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Recent Publications by New English Review Authors
As Far As The Eye Can See
by Moshe Dann
Threats of Pain and Ruin
by Theodore Dalrymple
The Oil Cringe of the West: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly Vol. 2
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Impact of Islam
by Emmet Scott
Sir Walter Scott's Crusades and Other Fantasies
by Ibn Warraq
Fighting the Retreat from Arabia and the Gulf: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly. Vol. 1
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Literary Culture of France
by J. E. G. Dixon
Hamlet Made Simple and Other Essays
by David P. Gontar
Farewell Fear
by Theodore Dalrymple
The Eagle and The Bible: Lessons in Liberty from Holy Writ
by Kenneth Hanson
The West Speaks
interviews by Jerry Gordon
Mohammed and Charlemagne Revisited: The History of a Controversy
Emmet Scott
Why the West is Best: A Muslim Apostate's Defense of Liberal Democracy
Ibn Warraq
Anything Goes
by Theodore Dalrymple
Karimi Hotel
De Nidra Poller
The Left is Seldom Right
by Norman Berdichevsky
Allah is Dead: Why Islam is Not a Religion
by Rebecca Bynum
Virgins? What Virgins?: And Other Essays
by Ibn Warraq
An Introduction to Danish Culture
by Norman Berdichevsky
The New Vichy Syndrome:
by Theodore Dalrymple
Jihad and Genocide
by Richard L. Rubenstein
Spanish Vignettes: An Offbeat Look Into Spain's Culture, Society & History
by Norman Berdichevsky














The Iconoclast

Tuesday, 16 October 2007
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Youssef Ibrahim writes in the New York Sun, (with thanks to Andy Bostom):

...Arab Christians of the Middle East, to cite one minority, have acted ever since the late 18th century as the cultural bridge upon which civilizing Western influences have crossed into the Arab Muslim world. Works of literature, politics, and the grand civic values of Western civilization were translated, adapted, and implemented largely by those minorities, which thrived until the early 1950s in Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, and Iraq.

Protecting what is left of those Christians and the even larger groups of other ethnicities is not charity work but is essential for preserving Western interests. Indeed, Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey, in protesting Western pressure to own up to the massacres of Armenian Christians in 1915 threatened on Saturday to go after the Kurds in northern Iraq. Four years after the war in Iraq began, the fanatical Shiite majority government there has waged an ethnic cleansing war of its own, targeting both Sunni Muslims and Iraqi Christians. It has been savagely successful. Half of Iraq's entire Christian minorities of 2 million — who represent 5% of the 25 million Iraqis, are now out of the country altogether, refugees looking for a new home.

In Lebanon, the combination of Hezbollah and Syria have set their sight on cleansing that country of Maronite Christians and their other Western allies as a new civil war looms.

In the grand scheme of modern Middle East history, the entire concept behind the Arab and Muslim world's rejection of Israel is premised on Israel's identity as a "Jewish state." It is a rejection grounded within the notion of ethnic and religious cleansing. Now that Turkey has become an ascending democracy run by an Islamist party, it is imperative that Turkey signals its accord with the broader Western project of civil society and respect for minorities. That is why Turkey's friendship and its NATO affiliation should come second to its assumption of responsibility for past crimes against humanity. The future is a reflection and a continuation of the past.

Indeed, not only should Turkey issue its mea culpa to Armenian Christians, but move energetically to eliminate from its laws all discrimination against the Kurdish minority, their language, and full participation as Turks.

The American president, the State Department, and the Pentagon were short-sighted to oppose Congress on this Armenian issue just because we need Turkey as a transit point to Iraq. The whole idea of going to Iraq was to create long-term interests in stable, civil, multicultural societies across the greater Middle East.

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Posted on 10/16/2007 7:51 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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Tuesday, 16 October 2007
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In 1890, Philippa Garrett Fawcett was placed above the senior wrangler in Part II of the Cambridge Mathematical Tripos. A wrangler is someone who passes this exam with first class honours. The senior wrangler is the highest-scoring student. At the time Phillipa Fawcett took her exam, women were not eligible for degrees; indeed they could not vote.

The following anonymous and rather uneven poem was written in 1890 to celebrate Fawcett's achievement:

Hail the triumph of the corset
Hail the fair Philippa Fawcett
Victress in the fray
    Crown her queen of Hydrostatics
    And the other Mathematics
Wreathe her brow with bay.

If you entertain objections
To such things as conic sections
Put them out of sight
    Rather sing of the essential
    Beauty of the Differential
Calculus tonight.

Worthy of our approbation
She who works out an equation
By whatever ruse
    Brighter than the Rose of Sharon
    Are the beauties of the square on
The hypotenuse.

Curve and angle let her con and
Parallelopipedon and
Parallelogram
    Few can equal, none can beat her
    At eliminating theta
By the river Cam.

May she increase in knowledge daily
Till the great Professor Cayley
Owns himself surpassed
    Till the great Professor Salmon
    Votes his own achievements gammon
And admires aghast.

Second and third class degree earners are called, respectively, senior and junior optimes. The most junior of the junior optimes, he who scores the lowest mark eligible for a third class degree, is awarded the wooden spoon.

Does it matter that a Phillipa was not eligible for a degree, while a Philip, wrangler or spooner, was? Of course it matters; this was a grave injustice, and was rightly remedied. Does it matter that the senior wrangler is far more likely to be a Philip than a Philippa? No, not a bit of it. You don't need to be as clever as Philippa Fawcett to know that statistical rarity does not denote discrimination. If Fawcett were alive today, she would, I am sure, have sharp words for the fainting feminists who hounded Larry Summers out of Harvard. They certainly deserve the wooden spoon.

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Posted on 10/16/2007 7:45 AM by Mary Jackson
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Tuesday, 16 October 2007
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The former Enloe High School teacher who invited to his class a speaker who denounced Islam as a religion of violence, making national headlines, lobbied Monday to get his job back.
Robert Escamilla, the teacher, met with Wake County school board members to appeal a decision by Superintendent Del Burns to transfer Escamilla from Enloe and issue a 12-page reprimand.
In February, Escamilla received permission from the school to invite Kamil Solomon, an Egyptian-born Christian who lives in Raleigh, to speak to about 300 Enloe students.
Solomon said he was persecuted for his religious beliefs by the Egyptian government. He also denounced Islam as a religion of violence and distributed pamphlets.
After complaints about Solomon's talk, school officials suspended Escamilla, a social studies teacher, with pay for 90 days. They later transferred him to Mary Phillips High School, an alternative school, and put a reprimand and negative performance review in his file.
"I think the school made the right decision," said Tariq Butt, an Enloe parent who had complained about the speaker.
"He's a great teacher," said Earl Quiller, 18, an Enloe senior who spoke to the board. "I don't know why they want to get rid of him." Quiller, one of the students who heard Solomon, said there was nothing offensive in the talk. He said Solomon urged the students to love Muslims.  
But some parents and the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a national Muslim advocacy group, complained about Solomon's remarks. So did the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.
Burns, the superintendent, apologized to Muslims for Solomon's visit. And he issued new guidelines that require guest speakers to sign forms saying they will not denigrate any culture, race, gender, national origin or religion.
"How can you teach history without offending someone," said Paul Wormsbecher, an Enloe parent who attended the rally and whose son heard Solomon's talk last year. “He's being railroaded."
Strickland said that he had presented witnesses to the board to show that over the years Escamilla had invited speakers of other religions to discuss their beliefs.
Butt, the parent who complained, said he'll urge the school board to reject the appeal.
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Posted on 10/16/2007 4:32 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Tuesday, 16 October 2007
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I have posted before about health warnings around counterfeit ZamZam water in the UK, especially during Ramadam. The Arab Press has more.
Allegations that poisonous Zamzam water is being smuggled into Britain are exercising the minds of UK Muslims. The containers, which sell for the equivalent of SR25 each, are purporting to come from Makkah on their labels.
Containers that have been analyzed by UK health and safety officials have been found to hold water that contains raised levels of arsenic and nitrates that, if consumed over extended periods of time, could prove fatal.
Saudi Arabia forbids the sale of Zamzam. The holy water is freely distributed at its source. Its bottling and distribution is strictly controlled and monitored by the government and commercial export is illegal. Each year, however, millions of foreign pilgrims carry containers home as private export.
However, some of the fake Zamzam has been analyzed and found to contain almost three times as much nitrate and twice as much arsenic as the World Health Organization believes is safe.
An analysis carried out by the London Borough of Hackney on a sample they took showed twice the level of arsenic and nitrate permitted by law.
Yunes Teinaz, who advises the Central London Mosque in Regent’s Park and who is an environmental health expert, was unable to say where the water originated. 
However as the Regents Park Canal runs near his mosque and into Hackney and Tower Hamlets I could hazard a guess, and it is quite close to home.
Inspectors in the London Borough of Hackney seized a vanload of contaminated counterfeit cases of the water. Similar seizures have been carried out in Gloucester, Barnsley and Leicester. Hackney council expressed its concern that Muslims may be exploited and tricked into buying fake Zamzam water during Ramadan and that exploitation of people’s faith for profit was “abhorrent.”
The potential for fraud and the profit in sale of fake Zamzam to the unwary is huge. In a recent case quoted by Teinaz, an Islamic bookshop was selling an estimated 20,000 liters of Zamzam water a week.
Teinaz said he “was aware” of examples of vans transporting vast quantities of the fake water to mosques where their imams ordered their followers to buy the substance. Some of the water, according to customs officials, is smuggled into Britain in crates of vegetables and furniture.
Speaking to “Muslim Weekly”, Teinaz said traders had misled the authority at air and seaports for years telling them that Zamzam was for external use.
“I would like to urge those selling the water to fear Allah. They’re making money at the expense of their brothers and sisters’ health who will end up very ill by consuming the contaminated water,” he said. “It is very sad to see a Muslim cheating another Muslim.”
He also advised Muslims who encounter this fake water to report it without delay to their Local Authority Environmental Health or Trading Standards Department.
The UK has a highly developed and very active Trading Standards Office that checks and enforces the standards of a very wide range of goods and services. The Food Standards Authority is equally punctilious in the patrolling of quality and description of all food products in the UK.
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Posted on 10/16/2007 3:29 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Tuesday, 16 October 2007
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This is from Radio New Zealand
The leader of the Muslim faith in Samoa, Mohammed La’ulu Daniel Stanley, says his position will not be affected despite being found guilty of two charges of carnal knowledge.
The police charged the religious leader after an incident between the defendant and a girl under 15 years of age.
But a panel of assessors found the 60-year old defendant not guilty of the other two counts of rape.
Mr Stanley says there is a difference between carnal knowledge and carnal interference.
But he says the technicalities of his case will be made known once he files an appeal during his sentencing next month.
As he was only following the example of Mohammed I don’t suppose the Muslims of Samoa will think less of him. However the rest of the population will be on notice.
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Posted on 10/16/2007 3:04 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Tuesday, 16 October 2007
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From the Scotsman and the BBC
Spain
THIRTY men accused of planning to blow up Spain's High Court in an Islamist suicide bomb attack went on trial in Madrid yesterday.
The men were arrested in 2004, seven months after bombers killed 191 in attacks on Madrid commuter trains.
The group are on trial in the same court they allegedly aimed to destroy. They have denied the charges. Prosecutors say they planned to drive a truck packed with 500kg (1100lb) of explosives into Spain's High Court. The idea was to kill hundreds of staff and destroy evidence connected with anti-terrorist trials, including the March 2004 Madrid train bombings, prosecutors allege.
Belgium
SIX men went on trial yesterday accused of recruiting people in Belgium for an Islamic militant group, including a female convert to Islam who carried out a suicide attack in Iraq.
Muriel Degauque, a 38-year-old convert to Islam from Charleroi, blew herself up near a US patrol on 9 November 2005. No-one else was killed by the blast.
The trial is taking place amid fears that militant groups are using Belgium as a base for launching attacks in other countries.
Prosecutors said Degauque had been a member of the group along with her second husband, Issam Goris, a Belgian of Moroccan origin.
He went to Iraq with her and is believed to have been shot dead by US troops as he tried to launch a suicide bomb attack himself.
UK  - 
the Trial of 5 instructors continues. From The Telegraph
An off-duty policeman stumbled across the July 21 bombers training in the Lake District while fell running, a court heard yesterday.
A surveillance team was called in and photographed all four of the men who went on to launch a failed suicide attack in London on the camping trip where it is alleged they underwent training for jihad.
The four were being instructed by Mohammed Hamid, 50, who is pictured alongside them, and is accused of recruiting and grooming them for the failed terrorist attacks, Woolwich Crown Court heard.
Also at the camp were Musa Brown, 41, who is accused of providing terrorist training and Mohammed Al-Figari, 42, who is accused of receiving terrorist training.
The court heard that Hamid was with Ibrahim five months later in October 2004 when police tried to arrest them on Oxford Street, central London. Ibrahim was said to have run from police after a disturbance at an Islamic bookstall he ran with Hamid outside Debenhams department store.
He was only stopped when a member of the public tripped him up, but he failed to appear at court. Ibrahim, Hamid and a third man allegedly racially abused the officers called to the incident.
PC Anil Lund, from Marylebone police station, said: "They started to be quite abusive about my Hindu background and my colleague's Afro-Caribbean background."   PC Lund said he had to call for assistance and as he dragged Hamid to the police van the accused told him: "I've got a bomb and I'm going to blow you all up."
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Posted on 10/16/2007 1:49 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Monday, 15 October 2007
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It says the nomination process closes today, but for the life of me, I can't figure out how to nominate NER. If anyone else can crack the code of that website, please consider nominating us. Another problem is we fall in between catagories. We're not exclusively a "UK Blog", we' re not entirely a "Conservative Blog". I suppose we're a "Community Blog," but I'm not sure about that. They may mean community as in, "post your lost pet notice here," kind of thing. Please help.

