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Jihad and Genocide
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The Iconoclast

Thursday, 27 September 2007
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Raymond Ibrahim writes in The Chronicle Review:

When the September 11 attacks occurred, I was in Fresno, Calif., researching my M.A. thesis on the Battle of Yarmuk, one of the first yet little-known battles between Christendom and Islam, waged in 636 A.D. That battle, in which the Arab invaders were outmatched and yet still triumphed, would have immense historical repercussions. A mere four years later, Egypt and Mesopotamia, and all the land between, would become Islamic. A century later, all the land between southern France and India would be added to the House of Islam.

The next time I came across any reference to this pivotal battle was four years later, as I was translating the words of Osama bin Laden. Surprisingly, an event that seemed so distant, almost irrelevant, to the West was to bin Laden a source not only of pride but of instruction. For him it was not mere history but an inspiring example of outnumbered and underequipped mujahedin who, through faith-inspired courage, managed to defeat the Western empire of Byzantium. When the Arab and Afghan mujahedin, including bin Laden's nascent Al Qaeda — outnumbered and underequipped — defeated the Soviet invaders, history was repeating itself.

Yet why would this band, so reminiscent of their seventh-century forebears, attack the United States, its onetime ally against the Soviets, and in such a horrific manner? What was its motivation?

Finding answers seemed easy enough. From the start, the Internet — unregulated, uncensored, unfettered — has been Al Qaeda's primary mouthpiece. Then, as now, whenever Al Qaeda has wanted to communicate with the West, it has posted videotaped messages, some complete with English subtitles.

After the events of 9/11, my increased interest in Arabic language and history led me to enroll in Georgetown University's Center for Contemporary Arab Studies. Before and during my studies at Georgetown, I avidly read any and all posted Al Qaeda messages. The group's motivation seemed clear enough: retaliation. According to its widely disseminated statements, the West in general, and the United States in particular, had been — overtly and covertly — oppressing and exploiting the Islamic world. The accusations included: unqualified U.S. support for Israel at the expense of Palestinians; deaths of Iraqi children due to U.N. sanctions; U.S. support for dictatorial regimes in the Muslim world; and, most recently, Western occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq. Every single message directed to the West by Al Qaeda includes most of these core grievances, culminating with the statement that it is the Islamic world's duty to defend itself. "After all this, does the prey not have the right, when bound and dragged to its slaughter, to escape? Does it not have the right, while being slaughtered, to lash out with its paw?" bin Laden asks.

An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. Even the 9/11 strikes are explained as acts of reprisal. After describing the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, where several high-rise apartment buildings were leveled, reportedly leaving some 18,000 Arabs dead, bin Laden, in a 2004 message directed at Americans, said: "As I looked upon those crumpling towers in Lebanon, I was struck by the idea of punishing the oppressor in kind by destroying towers in America — giving them a taste of their own medicine and deterring them from murdering our women and children."

Soon after relocating to Washington in order to attend Georgetown, I landed an internship, which later evolved into a full-time position, at the Near East Section of the African and Middle Eastern Division of the Library of Congress, where thousands of new books, serials, and microfilms arrive yearly from the Arab world.

Numerous Arabic books dealing with Al Qaeda passed through my hands in this privileged position. A good number contained not only excerpts or quotes by Al Qaeda but entire treatises written by its members. Surprisingly, I came to discover that most of these had never been translated into English. Most significantly, however, the documents struck me as markedly different from the messages directed to the West, in both tone and (especially) content.

It soon became clear why these particular documents had not been directed to the West. They were theological treatises, revolving around what Islam commands Muslims to do vis-à-vis non-Muslims. The documents rarely made mention of all those things — Zionism, Bush's "Crusade," malnourished Iraqi children — that formed the core of Al Qaeda's messages to the West. Instead, they were filled with countless Koranic verses, hadiths (traditions attributed to the Prophet Muhammad), and the consensus and verdicts of Islam's most authoritative voices. The temporal and emotive language directed at the West was exchanged for the eternal language of Islam when directed at Muslims. Or, put another way, the language of "reciprocity" was exchanged for that of intolerant religious fanaticism. There was, in fact, scant mention of the words "West," "U.S.," or "Israel." All of those were encompassed by that one Arabic-Islamic word, "kufr" — "infidelity" — the regrettable state of being non-Muslim that must always be fought through "tongue and teeth."

Consider the following excerpt — one of many — which renders Al Qaeda's reciprocal-treatment argument moot. Soon after 9/11, an influential group of Saudis wrote an open letter to the United States saying, "The heart of the relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims is justice, kindness, and charity." Bin Laden wrote in response:

As to the relationship between Muslims and infidels, this is summarized by the Most High's Word: "We renounce you. Enmity and hate shall forever reign between us — till you believe in Allah alone." So there is an enmity, evidenced by fierce hostility from the heart. And this fierce hostility — that is, battle — ceases only if the infidel submits to the authority of Islam, or if his blood is forbidden from being shed, or if Muslims are at that point in time weak and incapable. But if the hate at any time extinguishes from the heart, this is great apostasy! Allah Almighty's Word to his Prophet recounts in summation the true relationship: "O Prophet! Wage war against the infidels and hypocrites and be ruthless. Their abode is hell — an evil fate!" Such, then, is the basis and foundation of the relationship between the infidel and the Muslim. Battle, animosity, and hatred — directed from the Muslim to the infidel — is the foundation of our religion. And we consider this a justice and kindness to them.

Bin Laden goes so far as to say that the West's purported hostility toward Islam is wholly predicated on Islam's innate hostility toward the rest of the world, contradicting his own propaganda: "The West is hostile to us on account of ... offensive jihad."...

The rest is here.

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Posted on 09/27/2007 8:08 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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Thursday, 27 September 2007
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"We are unexperienced and a bit stupid as regards diversity and a multicultural population, says head of Security Service Jørn Holme to nrknyheter.no."

"We confuse Islam and Islamism. Islamism is after all a very particular form of Islam. I believe many Norwegians mix it up completely."
-- from this news article

A "bit stupid as regards diversity"? Meaning not everyone in Norway is convinced that the most important and practically the greatest thing that any government can promote is "diversity"? Is that it? Are there still not enough university rectors in Norway to echo the sentiments of one Mary Sue Coleman, of the University of Michigan, in her world-famous address "We Are Diversity"?

And that business about "we [Norwegians] confuse Islam and Islamism." We are all confused. We are confused, and we are alarmed, that the last person in Norway who should make such a remark, that is the head of the Norwegian security service, confidently tells us that there is a great difference between "Islam" and ""Islamism"?

So tell us please what those differences are. Be sure to tell us the differences in doctrine, and not merely describe them as differences in practice. If someone engages directly in violent Jihad, and someone else supports the first person in every way -- money, moral support, attempts to confuse Infidels or keep the security forces from effectively monitoring and doing their job -- is the second person not also supporting violent Jihad? And what of those Muslims who support Jihad, but believe that at this point, with the numbers still against Muslims, and violence possibly likely to work against Muslim interests (that is not a moral argument against violence, but merely a practical one, based on what Muslims may regard as a temporary situation to be endured), the most effective weapons of Jihad are use of the Money Weapon, campaigns of Da'wa, and, best of all, demographic conquest, as the large Muslim families, and continued Muslim immigration unhindered by any Infidel attempts to stop it, show everywhere an inexorable rise in Muslim numbers and therefore Muslim political power and Muslim ability to pressure politicians, long before Muslims are a majority, to bend to their will.

