Abu Hamza, the radical Islamic hate cleric, turned his London mosque into “the base of operations for the global export of violence and terror”, a New York jury was told at the start of his trial on terrorism charges.
“Abu Hamza was not just a preacher of religion,” Edward Kim, assistant US attorney, said in opening arguments. “He was a trainer of terrorists and he used the cover of religion so he could hide in plain sight in London. His goal was clear, simple and vicious. All able-bodied Muslims had a duty to wage war against non-Muslims. He was a leader with a global following, who didn’t just talk the talk, he walked the walk. He dispatched young men around the world to train, to fight, to kill.”
The white-bearded imam, who lost his hands and an eye in an explosion in Afghanistan, shuffled papers with his stumps and put on a prosthetic limb to take notes as he listened to the prosecution lay out its allegations about his role at the Finsbury Park mosque in north London.
Mr Kim explained that two other Britons would play a key role in the prosecution case. He said that Feroz Abbasi, a Ugandan-born Londoner who was captured by US forces in Afghanistan in Dec 2001, was sent by Hamza for training for jihad missions by al-Qaeda commanders.
Saajid Badat, a British terrorist “supergrass”, would describe training with Mr Abbasi at al-Qaeda camps in Afghanistan via video link from Britain, the prosecutor said. Mr Abbasi, who was held at Guantanamo Bay for three years before his return to London in 2005, has never been charged by US or British authorities.
The jury will also hear testimony from Mary Quin, a former American hostage who escaped the kidnapping in Yemen and later travelled to the Finsbury Park mosque to confront Hamza. The prosecution will play a tape recording that she he made of her encounter in which Hamza allegedly admitted providing the kidnappers with a satellite telephone and justified the hostage-taking.
Mr Kim also noted that flak jackets, chemical warfare suits and gas marks were found at the Finsbury Park mosque - the “tools of war stockpiled in a place of worship”.
Count all the ways Rami Khouri, Defender of the Faith (though it's a faith I don't believe he shares -- I think he's an example of that well-known phenomenon, the Arab islamochristian, who wraps himself in protective 'Uruba solidarity, and attempts to fit into a Muslim sea mainly by being plus-royaliste-que-le-roi in his hostility toward Israel) manages to misrepresent and malign Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and compare his tone with hers, in her many interviews, articles, and two books. Whose is the quiet tone of reason, and whose that hysterical tone to which, by now, devotees of www.MEMRITV.org have all grown inured?
Rami Khouri has made a fatal mistake. He's quoted Ayaan Hirsi Ali. And even though the remarks are plucked out of context, and no doubt the most uncompromisinig of her remarks, they still make sense. What he's quoted, in order, he thinks, to show her up, will have the opposite effect, will strike many readers -- especially Christians living in Lebanon and those Muslims-for-identification-purposes-only Muslims who have long agonized over what happens to minds on Islam, and especially today, as they look around the world, even in Muslim lands, must be in an agony of doubt and hidden apostasy -- as piercingly true.
The Passover Seder is an occasion when Jewish people around the world remember their history. That complex past, embracing both suffering and happiness, is symbolized in the Seder service by the mixture of bitter horseradish with sweet parsley, representing spring and renewal. The collective memory is of ancient persecution, exile, pogroms, the Holocaust, perpetual anti-Semitism, present-day terrorism but also one of emancipation in democratic countries and the creation of the State of Israel. Above all, this story depicts the liberation of people 3,300 years ago from slavery and subjugation in the Egypt ruled by Pharoah to liberation, freedom, and sovereignty in a land promised to them.
The central part of the Seder is the asking and the response to four questions about the nature and significance of the festive ceremony, and the traditions observed and different foods that are eaten on the occasion. Those answers recall the struggles of Jews in their desire to be free: the coming forth from Egypt, and the struggle and rebellion against the Romans who destroyed the Second Temple. The memory of those struggles against persecution and discrimination is still echoed in the challenges today requiring the struggle against discrimination and anti-Semitism, the response to those who refuse to acknowledge the legitimacy of the State of Israel or who deny or minimize the relationship to the area of the Middle East that is still disputed, and also the answer to the bigoted and biased boycotters of Israel.
At the heart of the Seder story is the escape of Jews from bondage to a life of freedom and political sovereignty. For Israel today, and for the hopes of peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors, the four questions asked in the Seder can be boiled down to one: in spite of the incontestable evidence, why will Palestinians not accept the historical relationship of Jews to the area of Palestine, and why do they so strongly oppose the sovereignty and the legitimacy of the Jewish State?
The sovereignty of Israel is manifested by its political independence, by the revival of the Hebrew language in popular use as well as for religious purposes, as well as by unexpected contemporary features such as becoming skilled in military defense and security, by its accomplishments as a country of innovative high tech, with world-class great universities, and even by unexpected production of oil and gas. Yet, Palestinian leaders to this point have not only refused to accept that sovereignty and the existence of Israel in real rather than in perfunctory form, but also denied what the Seder story tells in abundance, the historic relationship of the Jewish people to the land.
As in the Seder ceremony, there is need for the story to be told again of the bonds that unite the Jewish people and tie it to the land, a bond illustrated in recent years by the ingathering into Israel of Jews from Ethiopia and India. The recital of those bonds should also be heard by members of the international community, and by those who look favorably on or advocate the fallacious Palestinian Narrative of Victimhood.
The true international understanding started with the Balfour Declaration on November 2, 1917. This was letter from British Foreign Minister Arthur Balfour to Lord Rothschild stating that the British government views “with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.” This Declaration was then incorporated into both the Peace Treaty of Sèvres and the Mandate for Palestine.
The Treaty of Sèvres of August 10, 1920, establishing peace between the Ottoman Empire and the Allies of World War I, implemented the result of negotiations that had started in London and continued in the San Remo Resolution in April 1920. Article 95 of the Treaty, implementing that Resolution, laid down that a Mandatory, to be appointed, would be responsible for putting into effect the Declaration originally by Britain and “adopted by the other Allied Powers, in favor of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.”
Based on the San Remo Resolution and on Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations, the Mandate for Palestine, given to Britain by the League on July 24, 1922 and put into effect on September 329, 1923, was the basis for the administration of territory, an area that was formerly part of provinces of the Ottoman Empire. The preamble to the Mandate repeated the words of the Treaty of Sèvres “in favor of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.”
International agreements after World War II went further. The crucial event was the UN General Assembly 181 (II) Resolution of November 29, 1947, the so-called partition resolution, passed by a vote of 33-13-10. It called for the ending of the Mandate for Palestine no later than August 1, 1948. More importantly, it called (article A, 3) for the creation of “Independent Arab and Jewish States and the Special International Regime for the City of Jerusalem.”
Therefore, the international community called for the creation of a Jewish State that came into existence on May 14, 1948. The Arab-Israel conflict resulted from the refusal of Arab leaders and governments to accept the partition resolution. This refusal was proclaimed even before the resolution. The General Secretary of the Arab League, Azzam Pasha, was quoted on page 9 of the Egyptian newspaper Akhbar el-Yom of October 11, 1947 as saying, that if a Jewish state is established and a war were to occur it “would lead to a war of extermination and momentous massacre that history will record similarly to the Mongol massacre or the wars of the Crusades.” In the same fashion, the Syrian president and the Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini both spoke of the eradicating of Zionism or the annihilation of Zionists.
The contrast between the two sides could not be clearer. Chaim Weizmann, the longtime Zionist leader and president of the Zionist Organization who became the first president of Israel on February 1, 1949, wrote to David Ben-Gurion on May 30, 1948 that it is “the profound desire of our people to establish relations of harmony and mutual respect with their fellow Arab citizens, with the neighboring Arab states, and with all other nations.”
The Arab leaders refused to create a Palestinian state, let alone acknowledge the international recognition of a Jewish State. They, especially the Palestinian leaders, still refuse that acknowledgment and in addition deny the significance of Jewish history. President Mahmoud Abbas, who presumably has never attended a Seder, speaks of ‘illusions and legends” that Jews use in referring to their history in Jerusalem, and of the “alleged” Jewish temple there. Palestinian spokespeople even deny the validity of the artifacts with Jewish symbols that have been found near the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Why do those spokespersons persist in arguing that the claims of historical or religious ties of Jews with Palestine are incompatible with the facts of history?
Can there possibly be a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, begun by the refusal of the Arabs to create a Palestinian state and by their wars and continual military aggression against Israeli civilians, if the distortion of Jewish history is not only kept alive but continues to be disseminated through Arab education? President Abbas should be invited to a Seder.
Michael Curtis is author of Jews, Antisemitism, and the Middle East.
Posted just today, the following employment ad from Brown University is the distilled expression of much that is wrong in university life. It used to be said tha tin a good poem not a word should be changed (it's not true, but it points in the direction of a truth); in this announcement from Brown, every word needs changed. Some semblance of life-- not the "life of the mind" (ridiculous phrase) but of mind -- needs to be given to what now is dead and deadening. The nothing words and the nothing understandings that lie behind these nothing words -- well, nothing will come of nothing. Write again.
Associate Director, Middle East Studies
Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island
Brown University is seeking an Associate Director, Middle East Studies to provide critical leadership and direction in support of programmatic initiatives, strategic growth and curricular development. Middle East Studies at Brown is in a transition period of rapid growth and the position offers an exciting opportunity for motivated and highly organized individuals to institutionalize an agenda-driven program grounded in Brown’s tradition of interdisciplinary, critical, and engaged scholarship.
The Associate Director provides critical leadership and direction in support of programmatic initiatives, strategic growth and curricular development of Middle East Studies, including an interdisciplinary undergraduate concentration and its related research and instructional activities.
In conjunction with the Faculty Director, the Associate Director will create, design, and oversee innovative and long-term development of the concentration, while also teaching one to two courses per year and serving as a Student Advisor.
This position will participate in the development of outreach initiatives, including advancement and fund raising opportunities, program events, grant writing, web design, supporting visiting professors and Post-Docs, and the creation of promotional materials.
The position of Associate Director will serve as a principle program liaison to faculty, students, and administrators across departments and offices within the University, and represent the program on University committees as appropriate.
As the Associate Director, the incumbent will also cultivate and coordinate relations with similar programs and centers in other universities as well as with scholars and academic institutions on the national and international levels.
It was Robert Louis Stevenson who said: “Man is a creature who lives not upon bread alone but principally by catchwords.” Refining our thoughts with qualifications can get tiring, so we recur to slogans to capture a reality that is almost always complex.
Alas, what should be the shorthand of thought often turns out to be the short-circuit of thought. When we think of Margaret Thatcher, for example, we think of free-market reforms—whether we are for such reforms or against them, whether we welcome or abominate them.
Is this right? Was Mrs. Thatcher’s legacy one of free markets, of laissez-faire? I am far from sure.
The question first came up when my late friend, the development economist, Peter Bauer (who was a formidable opponent of the orthodoxies of his time) said to me that he thought Mrs. Thatcher had talked a great deal but had actually done very little. In a way, he said, she had even set her own cause back because her strident language had convinced people that she had carried out her radical program, thus arousing the undying hatred of her intellectual opponents as if she had done so, while in fact she changed very little, at least as regards the fundamentals. She thus gave the ideas for which she stood a bad name without their ever having been put into practice.
This came up again recently when a think tank sent me an email circular with the title,Margaret Thatcher—A Free Market Legacy? Of course, the answer depends somewhat on what you consider a political legacy to be. Is all that happens after a politician leaves power his legacy, or only those parts of what is done that are either in accordance with or in conscious opposition to his precepts? Some reforms or changes are irreversible, others easily reversible. Does a legacy consist only of the former?
In the case of Britain and Mrs. Thatcher, I prefer to speak of her effect rather than her legacy. It seems to me that she subdued the political power of the unions, but that that power would have declined anyway—as it has done in France even without a Thatcher figure to lead the charge. That said, she handled the coal miners with skill and determination. After she defeated the Miners’ Union, no other union would lightly take her government on. And so far, at least, British unions have not recovered their extra-constitutional role as the fourth, and seemingly most powerful, branch of government. Even Peter Bauer acknowledged this as an achievement.
But did Mrs. Thatcher roll back the state, as it was her intention and indeed vocation to do? Here I think the answer must decisively be no. That is, at least if the question is about her long-term effect. It is true that she managed to reduce the public sector’s proportion of the Gross Domestic Product somewhat during her term in office. But 30 years after she entered office, it was higher than when she entered it. In 1979 it was 44.6 per cent; in 2009, 47.7 per cent. Her long-term effect (if 30 years counts as the long-term) on the size of the state was nil, despite her reputation as a prudent or even savage cutter of public services.
She did nothing to reduce dependence on the state as a source of primary income. On the contrary, during her period in office, spending on social security increased rather than decreased. (This was largely because unemployment rose so high; it was ethically, socially, and politically impossible to drive down the income of the unemployed to the value of their labor to employers, which in many cases would probably have been negative.) Government spending having declined as a proportion of GDP, social security increased proportionately even more. Mrs. Thatcher did not, because she could not, effect any fundamental change in the model of the welfare state. That model, in democracies at least, has a one-way ratchet.
Mrs Thatcher was loved and hated not so much because she changed things, but because she said she wanted to. Wilfred Owen notwithstanding, men always fight for flags because symbols are more powerful in their minds than reality.
Such measures as GDP are very crude when it comes to estimating the effect on a society of a politician of Mrs. Thatcher’s stature. Still, my impression is that her effect, where it was long-lasting, was predominantly negative.
Mrs. Thatcher gave the impression of being an economic determinist—a mirror-image Marxist if you will. Whether she really was in the inner fastnesses of her mind is beside the point. In politics, what people think you are is often more important than what you are. She gave the impression that if the economy were fixed, everything else desirable would follow as the night the day, and that the way to fix it was to let everyone follow his own narrow economic interest.
To be sure, it was very necessary in Britain at the time to try to undo the effect of many years of intellectual propaganda against all forms of commerce, which the intelligentsia then thought was intrinsically besmirching in a way that public service funded by taxation was not. The utopia peddled by the intellectuals was of a society in which everybody and everything was subsidized. (The ultimate source of the subsidies, of course, was of no interest or concern.)