http://2007.weblogawards.org/

Update: Emerelda suggests "Culture Blog" and had figured out the nomination process. Thank you!

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Posted on 10/15/2007 3:59 PM by Rebecca Bynum
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Monday, 15 October 2007
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The Blotter: Pro-Taliban militants in Pakistan have used electric drills to chisel off the face of a massive 7th century Buddha sculpture, raising concerns that hundreds of other Gandhara-era relics located nearby could also be at risk.

The picturesque Swat Valley has become infested with Taliban militants in recent weeks as the influence of the radical Islamic movement sweeps rapidly across northwest Pakistan.

The militants have launched a bloody vice campaign that has left 47 dead, decimated the valley's tourism industry and terrorized the local community. Locals tell ABC News authorities have made no effort to stop the spread of "Talibanization" in a normally peaceful region, often described as "Pakistan's Switzerland."

One Pakistani archaeologist described the Jehanabad Buddha as the second most important Gandhara monument after the Buddhas in Bamiyan, Afghanistan, which were blown up by the Taliban in 2001...

When an ABC News cameraman visited the site on Oct. 11, the remains of the Buddha's face were crumbled in a pile at the foot of the mountain.

Locals say vandalizing the Buddha is the latest tactic of the militants, who moved into Swat  Valley about three months ago. They migrated from the Bajaur district of Pakistan's tribal belt, a semi-autonomous region that buffers the Afghan border, according to people who have come into contact with them.

"They want to enforce Shariah law across all of Swat," said Mehbood Ali, secretary of the Swat Press Club. "They believe statues are against Islam and have vowed to destroy more of them."...

Many archaeologists also worry that the militants will attack other unguarded ancient relics in the Swat Valley. They have called on authorities to evacuate dozens of priceless artifacts in the Swat Museum, a site that is virtually unguarded. 

