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Iran’s Defence Ministry – apparently just like everyone else’s

Click for linky

Well done, geniuses. And how many battleships are currently serving with the navies of the world? With the Yanks having retired their last ones years ago I think the answer is very roughly approximately none. Yes, America has aircraft carriers to sink, but you don’t need to sink one to put it out of business – you just need to do enough damage to bugger its ability to launch aircraft. I’m no expert but I guess that might be the reason the Yanks don’t let them sail around on their own but supply each carrier with a bunch of other ships to support and protect it. All of which makes me think this ‘sink a battleship’ stuff is more about willy waving than anything else. No doubt it will go bang nicely if it hits a ship that gets within the 125 mile range but realistically that’s not going to be the US Navy all that often, and it’s not going to be anyone with a battleship except time travellers from the past. Tankers and freighters on the way in and out of the Persian Gulf, yes, but why make a battleship sinking missile for that?

No, I think this is more about giving the rest of the world the shits, and the only sensible response is the mature and dignified one. We all run up to the nearest Iranian embassy and yell “H4, H5, H6” at the top of our lungs and then run away again.

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A new standard for "Too much information"

As reported already by Max Farquar and thoroughly pisstaken by The Daily Mash, The Daily Mail’s Liz Jones has given the world a new standard for TMI.

… I decided to steal it from him. I resolved to steal his sperm from him in the middle of the night. I thought it was my right, given that he was living with me and I had bought him many, many M&S ready meals.

Ugh. Between Dervla Kirwan’s soft porn voiceovers for M&S food ads and Jizz Loans’ revelation that she considers that buying some of their ready meals is a fair exchange for a Durex load of her other half’s baby gravy I’ll never be able to look at any ready meal ever again.

One night, after sex, I took the used condom and, in the privacy of the bathroom, I did what I had to do.

Stoppit, for Christ’s sake.

… I resorted to similarly secretive methods to conceive in my next relationship.

The saddest part of this for Jizz Loans is that having revealed herself to be a serial spunk thief – c’mon, Jizz, you knew damn well they weren’t just using a bag to avoid catching anything – her chances of finding anyone willing to play hide the sausage has, er, shrunk. There will be the usual blokey jokes about her looks and remarks along the lines of “I wouldn’t, eh, fellas?”, but with what the Mail calls her most shocking confession yet Jizz Loans has also shown a manipulative side that a lot of men will find a bit of a turn off.*

I’ll leave the last word to the Mash.

DAILY Mail experiment Liz Jones has urged men across Britain to send her their used condoms.
[…]
Jones said: “I can’t wait for the parcels to start arriving. It’ll be like a never-ending Christmas as I rip open each little packet and squeeze the contents into my trembling uterus.”
Meanwhile, she has urged donors not to include a photograph or any personal details as she wants her baby’s surprising DNA to provide up to five years worth of ground-breaking journalism.

Almost the last word. If anyone wants me I’ll be in the shed, upside down in a bucket of mind bleach.

* That wording implies the possibility of something even more shocking up her sleeve, or possibly on it. We can only hope not.

The whole Libya intervention thing doesn’t get any better, does it?

After what I had to say the other day the news that both sides in the Libyan revolution, civil war or whatever we’re going to call it, plus NATO, are going to be investigated for war crimes doesn’t really require much in the way of comment.

NATO forces are to be investigated by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes during the Libyan conflict.
Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the court’s chief prosecutor, told the United Nations yesterday that Nato troops would be investigated alongside rebel soldiers and regime forces for alleged breaches of the laws of war during the battle to overthrow Col Muammar Gaddafi.
As well as the original charges that Gaddafi and his close family perpetrated attacks on Libyan civilians, there are a series of complaints about the Western alliance and its allies in the National Transitional Council (NTC) under consideration.
“There are allegations of crimes committed by Nato forces, allegations of crimes committed by NTC-related forces … as well as allegations of additional crimes committed by pro-Gaddafi forces,” said Mr Moreno-Ocampo. “`These allegations will be examined impartially and independently by the prosecution.”

The only person who’s coming out of this looking better than before he went in is ol’ Muammar Gaddafi himself, and even that’s only because he’s more popular dead than alive. It’s not the only bit of good news for him either.

Charges against Gaddafi could be formally dropped when the court gets official proof of the former dictator’s death on Oct 20, the prosecutor said.

‘Could’ be dropped? Christ on skates, only ‘could’ be?