Margaret Thatcher was, in effect, the Guizot of 20th century Britain: enrichissez vous was her message to the British people. Unfortunately, it was not only the people in the genuinely commercial sector who heard the message. Those in the public sector did, too. This sector never became small; and Mrs Thatcher, not able to reduce it, thought to tame it by introducing scientific management into it.
She believed in scientific management as scientologists believe in L. Ron Hubbard. Unfortunately, this meant that enichissez vous quickly became the watchword of the public administration, whose senior bureaucrats successfully argued that, as managers of vast enterprises such as public hospitals, which were now to be run as businesses, they could arrogate to themselves every perquisite enjoyed by the captains of industry and the kings of commerce. The result has been that employment in the public sector is more lucrative than in the private, and much less risky. There are many towns in Britain in which the middle class is composed almost solely of so-called public servants.
The supposedly scientific management that Mrs. Thatcher introduced into the public sector had, ironically enough, a strong Soviet flavor to it, complete with bogus benchmarks easily reached by means of organized lying and falsification, as well as the universal employment of a langue de bois all its own. As a professor in Bristol put it when the government suddenly introduced a new term, clinical governance, into its circulars without explaining what it meant: “clinical governance is a term untranslatable into any other language, including English.” The Iron Lady, the most anti-Soviet of all recent British Prime Ministers, immeasurably advanced the cause of Sovietism, regrettably, in her own country.
Her successor-but-one, Anthony Blair, with the cunning of the natural born swindler, seized his chance and created a loyal, corrupt, self-seeking nomenklatura class that remains extremely influential and easily able to outwit the blancmange-like David Cameron, who in any case so easily moulds himself to any shape going.
I concede, of course, that any historical interpretation is open to dispute and revision. Moreover, to blame a figure for not having done the impossible is not to damage her reputation in the slightest. There is (thank goodness) a limit to what one person can do in countries such as the United Kingdom. I liked Mrs. Thatcher personally and she was head and shoulders above the other political figures of her time. But that only shows that politics are the shadow on the cave wall.
Today marked the first commemoration of the Boston Marathon Bombing that occurred at the Boylston Street finish line on April 15, 2013 in two devastating explosions at 2:49 PM triggered by homemade pressure cookers bombs packed with lethal shrapnel. The nation was riveted for five days by the pursuant of refugee Jihadists of Chechen origin, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarneav who planned and perpetrated the bombing. The elder Tamerlan dies in a hail of bullets, while his younger sibling Dzhokhar was captured cowering in a boat in the backyard of a Watertown neighborhood. Dzhokhar’s trial is scheduled in a Boston Federal Court in November 2014. The Federal prosecutors are seeking a death penalty for his actions.
President Obama observed the Bombing in a private moment of silence. Vice President Biden journeyed to Boston to join in a memorial with Mayor Marty Walsh, former Mayor Thomas Menino, Massachusetts Governor Derval Patrick first responders and four survivors at a series of scheduled events at the Hynes Convention Center.
Biden commended these survivors for their “pure courage”. Further he said, “You have become the face of America’s resolve.” He completed his speech saying, "We are Boston. We are America. We respond, we endure, we overcome, and we own the finish line."
Governor Patrick reflecting the Hub City’s community spirit said, “We are no strangers here.”
These remarks at today’s commemoration and memorial bolstered the imagery of Boston Strong defiant, yet grieving over the losses in both human and spiritual terms. There is an exhibit at the Boston Public Library at the head of the Copley Square with a selection drawn from the City of Boston Archives of the global outpouring of sympathies. There were blessings for runners who have signed up for the 2014 Marathon, re- scheduled for April 21st, who will run in the name of those killed and injured, many maimed for life with missing limbs. There will be panel discussions of the resilience of the Boston community and books to be published on the occasion of this commemoration.
Governor Patrick has contended that security planning for this year’s Boston Marathon is has been “very thorough”, preparing for the legendary race’s 26 mile plus route from suburban Hopkington,Massachusetts to the finish line in Copley Square.
The devastation is reflected in the opening stanzas of our article on this tragic event in the May 2013 edition of the New English Review, Refugee Jihad Terror in Boston:
Those Boston Marathon blasts occurred less than 13 seconds apart at approximately 2:49 PM on Monday, April 15, 2013. They left a trail of deaths and destruction in what is now called the Boston Marathon Massacre involving three dead and more that 282 treated for injuries. Fourteen were severely maimed for life with missing limbs. The deaths caused by the Tsarnaev brothers include 8 year old Martin Richard, 29 year old Krystle Campbell and 23 year old Lu Lingzi, a Chinese national and Boston University graduate student. 26 year old MIT police officer Sean Collier was killed by the Tsarnaevs while in his patrol car in Cambridge. Richard Donahue, a 33 year old Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority police officer was also shot and critically wounded.
Notwithstanding, perhaps because of today’s commemorations in Boston there are lingering questions even before the trial of younger brother Dzhokhar begins later this year in Boston.
Questions remain regarding whether the Jihad attack could have been prevented given emerging evidence.
There is evidence of Russian intercepts of telephone conversations between Tamerlan and his mother in Dagestan expressing jihadist ideology passed on to the FBI in 2011. A recent Intelligence Inspector General report exonerated the FBI pointing a finger at the alleged failure of the Russian intelligence service to respond to follow up questions. There are allegations by Dzhokhar’s lawyers that the FBI tried to enlist elder brother Tamerlan as an informant.
Then there is a question raised in a recent Boston Magazine investigative article “Murders before the Marathon” about the Middlesex County prosecutor and FBI investigations of the grisly 2011 murders of three men, two of them Jews, in an alleged bust drug deal in Waltham, Massachusetts on 9/11/2011. The three murdered men “Brendan Mess, 25; Raphael Teken, 37; and Eric Weissman, 31, were found with their throats cut in September of 2011, and their bodies were covered with marijuana.” The author of the Boston Magazine article had met one of the victims Eric Weissman, a purveyor of designer marijuana in a casual deal as a college student and was able to interview the victim’s wife and the girl friend of one of the accomplices killed in an Orlando, Florida shooting by an FBI agent.
According to the Boston Magazine article the information available to Middlesex County police and prosecutors might have led to indictment of the Tsarneavs thereby preventing implementation of their jihad at the Marathon finish line in 2013. Those investigations into the Waltham triple murders went cold for over 570 days, only reignited by the Tsarneav perpetration of the Marathon Bombing. There was both DNA evidence and corroboration of the perpetrators by the wife of the one of those murdered linking the participation of Tsarneavs along with an accomplice, fellow Chechen Refugee, Ibragim Todashev.
Todashev, according to Ann Corcoran at Refugee Resettlement Watch, was granted asylum by the US DOJ Executive Office of Immigration Review under false pretenses pointing to a threat to his life in Chechnya, despite the fact that his father was a Chechen official. Todashev was killed in an alleged assault in his Orlando apartment nine months ago in a shooting by an FBI agent allegedly justified by a knife attack by Todaschev. That killing is still being investigated by independent Florida prosecutors. However, recently the FBI Agent’s actions were deemed “justified”.
