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The Iconoclast

Monday, 14 April 2014

Jehan Sadat, the widow of Saint Sadat, has for years been receiving for decades huge sums of money from American universities, beginning with the University of South Carolina, that spent $313,000 on her salary and expenses until she, faced with this information becoming public, resigned to avoid a scandal, but Jehan Sadat still managed to rpackage herself and to continue to receive from American sources-- lately, the University of Maryland -- hundreds of thousands of dolalrs annually. She gives well-paid speeches, comes and goes at will, is feted wherever she goes, has received more than 20 honorary degrees, and all because she's the widow of Sadat, and Sadat graciously agreed to take back the entire Sinai, together with billions of dollars in Israeli-funded improvements to its infrastructure. Jehan Sadat has been able to observe the United States,and to understand how its policies ae made. She's not an illiterate peasant in rural Egypt, knowing only bits and pieces of the Qur'an that are recited in the mosque.

But here she is, this advanced,and by reputation "secular" Egyptian, of the highest social class, claiming that the situation in Egypt is the result of an American (or is it "Zionist" -- a word she does not use, because she's been made aware, in her intermittent Ameican months, of the need to avoid using that directly) conspiracy, a desire to split the state of Egypt, "just as" the American government split the state of Iraq (when the Americans spent two trillion dollars and thousands of llives, trying to keep Iraq together, and to liimit the Sunni-Shi'a split, and to "reconstruct" what had hardly been constructed in the first place), and Syria (where the entire conflict has been without any American aid, but only huffing-and-puffing, but plenty of men, money, and war materiel from Iran and Lebanon (Hezbollah Division) on one side, and from Qatar and Saudi Arbia on the other.

Look at the spectacle she makes of herself here. That money that the University of South Carolina spen, and the University of Maryland, and lots of other schools,  might better have paid for a few salaries for professors, or for two dozen adjuncts, or fifty miserably-paid Teaching Assistants. What a waste these celebrity appointments are, but in this case,the case of this mentally primitive ingrate, especially, what an outrage.

Posted on 04/14/2014 10:00 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald

Monday, 14 April 2014

Don't assume, ever, that an Arab Muslim "fighrter for women's rights" or for "liberal democracy" must necessarily have jettisoned the conspiracy-theories, with Jews ("Zionists") behind everything that goes wrong in Muslim lands, or in the whole world. They haven't and they won't.

It is only when Isllam  itself is questioned, and seen, correctly, as the source of all the many failures -- political, economic, social, intellectual, and moral -- of Muslim polities and peoples, that those conspiracy-theories are likely to be abandoned. And only a few of the most enlightened Muslims, who are essentially apostates even if they may not describe themselves, out of fear or filial piety, as such, who are likely to be free of such crazinesses.

Islam stunts the mental growth. It discourages -- it punishes -- the exercise of skepticism, of independent thought. It encourages seeking blamee always, ideally, among the non-Muslims. It could be "the British" or "the Americans" but th favorite conspiracy-theory candidatge is "the Jews" or, as they can also be known, "the Zionists."

Here is someone described as a "woman's rights activist." If that was all you knew of her, you might be well-disposed. You would be wrong.

See how she allows herself to see the world, here.

Posted on 04/14/2014 9:16 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald

Monday, 14 April 2014
The report can be read here.
Posted on 04/14/2014 8:57 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald

Monday, 14 April 2014

Monday, 14 April 2014

Khalil Al-Wazir, in arte Abu Jihad, has a park named after him, in a forest in Arab-occupied Judea and Samaria, by the Arabs who call themselves -- starting in late 1967 -- "Palestinians." Practically the whole PA gang turned out  for  the occasion.

The story here.

Posted on 04/14/2014 8:03 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald

Monday, 14 April 2014

On Monday, April 14, Jews around the world will invite their family and friends to join them for the feast of Passover, a holiday that celebrates the Biblical story of the Israelites, who were enslaved in Egypt under Pharaoh, and who fled from their cruel Egyptian masters across the Sinai desert to gain their freedom in the land of Israel. As celebrants drink wine and eat the unleavened bread that was once prepared in the desert, they sing an ancient song, “We were slaves unto Pharaoh in Egypt, but now we are free.”

As a young anthropologist, I was so enamored by the story of Passover that I spent a year among the nomadic Bedouin Arabs of the Sinai peninsula to get a taste of that ancient wandering way of life that must have been temporarily adopted by the Children of Israel during their sojourn in that “terrible wilderness” on their way to freedom in the Promised Land. One day, to my shock and surprise, I came across a settlement of Africans who told me that they were the descendants of the slaves that the Bedouin used to keep until the British outlawed slavery in the Sinai after the First World War. I got to know them rather well (as one of them was a fine musician). When I asked an elder what slavery was like, he told me, “Horrible. You worked all day, every day and you had no freedom.”

These former slaves were the northernmost expression of a slave trade that was as old as the Islamic conquest of Egypt and the land of Israel in the 7th century AD, and which reached its zenith during the 19th century. When European travellers and adventurers began to explore Ethiopia, the Sudan and Egypt during the 19th century, they described an active Nile valley and Red Sea slave trade dominated by Sudanese and Egyptian Muslim traders, facilitated by Bedouin tribes who still range from the borders of Ethiopia to the Mediterranean Sea. In the traders’ eyes, the ideal slaves were Christian and Pagan Ethiopians who were snatched from their homes in what is now Ethiopia and highland Eritrea.

