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Over-analysing and under-analysing — are these not the two sins of thought which we are all meant to avoid? Believing a sniffle is a presage of imminent death. Not bothering about a pain in the chest. Thinking all the problems of the world are easy to solve. Deciding that most things are too difficult to solve. Over-thinking and under-thinking are the Scylla and Charybdis between which we all navigate. But there is one challenge at this moment in particular which the world would do well to understand a bit better and over-think a bit less. Our future depends on it.
Michelle's hashtag: Celebrity support warmed the heart but more than 200 Nigerian girls remain in captivity or have been sold as slaves

During the last few months the world has seen several varieties of the same evil stretch out, assert themselves and proliferate. Last April 276 schoolgirls were abducted in north-eastern Nigeria by the terrorist group Boko Haram. The translation of their name is usually given as "Western Education is Forbidden" but "Non-Muslim Teaching is Forbidden" is a more accurate rendering. The world ignored this atrocity until the human interest angle of the story spurred people to virtual action.

But no political leaders were keen to explain why the group had taken the girls. Few media outlets explained the simple but crucial detail that the terrorist group was made up of Islamic fundamentalists and that their captives were Christians. Fewer still mentioned that the formal Arabic name of Boko Haram is Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'Awati Wal-Jihad or "People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet's Teachings and Jihad". Or that, as one of the group's leaders, Abubakar Shekau, explained for anyone who would listen, "This work that we are doing is not our work, it is Allah's work, we are doing Allah's work." 

A Twitter campaign was started. Numerous well-meaning celebrities including Michelle Obama and David Cameron posed with the Twitter hashtag #BringBackOurGirls. Months later and, with the exception of a few dozen who had managed to escape, the girls remained either in captivity or had been sold into slavery. And so the world's attention moved on, touched but unenlightened.

Then in July the now biennial war between Israel and Hamas arrived for its latest round. The world once again looked with horror at an exchange whose pattern seems unresolvable. The status quo (Hamas and other jihadist groups firing rockets into Israel) was interrupted by Israel retaliating. As in previous rounds, limited operational success was achieved by Israel until the international community insisted on a return to the status quo ante — that is for Israel to stop firing and permit Hamas to resume firing rockets unmolested. Once again the world focused on what the Israeli response was, but missed the opportunity to consider what Hamas are, why they exist or why they keep trying to fire missiles into Israel.

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September 1st, 2014
5:09 PM
Zizek does a lot of ideological dot joining in his article in todays Guardian online about the Rotherham horror/islam/Christianity etc . Unfortunately he (and many more in academe and entertainment)turns into an empirically- wrong `Chomsky` regarding Israel`s "aggressive Zionism" in Gaza. In (essentially) lying about the situationists and the use of spectacle he poisons his own well. And continues drinking from it. Israeli Intelligence is more intelligent. I`m glad the young Douglas Murray`s articles are being published. Zizek advocates a positive universal project,an emancipatory Leitkulture shared by all participants. Then doesn`t even mention Uruguay either! He does get the Pussy Riot/Zona Prava artists empirically correct -which is more than can be said for the N Chomskies of `the spectacle of opposition` . The explicit propositions of Femen on the subject being too much/too true and concise/too visual/too feminine ?

August 29th, 2014
11:08 PM
Over at online Hyperallergic-sensitive to art and its discontents (27 aug) is a photopiece of 2 femen activists menstruating and defecating on the Islamic State black flag. Standpoint probably won`t publish it. No sign of Cameron`s (or Douglas Murray`s) proposed (all white male ?) `counter-narrative` to the "poisonous ideology" of the barbaric Islamic State starting in uk politics yet. Inna from Femen fully explains their intentions in the accompanying interview. Radical art for all.

Anthony Maranise, OblSB
August 29th, 2014
12:08 AM
Every major print news media outlet ought to run this as an editorial or opinion piece. You, Mr. Murray, have the guts to say what everyone in this world that so fears political correctness, seems to be too afraid to say. Thus, I applaud you for so doing and also appreciate your insights-- both wise and practical. While, as a Theological scholar, I generally acknowledge the corruption and pain wrought by the Crusades; I do wish to remind so many that the original intention of their having been called was to defend places of Christian devotion. Further, as Islamic extremists (note that I say, extremists-- as I do not attribute evil and atrocity to all faithful Islamic practitioners) became more militant, radical, and intent on the raising of their empire, they simultaneously sought to "snuff out" those considered, as a result of improper interpretation of their own Sacred text, namely Jews & Christians, to be 'infidels,' or non-believers rather than acknowledging that all "persons of the book," find Truth and faith in profession of the One, same God, who is living and true. As the old phrase goes, "History has a way of repeating itself." Regrettably, this seems to be happening in our world again today. While I do not advocate violence, I do believe efforts -- swift ones -- ought to be made to curb the rise of such extremism and religious persecution.

August 28th, 2014
5:08 PM
Douglas Murray is great.He`s got a real talent or the job. Great stuff by him over at the Spectator too with the vids and tv discussion. It`s perfectly true the great British public are joining up the dots.

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