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These are all the Blogs posted on Thursday, 10, 2008.
Thursday, 10 April 2008
They seek it here, they seek it there, Olympic Torch believed to have been in San Francisco
The San Francisco Sentinel has a report of yesterday’s Olympic Torch Mystery Tour, and many excellent pictures.
 Runners carried the Olympic torch through the streets of San Francisco on Wednesday, but on a truncated path more than a kilometer away from thousands of pro-Tibet and pro-China demonstrators who had lined the expected relay route.
Flanked by a massive police motorcade and officers brandishing batons, the torch was brought to two runners waiting at an unannounced location, a move that effectively thwarted both protesters and eager spectators.
The crowds along the previously announced route included many people waving Chinese flags in support of China and the Beijing Games ahead of the run along the city’s waterfront, which was originally scheduled to start at 1 p.m. in its only North American stop.
But just minutes before it was to begin, San Francisco police told spectators that the 10-kilometer relay route would be several kilometers shorter than originally planned.
The torch disappeared into a warehouse as IOC officials and torch runners, surrounded by police, huddled to discuss alternate plans with city authorities.
A few minutes later, television cameras showed a number of people dressed in official Beijing 2008 track suits boarding a convoy of buses, which then drove out the back entrance of the warehouse complex with a police motorcycle escort.
“The crowds were so large and there was so much uncertainty that we had to make a tough decision and it resulted in many people missing the opportunity of a lifetime,” San Francisco (Mayor) Newsom later explained.
“We decided not to create major problems out in the street and decided to do this in a way that would be safe … We could easily be having a conversation about people being arrested or people being injured.”
Less than an hour before the relay began, officials cut the original route (which was short to start with) nearly in half.
The planned closing ceremony at the San Francisco Bay waterfront was cancelled and moved to San Francisco International Airport on Wednesday evening. The flame was put directly onto a plane and not displayed.
One torchbearer showed her support for Tibetan independence by pulling out a small Tibetan flag hidden in her shirt sleeve when she was handed the Olympic flame
“The Chinese security and cops were on me like white on rice, it was no joke,” said Majora Carter, 41, who runs a nonprofit organization in New York. “They pulled me out of the race, and then San Francisco police officers pushed me back into the crowd on the side of the street.”
When the relay seemed to have ended at the entrance to the Golden Gate Bridge, protesters and supporters crowded the streets that were lined with police.
Chants of “Free Tibet now” and other chants in support up China echoed throughout the area for about half an hour.
Read it all and view the photographs here.
Posted on 04/10/2008 2:38 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Thursday, 10 April 2008
Wilders does not incite hatred, says judge
Alan pointed me to this in Dutch News
Anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders’ comments about the Koran and the prophet Mohammed do not incite hatred or violence against Muslims, a court in Rotterdam ruled on Monday.
The judge rejected a case brought the Islamic federation (NIF) saying that Wilders’ comments were provocative but did not break the law.
‘A member of parliament must be able to express his standpoint, if necessary in sharp terms,’ the judge is quoted as saying by ANP news service. ‘Wilders’ right to freedom of expression is the deciding factor here’.
The NIF wanted to know if Wilders had broken the law with his public declaration in August last year that the Koran is a fascist book and comments that Mohammed was a barbarian.
According to the judge, the term fascism must be seen in a broader context. The NIF associated it with the Holocaust and ‘other evil practices from Nazi Germany’. But fascism should, said the judge, be seen as ‘a collective term for ideologies which fundamentally embrace a totalitarian political system which leaves no room for people with other ideas’.
When it came to Mohammed, the NIF was unable during the hearing to deny that he was a barbarian, reports ANP. Furthermore, the organisation was not able to disprove the fact that Islam consists of beliefs that are in contradiction to democratic principles, the judge said.
Posted on 04/10/2008 4:09 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Thursday, 10 April 2008
Rome

One widely-known hadith is that in which Muhammad predicts the taking, by the forces of Islam, first of Constantinople, and then of Rome. That hadith has been referred to again and again in the literature of Jihad, especially in recent years. Many dream dreams: the Somnium of Scipionis; the Dream of Fair Women; the vision of Constantine's vision ("in hoc signo") painted by Piero; and of course, Martin Luther King had his March-on-Washington dream. And Muslims have their dream, which did not end with their conquest of the vast territories they managed to seize in the early days of Islam. The hadith of Muhammad foresaw, that one day Muslims would lay low the mighty empire of Byzantium, so advanced, so fabulously rich, and seize Constantinople, the first city of Christendom for a thousand years. And so they did, finally, in the form of the Ottoman Turks and Mehmet Fatih, the conquering Mohammed, whose forces were helped by a Hungarian cannon-maker, and by the indifference or even enmities that paralyzed such Christian powers, as Venice, more distracted by intra-European rivalries (with Genoa, for example), by the hostility of Latin Christendom for the Greek variety, and by the desire to win commercial favor from the victors, foreseen as the Ottoman Turks. When, in 1453, they finally conquered that fabulous city, it had by then been reduced to a mere 50,000 inhabitants. But it happened – eight hundred years after the first Muslim armies were conquering Mesopotamia and Syria, Constantinople fell.