These slave traders were not 19th century utilitarians. The Red Sea slave trade was characterized by extreme cruelty and deprivation that included, castration, rape, torture, murder and abandonment of the weak in the wilderness. By the 1830s, 10-12,000 of these slaves were traded annually up the Nile and Red Sea coast through the Sudan into Egypt. Although the British eventually made slavery illegal in Egypt and the Sudan during their occupation of these two countries, as late as the 1920s, Sudanese religious and political leaders were petitioning the British to allow them to keep their slaves. Clearly, the practice of slavery in this part of the world had not disappeared.

During the last few years, a new version of this slave trade has re-emerged in the area. The persecutors and the victims are almost the same, but the style of the trade has changed. In some ways it has become even more brutal than its 19th century forerunner. Researchers for the UN, the U.S. government and various NGOs who study this tragedy call it “Sinai trafficking,” a euphemism describing a revived Red Sea slave trade.

Between 2009-2013, it is estimated that 25,000-30,000 people were victims of Sinai trafficking and that they and their relatives overseas have paid ransoms to their Sinai Bedouin captors of at least $622-million. Of those who were kidnapped, anywhere from 25-50% of those captured die in captivity, usually from torture. The majority of the victims are Eritreans and almost all of them are Christians.

In 1993, after many decades of a heroically disciplined resistance struggle that was the envy of all Africans, a newly liberated Eritrea voted to secede from Ethiopia and finally became an independent state, recognized by countries around the world. After a short democratic honeymoon and a pointless border war with Ethiopia, instead of developing their war-torn society, Eritrea’s new leaders have turned the country into a totalitarian nightmare. The constitution has never been implemented, the government has put the head of the Eritrean Orthodox church under house arrest and it has drafted all teenagers into the army for indefinite service. The state then forces them to labour without pay on state farms, like bonded medieval serfs. In today’s Eritrea, arbitrary arrest is common, and thousands languish in prison without legal representation. Citizens do not have an automatic right to a passport and will be shot on sight if they try and cross the border to the Sudan or Ethiopia.

And so, there has arisen a black market that offers to smuggle Eritreans to the Sudan where they can find temporary refuge in UN-run refugee camps. This is where the trouble begins, as the demand to escape Eritrea is huge. The UN estimates that 5,000 people try to leave every month. In revenge, the Eritrean government has been illegally taxing its émigrés in Europe and the West 2% of their annual incomes. In 2013 a high level Eritrean minister fled the country. The government then arrested his 85-year father and 15-year-old daughter in retaliation.

As most Eritreans who want to leave their country cannot get passports, they know that there are corrupt members of the Eritrean Border Surveillance Unit who have close ties with businessman on the Sudanese side of the border. Desperate Eritreans often pay these middlemen up to $3,000 to be smuggled across the border to refugee camps such as Shagarab in the Sudan, with the help of Rashaida Bedouin traffickers who live on both sides of the border. If the refugees are lucky, they languish in camps like Shagarab, where the UN can almost protect them (many are kidnapped by traffickers from within the camp itself).

If they are unlucky, as so many are, they are directly and forcibly transferred to warehouses under armed guard by Rashaida Bedouin tribesmen. They are then smuggled across the Egyptian border with assistance from related Bedouin tribes who sell them on to the Bedouin of the Sinai Peninsula. The involvement of the Bedouin of the Sudan up and into the Sinai is similar in nature to that of 19th century Red Sea slave trade, except that now the transfer of human captives is done by truck on desert roads. If these captive Eritreans have survived thus far, this is where their hell begins.

The Sinai is now a haven for tribally based Al-Qaeda operatives as well as Bedouin smugglers and extortionists, who have a free hand in this revived slave trade. There are about 50 tribally based trafficking gangs working in the Sinai. Once the incoming groups of captive Eritreans are divvied up among the gangs, the poor victims are asked if they have relatives abroad with cellphones. If they do, and most do, then they are asked to call their relatives and arrange for ransoms of up to $50,000 per person which will then be sent to middle men in Egypt, or until recently, extorted from the many thousands of traumatized Eritrean refugees who the Bedouin already tortured and smuggled into Israel, before the Israelis finally tightened their border security with Egypt. In the meantime they wait.

But while they wait, their Sinai Bedouin captors torture them, regularly. Captives are beaten with whips and sticks, often four to five times a day. Men, women and children are regularly beaten with iron bars and hammers, often breaking limbs. Pregnant women are kicked and jumped upon, people are hung upside down for days, electrocuted and burnt, held in chains and assaulted sexually. Children are raped in front of their parents and women in front of their husbands. Young men are also raped. They are given little food and water and suffer from disease. Captives are specifically tortured when they are on the phone with overseas relatives, so that their screams will motivate them to send money to the Bedouin agents through international wire transfers. If a captive has already died, the Bedouin often threaten the deceased’s still captive relatives with even more violence, and so they often receive ransom payments for people that they have already tortured and killed.

