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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 Sunday, 11, 2010.
Sunday, 11 April 2010
Met allows Islamic protesters to throw shoes

From The Sunday Times

SCOTLAND YARD has bowed to Islamic sensitivities and accepted that Muslims are entitled to throw shoes in ritual protest — which could have the unintended consequence of politicians or the police being hit.

News of the concession by the Metropolitan police has come to light amid a series of trials of more than 70 mostly Muslim demonstrators who were charged with violent disorder after last year’s Gaza protests outside the Israeli embassy in London.

Aquib Salim, 21, an IT student at Queen Mary, London University, who was involved in a shoe-throwing incident, is almost certain to avoid a prison sentence as a result. Chris Holt, Salim’s solicitor, said he was likely to get a suspended sentence after he pleaded guilty to a single charge of throwing a stick at police lines. “The court accepted that the earlier shoe-throwing incident was simply a ritual form of protest and therefore not a criminal act of violence,” Holt said.

A spokesman for the Crown Prosecution Service admitted this weekend that the police advice to the Downing Street protesters was a factor in the case at Isleworth crown court, west London. It has now emerged that the Metropolitan police first told protesters of its stance on shoe-throwing shortly after the attack on Bush. Yet despite these concessions to criminal behaviour there are still protests that these young criminals have received any sentence at all for their crimes. I photographed this poster calling for action at a bus stop in Shoreditch last month.

The concession has already been taken up enthusiastically by Muslim demonstrators, who pelted Downing Street with shoes in protest at the Israeli bombing of Gaza last year. Dozens of ski-boots and clogs were also hurled at the US consulate in Edinburgh in a related protest, in which three policemen sustained minor injuries.

Lindsey German, convenor of the Stop the War coalition (and one of George Galloway's ghastly Respect groupies), said: “After the incident in Baghdad we told the police that people would want to bring shoes to throw at Downing Street. “They said that was okay and there was a facility allowed for people to bring old pairs of shoes. Afterwards they joked that they didn’t realise we were going to throw the shoes so hard.”

The English custom, which I submit we should now be allowed to follow, is not to throw the shoe. But to stick the boot in. Hard.
At the very least we must be allowed to hurl rotten fruit and vegetables.

Posted on 04/11/2010 2:32 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Sunday, 11 April 2010
NHS relax superbug safeguards for Muslim staff... just days after Christian nurse is banned from wearing crucifix for health and safety reasons

From The Mail on Sunday
Muslim doctors and nurses are to be allowed for religious reasons to opt out of strict NHS dress codes introduced to prevent the spread of deadly hospital superbugs. The Department of Health has announced that female Muslim staff will be permitted to cover their arms on hospital wards to preserve their modesty.
This is despite earlier guidance that all staff should be ‘bare below the elbow’ after long sleeves were blamed for spreading bacteria, leading to superbug deaths. The Department has also relaxed its ‘no jewellery’ rule by making it clear that Sikhs can wear bangles, as long as they can be pushed up the arm during direct patient care.

The move contrasts with the case of nurse Shirley Chaplin, who last week lost her discrimination battle against Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital Trust, which said the cross she has worn since she was 16 was a ‘hazard’ because it could scratch patients. Mrs Chaplin, 55, had worn the silver cross on a necklace since her confirmation. But the employment tribunal told her that wearing a cross was not a ‘mandatory requirement’ of her faith, even though Muslim doctors are allowed to wear hijabs or headscarves.
Last night she said of the sleeve concession to Muslims: ‘I don’t believe my cross is a danger so this is double standards. What can you say? It seems that life is stacked up against Christians these days.’

Politicians and Christian leaders, including former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey, added that it showed the Government was prepared to accommodate minority faiths while Christianity was marginalised.  Lord Carey said of grandmother Mrs Chaplin: ‘The Muslim voice is very strong, so politicians and others are scared of it. We can only deduce that the hostility aimed at her is because she is a Christian.’

The revised rules, which health officials insist will not compromise hospital hygiene, were drawn up after female Muslim staff objected to exposing their arms in public. Since the original guidance was announced by the then Health Secretary Alan Johnson in 2007, many hospitals have insisted that staff involved in patient care wear short sleeves at all times.

Leicester University said some Muslim females ‘had difficulty in complying with the procedures to roll up sleeves to the elbow for appropriate handwashing’, while Sheffield University reported a case of a Muslim medic who refused to ‘scrub’ as this left her forearms exposed.  Birmingham University revealed that some students would prefer to quit their course than expose their arms.
A Muslim radiographer quit at Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading over the issue.

The revised rules, issued on March 26, make clear that staff can wear uniforms with long sleeves as long as they roll them up securely above their elbows to wash and when they are on the wards.  They add that staff who want to cover up completely when dealing with patients will be able to use special disposable ‘over-sleeves’.

The guidance says: ‘Where, for religious reasons, members of staff wish to cover their forearms or wear a bracelet when not engaged in patient care, ensure that sleeves or bracelets can be pushed up the arm and secured in place for hand-washing and direct patient care.  In a few instances, staff have expressed a preference for disposable over-sleeves – elasticated at the wrist and elbow – to cover forearms during patient care activity. Disposable over-sleeves can be worn where gloves are used but strict adherence to washing hands and wrists must be observed before and after use.’ The Department was unable to say last night how much extra it will cost the NHS to provide the disposable sleeves. But 18in polythene over-sleeves are already on offer on the internet for about £7 for a pack of 200.

The Department admitted in its new guidance that it had reviewed its rules because ‘exposure of the forearms is not acceptable to some staff because of their Islamic faith’. Health officials drew up the revised rules on the advice of Islamic scholars and a group called Muslim Spiritual Care Provision in the NHS (MSCP), which is part of the Muslim Council of Britain. 

A working party was set up comprising two Health Department officials, a member of the Health Protection Agency, two female Muslim hospital chaplains, an Imam and two members of MSCP. Yet campaigners for the rights of Christian nurses to wear crosses said the Health Department had failed to consult them adequately. Mrs Chaplin lost her case on Tuesday despite being backed by the Christian Legal Centre and human-rights lawyer Paul Diamond.

Lord Carey, one of seven bishops to sign a letter supporting Mrs Chaplin at her tribunal, said the Government was guilty of ‘double standards’. ‘The NHS, British Airways and all the big companies seem to be tilting in one direction,’ he added. ‘If Muslims are getting these concessions, why not Christians? There should be the same rules for everyone.’
Dr Andrew Fergusson, of the Christian Medical Fellowship, which represents 4,000 doctors, said: ‘For some reason, Christians in health care seem to be particularly vulnerable at the moment.’

Posted on 04/11/2010 4:18 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Sunday, 11 April 2010
Kept in a Saudi hell hole for 11 years.. by my Dad

From The Sunday Mirror
It was the moment Hana Basrawi had dreamt about for more than 11 years... and at first she was so nervous she could barely speak. Then with the simple words "Hello mum" she knew her ordeal was finally over.

Her domineering and controlling father Zuhair had taken her at the height of a bitter custody battle with her mother Suzanne and flown her to live 3,000 miles away in Saudi Arabia. Now she was home.Suzanne had been working as an air stewardess for Saudi Air when she met Zuhair, a Saudi businessman. She converted to Islam and married him, But after four children and 19 years together the marriage broke down, and in 1998 they were embroiled in a custody battle over their youngest child Hana, who was then living with her father.

And two days before a crucial hearing he spirited her out of Britain after telling her they were going to buy sweets. "After nearly an hour we pulled up at the airport. Dad got out two suitcases and when I asked where we were going he said 'home'. "I knew instinctively he meant Saudi. He shouted at me when I tried to ask questions and I was so scared I started to shake."I asked if we would see Mummy and he said, 'Your mum doesn't love you any more'. I couldn't even cry as he shouted at me when I did. "When we got to the Saudi capital Jeddah the first thing that hit me was the heat and babble of foreign voices. I couldn't understand a word. It was the start of a nightmare."

Suzanne, 61, who works as a school cook in Watford, immediately went to the police, but was told that because Hana was a dual citizen it wouldn't be easy to get her back."They promised to do all they could, but I knew in my heart that she had gone beyond their jurisdiction," she says. Meanwhile, she repeatedly tried contacting Zuhair's family in Saudi, but they refused to co-operate. "All they would say was that Hana was 'happy' and then hang up, which broke my heart,' says Suzanne. Over the years, Suzanne posted presents to Hana every birthday and Christmas hoping they would reach her. They didn't.