And that is why that hadith, in which Muhammad foretells the taking first of Constantinople, and then of Rome, is so important. The first part came true, reason the Muslim masses – why not the second? They have been helped, rather than hindered, by the Vatican policy of appeasement of Islam -- the Koran-kissing in Damascus, the protection of the gun-running PLO operative Hilarion Cappucci (himself a Melkite Catholic, and thus not exactly an obvious candidate for Vatican solicitude), the anti-Israel sentiments expressed by Vatican operatives on every conceivable, and inconceivable, occasion -- has only helped Europe to let down its guard, to fail to understand the tenets of Islam, the dangers posed by the demographic invasion, and by all the acts which further, rather than hinder, that invasion – including active encouragement of mosque-building in the ancient centers of western Christendom. And the Vatican, and Christians everywhere, and Western civilization, even in its post-Christian aspects (for the skeptics, the freethinkers, the children of Spinoza and Hume, will suffer from Islam as much as, and possibly even more than, any believer).

It was madness on the part of the pious (to the point of treacliness) then-President Pertini (who was a brave early anti-Fascist, and spent time in exile with, among others, the Rosselli brothers of Liberta e Giustizia), to offer, some years ago, 7 acres of prime real estate for the building of a mosque in Rome, financed entirely by the Gulf Arabs of Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E., and Kuwait. That huge edifice, built not a mile from the Vatican, is seen by Muslims everywhere as a symbol of growing Muslim power in the very heart of what they still regard (even if post-Christian Europe merely yawns) as the heart of Western Christendom. At the opening ceremonies, the Arab ambassadors were all assembled, smiles of triumph on their lips, their eyes glittering with victory. Only those who saw that scene with their own eyes can report adequately on it. A few expressed some doubts, some reservations. But who could not believe that this sign of indulgence (the word “appeasement” never came to anyone’s mind) would not be reciprocated, somehow, somewhere, in better treatment for Christians in Muslim lands. Why, perhaps even a Christmas carol or two might be permitted to be hummed, behind closed doors, in one of the compounds for foreigners in Saudi Arabia. But such was not to be. The ambassadors understood that this event represented not so much the opening of a house of individual worship, as the establishment of a military beachhead.

First Constantinople, through the conquest of warriors. Now Rome, it is predicted -- but as the Muslim sites all say, it will take place through demographic, rather than outright military, conquest. What will be the consequences, one wonders, for the statuary and paintings in the Vatican? And what will it mean for the very idea of the West? And will the Western world decide that it has a right to do what it once thought unthinkable, but which in fact has been the practice of societies since time began (not least in the Middle East) – to engage in the large-scale expulsion of those in their midst who do not wish their peoples, or their polities, well – and, as their numbers swell, will render the lives of those indigenous inhabitants more difficult, expensive and dangerous.

Questions for study and discussion.

[posted on April 4, 2004 at Jihad Watch]

Posted on 04/10/2008 7:01 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 10 April 2008
"The Age Of Permanent Warfare"

Mary Madigan covers the conference at NYU, briefly touched on by Brian of London at Shire Network News, for Campus Watch:

The poster advertising New York University's "Academic Freedom in the Age of Permanent Warfare" conference featured a scolding Statue of Liberty pointing an accusatory finger and stating: "YOU! Stop Asking Questions. You're Either With US or You're With the TERRORISTS!"

The speakers and attendees gathered around the pastry-laden table at NYU's new Frederic Ewen Academic Freedom Center last week didn't appear to be oppressed or under attack. But once they wiped the sugar from their mouths and stood up to speak, they assured the audience that they were, in fact, victims in an "age of permanent warfare."

According to keynote speaker Roger Bowen (of "Revolting Behavior" fame), director of the Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellows Program, the purported enemies of academic freedom include the "rabid right" and/or "Republicans, conservatives, the elderly, and the uneducated."