"We are worried about the museum," said Bahadur Khan, deputy director of the department of archaeology and museums. "People have always been so friendly in Swat so what's happening is very alarming."

My article this month is about this very subject.

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Posted on 10/15/2007 3:07 PM by Rebecca Bynum
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Monday, 15 October 2007
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In Iraq, Qassem's regime was not brought down by the C.I.A. or President Kennedy. It was entirely an Iraqi affair. On July 14, 1958 Qassem's coup had gotten rid of Feisal, his family, and "strongman" Nuri es-Said, who had been involved in so many coups plotted, and coups failed, and counter-coups as well, for as long as he had been around, and he had been around since before World War II. The history of Iraq when it was under British control was one of Shi'a tribes revolting against the imposition of a Sunni (Hashemite) monarch, and a few months after the British left, and despite a solemn promise that had been made to the British, local Arabs proceeded to massacre tens of thousands of Assyrian Christians (William Saroyan wrote a book about it: "70,000 Assyrians").

The coups and counter-coups continued. There was pro-Nazi Rashid Ali, in 1941. There was on June 1-2, 1941, the "Farhud," the murder by Muslim mobs of Jews all over Baghdad. Naim Kattan (now in Montreal) has written a memoir of the period; Elie Kedourie wrote about it. A favorite method was to tie Jews to the streetcar tracks so everyone could gather round and enjoy seeing them crushed by a trolley. Great fun, and of course in 1963 there was similar fun when half-a-million Iraqis showed up to enjoy the spectacle of a dozen Jews and a few Christians being hung in the main Baghdad Square, and a good time was had by all -- if you were in the audience, and not being hung.

And the coups continued: 1958, and then 1963, in which the bullet-riddled bodies of Qassem and three associates were shown on television. And then Ba'athists, including a young man named Saddam Hussein who later came to power and promptly selected for execution all kinds of former associates, weeping crocodile tears as he had them taken, one by one, away to their deaths.

The rest is history. That's Iraq.

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Posted on 10/15/2007 2:55 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Monday, 15 October 2007
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"Mr. Khan, who was born in Saudi Arabia and grew up in Queens..."
-- from this news article

How did Khan's family get here? Green card lottery? Father has a special highly-desirable skill that the country desperately needs? What exactly brought Samir Khan and his family, who now must be one of those many Muslims in this country who never should have been admitted in the first place, and would not have been had there been the shared understanding of what they brought with them in their mental baggage, undeclared at customs, and what that inevitably meant for the well-being and cohesion and exercise of their individual rights, to the future stability of our legal and political institutions, by the likes of Samir Khan and all those who, while they may not do what Samir Khan does in the same way, using the same methods, nonetheless believe it a duty to support or participate collectively if not always individually, in the Jihad or "struggle" to remove all barriers to Islam (and the greatest of those barriers in this country is the Constitution, which Islam flatly contradicts), so that Islam may eventually dominate here, and Muslims rule here, as they must -- everywhere.

Unless the concept of Jihad is discussed truthfully and openly, and the basis of Islam, that division of the world between Believer and Infidel, thoroughly grasped, and all the ways in which Islam differs so much from any other belief-system we call, too carelessly, a "religion," there will be no ability to come up with an intelligent and informed strategy to deal with all the instruments of Jihad.

Instead, there will be more confusion, and out of confusion, waste. As in the waste of men, money, and matériel in Iraq, where, since Islam has never been analyzed by those who make policy, the goal of weakening the Camp of Islam, through recognition and exploitation (by doing nothing, in this case) of the pre-existing fissures, sectarian and ethnic in the case of Iraq, within that Camp (it can be called a single "Camp of Islam" because Muslims are inculcated with the belief that they must always and everywhere oppose Infidels, and work to dominate them and force them to accept either death, conversion, or a permanent status as dhimmis, but at the same time that "Camp of Islam" has members who have resentments, grievances, disputes with fellow Muslims, and so that "Camp" -- united against Infidels -- also contains warring factions).

So how did Samir Khan get here? How did his parents get here? Did anyone in the INS think about Islam then, when his family was allowed to remain in this country? Has anyone in the INS, or Congress, been thinking about that matter since 9/11/2001? How about right now? When will the candidates discuss the nature of Islam, the ideology of Islam, and go far beyond that word "terror" to the other instruments of Jihad -- Money Weapon, Da'wa, demographic conquest? Merely to raise the matter publicly is to force others to consider things that had never occurred to them, for so many things never occur to so many people.

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Posted on 10/15/2007 2:19 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Monday, 15 October 2007
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Mao Tse-Tung famously wrote that "guerillas require the sea of people to exist and will die without it. ..."

Change the word "guerillas" to "terrorists." What is the "sea of people" who make possible the existence of terrorists inside Western countries, threatening the legal and political institutions and the physical security of Infidels? It is not the Infidels themselves. It is, rather, the "sea" provided by the Muslims in any Infidel nation-state.

In this news article someone whose duty it is to protect us notes that "'there are many people who are like-minded who want to commit acts of terrorism and have just not taken that extra step,' said Cruise, who keeps a "wanted" poster of Bin Laden on his office wall."

