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

These are all the Blogs posted on Monday, 11, 2013.
Monday, 11 February 2013
Timbuktu: al-Qaeda's terrorist training academy in the Mali desert
Al-Qaeda's North Africa branch created an academy for terrorists during its occupation of Timbuktu, The Daily Telegraph can disclose.

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) used a two-storey building on the edge of the ancient city which they turned into a sophisticated training centre which continued operating until it was destroyed by a French air strike three weeks ago. America and its allies have always tried to make it impossible for al-Qaeda to run permanent, dedicated training camps. After years of effort, they had come close to eradicating any centres of this kind.

in Timbuktu, AQIM managed to run this training centre for about nine uninterrupted months. Moreover, it consciously followed the example of bin Laden's camps in Afghanistan in the 1990s. Just as he gathered volunteers from across the Muslim world, so AQIM amassed a multinational array of recruits at its camp in Timbuktu.

Along with Malians, there were Pakistanis, Algerians and Mauritanians. But the biggest contingent of foreign trainees were Nigerians, all of them members of Boko Haram, a particularly violent group responsible for thousands of deaths. Their presence vindicates a claim made by Nigeria's government that AQIM has forged a strategic alliance with Boko Haram.

When AQIM captured Timbuktu last March, the movement took over the facilities abandoned by Mali's security forces. The local headquarters of the Gendarmerie Nationale, a paramilitary unit, was soon turned into a training camp.

Mokhtar bel Mokhtar, the AQIM commander who organised the raid on an Algerian oil installation last month, was a regular visitor to Timbuktu. He would stay in a modest house on the southern fringe of the city, near the airport road.

. . . AQIM's commanders were quick to realise that their training centre would be a target. After the first French air raids on Jan 10, they evacuated the Gendarmerie building and dispersed their trainees elsewhere in Timbuktu. When the centre was safely empty, Abu Harith switched on every light, presumably to distract the French away from more valuable targets. The French air force duly took the bait and destroyed the Gendarmerie.

Posted on 02/11/2013 2:11 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Monday, 11 February 2013
Syrian Rebels Now Fueled By Hydro-Electric Power
And they swarmed, and they swarmed, all over the dam:

Syria crisis: Rebels 'take control of key dam'

BBC News-1 hour ago
Syrian rebels are reported to have seized control of the country's largest hydro-electric dam, in what would be a strategic loss to the government ...
It's the third dam the rebels have captured. They're hoovering those dams up like crazy.
Posted on 02/11/2013 8:07 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 11 February 2013
A Musical Interlude: Three Little Fishies (Kay Kyser Orch.)
Listen here.
Posted on 02/11/2013 8:14 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 11 February 2013
Not A Single Rich Arab State Is Mentioned
"Moussa said Egypt needed a $12 billion credit line, with money from the IMF, World Bank, United States, European Union and other friendly states, listing Russia, Japan, China, South Korea, Singapore, Turkey, Malaysia and Indonesia."

What's wrong with this picture?
Every state listed, with the exception of Turkey and Indonesia, neither of which can be expected to contribute very much, is non-Muslim. There's no mention of Saudi Arabia. No mention of the United Arab Emirates. No mention of Kuwait. No mention of rich little Qatar with its waddling Emir, eager to throw his, and his country's, money-based weight around.
Why is this farcical situation allowed to continue? How is it that Egyptians are allowed even to think they can get away with quadrupling their population -- now over 80 million, and headed rapidly toward 120 milion by 2020 -- and always to expect that they can rely on the non-Muslim countries and non-Muslim-funded institutions, such as the IMF.
It's absurd.
The Muslim members of OPEC have received, without lifting a finger, and purely as a result of an accident of geology, nearly twenty trilion dollars since 1973 alone. Qatar, Kuwait, the U.A.E., and Saudi Arabia collectively have several trillion dollars still in surpluses.
But the Western and other non-Muslim countries are expected to support Egyptians as they exponentially -- here the word fits -- multiply?
Nonsense. Not a Western cent, in disguised tribute camouflaged as humanitarian aid, should be given.
Let fellow members of the Umma be asked. And then they can contribute, or not. Either way will prove salutary in the war-without-end  to contain the Camp of Islam. .
Posted on 02/11/2013 8:31 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 11 February 2013
Inbari: Can Obama's Israel visit restart the peace process?