Things I still don’t get about Australia – No. 34

I’m repeating myself a little here because way back in the mists of 2009, no fewer than 30 things I still didn’t get about Australia ago, I brought up the confusing topic of utes.

Yes, I know it’s the vehicle that Australia has given to the world and that there’s a certain pride in that, but I don’t get the point of utes. Or I should say many utes. I understand working utes, no problems there. It makes perfect sense for builders, electricians, plumbers, chippies and other trades to have a ute, especially because they’re so customizable if you get a tray body one rather than what the rest of the world calls a pick up. Similarly I can see the sense of 4 wheel drive versions for vehicles that get used on farms or building sites a lot, and also as recreational 4×4 vehicles.
[…]
What remains a mystery is the coupé style ute, which as far as I can see is a combination of sports car, saloon/sedan and the workhorse ute… but not actually as good as any of them. The ground clearance is too low to be much use on rougher sites let alone off road, and surely most tradies wouldn’t want to risk that nice paintwork by chucking tools and materials in the back, even with a liner. And because it’s a ute you’ve compromised the interior even if you get an extra cab or double cab version for the extra a normal number of seats. It’s surely not going to be as aerodynamic as a proper sports coupé, so unless someone corrects me on that it seems compromised as a sports car. You do get a shitload of cargo capacity of course, but you get a shitload of room in a regular wagon too and often there’s a ute and wagon version of the same car. So why buy, say, a Falcon ute rather than the wagon? And above all else, why do the most popular colours seem to be those of fruit?

Click for linky with bigger pic

As both my regular readers (hi Mum) will be aware I am slowly going more native as I spend time among the Upside Down People, and while I still don’t get the point of sports utilities I kind of get the appeal. I can’t explain what it is and I wouldn’t buy one myself – probably wouldn’t – and can’t imagine what on Earth I’d do with it if I did, but there is something about utes which is speaking ever more loudly to my inner ten year old. But there’s always someone who’s prepared to take a harmless fascination to another (still harmless) level, and these people can be found at ute musters, one of which is the Deni Ute Muster held this weekend. And then there are the people whose love of utes is so strong that even that’s not enough, and they have to take things even further still.

AN Australian Antarctic crew is hosting its own ute muster this weekend, despite having just two vehicles which fit the category.
Chris Wilkinson, a mechanic at Mawson Station, said the event would coincide with the Deniliquin Ute muster, and NRL and AFL grand finals this weekend.
He said the station had only two vehicles which could reasonably be called utes.
“We have two over-snow mobiles which have trays on them, so they sort of come into the ute category, I suppose,” he told ABC Radio today.
“The other vehicle is a light truck – not really a ute – but we’re going to call it a ute for our sake.
“We’re going to have a prize for the best Antarctic ute, tradie’s ute, feral ute and chick’s ute.”

At least four prize categories and only two utes, neither of which is really a ute. I guess there’s loving utes and then there’s really loving utes, and Aussies just love their utes. So much so, in fact, that Toyota’s latest advert centres on it.

Light hearted dig or subtle piss take? I’m not sure but it’s a nice looking ute, eh?

Further thoughts on Anders Behring Breivik

NORWEGIAN mass killer Anders Behring Breivik claims he is part of a network of up to 80 ”solo martyr cells” of people wanting to overthrow Western governments that tolerate Islam.

Firstly I’m willing to bet that this boast of dozens more just like him is a complete fantasy, so-called links to the English Defence League notwithstanding. They may share some common opinions, though I very much doubt that shooting unarmed innocents because they don’t share your politics is one of them. So this network of solo martyr cells is probably at best some people he’s met who he’s convinced himself will do something similar once he’d got the ball rolling, and in all likelihood those people are all sitting aghast at the thought that they’d once been in a room with someone who’d become a mass murderer. In short these cells almost certainly don’t exist outside of Breivik’s own head, though you can expect that many police forces will be looking very hard to be sure and many politicians will be looking at this as an opportunity for a bit of a crackdown on the EDL and others who share any of Breivik’s opinions. The worry there is that in 1,500 pages of writing, some of which has apparently been lifted from other sources (including the Unabomber, FFS – another complete fucknuts), there might be things he’s said that I agree with (or not – I honestly don’t know since I haven’t read a single word), and I’m damn sure I’m not I’m not a cell. I’ve agreed with parts of Labour and Conservative manifestos and not voted for either because I disagreed with enough of both – a few thoughts in common does not a supporter make and more than agreeing with the sixth commandment makes one a Christian.

