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tv   Dateline London  BBC News  March 16, 2019 4:30pm-5:00pm GMT

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this is bbc news. the headlines. brenton tarrant, the main suspect in the new zealand mosque shootings in which 49 people were killed, has appeared in court on a single murder charge hello, this is bbc news. the headlines: brenton tarrant, the main suspect in the new zealand mosque shootings in which 49 people were killed, has appeared in court on a single murder charge. new zealand police say they believe a lone gunman was involved in the attacks. prime ministerjacinda ar—dern has vowed, "our gun laws will change." prime ministerjacinda ardern has vowed, "our gun laws will change." new zealand is united in its grief i mean, i wish i very few people, i mean, i wish i could have died like him and died and we are united in our grief. like a brave person. in other news, tory mp nick boles quits his local prime ministerjacinda ar—dern has vowed: "0ur gun laws will change" conservative association in the face new zealand is united in its grief of efforts to deselect him as the candidate and we are united in our grief. for the next election. an australian senator who blamed immigration now on bbc news, it's time for dateline london.
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hello and welcome to dateline london. i'm carrie gracie. this week... has the world been neglecting white supremacists while busy worrying about radical islamists? where will is fighters go after the end of their so—called caliphate? and a fortnight till brexit day?. and a fortnight till brexit day... zombie or phoenix? its another crunch week for theresa may s brexit deal. my guests today — abdul bari atwan, a writer on arab affairs. stephanie baker, a senior writerfor bloomberg. maria margaronis of the nation and ian birrell, reporter and commentator for the mail on sunday. welcome to you all.
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"muslims are invaders intent on replacing the white majority." so reads a monologue of hate posted online by brenton tarrant, the man facing murder charges in new zealand after friday's mosque killings. islamophobia — is it a mirror image of the hate message that drivesjihadi terror? maria, why don't you start us off? in some ways, you could say there are things in common between these two movements in the way people are radicalised through the internet, social media, the way they are getting to disaffected people for all reasons, especially the young but we have to be careful talking about mirrors because the way these things are talked about is very different. white supremacist attacks have been credited to lone actors in america, butjihadi terror is always seen as a worldwide conspiracy and you have to think
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about the difference. you can trace the white supremacist all the way back to colonialism and the aryan myth and more recently tojim crow and the american south, the book the great replacement which was referred to by the shooter in new zealand, the title of his manifesto as part of a very sense of white anxiety and threat all over the west. i think they are very different even though some of the methods of radicalisation are the same. ian, you have come back from iraq and syria and talked to a lot of the partners of fighters who have been there in those is territories, what is your sense of how careful we need to be about using the word mirror or whether it is useful to think about similarities? there are issues about the type of person drawn to the sort
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of extremism particularly foreigners joining in the middle east. how do they get radicalised? what are the methods, what person becomes attracted? i think there are lessons to learn there which have mirrors on both sides, equally what is happening in the middle east is very clearly to do with local politics as well and that is very different to these sorts of issues we are seeing. the other thing that is very clear is i do not think islamophobia is taken seriously enough as an issue. baroness warsi famously said it is the acceptable form of racism at dinner parties. who was a minister for the conservative government. i think there is an acceptability of it, tolerance of it, we see it in the media with commentators basically being racist or extremely bigoted and they are tolerated. we see it in the discussion going on, the way it's used in technology and i think regardless of the causes we need to be far tougher and more
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cautious and careful about stopping this sort of anti—islamic language and inflammatory stuff going on because whilst people making those statements are not necessarily to blame, they are creating a climate which can allow nasty extremism to faster and some inadequates to take this sort of horrendous action. bari. i do agree but i would like to drag your attention to a very important development, anti—islamism, islamophobia used to be expressed verbally and now we are at a new stage, using arms, killing against muslims. this is a huge development. this could actually drag us to another counter revenge. this will play to the hands of radical muslim organisations — if they storm our mosque and kill our people so we are justified to go and storm their churches
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and kill the people. this is the danger. islamophobia used to be in social media only but now there are people carrying guns or five guns and storming two mosques and killing 50 people. it is a precedent. if we don't actually counter this, it is the responsibility of the whole international community not only the muslim community, or the new zealand community or government, it is extremely dangerous. the fact that was live streamed on friday, the first attack, it is possible people have uploaded that video despite the efforts of social media companies to take it down, the fact it could be spreading through those communities who might be radicalised by watching it. definitely. it was live coverage of the killing on social media, not an isolated incident. it seems there is some sort of group, organisation behind this
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so actually this trend is strengthening and going to increase the social media, they ignored this. when we talked about islamophobia for example we know how many incidents take place against the jews but we never heard a huge campaign against islamophobia, started on the top level by trump. he was the first one to say muslims are not allowed. now there are books, programmes. there is now live coverage, it is getting very serious. stephanie. two things. one is the role of the tech giants on this, this was the first mass shooting that was live streamed and facebook says it took action to try to shut down very quickly
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but facebook is making billions of dollars, an incredibly profitable company, they have put thousands of people to try to monitor the stuff but they can do more and they ought to be under pressure to do much more. some of the posts were on his facebook page for two years and nothing was done. he did mention trump in an online manifesto and i think the role of trump in this is really worrying. that is a question for mainstream politicians, to what extent is some of this being mainstreamed? obviously not violent terrorism but to some extent are the ideas related? i think it is being mainstreamed in so far as trump's response was so weak and reflects his lack of leadership. he did not condemn the attack, he said there was no some global he said there was not some global movement of right—wing extremism.