But it is not just those who "want to commit acts of terrorism" but don't. It is all those who support them, such as the parents of that boy who runs the Jihad website out of his parents' house in New Jersey. It is those who attempt to confuse Infidels, to persuade them that they have nothing to worry about, that Islam is just fine. It is all those who make demands for prayer rooms in schools or footbaths in airports, and expect non-Muslims to provide them, and who demand this and demand that, or threaten lawsuits here, or there, to silence critics, or who plot for ways to expand their power, the power of organized Islam, for the agenda of Islam. That agenda has nothing to do with schools, or with road-building, or whether post offices should be privatized, or tax policy or anything but one thing: forcing Infidels to concede more and more to Islam, removing barriers to Islam, beginning with the rights enshrined in the First Amendment, and attempting to render this country less sure of itself in what is, and will be, the most important battle for its continued existence, as something that the Founding Fathers would recognize as the United States of America.

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Posted on 10/15/2007 1:40 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Monday, 15 October 2007
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Russia has far more to gain from unsettlement in Iran, uprisings in Ahwaz, and general chaos among the Muslim oil-producers, than it does from everything proceeding smoothly for them. Chaos in Iran, with Kurds and Baluchis and Arabs and even Azeris going for broke, and having to be put down by assorted basiji, is not an impossibility. Why should Russia not wish for this?

For that matter, right after World War II the Red Army occupied part of what was northern Iran. It was forced out not by the Iranians but by Western pressure. Much as Western political figures may detest the current Russian government (unless, like Gerhard Schroeder, they are indirectly on the Russian payroll), Russia is not the threat to the Western world that Iran and other Muslim states are. Given what it now knows, would the West again give all that weaponry to the locals in Afghanistan, with or without the beaming help of Saudi Arabia, were there to be another Russian drang nach suden in Central Asia? And would the West care if Russia, or Azerbaijan supported by Russia, were to take over swaths of northern Iran?

Much dusting off, in diplomatic libraries everywhere, of Halford Mackinder.

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Posted on 10/15/2007 1:09 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Monday, 15 October 2007
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What's the point of the UN? I can't see any point to it at all, although I'm open to persuasion. However, while I would criticise it for many things, being pro-Israel is not one of them. John Dugard, special rapporteur to the "UN Human Rights Council for the Palestinian Territories", disagrees, and manages to shock even Tim Franks from the BBC:

John Dugard speaks slowly and carefully. He rarely hesitates. But from his measured voice comes a reputation for being outspoken.

When a report starts in this solemn, deferential manner, its subject is very often some pro-Islam or pro-Communist Israel-basher. The Guardian does the same kind of thing.

Earlier this year, in his role as special rapporteur to the UN Human Rights Council for the Palestinian Territories, the South African law professor wrote a report for the UN General Assembly in which he compared Israel's actions to those of apartheid South Africa.

Indeed, the word "apartheid" appears 24 times in the 24-page report.

He has been trenchant in his belief in the past seven years that he has held the UN post that Israel is collectively punishing the Palestinians.

Now, though, he has the international community, and the UN itself, in his sights for complicity...

Mr Dugard's argument - again shared by some inside Israel - is that the military occupation fuels what he calls "resistance".

And, in an unusually harsh warning from a senior UN official, he worries aloud about how high the Palestinian leadership is raising expectations ahead of next month's scheduled peace conference with Israel.

If, as he fears, those expectations are not met, then, he says, a third intifada could be unleashed.

And he compares the actions of Palestinian militants to those of the French Resistance during World War II.

I put it to Mr Dugard that that comparison in particular would be very difficult for some to stomach. He was unabashed.

"History is replete with examples of populations that have resisted military occupation," he said.

"I can't see why one shouldn't draw these analogies."

The Jews are Nazis in this analogy. Why doesn't "outspoken" Mr Dugard say so?

I heard the interview this morning, as I was waking up. It shouldn't shock me anymore, but it does.

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Posted on 10/15/2007 9:52 AM by Mary Jackson
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Monday, 15 October 2007
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Coming as I do from that part of England that was known as the Danelaw I am pleased to have that tenuous connection with modern Denmark. From the Copenhagen Post.
Brian Mikkelsen, the Danish culture minister, has indicated the government would be willing to allow outspoken Dutch-Somali author Ayaan Hirsi Ali to live in Denmark under its protection from fanatical Muslims seeking to kill her.
Over the weekend Mikkelsen sent out a request to the country’s municipalities to invite the threatened author and filmmaker to live here. The move is supported by a recent parliament proposal to establish several ‘free cities’ for persecuted writers, a programme to be created with the support of the International City of Refuge Network.
‘Ayaan Hirsi Ali will be number one on the list of authors we should invite to Denmark,’ Mikkelsen announced  on Sunday. ‘She has fought for the freedom of expression and has personally received threats on her life.’
Ali had been under Dutch protection until last week, but the Netherlands' parliament withdrew her official protected status because she has been living in the United States.
Mikkelsen said the government would be willing to pay all the expenses relating to Ali’s residence in Denmark.
‘It’s obvious the protection of Hirsi Ali would be a substantial expense,’ he said. ‘But we have to view that from a positive standpoint.’
Mikkelsen’s invitation is expected to receive broad backing from parliament members.
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Posted on 10/15/2007 9:47 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Monday, 15 October 2007
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"I continue to believe that Islam is entitled to as much (or, if you are a Hitchensite, as little) respect as any other long-established religion with several hundred million followers. " --John Derbyshire

Why do you believe this? Because it is an Act of Faith in your private church that Islam is just exactly like, poses exactly the same threat to the wellbeing of non-Muslims, as do all other systems of belief that, for want of some other term, we call "religions"?