The other thought about Breivik (or is it Berhring Breivik? Anyone know?) is that with all this background about him coming out – mention of a privileged upbringing and being a mollycoddled mother’s boy being just two that headline links that I didn’t click – there’s one missing and which I suspect will stay missing. We’re not hearing anything from the ex-girlfriends, and I’m not holding my breath since a bloke who craves what might be called ‘the tactical look’ and likes to pose with a rifle with all sorts of torches and accessories and a bayonet attached probably didn’t have one.

And in case we needed convincing that he’s a nut…

Click for linky

A uniform? What the hell for? As far as anyone knows right now he’s an army of one. Completely cuckoo.

UNhinged

There’s not much I can add to this.

AS a case of lunatics taking over the asylum, it would be hard to beat the announcement that North Korea has assumed chairmanship of the UN Conference on Disarmament, the premier world body charged with the cessation of the nuclear arms race and prevention of nuclear war.

That’s right: the wacky regime that constantly violates the UN’s nuclear controls, is the target of UN sanctions, and is the leading proliferator of nuclear technology to Iran and Syria is now putatively in charge of the organisation responsible for negotiating multilateral arms control agreements such as the Biological and Chemical Weapons Conventions and the Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty.

It’s because of a Buggins’s Turn arrangement under which each of the 65 member states serves a term. And it’s only for four weeks. But the symbolism of having North Korea in charge of world disarmament for even four hours, let alone four weeks, is monstrous. Its weapons proliferation and human rights record is such that to find its officials running a match factory would be disturbing. That it is being allowed to serve as head of the UN Conference on Disarmament reflects badly on UN processes and the administration of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

20 megatonnes of Fail, right there. Yes, it may be rotating and only for a few weeks, but such a system simply ensures that sooner or later the worst and most unsuitable people to put in charge will be put in charge, even if temporarily, and that before long it’ll happen again. And again and again. And our lunatic Greens Senator Bob Brown thinks developing the UN further into a global parliament is a good idea? Jeeeez…..

Nine years, seven months, and twenty-one days – UPDATED AGAIN

During which time the Yanks alone have, by some estimates, spent $1,118,600,000,000, or about $317,784,091 per day, along with the lives of close on 6,000 of their servicemen and women – not to mention those of other coalition members and civilians in the areas of fighting. All to achieve this result.

George W Bush’s personal fantasy?

Oh, and also reducing liberty across much of the ‘free’ world, especially for anyone who wants to get on a plane without a complete stranger in a uniform either making them stand in a giant microwave or groping them or both. Maybe it’s just me but it doesn’t seem like much of a bargain. In fact it seems like an awful lot of time, effort, money and blood just to get one nutjob who persuaded some people to crash planes into buildings. But at least we can finally knock all that on the head now that someone’s finally shot the bastard, right?

Yeah, right.

Mr Obama added:“The death of bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s efforts to defeat al-Qa’ida.

[…]

“Yet his death does not mark the end of our effort.

“There is no doubt that al-Qa’ida will continue to pursue attacks against us.

“We must and will remain vigilant at home and abroad.”

The US State Department immediately issued a global travel alert to all US citizens following the news, warning of “enhanced potential” for anti-American violence.

The US also put its embassies on alert, warning Americans of al-Qa’ida reprisal attacks.

Presumably not the nuclear hell storm variety of reprisal that waterboarding these numpties would suggest, but all the same it does seem reasonable to expect that there’ll be some kind of reaction. Which means that after nine years, seven months and twenty-one days, after more than a trillion dollars, after twice as many allied personnel killed than died in the World Trade Centre attacks, after all that we’re still less safe and less free than we were on September 12th 2001. Nine years, seven months, twenty one days, a trillion dollars and thousands of lives and a billion or more people less free than they were.

Osama Bin Living might now be moshing with the black metal band invisible but I’d say that technically he’s still ahead on points.

UPDATE – The generally less cynical than me but still occasionally pretty cynical Mrs Exile noted that anyone would think there’s an election coming up or something. I see the same thought has already occurred to The All Seeing Eye, who incidentally owes me a new keyboard and a coffee refill for this:

Woke up this morning to hear the news that the world’s most hated man was dead. Imagine TheEye’s disappointment when it turns out it wasn’t Bono.

Gold.

