Saturday, February 28, 2009

Triumph for human rights and psycho jihadists

Comment from Britain by Rod Liddle

This has been an excellent week for Muslim psychopaths. First, Abu Qatada - "Osama Bin Laden's right-hand man in Europe" - has been given leave to stay in Britain by the European Court of Human Rights - and has also been bunged some money to compensate him for having been banged up in the first place.

And no sooner have we cleared the champagne flutes away and banished our hangovers after this celebration than it is reported that Binyam Mohamed is on his way back too. Binyam has been in Guantanamo Bay for a while, having been accused by the Americans of wandering around the Hindu Kush looking for infidels to murder, like a sort of well-armed Norman Wisdom with a grievance. He says he's innocent and has been tortured by America's flunkeys.

Binyam is an Ethiopian who was never awarded full citizenship here, so it's a real stroke of luck that we end up with custody of the man. Old Abu, meanwhile, is wanted on terrorism charges in half of Europe and Jordan as well, but the European Court has decided in our favour: we can keep him while it mulls things over for a while.

Qatada was the supposed inspiration and spiritual guide for the fabulously inept shoe bomber Richard Reid, the chap who tried to blow up an aeroplane with explosives hidden in his trainers but forgot to take a lighter with him and couldn't manage to strike a match properly. Qatada also believes that Muslim states should have no truck with infidel cockroach western democracies, although he seems to have quite enjoyed living here these past few years, denouncing the Jews and playing jihadist war games on his PC.

In this he is a little like the giggling, bearded Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammed, who railed against our filth and decadence for years until he was peremptorily deported to Lebanon, whereupon he immediately pleaded to be allowed to return home to his semi in Edmonton, in case he was blown to pieces by an Israeli shell. No, mate, you stay where you are: should have been a bit nicer while you were here, shouldn't you? There is a certain train of thought that insists all these people should be either imprisoned indefinitely or deported to one or another dusty Middle Eastern satrapy, where their views might accord with those of a greater proportion of the population. My own view is that they shouldn't have been allowed into the country in the first place.

In almost all cases we knew they weren't the sort of people with whom you might share a convivial weekend, but were implacable Islamists who loathed us even more than the countries from which they fled. But in most cases we couldn't send them back because those countries might treat them in an uncivilised manner - pulling out their fingernails, shooting them in the back of the head and so on.

The fact that each arriviste yearned for regimes in their native countries even more unpleasant than the ones from which they had escaped, and also to blow us up at the same time, cuts no ice with international law. International law, then, must change. It was constructed in less barbarous times - the times of Hitler, Stalin, people like that.

Once here, though, and granted citizenship, they should be given due process. Treating people decently and with due process is about our only trump card in this wearying and debilitating battle against the jihadists. They, of course, think our adherence to the letter of the law is a weakness to be derided, which is why it is such a propaganda coup when they really are transgressed against, when they are treated differently from how we would treat any suspected criminal. So much for your democracy, they say.

Abu Qatada should not have been allowed into the country, but once here he should not have been imprisoned indefinitely when there was clearly insufficient evidence to convict; the same applies to Sheikh Abu Hamza al-Masri, still incarcerated in Belmarsh while the Americans cobble together evidence against him by fair means or foul. If we are stupid enough to let them in, then we should be stupid enough to treat them like normal human beings too.


Cure for peanut allergy closer

This again shows that exposure to peanuts has a major role in preventing peanut allergy

A group of children with severe peanut allergies have had their conditions successfully treated, allowing them to eat nuts without suffering any reaction for the first time. The success of the preliminary clinical trial, conducted by Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, eastern England, shows the possibilty of modifying an allergy by desensitising the sufferer. Scientists say that the development brings them one step closer to curing nut allergies.

Researchers gave small daily doses of peanut flour to children with severe peanut allergy to help them to build tolerance to the nuts over a six-month period. By the end of the trial, the children could eat up to 12 nuts a day without suffering a life-threatening reaction in the form of anaphylaxis.

Peanut allergy is increasingly common, affecting an estimated 2 per cent of British schoolchildren. Reactions can range from itching, rashes and swelling to breathing difficulties caused by a narrowing of the airways, and severe asthma. It is the most common serious allergic reaction but, unlike other childhood food allergies, it rarely recedes over time.

Pamela Ewan, a consultant allergist and lead researcher, said that the trial offered hope for sufferers. "Until now there has been no treatment that has modified the disease," she told The Times. "There has only been effective management of the problems. "We do not like to talk of cures, but that is what we are aiming for. If you can switch off the allergy, you can claim you have cured the person." Andrew Clark, a consultant in paediatric allergy who worked on the trial, said that further studies were planned into different types of nuts, as well as other foods, including kiwi fruit.

In the study, published in the journal Allergy, four children were given daily doses of peanut flour, starting with 5mg mixed into yoghurt. Over six months the dose was increased every two weeks until the children could tolerate 800mg of the protein. This was 160 times the starting dose and equivalent to five peanuts. A larger study by Addenbrooke's, involving 20 children aged 7 to 17, is showing similar results. A total of 12 patients have completed treatment and none has shown signs of reaction to peanuts. Some of them were showing tolerance reaching 12 peanuts a day. The original four children are keeping up their tolerance with a "maintenance" dose of five peanuts a day.

Mr Clark said: "If they were to stop there is some evidence that tolerance would be lost and they may have a reaction." He said that the children's tolerance levels would be monitored and future studies would assess whether the dose could be given as a daily pill. After three or four years, the body may have adjusted and there could be a more "permanent cure" to the allergy, he said. "Every time people with a peanut allergy eat something, they're frightened that it might kill them. Our motivation was to find a treatment that would change that and give them the confidence to eat what they like. "All of these children say it has improved their quality of life and they've lost that fear of having an acute reaction if they accidentally eat a peanut."

Mr Clark warned families not to try to replicate the study at home. Previous trials in the 1990s, which used injections rather than oral doses, produced serious side-effects. The Addenbrooke's study was sponsored by the Evelyn Trust, a Cambridge charity supporting medical research.


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