Those captives who survive are often held for up to 18 months before they are ransomed and dropped off in Cairo. Having turned a complete blind eye to what their own citizens did to them in Sinai, the Egyptian authorities then arrest them and arrange for their eventual deportation. On one occasion a group of Eritrean captives overpowered their captors, escaped and reported their persecutor’s whereabouts to the Egyptian police in the Sinai. The police jailed the escapees and allowed the torturers to go free. The one Egyptian journalist who reported from the Sinai, Ahmad Abu Draa, was arrested by the government and put in solitary confinement for writing about the slave trade. The Egyptian government has done nothing to stop this new Bedouin slave trade, and deport most of those refugees who make it to Cairo to Ethiopia, which is marginally better than Eritrea, where they can be shot or imprisoned for having left “illegally.”

Many of those who make it to Egypt try and get smuggled to Libya in the hope that they can enter Europe by sea. In Libya they are often captured, put in prison and sometimes tortured. As one survivor pointed out, “There is much to be afraid of given our skin colour and religion … over 400 Eritreans are here, the women held in a separate location. The Muslims of other countries are taken care of, but we Eritreans do not get such an option.”

First published in the National Post.

Posted on 04/14/2014 8:01 AM by Geoffrey Clarfield

Monday, 14 April 2014

From the Birmingham Mail 

Twenty-five schools are being investigated in connection with alleged plot by hardline Muslims to seize control of Birmingham schools, the leader of the city council has announced.

Sir Albert Bore said a special adviser has been appointed to help investigate the ‘Trojan Horse’ allegations. He's changed his tune all of a sudden. Only last month he said the letter  was 'defamatory'. 

Former head teacher, Ian Kershaw, has been appointed as the city’s new chief adviser on Trojan Horse and will work on a full-time basis for the next six months. Sir Albert said Mr Kershaw, who built his career in the north east and previously worked in Coventry, would work closely with the already established operational group.

The operational group is investigating the Trojan Horse allegations along with officers from the Department for Education, West Midlands Police, Ofsted and other agencies.

He said a new review group was also being set up, which will be chaired by Home Office Director General Stephen Rimmer, who is currently on secondment in the West Midlands.

Sir Albert said the city council had now received more than 200 points of contact on Trojan Horse and he confirmed that 25 schools were now part of the investigation.

Some of the schools had not told the city that they had also received the Trojan Horse letters and more have come forward in recent weeks.

The council announced a freeze on the recruitment of local authority school governors last week stating that the system was “not fit for purpose”.

The allegations detailed in the Trojan Horse letter focus on the Park View Educational Trust, which runs three schools in the city – all of which have been subjected to snap Ofsted inspections in recent weeks.

Posted on 04/14/2014 7:55 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax

Monday, 14 April 2014

Tens of millions of Kurds now live in the Arab-ruled states of Iraq and Syria, and in the Islamic Republic of Iran (Ayatollah Khameeini, Supreme Leader) and the Turkish Republic (Rayip Erdogan, Very Supreme Leader). An independent Kurdistan, beginning in northern Iraq (with the oilfields whose revenues successive Arab governments have diverted for Arab uses), and then extending to the Kurdish territories in what was -- but never will be again, in the same way, Syria -- and then holding out great appeal to the Kurds in northwestern Iran, and finally, in Turkey itself -- should be desired in all the chanceries of the West. 

Where's that Kurdish lobby?

It's right here.

Posted on 04/14/2014 7:46 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald

Monday, 14 April 2014

After all, the Muslim Brotherhood has full freedom of movement. Its members can take full advantage of every possible benefit offered by British taxpayers -- free health care, free education, generous housing subsidies, the works. And there are already millions of Muslims here, many doing exactly the same thing. And the Ikhwan receives much better treatment in Great Britain than it would in Egypt, where it originated, or in many other Muslim countries with functioning governments. Why would the Muslim Brotherhood leave? It's their country too. And their leader's words bespeak that underlying view, of Muslims, that the world belongs  by right to them, and that as they work to achieve that goal, Infidels should not dare to set up obstacles to the achievement of that goal.

Read the we're-not-going-anywhere speech of the Muslim Brotherhood's head, from Cricklewood, here...

Posted on 04/14/2014 7:36 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald

Monday, 14 April 2014


The Bureau of Land Management, whose director was Sen. Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) former senior adviser, has purged documents from its web site stating that the agency wants Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s cattle off of the land his family has worked for over 140 years in order to make way for solar panel power stations.

Deleted from but reposted for posterity by the Free Republic, the BLM document entitled “Cattle Trespass Impacts” directly states that Bundy’s cattle “impacts” solar development, more specifically the construction of “utility-scale solar power generation facilities” on “public lands.”

“Non-Governmental Organizations have expressed concern that the regional mitigation strategy for the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone utilizes Gold Butte as the location for offsite mitigation for impacts from solar development, and that those restoration activities are not durable with the presence of trespass cattle,” the document states.

Another BLM report entitled “Regional Mitigation Strategy for the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone” (BLM Technical Note 444) reveals that Bundy’s land in question is within the “Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone and surrounding area” which is part of a broad U.S. Department of Energy program for “Solar Energy Development in Six Southwestern States” on land “managed” by BLM.

“In 2012, the BLM and the U.S. Department of Energy published the Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for Solar Energy Development in Six Southwestern States,” the report reads. “The Final Solar Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement assessed the impact of utility-scale solar energy development on public lands in the six southwestern states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah.”

Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone and surrounding area (Click to enlarge.)

Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone and surrounding area (Click to enlarge.)