One thing is not confusing about the statements made by the head of Norway's security service. One thing is crystal clear. He does not understand the texts and tenets and attitudes and atmospherics of Islam. In order to immediately improve the security situation in Norway for Norwegian non-Muslims, the head of the Security Service, Jorn Holme, should be fired, and replaced by someone with a solid grasp of Islam, and therefore of the permanent threat, to the legal and political institutions of Norway, to its social arrangements, to free inquiry and to art, to the physical well-being of Infidels, that Islam -- not this fictive "Islamism" that some seem unable to drop or do without, for reasons having to do with their own mental inadequacies or their fear of giving offense or for some other mistaken --two-bit machiavellian -- calculation.

If Jorn Holme can list the passages in the Qur'an and Hadith that "Islamists" rely on, and tell us how such passages, and such reliance on them, differs from what those who believe not in "Islamism" but "Islam" take as their texts, we will all be happy to accept his superior knowledge and understanding -- a knowledge and an understanding that presumably goes far beyond that of the great Western scholars of Islam, every single one of them in the days before the profession itself became islamized, and peopled by apologists, some of them no more than direct or indirect hirelings of the Arabs, such as Esposito, and others who "found the answer" to their own spiritual search in Islam, and still others who, careful careerists, are afraid to offend the Muslim colleagues who now make up nearly three-quarters of the membership of MESA (Nostra) in this country, and who control in most colleges and universities the academic study -- or deliberate non-study -- of Islam.

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Posted on 09/27/2007 7:51 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Thursday, 27 September 2007
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A local delegate has asked Democratic Gov. Timothy M. Kaine to re-think his appointment of the head of the Virginia-based Muslim American Society to the Virginia Commission on Immigration.

Del. Todd Gilbert, R-Woodstock, wrote to Kaine earlier today, saying he was concerned about the appointment of Dr. Esam S. Omeish, a Northern Virginia physician and the group's president, to the panel. The commission was created earlier this year to study the impact of illegal immigration on the commonwealth.

The Muslim American Society has significant ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, a group founded in Egypt, Gilbert said.--from this news item

There must exist the tapes of the two shows on which Esam Omeish debated Robert Spencer. Those tapes should be supplied to Governor Kaine. He should listen to Esam Omeish denying that apostasy in Islam is punishable by death, and then presented with the passages in Qur'an, Hadith, and the many Muslim commentators that show this to be false, and that Esam Omeish must have known to be false, but assumed he would be debating one more frivolous Infidel, not quite up to the task. He was mistaken.

And the second tape, in which he explains that he would like to see Shari'a imposed in the United States, should also be brought to Governor Kaine's attention. He should be made to understand exactly what, under the Shari'a, happens to non-Muslims. Quote the texts of Islam, quote the commentators on the Qur'an, the jurisconsults, the major figures -- they are all there, they can be easily located.

And then Governor Kaine, who no doubt out of the same ignorance that led Mayor Menino of Boston to support -- as a splendid gesture of "honoring our rich diversity" or some such -- the sale of city land at below-market prices in order that a Saudi-funded mosque could be built in Roxbury, right in the middle of a population targetted for campaigns of Da'wa -- will have to think hard. Is he willing, with this appointment, to be forever reminded -- and it should never be forgotten -- that he appointed to a state commission someone who sees nothing wrong, who looks forward to, who works towards, the arrival of Shari'a in the United States, which would spell the end of the legal and political institutions of this country, and would, according to the Holy Law of Islam, put all non-Muslims permanently into the condition of dhimmis, that is a condition of humiliation, degradation, and physical insecurity.

If that is what he thinks would be wise, if that is what he thinks will win him votes, he has another think coming. He has a duty to inform himself. He owes it to those whose governor he is, and whom, therefore, he presumes to know enough to instruct, and protect them. Clearly, at this point, he does not know a thing about the doctrine of Islam, or the practice of Islam over 1350 years. He must learn.

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Posted on 09/27/2007 7:21 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Thursday, 27 September 2007
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Possibly the scandal of Esposito can be brought to the attention of the Vatican. Possibly the Vatican can persuade the administration at Georgetown to sever all ties with the "Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding." Esposito would still have his Saudi money and his lecture fees. He would still be lean, mean, jogging about, the man who seldom even puts in an appearance any more at the office. But at least the Georgetown prestige would no longer rub, wrongly, off onto him. He would simply be alone, with his "Center" and his ill-gotten gains.

Surely someone on the Georgetown faculty, or in the Catholic hierarchy, or among powerful lay Catholics, can get the ball rolling on this.

Here is what I put up January 10, 2005:

"That the Administration at Georgetown, that the Georgetown alumni, have not yet realized what damage an institutional connection between Esposito's "Center" and Georgetown is doing to the the image, and name, of the latter, is a pity. When the Administration, and other faculty, perhaps prompted by expressions of alumni displeasure, do come to their senses, one hopes that all institutional ties between Georgetown and Esposito's Center, which benefits so much from the legitimacy conferred by the name "Georgetown," will be severed.

Perhaps a good place to begin is for the President and Trustees and alumni of Georgetown to educate themselves by reading, and assimilating, the articles on Islam by a real scholar at Georgetown -- Professor James V. Schall, S. J.

Professor Schall is neither an Arab hireling, nor an apologist for Islam, nor a sycophantic supporter of Muslim causes, nor a recipient of Arab Muslim support, and lionizing. For James V. Schall, S. J. answers to a Higher Authority, and has no truck with an Arab tycoon in Beirut, a Hamas-supporter in London, or a gaggle of Saudi princelings, all daggers-and-dishdashas, with their sneers of cold command, performing some celebratory dance in Riyadh and Jeddah."

I hope that James V. Schall, S.J. is thinking about this, and that John Allen is thinking about this, and Sandro Magister, and others who can get, somehow, to the upper regions of the Vatican, to call attention to this agent of Islam -- for what else should we call him? -- who is battening on the Georgetown name.

In World War II, anyone who had the kind of connections and "friends" among Nazis or Nazi sympathizers that Esposito does among the supporters of terrorist groups would have lost his job and likely been arrested for treasonous activities.

John Esposito, however, has not been stripped of his Saudi-supplied wealth and put behind bars for supporting the enemy. No, instead he has been invited by the Department of Homeland Security to address one of the meetings it has organized in New Jersey. One's worst suspicions about the DHS, and about who is doing what in our government, suspicions not allayed by reports from within the Pentagon about Muslim officers and aides swaggering about, or Pentagon officials who continue to be taken for "briefings" on Islam with John Esposito, appear to be justified. We will have to find those who are just as alarmed, but are capable --in Congress or the Executive branch -- of doing something about it. The Saudi lobby is very powerful; there is nothing else like it.

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Posted on 09/27/2007 6:59 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Thursday, 27 September 2007
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(hat tip: Mark Steyn) Vancouver Sun: Vancouver's hookah-parlour owners are celebrating after winning an exemption Thursday from a proposed new bylaw that will ban smoking on most sidewalks in commercial districts, in bus shelters and even in taxis passing through Vancouver.

In giving the bylaw unanimous approval-in-principle, Vancouver city council members bowed to arguments that hookah lounges provide an important cultural space for the city's Muslims and granted them a temporary exemption....

Hamid Mohammadian, operator of the Persian Teahouse on Davie Street, thanked council for the exemption.

"We are very happy because this is our culture. I have one customer, 75 years old, who said 'I will have no other place to go if you close,'" he said.

Mohammadian brought two hookah pipes to show council. They included a 600-year-old model with a ceramic mosaic on the outside, fruit-flavoured tobacco, and charcoal to the meeting to show councillors what was at stake.

Emad Yacoub, who runs five restaurants in Vancouver, also attended Thursday's meeting to ask council to protect hookah lounges.

"I support no smoking on the patios," he said, saying it will make it easier for him since he won't have to settle fights between his smoking and non-smoking customers.

But he said hookah lounges are essential for immigrants from hookah-smoking cultures, because it helps them deal with the depression common for newcomers and gives them places like they have at home.

Unlike other immigrants, they can't go to bars because their religion prohibits them from drinking alcohol.

"I took my cousin there and I only saw a smile on his face when I took him to a hookah lounge because that is what we do back home."...

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Posted on 09/27/2007 6:45 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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Thursday, 27 September 2007
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Turkey and Tunisia are not the only countries with a largely Islamic population trying to maintain the current secular nature of that country by banning the Hijab from public life. The colleges of Tajikistan and Azerbaijan are both facing criticism from Islamist young women.
This is from TOL an English language Czech site.
As a devout Muslim, Davlatmo Ismailova faced pressure during her three years at university to remove her traditional head covering during classes. She resisted, until the Education Ministry in Tajikistan ordered schools and universities to ban women from wearing head scarves on campus.
Islamic leaders say the ban is a fresh assault on religious freedom in Tajikistan, where the fiercely secular government of President Imomali Rahmon has imposed restrictions on worship and has cracked down on Islamic political activism. Islamic leaders say the 20-year-old Ismailova has little chance of succeeding in the current political environment.
The former Soviet republic’s constitution calls for religious freedom, but in practice there is little liberty and believers are coming under increasing state control. In 2005, the Education Ministry required students to wear uniforms as a way to discourage religious garments, and in May went a step further by banning the hijab, which covers a woman’s hair and neck. The government is also considering new restrictions on the practice of Islam in a country where 97 percent of people are Muslim.
I don’t have any information about how well the other 3% who presumably are Christians and Jews fare or what the Tajiki record is on human rights generally.
In Azerbaijan Trend news Agency says
On 24 September, the rector of the Azerbaijani State Institute of Teachers did not allow a group of students to attend studies for wearing hijab (Muslim scarf), “The rector of the institute, Agiya Nakhchivanli, considers her actions to be right and advises those who do not agree with her to pass to the theology faculty,” Ibrahimoghlu said after speaking with the rector.
In accordance with Azerbaijani legislation, pious women are prohibited only to have their photo taken for passports, in all other cases their actions are legal.
The Azeri Press Agency said yesterday that the “problem was solved” but as the report is subscription only I don’t know how. I fear the rector’s head is on a pole.
 
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Posted on 09/27/2007 4:10 AM by Esmerelda WEatherwax
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Wednesday, 26 September 2007
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This statue, posted by the Baron at Gates of Vienna, is as good a reason as any. He comments:

Take a few moments and contemplate the photo at right.

It’s a statue in front of some kind of official EU building in Brussels. I stole it (and the title of this post [Kraft durch FrEUde]) from Steen — go over to Snaphanen to see a full-sized version.

Notice the stern-visaged woman holding up a EU/Euro symbol for everyone to worship.

Notice the strange blocky-looking men lying supine beneath Lady Euro, reaching upwards as if to clutch desperately at the withheld currency symbol.

Notice the Fascist Modern style of sculpture, eminently suitable for 21st-century Brussels.

We need a motto to go with it.

My suggestion: EUphoria, EUphemism, and EUthanasia!

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Posted on 09/26/2007 6:48 PM by Mary Jackson
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Wednesday, 26 September 2007
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“... creating a climate of fear, suspicion, and silence that only creates more hatred reminiscent of 1950s McCarythism,” she [Aysha Hidayatullah, the Muslim religious advisor in Emory’s Office of Religious Life]said.-- from this news article about David Horowitz coming to speak at Emory

No. The climate of "fear" comes from the observable behavior of Muslims world-wide, from southern Thailand to southern California, and especially on campuses where the "fear" is generated by Muslim threats of violence, and actual violence, as at Concordia University in Montreal, where pro-Israel speakers were prevented from speaking, or at San Francisco State, or indeed all over the place. The climate of "suspicion" comes from the fact that the campaigns, often Saudi-funded, led by Muslims and non-Muslim Western hirelings, designed to promote a view of Islam that relies on a great deal of omission, selective quotation, deliberate misinterpretation, and repeated examples of flat-out lying (by those who, fresh from some interfaith gathering, can be found, among their fellow Muslims, expressing quite different and far less soothing sentiments). The Taqiyya-and-Tu-Quoque blend no longer works, not even when the amounts are doubled. Apparently the Infidels are growing, with time and familiarity, immune to the effect of that particular cocktail.

As to "silence" -- well, the "silence of the lambs" bleating as they accept the nonsense that members of MESA Nostra (which google) inflict on them, in courses on Islam and Islam-related themes, all over the place, and the "silence" of university administrations (and of other faculty members, not daring to question the competence or good faith of those presenting highly tendentious accounts of Islam, when they would not hesitate a moment to attack a creationist in the biology department), and politicians who cannot bring themselves, apparently, to discuss Islam's texts and tenets and attitudes in a way that manages to resemble something like the truth.

Eventually, reality -- the things being done all over the world by various Muslim groups and states and individuals, not in defiance of Islam, not through a misinterpretation of Islam, but in strict accord with it -- will break in, and the whole edifice constructed with the help of Arab money from the Gulf will come tumbling down; it is already exhibiting signs of a weak infrastructure. The constant pounding that the day's news provides cannot be withstood forever.

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Posted on 09/26/2007 6:44 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Wednesday, 26 September 2007
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"We're not surprised," said Safaa Ibrahim, executive director of the Bay Area chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. "It's difficult to remove the tarnish of twisted interpretations of terrorists from what Islam means." [on learning the negative view Americans have of Islam] -- from this news article

One wants to ask just one question:

Give us one example of a "twisted interpretation" that has been offered by Osama Bin Laden, or Ayman al-Zawahiri, or any of the tens of thousands of terrorists, who have been arrested or are in hiding or are being monitored?

One example. One mis-use of a Qur'anic passage, one misinterpreting of one of the "authentic" Hadiths found in Bukhari or Muslim.

But there are none.

But there are many examples of the attempt, by Muslim apologists, to mis-represent Islam and what it teaches. For example there is the well-known selective out-of-context quotation of 5.32 without 5.33 (and then Bush and Blair dutifully took the bait and were, perhaps still are, fond of quoting 5.32 without 5.33). There is the constant reference, for Infidel audiences, to that much misunderstood 2.256 ("There is no compulsion in religion"). This phrase does not mean what Muslims want you to think it means. For the pressures of Islam on dhimmis was so great, so onerous, and despite all that "protected peoples" stuff there are many examples of overnight pogroms and massacres and forced conversions of non-Muslims (Andrew Bostom's book "The Legacy of Jihad" is particularly rich in these examples, and many more will be found in his forthcoming companion volume on the treatment of Jews in Islam), both Christians and Jews, and if there is less known in the West about what happened to the Zoroastrians (but see the historian Mary Boyce) and the Hindus (but see K. S. Lal and the late nineteenth-century compilation of Indian historians by Elliott and Dawson) under Islam, that merely reflects a cultural-historical bias that, one hopes, is even now being rectified. 1350 years of history show that the meaning with which Infidels naturally would endow the phrase "there is no compulsion in religion" is not the correct one. There has indeed been all kinds of "compulsion" that over time caused conquered non-Muslim peoples to convert to Islam in order to avoid their miserable and insecure condition, to become one of the victors rather than continue as the vanquished.

Furthermore, the phrase "there is no compulsion in religion" is hollow in another way, for within Islam, there is no freedom of conscience. Apostasy, the falling away from Islam, is treated as high treason, treason to the Camp of Islam. It is punishable by death, and even today, that punishment is carried out by Muslims who do not wait for the government. And even where death is not imposed, there are other means -- taking away one's money, wife, children, one's everything (see the once-famous case of Robert Hossein, a Kuwaiti businessman who converted, or tried to convert, to Christianity, and what the Kuwaiti authorities did to make him bend).

There is "misinterpretation" of the texts of Islam. But that "misinterpretation" is not that which those engaged in terrorism for the sake of Jihad are guilty of. Rather, it is the apologists for Islam who have deliberately "misinterpreted" through careful omission, selective quotation, deliberate exploitation of the ignorance of Infidel audiences as to the real meaning of certain phrases, a meaning that they would be able to derive only if they had a good grasp of the history of Jihad-conquest and subjugation of non-Muslims under Muslim rule, as well as of the rules, within Islam, that deny individual autonomy, or such rights as the right of apostasy, now recognized everywhere in the non-Muslim world.

There are indeed "twisted interpretations of what Islam means." They are the ones put out by CAIR and smiling imams at open-mosque-nights, carefully planned as propaganda stunts (complete with the delicious chicken-with-pita and baklava at the end, so that those Infidels can leave with their stomachs gratefully full, and their minds not too keen or concentrated on the misinformation, the taqiyya-and-tu-quoque, to which they have been subjected without quite realizing it). They are the ones that the bland writer for the Los Angeles Times apparently deeply believes in or, what now amounts to the same thing, is going as an act of faith and despair to pretend he believes in.

That way madness, and a growing menace, lie.

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Posted on 09/26/2007 6:24 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Wednesday, 26 September 2007
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Steve Emerson writes at IPT (thanks to Hugh Fitzgerald):

On Wednesday, October 3rd, the New Jersey Department of Homeland Security is hosting its "5th Annual Counter-Terrorism Conference" titled, "Radicalization: Global Trend, Local Concern?" The conference is part of the agency's "First Responder Training" and speakers and experts are brought in to instruct department employees on various topics related to security and counter-terrorism.

In a decision that defies reason, slated to speak on a panel called "To What Extent is Radicalization a Concern in the U.S.?," is none other than Georgetown University's John Esposito, a man who has never met a radical Muslim he didn't like.

At a banquet held by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Dallas in August of this year, Esposito stated:

I've got to tell you, you know, I mean, Sami Al-Arian's a very good friend of mine. I remember that when his kids told me that he was supporting a Republican I just said, ‘Tell your dad, as a lifelong Democrat, even though I don't always vote Democrat, he's ‘gonna regret voting for a Republican. And you know, God help Sami Al-Arian in terms of this administration and any others who have to live through this.

Esposito finished his speech, telling the crowd, "One of the most impressive people I have met under fire is Sami Al-Arian." Incidentally, the banquet was in large part held to support the defendants in the current trial against the Holy Land Foundation for Relief in Development (HLF), in which the closing arguments are underway. The charity stands accused of diverting over $12 million to the terrorist group Hamas. And Esposito told the audience that his appearance at the banquet was intended to "show solidarity not only with the Holy Land Fund, but also with CAIR," and started his speech by saying, "let me begin by saying that CAIR is a phenomenal organization."

At the banquet, CAIR Chairman Parvez Ahmed unleashed the following corker, in a typical effort to conflate his organization and his favored causes as representative of all American Muslims:

It is not the Holy Land Foundation that is under fire, but it is the entire American Muslim community is under fire.

CAIR is, of course, an unindicted co-conspirator in the trial, and if nothing else, the HLF trial has officially and publicly exposed CAIR's numerous links to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.

But back to Esposito: His good friend Sami pled guilty in 2006 to a "conspiracy to make or receive contributions of funds, goods or services to or for the benefit of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a Specially Designated Terrorist."

A notorious firebrand when speaking to perceived supporters, Esposito's buddy told a crowd of Muslim supporters both "Let us damn America, let us damn Israel, let us damn their allies until death" and "The Koran is our constitution… Jihad is our path … Victory to Islam… Death to Israel… Revolution… revolution till the victory" at meetings held in support of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

Esposito knows this, as these videos were entered into evidence into Sami's trial. Yet as recently as last month he still refers to Sami, in front of a crowd of American Muslims at a conference held by a Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas-front group, as his "very good friend."

Additionally, Esposito has praised Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Yusuf al-Qaradawi as a "reformer," interested in the relationship between Islam and "democracy, pluralism and human rights." The very same Qaradawi who has sanctioned suicide bombings against American troops in Iraq, calling those who die fighting U.S. forces "martyrs," and civilians in Israel, referring to such terrorist acts as "just" and a "divine destiny."

In a perfect world, such praise and associations would be as damaging as they are damning, yet Esposito has profited tremendously from such views, endorsements and friends. In December 2005, Saudi "philanthropist" Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal donated $20 million to Georgetown University to "teach about the Islamic world to the United States." According to the Washington Post, this is what the Prince got for his money:

The Georgetown center, part of the university's School of Foreign Service, will be renamed the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding. The $20 million will endow three faculty chairs, expand programs and academic outreach, provide scholarships for students and expand library facilities, Alwaleed said.

Center director John L. Esposito said in an interview that "a significant part of the money will be used to beef up the think tank part of what the center does."

Famously, money from Alwaleed Bin Talal comes with strings attached, not that Esposito would be bothered by such preconditions. After 9/11, then-NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani turned down a check for $10 million from the prince, after Alwaleed Bin Talal issued a press release stating that America had to "re-examine its policies in the Middle East and adopt a more balanced stance towards the Palestinian cause." Despite the prince's "generous" gift to Georgetown, his money is probably better spent elsewhere, as anyone who knows anything about Esposito would understand he hardly has to be bribed to parrot the radical Islamist/Saudi worldview.

And for those who insist that voicing skepticism and concern about the influx of Saudi money on institutions of higher learning is nothing more than "Islamophobia," not every one is fooled, including various leaders of the Australian Muslim community, as reported yesterday in The Australian, "Muslims attack $1m Saudi gift to uni":

UP to $1 million will be pumped by Saudi Arabia into an Australian university, sparking fears the money will skew its research and create sympathy for an extremist Muslim ideology espoused by al-Qai'da.

Muslim leaders and academics have attacked Queensland's Griffith University for accepting an initial $100,000 grant from the Saudi embassy, which they accused of having given cash in the past to educational institutions to improve the perception of Wahhabism - a hardline interpretation of Islam.

The Australian understands the Griffith Islamic Research Unit will in coming years receive up to $1 million from Saudi Arabia, which has injected more than $120 million into Australia's Islamic community since the 1970s for mosques, schools, scholarships and clerical salaries.

A former member of John Howard's Muslim reference board, Mustapha Kara-Ali, accused the Saudis of using their financial power to transform the landscape of Australia's Islamic community and silence criticism of Wahhabism. "They want to silence criticism of the Wahhabi establishment and its link to global terrorism and national security issues," he said.

Esposito does not share Kara-Ali's fears and wholeheartedly embraced his Saudi gift horse. But the New Jersey Department of Homeland Security should know better. During his August 2007 CAIR speech, Esposito stated, "The reality of it is there is no major significant threat in the mosques in America," and no one should expect anything other than his continued downplaying of the threat posed to the U.S. by radical Islam and its adherents. Inviting the self-described "good friend" of a convicted terrorist operative, a man who praises as a "reformer" the pro-suicide bombing spiritual head of the Muslim Brotherhood, a bought and paid for spokesman for the Wahhabist, Saudi worldview, to discuss the issues and problems associated with Islamic radicalization in the U.S. is very likely the most counter productive and wrongheaded approach yet devised by a government agency dedicated to protecting the United States.

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Posted on 09/26/2007 6:04 PM by Rebecca Bynum
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Wednesday, 26 September 2007
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Those who express their doubts about “the Holocaust” (a deplorable term, even more deplorable than "the Gulag" in its desiccated abstraction, and in the ease with which it is so easily invoked by the unfeeling), even if they also express doubts about their doubts, ought not to have those doubts dignified by an attempt to persuade them of its historical reality. I'd simply mock those doubting thomases until they went and found out for themselves. And if somehow they couldn't quite convince themselves, then one would realize that one's suspicion that something else was going on, something else explained their failure to fully acknowledge it, was correct all along.
 
When it comes to the German murders, murders participated in enthusiastically by many non-Germans, in such places as Bucharest and Budapest, murders of six million and the looting of hundreds of billions of dollars worth of property (which that West German “blood money” hardly compensated for), actively participated in by so many (Pieter Menten was hardly alone, for there were tens of thousands of Mentens), and looked on with indifference, then and even after the war, by tens of millions of people, is a grave and continuing failure – a failure which, by the way, is linked closely to the persistence, now prompted by guilt that must be assuaged by the conviction that somehow, it wasn’t that bad, somehow, they must have deserved it, somehow, Europe and Europeans did not fail but of course they did, of antisemitism in its new apparently to some acceptable guise of anti-Israel sentiment, and that in turn prevents those same Europeans, who have directed their solicitousness, supposedly prompted by the genocide of World War II toward Muslims who are the least deserving objects of a sympathy and solicitude that ought, by right, be given to the Jews of Europe who remain, and those in Israel who are trying to survive, as best they can, the endless Jihad against them waged by those who in population and resources far outstrip the cartographically nearly invisible, because so tiny, country of Israel.
 
There has been not a failure to know, but a failure to think and to feel. And what is the way, how should one think and feel, about those murders, which were not isolated, of course, but part of a long history of violence and cruelty? It is the way a supremely keen, self-assured, well-educated, product of high European civiliziation, who had lived through the pre-war period, and through the war, and through the decades of silence after the war, would, were they alive today, would think and feel.
 
Do we have any examples of such people? Oh, many.
 
Here is one example, the writer who left us this passage in "Pnin." in which the Russian émigré professor Timofey Pavlich Pnin thinks about his first love, the Russian Jewish girl Mira Belochkin, murdered --like so many millions-- by the Nazis, and then must suppress the thought in order to exist rationally. Nabokov does not write about an abstraction; he never once used the phrase "six million." He writes about Mira Belochkin:
“He remembered the last day they had met, on the Neva embankment in Petrograd, and the tears, and the stars, and the warm rose-red silk lining of her karakul muff. The Civil War of 1918-22 separated them: history broke their engagement...
 
What chatty Madam Shpolyanski mentioned had conjured up Mira's image with unusual force. This was disturbing. Only in the detachment of an incurable complaint, in the sanity near death, could one cope with this for a moment. In order to exist rationally, Pnin had taught himself, during the last ten years, never to remember Mira Belochkin - not because, in itself, the evocation of a youthful love affair, banal and brief, threatened his peace of mind (alas, recollections of his marriage to Liza were imperious enough to crowd out any former romance), but because, if one were quite sincere with oneself, no conscience, and hence no consciousness, could be expected to subsist in a world where such things as Mira's death were possible. One had to forget - because one could not live with the thought that this graceful, fragile, tender young woman with those eyes, that smile, those gardens and snows in the background, had been brought in a cattle car to an extermination camp and killed by an injection of phenol to the heart, into the gentle heart one had heard beating under one's lips in the dusk of the past. And since the exact form of her death had not been recorded, Mira kept dying a great number of deaths in one's mind, and undergoing a great number of resurrections, only to die again and again, led away by a trained nurse, inoculated with filth, tetanus, bacilli, broken glass, gassed in a sham shower-bath with prussic acid, burned alive in a pit on a gasoline-soaked pile of beechwood. According to the investigator Pnin had happened to talk to in Washington, the only certain thing was that being too weak to work (though still smiling, still able to help other Jewish women), she was selected to die and was cremated only a few days after her arrival in Buchenwald, in the beautifully wooded Grosser Ettersberg, as the region is resoundingly called. It is an hour's stroll from Weimar, where walked Goethe, Herder, Schiller, Wieland, the inimitable Kotzbue and others. 'Aber warum - but why -' Dr Hagen, the gentlest of souls alive, would wail, 'why had one to put that horrid camp so near!' for indeed, it was near - only five miles from the cultural heart of Germany - 'that nation of universities,' as the President of Waindell College, renowned for his use of the mot juste, had so elegantly phrased it when reviewing the European situation in a recent Commencement speech, along with the compliment he paid another torture house, 'Russia - the country of Tolstoy, Stanislavski, Raskolnikov, and other great and good men.'
 
Pnin slowly walked under the solemn pines. The sky was dying. He did not believe in an autocratic God. He did believe, dimly, in a democracy of ghosts. The souls of the dead, perhaps, formed committees, and these, in continuous session, attended the destinies of the quick.”
 
Go and do likewise. See it, feelingly.
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Posted on 09/26/2007 11:27 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Wednesday, 26 September 2007
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From The Local, Swedish News in the English language.
Islamic headscarves ought to be banned at workplaces and in schools - that's the view of half the people surveyed in a new Swedish poll.
The poll, the third of its kind taken by Uppsala University to measure Swedes' views of diversity, shows a rising number of people supporting a headscarf ban.
The results the poll are open to some interpretation. The questionnaire asked people for their view on the banning of the 'slöja' or veil, indicating a garment covering the face as well as the top of the head, such as a burqa or a niqab. However, in common parlance, the word 'slöja' is often used to describe all sorts of female Islamic head coverings, including those that just cover the hair.
Hardening attitudes on the headscarf question were not the only sign of deteriorating race relations.
How many times? The niqab, burka, hijab, call it what you will is Islamic and Islam is not a race. As Swedish journalists are more left wing than the Swedish public they write for I suppose it is only to be expected.
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Posted on 09/26/2007 10:42 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Wednesday, 26 September 2007
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Muslim dentist guilty in headscarf row. From the BBC:

A Muslim dentist has been found guilty of telling a female patient she could not register with him unless she wore an Islamic headscarf.

The disciplinary hearing of the General Medical Council heard that Dr Omer Butt constructed a "tissue of lies" to protect himself.

The patient said she was "humiliated and upset" after the encounter at the surgery in Bury, Greater Manchester.

Dr Butt could now have his licence to practise dentistry revoked.

The dentist denied the charges, but admitted he would ask Muslim women to cover up in accordance with Islamic law before he treated them and reducing fees to encourage patients to wear the headscarf.

Dr Butt, of Prestwich, Greater Manchester, was found to have "undermined public confidence" in the dental profession by discriminating against the woman - named only as patient A, a non-practising Muslim - in April 2005.

Giving evidence in his defence, Dr Butt said he "politely requested" the woman, a non-practising Muslim, to wear a headscarf.

He said it was "unlawful" for him, as a Muslim, to look at a Muslim woman who was not properly covered up.

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Posted on 09/26/2007 10:11 AM by Mary Jackson
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Wednesday, 26 September 2007
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For Hugh, whose favourite hymn it is, all verses of Rock of Ages. Words by Augustus Toplady, tune Petra, cyber hymnal here.
 
Rock of ages, cleft for me.
Let me hide myself in Thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From Thy riven side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure,
Cleanse from me its guilt and power.
Not the labours of my hands
Can fulfil Thy law's demands;
Could my zeal no respite know,
Could my tears for ever flow,
All for sin could not atone;
Thou must save and Thou alone.
Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to Thy Cross I cling;
Naked, come to Thee for dress;
Helpless, look to Thee for grace;
Foul, I to the Fountain fly;
Wash me, Saviour, or I die.
While I draw this fleeting breath,
When my eye-strings break in death,
When I soar through tracts unknown,
See Thee on Thy judgment throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee.
 
It is indeed a powerful and inspiring hymn but not one of my personal favourites. Neither of my favourites, Hills of the North Rejoice and For All the Saints are in the Telegraph list. The are rarely sung today even at the 8 am service for old fogies like me.
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Posted on 09/26/2007 9:52 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Wednesday, 26 September 2007
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Wednesday, 26 September 2007
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The Telegraph is featuring a traditional hymn a day this week.
Today’s hymn is described as the muddled, egocentric product of a slightly deranged mind. Augustus Montague Toplady (1740-78) wrote it supposedly, on the back of a playing card when taking refuge during a storm in a cleft rock in a gorge in the Mendip Hills near Burrington Combe in Somerset.
He was an eccentric man who argued with John Wesley. The hymn in question was a favourite of the Victorians, particularly Prince Albert and Gladstone.
But when I hear it I don’t think of The Mendips, much as I love Wells and the hills above.
Neither do I think of the Prince Consort and his wife’s Prime Ministers.
I think of Westerns.
It is Sunday morning in the white clapboard mission church. The preacher man with the assertive beard is by the pulpit; his wife in an equally assertive bonnet is at the harmonium. The farmer’s wholesome daughter is holding a hymnbook and wearing her Sunday-best gingham.
The man she loves walks up to the church. He may be a good man about to take his leave before he goes to fight the bad men in the black hats. Or he may be a bad man but one who can be redeemed by her love.
The sagebrush rolls across the path, the white door swings open, and the sound of Rock of Ages fills the cinema.
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Posted on 09/26/2007 9:21 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Wednesday, 26 September 2007
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NEW YORK - A European terrorism suspect facing charges in the United States planned to set up a camp in Oregon to teach followers how to make bombs, poison people and slit throats, a federal prosecutor said Tuesday. --from this news item

One wonders how those who took Professor Anita Weiss's course "Islam and Global Forces" last spring at the University of Oregon -- who were given John Esposito as their guide to Islam, ably seconded by such writers as Gilles Kepel, and the truly hallucinatory book by Emran Qureshi and Michael Sells, "The New Crusades: Constructing the Muslim Enemy" -- will understand such a phenomenon as this Oussama Kassir, from the Jihad-training camp at Bly, Oregon.

This Muslim, based in Oregon, is only one among the many tens of thousands of others arrested for participation in Jihad through terrorism (which is only one of the instruments of Jihad). Such people have been arrested in this country, but not only here. They have been arrested, and others are being monitored, in Great Britain, and Denmark, and France, and Italy, and Sweden, and Spain, and the Netherlands, and Australia and Canada, and not only in the Western world, but also in Thailand, and India, and sub-Saharan Africa (think of the southern Sudan, with its 2 million non-Muslim victims, for some reason sloughed off, though the Jihad has been renewed in the south, while the black Muslim victims of Darfur receive far more than the Christians and animists of the south ever did), and not only in countries where Islam does not dominate, but also in those where it does, but local Muslims feel that the non-Muslims need to be driven out, or pushed down still further, as with the Christians in Lebanon and Egypt and Iraq, or as with the Hindus in Pakistan and Bangladesh, or as with the Chinese and Indians discriminated against still more in Malaysia, where the Muslims have had to wait to ensure their absolute majority, and until now have had to content themselves with the disguised Jizyah of the Bumiputra system.

And then there are the hundreds of millions of people who, while they may not participate directly in violent Jihad, support through money and moral support those who do, because Jihad is not a tangential but central duty of Believers. That not all Muslims do support it in ways that we can discern means only that they choose, either out of lack of enthusiasm, or fear of the consequences if they now live in the West and do not yet believe they can afford to do so lest they imperil their own position, is no consolation. It is the doctrine that counts, and the fact that a truly observant Muslim, a Muslim who is dutiful, will in fact support Jihad in any way, including the use of what may be called the Money Weapon, campaigns of Da'wa, and demographic conquest (discussed quite openly by Muslims -- as with Houari Boumedienne of Algeria at the U.N. in 1974, when he announced urbi et orbi that "we will conquer you [in Europe] through the wombs of our women."

Only the keenest students among those who endured Anita Weiss's "Islam and Global Forces," those who kept their skeptical wits about them, and later on compared the version of Islam that she and those whose texts are on that syllabus she so carefully crafted to prevent a hint of reality about Islam from breaking in, will be able to understand the global Jihad, for Jihad fell into desuetude only because of Muslim military weakness.

But money has changed things: the OPEC trillions (ten trillion dollars since 1973 alone).

And migration has changed things: the tens of millions of Muslims, allowed to settle deep behind what Muslims themselves are taught to regard as enemy lines, in an act of criminal folly by the political elites who did not study Islam, but simply assumed a number of things -- such as that "all religions want the same thing" or "all immigrants have similar problems of adjustment and one shouldn't worry."

And technological advancements have changed things: now the remotest Muslim villager can be given the Message of Islam, the duty and rightness of Jihad, the supposed "atrocities" of the Americans or the Israelis or other Infidels, broadcast nonstop, around the globe, available on videocassettes, satellite television, the Internet, so that there are no longer those hundreds of millions of quietly pious Muslims whose knowledge of the faith is limited to the Five Pillars of individual worship, but who have been introduced to the full texts and tenets of Islam, and instead of turning away, these primitive masses simply accept it, for are they not Muslims, and must they not submit to the will expressed by Allah, now that that his desires have been brought fully to their attention?