There is also the matter of whether the Mosque in Cambridge, affiliated with Muslim Brotherhood-backed Islamic Cultural Center of Boston (ISBCC) should have been subject to community policing akin to that of the NYPD. We raise this because another Muslim Brotherhood front, MPAC with entre to the Obama White House, FBI and the Department of Homeland Security’s advisory council, has been promoting an initiative, “Safe Spaces”. According to a Wall Street Journal article, “Mosques get a New Message”, Safe Spaces , is about a voluntary program by boards of American Mosques engaging in identifying and ‘converting’ extremists in their midst thereby co-opting local and national law enforcement profiling of their communities. The trigger for the MPAC initiative is an incident that occurred at the Cambridge Mosque involved Tamerlan in January 2013. The WSJ article noted the event and reactions of the ISBCC spokesperson to the MPAC Safe Spaces initiative:
In January 2013, months before the bombing, [Tamerlan] shouted at a speaker who compared Martin Luther King Jr. to Muhammad, calling him a "hypocrite."
Afterward, mosque leaders gave him an ultimatum, saying that if he ever interrupted Friday service again he would be expelled, said Yusufi Vali, a spokesman for the mosque.
The MPAC report said Mr. Tamerlan's outbursts "were more than enough cause for concern to warrant intervention from community leaders to help provide counseling" which "might have revealed other red flags that would generate greater concern" and eventually have alerted law enforcement.
Mr. Vali said he hadn't yet read the MPAC report, and declined to comment on it, "so I can't respond to adopting the initiative or whether that would have been a better approach."
This first commemoration is focused on the resilience of Boston honoring the memories of those who lost their lives at the hands of the Jihadists, the Tsarneav brothers.
Tuesday evening, Boston Police detained a man for questioning about two unattended backpacks left at the Boylston Street Marathon finish line. ABC news reported the bomb squad blew u p the backpacks. Police have cleared the area. Trains are bypassing the nearby Copley Square station. The police department has tweeted asking people to avoid the area.
Given the continuing investigations into the Bombing and these latest developments, are Boston and our nation prepared to prevent another jihadist attack in a public space?
News just to hand. Background briefing: police were called to a report of a domestic viiolence incident. Members of the Muslim family involved, assaulted police and were arrested. Certain of the persons involved had just been formally charged when this second riot was started..right there in the court.
The Muslims are, of course, claiming they wuz "provoked!!!" and crying victim (I encourage readers to click on the links and look at photos of drama queen be-hijabbed mama and her menacing thuggish sons) but I would bet my bottom dollar that the court's CCTV footage, slowed down and viewed frame by frame if necessary, will show that the mohammedthug threw the first punch.
"Riot squad called to courtroom brawl involving Sydney family charged with assaulting police".
"The riot squad has been called to a Sydney courtroom to deal with a brawl between police and members of a family (a Muslim family - CM) facing charges for assaulting police.
'Five members of the Mehanna family were facing Downing Centre Local Court in central Sydney over charges of Affray and assaulting police on New Year's Day in 2013 at their Bankstown home.
'Witnesses said that shortly after the lunch adjournment one of the Mehanna brothers struck a police officer, starting a courtroom brawl that involved more than 30 officers.
That's not a brawl. That's a riot. In a court. It wasn't outside the court, either. It was inside the court. I am not sure that Australian non-Muslims have ever pulled this kind of stunt in a court. Not even in our wildest colonial days. - CM
'But Ali Mehanna claims it was police who started the altercation.
Suuuure. And what do we know about Muslims? They lie, lie, lie, lie, lie; and they always, always, always cry victim, and cry "grievance!" and "we wuz pwovoked!!" and claim that the other guy started it. Ali Mehanna's screams of "victim" and "provocation" are totally and dismally predictable. It will be fun to see what happens if - as I strongly suspect - the CCTV footage from the courtroom plus anything filmed on mobile phones, etc, by non-Muslim persons present in the court, shows decisively that the fight was started by the Muslim participants. - CM
"There was no need for more police. Officers were in court dealing with the situation. Tehre were six or seven other police officers outside of the courtroom", he said.
I see the massive reinforcement of the courtroom cops as a healthy sign that Australian police are learning to instantly deploy overwhelming force when violent Mohammedans begin causing Trouble. - CM
"As my brother and the family has left the court room, they provoked him.
You know what, Mr Mehanna? I don't believe you. - CM
"They were pushing, shoving, and before you knew it he was getting hit and punched by the police officers.
Again, Mr Mehanna, I don't believe you. - CM
"And then while they were arresting him on the floor, they started kicking him, kneeing him..it was police brutality all over".
Wait for the CCTV footage to be analysed. It may well tell a story of an out-of-control run-amok mohammedthug having to be subdued by main force. - CM
'The original case against members of the Mehanna family was adjourned for sentencing until next month.
'Police sayone officer was injured in the brawl, and at least one member of the Mehanna family has been taken into custody.
Observe. The Muslim mobster, Ali Mehanna, claimed the police were beating up on his bruvva; yet there is no hint that either that bruvva (who started the fight) or anyone else in the Mob incurred any real injury; the only person injured was a police officer . -
And now to the Sydney Morning Herald version, from their court reporter Emma Partridge.
"Dozens of police in brawl at Downing Centre court".
"Witnesses describe a brawl between police and a group of brothers who had just been convicted at Sydney's Downing Centre Courts on Tuesday.
"Dozens of police officers have been involved in a brawl inside a Sydney court with a family (that is: a Muslim family - CM) on trial for brawling with police.
'One officer was "smacked in the face" during the fight, witness and 2UE court reporter Leonie Ryan said.
Non-Muslim witness. Good. - CM
'A number of police cars circled the Downing Centre at lunchtime on Tuesday.
'The fight broke out minutes after Adel, Hussain and Ali Mehanna were convicted of numerous offences, including affray, resisting arrest and assaulting police during a fight that broke out outside their Bankstown home on January 1 2013.
"Five Mehanna family members were facing police assault charges after the brawl.
'Ali Mehanna, who was allegedly involved in Tuesday's scrum (really? "scrum"?? - this was at least a brawl, and potentially a riot - CM) on level four, kept screaming "This is police brutality".
Suuuure. - CM
'Ryan said Adel Mehanna was inside the dock of the courtroom when he started screaming: "I'm going to f***ing kill you".
Uttering threats to kill, right there in court. Not smart. Ugly. And Ali Mehanna wants to represent himself and his thuggish family as poor little innocent persecuted victims, attacked out of the blue by the eeevil police? - CM
'Officers then stormed in as Corrective Services attempted to take him away.
Sounds like he should have been in a straitjacket. - CM
"We walked out of court, we were standing outside the doors, and all of a sudden we just hear screaming. We turned around and it was almost like a football match brawl", she said.
"There were punches being thrown everywhere. It was just fists flying everywhere and screaming.
'She said one police officer was punched in the face before a man was tackled to the ground and handcuffed.
Nota bene. First the police officer was punched in the face - by the mohammedthug - and then the person who threw the punch was tackled and handcuffed (while, one may safely assume, continuing to violently resist arrest). - CM
'Ali Mehanna told reporters outside the court that his brother, who was arrested over the brawl, was the victim of an "unprovoked attack".
Turnspeak. Reversal of reality. Because the account I've just read, by the non-Muslim witness, indicates that his brother started the fight by assaulting a police officer. - CM
"They provoked my brother as he walked out, they found a reason and then 'bang' they jumped on him", Ali Mehanna said.
