Wednesday 8 July 2009

Ban the Burqa?

President of France, Nicholas Sarkozy, has put forward plans to prevent Muslim women wearing the Burqa, a long dress with full sleeves, a hood and veil that completely covers the body of the wearer except for their hands and eyes. Other countries may follow suit, like the Netherlands: . Here’s a debate between a former Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone MP, and the French philosopher (France has plenty of them!) Bernard-Henri Levy: . The justification for the ban is that the Burqa is seen by some as a form of imprisonment, like a shackle or pillory, designed to oppress women and keep them in their “proper place” as inferiors to men. In several countries ruled by Muslim theocracies, Saudi Arabia for instance, women are forced by law to wear them and can be publicly birched for flouting that law. The anti-Burqa campaigners like Sarkozy quite rightly oppose such brutality. However the country that has gone furthest and passed into law an actual ban it is Turkey, and in doing so it revealed something important: Most women in Turkey wear the Burqa out of their own free choice and they took to the streets to protest. They didn’t take kindly to the government patronizing them! Nor do I.

Here in Britain, the idea of a Burqa ban is also controversial, but often for different reasons it seems. It’s simply seen more as a patriotic matter. Native British culture is supposedly at risk of being smothered by Muslim immigration and the ban is a drive to keep un-British practices out of Britain. See this debate on Question Time: . As I’ve said many times and need hardly reiterate, we need to be wary that this issue will not be used to harness us to another Divide-and-Rule scam;
see here for background: and . It’s strange that none of the people who campaign against the Burqa seem to know anything about its real origins and what it truly symbolizes. Firstly, contrary to popular belief, it’s not a part of traditional Islam… you heard me right! There’s one big myth shattered! It is not mentioned in the Koran at all and was not worn by any Muslims for the first thousand years after Mohammed’s life. The Koran talks about how God wants us all to dress modestly, but this means just long trousers or skirts not a complete body covering. What’s more this commandment applied equally to both genders and there were no exceptional provisions for women. The Burqa was actually invented in the 16th Century by the Caliphs of Baghdad and was designed to shield the bodies of the Caliph and his family from the envious and resentful eyes of their “social inferiors” on the city streets. Therefore, far from being a stigma, a brand of submission and humiliation, the Burqa is really a status-symbol of nobility! And also, believe it or not, it was intended to be worn by both men and women! The Caliph and his sons wore it as well as his wives and daughters. Therefore technically I could wear one if I wanted to. Do you think it would suit me?

Actually I’m not going to wear a Burqa. I choose not to, but I would resent having that choice taken out of my hands by President Sarkozy and others. I agree with those Turkish women; it is patronizing! We constantly have laws imposed on us and things barred from us with the reassuring platitude: “it’s for your own good”. I’m banned from smoking in my hospital, even in the open air in the middle of our 5-acre sports ground! The fact that I’ve chosen not to smoke is irrelevant to the fact that now that choice has been taken away from me. We hear all the time about Orwellian laws being imposed on us to “protect us from Terrorism” when the only terrorists out there that are a serious threat to us are the same governments who claim that they are protecting us (Unless any HPANWO-readers are so na├»ve that they still believe that 19 men with plastic knives and forks, or something like that, can hijack a plane, beat laser and infra red-toting satellites and polarized radar, to crash the planes into buildings which then conveniently fold up like an origami model!). This reminds me of the hoody ban of 2005. That was just in private places like shopping centres, but this new Burka ban is going to apply to public areas as well. The French government wants to dictate our dress codes on the Taxpayers' public streets! Obviously some people in other countries want to do the same thing. Where will it end? What if President Sarkozy decides he doesn't like silver leggings with sequins on them; will he ban those to? We might end up in a situation like in Aldous Huxley's prescient 1930 sci-fi novel Brave New World where everybody is genetically modified and has to wear colour-coded uniforms to display their place in society. So the answer to the question in the title of this article is definitely “No”; we should not ban the Burqa.

Thursday 2 July 2009

My Avebury Radio Interview

I’ve been interviewed again on the radio. The weekend before last I met a friendly fellow called Niall AKA “Opaque Lens” of Shamanic Freedom Radio and took part in his podcast. Here is the programme and I appear after about 23 minutes. He also got a few minutes with Our Dave too. I did a good job there, but I tend to let my thoughts run away with me and end up talking too fast; you may have noticed this on HPANWO TV as well. Here’s the programme: ; and on this page you can see many other fascinating radio shows. I particularly recommend Ian Crane and Graham Hancock: .

I would have written this article much sooner, but I had to finish off my AVII report. It’s a relief to have that out of the way now so I’m free to write about other things. The weekend before last Ustane and I went to Avebury for the Summer Solstice. It was also for a David Icke Forum meet-up and David himself was there to shoot a sequence to his new documentary and we were going along to help him. It turned out to be one of the strangest weekends in my life, but also one of the most enjoyable. Saturday the 20th of June in particular was packed with high strangeness. I’ve already written about one aspect of this: but there was more. I missed the first hour of the shot because I had to fill out a police witness statement. This was because when we arrived at Avebury we came across a man lying in the porch of the church. We thought that he was just asleep but it turned out that he was dead! Here’s a news story of the event: . I felt his wrist for a pulse and he was stiff and stone cold, but in truth I knew he was dead before that. I knew from the moment I saw him. I’ve seen many people die up at the hospital and I’ve noticed something about what happens in the process. Even before you see that their colour has gone and that they’re not breathing etc they lose that indefinable quality that could be defined as simply “life”. As soon as I see a dead body I can sense that the life-force has left it. But I had a hell of a job explaining that to the policewoman who interviewed me! It could have been worse; we could have been driven to the police station. But as luck, or the Gods and Goddesses of Avebury, would have it the police managed to hire a room at the Red Lion, the famous pub in the centre of the monument and we got back to the location in time the second half of the shoot and it was wonderful! I also met Neil Hague again; see links column. However we all felt that the incident that morning had some significance and fitted into everything else that passed that day. There’s even more too; I should also mention what happened that morning in the early hours of Saturday. I got out of my tent; don’t know what time it was but it was dark and that means 2 or 3 AM at that time of year. I walked from our tent and had a wee in the river that runs through the campsite we stayed at. I saw in the bushes what resembled a luminous cloud of steam or smoke, but it kept a distinct shape and did not diffuse as smoke and steam does. It twisted and undulated a few times and then vanished. It was a kind of greyish white colour. Nobody else was around at the time. I don't know what it was, but as we've discussed, I've seen spectral figures before and the colour and consistency of the entity resembled others I've encountered. What was notable was that there were pylon lines hanging over the campsite and I'm reminded of Dr Michael Persinger and Dr Andrew Newburg and their studies of how electrical fields affect the brain and can cause altered states of consciousness and/or a greater ability to perceive paranormal phenomena. Maybe this is what happened to me. Here’s an interesting documentary about it: . I asked a friend of mine who’s a ghost-hunter and he said it could be ionization caused by the power lines. He also warned me not to piss in rivers!

All in all, it was a very bizarre and creepy weekend. The synchronous and unworldly popped out at us from every angle. For example, here’s another weird bloke I bumped into!: