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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, 2007.
Monday, 11 June 2007
Major Explosion rocks Nairobi City
At least Five people have been feared dead (earlier the 5 deaths were reported as confirmed, hopefully the death toll is and will remain lower) and almost 30 admitted at Kenyatta National Hospital in critical condition afer the Monday morning explosion that occurred outside City Gate Restaurant.
Police commissioner major general Hussein Ali confirmed the death of one person and injuries but the recovery and evacuation process is still on going.
The injured have been rushed to various city hospitals.
Unconfirmed reports indicate a suicide bomber detonated outside the City Gate hotel in the city center.  
Eye witness accounts now say that, a person of Asian origin was seen carrying a paper bag, and tried to board a City Hoppa bus, when the bomb exploded.
Already Kenyatta National Hospital has received some 31 casualties who were injured in the explosion. Many had deep cuts, burns and fractures. The Hospital administration says they are well equipped and will handle the casualties as they arrive.
Bomb experts are already on site to ascertain whether the early morning incident was a bomb explosion.
The explosion caught many city residents unawares as they were proceeding to their places of work. Police commissioner major General Hussein Ali and CID chief Karanja Gatiba are leading investigations into the blast that rocked the city.
Police Commissioner Hussein Ali has appealed to the media not to speculate but wait for investigations which are already underway.
A senior police officer on the scene said the explosion, at about 8 a.m. (0500 GMT) appeared to be a suicide bombing. . .
Some witnesses said a bomb had gone off in a waste bin, but others said it was held by someone in a bus queue. The blast shattered windows and burned a nearby bus.
Some torn papers with English and Arabic script from the Koran were found at the scene, witnesses said, and anti-terrorism police arrived quickly.
ABC News has other eye witness reports.
Picture from the BBC
Scene of the blast in Nairobi
Nairobi has been having problems with Mungiki lately but from what I have been told in the past about the methods of that criminal fraternity, this does not sound like their work.
Whoever they are, the perpetrators picked the rush hour in a busy city like Nairobi so as to achieve as many casualties as possible.
Update in The Guardian  Linet Atieno, spokeswoman of the Kenya Red Cross, said that two people were killed in the blast.
Posted on 06/11/2007 4:03 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Monday, 11 June 2007
Cairo campus veil ban struck down
From The BBC
A court in Egypt has ruled that the American University of Cairo cannot ban women from wearing the niqab - the full Islamic face covering - on campus.
The ruling comes after a lengthy legal battle between the university and a female student, who was told she had to remove the niqab for security reasons.
Supporters of the niqab greeted the ruling as a victory for freedom.
But officials at the university have said it indicates a drift towards Islamic extremism.
A committee of the High Administrative Court upheld a 2001 court ruling that the university could not ban Iman al-Zainy from wearing the niqab as it was a matter of personal and religious freedom under law. (Oh that religious freedom were extended to Christians!)
The ruling does let the university place some restrictions on the niqab, court sources told Reuters news agency. Female students could be required to show their faces to security guards at university entrances.
Posted on 06/11/2007 4:41 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Monday, 11 June 2007
CIA Cooperates With Sudan, US Softpedals Sanctions

Muslim nations, groups and groupuscules (as Hugh would say) are playing us like a fiddle all over the world. Here is evidence that Sudan has joined the game.

LA Times: WASHINGTON — Sudan has secretly worked with the CIA to spy on the insurgency in Iraq, an example of how the U.S. has continued to cooperate with the Sudanese regime even while condemning its suspected role in the killing of tens of thousands of civilians in Darfur.

President Bush has denounced the killings in Sudan's western region as genocide and has imposed sanctions on the government in Khartoum. But some critics say the administration has soft-pedaled the sanctions to preserve its extensive intelligence collaboration with Sudan...

Sudan has become increasingly valuable to the United States since the Sept. 11 attacks because the Sunni Arab nation is a crossroads for Islamic militants making their way to Iraq and Pakistan.

That steady flow of foreign fighters has provided cover for Sudan's Mukhabarat intelligence service to insert spies into Iraq, officials said.

"If you've got jihadists traveling via Sudan to get into Iraq, there's a pattern there in and of itself that would not raise suspicion," said a former high-ranking CIA official familiar with Sudan's cooperation with the agency. "It creates an opportunity to send Sudanese into that pipeline."

As a result, Sudan's spies have often been in better position than the CIA to gather information on Al Qaeda's presence in Iraq, as well as the activities of other insurgent groups.

"There's not much that blond-haired, blue-eyed case officers from the United States can do in the entire Middle East, and there's nothing they can do in Iraq," said a second former CIA official familiar with Sudan's cooperation. "Sudanese can go places we don't go. They're Arabs. They can wander around." ...

In the mid-1990s, the CIA's relationship with Sudan was severed. At the time, Sudan was providing safe harbor for Osama bin Laden and other Al Qaeda leaders. But ties were reestablished shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks, when the CIA reopened its station in Khartoum.

Initially, the collaboration focused on information Sudan could provide about Al Qaeda's activities before Bin Laden left for Afghanistan in 1996, including Al Qaeda's pursuit of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons and its many business fronts and associates there.

Since then, Sudan has moved beyond sharing historical information on Al Qaeda into taking part in ongoing counter-terrorism operations, focusing on areas where its assistance is likely to be most appreciated.

"Iraq," a U.S. intelligence official said, "is where the intelligence is going to have the most impact on Americans."

In 2005, the CIA sent an executive jet to Sudan to fly the country's intelligence chief, Maj. Gen. Salah Abdallah Gosh, to Washington for meetings with officials at agency headquarters.

Gosh has not returned to Washington since, but a former official said that "there are liaison visits every day" between the CIA and the Mukhabarat.