“The Approved Resource Management Plan Amendments/Record of Decision (ROD) for Solar Energy Development in Six Southwestern States implemented a comprehensive solar energy program for public lands in those states and incorporated land use allocations and programmatic and SEZ-specific design features into land use plans in the six-state study area.”

Back in 2012, the New American reported that Harry Reid’s son, Rory Reid, was the chief representative for a Chinese energy firm planning to build a $5-billion solar plant on public land in Laughlin, Nevada.

And journalist Marcus Stern with Reuters also reported that Sen. Reid was heavily involved in the deal as well.

“[Reid] and his oldest son, Rory, are both involved in an effort by a Chinese energy giant, ENN Energy Group, to build a $5 billion solar farm and panel manufacturing plant in the southern Nevada desert,” he wrote. “Reid has been one of the project’s most prominent advocates, helping recruit the company during a 2011 trip to China and applying his political muscle on behalf of the project in Nevada.”

“His son, a lawyer with a prominent Las Vegas firm that is representing ENN, helped it locate a 9,000-acre (3,600-hectare) desert site that it is buying well below appraised value from Clark County, where Rory Reid formerly chaired the county commission.”

Although these reports are in plain view, the mainstream media has so far ignored this link.

The BLM’s official reason for encircling the Bundy family with sniper teams and helicopters was to protect the endangered desert tortoise, which the agency has previously been killing in mass due to “budget constraints.”

“A tortoise isn’t the reason why BLM is harassing a 67 year-old rancher; they want his land,” journalist Dana Loesch wrote. “The tortoise wasn’t of concern when [U.S. Senator] Harry Reid worked with BLM to literally change the boundaries of the tortoise’s habitat to accommodate the development of his top donor, Harvey Whittemore.”

“Reid is accused of using the new BLM chief as a puppet to control Nevada land (already over 84% of which is owned by the federal government) and pay back special interests,” she added. “BLM has proven that they’ve a situational concern for the desert tortoise as they’ve had no problem waiving their rules concerning wind or solar power development. Clearly these developments have vastly affected a tortoise habitat more than a century-old, quasi-homesteading grazing area.”

“If only Cliven Bundy were a big Reid donor.”

Update: ENN Energy Group describes itself as a “privately-owned clean energy distributor in China.” However, as the People’s Republic of China is a single-party state governed by the Communist Party, all large companies in China, one way or the other, are either controlled or are heavily influenced by the Chinese government.

UPDATE: The Blaze reports that the Reid / China angle is not supported by the facts. Bundy is simply claiming the Feds have no jurisdiction over the land and are systematically trying to drive him out of business. He's the last rancher left standing in the county. 

Posted on 04/14/2014 6:19 AM by Rebecca Bynum

Monday, 14 April 2014

Young people's money woes are down to lack of education,' said a headline to an article in the Observer of 30 March. Putting aside my dislike of the locution 'down to,' which strikes me, for reasons that I cannot quite explain, as extremely vulgar, it occurred to me that most young people's money woes must surely be caused by a lack of money. 

Perhaps not. There are people in the world, after all, who get into money difficulties whatever their capital or income. In general, this kind of person does not lack education, he lacks the self-control necessary to follow Mr Micawber's famous prescription for happiness. The problem is not one of education but of character.

The article states, in a tone of shock, that the financial education charity (yes, you read it aright, charity) called MyBnk has discovered that 90 per cent of the UK population have never had any form of money management lessons. This, proposes the article, is why the British population have so pronounced a tendency to go deeply into debt to purchase what they do not need and that is worthless the moment it is bought.

This explanation for improvidence strikes me as rather like saying that sixteen year old British girls have babies because they don't know where they come from. In my experience of such young mothers as patients, they may not know the date of the Battle of Hastings but they certainly know where babies come from. They want their babies, who are not, for them, a mistake.

The analogy is not quite exact with indebtedness, of course, because the young indebted do not actually want the threatening letters and the bailiffs; but they know that at the end of the day, to use a locution almost as vulgar as 'down to,' nothing much will happen to them as a result of their default, nor is there any shame or social stigma attached to living above one's means.Certainly no government, or no public employee, feels such shame.

The article was a fairly typical example of the overestimate of the importance of formal education by the over-educated. They assume that everyone can be taught to behave in the same way that everyone, more or less, can be taught to read. Prudence, providence and probity, however, are character and cultural traits more than they are intellectual accomplishments. It is not that people don't know; it is that they don't care.

First published in Salisbury Review.

Posted on 04/14/2014 5:13 AM by Theodore Dalrymple

Monday, 14 April 2014

New York Times:

A man opened fire outside a Jewish Community Center and a nearby retirement community in a suburb of Kansas City, Mo., on Sunday afternoon, killing three people before he was taken into custody.

The man, who was identified as Frazier Glenn Cross of Aurora, Mo., in Johnson County booking records. He was charged with first-degree murder and was scheduled to appear in court Monday afternoon.

The suspect, 73, is a former Ku Klux Klan leader with a history of anti-Semitism and racism, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights organization that tracks hate groups. It identified him as Frazier Glenn Miller, 73, commonly known as Glenn Miller, and said he was the founder and grand dragon of the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.

The shootings took place in Overland Park, Kan., a major suburb located just across the state line from Kansas City, Mo. Overland Park is the second-biggest city in Kansas and has a population of about 170,000.

A doctor and his 14-year-old grandson were killed in the parking lot at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City and a woman was killed a short time later in a parking lot at Village Shalom, a senior living community about a mile away, the police said.