Or is it that into each life, including that of recently-minted atheists lazily nostalgic for the old days, a little credo-quia-absurdum still must fall?

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Posted on 10/15/2007 9:01 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Monday, 15 October 2007
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"while I agree that all Muslim states are frail reeds to lean on (especially Pathologicalstan), I can't say that I greatly admire the memories of Jawaharlal Nehru and Krishna Menon. the former was a a Fabian Socialist to the bone, and while his policies were not quite as disastrous for India as Mao's were for China.."
-- from a reader

I was not endorsing Krishna Menon, or for that matter Pandit Nehru. I was reading the minds of the American generals, and the Dulles brothers, and others who found Pakistani generals so much more trustworthy and reliable, because, you see, "Islam is a bulwark against Communism" and Menon and Nehru undoubtedly had against them their memberships, possibly lapsed, in Gollancz's New Left Book Club.

This is hardly the place to discuss economic theories. But the kind of guarantees that were in place in Europe (those "welfare states") and that put a brake on rapacity, and prevented total misery, that is modified Dickensian laissez-faire capitalism, strike me as not having been a mistake. The mistake is to confuse political freedom with free-market fundamentalism, and by misunderstanding Ricardo's theory of comparative advantage, to endorse, as so many do, the free-trade that is now damaging American and European businesses and throwing workers and skilled craftsmen in America and Western Europe (think of the silk trade in Como) permanently out of work, as China, takes over here and there, and everywhere, through its ill-fed ill-housed ill-clothed but most obedient and serried ranks, the low-cost myriad myrmidons with whom Westerner workers cannot hope to compete. Free-market fundamentalists don't mind. Capitol is mobile; labor largely stationary, and loyalty to the stockholders can be justified in a way that loyalty to one's own country, apparently, can not. There are ways to remedy this, if appeals to good sense and decency and patriotism do not work. And apparently they do not.

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Posted on 10/15/2007 8:49 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Monday, 15 October 2007
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That's my take on the Medellin case in which the Supreme Court just heard arguments.  I have a piece about it at Human Events today.
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Posted on 10/15/2007 8:43 AM by Andy McCarthy
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Monday, 15 October 2007
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The Alps—are alive with ... the sound of Muezzins calling the faithful to prayer:
North of Berne in an idyllic Alpine valley cowbells tinkle, a church steeple rises, and windowboxes tumble with geraniums. It has always been like this. But down by the railway station the 21st century is rudely intruding and the villagers of Wangen are upset.
"It's the noise, and all the cars. You should see it on a Friday night," complains Roland Kissling, a perfume buyer for a local cosmetics company. "I've got nothing against mosques, or even against minarets. But in the city. Not in this village. It's just not right. There's going to be trouble."
The target of Mr Kissling's ire is a nondescript house belonging to the region's Turkish immigrant community. The basement is a prayer room where hundreds of Muslims gather every week for Friday rites.
And in a case that has gone all the way to Switzerland's supreme court, setting a keenly watched precedent, the Turks of Wangen have just won the right to erect a six-metre-high minaret.

I continue to believe that Islam is entitled to as much (or, if you are a Hitchensite, as little) respect as any other long-established religion with several hundred million followers. I continue also to believe that for the Europeans to allow millions of Muslims to settle in their lands, for half-baked economic reasons (along the lines "jobs Europeans won't do...") was an act of staggering folly.

Please repeat after me: The Diversity Theorem...

The Diversity Theorem: Groups of people from anywhere in the world, mixed together in any numbers and proportions whatsoever, will eventually settle down as a harmonious society, appreciating—nay, celebrating!—their differences... which will of course soon disappear entirely.

...is false.

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Posted on 10/15/2007 8:35 AM by John Derbyshire
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Monday, 15 October 2007
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Ya Libnan, which focuses on Lebanese developments, reports that Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, the Hezbo honcho, has fought off a coup attempt.  It explains that there are two Hezbollah factions.  Both are pro-Iranian, but one, the Nasrallah wing, wants a semi-independent Hezbollah that serves Iran's interests but also, equally, its own and Syria's — which at the moment are geared toward toppling the Siniora government in Lebanon.  The other faction wants Hezbollah run like Iran's IRGC — totally submissive to Khamenei, taking its marching orders exclusively from the mullahs regardless of its own interests or Syria's.  Ya Libnan contends that Syria's designs on Lebanon are not at the top of Iran's agenda at the moment.

I'm not sure this apparent dispute among our enemies about priorities makes a great deal of difference to us.  Their entire agenda, after all, is nothing but trouble.  But it's interesting to see dissension in the ranks.

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Posted on 10/15/2007 8:33 AM by Andy McCarthy
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Monday, 15 October 2007
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One of those news stories that makes you want to tear out your hair in clumps:

Clinton-Obama Quandary for Many Black Women
Clara Vereen, who has been working here in rural eastern South Carolina as a hairstylist for more than 40 of her 61 years, reflects the ambivalence of many black women as she considers both Senator Barack Obama of Illinois and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York.