For Hana, the years were a confusing and lonely experience. "I was so miserable," she says. "It was clear from the moment I arrived that women were treated differently. "When I turned 11 I was made to start wearing a head scarf and couldn't leave the house without my father's permission. I had no friends and wasn't allowed to play outside. Dad was very controlling and verbally abusive and expected me to do all the housekeeping.

By 2002 when Hana was 14 she was so desperate she went to the Saudi police for help... but was sent back to her father. She says: "I told them he was keeping me there against my will and all they said was, 'He's your father, if he wants he can kill you'. When I got home dad locked me in my bedroom, pinned me to the floor and cut off my hair and then set fire to it. He left me practically bald. He took me out of school and I felt even more cut off. He had a terrible temper and I was very frightened of him. He would beat me if I didn't do what he said."

Hana went to the British Embassy three times pleading for help, but was told that, under Saudi law, there was nothing they could do. Desperate just to hear her mother's voice, she managed to make a few secret phone calls - sometimes just long enough to say, "I love you".

After years of torment, Hana's life changed when she was 16 and her father allowed her to get a job as a PA so she could help with the household bills. "It meant I could make friends and feel slightly normal," she says. "But all the time I was working out how I could escape."

In 2009 she finally had her chance. She convinced her father she needed to travel for work, and he signed a form giving her permission to leave the country. "I told him my boss was seriously ill and needed treatment abroad and I would lose my job unless I went," she says."That scared him as by then I was the sole provider in the house." Funny how much these big domineering men love the money their little women bring in.

Hana bought an air ticket to Britain but as she was travelling without a valid visa for the UK, there was a risk she wouldn't be allowed to board the plane. "I'd decided to risk it and hope no one checked,"she says. "At passport control in Heathrow I told them my story. All I had to prove who I was, was my old expired British Passport."

Hana is still adapting to life in the UK after her forced exile and is hoping to go to university. "I've missed out on so much and want to make up for all the lost years with my family," she says. "It's strange being in a country which is so liberal - I have to force myself not to ask my mum for permission to leave the house! "My dad was furious when he found what I'd done. Part of me is terrified he will come back and get me."

Posted on 04/11/2010 5:35 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Sunday, 11 April 2010
No news is .... no news

A couple of months ago I put up a piece by Jack Malvern of The Times on local news stories:

Unlike national newspapers, which rely on a network of news agencies to augment the stories brought in by scores of reporters, local papers must rely on old-fashioned legwork carried out by a skeleton staff. It is a method that delivers cracking stories . . . but only fitfully. The rest of the time reporters must use their cunning to disguise the mundanity of local events.

The Sunday Times has rounded up three such less than earth-shattering events:

Mail deliveries to a house in Leeds have been suspended after a series of attacks on delivery staff by an elderly cat. Tiger, aged 19, pictured above, has allegedly attacked three postal workers in the past few weeks. His owner, Tracy Brayshaw, said: “If he climbs up a tree he is done in for the rest of the week. Our vet is amazed he is still alive.”

— Yorkshire Post

A mayor has been criticised for falling asleep during a school play. The Worthing mayor, Noel Atkins, who was guest of honour at the production of the musical Bugsy at Vale First and Middle school, was spotted napping 20 minutes into the show. Ashley Knowles, 11, who played a tramp, said: “I couldn’t believe he fell asleep. I think he needs to have some Weetabix in the morning so he has more energy through the day.”

— The Argus, Brighton

A family have told of their wonder at finding Jesus in a piece of chewing gum. “I put my gum on the mantelpiece to have some Pringles,” said Nelly Noden, a mother of two. “I went to pick it up again and Jesus was just there, staring at me. We couldn’t believe it — especially as it was Good Friday.”