Mr. Miller was taken into custody on Sunday afternoon at a local elementary school near Village Shalom, the police said. In video taken by KMBC, a local television station, the suspect yelled “Heil Hitler!” while sitting in a police car.

The Southern Poverty Law Center said it sued Mr. Miller in the 1980s for intimidating African-Americans, and he has had several run-ins with the law since then. He served six months in prison after he was held in criminal contempt for violating the terms of the court order that settled that lawsuit. He also served three years in federal prison for weapons charges and for plotting robberies and the assassination of the center’s founder, Morris Dees. As part of his plea bargain, he testified against other Klan leaders in a 1988 trial.

The police said it was too early in the investigation to determine whether the attacks were a hate crime.

Mr. Miller made several unsuccessful runs for public office, including a bid for the Senate in 2010. He kept a website where he espoused views of white supremacy and eschewed racial mixing. He was a fan of David Duke, a white nationalist and a former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, and Louis Farrakhan, the former leader of the Nation of Islam who blamed Jews for slavery in America.

In a 2010 interview with Howard Stern, the radio shock jock, who is Jewish, Mr. Miller was asked who he hated more, Jews or African-Americans. Mr. Miller answered “Jews. A thousand times more. Compared to our Jewish problem, all other problems are mere distractions.”

Prodded to explain, he said Jews controlled the federal government, mass media and the Federal Reserve Bank. “And with those powers, they’re committing genocide against the white race,” he said.

In the same interview, Mr. Miller said he had “a great deal of respect for Muslim people” and called Adolf Hitler “the greatest man who ever walked the earth.”

Posted on 04/14/2014 4:41 AM by Rebecca Bynum

Monday, 14 April 2014

(Reuters) - A bomb at a crowded bus station on the outskirts of Abuja killed at least 35 people during rush hour on Monday morning, witnesses said, the first such attack near the Nigerian capital for two years. Body parts and blood were strewn across the station and an unruly crowd of several hundred onlookers were roaming around with security forces unable to keep them away.

A Reuters cameraman saw 20 bodies at the station near Nyanyan bridge, about 8 km (5 miles) south of Abuja. A second Reuters correspondent saw at least 15 bodies separately loaded into waiting ambulances. "More than two buses carrying workers were cut up by the blast," witness Kingsley Ajimobi said. "I saw many people in the bus dead, and many were injured."

Police and the military did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility but suspicion is likely to fall on Islamist militant group Boko Haram, which has waged an increasingly bloody insurgency in the northeast. Suspected Islamist militants killed at least 60 people in an attack on a village in northeast Nigeria late last week. Eight people were killed in a separate attack at a teacher training college.

The Islamists, who want to carve an Islamic state out of Nigeria, have in the past year mostly concentrated their onslaught in the northeast, where their insurgency started.

Posted on 04/14/2014 4:17 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax

Sunday, 13 April 2014

The behavior of the Arabs who rule in Baghdad has finally been too much for the Kurds.

Read here.

Posted on 04/13/2014 7:53 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald

Sunday, 13 April 2014

The men who off to participate in violent Jihad -- the Jihad of qital or combat --- are well-off as well as poor, educated as well as illiterate, as the reporter makes clear. What they share is a deep faith, not in an "extremist" Islam but in Islam, period, and an unquenchable desire to act on that faith, without submitting to the prudential considerations that hold back others (others who participate in Jihad, using other instruments).


Posted on 04/13/2014 11:04 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald

Sunday, 13 April 2014
Watch,and listen, here.
Posted on 04/13/2014 9:45 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Brandeis University has violated its own academic principles by withdrawing the honorary degree that was to be conferred on Ayaan Hirsi Ali during its Commencement exercises in May 2014. The reason given by University President Frederick Lawrence, an honorable man, was that “we cannot overlook that certain of her past statements are inconsistent with Brandeis University core values.”

President Lawrence did not mention which particular “core values” were in danger, nor did he mention the pressure coming from various sources put on the University. The campaign was apparently initiated by a senior at the University named Sarah Fahmy, a member of the Muslim Students Association, who organized a petition that stated “It has come as a shock to our community due to her extreme Islamophobic beliefs that Ali would be receiving an Honorary Degree in Social Justice.” Apparently the petition was signed on line by “thousands.”

Protests against the award also came from 86 of the 350 Brandeis faculty, and particularly from Joseph Lumbard, an American convert to Islam who is chair of Islamic and Middle East Studies at the University.  Mr. Lumbard, expressing unusual sensitivity, held that the award to Ali makes “Muslim students feel very uneasy.” Most important of all, the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) seemed very disturbed by the award. On April 9, 2014 it welcomed the decision to withdraw the invitation. CAIR thought this was a “victory over hate.” Its spokesperson, Ibrahim Hooper, has previously also welcomed the possibility of another victory, “the government of the United States to be Islamic sometime in the future.”

The sad reality is that Brandeis has appeased that Islamic demand for intolerance because of Ali’s criticism of Islamic behavior. Let there be no mistake. The President and many of the faculty and students of Brandeis have dishonored the very motto of the university: “Truth even unto its innermost parts.”  The President’s excuse that Ali’s statements are not consistent with the University’s “core values” need elucidation. Those core values are citizenship, integrity, respect, civility, lifelong learning, and embracing diversity. Surely, Ali has been a model in exemplifying them, not violating them.

