These are all the Blogs posted on Sunday, 1, 2011.
Sunday, 1 May 2011
Stuck in the Middle Ages With You
by Esmerelda Weatherwax (May 2011)
You often hear critics of Islam decry it for being a “mediaeval” cult. I disagree, not with the criticism but with the definition “mediaeval”.
Yesterday I heard someone on television describe the Royal Wedding in excited and approving terms as the same. Mediaeval. I know what she meant. The beautiful Gothic cathedral, 900 years old and seeped in history, much of it royal. The pageantry, much of it mediaeval in foundation. The Bishop of London even quoted two mediaeval writers in his sermon, St Catherine of Siena and Geoffrey Chaucer. more>>>
An explosive like the one used by shoe bomber Richard Reid was also used in the bomb which killed 16 including a Briton in Marrakesh, investigators have discovered.
The revelation that triacetone triperoxide (TATP) - nicknamed Mother of Satan by Islamic terrorist groups because of its instability - was one of the bomb's ingredients increases the likelihood that the attack was the work of the North African branch of al-Qaeda, AQIM, which has recently threatened Morocco.
The chemical is popular with terrorists because it can pass undetected through security scanners designed to detect more common explosives containing nitrogen.
Claude Guéant, France's interior minister, said that the explosion was detonated remotely and was not, as first thought, the work of a suicide bomber. "Someone left a bag on the ground and it was detonated from a distance," he told a French newspaper. The bomb contained a lethal mixture of nails, ammonium nitrate, TATP and another explosive, pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN).
The latter two explosives were the same combination with which Reid attempted to blow up an American-bound plane from Paris in December 2001. They were also used by the al-Qaeda "underpants bomber" on Christmas Day 2009 and in the July 7, 2005, London bombings.
John Van Leeuwen, a Dutch tourist who narrowly escaped the blast, said he believed he looked the man responsible for the attack in the eyes moments before the explosion. "There were only tourists in the cafe, and three other Moroccans, and one guy that didn't initially look suspicious," he said. "But after we found out it wasn't a gas explosion, my girlfriend and I, we looked at each other, and said that must have been him." The man had been carrying "two huge bags", he said, and had left the cafe shortly after him and his girlfriend.
Yesterday, the bomb blast claimed another victim, a 10-year-old French girl who died from her wounds in hospital.
At least seven French tourists, including a 60-year-old woman who was celebrating a family birthday, are among the 16 confirmed dead, along with one Dutch national, a 30-year-old Israeli woman thought to be pregnant, and her Moroccan husband. Medical sources say a Swiss and Portuguese national were also killed.
I read Khilafah.com, a taqiyya-free website, to learn about Islam. It was there that I picked up the invaluable Hadith about the shoelace of fire:
It is narrated that Abu Hurayrah said: "A man gave as a gift to the Messenger of Allah a slave who was called Mid'am. Whilst Mid'am was bringing down a saddle for the Messenger of Allah an arrow came out of nowhere and killed him. The people said, "How fortunate he is! Paradise is his," but the Messenger of Allah said, "No, by the One in Whose hand is my soul, the cloak which he took from the war-booty on the day of Khaybar before the booty had been shared out will burn him with fire." When the people heard that, a man came and brought one or two shoelaces to the Prophet and said, "A shoelace of fire" or "Two shoelaces of fire." Bukhari & Muslim more>>>
U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri Richard Callahan visited the Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis last night to address the fears and frustrations of Muslim Americans who worry they are being racially profiled and wiretapped -- and to assure them that the Missouri Legislature's attempts to ban Sharia law from being considered in state courts here could face Constitutional challenges.
Callahan responded by hinting that, should anti-Sharia legislation get passed by the Missouri Legislature, it could be overturned by the federal courts. "The Department of Justice has a good history of challenging laws passed by state legislatures," he said. "If some laws are passed, I think you will see challenges by the federal government on the constitutionality of them."
We can assume a federal challenge of the anti-terrorism law coming up for a vote in Tennessee as well. Just as in the case of the Arizona immigration law, the states feel obliged to do what the Federal government is not doing and therefore are passing laws which may be redundant, but are necessary because the Federal government is not the first line of defense, the states are.