Joan Scott of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, decried the loss of academia as a sanctuary, both from public opinion and the "enmity of patriots and trustees." David Hollinger, professor of history at UC Berkeley, noted that fellow academics in engineering and the hard sciences often felt "no solidarity with the humanities."

Sheila Slaughter, professor of higher education at the University of Georgia, criticized the influence of neo-liberalism and globalization. Most agreed with Barbara Bowan of the City University of New York, who equated true "academic freedom" with financial security and tenure for all academics in the social science/humanities "collective." Under this worldview, anyone who does not support pampering the humanities collective with a lifetime sanctuary is an enemy. That's a lot of enemies.

Despite the presence of these enemies, not to mention allegations of PLO connections, speaker Rashid Khalidi is still gainfully employed as Edward Said Chair in Arab Studies and Director of the Middle East Institute at Columbia University. At the conference, he also felt free to express his opinion that our government in Iraq, and Israel in the Palestinian territories, is equivalent to Hamas and Hezbollah. According to Khalidi, all are political organizations that participate in elections, and "knowingly and wantonly" target civilians. Apparently, we're all terrorists now.

Khalid Fahmy, professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic studies at NYU, described an incident in which a foreign student traveling with him in the U.S. was "severely interrogated," apparently because he looked "suspicious." Fahmy noted that this was "how people ended up in Guantanamo…I think." The student was let go and is still welcomed in this country, but, to hear Fahmy tell it, the "chilling effect" of this alleged interrogation remains.

Dhaba "Debbie" Almontaser, who resigned as principal of Brooklyn's Khalil Gibran International Academy after receiving angry condemnations for characterizing "Intifada NYC" T-shirts as nonviolent messages of female self-empowerment, also spoke. Almontaser believes that "academic policy driven by right-wing racist groups," a lack of support from local residents, hostility from the mass media, teachers union boss Randi Weingarten, and the war on terror, continue to infringe upon her rights. She also claimed that in post-9/11 America, "the Arab Muslim community has been at the center of the most vile and hateful racist attacks." All this, despite the FBI hate crimes report for 2006, which showed that Jews suffer over five times more hate crime attacks than Muslims.

The alleged McCarthyism infecting America didn't stop NYU professor of education Gary Anderson from reminiscing about his past life as a Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) activist at the conference. Anderson and another former SDS member, terrorist/educator William Ayers of the University of Chicago, both felt free enough to sign an open letter in support of Khalil Gibran International Academy and Almontaser.

Similarly, nothing prevented NYU professor of Middle East studies Zachary Lockman from raising questions at the conference about NYU's recent efforts to "divert the Gulf region's oil revenues into their coffers" with the creation of an Abu Dhabi campus. Neither Lockman nor any speaker mentioned that citizens of Israel and anyone with Israel stamped on their passports are barred entry to the United Arab Emirates. It seems "academic freedom" extends only so far.

The audience echoed the speakers' extremism and paranoia. One attendee referred to a purported "chilling effect" three times in a single question. Another woman, claiming to write for Revolution newspaper and responding to Rashid Khalidi's allegations of persecution at the hands of Campus Watch and The David Project, shouted that Khalidi, Fahmy and Lockman were heroes and "canaries in a coal mine!" The speakers nodded, thanked her, and began to stand up, obviously anxious to go to lunch, but the Revolution reporter kept screaming, "The canaries died! You need to bust a hole! Get the oxygen in!"...

Posted on 04/10/2008 8:15 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Thursday, 10 April 2008
Torch Song, Or, A Bâtons Rompus

The torch itself is an idea that begins with the 1936 Games, where the Nazis introduced it, and naturally, the practice found favor with the well-known antisemite Avery Brundage, who for years headed the International Olympic Committee and, back in good old Germany for the Munich Olympics of 1972, famously told the crowd that of course the “games must go on” despite that little unpleasantness, that he didn’t bother to mention, involving those 13 murdered Israeli athletes.

Now, though China's most ruthless and best-trained security men may surround them (may even be them),  Chinese torch-bearers appear to be  participating not in some noble holding-the-light-of-international-friendly-competition-aloft  craperola, they appear rather to be in a relay-race, handing off the torch, so that it cannot be seized by protesters, and the longer the run continues, the longer the losing-face humiliation, not to China, but to the regime that rules China.