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instead of condemning it, he just expressed his warmest sympathies and best wishes. he did express condolences. but not mentioning muslims. it was not a strong forceful condemnation that you have seen from other world leaders. that is viewed almost as de facto approval of it. he needs to be condemning it in much stronger terms. he didn't use the word terrorism, he avoided that completely. to pay condolences is something but as if it was a normal accident, not a political one. this is the problem here, because he is encouraging these right wing groups directly or indirectly, this is the danger. muslim worlds are watching. saying, why, for example where there is an incident of terrorism it is islamic, but when somebody storms a mosque and kills 50 people we did not
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hear the word terrorism. yet, this question of double standards, this is a mirror in a way. we see some double standards in the muslim world as well on ideology. it is also important to notice that islamophobia is used in local politics as well. we are seeing it all over europe, in france, in a way with brexit and i was recently in poland where there was a march supposedly to commemorate soldiers fighting against the communists in which one of the chants was not atheist, not islamic, polish catholic. what is that about? these movements are being sheltered by the ruling law and justice party in poland. and in hungary a leader presents himself as the leader of the judaeo—christian fightback. let's contrast with trump's behaviour with george bush after 9/11, where he was far
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from being the perfect president but he did at least go out and reach to muslim communities in america and made a passionate and strong powerful statement about embracing muslim people as part of america. that is the sort of thing we just do not see. we have to move on. our next issue is related. lets turn to another front line in this battle against hate, in this case a physical front line, because in 2014, the militantjihadi group isis declared a caliphate, or islamic state, in syria and iraq. at the height of its rule, it imposed its brutal ideology on an area perhaps almost as large as the uk. it attracted thousands of supporters from abroad. five years later, is territory shrunk to a village close to the border between syria and iraq and many of its fighters and their families have surrendered to american—backed forces. president trump has declared what he called 100% victory.
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but is this the end for the group orjust the end for its significant physical base? ian, you have just been to these areas, what is your view? it is absolutely not the end of the group. in 2008, 2009, after the american surge isis was down to 800 fighteres, it's estimated. fighters, it's estimated. now they have 20 to 30,000 fighters. five years later, they were coming into iraq and taking its second city. it is a defeat for the physical territory, thogh they still control territory, though they still control large areas, still three million people in idlib, with perhaps 50,000 quite extreme fighters who are allied to isis. and still a lot of things going on where isis are on the ground, moving into villages at night to get money and weapons and food. particularly in front line areas. so the idea it is finished is ludicrous, but also you need to look at the conditions behind it, the shia militias are on the rampage.
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i was in mosul where there were stories of them terrorising defeated sunni villages. it is inevitably going to have a backlash. i heard of one family told me a neighbour came back from work, he works for the iraqi government in baghdad and found his family had been slaughtered and they had written in blood on the walls it will be your turn next. all sorts of things going on, houses and schools destroyed, nojobs, no hospitals and it is such fertile terrain to see the same sort of backlash and we in the west tend to see always isis purely through the prism of extreme religion and ideology, but of course it bubbled up from very deep politics. and the people involved in its foundations, as bari has written in his very good book on it, were saddam's leading military people and all the conditions are there for it to come back, it may not be isis itself but the idea this is over is ridiculous and every single person told me thatm from american person told me that, from american
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security through to local kurdish politicians to all the people on the ground. some peoplejust laughed when i said isis was gone. you have been watching this for years. i agree with ian completely, it is the end of a phase at the start of a new one. when i say, ok, islamic caliphate is finished overground, but it will start the next phase which is under the ground. this phase is more dangerous because to run a state of nine million people, you need to take care of electricity, water, education, health and you need money. but when you get rid of this burden and go back to plan b, which al-qaeda adopted, which is terrorism, this is extremely dangerous. the last message from isis leadership to their supporters or followers saying that now you have to turn to terrorism. this was just about three days ago. so it is extremely dangerous here. the other things i would
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like to say, isis' ideology would not disappear. why? because, first, there were nine million people under their rule, those people were educated, indoctrinated and brainwashed so they would not go away easily. the other point is the reason isis emerged, which is i believe many reasons here, the incubator in particular is there. there is marginalisation, humiliation, the lack of good governance. sectarianism which is spreading in the region. this is extremely beneficial for isis to come back again. and if they come back and start to recruit people, i think it will be extremely dangerous and what happened actually in new zealand, the storming of the mosque, this is the best gift for isis and for the radical people who are adopting their ideology.