No, the students at the University of Oregon who took Anita Weiss's course would be less, not more, prepared, to understand the case of Oussama Kassir, a Muslim who taught other Muslims, in that very state of Oregon, in the town of Bly, "how to make bombs, poison people and slit throats."

And what does or should that mean for the taxpayers of Oregon, who might like to have available for students, in the state university they fund, something like the truth about Islam being presented? For what the students at that university must now endure is a series of tendentious and comical attempts to hide the texts, and disguise the tenets, of Islam, and to make the whole matter of a world-wide Jihad merely a matter of the Western, or American, "constructing a Muslim enemy" that is presented as a figment of vicious American imaginations -- see Bruce Lawrence, see Carl Ernst, see them all as they tumble over one another in praise of "The New Crusades: Constructing the Muslim Enemy" -- one of the main texts chosen by Anita Weiss.

One would not know, from such texts and the professors who assign them, much about the 1350-year history of Muslim conquest, of lands once possessed by Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, Hindus, Buddhists, nor would one learn of the continuing Jihad, pressed through raids up and down the coasts of Western Europe by Arab slavers, for a millennium after the initial conquests, or the continuing Jihad by the Turks in the West, stopped only through military force at the Gates of Vienna, in 1683. One would not know much about the Jihad-conquests of Hindustan, or of much of southeast Asia, and the varied means -- not always outright military conquest -- through which Islam managed to take over, and transform, large swaths of territory, and cause the indigenous population to ignore, or forget, its now pre-Islamic or non-Islamic history. One would learn nothing of the Jihad in West Africa announced in 1804, or the subsequent continuing attacks on black Africans, by the Arab slavers who began centuries earlier, and ended much later, where -- under Western pressure -- they did end, or the later Jihads against the non-Muslims of southern Nigeria ("Jihad" was what Col. Ojukwu rightly called it in 1969 in the Ahiara Declaration), or the Sudan, where the last half-century has been one of steady islamization and forced arabization carried out through the instrument of mass murder and forced starvation.

No, this is not what one would have a hint of in the classroom where "Islam and Global Forces" was taught to Oregon's college students by Anita Weiss. And there are hundreds or thousands of anita-weisses, the tribe of MESA Nostra, scattered throughout this land, and other lands all over the Western world, where they do not contribute to "understanding Islam in the modern world" but instead serve as sly or naive apologists for the Faith, its texts, its tenets, its dutiful Believers.

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Posted on 09/26/2007 8:56 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Wednesday, 26 September 2007
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The Telegraph:

David Miliband has distanced himself from Tony Blair's foreign policy by acknowledging mistakes were made in Iraq and Afghanistan. ...

"So we have to stop and we have to think - the lesson is that it is not good enough to have good intentions."

He admitted that the aftermath of the invasion of Iraq had not been thought through.

"The lesson is that while there are military victories, there is never a military solution."

Earlier, Des Browne, the Defence Secretary, admitted that Britain could be involved in Afghanistan and Iraq for decades. He also said that the Taliban will have to play a part in the peace process in Afghanistan for it to work.

Mr Browne warned that there was "no possibility" of establishing a western legal system there and argued that an "Islamic-based" solution would have to sought instead....

The lesson should be that we cannot expect Islamic societies to change to suit our ideas of justice. We gave the people in Iraq and Afghanistan a chance to and join the modern world based on the rule of secular law, which they refused. Given the choice, Muslims will choose Islam, Islam and more Islam. Now we know. Islam is much stronger and has a much greater hold on the minds of Muslims than we were led to believe prior to our invasion and subsequent close observation of these two Muslim societies.

He said that al-Qa'eda was using the suffering of the Palestinians as an excuse for violence.

"We need to remove the excuse. We need urgent progress to address Israeli security and Palestinian rights through the only solution - a two-state solution in the middle east."

Now that's just plain silly. Muslims will always find some plausible excuse for Islamic aggression in the outer world, but the real source is found in the inner life of Muslims who are raised on the aggressive teaching and attitiudes of Islam.

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Posted on 09/26/2007 8:14 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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Wednesday, 26 September 2007
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Despite the best efforts of media and academia, Americans show an informed understanding of Islam:

AP (hat tip JW): The number of Americans who say Islam has little or nothing in common with their own religion has spiked to 70 percent in the past two years from 59 percent, the poll found.

Another significant shift has taken place: In 2005, 36 percent of the public said Islam is more likely than other faiths to encourage violence among its believers. That number has risen to 45 percent.

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Posted on 09/26/2007 7:27 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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Wednesday, 26 September 2007
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Some time ago this site reported on a very silly speech by someone called Mary Sue Coleman - something on the lines of : We are Diversity, Diversity is Community, Community is Diversity, Diversity is Us, Diverted we rule. Here's a taster:

Let’s stand together to say: We are Michigan and we are diversity.

In Monty Python's Life of Brian, the crowd roars, "We are all individuals." A dissenter pipes up, "I'm not." Diversity, as advocated by Coleman and others, applies to race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability and so forth, but not to opinion. When it comes to ideas, a sinister uniformity rules. Diversity is Good. We all agree on that, don't we?

Coleman's ideal is a diverse university, replete with multi-abled, multi-ethnic, polysexual men, women and transsexuals who are all of one mind. And if you want to see the result of this totalitarian thinking, here, thanks to David Thompson, is the Diversity Statement of "The Ohio State University". The definite article features prominently in its logo, yet is strangely absent from the first cliché in the first paragraph:

Diversity is a cornerstone of community at The Ohio State University. The Office of University Housing defines the concept as an inclusive mixture of all the differences that make the individuals at The Ohio State University unique. Through exposure, critical thinking, appreciation and interactions within our residence halls and larger university communities, our goal is to empower students, staff, faculty and friends. In this, we attempt to learn from the wide array of human similarities and differences in an increasingly diverse world.

So the world is getting more diverse? It only seems like yesterday that it was getting more global. And what on this diverse earth is an "arrray of similarities"? Could a decent human being write the above paragraph, or is it the work of a quango?

I have a confession to make. While at university, and before, and since, I have sometimes made jokes. Some of these jokes have been at the expense of Diversity. How I wish I had attended The Ohio State University, where any jocular tendencies would have been ruthlessly and rightly stamped out. Students are instructed:

"Do not joke about differences related to race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, ability, socioeconomic background, etc. When in doubt about the impact of your words and actions, simply ask.’”

In the pre "Round the Horne" bad old days of censorship, comedians were told:

There is an absolute ban upon the following: jokes about lavatories, effeminacy in men, immorality of any kind, suggestive references to honeymooning couples, chambermaids, fig leaves, ladies’ underwear (eg. winter draws on), animal habits (eg. rabbits), lodgers, commercial travellers ...

Quaint as this censorship sounds, it applied only in the context of broadcasting. (In fact it led to some of the most inventive comedy ever made, as comedians made up suggestive but innocent words to get round the censor.) But the instruction to students applies, presumably, even when they are off duty, for example, in the college bar if they have one. Particularly silly is the instruction to ask first if you are "in doubt about the impact of your words".  How would this work? "I want to make a joke about a dozy pouf - is that alright?"