Britain expels Libya ambassador after embassy attack
LONDON — Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Sunday he was expelling the Libyan ambassador following attacks on the British embassy in Tripoli blamed on Moamer Kadhafi's forces. Hague confirmed reports that the British diplomatic compound in the Libyan capital had been destroyed, and said there had also been attacks on other countries' diplomatic missions in Tripoli.
"As a result, I have taken the decision to expel the Libyan ambassador. He is persona non grata pursuant to article nine of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and has 24 hours to leave the country," he said.
Earlier, the Foreign Office said it had reports that the British diplomatic compound in Tripoli, which includes the ambassador's residence and staff offices, had been "destroyed".
The British ambassador was recalled from Libya at the start of the conflict and London currently has no diplomatic staff in Tripoli, although a Foreign Office team is based in the rebel-held city of Benghazi.
(Reuters) - Italy on Sunday condemned an attack on its embassy in Tripoli as a "grave and vile" act and said Muammar Gaddafi's government had failed to carry out its most elementary international obligations. The Foreign Ministry issued a statement after the Italian embassy in the Libyan capital was vandalised. A spokesman said there were no further details but a witness said smoke was rising from the building.
Before killing children, first ask yourself if you're sure you're doing the right thing
Last night, NATO forces bombed the house of Moammar Gaddafi's son during a visit by Moammar, killing the son and 3 grandchildren under the age of 12.
Let's disentangle this. Gaddafi, like Saddam Hussein before him, intentionally stays in safe-houses in civilian-populated areas in order to cause civilian casualties. So, in itself the civilian casualties are not the responsibility of NATO forces, but of Gaddafi.
But there is the question of why we are trying to assassinate Gaddafi in the first place. NATO forces deny it, saying that they were striking a "known command and control building". This is a scant and raggedy fig leaf that's not covering anything. This was no act of humanitarian aid. I have no doubt that NATO forces knew that Gaddafi was in the building, and that the goal of the operation was to kill him. I have no doubt that U.S. officials were involved in the decision, and U.S. forces were involved indirectly in carrying out the mission.
We are operating, yet again, in Dar al-Islam. The Arab League and Gulf Cooperation Council requested that Western forces intervene in Libya, and we unwisely agreed to do their bidding. They wanted us to rough Gaddafi up a bit, put him back in his place, keep him from killing some of their fellow Muslims, but they (publicly, at least) refused to agree to assassination. When we kuffar kill him, a Muslim, or accidentally kill Muslim civilians, we shouldn't be surprised when the ummah immediately turn on us, and we become the focus of their bloodlust and rage.
Not that avoidance of Muslim bloodlust and rage should determine our diplomatic and military policy. We will have to take many actions that will enrage Muslims, and it is very important that we take those actions regardless. I'm referring to setting sensible immigration policies, supporting Israel in a more forthright way, allowing open debate on the true teachings of Islam (including criticism of Mohammad), ending humanitarian and military aid to Muslim nations, and so forth.
The UN also voted to allow military operations in Libya on humanitarian grounds. They too specifically ruled out the targeted killing of Gaddafi. The UN should be recognized for what it is, a democracy of thugocracies, dominated by a powerful Muslim bloc. The desires of the UN should not be a driving force in our decisions either.
There is one thing that should be a driving force in our decisions, and that is our national self-interest, enlightened or not.
What is the national self-interest in killing Gaddafi? Does the removal of Gaddafi weaken or strengthen the forces of Islam? Is our position improved by replacing Sunni Muslim terrorist Gaddafi with a Sunni Muslim terrorist yet to be named? There is no Libyan Thomas Jefferson or John Adams waiting in the wings. Are we so dense as to think that if we offer material support to those Sunni Muslim terrorists in eastern Libya that we will then "win their hearts and minds"? Gaddafi is the architect of Pan Am 103, and is responsible for the murder of policewoman Yvonne Fletcher outside the Libyan embassy in London, and other acts of terrorism. He's not a nice guy, and he's not worth shedding a tear over when he dies or is killed. But his successor will be no better, and may in fact be worse from the point of view of us kuffar. The solution to jihad is not to kill the leaders of Islamic nations. The solution is education (of the kuffar, about Islam) and containment, with limited and focused military strikes to degrade their ability to attack us.
