By: James Powell
These days it’s hard to get away from hearing about Islamic terrorists being over here in the west, with their evil agenda of killing or converting everyone to Islam. We always hear how 90% of terrorists are Muslim. Thinking back to my younger days, the picture was totally different. In the 1970’s and 1980’s there was plenty of terrorism to go around. There were “red army” groups all across Europe, left wing groups in the USA, and the FLQ here in Canada.
Islamic terrorism in the west was totally unheard of, except in Hollywood, where the terrorists were usually inept, and would get their butts kicked by Chuck Norris or someone like him. What changed? Thinking about that question led me to looking into international police reports from two agencies that have kept good records on terrorism in both Europe and the U.S. and the hard facts are very surprising indeed.
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Former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark has said that Dr. Aafia Siddiqui is innocent and has been victimized by the international politics for power. “Dr Aafia Siddiqui was victimized by the international politics being played for power. I haven’t witnessed such bare injustice in my entire career,” the Daily Times quoted Clark, as saying.
“Neither did Dr Aafia kill anyone, nor did she attempt it. In fact she was shot thrice and should be released immediately,” he said, adding that relations between Pakistan and the U.S. could be strengthened through repatriation of Dr Aafia.
Mark Dice is a media analyst, author, and political activist who, in an entertaining and educational way, gets people to question our celebrity obsessed culture and the role the mainstream media and elite secret societies play in shaping our lives.
Has the integration of British Muslims failed?
This week, radical and extremist Islam has been at the heart of the news agenda, as a video circulated showing the beheading of an American journalist by an IS fighter who appeared to be of British extraction. Clearly, radical Islam exists in Britain but its roots, and the solutions to it, remain obscure.
It’s time for action
We have a huge problem with integration, and it’s being grossly underplayed. If about 500 British muslims have gone to fight in Iraq and Syria, assuming it’s mostly young Sunni males that’s one in every 800. It’s been three years since David Cameron pointed to the link between extremism and terrorist attacks in his speech in Munich, and the Department for Communities and Local Government, which was responsible for rolling out the counter-extremism strategy, has done nothing. Both the government and Muslim communities need to work together to resolve this. We’ve seen huge improvements in our lifetimes with racism and homophobia. If we can do it with them, we can do it with Islamist extremism, which is also a form of bigotry.
Maajid Nawaz, co-founder of counter-extremism think tank Quilliam
I answer your comments – today’s edition focusses on responses to last week’s episode about the conflict in Iraq and the agenda for military intervention.
If you ever need to hold a meeting and you want to make it a success, use the 40-20-40 continuum. Focus 40% of your attention for each meeting on preparation and getting everything right before you meet, then 20% of your attention on the meeting itself — the time you’re all together — and then spend 40% of your attention on the follow-through.
Get the preparation right and you will make the meetings you hold seem like magic. Here are a few ways that good preparation can pay itself back in spades.
1. Begin with the end in mind
When planning your meeting, start with the end in mind. Rather than waiting until halfway through a meeting to work out what you think the outcome should be, start there. You can even add this to the agenda, and as a chair, make sure it is part of your introduction. By being clearer from the outset, a lot of thinking will have been done before the meeting even gets under way.
Think about the meeting as a journey. The starting point is setting the scene: Introductions to one another, the topic and to the endpoint in mind. The middle stage is the exploration: Discussion, questioning and beginning to form some agreements. The end of a meeting should be where you are into decisions, actions and agreeing the next practical steps forward.
3. Schedule difficult agenda items immediately before breaks
When working out the agenda and meeting length, it is useful to schedule difficult agenda items immediately before breaks. This will hopefully keep things brief as it is a brave person who delays everyone’s lunch, and if things do get a little heated, the break offers time to calm everyone down.
4. Length — allow time for wiggle room
Make sure you are sensible, yet realistic, with the length of the meeting. If you are a disciplined chair, you can probably get it done in a shorter time than would be expected, though always allow time for wiggle room.
5. Control your Outlook, don’t let Outlook control your meetings
Meetings should rarely be exactly 30 minutes or 60 minutes long — the default times from Outlook — so make it 20 minutes or 45 minutes. It may only seem like ten minutes here and there, but ten minutes of proactive attention time is like gold dust.
6. Prepare — create the culture you need
Print agendas, bring background papers or information and use PowerPoint to provide a professional ‘feel’ and structure. Create a culture where preparation is absolutely expected. I did some interim management work where we were expected to have read all the papers in advance. As a result, the conversations were focused on opinions and actions rather than on clarifications or long explorations.
20% is the Meeting Itself
You have prepared meticulously and encouraged others to do the same. How do you ensure that the meeting is productive?