Pinhas Inbari, Jerusalem -based  World jewish Congress Middle East Analyst has this incisive analysis of a proposed peace initiative involving the faltering PA leadership and  EU representatives seeking to impose a peace settlement on Israel. Meanwhile, the PA faced internal economic  discontent and a possible military rebellion  from Fatah security forces holding marches in Refugee camps. Inbari suggests that while President Obama's spin is that he's not coming in March to visit Jerusalem, Ramallah and Amman, with any new proposals, the Europeans are beavering their own to impose on Israel. Once again, from Inabri's analysis the Obama Administration still clings to the delusion that peace in the Middle East runs through Jerusalem and that the much ballyhooed Asian initiative plays second fiddle. This despite the evidence that the Arab rebellions across North Africa and the Middle east have given rise to Islamic supremacists seeking to impose Sharia and Jihad on  secularists and religious minorities.  Notice  Inbari's reference that   Fatah members  have given up on the two state solution, instead propounding a one state solution.  That  line has been prominent  in the latest round of pro-Palestinian  BDS 'seminars' on US college campuses from UC Irvine in Orange County, California to Brookyn College in New York City demonizing  and delegitimizing Israsel. Effecitvely, the one-state solution seeks destruction of the Jewish State of Israel through overwhleming Arab demographics.  Problem  with that is that recent demographic statistics in Israel  show an increasing in Jewish fertility beyond the population reproduction levels, while Arab ons are falling due, in part to modernization and urbanization. 


Can Obama's Israel visit restart the peace process?


Pinhas Inbai

World Jewish Congress

Feb. 11, 2013

President Barak Obama is expected to visit Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Jordan in March. While Washington announced that he would not bring a peace plan to the area, the timing and the itinerary suggest that peace negotiations with the Palestinians will be high on the president’s agenda, in addition to other pressing issues like Iran and Syria. 

Obama’s move is reminiscent of the beginning of his first term, when the newly elected president chose Mahmoud Abbas as the first world leader to telephone and declared the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian problem to be at the top of his foreign policy agenda. Asian powers like Japan and South Korea, who anticipated that this time around America would shift its priorities to the Far East, may be in for a disappointment.  

But what do Palestinians expect from renewed peace talks? According to Fatah sources in Ramallah, two weeks ago President Abbas told senior Fatah members of the information he exchanged with France and Britain. 

Abbas claimed that at this time the European countries are determined to lead the peace process to a successful end. They will lay out parameters for a solution based on several EU resolutions on the subject, set a six-month-long timetable for negotiations and, in case of failure, hand over the issue to the UN Security Council that will decide who is to blame. More than likely, the blame would fall on Israel due to its reservations regarding the European resolutions. Therefore, Fatah leaders are convinced they are closer than ever to imposing a solution on Israel.

Abbas also told Fatah members that the Europeans proposed holding direct negotiations in Jordan, not Egypt, where internal problems and a built-in preference for Hamas are the order of the day. In addition, Jordan would assume responsibility for security arrangements along the Jordan River in order to avoid a security vacuum akin to the one created by the collapse of the Philadelphi route after Israel disengaged from Gaza. 

Jordan would patrol the border on its side, with the entrance to St. John’s baptismal holy site to be set up on the Jordanian instead of the Israeli side due to IDF presence there.

Israel is expected to have an economic presence along the Jordan River, including joint ventures with the Palestinians. The Europeans anticipate that the transformation of the area into an economic zone would foster security and encourage the Palestinians to stay away from violence. Israel would not be expected to recognize the Palestinian state de jure, however, it will do so de facto by not objecting to statehood markers like Palestinian passports, stamps, etc.  

Diplomatic sources in Israel confirmed that Europe would be in favor of imposing a solution on Israel. They were, however, told by the United States that while America supports the European initiative, it would block any move in the Security Council aimed at smearing Israel’s name and singling it out as the guilty party.

Before the Palestinians pursue the European strategy for peace talks, they must tackle their own growing internal problems. Fatah’s senior membership remains quite skeptical of Abbas’ European option as it has lost faith in the feasibility of the two-state solution. Some Fatah members are actually advocating the abandonment of the strategy in favor of a single state with Israel.

Obama visiting the Western Wall in 2008

Obama visiting the Western Wall in 2008

In addition, Abbas faces a growing unrest on the Palestinian street. Many Palestinians have embarked on an 'Electricity Intifada', whereby they refuse to pay their electricity bills.

To make matters worse, the military wing of Fatah is rebelling by staging military parades in refugee camps, which can quickly turn into actual violence.

Until the breakout of the Arab Spring there was a widespread conviction among world leaders that a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians would be the cornerstone of regional stability. President Obama's visit will reveal whether this conviction prevails, or whether the widespread instability across the region has created a new list of priorities for world leadership.

Posted on 02/11/2013 8:32 AM by Jerry Gordon
Monday, 11 February 2013
Yet Another Instructive Debate On Al-Manar TV
Watch it here.
Posted on 02/11/2013 9:14 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 11 February 2013
Infidels Are Listening In, So Be Careful What You Say
By Abubakar Kasim
Freelance Writer- Canada
Sunday, 10 February 2013
It is not easy to be at the frontline and in front of the microphone these days.

