

In the background to all the radical-religious and actual political control are the cleric thought-police types who make sure everyone is toeing the line. And it is just these types that get imported to the U.K. and elsewhere with the argument from the Muslim community that there are no suitable contenders for the role of 'senior cleric' at home. While the West may be largely devoid of real 'high priest' Islamic clerics, the answer to the shortage is not to import pig-headed narrow-mindedness from abroad. Some of these people are so bigoted you would not be blamed if you believed they had lead piping for brains. Think of that ‘radical cleric’, the one-eyed, hook-fisted, extremist – Abu Hamza. Before his recent incarceration in London’s Belmarsh prison, his favourite pastime was to taunt the authorities with borderline illegal, open-air sermons where he preached all kinds of pseudo-religious radicalism, including the glory of ‘Martyrdom’, not to mention the odd bit of furtive anti-Semitism to groups of disgruntled Muslim and Black youths. Hamza himself has a rather murky background, and has by an unfortunate error of the past been issued with British citizenship, which the authorities are now trying to find a way to revoke.

It won’t be lost on anyone, that the day Badat pleaded guilty to the nefarious actions with the shoe, also happens to be the day that parliament is debating the new ‘House Arrest’ laws that the Home Secretary, Charles Clark is trying to push through. In fact I have no doubts that conspiracy theorists of all kinds will swear that there is no coincidence. Coincidence or not, Badat’s story is enough for anyone who thinks that either the U.K. is not under threat, or that drastic measures need not be imposed to counter that threat, to think again. I wish I was all with the intelligentsia and the liberals on this one because it would make me look cool and I might even pull a girl, but I’m sorry. I’m not.

The house arrest laws are being proposed because incarcerating a group of suspect-pinheads including the aforementioned Abu Hamza, without trial has caused a legal furore in the U.K. The obvious joke a lot of commentators like to make is the observation that if these guys really were dangerous then why would we allow them out to be monitored under house arrest under a new law rather than bang them up permanently behind bars...

Ha-bloody-ha.

The point is the Home Secretary does not want to let them out – you do, in fact the Home Secretary has always had even another better idea – if they don’t want to be incarcerated they can always go back to their respective countries of origin.

Guess what. Not one of the men concerned has taken up the offer (not even one who claims the incarceration has driven him crazy, to the extent that he is now housed in Broadmoor – a secure centre for crazy people). Now why would that be? It’s because they’d be tortured in their countries of origin we’re told. Now while I’m not a fan of a bit of friendly gratuitous torture, I do know that at least one of the detainees is wanted, in fact, convicted, back in his home country – of an assassination plot, for which he faces a jail term. Torture is in my view subjective - prison for example is a form of torture, and the kinds of places where these people come from, like practically every other poor country where life is cheap, are rife with prison-based atrocities. Just look at er...Abu Ghraib. If anything, it sounds to me that their own fellow countrymen know exactly what to do with these dangerous crazies, and if anything – we don’t.

In light of all this perhaps the Home Secretary is barking up the wrong tree, how about a law that states something along the lines of ‘anyone seeking asylum in the U.K. who has been given a custodial sentence in their country of origin gets shoved in the slammer at the discretion of the courts, for the safety of the people, for any duration as deemed necessary by the courts’. If that were to be passed I’m pretty sure it would solve at least half the problem.

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