All the intense animosity and fear of this 44 year-old Somali born, now American, individual seems to have stemmed from one paragraph in an interview that Ali gave to Reason Magazine in 2007 when she said “I think we are at war with Islam.” Perhaps she misspoke on that occasion when she might have used the words “fundamental or extremist Islamism,” to illustrate the actions of al-Qaeda or the perpetrators of 9/11.

The essential issue is that CAIR and the Muslim groups, and the other perhaps well-meaning but misguided individuals, who engaged in the angry, intolerant, bigoted diatribe against Ali and were responsible for the withdrawal of the award ignored, deliberately or otherwise, the contribution of Ali to the Social Justice for which she was being honored.

Perhaps the real reason for the diatribe was unstated. It was not the ostensible reason based on Ali’s one paragraph that may or may not have been objectionable. The hostility was more likely based on her frank, explicit views of Israel and the Palestinians. After her visit to Israel, Ali said, “My main impression was that Israel is a liberal democracy. …In the places I visited, including Jerusalem as well as Tel Aviv and the beaches, I saw that men and women are equal…When I speak about the corruption of the Palestinian Authority and the role of Arafat in the tragedy of Palestine, I do not get a large audience.”

Her own life story is well known, with her subjection to genital mutilation, beatings, and an arranged marriage, her flight to the Netherlands where she was a member of the Dutch parliament from 2003-2006, her participation in the film for which Theo Van Gogh was murdered by Islamists, and the simultaneous threat of her own death.  She has been an articulate defender of the rights of women against abuses that result from the religious concepts of Islam or the social mores of Islamic societies. Particularly important has been her campaign against “honor killings,” that have murdered thousands of Muslim women, and against the forced child marriages in Muslim societies. While it is understandable that CAIR are the Muslim Students Association would not appreciate her critiques of Muslim society on these controversial practices, it remains puzzling why Western feminists do not do so to a greater degree. They all might have gained more understanding of the issue from reading the National Geographic News of February 2002 and seeing the documentaries on its channels that deal with the problems that Ali has discussed.

It is useful to put the Ali case in the context of previous events in Brandeis history. An earlier incident concerned Jeanne Kirkpatrick, former US Ambassador to the United Nations and a strong supporter of the State of Israel. In 1994 she had been invited to accept an honorary degree at the University but in view of the protest by 23 faculty members against her, on the alleged basis of her views on Latin America, she withdrew. Even then this should have been a warning to Brandeis. Kirkpatrick remarked, “I do not desire a relationship with a university whose faculty is apparently dominated by ideological zealots.”

A second incident was the honorary degree given to Tony Kushner, well known as a playwright but also a controversial figure in reference to his harsh critical remarks of Israel. In spite of public protests against the award, he was given the degree. The then President Jehuda Reinharz in May 2006 said that “Brandeis does not select honorary degree recipients on the basis of their political beliefs or opinions…the University applies no litmus test requiring honorary degree recipients to hold particular views on Israel or topics of current political debate.”

It is fair to ask why President Lawrence today has not applied this Reinharz principle to the question of Ali. Are double standards being applied? Brandeis after all not only has Muslim faculty and students; it also has a Muslim chaplain. Is Brandeis succumbing to appeasement to avoid the impression that is in any way favorable to Israel? Is it afraid or ashamed of its Jewish origins? Its own proclaimed ideals and principles should make it avoid appeasing bigoted extremists.

It is bewildering that the national executive director of CAIR, Nihad Awad, refers to Ali as a “promoter of religious prejudice,” and that the Brandeis senior regards Ali’s criticism of painful practices as “Islamophobia.”  This absurd excuse, together with the Islamic Organizations emphasis on forbidding “defamation of religion,” is simply an attempt to prevent any criticism of the religion, or the call for jihad or the application of the punitive sharia law concerning women.

Mr. Awad, who made his accusations against Ali, should be reminded both of his own past, and also of the activity of his own organization.  CAIR was named as one of the co-sponsors in funding Hamas, the terrorist regime in Gaza, and has been regarded as the US arm of the Muslim Brotherhood. Much of the evidence for this is documented in the 2008 case, the United States v. Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development. The documents show, among other things, a check dated 10/5/1994 for $5,000 given by the HLF to CAIR. Among those convicted in the case was a member of the founding Board of Directors of the Texas branch of CAIR; he was sentenced to 65 years imprisonment. Two persons mentioned in the evidential proceedings concerning a meeting in 1993 in Philadelphia between the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas were Nihad Awad, as well as Omar Ahmad, cofounder of CAIR.

In the light of these facts, different from the intolerant accusations of bigoted self-interested parties, perhaps President Lawrence might now reexamine which of the parties involved in the Ali case are guilty of violating the University “core principles.”  Someone who has fought all her life for the dignity of women, or those accused of laundering money for Hamas?

It may still be time for Mr. Lawrence to acknowledge his mistake and give an honorary degree to Ali. If he does not, other people might act. There are four individuals who will be given degrees at the Brandeis Commencement. One of them is Jill Abramson, executive editor of the New York Times. She should recognize that the Brandeis decision on Ayaan Hirsi Ali was one that was not fit to print.

Michael Curtis is author of Jews, Antisemitism, and the Middle East.

First published in the American Thinker.