"There were officers outside of the courtroom, there was no need for officers to be outside of the courtroom (oh yes there was...because visible deployment of overwhelming force is the only way for Infidel law enforcement to deal with the ever-present possibility of the mohammedan insta-mob - CM), and then as we were leaving there was six or seven of them."
All necessary, so far as I can see. If there had been few or no police present, what might have happened to the non-Muslim persons present in and around that court? - CM
'Family supported Hassan Anthony kept repeating the words "police brutality".
Nobody actually got hurt, except a police officer. That tells me the police used just as much force as was necessary to subdue a dangerous and out-of-control person who represented a manifest threat.- CM
"They hit him (a family) to the face, they kneed him in the back", Mr Anthony said.
He wasn't taken away to hospital so I assume very little actual harm was done. - CM
"There was no mercy, all because they (police officers) are wearing the colour blue", he said.
???? What's the colour blue got to do with it? And.. no mercy? His thuggish kinsman was subdued and arrested, as he required to be - and without sustaining, in the process, any injury serious enought to require medical attention. That's mercy, as far as I'm concerned. - CM
The case continues.
Now to our third 'take' on this disgraceful incident; this time, from the Daily Telegraph's Lema Samandar, as reproduced by "The Australian".
"Brawl erupts outside court rooms as three members from the same family were convicted of assaulting police".
That is: another member of the same family...assaulted police. In the court. - CM
'A Western Sydney family who were in court today over assaulting police began a brawl with officers outside a courtroom, saying they were provoked.
How, "provoked", given that they started the fight? This is bog-standard mohammedan turnspeak and reversal of reality. But one must bear in mind that absolutely everything on earth seems to "provoke" or offend mohammedans. The real "provocation" was probably the fact that members of the Allah Gang, the Ummah or Mohammedan Mob, were being publicly subjected to processes of Infidel law...Infidel law for which Muslims are taught to feel nothing but contempt. - CM
'Dozens of officers and riot squad police swarmed the Downing Centre Local Court moments after a fight broke out between members of the Mehanna family and police.
Probably that sentence should have ended, "moments after a member or members of the Mehanna family attacked police." - CM
'But outside court, Ali Mehanna said police crash-tackled his brother Hassan as he was walking out of court.
"After the court dismissed most (but not all - CM) of the charges (against) my mother, my father, my sister, m y brother - the cops aggravated the situation", Mr Mehanna said.
"As my brother left the courtroom they came, they provoked him
How? By looking at him funny? It seems clear, from the non-Muslim witness quoted in reports I've already considered, that nobody actually did anything to the mohammedthug until after he threw the punch. - CM
"and they rearrested him."
Mr Mehanna has omitted something. In between the claim "they provoked him" which does seem to refer to any kind of physical or verbal attack, and "and they rearrested him", there is the punch thrown at the police officer. - CM
"There's videos of the officer constantly hitting my brother, there was six, seven of them on top of him, they were hitting him."
But there will also be, I bet, video - and non-Muslim eyewitness testimony, too - of the mohammedthug throwing the first punch. - CM
'Up to six officers tried to restrain Hassan Mehanna, he screamed "help me, somebody help me".
That six officers were required to restrain him suggests that he was violently resisting arrest. And...the fact of six officers, and more arriving on the scene, is probably why other mohammedthugs present seem to have pulled in their horns, rather than proceeding to a full-scale riot. - CM
'The brawl happened minutes after Magistrate Darryl Pearce convicted brothers Adel, Hussan ahd Ali Mehanna of numerous offences, including affray, resisting arrest, and assaulting police during a fight that broke out outside their Bankstown home on New Year's Day last year.
'And that, I suspect, is the real "provocation" that Mr Ali Mehanna is whining about; that a number of mohammedans are about to be punished under non-Muslim law. - CM
'As people left the court, Adel screamed out from the dock, "I'm going to kill you".
I observe that the Daily Telegraph has primly omitted his use of the F-bomb, but of course, what matters is the public expression of a threat to kill. If the Australian authorities knew what they were doing, Adel Mehanna and his entire family would be looking down the barrel of deportation. Unfortunately, we've not realized that yet; in the interim, I hope that Adel Mehanna after publicly uttering a threat to kill, is now firmly on the list of people to be watched, by the AFP and ASIO.
And yet more, from Channel Nine, giving some idea of just why exactly so many police had to be deployed. The violence and the feverish histrionics of the Muslim street, exploding inside a courtroom in Sydney. - CM
"Moments after three brothers (three Muslim brothers - CM) were convicted over a brawl with police, there was screaming, punching and wailing as another altercation with officers erupted at a Sydney court.
'Dozens of officers and riot ssquad police swarmed over level four of Downing Central Local Court on Tuesday after brothers Adel, Hussain, and Ali Mehanna were convicted of numerous offences, including affray and resisting arrest.
'After the decision was handed down, Adel yelled out from the dock at people leaving the court, "I'm going to f***ing kill you".
'An altercation with police and one of the brothers then spilled out of the court into the foyer.
'As bewildered members of staff and the public stared on, six officers tried to restrain one of the brothers who lay writhing on the floor screaming, "Help me, somebody help me".
'His mother Rafah Mehannah wailed and screamed out, "No, no". She was later taken from the court in an ambulance.
Drama queen. - CM
'The three brothers, as well as their mother, their father Mohammed and sister Zainab, had just faced charges in court over the altercation with police at their Bankstown home.
'The court heard police had been called to the property after reports of a domestic dispute in the early hours of New Year's Day last year.
'When two officers arrived, the three brothers were smoking on the front lawn.
'Magistrate Darryl Pearce said Ali had sworn at them, calling one a "slut" (this indicates that, as per usual procedure when police go to a suspected domestic dispute, one of the attending officers was female - CM), and telling them it was a family matter.
'Despite police discovering there was no case of domestic violence, at least 10 more officers turned up.
Probably because Sydney police have learnt, the hard way, that in any dealings with members of the Mohammedan mob, it is as well to deploy force majeure. - CM
'The situation escalated (how, precisely? - CM), and a "brawl" broke out, with the brothers found to have assaulted a number of police and resisted arrest.
'However, Magistrate Pearce dismissed the charges against Mr and Mrs Mehanna and Zainab, saying that they had only acted in defence of their family.
????? - CM
'He said the trio would have come out of the house to see one officer with a gun drawn, others holding tasers and others punching the three men.
Memo to cops engaged in any interaction at all with the mohammedan mob: make sure everything, from the beginning, is video and audio recorded, so that it may be objectively clear who did what, when. - CM
'Speaking outside court, a supporter of the family alleged the Mehannas had again been attacked by police on Tuesday. "If you don't believe us, you can believe the camera footage", he told reporters.
Suuuure. Me, I suspect the camera footage will tell quite a different tale. - CM
'Hussain was taken into custody following Tuesday's ugly scenes while Adel (the one who yelled at people who were leavng the court, "I'm going to f-ing kill you! - CM) remains in custody. Ali was given bail. (I wonder if he'll try to flit? - CM).
"The matters will return to court next month."