Posted on 06/11/2007 7:05 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Monday, 11 June 2007
London anti-Israel protest fails to draw big crowd
I didn’t notice anything about the “Enough” demonstration on Saturday in the British press (which doesn’t mean it wasn’t there, just not so prominent I couldn’t miss it) but the Jerusalem Post carries this report.
Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh addressed around 2,000 pro-Palestinian protesters gathered in Trafalgar Square in central London via satellite on Saturday, who were using the 40th anniversary of the Six Day War to demonstrate against Israel and call for the end of the occupation.
The protest, which had been in the planning stages since the beginning of the year, had hoped to attract some 10,000, however.
"On this painful anniversary of the occupation of the rest of Palestinian land, I can only stress the following," Haniyeh told the crowd. "First we appeal for Palestinian rights similar to other peoples in the world; second, we appeal that Palestinian people's [have the] right to defend themselves and resist the occupation in accordance with divine laws and international accords and conventions. We emphasize the right of return for Palestinian refugees."
The rally was organized by the 'Enough!' coalition made up of UK-based non-governmental organizations, charities, trade unions and religious groups, and protesters called for an "end to the occupation" and "justice for the Palestinians," putting sole responsibility and the onus of blame on Israel.
A counter-protest by a group called 'Dayenu!' demonstrated in support of Israel. . . Other speakers at the protest included Azzam Tamimi from the Muslim Association of Britain which is part of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Something Jewish said A group of Jews and Christians have held a counter demonstration to combat a pro-Palestinian march on London to mark the 1967 Six Day War. . . According to organisers, the Enough! march attracted 20,000 (gained a nought there I think) people but others put it at no more than 5,000. . . (or less)
Posted on 06/11/2007 7:21 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Monday, 11 June 2007
The Bandar cover-up: who knew what, and when?

The Guardian:  The government was last night fighting to contain the fallout over £1bn in payments to a Saudi prince as the attorney general came under renewed pressure to explain how much he knew about the affair.

While in public the government was issuing partial denials about its role in the controversy, in private there were desperate efforts to secure a new BAE £20bn arms deal with Saudi Arabia.

And any hopes that the furore could be halted were dashed last night when the Guardian learned that the world's anti-corruption organisation, the OECD, was poised to resume its own inquiry into why the British government suddenly abandoned its investigations into the £43bn al-Yamamah arms deal...

The Guardian has this week published accusations that £30m a quarter - for at least 10 years - was paid into accounts controlled by Prince Bandar at the Riggs bank in Washington...

The director of the SFO took responsibility for the decision to withhold information. In a statement, Robert Wardle said the decision was made by his own organisation "having regard to the need to protect national security".

The Guardian investigation has revealed that:

· The attorney general became aware of these payments because of the SFO inquiry into BAE corruption allegations.

· He recognised the vulnerability of the government to accusations of complicity over a long period in the secret payments.

· There is no dispute that, as reported by the Guardian, the fact of the payments was concealed from the OECD when it demanded explanations for the dropping of the SFO inquiry.

· UK government officials have been exposed as seeking to undermine the OECD process, and complaining that its Swiss chairman has been too outspoken.

· When, before publication, the Guardian originally asked the attorney general's office who was responsible for concealing the information from the OECD, the newspaper was told: "The information presented to the OECD bribery working group ... was prepared by AGO and SFO".

The AGO is the attorney general's office. Both departments report to Lord Goldsmith himself.

Last night, when Lord Goldsmith was asked if the concealment was done with his knowledge, he said he could not respond. His spokesman had previously said that full evidence had not been given to the OECD because of "national security" considerations. He also refused to discuss the allegations concerning the payments. "I am not going into the detail of any of the individual allegations," he said.

It also emerged yesterday that Des Browne, the defence secretary, held talks this week with the Saudi crown prince, Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz - the father of Prince Bandar - to try to secure a £20bn arms deal for BAE Systems...

Posted on 06/11/2007 7:32 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Monday, 11 June 2007
The Guidebook for Taking a Life

The New Duranty Times (that's right, the New Duranty Times) published what they termed "the rules of jihadi etiquette" yesterday in their week in review section. (hat tip: LGF)  They are:

Rule No. 1: You can kill bystanders without feeling a lot of guilt.

The Koran, as translated by the University of Southern California Muslim Student Association’s Compendium of Muslim Texts, generally prohibits the slaying of innocents, as in Verse 33 in Chapter 17 (Isra’, The Night Journey, Children of Israel): “Nor take life, which Allah has made sacred, except for just cause.”

But the Koran also orders Muslims to resist oppression, as verses 190 and 191 of Chapter 2 (The Cow) instruct: “Fight in the cause of Allah with those who fight with you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loveth not transgressors. And slay them wherever ye catch them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out, for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter. ...”

In the typical car bombing, some Islamists say, God will identify those who deserve to die — for example, anyone helping the enemy — and send them to hell. The other victims will go to paradise. “The innocent who is hurt, he won’t suffer,” Dr. Massari says. “He becomes a martyr himself.”

There is one gray area. If you are a Muslim who has sinned, getting killed by a suicide bomber will clean some of your slate for Judgment Day, but precisely where God draws the line between those who go to heaven or hell is not spelled out.

Rule No. 2: You can kill children, too, without needing to feel distress.

True, Islamic texts say it is unlawful to kill children, women, the old and the infirm. In the Sahih Bukhari, a respected collection of sermons and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, verse 4:52:257 refers to Ghazawat, a battle in which Muhammad took part. “Narrated Abdullah: During some of the Ghazawat of the Prophet a woman was found killed. Allah’s Apostle disapproved the killing of women and children.”

But militant Islamists including extremists in Jordan who embrace Al Qaeda’s ideology teach recruits that children receive special consideration in death. They are not held accountable for any sins until puberty, and if they are killed in a jihad operation they will go straight to heaven. There, they will instantly age to their late 20s, and enjoy the same access to virgins and other benefits as martyrs receive.

Islamic militants are hardly alone in seeking to rationalize innocent deaths, says John O. Voll, a professor of Islamic history at Georgetown University. “Whether you are talking about leftist radicals here in the 1960s, or the apologies for civilian collateral damage in Iraq that you get from the Pentagon, the argument is that if the action is just, the collateral damage is justifiable,” he says.

Rule No. 3: Sometimes, you can single out civilians for killing; bankers are an example.

In principle, nonfighters cannot be targeted in a militant operation, Islamist scholars say. But the list of exceptions is long and growing.

Civilians can be killed in retribution for an enemy attack on Muslim civilians, argue some scholars like the Saudi cleric Abdullah bin Nasser al-Rashid, whose writings and those of other prominent Islamic scholars have been analyzed by the Combating Terrorism Center, a research group at the United States Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.

Shakir al-Abssi, whose Qaeda-minded group, Fatah Al Islam, has been fighting Lebanese soldiers since May 20, says some government officials are fair game. He was sentenced to death in Jordan for helping to organize the slaying of the American diplomat Laurence Foley in 2002, and said in an interview with The New York Times that while he did not specifically choose Mr. Foley to be killed, “Any person that comes to our region with a military, security or political aim, then he is a legitimate target.”

Others like Atilla Ahmet, a 42-year-old Briton of Cypriot descent who is awaiting trial in England on terrorism charges, take a broader view. “It would be legitimate to attack banks because they charge interest, and this is in violation of Islamic law,” Mr. Ahmet said last year.

Rule No. 4: You cannot kill in the country where you reside unless you were born there.

Militants living in a country that respects the rights of Muslims have something like a peace contract with the country, says Omar Bakri, a radical sheik who moved from London to Lebanon two years ago under pressure from British authorities.

Militants who go to Iraq get a pass as expeditionary warriors. And the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks did not violate this rule since the hijackers came from outside the United States, Mr. Bakri said.

“When I heard about the London bombings, I prayed that no bombers from Britain were involved,” he said, fearing immigrants were responsible. As it turned out, the July 7, 2005, attack largely complied with this rule. Three of the four men who set off the bombs had been born in Britain; the fourth moved there from Jamaica as an infant.

Mr. Bakri says he does not condone violence against innocent people anywhere. But some of the several hundred young men who studied Islam with him say they have no such qualms.

“We have a voting system here in Britain, so anyone who is voting for Tony Blair is not a civilian and therefore would be a legitimate target,” says Khalid Kelly, an Irish-born Islamic convert who says he studied with Mr. Bakri in London.

Rule No. 5: You can lie or hide your religion if you do this for jihad.

Muslims are instructed by the Koran to be true to their religion. “Therefore stand firm (in the straight Path) as thou art commanded, thou and those who with thee turn (unto Allah), and transgress not (from the Path), for He seeth well all that you do,” says verse 112 of Chapter 11 (Hud). Lying is allowed only when it is deemed a necessity, for example when being tortured, or when an innocuous deception serves a good purpose, scholars say.

But some militants appear to shirk this rule to blend in with non-Muslim surroundings or deflect suspicion, says Maj. Gen. Achraf Rifi, the general director of Lebanon’s internal security force who oversaw a surveillance last year of a Lebanese man suspected of plotting to blow up the PATH train under the Hudson River.

“We thought the story couldn’t be true, especially when we followed this young man,” General Rifi said. “He was going out, drinking, chasing girls, drove a red MG.” But he says the man, who is now awaiting trial in Lebanon, confessed, and Mr. Rifi recalled that the Sept. 11 hijacker who came from Lebanon frequented discos in Beirut.

Mr. Voll takes a different view of the playboy-turned-militant phenomenon. He says the Sept. 11 hijackers might simply have been “guys who enjoyed a good drink” and that militant leaders may be seeking to do a “post facto scrubbing up of their image” by portraying sins as a ruse.

Rule No. 6. You may need to ask your parents for their consent.

Militant Islamists interpret the Koran and the separate teachings of Muhammad that are known as the Sunna as laying out five criteria to be met by people wanting to be jihadis. They must be Muslim, at least 15 and mature, of sound mind, debt free and have parental permission.

The parental rule is currently waived inside Iraq, where Islamists say it is every Muslim’s duty to fight the Americans, Dr. Massari says. It is optional for residents of nearby countries, like Jordan.

In Zarqa, Jordan, the 24-year-old Abu Ibrahim says he is waiting for another chance to be a jihadi after Syrian officials caught him in the fall heading to Iraq. He is taking the parental rule one step further, he said. His family is arranging for him to marry, and he feels obligated to disclose his jihad plans to any potential bride.

“I will inform my future wife of course about my plans, and I hope that, God willing, she might join me,” he said.

Posted on 06/11/2007 7:46 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Monday, 11 June 2007
Sleaze, slush and sand.
According to the Radio Times BBC’s Panorama tonight (BBC1 – 8.30pm) is
 Princes, Planes and Payoffs . . . investigates massive corruption involving the sale of arms worth billions of pounds between the Saudis and Britain. (NOTE as Panorama reacts to news, its subject matter may change)
It clashes with the excellent Springwatch, so I expect I will be in the kitchen watching on the old portable, unless the subject matter is “subjected to change”.
This article from The Telegraph gives an idea of what to expect. And I don't accept the comparison with the Tudors. That was 400 years ago in any case.
Posted on 06/11/2007 7:54 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Monday, 11 June 2007
Words. Picture. Worth. Thousand.

The Sunday Boston Globe carried a picture of ululating women, almost all of them Somalis, with a handful of Arabs and one or two local Ingrid-Mattson clones, those who had either found their Spiritual Search at an end when the bus stopped at the arret marked "Islam" or had married some liquid-brown-eyed "Palestinian" or other Arab with whom they had had by now two or three children, not to mention True Happiness as submissive and hijabbed and liberated-from-the-male-gaze and the horrible-Infidel-objectification-of-women that, as we all know, makes life hell - hell, I tell you, hell -- for women in the West, from Segolene Royal to Katherine Hepburn to Marina Tsvetaeva to Marie Curie to Eleanor Roosevelt. Hell, hell, hell.

Now why do you suppose, since there were 2,000 people, almost all of them men, and many of them bearded, screaming in mad nurembergian unison "Allahu Akbar" as the symbol of towering Muslim dominance -- that 140-foot minaret -- was capped, why do you suppose that of all the photographs that must have been taken by the photographer, The Globe chose to show not the men, who arranged for that mosque, who will attend that mosque, who will dominate that mosque as they dominate within Islam, but rather a handful of colorfully-draped, Hamitic ladies, not nearly as disturbing as would be that photograph of the men?

And one would like to know -- did anyone at all capture the scene in other, possibly more disturbing photographs? Were there videos taken at the time? And if so, perhaps those videos could be uploaded onto the Internet, so that the Menino Mosque, the Boston Redevelopment Authority Mosque, the mosque paid for partly by the taxpayers of Boston swindled out of receiving the market price for the valuable land on which the mosque is being built, and by individuals or groups or possibly even the government of Saudi Arabia, it would be enlightening for Infidels, in Boston, in Massachusetts, and around the country, to share in the delight, to share in the pleasure, taken by the allahu-akbar men as the 140-foot minaret towered above all else around.

As for the American flag -- why even bother to note whether it was right-side up or not? The American flag, on such an occasion, is nothing at all -- it's merely a prop, for the cameras, for the eyes of Infidels.

Posted on 06/11/2007 8:09 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 11 June 2007
Demonstrating The Tolerance And Sweetness Of Islamic Societies

Clashes re-erupted in Gaza early Monday when gunmen opened fire in the house of Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas.

There were no immediate reports of casualties in the attack on Haniyeh’s house in the Shati refugee camp next to Gaza City. It was the first time in a month of infighting that Haniyeh was an apparent target, underlining an escalation in tactics by the warring sides.

At least three Palestinians were killed in gun battles between Fatah and Hamas combatants in the Gaza Strip Sunday.

Among the casualties was the imam of a Hamas-affiliated mosque, who was executed by Fatah gunmen.

Earlier Palestinian sources reported that a member of Fatah’s Force 17 plummeted to his death Sunday after being thrown by Hamas gunmen from the 15th floor of a Gaza City high-rise. The Fatah man,

Muhammad Sawirky, 25, was kidnapped along with another Force 17 member near one of the city’s mosques; his body was found several hours later with numerous signs of violence on it, according to medical sources.

The Fatah member’s death prompted clashes in different parts of the city; at least 11 people were injured.

Meanwhile, the Presidential Guard, which includes Force 17, accused Hamas of attacking and abusing its members and warned that such acts may result in an escalation of violence between the rival factions. --from this news item

How do you feel when you read about the Fatah-Hamas warfare, a war over turf and power, with the Slow Jihadists eager to turn on the tap of the Infidel Jizyah (that "foreign aid") and willing to take their time in attacking Israel, and the truest of True Believers, the Fast Jihadists, unwilling to do so, being less worldly and less corrupt that the Slow Jihadists emblemized by the outwardly-generally-accepted-accounting-principles soft demeanor of that longtime Arafat collaborator, up to his neck in blood, Mahmoud Abbas?

Are you sorry? Do you wish it would end? Do you think this "chaos" is a "catastrophe" for Infidels, or something else? Isn't it, rather, a very useful Demonstration Project of a society, without a despot to reign it in, and to channel its aggression toward Infidels, on Islam?

Can you think of other places in the neighborhood where such an outcome might do more to further American, and Infidel interests, and provide another example of Muslim failure to compromise, Muslim aggression, Muslim violence, provide an even bigger Demonstration Project, particularly for those in Western Europe now waking from their deep sleep of unreason and evasion?

If you can think of one, please write the name of that place on a postcard, and send it to President George Bush, The White House, Washington, D. C. Just write on it: "After reading, please forward to Very Big Grand Strategy Office in the Pentagon."

Keep those cards coming in.

Eventually even those terminally confused in Washington will begin to get the idea.

Posted on 06/11/2007 8:20 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 11 June 2007
Syria: Deal, Or No Deal?

JERUSALEM – An attempted Palestinian raid of the Israeli border this weekend, purportedly to kidnap an Israeli soldier, was orchestrated by Syria and Iran, according to security officials associated with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party. --from this news article

Iran and Syria are not the same thing. Syria is a threat to Lebanon and to Israel, yet at the same time the Syrian regime, an Alawite despotism (with a policy, more obvious under Bashir than under Hafez al-Assad, of sharing the government's take with a few selected Sunnis, some of them related by marriage to Alawites), treats the Christians not too terribly by Arab Muslim standards. The government, for example, even closes on Christmas, and Good Friday processions are permitted. Yet the steady building of mosques right between churches, in what is clearly a Christian quarter, proceeds -- see Haleb (Aleppo). Bashir al-Assad, no air force pilot, is incapable of clenching an iron fist the way his father could, and did.

So his strategy is based on appeasement of the real Muslims -- both kinds of Muslims. He placates the Shi'a of Iran, the Islamic Republic of Iran, by allowing the transfer of weapons from Iran to Hezbollah, and Hezbollah, a Shi'a group tied in some -- not all -- ways, to Iran and Iran's policy, helps to destabilize Lebanon, and that, for Syria, is a good thing, because it wishes to impose its will on Lebanon as what old management consultants (see Bruce Henderson, see the Boston Consulting Group) used to call and perhaps still do, a "cash cow."

Lebanon, its wealth due in large part to the existence of an Christian Lebanese class of entrepreneurs, and in some cases to the Christian Lebanese who have fled Lebanon during the past century, fled the Muslims, and not a few have done well (the most spectacular example being Carlos Slim Helou of Mexico) and some of them provide connections and some may also wish to ensure that Lebanon, being so quickly islamized ever since France voluntarily abandoned the Maronites, for a shallow and misconceived raison d'etat, and Israel was forced to abandon them by all kinds of pressures (though it should never have abandoned the SLA, or South Lebanon Army), is the source of the money that keeps the Syrian regime, its own economy in permanent disarray, going, and provides the style of life to which its rulers have grown accustomed. Meanwhile, though the Alawites would, if the real Muslims, the Sunni Muslims who make up 70% of the Syrian population, were to come to power, that would be the end of the Alawites, and they would be reduced to nothing.

The identity or at least overlapping of interest, between the Syrian regime and the regime in Iran, in keeping Lebanon unstable through support of Hezbollah, or even, possibly, Sunni terrorist groups (Fatah al-Islam inflicts damage on the Lebanese army and, therefore, on the Lebanese state), is reinforced by the Islamic legitimacy, as the Alawites see it, given to them by the Iranians. For they will never be considered full Muslims by the Sunnis, but in Iran, at long last, a fatwa was issued several years ago by some high-ranking cleric declaring that the Alawites were indeed Muslims. That was important. And the reports that the Syrian regime is not stopping efforts of Shi'a missionaries from Iran or backed by Iran, to proselytize among the Sunnis of Syria, may not be a case of hysterical exaggeration by such Sunni rulers as Mubarak and Abdullah of Jordan, may in fact be true.

Securing, as it may seem, its Iranian or Shi'a flank, the Alawite regime also has permitted the Sunni Arabs from Syria, and elsewhere, to flow into Iraq, both to kill Shi'a, and Infidel Americans, and most importantly, in the case of local Sunnis, to get them out of Syria, and to bid them well (and ill) at the same time: here's your hat, what's your hurry? Go kill anyone you want, in Iraq, and let's hope you are eventually killed in turn.

Thus does the Alawite regime hope to stay in power.

And the problem for the American government is that it doesn't necessarily want that Alawite regime to be deposed, for the alternative is almost certain to be rule by Sunni Muslims, and then both the Christians of Syria, and the new influx of Christians who have fled Iraq, will in turn be pushed out, or worse. But it does want a change in the regime's behavior. Perhaps what it needs to do is not, as with Iraq, put its faith in the good-guys-in-exile, who are not always quite so good, so pro-Western, so keenly aware of the problem of Islam, as one expected or hoped, but to put its faith, rather, in Alawite military men who realize that Bashir al-Assad is setting up the Alawites for defeat.