Here's some advice for students at The Ohio State University: pretend you have Tourette's syndrome. Then you can be as rude as you like and nobody will be able to get you for it because you're "differently abled".

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Posted on 09/26/2007 4:07 AM by Mary Jackson
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Wednesday, 26 September 2007
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FUSES intended for use in a suspected plot to bomb US installations in Germany came from Syria through Turkey, the German interior minister said yesterday.
Wolfgang Schaeuble said the three suspects had received an order from Pakistan to act by mid-September.
German security officials were also monitoring three men who had trained in a Pakistan camp for militants, but lacked the evidence to arrest them, Mr Schaeuble said.
The threat from the al-Qaeda-linked Islamic Jihad Union, which claimed responsibility for the plot, has not been eliminated, he said. US installations remained a potential target.
"We know that fuses for these bombs ... came from Syria via Turkey to Germany," he said. "We know there are connections. We know that there is a clear network. The demand came from Pakistan (that) it's time to take action in the first half of September," he said.
After a long debate over whether to punish the "intentions" of a terrorism suspect, Germany is likely to outlaw training in militant tactics such as bomb-building, Mr Schaeuble predicted.
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Posted on 09/26/2007 2:03 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Tuesday, 25 September 2007
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Gene W. Heck has an impressive biography, being "a senior business development economist operating in Saudi Arabia and throughout the Mideast. Prior to joining the private sector, he was a member of the United States Diplomatic Corps, with postings to the U.S. embassies in Saudi Arabia and Jordan. He also serves as adjunct professor of government and history with the University of Maryland."

Nonetheless, he has written a book, When Worlds Collide: Exploring the Ideological and Political Foundations of the Clash of Civilization (Rowman & Littlefield, 2007), that rolls together a staggering number of mistakes about Islam. --Daniel Pipes, "The Worst Book of 2007?"

One more example of the Old Song on the Old Victrola, one more example of Money Weapon (Saudi Division) at work. Gene Heck signed his name to the book; he may even have written part or all of it; its contents, of course, are merely His Master's Voice. Is he metempsychotically channeling Philby Senior, or Leopold Weiss ("Mustafa As'ad")? Or psychotically channeling the well-paid deliberate hallucinations of assorted ex-diplomats and Western intelligence agents, who "seen their opportunities and they took 'em" with all that Saudi and other Arab money sloshing about the capitals of the West, and whose representative figure may be Raymond Close, former C.I.A. station chief in Riyadh, who retired early to go into business with two Saudis, one of them a former Saudi intelligence chief.

A recent post on the theme.

"worst book of 2007..."

"Giving" by Bill Clinton is the rival that comes immediately to mind. A paean of praise, and a book of hope, and a book that will add to the tens of millions of dollars that the grasping Bill Clinton has so frenetically amassed since leaving "public service." No doubt a few hundred copies were inscribed "with hope" or "thanks for giving" or "you're one person who didn't need this book" or "thanks for all you've done and I am sure will continue to do" by the author himself, and sent out en masse to all of his new, true-blue friends, each with a minimum worth of tens of millions of dollars, and several being billionaires, and all of them allowed to feel that all's right with the world as long as they, are in some way, "giving."

Only one question: how much of the tens of millions of dollars that Clinton has grabbed, and how much of the millions he hopes he will make from "Giving," will he, Bill Clinton, actually "give" to someone not named Clinton?

That's what Youth Wants To Know.

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Posted on 09/25/2007 5:16 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Tuesday, 25 September 2007
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This is the biggest load of balderdash I have seem in, er, days.
Parts of British history need to be rewritten to emphasise the roles played by other races and religions like Muslims, a prominent race relations campaigner has said.
Trevor Philips, the chairman of the new Commission for Equalities and Human Rights, said the history of Britain did not properly reflect the contribution of other cultures.
Rewriting the country’s history would demonstrate to Britons in the 21st century how other groups part from Anglo Saxons shaped the nation.
He told a fringe meeting at the Labour conference: "We may need to revisit our national story – we want to rewrite that story to tell the whole story."
The rewriting should start with the story of how the English fleet led by Sir Francis Drake fought off the Spanish Armada in 1588, he said.
The important role played by the Muslim Turks, who delayed the sailing of the Spanish fleet so that the English ships were better prepared, had been airbrushed out of the story however.
Mr Phillips said: "When we talk about the Armada, it was the Turks who saved us because they held up the Armada after a request from Elizabeth I.
"Let’s rewrite that, so we have an ideal that brings us together so that it can bind us together in stormy times ahead in the next century."
Earlier this week Mr Phillips said that economic migrants could be forced to make a bigger contribution to the cost of public services.
Mr Phillips said that some migrants who stay in the UK only for a short time should pay more for the use of schools and hospitals.
So he isn’t a complete idiot, just a swallower whole of Islamic propaganda. Next he will be quoting the Islamic discovery of Australia and America. And the unknown fact that Shakespeare and King Offa were all Muslims. Which Shakespeare though we ask ourselves? Seeing as according to the other rewriters of British history Shakespeare didn’t write Shakespeare, although no one can quite agree who did, if he didn’t.
 Except that Trevor Philips is right about certain things airbrushed from history which do need to be more widely known.
I read Giles Milton’s White Gold a few months ago. I finished Robert C Davis’s book Christian Slaves Muslim Masters only this morning and I am trying to get a copy of Barbary Pirates Off the Devon Coast by Bhanji and Steffens which is out of print.
2 million Christian Europeans plucked from their homes; that is what has been airbrushed out of British history. 
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Posted on 09/25/2007 4:34 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Tuesday, 25 September 2007
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If you have been paying attention to the many posts here about Islam, you will see that the paragraph below, by Khaled Diab in The Guardian, is slightly inaccurate. What is wrong with it?

It is, in fact, centuries too late to stop the "Islamisation of Europe". The Muslim influence is so hard-wired into European society that most people are unaware of it. Where would we be without hospitals, universities and cafes (to name just a few things Europe has imported from the Muslim world)?

Philosophy, medicine, chemistry, mathematics, astronomy and other sciences would be centuries behind if it weren't for the contributions of Muslim scientists, such as Avicenna (Ibn Sina) and Averroes (Ibn Rushd). In our daily lives, so many things we take for granted may not have arrived in Europe if it weren't for those despised Muslims.

That's right. In the last sentence, the author uses "may", where he should have used "might".

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Posted on 09/25/2007 4:31 PM by Mary Jackson
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Tuesday, 25 September 2007
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"I'm fairly convinced that there was a Holocaust, but I also must admit that I haven't done enough research myself on the subject to have an opinion about it."
-- from a reader

You are only "fairly convinced"? Just "fairly"? And you "must admit" that you "haven't done enough research myself on the subject to have an opinion about it"? Can you possibly be serious?

Why don't you go to the nearest large university library and start reading at once, so that any doubts at all are put paid to once and for all. Start with the records of the Nuremberg Trials, Raoul Hilberg, and Lucy Davidowicz, and Yaffa Eliach, and a thousand others.

And then continue, until you know what all educated people know or should know. Being "fairly convinced" and also thinking that you "haven't done enough research...on the subject to have an opinion on it" is, given the gravity of the matter, simply intolerable.

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Posted on 09/25/2007 3:09 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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