See, if you're a black woman, then obviously you want to vote for either the black candidate or the woman candidate. But which one?

I'm stuck in a similar conundrum myself. As an opera-lover and ex-Episcopalian, do I vote for the opera-lover (Giuliani) or the ex-Episcopalian (McCain)?

Identity politics isn't easy, y'know.

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Posted on 10/15/2007 8:30 AM by John Derbyshire
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Monday, 15 October 2007
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Here is more of the article Hugh links to below.

Born in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, Mr. Khan was 7 when his family moved to New York City and settled into the Queens neighborhood of Maspeth.

He mirrored his teenage peers, from their slang to their baggy pants, until August 2001 when, at age 15, he said, he attended a weeklong summer camp at a mosque in Queens, which was sponsored by a fundamentalist but nonviolent group now known as the Islamic Organization of North America (IONA).

“They were teaching things about religion and brotherhood that captivated me,” Mr. Khan said. He said he went back to school knowing “what I wanted to do with my life: be a firm Muslim, a strong Muslim, a practicing Muslim.”

He prayed more regularly. He dressed more modestly. He stopped listening to music except for Soldiers of Allah, a Los Angeles hip-hop group, now defunct, whose tunes like “Bring Islam Back” continue to have worldwide appeal among militant youths.

He also befriended members of the Islamic Thinkers Society, a tiny group that promotes radical, nonviolent Islam by leafleting in Times Square and Jackson Heights, Queens.

After moving with his family to North Carolina in 2004, Mr. Khan said, he attended a community college for three years and earned money selling various products, including kitchen knives.

But he began spending chunks of his days on the blog he created in late 2005, “Inshallahshaheed,” which translates as “a martyr soon if God wills.” The Internet traffic counter Alexa.com, which rarely is able to measure the popularity of blogs because they do not have enough readers, ranked his among the top one percent of one hundred million Internet sites in the world.

If Mr. Khan’s extreme rhetoric has won him a wider audience, it has caused him problems at home. Last year, his father tried to pull him back to the family’s more moderate views by asking an imam to intervene.

“I tried to bring arguments from the Koran and scholars, and said, ‘Whatever you are thinking it is not true,’” said Mustapha Elturk, a family friend and the leader of IONA, the Islamic organization that first inspired Mr. Khan. But Mr. Khan did not budge, he said.

Mr. Khan said he separated from IONA over one matter: the organization would not support violent jihad without the endorsement of a Muslim nation’s leader, which Mr. Khan argues is unnecessary.

[Notice the dividing line between the "moderate" and the radical is when, not whether, to use violence.]

Mr. Elturk said, “His father and family are really scared that he might do something.”

From time to time, Mr. Khan said, his father also cut off his Internet access and, to placate him, Mr. Khan recently added a disclaimer to his blog disavowing responsibility for the views expressed on the site.

He has also been fending off citizen watchdogs who are working to knock sites likes his off the Internet. Twice in September his blog went dark when his service provider shut him down, citing complaints about the nature of his postings.

Mr. Khan has now moved his blog to a site called Muslimpad, whose American operators recently moved from Texas to Amman, Jordan. Their larger forum, Islamic Network, is the host of discussions among English-speaking Muslims. One of their former employees, Daniel Maldonado, was convicted this year in federal court of associating with terrorists at their training camps in Somalia.

Mr. Khan said that he had dreams about meeting Mr. bin Laden and that he would not rule out picking up a weapon himself one day. In a recent essay, he argued that jihad was mandatory for all Muslims, and he cited three ways to fulfill this obligation: join fighters in Iraq, Afghanistan or Algeria; send them money; or promote militant videos as part of the jihad media.

For now, he said, he is fulfilling his obligations by helping other Muslims understand their religion. Recently he posted a video of a news report from Somalia showing a grenade-wielding American who had joined the Islamists.

“He is an example of a Muslim who follows the Religion of Islaam,” Mr. Khan wrote.

Read it all here.

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Posted on 10/15/2007 8:06 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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Monday, 15 October 2007
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When Osama bin Laden issued his videotaped message to the American people last month, a young jihad enthusiast went online to help spread the word. -- from this news article

Ayaan Hirsi Ali needs a security detail to stay alive in Washington, D. C.

Meanwhile, Samir Khan is safely sitting in his parents' house in North Carolina, on the Internt helping to whip up murderous Muslim hatred of Infidels and celebrated the killing of Americans, without apparently a care in the world, or the slightest fear of any retribution from the apparently helpless authorities.

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Posted on 10/15/2007 7:41 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Monday, 15 October 2007
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To be repeated, again and again:

No matter what further sacrifices the American soldiers make, no matter how many more billions are distributed around Iraq like confetti to win the most temporary "friendship," Iraq will not, and should not, be held together. The Shi'a have won. See the triumphant speech by Fouad Ajami, who flies triumphantly his Shi'a colors, while making all kinds of revealing and disturbing remarks about how the Shi'a have won, and the Sunnis will have to get used to it, and it is up to the Americans to stay there not "infinitely" of course but "indefinitely" (that's big of Fouad Ajami, to concede that the American soldiers need not stay till the end of time to protect the Shi'a from vengeful Sunnis), in order to persuade or bribe the Sunnis to accept their diminished lot.