An American attack, not an "invasion" but an "attack," and not on all of "Iran" but on the nuclear facilities in Iran, would shake the Islamic Republic, and if it tried to retaliate, then much greater damage could be swiftly inflicted (it could be warned not to make a move -- not everyone in the Iranian army is as foolish as such civilians as Ahmadinejad). And if that happens, the Syrian regime, the Alawites, that is, will go down with it. But if Syria's Alawites -- and the theme of Alawites, Alawites, Alawites should be picked up and repeated at every opportunity, and the Americans should encourage the Arab rulers in Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia to pick up that theme, and they will do so, not because they are our allies, but because at the moment they wish to weaken Iran, and weaken the Shi'a, and the Syrian Alawite regime has, in their view, helped both too much.

Ideally, the Alawites who rule Syria should be made a deal: you can keep ruling in Syria, because your ruthlessness helps keep the Sunni Arabs domestically in check, and allows the Christians to survive. But that's it. No nonsense about milking Lebanon. No nonsense about getting the Golan Heights -- they have been incorporated into Israel, permanently. It's that -- or such a defeat that not merely Bashir al-Assad, but every Alawite village, will be wiped out by the fury of resentful Sunni Arabs.

Deal, or No Deal?

Posted on 06/11/2007 8:34 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 11 June 2007

Well, all right, the beast is not definitively dead yet. Given the unswerving determination of our president — a quality I have admired, under different circumstances — we may see another effort at “comprehensive immigration reform” before the 110th Congress packs its bags in January ’09.

Even if the president can’t be deterred, though, the congressfolk can. They’ve been getting an earful from their constituents. I don’t know what they’ve been hearing, but it can’t be too different from what all the radio and TV talk-show hosts say they have been hearing: “Enforce the law!”

This past couple of weeks has been wonderfully educative. Tens of millions of Americans now understand the core issue here, which is, that we have all the laws we need on all the topics in this bill (we already have, for instance, five different temporary-worker programs, with a sixth visa category for the families of these temporary workers), that our current problems arise from the failure of the executive to enforce these current laws, and that until the executive shows some sincere intent to enforce current laws, there is little point in passing new ones. Repeat: sincere intent — not the clumsy propaganda show of these past few months.

We can reasonably hope, therefore, that we have heard the last of “comprehensive immigration reform” for a while. Personally, I’m going to relax, sit back, and indulge myself in some stress-free contemplation of a few random immigration topics.

Killer Acronyms.
There are a couple of killer four-letter acronyms that haven’t shown up much in the recent discussions, but which really should be on everybody’s mind when talking immigration.

Here they are: (1) EOIR, (2) AILA.

EOIR is the Executive Office of Immigration Review. It is a branch of the Justice Department, containing 54 immigration courts scattered around the nation, with over 200 judges on the rolls. It also includes the eleven-member Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA).

The key thing to understand here is that it is very hard to deport an immigrant, even an illegal immigrant, who does not want to be deported.

You will sometimes read encouraging numbers for deportations. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) boasts of 186,600 deportations for fiscal year 2006. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), quoted in the May 1 New York Times here, gave a higher number: 221,664 “over the last year.” Perhaps DHS and ICE are using different metrics, or perhaps this is illustration #92,142,863 of our government’s left hand not knowing what its right hand is doing, but either number is comforting at a first glance.

What those deportation numbers don’t tell you is that they cover mainly people who were willing to be deported, or who didn’t put up much of a legal fight. For any deportee who does want to put up a legal fight, the EOIR and BIA bureaucracies are there to help him. Behind them stand the federal circuit courts, to which an immigrant can appeal if all else fails. It takes years, of course; and, as Michelle Malkin has noted somewhere, it ain’t over until the immigrant wins.

The second killer acronym is “AILA.” That is the American Immigration Lawyers Association. You’ve probably never heard of AILA, but they are a mighty force in the land, probably more responsible for shaping the future demographics of the U.S.A. than any other body of people — certainly more responsible than our elected representatives, most of whom probably believe that “demographics” is a synonym for “racism.”

Do EOIR and AILA talk to each other? Oh yeah. They are in fact, as the Chinese say, “as close as lips and teeth.” Try reading through a few of these PDF files, for example. A cozy relationship? I would say...

The rest is here

Posted on 06/11/2007 9:00 AM by John Derbyshire
Monday, 11 June 2007
The World's Most Interesting and Diverse Law Faculty -- Almost Breathtaking

From the website of Harvard Law School, under the heading "Faculty":

"Harvard Law School is home to the world's most intellectually interesting and diverse law faculty. The eighty-one tenured and tenure-track professors of the Law School offer an almost breathtaking array of courses, seminars, and reading groups, which cover every major substantive area of legal study and approach the law from a wide variety of methodological perspectives. Each year, professors from other parts of Harvard University and other law schools around the world, as well as practicing lawyers from law firms, government, and public interest organizations, contribute their specialized skills and knowledge to this richest curriculum in the nation.

Beyond the classroom, Harvard Law professors are at the cutting edge of legal scholarship and practice. Their scholarship -- which runs the gamut from legal history to economic analysis of law, from consideration of the American Constitution to study of the international legal system -- offers exciting new perspectives on legal issues and contributes to solving legal problems. Faculty members enrich their scholarship, as well as their teaching, by engaging in varied "real-world" activities, often arguing cases before the world's highest courts, assisting in developing legal systems for new nations, or providing testimony or other commentary on emerging legal and policy issues. "

Karl Kraus would have left it at that.

I won't. I will let those words speak for themselves, but believe  in this case it worthwhile to winnow and select a few that deserve to be held up for special inspection:  

"the world's most interesting and  diverse law school faculty"

"eighty-one" faculty members who "offer an almost breathtaking array of courses, seminars, and reading groups..."

this "almost breathtaking array of courses, seminars and reading groups" manage to "cover every major substantive area of legal study"

further, this ""almost breathtaking array of courses, seminars and reading groups"  also manage to "approach the law from a wide variety of methodological perspectives"

law professors from around the world are supplemented, or complemented, by practitioners, also from around the world, "who contribute their specialized skills and knowledge to this richest curriculum in the nation."

"Harvard Law professors are at the cutting edge of legal scholarship and practice."

The scholarship of these professors on the "cutting edge," by the way, "offers exciting new perspectives on legal issues and contributes to solving legal problems."