UPDATE 2 – Echoing the views of a number of others, odd decision to bury him at sea. So there’s no grave to become a shrine we’re told, but there wouldn’t if you simply incinerated what was left after the PM and scattered the ashes into a landfill. Or buried the body and never told anybody where. I’m not reaching for the tinfoil and claiming the reason is a cover – it might be and it might not – but it is nonetheless an odd decision to choose not to bring the body back.

The reliability of waterboarding

From The Age:

The mastermind of the 9/11 attacks warned that al-Qaeda has hidden a nuclear bomb in Europe which will unleash a “nuclear hellstorm” if Osama bin Laden is captured, leaked files reveal.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed told Guantanamo Bay interrogators the terror group would detonate the nuclear device if the al-Qaeda chief was captured or killed, according to the classified files released by the WikiLeaks website.

And it was very sweet of the Americans not to catch him so that nobody would be embarrassed by the complete lack of nuclear explosions in European capitals that would no doubt have resulted. I imagine that in terrorist circles to threaten that sort of thing and not come good on it is nothing short of social death, and unfortunately that’s not the kind that comes with 70 odd virgins as an upside. Very odd virgins, possibly, but I can’t see much of a queue forming for that.

The German weekly Der Spiegel, also citing WikiLeaks, said that Sheikh Mohammed had told his interrogators he had set up two cells for the purpose of attacking Heathrow in 2002.
[…]
Der Spiegel noted that his “confessions” should have be treated with caution as they could have been extracted through torture. Sheikh Mohammed is known to have undergone the method known as “waterboarding”.

Look, of course it should be treated with caution. Does anyone imagine that if they had a nuke they wouldn’t have let the bugger off by now? Clear and present bullshit! If this stupidity is the kind of intelligence water boarding people generates I think they should try something else. Would a perpetually looped tape of Rebecca Black be over the top?

Idiot du jour

James Glen is, depending on the source, a British national or an Australian resident, and he is the one currently attempting to explain to Chelmsford magistrates what the fuck he was thinking of when on Monday’s Etihad flight from Melbourne to Heathrow via Abu Dhabi he got pissed and told a fellow passenger that he had a gun and a bomb, resulting in the plane being sent to the wilderness that is Stansted airport under the eyes of a couple of RAF Typhoons.

Two RAF Typhoon jets were scrambled to accompany the airliner before it landed shortly before midday.
An Essex Police spokeswoman said a 37-year-old British national was arrested at Stansted Airport.
She said: ”A 37-year-old man, a British national, has been arrested following an incident onboard an Etihad Airways plane travelling from Abu Dhabi to Heathrow.”

An Australian resident has pleaded guilty to a bomb hoax on board a London-bound flight that sparked fears of a terrorist attack over British skies.
James Glen, 37, made the false claims on Monday on the final leg of a flight from Melbourne to London’s Heathrow Airport, on the same day that 35 people were killed in a suicide bombing at Moscow’s Domodedovo airport.

Glen, who was “intoxicated”, told a flight attendant that a fellow passenger had a gun and had “threatened to blow himself up”, prosecutor Vivienne Perry said.

Good idea, James, you complete numpty. Way to go if stuffing up other people’s travel plans was the idea, not to mention costing Etihad money and making the RAF use up some valuable fuel (they’re on a 30 day account with the local Texaco these days, you know).

She said the diversion had a “considerable financial cost”, including charges incurred from the military escort, additional fuel and the cost to other passengers who missed connecting flights from Heathrow.

And this could cost him in a big way.

Glen … was remanded in custody until March 10, when he will probably be sentenced.
He faces up to seven years in jail.

Oh, yes, that. But I was thinking of something else. As I said at the start, he’s being described alternately as a British national and an Australian resident. It seems he’s from Ayr originally but moved to Australia, and although it’s reported that he’s lived here for twenty years and this was his first trip out of Australia since emigrating I haven’t seen anyone say yet that he’s a naturalised Australian. So it seems a fairly safe assumption that his family and friends and pretty much his whole life are all here in Australia. And now he’s looking at a possible seven year sentence for being an überknob on a passenger aircraft, which seems unlikely to play well with the Australian authorities, especially if he never became a citizen.

Right now James Glen is in his late 30s and locked up in a country he hasn’t set foot in since he was a teenager, and his biggest worry should be that 10,000 miles away the place he probably now thinks of as home might not let him back in.