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so to be honest, i am not optimistic here. we have to work very hard in order, on both sides, as media or as government, in order to prepare herself for this coming danger and to try to neutralise it by all means. you've both painted a very grim picture. stephanie, what are, in your views, the risks for society in europe and north america and the rest of the world, from the spread of an ideology which is potentially going to come back even stronger in a terrorist movement? the real question is what is the us policy towards is right now? trump said he was withdrawing troops and declared isis 400% defeated, which he had to walk back because it was clear he had not consulted his advisers. there is a real question of what is the us response to this? they are keeping about 400 troops on the ground, the us presence in syria was seen
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as a force that weakened is, not defeated it, but what does it do now? if it does withdraw does that allow russia and iran to have greater sway over what happens in syria? i think given what we have seen, russia does not really hold the cards there. i think iran has the upper hand and i would be curious to see what bari thinks about that, what happens when the us does withdraw, does orang gain an upper hand? to be honest, iran has the upper hand in four arab countries now. they are very strong in yemen, because they have the houthis there, financed and working for them and armed by them. very strong in lebanon because they have hezbollah and strong in syria because they have the physical grounds and they have the troops there, and strong and iraq there, and strong in iraq
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because they have hashd al—shaabi, or, you know, national mobilising troops, more 40,000 people, most armed. i believe they have the upper hand but who actually gave them this opportunity? the american military intervention in iraq and syria and libya and other places. we are not going to go back to thatjust now, that point has been heard. we have heard about the regional dimension of this, but what about the global ideological dimension if some of these fighters... we have seen president trump say take your fighters back to europe and a lot of european governments including the uk not wanting to take them back. is there a risk of the permeation, as trump puts it? i think the real risk as we have these two, coming back to the mirror metaphor, isis and white supremacist movement in a kind of terrorist guerilla war which is being used by national governments and becoming part of a geopolitical struggle. i remember the huntington book
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the clash of civilisations which was supposed to set out a path for american power in the world after the cold war, what was the grand battle america was going to be part of? i feel like we are seeing a guerilla version of that taking shape and that is what is really worrying to me, i am just as worried about white supremacists as i am the returning isis fighters. ian, just one quick last word to you on that, the guerilla battle. the question you asked, there are 3,000 foreign fighters held in kurdish—controlled syria, maybe 2,000 locals to 1,000 foreign fighters there. these are words i do not use often but trump is right. european countries should take them back. if you leave them there, there will probably be more conflict. america is only one of the major powers, russia is there, which has a huge amount of stake, turkey is there, they might take over this area. to leave people in an area
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where there is likely to be renewed fighting does not make sense. any western politician, western, british, french, german thinks they are doing that on grounds of security is totally wrong. they are devolving their security to other countries and if you believe in national security for western countries then you need to take these fighters home, where you can look after them and put them injail if needed, monitor them more effectively. you do not leave them in an area where there will be free quite possibly soon. that is where we have to leave that part of discussion, because no dateline is complete without a discussion of brexit. in theresa may s game of chicken with the british parliament, the stakes could not be higher. with less than a fortnight to go till brexit date, the prime minister plans a third vote on a deal that s already been heavily defeated twice. brexit breaks the rules of british political life. last week, party loyalty, cabinet collective responsibility, governments in charge of parliamentary business, all strained to breaking point. some declared a political
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and constitutional crisis. is that what we are seeing? it really does feel like alice in wonderland territory. i think the two things people think are unlikely to happen we are discounting to much. we are discounting too much. one is the fact that no deal won't happen, i think it is reduced in chance but i do not think it is off the table by any means. second theresa may very well may succeed getting her deal through — maybe not on a meaningful vote three, maybe on four, but i think it is looking increasingly likely that other hardline brexiteers will go on side in fear of a soft brexit or a delayed brexit. the other thing i would like to comment on, people saying this deadblock can be broken by early elections, it does not seem given the divisions within the labour party
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and tory party that it would solve anything, it would produce as jumbled a parliament as we have now and i think everyone needs to step back and think about even if she does get this deal through, there is still a ticking time clock and i think that is posing huge difficulties in terms of the most difficult negotiations ahead in terms of the tricky trade talks still ahead of us. that is going to be even more difficult for her to get done in the time period outlined. maria, what is going to happen this week? is she going to get this third deal through? let me give you some options, will she get the dup on—side? more brexiteers on—side? or some 0pposition mps on side? and is she going to shuffle over the line? i don't think it's possible to predict anymore what is going to happen, this week, next week or next month. i think it is unlikely she will get it through but i will probably be eating my words this time next week.