May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon you,

May the Almighty protect and bless you and your families and make you among those who will enter Paradise with ease and comfort.

I must commend you for the noble work you do – the work of Prophets in calling to the way of your Lord with wisdom, knowledge, and patience and holding the torch to guide mankind.

It is not easy to be at the frontline and in front of the microphone these days at a time when stakes are high and the confusion about our faith is at its peak.

You are scrutinized in every word you say and you are watched closely in every action you do.

You are hardly given the benefit of the doubt and are judged harshly when you make a mistake.

When confusion arises about a statement you make, or something you might have said in the past, the media sounds the alarms and the international media organizations transmit the “breaking news” to their audiences.

The tabloid newspapers are after you the same way the paparazzi go after celebrities.

The paparazzi, however, are much more objective with their reporting as they publish positive and negative things about celebrities;   whereas the tabloid media only look at anything that could be interpreted negatively so that they could sell their papers the next day and win more viewers in the evening news.

They don’t  see anything good you do and don’t report any word of wisdom you say.

All they are after is something that they can use to create a sense of panic and hysteria in the society.

I personally believe that the pressure the media put on you and the heat they direct upon you is a blessing in disguise.

It makes you remember about the importance of personal accountability and to be aware of everything you do and every word you say.

As our faith teaches us, we already have two angels who record everything we do.

It is extremely important for you as the leader of the community to conduct a personal review of your talks and to be extra careful of your future sermons in order to make sure that your talks reflect the message of Prophet Mohammad, peace and blessings upon him, who was sent as a mercy to mankind.

As humans always error and the door of improvement is always open even when a person holds the highest degree ever awarded to mankind, it is imperative to assign one or two people as consultants  to offer you a constructive and positive feedback.

The consultants should not hesitate to offer you a feedback and advice you accordingly.

As Imam Hamza Yusuf said repeatedly in his speeches, when Imam Shafi was asked of what made him achieve high status, he said he used to pay close attention to his critics.

As you know, the one who like us would not point out to our mistakes.

A human being, whether he is a high school student or a PhD holder, is constantly learning.

Only those who are arrogant think they know it all.

It is very important for an imam to have some people to offer him feedback.

If some people might not feel comfortable to do this, he could have them write him anonymous letters so that they will feel at ease to say what they really have to say without any hesitation.

I feel very sad when I hear a Muslim scholar banned from entering a country due to some hateful and irresponsible remarks he is accused of making.

While some times the alleged remarks are taken out of context and blown out of proportion, some members in our community do say silly things some times.

We should not always blame the media when they criticize us. Some times their accusations do indeed have basis.

A well-known masjid in Toronto was in hot water several times before for making outrageous statements.

As reported in the Toronto Star on Nov. 17, 2008,  a mosque employee sent an email to the mosque's Internet message service on Christmas Day, warning that saying "Merry Christmas" was akin to "congratulating someone for drinking wine, or murdering someone or having illicit sexual relations and so on.”  The masjid in question later had retracted and apologized for the offensive remarks and said that the statement was written by a junior employee of the mosque.

The community should make sure that those who are holding the steering wheel are qualified and experienced individuals who know what they are doing.

Imams need to bring people together and avoid things that keep them apart.

As every corporation has a spokesperson who is well trained in handling public relation matters, our organizations should do the same in having people who know well how to talk.

While in North America Muslims are much more disciplined and are rarely accused of making outrageous remarks, the situation in Europe is far worse and deplorable.

There have been voices of ill-qualified people who are eager to jump to the microphone and make offensive and dangerous remarks which put the entire community in the harm’s way.

That is why a lot these self-made scholars, are imprisoned and some are thrown out of the country.

In behaving irresponsibly and acting foolishly, they portray the entire community as evil and make the life of Muslims a living hell. Their actions have contributed to the growing anti Muslim sentiment in the region.

Imams need to bring people together and avoid things that keep them apart.

In western countries Muslims of different background come together. It is important for imams to focus of what unite them and avoid putting emphasis on issues that divide them.

It upsets me so much to see some imams putting a lot of emphasis on trivial issues and avoid other important matters.

We already have enough division, hatred and animosity in our global village.

It upsets me to the stomach when I see some Muslims bringing back the baggage of division from their native lands and start speaking the language of divisiveness.

We as Muslims should avoid terms that divide us such as who is sufi, tablighi and salafi.

A Muslim is a Muslim. He or she should avoid using labels that only keep us apart and don’t do us any good.

May Allah restore sanity back to the senseless world and help mankind to recognize and appreciate the brotherhood of humanity and start treating others with dignity and respect.


Posted on 02/11/2013 9:30 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 11 February 2013
Pope Announced Date For Canonisation Of The 813 Martyrs Of Otranto

I have seen very little mention of what  the Pope did today, along with announcing his resignation.