And so that torch metamorphoses into, depending on the metaphor or metonymy  that might at this point take your fancy, a stick with which that regime is beating itself, or a magic wand that presto-magico creates on the world's stage, for the world’s sympathetic identification,  a virtual Tibet (lamaseries, yak butter, Sven Hedin) , or even just a lexical hint, through the attempted literalizing of a French phrase,  of that once-seemingly-smooth conversation or "dialogue" (everyone is having them these days: dialogues, "national reconciliation," the whole works) that China -- now "open to the world" -- was supposedly having with all of us, its customers, but that torch that became a baton, or rather batons, instead became the symbolic object of fury, have helped transform China’s conversation  with the world into something no longer smooth, but rather abrupt, disjointed, what the French mean by the phrase "à bâtons rompus.”

Posted on 04/10/2008 9:11 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 10 April 2008
Murder At The Oil Depot

NAHAL OZ, Israel - Palestinian militants on Wednesday attacked an Israeli-controlled border crossing where European Union-funded fuel is piped into the Gaza Strip, killing at least two Israelis, the Israeli army said...

“Terrorists entered Nahal Oz and the fuel depot. They shot at civilians inside. There are two Israelis dead and two wounded,” an Israeli army spokeswoman said.

Western diplomats said Nahal Oz was raided after completion of the latest delivery of EU-funded fuel to the Gaza Strip’s main power plant.

The Zaka emergency service said two Palestinian gunmen were killed as well. Spokesmen for militant groups said attackers withdrew back into the Gaza Strip, under fire from pursuing Israeli helicopters.

It was unclear how much damage, if any, was done to the fuel depot at the crossing. Even if no serious damage was caused, the raid could prompt Israel to block, on security grounds, future deliveries and force the power plant to shut down.

'The Iranian-backed Islamic Jihad, which took part in the attack, called the raid, which was carried out under cover of mortar fire, a "unique and complicated operation."

Abu Ahmed of Islamic Jihad said the attack was intended to target the fuel depot on which Gazans depend.

The fuel "is dipped in humiliation," he said, because people wait for it for hours. "If their fuel means humiliation for us, we don't want it." '
--from

this news article

Errata Sheet:

For "Even if no serious damage was caused, the raid could prompt Israel to block, on security grounds, future deliveries and force the power plant to shut down."

Read "Even if no serious damage was caused, because two Israeli civilians who were at Nahal Oz in order to pump oil into Gaza for the Gazan Arabs were killed by Gazan Arabs, the very people to whom they were attempting to supply this oil, the murders of the two civilians will undoubtedly cause Israel, as any sane country would, to block, on security grounds, future deliveries which will naturally cause the power plant to shut down."

(based on a comment made at jihadwatch)

Posted on 04/10/2008 8:54 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 10 April 2008
"Islamofascism"

"To me, the term [Islamo-Fascism] sounds juvenile, in addition to sounding like a psychological dodge. More profoundly, it is a gigantic semantic concession to those folks who defend mohammed-worship through the use of false distinctions."
--from a reader

Some claim the word "islamofascism" possesses a rhetorical usefulness, a way to appeal especially to the uninformed young, but I find the term confusing and misleading, and too solicitous of Muslims in the way that it deflects direct criticism, and continues to prevent a perfectly straightforward, calm, unapologetic discussion of Islam. It presents the same problem as do all those attempts to modify, or dilute, the term "Islam," both fore and aft, from the adjectival -- "radical, extremist" placed fore -- to the suffixal, placed aft, in that peculiar coinage, no older than this decade, the meretricious word "islamism."

"Islam" was the term John Quincy Adams, Tocqueville, Churchill used. And the term used by Schacht, Snouck Hurgronje, Lammens, Zwemer, Jeffery, a hundred other scholars who wrote about Islam before the Great Inhibition set in. It is the term used by Wafa Sultan, by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, by Ibn Warraq, by Magdi Allam. None of them writes about or deplores "Islamism" or "Islamo-fascism." They write about, they deplore, Islam. That is telling.

(based on a comment made at jihadwatch)

Posted on 04/10/2008 9:29 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 10 April 2008
A Musical Interlude: Look For The Silver Lining (Connie Boswell)
Posted on 04/10/2008 10:45 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 10 April 2008
That Strategic Option

Several things have to be recognized:

1) Hamas wants Israel to disappear now. It will not bother to express its views differently in order to obtain an intermediate goal. The members of Hamas are purists.

2) The Slow Jihadists of Fatah do not differ one whit from the Fast Jihadists of Hamas in their ultimate goals. But because Abbas and his henchmen are slightly more realistic and worldly, and because they dearly want -- for themselves, for their children, for their children's children -- Infidel money (why should Arafat, and now his widow, be the only ones to enjoy billions of dollars in diverted Western, Infidel aid?), they are willing to utter a few phrases, the kind of phrases that will include a tell-tale phrase that signals to any Muslim audience their real, immutable intentions. Thus the phrase "we choose peace as a strategic option" is read differently by two different audiences.

