The Banality of Evil

The emerging revelation that New York Times journalist Rukmini Callimachi’s ‘award winning’ podcast, Caliphate relied heavily on the reports of a man now facing charges of fabricating his terrorist exploits (under Canada’s hoax terrorism legislation) should come as no great surprise. Callimachi presents the most visible face of a posse of ISIS-careerists; those who have…

Charlie Hebdo – Part Deux

Yesterday saw the delayed start of the trial of fourteen suspected accomplices to the 2015 Charlie Hebdo attack. Postponed for four months due to the coronavirus pandemic, three of the accused are being tried in absentia, reportedly having evaded apprehension by fleeing to Islamic State held territory in Syria. To mark the occasion the magazine…

Book review: Dominion

Those familiar with Holland’s oeuvre will already be acquainted with his extraordinary talent for fusing gripping story telling with historical narrative and his latest work, Dominion proves no exception. Poignant vignettes of saintliness and sacrifice coalesce with visceral anecdotes of barbarism, fanaticism, revolution and slaughter as the narrative sashays its way through the epochs before…

The Terrorism Act 2000

  If there is any one proposition that commands general agreement among theorists and practitioners of the penal law, it is that judicial punishment ought not to be inflicted for private thoughts, wishes, inclinations, or states of character where these have not manifested themselves in conduct. Theorists from otherwise opposing philosophic schools converge on this…

The Crisis of Equality

The looming departure of Harry and Meghan, Duke and Duchess of Sussex, to Canada at the dawn of this new decade may one day come to symbolise the painful rebirth Britain is currently undergoing. In many ways it provides a fitting endnote to a decade that was characterised in no small part by the resurgence…

A Line In The Sand

“We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow.” [Henry Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston] For an illustration of what the late viscount meant by his statement one would be hard pushed to find a better example than in…

Du’a on Laylatul Qadr.

  Ya Rabb! Let the Heavens and Earth bear witness: There is no power or strength save with You. In this month that You have sanctified, upon this night your Messenger informed us of, we beseech You for your clemency. No sincere plea escapes you; from the depths of the ocean, from the belly of…

Midnight Mass is not for us.

Dear Miqdaad Assalaam-alaikum. I appreciate your responding to my tweet censuring your planned attendance at midnight Mass, despite the lingering suspicion that it was motivated more by a desire to win plaudits as a man of moderation standing up to “extremists” rather than understanding my (and many others’) objections. First of all let me start…

Islam and homosexuality

What does Islam have to say about homosexuality? It’s a question not infrequently asked of Muslims in the West. While contemporary western European attitudes towards same sex relationships have mostly evolved to the point of being positively celebratory there remain pockets of resistance to this newfound tolerance of what was once deemed a mental illness…

Flying whilst Muslim

It wasn’t the first time it had happened to me, that was back in 2014. This time, however, it was different. Someone in the security establishment had decided it was time to upgrade my membership of the “Schedule 7” club from associate to plenary – with all its attendant perks and benefits. As a child…