— The Herald, Plymouth

Posted on 04/11/2010 8:32 AM by Mary Jackson
Sunday, 11 April 2010
Watch this PJTV interview of Nonie Darwish and Amil Imani of Former Muslims United

Nonie Darwish and Amil Imani are cofounders of Former Muslims United (FMU).  Watch this interview below of Darwish and Imani by Bill Whittle of PJTV at the recent  CPAC conference in Washington, DC.  Darwish and Imani explain the perilous status of former Muslims who left Islam and the purposes and programs of  FMU.  FMU is a  human and civil rights organization formed last year to defend those who have left Islam. Other co-founders and board members of FMU include Ali Sina of Faith Freedom InternatiionalMohammed Asghar, Mano Bakh,Walid Shoebat, Sam Solomon, Dr. Wafa Sultan and  colleague Ibn Warraq, a Senior editor of the New English Review.  

In this PJTV interview with Bill Whittle they explain the results of 110  Freedom Pledge letters sent to more than 50 Muslim organizations in America, including Muslim Brotherhood front groups, requesting that they abjure Sharia death fatwas against apostates. Only two signatures were returned: one of Dr. M. Zhudi Jasser of the American Forum for Islam and Democracy and another from Dr. Ali Ayamii, executive director of the Washington-based, Center for Human Rights and Democracy in Saudi Arabia.  Darwish and Imani discuss meetings with the US Department of Justice to explore how to combat threats of personal violence against former Muslims here in America.  We posted on a similar camapign undertaken by FMU as part of the Florida Security Council protests against Florida Muslim Capitol Day at Tallahasse in March. No responses were received from more than 47 letters sent to CAIR Chapter, Florida  Mosque leaders and  Ahmed Bedier, organizer of  Florida Muslim Capitol Day and head of  new front group, United Voices for America. Darwish and Warraq will be speaking  at the Second New English Review Symposium in Nashville on June 18-19 in Nashville.

Posted on 04/11/2010 7:55 AM by Jerry Gordon
Sunday, 11 April 2010
On the side of the angels?

That's a bit tricky when the angels are up and down like a tart's drawers. You've got to catch them at just the right time, and Allah (SWT) knows best. Coincidental Hadith:

The Prophet (SAW) said, "Angels keep on descending from and ascending to the heaven in turn, some at night and some by daytime, and all of them assemble together at the time of the Fajr and 'Asr prayers. Then those who have stayed with you overnight, ascend unto Allah Who asks them (and He knows the answer better than they): "How have you left My slaves?" They reply, "We left them while they were praying and we came to them while they were praying." The narrator added: "If anyone of you says 'Amin (during the prayer at the end of the recitation of Surat Al-Fatiha), and the angels in heaven say the same, and the two sayings coincide, all his past sins will be forgiven."

Bukhari, Vol. 4, Hadith No. 446, Narrated by Abu Huraira

Amin. Amin. Amin. Gotcha! It's like SWTing a fly.

Posted on 04/11/2010 1:01 PM by Mary Jackson
Sunday, 11 April 2010
Muslim Prisoners return televisions as they are a distraction to religious study.
From The Sun
ISLAMIC inmates at a maximum security jail have handed in their cell TVs because they do not want to watch the 'distracting' X Factor. Crooks including terror suspects at HMP Long Lartin in Worcestershire say they would rather spend more time on religious study than watch the raucous talent show, judged by Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole, Danni Minogue and Louis Walsh.
Islamic inmate Abu Dira wrote to lag magazine Inside Time about the X Factor protest at the maximum security jail. He said: "Many Muslims in Long Lartin have handed back their televisions, as they are viewed as nothing more than a distraction to religious study”.
The inmate also blasted plans to fight Islamic extremism by flooding the prison library with books from moderates, saying no one would read them, "let alone accept the viewpoint of those individuals who align themselves with occupational forces".
Figures revealed show the Muslim population inside Long Lartin has doubled in just two years, with a quarter of all prisoners now followers of Islam.
Meanwhile, it has emerged that extremists held in the maximum security terror detainee unit are being given fresh sheets after every cell search by drug dogs so that their religion is not offended.  Yet non-Muslim prisoners have complained that Islamic inmates are being offered preferential treatment as others are not offered clean sheets.
James Brandon, a researcher for anti-extremist think tank The Quilliam Foundation, said: "Tensions between Muslims and prison staff have arisen from the use of search dogs as a result of some Islamic traditions teaching dogs are unclean, which leads to distress for ordinary Muslims as well as extremists. Extremists are able to make political capital out of almost any issue which concerns ordinary Muslims making it imperative for the Prison Service to minimize the issues and grievances which Islamists can exploit."
Posted on 04/11/2010 11:13 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Sunday, 11 April 2010
EU And US Side With Qaddafy Against Switzgerland

The New Neutralism: US and EU Abandon Swiss In Conflict With Libya

March was a good month for Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. He received high-profile apologies from both the United States and the European Union. The apologies were at the expense of Switzerland, the country against which Gaddafi has officially declared “holy war.” Switzerland has a tradition of neutralism in international conflicts, but could not avoid a nasty conflict with Libya. Trying to remain “neutral” in the Swiss-Libyan conflict, the US and the EU grovel before the Libyan despot.