Some previous examples of when the U.S. has engaged in war, without substantial political debate and without a declaration of war from Congress: the Phillipine-American war of 1899, Korean War in 1950, Vietnam War in 1964, Lebanese civil war in 1978, Bosnian War of 1992. These have not been ringing successes. If the goal cannot be succinctly described so that the people can understand it and support it, that might be a sign that the goal is ill-defined or ill-advised.
I can see no national interest in what is happening in Libya, other than to note that the forces of Islam and jihad are on the march there just as they are all across Dar al-Islam, and that we had best begin preparing for them. The killing of Gaddafi is not in our interest, and it is a dangerous diversion of our resources and attention, with the threat of becoming much more so as we involve ourselves ever more deeply in their tribal conflict.
We can be sure that the full diplomatic forces of the U.S. and U.K. are engaged today, on bended knee, all across Dar al-Islam, justifying their actions, trying to patch things up, offering concessions and apologies.
Not to be mawkish, but the deaths of these 3 children offer an opportunity to step back and rethink what exactly we're trying to accomplish in Libya, and whether that makes any sense.
The heavyweight was best known for knocking down a young Cassius Clay in 1963, in a fight which many commentators believed he should have won. He floored Ali in the fourth round with "Enry's Ammer" - his trademark left hook - but Ali was given the chance to recover when his corner claimed he needed to change his ripped gloves. Ali eventually won the non-title fight at Wembley, with Cooper bleeding, as was common in his fights, around the eyes.
Ali triumphed again when they boxed three years later but Cooper remained a favourite with the British public.
In 1970, Sir Henry become the British, Commonwealth and European heavyweight champion, and cemented his reputation as one of the greatest post-war home-grown boxers. He remains the only boxer to have won three Lonsdale belts outright. He was knighted in 2000.
He was a gentleman, dignified, down to earth, a credit to our country and our city (even if it was the wrong side of the river) Boxers don't come like him any more, unfortunately. Muhammed Ali always spoke very well of him after that knockdown.
JERUSALEM (AFP) – Israel said on Sunday it was suspending the transfer of Palestinian tax and customs fees to the Palestinian Authority in the wake of a reconciliation deal between Fatah and Hamas.
Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said the transfers were on hold until Israel could be sure that the funds would not reach the Islamist movement Hamas.
The announcement prompted a storm of criticism from Palestinian officials, who accused Israel of trying to derail Palestinian reconciliation. Prime minister Salam Fayyad said he would seek international action on the issue.
Steinitz said he postponed a regular scheduled meeting with the Palestinian Authority (PA) to discuss the cash transfers after the unity deal was announced.
"Palestinian president Abu Mazen (Mahmud Abbas) and Salam Fayyad must prove that these funds will not go into a communal fund in the government they want to form with Hamas," Steinitz told Israeli military radio.
"There is no question for us that a communal fund would finance the terrorist activities of Hamas, and we want it established that there will be two separate funds," Steinitz said.
Sunday's postponed meeting was supposed to have culminated in the transfer of some 300 million shekels ($88.7 million) to the PA, according to Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot.
Palestinian economy minister Hassan Abu Lebda slammed Steinitz's decision, and warned that Israel would be in violation of international agreements if it failed to transfer the funds.
"These funds are the right of the Palestinian people," he told AFP.
"Any delay in the transfer of these funds is a violation of and infringement on Palestinian rights and a serious violation of the current arrangements, and Israel bears full responsibility for the consequences of this threat."
Khalil al-Hayya, a member of Hamas's political bureau in Gaza, called Israel's decision "Zionist piracy."
The deal between Hamas "which calls for the destruction of the state of Israel and the Fatah movement must concern not only every Israeli but all those in the world who aspire to peace," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned.
Israel collects taxes for the Palestinians at border crossings and ports and transfers the funds to the PA under an economic deal agreed along with the Oslo autonomy accords.
The revenues amount to between 3.5 and 5.0 billion shekels ($1.04 billion to $1.48 billion) each year and form a significant part of the PA's annual budget.
What kind of a bizarro world requires a nation to fund the weaponry used to kill it's own citizens?
WASHINGTON – Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind the Sept. 11 attacks against the United States, is dead, and the U.S. is in possession of his body, a person familiar with the situation said late Sunday.
President Barack Obama was expected to address the nation on the developments Sunday night.
