dc: (Doctor)
I wasn’t the only one who thought that Muslim spokesman was talking bollocks. Apparently, the guy (Dr. Mohammed Naseem) is the chairman of Birmingham’s Central Mosque. That’s astonishing, because he looked frankly grubby, but it is definitely the same bloke who was talking mince on BBC News 24 yesterday, although apparently I didn’t hear some of his more bonkers statements.

This is what he said on BBC Radio WM about Al Qaeda:

“I don’t think al-Qaeda exists because we Muslims all over the world have not known this organisation,” he said.

“The only information about this organisation is coming from the CIA. Now, the CIA is not known for telling the truth.”

I can’t help thinking this guy is about as in touch with reality as David Icke.

One of the local MPs, Khalid Mahmood, has called for Naseem to resign as chairman. The BBC quotes him as saying:

“What he has done is brought into disrepute the role of the chair of the Central Mosque and the Muslim community in Birmingham.”

Yes, I think that is fair comment. In fact, I couldn’t help thinking of something a Muslim who used to work with [livejournal.com profile] rhionnach said in 2001, not long after the attacks on New York and Washington. At that time, there was a stream of Muslims interviewed on news programmes who were, in his words, “nutters”. He said he wanted to cover his face and hide whenever they appeared, because they didn’t represent most Muslims, and their comments were likely to cause trouble for most Muslims.

Some other thoughts were provoked by Naseem’s comments... but I have no time to go into that now. Maybe later.

dc: Me, in a pub.  (Default)
Right now on BBC News 24, there is a Muslim spokesman in Birmingham saying he doesn't trust the government, and asking, "Why are Muslims being targetted as terrorists? Anyone can be a terrorist!"

Well, yes — but the bombers recently were Muslims, and the current threat comes solidly from within the Islamic community. It is a tiny part of the Islamic community, but only someone with their head rammed firmly into the sand could believe that there is an equal chance of terrorists in Britain being non-Muslim. I can understand Muslims not liking that, but they do their community no favours by pretending that what they don't like isn't true.
dc: Me, in a pub.  (Default)
Space.com has picked up the Russian news story about the claim that some alien artefact has been found at the Tunguska site. The title of the Space.com piece, Russian Alien Spaceship Claims Raise Eyebrows, Skepticism, perfectly captures the tone of the article. (I don’t know why, but that particular style of heading — so American — always strikes me as endearingly quaint.) The article, by the site’s senior science writer, notes that the Russian scientists went there expecting to find alien debris, so their claims need to be treated with more than even the usual scepticism such claims would demand.

Certainly the claims advanced in an article in an Iranian journal sound, er, a little wild:

“I am fully confident and I can make an official statement that we were saved by some forces of a superior civilization,” Yuri Lavbin said. “They exploded this enormous meteorite that headed towards us with enormous speed,” he said. Now this great object that caused the meteorite to explode is found at last. We will continue our research, he said.

Doesn’t exactly sound like a dispassionate, scientific approach, does it?
dc: Me, in a pub.  (Default)
The Interfax News Agency is carrying the story that Russian scientists have found “wreckage of an alien technical device” at the site of the 1908 Tunguska blast.

So far some Web sites are carrying the news, including Ananova (though as a “quirky” bit of news), but no sign of it on the main Western news sites. Doesn’t mean it is false, but I can’t help thinking that if this were the case, there would have been major announcements and the news would have been pushed to the front page of every newspaper. On the other hand, this is Russia we’re talking about, still not the most open society on the planet.

But if it were true...

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