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"Arabs out of Iraq"

24 March 2005

Inflammatory graffiti has begun to appear on the walls of Baghdad saying, "Arabs out of Iraq" and "We back the government - Arabs go home", The Independent (UK) reports. New strict residency rules to detain and expel foreign Arabs, suspected of aiding the insurgency, have triggered both protest and support.

Foreign Muslim fighters in Iraq are a familiar story, but the focus on foreign Arabs is new. Targeted groups include Palestinians, Sudanese Arabs, Syrians, Saudis, Egyptians, and even Chechens and Iranians. The LA Times observes: "For those who have lived here for years, the xenophobia is painful. Most Arabs came for work, often with proper papers."

For an insight into the difference between an Arab and a Muslim response to the "war on terror", see Dyab Abou Jahjah on The thirty year war on terror, and Fareena Alam on A humane Muslim future. Add your thoughts and read Dyab Abou Jahjah's comments on the distinctions and stereotypes in our forum discussion.

Stop the secrecy: Publish the NHS COVID data deals


To: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

We’re calling on you to immediately release details of the secret NHS data deals struck with private companies, to deliver the NHS COVID-19 datastore.

We, the public, deserve to know exactly how our personal information has been traded in this ‘unprecedented’ deal with US tech giants like Google, and firms linked to Donald Trump (Palantir) and Vote Leave (Faculty AI).

The COVID-19 datastore will hold private, personal information about every single one of us who relies on the NHS. We don’t want our personal data falling into the wrong hands.

And we don’t want private companies – many with poor reputations for protecting privacy – using it for their own commercial purposes, or to undermine the NHS.

The datastore could be an important tool in tackling the pandemic. But for it to be a success, the public has to be able to trust it.

Today, we urgently call on you to publish all the data-sharing agreements, data-impact assessments, and details of how the private companies stand to profit from their involvement.

The NHS is a precious public institution. Any involvement from private companies should be open to public scrutiny and debate. We need more transparency during this pandemic – not less.


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