It was unclear where how bin Laden was killed and how the U.S. captured his body. Officials have long believed bin Laden, the most wanted man in the world, was hiding a mountainous region along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.
WASHINGTON – Osama bin Laden, the glowering mastermind behind the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks that killed thousands of Americans, was killed in an operation led by the United States, President Barack Obama said Sunday.
A small team of Americans killed bin Laden in a firefight at a compound in Pakistan, the president said in a dramatic late-night statement at the White House.
A jubilant crowd gathered outside the White House as word spread of bin Laden's death after a global manhunt that lasted nearly a decade.
"Justice has been done," the president said.
Former President George W. Bush, who was in office on the day of the attacks, issued a written statement hailing bin Laden's death as a momentous achievement. "The fight against terror goes on, but tonight America has sent an unmistakable message: No matter how long it takes, justice will be done," he said.
Few details were immediately available of the operation that resulted in bin Laden's death, although the president said none of the Americans involved was harmed.
The development comes just months before the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Centers and Pentagon, orchestrated by bin Laden's al-Qaida organization, that killed more than 3,000 people.
Bin Laden Killed by Navy SEAL Team outside Islamabad
Bin Laden: Gone but not forgotten for his murderous Jihad
The stunning news released by President Obama tonight that Bin Laden had been killed by a US Navy SEAL team may have brought some measure of relief to the 9/11 Families and millions of Americans, Aussies, Brits, Spaniards and others, all victims of more than 17,000 Jihadi attacks since that fateful attack. I called it then " the Pearl Harbor of the 21st Century."
The cheering throngs around the White House will shortly realize that bin Laden death will not end the decade long wave of Jihad.
For this witness to 9/11 in Manhattan nearly 10 years ago, it brought back horrific memories of that day with the loss of over three thousand lives. Having gotten to know the father of one of the 'heroes' of Flight 93, David Beamer, who lost his son, Todd, I can imagine what his, Todd's widow and the family's reaction will be to this news. Here is what I wrote in 2008 about the Islamic Terror on 9/11 perpetrated by bin Laden's suicide Jihadist corps that broke like a thunderclap over America on that brilliant late summer day in 2001..
On September 11, 2001, Islamic terrorists, well educated young men - Saudi Egyptian, and Yemeni nationals - hijacked and flew four airliners(American Airlines Flight 11 and United Flight 175 from Boston’s Logan airport, American Airlines Flight 77 from Dulles airport and United Airlines Flight 93 from Newark Airport), with captive passengers aboard, into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in Manhattan, the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia and one, due to brave actions of the passengers aboard, having been diverted from crashing into the Capital building in Washington, crashed into a field in southwestern Pennsylvania instead.
These Muslim terrorists killed more people than the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 - over 3,000. They didn’t discriminate in their mindless slaughter whether their victims were Christians, Jews, fellow Muslims, Buddhists or Hindus. Economic losses from the unprovoked attack ran into the billions. Trauma touched hundreds of millions in America and around the globe. The names Osama bin Laden and Ayman al- Zawahiri of al Qaeda became front page news. Only the alleged mastermind of 9/11, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, has been captured. He confessed and [may at long last be] put on trial.
The question of the moment is does bin Laden's death bring closure? Or does it raises more questions? There he was living in a mansion outside the Pakistani capitol of Islamabad with his family. That raises questions about what our intelligence and special ops teams knew about his whereabouts and when. Already the news services are raising the prospects of a dramatic split in relations between the US and Pakistan, although there may have been personnel from Pakistan's notorious fractured Inter-Service Intelligence corps present at the 'hit'. Our State Department put out notices of possible attacks by Jihadists in the Muslim ummah on US military and civilian personnel. In the wake of this news there is no news yet about the whereabouts of notorious Al Zawahari No. 2 in bin Laden inner group? And what about American convert to Jihadist Islam, Adam Gadahn, who runs al Qaeda's media group? While some would speculate about the shock this will have on Al Qaeda affiliates around the world, given the purposeful design of the flat structure and prominence of al Qaeda groups in North Afica and the Arabian peninsula, the latter allegedly led by American born Sheik al Awlaki, we seriously doubt that bin Laden's death will end Islamic terror attacks, as they are endemic to Qu'ranic Jihad doctrine.