The conflict between the Alpine republic and Libya began in July 2008, when Hannibal Gaddafi, the then 31-year old son of the dictator Muammar Gaddafi, savagely beat up two of his servants in the President Wilson Hotel in Geneva. The Swiss police arrested Gaddafi jr.; he was released on bail after two nights in a cell. In retaliation, Libya took two Swiss businessmen as hostages, imprisoning them for “visa violations.”

Switzerland soon dropped the charges against Gaddafi’s son, but Libya kept the businessmen under house arrest. One year later, in August 2009, Swiss President Hans-Rudolf Merz traveled to Tripoli. To secure the release of the hostages, he apologized to Gaddafi for the brief detention of his son. Gaddafi released one of the hostages, the Muslim Swiss citizen Rachid Hamdani, but refused to accept the Swiss apologies. Libya kept the other businessman, the ethnic Swiss Max Göldi, in prison.

The November 2009 referendum, in which 57.5% of the Swiss voters approved a ban on the construction of new minarets in Switzerland, made Libya even angrier. Libya announced a boycott of Switzerland, and called for the dissolution of the country. On February 24, 2010, Gaddafi declared jihad against the “faithless” Swiss.

In an attempt to downplay the terrible implications of Gaddafi’s appeal for unlimited violence against Switzerland, US State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said that the call for jihad against Switzerland was “lots of words … and not necessarily a lot of sense.” Instead of defusing the situation with his “joke,” Crowley made matters even worse. Gaddafi took the comment as a personal insult and threatened that there would be “negative repercussions” for American oil companies in Libya. On March 10, both Crowley and the American government offered their apologies to the Libyan dictator. He accepted them, and said that Tripoli would resume relations with Washington “in a manner of mutual respect.”

The unfortunate Max Göldi, meanwhile, has been moved to a damp, smelly windowless cell in the wing of a Tripoli jail where he is imprisoned with 90 of the most dangerous criminals of Libya.

Last November, following Gaddafi’s call for the dissolution of Switzerland, Bern drew up a blacklist of 188 extremist Libyans, including Gaddafi and his son, who would “for reasons of public and national security” no longer be allowed to enter Switzerland. Since Switzerland is a member of the so-called Schengen zone – the borderless travel zone grouping the EU countries (minus Britain and Ireland), plus Switzerland, Norway and Iceland – a Swiss ban also affects all the other Schengen zone countries. The terms of the Schengen agreement oblige all members to refuse visas to citizens of third countries blacklisted by fellow Schengen group nations.

In retaliation for the Swiss blacklist, Libya stopped issuing visa to citizens of all Schengen member states. Instead of backing the Swiss, as they are obliged to do under the Schengen treaty, the EU countries threatened to expel Switzerland from the Schengen zone unless it drop the blacklist against the 188 Libyans.

In late March, the Swiss gave in to EU pressure. Tripoli hailed the decision as a victory over Switzerland. The Swiss feel snubbed by the EU. Miguel Angel Moratinos, the Foreign Minister of Spain – which currently holds the EU presidency – flew to Libya to apologize on behalf of the EU for the imposition of the travel ban. “We regret and deplore the trouble and inconvenience caused to those Libyan citizens. We hope that this move will not be repeated in the future,” he told Gaddafi.

Mr. Moratinos was joined by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Of all the EU countries Italy has the closest ties to Libya and had been pushing hard for the expulsion of Switzerland from the Schengen group if Bern did not repeal the blacklist.