PS – for JuliaM, I think The Mail will cover this story once they find a picture of a fighter plane that isn’t a Typhoon. 😉

Here we go again.

What the fuck is it with Unite? I couldn’t care less about British Airways, not least I’ve flown them and they were Bloody Awful, but can’t the union see that they won’t get better as a company or as an employer if it’s crippled and bankrupted through strike induced losses? I really can’t add anything much to what I said here and here apart from this: if I was job hunting in the UK at the moment I’d avoid any industry where Unite have a big influence. Not because I’m anti-union as such but because ‘Pyrrhus‘ Woodley and his bruvvers and sistahs seems to think that actual destruction of the company is an acceptable price for victory over the bosses.

We’re all doooooomed. Yet again.

Or so some say. However, I’m not going to rush out and blow every cent I have on every single legal and illegal high just to try them all before the whole place goes splat since one of them is the knobber responsible for Jar-Jar Binks.

Seth Rogen, a comedian and actor, said that he was left speechless by a recent conversation in which George Lucas, the producer of Star Wars and other Hollywood hits, told him of his belief that the world would end in 2012.

Rogen told the Toronto Sun: “George Lucas sits down and seriously proceeds to talk for around 25 minutes about how he thinks the world is going to end in the year 2012, like, for real. He thinks it.
“He’s going on about the tectonic plates and all the time Spielberg is, like, rolling his eyes, like, ‘My nerdy friend won’t shut up, I’m sorry …’

No, George. It won’t, but watching the six and a half hours of furniture advertising you called the Star Wars prequels all in one go might make it feel like the world is ending.

Nor is George Lucas the only one.

Actor Ashton Kutcher is preparing for the end and has ramped up his workout routine to protect his family.
“I’m going to be ready to take myself and my family to a safe place where they don’t have to worry,” he told Men’s Fitness. “All of my physical fitness regimen is completely tailored around the end of day,” he explained. “I stay fit for no other reason than to save the people I care about.”

And that extra fitness will come in handy, because when the sun rises on December 22nd it will no doubt shine down on Ashton Kutcher running around the shops doing all the Christmas shopping that he didn’t see any point in doing up ’til then. Never mind, Ashton. You’ll be able cheer yourself up by dropping the fitness kick, letting go and having extra Christmas pud instead.

Rapper Lil Wayne agrees with Lucas that 2012 will be the end of the world.
“The world is about to end in 2012,” he told Bender magazine. “The Mayans made calendars, and they stop at 2012 … The world is about to end as we know it.”

Yes, they made calendars. So what? Ryan Air, who trump the ancient Mayans by knowing how to fly in big metal tubes even if they’re not so clued up on landing the fucking things near the place you want to be, keep making calendars which stop at December 31st, but nobody – not Ryan Air and certainly not the Mayans – says that they believe this means the end of the world happens then. What they usually say is something like: “A little less clothing next year, please.” And I feel this is partly because there’s no logical reason it would, partly because, as Sadbutmadlad points out over at Anna Raccoon’s, apocalypse theories come and go but as far as accuracy goes they’ve not got a great track record, having so far predicted precisely square root of fuck all, and partly because the Mayans say all this is bullshit.

… the prophecies are news to the modern Maya of Guatemala and Mexico who use a different calendar system and are scornful of what they see as a sensational Western hijacking of their culture and traditions.
They believe that the end of the Long Count cycle – if it indeed does end in Dec 2012 – is simply the closure of one particular system of calendar measurement.
“There is no concept of apocalypse in the Mayan culture,” Jesus Gomez, head of the Guatemalan confederation of Mayan priests and spiritual guides, told The Daily Telegraph…

No doubt what will really happen on Dec 22nd next year is that George, Ashton, Lil Wayne and everyone else in the Make-Tom-Cruise-Look-Sane club who thinks that the ancient Mayans could predict the end of the world, even though if shown a block and tackle would have complained that it was too blunt to sacrifice anyone with, will convince themselves that the calculations are off and the end is coming later than thought. Doomsayers are known to do that sometimes. So here’s my prediction. In 698 days time when the world wakes up as normal up to 35,000 books are going to start to be re-written, possibly arguing that our stupid advanced society miscalculated the records of the wise and all-knowing Mayans and that they actually meant 2020, or 2062 or maybe even later.

Mark it in your calendars, folks.

Who’s on top can be confusing Down Under.

Ahahahahaha.

