The commentators 21-07-15
The Prime Minister’s speech has made it all about Muslims, yet he has not engaged them about his counter-terrorism strategy: if Muslims are central to defeating the poisonous narrative then why not engage the community? This was a neocon-inspired speech with huge consequences for the freedoms of ordinary British Muslims. We have being rejecting terrorism for years, some of us have been subjected to death threats from terrorist groups and yet still the prime minister says we are not doing enough; that we are not integrated enough
- Mohammed Shafiq, The Guardian
The key conundrum Mr Cameron is struggling to answer is what, specifically, makes a young Muslim susceptible to extremist ideology but not a young second-generation Indian or, for that matter, a young British Christian bombarded with the quack nostrums of Marxist collectivism. To ignore the cultural confines of Islam and say this is really a political, not a religious, issue is to miss the point entirely as, indeed, Mr Cameron conceded for the first time in his Birmingham speech.
- Philip Johnston, Daily Telegraph
Imagine a Prime Minister, during the height of The Troubles in Northern Ireland, announcing in a speech that he intended to tackle terrorism head on. To do this, he would crack down on the churches which “quietly condone” the IRA, and criminalise opposition to “British values” and the “rule of law” amongst dissidents. Well in 2015, we have a leader who just delivered a speech outlining how it was bad religion, and not politics, that is the cause of political violence
- Abdul-Azim Ahmed , Independent
It is not anti-Muslim to want our laws changed to allow terror suspects to be charged in their home countries. On the contrary, it is people who make the blanket assumption that terror suspects must never be deported to Arab countries who are being racist. What they are saying, in effect, is that Arabs can’t be trusted to run a fair justice system
- Ross Clark, Daily Express
Sometimes the murder of a journalist shocks people to such an extent that they take to the streets to protest - as with the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists in France and Abdel Karim al-Khewani in Yemen. Sometimes, as with the Isis victims in their orange jumpsuits, the killings are filmed and used as propaganda.
Often, however, the death goes unremarked and uninvestigated. A couple of men ride up on a motorbike and fire a few shots at the target as he or she is leaving the office, arriving home or simply waiting at a bus stop - summary retribution for exposing a corrupt politician or crossing a criminal.
In the first half of this year, sixty media workers around the world were killed while doing their jobs.
Editor's blog: Death and dishonour
Comment Awards 2015
Anyone can nominate their favourite writer
Friday 12 June, 2015 Are the comment pages and columnists too Londoncentric? And if they are, what is the solution when the financial and political powerhouses are based in the capital?
Does the character or personality of the writer matter? Should we read columnists with whom we violently disagree or is it, as Eleanor Mills suggested, good for the soul but bad for the blood pressure?
Why did the so-called political experts get it so wrong in calling the general election? And will they - and Rupert Murdoch - influence the result of the EU referendum?
All these points and more were addressed under the guidance of Dr Anthony Seldon at the launch of the 2015 Comment Awards last night. Seldon will chair the judging panel for the awards, now in their seventh year.
Nominations are now open and anyone can put forward anyone writing in the UK media - broadcasting, print or online - by submitting the URLS of three articles published between August 1, 2014 and July 31 this year, which is the closing date for entries.
The 17 awards include four new categories: Comment piece of the year for a single piece of excellent writing; Young commentariat; Society and diversity commentator; and Technology and digital commentator.
There is no charge for entries. Details and the nomination forms can be found here.
Oh yes, and who was the most frequently mentioned columnist at last night's event? Matthew Parris? Andrew Rawnsley? Stephen Glover? No. By a country mile, the most discussed writer was Katie Hopkins.
Comment archive, 2015
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