And I suspect there will be an even bigger and more visible police presence, next time around. - CM
At least the division within Arab countries is now being noticed. But what is still verboten is the subject of rich, lightly-populated Arab sheikdoms, and the poverty of the Arabs -- and Muslims -- in Egypt, the rest of North Africa (excluding LIbya if it manages to start selling oil again), Yemen, and in Syria, and even Iraq. There is no discussion of what the fabulously rich members of the Umma ought to do to support other members of the Umma, outside their own countries. But it's clear from the tepid response to appeals to give aid to Syrians that the West is fed up having to shell out still more billions, while the rich Arabs, in such places as Qatar, with trillions to split among fewer than 200,00 Qataris, are not contributing, or contributing so little compared to what they could be doing.
When articles about this appear in the West, written by Westerners, they are overheard in the Arab and Muslim lands. And that's good. It would not take much to rouse fury among poorer Arabs and Muslims against the rich Arabs and Muslims. Why should people in Pakistan not resent the waddling emirs of the Gulf who, after all, are members of the same 'Umma and should be willing to share that wealth with fellow Muslimjs? That's part of what belonging to that 'Umma is suppposed to mean. But the rich Arabs are not going to share more than a very tiny bit. And they have no intention of letting this world-wide caliphate business, or even the idea of a single Arab state, go anywhere, for it would mean having to share that wealth.
Eventually the poorer Arabs are going to catch on..
One of Britain’s most senior policemen has accused Michael Gove of fuelling speculation about an alleged Muslim plot to take over schools by appointing the anti-terrorism chief who oversaw the July 7 bombings investigation to oversee inquiries.
Chris Sims, Chief Constable of West Midlands Police, said the decision to call in Peter Clarke, former head of Scotland Yard’s Counter Terrorism Command, to investigate claims about schools in Birmingham was “desperately unfortunate”.
In remarks echoed by the leader of Birmingham City Council Sir Albert Bore and local MPs, he said the move would “inevitably” lead people to “draw unwarranted conclusions” about the allegations that hardline elements in the Muslim community in the city had orchestrated a dirty tricks campaign to increase their influence.
But Mr Gove insisted he wanted to “get to the bottom” of the allegations and end the uncertainty which was interfering with children’s education.
Community leaders have warned of a perceived “witch hunt” against Muslims based on questionable evidence.
But Mr Gove’s decision to appoint one of Britain’s most experienced anti-terrorism experts to look into the claims is an indication of the level of seriousness being attached to it.
He said: “I am extremely concerned by the allegations made in connection to a number of schools in Birmingham. I have already asked Ofsted to inspect a number of schools of concern and these investigations are ongoing. But wider, more comprehensive action is needed.
“These allegations need either to be substantiated and firm action taken, or to be shown to be baseless. We cannot allow uncertainty for parents or pupils to persist. That is why I am appointing a commissioner to oversee this work. Peter Clarke brings a wealth of relevant skills and experience, and is very well placed to lead a fair and thorough assessment of the evidence, and report back to me.
“We expect he will work closely with Birmingham City Council. . . "
But in a highly unusual move for a Chief Constable – Mr Sims publicly criticised Mr Gove’s decision. He said: "This is a desperately unfortunate appointment. He told The Telegraph that it would be “perceived in the strongest possible terms by many, many people”
“People will read into it that this has suddenly become a counter terrorism investigation,” he said. “In many respects this is not a policing issue. I have a counter terrorism unit that runs from this force but they are not engaged in investigating schools in east Birmingham. And I don’t for a minute think that Peter Clarke will be either but I understand the community well enough to know that his appointment will be judged by many to be exactly that. . . "
It strikes me that the very complaints suggest that it is an excellent decision.
Those who think they should make themselves get excited about what is happening between Russia and Ukraine -- that is, what happens to the Russians living in Eastern Ukraine, might find "Erased" by Omer Bartov enlightening. If you don't want to read the book, you might read the excellent review that I ran across in an old issue of the TLS. If you have Internet access to the TLS Archive (I don't, as I rely on the kindness of non-strangers for hand-me-down copies of the TLS), you can find out a lot from the review by Philip Longworth that appeared on May 9, 2008. It will harden your heart.
Une même cacophonie interne affaiblit l’Union européenne et l’Union pour un mouvement populaire (UMP). Ces rassemblements de façade, trop éloignés des citoyens pour se réclamer d’une légitimité démocratique, s’effritent à mesure qu’approche l’échéance des élections européennes du 25 mai. L’UE, construite de bric et de broc et à la va comme j’te pousse, est incapable d’apporter une position commune et claire à l’offensive de Vladimir Poutine pour tenter de déstabiliser l’est ukrainien après sa victoire en Crimée. L’UMP, pour sa part, se déchire publiquement à propos de cette même Europe, qui lui ressemble dans son inefficacité, son inorganisation, son absence de leader. Ce lundi matin, sur RTL,Bruno Lemaire a contredit François Baroin qui avait appelé, la veille, à une expression publique de Nicolas Sarkozy sur l’Ukraine et sur l’Europe : une péripétie supplémentaire dans une famille politique qui, de Laurent Wauquiez à Xavier Bertrand en passant par Henri Guaino, étale ses divergences et laisse apparaître ses manques de réflexions sur cette Union de plus en plus rejetée par la montée des "populismes" européens, qui ne sont que la prise de conscience des peuples de leur mise à l’écart par une oligarchie confortée par les juges de Strasbourg et les experts de Bruxelles. La panique se laisse voir un peu partout.
L’Europe, celle des nations et du libéralisme, est indispensable.Cependant, l’actuelle Union européenne, technocratie moralisatrice et despotique, indifférente aux peuples, aux cultures et aux frontières, ne mérite pas d’être reconduite en l’état. Une sanction électorale se profile contre ceux qui entendent maintenir, la gauche en tête, cette organisation vécue comme une contrainte par beaucoup de gens. D’autant que l’euro trop fort, dont tous les responsables s’inquiètent ces jours-ci, mériterait aussi un vrai débat sur la pérennité de la monnaie unique, hypothèse inabordable et sur laquelle j’avoue avoir une opinion fluctuante. Dans cette perspective électorale, Harlem Désir s’annonce d’ailleurs comme le fossoyeur du socialisme : après avoir co-conduit son parti à la raclée des municipales, l’ancien patron du PS, promu secrétaire d’Etat aux affaires européennes, ne pourra éviter la rouste des européennes. "On lui dit qu’il n’est pas compétent sur l’Europe, c’est faux !", a tenté de convaincre ce matin sur France Inter l’ancien ministre de l’Economie, Pierre Moscovici, dans une solidarité de perdants. Mais tout est fait pour laisser le FN prendre cette fois la première place.
The belief that everyone can be persuaded by argument to behave well is, I suppose, a corollary of the notion that no man does wrong knowingly. The task of the moralist, then, is to get people to understand the true nature of their conduct, to educate them; and once this is done, the reprehensible conduct will cease by itself.
This is an optimistic theory, and like all optimism is unfounded. Men not only do wrong knowingly, but often do wrong because they know it is wrong. Of course, every false theory is an employment opportunity for someone. The truth might set you free, but it will also sometimes make you unemployed. And unemployment is more to be feared than is freedom to be welcomed.