The Americans, and the Western Europeans (well, those among them who still need a fig leaf for supporting the "Palestinians"), focus on "we choose peace." The Arabs and Muslims pay attention to, and understand completely, the second half of the phrase: "as a strategic option."

The only people who can make sense of this matter, however, are those who read with understanding both parts of the phrase, and assign them their proper meaning and value And it is those people who, having grasped the central role of Islam in everything that happens in the Middle East, and especially in the Arab siege (a siege which can be managed and endured, if the Israelis and other Westerners come to the their senses, but to which no "solution" -- pace Rice, pace Bush -- exists) of Israel, can and should be listened to. See Peace As A Strategic Option.

(based on a comment made at jihadwatch)

Posted on 04/10/2008 12:33 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 10 April 2008
British Muslim praises bin Laden in 'airline terror plot martyrdom video'
A British Muslim accused of plotting to blow up packed transatlantic flights paid tribute to Osama bin Laden and the Taleban leader Mullah Omar in a "martyrdom video" shown at his trial today.
Part of the video made by Mr Islam, 29, was released to the public after being played at the trial of the eight alleged plotters, who, the court heard, planned to use liquid explosives to blow up seven airliners.
In his video, Mr Islam, formerly known as Brian Young, is seen sitting in front of a black flag with Arabic writing on and wearing a Palestinian-style checkered headscarf.
An unedited recording, lasting 18 minutes and 45 seconds, was shown to the jury at Woolwich Crown Court.
In a four-minute excerpt released to the public, he is seen justifying his plans by referring to British, American and Israeli foreign policy, saying: “We will not leave this path until you leave our lands until you feel what we are feeling. This is a revenge for the acts of the USA in the Muslim lands and their accomplices, such as the British and the Jews.”
“Mullah Omar, Sheikh Osama - keep on going and remain firm. You inspired many of the Muslims and inspired me personally to follow the true path of the prophet,” he says.
He is also heard to warn the British public to stay away from state buildings ahead of further anticipated attacks. “You have been warned time and time again. If you do not want what happened to happen to you, then stay away from government and economic targets because, truly, they will keep on getting hit,” he said.
Mr Islam said committing attacks was “an obligation on me as a Muslim to wage jihad against the kuffar [non believers]”.
He is also heard to say in the film that innocent people deserved to die because they had not “put down” their leaders. “Most of you are too busy watching Home And Away and EastEnders, complaining about the World Cup, and drinking your alcohol, to even care about anything," he said.
In his video, timed at four minutes, which was not released to the public, Arafat Khan can be heard saying: “At the end of the day, right, innocent people are being killed.
“There is a mass war. There is a war against Islam. When they say this is a crusade, yeah, think carefully what that means and find out from history.”
Watch the video here. 
Posted on 04/10/2008 10:57 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Thursday, 10 April 2008
Happiness is an old pair of knickers

I like the word "knickers". It sounds jokey and larky, unlike the American word "panties", which conjures up pictures of a dirty old man rifling through one's underwear drawer. "Knickers" is one of those words like "knockers" and "titties", not to mention "bugger" that British English does best. Needless to say, if I were to go to America, I'd bring knickers with me and give panties a wide berth.

It is, I imagine, unusual for a philosophy professor to write about knickers, however much he thinks about them. Hats off, then, to A. C. Grayling, professor of philosophy at Birkbeck College, London. Professor Grayling  uses the KN-word half-way into this Telegraph opinion piece, in which he tries to get to the bottom of what constitutes happiness:

It comes as no surprise to learn from a study published this week that, although Britons are twice as rich as they were in 1987, they are no happier.

The lack of relationship between wealth and happiness has long been common knowledge, and the knowledge itself has long been a source of happiness to moralisers who like the fact that money is not life's answer.

There are, though, two confusions involved in the idea that anything significant can be discovered by looking for a correlation between wealth and happiness. One concerns the nature of happiness, the other the nature of wealth.

If you could arrange for Britain's population to make a sudden return to 1987 levels of income and possessions, almost everybody would be unhappy. As wealth increases, so do expectations, and so does being accustomed to the lifestyle that the new level of wealth brings.

For most people it is likely that wealth has to improve in order for their happiness level to remain constant; if their wealth were to decline, so would their happiness.

The important point here is that 'happiness' is too vague and baggy a notion to be truly helpful. It is like an old pair of knickers that has lost its elastic and become over-capacious and shapeless.