The EU apology to Libya has reinforced anti-EU feelings in Switzerland, even in traditionally pro-EU circles. Swiss parliamentarian Mario Fehr, a Social-Democrat, called it “a regrettable collective gesture of boot licking.” The Tribune de Genève newspaper wrote that “the EU caved in shamefully.” The Zurich-based Tages-Anzeiger wrote that the EU bears a huge responsibility. “This conflict is more than a row over the fate of a Swiss hostage.”

Meanwhile, Gaddafi’s son continues to cause mayhem wherever he goes. Two weeks ago, a photographer waiting for Gaddafi at a nightclub in Istanbul was attacked by the Libyan’s bodyguards. Last December, British police had to intervene at Claridge’s, one of London’s top hotels, when Hannibal Gaddafi hit his 29-year old wife, a former model, in the face and broke her nose. The British police did not arrest him, however, but allowed him to go to the Libyan embassy. In 2005, Hannibal Gaddafi had been arrested in France after beating his pregnant girlfriend at a Paris hotel. He was later given a four-month suspended prison sentence for the assault.

Posted on 04/11/2010 4:23 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 11 April 2010
A Musical Interlude: Pettin' In The Park (Dick Powell, Ruby Keeler)

Watch, and listen here.

Posted on 04/11/2010 1:32 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 11 April 2010
Dr. Sallah Sultan, Director Of The American Center For Islamic Research, Presents His Scholarship

The Blood LIbel -- Jews killing non-Jews, and then using their blood to make Passover matzohs, is a trope or topos or mainstay or standby or whatever you want to call it, of the antisemitism that originates in Western Christendom. However, it began to make its appearance as a borrowed theme in Islamic antisemitism, in Damascus, in 1840, with a hysterical accusation against the local Jews for  having killed, so it was said, a local Christian. The French consul in Damascus, himself an antisemite of a well-known European kind, encouraged the story, and a pogrom was the result. Twenty years later, in Damasucs, another pogrom occurred, but this one was against the Maronites. 

At MEMRI you can see one Sallah Sultan, apparently the head of something called "The American Center for Islamic Research," hysterically screaming the same thing.

One wonders where the "American Center for Islamic Research" is located, and who funds it, and whether or not the American government is aware of what Sallah Sultan is doing in the United States, and whether his immigration status, and the status of his organization, ought to be looked into a bit more closely, and monitored a bit more vigilantly.

Posted on 04/11/2010 1:42 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 11 April 2010
Pakistan Makes More Bomb-Making Material

From the NY TIMES

Agenda of Nuclear Talks Leaves Out a New Threat

WASHINGTON — Three months ago, American intelligence officials examining satellite photographs of Pakistani nuclear facilities saw the first wisps of steam from the cooling towers of a new nuclear reactor. It was one of three plants being constructed to make fuel for a second generation of nuclear arms.

The message of those photos was clear: While Pakistan struggles to make sure its weapons and nuclear labs are not vulnerable to attack by Al Qaeda, the country is getting ready to greatly expand its production of weapons-grade fuel.

The Pakistanis insist that they have no choice. A nuclear deal that India signed with the United States during the Bush administration ended a long moratorium on providing India with the fuel and technology for desperately needed nuclear power plants.

...........................................................................

The next phase in Mr. Obama’s arms-control plan is to get countries to agree to a treaty that would end the production of new bomb fuel. Pakistan has led the opposition, and it is building two new reactors for making weapons-grade plutonium, and one plant for salvaging plutonium from old reactor fuel.

Last month, the Institute for Science and International Security, a private group in Washington, reported that the first reactor was emitting steam. That suggests, said Paul Brannan, a senior institute analyst, that the “reactor is at least at some state of initial operation.”

Asked about the production, Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani, said, “Pakistan looks forward to working with the international community to find the balance between our national security and our contributions to international nonproliferation efforts.”

In private, Pakistani officials insist that the new plants are needed because India has the power to mount a lightning invasion with conventional forces.


 

Posted on 04/11/2010 9:15 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 11 April 2010
Fjordman Reviews Wafa Sultan's

Book Review: “A God Who Hates” by Wafa Sultan

Created 2010-04-07 10:35

The book

A God Who Hates: The Courageous Woman Who Inflamed the Muslim World Speaks Out Against the Evils of Islam

was written by Wafa Sultan, a Syrian-American ex-Muslim. Breaking with Islam takes tremendous courage, as the traditional death penalty for leaving Islam is still upheld today. The only good byproduct of Muslim immigration to the West is that it has allowed a handful of such former Muslims to publish their thoughts about leaving Islam. One of these titles is Leaving Islam: Apostates Speak Out, edited by Ibn Warraq. Another is Understanding Muhammad by the Iranian ex-Muslim Ali Sina, the founder of Faith Freedom International. I have reviewed his book at Jihad Watch previously.

