BETTER late than never, I suppose. Two women were pictured at a pro-Palestinian rally last month with images of paragliders pinned to their clothes – allegedly in a gesture of support for the terrorists who swept into Israel kidnapping, raping, mutilating and murdering civilians at a music festival.
Now, Heba Alhayey, 29, and Pauline Ankunda, 26, have been accused of supporting Hamas and are due to appear in court. The police are still trying to identify others, but in some cases it is proving difficult, not least because so many suspects wore traditional Islamic dress, which often conceals the face.
Muslim friends of mine are horrified at the way the veil is being weaponised in this way, and so am I. I’m proud of how religiously inclusive Britain is, and the fact that British Muslims – unlike their counterparts in France – are free to express their faith in the way they dress.
To see that freedom abused by a hateful minority is not only profoundly distressing, it also deepens cultural divides and makes life unnecessarily difficult for the vast majority of British Muslims who have no desire to participate in any sort of violent jihad.
Two woman have been charged after wearing pictures of Hamas paragliders at a pro-Palestine march, the Crown Prosecution Service said
Heba Alhayey, 29, and Pauline Ankunda, 26, were charged under the Terrorism Act following the incident at a protest in London on October 14, the Crown Prosecution Service said. Pictured: Protesters march for Palestine on October 14
But even this isn’t the most depressing aspect of this endorsement for what is in essence an offshoot of ISIS, the Nigerian jihadi group Boko Haram, the Taliban and every other misogynistic death cult inspired by extremist religious beliefs rolled into one.
It is a fact that so many of the people voicing support for the actions of Hamas – on our streets and online – are women, and many of them surprisingly young.
Women, condoning and encouraging and in many cases even celebrating the rape, murder and mutilation of other women. Women, glorifying a terrorist group funded by an oppressive regime – Iran – that tortures and kills its own girls and women for daring to defy draconian religious strictures.
Women such as the so-called ‘feminist group’ Sisters Uncut, who shut down London’s Liverpool Street Station last week with a pro-Palestinian demonstration where calls for a ceasefire in Gaza led to some distinctly questionable anti-Israel sentiment being voiced.
That same day, further details emerged about atrocities perpetrated by Hamas terrorists, including mothers having their babies ripped from their bellies and their breasts sliced off.
Call me old-fashioned, but protesting in support of such actions does not strike me as especially ‘sisterly’, or for that matter ‘feminist’.
Not only that, it’s also remarkably short-sighted. Because if Hamas – whose aim is not only the elimination of all Jews in the Middle East but also the imposition of a global caliphate under Islamic law – had their way, all women would be subject to a set of limitations very much along the same lines as those imposed on girls and women in Iran and other oppressive fundamentalist regimes, such as the Taliban.
As a mother of a daughter, I cannot understand why any female in their right mind would support the enslavement and oppression of other women.
I can’t imagine looking at my own beautiful, vibrant, happy daughter and thinking: ‘I wish someone would come along and take away all her rights to an education, possibly subject her to female genital mutilation and force her into a life of servitude.’
It’s a bit like those carrying a ‘Queers for Palestine’ banner. Do these people have any idea what it’s like being a member of the LGBTQ community somewhere like Iran?
Is it just ignorance? Stupidity? Or just extreme wokery, in the sense that young people have been so conditioned to romanticise the underdog that they will forgive any depths of depravity perpetrated in their name?
‘Resistance is justified when Palestine is occupied,’ they shouted in London yesterday, alongside ‘Smash the Zionist settler state.’ Utterly chilling. One can only conclude that such people’s loathing of Israel and the Jews is so strong that it trumps all other forms of reason, such as the fact that the Jewish homeland is one of the very few places in that part of the world where everyone – women, gays, trans, the disabled – can be certain their human rights are protected.
If you despise someone or something to your own detriment, you are a fool. But if you despise that person or group to the point where you will condone inhuman acts of savagery against them, then, well… I don’t care what kind of paradise you’ve been promised, in my book you are going straight to hell.
Matthew’s lasting legacy is the value of friendship
Matthew Perry was laid to rest yesterday, buried alongside other tragic stars such as Carrie Fisher and Michael Hutchence.
I always think that if someone like Perry, left, who struggled so much with his demons, could have heard all the kind words said about him after his death, things might have turned out differently.
It’s a reminder to always appreciate those you love, no matter how annoying, frustrating or downright infuriating they may be.
Matthew Perry was laid to rest yesterday, buried alongside other tragic stars such as Carrie Fisher and Michael Hutchence
Britney’s true grit
Congratulations to Britney Spears, left, whose memoir sold more than one million copies during its first week of publication.
A remarkable achievement, especially for someone who presents herself as so helpless. I’ve always thought there was rather more to this perplexing pop Lolita than meets the eye. I guess she’s not that innocent after all.
Britney Spears memoir has sold more than one million copies during its first week of publication
King and Queen of giggles
ONE of my abiding images of Charles and Camilla is a clip from a few years ago when they dissolved into helpless giggles while two Inuit women performed a tribal throat song.
Last week, the couple were pictured in Kenya, sitting rather awkwardly in a tuk-tuk – very unlike their usual gilded forms of transport – but they still seemed delighted.
Isn’t that the secret of their relationship? That whatever life throws at them, they always manage to have a laugh together.
The King and Queen sat in an electric tuktuk with a driver from the British High Commission during a visit to Fort Jesus
Crivens! Had I known that my ex-husband, Michael Gove, was the linchpin in a sinister Westminster cabal known as ‘The Movement’ (is it just me, or does that sound like a tragic art-school pop combo?), I’d have demanded rather more in my divorce settlement.
Strange, though, that in almost 20 years of marriage I failed to spot this ‘master of the dark arts’ operating right under my nose. Perhaps I just wasn’t paying enough attention. Or perhaps, as our dear departed Queen once put it, recollections may vary.
Senior Government minister Michael Gove and his journalist wife Sarah Vine (pictured) are to split after almost twenty years of marriage, a joint spokesman for couple said this afternoon
Once again, Home Secretary Suella Braverman says the unsayable. This time she’s suggested banning rough sleepers from setting up ‘tent cities’ in urban areas, arguing it has become a ‘lifestyle choice’ for some.
Cue howls of protest from the Left and homeless charities. But there’s a grain of truth in what she says.
No one should be forced into homelessness, and there should be far more support for those who are there through genuine hardship. Yet it’s impossible to deny begging seems to have become the chosen lifestyle of some. Braverman is right to want to put an end to it.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman, pictured on a visit to the Greek border with Turkey on Friday, wants next week’s King’s Speech to include measures to outlaw homeless people using tents
BRITAIN’S ‘loneliest sheep’ has been rescued from a remote shore in the Scottish Highlands, where she had languished alone for two years. Pictures of Fiona (as she’s been called) show her looking grumpy, and I don’t blame her.
There she was, with cliffs on the Cromarty Firth all to herself and no one to steal her grass, then along come five busybody humans to ruin everything. Now they’re going to cut her overgrown hair and put her on a diet. Personally, I’d be raging.