He chose to do so at the very consistory where he announced a date for the canonization of the 813 Martyrs of Otranto -- the Christians beheaded, one by one, by the Ottoman Turks in 1453.

No doubt there are many reasons for his resignation. But surely one of them is that the Vatican strategy for dealing with Muslims, in order to protect Christians and Christian institutions in Muslim-ruled lands, and especially in the Arab countries, one which required constant appeasement (and very often, expressed want of sympathy for, and antipathy to, the state of Israel as it tries to stave off the endless Jihad, in all of its forms, being conducted against it), now lies in ruins. Christians are fleeing from Iraq, from Syria, from Egypt. And we all know, or should know by now, that Islam is not to be appeased, that appeasement merely leads to Muslim triumphalism. And the Vatican can't quite admit that, and doesn't know what to do to preserve a living Christian presence in the Middle East, or in the Holy Land.

That is not the only reason for his resignation. But surely it is one of them.

Posted on 02/11/2013 11:47 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 11 February 2013
Bat Yeor: How many Europeans still have to live in fear?

Geert Wilders and Lars Hedegaard

How many philosophers, intellectuals, artists, historians, professors, journalists and politicians will be doomed to be separated from their families, to abandon their professions and careers, to withdraw from active life to hide? To live protected by bodyguards, sacrificing their happiness and their talents because barbarians from obscure galaxies seek revenge for criticism of their faith by killings.

After so many other innocent victims, it is the turn of Danish editor Lars Hedegaard, a historian, writer, and journalist, being confronted by an anonymous killer, ringing his door attempting to murder him with a pistol. Who is the criminal? What are his motives? The police have not yet identified the perpetrator. Lars Hedegaard, like many other Europeans before him, must now live under police protection. What has he done to suffer a permanent threat against his life, freedoms, and non-negotiable core rights under the Charter of Human Rights?

 His crime? Belief in freedom of opinion

Lars Hedegaard committed no crime, no offense.  He has fulfilled his duties as a citizen; honest and loyal to the country and its citizens. His crime? Belief in freedom of opinion and criticism and denouncing the suppression of freedom in his country by the imported Sharia laws. Has Lars Hedegaard narrowly escaped premeditated murder for crimes of opinion? For blasphemy?  Is the potential murderer a fanatic, a madman, an agent provocateur?  Did Lars upset him with his writings? Is he an Islamist, an Eurabian? These are only speculations; the truth will come out from the police investigation.

Still, the situation of Europeans suffering from latent terrorism, growing insecurity and threats seems not to worry the European Parliament. A bureaucracy handsomely paid with millions of euros who do not care. Practicing politically correct Orwellian vocabulary they never discussed the misfortunes of those who still believe in human rights, except to vilify them.

 How many deaths will it take?

How many broken lives, ruined careers, wasted talents  caused  by the defamation networks criminalizing writers, by the boycott of their works and by powerful politically correct censorship. Will the public at large and the younger generations ever know that if Europe triumphs over barbarism, it would be at  the sacrifice of  Guy Milliere, Bruce Bawer, Geert Wilders, Magdi Cristiano Allam, Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff  and Hedegaard among others who didn’t compromise with the fundamental values ​​of humanity?  As Alain Wagner aptly said: how many deaths will it take?

Today it is Lars Hedegaard, who is fighting for your freedom.  He has already been tried and narrowly escaped an assassination attempt. But tomorrow it could be anyone else, and maybe you in the bloody twilight of democracy ...

Reproduction is authorized with the following: © Bat Ye'or to

Posted on 02/11/2013 12:24 PM by Bat Ye'or
Monday, 11 February 2013
Don't Forget Yemen -- It Too Enjoyed Its "Arab Spring"
Posted on 02/11/2013 1:57 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 11 February 2013
A Literary Interlude, Or, Wipe Your Quevedos With What You Know

A Roma sepultada en sus ruinas

Buscas en Roma a Roma, ¡oh peregrino!,
y en Roma misma a Roma no la hallas:
cadáver son las que ostentó murallas,
y tumba de sí propio el Aventino.

Yace, donde reinaba el Palatino;
y limadas del tiempo las medallas,
más se muestran destrozo a las batallas
de las edades, que blasón latino.

Sólo el Tíber quedó, cuya corriente,
si ciudad la regó, ya sepoltura
la llora con funesto son doliente.

¡Oh Roma!, en tu grandeza, en tu hermosura
huyó lo que era firme, y solamente
lo fugitivo permanece y dura.

Francisco de Quevedo

Posted on 02/11/2013 7:06 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 11 February 2013
Interest In This Exhibit Is Growing Exponentially
It is -- you may already have guessed -- the exhibit of the Keuffel & Esser collection of slide rules now on view at the MIT Museum. And interest in that exhibit is, or should be, growing.....exponentially.
Posted on 02/11/2013 7:16 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald

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