Posted on 04/13/2014 8:26 AM by Michael Curtis

Sunday, 13 April 2014

From the Sunday Times and the Sunday Telegraph

Teams of inspectors are to be sent into dozens of schools over fears that children are being “radicalised”. Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, has prepared the way for inspectors to penalise institutions where “religious conservatism” may be getting in the way of teaching.

The move, reported by The Sunday Times, comes as the Department for Education investigates a series of schools over an alleged “Islamic takeover plot” in Birmingham. 

A Whitehall source told the Sunday Times that the investigations would be carried out in “several phases” over the coming months and would help identify those schools in need of “further investigation” and those deemed not connected to Islamicisation.

The move is primarily focused on Birmingham where claims that secular schools have been taken over by Islamic hardliners are already being investigated.  A whistleblower has told The Sunday Times that the new Muslim head at Ladypool Primary School in Birmingham scaled back Christmas celebrations after her appointment in September. 

Similar allegations have now emerged in Bradford and Manchester. Fifteen schools in Birmingham have been inspected this month by Ofsted, the schools inspectorate, at the request of the Department for Education (DfE). The reports, due to be published after Easter, are expected to find a common pattern of problems in some of the schools inspected. 

 A department source said: “The investigations will be done over several phases over the next few months and will help narrow down the schools that require further investigation by the DfE and those that are deemed OK and not connected to the Islamicisation. . .  Of particular concern is primary schoolchildren being radicalised and exposed to extremist ideologies.Extreme religious conservatism often acts as an entry to later problems. A child who is brought up, aged eight, nine, 10, believing that you should segregate the sexes and hand out Islamic textbooks is more likely to be radicalised in later life. . . In our view female staff being bullied in schools and segregated assemblies are very serious matters.” 

The DfE and Birmingham city council have been inundated with claims about efforts by Muslim governors to impose Islamic practices and squeeze out non-Muslim staff. Last week, the council ordered a freeze on the appointment of any new school governors. Fresh claims have also emerged in Manchester and Bradford. At Laisterdyke Business and Enterprise College and Carlton Bolling College, both in Bradford, there are claims that head teachers have come under pressure from Muslim governors to introduce Islamic practices.

While many of the schools involved have a high number of Muslim pupils, often exceeding 90%, many of their parents are worried that their choice to send their children to a secular school is being undermined.

Posted on 04/13/2014 6:17 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax

Sunday, 13 April 2014

After years of our pointing out how abhorrent halal slaughter is, at last mainstream newspapers and people in authority are starting to say the same.

Our exclusive pictures reveal for the first time the full horror of a religious practice that Britain’s top vet wants outlawed. Undercover Mail on Sunday investigators secretly filmed inside a halal abattoir as more than 100 sheep appeared to writhe in agony after being ritually killed.

They were placed onto a conveyer belt with their legs tethered before the knife was drawn swiftly across their throats.

In the seconds after the sudden cut, the sheep strained to raise their heads as blood poured from their wounds. They then twitched and convulsed as they were hoisted by their hind legs on metal hooks to drain their bodies of blood. 

In non-halal abattoirs, livestock are stunned before killing to prevent unnecessary suffering. Some halal abattoirs also practise pre-stunning. But the animals we saw at this abattoir were fully conscious when slaughtered – a practice campaigners say is inhumane and needlessly cruel.

According to some Islamic scholars, stunning an animal before it is slaughtered for meat is not permitted. There are believed to be about 12 abattoirs dedicated to unstunned slaughterhouses in the UK, and hundreds of abattoirs that do stunned halal slaughter.

Denmark and Poland have recently banned unstunned ritual slaughter – a precedent animal welfare groups in Britain want the Government to follow. Last night, John Blackwell, the new president-elect of the British Veterinary Association (BVA), said: ‘We would like to see unstunned slaughter banned in the UK on the grounds of animal welfare. There is current scientific evidence which says that animals do feel pain if they are slaughtered without any stunning.’

However, supporters of ritual slaughter have accused Mr Blackwell and the BVA of ‘inflaming prejudice’. Nadheem Adham, a director at the Halal Monitoring Committee, which certifies unstunned Islamic abattoirs, said: ‘We believe that halal unstunned slaughter is the most humane method of killing, as a swift stroke in the neck by a sharp knife renders the animal insensible to pain.’

Two Mail on Sunday reporters posing as meat buyers visited the Simply Halal abattoir in Banham, Norfolk. The MoS investigators were given a tour of the abattoir during a dawn slaughter session on Friday morning, before they placed an order for lamb and mutton.

Simply Halal is among a number of new abattoirs that have sprung up across Britain, providing a rising demand among Britain’s 2.7 million Muslims for meat from animals not stunned during killing.

Britain’s halal market is now worth £2.6 billion, accounting for 15 per cent of all meat eaten here. Latest figures from the Food Standards Agency show that about 32 million chickens, 1.4 million sheep and goats and 70,000 cattle are slaughtered without stunning each year in the UK.

Simply Halal . . . is run by Roger Carr, 65, . . . During the ‘business meeting’ at his shabby office, said: ‘You see the Pakis only want lean sheep, they don’t want no covering on it. They only want 24-26 kilos. Then you got Brick Lane, you can put any shit there, even dogs...’

