Friday, 16 December 2016

Like Father, Like Son

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I watched a really good Japanese language film on Sky movies the other night - 'Like Father, Like Son' - which tells the tale of two families whose sons get swapped soon after birth.

Now the movie is subtitled, but don't let that put you off because the plot is a curious mixture of heartbreaking and heartwarming at one and the same time.

I was reminded of the old song 'Father and Son by Cat Stevens who now goes by the name of Yusuf Islam, of course.

So do yourself a favour and sit down fora couple of hours to watch an understated but very enjoyable drama by the director Hirokazu Korea.


Cat Stevens as Yusuf Islam

Hate Crimes (21 February 2013)

Every so often the The Mail group of newspapers comes up with a good story - which seem to get ignored by other parts of the press and media.

Maybe it's because The Mail  is seldom even-handed or measured - and seems completely obsessed with stories about benefits cheats, immigration and Princess Diana. 

But that doesn't mean the newspaper is incapable of locking on to a big story - on something that really matters - when it sees an opportunity.

The other day The Mail reported on a Muslim preacher - Anjem Choudary - whom the paper  describes as a 'hate preacher' who pockets £25,000 a year in benefits - while campaigning to bring Shariah law to the UK.

Apparently, Anjem Choudary has been recorded telling his followers to claim benefits as part of their struggle - a 'Jihadseeker's Allowance', if you like -  rather than the normal 'Jobseeker's Allowance'.

The Mail goes on to say that Choudary told a small crowd of around 30 fanatics: 

"People will say, 'Ah, but you are not working'. But the normal situation is for you to take money from the kuffar (non-Muslim).

So we take Jihadseeker's Allowance. You need to get support."

Anjem Choudary went on to say - according to the newspaper - that David Cameron (the British Prime Minister), Barack Obama (the American President) and the leaders of Pakistan and Egypt - should all be killed.

Now presumably all of this is recorded and reported accurately - in which case the evidence should surely be a matter for the police to pursue.

Because it all reminded me of the time - some years ago - when the author Fay Weldon bravely intervened in a TV discussion programme demanding to know why the police were not arresting the former singer Cat Stevens - now known as Yusuf Islam.

The coward Cat was put on the spot but so too was a senior police officer who was sitting at the discussion table with Fay Weldon - who demanded to know why the police didn't get off their backsides and arrest the former pop star for inciting violence - and promoting a hate crime.

To my mind that's exactly what should happen to Anjem Choudary - and just because it's The Mail that's raising the issue shouldn't be an excuse for the rest of the press and media - to look the other way.  

Here's a YouTube link to the moment when Fay Weldon stands up for human decency - and a separate clip of Salman Rushdie putting Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens) - firmly in his place.        

Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens)

Salman Rushdie