Useful for putting out fires though.

Instead of talking about happiness, one should talk about satisfaction, achievement, interest, engagement, enjoyment, growth and the constant opening of fresh possibilities.

[…]

The true equation between happiness and wealth is this: that happiness is wealth. Unlike wealth in the form of money and possessions, such happiness can never be quantified, only felt; and if one has it, it does not matter if the level of it always stays the same.

I wonder how much Professor Grayling was paid to write that. Enough to keep him in knickers, I'll be bound - perhaps not his own.

Posted on 04/10/2008 10:55 AM by Mary Jackson
Thursday, 10 April 2008
A Cinematic Interlude: Quilty And Humbert At The Enchanted Hunters
Posted on 04/10/2008 11:22 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 10 April 2008
The Real Permanent War

Yes, there is  a permanent war, but it is not the one that concerns the academics at NYU. The permanent war is that which Islam decrees between Believers and Unbelievers, Muslims and Infidels. It is a war that can be conducted by means other than open warfare, by qitaal or combat. It can be, and is being, conducted, mainly through the use of such other instruments as "wealth" (the Money Weapon), "pen, tongue" (that is, propaganda, including that provided by Western hirelings to defend Islam or to keep Infidels unwary, and the propaganda on behalf of Islam that encourages conversion by the economically and psychically marginal in Infidel lands -- that is, campaigns of Da'wa), and of course, the newest and most effective weapon, mentioned by Bin Laden in a 2007 tape (the mention went unremarked by the Bush Administration and by the press), the weapon of demographic conquest, which Bin Laden accurately praised, along with conversion campaigns, as constituting "jihad from within."

Islam is in a permanent state of war not with the West, but with all the Rest. It is as much at war with the black African Christians and animists of southern Sudan (2 million of whom have died)  and southern Nigeria (where a million Christians, mostly Ibo, were killed by Muslim northerners and Egyptian pilots), and with Hindus (see the outflow of fearful Hindus from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, even 400,000 Pandits who were forced to flee Kashmir), Buddhists  in southern Thailand (where monks, teachers, farmers have been killed by the thousands), and in Bangladesh (those who have remained in the Chittagong Hills have had steady low-level war made on them by Muslims, a war unremarked in the West) , and on Christians who are persecuted and discriminated against and sometimes murdered, all over Dar al-Islam, in Egypt and Algeria, in Pakistan and Indonesia.

But this will not piece the ears -- just like Podsnap, they "don't want to hear of it" and so they won't.

Academic usurpers and Calibans. Whose places have they managed to take? Whose sceptres have they stolen? What Prosperos as a consequence, have had to wander in a wilderness trying to be heard, with some of them having been reduced to becoming a disembodied vox clamantis in deserto, a vox that surely, at times, becomes hoarse with uttering its disturbing message.

Posted on 04/10/2008 11:56 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 10 April 2008
A Grant From The DHS

...With a budget well over $50 billion DHS is the prototypical DC bureaucracy in which transparency and accountability are sometimes in short supply.

Starting in 2005 DHS, through FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, commenced a program - UASI Non-Profit Security Grants - the purpose of which was to provide:

"...funding support for target hardening activities to nonprofit organizations that are at high risk of international terrorist attack. While this funding is provided specifically to high-risk nonprofit organizations, the program seeks to integrate nonprofit preparedness activities with broader state and local preparedness efforts..." [[DHS FY 2007 UASI Guidance]

In 2007 the amount available for this program was $24,007,500.00 [DHS FY UASI Grant Fund Distribution] ...

In a 2007 article for Front Page Magazine Homeland Security's Islamist Payday, Joe Kaufman broke the story that a Florida based Islamist, Sofian Abdelaziz Zakkout, had been the recipient of one of these UASI grants.

The resulting controversy apparently temporarily halted the awarding of the grant, which was resubmitted for further review.

In a series of calls made to DHS, these writers have now ascertained that the review of Zakkout's grant proposal is complete and that the agency charged with securing the American homeland, has in its infinite wisdom awarded Zakkout $69, 885.00, to be used to purchase security hardware for 23 mosques in Florida's largest counties, Broward, Palm Beach, Miami and Dade...

He is a long-time Islamist and a supporter of Hamas. The 501c3 which he runs, American Muslims for Emergency Relief [AMER] will be the beneficiary of the DHS award...
--from this article by William Mayer and Beila Rabinowitz

A larger question:

Why does "American Muslims for Emergency Relief" have 501c3 status? What is it that makes "American Muslims for Emergency Relief," run by someone who (the article offers the kind of evidence no one can ignore) is a "long-time Islmaist and a supporter of Hamas" eligible for 501(c)(3) status?