The Shi'a will never give the Sunnis what they want. The Sunnis inside and outside Iraq will never accept the loss of most of Iraq, and of all of fabled Baghdad, to those "Persian" Shi'a. And why will Sunni Araba and Shi'a Arabs be unable to compromise? Why will they not behave as Bush and company are sure that they ought, sensibly, to behave?

Because of Islam. In Islam one does not make compromises. One may sign a "hudna" or "truce treaty" but that is only to bide one's time, in order to attack the enemy with whom one has made such a truce treaty, when one becomes powerful enough. In Islam there is only victor and vanquished, Believer and Infidel. The same categories, the same worldview, carries over when the quarrel or fight is between two sects of Islam, as with the Shi'a and Sunnis, or between Arab and non-Arab Muslims.

How long will it take the military to recognize this? How long will it take civilian leaders to comprehend? How much more time, how much more squandering of men, money, matériel, until it is understood that we have far more to gain, in what may be called the war of self-defense against the Jihad, or the counter-Jihad, by leaving Iraq, not slowly, but very quickly, just as quickly as all that equipment and men can safely be removed?

How much longer?

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Posted on 10/15/2007 7:32 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Monday, 15 October 2007
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I take the Daily Mail with a pinch of salt but this won’t reach the local press until the end of the week.
A priest has been interviewed by police on suspicion of inciting racial hatred for expressing his Christian views in his parish newsletter.  Father John Hayes, 71, was quizzed for more than an hour after commenting on the case of a Muslim girl who went to court over her wish to wear a full veil in class.  A sergeant and community support officer turned up without warning at his presbytery after an allegation was made to a Scotland Yard 'hate crimes' unit.
The inquisition in Hornchurch, East London, prompted a furious row about policing priorities. In the past 12 months there have been five murders, 33 rapes, 424 robberies and 2,267 burglaries in the local police borough of Havering.
Last night the priest said his 'offending' remarks had concerned Shabina Begum, who, represented by Cherie Blair QC, claimed unsuccessfully that it was her human right to be allowed to wear her jilbab, a loose gown, in class.   After hearing an interview with the girl, Mr Hayes suggested in his internet bulletin to his parishioners that it was never possible to convince anyone by argument in matters of religion.
"My point was that you have to demonstrate what it means to be Christian through your actions," he said.  "Apparently someone in my congregation was unhappy with my comments and, after waiting a year, went to the police to say he had been 'disturbed' by it. They were very polite and cordial, but I did say to them that surely they had better things to be doing with their time.  We had a long, civilised discussion and I didn't give an inch.  They seemed satisfied and when they eventually left the sergeant told me 'that's the end of the matter'. I felt the whole thing was a bit of a storm in a teacup."
The decision to quiz Mr Hayes has infuriated many Met officers.  A source at the Metropolitan Police Federation, which represents rank and file officers, said: "What happened is a gross error of judgment and possibly even an abuse of power.  The senior officer who decided on this course of action should be called to account.   It is yet another example of the political correctness which is blighting the Met. It is plain bonkers."
Mr Hayes, who became the priest at St Mary's 13 years ago, said one of his main aspirations was to bring people of different backgrounds together. On Saturday night he organised a 'One World' evening, where his congregation brought traditional cuisine from their country of origin.
I know people who live in the area. They tell me that the One World evening is an annual event which is very popular and that St Mary Mother of God Church, which is one of the Catholic churches in the borough has a good working relationship with the other denominations locally. Father John’s comments have been on the church website openly for over a year (September 2006) and some of his observations also concerned the wearing of the cross by BA employees, so it seems that someone has tried to take immediate advantage of the coming into force of the Racial and Religious Hatred Act on 1 October 2007.  My gut feeling is that this was not necessarily from a parishioner, or even a local person as the complaint went to Scotland Yard not the local station. 
I commend the sensible remarks of the Police Federation.
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Posted on 10/15/2007 3:49 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Monday, 15 October 2007
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An open letter to readers of the Eastern Daily Press from Lt Col Stuart Carver the commanding officer of the 1st battalion the Royal Anglian Regiment on their return from Helmand province Afghanistan.
“In March 2007, the 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, known as the Vikings, deployed to Helmand Province, Afghanistan for a six-month tour of duty. As I write, the battalion is on the verge of returning to its barracks in Surrey.
“We return with an extraordinary tale to tell. When we arrived in March, many commentators were claiming the war was already lost - but the change in the nature of operations over the six months has been astonishing.
“The Taliban have been beaten back and dislodged from their comfort zones in the Green Zone of the River Helmand because the Vikings have taken a determined fight to the enemy.
“In doing so, we have been involved in some of the most ferocious close quarter combat the British army has experienced for decades in extremely challenging terrain and temperatures that exceeded 50 degrees at their peak.
“The real measurement of success, however, has not been the numerical destruction of our foe but the embryonic beginning of reconstruction projects and the return to a more normal pattern of life particularly in the vital town of Sangin.
“The Vikings represent the best of East Anglia; 600 men and officers recruited from Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex, who have performed brilliantly.
“Despite the very real risk to life and limb, they have risked everything to make Afghanistan a better place.
The rest, including details of the 1 R Anglian Afghanistan Memorial Fund is here.
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Posted on 10/15/2007 2:37 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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