"Faculty members enrich their scholarship, as well as their teaching, by engaging in varied "real-world" activities, often arguing cases before the world's highest courts, assisting in developing legal systems for new nations, or providing testimony or other commentary on emerging legal and policy issues. "

This means that many are so busy taking outside cases that the students are for some -- perhaps many -- an afterthought, to be treated just well enough so that the student evaluations are good, but that so often has little to do with sober pedagogy, and more with a mountebank's pleasing patter. what was it the antritrust lawyer Philip Areeda used to get? Was it $500 an hour? And what about James Casner -- what did he get for his Annual Reading of the Wills, for the Duponts or others of that Fortune 500 ilk? How much was it that Lawrence Tribe wanted to bill the state of Massachusetts for in the Grendel's Den case, and was turned down by an indignant and furious Commonwealth? Was it $400,000, in 1970 dollars?  And what did what he wanted to charge for that case,  in which so many students did so much of the work for virtually nothing,  amount to on an hourly basis?

Those "real-world" activities do make it difficult for some faculty members to be quite the attentive and solicitous teachers one would wish them to be, and it certainly must interfere with the research, that "in-depth" and "extensive" research,  and in some cases even much of the writing, of their scholarship that so "enriches" the experience of their students. But that's okay, because Harvard Law School students are there not merely to learn, but also, at bargain-basement prices, to conduct that research, and even much of the writing, and then, in order to save both the law students and their faculty employers from embarrasssment, should their failure to command  the rudiments of English grammar, syntax, and spelling, be made known, there are still, or were a while back, educated Cambridge ladies, naturally older, who could be counted on to make the prose presentable. 

"[A]ssisting in developing legal systems for new nations..."

New tenured hire Noah "After Jihad" Feldman comes to mind. he and that Shari'a-conforming "constitution" which, pace Bush, does not protect Christians, but did help the likes of Noah Feldman to get where he is today. Indeed, of all those associated with the fiaco in Iraq, perhaps no American made out as well, in his own striving, than Noah "What We Owe the Iraqis" Feldman.

"providing testimony or other commentary on emerging legal and policy issues..."

This means the proud appearance of an Op/Ed article in the Times or The Wall Street Journal.

Try  to imagine what Oliver Wendell Holmes, what Roscoe Pound, what Mark DeWolfe Howe, what courtly Arthur Sutherland, what Erwin Griswold, what Paul Freund, would have made. or those of sense and good taste elsewhee, such asJacques Barzun, would jave made of that description proudly placed on the proud website, as the page devoted to the fauclty, of Harvard Law School.

Do you think anyone is embarrassed? Any shame? Any chagrin?

Or does the self-satisfied language of the Development Office fit the case?

Perhaps it does. Perhaps that is all there is.

Posted on 06/11/2007 10:30 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 11 June 2007
Re: Harvard Law Faculty - almost breathtaking

Is "almost breathtaking" damning with faint praise? Breathtaking is too hyperbolic an expression to be qualified in this namby pamby way. It could  be worse, I suppose. They could have said "literally breathtaking".

One thing's for sure, law professors have no business running the gamut. What next? Music professors being called to the bar?


Posted on 06/11/2007 1:24 PM by Mary Jackson
Monday, 11 June 2007
Woman in UK 'groomed' as bomber
As well as Panorama which I am waiting to come on there is Newsnight also on BBC at 10.30 this evening.
The former wife of a British Islamist extremist has said her husband suggested she carry out a suicide bombing against the UK.
Speaking exclusively to the BBC's Newsnight programme, the woman said her husband showed how she should strap an explosive belt around her body.
She told the BBC that three weeks before the 2005 London bombings she was warned "something big" would happen.
The woman said her husband was a threat to the UK and completely "brainwashed".
In the interview, the woman told Newsnight's Richard Watson how her husband and fellow extremists would talk about what they believed to be their duty to follow a course of "jihad" - in this context referring to attacks against the perceived enemies of Muslims.
"He used to say we should all do jihad because he used to give an example of a woman who was a suicide bomber in India, who killed herself," she said in the interview.
"My husband told me I should join him to participate in jihad as well."
The woman told the programme her husband attempted to give her instructions in how to turn herself into a suicide bomber by concealing explosives under baggy, traditional, Islamic clothes.
The woman said: "I told him I'm not interested at all. He was very clever. He told me how the girls tied the suicide belt around their waist and [wore] the hijab over the top.
In the interview, the woman claimed that three weeks before the 7 July 2005 London bombings her husband and his jihadi associates were warning about an attack.
"He said that something would happen and he would flee but I would be trapped. I told him I'm not going anywhere, I will stay.
"He said all his other colleagues are sending their wives away so I should leave as well."
Asked what kind of threat her former husband posed, she said: "He doesn't care if British people die. He was so brainwashed by the radicals, he could do anything."
It will be available on line later.
Posted on 06/11/2007 2:09 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Monday, 11 June 2007
South Kentish Town

Tricky one:

Posted on 06/11/2007 2:23 PM by Mary Jackson
Monday, 11 June 2007
Going Long

Keeping troops in Iraq will do the following:

1) Be a constant target of possible attack from all kinds of Arabs in Iraq-- Sunnis of all kinds who are members of Al Qaeda, local Sunnis some of whom are temporarily at war with Al Qaeda who are further divided into two groups -- those "Anbar tribes" that Lt. Col. David Kilcullen, doing his Lawrence-of-Arabia "I know how to talk to these people, I know what makes them tick" performance, and a group inside Baghdad that temporarily made war on, and now has temporarily made a truce with, Al Qaeda in Iraq; Shi'a of all kinds, including Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army, and others, in and out the army, or the police, or non-government militias, and associated with either the Da'wa or the SCIRI parties, or some other group or faction or no group at all. And that's only the Arabs.

2) Be the target of Iranian agents and their collaborators within Iraq who will see the remaining Americans as the best kind of hostages, presented on a platter nearby, who can be threatened if the American or any other government decides to damage Iran's nuclear project.

3) Continue to be hideously expensive to maintain, as the costs of resupply from Kuwait go higher and higher as southern Iraq becomes more and more dangerous to the Americans, who entered Iraq as conquerors, but who would remain in a far less intimidating, and therefore more vulnerable, position.

4) Continue to depress the levels of recruitment for the National Guard and Reserves. Already standards for all forces have had to be lowered --educational standards, standards as to criminal record, and maximum age, in order to keep forces up, while the hemorrhaging of young officers (including many from West Point) will continue.