Recently I attended our annual town meeting. The senior policeman in charge of our area was there to take public questions. He was very smooth, and might just as well have been a mildly evangelical vicar as a policeman. One of the townspeople asked him about periodical nuisance in the town, namely the descent upon it of hundreds of motorcyclists who gather garbed in black leather at a disgusting café a few miles out of town, and arrive like a swarm of African killer bees, their machines making a sound like angry hymenopterans of Brobdingnagian size.
Was it an offence to make such a noise, asked the townsman?
'No,' replied the vicar-policeman.
If he had left it at that, we should all have been satisfied with the knowledge that in order to do something about it, if we felt sufficiently moved to do anything at all, we should have to lobby parliament. However, the vicar-policeman (presumably his boss was a canon-policeman, or even a bishop-policeman) continued:
'We are working with the bikers to educate them about the noise they make. We send an officer to the café on the weekends when they meet there.'
This infuriated me. Talk about wasting police time! It was grossly disparaging of us to imagine that we should be impressed by such evident absurdity, and condescending to the bikers themselves to suppose that they were unaware that the revving of their engines made a noise fit to bring down the walls of our town.
They did not make the noise because they were unaware of it, they made the noise because they liked it. The pretence that ignorance was the heart of the problem (the vicar-policeman was far from stupid) gave his force an excuse to engage on pseudowork, so much easier and less wearing to perform than real work.
He has hundreds of millions, or perhaps billions. But he expects attractive Western girls (he's using the usual maquereaux at modelling and casting agencies), living in Europe, to take his herd of womenfolkin tow (and, very likely,when the occasion warrants, to attend to his own needs, but for that, possibly, he intends to pay extra).
Read about the Dubai sheikh, looking for 60 "personal assistants," here.
With his ol'-Ez understanding of economics, his constant noisy shouting appearances everywhere (and dutifully carried on the Italian State Television, the RAI), Beppe Grillo continues in his vocation as unfunny comic. He's especially exercised about the appearance, and populatity of Matteo Renzi, who is sensible, calm, and ratiional, while Grillo is none of those things. But Grillo is a demagogue, and he does whip up a following, partly among those who might have stuck with Berlusconi, but mainly with the Beavis-and-Butthead despairing of all kinds.
Now he's put Auschwitz, and Primo Levi's book-title "If This Is A Man..." to his own nasty uses, and many are outraged, including the well-known heads of organizations representing Italian Jews.
Someone superior, such as Giorgio Napolitano, should denounce Grillo, help put him out of commission while there is still time.
A new report by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service finds that solar facilities in California are acting like “mega traps” that kill and injure birds. As a result, “entire food chains” are being disrupted.
USFWS’s National Fish and Wildlife Forensics Laboratory studied three solar farms in Southern California: Desert Sunlight, Genesis Solar and Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (ISEGS). Two-hundred and thirty-three different birds from 71 species were found over the course of a two-year study.
The three main causes of death were:
1. Solar flux: Exposure to temperatures over 800 degrees F.
2. Impact (or blunt force) trauma: The birds’ wings are rendered inoperable while flying, causing them to crash into the ground. Birds that do not die are often injured badly enough to make them vulnerable to predators.
3. Predators: When a bird’s wings are singed and it can not fly, it loses its primary means of defense against animals like foxes and coyotes.
Hummingbirds, swifts, swallows, doves, hawks, finches, warblers and owls were just some dead birds found at the solar facilities’ “equal opportunity” mortality hazards.
In one instance, lab staff observed a “falcon-type bird with a plume of smoke arising from the tail as it passed through [a] flux field.”
The study found that besides the intense heat, birds may be mistaking large solar panels for bodies of water. The injured birds then attract insects and other predators to the area. They, too, are then vulnerable to injury or death.
In one instance, researchers found “hundreds upon hundreds” of butterfly carcasses (including Monarchs). The insects were attracted to the light from the solar farms, which in turn attracted birds and perpetuated a cycle of death and injury.
Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy is making the argument that the land he grazes his cattle on belongs to Clark County, Nevada where he is the last rancher standing. He is willing to pay fees to the County, but says the Federal government is not using the money in his best interest, in fact, the opposite is the case. The Feds brought suit in federal court, but there is an argument it should have been tried in state court and that the feds had no right to seize the man's cattle. The Clark County Sheriff is siding with Bundy as are many other citizens and militia groups who feels the best defense against federal tyranny is found in the layers of power held by the states and counties of America. The pendulum has been swinging in favor of the federal government since the Civil War, but to preserve freedom for our citizens, the balance needs to swing back.
And the article about it in The Huffington Post celebrates Greenwald and Amy Poitras.
The Huffington Post, some may remember, got its start when Arianna Stassinopoulous Huffington persuaded a small army of bloggers to post things for free at a site she started. She implied that all kinds of good things would eventually happen to those who were with her from the beginning. Then AOL bought The Huffington Post for $300 million. Arianna Stassinopoulos Huffington decided she couldn't spare a dime; she kept every penny of her share. And she is still flogging things -- her latest book with its Leaning-In-lite life lessons, for example, which she discussed on NPR the other evening -- to make still more money. How did her behavior, toward her unpaid employees, differ from that of the factory owners of the mills in Lawrence and Lowell in the 1880s? Yet she is not shunned but made much of, this woman who is, at the same time, with not the slightest sense of irony, a female Mr. Burns and a salon Bolshev
Yet apparently the editors of The New York Review of Books think his banal views are worth the time of day -- perhaps he is, to them, if he helps subsidize them in some way. He's just come out with a foghorn-leghorn book-length report on the state of the E.U. (co-written, or likely mostlly written by, a Mr. Schmitz).
Here's what George Soros has to say on immigration -- he never once mentions the problem of MUSLIM immigration, and of Ilsamic ideology, and why that MUSLIM immigration might not merely alarm the people whom George Soros chooses to describe as "xenophobic" and "right-wing" and so on:
Schmitz: It seems the pro-Europeans are often silent on important issues because they are afraid that speaking up might increase support for the extremists—for example, in the case of the many refugees from the Middle East and Africa who hoped to reach Europe and were detained on the Italian island of Lampedusa.
Soros: Like it or not, migration policy will be a central issue in the elections. We must find some alternative to xenophobia.
Schmitz: What do you propose to do about it?
Soros: I have established an Open Society Initiative for Europe—OSIFE for short. One of its first initiatives is Solidarity Now, in Greece. The original idea was to generate European solidarity with the plight of the Greek population that is suffering from the euro crisis and Greek solidarity with the plight of the migrants, who experience inhuman conditions and are persecuted by the ultranationalist Golden Dawn party. It took us some time to get the project off the ground, and by the time we did, it was too late to generate European solidarity with the Greeks because other heavily indebted countries were also in need of support. So we missed that boat, but our initiative has had the useful by-product of giving us a better insight into the migration problem.
Schmitz: What have you learned?
Soros: That there is an unbridgeable conflict between North and South on the political asylum issue. The countries in the North, basically the creditors, have been generous in their treatment of asylum seekers. So all the asylum seekers want to go there, particularly to Germany. But that is more than they can absorb, so they have put in place a European agreement called Dublin III, which requires asylum seekers to register in the country where they first enter the EU. That tends to be the South, namely, Italy, Spain, and Greece. All three are heavily indebted and subject to fiscal austerity. They don’t have proper facilities for asylum seekers, and they have developed xenophobic, anti-immigrant, populist political movements.