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i was very disappointing that keir starmer amendment on an indicative vote did not pass and only failed by four votes, which is by far the narrowest margin talking about the one for an indicative vote. are we talking about the hilary benn one? no, i'm talking about the one for... for parliament to take control of the process. that would seem to me to be a more sane way forward, to try to come to some arrangement that the house as a whole can agree with or to ditch the whole thing and say we don't want your doing, —— or to ditch the whole thing and say we don't know what we're doing, let's back to the drawing board. that indicative vote option might appear at the end of next week anyway. if you don't want to predict what will happen in westminster, what will happen with the eu summit? will they give her a short extension or long extention, or, in exasperation, give the extension that she asked for?
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the eu is also at odds with itself. we are hearing different things, give them a year, only three months, i think they are also playing a kind of chicken and they are rather hoping that we will get either a soft brexit or no brexit at all. but in any case let's get it over with and i think one of the characteristic things about this process is that british politicians have been deaf to what the eu is actually saying. they have been saying over and over again we have had enough of this, this is the deal. bari? to be honest, i don't know what the british would like to do. it is a huge mess. nor do they. we've been saying it's a huge mess for weeks. do you think stephanie is right, if she brings it back a third vote or a fourth that she will squeak through? parliament voted against a deal, the government voted against brexit without a deal. parliament voted against any referendum to ask the people what to do.
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so now they voted for extension of the brexit — for what? to keep the pain continuing, to extend the painful situation in this country. to extend the deterioration of uncertainty and deterioration of economy. this is the problem. the europeans wouldn't facilitate brexit, europe would like to use this brexit to warn anybody who would like to go the same way. ian? last word. i don't agree at all, i think europe has solidified and been very focused and clear on what they wanted and britain has demeaned itself and been all over the place and failing to come up with a solution. even now, 13 days before the departure date was due, we are sitting here and do not have a clue whether we're at no deal, may's partial deal getting through, a second referendum, an election, it is the biggest mess in british
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politics in my lifetime. do you think if the prime minister doesn't get her deal through on the third vote, do you think she is lashed to the mast to try something different? theresa may has shown no indication of subtlety, she is very blinkered and all her career, she is very focused and just plods on, the hope she will switch and say i got it wrong, let's do something different, let's have a second referendum, is inconceivable. i think we are stuck in this mess and the odds have risen that she will get her vote through but still have no idea and that is to british political shame we are in this situation. bari, we do not have time, we have to leave it there. that's it for dateline this week — we're back next week at the same time.
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hello. we have seen just about every kind of weather across the uk today. some snow in the north, some heavy rain further south. showers bringing rumbles of thunder and, for some, there have been a few glimmers of brightness. there was northumberland not so long ago, underneath this area of low pressure with the cold air to the north, and some slightly milder air isjust trying to bump its way a little further north currently, so through this evening, what we will tend to see is snow across the far north of england and southern scotland turning to rain, but one way or another, it looks like it could be quite a challenging night if you are travelling out and about for your evening out. still some heavy snow to come across the highlands and into aberdeenshire. rain and a sleety snow mix across central and southern scotland, some punchy showers, maybe rumbles of thunder for northern ireland.
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then ice will become an issue as the sky start to clear. further south, here is your evening from 6—9pm, rain pushing its way across the south—west of england, the midlands, eventually into east anglia and the south—east. skies clear behind that for a time and it looks like some heavy showers will pack into north wales and the winds still remain particularly gusty. they will start to ease overnight but still those gusts are strong enough to do some damage in the coming few hours. so here we are from 9pm onwards. a wet end to the day across the south—east and east anglia. clearer skies following the low off into the north sea. still breezy behind below, showers carried into still breezy behind the low, showers carried into northern ireland and north wales, northern england, north midlands and the north of scotland and chilly across the northern half of the uk, with a frost, so ice could be a possibility just about anywhere across the northern half of the uk first thing on sunday. for sunday, we are on the rear edge of our area of low pressure. it stays breezy but not as windy as today.
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we could see some bands of more organised showers running their way south, certainly looks like some more wintry weather for scotland, northern england for a time and some heavy rain pushing into wales in the south—west of england. driest and brightest on sunday, likely to be east anglia and the south—east. feeling chilly here but a milder day for scotland as temperatures get up higher into the single figures range. for next week, though, finally, it looks like things will become quieter. drier and certainly less windy.
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