5) Continue to be the target, on the part of the endlessly warring Iraqi factions, of plausible attempts to acquire, by force or guile, American advanced weaponry. And since the American generals and some of those "counterinsurgency experts" unwilling to study Islam, and the thousand methods of putting into practice Muhammad's "war is deception," there will keep being efforts to arm this side, or that, without realizing that all the sides are hostile to America, none of the sides can be trusted. Whether it has been bases, such the one in Morocco that was hidden from Moroccan view, or Wheelus Air Base in Libya, seized when Khaddafy came to power, or alliances (CENTO, that was merely a vehicle for various Muslim countries to acquire weapons and training from Great Britain and the United States, and had no value, none, for keeping the Russians out of the Middle East), every single time the Americans think they are finding "allies" or "staunch allies" among Muslims (Pakistan or Saudi Arabia, Egypt or Jordan) they have been, sooner or later disabused. Usually later, and usually after tens of billions have been spent, and usually after the snookering has prevented other, intelligent measures, to have been taken.

6) Continue to be the source of political worry and unease, and take up entirely too much of the attention and time of our political class, and of the Pentagon itself.

7) Iraq always was a minor theatre in the war of self-defense against the Jihad. What happens in Iraq can use up, can squander, American lives, American wealth (more, in what has been spent or committed, than was spent in all the wars, save World War II, in American history), war matériel (look at the National Guard armories, look at the armories of the regular forces), and morale, civilian and military, which cannot easily be revived.

But those generals and analysts focussing on Iraq may not see the larger picture. They say nothing, for they are even unaware, of how Jihad proceeds, of what the real instruments of Jihad are -- the Money Weapon, campaigns of Da'wa, and demographic conquest. Had the American government, for example, instead of squandering $880 billion in Iraq, instead spent it on energy programs of every kind: on government-funded nuclear reactors (as in France), on subsidies to mass transit (as in England and Italy), on government subsidies to private parties to install solar collectors on their houses (as in Germany), had it supported coal gasification, and wind energy, and had it forced the car companies to improve gas mileage by new taxes or government fiat, where would be the Money Weapon today?

Had the American government not been so preoccupied with Iraq -- and if tens of thousands of troops remain, the country will remain preoccupied with Iraq -- it might have begun, in a war that is too complicated and various and the instruments of the enemy so far from being those of military warfare which is the only kind, apparently, that this Pentagon understands and can prepare for, and military conflict is only a small part of the Muslim march toward a Muslim destiny which is simply not understood, or not recognized, in the Pentagon and among the Yesterday's Men who apparently are fated to continue to rule us for a little longer.

Unless these generals can explain to us, not the original "mission" (not even Bush and Cheney can explain that) and why it made sense, but why keeping 50,000 troops, or any troops at all, in Iraq makes sense, and here they must not avoid the main instruments of Jihad but tell us exactly how, in what way, helping to stabilize Iraq serves our interests, helps us more than would a complete withdrawal which is more likely to lead to the Americans resisting the temptation to meddle in the sectarian and ethnic fissures that, if we only leave them alone, can divide and demoralize Islam, and weaken it.

How does remaining in Iraq halt the demographic gains, perhaps irreversible unless people begin to think as Masaryk and Benes and the Czechs thought in 1946, in the lands of Western Europe? How does having American troops remain in Iraq help limit and diminish the Arab money weapon, that pays for mosques, madrasas, campaigns of Da'wa, and an army of Western hirelings (see Eugene Bird, see the ad in yesterday's Sunday Times from the comically-named "CNI" or "Council for the National Interest" which is a front group for Arab anti-Israel propaganda of the most transparent sort)?

Is it possible that no one in the Pentagon -- no one at all - is going to get beyond the "counterinsurgency experts" and begin to think like Halford Mackinder, or Alfred Thayer Mahan, and analyze a picture much bigger than that of Iraq, a tiny theatre in a world-wide war?

Posted on 06/11/2007 4:10 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 11 June 2007
The Explanatory Heart Of The Matter.

It has been nearly six years since the World Trade Center attack. It has been four decades since the Six-Day War, which signaled for the Arabs and Muslims a recognition that regular warfare, in the Lesser Jihad against Israel, would not do, and terrorism would have to be employed. And so began plane hijackings, and letter-bombs in embassies, and the seizing of schoolchildren and their subsequent murders (Ma'alot), and the explosions of planes in mid-air (that TWA plane that rose to a certain height and then, bam!), the smuggling of explosives onboard through the use of innocent Infidels (that pregnant Irish girl, given a "package" to unwittingly deliver on an El Al flight by her "Palestinian" boyfriend whom she loved so very much -- but apparently he had other ideas).

It has been four and a half years since the Iraq War began, a war whose folly can only be properly understood not by those who counsel appeasement, not by those who oppose the war because "it is all about oil," but only by those who have understood how the Administration has misunderstood the real problem, in its "war on terror" and in its misunderstanding of Iraq and the usefulness of establishing, or thinking there might be established, a Light Unto the Muslim Nations in Iraq. And so in this misunderstanding it began a war that has now cost this country $880 billion, that is, more than the total cost of all the wars, save World War II, ever fought by the United States.

Yet The New Duranty Times, the insufferably inaccurate and negligent goddamn New York Times, has been unable until now even to hint at what Islam has to do with it. Instead, The New Duranty Times has hidden behind -- oh, haven't they all, haven't almost all of them, done so? -- such phrases as "radical Islamist extremists." That phrase has that unnecessary adjective fore, "radical," and that unnecessary noun aft, "extremist," and in the middle, just to be sure of misleading the reader, that little suffix "ist" put in to transform the true word, the word that does not hide behind that ill-concealing suffix -- that is, the word "Islam," which tells the intelligent student of both Islam (its tenets, attitudes, atmospherics) and of the history of Jihad-conquest (over 1350 years, from Spain to East Asia) all that they need to know to make sense not only of what is happening, but of what can be done to make what is happening happen less, or happen to the advantage and not the disadvantage of the confused and inarticulate and besieged Infidels.

Four-and-a-half years after the catastrophic war in Tarbaby Iraq began, The Times continues to be against it. But it continues to be against it incoherently and unintelligently. It cannot explain satisfactorily (this website can, this website has) how the ignorance of Islam led to the folly of the polypragmonic intervention in Iraq. It cannot explain why that intervention was undertaken not to swiftly find and destroy certain kinds of weaponry and then leave, but instead in order to bring "freedom" and "democracy" to "ordinary moms and dads" in the Middle East. That Light Unto the Muslim Nations Project was colossally misguided. It was fed by trust in plausible Shia in exile, and also fed by a belief that Islam, being a "religion," could not possibly be very different from other world religions, and the very word "religion" in some quarters commands automatic, salaam-salaam respect.