In her writing, Wafa Sultan draws extensively on her own personal experiences as well as those of friends and others in her society, especially the women, who suffer from an appalling level of brutality and repression. She manages in a very convincing manner to tie many of these problems directly to Islamic teachings, all the way back to Muhammad, his wives and companions. Far from representing a “perversion” of Islam, she shows us that the repression and violence that is endemic in Islamic societies represent the true essence of Islam.

In sharp contrast to the self-proclaimed “reformist” Irshad Manji, whose knowledge of Islamic doctrines is quite limited Sultan shows us how Islam was born in the Arabian desert and is still shaped by this 1400 years later. The raids Muhammad and his companions carried out in his lifetime – which amounted to at least twenty-seven if you believe Islamic sources – occupy a major part of his biography. They were intended to acquire booty, but also to inflict physical and mental harm upon rival tribes in order to deprive them of their ability to resist.

Wafa Sultan, page 66: “For me, understanding the truth about the thought and behavior of Muslims can only be achieved through an in-depth understanding of this philosophy of raiding that has rooted itself firmly in the Muslim mind. Bedouins feared raiding on the one hand, and relied on it as a means of livelihood on the other. Then Islam came along and canonized it. Muslims in the twenty-first century still fear they may be raided by others and live every second of their lives preparing to raid someone else. The philosophy of raiding rules their lives, the way they behave, their relationships, and their decisions. When I immigrated to America I discovered right away that the local inhabitants were not proficient in raiding while the expatriate Muslims could not give it up.”

On the Islamic “culture of shouting and raiding,” she states on page 69: “My experience has been that two Muslims cannot talk together without their conversation turning into shouts within minutes, especially when they disagree with each other, and no good can come of that. When you talk to a Muslim, rationally, in a low calm voice, he has trouble understanding your point of view. He thinks you have lost the argument. A Muslim conversing with anyone else – Muslim or non-Muslim – cannot remember a single word the other person has said, any more than my mother could remember a single word of what the preacher in our local mosque said.”

A master-and-slave mentality dominates Arab-Islamic society, both in public and in private. A person can often be a master in one relationship and a slave in another, simultaneously.

Page 158: “When you speak calmly to a Muslim, he perceives you as being weak. The American saying ‘speak softly and carry a big stick,’ is, unfortunately, of no use when dealing with Muslims. It would be more appropriate to say (until we can change this way of thinking), ‘speak forcefully and carry a big stick’; otherwise you will be the weaker party and the loser. Democracy cannot spread in societies like these until the people who live in them have been reeducated, for they cannot function unless they are playing the role of the master or the slave.”

A deep structural flaw in Islamic culture is that nobody wants to take responsibility for his own shortcomings or mistakes, which are always blamed on somebody else or on God’s will. There is no clear distinction between truth and lie, between yes and no. Things happen or don’t happen inshallah (Allah willing), not because you take personal responsibility for them.

Page 215: “Never in my life have I heard or read of a Muslim man’s expressing feelings of guilt about something he has done, even in fiction. People feel guilty only when they feel a sense of responsibility and acknowledge that they have made a mistake. But Muslims are infallible: The mere fact that they are Muslim makes their every error pardonable. A man’s adherence to Islam is defined not by his actions and responsibilities, but only by the profession of faith he recites: ‘I testify that there is no god but God, and that Muhammad is the messenger of God.’ As long as he continues to repeat this profession of faith he will continue to be a Muslim, and no crime he may commit against others can diminish this. Saddam Hussein was one of the great tyrants of history, but most Sunni Muslims consider him a martyr. At his funeral they chanted: ‘To paradise, oh beloved of God.’”

Islam constitutes an extremely and arguably uniquely repressive belief system. Already in the first days of Islam, Muhammad linked obedience to himself with obedience to God.