[Apparently George Soros has never heard of UKIP, Liberty GB, Andrew Gilligan and many others in Great Britain, nor of
Theo Sarrazin and the millions who eagerly bought and read and agreed with his book, nor of Eric Zemmour, Elisabeth Levy, Ivan Rioufol, and all the others in France who are so alarmed about Muslim immigration, nor about the anti-Muslim immigrant parties in Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands. No, for him it's just an issue of economics, of poorer members of the E.U. not being able to bear the expense of these (unspecified) immigrants about whose desire, or ability, to fit into the countries they are smuggling themselves into George Soros has not a word to say. He's rich, and he must be clever at maklng money. But there are matters that require a higher type of intelligence, which he does not possess. Nor in his busy finagling life does he have sufficient time, apparently, to sit and read, and learn a lot more about what's going on in Europe, and a lot more about Islam, than he thinks necessary. Everyone around him has always treated him as an oracle and a sage-- he's got lots of articles to prove it -- why should he think otherwise?]
Asylum seekers are caught in a trap. If they register in the country where they arrive, they can never ask for asylum in Germany. So, many prefer to remain illegal, hoping to make their way to Germany. They are condemned to illegality for an indefinite period. The miserable conditions in which they live feed into the anti-immigrant sentiment.
You've all heard of ISIS, the maddest of mad-dog Muslims operating in Syria, whose members want to efface the border between Syria and Iraq, and impose Sharia straight up, undilated by time and custom and common sense and sanity.
But there is another ISIS. It's an organization consisting of declared or still-prudently-undeclared apostates from Islam, who recognize what's wrong with it, and hope somehow to bring an Enlightenment to Islam.
These are the signers of the St. Petersburg Declaration.
Keith Gessen didn't do what he was supposed to do. That is, he didn't write a review of the books he was assigned to review in the article that appeared in The New York Review of Books for April 24, 2014.. He didn't do justice, especially, to Serena Vitale, who as the author if "Il Bottone di Pushkin," a wonderful book, deserved to have the contents of her book on Shklovsky, interviews she had with him in 1979, described more fully. Richard Sheldon translated "Zoo or Letters Not About Love," that has been re-issued, but it is an exaggeration to call him Shklovsky's chief champion in the United States. The title of "champion" of Shklovsky, Eichenbaum, Tynanov -- Roman Jakobson, of Moscow, Prague, and 7 Scott Street in Cambridge, Mass., was his own champion and needed no other -- was really Professor Thomas Winner, of Brown University, who kept their works accessible, cheap, and read by generations of studious Slavists in the Brown University Slavic Reprints Series. On this side of the Atlantic, he was a one-man Mouton.And Gessen offers only a single sentence about what followed Formalism in the 1960s, with the lectures that caused people to flock to Tartu from Moscow and Leningrad,to listen to Lotman, describing him, without more, as a "semiotician" which doesn't quite apply to Lotman's complete corpus, including his studies of prosody and of Pushkin. . Nor does he mention other literaturovedy (literary scholars), such as the formidable Gasparov and his studies of comparative prosody (a word here about Bely's diagramming of scuds, which Nabokov brought to Western attention in the appendix on prosody which he included in his translation of Eugene Onegin). "Art As A Device."
Those caveats having been made (and Lawrence ), it's an excellent article. And the brief summary of "Art As A Device" and, especially, of "Making Strange" the device that for Shklovky was central to literary art, with examples from Tolstoy, is just one of the reasons that I'm posting a link to Gessen's omnium-gatherum non-review review here. Though I still regret that Lawrence Sterne -- a figure more important in Russian than in English literature -- appears as "Lawrence Stern." That's making things just a little too strange.
87 people "on the Brandeis faculty" (professors? adjuncts? T.A.s? Who, exactly?) apparently joined in signing a collective letter demanded that the University rescind its planned invitation to Ayaan Hirsi Ali to speak at the 2014 Commencement, and to rescind its giving her an honorary degree.
Would it not be useful to know -- useful for potential or present students, useful for all of the faculty members at Brandeis and at other universities, too, where some of those signers may someday be applying for jobs -- their names and their departments?
I'm guessing that most of them were in Islamic and Judaic studies. But we already know that most departments of Islamic studies are now peopled not by the likes of Joseph Schacht, that is linguistically-gifted, supremely-well-educated Western scholars of Islam, but by Muslims themselves, including that most dangerous kind of Muslim, The Convert. And the presence, in the thick of al this Brandeis mess of someone -- Assistant Professor Joseph E. B. Lumbard -- who is an example of that self-inflicted adult-onset Islam-- at the impressionable age of 18, just starting his Spiritiual Search in college, he apparently fell under the spell of Seyyid Nasr, a well-known Shi'a, and has never looked back -- should raise eyebrows. For sensible people, who exchange looks of pity when friend tells them that his child has gone off with the followers of Reverend Moon, or joined the Church of Scientology, realize that someone who coverts to Islam is in that same group of the pitiable, but represents a special danger because of the centrality of Jihad -- the "struggle" to remove, by violence or by other means if violence would not for the moment be effective or perhaps not neccesary, all obstacles to the spread, and then the dominance, of Islam. Convert to Islam, or to the manner born, it is most unwise to hire Muslims -- it only seems paradoxical and unfair -- to teach non-Muslims about Islam. For every word will be measured, and every truth is likely to be obscured.Lumbard himself appears to be Shi'a and Sufi, and perhaps he believes, or allows himself to believe, that Islam is that, all Rumi's love poems and whirling dervishes, and Sura 9 can safely be ignored. But neither Sura 9, nor much else in the Qur'an, nor in the "authentic" Hadith, can be ignored. And what kind of understanding of Islam do you think the hapless students at Brandeis will receive?
Yet in hiring Lumbard, the department said something about itself.
And just imagine that you are a member of the Islamic Studies department, or the Judaic Studies department, many of whose members feel it is their duty, part of their mission, to keep reassuring their "Muslim brothers" of just how much they support them, of just how much they too deplore any signs of "Islamophobia" and want to stand shoulder-to-shoulder and so on and so predictably dismally forth.
Remember: this is in a university. Few will want, in those departments, to offend, to be less than "collegial." If you don't have tenure, there is practically nothing you will do that might offend even a single one of your tenured masters.But tenured faculty, too, in the Islamic and Judaic Studies Departments, would not wish to offend their colleagues. It can be most unpleasant to do so. And the ways that Muslims become outraged, and seek revenge, are by now well-known. If a Muslim colleague sent word that this "hatemonger" was being honored by Brandeis and that "we hope you will stand with us" and protest -- how many would refuse?
I don't know the names of anyone -- save that of Lumbard --- among the 87. But here's what I'm going to guess. I doubt that any faculty members who are real refugees, from the former Soviet Union, for example, would be among the signers. There might even be a lone apostate or two, likely from Iran, who refused to sign.
But let's find out. Let's be given the names, and then, in the spirit of Sir Lewis Namier, a prosopographical study may be done.