A bizarre decision to ride an inflatable doll down a flood-swollen Yarra River blew up in a woman’s face yesterday when she lost her latex playmate in a rough patch.

Her keks too, according to The Herald Sun.

While it is understood the blow up doll and several other inflatable items were salvaged from the scene, the bottoms of the rescued woman’s bathers were long gone down the river.

A blanket was required to protect her modesty as she exited the water.

And they just fell off? Was it all done in the best pAHH-ssible taste?

Police and a State Emergency Services crew were called to the rescue when the woman and a man, both 19, struck trouble at Warrandyte North about 4.30pm yesterday.

Just in case you’re wondering it’s well over an hour away, I can’t pass for 19 anymore, my hair is shorter and I have an alibi.

But, with Queensland in the grip of a deadly emergency and 50 rescues from flood waters around Victoria in the past week, police were not amused at the pair’s “stupid” actions.

‘‘We’ve got people busy with rescues and to have to divert resources to that sort of thing is not ideal,” said Senior Constable Wayne Wilson

‘‘Most rescue organisations would frown on people behaving in such a manner because there are people out there who are in genuine need of assistance,’’ he said.

The rescued pair were checked by ambulance officers but did not require medical attention.

And when it comes to Aussies doing crazy shit that’s never guaranteed.

The incident prompted a warning from police that blow-up sex toys are “not recognised flotation devices’’.

:Sigh: I give it 18 months before Melbourne’s sex shops are required to put that on a warning sign.

Last effort for the Offence Seeking Twat of the Year Award?

Needless to say I haven’t actually seen Top Gear’s “Three Wise Men”, and being a Christmas special I expect it’ll air here between Easter and late June, but it has already made some news here. And it’s all thanks to James May, a rock, a few square yards of black cloth, and bloody Anjem “Is-It-‘Coz-I-Is-Slamic” Choudary. It seems that James May brained himself with a rock somehow and that when he came out of hospital, for reasons I don’t pretend to understand, this was what he was faced with.

Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond disguised themselves as women by wearing Islamic face veils which only revealed their eyes in a Christmas show filmed in Syria.

Don’t fancy yours much.

Two middle aged men, one short and thin and one tall and fat, wearing what look like painter’s masks and some blackout material? Not much of a disguise I’d have thought, and possibly the worst one since all those women in Life of Brian disguised themselves as men with the world’s least convincing fake beards. Okay, they fooled the Pharisee and at least one of them really was a man, but that’s by the by. In any case, that Hammond and Clarkson looked like they were in a Middle East remake of Some Like It Hot was not going to stop the legions of the professionally offended and their spokestool of the day.

Controversial Islamic activist Anjem Choudary told the Daily Mail the burqa was a “symbol of our religion and people should not make jokes about it in any way”.

A symbol of your religion, Anj? Really? Then how come so many practising Muslim women don’t wear it? There are, what? A billion and a half Muslims, and even assuming an unrealistically low quarter of them are women the world would notice 375 million women dressed up like a cross between Demis Roussos and a ninja. Where are they all, Anjie? Why is this symbol not far more widespread? Perhaps because, as Cracked.com point out, only an insignificantly small number of women actually choose to wear it.

So for instance, in France they have about 3 million Muslim women. French police decided to figure out how many of them wore burqas and/or niqabs and found the number to be … 367.

Not 367,000, but 367, a number so small that from a statistical point of view, it’s barely enough to register as a margin of error. As for the rest of Europe, the numbers are even more disastrous for the burqa business (for instance, Belgium has 500,000 Muslims, a couple dozen wear the burqa).

Yes, there are Middle Eastern countries where the veils are required by law (namely Iran and Saudi Arabia) and combined those countries have less than 5 percent of the world’s Muslims. There are actually more Muslim countries that outright ban the wearing of the veils than there are that require them. They can do that because wearing a veil is not required in Islam but is more of a custom, depending on where you live and who’s in charge.

They go on to point out that several women have become leaders of Islamic nations and a cursory Google image search shows that none of them wore burqas all the time, so as religious symbols go it’s somewhere between incredibly underused and practically unknown. Or simply not a religious symbol at all.

The veil itself predates Islam by many centuries. In the Near East, Assyrian kings first introduced both the seclusion of women in the royal harem and the veil. Prostitutes and slaves, however, were told not to veil, and were slashed if they disobeyed this law.