A God Who Hates, page 159: “Muhammad understood that the ruler was the link between himself and the populace, and so concentrated on the need to obey the ruler, saying in a hadith: ‘Whosoever obeys me obeys God, and he who obeys my emir obeys me. Whosoever disobeys me disobeys God, and he who disobeys my emir disobeys me.’ In confirmation of this, a verse rolled down from the mountaintop, as follows: ‘Obey Allah and the Apostle and those in authority among you’ (4:59). ‘Those in authority among you’ means, according to works of Koranic exegesis, ‘your rulers.’ In order to ensure that Muslims would obey their rulers implicitly and without reservation, Muhammad told them in a hadith: ‘Obey your emir even if he flogs you and takes your property.’ Fearing that some Muslims would rebel against such unquestioning obedience, he justified it by saying in another hadith: ‘If a ruler passes judgment after profound consideration and his decision is the right one, he is rewarded twice. If he passes judgment after profound consideration and his decision turns out to be the wrong one, he receives a single recompense.’”

Page 160-161: “Never in the history of Islam has a Muslim cleric protested against the actions of a Muslim ruler, because of the total belief that obedience to the ruler is an extension of obedience toward God and his Prophet. There is only one exception to this: A Muslim cleric of one denomination may protest against the actions of a ruler who belongs to a different one. How can a Muslim escape the grasp of his ruler when he is completely convinced of the necessity of obeying him? How can he protest against this obedience, which represents obedience to his Prophet and therefore also to his God? He cannot. Islam is indeed a despotic regime. It has been so since its inception, and remains so today. Is there a relationship more representative of the ugliest forms of slavery than that between a ruler and a populace whom he flogs and whose money he steals while they themselves have no right to protest against this behavior? The ruler acts by divine decree, and the people obey him by divine decree.”

Islam is totalitarian to such an extent that it is difficult to comprehend for outsiders. Critics often compare it to totalitarian ideologies such as Nazism and Communism from the Western world, which is apt in many ways. Yet Islam is even more totalitarian than those creeds. Even the Nazis and the Communists didn’t ban wine and beer, all works of pictorial art, sculptures and most types of music. I can think of other religious denominations and groups who restrict the use of alcohol, but I cannot think of any other religious creed on this planet that bans wine, pictorial art and most forms of music at the same time. Islam is unique in this regard.

I have developed a beer hypothesis of civilization, which stipulates that any society that does not enjoy beer and wine cannot produce good science. I say this 80% as a joke and 20% seriously. The Middle East before Islam produced some scientific advances at a time when the ancient civilizations were great consumers of beer and wine. The Middle East after Islam did, for a while, produce a few scholars of medium rank, but these contributions steadily declined until they almost disappeared. This time period overlaps with the period when there were still sizeable non-Muslim communities and by extension sizeable production and consumption of wine in this area. The medieval Persian scholar Omar Khayyam was a good mathematician, but a bad Muslim who loved wine. The Ottoman Turks largely chased away what remained of wine culture in that region. Incidentally, the Turks also contributed next to nothing to science.

The one possible objection I can see to the consumption of beer and wine is that some men become alcoholics who proceed to beat their wives, and some women beat or abuse their children when they drink. This is unfortunately true sometimes and constitutes an issue that should not be ignored. Yet Islamic societies suffer from an extreme level of child abuse, domestic violence and general violence of all kinds, which means that the one really serious objection to alcoholic beverages carries no meaning there. The Koran 4:34 says quite explicitly that men are allowed to beat their women. They don’t need to get drunk to do so.

A God Who Hates is easy to read, but at the same time deeply disturbing and packed with examples from everyday life of how Islamic doctrines ruin the lives of millions of people. Wafa Sultan’s book provides us with an insightful, but unpleasant look into a culture that damages the soul of its inhabitants. It paints a portrait of a society where women are mistreated daily and barely seen as human. They will in turn project their own traumas on their sons, daughters and daughters-in-law, creating an endless cycle of mental and physical abuse. It is very hard to see how this vicious cycle can be broken without repudiating Islam.

Posted on 04/11/2010 9:24 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 11 April 2010
Things That Offend Muslims

Read here.

The list was composed in 2007. You are invited to add to the list, with links to the articles where the offense to Muslims is recorded.

Posted on 04/11/2010 10:01 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald

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