Who's minding the store? Anyone? No one?

What about a member of Congress, determined to make of this an issue?

(based on a comment made at jihadwatch)

Posted on 04/10/2008 12:21 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 10 April 2008
Muslim Mob Murders Hindu For Blasphemy
KARACHI: Dozens of Muslim workers at a factory in Karachi beat to death a Hindu colleague on Tuesday for alleged blasphemy, officials said.

Jagdish Kumar, 25, was tortured and killed at the garments factory after a debate on religion became heated.

"About 1,500 workers at the factory in the Korangi area beat to death the Hindu worker over (allegations of) blasphemy," Superintendent of Police Farrukh Bashir said.

The mob was trying to burn the body when officers arrived and took it away, Bashir added.
Posted on 04/10/2008 2:02 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Thursday, 10 April 2008
The Candidates, Iraq And Islam

When it comes to Islam, all three candidates so far are entirely unsatisfactory. But they are unsatisfactory in entirely different ways.

Obama does not disturb because of his "Muslim background." After all, Wafa Sultan and Ibn Warraq have Muslim backgrounds. It is the nature of that background. First, he has clearly decided to make his father, whom he never knew, into a figure of some importance, with the usual tedious "search for identity" that is absurd, for he was raised by his mother and his mother's family, that is by whites, but when he moved to Chicago, already ambitious, and exploiting to the full the fact of having been elected (it was a vote for a Mr. Nice Guy, not a vote meant to recognize academic brilliance, as used to be the case)the "first black president of the Harvard Law Review," he decided to exploit his black ancestry and exploit it he has, for it was that which helped him get elected first to the Illinois state legislature, and then to the Senate, where bloc voting by blacks helped.

But if he wants to find out about his "Muslim" father he should also find out about how Arab slave traders operated up and down East Africa, keeping the slaves at Zanzibar and Pemba (once held by the Sultan of Muscat and Oman), before trans-shipment to Muscat, and thence to Arab slave markets. He should find out how Islam legitimizes slavery, how the Arab slave trade in Africa started nearly a millennium before, and ended -- where it did end, because of Western pressure -- much later, than the Atlantic slave trade. He should find out all kinds of things about this, but so far he has mentioned none of it. Were he to do so, and were he to speak out about it, it could be quite useful to setting historical records straight. Indeed, given the fantastic mortality rates from the Arab slave trade, because the Arabs specialized in seizing young black males and castrating them on site, and then marching them through the bush by slave coffle to the slave markets of North Africa or to those reached, by dhow, in Arabia itself. If ever "reparations" were justified, it would be those that the black African nations should demand of the fabulously rich Arabs, who for more than a thousand years took black Africans as slaves. And they do so today, too, in Mauritania, in the Sudan, and even, one hears, in darkest Saudi Arabia, where the slave trade ended, officially, only in 1962 (at the time there were hundreds of thousands of black slaves), but there is reason to believe that away from prying eyes, slavery continues to exist.

Obama may have memories of living in "Muslim" Indonesia but the school he went to was not a madrasa, he does not claim to know Bahasa Indonesia, and it sounds as if it were a school for foreign children. But he may think that because he spent a few years as a young child in Indonesia he "knows" what Islam is all about, and of course he doesn't. In the same way, Paul Wolfowitz thought that his experience as the American ambassador in Jakarta gave him special insight into the problems of Muslim societies, and into Islam itself, and then he also had some help from a special friend's pillow talk. But both Wolfowitz and Obama have not burned the midnight oil, have not consulted either the apostates who are ready to talk to them -- why has Obama not talked, not learned from, Ayaan Hirsi Ali? It would have been the most obvious thing in the world for him to have talked to her? -- and the Western scholars of Islam, the hundreds of them, who wrote before the age of the Great Inhibition set in?

And Obama's known advisers -- "Sam" Powers, who may be back after a short break, and the malign Zbigniew Brzezinski, who knows nothing but Islam but knows what he doesn't like (and he knows he doesn't much care for Israel, has no real sympathy for it, nor understanding of its permanent plight), and others are cause for alarm. Then there are all the reports of Obama's "learning about 'Palestine'" from none other than Rashid Khalidi, and a creature named Alu Abunimah, to whom Obama is reported to have said what he said to Rev. Wright. To wit: in the interests of the campaign, I'm going to have to temporarily distance myself from you, but I'm sure you understand. Surely that should give anyone pause. Furthermore, Obama thinks about the Third World, about Africa. That is what he has decided is where his "identity" (whatever that is) must lie. He has shown no interest in, may in fact never lived in nor visited, Western Europe, and the history of the civilizational legacy of Western Europe -- its art, its science, its philosophy, its everything -- does not appear to be high on his list of things that must be saved. This too worries.