The New Duranty Times has over the past several decades failed to investigate Islam. It has failed to see, in its coverage of the Middle East, in the tens of millions of words it has published, the centrality of Islam. And so have many others. But at a certain point, that negligence or ignorance became intolerable. After the 9/11/2001 attacks, and after the attacks on non-Muslims all over the world became better known, and even, at times, reported on, what was the excuse of the Times in not finding out?

All over the world non-Muslims have been attacked, some across borders, and some within the borders of countries in which Muslims dominate. The Arab siege of the Infidel state of Israel remains what it has always been -- not a "nationalist" desire for "the legitimate rights of the 'Palestinian people'" but an implacable war, not limited to military means, against the continued existence of the one Jewish state. And that has received attention both exaggerated and misconceived. The Times has devoted thousands of articles, over several decades, to the so-called "Peace Process" without once -- not once -- ever bothering to examine the Muslim view of treaties with Infidels. It has done so without once -- not once -- studying the Treaty of Al-Hudaibiyyah and its central role in Muslim treaty-making (see Majid Khadduri, "War and Peace in Islam"). The very idea of presuming to discuss either the Arab attitude toward Israel, or the real nature of Ba'athism (the reasons for the creation of the Ba'ath movement, and why it succeeded, for similar but distinct reasons, only in Syria and Iraq -- have been repeatedly laid out at this website) without any reference to Islam here either shows how poorly The New Duranty Times has performed.

It is called here "The New Duranty Times" to remind readers of how badly The Times covered Soviet Russia in the 1930s, when its Pulitzer-award winning correspondent (his award worth about as much as the Pulitzer awarded to the terminally jejune Tom Friedman) Walter Duranty failed to notice Stalin’s famine. Now the Times fails to notice the Christians in Pakistan and the Philippines and the Moluccas of Indonesia, the Hindus of Bangladesh and Pakistan and even the last remaining Hindus in Afghanistan under the Taliban, the Christians and animists in the southern Sudan, and the Christians of southern Nigeria. When the Biafra War was covered, no one noticed, no one wanted to notice, that it was a classic Jihad against the Christian Ibo -- no one, except Col. Ojukwu and the Christians of Nigeria themselves.

The New Duranty Times is not alone. The newspapers, the radio pundits, the television talkshows and sound-bite rapid-fire interviewers, have ignored the nature of Islam, the history of Islamic conquest of non-Muslim lands and subsequent subjugation of vast numbers of non-Muslims, over time forcibly islamized and in the Middle East and North Africa, arabized as well.

But The Times has never been able to coherently explain much of what it covers, that is, much of what is merely reported, but about which neither The Times, nor its readers therefore, can make sense. For by leaving out the teachings and promptings and atmospherics of Islam, it leaves out the explanatory heart of the matter.

Posted on 06/11/2007 4:23 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 11 June 2007

The Newsnight home page is here. Tonight's programme is here. Click "latest programme" in right hand column.

The interview with the jihadi wife was interesting but said she nothing we would not have already realised. What was interesting was afterwards with Ed Hussain, author of The Islamist and others talking, all emphasising that this is a "small minority of Muslims" with Ed assuring us that it was his parents "traditional Islam" that enabled him to free himself from the brainwashing of the jihadi cult and get back to the proper tradition of peace and co-existence.

The passages from the Koran that command jihad were never mentioned. But it should make a few more people sit up and take notice as all were agreed that another attack is inevitable, and that isn't a bad thing. The taking notice, not an attack.

The rest of the programme was about bombs found in Kabul that may have been made in Iraq, dogwalking and children's poetry.

Posted on 06/11/2007 5:20 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Monday, 11 June 2007
Padilla Trial: The Meaning of Words

AP (with thanks to Jefffrey Imm): MIAMI - Defense attorneys in the Jose Padilla terrorism support trial are going to great lengths to suggest to jurors that jihad is not necessarily Muslim holy war and that mujahedeen could just as easily be freedom fighters as terrorists.

The meaning of words, especially Arabic words, is center stage as federal prosecutors play hours of telephone intercepts involving Padilla and two other defendants charged with participating in an Islamic extremist support network...

Prosecutors, however, must show the trio were involved in violence — that the "jihad" they were fighting involved killing and armed struggle. Defense attorneys won one legal skirmish last week when U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke agreed to limit an FBI agent's testimony to references about "jihad" but not "violent jihad."...

In one example of the language battle, Jayyousi attorney William Swor recently asked a witness who had once worked with Jayyousi at a San Diego Islamic charity whether Muslims could perform jihad in many ways other than violent conflict.

"You can perform jihad in your heart. You can perform jihad with your tongue. You can perform jihad with your pen, or your computer. Right?" Swor asked Jeremy Collins, a Muslim convert.

"Correct," Collins answered...

Posted on 06/11/2007 6:33 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Monday, 11 June 2007
CAIR Membership Plummets

Washington Times (hat tip: JW): Membership in the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has declined more than 90 percent since the 2001 terrorist attacks, Audrey Hudson will report in Tuesday's editions of The Washington Times.
    According to tax documents obtained by The Times, the number of reported members spiraled down from more than 29,000 in 2000 to less than 1,700 in 2006, a loss of membership that caused the Muslim rights group's annual income from dues to drop from $732,765 in 2000, when yearly dues cost $25, to $58,750 last year, when the group charged $35.
    The organization instead is relying on about two dozen individual donors a year to contribute the majority of the money for CAIR's budget, which reached nearly $3 million last year.
    Asked about the decline, Parvez Ahmed, CAIR board chairman, pointed to the number of individual donors to the organization.
    "We are proud that our grass-roots support in the American Muslim community has allowed CAIR to grow from having eight chapters and offices in 2001 to having 33 today," Mr. Ahmed said.
    The self-described civil liberties organization for Muslims seeks to portray "a positive image of Islam" through public relations and the media, but has instead alienated some by defending questionable accusations of discrimination.
    Critics of the organization say they are not surprised membership is sagging, and that a recent decision by the Justice Department to name CAIR as "unindicted co-conspirators" in a federal case against another foundation charged with providing funds to a terrorist group could discourage new members.
    M. Zuhdi Jasser, director of the American-Islamic Forum for Democracy, says the sharp decline in membership calls into question whether the organization speaks for 7 million American Muslims, as the group has claimed.
    "This is the untold story in the myth that CAIR represents the American Muslim population. They only represent their membership and donors," Mr. Jasser said.

Is there a word for schadenfreude in Arabic?

Posted on 06/11/2007 6:43 PM by Rebecca Bynum

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