He also said that he supplied his meat to mainstream butchers and the supermarket giant Morrisons, whose unsuspecting customers may be eating the meat products without knowing they have come from animals that were not stunned. Customers assume that mainstream butchers source their meat from abattoirs where all animals are slaughtered with prior stunning. They also expect that fresh and frozen meat in supermarkets is also from stunned slaughter. Some supermarket stores in Asian areas do sell ‘unstunned’ fresh meat, but it is sold at special concession counters.

But Mr Carr revealed that his Simply Halal frozen meat products are sold in 34 Morrisons stores, alongside conventional frozen meat products.

After the ‘business meeting’ at Simply Halal, the MoS reporters visited the abattoir, where they filmed more than 20 sheep getting slaughtered. The sheep were dragged from their pen and put on an escalator belt that also restrained their legs.

Then the abattoir’s Muslim slaughterman cut each animal’s throat as he chanted ‘Allahu Akbar [God is great]’, before dangling them by their legs on metal hooks upside down, as they writhed.

As the automated hook line took the sheep to another room, they were beheaded by another slaughterman, and fleeced and skinned by other workers. The slaughterman, from Luton, Bedfordshire, said he had been killing animals for the past 25 years. When asked how long it took an animal to die from the cut, he said coldly: ‘25 seconds.’

We showed our footage to Mr Blackwell, who said that it confirmed the latest scientific research on unstunned slaughter, which states that animals like sheep feel excruciating pain for as long as 30 seconds after their throats are cut.

The vet added that the Simply Halal slaughterman appeared to be breaching some rules set out by the Food Standards Agency, which regulates Britain’s abattoirs. Mr Blackwell said: ‘The slaughterman should not have put more than one sheep on the escalator belt ahead of slaughter, so that one animal does not witness the other being killed. Secondly, the slaughterman should have cleaned his knife after each cut as a hygiene rule. But he was not doing that.’

The BVA, along with the RSPCA, this weekend renewed its call to have ritual slaughter banned in the UK, and said it plans an e-petition against the practice. Mr Blackwell said: ‘We don’t want religious slaughter banned, but there are ways to meet in the middle, like employing post-cut stuns, which would reduce the pain, and improve animal welfare.’

Mr Carr said he sells the meat to up to three mainstream butchers in the South-East who are selling it on to unsuspecting customers who do not know the animals were not stunned before slaughter. Most fresh and frozen meats in supermarkets are sourced from abattoirs which stun before killing.

But supermarket chains like Tesco and Asda sell some unstunned meat at stores in areas with high Muslim populations in special ‘concession counters’ run by independent companies. However, Simply Halal’s range of frozen meat like Hot & Spicy Minute Steaks, Mediterranean Koftas, Beef Kebabs and Beef Meatballs is being sold at Morrisons stores among other Asian foods.

The Mail on Sunday has previously revealed that halal meat from animals who had been stunned before slaughter was being sold in schools, hospitals, pubs and at famous sporting venues such as Ascot and Twickenham. All the beef, chicken and lamb sold to fans at Wembley was secretly prepared in accordance with Islamic law, while Cheltenham College was one of several top public schools which also served halal chicken to pupils without informing them.

Posted on 04/13/2014 2:11 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax

Saturday, 12 April 2014


Dahi Khalfan, police chief of Dubai, is the man most responsible for keeping down and out the Ikhwan in Dubai. He's a hero. This Qatari wants to sue him, because he has been critical of Qatar's two-faced policies, and in passing  he referred, jokingly, to Qatar as "the eighth emirate."

But think about it. It's a good idea. It would stop all that troublemaking that is caused by the deployment of that fabulous natural-gas wealth to further, among other things, the Ikhwan. Who would prevent it, if the GCC decided to take over, from fewer than 200,000 Qataris, their statelet, which is merely drilling-rigs with a flag?

Posted on 04/12/2014 10:55 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Mr. Abutalebi ordered the murder of Mr. Naghdi on a Rome street. Surely that should be mentioned, whenever someone deplores the Senate vote as "tying Obama's hands" by making it impossible for him to let Abutalebi in. Abutalebi's involved in political murder. That's more than androlepsy.


Posted on 04/12/2014 6:59 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Why not mention why: the example of Muhammad, the Model of Conduct and the Perfect Man, betrothed to little Aisha when she was six, and consummating that marriage when she turned nine. Wouldn't that help people understand things better?

The story, here.

Posted on 04/12/2014 4:38 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald

Saturday, 12 April 2014

First a little, thence to more:


Posted on 04/12/2014 4:35 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald

Saturday, 12 April 2014

The Water Wars have come to Dar al-Islam. There are the threats directed at Ethiopia and five other black African states, by Egypt, for daring to suggest that those countries too, have a right to use the waters of the Nile. There are the waters that rise steadily in Bangladesh, and may cause Muslim Bangladeshis to demand entry -- in even greater numbers than they have managed, illegally, to achieve before -- into West Bengal State of India, and into Burma, where they have been smuggling themselves in for many decades, and representing themselves as the Rohinga. And now, inside Iraq, Mesopotamia, the Land of the Two Rivers, the mad-dog Muslims of ISIL have diverted the waters of the Euphrates, so that water that used to go to the Shi'ite south now stays in the Sunni North -- and they even threaten to blow up a major dam.

You can read about it here.

It's fun to see all these venerable toponyms right out of Paradise Lost in front-page circulation  Milton, thou shouldst be living at this hour. Or did someone already say that?

Posted on 04/12/2014 1:02 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald

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