Beyond the Near East, the practice of hiding one’s face and largely living in seclusion appeared in classical Greece, in the Byzantine Christian world, in Persia, and in India among upper caste Rajput women. Muslims in their first century at first were relaxed about female dress. When the niece of Aishah Bint Abu Bakr (the Prophet’s wife), Aisha bint Talha was asked by her husband Musab to veil her face, she answered, “Since the Almighty hath put on me the stamp of beauty, it is my wish that the public should view the beauty and thereby recognized His grace unto them. On no account, therefore, will I veil myself.”

And:

It is thought that the burqa predates Islam, and was introduced by Assyrian kings Ωnstead. There is also evidence of veiling in classical Greece, the Byzantine Christian tradition, and in ancient India. In fact, the burqa did not appear as a rule of Islam until the 10th century.

And:

It is believed the burka’s origin dates back to the Achaemenid dynasty of the Persian Empire founded by Cyrus II (6th century BC). And according to some writings dating back to the 13th century BC, (which were discovered in Assyria) mentioned the wearing of the Burka. At that time the Muslim religion did not exist.

From where I sit that makes it sound like either Islam has adopted the tent look for women from local cultures into which it spread, or that people from those areas began using Islam as an excuse for their long standing tradition of dressing women that way because, fuck it, we always have. Either way a religious symbol it ain’t, except perhaps for it’s adoption by some individuals as a personal symbol of their belief. However, this no more makes it an Islamic symbol than a child’s drawing of a fish has anything to do with Christianity unless it cost $20 including P&P and is stuck to the boot of a car.

So in short what we have here is an excuse. An excuse to get offended by white westerners yet again, which is something the likes of Anjem Choudary will never pass up because it helps them maintain their victim status. Or their levels of anger and irrational hate:

Viewers also expressed their disgust at the wardrobe choice online, with one viewer writing “Death to America” on a Yahoo! forum.

See? A British Broadcasting Corporation TV show upsets someone and the reaction is “death to America”. With that kind of grasp of elementary geography the WTC attackers would have missed by three thousand miles.

There’s no F-ing A in the BBC
(apart from American Dad and Family Guy, obviously)

But that’s really not an important detail when the true object of the exercise is to strengthen your hand in a game of victimhood poker. If Choudary really had a problem with offending deeply held religious beliefs he’d be as quick to condemn something like, oooh say, this:

So there we have it. It’s wrong, very wrong, to make light of clothing chosen by a tiny, tiny minority of the members of one religion, but judging by his silence presumably it’s quite alright to brand as evil one of the two most important festivals of another religion and to suggest that its two billion plus believers are promiscuous, violent, druggie, kiddy fiddlers who beat up women and who are somehow also pagans (hilariously contrasted with the mention of women’s rights in Islam – I’m sure many Muslim women have rights but like the burqa it seems to depend at least as much on where they are and what the local men think as anything else). It might seem dribbingly mad to the rest of us but I don’t doubt that on Planet Choudary this makes perfect sense.

Harry Potter and the Religious Zealots.

Gordon Bennett.

A young Muslim actress who appeared in the Harry Potter films was beaten by her brother and told by her father that he would kill her after she began a relationship with a Hindu man, a court heard yesterday.
Afshan Azad, 22, who played Padma Patil, a classmate of the boy wizard, was called a “slag” and a “prostitute” in a violent confrontation at her family home which left her so scared she fled through a window, Manchester Crown Court heard.
She later told police that her father wanted to “force her” into an arranged marriage.

Every time I read something like this my jaw drops, but in this instance what the fuck were they thinking? Nobody would notice or something? She’s not A-list and hasn’t had anything like the exposure of the three big names but it’s a relatively safe bet that someone would ask questions. The mind boggl… wait, no it doesn’t.

Abul Azad, 53, and his son Ashraf, 28, were charged with making threats to kill following the incident in Longsight, Manchester, on May 21. Both were cleared of the charge yesterday after a judge heard that Miss Azad had refused to give evidence despite “expensive and time-consuming” attempts to encourage her to attend court. After going to the police, she “made it plain” that she did not want any action taken against her family, saying that the arrest of her father or brother would put her in “genuine danger”, the court heard.

Now the mind boggles. You had to do a runner through a window, kid. It sounds like you were in genuine danger already. But not to worry.

Her father was instead bound over to keep the peace for 12 months, while her brother was bailed to await sentencing after admitting assault causing actual bodily harm against his sister at an earlier hearing.

I’m sure you’re perfectly safe now.

Sheesh.