About Clinton, one worries as well. But her initial support for the war in Iraq was like that of many others in the Democratic Party who now blame her for not being "like Obama." What are they talking about? She was misinformed, as were others. Furthermore, she believed she was authorizing the use of military force, not authorizing American forces to remain in Iraq to transplant "democracy" and provide an instant makeover to a country of 27 million, a country riven by ethnic and sectarian hostilities that have their roots in the first century of Islam. She was not thereby voting for the Bush Light-Unto-the-Muslim-Nations Project. She is much more likely than Obama to promptly, even ruthlessly, remove American forces, and that is highly desirable.

Now, will she learn about Islam? She certainly must have observed her husband's folly, in his pursuit of the will-o'-the-wisp of an Arab-Israeli peace settlement, and she saw that Arafat was the most frequent foreign guest in Washington. Does she understand enough about Islam to shy away from the notion of a "solution" to the Arab-Israeli dispute? Does she understand that the Arab Muslims will never accept, never permanently acquiesce, in the existence of an Infidel nation-state in the midst of Dar al-Islam, and that the only way for the peace (that is, an absence of open warfare) to be kept is to prevent Israel from surrendering more territory or making itself more obviously vulnerable by giving up control of the invasion routes from the east, or of the aquifers under the "West Bank." If you want Israel to survive, you have to stop prating about "two-state solutions" and allow the Israelis to permanently control what they now control. On the other hand, if you are like Michael Scheuer, and "don't give a damn" what happens to Israel, and fail to recognize that Israel's disappearance would lead to an unstoppable triumphalist surge in the Arab world -- not a temporary "surge" but a permanent one -- and if further you recognize what Muslim control of the Holy Land would mean for the world's Christians as well as Jews, then you have to support Israel, to the hilt. And that does not even reach the problem of Western morale, if the West let Israel go under, did not move heaven and earth to stop such a development, after all the effort and heroism that went into the resurrection, after almost 2000 years, of a Jewish commonwealth in the ancient Jewish homeland, a place that had been reduced to ruin and desolation by the Arabs and other Muslims who had seized it in the 7th century.

The influence, if any, of the Arab girl who is clearly close to Hillary Clinton, is unclear. No doubt it's a worry. Furthermore, the continued reliance on such Islam-less advisers as Samuel Berger, and Madeline Albright (whose latest book attempts to demonstrate her understanding of the "religious dimension" of the current conflict world-wide, but instead shows how confused Albright is about the texts, tenets, attitudes, and atmospherics of Islam) also worries. Richard Holbrooke, if he can see beyond his own atypical experience with Islam in the Balkans, is likely to be better.

The fact that Clinton voted to label a certain Iranian group as a "terrorist organization" was a good sign. One waits for more. In fact Clinton could, and should, be meeting with Ayaan Hirsi Ali. It would be a sign. Why hasn't she? Why doesn't she?

Finally, McCain. His instincts are right. He knows Islam is a problem. He has so fair failed to see, or to label, the main instruments of Jihad other than "terror" or qitaal. These instruments of Jihad include the Money Weapon, Da'wa, and demographic conquest. McCain has yet to say a word about any of this, and he keeps talking about how the "surge is working" but does not explain what this means. The surge is not working. It is not achieving the goal of a unified Iraq, and there will be no unified Iraq. And furthermore, thank god the surge is not working, in a sense, because a unified Iraq is not in America's interest. An Iraq where the pre-existing fissures, ethnic and sectarian, widen, and those fissures even cause others from outside Iraq to send men, money, volunteers to support their co-religionists, which may end up in Saudi Arabia and Iran fighting a proxy war in Iraq, is a good thing, just as the Iran-Iraq War was, from the Infidel point of view, a Good Thing.

Is McCain as stubborn as Bush, or is he open to a new way of looking at the war in Iraq -- the way that I have put up here and at Jihad Watch, steadily, for more than four years?

I don't know. Who does?

(based on a comment made at Jihadwatch)

Posted on 04/10/2008 4:25 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 10 April 2008
A Musical Interlude: I Still Get A Thrill (Ted Weems Orch.,voc. Art Jarrett)
Posted on 04/10/2008 9:12 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald

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